[identity profile] hbic-cuddy.livejournal.com
Cuddy quickly brushed a little blush on her cheeks and studied her reflection in the mirror critically. She…didn’t look half bad if she did say so herself. Of course, she didn’t know what House would say but she was doing the best she could with what she had to work with. She thought he'd like the result. Truth was, after the weeks of shapeless clothing and a beauty routine that consisted of nothing more than a daily shower, she thought he might not recognize her.

House had gone to his apartment to get some decent clothes to wear and she was using the time to get herself together. It was their first real date night in a long time and she wanted to surprise him. She wanted to look like the Cuddy he’d fallen in love with. Spending a little time on her hair and make-up had already made a big difference. And having finally gotten back into a regular routine of yoga had done wonders for her body. Yeah, she still had a few pounds to lose and her stomach and hips were still fuller than they’d been but she no longer felt so damn flabby.

In fact.... She stepped into the bedroom and pulled on the dress she’d picked out--a deep blue sheath with a neckline that was fairly modest in the front but dipped low in the back. She wouldn’t have been able to wear some of her most form fitting dresses but this one was just right. She was ridiculously proud of the fact it fit. Hell, it didn’t just fit, it looked damn good.

She fastened a necklace around her neck as she hurried down the hall to Emma’s room. She had borrowed the neighbor’s nanny for the evening and Marina was already getting acquainted with the baby. She was down on the floor, playing with Emma when Cuddy came through the nursery door.

“Wow, you look great, Dr. Cuddy.”

“Thanks,” Cuddy said, blushing as she crouched down and lifted Emma into her arms. She couldn’t believe how much Emma had changed--was changing almost every day. She was more and more aware and engaged by her surroundings and at the moment she was bright eyed and happy. “You’re not going to puke on me, are you?” Cuddy asked her, kissing the top of her head. Emma gurgled as her gaze fixed on the silver and sapphire earrings dangling from Cuddy’s ears. Cuddy’s smiled wavered a bit. Damn. This was going to be hard, leaving Emma with someone who wasn’t her mother or father. She let out a sigh and kissed Emma’s forehead. “You’re going to be a good girl, aren’t you? Going to let Mommy and Daddy have a evening for themselves?”
[identity profile] whatstheddx.livejournal.com
"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] whatstheddx.livejournal.com
"No offence," Wilson said, reaching for another fry from his plate, "but it's probably a combination of not just Cuddy being tired but I wouldn't be surprised if she's also seeing a little too much of you. Cabin House fever. You know how your charming presence rubs off on people."

Seated on the other side of the formica table in the cafe he and Wilson had decided to dine at for the night - one of their 'boys nights out' - House eyed Wilson while clutching his burger between his hands. Sauce dripped onto his plate, along with a couple of stray strands of shredded lettuce. He was unimpressed by Wilson's assessment, having confided in him over dinner what was going on between Cuddy and himself, but he also knew Wilson probably had a point. In fact, the thought that he and Cuddy were seeing too much of each other had already crossed his mind. Fatigue would only exacerbate that, too. It had been a few days since their somewhat horrendous day at home where Cuddy had lost the plot and he'd lost the plot even further.

He glanced down at the burger, then hunched over to take a large bite. "So, what are you suggesting?" he asked, his left cheek bulging out as he chewed. "I back off for a while? Pay only arranged visits to see Emma?"

Wilson was dabbing and dragging a small bunch of fries through a blob of ketchup he'd squirted on the edge of his plate. He shook his head. "Why do you always jump to the most extreme and ridiculous conclusion?"

"'Cabin House fever' doesn't exactly paint a quaint picture."

Wilson wiped his mouth with his napkin. "I was making a point."

"That point being?"

"That Cuddy needs a break. From you, from Emma. And she tired. Meaning, you should do something for her."

House thought about that for a moment. With nothing coming to mind, he asked, "Like what?"

Wilson gave a show of hands. "She's your girlfriend. You come up with something." He gave a quiet, exasperated sigh when House leaned in with a direct and prompting look on his face. "I don't know. Hire a babysitter. Take Cuddy out somewhere, somewhere she enjoys."

"As if Cuddy would leave Emma alone with a babysitter," House retorted.

Wilson couldn't deny House was wrong there. He shrugged. "You look after Emma, then. Let Cuddy go out for a day."

"She probably wouldn't want to do that, either. The kid is always permanently attached to some part of Cuddy's anatomy."

"Fine. Arrange something for Cuddy, so she has to go out. But make it something good, something special. Something she'd get something out of. Maybe as a token of appreciation for her on your part, as well."


"Like... something relaxing for her. A day spa, perhaps. A massage. A place where they do the whole pampering thing. You'd be giving her the best of both worlds then - relaxation and time away from you."

House turned his gaze away thoughtfully. That actually wasn't a bad idea, and one he hadn't even considered until right now. Cuddy had complained quite a few times of feeling bloated, fat, aching, a whole bunch of adjectives that he didn't agree with but there was no arguing a woman into common sense when she was convinced she looked as bad as she claimed she did. Setting his burger down, he reached across the table to snatch a few of Wilson's fries. "Every once in a while, you solve all my problems."

"Glad I could be of help. You have your own fries, by the way," Wilson replied impatiently.

House just shrugged and, feeling more relaxed now he had an idea in mind, smirked triumphantly as he popped the fries in his mouth.

* * *

It was heading for late afternoon when House pulled into Cuddy's driveway. He'd headed out earlier in the day to grab some groceries while Emma was down for a sleep, also to grab a few things from his apartment. He'd also done a bit of research into the local day spas around Princeton and came up trumps with a place that he was certain Cuddy would like.

The only thing that had had him hesitating was the number of packages and what the hell Cuddy would like most. Eventually, he'd settled on a gift certificate after the woman behind the desk had talked him through the different things the spa had to offer. It was an "essentials" package, which came with a facial, a Swedish massage, lunch, manicure and pedicure, and hair treatment - a full day at the spa and fully paid for once he handed over his credit card.

The gift certificate was tucked away in his jeans pocket while he carted the groceries into the kitchen and brought in a backpack of stuff from his apartment. Emma was awake; after giving her belly a rub and tickling her chin while she lay on the floor, happy and kicking, he went back to the kitchen to help Cuddy put the groceries away. "She sleep long?" he asked, gesturing for Cuddy to pass over a few items so he could put them away in the pantry.
[identity profile] hbic-cuddy.livejournal.com
At two weeks old, Emma had already changed. Cuddy knew some people would disagree with her but she was sure of it. They were small changes, admittedly, too subtle for anyone who wasn't paying attention to notice. She saw them, though. Emma had gained weight, for one thing. Again, it was a small amount of weight but when you only weighed seven pounds to begin with, even a small weight gain was noticeable. She'd lost a little of her hair, especially on the back of her head where it rubbed against the sheets in her crib. She was also, in Cuddy's mind, beginning to be more interactive with her environment. No, she couldn't play with her toys or move her own limbs with any coordination but she seemed more aware of the world around her.

The only thing that hadn't changed was Emma's insistence on nursing every three hours around the clock. It was as if she had an internal timer and when it went off, there was no pleasing her until she got what she wanted. Cuddy knew three hours wasn't unusual for a breastfed baby. Neither was it unusual that Emma hadn't sorted out the whole day/night thing. Emma was actually quite normal for a newborn. And Cuddy was beginning to think Emma was going to be the death of her.

It was early in the morning. How early, Cuddy didn't know. She didn't know much anymore. She could barely sort out the day/night thing herself. She definitely had lost track of what day it was...or month. She was so utterly exhausted, she couldn't think straight. Because of Emma's nursing schedule, Cuddy never got more than a couple hours of sleep at a time but she'd thought she was managing. She was tired, yes, but she was functioning. And then this morning, she suddenly felt like she was unraveling.

She sat in the rocking chair nursing Emma, tears streaming down her face. Emma was completely oblivious to her mother's distress...which was good. Cuddy didn't want her, or anyone else, to see how poorly she was coping with the strain. Millions of women throughout time had managed to take care of their babies. She should be able to do the same. Instead, all she could think about was how her back hurt from sitting in this chair nursing what seemed like 24/7 and how she felt like she just couldn't manage another five minutes without completely losing her grip.

A couple of tears fell on Emma's arm and Cuddy quickly wiped them away with the cloth diaper she used as a spit-up rag. Then she rubbed her hand over her face, telling herself to get a fucking grip, Lisa.... It didn't do any good. She knew she shouldn't be crying--she had nothing to cry about--but she couldn't make it stop. And the fact she couldn't make the tears stop only made her feel even worse.
[identity profile] whatstheddx.livejournal.com
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?"

cut for length )
[identity profile] hbic-cuddy.livejournal.com
Cuddy really didn't sleep after House left, not even after she turned off the light and stretched out in the bed. She dozed a little but always roused after a few minutes to look at the bassinet. Emma slept, at least, and watching her daughter sleeping so innocently was completely engrossing for Cuddy.

Eventually Emma woke and this time she was truly hungry. Cuddy shuffled over and changed the baby's diaper before carrying her back to the bed. A nurse stopped in to see how Cuddy was getting along and she stayed for a few minutes to give some pointers on breast feeding and to make sure Cuddy was comfortable with the process. Cuddy still felt a bit awkward with getting Emma to latch on properly but once Emma was happily sucking away, Cuddy felt even more proud and protective. She loved the idea that even though Emma was no longer being completely sustained by Cuddy's body, she still depended on her mother for nourishment.

Emma fussed occasionally because colostrum was more difficult to suck than Cuddy's milk would be. The baby had to work a little harder but she managed to fill her little belly and she dropped back off to sleep, worn out. After returning her to her bassinet, Cuddy discovered she was ready to sleep herself. She settled on the bed and drifted off into a light but still restful sleep.

The next thing Cuddy knew, she was being gently shaken awake. She looked around with bleary eyes and saw one of the hospital phlebotomists standing by her bed, hands gloved and syringe at the ready.

"Sorry, Dr. Cuddy," the young man said. "But I've got to draw blood for your labs."

"Right, of course," Cuddy said groggily. She rubbed her eyes and sat up, her eyes immediately going to the bassinet.

"She's fine, just fussing a little in her sleep," the phlebotomist said as he put a tourniquet around Cuddy's arm and felt for a vein. "She's a cutie."

"Thanks." Cuddy waited until he was finished, then slipped out of the bed to look at Emma. The baby was starting to make some more definite noises, her eyes blinking open and closed as she began to fully wake up. Cuddy rubbed her belly soothingly, then decided to make a quick run into the bathroom before Emma woke up and realized she was hungry.

Of course, the best laid plans always went wrong. Cuddy had barely sat her ass on the toilet when Emma let out a demanding wail. Cuddy tried to hurry but by the time she could get back to the baby, Emma was red in the face and howling.

"You definitely have your daddy's lungs," Cuddy muttered. She decided to skip the diaper change until after Emma had fed and carried the wailing baby to her bed. She got herself settled into a comfortable sitting position as quickly as she could but she had to sway Emma in her arms for a little bit to get her to settle down enough to latch on. Cuddy was beginning to think it was going to be impossible when Emma seemed to realize she'd be happier if she sucked on the nipple Cuddy was shoving in her face rather than screaming at it.

"Boy," Cuddy said in the sudden silence. "You really know how to make some noise."


Sep. 17th, 2009 06:19 pm
[identity profile] whatstheddx.livejournal.com
Just in case anyone is interested, there is a flail post over here about the most recent ~development~ on the game. Come on over and join in!
[identity profile] hbic-cuddy.livejournal.com
Cuddy signed off on another report and neatly stacked it with the other paperwork on the corner of her desk. She was pleased with herself; she'd been extremely productive all day. She'd sorted through her email and cleared out all the outstanding notifications. She'd either finished or delegated every single file in her office. She'd even dusted the file cabinets. She wasn't quite sure why she'd dusted the cabinets but whatever--they were clean.

"Why are you here?"

She looked up. Wilson was standing just inside her office door, hands planted on his hips. She considered his question, then shook her head. "Because it's my office?"

He let an exasperated sigh and ambled toward her. "I thought you were going to take it easy. I though you were going to cut back on your hours." He threw a hand out at her. "You look like you're ready to pop. Give yourself a break."

"I'm sitting at a desk," she said with a shrug. "It's not exactly hard work."

"Go home."

Cuddy stared at Wilson as he actually came around the desk and started to shut down her computer. She slapped at his hand but he simply shrugged her aside. She started to reach for her phone but he turned and leaned over, resting his hands on the arms of her chair.

"Go home, Cuddy." He pushed her chair back a few inches, just enough so she couldn't reach anything on the desk. "You should be resting. Or keeping an eye on House. He's out there, you know--totally unsupervised."

"Fine," she said in a grudging tone. She wasn't actually opposed to going home. She had been working few hours for the last few weeks and, surprisingly, she didn't feel guilty about it. Her reluctance to leave was only because she felt like she was getting so much done today and she knew she was running out of time to get those things done. Wilson had a point, though. House was on his own when he should be with her. Since he'd come home, they'd been trying to make the most of their remaining days as a childless couple.

"How's he doing?" Wilson straightened up but he didn't move too far. He kept an eye on her as she reached for her cell phone.

"He went a little crazy the first day," she said, remembering House's crazy shopping spree with a grin. "But not too crazy." She reached out and gave Wilson's hand a reassuring squeeze. "He's in a relatively good mood. He's taking his meds. He's.... Honestly, he's the best I've seen him in months."

"Good," Wilson said quietly. He lifted their joined hands to his mouth and kissed the back of her hand, grinning at her. "Now go."

"Yeah, yeah." Cuddy waved him off as he walked toward the door. She flipped her phone open and dialed House's cell phone. It was only shortly after four and he wouldn't necessarily be sitting around waiting for her. She wanted to know where to meet up with him because realistically, once she stopped at either his place or hers, she'd be in for the night.

She leaned back in her chair as she waited for him to answer, her eyes searching out any other jobs waiting to be done. She'd just noticed Wilson standing on the other side of the door, watching her with a stern expression, when she heard House's voice.

"Hey," she said into the phone, a smile softening her face. "Where are you?"
[identity profile] whatstheddx.livejournal.com
"You ready to go?" Wilson asked.

House pushed the locks shut on his suitcase and looked over at his friend standing in the doorway, hands bunched in his pockets. A week ago, House hadn't thought he'd ever hear those four words, not for a long while. A week ago, he'd had visions of being stuck in Mayfield hospital for weeks, even months, locked away from his life and from Cuddy while missing all the first milestones their kid would take. Megan had been true to her word - when he'd returned to the hospital after his weekend leave, his doctor had informed him on Tuesday that he could look towards going home. And today was the day. He'd been waiting for this day for the last month - the day he was able to pack up his belongings and say goodbye and a happy go to hell to Mayfield hospital for good.

Now it was here, though, he had mixed feelings. Eagerness to leave, definitely. He was eager to get back to his life, to Cuddy, to familiar surroundings and to feeling like he had more control over his life again. But he was also nervous. Megan was discharging him on the faith that he'd be able to cope on his own, that he'd continue to make progress towards better mental - and physical - health. He wanted to have faith that he could achieve those things without anybody else's help but the past month had done a lot to knock his confidence about. He wasn't just returning home to resume where life had left off. He was returning home to a whole new set of changes and challenges with an entirely new life awaiting him with expectant birth of this baby.

He looked back down to his suitcase. "You bet," he replied, careful not to give away anything to Wilson about what he was really thinking. With his coat tucked under one arm and his suitcase clasped in his other, he gave the empty, sterile room he'd come to be so familiar with one last glace over before he turned to Wilson and started for the door. "Let's get the hell outta here."

All the discharge papers had been signed already, so there was very little officiality to take care of. A couple of the nurses stopped House in the corridor to wish him well and to behave himself, advice he dismissed with an impatient nod for Wilson to lead the way out the door. After collecting his belongings from the nurses station, things had been confiscated upon initial entry to the hospital, he stepped out into the sunny afternoon with his eyes squinting against the sun's glare and made a beeline for Wilson's car.

The long car trip home was like old times between Wilson and himself - House making comments and touching things that didn't belong to him in the car, all which Wilson gave exasperated sighs to and cynical remarks. Wilson made conversation about Cuddy and the baby, while House made cutting remarks about the orcs in the hospital that he was now free of and told Wilson at one point to stop by a donut store and made Wilson buy him a box. He dropped crumbs and multicoloured sprinkles from the donut in the car as he ate, much to Wilson's chagrin, and at last his friend pulled into the curb outside House's apartment.

"Now, do you need anything?" Wilson asked once they were inside and all House's bags were stowed in the living room.

"You cleaned," House realised in an accusing tone, noticing the more orderly state of his apartment - books that had no room on his shelves stacked in neater piles, the wooden floors free of dust and other little details around the place that House noticed. He knew his home like the back of his hand and he knew when something was touched or disturbed.

"It was Cuddy's idea," Wilson said, hands held up in defence. "She wanted to make the place decent for you. Don't blame me."

"You didn't stop her, so of course I'm going to blame you," House shot back.

"She was just trying to do a nice thing for you. We both were. But fine, you're free to mess up your apartment however you want." Wilson then looked at his watch.

House turned to him. "You off?"

"Well, I figured you'd want to be on your own."

That was both true and false. House did want to be on his own. He hadn't been on his own for over a month and he was more than ready to have his own privacy for a change. However, he also wasn't sure what to do with himself now that he did have his own privacy. Now he was going to have to return to normal life - making his own meals, getting his own ass out of bed, remembering to take his medication, having to function like an ordinary person. It was such a basic thing, something he'd been doing for years on his own, but never had his own independence left him feeling so lost. But he didn't want Wilson knowing any of that.

He shrugged. "Fine by me."

Wilson didn't look too convinced but he knew better than to push. He nodded. "Maybe give Cuddy a call at work. Tell her you're home. Put her out of her misery - she's been so anxiously waiting for you to come home all week, I'm amazed her membranes haven't ruptured. If you need me, just give me a call. Don't abuse that privilege, by the way, even though I know you will." With that, he gave House a two fingered wave and stepped back to the door.House returned the wave and watched his friend leave. When the door closed, House was left all alone and he was acutely aware of silence. No people, no nurses, no doctors, nothing. Just him in his apartment, left to his own devices to pick up the rest of the pieces.

Grabbing his suitcase, he took it down the hall to his bedroom and dumped all his clean clothes into the drawers. Once he'd stashed the empty suitcase in the closet, he grabbed the phone and punched in Cuddy's work number as he wandered over to the window. He put the phone to his ear and listened to it ring, and greeted in an obnoxiously cheerful tone when it was answered, "Hi, honey, I'm home."
[identity profile] whatstheddx.livejournal.com
"House," the nurse announced as he walked into the common room. House craned his neck to look over his shoulder from where he was seated on the armchair in front of the TV. The nurse held up an envelope. "Mail for you."

He walked over to House and held it out for him to take. "Don't forget you're on cleaning duties tonight."

"Yeah, yeah," House replied dismissively. He took the envelope. His stomach did a small flip at recognising Cuddy's handwriting scrawled on the front. He looked back up to the nurse. "You can go away now."

The nurse rolled his eyes but walked off. House lay the letter on his lap and returned his attention to the television. He wasn't sure he wanted to open it. God only knew what Cuddy had written to him. She'd said in the therapy session the week before that if she wrote him a letter that detailed everything she wanted to say to him, it would be a novel, which hadn't made him feel the slightest bit positive. He tapped his feet in a fidgeting manner on the floor and drummed his fingers on the armrest, trying to ignore the letter on his lap. But with each passing second, he grew more and more curious until he couldn't stand wondering what it said anymore. He grabbed his cane, shifted off the armchair and headed out of the common briskly to go to his room.

Once he reached it, he shut the door behind him and leaned back against it. He hooked his cane over his forearm and dug his thumb under the envelope flap to tear it open. His heart sped up a little as he pried the letter out and opened it and the very first thing made him frown in surprise. Snugglebunny? She was still going on about that? "I am not a snugglebunny," he muttered under his breath, not that Cuddy would of course hear him.

The unexpectedly light-hearted manner in which Cuddy had started the letter, though, put him a little at ease. He started to read the rest of the letter, slowly limping further into the room until he was by his bed. He sat down, put his cane aside, and re-read the letter again. It was a lot shorter than he'd expected. He'd expected a letter several pages long, double-sided, crammed with all sorts of issues Cuddy had with him. Instead, she'd only truly addressed one major issue, the one that was hardest for either of them to negotiate around. After he read the letter a third time, he sat in silence for a little while.

He wished Cuddy was here with him right now, so he could talk to her about the letter. Well, argue with her about the letter, more accurately. The issue of Judaism never failed to get his hackles up. But being she wasn't here, he had no choice but to churn the letter over and over in his mind. Eventually, he folded the letter and tucked it back into the envelope and reached over to the nightstand to put it away in the drawer. His eyes landed on the ultrasound picture Cuddy had brought in for him and he plucked it up before scooting back onto the bed to lie down on his back. With an arm tucked under his head and his ankles crossed, he held the sonograph above him and stared at it.

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

Yeah, I knew that would get your attention. The problem is, now that I have it, I'm not sure what to do with it. Writing letters about us and relationships and the future is not as easy as it sounds. I feel like there should be some kind of dialogue. Instead I feel like I'm talking to myself instead of to you, and talking to you is the whole point. I'll do my best, though, so just bear with me. 

I guess the first thing I want to talk about is the baby. I'm sorry about the way it happened. Well, the 'way' it happened was fun but the circumstances weren't what either of us wanted. I know it's been difficult for you and I know it's been an added stress you really didn't need and I'm truly sorry for that. I'm not sorry about the baby, though. I'm not going to pretend I'm not thrilled, and if I tried to pretend, you'd know I was lying. Being a mother is important to me. I was prepared to do it alone. I'm not sure how well I would've done on my own but I would've done my best.

I'm glad Junior has a father, though, and I'm glad it's you. You will certainly be an unusual father but  there's nothing wrong with that. Your unique view of life will give Junior a very different perspective. You'll show her--or him--to be willing to be different, to be true to herself, to ignore the rules when they don't make sense. You'll be both role model and cautionary tale in one. Maybe we all are, though. There are things I hope Junior learns from me, and things I hope she doesn't. Ultimately, that's why I think we'll make a good team as parents. Your strengths are not my strengths. With any luck, this kid will learn the good stuff from each of us, and we'll cancel out on the bad stuff.

Honestly, I think that's part of why it's important to me to raise Junior in the Jewish community. I can guess what you're thinking but hear me out, okay? You can teach our kid to be strong and independent, to march to a different beat even if that beat is out of sync with the rest of the world. You've certainly lived that life. I get the feeling, though, you've also been isolated for a lot of your life, alone, lonely. Maybe you wanted it that way, maybe it's what you had to adjust to. I'd like our kid to not have to feel alone like that.

I grew up having not just my family and friends but an entire community of people who shared the same history and culture. (In fact, if thinking of it as a culture and not a religion is easier for you, then call it a culture.) That's always been a source of strength for me and it's something I want our kid to have. I want Junior to know he's part of something bigger. I want him to have a solid foundation that will make it easier for him to go out and conquer the world. I know you feel as strongly about your position as I do about mine and we're going to have to hammer out some kind of compromise. I just wanted you to understand some of why it's important to me.

I suppose that's enough with the negatives for now. I guess I'll finish by saying how much I've missed you. I'm hopeful you'll be home soon. If you're not ready before the baby's born, then it'll still be okay. Disappointing but okay. Because what I've realized since you've been in the hospital is that I've been missing you for much longer than you've been in Mayfield. The PTSD and the depression have been taking you away from me for a while now. I don't know why I didn't see it before. Maybe stupidity, maybe it just snuck up on me so slowly I didn't realize what was happening. It happened, though. It was stealing your life from you and you away from me. So stay at Mayfield as long you need to, because when you come home, I want all of you home.

[identity profile] whatstheddx.livejournal.com
(OOC: Posting this here because it's too big to post in a comment. Click images to make larger. Links back to this thread.)

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[identity profile] hbic-cuddy.livejournal.com
Cuddy pulled into a parking space as close to the entrance of Mayfield Hospital as she could find. She'd made the drive by herself this time. Wilson had protested, of course--he really did take his white knight delusion seriously--but she'd insisted. She was perfectly fine. Junior was happily incubating away and showed no signs of popping out any time soon. She knew that could change in a heartbeat but she didn't intend to spend the remaining days until the baby's birth staying at home because she might go into labor at any moment. She'd be fine, and as long as Dr. Patil remained ignorant about all her 'traveling,' everyone would be happy.

She hadn't actually planned on being back at the hospital just yet. Between her obligations at work and the fact House had his own obligations as far as therapy sessions went, she hadn't planned on visiting on weekdays. However, House's doctor had called on Monday and asked if she'd be willing to join one of his one on one sessions with her. Well, what could she say to that? Of course she'd do it if his doctor thought it would be helpful. It's not like they were asking her to donate a vital organ or something. All she had to do was talk.

She couldn't help being a little nervous, though, because she didn't know what to expect. She hoped the doctor would be able to give her some guidance on how she should deal with House's issues. She'd really, really like to have some guidance on that because she clearly didn't know what to do. But she didn't have any experience with psychiatrists from the perspective of a patient, or loved one of a patient, so she was a bit in the dark as to what would happen in this session.

She pulled herself out of the car, which wasn't all that easy when she had to extricate herself from the seatbelt and squeeze Junior out from behind the steering wheel. She retrieved a small tote bag from the back seat before heading to the entrance. She'd gathered up the things House had asked for, thinking the sooner he got them, the sooner he might feel a little more at ease. Of course, once she got inside, she had to let them search the bag to make sure she wasn't bringing in anything he wasn't allowed to have. She'd been careful about her choices, though, so it didn't take too long before one of the orderlies was taking her into the ward.

She'd arrived a bit early because she wanted to make sure she'd have a few moments with House before the therapy session. She wanted to be able to give him his things and maybe steal a hug or a kiss. She still felt guilty remembering how despondant he'd looked when she'd left on Saturday. She knew this was the best place for him but boy, it was hard to think about him feeling so lonely and lost.

The orderly got all chivalrous on her and carried the bag down the hall to House's room. He gave a sharp rap on House's door. "Vistor for you, Greg." Then he handed the bag to her and smiled before he walked away. "Have a nice visit, ma'am."

"Thanks." Cuddy turned the doorknob and opened the door just a little. She didn't want to intrude if he wasn't quite ready for a visitor. "House, are you decent?" she asked just as she poked her head in.
[identity profile] whatstheddx.livejournal.com
ooc: I am going to write a few ficlets dealing with House in therapy. This is the first of them.

"Rise and shine, Greg," a voice announced loudly and cheerfully in the room.

House stirred and cracked his eyes open with a squint. Immediately, he was disoriented: a foreign room, a foreign bed, someone completely foreign standing over him. But in the next instant, it all came rushing back. He was in Mayfield. He'd been confined to his room all night, barely managing to get much sleep. In the early hours of the morning, he'd finally drifted off and had dreamless, restless sleep. And now, he felt like he'd hardly slept at all.

"Survive your first night alright?" the cheerful nurse asked. "I'm Tony, by the way."

House closed his eyes again and turned his head towards the wall. "Go away."

Tony chuckled. "Afraid not. It's 7.30. Rules are all patients have to be up by this time."

"Go. Away."

House startled as the bed covers were suddenly ripped off him. "Up you get, or you'll be late for your first community meeting."

House glared at him. "Do I look like I'm interested in attending your stupid community meeting?"

"It's not my community meeting, Greg. It's yours. I'm not the one who's here to get better."

With a great deal of reluctance, House sat up and scrubbed his hands through his hair and over his face. He waited for the nurse to leave him alone so he could huddle straight back under the bed covers again but it soon became apparent that the nurse wasn't going anywhere. He'd taken a seat on the chair by the desk, watching House expectantly. "What, you're gonna sit there and watch me get dressed?"

"No, I'm going to sit here and make sure you don't return to bed. Have a shower, get dressed and then I'll leave you alone so you can attend the community meeting."

House was beginning to feel like he was in prison. "Perfect," he muttered. But then he collected his cane and got to his feet. He fetched a towel from the linen rack out in the hall and went to the bathroom, where he had a hot shower. No more than seven minutes into the shower, however, a loud knocking rudely interrupted him and the nurse who'd been in his room called out for House to be done in four minutes or someone would be sent in to check up on him. Chagrined, House finished off his shower and got dressed as quickly as he could, if only to avoid the humiliation of someone catching him naked. He wasn't the slightest bit pleased to be greeted with the nurse's cheerful smile when he stepped out of the bathroom, dressed in sweatpants, a t-shirt and a hoodie, his pyjamas clutched to his chest.

"If you want to do laundry," the nurse said, "you can help yourself to the washing machines down the hall at any time."

"You mean this place doesn't come with hotel service? I demand a refund."

The nurse chuckled again. "The Mayfield is hardly the Hilton, Greg. I'll see you at the community meeting in twenty minutes."

He watched the nurse head down the hall and House sighed quietly in attempt to keep his temper under control.

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[identity profile] whatstheddx.livejournal.com
"Well, I have to admit," Wilson said, standing by the door of House's bedroom, "going from a romantic weekend away to an indefinite amount of time at a psychiatric hospital is a new one, even for you."

House looked up at him as he placed another folded up shirt into his suitcase, which was lying open on his bed. When he'd arrived home after dropping Cuddy off at her place, Wilson had been waiting for him on the steps of his apartment. Wilson had been able to see that House wasn't kidding around and wasn't being funny - the sullen look on House's face and the way he held himself had said it all. "I take it Cuddy knows about what you're doing," Wilson had asked.

House had simply nodded. When Cuddy had awoken the following morning and breakfast had arrived at their room, House had sat on the edge of the bed and told Cuddy what was happening, that Wilson was going to meet him at his apartment and that Wilson was handling the arrangements to have House officially committed. The drive home was quiet and he'd offered her just a small kiss and told her he'd call her once he was settled. And now he was in his bedroom, slowly packing his things for what could end up being a long stay at Mayfield psychiatric hospital.

Wilson put his hands on his hips. "You sure you want to do this?"

House looked back down to his suitcase with a humourless snort. "I have to do this."

"There are other, less drastic ways of getting help."

"Did I just hear you trying to talk me out of getting help?" House asked incredulously.

Wilson held his hands up. "No. That is not what I just said. I said less drastic. I mean, Cuddy's eight month's pregnant. You're going to be a father. You don't think it's important to be around for her during the last stages?"

House looked back up to him. "I need to do this for me. Being around for Cuddy isn't going to mean anything if I can't actually be there for her. Or for our kid. Besides. You know me. You know what I'm like." He picked up a pair of folded up pants and put it into his suitcase. "I'll cheat, I'll lie, I'll do everything I can to get out of getting help. Drastic is the only option."

Wilson sighed. "I have to say, I never thought the day would come where I'd actually hear you admit any of that."

"Yeah, well." He placed another shirt into his suitcase. "Things change."

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[identity profile] hbic-cuddy.livejournal.com
Cuddy turned off the light in the kitchen and headed for the front door. She grabbed her purse and a light jacket, then stopped, looking around and feeling as if she'd forgotten something.

The past week had been very long and very hard and very lonely. The only reason she'd been able to cope with it was because she knew House was where he needed to be to get the help he needed to have. Whenever she got down thinking about him confined to a psychiatric hospital and worried about what their future really held, she reminded herself that this was for the best. It didn't make her feel any less lonely but at least the loneliness had a purpose and she could live with that.

She gave herself a shake to clear the cobwebs collecting in her mind and strode to the door. She pulled the door open, and nearly got a fist in the face.

"Oh, God." Wilson jerked back, pulling his hand away just before he hit her instead of the door. "I.... Are you okay?"

"I'm fine," Cuddy said, puzzled but amused. "You missed. The question is--why were you about to knock on my door?"

"I think you should let me drive." Wilson put his hand up before she argue with him, again, that she was perfectly capable of driving herself to Mayfield. "I know what you said but what if something happened? What if you go into labor?"

"For heaven's sake, Wilson," Cuddy said, stepping out onto the porch and locking her front door behind her. She turned to face him. "I'm not hiking off into the wilderness. And I have my cell phone," she added, waving phone at him before tucking it away in her purse.

"I know. And I don't care," he said with vaguely apologetic shrug. "You alone and being this pregnant makes me nervous. Please--let me drive."

She stared at him for a moment. She hadn't been looking forward to making the drive alone with nothing to distract her from her thoughts. In some ways, she wasn't looking forward to seeing House because she was worried about what she might see. If he was having a bad time of it, she would have a hard time staying optimistic. And then she'd have the long drive home again, alone.

"Okay, you win," she said finally. "But you have to let me buy you lunch."

Wilson gave a relieved nod of his head. Then he gave her a quirky little grin. "Well, this will be different. Normally on a road trip, I have to pay for all the food."


Cuddy was actually glad she'd let Wilson drive. He was, as always, enjoyable company. More than that, though, he knew the situation. She didn't have to pretend with him. He understood some of what she was feeling--he was probably the only other person who could--so she didn't have to explain herself. They took turns reassuring each other that everything was going to be just fine. Even if neither of them was completely convinced, it was still nice to hear it.

She found herself getting almost unbearably nervous as they went through the visiting procedure in the reception area. After signing in, her bag was searched and they had to turn over anything that could potentially be used to cause injury. It was a horrible feeling to have to look at ordinary, everyday things like nail clippers and calculate how much damage it could do. And she was only visiting. House must feel like he was in prison.

"It's okay," Wilson said quietly, placing his hand on her back as an orderly led them to House's room. She answered him with a terse nod, then stopped in her tracks when the orderly went to knock on one of the doors.

"Do you...?" Wilson stepped back and nodded down the hall. "I'll just wait over here. Yell when--if--House is ready to see me."

"Thank you." Cuddy walked to the door just as the orderly called through the door to announce House had a visitor. He opened the door for Cuddy then, and headed back down the hall. Cuddy took a deep breath and stepped through the door. That first moment of seeing House churned up a whole bunch of emotions but she pushed them down and smiled at him. "Hi. Okay if I come in?"
[identity profile] whatstheddx.livejournal.com
"So, how did meeting the Fockers go?"

House was leaning up against the upper balcony railing that overlooked the hospital lobby, gazing down at the hubbub below while he idly toyed with an elastic band between his fingers. He glanced over his shoulder at the sound of Wilson's voice. "How'd you know I was here?"

"Vultures are pretty hard to miss, especially when they're perched up high, looking like they're staking out their prey." Wilson joined his side, resting his elbows on the railing. He silently observed the lobby with House for a few moments before he looked at him. "You've been up here for over an hour."

"I'm a picky eater."

"Watching Cuddy's office," Wilson added.

"She's eating for two. Which means I have to be extra quick at swooping down for my prey before she snatches it first."

Wilson squinted. "Did you just compare your girlfriend to a vulture?"

"Term of endearment."

"Of course. Only you would think of calling someone you love a 'vulture' as term of endearment."

"Cuddy's always been a vulture."

"She hasn't always been your girlfriend," Wilson pointed out.

"Just because someone changes what they mean to you, doesn't mean they stop being annoying."

"Wow, we're really hitting all the sentimental buttons today," Wilson said dryly. "Terms of endearment and declarations of love. Next you'll be tugging on her hair and spiking her coffee with laxatives as a sign of affection."

He tried to ignore Wilson. He'd been up here for over an hour, like Wilson had said, keeping watch on Cuddy's office. He hadn't actually wanted company, though, and he sighed in annoyance as Wilson continued to talk.

"There are only two reasons you're standing up here. One: you're lovesick and waiting for the moment she comes out of her office so you can declare your love for her like something out of a Shakespearean play. Or, two: you're feeling guilty about something and want to keep tabs on Cuddy because you're pathetic at apologising."

House rolled his eyes. "Why are your observations of me always so dramatic?"

Wilson ignored him. "Seeing you're about as romantic as a sledgehammer to the head, I'm going to go with the latter." Wilson looked at him. "What did you do?"

"None of your business."

"Which is House speak for 'I screwed it up big time'."

"And sometimes, a shovel is just a shovel."

"You're deflecting," Wilson said.

"And you're annoying."

"Only because you did something last night to piss Cuddy off and you're refusing to talk about it."

"Again, with the shovel thing."

Wilson heaved a mildly exasperated sigh. "Fine. Don't tell me how last night went. Just continue to stand on the balcony like an idiot and brood."

House looked back down to the doors that led into Cuddy's office. "Last night went about as well as can be expected," he decided to answer after several moments of silence.

Wilson glanced at him. "So, in other words, you did screw it up big time."

House didn't answer. He wasn't proud of how he'd ended up hurting Cuddy and he didn't want to discuss it any more than he wanted to discuss her mom. He'd had a bad night sleep, too, tossing and turning while thoughts of trying to work out how to make it up to Cuddy tossed and turned in his head. Cuddy's mom's words had rolled around a lot in his mind, too. It had been driven home a couple of times during dinner the fact that Cuddy deserved to be treated well, that her mom hoped he was treating her well. And, well, he was lucky he didn't cop a slap across the face for how he ended up turning the dinner into a nosedive. Making Cuddy out to be a sex-crazed slut, as Cuddy had phrased it, left him feeling irked by his own ability to be disrespect her. Not that disrespect was something he hadn't shown to her before, but being with her, being in love with her, made those less than civilised moments of his stand out so much more to him, in hindsight.

"Look, I don't know what you did," Wilson continued. "I don't think I want to know. But I do know a thing or two about women and I know that making a fuss of them, making them feel special, will grant you almost instant access back into the green. Of course... this is you we're talking about. You'd probably prefer to play with your toys than take Cuddy out for a weekend away somewhere, or..."

House immediately tuned out. Not because he wasn't interested in what Wilson had to say (though, he wasn't really interested, as it happened), but because something Wilson said suddenly reminded him of something. Leaving Wilson in mid-sentence, House suddenly stepped back from the railing and walked briskly around Wilson. "Where you going?" he heard Wilson ask.

"Swooping for prey," was all House absently offered as he approached the elevators and hit the button to summon it to his floor.


Later that afternoon, House gathered the courage together to leave a message on Cuddy's answering machine at home for when she got home from work:

"Hey, it's me. I'm, uh... I'm probably the last person you're interested in hearing from right now. But tomorrow's Friday, which means we're free to see each other. Assuming you want to see me. Assuming you do, I made reservations at a bed and breakfast in Stockton, about forty minutes out of Princeton. Friday night through to Sunday morning. Assuming you don't want to see me..."

He trailed off at that, phone pressed to his ear for a couple of seconds, before he ended the call.
[identity profile] hbic-cuddy.livejournal.com
"Are you sure your Dr. House will like this?"

"Don't worry, Mom," Cuddy said. She checked the rice dish simmering on the stove, inhaling the rich aroma of wild rice, mushrooms and a heady mix of herbs and seasonings. She replaced the lid on the pot and turned to face her mother. "As long as there are no pickles in it, he'll eat it."

Carol Cuddy gave her daughter a puzzled and somewhat suspicious look but she seemed willing to drop the subject when she turned to the counter to finish tearing the lettuce for a salad. Cuddy had been busy deflecting questions ever since her mother had arrived on Sunday. She understood her mother's curiosity but there simply was no way to explain House. He had to be experienced to be believed. She simply hoped her mother's experience of House would less...colorful than most of his social interactions.

"Are you sure he's coming?"

"Mom," Cuddy said, exasperated. Really, she'd had a good visit with her mother. They'd shopped, gossiped, put some finishing touches on the baby's room and generally done the usual mother-daughter things. It was only Mom's relentless questions about House that made Cuddy want to pack her mother back on the plane home.

She pulled the steaks, which had been marinating, out of the fridge and set the platter on the counter. She'd just been outside to check on the grill and the coals were just right. As soon as House arrived, she'd toss the steaks on the grill. Until he arrived, though, her mother's fascination with Cuddy's 'invisible' boyfriend was running white hot.

"He'll be here," Cuddy said. "He won't like it, but he'll be here."

"Why wouldn't he like it?" Mom asked as she rinsed her hands under the faucet. She dried her hands on the dishtowel and turned to face Cuddy, shoulders back and a determined look on her face. "What did you tell him about me?"

"I told him you're evil and you'll turn him into a toad if you don't like him." Cuddy relented with a little shrug when her mother merely rolled her eyes at her daughter. "It has nothing to do with you specifically. He's just.... House doesn't do well in social situations. He's awkward and he knows he's awkward and it makes him defensive."

There was a lot more to House's lack of social graces, of course, but Cuddy wasn't about to go into a long discourse on the nature of his emotional pathology. Hell, she didn't understand it completely herself so she could hardly explain it to someone else. Mostly, though, she wanted her mother to get to know House on her own terms. Cuddy was only trying to ease the way a bit.

"For heaven's sake--I'm not going to attack him," Mom said.

"Not by your definition, maybe," Cuddy said under her breath. House was likely to see her mother's questions in a completely different light. Knowing House, he was likely to see everything about this dinner in a different and unflattering light. There was nothing more she could do about that, though. She'd tried to prepare House, she'd tried to prepare her mom. Now she could only throw them together and hope she wasn't bringing on the apocalypse.

And speak of the devil.... "That's probably him," Cuddy said when she heard a faint knock from the front door. Her heart was suddenly fluttering rapidly in her chest as she headed for the door. She wanted so badly for this to go well. Or at least, to not go badly. She wanted her mother to see what she loved about House and she wanted House to accept that family was not a bad word. As with so many things with him, though, she had very little control over how it turned out.

She stopped in front of the door and took a few deeps breaths to calm herself, then she reached for the doorknob and opened the door.


Jun. 27th, 2009 06:33 pm
[identity profile] whatstheddx.livejournal.com
Hi there! I made a [livejournal.com profile] cuddys_house inspired vid that I figured I'd share here, as there might be some readers of the game who are interested in watching it.

title: Hurt
pairing: House/Cuddy
song: Hurt by Christina Aguilera
duration: 5;25
summary: House and Cuddy are in a relationship that started out passionate and loving. But as the months drew on, their issues and their baggage started to become what their relationship is rather than what they feel for each other. They want to work out their issues and they want to be together, but their relationship has reached such a point of destruction that neither of them know how to fix it.

Information, links and video → [ H E R E ] @ [livejournal.com profile] bold_as_brass!
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