What If, Chapter Two - That's Why Home Life & Work Life Should Be Kept Separate
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Nov. 3rd, 2013 | 07:49 pm
Where I'm at: United Kingdom, England,Borough of St. Helens, Saint Helens
Title: What If (Chapter Two)
Rating: No warnings for this chapter.
Pairing: House/Cameron, Cameron/OC
Chapter Two – That's Why Home Life & Work Life Should Be Kept Separate
"Andrew! What…are you doing here? I don't finish work for another six hours."
Cameron couldn't decide whether she was happy to see her husband, or a little perturbed by his unexpected appearance. Taking their daughter off him, she greeted the little girl warmly, showering her with kisses as the child giggled and reveled in the attention.
Andrew smiled as he watched them for a moment before focusing on her question.
"Well, I had the afternoon off and Elle wanted to see her mommy doing what she does best – saving lives," he ruffled Elle's curly blonde hair and the little girl beamed at him, "So, I thought it'd be nice if we got to have lunch as a family for once."
Cameron forced a smile and levelled a careful gaze on her husband.
"But I don't finish for another six hours."
She repeated, wondering why he would suddenly decide to change the routine they'd finally managed to get into after the upheaval of a baby arriving eighteen months previous. She'd fiercely defended her marriage when Foreman and Chase interrogated her about apparent feelings for House, but lately their 'happy marriage' hadn't been so blissful. They'd been fighting for the past week over having another baby and tensions were running high at home. She didn't want to bring that to work. She tried very hard to keep her work life and her home life separate.
"Well, what's this? Little family gathering in the office? There are germs all over this place, Cameron. Wouldn't think you'd want such a precious little sprog exposed to that."
Cameron's jaw clenched as House's voice pierced the thickening atmosphere from behind her.
"And ease up, would you? That tension in your shoulders can't be good for your posture."
Andrew was eying House with wary suspicion. They'd never met before but he assumed this would be the infamous Dr. House he'd heard a lot about. Not from his wife, of course, because she tried very hard to keep work life and home life separate.
"You must be the husband. So, we finally get to meet. Cameron is always talking about you."
House smirked, slapping Andrew's shoulder in his most genial manner and Cameron almost winced. Even if Andrew couldn't, she was quite accustomed to his attitude and could feel the sarcasm radiating off every word he was saying, especially when it was so painfully obvious the man he was tormenting was oblivious to it. Instead, Andrew smiled warmly and raised his eyebrows in Cameron's direction.
He said, clearly pleased. Cameron fought the urge to turn away, knowing House was having far too much fun with this.
That blow was below the belt, with their relationship already turbulent and in need of no help from House. Andrew looked somewhere between confused and genuinely disheartened.
"So, why are you here? She's working. Our lobby art is very important to us, you know."
Hearing him describe her that way made Cameron shake her head in exasperation. Dropping his friendly – now clearly fake – persona, House kept a piercing gaze on Andrew, almost demanding an answer as though he'd done something wrong by showing up unannounced. And calling Cameron 'lobby art' only served to infuriate the younger man.
No longer feeling under obligation to be pleasant with his wife's boss, Andrew returned the unwavering stare.
"Because it's 12:30 and I'm pretty sure my wife is entitled to a lunch hour. So I brought our daughter as a pleasant surprise and we're going for lunch as a family."
The possessive pragmatics were not lost on House and he gave a small smirk.
"Bit of a possessive streak you got there. Might wanna go someplace outside the hospital if you want a pleasant meal, because half of the male doctors in this place won't care that you're here – they'll still oggle your lovely wife like they always do."
Cameron cut in before Andrew ended up landing a right hook to House's jaw.
"The testosterone in this room is killing me. Come on, Andy; please, let's just go. I'm taking my lunch hour now, House."
She addressed her boss over her shoulder, guiding her husband out of harm's way towards the door; Elle still perched on her hip.
As much as he tried not to, House couldn't help but watch her as she left. She looked so…in control of herself. She hadn't been working for him all that long and yet he'd developed a kind of attachment to her already. He hated that.
He'd never really thought about her home life, or the fact that she had a ready-made, perfect little suburban family life outside of the hospital. It made him realize that he had to keep his hands off her. She was already somewhat damaged – he could see that much in her eyes – so he'd have to rely on that good ole' stubborn will-of-steel to keep himself from touching what was so clearly unattainable.
Scowling, he shuffled into his office and drew the blinds. He didn't want to think about Cameron having a husband, being totally out of his reach, but he knew that was all he was going to be able to think of for the rest of the afternoon at least. So it was better to shut himself away with his Vicodin and his GameBoy…for everyone's sake. This was why she should just keep her home life and her work life separate!