Characters/Pairings: House/Cameron (House POV)
Word Count: 1600-ish
Summary: After their disastrous date ("Love Hurts"), House asks Cameron to a hockey game. He doesn't know why. Neither does she. It seems a lot of things go unsaid, but words are overrated, aren't they?
Disclaimer: I don't own 'House MD' or any of the characters in this fic, just playing in the sandpit.
A/N: I wrote this a couple of weeks ago but I've been a busy little bunny recently. Thanks to thexarlsterLJ for the awesome beta. :-)---
Words are pretty pointless, House thinks; simply a mixture of letters and sounds that would mean nothing to someone the other side of the world – and even if they could speak the same language, words can be so easily manipulated that they would mean nothing anyway. So, really, words are stupid.
It's late on a Wednesday evening and he watches lazily from his office as Cameron does some paperwork in the adjoining room. He watches as she tucks her hair behind her ear distractedly, and he nearly smiles at the absolute Cameron-ness of it. He shakes himself out of his thoughts – it's now or never.
She's just getting up to leave when his voice stops her; "I have two tickets."
"What?" she asks, her face a blend of confusion and disbelief.
"For the game on Saturday," he says casually, completely contradicting the nervousness that runs through him. "You like hockey, right?"
"I…yeah, that sounds good." A small smile appears with her words, but there's still uneasiness about her.
"You're not going to ask if this is a date?" he enquires, and immediately regrets it; he said the 'd' word. Damn.
"No. Should I?" And there's a glint of hope in her eye. Double damn.
"No." He doesn't want to tell her no, but what else is he meant to say? "I'll pick you up at six- we'll get some food on the way."
And he leaves before she can look him in the eyes again, "I'm not going to crush you," he promised her a long time ago, but now it seems that's all that he does. Maybe he should go back and clarify that it's a friends thing, that it's just because Wilson backed out and now has a spare ticket. But, of course, that would be a lie. He knew Wilson was busy this weekend when he booked the tickets; he wanted - wants - to take Cameron out on a date. Cameron and him on a date. Oh God, it's like high school all over again.
He doesn't think about their date for the next couple of days. And that would be another lie; he thinks about it everytime he's not thinking about her. He likes to think that she's smiling more since Wednesday evening. She smiled at him when she gave him his coffee on Thursday morning, and again on Friday, and he tells himself that the strange feelings in his stomach had nothing to do with their fingers brushing together over the coffee mug or that gorgeous smile of hers.
They don't talk about it - after all, they never were much for talking. The case they're working on runs over to Saturday and it's only on that afternoon, when Cameron comes to tell him that the treatment is working, that they finally confront the issue.
"So, are we still on for tonight?"
"Yeah, remember to wrap up warm. I won't give you my jacket if you get cold," he smirks, throwing his over-sized tennis ball from hand to hand.
"I wouldn't expect anything less," she replies, with a slight roll of her eyes and a smirk of her own.
"I'll see you tonight," he says somewhat seriously, unable to resist looking into her eyes as he speaks.
She holds his gaze. "You too."
House watches her leave, and the corners of his mouth turn slightly upwards as he sees the subtle bounce in her step.
Wilson comes over that evening (uninvited, of course). In the end, he ignores all of his advice almost as well as he avoided the whole "is it a date?" thing all week. He wears something warm and practical, grabs a couple of snacks and his hockey jersey, and goes to pick Cameron up with Wilson's many pieces of relationship advice relentlessly spinning round his head.
"Tell her how you feel" (he nearly laughed out loud at that one). "Tell her you want to be more than friends" (he thinks he should call Wilson 'God of Cheese' from now on) and many other stupid and clichéd sayings. No, screw Wilson, he was going to tell her…
"You look nice." Because, hell, it's true, he thinks as he looks at her standing in the doorway of her apartment. She's not wearing anything special. Jeans and a hoodie. But she looks…beautiful.
She mutters her thanks as she steps out and closes the door behind her, putting the keys in her pocket. She's awkward. He's awkward. And he hates the way that that's always the case.
They walk in stony silence to his car. He nearly starts a conversation a number of times, but the words either seem too little or too much. Cameron doesn't seem to mind, but walks closer to him than she does at work and he finds that somewhat comforting.
He doesn't open the car door for her, and she doesn't ask him to. The radio flicks on automatically as he turns the engine, and he notices that her whole posture relaxes a little at the music. It's nothing groundbreaking, something Keane-sounding, probably some new 'indie' band which really aren't indie at all, but it sparks conversation between them and for that he is grateful.
"You like this?"
"Yeah, they're okay."
He doesn't ask who "they" are, and to be honest, he doesn't care. They talk about music for a while; she likes the usual rock/pop stuff but (thank God) also likes his kind of music and she tells a story of the time her brother went to a Led Zeppelin gig. It's a funny story, and her face lights up as she recalls the memory. He smiles.
He stops off near the ice rink and leads her to a bar on the side of the street. It's small with a friendly café atmosphere but with all the buzz of a local bar. The same radio station that they were listening to earlier blends into the background noise of the bar amongst the chatter as they look for a spare table.
"Over there," she says, pointing to a corner table that a family had just vacated. He sees her hand twitch by her side, almost like she was going to take his hand but decided against it. She smiles at him instead as they make their way over to the table and sit down.
A waitress quickly clears the table and hands them a menu each. One look tells him that everything is "served with fries". Not that he's complaining.
"What are we doing?" she asks all of a sudden, putting her menu down in front of her.
He follows suit and places his menu on top of hers. He knows what she's implying, and for some reason that makes it even harder to crack a joke; so he stays silent and settles for raising an eyebrow in her direction.
"I mean, is this a date? Or what? I just…I never know where I stand with you," she admits, and he hates that this has turned into another 'us' conversation, because, really, what was wrong with the silence?
House thinks he must look awkward, because she apologises for asking before hiding behind her menu once more. Silence passes between them again as he gets lost in his own thoughts. Why did she have to bring it up? For once in his life, he doesn't know what he's doing or what he wants. How the hell does she expect him to say that coherently?
"I don't want this to be like last time," he says after a minute or so, and she considers him curiously from behind her menu. "I don't want to talk about us, I don't want to talk about work, and I definitely don't want to talk about how I feel."
If she was surprised by his speech she doesn't let it show. She gives her full attention to him and asks with caution, "So what do you want?"
She looks at him. He looks at her. There's a spark - there's always been a spark - and his insides do a flip-flop at the overwhelming emotion flashing in her eyes. She's still in love with him. God knows why.
"I want…" he started but gave up, exasperated. "I want Wilson to get a life so he's less interested in mine, I want J.D. and Elliot to get together in Scrubs, and I want Carmen Electra to walk into the clinic one day and ask me to take off her bra," he jokes with his usual nonchalance. "But for now…you, me, and a hockey game sound pretty good."
He's still avoiding the question, but making a joke about it makes him feel more comfortable and judging by the smile on her face, it did the trick.
"Okay," she says, placing her hand over his cautiously on the table. She's warm. He looks at their hands for a moment before lacing his fingers through hers. It's more comforting than he expected, and he thinks how strange it is that Cameron can understand him so well when they barely even know each other. He doesn't know her favourite colour, or how many siblings she has, or even what her hobbies are- it's almost like they know each other without needing words. And for that he's grateful, because, really, words are pretty pointless.
Comments & constructive criticism are always welcome:-)