Disclaimer – Despite my best efforts, I still don't own House or any of the other characters.

He swallowed hard at Cuddy's statement: "I know this is awkward, but we need to talk."

She wouldn't let him just blow her off. No one would, actually. Wilson had tagged along beside him all day with patronizing statements like "It'd be good for you." and "You have to start dating again sometime." He surprised himself with his own manipulative ability when he convinced Wilson that if he proclaimed he had an undying love for Cuddy that she would immediately fall for him, proving that it wasn't him she was in love with, but the idea of love. The theory was proved to be very wrong when Cuddy underwent a very delicate and humiliating conversation with Wilson explaining that she didn't have feelings for him.

"House?" She asked, positioning herself in the way of his far off stare.

"I don't think I can make you happy," He looked her in the eyes, examining her expression.

"That's assuming a lot and I don't know if that's really t—" He held up a finger in her face, cutting her off. He could see that it annoyed her, but he hadn't crossed the line yet.

"I'm not done." He explained. "I don't think I can make you happy, but I can keep you from being miserable."

Cuddy looked stunned. He noted that she didn't break eye contact as she opened and shut her mouth a couple times without saying anything.

He sucked in a deep breathe. Here it goes. This is what it all came down to. "I want this, but I need to know if you do to."

Cuddy smiled up at him and nodded. "I want this to."

House's mouth dropped. He'd honestly expected her to say no or have some qualifier attached to her answer. "You understand that I'm not going to change, right?" He asked, fighting a smirk that was starting to tug at the corners of his lips. "I'm still going to be an ass and start fights and insist I'm always right..."

"House." Cuddy smiled.

He continued. "...and cut out on clinic duty..."


"...plus there's all the pills..."

"House." She was getting impatient now.

"...and God knows I can't dance..."

"House!" She shut him up by pressing her lips against his. Just then the door swung open. They quickly parted to see who had just walked in on them.

"Dammit, Kutner!" House barked at his nervous and very much startled employee.

"Uh, I just needed these s-s-signed." He chocked out, quickly placing a thick pile of papers onto Cuddy's desk, then blundering back out of the room.

House rolled his eyes and tried to break the tension for Cuddy's sake. "I don't know how many times I've had to tell that boy, 'never walk in on my making out with the boss'!"

Cuddy smirked. "Very funny. I apparently have some paperwork to do..." She stooped down to pick up the cane that he'd abandoned at some point during their kiss and used it to gesture in the direction of her door. "...and you have an employee to talk to."

"Fine." He pouted, snatching the cane back. "But you're meeting me for diner tonight."

Cuddy smiled and House felt a glimmer of pride at the blush he caused on her cheeks. 'I've still got it' he thought to himself as he hunted down Kutner and tried to hide his smile. After all, he still had a reputation to uphold.