Author's Note: Mini-chapter. More like an epilogue...except it sort of contains the whole point. Whee!

House watched Cameron run, tears streaking down her flushed cheeks, and sighed heavily. So young, so foolish—she had no idea what she was trying to get herself into. What he was saving her from.

He limped in the direction of the street, hailing a cab wearily. He knew her, all right. He knew what she wanted, what drew her to him like a moth to a flame. He did not want to be saved, to be fixed, to be adored as he withered away. He wanted to be left alone. Occasionally, he wanted sex with a faceless stranger. And he wanted to spare Cameron the discovery of who he truly was.

Tomorrow, she would wake up in her own bed, hung over and horrified, and probably try to drag herself into work despite his cautions to the contrary. She would twitch and sweat and stare at him blankly, angrily, and eventually she would want to talk about the whole thing. Analyze it; find answers to all the whys. Typical woman.

And he would turn her away.

It was better this way, and some day she would thank him. Thank him for saving her from a pointless, devastating relationship; thank him for (hopefully) getting her off of the self-destructive wheel her little hamster legs were running her on.

Until then, he'd just be House. And she'd get over him soon enough.

He swallowed another Vicodin, gave directions to the cabbie, and leaned back against the cool leather seat, letting his eyes drift shut.

Someday she'd thank him.