Conclusion Two weekends later

Reardon Lodge, Lake Champlain—on the New York side

Once again, Cuddy's travel instincts paid off for all concerned. Rather than sending people on business trips, she arranged for a weekend get away for her and House. As a reward for their assistance, she encouraged Cameron and Chase to come along (provided they gave the other couple space and kicked in some of the costs of course).

With the clear skies, cool lake breezes and twinkling stars, it was quite the scene all things considered….

Camp Site by the lake

Chase stuck a marshmallow on a stick and held it over the fire, watching it brown to a crisp. He stole a glance at his girlfriend before returning to the task at hand. "Looks good." He handed the stick and treat to her. "There you go."

"Thank you," Cameron accepted while taking a bite. "I forgot how great camping was. Wish that House and Cuddy would have come along with us."

He snickered. "I can't see House out here. He'd complain about everything."

"Maybe not everything." She looked at the stars. "I guess we should make a wish?"

He nodded and looked up at the sky. Then he took a moment of silence before squeezing her hand. "I just did."

She grinned. "Me too. Guess I should take that other wish back now?"

"Guess so," he indicated before they kissed passionately. When they came up for air, he proposed, "The tent?"

"Unless you want a ranger finding us, yeah, I think so, Chase," she retorted, grinning at him. She ran her hands through his hair. "Thanks for asking me to come up here."

"You're welcome," he agreed while walking with her toward their tent.

Lodge

Cuddy brushed her hair, looking in the mirror. She had waited so long to be with House…dealing with the Stacy mess, cleaning up the messes, etc. She smiled, feeling almost shy. Cut it out. It's not like it's the first time.

She recalled how after he had talked to Wilson, he had returned to her office.

After that, she had sent her receptionist on a long lunch so that they might talk further.

Instead, he rummaged through the garment bag and produced a diamond ring before proposing to her.

Taken completely by surprise, she accepted, allowing him to put the ring on her hand.

Then they made love for the first time on her couch….

His entering the room brought her out of it. "How was your walk?"

"You sure know how to pick the spot, Cuddy," he complimented while entering the room and seeing her in the robe.

"I figured you'd want to fish and relax, House. I remember you liked that stuff in Michigan," she recalled.

"And you liked it too as I remember. Queen of the Lake." He looked at her with the blank look. "Kicked just about every guy's ass in the derby except for me."

"You pushed me in," she teased.

"Don't blame me because you're a klutz!" he retorted half-seriously.

"And the fact that I was wearing a white t-shirt didn't have anything to do with it?" she supposed.

He smirked, conceding the point. "The cleavage drew me like a magnet."

She rolled her eyes. "Oh brother!" Then she looked at her hand in the dim lighting and saw his surprise from Seattle glittering back at her. "I shouldn't have let you bull me into this. Still, someone's got to keep you straight."

"Who's keeping who straight, Cuddy?" he countered before they embraced and kissed in the moonlight. "I finally found someone I can put up with."

She shook her head as they sat on the couch, enjoying the fire blazing away in the fireplace. Granted, they had experienced a brief storm over the issue of respect. Once that had been dealt with, it had been smoother sailing indeed for all concerned….

THE END