Summary: House, Cuddy, in a utility room. There's also chocolate cake. One-shot.

MICROMANAGEMENT

by Ijemanja


The sound of singing drew him in.

'Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you.'

He spotted Cuddy at the edge of the small crowd and made his way over to her.

'Happy BIRTHDAY dear Lucy, happy birthday to you!'

Her attention was on the birthday girl, and didn't notice his approach until he sidled up next to her.

'Why didn't anyone tell me it was Lucy's birthday?' he said. 'I would have gotten her something.'

She glanced over at him.

'You hate birthdays.'

'I like other people's birthdays. Other people who get cake.'

'Do you even know who Lucy is?' she demanded.

'I'm going to hazard a guess and say she's the one who just blew out the candles.'

'No wonder the nurses all hate you.'

'Oh come on,' he scoffed. 'We both know it's not just the nurses.'

He started pushing his way through to the front to claim his share of the birthday cake that was being divided up and passed around. He managed to snag two big pieces, which earned him a few dirty looks. He ignored them, wandering away from the nurses station as he ate.

Cuddy trailed after him.

'Oh that's attractive,' she said as he stuffed cake in his mouth.

'All the ladies think so,' he agreed, mouth full. He swallowed. 'It's the stubble, right? Chicks dig the stubble. Or maybe it's my dope threads.'

'Well it's not the cake crumbs all over your shirt,' she pointed out.

He looked down, and then shrugged and went back to sucking chocolate frosting off his fingers. When he was done, he glanced over at her.

'Why,' he said, 'Are you following me?'

She folded her arms over her chest. Not a good sign.

'Have you been misusing the MRI again?'

He paused, thinking about it for a moment.

'I think your definition of misuse and my definition of misuse are going to differ on a few key elements. While I see the MRI as an important diagnostic tool -'

'Funny, that's what I see you as.'

He made a face as she grinned.

'Cute. You, on the other hand,' he continued with his point, 'See the MRI as a big fat tug on the hospital purse strings and damn all those pesky patients with their pesky internal problems. Unfortunately, people aren't as see-through as your hospital,' he paused to tap the nearest glass wall with his cane. 'Although it'd be pretty cool if they were, come to think of it,' he mused.

Her hands moved to her hips.

'Let me rephrase. Did you bribe someone down in imaging this morning to let your patient jump the queue?'

'Well now that doesn't sound like me.'

'What, you couldn't find a scheduled patient's forms to steal like last time?'

'Didn't think we'd get away with it twice.'

'You didn't get away with it the first time!'

'All the more reason to try something new,' he said, as if explaining it to a five year old.

She heaved a long-suffering sigh. Which he took as an invitation to inspect her cleavage more closely.

'Stop staring at my chest,' she said. 'And stop abusing your MRI privileges. I know it's one of your favourite toys - I'd hate to have to take it away from you.'

'I'm not worried,' he told her. They'd reached his office by now and he stood in the doorway, blocking her entrance. 'I've got an in with the boss lady,' he confessed. 'She's hot for me. Lets me get away with murder.'

That got a reaction. She narrowed her eyes and took a step closer as he smirked down at her. She opened her mouth to speak but just then her name was called from down the corridor. One of the administrative assistants came over with what House was sure were very important administrative matters to discuss.

'Gotta go,' he announced, speaking over the top of Cuddy's eager young minion, 'Hot date. Don't want to keep her waiting.'

Cuddy shot him a distracted glare as he made his escape, heading off down the corridor again.

It took her a good half an hour to track him down. Not that he'd gone far, having ducked into a door marked 'Maintenance Staff Only' just around the corner from his office. He was hidden away at the back of the cluttered utility room, sitting on a crate of windex, when she stuck her head around the door and spotted him.

'Do you mind?' he said, not looking up from his hand-held television. 'I'm watching this.'

She let the door close behind her and made her way over to him.

'An infomercial?' she asked as she craned her neck to look at the screen. 'Planning on revolutionising those abs? Well I wasn't going to say anything,' she went on, 'But they could sort of use it.'

His mouth twisted slightly at that, but he only glanced up at her briefly before returning his attention to the young presenter enthusiastically demonstrating the product.

'Got a great rack,' he said, tilting it so she could see better.

Cuddy reached out and plucked it from his hands.

'Oh don't be jealous. I can look at your rack anytime. Me and the rest of the free world,' he added, directing his gaze pointedly at her chest again.

She tapped his television against the palm of her hand thoughtfully, and he leaned back against the wall, waiting to see what she'd do next.

'The MRI,' she began, and he groaned exaggeratedly.

'Oh god.'

'Is not,' she went on over the top of him, 'At your disposal. You know the rules, House. Only critical patients get to jump the queue - everyone else waits their turn.'

'If you're just here to scold,' he declared, 'I'm going back to the ab-roller girl. At least she appreciates me.'

'Critical patients only,' she repeated, and he sighed.

'Well, obviously the man was at death's door -'

'He's been stable for two days. I've seen his charts. You're just hoping to get him figured out by this afternoon so you won't be in here all weekend.'

'That's what underlings are for,' he scoffed at her theory. 'Anyway, it's a very serious case. His condition could deteriorate at any moment.'

'So could yours,' she said dourly.

'Ooh, a threat. Gonna get rough with me?'

She put her hands on her hips, fighting a smile as she looked down at him.

'If that's what it takes.'

Apparently, he mused, the cake crumbs were working for her after all. He shifted a little and she tossed his portable tv onto a nearby shelf and stepped between his knees.

'I knew it,' he said. 'You're just after my body. 'No cutsies' - that's reaching even for you.'

'You don't think I can kill two birds with one stone?' she said, reaching out and grabbing him by his shirt lapels. 'I assure you, I can multitask like nobody's business. I can scold and do... other things, all at the same time.'

She moved her hands down his chest, smoothing the material of his t-shirt.

'Well I know I feel properly chastened,' he said, watching the almost hypnotic movement of her hands.

'Do it again? And the results won't be so favourable.'

'If I promise to play nice with the other children, will you stop talking and take off your shirt?'

She moved back away from him, shrugging out of her jacket and laying it carefully over the cleaner's cart that was parked in the opposite corner. He settled back to watch as she started on her blouse buttons. In spite of his request, however, she did not actually stop talking.

'I'd love it if you'd play nice. I'm not sure you know how, though. For instance I'm not sure how you talked the technician into bumping all those scheduled patients back, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if threats were involved.'

She finished with the buttons and stepped back between his knees, and he smiled slightly in a show of appreciation.

'Stretching your administrative muscles always puts that special sparkle in your eye, Cuddy,' he said as he reached for her. One hand slid up from her knee, bringing her skirt with it. He ducked his head to one side to take in the view when he felt stocking end and bare skin begin.

'Yes,' she agreed. 'I just love taking members of my staff to task like naughty school children. It's always the highlight of my day.'

'This isn't proof that you get off on it? I've got my hand up your skirt.'

She paused as his fingers pressed against her.

'I get off on it? Look who's talking,' she said finally, reaching for the front of his pants. 'You live to provoke people.'

'No,' he replied, 'I just don't care if I do. Anyway, it's not as if most of them don't deserve it,' he added distractedly.

He leaned forward and tasted the skin between her breasts, slightly sweet, slightly salty. Her bra was made of some stretchy, lacy material. White.

Virginal, he thought, and smirked around the nipple between his teeth.

It was high time, however, he found out whether she was colour-coordinated today. He hooked his fingers into the waistband of her underwear and tugged. She leaned on his shoulder while she reached down and stepped out of them. White lace. She slapped his hand away as he reached for them.

'Oh right, like I'm falling for that again,' she scoffed.

She turned and tossed them over with her jacket, well out of his reach.

'The fact that you fell for it once,' he said, 'Is enough for me.'

He pulled her onto his lap, pushing her skirt up as she settled against him.

'I still owe you some extremely unpleasant payback for that,' she replied, her hands finding their way to his waistband. 'Maybe I'll take off with your pants. And your cane. See how well you do.'

'I still think it was worth it. No,' he amended, his eyes losing focus as she did something extremely distracting with her hand, 'It was definitely worth it. Hmm...' he hummed, resting his head back against the wall, 'You know, if you're still not on the pill, we have a slight problem. Or you could just keep doing that. It won't take long. I'll just close my eyes and think of Jessica Alba.'

Her hand disappeared and he opened his eyes as she climbed off him.

'What have you got against Jessica Alba?' he wondered. 'I mean I know she can't act but she's really -'

'I brought a condom,' she told him, shooting him an amused look. She'd crossed to the cleaner's cart and was fishing in one of the pockets of her jacket.

'Just how long have you been planning this very spontaneous get-together?' he demanded.

'You,' she said as she tore the wrapper open with her teeth, 'Are infuriating. And for some incomprehensible reason I seem to like that - rule-breaking and misuse of hospital resources notwithstanding,' she went on as she focused on rolling the condom down. 'So I stopped off in the clinic before I came and found you.'

'There's my details-oriented little camper,' he said fondly, and held her hips to steady her as she straddled him again. Which couldn't be easy on the knees, he realised. He admired her fortitude. Among other things.

'Spontaneity is for people who don't want to keep their jobs,' she replied, slinging her arms around his neck.

He looked towards the door.

'No lock,' he said. 'Did you just say something about job security?'

She shook her head.

'This utility room isn't in use on Wednesdays and Fridays.'

'You know that?'

'It's my job to know that.'

'The degree to which you micromanage this hospital is truly freakish. And oddly sexy.'

'It means we won't be disturbed, so shut up.'

With that, she lifted up on her knees and sank down onto him.

'It's great,' he declared. 'Micromanagement is great. Utility rooms are great, too. Should be more of them. The only rooms in this whole place that aren't see-through. I'm a big fan.'

She grinned at his sudden enthusiasm.

'Well the wheelchair restroom last week was more roomy,' she conceded, 'But I got a bruise on my back from the safety bar.'

'I'd be sympathetic if not for the fact that I don't remember doing anything in any restrooms with you last week.'

'So it might have been the week before.' She shrugged. 'Anyway, do you really think you're the only chippy I keep on the side around here?' she teased, laughing at him when he frowned.

He showed his appreciation for that by grasping her waist and pulling her against him, hard.

'You really know how to sweet talk a girl, Cuddy,' he ground out, as she stopped laughing in favour of biting her lip and moving her hips in response.

She leaned forward and nipped at his throat, her teeth scraping over stubble.

'You're my favourite piece of ass, I promise.'

Then she stopped talking for a while and he took the chance to catch her mouth with his, their tongues meeting and tangling. He guided her movements with his hands on her ass, encouraging her to pick up the pace. She obliged, and slid one hand down between their bodies to touch herself.

Her focus slipped away, then, and her head tipped back as she panted. He moved his attention to her neck, tasting the flushed skin there. She stilled suddenly, her hands clutching at his shoulders, her mouth open in a throaty gasp.

Her head came down to rest against his neck, her breath hot on his skin.

'Come on, Cuddy,' he mumbled, turning his face into her hair, 'You got off easy, now it's my turn.'

She snickered into his shoulder.

'Hold your damn horses,' she ordered, still grinning as she lifted her head to look at him.

She shifted her hips deliberately then, and his jaw dropped. Great muscles, he thought, as slowly, she began to ride him again.

She moved in a steady, irresistible rhythm, pushing him closer and closer towards the edge. He shut his eyes, and she ran her nails down his chest, finding his nipples through his shirt. She leaned forward and sucked his earlobe into her mouth. His fingers tightened on her flesh, moving her, moving with her, until he was there.

'God,' he ground out, pulling her down hard on his lap and holding her there.

'Jesus, Cuddy,' he managed after a long moment as he scrabbled in his pocket. 'Trying to kill me?'

She laughed, propped against his chest.

'All in a day's work.'

He popped a Vicodin over her head.

'Better than a cigarette, huh?' she added.

'No, you can't bum one,' he said, wincing as she shifted her weight. 'Ow. You're not exactly a waif, you know.'

'You weren't exactly complaining a moment ago,' she replied sharply, lifting her head to glare at him.

'The thrill has gone,' he told her, and jostled his good leg under her. 'Off. You're heavy.'

'Poor baby,' she crooned mockingly.

He managed not to whimper as she climbed off his lap without much care.

'Poor me, I'm only in a great deal of pain,' he groused.

'People are usually in a better mood after sex, you know.'

He ignored her and her amused look - she was obviously in a better mood, at any rate. She wasn't still harping at him about the MRI, anyway. She also seemed eager to get away, he noted, already all buttoned up and tucked back in while he was still dealing with the condom.

The utility room, despite his earlier declaration, was not an ideal love nest. Although these days anywhere that didn't boast a comfy mattress posed certain logistical problems for him.

'Bathrooms and janitor's closets are all very well, but next time, I say we try somewhere really exotic. Like that MRI you were so interested in before. Now there's a place I bet you've never tried. Cosy.'

She shot him a look but continued fussing with her hair as he clambered awkwardly to his feet, retrieving his cane and grabbing his television off the shelf where she'd tossed it.

'For fifty bucks,' he went on, 'I know a guy who'll give us the whole lab for twenty minutes. Go on,' he grinned, 'Ask me how I know that. You know you want to.'

For a moment, he could tell, she was torn between not giving in to his provocation, and her conflicting desire to never let him get away with anything. In the end, she decided to let it go - which he found strangely disappointing - and did a quick pirouette instead.

'Nothing showing that shouldn't be showing?' she asked.

He let his eyes settle on her chest and the amount of skin exposed in the vee of her blouse.

'There's really room for a range of interpretations here,' he said.

'Well you look just as scruffy as you always do, in case you were wondering.'

'Gee, I'd hate for anyone to think I'd just gotten some.'

'You do have your reputation to think of,' she agreed sweetly.

He tapped his cane against the floor and then, before he could think better of it, backed her into the door. Because she really was looking entirely too composed and pristine, and though he could tell she wasn't expecting it, her mouth opened readily enough under his. He kissed her firmly and thoroughly, with a good deal more deliberate intent than often characterised their encounters.

It was far from a brief peck, and when he pulled away, she wiped under her bottom lip with her thumb.

'I'm going to have stubble burn, aren't I?' she asked ruefully.

Lisa Cuddy, he mused. Fun to provoke, difficult to ever really ruffle. Which, he reflected, was probably why he kept trying.

'Nothing like a good stubble burn to help dispel all those lipstick lesbian rumours,' he told her.

'Oh now you're thinking of my reputation. How magnanimous of you.'

Magnanimous?

'Word-of-the-day toilet paper?' he guessed.

She closed her eyes and gave that little head-shake of hers which meant she was fed up with him. It was a gesture he was familiar with.

'I'm going,' she announced, right on cue. 'Stay in here for a few minutes, would you, please?' She paused and gave him a dubious look. 'On second thought, you go first. I'll wait.'

'Your faith in me is overwhelming,' he smirked as he moved out the door. As soon as it shut behind him, however, he turned and threw it back open. 'Psst! The coast is clear,' he hissed dramatically. 'Now for our fiendish getaway.'

She pushed by him into the corridor, which was completely deserted.

'You've got my beeper number, right?' he said as she moved off down the corridor. 'Wouldn't want to miss your next booty call.'

She turned her head just long enough to glare at him.

'What?' he inquired innocently.

She didn't answer immediately but she did slow her pace to match his as he limped after her.

'Nothing,' she sighed a moment later. 'I should be used to you saying things like that in public,' she muttered, almost to herself. 'Only god forbid you ever exercise a hint of discretion.'

He looked around at their non-existent audience. 'Public?'

'You know what I mean.'

They reached his office and he went in, rolling his eyes when she followed.

'Here's what I know,' he offered, lowering himself to rest on the edge of his desk. 'I know that you're paranoid, and that it amuses me.' She crossed her arms over her chest, frowning slightly. He went on, 'And I know that you do this every time - you get horny, have your way with me, then remember that you're supposed to be a professional woman-in-charge who'd never do anything so unprofessional as screw a colleague, and then you feel guilty, and then you feel angry, and then you take it out on me. Relax, will you?' he grumbled. 'Or at least go be tense somewhere else. You're killing my afterglow.'

'I'm not paranoid,' she protested. 'These things have a habit of getting out.'

'Well sure, what else does episodic television teach us if not that? Don't worry, what we just did was far too x-rated for prime-time viewing.'

'You're the expert on soaps - this doesn't feel like one of those cheesy melodramatic plots in the making to you?'

'What, ducking out for a nooner with the boss? Not unless you're plotting with my evil twin behind my back to steal my step-sister's baby. Which may or may not be mine. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. It was just that one time. It was oh so wrong, but it just felt so right.'

'I guess this is a little tame in comparison,' she conceded, smiling a little now.

'Tame? Remind me to put a bit more effort in next time.'

Her grin widened.

'You won't hear any complaints from me.'

'Ooh, harsh. You keep casting aspersions on my sexual prowess, I'm going to need a hug and a cookie.'

'Didn't Cameron make you cookies the other day?' Maybe you could ask her.'

'She said they were for everyone,' he replied defensively. 'Anyway, I prefer your cookies,' he added, and bounced his eyebrows at her suggestively.

The door opened then and Chase came in, hesitating when he saw her there.

'I do so enjoy your visits Dr Cuddy, but I have desperately important doctorly things to do. Why don't you go count some tongue depressors?' he said.

'You mean you're actually working on a case?' She looked to Chase for confirmation.

Chase nodded quickly, finding his tongue. 'Yeah, it's a fifty-three year old -'

'She knows we have a case,' House spat, levering himself off the edge of the desk.

'Just surprised to hear you're actually working on it,' she smiled blithely at him over her shoulder as she left.

He really hated it when she got the last word. Granted, it didn't happen often but -

'This urgent?' he asked Chase bluntly.

'Well -'

'Good. Be back in a minute.'

It was the principle of the thing.

He called out to her and she turned to watch him catch up.

'What?' She frowned, glancing back to where Chase could be seen looking after them with interest.

House followed her gaze and dismissed her obvious line of thought.

'Oh, what's he going to think, that we're arguing out here?' He bit his knuckle anxiously.

'I repeat,' she said curtly, 'What?'

'I was just going to say, I have plans with Wilson tonight, but I can come over afterwards.' He paused, taking in the way she was glaring at him. 'That is,' he continued, 'If you're not too busy burning my effigy.'

'And you couldn't have told me this later? Or called me? You just love pushing it, don't you?' she accused, shaking her head.

He blinked at her.

'This surprises you? I'm sorry, we have met, haven't we?'

'What surprises me is how much a supposed genius like you enjoys inviting trouble.'

'So we're back on the discretion thing. You know I fairly ooze discretion when I want.'

'When you want,' she repeated derisively. She cast one more glance back towards his office where Chase was pretending to peruse some test results, and than headed for the elevators.

Again, he thought, with the trying to get the last word. So he followed after her. Again.

'We don't have anything to worry about,' he said casually. 'Or you don't, anyway. I'm not going to worry in either case.'

'That's what worries me.'

'I could tell everyone in the hospital I'm sleeping with you and no one would believe me.' He stopped and caught the attention of a passing nurse. 'Boss-lady wants me bad,' he said, gesturing to Cuddy.

The nurse simply frowned at him, sent a sympathetic look in Cuddy's direction, and then kept walking.

'You're like a little kid,' she said once the nurse was gone. 'You just love getting away with this right under everybody's noses. It proves how clever we are.'

'Well, more me than you...' He shrugged.

'Tell you what,' she said, leaning in slightly and lowering her voice to a conspiratorial tone, 'Why don't you watch my ass really closely as I walk away? That'll fool them.'

This time, he gave it to her. If only because it allowed him to do just as she suggested as she stomped off. He smiled slightly as he watched her stab the call button for the elevator a few more times than necessary. Then he returned to his office, got rid of Chase, and lowered himself into his chair.

She would be off the elevator by now. He factored in her stopping at the desk to chat inanely with whoever was on duty, waited another second to be safe, then picked up the phone and dialled her office extension. She answered after three rings, sounding harried. Perfect.

'This is Doctor Cuddy.'

'So was that a yes or no on tonight?' he greeted her.

'What is your problem?' she demanded. 'Don't you have underlings you could be pestering? Not to mention a case to work on?'

'You just said you wanted me to call you. I assumed you were lonely.'

'I have work to do. Unlike some emotional infants I could name.'

'So I'll take that as a yes for tonight, then, huh?'

There was a pause as she sighed, and he knew he had her.

'You and Wilson aren't getting hammered, are you? I'd rather you weren't throwing up in my bathroom all night.'

'Well I'll be driving, so of course I'll try to go for blind drunk, rather than projectile-vomiting drunk - that's always a bit rough on the upholstery.'

'That 'burning your effigy' thing is starting to sound more and more appealing. Where does one get an effigy, I wonder?' she mused.

'Be nice, or I'll find some other girl's bathroom to throw up in.'

She laughed at that. 'I'm sorry, was that supposed to be a threat? Go do some work, will you?'

'Well I'm trying, but my sex-crazed boss keeps harassing me. It's extremely inappropriate, don't you think?'

The dial tone sounded in his ear, and he hung up on his end.

Better than a soap any day. Well, he thought as he checked his watch and then dug in his pocket for his portable tv, almost.

end