Diversions & Digressions | fanfiction by mara

Four Times Cuddy Thought (Very Very Briefly) About Kissing House

Four Times Cuddy Thought (Very Very Briefly) About Kissing House

by Mara

Summary: The title says it all, I should think.

Story Notes:

Written for DebC’s birthday, 3/17/08. ::hugs::
1.
The hallway was full of people, and Cuddy had to dodge what looked like three generations of family surrounding an elderly man in a wheelchair. She waved at the gastroenterologist she’d hired the day before, who was walking on the other side of the nurse’s station, but kept going without speaking to him.

Cuddy fully intended to walk past House with just a nod of acknowledgment. She was a busy woman with a full day of meetings and budgets to fix and…

She stopped in her tracks and glared at the infuriating man in question, wondering why she hadn’t killed him yet.

Waggling the button pinned to his jacket, he said, “You know you wanna. It’s St. Patrick’s Day, after all.”

Cuddy took a deep breath. “House, I’m not going to kiss you and you’re NOT IRISH.” Then she stalked down the hall toward her first meeting.

2.

House getting shot was almost anticlimactic, Cuddy thought with a distant part of her brain as the surgery went on. She’d always assumed someone would shoot him eventually, when he pushed a patient or a family member or a clinic visitor one step too far.

But she hadn’t thought about what it would be like to stand and watch while someone else did the surgery. For some reason, she’d always imagined herself as the surgeon, which was utterly ridiculous.

But here she was, standing in the gallery with Wilson and watching the monitors. And when the surgery was done, she followed his gurney down to Recovery. Nobody questioned her presence, and eventually everyone else went away, leaving her with House and a lot of beeping machines.

She sat for a very long time, just watching his chest rise and fall with slow breaths and thinking about how oddly relaxed he looked. She tucked the blanket more firmly around him and brushed a hand across his stubbly cheek.

If this was a romance novel, she would lean over and kiss his forehead and he would wake up and smile at her and they’d live happily ever after.

Eventually, Cuddy turned to leave. “Heal quickly so I can kick your ass,” she said over her shoulder.

3.

“So, there we were in the meeting,” the handsome man in the blue suit said, leaning forward in his seat. “Me with my hangover, David with his shirt with the scorch mark, and Naomi with the slip gradually sliding down her waist.”

“Oh no,” Cuddy said, laughing already.

“And then the client asks–”

“I hate to interrupt this cozy chat,” a voice said from behind her.

Cuddy covered her eyes for an instant before twisting in her chair. “What do you *want*?”

House put a hand to his heart. “I’m hurt that you would think I wanted something from you. Out of the goodness of my heart, I seek you out to ask your permission before I begin treating my patient with a potentially dangerous drug cocktail and–”

“Shut up.”

His eyebrows shot up in almost comically overdone alarm. “I–”

“Shut. Up.”

He mimed zipping his lips shut and Cuddy shot a quelling look at her dinner companion, who was hiding a grin.

“House. Let me start by saying that there is a *reason* I decided to have dinner a full hour away from the hospital. And if you spent *half* as much energy on being happy as you do on stalking me, you’d be Pollyanna. Not to mention the fact that if you wanted to talk to me, I carry both a *pager and a cell phone*!”

Her voice was rising and House wasn’t hiding his smirk very well.

“And lastly, I would like to note that you have trekked an hour on your motorcycle in order to interrupt dinner with my *brother-in-law.*”

House’s smirk disappeared and for an instant he looked utterly astonished.

“Gregory House, this is Andrew Cotone, who is married to my younger sister.”

Andrew stood, openly grinning now, and held out his hand. “Pleased to meet you. I’ve heard a lot about you.”

Pulling himself together, House shook Andrew’s hand. “I can just imagine what she says about me, considering what she says in bed. Does she tell you I’m a stud? And that she lusts after me all the time?”

Cuddy rolled her eyes. “No.” The two men exchanged manly grins and Cuddy wondered what they’d do if she grabbed House’s t-shirt and kissed him right there in front of God and everyone.

Then with a sigh she waved at House. “Now that we’ve established there’s no date for you to interrupt, go away so we can eat in peace.”

“You’ve come all this way,” Andrew said. “Why don’t you join us?”

Cuddy changed her mind. She didn’t want to kiss House, she wanted to smack her brother-in-law.

“I’d be *delighted*,” House said, grabbing a chair from a nearby table.

Cuddy picked up her purse and began to rummage for an Advil. Maybe she’d bum a Vicodin off House, because the headache was shaping up to be a monster.

4.

When House kicked the new fellows out of his office, they went, scattering like leaves in the wind. Cuddy caught sight of them and nabbed Kutner, like a lioness catching the weakest zebra in the herd.

“Don’t you have a patient to be treating?” she asked.

“We lost her,” Kutner said, practically shuffling his feet. “House finally figured out it was acute promyelocytic leukemia, but her heart gave out before we even started a round of chemo.”

“She died.” It wasn’t a question. Even as she said it, Cuddy knew it was stupid. She’d had a bad feeling about this case and how House was going to react ever since he’d stampeded into her office, ranting more than usual about the patient’s parents.

She almost flew down the hallway to House’s office.

It was empty.

“Where is he?” she demanded, whirling to glare at Kutner.

“I–”

“Never mind.” She took off, leaving a stunned fellow in the hallway. She ran into Wilson moments later, his coat and briefcase in hand. “Good, you’re still here.”

“I was just–”

“The baby died.”

Wilson changed course and followed her toward her office, waiting while she grabbed her own coat. They strode quickly down the street, turning right three blocks down.

“Where’s Foreman?” Wilson asked, breaking the silence.

“Conference.”

“Oh. Right.”

The Plainsboro Grill was a hole in the wall which survived on traffic from the hospital, and Wilson held the door for Cuddy as they entered.

As they’d expected, House was in a booth in the back corner and from the looks of the table, he’d already managed to get through a couple of glasses of whiskey. He didn’t look up when they slid into the booth on either side of them or acknowledge the waitress who brought an apparently endless stream of booze.

Every once in a while, House would look up from his drinking and insult their ancestry, clothing, or personal habits. Or all of the above. Cuddy sipped at a glass of Sam Adams (the only decent thing the place had) and then switched to a diet Coke.

Occasionally, she and Wilson would chat, but mainly they waited, glancing at the TV showing CNN or watching House. There were plenty of doctors and nurses scattered through the crowd, but after a single glance at the table, everyone steered away. Cuddy sighed and took another sip of Coke.

It took two hours, but finally House picked up a glass and looked like he was about to throw it. Wilson grabbed his arm and Cuddy snatched the glass out of his hand.

House resisted for a second, then slumped, his long body bending over like an old man’s. Wilson threw one of House’s arms over his shoulder and the two of them dragged him out the door and into the chilly air.

Cuddy sat on the bench, shivering at the cold even through her jacket, and Wilson propped House next to her while he went to get his car.

House leaned against her unashamedly and she smacked a wandering hand out of habit, making him chuckle.

Slinging an arm over her shoulder, House propped his head on top of hers, and Cuddy steadied herself with a hand on the wooden bench.

“She wasn’t bad. Y’know, for a baby.” House’s words were barely slurred, which was impressive, considering how much alcohol he’d consumed.

“I know.”

“I shoulda figured it out sooner.”

Cuddy didn’t bother to respond. She’d tried, the last few times it got this bad, and it made him more upset, so she’d stopped trying. Slipping her other arm around his waist, she just held on tightly.

“You should have one.” His voice was distant, wondering.

“What?”

“A baby.”

Cuddy’s hand slipped on the wood and they nearly toppled over, but she wasn’t sure House even noticed.

Lifting his head, he looked down at her and for a moment she thought he looked entirely sober. “You’d be a good mother.”

Through the lump in her throat, Cuddy managed to speak. “Thank you.”

House leaned back against her and started to snore.

Shaking her head, Cuddy sighed and a smile crept across her face. “You wouldn’t be a half-bad father,” she said softly.

–end–


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