Disclaimer: Don't own House, M.D. It's David Shore's baby. And I wish I had a Porsche Panamera.

It was neither dark nor light, but somewhere in that blue hour in which nothing stirred. The only illumination came from the stars of light above the candles she'd lit on her way into the bedroom. It was almost like a scene out of the imagination of Hollywood's best romance movie scriptwriter...except that a cane adorned the hardwood floor and a crippled man reclined against the pillows.

He had a pretty fair guess as to what was keeping her, but for once chose to sit and wait. This was one of the very rare occasions that he would admit that the anticipation of an event was as good as the event itself, but only if pushed.

With a creak, the bathroom door opened and she stepped out into the razor's edge between dark and light. Keeping her face hidden, she only showed the La Perla lingerie set that comprised the entirety of her attire - red balconette and black lace briefs. Turning a quick circle into the light, she flashed a question with her eyes to the man on the bed.

Do you like?

Glittering blue coruscated back. So much that if you don't get over here right now, I'll go all caveman on you, and then I'll be out the $451 that I spent on those two pieces of cloth.

A silvery laugh answered him, and she held out her hand to him, letting him pull her down.

Belying his earlier words, he removed her clothing carefully. Pausing at a bandage on her calf he hadn't noticed earlier, he peeled it off slowly to reveal a small inked windmill. Spurred on by his need to solve a puzzle, he quirked an eyebrow at her.

"My Christmas present to you," she whispered, not daring to break the silence. "Donde eres don Quijote, soy Dulcinea," she added, in Castilian-accented Spanish.

Expecting a snarky comment in reply, she was pleasantly surprised when he only nodded and began removing his clothing. She propped herself up on her elbows to blow out the candles.

In the dark, as he pushed into her, filled her over and over again, she could only cling to him to keep him from sweeping her away in a flash of white.

Gregory House was not typically an early riser. This was the principal reason that he found himself flat on his back, one thigh solidly registering its protests with his newfound tendency to trip over things. And not because he'd chosen to overindulge in alcohol with Wilson over a TV football game. No, it was due to the fact that he'd woken up to use the bathroom in an apartment not his own.

A hand holding what was commonly termed The Orange Cylinder of Goodness entered his field of vision. He looked up at it somewhat blankly, then traced his gaze up to the woman holding his trademark vial of Vicodin.

"You left it on the nightstand, Jeff Gordon. Remember now?" she asked, in a voice made husky by last night's activities.

House smirked.

"Yes, and it was great from beginning to explosive end, oh sexy one. In fact, I might be up for an encore performance right now," he growled, pulling her down next to him by the ties on her robe.

-The day before-

"I'm tired."

These words did not often come out of House's mouth, although they were a hundredfold better than the words "I'm bored". Nevertheless, Wilson found himself looking over at his friend cautiously.

"It was a long case," House explained, and Wilson nodded. That much was true. They had all-House, Cameron, Chase, and himself-spent time trying to figure out what had caused their latest patient to KO Foreman in the clinic, then run out screaming incoherently.

House, being House, had advanced a theory involving doctors making the worst patients, especially in a clinic setting. Chase had thought drug and/or alcohol abuse; Cameron had gone for infection; and Wilson had been consulted on the off-chance that a brain tumor had been responsible.

Ultimately, Cameron was proven right when the patient admitted he'd been hunting deer in the fall, and preferred to eat his meat almost totally uncooked, which had given him a raging case of toxoplasmosis. House, after solving the case, had made a few snide remarks to Chase about his inaccuracy, and tried to leave.

That was when Cuddy intercepted him and sent him to the clinic, where he'd endured a few personalities at least as eccentric as his own. There was the Asian male with obsessive-compulsive disorder and mysophobia who'd come in, having flayed all the skin off his "dirty" hands because he'd been working in a junkyard. That had in turn given him a case of MRSA, and he was now resting in the Psych wing hooked up to an IV of linezolid. There was also the case of a black Princeton SWAT officer who'd decided it would be...entertaining...to take the tubular magazine out of his pump-action shotgun and put it somewhere else, leading House to suggest helpfully that the policeman should do the pumping, not the gun.

Then on top of that...

"Well, seeing as we're all still snowed in, do you want to try and catch the football game on TV?"

House shook his head. "TV's out for repairs."

"Round up Chase and Cameron for poker? I've got a deck of cards in my desk."

Tap, tap, tap, sounded the cane, upon Wilson's mentioning Cameron. The oncologist hid a smirk as House's sudden cane-fiddling confirmed what he'd suspected regarding his friend's relationship with the immunologist.

With a sudden heave, House came off the couch and began to head in the direction of his office.

"Wait, where are you going?"

"I'm off to watch the webcast of Gravedigger's last performance. Snow is depressing. Monster trucks by way of therapy, instead of that retail stuff these New Age shrink wannabes are always going on about," House deadpanned, without turning around.

Wilson coughed to cover his widening smile as he recalled just who had taken up the task of providing House with company five weeks ago, after the cadmium-poisoned baseball player and Stacy's sudden visit.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

"What do you think prompted this?"

"I dunno, man. I didn't even know Cameron could play the piano. Or the guitar."

Chase and Foreman sat in the recliners they'd dragged down to the Forensic Medicine department at the prompting of their female colleague. Currently, they were trying to figure out how she'd discovered the perfect acoustics in the room and resolving to visit it when in need of a break.

And preferably, timing their breaks to coincide with Cameron's, as they listened to the cover of Straylight Run's Existentialism on Prom Night she'd begun playing on the piano.

With a final flourish, Cameron ended the piece and stood up. She looked between them.

"No applause?"

The two of them, caught off-guard, began to clap, but Cameron cut them off with a slight laugh and a shake of her head.

"No need, I was just joking. Anyway, I'm going to see if it's stopped snowing so I can go home. See you guys next week!"

The men said their goodbyes as they, too, headed for the stairs.

All of them missed the blue eyes and amused expression on the face of the man leaning against the alcove across from the Forensic Medicine amphitheater.

Cameron caught the elevator and headed up to the lobby. As she was heading out, though, House opened the elevator hatch and jumped down in front of her, landing neatly on his good leg and holding his cane like an automatic rifle.

"Clear to starboard, Captain!"

"Do you always begin conversations this way?"

House, being House, ignored this. As the elevator doors opened, he dragged her out, spinning his cane to make people get out of the way or risk being hit.

Half-running and half-sliding on the polished floor, Cameron could only huff out, "Where are we going in such a hurry?"

"Back to your place, I think. I'm curious to see it from the inside."

"What? You mean you haven't broken in already?" she shot back.

"Ha. Only five weeks and you're already beginning to sound like me. We are the snarky - you will be sarcastified. Resistance is futile!" House deadpanned, coming to a dead stop at his parking space.

Upon catching sight of the dark azure luxury car covered in white "PROTOTYPE" markings, Cameron's jaw dropped.

"Flies, Cameron," House smirked. "To answer your next five questions, yes, this is mine for the next month; no, it's not stolen; no, not from the Mafia; I know a guy by the name of Jeff Forster who knows a guy; and no, you cannot drive it. It's all mine. Now get in."

Still slightly in shock, Cameron did so mindlessly. House limp-dashed over to the other side, started the engine, reversed quickly, and zoomed out of the garage onto the highway.

The turbocharged Porsche Panamera roared as it shot down the Garden State Parkway toward Cameron's apartment, drawing much attention from other drivers. Snow blew off it, flying back in a white contrail.

"Did you - "

"What on Earth - "

"Hey dumbass, learn to drive!"

Cameron climbed out of the car shaking slightly.

"N-nevermind always starting conversations, do you always drive that way?"

"Only when I'm in a hurry to do something."

Hearing the snarky note in his voice made everything focus for Cameron, and she looked up to find him standing about three inches away.

"And just what is that?" she questioned, clenching slightly.

House pried her arms apart and kissed her deeply, causing her to melt completely and distracting her enough to let him reach into his pocket. She felt the gloss of something metal being slipped onto her wrist. Lifting her arm, the brilliant shine of a chain-mail bracelet studded with topazes met her eyes, and she shifted her gaze to him.

"I figured I had to do something to protect you," House half-explained.

"Protect me from what?" Cameron replied, not sure if she was going to like the answer.

"Well, that brightly burning aura of optimism around you is dangerous. Might attract the odd Sidewinder missile passing by. This way, at least you have a way to burn out its sensors," he joked.

Cameron rolled her eyes and hit him lightly on the shoulder. "Come on, let's get inside before we freeze to death."

They were in the doorway when Cameron said, "And one more thing," before pinning him against the door and kissing him soundly again.

For a moment, the sun broke through and caught the bracelet, before hiding behind the clouds again, leaving behind the luster of indium.