Disclaimer: characters not mine, yadda yadda. mild corporal punishment between adults. go elsewhere if this bugs you.

A/N: Sorry, I know this is crazy but it popped into my head and wouldn't let go. It takes place sometime after the Tritter arc.


House paused outside Cuddy's office, trying to guess whether it was the latest disgruntled patient, or the latest increase in Vicodin dosage that he was about to get his head bitten off for. It could be either. Never mind. He pushed the door open, took a few dramatic limping steps inside, and banged it shut behind him with his cane. "What?" he demanded.

She was at her desk writing and she didn't even look up. All she did was ask, calmly: "Were you abused as a child?"

He blinked a few times. "What?"

"Did your parents hit you?" she clarified, finally putting down the pen and looking up at him. "And if so, have you come to terms with it, or do you still have issues… you know, flashbacks, nightmares, that kind of thing?" When he only stared at her, at a loss for even a wiseass remark, she insisted, "I need an answer."

"I- y- yes, he hit me," House stammered finally. "Hard and often. Back then we called it discipline, not abuse." There – he had the sarcasm back.

"And are you… okay with it?" she prompted.

"It was not one of the more funner aspects of my childhood. Beyond that…" he shrugged and gave a dismissive wave. "Why? Are you thinking that's why I'm so twisted and evil these days?"

She ignored the sass. "I just want to make sure I wouldn't be raising up any old demons by telling you to drop your pants, right now, for a spanking you very much deserve."

"I- sorry, did I just- Y-you want what?"

"You heard me," she said briskly, crossing the room to lower the blinds on her office. "I said to take your pants off, because I'm going to hit you. On your rear end." Obviously taking his nervous laugh as a sign that he wasn't about to obey, and reminded him: "I own you. You should thank God you're stripping for me and not for a big man named Bubba who would be your cellmate for the next five to fifteen years." She crossed her arms and leaned back against the door.

Maybe she was kidding? Maybe it was some new kind of seduction technique? Maybe she was just pissed and looking to pick a fight? Either way, it was sexual harassment plain and simple, and it could be his ticket out of clinic duty forever if he just played his cards right.

So House took off his sneakers and shimmied out of his jeans – slowly, calmly, and without looking at her, as if it were all perfectly normal. When he was done, he saw that she was in a chair and gesturing quite seriously to her lap.

Okay, so she wasn't kidding. "This is unusual," he muttered, but set down his cane and draped himself over her.

He didn't quite believe it until she hiked up his boxers and gave him a hard whack on his bare butt cheek.

"Ow!" he tried once to jump up, but with Cuddy pushing down on the back of his neck all he managed to do was spike pain up from his leg. He stopped struggling, and then she did it again. And again, and again.

This wasn't a few playful swats on the behind the way the hookers sometimes did it, this was sharp and painful and very businesslike. "Ow," he said again, squirming. "Cmon – that hurts. No- really." He braced his hand on the floor to try and get up with, but she knocked it aside and hit him even harder.

"If you resist, I'll just have someone come hold you down." She sounded almost bored. "Maybe Chase or Foreman; you've trained them both pretty well in ignoring procedure. If you're worried that that might be humiliating, then maybe you'd better cooperate on your own."

"What- you're not going to-!" But the threat was believable enough to hold him still. "All right, all right, ow! That hurts! S-stop it."

"Stop?" she had to raise her voice a little over the loud smacking noises. "I just started. I'm keeping it up until you bruise. My hope," she explained, "Is that the pain will make you behave – pain apparently can make you do all kinds of things. Insult sick, scared patients… steal drugs… say horrible things to your own friends… ow, God, my hand is starting to sting."

House was lying still, breathing deep and slow, coping. It was sharper and more annoying than the all-pervading blanket of pain he usually lived with, but he could handle it. Eventually she stopped to shake out her hand, and he moved to get up.

"No," she said firmly, reaching for her pocketbook. "Hairbrush."

"Oh, come on- Hey!" The hairbrush was definitely worse than just a hand, and though he still wasn't deliberately fighting, he started bucking and hissing with every stroke. "Cuddy… no, Cuddy, ow."

"I'm sorry it has to be this way, House," she said as she methodically reddened his ass and thighs. "But if you're going to act like an out-of-control child, then I'm going to treat you like one."

The sting was building, making every blow worse than the one before, and House tensed up against the urge to flail wildly for escape. "Okay, look, okay," he hissed at last. "Point taken, I deserve it… but just -mn- stop with the damn brush, all right?"

She paused a moment to stare down at him incredulously. "How is the concept of punishment so unfamiliar to you? It's supposed to hurt. It does feel bad. You can't just stop it whenever you want. That's the whole point!" She rolled her eyes and started up again.

As soon as she started, so did he. "Cuddy, enough, I mean it," he said, trying for a tone of authority, but then degenerated into whining again. "Ow it h- ow! Come on, please? No – that hurts. Please."

House claimed to be constantly plagued with pain beyond her capacity to understand, so she told herself that despite all his complaining, a spanking couldn't exactly be the end of the world for him. She gave him another half dozen strokes, hard ones, before dropping the hairbrush back in her purse. "Tomorrow I'm wearing a belt," she said, "And if you step out of line once I'm going to use it. I don't care how sore you are. Do you understand me?"

She let him rise and dress again, still watching him for an answer. She expected a great big noisy tirade, but instead he looked at her once, quickly, before lowering his eyes again with a nod.

"Good," she said, then found she couldn't quite keep up the sternness. As he knelt to tie his shoes, she went and rested a hand on his head. "House… You keep doing stupid, stupid things… and if you can't stop yourself then I'm going to try. I can't just sit by and watch you self-destruct. I value you too much as a doctor… and as a friend."

He stayed put even after his shoelaces were finished, resting his head against her leg and letting her stroke his hair. When he did finally stand, she noticed that he cleared his throat and was blinking hard. Had he teared up because of the spanking or because of what she'd said?

It would, of course, be stupid to ask. "So ease up on the clinic patients, you hear?" she finished firmly. "For all you know, that woman you were screwing with today could've been a cop too. Now, get out of here – your team needs you."

He nodded again, and went out.

Cuddy stared after him, rubbing her hand and thinking that perhaps she was onto something. After all, she'd just managed to render House speechless.

House, speechless. Even if she couldn't produce a lasting change in his behavior, silencing him for a few minutes was a feat all in itself.


TBC?

I'm not sure if I'm going to continue this, or if it'll just stay a one-shot. All I know for sure is it's on hold til Pain Management is done. Let me know if you think it's complete as is, or worth continuing later, or what. Seriously – talk to me!