Most of the characters and situations in this story belong to FOX, David Shore, Heel & Toe Films, and other entities, and I do not have permission to borrow them. All others belong to me, and if you want to play with them, you have to ask me first. No infringement is intended in any way, and this story is not for profit. Any errors are mine, all mine, no you can't have any.

Spoilers: none really.



House could only marvel.

He'd seen Lisa Cuddy in any number of guises, from the ordinary I'm-in-charge-here Dean to the tender Madonna in the Peds ward, the devastatingly sexy poker player, the tennis athlete in perky whites. There was even the moment never spoken of, when he'd glimpsed through her half-closed office blinds Cuddy bent over her own desk, sobbing into her folded arms.

But this...this cast all those facets into shadow, and made his own fantasies of lingerie and bubble bath seem mere crude cobblings of hasty imagination. This...was incredible.

He had to be dreaming, of course. For one thing, as capable as Cuddy was, he didn't think she could actually fly, or hover, or whatever it was she was doing. Nor did people generally glow. Yet there she was, a vision floating just above him...and just where had the sheets gone, not to mention his boxers?...and by all that was unholy he wasn't going to try to wake up.


As he did nearly every morning, House struggled to consciousness and swore to himself that he would un-wire that damned alarm clock by nightfall; today, the threat was probably no more realistic, but had a certain extra vehemence.

He was exhausted.

It took a very hot shower and two cups of coffee before he was awake enough to wonder why he was so tired. He hadn't had a bad night, pain-wise; in fact, he'd slept almost straight through, which was something he almost never did any more. His leg hurt no more upon waking than it usually did.

Maybe it was all that vigorous sex I was having. The thought was sardonic; he'd found a sufficient mess in his sheets to warrant a clean set, but nocturnal emissions were nothing new. They didn't usually wear him out, though.

Coffee notwithstanding, he was halfway to work before the memory came clear, and he nearly rear-ended the car ahead of him as the dream burst into vivid and mesmerizing shape in his head.

House whistled silently, struggling to keep his attention on the road without losing the memory, but it seemed solid enough, and when he pulled into the staff lot at the hospital that he sat back for a minute to enjoy.

Dreaming about Cuddy was nothing new; he fantasized about her along with half a dozen other female forms, not all of them real. Naturally, those ladies occasionally made their way into his sleeping mind as well as his waking one, though not always in the circumstances he might wish. Ice fishing with a supermodel was really no fun; she might be wearing the hottest lingerie his subconscious could create, but when she refused to take off the parka and let him look--

This, however, was in a class by itself. In fact, I might have to found it a university. For one thing, it had lacked much of the absurdity of most dreams, though it hadn't been any more linear than usual. And in fact, he couldn't remember much titillating detail. Cuddy, sure, gloriously naked and hovering over him, her hair floating around her face in a manner impossible outside of a swimming pool or free fall and a come-hither smile that he'd never actually seen in real life.

But the sensations…he felt a thrill just remembering. It had felt like the best sex of his life, and dream-Cuddy hadn't even touched him. At least, he didn't remember her doing so. Things had gotten a little blurry after the first few moments.

Finally House sighed and shook himself, knowing that if he put off going inside much longer he ran the risk of being netted by the real Cuddy and dragged off to clinic duty. Discretion being the better part of laziness, he took himself inside, promising his nerve endings a revisit to the dream as soon as he got the chance--maybe even a replay that evening, when he had time and privacy.

But it was a busy day, his usual goofing-off plans stymied by an intriguing set of symptoms--too bad they came attached to a patient--and by the time the woman was stabilized, it was time to go home.

House, still tired, swung by Cuddy's office for his habitual sneer, but it was empty. The lights were on, which meant she hadn't left yet, and the physician side of him frowned--she'd been looking pretty peaked lately, what with fundraisers and inspections and other assorted shit, and he needed her in top form for sparring with.

But as he gave up and stumped away, the Dean rounded the corner of the hallway, heading in his direction. House perked up.

"Hey, what the hell was that, canceling Mrs. Smithson's surgery?" It had been unnecessary in the end, his fractious team had figured something out without it, but he didn't want Cuddy to think she could get away with anything. "I thought the point of a hospital was to, you know, save the patients."

Cuddy barely spared him a glance. "Don't give me that, House. The budget isn't big enough to support you every time you get a whim to explore. Next time, make sure it's really necessary, okay?"

Her voice was as tired as he felt, and as she swept past, House narrowed his eyes, studying her. She looked marginally better than she had the day before, but her hair was limp and there were circles under her eyes. "What, I don't even rate a decent fight any more?"

"Tomorrow," Cuddy promised with a sigh. "I can squeeze you in after the board meeting. Oh, wait, you have clinic duty." She gave him a regretful look that was blatantly false. "You'll be busy."

House sneered, half out of habit, but declined a riposte as he didn't want her figuring out his latest anti-clinic-duty scheme just yet. Too soon, and she'd move to block him. So he merely watched as she opened her office door and stepped inside, giving him a sweet smile and snapping the blinds shut in a pointed last word.

He snorted, and turned to go. Let her think she had the upper hand; it just made victory all the sweeter.

There was a football game on that evening, and House ordered in a pizza and settled down to watch in solitary, manly splendor, set off by a couple of beers. Wilson was off at an oncology seminar for the week, which meant that House didn't have to put up with his bitching about whatever, but also lacked someone to bring the onion dip. So he drowned his minor sorrow with a cold brew and swore ritually at the TV screen, not caring so much about who won as for the fact of the game.

It ran into overtime, and by the end House was sleepy enough to just crash, forgoing the dream review he'd planned on. He stripped off his clothes and rolled into bed, popping one last Vicodin to ensure that he would stay asleep.

And she came again. He hadn't expected it, not like that, but somewhere in the depths of sleep she rose over him like some shimmering sun, and this time she did more than hover. House lay in delicious paralysis, watching with dreaming eyes as her mouth skimmed down over his body in an excruciatingly delicate dance, finally homing in on his erection with exquisite, teasing skill.

She played him for what seemed like forever, in the elastic time of the subconscious, and he savored every dilated second, every spark of sensation, sunk as he was in a fantasy hotter than anything he could have come up with while awake. But the culmination came at last, and white light fountained out of him, leaving House to sink into blissful darkness.


When he finally dragged himself from sleep, every muscle ached as though House had run a small marathon the day before, and he clutched at his silent clock and groaned. He'd slept right through the alarm.

Swearing, he hoisted himself from the clutching embrace of his duvet, only to find the same mess he'd been finding every morning this week. He ignored it--he was out of clean sheets anyway--and limped into the bathroom for a hasty shower. Being late on purpose was one thing, and was an integral part of his careful campaign around the hospital. Being late by accident was a loss of control.

Still, he carried it off, fixing a sharper glare on his face as he strode into work and pretending that it had all been his own idea. It took double the amount of coffee and stealing an intern's revolting energy drink for House to stay awake through his minions' recital of Mrs. Smithson's new weird symptoms, but he'd faked it before and been a brilliant success; it wasn't that hard to do it again. Nagging exhaustion, after all, was nothing new; he'd been an intern once.

He stayed late. Their patient developed yet another set of baffling complications, and they had to chase that down, administering palliatives until they could get her symptoms under control. In the end House didn't bother with going home, instead settling for a dubious sandwich and stretching out in his office. He'd done it before, after all, and neither Wilson nor Cuddy were there to chide him. In fact, he'd hardly seen Cuddy at all that day, just a brisk figure at the far end of a corridor, going about her business with a determined stride.

He certainly didn't expect the dream again. For one thing, he could hardly believe he had maintained such a streak, once per night all that week; for another, he was in a different place, and wiped out enough to make his eyes cross.

But no sooner had he drifted off, it seemed, than his own naughty angel found him.

Light as a feather, as light itself, she hovered over him, smiling. He couldn't really look away from her, but he was somehow aware that he was in his office, not his bedroom--not that he cared. Her soft little hands drifted over his body, barely brushing his skin but leaving every nerve alive in their wake, and while part of him wanted to grab hold and yank her down to him, the rest of him was quite willing to lie in luxurious passivity and let her have her way with him.

Which was just as well, since like all the times before, he couldn't move.

Cuddy smiled and said nothing, her caresses an exquisite, infuriating torment. Finally she settled herself over him--still almost weightless, but certainly solid enough to envelop him and drive him straight out of his sleeping mind.

It could have been minutes, it could have been long blissful years as she moved on him, controlling his pleasure with the slow sway of her hips and the tease of her fingers, before she let him finally cry out and empty into her. As the ecstasy blew his mind apart and he sparkled into darkness he felt her shudder around him…and he smiled.


House almost didn't bother to open his eyes; he knew that as soon as he did so, the morning light was going to lance through them like a needle and make the agony in his skull even worse. The arm he lifted to shield them felt as though it weighed a ton, and his bad thigh was screaming in a jarring counterpoint to his head.

His stomach was clamoring as well, giving him what felt like a killer hangover even though he hadn't had anything stronger than coffee the night before. Grunting, House rolled over, trying to wet his dry mouth and put off getting up, but eventually the siren call of Vicodin got him to his feet. More or less.

He swallowed one, chased it with a little water to keep from losing it again, and considered a second pill, but decided against it for the moment. He ran his hands through his rumpled hair, took his cane, and lurched for the door, trying to clear his foggy mind enough to decide whether to go for a shower or just head home. But as he put his hand out, the door swung open.

Cuddy peered in. House instantly resented her; she was obviously wide-awake, clean, fed, and chipper, her energy restored.

"House, were you--" Cuddy stopped, and her eyes narrowed as she took in his appearance. He sneered half-heartedly, unable to summon a witty answer, and she frowned.

"Go home," she ordered. "Get some more sleep. If you come back here with the flu, I'll fire you."

"Heaven forbid," he managed, but wasn't about to argue. The Big Boss was giving him the day off, legit. He'd…gloat later, when he felt more human. Brushing past her, he headed out, looking forward to cool sheets, or at least his own familiar couch.

Cuddy watched him go, and sighed, before heading back to her office. Sitting down at her desk, she pulled out the "LLC" monogrammed planner, her personal one, and flipped it open, looking down at the names printed in her neat hand. She made a careful note in today's calendar square before flipping the planner shut again. House had lasted longer than she'd expected, even given his obvious stamina, but she'd pushed him a little too far, and a pang of regret ran through her. Getting greedy, Lisa? Careful.

Tapping her pen against her lips, Cuddy leaned back in her chair, considering her options. She'd run through most of the Security staff by now, and the surgeons; it was too soon to start her rota over again.

Her thoughts drifted back to House. He'd been delicious; and even if she'd taken one more evening than she should have, he would recover in a few days and be as cantankerous as ever.

Who haven't I visited here? The thought of House led back to his people, and she smiled, opening the planner again. Quickly she wrote in Chase's name, then put the planner away and stood to leave her office.

Time to get on with the day.