Fandom: House MD
Written for: little_red_kite, who actually is a Wilson/Cameron shipper because “they are cute and fluffy”. She will be reading this on a printout that I’m giving her today because she doesn’t have internet access.
Copyright: “9 crimes”, Damien Rice, at her request. The jury’s still out for me on this song. It’s a bit waily.
Summary: The days before Julie leaves Wilson but from a W/C viewpoint. Suspiciously fluffy because I thought CarlyCarly might appreciate it. :)
Author’s Notes: Does not actually contain 9 crimes, because I could only think of about 4 and couldn’t imagine Wilson or Cameron actually committing grand theft auto. Also: I was writing a history essay at the same time as writing the middle section of this, and I think it shows. Formal language a-go-go and all that. And the essay was crap because I had to start making up historical facts [again].
One-ninth. Leave me out with the waste- this is not what I do
He runs a hand down her cheek and she closes her eyes and shivers. She aches all over from the need for contact and from the fact she’s been on her feet all day. She wants more than she can control, and it frightens her. His breath ghosts over her face and she wonders dizzily if she would be really missed if she just stayed here forever. With him. No one but him and the semi-darkness of his office and the soft silence. Her eyelids flutter closed and she feels insane and irrational, his fingers pushing her warm hair away from her neck so press the softest and lightest of kisses just behind her ear.
She shouldn’t want him this much, she shouldn’t be feeling this crazy under his butterfly touches, she shouldn’t need a married man this much. It goes against all that she believes in and against almost everything that she’s ever maintained, and it doesn’t matter. She could lose her job, face hours of her boss’ Significant Looks, go to hell in a little wooden boat and it wouldn’t matter to her. Not any more.
“Please, don’t,” she whispers, fingers tightening at her sides with the last shreds of common sense she has. His lips move to her earlobe, still gentle, still soft, still completely irresistible. “You have to stop.”
She feels him step back because she likes the welcome darkness behind her eyelids and to be able to see this would be to shatter it completely, and reality is the one thing that she doesn’t want from him.
Two-ninths. It’s the wrong kind of place to be thinking of you
She can’t get him out of her mind. She wants to think of something, to concentrate on the slide in front of her, on the swab of their patient who may or may not be female and who may or may not be dying and who has been in the hospital for an indeterminate amount of time. Normally she is a perfectionist. Right now, she can barely see through the microscope. Her eyes blur and she thinks of his hands and his smiles and the outline of his figure, not distorted by the glass but by awkward pieces of memory trying not to distract her.
This is not supposed to happen. She is supposed to have someone else entirely on her mind, or perhaps she is supposed to be stronger than this. He is married and it is a bad idea to be seduced by a co-worker and she knows all this and more and it still doesn’t matter. Her hands tremble and she feels distinctly sick because this is more than she knows how to cope with. It wasn’t like this before.
She has to work out what she’s testing for and why and sort this all out, get the results to House, watch him talk about how useless they are, drink more scalding and horrible coffee, kill her feet in the high-heels that she wears all day. She has to do this, and she knows it. But she can’t make herself move.
Three-ninths. It’s the wrong time for somebody new
He brushes a kiss over Julie’s face, and she pulls away awkwardly, as though she no longer wants to be touched. At least, not by him. It’s probably true. There’s no love left in this house, but he’s clinging on anyway. He can’t fail again. He won’t. Whatever the price, he will make this fixed.
But it isn’t easy. He does the flowers and the chocolates and the soul-destroying sex as best he can, but Julie hates it, and she hates him, and he can’t cope with the icy stares and the way her eyes don’t quite focus on him. He wants this stopped and finished. But he cannot let that happen, not at all, not one bit. And if he doesn’t think about her, then he might just carry this off.
Julie has brown hair and brown eyes and trembling hands and all he ever sees of her is her shoulder, turned away from him in bed, hurt and sleep etching a barrier between them. But… she has blue eyes, dark, dark hair that curls over her shoulders, the sweetest smile. He sees her a lot more often than he sees his actual wife, whether for coffee, or for a diagnosis, or because she’s standing in his office shaking uncontrollably and begging him to stop even though it’s clear from every inch of her that she wants him to keep going and going and going.
“I love you,” he promises Julie, and tries to tell himself that she isn’t rolling her eyes.
Four-ninths. It’s a small crime and I’ve got no excuse
“No,” she whispers against his mouth, seconds before he kisses her properly, back when there’s still perhaps a moment of breathless energy before he takes her over. “No, please, this is-”
But neither of them are listening to her words and instead he tangles a warm hand in her hair, her lips open of their own accord, and he kisses her deeply and desperately. She knows that she should make him stop, that she should point out all the reasons why this can’t happen, but she can’t bring herself to. She shocks herself with the realisation that she doesn’t actually care.
“We can’t do this,” she whispers helplessly, all caught up in cracks of light between his blinds and the peaceful silence after a day of screaming heart monitors and shouting and marker pens squeaking on whiteboards. He considers her words a moment, eyes squeezed shut because he might just cry a little, acknowledging that he can’t stop this now. It’s out of his hands.
“We already are,” he replies hoarsely.
Five-ninths. Is that all right? Give away my gun when it’s loaded
She fixes her hair awkwardly, with hands that tremble uncontrollably, and wipes mascara trails away from underneath her eyes. Her shirt is crumpled and her heart is still pounding, underneath the feeling that she wants to cry.
“Stupid, stupid, stupid,” she mutters to her reflection, pale and frightened-looking as she feels. She got what she wanted, but she can’t let this go on. He is married, and he is her co-worker. Those two facts have got to stand for something, although God knows what. She smiles crookedly at herself in the mirror, lips shaking a little, and then walks out. She needs to go home right now, breathe out, make a decision or five.
And not think about him. Not think about his hands on her back or his lips next to her ear or his mouth on her skin. Not think about his laughter or his smile or the softness of his hair tangled in her hands. Not think about how this could carry on. She will not be the Other Woman. Marriage is too sacred for that. She knows.
So she will not think of him tonight. No matter how much she wants to.
Six-ninths. If you don’t shoot it how am I supposed to hold it?
She won’t look at him. He’s not entirely sure if he wants her to, but she will not turn his way. Her voice trembles around him, and sooner or later (or now) House is going to put two and two together and figure it all out. His habit of doing differential diagnoses on the people around him gets more than a little frustrating, as well as awkward. Perhaps if House were less accurate, it would sting less. Who knows.
Julie is more distant than ever and he hates it, constantly reaching out for her more through a sense of duty than of love. For the first time it occurs to him that perhaps that’s the reason why she won’t try and reconcile their marriage; women can sense these things, and surely she must know that there’s very little affection left in their union. Their home freezes and he can barely bring himself to leave the hospital at the end of the day. House is no use and the world is quietly falling apart around him.
“James,” she says softly, and the use of his first name makes him flinch, “This can’t happen again.”
He pulls his hand away from her cheek as though it physically hurts, not being able to touch her, hating her for her keen sense of morality, and reluctantly turns away to walk back to a wife who doesn’t want him around. And he counts the cracks until he’s certain that they’re all going to break at once, leaving him with nothing.
Seven-ninths. Is that all right with you?
She can’t think straight because she wants him so badly that rational thought is gone. With Chase, drugged out of her mind, she let down barriers she wasn’t even aware she had and invited him in with a smile. She feels drugged all the time now, inhibitions dripping away every time she so much as glances in his direction. It was never supposed to be him, it was supposed to be House, but if she’s learned one thing here it’s that nothing can be taken for granted and anything is subject to change at any moment. It’s insanity trapped under glass, all in fits and shards and silences in the office worn soft from years of overuse.
She thinks about his mouth on hers and the way he feels and what she so desperately wants from him until dizziness threatens to take her over entirely, until she is so confused that she can’t diagnose anything accurately, and Foreman starts making her coffee as though that will fix everything. It’s all caffeine and band-aids here, as they all desperately try to hide just how much they’re falling apart.
Her self-restraint and righteousness are physically painful and she idly wonders whether she’s secretly (or not so secretly) a masochist after all, and tears and laughter catch in her throat and she knows that sooner or later she’ll give in.
Eight-ninths. It’s the wrong kind of place to be cheating on you
Julie is in tears on the couch when he comes home and he tells himself that he was stupid for thinking that he could fix this. It’s blatantly obvious that he could never have.
“I’m so sorry,” his wife sobs, guilt rich and raw on her pretty face. She doesn’t look so pretty right now, actually; mascara smeared down her cheeks, skin blotchy from sobs, hair tangled around her shoulders. Her hands are trembling and he goes to sit down on the couch beside her, wrapping arms around her quivering frame.
“Julie,” he says softly into her hair, breathing in her perfume for what he suspects will be the last time with a mixture of relief and despair.
“I’ve been having an affair,” she says into his shirt collar, and he thinks of how she’s getting the cotton wet and smeared with mucus and God knows what else and suddenly, irrationally hates Julie for what she’s done. “I didn’t mean to, but you weren’t around, and he- and he was there, and- oh James, it’s not your fault, it’s mine, and I’m so, so sorry, but I can’t stay in this marriage any more.”
He wants to say something meaningful, or perhaps biting, or perhaps comforting, but all he says is:
One. It’s the wrong time but she’s pulling me through
A shard of light slides across the half-dark hall floor when she pulls the door open. Her hair is damp from the shower and she looks tired, then shocked.
“What-” she begins, and stops herself. “No. I told you that-”
“Julie left me for someone else,” James tells her. “She’s been having an affair.”
Her eyes close and she frowns, face creasing, like he’s giving her headache.
“I’m sorry,” she says, voice hollow and so quiet he almost has to strain to hear it, and he realises that she doesn’t believe him.
“Call her yourself if you want,” he says, holding out his cellphone. “It wasn’t me. She had no idea that you and I-”
“James,” she says, and her voice catches in her throat and sounds half tearful, “James, I don’t know what to do.”
He steps into her apartment, letting the door shut behind them. She could tell him to stop, but she doesn’t.
“We’ll figure something out,” he promises, and doesn’t move until she does.