Ohmigosh, you guys, those comments were fantastic. Thank you for them! As you know, this is the last chapter. I felt I could go much further, but I didn't want to make this one of those really, really long chapter fics, so this is it. However, my friend is talking me into a sequel, so that may come about in the future. :o) Thank you for being such awesome readers! And enjoy this last chapter!!
February 15, 2008
House pounded on the door for the third time. Now, he was starting to get worried. The lights were on in her home, but she wasn't answering. Knowing he couldn't just stand outside any longer, he located her hidden key and opened the front door.
The crying came to his ears first. His eyes fell on her closed bedroom door, the source of the loud wailing baby located behind it.
"Cuddy?" House called out, but received no answer.
Limping down the hall, he knocked on her bedroom door. When she didn't answer, he threw it open. Her bathroom light was on, the tiny baby was wailing in her crib, and Cuddy was no where in sight.
House looked over the baby before making his way to the bathroom. His eyes fell on Cuddy, in her pajamas, seated in the bathtub and hugging her knees to her chest. House stared at her until she lifted her tear streaked face in his direction.
Cuddy shook her head and the look she gave him said it all. He moved carefully into the bathroom and sat on the lid of the toilet.
"What's going on?" he asked over the sound of the crying baby.
"You were right," she told him, lowering her gaze to the bottom of the bathtub.
"Was I?" House raised his eyebrows.
"I can't do this," Cuddy said slowly, the words that have been repeating in her head finally given the chance to be spoken aloud. "She won't stop crying, my breasts hurt, I haven't been able to get any sleep, and I'm completely exhausted."
House stood from the toilet and gave a hand to Cuddy. She glanced at it before diverting her eyes. House tapped her on the shoulder. Cuddy looked back to his hand, thought it over, and took it. He helped her out of the bathtub and led her into the bedroom.
"You haven't seen her since she was born," Cuddy said bitterly. "And you haven't even called or stopped by while everyone else-"
"Wasn't part of our agreement," House cut her off.
"I know," Cuddy snapped. "But, still, you could have-"
Cuddy stopped as House set his cane against the white painted wood of the crib. He reached in and picked up the crying child. He cradled her close to his body, staring into that reddened face as tears squeezed out of the two tightly closed eyes.
House lifted the girl up and gently placed her against his chest, her body supported by his arm, while his other hand carefully helped her head rest just below his shoulder. Cuddy watched this, wondering what House was actually doing. She'd never seen him hold a baby. Ever.
"What did you call her again?" House asked, looking to Cuddy.
"Sarah Renée," Cuddy answered.
"Right." House raised his eyebrows and then began talking to the baby. "Mick Jagger it is. The true Mick Jagger was actually born in July, not in February in case you were wondering. And his name is Michael Philip, but he goes by Mick, as will you."
Cuddy watched as House talked to her baby. House's trick was simple. He would talk to the child, letting her hear his voice, feel his voice, in order to recognize that voice she responded to inside the womb. So far, it was working.
"Like all good musicians," House continued on, "especially if they were part of the Rolling Stones, Mick became very successful and popular. I understand you don't know what the Rolling Stones are now, let alone music, but you will someday know of their greatness."
The baby had calmed. She was not asleep, but was comforted. House let the baby rest on him and looked to Cuddy. She glared.
"I hate you."
Cuddy walked over to her bed and sat down on it. She leaned against the headboard and took in a breath. The crying had finally stopped, but her headache hadn't gone away. House lowered the baby so he was cradling her and then set her in the crib.
When she didn't start crying again, House picked up his cane and walked around to the other side of the bed. He lowered himself down and scooted over to Cuddy. She glanced at him and looked back down at her hands as tears fell.
"My baby likes you more than me!" Cuddy exclaimed through her tears as they began to fall faster.
"No, she doesn't," House replied.
"Yes, she does!" Cuddy wailed in response.
House sighed. "Cuddy..."
"She even responds when you call her Mick Jagger!" Cuddy buried her face in her hands.
House almost laughed and would have in any other situation. "No, she doesn't. She doesn't even know what I'm saying."
House drew Cuddy into him, which was slightly awkward on his part, but it went unnoticed and she fell against his chest as she cried. Her built up frustrations and emotional strain came pouring out with her tears. However, she still felt bad that House had to be the one to take care of her, especially since she wanted to prove she could do this alone.
House, on the other hand, wanted to be there for Cuddy and volunteered himself the moment he stepped into her home. Furthermore, he was glad when her cries subsided and she fell asleep in his arms.
March 25, 2008
"Can you do me a favor?" Cuddy asked brightly as she whipped open the front door of her home.
House stepped inside and held up the two large packages of diapers. "I thought I did you one by bringing you diapers."
"Yes." Cuddy took the packages and set them on the floor. "I need you to do me another."
House frowned. "Cuddy."
"Please, House." The desperation in Cuddy's voice kept him from bolting right then. "It'll only take a minute."
"What is it?" House sighed.
"Can you feed my baby?" Cuddy asked hopefully. She was feeling much better overall. Of course, she was still immensely exhausted, but the baby thing was a bit easier now that she actually felt she knew her daughter.
"Excuse me?" House asked, raising his eyebrows.
"Don't give me that look." Cuddy shook her head and walked towards her bedroom, House following after. "I'm trying to get Sarah to take bottles. She's fussy because she wants my breast, not the bottle."
"Don't we all?" House smirked.
Cuddy glanced back at him. "House, please."
Cuddy entered her bedroom and headed for the crib. House lingered in the doorway.
"I don't think-" House scrunched his face, staring into the room. It smelled like baby powder.
"You're already here and she's better when taking a bottle from someone else." Cuddy reached into the crib and lifted the baby into her arms. "It's anywhere from twenty minutes to an hour for her to take a bottle from me. Please. Since you're here."
House sighed. "Once I get her latched on, I can go?"
"Thank you." Cuddy nodded. "Yes."
Cuddy walked to the doorway as House stepped back and set his cane against the wall. Cuddy placed the baby wearing the white rubber ducky covered onesie in his arms and moved toward the kitchen. House looked down at the baby, who was staring back at him.
A bit uncertain, House bounced the baby gently in his arms. When he heard Cuddy approaching, he immediately stopped. Cuddy extended a bottle to him. House took it and attempted to give it to the girl. It took him roughly a minute before the baby latched on and stared up at him.
"She has your eyes." Cuddy was staring at her baby.
"That could change," House replied and wanted to give the baby back to Cuddy, but she wasn't looking at him. "Besides, she looks like you."
"Do you think they'll notice her eyes are the same as yours?"
House shook his head. "Again, they'll probably change color, Cuddy. And who?"
Cuddy finally brought her eyes to him. "Wilson, your team. I don't know about Foreman or Chase, but Cameron might."
"I'm not the only person in the world with these blue eyes," House told her. "Besides, most newborns have-"
"I know," Cuddy cut him off and reached out, running her fingers lightly over the top of her baby's thin hair. "But, they're damn near identical to yours. Besides, her eyes were a bit darker. They've lightened up."
"That doesn't mean anything," House replied, but felt a slight spark of gladness that this baby might have his eye color. He continued on, "and if anyone thinks they've figured it out and has the nerve to ask, we can say I donated sperm. Technically, that's all it was."
"Along with sex." Cuddy raised her eyebrows, looking back up at him.
"Why are you making this difficult?" House asked and tilted the bottle a bit more for the baby.
"I'm... not," Cuddy replied.
"What does Mick think?" House looked back down at the child in his arms.
"House, please stop calling my baby Mick." Cuddy placed her hands on her hips. "She has a name."
"Not one as cool as Mick Jagger," House told her. "She doesn't seem to mind."
Cuddy narrowed her eyes. "Well, I do."
"Mick Jagger," he said to the baby, who pushed the nub of the bottle from her mouth. House looked to Cuddy. "See? She loves it."
"Sarah just lost her appetite because of the name," Cuddy returned with a smirk.
House looked down at the baby, who suddenly smiled up at him. Cuddy frowned, knowing House was going to claim the baby liked the name due to the smile. However, when House didn't respond, Cuddy grew worried, wondering what response was forming in that head of his that could possibly be worse.
"That smile," House brought his eyes to Cuddy, while the look on his face caused her to soften,"is all yours."