Well, here we are. The last chapter. Thank you SO MUCH for supporting this fic and each one that came before it. You guys are fabulous, wonderful readers. THANKS SO MUCH.
Two Years Later.
Cuddy awoke and drew in a deep breath. She looked to her right, the bed empty. She frowned and sat up as she directed her attention to the clock on her night stand. It was a little after nine in the morning. She heard the footsteps first and she felt a small smile cross over her lips.
"Hey," a deep voice said from the doorway.
House entered into the bedroom, dressed in shorts and a tee shirt. He held a tray containing pancakes, fresh fruit, and coffee. Cuddy watched as he made his way over to her and set the tray down on her lap.
"Couldn't really do this before," he added, indicating his free hands and showing off his C-Leg.
"No, you couldn't," Cuddy agreed. "Does it hurt this morning?"
"Itches like a bitch, but I haven't felt any pain yet," House answered.
Cuddy smirked and raised an eyebrow. "Maybe I can distract you from that if you get back into bed."
"Maybe you should eat the breakfast I made you before it gets cold." House bent down and kissed her on the forehead. "I'm going out for a walk."
"Ambitious today," Cuddy commented. "I usually have to poke you with a sharp stick to get you out."
"I'm not that bad," House replied, a frown on his face.
Cuddy signaled for House to come closer with her index finger. House leaned down toward her again and Cuddy placed her lips to his. She drew back and smiled up at him.
"Have a nice walk," she told him.
"I will." He exaggerated a wink and headed out of the bedroom.
"Hi, Dad," Sarah greeted as she shuffled into the kitchen. She stopped and stared at her father. "What the hell are you doing?"
House looked up from where he was sitting on a chair in front of the open refrigerator. He raised his eyebrows at his daughter.
"Language," he warned.
Sarah frowned at him. "You don't care."
"Language," Cuddy chimed in as she entered into the kitchen.
"But your mom does," House snickered to Sarah.
Sarah gave him a nudge in return and House turned back to the inside of the fridge. Cuddy's eyebrows drew together as she watched House.
"What are you doing?" she asked him.
"Trying to change this light bulb," House answered. "It's burned out and stuck or something."
"Oh," Cuddy replied with a slight nod.
"Can I borrow your car?" Sarah said quickly.
Cuddy turned to her daughter. "Whose car?
"Dad's," Sarah told her.
Cuddy shook her head. "Take mine."
"No." Sarah made a face. "Dad's is better."
"Told ya," House added.
"Shut up," Cuddy directed her words to him.
House looked back at Sarah. "Keys are by the door."
"Thanks." Sarah smiled at him and began to head out of the room.
"Where are you going?" Cuddy asked her.
"Mall," Sarah answered.
Cuddy placed her hands to her hips. "What for?"
"Shoes," Sarah replied simply.
House frowned and worked the light bulb from its socket. "Don't you have enough?"
"No," she told him. "I'll be back by dinner."
"Who are you going with?"
"Kelly!" Sarah called back to her mother as she hurried from the room. "Bye!"
Cuddy made her way over to House and stood next to him, watching as he put the new bulb in the refrigerator's light socket.
"I can't believe she's driving," Cuddy commented, a small frown forming.
"Speed demon," House said as he finished screwing the bulb in.
Cuddy glared down at him. "Don't say that."
"She is," House insisted and sat back since he finished his project.
"She is not," Cuddy argued.
House carefully stood to his feet and pushed the chair back. "You ever been in the car with her?"
"She won't let me." Cuddy folded her arms over her chest. "I'm not allowed on your little trips."
"I know." House pressed his lips together to keep from smirking.
Cuddy glared again. "Don't be so smug."
"I really can't help it that she likes me better." House shrugged and closed the refrigerator door.
"Shut up," Cuddy shot back, but without much anger.
House took a step and drew in a sharp breath. He stopped and clutched at the top of his C-Leg where his thigh used to be. Cuddy eyed him up.
"You okay?" she asked.
Shaking his head, House squeezed his eyes shut. Cuddy stepped closer to him and ran her hand up and down over his back.
"Fuck," House hissed out a curse. "I hate when this happens. It's a dull pain and then it suddenly hurts like before without warning."
"You should take something," Cuddy told him.
"Yeah..." House pulled away from her and began to slowly walk away.
Cuddy's eyes followed him. "Greg."
House turned halfway in her direction. Cuddy walked over to him and slipped her arms around his waist. She hugged him tightly and rested her head on his chest. House placed an arm around her backside and put his other hand on her hair.
"This is better than before," she assured him.
"I just wish my thigh would have taken its pain with it," House said.
"I know," Cuddy replied and tightened her grip on him.
When the doorbell rang, House was already off the couch and heading toward the front door.
"I'll get it!" he called out.
"Dad!" Sarah shouted from her bedroom. "Don't you dare! Mom! Get the door!"
Cuddy hurried from the dining room and down the hall, cutting in front of House just as he was opening the door. House attempted to shove her out of the way, but she stood her ground. She smiled at the teen boy standing on her porch.
"Hi, Dave," Cuddy greeted him. "Come in. Sarah's almost ready."
Cuddy took a step back, forcing House to step back as well. Dave entered into the house and Cuddy closed the door behind him. Dave shoved his hands into his pockets and gave Cuddy a smile.
"How are you, Dr. Cuddy?" he asked.
"Fine." Cuddy returned his smile. "How are you doing tonight?"
"Um." Dave was distracted by the looming House. "I'm... good."
Cuddy caught on to Dave's distraction and looked back at House. "Greg, can you check the water I'm boiling on the stove?"
"No," House shot back and turned to Dave. "Where are you going tonight?"
"We're going to see a movie," Dave answered.
"Which one?" House prompted.
"Back to Home," Dave told him.
"Rated R?" House was quite aware that Cuddy was glaring at him, but he ignored her and continued on with his questions.
"No." Dave shook his head. "PG thirteen."
"What time will you be bringing my daughter back?" House's eyebrows drew together in concern.
"Eleven?" Dave guessed, but quickly changed his answer once House frowned. "Ten."
"Eleven is fine," Cuddy said to Dave.
"Your water is probably boiling over." House nudged Cuddy.
"Go turn it down," Cuddy hissed at him.
House shook his head slightly. "No."
"Greg." Cuddy warned, but House wasn't budging. She sighed and gave Dave an apologetic look. "I'll be back."
Dave watched as Cuddy headed off toward the dining room. He directed his eyes to the floor next and cleared his throat. House smirked slightly.
"So, Dave." House waited until Dave looked up at him. "I've been meaning to ask you how you feel about birth control."
"Um, what?" Dave merely stared at House.
"Checking out my leg?" House asked sternly, messing with him.
"No." Dave quickly shook his head.
"Wanna know how it happened?" House asked.
"No, sir," Dave answered.
"Lost it in a bar fight," House told him.
"A bar fight?" Dave repeated.
"Yeah," House nodded. "You should have seen the other guy."
"Dad." Sarah hurried down the hallway, dressed to go out. "What are you doing?"
House shrugged. "Nothing."
"Don't listen to anything he says," Sarah said to Dave and then turned to her father. "Where's Mom?"
"Kitchen," House replied.
"We're going, Mom!" Sarah called out in the direction of the kitchen.
"Okay!" Cuddy called back. "Have fun!"
Sarah turned back to House. "Bye, Dad." Sarah frowned as House ignored her, his eyes on Dave, who was squirming beneath the stare. Sarah stepped further into her father's line of vision. "Dad. Bye."
"Bye," House returned brightly.
Sarah quickly ushered Dave out of the house, making sure to close the door behind them. House smirked and began back toward the living room. Cuddy entered from the dining room, glaring at House again.
"It boiled over," she told him.
"Whoops." House gave a small shrug.
"What did you say to him?" Cuddy asked.
"Nothing." House stepped into the living room.
"Yeah, right." Cuddy followed after him. "Don't sit. Come on. We'll have tea and then go for a walk."
"You'll have tea." House sat down on the couch. "I don't want that shit."
"It's good for you," Cuddy reminded him.
"Don't care," he replied.
"Fine." Cuddy planted her hands on her hips. "I'll have tea by myself."
"Good." House turned on the television with the remote control.
Cuddy stared at him a moment before crossing toward him and standing in the way of his view of the television. House raised his eyes to Cuddy.
"She's going to go on dates," Cuddy said.
House's eyebrows drew together. "What does that have to do with anything?"
"You're crabby," Cuddy pointed out.
"I'm in pain," House offered, irritated, as an excuse.
"She'll be home by eleven, all in one piece," Cuddy assured him.
"I know." House leaned over on the couch, trying to see around Cuddy. "Now, move. Your fat ass is in the way."
"Deflect all you want, but my ass isn't fat." Cuddy stepped aside and gently patted his head. "Let me drink my tea, then we'll go for a walk."
Cuddy turned and left the room. House glanced up at her once before looking back to the television. He shook his head slightly, annoyed and somewhat pleased that she knew him so well.
"Your dad's intense," Dave said to Sarah as he drove them to the movie theatre.
"Yeah, he can be like that," Sarah agreed. "Don't let it bother you. He does that to any boy I'm around that's relatively my age."
Dave glanced over at Sarah. "I think he cares a little too much."
Sarah shook her head and looked out the window. "Not my dad. Usually he doesn't give a fuck about anything."
"Anything, but you." Dave commented nonchalantly and partly distracted as he turned a corner.
Sarah looked back over at Dave, a small smile crossing over her lips, his comment meaning more to her than he knew.
Just shy of eleven at night, Sarah entered into her home. She closed and locked the door behind her. As she made her way down the hallway, House entered from the living room.
"Hey," he greeted her quietly.
"Hi," Sarah returned.
"How was the movie?" House whispered.
"Good," Sarah answered. "Why are you whispering?"
"Your mom's asleep on the couch," House replied.
"Oh." Sarah lowered her volume. "Were you waiting up?"
"Waiting for Saturday Night Live," he told her. "Wanna watch it with me?"
"Sure." Sarah nodded. "I'm gonna change first."
"Okay." House nodded as well.
Sarah began for her room, but she stopped. She faced House as he was heading back into the living room.
"Dad," Sarah said.
House turned. "Yeah?"
Sarah made her way back over to him and hugged him tightly. House returned the hug to her.
"I love you for being you, even when you're irritating the shit out of me," Sarah told her.
"Language," Cuddy spoke up tiredly from the couch in the living room.
Sarah and House exchanged smirks. Sarah stepped into the doorway of the living room and looked to the couch.
"Sorry, Mom," Sarah apologized to her mother, even though a smirk was still on her face.
"How was your date?" Cuddy asked her.
"Good," Sarah answered.
"That's good," Cuddy replied.
"Yeah," Sarah agreed. "I'm going to change and watch SNL with you and Dad."
"Okay." Cuddy nodded.
Sarah headed back into the hallway and towards her room. House watched her.
"Hey," he spoke up.
Sarah turned and looked at him.
"Love you, too, Mick," he said.
She smiled at him and he returned the smile before they headed in their separate directions.