Author: RockinLizzy, or liam22 if you're on LJ
Title: Fairytale Undone
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: House/Cameron
Disclaimer: I do not own House MD or the lyrics used.
Beta: Thanks to the amazing lilabris
Summary: Every story has a beginning, middle and end. This is theirs.
Note: This was written for the Summer Lyricathon. Lots of love to snarkbait for setting the whole thing up. My prompt was a line from Damian Rice's song Delicate; although I am a little short in the summer as a general theme department. Hope you enjoy.

"We might kiss when we are alone When nobody's watching we might take it home" - Damian Rice

He needed to find a new bar, somewhere where nobody from the hospital knew him. They all knew about the shooting. Ever since he had woken up to find that the Ketamine had failed, he couldn't get away from their sympathetic looks. Especially hers.

Hers was different though. Hers was more understanding than pity. Now, when she looked at him, it was almost like she could see through him. That unnerved him most of all.

He had purposely gone across town, intent on drinking those looks away. He should have turned around when he saw her sitting at the other end of the bar, nursing a glass of red wine. She was still dress in her work clothes, and he couldn't help the sudden urge to unbutton all of those ever-so-professional buttons. Instead, he sat down at the other end, ordering himself a scotch and watched her.

Wilson would have said the fates were intervening; he was always a romantic like that.

Their first kiss was hard. She could taste the scotch on his breath and he could taste the wine on hers. But neither would remember that afterwards.

Their next kiss was harder still. It was a kiss meant to drown troubles, which led to a third. This one causing trouble.

A few kisses would lead to a few more, but they wouldn't remember those either. Facilitated by the alcohol, they were like a slow burn. They used each other to drown the pain.

No amount of alcohol or self-loathing would take away the memory of waking up, curled around her the next morning.

Rules were the first things discussed the next time she sees him outside the hospital. It's a good arrangement, she supposes. They meet at thebar, have a few drinks. Then usually end up at her apartment.

They never talk about their arrangement outside of the bar. No one could know, not even Wilson. She didn't want to hear the whispers, knowing bets were being placed behind their backs. She knew she wouldn't be able to fake indifference in the face of that.

They never use names. They were not going to get attached and either could walk away at any time. That one was important to him; this was only about sex. He tells her straight out that if she wants any of that touchy-feely crap, she should go look up someone else. She just rolls her eyes.

He is careful not to repeat the mistake of the first night, and sneaks out while she pretends to sleep.

They were precarious at best, a certified disaster waiting to happen.

Despite their careful planning, their well thought out rules, they evolve without words.

She is no longer naïve enough to ask him for more and he is no longer cynical enough to blame the whole thing on her innate need to fix everything.

She wasn't looking for him to be her fairytale prince, complete with the glass slipper. She had already had that and it hadn't worked out so well for her.

If he asked, she would tell him he was just filling a void. At least with him, she felt something.

He thinks it's the perfect set up. That is, until he notices a vase of flowers sitting innocuously on her kitchen counter. The flowers, in their mix of bright colors, are happier than anything he could ever give her.

Later, when he sneaks out of her apartment, he stops by the kitchen. He tells himself he only wants to see who she is rejecting, but something that feels too close to jealousy for comfort gnaws at the pit of his stomach.

He doesn't find the note in the trash, like he hoped, but instead pinned to the refrigerator; its cheesy sentiment completed with a phone number.

He can't get Wilson's words out of his head as he leaves.

"I think she likes lame."

She stops coming to the bar one Friday night. She doesn't come the next night either. He doesn't see her again until work on Monday.

He shouldn't blame her; she was following the rules, after all. She was allowed to end it.

All day, he watches her, wondering exactly why she didn't show up. The curiosity eats at him, as he finds himself staring. He suspects she called flower guy. He wants to ask her, but he is determined not to break first.

He stands by the window and watches her walk out into the summer sun. He is still watching, as another man helps her into her car.

He goes to the bar that night. This time he leaves with a hooker.

Their agreement has become more of a contest of who can ignore the truth more. She pretends she is happier now. He pretends he doesn't miss her. They've gotten good at fooling each other. If only they could fool themselves.

He finds her on the roof crying. Their last patient hadn't even lived to see its first birthday. Infant deaths always hit her the hardest.

He comes behind her, arms wrapping in a semi-embrace. She sinks into him, no longer having the energy to fight it.

His hands stroke up and down her sides, with the mixed goal of comfort and seduction. For them, the goals might as well have been one in the same.

She knows she shouldn't let him do this. She had a perfectly good man to comfort her, someone that wasn't him. Someone who she could someday, almost love.

He inches closer, pressing his lips to the exposed skin of her neck.

"House." the soft moan feels like it's torn out of her throat.

She's broken the rules, and saying his name is the least of her transgressions. His arms tighten around her.

"Cameron," he whispers back. Maybe she isn't the only one breaking the rules.