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30 June 2009 @ 12:26 am
seven letter word for liar 5/19  

Cameron pursed her lips. “Fine,” she began, leaning forward so that she was closer to him. “I’m not in love with Wilson and I’m not in love with you.”
House looked delighted. “And you’re not in love with Chase.”
Cameron blinked, trying to hide her surprise. She hadn’t been expecting that.
house, md. chapter 5.
 

xxx

“That looks disgusting,” Cameron winced, scrunching her nose as Wilson scooped a large forkful of sweet and sour duck into his mouth.

Wilson tried not to laugh as he managed to swallow his food. He pointed his fork at her accusingly. “Every time,” he remarked, shaking his head. “Are you ever going to stop criticizing my favorite food? And don’t give me that crazy argument about how chickens are ugly, and thus okay to eat...it didn’t work months ago and it won’t work now.”

Cameron’s eyes brightened. “Fine,” she insisted, stirring her chicken in curry sauce. “I’ll stop demeaning your gross choice of food when you stop cheating with that fork and start using chopsticks.”

Wilson eyed her playfully, catching her eye. While he had her full attention he managed to feel for his unused chopsticks with his left hand, tossing them both at Cameron.

She jumped back in surprise, batting them away frantically with their hands.

Wilson broke into laughter at the sight. “They’re not going to bite you,” he insisted.

She smacked his forearm in retaliation.

“You started it,” he insisted. “Just leave me and my duck alone. We’re not bothering you.”

“Fine,” Cameron agreed, turning her body in the opposite direction, pretending to sulk.

Wilson rolled his eyes. “You’re not fooling me,” he insisted. “Pretend to be upset all you want. I’m not apologizing.”

“Apologizing for what?” House asked curiously, barging into Wilson’s office. His eyes flicked from Wilson to Cameron. “Am I interrupting something?”

“Cameron sulking.”

“Wilson cheating,” Cameron challenged.

House shrugged. “Sounds about right,” he replied, not prying any further. “Why are you sitting on the floor?” he asked, almost convincingly.

“Are we on the floor?” Cameron asked, playing dumb.

“Huh,” Wilson tutted. “I hadn’t noticed.”

“It’s really comfortable,” Cameron nodded, lazily piling a few noodles into her mouth.

“I saw you got new seating in your office,” Wilson replied, pointing at House.

“Yeah, I found that rather ironic,” Cameron joined in. “House gets new furniture while your chairs mysteriously go missing. What a coincidence.”

“Kutner spilled coffee all over my favorite chair,” House explained, innocently enough. “Besides, it was time for a change of scenery. Some feng shui if you will.”

Wilson rolled his eyes. “Did you order Taub to steal my chairs?”

House laughed. “Taub, lift furniture! Don’t be ridiculous! I sent Thirteen and Foreman.”

Cameron snickered. “Yeah, that’s plausible,” she replied sarcastically. She turned to Wilson. “Must have been Kutner.”

Wilson nodded in agreement. “Or the janitor. Those two have a twisted relationship with one another.”

“Aren’t all of House’s relationships twisted?” Cameron asked rhetorically. She then shot Wilson a sympathetic look. “No offense,” she teased.

“None taken,” Wilson assured her. “Although I could direct that comment right back at you.”

“No, House and I don’t have a relationship,” Cameron insisted, trying hard to maintain her cool demeanor without laughing. House looked like he could explode at any moment. “At least not on the same level as yours...”

“Seriously,” House began, the amusement fading from his face rapidly. “What is going on with you two?” he demanded.

Unfortunately, Cameron couldn’t stop her grin from forming. She wasn’t sure if House was more angry that they weren’t including him in their conversation, annoyed that they were making fun of him, or simply just wondering why they were having dinner together.

“I think he’s jealous,” she replied brazenly.

Wilson snorted into his diet coke, knowing how this comment would strike House.

House glared at them. “Does Cuddy know about this?”

Cameron feigned confusion.

Wilson shrugged. “I don’t know.”

“Cuddy doesn’t like Thai food,” Cameron insisted. “Otherwise we would have definitely invited her.”

“And Chase?” House remarked, getting to his obvious suspicion.

Cameron played dumb. “Chase is working,” she said simply.

“Yeah,” Wilson agreed. “Curry and surgery don’t go well together. Tried it once...nearly got sued.”

“Ginger chicken?” Cameron offered, extending an unopened container towards House.

House made a disgusted face. “Have your little picnic,” he remarked. “I’m going to go enjoy my new chairs.”

“Suit yourself,” Wilson shrugged, resisting the urge to smile until House had left the office.

“On a scale of one to ten, how much trouble do you think we’re going to be in for pulling that little stunt?” Cameron laughed.

Wilson grinned. “I’m expecting to find my car doors glued shut,” he joked.

Cameron laughed again but after another minute, the two found themselves slumping into an uncomfortable silence.

“I feel kind of bad,” Cameron spoke up.

Wilson shot her a disapproving look. “Don’t,” he warned her. “That’s exactly what he’s counting on.”

Cameron rolled her eyes. “I’m not going to apologize or anything, but I do feel kind of bad.”

“You offered him chicken,” Wilson pointed out.

Cameron chuckled. “He hates ginger chicken.”

“I could learn so much from you,” Wilson said, looking up at her as if she were a god.

Cameron hit him over the head with her chopstick. “When we go to free your chairs, what do you think about taking his toys?”

Wilson’s eyes lit up. “I’ve always wanted a gameboy.”

xxx

It started out rather uncomplicated, as most things do. Cameron visited Wilson a few times a week, until he returned to PPTH. After that they had dinner every Tuesday. She told herself it was because she wanted to make sure he was really okay. She wanted him to know he had someone to turn to in case he ever became sick of House’s warped idea of empathy. She was being a good friend and helping someone in need. In a way, it was a service.

But the weeks turned into months, and still, they found themselves sticking to their dinner dates religiously. Cameron had told Chase when it first started that she and Wilson would be having dinner on Tuesdays, and he didn’t seem to mind. He worked late on Tuesdays and besides, he understood that Wilson was going through a rough time. Not to mention, the only guy Chase seemed determined to keep Cameron away from was House. Wilson was an anti-House of sorts. It was all perfectly innocent.

At least, until she started with the questioning and the analyzing. Why did she worry about changing out of her scrubs? Why did she feel the need to check her hair and makeup? Why did the few silent moments between them now seem so full of tension? Why did she find herself having lunch with Wilson whenever he wasn’t eating with House? Why was she stopping by to tell him silly, random anecdotes while he laughed at her with a smile that made her skin tingle? Why was he stopping by the ER so frequently? Why was he always bringing her chi tea in the morning? Why did she know how he liked his coffee?

She convinced herself that it could only be construed as suspicious, and that’s why she was picking apart every little detail. Friends knew personal things about one another. She knew what House liked to eat, how he liked his coffee, and how to interpret his various looks. She knew his phone number cold. Of course she had a more complicated relationship with House, so perhaps he was a bad reference point.

Foreman was a friend, but she didn’t know him very well. She just happened to get along with Wilson better than Foreman. That was no big deal. Besides, if Wilson had been a girl, she wouldn’t be psychoanalyzing their every word. House may have suspected that something more was going on, but she and Wilson always laughed it off. Because, House was wrong...for once.

That evening, Chase found her in the lounge, waiting for him as she had promised. Well, actually her car was in the shop, so mostly, she just needed a ride home.

“Mind if I fix myself a cup of coffee before we go?” Chase asked. He looked exhausted.

“I got it,” Cameron insisted, grabbing a mug and pouring the rich liquid with ease. It was then that it dawned on her. She stared blankly at the dark liquid, momentarily paralyzed by the significance of her revelation. “Um...how do you want it?” she asked, dumbly.

Chase wasn’t fazed by the realization that was upsetting Cameron.

“Just black,” he replied. “Like usual.”

“Just checking,” she smiled, eyeing the clock. It was only seven twenty. Wilson would still be here for another half hour or so. She handed the cup to Chase, who sat down, eager to be off his feet. “I’ll be right back,” she promised. “I think I left some charts at the nurses’ station.”

Chase nodded, too tired to really pay much attention to her. Cameron was grateful for this laid back response. Before Chase could come to and notice that Cameron was acting rather strangely, she darted out of the lounge, past House’s empty office, and quickly turned the knob of Wilson’s door, not even considering knocking.

“We can’t have dinner Tuesday night,” she bellowed, pushing into the office. Wilson rose to his feet, obviously startled by her intrusion. She figured she’d interrupted him from work of some sort.

“Okay,” he said, not fully understanding. “But um...”

“No,” Cameron said firmly, ignoring his need to change the subject. He looked as if he wanted to tell her something important, but she wasn’t going to give him the chance. She shifted her weight, looking past the tall chair that sat between her and Wilson.

“I didn’t know how Chase liked his coffee,” she replied as if this was the most astounding discovery of her life.

Whatever was pressing on Wilson’s mind seemed to be replaced by confusion. “Okay,” he said slowly, probably wondering if she was on drugs.

Cameron shook her head. “No, you don’t get it,” she began. “I didn’t know how he liked his coffee. I know how House likes his coffee,” she said plainly. “And I know how you like your coffee.” She paused. “I’ve been dating Chase for two years,” she added. Another pause. “Don’t you get it?”

Wilson locked eyes with her, proving silently that he understood. His lack of words confused her though. She stared, perplexed as his eyes shifted from her to the high backed chair in front of her. Cameron inhaled roughly, finally understanding.

The man in the chair swung around.

“Go on,” he said mockingly, as if out to prove that he found her dilemma completely amusing.

Wilson stared at her apologetically.

Cameron tucked her hair behind her ear, a nervous habit. She sighed. Talking openly with Wilson was easy. She could be vulnerable and say whatever was on her mind. Doing the same with House only resulted in torment.

She wrung her hands anxiously. “Okay,” she said, taking a few steps back, closer to the safety of the door. “So, uh...Tuesday is off,” she repeated.

Wilson nodded. “Yeah, uh, I’m actually glad you came in here, because I forgot I have a um...lecture series...I mean, a series of lectures this Tuesday, so...”

“Great,” Cameron cut him off. Everyone in the room knew he was lying, but Cameron was still grateful for the effort.

She flung herself out of Wilson’s office as quickly as possible, back leaning against the door. She cringed at the knowledge she’d just unintentionally imparted to House.

xxx

It had been easy to avoid House the next few days. With hundreds of patients and more coming in by the dozens every minute, keeping busy proved to be a simple task. She’d seen Wilson a few times and exchanged casual conversation with him. It made her sad to know that from now on, their conversations might be limited to only greetings.

Cuddy had come around an hour earlier, pleading with Cameron to help House with his charts. Naturally, in the past year, he still hadn’t learned the importance of paperwork. Cameron wasn’t really surprised to hear he’d let his patient’s files go. He had become more creative with hiding the charts however, having stashed them inside of empty lockers for months. Cuddy had only recently uncovered the issue.

Cameron protested, insisting that House had to learn to take care of his own work or dictate the charting duties to someone on the team. Cuddy apologizes, agreed with Cameron, and assured her this would be the last time. However, there was a year’s worth of charts scattered across House’s floor and once they were caught up, Cuddy insisted that she’d make sure House or one of his fellows stayed on top of the paperwork.

Cuddy was usually true to her word, but still, Cameron doubted the charting would ever get done.

So, reluctantly, she entered House’s office, gathering charts with an obvious lack of enthusiasm. She found the room empty and was glad not to have to deal with House’s presence. She sat in his office for hours, hunched over the paperwork, opting to forge his signature as she had done so many times before. It was much easier than flipping through every chart, getting him to sign on every x indicated. It was then that she wondered if House let it slip to Cuddy that Cameron could replicate his signature perfectly. This had probably been his whole plan to torture Cameron.

Even for House, she was impressed.

Foreman appeared in and out of the conference room frequently, stopping in a few times to make small talk. He filled her in on the latest case they were working on, and came back to tell her the results of their day.

The fact that Foreman felt the need to include Cameron bothered her slightly. She wondered if she’d spend the rest of her career fighting to convince people that she was not in love with House and not upset by her new position in the ER. Hadn’t she been the only one of her fellows to leave willingly and not come back? She thought people might remember that she’d not only left, but turned down House’s requests for her to return to the team several times.

Apparently, that meant nothing. People would always view her as the sweet girl in love with House. She’d thought her newfound toughness made an impression on Cuddy, yet here she was playing secretary to the one person in the hospital who deserved it least. To add to the irony, the only person who seemed to even appreciate her growth was the very person she was trying to set herself apart from. It was frustrating.

She looked up from the stack of charts she was drowning in only to find another stack sitting in a bin across from her. She scowled. This was the payment she got for doing her job well? It was crazy.

The sound of the conference room door opening jarred her from her thoughts as she sat back down at the desk she so frequently used to inhabit. She glanced up a slow smile spreading across her face. She pulled her glasses off slowly.

“I think House may have been onto something all of those years he was cursing Cuddy,” she joked.

Wilson laughed appreciatively. “You know you only got roped into this because House let it slip to Cuddy that you forged his signature better than he could himself.”

Cameron rolled her eyes. “After the hundredth signature or so I kind of came to that conclusion,” she remarked. She eyed his jacket. “Done for the night?”

Wilson nodded. “Yeah. I saw you when I was walking by...figured the least I could do was offer you this.”

Cameron smiled lightly as Wilson handed her a sandwich.

“Thanks,” she said, accepting it.

“Oh, if you want to thank me, make sure you’re eating it when House comes in,” he smirked. “I promised him food.”

Cameron grinned. “Deal,” she nodded. Even though she knew Wilson understood, she started to apologize for what must have been the twentieth time. She wished the scene in his office had never occurred. But, before she could get a word out, her train of thought was interrupted.

“He’s been married three times!” House called out, entering his office, his team on his tail. Foreman shot Cameron a look of sympathy. “He cheated,” House remarked, nodding his head towards Wilson. “Isn’t that something you’re hopelessly against? I remember a story about a dead husband and some guy named Joe who you didn’t cheat with, correct?”

Cameron sighed as she finished another signature before giving House a pointed look.

“We’ve been through this,” he insisted. “Your glares can’t literally pierce me.”

“I can try,” Cameron said icily.

Wilson shook his head, looking slightly amused. “You can’t remember Thirteen’s name, yet you remember Cameron’s ex...”

House silenced him with a look.

“Leaving,” Wilson replied in defeat. He exchanged a knowing look with Cameron before exiting.

“Besides,” House remarked, returning to his normal sardonic self. “I thought Thirteen’s name really was Thirteen.”

Thirteen looked mildly annoyed. “Can we go?”

House ignored her, instead turning his attention to the half eaten sandwich in Cameron’s hands. Cameron grinned haughtily.

“Are you eating my sandwich?”

Cameron shrugged. “Maybe,” she remarked nonchalantly. “Did you tell Cuddy I could forge your signature?”

House’s eyes lit up with recognition. “I was merely trying to get you fired,” he insisted. “I thought impersonating another doctor was grounds for some kind of punishment.”

“Obviously it is,” Cameron muttered, motioning to the paperwork engulfing her.

“Later,” Thirteen called to Kutner and Taub. She and Foreman headed towards the door.

“Bye,” House called playfully. “And next time our patient almost dies, do me a favor and don’t go running to the parents.”

“They had a right to know,” Foreman insisted, defending Thirteen. Thirteen held her cool, glaring at House effortlessly.

“Aw, you two remind me of someone...” he remarked, grinning at Cameron.

“Oh please,” Cameron muttered, rolling her eyes.

“She’s right,” House conceded. “Chase would be standing there all annoyed with his arm wrapped protectively around Cameron’s waist...just in case I got any ideas...and Cameron would be pushing him away from her.” He winked at Thirteen. “You two are much better off.”

Foreman waved apologetically to Cameron as they left.

Cameron pushed her glasses back on, getting back to her paperwork. She allowed the conversation to fade around her, only glancing up quickly to wave goodbye to Taub and Kutner as they exited.

“Are we in a fight?” House asked mockingly, once all of the ducklings had dispersed.

Cameron scowled, peering up at him. “Go away.”

“My conference room.”

“Well, if you want to play it that way, these are your files,” Cameron retorted.

House grinned. “I thought you liked cleaning up other people’s messes,” he replied innocently.

“Not when it’s not my job anymore,” she remarked.

House pretended to look wounded. “You mean all of this time our relationship was based on a lie? You were just after the money?” He shook his head. “I should have known. All the pretty ones want is money...”

“House,” Cameron began, warning him. “I have a lot of work to do...a lot of your work to do, and I’d appreciate it if...”

“Huh,” House mused, staring down at the current chart in Cameron’s hand. “You really have my signature down. No more loopy G’s.”

It was impossible to even stay angry at him. He was that much of a child.

Cameron sighed. “Can you just ask me whatever it is you’ve been hanging around waiting to ask me so that I can finish this and go home?”

“To Chase?”

Cameron rolled her eyes. “To bed.”

“With Chase?”

“None of your business.”

“My favorite topic.”

House.”

“Or is it Wilson you’re seeing these days,” he began. “It’s hard to keep up with you.”

Cameron shot House and incredulous look. She should have known this was about Wilson. She leaned back in her chair, his chair, and crossed her arms. “Wilson and I are just friends,” she said chastising him. “Don’t worry, I’m not trying to steal him away from you.”

House’s eyes narrowed. “So that little scene in his office...”

“Had nothing to do with him or you for that matter,” Cameron insisted. “Just let it go House, you don’t need to know everything.”

House winced. “It’s kind of my thing,” he remarked.

Cameron pursed her lips. “Fine,” she began, leaning forward so that she was closer to him. “I’m not in love with Wilson and I’m not in love with you.”

House looked delighted. “And you’re not in love with Chase.”

Cameron blinked, trying to hide her surprise. She hadn’t been expecting that.

She didn’t answer.

House’s grin grew wider.

She slammed the chart shut.

“Fine,” House said, backing down. “I’ll leave you to your work.”

Your work,” Cameron corrected, eyes already on the next chart. She pretended not to listen as House made his way into his adjoining office, nothing but a half inch of glass separating them. She flipped files open exaggeratedly, knowing he could hear her, and she pretended not to be distracted by the blaring of his television set. She also didn’t ask him why he was watching tv here, after hours, when he could be at home, doing the same thing.

Though she was certain he’d lie and say something incredulous, on the off chance that he was feeling rather open tonight, she didn’t want to know the real answer.

She was, however, unable to hold back her laughter when she began to hear him searching frantically through all of his desk drawers, cursing mildly. She forced herself to look through the wall into his office, where House seemed deeply annoyed at not being able to find the object of his affections.

She wondered where Wilson would have put it, or if he still had it with him. Either way, she was glad he'd pulled off the prank.

She was even more glad when she spotted the gameboy sitting in plain sight, in the very last place House would ever look for anything; his mail bin.

 
 
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