Title: Tragic - PT 18
Pairing: House/Cameron
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Cameron's life (Cam's POV) - To talk or not to talk?
Disclaimer: Don't own any of it, just playing...
Note: S2 does not exist in this story.
Beta: Many thanks to the lovely yutamiyu for beta-ing! ;)

Hmm, well, feel a little iffy about this part. I went a bit "off course" but things will be going back on course again (I hope...well, that's the plan!), questions to be answered, timeline moving ahead, etc. I would, of course, as always, love to hear your feedback, thought and comments! S.

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Your head is skimming over the events of the last few weeks, your mother's words echoing through your mind, "Sometimes things happen for a reason," soft reminders falling gently on pillows nudging at your head and heart. Events, angry words and rushed actions tumbled and flowed, ached and hurt, with you tossed like rock down the side of a craggy hill. You lay at the bottom briefly, trying to catch your breath, your skin and soul quickly bruising because of objects you dislodged on your tumble downward; you walked away. Though you were a bit tattered and torn within, you didn't break, although at times you thought you might shatter like glass and you didn't know how you would get through it, didn't see the light, didn't feel warmth.

Now you lay warm, happy, and cozy, face to face naked in bed bathed in the early afternoon sun, close and nearly snuggled with the man you are in love with. You suddenly find it difficult to know exactly what it is you're both supposed to be talking about -- what you, in particular, are to be talking about, telling and sharing with what you hope is and will remain your new lover. This is a promise you made. But you are confused where to start. What started this tumble downward? These difficult weeks? This anger? This fight? The exchange of harsh words?

You wish the slate was clean. It feels clean. It was all about talking and not talking. You don't want to ruin it now. This glow you have within you right now is casting over everything, making everything seem and feel perfect, even though you know this is far from the truth. You don't want to break this spell. It feels too good.

You had already admitted that you both have difficult things to discuss. Maybe being naked in bed together will be a good thing -- neither of you can run away too quickly. After the intimacy, you feel close and connected to House, you hope he feels the same. You both agree that you might hear things that neither of you might not like, but you agree to hear it all the way through. You try not to let worries creep back into your de-stressed body, but you have to bring up your past, because that is a big part of what you need to share with House. And even though the past may have helped you frame your decisions or led you to change your life, it is not who you are today. You ask Greg to remember this, and he looks at you curiously. For the first time, he appears to be trying to clear his slate -- his presumptions -- that he usually carries around with him like defensive armor and weaponry.

He is looking at you a little softer, a little more caring, his eyes with less of an edge, you are not used to this in him, but you are grateful and nervous and still unsure of where to begin. Something in you compels you to reach out and squeeze his hand (you need it more) and quickly kiss his lips; he strokes your hair in return -- the best assurance he can give you right now. And though you feel like a frightened kitten, it's as if he's given you a saucer of warm milk which you lap up gratefully and with fervor and grace.

He listens quietly, seemingly grasping at each word that leaves your mouth, his eyes darkening and narrowing, trying to absorb and consume each word and emotion you dish out, analyzing and processing all in his massive brain. He seems far away as you begin to tell him about you and your family and your life with them. You can see him trying to visualize it, trying to build pieces of the puzzle, figuring out where the holes are, finding the places where he can ask you difficult questions you won't know how to answer. You try your best to describe your destructive and abusively-controlling father, your lovely, strong, yet weak-willed mother, and your brain-washed sister. You try to remain detached from your past, try to keep your emotions tucked away, try not to allow tears to slip past your eyes, you don't want to break down. You try to be a storyteller, an orator of a history that belongs to you. This pains you, but you think this is necessary for you and your heart as long as possible. You still fear being weak in front of House; he's seen you weak so often, you don't need to be a puddle right now.

Now that you are removed from that situation of your difficult family, you don't want to dishonor your mother or her memory, you think she did the best she could with the circumstances that life gave her -- that she tried to give you the best and happiest and normal childhood she could, she really did. And your father, though you do not miss him, you don't hate him either. He is who he is, and he wasn't always a horrible man, sometimes you wonder how he is. You know it's best for him not to be in your life or know about you or where you are, and honestly, at one point it was actually safer for you. House quirks his eyebrow at that comment.

You are hurt most by the absence of your sister and her behavior towards you, especially when your mother was dying. You tell House about the trip you and your husband took to see your mother and how glad you were to see her and how horribly it ended. It pains you just to think of that time, you try to keep it hidden, flowers plucked off her casket pressed in a book that you no longer look at, stored in a hope chest filled with memories that you keep piling in there, opening the lid, shoving them in, trying hard not to look at what else is in there. They are items of remembrance calling to you, calling your name – memories and ghosts echoing off cedar begging to be remembered -- a chest that takes great strength for you to open all the way, to sit and sift through, you fearful of the tears that come from your heart, and the lonely days you often face. (You keep the hope chest and its enclosed memories to yourself, perhaps you'll share it another time. You know House will call you a sentimental fool, especially once he knows a dried white corsage is in there. For now, these are your private secrets and memories.)

You pause, not sure where to go... to tell House about your husband, to tell him about why you and your family are no longer connected, why you changed your name... all of these things helping you choose a path that made you the woman you are today. A fiercely private woman. A woman afraid of so many things: trusting, loving, believing; a woman who is often alone, who has to face many battles by herself, who often has no one to rely on, who is used to running away to save herself, who is used to people leaving her. You know this is what makes you fiercely protective of Pearl... that you will never stop loving her, you will never leave her, you will do anything to protect her... to protect her in ways that you never were.

You look at Greg, his face still open, listening and absorbing. You feel calm still, though emotional at times when talking about your mother, you try to fight that back. You are afraid of opening up, pouring all this out; you keep biting on your bottom lip. You fear giving out all this information, feeding it to House... he the master of manipulation and analysis. You are trusting him greatly here, you hope he realizes how difficult this is for you. He must, right? He hasn't left yet, he hasn't made any snide comments. There is hope... you brighten again... your mind a whirlwind, a roller coaster of emotions.

You pause, and he patiently waits. For an anxious and fidgety man, you are surprised by his generosity. He is constantly surprising you this weekend, giving you so very much; just compassionate and being warm... it's so unusual, but you're enjoying it. It makes you so happy. You know you deserve it, it warms you from within. You look at his face, so close and so intimate with you it sprouts a happiness from you that brings tears of happiness to your eyes. You quickly blink them back, your lashes wet, as you smile, and lean forward and kiss the corner of his mouth, the bristles on his face brushing roughly on your lips. He rubs your bare shoulder and kisses you back, an encouragement to continue.

But your mind is lost, you feel a downward black spiral and you are falling into it. You see in the darkness those familiar perches that you would sometimes cling to, safely land upon for awhile, giving you time to breathe and search for the light and your sanity. You're afraid. You do not know how to proceed. You don't know how to tell House about your husband, your relationship with him, and your complicated family life often interfering and damaging your life and your plans and your happiness. Besides, there are some things, some details about your marriage that are private. You loved your husband, he'll always occupy a part of your heart and soul. You know he's your history, and you plan on keeping it that way, but it's yours and part of it is just private...special to you. But how can you be sure that when you explain everything to Greg, he'll understand? About your husband, his age, his illness, your circumstances, and your family? How will he not think you search only for one kind of man, that you're not only attracted to older men, damaged men, and men who might be able to take care of you – all these things he suggested... so wrong, but seemingly so obvious?

Your mind flashes back to what has brought you two together in the last year or more. You facing false happiness, then tragedy, and depression; House at your side, guiding you, helping you, being there for you without you asking, without you knowing that he cared enough to try to be a friend to you, to care for you. You giving birth to your greatest gift, and he there all along -- there feeling your expanding, kicking belly, waking up in the middle of the night for Pearl's delivery, cutting her umbilical cord, holding her first before handing her to you. Your mind is a flipping scrapbook of dark and sunny days and unexpected memories, a growing, unforeseen friendship that you secretly worshiped and treasured that held your days and guided you through times and difficulties you never expected; House doing things for you that you would have never asked for, things you would have never dreamed of asking for. He became your best friend, the cheerleader and coach during your misery, the safe keeper of all that could be lost. He was guardian over your pregnancy and child, fighting for Pearl and her rights with Stacey before you even understood what was happening. He agreed to take on potential responsibilities with barely a blink of an eye. He sacrificed his normalcy, what usually keeps him ticking, to stay with you and your newborn infant so you had time to rest and get adjusted. And during all this time, you two bonded and were happy. You constantly feared losing him and you constantly wanted to hide, even though he gave you no reason to. He was there with unusual and unspoken open arms and support, loving your child, and being a better friend to you than you have had since Cameron passed away. Being a better friend to you then you were to him. Why be afraid now? Why? You feel immensely lonely when he's not around, you need to stop being so afraid...

"What's wrong?" He runs a finger along your cheek, lifting your chin toward him.

You shake your head; you don't know. But there are tears that wet your lashes. Your throat feels tight.

"Are you afraid I'm going to judge you?" he asks calmly.

Suddenly all the spinning stops. Maybe a little, you tell him.

"I'm not," he tells you. He rolls on his back, his arm still around you. "Allison, I should have not said all those things to you..."

You whisper that he could have asked.

"Yeah, I know... I delve into everyone else's personal history... I just couldn't, and you just didn't seem to keen on sharing it."

It's been hard, you tell him.

"I can see that." He looks at you, rolls back on his side. "I don't want to force you...and you know I'm a nosy bastard."

He gets a giggle from you.

"C'mere." He pulls you close. "When you're ready, you can tell me all about it. Or you can tell me about it in bits and pieces."

You feel warm and safe in his arms. You always wondered if you would know this feeling. He kisses your neck and holds your body close.

"Don't worry, I'm big and scary myself, so I don't scare easy, okay?"

You laugh against his body. Okay.

He pulls away and lays his head against the pillow, his eyes closed shut, squeezing something out, a facial expression that you don't recognize. You reach up and ruffle his hair with your fingertips and quickly kiss his lips.

You tell him you were afraid, that you are afraid. You lay back so you're lying side by side. You've been afraid of a lot of things.

You don't know where to start, but you find yourself pulling up fears that you had long forgotten about. You start pouring everything in your mind and heart out like sand from a broken hourglass. Of course, you worry that you're overwhelming him, and you tell him this. You were afraid that he cared more for the baby then for you. You were confused about everything you were feeling and going through. You were confused about House and his place in your life, your growing bond and friendship and your feelings. His actions affected your heart, you didn't always understand what he was doing and they didn't always come with explanations. You've been in love with him longer then you can remember, but for a long time now you have struggled to talk about your feelings for him. Any approach you made toward him in intimacy, you felt shut-out by him. You tried to deny how you felt, to put it away, but you never could.

You hate that he knows you so well, that he can read you like a book; you're afraid of being weak in front of him, though he has seen you falter too many times since Ryan died, you facing emotions and breakdowns you've never expected, pent up pain spilling over. He surprised you; you never expected his support. He hurt you at times, sometimes you understood, sometimes you didn't; you didn't want to play those games with him, especially not anymore. Things between you two were always complicated, never easy; there was never an easy explanation to how you got somewhere, no easy answer to how some miscommunication came about, or how or why you missed him, it just was. Your mind is so jumbled, words, ideas, thoughts, feelings, flowing like free water through an open spout...

"Cameron," he cuts you off, "there is so much I want to know...and I'm sure there are a lot of things you want me to share, which is hard for me... but I just need to be around. Because when I'm not around you and around Pearl, I start thinking and I do it way too much, and it's not good."

You wipe your tears away with your fingers and clear your mind and open yourself to listen to him.

"You know me equally as well." He turns and glances at you. "In a lot of ways, that perhaps you realize or don't realize... but this is going to be difficult for me, and I'm only going to say this once: I'm going to need your help. You're going to have to call me when you can and force me to make plans to see you if I seem reluctant, because it's not that I am. It's because during our time apart my mind overtook me and over-analyzed everything."

You understand what he is saying, and it clicks with you. You can see in your mind the times that he has done this, your presence often an obstacle to stopping this process, somehow.

"When I'm not around you, I start thinking about things I shouldn't think about," he sighs sadly, "like how old I feel sometimes and how young and beautiful you are..."

You reach across and put your arm across his chest, wanting to warm him in whatever way you can.

"I think about jog-strollers, and running after toddlers, and you wanting to go dancing one day, and your blossoming career, and the fact that I hate change." You kiss his shoulder lightly. "And I think how could you possibly want me, when you could have a good looking music teacher, albeit with no income, but he's decently good looking, seems nice to your kid, has two good legs and can go out in blizzards for you when you need him to?"

Greg...

"Allison...there's just so many things..."

You know, but...

"I'm just saying, this is how my brain works, and logically I know how insane it sounds, which is why I said I'll need your help, and it's not easy for me to ask for that...so stamp it in your head." He smiles at you weakly.

You pull him into an embrace that he accepts. It's a start for both of you. And neither of you are perfect, you'll just have to take it one step at a time, right? Besides, he likes to make you breakfast, he adores your daughter, you melt when he calls her "munchkin" and you miss him heart and soul when you're without him. Now you can see how he misses you in his own deranged and demented way.

"So, you really like older men?"

You aren't prejudiced against age, you respond smugly. In fact, you tell him, your husband would have been older than him.

"Oh, really?" He smirks. "You are interesting creature, Dr. Cameron."

Perhaps, you shrug.

But perhaps you aren't. Perhaps you're just someone who has been down a twisted road of life. Taken a journey that has led you places you never planned on going, experienced things most people never do. You would like to think you're "normal," and for the most part you are. But you have suffered, and you have been alone more then most people; you've been through more in your thirty-odd years then some have been in their lifetimes. And House has been too. Somehow you think this makes you alike, kindred spirits, how you understand and crave each other. You two keep tumbling into each others lives... things keep happening that bring you together, pulling you together. Really just the two of you pulling, no, reaching out to each other in need and want. Or should you start believing that your mother is watching out over you, causing 'Fate' to intercede – causing 'things to happen for a reason.' You don't know. You just know that you know you have a lot to figure out in time.

END PT 18