A/N: New story guys! As usual, I'll be updating on Tuesdays. Many thanks go out to Alias424 - who is more than a beta or a sounding board - she's a friend. So thanks. Also I know some of you were expecting the prequel to the Perverse series - but FF FAILS AT LIFE and will not allow me to post it. If you'd like to read it in it's entirety - along with a few other stores I never posted here - the link to my LJ is in my profile. Enjoy - and review!


If I open my eyes, I'll hurl, was her first thought upon achieving consciousness. The blanketing dark of her eyelids was blissful as she inhaled deeply and tried to think fizzy, golden thoughts – like mental ginger ale. She tried to remember last night, but it was flying past much too quickly for her to grasp, fast-forward images of bars and cabs and hands. Hands?

She rolled over to ease her suddenly aching shoulder and cracked open one eye, slowly and painfully. She wasn't in her room. Or her house. Or her block – hell not even her neighbourhood. Oh my god. She shut her eyes quickly, blocking out the sight of a very asleep, very next to her in bed, very – she winced and ran a hand down her body quickly before choking a growl in the back of her throat – naked in bed with House.

House.

Of all people.

She felt her stomach churn suddenly as her mind veered right and her body veered left. What is wrong with me? She ran her hand over her face as she thought it, before pushing her hair back and moving to sit up. A sharp jerk had her crying out in pain before lying back again quickly.

He shifted next to her, and she froze next to him, her heart pounding much too painfully for her chest to hold, so it spilled over into her head. Craning her neck, she looked up to see her wrist, which was aching slightly. It was wrapped in a blue-striped satin – obviously a tie, probably given to him by Wilson, and probably the first time it had seen use. It was tied – in various complicated knots that she couldn't even wrap her mind around at the moment – to the bedpost.

"I hate you so much." It was almost a scream, but the anger and frustration lowered it into growl-like proportions.

"That's not what you said last night." His smile was smug, or she assumed it was because she wasn't looking at him. She was staring at that tie and its blue, tan, brown, navy pattern as if her stare alone could ignite its cheap polyester-mix threads until they disappeared in a puff of smoke. When that plan failed, she closed her eyes immediately and tried to will the situation away. He will not be there. I am home. I am not in Gregory House's bed. I am not ALLOWED in Gregory House's bed. I forbid it.

Upon opening her eyes, she saw failure, in the shape of color-coordinated pinstripe. Sighing, she flopped her head back on the pillow and shifted so she was flat on her back – and definitely not looking at him, or his smile, or how bright his eyes got when he was playing with her, like a cat playing with a mouse before a meal. Her free hand reached across to the tie, her fingers attempting to pick at the knots to no avail. Cool airbrushed against her skin, and she shivered as he chuckled.

"What? No saucy comeback? No threats of clinic or firing raining down upon my head from the depths?" He was poking her deliberately, she knew – apparently House did not fear death in the mornings. She glanced down, noticing her exposed breasts and she jerked her hands away from the cheap satin and snatched the bed sheet. She huffed and crossed her one arm over her chest, pinning the sheet high. "I saw them last night you know. About this big and nice and weighty – a real handful."

"As soon as you untie me, I am going to kill you." Her voice was quiet and perfectly serious, and his laugh echoed in her head painfully. She winced and lay there, perfectly still. Believe her or not – she was already planning it. If I push him down – oh! or kick him right in the go to the kitchen, grab a steak knife – they always look more convincing as an impulse weapon – I wonder if House has scissors? – come back and stab him to death. Fifteen or sixteen times so I look out of my mind. Yeah.

"It was the only way I'd be sure you wouldn't sneak out like every other time." He was quieter, and it scared her, causing her stomach to drop quickly, as its contents lifted and she swallowed painfully. Every other time. Right. Her stomach suddenly clenched, and she squeezed her eyes shut and exhaled slowly. Unfortunately for her, this wasn't the first time in recent months that she had woken up here. Too many nights of after work drinks and more drinks and fuzzy warm thoughts of how his hand against her back made her tingle. It was a relief, to let go of the control – just every now and again – let go and allow him to slip in through the sprung gate. She always woke up with a headache and regret lining her mouth like a thick paste.

This was the first time she had had to deal with it though. It really wasn't very beneficial to her hangover, so she tried to ignore his persuasive voice, soft in her ear. "You can't keep doing this Cuddy. Getting drunk and taking advantage of me, I'm just a poor cripple." His voice switched mid-stream to sharper and more acidic tones, and she heaved a sigh of relief at the appearance of his usual self.

"Untie me, House," she stated in the most commanding, administrative tone she could muster. Judging by the grin she saw out of the corner of her eye, it was a pathetic attempt at best.

"Make me." His hand reached across the much-too-short distance between them, and she felt it brush her hip before she smacked it with her free hand. He sighed and made a second attempt, higher this time, and the feeling of his hand brushing against the sensitive flesh of her breasts made her squirm for a nanosecond before she smacked his hand harder. Her fingers stung when she pulled back, and he hissed. "Knew I should have tied both hands. But I figured you would have woken up. Of course, a Mac truck couldn't have woken you last night – it was very lovely, all moans and liquids one minute and then snores and drooling the next."

She smacked him again, just for good measure, and he was laughing when she finally turned her glare on him. His hair stuck out, and his beard was a touch thicker than usual. He looked – rumpled – annoying. "You are a pig. And you wouldn't have been subjected to it if you hadn't tied me up, jackass!" She rose upward as she yelled, waving her arm as her voice rose with her body. His smile widened as his eyes drifted downward, almost taking a leisurely path as they slipped past her throat and moved across her clavicle before arriving further down. Her skin flushed, and she cursed mentally as she snatched the sheet back up. "I hate you," she repeated, and House just smirked as he stretched out onto his back before wincing, his hand shooting down to grasp his thigh.

She saw his pills before he did – on her side of the bed, for some odd reason – and snatched them in her free hand, dropping the sheet to do so. She didn't care – it was survival of the fittest now, and she had to – had to – leave this apartment unscathed. She wrapped her fist around them and shoved them behind her, slightly under the pillow as she sat on them. He watched and frowned, holding out a hand. "Give me my pills."

"Untie me," she responded promptly, and he dropped his head with a groan before glaring at her.

"I need those pills Cuddy, I'm in pain – "

"Maybe you should stop having random one night stands then – can't be easy on you." She sounded almost sympathetic, but the mocking pout she had on demolished any pretence of understanding.

"Give me the god-damned pills, Cuddy!" He was struggling into a sitting position now, and the pain was showing on his face. She felt a small tug of sympathy, but she pulled against her own restraints, stretching the tie until it bit into her skin.

"Untie me and I'll give you the pills." She spoke rationally, trying to keep her voice calm and maintain eye contact.

"I could just take them," he ground out as he rubbed a hand along his thigh and winced.

"Oh yeah, sure you could. I could take you one handed – literally," she scoffed, and he sighed in defeat.

"You have to swear – no tricks. I untie you and you give me the pills, and no one dies." His voice was serious and she would have laughed at the absurdity of the negotiations alone, but her wrist hurt as the cheap material cut into it.

"Done," she said promptly, and he slowly moved over, his fingers shaking as he untied the knots. She sighed, pulling her hand off the bottle and twisting the white cap off expertly. She slid two pills out across her palm and her fingers wrapped around them awkwardly as she replaced the cap. Pulling her hand out from under the pillow, she opened her clammy palm to reveal the two pills. He looked up from his fumbling in surprise and she glared. "Just two. I still have the bottle so don't even think about stopping untying me. I just... don't think you can do it without them."

He nodded solemnly and leaned forward. She pulled back in surprise as he licked the pills from her skin, dry-swallowing them quickly. She shivered, cursing him as he smiled briefly. His hands kept on untying nimbly, and she glared, realizing he wasn't in nearly as much pain as he had pretended. "Bastard," she breathed out, and he grinned as her wrist sprung free and she pulled it into her chest, cradling it slightly. She jumped off the bed quickly, not caring about her lack of clothes as she scanned for them. Spying her skirt, she pulled it on, not bothering to look for a bra, or underwear, or even her shirt. She grabbed his tee shirt from the floor by the door and tugged it on.

"Hey! That's one of my – "

"A complete, matching set of my underwear for a shirt, House," she ground out and he shut up quickly. She wrenched open the door and fled to the hall. Her shoes and purse were right by the door – she was miraculously anal, even while drunk and about to participate in yet another night of debauchery with her most annoying employee. She shoved her feet clumsily into the heels, her sweaty skin sticking to the inside of the shoes, and snatched her purse.

"What no tender kiss goodbye? Promises of seeing me soon?" House's lazy voice issued from behind her, and she glared.

"Goodbye. I'll see you at work. All day. In the clinic. And if you even mention this to me – or anyone else ever again, I will make your life a living hell," she ground out evenly, before wrenching the door open and stalking through it. She didn't bother closing it as she sailed down the hall, the carpet muffling her angry steps.

"You know – keep up all these special moments and I may think you still love me," he mocked her as he followed, leaning heavily against the doorframe. She turned at the outer door, with one hand holding it open slightly.

"I never loved you," she said as she pushed the door open and let the too-bright sunshine in, causing her to wince heavily.

"Sure – "

She didn't wait for the rest of what was sure to be yet another scintillating House comeback, letting the door close on his voice as she stumbled down the three steps to the street, while she shoved her hand in her purse, digging for her sunglasses and her cell phone. She shoved the sunglasses on with obvious relief, as she turned left and walked blindly – not taking the chance House would follow her outside as she called for a cab.

Pressing the phone to her ear, she dialled quickly – requesting a cab five blocks from his place. When she dropped the phone back in her purse, she ignored the pain in her head and the aching of her feet as she stalked down the uneven pavement.

The walk of shame. The irony was not lost on her as she shrugged. She didn't know anyone in House's neighbourhood – and escape was more essential than modesty. She berated herself as she walked, wondering what in the hell was wrong with her.

She had never meant for House to become that guy. That ex you never stopped thinking about, not really – no matter how much you tried. It was her bad luck that said ex barrelled back into her life. It was his that she couldn't seem to let him go, but she wasn't stupid enough to keep him either.

She hated him. And loved him. At the moment though – she was royally pissed at him. By doing what he had done this morning – he had all but declared his dissatisfaction with the status quo. He wanted to rock the boat, change the equilibrium and she couldn't. Wouldn't.

And she definitely wouldn't let him.