Pairing: House/Cameron friendship
Summary: AU fic. House and Cameron place opposing bets.
Something to Bet On
Something Cameron had grown to notice over the years of working for and with House, was that about ninety percent of her day was spent in annoyance. The other ten percent was usually spent laughing or smiling at whatever insane thing House had cooked up that day to humiliate Cuddy or to aggravate Wilson. Sometimes the other ten percent involved hiding; from Chase when he was feeling sentimental about the brief amount of time they'd spent together, from House when he was feeling particularly mean and made it his personal goal to insult her until she wanted to slap him, or from House when he was feeling particularly nice and she didn't know what to make of it.
The day had started off slowly enough and she was hoping, for a change, that today would be the day when the two numbers were interchangeable. That she could instead spend ninety percent of it happy and laughing, but she wouldn't bet on it. It hadn't taken long after her lunch break for Cuddy to assign them a case. She knew simply by looking at the chart that the patient must either be a hospital donor or family of one. House would have a fit about being forced to treat and cure the bureaucrat, and when she entered the diagnostic hall, she knew she was right.
She realized that her luck had turned, and that today would be no different than any other day. Except for maybe the other ten percent might just add into the ninety and she'd spend the whole day annoyed. The house always wins. House's yelling sent her rushing back downstairs to the clinic. No use in letting him ruin my good day just yet, she thought to herself.
It wasn't long though, before she saw House following after Cuddy determinedly. Cameron thought he'd be deterred the moment she saw Cuddy enter the clinic but House kept on following. She heard Cuddy snap "Just do what I say." before turning around and practically march out of the clinic and into her office triumphantly. Cameron turned her attention back to House, expecting to see him seething but instead saw him slink away the moment Cuddy's office door closed, unfazed.
It was obvious he thought no one was watching him. He always thought he was so sneaky, and he was to a certain degree. Although, years of working with him had also fine tuned her hearing and it hadn't taken long for Cameron to memorize the sound of his cane hitting the ground as he walked. This particular skill made it more difficult for House to sneak around and now she always knew when he was around. She had a feeling that if he'd known that, he wouldn't be thrilled.
She watched him slink past the clinic with no problem but he was quickly approaching her and there was no way she was letting him leave this hospital. There was no way she was going to let him force her to do all the work today. She smiled as he got closer; knowing that he still didn't see her there. She laughed as he jumped when she appeared around the very corner he was trying to sneak past.
"Jesus, Cameron, wear a bell!" he snapped, startled. He closed his eyes briefly trying to regain full control of his pulse. Once he had he started walking again, rolling his eyes as she walked with him.
"You can't leave. We have a patient." Cameron reminded him calmly.
House shook his head like a defiant teenager. "I can leave if I want to. I can do whatever I want. It's the perk of being an adult."
Cameron nodded. "Right, because you can really call yourself an adult. You play more video games than all the kids in the cancer ward combined."
House smirked. "Well, if I'm not an adult what does that make you Cameron? Given your love for me, my guess is some kind of pervert."
The innuendo combined with the eyebrow waggle was enough to make her glare angrily. "I'll call Cuddy." Cameron threatened determined to ignore his comment.
House rolled his eyes then replaced the expression with one of faux fear. "Calling Mommy. That's not fair. Next thing you know you'll be sending me to bed without supper," he said pouting.
Cameron shrugged. "Life's not fair. Now, either tell me where you're slinking off to or get your ass back in here and diagnose our patient."
House sighed and held up his hands in surrender. "Alright, alright, you caught me. I was going out to buy you a present, sort of a 'Congratulations the day ends in Y present', and now you've ruined the surprise." He lied smirking the entire time.
Cameron scoffed. "Seriously? You're supposed to be some kind of genius and that's what you came up with? I'm calling Cuddy."
House grabbed her phone out of her hand quickly hanging it up. "You are not." he demanded.
Wearing a look of challenge, Cameron leaned closely into him. She smirked tauntingly. "Give me one reason why I shouldn't."
"Because I'm your boss."
Cameron shrugged again. "Well, she's your boss, so technically she's mine as well. Got a better reason?"
House thought for a moment before thinking of the perfect solution. "You won't call her because if you do, I won't take you with me."
Cameron looked at him curiously. The twinkle in his eyes was making her slightly nervous. "You what?"
"I'll take you with me; but if you want to go, then you need to come on. We can't be late."
"This place you're sneaking off to has a time table? What do you have a reservation to skip work or something?" Cameron asked sarcastically.
House rolled his eyes. "You're either coming or not, either way I'm going. I just thought I'd extend an invitation." House said making it clear he wouldn't be offering the trip again, and then he turned and walked away towards the main door.
Cameron sighed and looked at her watch. It would be hours before the tests she'd ordered after admitting their newest patient were in and they could actually begin to treat for anything at all. She groaned and took off after him. She smiled as she exited the hospital to find House standing next to his bike waiting for her with his extra helmet in hand. "Am I really that predictable?" she asked laughing slightly.
House nodded and got on his bike. Cameron wasted no time climbing on behind him. Maybe today it will be more like eighty percent annoyance twenty percent happy she thought to herself as they zipped through the city, her grip on House tighter than necessary. Maybe thirty percent happy.
"OTB! You were skipping work to come to OTB?" she screeched as he parked the bike.
House winced at the grating tone in her voice. "You didn't have to come," he snarked before walking towards the entrance.
Cameron rolled her eyes and followed off behind him. "Please, you knew the second you invited me I was going to come."
House nodded and held the door open unconsciously as she passed through before him. "I did. You were right. You are very predictable," he said before adding playfully, "Now hush or I won't let you pick the horse."
Cameron smiled widely. "You're going to let me pick the horse?" she asked excitedly. House hadn't even let her decide between cotton candy and popcorn when they went to see Gravedigger, so the fact that he was offering to let her pick the horse was a huge step for him, and she knew it.
House nodded. "Why not, unless you decide to pick a crappy horse, then you're on your own."
"Autism Awareness? Are you serious?" House asked incredulously. I should have known better than to think she could pick a decent horse, he thought irritated.
Cameron nodded enthusiastically. "Sure why not?"
"I asked you not to pick a crappy horse." he reiterated.
"And leave it to you to pick the sorriest one out there," he said pointedly. There was absolutely no way he was betting on that horse.
Cameron pouted. "But…he's the one I like."
"Cameron, I realize you really are a teddy bear sent from Grandma, but the name of the horse has nothing to do with how fast he can run. No matter how socially aware it is or how cute, the name doesn't affect a thing."
Cameron shrugged. "I never said a word about the name. Besides, I don't care, I like him. He seems good," she repeated.
House threw his hands up in frustration. "Based on what, his pretty brown color?" House snapped. "He's a nobody!" he snapped "Sixty to one odds! There's no way he's going to win!"
Cameron smiled at his outburst. She couldn't help but think that he was cute when he was all wound up. "Your point? You said I could pick the horse."
"I said you could pick the horse unless you picked a crappy one. He's a bad bet. People bet on horses to win money, not lose it."
"He's the underdog. I like underdogs."
House laughed. "He's not the underdog. He's a puppy, and the runt of the litter at that. Even the underdogs laugh at him."
"Horses don't laugh, House." Cameron pointed out blankly.
House sighed. "Cameron, you don't get it. Contreras is more likely to fall off the damn horse, than he is to get the horse across the finish line first."
"I seriously doubt that." Cameron snapped jokingly.
"The guy's win percentage is sixteen. Sixteen percent Cameron, he's not going to win. I refuse to bet on that horse."
"Fine." Cameron huffed. "I'll bet on him myself."
House looked at her and smirked widely. "Did you even bring your wallet?"
Cameron realized she didn't and frowned. "Can I borrow my bet?"
House rolled his eyes and withheld a loud laugh before pulling out his wallet and handing her a fifty. "Don't tell Wilson," he ordered. "He'd never let me forget it."
Cameron nodded and smiled warmly. "Thanks."
Housed laughed slightly to himself as he watched her hurry off to place her bet. He noticed he had less than two minutes to place his bet as well and hurried off after Cameron to do the same.
"And they're off!" the announcer said. House's look of boredom as they watched the beginning of the race did not deter Cameron who clutched the ticket stub in her hand and watched the screen with eager anticipation. "Come on Number 3!!" she said under her breath, not wanting to embarrass herself in front of House.
However, it was not long before the thrill of the race finally got to Cameron. Watching the herd of thoroughbreds thundering past the three-quarter pole, House tried to ignore the girly squeals that were coming from beside him.
Scant moments later, the track announcer's normally drone voice had became uncharacteristically excited as he heralded the last phase of the race. "Coming down the straightaway and pulling away from the pack in a big upset for the win…it's Autism Awareness!!"
House would have thought that watching Cameron urge on a horse on a tv screen was funny, cute even, if that stupid horse hadn't won. Instead, House glared at Cameron in an irate manner as she gleefully counted her money. He couldn't believe that she'd actually won that bet.
"I swear if you say I told you so one more time Cameron, you're walking home," he snapped unable to take her gloating any longer.
Cameron laughed and smiled widely. "Why would I do that when I can use my winnings, from the horse who's jockey was, how did you put it 'more likely to fall off the damn horse than make it across the finish line first' I told you to bet on, to get a cab?" she asked smirking. She laughed again as House continued to pout and sulk over his loss. "Cheer up, I bet our patient is really, really sick and you'll get to do all kinds of dangerous tests on him. That always makes you feel better."
House half smiled. "You think?" he asked a hopeful twinge breaking through his tone.
Cameron shrugged. "Even if he's not you're going to do dangerous, unnecessary tests on him anyway. So, I figure it's a win-win situation."
House nodded, she had a point. "You're probably right."
Cameron nodded. "Of course I am. I'm very seldom wrong."
House scoffed. "You're very often wrong."
Cameron smiled. "Maybe so, but I just won fifteen hundred and fifty dollars because I was right and you were wrong."
"Thirty one hundred and fifty." He pointed to her money. "You won thirty one fifty. Or has your brief luck change forced your lower math skills out of your brain."
Nope, lower math skills still very much intact she thought. Ninety five percent happy, five percent thankful for her fantastic day, zero percent annoyed. Cameron smiled and handed him the fifty. "Or maybe I just subtracted your money out of it." She said happily. "That's the fifty I borrowed."
House rolled his eyes. "I know that Cameron. I'm not so old that I can't remember loaning you the fifty dollars on the same day I loaned it." He snapped before pocketing the fifty. Her cheerfulness was starting to get to him. If he wasn't careful he just might be forced to smile. "That still leaves thirty one hundred dollars."
"Minus the half I'm going to donate to Autism Awareness."
House rolled his eyes. "Of course you are."
Cameron smiled again as the pair walked towards the bike prepared to go back to work. They both climbed on and after a short amount of time they were back at the hospital. Cameron climbed off the back of the bike and handed the helmet back to House. "That was fun, we should do it again sometime." She said happily.
House nodded. "Of course you want to… you won."
Cameron shrugged. "It's probably just beginner's luck. I'm sure next time I'll go bust."
"Probably. First rule of gambling, the house always wins." House admitted as the two of them reentered the hospital.
"Dinner?" Cameron asked as if it were an everyday occurrence.
House laughed. "You're buying." he answered a smile still threatening to expose itself. Oh yeah, the House always wins.
AN: So all the race facts are true… Autism Awareness is a horse owned by Johnny Taboada. He was named for Taboada's son, Renzo, who was diagnosed with autism. He was purchased for a mere 1000 and trained by Genero Vallejo. He was jockeyed by Luis Contreras, and won the 27th Run of the El Camino Real derby on March 8, 2008 with 62-1 odds against.Although like Cameron, I too doubt, that Contreras was more likely to fall off the horse. I'm sure he's a good jockey.