1"They like you. Everyone likes you." House said, and began to walk away.
"Do you?" Cameron asked him, causing him to stop for a minute before turning to face her. She gazed into his blue eyes longingly waiting for a reply. "I have to know." Cameron told him.
"No." He spoke evenly as he watched her face fall.
She nodded at him said, "Ok," then turned and walked away with as much dignity as she could find.
He watched her walk away, down the hall. Her back was so straight, it seemed she would break if anyone touched her. He stood there and stared; always watching, never doing, touching or talking. "Dammit." He muttered to himself and walked in the other direction.
He watched her when she wasn't looking. When no one was looking, he memorized her movements. They way her hair moved. The way she tucked her hands in her pockets when she was nervous or upset. He would catch her looking at him, she would blush and turn away. His heart would stop and he would look at the floor.
He found himself straining to hear her voice. The smooth cadence of it, like balm on his broken soul. The words didn't matter; it was the tone. One that she had gradually stopped using with him. Their conversations had become short and clipped. He would ask for something, she would deliver. He never asked for what he really needed, he knew she would deliver that too.
Every time she turned and walked away, it was as if she had a spine of steel, and perhaps she did. She put up with him, cared for him, wanted him for some ungodly reason. When no one was around, when she didn't think he was watching, she slumped.
Alone in her lab, she slumped over the microscope, trying to focus on the slide, but never really seeing it. She hunched her shoulders in defeat and in resignation to the fact that she wanted something she couldn't have. She loved a man that couldn't love her back. One that loved someone else. Someone who couldn't or wouldn't love him back in return.
A single tear slipped down her face, but she didn't feel it. She felt nothing these days but bitterness and pain. She was turning into House. She tried to fight it, to deny the fact, but there it was. She wasn't addicted to Vicodin, but alcohol and pain were her drug of choice.
Resting her forehead on the eye piece she sighed. She was so tired of being alone. So tired of loving, and getting nothing in return. She was empty.
House stood outside the lab, looking through the glass at the lonely figure hunched over the microscope. For the last few months, he had watched that light in her eyes dim, until recently it died out all together. He was the cause of it.
Him with his angst, bitterness and selfishness. He pulled away from her when all he wanted to do was run to her, have her wrap her arms around him and tell him it was ok. Tell him that she understood why he couldn't be what she wanted. Let him off the hook. Let him go.
He couldn't stand to watch her anymore, to watch the pain that crossed her face every time she saw a happy couple. Or the way she would straighten even more when Stacy would come by, and the way she slouched more when she was gone.
He tasted the bitterness of bile in the back of his throat, and he hated himself for what he was doing to her - what she was letting him do to her. He wanted to shake her, to tell her to wake up and move on...to find someone who deserved her love, but he couldn't bring himself to do it.
His hand was shaking as he reached for the door. He stopped to look at it like it was foreign to him and needed to be removed. Cameron looked up and caught his reflection in the glass and watched him turn and walk away. Another silent tear fell.
With her stomach upset and her heart empty, she collected her stuff from the lab and made her way back to her desk. She noticed his light was still on, but she didn't bother to go and see him. She grabbed her purse and her keys and walked out the door, but she couldn't help herself from turning to look into his office.
Their eyes met and she thought she read a silent apology for not being what she needed. She gave a quick nod on her part and she kept on walking. Always walking away, head held high, heels clicking on the tile of the empty hallway. The glass gleaming back the harsh glow of the fluorescent lights. She caught her reflection and stopped dead in her tracks.
Her clothes hung on her, she had lost weight, when she had none to spare. There were dark shadows under her eyes and they refused to shine. Her hair hung limp down her back, which ached from her tense muscles. She gasped and watched more silent tears fall. She heard a noise and turned toward it. Their eyes met yet again, hers holding a look of shock, his reflecting his shame.
She shook her head and ran down the hall, away from him. Away from his damned eyes and her overwhelming need for him. She ran out the door and to her car. She drove quickly to her house and ran inside, into her bathroom. She pulled out her scale, stripped and stepped on. 100 pounds. She gagged and then threw up. How could she have let herself get like this. She had lost 10 pounds. She was a stick. Her hip bones were sticking out painfully, her collarbone shockingly evident. Why hadn't someone said anything? Why had everyone remained silent?
A knock at her door broke her from her thoughts. She threw on a robe and silently opened the door. Their they stood, staring at each other, not saying a word. Their eyes were filled with pain and so many other emotions, that it was impossible to sort through them all. She stepped aside and let him in. He closed the door softly behind him and continued to look at her.
As she looked up into his eyes, a silent tear fell and he wiped it away with the pad of his thumb. She caught his hand and brought his fingers to her mouth, kissing them one by one. He just stood there, watching her, his heart breaking for what he was about to do, what he had been doing to her all along.
He slid his hand out of her grasp and dropped his cane on the floor. He slowly untired the belt of her robe and let it fall silently to the floor. His eyes moved over her, making her want to cover up. She was embarrassed by the state of her body, but she would die before she gave him the idea she didn't want him.
His fingers traced the lines of her body, his index finger grazing her collarbone with a worried look in his eyes. Lower, he brushed her ribs, each evident against her too pale flesh. The thick thatch of dark curls made her skin look translucent. He grabbed her by the waist, pulling her close; his thumbs were on the bones of her hips and she trembled. A pleading look came into her face and he could tell that she wasn't pleading for him, but for a reprieve from his sharp tongue.
He kissed her then, gently, afraid he would break her frail body. He buried his hands in her hair and felt her bony fingers work on his clothing. He needed this as much as she did. He had to touch her to feel alive again, even if it was only for a brief moment, only one night. He needed to feel something, anything again.
He nibbled down her neck and stopped to pull a rosy nipple into his mouth. Her breasts were smaller too. He had never seen her naked before, but he could tell that there was nothing left of her. They broke apart long enough for her to pull his jacket and shirts off, then she started to kiss his chest. She stopped to lavish his nipple and heard him gasp. Her fingers fumbled with his belt and pants, finally unzipping and spreading the offending material.
She grasped him, long and thick into her hands. He moaned and she quickly began to push his jeans down over his slender hips. He stepped out of his pants and stood blissfully naked in front of her. Neither spoke as they bared their souls and their battle scars to one another. Finally she grasped his hand and led him to her bedroom, just down the hall.
The lights were off, the darkness complete as she laid down on the bed and waited for him to enter her. He kissed her once more, and then she felt him probing at her entrance. She opened further for him and sighed as he slowly entered her. Deep and slow he began to move. His hands were strong and possessive, but never harsh. He held her tightly, almost like he was afraid she would slip away, through his fingers. His thrusts were deep and quick, but never frantic. Taking his time, he relished in the feel of her heat surrounding him, milking him; making him feel alive again.
They clung to one another as they came together. Each felt the silent tears sliding down their faces, and prayed that the other didn't see and wouldn't know. Chests burned and eyes stung. Emotions threatened to choke out all air, without letting the other know. House got up, following the light, quickly dressed and left as silently as he came.
Three weeks later, Cameron stepped on the scale again. 108. She closed her eyes and sighed. A knock on the door broke into her thoughts and she smiled. It was the silent knowing smile of a woman who finally found the one thing she wanted out of life. The man she loves.