DISCLAIMER: House and its characters are the property of FOX. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: While the moments are sequential, they take place over a long period of time, with months passing in between each scene. Between the first scene and the second they become involved in a relationship, but it doesn't happen "on-screen". It was slightly inspired by themes and variations in music, where each piece works on it's own and in harmony with the other pieces, all building upon a common premise.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Variations on a Theme: Catharsis
By Babydykecate


Thirteen sits in the darkness, contemplating the call. Her mind replays the slow delicate friendship she had with Cameron, abruptly fractured by a kiss. Thirteen had stupidly rushed it. She'd been in so deep that the kiss had seemed like an uncontrollable conclusion. "Objects in motion will stay in motion." It sounds so simple, until you remember that the girl has a boyfriend at home. So Thirteen had pulled away to mend and forget. Then she'd found him in her path, and once again, it seemed like a natural conclusion.

As the panic rolls over her now, she can't help wanting to dial the one that's not her boyfriend. Maybe it's another unstoppable force, because she hardly remembers dialing the numbers. She only realizes which number she's dialed by the voice at the other end.

"Hello?... Hello?"

"Allie... Allison..." Thirteen's voice trembles, and she fights to make it strong and clear.

"Remy? Are you ok?" Any anger in Cameron's voice quickly changes to concern.

Thirteen is silent. Her body may be weak, but her will has to be strong. It's all she has.

"Remy! Are you ok?" Cameron asks again, her anxiety building.

"I… I can't see, Allie," Thirteen admits softly. She tries to keep her voice light, but the fear bleeds in.

"I'll be there in 10. Do you want me to stay on the phone with you?" Cameron asks, her voice carefully firm and authoritative. The shift of Cameron from worried friend to doctor calms Thirteen.

"I'll be fine," Thirteen assures her. She pauses, then adds, "Allie- thank you."

"Be there soon, little chef," Cameron replies before she hangs up.

Despite her overwhelming fear, with its undeniable symptoms of a racing heartbeat and trembling hands, Thirteen can't help but smile at the silly nickname.

"I hate you!" the 8-year old patient screams at her mother as she thrashes in Cameron's arms. Cameron expects Thirteen to come help her restrain the patient, but Thirteen doesn't move. A moment later, House pushes Thirteen out of the way and injects the kid with a tranquilizer.

"House! That wasn't necessary. We have no idea if that will harm her…" Cameron chastises as she follows House into the hall.

"Cripple, remember?" House replies. "Your girlfriend on the other hand, is perfectly physically able- for now anyway, and yet she did nothing."

"She's not my–" Cameron starts.

"Your lips say no, but your blush says yes," House cuts her off with a smirk. Before she can respond House makes an escape to the elevator, leaving her to fume in the empty hall.

Thirteen comes home late, walking into the apartment without a word. She takes off her coat, dropping it to the floor. She then kicks off her shoes, unbuttoning her shirt as she walks to Cameron. Her hands move roughly over Cameron's skin. Cameron is overwhelmed by the heavy scent of alcohol on Thirteen's breath as Thirteen's lips find hers.

Cameron pulls away. "Why did you freeze?" she whispers, finally asking the question she's been troubled by all day long.

Thirteen's body tenses, her nails almost painfully digging into Cameron's skin.

"I was just overtired," Thirteen dismisses with a forced smile, her eyes avoiding Cameron's. She tries to kiss Cameron again. Cameron stops her, firmly holding Thirteen in her arms.

"Why?" Cameron asks again, forcing Thirteen to look at her.

"It was my mother, ok?" Thirteen spits out, trying to break free of Cameron's arms.

The compassion on Cameron's face makes Thirteen squirm. Thirteen doesn't want pity. She doesn't deserve it.

"I hated her. I fucking hated my dying mother, ok?" Thirteen snaps.

"Ok," Cameron whispers softly, her hand finding Thirteen's.

Tears stream down Thirteen's face, despite her every effort to stop them. "I hated her," she whimpers as Cameron holds her close.

"It's okay," Cameron whispers back.

Thirteen's fingers brush against the silver frame. The girl with the irrepressible smile wraps her arms around her, her blonde hair tickling Thirteen's neck. Cameron's fingers gently pull at the photo in Thirteen's hands. Thirteen turns into Cameron's arms, not letting go of the photo.

"I'm sorry," Thirteen whispers. It was never just her death sentence.

"It's a curse," Cameron replies with a forced laugh, looking away.

"Tell me about him," Thirteen asks gently. "How you fell in love, your wedding, what he smelled like... anything."

Cameron's fingers trace his face in the frame. "Musk and soap..." she murmurs, then stops herself and puts the photo down on the side table. Thirteen is about to sigh when she feels Cameron's hand around her waist.

"We danced a waltz- for our first dance," Cameron tells Thirteen, leading their bodies to the imaginary music.

Cameron's mind replays the past, while Thirteen's struggles with the future. It's the warmth of their skin, the tingle of arousal, and their shared pain that links them together in the present.

Eyes closed. Her fingers know the curves of Thirteen's body without a map.

Whispered words hang in the air to be savored later, when need is less desperate.

Tears mix with sweat and arousal, not waiting to be brushed away.

Their bodies are intertwined, vulnerable and trusting. Climax is a release of soul more than body, when words tumble out and hands hold tight.

They fall asleep soon, eyes closed, hands intertwined.

The End

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