1Disclaimer: House M.D. isn't mine.

Everyone who knew her thought Allison Cameron was kind, gentle, and way too sensitive to be a doctor. And maybe that was who she was. The only problem was that she didn't know. Allison had spent her entire life trying on various personas, and as a result, had no idea who she really was.

When she was small, she'd been silly and somewhat crazy, the one who made all the adults laugh and smile at how cute she was. But then things began to change, and she changed with them. Her mother died and her father practically drowned himself in whiskey each night, and she didn't want to be silly and cheery, to make people smile. All she wanted was to get through the day without breaking down.

That had been when she learned to hide. Her high school years, she was a ghost, walking the halls unnoticed. She liked it like that. Everyone left her alone, and no one pried into her secret sorrows.

In college, she rehashed childhood in some ways. She was cheery again, but a cheerfulness that held some maturity to it. She wasn't hopelessly giddy, but she was happy. And when she met Brian Cameron, he was an anchor, someone so confident in who he was that she hoped he could give her the same kind of certainty. She didn't marry him to fix him, to make sure he didn't die alone. She married him in the vain hope that he could show her who she was.

When he died, she was more lost than ever before. And when she went to work at the Mayo Clinic, she threw everything she had into her work. She was focused and dedicated, she did what she had to and made no bones about it. She was the 'perfect doctor'.

Then she came to Princeton-Plainsboro. And it all fell away. All the lies and facades she put up. Suddenly, it was too hard to give patients bad news, unbearable because she knew how they felt. Because she could remember holding the hand of a man she loved as he died and because she remembered her father's face when he got the call that had changed their lives forever, the one that said her mother had died in a car crash. For years, she'd suppressed it all, but now it was back, and she couldn't seem to move on.

Nor could she seem to get over this ridiculous attraction to Greg House. It was stupid, and it killed her every day to see him and know he'd never return her feelings, but she just couldn't stop. Just like she couldn't stop replaying all the bad memories of her life over and over again in her head.

And that was when it hit her. No, this fragile woman she'd become was not her. At least, this wasn't who she ought to be. This woman on the edge of collapse was simply the fallout of a life spent trying to be everything she wasn't instead of finding out who she was. She'd run too long, played too many games. And it was too late now to find herself.

A/N: OK, this is my first House fic. R&R, people!