TITLE: Little Victories (1/25)
SUMMARY: A collection of canon vignettes.
NOTES: So, apparently a lot of you still want me to write Chase/Cam fic. And I still want to write it, too. The only problem is that I'm in grad school now, so I can't really promise enough consistency for a multichapter fic. Instead, I thought I might do a fun little drabble collection. I'm taking the table from the 25 Fluffy Fics challenge that went around LJ a few years ago – You can google if you want to see the whole thing, but I'm going to do as much of it as I can, not in order. My plan right now is to have all of these set in canon, sort of as little missing scenes. We'll see where it goes.
"What is up with you?" Cameron asks for the third time, as the crowd from airport security thins at last, and Chase veers off toward their appointed gate. It feels oddly intimate, being here with him, another milestone in their relationship, context foreign.
He has been strangely silent since leaving her parents' house, not shutting her out, exactly, but distant nonetheless.
"Nothing," Chase answers tersely, cutting confidently through the waiting crowd gathered at the gate, finally stopping when he reaches the bank of seats nearest the window facing the tarmac. "This okay?" Not waiting for a response, he offers a hand to take her bag.
Cameron hands it to him, then pauses, crossing her arms. "It's not nothing. You're being really—"
"What?" Chase interrupts. "I'm being fine. I am fine."
"You're being weird," she amends. "You can tell me what's wrong, you know."
"Nothing is wrong," Chase insists, a note of exasperation slipping into his tone. "I had a very nice Thanksgiving. Thank you for inviting me."
"Then why did you check out the minute we walked out the door?" Cameron narrows her eyes. "Because seriously, you're acting like your head is already back in Princeton."
"Sorry," Chase hedges, still avoiding the actual question. He fumbles in his carry-on bag, but doesn't take anything out, a distraction for his hands.
Cameron sits heavily beside him, bringing her gaze back level with his. "You can tell me. I want you to tell me."
He looks away, down into his bag again. "It's just—your family."
Chase smiles, a bit sheepishly. "It's almost like—something out of a movie. Everyone happy and excited to see one another. You've had that all your life. My family never knew how to do a holiday without someone practically losing an eye."
"And you're—jealous of that?" she asks, a bit incredulous, but the pieces are rapidly falling into place.
There is nothing she can say to change that, she realizes. It will not help to tell him about the year when her parents had considered divorce, or how they'd looked at her when she'd decided to marry a stranger at the age of twenty-one. How they'd seen her as a spurious martyr, seeking pain in exchange for attention. How it had been years before she'd gone home again, after that. None of these things will lessen his wish for the elusive reality he thinks he's glimpsed this weekend.
"Babe." Cameron lays a hand on his arm, a bit hesitantly. "We'll make our own memories."
Chase looks up sharply, and his expression tells her that for the moment, it is enough. She has dared to mention their future.