I'm Gonna Make This Place Your Home Chapter 42
Sequel to: There's a Place for Us
Chapter 42. Another Partner in Crime
House finished his pie, and he and Cameron drove home.
It was still early. Mrs. McClelland sat in her kitchen, crocheting an afghan for one of her grandchildren. She looked up as they entered. "How are you both this evening?"
"We're doing fine." Cameron took one of the other kitchen chairs, and House plopped on another, hands resting on the top of his cane.
Mrs. M. put down her wool and hook. "I spoke to Anna this evening. I think the two of us will go to visit Phyllis tomorrow."
"She was asleep when I was there with Iris today," House said. "Edna, don't expect too much. She may or may not recognize you."
"Oh, I know." She nodded. "I remember when my cousin, Connie, was like that. One minute she was sharp as a pin, the next she didn't know where she was."
Cameron nodded. "So you know what it can be like. Phyllis may or may not remember us, but you can tell her we'll come by to see her again soon."
"Maybe you can ask her about how she kept track of what she sold in her shop and what she still had." House tried to keep it from sounding like a demand.
Mrs. McClelland chuckled and mock saluted him. "Will do."
"Soon you'll have the whole town doing your dirty work." Cameron tried not to smirk.
House made a silly face. "This is serious business. Need I remind you that two board members were attacked and a man is missing? Not to mention what items from Phyllis' store are gone."
"Allison, dear, I'm happy to help in your investigation in any way I can. Phyllis was a friend of mine. I'd hate to think that anyone might be taking advantage of her in her present condition." She stood and went to the stove. "Besides, since current board members have been targeting, there may be danger to new ones, like you. Now, would anyone like a nice cuppa?" She made up a pot without waiting for an answer.
The three of them discussed more pleasant things as they drank it and ate some of her coffee cake, things like the upcoming Labor Day celebrations and Mrs. McClelland visit to her oldest son and his family soon after that, since her daughter-in-law was expecting a third child the middle of September.
Before they left her for the night, Cameron said, "We're going to inspect our new house on Saturday. Would you like to come?"
"There's not much to see." House narrowed his eyes, wondering why Cameron would ask.
She smiled. "I know, but I wanted advice on where to tell Will to set up my flower and vegetable beds. I don't want to wait until it's too cold to walk around the site."
There had to be more to it, but House didn't press her, not until they were alone in their basement apartment. "Why do you want Edna with us tomorrow?"
"I want to ask her some questions about the people who used to live on our property. And I think it would be good to have her along when we meet your team afterward."
House considered that for a full minute before agreeing. "We never asked whether she'd bought anything from Phyllis' shop, although she's not the type to go for any of that stuff."
"Some of that stuff is worth a fortune."
"Not to me." House flopped on the couch. He'd removed his suit jacket much earlier. Now he unbuttoned his shirt and took it off. The t-shirt underneath was one of his vintage ones.
"Some people would think your shirt was a rag, but I happen to know you paid a pretty penny for it." She sat next to him, leaning against his chest.
"Touche." His fingers played through her long hair. "Do you agree with me, that we have to find out who attacked Pamela and DiMonaco?"
"Of course. And also what happened to Ian." She turned her head to look into his blue eyes. "Having second thoughts?"
"Nah. I just wanted confirmation I was doing the right thing."
"Even if it wasn't, you wouldn't stop now. House, this is really important. No one else seems to be looking into any of it, as if they didn't care."
"Maybe they take some things for granted, although it beats me why."
"I'm becoming almost as curious about Iris' lack of art supplies as all of the rest."
"I guess we're taking Edna with us to the mansion," House said.
Cameron grinned. "I wouldn't be surprised if she'd relish being our partner in crime, the same way your team and Rachel do. And Simpson's sister. I'm impressed that she was so quick to join in. Mrs. McClelland has probably been in the house before and might be able to tell us if anything is different."
"Good point." He nuzzled her neck, making her giggle. "Should I stop?"
"No." She held her hair away so he could have better access.
He continued, and she purred. "If I knew you liked this so much, I would have started doing it sooner."
"Trying new things is good. Some will work, and others not so much."
"How about this?" His hand snaked into her top.
"Not so new, but definitely good." Her fingers lifted his T-shirt and she kissed his flat stomach. "I know you like this."
"And you like this." He caressed her breasts through the thin top and lacy bra for a bit before removing them both.
It wasn't long before all of their clothing was in piles on the floor. "Scootch over a little." Cameron swung her legs onto the couch, trying to ignore the rough surface.
They wiggled around until they were wrapped in each others arms. As they joined, any discomfort was forgotten. Their passion soared and their heartbeats grew rapid. They reached the heights almost simultaneously.
"Oh, Greg," she murmured, and he smiled.
Afterwards, they lay together in each others arms, completely sated. "You're the best, you know," Cameron said.
She pulled away and play-punched him.
"You're not so bad yourself, you know." He tossed an arm across her and started kissing her again.
"Nice of you to notice. It certainly took you long enough." She leaned into him. "House, I know you couldn't believe the way I felt about you year ago, but it was real. From the first."
"You didn't know me or anything about me."
"Still, I could tell. I knew you were the most intelligent man I'd ever met, the most complex, the most driven." She took his hands and kissed each one. "And very handsome."
He rolled his eyes, then shifted position.
Cameron snuggled against him again. "I hope our new house will be as cozy."
"It has to be more comfortable." House squirmed a bit more.
"We should open this." She stood and motioned for him to do the same, then removed the cushions and opened the bed.
House dropped onto it, bouncing a bit. "Much better. C'mon down." He patted the spot next to him.
Cameron smirked at him. "I'll be right there." She made a brief trip to the bathroom. When she came back, she was wearing her nightshirt and had her hair pulled into a ponytail. She slipped under the sheet and blanket and cuddled against him. In a very short time, she was fast asleep.
House smiled at her and kissed the top of her head, then closed his eyes and nodded off himself.
In the morning, they woke as the sun filtered down through the windows, high in the outside wall of their basement apartment.
"Any thoughts on your patient?" Cameron asked. Often in the morning House had worked out at least an approach to discovering what was wrong.
He shook his head. "Not a thing. Maybe one of the kids will have an idea."
They showered together and dressed.
"It's not like you to be so baffled about a case." She checked her bag to make sure everything was in it.
"Unless the symptoms are completely unrelated." House buttoned his shirt." I can certainly think of many causes for each, but not both."
She stopped and stared at him. "What caused the causes?" It was the kind of question she used to ask him that would set his mind on a path that would lead to a diagnosis.
He nodded. "That's a thought to pursue. Ready?"
"That's my girl." He smiled. They climbed the stairs.
Mrs. McClelland sat at her kitchen table, drinking some tea. "I called Anna and she agreed to go with me to see Phyllis. I'll report back this evening."
"And you'll come with us on Saturday?" Cameron asked. "We'll be making a few stops on our way back."
She grinned. "More investigating I hope."
"Since Iris will be at the shop, we thought it would be a good opportunity to explore the mansion," House said.
"Oooh! I'm in."
House and Cameron were both chuckling as they got in the car and drove to the diner.
"Back again?" Linda greeted them with a grin. "Your partners in crime are already here."
The team along with Simpson's sister sat in their booth. House and Cameron joined them.
"Did you think of anything during the night?" Magnani asked House. "About the patient, I mean."
"Too busy." House leered at Cameron who rolled her eyes. "Actually, Cameron suggested we look at what caused the causes of the symptoms. Maybe they have something in common after all."
Jacobs grinned at Cameron. "Great idea. We think we know what caused the perforated ulcer, but haven't been able to determine the cause of the paralysis. Once we do, we can explore the relationships between the two."
"What caused the perforation?" Jessica asked.
"Either a bacterial infection or the NSAIDs he took for pain in his shoulder," her brother replied.
Magnani rubbed his chin. "So, looking beyond that, the pain in his shoulder could be related to the paralysis."
"Except the pain was in his left shoulder and the paralysis is on the right side," House pointed out.
They all frowned.
Linda came by and took their orders. "What's wrong?" she asked.
"We're working on a diagnosis. Got something on the breakfast menu that'll help?" House asked.
She laughed. "I don't think Belgian waffles will do it."
"No, but I'll have some anyway, with a side of bacon." House wasn't the only one who ordered that.
Cameron and Jacobs asked for eggs and sausage instead.
Magnani picked up the conversation. "The MRI didn't reveal any cause for the paralysis."
"Did the symptoms occur at the same time?" Jessica asked. "If not, it might show something."
"According to the patient, the paralysis was first." Jacobs unwrapped her utensils and placed the napkin on her lap. "Of course, he may not have had any indications of the perforated ulcer until it was bad."
Cameron chuckled. "You need a new line, House."
"No, listen. Let's think this through. If the ulcer problem was first, what would happen? I mean, how does the rest of the body react?" Simpson asked.
They each threw out one or more consequences.
Finally Jacobs said, "We can't know for certain what happened in this case until we've run more tests."
A few groans were followed by nods.