"Something for Cameron"
Wilson wasn't sure why they were standing in the middle of a tree lot. House had never once in all the years he'd known him shown even one iota of interest in owning a Christmas tree, much less a real one. "How much longer are we going to stand around here and look House?" Wilson asked annoyed. It was cold and it had been a long and tiring day at the hospital. He was ready to go home and go to bed.
House looked from the massive tree he'd been eyeing to the grumpy oncologist. "Having trouble finding your Christmas spirit Jimmy?"
Wilson sighed. "You do know I'm Jewish right? I'm not supposed to be overflowing with Christmas spirit," he reminded.
House tilted his head to the side in thought. "Huh, I guess that's why Seth Cohen invented Chrismukkah."
"Seth Cohen? Chrismukkah?"
"It's the merging of Christmas and Hanukkah," House said. "Makes perfect sense."
Wilson rolled his eyes. "I'm assuming Seth Cohen is a character on one of your TV shows?"
"Duh, the OC." House replied before turning back to look at the tree. "What do you think of this one?"
"I think that it won't fit on the roof of my car which I'm assuming is why you forced me to come here."
"I can't put a tree on top of my car, it might get scratched," House said smirking. "I bet they do deliveries."
Wilson sighed. "I also don't think it will fit in your apartment. You don't exactly have 9- foot ceilings."
House groaned. "You're a spoil sport."
"Why are we in a tree lot, House?"
House looked at him strangely. "To buy a tree obviously."
"You've never wanted a tree before, House."
House shrugged. "So I'm not allowed to have one now?"
"I didn't say that. I just think it's weird. Cameron's obviously rubbing off on you." Wilson stated noting that House flinched slightly at the mention of Cameron. "Cameron seems like one of those girls who loves holidays."
House nodded. "She does."
"Have you already gotten her present?" Wilson asked curiously
"What are you going to get her?"
"Don't know." House said looking back at the tree he knew wouldn't fit in his home.
"But you are going to get her something right?"
House rolled his eyes. "Of course I'm going to get her something. What kind of guy would I be if I didn't get my girlfriend a Christmas present?"
Wilson snickered. "The kind that reminds me of you."
"For you information I've bought her a Christmas present every year since I hired her." House admitted
Wilson gaped in confusion. "How is it I didn't know that?"
"I don't tell you everything." House said cryptically.
"Can I help you?" A salesman asked after approaching them.
House nodded and pointed to a similar tree next to the nine foot one. "I want this tree. Do you deliver?"
"I think it's crooked. It needs to go more to the left." House instructed from his spot on the couch
"You could help you know." Wilson sniped. He had spent the last hour tilting the tree to House's specifications and he was tired of it.
House scoffed. "I could, but I'm crippled. Besides I really don't want to."
"It's your damn tree." Wilson said aggravated
House nodded. "I know that. I paid for it. And the delivery. And the enormous tip you made me give that pimply face teenager who helped you bring it in." House replied bitterly
"You know, you never told me why you were buying a tree."
House sighed in frustration. "Does it matter?"
Wilson nodded. "It's just so out of character for you."
House groaned. "I messed up with Allison alright."
"What do you mean you messed up?"
House took a sip of his beer and watched as Wilson shifted the tree further to the left. "That's too far more to the right."
"House." Wilson snapped annoyed
House sighed, "Alright, alright. She wanted to make a big deal out of Christmas and I didn't. You know I never really celebrate anything."
"We got in a fight about it, and she got all upset. Said this was our first Christmas together as an actual couple and that she just wanted for it to mean something. She called me a Grinch and stormed out of here."
"You're a mean one Mr. Grinch..." Wilson sang smiling
"Stop singing you moron." House said glaring. "Leave the tree it's perfect."
Wilson sighed and stopped fiddling with the tree. "It makes complete sense to me that you two fought about this. We both agreed earlier that Cameron seemed like the kind of girl who loves to celebrate holidays."
"And she's right. It should mean something."
"I know that. Why do you think I went out and bought an insanely overpriced tree. I'm trying to make it up to her." House said before a loud knock resonated throughout the apartment. He walked over to the door and opened it, knowing it was Cameron.
"I'm sorry about earlier." she said immediately before entering the apartment.
House shook his head. "Don't be..."
"I know the kind of guy you are, and I don't want you to think I'm trying to change you. Because I'm not. It's just that it's our first holiday together as an official couple, excluding Thanksgiving since we both had to work and..."
"And apparently Halloween isn't a holiday." he muttered under his breath
"Halloween is not a holiday." Cameron snapped exasperated
"Sure it is. You get to wear costumes and eat all the candy you want."
Cameron rolled her eyes. "Halloween isn't a holiday Greg. It's a day you spend playing mean pranks on everyone you know, and then get to terrify the kids that are unfortunate enough to come to your door." she rambled
House laughed. "Allison stop. You're rambling."
She took a deep breath and smiled warmly at him. "Sorry." she said softly before moving further into the room. The minute she passed the door she saw the tree. Cameron stared in awe at the seven foot tree standing tall in the corner of House's living room. It was beautiful even in it's bareness. She was speechless, her breath literally caught in her throat. She knew what a sacrifice this was for him. She knew just how grand of a grand gesture this perfect tree was.
She had felt awful storming out of the apartment the night before. She had been in a horrible mood after three separate people had thrown up on her in the clinic and she had come there ready to pick a fight with him. And she had been given the perfect opportunity when he had rebuffed all her talk of how to the spend their holiday.
Picking and choosing her battles with him had become commonplace since she had begun her fellowship, and the simple fact that they were officially dating hadn't changed anything. But she hadn't expected him to show a complete disregard for their first Christmas together. Especially since they had been exchanging gifts every year since they had met. She hadn't wanted much in regards to the holiday from him, she had just wanted something.
Now staring and smiling at the tree in front of her, feeling her heart warm she realized that he was trying to give her what she wanted. He was trying to give her something. "House..." she murmured feeling tears of happiness flood her eyes.
House had been watching her since she saw the tree and he knew he had accomplished what he had set out to do. All the bitterness from the night before had been absolved. He looked over at Wilson trying to communicate his thoughts, thankful that the two of them had been friends long enough that a simple look saying Beat it was all it really took. He didn't need any witnesses to the mushiness he knew was bound to come when Cameron turned back to him.
Wilson saw the uncomfortable look on House's face and chose that moment to leave, knowing it was what House wanted. He knew they needed some privacy anyway. He didn't even think that Cameron had noticed he was there. "I need to get going. I'll talk to you two later on tomorrow." he said shooting House a look that clearly said Don't screw this up again before walking out the door.
"I thought we could decorate it together. And by we I mean you can decorate while I watch." House said once Wilson was gone. He was pleased that it was so obvious she loved the tree, and in all honestly he wouldn't mind helping her decorate it if she asked.
Cameron laughed. "You didn't have to..."
"I know, but you were right earlier. It's our first Christmas and it should mean something. And it does. It means a lot. And I'll do anything at this point to reassure you of it."
"Even help me string the lights and decorate this gorgeous green tree?" she asked smirking
House smiled and walked over to her kissing her gently on the forehead. "There is absolutely no way you're going to get me to stick some horrendous angel on the top of the damn thing."
Cameron laughed again. "Oh, no angel."
"Just a star." she said smiling before throwing her arms around him hugging him tightly.
"That's my little atheist." House whispered, his breath brushing warmly over her skin.
"Thank you." she whispered back.
House nodded and pulled back far enough so that he could look directly into her eyes. "You're welcome Allison." he whispered before pulling her back into his arms and kissing her deeply.
Cameron melted into the kiss, allowing herself to sink into a world of pure happiness the way she always did when House kissed her. When air became a necessity she pulled away, then let the excitement take over. Grabbing her jacket and her keys she dragged House towards the door. "We're going to need lights and ornaments. Oh and some garland..."
House smiled and grabbed his jacket as she pulled them both out the door. "I should have known I wasn't done paying for that damned tree."
The holiday rush had Cuddy frantic and since they currently had no case they had all been banished to the clinic for the day. Foreman had been watching Cameron float around on cloud nine all day. She hadn't even frowned when Chase mocked House, a pastime Chase had taken up the moment he found out about House and Cameron's relationship. A slow moment had found him, Cameron and Chase all standing at the nurse's station looking through files when he had finally decided to mention it to her. "What's the deal Cameron? Why are you in such a good mood?"
Cameron smiled. "No reason."
"Sure." Chase said annoyed
"I love Christmas."
"I don't believe you." Foreman said smiling
"I do love Christmas." Cameron said defensively
Foreman laughed. "No, I'm sure you do. I mean that I don't believe that's why you're so happy."
"House bought me a Christmas tree." Cameron admitted quietly
"House bought you a Christmas tree?" Chase repeated "I'm confused as to why that makes you so happy."
Cameron rolled her eyes. "Does House really seem like the Christmas tree type to you?"
"No." Chase said blandly
"So then the fact that he bought one for us to share for Christmas is enough to make me smile." Cameron stated
"She has a point." Foreman told Chase smiling at the displeasure on Chase's face. It was no secret to anyone, with the exception of Cameron, that Chase was jealous of her and House.
"Plus we're having dinner the day after tomorrow and we agreed that we'd both like for both of you to be there. Kind of like a pre-Christmas dinner party."
"Are you serious?" Foreman asked looking around the clinic for House to jump out and say 'Gotcha.'
Cameron nodded and picked up another patient form. "Of course I'm serious." she said looking at him strangely. "House and I want to invite you and the rest of the gang over for pre-Christmas dinner if you're free." she repeated incase they hadn't heard her properly
Foreman laughed unsettled. "Forgive me for being confused. I can't see House voluntarily inviting any of us over for dinner."
Cameron scowled. "OK so it's more me than him that wants to invite you two over for dinner. But he didn't tell me no, and he promised to be nice-er than normal."
"Him agreeing to be nicer than normal isn't really him agreeing to be nice you know." Chase pointed out
Cameron sighed in frustration. "Maybe not but less cruel than normal sounds like he's making an effort to me."
Chase rolled his eyes. "Well when you put it like that it sounds fun." he said sarcastically
Foreman laughed. "And what exactly is a pre-Christmas dinner?"
Cameron sighed. "It's just dinner. It's on the day before Christmas Eve making it a pre-Christmas dinner."
"Why not on Christmas Eve?" Chase asked
"Because I want to be alone with her on Christmas Eve." House said from Exam Room One's doorway startling Chase. "And you don't have to come. I'd be perfectly fine if you didn't." House snapped slightly. He wasn't Cameron. He wasn't oblivious to Chase's feelings for her.
Chase sighed. "What time?"
"That's the spirit." House said before a nurse deposited a patient in front of him. "Gotta go. Duty calls." House said before leading the patient back into the room.
Chase and Foreman each went grabbed new patients and headed into separate exams rooms. Cameron pulled out her prescription pad and scribbled House a note and then stuffed it in the file she was holding. She smiled at the nurse before handing her the patient file back. "I'm checking out can you please make sure Dr. House gets this one next." she asked her
"Of course Dr. Cameron." the nurse replied politely
"Thank you." she said before walking out of the clinic.
Off all the things Cameron could have said to him this was the least expected. Wilson was literally floored and his expression showed it. Cameron smiled at Wilson's dumfounded expression. "You ok there Dr. Wilson?"
Wilson shook his head slightly. "Yeah, I'm fine. I just... House is throwing a dinner party. I don't know what to think of that. How did you manage to get House to agree to this?" He blushed when Cameron gave him a pointed look. "Of course."
"Technically I'm throwing a dinner party. It's just at House's place and I wanted to invite the two of you." she said to him and Cuddy
Cuddy nodded. "Thank you. Can I bring anything?"
Cameron smiled. "If you want. It's at seven." she said as she heard her pager go off. She smiled as she read the page. "I have to go." she said politely
"Of course. Thank you for the invitation."
"A dinner party really?" Wilson said to House the moment he was through the door.
"Shut up." House snapped sipping on his drink
Wilson laughed. House was clearly already uncomfortable. "I'm just saying, you're throwing a dinner party."
House groaned and gestured over to Cameron who was animatedly talking with Foreman. "She wanted to have some ridiculous holiday party with the team and you. I of course didn't. I'd much rather have her upstairs."
Wilson groaned. "Enough."
"I'm just saying this party is completely hers. I'm just here for the spiked nog."
Wilson laughed. "So Cameron wanted to have a party..."
"That's what I said. Keep up."
"And since you two were still on unstable ground..." Wilson started
"I caved and I'm trying to make it up her." House finished
"What's so funny?"
"You. Doing damage control. It's new." Wilson said smiling broadly
"I have to start taking this relationship seriously. If I don't I'm going to lose her. I know that." House admitted "And if that knowledge forces me to act uncharacteristically every now and again then so be it. I mean look at her." he said pointing to her. "She's happy. That's what matters. And if she's happy then I'm happy. Plus she does this thing with her tongue..."
Wilson winced. "Seriously House enough." he said in annoyance before walking off
House smiled. "All I was saying was I didn't want to lose her." he mumbled before finishing off his egg nog.
House sighed in boredom. His apartment currently held three more people than he would normally like and one that he never wanted in there to begin with, and it had done so for almost an hour. The selfish part of him wished that Cameron would at least have the decency to look miserable so he could kick them all out. But the part of him that was desperately trying not to upset her again until after the holidays was telling him to suck it up because she was clearly enjoying herself. The only time she looked less than ecstatic to be hosting this little get-together was when Chase made a snide remark in her direction. He watched her as she spoke with Foreman, Cuddy and Wilson the smile never leaving her face for a second. Feelings of happiness, which until recently had been completely foreign to him, washed over him as he watched her laugh at whatever lame joke Foreman was telling her. He smiled as she glanced his way and winked playfully at her.
Cameron looked back from House, who looked bored with whatever Wilson and Cuddy where saying to him, and then back to Foreman. She smiled warmly at him. "I really appreciate the effort you're making."
"Huh?" he asked in confusion
"Not letting it show that being here at this party is pure torture for you."
Foreman laughed. "It's not torture Cameron."
"It's not?" came Chase's voice from behind
Foreman sighed and Cameron glared. "No, it's not." Foreman reassured. "It's actually not that bad. I'm having fun."
"Speak for yourself." Chase sniped
"You don't have to be here." Foreman reminded him angrily
"You know what, I've had enough. Get out!" Cameron snapped loudly gaining everyone's attention.
"Cam..." Chase started cautiously as he noticed the rest of the party guests walking over towards the commotion.
"I've listened to you complain about this party for days and yet you're still here. I've heard every single little scathing comment you've thrown in mine and House's direction for the last hour and yet you still won't leave. If you're so miserable what's keeping you here?" she yelled her eyes steeled in anger
Chase looked at Cameron pointedly.
House saw the look on Chase's face and wrapped an arm around Cameron possessively. "You didn't seriously think you would come into my home and take my girlfriend from me?" House asked astonished
Cameron scoffed. "It's not going to happen. I'm with House. And even if I wasn't it still wouldn't happen."
"You should leave." House told him angrily
Chase looked around the crowd for a moment. Meeting not one sympathetic face he let his eyes fall back on House and Cameron. He wasn't an idiot. He knew she was with House, and that she'd never leave House for him. It was a ridiculous hope that he'd held onto since the moment he laid eyes on her. But if the look on her face was any indication of how she really felt for him, he knew he'd ruined any chance of even remaining friendly towards one another. "Merry Christmas." he muttered softly before turning and leaving the apartment.
The room was filled with uncomfortable awkward silence. No one knew what to say to break the tension in the room. It was finally Cuddy who was unable to take the silence any longer who spoke. "Should I be worried about the level of professionalism in my hospital after Christmas is over?"
"We've been nothing but professional at work since we started dating. I refuse to feel bad because the pathetic wombat got hurt. And I don't intend to act any differently." House snapped
"He's right. Those two are the picture of professionalism in the office." Foreman defended
Cuddy sighed. "It's not them I was worried about. Have you given any thought to what you'd do if he resigned?"
House shrugged. "I guess I'd have to hire another fellow. Maybe this time I could get one who wasn't a complete moron." House said introspectively
Cameron smiled lightly. "Ok no more work talk. This is supposed to be a party. I refuse to let Robert Chase ruin it for me."
Wilson nodded. "She's right. We should open that bottle of wine Lisa brought."
"I'll go get it." Cuddy said heading into the kitchen
"Oh and I almost forgot. I brought cookies." Foreman said informatively before following her into the kitchen
"What?" House asked loudly
"I said I brought cookies." Foreman repeated loudly from the kitchen
House nodded. "I heard that part. I mean what as in, You brought cookies? Why?"
"Ignore him." Cameron said smiling and smacking House's shoulder
"He brought cookies." House said looking at her smiling. She knew just how much he loved cookies. "He's begging me to call him a girl scout."
"Shut up." Foreman demanded while handing out wine glasses. "You can only call me a girl scout if I try to sell them to you." he said before passing the cookie tin around.
House grimaced slightly. "They look homemade." he said taking one happily while trying to look reluctant.
"They are." Foreman informed. "Thank you." he said to Cuddy as she filled his glass
"You didn't make them did you?" House asked eyeing the cookie he really wanted to eat.
Foreman rolled his eyes. "No. They're the only thing that my mother still remembers how to do. Well at least as well as she used to. She still makes them every year and my dad always makes sure I get them."
Cameron smiled and bit into the cookie. Immediately she tasted walnuts. She looked to House who was about to raise the cookie to his mouth. Thinking quickly she reached out and snatched the cookie away.
"Hey!" House complained loudly "That was my cookie!"
Cameron smiled. "You should be thanking me. Then again I guess I could have always let you eat it. Then when you went into anaphylactic shock later on you could realize that you don't have any Epinephrine Pens in this apartment."
"Huh?" House, Foreman and Wilson all said at the same time.
"They have walnuts in them."
House nodded. "Oh ok then. Thank you for depriving me of a cookie so that my throat didn't close up." he said sarcastically.
"So sincere." Cameron said rolling her eyes and taking the wine glass Cuddy had filled for her "Thanks."
"You could have just said 'Don't eat that. They have walnuts in them.'. You didn't have to snatch my cookie away." House pouted
Wilson was still looking at them strangely. "What's going on?" he asked confused
"I'm allergic to walnuts." House told him
House shrugged. "I don't know. Birth." he said sarcastically
"How is it possible that I didn't know that?"
"I'm a man of many mysteries." he said cryptically
"Did you know he was allergic to walnuts?" Wilson asked Cuddy
"Yes. It's in his personnel file under allergies. It's written in at the bottom after work, responsibility and maturity." Cuddy said smiling widely
Cameron laughed until House shot her a look. "What? It was funny?"
"I'm feeling very ganged up on here. Not allowed to hit the wombat, not allowed to eat the cookies, getting made fun of..."
"Wait a minute." Foreman interrupted "I remember that time you got sick a few years ago and Cameron made you tea with walnut in it. You drank the whole coffee mug."
"Well obviously it's not a severe allergy." House lied "And she had gone through all the trouble to make it I couldn't just turn it down."
"You turn down the coffee Chase makes all the time." Foreman pointed out
"Yeah well his coffee sucks. And I like her more." he smirked. "Anyway what does it matter? Obviously all was good. I'm still standing here."
"All was good?" Wilson said flabbergasted. "You willingly subjected yourself to an allergic reaction!"
House laughed and locked eyes on Cameron. "Yeah... well... it was good tea."
Cameron smiled sheepishly as the rest of the room laughed, the tension and awkwardness Chase had left behind, forgotten.
House watched Cameron wash dishes after everyone had left several hours later for a few minutes before moving to help her.
"You don't have to do that. We had an agreement." she reminded. "You let me use your apartment for my party and I clean up the mess."
House smiled. "I don't mind." he said while drying the dishes as she took them out of the sink.
Cameron smiled as she continued washing dishes. "Did you at least have a little bit of fun?" she asked hopefully
House nodded. "Yeah I did."
Cameron turned to face him completely. "Really? Or are you just saying that?"
House laughed. "Really Allison. It wasn't completely intolerable. I had fun."
Cameron nodded. "Good." she said happily returning to the task at hand.
House watched her sway in tune with the Christmas music he hadn't turned off and smiled happily. He looked over at the clock on the wall to see how late it was ad sighed when he saw it was after one in the morning. "Only you and Wilson would do the dishes at one in the morning."
Cameron shrugged. "They needed to be done." she said handing the last dish to House to dry. "And now they are."
"Good." he said placing the last dish in the cupboard. "Now we get to the fun part of the evening."
"The sleeping part?" she asked hopefully. Her only response was a suggestive waggle of House's eyebrows. She laughed. "I'm exhausted Greg."
House laughed. "Get your mind out of the gutter Allison. I was talking about the part of the evening where we decide that we want to spend all of Christmas day in bed so we exchange gifts now."
Cameron looked at him curiously. "You just want your present don't you?"
"Am I that obvious?" House asked giddily
Cameron laughed. "What if I said that your present wasn't here?"
House pouted. "Would you be lying?"
Cameron laughed at his sad face. "Yeah." She walked over to the piano, reached under it and pulled out an envelope.
"That wasn't there yesterday." House said immediately
Cameron rolled her eyes. "I know you big snoop. I put it there when I was setting up for the party." she said extending the envelope to him
House smiled somewhat sheepishly. "I didn't know you'd caught me snooping around looking for my gift." he said accepting it from her
Cameron shrugged. "No big deal. I didn't even get my hands on it until yesterday anyway so there really wasn't anything to find. Now open it."
House smiled and opened the envelope and pulled out the contents. Smiling widely he leaned in and kissed her gently. "Thank you." he said turning his attention back to the Gravedigger tickets in his hand.
Cameron smiled. "I figured you could take Wilson since he didn't get to go the last time."
House looked at her quizzically. "You don't want to go? I thought you liked it."
"I did. I loved it. I just thought you'd like some guy time with Wilson. But you don't have to take him. You can take whoever you want." she told him reassuringly
House smiled. "I'm sure you're right. Wilson was disappointed he couldn't go last time." he said before pulling a small box out of his pocket. "Now you." he said handing the small wrapped box to her.
Cameron took her time opening the box. She had never been the type to rip into presents. She enjoyed savoring the experience. Once she had the box opened she started into it confusion written all over her face. "What..."
"It's my spare key. I got it back from Wilson a few days ago. I want you to have it." House started
"You want me to have a copy of your house key?"
"No. I want you have a copy of your house key. I want you to move in with me." A tear slid down her cheek and House wiped it away gently. "When we first started this three months ago you told me you weren't asking for a lot, just anything I was willing to give. You just wanted something."
"I remember." she said softly
He smiled warmly at her. "You deserve everything Allison and I want to give you everything. But that's going to take some time. But I'm hoping that for now you'll settle for something and agree to move in with me,"
"Are you sure? This is a big step." she asked worriedly "I don't want you to feel pressured..."
"I'm sure." House reassured.
Cameron smiled happily and took the key out of the box, palming it for a few long seconds before nodding enthusiastically. "Then yes. I'd love to move in with you."
House pulled her to him crashing his lips down upon hers immediately.
Cameron pulled back before anything could get to heated much to House's dismay. She reached under the couch and pulled out a small lingerie bag.
"That wasn't there before either." House pointed out as she held it up for him to see
She smirked widely. "Why don't you take me back to our bedroom and I'll give you something." she said seductively, her exhaustion forgotten.
House smiled broadly at the use of the word our and at her suggestion. He kissed her once more before pulling – dragging – her behind him towards the bedroom. "Best offer I've heard all night."