DISCLAIMER: Neither of these ladies is mine, nor are the shows they belong to.
SPOILERS: End of season three/beginning season four of both shows.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

What happens in Vegas...
By Lesley Mitchell


It was a dreadful cliché, and they both knew it. But things only get to be clichés, if they actually happen.

The room was, she decided, dark enough that it could swallow you whole. From her vantage point, perched on a stool at the darker end of the garishly, blue and white neon-lit bar, she could stare into that darkness, and lose herself for a moment. The voice of the unfunny comedian, spotlit on the stage and separated from her by a constellation of lights on the small tables, washed through her consciousness without leaving a mark. The sounds from the far bigger, brighter room down the hall, were harder to ignore. She suspected that they built these places to funnel that noise through all the public spaces in the hope that it would be a siren song to all who entered the building.

She didn't know what made her look up, at the redhead's arrival. The change in light in her sensitised peripheral vision, perhaps. What kept her attention was the easy, confident way the woman moved through the room, despite the low light levels and the numerous possible pitfalls, to take a seat at the other, more occupied end of the bar. She kept watching as the newcomer negotiated the perils of the middle aged man in a Vegas hotel bar, nursing his drink, and, more than likely his bruised ego, from discovering that a regular poker night with the boys didn't mean that he could play like an international spy. She'd left them well put down, but seemingly no more depressed than before, before ordering a well aged Scotch, without rocks.

She broke the spell, briefly, when she tried to sip her own drink, a bone dry martini free of the more excessive trimmings the sleek young man behind the bar had attempted to provide, and found it to be empty. Despite the shadows she lurked in, the smallest gesture brought the man to await her command.

"Another," she told him, her voice already a little huskier for the alcohol consumed on top of only a light evening meal. The torpid day, in a variety of ill ventilated rooms, listening to pompous pricks enjoy the sounds of their own voices had murdered her appetite. "And," she added, enjoying watching as the boy halted his motion away from her as if stung, "when the redhead is ready, add whatever she wants to my room bill. You needn't tell her, unless she asks."

The refreshed martini was, if anything, better than the first, and she relaxed back into watching the other woman, wondering if it was a function of the ingredients or the added spice of letting her closely guarded reckless side out to play.

The bar was far busier by the time she asked for her second whisky of the night, and she might have thought that it was an oversight that the boy didn't ask for her room number with her order, if she hadn't done this enough to know what automatons the casinos trained their staff to be.

"Who paid," she asked, when the new tumbler of rich amber liquid appeared before her.

"At the end."

She raised an eyebrow and half turned. She'd felt certain she'd put that one off much earlier in the evening, and this seemed far too subtle a gesture.

"No, ma'am," corrected the boy, gently. "The other end. The lady."

A second eyebrow shot up to meet the first, but a second or less later, her face was schooled to polite blankness, that dismissed as clearly as it thanked.

She closed her eyes and breathed deeply the smokey, peaty, salty smells that overlaid the liquor. These scents evoked memories from her teens of languid summer's evenings curled up in one of the communal areas of her father's yacht, after a day's sailing around the isles off the west coast of Scotland, sipping the little of the local produce that she was allowed, listening to him discuss with the skipper where they'd go tomorrow, her skin glowing from the mild wind burn and the alcohol. A sip allowed the flavours to burst across her tongue and chase the smooth burn down her throat.

If asked, she would have denied a need for Dutch courage and claimed only to wish to enjoy the as it best deserved, but in her head, a voice that sounded far too much like an intern she'd once known, might have pointed out that she was lying to herself. However, after she had fully savoured that mouthful, she rose, and made her way towards the benefactor who'd provided it.

It had been a risk. Alison had placed the woman as a colleague attending the symposium from the moment she had been sufficiently illuminated by the harsh neon of the bar.

Addison Montgomery was well known in the circles of gossip that attended any gathering of a profession. A whip sharp intellect in a package that put models to shame and with the backing of a family name that made working nearly unnecessary was bound to raise the hackles of the mob. Thus, when the apparently near perfect marriage came to grief, the rumours of her infidelity went round and grew to near mystical proportions.

Initially, she had merely listened to the gossip with polite disinterest, as much to fit in as anything else. But, as time had passed and House had got under her skin and into her head in more than one way, she found herself cataloguing the details she learned at these events, and usefully applying them to how she read their papers and interacted with them on a professional basis. She'd never before had the opportunity to meet the feted Dr. Montgomery, and this could easily turn out to be nothing more than a simple conversation over drinks with a colleague.

But, truthfully, she wanted more. Though in all the rumour and double talk and outright fabrication she'd heard about Addison, there had never been a shred of evidence to suggest that this might be a possibility. So, she took a risk. A stab in the dark.

From a man, a drink offered to an unknown woman for free in a hotel bar had few meanings other than the obvious and well known. From a woman, the meaning was less clear, and Cameron hoped like hell that it would be enough to draw the redhead across the room.

She hadn't been able to see the full reaction to the offering, but she'd watched the reverence with which Addison had treated the liquor, and it had made her mouth dry and her palms sweaty. She hoped that the huskiness of her voice and the flush on her cheeks would be attributed by the woman now walking towards her, to the two, now empty martini glasses by her hand, and not the arousal that she felt coiling in her belly.

At some point, Addison crossed an invisible line, and suddenly the shadows no longer entirely concealed her benefactor. She had little more than a moment to place the younger woman, before arriving at her side, and was still struggling as she spoke.

"Cheers. I hope you don't mind my forwardness, Dr. Montgomery."

The tones were a little breathier than she'd remembered, but she could put that down to their surroundings. The hair was far lighter, though, and that had thrown off her memory. Apparently, peroxide had featured in the young woman's life recently. Addison wondered what had triggered that particular change.

"Dr. Cameron. A pleasure to meet you. Please, call me Addison."

"Alison, then."

"And I should thank you for the drink, Alison."

"Not at all."

"Talking to me works just as well, you know. I'm not quite as much of the ice queen bitch that some of the gossips would have me to be."

The increased flush that stained the younger woman's cheeks told Addison that Cameron did indeed listen to the speculation that surrounded her, but she was unprepared for the next move in the dance when it came.

"That's not why I offered it."

"Oh?" The eyebrow arched almost without her conscious volition, and Cameron's eyes followed it, hawk like, drawing Addison's own attention.

"It's Saturday night. We've both made our presentations, and neither of us needs to be back in work until Monday at the earliest..."

The unspoken suggestion might have panicked her, in another time and place. As it was, she chose to stall for the moment, to be sure of the intent.

"Doesn't House keep his fellows on a notoriously short lead? Demanding their full attention at the drop of a hat, regardless of petty conventions, like, weekends."

"Seriously," came the easy agreement, but dark eyes sparkled with amusement. "But I'm just an ER attending, these days, and they are far more capable of proper rotations."

That it wasn't the talk of the ladies room, suggested that the woman she faced, slightly buzzed, and, she'd swear more than a little aroused, hadn't been fired by the near mythically difficult to get along with Gregory House. The brazen proposition, in itself, might well have interested Addison sufficiently to suggest taking the conversation somewhere less headache inducingly lit, but the strength suggested by the news that she'd walked away from House of her own free will... that was something Addison had always she'd believed she'd had herself, until she found herself unable to stay at Seattle Grace, while still somewhat unwilling to simply walk away from the place.

That, more than anything else, was at the forefront of her mind as she finished her drink and asked, "shall we get out of here?"

They left the bar, together, saluted by the twinning sounds of desultory applause for the end of the comedian's stint and the rattle of coins being vomited to a slot machine jackpot winner.

A hotel room is a hotel room, mused Alison. The decor in Addison's suite was surely a touch richer and the view from fifteen floors further up was much more spectacular, but it shared the same used sterility that bled from every wall and surface of her own single room.

Actually, she thought, drifting over to the huge expanse of glass, suddenly slightly nervous, this bizarre city sprawled across an otherwise near-empty desert did manage a certain tawdry beauty at night.

"Penny for them." Alison jumped at the sound of the rich voice so close behind her.

Addison's breath ghosted across her ear lobe, causing the hairs to lift on the back of her neck.

The earthy scent of the liquor she'd consumed mingled with a light, and probably expensive, perfume, and warm skin, imprinting the memory more firmly than a brand.

She adjusted her focus, reeling herself back in from the lights of the city and the dark of the desert beyond, to see their reflections. Even without heels, she noted, the redhead was several inches taller. She could have loomed, made Alison feel small and insignificant, but that just wasn't the case.

When she turned, and reached out, Addison met her halfway. Lips met, mouths opened, the flavours of whiskey and vermouth clashed and mingled and gave way as tongues darted, probed, clashed and twined.

The mundane need to breathe parted the pair.

Had Alison spared a glace back to the window, the reflections would have been flushed, heavy lidded, and tousled. Lips a little bruised, plump and bright with blood, now, all need for cosmetics gone.

Long, elegant, strong, careful fingers threaded through blond hair splayed over toned thighs. Red hair hanging sweat damp and limp from a head thrown back at the end of a rigidly arched back. Eyes shut and mouth open in mid cry.

White sheets, no longer crisp, bunched in a fist. Red and gold mingled on a pillow. Mouth to mouth, breast to breast, groin to groin. Moving together as one. The cries come together. A single organism. A single orgasm. No longer clear when one ends and the other begins.

She woke, late. Alone.

She'd known she would. It was, after all, still a horrible cliché, no matter how personal it was to them, now.

The shower tray was still damp when she padded in, aching but languid.

The liveried young man who wheeled in the trolley with bagels, cream cheese and lox, charged to a room she'd never see, was happy to pretend to ignore her state of well fucked undress... for a twenty dollar tip. But he flushed to the roots of his carefully groomed hair when he gave her the rose and message.

Not written, of course. That would never do.

Four simple words to cover their cliche...

"The lady said: 'What happens in Vegas.'"

The End

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