Pairing: Robert Chase/Allison Cameron
Theme set: Epsilon
Rating: PG-13 (aka, T), probably. Spoilers for 2x07 Hunting, 2x08 The Mistake, and 2x24 No Reason.
For the 1sentence challenge. Yeah, starting down that slippery slope towards dabbling in TV fandoms. Oh noes. D: And can't believe it took me this long to post. Oh well. And only (29. Safe) has spoilers for the finale, if that worries you.
They go through all the motions of being two colleagues and nothing more, but they definitely are not fooling anyone at their workplace – especially not House or the nurses.
Calm and cool and collected, all the time, she thought of him, until the first time they had drinks after work and the alcohol loosened his tongue.
Young but not crazily in love, she thinks, just something emptier like apathy and lust.
Every time he says that it will be the last time, but then she calls him at night soon after and he’s driving to her place yet again before he even notices.
“You’re wrong, it’s not lupus, it’s never lupus,” he sighs, but she just glares at him, bruised haughtiness and all, and Foreman just gives him the eyebrow; however, he knows House is right, and House is always right, so why do his colleagues always doubt him in times where he needs their support the most?
The kiss feels even more gentle than it actually is, because all he remembers is that incident where she pinned him against the wall.
Chase looks at House and he knows that only one of them will walk out with her, Cameron looks at them both and wonders if she has to go with either of them at all; House, on the other hand, looks at them both and wonders how stupid they can possibly be.
It’s a thousand-to-one odds that they’ll make it out of this unscathed, unburned, but neither of them have really played with fire before and so they don’t know what that actually means.
“Checkmate,” Chase says triumphantly, and he watches her glare at him most amusingly (and in a kind of cute way, also) before she demands a rematch.
There are many things Cameron doesn’t know about Chase, but she knows she’s in trouble when the more she manages to find out about him, the more intrigued she becomes.
For Cameron, PPTH’s diagnostics office becomes too stagnating and she leaves; for Chase, she is the first to go in a blur of many other fellows and doctors passing through the department that he’ll never walk away from.
He can’t and shouldn’t wait for her any more because it’ll never happen, and calls his Friday night date instead to make sure she’ll show up.
“Got any loose change?” he asks her, and when he pops the coins into the vending machine and gets her the type of candy bar she likes the most in addition to his chocolate, she smiles.
“Command and conquer, troops,” House said grandly, “and for you two, I mean divide,” he shot at Chase and Cameron, who glared and perhaps even reddened.
He holds her, really holds her, buries his head in her neck and her hair, and it’s more about a connection and she doesn’t know what to give to reassure him, and then his arms relax and the moment passes.
He doesn’t need her any more than she needs this, is what he’d like to think, but it doesn’t change the fact that he’s caught up in this never-ending cycle of mistakes and mistakes and love-lust without meaning, and he needs to forget that fact as well.
If she turns ever so slightly enough that Chase appears in her peripheral line of sight, she knows she’ll see him looking in her direction, and the thought makes her futilely focus on her work.
Chase has his attention on Cameron has her attention on House has his attention on the white board while inwardly smirking at the two and unconsciously contemplating ways to make them splutter, and Foreman looks at them all and wonders how, how, how did the Diagnostics department turn into this mini drama sitcom, and how did he get in it anyway?
Damnation’s a funny thing, because there’s what happened with his mother and father and Cameron as well and Chase isn’t sure if he’s stuck in purgatory or a deeper level of hell.
Neither of them bother to picture what the future would be like beyond tomorrow; she’s learned that eternal things like marriage can’t be taken for granted, and he’s learned that when things he never expects to be there disappear for good, it’s not quite the same.
Chase might’ve been the only one in diagnostics to fuck up so much and it might’ve screwed him over with more than just his job, but as he watched House and Cameron shooting discreet glares at each other in their little battle, he felt like they were more foolish than he was for once.
There’s a point where you’re completely aware right before you tip over into insanity and never come back; she’s just not sure if this is that moment right before, or if the last one was, or the last time, or the last mistake, or the last rendezvous with him and she’s been crazy all this time.
She could hardly look at him after that incident with Andie, which completely baffled him to no end; it was just a kiss for a dying girl, so what was the big deal?
Cameron could blame her actions on the fact that she’s choosing to live in the now rather than what might and might never be – she’s used that excuse many times in the past because it was more than convenient, but while it justifies her marriage and her dead husband, she’s not sure if it can ever justify whatever she and Chase have now.
He can see her – around every corner, in exam room one, walking in the parking garage, sitting in the diagnostics room with the blinds three-quarters shut, and then when he closes his eyes she’s there too, and he knows this is a problem and it’s all gone just too far.
He doesn’t say goodbye, she doesn’t say see you later; they see each other the next morning and all they do is nod.
They could live one of those lives of normalcy, she tells herself, one of the ones with the house and the cars, and if they wanted to go there, the two kids and the white picket fence; they really maybe one day could and it’d even be kind of nice, she adds to the picture when she’s had one glass too many.
Cameron didn’t think he’d bring up his father or his inheritance ever again until she heard him say after the third drink, “That’s why I lost it all…he said I’d have to go back and stay to get anything and it just wasn’t worth it in the end.”
Her work environment of all places is supposed to make her feel secure, despite the guy from death row and the various outbreaks and patients who cough AIDS-infected blood on her, but it’s not until the event with the gun really shakes her up and it’s up to Chase to grab her arm and remind her “Cameron, it’s House, he’ll be fine; he’s too grumpy to die anyway” to distract her from the dangers of everyday work.
They meet five years later at a medical gathering, and while her coworkers are swooning over him and he’s smiling his trademark smile, she’s just reminded of a ghost of the past and all of the mistakes that just won’t leave her alone.
She sets her glasses aside and switches off the light, turning to tell him sorry for keeping him up so late, but as she shifts the covers he’s bunched up over his head she finds that he’s already asleep.
Sometimes, it’s as though his eyes change color depending on the light, and it’s disconcerting for her to look into them because they always remind her of what she’s done wrong, what she’s done to him.
“I never…” he says, then decides with a glint in his eye, “have not fallen in love with anyone until now,” and she only gapes at him with nothing coherent buzzing in her mind as he knocks back his shot in one go.
They sing songs of love and hate and temptation on the radio, and she finds that she’s unconsciously listening for which one sounds the most like whatever it is that she and he are like.
He simply called that night and said that he couldn’t do this – whatever they were doing – any more, and after he hung up, without knowing why, she just started to cry.
He can’t say no to her, never could, and she knows it and used him for it but never realized until now that she could never say the same to him as well.
Ten years from now they’ll probably be at separate ends of the earth with hardly a memory of each other, and that just makes their makeshift relationship (if you could even call it one) that much easier to accept.
There is no way that he can scrub the fragrance of booze and the underlying smell of blood and death out of his skin, and though he expected House to accost him in the hallway about the whole thing, she was the one who approached him with worry and a frown first.
There is no question about who Cameron loves; Chase thinks it’s House, House is sure it’s Chase, and everyone else knows who she slept with anyway.
Kingdoms topple, royalty falls, countries fight, things that shouldn’t happen more than once do all the same, and Cameron knows she’s never been good with that subject anyway.
And the worst thing about it, he thought, as he accidentally choked back too much coffee for the third time this morning because of her, was that he couldn’t even tell if she knew that she had this much power over him or not.
Foreman’s somewhere in the space between a friend and a colleague (she’s not sure which one she thinks is more correct), House is a boss who she’s gotten over (really she has) and is probably not a friend, but Chase is the one she’s not sure about (and she hasn’t bothered to figure it out since it’s too complicated for a simple boundary line like that).
He probably doesn’t believe in God any more and she just won’t, so it makes sense that two people without faith like them are stumbling blindly into her apartment like it’s the closest thing to belief they’ll ever reach.
The music’s loud and pounding and he can feel it from the wall she’s pinned him against and he knows what she’s doing, but details like this really can’t get in her way.
For several days afterwards she can’t look at him without remembering everything that’s under his lab coat and shirt and mismatched tie, but at least she’s stopped blushing.
“Come on, let’s have some fun,” he says with that grin that she just can’t deny, and he’s the one driving the car anyway; the wind’s rushing against her face blowing back her hair, and the rush of the moment’s just that intoxicating before they hit the red light.
They’re supposed to ‘do no harm’ and they have the medical degrees to prove it, but if that’s the truth, both of them think, then what are they doing to each other?
She harbors precious illusions about good and bad, right and wrong, fucking up and making it through, and after today’s nasty verbal joust with House where he tried to make those walls come down, she’s really glad that Chase is perfectly willing to leave it alone in companionable silence.
“You can’t possibly be a good cook,” she says mischievously as his back’s to her, but then he brings the plates over and goes, “Maybe, but unlike you, I can use a cookbook to save my life.”
She can believe that this is real and good and well or she can believe that it’s nothing more than an accident waiting to happen, but despite the benefits to the first option and the drawbacks to the second, she still wonders if she’s just lost more than her faith in God.
The problem I have with my sentences is that so many of them are the same, especially since just as many draw from 2x07 Hunting. Argh.
Bah. But uhm. A lot of these were crack, obviously. And it’s more of an alternate pairing than a canon one (not as though any of the House ones are “canon”, I guess), which might explain it. Me and my strange love for these alternates lately. I laugh when I look at the ones that make Chase seem jealous or insecure. I like a few of these, actually. That surprises me.
Hope you (at least somewhat) enjoyed, and comments are wonderful things. Thanks :)