See first post for disclaimer.
AN: Thanks once more for all the response. You guys are great. The House fandom is one of the most supportive and kind ones out there! And incase anyone's wondering, I didn't spell centimeters incorrectly….that's how you pronounce it in Labour and Delivery…..one of the things I picked up from my stint in the department. (okay, likely the only thing I pick up lol)
"Where's House?" Cameron asked Chase and Foreman who were sitting with her at the glass table in the break room.
"How many times a day do we ask that? Where's House?" Foreman scowled. "Who cares where he is. He's been slacking on this case – more than usual – and if he doesn't at least badger us into making a diagnosis I'm gonna have Cuddy deal with him." Foreman sighed into his coffee mug.
"That's probably not a good idea. House doesn't take kindly to tattlers" Chase said. His own experience with such matters left him well versed.
"We shouldn't be bothering Cuddy anyway. She's got enough to deal with, without having to keep House on a leash." Cameron commented.
"Keeping House on a leash is what Cuddy does…or tries to do." Chase pointed out.
"She's got more on her plate right now. We can deal with House for a few weeks without bothering her." She stated firmly.
"What's this? Some kind of code of sisterhood or are you just trying to protect your ass. It would help to have Cuddy in your corner when you meet with the review board." Foreman smirked.
"Probably, but my hearing aside – she should be spending time with her daughter; not chasing House down." She reiterated.
"Oh my ears are burning." House raised his eyebrows as he hobbled into the room.
"Nice of you to show up." Forman nodded his head at his boss.
"Unlike you slackers I was here until the middle of the night yesterday." House hooked his cane over the white board and limped to the coffee machine.
"You worked late last night?" Chase uttered in disbelief.
"No, I said I stayed late. I don't remember a whole lot of work being done. Although I did set a new personal best for chucking cotton balls into their container." A sly grin lit his lips.
"Nice." Chase rolled his eyes.
"Lung biopsy!" he yelled, causing all three doctors to jump. "Who has the results?" House readjusted the volume of his voice to a more tolerable level once he had his staff's attention.
"Negative for cancer, bacterial pneumonia and common fungi." Chase sighed with defeat.
"What about uncommon fungi? If there was anything common about this woman's diagnosis some idiot with a mail order medical degree down in the ER would have cured her and sent her home. You're supposed to be GOOD doctors – you can't rely on my genius to figure it out ever time!"
"Do you even have a differential?" Foreman fumed with annoyance.
"I'll give you a hint; I'm not a bacteria or fungus. I have my own DNA and when you feed me steroids I-"
"Parasite!" Chase shouted and smiled when House nodded.
"Oh gees, now you're giddy." House rolled his eyes and made a face at the younger man. "Don't get so excited, I practically drew you a diagram."
"We'll start her on an anti-parasitic." Foreman stood up and exited the room with his two colleagues.
The three young doctors passed Stacy as they left and Chase dutifully held the door for her. House limped into his office as quickly as he could, doing his best to avoid the hospital attorney.
"You suck at hiding House." Stacy called after his retreating form.
"I'm not trying to hide – I've got work to do." He quickly veered away from the door he was planning on escaping through in favor of sitting at his desk to prove his point.
"If you're going to lie, at least try and make it believable." She shook her head and dropped into the chair across from him.
"Don't you have another cripple to annoy – like say your husband?" House leaned forward to pick up his tennis ball but Stacy grabbed it first.
"Oh real mature." He snapped.
"I figured it you can't beat it out of 'em, join 'em." She passed the ball between her hands, keenly watching the lines twirl at each pass.
"I don't think that's how the saying goes." He watched her closely, "You can stop fondling my ball. I'm not going to sleep with you." The mocking sigh he attached at the end earned a glare from Stacy.
"Oh shut up." She threw the ball at his head but he caught it.
"You need to write a letter to the medical review board on behalf of Dr. Cameron." She pursed her lips as he immediately began bouncing the ball blindly on the floor by his left foot.
"The review board needs a letter for the deposition as well as me sitting in front of them?" He scowled.
"It would be in your best interests and Dr. Cameron's if you didn't attend the hearing." Stacy gave him a pointed look.
"This is about my biological relation to the patient."
Stacy rolled her eyes and frowned, "Yes, this is about your biological relation to the patient."
"Why does it matter? I didn't know she was my daughter when she came into the clinic and Cameron still doesn't."
"And yet it remains a conflict of interest and if you're in that deposition and they ask you about Cameron's conduct from the point of view of Jordan's father, you'll either have to lie or incriminate Cameron….write the damn letter and don't discuss the matter with Cameron." Stacy stated firmly.
House regarded her with a rare look of sincerity and nodded his agreement.
"Now, have you talked to Lisa about this?" Stacy folded her hands in her lap.
"You need to know this for legal purposes or are you just looking for some good gossip?" His eyes widened and he pitched back in his chair.
"I'm asking as your friend." She responded.
"Oh friend – are we doing that now?" He drawled smugly.
"Whatever" Stacy shook her head. "I'm surprised at how….reserved you're being about it all."
"Were you expecting a tantrum? I know you'd like to believe otherwise but I can be mature." He glared at her.
"Even I wouldn't begrudge you a good outburst over this" Stacy smirked. "How are you taking the news?" House heard the genuine concern in her tone and was caught between responding to it and scoffing at it.
Surprising he chose the former. "It's not such a big deal" he shrugged. "She's going to be twenty soon, she's an adult and can take care of herself."
"Yeah but when she wakes up, she could have expectations of you."
"When she wakes up she's going to face more harsh realities than a newly discovered father." The truth was she may never awaken.
There was a pregnant pause before Stacy rose and inclined her head. "Don't forget to write that letter." She reminded him as she left the office.
House toyed with the Jordan's medical file sitting on top of his desk. After a moment's contemplation he swung his cane down and levered himself out of the chair and headed for the elevators.
Outside the hospital clinic the sun was held hostage by a barrage of clouds, casting an ominous grey hue in the sky. A storm was on the brink of siege against the small New Jersey city; the wind picked up, ferociously stirring branches and fallen leaves and blowing two weary travelers in through the mechanical glass doors.
The elderly pair who stepped into the patient filled clinic were immaculate in dress but their frowns told of a worry designer labels and perfect posture could not cloak. Together, they rounded the admitting desk and entered the outer office of the Dean of Medicine only to be halted by a young man with enthusiasm for his job.
"Dr. Cuddy is busy. I'm afraid you'll have to make an appointment before you can see her." He shot them an apologetic frown then wilted slightly under the piercing gaze of the man.
"Aren't you just adorable. Is Lisa babysitting you while your mother is in with the doctors?" Catherine Cuddy raised a suggestive eyebrow at the twenty-something man and he promptly dropped back into his seat.
"Now, now Catherine. The young man is only doing his job." Asher warned his wife; though it was obvious he found her comment humorous. "I'm sure you have plenty of work to do so we'll go on in and let you get back to it." His deep voice soothed the concern of the assistant and the couple was through the door to Cuddy's main office before the young man could think to protest further.
"Lisa!" Cuddy jumped at the sound of her mother's voice. "Where is my grandbaby?"
"Mom." Cuddy sighed once her heart began beating a normal rhythm once more. "She's upstairs."
"Lisa this isn't a house. You've got 6 floors five wings and countless rooms, unless you expect me to search them all-"
Asher interrupted his wife as a favor to his daughter. "Hello Sweetheart." He walked around the desk and drew her into a hug once she stood. "How are you doing?"
"I'm okay Dad. Just worried." And anxious, sad, guilty, regretful, nauseasated and a number of other distasteful emotions but that was left unsaid. "I'm glad you could make it." She pulled away from her father and smile at her mother. "She's on the forth floor Mom. I'll take you there." Cuddy hit a few buttons on her phone to send calls directly to voice mail and escorted her parents out of the office.
"I don't know why you didn't say that in the first place." Her mother huffed, unbuttoning her Burberry overcoat. "Your father had us park on the other side of the lot because he didn't want to take the time to look for a spot closer to the building. We likely wasted the time we would have spent looking for a closer spot with the walk we had. We should have hired a car service and saved ourselves the time to park."
Cuddy and her father shared a look at Catherine's ramblings but said nothing.
"Has there been any change since you called us?" Her father laid a hand on the back of her shoulder in silent support of his only daughter.
"No." She shook her head, her dark hair loosening from the clip that was holding it back. "She's still unconscious." She saw both her parent's frowns deepened and hastened to reassure them. "With an injury like Jordan's that's to be expected. It would be extremely unlikely that she'd awaken only a few days after surgery."
The elevator doors dinged and opened to reveal the forth floor. Cuddy was surprised to find she was more nervous on this journey to her daughter's room than the last; she supposed it was due to the people that flanked her sides. It was the first time they would see their granddaughter lying in her hospital bed and it was utterly cruel for her to have to be the one to present that image to her parents; yet, as both mother and Dean it was expected.
"Here is it." Cuddy nodded to the nurses at their station and slid the half closed door open all the way to let her parents into the room.
Catherine and Asher said nothing. The sound of both their hearts breaking was enough noise to fill the room. They were the only two people in the hospital who could truly understand what a horrific image it was to see such a vibrant spirit lying still and laboring quietly to rid her body of its ailments.
It was an injustice. An injustice that the room looked so similar to the one Jordan had arrived into almost twenty years before. But then most often a laymen wouldn't be able to tell the difference from one hospital room to the next. They were all the same – and yet each one had four walls that kept secrets of the people who had come and gone.
"You're two weeks overdue Lisa. I'd like to go ahead and induce labor before we end up any further post-term." Lisa Cuddy listened as her family doctor outlined his reasons. She really couldn't care less why he wanted to induce labor as long as it meant she would no longer be carrying around twenty extra pounds of baby and fluid.
"Sounds good." She smiled at the man.
Her doctor smirked at her anxious words. "Alright. We'll admit you right away and get you started on a Pitocin drip."
Lisa was admitted and placed in a private room. Her father was a very generous donor to their local private hospital and saw fit that his only daughter have the most comfortable accommodations during labor.
Two hours later Lisa was in the same situation as when she had arrived at the hospital, with no sign of her water breaking. Catherine Cuddy was furious with the doctors for having them wait around while nothing was happening. She routinely paced the interior of Lisa's room and ranted about the lack of efficiency on the part of the staff. The labor and delivery nurse made an appearance and turned up the drip on Lisa's Pitocin IV in the hopes that it would get the process moving.
"I don't see why they couldn't have upped the dosage an hour ago." Catherine turned her large diamond ring around her finger.
"They needed to give the medication time to work Mom." Lisa explained. "There are some risks involved when inducing so they have to air on the side of caution."
"All of you kids were delivered on the exact date you were due." Catherine told her daughter. "I don't know why your baby is so late."
"She gets her timing from her father." Lisa snorted.
"Speaking of which…." Catherine eyed her daughter.
"No I haven't called him or written him and I'm not going to. We left things on good terms; we weren't going to pretend we could have a long distance relationship. There isn't anything he can do to help with the baby from Maryland so there's no point in telling him just so he can feel guilty." Lisa sighed, having had this conversation before.
"He has a right to know Darling." Catherine's brow furrowed with sadness.
"I know he does. But I had to weight that against the problems it would cause in his life if he did know. I'll tell him eventually Mom. Maybe when he's done medical school." Lisa reasoned.
"You are a wonder to me Darling. Here you are, about to embark on something you've never done and you manage to be calm and rational about it all." Catherine smiled.
"I'm terrified." Lisa stated with wide eyes. "I have no idea what I'm doing or what I'm going to do once she's here. But there isn't a whole lot I can do about it now; it's not like I can persuade her to hang out in my uterus for the next ten years." Lisa intoned dryly.
Catherine stroked her daughter's dark curls back from her face. "Why is it that you think you're having a girl?"
Lisa smiled knowingly. "It's just a feeling I-" her eyes widened. "Shit" she cursed.
"Lisa!" Her mother scolded.
"My water just broke." She explained, and then grimaced as a powerful contraction overcame her. She had been having mild contractions all morning but that one jack hammered through her lowered abdomen and sent shock waves of fire down her back and legs.
"I'll go tell the nurse." Catherine was up and out of the room in a flash.
Ten minutes later Lisa was in a fresh hospital gown and on a new gurney. She was dilating nicely and the doctor told her to expect to deliver in the next five hours or so. But twenty minutes after that foreshadowed statement Lisa felt the sudden urge to push.
"Mom, get the doctor." She said around gritted teeth. She was getting used to the powerful cramping that ebbed and flowed but she was nowhere near comfortable.
"Is there something wrong?" Catherine worried.
"I think the baby's coming now. I feel like I need to push." She told her.
"Hold on Sweetheart." She told Lisa and once more disappeared out into the hallway.
"Your mother says you feel like you need to push but that's likely just the prolonged pressure of the contractions." The nurse smiled gentle and lifted the sheet over Lisa's legs to check how dilated she was. With wide eyes the nurse stood and moved out of the room and returned a moment later. "I've paged the doctor. You're at ten contimetres."
"That's what I've been trying to tell you. Next time I'll remember to bring a ruler so I can demonstrate the stretching of my vagina for all of you." Lisa rolled her eyes as another contraction ripped through her.
"Try not to push. The doctor will be here any minute." The nurse patted her knee.
"Lisa." The doctor announced his arrival. "So you're an overachiever at labor too." He smiled as he sat at the end of the bed and checked her progression. "Well, looks like we're not going to have time to get up into the delivery room." He smirked and turned to the nurse. "I'm going to need a fully stocked delivery cart right away and get the delivery nurses in here; I could use the extra hands." He told her. "They caught me just as I was going out to get something to eat" he shared with the women remaining in the room. "I likely wouldn't have made it back for show time I had gotten out the door." He chuckled.
"Explain to me what is funny about the idea that you almost missed my grandchild's birth?" Catherine glared at the doctor.
"I have to push." Lisa interrupted her mother's dressing down of the doctor.
"Alright Lisa. Let's count to ten and push." The doctor told her and began counting as Lisa sat up and bore down.
Catherine moved to hold her daughter's hand and support her back while she pushed but it was no easy feet for Lisa. The mattress was too soft and she had nothing to brace her legs against; this was obviously the reason one didn't give birth in the labor room. A few pushes later and the doctor announced he could see the head. With the birth moving so rapidly there was no time for an episiotomy, leaving a small tear for the doctor to have to stitch up later.
"Lisa, let's try to get the head out on the next contraction." He encouraged though Lisa glowered at his use of the word 'let's'. The guy wasn't doing anything but staring at the top of her baby's head and he had the gall to include himself. At that pivotal moment she decided that she would not become an OB/GYN.
The rest of the staff arrive a moment later with the scale, extra blankets and suction. Lisa heard the doctor muttering something about perfect timing before the contraction cause the sound of the other voices to be drowned out by the thudding of her pulse in her own ears. The doctor was talking again but the only thought that stuck out in Lisa's mind was that if she didn't have her baby's head currently between her legs she would kick the moron doctor in his ever moving mouth.
Two pushes later she felt the shoulders pass through, the pressure disappeared and a sound that faintly resembled a cat meowing reached her.
"Did you hear that Lisa? You were right, it's a girl." She heard her mother say and then hugged her tight.
"Of course I was right." Lisa replied breathlessly.
By the time she had finished delivering the afterbirth the baby had been cleaned, weighed, measured, and swaddled. With her mother's help, Lisa was propped up on the bed and the baby girl was placed into her waiting arms. The first feature that stood out was the full lips that were puckered in annoyance and the one-eyed glare that just barely let Lisa see the blue eyes hiding behind tiny eyelids. Light brown wisps of hair covered her cone shaped head and wrinkled fingers were left outside of the blanket and balled into fists.
"I just gave birth to you." Lisa spoke softly to the child in wonder.
"And you did it in 55 minutes. That may be a hospital record." The moron doctor smirked.
"You did amazing Darling." Catherine looked on from the edge of the bed. "Your father is going to get quite a surprise when he gets out of his meeting."
"She's beautiful isn't she Mom." Lisa continued to speak as though thoroughly shocked.
"She's breathtaking." Catherine felt tears welling in her eyes but decided to let them fall when she saw her daughter's own tears trace over her cheek. "What are you going to name her?"
Lisa was silent a beat, assessing the tiny body nestled in her arms. "Jordan." She finally responded.
"You don't want to give her a Jewish name?" Her mother questioned. "Maybe Abigail or Miriam or maybe Tova, Tova's a beautiful name" she coaxed. Lisa smirked at hearing her mother promoting the Jewish heritage, considering it was her father who was the only Jewish one out of her parents.
"No Mom. Her name's Jordan. Maybe I'll make Tova her middle name if it means so much to you." She peered up at her mother from beneath her lashes.
"What means a lot to me is being here." Catherine lost her hand in Lisa's curls and watched her daughter watching her own.
"This doesn't feel real." Catherine whispered. "I don't feel as though I'm actually looking at my granddaughter."
"How is she really doing Lisa?" Her father asked compassionately.
"Bad." Cuddy felt her throat constricting with the sting of suppressed sobs. "I wish…." A noise at the door stymied her words and she glanced up.
House stood rigid, eyeing the familiar faces in his newly established daughter's hospital room. "They're all so well dressed for a firing squad." He muttered under his breath with carefully concealed surprise. He knew he should have slept in until noon….
A 55minute labour isn't as bizarre as it sounds – I was only 40minutes myself and there were more than a few women who were in the midst of pushing as they were transferred to the D. room…they are the women no one ever talks about cause everyone would want to strangle them lol. Please R&R if you get the chance.