Summary: Seven little tiny situations
A/N: Written for my dear friend realboatsrock's birthday, because she picked sixteen pairings she shipped and got me to write them. I have no idea if this is any good or not, but this is my H/C one. A little bit mushy :D
Sometimes when he’s alone, she watches him, fingers playing along with his CD player, tapping out endless rhythms on the table with those pianists’ hands. It stiffens her resolve, convincing her that maybe he might need people, in spite of what he says, and she might break through one day. By the time House has tilted his head back and is quietly wailing don’t cry… it’s only teenage wasteland, she’s smiling and resisting the urge to push open the door. Sometimes he sees her watching him, and on the days when he turns back to whatever he was doing and doesn’t care that her eyes are still on him, she counts those days as victories. And you take those where you can get them with Gregory House.
His kiss is harsh and brief, like everything about him, brushing over her lips with his stubble grazing her face, and Cameron takes what she can get with her fingers curled into fists in her labcoat pockets, trying to work out what happens next.
It’s not in House’s nature to be forgiving, to care about anyone, but there’s something about Cameron’s blue eyes and the way she keeps persisting that is both endearing and frustrating. She cares, about everyone, and it’s been a while since someone honestly bothered about him, saving Wilson, who sort of cares but has things like his tragically failing marriage and that new blonde thing in radiology to worry about, and House is hard work. Really hard work. So he does everything he can to push her away and Cameron clings on, biting her lip, refusing to leave, and he’s impressed by her perseverance, if nothing else.
When he’s sleeping, House isn’t in pain. He takes a Vicodin or two (or three, if it’s that sort of evening) to numb the ache in his thigh before he goes to sleep, and when he slips out of consciousness, it doesn’t hurt. In his dreams he can still run, can still walk, can still dance (not that he ever danced; he was no good at it. But in dreams there always seems to be a lot of dancing, the subconscious’ idea of an amusing joke. House hates his subconscious, but then he hates pretty much everything, so nothing new there). Perhaps that’s why he’s always so bitter. In his dreams he touches and tastes and feels and that is all snatched away from him when he wakes up. Like losing his mobility every morning. He loses so much all the time that he can’t push that onto someone else, can’t push that onto Cameron, no matter how much she tries to snatch his personal demons away and carry them for him.
He doesn’t ever listen to her, and Cameron has come to accept that, although it did take time. To begin with, she bit her nails raw and worried endlessly, uncertain how the hell she was supposed to cope in a job where her boss apparently didn’t need her. Chase was no help; he’d been working there for six months by the time she arrived there, and he’d settled into a comfortable pattern of suggesting things for House to shoot down without really worrying what they were. But then he’s always felt more comfortable around House than she has. Probably because he isn’t attracted to him the way she is.
“I made you a coffee,” House says, sounding sheepish and surprisingly guilty. It’s three a.m and Chase is in the ICU and Foreman is in the lab and Cameron is falling asleep in front of the whiteboard.
“You did?” The question drops out of her mouth before she can stop it. Then mentally winces. House doesn’t like people who state- or question- the obvious.
“Yes.” He pushes the red mug at her and Cameron accepts it, eyes wide, completely thrown by this kind gesture and the lack of abuse in his tone.
“Thank you,” she says slowly, carefully.
“Yeah, well.” He shrugs like an awkward teenager, and she’s almost grateful when Chase runs in a second later to add new symptoms to the whiteboard.
Cameron could have been nasty, or at least not so much of a pushover. She could have learnt to say ‘no’, and not care so much about anything and everything. She could have not married her husband just because he had a brain tumour and needed someone to be around. She could have stopped trying to collect the full, damaged set of men, picked Foreman instead of House, maybe even not got into medicine. She’s beautiful; she could have any number of jobs she liked. Maybe House is right. Maybe she is trying to prove something.
House could have been- no, that’s not right. House could not have been anything different, because although, sure, he might not have had the infarction (and therefore the drug addiction and bitter despair that comes with that scar), but then again he hasn’t changed that much. Maybe he’s a little older now, maybe he’s more sad than happy, but he could never have been anyone other than who he is. And maybe that’s a disturbing thought and then again, maybe it isn’t.
He is forever working out the answer because he has to and Cameron tries to learn, tries to take everything she can from him, kissing him with everything she possesses while he says nothing, gives everything back, and this is the man that she’s been waiting for, the one before the drugs took over and he became the hopeless shell that he is now… unless she works out how to save him.