Behind Blue Eyes
Written June 2006
Synopsis: Cameron attempts to reunite House with “the one that got away.”
Disclaimer: The characters within are property of Heel & Toe, Shore Z. Productions, Bad Hat Harry Productions, and other corporations. No infringement is intended.
“On the desk!” he yelled after her, and Allison Cameron waited until she was in his office and out of sight before rolling her eyes.
“How am I supposed to find anything on your desk?” she wondered aloud as she stared at the mounds of papers. Of course he would send her to find a proverbial needle in the haystack that was his work station. She was supposed to be writing a research paper, not hunting down a departmental report which House had probably not even finished.
She pushed around a few of the pages, but none of them looked remotely like the missing report. Cable bill, a memo dated two weeks ago. God, House, you really need to pick up after yourself. Cuddy had ordered him to catch up on his clinic notes, and it appeared that the file of every patient he’d had in the last three months was sitting on his desk.
She sat in his chair, trying to put herself in House’s place. She’d seen Cuddy in his office earlier this morning, so maybe he hid the report. If she saw it wasn’t done, she’d probably have a fit, and it seemed very much like House to try to avoid further clinic duty which Cuddy would provide as punishment. Cameron reached for the nearest pile and shuffled through the pages. Mostly old memos and letters that she doubted he’d ever read, but none of them were the report.
Did he really expect Foreman and Chase and herself to keep him organized? What would he do when their contracts expired? She sighed and looked around again, hoping for inspiration in any form. The tallest stack of folders, the only one she hadn’t gone through, stood next to a tower of CD cases. She reached for the folder on top, but her sleeve got caught on one of the jewel cases. All of the CDs tumbled over and scattered across the desk and onto the floor.
With a muted curse, Cameron knelt down and began picking up the CDs. Something caught her eye, a small piece of paper with a photographic logo and some writing on the back. It had apparently been hidden between two of the CDs. She picked it up and read the text. ‘The one that got away.’ She turned the photograph over, half expecting to see an image of a fish, not that she had any notions of House engaging in any outdoorsy activities. Instead, she saw two blue eyed young adults in University of Michigan sweatshirts. She didn’t recognize either of them at first glance, but when she remembered that House had attended the University of Michigan, her jaw dropped. “Wow.”
House was handsome now, in a scruffy sort of way, but if she’d met him in college, she would’ve dropped dead at his feet. Gorgeous. He was muscular, tanned, and those eyes… She touched the face in the photograph gently. His smile reached his eyes, a genuine expression of happiness, one that Cameron wasn’t sure she’d ever witnessed. His arm was snaked around the waist of the woman beside him, her body pressed into his with no means of escape, cheek pressed against hers. Maybe that’s why he was so happy.
The one that got away.
Cameron’s gaze drifted to the woman. Her eyes were as blue as his, her grin equally happy. She recognized the look, that of love. House had it too, and Cameron wondered what kind of event had to happen to make it all disappear. She turned the photo over again, wishing that the woman’s name had miraculously appeared. No. She was still ‘the one that got away.’
House had loved once — Stacy. But this woman would have been before Stacy, before the infarction. Where was she? What happened to her? Something about her was familiar to Cameron, but she couldn’t place it. Something in the eyes, so incredibly blue.
She looked at the couple again but this time saw only sadness. Why did House have a decades old photograph like this one hidden in a tower of jewel cases? He wasn’t the nostalgic type. Regret? It shouldn’t be too difficult to track her down through the university alumni system. Maybe he didn’t want her to know about his leg, or that he was miserable, or that she was the one who made him that way.
“I said on the desk.”
Cameron jumped, dropping the photograph on the floor. House’s gaze was curious, and he seemed to be cataloging everything in his office, seeing what was missing. “I– It wasn’t on your desk.”
He picked up a sheet of paper and waved it out in front of her, like a matador with a red flag.
She stood up, and the chair rolled back. “I’ll take it to Dr. Cuddy.” She snatched the paper with a little more force than she should have, and House regarded her with a sly smile. She walked around the desk, keeping her eyes locked on his. He moved as well, occupying the position she had left. Cameron watched as his gaze shifted to the CD cases, still scattered on the floor. He bent over and picked up the photograph, staring at the image for a long moment. Cameron’s breath caught in her throat, her heart pounding so loudly she was sure he could hear it. When he looked at her again, his expression was a mixture of anger and pain.
Cameron backed out of the office, and House seemed torn between glaring at her and looking at the picture. When she was through the door, he finally turned back to the photo in his hands. His gaze softened, and he lowered himself into his chair.
She didn’t wait for the elevator, the adrenaline in her body propelling her toward the stairs. Who was that woman? Why did he still have that photograph? Did he miss her? Love her?
When she reached the main floor, she stopped for a moment to catch her breath. Cuddy went to the University of Michigan. She was an undergraduate when House was there. She said he was already a legend. All great legends like to show off their significant others, don’t they? Their living trophies? Maybe Cuddy had seen her and knew who she was. Of course, Cameron didn’t have the picture, and the only striking feature about the woman she could recall was her bright blue eyes. Besides, she didn’t know how she could ask when it had no importance to anyone but herself. And why was it important? She didn’t have an answer, but the look on House’s face had convinced her to find out who this woman was and why their relationship hadn’t worked out.
Cuddy’s office was the opposite of House’s: organized, bright, inviting. Cameron felt some of the tension in her body dissipate, and she smiled. Cuddy returned the gaze. “What can I do for you?”
“House wanted me to bring by the department’s report,” she explained as she handed the paper over to her. She waited quietly as Cuddy reviewed it, trying to assess her mood. If she was frustrated by House’s one page explanation of what they were doing, bringing up anything about him would add fuel to the fire.
“Better late than never, I guess.” She looked up from the report. “Anything else you need?”
Cameron met her gaze, the question on her lips, but the sentence died before she could say the first word. Her mind shuffled together the pieces of the puzzle, formulating the only picture which could be correct. And then, there was only one thing left to say. “You have very blue eyes.”
End of Part 1