Title: The Things She Didn't Say
Characters: Cameron & House
A/N: This is a "Four Things That Never Happened" fic.
You may be right, I may be crazy, but it just may be a lunatic you’re looking for.
His words hit her with the force of one of those monster trucks from that stupid rally they had gone to on their non-date.
You don’t want me, I’m not what you need. I’m damaged.
She stares at him as the impact of his words sink in. He’s giving her that look that says he thinks he knows it all. She hates how she feels as though his eyes can see straight through to her soul.
But she wonders if he’s right.
She finally tears her glance away from his, unable to bear his scrutiny any longer. She looks down at the table and wills herself not to cry. She’s saved from an embarrassing moment by the appearance of the waiter, who chooses that exact moment to take their orders.
As soon as the waiter leaves, House excuses himself to make use of the facilities, giving her a few minutes to collect her thoughts. It kills her that he’s considerate even as he’s breaking her heart.
She considers his words and tries to remember if she’s ever looked at him and thought of him as damaged. She remembers him telling her that no one is that nice. Does she have a martyr complex? His words are forcing her to reflect on herself in a way she’s not entirely comfortable with.
He returns to the table as their food is served, saving them any further conversation. As she eats, she replays the conversation in her head.
Suddenly, she drops her fork on the table. She looks up and he’s watching her. He must see something in her eyes because he looks uncomfortable.
“Is your dinner okay?” he asks, trying to deflect her from whatever she’s planning to say.
“You never answered my question,” she says accusingly.
He raises one eyebrow. “You’re not answering mine either.”
She shakes her head slightly. “I’m not letting you get away with misdirection again. You didn’t answer my question. I asked you how you felt about me. You told me how you think I feel about you.”
He looks vaguely guilty and it confirms her suspicions that his words weren’t about her at all, they were about him being unable to face his feelings.
“I agreed to a date,” he finally says. “I did not agree to a psychological evaluation.”
She realizes that he’s right. She doesn’t want to push him too far too fast. She’s prepared to wait for him to realize what she already knows. So she backs down.
“Fine. I won’t push. But I’ll say this. You’re wrong. And I’m very much looking forward to proving it.”
You said that I was naive and I thought that I was strong
His words replay in her mind.
Now that your husband’s dead, you need a new charity case.
He looks at her as he finishes his little speech. She can tell that he thinks his harsh words will make her buckle and bend to his will. It almost amuses her that after all they’ve been through he still manages to underestimate her at every turn.
She can’t stop herself from laughing at his words. He looks taken aback. Laughter was obviously not the reaction he expected. She feels a little tingle of power that she has managed to confuse the great Dr. House.
“Why are you laughing?” he finally asks, his curiosity getting the best of him.
She smiles. “My husband was not a charity case. I loved him. I didn’t care if we were destined to have a brief life together. I loved him so much that I married him despite his illness, not because of it.”
“Why would you put yourself through that kind of pain?”
“I didn’t have a choice. You can’t turn love on and off like a switch. When you love someone, you love everything about them, the good and the bad. What kind of person would I have been if I have abandoned the man I loved because he got sick?”
Her words have a profound affect on him. If she didn’t know better, she would think that he’s holding back tears. After several minutes, he finally answers her.
“You’d be a normal person, looking out for yourself.”
Wilson’s words flood through her mind.
I don’t want anyone to get hurt.
Don’t worry, I know what I’m doing.
I meant him.
You’re worried that I’m going to break his heart?
He hasn’t opened up to anyone in a long time. You better be sure this is what you want, because if he opens up to you and you change your mind, there won’t be a next time.
“Who was she?”
He looks startled and more than a little confused.
“Who was who?”
“The woman who left you because of your injury.”
He runs a hand through his hair. “Did you have story time with Uncle Wilson today?”
“He told me that I better be sure I know what I’m doing and not break your heart. He didn’t tell me anything else.”
His eyes show a sadness that she’s never seen before. It makes her want to take him in her arms and just hold him. She settles for reaching across the table and setting her hand on top of his.
He hesitates. He begins to speak a few times, but stops himself, as if unsure what to say.
“I’m not going to ruin our date by talking about her,” he finally says. “Now you know that I’m damaged emotionally as well as physically and that’s all you need to know.”
She doesn’t want to let it go, she wants him to open up and trust her. But she realizes that he needs time, so she nods.
“So do you think Chase knew that dominatrix chick on a professional level?” he asks to change the subject.
She laughs and knows that she’ll eventually break down his walls.
All I really need to know is, can I trust you with my heart?
She stayed late to finish up some paperwork. She couldn’t believe how behind the guys had gotten in the few days she had been gone.
Chase and Foreman were pushing her for details about her date with House. Wilson was giving her questioning looks. She didn’t want to talk about it with any of them, didn’t want to let them know they were all right.
Because deep in her heart, she still didn’t think they were.
She smiled to herself as she heard her mother’s voice saying “Allison, you’re such a romantic for someone who’s normally so practical.” She knew she was a little bit crazy for having such faith in House, but she couldn’t help herself.
He had managed to ruin all chance of meaningful conversation on their date. His accusations had stung, even though she knew they weren’t true. It made her sad because she could tell he believed what he was saying. She just didn’t know how to convince him that she actually cared about him.
She was surprised to hear music playing when she stepped out of her office and locked the door. There was usually only one person that stayed this late. And she had to walk past his office on her way out.
He was there. She tried to make herself ignore his presence and keep walking, but then she caught a snatch of lyrics in the song he was listening to.
Don’t break me, I’m broken
She walked into his office against her better judgment. He looked up, startled, when the door opened.
“Dr. Cameron, what are you still doing here?” he asked as he shoved something that he’d been looking at in his desk drawer and spun around to turn off the record player.
“Trying to catch up on the paperwork mess you guys let pile up in my absence.”
“Oh,” he had the decency to look embarrassed. “Sorry about that.”
“Why are you still here?” she asked, ignoring his apology.
He shrugged. She waited to see if he was going to speak, but after a few moments when he was still silent, she turned to leave.
“Have a good night, Dr. House.” She knew she couldn’t force him to talk if he didn’t want to. She’d learned that lesson the hard way.
“Allison, wait,” he called after her.
She stopped, surprised that he called her Allison. She turned to face him.
“Annette said something that made me think.”
“Annette?” she asked, confused for a moment. “The dominatrix?” She became uneasy, wondering if she even wanted to know.
“She said that what they did wasn’t about pain, it was about trust. About opening up to someone completely and trusting them.”
Cameron stared at him, trying to figure out what he could possibly be getting at.
“I think I’m incapable of trusting anyone that completely.”
“Because I did one time and got my heart broken.”
“We’ve all had our hearts broken, House. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take the risk again. That would be like not driving a car because you’ve been in an accident or never being around dogs because you got bit one time.”
He looked at her sadly and said something so quiet that she couldn’t make it out.
“I said I’m willing to try. If I haven’t made you detest me, that is.”
Her eyes widened when she realized the implication of his words.
“I couldn’t detest you,” she said.
They shared a tentative smile. It wasn’t much, but it was a start.
Kiss me too fiercely, hold me too tight
Conversation had been awkward after his little speech. She had fumbled with small talk about the restaurant and food, trying not to think too much about the harsh accusations he made.
He had worn that infuriating and extremely sexy self-satisfied smirk through the rest of the meal. She was torn between wanting to slap it off his face and wanting to kiss him senseless.
She did neither, of course. She was the good girl and she wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of knowing that he had gotten to her so badly. She was relieved when it was time to leave the restaurant though and inadvertently let out a sigh of relief as she settled into his fancy little sports car’s passenger seat.
“Penny for your thoughts, Dr. Cameron,” he said with a smirk.
She glared at him. Well, she tried to. But he looked so damn sexy when he had that superior look on his face that her lips twisted into something resembling a smile. She waited until he started the car and pulled out onto the road before answering.
“I’m trying to decide if I should slap you for what you said or show you how wrong you are.”
He glanced at her out of the corner of his eye, a trace of uneasiness shining through. “How could you possibly show me that?”
The mental images that danced through her mind would have made a hooker blush. She licked her lips and tried to decide how to answer that question.
“Turn right,” she instructed.
“But your place…”
“Turn right,” she said a little more firmly.
His uneasiness increased, but he followed her instructions. “Where are we going?” he asked as the car entered a dark alley.
“Just keep driving.”
They continued down the dark, narrow road for a few minutes. His nervousness was almost palpable and it gave her a strange feeling of power. A smile played at the corner of her lips at the unbidden thought that she wished she had had the foresight to question Annette more closely.
“Turn left here,” she finally spoke.
He leaned forward, trying to see exactly where he was going. There didn’t appear to be another road or even an alley where she was instructing him to turn.
“Cameron…” he started to ask.
“No more questions, Dr. House. You asked how I was going to show you that you were wrong and I am going to show you. Turn off the car.”
He listened to her, though she could tell it was against his better judgment. The place where they stopped was dark and surrounded by trees. He didn’t need to know they were parked in the back alley behind her grandparents’ house.
They sat in silence for a long moment. She could feel the tension radiating from his body. She took a deep breath to fortify herself for what she was about to do.
“You seem nervous, Dr. House,” she said in a low voice.
He glanced in the direction he knew she was, even though he could barely make out her silhouette in the darkness. “Cameron…”
“Stop right there,” she cut him off. “For the rest of tonight, you’ll call me Allison.”
“Okay, Allison,” he said, his voice catching slightly on her name. “What are we doing here?”
“I’m proving to you that you are wrong about me and about yourself.”
“That’s what you said, but I don’t understand how…” his words were cut off by her lips closing over his. He struggled for a moment against the kiss, but stopped when her tongue slid into his mouth.
After several minutes of kissing, she pulled back, leaving him breathless. “If you think a kiss is going to change my mind, Allison…” Again, she didn’t allow him to finish his thoughts, this time by placing her finger against his lips.
“You talk too much Dr. House.”
He moved her finger away and held her hand so she couldn’t put it back. “If I’m calling you Allison, why aren’t you calling me Greg?”
She smiled wickedly. “Because I’m in charge and I’ll call you whatever I want to call you.”
Her words left him speechless for what may have been the first time in history.
“Slide your seat back as far as it will go,” she instructed. He did so without question.
She maneuvered until she was straddling him in his seat. His quick intake of breath snapped her out of her sex kitten attitude.
“Did I hurt your leg?”
“No. I’ll let you know if you do.”
She leaned forward and kissed him again, this time with no resistance from him. As they were kissing, she unbuttoned his shirt and undid his tie. His hands slid around and grabbed her ass, pulling her against him so she felt his arousal. She ground her hips slowly, inspiring a low moan in his throat.
She pulled out of the kiss and slid one hand down between them to cover his erection. “Still think I can’t want you? Still in denial that you don’t want me?”
“It’s just a physiological reaction,” he said, trying desperately to catch his breath.
“So you’re saying that you’d have the same reaction if anyone else had done the same thing?”
“Yeah,” he sounded like he was trying to convince himself as much as her.
“Maybe I should call Chase and have him swing by and test that theory.”
“Chase is a guy, I’m not attracted to guys.”
“Okay, then I’ll call Cuddy.”
“But she’s…” he stopped, accepting defeat.
“Why can’t you admit that you want me?”
“I don’t know.”
“If you tell me to stop right now, I will and you can take me home and we can forget that this ever happened.” She climbed back into her seat and waited for him to say or do something.
Her heart sunk when he turned the car on and backed out of the alley without a word. She’d gambled and lost. She gave him the out and he took it. She blinked back tears and then realized that he had turned the wrong way when they got back to the main street.
“I live in the other direction, House,” she said.
“I know. We’re going to my place to finish this in comfort,” he surprised her with his response.
“My place is closer though,” she argued, “and just as comfortable.”
He looked over and met her eyes as he pulled up to a red light. “I know there are no whips or other instruments of torture at my place though, Allison. I think you’ve been talking to Annette and I’m not taking any chances.”
The light turned green and she put her hand on his knee as she smiled in anticipation at what the night would bring.