This first ending is about as crackish as I could imagine. Let the ridiculousness begin! This first ending is purposely over the top. It's meant to be overly silly, in a gag, puke, sputter, sputter kind of way...
Chapter 10: Crackfic Ending
It was Cuddy's last day of her medical leave. She woke to the sounds of House snoring and she turned on to her side, keeping her head on his shoulder, and placed her hand on his chest. She could get used to this. She thought he could too. Hell, she had gotten used to this.
True to his word, House had never left her side. He slept each night on the second bed while she was in hospital, leaving only to take care of his own basic needs and when she was released from the hospital, he took up residence at her place to look after her. House was in the guest room when he heard her cry out, fearing the worst that first night back in her home. He rushed in to find she'd had a nightmare about burning hotels and not being able to find him. He crawled into her bed, careful not to disturb her stitches and held her in his arms until the throws of the nightmare released her back to the present. She told him about the fear she'd felt that day at the hotel and he managed to refrain from snarking an inappropriate comment, instead holding her until she finally relaxed and fell asleep. He'd slept in her bed ever since.
And now, there they were, weeks later laying arm in arm, comfortable in the other's embrace. She had taken more time off than was necessary; it was in part due to being overworked and in need of a vacation, and in part due to her new found relationship with him. House inhaled at her touch, and cracking one eye open, he looked down at her hand splayed across his chest. He stretched a bit and turned to face her and they peered into one another's eyes for a long time.
He finally broke the silence, "I don't want an annulment."
"What?" she asked, hurt by his sudden change of heart, "I thought we agreed on a divorce?"
He paused, hesitating to finally say it, "I don't want a divorce either."
"You…want to stay married?"
House thought for a moment, pursed his lips and nodded once, "We have the official marriage certificate; we can legally banter now."
Cuddy laughed, "Did you ever imagine me and you…"
"In bed, yes. Married, no."
"And yet you married me."
"I think the fact that you married me is more impressive."
"I would have married you a long time ago if you'd asked," she rested her hand on his face, "It wasn't the morphine talking you know."
"I know." He leaned in and pressed his lips firmly on hers and she responded with equal desire.
Pulling back, she whispered, "I'm not ready for everyone to know yet."
"And you expect this to be kept secret?"
"The marriage, no, but this," she waved her hand indicating him in her bed, "I had hoped it would be our little secret, at least for a little while."
"I could go home."
"Or," she kissed him on the neck, followed by the shoulder, "You could stay."
He placed a peck on her nose, "I could, but what would they say if they knew the married couple was actually acting like a married couple?"
She smiled, "You mean bickering as always?"
He chuckled, "More like screwing our brains out every chance possible."
Cuddy sat up, kissed him on the chin and straddled him, "They've suspected that for years."
"I overheard two nurses the last night I was in hospital. You were in the shower and they thought I was asleep."
"Well, let's give them something to really talk about," he said with a smirk as he pulled her in close.
"So Mrs. House, would you like to walk in as the married couple that we are, or would you rather go in separately?" House asked the next day, as they stood in the hospital's parking lot.
"Mr. House, I think they all know we're married. We'll walk in together." He nodded.
They approached the entry way and Cuddy gasped at what waited beyond the front doors. The clinic lobby had been transformed. Rows of white roses, carnations and sweet peas hung from the second floor balcony. There were long rows of white chairs spanning the width of the clinic facing the entrance doors, with a single isle splitting them down the middle. Each isle chair was adorned with more of the white roses, carnations and sweet peas. Nearest the entrance, a large archway stood in the middle, complete with yet even more white flowers and gobs of tulle.
To Cuddy's horror, and admittedly to her amusement, a large banner hung from the center of the second floor balcony, on which existed a large photo of the married couple's wedding night picture; it was the one of them kissing.
House chuckled, and shook his head, "I'm going to kill Wilson. No wait, first Wilson, then Cameron. The photo is all Wilson but everything else wreaks of Cameron." Cuddy sat with mouth agape, wordless.
As if on cue, Wilson appeared at the top of the second floor balcony, "We thought you could use a proper wedding," he said, smiling.
House raised his index finger, wagging it at Wilson but before he could say anything, Wilson disappeared, the balcony filled with members of the staff and the seats on the first floor soon filled with colleagues.
"I can't believe they did this," Cuddy whispered.
"I think our secret's out."
"You don't have to do this, you know," she said reassuringly, hoping he wouldn't disappoint her.
"Hey, we're already married, remember?"
Cuddy looked at him, perplexed, "But, how did they know?"
House stared down at the floor, "I told Wilson I didn't want a divorce."
"The night you said you didn't want an annulment."
She smiled at him, shaking her head, "You're just a big sap, aren't you?"
"And what about you, crying when we got married in Vegas?"
"Or how about how you kissed me and said 'I love you' when I was in recovery, right after surgery?"
House paused, "How did…"
"I was awake." She said, smiling from ear to ear. House wore a boyishly, impish grin for a brief moment and quickly resumed a stoic expression upon Wilson's approach.
Cameron was close behind Wilson and she reached for Cuddy's hand, whisking her off to the dean's office.
Wilson shook his head at House, "Come on lover boy, you're not getting married in that."
"Don't look at me like that. Put this on," Wilson held up a tuxedo in one of the clinic's exam rooms.
House shook his head, "What if she wanted a divorce?"
"She told you that?"
Wilson looked a bit sheepish, "No, but I took a chance." Wilson shrugged his shoulders, "Don't you have something you want to ask me?"
House motioned for his friend to turn his back while pulled on perfectly pressed pants, "Sorry Jimmy, you're not my type."
"You know that's not what I mean."
House buttoned the crisp white shirt before looking Wilson in the eye, "All this because I didn't ask you to be my best man in Vegas?"
Smiling, Wilson nodded, "And for not telling me about you and her."
House tied his bow tie silently. When he was finished, Wilson stepped up and retied the bow, expertly, "There was no me and her when we got married."
"And yet you got married in Vegas."
"It was for a bet."
"Keep telling yourself that, House. I saw the both of you when we finally found her. You've never looked more relieved in all your life."
House looked Wilson in the eye, took a deep breath and said, "I'm not wearing those," as he pointed towards the highly polished dress shoes at the foot of the exam table.
"I know," Wilson replied, patiently.
House fumbled with the button on his tux, brushed the non existent lint from his jacket, twirled his cane a few times and finally looked up to meet Wilson's gaze, "Will you be my best man?"
"That wasn't so hard now, was it?" Wilson asked with a broad grin.
House stood nervously gripping his cane in front of the archway, awaiting his bride with Wilson at his side. From the far corner, "Here Comes the Bride" erupted from the wooden piano and everyone stood. Cameron made her way down the isle and took her place near the archway as the maid of honor, tissue already in hand.
And then Cuddy graced the isle. She was dressed head to toe in a proper wedding gown. The dress was simple, classic and not overdone. It was a strapless gown, with a princess neckline, finishing in an elegant skirt, complete with a full, proper veil and a stunning bouquet of white roses and sweet peas. Though the dress was Cameron's, it fit fairly well, not perfectly, but well enough. The dress was borrowed, the sweat peas had shades of blue, and the veil was new. She wore her mother's pearls that day, so they qualified as something old. Cuddy had tears in her eyes and the widest grin House had ever seen.
He took her hands when she approached, and gave her a light squeeze when they first noticed the blinding light of the photographer; a real photographer, not some little old lady with a cheap, disposable camera. Chase officiated, keeping the ceremony simple, "We are gathered here to witness the renewal of wedding vows by two of this hospital's finest." Chase walked them through their vows, with House smirking at her agreement to obey. She smirked back with his agreement to honor and cherish until death do them part.
When he called for the rings. Wilson handed them over and Chase looked at House, "You do know that you're going to have to buy her a real ring?"
"Hey, she's the one making the big bucks." Cuddy smacked him on the arm and he replied, "Okay, okay."
Moments later, Chase said, "You may kiss your bride," and with a quick glance at the ostentatious photo hanging from the balcony, he smiled and said, "Again."
And they did. The pair did not disappoint, recreating the photo looming overhead. Just as the kiss began to intensify, the front doors opened and a woman holding a large tissue to her nose walked in looking bewildered. Foreman jumped up from the front row and guided her towards the clinic's front desk as Cuddy began laughing, resting her forehead on House's shoulder. He too couldn't stifle a chuckle at the intrusion. Somehow, it just seemed appropriate.
Everyone in attendance laughingly applauded, and Cuddy turned to House, "You may not have to conduct a seminar or do extra clinic hours, but you still have your regular clinic hours, Mr. House."
"What about the honeymoon, Mrs. House?"
"That depends on how well your clinic hours go," she smirked.
I had a sweet little scene I wanted to write that would not fit in the first ending and I wanted to play around with the idea a bit. It's not as lighthearted at what I thought a crackfic ending should be, hence the two ending. I far prefer this ending...
Chapter 10: Not So Crack Ending
She slapped his hand away, "Will you stop?"
"It's a vitals check, Mrs. House. It's vital."
"House, you don't need to check my vitals five times a day."
"Just trying to be thorough."
"It's been a couple of weeks, I'm fine. No infection."
"It doesn't hurt to…"
She looked at him shaking her head. Knowing he would do just about anything for her, she decided to take advantage of the situation, "I'm hungry. Would you mind cutting that canteloupe and bringing me a glass of water?"
He frowned, "I'll cut it but you need to eat it in the kitchen."
"I'm too tired to walk all the way out there."
"And I'm too crippled to carry all of that in here."
She smiled, "I want some granola with it too."
"Fine," he said through gritted teeth.
"In a bowl, with the granola on the bottom."
"Don't push it."
Cuddy sat at the kitchen table munching on her bowl of cantaloupe with the granola on the bottom as House choked down a hot dog.
"Mail's here," she said nonchalantly.
House rolled his eyes, "You have two perfectly good legs."
"But I'm still recovering," she said with a mocked smile.
"If you want the mail, go get it yourself. You don't need me to do it. Actually, you don't need me here at all; it's time I go back home before I lose my mind or murder my boss, or both."
She knew he was right, but she really didn't want to see him go. She felt safe knowing he was sleeping just one room over in her guest bedroom. Cuddy watched as he cleared the dishes from the table and placed them in the sink; he didn't do the dishes, Wilson did. Wilson stopped by every evening. In the beginning, he dropped by in genuine concern for her and to assure the curmudgeonly doctor had helped more than hindered her recovery, though there was no need. House had surprisingly been an excellent caretaker. She had never missed a pain pill, he removed her stitches, he made sure she got up and walked around often, he monitored her vitals closely and made sure she ate and rested enough. He catered to her every need and during the first few nights at home, when Cuddy had cried due to the aching pain in her gut that the pain pills couldn't quite touch, he gently, almost lovingly, rubbed her back while she hugged him. Now, she thought Wilson's visits were more to check on House than on herself and to relieve him of his caretaker duty for a couple of hours.
She looked at House, studying him, "Why?"
"Why are you taking such good care of me?"
"It's okay, your secret is safe with me. I won't let anyone else know you're a great nurse," she smiled.
House shrugged his shoulders.
"You've been…good to me. How would someone who won't so much as look at his own patient, take care of me for this long?"
"I caused you to fall."
Cuddy stared at him, shocked by his honesty, "It wasn't your fault."
"Not purposely, no."
"I don't blame you. How much sleep did you get those first few nights? Any?"
Again he shrugged.
"I don't know how you, of all people, learned to be such a good care taker."
House looked at her, brows furrowed, "You can't be serious."
She looked confused, "I don't follow."
"Do you think I just went home alone after the infarction?"
She inhaled slightly, her shoulders dropping slightly and closing her eyes she said, "Wilson." She realized that House had been mimicking what Wilson once did for him.
Not wishing to drag out the conversation or dig any further into that memory, she said, "I'll get the mail." She stood up gingerly, and headed for the garage.
It took her nearly ten minutes to make the trek out to the mailbox and back; it was a trip that would normally take less than a minute but at least this was an improvement, considering she could barely move a week a prior. She thumbed through her mail and upon seeing the Las Vegas postmark, her heart dropped just a bit. Walking in through the garage, she was startled as she nearly bumped into House. He stood on the threshold, presumably watching that she safely made it out to the mailbox and back. She handed the envelope to him, wordlessly.
He briefly caught her eye, and pursing his lips he said, "I'll call a lawyer and get the divorce process started."
"Good morning Dr. Cuddy, nice to have you back," a nurse said from the clinic's front desk. Cuddy walked through the main entrance way and thanked several well wishers; it was nice to return to some semblance of normalcy. It had been a while since she was there acting as dean; after the surgery, she opted to take a leave of absence to recover, taking a little longer than was necessary to incorporate a much needed vacation. She hadn't gone anywhere, instead simply choosing to do a few things around the house, catching a few movies and visiting some of her favorite museums. The break left her refreshed and eager to get back to work.
She entered her office, placed her jacket on the coat rack and took a seat at her desk. She looked around the room and her eyes settled on a picture near the sofa in the corner. She quietly chuckled, and walked over to pick it up. It was the picture of the wedding night kiss.
"Thought you might like a little reminder," Wilson said from the doorway, "Dare I say it? You two look good together. I gave the same one to House too."
Cuddy looked a bit sad, "We're getting a divorce, Wilson. We're just waiting on the final paperwork to come in."
"Is he in yet?"
He gave her an incredulous look, "He's House."
She nodded, "When he gets in, tell him I'd like to see him."
"No one knows."
"No one, except those who were in on the surgery, knows about your marriage."
"Under threat of doctor patient confidentiality, and job loss."
She shook her head, smiling, "Thanks Wilson."
Cuddy walked up to the diagnostics department and finding the conference room empty, she walked into House's office hoping he might have come in early. Not finding him, she walked around, looking at the various books and odds and ends. She sat at his desk, and double checking that she was alone, she pulled open the top desk drawer. She was surprised to find a framed photo of the two of them with the judge on their wedding night and she smiled at the memory before closing the drawer and heading back down to her office.
He blasted through her office doors around midday, and dramatically walked up to her desk, "Ah, and I see Mrs. House and her funbags are back in town."
She rolled her eyes, "House."
"Mr. House, thank you very much. You know, we never did consummate our marriage."
She sighed, "DOCTOR House, we need to talk about your semester lecture course."
"You didn't win that bet."
"Yes I did."
"No, you didn't. You had to take the ring off for surgery."
"Well, if you go by that logic, then you owe me two months of extra clinic duty. You had to take your ring off for the surgery too. So, I'll give you a choice. Either do the lecture series or two months worth of clinic duty."
"And what would you call spending every second with you during your recovery?"
"Penance," she grinned broadly, "Lecture or clinic. Decision by tomorrow or I'll decide for you."
"And the fact that I'm still wearing my ring right now counts for nothing? If it wasn't for me, you wouldn't have a spleen."
"And if it wasn't for you scaring me half to death in the bathroom, I wouldn't have needed…" she stopped, suddenly aware of what she was saying. She had meant it in a playful way, but the words themselves, she realized, were accusatory.
House moved towards the door, "See you tomorrow Cuddy."
He had called her Mrs. House since she was in the hospital and the sudden use of her own last name saddened her. Her face fell apologetically as the two locked gazes and then he turned to leave.
"House," she called out. He turned to look at her once again.
"Thank you for everything," she said sincerely.
The next day, Cuddy sat in her office trudging through a mountain of paperwork. Dreading the conversation, she asked her assistant to page House.
Twenty minutes later, he walked in, though with much less flare than he had the day prior, "Doctor. Patients. Busy."
"We need to talk."
"Lecture. Happy now?" He turned towards the door.
"House, come sit down."
He turned to look at her, scowling. He walked over to her desk, sat down opposite her and waited for Cuddy to say something. He watched as she struggled to find the words and then he noticed it, "You're not wearing your ring."
"The divorce papers came. It's official." She slowly pushed the paperwork towards him.
He nodded, and before taking the packet, he pulled his own ring off, opened the manila envelope, dropped the ring inside and closed the envelope's clasp.
"You're not going to say anything?"
"What's there to say?"
She shrugged, "Nothing I guess." He nodded.
She looked him in the eye, and smiled just a bit, "Thanks for divorcing me."
He exhaled through his nose in a half hearted chuckle, "I don't think ex-wives typically thank their ex-husbands for divorcing them."
"You know what I mean. It was real. It counts."
"What did you do with your ring?" He asked, standing up from his chair.
"It's at home in my jewelry box."
House placed his hands on the desk and leaned over so that his face was nearly touching hers, "Really?"
House placed his hand on her cheek and she briefly closed her eyes as he lightly brushed his lips across hers. He dragged his finger across her cheek and down her neck, and tucking it just inside the top of her blouse, he pulled out a thin silver chain with the etched ring swinging from it.
He smirked, "You are such a sap."
Cuddy leaned back in her chair, raising one eyebrow, and smiled an embarrassed smile. House sat back down. She opened her desk drawer and pulled out the photo she had found in his desk the day before, "And you're calling me a sap?" she asked, holding it up.
House averted his eyes, though Cuddy noted the hint of surprise on his face, "Wilson gave it to me."
"No he didn't. He gave you the same photo he gave me; the one of us kissing."
House said nothing, but grabbed the photo from her hands and stood to leave.
"House." He once again turned to face her.
She paused, forcing the butterflies in her stomach to stop fluttering and said, "I'm going to Shadows for dinner."
"Should I care?"
"The reservation is for two; I hoped you would join me."
"To celebrate getting a divorce?" he asked, sarcastically.
She sighed, "Most first dates don't end in marriage. I thought maybe we could take it a little more slowly this time."
House stood stock still for what seemed like an eternity, and just when Cuddy was about to give up any hope, he walked back towards her desk. They locked eyes and moments later, he nodded and said, "Okay."
A/N: I apologize to those who have faithfully read and enjoyed my stories, provided constructive criticism and given kind reviews. This is in no way directed at you.
glicine: Apparently I typically screw the ending? That's a rather harsh, blanketed statement. So if you feel that way, why bother reading?
I appreciate good, well thought out, and meaningful critiques. I appreciate reviews that simply let me know someone's enjoying my story. I appreciate it when a reader informs me of spelling or grammatical mistakes. I appreciate constructive criticism. What I don't appreciate is someone who criticizes the ending of a story before it's been posted. I find nothing in your words to be in the least bit constructive. Had I not provided an ending suitable for a crackfic, then at that point yes, your comments would have been warranted, but you inappropriately prejudged the ending to this story.
I'm not a professional writer. I write because I enjoy writing; nothing more, nothing less. If my readers enjoy my stories, that's icing on the cake.
If you don't like what I write, don't read it.