Title: Precious Things
Author: Skylarcat
Classification: Huddy, Short-fic. Longer then a one-shot, but not full-blown chapters.
Rating: PG 13
Feedback: Yes, please.
Summary: This fic contains angst. And though I enjoy a good angst fic, this goes to the edge and then instead of stepping back, it jumps off. I've always told myself I wouldn't write something like this, but it came out all in one night, so it's the muse's fault. It's a look at House as a dad.
Note: House and Cuddy are characters that belong to David Shore, Fox Broadcasting, and Shore Z Productions and Bad Hat Harry Productions. Yes, I have used them without permission. However, no copyright infringement is intended. And I will return them intact and a lot more satisfied.

PRECIOUS THINGS

He decided as he walked along the stone covered causeway that he liked autumn. In fact, it was his favorite season. He admired the slightly cooler days that smelled crisp and fresh; signifying a new beginning. Even the changing hues of the leaves held a certain beauty. He glanced in the direction of several trees, which stood proud along the riverbank, their branches suspending heaven bound. Along their stems spouted foliage of red, yellow, and orange; it reminded him of Christmas ribbon. A few leaves graced the ground in small heaps; already succumbing to a winter's death. He walked on, his cane dragging along the earth in a soft rhythm; and her small hand interlaced with his.

The park was practically empty. Besides two squirrels chasing one another along the soft terrain; they had the place to their selves. They lumbered ahead a few more paces causing the squirrels to stop playing. They averted their attention to them; carefully watching as they passed by, then darted up a large maple tree, disappearing from his view.

The sun glared down upon them like an angry old man; and he cupped his hand over eyes, shielding them from its glare. She stopped walking suddenly and he glanced down at her. She was staring straight ahead, her eyes narrowed in concentration. It was the same look her mother always had when something caught her attention.

He followed the direction in which she looked, noticing the pile of leaves. Even from a distance, he was able to determine that the pile was larger then she was; and it was enticing her like candy to a baby.

There was a soft tug on his jacket sleeve, and he turned to stare at her. Her blue-gray eyes sparkled under long dark lashes; holding a degree of playfulness, and he was suddenly reminded of how her mother would stare at him; that playful stare that just dared him. "Daddy," she spoke in a soft voice.

He knew in an instant what she was asking. "Go ahead," he answered, pointing his cane in the direction of the leaves.

It was all the permission that she needed. He watched as she took off in a run; her short little legs gliding her along the path. Her feet pounded loudly upon the hard ground causing her dark curls to spring forward with each bounce. As she neared the pile, she sprung forward and landed in the leaves with a heavy thud. She quickly grabbed a handful of leaves and tossed them in the air, then giggled as they fell like stars around her.

He limped towards her, wearing a satisfied smile as he watched her continue to throw handfuls of leaves in the air. "This is fun, daddy," she beamed as he approached.

"Yeah," he asked; watching her as she stood and kicked at the leaves, sending them flying in all directions. Her little sneaker clad feet hitting dirt in the process causing her to jump from foot to foot, clapping her chubby little hands together in pure delight.

The sun lowered and faded behind a few gray clouds, and he glanced at his watch, noting the time. "It's getting late," he informed her.

Her bottom lip stuck out in protest, but she didn't put up an argument, instead offered an "Okay," and lifted her arms in his direction.

He reached out his arms and scooped her up in one swift motion. He held her so most of her weight was supported by his good leg. She lowered her head on his shoulder; her thumb instinctively going into her mouth. He really needed to break her of that habit, but he hadn't the heart. He kissed her gently on the forehead. "Let's go home, Lisa."