Title: Revelations of a Cranky Diagnostician

Author: Stephanie (AKA Damara)

Rating: K+

Disclaimer: I do not claim any ownership of the characters contained herein, they belong to Fox, and the creators of House.

Summary: House/Cameron, episode continuation for "Love Hurts". Until now, Dr. Gregory House could convince himself that a life alone was what he really wanted…

Author's Notes: Hey all! This story is my first House fic and is actually set post-"Love Hurts" (back in the first season). What can I say…I just loved all the tension and wish they'd ended it differently! Hence this little ditty! This is my continuation of the episode and once complete it will probably end up somewhere around 2-3 chapters. This first chapter is more reflective and begins with a direct quote from the episode; Chapter 2 will have more dialogue. Hope you enjoy what you read here…and please please pretty please leave me the feedback! I'm insatiable when it comes to the stuff :o)

It's about being open…completely vulnerable to another person. If you can learn to be that deeply trusting…it changes you.

Damn if those words weren't still ringing in his ears.

Sitting safely hidden within the darkness of his office, Gregory House reclined in his worn black leather chair; the slow crooning of yet another lethargic ballad whispering in the background, the tempo somehow functioning to organize his thoughts.

There he sat, cane propped against the wall beside him as the melody encircled him, lifted him up and seemingly stole him away from the haunting reminder that he was exactly where he wanted to be. To most other people it would seem depressing, watching him bask in his glorious solitude. But strangely, moments like these provided him with a modicum of comfort. He found solace in the security that being alone afforded him, however unsatisfying or temporary it was.

Now reflecting back he'd spent years convincing not only his friends, but also himself that he preferred the solitude. If asked he would be the first to admit that he could care less about forming personal attachments. They always proved to be too messy anyway. It was better this way; he didn't have to worry about what other people thought about him, and better still he didn't have to care.

No. This, he decided, was what made him a great doctor. It was what set him apart from so many of his colleagues. Ironically, it was also what kept him alone and miserable.

Trying to shake off the reminder, he told himself to get over it! So what if he wasn't the poster boy for all things warm and fuzzy. And maybe he'd never have another meaningful relationship with a woman as long as he lived, but he was perfectly content with his life.

Wasn't he?

He'd thought so; right up until Allison Cameron vowed to destroy his solitude.

Damn that woman's optimism.

Try as he might he couldn't break it. Through all his grouchiness and negativity she'd persisted, convinced that she could make him admit that he cared. Little had she known that every thoughtful gesture she'd made in the last year had gently been whittling away at his bitter resolve, piece by piece. And through it all he couldn't decide what was more infuriating…the eagerness with which she sought his approval, or the certainty that he would ultimately lose any battle of wills she waged.

It didn't help that she was convinced that he secretly loved her, and that he was just too afraid to confess that he actually needed another human being.

And that was the real bitch of it; because even if he wouldn't admit it, he did love her. And apparently he was an utter failure when it came to hiding it.

Faced with his own inadequacies, he'd figured it best to let her go on thinking he didn't have feelings for her. Any fool could see that she deserved far better than anything he could hope to offer her.

Besides…she didn't need any more heartbreak. And even more than that, he wouldn't be the one responsible for killing that overly optimistic light in her eyes. Not that that could ever change the fact that he loved her; especially considering that after their date the other night, it was clear to him that he needed her more now than ever.

He just couldn't do anything about it. And yet neither could he deny the effect she had on him.

If confronted he'd never actually admit it, but Allison Cameron had a way of making his lonely existence more tolerable. Most days the mere thought of her made him unhinged; he was literally driven to distraction every time she walked in the room.

And yet, determined as he was to keep her at arms length…the question ringing in his mind now wasn't how she'd managed to color his dreary world, but why? What about him had made her keep in her pursuit to convince him that he was worth the effort? God knew he'd tried every weapon in his arsenal to push her away…bitterness, mockery, sarcasm, even cruelty. All his old friends had failed him where Cameron was concerned. And for the life of him, he couldn't figure out why.

He wondered if he'd ever understand how one piercing look from her could unravel him. He hadn't asked for her interference in his life. He hadn't even welcomed it. Things were exactly how he'd liked them without her trying to meddle her way into his psyche. In fact, until she'd appeared he'd enjoyed the monotony of his routine.

It was simple.


He'd done complicated before and learned that relationships were too damn unpredictable. The last time he'd made the mistake of trusting someone he loved, he was lucky to limp away from it with most of his dignity intact.

He wouldn't make that mistake twice.

And then it hit him.

Was that his problem?

Was he really so afraid that if he took a chance on Cameron that she'd blindside him like Stacy had? Reasonably he knew that the idea was ludicrous. They were two completely separate sets of circumstances, two different women. But nonetheless he'd be a coward to deny that the possibility haunted him.

Would Cameron break his heart?

He didn't think she would, but then the question became did he have the balls to find out? He wasn't sure he had the stamina for it. Nor was he sure that he could limp away from another train wreck if things didn't work out.

As he sat lazily in the darkness, the possibilities whirled over him, and House couldn't escape one lingering question…

What would ultimately be more paralyzing? Would it be that he might have to relive the agony of a broken heart? Or was it instead that he might be this miserable for the rest of his life? And all because he was too chicken shit to reach out and grab the lifeline that was dangling right in front of him!

Could he sustain a life of bitter solitude?

He didn't know.

And more importantly, he didn't think he wanted to find out…