Sight. Sound. Smell. Taste. Touch.
The senses. In other words, puzzle pieces. Tiny bits that when fit together properly, let Gregory House in on secrets even his brain wasn't able to pick up on.
His senses spoke raw truths that his words envied. Though his brain often tried, it could not top the sheer honesty that his very senses often threw back into his unshaven face.
As it was, it wasn't until his senses began to… change their opinions on certain matters that House really took notice of his co-worker. And according to his five most reliable critics, something was beginning whether he liked it or not.
Sight was easy. Even a blind man could tell you that Allison Cameron was beautiful. There was just something about her. As cliché as that may sound, the young woman radiated an aura that seemed to supercede the physical while infusing her spirit with a gentleness and warmth that even House wasn't able to ignore.
Yes, it made him sick to his stomach, much the way tiny kittens with fluffy balls of yarn did but, he noticed it all the same. What man wouldn't?
It wasn't until he began to notice the qualities that really made the woman beautiful that he felt a shift.
The most alarming change was the way that the man was starting to see the immunologist. Instead of just seeing her green eyes, he was beginning to see mossy pools with layers and layers of sadness occasionally dotted with small lilies of hope.
It wasn't just that.
House had also started noticing the smaller things like the subtle change from gold to honey in her highlights and whether or not her nails were baby pink or a shimmer-y lavender.
Instead of taking the shift in perception for what it really was, the man just chalked it up to his keen and penetrating mind noticing the finer points of a beautiful woman.
He of course didn't notice that the shift was actually a beginning…
Oh, her voice.
For lack of a better word, House found the shrill timbre that fell from her lovely lips to be… grating.
High pitched, the sounds of her voice were often laced with sanctimonious ribbons of righteousness that were surrounded by undertones of accusation flecked with naivety. And to top it all off, there was a heavy syrup of nice-ness that made the sundae of her speech even worse.
How the woman managed to fit every single attitude that he loathed into one syllable was beyond him.
One day (he couldn't recall which) her tones began to… separate. No longer was every word that came out of her mouth an amalgamation of all the things he found to be particularly heinous about her voice.
Certain words became only sanctimonious while others became simply naive. It was a small shift, but all in all, it made her voice slightly less irritating.
Cameron's voice wasn't the only thing that fell upon the older man's eardrums. No, he heard other things as well. Slightly less important things such as tiny sighs released on gentle exhales. Or the click of her shoes on the hallway floor.
That one was the worst.
At first, House equated the sound of clattering heels on linoleum with "woman". It didn't matter who it was but, if it was high heeled, it was a woman.
It had begun with his ears perking at the mere sound of a heel clacking on the floor and ended with the man being able to discern Cameron's steps form all of the other females in the hospital. While slight, there was a difference. Like her voice, her steps sounded hesitant but sure all at once.
If this realization had occurred around the same time that his sight was taking notice, he may have put the pieces together.
But seeing as he did not, it was simply another beginning…
Just like any other girl, Allison Cameron smells of sugar and spice and everything nice, but the thing that really tipped his senses off to something new was the coffee.
House enjoyed his coffee as much as any other man.
Not just any coffee.
Walking into an office swirled with the heady aroma of a fresh pot of coffee had always been enough to make the man want to profess his love to the tiny silver machine that popped and percolated to make his morning slightly less miserable.
But the things responsible for the intoxicating smell had begun to shift.
The scent was slowly beginning to take the shape of Allison Cameron…
Aside from the decadent richness of the flavor-of-the-day, House had yet to taste the young woman.
This was the sense that was just beginning to want to shift…
Yes, he had touched her before.
Yes, it's rare.
And yes, he avoided physical contact with Cameron like the plague. After all, who wouldn't avoid touching something that made their skin burn?
All she had to do was brush his elbow with her lab coat or graze his finger inadvertently while handing him a pen. It didn't matter what the touch was, so long as it was physical contact.
Though they had touched, House was still curious about one thing.
He had never actually tested the theory but House liked to imagine that her lily-white skin was just as silky and innocent as the sense of "right" that often colored her decisions. More than once, before he was able to stop himself, the man found himself wondering if his skin would taint and tear the fabric of her flesh like his tutelage of her had.
Of all his senses, this was the most traitorous.
Unconsciously, he was beginning to find himself wanting to have the skin scorched off of the tips of his fingers…
Sight. Sound. Smell. Taste. Touch.
Very slowly, the puzzle pieces were beginning to fit themselves together and while it definitely wasn't love, it certainly was a beginning…
Cillian Chase's Chart
- This was originally written for the lj community houselas. The theme for the challenge was "beginning".
- An ode to Katie – My dear beta, you are beyond amazing. Thank you so much for all of your help with this piece.