AN: Ok, I had better get this out of the way: I AM VERY SORRY!!! Please know that this was in no way Randa's fault. She, in all of her brilliance, insisted on several occasions that we finish this story. I disappeared on her for more than a year and filled my time with advanced classes, House, school dances, House, Heroes, House, Dexter, House, lots of books, House, and cursing Fox for their ridiculous brand of scheduling that involved subjecting us to TOO MUCH Tritter and making us wait weeks for new episodes. To those of you who have been so patient with me: I'd appreciate it if you lowered the pitchforks and extinguished the torches and thought happy thoughts. Hugh Laurie in a tux winning best dramatic actor for instance. Yum.

Chapter 12: Best Buy is the new Tiffany's

Following a respectful burial of the shattered remnants of his much beloved Gameboy in the potted plant next to the piano (Cameron patted his back bracingly as Wilson said a few words. Cuddy just sent her condolences as she was persona non grata at the moment.) there was a brief mourning period of about three days before House outlined his demands. Cuddy was to pay for a new DS system not only for himself, but for Cameron as well, plus games. If she complied, he MIGHT consider considering clinic duty next year.

Having forced him to be nice for a day with no reward she could hardly refuse. With much trepidation, she purchased a Best Buy gift card and gave it to Cameron, with her reiterated apologies. Cameron simply raised her eyebrows at her and tried to hold in the laughter.


That weekend found House and Cameron strolling through the automatic glass doors into a huge building that smelled of window cleaner and dust. The shopping excursion quickly degenerated into a re-discovery of their childhood. In the back of the store, they played with the various speaker mock-ups, "testing" the systems by scanning for 'The Who' songs on the radio and then turning them up to full volume. House tried to con Cameron into liberating a computer chair from its anti-theft confines and give him a push down the aisle. Cameron quickly amassed a large selection of essential CDs and movies to replace the box that had vanished in the move to House's townhouse. Juggling carefully as she added "The Princess Bride" to her stack so she wouldn't drop the Styx CD, she suddenly realized she'd lost track of House.

She dumped the stack into a nearby abandoned cart and started, on a hunch, for the video game aisle. She spotted a cane propped up against a wall of PS2 games, just in sight. Quickly, she wheeled the cart toward it, pausing briefly to nab two DS's from a nearby display: a silver one for him and a blue one for herself.

Turning into the aisle, she found House with a look of deep concentration on his face and what looked like a toy electric guitar in his hands. The strains of Nirvana's "Heart Shaped Box" blasted from the TV screen in front of him as his fingers pressed a variety of buttons, his right hand expertly handling the strum key and the whammy bar. When the song ended, she clapped and cheered. House turned to her with a grin.

"DDR for the crippled," he said with a cocky grin, "and with good music. No hyperactive Japanese sugar-pop. I absolutely love this game…wanna play me at "Trogdor"?"

She responded with a smirk of her own, "Nah, I think I'll be a groupie. I have a thing for rock stars." She leaned in for a deep kiss, ignoring the guitar controller poking into her gut. Pulling away with a big grin, she gestured toward the cart. "I got the DS's, as well as some of my missing CDs and DVDs…ready to go?"

House gazed longingly at the Guitar Heroes II game, but carefully replaced the controller back on its shelf and took up his cane again. "Alright, let's go."

"Oh, calm down. I'll make Wilson get it for you for Christmas."


Cameron was trouncing him at MarioKart DS. He didn't think he could bear the shame of it.

The TV was flashing pictures quietly in the background, while House and Cameron stretched out on the sofa battling it out with their new Gameboys. He had insisted they test them out directly after dinner. Cameron, amused, had challenged him to a race. And another. And another. He was having trouble concentrating on the game and she was leaving him in the dust every time. The urge to kiss that smug little grin off her face was not helping his concentration any either.

After Cameron defeated him, yet again, on Rainbow Road, she backed out of the main race section to gloat over the scores, only to find she had a "message." She glanced up at House, whose blue eyes were fixed on his own screen, not seeming to be aware of his surroundings. Rolling her eyes, she opened the box, expecting to see a taunt or insult.

"Will you marry me?"

She stared at the message on her screen in shock for a few moments, and then glanced back up at House, who was now looking directly at her, face carefully blanked. Carefully schooling her features into a similar expression, she tapped the screen a few times on her stylus and then turned it off and closed it.

House looked down at his own screen and touched the message there. It said only one word.


Smirking himself, he turned off his own DS and extracted a ring from his pocket. Leaning over, he slid it onto her finger. She smiled broadly at him and he found himself unsurprised when his face stretched to mirror hers. Carefully, she pulled him in for a deep kiss. Still smiling, she then got up from the couch and walked cheekily off. House sat back against the cushions and let out a breath he hadn't known he was holding. Then he noticed something…

"Damn it, Allison! You've got your own DS! Quit stealing mine!"


Thanks to all.