It had started late Friday night. Two weeks after confirmation. Eight weeks after the fact. She hadn't told anyone. Not yet. It would come out soon enough and she wanted to be sure. Not wanted to (as her mother would say) "give it an ahora:" the evil eye.
Cuddy had done it while House was in early still in-patient. He'd been in the hospital nearly a month, the aftermath of the gunshot wounds and resultant surgeries leaving him weak and ill. Then the Ketamine treatment as soon as he was strong enough to live through it unscathed. Cuddy felt that she owed it to House to tell him before it was spread all round the hospital. He'd faithfully, respectfully and professionally helped her with that round of injections.
Her Ob/gyn had told her that it was unlikely to work the first month. He was wrong. She had been happy, but anxious. She was, after all, nearly 39. The six week ultrasound revealed the fetus' heat beating. It elated her, but she had no one with which to share it. She'd thought of telling him. She hadn't seen in him several weeks as he recovered and rehabbed. He wanted to be away from the hospital and everyone there. He wanted no sympathy, no pity. He wanted to return triumphant and changed. Leave it to House to be a drama queen.
But then he'd guessed. Damn him. How could he have known? Yeah, she knew he'd meant it as a deflection. He hadn't wanted the attention she cast on is leg; on his emotional well-being. But his keen deductive skills…damn them. Impossible. But she couldn't right at that moment really have validated his suspicions. Not then. Not when he was dealing with so much. Let him speculate. If he knew, he'd surely goad her endlessly about the father. Assume it was old number 613.
But now, at eight weeks, just two weeks after seeing its tiny, miraculous heart thumping away…It could be nothing. She knew that. Cuddy glanced at the bedside clock. 2 a.m.
She hadn't phoned her doctor. In her gut, she knew. "Light spotting isn't uncommon in the first trimester." She knew the statistics. Memorized them. Twenty-five percent. And it was light. Barely there pale pink. She was taking no chances. Lying on her left side for hours, still as a mannequin. Three-ten. Cuddy did an inventory of physical signs. Breasts: still hyper-tender. That was good. Slight queasiness. Still there. She had cursed its existence this past month, and now she reveled in it. Maybe it was fine.
But then it hit her from nowhere. Like a vise in her lower abdomen—gripping, tightening. She tried breathing with it, knowing that a rising panic would only make the feeling worse; make her muscles clench even harder.
4:07 a.m. She looked at her wristwatch, almost instinctively noting the time of death. She couldn't look at it, but needed to look at it. Her doctor would need to be assured that it had all been delivered. That there was no need for additional procedures. No chance of infection. Cuddy carefully retrieved it from the bowl, using a soup ladle. Bagging the remains, she tossed the ladle in the trash can.
Cuddy felt weak and slightly dizzy. Stress. Grief. Loss. Loneliness. Terrible, terrible loneliness. No one knew. Only House had known she was even trying, crazily at 39, to conceive a child. But she couldn't even call him. Not now. Not after she had shattered him with hers and Wilson's deception. He would hate her; resent her now. She knew that quiet seething, dangerous anger. But she knew no one else to call.
"House." A groggy voice answered the phone. Cuddy couldn't bring herself to speak into the receiver. A moment. House glanced at the caller ID.
"Cuddy. What's wrong?" An immediate reaction to having been woken from pre-dawn by someone who can't even speak into the phone. "Are you making an obscene phone call to me? If you are, I want to tell you I don't mind, but you might have waited an hour or two…" He'd heard no reaction but her breathing. Something was not right. He hung up the phone.
He had figured out that she was pregnant, despite her pleas to the contrary. Must've done it just after the shooting. He had been happy for her, despite… He'd only hoped that she'd been smarter about it than she had been planning to be. But thoughts of Cuddy had been supplanted by his own grief, as the reality of the failed Ketamine treatment hit home. And of Wilson's betrayal. Wilson. Wilson, who he at one time had thought knew him better than he knew himself. How could he have not known, not understood, that God-like was the last thing that House felt. That healing people, watching them walk out of PPTH healed and whole was as close as he would get to being healed himself. It was a vicarious experience laden with unequal measures of longing and satisfaction.
The bike sped quickly in the pre-dawn fog. The morning dampness played havoc with his leg. And out of practice, he'd forgotten to take anything for it. He had, of instinct as much as necessity, grabbed the cane from its home at his bedside. Cuddy. He'd known, of course that Wilson had persuaded her into it. Their little conspiracy. She had been too concerned. Overly concerned in his office that evening. And he'd let her get through his guard. Her damp eyes, filled with worry, were a powerful weapon.
He'd been knocking at her door for 10 minutes. The pain in his leg momentarily forgotten, he crouched, finding her spare key under its accustomed rock. "Cuddy!" He called through the dimly lit living room. He hadn't seen her at first, curled in the corner of the sofa, legs drawn up to her chest, staring out into the silence, now broken.
She turned her head, taking him in, noting in sadness, the presence of the cane. He followed her gaze to the coffee table and the small plastic bag, its contents barely visible in the semi-dark of early morning. And he knew.
They sat together, his arms, sinewy and strong holding her gently, as if she might break. And they grieved for losses suffered; each for the other's as much as for their own.