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01 July 2009 @ 12:25 am
seven letter word for liar 17/19  

“He affected all of us,” Wilson remarks, eyes burrowing into her. “Me, you, Cuddy, Foreman, Chase. The new team.” He breaks off, taking a moment before continuing. This is hard for him. Cameron acknowledges that. “We’re all going through changes, reevaluating, analyzing, wondering what to do next, wondering what will happen if he...if he doesn’t....”
“Don’t say that,” she all but snarls, jumping from the sheer strangeness of her voice. Her eyelids blink open and closed quickly, and then her eyes are back on Wilson’s, searching for answers, looking for guidance
. house md. part 17.



Chase was livid, but holding his tongue. Well, perhaps he wasn’t livid, but he was playing that part very well. Cameron knew he was concerned, despite his casual shrugs and nonchalant expressions, but they both knew she was terrified. She couldn’t help it, and for once, he had no rational reason to be angry with her for feeling this way.

It was a perfectly disastrous way to begin their marriage.

Cameron cancelled their honeymoon and when Chase started to protest, she insisted that they’d already taken one vacation for the year. She couldn’t relax, not even thousands of miles away in a tropical paradise. She would feel guilty and restless and Chase would grow annoyed with her. It was much better if they went straight back to work.

The transition happened so gradually, that Cameron had barely noticed the change. First, Foreman would call her in for a consult, or Thirteen would ask her opinion. A few days later she was at the board, next to Foreman, writing down symptoms and helping the team crack difficult cases. Since their specialty was difficult diagnoses, she found herself in the conference room a lot. Soon, she realized her herbal tea bags were on the bottom shelf again, next to the coffee, and Chase’s favorite green mug sat in the sink. He wasn’t there as much as she, but he came by whenever he could manage it. A favor to Foreman, he insisted, leaving no room for her to believe he felt he owed House. She’d nod, silently. They were different at work, she and Chase, and they’d long ago come to accept that. They’d made a pact, after they married, to leave their work baggage in the locker room. At home, they wouldn’t talk about the hospital. They’d pretend they were free.

“Maybe it’s autoimmune,” she hears Thirteen say, over the noise in her head. She smiles, turning to Foreman, who laughs, understanding her irony. “What?” Thirteen asks, the irony of uttering Cameron’s famous line escaping her.

“Nothing,” Foreman insists, shaking his head as Cameron retreats back into her own. Taub suggest environmental factors, and Cameron’s able to step out of the memories rushing back to her, scribbling fiercely on the whiteboard to erase the pain.

She’s there hours later when the fellows leave and Foreman pulls his chair over to her old desk where she’s sitting. She blinks up at him, adjusting her glasses as she leans forward across the glass surface. “Yes?” she questions, face warm, but eyes vacant and strange.

“Maybe you should stop,” Foreman suggests, and his tone is as sensitive as she’s ever heard.

“Charting?” she asks, avoiding his real topic of choice. She’d much rather be evasive than admit she knows where he’s going with his suggestion.

“It’s hard for all of us,” Foreman manages.

She clenches shut, her body closing down at the intimate conversation. For someone so seemingly open, she knows she shuts down more than she ought to. She doesn’t want to be there, to be talking about him. If she doesn’t open up, she can ignore the reality that he might never come back.

“Chase is worried,” Foreman sighs, looking away, in an effort to make the subject a bit more bearable for her.

She manages a small, unstable half-smile. “Chase is always worried,” she begins, then decides there’s no point in playing ball with Foreman. He can see through her defenses.

She lifts her legs up onto her chair, sitting indian-style. “He’s mad that I’m worried about him,” she says, looking out through the glass walls at the hospital staff idling in the corridor. “It’s the same old fight, but this time, he’s mad at himself.”

“Chase never gets mad at himself,” Foreman remarks, and it’s clear to Cameron that he’s hoping to lighten the mood.

She doesn’t smile. “He wants to be upset with me, but he knows there’s no reason to be. He’s mad for being insecure and angry that House is still getting to him, even when he’s not here.” She winces. The sound of his name, the taste of the structure of familiar letters in her mouth. It’s all too much. It’s too soon. It will always be too soon.

Foreman climbs to his feet, understanding that there’s no good he can do. “He loves you,” he offers, hoping that maybe she’ll open up to Chase, that maybe she’ll let him in, just a little bit more.

She sighs, brushing her bangs back behind her ear. “He’s my husband,” she says oddly, as if this says everything.

In a way, it does.


The next morning, in the car, their car, she tries.

“It’s just hard,” she says after minutes of silence, her neck arched gracefully as she peers out through the window at the pedestrians walking by. Her temple is aching, a sure sign that she should expect a caffeine headache if she doesn’t indulge shortly.

Chase waits, hands gripping the steering wheel a bit too tightly, his eyes fixed too determinedly on the road ahead of them.

“I’m just worried...about everyone,” she blurts out. “Not just him. But Wilson, Foreman, the team. You.” She pauses, her right hand resting on the edge of the door. She picks at the fabric of the interior, a nervous habit carried over from childhood. She wonders if Chase notices these quirks about her. She wonders if he does.

“We’re all worried,” Chase says, and she knows he’s only talking to break silence. He hates silence.

“I know,” she agrees, hands falling down into her lap. “It’s just hard to talk to you about it. I don’t...I don’t want you to think....”

Her voice falls dead at the first sign of emotional imbalance, and her eyes lock up, drifting past the visual aids in front of her, seeing things that are not really there. She’s found that by not really looking at the environment around her, she’s able to keep her emotions in check. She can sense sadness a mile away, and now, she can control it. She wonders if this was how House operated. If he learned these tricks as a boy.

Chase’s hand fits over hers and he squeezes tightly. “I understand, Allison,” he says, and for once, she doesn’t feel like he’s lying.

She forms a smile for him, thanking him quietly as she turns the knob on the radio up.

Their relationship had never had the typical communication style most other couples had, but she’s begun to realize that perhaps they connect on a more significant level. He understands her quiet spells, reading between sighs and eye rolls, connecting trembling hands and quivering lips to words she cannot manage, words she could never speak out loud. He’s learned when to leave her alone, and when to slip his arm around her waist. He’s learned to relax more around her, and she believes he’s become accustomed to their new life together, understanding that she chose him, and not House.

What he doesn’t seem to realize is that House was never even in the running, not really anyway. What she doesn’t tell him is that if he was, if he’d made more of an attempt to reach out to her....

Well, it does no good for her to think of those things. The past is the past, and they’re all in much different places now. Life sifted out a certain way for all of them, and she knows she cannot undo the way things are.

She’s not even sure she would want to if she could.


The real surprise, Cameron knows, is the odd, icy relationship she and Cuddy have settled into with one another. She finds herself unable to sympathize with Cuddy, and knows that the feeling is reciprocated. Wilson had been the one to tell her, to break the news, at the reception. It hadn’t helped that Cameron could read him like a book. Something had been bothering him. She’d pressed until he caved, and found her anger targeted Cuddy.

At the time, she knew no one had really blamed her for harboring anger towards Cuddy. Cameron realized that on some level Cuddy hadn’t told her sooner because of the wedding, but she also couldn’t accept this excuse, not fully. She knew exactly what would have happened if Cuddy had told her even an hour before the wedding. She would have cancelled everything. Or postponed. Surely she meant that she would have postponed. It just seemed like a crime to celebrate while someone she cared about...a friend of hers was suffering. She hated herself for not knowing and she hated Cuddy for not confessing sooner.

Part of her wondered if Cuddy hadn’t just delayed the news until after the wedding in order to ensure she married Chase; as if Cuddy had been threatened by her. Part of her was certain Cuddy had wanted to keep the news to herself, for as long as possible, to suffer alone. House had that affect on people. If he made you care about him, you soon found yourself wanting to take on her burdens alone. You didn’t want to share his pain with anyone else. It was insane, Cameron knew this, but somehow, it made you feel special. House didn’t let just anyone in.

Selfish as it seemed to her to be worrying about Cuddy’s motives during such a tragic point in her former boss’s life, her temper still seemed to flare up whenever Cuddy walked into the room. Perhaps what was even more shocking was that Cuddy seemed to share this same attitude towards Cameron. The two were professional and certainly civil, but the entire atmosphere seemed different when they were speaking. Chilly almost.

What they needed was someone to blame, a scapegoat in the midst of all of the uncertaintly. Both seemed to be willing candidates for one another. And everyone in the hospital looked the other way. Not even Chase mentioned Cameron's change in demeanor towards Cuddy. Then again, she wondered if it was possible that he hadn't noticed. She supposed it was.


“Should run an MRI,” Cameron suggests, looking to Foreman.

Foreman nods, turning to the fellows and motioning to the door. “Thirteen check his blood work for drug use. Taub, make sure we’re not missing anything from his medical history.”

The team splits instantly, just as Cuddy walks inside, nodding to Foreman slightly. Foreman looks up at Cameron, then leaves, most likely to run the MRI, while Cameron hangs behind. In this new team situation, Cameron always seems to be the one to hang behind. She can’t remember if it’s by choice or by process of elimination, and she honestly can’t discern whether she cares anymore. It’s not important.

Cuddy looks up at her, and the awkward tension between the two quickly reappears. “Dr. Cameron,” she says formally, a sign of her professionalism. “Have you heard from Wilson? He cancelled his patients for the day yesterday, and there’s been no word since then.”

Cameron shakes her head. “Not since Sunday,” she admits, arms crossed cautiously across her chest. “He mentioned that he might....” She pauses, trailing off, not wanting to say his name out loud. She can barely handle thinking it, but saying it? To Cuddy of all people? “He can have visitors now, you know,” she offers instead, fiddling with her hands in an attempt to find something to do to distract her mind.

Cuddy’s face changes, eyes softening slightly. “I should have guessed,” is all she says.

Cameron nods, watching as Cuddy makes her way over to the end of the room, towards the second office. His office.

“It won’t...” Cameron begins to explain, but is cut off as Cuddy pulls on the unmoving door handle.

“It’s locked,” Cuddy remarks, shocked.

Cameron nods. “I thought....” she begins, eyes skimming the carpet. “No one really wanted to go in there. I just...I didn’t think it would be right to leave it open.” Cameron’s shoulder hunch downward, sinking back into herself. She can’t tell Cuddy the truth. She can’t explain that she’s terrified to step foot inside of his office, that it feels wrong. She can’t explain all of the memories, the feelings, the pain that surges through her body just at the very thought of stepping inside. Of course, even if she could manage to spit out the words, she knows Cuddy doesn’t want to hear them. Cuddy doesn’t want to think that Cameron has her own history with House. It’s petty, but Cameron can relate. She doesn’t want to think about Cuddy’s pain either. She’d much rather pretend it wasn’t there.

Cuddy nods at the locked door, then shrugs, in an attempt to make the issue seem less significant. “He’s not dead, you know. He’s coming back.” The last statement is said more to reassure herself than to be construed as true.

Cameron can’t agree. “Maybe,” she says briefly.

“You should see him,” Cuddy remarks, not meeting Cameron’s eye. It’s the closest they’ve been to a truce in weeks. Cameron blinks up at her boss.

“So should you,” she counters, weary of their game.

“I’m just....” Cuddy begins, fishing for an excuse. “Just. Busy.”

Cameron’s eyes widen slightly at the generic excuse. “Oh. Right.” She purses her lips, searching for her own explanation. “Well, I’m just...” She hesitates. Just what? She’s been busy too, certainly, but she knows she could find the time. She’s been afraid, definitely, but when had fear ever hindered her? There’s much more to her reasoning, she’s sure of this, but she isn’t ready to delve deeper.

“Just what?” Cuddy asks, not ready to let her off the hook.

“I’m married,” Cameron says, not certain why she feels this is an excuse, though somehow, she believes it to be the heaviest and truest reason of all.

Cuddy nods. She looks almost surprised, almost. “I keep forgetting.”


Wilson joins her at the small booth, offering her his open bag of chips. Cameron shakes her head, declining, as she unscrews the lid to her water bottle.

“How...was it?” she asks at last, unable to manage the real question weighing down upon her.

Wilson understands immediately, smiling bravely. “He’s still House,” he replies, and Cameron takes comfort in his statement. They’re the most optimistic words she’s ever heard Wilson utter. She nods and returns her attention to her water bottle.

“You should....”

“No,” she cuts him off, raising her hand slightly in protest. Her eyes scramble downward, unable to sympathize with him any longer. Her battle has always been an inward one, a private one. She has responsibilities now...as a wife. She knows she can’t visit him. Chase would never forgive her.

Wilson appears to follow her crazy tangent of thinking. He sighs deeply, reaching across the table and grabbing her hands, enveloping her small palms in his large ones. His eyes burn across her face, forcing her to make eye contact, coercing her to cave, just a little.

“I think Chase would understand,” he remarks, and his eyes are sincere.

Cameron’s mouth begins to move, but she finds that words fail her. She’s been having this problem quite often lately. She smiles appreciatively at Wilson, scrambling to construct a semi-decent sentence. “You don’t know Chase like I do,” is what comes out, the words surprising her, but the lilt of her voice scaring her. She doesn’t recognize her tone any longer. Her demeanor is all wrong and unfamiliar, and even her mannerisms have changed slightly. She wonders if she looks sick.

Wilson lets go of her hands, pulling back, and with this action, showing her that he won’t force her to do anything she’s unwilling to do. She’s grateful, but a bit hurt. She would love for someone to force her to behave a certain way, to say certain things and copy certain looks. She’d hoped Wilson might be this person to help her. She needs someone to help her, but she’s too crippled by fear to pose the question.

She watches as he adjusts the watch on his wrist, worn upside down, sported like a medal. It’s then that she realizes Wilson’s just as lost as her, if not more. The two had both battled grief, were still battling grief from losing people they loved, and now they were supposed to know how to handle this. It wasn’t quite grief and wasn’t quite mourning, but every time Cameron walked by that empty office, her heart panged like someone had died. It was a confusing concoction of feelings, and it always was whenever House was concerned, guilt centered around the heart of it. She was just too damn tired to even fathom why she should be feeling guilty. For once, the puzzle made absolutely no sense.

“Cuddy’s going tomorrow,” he says, and Cameron detects the hint of desperation in his voice.

“She should,” Cameron says, her voice thin. She hates this side of her, this new, angry piece of herself that she can’t wrap her head around. It scares her, like so many things tend to do nowadays.

You should,” Wilson prompts one more time. When Cameron does naught but look down, he sighs once more, scratching his neck as he leans forward. “Allison,” he breathes, capturing her eyes again.

She doesn’t respond, but allows her green eyes to flicker up to meet his. She sits, strange and stoic, her body as still as stone.

“He affected all of us,” Wilson remarks, eyes burrowing into her. “Me, you, Cuddy, Foreman, Chase. The new team.” He breaks off, taking a moment before continuing. This is hard for him. Cameron acknowledges that. “We’re all going through changes, reevaluating, analyzing, wondering what to do next, wondering what will happen if he...if he doesn’t....”

“Don’t say that,” she all but snarls, jumping from the sheer strangeness of her voice. Her eyelids blink open and closed quickly, and then her eyes are back on Wilson’s, searching for answers, looking for guidance.

Wilson’s face drops slightly, his eyes saddening, his jaw softening. His tone becomes calmer. “He needs us right now,” he starts. “He may not realize it...hell, he may not even want us to see him, but he needs us.”

Cameron smirks awkwardly, in an attempt to lighten the mood. “Please, he’d probably die of embarrassment if Chase went to see him.”

Wilson smiles back. “Chase won’t go see him,” he insists. “Probably not a good idea for Thirteen or Taub either, considering he doesn’t like to show his weaknesses to his employees.”

Cameron nods. “He certainly doesn’t.”

“But you’re not an employee anymore,” Wilson remarks. “Even when you were, he broke all the rules for you. He let you in, Allison. You may not even realize it, but what he did with you...it’s rare. He doesn’t just open up to anybody.”

“I know,” Cameron says, because it’s true.

“You’re going to hate yourself if you don’t go,” Wilson adds. He pauses, looking up at her hopefully. “If Chase won’t understand, then don’t tell him. This has nothing to do with Chase or your marriage. This is about you going to visit someone who needs to know you still care.”

“I...” Cameron’s mouth locks up, fear gripping at her tongue.

Wilson shrugs solemnly, standing up to leave. He squeezes her shoulder slightly, leaning over until he’s eye level with her again. “You know, someone once told me that you can control your actions, but not your emotions.” Cameron clenches, wincing at his recycling of her words. She turns, looking at him squarely. He continues. “You once told me that you didn’t cheat on your husband, because you knew you wouldn’t have been able to live with yourself.”

Cameron pulls back, breaking their stare. “What does that have to do with anything?”

Wilson sighs, folding his arms across his chest. “I just...I don’t think you’ll be able to live with yourself if you don’t see him.”

Cameron bites her lip as Wilson vanishes, his words still looming over her head, threatening to break through the concrete persona she’s created over the past month. She swallows nervously, hands trembling noticeably as she reaches for her drink.

She knows he’s right. Chase won’t forgive her if she goes, and she won’t forgive herself if she doesn’t. She wonders which is worse, lying to her husband or lying to herself.

Current Mood: contentcontent
sarrie5: pic#91190634sarrie5 on August 9th, 2009 10:34 pm (UTC)
Just wanted to say that I immensely liked your fic, thank you so much for this incredibly well-written present to all Hameron fans (the more so as the reality of the show seems so cruel). I hope that we will have a chance to read the last two chapters sometime in future, that would be really wonderful.
Courtneyhelen_halliwell on August 14th, 2009 08:26 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! I'm glad you liked it...I'm nearly done the last two chapters and as soon as I am, I'll post them. They should be up with in the next two weeks. Thanks again!