Fandom: House MD
Challenge/Prompt: 100_prompts, 008. Compromise
Summary: He doesn’t care why she’s here, and it’s clear that she has no intention of telling him, so it’s the perfect situation, winning out through unadulterated apathy.
Author’s Notes: I wanted to write this but I couldn’t find the words and then I could. Surprisingly fluffy. Only not.
The fact that she doesn’t want to save him makes her different to pretty much every other woman in his life and it’s one of the few things he likes about her. It’s not that he hates her – far from it – but a lot of the time he doesn’t like her all that much. It’s a thing, but the uncertainty he feels when it comes to her (the blindspot; the one person he can’t quite figure out his emotions towards) has never been such an issue before.
Except that she’s standing in the doorway with a look he doesn’t entirely like in her eyes.
“Don’t;” he says, and tries to sound bored. “Cameron’s already done that look to death and I have to say it looked better on her.” She says nothing. “I’ve been there, done it, and had to buy dinner in order to get that look to lie down and behave itself.”
“You haven’t fucked Cameron.”
The words sound almost wrong, spilling out of her mouth. He pretends he doesn’t care.
“How do you know?”
The thing that might have been pity in her eyes crumbles instantly, which he’s grateful for. He’s got to have someone in this world who’s willing to give up on him.
“Because if you had, I’d have fired you,” she replies easily. Maybe it’s true. Maybe it isn’t. The words sound honest, but she wouldn’t have got anywhere in the world if she hadn’t learned to lie with a straight face. She probably has a tell. It occurs to him that he doesn’t actually know her well enough to know, which seems kind of sick.
He doesn’t care why she’s here, and it’s clear that she has no intention of telling him, so it’s the perfect situation, winning out through unadulterated apathy.
“I’m sick to death of that look,” he says. He doesn’t want pity and fuck knows, he doesn’t want it from her. “Give me something new.” He doesn’t know if it’s a dare or an order or a plea or maybe all three.
The expression on her face becomes calculated, and he supposes he’s never really thought about how short she is before. In relation to him. Even in those ridiculous fuck-me shoes she insists on wearing every day (and he tells Wilson he isn’t looking and his best friend just laughs) she remains irreversibly small. And maybe it is a dare when she reaches up to put one hand on the back of his neck, and pulls him down and they meet at middle ground for the first time and for their first kiss.
Cameron would probably have done this if she weren’t so scared of him (oh, it’s sweet that she thinks she can stand up to him, but she’s still terrified. She just can’t remember why) but she didn’t. He’s suddenly glad.
“Oh God,” she whispers, or maybe he does, and maybe this is the line that once you’ve crossed it it can’t be uncrossed. Is that even a word? But he takes a step-shuffle back and she follows and kicks his door shut with her foot and this time he kisses her.
Tonight he would have been self-pitying and in pain and he might have spent a while looking miserably at the bookcase where he hides his morphine but he wouldn’t ever have taken it because he’s not at that point yet. But now she is here and things are going to be different. It’s a relief but it’s terrifying too. Two sides of a coin.
“You sure about this?” she asks, probably more for effect than the fact she cares. He almost wants to laugh because he’s made it practically hilariously clear since day one that he wants inside those lace-edged bras, but instead he whispers:
“Well, it’s cheaper than hiring a hooker.”
If she minds being compared to a hooker she doesn’t mention it, kicking off her shoes and letting him set the pace, a stumble but it’s ok, to his bedroom, the double bed that hasn’t seen action in longer than he allows himself to remember (hookers always on the couch. It’s wipe clean).
It’s half-madness but this was always coming and she came over here tonight knowing that this would happen. She had to. It was inevitable, that this dancing around each other would miss a step and crash through into something else. His mouth finds hers again in the semi-darkness and her perfectly manicured, dean-of-medicine fingernails dig into his upper arm on the right hand side. He takes this as an invitation to unbutton that dean-of-medicine blouse.
Fuck, he always knew they’d be perfect. She’s got beautiful breasts, he’s always said so (even if his remarks were mostly less than flattering and it’s not always easy to tell the difference between compliment and insult- but that’s the way with him) and she breathes deeply, palming his t-shirt up and nails dig into his spine.
It would probably be easier not to do this, but on the other hand it’s not like they have a good working relationship to wreck and perhaps she’ll fire him if he doesn’t perform well enough, but that’s a chance he’s willing to take.
She gasps, and he buries his face in her hair. She uses shampoo that smells like indefinable flowers and he’s never been close enough to smell that before, and this whole thing is a little bit strange and maybe even a little bit right.
He likes not having to explain the leg. She’s seen the scar, she knows how much pain he’s in, and she’s gentle and knows how and where to move. He wonders whether she planned this all out inside her head, but that’s all too much to think about and it changes things more than he planned on changing them.
There’s an after where she lies beside him and laughs in a way he’s never heard her laugh before. It’s still half-dark in here and there’s still a lot undefined, but it’s all right. He picks pyjama pants up from the floor, slides them on, avoids her gaze as he takes a Vicodin from the bottle on the nightstand. It’s his body. She can borrow it from time to time but it’s still his and if it hurts then he’ll take what the fuck he likes.
“What do we do now?” she asks, but she sounds amused, not uncertain. Still, he can tell she’s as disconcerted as he is, which is a strange and unwelcome feeling for them both. He considers telling her to go and falling into an evening of narcotics and trash TV. It’s a viable option. But she’s still naked in his bed and perhaps he doesn’t want that to end just this second.
So he calls out for Chinese and decides to see where this takes them.