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.
At nine-thirty the following morning, Cameron put her plan into action. She had come across Wilson earlier who nodded to her on his way to the clinic. She hurried to House’s office. He had placed the CDs back on the desk, in several small piles rather than one precarious tower. The photo was still there, between Miles Davis and The Doors, and she wondered why he hadn’t gone to any lengths to hide it. He probably wasn’t expecting her to steal it. If things went according to plan, it wouldn’t be gone long.
She was taking a risk. There had been no indication that House and Cuddy were anything beyond mortal enemies, until she saw his expression with the photograph. He’d been harboring feelings for her all this time. If Cameron had to guess, she’d say Cuddy never knew. She’d find out soon enough.
Cameron thumbed through the papers on House’s desk. Hmm, financial reports for the other departments. “That’ll do,” she muttered, shoving the picture between two of the pages. She grabbed a few more sheets and left the office.
Cuddy was sitting at her desk when she walked in. “For me?” she asked as Cameron handed her the stack.
“House told me to bring those to you. A supplement to his earlier report.”
Cameron walked out before Cuddy realized that the papers had nothing to do with House’s report. She went to the far side of the nurse’s station to hide herself and looked into Cuddy’s office. The woman was already flipping through pages, shaking her head and — there!
Cuddy frowned as she held up the photograph. A bittersweet smile formed as she probably recalled the instant when the picture was taken. She chuckled and flipped the photo over. Cameron held her breath but resisted the urge to close her eyes. Cuddy’s expression changed to one that nearly matched House’s when he saw the picture. Pain, sadness, longing. She stared at the photo again, fingertips pressed hard against her lips, her mind trapped in the past.
* * *
Cameron tapped away on her laptop, sipping Diet Coke from a straw without missing a letter. The sounds of her typing were superimposed by the bouncing of a ball in House’s office. She could see him at his desk, throwing the tennis ball toward the wall and catching it as it obediently returned. The door between his office and the conference room was cracked open so that he could yell at her to bring him coffee. He seemed particularly moody that afternoon, and she wondered if he had noticed that the photograph was missing.
A door opened, and a familiar figure stepped into his office. The bouncing stopped. “Hi.”
Cameron looked up just in time to see Cuddy enter the office — and for House to shut the blinds. It took her a moment to realize that he didn’t close the door. She carried her chair over to the door and quietly placed it back down, then sat. She felt guilty about eavesdropping, averting her eyes to the floor as if that would somehow make her less culpable.
“–got your report,” she was saying. “I also got this.” There was a moment of silence, and Cameron tried to imagine the look on House’s face. “I didn’t know you still had that.” He didn’t reply. “Is it true?” More silence. “Am I talking to myself here, or were you planning on taking part?”
“What do you want me to say?” Cameron heard the thump of the cane on the floor as he stood. He took a few steps in some direction; toward her or away, she wasn’t sure.
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
“You didn’t know?”
“No,” she whispered. “I mean, I-I thought, I hoped, but…”
“Yeah, well, I did you a favor.”
“You wouldn’t be where you are today if you’d gotten mixed up with me.”
“How can you know that?” Each word quivered with anger or sadness or something in between. “How can you possibly know that?”
More silence. Cameron could feel the tension drifting into the conference room, and she hugged herself. Maybe Wilson was right, maybe it was a mistake to interfere. If they hadn’t talked about this since college, Cameron had just been responsible for ripping open old wounds and letting them bleed.
“If you had asked…” Cuddy was speaking quietly now, almost whispering, her voice thick with emotion. “If you had given any indication, anything at all… Maybe I wouldn’t have gotten away all those years ago. But I guess some things never change. Do they?” The door opened and closed again. Cameron sighed.
A loud thump resonated from House’s office, followed by fluttering. Based on the sounds, House had just knocked an entire stack of papers off his desk. On purpose.
Footsteps, followed by the blinds clinking together. She slowly lifted her eyes to look at him, feeling suddenly very small, like a child who had gotten caught with a crayon pressed to the wall. House stood in the doorway, a cold glare directed at her. “Are you happy now?” He didn’t wait for an answer, kicking the door jamb out of place and yanking the door shut. If it could slam, she’s sure it would have.
End of Part 3