A/N: This is a melancholy piece, so be warned. Dark in some places. It is the start of what I plan to be at least a four part series about a possible House/Cameron road. This first section, which will be five chapters long, is in House POV.
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters, just the things I do to them.
Moving up slowly
Moving up slowly
Moving up slowly
Inertia Creeps by Massive Attack
Chapter 1 – Change
"All change is bad? It's not true you know."
You turn and look at Cameron, standing too close to you in the doorway as you watch the workmen replace your new carpet with the bloody one. You think fleetingly that even after three years working for you she is still so naïve when everything shifts. Suddenly, Cameron is closer, touching you almost. She runs her hand up the front of your sport coat and lightly grips your lapel.
"This change is though," she says softly.
Her face begins to melt. As her skin turns from its normal alabaster to a sickly shade of gray, it becomes waxy and runs off her skull forming a puddle on the top of your shoe which quickly runs over onto the carpet. You look on in horror, unable to move, as millions of little maggots squiggle out of her exposed nostrils and eye sockets. She opens her mouth to speak, but only a wet croak emerges as what looks like swamp water, dank and faintly smelly, pours from her lips. Tiny drops fly onto your face and chest and you try to recoil. Your back slides along the glass wall and you fall backwards onto the floor, rapping your head sharply. You hold up your arms in vain, your cane lost in the fall, to fend Cameron off as she descends upon you.
You lurch up in bed, drenched in sweat. You can hear your own pulse thundering in your ears as your heart thumps painfully in your chest. You squeeze your eyes closed tightly and take deep breaths until you can feel your heart rate reduce back to something in the normal range. You open your eyes and look at the clock. 1:43 am.
You only managed to fall asleep an hour or so ago. You lie back down and close your eyes, hoping you'll be able to recapture that so oft elusive state called sleep. Immediately, the waxy-faced Cameron appears in your mind's eye, complete with worms and swampy spittle on her chin. You shudder and open your eyes to stare at the far less disturbing ceiling above.
You always dream vividly; that's nothing new. If anything your dreams have become more vivid in the years you've been taking the Vicodin. It is one of the side effects of pain meds that you find easiest to deal with. But this dream plagues you. Nightmares aren't exactly new territory for you either; but a recurring nightmare, well, that's different.
Tritter. Rehab. Change. All bad things. It is just a subconscious expression of your dislike for change, especially change you can't control. Your mind has obviously called up that one little snippet of conversation from your past and is now batting it about, much the way a cat will toy with a ball of yarn or the way your tongue returns involuntarily to run over a cut in your mouth.
Since you know that, your subconscious should no longer need to work on the idea. The nightmare should be gone. That hasn't stopped you from dreaming it two or three nights a week since your arrest.
You haven't been able to figure out why.
And it is always Cameron. Wilson must have given you a speech about change and rehab a thousand times in the past few years, why is it always Cameron?
You roll over and stare at the wall for a change of scenery. There isn't any good reason why you should be constantly dreaming about Cameron. There is no reason why dreaming about a dead and moldy Cameron should bother you so much. There is certainly no reason why, beyond the disturbing visuals, the dream leaves you with a vaguely uneasy feeling; a feeling that has nothing to do with Tritter, or rehab, or Wilson or ….anything except Cameron.
Frustrated, angry and exhausted you roll back over in bed and stare at the ceiling for a long time before sleep returns.
"You look like crap," Wilson greets you the following mid-morning when you arrive at the hospital.
"And good morning to you too," you say with a sideways glance as you limp tiredly toward the elevators.
"Trouble sleeping?" Wilson asks.
"Trouble staying asleep," you mumble, looking around as you wait for the elevator to arrive to make sure no one but Wilson hears that.
"I can't believe I'm going to ask you this," Wilson says in a low tone, "do you want me to write you a script for something?"
"It's not insomnia," you say with a brief shake of your head. Sleeping pills are not going to help you figure out the stupid dream and you are convinced figuring it out is the only way to rid yourself of it. The elevator arrives and you step on. Wilson follows.
"Actually I'm pretty sure a sleeping disturbance is the definition of insomnia," Wilson replies.
"It's…" you pause. Wilson will want to talk about it. You can't tell him about the dream without a mind-numbing lecture about your deep, psychological issues. "A recurring nightmare. It'll go away."
"Want to tell me about it? Might help," Wilson offers.
"Nope," you said, thinking how predictable Wilson is. The elevator stops and you step out. Wilson stops at his office door and you continue.
"House," Wilson calls. You pause and look back. "You can always change your mind."
You nod, wishing change was really that simple.