amber_v: How daaaaaaaaare you (suspicious)
amber_v ([personal profile] amber_v) wrote in [community profile] alwaysright2009-10-13 10:00 pm

October 30, 2007 - Midmorning (Amber)

Just another day at work, Amber reminded herself. Just another day.

She strode through the entrance hallway, her clacking heels contrasting satisfyingly against the soft morning noises. She stepped all the harder, to be louder than the coughs, casual chats, and wheelchair squeaks. But as much as she tried, Amber couldn't keep Eric's last sentence from echoing in her mind: I do want this.

What a joke. He wanted whatever false image he'd carefully built of her, of a woman that wasn't a bitch through and through. She'd show him. She'd prove beyond the shadow of a doubt who she was and what she stood for. Then if he decided to repeat stupid phrases, I like what I've gotten into, he'd be saying them fully informed. He'd know what he was talking about. She’d be able to believe him.

And this had nothing to do with making him hate her. Nothing.

To top it off, her stomach was killing her and she hadn't gotten her coffee.

She was late as it was. House wouldn't be there, he never was, but the others could and would report her tardiness. She'd do them the same favor. So this was one strike against her-- unless House decided to interpret it as proof she had the balls to work for him, whatever. Amber preferred not to push her luck, which meant not stopping by the cafeteria. There were other ways of getting what she needed, though.

Tons of interns hung around the classroom area, scuttling around like bugs just waiting for god to finally get around to crushing them out of their miserable existences. Amber scanned the lot streaming along: a little miss perfect who'd probably suffer a nervous breakdown before the end of the week, a butt-ugly boy who looked like he'd been shoved into med school by his overbearing parents, instantly forgettable members of both sexes, and... Amber grinned. Perfect.

The red-head had been eyeing her since the day she'd gotten here, from behind his clipboard. He'd have never deigned approach her, and with good reason; she'd have torn him apart. But today was his lucky day. She let her grin mold itself into an alluring smile as she approached him, laughing at how his incredulity grew in direct proportion to their proximity. "Hey there."

For a moment he seemed to forget the appropriate response. "Um, uh, hi. Hi!"

He was almost cute, in that excruciatingly awkward way. At any rate, she didn't need to butter him up much. She sighed. "I don't know about you, but my day's been awful so far."

His eyes widened. Probably didn't know if he should talk about himself, or if he was just meant to sympathize. He tried both. "Me too, I've got all these--"

Amber could care less, and she had no time for whatever it was he had. She touched his shoulder; his jaw dropped. "But I think you could help me out."

"I-- me?"

"If I could just get a coffee, or a bagel..."

He stared at her hand on his shoulder, and then her face. Amber knew he saw all kinds of promises there; she'd practiced a damn good sincere expression. "I-- I could pick up--"

Amber beamed, though not just for the reasons he might've thought. "Could you? That'd save my day, I swear." Before he could reconsider, she pointed to the doorway she was about to go through. "Bring it to me there, okay?" The kid nodded and skedaddled, trying to hold on to his papers as he ran off. She hoped House would be there to see him make the delivery; it'd probably impress him.

Considerably cheered by the prospect of breakfast and the fun of screwing around with someone, Amber opened the theater doors. She was just getting started.
remy_hadley: olivia wilde as remy hadley, thoughtful (thoughtful)

[personal profile] remy_hadley 2009-10-14 12:59 pm (UTC)(link)
Thirteen sat in a cramped desk-chair in the lecture theatre, tapping her fingernails against the cover of a book she'd brought. It wasn't a romance, or a medical text, or a bestseller--if House caught her reading it and decided to analyze her choice, she wanted to at least make his deductions interesting. The clock on the wall ticked past nine, and Thirteen shared a glance with Taub--they'd both noticed that Amber, for once, wasn't early and so softly and understandingly trying to undermine the rest of them while they waited for House. Not that Brennan, Kutler, and Cole were idiots. They must have noticed too, they just didn't care about acknowledging it.

Thirteen lowered her head, not interested in meeting anyone's eyes. They'd have a case soon. She didn't appreciate waiting just because House wanted somebody to break, but it was more likely that he'd forgotten all about them this morning--no, even more indifferent than that: he didn't care enough to call and give them something to do while he slept in. Thirteen wouldn't, if she'd had a night worth recuperating from rather than the restless one she'd had: unable to settle down to anything, constantly finding herself on her feet and rubbing her palms together, looking for anything that could hold her attention long enough to stop thinking about yesterday's patient.

I am so, so scared.

She wasn't. She'd taken on the name Thirteen like a talisman, and she was practically someone different now, with no past and no possibility being betrayed by it.

But it would be nice if House actually showed up with something to do.

Cole had followed her lead and was bent over a file, concentrating on whatever he was writing and ignoring the others. Kutner had pulled out a battered Nintendo DS and started killing space monkeys, or whatever game had hooked his attention. Thirteen had glanced over long enough to watch his eyes widening in time with the tinny music. A few minutes later, Brennan was looking over Kutner's shoulder, and then pretending to be above it all as he asked for a turn. Kutner handed over the game with a big grin, and a few minutes after that, Taub was kibbitzing from the sidelines while they took turns exploding pixels.

Thirteen turned back to her book. Much easier to hide the moment House strode in the door.

Still, she was a little taken off-guard when the next person to stride--majestically, Thirteen thought, hiding a smirk--into the theatre was Amber. She looked in equal measures pissed off and haughty enough to pull off her Queen of the World act.

Taub looked up from the boys' game long enough to consider Amber with a bland stare. "Guess House didn't tell you we were meeting somewhere else and it slipped your mind about letting us know," he said. Kutner grinned. Brennan and Cole both looked pissed off, like they hadn't even considered the possibility until that second.

Thirteen raised an eyebrow at Amber, her smile growing fractionally. "Good morning," she said, her amusement--and all the assumptions she could make about why Amber was late--obvious in her voice.
remy_hadley: olivia wilde as remy hadley, listening (listening)

[personal profile] remy_hadley 2009-10-15 05:48 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh, great. Amber had decided to grace her with her presence. Thirteen let out a silent sigh and sat back a bit. She wasn't going to have the peace she'd wanted to read, or do anything else, as long as Amber was interested in playing nice.

"Yes," she said blandly, focusing on the middle distance so that Amber could see just how disinterested in this conversation. "Maybe I should just go home. Oh, wait--you got me."

She didn't really care why Amber had been late, and considering that House was too, it didn't matter. Later on, Thirteen could drop an innocent comment in House's hearing, not because he would fire Amber over being five minutes late, but because he'd want to know that they were all still at each other's throats.

Amber didn't take the hint, not like that was a surprise. Thirteen slanted a glance at her, setting her book down with the spine facing her, so that Amber couldn't peer at it. "Look, it's okay," she said, halfway between bemusement and matter-of-factness. "You don't have to make small talk." She raised her eyebrows and gave Amber a fake smile. "It's all right, I know you hate me. We can leave it at that until House gets here."
remy_hadley: olivia wilde as remy hadley, disgusted (disgusted)

[personal profile] remy_hadley 2009-10-16 12:49 pm (UTC)(link)
And apparently they weren't leaving it at that. Thirteen's smile felt pasted on, and she still refused to meet Amber's eyes, putting out all the signals she could that if she could be left the hell alone, that'd be just great, thanks very much. At least she had enough shame that she couldn't keep up the boldfaced lie right to Thirteen's face. House's game demanded some pretty crazy things, but it was hardly the reason that Amber just wouldn't leave well enough alone and kept picking at everyone around her--even when the rest of them had more or less decided that it was how they competed in the differentials or in any stunt House dreamed up that really mattered. Thirteen finally turned to give Amber a slow, sardonic stare. "Yeah, I can see it's a real hardship for you."

The fact that Amber had never given up trying to pry her name out of her, or anything about her past, had gone beyond annoying into uncomfortable, as much as Thirteen refused to show it. She was right, though, that it was frustrating to be stuck waiting around for House. Mainly because Amber insisted on drawing attention to it. "You know, you're right, I don't like waiting for House, but--"

Before she could finish, the door at the top of the lecture theatre cracked open, almost cautiously--no way that was House, unless he was playacting. But no, when the door opened a little farther, some kid in a med student's coat stuck his head in, looking like he was wondering if he'd get his head bitten off by House the dragon. He breathed out when he saw them all sitting around, and came in, carrying a wax paper bag from the cafeteria and a large coffee. He grinned at Amber as he came up to her and handed over the food. "Here, I, uh..." Looking like some prepared speech had just completely failed him, he gulped and finished, "It was no trouble, if you time, with me--" He stuttered to a stop.

Oh my God. Thirteen pressed her lips together desperately to stop herself from laughing in this poor kid's face. He was dithering and red-faced and clearly had no clue about who, exactly, was the dragon in this room, and before any of the others could react with more than stunned stares, he'd lost his nerve and had fled back the way he'd come. Thirteen's jaw practically dropped as she looked at the breakfast Amber had just acquired. She'd have to revise that thought about Amber having some shame. "Seriously?" she asked. "You've got medical students acting as your gofers? That poor guy probably thought he had a chance with you!"
remy_hadley: olivia wilde as remy hadley, surprised (surprised)

[personal profile] remy_hadley 2009-10-17 06:18 pm (UTC)(link)
Thirteen couldn't help letting out a short, sardonic chuckle, shaking her head. It was disapproval, but in some twisted way, admiration for Amber's audacity, too. The kid had been ridiculous, and from all appearances, he'd thrown himself into Amber's web without stopping to think. It really was his own fault if he made a fool of himself running Amber's errands. After all, that's how House got things done, with all of them. He'd probably approve of Amber using all the available resources to their greatest extent. Amber was right, but Thirteen wouldn't admit it out loud.

She would pick out a muffin, though. Hey, they weren't her ill-gotten gains. And Amber didn't deserve to hoard all the profit for herself. Thirteen started picking the wrapper off the bottom of the muffin. She wasn't too pleased that Amber still wanted to continue this conversation, as if Thirteen had shown some overwhelming interest in what she had to say, but she supposed she'd just sold her soul for baked goods, just like Taub had said. The muffin obligated her to listen, even if it was with a bored, sarcastic look on her face.

A second later, she nearly choked on a muffin crumb. For the first time, her laugh was genuine as she turned to look at Amber. Thank God the guys were still muttering in their corner. Amber had cut herself short, sounding flustered for nearly the first time since Thirteen had met her. Thirteen had gotten the gist of it, though--Amber had had more than just one good weekend with Cuddy's spy. Thirteen had been sure that Amber would toss her head and ditch him. That's the way it had looked when House had been getting into their business and mocking their little drama. But--Eric. Amber had hardly breathed it out like a girl sighing over her first crush, but it had been more personal than just Foreman would have been, too.

Why the hell was Amber telling her? Or telling anyone. Thirteen leaned in conspiratorially. This kind of girl talk she could get behind, when Amber was the one off-balance, like she'd lost her damn scriptbook for once. "That's still going on?" she asked. "Sounds serious."
remy_hadley: olivia wilde as remy hadley, annoyed (annoyed)

[personal profile] remy_hadley 2009-10-17 09:44 pm (UTC)(link)
One question, and Amber's face lost all its uncertainty and she turned on the laser eyes like she wanted to crisp Thirteen where she sat. Thirteen popped a bit of muffin in her mouth and said, "Hey, don't feel you have to tell me." If it was serious, likely she didn't want to know. And then maybe Amber would leave her alone.

Of course, challenging Amber not to tell might just encourage her. Thirteen got more suspicious the more Amber tried to reel her in with this story about her and Eric. Thirteen really couldn't take his name seriously. After seeing the man stand in front of the lecture theatre trying to coach diagnoses out of them, she doubted anyone in the world took him as seriously as he took himself.

She frowned when Amber's answer wasn't a sharp snap. Amber the Ice Bitch having a real emotion? The annoyance on her face when she threw the bagels at the guys' head was much more familiar. Thirteen watched her, trying to figure out what her game was this time. Did she want Thirteen's sympathy? Did she somehow think she'd earned it? Or was it a trick? Thirteen couldn't figure out how it was a trick, because she didn't care about Foreman and she definitely didn't care about Amber's love life. As far-fetched as it was, maybe Amber was hoping that Thirteen either would or wouldn't show an interest in her boyfriend so that she could turn around and accuse Thirteen of liking girls? Not that that would be a smart move, since House would probably feel all the more entitled to a front row seat in her personal life if he knew.

Thirteen looked over at the guys again, this time hoping that they'd save her, but they were bickering over bagels and didn't notice. "Okay," she said, still scrambling mentally to find a way out of this conversation--out of being friends with Amber Volakis. " tell him that?" She was probably the worst one to come to for relationship advice. At least Taub was married, and Cole had been. "Or...give up? Dump him?"
remy_hadley: olivia wilde as remy hadley, listening (listening)

[personal profile] remy_hadley 2009-10-17 11:56 pm (UTC)(link)
Thirteen shifted aside while Amber took over just a little bit more territory--like one of House's metaphors, the space Amber took up seemed to show off how confident she was. Thirteen finished chewing her muffin, nodding along to Amber's whatever. This was why she usually ditched dates the morning after. Too complicated. Anyway, it wasn't like anyone she picked up would have much to hang around least, there was a fifty percent chance they wouldn't. Anyone particularly persistent, Thirteen lost their phone number as quickly as possible. Whatever. Girls or guys, get an orgasm, get out. Not much more to understand.

As Amber got comfortable, Thirteen spared a glance for her legs. She'd already noticed Kutner's eyes widening at the sight. Really, if Foreman was ditching Amber, he was an idiot. Unless he'd actually noticed her personality, in which case, maybe it made sense. Of course, the opposite was also true. "I don't know," she said. "He's kind of cute, in that--" She waved one hand and deepened her voice, doing her best impression of Foreman's stuffed-shirt pomposity. "'God, look at me, I'm so amazing' kind of way."
remy_hadley: olivia wilde as remy hadley, thoughtful (thoughtful)

[personal profile] remy_hadley 2009-10-18 01:55 am (UTC)(link)
Okay, so Thirteen could admit it. She was more than a little interested in how Amber would take what she was saying about her boyfriend. Would she bristle with protectiveness and try to defend him? Tell Thirteen off for daring to find him attractive? Thirteen pegged Kutner for being the first to suggest a Jell-O wrestling match if Amber attacked her. More likely, Amber's victims were never found. She was probably the perfect type to know how to murder someone and get away with it.

But the more human side Amber had been showing popped up again. Thirteen smirked. Amber not only agreed, but she sounded like Foreman's holier-than-thou attitude was one of his finest qualities. "God, you've really got it bad," she said. She knew she'd never be able to stand a guy--or a woman--who thought they knew better than she did. The second they tried to patronize her, Thirteen would kick them to the curb. She would've thought Amber was the same way, but maybe she was different in private.

God, imagining Amber with a personal life. She really was letting House's game get to her if she was inventing something as crazy as that. Better not to think about it--that way she'd have no problem shooting Amber down in differentials. Anyway, she already had more reason for that: if Amber had Foreman's support, the two of them might convince Cuddy that Amber was the better hire, because Amber would listen to Foreman instead of House. It didn't seem likely, but then, Amber in love didn't seem likely either.

The door at the bottom of the lecture theatre opened, and Thirteen could nearly feel everyone in the room stiffening by instinct--it might be House. Thirteen glanced sideways at Amber, thinking about blurting out "Amber's still dating Foreman!" as some sort of preemptive strike. But she wasn't like that. She wasn't going to stoop to Amber's tactics--well, not yet, anyway. Not until there was some payoff.

In the end, it didn't matter, anyway. It wasn't House who stepped into the room; it wasn't even Cuddy. It was just Foreman, and, okay, maybe he was more than cute, but he still looked like he'd swallowed a bug and was blaming the rest of the universe for it. Not the greatest look. Thirteen sat back again and stifled a sigh. They definitely weren't getting a case today.
eric_foreman: Eric Foreman from House - eyebrow raised (eyebrow)

[personal profile] eric_foreman 2009-10-18 02:20 am (UTC)(link)
Even after Chase left him in the cafeteria, Foreman didn't get much peace. He ate, but only because his stomach was growling, and he drank his coffee so that he'd stop feeling gritty-eyed, but he didn't taste a mouthful. The more he thought about it, the more he realized what a damn hypocrite he'd been this morning. Getting on Amber's case over how she wanted to conduct her professional life. She wanted to be right--right in ways that House would approve of. And that was no different than the way Foreman had treated Cameron. He had no right to judge her.

He just had no idea how to tell her.

Pushing that to the back of his mind, Foreman had retreated upstairs to House's office--where House emphatically wasn't--and started going through his paperwork. It was mostly routine stuff, but it looked like House had done nothing but let it pile up since the three of them had left earlier in the year. Foreman probably had a month of late nights ahead of him, longer if their cases interfered...which they would. He started shuffling through the crap. At least it was a goal. Something to set his sights on. A tangible way to start back on the path of getting his career on track.

He was in the middle of it (where things looked more chaotic than ever), when Cuddy came in the door. She lifted an eyebrow at seeing him behind House's desk, but Foreman didn't care. He'd earned the right, as far as he was concerned. The fact that the world didn't agree was an oversight.

"House isn't in," Cuddy said.

Foreman looked around, putting on an air of surprise. "Didn't think I'd missed him under all this."

Cuddy tilted her head and stared. Foreman sighed and straightened up. "I know," he said. "So?"

"So his not-yet-fellows are taking up space in one of my lecture halls. They'd be better use in the clinic."

Foreman had a suspicion that he knew where this was going, but he asked the question anyway. "You want me to tell them?"

"If you can't work with them, then I don't know why I agreed to take you back," Cuddy said. Foreman had to admire her--she really knew how to twist the knife. "Please. Go and prove you have some administration abilities, and get them to work."

Foreman sighed, but Cuddy wouldn't leave him anything like a loophole. He'd have to--eventually--create his own. For now, he was left with exactly what he'd hoped to avoid: another confrontation with Amber, or at least, with House's candidates. Expecting them to take direction from him after the disaster yesterday. He could only hope they all had terminally short memories.

Once Cuddy had left, Foreman took a moment to straighten his suit jacket, pulling on a severe expression, before heading for the lecture theatre. No sign of anything between him and Amber at work. He'd agreed, and he knew he could do it, especially since House wasn't even there. Whatever arguments they were having, he wouldn't show it. He was better than that. He headed downstairs and pushed open the theatre doors, heading inside.

The candidates were mostly sitting in two clumps--the men on one side, Amber and Thirteen on the other. Foreman let his gaze flick over them, but refused to let it pause too long on either group. "House won't be in today," he said, keeping it neutral as much as possible at first. Then, letting irony softening his tone: "Dr. Cuddy requests the pleasure of your presence in the clinic for the rest of the day."
eric_foreman: Eric Foreman from House - skeptical (skeptical)

[personal profile] eric_foreman 2009-10-18 01:03 pm (UTC)(link)
Foreman didn't need to do much convincing. Which was a damn good thing, because he wasn't in the mood to chivvy this group along. If they'd argued seriously, he would have had to use his authority as backup, and right now it was on very shaky ground, as they all knew. He watched impassively as they made a few muttering complaints but finally shuffled out of the hall. He hoped Cuddy had a backlog, because with six extra doctors, she'd probably find herself with enough bodies in the clinic for the first time ever.

Amber was the last one to gather her things. Foreman could feel the strain on his indifference as she came toward him rather than walking straight out the door with the others. If they'd parted on good terms this morning, then now would be the moment to let his facade crack, offer her a smile or a brief touch or at least a bit of sympathy for being stuck dealing with whiny, snotty-nosed kids for the rest of the day. They could talk. Instead, he felt like even now he couldn't let his guard down. He had to keep up his professional mask in place as well as assure her that he hadn't forgotten that she had been angry--he wasn't treating how she felt as frivolous, something that might have changed in the hour or so since he'd seen her last.

A confused frown passed across his face when she asked to meet him. Another mixed message--she wanted to be discreet but she was demanding an assignation? He was supposed to--he had to, as long as Cuddy was watching his performance--treat her like all the others, which would mean ordering her to the clinic and refusing to follow her. But that would mean not hearing what she had to say. And not telling her what he'd been thinking since they'd left the car. Foreman sighed and let the lecture hall door slam behind him. It would take a few minutes, and he could postpone any more important talks until after work. But he'd meet her. He wanted to know that they were all right. That she'd heard him when he'd told her that he wanted this.

There was no one in the hall when Foreman reached the locker room. Good. First the cafeteria and now this--no one seemed to want to choose anywhere actually private for these conversations. But it was between shift changes, so it was unlikely that they'd see anyone else. Foreman stepped into the locker room and rounded the first row of lockers, looking for Amber.
eric_foreman: Eric Foreman from House - eyebrow raised (eyebrow)

[personal profile] eric_foreman 2009-10-18 04:05 pm (UTC)(link)
Foreman stepped slowly past the rows of lockers, until he found Amber at the back, staring into her open locker for a moment before she closed it and turned to him. She seemed composed, and Foreman wondered what couldn't wait until after work for her to say. For the last few months, I need to talk to you had never spelled good news, and with a sudden premonition, Foreman's stomach sank. Something had happened. Something had changed. Or else Amber had thought through everything he'd said in the car and decided she wasn't going to put up with him. He'd lost his chance because he was so fucking proud of his ethics, only to realize he didn't obey them himself. She was going to dump him: that had to be it.

So Amber's declaration caught him completely by surprise. He struggled not to show it, but he had no idea why she'd pulled him aside to tell him this. Or why she'd done it. For that matter, thinking back, Foreman realized that Thirteen and Amber had been sitting together in the lecture theatre as if they regularly had friendly conversations. Considering how Amber had talked about Thirteen last night, Foreman could only imagine that this--all of this--was part of Amber's plan to undermine Thirteen with House. And that didn't make sense either. Foreman had already told Amber, and thought she understood, that their relationship was more likely to be a black mark for her in House's eyes: why would she spread it around? Giving aid and comfort to the enemy was hardly her style.

"Why?" he asked, only realizing once he'd asked the question that it wasn't the consequences of Thirteen knowing that interested him--nothing stayed secret from House long, and besides, Chase already knew. They could probably expect the news to be published in the noon edition of the hospital's gossip newsletter. Instead, he was actually interested in what Amber meant to do next. What her scheme was. He'd always loved the animation in her eyes when she talked about getting her way; she took such pleasure in it that he couldn't help loving it vicariously.

Foreman shook his head when he realized that only asking that one question might make Amber feel like he was interrogating her for breaking their quasi-promise to be discreet. "It doesn't matter," he said. He wasn't upset. If Amber was telling people, then she wasn't on the verge of making herself a liar by ending their relationship. It was a relief, more than anything else. He exhaled and lifted his shoulders in a half-shrug that seemed to leave his muscles looser. "We knew it wouldn't stay a secret. It was only a matter of when somebody figured it out. I talked to Chase and he just assumed."
eric_foreman: Eric Foreman from House - eyebrow raised (eyebrow)

[personal profile] eric_foreman 2009-10-18 09:53 pm (UTC)(link)
Foreman narrowed his eyes, trying to figure out what Amber's sarcasm meant. It seemed brittle, like she was hiding behind it. He had to admit, he felt a clench of discomfort at the idea of what personal gossip she might have shared around as if it was a bargaining chip. His life wasn't part of a poker hand, to be judged and discarded as part of some 'master plan'. His instinctive reaction certainly wasn't positive. But it still wasn't the deep, twisting aversion that he'd thought he'd have, either. The kind of embarrassment that he felt when Amber waived good manners in public just to get a better seat or a better bottle of wine. Amber obviously knew what she was doing, knew what she was working towards, and she was pleased that she'd succeeded.

It helped, too, that she'd thought he'd be angry. If that was why she'd asked to talk with him, then Foreman could understand a bit better. She'd acted against what they'd agreed on, deliberately; she could have hurt him. But she knew it, too. Her cool silence when he'd approached her could have been the way she'd show herself worried about his reaction. "I'm not," he said quietly, trying to work through what he was feeling. He matched Amber's step, getting closer, still not certain enough--of her or of himself--to reach out and touch her. "But I don't I am with get used against you in the same way." And, to be fully honest: "Or against me. You're playing with them like they don't matter, but--" He hesitated, his heart leaping up to block his throat for what felt like too long. Chase had said he should be direct. God, he couldn't possibly be taking romantic advice from Chase. On the other hand, he was also repeating what he'd said in the car, at least nearly: that he didn't really approve, but that he wouldn't stop her. Not when it didn't involve him. "But I want to matter to you. I don't want to be a game piece."

He sighed, his gaze softening. Amber's voice was almost meek, despite her proud posture. Foreman could see more of her now, including the times when she was trying to hide from him and it wasn't fully working. He had no doubt that there were a million things he was missing about what she'd thought, or attempted, or felt, but it seemed clear to him now that she was uncertain. Just like he'd been, coming in here. "Yeah. We will." She'd gotten nearer to him, and Foreman, at last, couldn't help but take that for an invitation. He closed the space between them, enough to wrap his arms around her waist. Cautious, but comforting, waiting for her signal to go farther and use his strength to pull her into a deeper hug.
eric_foreman: Eric Foreman from House - relaxing (relaxing)

[personal profile] eric_foreman 2009-10-19 01:19 am (UTC)(link)
Foreman tightened his hold on Amber as soon as she spoke. He wanted to transmit reassurance through his body, give her as much as he could. He could feel it mirrored in her when she moved her arms around to his back, hugging him back. Foreman dipped his head, enough to press closer to the scent of Amber's hair and skin, pressing his lips against her shoulder. For the first time since getting to work, he felt the same relaxation that had stolen over him when they'd been in the shower together. It meant something to him that they didn't need to be having sex in order to feel close. These moments, just holding each other, counted for so much more. And even better was everything Amber had reassured him of in turn. He'd come in here half expecting to leave with one more hope broken, and instead, he felt better than he had all day.

He shook his head, not refuting out loud that Amber had been stupid, but hoping she'd feel his disagreement. He squeezed her tighter for a moment when her voice reached his ear. "I don't want to let you go," he said. How could he know what his limit was? Amber might find it, someday. But Foreman might just as easily find hers. All they could do was hope for the best. Foreman wasn't good at that--he wanted to plan, he wanted to work out a course of action and then do the right thing to the best of his ability. Trusting to fate sounded like rank stupidity, but... So far they'd managed to talk through their problems--argue through them. But as long as they came back to this, the moment when they could agree enough to step into each other's arms, it felt like they could solve whatever the hell they'd gotten themselves into. "I trust you," he said. It was more true each time he said it. Foreman closed his eyes for a moment, filling his lungs with a deep breath and then letting it go.

"But I also have to tell you to go to work," he said, pulling back slightly. He wasn't encouraging her to go--not yet. One arm was still hooked around her waist, and with the other, Foreman reached up to cup Amber's cheek, brushing his thumb along her cheekbone, then tucking her hair back. "Before anyone comes looking for us."
eric_foreman: (happy foreman)

[personal profile] eric_foreman 2009-10-19 11:18 am (UTC)(link)
The promise of Amber's intent stare, the slight parting of her lips as she looked at his mouth, combined with the feel of her body tucked in a closely as possible to his, all had Foreman leaning in, instinct responding to guide him into the kiss he expected. He barely heard her question--only enough to think that if she was there, the clinic was far more appealing than it ever had been before--and then, at the last moment, Amber danced backwards, her eyes lighting up with amusement.

Foreman opened his mouth to protest, and snapped it shut again at Amber's taunt. He put on his dignity, straightening his back and admonishing her with a disgruntled look. Then, with a laugh, he gave in. He could take his revenge in a different form. He already liked it a little too much that she'd called him boss, even if she had been teasing. "Yeah, I have paperwork. Consult requests from around the country on their weird cases. Guess I'll just have to suffer my way through." He tilted his head, offering Amber a thoughtful pout. "But have a good time in the clinic. Isn't it flu season?"