Bright sunlight touched everything. The sky was an intense shade of blue no artist could hope to capture. Birds sang sweetly and people laughed as they walked along. The whole world seemed filled with joy and warmth.
Inside his apartment, House lay on his back on his bed watching the dust motes float in the narrow shaft of sunlight that peeked through the curtains of his bedroom. His iPhone began to play Devil Woman but he ignored it. It was just Cuddy calling to screech at him about something inane like clinic duty. House rolled over and pulled the extra pillow over his head. He didn’t want to go to work. The recent patients were all boring and the medical puzzles all too easy to solve. His team was so adept now they really didn’t even need him. No one needed him. He groaned. Now he was no better than anyone else wallowing in self pity.
Slowly, he sat up and pushed the covers aside. As he swung his legs over the edge of the bed, pain flared up from his thigh and blazed through him. He gasped and gripped the blankets to keep from passing out. Carefully he stood, gripping his right thigh, and slowly made his way down the hall to the living room. He sat down on the couch and rubbed his leg. Looking up at the top of the bookcase, he could just see the edge of the tan box that held his bottles of morphine. He leaned back and kneaded his thigh then grabbed a bottle of Vicodin off the coffee table. Popping the top off he shook three white tablets into his palm. He stared at them before tossing them into his mouth and swallowing them down. He stretched out on the couch and waited for the pain to recede to a bearable level. He was on the verge of sleep when he heard a key click in the lock and his front door open. Light footsteps sounded and the door closed. A moment later, Cameron sat down on the coffee table. House knew it was her from the clean scent that always emanated from her.
“No patient,” he told her without opening his eyes. “Not coming in.”
“We have a patient and this was taped to your door,” she replied.
House opened his eyes and snatched the paper from her. He squinted at Wilson’s spiky handwriting.
Come out and play.
A slow smile spread across House’s face as he read the rest.
Cars require gasoline. Gasoline is made from oil. Oil is created underground. So, where is your car?
He sat up, thrust the paper at Cameron and then slowly stood.
“Wait here,” he told her. “We’re going to get my car and then I’m going to get Wilson.”
Cameron nodded and once he was out of sight she smiled.
He went over to where his car (the sporty red one the Arnello brothers gave him) had been parked this morning and pulled up short, his jaw dropped. Where the hell was his car??!
All he saw was a yellow legal pad-sized piece of paper sitting on the garage floor. He speared it with his cane, picking it up. It read, Don’t clap along if…. and there was an iPod duct taped to the paper.
House quickly disconnected his earbuds from his own iPod and plugged the other one in and pressed play. He immediately heard Happy by Pharrell.
“Damnit, Wilson knows that song gets on my nerves,” he muttered. “Obviously, he’s saying my car is someplace that has a roof because of that ridiculous ‘room without a roof’ line but where?”
Cameron leaned against her car and flipped her long red hair over her shoulder. She worked with House long enough to let him sort it out. She could wait.
House and Cameron spent the rest of the day looking for his beloved ‘65 Corvette with no success. Finally, as the sun set, they drove to the hospital.
House turned slightly in the passenger seat of Cameron’s car and looked at her.
“You’re in on this,” he accused softly.
She kept her eyes on the traffic ahead of them. “Why would I do something like this?”
“Oh, because you and Wilson think I’m in a funk and you’ve put your oh-so-caring heads together to get me out of it.”
A slight smile curved her soft, pink lips. “I thought that was something only he and Cuddy did,” she replied.
She drove into the hospital parking lot and parked in House’s space. They got out and went into the hospital. Cameron followed him into the elevator and then into Wilson’s office.
House tossed the notes and iPod on his best friend’s desk. Wilson looked up in surprise. He looked over the notes and then at House.
“Wow,” he said with a furrowed brow. “I thought for sure you’d figure this out. You’re slipping in your old age.”
“Where. Is. My. Car?” House ground out.
Wilson leaned back in his chair and shook his head. “Normally you’d get something like this. I’m genuinely concerned about you.”
“No you are not,” House responded with disgust. “Car. Now.”
“Oh, I guess I should have shared the rules of this game. You only get a clue by playing Truth or Dare.”
“Oh, so that’s how this is going to go? You’re going to try to one up The Master?”
Wilson nodded. Cameron stifled a laugh behind House.
“Dare,” House said defiantly.
“Kiss Cameron,” Wilson said. “With tongue.”
House turned, pulled Cameron into his arms and kissed her. He slid his tongue into her mouth and hers slid along his. Desire flamed through him as she kissed him back. A soft purring sound emanated from her and caused House to deepen the kiss. Finally, he sucked on her bottom lip before pulling away. He looked at Cameron. Her pupils were dilated, her cheeks stained with color, and her lips swollen. House swallowed and took a moment to get himself under control.
“Clue,” he breathed.
“Body shop,” Wilson told him amusement evident in his voice.
House stared at Cameron. She stared back.
“Let’s go,” he told her.
As Cameron drove over to the body shop with House to pick up his car, she couldn’t shake the feelings of how arousing that kiss was. She had fantasies about kissing House (and doing lots of other things with him too) but that kiss was just amazing.
“For crying out loud, get a grip on yourself before you cause a car accident,” she thought to herself. “Anyway he’ll be even more insufferable than usual if he knows how much it affected me.”
House had, of course, already noticed this. The fact that Cameron had been very quiet the whole drive over didn’t help.
House cleared his throat as they pulled into the body shop. “Hey, Cameron,” He grinned devilishly. “How’d you like to help me get back at Wilson?”
Cameron turned to look at him with wide eyes. “You want me to get involved with one of your games?”
House snorted. “Oh, save the wide-eyed Bambi look. You’re already involved. I want you to come over to the dark side.” He leaned in close to her and smiled a slow, sexy smile. “Admit it, you like the dark side.”
She swallowed and nodded. House raised his eyebrows and sat back.
“Now, let’s go get my car,” he said as he opened the door and got out.
The body shop was noisy but House saw his Corvette in a back corner. He jerked his head toward the office and Cameron went to get the keys for him. Slowly, he approached the car, being careful not to get in the way of any of the workers. He circled his car, looking underneath and inside. There didn’t seem to be any booby traps but surely Wilson wouldn’t do anything to a classic car. He jumped slightly when Cameron touched his shoulder.
“The owner says you have to pay the bill before you can have the keys,” she told him. “I tried to pay but he says you have to be the one to do it.”
House turned and stalked toward the office. He flung open the door and limped up to the counter.