The night after treating a pair of siblings with hormone imbalances found the team from Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital in a variety of places. Chase went to his local YMCA to swim away his frustrations, Foreman went to a bookstore to find a present for a cousin's daughter, House watched the L Word on mute and Cameron ended up sitting on her living room floor with a bouquet of flowers in her hand. She just had no idea what to do with them. She had utterly no idea whether to keep them or not. They were beautiful, that was not in doubt but would keeping them be a sign she really did have feelings for Chase or would throwing them away as a symbolic gesture indicate that?
Plucking one flower from the bouquet she held it in her hands and considered it. It was one of the roses, a pinky orange on to be exact. She rubbed a petal between her fingers, savoring the velvety feel and accidentally knocking the petal off.
"He loves me," she thought with a smile, placing the petal on the floor. She pulled off another petal on the other side to even it out, 'he loves me not.' That bothered her. He could not possibly love; he didn't even know her at all.
Well, the flower was ruined now. Careful to only get one, Cameron pulled out another. He loves me. She hated his hair, she decided. That's what was wrong with him. He was way too proud of his hair. She had to admit though, his hair was incredibly pretty. It was very unfair for women everywhere that he had it.
Once, during one of those times when they actually ate dinner instead of just using a meal as an excuse, she'd teased him about it until he relented and told her of how they made him keep it shaved in seminary college so when he left he grew it long to spite them. His hair was shorter now for work purposes, but in med school he'd had a pony tail. All this was said with pride as he ran a hand through his locks. That was completely irrational. Who grew their hair out just to spite priests that they would never see again? It was completely childish.
He loves me not. His clothes, his clothes were ridiculous. Sometimes Cameron honestly thought he was color blind. Who wanted to be with a man who had no sense of how to dress himself?
He loves me. Chase honestly found House's jokes funny. That was infuriating. House was not funny, it was a long established fact. For the longest time Cameron thought Chase was just a kiss up. She found out later Chase just mainly had a horrible sense of humor and just liked playing up the kiss-up in himself which tended just to naturally agree with House for medical purposes.
He loves me not. Sometimes Cameron thought she was dealing with a child when she was with Chase. There were so many instances when he just had no idea how to be an adult. He could not be diplomatic to save his life and he had no sense of when he crossed the line, where the line was or if it had actually existed at any point in time. He was smart, that was no doubt, but he had no idea how to carry on a conversation. With children, he was amazing. He could relate to children since he was an overgrown child himself. Cameron had seen him coax a child out of a tantrum by saying nothing more than "So why are you upset?"
One time Cameron spent two hours with a kid whose mother was in a car accident and could not be woken. "What's your name? What's your mom's name? Is there someone we can call?" She'd asked again and again. Chase had come in sometime in the third hour with two candy bars. He gave on to the kid and they immediately got into a discussion about the merits of the superheroes on the stickers they'd gotten as a promotional stunt. Within ten minutes, the child who had been silent for two hours told Chase his name, his mother's name, his home address, father's name and phone number, the location of his older siblings (school and they were probably worried about not being picked up) and many extraneous facts that Cameron forgot but Chase brought up when he saw the kid again the next day.
He loves me. She hated that he wasn't actually a playboy. Things would be so much easier if she could dismiss him like that. If he was a cheater and a slut, she could not take him seriously, but against all odds, he wasn't. He should be though. With his face, hair and charm, women threw themselves at him and yet…He was a flirt, to be sure, one of the best there ever was, but a playboy? No.
He loves me not. He knew her much better than she did him. Chase knew exactly what to get her for lunch from the cafeteria. More the point, he knew to get her lunch when she was focused in the lab since she'd go for days without realizing she hadn't eaten if she was focused on something. Several times as an intern that had happened and she'd ended up on an IV line. Chase knew when to stare the conversation away from something that would lead to something that would upset her. And he knew to get her these damn flowers, roses, her favorite, in colors she loved.
He loves me. Chase's true love of chocolate milk pissed Cameron off. She'd gone over to his apartment twice in her life. Both times there was nothing in his kitchen but a box of cereal, some fruit, bread, cheese, a small jug of regular milk and a gallon of the chocolate type. How could a man who lived alone and spent most of his time at the hospital drink a gallon of milk before it expired? It should be impossible, but the milk had been fresh both times she'd gone over and he'd poured himself a glass upon entering both times. A man in his late twenties should not be able to handle that much lactose.
He loves me not. He was amazing at sex. It was almost the most unfair thing. He was pretty, he was in shape, he was charming, he was smart, he was wealthy, his father was famous and he was great in bed. Cameron knew his life sucked, she'd figured that out by listening to House since Chase was one of the most secretive bastards that had ever been invented, but it was not fair at all that he got to be good in bed on top of everything. He wasn't super experienced; she'd made him tell him once how many girls he'd been with though she suspected he'd been with several boys as well. The number was surprising in that it seemed surprisingly average and yet with him Cameron had some of the best sex of her life. It was as if he was born knowing exactly how to please her. She once had an orgasm that lasted twenty minutes, not the full hour she'd told him was possible, but he'd tried his hardest. It was just not fair.
He loves me. Chase was five years younger than she was. Five years, it seemed like nothing if the man was older, hell, she'd gone after House at he was at least ten years her senior, but for her to actually being with someone five years younger? She shook her head with embarrassment and rubbed the petal between her fingers before putting it on the floor with the others. She'd turned sixteen in 1985. She remembered watching Regan being sworn in, New Coke, locating the Titanic and the meeting of Gorbachev and Regan. He had been eleven and remembered He-man. All of what she remembered from those years he knew from history books.
Her friends would call her a cradle robber. It didn't help that he looked like a college co-ed once he was out of work clothes. "Alli, who's the boy you have with you? Do you have to take him back to high school?" they'd ask. He was young in appearance and attitude. She wanted a man, not a boy and she didn't have the patience to wait for him to become the man she wanted.
He loves me not. He could not really like her, much less love her. Who is their right mind fell for their co-worker? What man liked the woman he'd sat through sweat rooms and thirty-six hour shifts with? He'd seen her without makeup, asleep (she wouldn't be surprised if there had been drool though he hadn't mentioned it), cranky, over caffeinated and PMSing. Working with House took any and all romantic and idealistic thoughts about people away. Despite all of this, he put her on a pedestal, telling her he liked her and wanted a relationship. If she didn't know he was a crappy liar, she would have been sure he was playing an elaborate prank House was sure to be in on.
He loves me. Cameron hated that he thought she didn't like him because of House.
He loves me not. She hated that Chase thought she was using him to make House jealous.
There weren't any free petals left. The only ones were those intertwining ones in the middle. It was impossible to distinguish separate petals at all. Cameron studied the flower. Did one count them all as a single petal or attempt to separate the further? She'd never really done this as a child, just a few times with a rather romantically inclined friend.
He loves me. Cameron placed the entire plucked remnants of a rose on top of her pile of petals. The thing she hated the absolute most about Chase, that really pissed her off, was that she had been wrong. She said the lack of relationship would be easy, that he was the last person she'd fall in love with. At the time she'd thought falling in love with Chase would be impossible. He was safe from all emotional attachment. She hadn't thought him capable of complicating the situation and she certainly hadn't thought that she would ever develop feelings for him.
If she was to be honest with herself, and she might as well since she was a well-trained medical professional picking apart a flower in the middle of the floor, falling in love with Chase would be the simplest thing in the world. Falling in love with him, with all the things she absolutely despised about him that made him up, would be absolutely simple. For that, she would never be able to forgive him.
Cameron stared at the rest of the flowers. They were still beautiful, still fragrant and still from Chase. She had feelings for him, it was unavoidable, but she could not have a relationship with him that was completely out of the question. If she were to give in, to say yes and go out with him, it would probably only take one time, she'd fall in love with him, so she reminded herself of all the things she hated about him and how because of him she'd torn up a rose just to remember the reasons which she could fall in love with in a moment if she let herself.