Disclaimer: Not mine.
A/N: For the purposes of this fic, Wilson and Julie haven't split up yet.
House stood next to the whiteboard as he and his staff worked on a diagnosis. He and Cuddy had been married for about a week and things couldn't have been better. The only major problem so far was trying to figure out where to live. Her place had stairs and his wasn't big enough. They had eventually decided to quietly look for a place of their own, but in the mean time they were living at both homes. He and Cuddy had both decided not to flaunt their relationship at the hospital. They agreed that if asked, they would tell the truth, but until then it was no one else's business but their own.
Wilson and -- thanks to Cameron -- his entire staff knew that they were at least together, but after some judicious threatening on his part about the dangers of gossiping about one's boss in the work place, they had all agreed to keep their mouths shut.
Cuddy had thanked Wilson and Cameron for their part in getting them together. House, on the other hand, although satisfied with the final outcome, was still upset at their little trick and had spent the past week planning his revenge. 'In fact,' he mused as he quietly checked his watch before writing something else on the whiteboard, 'Wilson should be coming in just about now.'
"House!" Wilson yelled as he entered the office. "You are a complete and total asshole. Why … why would you do this? No, I know why. Your ego can't handle the thought that I pulled one over on you – even for your own benefit – and you feel like you have to get even. You're lucky Julie's not here. She's planning your demise as we speak."
"There's nothing new with that. She's been planning my demise since she met me."
"Yes, but this morning she asked me if we owned a shovel."
"What did he do to you?" Cameron asked in a bewildered voice.
"Well," Wilson began, glaring at House as he pulled out a newspaper, "someone –"
"You have no proof it was me," House reminded him.
Wilson just scowled as he continued, "Someone placed an ad in the Princeton Packet this morning that says, 'Married to a Nazi. She's making me give up the porn. Huge collection dating back to the 80's. Call day or night. Must get rid of A.S.A.P.' and then it gives my phone number to call."
Chase and Foreman burst out into laughter, but Cameron stared at House horrified.
"House that is stupid and juvenile – even for you."
"He deserved it."
"He was trying to help."
"Whatever. The both of you have been walking around with self-satisfied smirks on your face for the past week. Well no more!"
"Am I going to find an ad in there offering to sell my porn collection too?" she asked sarcastically.
House snorted. "That would show a lack of imagination on my part."
"Hey, stop being so selfish! We've got a patient here who needs our help. What tests were we talking about before we were so rudely interrupted?" House asked as he glared at Wilson.
Wilson glared right back and shook his head. "This isn't over," he warned. House merely smiled.
"Oh you think he'd learn," he said to no one in particular. Cameron just rolled her eyes.
"Now where were we?" They finished discussing the case and came up with a list of tests they felt needed to be run. House then dismissed them. As he stood up, Chase knocked over a pile of books that Cameron had been looking at. Chase bent over to help Cameron pick them up as Foreman left to get the tests started. Cameron took the opportunity to lecture House.
"You know, one of these days you may push him too far," she warned him.
It was House's turn to roll his eyes. "Trust me to sort out my relationship with Wilson, thank you very much. You would do good to watch your own back, missy."
"Remind me never to do anything nice for you again."
"You think you would have figured it out after the first hundred or so attempts," House shot back at her.
Cameron left, clearly not amused, and clearly not noticing sign proudly proclaiming 'Masturbation is a right!' that had been stuck to her back. Chase watched her leave and then turned to House who placed a fifty dollar bill in his outstretched hand.
"Nice misdirection with the falling books," House said admiringly.
"Yeah, well spending two years in a seminary teaches you a few things about practical jokes."
"Aren't you worried about revenge?"
"Nah. She'll get huffy and complain, but she doesn't have it in her to get really nasty."
"I'm working on that," House said with a smile.
Cuddy was giving a potential donor a tour of the hospital when she saw Dr. Cameron walking down the hallway. It wasn't as much Dr. Cameron who got her attention as the slew of hospital personnel who were pointing and giggling behind her.
"Excuse me, Mrs. Wright," Cuddy said to the older woman as she headed towards the younger doctor.
"Dr. Cuddy," Cameron said as Cuddy approached her, turned her around, and snatched the paper off of her back.
"Here," Cuddy said as she handed the paper to Cameron. Cameron read the paper and her face turned a deep shade of red.
"He got no where near me …" she said in a confused voice. "I don't know how he …" she turned at looked at Cuddy. "He's insane."
"Tell me something I don't know."
"I was kind of hoping that you would be a moderating influence on him," Cameron admitted.
Cuddy snorted. "House isn't going to change for anyone. He knows that I don't expect that of him. You should probably lay low until something else grabs his attention."
"Thanks for the warning," Cameron said as she headed to the patient's room.
"A problem, Dr. Cuddy?" Mrs. Wright came up behind Cuddy to ask. Cuddy put on her best professional smile before she turned to face her.
"No, not at all. Just a little practical joke between colleagues," she said smoothly.
"Oh," the other woman said.
"Dr. Cuddy!" she heard an infuriatingly familiar voice hell from behind her.
"I'm sorry, excuse me again," she said as she turned and headed towards House.
"Nice little sign on Cameron's back," she hissed at him.
He smirked. "I did not go near her," he said.
"Yes, but I'm sure you arranged for it to make its way to her back."
House just shrugged his shoulders.
"Don't you have clinic?" she asked.
"Who is that?" he asked, ignoring her question.
"A donor. Go to the clinic."
"I want to meet her."
"No you don't. You just want to give me a heart attack," she said in a threatening voice.
"House, I don't expect you to change so don't expect me to change and stop trying to shield the donors from your particular brand of insanity. Now go do your job."
He was about to say something when he noticed that the donor had begun to walk towards them.
"I can't leave now," he told her with a smile. "It would look rude."
Cuddy glared and then turned to greet the donor again.
"Mrs. Wright, is there something you needed?" she asked.
"Oh no, I just realized that this gentleman looked familiar, and I wanted to meet him."
Cuddy managed to hide her reflexive shudder. "Mrs. Evelyn Wright, this is Dr. Gregory House. He's the head of the Diagnostics Department here at Princeton-Plainsboro."
"Dr. House," she began. "You're the doctor who helped treat that nice young man who was running for president," she said.
"Yep," he said. "Now he's healthy enough to lie to the American people for years to come."
Mrs. Wright smiled.
Cuddy felt it was important to get House out of there as soon as humanly possible. "Dr. House was just leaving to do his clinic duty for the week."
"Oh, it's so nice that a doctor of your standing still takes time to see regular patients."
"For me, it's all about the patient," House said in a sincere voice. Cuddy didn't quite manage to stop herself from snorting at his declaration. House glanced over in Cuddy's direction and she felt tiny pinpricks of alarm at his expression. "Plus, if I don't do my clinic hours, then Dr. Cuddy here pulls out her riding crop, and things just get ugly from there."
Cuddy could feel her cheeks grow warm as Mrs. Wright's eyes widened in surprise.
"Good-bye Dr. House," Cuddy said in a firm tone. House smiled and headed towards the elevator.
Cuddy was surprised to hear an amused chuckle come from Mrs. Wright's direction.
"He reminds me of my husband."
"Oh god," Cuddy said in horror as she turned towards Mrs. Wright, and then she realized how that must have sounded. "I'm sorry … I mean, just the thought that there's more than one of him out there …"
"Oh, no need to apologize, my dear. I have to admit, that my Joseph lacks your Dr. House's flair for the dramatic, but he also enjoys saying things just to get a rise out of people. I can't take him anywhere."
Cuddy laughed. "I definitely know that feeling."
"I have to admit, though, that for as often as I want to strangle him, I wouldn't have him be any different."
Cuddy's gaze followed House where he had just gotten on the elevator. He smiled and stuck his tongue out at her. She turned to meet Mrs. Wright's warm gaze. "Honestly, neither would I," she said softly and then forced her voice to become more professional. "I believe that we have a tour to finish."
Mrs. Wright smiled and took Cuddy's arm. "That we do, but I'm already very impressed by the work that you do here. I expect that we'll be able to help you out a great deal. Just promise me that we'll figure out a way to introduce my husband to Dr. House. I'm not sure what would happen, but it would definitely be entertaining."
"Definitely," Cuddy agreed. "We might even be able to sell tickets to raise money for the hospital," she suggested.
Mrs. Wright laughed merrily. "What a wonderful idea. I can see how you've come so far so fast in your life."
Their laughter filled the hallway as they walked arm in arm while they continued to talk of their plans for the hospital. 'Yes,' Cuddy reflected to herself with a smile. 'I wouldn't change a thing.'
A/N2: Yay! I'm done! All practical jokes came from As I mentioned earlier, I do have the beginnings of another Huddy story running around in my head, but I'm participating in a 24 challenge that I have to write first.