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30 June 2009 @ 01:10 am
seven letter word for liar 9/19  
Spinning to her combination with ease, Cameron quickly opened the locker and reached for a small present on the top shelf. She held it loosely, still debating on whether she ought to just return it and be rid of it. It had been sitting in her locker for over a month, and she was tired of shying away from it day after day. house, md. part 9.

 

xxx

Cameron waited until Chase was engaged in conversation with Kutner before sliding out of her seat. She tugged at her white sweater, pressing out the wrinkles caused by sitting down. She finished the remnants of her drink and then skillfully maneuvered her way around the tables to the doorway.

There was something grim about a Christmas party at a hospital. She knew that no amount of years as a doctor would take this eeriness away. It was impossible for her to be fully relaxed and carefree when she knew that all around her, people were dying. Of course, attending was a tradition, and she always stuck closely to traditions. Chase loved the annual Christmas Party as well, and so, she showed up, this year not bothering to change out of her work attire, a white sweater and black slacks. At least it was better than scrubs, she’d told Chase.

She made her way solemnly to her locker room, work still weighing heavily on her mind. She’d lost a nine year old girl today as a result of child abuse. The father was arrested, but the girl was still dead. By now, she would have thought dead children would be nothing to her. She dealt with death every day. But there wasn’t something so morbid about the way she died, never deserving her harsh injuries, never even knowing anyone loved her. Perhaps no one had loved her.

It was this girl that kept Cameron’s mind off of Christmas. She found herself concentrating on authenticating her laughter whenever Chase told a joke or Kutner impersonated House. She’d wished Foreman had made an appearance. For some reason, she felt like it would have been nice to talk to him about her work stress.

Spinning to her combination with ease, Cameron quickly opened the locker and reached for a small present on the top shelf. She held it loosely, still debating on whether she ought to just return it and be rid of it. It had been sitting in her locker for over a month, and she was tired of shying away from it day after day.

It was just a present, she’d reminded herself. She bought Foreman a present and Wilson too. In fact, she bought them both the same gag gift, a fake cane, in order to make fun of the insinuations that Foreman was just like House, and to just make Wilson laugh. Then she gave Foreman a new edition of a neurology book, which had several case articles published by him, and she’d bought Wilson the entire series of The Office on dvd. Of course, she’d only bought him the collection because he told her he enjoyed the show when he caught it, but more importantly, House hated it. She figured Wilson would find some way to torment House with his gift. She also hung up Foreman’s latest article in House’s conference room, knowing that it would irritate House. None of the ducklings knew who did this, but she figured that when House didn’t take it down, they all assumed it was done by either Cuddy or Foreman himself. She knew that House knew it had been her handiwork. She knew this for certain, because the following day he hung kindergarten-esque drawings that he’d done himself all over her ER nurse’s station. She could only shake her head when she saw him later that day, red marker lining his fingertips. He couldn’t even fake draw without making a mess.

Cameron couldn’t help but realize that even though she’d given Foreman and Wilson Christmas presents, their gifts still linked back to House. She gave them mock canes and then real presents that would irk House. Naturally, the greatest gift she could have given either of the two was to irritate House on their behalf, but still, despite the fun factor, she couldn’t even give present without thinking about him.

This was a problem.

And that was precisely why she tossed the light package from hand to hand, debating whether to give it to him or not.

He would know it was from her. He’d know partially because of the package’s contents and also because no one else in their right mind would give him a present. Cuddy might perhaps give him a bonus check, and Wilson and House might exchange presents outside of work, but no one else would willingly buy him a thing. Willingly was stressed, because she knew all about his Secret Santa debacle. She also knew that House had rigged the gift exchange for more than just fun. He wanted to know if anyone on his team would get him a gift he’d actually like, something that proved they knew something about him. Turned out, he was right. None of his new fellows had a clue what to buy for him. He walked away as mysterious and unscathed as ever, elated that he’d proven his mystery to a fault.

But, Cameron knew better. She could have bought House a gift with sentimental meaning. She could have picked out something that would trigger a memory from his past to prove how well she knew him. But, House would hate this. He would also want to know why Cameron took buying him a present so seriously. So, anything with sentimental face value was out of the question.

She could buy him something generic, like the other fellows had done, but she saw no real motive in doing so. House wasn’t generic. You couldn’t buy him a tie or a watch and feel satisfied with your choice. Or at least, she couldn’t.

So, she went with childish...childish with a hint of sentiment, but definitely an item he would get a lot of use out of. All in all, it was the perfect gift. It had also only cost fifty dollars, an amount of money he could neither complain about or mock her for spending. It wasn’t too expensive, but it wasn’t too cheap. There was not a thing wrong with her gift and House wouldn’t be able to tease her about it in the slightest. She smiled. Her insight into House’s mind astounded her sometimes.

Slamming the locker shut, she gripped the gift and set off towards House’s office. She wasn’t going to return it. She wasn’t even going to allow herself to feel guilty about buying it. She had wanted to buy him a gift and she did. It was that simple.

Gaining stride with her increased confidence that she’d made the right decision, she quickly caught the elevator and moments later found herself on House’s floor.

She found the office door locked, but quickly pulled out a key from her purse. As soon as she stepped foot into the office she heard footsteps behind her.

"I have to change all of my locks, now don’t I?"

Cameron suppressed a grin as she spun around. "I thought you left."

"Breaking and entering?" House asked, twirling his cane to mimic his amusement. "That’s a felony."

"You gave me a key," she remarked, dangling it in front of him. "It’s not my fault Cuddy never asked for it back."

"Well, don’t give it to her," House remarked, pushing past her as he made his way to his chair. "Locking the door is the only way to keep her out. If you go and give her a copy, well..."

"Why are you back here?" Cameron asked, interrupting him.

"A nurse from cardiology meets me here every Thursday night at eight," he grinned.

Cameron raised an eyebrow. "No nurse in this hospital would ever voluntarily have anything to do with you." She paused. "And it’s eight thirty."

House shrugged. "So it is. The better question is, why are you in here." His eyes slipped down to the package in her hands.

Cameron sighed. "You weren’t supposed to be here when I dropped it off," she insisted, dropping the gift lazily onto his desk.

House shook the present vigorously. "Feels like a book," he noted with disappointment. He eyed Cameron curiously. "Or maybe your diary? Complete with dirty dreams about me?"

Years ago this statement would have made her blush. Now, it just made her clench her jaw even more tightly. "You’d be so lucky to make a guest appearance in any of my dreams," she grinned.

House ignored her. "I understand why you bought me presents when you were working for me and quite obviously trying to get in my pants..."

Cameron laughed. "Please, if I wanted to get in your pants, I wouldn’t so much as have to pull them down," she insisted.

House considered this. "True," he admitted. "But why now? You don’t work for me. You keep making a point of telling everyone that you’re not in love with me...so..."

"Because I wanted to," Cameron remarked, crossing her arms to indicate that she wasn’t about to confess anything more to him.

"That simple?"

"That simple."

House smirked. "I’m not getting you anything, if that’s what you’re after."

Cameron rolled her eyes. "The day you buy me a present is the day I drop dead."

"Least I know how to get rid of you," House mused, shrugging.

Cameron turned to leave.

"What, you’re not going to watch me open it?" he asked, shooting her a mocking look.

"Merry Christmas House," she replied softly, not looking back as she stepped through his office doorway.

xxx

"You could have just bought him a box of chocolates with the words, ‘I love you’ stamped all over them," Wilson chided, bumping into Cameron just outside of the elevator.

Cameron shot him an agitated look as they stepped inside.

Wilson laughed. "What floor?"

"Five," Cameron snapped as Wilson pressed the round button. She waited a good thirty seconds before turning to Wilson. "It’s not like I bought him Vicodin," she remarked. "That would be showing him that I really care."

Wilson chuckled. "Oh please, you may think you fooled him, but you didn’t fool me. A monster truck game for his gameboy? Please."

"Yes," Cameron remarked sarcastically. "Because nothing says romance like giant trucks attacking one another." She stepped harshly out of the elevator shaft as soon as the door opened. "Why do you care anyway?"

Wilson shrugged. "It’s just interesting..."

"You don’t care about interesting," she challenged. "House does."

"Well, then maybe House is the one who is interested in your motives," Wilson offered.

Cameron shook her head. "And he sent you to do his dirty work?" She grinned. "Not buying it."

Wilson didn’t respond, causing Cameron to stop walking. She pulled him down a rather empty corridor.

"Look," she began. "If you don’t want to tell me why you’re so intrigued by this, then fine. But I still don’t see how a game can be construed as a romantic emblem of love."

Wilson smiled. "It’s not the game, Allison. It’s the meaning behind the game."

Cameron stared at him blankly. "I don’t play video games, so if there’s some significance behind..."

"Oh, come on, and admit it," Wilson remarked. "You bought it because one, you knew he would like it, particularly that he would like it better than anything his fellows had gotten him, and he would be able to rave about it in front of them. But, more importantly, you knew that since this game was from you, he wouldn’t be able to stop himself from remembering that time the two of you went on your little date to this monster truck show."

"Yes," Cameron remarked, playing along. "And then he would remember how you cancelled on him and realize what a terrible friend you are, and I’d be able to win the oh so coveted spot as his number two." She rolled her eyes. "Give me a break Wilson. He likes monster trucks. He likes his stupid gameboy. Any moron could put two and two together. In fact, all in all, it’s a rather thoughtless gift."

Wilson wagged his finger at her. "Which is exactly why you could get away with it," he insisted.

Cameron froze slightly, but recovered quickly, interested in the rest of his theory. "Go on," she remarked, hands shoved anxiously into her lab coat pockets.

"It appears to be a seemingly innocent and altogether thoughtless gift, but you knew House would think into it, because it’s from you and because he thinks into everything. So on some level, you wanted him to think into it, otherwise, you would have never gotten it. And, on the flip side, if anyone ever finds out that the game’s from you, they’ll think nothing of it, because after all, it’s only a video game."

Cameron nodded. "A video game that signifies my undying love for House," she repeated, dubiously. She grinned, patting Wilson on the arm. "You’ve been watching too many episodes of Grey’s Anatomy."

With one last incredulous look, Cameron walked away from Wilson, a hidden smile suddenly emerging on her face. Of course Wilson would have been the one to figure it out.

xxx

"Luce go home, you’ve been here all day," Cameron ordered, as she set a stack of files on top of the nurses’ station in the ER.

Lucy, the head nurse, looked up at her in exhaustion. "Can’t. Short staffed as usual," she explained. "Gotta get this paperwork done."

Cameron shook her head. "Fine, but if you’re not out of here in the next hour, I’m going to make Kelly help you."

Lucy grinned, grateful for the joke. Kelly was the obnoxious blonde nurse who could have played a Pamela Anderson stunt double. Of course, she was barely twenty three, which made the nurses hate her even more. It wasn’t just her looks that bothered the other nurses; it was her know-it-all attitude. She was relentless, but unfortunately, usually wrong. Cameron knew Kelly’s days at PPTH were numbered. Cuddy was just looking for a reason to fire her.

"That reminds me," Lucy replied, ushering to a vase of white lilies. "These damn flowers have gone to Kelly’s head. Apparently she thinks they’re from Dr. Wilson. Her ego couldn’t be more inflamed."

Cameron shook her head. "Wilson would not send Kelly flowers. Why would she think they're from him?"

Lucy shrugged. "The note is completely ambiguous, but she swears they’re from him. Apparently they’re her favorite flower and she just happened to let it slip to Dr. Wilson in the caferteria line last night."

Cameron rolled her eyes. "How romantic," she remarked sarcastically. "Last week roses were her favorite flower." Kelly was always getting flowers delivered to her. The nurses had a pool running that she sent them to herself in order to make her appear more desirable.

Lucy grabbed the top file from the stack Cameron had brought over. "She’s warped," she insisted.

Curious, Cameron snatched the note attached to the flowers."They don’t even have her name on it," she insisted.

"I told you, she’s deluded," Lucy remarked.

Shaking her head, Cameron flipped the card open. Merry Christmas was embedded in the thick paper. Five words written in marker filled up the entire empty space. Her eyes widened as she read them.

Can’t prove they’re from me.

Cameron set the note back down, stepping away from Lucy without another word. She knew that handwriting. She knew that handwriting cold. And who else would write in marker? Who else carried a marker around with him?

 

 

Of course, by confronting him, she’d be letting him win. He’d be ecstatic to find out that she had remembered his handwriting, that she’d connected all of the dots. She’d become the suspicious one, and he’d want to know why she was so sure they were from him. She could play out the entire disastrous conversation in her head and she knew, she’d end up looking like the fool.

He’d won again.

But as she rounded the corner to his office, convincing herself that she might as well turn around, the sight of Wilson leaving his office hit her. The plan barely registered before she found herself stopping in front of House’s conference room, waiting for Wilson. She felt the weight of House’s stare through the thin glass, and knew he’d be watching to see what she did next.

She locked eyes with Wilson, hoping that he would follow her lead. Though he had no idea what she was doing, his eyes seemed to register that she was up to something, and he was about to be a pawn in her little game.

She smiled, reaching up to hug him. He returned the hug in delay, still perplexed. When she kissed his cheek, she heard the soft clinking of something through the other side of the glass. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw that House’s marker had dropped to the ground.

She pulled away, still smiling, and though Wilson’s eyes looked confused, his face remained emotionless.

"Thanks for the flowers," she grinned, knowing House could hear her.

As she turned and walked away, she heard Wilson laugh, having obviously pieced her puzzle together. Unable to resist, she paused and looked over her shoulder to see Wilson shaking his head at House, and House watching her curiously. Foreman wasn’t paying House a bit of mind, but the other fellows looked from her to Wilson, baffled.

She smiled smugly as she walked away. House was going to have to step up his game if he expected to catch her off guard ever again.

 
 
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