Kind of pointless oneshot, just an excuse to stuff a fic with angst and tension.
He hadn't expected to find her, when he had opened the door only one second before. He wouldn't have been surprised, had it been anyone else, but it was her, and that was rather shocking, though, of course, he'd never admit it.
"Why are you here?"
His harsh, cold tone was something she's never get used to. Every time she would go to him, she would always hope to find some human feeling mirrored in his eyes, to catch a shade of love, or hate, or anything else, but it had never happened.
He treated her like a doll. Cameron just wondered if he knew that her porcelain heart was not unbreakable.
"Cameron, why are you here?" he repeated sternly, in front of her silence.
She bit her lower lip, swallowing hard the knot in her throat. She didn't know what to say. She didn't even know herself why she was there, but she was, and it had to mean something.
"Won't you let me in?"
He gave her an unaffected look.
She stared down at the floor. She had expected that answer, they both knew.
"I'm sorry." She muttered. "I shouldn't have come."
"I agree." He said, and made to close the door on her face,
He opened the door again, just enough to let her see his face, where he wore an annoyed expression.
"Cameron, go home."
"Won't you even listen to what I have to tell you?" she said weakly.
"No." he snapped.
"Why do you never want to listen to me?" her voice was soft, calm, but somehow desperate.
"Because I don't care about it." He replied dryly. "And every time you have something to tell me, I have better things to do. Watching American Idol, for example."
She addressed him a resigned glance.
"I didn't mean to disturb you."
"Well, guess what? You did."
Again, he disappeared behind the door, ready to close it, but she stopped him again.
"What did I do to make you hate me?"
He popped his head out for a second.
"I don't hate you." He said casually. "You have absolutely no meaning for me. You're just a cute – and rather bothering, let me say – puppy-eyed brunette I hired to fill the spare time of my life that I spend at work."
Cameron simply nodded, without moving her eyes from his. An deep, long silence fell between them.
After a while, he opened the door a little more, tilting his head.
"Won't you ask me why I don't love you?"
"I don't make questions when I already know the answer."
House assumed a mock surprised expression.
"Wow, apparently they actually teach useful things at the kindergarten. I'm admired."
The ghost of a smile appeared on Cameron's lips.
"Oh, look, your mouth curled up!" He exclaimed with his trade mark sarcasm. "I thought you had forgotten how to do that."
"Did it really mean nothing to you?" she asked, ignoring him.
"Teasing is not fun with you, you know?" he complained, grimacing. "You always come out with such silly irrelevancies."
"Answer." She insisted, unable to hide a vibe of sadness.
"I don't even know what you're talking about." He pointed, not all convincingly.
Cameron was getting tired of his irony, but she needed to know.
"You kissed me."
"Yeah." She took a deep breath. "That."
House looked down, moistening his lips with a sigh.
"You don't want to know."
"Yes, maybe that's true." She objected. "But you seem to enjoy hurting me, so here you go, take advantage of the situation."
He shook his head, wrinkling his nose.
"Nah, it's not the same if you want it. It removes all the pleasure."
Her eyes were glossy and supplicant, and despite his efforts, he couldn't help staring at them, getting lost in her own dismay.
"Why do you want to get hurt so bad?" he wondered. "Because, you know, this is only going to add another scar to your already rich collection."
She was fighting to keep the tears, but it was getting harder every second.
"Aren't you tired to be used, Cameron?" he asked her unkindly. "Aren't you totally pissed off by all these misogynists around you who do nothing but cheat you and treat you like an emotionless object?"
One lonely tear slowly crawled down her face, dying on her neck. She knew his game, and even if he was right, she wouldn't let him win.
"Apparently no. I even seem to like it, since I'm here." she said, her voice trembling imperceptibly. "What a stupid, uh?"
"Oh, yeah, indeed."
Other tears left her eyes. She suddenly felt really stupid for being there.
She didn't know why she had come, what illusions had led her there, but she suddenly realized she shouldn't have come at all.
"I can't believe I've fallen in love with an asshole like you, House." She murmured.
He gaped at her, taken aback by her sudden vulnerability. The last time he had seen her crying, it had been for her husband.
"Neither can I." he agreed, sadly facing away.
"I'm sorry for disturbing you." She apologised nervously. "It's never going to happen again. I'll deal with my feelings on my own. Don't worry, I'm used at it."
"I wasn't going to." He replied. "Goodnight, Cameron."
She stood motionless while the door closed in front of her, leaving her alone with her unanswered questions.
She quickly wiped her eyes, but the more she tried to stop crying, the more tears would cross her cheeks.
She sniffled, defeated, then she turned on her heels and headed to the elevator.
As she pressed the button, she heard the door open again, but she didn't turn back.
"Cameron." House's voice called her.
She kept on looking straight in front of herself, watching persistently the numbers of the floors on the display.
She stiffened, praying the elevator would come soon, trying to ignore the unusual softness in his tone. She couldn't go back. It would have meant showing him she was weak like he thought.
She was about to step into the elevator, when felt his hand wrapping around her arm, making her turn around.
His eyes were locked into hers, still cold and distant, but with a vague emotional glimpse.
"What do you want?"
"It didn't mean nothing to me." He declared.
She opened her mouth, but she couldn't find anything to say, caught off guard by his words.
"This is why it must never happen again." He completed.
He could easily read what she was thinking by her face, by the empty expression she was wearing. He had confused her, and he couldn't say he hadn't done that intentionally.
"Differently than you – I know I'm weird – I don't look forward to getting hurt. I've had enough of women." He told her, letting go of her arm. "So, do us both a favour, forget about that kiss."
"I would never hurt you." She stuttered, swallowing back the urge to release the new tears collecting into her eyes.
"Oh, no, I know you wouldn't." he stated. "But I'll make it easier, so your young, inexpert brain can understand it, ok?"
He took his Vicodin jar out of the trousers pocket and gulped a couple, then put the jar back away and looked at her again.
"No matter whether I love them or hate them or don't give a damn about them." He continued. "I always – always – end up hurting the people I have around. I don't do that on purpose, it's just a matter of fact. Pretty inconvenient, is it? If I hate them, it's alright, I can even find it pleasing. If I love them, no problem, they leave me forever and, again, it's alright."
"I-I don't-" she stuttered, but he raised a hand and made her shut up before.
"Shush, I hate being interrupted. Where was I? Oh, yeah… You." He pointed at her. "Here it comes the real matter, people like you, the ones who have no meaning to me. For some strange reason, when I hurt these people, I get hurt too. Must be some kind of side effect…"
Cameron looked stoned, her mouth ajar, her eyes wide open.
"It happened only once, so far, actually." He went on, faking a thoughtful expression. "It was with Stacey, before she was degraded to 'person I love', and, trust me, once in a lifetime is more than enough."
"So you…You don't want to degrade me?" she said in a low whisper.
House gave her an intense look, making her shiver.
"I'm sorry Bambi." He said.
Cameron nodded gravely and entered the elevator.
"I'm sorry too." She said. "Goodnight House." Then the doors closed, hiding her from his sight.
"Goodnight." He whispered, when she was already gone, then walked back to his apartment.
What neither of them had realized, was that Cameron had left him, once, and it would have been forever, hadn't he brought her back by his side, even against his own policy.
But it was okay. As long as they both ignored it, they could go on pretending hers was an unrequited love.