Disclaimer: I own nothing unfortunately :(
Allison Cameron was a self harmer. She had been since she was twelve. And it was something she had always gone to considerable lengths to hide. Particularly when she joined House's team. His talent for observation meant she had to be even more careful; she could not give away even one subtle clue that she might be a self harmer. And for the first year she had succeeded, no – one, not even House had suspected that there might have been something beneath her lab coat and conservative outfits. But one day she was going to slip up and the one person she did not want to know about her secret shame would find out.
It had happened like this: they'd had a patient with various symptoms that did not make sense and, as usual, it had taken them a few days to diagnose him. This was not what bothered her. What bothered her was the uncanny resemblance he had to her late husband, even down to the way he scrunched his nose up when he was reading something. She kept up the facade that she was coping, that it did not bother her and that he was simply another patient, to the point of fooling even House but once the patient had been diagnosed she went home and went straight to her bedroom, pulling out her box of blades. Sighing resignedly she went to the bathroom and undressed, until she was wearing nothing but her bra and panties. She looked down at herself and her body, her stomach, thighs and hips were a mass of scars, the evidence of over a decade's worth of self harm. She sat on the edge of the bathtub and picked up a fresh blade, inspecting it before pressing it into her stomach and dragging it over the flesh, smiling contentedly as the blood began to flow down her skin. She continued like this, but it wasn't until she started cutting her thighs did she make a big mistake. She always used a bigger blade on her thighs and as she was pressing the blade deep into her skin her phone rang, startling her, causing her to drag the blade upward far too quickly, a massive gash appearing on her leg. She remained calm and simply stared at the wound, dropping the blade on the floor as she watched the blood with interest as it ran down her thigh, over her knee and began to drip on the floor. Soon though her doctor instincts kicked in and she knew the cut needed stitches. She washed her hands and stitched her leg back together, doing all of this with a strange sense of calm, her mind barely registering the pain from her cuts. She bandaged her leg up and went to bed, a small smile on her face.
When she woke up the next morning the first thing she felt was the sting and pain of the previous nights self harming session and she breathed softly, the pain making her forget about the last patient who could have been her late husband's doppelganger. Unfortunately for Cameron, because she had been self harming for so long, the only effect it had was to temporarily relieve her of the pain of the most recent events – there were some pains that self harming could not ease.
She unwrapped the bandage and studied the stitches, fairly proud of her good work before she stood under the shower, the hot water causing every fresh cut to tingle and throb and she felt almost euphoric - that is, until she ran shower gel over the new cuts, the sting causing her eyes to water and for her to hiss in discomfort. She stepped out of the shower and gently dried herself, bandaging her leg once again to prevent infection however, it wasn't until she was leaving did she realise the deep gash in her thigh had caused her to have the slightest of limps. It was not something a regular person would notice but something which House definitely would. She had to come up with a decent excuse and fast. I pulled a muscle, overdid it on the treadmill. She smiled, yes, that was a legitimate excuse, something which even House could buy. She left and went to work, aware of how much her clothes rubbing against her new cuts hurt.
As usual she was the first in and she went about making the coffee and sorting through House's mail. Foreman and Chase arrived soon after and they smiled at her, getting their coffees before settling down to their usual routine – Chase doing his crossword and Foreman reading a neurology journal. House eventually arrived brandishing a case file "we have a case" he stated. Cameron stood and got him his coffee and he cocked his head, watching her. As she handed the cup to him he asks her "why are you limping? I wasn't aware limping was in fashion now." He leant on his cane, watching her reaction. Her face remained emotionless as she replied "oh yes House, limping is so in Vogue right now, have you not seen the supermodels limping down the catwalk?" House smirked as she went and sat back down, watching her movements with interest. "You haven't answered my question" he stated as he sipped his coffee. Cameron did not look up from the case file as she replied "I pulled a muscle running on my treadmill. Nothing to write home about. Can we get back to the patient?" House raised his eyebrows slightly but said nothing, instead he limped over to the whiteboard and started listing the symptoms. House eventually sent Chase off to draw blood, Foreman to do an MRI and Cameron to take the patient's history. However, before he sent Cameron off he called her into his office and as he sat down at his desk he winced, his hand automatically going to his leg. "House? Are you alright? Is your leg bad?" Cameron's gentle and caring nature came through in abundance as she moved towards him, her love for him almost suffocating her. House gave a slight nod "no more than usual, but I do not want to talk about me," he said as he popped two Vicodin, "I want to talk about you." Cameron's insides went cold but somehow she managed to keep her face expressionless. "Have I done something wrong?"
House lifted his leg to rest it on the desk as he studied her carefully. "Why would you think that?"
"Why else would you want to talk to me?"
House smirked, picking up his tennis ball and passing it backwards and forwards between his hands as he replied "you're lying to me Cameron."
Cameron raised an eyebrow, trying to remain calm as she replied "about what?"
"Pulling a muscle. You are not walking with a limp because of a pulled muscle."
Cameron glared at him "oh really? Tell me then House, why do you think I'm limping?"
He regarded her coolly for a second before replying "because you are trying to empathise with me. You want to try and understand me and you feel that in order to do so you must 'cripple' yourself, albeit temporarily. Not that I'm not flattered or anything Cameron..." He trailed off as he saw the look on her face – it was one of pure and unadulterated hatred. She kept exceedingly calm as she replied "you are unbelievable! How could you possibly be so self – centered to think that...to think that I would...Do not flatter yourself House. I told you the truth. Do not try and see a small injury for something that it isn't. Now, if you are quite done with your desperate attempt to boost your ego, I have a patient history to take." And with that she turned on her heels and left, grabbing her bag from the conference room as she did, leaving a slightly stunned House watch her go.
Instead of going to see the patient Cameron took a detour to the ladies bathroom. She sat in one of the stalls trying to work out how she could still love a man who came out with insensitive statements like that. She pushed her pants down and pulled out a small blade she kept in her purse, making a few small cuts around the bandage. She sighed as she let the pain take over, then dabbed the small trickles of blood away. She stood and left the ladies room and set off to take the patient's history.
House's words still rang in her head as she sat at home and in a desperate attempt to stop them she went to the bathroom and made some more cuts on her thighs and hips, revelling in the pain. She was halfway through cleaning the blood off her legs when there was a knock at the door. She froze, knowing that knock. It was House. What the hell is he doing here? She thought as she made her way to the door, not bothering to clean up the bathroom. "What do you want House?" she asked bluntly as she opened the door. A look of surprise crossed his face upon hearing the tone in her voice. "Hello to you too Cameron. May I come in?" She stared at him, her heart in her throat as she looked at the man she loved, before finally relenting and opening the door all the way to let him in. He limped slowly into her apartment, closing the door behind him. She folded her arms and looked at him coldly "why are you here?" House looked at the floor, at the pictures on the walls, at her sofa, in fact he looked anywhere but at her. He swallowed his pride and mumbled "I came to apologise...for earlier...I...I'm sorry." Cameron stared at him, not quite believing what she was hearing. "May I use your bathroom?" He asked suddenly, startling her out of her reverie. "S-sorry? What did you say?" He smirked slightly as he repeated the question. Cameron began to panic, wishing she had cleaned up. "My bathroom is a complete mess. Could you give me a moment?" He nodded as she rushed to the bathroom, picking up her tools of self destruction and shoving them back in their box, trying to find a hiding place for them, before shoving the box behind the toilet. She emerged to find House relaxing on her couch "it's all yours" she gestured to the bathroom. She watched as House painfully eased himself off the sofa, her stomach doing somersaults. He glanced at her and she tried to hide the longing in her eyes.
After House had been in the bathroom for over twenty minutes Cameron started to become worried and she was just debating whether to knock on the door and ask if he was alright when he emerged, carrying her box of self destruction, the look on his face difficult to read. Cameron said nothing as he limped slowly towards her, and as he got closer she could see his eyes were blazing with fury. He set the box down on the table and removed the lid, revealing the various sharp implements inside. His voice was calm as he said "what is the meaning of this?" Cameron could tell he was desperately trying to keep calm and not shout at her. Cameron looked at him, her aqua coloured eyes full of pain before she turned her back on him as she replied "you had no right...you had no right...how dare you?"
House reached out to touch her shoulder and as he did she visibly flinched and screamed "don't touch me! Just get out House! Get out!"
House debated staying before turning and limping out of the door, a trembling Cameron watching him leave. As soon as he shut the door she grabbed the box and ran to the bathroom, not bothering to shut the door as she pulled out the biggest blade, pushing her pants down as she slashed her thighs repeatedly, no tears falling as she did so. She felt nothing, but the thoughts swirled in her head as she kept cutting how could I have been so stupid? I knew I should have cleaned up, should have found a better hiding place, should never have let him in. I can't stand loving him. She cut harder and deeper as she tried to suppress the feelings she had for him. The blood was beginning to pool at her feet and she started to feel light headed but she couldn't stop, she was too far gone.
House stood outside her door, knowing exactly what she was going to do. He was torn between walking away and breaking in. He quickly swallowed two Vicodin before deciding on the latter. He looked around, trying to guess where she would put the spare key, his blue eyes settling on a plant next to the door. She wouldn't put in underneath, that would be too obvious, so he stuck his hand straight in the dirt and rummaged around until he found the key. Unlocking the door he entered her apartment again to be greeted with silence. There was no sound. Cameron was not crying which he thought was unusual as he headed down the hall to the bathroom and what he saw shocked even him. The beautiful Allison Cameron, his beautiful Allison Cameron, was passed out on the floor in a pool of blood. He quickly washed his hands before kneeling on the floor next to her, his leg protesting angrily as he did but he ignored it. He reached out and stroked her cheek gently, before looking down at the mess before him. After looking at her various injuries he pushed himself to his feet, barely able to stand from the pain and he gave an involuntary whimper of pain, and he collapsed onto the edge of the bathtub. House's whimper seemed to awaken something in Cameron and her eyes flickered open. "H-House?" She said weakly, trying to push herself into a sitting position, her head swimming as she did so. "H-House? Is...Is it...your leg again?" Her head swam again and she forced herself not to pass out. She reached a shaking hand into his pocket and pulled out his Vicodin, handing it to him before sinking back down onto the floor again. She looked up at him as she felt the tiredness take over her body. "House..." she whispered. "House...I...love...you." She closed her eyes as the tiredness took over her body completely and she smiled as she felt herself slip away, free from the pain of living at long last.
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