Log in

No account? Create an account
19 May 2009 @ 03:12 am
there's hypocrisy in your eyes  
>there's hypocrisy in your eyes
But not today, no. Today is for savoring and reminiscing and letting go. house md. missing scene from human error cameron/house cameron/chase

(Takes place after the Season Three finale, because I cannot stop living in the past.) One-shot.

“I just need some air,” she had told him before she departed, with no intention of turning around, at least, not right away. She could feel his pained eyes on her back, burning through the thin fabric guarding her from the cool June breeze. The night time is oddly chilly for the end of spring. It’s either that or she’s feeling faint, her temperature gage off. She slips her fingers over her arms, forcing goosebumps back inside, warming her bare skin.

It’s late. Chase doesn’t know what to make of her sudden slip in demeanor. She’s been so contradicting the past few days. She knows this, and she knows he must be racking his brain with guilt, trying to figure out what exactly it was that he did wrong.

She went over the evening in her head. He’d ordered take-out from her favorite Italian restaurant, poured some wine, even lit candles for her. It was the grown up woman’s fantasy of a romantic evening in. And yet, the entire time she felt too aware of what was occurring. Her tongue could taste her food too strongly, the vanilla smell of the candles made her dizzy, the wine was too bitter, too cliche, too expensive. She could taste all of the labor and money Chase had put into the evening, all of his efforts, his gratuity to her for choosing him. In other words, she could taste his desperation, and just as he sat down next to her, wrapping his arm protectively around her shoulder, she thought she might faint. Her skin looked too pale, her eyes too forced, her dress too perfect.

The urge to run overwhelmed her, screaming wildly inside of her head as she chewed her food, keeping up pretenses, feigning contentment. She sat still through the movie Chase had chosen, her eyes wide with an unknown terror, her heartbeat racing, Chase unaware of her lapse in character the entire time. The movie ended, Chase reached for her hand, and at the burn of his touch she bolted upright, eyes begging him to let her go, face skewed up with an inexplicable fear.

But she couldn’t think of this, not now as her heels clinked all too loudly on the uneven sidewalk, her heel threatening to snap if she didn’t slow down. She couldn’t picture Chase broken and wavering, staring at the phone, dialing her number repeatedly, then hanging up before it ever rang. She didn’t want to think of him this way. Guilt was much easier to bear when she didn’t concentrate on it.

Her eyes flittered over to scenes in the various bars scattered up and down Witherspoon Street, watching as couples flirted, old men sat alone and forgotten, and groups of young girls, hardly old enough to be drinking, grinned too widely, too happily, their small hearts racing with unknown excitement. Girls with jet black hair stood chainsmoking outside of the Princeton Record Exchange, and a guy with blonde dreadlocks smiled at her knowingly. His gaze made her nervous, because his gray eyes seemed to bear right through her, reminding her of someone else, someone that she should not be thinking about.

Without thinking she makes a right onto Nassau Street, her pace slowing as she approaches Palmer’s Square. It was Thursday night and most of the college kids were partying at Lahiere’s, Meditera, or Teresa’s. Rarely anyone under the age of twenty five stepped foot in J.B. Winberries, where she knew of at least two doctors at PPTH who were regulars. She paused at the door, contemplating going inside, but opting against the idea. There was a vacant bench feet away from the bar’s entrance, and she chose to sit down instead. She was terribly afraid that she had absolutely no idea what she was doing.

Bridging gaps was always painfully difficult for her. She, like so many others, could hardly deal with pain in close proximity, so her usual strategy was to flee. Chase made mention of Arizona. She hardly blinked, knowing full well that if she left, her life here would be over. Change was not something she often ran from, but this time, the thought of rebuilding, the thought of starting over again, well, it seemed cheap. She wasn’t ready to pretend that the past three years had never happened. She wasn’t quite sure if she even wanted to let go of them.

It takes a few minutes, but she raises her eyes to the glass, peering inside of the bustling bar, searching past tables and waitresses until she spots the two at the bar. Wilson’s back is to her, but every now and then she catches a glimpse of the profile of his face. He seems worried, even from a distance. She wonders what her leaving has done to his friend. She swallows and forces herself to look at him.

He’s sitting catty-corner form Wilson, the right side of his body facing Cameron. He’s smirking about something, but when he finishes, when his smile dissipates, she detects a strange emotion settling onto his face, one she so rarely saw him exhibit. He looks abandoned.

Another sixty seconds go by and he turns to flag the waitress, but it rendered frozen momentarily when his piercing blues plunge past the small café table by the window, through the crisp, clean glass, and into the darkness of the night where her cool, white figure sits alone, anticipating his next move. She watches as the waitress loses interest in him, walks away, and then Wilson turns, inspecting his friend for damages. He follows his friend’s gaze, locking eyes briefly with Cameron before turning away, embarrassed to have interrupted a moment that is oddly intimate.

Wilson climbs to his feet, fishes for money in his wallet and then slides the bills across the bar. He doesn’t appear to say anything more to House, and as he exits the bar, he looks intently at Cameron yet again, words clinging to his lips. She can tell that he wants to say something to her, to warn her or reprimand her, possibly both. Her lips purse slowly, opening in a small o shape as she waits for Wilson’s voice. Instead, he offers a weak wave, brushes his eyes away from her, and climbs into his car. She watches his tail lights until she’s dizzy.

When she turns back to face the bar, House is hovering over her, cane in hand and troubled look on his face. He asks her if she walked and she nods dumbly, helpless to speak. Without saying another word, without even asking her, he walks over to his bike, and she finds her feet obliging him, following in his shadow. Silently she accepts the helmet he hands to her and she climbs behind him, gripping his chest tightly, a slow smile forming in spite of herself.

They fly through the night and she finds herself wishing she could rest her head on his shoulder, wanting to let him know that leaving him was the hardest decision she ever had to make. She wants him to know her pain.

But she hesitates. They’ve built so many walls, so many boundaries, so many rules around what can and cannot be done that she’s sure showing him any sort of compassion is going against the lies they wove to protect their hearts. She half wants to surrender now, to explain to him that she’s tired of fighting and struggling, that she’s ready to accept whatever ramifications come from loving him. Of course, she knows herself too well. She’ll never say those things. Not tonight anyway.

He comes to a halt outside of her apartment, his bike idling and he spins around, drinking her in. He’s still wordless, but he’s asking her if she’s going to go inside. He’s waiting for her to tip him off, to let him know how this game is going to be played. She could go inside and invite him in, or she could say goodnight and end it all there.

She picks option three, shaking her head fiercely, and it excites her to see the spark that ignites in his eyes in response. He takes off again, this time faster and rougher than before, forcing her to dig in closer to his body, forcing her to envelop him.

On the way to his door, the silence seems deafly loud, and every movement that she makes is awkward and insecure. Her shoes make too much noise, her heart threatens to pound its way out of her chest, and even her breathing seems more pronounced, its volume amplified in the still, uneasiness of the empty apartment.

After he lets her inside, he leans against the wall, taking a deep, jagged breath before lowering his gaze back to her. She shuts the door slowly, eager for something to do with her hands, her eyes darting uncomfortably to meet his. She slows her breathing, willing herself to remain calm.

She thinks of Chase suddenly, and her cheeks flush. She looks down at the floor, shuffling her foot slightly, hating herself for reasons she cannot fully grasp yet.

“Drink?” House asks gruffly, and Cameron nods eagerly.

“I’ll get it,” she offers, giving him plenty of time to figure out his next move.

She’s been in his kitchen so many times before that she doesn’t have to think about where the cups are. She knows, and she grabs too, filling them both with scotch. Ice for her, no ice for him.

The living room is dimly lit when she enters, the tv on, just in case they need it. They’re used to talking in circles, avoiding the real issues, honing in on lesser details, the ones they can handle debating. She sets his glass down hurriedly, taking a moment to decide whether to sit on the couch next to him or the armchair in front of her.

House makes the decision for her, like he has done countless times before. He tosses a the couch pillow onto the chair, a small gesture that tells her he wants her next to him. She caves, crumbling before him yet again, but leaves space in between their bodies. She can deny him that much, for now.

The conversation comes much slower than usual, both of them out of their safety zones, well aware that they’re floating around in dangerous territory, a place they’d be better off leaving.

Cameron waits until a commercial before speaking, giving into the facade that either of them are actually watching The O.C.

“Are you getting a new team?” she asks. The question gnaws at him, she can tell, but she doesn’t mean for it to. She’s trying to break the ice and open him up carefully. The big questions can wait.

“Nope,” he says and she can tell that he’s toying with her. “Don’t need one.”

Cameron bites her tongue, graciously. She sips her drink, the scotch burning her throat. “Cuddy will make you hire new people,” she says simply, allowing him time to decide whether he wants to go on joking or get serious.

He nods, agreeing. “They’re all idiots.”

Cameron blinks. “Who?”

“The people whose resumes were strategically planted on my desk. Trust fund baby idiots who only went to medical school so that mommy and daddy could hang a damn diploma on the wall.”

Cameron smiles. It’s as close as he’ll come to admitting that he enjoyed the three of them, she, Chase, and Foreman. It’s a compliment of many complicated sorts, but she’ll take whatever he’s offering. She lives for the rare moments when he slips, revealing more than he ever intended to.

She leans back against the arm of the couch, kicking off her slip on heels, and curling her legs up to the side of her. She watches as he watches her, his eyes on her body, her eyes on his face.

“Foreman’s going to New York,” she tells him, recalling a phone conversation she had with him the day before. “He leaves in a week. We’re going to Lahiere’s next Wednesday. You should come,” she adds, though she knows he won’t. Still, she has a feeling that extending the offer will still mean something to him. She wants him to know that they all feel his absence as much as he feels theirs, perhaps even more.

“Not my style,” he says, referring to the bar. Cameron nods, having expected as much. She finishes her drink and reaches for his empty glass. Her hand wraps around his, and his eyes jolt open, scanning her face boldly. She shudders.

He moves his glass out of their way, leaning forward, his eyes refusing to leave hers. She’s terrified now, as he runs his hand along the side of her face, through her cascading brown hair. His hand stops at her shoulder, and she plunges towards him, not giving him the chance to change his mind. Her lips meet his roughly, his stubble grinding painfully against her chin, her left hand slowly easing upward to his hair. His hands travel up the small of her back as her tongue invades his mouth, rapidly at first, too quickly, her skin burning for his touch. Or was it from? She’s not sure. She doesn’t care to analyze.

Her glass clinks to the carpet with a thud.

In the morning, she leaves hastily, her eyes focused solely on moving straight ahead. She doesn’t want to take in the details of his apartment. She doesn’t want to remember what she has done. She tells herself she did this to get him out of her system, to rid her mind of him. She can’t trust her mind, not anymore. She’s become too skilled at rationalizing, at convincing herself that she knows what she’s doing.

She doesn’t have a clue.

The walk is only seven blocks, but it feels like eternity. People stare at her in amusement. She's wearing her evening dress from the night before. They know where she’s been. They know what she’s done. They’re judging her, same as she would. Same as she will.

But not today, no. Today is for savoring and reminiscing and letting go. Today she’ll lay in bed most of the afternoon, replaying pieces of yesterday, moments that are hers and hers alone. Today she’ll order in and ignore the phone, pretending that she’s on the verge of something amazing and inexplicable. Tonight she’ll watch Annie Hall and The Way We Were and convince herself that some loves just aren't meant to be, that sometimes the timing is just all wrong. By ten she’ll cry and grieve and call herself pathetic for stealing the tee shirt he wore, for basking in the smell of him. By midnight she’ll be lying on the floor in a state of numbness, hair matted and tangled, eyes spent and irritated.

Oh yes, there will be plenty of time for guilt in the morning.


Current Mood: exhaustedexhausted
Current Music: jack's mannequin - doris day