LET HIM EAT CAKE
Copyright K Brogan2007
CAKES AND DAGGERS
Greg House opened the door to his office, already bored. He didn't have a patient and the best he could look forward to was four hours of mind numbing complaints from semi-sick losers in the clinic. He flipped on the light and saw the pink box, it's lid taped slightly open to prevent it from crushing something inside.
In a flash he realized that it was June 11th, his birthday, and this was another anonymous cake. He had received the first mysterious confection last year on his birthday and from that day forward he'd find the ambrosial delicacies on holidays and his birthday. The cakes had been more than delicious and the mystery surrounding them even more intriguing. House chuckled and went to the cabinet to find a plate. He thought back to the scrumptious mystery of the toothsome delights.
After the first cake the year before, he had walked into his office on July 3rd to discover a cake in the shape of a rocket, decorated in red, white and blue, with metallic looking sprinkles coming out of the bottom. Across the rocket was written, Happy July 4th! House hadn't thought anything about the birthday cake he had received the month before. He was pretty sure that Cuddy had sent it. But there was no way she would send a 4th of July cake, it was just too cheesy. And the cake was cheesy, it had an indescribable cheese cake filling that House ate with his eyes closed. When Wilson started to cut a piece, House grabbed Wilson's plate, separated the cake from the filling, scooped up the cheese cake filling on a fork and ate it before Wilson could even protest.
"Why did you buy a 4th of July cake?" Wilson tried to ask between bites. He smiled and slowly shook his head with wonder, "Man, even without the filling this is a great cake."
House shrugged, "It was sitting on my desk with no note, just like the birthday cake.""
"Someone, a stranger, sent that to you?"
House turned his palms up and nodded. He knitted his eyebrows and tilted his head, "This is from the same bakery as my birthday cake."
"The one you thought Cuddy sent?"
Wilson looked down at the pink box but there was no label or advertisement on the box, "How can you tell?"
"The handwriting on the cake is the same."
Wilson chuckled, "How would you know? You ate the handwriting off the last one!"
House pointed to his temple, "Good with details."
"I have to get back to rounds. Great cake." Wilson went over and put the plate and fork in the sink.
"Yeah, well enjoy what you have, no one else is getting any of this."
Wilson squinted his eyes, "House?" He paused and looked at his friend, "Did you ever think someone sent it to you to poison you?"
"Poison me? What– every month I get a dose? There's no poison that works in monthly installments. You either do it gradually on a daily basis or all at once."
Wilson shrugged, "Maybe." He left and went out on rounds.
House looked at the cake, grabbed a sample jar and sent a piece off to the lab to be tested.
There wasn't another pink box until Christmas. House was tired of the Christmas lights, trees and decorations. The Christmas season usually meant one thing – he was alone. Except for the steadfast friendship of Wilson, House felt acutely aware around Christmas time, that he had no one and probably never would.
He noticed the pink box as he swung through the outer doors of the adjacent office where the department whiteboard stood. He looked around. Who delivered it? Where are they? I was only gone a few minutes to the restroom. He went through to his office and straight over to his desk to look inside the box . He prayed it wasn't a fruit cake, he detested fruit cakes.
House chortled, the cake was exquisite, a work of art. It was chocolate royal icing on the sides with red and green sugar ribbons. The top was decorated with the smallest, most delicate flowers made of chocolate gum paste and sugar paste. Right in the middle was a sprig of holly, made of sugar and mint. House knew it would taste incredible, but he hated the idea of cutting into the cake and destroying its beauty.
House's team came into the office and looked in the box.
Chris Taub smiled, "Wow, that is gorgeous. Who's it for?"
House wrinkled his forehead, "Not you! It's mine, all mine."
Cuddy had joined them and was staring into the box along with everyone else. "You're going to eat that all by yourself? That's a large cake! It's absolutely beautiful, what's it for?"
Wilson had seen the crowd and made his way inside to look in the box. "Whoa. They really out did themselves this time. Any ideas who sent it?"
House shook his head.
Cuddy smirked, "Someone sent you this cake and you don't know who or why?"
Wilson volunteered, "He gets them for his birthday and the occasional holiday."
Cuddy cocked her head, "You're joking aren't you? Someone sends you nice things? It must be poisoned."
House scowled at her, "You know, I do save lots of lives. Did you think that someone might be grateful? In fact, you might be grateful for that night a few years ago. Do you send them?"
She burst out laughing, "Oh God, you must be joking. It wasn't that memorable...that is if there was a night a few years ago." She shook her head and laughed all the way out the door.
Chris asked, "You really don't know who keeps sending you cakes?"
Again House shook his head.
Wilson went into the outside office and pulled down several plates and forks. House pounced on him, 'Who said I was sharing?"
Wilson smirked and knitted his brows, "You can't eat that entire cake by yourself, it's enormous! Look, we'll cut it in half and you can take half home, that's still more than you need."
House stopped to think. Everyone was staring at him. It was a huge cake and would probably go bad before he could eat it all. But he just hated the thought of cutting into it. It was beautiful.
He looked around at all the eager faces. Cuddy came back in when she saw Wilson holding plates. "He's going to share?"
She looked at Wilson. He was standing poised, ready to carve the delicacy into slices for the hungry hoard, "I can understand, a cake like that costs at least $100, probably more. There's only a few places in town that can make them like that."
House turned quickly to confront her, "Really? Do you know which ones they are?"
A slow smile spread across her lips, "You want to track down the person who's sending them, don't you? I tell you what, I'll give you the names of the bakeries that make quality cakes if you share."
House winced, stood still for a minute and then nodded. Wilson cut the cake in half and everyone oohed and ahed. Inside were four ribbons of fillings, including cream cheese, chocolate fudge, chocolate mousse and bittersweet fudge. Wilson passed out the pieces to everyone. Wilson was smart enought to make sure that House received the first, large, piece. The whole room went quiet as they ate. No one dared interrupt the commune they each had with their taste buds.
Cuddy finally looked up. "I have one more requirement before I give up the names."
"You can't go back on the deal." House yelled like a child.
"I just want to know who baked this cake. When you find out, you have to tell me," she sighed, eating each bite like it was the last time she would taste anything as exquisite.
Wilson smiled, "I want to know too; so I can convince her to marry me."
House snickered, "Dude most pastry chefs are men."
Wilson shook his head, "This was made by a woman. Trust me. It's the textures, there are several textures combined together that a man wouldn't even think to combine."
House laughed, "You are so gay."
Wilson snarled back.
Chris couldn't hold back, "This is the best cake I've ever seen or eaten."
House didn't change expressions, "Yeah, well when you find out where the clitoris is, you might get cakes too."
They all laughed, but quickly returned to eating the cake. House had to agree, the cake exceeded all expectations.
Christmas came and went. Cuddy gave House the names of three bakeries, but House was lazy and didn't follow up, not even on Valentine's day when he received a single red rose in a long pink box. The rose was sculpted out of the finest Belgian chocolate. There was no card.
And now House was standing in front of another birthday cake. It was in the shape of a grand piano with a deep, deep mocha chocolate frosting and sugar paste for the ivories. House was impressed. This person knew enough about him to know he played piano. House reached in the desk and took out the list of bakeries. It was time to find out who was sending the cakes.