Fandom / Pairing: House, M.D. ; H/C-ish, but not really
Summary: Did you ever wonder if the person in the puddle is real, and you're just a reflection of him?
Notes: A strange thing that his me at like 6.30 in the morning. Normally, I absolutely hate blatant symbolism like this, but it kept bugging me, so here it is.
Disclaimer: House no mine. No sue, no sue!
He had veered from the jogging path.
Normally, he followed the winding trail through the park, sometimes taking a left instead of a right, but today he had veered off completely and found himself jogging through a residential area.
The streets were eerily quiet, but he didn't mind. People were simply nuisances, anyway. The sound of his sneakers on the pavement was comforting, a steady rhythm of ones and twos and syncopated breathing.
One particularly ramshackle building boasted a new fence. Beautiful golden pine stained to preserve its color. Shiny new and perfect, it marveled in its superiority to its surroundings. It gleamed in the early morning light of New England, soft and blurred.
He turned left and reentered the park, heading back to his apartment. He'd take a shower, see Stacy off, and then head to the hospital.
After all, the world revolved around Greg House.
He veered off the jogging path he walked along. His physical therapist would probably have a heart attack, but he was banking on the hope that perhaps he'd go into cardiac arrest first. Either way, he was probably pushing himself too far too fast.
He didn't care. The pill bottle of Vicodin rattled softly in his coat pocket.
The cane made his gait sound like a shuffle-step, one-and-a-two, and his breathing remained steady, one-two. From here, he could see the gleam of the fence he'd seen some months ago, still shiny-new and polished pine. It seemed untouched from where he stood, unchanged and unweathered by time.
But as he approached, he noted marring in the surface, burn marks and graffiti all across. A large water stain colored the wood, like a scar along the length of the fence. He stood for a long moment in front of the fence, studying it.
Then, quietly, he shuffle-stepped back the way he came.
She panted heavily, stepping off the beaten path and into the neighborhood on the far side of the park. She was pushing herself, always pushing, trying to find the edges of herself, where she ended and the rest of the world began.
In the distance, she saw a wide, golden fence surrounding a dilapidated excuse of a building. She got closer and saw the marred surface, burnt and decayed and water-stained and painted. She slowed and looked, really looked at the fence. Noted the grain of the wood and the knots in the pine.
And then she passed it.
Beside the not-so-shiny fence was an older one. It looked whole and untouched from her point of view. Sure, it was a little weather-beaten, but it still had stood. Didn't that count for anything?
But as she got closer, she noticed aberrations in it, too. The wood was splintering, over-weathered, and planks were missing from the outside. At one part, the base was giving way, and the whole thing sagged dramatically. The gray, dead wood sported holes from woodpeckers and white marks from passing cars. As the turned the corner around the fence, she saw graffiti and more missing boards, all hidden if she hadn't taken the time to look.
Around the block, she took a right and jogged off.
He pulled the motorcycle to a stop and dropped the kickstand. She pulled up the visor and unclasped the strap, lifting the helmet off her head. Smoothing her hair down with one hand, she clambered off and waited for him.
"She lives here?" House carefully balanced on his left leg and dismounted, pocketing his sunglasses and grabbing his cane.
"That's what she said." Cameron balanced the helmet on the seat and dusted herself off, shifting her weight from one foot to the other.
"I used to jog out here," he muttered. He didn't offer any more, and she didn't ask.
"I've come out here once or twice," she commented mildly. Or five or six.
He raised an eyebrow. "It's, what, five miles from your place?"
She shrugged and stepped forward, pushing in the gate door. Inside the property rose a jungle of a yard. Weeds grew three feet high and wildly, the grass looked like it hadn't seen a lawnmower in years, and she thought she heard a snake hiss.
"Charming." His cane thumped behind her, almost too close for comfort.
A beaten path of crushed weeds ran from the gate to the front porch. Carefully, they walked down it, and she noticed the shiny-new fence was unfinished on the inside and graying at the edges. She felt something hard against her legs and saw his cane in her path. Then, she looked at the weeded path and spotted a snake. Biting back a scream, she took a step back.
"Thanks," she managed, albeit shakily. He ignored her and moved forward past her. Shaking her head, she followed dutifully. He managed the four steps on the porch, Cameron at his heels, and paused at the door.
As he fished for the lock picking kit, she surveyed the mess of a yard. At the edge was the grayed, seemingly perfect fence. And then, she noticed something -- the other fence, the next door fence, the ugly, weathered, battered fence met halfway with the new fence, a contrast in terms. In truth, side-by-side, neither suffered by comparison.
The tumbler of the lock fell with a click and she turned.
She blinked. "Yeah."
And they stepped through the doorway.
I mean it - I absolutely can't stand blatant, in-your-face symbolism like this. Ever. It just pisses me off because I feel like I'm talking down to the reader, when I prefer assuming the reader is smart enough to understand nuances. But either way, here it is and there you are.
Thanks for reading! ♥