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12 July 2016 @ 03:19 pm
I just realized the semi-fatal flaw of this story. It doesn’t have enough Cuddy! Of course, she’s in the this chapter way more than the first one, but it’s still clearly insufficient. (Why is that SNL skit, “Needs more cowbell” running through my head?). Anyway, when I write another one of these (did I say when? I meant if, IF!), I’ll be sure to make it more Cuddy focused.  Meanwhile, hope you enjoy part 2. And thanks for showing me all the “welcome back” love. Your encouragement is very, well, encouraging. Xo

Special note to Livejournal readers: I guess I’m going to stick to fanfiction.net going forward.  Seems a little dead around these parts.

“Thirteen, a moment of your time.”

All eyes turned to Thirteen, who had just been summoned to stay after class, as it were, by House.

This could either be an exceptionally bad thing (she was fired!) or a cause for some jealousy (why was she getting singled out?) Amber, for her part, was fuming over the fact that it was Thirteen who was being asked to stay behind and not her. Surely this was about last night, right? And surely he remembered that she had been there, too—or hadn’t he noticed? Goddamn Thirteen and her goddamn porcelain skin, 2-percent body fat, and bird-like bone structure. Annoyed, Amber followed the rest of the fellow candidates out of the lecture hall.

House, who had come into the lecture hall wearing dark glasses that he’d only reluctantly removed and who looked even more disheveled than usual, stared at Thirteen with some astonishment.

“Why don’t you look as bad as I feel?” he said.

“I guess I just hold my alcohol better than you do,” Thirteen replied. This was a lie, of course. After a certain point, right around the time the second flask was brandished, she and Amber had stopped drinking completely (by then, House was too far gone to even notice).

He looked up at her. “I somehow doubt that,” he said, blinking at the light. Then he groaned and rubbed his eyes. “Peter Cooper Hewitt was a sadist,” he said.


“The asshole who invented the fluorescent light bulb,” House replied.

“And yet somehow I think you didn’t summon me here to discuss light bulbs,” Thirteen said.

“No,” House said. “It’s about last night.”

“Good times,” Thirteen said, with a cocky grin.

“Good, and highly inappropriate times,” House countered.

“What happens after hours in the DDx room stays in the DDx room,” Thirteen said.

“Your self-preservation instincts are excellent,” House said. Then he hesitated. “It’s particularly important that Dr. Cuddy knows nothing of what we did—or, uh, said.”

“What? You mean the part about where you said she was a fucking knockout?” Thirteen said, mirthfully.

“Maybe your self-preservation instincts aren’t quite as sound as I thought,” House growled.

“Just kidding. I would never tell her.” Then, marveling over the fact that House had given her such a perfect opening, she decided to enact Stage B of her Get House To Admit He Has Feelings for Dr. Cuddy plan. “Especially in light of recent rumors.”

He took the bait.

“What rumors?”

“That Dr. Cuddy is…seeing someone. A doctor at Princeton General.”

“Bullshit,” House said.

Thirteen gave a broad, “don’t blame the messenger” shrug. “That’s just what I hear,” she said. (In fact, there were rumors of the sort going around the hospital—but only because she had planted them.)

“Who is he?” House said. Then, realizing he sounded a little agitated, he said, “Please tell me the name of this poor sap.”

“I think I heard them say Kaufman? Dr. Mark Kaufman?”

House frowned. “Never heard of him.”

“Heart surgeon. Triathlete. Philanthropist.”

“You forgot to say masochist,” House said.

Thirteen smiled knowingly.

“Anyway, your secret’s safe with me, boss.”

“I’m not your boss yet,” House reminded her.

“Ouch,” Thirteen said. Then, perhaps pushing her luck, she added, “Want me to get more intel about Dr. Cuddy and Dr. Kaufman for you?”

“No,” House said, looking her squarely in the eye. “Dr. Cuddy’s private life is of no concern to me.”


Later, Amber caught up with Thirteen at their new favorite picnic table.

They decided to exchange notes.

For her part, Amber had had a pretty productive morning.

“I went to talk to Dr. Cameron,” she said.

“No shit,” Thirteen said, impressed by Amber’s initiative. She had to remind herself what a formidable competitor Amber was. “And what did she say?”

“She said that she used to have a schoolgirl crush on House, but it was unreciprocated.”

“I knew it!” Thirteen said, gleefully.

Amber, who had been meting out her intelligence slowly, to maximize her victory, then added, “And then she told me they once kissed.”

Thirteen paled.

“They what?”

“They kissed. On the lips. With tongue. The whole bit. It took place in House’s office last year.”


“It’s true—although she admits it was just that one time. She said it was one of the best kisses of her life.”

“Who initiated it?” Thirteen asked, skeptically.

“She didn’t say.”

“And if it was such a great kiss, why did it only happen one time? And why is she now with Dr. Chase?”

“She didn’t say that either. She got a little cagey after that. But it was a pretty big disclosure.” Amber smiled triumphantly. “And what about you? What was that little private meeting with House all about?”

“He wanted to make sure I didn’t tell Dr. Cuddy about our flask-capades.”

“That’s because she’s his boss and it was against hospital rules,” Amber said.

“Right. But he was very specific about not telling her what we said.”

“Huh,” Amber said.

“As in the part about Cuddy being a fucking knockout.”

“Yeah, I got that.”

“And that’s when I dropped Stage 2 on him.”

“Stage 2?”

Thirteen chuckled drily.

“This rumor I circulated that Cuddy is seeing this dude from Princeton General.”

“What dude?”

“Just some doctor I found on the internet. He got auctioned off at the hospital’s charity gala last month. A real hunky type. Bulging biceps. Full head of black hair. Total nightmare for House.”

“If House—or Cuddy—finds out you circulated that rumor you are so fired.”

Thirteen shot her a look. “How would they possibly find out?”

Amber shrugged. “No from me. I play fair,” she said. “Do you?”

“Always,” Thirteen replied.

“So what was House’s reaction to this news?”

Thirteen sighed a bit.

“He pretended not to care. But I could tell it got to him.”

“Ha!” Amber said.

“Ha what?” Thirteen said.

“Let’s tally up the score here: House says Cameron completes him and they once kissed. You’ve got ‘fucking knockout’ and”—she put on a fake frowny face—“actually, that’s all you’ve got.”

“I swear, he was upset. He was just playing it cool.”

“I hope you’re polishing off your resume,” Amber said. “Because you’re going to be back on the job market soon.”


Later that day, Thirteen called Amber on her cell.

“I have an important update,” she said.

“What’s that?”

“I happened to be in House’s office—okay, I was snooping—and guess what he had on his desk?”


“A Princeton General Directory.”

Amber tried to seem unfazed. “That’s not exactly… surprising,” she said. “The two hospitals consult with each other all the time.”

“It was open to the Ks—as in Dr. Mark Kaufman.”

“Very definitive,” Amber said.

“You can’t possibly think it’s a coincidence,” Thirteen said.

“All I’m saying is, I have an actual, bona-fide kiss. You have a…hospital directory. Try harder.”

And she hung up.

Thirteen knew she was right. Amber was currently in the lead, which was infuriating because she knew House had the hots for Cuddy—and possibly much more. But there wasn’t really much she could do, other than double down on Stage 2, so she told Nurse Jeffrey—the hospital’s biggest gossip—that she’d heard through the grapevine that the sex between Dr. Cuddy and Dr. Kaufman was off-the-charts.

All she could do now was hope the news got back to House.


“Here’s a riddle for you,” Cuddy said. “What’s the only thing worse than supervising Dr. House?”

House, who’d been sitting at his desk, with his feet up, googling Dr. Mark Kaufman, hastily clicked on his screen saver.

“What?” he said, taking his feet off the desk.

“Supervising 25 Dr. House wannabes,” she said.

He chuckled. “That does sound disturbing.”

“It’s like a bad Hitchcock film.”

“Come on, my minions aren’t so bad.”

“What part of setting a hospital room on fire, digging up a corpse, and breaking into private property don’t you understand?”

“I’m kvelling.”

“Get your candidates on a tighter leash, House,” she said. Then she dropped the bomb: “Oh, and stop using them to write your Vicodin prescriptions.”

House cringed a bit.

“You know about that, huh?” he said.

“”Yes, and it’s only committing—let me see—about 25 different HIPAA violations.”

“Okay, I’ll stop. But you just made them 75 percent less valuable to me.” He stretched his knuckles, mafia-style. “I’m overdue for a bulk firing anyway. I’ll knock off 15 tonight.”

“Good,” she said, and she turned on her heels to go.

“Dr. Cuddy,” he called after her.

She swung around, folded her arms, in a “what now?” kind of way.

He looked her up and down.

“You look nice today,” he said.

She squinted at him.

“Thank you?” she said, cautiously.

“Radiant. Freshly plucked. One might even say, you’re glowing.”

She rolled her eyes.

“House, I’m not pregnant.”

“Never said you were,” he said.

“Okay?” she said, still not sure what he was driving at.

“Can you think of any other reason why you might be glowing?” he asked.

“Low-grade fever?” she offered.

He stared at her.

“So that’s all you want to say?” he said. “There’s nothing else you want to tell me?”

“House, spit it out. What’s this all about?”

He looked at her with some dismay. “It’s about…nothing. It’s clearly none of my business.”

“You’re acting weird House. Weirder than usual.”

“Just observing how nice you look,” he said. “Is that a crime?”

“No, but you seem…mad at me for some reason!”

“I’m not mad.”

“Could’ve fooled me.”

She gave him a little sneer, which he reciprocated, and left his office.


Amber knew that Thirteen hadn’t been lying about the directory on House’s desk and she also knew that she needed to step up her game. Cameron had been surprisingly forthcoming earlier today—she was secretly eager to boast about her kiss with House and had so few people to share the story with—so Amber decided to go back to the well one more time.

She caught up with Cameron in the hallway.

“Dr. House can’t stop talking about you,” she said.

Cameron laughed.

“I have a hard time believing that.”

“It’s true. Like, nothing we fellowship candidates do is good enough. It’s always, ‘Cameron would’ve figured that out.” Or, ‘Cameron never gave up.’ Or, ‘Cameron had the balls to stand up to me.’ ”

Cameron stopped walking and regarded Amber skeptically.


“Really,” Amber said. She felt badly about lying. But hey, Thirteen was starting false rumors. This was out-and-out war. “I know you said he never saw you as a woman, just a doe-eyed school girl, but I think something’s changed. He clearly…admires you.”

“Admires me?”

One thing Amber had learned in her life: People were surprisingly willing to believe you when you told them exactly what they wanted to hear.

“Totally. And more than that, I think he has the hots for you.”

Cameron snorted—flattered, but still skeptical.

“Shut up,” she said, although her voice suggested she meant the opposite.

“I’m just saying. He gets a little starry eyed when he talks about you.”

“Absence makes the heart grow fonder, I guess,” Cameron said.


Cameron got a faraway look on her face and then snapped out of it.

“Too bad I’ve moved on to the man of my dreams,” she said.

Dr. Chase?”

“Yeah,” Cameron said, unconvincingly. “Who else?”


But that night, buoyed by Amber’s words, Cameron found herself dropping by House’s office.

“How’s the world’s most ridiculous job search going?” she said, trying to keep her voice breezy.

“I’ve got a Cutthroat Bitch, a homunculus obsessed with boob jobs, and a nearly dead guy with no medical degree. Besides that, peachy.”

“You didn’t know how good you had it,” she said.

He looked up, gave her a slightly weary smile.

“I guess you’re right.”

Emboldened, she said, “You wanna go grab a drink and talk about it?”

“Talk about what?”

“The good old days.”

He furrowed his brow. “What, now?”

“Why not? You’re not my boss anymore. We’re just two colleagues. We’re allowed to go share a drink.”

He rubbed his chin.

“Can’t. Busy.”

She looked around the office. The DDx room was empty and dark. Before she’d arrived, House had clearly been playing video games on his computer.

“You don’t look busy,” she said.

“I get my best thinking done after hours,” he said.

She folded her arms, stubbornly.

“I’m not still pining away for you, if that’s what you think,” she said.

“It’s not what I think,” he said, evenly.

“I just thought we could enter a new, more mature phase of our relationship.”

“I agree.”

“So…drinks then?”

He did that thing he did—where she felt like he could see right through her.

“Maybe some other time, Dr. Cameron,” he said.

Her face got hot.

“Okay,” she said, feeling foolish. Her vision of the two of them talking, drinking, confiding in each other, maybe more, had been pretty vivid. “I’ll let you get back to all that deep thinking you were doing.”

He nodded.

When she got to the doorway, he called after her: “Cameron, wait.”

She, inhaled hopefully.


“Have you ever heard of some asshat named Dr. Mark Kaufman?”


The trajectory of gossip at PPTH had a very specific pattern. It originated, almost always, with Nurse Jeffrey, then made its way through the rest of the nurses, then to the cafeteria staff, the administrative staff, the candy stripers, and finally, to the doctors. Really good gossip had a nearly physical presence in the hospital. And Cuddy had a keen eye for noticing when the gossip was about her.

“Spill it,” she said, cornering Nurse Jeffrey in the nurses’ station.

“Spill what?”

“The gossip about me.”

“There is no gossip about you.”

“Every time I approach a group of nurses they giggle and suddenly stop talking. So spill it.”

“I’m completely in the dark.”

“Do you know what the penalty is for lying to the Dean of Medicine?”

He looked at her, sighed.

“If you must know, people know about the man in your life,” he said.

For a second, Cuddy blushed, thinking he meant House. Then she realized how ridiculous that was. There was nothing going on between her and Dr. House—not technically, at least.

“What man?” she said, cautiously.

“Dr. Mark Kaufman.”

“Dr. who?”

“Your new beau, from Princeton General? Light of your life, fire of your loins…”

“I literally have no idea what you’re talking about.”

He peered at her.

“So you’re not seeing some studly heart surgeon from Princeton General?”


Nurse Jeffrey laughed.

“Oops,” he said.


“The gossip has gotten pretty…specific. Apparently you and Dr. Kaufman are so hot for each other, you can’t keep your hands off each other. There’s talk of quickies in hospital storage closets.”

“What on earth?”

“Hey, I don’t make the gossip, I just…masterfully disseminate it.”

“Well, un-disseminate it! It’s a bald-faced lie. I’ve never even met this Dr. Mark Kaufman.”

Nurse Jeffrey shrugged.

“I’ll see what I can do,” he said. “I’m only one man.”

“Try like your job depended on it,” she said.

And Nurse Jeffrey gulped.

After he was gone, Cuddy reflected on the news. People speculating about her personal life came with the territory of being a young, pretty Dean of Medicine, although she had never gotten used to it. She sighed…and then she remembered the previous night’s conversation with House.


Thirteen noticed Dr. Cuddy hastily fix her hair and makeup, then poke her head into House’s empty office, and then keep walking, purposefully, toward the lecture room.

Something about the sneaky smile playing on Dr. Cuddy’s lips compelled Thirteen to follow her, although she hung back, not wanting to be spotted.

Cuddy found House alone in the auditorium, sitting on the desk.

“I’m not dating some guy named Dr. Mark Kaufman,” she said, teasingly.

He had been lost in thought. Now he looked up.

“I know,” he said.

“You know? Then why the third degree yesterday?”

“Yesterday, I didn’t know.”

“And you were jealous,” she said.

“I wasn’t!...” he started to protest, then realized there was no point in lying. “Okay, I was jealous.”

“You’re cute when you’re jealous.”

“Shut up.”

“I have no idea how this crazy rumor started,” Cuddy said, shaking her head.

“I think I do,” he said.  “It was Cuthroat Bitch and Thirteen.”


“Two of my fellow candidates. Supermodel and uh, taller supermodel. They apparently have some sort of bet.”

Cuddy wrinkled her nose.

“What kind of bet?”

“To determine whether I’m doodling ‘House Hearts Cuddy’ or ‘House Hearts Cameron’ in my notebook.”

Cuddy laughed.


“Yeah, they were grilling me a few nigh. . .uh, afternoons ago, asking lots of questions about you and Cameron. Then this rumor starts about you and McDreamy. And last night Cameron came by my office, out of the blue, asking if I wanted to have drinks with her. They must’ve put her up to it. I finally put the whole thing together. Cutthroat Bitch is Team Cameron. And Thirteen is Team Cuddy.”

“You had drinks with Cameron?” she said, despite herself.

He chuckled.

“Who’s jealous now?” he asked.

“I’m not jealous,” she said, somewhat defiantly. “But did you?”

“No, I did not have drinks—or anything else—with Dr. Cameron.”

“Good,” she said. Then she smiled. “And just to be clear, I did not have drinks—or anything else—with Dr. Kaufman, although I might want to look him up. He sounds intriguing.”

“You minx!” House said.

And they both laughed.

Thirteen, who was far enough away that she could see them, but not quite make out what they were saying, leaned forward a bit. They were doing that chemistry thing. She could practically feel the heat from where she was hiding.

House folded his arms, looked at Cuddy. The way she was standing in the doorway was almost identical to the fantasy he’d had about her a few nights ago—and last night, too.

“Has anyone ever told you that when we talk, it’s like we’re the only two people in the room?” he said, musingly.

Cuddy looked around.

“We are the only two people in the room,” she said.

“Thirteen said we had chemistry.”

“She was trying to lead the witness.”

“And yet…we do have chemistry,” he said.

“Yes,” she admitted. “We do.”

House hopped off the desk, started walking toward her slowly, just like in his dream.

“House, what are you doing?”

“Nothing,” he said, still approaching her.

Cuddy suddenly felt a strange flutter in her stomach. She knew why he was approaching her and she knew that she should’ve protested, but she didn’t.

House ascended the last step, then moved toward her.

“Hey,” he said, lifting her chin.

“Hey,” she replied, meekly.

He leaned in, kissed her softly on the mouth.

“You taste good,” he breathed.

She closed her eyes.

“House, we shouldn’t…we’re in public.”

“Shhh,” he said, taking a lock of her hair and putting it behind her ear. “No one comes here except my fellows and they’re scattered all over the hospital.”

He kissed her again and this time, she let him, parting her lips a bit to receive his tongue. Almost twenty years of anticipating this, plus the illicitness of doing it in plain sight at the hospital, added to her excitement. She felt weak in the knees.

Across the hospital, in the laboratory, Amber got a page: “Lecture Hall. Now,” it read.

The last time she’d been paged, House had electrocuted himself with a knife and a socket. So she handed the test tube she was looking at to Big Love and sprinted out of the lab.

“Where are you going?” he asked.

“Gotta run!” she said, barreling down the hall.

She got to the lecture room pretty quickly and then was mortified by what she saw: House and Cuddy having a full on makeout session against the wall, practically mounting each other—still both fully dressed, but both so handsy and obviously worked up, it felt downright pornographic.

She stepped away, not wanting to be spotted, and feeling a bit too much like a pervert.

Shit. Shit, shit, shit, she thought as she walked away. Why had she made that idiotic bet?

Back in the lecture room, House was starting to fumble for his belt buckle when Cuddy finally came to her senses and disentangled herself.

“House, we can’t.”

“Yes, we can,” he replied, diving for her again.

She put her hand on his chest to stop him.

“You’re right. We can. But not here. Not now.”

Still panting a bit, he stepped away from her.

“Then when?”

She smoothed her hair, buttoned the top button of her blouse and smiled adorably at him.

“My place? Tonight. 8 o clock?”

“Bless you, woman.”


“So you were the one who paged me, huh?” Amber said to Thirteen. They were sitting alone in the DDx room about an hour later.

“Considered taking a photograph, but this felt more dramatic.”

“That was definitely…chemistry all right,” Amber sighed.

“Told you.”

“I didn’t stick around. Did they actually have sex in the lecture room? Because…gross.”

“No, Cuddy stopped it, much to my disappointment,” Thirteen said, with a wink. “It was quite hilarious. They both looked they were going to explode. I think they made an appointment to fuck tonight at her place.”

“Charming,” Amber said, adding sadly,  “So I guess you won the bet.”

“It would appear so,” Thirteen said, her eyes dancing.

“I’ll tell House that I’m leaving the team tomorrow.”

Thirteen contemplated her.

“That won’t be necessary,” she said.

“Huh? You expect me to just leave without telling him?”

“No, it won’t be necessary because I don’t expect you to leave at all.”

Amber side-eyed her.

“Now you’re confusing me.”

“The way I see it, you’re the best doctor among the candidates—besides me, of course. And to be the best, you’ve got to beat the best. I want you to stay.”

“You did beat me. You won fair and square.”

“That’s just sex, something I know a little something about,” she said, giving Amber a tiny leer. “I’m talking about medicine.”

“You’re an idiot,” Amber said. “If I had won, you’d be packing your bags as we speak.”

“I know,” Thirteen said, taking in Amber’s stunned face. “You’re welcome.”

10 July 2016 @ 06:20 pm
What up, Huddy Nation? Long time no hang. I’ve been in a Hugh Laurie mood lately (it’s a Veep/Night Manager thing), which has put me in a Huddy mood lately, which has led to this fic—my first in two years! (What?!). A word of warning: I’m VERY rusty. Like, I haven’t been watching the show at all, so the voices aren’t as perfectly clear in my head, plus I’ve forgotten random shit I used to know (like how old Cuddy is supposed to be), plus I’m just not as invested in the characters as I once was, which I guess is inevitable, I guess. Also, if you’re expecting something intense and momentous, this will let you down. It’s light-hearted. Finally, I don’t think means I’m going to become a fic maniac again, but yeah, I guess you’ll be seeing a little more of me around here again. (Especially since this is the first of a two-part fic!) – atd

It was a nice day outside so Amber and Thirteen decided to remove themselves from the stress of competing against 25 other people for three fellowships and eat lunch in the park

After a few minutes of idle small talk, Thirteen got a distinct gleam in her eyes.

“So what do you think of House?” she asked, provocatively.

Amber swallowed her mouthful of sandwich and gave a half shrug.

“He’s everything as advertised, I guess,” she said. “Terrifying, brilliant, exhilarating, terrifying, funny, a total dick. And did I mention terrifying?”

Thirteen grinned.

“Yeah, but do you think he’s hot?”

Amber hesitated. This suddenly felt like a trap.

“Do you?” she said, pointedly.

Thirteen laughed.

“Totally. Like a young Clint Eastwood, gone to seed.”

Amber looked down.

“I guess he’s…pretty handsome,” she said. “He has beautiful eyes.”

Thirteen ate a forkful of salad, although she suddenly seemed much more interested in the conversation than her food.

“So we both agree he’s fuckable. The question is, who is he fucking?”

“What makes you so sure he’s…fucking anyone?”

“I mean, he’s a dude. He’s got needs. And the world is filled with dumb women who think they have the magical power to tame the savage beast.”

Amber considered that for a second.

“I’ve noticed him looking a lot at Dr. Cameron.”

Thirteen snorted.

“I’ve noticed him looking a lot at Dr. Cuddy.”

Now it was Amber’s turn to laugh.

“What? He can’t stand her.”

“You are so naïve. He’s totally hot for her. All those hate-sparks between them? It’s called chemistry, my friend.“

“He looks at Dr. Cameron with more…tenderness,” Amber said.

“Tenderness is for teen romance novels,” Thirteen said. “House is a grown man. I guarantee you it’s Dr. Cuddy he wants. Assuming they’re not doing it already.”

“You’re pretty sure of yourself, aren’t you?” Amber said, skeptically.

“Medical conditions aren’t the only thing I’m good at diagnosing,” Thirteen said.

They were friends, kind of (although it was more a friendship of convenience than anything else), but competitors more—and suddenly this felt a bit like a challenge.

“And I say he likes Dr. Cameron,” Amber said, stubbornly.

“Wanna bet?” Thirteen said, leaning forward.

“Bet?” Amber said, intrigued. “Like, what kind of bet?”

“I prove that he has the hots for Cuddy or you prove that he has the hots for Cameron.”

“And how exactly do we prove this?”

“I don’t know. That’s part of the fun. We can try getting him drunk. Liquid truth serum.”

Amber squinted at her.

“Okay, what are the terms of the bet?”

“Loser drops out of contention for the fellowship,” Thirteen said.

“Fuck that,” Amber said.

“Less confident all of a sudden, huh?” Thirteen said, her eyes still dancing.

“No, but I’m also not dumb enough to bet my livelihood on something as unpredictable as our pill-popping boss’s love life.”

“If you can’t read House, you won’t get the job anyway,” Thirteen said. “And besides, you know he’s not picking two pretty young women for his team. It would be a bad look. You’d be getting rid of your most direct competitor.”

Amber considered it. Thirteen was right. The odds of both of them making the team were remote at best. And she was 90-percent sure she was right about House. Dark, cynical guys like him always went for the nice girls. Plus, she really wanted to wipe the cocky look off Thirteen face.

“Proof has to be definitive,” she said. “Not circumstantial.”

“Of course,” Thirteen said.

“Then okay, it’s a bet.”


Their plan was to get a little tipsy—just tipsy enough so they could credibly pretend to be more drunk than they really were—and walk past his office after hours.

“No man can resist two drunk girls and an open flask,” Thirteen said, confidently.

And damned if it didn’t work.

House came to the door of his office as they went giggling by.

“You guys read the sign on the door, right?” he said. “It says Princeton Plainsboro Teaching Hospital. Not Prince Plainsboro Sorority.”

They giggled some more.

“Sorry,” Thirteen said. Then she put her finger to lips, Elmer Fudd style and said, “We’ll be vewy, vewy quiet.”

House crossed his arms, smirked at them.

“You’re drunk,” he said, amused.

“Not drunk,” Amber said. “Tipsy. And you can’t blame us for blowing off some steam.”

“You see, we’re undergoing the world’s most intense job interview,” Thirteen agreed.

“There are these things called bars…”

“Why go to a bar when we have our own flask?” Thirteen said, holding up the bottle. “Want some?”

House peered at them—both pretty, both drunk, standing in front of his office with an open flask of alcohol at 10 pm. Something told him this was a bad idea.

“Why don’t you come in, ladies?” he said. (Avoiding bad ideas had never been his forte.)

“You better catch up,” Thirteen said, thrusting the flask into his chest. He laughed, shrugged, and took two healthy swigs. Then he led them into the DDx room. He hopped up on the table and they both took chairs.

“So how are you girls enjoying the game of Survivor: Diagnostics so far?” he said, already loving this.

“Thrill a minute,” Thirteen said, taking a swig herself.

“It’s like Gladiator,” Amber said, taking a sip. (Amber noticed that Thirteen hadn’t wiped off the mouth of the flask before taking a swig so she didn’t either.) “Except with more bloodlust.”

“But you girls secretly hate each other, right?” House said, peering at them knowingly. “You’ve done the math. You’re each other’s prime competition.”

“Thought hadn’t crossed my mind,” Thirteen said, breezily.

House shot her a skeptical look.

“We’re kind of stuck with each other,” Amber noted. “Who are we going to hang out with: Father Time? Big Love? The Pyromaniac?”

“And the short guy keeps telling me how much hotter I’d be if I got my boobs done,” Thirteen snorted.

“He’s not wrong” House said, leering at her a bit, taking another swig.

“So tell us more about what you’re looking for in a fellow,” Thirteen said.

“Other than big boobs,” Amber cracked.

“Like, tell us what you liked about Dr. Cameron,” Thirteen said.

Amber side-eyed her. She was so confident in House’s feelings for Dr. Cuddy she was bringing up Amber’s choice first.

House frowned a bit.

“She was a good doctor,” he said.

“There are lots of good doctors,” Thirteen said. “Did the fact that she was pretty help?”

She handed him back the flask. It was nearly empty.

He finished it, in one swig.

“It never hurts,” he said, slamming the empty flask on the table. Thirteen smiled, reached into her purse and pulled out a second flask. “The night is young,” she said with a shrug.

House arched an eyebrow, impressed, commandeered the flask and took another healthy swallow. He was fully drunk now.

“What else?” Thirteen said.

“What else what?”

“What else did you like about Cameron?”

“Cameron was the yin to my yang. The Desdemona to my Iago. The beauty to my beast. She completed me.”

Amber gave a tiny, barely detectable smile of triumph.

“So were you two ever…an item?” she asked.

House nearly choked on the whiskey.

“Absolutely not,” he said. “I meant that she completed me, diagnostically. I see symptoms. She sees feelings. She’s wrong 95 percent of the time. But 5 percent of the time, she actually came in handy.”

Now it was Thirteen’s turn to smile.

“But if you had slept with her, would you tell us?” Amber said, leadingly.

“Of course not,” House said.

Amber nodded, moderately satisfied.

“Well, what about Dr. Cuddy?” Thirteen said, ignoring the fact that Amber was still technically in the game.

“Why are you only interested in the women I work with?” House said. “Don’t you want to know how Foreman completes me?”

“No,” Amber and Thirteen said, in unison.

House folded his arms and got a slightly dirty look on his face.

“Okay, what do you want to know about Dr. Cuddy?”

“What’s it like working for a woman?” Thirteen asked.

“Same as working for a man. If said man got extremely emotional once a month and had an ass as big as Texas.”

“You’re a pig,” Thirteen said, laughing.

“I’m a dude. That goes without saying. But if you two were smart  you’d watch Dr. Cuddy closely. She runs the entire hospital and takes no shit from anyone, including me.”

“So you admire her?” Amber said.

“The only person in this hospital I admire is myself,” he lied.

“And yet, when you and Dr. Cuddy talk, even in a crowded room, it’s like you’re the only two people in the world,” Thirteen said.

House rolled his eyes.

“What is this? House and Cuddy fan fiction?”

“It’s not fiction if it’s true,” Thirteen countered. “I’ve never seen such chemistry.”

House gave her a knowing once-over.

“I never took you for a romantic, Thirteen.”

“I never took you for a liar, Dr. House,” she responded.

They contemplated each other.

“Dr. Cuddy is a very formidable woman,” he admitted.

“Aha!” Thirteen said. “And you think she’s pretty.” It was less a question than a statement of fact.

House looked around his office with mock suspiciousness.

“Why do I suddenly feel like you guys are narcs for Human Resources?” House said.

“We’re not, I assure you,” Thirteen said. “Just fishing for insight.”

House started to think about Cuddy, despite himself.

“Dr. Cuddy isn’t pretty…” he started, as Amber gave a smug smile. “She’s…a fucking knockout.” (Amber’s face fell.)

He suddenly realized he’d said too much. He hopped off the table. “And thus ends tonight’s session of This is Your Life, Gregory House.”

Then he grabbed the flask from Thirteen’s hand.

“I’m afraid I’m going to have to confiscate this. No drinking at the hospital.”

Afterwards, Thirteen and Amber compared notes. They both agreed that the results were inconclusive. He had gotten poetic when describing Cameron—“Desdemona to my Iago”—but had pretty quickly shut down any talk of romance. Meanwhile, he praised Dr. Cuddy, then deflected, then admitted she was a “fucking knockout.”

“And formidable,” Thirteen added, helpfully.

“I’d say it’s a tie,” Amber said.

“What part of fucking knockout don’t you understand?” Thirteen said.

“What part of she completes me don’t you?”

They both laughed in a touché sort of way.

“Okay,” Thirteen said. “Round one results: A draw. But the games have just begun.”

“What do you propose?”

“You do your intel, I’ll do mine. Then we’ll reconvene and see if anyone comes away with definitive proof.”

Amber gave a quick nod. Then she said, “We should get drunk with House more often. He was actually…less mean.”

“Hey, he didn’t steal your flask,” Thirteen said.


In bed that night—that is, once the room stopped spinning—House had a vague sense that he’d messed up. Not just fraternizing with two potential employees after hours—hell, he usually committed worse HR violations before lunchtime. But that he’d revealed too much about his feelings. Particularly his feelings for a certain Dean of Medicine.

“It’s like you’re the only two people in the world,” Thirteen had said. That had flattered him somehow, excited him. He found himself thinking of Cuddy, the way she stood in the doorway of the lecture room, her eyes flashing as she scolded him. He imagined standing up, passing the fellow candidates without looking at them, focused only on her, as though they were the only two people in the world, reaching for her, kissing her, undressing her. . .

His hand went down his boxers. The irony of the fact that he had just spent the evening getting drunk with two beautiful twenty-somethings but was about to jerk off to the image of his 37-year-old boss did not escape him.

To be continued...
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14 November 2014 @ 10:14 am
So a few of you have noticed that it's been a month since I posted my last fic. I figured it was about time I explained what "my deal" was.
At this point, I've written 176 Huddy fics. I feel like I've written every fic I want to write (and then, oh, about 76 more). I'm burnt out. At some point, I'm not precisely sure when, it stopped being fun and started feeling like an obligation.
So I'm taking a break.
The break feels possibly permanent, but I can't say for sure because you can never say never. I might wake up tomorrow and feel inspired. I loved these characters, and writing about them, for a long time.
But for now at least, I'm out of the game.
I really want to thank all of you who have supported me, especially those who took the time to write reviews or send me personal notes. You are the ones who kept me motivated over the years. (And to my unbelievably patient friends who gave me pep talks and love and motivation behind the scenes, you know who you are. I love you guys.)
I still think Huddy is the most sexy, complicated, fucked up, loving, funny, brilliant, meant-for-each-other couple ever. That will never change.
14 October 2014 @ 04:29 pm
For grins, I went ahead and wrote part 2 of Baby Talk.

Cuddy was at a meeting with some potential donors when her pager went off.

She looked down.

“I’ve got to take this,” she said, apologetically, standing. Everyone in the room—all men—dutifully stood, their chairs scraping against the floor. (Cuddy was often the only woman in a room of balding, gray-suited men—this routine had played out more times than she could count.)

She gestured for them all to sit. “I leave you in the very capable hands of  Tom Garrett,” she said with a confident smile, referencing her VP of administration. Then she whispered to Tom, “I’ll be back as soon as I can” and rushed down the hall.

But when she got to Exam Room #1, the source of the page, it was just House, leaning against a metal exam table, his legs crossed, smirking at her.

“The page said it was emergency,” she said, annoyed.

“There is an emergency—in my pants,” he said.

“Not funny House. I was meeting with donors.”

“I’m sure Dick Cheney can handle it.”

She shook her head. “The pager is not a toy, House.”

“What else am I supposed to do when you’re wearing that dress?” he said, eyeing her.

She looked down, frowned a bit. “I wear this dress all the time,” she said.

“And it’s an emergency all the time. It’s just that now, for the first time, I’m in a position to actually do something about it.”

He folded his arms and gave an irresistible half-smile.

She sighed a bit.

“We are not having sex in an exam room,” she said, walking toward him.

“Sex? I was just hoping for a kiss. Is sex even on the table?” He wagged an eyebrow. “Or under the table if you prefer.”

“Absolutely not!”

But she smiled and put her arms around him, kissed him. Her tongue was lighting teasing his mouth and then she bit his lip a little and he got overly excited, and his hands began to dig under her skirt.

“Easy tiger,” she said, backing away.

“Woman, you’re killing me,” he groaned, leaning back against the table.

“I’m killing myself,” she admitted.

“Then my place? Tonight. I’ll cook dinner.”

“You’re going to cook for me?”

“Of course. I am nothing if not a full service boy toy.”

‘”Is that a promise?” she said, provocatively.

“Oh my god, yes,” he said.

“8 pm work?”

“It’s perfect.”

She began to back out of the room.

“And no more pages,” she said.

“I’ll try to contain myself.”


She got to his apartment at exactly 8 pm. She was wearing the same dress—dark red, hugging her curves in all the right places—because he seemed to like it. He was wearing freshly laundered clothing—a pink Oxford shirt and faded jeans—plus an apron. His hair was still a little wet from the shower.

“Hi,” he said, still looking slightly dazzled that she had actually shown up.

“Smells great in here,” she said, stepping in.

“Polenta casserole with black beans, queso fresco, and braised chicken,” he said.

“Wow,” she said.

He shrugged.


“Sure,” she said, amused and surprised by how attentive he was being.

He opened the wine deftly with a corkscrew, poured two glasses, then checked the casserole in the oven before sitting down beside her.

“To that dress,” he said, raising his glass.

She took a sip of her wine.

“To removing this dress,” she said with a giggle.

That was all the encouragement he needed. He dove for her, kissing her throat and cleavage, his hands kneading her ass. She wrapped her legs around him and, in moments they were both lost in a cloud of lust and desire and he carried her eagerly to the bedroom.

He unzipped and removed her dress, but then paused briefly to drink her in.

“Do you even know how fucking hot you are?” he breathed.

She was slightly out of breath at this point and her hair was wild and her lips were already a little swollen from where he had been kissing and nibbling her. Lying there, in just a strapless bra and black panties, with him looming over her, a look of pure, unadulterated want on his face, she had never felt sexier.

“Show me,” she said. And he did.

Afterwards, they both lay back, laughing at the greatness of the sex, the intensity of their orgasms.

“Something’s on fire,” Cuddy said, still in a dream-like state.

“We are,” House agreed.

Suddenly, she sat up, snapping out of her post coital daze.

“No, House. What’s on fire?”

“Oh shit! My polenta!” he said, getting up so quickly, he nearly fell over. He pulled on his boxers, found his cane and limped into the kitchen, just as the smoke alarm went off.

“Shit!” he said.

By the time she joined him, he had grabbed an oven mitt, opened the oven and, coughing at the smoke, reached in to pull out the charred casserole.

“Fuck,” he screamed, because the casserole was so hot that it hurt to touch, even through his oven mitt.

“Be careful!” she said to him.

He quickly dropped the casserole on top of the oven, then stepped back, waving his arm in front of him to clear the smoke.

Then he used his cane to whack the fire alarm several times until the battery came out, dangling from a wire, and there was finally silence.

“Motherfucker,” he said, with a sheepish grin.

“That’s a bit more well done than I usually like it,” she cracked, inspected the useless polenta.

“Well, shit,” he said, disappointed.

She laughed.

“I’ll take what we just did over polenta casserole any day,” she said, hugging him.

“You are truly the perfect woman,” he said, hugging her back.  Then he reached into the top drawer. “Pizza or Chinese?”


“To order more fries or not to order more fries,” Wilson said, musingly.

“Here, go to town,” House said, pushing his plate toward him.

Wilson gaped at him.

“You’re offering me food? Off your plate?”

House shrugged.

“I just haven’t been that hungry lately.”

“And yet, paradoxically, you’re in a very good mood,” Wilson said, squinting at him. Then it dawned on him. “Okay, what’s going on with you and Cuddy?”

House couldn’t suppress a smile.

“No big deal,” he said, looking down at his plate. “Just a couple of dates.”

“A couple of dates?”

He gave a sneaky smile.

“And some toe-curling sex.”

“You undeserving bastard.”

House grinned.

“Look at you,” Wilson said. “You’re like a love-struck school boy.”

“Believe me, what’s happening between me and Cuddy is strictly graduate level,” House boasted.

“Naturally. . . So what are you going to do to screw it up?” Wilson asked.

And House gave a “who knows?” shrug.


The next day, Cuddy received another emergency page.

She shook her head, secretly excited to find out what House had in store for her.

They’d had one more date since the polenta fiasco, at a restaurant, where they managed to keep their hands off each other long enough to get through appetizers and dinner.

“Dessert?” the waiter had asked, gamely.

“Yes please!” they answered, both laughing. “Just not here,” House added.

They were planning on seeing each other again on Friday.

The page said the emergency was in the lobby, which made her smile. What could it be? Would House do something as corny as flowers? Or would it be another attempted midday seduction?

But when she got to the lobby, it was curiously empty. No nurses, no receptionists, no patients.

She frowned.

“House?” she said.

“Surprise!” came a loud group of voices.

And much to her chagrin, half of her staff—nurses, doctors, administrators—popped up from behind various desks and partitions.

Her first reaction was shock, then a slight smile, because of all the merriment—then confusion.

“But it’s. .  .not my birthday,” she said.

“We know,” Anita, her assistant, said, with a sneaky grin.

And then another nurse rolled out a huge baby stroller, stuffed with gifts.

Cuddy’s face fell.

“Congratulations!” Anita said.

At that moment, Cuddy spotted House, who was hanging in the back of the crowd, his arms folded, surveying his handiwork.

He winked at her, triumphantly.

She stared back at him, her eyes stinging with angry tears.

His mouth dropped open a bit.

“But I’m. . .I’m not pregnant,” Cuddy stammered.

“What?” Anita said.

“Somebody has played a horrible, cruel joke,” Cuddy said, her face reddening, still staring at House. “Everybody just get back to work, please. Just leave me alone.”

And she stormed away, as her staff watched her, in shock.

House stared at her, then quickly began following her down the hall.

“Cuddy, wait!”

“Don’t follow me House,” she hissed.

“Come on, wait a second!”

She turned, her face streaked with tears.

“Did you actually think that was funny?”

“Kind of?”

“It wasn’t! It was cruel and humiliating and the meanest thing anyone has ever done to me.”

“But. . .it’s our game. You got me with the fake pregnancy thing. Now I got you. Order has been restored in the prank universe.”

She shook her head.

“I’m an idiot,” she said, almost to herself. “I’m an idiot for thinking that you could ever change. That you could ever be my boyfriend.”

“Boyfriend?” he said, raising his eyebrows hopefully.

She laughed, derisively.

“Forget it, House I can’t even look at you.”

“That’s gonna be kind of hard Cuddy. What with you being my boss and everything.”

“Right now, I wish I weren’t!”

She started to walk away again, but he followed her, taking long, painful strides to catch up.

“I thought you would be impressed!” he said, still completely dismayed over this turn of events. “Do you know how much work I had to put it into this?”

(In fact, he’d had to plant a series of judicious rumors to just the right people at just the right time to assure that not only would the entire hospital think she was pregnant, they would also think it was her deepest heart’s desire to have a secret, early baby shower.)

“Impressed?” she said, horrified. “I’m disgusted by you.”

He swallowed.

“Then get me back,” he said. “Something big. Something really awful. Tell everyone I have genital warts. Tell them that I shit the bed, that I masturbate in the MRI machine, that I club seals with my cane— use your imagination.”

“I’ve never been treated this way in my life—ever,” she said, her voice shaking. “I’m never going to forgive you for this, House.”

House suddenly felt like he was going to cry.

“Shit, Cuddy, I’m sorry.”

“Apology not accepted.”

This time when she walked away, he let her go.


House was several hours late for work the next day. He came stumbling into the differential at about noon, wearing sunglasses and the same clothing from yesterday, now decidedly more rumpled.

“Jesus House,” Foreman said, disapprovingly. “Even by your own low standards, you look like shit.”

“Thank you for your input, Anna Wintour.”

They all sort of recoiled when he spoke.

“And you smell like a distillery!” Taub said.

Foreman peered at him.

“Are you still drunk?”

“Pro tip: If you never go to bed and keep drinking all through the night, the hair of the dog is unnecessary. Much more efficient this way,” House said.

“You need to go home and sleep it off,” Foreman said.

“I’m fine,” House said. “Even drunk and operating on no sleep, I’m still sharper than any of you.

“He does have a point,” Kutner said.

Everyone shot him a look.

“Take off your sunglasses,” Foreman demanded.

“Take off that smug look on your face. Oh wait, you can’t.”

“House. . .”

House rolled his eyes a bit, removed his glasses. He had a rather gnarly looking black eye—swollen red and purple.

“Oh my god,” Thirteen said, popping up to tend to him.

House jerked away from her touch.

“You need to have that looked at,” Foreman said.

“I’m fine,” House said.

“Oh yeah, tip top.”

“Can we just continue with this differential!” House bellowed. Then, as though his own voice had given him a headache, he added, “Ouch.”

“We think it’s sarcoidosis that spread to his heart,” Taub said.

“That would be an excellent diagnosis if our patient was Japanese.”

“The scan says otherwise,” Taub said, shoving the file toward him.

House looked at the image, then shook his head and squinted.

“Why does our patient have two hearts?” he said.

“That’s it, you’re going home!” Foreman said.

“Make me,” House said.

“I will,” Foreman said, popping up.

“He’s running to Cuddy,” House said. Then, yelling after him. “She’s not the boss of me—well, except in the literal sense.”


Cuddy, trailed by Foreman, found House with his team in the imaging room.

“We need a minute, guys,” Cuddy said.

“Tattletale,” House said to Foreman.

“Degenerate,” Foreman sniffed back.

The team shuffled out.

“You’re drunk,” Cuddy said.

“Not drunk,” House countered. “Just not. . .sober.”

“I could have you fired.”

“So Vicodin’s okay, but booze isn’t? The rules are so confusing around this hospital.”

“House, go home. Dry out and come back tomorrow.”

“But, as the song goes, ‘Will you still hate me, tomorrow’?”

“That’s not the song,” Cuddy said. “And yes, I will.”

His shoulders slumped.

“Cuddy, I’m sorry. I screwed up, big time. I see that now.”

“Yeah, you did.”

“So let me make it up to you.”

“No, House. We’re done. Accept that and move on.”


“Well, it's not your choice.”

Finally, she realized how strange it was that he was wearing sunglasses in the imaging room, even in his addled state.

“Take off your glasses,” she said.

He looked at her and then, rather defiantly, took them off.

“You’re a mess,” she said, looking at his bruise with far less compassion than Thirteen had shown. “Did you have that checked out?”

“It’s fine. Distracts me from the pain in my leg.”

“I assume some guy decked you in a bar?’

“You assume correctly.”

“And I assume you had it coming?”

“You again, assume correctly.”

“Go home, House. I don’t want to see you until tomorrow.”

“You don’t want to see me at all,” he muttered.


Later that day, Wilson found Cuddy in the cafeteria.

“What’s this I hear about the world’s most awkward baby shower?”

“Most humiliating moment of my life. And you’ll never guess who was behind it,” Cuddy said, taking an angry bite of her sandwich.


“Who else?”


“Revenge for me lying about being pregnant. He told me he was going to seek revenge. I just thought…well, never mind what I thought, I’m an idiot.”

“I jokingly asked House how he was going to screw things up with you. I never expected it to be so quick and catastrophic.”

“He thought it was just a game. He thinks everything will be fine once I prank him back. Except for the part where he took the greatest disappointment of my life and mocked it in front of my friends and colleagues for sport. Kind of hard to get over that.”

“What a moron,” Wilson said. “So I assume you won’t be pranking him back?”

“I won’t be dealing with him—at all.”

Wilson shook his head.

“I’m actually stunned. I saw House the other day. He was on Cloud Nine. I’ve literally never seen him so happy.”

Cuddy shrugged.

“I was happy, too. Until I remembered what an irredeemable ass House is.”

“So where is loverboy now?” Wilson asked, biting on a carrot stick.

“I sent him home. He came in drunk today with a shiner the size of Texas on his eye.”

Wilson sighed.

“Of course,” he said grimly.

Cuddy looked up from her sandwich.

“Of course?”

“That’s how House deals with guilt. He punishes himself through physical pain. I’m sure he picked a fight with the biggest guy at the bar, hoping to get clobbered.”

“That’s sick,” Cuddy said.

“House is sick, in case you had forgotten. But he’s also sorry for what he did. Of that much I’m certain. Let’s just hope he’s done punishing himself or it could really get out of hand.”

Cuddy took another angry bite, eyed him, but said nothing.


Late that night, she banged on House’s door.

He answered, not wearing sunglasses—if anything, the black eye looked more swollen than earlier. He still hadn’t changed his clothes and there was a half-drained bottle of scotch on the coffee table.

“You need to put an ice pack on that eye,” she said, matter of factly, stepping inside.

She marched to his refrigerator. There was no ice pack, but there was a bag of frozen peas. She threw it at him, roughly. He caught it, surprised, and obediently put it on his eye.

“Is that why you’re here?” he said. “To tend to my wounds?”

“No, I’m here to tell you I forgive you,” Cuddy said.

“You…forgive me?” He was shocked.

“Wilson said you got into a fight to punish yourself for what you did to me. Is that true?”

He looked down, toed the rug with the tip of his Nikes.

“Maybe…I guess.”

 “Well, I don’t want you getting seriously hurt on my behalf. So yes, I forgive you.”

“But you don’t actually forgive me…not really.”

“I don’t want you more hurt. Isn’t that enough?”

He swallowed.

“I guess it has to be.” He gave her a pathetic look. “Cuddy, I really am sorry.”

“I know you are.”

“If I could take it all back, I would. In a heartbeat.”

“I know you would.” Then, allowing the slightest bit of vulnerability to creep into her voice, she said: “But why’d you do it, House? I mean, really. Things were going so well between us.”

“I know they were… And I don’t know why I did it. I guess I just thought it was a game. . . and I took the game too far.”

“Right,” she said, disappointed. “A game. Of course.” She started to leave, but he stopped her, grabbing her arm.

“That’s not it,” he said. “I did it because . . .”

“Because what?” she said, impatiently.

“Because I’m skilled at self-sabotage,” he admitted.

She turned back to him. Her face softened, just the tiniest bit.


“Meaning, when things are going well in my life I expect them to fall apart so I…facilitate the process.”

“That is an incredibly stupid way to go through life,” Cuddy said.

“I know,” House said. “It’s probably why I’m so happy and fulfilled.”

She shook her head.

“I actually feel sorry for you, House.”

“I feel sorry for me, too,” he said. “I managed to screw up the best thing that’s ever happened to me—and in record time!”

“I’m the best thing that’s ever happened to you? Let’s not get carried away.”

“It felt that way. Or, at least, it felt like it could turn out to be.”

She blinked.

“What am I going to do with you, House?”

“Give me a second chance?” he said.

She gave a grim laugh.

“I’m just the kind of idiot who probably will give you a second chance,” she said.

“Then you’re my favorite kind of idiot,” he said, with a relieved and uncertain smile.

“We’ll sort this out tomorrow,” she said. “In the meantime, when was the last time you slept?’

“When did I make you cry? Not since then.”

She gave him a somewhat tender look.

“Alright, I’m putting you to bed,” she said. She strode into the bedroom, indicating he should join her. He followed.

She went into his dresser, found a pair of striped pajamas, which she handed him. “Put these on,” she said, all business. He did, slowly, eyeing her warily.

“Get under the covers,” she said, pulling back the sheets.

He did.

“Now you too,” he said, patting the bed beside him.

“I’m being nice so you think I’m going to sleep with you? Not everything is about sex, House,” she said, firmly.

“Not sex, just sleep. I just want to hold you.”

“Suure,” she chuckled.

 “Hey, even if I wanted to, I’m way too exhausted and wasted to, um, perform.”

She looked at the clock on his nightstand. 11 pm. Then she looked at House, who was propped up on an elbow, staring at her hopefully.

She sighed.

“Alright,” she said. She took off her jeans and sweater—she had a ribbed white tank top on underneath—found a pair of House’s boxers and put them on. Then she climbed into bed next to him.

“You’re an angel,” he said, holding her.

“Go to bed, House.”

He snuggled closer.

“I’ll never hurt you again.”

“Of course you will.”

“Not on purpose.”

“I’m going to hold you to that.”

She gave him a light, brushing kiss on the lips, then laughed. “I thought you said you were too wasted to perform,” she said, looking down at his pajama bottoms. She could feel him, hard, against her leg.

“Apparently, I’m physically incapable of not getting an erection when I’m in bed with you. You have no one to blame but yourself.”

“We’re still just sleeping,” she said, with a slightly skeptical smile.

“I know,” he said, kissing her neck.

“I mean it,” she said.

“I know,” he said, kissing her cleavage.

“There will be no sex of any sort,” she said, with a tiny giggle, reaching under his pajama top and letting her hands glide across his stomach to the waistband of his pajamas.

“No none,” he said, lifting her tank top and putting her breast in his mouth.

“Oh god,” she said, leaning back and moaning a bit. “Okay, maybe there will be sex.”

Eager to please her, House shimmied down the bed, put  his face between her legs.

“Oh goddddd,” she repeated, arching her back, as he began to lap away.

It felt so good, she almost lost herself. But then, rather suddenly, something occurred to her.

“House?” she said.

 He looked up from under the covers—wild-eyed—afraid she was going to tell him to stop.

“I’m not saying I had anything to do with it, but you, um, might want to check your office tomorrow for tripwires.”

He grinned, happily, and buried his face back between her legs.


06 October 2014 @ 10:57 pm
This fic comes from a prompt from my pal Anne (aka MystryGAB): What if House really did switch out Cuddy’s birth control pills and she got pregnant?

This fic is also a birthday gift for Z, my muse, my sister from another mister, my nagger, my personal navigation system, my free-boobin’ spirit guide, my partner in Vine, and, basically, half the reason why I still churn out these fics. So if you see her around these internets, wish her a happy birthday, dammit!

“House, I need to talk to you,” Cuddy said, barging in on the differential.

“So talk,” House replied.


“Ruh ro,” House said, Scooby-Doo-style. He turned to his team. “Go get me some Scooby Snacks.”

“I literally have no idea what that means,” Thirteen said.

“It means he wants us to get a patient history, a CAT scan, and a full blood workup,” Foreman explained.

“Duh,” House said.

“Wow,” Thirteen said to Foreman. “You have worked for him for a while.”

With him,” Foreman corrected—as House snorted loudly.

The team shuffled out.

“What can I do you for?” House said, crossing his legs and putting his feet up on a spare chair.

“I’m pregnant,” Cuddy said.

House jerked up so quickly, his legs got tangled together and he nearly knocked over the chair.


 “And it’s your fault,” she continued.

Collecting himself,  he said, “I know you haven’t practiced medicine in a long time, Cuddy, so maybe you forget how these things work: I can’t be the baby’s father from the sex we had 25 years ago.”

She rolled her eyes a bit.

“It’s your fault because you switched my birth control pills for placebos, remember?”

His face went white.

“Oh….shit,” he said.

“Yeah, shit.”

“Jesus Cuddy, you really can’t keep it in your pants, can you?”

“That is none of your business!”

“How was I supposed to know you were going to act like some sort of cat in heat the minute I switched out your birth control meds?”

“I met a guy. He was hot. One thing led to another. I thought I was on the pill.”

House eyed her. Then something occurred to him.

“But this is a good thing, right?” he said. “You wanted to get pregnant. You were doing in vitro. This is the more natural way. Girl meets boy at a bar—”

“Art opening,” she corrected.

“Art opening,” he said, studying her. “She has a few chardonnays”

“Pinot grigios, but close enough.”

“Takes handsome gentleman home.”

“His place.”

He furrowed his brow.

“Never go back to his place, that’s dangerous,” he scolded.

“We met at an art opening, not a dark alley.”

He gave a half shrug.

“Goes back with handsome gentleman to his place,” he continued. “Has a few more drinks. Does the horizontal mamba. Gets knocked up with the miracle baby she was formerly hiring sperm banks and taking expensive injections for. It’s a story as old as time itself.”

“Except you’re forgetting one thing,” Cuddy said.

“What’s that?”

“I obviously didn’t want to get pregnant anymore. That’s why I was on the pill.”

“Why not?”

“Because I decided that I don’t want to go it alone. I want to raise my baby with a life partner.”

“And gallery boy?”

“27 years old, in a band, and definitely not daddy—or life partner—material.”

“Cuddy, I’m shocked!”

She made a face.

“Don’t be,” she said.

“What band?” he said.

“What does that have to with anything?” she said.

“Just curious.”

“You want to Google him!” she said.

He shrugged. “Just want to know your type. . .pretentious hipster in nerd glasses? Or muscly hair band type?”

“Forget it House.”

“Or is he in, like, a barbershop quartet? Give me a clue: was he wearing a red-striped jacket?”

“Forget it.”

“So….” he said

“So what?”

“You’ve got a problem,” he said.

We’ve got a problem,” she replied.

“There’s only so much I can do to help you here,” he said. “I can’t bear the child for you.” Then he lowered his voice, although they were alone in the room. “Are you considering. . .?”

“An abortion?” she said, pointedly.

“Well, yeah.”

“Yes, that’s one of the options I’m considering, obviously.”

“Oh,” he said.

“Is that all you have to say for yourself?”

“I guess we both learned a valuable lesson here,” he said.

Both of us?”

“Yeah, don’t mess with somebody else’s meds.”

“I gave you a mild case of the runs. I’m with child! There’s a slight difference here!”

“Sucks to be you,” he said.

She shook her head in disgust and stormed out.

The man was positively useless.


That night, however, at around 11 pm, her phone rang.

“Hey,” he said.

She sat up in bed.

“Is there a crisis at the hospital?” she said.

“No, I’m home,” he said. “I’m just. . .how are you?”

“I’m…fine,” she said, puzzled.

“Good,” he said.

There was a long silence.

“House. . .why are you calling me?”

“I’ve, uh, been thinking a lot about what you told me today.”


“And I wanted to say… I actually feel surprisingly shitty about the whole thing.”

“That is heartening news,” she cracked.

“And if you do decide to, um, terminate and you don’t want to do it at the hospital for privacy reasons, I’d be happy to go with you and, of course, pay for it, too.”

She smiled a bit.

“That’s very sweet of you,” she said.

“It’s the least I can do. Literally.”

“Well, I’m only five weeks pregnant, so I still have some time to mull it over.”

“Mull away. Even though I didn’t make you slut it up with some random poseur at an art gallery,  I’ll do my part to help.”

“That’s a beautiful sentiment, House.”

“Goodnight Cuddy.”


A few days later, he was in her office, with a banana and a bran muffin.

“I noticed you skipped breakfast,” he said, handing them to her. “Unacceptable when you’re eating for two.”

“How did you even know that I skipped breakfast? You never arrive at the hospital before 11.”

“My sources are everywhere. Now eat.”

She laughed a bit, took a bite of the bran muffin.

“Happy?” she said.


Then he reached into his pocket. “I also got you these prenatal vitamins,” he said.

“House, I don’t even know if I’m keeping the baby,” she said.

“Well, just in case you are. . .” He pulled out another bottle and then another. “I got you a nine-month supply.”


A week later, he was back in her office, shuffling his feet.

“Have you given it any more thought?” he asked, cautiously.

“Any more thought? It’s all I think about.”

“So what are you going to do?”

She looked at him.

“What do you think I should do?”

“You’re asking me what I would do?”


“How the hell do I know? I’m not exactly the Father Knows Best type.”

“But you’re my friend and I value your advice. So what do you think I should do?”

“I think you should . . .do exactly what you want to do.”

“That’s very helpful, House.”

“I’m serious. It always works for me.”

She sighed.

“I want a baby. But I’m not sure I want it like this.”

“You’re not going to love the baby any less because you had it with some guy with ironic facial hair. . .” Then he paused, and added casually, “By the way, what gallery was it?”

“Nice try, House. I’m not going to tell you the gallery so you can look up the guest list and Google everyone until you figure out who I slept with.”

“Just making small talk…” he said. “Anyway, like I said, you’ll love the little drooler no matter what.”

“I want a baby. But I have so many responsibilities here at the hospital. If I had a partner, someone to share the child-rearing duties with, that would be different. And what if it’s a boy? A baby boy needs a father.”

“What year is this? 1955?”

“Okay, not a father. At least a positive male role model.”

“The kid’ll have plenty of positive male role models!”

“Oh yeah? Like who?”

He hesitated.


Cuddy nodded fondly.

“Wilson is wonderful but let’s face it,  I’m more man than he is.”

House laughed.

“Good point,” he said. Then he glanced at her. “Well, there’s always…me.”

She snorted.

“In order to be a positive role model to a child you have to actually spend time with said child.”

He shrugged.

“I could do that. I am partially responsible for it, as you are so eager to point out.”

She squinted at him.

“What are you saying? You’ll come over? Play ball with the kid? Bounce him on your knee?”

“Neither of those are my exact specialties,” he said, eyeing his leg.

“Oh God…sorry.”

He shrugged in a “don’t worry about it” sort of way.

“But yeah,” he said. “I could hang out with the little pooper. Teach him—”

“Or her—”

“Or her to appreciate the finer things in life: Call of Duty 3. Monster trucks. Eddie Van Halen’s two-handed arpeggio technique.”

“Valuable stuff,” she said.

“The most.”

She smiled at him.

“I appreciate the gesture House, but I think you ought to give it a little more thought. Babies are lifetime commitments. You can’t just drop in and out of a child’s life willy-nilly.”

“I have no intention of doing that,” he said.

“Just…think it over,” she said.

“Okay,” he said. “I will.”

 He nodded at her and went back to his office.


“What’s up with House?” Wilson said to Cuddy, over lunch. “He’s been . . .distracted lately.”

She gave a sneaky smile, but didn’t reply.

He squinted at her.

“What’s that smile about?”

Looking down at her plate, she said, “House thinks I’m pregnant and he thinks he’s responsible.”


“No, nothing like that. Remember his little birth control switcheroo? I told him that I got pregnant to teach him a lesson. And he believed me.”

“But you’re not.”

“No I am not. I am most definitely NOT with child.”

“Wow,” Wilson said, with admiration. “Well played.”

“He deserved it! Or  at least, I thought he did. I’ve got to tell you, Wilson, his reaction has been completely unexpected.”

“Total indifference?” Wilson guessed. “Blaming you? Laughing in your face?”

“No! That would’ve been expected! He’s actually been . . . caring. Doting even. He offered to pay for my abortion. And he told me that if I had the baby, he would serve as a father figure in my child’s life!”

“Shut up!”

“I swear, he did. It was sweet.”

“Gregory House doesn’t do sweet.”

“A week ago, I would’ve agreed with you. But this week has been truly eye-opening.”

Wilson shook his head.

“Amazing. So how much longer are you going to keep up this diabolical charade?”

“I need to tell him soon. I’m starting to feel guilty, which is not what I had in mind.”

“Please don’t tell him right away, though,” Wilson said, chuckling. “Keep the poor bastard dangling a little longer.”


 A few days later, House unexpectedly showed up at Cuddy’s door.

“What are you doing here?”

“You asked me to think it over and I’ve thought it over,” he said, stepping inside without being invited. “I think you should have the kid.  And I’m willing to give you whatever support you need, financially, emotionally, or otherwise. I think that—”

“House stop,” she said.

“I’m serious Cuddy. I know you think I’m a fuck up—and with good reason. But this is a chance to prove to you that—”

“House, I’m not pregnant.”

He stopped, looked at her, stunned.

“You lost the baby?” he said. His voice was so filled with concern, she briefly considered lying to him.

“No,” she said. “Nothing like that.”

“You terminated?”

She looked down.


“Then I’m lost.”

“House, I never was pregnant. I was just messing with you. Teaching you a lesson for switching my meds.”

For a moment, his face turned several shades of red. Then he took a step back.

“I knew that,” he said, with exaggerated flippancy.

“House. . .” She went to touch his hand, but he recoiled.
“Of course I knew! What? You think I actually wanted to play house with you? Be a daddy to your bastard kid? I was messing with you.”

“I’m sorry,” she said. “I regret tricking you like this. It was a prank that went too far.”

He swallowed hard, glared at her.

“Don’t flatter yourself into thinking I actually cared about this—or you,” he said, and he turned and limped quickly away.


“Oh God, it’s a disaster,” Cuddy, putting her head in her hands.

“What? You and House?” Wilson said, looking up from his paperwork. “I noticed he’s gone from slightly distracted to totally insufferable these last few days.”

“I told him the baby was fake and he stormed out and now he’s not talking to me.”

“Oh, great.”

“Of course, he pretended that he knew I was scamming him all along but…”

“You don’t believe him.”

“No, he really thought I was pregnant. He was all in.”

“So what are you going to do?”

“I don’t know. Any sage advice?”

“I think you both need to acknowledge what’s really going here,” Wilson said.

She eyed him.

“And what’s that?”

“Another chapter of the neverending book I like to call, House and Cuddy Deny Their Feelings For Each Other.”

“Very funny Wilson.”

“Who’s joking?”

“House doesn’t have feelings for me. Well, feelings of lust, maybe.”

“Oh yeah, him practically wanting to co-parent a child he wasn’t even responsible for is all about lust.”

She shrugged.

“So he felt guilty.”

“Let me ask you something. Have you ever known him to apologize for anything? Ever?”

“Technically, he didn’t apologize for this. He just kind of ….whipped into action.”

“He accepted responsibility for his behavior. Does that sound like House?”

She looked down at her hands.

“I guess not. Not really.”

“No, he did it because some small part of him secretly wants to play house with you. He would never admit it, but he was really hurt when you didn’t ask him to donate sperm back when you were doing in vitro.”

“I was going to ask him,” Cuddy admitted. “I wussed out.”

“And there you go.”

“You want to know why I wussed out? Because despite my attraction to House—”

“She admits it!” Wilson exclaimed. “Next up, pigs shall sprout wings!”

Cuddy shot him a look. “Shut up Wilson.  . . Because despite my attraction to House, I never saw him as parent material, or even boyfriend material. But this week was a game changer.”

Wilson’s face grew serious.

“Then tell him that. Tell him how you really feel. Tell him that you like him. Tell him that you want to be his girlfriend. In short, tell him the truth.”

She wrinkled her nose.

“And when he laughs in my face?”

“At least you’ll have it out in the open once and for all.”


That night, she showed up at House’s apartment with a bottle of expensive scotch.

She steeled herself, then banged on the door.

“I’m busy,” he said. “Go away.”

“Please,” she said. “We need to talk. I brought a bottle of Windsor. Single malt.”

There was a pause—and then he opened the door. He was barefoot, dressed in a plain white tee-shirt and jeans.

“I’ll take the bottle,” he said, grabbing it. “You can go.”

“C’mon don’t be like that,” she said.

“Like what?” he snarled.

“But I can finally drink now that I’m not pregnant!” she cracked, an attempt at humor.

He didn’t laugh.

“Sorry,” she said. “Bad joke.” She peered inside. “So can I come in or what?”

“Is ‘or what’ an actual option?”


He sighed.

“Then come in.”

She stepped inside, walked over to his bar, poured two generous glasses. Then she handed him one.

“I feel like a jerk,” she said. “I came here to throw myself on your mercy.”

“Not necessary. You played me, I played you. It’s what we do.”

“It was different this time and we both know it.”

“We do, huh?”


He took a somewhat angry swig of his scotch and clenched his jaw.

“That was actually a pretty shitty thing to do, Cuddy,” he said.

So he finally admitted it.

“I know,” she said, her voice softening. “I thought it was just a continuation of our game. But I clearly took it too far. Can you ever forgive me?”

“Not until I get my revenge,” he said.

She chuckled grimly.

“I am so fucked, aren’t I?”

He smiled at her, despite himself.

“You’re toast.”

She laughed, then sat down on the couch and pat the cushion for him to sit next to her. Much to her relief, he did.

She took a deep breath.

“House, I sometimes wonder why I like you so much…” she said.

House grabbed the bottle of Windsor, held it up to the light.

“Exactly how much of this stuff did you have to drink before you got here?” he cracked.

“I’m serious,” she continued. She was emboldened by her scotch, and by everything Wilson had said to her that afternoon. “I used to think that maybe I liked you because I just have horrible taste in men. Or because I’m a glutton for punishment. Or because I’m one of those women who only falls for guys who are unattainable.”

“Which is it?” he said, with mock anticipation. “I’m dying to know.”

“The reason I like is you, House, is because you’re actually pretty. . .incredible.”

He looked down.

“I take responsibility for my mistakes,” he said. “That doesn’t exactly qualify me for a Nobel Peace Prize.” He was trying to act cool, but she could tell he was pleased with her compliment.

“You were everything I could’ve asked for this week. Supportive, caring, present.” She took his hand. “You were actually kind of…perfect.”

He didn’t reply, but let her hold his hand. They sat that way for a while on the couch.

“House, there’s else something I need to tell you,” she said.

“Let me guess. It’s a double bluff and you really are pregnant?”

She laughed.

“No. It’s about when I was doing IVF treatment. Remember that time I came up to your office, thanked you for doing the injections?”

He eyed her.

“I do.”

“I was going to ask you to donate sperm that night. I . . .chickened out.”

“I knew it,” he said, almost to himself.

“What would you have said?”

He locked eyes with her.

“I would have said yes.”

“Wow,” Cuddy said. For a moment, they both sat there in silence, contemplating what might’ve been. “So where do we go from here?”

“I don’t know,” he said. “What about gallery boy?”

She rolled her eyes.

“There is no gallery boy! A total figment of my imagination. You could’ve Googled him all day and come up empty.”

“I actually did Google him all day,” he admitted, with a sheepish smile. “I studied the guest lists of every gallery opening within a 50 mile radius. I had narrowed it down to a wedding singer from Atlantic City and a DJ from Trenton. Neither seemed your type.”

“You’re right,” she said, smiling at him. “They wouldn’t be my type.”

“No?” He cocked an eyebrow, liking where this was going.

“You see, I have a very specific type.”

“I’m all ears.”

“Tall. Brilliant. Unshaven. Walks with a limp.” She bit her lip.

And with that, simultaneously, they lunged for each other.

There was something eager, feverish, about their kissing—like children impatiently unwrapping Christmas gifts. House’s hands roamed her body possessively, reaching under blouse, groping for bare skin. She moaned a bit when his hand found her breast. His beard was rough against her face, his breath hot, his tongue soft but firm as it swirled in her mouth. Cuddy couldn’t remember the last time she had been this turned on.

“Bedroom?’ she managed to gasp, as House’s mouth went between her breasts and his hands rode up her skirt to her ass.

“God yes,” he said.

“And before you ask,” she giggled. “I’m on the pill.”


30 September 2014 @ 08:13 am
Special thanks to Z for helping with a few key plot points of this chapter. Also, I pride myself on the mimesis of my stories and I admit that this one doesn’t quite pass the smell test. Hopefully you can just suspend your disbelief (please?) and go with it. - atd

The Monday after House was a no-show at Little Bird, he spotted Cuddy getting into the hospital elevator.

He grinned, began limping quickly in her direction. She saw him—at least he was pretty sure she had—but let the elevator door to close on his face.

Weird, he thought.

Later that day, she came to the DDx room to deliver some bad news to the team.

“I wasn’t able to get your patient on the transplant list,” she said.

“But you said you were going to call in some favors,” Taub said. “Pull some strings.”

“I tried,” Cuddy said, somewhat tersely. “I failed. It happens.”

“Our patient’s going to die without that kidney,” Thirteen said.

“Can’t you pull any more strings?” Kutner said. “Make some more phone calls?”

“What part of she tried didn’t you understand?” House sniped. “Lay off.”

The whole team shot him a curious look.

He expected Cuddy to smile at him with gratitude. Instead, she gave a curt nod and left.

He frowned.

“I’ll be right back,” he said, following her into the hall.

She’d already begun walking away, briskly.

“Hey!” he called after her.

“I’m sorry, House,” she said. “Your patients don’t always get top priority, shocking as that may be to you. You’re just going to have to find another way.”

“No, it’s not that. It’s . . .”—he swallowed—“are you okay?”

She gave a slightly derisive snort and kept walking. House looked at her, helplessly, then looked at his team, who were all staring at him. He scratched his chin, went back to the differential.

“What did she say?” Kutner asked.

“About what?” he said distractedly, still staring into the hallway.

Our patient?”

“Oh, yeah. She couldn’t get him on the list.”

“Thank you, Captain Obvious,” Taub said.

House folded his arms.

“Go tell our patient he better find some long-lost family member who’s a kidney match or he’ll be dead in 48 hours,” he said wearily.

“We’ll, uh, find a nicer way to say it than that,” Thirteen said, standing up. The team followed her out.

“What’s up with House and Cuddy?” Kutner asked, once they were in the hall.

“I don’t know,” Taub said. “But if Cuddy has been the source of the good mood he’s been for the last few days, something tells she’s about to be the source of a really bad one.”

After they were gone, House made his way to Cuddy’s office.

She was already back at her desk, doing some sort of paperwork.

He cleared his throat.

“I’m busy,” she said.

“Hey,” he said, hurt.

“What?” she replied, annoyed.

“Did I do something wrong?”

Another derisive snort.

“The fact that you have to ask that shows you’re not even close to being ready to be in a relationship.”

“Cuddy, I’m completely lost here. What did I do?”

She finally looked up.

“I waited at Little Bird for over an hour! It was humiliating.”

“What?” His mouth dropped open.

“Don’t tell me you forgot about our date Friday night.”

“I didn’t forget. You cancelled on me!”

“That’s a new one.”

“Are you saying you didn’t cancel on me?”

“Yes House. That’s exactly what I’m saying. And you know it!”

“You texted me that night. Your exact words were: ‘Sorry. Need to reschedule. Will explain later.’”

“Your ability to lie to me with a straight face is astonishing.”

He cocked his head, studying her.

“Are you messing with me?”

“No, but you’re obviously messing with me.”

He pulled out his phone, began scrolling through his messages.

“Cuddy, you texted me Friday night. I have the texts to…” he stopped, as a look of confusion washed over his face.

She raised an eyebrow.

“You were saying.”

“They were on my phone on Friday!” he said, frantically, scrolling some more, feeling his neck get hot.

“And what happened to them? Did the cellphone gremlins erase them?”

“No. . .I. . .this makes no sense!”

“You can stop lying now House. You’ve been caught.”

He stopped looking at his phone. The texts were clearly not there.

“I guess it’s possible I fell asleep and dreamt those texts,” he said, totally puzzled. “Cuddy, I would never ever intentionally stand you up.”

“And yet you did.”

“I’m sorry. Do you honestly think after that night we spent together I wouldn’t want, well, another night together?”

“Sex yes. Date no. You made that rather clear on Monday night.”

He swallowed.

“I’m not playing here. I want us to work. For real. And if that means dinners at trendy restaurants with names so precious they trigger my gag reflex, then that’s what we’ll have—as many as you want. I will eat at the Puny Pig, the Tiny Tortoise, the Miniature Manatee, you name it.”

Cuddy looked at him. He was clearly being genuine.

“Okay,” she said, with a sigh. “We’ll chalk this up to a misunderstanding. A really bizarre misunderstanding, but one all the same.”

“Thank you,” he said, relieved. “So we can try again? Say…tomorrow night?”

“Yes,” she said. “But NOT at Little Bird. It’s jinxed.”

“I’ll see if the Miniature Manatee is accepting reservations,” he said, with a smile.

“How bout Sullivan’s?” she said.

“Oh come on. Even I can do better than that. Giovanni’s?”

“I went there with Lucas.”

“I know. I want to prove to you what a better date I am.”

She gave him a slightly flirty look.

“Oh, I’m already well aware of that.”

“Nice,” he said. “Giovanni’s it is. 8 pm. Don’t be late. Lord knows I won’t. In fact, just to be on the safe side, I’m leaving right now.”

She chuckled.

“Come here,” she said, softening.

He ambled over hopefully.

“I’m sorry I was mean to you,” she said, standing and putting her hands on his waist.

“I deserved it.  . . .Well, kind of.”

“How can I make it up to you?” she said, giving him a brushing kiss on the lips.

“That was a good start,” he said.

“Better?” she said, putting her tongue in his mouth.

“Much,” he said, grabbing her and kissing her harder, lifting her a bit off the floor. Things started to get a little hot.

“Ahem,” a male voice said.

They stopped kissing—House put Cuddy down; she landed with a tiny thud on the ground—and turned guiltily in the direction of the voice.

House’s whole team was standing there, their arms folded, grinning at him.

“Uh, sorry to interrupt,” Kutner said. “But we think we may have figured out a way to save our patient.”

“I highly doubt that,” House said.

“We just didn’t know how…busy you were,” Taub said with a smirk.

“Well, looks like I am!” House said. “See ya!”

“Nice try,” Cuddy said, patting House on the shoulder. “Get back to work!”

He rolled his eyes in dismay. “You guys had to pick this one time to come up with a good idea?” he groaned, reluctantly following his team out of her office.

“I had no idea you and Cuddy were so…close,” Taub said to him, once they were in the hall.

House gave a half-shrug—not quite denying it, not quite agreeing.

 “Lucky bastard,” Thirteen and Kutner said, in unison.


The next day, around lunch time, Cuddy passed four of her male doctors sitting at a table with one of the regular drug reps, named John.

“Hey, Dr. Cuddy,” John said, as she passed. “Can I talk to you?”

A tiny titter went through the group.

She stopped.

“What’s up?”

He stood, shoved his hands in his pockets.

“I was, uh, wondering if you’d like to go out with me?” he said.

She smiled.

“I don’t date people I work with,” she said, starting to walk away.

“That’s not what I hear,” John said.

She stopped.

“I’m sorry?”

“Or we could skip the date and go right to my place,” John said knowingly, as the table tittered some more. “I understand you prefer it that way.”

She felt her face get red.

“I beg your pardon?”

“Nothing…just from what I hear you’re a great first date,” he said, winking. “Very giving.”

“Who told you that?”

“Word gets around. Clearly Dr. House isn’t the only one who should benefit from your…talents.”

“How dare you talk to me that way! I could have you fired!”

“I don’t work for you,” he reminded her.

“I know your boss,” she said.

He smiled, like it was all a big joke.

“Look, don’t get all bent out of shape, Dr. Cuddy. You can’t blame a guy for asking.”

She turned to the other men at the table—all of whom did work for her. They were cringing a bit.

“Do you know anything about this disgusting rumor?” she said.

They all looked down at the table.

“Barry?”—Dr. Barry Kornacki, a neurologist she was pretty friendly with.

“John’s just being an ass,” he said. “As usual.”

“And the rumor?”

“Men talk,” he said. “Don’t blame House. So he boasted. Who wouldn’t?”

Cuddy felt physically ill. House had bragged about her as some sort of sexual conquest? Going into details about her “talents”? She was, frankly, shocked and disgusted. This didn’t jibe at all with the House she thought she knew—who had a streak of chivalry that was downright old-fashioned.

“Let’s focus more on work and less on my private life, shall we?” she said, gathering herself. “I’m contacting HR and having them set up a special sexual harassment training session for the four of you.”

“We attended that already!” one of the doctors moaned.

“You obviously weren’t paying attention,” she said.  Then she turned to John: “As for you, I will be requesting a new rep from the drug company. And telling your boss why. Good day.”

She walked away, trying not to appear rattled. But this was exactly the sort of treatment from her male employees she had always dreaded. When she got to her office, she closed the door, went into her private bathroom, and cried.


The more she thought about it, the more she was convinced it was some sort of misunderstanding. If House had told Wilson some of the details of their night, that was forgivable. She had told one of her friends from yoga (“I just had one of the greatest sexual experiences of my life and if I don’t talk about it I might actually burst”), he was entitled to talk to a friend, too. And maybe Wilson had told a friend who had told a friend and the rumor had gotten distorted, turned salacious, ugly. She decided the best thing to do was to ask House directly.

She was heading to his office when a woman—completely out of place in the hospital, highly made up, teetering on high heels—approached her.

“Dr. Cuddy right?” the woman said.

Cuddy gaped at her.

“Brandy?” she said.

“You remembered!” Brandy said.

“You’re kind of…hard to forget.”

“I’m looking for Greg. Can you direct me to his office?”

Cuddy was shocked.

“You know you can’t. . .”

“Oh, it’s not what you think. I’m giving him a leg massage,” Brandy said cheerfully.

“A leg massage?”

“Yeah, he says he likes my hands.” She giggled. “So…his office?”

“Second floor,” she said, still stunned. “Make a left off the elevator.”

“Ta-ta!” Brandy said, teetering away.

Cuddy shook her head in disgust and stormed back to her office.


“Do you think you want to call your dinner date and see what’s keeping her?” the waiter said.

“Na, she’ll be here. She’s just making me sweat,” House said. “She thinks I deserve it.”

He glanced at his watch. 8:30.

“Another scotch?” the waiter said.

House hesitated. “Why the hell not?” he said, with a shrug.

He drank the second scotch, ate a whole basket of bread sticks, and read and memorized every item on the menu. Then he looked at his watch again. 8:55.

Finally, he pulled out his phone.

“Ok Cuddy, lesson learned. I’ll never blow u off again. Now get ur gorgeous ass down here. I’m starving,” he texted her.

No reply.

He drummed his fingers on the table.

Then tried again: “Ok now I’m actually getting worried. WHERE ARE YOU?”

Finally, he called. The phone rang and rang and rang, but she never picked up.

The waiter came back over.

“Is it possible you guys got your lines crossed?” he said.

“Is it possible that you’re an idiot?” House said.

The waiter pursed his lips.

“Actually, it’s been over an hour,” he said. “At some point, you have to either order or give up the table.”

“Whatever happened to the customer is always right?” House grumbled, but he slapped some money on the table and left.


The next night, at about 9 pm, Lucas entered Sullivan’s. The bar was loud and crowded and a bit disorienting. He scanned the room, then smiled when he saw her. She was sitting at the bar, her legs crossed elegantly, dressed tantalizingly in red.

“Hi,” he said eagerly, sitting down next to her.

“Hi,” she said, smiling demurely.

“I can’t tell you how glad I am you called me,” he said.

“And I’m glad you agreed to come. Come, let me buy you a drink,” she said.

“Miller Lite,” Lucas said.

“And a dirty Ketel One martini for me,” she told the bartender. Then she turned to Lucas, “I never properly apologized to you for the way things shook out between us.”

“Yeah, that was pretty brutal.”

“I know. Suffice it to say, House doesn’t bring out the best in me.”

“Since I’m here and he’s not, I take it things didn’t work out between you?” he said hopefully.

“That’s an understatement.”

“I have a pretty good shoulder to cry on,” he said tapping his shoulder. “But only this one. The other one sucks.” He laughed at his own joke. “You want to tell me all about it?”

Cuddy took a contemplative sip of her martini.

“In short, you were right,” she said.

“I love being right. Right how?”

“House is not ready to be in a relationship. Not even close.”

“How so?”

 “First he stands me up then he claims that I was the one who sent him a text to cancel.”

“That’s pretty easy to prove or disprove, either way,” Lucas said.

“Exactly. Of course there was no text, because he made the whole thing up.”

“How did he explain that?”

“He said he must’ve dreamt the whole thing.”

“Wow. Weak excuse,” Lucas chuckled.

“And that was just the tip of the iceberg,” Cuddy said. “I found out that he was spreading vulgar rumors about me around the hospital. Boasting about his sexual conquests like some sort of horny frat boy.”

“That is so sleazy,” Lucas said, shaking his head in sympathetic disgust.

“I’ll say,” Cuddy agreed. “And then it turns out he was still seeing that hooker.”


“Brandy. Yeah, I bumped into her in the hospital. She was on her way to give him a massage.”

“The happy ending kind, I presume?”

“Do hookers give any other kind?”

“I hate to say I told you so but…”

“You told me so,” Cuddy agreed.

“Well isn’t this cozy?” a gravelly voice said.

Both Lucas and Cuddy looked up. It was House, who had managed to limp his way toward them, unnoticed.

“Oh, great,” Lucas said.

“What are you doing here, House?” Cuddy said testily. “Did you follow me?”

“Never mind that,” House said. “What are you doing with him?”

“Having a drink,” Cuddy said.

“So buzz off. Does the phrase three’s a crowd ring a bell?” Lucas said.

House ignored him. “Why’d you stand me up last night?” he said to Cuddy.

“I don’t know. Why don’t you ask Brandy?”

“Brandy? What the hell does she have to do with this?” House said. “I haven’t seen her in weeks.”

“I saw her at the hospital yesterday, House. Stop lying to me!”

“House, just accept the fact that you’ve lost,” Lucas said. “Cuddy finally sees your true colors.”

“This is so none of your business, Pucas.”

“Actually, it is my business. I’m with Lisa right now and you’re obviously making her very upset.”

“Oh, I’m just getting started!”

Cuddy stood up, faced House.

“You drive me crazy, do you know that?” she said.

“That’s rich coming from you. Because you drive me crazy!” he said.

“I sometimes don’t know if I want to kiss you or kill you!” she barked, pressing two fingers against his chest.

“Take your pick!” he barked back.

And with that, she grabbed him, hard, and kissed him roughly on the mouth. He kissed her back and soon they were making out right there at the bar, their hands all over each other.

When they parted, they both turned to Lucas, who was sitting there with his mouth open.

“It’s really sad how all your dates end with me and Cuddy making out,” House cracked.

Cuddy laughed.

“Sucks to be you, Lucas,” she said, taking House’s hand.

Finally, Lucas got it.

“You know,” he groaned, putting his head in his hands.

“Of course we know,” House said. He had lipstick smeared all over his face, which Cuddy had begun dabbing, unsuccessfully, with a napkin.

“Shit,” Lucas said, almost to himself.  “I really thought I pulled this one off.”

“Not even close,” House said. “Well, okay, actually pretty close. But not close enough.”

“What you did was really mean and shitty and horrible,” Cuddy said.

House smiled at her. “Yeah!” he agreed.

Lucas shrugged.

“You can’t blame me,” he said. “You interrupted my date and stole my woman.”

“I was never your woman,” Cuddy corrected.

 “What was I supposed to do about it? Pout?  Cry in my beer? I’m a man of action. So I acted.”

‘”A man of devious action,” Cuddy said.

“It was some of my finest work,” Lucas agreed.

“Explain one thing to me,” House said. “I get that you called Brandy, paid her to recite some bullshit script. And you spread false rumors, claiming I started them. But how did you send those fake text messages?”

“Super secret private detective stuff,” Lucas said. “I’d tell you, but I’d have to kill. But, uh, you should probably both change the passwords on your phones.”

“You also owe me $7 for that beer,” Cuddy said.

“Really Lisa?”

“I’m not in the habit of buying beers for assholes. Also, please go. I’d like to be alone with my real date.”

“Here,” Lucas said, angrily slapping the money on the bar. “I’ll leave. But ask yourself this, Lisa: Why were you so quick to believe every crappy thing I invented about him? Why were you so quick to believe he stood you up, acted like a misogynist pig, and continued sleeping with hookers? We both know why: Because you don’t trust your instincts about him. And you don’t trust him either.”

“Shut up, Lucas,” House and Cuddy said, in unison.

He shrugged.

“Fine,” he said. “Enjoy your shitty, fucked up, codependent lives together!”

“We intend to!” House shouted back, then thought about it: “But, uh, without the shitty and codependent part.”

After Lucas left, House turned to Cuddy, beaming.

“I think I love Con Artist Cuddy most of all,” he said.

“And I loved our little faux fight. It actually got me kind of hot.”

“Oh. My. God,” House said. He played with the hem of her dress where it met her thigh. “Let’s get out of here,” he whispered. “Unless you’re hungry?” he added politely. “We could have dinner first. . .?”

“Dinner is so overrated,” she said, grabbing him by the collar.


About 24 hours earlier, House had showed up at Cuddy’s house and banged loudly on her door.

“Cuddy, lemme in!” he bellowed.

“Go away!” she bellowed back.

“We need to talk!”

“No we don’t!”

“I’m not leaving this doorstep until you talk to me!”

“Then I’ll call the cops.”

“No you won’t!”

Cuddy sighed, put on a bathrobe and answered the door.

“How was Giovanni’s?” she asked.

“You know how it was,” he said. “It sucked. Where were you?”

“Here, obviously.”

“Don’t you think you’re overreacting just a little bit to that whole Little Bird thing?”

She folded her arms.

“If you think this is about Little Bird, you’re even more delusional than I thought.”

House gave a stunned laugh.

“What else then?” he said.

“I know about those obscene rumors you spread about me!”


She slumped her shoulders.  “House, this is getting exhausting. Stop lying to me!”

“I honestly have no idea what you’re talking about. What rumors?”

“You told everyone we had sex! And apparently went into disgusting detail about how skilled I am.”

House’s face turned several shades of crimson.

“Cuddy, I would never!”

He looked so appalled, she almost took pity on him.

“Come inside,” she said. “The hospital is bad enough. No need for all my neighbors to know about our sex lives, too.”

“Cuddy, I didn’t tell a soul,” he said, once inside.

She put her hands on her hips.

“Not even Wilson?”

“No! No one!”

“Well, you must’ve told someone, because it was all over the hospital. One of the drug reps propositioned me.”

The veins began bulging in House’s neck.

“Which one? I’ll kill him.”

She looked at him.

“Alright, calm down,” she said.

“So that’s why you stood me up?” he said, still puzzled.

“Not just that. I also bumped into your little whore in the hospital today.”

“Thirteen may be a little promiscuous but I’d hardly call her a whore. . .”

“Not Thirteen. Brandy.”


“She was about to give you a massage.”

“That is just a bald-faced lie.”

Cuddy rolled her eyes.

“Enough with the theatrics, House! It’s not like you.”

House scratched his head.

“None of this makes any sense. I never said a word about us to anyone, I haven’t seen Brandy since two weeks ago, and I would never stand you up. It’s almost like someone’s messing with—”

Then he stopped.

“I’m an idiot,” he said.

“No arguments here.”

“Don’t get too smug. You’re an idiot, too.”


“It was Lucas. It was Lucas all along.”

“I’m not following you.”

“He’s a professional private eye. And a professional weasel. He must’ve stolen my cell phone—or something. And he’s the one who started the rumor about us and hired Brandy.”

Cuddy made a face.

“That’s a pretty convenient theory, House,” she said.

“Only because it makes perfect sense,” he said. “I interrupted your date and ended up making out with you while he was sitting in the next room. Do you really think he was just going to take that sitting down?”

She furrowed her brow, thinking it over.

“I suppose. . .”

“Cuddy, I finally grew the balls to ask you out, had one of the best nights of my life with you—why on earth would I sabotage that?”

She smiled, despite herself.

“That was one of the best nights of your life?” she said.

“Top three, easily,” he said.

She folded her arms.

“I guess it does make some sense…” she admitted.

Just then, House’s phone buzzed.

He looked down, shook his head in disbelief.

“You just sent me a text,” he said.

“I what?”

“‘Drop dead, House. You’re a pig and I never want to see you again,’” he read. Then he looked up. “I think he really captured your voice.”

“Let me see that,” she said, yanking the phone from his hand. Her eyes widened, “Holy shit! It really is Lucas.”

“Told you.”

“Oh my God, House. I owe you a huge apology.”

“It’s not your fault. We got played. Both of us.”

“N0, I shouldn’t have believed the worst about you. I should’ve gone to you directly, talked to you.”

He shrugged.

“I haven’t exactly given you much reason to trust me these last few years,” he said. “But I want that to change.”

“Me too,” she said.

“Come here,” he said—and much to his relief, she went to him,  folded into his arms.

He sighed, kissed the top of her head.

“You feel good,” he said.

“So do you,” she said.

He leaned down and kissed her on the lips.

Both her nightgown and robe were made of a thin cotton and he was having a hard time not getting excited as he touched her slender back, tasted her mouth and tongue.

He stopped kissing her.

“It’s 10 pm,” he said. “You should get dressed. Giovanni’s is probably shot. But we can at least go to one of those 24 hour diners.”

She wrinkled her nose.

“You really want to get dinner?” she said, grabbing his ass. “Because I can think a few other things I’d rather do.”

“You truly are the perfect woman,” he said.

She giggled.

“I know.”

“But we’re going to be on our honeymoon before we have our first actual date.”

It was a joke, but her heart melted a little bit all the same. Gregory House talking about a honeymoon—with her.

“Let’s go have lots of sex and plot our revenge,” she said.


25 September 2014 @ 05:59 pm

Wilson was trying to eat breakfast, but finding it nearly impossible because, for the last 10 minutes or so, House had been rapping his cane against the floor.

Tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap. [Brief pause] Tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap.

“STOP IT!” Wilson finally yelled.

House looked down at his cane, surprised.

“Oh, sorry bout that,” he said, in a distracted sort of way.

“Something on your mind, House?” Wilson asked, ironically.


“You sure about that? Because you don’t usually turn your cane into a snare drumstick.”

“No, it’s nothing,” House said, still lost in some personal thought. Then, after a few minutes, he shook his head and said: “I will never understand women.”

Wilson gave a weary smile: Finally.

“Any woman in particular?” he asked, ironically.

“Duh,” House said.


“First, she practically begs me to ask her out. . .”


“Well, not technically beg. But strongly implied that there was no shot I was getting laid unless we did small talk over veal piccata and chianti. And then when I do ask her out she says—and I quote—‘I’ll get back to you.’”

Wilson smiled, proudly.

“You asked her out? Good for you, House. You finally manned up.”

“You’re overlooking the crucial point of this story, as per usual. She told me she’d get back to me.

“Well, good for her then,” Wilson said.

 “Good for her?”

“Yeah, you put Cuddy through the ringer. You led her on, toyed with her emotions, sent her more mixed messages than a whole army of Candy Morgenthals. . . I mean, what do you expect?”

House scowled.

“Who, pray tell, is Candy Morgenthal?”

“My junior high school crush. She kissed me behind the bleachers and then immediately went steady with Todd Woodsen.”

“Did you just compare me to a teenage girl . . . who kissed you behind the bleachers?”

Wilson shrugged.

“Hey, if the lip gloss fits…”

House rolled his eyes.

“I will admit that I may have sent Cuddy mixed messages in the past. Possibly. But where’s my reward for finally doing the right thing now?”

“On its way to our table, apparently,” Wilson said, pointing.

Indeed, Cuddy was sashaying their way, a tiny smile playing at her lips.

“Hello boys,” she said, sitting down rather closely next to House.

“Good morning Cuddy,” Wilson said. “You’re looking especially lovely today.”

“Why thank you, Wilson,” Cuddy said. Then she gave House a sneaky smile. “Hi,” she said in a girlish whisper.

“Hi,” he whispered back.

“Oh God,” Wilson groaned. “I don’t think I can handle this much cuteness so early in the morning.”

Cuddy ignored him.

“Can I talk to you alone?” she said to House.


“I could—” Wilson gestured for the exit.

“Great idea. Scram,” House said.

“That won’t be necessary,” Cuddy said quickly, grabbing House’s arm. “I’ll bring him right back.”

She led House to an empty table, then smiled.

“After much careful thought and consideration, I’ve decided to accept your offer to go on a date.”

He smiled back.

“Excellent,” he said.

“So where are we going?” she said.

“Well, plucky optimist that I am, I took the liberty of making  7 different reservations at 7 different restaurants, one for every night of the week. I wasn’t sure which night you were free.”

“Wow. Impressive.”

“I’m surprisingly industrious, when motivated. So which night is best?”

“No better time than tonight,” she said.

“I like the way you think,” House said, grinning at her. Then he looked down at his calendar. “That means we’re going to Little Bird. 8 o clock.”

Little Bird was a new French restaurant that had recently gotten a rave write-up in the newspaper.

“You’re just full of surprises, aren’t you?” she said.

He shrugged in a “I try” kind of way. Then he squinted at her. “It’s around the corner from my apartment. Drinks at my place first? 7ish?”

“Wow. It’s like you planned a whole date!”

“If you’re lucky, you might even get a corsage,” Wilson yelled, from his table.

“Shut up, Wilson,” House said.


That night, at just after 7 pm, Cuddy knocked on House’s door.

She was wearing a cream-colored wrap dress and black stiletto heels.

House’s mouth dropped open at the sight of her.

“Whoa,” he said. “If I had known you were wearing that dress, I’d have masturbated before dinner.”

“Is that your way of saying I look good” she laughed.

“Better than good.”

“Excellent. I was aiming for better than good.”

“Mission accomplished.” Then he looked down at his own clothing—rumpled blue shirt, even more rumpled khakis. “I clearly need to change.”

“You look fine,” she said, unconvincingly. (At least he was clean. His hair was still a bit wet and he smelled nice, like fresh sandalwood soap.)

“My outfit is strictly irrelevant, as all eyes will be on you tonight,” House said, guiding her inside. “But for the sake of looking more like a date and less like some sort of homeless outreach project, I should probably change.” He poured two glasses of wine and handed her one. “But first, a toast.”

He raised his glass. “To manning up,” he said.

She smiled, knowingly.

“To manning up,” she said.

They clinked.

“This is good,” she said, sipping.

“Yeah, I remembered you liked it,” he said.

For a second, she drew a blank—when had she and House even talked about wine?—and then remembered she had passingly remarked that she liked a particular wine at a hospital function they had both attended. That was three years ago. The man never ceased to amaze her.

He started to head into his bedroom, then turned to look at her.

“You coming?’ he said, cocking his head.

“You’ve been dressing yourself alone for 50 years,” she teased.

“Clearly not that well. I need you. Bring the bottle.”

She laughed, grabbed the bottle and followed him into his bedroom.

For all their closeness, there were certain lines they didn't cross—perhaps because they both knew that once they crossed those lines, there was no turning back. Cuddy realized this was only the second time she had ever been in House’s bedroom. (The first time barely counted; she had put him to bed after his recklessly unhealthy behavior after the bus accident.)

He gestured for her to sit on the bed, then took a large gulp of wine—from the bottle— and handed it back to her. With a shrug, she followed in kind, taking a big swig. He grinned, then began rifling through his closet.

The last time she’d been here it had all been a bit of a blur. Now she took a moment to look around. It was a nice room—simple and masculine, decorated in expensive tones of taupe and gray. There was a medium-sized TV, and a video game console, several hardbound books on the nightstand—mostly medical books, but a few fantasy and sci-fi novels as well—and a beautiful antique lamp that emanated a warm, amber light. There was a set of barbells in the corner of the room, which made her smile. She didn’t know House lifted weights.

“Which shirt?” he said, holding up two similar blue dress shirts.

“The darker one,” she said. “Definitely.”

He nodded and, in a quick motion, stripped off his shirt. She had seen him shirtless before—at Michigan, of course, and a few times around the hospital—but never in such an intimate setting. She was taken aback—and a little turned on. He was lean and strong-looking, with just a tiny matt of light brown hair coating his chest. His arms were ropy, well-defined—weight-lifting had clearly gone to good use.

“Which pants?” he said, now holding up two pairs of pants.

“Black,” she said.

He undid his belt, shook off his khakis. And now Gregory House was standing in front of her, resplendent in only his boxers and socks.

For a moment, her eyes were drawn to his scar—ugly and large, but yet another symbol of their intimacy, of the trust he had in her. Our scars are what make us human, she thought. Our scars are what make us beautiful. (Were she to repeat that thought to House, however, he might actually laugh her out of his room.)

He noticed her notice his leg and, perhaps embarrassed, turned back to the closet. Now she was staring at his long back, his ass, the surprisingly strong muscles in the back of his thighs. She was undeniably feeling amorous, being this close to him, in this dimly lit room—with him practically naked and her in her sexy dress. (She had struggled with her own outfit—trying on everything from a pretty peasant dress to discreetly conservative shift dress—before finally settling on the skin-tight wrap dress. He’s earned it, she thought.)

To distract herself, she took another gulp of wine, then continued looking around the room. There was a Rothko-esque abstract painting, and a black and white photo of Central Park from the 1940s. But no personal photos, at all. Not of his parents, not of himself. And then she noticed the top drawer of the nightstand was slightly open and a photograph—clearly of a woman—was poking out.

She should’ve ignored it, in deference to House’s privacy, but the photo looked so familiar, she was compelled to explore further.

She opened the drawer—and was shocked by what she saw.

“Why do you have this photo of me dressed as Sleeping Beauty?” she said. (She had worn a corset that day. It gave the vague impression that her breasts were on the verge of popping out of the dress.)

“Snoop much?” he said, turning around, with an accusatory smirk.

“The drawer was open! Why do you have it?”

“To blackmail you, of course. Dean of Medicine dressed as a Disney princess? You never know when such a thing might come in handy.”

“Nice try, House. I’m pretty sure I’m the one with blackmail material in my hands.”

He folded his arms, liking the game.

“Everyone knows I have a permanent hard-on for you. This is hardly a newsflash.”

“So you admit that you masturbate to that photo of me,” she said.

“The heaving bosom is….um, uplifting,” he admitted. “Which tie?” he said, holding up two ties.

He had lay on this bed—the very bed she was sitting on right now—masturbating to that picture of her. She felt herself get hot.

She looked up. He was still standing there, in his boxers and socks, holding up the two ties.

“Come here,” she said.

He shrugged, limped over to her.

Where she was sitting, on the bed, she was basically at crotch level with him.

She put her hands on the top of his boxers, fingered the elastic of his waistband.

“What are you doing?” he said, nervously.

She slid the boxers down a bit, onto his lower hips. More of that light brown hair, jutting out from the top of the boxers.

“Should I stop?” she said.

“No,” he breathed.

He was hard already, which was good, because she pulled his boxers all the way down and took his rather impressive girth in her mouth.

He groaned and closed his eyes. He shuddered a bit and his whole body—save for the most important part—went limp.

“Oh God yes,” he stuttered.

She couldn’t remember the last time she was this sexually excited. To see House in the throes of ecstasy, to know that she had the power to pleasure him like this—it was all too much. She quickened her own pace, exciting them both, until he came, abundantly, in her mouth.

“Oh my fucking God,” he said, collapsing onto the bed.

“I prefer the black tie,” she said, with a giggle.

“Shhh,” he said.

He was on top of her now, kissing her, fondling her, his hands ardently riding up her dress. He pulled her dress past her hips and spread her legs.

“I believe in the golden rule,” he said, putting his face between her legs.

House was so good at oral sex, she vaguely wondered how many women he had been with, but then got too lost in the sensation, of the firmness of his tongue as it lapped at her clit, to even form a coherent thought.

After she came—embarrassingly loudly—they lay side by side on the bed. She was still wearing her dress, although it had been shoved up past her hips. And he was totally naked, save for a pair of socks.

“What time is it,” she murmured, still in a dreamy post-orgasmic haze.

“8 o clock,” House said.

“Oh shit! We better hurry, we’re going to miss our reservation!”

“I don’t think so,” House said, unzipping her dress and taking it off.

Then, expertly, he unclasped her bra.

“What are you doing…” she said.

He cupped her breast with his hand, then took it in his mouth.

“This…” he said.

“But we’re going to. . .”—again, coherent thought eluded her because he was doing this swirly thing with his tongue on her nipple that felt amazing.

“Do what?” he said, moving to her other breast.

“Forget it,” she said. “Keep doing that.

House spent several minutes lavishing attention on her breasts, then they kissed on the mouth for several more minutes, until he was hard and inside her and they had great, long, mutually satisfying sex.

And then something occurred to her.

“There was never a reservation at Little Bird, was there?” she said, propped up on an elbow, looking at him.

“Um, you want the truth?” he said.

“Always,” she said.

“Okay then. No.”

“So the plan all along was to lure me into your bedroom, seduce me with your half-naked ass, and skip dinner completely?”


“And the picture of me as Sleeping Beauty?”

“A well planted prop. It got you thinking about me thinking about you naked…which led to you actually being naked…”

“You jerk!” she said, swatting him, pretending to be more angry than she actually was.

“Tell me that dinner at Little Bird would’ve been better than what we just did,” he said, cockily.

“Okay, it wouldn’t have,” she admitted. “But now I’m starving.”

“Stay where you are,” he said. “I shall cook you an unforgettable meal.”

He popped up, still naked, and slipped into a pair of pajama bottoms and a tee-shirt.

“Look at that,” he said, kissing her on the forehead. “Sleeping Beauty in my very own bed.”

She smiled. She was having flashbacks to college: When Gregory House romanced you, it was like you were the only woman in the world.

He made his way into the kitchen.

She lay in his bed, feeling comfy and happy and besotted in a way she hadn’t felt since college.

She heard the rattling of pans and dishes in the kitchen and then smelled the most wonderful aroma. Finally, curiosity got the best of her. She wrapped herself in House’s sheet and made her way into the kitchen.

He was making something that involved pasta and egg and cheese and bacon—a modified carbonara of sorts.

“I told you to wait!” he said.

“I got curious,” she said. “It smelled good.”

“But you’re naked under that sheet. How am I supposed to concentrate?”

“I’m always naked under my clothing.”

“Oh my God, you’re right! How am I supposed to concentrate at the hospital now?”

She chuckled.

“You’ll manage.”

“I’m serious, woman, go put some clothes on,” he said. “I can’t perform acts of culinary wizardry when all the blood is rushing to my nether regions.”

She shook her head, went back to House’s bedroom, found something to wear and put it on. Then she came back to the kitchen.

His eyes widened when he saw her.

“Now you’re in my boxers and tee-shirt? That’s supposed to be an improvement?”

He lowered the heat on his pasta, hobbled over to her.

“Hi,” he said, kissing her luxuriously.

“Hi back,” she said.

“You feel good,” he said, rubbing her hips and waist under the tee-shirt and pulling her toward him.

“Get back to cooking!” she scolded.

He sighed.

“Yes ma’am.”

She hopped up on a stool to watch him. He cracked an egg into the pan with one hand, then tossed the shell into the sink.

“You’re pretty incredible, you know that?” she said.

“You’re pretty incredible yourself.”

“And tonight has been so much fun . . .” she said.

“But…?” he said, picking up on something in her voice.

“But I’ve got to ask…what took you so long to ask me out?”

House sighed.

“Part of skipping the restaurant was my attempt to avoid this conversation,” he said.

“There’s no avoiding it,” she said, firmly.

He scratched his chin.

“Honestly? I. . .don’t know. I know that’s lame but there it is. My subconscious knew I wanted you for myself. But my conscious self was scared shitless.”


“I don’t know. Usual reasons, I guess. Fear of getting hurt. Fear of rejection.”

“But you knew I liked you!”

“Why? Because we had sex 20 years ago? Because I took advantage of you and kissed you one night when you were in an incredibly vulnerable state?”

Cuddy looked down.

“It wasn’t like that…you were comforting me.”

“I don’t know what I was doing. I was …acting on pure instinct.”

“But when I came to you, told you about Lucas asking me out. I wanted you to tell me not to see him!”

“I did!”

“Not for logical reasons. Because you were jealous.”

“I was. Insanely jealous. Obviously.”

“But why couldn’t you just tell me that? Why do you always have to act out?”

“Because my mother only fed me when I acted out as a child.”

“Don’t be glib, House.”

“Sorry.” A timer dinged. “And…saved by the carbonara. Taste this.”

He twirled a forkful of the pasta and fed her. Of course, it was fantastic.

“You are a man of many, many talents,” she said.

“Thank you,” he said, raising his eyebrows. “So can we eat now?”

“Okay,” she said. “I’ll drop it. I just need to know. Are you going to be nice to me tomorrow? Because I’m not sure I can take another day of you treating me like an annoying boss.”

“Then don’t be an annoying boss.”


He took her hand.

“I will be very, very nice,” he said. “I will kiss your feet, feed you grapes, follow you around with a parasol. Whatever you need.”

“Just smile at me in the hallway,” she said.

“You drive a hard bargain, Dr. Cuddy, but I think that can be arranged,” he said. “Now sit down and let me feed you.”


To make up for his subterfuge, House made an actual reservation at Little Bird for that Friday.

This time, they arranged to meet at the restaurant, 8 pm.

“Wear the cream dress,” House said.

“It’s, uh, at the dry cleaner,” she replied.


Cuddy had to admit, she was excited about the date. House had been downright adorable all week at work, buying her lunch, sneaking kisses in the lab, holding her hand in the parking garage.

But this would be their first official date. Not just great sex and pillow talk, but two adults, having an actual conversation, in public, at a place with waiters and tablecloths and a wine list.

Cuddy arrived first. She sat the bar, ordered a glass of wine, waited for him.

Ten minutes passed. She glanced at her phone to see if there was a text message from him. There wasn’t.

 Then 20 minutes passed, then half an hour.

“Did anyone call for me?” she asked the host.

“No ma’am,” he said, feeling sorry for her.

“Okay,” she said.

“Would you prefer to wait at the table?” he suggested.

“No, I’m fine here.”

She ordered a second glass of wine, tried not to guzzle it.

She looked at her watch. 8:45. Then 9 pm.

She called House, but it went straight to voicemail.

She considered leaving a “where are you?” message, then thought better of it.

There were only two possibilities, both highly insulting.

One, he had forgotten. (That was pretty unlikely. This was the same guy who remembered a glass of wine she had enjoyed three years ago.)

Two, he was having misgivings about a real relationship, but wasn’t man enough to share them with her. So instead, he left her alone at the bar, wearing the dress she had rush dry cleaned, wondering why she ever let that bastard into her heart in the first place.

To be continued…
23 September 2014 @ 09:22 am
Hey kids. When you write 174 stories some are going to be better than others. Suffice it to say, this is not my best effort, but I’ve been told many times that people prefer a crappy story to no story. Potential for a part 2, if you guys are feelin’ it. – atd

“Why is it that every time I ask you out, you ignore me?” Lucas said, following Cuddy down the PPTH hall.

 “Because you’re not being serious,” Cuddy said. She was walking so quickly and purposefully, Lucas had the distinct impression she was trying to escape him.

“Your ability to walk quickly in those heels never ceases to amaze me,” he said, running to catch up. “And of course I’m serious. I never joke about matters of the heart.”

“Oh,” Cuddy said, wrinkling her nose. “Then I guess I always figured you were just asking me out to mess with House.”

“I have an alternate theory,” Lucas said. “You wanna hear it?”

“Do I have a choice?”

“I think you were dodging the question because you were waiting for a better offer.”

She finally stopped.

“I assume we’re still talking about House here?” Cuddy said.

“Exactly. I mean, I get it. He’s the rebel brooding guy in the back of the class with the leather jacket and the bad attitude who all the girls are swooning over. But trust me, the loveable and well-adjusted class clown is a much safer bet.”

“When did PPTH turn into a giant metaphor for high school?”

“When didn’t it?”

She smiled, despite herself.

“Good point.”

“But here’s the thing: House is never going to ask you out,” Lucas said.

Cuddy narrowed her eyes.

“I never said that I wanted him to. . .”

“You want to know why he’s never going to ask you out?”

“I’m guessing I still don’t have a choice…”

“He’s into you, don’t get me wrong. Any dude with a set of eyes and working penis would be…”

He looked up to see if she was offended, but she was so used to House’s provocations, it barely registered.

“But there’s one thing that House is more into than you,” Lucas continued. “And that’s his own misery. Dating you would make him happy, ergo he would no longer be miserable. Ergo, he wouldn’t recognize himself and he loves himself way too much not to recognize himself. So it’s never going to happen. With that in my mind, I ask you, sincerely and seriously: Lisa Cuddy, will you go out with me?”

Cuddy bit her lip.

“I’ll get back to you,” she said.

And she strutted away.

Lucas shrugged, as he watched her. “Hey, at least it wasn’t a no,” he said to no one in particular.


Cuddy sat down across from House at lunch. He looked down at her tray in dismay.

“Is it your diabolical plan to never put anything on your tray I might even remotely want to eat?” he said.

“Yes, that’s it, House. I eat healthily just to screw with you.”

“Figured so much,” he said. “But the joke’s on you, because French fries taste great when dunked in ranch dressing.”

He took his fry and dunked it with a flourish into her dressing.

Then he took a bite, made a face.

“There’s been some sort of horrible mistake,” he said. “There seems to be no buttercream in your ranch dressing.”

“It’s low-fat,” she said.

“And no-flavor,” he added.

They ate for a few minutes in companionable silence until she said, “So, um, something interesting happened today.”

“Something interesting happens every day.”

“This particular interesting thing happened to me. . .”

“Do tell...”

“I bumped into Lucas and he…” she eyed him cautiously— “well, he asked me out.”

He didn’t flinch.

“And when you stopped laughing, what did you say?”

“I didn’t laugh.”


“No, Lucas is nice. And cute. . . well, from some angles at least. And he’s very persistent.”

“So’s a bible salesman.”

“I find him sort of adorable—in a puppyish way. So I was just wondering, well, how you felt about that?

“I think it’s a horrible idea,” House said.

Cuddy sighed a bit, relieved. “You do?”

“Need I remind you that you are the Dean of Medicine at a major hospital and he spies on people from a van?” House continued.

“Oh,” she said, looking down. Then she added: “You know I don’t care about stuff like that.”

“All women care about stuff like that.”

“Are you accusing me of being elitist?”

“Not elitist. Practical. People date within their own social strata for a reason.”

“Do tell, Ayn Rand.”

“The fact that you are more attractive than he is, more successful than he is, more wealthy than he is—it’s unsustainable. What does Lucas bring to the table, except for a lot of cool private eye gadgets and his Frequent Eater Card from Burger Giant?”

“He’s fun!” Cuddy said, defensively. Then she blinked. “So that’s your only objection to me going out with Lucas?”

He eyed her.

“Why else?” he said.

Her face fell.

“No, you’re right. No reason.” She popped up, unexpectedly. “Well, you’ve certainly given me a lot to think about, but I . . .I just remembered I have a 2 pm conference call.” She took her tray and walked away.

House put his head in his hands.

“Crap,” he groaned.


“Ask me why I’m smiling!” Lucas said, walking into House’s office.

“Because Cuddy said yes,” House said, testily.

“Because Cuddy said y—.” Lucas started to say, then stopped. “Wait, how did you know that?”

“She told me.”

“She did?”

“Well, she told me you asked her out and that insufferable smile on your face was my next clue.”

“And you . . . gave it your blessing?”

“I don’t need to give Cuddy my blessing,” House said. “She’s a grown woman. A massively delusional one with horrible taste in men, obviously, but a grown woman.”

Lucas cocked his head.

“And us? We’re cool. Because I once asked you if you wanted me to back off from her and you were noncommittal. Of course, it’s a little late now. . .”

“We're fine. Both you and Cuddy can do whatever you want.”

Lucas looked at him, unconvinced, but decided to let it go.

“I am obviously punching way above my weight class here,” he said, cheerfully. “Any suggestions?”

“Yeah,” House said. “Don’t act like yourself.”


The morning after Cuddy’s first date with Lucas, House cornered Wilson in the men’s room.

“You’re having lunch with Cuddy today, right?”


“I need you to get the intel on her date with Lucas. Be very specific. No detail is too small.”

“Why not ask just her yourself?”

“Duh. Because then it will seem like I’m jealous.”

“That’s because you are jealous.”

“I’m not jealous. I’m just …curious.”

 “A month ago, you kissed her. Now she’s going on a date with Lucas. But no you’re not jealous. Just …curious.”

“Exactly. So will you do it?”

Wilson folded his arms.



“No. This is between you and Cuddy. Tell her how you really feel, before this gets out of hand.”

“You’re useless, as predicted,” House said. “Luckily, I already have Plan B in play.”


Plan B, as it turns out, was getting Sharon, the new candy striper, to eavesdrop on Wilson’s lunch with Cuddy from an adjacent table—and take notes.

House paid her $100 for the service.

She came to his office right after.

“So?” he said to her.

“You owe me $126.52,” she said.

“We settled on a hundred!” he protested.

“I had to eat lunch, right? Otherwise, I’d look suspicious.”

“I wasn’t aware the hospital cafeteria sold lobster,” he said, rolling his eyes. But he handed her the money.

“So speak,” he said.

She pulled out her note pad.

“Wilson ordered the turkey club. Cuddy ordered the cobb salad.”

“Don’t care. Tell me about Lucas.”

She flipped a few pages.

“Wilson said, ‘How was the big date?’ and she said, ‘It was fine.’”

“It was fine?” House said. “Those were her exact words?”

She glanced at her notes. “Yes,” she said. “And then Wilson said, ‘Just fine?’ and she said, ‘Fine…with potential to be more than fine.’”

“Shit,” House said, under his breath. “Did she say where he took her?”

She scanned her notes.

“Giovanni’s,” she said.

“Huh,” House said. “Nice place. What else?”

“Wilson asked if things got physical.”

“Don’t bury the lead, woman! What did she say?”

“She said, ‘It’s funny, I used to get a slightly pervy vibe off Lucas, but he was a total gentleman. He didn’t even try to kiss me goodnight.’”

“Excellent. I knew Lucas didn’t have it in him. So did my name come up?”

“As a matter of fact it did. Wilson said that you were ‘totally freaking out’ over the date.”

House shook his head.

“That goddamn Judas. And how did Cuddy respond?”

“She said that she gave you a chance to object and ask her out yourself but you p­—” she squinted at her notes, briefly unable to read her own handwriting—“you pussied out,” she said, triumphantly.

House folded his arms.

“So did they schedule a second date?”

“Yes, Friday night. At the Hamilton Inn.”

“Excellent work. Ironically, you’re a better private eye than Lucas is.”


The date at the Hamilton Inn was going well, with conversation flowing as Lucas regaled Cuddy with tales of his misadventures as a private eye. They had just ordered a second bottle of pinot grigio, and Cuddy was thinking, “So it is possible to enjoy the company of a man who is not Gregory House” when her pager went off.

She looked down.

“Sorry, it’s the hospital. I’ve got to take this.”

But when she called back, it was House who answered.

“I need you back at the hospital,” he said. “It’s an emergency.”

“What kind of emergency?” she said, skeptically. “We ran out of Snickers bars in the vending machine?”

“No, I need to cut part of my patient’s stomach out. Figured you might want to know. . .”

“You need to do that right now? This exact instant?”

“Assuming you want the guy to live. Otherwise, we can do it during the autopsy I suppose.”

She sighed.

“I’ll be there in 20 minutes,” she said.

“Make it 15,” he said.

Cuddy hung up, looked at Lucas apologetically.

“Sorry,” she said.

“Hospital emergency?” he said.

“It happens. Occupational hazard.”

“Hey, I understand. You’re a powerful woman. I like it. It’s a turn on.”

She smiled wearily and stood, as Lucas helped her on with her coat.

“Any chance you can join me later on, at my place, for a nightcap?” he asked hopefully.

She looked at her watch. “It’s late. I’ll probably just head home straight from the hospital.”

“Oh well, can’t blame a guy for asking,” he said.

Then he said, brightly: “It’s your turn to pay so can you give me $150 before you go?”

Her eyes widened.

“Uh…sure,” she said, reaching for her purse.

“I’m just messing with you,” he laughed. “Go. Be important.”

She gave an uneasy smile, and quickly drove to the hospital.

But when she got to House’s office, his team wasn’t assembled, and there wasn’t a surgeon in sight. In fact, House was sitting at his desk, his glasses perched halfway down his nose, reading a medical journal.

“Oh hi,” he said when he saw her.

Oh hi? I just raced over here from downtown. What about your patient? I thought he was in crisis?”

“False alarm. Turns out it wasn’t acute bowel obstruction. It was just gas.”

“You knew I was on a date with Lucas and you intentionally sabotaged it!”

“I made an honest mistake.”

“There’s nothing honest about you—ever,” she said.

He grimaced.

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“I think you know.”

“Come on, don’t be mad. Okay, it’s true. I knew you were on a date. Lucas and I like to screw with each other. It’s what we do.”

“You were screwing with Lucas and yet I’m the one who had to leave a half-eaten duck breast on my plate and speed across town like a maniac for nothing!”

“Collateral damage,” he said.

“I’m not amused.”

“Don’t pout, Cuddy. Lemme buy you a burger,” he said, trying to keep his voice casual. “To make up for it.”

“Screw you,” she said, storming out.

“Well, better me than Lucas,” he said, after she was gone.


Lucas and Cuddy were on their third date, at Chez Jacques, when the sound of particularly loud woman’s laughter pierced the room. Lucas looked up.

“Isn’t that woman with House?” he said.

Indeed, sitting at a corner table—candlelight, a bottle of wine— was none other than Gregory House. The woman sitting across from him had teased blonde hair and was wearing red stiletto pumps and a skirt the size of a postage stamp. She was beautiful, in a tacky sort of way. She was also, quite obviously, a prostitute.

“Is that his date?” Lucas said. “Because whoa. She’s a knockout.”

“She could be your date, too. For the right price.”

“She’s a hooker?” Lucas said, squinting.

“Of course,” Cuddy said. “What kind of private eye are you? House is trying to disrupt our date. Again. I’ve really got to start planting false intel in my online datebook.”

“You think he hacked into your account?” Lucas said, mildly impressed.

“He’s done it before.”

“Do you want me to go tell him to buzz off?”

“No, I’m not going to let him ruin our evening,” she said, picking up her menu defiantly. “Let’s just pretend he’s not here.”

“Sounds like an excellent plan.”

They ordered and ate dinner, but Cuddy kept glancing in House’s direction. The woman kept laughing loudly and they would occasionally clink glasses, in shared merriment. At one point, under the table, she could see that House and his “date” were playing footsie.

“I’ll be right back,” she said.

She marched up to House’s table. He pretended to be surprised to see her.

“You come here too?” he said. Then, “How rude of me: Cuddy, Brandy. Brandy, Cuddy.”

“Can I talk to you for a moment?” Cuddy said, a fake smile frozen on her face.

“Me or Brandy?” House said.

“Outside, right now,” Cuddy said, grabbing House by the collar.

“Excusez moi,” House said, bowing at Brandy and letting himself be dragged.

“Life is just full of strange coincidences, isn’t it?” he said, once they were outside. “You’re here on a date. I’m here on a date…”

“You hacked into my datebook,” Cuddy said. “Again.”

House grinned.

“You’d think by now you’d learn to plant false intel in that thing.”

“So this is you messing with Lucas again?”

He shrugged.

“No, I suppose this time I’m messing with you,”

“You think I’m going to be jealous of that…skank?”

High-class skank, thank you very much.”

“At least I don’t have to pay for my dates,” Cuddy said.

“I think spending time with Lucas is price enough,” he said.

 “Really? Because I think he’s great. Fun, attentive…uh, sexy.”

“Once more with feeling, Cuddy.”

“It would seem that we’re both getting laid tonight,” Cuddy said, with a knowing smirk.

“Don’t have sex with Lucas just to spite me,” House said seriously, folding his arms.

“I’m not spiting you. I’m into him. Besides, why should only one of us have sex tonight?”

“Brandy was just hired for dinner.”

“Suuure she was.”

“I’m serious, Cuddy. All games aside. Please don’t. . .”

“Is everything okay out here?” Lucas said, poking his head out of the restaurant door.

“We need a minute!” House barked.

“Actually, we're all done,” Cuddy said, taking Lucas’s arm. “Let’s order dessert.”


About an hour-and-a-half later, there was the sound of a motorcycle engine being cut, and then a knock on Cuddy’s front door.

“That’s House, isn’t it?” Lucas said. They were sitting on the couch in front of the fire, both fully dressed, drinking brandy. “I’ll get rid of him.”

“No, I’ll handle it,” she said.

She answered the door.

“Go away, House.”

“Cuddy, I’m going crazy here,” he said.

There was something slightly agitated in his eyes and he was sweating, like he had worked himself into a bit of a lather. It made Cuddy soften.

“Why?” she said, pointedly.

He peered into the room.

“Has anything happened yet?”

“Lots has happened. We put on some Brahms. We made a fire. I poured us a couple of glasses of brandy. I thought that last bit was poetic.”

“Tell him to leave,” House said.

“Where’s your Brandy?”

“Who knows? Nothing happened. I swear it.”

“I don’t care if it did or didn’t.”

“Yes you do,” he said, looking at her.

She swallowed, looked down.

“Why do you keep messing with me, House?”

“I don’t know,” he said truthfully.

“Two weeks ago I asked if you minded if I dated Lucas. You gave me a spiel about social strata and unsustainability. Not once did you utter the words: I want you for myself.”

“Because I don’t need to say that,” he said. “You know how I feel.”

“Humor me.”

He clenched his jaw a bit.

“I don’t want you with Lucas.”


“I’m insanely jealous.”


He hesitated.

“I want you for myself,” he said.

She suddenly felt her heart beating wildly in her chest. Her lips parted, almost unconsciously.

 “I want to be the only man who touches you,” he whispered in her ear. His breath was hot on her neck. “Ever again.”

They were both breathing harder now, their chests heaving in unison. She felt herself vibrating a bit, just from his nearness.

“Then touch me,” she said.

He caressed her face for a moment and then her neck, which she stretched, like a cat, and his hand moved slowly to her cleavage and she then dove for him, her tongue rammed in his mouth, their bodies pressed against the door frame. She had wrapped her leg around him and was just starting to reach under his shirt, grope for bare skin, when a voice said, loudly. “What the living fuck?”

They stopped.

“Shit,” Cuddy said. “Lucas.”

“Did you actually forget I was in the next room?” Lucas said, disbelievingly.

In fact, she had.

“No, I… of course not. I … House just grabbed me and kissed me. It was …”

“Totally my fault,” House said.

“He forced you to grope him?”

“We got carried away,” Cuddy said. “I’m sorry. I’m totally embarrassed.”

“You should be,” Lucas said. “You’re acting like a slut.”

“Hey now,” House said, stepping toward him threateningly.

“You’ve got to be kidding if you think you have the moral high ground in this situation,” Lucas said.

“She was mine first,” House said.

“Hey! I’m not anyone’s!” Cuddy said. And then she bowed her head. “But he’s right, Lucas. As you know, House and I have a long . . . history together.”

“Oh, in that case, this behavior is completely acceptable.”

“I’m not saying it is. I’m mortified. I can’t apologize enough.”

“Don’t bother,” Lucas said. “I’m out of here.”

He brushed past House, roughly. But House held up his hands, and stepped back, as if to say, I don’t want to fight.

“Remember what I said, Lisa,” Lucas said. “Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

And he made his way angrily to his car.

“I thought he’d never leave,” House cracked.

“Not funny,” Cuddy said.

“No, I suppose not.” Then he bent toward her, eagerly. “Now where were we?” He went to kiss her, but she put her hand to his chest.

“Forget it Romeo.”

“You’ve got to be kidding,” he groaned

“No, I’m not. You hack into my computer, stalk me, sabotage my date—and your reward is I have sex with you? Dream on.”

“Ten minutes ago, you were crawling up my leg!”

“And now I’ve come to my senses, thank God.”

“Damn that Lucas,” House said. “Such a mood killer. And what did he mean when he said, ‘Don’t say I didn’t warn you?’ That was so . . . cheesy.”

“He thinks you prefer misery to happiness.”

“Only one way to find out,” House said, with a half smile.

He bent to kiss her and just for a second, she melted into him, allowing herself the sensation of his lips and tongue and body against hers. Then she backed away.

“You’re going to have to be miserable for at least one more night.”

“Tomorrow then?”

“Not until you do what you should’ve done two weeks ago—hell, the day after I lost Joy and we kissed. Ask me out. On a date. With tablecloths and wine and witty repartee.”

He smiled, in defeat.

“Lisa Cuddy, will you go out with me? With tablecloths and wine and my best impression of witty repartee.”

“I’ll get back to you,” she said, and winked.

To be continued? This one could end here, or I could keep going with it. Depends on reader response, tbh…
14 September 2014 @ 04:03 pm
A few notes: Sorry this takes place in S1, kids. Woman cannot live on S7 and 8 angst alone. I’m pretty sure Nurse Jeffrey wasn’t even a glimmer in David Shore’s eyes in S1, but I needed him for his useful hospital gossipmeister factor.  Extra long sex scene because Syd went on marathon reading and reviewing binge and asked nicely.

Also, CBR (Cameron Bashing Rating): Medium high

 “Earth to Cameron,” Cuddy said, waving her hand in front of her face.

 Cameron looked up, surprised.

“Sorry, I was day dreaming,” she said.

“Yeah, I can see that,” Cuddy said with a chuckle. “I was just saying, ‘Welcome back.’ But now I’ve got a new agenda: Finding out what—or, more accurately, who—has put that blissed out look on your face?”

Cameron smiled.

“If you must know, it’s House.”

Gregory House?”

“Yes,” Cameron said, with pride. “We’re actually going on a date tonight.”

If Cuddy were drinking water at that moment, she might have done a spit take.

“Shut up,” she said.

“It’s true. It was the condition of my coming back.”

Cuddy’s eyes widened.

“He. . . he can’t do that. That’s sexual harassment.”

“It wasn’t his term. It was mine.”

“Oh,” Cuddy said, frowning. “That’s, uh, still sexual harassment…but I guess, less so.”

“It’s okay, he jumped at the chance.”

Cuddy folded her arms.

“Are you sure you know what you’re doing, Cameron? House can be a handful.” Literally, she thought, almost laughing despite herself.

“Oh, I know exactly what I’m doing,” Cameron said, and she flipped her hair.


“Do you think Dr. Cuddy likes House?” Cameron said to Chase later, over lunch.

“Why do you ask?”

“Because when I told her I was going out with House tonight, I got the distinct sense she was jealous.”

“Yeah,” Chase said thoughtfully. “I do.”

“You think?” she said, perking up.

“And I think he likes her right back.”

She scowled.

“Why would you say that to me knowing I’m seeing House tonight?”

Chase looked down at the table.

“I guy can like two women at once. . .” he muttered. “Just like a woman can like two guys, right?”  he added hopefully.

She ignored him.

“I really don’t think Dr. Cuddy is his type,” she said.

“Really? Because I think she’s exactly his type.”

She shook her head like she found him amusing.

“You really don’t understand House at all,” she said.


That night, as she was leaving the hospital, Cuddy bumped into Wilson.

“Big plans tonight?” she asked.

“Actually no. My usual Tuesday night drinking buddy is otherwise occupied.”

She smiled.

“Ah yes. House’s fabled date with Cameron.”

“You heard about that, huh?”

“Straight from the prom queen’s mouth.”

He squinted at her, as an idea took root.

“Do you have any plans tonight?”

“Yes,” she said. “Very exciting plans that involve Chinese leftovers and a Sex in the City marathon on TV.”

Wilson laughed.

“Do you think maybe, uh, we could have dinner?”

“What? You and me?”

“Well, I have to go over to House’s first for a pre-date pep talk. But after that. . .why not?”

It was strange. Cuddy and Wilson were quite friendly at work but the idea of taking their relationship to a more social level had never really occurred to her.

“Why not indeed?” she said, with a shrug.

“Sullivan’s? 8 o clock.”

“It’s a date.”


When Cuddy was 13 years old she had a massive crush on her friend Alyssa’s 16-year-old brother, Tony.

Tony had dark feathered hair that he was constantly combing with an oversized comb and blue eyes and he wore Wrangler jeans with a tantalizing fade mark from said comb on the back pocket.

She remembered one day, sitting on his bed—Alyssa was on the phone with her grandmother in the other room—watching him get ready for a date.

His room was filled with the wonderful mysteries of teenage boys: Star Wars posters and athletic trophies and barbells and bunched up gym socks and aftershave.

He ran a hand through his hair and looked in the mirror.

“How do I look?” he said.

“You should wear your REO Speedwagon shirt,” she had said. “It makes you look cooler.”

“Oh yeah?” he said. He smirked at her. Then, with impossible casualness, he had stripped off the shirt he was wearing and began rifling through his drawers for the tee-shirt.

Cuddy watched him, trying not to reveal how excited she was.

I am alone in Tony’s room and he is not wearing a shirt. (He had muscle definition, unlike most of the knock-kneed boys she hung out with at the neighborhood pool.)

He found the REO Speedwagon shirt, put it on.

“Better?” he said, with a grin.

“Much,” she said, trying on flirting for size.

Then he had folded his arms, contemplated her.

“How old are you again?”


“Too bad,” he said, with a wink. “You’re going to be really hot one day.”

Cuddy found herself flashing back to that moment as she gave advice to House about his date.

“Wear the blue shirt,” she had told him. “It brings out the color of your eyes.”

But this was different, right? She had liked Tony. Her feelings for House were complicated and contradictory: Respect, exasperation, and okay, maybe a little bit of attraction. But she didn’t like him that way. At least not anymore. Cameron can have him, she told herself.


It’s a date.

The phrase was echoing in Wilson’s mind as he drove to Sullivan’s.

What a remarkable turn of events.

First House going on this strange and unexpected date with Cameron and now his own date with. . .Lisa Cuddy?

Of course, he’d always found the Dean of Medicine to be super hot, but he’d never considered her a viable option for him. For one thing, she intimidated the hell out of him. For another, he assumed she was married to her work. A 35-year-old woman already running a hospital? That was a woman who had no time for petty things like a social life.

But the beauty was this. In the “who got the better date?” sweepstakes, he had clearly won, without even trying. House got the comely, but inexperienced understudy. He got the ravishing leading lady.

He had chosen not to tell House that he was seeing Cuddy, partly because House seemed nervous enough—he didn’t want to throw another curve at him—and partly because he wasn’t 100 percent sure it was even a date. Colleagues had friendly dinners, right? He didn’t want to boast to House if he was going to be immediately friend zoned.

When he got to Sullivan’s, she was already waiting for him, at the bar, dressed in a rather intoxicating combination of tight jeans, stiletto booties, and a loose sweater. Her hair was down, and hung in loose curls, like she had washed it, but not blown it dry. He wanted to tell her he liked it better that way, but thought it was inappropriate. He sat next to her. She smelled amazing.

“Hey,” he said.


He noticed she was drinking a martini, not really a Sullivan’s kind of drink—it was definitely more of a beer and whiskey kind of place. He wondered if he had chosen the wrong place.

“I like it here,” she said, immediately putting him at ease. “It’s got a good vibe.”

He smiled.

“You want to get a table? Or just eat the bar?”

“Bar works,” she said. “Easier to refill our drinks.”

This was a whole new side of Lisa Cuddy.

They ordered more drinks, then food—he got a burger; she got a Caesar salad with chicken—and exchanged a bit of small talk about the hospital.

Then, somewhat cautiously, she said, “So how was House? All excited for the big date?”

“He was a bit like a nervous school boy, to be honest,” Wilson said.

“Was he wearing the sky-blue shirt?” she asked.

“Yes,” Wilson said, curiously. “As a matter of fact he was.”

“Good,” she said, nodding.

Wilson looked down at his beer and smiled.

“He’ll kill me for telling you this, but he also bought Cameron a corsage.”

“A corsage?” She looked disgusted. “What is this, the prom?” Then, under her breath she added: “I guess it makes sense, since we already established he’s dating the prom queen.”

He looked at her.

“Not a big fan of Cameron?”

Cuddy took a big swig of her martini.

“I never said that. I just think she’s all wrong for House. He’ll eat her alive.”

“I don’t totally disagree,” Wilson said, eyeing her.

“So where’s he taking her? A monster truck rally?”

“Spiletto,” Wilson said.

“Spiletto? Wow. Not House’s kind of place at all. I’m surprised. I mean, what’s the deal? Why is he trying so hard to impress her?”

Shit. Wilson peered at her, suddenly realizing what was happening here.

“Are you. . .jealous?”

Cuddy recoiled a bit.

“What? That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard,” she scoffed, in a voice that could only be described as protesting too much.

So friend zone it was.

“It’s okay if you are,” Wilson said, glumly. “We all have our secret shame.”

“Shut up, Wilson.”

He squinted at her.

“You knew him at Michigan didn’t you?”

She idly stirred her martini.

“A little.”

“How well?”

“Not well,” she said.

“But you …hung out? Dated? Had sex?”

When he said “had sex” she actually choked a bit on the swig of martini she had just taken. He stared at her.

“Ohmygod, you had sex with him!”

“Lower your voice, Wilson. I’m not sure the people in the parking lot heard you.”

“You had sex with House?” he whispered, conspiratorially.

The evening may have not been going as he had hoped, but at least it was getting interesting.

“Just one time,” she said. Then added, “Well, one night, at least.”

Then she put her head in her hands in a “why did I just say that?” sort of way.

“I’m shocked.”

“I’m shocked House never told you. I figured he’d have boasted the minute you guys became friends.”

“One thing I’ve learned about House, he’s surprisingly chivalrous.”

She raised her eyebrows.

“Huh,” she said.

“So what happened? I mean, after the magical night you spent together.”

“I had House’s child and we’re secretly raising it together,” she said. Then, noting the shocked look on his face, she laughed. “What do you think happened? He never called me. And then, a few weeks later, I heard he’d been expelled. So…”

“Have you guys ever . . . talked about it?”

“Talked about it? What’s there to say? We were college kids. We hooked up. There’s this thing called the sexual revolution that happened 30 years ago. You should look into it.”

“And there are no lingering . . .feelings?”

“None whatsoever,” Cuddy said, resolutely. “A good time was had by all and that was that.”

He studied her.

“Okay, if you say so.”


“So how was the big date with Dr. Cameron?” Nurse Jeffrey said to House, quickly following him down the hallway.

“I’m so glad you asked!” House said, brightly.


“Yes, I was dying to tell someone to fuck off today.”

“Touchy, touchy, touchy,” Nurse Jeffrey said. “Or maybe you’re just upset that your boyfriend had the hotter date.”

“You finally convinced Wilson to have drinks with you? Excellent! How deep into the night before he figured out you were at a gay bar?”

“Not me. Dr. Cuddy.”

House stopped walking and looked at him.


“Yeah, a few of the nurses spotted Dr. Wilson and Dr. Cuddy at Sullivan’s last night. They were having dinner at the bar, looking very cozy together.”

House scowled.


“Yeah. Looks like you’re not the only one who got lucky last night,” Nurse Jeffrey said, and strutted away.


House marched right to Wilson’s office.

Wilson looked up, grinned at him.

“So how was the big date?” he said.

“You had dinner with Cuddy last night?” House said, accusingly.

“Wow, word travels fast. Yes, I did. How was the big date with Cameron?”

“Like, just the two of you?”

“Yes. How was your date with Cameron?”

“How did that even happen?”

“I asked Cuddy. She agreed. How was the date with Cameron?”

“It was fine,” House said, distractedly. “So was it a …date?”

“I’m going to have to say no. Strictly friends, alas. I did, however, learn something very interesting about you.” He gave a sneaky smile.

“Don’t be coy, Wilson. Tell me.”’

“I found out about your, shall we say, extracurricular activities with Cuddy back at Michigan.”

House narrowed his eyes.

“Are we talking about the extracurricular activities I think we’re talking about?”

“If you’re referring to the ones that involved you and Cuddy making sweet, sweet love? Then yes.”

House slumped into a chair, shocked.

“How did you even find out about that?” he said.

“Cuddy told me.”

“What else did she say?”

“That’s it. Although she suggested it was a mutually satisfying experience.”

“It was,” House said. Then he frowned, drummed his fingers on his cane. “So are you seeing her again?”


His next stop was Cuddy’s office.

“You told Wilson we had sex?” he said, after he’d discreetly closed the door.

She cringed a bit.

“I’m sorry. It just slipped out.”

“You must be confusing me without somebody else,” he cracked.

“Shut up, House.”

“Seriously though Cuddy. I’ve displayed superhuman restraint in not telling our secret for 20 years and you run your mouth after a couple of martinis?”

“I’m sorry,” Cuddy said. “Truly. I hope I didn’t embarrass you.”

“I’m not embarrassed. I’m a dude. I’d put out a hospital-wide memo if I thought you wouldn’t mind.”

“I’d mind,” Cuddy said. “So don’t get any bright ideas.”

“Figured so much,” he shrugged. “So how did our . . .night of passion even come up?”

“Umm, I guess we were talking about your date with Cameron and I just… told him. How was your date, by the way? I heard about the corsage. Very romantic. . . .Oh wait, did I say romantic? I meant cheesy.”

“Wilson’s a dead man. And we’re not talking about my date with Cameron. We’re talking about your extremely loose-lipped date, with Wilson.”

“It wasn’t a date!” Cuddy said. Then she narrowed her eyes. “Why? Did he say it was?”

“Do you want him to have said it was a date?”

“No. I’m not interested in Wilson.”

“Then who are you interested in?” he said.

For a moment, their eyes met—and the silent tension coursing between them could light a small village. Then she looked away.

“George Clooney wouldn’t be bad,” she cracked.

“Right,” he said. “So back to you blabbing about the greatest sex you ever had to Wilson. . .”

“Nice try, House.”

“Tell me exactly how it came up.”

Right now Cuddy wished two things: She wished that she had expressly told Wilson not to tell House. (Unlike House, Wilson was actually a pretty big gossip.) And she wished she’d come up with an alternate explanation for how it had come up. (“Wilson picked up on my jealousy toward Cameron” not being an ideal response.)

“It wasn’t like I meant to tell him,” she improvised. “Wilson asked me if you dated a lot in college and then I guess the look on my face betrayed me.”

“I’m trying to imagine what the ‘I had sex with House’ look would look like. Dirty smile? A ravenous lick of the lips? Ecstatic ‘O’ face?”

“More like a look of painful constipation,” Cuddy said.

Suure,” House said, popping up. “Well, I’m back to work. This has been very illuminating.”

“Wait a second. I showed you mine, you show me yours. How was your date with Cameron?”

“Suffice it to say, I still know you a lot better,” he said, wagging his eyebrows.

And despite herself, Cuddy smiled.


That night, House had a dream.

“You cost the hospital $100 million and now you owe me something,” Cuddy had said. For some reason she was wearing a tee-shirt with no bra. Her nipples were hard.

“What do I owe you?” he had said.

“You need to make me come,” she said, taking off the top and spreading her legs.

House woke up, suddenly, then looked down at the tented sheet.

“You have a big problem, House,” he said, out loud.


The next day, he saw Cuddy at work—she was at the clinic desk, bending over over some patient files—and he found himself remembering their night together—how perfectly her body had responded to his touch, the little moans that she made during sex, the absolute stunning perfection of her naked form. It wasn’t that he had ever forgotten how great the sex between them had been. More like he had locked the memories of it into a small compartment of his brain. It was safe to say, the compartment had opened.

That night, he drove to her place, knocked on her door.

She answered. She was, in fact, wearing a tight tee-shirt, not completely unlike the one in his dream (although, sadly, she was wearing a bra.) Also, her hair was down on her shoulders, curling a bit at the bottom.

“What are you doing here?” she said, surprised to see him.

“You should wear your hair like that always,” he said approvingly, stepping inside. “It looks good.”

“I’ll keep that in mind,” she said.  “What are you at my house, House?”

“Oh yeah. I, um, came to tell you that I quit.”

“You what?”

“I quit.”

“Why on earth would you quit? I just cost the hospital 100 million dollars to keep you employed!”

“It’s the whole you-telling-Wilson-we-had-sex thing. It’s going to get around the entire hospital soon and everyone’s going to think you only hired me because you want my body.”

“No one’s going to think that! And besides, I thought you wanted people to know.”

“I changed my mind. I’m very sensitive about people seeing me as a piece of man meat.”

She narrowed her eyes.

“What’s this really about, House?”

“I guess I could be convinced to stay,” he said. “Under one condition…”

She rolled her eyes.

“Here it comes. . .”

“Go out with me.”

That wasn’t what she was expecting.


“Go out with me. Or, better still, stay in with me. I make a mean coq au vin—or at least I’m sure I will, once I figure out what that is.”

“You’ll quit unless I go out with you?”

He shrugged.

“Worked for Cameron.”

“And you’re serious about this?”

“Serious as a myocardial infarction, as the kids say.”

“They don’t say that.”

“Oh.  . . So will you?”

She looked at him. He had that smug look on his face that simultaneously annoyed her and completely turned her on.

 “I guess you leave me with no choice,” she said.

“Tomorrow night. My apartment. 7 o clock. Wear your hair like that.”


Cameron was getting frustrated. It had been three days since her date with House and he had barely said a word to her about it.  The date, admittedly, hadn’t gone that well. House had been too nervous, too far out of his comfort zone.  But she figured for their next date, they’d go someplace more casual, maybe on the back of his motorcycle again.

She had been hoping for—or at least prepared for—sex that night, wearing a pretty damn sexy (if she did say so herself) teddy under her clothing. But they hadn’t even kissed.

House’s theory that she only liked him because he was damaged goods annoyed her to no end. For starters, was it really so horrible to like damaged men? And besides, the lust she felt for House had little to do with his emotional turmoil and more to do with his big blue eyes and incredibly sexy body. Had he not looked in a mirror lately?

Damn, why hadn’t they kissed?

She decided that maybe the reason was because she hadn’t initiated it. After all, she had been the catalyst of the date, asking him out, assuming the role of the man, in a way. Maybe he figured if she wanted to kiss him she would have.

She looked at her watch. 9:30 pm. She could drive to his apartment, knock on the door, and just go for it. Maybe that was what he’d been expecting and hoping for all along.


The minute she got to his door, she sensed something was amiss.

She could hear jazz music playing on the stereo and she heard laughter—a woman’s laughter. It almost sounded like he was having a party.

Maybe she should leave?

Or maybe this was the perfect opportunity. A party meant there was drinking, the loosening of inhibition, permissiveness. Plus, she’d get to meet House’s friends. She didn’t even know he had any friends, other than Wilson.

So she knocked.

House opened the door, a dish towel over his shoulder. He looked stunned, and slightly horrified, to see her.

“What the hell are you doing here?” he said.

Cameron peered inside. There was no party. Well, there was. But it was a party of two.

Cuddy was in the kitchen, helping with dishes, and drinking wine. The house smelled of chicken and garlic and thyme. Melted candles had been recently blown out on the dining room table. Cuddy was still laughing over something, although when she saw Cameron, she stopped.

“Cameron!” she said.

“Dr. Cuddy!” Cameron replied.

House folded his arms.

“Cameron, why are you here?” he repeated.

She felt a blush rise up her neck.

“I. . .I. . .forget it!” she said, running away.

“Shit,” House said. “Shit, shit, shit.” He turned to Cuddy. “I’ll be right back.”

“Cameron!” he yelled, hobbling after her, as she made her way down the hall. “Stop!”

She stopped, dutifully, turned to him, her eyes wet with tears.

“You’re seeing Cuddy?” she said, pathetically.

“It’s just a friendly dinner between colleagues,” House lied.

“That’s not what it looked like,” Cameron muttered. “It looked like a date.”

“Well, whatever it looked like, it’s none of your business.”

She felt ridiculous, but was in too deep to stop now.

“But what about. . .us?” she said.

His eyes fixed on hers.

“Cameron, there is no us. You know that.”

She looked down.

“I know our date didn’t go that well. It was a little tense, a little awkward. But that was just our first stab at it. It’s to be expected that there would be …jitters. It’ll go better next time!”

“There won’t be a next time.”

“Why? Because of her?”

“My feelings for Dr. Cuddy have nothing to do with you.”

Cameron felt vaguely ill. My feelings for Dr. Cuddy.

“She’s wrong for you,” she said, feeling desperate.

“And let me guess,” he said.  “You’re right?”

“Yes!” she said.

“Were you even listening to me at dinner? This thing between us? This fantasy where you heal me and make me a better man? It isn’t real. It’s a figment of your imagination.”

“You treat me like some sort of child.”

“I treat you the way your behavior demands that I treat you.”

She jutted out her chin.

“Fuck you,” she said.

“Now that’s more like it,” he said.

She allowed herself the tiniest laugh.

“You’re an asshole, you know that?”

“So I’ve been told.”

She looked at him.

“I guess I should’ve called first, huh?” she admitted.

“Always wise,” he said.

 “I’ll see you on Monday? And we’ll both pretend this never happened?”

“A few more drinks and I won’t have to even pretend,” he said, charitably.

She blinked at him sadly and left.

House exhaled and limped back to his apartment. Cuddy had finished drying the dishes and was putting on her coat.

“What are you doing?” he asked, alarmed.

“It’s late. I should go,” she said.

“Nooooo! Why? Because of her?”

“Her appearance was something of a mood killer.”

“And now she’s gone.”

“She seemed very upset.”

“A little girl’s tantrum, from someone used to getting her way. She’ll get over it.”

“It just feels…wrong to be here.”

“Look, Cuddy. Cameron’s feelings for me are an illusion. She doesn’t love me. She just thinks she loves me. It’s the definition of a schoolgirl crush. Now what we have is much more…”—he smiled, stepping toward her—“grownup.”

She laughed.

“You mean because you want to have sex with me,” she said.

“Yes, that’s exactly what I mean,” he replied.

“So that was the plan? Make me dinner? Ply me with wine? Have your way with me?”

“Not so much the plan as the. . .hope,” he said. Then he looked at her. “Take your jacket off. Stay a while.”

She hesitated, then removed her jacket, put it on the back of the chair.

“Now that’s more like—” But he stopped, his mouth hanging open, because she wasn’t done disrobing. She bit her lip in a sexy sort of way, and slowly unbuttoned her shirt. Then she slid out of her skinny jeans.

His breathing grew heavy as he watched her. She took off her bra and her full, ripe breasts were even better than in his dream, better than he had remembered. He was already hard.

Then, taking her sweet time, she slid out of her panties. She was standing before him, completely naked.

“Fuck me,” he uttered, in awe.

“I think that’s my line,” she teased. “Come here.”

He walked up to her eagerly, put his hands on her waist, then, pulling her toward him, began kissing her on the mouth, as his hands caressed her hips, her ass. His mouth moved to her breasts, and as he sucked and licked them, she made those same little gaspy moaning sounds he had remembered, the ones he been fantasizing about.

Not able to take it anymore, he picked her up, carried her to the bedroom. “Make me come,” she had said in his fantasy—and somehow that was even more important than his own desire. He buried his face between her legs, getting more turned on as her moans grew louder, her back arched, her muscles clenched around his tongue.

“I want you inside me,” she breathed.

So he obeyed, slowly and deeply at first, kissing her, murmuring her name, until neither could take it any longer and he began pumping more quickly and they both came, almost simultaneously.

Afterward, they lay side by side, out of breath.

“It’s good to be a grownup,” Cuddy giggled. And he laughed and kissed her on the lips.


On Monday morning, Cameron decided to go to Cuddy’s office to clear the air, apologize for her intrusion, but she wasn’t in.

“Where’s Dr. Cuddy?” she asked.

“She’s running late. Said she’d be in around 11,” her assistant said.

Cameron frowned. “That’s unusual, isn’t it?”


Cameron made her way to the differential room, where Foreman and Chase were sitting at the table, shooting spitballs at each other.

“Where’s House?” she said.

“Even later than usual,” Foreman said.

She looked at the clock. 10:15.

At almost exactly 11, House ambled in, looking happy and tired.

“Morning Angels!” he said. “Oh wait…that’s not my line.”

He nodded at Cameron in a “we’re good” kind of way, then adopted the voice of the WWE announcer, “Let’s get ready to differrrrrentiate!”

At lunch, Cameron watched House and Cuddy clowning around on the food line (he kept putting desserts on her tray and she kept taking them off) and felt a sense of inescapable dread.

“Earth to Cameron,” Wilson said, waving his hand in front of her face.

She looked up.

“Where were you just then?” he asked.

 “Looking at them,” Cameron admitted, gesturing to House and Cuddy.

“Huh, they do look extra flirty today,” he said. He also noticed that Cuddy’s hair was down on her shoulders, curling at the bottom.

“That’s because they spent the whole weekend having sex,” Cameron said, bitterly.

“Wait. What. Whoa,” Wilson said.

“It’s true.”

“And you know this because they…told you?”

“They don’t need to tell me. A woman just knows.”

“Huh,” Wilson said, feeling the slightest twinge of jealousy himself. Then he turned to Cameron—with her silky hair, apple cheeks, and smooth skin, she truly looked like every beautiful cheerleader who had rejected him in in high school. He cocked his head.

“Do you have plans tonight?” he said.

06 September 2014 @ 08:25 pm
“What?” House barked into the phone.

“House, where have you been?” Wilson said. “Why haven’t you been answering your phone? I called six times!”

“Oh, so that’s what that annoying vibrating was. I thought my leg had a new symptom.”

“Are you…drunk?”

“It is possible that I may have partaken in a scotch…or four.”

“I don’t get it. Why aren’t you at the hospital? I figured by now you’d have set off a fire alarm or released a stinkbomb—anything to get back in Cuddy’s room.”

“Funny thing that,” House said. “I can’t go to Cuddy’s room.”

“What? Last time we spoke you had a full head of steam. I believe your exact words were, ‘I’ll be there in 10 minutes.’ So what happened?”

“The very official and scary looking letter in my pocket from the State of New Jersey saying that I can’t go within 20 yards of Lisa Cuddy is what happened.”

“Letter? . . . A restraining order? Who would. . .?” Then he thought about it. “Oh God, she wouldn’t.”

“She would and she did.”

“I had no idea Julia was so devious.”

House snorted.

“She’s not. Julia may hate my guts but she doesn’t have nearly the nefarious imagination for something like this. This restraining order has Arlene Cuddy written all over it.”

“Is that even legal? I mean, Cuddy’s  unconscious.”

“It’s called power of attorney. It transfers to the next of kin when someone is incapacitated.”

“So what would actually happen if you came to see her?”

“Three to five years in jail,” House said, taking a bitter swig of his drink. “You see, I’m a known offender. An ex con. Score one, Arlene.”

“House, I’m so sorry. That…sucks. No wonder you’re drunk.”

“Bottoms up,” House said, ironically. Then he sighed. “So how is she?”

“The doctors says all vitals are trending in the right direction. I was actually about to go visit.”

“Tell her that I. . .Tell her . . . Oh, forget it. It’s useless.”

“What’s useless?”

“I had a chance to redeem myself by being there for her and instead I’m sitting here in a fucking hotel bar.”

“That’s hardly your fault. You can’t help if Cuddy’s mother is a psychopath.”

“I failed her. Again. It’s what I do. Good bye, Wilson.”

And he hung up.


Cuddy’s eyes fluttered open.

She looked around the room.

Blurred figures of two women slowly came into focus.

“Mom?” she said.  “Julia?”

“Honey, we’re right here,” Arlene said, going to her.

“There was an accident,” Cuddy said, slowly piecing it together: the loud noises, the debris, the far-away-sounding voice of someone screaming for help.

“Yes sweetie. A bad one. But you’re going to be okay.”

“Hi sis,” Julia said, also getting up, squeezing Cuddy’s hand. “You gave us a scare there.”

“Where’s Rachel?” Cuddy said, feeling disoriented and panicky.

“She’s fine, Lis. She’s with the nanny and my kids back in Princeton. We’ll bring her by tomorrow.”

Cuddy rubbed her eyes.

“What day is today?” she said.

“It’s Monday. You were out for two and a half days.”

“And House?” Cuddy said.

Arlene frowned, glanced at Julia.

“He’s not here honey. He can’t hurt you ever again.”

“No. . .I…I was driving to see him.” She scrunched up her face, trying to remember. “We were supposed to spend the weekend together. He must be so worried. Does he know I’m here?”

It wasn’t that Cuddy was planning on telling Arlene and Julia this way. She was still in a sort of elemental state, only able to construct basic thoughts: The safety of her child. Concern for her lover.

“House knows about the accident,” Arlene said. “He’s been informed.”

“Then where is he?”

“Not here, obviously,” Arlene said, glancing at Julia again.

“Can someone tell him I’m awake and I want to see him?”

“I have no way of contacting him,” Arlene said. “He …hasn’t been by to see you.”

Julia shot her mother a surprised look, but said nothing.

“He hasn’t?” Cuddy said.

“No. Not once.”

Cuddy closed her eyes, upset and confused.

“But he loves me,” she said. “I don’t get it.”

“Bailing when things get tough is his specialty, if I recall,” Arlene said.

Cuddy felt like she was about to cry.

“I just. . .I thought things were different this time.”

“You should stop wasting your time on that man. He will always disappoint you.”

Cuddy tried to swallow, but her mouth was dry.

“I’m thirsty,” she said finally.

“Here sweetie,” Arlene said, taking the glass of water on the tray next to the bed and bringing it to Cuddy’s lips. “Try to sit up a little and take a sip.”


“You want to talk about it?” the bartender said to House, pouring him his fifth scotch.

“Do I look like I want to talk about it?” House grumbled.

“Sorry, man. You just seem a little depressed.”

“Thank you, Sigmund.”

“Anyway, I thought you might need this to absorb some of that scotch.” He slid a burger and fries in House’s direction. “On the house.”

House looked at him. “Thanks,” he said, taking a glum bite of the sandwich. Then he sighed.

“Have you ever come close to getting everything you wanted and then the rug was pulled out from under you?” he said. “And suddenly you realize, Of course it didn’t work out. Because you’re meant to miserable. It’s who you are.”

The bartender gave a half smile.

“Was that a rhetorical question?”

House laughed a bit, despite himself.

“I know,” he said, running his hand through his hair. “I’m pathetic.”

“I’ve seen worse,” the bartender said. “But not much.”

“The night is young,” House said.

“In my experience, good things happen to good people.”

House looked at him.

“Either you’re lying, you’ve had no experience, or you’re really really dumb.”

Then he added, charitably. “Let’s just assume you’ve had no experience. Besides, who said I’m a good person?”

“I have an instinct about that sort of thing,” the bartender said.


“Hey,” Wilson said, pulling a chair up beside Cuddy’s bed. Arlene and Julia had gone down to the cafeteria to get something to eat so the two of them were alone.  “You look good. How are you feeling?”

“Okay,” Cuddy said. “My head hurts.”

“Yeah. Concussions tend to have that effect. Any blurred vision? Mental fuzziness?”

“So far, so good,” Cuddy said.

“Good. But with that broken leg, you’ll be walking like House for the next few months.”

At the invocation of his name a heavy silence fell over the room.

“So I guess you found out about us?” Cuddy said.

“Yeah, he told me. But only after the accident. As ever, he was the soul of discretion.”

“I just don’t get it,” Cuddy said, shaking her head.

“Get what?”

“Why he wouldn’t come see me.”

Wilson squinted at her.


“I mean, unless he thought I wouldn’t want him here…but still. After my cancer scare, I assumed he would—”

“Cuddy, House was here every day,” Wilson said. “He even hired some guy to distract your mother so he could spend more time with you.”

“He did?”

“Of course. He was sick with worry about you.”

“I knew it,” Cuddy said, almost to herself. “My mother is such a liar. I knew he wouldn’t stay away again.”

Then she frowned.

“So where is he now?”

“Possibly still bellied up to the bar at the Hoboken Hilton. He can’t come see you anymore. Your mother put out a restraining order.”

“She what?” Cuddy said, bolting up so quickly in bed, she clutched her ribs in pain. She lay back down. “What?” she repeated.

“Don’t ask me. Ask your mother. She thought he was stalking you or something. House told her you guys were back together and she didn’t believe him. To be honest, it took a while to convince me too. It’s not like he hasn’t hallucinated a relationship with you before.”

Cuddy put her hand to her face.

“Oh my God, poor House.”

“Yeah, he’s pretty broken up about it. Hence the heavy drinking.”

“This is my fault,” Cuddy said, shaking her head. “I kept him tucked away, like some sort of shameful secret. And he’s not a secret. He’s the man I love.”

“I think House really needs to hear that,” Wilson said.

“I need you to do a few things for me, Wilson: Get me a lawyer. A good one. A shark. I’m going to make that restraining order go away. And tell my mother to get her wrinkly ass in here. She has some explaining to do.”


A day later, thanks to Wilson’s good lawyer, the restraining order was revoked and House was able to come visit Cuddy.

When he went to her room, Arlene and Julia were both there.

He stopped in the doorway, looked down at his feet.

“I guess I’ll, uh, come back later,” he said.

“No!” Cuddy said. “You stay. They’re leaving.”

Then she turned to her mother. “But before they go, isn’t there something you want to say to House?”

“I’m sorry about the …misunderstanding,” Arlene mumbled, barely audibly.

“Misunderstanding. That’s one way of putting it,” House said.

Mom,” Cuddy said.

“Okay! I’m sorry I put out a restraining order on you and lied to my daughter about it! Are you satisfied? I don’t know what else I’m supposed to say…”

“No, that was perfect. Very moving,” House said. “I’m sure they’ll put it on a Hallmark card one day.”

Cuddy was still glaring at Arlene, so she continued:

“I admit, the restraining order might have been a touch extreme. I was just trying to protect my daughter.”

House’s face grew serious.

“I know you were,” he said. “I don’t blame you.” And he and Arlene quietly nodded at each other.

“Mom, I know it’s hard to understand,” Cuddy said. “And I know that I made a mess of things by lying to you. But you have to accept that House is back  in my life.” She turned to her sister. “Both of you do. Because I love him—and he’s not going anywhere.”

House gave a tiny, proud smile.

“It’s true,” House said. “I’m not.”

Julia and Arlene both rolled their eyes.

“Now leave, so I can spend some time along with my man!”

After they were gone, House sat down beside Cuddy, took her hand.

“If the plan was to scare the shit out me,” he said. “Mission accomplished.”

“I scared myself,” she said. “And then when I woke up and you weren’t here. . .”

“You didn’t really believe that I could stay away, did you?”

“I didn’t want to believe it,” Cuddy said.

“Look at me,” he said, lifting her chin. “I will never let you down again. Ever. Do you understand that?”

“I think I finally do,” she said nodding.

“And along those lines,” he said, with a tiny smile. “I’m afraid I’m not going to be able to let you get back behind the wheel of a car again. It’s unfortunate, but it’s the way it has to be.”

She chuckled. “Believe me, I’m in no rush,” she said. “And besides, with my bad leg, I have no choice in the matter.”

“I love the idea that I’m suddenly the able-bodied one in this relationship.”

“Gimpy and Gimpier: A Love Story,” Cuddy said.

He laughed. “So, besides the leg . . .and the head…and the ribs…and the fact that Arlene Cuddy is your mother…how do you feel?” he said.

“Happier now,” she said, looking at him.

He leaned down and kissed her gently on the lips.

“Me too,” he said.

“I missed you,” she said.

“I missed you too.”

“I’m sorry about all of  this. It was all my fault.”

“Shhh,” he said. “That’s crazy talk. You can’t help it if your mother is like Chuck Norris in sensible shoes.”

“But if I hadn’t lied about us…”

“Forget it. We’re out of the closet—well, hotel room—for good now,” he said. “That’s what counts.”

“You’re right, it does.” Then she gave a little ironic smile. “I got all your voicemail messages, by the way.”

“Oh . . . those.”

“I’m pretty sure you called me a bitch,” she teased.

“I was …agitated.”

“It’s okay,” she said. “But I’m so saving those messages to use against you in the future.”

“You’re evil.”

“And you love it.”

“Yes,” he said, adoringly. “I do.”


House left the room to let her get some sleep and bumped right smack into Arlene and Julia.

“Hey, it’s my arch nemesises,” he said, furrowing his brow like he wasn’t sure how to pronounce the word. “Nemesi?”

“Hello House,” Julia said. “How’s she doing?”

“Better now that I’m here,” House said.

“Regrettably, that seems to be true,” Arlene said. “I may not like you, House. I may not approve of you. I may think you’re a poor excuse for a man and an even worse excuse for a life partner, but my daughter seems to love you. So I officially accept your presence in her life, God help me.”

“Thank you Arlene. That’ll make a wonderful toast at our wedding.”

“Don’t push it, House.”


Ten months later, House and Cuddy entered the Hoboken Hilton for the first time since the accident.

“Welcome back Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner!” the concierge said. “It’s been too long.”

“Actually, it’s Dr. and Mrs. House now,” House said. “Well, Dr. and Dr.— but that sounds more like a medical practice than the wedded bliss it is.”

“Congratulations!” the concierge said. “We find around here that these sorts of, um, hotel-based relationships don’t usually have such happy endings.”

“We’re freaks like that,” House said.

“It’s part of our charm,” Cuddy agreed.

“Well, in honor of your recent nuptials, I’m going to upgrade you to the Honeymoon Suite.”

“No!” House and Cuddy said, in unison.

“We want the same room we always had. 1207,” Cuddy explained.

“Where it all began,” House said, wrapping his arm around her.

“Very good, “ the concierge said, typing something into his computer. “I assume a complimentary bottle of champagne is  not against the rules?”

“You assume correctly, good sir,” House said.

“And is there still a DVD player in the room?” Cuddy said. She smiled sneakily, “I brought The Way We Were.”

“Oh, there will be no movie watching of any kind,” House said, pulling her closer and kissing the top of her head. “We’ll be way too busy!”

She gave a playful scream and squirmed out from under him.

“I also brought Beaches!” she said, darting to the elevator. “And Hope Floats!”

“Welcome to married life,” the concierge said, with a laugh.

“Isn’t it the best?” House said.