ext_117805 ([identity profile] whatstheddx.livejournal.com) wrote in [community profile] cuddys_house2010-04-02 07:09 am

Saturday 2nd June, mid-afternoon

"Come on, kiddo," House said, scooping an unhappy Emma up from the change table. She was due for a feed and she wasn't holding back on letting him know about that. "Alright, I hear you," he told her, lifting her squirming body to his shoulder while she wailed and sucked furiously on her hand.

It wasn't the first time he'd been alone with Emma but it was the first time he'd been alone in the house with her while she was awake. Usually Cuddy came to the rescue when he couldn't settle Emma but today Cuddy was down at the day spa. She was a fifteen minute drive away from being the cavalry. Not that House wasn't coping on his own but getting himself organised was proving a lot harder than he anticipated. First of all, he'd fallen asleep while Emma was napping. Her cries had woken him, something he wasn't too pleased about. Secondly, he had yet to arrange everything for Emma and himself to take a trip in the car and he was far from ready.

"All right," he said, Emma's irritability beginning to rub off on him. He carried her out into the hall, to the kitchen. "I hear ay, loud and clear." Reaching the fridge, he blew out an exasperated breath at realising he had to heat the bottle up yet.

"Damn it," he muttered. He snatched the bottle out and thumped it down on the counter while bouncing an increasingly angry Emma against his shoulder. He switched the kettle on and gave Emma's back a few firm, impatient rubs. Of course, a watched kettle never boiled, as the old adage went, and it seemed like a lifetime before it finally did. Another ten minutes later and the bottle was warm enough for Emma to drink, though she was so worked up that when he sat down to feed her he had to spend a further several minutes trying to calm her.

"There," he grumbled once he managed to shove the teat into her mouth. Her cries subsided immediately, followed by fast and furious sucking. "That'll shut you up." He heaved a sigh and let his head drop back against the couch. Why he'd decided to go ahead with Wilson's suggestion of getting Cuddy a day spa certificate was beyond him. He wanted nothing more than to hand the baby over to her and wipe his hands of any parental duties for a while. No such luck, of course. He sat Emma up and peered at the bottle in mild bewilderment at how fast she'd downed half of it already.

His expression grew mock stunned at the loud burp she let out, loud enough to startle her. "Wow," House said. "I'm actually impressed. I can only manage burps like that after a beer or two." He settled Emma back in his arms and fed her the rest of the bottle. By the time she'd drained it all, she was much happier and content. He sat her up again and wiped her mouth while she belched again.

"Come on, no time for sitting around," he said to her after a few minutes. He stood and cradled her up against his shoulder again, leaving the spit rag and the empty bottle on the coffee table. "We got some errands to run."

House let Emma play on the floor for a little while as he tried to organise himself to leave the house. Luckily for him, Cuddy was exceptionally organised and he didn't need to do a whole lot of packing. He carted the bag and baby sling out to his car, threw on a t-shirt and pair of jeans after paying a quick trip to the bathroom and then gathered Emma up from the floor. "Wanna go on a roadtrip?" he asked her, shutting the door behind him. She squinted at the bright sunshine, bouncing her face against his shoulder. "I'll take that to mean yes," he continued when she gurgled.

He got her secured in the car seat and pulled the car out onto the road. Emma was quiet during the whole trip and House checked on her every now and again in the rearview mirror while he drove, radio on and the window wound down. When he pulled the car into the parking lot near the spa, he lay Emma in the backseat and wrestled the baby sling on her. The task took a lot longer than he expected. The damn thing was complicated, with a bunch of straps that went everywhere, not to mention the part where he was fighting to get the sling on properly over his shoulders. But eventually, sweat breaking out on his forehead from the heat, Emma was resting curled up by his chest in the sling and he limped up onto the curb, replacing his sunglasses to his face as he headed in the direction of the deli.

Nothing attracted more attention than a baby, he thought to himself once he was in the deli, waiting his turn. An elderly woman was smiling at Emma and occasionally eyeing him, to which he gave a single, brief, awkward and meaningless half-smile to. The woman behind the counter gave him the same look. Several other women waiting to be served did the same thing, he noticed, once he'd placed his order for two sandwiches and a salad. He was glad to get out of there once he'd paid and had a bag of food and drinks with him. As much as he never minded attention from other women, it was entirely different when his daughter was hanging off his chest.

He head back out onto the street once he'd made his purchases and headed in the direction of the day spa. On the way, he stopped by Cold Stone and bought himself an ice cream, which he ate the rest of the way to the spa. A bell over the day spa door rang when he pushed it open, and at the same time Emma let out a quiet cooing sound, perfectly happy where she was cushioned up to his chest for now. He gave another lick of his ice cream, peering into the spa in search of Cuddy while a woman behind the front desk eyed him and Emma with much the same expression the women at the deli had.

[identity profile] hbic-cuddy.livejournal.com 2010-04-01 10:52 pm (UTC)(link)
"All done, Dr. Cuddy," the masseuse said as she stepped away from the table.

"Nope," Cuddy said, her words muffled because she was face down. "Never going to move from here. Not ever."

Getting to the day spa in the first place had been something of an adventure. She'd gotten up early to make sure she'd have time to nurse Emma before she left. She'd also made sure everything House would need from bottles of breast milk to the diaper bag would be ready for him. She made sure the essentials were ready anyway.

Still, it had been difficult to walk out the door. She didn't doubt House's ability to care for Emma for the morning. Even if he ran into trouble, Cuddy would be just a phone call away. No, she worried because that's what she did. She was actually very good at worrying and it was a 'skill' she'd put to good use. The trouble was, she didn't know how to turn it off.

It took a while after she arrived at the spa to really begin to relax but eventually, she did. She still had the urge to call House every fifteen minutes but she was able to ignore it. Being pampered really did help to start to unwind a little. Her final stop of the morning--the massage table--helped her unwind a lot.

"Oh, fine--I'm leaving," she said with a sigh as she got herself off the table and headed for the locker room. She felt pretty good as she dressed. She didn't feel like a new woman but she felt a little more like the old Lisa Cuddy and that was actually a pretty good feeling. There had been days when she wondered if she'd ever see the old Cuddy again. It was nice to know she was still there.

Although she was a little reluctant to leave the pampering behind, she was looking forward to meeting up with House and Emma. She just hoped their morning had gone reasonably smooth otherwise, he was liable to be cranky. She gathered up her things and headed toward the front desk. A big smile broke out when she saw House lurking, Emma tucked against his chest in the baby sling. She walked straight up to them and placed a kiss on top of Emma's head.

"So, how was your morning?" she asked him.

[identity profile] hbic-cuddy.livejournal.com 2010-04-02 02:10 am (UTC)(link)
Cuddy was slightly skeptical about House's claim there had been no dramas but she figured there couldn't have been any major dramas. After all, he and Emma were there looking no worse for wear. Whatever had gone on that morning, he'd clearly been able to handle it.

She juggled her own bag as she took the sandwiches, getting everything settled before she headed for the door. "Thanks for everything," she called back to the receptionist, holding the door for House and Emma. She shook her head at the ice cream. She was hungry but she needed to get back to her old eating habits. She wasn't pregnant anymore. She couldn't use that as an excuse to indulge her sweet tooth. At least, not until she'd eaten her lunch.

"When did Emma last eat?" she asked as they started down the sidewalk.

[identity profile] hbic-cuddy.livejournal.com 2010-04-02 02:54 am (UTC)(link)
"She definitely takes after her dad then," Cuddy said, commenting on the whole burping thing. She wished Emma was ready to nurse again, purely for her own comfort. It had been a few hours and her breasts were feeling full and heavy. On the other hand, though, she was glad she didn't have to rush off and find a place to nurse. It would be nice to be able to go and have their little picnic. And hopefully she wouldn't start leaking.

She was tempted to scoop Emma out of the sling but she seemed content where she was. Cuddy rolled her eyes at the sticky feel of House's hand but she didn't try to pull away.

"It was good. I feel halfway human again. You were right--I needed that." She gave his sticky hand a light squeeze as they stopped at the corner, waiting for the light to change so they could cross the street and head into the park. "The massage alone was worth any price. I didn't realize how tight my muscles had gotten."

[identity profile] hbic-cuddy.livejournal.com 2010-04-03 02:13 am (UTC)(link)
She let House's 'told you' go without comment. She was feeling the effects of a morning at the spa, it was a beautiful day, and she was in too good a mood to argue with him. Sometimes it was best to accept they didn't always communicate well and move on.

She really was feeling positive--more so than she had in a while. It wasn't that she hated being a mother--far from it. She loved Emma more than she ever thought she could love anyone. But she'd gotten bogged down with the admittedly stressful job of caring for a newborn. Getting out of the house, doing something purely for fun and not because it had to be done--it really improved her mood.

"You're not going to break out in hives, are you?" she asked dryly. "Should I grab an epipen before you have a full blown allergic reaction to all the happy?"

She gave him an affectionate nudge, then pulled him toward a shaded spot. She loved the sun but Emma's skin couldn't handle it. She'd be safer in the shade and Cuddy wouldn't have to worry about her. She got a small blanket from the diaper bag and spread it on the ground for Emma to lie on.

"Do you need help getting her out of that?" she asked, nodding at the sling.

[identity profile] hbic-cuddy.livejournal.com 2010-04-04 03:11 pm (UTC)(link)
It took Cuddy a moment to extract Emma from the sling. The stupid thing seemed to cling to her but Cuddy finally peeled it off. She held Emma up, giving her a few light kisses before she laid her down to let her stretch out.

"Now you know how I feel," she told House as he worked the strain out of his shoulders. "Try lugging that around in your belly for a couple months."

She sat down next to him and reached for her drink. For a few minutes she simply watched Emma stretching and looking around. The baby hadn't been outside much--usually just for quick trips to the store--and the park was full of new experiences. There were the sounds of the other people in the park, the occasional dog barking, the light breeze wafting over her tiny body. Emma looked in House's direction when he talked to her but otherwise, her eyes roamed as if trying to take it all in.

She took a long drink of her tea and sighed. "I can't remember the last time we had a nice, relaxing Saturday." Between the pregnancy and House's problems, it really had been a long time since they'd just taken a day to relax and do whatever they wanted to do.

She threw him a wry grin as she thought about House having to deal with Emma on his own all morning. "Although, I suppose my morning was more relaxing than yours."

[identity profile] hbic-cuddy.livejournal.com 2010-04-05 10:06 pm (UTC)(link)
Cuddy merely shrugged when he again claimed the morning had gone smoothly. She didn't believe it. She knew how difficult it could be to get yourself and a newborn ready and out the door on time. And House had never had to do it before. He'd helped her get Emma ready but he'd never had sole responsibility for doing it himself. Minor glitches were to be expected. He was obviously not in the mood to admit anything, though, so she let it go.

"Right," she said dryly as she unwrapped her sandwich. "Since Emma isn't mobile yet, I'll know exactly who to blame for the destruction. Next year she'll on her feet and into everything and then you might be able to get away with blaming her...but don't count on it."

She was hungry so she concentrated on eating, leaning over occasionally to talk to Emma or rub her tummy, anything to try and engage her attention. Emma seemed fairly content for the moment to simply kick and stretch, occasionally reacting to some of the louder noises around her.

Cuddy was fairly content as well to simply sit and eat her lunch. She'd deliberately not made any other plans for the day so she could enjoy their little outing for as long as they felt like it. It really had been a long time since they'd been able to do anything like this.

"Do you have anything planned for the rest of the day?" she asked House. "I mean, I got the morning off so if you wanted to go do something for yourself...."

[identity profile] hbic-cuddy.livejournal.com 2010-04-06 02:49 pm (UTC)(link)
"Nothing's ever stopped you from seeing what you can get away with," she pointed out. Having a young child might give him an excuse to act childish but he'd never really needed an excuse. It was possible, though, that having Emma as his partner in crime just might allow him to get away with a little bit more than usual.

She looked down, smiling, when Emma made noise. She still wished she knew what was going on in her little mind. Objectively, Cuddy knew most of Emma's behavior was purely reflexive at this point in her development. She reacted to stimuli without any real thought. That didn't stop Cuddy from thinking there were thoughts going on and wanting to understand them.

"We're probably the luckiest ladies in the park." She was teasing him but she was also serious. Despite some rough moments, House had been doing his best to be a partner to her and a father to Emma. She might have complaints about some of the things House did but she had no complaints about the effort he'd made to be part of this family.

"Of course, I could argue that you're the lucky one," she said, still with a light teasing tone to her voice. "After all, you get to have lunch with the most beautiful little girl in the world, not to mention her red-hot mama." She let a soft snort of amusement as she took a bite of her sandwich. She didn't exactly feel 'red hot' but she was at least feeling good enough to joke about it.

[identity profile] hbic-cuddy.livejournal.com 2010-04-07 07:56 pm (UTC)(link)
She knew House liked to think he was a hardass. He liked everyone else to think he was a hardass, too. Anyone who saw the expression on his face as he looked down at Emma would know better, though. Maybe it wasn't all that easy for anyone to see--she did have some experience in reading him after all. It was clear to her, though, that he was completely taken with his daughter.

She knew better than to draw attention to it, though. He'd just get embarrassed or deny it. Even with her, he still had a hard time letting his softer side show. She could deal with it; she'd certainly had experience with his emotional repression. She didn't want him to do it with Emma, though. She wanted him to get used to the idea that not only was it okay to be a softy with his daughter, it was actually preferable.

She watched him as he scooted around to her back, somewhat leery of what he had in mind. When he wrapped his arms around her, though, she smiled and relaxed back against him. Right up until she had to reach back and cover his mouth before he could finish his statement.

"Behave," she told him. She turned her head and leaned back so she could kiss him. That was a far better way for him to occupy his mouth than announcing to anyone who might be listening that he thought she was a MILF.

Emma made a low, fussy noise and Cuddy ended the kiss with a little nip at his lower lip. "See--your daughter agrees. She says you should behave and not embarrass her mother."

[identity profile] hbic-cuddy.livejournal.com 2010-04-08 12:55 pm (UTC)(link)
"Somehow I doubt I'll have to wait fifteen years for that. Nine or ten, maybe."

She really hoped Emma would never feel so embarrassed by her parents that she truly tried to distance herself. Cuddy knew conflict was inevitable--it was practically a rite of passage for any kid. She hoped, though, that their relationship would be strong enough that they'd always enjoy mother-daughter things in between the conflicts.

She handed House his drink, then reached down to rub lightly on Emma's tummy when she fussed again. She was probably getting tired--it had been a big morning for her, too--but she wasn't overly fussy yet. She quieted when Cuddy touched her although she was rubbing her hands on her face like she did sometimes when she was tired.

Cuddy was glad Emma wasn't demanding to be held yet. It was nice to simply sit with House. Physical contact had always been a big part of their relationship. Not just sex--she wasn't even close to in the mood for that yet. But kissing, cuddling, even just sitting together like they were now--those kinds of touches had always been comforting to her. Since Emma's birth, she'd sort of gotten out of the habit of touching.

"We should try to do this every week, especially while the weather's nice," she said. "Not the spa thing but just taking a half day to get out of the house and relax."

[identity profile] hbic-cuddy.livejournal.com 2010-04-11 03:17 pm (UTC)(link)
"Yes, all three of us." She thought it would be a good idea for them to get out as a family and enjoy themselves. She knew being cooped up at home was difficult for House. She didn't want him to start resenting Emma because he saw her only as an obstacle to having fun.

Hell, being cooped up was hard on her, too. It was too easy to get bogged down in the day to day chores of caring for a baby. She didn't want to lose sight of the fact that Emma was far more than just an eating and pooping machine. She truly was a joy to Cuddy and getting out of the house and relaxing was a good way to keep that foremost in her mind.

She arched her back slightly as he rubbed it. She felt pretty good after her massage at the spa but nothing felt as good as his touch. She was quiet for a moment as she considered his suggestion.

"I guess I could talk to some of the moms in the neighborhood, find out who's a reliable babysitter. Or there's some nurses at the hospital who don't mind picking up a little extra money looking after newborns."

She'd be a nervous wreck leaving Emma with someone else. She couldn't deny that having some alone time for just the two of them would be a good idea, though. She wasn't sure how good company she'd be, especially the first time out but at some point she was going to have to learn to tear herself away from Emma.

"I suppose we could go out for dinner or something."

[identity profile] hbic-cuddy.livejournal.com 2010-04-13 11:05 pm (UTC)(link)
"Dinner and maybe a movie," she agreed. She rolled her eyes at the rest of his suggestion. She truly had no desire to hit the bars. That had nothing to do with Emma, she simply had outgrown the desire to spend a night on a pub crawl.

As far as a weekend away.... That would come but not in the immediate future. She knew she wouldn't be able to leave Emma with anyone--except maybe her parents--for an entire weekend. Not yet. In theory, she loved the idea of getting away with House for a few days but she wasn't ready to leave Emma that long, and she didn't trust anyone to keep her. It would have to wait.

She tried rubbing Emma's tummy when she started to fuss but she'd gone beyond simple comforting. She was tired and, apparently, hungry. "Yeah, I hear her," she told House as he pulled away. She picked Emma up and the moment she cradled her to her chest, Emma started rooting around.

Cuddy looked around the park. She was willing to feed Emma--her breasts were more than willing since it had been a few hours--but she didn't want to end their picnic. She didn't want to have to go sit in the car either. She wasn't entirely comfortable with breast feeding in public but this time, it was the best solution.

She dug through the diaper bag while Emma fussed at the lack of attention. She pulled out a small baby blanket and draped it over her shoulder. Under cover of the blanket, she lifted her shirt and got Emma settled at her breast. The blanket was big enough to hide everything, including Emma, but she still felt somehow exposed.

[identity profile] hbic-cuddy.livejournal.com 2010-04-16 08:11 pm (UTC)(link)
"What do you want me to do? Flash the entire town?"

Modesty wasn't Cuddy's only reason for trying to be discreet about breast feeding. It was a valid reason--just because she liked to wear sexy clothes didn't mean she wanted everything on full display for anyone to see.

What she'd also like to avoid was having some uptight, sexually-repressed, neo-Puritan complaining that she was being indecent. Amazing in this day and age but it did happen. Anyone dumb enough to lodge a complaint would get an earful from Cuddy, of course. She didn't believe there was anything even remotely indecent about breast feeding. She'd prefer not to ruin her afternoon in the park arguing with sanctimonious morons, though.

Emma, of course, was completely oblivious to any questions of decency along with the blanket. However, Cuddy did shift a bit so she was turned more toward House. Then she lifted the blanket enough so that it wasn't lying directly on top of Emma and there was room for air to circulate. "She'll be fine for as long as it takes her to nurse."

[identity profile] hbic-cuddy.livejournal.com 2010-04-17 03:43 pm (UTC)(link)
"I've never flashed anyone. Not since college, anyway."

She didn't know why House was making an issue of it. Yes, she enjoyed sexy clothing, and he enjoyed her sexy clothing not to mention her breasts. That was a totally different situation, though. And Emma was fine. It wasn't really hot out, not like it would be in July and August. If she thought Emma was in danger of overheating, she would put that concern first over her own modesty.

She let out a surprised yelp when House grabbed the blanket. She immediately pulled her shirt down to cover everything that wasn't hidden by Emma. Truthfully, someone would have to look closely to realize she was going anything more than simply holding her baby. It made her uncomfortable anyway and she found herself hunching her shoulders to hide.

"That's what I'm afraid of. I don't need anyone interfering in our picnic and I don't need you getting into some stupid argument."

Emma gave a kick and Cuddy decided it was time to switch sides. She managed to remove Emma from her breast and pull her shirt down without overtly flashing anyone. She propped Emma on her thigh and began to burp her. "At least give me something to use if she urps up her lunch," she said, nodding at the diaper bag.

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