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20 August 2009 @ 02:57 am
"Forgive Us Our Trespasses" - C/C Fic o' Angst  
TITLE: Forgive Us Our Trespasses
AUTHOR: mae_vaughan
RATING: PG-13
PAIRING: canon Chase/Cameron
WARNINGS: vague spoilers
SPOILERS: Loosely based on general scoop for Season Six, but the overall concept is pure speculation.
SUMMARY: If only he could just snap his fingers; if only he could pinch himself; if only Cameron were beside him, gently shaking him from his tormented slumber and reassuring him with a tender touch that it was nothing more than a dream.
NOTES: One day what Jesse Spencer said last year is going to actually become a reality, and I'll no longer be laughed at for continually predicting it as a storyline at the wrong time. Until then, I'm going to use it as the premise of this fic and allow it to mingle in with the other actual spoilers we have for the new season. Please don't hesitate to let me know what you think -- feedback is lifeblood and this piece is something I would literally give my left kidney to see transpire in canon somehow. I hope you enjoy. Thanks and love to enigma731 for beta and endless amounts of input.


______________________

Less than thirty seconds after it happens, his stomach twists into knots. Chase looms over the patient, tranquility and peacefulness now masking the unspeakable pain that stared up at him just moments before, and his mind is suddenly screaming at him to take it all back. Choose a different path. Turn back the clock. Find a way – it doesn’t matter how – to make this new reality nothing more than a nightmare that can easily be escaped. If only he could just snap his fingers; if only he could pinch himself; if only Cameron were beside him, gently shaking him from his tormented slumber and reassuring him with a tender touch that it was nothing more than a dream.

Cameron. Oh, God, how is he supposed to explain this to Cameron?

The walls feel like they’re closing in, slowly and methodically crushing the air from his lungs like a medieval torture device that he’s powerless to escape. He can’t seem to tear his eyes away from the syringe in his right hand, horrified, as the reality of this situation barrels into his life with a force far greater than anything he had ever convinced himself it could be.

He wants to call out for help, but all he can think is how he’s trapped himself in an impossible situation. Changing his mind now won’t change the outcome – it will only get him caught, and no good can come from that either.

Amidst the silent chaos whirling inside his head, he suddenly remembers, with a tinge of spiteful irony, his days as a school boy and how bitterly he forced his way through the works of Shakespeare, utterly convinced that tales such as Macbeth would never serve a genuine purpose in his life outside those rigid walls of his education. But with one swift decision, he has become a twisted version of the Scottish pseudo-king with his own guilty conscience to carry into battle and one terrifyingly true mantra coursing painfully through his veins:

What’s done cannot be undone.

His world is spinning and the nausea overwhelms him in increasing waves with each passing second. He is certain that there is no true escape, and yet he knows he can’t continue to remain in this place any longer. Forcing his eyes to shift back to the patient before him, he shoves the syringe into the biohazard container next to the bed and thinks once more of the good-hearted wife who awaits him back home. How can he tell her? How can he look at her?

It’s her face in his mind’s eye – accusatory and damning – that finally sets his feet into motion, propelling him from the scene of the crime and into the nearest restroom where he collapses into the furthest stall, vomiting and dry-heaving with so much force that he prays he can expel his sins in the process as well.

-----

The clock on the bedside table blinks out an exhaustive 3:47am when Cameron suddenly opens her eyes, sensing Chase's presence in the pitch-black room long before she actually realizes he’s there. As the mattress shifts almost imperceptibly across the bed, however, she slowly rolls to face his side and finds her husband sitting upright on the edge, fully clothed and staring into the depths of darkness that surrounds them.

“Hey,” she whispers groggily, fluffing the pillow beneath her head as her eyes adjust to the tiny bits of moonlight that creep in from the window and allow a more distinctive image of his form. “You just get home?”

A slow and silent nod is the only response she receives and he’s off the bed again in an instant, stripping down to his boxers in record time and blindly throwing the day’s garments in the direction of the laundry hamper at the other end of the bedroom.

“Are you okay?” Cameron speaks up again, her voice stronger this time as an unexplained feeling of dread begins to form in the pit of her stomach. When he doesn’t answer, she pushes herself up against the headboard and reaches for the lamp at her side.

“Don’t,” he commands, though it sounds much more like a strangled plea to Cameron’s concerned ears. “Leave it off. Just go back to sleep.”

He collapses onto the edge of the mattress again, hands rubbing across his face and muscles so tense that Cameron can easily make out their lines even through the darkened distance that separates her from his arms.

“Chase… what happened?”

She hears him inhale a shaky breath and her heart aches immediately. It doesn’t matter that she has no idea what’s transpired in their few hours apart to cause him such distress – Chase’s heart is half her own, and she’ll break right along with him if that’s what he needs from her tonight.

Pushing back the comforter just slightly, Cameron crawls to his side of the bed and wraps her arms around his waist, resting her chin softly upon his shoulder. He flinches at her touch, skin feeling as though it’s on fire with the guilt hidden underneath, while Cameron’s blissfully ignorant love caresses him at the surface. Instead of pulling away though, he tenses all the more beneath her grasp and the worry in Cameron’s heart increases by the second.

“Chase,” she whispers pleadingly against his neck. “Babe, what is it? Talk to me.”

His throat constricts and he feels completely at war with himself, desperate to confide in the woman he loves but terrified of losing her in the process. It’s not worth the risk, he tells himself, and if keeping her with him means bearing this cross entirely alone then he knows it’s what must be done.

“Doesn’t matter,” he finally chokes out, reaching up to pry her arms from his body and gently shift her out of his personal space. Crawling into bed beside her, Chase can’t bring himself to make eye contact, heart already aching at the rejection he knows he’ll find on her face if he does. “I’m exhausted,” he tells her as he buries himself beneath the duvet and turns his body as far from hers as possible. “Just let me sleep.”

Moments pass like hours as Cameron remains still on her knees, staring dejectedly at her husband’s back, before finally she forces herself to swallow the lump in her throat and take her place against the pillows once more.

She tells herself he just needs a little time to wrap his mind around whatever it is that’s happened, and that the clean slate of a new day will be all it takes to convince him to let her in.

-----

Three hours later and the alarm is shrieking the arrival of a brand new shift, but the irritating and unwelcome sound isn’t instantly silenced by Chase’s arm reaching across her body to slam down hard upon their beloved snooze button as it is every other day. After waiting a few extra seconds for him to stir, Cameron finally snakes her hand out from under the covers and puts a stop to the screeching noise herself before turning over to playfully nudge her sleepy man awake in the hopes that a few hours of peaceful respite will have put him into a much happier mood.

To her surprise, though, Chase’s side of the mattress is empty and cold to the touch. She tells herself to take a deep breath and give him the benefit of the doubt, wondering if maybe he’s gotten in the shower early or stepped out into the kitchen to clear his head a little more with a quiet cup of coffee. But the water isn’t running and the scent of freshly brewed coffee grinds is noticeably absent in the air around her.

Her heart sinks just a little, worry fighting a great battle with self-pity over which gets to take up residence in her soul today, and she doesn’t even have to move from the bed to be certain that her suspicions are correct.

Chase is already gone.

-----

Taub is standing just inside the doorway of the outer office when Cameron approaches later that morning, greeting him with a polite but tight-lipped smile as she crosses the threshold and turns to find Chase sitting at the far end of the conference table, nose buried in a medical journal and pencil trapped mercilessly between his teeth in a fashion that sends her memory reeling back to years ago when their relationship wasn’t real yet but their permanent occupancy of this office definitely was.

She takes a shallow breath, shaking herself from her thoughts, and moves to set her belongings beside Chase's against the wall before she strides across the room and takes a seat in the chair beside him.

“I missed you this morning,” Cameron voices quietly, acutely aware of the fact that Taub is watching them and surely suspicious as to why they arrived to work at separate times.

Chase doesn’t look up from the article in his hands, just lightly clears his throat and turns the page. “Couldn’t sleep. Didn’t want to bother you.”

Cameron’s face crumples with concern, bottom lip disappearing between her teeth as her forehead furrows into a deep and desperate gaze. “Are you sure you’re okay?”

She places her hand lightly on his forearm, stroking softly with her thumb, and Chase feels the familiar flutter of heartache as he thinks of how many years he spent longing for someone – anyone – to love him this completely; to worry themselves sick over his wellbeing instead of watching apathetically as he slowly deteriorated before their eyes.

He knows without question that this woman is the answer to his every prayer, and the knowledge that his silence is causing her such anxiety overwhelms him with an even greater level of self-hatred than before.

Telling her the truth still isn’t an option, because having her hate him for what he’s done is a far greater punishment than hating himself, but Chase knows he has to give her something to believe in before they sink too deep into the quicksand of his guilty conscience and not even the strength of their love can save them from destruction. Steeling himself against the sadness he knows he’ll find in her gaze, Chase forces himself to lift his chin and meet Cameron’s patient eyes with a reassuring smile.

“I’m fine. I’m sorry, really. Don’t worry.”

Cameron watches him intently for several long moments before Taub suddenly crosses behind them and stops at the coffee pot less than three feet from where they sit. This isn’t the place to try and push for more details, she decides, so she gives Chase’s arm a comforting squeeze and returns his tired smile. “More coffee?”

Chase responds with one tense nod and offers her another smile in gratitude as she grabs the empty mug from the table in front of him and stands to join Taub in the corner. As soon as she’s replenished his cup with the steaming brew and mixed it just the way he likes – a dash of cream, two scoops of sugar; exactly as she’s prepared it every day for nearly two and a half years now – Cameron pulls a clean mug from the top shelf and fills it with what’s already her third dose of liquid energy for the day.

Turning back toward Chase, she sets his coffee on the table and is about to retake her seat beside him when Foreman saunters into the room, expression of failure on his face belying the air of confidence he’s been fighting so hard to maintain these days.

“Case is over,” he spits out without pretense or a single tinge of emotion. “Janice died quietly in her sleep early this morning.”

Instantly, Cameron’s attention is back on Chase and the way he’s looking at Foreman without a even an ounce of surprise. She keeps quiet all the same, not wanting to bring their personal struggles into the middle of a staff briefing, but her eyes never leave Chase as she forces herself to focus on the rest of Foreman’s news.

“Listen, if you two want to get back to your own departments until we pick up another case, be my guest. Taub and I can take care of the paperwork.”

Cameron is about to protest and tell him she and Chase are more than willing to stick around to help, but her words get lost somewhere between her brain and her tongue as she watches Chase quickly stand and cross to the door, grabbing his messenger bag and suit jacket along the way before leaving them all behind.

Foreman and Taub stare at her, wide eyed and questioning, but she’s chasing after her husband before either of them have a chance to even ask.

-----

“Chase!” She shouts to him from nearly an entire corridor away, suddenly not caring if the hospital witnesses their personal drama now. He finally stops in front of the elevators, turning to let her catch up as he waits for the car to arrive. As soon as she gets to him, though, Cameron grabs him by the arm and drags him into the nearby stairwell instead.

“Hey,” she starts, voice teetering on the edge between anger and concern. “What was that about? You just promised me there was nothing to worry about, and now you’re running from me again?”

Chase tries to keep looking at her, desperate to prove to her that there’s nothing wrong, but he’s already breathing heavily and he’s finding it harder and harder to wear this mask of togetherness when she looks at him with such heartache and confusion behind her eyes.

“I’m sorry,” he whispers, gripping the strap of his messenger bag so tightly that the whites of his knuckles protrude like icebergs atop a typically calm and collected sea. “I—I couldn’t—I couldn’t stay.”

“You were here when it happened, weren’t you?” Cameron questions gently, certain she’s finally figured out why he’s been so distant. “Babe, why didn’t you tell me she died?”

He’s backed himself against the wall of the stairwell now, head tilted into the concrete and eyes focused on the cracks in the ceiling above them. Taking a deep breath, Chase shakes his head and sighs. “You wouldn’t understand.”

“Chase,” she breathes slowly, stepping forward to cup his face in her hands and force him to meet her eyes. “Don’t you think I know you better than that by now? I know how hard this case was for you. I know how hard you fought to try to save her.”

Chase grimaces at Cameron's final words, body and soul wishing desperately that he could make her understand just how completely he's failed at that task.

“There was nothing we could have done for her, you know. Her long-term alcoholism and the damage it caused – her chances of surviving the cancer treatments were practically nonexistent. And babe--you, more than any of us, devoted every free minute of your time to keeping her comfortable and giving her someone to talk to. That,” Cameron adds, caressing his face and tracing his eyebrows with her thumbs, “makes me so proud of the man I married. You are an incredible doctor, okay?”

Fists still clutching the leather strap of his bag, Chase has closed his eyes tightly beneath her touch, and he wants so badly to help her understand what really happened – just why it is that he can’t compartmentalize this as easily as any other loss. In the end, he settles on the compromise of telling her bits and pieces without actually revealing the unspeakable truth.

“She had a son, did you know that?”

Cameron’s hands slowly fall from his face and she shakes her head a little, heart already splintering for him as her imagination runs through thousands of scenarios as to where this story will end.

“His name was Sam,” Chase continues softly, eyes finding the ceiling again and pulling his strength from the love radiating off the woman who stands before him. “Her husband used to beat them both, until—until he finally got arrested for it when Sam was thirteen. Janice drank through every penny they had and she—she used to scream at Sam that it was his fault they were all alone. That he never should have turned his father in.”

Cameron sighs audibly and takes several steps backward to lean against the opposite wall, facing him, and Chase allows himself to glance down at her just long enough to notice her chewing worriedly on her bottom lip as her eyes gloss over with the first hint of tears.

Shaking his head to refocus and shifting his gaze to the floor now, Chase forces himself to continue—to help her see how deep this goes. “He ran away on his sixteenth birthday after Janice got drunk again and slapped him in front of his friends.”

“Chase…”

“Sam, he—he died in a head-on collision a few years later. He was drunk. She never forgave herself.”

“Oh, sweetheart.” Cameron responds instantly, closing the distance between them faster than Chase can even blink, and her hands are on his waist as she rests her forehead against his own.

“She never wanted to live, Allison. She didn’t want us to save her.”

Chase swallows hard, wondering if somehow Cameron will understand what he’s done without him ever having to actually say the words. But instead, she pulls away just slightly and places a chaste kiss upon his lips.

“That doesn’t make your efforts any less meaningful,” she tells him gently. “And you can’t punish yourself for every alcoholic that comes into our office, okay? You did everything you could for her.”

And somehow, despite the fact that he’s indescribably terrified of Cameron finding out his dirty little secret, Chase finds himself overwhelmed with sadness at the realization that she still doesn’t have a clue.

The guilt starts to overpower him again, heart racing as he stares into Cameron’s eyes and realizes all he can see are the cold, dead irises of the woman who’s life he willfully ended less than seven hours before. It’s like a vice around his heart, the ghostly feeling of that toxic syringe now burning a hole into the palm of his hand and it’s out, out damn spot, but there’s nothing he can do to remove the evidence that’s emblazoned upon his soul.

Before Cameron knows what’s happened, Chase is mumbling something about getting back to his surgical team and ripping himself out her grasp, barreling down the staircase and completely out of sight.

-----

Days pass, darkness to light, in and out without fanfare or a hint of concern from the world around them as their relationship crumbles in the midst. Typical of the universe, it doesn’t seem to care that Cameron has crawled into bed alone every night for over a week and a half now, the early light of morning greeting her with that same lonely fate every day.

It’s not as if they’re actually fighting, and Cameron can’t help but wonder if maybe it would be better if they were. Instead, they’ve simply ceased to co-exist. Chase never came home that day after their conversation in the stairwell, working straight through the night and collapsing on the surgical lounge sofa when his body refused to cooperate any longer. The more she attempted to talk to him, the more he kept pulling away, and suddenly their daily conversations were nothing more than polite niceties and a the bare minimum required of them to competently work a case side by side.

If she’s lucky, sometimes he does actually come home at night. She’ll prepare a pleasant dinner or order his favorite take-out and they’ll eat together in silence with the TV blaring its distraction before their eyes. He always tells her he’ll come to bed soon, but in the morning she tiptoes down the hallway and finds him passed out on the couch once more.

Unless, of course, he’s already fled again long before she awakes.

They’ve barely been married four months now and already Cameron is questioning their ability to survive if this is how devastatingly horrible they are when it comes to trust and communication.

A week and a half since the last time they openly talked – since the last time they even truly touched – she’s maxed out on patience and determined to try just about anything to convince him to let her back into his world.

Chase is hiding in the lounge again when she finally finds him, lazed against the back of the couch with his eyes shut tiredly against the fluorescent lights above. She doesn’t make a sound, just swiftly locks the door behind her and moves toward him with the stealth of a lioness on the hunt. By the time Chase finally opens his eyes, Cameron is moving to straddle his lap and tentatively reaching out to brush a strand of hair off his pale and weary face.

“What are you—” Chase begins, silenced immediately by the demanding feel of Cameron’s lips crashing down upon his. For a moment, he actually gives in to the kiss, wrapping his arms around her waist, desperate for the closeness they’ve lost. He never intended for this to happen, for their marriage to fall victim to every step he’s taken in an attempt to save her from the truth he’s convinced she can never know.

Still, somehow, it’s landed them here: newlyweds who haven’t so much as held hands in nearly two weeks. Until now. And as Cameron’s tongue tangles against his own, each of them stealing oxygen from one another and falling deeper and deeper into the intimacy they crave, Chase thinks maybe it won’t be so difficult to convince her that nothing’s changed if only they can keep this part of their relationship alive and well. That’s what’s always connected them, isn’t it? The sex?

But in his heart, he knows it isn’t true. They’re connected on far more than just a physical plane, and tricking himself into thinking they can solve their problems with nothing more than sex is something Chase is certain will only make things far worse in the end. Quickly and forcefully, before he has a chance to change his mind, he tears himself away from the kiss and holds Cameron back with both hands.

She stares at him, rejected and lost, as Chase slowly shakes his head and watches in agony when Cameron’s eyes spill over with tears and she collapses heavily against his chest.

“I can’t do this, Chase,” she cries into his shoulder, gripping at his scrub top and scraping her nails along his collarbone in the process. “I miss you.”

“I know,” Chase chokes out in response, unable to stop from engulfing her in a hug and cradling her close as she sobs.

“I just want you to hold me again, I need—I need you.” Cameron clings to him tighter and tighter, slowly grinding her hips into his and moaning softly through her tears. “What did I do? Tell me… please…”

Chase squeezes his eyes shut at that, torn between the pleasure of the feel of her rocking against him and the indescribable pain of knowing she thinks even for one second that any of this is her fault.

“Nothing,” he answers desperately, tearing his mind away from the pleasure and forcing his hands to move to her hips and still them against his lap. “God, Allison, this—this has nothing to do with you, I swear.”

Finally loosening her grip and pulling away from his shoulder, Cameron leans back to look him in the eye, face tear-stained and flushed with emotion, a gaze of disbelief bridging the gap between them now. “How can you say that? I’m your wife and you can’t even look at me most days!”

Suddenly fueled by pent-up frustration and the need to find answers at any cost, she peels herself away from his body and begins to pace the floor of the empty lounge. “You don’t talk to me anymore, Chase, and until I walked in here and took control you hadn’t touched me in over a week! Our marriage is falling apart and you expect me to believe it has nothing do with me?”

“It doesn’t!” Chase shouts, leaping to his feet and cutting off her path in front of the sofa. “Not everything that happens is about you!”

Cameron takes a step back as if he’s physically slapped her with his words. “You know what? I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and pretend you didn’t just say that to me, because I know you’re going through something right now and I—God, Chase, I just want to help you! You have to talk to me!”

“I can’t! This isn’t something you could possibly ever understand, okay? You’re a better person than I am.”

“That is not true, and you know it,” she responds angrily, frustrated to the limit with his adamant refusal to allow her to be the wife she longs to be for him. “We can’t keep going like this, Chase! Why can’t you just trust me?”

“Because you’re not the one who killed her!” He screams it so powerfully that he actually surprises himself with the force, but the realization of what he’s said washes over him in an instant and he stands completely motionless, studying Cameron’s face as she takes it all in.

Once again, though, he’s left floundering all alone with the guilt of all he’s done. He wants to tell himself it was murder, or at least most assuredly a sin and a crime, but what do you tag a wrongful action committed entirely out of compassion? For certain, he thinks, it’s a deed without a name. And one that Cameron still can’t seem to comprehend.

“You—that’s completely ridiculous, Chase! You know there’s absolutely no way we can hold ourselves responsible for the death of terminal patients in our care.” She’s staring him down now, hands on her hips and eyes wide with exasperation. “People die every day, despite our best efforts, and I know this woman meant more to you than most but—” Pausing, Cameron softens and her shoulders relax as she tries to exude the necessary empathy for what she’s about to say. “But she was not your mother, okay? It wasn’t your fault then, and it isn’t now either. You have to let this go, babe.”

“No!” Chase bellows in reply, hands combing wildly through his hair as he fumes. “This is exactly why I can’t talk to you about it! Even when I do, you’re not listening! You’re so convinced that you know why this is bothering me? You’re wrong! And if you would just – but it doesn’t matter, okay? You couldn’t possibly understand what I’m going through, so just—just stop.”

His head is spinning again, as it always does now anytime she’s around, and he’s acutely aware of the tightrope they now walk between salvaging their still-unexplored marriage and losing it long before it ever had a chance to grow. Every day since it happened he’s been telling himself that tomorrow will bring with it the answers; tomorrow will save them both. But it’s nearly two weeks later and despite all that time – tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, unending – the solution still eludes him and not even his accidental confession has provided him with the clarification they both need.

“Hey,” Cameron whispers, startling him when he opens his eyes to find her standing inches from his face and reaching out to hold his hand. “Then make me understand it. Help me see it the way you do. Okay?”

“I can’t.” Chase pulls his hand away slowly, at war with his emotions as he aches to stay and let her hold him forever, backing out of reach and wiping a stray tear from his eye as he goes. “I just can’t.”

And as she stands frozen in place, watching helplessly as Chase unlocks the door and disappears into the hall, Cameron’s left with nothing but a replay of every word they’ve just said and the seemingly impossible hope of ever discovering what she’s missed along the way.

-----

Hours later, as nightfall blankets the hospital and its inhabitants grow increasingly quieter in kind, Chase sits solemnly amongst the empty pews of the building’s chapel and stares straight ahead at the altar he no longer feels he has any right to approach. He’s been here since fleeing the scene of his latest fight with Cameron, longing for nothing more than the peace of the Holy Spirit upon his heart and the reassurance that even the worst of missteps can be forgiven with time.

But prayer doesn’t come now, his soul incapable of allowing him that outlet after all he’s done, and Chase finds it a cruel twist of fate that blessings cannot be sought when blessings are needed most. No matter how many times he tries, ‘Amen’ remains impossibly stuck in his throat.

The sound of the chapel door swinging open behind him pulls Chase from his mangled thoughts and somehow – always, forever, without fail – he knows it’s her before she’s even entered the room. He waits, silent and still, as she approaches, coming to a stop at the end of his pew and waiting quietly for him to accept her into this space.

This time, he doesn’t even hesitate, sliding easily over the polished wood and making room for her at his side. Cameron steps in gently and takes a seat, mirroring his position as her hands fold across her lap and she follows his gaze to the focal point of the altar up ahead.

“I went back and read through Janice’s charts,” she tells him softly, and Chase noticeably tenses at her words. “After you left, I kept thinking about everything you said. How I wasn’t listening. And then I saw it. One minute she was completely stable, then, suddenly, she was gone. Her vitals never shifted, not once. She was so sick, no one would have ever noticed, but what you said to me…” Hesitating just slightly, Cameron turns to watch his face for a reaction as she continues. “You did it, didn’t you?”

Chase’s lip begins quiver with a mixture of emotions, indescribably relieved that finally she knows yet still terrified of what that could mean in the end. “She wanted to die,” he whispers. “She begged me to make it stop.”

Cameron doesn’t move, barely blinking as she watches him confess. “Why didn’t you tell me? I could have helped you through this.”

“I didn’t want you to hate me.”

“I don’t hate you, Chase. I could never hate you.” More confident now in her role, Cameron reaches across the small space between and entwines her fingers with his, holding tight so the pressure of her rings will serve as a reminder to them both of the vows they’ve made and just exactly what it is those vows demand.

“I just—I don’t expect you to ever understand how I could have done it; for you to ever be able to forgive me,” he attempts to explain, hands shaking in constant fear of losing everything that means anything to him. “I don’t think I can even forgive myself.”

Turning her face back toward the altar, Cameron takes a slow and steady breath as she contemplates how to take this next step.

“Do you know how I knew where you were, Chase? As soon as I realized what you’d done, I was certain you were here. And not because of your faith, but because… this is where I ran after I did it, too.”

Out of the corner of her eye she sees Chase turn and stare, his grip on her hand tightening all the more.

“You keep saying I’ll hate you and that there’s no possible way I could ever understand how you feel,” she continues, “but you’re wrong.”

“When…?” Chase barely manages to ask, so caught up in her admission and the steady, simple way in which she said it.

“Three years ago. Remember Ezra Powell?”

Chase nods almost unconsciously, still trying to piece together just exactly what’s transpiring in this moment. “Th—that was you? But you always said…”

Cameron turns to meet his eyes now, caught off guard by the tears there that perfectly match her own. “I know what I said. It’s impossible to predict what we’ll actually do when someone is in that much pain and asking you to give them peace.”

“Oh, God,” Chase groans softly, falling against Cameron’s shoulder and muffling a soft sob into the fabric of her shirt. The dam has finally broken between them, too many agonizing nights of desperation and unshed tears threatening at once to overwhelm him, and it's all he can do to find her and hold on. “I’m sorry,” he chokes, as she shifts in place and engulfs him completely in her arms. “I was so afraid you’d leave.”

“It’s okay,” Cameron replies, her own tears flowing freely now as she exults in knowledge that she’s finally gained back the man she loves. “What you did was merciful. And it may—never feel right to have done it, but you’re not alone in this. We’re not alone anymore.”

For several more minutes, they simply hold onto one another and allow the emotional wave to run its course, until eventually Chase pulls back and cups her face in the palms of his hands.

“Allison,” he breathes softly, her name flowing from his lips as reverent as any prayer he’s ever uttered. “Thank you. I love you. God, I’m so – so sorry for what I’ve done to us.”

“We'll be okay,” she assures him with a gentle smile, reaching up to wipe the tear trails from his cheeks. “Just come home. I just want you home.”

Chase’s only response is to pull her into a slow and promising kiss before he stands, Cameron following his lead, and walks her hand-in-hand toward their second chance at making things right.

-----

FIN.
 
 
mood of the moment: calmcalm
 
 
 
Kaitlyn: chase: firedkaitmaree77 on August 20th, 2009 08:27 am (UTC)
You know I love this.

I think I've said everything I can earlier, but really. It's so beautiful. So...real. And just everything I'd ever want this concept into writing to be and more.

Just, ugh, I wish I had a better way of expressing every single thought I have for this fic - but there's no way I ever could. The comparison to Macbeth is amazing.

And this, oh, this: But prayer doesn’t come now, his soul incapable of allowing him that outlet after all he’s done, and Chase finds it a cruel twist of fate that blessings cannot be sought when blessings are needed most. No matter how many times he tries, ‘Amen’ remains impossibly stuck in his throat. Wow. Beautiful. And I really feel this, so very powerful.

Thank you for writing it. I really loved it. <3

Edited at 2009-08-20 08:28 am (UTC)
Mae Vaughan: cameron: epiphanymae_vaughan on August 20th, 2009 09:06 am (UTC)
*hugs*

Thanks again and again, dearest! I'm so, so glad you enjoy it that much. It means a great deal.

As for the passage you quoted, I'm thrilled that you find it so beautiful as I did put my own paraphrasing spin on it, but we have Shakespeare to thank for that one:

"Wherefore could I not pronounce 'Amen'?
I had most need of blessing, and 'Amen'
Stuck in my throat."
- William Shakespeare, Macbeth, 2.2


I tried to weave a lot of allusions and/direct quotes from the play into this piece :)
(no subject) - kaitmaree77 on August 20th, 2009 09:20 am (UTC) (Expand)
russia's greatest love machine: HOUSE [amber] many dreams on the shelf ↓covet on August 20th, 2009 08:47 am (UTC)
This is beautiful, and I love things that echo Chase's past. How I hope we'll get a few more glimpses into it now he's reportedly back in the picture this season.

But I'm curious, what did Jesse say that you're basing this on?
Mae Vaughan: jesse: fiddle player = so sexymae_vaughan on August 20th, 2009 08:59 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! I, too, look forward to exploring more of Chase now that he's back in the game :)

As for Jesse, he was asked at some point mid-season last year if there was any sort of story arc planned for Chase in the near future, and he said the producers had vaguely talked to him about something they had in the works and that all he really knew was that it involved euthanasia. Clearly, nothing ever came of that and the man has been known to make up spoilers before, so... *shrug* But a huge part of me wants it to be true so badly that I just can't let it go, LOL
(no subject) - covet on August 20th, 2009 09:14 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mae_vaughan on August 20th, 2009 09:38 am (UTC) (Expand)
an unholy mess of a girl.: dancing in the dark.corleones on August 20th, 2009 10:52 am (UTC)
This is lovely- I think some of the best fic in fandom is Chase/Cam fic. For serious.
Mae Vaughan: cam/chase: kiss me nowmae_vaughan on August 20th, 2009 10:26 pm (UTC)
Thank you! And I agree - I've read your work, too (I'm horrible at reviewing, forgive me!) and I'd have to say people who write Chase/Cam are most definitely some of the most talented writers in all fandom :)

So glad you enjoyed this!
Firc: House - Chase - :)handfircyca on August 20th, 2009 01:21 pm (UTC)
Aw, that was wonderful!♥
Mae Vaughan: cam/chase: underwear tossmae_vaughan on August 20th, 2009 10:27 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Can't wait to see where the new season takes us, right? :)
moo?: Chase/Cam - YES!ikilledkenny86 on August 20th, 2009 01:35 pm (UTC)
Oh wow, you know even if it doesn't happen on the show, I'm so happy you wrote this because this was really beautiful.

I actually had the scene in the chapel in my head for a long long long time (more like a general scene n the chapel, not as awesome as it is in this fic). :D I really really want to see something like this, especially if it's as beautiful as it is in this fic.
Mae Vaughan: cam/chase: soft & quick like a habitmae_vaughan on August 20th, 2009 10:30 pm (UTC)
Yay, thanks Marina! <3

I could be totally wrong in my euthanasia prediction (again, as usual), but I have this weird feeling that it would just fit so perfectly this time.

As for the chapel, YES. I don't particularly care what they talk about when they're in there -- I would just love to see them sitting quietly in the pews, angsty and dealing with his faith/her lack of faith or their communication issues or the deep secrets they've still never shared. Ugh, it would just be so gorgeous no matter what.

Thank you again for the lovely comments!
Juliej_daisy on August 20th, 2009 02:35 pm (UTC)
LOVE this! Everything was so palpable - Chase's mounting fear, Cameron's helplessness, that patient's desperation... it was wonderful. I really liked how for the first few sections, I didn't know what was going on. Great job!
Mae Vaughan: cam/chase: always watching hermae_vaughan on August 20th, 2009 10:34 pm (UTC)
Wow, thank you! I'm so happy it came across that way! I really wanted it to feel like it was steadily building, causing this physical sense of anxiety in the reader as you delve further into the confusion, helplessness, and pain. Also glad you liked the vagueness of the beginning, as I was concerned some people might be put off at the lack of clarity... but I think it was necessary in building the aforementioned feelings of confusion and desperation. Thanks again for the review!
Buffy Summersbtvsbonesheroes on August 20th, 2009 03:46 pm (UTC)
Absolutely perfect! I love it :)
Mae Vaughan: cam/chase: the weddingmae_vaughan on August 20th, 2009 10:35 pm (UTC)
Thank you, love! Glad you enjoyed it!
BooBooKitty12boobookitty12 on August 20th, 2009 04:19 pm (UTC)
Absolutely beautiful! I completely agree that this is finally the time for this storyline and you have done a wonderful job of bringing it to life. I was actually thinking of writing a story along the same line after I read the recent spoilers, but I'm glad you beat me to it because I never would have given it the justice that it deserves.

Even though Chase has always been a big proponent of euthanasia, I believe actually having to do it himself would affect him greatly. You've done an excellent job of capturing his guilt and Cameron's reaction. I especially loved the scene in the chapel.

Thanks for writing.

BTW, on a different note, I love your header.
Mae Vaughan: cam/chase: disgustingly happymae_vaughan on August 20th, 2009 10:40 pm (UTC)
<333 THANK YOU! And I know, right?!? With the spoilers that are floating around, it just feels like this would finally fit so perfectly into their world.

Also, you should still totally write your own version of something like this if you had it in mind! There's never enough C/C fic in the world -- GIVE MORE! :)

I'm also glad you seem to have understood where I was coming from, which is that, yes, Chase has always been a proponent of euthanasia but I've always, always, always felt his view would change if he ever actually had to do the deed.

Thanks again for your kind words! And I'm glad you love the header -- it really is so uplifting to stare at, isn't it? LOL
SarahLynn: [House] Chase/Cameron - Saviors-lynnonpointe on August 20th, 2009 08:55 pm (UTC)
Oh, I love this. The writing is, of course, beautiful, and the raw emotion and the connection they make over their secrets is so profound. I think back to what Chase once said about secrets from those you love, and this just serves to show their connection growing. Beautiful work.
Mae Vaughan: cameron: ...my boyfriendmae_vaughan on August 20th, 2009 10:44 pm (UTC)
YES. I'm so glad you said that, because I, too, often think about his admission that secrets are necessary even from the people you love. It's always made me wonder just how much they've revealed to each other over the years, and especially now that they're married. How deep does it go? What exactly do they know of each other, and what's still hidden away in the recesses of their souls? I WANT TO KNOW. More than that, I want to watch them do the revealing. It just has such incredible potential for - as you said - connection and growth, and angstful wonder. Here's hoping we get a lot of that in the new year :)

Thanks so much for the review, love! It means a lot coming from someone who's work I personally adore :)
luvhouse5luvhouse5 on August 20th, 2009 08:56 pm (UTC)
Beautiful. Simply, gut- wrenchingly beautiful.

This NEEDS to happen in canon.
Mae Vaughan: cam/chase: hand-hold of angstmae_vaughan on August 20th, 2009 10:45 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! <3
annabanana_17 on August 21st, 2009 01:31 am (UTC)
Wow... just, wow. This was extremely powerful and has left me wanting the new season even more, whether or not it's based on speculation. I thought you wrote this from a realistic, bitter-sweet point of view. Really, really great job.
Mae Vaughan: cameron: second prettiest dr. chasemae_vaughan on August 23rd, 2009 07:48 am (UTC)
Oh, thank you so much for your wonderfully kind words! I'm so happy you enjoyed it that much. A big part of me thinks it's entirely possible this could end up being what their angst is about in the new season, but even if it's not... I'm so excited to see their new marriage explored in the realistic way that highlights a bumpy road and the ongoing process of learning to function as a team at all times, even when the darkness may feel overwhelming :)
❤: {tv} : house - props!danakm on August 21st, 2009 03:46 am (UTC)
This is... I don't even know what to say, except I seriously love it! :DDD

You definitely should write more angst **nods**
Mae Vaughan: cam/chase: hand-hold of angstmae_vaughan on August 23rd, 2009 07:43 am (UTC)
Thank you, love! I'm so glad you liked it!

And yeah, I always have plans for more angst but it can be exhausting to write :-p I'll do what I can!
Dee: Frustrated Housethejoker on August 23rd, 2009 07:23 am (UTC)
That was amazing. You know, I got a little worried about the recent spoilers about Cameron and Chase fighting, but you really convinced me that they can potentially come out of their fight stronger than ever. Great job!
Mae Vaughan: cameron: secretly impressedmae_vaughan on August 23rd, 2009 07:42 am (UTC)
Aww, thank you! I'm so happy it's helping people see how potentially awesome their upcoming storyline can be :) Whether it magically turns out to be even remotely the way I wrote it in this fic or not, I'm convinced the angst is just meant to showcase how they still have some issues to figure out (because the do...) and that they love each other enough to find a way.
Victoria Beatrice: Chase & Cameron by mrsmfitzgeraldvitawash24 on August 29th, 2009 02:29 am (UTC)
I am SO late commenting on this, sorry! I really like the way this develops and the way Chase hides out and avoids dealing with his fears. It would certainly be an interesting story to see.
Mae Vaughan: cam/chase: hand-hold of joymae_vaughan on August 29th, 2009 02:37 am (UTC)
Thanks!

And really, I'm not sure how it will play out in canon because a big part of me feels like it's all going to hinge on who he's killed - his reactions in this story had a lot to do with his personal connection to the patient and the demons that brought up and how it further convinced him to end her life. The circumstances surrounding the canonical patient will be vastly different, so there's great potential for him to react on different levels to his own actions.

Regardless, I'm so excited that this is actually going to play out on screen AT ALL. Such a wonderful opportunity to explore not only Chase, but their relationship as a solidified unit now and how they learn to adjust to that reality.