Feb. 15th, 2009

[identity profile] doctorhouse-md.livejournal.com
House hated Valentine's Day.

Well, he didn't even hate it so much as he saw it as nothing more than another day on the calendar that people only made significant by becoming slaves to consumerism in the name of that icky thing known as romance. The chocolates, the sentimental love cards that were enough to cause tooth decay, teddy bears with sickening messages like 'I love you' etched onto its paws... He had to pass all of those things in the hospital's lobby area where a stand was set up, when he arrived at work. He ignored it, just like he ignored - or tried to ignore - the persistent mild ache in his leg and thoughts of Stacy that kept popping up at random intervals. Even being with Cuddy made him disinterested in the notion of Valentine's Day. And he really hoped she wasn't one of those women who expected her man to not only remember such a day but expected some kind of gift or pampering, too.

The day was a slow one, however. And a slow day meant he was left to his own thoughts. Since the fight with Cuddy about Stacy, and about their relationship in general, he'd been thinking a fair bit over it. He'd been thinking a fair bit about the discussions he'd had with Wilson about it, too. Come lunch time, however, he had a change of heart. He suddenly remembered something Wilson had said, something House had asked him about. "Anyone recommend me a deli in Princeton?" he said as he stuck his head around his office door into the conference room.

Cameron, Chase and Foreman looked up at him from their work. All three of them looked mildly confused. "Uh..." Chase replied slowly. "There's a Whole Earth Natural Grocery store a few blocks away from here, on Nassau Street."

"They make sandwiches?"

Chase looked more confused - and a little suspicious - than ever. "I think so."

House avoided any questions he knew his team had ready to ask and pulled back into his office before they got the chance. He gathered up his overcoat, wrapped his scarf around his neck and headed out into the corridor. He crossed the parking lot and jumped in his car for the deli. When he got there, he swiped a number to be served after studying the array of choices for a good ten minutes. He didn't know what Cuddy's favourite sandwich was. He knew she liked healthy food, though. When his number was called, he placed an order for a chicken breast sandwich on sourdough, with alfalfa beans, cucumber, sundried tomatoes and Swiss cheese. He purchased a bottle of juice to go with it, paid and drove back to the hospital. He was trying to work out how to deliver it to her as he walked into the lobby and he stopped when his eyes landed on the Valentine's Day stand he'd seen that morning. Nah, he thought to himself. Flowers was way too much. But even as he thought that, he kept staring at the stand in contemplation and in the end, he headed across to it, to peruse what it had to offer.

Crap, mostly. Sickeningly sappy crap. He felt like an idiot, standing in full view of everyone and studying all the sickeningly sappy crap, too. "Gimme one of those," he told the cashier gruffly as he pointed to the bucket of single stem roses.

"Who are you buying roses for?"

House looked over his shoulder sharply at Chase, who was looking equal parts smug and intrigued, just as the cashier was handing House a single rose in exchange for a five dollar bill. "My..." he began. Myself he was going to say. It wasn't any of Chase's business, after all. He looked down as he pocketed the change for the flower. "My girlfriend."

"You have a girlfriend." It was a skeptical statement and not a question.

"Yep," House replied. He tried to push down his nerves in favour of making it seem like he didn't care if Chase knew. He gestured to the flower and the sandwich clutched in his other hand. "Gotta shoot. Got a delivery to make."

"To whom?"

"Hmm, let's see. How many potential girlfriends do you think I'm going to have in the building we're standing in right now?" He stepped back in the direction of Cuddy's office. "You know, as much as I'd love to stay and talk to you, I'm not going to."

He left Chase looking on in bewilderment as he turned and made his way to Cuddy's office. After all these months, he knew he should've been perfectly okay with little acts of love for her but as he neared the door, his heart sped up more and more. Making his relationship with Cuddy known at work was more than a terrifying step to make, one he wasn't sure he was ready to take. But he fought that thought aside as he clenched the rose between his teeth by the stem while he shouldered the door open. He barged into Cuddy's office without knocking while she was on the phone. Without a word, just like Wilson had suggested, he slapped the sandwich down in front of her, along with the drink, and took the rose from between his teeth and held it out for her to take.

The moment she did, he turned and left her office as quick as he could, before she could say anything to him. He felt awkward enough as it was, let alone if he had to explain himself.
[identity profile] doctorhouse-md.livejournal.com

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