Dangles By A String
She had hoped for a lot of things in her life.
When she was going to be nine years old, she had wanted a Doctor Barbie for her birthday...
Allison Cameron sat near the present table, a hopeful grin spread across her young face. She was
anxious, jumping up and down and whatnot. All around her, little kids were sitting, watching as she
ripped open present after present. They ooed and awed and some even had asked her if they could
play with her dolly that Aunt Meredith got her. Allison, being the kind hearted girl she was, had let
them while she opened the rest. They were nice presents, some dollies and clothes, but she was
anxiously waiting for just one present.
She knew that they had gotten her the Doctor Barbie, she just knew it. She had dropped hints for the
past two weeks, whether it be using medical lingo that she didn't know or cutting open her Teddy
Bears and then bandaging them back together. Allison hoped and hoped, not praying because she
didn't do that, and she was now jumping in her seat and swinging her legs so that the bells on her
socks jingled. Soon, her mother handed her a square box with a pink bow sitting on top of it. This
was it! This was what she had been hoping for...
She ripped open the present like it was a piece of meat and she was a starving dog and when she did,
the grin fell from her face.
It wasn't Doctor Barbie, it was the stupid beach one.
She tried acting happy about it and her parents believed that was pleased. Inside, Allison wanted to
scream at her parents and call them 'stupid'. How could they get her that other Barbie when she had
left clues for them left and right?! She had watched boring doctor shows for Pete's sake! And they
That night, she threw the Barbie box in her closet and buried it beneath a pile of dirty clothes.
Twenty-year-old college student, Allison Cameron was in love.
Maybe people were doubting her for it. They told her she was too young to be in that sort of
relationship, that she was too young to know what love really was. But she had pushed all their
comments aside and ignored their 'You'll just end up hurt!' She was perfectly capable of handling
these situations on her own. She was old enough to know the difference between love and hate, right
and wrong. Why couldn't people just see that?
Thomas and her were happy together. He was studying to be a lawyer and she was preparing for
med school. They had met at a party that Allison's friend had thrown and ever since then, they were
inserperable. They went walking in the park, dancing at one of the clubs, singing (quite badly) at the
local karaoke bar. You name it, they probably did it. Allison's friends saw a change in her mood.
She was now happy and carefree instead of the girl who parents had sent to medical school just so
they could get her out of their hair. That Allison was the quiet and studying one, this one was a
totally new side to her.
And then something horrible happened.
It had just been a regular check-up but it turned into something more. Thomas had thyroid cancer,
something that was incurable. Allison was devastated. She cried when they got into the car in the
hospital parking lot and Thomas just held her, telling her that it would be okay, that they would
make it through this. But she knew that it wouldn't be okay, she knew it.
They got married six months after that, despite Thomas' condition. It had been a small ceremony,
with only her closest relatives and friends and Thomas' mother ad father. They were pronounced
husband and wife, he kissed the bride and for one moment, she forgot all about the cancer and the
pain she had been going through. Right now it was just perfect.
All the hoping that she did so he would just magically get better and they could live happily ever
after wouldn't do anything.
He died six months after they wed.
"You live under the delusion that you can fix everything that isn't perfect. That's why you married a
man who was dying of cancer. You don't love - you need. And now that your husband is dead,
you're looking for your new charity case....That's why you're going out with me. I'm twice your age,
I'm not great-looking, I'm not charming...I'm not even nice. What I am is what you need - I'm
She stares at him, that glint in her eye that she had a second ago is nowhere in sight. He doesn't see
the hurt that is plainly written across her face and opens up his menu. Her gaze lingers on his bent
form but then she follows his example and opens her own menu. As she tries to read the words all
she sees is a bunch of odd symbols. She can't focus. The incident a few seconds ago is still replaying
over and over in her mind. Still, she pretends to be browsing the menu and when the waiter comes to
take their orders, she mutters that she'll have the ravioli. Him, the puttanesca.
They sit in silence for the rest of the date. Occasionally he'll say something about the patrons sitting
around them and she'll force herself to smile as if she forgot his entire speech. It seems he has. He
doesn't look guilty or anything of that nature. He just looks like...well, House.
She wants to yell at him about how he could just be acting like he didn't just rip her heart out and
stamp on it a few times. She wants to know how he could just pretend that everything's alright, that
it's just swell but instead she remains quiet, poking at her ravioli and eating it, though tasting
nothing. In her mind, she is thinking about how she let her hopes get up, about how she thought this
date would turn out totally different. She wasn't expecting him to fall in love with her or anything
but she at least wanted him to admit that he liked her at least a little bit.
He pays for the dinner and then takes her home. There's no good bye kiss and she justs gets out of
the car, not even looking back to see if he is watching her.
After she arrives in her apartment, she changes into some pajamas and dumps her other clothes in a
box marked 'CHARITY'. She wants to be rid of anything that might remind her of this damn date.
She keeps the corsage though, setting it on top her bookcase, but why? She doesn't know. She crawls
into her bed and pulls the covers over her head. She doesn't cry, she forces herself not too, but she
feels the tears fighting to get out. She will not cry over him. She will not waste them on him.
She gives up on hope right then and there. It wasn't like it ever got her anywhere anyways...
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Legal Disclaimer: The authors published here make no claims on the ownership of Dr. Gregory House and the other fictional residents of Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital. Like the television show House (and quite possibly Dr. Wilson's pocket protector), they are the property of Fox Television, David Shore and undoubtedly other individuals of whom I am only peripherally aware. The fan fiction authors published here receive no monetary benefit from their work and intend no copyright infringement nor slight to the actual owners. We love the characters and we love the show, otherwise we wouldn't be here.