House hates Christmas because it's easier than admitting how disappointed he used to feel as a child when the holidays sucked. All he really wants is to feel something good. All Wilson wants is for him to be happy. So, he decides to give House the best Christmas ever. Alternate Universe, some out of character, mentions of child abuse (noting graphic), slash, and spoilers for Let Them Eat Cake, but not in any way connected to Joy to the World. I don't own House, The Lady Who Swallowed a Toothbrush, or Dick in a Box; so please don't sue.

December 18th:

"That's real nice," House smirked, when he walked into my office and found me sitting, with a gift wrapped box near, but not right on top of my lap. At first I had no idea what he was talking about, so I raised a single eyebrow. Huh? "Subtle. Justin Timberlake would be proud." Greg shook his head.

"You think I have my—in this?" I lifted the present, holding it high enough to let him see that it wasn't attacked to my body. "If I were going to try something like—in a box, I wouldn't do it in the hospital." He stumbled up towards the desk, pushing my folders off, and taking a seat. "Um, those are kind of important. How would you like it if I went into your office and messed with your stuff?" Ordinarily this comment wouldn't have bothered him as much, but right now it was a bigger deal. He shot me a dirty look. House liked—needed—his personal space, a lot of it, and the office-sharing thing really messed with his head. The guy wasn't feeling fantastically, and while I'd been trying to cheer him up, nothing had worked. The gift was part of a last ditch effort before I gave up and let him deal with his own, which meant drowning his sorrows in a vat of whiskey and Vicodin, and laying on the couch watching crap on TV for a few days.

"So if it's not your junk, then what's in the box?" Greg asked, leaning forward a little, as if a different angle would allow him to see through the blue and yellow wrapping paper. As much as he claimed to hate the holidays he desperately wanted a fairytale Christmas, the kind he was never given growing up. House's father hadn't allowed the little boy very many presents, and the ones he did get, new socks, a nice book—if he was extremely luck—and a Hellish Christmas Eve, all sucked. This year wasn't going to be another disappointment. He wouldn't get any new, horrible memories, and he would, hopefully, have a happy Xmas morning. "Well?" Greg wondered.

"You can open this one and find out, if you want. So, I'm not telling, but I can say that it's gonna be good, and you'll like it, promise." I watched as is sad, blue eyes searched all over my face.

"It's not even close to the right day," he deflected. And that's not even close to a real response, I thought, but kept to myself. "You obviously went to a lot of trouble to plan some stupid, I don't know what exactly, but it is something. Should probably let you do it however you want." Still not an answer.

"I would really like it if you opened this. Right here, right now." I stood up, hugged him quickly, tightly, lovingly, and rubbed his back and shoulders. "Please?" This made it a request instead of an order. Greg took the package from me, and held onto it, running his hand over the ribbon.

"What—what is it?" he practically begged. "It's not gonna be some weird bomb or a gun set off to shoot me, is it?"

"If it were a bomb I wouldn't even hang out in the building, when you opened the thing. Plus, I would never do anything like that, and you know it, I thought. I shook my head.

'This is okay?" he asked, cautiously.

"You're an adult now. Pretty much whatever you wanna do is allowed, okay." Greg just chuckled, and pulled his arm back, like he was about to throw the gift at me. "Go ahead, you won't smash it. It's unbreakable." House shook the package, holding it close to his ear. No sound.

"Tell me what it is," he demanded, putting the present down, standing up, and getting ready to leave. "Or I walk out that door and you don't see me until New Years." I called his bluff, smiling, and waving goodbye. "I don't like surprises."

"I lied. If you throw that, it will break, badly. It's a digital camera. A nice one too, so you can document the week." He rolled his eyes at me. I had a feeling he would be doing the same thing a lot over the next few days. "You don't have to smile, or pose, or even use it. I mean, I'd love if you did but..." Greg cut me off, holding his palm up, and neatly pulling the tape up from the box. I'd never seen him act like this, but it didn't take long to figure out why. He's afraid of getting too excited, and ending up disappointed, or worse. He looked at his present, turning the camera over in his hands.

"It's sort of nice," was all he could say. I started to tell him I was sorry. I started to tell him I had gone too far, made him uncomfortable, and would never do it again. You're an idiot, my mind taunted me. He forced a smile, and looked up at me. "What am I supposed to tell you right now?"

"Do you like it?" I was pretty sure, but sometimes I read House the wrong way. He nodded. "Well then, all you have to do is open your mouth, and say, 'thank you Jimmy,'" I explained.

"Okay," he said. "That." I smiled, and hugged him again, but the guy just stood there, arms hanging limply at his side. "You comin' to my place tonight?" I nodded, and followed him to the parking lot, where we climbed into my car, and drove to his place. "There are more presents? So what are you doing some stupid sort of 12 days of Christmas thing?" he asked later. I didn't bother to mention that there were only seven days left. He knew this, and just wanted to bust my chops. His complaining, and telling me how stupid my giving him present was, didn't stop him from enjoying the camera. He went all around the apartment, taking pictures of his guitars, the piano, me sitting on the couch, with a feet up, a beer in one hand, the other giving him a thumbs up, me laughing, me holding my hand in front of the lens, pretending I didn't want my picture taken, me on the mattress, pants on, shirt off, barefoot, hair slightly mussed, and last but not least, his arm holding the camera away, so the pictures showed our mouths pressed together in a kiss, a smile on my face, something similar on his.

December 22nd

After a couple of days he started to get a bit antsy, nervous even. House didn't know where things were headed, and hated that. He kept asking me, what are you doing? What's going to happen now? If I didn't know better I'd think he was excited rather than scared. I had stashed most of his gifts in my car, except for the one I was keeping in a dresser drawer. So, when I was cleaning up the dishes after breakfast, and Greg asked about present again, I went into the bedroom for a minute, and grabbed his gift. It was a flat box, containing a pair of personalized, two-piece pajamas, in his size, mostly electric blue, with little stethoscopes and things printed all over. House gave me an odd look. "If you don't like those, it's alright." He cut me off.

"Do you like them?" He wasn't asking because he thought that my approval would help him make up his mind. The guy had some other concern, one I couldn't quite figure out on my own. "What's this, some sort of kinky role-playing crap? You wanna turn me into an oversized infant?" That was terrifying for him. I sighed. That was not, in any way, my intention and I told him as much.

"No, House, this isn't—you told me that when you were a kid, Christmas always sucked. I thought maybe I could re-create one of those experiences, change the outcome. It probably won't fix anything, but I figure, one good holiday in your life can't hurt either."

"What if it's not good? What if this stinks just as much as the ones from when I was little? What if I let you get me all excited and whatever, but I just—it's still crap?"

"I won't let that happen," I tried to swear, but he looked away, not meeting my eyes. "Well, then don't get excited. Tell yourself I'll screw this up somehow, and you'll hate everything I do. That way, if it is good, it'll be even better, and if it's bad, it means nothing. Tell yourself, this is some stupid fantasy of mine, another way to "fix" you and it is not gonna work, but it won't hurt either." I put my hand on his shoulder. "You don't have to enjoy this, and if you really hate it, tell me, but I'd love it if you just played along for my sake. Open up a little, "prop" present today, and tomorrow. Then, on Christmas we open the rest of your gifts, and anything you like we keep. Anything you don't like we can return, or shove into a drawer, or whatever. Then, we're done. But if you hate it, you don't have to indulge me ever again."

"What if I do like this stuff, all of it?" If it wasn't so pathetic, I'd think his switching back and forth from complete and utter fear of my plan's possible failures, to hating the plan, to really enjoying, or wanting to enjoy, the idea was funny.

"If you like the whole happy holiday thing, then we can do it again next year, unless you wanna change something I did."

"This is stupid." He complained for nearly an hour, and I listened to him, tried to hug him a couple of times. Eventually, Greg put the pajamas on, and allowed me to lay on the couch with him, with my arms around his body, while he pressed the side of his face into my chest, watching cartoons on TV.

"These are sort of comfortable. So, if you wanna turn me into a little kid again, and be my mom or my dad or whatever, I can go along with it. Could be fun to watch you go nuts, because you're torn between wanting to sleep with me and freaking out because I'm acting like a five-year-old."

"I don't have eighteen years to re-raise you, but I figure that everyone deserves at least one perfect holiday. A couple of the presents and props are sort of kids stuff, but you don't have to do anything you don't want. I'm sorry. You're right. I'm probably acting like a moron." My original plan had been to give him things exactly like I'd said I would, easing Greg into things. I'd gotten the pajamas, the camera, and filled a jar with all the dry ingredients needed to make a batch of cookies, along with a recipe so we could make the treats simply, and without making a mess. That was for the night of the 24th. On Christmas morning, he would also be getting a couple of cartridges for his PSP, a 3-D jigsaw puzzle, book of brainteasers, a plastic tree with decorations—I knew he probably wouldn't like that one but wanted to fully set the scene—a book I'd found filled with a collection of odd emergency room stories, and a toy for is rat. "I should return everything, if you want."

"You went to all that trouble, got me a butt load of presents, cookies, and all this other crap, and you're just gonna give up on the big plan? No wonder your wives keep dumping you. Probably forgot their birthdays and anniversaries too."

"I only said I thought we should stop because you don't seem very interested. If you're at all interested, we can continue to a certain degree, but if you hate the idea, we don't have to do anything." "So," I asked, dropping my arm around his shoulder, and looking him in the eyes. "What do you think?"

"I think you're an idiot, and your cheesy plan isn't going to help me, or you, or us, but I also sort of don't completely hate it, and would like to see what you've got up your sleeve."

December 23rd

Greg woke up early, not because he was in pain, or because he was having a nightmare, but out of what had seemed like a small amount of actual excitement, like he was looking forward to seeing what was going to happen next. He'd slept in the new pajamas, and didn't feel like getting dressed when we got out of bed, although I did get him to take a shower with me. Under the spray, we made out, messed around a little, cleaned up, dried off, and I got dressed. Then, we had breakfast, and I helped House feed Steve McQueen, and fill the water bottle from his cage. He and I played poker wit him for an hour or so, before the guy couldn't take it anymore.

"I wanna know what you're planning for today. I'm bored," he proclaimed, stretching out, the syllables, and elongating the word. I smiled, kicking another five bucks into the pot.

"You must have some pretty crappy hold cards if you wanna give up in the middle of a hand." He laughed at the idea, and called. "Either that or you're psyched." This got a much bigger laugh, as if such a suggestion was an insult. The turn card was flipped.

"Don't be an idiot," he grumbled, trying to hide the very small smile. "I'm just not used to getting treated this good, even by you. Not that you're mean or anything, but—raise $10—maybe this is a sort of, not too terrible idea." The river card ended up giving him 3 Jacks, which beat my Aces and Eights. "So can I open my present now?" he asked, collecting the money.

"Sure thing, but—uh, today we're gonna set up a tree, string some lights, and hang ornaments, and popcorn and stuff on it." He rolled is eyes, as usual, but agreed to help. I threaded a couple needles, popped the corn, and we sat down on the couch, propped our feet up, and got started.

"What are you doing?" he asked, after a few minutes had gone by. I knew what he meant. Nobody went to this sort of trouble for House, and when people were nice they had an agenda. He figured I had to be up to something, and wanted me to confess.

"Decorating a tree," I said, half joking, half serious. I tried to smile at the guy, but he was still giving me that look. "What? A guy can't do something nice for his best friend?"

"You do plenty of nice tings for me. You put up with me—most of the time, but this is just," he let his voice drop off, probably thinking I was lying or hiding something, or setting him up for a cruel trick. "Insanely, overly nice."

"When I was six-years-old, my parents snuck into my room the night before my birthday, and filled it with balloons, streamers, dozens of presents, everything. So, when I woke up, it was the most amazing thing I had ever seen. Of course they were always doing stuff like that." I knew what he was going to say, before he said it, but didn't stop him, just gave Greg the time and space he needed to do it. That's not how it really works, especially not for me.

"Christmas and birthdays are just another chance for people to hurt you, make you excited, or happy, and then take the good stuff away. It's just one more excuse for him to kick the crap out of you, or worse." As usual he was talking about himself in the second person, disconnecting from reality.

"You believing that, is pretty much exactly why I'm doing this. I want you to have at least one year where Christmas isn't a total let down, or just another year of feeling depressed, while being mean to everybody and pretending not to give a crap."

"I don't give a crap," Greg insisted. He was lying, and too afraid to admit to it. "I don't care if you give me a hundred gifts or none at all. I don't need presents, just as long as you don't completely ignore me, all day every day."

"If I promise not to leave, or act like you don't exist, is there any chance you might think I'm telling the truth?" House shook his head. "Now, uh, should I just not say anything about it, or are keep telling you that I'm not leaving over and over until you do believe me?" He shrugged. "I'm not going anywhere. Christmas is all about family, and friends, and love. I love you, and I wanna give you everything anyone could ever ask for. I want you to have one perfectly wonderful, amazing day."

"There's no such thing as perfect," he smirked. "I don't know what you're trying to do, or what the real motives behind it are." He looked away, almost embarrassed. "You're a moron, aren't you?" he asked, tossing a fist full of popcorn in my face, and laughing.

"Well, if you want, I'll put the tree back in the box, return all your presents, forget about baking cookies, and we can just get drunk, watch It's a Wonderful Life on TV, and order in Chinese food." It was a bit mean. He actually wanted this and I was threatening to take it away, thusly proving everything he's ever believed about the human race. I knew I would never actually hurt him like that, but couldn't be sure if he was aware of that fact.

"No! I mean, I'd rather…your plan is stupid, but I don't see any reason to stop. I wanna see where this is heading," he explained, stringing a couple kernels onto his thread. "I don't really care, but it doesn't suck, and is sort of a little fun. "House leaned back, pressing up against me. "Can you please tell me what's gonna happen next, so I don't have to be—I don't like surprises. I know it's stupid, especially right here, right now, and with you." House never said please. He was absolutely terrified, which broke my heart, because I was trying to give him something nice, and no one had ever done that for him before.

"I got you some books, and a puzzle, and," I started to say, but Greg held up a finger, and pressed it up over my lips, to make me shut up.

"Shh, don't tell me. It's only two days. I can handle two days. I'm fine." He actually looked fairly good. Ever since I'd given him the camera (and the other gifts) Greg had been smiling more often, looking me in the eyes, talking about nice things, taking pictures, complaining less, and (for the first time since we'd met) he was looking forward to the holidays. He was still far from feeling normal, or happy, or whatever, but this was better than nothing.

December 24th

House woke up even earlier the next morning, this time around 8:00. He sat up slowly; trying to cover up is smile, and rubbing his thigh. He popped his morning pill, gauging my reaction before reaching for the second. "What? It hurts."

"I'm not giving you a dirty look. I'm just looking at you. If your leg hurts, take the pills. That's what they're for. I don't need an explanation, and you don't need an excuse. So, it's the morning of Christmas Eve. What should I make for breakfast? Greg shrugged his shoulders, eyes moving about the room, looking for something, his next present probably.

"It's not, in here," I explained. "And today's prop isn't as big or as nice as the others, and it's sort of," I cut myself off, unsure how to explain it to him. "It's not anything big, and not useful. Basically, it's dry cookie mix, so we could bake them together and then have sweets."

"Oh," he said, sounding neither disappointed, sad, nor excited. His voice was almost completely flat, empty.

"If you want, you can open one of your real," he cut me off, by shaking his head some more. "Look, it's okay, really. Most people let their kids and family open one present on Christmas Eve."

"You went to a lot of trouble to plan this, and as much fun as it would be to mess with you, don't really want to. Not right now, anyway." He looked at me, managing a little smile. "Omelets," he said. "For breakfast." We ate pretty quietly, the way we usually did, telling jokes, teasing each other, swapping funny stories, and—in Greg's case—making the occasional fart noise at the exact same time that I shifted in my seat, stood up, or sat back down.

"You do realize there's nobody is here to witness the brilliant things you keep doing, and that as funny as I find it, you're not going to humiliate me, by making it sound like I passed gas, when there's nobody around except for us, right?" I asked, after the third fart. He just looked at me innocently.

"We could call Kutner. He probably appreciates a good fart joke. Of course, he'll come over here, see the giant, stupid tree in the corner, and then no amount of telling them otherwise will ever convince my team that I'm not secretly sweet and sensitive, and pathetic, although, might give me another shot with Cameron." When he started talking like this, House was mostly just saying things because once in a while he needed to rant for a while. It helped clear his mind somehow. I didn't fully understand how the man's brain worked, but had long since learned to listen, without responding, except for the places where he needed to hear me say something back to him. He went on like that for a while before calming down, or getting over it, or whatever he was doing. Then, we moved to the couch, where he and I played videogames for two hours. We had sandwiches for lunch, and watched General Hospital before he announced that he was ready for me to make the cookies for him.

"Well, technically, I was hoping you'd help me with these." Greg rolled his eyes, again. "It's not difficult. I'm sure even a kitchen moron like you can handle it without setting your kitchen on fire."

"I'm not afraid, and I know I can make a single batch of chocolate chip cookies. That's what they are, right?" he asked. I nodded. "I just have absolutely no interest in baking, anything, ever. I'm a dude," he exclaimed, as if this meant something very important.

"And I'm not?" He looked like he might challenge this, so I quickly added, "hey, like I said before, if you're scared, you can sit this one out." He snorted. "It could be a lot of fun, and I'll let you lick the spoon."

"And get salmonella poisoning from eating raw eggs? God, you must make a wonderful doctor."

"That won't happen," I tried to promise; although technically we both knew there was no way I could guarantee such a thing.

"Fine, I'll help you, but I won't enjoy it." Greg got up, and limped into the kitchen. He only said the last part because he felt a need to save face. He was almost afraid to like the idea, afraid to admit to liking it. He sat down at the table, and waited while I took out the other ingredients.

"Here, I made everything real simple. The stuff on the top is separated from the stuff on the bottom, because you're supposed to add them at different times. First we take the sugars, and pour them in a bowl, add butter, mix. Next we beat in the egg and vanilla, and then," I started to explain.

"You don't need to teach it to me. Just do it. Tell me what I'm supposed to do, and I'll do it, but I'm never going to bake cookies without you, and learning how to do so would push something important out of my brain, like where I stash my Vicodin."

"Fine," I agreed, without adding, there are pills everywhere, you don't have to worry, you will never forget. We worked on the cookies together, him measuring and pouring the substances into the mixing bowl, and me stirring. He dipped his fingers into the batter, and scooped out a large hunk of raw cookie dough. "See, its good, isn't it?"

"No," he murmured. "It's just not as bad as I was expecting."

"Alright, that's enough. You keep eating like this and we won't have anything left to put into the oven." Greg made a face, as if he watched me drop spoonfuls of batter onto a metallic tray. He sat watching me clean up, his blue eyes shifting back and fort from the sink to the oven, to the table, and to me a nearly impossible to notice grin on his face. He ate five cookies, still attempting to insist that he didn't like them, and went to bed—begrudgingly—at around midnight. As soon as he was asleep, I leaned over his body, kissed his hair, rubbed his shoulders, wrapped my arms around his body, and drifted off to dreamland myself.

December 25th

House woke up early, as excited as a little kid on Christmas—funny thing, I thought—and popped up into a sitting position, took a pill, and sat waiting for them to kick in, pissed that he couldn't jump out of bed and run to the tree to make sure the presents were still really there.

"I feel like an idiot," he admitted, looking not at me, but out the window. "I already know you put a couple hundred stupid gifts out, and I'm gonna open the boxes, and we're gonna have pancakes, and that's about it. This is not a big deal, and only a toddler would be excited."

"I understand what you went through, growing up, how much every day sucked, how much the days that were supposed to be special sucked worse but, at the same time, I can't help but wonder why you still hate these things. You don't even, you haven't," I stammered, unsure of the best way to phrase things. "You hate Christmas, and your birthday, which is not necessary anymore. Not everybody is going to disappoint or hurt you. You could have a birthday cake, and presents, and people would be nice to you. There's nothing wrong with feeling happy."

"Stop, you're annoying me. You're not helping, and it's wasting my time. If you insist on feeding me this bullshit, pop psychology nonsense, can you at least say stuff that might be useful in some way?"

"Okay, how's this for an explanation? From what you've told me, Christmas was just like every other day, another chance to get treated like crap. So rather than feeling disappointed when you woke up and found no tree, no presents, no Santa Clause, and no big happy family, you just shut down. You stopped expecting anything nice, but that wasn't enough so," I started to finish, but Greg cut me off.

"Wow, that's brilliant," he spat, pouty-lipped, and sad-eyed. "Except for one intsy, wintsy problem. I already know that stuff, idiot. I told you most of it a few days ago. What's next, you gonna tell me my leg hurts because of the infarction, and muscle death?" he asked, punching me in the arm.

"Ow!" Greg looked at me as if I were a pathetic, sad, little creature. I squeezed his hand, lovingly. "Okay, how about this one? You are absolutely fucking terrified because, for the first time since you had baby teeth, you're letting yourself feel good about something. You're excited about Christmas, but don't want to be because I'm bound to disappoint you, screw this up some how, and then it'll hurt, a lot. Plus you'll have the added bonus of never being able to trust me again."

"Even you can't screw this up. You set everything up, you did all this great stuff, got me about a million gifts. Unless they're all filled with socks, it will probably be okay. So much for your brilliant deductions," House crowed, stood up, and marched over to the tree. "You gonna make a rule about how many or how few of these I'm allowed to open?"

"It's Christmas morning; you can do whatever you like." He looked at me, at the red and green box in his hand, and back to me again. "Go ahead," I suggested. "Just open one of them. It's okay. You're allowed."

"This is a trick…or a test. I don't why but you're trying to do—something. To me." He dropped the gift into my hands. "You open it. Slowly," House ordered, nervously. This particular box contained his videogames, five of them. I showed it to him, and the guy thumbed through the cartridges. "And the others are like this?" I nodded.

"I promise, no crappy snowman sweaters, or reindeer socks. No stupid hats either." He picked up another box, carefully peeling the tape back from the wrapping, making sure not to rip the paper. Greg pulled all the wrapping papers away, turning each item over in his hand, and then looking to me as if to say, I'm sorry I don't know how to say thank you, but thanks all the same.

Later, he sat, playing one of his new videogames. "You okay?" I asked, gently. Greg hadn't said a word in three hours, and I was starting to worry, because usually the man never shuts up. Greg grunted, shrugging his shoulder, with minimal involvement. "Can you at least say something so I make sure I didn't push you over the edge of an emotional cliff?"

"Your metaphors suck, didn't hafta use the qualifier emotional. Stop trying to be me." Then after a moment he told me, "this game is hard. I Can't. Damnit!" He switched the handheld off. "Can't talk to you and play this game at the same time."

"If you want, I can go do something else while you try and finish off the next coupe of levels." No response. "You wanna talk?" I dunno. "I'm sorry. I probably overdid this, didn't I? In my attempt to give you everything you ever wanted I actually managed to upset you, didn't I?"

"How many times do I need to tell you I liked this before you believe me?" he asked, putting the Gameboy down, and staring into the carpet. I smiled, sitting right beside him, wrapping my arms around his shoulders. He smiled back, weakly.

"This is really nice. I like to see you smile, even if it is a rarity. This is sort of like a present all my own. I like making you happy. Even if," I stopped, noticing an unusual look in his eyes. House wasn't in pain, or upset; he didn't look scared or angry, but didn't seem all that happy either. I reached out with an open palm, stroking his cheek. "Guess I should probably give you your real present now, shouldn't I?" he asked, stood up, and limped towards the bedroom, before I could react.

"You got me a present?" I asked, half amazed, half shocked, half excited, and half concerned. When he called to me, the sound of his voice told me that he was smiling, even though I couldn't see his face.

"I think I just said that, didn't I?" Greg practically shouted, and then returned with a fairly large package under his left arm. He tossed it at me. I caught the thing, but just barely, and looked up at him, concerned.

"This isn't going a pie on a spring, right? I open the box and get hit in the face with banana cream filling." I tried to make my concerns sound like a joke, like I didn't really care, but I was a little worried.

"It's not bad, but I can open it for you, if you're a fraidy cat," he taunted. "Funny, this is the same thing I was worried about." I ripped the paper off of it, quickly. "Hey! Be careful with that! Took me like an hour to wrap it." Whatever House was giving me was inside of a red and white striped shoebox. I pulled the lid off. Inside of that box was another slightly smaller, one. My real present was inside of that. I pulled the lid back and found and very nice framed photograph of me and Amber. The frame was fairly nice, sterling silver, with little leaves along the edges, probably $30 or $40, and it went well with the picture. This was wonderful. Coming from House, anything with the smallest amount of care was perfect. I couldn't believe it.

"This is really nice," I said, picking it up careful, so as not to smudge the glass with fingerprints. "I—there aren't a lot of pictures of us. I managed to find most of those, but her parents took almost everything from the apartment that I didn't bring when I moved in. I didn't really…they didn't even ask me if I wanted anything. I had to steal the few trinkets I've got when I was packing up. Nevermind, that's another story for another time. I, this is really wonderful, House. It's exactly the sort of thing I needed, thank you."

"Figured that you ought to—That is, if you wanna stay were more often, you're probably wanting keep some of your stuff around." House stood up and headed back towards the bedroom, without saying a word. I wasn't sure what he was doing, but figured he needed space, and would have stayed in the den if he hadn't called out to me. "Are you coming or what?" I raced in. Greg was sprawled out on top of the mattress, naked, and smiling huge. He was positively glowing. "I liked today. Of course, the only problem with giving me this sort of thing once, is that you're gonna hafta keep this shit up, unless you wanna make me feel bad, or scared, or whatever.

Now, you gotta do the whole week long Christmas party thing every year. Actually, you're probably going to have to do something better every year, or else, might make me insecure." I chuckled, plopping down on the mattress beside him, and taking his hand in mine.

"If you want, I can do this stuff for you every weekend, or every day," I swore. He chuckled. "You know most people tend to like to have some sort of a transition between regular conversation and sex."

"So, what, do you want me to romance you?" he asked, chuckling. "Be a man, Jimmy." Even though he had a point, I couldn't help but laugh a little. Still, I pulled my shirt up over my head, as he stared at me excitedly. "Look, I know what you're really worried about. I'm fine. If I didn't want to sleep with you, I wouldn't have taken my clothes off, and invited you into the bedroom. Now uh, I don't…oh, that's nice," he moaned, as I leaned down over his hips, and kissed right below is belly button, blowing cool air over his skin. I moved my lips from right to left, covering his hips, stomach, pelvis, and thighs with kisses. My lips pressed against his hard cock, touching it softly, before I lifted my face, and let him push me onto my hands and knees. House got behind me, placing his hands on my hands, leaning against my back. Greg blew in my ear, and whispered to me.

"If you ever tell anybody aobut the last couple of days," he threatened, but there was no need. We both knew nobody would believe it. Still, I promised. He nodded, his facial hair scratching against my skin. Then he inside of me, one hand holding my hip steady, the other wrapped around my penis, gripping, and tugging, and rubbing.

Afterwards, he and I took a quick shower, got dressed, and went into the kitchen for lunch. He sat at the table while I cooked; looking through the book, reading the beginning, announcing what he thought was wrong, and checking to see if he was correct.

"Are you okay?" I asked, for the third or fourth time that day, turning around so I could look him in the eyes. House nodded. Yes, he told me and really meant it. The guy actually looked happy. I hadn't seen him smiling like that in a long time—possibly ever—and this one was totally different than his usual. He wasn't playing a practical joke; at least I didn't think he was. He wasn't watching some idiot on TV or at work. He wasn't even making fun of me. He was just feeling good. Greg looked at me, ran a hand through his wet hair, and chuckled. "Tell me something?" I asked, dropping our plates onto the table.

"Yes, I really liked the presents. Yes, you are doing a good job. Yes, you planned and successfully created a "perfect" Christmas morning. And yes, you made me feel good. You pretty much…I mean, this doesn't make up for the crap I went through as a kid. You didn't change—well anything, but maybe every day doesn't have to completely suck." House felt like he had to add that stuff around the part about liking my Christmas presents, even though he didn't mean it. He was better than he had been a week ago, and we both knew that the guy was going to be alright. We both were. "This still wasn't completely perfect. Because there's no such thing as perfect, and you're an idiot for thinking otherwise."

I nodded, smiling, and completely ignored it when he grabbed a potato chip off of my plate. He didn't mean everything he said. House did that a lot. The guy would say one thing, when he meant another. He didn't want me—or anyone else for that matter—to know he actually had feelings, or that he cared, or that today had been exactly what he needed. He wanted to say, thank you Wilson, but wasn't ready.

So I said, "you're welcome, House," and grabbed his cheeseburger, taking a large bite of it, and putting the thing back on his plate, before I added, "And I love you." He just rolled his eyes one last time, and laughed at me.

"Dumbass," he smirked, which really meant I love you too.