*This is going to be a great big ball of sunshine, know that? We've got House making a bet with Wilson, a still befuddled Chase, a fun and Morgan-loving team, and a whole bunch of tee shirts! What more could y'all ask for?

Warning: implied past Huddy. Gotta include why Cuddy's gone.

Review please, I realize most people don't care whether or not I update but I think now I'm the only one who cares.*

Part Two, Chapter Five: Trees

Time lapse, two months. June.

It was unusual for her phone to ring this early in the morning, she read her clock carefully. It was seven o'clock on another typical Tuesday morning. But the caller ID was more unusual that the time. It was the name of the man with the piercing blue eyes and sexist slurs that she used to call he favorite employee.


Of course she picked up the phone! With a half-eaten bowl of rice crispies at her seat and a red robe partially tied around her waist, she kissed Rachel on the cheek as she darted out the door and ran to the bus. "Hello?" She asked, her voice sounding more tired than usual.

"Cuddy, I have a favor to ask of you." The voice was the husky strong voice of House, determined as ever.

"Oh god." She muttered, her eyes rolling and her hand hitting her forehead. Even from miles away, he could make her act the same way. This was common. What was uncommon was him actually asking for permission to talk first.

"It's nothing bad." He reassured her. Cuddy was a hard person to assure of things, she was far from gullible and very hard-headed. Underneath all that stubbornness and the low-cut blouses was a golden heart, the kind that would continue to listen to him despite whatever he said.

"Carry on then." She shrugged and sank onto her couch. "I've got work in an hour, so hurry along with it."

"Thank you." He paused, preparing to say his thoughts very clearly and loudly. "I want to start by apologizing for everything that I did to you and Rachel, I should've never let you leave Princeton let alone be the reason you left."

These words were new to her. Was THE Greg House APOLOGIZING? He never apologized for anything! This was new to her, so she put her hand on he mouth and let him keep talking.

"And I have also started getting help for the bad actions I've made, like you suggested." He smiled as he said this, it was as if she could hear his smile because she was smiling too.

"You're telling me this five years later? Why?" She raised an eyebrow skeptically, still smiling.

"I'm trying to change. You always told me to." He reminded her. And how true it was! She always asked for House to give up Vicodin, or to behave. To see a psychologist. And now he was?

"You couldn't change then, but you CAN now. What's the change?" She asked, curious of the answer.

"Dominica and I..." She waited a little longer. "Are trying to adopt Cameron's daughter."

"I met her briefly at her funeral." Cuddy remembered vividly the dark-haired blue eyed girl mourning in the back bedroom. "But why would YOU want to adopt a kid? Or even an animal!" She liked this new House.

"I am a changed man."

"There's something more isn't there? Something more than adopting your lackey's kid."

"She's my kid." House stated clearly, and he heard a gasp from the other line.

"R-r-really?" Was the squeaked reply of Lisa Cuddy.

"Well, Wilson won't let me do a paternity test, but she's just like me. Music, rebel, outsider." House thought long and hard about his daughter. Cuddy spoke before he could continue.

"She had your eyes." Cuddy remembered vaguely, those blue eyes. Bluer than the ocean, thoughts and dreams and years swimming in them.

"And her birthday is coming up, I have something huge planned." House said loudly, his gruff voice softened by her. "Which is why I need your help."

"Great." She mused. "What is it?"

"I need you to come up to Princeton for a weekend in July. With Rachel, if you'd like. She's eleven now, right?"

"Still ten, until December." She was surprised he remembered how old Rachel was, even that close.


"So when do I need to be there?" Cuddy asked. She was more than willing to help House prove how caring he was.

"July 7 and July 8 sound right." He answered looking at the calendar on the wall. "Her birthday's July 6 I believe."

"I'll be there. Rachel, too." Cuddy answered. "So what do I need for my trip?"

"I got these shirts from Morgan's old school, got one for everyone. Everyone who knew Cameron well, and my team."

"That's sweet of you, House." She said genuinely. New House was pleasant and trying and eager to please. "I'll be there."

"See you in a month." He followed her lead of leaving.

"Bye, House."

...later on at work...

Another one of those great meetings, Foreman figured. Then he saw Chase sitting in his office. Which wasn't a good sign. "What are YOU doing here?" Foreman asked Chase quietly, sitting at his desk and looking him in the eye as their seats seem to be across from one another.

"I got a call that you wanted to talk to me?" Chase answered diligently.

"Well I don't." Foreman made that very clear. "House as usual..."

"But I do." The cane that opened the door for their gray haired colleague was a tell sign for the two. "One for you." He threw a tee shirt at Foreman. "And one for the wombat." Another shirt flew toward Chase.

They opened up their shirt rolls to reveal on them a gray Christmas tree. "A Christmas tree?" Chase asked quietly.

"Morgan drew them." House answered, seeing Chase's eyes light up like a lightbulb.

"Why are you giving these to us?" Foreman asked.

"I'm throwing her a party for her birthday, inviting everyone she would've grown up with in Princeton." House smiled devilishly at the two men. "One of my better plans."

"Who said it was your place to plan something for Morgan?" Wilson walked in, Foreman smiled at him as if proud. "House, we've had this discussion."

"Is this an intervention?" House asked. "Cuz this is one of my rare good deeds."

"You're doing this for yourself, House, not for Morgan." Wilson stated clearly. "If you want to do something for HER, talk to her. And me."

"I thought it was a good gesture." House shrugged. It was Foreman's turn to interrupt.

"Can you three get back to work?" And they did.

*i met the governor today! So excited. Review!*