Disclaimer: I don't own 'em. Don't get your panties all in a bunch about borrowing the characters and messing around with them either. I'll put them back when I'm done. Honest.
Title: Warm and Fuzzy
Feedback: Sure! Love to hear your thoughts.
Author's Note: So I went to Japan for a couple of months…Sorry I didn't tell you guys I was going there, but there were so many things I had to take care of before I left that I forgot to leave a note on my story saying I was going to be MIA in a different country for a while. Also doesn't help that when I came back school started AND my damn laptop was on the fritz… Anyway, I have been working on this chapter for a while now, hoping to live up to the past couple of chapters. Enjoy! I will attempt to get the next chapter out sooner, real life permitting.
EDIT: I read through it again (4th time) and was horrified by how many mistakes there were…So I went through and edited some stuff. Should make for a smoother read, now.
Chapter Summary: The "date" begins. Oh noes!
Chapter Five: Of Zombies and Laughter
The days passed swiftly, and Friday afternoon found the team still in the dark about what was wrong with the little boy with diabetic symptoms and no diabetes. Foreman's idea of MS turned out to be wrong, which was unfortunate, but House at least got some enjoyment out of the fact that his subordinate was once again off the mark. However, despite that little joy in House's life, all it really meant was that the ducklings had to run more and more tests, and the current test of the day was an LP being performed by Foreman. At that point, however, House was out of ideas. So, this meant he was both annoyed and bored.
A very dangerous and volatile combination.
So, at the moment, House tried to stave off his boredom and irritation by killing some zombies on his Game Boy. It helped him to think somewhat, clear his head and forget for a while so he could come back to the table later with a fresh mind and new ideas. But for some reason, this time, he just kept getting more and more agitated.
He was trying to convince himself that his irritation wasn't coming from his nervous anticipation of the date he had with Cameron that night….
No! Mustn't think about that.
Die, zombies, die!
His mood improved slightly, especially when he imagined Cuddy as the zombies. After all, they did somewhat resemble her in the way they wandered around looking for him so they could do horrible things to him, like turn him into another zombie. Or worse…
Eat his brains.
The sound of laughter drifted to him. No, not just any laughter…her laughter. His ice blue eyes hunted for the source of the beautiful sound and they found their mark quickly. His stomach did a teeny-tiny little flip-flop when he saw her eyes dancing with mirth and her cheeks a little rosy from laughing. It reminded him of the way she had looked that night in the snow…
But then, his eyes narrowed sharply and the warm feeling in his stomach turned to ice when he saw the cause of her acting in such a way:
The Australian bastard was making her laugh. And the smug expression Chase wore made House want to break something, namely the young doctor's face.
He tore his gaze away from the scene and promptly killed several more zombies.
All of them had Australian accented moans and wavy blonde hair.
He was soon interrupted by the sound of glass on carpet, however, and he didn't have to look up to know who walked into his office. He listened to her soft footsteps move across the carpet towards his inbox.
"Having fun out there?" House asked, a little too sharply and bitterly for it to be just a casual question, his attention appearing to remain focused on his handheld game. Cameron's House-attuned hearing caught onto these little warning signs as her steps paused briefly at his sudden inquiry and picked up on a very important fact:
House was jealous.
"Actually, yes," she answered lightly, pretending not to notice him shift uncomfortably in his chair. "Would you like to come join us?" She asked him with a big smile, though his eyes appeared to never leave the small Game Boy screen long enough to notice.
"Actually, no," he growled in response. "I can't stand blondes. They make horrible conversation and they make me ill."
"Well, Wilson's kind of blonde…"
"My point exactly." He finally looked up to see her grinning at him with the most annoying, knowing look on her face.
House puffed out his cheeks and blew out a breath.
"What do you say we start our date early?" She looked at him for a very long moment, as though deciding something. Should she give in and play it his way? Was he toying with her again? He looked back at her, a trace of impatience in his eyes, but she wasn't sure what to make of how he was looking at her. He was…Nervous?
He'd never looked at her that way before…
"Let me go change." She turned and left the room, and he watched through the glass walls as she gathered her bag and purse and headed out the conference door, saying something to Chase as she walked out of the room. After she was out of sight, the hairs on the back of House's neck prickled and he looked over to see Chase staring at him with his sky blue eyes. Animosity was sparkling there, bright and intense.
Cameron returned to the conference room about fifteen minutes later dressed in an elegant dark green silk dress that stopped just above the knee and had a modest neckline with earrings and shoes to match. It was a simple getup, but since House hadn't really specified with exactly how formal the place he was taking her to was, she decided to play it safe in the middle ground. She decided to let her hair be loose instead of putting it in a messy bun, since it seemed to fit the look she was going for.
Chase sucked in a breath upon her entrance, and gave a low whistle.
"Got a hot date tonight?"
"Oh yeah, I hear he's a great catch," House said as he limped into the conference room from his office. "All the girls are after him." He was wearing khaki slacks and a black suit jacket over a dark blue button-up shirt. "You clean up nicely, Cameron. I guess you'll do as my date for that conference." Cameron paused and glared at him for a moment, thinking for a split second that this whole thing had just been a trick to get her to go to a mundane conference so he wouldn't be alone. But lo, her fears were soon put to rest when House did yet another very uncharacteristic thing.
He winked at her.
"Yeah, well, you know me," Cameron replied nonchalantly. "I like to get all 'dolled' up for the bigwigs."
"What conference?" Chase asked abruptly. "I haven't heard of any conference…?"
"Sorry, it's an American-only conference," House answered with a sneer. "No Aussie's allowed." Foreman chose that moment to walk into the conference room and heard the tail end of House's response. He opened his mouth to speak, but House stopped him. "And no blacks allowed either. The committee of the conference decided that they didn't want you people coming in and stealing all our women." House shrugged, as though helpless, and once again interjected before Foreman could say a word, grabbing his shoulder and gripping it, as though he were comforting Foreman. "Sorry, homie." With that, he grabbed Cameron's elbow and steered her out the door.
They reached the elevator rather quickly due to House's fast limping and the persistent hand that never left Cameron's elbow. Once they were inside, Cameron deemed it safe enough to query her boss and wrenched her arm from his grasp so she could face him.
"So, is it going to be like this every time you ask me out?" She looked up and regarded him coolly.
"Like what?" At first, he didn't look at her and stared straight ahead at the silver elevator doors. However, when his only response was resounding silence, he chanced a sidelong glance and saw her staring at him, unflinching and unblinking. He sighed loudly and shifted his body so he was facing her, leaning heavily on his cane. "Look, do you really want those nosy dimwits to know that we're going on a date? Do you remember what happened last time you blabbed to them?"
"They're not dimwits," she replied hotly, to which House responded with a roll of his eyes. "At least not so dimwitted that your lame excuses didn't fool them."
Typical Cameron; coming to the defense of others instead of focusing on the issue at hand.
"And besides," she added. "What do you care if they know?"
"Because it's none of their business?" He waved his hand through the air, then let out another sigh of defeat. He stared at her for a few moments before he muttered, "I don't know." He turned and faced the elevator again, just as the door pinged open. Cameron couldn't help but stare after him as he left the elevator, almost forgetting to get off of it herself.
House admitted that he doesn't know something?
The doors started closing on her, only to be stopped by House's cane with a loud thwack!
"You coming or not?" House demanded, a sour look on his face. His alarmingly blue eyes were boring into hers like a laser, but for the first time, Cameron didn't quiver under his scrutiny. She boldly stepped out of the elevator, but stopped briefly as she passed House to give him a quick peck on the cheek. He stared after her as she kept walking, and he felt the flush rising underneath his collar.
Why did she do that?
His arm jolted suddenly, and realized that his cane, which he was still holding loosely, was stuck in-between the closed elevator doors. He yanked it out unceremoniously and limped after Cameron, casting dubious glares on anyone that had happened to witness Cameron's sudden public display of affection in the hopes of quelling any rumors before they could get started.
It was going to be an interesting night.
The car ride was long, but uneventful. They actually had a somewhat normal conversation, where House asked Cameron about her family and limited himself to only two snide remarks about how it figured that she came from such a normal-sounding family. She told him she had two siblings, an older brother, Travis, and a younger sister, Rebekah, both of whom were mildly successful, married, and had families of their own.
"So you're the only one without annoying brats and a needy spouse, eh?"
"You're beginning to sound like my mother," she retorted smoothly. "And you forget, I was married, and I was..." She stopped suddenly and her hand shot to her mouth, but quickly dropped back to her lap in a futile effort to avert House's imminent prying.
"You were…?" House drawled. "…unhappy, crazy for marrying a guy on his deathbed, insane for trying to fix everything around you…"
"I was happy," Cameron stated firmly.
"Oh, is that what you were going to say?" He asked sardonically. "Hmph."
"Where are we going, anyway?" She decided the best course was to switch the topic.
"Now, that would be telling." He gave her a devilish grin. She couldn't decide if she wanted to punch him the nose (though this time it wouldn't be via door) or kiss him, but she decided to do neither because the rational part of her told her that either course would most certainly lead to a car accident. Instead, she sighed irritably and settled deeper into her seat. House glanced sidelong at her slouching a little lower and smirked. He returned his eyes to the road and saw that their exit was next, so he moved over into the right lane.
"Oh, we're going to the Salts, are we?" She asked rather smugly and triumphantly. House rolled his eyes.
"No, we're not, Miss Noseypants," he replied. "That's where all your other dates would've taken you." Now it was Cameron's turn to roll her eyes.
"Yes, because I go on so many dates," she said, and she returned her focus to the darkness outside her window. Occasionally, a streetlamp would light up her features, and House almost wished that he had a chauffer so that he wouldn't have to keep taking his eyes off of her to drive. He sighed heavily. She turned her attention back to him at the noise, and looked as though she were going to ask the imminent, 'What's wrong?' question, but it never came.
She wanted to, but she knew better, so she held it back.
Ah, self-control. It was nice that she had learnt some in the last two years of working with him. This was definitely not the same woman he had taken to the monster truck rally, nor the woman with whom he'd been blackmailed into having a disastrous 'first date'.
No, instead, she laid her hand on his thigh gingerly, caressing it briefly before it came to rest just above his knee.
He looked down at her hand for a moment, trying very hard to ignore it, but couldn't help the smile that formed on his face. He adjusted his hands so he could steer with his left and hold her hand with his right.
Silence enveloped them for the rest of the trip.
"House, this is the best food I've ever eaten." She'd had her doubts about the little hole-in-the-wall Italian restaurant he'd ended up parking in front of, but after she had given him several dubious looks he had told her to trust him. So she had, and she was happy about her decision. Well, happy and about to explode from the amount of pasta she had just eaten, but happy nonetheless. Cameron patted her tummy for effect. "I had too much, but I just couldn't get enough…"
"Story of your life…" House muttered under his breath. Cameron sent him a doom-and-gloom-on-you glare, but he just grinned at her and said, "Glad you liked it." His I-told-you-so tone made her shake her head. However, just as she was about to reply, the waiter returned with the bill. Without a word, House took out his wallet it and slipped an alarmingly large amount of money onto the little tray the receipt was laid upon, then immediately handed it back to the waiter. He stood, put on his coat, retrieved his cane, and held out his hand to her. She took it and looked up at him as he helped her to her feet, grabbing her purse and putting on her coat on the way.
"Where are we going?" She queried as he smoothly tucked her hand under his arm and led her limpingly out of the restaurant. "More surprises?" He found it odd how smoothly she followed his gait, how she added grace to his inelegance. Maybe it was a couple years of practice of following him around the hospital or watching him rather closely. Their feet were crunching on the snow when he finally answered her.
"Nowhere special, just going to get dessert," he informed her, a little too casually.
"Ugh, there's no way I can eat anymore…"
"Who said anything about eating?" He didn't look at her; in fact, he was looking anywhere but her. Her eyes narrowed piercingly on his profile as they arrived at the car. He busied himself with unlocking her car door while she stood there watching. It was snowing softly again, but she hardly noticed because she was too busy trying to work out what he was thinking he was going to get out of this date. A kiss, sure, that would be fine, but she would be damned if he thought he was going to 'get some' on the first date. She'd suddenly gone from being very comfortable to be very apprehensive in a matter of minutes.
This wasn't part of her plan.
He opened the door for her and the movement startled her out of her thoughts, causing her to jump a little, and he delighted in the effect he was having on her. "After you." He stood there with the door open wide as she stood in front of him, motionless. Cameron looked as a deer does when caught in the headlights of an oncoming semi. Her lips parted as though to speak, but no sound issued forth. It was like this for several moments before House decided to take advantage of her speechless immobility.
He kissed her. His right hand held onto the open door, his cane dangling from his forearm, whilst his left hand had found its way to the back of her neck underneath her soft, auburn hair, where it held her firmly but gently as his lips caressed hers. She stood there stupidly for a moment, still stunned, before she began to react. Her arms wound themselves seemingly of their own accord about his neck and shoulders and she pressed her body into his. All of her apprehension slowly melted away as his tongue slipped out to ask permission for access. She parted her lips to let him in and to do some exploration with her own tongue.
They stood there like that for several minutes, lost in the moment, the snow falling around them quietly, some catching in her dark hair and melting instantly, the dim light from the windows of the Italian restaurant causing the droplets to alight and sparkle. Her hands moved from his shoulders to his chest, then to his back in an effort to feel him, to be near him, to be as close as possible, while his began to massage some of the tension out of her neck. He broke off the kiss and moved his lips to her neck in order to allow them time to breathe. She shuddered as he laid several warm kisses against her collar bone, then even more so when he pushed her coat off of her shoulder and some snowflakes fell onto her bare skin.
"Dessert is a dish best served cold," he mumbled against her shoulder as she shivered. She laughed aloud at his remark, at the perfection of the snow, this giddy feeling she hadn't felt for a long time. She considered her options.
Take this man home, or go home alone.
Hmm…Technically, this was their second date…Well, counting the truck rally, it was the third…
"Do you…" Cameron struggled with the courage to just say the next few words. "…Want to come back to my place?" She pulled back so she could look at his face, more specifically his eyes, for his reaction. The steel-blue that met with her emerald-green were intense but full of nervousness.
"Boy, howdy, do I ever!" He replied with pseudo sarcasm, trying to cover up what she'd seen in his eyes and making her laugh once more. He couldn't help but kiss her again; she just looked so damned beautiful when she laughed, especially when it was because of him. He ended the kiss early as he thought of something. "There is one little teensy-weensy snag, however…" Cameron began to show signs of despair, her eyes dropping to his chest as she prepared herself for a let-down. He brought a finger up underneath her chin, gently guiding her to look him in the eye once more. "We'd have to go back to my place since I am pretty sure the cat would poop on my bed if I wasn't there to feed him breakfast."
She giggled and slapped him playfully on the arm before she hastily got in the car. "Well, what are you waiting for?" She asked impatiently. She then proceeded to give House one of the sultriest and sexy looks he'd ever seen. "I'm suddenly very hungry all of the sudden…Ravenous you might say…" House slammed the door and practically ran-limped to the driver's side of the car.
The 'Vette pulled out of the parking lot so fast it fish-tailed and kicked up flurries of snow.
The humans came home and disturbed the feline from his sleep as they entered the apartment. The cat could tell from the scent that his human had apparently brought home the female that had been there before. They proceeded to knock a lot of things over or bump into things before they started throwing things around. A heavy article of clothing landed practically on top of the poor kitten where he had been sleeping on the couch, completely ruining any chances he had for getting back to sleep once the disturbance had moved on. He squirmed out from underneath the heavy, overly warm fabric of the coat that smelled like his human and he jumped to the back of the couch to glare at the two people who were making such a ruckus.
He was disappointed by the lack of response; however, when it appeared that they were completely ignoring his presence and utterly engrossed in each other's. His long tail swished back and forth agitatedly, his annoyance apparent. The two made their way down the hallway to his human's place of sleep, and the kitten followed with his tail straight in the air, curiosity piqued. He had to dodge more clothes that were thrown in random directions, the most dangerous of which being some shoes,
They appeared to be wrestling around a bit, as though they struggled to remove the last of their attire, when his human finally noticed the cat sitting in the doorway, watching them with big, yellow eyes. He heard the man rumble something before the human male began to limp over to where he sat and the kitten recognized the grouchy tone. Mick had to dart away from a foot that was attempting to nudge him out into the hallway and the door was promptly shut unceremoniously in his face.
The tail continued to twitch a little at its end, but the young cat continued to wait for a few minutes, until he found the noises coming from within the room to be slightly annoying and a little disconcerting. It sounded as though the human male were injuring the female, but the strong odor that reached his sharp nose told the feline otherwise. He decided to go make a bed out of the coat that had previously been thrown atop him whilst he had been sleeping, since it was apparent he would be getting no snuggles until morning.
He jumped up onto the couch and kneaded the coat a few times in order to make it softer, and eventually laid down upon it, curling up and settling his tail over his pink nose.
The snow outside continue to fall, and the sounds from the bedroom abated after a while, only to be replaced by the familiar sounds of his human's snoring.
Mick fell asleep to the comforting scent of his human's coat.
A/N: I know it's a little shorter than some of the others, but I thought this a good place to stop. Hope you enjoyed it, even if it took me forever to get it posted! (Sorry again!) I think maybe one more chapter is in order...Should I receive more reviews. /grins wickedley