Beautiful Disaster.

Disclaimer: don't own any of the characters, or the song. The song is 'Beautiful Disaster', sung by Kelly Clarkson.

He drowns in his dreams

An exquisite extreme I know

He's as damned as he seems

More heaven than a heart could hold

Cameron sat quietly on her sofa, switching between reading a medical journal and a novel. Since she started studying at college, she had never been able to read one thing at a time. It was an odd trait, she knew. But it helped keep her brain occupied, and for some reason things seemed to sink in better. Barefoot despite the cold of winter, she had her feet tucked beneath her grey track pants, one of her husband's old shirts wrapped around her. While he had been in no way a big man, she was so small huddled in a corner, that the shirt almost wrapped around her twice. Stifling a yawn, Cameron closed her books and pulled off her reading glasses. The old radio she kept in the kitchen rattled off a weather report. Looks like we might have a white Christmas after all. The last time Princeton had a white Christmas was when… But it would be nice to see some snow. The winter so far had brought nothing but rain, fog and the occasional hail. Cameron let her head drop back onto the back of the couch and closed her eyes. The night before Christmas Eve was one Cameron could only ever spend alone. She followed her routine strictly.

Eggnog and Christmas Carols after work, followed by an hour or so of watching the home movie of her first Christmas as a married woman. Steve had followed her around with the camcorder, both of them laughing as she pulled the turkey out of the oven with flourish only to find that it was still half-raw – the gas bottle had run apparently run out. Her first Christmas with her new husband and they had eaten microwave dinners.

After that, Cameron would start to decorate the tree – a fake, she couldn't bring herself to kill a real one. The angel at the top was from her parent's tree, made out of a polystyrene ball and a cone of cardboard by herself at the age of five.

Once the decorations were up, it would be a glass of red wine and some reading. Then, on to bed. This was the real reason she kept to the routine so strictly. Because on the same night for the past six years, Stephen came to her in her dreams. Not in the psychic way, just as memories. She never knew when the dream started, just that at the end, she looked across in the morning light filtering into the bedroom and saw Steve, Peaceful. Beautiful. Dead. She woke up crying. For some reason Christmas Eve never got any easier. People always told her it would get better with time.

Yet Allison never feared Christmas Eve, knowing what it would bring. When she had to be around people during the day she was hollow, like a shell of a human, functioning on auto-pilot. It was only when she got back to her apartment at night that she felt like a human being again.

This particular night, the routine was almost finished. Cupping the base of the wine glass, Cameron swirled it around before swallowing the dregs of smooth merlot. Sighing, she stood and moved to the kitchen, putting the glass in the sink and turning off the transistor. Time for bed.

The dream came as expected that night, but the next morning Cameron woke with a smile on her face. She hummed a little to herself as she fixed breakfast. It was all okay. Steve hadn't died in the end of this one. He was there, smiling, wishing her a merry Christmas Eve. The smile didn't leave Cameron's face until she walked into the office an hour later. Yes, it was a Saturday, but the patient they were treating didn't want to recognize that, apparently. He had taken a turn for the worse overnight, and the whole team was back in to determine a new diagnosis. As she made coffee, fixing it just how her boss liked it, an acerbic voice cut over her shoulder.

"Oh goody, it's Christmas. Look, my heart is going all warm and fuzzy with merriment. Or perhaps that's the brandy." Cameron ignored her boss's barbed comment. "Christmas carols Cameron? Does this place look like a shopping mall? Actually, don't answer that… I think the janitors and Cuddy have conspired to kill all the patients with a tinsel overdose so they don't need to work tomorrow."

Cameron blushed when she realized she had been singing softly. It wasn't that she had a bad voice, it was just that the only lyrics she could remember to 'Joy to the World' were the schoolyard version. She spun around and passed House his coffee.

"Good Morning Dr. House." The greeting, while perhaps a little stiff and formal, was satisfying. If just for the look on his face when he realized he wasn't getting a rise out of her.

"Well aren't you just the merry little elf." Still nothing. "What, no candy canes this year? A little overly politically-correct aren't we?" Ah. A look of embarrassment crossed her face as she remembered what had happened the year before when she had offered him a candy cane. For once he watched in quiet amazement as Cameron left the room without another word. There were no tears, no angry biting of lips, just a curt-yet-polite nod of the head and she left him to his demons. She had to do something about him, it had taken Steve to help her see that, but she knew it now.

And if I tried to save him

My whole world would cave in

Just ain't right

Just ain't right

Oh and I don't know

I don't know what he's after

But he's so beautiful

He's such a beautiful disaster

And if I could hold on

Through the tears and the laughter

Would it be beautiful?

Or just a beautiful disaster

Hopefully will be 3 parts, one going up on Xmas eve, and one on Xmas day. Don't count on it tho, cos i'm working all day tomorrow and will be out most of sunday. Please R&R though... i need to know what you think!