Unraveled - House - fishtank36

Disclaimer: I suppose there's spoilers from the season 4 finale. This is un-beta'd.

A/N: Post-finale (s4) House/Cam fic. This idea spawned from what House said, couldn't not write it.

--

He feels like he's been unraveling since the beginning of this, since he first realized he had lost four hours, that someone on the bus was dying. He could feel the urgency in his bones, telling him to push, to solve the riddle and find this person. It was important, that he knew, but didn't know why - Amber. The person who was slowly stealing away his best friend and making him happy of all things.

"House," she gasps, when she sees him there in the ER looking absolutely horrible. She hands a nurse the patient's file and makes her way over. He's clinging to his IV stand, he's pale, drawn - obviously not resting.

"You- didn't answer- my page... pages, plural." He manages, resting his head against the cool metal of his IV stand's pole.

"I'm busy and you should be resting," she replies, not amused.

"I..." He pauses, gritting his teeth as a low growl emanates from the back of his throat. " -like... you."

"House," she warns, this is definitely not the time for this.

He shakes his head, trying to find the words. It's hard - he can still see Amber on that bus - it hurts so much to try after so long. "Wilson hates me... I-" It's one of those moments where he feels incredibly raw, vulnerable - he shouldn't have called. "I deserve it."

Cameron drops her authoritative stance, chin falling to her chest, hands slipping off her hips, "You risked your life to save her, you were in a coma, you could have-"

"Don't defend me," he pleads.

"House, you really should r-"

"Go out with me." He blurts, barely making eye contact.

He hates change. Change is hard, change hurts. The physical pain he feels is nothing in comparison to the emotional pain, the torture he inflicts on himself. He's not worth it... someone like him shouldn't be worthy of love, of affection - especially not by someone like her, who's nice and cares, who's intelligent and pretty. Hope is not something someone like him does, hope would imply caring... he hopes he's not too late.

One hand instinctively perches itself on the respective hip, she's not sure how to handle this, "This isn't something you should... right now is not the best time..."

"It's not the drugs," he insists, leaning as much weight as he can on the poor IV tower. He can feel the rug slipping out from beneath him, he was right, he never deserved that chance.

Cameron watches as what colour is left in his face drains away as his breathing gets shallow. She doesn't hesitate as she steps up to him, slipping underneath one arm as she locks one of hers around his waist, supporting him. "I'll think about it ifyou stay in your bed and rest."

It's not much, but it's enough. He catches her eye making sure she's serious, "Fine..." he nods, "fine."

Cameron personally escorts him back to his room, where they find Cuddy an inch away from firing somebody. "House, what the hell?"

"You were sleeping," he states simply, slipping into bed.

--

She finds him in his office, surrounded by mountains of books and files, if she didn't know better she would assume he'd lost his mind. "I need to talk to you about House."

He shakes his head not bothering to stop or look up, "I don't want to talk right now."

She shuts the door and turns around slowly, "He asked me out."

Wilson snorts, not at all amused. "I really don't... care."

"He risked his life for you and ended up in a coma," she snaps, uncharacteristically angry. "I just want to know if he's serious... he's afraid you won't stop hating him."

Wilson sighed, finally dropping his pen to address her, "House... House hates change, when- I- before he seized... he told me he was sorry... he cried." Wilson paused, running a hand over his mouth, "He's afraid of how much you'll hurt him, he's afraid he'll lose what makes him unique if he's just a little bit happy - but now..."

"He got out of bed, while Cuddy was sleeping, and came down to the ER..."

"Give him a chance," Wilson said quickly, eyes starting to water, "give him a chance."

--

When he's finally released, with a firm order that he rest, she's there. Waiting... with his backpack over one shoulder and a quiet smile. She drives him home and insists she stay, just for a little while... to feed him and make sure he's resting. As soon as they're over the threshold his lips are on hers, kissing desperately. The tears come of their own volition and he breaks down, arms wrapping tight around her. The pain slowly seeps out, down his cheek, clinging to his mouth before coursing down through the roughness of his chin.

She stands there holding him, feeling the pain that has always squeezed her heart loosen its grip. She can practically feel his walls crumbling down, his pulse running fast. "I..." He exhales - this is hard for someone like him, who keeps everything inside, "I want to try."

.