That was it, she thought: Doctor Fielding looked as if he was about to faint.
She marched over and grabbed the offending miscreant by the ear. House made a noise that could only be described as an 'erp', but helplessly followed the tug on his ear as he was dragged from his seat.
Ignoring the gasps of astonishment, she dragged him to the back of the room and without removing her grip on his ear she grabbed a spare chair and thunked it down facing the corner. Then she did the same with House.
House opened his mouth to start whining, but Cuddy quickly moved in and grabbed his shoulders, putting her mouth right next to his ear.
'If you move before I say you can, breathe too loudly, snigger or even cough: I will triple your clinic hours for a month… and your Gameboy will end up at the bottom of the Jersey,' she whispered viciously.
At the mention of the Gameboy House froze.
She quickly frisked his pockets and relieved him of the Gameboy and the portable TV. 'Sit. Stay, and be good,' she commanded as she reached round and took his cane.
As she returned to her seat she heard a faint smattering applause and the speaker, Doctor Jennings, smiled at her before he continued with his speech.
An hour he sat there. Sent to the corner: no Gameboy, no Wilson, no talking; just sitting listening to Jennings drone on and on about his 'advances' in pediatric medicine – oh for Christ sake, they were kids. Of course they felt happier with a few stuffed bears around. No wonder he and Wilson had passed the time discussing hookers.
He knew he was in trouble. He had seen Fielding turn puce. Maybe that last comment about that hooker who could shoot ping-pong balls hadn't been such a great idea. Wilson had laughed of course, but then Wilson was a push over. All he needed was the right guide and he could easily be lead astray – and leading Wilson astray was House's mission in life.
But now he was trapped. In a corner – literally – with no cane, no diversions and no escape from his very annoyed boss. Well it served her right for making him come anyway; he snorted to himself (silently, as he had seen the mad gleam in her eye and didn't want to tempt fate concerning the Gameboy) and waited for the inevitable.
Dr Cuddy smiled at the last of the crowd as they filed out then looked at the cane in her hand: Right. Someone needs a good caning.
Wilson was leaning up against the wall, his legs crossed – trying to look innocent. He'd tried to escape by using a group of gastroenterologists as cover, but she had pulled him up and sent him to wait by House. Cuddy vaguely thought she heard House growling, but obviously the threat to his Gameboy was keeping him from biting.
'So what's the sentence,' he said resignedly to the corner as she put his cane in front of him.
'Twelve extra next week.'
House twisted his head round and looked mournfully at Wilson. 'A hanging judge.' Wilson sniggered.
'And you can stop looking so smug. An extra six hours for you,' said Cuddy.
At this Wilson spluttered to life. 'Why me,' he said pointing at House. 'It was his fault. He was the one making all the… you knows and the other you knows.' Wilson began to make odd gestures resembling balloons.
'But you are a big grown up oncologist, and you do not play along when he starts making… (She started mimicking Wilson's shapes)… those sort of shapes.'
She dropped her hands in exasperation. 'Especially at a conference that I am running at the hospital.' She paused for emphasis. 'That I am running.'
'Both of you – to your offices now. And do some work,' she said as she pointed to the door. 'And no sneaking back to raid the buffet.' Cuddy made for the door. 'You are banned from the reception,' she said over her shoulder as she left them alone in the empty conference room.
House smirked. 'Busted too.' He heaved himself to his feet. 'We'd better do as she says before she comes back.'
Wilson looked back at him in shock: 'You… actually are going to follow Cuddy's orders? Who is this pod person House and what have you done with my friend.'
House winked at him. 'I have a plan.'
After leaving the party Cuddy took the elevator the fourth floor to see if her boys were behaving themselves… and they were - for once. Amazingly they hadn't skived off for pizza and beer: House was in his office and two doors down Wilson was in his. They looked like they were doing work, but you could never be sure with House. Although that net nanny she had had installed on House's computer was a god send, she thought.
Satisfied she went on her way. Miracles would never cease.
House kept one eye on the mark while he picked up the phone:
'So I don't have to look busy anymore?' asked his co-conspirator.
'Nope – it's nibbly central.'
They ambled down to the reception.
House leaned on his cane as he careered round to face Wilson, his face lighting up. 'All the drug reps we can insult and all the nibblies we can eat and we are free from Dr Dragon Lady…' he said. He wheeled around and came face to face with Dr Cuddy and stopped short.
'Doctor Dragon certainly is a lady killer,' said Wilson stupidly. 'As you were just saying.'
But Cuddy was not impressed. 'And what were you two doing down here?' she asked.
House just hung his head and stared at his Nikes. He knew the game was up.
But the boy wonder oncologist always looked on the bright side. 'I forgot my clip board,' lied Wilson gamely.
'Your clip board?' asked Cuddy incredulously.
'Yes, the board… with the clips,' he stammered.
House sighed. Wilson had never been good at this sort of thing. He was in for it.
House grabbed Wilson and started to pull him away. 'We will just come back for it later,' he said.
They nearly made it. They got all the way to the end of the corridor before she struck.
'Oh - House.'
Both men froze in their tracks at her tone. House turned slowly around to see her pointing at the ground in front of her. Like a puppy who knows it is going to get whapped on the nose with a rolled up newspaper, he very slowly limped back to Cuddy, his leg dragging behind him and his head down.
He stopped before her and looked up at her with his best soulful and expectant look.
'Oh cut that out,' she snapped.
House deflated. 'How many more,' he asked.
'Another six I think.'
'Yes,' he said with a sigh.
'Yes M'am.' This time it was more of a mumble.
Cuddy smirked. 'You may go.'
As they left House thumped Wilson with his cane. 'It's all your fault you know.'
Wilson raised his eyebrows. 'Me, what did I do?'
House shook his head in disgust. 'Oh please – "my board – with the clips",' he said rolling his eyes. 'You are not skilled in this art young padawan. But teach you I will,' he said as they continued down the corridor.
'And you'll make me pay for those extra clinic hours,' asked Wilson.
'You betcha,' said House with a smile. 'And the pizza. I'm hungry.'