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24 May 2006 @ 05:07 pm
RP: I want to love you.  
Date: Monday, May 22, 2006
Location Phone call
Status: Private
Characters: Cameron and Chase
Completion: Complete

Chase had been trying to read the latest edition of his favorite medical journal for the past half an hour, but Teeter didn't seem to like the idea. He'd spent the first ten minutes shredding the cuff to his kakis--once Chase had noticed this choice of activity, he'd picked the kitten up and set him on the couch. But from there, he'd started climbing (and tearing) the cushions, until he'd managed to ruin two of them completely. At that point, the kitten was put in his box, in which he cried incessantly until Chase finally relented and gave up his academic pursuits. He seized Teeter and gently rubbed his head.

"If we're not going to do anything productive," he said to the purring kitten, "we should at least check on your sister."

Grabbing his cell phone, he dialed Cameron's number and waited for her to answer.

Cameron was practically wrestling with Ivory, who was insisting that water was bad, and she didn’t need to be bathed, but Cameron wrestled on! With a drenched Ivory and a smug looking Furbz, she listened to the phone ring with no intent to answer it.

The ringing, dear god, was driving her bathshitloco. Finally, she hopped up, leaving a freaked out Furbz to lick Ivory dry and even more clean, and dashed to answer the phone.

“Hello!” she chirped, breathing heavily into the phone and giving the wrong impression. “Hello?”

Chase paused a minute, hoping that her heavy breathing didn't mean he'd disturbed her (and trying not to let his mind wander into what she could have been doing). "Hey, it's me. Did I catch you at a bad time? I didn't mean to bother you."

“No, no. I was bathing Ivory. Her coat wasn’t glossy. It’s fine,” she said, waving her hand in the air dismissively, ignoring the dance her heart did that Chase had called her. Again.

“What’s up?” she asked, flopping down in her recliner. Furbz hopped into her lap and head butted her chest. She reached up to scratch her head lovingly. “How is Teeter? The shooting really freaked Furbz out.”

He smiled, happy to hear she was having fun with the cats. And, well...really just happy to hear her. "He's destroying my apartment." Chase answered with a laugh. "And keeping me from doing anything remotely productive. So we figured we'd call and check on Furbz. How's she doing?"

Cameron’s smile was beautiful and reflected her crush. Not that she was going to admit that out loud. “Ivory has taken to sleeping on the pillow next to my head. Furbz finds it more convenient to sleep on my chest,” she said with an affectionate smile, nuzzling the kitten back.

“She’s fine, I think, now. I’m really glad you found them, Chase. They make me so happy and keep me from getting lonely.” There was a slightly awkward pause. “Do you get lonely in your apartment?”

He sighed, wanting to be honest and admit that, yes, it was horribly lonely sometimes. "Not really," he said shruggingly, "I'm used to it, mostly. Having Teeter here is really nice though. And I'm glad you like having Ivory and Furbz around. You girls seem like a good match."

Cameron made a face. So Chase wasn’t lonely? He probably had a girlfriend and now he had a cat. Maybe he’d felt sorry for her, that’s why he was calling again.

After a moment to regain her composure, she said, “Oh yeah, the girls are great. So entertaining.”

Ivory hopped up onto the arm of her chair, white hair wet and sticking up in awkward directions. She looked cutely irritated with her narrowed eyes and dignified posture. Cameron giggled.

”So…” she said into the phone. Should I ask him to dinner?

"Did you end up taking Furbz to the vet, or did you just give her pseudoephedrine like House suggested?" He hadn't felt this dumb in years. He'd worked with Cameron for almost three years, and all he could bring himself to talk about were the kittens.

This...this awkwardness was exactly why office romances didn't work. It made things weird. If he flirted with her and she caught on, she'd probably back off. He wasn't what she wanted. He wasn't House.

At least they had the kittens between them. That gave him a semi-plausible reason to call her in the middle of the night.

“I just gave her what House suggested,” she said, rolling her eyes and eyeing the very cranky white kitten.

No, she shouldn’t ask him to dinner. He didn’t believe in office romances and… maybe he just thought she was a cheap whore, like House had pointed out. “How are you, Robert?”

Chase couldn't help but smile when she used his first name. Friends called each other by their first names when they were off the clock.

“I’m all right. I don’t know what to do about my couch—it’s literally ripped to shreds—but I suppose I’ll figure something out. You were right about needing a scratching post…I should have listened to you.”

“Hmm, really? You could probably just have mine. They don’t seem interested in it,” she offered. “They use that small cardboard thing I bought. Oh and you can put catnip on it and Teeter will be attracted to it!”

She paused, smiling into the phone.

“If you ever need a cat sitter…”

"That'd be great; if you're sure they don't want it." She did buy a lot of stuff for those two--it didn't surprise him that they didn’t play with all of it.

“You’d be the first one I’d call. I’m sure he’d like to see his sisters every once in a while, with you I know he’d be taken care of. And, you know, likewise—I wouldn’t mind watching the girls if you needed someone.”

Cameron laughed as if someone was tickling her, genuinely amused. “Who would have guessed? Us, cat parents!”

"Thanks, Robert, I appreciate it. I might take you up on that. I... have something coming up."

He knew he probably shouldn't ask, but he couldn't help being curious as to what the something was. “Oh? Are you going to that conference in San Diego?” He realized after he said it that it was kind of a personal question. If she’d wanted him to know, she would have just come out and said it. He sighed, trying not to feel like an ass.

“No,” she said, laughter dying from her voice. “I… next weekend… I’m going back home for the weekend. It’s the anniversary of my husband’s death so… his mother called. I don’t know if I want to go.”

She paused and released a breath.

“It’s all in the past and I’m over it and I want it to stay in the past… but his mother keeps calling. Like she’s trying to guilt me. I’m sorry, I’m rambling, I shouldn’t be bothering you with this.”

Upon hearing her answer, he gave up trying. He was an ass. He shouldn't have asked. "Oh." He said dumbly. "Allison, I'm so sorry. If you decide to go, I can definitely watch them."

“No, it’s fine. I don’t mind listening if you ever need to talk.” His mind desperately searched for some sort of joke to lighten the mood. “I mean, the only one I have to talk to around here is Teeter and he’s still working on his conversation skills. And I’ve got a bit of experience in the fucked-up family department.” He paused, realizing he was probably not helping. “Sorry, now I’m rambling. The point is, I’m here if you ever need me.”

Actually, his rambling made her giggle. He was so adorable when he was flustered. “Thank you. Thanks a lot,” she said, rubbing Ivory and making her look even more irritable.

“I’m glad you’re here. It’s nice to know… I have… someone… to be here for me. If you ever need me…” Cameron didn’t want to go. She hadn’t gone in years; why the mother-in-law was calling now, was beyond her. “I doubt I’ll go, but thanks for letting me know you will.

“Aww, I bet Teeter has a lot of conversation skills!” she insisted.

Happy for the change of subject, Chase grinned. "Yeah, like he went to the school of Gregory House. He usually only meows when I’ve done something stupid. And even then, it’s like he’s saying, ‘nice one, two-legs.’ He’s got a lot of attitude for something I found in a wet shoebox.

Cameron made a meowing sound into the phone and wondered when she’s smiled this much. At least no one could see her. She wasn’t entirely sure when her affection for Chase had grown, but when he’d called her about the kittens… it had all sank in.

A man that saved kittens was definitely worth keeping and she wanted to keep him, but he didn’t believe in office relationships, which she could understand to a degree.

“You’re really good at being sassy,” she said almost flirtatiously.