Title: Tell Her About It
Characters: House & Cameron with a side of Wilson.
Author’s Notes: Written for SwooshDH in the House/Cameron Ficathon. Much love to StoryDivaGirl for the beta.
Her words replay over and over in his mind.
I thought you were too screwed up to love anyone. I was wrong. You just couldn’t love me. It’s okay. I’m happy for you.
He plays the piano aimlessly, not sure what, if any, song he is playing. He has been slammed with too many emotions in too short a time. He has always done emotions badly and has avoided them all together for the last five years. But, in the last five days, he has dealt with Cameron’s return, their date, Stacy and her husband, and reliving the crushing agony he went through with the infarction.
Exhaling loudly, he slams both hands on the keyboard and winces at the horrific noise it makes. He has tried everything to relax, but he cannot get his mind to turn off.
You asked me why I like you. You’re abrasive and rude, but I figured everything you do, you do it to help people. But I was wrong. You do it because it’s right.
He snorts as he recalls Cameron’s words. He still doesn’t understand her unequivocal support and faith in him. He knows that she sees him through rose-colored glasses; he does what he does because he can, not because it’s right or wrong or because he cares.
He wishes he still believed that.
Five years ago he woke up from the worst nightmare he could have ever faced and found out that the one person he trusted and loved had betrayed him. Oh sure, she claimed she saved his life and Cuddy backed her up, but he knows that he would have been okay without the surgery. Now he suffers from chronic pain and walks with a cane. Now he makes the conscious decision not to trust or care about anyone else.
So much for that.
He shakes his head and struggles to his feet. He’s half drunk and, even with the cane, has trouble maintaining his balance. He manages to make it to the phone and drops to the couch.
“I fucked up,” he says without preamble when he hears the sleepy voice on the other end of the line.
“You’re calling me at… almost two in the morning to tell me something I already knew?”
He didn’t realize how late it was when he dialed the phone and is not surprised by his friend’s reaction. But this is different and Jimmy has to know that.
After a moment of silence, he hears Jimmy sighing, the rustling of sheets, and a hurried whispered conversation. He can hear Jimmy walking for a few seconds and then, finally, he speaks again.
“I’m assuming your latest fuck up involves Stacy,” he says, a slightly bitter tone resonating in his voice.
Greg is surprised by that assumption and falters before speaking. “Actually, no. I dragged you out of bed at two in the morning to beg you to leave your wife for me,” he deadpans, hoping the sarcasm will buy him some time to get his head straight.
“Ahh,” his friend says, a light, teasing note entering his voice. “This is about the lovely Dr. Cameron, isn’t it?”
It’s Greg’s turn to sigh. “Yeah. I fucked up big time and I don’t know how to fix it.”
“What did you do?”
“I never told you what really happened on our date, did I?” he asks, spitting out the word date like poison.
“No, you never gave me details,” Jim’s voice betrays his curiosity.
“Well, she told me she didn’t want to waste her one night with me on trivial subjects, she wanted to know how I felt about her.”
“Dare I ask what your response was?”
“It wasn’t pretty. I gave her some bullshit about how she didn’t really want me, she needed to take care of someone and I was the most damaged person in the nearest proximity.”
Jim groans. “Did she throw a glass of wine in your face?”
“No. That’s the worst part. She blinked back a few tears and pretended I didn’t say a word. She changed the topic to hospital gossip and ate her dinner. As far as I can tell, she never mentioned anything to anyone about what happened.”
“So what do you want now?”
“I… I… I’m not sure,” he confesses.
“Well, you need to be sure before you try to talk to her. If you aren’t, you’re going to make things worse.”
Jim hears the dejected tone in his friend’s voice. He wonders what brought all this on.
“What brought this on?” he decides to ask.
“Well, seeing Stacy again and being forced to deal with what happened five years ago got me thinking. I was watching Stacy with her husband and they seemed so in love and I realized that Stacy had never once looked at me that way during our relationship. But I realized it was the way that Cameron looks at me every day.”
“I know. But then, Cameron comes up and asks me how Mark’s doing and I tell her fine and she looks at them and looks at me and says ‘I thought you were too screwed up to love anyone. I was wrong. You just couldn’t love me. It’s okay. I’m happy for you.’ What the fuck does that mean?”
“Were those her exact words?”
“Yep. I’m standing there having this epiphany about my feelings for her and she walks up and totally slams me down.”
“Greg, did you try to tell her how you felt?”
“No, what was I supposed to say?”
“You could try something along the lines of ‘I might have been too screwed up before, but now I want to give it a try.’”
“Do you think that will work?”
“I think your best course of action is to be honest. If you’re not sure, tell her. Explain to her how you came to your conclusions. Cameron’s a smart woman and she has faith in you. And she has been unfailingly honest with you from the start. If you offer her heartfelt honesty, I think she’ll be receptive.”
“Thanks, Jim. You’re a good pal. Sorry I dragged you out of bed.” Greg hangs up before Jim can say anything else. Jim shakes his head, wonders if he’s having incredibly vivid dreams, and goes back to bed.
His hands are running up and down her body as he kisses her senseless. She grabs the back of his head, holding on tight because this feels so good that she never wants it to end. Eventually, they have to pull apart because neither of them can breathe. He looks deep into her eyes and the stark emotions on his face cause her heart to flutter in triple time.
“Allison,” he says, his voice low and choked with feeling, “Are you sure you want to do this?”
She nods and licks her lips. “Yes, Greg. I want you.”
That’s all he needs, he gently pushes her down so she’s sitting on his desk and he kneels in front of her and starts to unbutton her lab coat. Her heart is thumping so loud she can barely hear anything else.
“Allison.” She trembles from the way he says her name.
“Allison,” his voice is getting louder and she starts to worry that someone will hear them. “I know you’re in there, open up!”
She jolts awake and realizes that the thumping noise she was hearing in her dream is actually the sound of a wooden knock on her door. And the voice of her boss, which was so erotically charged in her dream, is impatiently calling her name from her front door.
Her face flushed with desire from the dream, she jumps out of bed and runs to the door before he wakes her entire building.
“Took you long enough,” he says with a slight shake of his head as he enters her apartment. She is still half asleep and entirely too dumbfounded to stop him. She stands next to the door, the knob still in her hand, and watches him walk over and take a seat on her sofa. He looks over his shoulder at her. “Are you going to stand there all night or come over here?”
She blinks a couple of times, wondering if the salsa she ate before bed is giving her indigestion and causing this surreal dream.
“Cameron, snap out of it.”
Definitely not a dream. He always calls her Allison in her dreams.
“Dr. House, why are you knocking on my door at,” she squints at the clock on the VCR, “three in the morning?” She finally pushes the door shut and takes a seat opposite him in her favorite chair.
He looks nervous. She blinks again and rubs her eyes with the back of her hand. In the time she has known Dr. Gregory House, she has never seen him look nervous.
“Well, uh… I can explain that,” he stumbles over his words. He is definitely nervous and she can’t for the life of her figure out why.
She watches the internal struggle for words play out on his face. He keeps giving her hopeful glances, but she is determined not to make this easy for him. She isn’t sure what possessed him to show up at her door in the middle of the night, but since he did, he can surely explain himself.
He lets out a deep sigh and runs his hand through his already tousled hair. “It’s like this, Allison,” he begins.
She feels a slight tingle rush through her body when he says her name and she feels her cheeks flush as she recalls the dream she was having when he knocked. He doesn’t seem to notice her reaction though, because he’s so caught up in trying to get out what he came to say.
“Having Stacy show up in my life threw me for a loop,” he confesses. “I thought I hated her for what she did to me and I didn’t think that hate and love could coexist, so I thought I was over her. And because of what she did to me, I was determined not to let anyone else close enough to hurt me like that again.”
Allison nods in encouragement. She can tell how difficult it is for him to admit these things.
“So over the last few days, I’ve been forced to really think about everything that happened and I’ve been forced to examine the way I’ve lived my life for the last five years. Tonight, watching Stacy with Mark, seeing how in love they were, made me realize that I had never had that. Stacy never looked at me the way she was looking at him. And, more surprisingly, it made me want to know what it felt like.”
Her shock at his words is evident on her face. The butterflies start churning earnestly in her stomach as she silently waits for the rest of his speech.
“I saw you walking toward me and I realized that you look at me the way Stacy was looking at Mark. And I realized that I’ve been a fool, trying to hide my feelings for you because I was scared.”
She is practically holding her breath and she feels a single tear slip down her cheek. She gasps when he reaches out and takes her hand.
“What you said to me earlier, about not being able to love you, was wrong, Allison. I was too afraid to let myself love you.”
She gulps, unsure how to respond.
“I know I hurt you. I’ve said a lot of things that weren’t very nice because I was trying to protect myself. And I’m sorry,” he concludes.
Their eyes meet and she can see the hope and fear on his face.
“I don’t know what to say.”
He smiles. “It’s okay, Allison. I realize it was unfair of me to ambush you in the middle of the night. But I was afraid if I didn’t come over here and say it, I wouldn’t.”
“Dr… um… I mean…”
“It’s okay if you want to call me Greg.”
She lets out a nervous giggle. “Greg, I… I’m stunned. I saw you watching Stacy and Mark tonight and I could tell that you had truly loved her. I meant what I said when I told you I was happy for you. I came home tonight and made myself believe that you were never going to return my feelings for you. And now you’re here and you’re telling me what I’ve wanted to hear for so long. I don’t know how to react.”
He tugs gently on her hand and she moves from the chair to the sofa, next to him. He puts his arm around her and kisses her gently on top of her head.
“I think we need to take this slow, Allison,” he says. “It’s been a long time since I allowed myself to care about anyone. And I’m not going to be able to change overnight.”
She nods. “I’m okay with that, Greg. I’ve waited this long for you, we can take all the time you need.”
He lets out a sigh of relief. “Jim’s going to shit a brick when he finds out I came over here tonight.”
“Dr. Wilson knows about your… um… change of heart?”
“Yeah, I woke him up in the middle of the night to get his advice on what to do to make you like me again.”
She laughs. “I never stopped liking you.”
“Well you should have.”
“You’re probably right about that.”
“Of course I’m right, I’m the boss.”
“Only when we’re at the hospital.”
“Oh, you’re one of those types? I wouldn’t have pegged you as the black leather wearing, whips and chains toting, kind of girl.”
“You are in for plenty of surprises then.”
They both laugh and the tension between them is completely gone. Allison settles back against Greg’s chest and he wraps his arms around her a little tighter. After a few minutes of sitting in silence, enjoying being close, Greg clears his throat.
“Yeah?” she asks sleepily.
“I don’t think we should fall asleep here. You’ll need a crane to move me in the morning.”
“Oh, I’m sorry!” she exclaims, pulling away from him and sitting up. “Was I hurting your leg?”
“Oh no,” he reassures her. “But we were very comfortable and dangerously close to falling asleep. And my leg definitely would not have liked that.”
She blushes. “Do you want to stay tonight?”
“Do you mind if I do? I’m not sure I could manage to safely get back to my place.”
“I don’t mind at all.”
“I can sleep out here,” he starts to say.
“No way,” she says. “I don’t want to be responsible for your leg hurting. I have a queen size bed. You can share with me.”
“Only a queen?” He snorts. “I have a king.”
She rolls her eyes as she puts out a hand to help him off the sofa. “Are we going to play the mine is better than yours game?”
He laughs. “No, I’m too tired. You might actually have a chance of winning.”
“Come on,” she says. “Let’s get some sleep.”