Categories > TV > House

All Is Calm (Except When It Isn't)

by seldra 0 reviews

House/Chase SLASH. Established relationship. Their first Christmas living together.

Category: House - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Romance - Characters: Gregory House,James Wilson,Robert Chase - Published: 2007-12-31 - Updated: 2007-12-31 - 2859 words - Complete

Title: All Is Calm (Except When It Isn't)
Author: seldra
Fandom: House M.D.
Pairing: House/Chase (established relationship). Drunk-and-flirtatious!Wilson also makes an appearance.
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: House is owned by David Shore and FOX TV.
Summary: their first Christmas living together.
Notes: written for 10_snuggles on LJ. The prompt was "Gift."

The first thing House noticed when he stepped into his apartment was the plastic Nativity Scene erected on his coffee table. It wasn’t very large – just one of those cheap plastic dioramas they sell at Wal-Mart for five bucks. It was also fairly innocuous – Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus were the only pieces, and they smiled up at him through poorly moulded plastic. There was also an expensive-looking porcelain lamb that had obviously been taken from a larger set.

“Chase!” he shouted, brushing the snow off his coat. “What is this thing doing on my coffee table? Where will I put my coffee? Or my porn magazines?”

He threw his coat onto the nearest chair and scowled down at the tiny plastic figures and their tiny plastic smiles. There was no answer from the rest of the apartment and he vaguely remembered Chase saying something about surgery and being late.

Limping over to the table House felt his eyebrow twitch. There were always sacrifices to be made when it came to living with someone – Stacy had collected the most nauseating crystal animals – but little plastic Jesuses took things to a whole new level of irritating.

He slowly tightened and released his grip on his cane, telling himself it could be worse and that this did, in fact, present a whole new manner of annoying, frustrating and downright offending Chase. Which was always fun.

Chase came in an hour later, tired and sporting a headache from the cold. He dumped his messenger bag on the couch, glanced at the Nativity Scene and rolled his eyes, suppressing a groan.

“I like them better that way,” House said from the kitchen. “It’s more educational, don’t you think?”

“Is nothing sacred to you?”

“Do I really have to answer that question?”

Chase sighed and returned the Nativity Scene figures to their correct places – and positions. “Where’s the lamb?”

“What lamb?”

Chase wondered how Stacy had ever been able to deal with this and made a mental note to call her sometime – maybe they could commiserate about House being an ass over drinks or something.

He turned to the kitchen. Surprisingly, House did cook on occasion, but Chase still regarded the boiling pot suspiciously. It was stew and House had probably been overly generous regarding the wine content.

“My lamb, House. What have you done with it?”

“I haven’t seen any lamb.”

He put his hands on his hips. House raised an eyebrow at him. “You’ve been hanging around Wilson too much. Stop that.”

“What? The pose or hanging around with Wilson?”

“Preferably both.”

Chase rolled his eyes.

“What? I don’t get to be the jealous lover? That doesn’t seem fair.”

“House…” he put his chin on House’s shoulder, wrapping his arms around the older man’s waist.

“You’re pouting,” House said glancing at him out of the corner of his eye while he stirred the soup.

“I am not.”

“You are too.”

“That actually smells good.”

House glared at him. “‘Actually?’ ‘/Actually/?’ You ungrateful little whelp,” he wrapped his free arm around Chase, pulling him against him.

Their kiss was warm and long. He could feel House’s hand at the small of his back.

/It’s these moments that make it worth all the grief/, Chase thought. House’s mouth tasted like cigarettes and red wine.

“You started drinking without me,” he said, pulling away.

“You’re pouting again.”

“Where’s my—”

House groaned. “Before you ask again—” he pointed to the kitchen table. Without, Chase noticed, taking his eyes off the stove.

Chase turned and suddenly felt cold. The porcelain lamb was scattered in three pieces – the little head had been broken off, and a large triangular shard had been smashed out of its chest.

It’s just a trinket/, he told himself. /Stupid to get upset over it.

But he was.

“You broke it!”

“It wasn’t on purpose!” House said.

Chase turned back to him.

“Well it /wasn’t/!”

House was surprised by the look anguish he saw in his lover’s eyes. Chase was one of those rare people who just couldn’t lie. Physically. Everything he felt was always written right on his face. It was a quality House found interesting most of the time. At the moment, however, he didn’t want to look at those hurt eyes.

“It was just a stupid sheep!”


“Whatever. You’re too old to be playing with dolls anyways.”

Chase’s gaze slid off him, his expression shadowed in thought. “Right,” he muttered. “Of course.” He shook his head and turned and left the kitchen, strode across the living room and grabbed his coat off the chair.

He should have said something then, and he knew it.

But the door slammed shut and he went back to stirring the stew.

He found Wilson in the bar.

“You’re not with House?” Wilson asked.

Chase shrugged and ordered a drink, sitting next to him.

Wilson raised his glass with a weary sigh. “And…you’re drinking. So I take it the two of you had a disagreement.”

“No, not really.”

Wilson raised his eyebrows thoughtfully. “Oh really? So the reason you’re moping in a bar on Christmas Eve with the rest of us single folk instead of at home doing things – ” he gesticulated vaguely “— with House is /because/?”

“Does anyone really have to explain needing a break from House?” he asked.

Wilson nodded. “Ah.”

“Ah what?”

“Nothing. It’s just, I don’t know, I expected you two to last longer, that’s all. You seemed so serious about it and--”

“I’m not leaving him!”

“You’re not exactly…/with/ him though, are you?” Wilson asked.

Chase cast him a withering glare and drank half his beer in one long gulp.

Wilson sighed. “So what did he do this time?”

“I told you. We didn’t fight. It was just – he broke something of mine.”

“And this surprises you because — ? He’s House. He’s an insensitive ass.”

“Oh don’t give me that old House-is-House bollocks – we both know he’s perfectly capable of being genuinely—” he almost said ‘nice’ but that wouldn’t have been entirely truthful, either “—not a complete ass when he has half a mind to it.”

“He can?” Wilson’s brow furrowed. “He is? Not an ass? To you, I mean? It’s just—” he finished his drink and Chase had to wonder how many he’d already consumed, “he doesn’t treat you so well at work.”

“He treats me the same as ever at work.”

“That’s what I mean. It’s not like he was with Stacy.”

“Well I’m not Stacy, so doesn’t that work out nicely?”

“Hm. Sarcasm,” Wilson ordered another drink. “Keep that up and you’ll turn into him.”

“I’m surprised you don’t have a date with –” Chase searched his memory for the name of Wilson’s latest girlfriend but came up blank. So much for changing the topic of conversation.

“I just think you could do better, honestly. He deliberately hurts people. Everyone who gets close to him.”

Chase frowned. It wasn’t like Wilson to insult a friend behind his back. In fact at the start of their relationship he had been borderline paranoid about Chase hurting House. "Great. You're drunk."

“I mean just look at what happened with Stacy and Lisa…”

“Cuddy? Nothing happened between House and Cuddy.”

“Nothing he told you about.”

“I see,” Chase licked his lips and finished his drink. “I think I should be getting back now. Goodnight, Doctor Wilson.”

Wilson, who had already downed half of his latest drink, grabbed his arm. It was a slow gesture, almost groggy. “You are a very pretty boy, Chase. You know, I never really thought about it before — before House started talking about you. I was surprised. I always figured maybe he’d go with Cameron. But you? But it makes sense now, I guess.” He was starring at Chase blearily, blinking like he couldn’t quite keep him in focus.

Chase was too dumbfounded to say anything, and when Wilson’s hand moved over his he didn’t know whether to push him away or laugh.

“Neither of us have anyone right now. It’s a terrible time of year to be alone, isn’t it?”

House stood outside the bar, shivering. He’d been to the place more than a few times, most of them with Wilson, and he’d hoped to find his wayward wombat there or at least get a stiff drink to help him forget the look Chase had given him before running out. Now he was starting to wish he had stayed back at in his apartment. He could have called a hooker if he was lonely. He wouldn’t have had to see –

Through the window, the dim interior of the bar was murky but he knew Chase when he saw him, and he knew Wilson, too. His lover and his best friend – and his best friend was clasping his lover’s hands and House wasn’t sure whether that should make him feel angry or terrified or humiliated, but all three emotions were giving it their all in the run for dominance.

Inside he watched Wilson and Chase stand, Wilson leaning heavily on the slender blond and – House glared at them through the frosted glass – grabbing his ass.

The rational part of his brain snapped off. House shoved the door open; it crashed against the wall and Chase half-turned, visibly jumping when he saw House.

“You SLUT!”

Chase’s eyes widened and half the faces in the bar turned in their direction.

“I break one stupid clay sheep and you jump into Wilson’s bed?”

“What?” Chase blinked, looking nervously around at the gloomy Christmas Eve patrons who were now all extremely interested in his love life.

“Over one stupid sheep?! Is this what our relationship meant to you?”

“House – why are you shouting?”

“I’m angry! If I’d known you were just waiting to become Wilson’s fuck buddy—”

“There’s nothing going on between me and Wilson!”

“Oh really, that’s why he’d draped all over you, huh?”

“No — he’s —”

“Shut up! This is all because of that stupid sheep, isn’t it? This/, isn’t it?” he thrust a hand into his coat pocket and drew out one porcelain animal that had been more-or-less patched back together with crazy glue. He saw Chase’s eyes grow even wider. “But if I mean so damn little to you maybe I should just—” he hefted the piece as though to throw it – but Chase’s eyes were full of tears and he felt some horrible cold grip inside of him that just wouldn’t /let him, damn it.

Taking it a deep breath he limped across the bar and put the lamb in Chase’s hands. “At least I hope you’re happy.”

He turned to leave and felt Chase grab his arm. A moment later, Chase’s arms were around him and he nearly lost his balance, the cane clattering to the floor. Their captive audience burst into exclamations when Chase kissed his jaw.

He leaned back, avoiding the next kiss and regarded the blond in his arms warily. “What?”

Chase glared up at him. “I’m not sleeping with Wilson!”

“Well of course not, I’m the one with the ceramic sheep.”

“I was never going to sleep with Wilson. I met him here by accident. He’s intoxicated.”

House frowned but spared a glance in the direction of the bar where Wilson had stumbled back to his seat and appeared to be dozing. “Great. He’s pissed out of his mind.”

“He’s depressed. I guess he’s one of those people who don’t like beiing alone on the holidays.”

“You think?”

Now that his heart rate was returning to normal and his head was clearing it was fairly obvious what had happened. “Still. Doesn’t mean you weren’t going to take him up on his offer.”

“House,” Chase gave him a tired look. “You really are the jealous lover.”

He tightened his grip around Chase’s waist. “I’m not sharing – if you want to be with Wilson or someone else—” The look Chase was giving him at that point was downright coy. The little minx.

“Of course not. You’re the one with the porcelain sheep, after all.”

He kissed him again.

Someone whistled.

“I still think we should have called Wilson a taxi,” Chase said, an hour later, stretched out on the couch with House.

“Keep expressing concern for Jimmy. See how long it takes to make me jealous again.”

Chase rolled his eyes. “He’s your friend. Aren’t you the slightest bit concerned?”

“Trust me, if I know Jimmy he won’t spend the night alone. Besides, he’s a grown man. And the longer I stayed there getting him into a cab the longer it would have been before we could have gotten home and the longer before I could defile you in various hedonistic ways that have nothing to do with the spirit of the holiday.”

Chase snorted. “Whatever. You could get me another bowl of soup.”

“What am I, your servant?”

“You owe me. You humiliated me in public for no reason.”

“And how is that different from any of our other outings? Besides, you’ll get fat.”

“I’ll pout.”

“Wow, big threat. What if I like watching you pout? We could be here all night.”

“Not if you want to get to those various hedonistic acts.”

“Fine,” House gave a long-suffering sigh and groaned, pushing himself to his feet, “fine, send the cripple in immense agony to limp the four feet to the kitchen that you could so easily manage yourself, using /extortion/. You know, you’re a bit of a jerk, Chase.”

Chase smirked. “I learned from the best.”

Later that night they lay together in tangled sheets breathing heavily and immensely satisfied. The little sheep was sitting on the nightstand beside House’s Vicodin bottle. Chase had to wonder what it thought of the proceedings considering this wasn’t it’s normal environment at all.

“So are you going to tell me what the story is with that sheep?” House asked. He was reclining against the headboard. Chase pulled himself up and snuggled against his chest. He felt a hand ruffle his hair and smiled into House’s shoulder, kissing the bare skin.

“But you’re usually so clever at deducing these things.”

“Humour me,” House said dryly.

“It was my mother’s favourite piece,” he said. “When I was a kid—”

“Ugh no, not one of those ‘when I was a kid’ stories.”

“You asked!”

He purred as House’s fingers ran up and down his spine.

“The sex was good.”

“Mmh,” Chase nodded, nuzzling his neck. “We always had a Nativity Scene set up at Christmas. A big one with twelve porcelain figures. I think it was my grandmother’s or something. My mum put it up every year. Until the last one. That was when…” I knew she’d given up.

House didn’t need him to finish the sentence; he felt the calloused hands moving in slow circles down his back.

“We should probably have sex again.”

Chase smiled. “I used to play with the pieces when I was little. It was fun.”

House frowned. “Fun? The Nativity Scene – /fun/? Isn’t that disrespectful or something?”

“I remember moving the Wise Men closer and closer each day as they made their journey following the star—”

“I had a Batman action figure. Much cooler.”

Chase laughed quietly as House pulled him back down again, kissing his forehead, his eyelids, his nose…

It was well past midnight. Chase lay awake, secure in the crook of House’s arm, staring at the moonlight reflected against the wall. House slept against him. Not snoring, but rumbling occasionally. Like a growl. /He’s even angry in his sleep/, Chase thought, kissing his lover affectionately.

And for those few precious seconds it was a calm night, and a beautiful night and strings of music from hymns and Christmas carols remembered in his childhood came playing back through his mind. He smiled softly. The little lamb gleamed on the nightstand. He kissed House again. And a third time.

Groggily, the older man opened his eyes. “What now?”

“Thank you.”

“Hmm. For what?”

“The present. Fixing my mother’s lamb.”

“It’s not much of a present if I broke it in the first place,” he grumbled.

Chase smiled, pressing their foreheads together in the darkness. He couldn’t explain why that made it even more special.

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