Disclaimer: I don't own House. What a shock.
This came to me in Environmental Science, a class not know for its entertainment value. This is set after 2.07, "Hunting," and before the third season. Also, a one-shot. Enjoy. Feedback is appreciated.
She keeps having these dreams.
They're taunting her, she knows – just because she can't figure them out. She agonizes over whatever it is they mean. She ponders them instead of going to sleep.
And when she does go to sleep, she runs through the same scenes. They go, over and over again, until she wakes up and she wants to scream.
She hates not knowing what they mean. Her brain is torturing her, and she hates it.
She's crazy. It's just a dream. She's never subscribed to any school of dreams – until now, when she thinks it may mean something.
How screwed up is that?
She rolls over, pulling the sheets up around her mouth. She always sleeps likes she's in the middle of a deep freeze, bundling every blanket around her. Even in the summer. She's going to boil over. But she still needs to wrap herself up.
Comfort mechanism. She needs it.
She closes her eyes. She wants to sleep, undisturbed. She's exhausted. Worrying about dreams makes her tired. Her own thought process makes her tired these days. Read, don't read. Sleep, don't sleep. Chinese, no Chinese. Pizza, or salad.
She detests indecision, and it's flying back at her, full force.
The dream comes back in pieces. She wishes she didn't, but she knows exactly what order all these pieces should go in. She arranges them, involuntarily and starts watching again.
If only she had popcorn. Going through this dream would be much more fun if she had popcorn.
Oh, she's wiped.
She rolls over again, and stares at the ceiling. She wants to cry with frustration. It shouldn't bother her so much, but it does.
She's falling. It's a strange sensation, this kind of falling. More floating than anything – she's not about to crash into a canyon.
So, more trance-like than a trippy version of the Roadrunner Show.
Okay, she's fine with that.
Still, she's falling. And it is getting faster; wind's rushing by her ears.
She feels like she knows this rather than she's living this. She knows the wind is there; she just doesn't feel it.
Panic seizes her. She's falling and she can't stop herself. Falling, falling – it's getting faster and faster. Absurdly, she wonders if she'll hit the ground, or just keep going.
Falling faster and faster and faster…too quick…she can't breathe anymore; the air is going by her, not in her.
Too fast, too quick, falling, falling, falling….she's going to crash.
She clenches her fists and squeezes her eyes shut in an attempt to ward off seeing the inevitable mess.
She never remembers the end of it. Every time, she can only get this far.
Swallowing, she grits her teeth. And again. How many times? How many times must she have this dream, feel the same panic before she knows why?
A million times, it would seem.
She tosses off her covers now, too wound up. Her dozing did nothing to help her disposition.
She paces around the room, her footsteps making a tighter circle every round through the room. She's spinning on spot now, her face flushing and her thoughts another sloppy mixture.
It's dark, in the very early morning hours, and it makes her hazy. When she's hazy, she does stupid things.
Really, really stupid things.
Her hair's yanked back, her clothes feel scratchy, and she's at work. Stupid.
She drops into a chair at the table. No case, five o'clock in the morning, no coffee, no sleep, and she is here, at Princeton-Plainsboro.
She knows some people read, or watch TV when they can't sleep. She goes to work.
Her dream weighs heavily on her mind. Falling is such a cliché thing for a dream, to fall and keep going.
But she needs to know. Her curiosity is insatiable.
Gee, she wonders where she picked that up.
She jumps, her knee hitting the table. She rubs it, wincing. "Hey, Chase."
He sits at the table. "What are you doing here?"
"Oh, I…we…you know – I couldn't sleep," she blurts, lamely. She feels the heat in her face. She needs coffee. "Why are you here?"
He shrugged. "More of the same as you, I suppose."
Is he teasing her? His coherence at this hour bugs her. "I see," she murmurs.
The cool glass challenges her. She blinks. She's trapped in her dream world. She feels a swoop, like she missed a step.
"Do you ever have those dreams?" she asks. "The ones that make no sense and you spend too much time figuring them out?"
"Uh…sure." He stares at her. He's trying to figure her out, she knows. She looks at her hands, smiling.
"That's why I'm here," she clarifies.
"It's okay, you know," he says. "You didn't have to tell me."
"No, I…wanted to?" she asks. Herself, not him.
"You explain yourself too much," Chase replies. He leans back, casually, contrasting his statement.
"What?" she demands. She's hazy, she reminds herself. Maybe this is a dream, too.
"Nothing," he lies. "Nothing."
"Because I ask an unrelated question, I feel the need to explain myself?" she asks, tartly. He's not making any sense. She makes no sense.
"You don't need to seek approval, you know," he says. "You have it."
"I'm not looking for approval," she snaps. "What did you do with you?"
He smiles, thinly. "It's early. I'm sorry."
"What was it about?" he asks.
She expects something else – chatter about work. She doesn't talk with Chase about mundane topics. She chats about work. She stops there.
She likes her boundaries. Like her blankets, they protect her.
"It was about…" she racks her head, "falling."
"Falling," he repeats.
"Yes," she says, "falling." She hopes the finality means he'll stop being someone else.
"Who catches you?" he asks.
"No one." It sounds unbearably sad to her now, the idea that she's going to crash and nobody's going to care enough to stop her.
PMS is a bitch. She pushes her tears away.
"Sounds pleasant," he mutters. "Do you want to be caught?"
"You're analyzing my dream," she replies.
"You said it was one that bothered you." He leans on the table again.
"If you say so."
She watches his movements. He taps a pen on the table, before dropping it and reverting to paying her scrupulous attention. She shrinks away from his stare. She's uncomfortable. He smiles. "Who would you like to catch you?"
She frowns at him. "Are we still talking about my dream?"
"I don't know," she says. "It's just a dream. It doesn't matter."
"It matters," he replies. Somehow, without her notice, he's taken her hand. She feels some shame for the ice she's giving him.
"It shouldn't matter," Cameron insists. Why is she getting the feeling they're veering off, crossing her boundary lines?
"It does." He rubs the delicate bone on the outside of her wrist. She looks down, confused.
The look in his eyes makes her wary. But it's nice, she thinks, and so is the feeling of his kiss. She forgets her boundaries.
When she's tired, she does really stupid things.
Maybe this is stupid, because she's really falling this time.
But she lets go anyway.