House was a pack rat.
He kept everything.
He had boxes upon boxes of things that "could be useful in the future".
He had boxes upon boxes of things that reminded him of memories he wanted to forget. But they were memories that could be called upon readily should they contain important information.
He kept everything.
Chase was astounded at how much one man could fit in such a small apartment.
Whilst working for House he'd searched and raided through many houses, never before had he been so careful for everything to go back in the exact same place. Organised chaos was the hardest thing to search through and some how he knew in the back of his mind that if a single medical journal was out of place then House would know.
Cameron was having a hard time of it in the living room. Their occasional check-in's stating that they hadn't found anything yet but for a few of House's secret stashes of Vicodin.
Though Chase didn't know it, Cameron had spent a good 2 minutes fingering a half-empty bottle of morphine and casting her eyes over the rest of the contents of an innocuous looking green box. She never told him what she found.
Just as Chase never told her about another box.
He found it on the shelve in the closet in the bedroom, stuffed at the back behind a line of old shirts. It rattled slightly as he brought it down; he cradled it in his arms and lifted off the lid.
It all seemed like various pieces of junk that held no connection what so ever to the next piece. That was until a bright multicolored laminated ticket shone up at him.
All access passes to a monster truck rally that passed through town two years ago.
Everything else seemed to click into place after that.
There was a small bottle of aftershave that still sat in it's box, the sticker-seal broken showed evidence that the bottle had been opened at least once.
There was a book, small and leather bound entitled "Quite Interesting".
There was a sunglasses case that was empty.
There was a tiny box that was home to two stylish silver cufflinks.
There were a few cards too... he didn't need to look at them to know what they said.
There was a menu for a rather up class restaurant.
There was an opened envelope with a familiar script on the outside.
And lastly and most surprisingly was and unopened gift wrapped in red paper and green ribbon with a small gift tag attached. It read simply read "Merry Christmas" in a doctorly scrawl.
A gift waiting to be given but never handed over.
Christmas had come and gone.
Chase glanced at the bedroom door and listened intently. After a moment of thought he took his quarry to the bed and sat and opened the gift intended for another. A black velvet box felt smooth and expensive beneath his fingers. He opened it and a small glistening cool silver star shone up at him, at its centre glittered what was probably a diamond in the shimmering afternoon light.
It was beautiful and expensive.
"How's it going?" A sweet voice sounded.
"Fine... nothing interesting yet." he lied.
Eventually, he did put the box back.
House sighed as he entered his apartment. His lips still tingled from a kiss he longed to repeat over and over.
He dropped his bag and moved to his bedroom. Opening the closet doors he reached over a pile of shirts for the box.
It felt strangely light in his hand.
A frown marred his features.
He carried the box carefully over to his bed and sat down. Unknown to him he sat in the exact same place where Chase had sat just a few hours prior.
Opening the box he discovered its usual contents were gone and a single small piece of paper stared up at him instead.
The words, "She's mine" were written in loops and lines that where all too familiar to him.
He shouted and threw the box across the room.
The paper fluttered beneath the bed and the flimsy cardboard box very nearly ripped to shreds against the wall.
He pressed his head to his hands and breathed heavily.
His breaths slowed as his mind wandered to the kiss that still lingered on his lips and in his mind.
A smirk spread across his mouth.
"You're wrong." He whispered. "She's mine."