Disclaimer: Never have, do not, never will, own House M.D.
He always stares at her. When she's not looking, when no one's looking, he stares. He watches her carefully, tries to get a good read on her. He studies her every action, her every move, and many times he questions everything he's ever learned about her.
Some people are creatures of habit, but not Cameron. She's constantly changing, whether for better or worse he's not really sure. Some things she regrets, others not so much. But she constantly questions herself, her own insecurities creating a ripple effect to everyone around her.
Or maybe it's just him.
He tries to build a relationship with her, and not even a romantic one at that. He's alone, she's alone, and perhaps if they were at least friends it'd be a little easier to cope with the bitter empty lives they each lead. But she turns him down again and again and he wants to scream out that he's not trying to get in bed with her. Except in reality, a bit of him is.
She calls him over one night and before he knows it their limbs are tangled and exposed in her bed and she's screaming his name and the rest of the world has melted away into a swirl of tears and blood on the floor. But she's high, it's all fake, and he knows it.
He says it shouldn't happen again, because if it does they've failed before they've even begun. No real relationship can start like that. He wants friendship turned companionship turned unity for eternity with an innocent beginning and a fairy tale ending. Not drug-induced sex and resented remorse.
But it does happen again. And again and again many times after. She offers him exactly what he's been shying away from and he accepts because that's all he knows how to do.
He feels lost in this world, even though she tries to guide him. He realizes that thorough all this he hardly knows her and their intimacy is in actuality distancing. He works up the nerve to ask for what he wants and finds himself more lost and alone than before. But still, he stares. He observes everything about her and she never fails to surprise him. He wonders how a woman so ethical and opinionated and with such strong morals is so emotionless toward him. It hurts him, yet he's fascinated by her, his gaze magnetic to her shadowed persona.
He figures House has noticed, but he's never been good at hiding things from him and he was bound to find out anyway. He desperately begs God, though, that Cameron hasn't noticed his growing obsession with her. She'd confront him, no doubt, and the thought sends shivers up his spine, ending with shots of anxiety shooting to his mind. If only this could stop, if only she could stop, if only…
Her hair flows gracefully, cascades over her shoulders and draws his attention no matter what the color or style. Her small but powerful build commands so surely and revokes memories of times of less defense, less distance, less emotional residue. Her face is easiest to read, but hard to watch without suspicion. And her eyes, his true downfall. They manipulate him; seduce him like no body can. And yet, they're cold. They hide from him, barely any contact from the bitter emeralds to the cloudy skies. He wishes, wishes they would look at him, wishes she would look at him. Maybe if she did he would stand a chance.
He's practically perfected the art of observing her. Casual glances between cases, hard stares during differentials, and simply absorbing her presence when she's unaware. He watches from the shadows, how and when and why she does what she does. The way she treats patients. The way she treats coworkers. The way she treats herself. The way she treats him.
He can now read her body language fluently, but sometimes wishes he couldn't. He sees her hold herself higher, stiffer, around patients and their families, as if to dare them to challenger her as a doctor. They think she's too pretty, too young, too dumb. He knows they're wrong. She's beautiful, wise beyond her years, and quite the intellect. He pities her for having to prove this to every patient, every person.
She folds her arms when she speaks to Foreman, because he thinks too highly of himself and his ideas and she needs to constantly defend herself. He aches with sorrow for her, no one believes her, no one trusts her, only him. At least when they were sleeping together he had a reason to support her, now there was none except his growing passion inside. She can support herself and she can do it well, and the more she does the more burdensome and useless he feels.
She acts desperately for House, pleading him with large gestures for his approval. She throws her arms out, throws herself out. She claims not to care for him anymore, but her actions contradict her words. As much as he trusts what she says, he knows what she does, too. He clings to one strand of faulty and undeserving trust that this time, she's not lying.
Around him, she freezes up. He makes her nervous and he knows it, except he's also too nervous to act on it. She's tense around him, muscles strain to stir and lungs fight to fill. And he sees this when he looks as her, and crumbles because he scares her. And she scares him too, only he never sees her even threaten to break. He can tell what kind of a night she's had or what kind of a night she will have. He sees extra concealer under her eyes for as long as he lets himself stare and knows in the pit of his stomach, the cracks of his heart, that she's been thinking about, regretting, missing, her husband. He sees he eyes dart feverishly across a file and knows she's gotten much needed rest in hopes of the better tomorrow that's long overdue; that he knows will never come. She dares to hope, to dream, though, and he respects her for that. He just doesn't share the same freedom.
He studies the perfect creases in her clothes daily. She makes such an effort to look more professional, more commanding, when House shows up late in jeans and a t-shirt, with uncombed hair, and perhaps the stench of stale alcohol that often eases pain for them all, even if only temporarily.
He recalls her skin, her body, herself, laid in front of him asking to be carefully studied. Every curve, every muscle, every bone, every scar, every unique mark that makes her so interesting from the outside in. She's beautiful in every manner, and he clearly replays every tender memory of her exposed and open, when he thought he was getting her to open up inside too. He was wrong, and he pushes away the scene repeating over and over subconsciously. He can't think about that anymore, he feels like he's violating her thought he wouldn't mind if she were doing it to him. The pain is still so fresh, the moments so vivid, he watches again and again, peeling the band-aid off slowly. It hurts like hell.
The truth is, she always tries and it's always too hard. She begs for acceptance when even she can't come to terms with herself. Perhaps if she looks a little harder, and maybe stares for a bit too, she'll realize that she's already been accepted.
AN: This is the start to a 5 chapter fic, one chapter for each sense. As it goes on, more plot develops, but it will still be told mainly like this. Set around the whole 'it's tuesday' phase. So let me know what you think. Specifics are great for what you liked and hated both, all questions, comments, and suggestions are welcome.