Last chapter, everyone! Thank you so much for reading!

Chapter 13

House looked up just in time to be met with a kiss, albeit, a wet one, but still a wonderful kiss. At first he was quite awkward about it, after all, since when was the last time a woman had kissed him? Hookers didn't kiss him even. But for some reason, House never wanted them to. And now he realized why.

He wanted Cuddy. Lisa Cuddy. He leaned forward, making the kiss deeper as his heart started to furiously pound against his chest. One of his hands came to Cuddy's cheek, wiping the tears away gently. His deft, long, piano hands skimmed across her smooth, almost perfect skin.

Nick stood there. Wow. He thought. He had always hooked up with girls, and then dumped them three weeks later because of the lack of intensity, or just for the fact that they just weren't that pretty. But this...but this...oh WOW. There was so much! And yet, it looked to him as if it hadn't even begun, that this was merely...the very beginning. Then Nick noticed something. The man didn't have a ring on his finger. Nick blinked. But if this was their anniversary...He figured he shouldn't say anything at the moment.

House deeply inhaled her scent, enjoying it. If he was going to get high, it was going to be because of her. High off of Lisa Cuddy. Oh, the irony of it all. House managed a small grin, as the kiss eased up.

Nick, deeply shaken and with a goofy grin on his face as if he'd enjoyed the kiss as much as the couple did, backed off and scampered to the kitchen to tell his little waiter buddies what he'd just seen.

If House had been one of Cuddy's usual lame, plaid-wearing, ABBA-loving dates, she would've been embarrassed at the notion that the scene was going to be replayed and retold again and again to complete strangers by another complete stranger. But as it were, her costar in this particular scene of her stressful life was none other than Greg House, and there was nothing--read: nothing--embarrassing about that.

Cuddy pulled away slowly, wishing she didn't have to, but knowing full well that after tonight, there would be plenty of moments in the future to pick up where they'd left off. House wasn't the sort of man who forgot easily. There was no way this was a fleeting thing. This, Cuddy thought resolutely and happily, was the beginning of something wonderful.

"You know what?" she whispered next to House's ear, so close she could feel his breath warm against her skin. "I feel like ordering something smothered in chocolate. What do you say we skip the meal and go directly to dessert?" She sat back again and pointed to a photo of a black forest chocolate cake in the little dessert book on the table.

How was that for spontaneity? It was incredible how one little gesture could change the mood of life for a small frame in time.

House's usually intelligent brain seemed to have melted quite nicely into a puddle of...gloop. Yes, yes that was it. Gloop. He didn't care that practically everyone at the restaurant, including waiters (thanks to that imbecile of a child) was staring, open mouthed at the intensity of the two. To House, it was just him and Cuddy. There was no one else in this world that he had formed.

No one else existed.

As Cuddy pulled away ever so slightly, but still close enough so that only he could hear when she spoke, House regained some semblance of the noise around him. The tinkling of silverware, the murmured voices...but none was as clear and direct as Cuddy's voice.

"Just the cake?" House murmured, his hand back on Cuddy's hand again. "I book reservations at a four star restaurant and you want just the cake. God, woman!" He said, but smiling every bit as he said it. After a beat he replied, "It better be huge."

Nick seemed to have impeccable timing with these things, because he appeared, not a moment late.

"Your orders for this evening?" He said, with that huge idiotic grin on his face.

"Yeah, Noah. We'll take the Black Forest cake."

"My name is Nick, sir." The boy said slightly strained. "And what about the main course?"

"You know what? I don't really give a damn. The cake is our main course. Just bring it."

But as Nick turned to leave, House's arm shot out, grabbing the boy's arm tightly so Nick had no choice but to bend down. House whispered coldly into his ear. "...And if I ever catch you looking at my wife again with anything more than a waiter should to a customer, I'll personally make sure you'll be working at McDonalds instead. You understand me?"

The boy was stricken. So the man had noticed, he thought lamely. "Y-yes sir!" He replied, and hurried off.

Cuddy, too, was not feeling quite like herself. Case in point number one: she'd broken down and cried and generally made a fool of herself in front of House, whereas on a normal day, she'd have kept her cool.

Case in point number two: she'd just made House order a cake, whereas on a normal day, the health-conscious Cuddy would've ordered a salad with grilled chicken (working in a hospital made her paranoid about her health--it was why she jogged regularly).

Clearly, this was a weird day where all conventions were going out the window...it was like the Twilight Zone!

Also uncharacteristically, she'd felt a strange, thrilling chill when House threatened to derail the waiter's, ah, career. Normally she wouldn't have allowed such open hostility, but House's territorialism made her feel...wanted.

"My, my," she said with a hint of a smirk. "Are you trying to play the whole knight-in-shining-armor angle?"

"Night in shining armor?" House questioned, a sudden image coming up to him. It wasn't very appealing to him. "Nooo..." He drawled out. "Because you're not the damsel in distress." He remarked, his blue eyes flashing joyfully.

"I don't like that kid." House said, stating the obvious. However, changing the subject again, House smiled.

"So tell me." He said, "How surprised were you?"

"I should hope not," Cuddy agreed, realizing she was far too much of a type-A personality to sit around and wait for someone to save her ass from the fire breathing dragon.

Actually, sometimes House could be a fire breathing dragon...

Funny how life had a knack for fitting into a fairytale analogy.

Cuddy raised her eyebrows at House's declaration of dislike for the young waiter, and pretended to be very interested in her silverware. "Maybe you're jealous of him," she offered, part-jokingly, and slyly looked back up at House.

She could evade House's words no longer--silverware was only plausibly interesting for about half a minute.

"On a scale from one to ten? I'd say about twelve." But some small part of her had always been keeping up with the hope that she might mean more to House than just a coworker would. "And that's putting it lightly."

Disgruntled, and slightly put off at the fact that Cuddy would suggest he was jealous of a child, he grumbled irritatingly.

"Jealous?" He asked, his eyes cast down on his tuxedo, fiddling with his bow-tie. "Why should I be jealous of a child? I have a better job than him, I'm more intelligent than him, I've got better looks than him, AND, I've got you."

Oh. Wait. Did that just slip out, again? Well, compared to that declaration of love he had proclaimed earlier, this was easier. A LOT easier.

As Cuddy's interest in the silverware dwindled, so did House's interest in his bow-tie. He looked up slowly, casting a playful smile at her as he heard her reply. "Good." He replied, "I'm...I'm glad." He tilted his head to the side, glancing out the window, and then back at Cuddy.

Another airy, romantic idea coming to him, House stood up, going over to Cuddy's side. He gently grabbed the necklace from where it lay, and picked it up in his long hands.

"You didn't put it on yet." He murmured softly, going behind Cuddy. He very tenderly, which was unusual for House, of course, everything was unusual tonight, laid the necklace on Cuddy's slender neck, clasping it together for her. Hands then resting on her shoulders, he squeezed her slightly, heading back to his seat.

Cuddy stopped breathing for what seemed like an eternity. As soon as House had gotten up, everything seemed to have gone in slow motion. She had seen his blue eyes glinting, that playful smile, and saw him gracefully get up and she had looked up slightly at that tall frame of his. As his hands lightly touched her back, her heart skipped a beat. Or two. Or three.

When he returned to his seat, Cuddy could merely smile at him. "Thank you." She said quietly.

House opened his mouth to think of something witty to say, but was saved that effort when the cake came. Nick, the waiter, cut the cake for them, serving a piece to Cuddy, and then to himself.

The couple ate in silence, merely enjoying each other's presence, which was quite laughable if you thought about it. At work, half the time they couldn't stand being in the same proximity. But this was different. This…this marked something new. This marked a new beginning for Greg House and Lisa Cuddy.

They finished quickly, and the check came. For once in his life, House paid for a meal himself that he had ate with another person. Cuddy tried to hide her emerging smile, but she could even begin to cover the swell of her heart as her feelings burst for this crazy, crazy man in front of her.

As they stood up, House faced her. "I'll drop you off." He quickly stated.

Cuddy laughed, grabbing her jacket. "I have a car, remember, House?"

"I don't care. I'll call Wilson and he can pick it up." He was intent on giving her this ride home. A traditional date, even if he was unconventional in his methods.

"But he-"

"Be selfish for once. Come on." Guiding her gently, but firmly, he directed her to his car, not giving her room to reply. When they were seated in the car, he called Wilson up and Wilson immediately agreed to go and pick up Cuddy's car.

The trip to her house was not as awkward as Cuddy thought it would be. It was comforting being in House's presence. She laughed at him, with him, just…everything with him. It seemed that the ride to her home was too short. It all ended too soon. As House parked, there was a silence in the car.

"Well." House stated. "Welcome home."

"Thank you, House." She replied. "So I guess, I'll…see you at work?"

"Yeah. I'm sure you'll see me around."

Cuddy nodded and opened the door. She shouldn't be expecting anything else, should she? So why, why was she feeling this way?!

However, she took about three steps, when she heard another car door close, and she turned around to see House.

He smiled briefly, fiddling with his bow-tie. "I'll walk you to the front door."

Cuddy couldn't help it. She laughed again. "We're not in college anymore, House."

He shrugged. "Sure felt like it tonight." He replied deviously. He limped over to her, and the two of them matched footfalls as they reached her front door. Their eyes met and Cuddy looked down, furiously searching her bag for her key.

House reached out and gently gripped her wrist. Cuddy looked up, but before she could react, House had already closed in the distance between them and kissed her. Kissed her deeply and passionately. Cuddy, her eyes wide, was slightly shocked at first, but once again, she felt her chest swelling and she closed her eyes, relishing this kiss. Blindly, she managed to successfully open her door, and House, still locked with her, slammed the door shut.

Cuddy pressed House to the wall. She did not know what she was doing. Anything logical flew out of her head hours ago. She ripped off his bowtie and House himself threw off his jacket, and shoes. His hands roamed delicately on her back and he could feel her arch against him.

"House…" she murmured trying to slow him down.

"Ghmth. Shut up, Cuddy. I'm a little busy here at the moment."

Tux shirt gone. Belt gone. House was half naked, and Cuddy was still in her dress, minus her heels. Both knew that both of them could go farther, but they both knew they should take it easy. But that didn't stop House from nuzzling her, caressing, and just being near her.

She could feel his stubbles on her neck and she expelled a breath of air. Her hands were roaming freely against him and he sighed softly. They made it to her couch, and it seemed everything slowed from that point. House held Cuddy close to him, kissing the top of her head softly. Cuddy nuzzled up to House, she couldn't get enough of him. Both of them were breathing hard because of all the adrenaline that had built up.

House murmured, "Not fair. You can't just stop a man there."

"No rules." Cuddy replied cheekily.

House sighed briefly. "Not letting you go next time. And next time, don't interrupt me unless it's you calling out my name in a burst of passion.

Cuddy rolled her eyes and smacked him on the chest.

"I hate you."

"Hate you too."

They both smiled. The two ended up watching 'I Love Lucy' reruns until 3 AM, falling asleep, intertwined together into a blissful state.