A/N – I want to thank all the people who have supported this story, and I have no intention of leaving it, but it will just take me much longer to complete while in school.
Cameron was bored.
She sighed and looked around her house from the vantage point of the couch as she had been doing for the past two weeks and sighed again. Around her was scattered all of the necessities she would need since House wasn't letting her up anytime soon. He had been so attentive, catering to her every whim; anything she wanted was in her hand within seconds. He was loving and gentle and it was getting on her nerves.
Cameron couldn't believe it but at times during her courtship and marriage of House she had wanted this man that sat before her at the piano to appear every once in a while. A man that thought before speaking, a man who tried his best not to hurt her, a man that was attentive, but this man scared her. He did it out of fear not love and he was boring besides.
The sound of pills rattling around drew her attention and she watched him get up and get a glass of water to take his medication. It was a sight she was unaccustomed to after years of House not needing any pills. When he had said that Wilson needed to sedate him she hadn't realized exactly what he'd meant, but now she realized that she'd broken him.
She had been released from the hospital a week after she'd been admitted with her new drugs, and a drained heart sac. They weren't sure it was a good idea until the meds were completely straightened out but, she was doctor, her husband was a doctor, his best friend that was going to be staying with them was a doctor and his girlfriend was a physical therapist. It was decided that she might even be in better hands at home.
They made a motley crew, coming up the walk to the house, now her prison, James in the lead, with several carryons dangling from his shoulders and the keys in his hand, she followed him slowly, holding a pillow to her chest, and Karen and House followed carrying various well wishing packages people had left for her.
Cameron discovered that trying to get up a stoop as tired as she was without any way to see said stoop was a bad idea. James opened the front door and placed the carryon luggage inside where no one would trip over it and then turned to help her in, but she thought she was just going to follow him in and tried to get the stoop by herself, she missed the step, overbalanced and pitched forward dangerously. She gripped her pillow more tightly, which did nothing to help her stop falling and was caught by strong hands under her shoulders and hauled upward by James. The pain was strong and she was weak and spots waltzed about her vision for a minute. James picked her up under the shoulders and knees and brought her into the house quickly. She heard him say loudly to Karen behind him, "Try to talk him down, I'll be right out." He placed her carefully onto the couch and rushed out the door. Minutes went by and her pain and breathing eased and she wondered what was wrong with House.
He finally came into view with a concerned Wilson dragging him into the door. His color was ashen and he was breathing very hard and shaking. Wilson got him to the couch and sat him next to Cameron. He sank down to House's level and talked very softly to him.
"See, she's fine, just had a little trouble with the step. Deep breathes. In and out." House's eyes were closed and Cameron reached for his hand, squeezing it. He didn't acknowledge the hand but his breathing became easier.
Wilson turned to her questioning eyes with sorrowful ones, "Panic attack." He said simply and then turned all his attention to House. She let go of his hand and sat so that she could comfortably reach him, and laid her palm against his cheek, he pressed into that, and opened his eyes to watch her.
When he was under control again, Wilson got up from his uncomfortable position on the floor and went to get her a glass of water and her pills. Cameron was left knowing that she'd broken him.
Two weeks later and the attacks continued. Anything could set him off, including one time when she'd fallen asleep while he was talking to her. He had been talking to her while she was laying down on the couch and he got up to check on something two minutes later he came back to find her asleep. The weird lighting in the room at the time made him panic and he came forward to feel her pulse, the panic didn't fade and instead got worse as he fumbled for her hand hidden under blankets. The jostling woke her up in time to see a full-blown panic attack inches from her face. Calming him down seemed to take forever.
For the first time since meeting House, getting married, and living with the sonofabitch, she wanted out. She wanted out of this body, out of this life, out of this prison she'd found herself trapped in. She started to cry and a wail came up out of her chest. Too late she realized House would hear her and she quickly slapped her hand over her mouth to cover the wrenching sobs, that only got worse as she knew how much worse House would feel if he knew what she was thinking. She cried so long and so hard that she became weak and exhausted, barely sitting upright, and that's when Wilson walked in on her.
He came into the room and glanced in her direction and came to a complete stop. He stared at her, in total silence, watching the red face with tears streaming down in buckets, and the hand clasped tightly to her mouth, that actually moved in and out as she sucked in air to fuel her wails. Cameron slowly got herself under control, and was able to lower her hand to her lap. Silent tears continued to track their way down her face as she leaned her head on the couch, defeated. Wilson left the room without saying a word and went to find House. He found him in the bedroom, sitting on the bed staring at the wall.
"What just happened?" Wilson asked slowly.
After a moment House answered him. "I needed my pills, I was feeling anxious, so I came in here to calm down." He said breathing slowly in and out.
"You didn't say or do anything to Allison?"
House looked up in alarm, and Wilson realized that he might have phrased that piece of information wrong to his overanxious friend. "What's wrong with her."
"Nothing House, she's fine." Wilson sat down next to him and put a soothing hand on his arm. Wilson absentmindedly rubbed House's arm, while he puzzled out why Allison looked so upset. He went over the past day and the past few weeks. After a few minutes he thought he knew the answer.
"Have you been making any comments toward Allison, lately?" He asked.
"What do you mean?"
"You know, comment on her breasts, make fun of her disease, call her lobby art?" Wilson gestured with his free hand to indicate that the list could go on.
"I'll have you know that I have been nothing but nice and kind to her the past few weeks."
"So, you haven't slapped her on the ass, grabbed her boobs, or tried to trip her or anything like that either?"
"NO!" He said indignantly, with a hurt look on his face. "What's all his about?"
"I think you should."
"I think YOU should." Wilson emphasized.
"She's in the living room crying her eyes out and I think that you should go out there and snark your ass off."
"So she's in there upset and I should go in there and kick her while she's down?"
"You've lost your mind."
"Not yet. See it took me awhile to figure this out, but dealing with cancer patients helped me to understand. You have been what I've always hoped you could be to her. Sweet, caring and nurturing; you have everything she could possibly want or need within her reach, everything except you."
"You've lost me, because I haven't gone anywhere."
"See, that's the thing, you have. Cancer patients want normal, and you are not acting normal."
A moment went by and what Wilson was saying finally sank in. "She wants me to be an ass? She wants me to be mean to her?"
"Not exactly, she wants you to be you around her. You can still be nice to her, and sweet, and caring, but disguise it with your brand of snark." Wilson thought for a moment. "And another thing, when's the last time that you two, you know." Again a hand waving gesture filled in for words.
"You know?" House was puzzled for a moment until Wilson sent him a pointed look. "Oh." He thought, tilting his head in concentration. "Before the hospital." He said sadly.
"Well, when's the last time that you made out, or watched a show snuggled up together, or even hugged her?"
"I-uh." House fumbled with the words, and gave up, helpless.
Wilson turned House to face him and put both hands on his shoulders. "She isn't going to break you know."
House took a deep breath, thankful that the meds were doing their job. "I know. I know, but it's hard to get past that image in my head where she did break."
"I know, but your making her miserable by trying to avoid hurting her, so it's not really working."
"I guess not, Dr. Phil."
"That's the spirit, go attack Cameron with it."
"Give me a minute."
"I'll be in my room."
House nodded that he understood and sat for a while trying to puzzle it all out. He never thought that he could hurt her by not being an ass, who would have ever thought that? But the more he thought about it the more it did make sense. Cameron had known him twelve years and had seen him in all sorts of states, even nice ones, but she had never seen a state where he didn't let out what was in his mind all the time. No matter how blunt he was being, he was sharing himself with her until three weeks ago, when he'd turned on the filter and strained every thought before he gave it to her. He'd taken himself away from her, and she hadn't liked it, any more than he'd liked finding her dying on the kitchen floor. He started to chuckle a little. They were a mess, the two of them. He was having panic attacks from holding himself away from her and she was upset because he was holding out on her. It was time to remedy this. He levered himself of the bed and went into the living room. He found that she had cried herself to sleep
He made his way around the couch and without worrying about whether or not he'd wake her up he unceremoniously lifted her legs up into the air and plopped down next to her on the couch, lowering her legs across his. Her eyes popped open immediately and looked at him in confusion. He hadn't sat this close to her or touched her since the hospital.
"What are you doing?"
"Why are you crying over centrifuges?"
She blushed and looked away quickly. "I wasn't crying."
"Yes, because I wouldn't know what you look like after you've been crying." The snark was definitely back. She raised an eyebrow in his direction. He ran a hand up and down her thigh. She jerked in surprise at first and then relaxed into the feeling of him paying attention to her.
"I know I haven't been a jerk lately, and I'm sorry." He looked at her so seriously, that it took Cameron a couple of seconds to digest it enough to truly realize what he had said.
Her jaw dropped and her lower lip trembled and she began to laugh, hard, so hard that it started up her crying jag again. House simply gathered her to him, pulling her into his lap.
"It's OK, Allison, we've made a mess of things but soon we'll be back to being ourselves again." Cameron nodded against him and slowly got ahold of herself. The road was getting shorter.