Accidentally in Love
Summary: Gregory House, the worlds coldest doctor, most renowned diagnostician, and hurt man; had fallen completely head over heels, by complete accident, and now he had no clue what to do with himself. But as he stared down at the three year old, he realized it didn't matter, because from this moment on his entire life was about to change.
Author's Note: This came form the idea of another series called Desperado, I fell in love with the story, and I've been trying to write a story similar to it for ages, that series just gave me the boost I needed.
Disclaimer: I own Matthew. No one else is mine.
Pairings: H/W, Cam/Ch
Rating: For now PG-13
He sighed as he took another sip of his brandy that sat on his piano. His fingers still gracefully gliding across the black and white keys as he continued to play a familiar song: Another night of pain and hopes for him would come to an end.
Six years ago today he had suffered his leg infarction, which had claimed most of the use of his right upper leg. To make matters worse as it was, they had lost a patient today. They could have saved her and she died. No matter how often house claimed not to care about his patients, he did to some extent and he hated seeing people die who could easily have lived.
"Want some company tonight?" his best and only friend, James Wilson had asked earlier that evening as they made their way to the cars.
Greg was beginning to regret turning the offer down. James was his rock, for every moment Greg had spent in the hospital six years ago, James had been there ninety percent of the time.
A sudden rap, on the front door interrupted Greg from his bitter thoughts. Groaning as his leg protested the sudden movement, Greg limped to his front door. He swung it open, ready to yell at whatever moron had interrupted his evening. On the other side stood a middle aged Caucasian woman with auburn hair and gray eyes.
"Are you Gregory House?" She spoke like she dressed, rich, or at least very, very proper.
Greg eyed her, wondering if he would suddenly have a need for a lawyer, "uh…yeah," he replied.
She nodded and suddenly from behind her, emerged an undersized little boy, probably a whole whopping three years old, clutching a blanket to his side, his thumb in his mouth. He had a dark brown mop of hair on his head, and familiar piercing blue eyes.
"This is Matthew House, your son." The women replied matter-of-factly.
Greg was a man of many words, most sarcastic or cynical, but at this very moment he was finding few to no words to use in his surprise. "I'm sorry; you've definitely got the wrong guy." He finally replied as he backed away prepared to shut the door.
"You aren't Doctor Gregory Michael House, famous Diagnostician at the Princeton Plainsboro Teach Hospital?" She said looking down at a folder in her hands.
"Who are you?" He finally managed, opening the door a little wider, aware both the woman and child were standing just inside from the cold and the rain.
"I'm Rachel Longfellow with Children Services. Four days ago, a Heather Dawson died in a car accident. She left very clear instructions that, if she were to die, the child was to go straight to the father. That would be you."
"This isn't right."
"I'm afraid it is he's only three years old' if you don't take him, he will be sent to an orphanage." Replied the woman, looking at the pintsized human by her side, before glancing back up at Greg.
Greg sighed and looked down at the little ankle biter, staring into the mirrored eyes that were his very own ocean blue eyes. Damn he was cute, he allowed himself to think. He remembered the relationship with Heather, a nurse from the hospital, she had only lasted about three months, but they had some good moments. The boy however, didn't look like her at all; in fact as Greg began to really study his son, he realized it was impossible to deny paternity to this child.
"Dr. House?" came the woman's voice again.
"Ah…fine, he can stay for now," he finished quickly.
"Excellent, here's my card should you need anything."
"Right," House mumbled as he took the card and watched the woman walk back to her car and drive away. House looked straight down, as the toddler bent his head practically backwards to gaze up at him. Two identical sets of blue eyes bore into one another. "You've got to be kidding me," he mumbled as he gently ushered him into the house. He moved as quickly as he could right to the phone and pushed speed dial two. His eyes still on the boy grasping his blankie just inside the doorway; he was taking everything in around him, as if trying to get a handle on where he was.
"Wilson…I…could you get over here now!" House said trying not to sound panicked.
Hanging up the phone he went back to staring at the toddler, hoping that maybe he would disappear if House stared long enough. After a few minutes he shook his head, "Do you speak? Do you eat? Can you even understand me? Do you still wear diapers?" he asked as the thought of potty training sprang to his mind, "This is awkward…Do. You. Speak?"
Two blue eyes continued staring at him as though in answer to his question, if he really understood him, then he was showing no signs but keeping his attention fixated right on Greg. "Right, okay," he hobbled towards the boy and gently knelt down on his good leg, "My name is Greg," he said pointing a finger at his own chest.
Again he said nothing, just watched Greg in avid fascination. Sighing Greg grimaced as he stood back to his feet and wandered into the living room, flopping down on the couch he turned the TV on, hoping to find something that would relieve his mind of the toddler.
He heard the soft shuffling of tiny feet as the little one came over to the couch. He studied Greg for a moment, as if suddenly sizing him up, then reaching out with both his small hands; he began to pull herself onto the high couch. House didn't reach to help the boy once, because if he was really Greg's, he would want no help from anyone. However he did watch the boy from the corner of his eye, to make sure he didn't fall or hurt himself. He turned around once he was on the couch and held his blankie close to his chest again.
Together the two sat in silence, until there was another knock at the door. Blue eyes met blue, "What you're not going to get that?" Greg asked. Sighing again, he pushed himself to his feet and limped to the door, opening the door he sat Wilson standing there.
The young oncologist looked up at him, "What's wrong?"
"Come," was all Greg said as he led his friend over to the leather couch.
Wilson jumped in surprise when a small face emerged over the top of the couch, looking at him. "Who is that!?"
"That…is Matthew, my son."
Those words caught Wilson more off guard that the sight of the actual child. "How? Who?" was all he could manage in return.
"Well, see when a man and a woman really love each other…"
The boy suddenly slapped his tiny hands over his little ears, "bad," he murmured with a stern look on his face.
Wilson grinned at the child, "Oh he's definitely yours."
"Remember Heather Dawson, she never told me, but apparently she was pregnant. She died a few days ago, car accident, and now Matthew is here."
"And you need me…because?" James questioned as he knelt behind the couch and waved at the little boy. A small hand popped up beside the child's face and he began to wave in response.
"I don't know anything about babies!? Besides, I thought you could give her a quick check up."
"Uh okay, Greg I don't know if you've noticed or not, but out of three wives I don't have a single child…and you don't count. I can tell you this; he's a toddler, probably three years and a couple months old. Come here cutie," he reached out and lifted him over the back of the couch. He had his father's long lanky legs. "I'm Uncle Jimmy," he said grinning as he rubbed Matthew's back gently, "He's cute," James said grinning.
"At least we know he talks. Hey, don't get attached!" Greg mumbled.
"Oh come on, how can you resist him!? Can I barrow your kitchen table?"
"For what?" Greg asked.
"You wanted me to give him a check up," James said continuing to hold the boy close as the three made their way into the kitchen.
Greg nodded and cleared off the table. James took the child's blanket and placed it on the table, then gently put him down on top of the blanket.
"Is he still in diapers?"
"Probably, he's pretty young to be potty trained, and please try not to scar him by teaching him tomorrow."
"So I need to go shopping," conceded House.
"Oh yeah, big time, you need real food to, the health stuff. No more booze tonight either," James said remembering the glass he'd seen on the piano.
"And my pills?"
"We won't scar you either, taking you off would be cruel, but you should probably try to survive with less than eight a day." James grinned as he tickled Matthew's tummy, pleased when he let out a high pitched giggle and kicked out with his feet. "Well he has your eyes, your hair, your long fingers, and your lopsided smile, he is definitely yours." James studied the little boy for a moment longer and realized Matthew held much more than that, he had his father's lanky legs, long angular face, scruffy hair, his nose and ears. He was most certainly his father's son.
Continuing with his exam of the toddler, he was pleased to find the child was potty trained, "Congratulations, you've got a healthy three and a half year old son, who is potty trained and in very good health."
House growled in frustration as he glared at his best friend, who was now holding the toddler in his arms, "Wilson I don't know the first thing about parenting!" hissed House.
Sighing, James took the cane from his best friend, before carefully depositing the child into Greg's arms. Matthew looked up at his daddy, before kicking gently and playfully smacking Greg's cheeks, feeling the stubble beneath his tiny, skinny fingers. James knew at that moment, as father and son met one another's gaze, that any fight House had left in him was gone.
"You want me to stay here tonight?" James question; since his divorce with Julie, he'd been staying at a hotel when he wasn't staying at Greg's. He didn't want to intrude on the new father and son; though even as the words crossed his mind, James couldn't quite grasp the concept.
"No," House finally replied as he continued to look at the child that had just been dropped into his life. "We'll be fine, but I will need you to come pick us up tomorrow."
James nodded, before gently patting Matthew on the back, "Night guys, call me if you need anything."
Greg watched his best friend leave before he turned back to Matthew who still sat in his arms, "Did mommy have you in preschool?"
Greg questioned as he grabbed his cane, testing himself for a moment, deciding whether he could actually carry the child, he was pleased to find he handled the extra weight well as he shifted and began to carefully move forward. Surprisingly, Matthew was showing no fear as he rested in his daddy's arms.
"No," he replied quietly.
"Ah, so you do speak," chided Greg as he walked into the guest bedroom, "I know it's not much, we'll fix it up for you this weekend, pick out some things you like. Here," Greg sat the child down on the bed, studying him for a moment.
"I miss mommy," whispered the child.
Greg sighed as he gently came and sat down beside the small child, "Listen to me Matt, I'm not really good at the whole daddy thing, I've never done this before. So this is going to have to be a crash course for both of us okay? I know you miss mommy, she was a wonderful woman and I'm sure she took great care of you, but I'll take good care of you too. Okay?"
"Read me stowies an' help me tie my shoe?"
House chuckled, he didn't despise children, he always joked he liked them until they got teeth, but truth was he liked most children just enough to tolerate them; however this wasn't just any child. This was his child, little beautiful little boy that seemed to be so real sitting here beside him. "I don't have any stories that would interest you right now, but tomorrow after work we can go buy some, and maybe some clothes too, does that sound okay?"
The child nodded, "Kay," he mumbled softly.
House gently lifted the boy into his lap, trying not to grimace at the weight before lifting the child's chin up to look him in the eyes, "Let's try this again, hello Matthew, I'm Gregory House, your father. You can call me Greg, House, father, daddy or any other version of dad you can think of. I'm going to be taking care of you, and that handsome fellow that was by a little while ago, is Wilson, you can call him Jimmy, Wilson...well don't call him much else until I figure out what exactly he's going to be to you. Now, as the first rule as your daddy; I've come to the very firm conclusion that it's considerably late for a toddler such as yourself to be awake. So, think you can sleep in here by yourself?"
The toddler nodded vigorously, as he gently climbed off Greg's lap and took his shoes off, "I don't got pajamas," he boy explained as his shoulders sagged.
Greg smiled, getting up he opened one of the many drawers, pleased to find some of James' clothes within, grabbing a shirt he looked at his son, "Take off your shirt, an pants, leave whatever underwear you have on, you can sleep in that and this," he pulled the shirt over the child's head and had to suppress a grin at he sight of his charge swimming in Wilson's shirt. He patted the bed and smiled as the boy pulled himself expertly into the larger bed. Pulling the covers back, Matthew wiggled his way under the covers and sighed.
"You can call me Matt," the boy spoke up.
Greg nodded, "Matt it is then; well Matt you're going to be in the day care where I work tomorrow, you'll be one of the oldest there, until I can find a preschool or nursery for you. Is that okay?"
"Can't I stay wif you?"
Greg pulled the covers up to the boy's chest and smiled sadly, "There isn't much to do in my office. Tell you what, I'll make you a deal; you spend the first part of the day in the day care; I'll pick you up for lunch and if you really don't like it, then you can spend the rest of the day in my office."
"YAY!" the boy cheered, causing Greg to chuckle.
"Goodnight Matt," he was about to get up when he felt a tiny hand grip his.
"Mommy kissed my forehead," he explained softly.
Greg leaned down and pressed a delicate kiss to the soft white forehead, before brushing the locks of brown from his handsome face, "Sleep well kid, I'm in the room right across the hall if you need anything."
Greg groaned, pain searing through his leg jolted him from his deep sleep; blindly reaching out for the tiny little bottle he knew would be there, he popped two pills into his mouth and sighed. That's when he heard it; a tiny little tinkling against what he knew were the highest notes of his baby grand piano in his living room.
Forgetting his pain, he grabbed his cane, and hobbled into the living room, prepared to strike at whatever was threatening his precious sleep and endangering himself and Matt.
Sitting there on the bench, his tiny legs dangling off the edge, was Matthew, lightly tapping against the highest keys, eyes closed. For a moment, Greg was sure he was looking at a replica of himself as the child allowed his fingers to almost expertly stroke the keys.
He felt his heart begin to beat again, and his stomach jump. Hobbling over he sat down beside the three year old, who immediately stopped and looked up at him, "Don't be mad," he whimpered.
Greg shook his head, "I'm not mad, surprised it a better word actually. How did you learn?"
Matt shrugged for a moment then looked up at his daddy again, "Momma said my daddy pwayed, I wanted to wearn, but she said no. She didn't wike 'memberin' you."
Greg smiled sadly squeezing his son's shoulder, before reaching over and pressed down one key that lay directly under the name of the piano. "Middle C, it lies between the bass and treble clef. The letters go from A-G, and then back to A, it's a constant cycle. All the major notes are the white keys, so if this one is middle C, what would come next?"
"D?" the child questioned.
House nodded, "But don't answer like you're asking a question, answer with confidence, what comes after C?"
"D," Matt said firmly as he pressed the key down.
"Very good," House continued the instruction until his son had a firm grasp of the keys and notes on the piano. "All right kiddo, it's now three in the morning and we have to be up by nine, so let's get some sleep."
"I can't sleep in my room," he whispered.
Greg nodded, "That's all right, you can sleep in my bed, but no hogging the covers." Greg helped the boy from the piano bench then together, hand in hand, they moved back into Greg's bedroom. Greg watched, as once again Matt pulled himself into the bed and under the covers.
Shaking his head, Greg joined the child in the bed and sighed, "No kicking either," he offered as he pulled the covers up both of them.
"Goodnight daddy, I love you."
Greg felt a strange sensation in his heart as he heard those beautiful words, sighing, he gently began to rub his son's back until the child had slipped into a deep slumber, "Night Matthew, daddy loves you too." It was such a foreign thought to him, to love someone else almost as much as he loved himself. The only other two people he'd ever felt this much love for was Stacy and Wilson. This was a whole new world of love, he felt hopeless, and felt as though he was completely out of control for once.
Wilson arrived early the next morning, letting himself in with the key Greg had given him awhile back. He hadn't expected either to be up, let alone ready to go. So he'd been stunned to find House dressed in jeans and his normal t-shirt standing over a pan, cooking.
Matthew, was washed up, his hair still damp from a shower, dressed in boxer shorts and a t-shirt, "Good morning,' he greeted in surprise, he put his bag down and pulled out a pair of jeans and a t-shirt identical to one of Greg's. "I bought the last night after leaving, it's not much but I thought it could tide him over until after work.
House smiled, "Thanks James; Matt why don't you go get dressed, breakfast will be done by then."
"Kay!" the boy jumped off his chair and readily accepted the clothes from Wilson and hurried into his bedroom.
Wilson chuckled as he reached around House and grabbed a mug for a cup of coffee, "Okay, so what did you do to my best friend!?"
Greg chuckled softly, "Still me, I woke up at 2:30 last night in pain, popped some Vicodin and waited for it to ebb away, when I heard my little genius playing the piano. We were up until three; he's a genius on the piano! James I'm telling you, my genetics gave way to a musical prodigy! Anyway I woke him up about fifteen minutes ago, asked him if he knew how to take a bath, he said yes so I told him to call me if he needed something. Meanwhile I'm making eggs for him--did you know I have eggs?!"
James grinned in response, "Uh yeah, I bought them about a week ago. As well as the orange juice that's now sitting on the table. So you're really going to keep him?"
Greg recoiled for a moment in surprise, "Of course I'm going to keep him! He's not a dog Wilson, I can't just throw him out, besides--he's my son."
"Daddy said I can call you Jimmy!" cheered the boy as he came hurrying back into the kitchen, surprising James. He looked identical to Greg now, only without the stubble and the cane.
"You can call me whatever you'd like buddy," James offered as he swept the toddler off his feet and sat him down in front of a plate that now held eggs. "So what are you going to do with him today?"
Greg shrugged as he took a bite of his eggs, "The day care at the hospital will probably take him, I told him he needed to stay there at least this morning, then at lunch if he decides he doesn't like it there, I'll bring him back to my office."
"Daddy is there a piano at work?"
Pausing for a minute Greg thought about it, "Uh, no--well yes there is but we can't play with it, though if you're really good maybe we can get Jimmy to stop by a store real quick and buy you a toy one."
"You're going to buy him a toy piano?"
Greg shrugged, "Why not, I've always wanted one! Now I just have a reason. Okay big guy, time to go."
Again hurrying from his seat he moved over to the couch to pull his shoes on, "Could you clear the dishes?" Greg asked.
Nodding, Wilson grabbed the plates, but not before watching as Greg bent down carefully, to help tie Matt's shoes. Shaking his head in amazement, at how easily Greg seemed to just be settling into this world he gave a short smile. Maybe Greg would be whole again, or as whole as a man who had lost a part of himself could be. He hadn't been the same loving man since the infarction. He missed the man he'd fallen in love with all those years ago.
House knew as soon as he'd bought the keyboard that he wouldn't get much work done that day. They headed straight to the fifth floor, where the day care was kept. Both he and Wilson knew Callie Sheffield well, and she was all too happy to take the little one for half the day.
"Just give either of us a call if you have any trouble," Wilson offered.
Callie smiled, "I'm sure we'll be fine Dr. Wilson."
Greg sighed as he looked down at the tiny hand in his, "You behave, and I'll be back around lunch okay?" Matthew nodded slowly, but to the surprise of both Callie and James, he held onto House's left leg tightly. "Hey kiddo, I said I'd be back," he offered quietly, giving a brief look to Callie who was trying miserably to suppress her grin.
He felt the small head shake against his leg, and he realized he'd just lost the fight. There was no way he could leave Matt here, the boy was an inch from a breakdown, and as much as Greg liked being a loner, he wasn't one anymore. He had to care for this little boy attached firm to his leg. "Matt, you'll have tons more fun up here than in my office," House finally managed to kneel down on his good leg, detaching the child from it first. Giant blue eyes looked t him, red and full of tears.
Greg felt his heart clinch, this was the moment that would define him as a father; his father had always told him boys didn't cry, not to be a wuss. To suck it up and be a man, not a silly little cry baby. Greg would never forget the rejection he'd felt when his father had pushed him away and yelled at him to stop crying at the age of three. Greg gently caressed his son's cheek, "I'd really prefer you stayed down here Matt. Can you at least try it for me? If you really don't like it, then Miss Callie can call me in an hour and Wilson or I will come to get you."
Callie squatted down behind Matthew, placing a gentle hand on the boy's back, "You'll have lots of fun with me Matt, I've got all kinds of fun toys." She offered sweetly.
Matthew wrapped his arms around his father's neck, burying his face in Greg's neck. Greg instinctually wrapped both arms around the skinny body in his arms and sighed; Matt was indeed his father's son. "How about this Matt, you can come hang out in my office for now, and then if you get bored you can come play with Miss Callie?"
When he felt a nod, House realized he'd won rather than lost; after all he'd negotiated with his son, and found a solution best for both parties. He glanced to Callie who gave him a warm smile, "Call me and I'll be happy to come and get him."
House nodded, pulling away from his son for a moment, he got to his feet; making sure he was stable, he lifted Matt into his arms, holding him against his left hip, and carefully tested once again his movement, making sure the other two understood what he was attempting. Positive he could hold his son and move, House gave Callie a brief nod, and headed out the door; followed closely by Wilson.
All the way to his office, House was trying to imagine the duckling's responses. Foreman and Chase would be surprised, but they'd try to stay out of it, Cameron on the other hand, would either melt into a giant puddle of disgusting goo, or turn into a giant care bear. Neither of which House could handle.
"Are you mad?" whimpered the little boy, sniffling slightly, causing both Wilson and House's hearts to clinch. He was irresistibly adorable.
House pressed the button to floor three and sighed, "No, I understand--but we can't play this game every day okay?"
"Kay," replied the small child as he began rest his head against his father's shoulder.
"I'm so not ready to do this," groaned House,
Wilson reached out, and took Matthew from his father's grasp, smiling as the boy instantly clung to him, "Come on, we'll set up the keyboard and get you two settled into a rhythm here."
Cameron must have been off doing something; he'd told her at some point she had to cover some of his clinic hours. He silently hoped she was off doing that. It took them less than an hour to set up the keyboard. Wilson finished the last few pieces while House set down some ground rules for Matt, who was half listening half staring at the keyboard.
"Okay big guy, come show me what daddy taught ya!" Wilson finally cheered.
A moment later, Matthew was sitting on the bench they'd set up as well, fingering the keys ever so lightly, as if petting them. James watched as the skillful fingers just began to play over the keys, it was like a dance. One James had seen before with Gregory, only this little boy--was indeed a prodigy. "Wait until I teach him songs!" House smiled from his seat behind his desk.
"You'll have your very own lounge lizard," joked Wilson.
House's eyes grew wide, "Surely you jest!" he mocked as he sat down beside his son and began to play a couple of easier songs. Wilson watched in fascination, as Matthew easily imitated his father. "My God he really is a prodigy."
"Daddy, what's a Pro--"
"Prodigy?" Greg offered as his son nodded, "It means you have a gift at something that is unnatural for most people your age, or at any age actually."
"Does that make me special?" both Wilson and House chuckled at the sight of the enthusiastic little boy.
"You're already special Matthew, but yes this makes you a little more special," Wilson replied as he ruffled the child's hair. "Well boys, I have to go to work. Have fun, don't work too hard; Matt I'm right next door if you need something, okay?"
Matt nodded and waved goodbye, which House mimicked in a playful manner. Finally he stopped and gazed down at the boy he'd inherited less than twenty-four hours ago, "Okay kid, I've got to get a little work done around here, believe it or not, so you play away and if you need anything I'll see what I can do. You know the rules; I'll be right over here."
It was almost noon when Cameron finally showed up, the boys had both been in the adjourning room for about an hour already, they'd noticed Matt, but hadn't said a word, unsure and unconcerned about the boy.
"Dr. Cuddy says I can'--" Cameron came to a dead stop, staring down at the small child who had since abandoned the keyboard and was now sleeping soundly in House's leather chair, his head pillowed by his arms.
House's office had light much playing from his IPOD, and House was playing on his computer, when he finally looked up at Cameron, "Cuddy can kiss my ass," Greg returned without thinking about it, until he realized what Cameron was staring at.
"It's a child Dr. Cameron, certainly you've seen them before, you are after all a doctor," Greg added an extra ounce of annoyance in so that Cameron would look his way.
She rolled her eyes, "I understand that, I'm just curious who would give you one."
He recoiled playfully, acting as though he were stunned, "I'm a wonderful father, look how I've screwed you three up!" he grinned, taking note that his son had awoken now, and was looking up nervously as if he didn't remember where he was.
Matt looked up and saw Cameron look back at him, whimpering in fear; he wiggled his way off the chair and hurried over to Greg. Greg felt for the boy, as loving as Cameron could be, she could intimidate people when she wanted to, and although he was sure she hadn't meant to frighten the poor boy, Greg still felt for him.
Greg placed his hand behind his chair where the boy was hiding, and gently patted his back, turning his head he pointed out on the balcony; where Wilson was standing looking up at the sky.
"JIMMY!" he cried in excitement as House helped him open the door, and allowed the boy to run onto the balcony. Greg smiled as Wilson's face lit up at the sight of the precious little boy, and lifted him over the divider.
"House?" Cameron jolted Greg from his thoughts, and he turned back to the jealous woman.
"Send Cuddy to me next time she's going to bitch, and his name is Matthew, try not to scare him too badly."
Before Cameron left, James came walking in, carrying their sweet prince against his hip. The boy was holding Jimmy's neck as he cuddled against the man. Greg smiled softly, remembering a time vaguely when he'd cuddled to his mother the way Matt cuddled to himself and James. "He's hungry," was all James offered as Matthew immediately tried to hide from the scary woman.
Greg shook his head, as he grabbed his cane, "All right kiddies, I'm going to lunch, be good now," was all he said as he, Wilson and their little charge headed out of the room.
Arriving in the cafeteria however, was a different subject, people were beginning to swarm, which made Matt nervous and he began to whine and fidget. "Hey, you're okay, we've got you," James offered as he began to pat the child's back.
"We'll take it back to Jimmy's office, okay, what would you like to eat?"
After the first full day with his son, Greg was sure no parent had ever worked harder. Matthew was definitely a mix between his mother and father, Heather had always been a little shy around people, Matt had obviously inherited that, not to mention he'd just lost his mother. Greg was in no hurry to place the boy alone anywhere until the little man got over his shyness.
Greg sat in his office, his son seated on his lap, leaning back as he quietly played with Greg's toy ball. Greg sighed, and pressed a kiss to his son's forehead. It was really the first time he'd ever given the son a sign of affection.
Wilson popped his head in, grinning at the sight of the father and son, before opening his mouth, "Hey boys, thought you'd like to know I'm heading out, we could go shopping," he grinned as Matthew sat up and smiled.
"Daddy?" he asked looking back at his father.
Greg nodded, and sat his son down on his feet, he watched Wilson help get Matthew get ready. Standing up, he grabbed his light jacket and pulled it on. "Ready?" he asked his son and Wilson.
"Yep!" grinned his son as he reached his hand out to his father.
James watched as Greg grabbed the hand easily, it was as if he'd changed into a loving father within hours. The three made their way out of the hospital, leaving surprised nurses in their wake.
They arrived at the shopping center an hour later; it was Friday evening, which meant they'd be open later. Still clutching his father's hand, Matthew took the entire world around him. "Daddy--can I have one of those?" the skinny little finger was pointing to the pet store.
In the window was a tiny little white kitten, mewing as it pressed its tiny paws against the glass. House just looked at the kitten for a moment, before glancing back at Wilson.
"We should probably test him just incase," offered Wilson quietly.
"I'm sure he'll be fine, I had a cat as a kid, Heather liked cats, he'd have no reason to be allergic."
Wilson grinned and nodded, "Lets finish shopping, and then we'll come back and see about the kitten."
"But mom!" whined House.
Rolling his eyes, Wilson lifted Matt into his arms, and moved forward, "Come on Greggy, we've got to shop for the big boy too."
They argued over outfits, and in the end Matt had several different sized outfits, both for when he started to grow and now. He had five different pairs of shoes, three of which were the same canvas high converses in the sky blue Matt had loved in progressive sizes. When Matt had seen them he'd instantly fallen in love, meanwhile Greg had been trying to figure out how they got them so small.
They went to a furniture store, and let Matt chose what he wanted, surprisingly he chose a deep mahogany color wood for a bed, and a dresser. He chose a sky blue for his bedroom walls, and a light gray carpet.
They returned to the pet store with twenty minutes before they closed, Matt hurried over to the kitten, and Greg joined him, as the kitten began to play with their fingers.
Wilson paid for the pet, and everything they'd need to have with the pet. Finally they got home around nine, "Matt go get ready for bed sweetie," James offered as he gently nudged the boy, hanging him one of the pajama sets they'd bought him.
"Kay," the boy hurried off to his room, James and Greg set up for the kitten.
"I think I'm going to need a house," he finally admitted.
James looked up, "You!? You really want to buy a house?"
Greg shrugged, "Not a huge one, but if I'm going to raise a kid, and now a cat, plus the two of us--"
"Us?" James grinned, trying to hide his excitement, "You want me to live with you guys?"
House gave yet another non-committal shrug, "Sure, why not, I mean I can't raise him by myself and...You're cool," was all House offered.
However for James it was like House was admitting his love for his best friend. "I'd love to move in House, and we'll start looking for houses tomorrow."
"What about all the stuff we just bought for the kid?"
James shrugged, "We can move it, I mean it's not like the ducklings aren't capable young men, well Cameron isn't but other than that."
By the first week with the boy, Greg realized it was hopeless to try and resist the adorableness that was his son. He was still annoying, cruel even at times, but when it came to his son, he had changed, for the better.
They'd found a house both men and Matt had liked on Sunday, they had discussed it between the three of them, before deciding it would be worth the buy. House sent Chase and Foreman to check it out Monday morning, make sure it was clean. After that he sent in a cleaning team, paid them big bucks to make the house immaculate. They would move in on Saturday.
House sat in his office, his eyes closed as he propped his leg up on the stool of his leather chair. He'd sent Matt off to play with Wilson for awhile why he thought over his newest case.
"Jimmy can I ask a question?"
James smiled at the innocence of the little boy who was drawing musical notes on a piece of paper he' given the boy an hour or so ago. "You just did."
Matt paused for a moment, "Can I ask you two questions?"
"Of course you can." He'd been doing paper work all day, so he'd welcomed the presence of his sweet boy for some company. Matt had come over the wall from the balcony and told him that Daddy was too busy to play.
"Do you love daddy?"
James startled at this question and looked up at three and a half year old, who he considered to be a son. "I care very much for your father."
"I know that; but do you love daddy? You know like how mommies and daddies love each other? Do you love my daddy?"
James smiled softly, thinking for a moment, "Yes I do."
Matthew smiled and returned to his work, silence between the two for several minutes, before the child looked up again, "If you an' daddy get together, can I call you papa?"
"Your daddy strikes me more as a papa, but as I said when we first met, you can call me whatever you'd like."
"I like papa! I love you papa!" Matthew threw his arms around his papa's neck, causing Wilson to chuckle as he grabbed the boy and cuddled him in his lap.
"Would you like daddy and me to get together?"
Matthew looked up and nodded, "I like having you around."
"Oh, well that's good, because I love to be around," James replied hugging him for a moment.
The kitten was back at House's apartment; the first thing they'd had moved was the piano professionally, meanwhile everything else was being moved to the new house today. They'd warned Matt to be careful and not be under foot too much because he could get hurt.
The house was twenty-five minutes from the hospital, not far from Cuddy's place actually. It was ten minutes from the elementary, fifteen from the middle and high school. A ranch style house with an upstairs for storage and little else: there were three bedrooms, one of which they would utilize as either a computer room or study, the piano sat again in the living room. The dinning room and the kitchen were fairly large, there was a covered porch in the back and plenty of space for a kid to grow up in and have a back yard.
It was early spring on the Saturday morning, Matt was sitting by the kitchen table coloring and drawing, while Greg, Wilson, Foreman, Chase, even Cuddy and Cameron helped move the furniture into the house.
"Be careful with the corners," House growled as he directed where to put everything.
Cuddy shook her head as she moved into the kitchen to put away some of the dishes from House's apartment. She couldn't help but notice in the two weeks that Matthew d been around, Greg had become a little easier to deal with, not much--he was, after all, still Gregory House, but she had the feeling that given a little more time, he would go back to being the same man he was before the infarction.
"Aunt Lisa," a voice came softly behind her. Turning she was faced with Matthew, who was looking up at her innocently with his big blue eyes.
"Yes sweetheart?" She asked as she knelt down to his level.
He smiled at her, "Will you help me?"
"Well that depends what do you need help with?"
"Daddy likes Jimmy--"
Cuddy chuckled as she lifted the boy into her arms and pressed an innocent kiss to his cheek. Stepping back into the dining room which was opened to the living room she felt her smile grow into a large beaming grin at the sight of House and Wilson bickering about where to put a table and the TV.
As Cuddy watched, she could see that they're bickering was so much more. She could see the look in their eyes, they appeared so alive. She realized what her god-son was talking about as he cuddled up to her and smiled, "Will you help me Aunt Lisa?"
Pressing a kiss to her surrogate nephew's cheek she smiled, "Of course I will sweetheart." She continued to watch as the boy finally agreed to keep the TV where it had been originally placed by Chase.
Finally when it appeared everything was in its place, pizza had been ordered, beer and soda passed around, they all sat at the table in the dinning room, all talking. Greg looked around, and couldn't help but smile, this was his family.
His son, Matthew, full of life and so much to offer the world, he would grow up to be a fine young man. Wilson, his best friend and another father to his son, so loving and kind, he would give the softer side of the world to Matthew, coddle him, love him and hold him. Cuddy, a mother figure and aunt, there to support him when he needed a friend, Cameron there to listen to all his girl problems; Chase and Foreman who would help him with all his girl problems.
Sure they all had their moments, and there would be days when he'd hate each of them, except his little boy, but for now, they were a family. Maybe his life would finally equal out.