ext_117805 ([identity profile] whatstheddx.livejournal.com) wrote in [community profile] cuddys_house2009-10-07 03:26 am

Friday, May 18 - morning

Cuddy stayed in hospital for the following two days, and House spent a good deal of his time there. Over the duration of those two days, the reality that he was a father had sunk in marginally. Talking it through with his psychiatrist had helped - again, only marginally. When he'd gotten to her office and explained that Cuddy had given birth, Megan had congratulated him with a big smile. But seeing his less than thrilled expression, she'd quickly sobered and got straight to the point: "How do you feel about it?" she'd asked.

"If that question was any broader, it would be big enough to host a monster truck jam on," he'd retorted.

Megan had simply sat back, crossed her legs and rested her hands on her lap. "Alright, we'll break it down into more manageable bites. What's her name?"

And so House began talking about Emma, about how much she weighed at birth, about the actual birth itself, guided by Megan's questions. At last, she steered him in the direction of fatherhood. "What did you feel the first time you held her?" she asked.

"A baby, oddly enough," he replied. Megan just stared at him, waiting patiently for him to answer the question properly. He sighed and looked away, picking at the upholstery of the chair's arm with his finger and thumb. What had he felt? He'd felt a whole range of things, none of his which had seemed real. In fact, he wasn't even sure he'd felt something other than numbness at the whole surreal situation. "I don't know," he answered. "I guess scared."

"Why scared?"

He shrugged. "I'm responsible for a human life now. What's not to be scared about that?"

"But you've built a career on being responsible for people's lives. Does that typically scare you?"

"I get a thrill out of it. I'm good at doing it."

"But you're not good at being a father?" Megan raised her brows sceptically at him. "How do you know that? You haven't even tried it yet." House opened his mouth to answer but found himself stumped. Megan beat him to saying anything, anyway, with another question: "What makes this particular life so scary, Greg?"

"Because," he replied shortly. He was already tired and grumpy enough from having little sleep and having these thoughts swirling around in his mind. He didn't want to dwell on it any further. But then he sighed again. "Because. Because... because patients don't mean anything to me beyond a puzzle to solve, or an idiot to hand a prescription to. Patients come, patients go, it's part of my job."

"So, what you're saying is, you find this particular life scary because she means something to you."

House looked away again. He wanted to say that was a loaded question. Except Megan was right. "I guess," he admitted quietly.

Megan watched him for a beat. "Would it help to point out that you mean something to her? Even if she's not aware of it right now, she's aware of your voice. She'll become aware of your scent, your face, everything about you. You'll become one of the only two people she'll look up to with utmost trust - again, even if she's not aware of it."

He knew she was trying to be reassuring but talk of 'utmost trust' made more nervous than anything. He wasn't a person to be trusted at the best of times and he knew it. How could he be someone worth trusting when it came to being a parent? Honestly, he felt - just like he did with Cuddy - like he wasn't being taken seriously, that both Megan and Cuddy were vesting too much optimism in him. Or that they were telling him he was being stupid. Maybe he was being stupid but to him, his concerns were legitimate.

"You don't look convinced," Megan noted dryly after a pause.

"That's because you're a terrible liar."

Megan cocked her head to the side with her most convincing 'you know I don't bullshit you' look. House couldn't help cracking a small half-smile at that. He didn't like that she knew him as well as she already did... but he also appreciated, too, that she did. He appreciated, too, that he couldn't pull any wool over her eyes, as much as he'd tried to originally. The rest of the session went fairly quickly, Megan probing more thoughts out of him about Emma, and about Cuddy. Towards the end, he was yawning and rubbing his eyes, tired from the night before and tired from talking about all of this.

"I think we'll end it there for today," Megan said, glancing at the clock on the opposite wall. She scooted forward, then rested her hands on her lap. "I have some homework for you to take home this week," she said. House groaned to himself, which she ignored. "This week, I want you to not think about the future. The future can wait - you've got years for it to happen. Right now, what matters is Emma, Cuddy and you, all of you being a family. I want you to write a list this week, of all the things you notice about Emma. Don't write the list all at once. Write things down as you notice them. It could be anything - her eyes, the things she notices, how she responds to you when you hold her. Anything at all."

"I'm paying you a hundred and eighty dollars a week to talk to you and you want me to write lists?"

Megan smiled, knowing he'd find something to complain about. "Maybe spending the week closely observing and noting things down will help you get to know Emma more. That's what's important right now."

"Am I going to get marked on this?"

"I want you to bring the list with you next week and we'll talk about what you've written down." She stood from her seat. "Speaking of writing down, I need to write you a new scrip for amitriptyline..."

That session with Megan had been on Tuesday. It was now Friday and Cuddy was due to be discharged that very morning. He'd had a restless sleep the night before and woke up unreasonably early, too early to go to the hospital and too early to do anything besides attempt to fall back to sleep. After a futile half-hour of trying to do just that, he gave up and rose from bed, jumping straight in the shower before doing anything else. The morning was bright and sunny and a weather update on the TV while he ate some toast informed him that it was going to be a hotter than usual May day. Once he'd stepped outside after brushing his teeth, he could already feel the heat warming the air up and it was barely ten o'clock. Helmet fastened on his head, bike jacket on, he mounted his bike and pulled out onto the road to drive to the hospital.

Ten minutes later, he was parked up in his spot and headed for the entrance once he'd pulled his helmet off. When he reached Cuddy's room, the first thing that greeted him was the strong smell of flowers, her bedside cabinet crammed with flowers in vases, some with 'It's A Girl!' balloons sticking out of them, and a small collection of toys piled on the floor by her bag. He was greeted with the sound of Emma wailing in her bassinet, too - a hysterical, angry cry and when House edged around the flowers to take a look at her, Emma's face was bright red, mouth twisted open and her fists clenched tightly. He dropped the helmet on the bed and picked her up and the moment he had her settled up against his shoulder, she was rooting around hungrily for a nipple. Her cries, which had faltered for the moment in search of a boob, turned back up to full volume when she couldn't find anything to latch onto.

"Alright, alright. It's not the end of the world," he said to her, jerking his head away as one particular cry hit his eardrum at a deafening pitch. Cuddy wasn't in the room; he turned on the spot, looking the doorway and then at the bathroom door, which was open ajar. "Cuddy?" he called.

[identity profile] hbic-cuddy.livejournal.com 2009-10-06 10:38 pm (UTC)(link)
Cuddy breathed a sigh of relief when she woke before Emma that morning. She wanted to shower and maybe even make herself look a little nice--a touch of make-up, hair that didn't look like it had been only been given a lick and a promise. It wasn't necessary, she knew that. They were just going home. But they were going home. They were going to start a new life--or a new phase of their lives at least--as a family and that was worth celebrating.

She quickly gathered her toiletries and clothing and slipped into the bathroom without waking Emma. She left the bathroom door open so she could hear the baby. She could've taken Emma down to the nursery for the nurses to watch while she showered but she had a stubborn refusal to use someone else to do her job. There wasn't always going to be someone to help at home so she figured she might as well get to handling it herself.

She showered as fast as she could while still stealing a few moments to simply stand under the hot water and let it cascade over her body. Physically, other than fatigue, she felt pretty good. Ice packs and sitz baths had eased the abused tissues between her legs. Her stomach was still too big and too flabby but at least it didn't look like a deflated balloon hanging from her waist. The only part that was uncomfortable were her breasts. Her milk had come in and her breasts felt so heavy and full it was borderline painful.

She'd dried and dressed in slacks and a loose t-shirt when she heard Emma start to fuss. Cuddy hurried to comb her hair and reached for her make-up bag as Emma's cries started to escalate. Emma had been feeding every three hours, more or less, which was manageable but didn't leave Cuddy much time to do anything else, especially when it was less. And when Emma decided she was hungry, it only took her about five seconds to turn the volume to maximum. Still, Cuddy thought she could squeeze out a few more seconds to slap on some eye shadow and blush, especially when Emma's cries quieted for a moment.

"Coming," she called out when Emma's renewed wails were followed by House's voice. Cuddy shoved her make-up aside and hurried into the bedroom, still barefoot. "I know, I know," she said as she hurried over to House. She held her hands out and took the crying baby from him, holding her against her shoulder. She headed directly for the chair next to the bed, snagging a pillow and settling it on her lap when she sat down. Emma had gotten herself good and worked up, her face split by a toothless mouth open wide in a wail. Cuddy made quiet shushing noises as she pulled her shirt out of the way and opened the nursing flap on her bra.

Because Emma was so worked up, it took a little more time to get her to settle down long enough to realize that what she wanted was right in front of her. Finally, though, she latched on and started sucking furiously. "For heaven's sake," Cuddy said, a little dazed by just how insistent Emma could be about her meals. "You act like you haven't been fed in days." Cuddy relaxed back against the chair a bit and looked up, suddenly realizing she'd barely acknowledged House in her rush to see to Emma.

"So...," she said, looking at him with a wry smile. "How's your morning?"
Edited 2009-10-06 22:38 (UTC)

[identity profile] hbic-cuddy.livejournal.com 2009-10-06 11:52 pm (UTC)(link)
Cuddy threw House an exasperated look but immediately turned back to Emma as the baby coughed. She was used to having to suck harder to draw out the colostrum she'd been feeding on for the first few days. Milk was thinner and easier to express and when Emma latched on and sucked with her usual, frantic strength, she got more than she'd bargained for.

Cuddy held her up in a sitting position and patted her back until she could cough her mouth clear of the thin, white liquid. Then Emma began crying and shaking her tiny fists. She was frustrated at not getting the meal she'd so loudly demanded.

"Hey, I didn't do it on purpose," Cuddy murmured, trying to get Emma to quiet down long enough to nurse her. Milk continued to dribble from her nipple, like water from a leaky faucet. Emma's nursing had triggered the let-down response that allowed the milk to flow and her cries only added more stimulation. Unsure how to get Emma to settle and to nurse less ravenously, Cuddy gathered a few drops on her little finger and let Emma suck on it. Emma's lips immediately pursed around Cuddy's finger, but she quickly screwed up her face again when she realized she was only getting an appetizer.

"Shhh," Cuddy said quietly. She brought Emma back to her breast, holding her in a more upright position so she wouldn't choke so badly if she got a mouthful. Emma latched on hungrily, then sputtered again when she got more milk than she was prepared for. The choking wasn't as bad as the last time, though, and she greedily opened her mouth for Cuddy's breast again. It took several minutes of Cuddy trying anything she could to nurse calmly and for Emma to finally slow down enough she wasn't choking herself. Truth was, at that moment, she didn't need to put much effort into sucking. Once she seemed to realize that, she finally relaxed and let her fist rest agaist Cuddy's breast as she fed.

"God, such drama," Cuddy said, looking up at House. She knew Emma would get the hang of breast feeding just like Cuddy would. Right now, though, when everything was so new to both of them, it could be a little disconcerting to be thwarted, even temporarily, by something that seemed like it should be so easy and natural.

Cuddy lifted her hand and brushed a little milk from under Emma's chin. She looked down at herself when she felt dampness against the inside of her forearm. "Crap," she muttered when she saw a wet spot on her shirt over her other breast. She'd been in such a hurry she hadn't bothered to slip a nursing pad in her bra and now her other breast was leaking right along with the first and soaking clear through her bra and shirt.

"Crap," she said again. "So much for trying to look halfway nice."

[identity profile] hbic-cuddy.livejournal.com 2009-10-07 01:22 am (UTC)(link)
Cuddy rolled her eyes in exasperation when House kidded her about a wet t-shirt contest. That was definitely not the look she was going for. She knew it wasn't a big deal. She had another clean shirt. It was just the fact that her plans to look less frazzled than she had the last few days had flown right out the window. Her hair was curling any which way it wanted, her face was pale without any make-up and now her shirt had big milk stains. All she needed to complete the harried new mother look was a touch of baby puke.

"Don't you dare," she told Emma quietly. Emma had settled down, though, and was nursing happily. She had no interest in anything her mother had to say. And probably not for the last time.

Cuddy looked up as House took a seat on the bed. How was she? Well.... She was tired. She hadn't slept well since Emma's birth. Since before the birth actually, but being in the hospital wasn't restful. All day long either someone was checking on her or the baby or people were dropping in to meet Emma. Cuddy didn't mind that--she wanted to show off her daughter. It made it hard to rest, though. And at night, there were the normal noises of the staff going about their business, it was an unfamiliar and not terribly comfortable bed, and there was always Emma waking every few hours to nurse or have her diaper changed.

"I'm...glad to be going home," she said. At home she'd have some privacy again. She'd have a little time to herself. Very little, but some. She'd be able to truly relax and introduce Emma to her home. It was a little scary as well. It would be just her and House trying to figure out how to handle a newborn as this morning's feeding has just shown, it wasn't always as simple as it seemed. Still, they were intelligent. They were doctors, for heaven's sake. They'd figure it out.

"I'm tired," she admitted. "My breasts have turned into the mammary equivalent of Super Soakers and I'm not entirely sure what day it is. And I'm happy." She gave House weary but genuine smile. "I'm happy to be going home with our daughter."
Edited 2009-10-07 01:22 (UTC)

[identity profile] hbic-cuddy.livejournal.com 2009-10-07 02:53 am (UTC)(link)
Cuddy sincerely hoped she didn't look as bad as a zombie but she couldn't deny there'd been moments over the last few days when she'd felt like one. It was temporary, though. She just needed a little rest and she'd be fine. She was sure she'd rest more easily at home, too.

"It might be an upside to you, but honestly, they were already big enough for me." Her breasts had been big enough by the time she reached the end of the pregnancy as far as she was concerned. Now they were...huge. Engorged. Heavy. Although at the moment, only one was feeling uncomfortable because Emma's nursing had relieved the pressure in the other breast.

With that in mind, she gently dislodged Emma from her breast and sat her on her thigh. She supported her wobbly neck with one hand while she gently patted her back with the other to get her to burp before switching her to the other side. Emma made an unhappy noise but she had enough milk in her tummy that ger hunger wasn't as intense and she was willing for the moment to let her mother bounce her around a bit.

"Umm...that one is from Wilson," Cuddy said, nodding at one vase of cut flowers. "There's one from my brothers...which, of course, their wives actually ordered. There's a teddy bear from the nurses in the clinic. And...I'm not sure about the rest." She'd kept all the cards with the gifts so she could write thank-you notes when she got home but at the moment, she simply couldn't remember what was from whom. It wasn't like her to lose track of something like that but she blamed it on fatigue. As soon as she got some sleep, her mind would be as sharp as usual.

"Oh, and there's a stuffed Kanga and Roo behind some of the flowers. Chase got that. Well, I think it's from all three of your fellows and I suspect Cameron actually picked it out but Chase delivered it," she said, stopping abruptly when Emma let out a huge burp. Well, it was a small burp for an adult but for a seven pound baby, it was a doozy. It was big enough her chest jerked and her head bobbed backwards. She'd apparently swallowed a good amount of air between her crying and choking on the milk.

Cuddy let out a little snort, ridiculously amused by a stupid belch. Emma simply leaned against Cuddy's hand, a confused look on her face, which only made Cuddy giggle more.

[identity profile] hbic-cuddy.livejournal.com 2009-10-07 11:48 pm (UTC)(link)
Cuddy continued to hold Emma in a sitting position, allowing her to look around and try to figure out what that strange burp thing had been. Her head wobbled as she tried to locate the source of House's voice. Cuddy wanted to finish nursing her so she could finish getting ready to go home herself but Emma was content to sit quietly for a moment and House was talking to her so Cuddy decided to let them interact for a moment.

Just as she decided it was time for Emma to finish her breakfast, the baby urped up what looked like half of what she'd already eaten. Cuddy let out an exasperated sound. Great. She already had milk stains on her shirt and now she had baby barf on the thigh of her slacks. This day was getting off to a wonderful start.

"I thought we agreed you weren't going to do that," she told Emma as she leaned forward and grabbed a cloth. Emma simply sat, her eyes roaming around as Cuddy cleaned her face and wiped the worst of the milk from her onesie. She was content. Burping, urping up a little milk--it was no big deal to her. She was just getting rid of a little excess before it could upset her stomach.

It was fortunate Cuddy hadn't dressed Emma yet. At least the only thing she'd gotten dirty was the onesie which was easily changed. Her own clothes, though.... She gave her slacks a quick rub but she knew it was hopeless. She'd have to change after she finished with Emma.

"Does that display mean you're full?" she asked Emma. The baby made a unhappy noise and jerkily brought her fist to her mouth. "Okay, fine--but try not to be so greedy this time," Cuddy said as she shifted Emma to her other arm and adjusted the pillow on her lap. Emma looked up at her, sucking her fist but not acting fussy. Cuddy hoped that meant she'd be calmer about nursing now. Cuddy rather awkwardly reached around and pulled her shirt out of the way and opened the flap on her bra.

Emma latched on and nursed although it was less vigorously than before. Cuddy had a suspicion the baby wouldn't need much more to top off her little tank. Cuddy picked up the soiled cloth and held it out to House. "Can you get rid of this?"

[identity profile] hbic-cuddy.livejournal.com 2009-10-08 02:24 am (UTC)(link)
Cuddy ignored House when he turned up his nose at the cloth covered with baby barf. It wasn't the worst thing he'd ever encountered. It wasn't even the worst thing he'd encountered courtesy of his daughter. She'd made sure he'd changed a few messy diapers over the last couple of days. Although, now that the meconium had cleared Emma's system, her bowel movements weren't quite as difficult to clean.

Emma lay quietly in Cuddy's arm, nursing slowly. Her little hand opened and closed against Cuddy's breast, one of her newly trimmed fingernails scratching softly at Cuddy's skin. Cuddy slipped her finger into Emma's hand and she instinctively grabbed onto it. She opened her eyes as if to see what she had hold of but she lost interest after a moment and closed her eyes again.

"They're...." Cuddy had to stop and think. The last time she'd seen her keys was Monday morning when she arrived at work. She nodded at her purse, sitting on the floor next to her bag. "As far as I know, they're still in my purse.

"You know Wilson isn't actually your personal servant, right?" she continued. It certainly seemed that way at times, though. Wilson should tell House to take care of his own lifting and toting, but he probably wouldn't. Wilson wasn't one to turn down a request for help. Or, in House's case, a demand for help.

[identity profile] hbic-cuddy.livejournal.com 2009-10-08 03:36 am (UTC)(link)
Cuddy let out a faint sigh of exasperation as she listened to House blackmail Wilson into doing his dirty work. There was one thing that annoyed her about the way House used Wilson.... Actually, there were two things that annoyed her, one being that House got away with it. The other was that Wilson was actually doing the job he was paid to do. The job he should be doing rather than being dragged off by House. The fact Wilson could do his job and cater to House's every whim was irrelevant.

The relationship between the two men wasn't going to change, though, so there wasn't any reason for her to get worked up over it. Bottom line, she wouldn't want it to change...too much. House needed Wilson and she suspected Wilson needed House just as much. Messing with the weird yin and yang of their friendship could have disasterous consequences.

"I didn't forget," Cuddy said, turning her face to his. "Your daughter was just screaming louder than you were." Emma wasn't screaming now, though. She squirmed a bit when she felt Cuddy move but as Cuddy had suspected, it hadn't taken much to fill Emma's tummy and she'd fallen into a sort of milk-intoxicated doze.

Cuddy moved her to her shoulder and gently patted her back to burp her. Fortunately this time there was just a faint sound--more a sigh than a burp--and no accompanying gush of liquid. Cuddy managed to pull the pillow from her lap and toss it on the bed before she stood up. She took a couple of steps and, with Emma cradled against her shoulder, reached for House. She lifted her chin to meet him in a another quick kiss. Then she handed the baby to him.

"She needs a dry diaper," she told him. "And while you take care of that, I'm going to change into some dry, clean clothes myself before Wilson gets here." She leaned over and grabbed another shirt and pair of slacks from her bag and tossed them on the bed before she started stripping off her soiled clothing.

[identity profile] hbic-cuddy.livejournal.com 2009-10-09 02:31 am (UTC)(link)
"Tell you what--you deal with the boobs and the round the clock feedings and I'll be glad to change the diapers."

Cuddy didn't actually mean that. The whole breast feeding thing was still new and she hadn't quite got it figured out--neither had Emma for that matter--but she liked nursing. When it was going well, she liked holding her baby and watching her nurse. She liked knowing she was providing her daughter with the best nutrition possible. She liked the quiet interaction they had when Emma was happily filling her stomach. She definitely preferred breast feeding to changing diapers...although she did her fair share of those as well.

She rolled her soiled clothing in a loose ball and stuffed it in the side pocket on her overnight bag. She made a mental note to remember to toss them in the washer when she got home because baby barf was basically milk and sour milk got stinky. She changed her bra as well and this time she remembered to slip a couple of nursing pads inside the bra cups. After that she yanked on another pair of slacks and a t-shirt, hurrying to get dressed before anyone came in. Mostly, she wanted to be dressed before Wilson showed up. She and Wilson were friends but they weren't so close she wanted him to see her half-naked. Especially not when her body was a bit...flabby.

She stole glances at House while she dressed, though, watching him play with Emma. A smile softened her face when he leaned over the baby, talking to her and making faces. He might say he found fatherhood a scary idea but when he forgot about being scared, he was good with her. He was playful with her. It didn't matter that she had no idea what this big, crazy guy was doing. She just knew she was getting attention. She was getting the kind of mental stimulation she needed to help her brain develop.

Cuddy went into the bathroom and grabbed her toiletry bag from the counter next to the sink. She was just walking back into the room when she heard House exclaim. She set her make-up in her bag and looked over to see him staring at his shirt.

"Tell Daddy it's his own fault," she said, laughing. She walked over and pressed her hand against House's lower back as she leaned toward Emma. "Tell him if he plays with a naked baby, he's bound to end up with something on his shirt. Tell him it could be worse than a little pee."

Emma's eyes jerked in Cuddy's direction and she kicked her legs out, reacting to the fact she now had two big, crazy people talking at her and she didn't know what to make of it. "Let's get you covered up before you baptize anyone else," she said, grabbing a wipe and quickly cleaning Emma. "You've already trashed Mom and Dad's clothes and, well, I suppose Uncle Wilson's a legitimate target but maybe not today, okay?"

[identity profile] hbic-cuddy.livejournal.com 2009-10-09 03:38 am (UTC)(link)
"Mommy doesn't intend to give you a chance to pee on me," Cuddy said, quickly grabbing a diaper and sliding it under Emma's little butt. She supposed it was inevitable she'd get peed on just like it was inevitable she get puked on, and already had. She wasn't going to make it easy for Emma, though, the way House inadvertantly had.

She glanced over her shoulder when Wilson announced his presence. "No, you don't want to know," she said, giving House a gentle elbow in the ribs when he encouraged Emma to launch a biological attack on Wilson. "House is already teaching her bad habits."

"Well, I suppose it's nice they found something to bond over," Wilson said. He approached the little family but he kept a wary eye on House. It was hard telling which bad habits House was teaching Emma--he had so many to choose from.

"Bonding over pee?" Cuddy asked, incredulous.

Wilson gave a little shrug. "It's a start."

Cuddy left House in charge of Emma for a moment while she stepped back to the bed where she'd left the little one piece outfit Emma would wear home. It was a simple little knit cotton outfit in a pale green. Most of the baby clothes she'd bought were pretty simple and gender neutral because she hadn't known whether Emma would be a girl or a boy. She couldn't wait to go shopping now and get some real little girl clothes. Although she didn't buy into the notion that little girls had to be dressed in pink, she was sure there'd be enough pink in the house to make her daddy's head spin.

Wilson took the opportunity to move closer to the changing table. Emma's head rolled slightly in his direction, as if she was aware someone new had entered the picture. She was more alert and less fussy than the first time he'd met her. Still, he was careful when he reached over and rubbed his finger over her fist.

"So...how's it going?" he asked House. He glanced over and noticed the wet spots on House's shirt. That plus Cuddy's comments about pee gave him a pretty good idea of what had happened just before he arrived. Unable to resist rubbing it in, he added, "By the way, you smell like urine."

[identity profile] hbic-cuddy.livejournal.com 2009-10-09 11:44 pm (UTC)(link)
Cuddy gently pushed her way between House and Wilson so she could get back to the changing table. She gathered the outfit in her hands to pull over Emma's head but stopped and stared at Wilson, one eyebrow lifted as if to say are you sure that's what you wanted to say?

"In other words.... I looked good except for the parts that don't?" she asked him.

"No. No, I just meant...you know...that having a baby isn't easy and some women look...." Wilson gave a flustered shake of his head. Normally he was much better at talking to a woman, flattering her even. Then again, he normally wasn't speaking to a woman who'd just given birth. He'd never spoken to a Cuddy who'd given birth. He threw his hands up, deciding to quit before he dug himself in deeper. "You look fabulous."

Cuddy rolled her eyes at him but let it go. His comment made her aware she really should've taken time for make-up and maybe to do something with her hair. She hadn't had time, though, not unless she'd wanted to ignore Emma and Emma wasn't about to be ignored. Well, she had more important things to worry about at the moment. She'd do something about her appearance once they were all at home.

She pulled the clothing over Emma's head, provoking an angry cry when Emma found her face covered. She settled down pretty quickly once Cuddy got the outfit past her head and started to pull her arms through the arm holes but she looked like a baby chick who'd just had her feathers rubbed the wrong way. She resisted Cuddy's efforts, curling her arms up against her body and kicking her legs when Cuddy tried to snap the front and back together between her legs.

"It's not that bad," Cuddy told her as she tugged the clothing straight. Emma let out the equivalent of a baby shout and kicked again. "No, sorry, not buying it," Cuddy said, slipping a tiny pair of socks on the baby's feet.

In the meantime, Wilson had taken a couple of steps back to what he hoped would be a safe distance. Safer yet would be somewhere out of the room where Cuddy couldn't hear his clumsy compliments. And maybe where he could probe at House a little more.

"So where's the stuff that needs to go to the car?" he asked House.

[identity profile] hbic-cuddy.livejournal.com 2009-10-10 02:36 am (UTC)(link)
"Of course, I'm packed," Cuddy insisted. She didn't know if she could claim to have done it properly but she was packed. More or less.

She looked around the room trying to remember if there was anything she'd forgotten. She'd already cleared out the drawers. Her make-up bag was the only thing she'd had left in the bathroom and she put that in her suitcase just a few minutes earlier. At least, she thought she had.

She picked Emma up and cradled her in one arm while she walked over to the bed and made sure her make-up kit was in the bag. "Okay, my bag's ready. The stuffed animals and cards and stuff need to go." She pressed her lips together, thinking, while Emma thumped her fist against Cuddy's breast.

"I'll call my assistant and have the flowers delivered to patients who are alone." All of the arrangements were still looked fresh. They still had a few days of looking good. She didn't really need to take them home and some lonely patient might enjoy having something pretty to look at.

"Is that okay with you?" she asked, turning to look at Wilson. One of the arrangments was from him, after all, and she didn't want to offend him.

"No, it's fine. It's nice," Wilson said quickly. He wasn't going to disagree with her after he'd already stuck his foot in his mouth once. Besides, he really didn't mind. He'd bought flowers because that's what you were supposed to do. If Cuddy wanted to donate them to other patients, that was just fine with him.

Cuddy nodded, then she plucked a small pink rosebud from the vase of flowers Wilson had bought. "I think we'll take this one home and press it to put in your baby book," she told Emma, gently brushing the bud against her cheek. Emma's eyes widened and she turned her head toward the flower, her mouth opening in a sucking motion. The rooting reflex was normal in young babies but it was a little funny to see her try to eat anything that touched her cheek.

"Silly girl," she murmured. "Flowers are for smelling, not eating."

[identity profile] hbic-cuddy.livejournal.com 2009-10-10 03:38 am (UTC)(link)
Cuddy chuckled when Wilson claimed Emma was like House, the noise distracting Emma from her attempt to suck on a rosebud. Cuddy had already decided Emma's appetite resembled her father's, Even if she'd been joking about that, it was amusing to hear Wilson's thoughts had gone the same way.

She turned, her expression growing serious when he asked about House. "He's...dealing," she said, keeping her voice low to match Wilson's. Many times over the last few days she'd tried to get House to talk openly about how he was feeling but he simply wasn't one to open up. He had tried a few times to communicate his thoughts but it was always very vague. And maybe that was because he really didn't know. Maybe he couldn't find words to describe how he was feeling.

"I figured he was dealing at a minimum level or you would've kicked his butt by now," Wilson said. "But how well is he handling it?"

"When he forgets to be afraid, he's really very good with her," she told Wilson. "He's been changing diapers and holding her and talking to her. He plays with her and she responds to him. And then something will remind him he's a 'Father' and he gets tense." She gave a little shrug and looked up into Wilson's eyes. "I know he's not fully comfortable with the situation. I knew it would take time. So far, though, I'm cautiously optimistic."

Wilson nodded as Cuddy spoke, somewhat reassured. He knew as well as she did how resistant House had been to becoming a father. He supposed it was understandable it would take some time for him to warm to the fact. He simply worried that the stress of new fatherhood on top of all his other issues would be more than he could handle.

"House has a daughter: words I never thought I'd ever say," Wilson said dryly. He was happy to hear House was interacting with Emma. Surprised--the whole idea of House changing diapers or singing lullabies was completely alien--but he was glad to hear that whatever House's issues were with parenthood, he wasn't rejecting Emma.

"I'm sure you're not alone in your disbelief," Cuddy said with a grin. Her smile faltered just for a second when House opened the bathroom door.

"We're trying to find out if Emma prefers to call him Uncle Wilson or Uncle James," she said smoothly, pretending they hadn't been discussing House.

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