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27 April 2009 @ 07:20 pm
House: I Respond To Thirteen (Profile Of Remy Hadley)  
Title: I Respond To Thirteen (Profile Of Remy Hadley)
Author: bofoddity
Fandom: House MD
Pairing/characters: Thirteen/Foreman, implied others
Rating: PG-13 (references to sex, pondering about death).
Disclaimer: House isn't mine and this story wasn't written for profit.
Prompt: 817. House, Thirteen, Thirteen wants to go to Pride & wants Foreman to accompany her.
Summary: Nobody knew Remy, least of all Remy herself.
A/N: The structure of the story has been taken from a RP meme that has passed around in LJ.

Princeton-Plainsboro knew nothing about Remy Hadley. That's how she liked it.

1. Full name?

Remy had never been fond of her name.

She liked the name her father sometimes called her, 'Rema', but it was too unusual to stick with anybody else, so Remy it was. From time to time she wondered if a middle name had made a difference - she liked Taylor - but there wasn't any point in that either; Remy was easy and smooth and it would always be there.

The name Thirteen had felt like depersonalization in the beginning, but as others gained their names and nicknames, Remy shut her mouth. So she became Thirteen, and found she preferred it that way.

2. Best friend?

Milly Davis was an only childhood friend who still confessed to knowing her as an adult. Most of the time they didn't even like each other, but sticking together was a habit neither of them were anxious to get rid of. Sometimes they even bonded.

"I think I'm gay," Remy whispered once when they got drunk together, and Milly only nodded.

"Always thought you were bit of a butch."

Later Milly moved to the other side of the world and Remy became a doctor, but they remembered each other, and sometimes Amber reminded her of Milly. But though Milly knew her better than most, she didn't know that Remy could have Huntington's; there was nothing like the menace of death to tear apart loose friendships.

3. Sexuality?

Remy still didn't know when it happened.

She knew that other girls knew before she did, whispering about how her eyes lingered too long on breasts and how she was too happy to imitate a sexy dance with Reggie Felton. Her reaction was denial, of course; getting extra evidence behind her status as the class freak had was the last thing she needed. She pretended not to see when the shy girl of the class began to watch her with hope.

It was the shy girl she got her first kiss from, in a party where Remy had retreated to mope and the shy girl had followed her in hopes of a chit-chat. She still remembered how wide the girl's eyes went when Remy backed her up against the wall.

The memory of awkward arms wrapping around her neck still made her shiver, but back then she didn't know why. She responded to her own confusion with cruelty.

"That's all you'll ever get from me, dyke."

That was the first time she ever broke a heart, and she still felt guilty about it. She felt even guiltier how that same cruelty became a standard in all her relationships.

4. Favorite color?

She never used it herself, but red was always her favorite. She loved it as a kid and stuck with it even as a teenager when everything was stark and black. It was the color she thought of whenever she saw House and Cuddy look at each other or whenever Remy saw Cameron.

"Hi," Cameron smiled as they passed each other on the hallway, and Remy blinked in distraction. Definitely red.

It took Amber's drained and broken body to snap her out of that allurement, the reality of her Huntington's to make it unfit. Black came in again, and though Cameron was hardly part of her life in the first place, Remy stopped looking at her altogether.

5. Relationship status?

After her death sentence was confirmed, Remy was determined not to be Remy at all.

Her partners always accused her of being callous, so she stopped pretending she wasn't, leaping from affair to affair. If she broke a heart, she simply tried not to think about it afterward. It wasn't not like her regret would matter.

It was twisted, but it was the comfortable numb and for a while it was hard to let go. She had always excelled at denial.

When she got around to ending it after all, she was exhausted, done with human company. But the human company wasn't done with her, and eventually it brought Eric over.

6. Ideal mate?

Being a jerk herself, it made sense that Remy would also be drawn to them. As much as she wanted it, House wasn't an exception.

She was embarrassed about her attraction to him right from the start, and he was sure to give her reminders about why. By the time he started joking about her sexuality she was fed up with his voice and ready to resign, but somehow she never got around to hating him. His empathy wasn't very nice, but it existed. She couldn't deny she liked feeling his eyes on her.

Her attraction to Amber had been even more embarrassing, especially as it wasn't even about Amber's prickly nature; it was simply about her looks, her blond and blue brightness and smug smirks. She was surprised that it was Amber the person who drew others in, from Taub to Wilson and even to House; it was strange to be the only one whose attraction was solely physical. It was always nicer to be deeper than that.

After the two of them it shouldn't have surprised her that she was drawn to Eric as well, as subtle as he was in comparison. But he unnerved her first; as hot as House may have found her, he didn't actually like her that much, while Amber never liked her at all. Eric did, and she had no idea what to think of that.

7. Turn-ons?

As unhealthy as it might have been, part of her longed to be nothing. That's when she had her stripper fantasy.

She was ashamed of how much it got her off, the idea of marching to the stage in a ridiculous costume (for some reason ballerina's wardrobe was always the first thing in her mind), peeling herself like a fruit until she wore nothing but a string and boots. Writhing against a pole was too ridiculous even for a fantasy, but writhing against a person always gave her the push she needed. When she hated herself, that person was House, watching her like an object. Sometimes it was a cop who caught her buying drugs once, happy to be buttered to silence.

The first time Eric slipped into that fantasy, she was shocked enough to snap right out of it. She had no idea he was on her mind already.

8. Last sexual experience?

Remy and Eric were getting warmer, and she would have to ruin that. The people she had used to avoid being herself made the perfect excuse.

Aside from one time she had allowed a man to follow her into the bathroom, she had almost exclusively been with women. In fact, whenever she wanted casual she was with women, and that couldn't mean anything good. She had believed she had no issues with her orientation, but obviously a part of her still felt it was dirty to be attracted to women. That it was just another thing to degrade herself with.

She was falling in love now and she couldn't allow that to happen. Her attempts to put an end on it weren't very successful, but Eric caught onto it anyway.

"There is nothing wrong with you," he told her.

She had allowed herself to kiss him. She had allowed herself to lean on him and him to comfort her, and he had taken it as a sign to ruin his career. He had even convinced himself he wanted to stay.

"Yeah, because jumping on the self-destruction button screams mental health." His stupidity annoyed her, how much he didn't want her to be angry at him. Wasn't he supposed to be the one who didn't care about that? "You should go."

"Do you really want that?"

It should have been easiest thing in the world to say yes.

Instead they ended up in each other arms, and she asked him to come over on the next night too. Warm turned into hot, and when she pulled him into her fort the first time she was surprised by how easy it was not to look for excuses.

9. Favorite food?

For somebody so hard to deal with, she found Eric was surprisingly willing to bend as he finished a bowl of her famous cabbage soup without the slightest grimace.

10. Crushes?

After the extreme shocks of her life faded to unfortunate truths, Remy allowed herself to be stunned by Cameron again. That made Eric a little jealous.

"Don't worry so much," Remy comforted him, reaching up to rub at his folded forehead with her thumb. He pulled away with an annoyed huff, but his irritation couldn't be too deep as she saw a hint of a smile behind the frown. She grinned at that. "Besides," she continued, "I wouldn't date her anyway."

Eric's eyes flew wide with surprise at that. "Why not?"

Remy was puzzled. Was he attracted to Cameron? "I don't know," she finally said. "She's sweet, I'm bitter. We would clash."

Eric snorted, the hint turning into a true smile. "And two bitter people make a better match? Maybe I should worry about House instead."

Now, that was just low. "Hey. Bitter, not rotten."

Neither of them were natural jokers, so it always felt good to see Eric grin at something she had said. He even let out a chuckle before adding:

"Well, Cameron would be considerate of your feelings. Isn't that what women want?"

She rolled her eyes. "Of course, us fragile souls." She tilted her head at him. "I don't need glass glove treatment."

His smile took a sudden edge of ache.

"Sometimes I think you do."

11. Favorite music?

Those words made her scoff then, but when she retreated to her music later in the evening, the loop of "How To Disappear Completely" in her ears made her wonder if it was a little true after all.

12. Biggest fear?

After losing her chance for cure, she tried convincing herself that the death would be a relief.

It hadn't worked out so far.

Death was horrible because it was abstract, but what she knew was ahead for sure scared her more. Every misstep of her body made sent her pulse to madness, as did every time she had to struggle more than usual to remember something. Every time, she thought this was when her long fall down would start for real.

And once it would start, it would last until there was nothing.

Once she had been determined to be alone on that fall, but now that Eric had become part of her life, that had stopped being an option. She hated him a little for that, though it was pointless; if she was honest with herself being alone had been the unbearable option all along.

13. Biggest fantasy?

In fact, so was the entire reality; that's why she dreamed.

"You're going to live," House said, and the relief she felt always woke her up.

14. Quirks in bed?

Sometimes she wondered if she was supposed to feel guilty, but she really, really loved strap-ons. She loved them so much it took one peek into her closet for poor Eric to find out about it.

"Um." The look on his face alternated between guilty and embarrassed as he tried not to look at the thing in his hand. "I was-"

"Snooping?" Remy grinned to let Eric know that it was all right, walking over to save him from the evil toy. "Sorry, I'm out of sexy underwear stashes."

"I wasn-"

She raised an eyebrow.

He sighed. "Okay, maybe I was." He still held on to the strap-on, watching it with an observant frown like he was coming to terms with its existence. "So do you-"

"If my partner likes it," she replied, observing his observation. "Wanna try it?"

He was surprised, but not as surprised as Remy when he said yes.

15. Bad habits?

When the sleep was near, her thoughts always threatened to take a dark path.

Now that she was with somebody, one thing was always sure to distract her away from it.

"Do you have to fart so much?"

16. Biggest regret?

At that point, Remy was enough in love with Eric to do anything for him.

"I'd like you to meet my parents," Eric said.

Anything except that.

She saw his eyes settle for understanding, already hearing him say how much he understood. That it was too soon, that he hadn't thought about her mother, that seeing his would be too much for her. It was all true but there was one more reason she would say no.

She had never trusted her father enough to bring a girlfriend home.

In some ways, she had hated him more than her mother, both his pained devotion and his nerve to be relieved when Remy's mother finally died, and how his fear had returned and grown every time he looked at Remy. When she had concluded what she was, she had been determined to never share it with him.

"You just want the attention," the version of him in her head had said, and she had never seen fit to question the reality of it. He had only met her first boyfriend and never knew there had been women as well.

Eric would be the last, she knew it. He would be the last love in her life but he hadn't been the only one. It would be bad enough when her father heard that she was dying too. That she had also distrusted him for most of her life would be too much.

"Not yet," she whispered, and looked away from Eric's compassion. He had helped her a lot, but some of her secrets were too big for either of them.

17. Best kept secrets?

And she was getting enough of them.

First it had been her mother and then her sexuality, then her girlfriends, then her name, how she felt about death, if she had any emotions at all. Most of the time she was the one with least clues about them all, watching her life like a strange bug it was. Bug she would have loved to swat.

Remy was fed up with herself, and sometimes that was the only thing she could think about. She didn't realize that it was the only thing Kutner could think about too until the day he died.

Kutner died and before that they had sat on islands of their own, he in misery and she in rage. Her rage was sour enough to kill but it also gave herself, enough to drain her so empty that she could be picked up. Kutner never got that far and she never even knew.

That made her incredibly lucky, but her pile of secrets was still there, still tall. If the invincible Kutner had been crushed by his own, there was no guarantee Remy still couldn't light hers in fire.

18. Last thought?

But at the funeral, she decided: No.

19. Worst sexual/romantic experience?

Her first girlfriend had taken her to a Pride on their fifth date.

It had turned into their last date when Remy had chickened and run away.

Her love life had never been too bright and most of that was her own doing, the sabotage always in tempting reach whenever it seemed like something could work out. Loving somebody was too exposing, being loved in return downright frightening. She had been happy to avoid finding out what would happen if somebody truly put their faith in her for the rest of her life.

With Eric and her it was Eric who almost destroyed what they had, his decision to be her savior almost ending her life. It had been the perfect excuse, the perfect opportunity. He couldn't handle her issues and she didn't even know what his were yet. What they had was a risk and it was perfectly reasonable not to take it on.

It was funny how the desire wasn't even there.

20. Biggest insecurity?

Most of the time, Remy Hadley knew nothing about Remy Hadley. She was starting to accept that.

She was a bundle of secrets and issues, some of which she would never figure out. She was a cold girlfriend and an awful friend. Her future was a shape with edges, with ends she could touch. She wasn't close enough to do that yet.

Remy Hadley didn't know who she was, but it seemed that Eric Foreman had an idea. She wanted him to be there when she figured out the rest.

"Will you go to a Pride with me?" she asked, and waited him to answer.
 
 
 
Settiai: Ducklings 2.0 -- settiaisettiai on April 27th, 2009 07:46 pm (UTC)
Oh, wow. This was absolutely gorgeous.
Ms Cranky Pants of the Depresso Blog: Foreteenbofoddity on April 27th, 2009 08:48 pm (UTC)
I'm really glad to hear that.
sakru909 on April 27th, 2009 09:08 pm (UTC)
I liked this allot. Your writing of Thirteen here was perfect.
Ms Cranky Pants of the Depresso Blogbofoddity on April 28th, 2009 02:01 pm (UTC)
Thank you. It's great to hear I did her justice.
Adri: Harley and Ivypersephoneflame on April 28th, 2009 04:33 am (UTC)
This was amazingly beautiful. Thank you
Ms Cranky Pants of the Depresso Blog: Foreteenbofoddity on April 28th, 2009 02:01 pm (UTC)
You're very welcome.
(Deleted comment)
Ms Cranky Pants of the Depresso Blog: Foreteenbofoddity on April 29th, 2009 04:24 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I was a little intimidated about taking her on, so it's great to hear she works here.
little Alex: sexy!foremanlitalex on May 1st, 2009 09:32 am (UTC)
That was lovely and insightful. Very nice characterization.
Ms Cranky Pants of the Depresso Blog: Foreteenbofoddity on May 1st, 2009 10:03 am (UTC)
Glad you liked it.
st_aurafinast_aurafina on May 15th, 2009 06:58 am (UTC)
I liked the framing of this - it worked really well for Thirteen's detached inner voice. I love the way we get to piece together her past, and how we can see take that jump towards understanding herself and Eric better.
Ms Cranky Pants of the Depresso Blog: Foreteenbofoddity on May 15th, 2009 07:50 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much. Thirteen is a little hard to figure out, so this story was just as much about me getting to know Thirteen as it was about Thirteen getting herself and Eric. I'm glad to hear the result worked.
there's nobody here but us chickensincidental_fire on August 29th, 2009 02:50 am (UTC)
Very nicely done. I think you did a nice job of capturing just how screwed-up she is, but giving us a deeper sense of why that is, and how it feels for her.
Ms Cranky Pants of the Depresso Blog: Foreteenbofoddity on August 29th, 2009 08:46 am (UTC)
Thank you. Thirteen is a challenging character, so I'm glad to hear I caught her.
phlogistics: Rose/Fantasticphlogistics on June 16th, 2010 02:37 am (UTC)
This was fantastic. Thank you so much for writing this!
Ms Cranky Pants of the Depresso Blogbofoddity on June 16th, 2010 02:11 pm (UTC)
Thank you right back! Glad you enjoyed this.