Decoys and Waltzing with Edward Cullen
DISCLAIMER: House is the property of FOX. Cameron's family and friends are of my own creation.
AN. Hey, everyone. It's been a little while, huh? Well, after I finished 'The Ultimate Sacrifice' I was very tired. I was going to start finishing all the half-finished Hameron stories sitting on my computer, but then i got sidetracked by uni work and then i got inspired to write a Harry Potter fan fic, which... i've always done in my head, but always had trouble getting down on paper.
Anyway, so i do have another big Hameron story planned, but this story and "Hadn't met you yet" are stories that i finally got around to finishing. They're not long or anything, just something light and full of Hameron goodness. I also have another one i'm working one, and i'm trying to finish the sequels to "Endless Love" and "Luck of the Irish" when motivation comes.
The sound of a new, unfamiliar voice in the room made all three doctors in the room turn simultaneously in the direction of the doorway.
Foreman glanced up from his pile of charts, a polite and quizzical smile on his face. Chase turned his attention from his half-completed crossword, the end of his pen still in his mouth and a thoughtful frown still on his face. House turned from the coffeepot and cocked his head in interest. It wasn't everyday that a young woman randomly entered the Diagnostics department.
"Can we help you?" Foreman asked her, standing up.
The woman gave a small smile and stepped into the room, tucking her blonde hair behind her ears.
"Am I right in guessing you're Foreman?"
Foreman's expression registered confusion and the woman laughed. "I'm going to take that as a yes. I'm Kellie Porter. I'm Allison's best friend."
This meant nothing to House, other than to ignite his curiosity, but both Foreman and Chase seemed to recognize the name.
"Right, you've been best friends since junior high, right?" Chase asked her, shaking her hand.
The woman, Kellie, House supposed, smiled and shook both men's hands. "Right. It's so nice to finally meet you, I've heard so much about you all over the past three years."
House limped forward, coffee in one hand and his cane in the other. "So, you're such good friends that you're willing to follow Cameron to New Jersey? Now that's a dedicated friend!"
Kellie smirked slightly and folded her arms over her chest. "Dr. House, I presume? I'd say I'm pleased to meet you, but I'm a terrible liar."
"Wow, I always underestimate my talent for pissing of people I've never met," House commented to Foreman, who rolled his eyes.
"That doesn't surprise me. You've been underestimating Lissy since the day you hired her," Kellie retorted.
House raised an eyebrow slightly. "Really? Well, Lissy aside, I have to disagree. My talent for reading people is one I don't underestimate; and Cameron may as well be a billboard."
"House," Chase said quietly, warningly, but House ignored him.
"Funny. She says the exact same thing about you," Kellie replied, one eyebrow arched and abruptly turned to Foreman before House could form a retort.
"So, is Lissy still in the clinic?"
Foreman's expression returned to one of confusion. "Uh, yeah she is. How did you know?"
"We were supposed to meet for lunch an hour ago. She rang me on her way to the clinic this morning to reschedule, said she had to do some hours. One thing she didn't specify, though," she added, turning to House.
"Are they her hours or yours?"
It was clear Kellie knew a lot more about her friend's co-workers than House had previously thought and this surprised House. It was Chase who stifled a chuckle and answered for his boss.
"House's of course. Cameron's already done hers for the month, and half of next month's too. Would you like some coffee? She's still going to be another ten minutes or so."
"Sure, thanks," Kellie nodded and sat down in the closest chair in the conference room.
"By the way, I didn't follow Lissy here. I decided to go back to school, and get my masters in literature; I chose Princeton because it's a great school. The fact it's in the same state as my best friend is a coincidence," she remarked to House, answering his earlier question.
Chase handed her a cup of coffee just then, and she smiled her thanks at him. "Actually, I have to admit I came here a bit early today because I was hoping to talk to you all."
"What about?" Foreman frowned.
Although she was primarily addressing Foreman and Chase, House stayed in the room, curious as to what she would want to discuss with two doctors she had never met before; and with whom her only link with was Cameron.
Kellie allowed herself to beam with excitement for a moment as she began to explain. "Next month is Lissy's thirtieth birthday."
"Oh, alert the media!" House muttered under his breath and Foreman, Chase and Kellie all shot daggers at him.
"Anyway," Kellie continued, ignoring House pointedly. "Lissy's never done anything big for her birthday since she was eighteen. She didn't have a big twenty-first because Drew was sick, and she was working when she turned twenty-five. So, I'm going to throw her a surprise party!"
Foreman and Chase grinned. "That sounds like fun. I'm assuming we are invited?" Chase hesitated slightly and Kellie laughed.
"Yes, you are. So are Wilson and Cuddy, if you want to subtly give them a heads up."
"When is it?" Foreman asked.
"Well, her birthday's the twelfth, but the party will be on the Saturday after," Kellie explained and House let out a mock groan of disappointment.
"Bummer, I can't make it that day," he lamented and Chase and Foreman gave him sceptical looks.
"Really? Why not?" Foreman asked, and House waved a hand dismissively.
"I'm sure I'll find a suitable excuse by the RSVP date. It's for my health, actually. Preventing death by boredom."
Chase seemed surprised. "I would've thought you'd jump at the chance to spend a whole night with Cameron's family and friends. You know, with your whole puzzle-solving-thing."
Kellie gave a small shrug. "Doesn't matter to me whether you come or not, Dr. House. Although, now I have to think of a whole other decoy to get Lissy to the party. Damn, and I thought it was so clever!"
If Chase's reply had not made House reconsider his attendance at the party; the implied opportunity to be involved in the manipulation and deceit to get Cameron to the party certainly was.
"What decoy?" he asked, trying to remain casual but saw the others exchange smug looks of triumph.
Kellie was clearly suppressing a grin as she explained, this time directing her reply to House without any obvious sarcasm or distain.
"Well, Lissy's told me that you guys often have to check the homes and workplaces of your patients, right? To check for environmental factors and stuff. So, I had a thought, if you guys happened to have a 'patient' that night who happened to work at the Nassau Inn where the party will be held; and Allison just happened to be sent to check out the place..."
House was reluctantly impressed. "Damn, you're sneaky! Why is Cameron friends with you?"
"Why is she working for you?" Kellie retorted and House shrugged. He'd asked himself the same question.
"I think that's a great plan," Chase said enthusiastically. "It's so simple! Cameron will never see it coming!"
Kellie beamed. "I know, right? So, you guys have to keep this quiet, okay?"
"Don't worry, we won't say a word," Foreman promised.
House sighed thoughtfully. "Jeez, how am I going to manage to pretend that I don't care about my employee's birthday?" he asked sarcastically. "It'll be such a struggle."
Kellie rolled her eyes. "Whatever. But I know you'll be there."
"Oh, really? Do enlighten me," House gestured for her to elaborate.
"Three reasons," Kellie smirked, counting off on her fingers. "One- open bar. Two- all the answers and information you've ever wanted about Lissy from all her family and friends. And three- Lissy dressed up."
House narrowed his eyes. "Do I have to dress up?"
She carefully examined what he was wearing at that moment, jeans, a T-shirt and a blazer. "What you're wearing now will suffice."
"Then I'm in," House declared. Then he cocked his head. "Wow, I have a whole month to come up with my perfect case... this'll be good."
"We'll contact Wilson and Cuddy, fill them in on the plan," Foreman said to Kellie.
"Great. I swiped Lissy's address book last week and got all your addresses, so I'll send you the invites in the next few weeks," she promised. Then she glanced towards House slightly worriedly.
"Can we count on him not to spill the beans?"
Chase and Foreman exchanged grins. "I'm sure Cuddy and Wilson will come up with something to keep him quiet."
"Oh not fair!" House protested, knowing if Cuddy had anything to do with it, it would probably involve blackmail and clinic duty.
The office door opened and Cameron entered the room, looking slightly tired after a morning of clinic; but she brightened to see her best friend in the room.
"Hey, you're early! Sorry, have you been waiting long?" she asked apologetically, greeting Kellie with a hug.
Kellie grinned as she shook her head. "No, I'm fine. Just enjoying the chance to finally meet your colleagues after so many years of hearing you talk about them."
"Oh, you talk about us, Cameron?" House asked, raising an eyebrow. "That's so sweet, I never knew you cared. Oh wait, yes I did."
Cameron rolled her eyes. "It's not so much talk about, as whinge about," she retorted and House pretended to be wounded.
"I'm going to lunch, I'll be back in an hour," she told them, grabbing her bag and coat, and shedding her lab coat.
"Bring me back cookies," House ordered and disappeared into his office.
Cameron sighed impatiently. "It's like having a child, honestly," she said to Kellie, who laughed.
"Nice to meet you guys," Kellie said to Chase and Foreman as the two women headed for the door.
"You too," Foreman smiled back at her, and Kellie gave them a small wink before leaving.
"I'll email Cuddy and Wilson," Chase volunteered, abandoning his crossword and heading for the computer. "Fill them in on what's happening."
Foreman grinned knowingly. "Stuck on the crossword?"
"Eight letter word for 'commemorate'," Chase complained, shaking his head in disgust as he sat down.
"Venerate?" Foreman suggested and Chase pondered that thoughtfully.
Cuddy stopped by the office fifteen minutes later, walking directly into House's office and standing before his desk, waiting patiently until he'd looked up from his gameboy to meet her gaze.
"Yes, O Busty One?" he greeted her, raising an eyebrow.
Cuddy ignored his jibe at her cleavage and simply smiled sweetly at him. "I have a proposition for you."
House grimaced. "Does this involve Cameron's surprise party and it remaining a secret?"
"Does it involve clinic duty?"
"Not interested," House replied immediately, turning away.
Cuddy rolled her eyes, and grabbed the gameboy from him. "Hey!"
"I think you will be interested in this deal," she grinned at him. "If you manage not to spoil the surprise, I'll give you a month off from clinic duty."
"A month?" House repeated. Cuddy didn't usually go that high, at least not straight off the bat.
She shrugged. "It's a month till the party, it seems fair."
"Yes, but you forgot to include the detail that I'll actually have to suffer through the party," House reminded her. "I want six weeks."
"Fine," Cuddy agreed easily. Too easily.
House's eyes narrowed suspiciously. "Why are you doing this? What's in it for you? You don't even like Cameron!"
Cuddy glared at him. "I've never said that! I like Cameron, and I think it's nice that her friend thought to invite us to the party. And believe it or not, I like to have a life outside of this hospital. So, we're going. I already talked to Wilson, and he's going to put your name on the card when he buys a gift. So all you have to do is keep your mouth shut for the next month. Got it?"
"Yes, mom," House replied obediently. "Now can I have my gameboy back?"
Cuddy rolled her eyes exasperatedly and handed the console back to him. "You are such a child," she muttered as she left. "World famous diagnostician, my ass."
"Is that an invitation?" House called after her, examining said asset through the glass walls as Cuddy threw him a dirty look and disappeared from view.