[identity profile] hbic-cuddy.livejournal.com
Cuddy stuffed a few things in an overnight bag, then sat down on the bed next to it. As she'd expected, the last two days had been busy and she hadn't had a lot of time to miss House. Some, because he was never far from her mind, but not a lot. Aside from her usual duties at the hospital, she was still trying to get as much work done ahead of time as she could. What she couldn't do herself, she was delegating and probably driving everyone crazy by constantly asking if they understood, if they knew what they had to do. She couldn't help herself. She needed the reassurance that things wouldn't go to hell while she was on maternity leave. Of course, being the way she was, she never quite believed the reassurances and so she kept on asking the questions. By the time she left work on Friday, she was mentally exhausted.

To make matters worse, she'd started having trouble sleeping. She was heading into the last six weeks of her pregnancy---which was a little intimidating when she let herself stop to think of it--and insomnia wasn't unusual in the last trimester. She knew that but she didn't like it. She felt like just when she needed sleep the most, it was the hardest to achieve. When she slept, she slept deeply--exhausted--but only for a few hours at a time. Then she'd be up to pee or because her back hurt or she had heartburn or simply because she couldn't sleep. For a brief moment she considered calling House and telling him she wouldn't be over until the morning but she didn't want to do that. It was unlikely she'd suddenly get a good night's sleep at home and if she couldn't sleep, at least she could be with him.

She pushed herself off the bed and closed the overnight bag. She had a few things at his place but not much because the fact was, they usually stayed at her place. She couldn't remember for sure what clothes she had there and more than that, she wasn't sure they'd fit any longer. It seemed prudent to take a change of clothes just to be sure.

She walked through the house, turning off the lights as she headed for the front door. She grabbed her purse and hooked her pager to the purse strap before finally walking out to the car. It was a mild spring evening but foggy. She figured if the fog persisted, when the bars closed down in the wee hours of the morning, there'd be plenty of accidents showing up at the E.R. That wasn't her problem tonight, though. All she had to do was get herself safely to House's apartment.

The Friday night traffic was already bustling so she avoided the more heavily traveled roads as much as possible. She wasn't sure it saved her much time but it definitely reduced the amount of stress she had to deal with. She pulled into House's street, letting out a frustrated groan when there were no parking spaces close to his building. She had to drive almost to the end of the block to find a spot, and she could barely squeeze the car into that one.

Finally, though, she had the car parked, her bag in hand, and she was knocking briskly at his front door.
[identity profile] whatstheddx.livejournal.com
The plan had been that Cuddy would spend the following weekend at House's apartment. He'd been the one to suggest it; it had made sense, after all. A weekend in Cuddy's world, a weekend with Cuddy in his world. But as it happened, the week following their first weekend together ended up being a lot more chaotic than House anticipated. A new case came in mid-week, a woman who'd been in perfect health with a sudden onset of seizures and a rapid decline towards multiple organ failure. By Friday, he was still hitting dead ends for a diagnosis and come Saturday afternoon he was running on hardly any sleep and only remembered when he woke up from a nap in his office that he was supposed to be spending time with Cuddy. He was left with no choice but to phone her up to tell her he had to take a raincheck on their weekend together, and he promised he'd make it up to her.

Sunday evening, he finally broke the case. After assigning his team orders to start the woman on treatment, he went home, exhausted and wanting to do nothing except sleep. So much for spending any time with Cuddy. He'd barely seen her all week and at the beginning of a new week, he wouldn't see her properly until the weekend. He missed her. He wondered if doing this weekend-only arrangement was really a good thing. Maybe it was - they'd managed to avoid getting into any fights and they seemed to be getting along better than before. But he missed her and come Tuesday, he was frustrated that he couldn't just go over to her place and spend a couple of hours hanging out with her. Calling her eased some of that frustration but it still wasn't the same.

It was in the middle of eating dinner on Wednesday night that he was struck with the sudden urge to go rule breaking. Not that he hadn't had those urges already, but as he was popping a forkful of pasta in his mouth he thought, Screw it, gobbled the last few mouthfuls of his food down and got up from the couch. He grabbed his keys, pulled his jacket on, grabbed his helmet and he was out the door. Fifteen minutes later, he was pulling up outside Cuddy's place. He dismounted the bike and headed to the front door. Without a moment's hesitation, he knocked and waited.
[identity profile] hbic-cuddy.livejournal.com
As it turned out, House didn't fix breakfast even though Cuddy had clearly won the 'get naked first' race. The truth was, when she awoke the next morning at what was for her a late hour, she was hungry.... No, not hungry. These days she was always ravenous when she woke, and that morning was no different. However, he was sound asleep and he looked so peaceful she didn't have the heart to wake him. She managed to drag herself out of bed without waking him and pulled on a thin robe against the slight chill of the morning, tying the sash over the top of her belly. After a quick pit stop in the bathroom, she shuffled out to the front door and retrieved the morning paper, tossing it on the dining room table before heading into the kitchen.

It didn't take long to make herself a simple breakfast of cereal and fruit which she carried back to the dining room. She settled at the head of the table and enjoyed a quiet meal, perusing the paper while she ate. Strangely, even though she was eating by herself, she didn't feel alone. Just knowing House was nearby, it changed her whole attitude. When he was around, when they were getting along well, she always felt more at peace. The silence in the house was calming, not empty and depressing. It was the kind of silence she could enjoy.

After a leisurely breakfast, she carried her dishes to the kitchen and rinsed them out in the sink. Wiping her damp hands against her robe, she finally wandered back into the bedroom. House had changed position in the meantime but he was still sleeping as far as she could tell. She stood by the side of the bed, debating with herself. She needed to take a shower, which she could do while he slept or she could wake him to join her. Or, she thought as she gazed down at him, she could just crawl right back in that warm, comfortable bed and snuggle up to him.

She looked toward the windows where the morning sun shining in, casting sharp bars of shadow and light across the floor at the far end of the room. It really was time to be up and about and getting things done. She glanced down at him again and decided lazy sounded like a better choice. Decision made, she walked to the other side of the bed and climbed in, robe still loosely wrapped around her. She scooted across the bed until she was snuggled up against him. For a few moments, she rested, listening to the sound of his breathing, watching the shallow rise and fall of his chest. She wasn't really sleepy anymore, though, and she couldn't resist the temptation of a naked and oblivious House at her side. She pressed a soft kiss to his shoulder, then propped herself up on one arm so she could place another kiss on his collarbone. And then one to the side of his neck, and to his chin and the tip of his nose.
[identity profile] doctorhouse-md.livejournal.com
When House left Cuddy's place the next morning, the reality of their weekend-only arrangement hit as he kissed her goodbye. Saying goodbye to her strangely felt like he was saying goodbye for a long time instead of just for a few days. He'd procrastinated leaving, prolonging the kiss longer than he needed to until he decided sticking it out in her front hall to get just that extra minute with her was ridiculous. He pried himself away from her and told her, as he gathered up his belongings, that he'd see her on the weekend. He gave her one last kiss just as the cab he'd called tooted its horn out front, and made her promise him for the millionth time not to do anything strenuous or to be an idiot and go on cleaning sprees, or worse, show up at work, regardless how bored she got for the rest of the week. Then stepped out into the dewy morning and shut the door behind him.

He called her in the early afternoon from work, though, while stuck between a lull and a hard place. He phoned her again that night at home. Friday came and went and at long last, it was the weekend. He was fairly certain this had been the longest week in his life in a long time. But during the afternoon on Friday, he'd started ruminating over where he and Cuddy could go for their first 'date'. Chances were she mightn't even be up to doing anything. Not that he wanted to plan anything too big - between her being now 31 weeks pregnant and still recovering from the events of the week, he knew she'd want to keep it fairly low key. But he also wanted to do something different, something they hadn't done before. As he was packing up his things for the weekend, it came to him - he knew exactly what to do.

He went home first. He dumped all his things in his apartment and went straight to the shower to have a hot, fast wash. When he got out and dried off, he got dressed in warm clothes - thick socks, Nikes, jeans, t-shirt, grey hoodie, and he wrapped his scarf around his neck, put on his thick overcoat and found his gloves and beanie. He grabbed a big duffel bag from his closet and stuffed the only two thick blankets he owned into it. He grabbed another backpack in his closet and took both bags out to his car, dumped them in the trunk. Once he locked his apartment up, he jumped in the car and drove first to the grocery store. Half an hour later or so, he returned to his car with a few shopping bags and spent the next ten minutes packing the contents of those bags into the empty backpack. He then climbed back in the car to head to finally head to Cuddy's place. It was nearing on 8 o'clock at night by the time he pulled up outside her house. A bit late, but oh well.

He made his way up to her front door and knocked, a rush going through him at knowing he was going to be spending time with her - a bit stupid, seeing he'd only seen her a couple of days ago. But this was the start of their arrangement and he hoped with everything he had that this would end up being the thing that turned them around at least enough for them to work their relationship out. He was rugged up pretty much from head to toe, as if he was going to be spending time in the snow or somewhere equally as cold; he hoped Cuddy would have enough warm clothes she could fit on around her growing belly.
[identity profile] hbic-cuddy.livejournal.com

Cuddy reached across her desk and grabbed another file folder. She opened it and rolled  her eyes at the title: Never Events. Great. Who came up with these names? Yeah, it meant events that should never have happened but it sounded like events that hadn't happened. Like imaginary events. Well, whatever. It should be a short report, and if it wasn't, someone was going to have some serious explaining to do.

It kept her busy. It kept her mind occupied...mostly. She hadn't talked to House since Saturday. Based on the way he'd sounded then, she wasn't sure they ever would talk. She wasn't sure anymore if they should talk. Maybe it was possible to love someone with all her heart and not be able to be in a relationship with him. She hated that thought, absolutely hated it. But she was beginning to wonder if it wouldn't be better for both of them to find some other kind of relationship, a sort of something more than friends but less than lovers. She wasn't happy about the idea but she'd rather have a non-relationship with him and still love him. Losing the relationship would suck but going on tearing each other apart until love turned to hate would be worse.

"Dr. Cuddy? Need you in the clinic."

Cuddy looked up with a mild frown. Brenda was in the doorway, holding onto the handle and leaning in just far enough to talk to her.

"Don't we have doctors on duty?"

"Dr. Chase is in the middle of a pelvic exam in room 1 and Dr. Wozniak hasn't come back from lunch yet," Brenda said, her expression clearly showing what she thought of Wozniak's absence. "Campus cops brought in a kid who was wandering around campus talking to the birds or something. Scaring the natives. It's a tin hat case."

"So page psych," Cuddy said, picking up her pen again and leaning over the never report.

"Already did. They won't see him until we get a tox screen and prove he's not just stoned."

"So get a tox screen," Cuddy said with exasperation.

"Kid won't let us touch him."

"What do you think I'm going to be able to do?" Cuddy said, but she'd already capped her pen and pushed herself up from the chair. Brenda just shrugged as Cuddy walked past her. Yeah, yeah, Brenda was just covering her ass not to mention she didn't think it was her job to supervise a case. And she was right, damn her. Cuddy crooked her finger at one of the security guards out in the main foyer as she rounded the clinic desk. Psych patients were generally dangerous only to themselves but that was enough. She didn't intend to let some delusional kid slit his wrists in her hospital.

"Tin Hat have a name?" she asked as they approached Exam Room 2.

"According to the cops, Kyle Conley," Brenda said. "And I already checked. He's not in our system so if he's under treatment, it's with someone else."

Cuddy stopped in the open doorway to take in the scene. On one side of the room was a another nurse. Young. A new hire, if Cuddy remembered correctly. The nurse was simply watching the patient,  her expression a mixture of puzzlement and wariness. The patient himself was pacing up and down the other side of the room. He was thin, disheveled and he couldn't be more the twenty-five, poor kid. He was muttering to himself while his right hand plucked ceaselessly at his wrinkled clothing.

"Mr. Conley? Kyle?" Cuddy moved further into the room but the patient didn't respond to her. "Kyle, have you taken any drugs today?"

"Pills. Pills. Poison pills. Poisonpoisonpoison."

"Ooookay," Cuddy said as his voice faded off into random mutterings again. Whether he'd taken any drugs or not, he was clearly not compos mentis and she had a strong feeling it was going to take drugs to bring him back to this world. She gave the young nurse a sharp nod. "Page psych again. Tell them to get their Freudian asses down here or I'm going to turn their doctors' lounge into a patient activities room. And send the security guard in. He can babysit until psych shows up." 

She turned to Brenda, standing just behind her. "It's not worth the risk of making him more agitated just to draw some blood. Psych can do that once they've got him under control." She looked up as the security guard appeared in the doorway, then she heard a panicked shout from behind her and the next thing she knew, the whole world seemed to tilt. She heard a sharp crack as pain exploded in her head and fireworks went off in front of her eyes.

For a while, all she was aware of was a lot of noise and confusion and people talking to her but she couldn't make sense of it. Later, there was still noise and people talking to her...but it was starting to make sense again. She was lying on her side on a gurney and a nurse was approaching her with a pair of scissors.

"Cut my clothes off and you'll be scrubbing bedpans for a month," she mumbled. Didn't people realize how difficult it was to find stylish maternity clothing? 

"Dr. Cuddy?" Chase crouched down by the side of the gurney and pulled out his penlight, flashing it in her eyes and making her wince. "Do you know where you are?"


"Actually,  you're in the ER now, but close." He tucked the penlight in his pocket and began moving his hands over her head, gently palpating over the bones. "Do you remember what happened?"

"There was a patient.... Not really," she admitted.

"Yeah, apparently something set him off--hard telling what with a schizophrenic," Chase explained. "I don't think he meant to hurt you. He just wanted to get away and you were in the way. Brenda said you cracked your head pretty good on the way down, though. We need to get a couple x-rays and you're going to need stitches in this scalp laceration." 

"No x-rays," Cuddy said immediately, her hand going to the bulge of her belly.

"We have to," Chase said. "The risk to the baby at this stage is minimal and if you've got a skull fracture or bleeding in your brain, it won't be just you at risk. The baby will be as well." 

"I'm fine."

"Probably, but we need to be sure. Besides, you're the boss. If something happens to you because I didn't do a thorough work-up, I'll be handed my head. And I rather like my head right where it's at."

"One film," Cuddy insisted, eyes closed in an effort to minimize the throbbing in her head. "And I want the baby checked, too." She had no clear memory of what had happened so she couldn't be certain she hadn't gotten hit in the stomach or fallen badly. If she had to have a complete work up, then Junior did, too.

"That's fine. Who's your OB?" Chase nodded and made a notation on a notepad. "Okay, I'll step out for moment while Nurse Anne here helps you out of your clothes, and I'll page Dr. Patil."

It took some uncomfortable and awkward moving around--uncomfortable mostly because moving her head made it pound and her stomach roll in sympathy--but she finally got out of her clothing and into a lovely hospital gown. She lay down again on her side and closed her eyes, her face pale. God, of all the stupid, inconvenient things to happen, she had to get taken out by some scared kid who probably had no real understanding that she was there or that she was a real person.

"All right then," Chase said as he returned to the trauma bay once she was settled. "I'm just going to clean up this gash a bit while we wait to get a head film shot." He grabbed a bottle of saline and some gauze pads before pulling a stool around to where he could work on the back of her head. "I paged Dr. Patil. And House."
[identity profile] doctorhouse-md.livejournal.com
When House arrived at his apartment, he killed the engine of his car but stayed right where he was for a few minutes, staring numbly ahead of him at Cuddy's car parked on the curb. Leaving Cuddy back there on the street had been as hard - harder - than the time he'd left her on the side of the road to go home after telling her they should take a break. Walking away, knowing he'd utterly cut her to the core...

He'd stopped to look back, to see if she was still standing where he'd left her. But she'd disappeared into the crowd. Knowing she had to make her own way home, he'd immediately began worrying that she was all right. Pursuing her again wouldn't have solved anything, though, and he'd known it. So, it had been with huge sense of remorse and reluctance that he contined to his car to make his own way home, while Cuddy was somewhere on the streets of Princeton, doing God only knew what. Maybe she'd caught a cab home. Or a bus. Or maybe she'd parked herself on a bench somewhere and continued crying her eyes out. Or maybe...

He lifted a hand to his face and rubbed it. God. He drew in a deep breath and let it out slowly, dropping his hand to his lap. God, he was a stupid bastard. He was a stupid, stupid bastard. In a sudden fit of anger, he raised both his hands and slammed them on the steering wheel. He did it again, and then again, gritting his teeth, so angry with himself. He dropped his hands away and sat back with a slump. Ripping the key from the ignition, he climbed out, locked the car and trudged up the steps into his apartment. He flipped on the light, took off his coat and threw it and the scarf carelessly over the back of the couch, and headed straight for the kitchen. He grabbed a glass, the bottle of bourbon and planted himself on the couch, pouring himself a generous serving of the drink.

He downed it in a few gulps, the alcohol stinging the back of his throat and after he poured himself another glass, he glanced over at the phone. Maybe he could phone her to make sure she got home all right. Or maybe he call her cell phone to see if she needed to be picked up. Yeah, right. Like he had any right to do that. He turned his attention back to the glass and grabbed up the bottle. "You're such a stupid, fucking idiot, Greg," he muttered bitterly to himself. He poured another glass, recapped the bottle and slammed it down onto the coffee table. He swiped the glass up and took a big gulp. It was going to be a long night.

He got up from the couch a few times to look out the window, to see if Cuddy had decided to turn up to collect her car. Each time he checked, her car was still there and no sign of Cuddy anywhere. By his fourth glass of bourbon, he was becoming too drunk to walk straight and after checking out the window yet again, he stumbled and swayed his way back to the couch to pour himself another drink. He eventually lay down on the couch and sank into a dreamless, drunken stupor, startling awake in the middle of the night with a bladder so full it was verging on agonising. He staggered down the hall and pissed in the toilet, so drunk some of the pee landed on the floor instead of in the bowl. Completely oblivious to it, he careered out of the bathroom and into the bedroom, crashing onto the bed to fall straight back into a sleep that was distorted with a constant sensation of dizziness, thanks to the ethanol in the alcohol dehydrating him.

Come morning, he awoke with a pounding headache. He felt wretched. His eyes were dry, his mouth fuzzy with the aftertaste of stale alcohol and the slightest movement made his head spin. He made himself get up, though, when he became coherent enough to remember that Cuddy's car was still out front - or so he hoped - and he fumbled his way through his apartment and almost hissed in pain at the sunlight attacking his eyes when he looked out the window.

Her car was still there. Judging from how wet everything was outside, it had rained overnight, too. He fetched a glass of water and worked on hydrating himself, downing some painkillers with it, and every so often he kept returing to the window to see if Cuddy had showed up. She had to at some point to collect her car.

After pouring himself a mug of strong black coffee in attempt to shake himself out of the hangover, he returned to the window yet again. No sign of Cuddy. He went to pull back, his stomach knotted with unease from both the nausea of his hangover and a general unease about the night before, and suddenly spotted Cuddy across the street. His stomach did a sharp flip and his breath caught in his throat. He stepped back and wondered what the hell to do. Should he wait here and hope she'd come to the door? Should he go out to her and hope she'd talk to him? He couldn't remember if she'd taken her keys with her last night. Had she? He darted his eyes around the living room. He couldn't see them. She'd probably put them in her purse when she'd arrived here last night. Another quick glance to the window and he caught sight of Cuddy passing by just outside.

Without giving himself a chance to second guess anything, he limped quickly over to the coffee table, sloshing hot coffee onto it as he thumped his mug down, then limp-skipped over to the door. He didn't take any notice that he was still in the rumpled up, dishevelled clothes from the night before or that his feet were bare. He hurried out the door, grimacing in pain at the sunlight as he stepped outside onto the cold, wet front stoop. God, there she was. All the guilt and shame from the night before came flooding right back.

He swallowed. "Cuddy," he called tentatively. He hobbled down the steps, inwardly cursing himself for leaving his cane inside. No time to go back and get it, though - he was afraid if he did, she'd leave before he got a chance to say anything to her. Not that she'd likely listen. She'd have every right not to.
[identity profile] doctorhouse-md.livejournal.com
"So, are you going to tell me what's going on?"

House glanced at Wilson as they stood in the line at one of the many burger stands that were stationed around the truck jam fairground. The air smelled strongly of oily burgers, cotton candy, hotdogs, dirt and exhaust; people milled around with big foam fingers, truck jam baseball caps, merchandise t-shirts, food and drinks. It was the perfect escapism atmosphere and yet House hardly felt like he'd escaped anywhere. He looked away again. "I don't know what you're talking about."

"We watched Gravedigger crumple Monster Muck and all you did was stand there like a vegetable."

"Monster Mutt," House corrected him. "Do you even pay attention to what goes on at these jams?"

Wilson waved his hand. "Muck sounds like Mutt when it's said over a distorted loudspeaker. That's besides the point. Normally you go crazy over these things. Shouting, yelling, poking people in the back of the head with your big foam finger. Your inner caveman comes out full force at these things. And yet..."

"I'm fine," he said dismissively.

"No, see." Wilson turned and pointed at him. "Don't deflect."

"Oh, please. I'm here to have fun, not to be the subject of one of your many pseudo-psycho thought-terminating cliches." House gave Wilson an annoyed look, then made a beckoning motion with his hand. "Give me your wallet."

"What for?"


Wilson looked like he was going to argue, but then sighed and pulled his wallet out. "I don't know why I let you do this," he muttered, slapping a few bills onto House's open palm.

"Because you're an idiot who loves spending money on his friend."

Read more... )
[identity profile] hbic-cuddy.livejournal.com

Cuddy moved out of the last yoga pose and let herself collapse on the floor. She sat with her legs spread in front of her and her hands braced behind her and let the sweat cool on her body. She'd pushed herself hard that morning. She'd been getting lazy lately but being pregnant was no excuse for letting herself get out of shape. The fact that staying busy was the only thing keeping her sane had nothing to do with it.

Right. Nothing to do with it at all. Since leaving House's car Friday night she'd barely stopped moving. She'd cleaned every inch of the house--some parts twice. She'd done every lick of laundry. She'd done her grocery shopping and her bill paying and her errand running and she didn't let herself stop for a moment because that was the only thing that stopped  her from thinking about House. Actually, that wasn't true. She thought about him constantly. Keeping busy stopped her from picking up the phone and dialing his number. Okay, so that wasn't true either because she'd picked up the phone and dialed a dozen times...only to disconnect before it could ring through.

She had to fight the urge to go to him because that's exactly what she wanted to do. She'd told him to call her when he was ready. Going to him sort of undercut the whole idea of letting him decide what he wanted. Besides, go to him and then what? That's where it got troublesome because she didn't know what came next. Go to him and argue seemed the most likely scenario and that wasn't helpful. Go to him and pretend everything was fine? That also was not helpful because ignoring the problem only meant it would come back to bite them again. And again. And again, until there was nothing left of them but a chalk outline. She needed to find some way to communicate with him. She'd considered sign language but she was pretty sure the only hand gestures he knew were obscene. She'd been so desperate to find an answer she'd actually surfed the 'net looking for suggestions. Trouble was, most advice seemed geared toward men who were not as House-ish as House.

She jerked forward suddenly as Junior decided to practice a little kickboxing with with her ribs. "Sorry," she murmured, rubbing one hand over her stomach. "I've given you a rough weekend, haven't I? It's just.... Your father.... He's a good man. He doesn't act like it but he is. But sometimes he drives me fu....freaking nuts." She gave her belly another rub and looked down at it. "Don't suppose you have any ideas about how to talk to him?" Another sharp kick made her grimace. "No, didn't think you would." 

She forced herself to her feet and headed in to take a shower. She needed to find something to do with the rest of her day. There was absolutely nothing left to do at home. Even the baby's room was as ready as she could make it at the moment. The furniture was due to arrive any day, and she had an interior decorator coming in the following weekend while House and Wilson were off jamming with monster trucks, but until then everything was clean and sorted and waiting.

As she dressed in casual slacks and a light sweater, she decided to go to the hospital. There was always work piled up on her desk, waiting to be done. And hell, it was a hospital--surely there'd be some crisis or another that could use her attention. Something that would keep her mind off her complete inability to do something as seemingly simple as talk to the man she loved. And being Sunday, she wouldn't have to deal with a lot of people if she didn't want to. It was certainly unlikely she'd have to deal with House, not at work, not on a Sunday. Which both reassured and disappointed her.

"Come on, baby," she said, grabbing her coat and keys as she headed toward the front door. "Be a good little fetus and let mommy work and we can have ice cream for dessert tonight."
[identity profile] hbic-cuddy.livejournal.com

Cuddy made her way to House's office with the intention of finding out if he had any plans for the evening. More to the point, whether his plans involved her. It was only two days since his Valentine's surprise and they'd both been in a pretty good mood. Happy, even. That evening, with the game, that had been exactly what both of them had needed--a nice break from the usual stress of their lives. She knew, though, that he still liked to spend some evenings alone even when things were good between them. She was fine with that; she simply wanted to know so she could make plans for her evening. A soak in a hot bath and a big bowl of ice cream were sounding really good.

She pushed through the door to his empty office. The conference room was nearly empty as well. Chase was the only one present and accounted for. She was tempted to ignore him, especially given his curious look but she didn't want to sit around House's office if he was going to be gone for a while. With a sigh, she turned and opened the door to the conference room. "Any idea where House is?"

"Not really, no," Chase said. He looked puzzled. "He said something about seeing a man about a truck. I have no idea what that means." 

Cuddy nodded with a small smile. She guessed House was talking to Wilson about the monster truck jam. She considered crossing the balcony to Wilson's office but decided to let them indulge their excitement over strangely named trucks by themselves. She could wait. She pulled back but Chase called to her before she could close the door.

"Enjoy your Valentine's present?" he asked, looking amused.

"I did, yes. Very much," she told him. She wasn't just talking about the sandwich and rose either, but Chase had no way of knowing about the rest. Chase had no need to know about the rest. She gave him an amused look and returned to House's office.

For a few minutes she did nothing but sit in his chair, swaying back and forth and rolling House's big ball between her hands. The longer she sat, the more she started to look around his things. His mail was piled on the corner of the desk, unopened. A few scattered files and magazines were littered over the surface of the desk. His usual knickknacks littered the shelves. There was really nothing new or terribly interesting. She idly opened one of his drawers, glancing over his iPod and Gameboy and a yo-yo and other assorted amusements. All the toys a boy could want. She closed that drawer and pulled open another one, flicking her fingers through a jumble of papers.

She wasn't being nosey, per se. She was simply passing time by nosing around. There was a difference. Still bored, she turned the chair completely around and looked over the books on the shelves behind his desk. She knew he used to use one book to stash his Vicodin, cutting a hole in the center of the pages. She wondered if he still had drugs hidden in his old secret spots now that he didn't need the drugs anymore. The first couple of books she checked were undamaged. She plucked the third book from the shelf. As she began to flip through the pages, a photo fell out. She reshelved the book and leaned over to pick up the photo.

It was a picture of House and Stacy. Cuddy held it in her hands and stared at it. Knowing that he had a picture of Stacy still in his office was.... It hurt. Of course it did. It wasn't that she expected him to have a picture of Cuddy in his office. Hell, until a couple days ago, he'd refused to even acknowledge their relationship at work. She knew he had a few vacation pictures hidden somewhere but probably not in his office. Not like he had a picture of Stacy...even though his relationship with her had ended years ago.

Cuddy pushed her hair behind her ear as she continued to look at the photo. He looked happy. How could she claim to love him, to want him happy and still resent that he had been happy? How could she resent him keeping reminders of that happiness? How she could do that was easy, of course--she was human. She was selfish and she loved him and she wanted him to think only about her. Knowing he had a picture of Stacy tucked away where he could look at it any time meant he still thought about her which meant Cuddy couldn't be the only woman on his mind. Which...hurt.

She let out a heavy sigh. She didn't know how to deal with this. She knew she couldn't expect him to forget Stacy but she didn't know how to deal with this 'ghost' hanging over their relationship. She was so lost in thought, so confused, she didn't hear the office door open.
[identity profile] doctorhouse-md.livejournal.com

Thank you all so much for watching! ♥ ♥

Come over here and leave any comments you might want to share!
[identity profile] doctorhouse-md.livejournal.com
House hated Valentine's Day.

Well, he didn't even hate it so much as he saw it as nothing more than another day on the calendar that people only made significant by becoming slaves to consumerism in the name of that icky thing known as romance. The chocolates, the sentimental love cards that were enough to cause tooth decay, teddy bears with sickening messages like 'I love you' etched onto its paws... He had to pass all of those things in the hospital's lobby area where a stand was set up, when he arrived at work. He ignored it, just like he ignored - or tried to ignore - the persistent mild ache in his leg and thoughts of Stacy that kept popping up at random intervals. Even being with Cuddy made him disinterested in the notion of Valentine's Day. And he really hoped she wasn't one of those women who expected her man to not only remember such a day but expected some kind of gift or pampering, too.

The day was a slow one, however. And a slow day meant he was left to his own thoughts. Since the fight with Cuddy about Stacy, and about their relationship in general, he'd been thinking a fair bit over it. He'd been thinking a fair bit about the discussions he'd had with Wilson about it, too. Come lunch time, however, he had a change of heart. He suddenly remembered something Wilson had said, something House had asked him about. "Anyone recommend me a deli in Princeton?" he said as he stuck his head around his office door into the conference room.

Cameron, Chase and Foreman looked up at him from their work. All three of them looked mildly confused. "Uh..." Chase replied slowly. "There's a Whole Earth Natural Grocery store a few blocks away from here, on Nassau Street."

"They make sandwiches?"

Chase looked more confused - and a little suspicious - than ever. "I think so."

House avoided any questions he knew his team had ready to ask and pulled back into his office before they got the chance. He gathered up his overcoat, wrapped his scarf around his neck and headed out into the corridor. He crossed the parking lot and jumped in his car for the deli. When he got there, he swiped a number to be served after studying the array of choices for a good ten minutes. He didn't know what Cuddy's favourite sandwich was. He knew she liked healthy food, though. When his number was called, he placed an order for a chicken breast sandwich on sourdough, with alfalfa beans, cucumber, sundried tomatoes and Swiss cheese. He purchased a bottle of juice to go with it, paid and drove back to the hospital. He was trying to work out how to deliver it to her as he walked into the lobby and he stopped when his eyes landed on the Valentine's Day stand he'd seen that morning. Nah, he thought to himself. Flowers was way too much. But even as he thought that, he kept staring at the stand in contemplation and in the end, he headed across to it, to peruse what it had to offer.

Crap, mostly. Sickeningly sappy crap. He felt like an idiot, standing in full view of everyone and studying all the sickeningly sappy crap, too. "Gimme one of those," he told the cashier gruffly as he pointed to the bucket of single stem roses.

"Who are you buying roses for?"

House looked over his shoulder sharply at Chase, who was looking equal parts smug and intrigued, just as the cashier was handing House a single rose in exchange for a five dollar bill. "My..." he began. Myself he was going to say. It wasn't any of Chase's business, after all. He looked down as he pocketed the change for the flower. "My girlfriend."

"You have a girlfriend." It was a skeptical statement and not a question.

"Yep," House replied. He tried to push down his nerves in favour of making it seem like he didn't care if Chase knew. He gestured to the flower and the sandwich clutched in his other hand. "Gotta shoot. Got a delivery to make."

"To whom?"

"Hmm, let's see. How many potential girlfriends do you think I'm going to have in the building we're standing in right now?" He stepped back in the direction of Cuddy's office. "You know, as much as I'd love to stay and talk to you, I'm not going to."

He left Chase looking on in bewilderment as he turned and made his way to Cuddy's office. After all these months, he knew he should've been perfectly okay with little acts of love for her but as he neared the door, his heart sped up more and more. Making his relationship with Cuddy known at work was more than a terrifying step to make, one he wasn't sure he was ready to take. But he fought that thought aside as he clenched the rose between his teeth by the stem while he shouldered the door open. He barged into Cuddy's office without knocking while she was on the phone. Without a word, just like Wilson had suggested, he slapped the sandwich down in front of her, along with the drink, and took the rose from between his teeth and held it out for her to take.

The moment she did, he turned and left her office as quick as he could, before she could say anything to him. He felt awkward enough as it was, let alone if he had to explain himself.
[identity profile] doctorhouse-md.livejournal.com
It was getting close to lunch time. Or, well, lunch after lunch time, House thought as he glanced at his watch. Or possibly not lunch. Just a coffee break - yet another one. The days when he was without much to keep himself occupied with at work could drag on. He'd completed his clinic rotation late in the morning, he'd had actual lunch with Wilson in the cafeteria, and now it was mid-afternoon and he had another three or so hours to kill before he was due to go home. Between entertaining himself with light reading, avoiding the file work that had been dumped on his desk earlier on the day, and browsing the internet, he felt like he was drumming his fingers for something to do.

Despite his boredom, the week had been a fairly stress-free and uneventful one. After all the events that had taken place in his life these past few months, a dull week was a welcome one. It at least meant nothing was going badly. It at least meant House had been able to spend his weekend with Cuddy without many hiccups, bar the few bouts of bickering that erupted between them over unimportant things. Sex had been a bonus, too. Maybe Cuddy was feeling particularly horny due to pregnancy hormones, but he got his fair share of action during the Saturday and Sunday that he ended up spending with her. That compensated for the domestic things Cuddy had him doing around her place, like changing light bulbs in places she was too short for and putting things away for her that were again too high for her to reach. He hadn't minded the domesticity, though. He never thought he'd ever think that, but it was true. He hadn't felt that kind of unassuming belonging with someone in such a long time and the more he got it with Cuddy, the more he liked it. Not that he'd ever admit that to her, of course.

He glanced at his watch again as he stifled a yawn and debated what to do. Grab some more coffee from the conference room and just drink that, or head out down the street and grab something from Starbucks, maybe something for Cuddy, too? He swivelled his chair away towards his computer to fetch the mug he'd left standing there while internet browsing. He couldn't be bothered going down to Starbucks. Too damn cold outside. The coffee in the conference room was crap but it was better crap than the crappier crap they served down in the cafeteria.


House startled slightly and looked over his shoulder. All thoughts of coffee and anything else he'd been thinking about immediately drained from his mind.

Stacy stood just inside his office door, her hands clasped in front of her and a tentative smile on her face. Read more... )
[identity profile] hbic-cuddy.livejournal.com

Cuddy sat in the chair on the side of the living room, running her fingers over a thin envelope resting in her lap. A table lamp provided the only illumination but that was all she wanted at the moment. It was silent, no tv, no radio, nothing but the sound of her own breathing in her ears.

She picked up the envelope, turning it over and over in her hands. Inside was a paternity affidavit, the one she'd had prepared for House. All it needed was his signature to legally establish his relationship to the baby. Her plan had been to take it to him and then let him decide when he was ready to sign. He'd said he was going to sign it and she believed him...mostly. But she knew well enough that when it came right down to making a legally binding, long term committment like that, he just might have an attack of cold feet. House wasn't exactly a 'long term' or 'legally binding' kind of guy. When it came to her relationship with him, she could live with that. It wasn't ideal but she knew it didn't mean he didn't love her. It was just his way.

For the baby, though, she wanted that committment from him. She wanted their child to grow up knowing that his or her daddy had made a promise to be a daddy. This certainly wasn't going to be the first kid to have unmarried parents and she didn't think that should necessarily have a negative impact. But she didn't want the kid to feel unwanted because his parents weren't married and his daddy wasn't willing to legally take responsibility.

Unfortunately, her plan had gone slightly awry...which was not entirely surprising when it came to House. She just hadn't expected it to take this particular detour. She'd taken the elevator to the fourth floor that afternoon with the intention of delivering the affidavit to House. Just as she'd stepped out of the elevator, though, she'd spotted a familiar figure entering House's office. Stacy. Of all the people.... Cuddy had been torn between barging in and running away. It would've been simple enough to interrupt them, give Stacy a big smile, pretend to be happy to see her, and--most importantly--do her best to prevent the two of them from being alone together. After a few moment's hesitation, she'd turned around and taken the elevator back to the first floor where she'd shut herself up in her office for the remainder of the afternoon.

She laid the envelope flat in her lap again. She didn't know what to think of Stacy visiting House. She didn't know what to think about her response to it. She told herself she'd left without them seeing her because she had to trust House to not betray her. She was afraid, though, that she'd really left because she didn't think she could stand to see them together. She wouldn't have been able to stand it if she had to see the way they looked at each other, the way they seem to be physically drawn to each other. And now her anxiety was at peak level because she didn't know how they'd acted with each other because she'd been too afraid to see. And if that wasn't enough self-defeating ambiguity on her part, now she was sitting alone in a silent room because she wasn't sure if she wanted House to come home or go to  his place for the evening.

Which was why she tensed at the sound of the front door.
[identity profile] doctorhouse-md.livejournal.com
Hi! I know everyone who follows this game doesn't follow [livejournal.com profile] omgcuddyshouse, so I thought I'd point everyone to this.

Eos (Cuddy player) has written a wonderful [livejournal.com profile] cuddys_house pre-game fic, centred around the night she and House slept together all those years ago. Or, if you like, "the night House gave Cuddy everything". You need not even be familiar with the game to read it, in fact. It could easily be read as a standalone. Either way, it's a brilliant House/Cuddy fic.

Title: One Night
Pairing: duh
Rating: NC-17
Word Count: 4839

Follow the link!
[identity profile] hbic-cuddy.livejournal.com
Cuddy slowly sorted through the piles of work on her desk, trying to decide what could wait and what could wait even longer. Her day had been packed, as usual, and she was ready to call it quits for the day. She'd taken care of everything that required her urgent attention so she didn't feel guilty about walking away and leaving the rest. And after all, it wasn't as if she was leaving it to someone else to do. The work would all still be there in the morning and she'd get everything done when it needed to be done. She always did. She was starting to think more about delegating some tasks, though. When she went on maternity leave, all the work would have to be delegated and it seemed prudent to start bringing people up to speed on the specific tasks they'd be required to attend to in her absence.

She powered down her computer and settled two stacks of files and memos on the side of her desk. She gathered up her purse and coat and turned off the lights before locking the office door behind her. There were still a few stragglers wandering around the clinic and out at the reception desk near the front entrance but soon it would thin out as the evening shift took over.

It had been almost a week since House and Wilson's boys' night and she didn't know much about what had been talked about during the evening. She was curious, of course, but she'd managed to keep her curiosity under control. She assumed--hoped--Wilson would've spoken to her if he'd discovered anything that made him feel House was in real trouble, although she knew that might be an erroneous assumption. The thing was, as much as she wanted to know if House had talked to him, and about what, she also knew she had to allow them some privacy in their friendship. If House thought Wilson would run to her every time they talked, he'd stop talking. It was more important that he have his friendship with Wilson than for her curiosity to be satisfied so she continued to bite her lip every time she felt the urge to pry...almost every time anyway.

She exited the elevator on the fourth floor and headed for House's office. She glanced into the conference room as she passed, noting his fellows were still lingering around the table. She ignored them, though, and headed straight to House's door.

"I'm tired. Or maybe just lazy. Either way I don't feel like cooking tonight," she said as she settled in the chair in front of his desk. "So you've got three choices for dinner: you cook, we go out, or I grab some carry out on the way home."
[identity profile] doctorhouse-md.livejournal.com
House had been looking forward to the evening all day.

It felt like it had been months since the last time he'd had a night in just with Wilson. It hadn't been months, of course, but with everything that had been happening it sure felt that way. When Wilson had approached him earlier in the week and said about having a boys night in, House had jumped at the suggestion. He loved Cuddy, he was as crazy about her as she could drive him crazy, but sometimes he felt like he saw her too much. The pregnancy, her hormones, all the things that came combined with being with Cuddy made it tiresome and at times stressful for House to be around, more stressful than he was able to tolerate.

He'd argued with Wilson, saying he should come around to his apartment that night. House really was in desperate need of some unpregnant, male company for a change. But after Wilson pointed out that spending a night drinking beer wouldn't go well with having to go to work the next morning, House reluctantly agreed for Wilson to come around to his place on Friday evening.

And now it was Friday, it was late afternoon, and House was more than ready to head home to enjoy spending time drinking with Wilson and pretending for a single night that everything was the way it used to be. He packed up his things at work, announced to his team that he was going home, and did exactly that. He stopped by the liquor store on the way and picked up a six-pack, and when he got home he jumped straight in the shower to scrub away the week's stresses. Once out of the shower and dry, he dressed in a t-shirt and jeans and padded through his apartment barefoot to fetch himself a beer. After cracking it open, he sat on the couch with his feet up on the coffee table, the TV on, feeling more relaxed than he'd felt in a long while.

He was halfway through his beer when a knock sounded at the door. "You have a key," he called out impatiently. "I'm not getting off the couch."
[identity profile] hbic-cuddy.livejournal.com

Cuddy had debated with her herself all weekend. House's episode on Friday night, while not a bad one, served to remind her that his PTSD really wasn't going away. it wasn't as if she'd forgotten but maybe she'd started channeling his denial. She's hoped he was getting better. She's wanted to believe it, but she's been kidding herself. Sure, he did seem to be getting a little better but it wasn't enough. He was still at the mercy of his memories. It had to stop. For his sake, for hers, and for the baby's.

So she'd considered the options, carefully and thoroughly. The idea of drugging him and locking him on the psych ward was still tempting but not really feasible. There was still Wilson, though. If House hadn't told his friend anything he'd be furious at her for revealing his secret. She had to think long and hard about whether she willing to betray his trust that way, because she knew that's how House would see it--as a betrayal. She had to think about whether she was prepared to deal with the fallout. She wasn't sure she was. It was hard to gain his trust and easy to lose it. She'd made promises to House and breaking those promises would have serious consequences. Truth was, she was hoping she and Wilson could manage to steer House into therapy without him ever knowing she'd talked to Wilson. It was possible. To her knowledge, House still had no idea the whole detox bet was Wilson's idea. She hoped they'd be able to slip this past him as well.

The deciding factor was the fact that although House seemed as stubbornly resistant to therapy as ever, he had been more introspective lately. He'd clearly done a lot of thinking about where he was in life, where he wanted to be, and even what kind of father he wanted to be. She felt he might be at a place where he was open enough that therapy would actually be useful. Eventually she might even be able to convince him to try talking to a therapist on her own but House had been very right about something he'd said after his latest episode. They didn't have all the time in the world. In a few months their lives were going to change in a big way and she wanted him to be able to deal with that. She wanted him to be able to enjoy it. And in all honesty--she wanted to be able to enjoy it without worrying about whether he'd have an episode or even hurt himself.

So at the first opening in her schedule for the day, and before she could change her mind, she headed for Wilson's office. She knew House was busy with his underlings. She had no idea what they were doing and probably didn't want to know. At that moment, all that mattered was that he was occupied and she had the opportunity to talk to Wilson. She checked to make sure Wilson wasn't with a patient, then gave a light knock on the door as she opened it.

"Hey," she said, poking her head into his office. "Got a minute?"

[identity profile] doctorhouse-md.livejournal.com
The week passed quickly and busily for House. On Monday afternoon, a new case came in which kept him working pretty much around the clock for the following few days, late nights in his office, even later nights with his team going over differentials again and again to work out what was wrong with their patient. Every solution they came up with resulting in being a dead end, symptoms kept manifesting, some changing, some worsening, some seeming to disappear altogether. The only time House really saw Cuddy were the few times he needed her consent on a procedure or the couple of times he saw her in passing, to hand over files or simply because she happened to be around at the same place he was. Otherwise, he barely had a chance to speak to her, much less do other important things like get a decent night's sleep or even eat properly.

Late Thursday afternoon, House diagnosed the patient with a thick wooden splinter which had wedged itself into the patient's bowel wall. The patient had been in a fairly serious skating accident a couple of years back that had resulted in him colliding with a badly maintained wooden fence after trying a dangerous stunt down a railing. The doctors in the ER had cleaned and stitched him up well, save for the one splinter they'd completely missed, which had travelled its way from where it had originally lodged in his side to the outer lining of his bowel. House explained to him that the splinter wouldn't have managed to get so deep if the guy hadn't continued being stupid enough to do dangerous skating stunts, in which the impact his body kept getting had caused the splinter to wedge itself deeper into him. All that lost sleep and time racing against the clock for a splinter. Once he sent the guy into surgery to have the splinter removed, along with any damage repaired and a strong course of IV antibiotics, House signed off for the day and went home.

He was exhausted. He slept well that night and returned to work the next day with little more to do than dictations, which he didn't want to do, and clinic duty - also something he didn't want to do. He left work at lunch time and drove through the icy streets to the baby store he and Cuddy had been to the previous Saturday, and he made a new payment on the crib and after getting some advice, added a car seat to the layaway. He ate lunch from a nearby burger joint, dropped into the key cutting place across the street after spending his entire lunch staring at it in thought, and returned to work about an hour late. Cuddy wasn't in her office when he returned, which was good for two reasons: one, that meant he could escape a possible berating over where he might have been had his presence been wanted somewhere and, two, it gave him the opportunity to place something on her desk. Or in her desk. He put a key to his apartment in her desk drawer, along with a note he scrawled on the first piece of paper he grabbed hold of, which he left lying on her keyboard for her to see: Surprise for you in the drawer.

He left work just after five, cleaned out a drawer for Cuddy when he got home in case she did decide to keep some stuff at his apartment, like he'd suggested to her the last time she stayed in his apartment, then settled on the couch with a beer. He'd had a long week. A long couple of weeks, actually. After all the stuff that had happened since... well, since he'd been shot, to be honest, he felt like he needed yet another vacation away from everything. While he watched TV, he absently felt the scar on his neck where the bullet had got him. God. That seemed like such a long time ago now. It was, come to think of it. Over seven months ago now. Seven months, and the nightmares were still there, the aftermath was still there, but maybe he was really getting past it now because he felt like he'd been coping just fine these last couple of months. He felt like he'd overcome a big hurdle. He was right, he thought to himself. He hadn't needed therapy or medication, the way Cuddy had kept insisting that he did. He was getting past everything just fine on his own.

Just as he dropped his hand away from his neck and went to take another sip of his beer, he heard a key turning the lock on his front door.
[identity profile] hbic-cuddy.livejournal.com

A few days had gone by in normal fashion, or what passed for normal in Cuddy's life these days. Work had been boring--which after the drama of House's last patient was a good thing--and productive. Her energy level was decent these days and other than dealing with the expanding belly, pregnancy wasn't interferring in her ability to run around organizing and appeasing and generally acting like she had a hospital full of kindergartners to manage. Most days that's exactly what it was like to be Dean. She bought new toys for the 'kids' who behaved and coddled and soothed wounded egos and sent offending parties into a figurative time-out.

And speaking of offending parties.... House had been back to normal, more or less. At least at work he acted normal which meant a lot of bickering between them about clinic hours and unfinished dictations and his occasional observation on the size of her ass. He claimed the comments were only because it would look strange if he didn't make those kinds of comments and their coworkers would get suspicious. He was probably right. People were suspicious enough as it was. But she was a little suspicious of his claim anyway, especially on the days when she was a little worried about the size of her ass herself.

It was the weekend, though, and time to leave all the office politics behind. She'd slipped out of bed early and left House sprawled on his back, snoring. She spent a couple of quiet hours eating a light breakfast and walking around the unfinished--hell, unstarted--nursery. She clutched a cup of hot tea between her hands as she imagined the final appearance. She tried to imagine the colors (lemon yellow or pale sage green?) and patterns (animals, abstract, flowers?) and the toys (safe and educational) and the crib. Eventually she sat down on the bare wood floor and shuffled through all her samples and catalogues. It was insane. House was right...sort of. She was worrying and fussing instead of doing. It was time to start doing. And he could help.

She got to her feet, clutching her thick robe around her as she headed back into the bedroom. She set her cup aside on the bedside table and leaned over to give the mattress a hard shake. "Wakey, wakey," she said cheerfully.
[identity profile] doctorhouse-md.livejournal.com

A mix that centres around the dynamics of House and Cuddy's relationship.

Over [ H E R E ] @ [livejournal.com profile] omgcuddyshouse

October 2010

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