Who's Your Cuddy?

By Jody E.

Disclaimer: The Cuddy/baby story line was not my idea, nor do these characters belong to me in any capacity. This takes place immediately after the episode, "Who's your Daddy?" Contains no spoilers for the finale.

House closed his eyes, listening to the music, picturing the old man's fingers on the keyboard. Man, he sure could play. Granddaughter was a piece of work, though. He chuckled to himself. Poor old Crandall. Well, at least, thinking that she really was his daughter, she might not be so quick to screw him over. Maybe. His good deed for the week. Maybe for the month. House stretched out on the sofa, too tired to get up and go to bed. Wilson had been surprised that he didn't even want to go out for a few drinks with Crandall, "for old times sake." Well, first of all, he was exhausted…he felt like he had just run a goddamned marathon, thanks to his leg. Second of all, he hated talking about old times, one of his many social flaws. Third, he especially didn't want to talk about his leg. Knowing Crandall, he'd probably offer House a leg transplant in gratitude for saving his "daughter." Stupid sap. And fourth, he really didn't think that alcohol was the desired chaser to all the extra Vicodin he'd been taking. Though he didn't tell Wilson that part. Or the part about the morphine needles he'd been trying to resist, like the one still sitting on his coffee table. Thank God the pain in his leg had eased up to its normal 4 to 5 on the pain scale. It happened like that...a couple of days of torture, followed by a few days of relative normality, or what he had come to think of as normality. He didn't know what was causing the extra pain or why it went away, but the torture days were becoming more frequent, he knew that. What he hated even more than the pain was the looks of sympathy from Cameron and Wilson, when they thought he wasn't looking. At least, so far, he'd managed to hide his extra pain from Cuddy. He really didn't need her pity as well.

House's reverie was broken by the discordant sound of his doorbell. He had a doorbell? Wilson always knocked, before he got his own key, and everybody else…well, Wilson was pretty much the extent of his unexpected callers. Hey… maybe it was Jehovah's Witnesses. He hadn't seen any of them in years. He always used to enjoy arguing them into the ground. House quickly hid the morphine needle under the sofa, grabbed his cane and got laboriously off the leather sofa. The bell rang again. "Relax!" House yelled at the door, "We have all eternity!"

He hobbled to the door, his leg stiffer than usual after all the exercise, and peered through the peephole. He was surprised to see the eyes that stared back at his. He opened the door, "Cuddy!" he said, "Come in."

Lisa Cuddy entered, dressed more casually than House was used to seeing her, and carrying a paper bag that looked vaguely wine shaped. "What was that about eternity?" she asked, handing the bag to House. Oh...not wine. Champagne. Chilled. Interesting.

"I thought you were Jehovah's Witnesses. Though it is actually kind of late for them. I always imagine them tucked into their self-righteous beds by nine. It's after ten."

"Oh, I'm sorry it's so late. I didn't wake you up, did I?"

"No...I'm a night owl. Let me put this in the kitchen."

"It took me a while to work up enough nerve to come here. I probably should have called first. "

"Ah, but then I would have been warned and what's the fun of that? Never underestimate the value of shock and surprise in getting what you want, "House gestured towards the sofa, "Have a seat. So what do you want, Cuddy?"

Cuddy sat down, looking very nervous and ill at ease. "What makes you think I want something?"

House snorted, "Oh come on, Cuddy. You show up in the middle of the night, bearing gifts. Nobody comes to see me because they desire my scintillating company. Well, except Wilson, but he's insane."

"No. You're right. Of course. Listen, it is late. I think I'd better be going." She stood up.

"Whoa, Cuddy! If you think for one moment that you are going to escape without telling me what this is all about…I may speak softly, but I carry a big stick and I'm not afraid to use it! Sit down." He pointed with his cane to Cuddy's vacated spot on the sofa. She sat back down. "How about some champagne? I just happen to have some chilled."

She nodded, and House limped into the kitchen, coming back with the champagne bottle tucked under his arm and a couple of elegant champagne flutes in the free hand. He handed the glasses to Cuddy, and sat down on the sofa next to Cuddy to open the bottle.

"Pretty glasses, "Cuddy commented.

"Thanks...I stole them from the caterers at the Gala." House said.

Cuddy laughed, "You did not! Did you?"

House shrugged. And poured the champagne. "So what are we drinking to?"

Cuddy didn't answer but drank some champagne, rather quicker than was warranted. House studied her, noting the somewhat baggy green turtleneck sweater, and loose khakis. Her hair was tied back in a casual ponytail.

"Gee...how come you never dress sexy like this at work?" he asked with a smirk.

Cuddy wrinkled her nose at him, and House made a face back at her. Silence descended as House decided to let Cuddy take her time getting around to the huge favor she was about to ask him. He knew what it was, of course, but it was no fun jumping the gun.

Finally Cuddy asked him, "Do you remember when I came by your office this afternoon to, uh thank you for the injections?"

House pretended to consider, "Yes, I have a dim recollection. I seem to remember thinking that it was a long trip for a small payoff."

Cuddy sighed, "Well, what I really came up to ask you was if you might be willing to be my sperm donor."

House pretended great surprise, "What? Me? Why I hardly know what to say. First of all, I would like to thank the Academy.."

"House! Do you have to make this even more difficult than it already is?"

House sobered immediately, "You're no fun. Why me, Cuddy?"

"You were right, before. When you said that the donor should be someone I trust. And like."

"And you picked me? Oh c'mon. Wilson is much more trustworthy and likeable than I am. Or how about Chase? Okay…so he's not all that trustworthy...but he does have that cute accent! Or if you wanted to throw a chocolate bar into your gene pool, there's always Foreman." Cuddy glared at him, "Okay Cuddy, seriously, why me?"

"I don't know. It's just a feeling I have. That I can trust you. Of course the whole liking thing is deteriorating the longer I stay here, but…Are you willing or not?"

"Have you really given this much thought? There are people who say that I'm a drug addict. I might even be one of them."

"But it's an addiction caused by pain. Addictive tendencies are a concern, though Do you mind if I ask you some questions?"

"Fire away. My life is an open book. Well, except for the parts I keep hidden."

"Well, How would you describe your drug use before the infarction?"

"Fun. Oh...you want specifics? Well, I did go to college in the 70's, so you can draw your own deductions there, and I do believe that I have inhaled a few times since then. And over the years I've tried a few other things…purely in the interests of scientific research, of course. But all in all, before this damn leg, I don't think that you would have described me as a druggie. Oddly enough, I actually prefer it when my brain is functional."

Cuddy nodded, "Yes...that's pretty much the way I remember you from Hopkins...functional."

House suppressed a smile. "Well, at least the baby is guaranteed blue eyes."

"A major deciding factor. Let's see, your parents are both still alive, right?"

"Yes, and neither of them have a history of alcoholism or cancer, or any other hereditary disease. I can fill out all the forms at the lab. But as far as I know, they are quite genetically boring."

"And yet they somehow managed to produce you. Amazing."

"So, is that it? Do I pass? Or do we still have to have the hideously awkward dinner?"

"No...I think that one with Wilson was enough for me. I'm willing if you are."

"Okay. Good. But Cuddy...maybe we should define our terms, here."

"What do you mean?"

"Well, I'm not exactly a number from a chart, remember? The way I see it there are three options. Feel free to chime in if you come up with any others. Option one. I donate the sperm, and that's that. We keep it totally anonymous, and you can lie and tell all your friends that the baby got its amazing wit and intelligence from your side of the family. Option two. I acknowledge the child, providing whatever level of support you wish, but leave the parenting strictly to you. Though I will be sure to give him a very nice pen and pencil set on his bar mitzvah. Option three. Well, you wouldn't like option three, so let's just stick to the first two."

Cuddy was amazed. "You've actually been thinking about this haven't you? What's option three?"

House was sorry he had mentioned it, "It's nothing. It's stupid. Obviously, if you wanted a co parent, you would be looking for a husband, not a sperm donor. So forget it."

Cuddy stared at House. Whenever she thought she had him figured out, he managed to surprise her. "Which option would you prefer?"

House shook his head; "It's not up to me, Cuddy. I figure, this is my gift to you for all of the shit I've put you through over the years. It's entirely your call."

Cuddy quickly turned away so that House wouldn't see the tears that came to her eyes. Damn hormones. "Thanks, House. I haven't decided all that yet. But if this works, we'll have nine months to figure out your level of involvement. Okay?"

"Fine. So, I'll go to the lab tomorrow and make my deposit. Gee…I hope I remember how to do it. Do you think they have some kind of instructional video?"

Cuddy poured herself some more champagne. House hadn't touched his. "Actually…this is where things get a little bit tricky."

"Tricky? Define tricky."

"There really isn't time for you to go to the lab tomorrow. It takes several days to process everything. And well, according to my temperature chart, my optimal time for conception is pretty much right…now. Or wait a whole month and start the shots all over again."

House raised his eyebrows, "Now? Wow! Well, let's see what we can do." He got to his feet with the help of his cane and headed towards the kitchen, " Hmmm. Well, I know I have some plastic cups in one of these cabinets. And I'm pretty sure I have some dirty magazines in the drawer next to the bed. What else do we need? Oh damn! I forgot. Wilson got custody of the turkey baster when he moved out! Sorry Cuddy."

Cuddy looked heavenward, "Oh God...what am I doing here?" to House she said, "I was thinking we might have to do it the old fashioned way."

"What...like in a horse drawn buggy? Cause I'm not sure my leg could take all that bouncing."

"You know? Never mind. I knew you were just going to make a big joke out of this."

"And yet you came here anyway. Is this really that important to you?"

"Yes, House, it really is."

"Well, then, let's get it on."

House gestured towards the bedroom. "After you. I'm sorry about the mess. Wilson took his cleaning lady with him when he left. Pretty unfair, don't you think?"

"House?"

"Yes?"

"Do you think that we could try to keep this…you know...clinical?"

"Clinical. Well, I'm afraid I don't have an exam table with stirrups. All I have is a bed. An unmade bed, at that. Not too clinical, I'm afraid."

"I know. But maybe we could just keep it professional, like when you gave me the shots."

"Sure. Professional. No problem. Just call me Paula, "House muttered.

"What?"

"Nothing. The bathroom is through there. Ladies first, in case you'd like to clear the decks."

When House emerged from his turn in the bathroom a few minutes later he saw that Cuddy was already in his bed, with the covers pulled up to her chin. Her clothing was draped over his chair. House was disappointed. He had hoped to play some part in the undressing, but he supposed that was Cuddy's attempt at being, "clinical." Seeing her lying there, peering at him anxiously, like some kind of frightened virgin, House had to suppress the desire to laugh out loud. Instead, he sat down on the bed next to her blanket-shrouded form, and put his hand on her leg.

"Cuddy, " He began, " Look. We can do this in a clinical and professional manner. And when the big moment comes we can both just close our eyes and think of England. But…why?"

Cuddy opened her mouth to speak, but House continued, "Wait. Let me finish. Cuddy...this is sex that we are about to do here. Not an MRI. You're allowed to move and everything. In fact, it's supposed to be fun. That's why people do it. So, why can't this be fun? And don't try to tell me that you don't like sex, because I happen to know for a fact, that you do. And I also happen to know that you like it with me. At least you used to."

Cuddy sighed, "House…that was a very long time ago. I was hoping maybe you'd forgotten."

"Right. Because you were so totally forgettable."

Cuddy snorted, "Well, you certainly moved on fast enough."

House shrugged, "Only after you did."

"Well, I wasn't ready to settle down." She sat up, forgetting about the covers, "You already had an established career…were already the legendary Dr. House. I was just getting started. Listen, do we have to bring this up right now?"

"Hey...I wasn't the one pretending to be a virgin. And I'm not holding any grudges. Believe me, I've more than gotten my revenge over the years we've worked together. Like just now, getting you to drop the covers, and let me see the goods." He reached out a hand and caressed the nipple of one exposed breast, "Hi! Long time no see."

At that, Cuddy began to laugh. "Oh Greg. You're impossible. But you're also right, "She held out her arms, "Take off your clothes and get over here."

House quickly pulled off his tee shirt. His pants and boxers gave him a bit more difficulty because of the stiffness of his leg, but he got them off and threw them on the floor. He saw Cuddy glance briefly at his wasted thigh, but she had seen it before and didn't flinch or react to it in any way. Thank God for Cuddy. He pulled back the covers and got in beside her and took her in his arms, and kissed her.

It was amazing. One kiss and he felt transported back in time to his dingy apartment at Johns Hopkins, with pretty Lisa Cuddy, the brightest and most desirable of all the female medical students who regularly threw themselves in his path. He had fallen hard for her, but was careful never to let her know the depths of his feelings. He had sensed right from the start that she was only passing through, and that her ambition burned much brighter than his. When the inevitable happened a few months later, he'd let her go casually, as though she were just another in a long parade of student lovers. When in fact, she was the only one.

And now all these years later, it was as though they had never been apart. Her body was as beautiful as he remembered it, the effects of age and gravity seemingly non-existent. He wished he could say the same for himself. He remembered the things she liked, and had always been skilled with his hands and his tongue, bringing her to orgasm effortlessly, like he'd always been able to. The missionary position was difficult for him because of his leg, which balked at supporting his weight, but it was better for conception, so he ignored the pain, and entered her, and then forgot the pain entirely, in the pleasure that she gave him. Cuddy gasped as she came again and he followed a short while afterwards.

"Was that professional enough for you, Cuddy?" House asked and kissed her. She just laughed softly.

Suddenly she felt a pillow being thrust under her bottom. "Hey, what are you doing?"

"Sorry. But we have to raise that pretty ass of yours in order to keep all the swimmers in where they will do the most good."

"Oh.Yes. I knew that."

He finished arranging the pillows and covered her gently with the sheet. "There, that probably feels kind of weird, but it's only for a little while. I mean, we wouldn't want to have to do this again!"

"Heaven forbid."

House lay back. The exhaustion that he had felt earlier returned and engulfed him and his leg ached like a son of a bitch. His Vicoden was miles away, in the living room. He closed his eyes, but he couldn't relax.

"House?" Cuddy's voice was gentle. "Are you okay?"

"Fine," he gritted.

Pillows went flying and Cuddy rolled over and looked at House's face. For the first time she noticed the pallor of his skin and the circles under his eyes. She hadn't given any thought to his leg while they had been making love, but he was obviously in considerable pain. Some doctor you are, Cuddy, she scolded herself.

"Greg. Where are your pills?" she whispered.

"In my jacket pocket on the chair next to the sofa."

"I'll get them."

"You shouldn't get up yet."

"Forget it, House. It's either a baby or it's not. I'll take my chances." She climbed out of bed and got his pills. She had often seen him swallow them dry, but she hated seeing that so she brought him a glass of water too.

He sat up long enough to swallow the pills and lay back down. "Are you leaving? I know tomorrow is a workday. Forgive me if I don't show you out."

"Would you mind if I stayed?"

"Not at all. Mi casa et su casa. And besides…who knows...maybe tomorrow morning you'll get lucky."

"I'll be lucky if I get to work on time." she set House's alarm clock for six.

House chuckled, "I don't have to worry about stuff like that. I'm sleeping with the boss."

Cuddy lay down next to House and he put his arms around her, holding her close to him.

"Cuddy?"

"What."

'To me, you have always been legendary."

They fell asleep.