Title: Still I Can’t Be Still
Series: Straw Into Gold
Part: 1 of 9
Word Count: 927
Beta: enchanted_april - Thanks!!
Summary: She has a successful career but she wants something more, something she shouldn’t want and will never have.
Disclaimer: The song lyrics and story titles belong to Idina Menzel.
And I have everything I want
Is it ever enough?
Still I can’t be still.
Still I can’t be silent.
She’s heard a million platitudes about how the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence and you should be careful what you wish for. The Eagles may have said it best, ‘you always want the one that you can’t get’.
But she can’t help it.
She knows she should be happy with what she’s got, instead of pining away for a man who doesn’t even know her first name. Her brain knows that at least; but it’s having a hard time convincing her heart.
Dr. Allison Cameron appears, to people who don’t look very deeply, to be a secure, satisfied, and respected career woman. She’s got a job many doctors would kill for, working with one of the most brilliant doctors on the east coast, perhaps in the entire country. She’s part of a medical team that saves the lives of people that are considered to be lost causes by most other medical professionals.
She’s practically a modern day superhero.
But she’s still not happy and it makes her angry with herself.
‘If only I could get those piercing blue eyes out of my mind,’ she muses as she waits for the centrifuge to spin down the samples from their latest patient. She chuckles slightly to herself as she remembers the day she made a fool of herself right in front of this very piece of equipment.
“Find something amusing in those tests, Dr. Cameron?” the easy sarcasm and the closeness of the speaker cause her to nearly jump out of her skin. “Sorry, didn’t mean to startle you. What is it with you and this centrifuge anyway?”
She feels herself blush. “Nothing. I was just day dreaming a little while I waited for these samples to spin.”
His eyes sparkle mischievously at her confession. “Care to share your daydreams?”
“No,” she looks away from those eyes and watches the centrifuge.
“Aw, come on, Cameron, at least tell me if I’m in them,” he continues to needle her, casually leaning on his cane.
“House, I told you I’d only agree to take my job back if you agreed to forget about that whole embarrassing mess,” she reminds him, her voice calm, belying the nerves in her stomach.
He sighs a dramatic sigh. “Fine, I guess I’ll have to stick to my own fantasies then. Let me know when you get those samples done.” He limps away and goes to harass Chase.
She breathes a sigh of relief as his departure. She already quit her job once because she couldn’t handle her feelings for him. But he’d begged her to come back and he was not a man that begged for anything. So she’d relented, under the condition that he pretend they’d never had a conversation about feelings. He’d agreed and she’d promised herself that her feelings for him were some misguided hero worship and that she’d put them firmly behind her and be the best immunologist she could be.
Watching him berate Chase across the room, she realizes the futility of her plans. In the two weeks that she’s been back, she’s realized that her feelings for him were definitely not a misguided hero worship, they are valid. But she is determined to remain a professional and not let him see them this time.
The centrifuge beeps, indicating that its done spinning the samples and she busies herself by placing the various samples on slides to examine under a microscope. If she keeps busy enough, she can almost forget that he’s in the lab, making her feel as if she’s the one under a microscope.
She examines the slides closely. She finds something on the third one. “House, come here,” she calls, needing a second opinion to ensure she’s seeing what she thinks she’s seeing. She hears his cane thumping back across the lab.
She steps aside and he looks in the microscope. After a long minute, he looks up and catches her eye. “Good job, Allison,” he says, turning to give instructions on treatment to Chase and Foreman, who are waiting.
Her breath catches. He’s never called her by her given name before, always calls her Cameron or, when he’s being particularly sarcastic, Dr. Cameron. She was convinced until about two minutes ago that he wouldn’t know her first name if his life depended on it.
He turns back after Chase and Foreman scurry off to save the life of their latest patient. His brow furrows when he realizes that she’s staring at him.
“Something wrong, Dr. Cameron? Did I miss a button on my shirt or get spinach in my teeth?”
She wills herself to stay silent, to let it slide and not attach any meaning to his calling her Allison. But her mouth decides that it should take orders from her heart instead of her brain.
“You called me Allison,” slips out before she can stop herself.
“It is your name, isn’t it?” He looks confused, but if she looks deeper, she sees something else in those eyes, something she can’t, or won’t, venture to name.
“Yes, but you’ve never used it,” she persists, her brain willing her heart and mouth to stop sabotaging her.
He smiles an odd smile. “There’s a first time for everything,” is his cryptic comment before he starts giving her instructions on what she needs to do to save their patient. Her brain finally prevails over her other organs and she gathers the necessary supplies to start growing the cultures they need.
And she tries, unsuccessfully, to forget the sound of her name on his lips.