Disclaimer: I do not own House MD or any of the characters, but I sure as hell wouldn't mind owning Hugh Laurie!
A/N: It has officially come to an end. This is the last A/N you'll be reading for foetus (I hope that makes you as sad as it does me).
It's been a great ride and you have all been great with all your reading and reviewing. Believe me, I'm going to miss it (and you).
Once again, I owe a HUGE thank you to everyone who has stuck by this from start to finish, to all those of you who have reviewed constantly, and to all those who have kept PM-ing me, both here and on fanpop about the story. I hope it didn't disappoint and I sincerely hope you liked it as much as I loved writing it.
So, finally, THANK YOU ALL … and here's the epilogue.
(Oh, BTW, the part in italics is a memory. Just thought I'd mention that)
Six months later, on the 28th December, Cuddy sat in the room she now shared with House, her hair half up and her shoes scattered on the floor.
In less than an hour, she was expected at the Hospital Christmas party which, this year, would be special not only because it was the first she'd be attending with her son, but also because it was the first Dr. Gregory House would ever attend.
Christmas had been three days previously and, to make up for not having known her son was going to be a father, Blythe House had been invited to spend the holidays with them. At that moment, Blythe was in her room, much like Cuddy, getting ready for the party she was about to attend with her son, Cuddy and her grandson.
"Life lesson for ya, Ben" House said to the 6 month old boy on his knee as they both sat waiting for the women "women take FOR EVER" he shouted towards the door "to get ready for everything"
Laughing at his father's face, Ben clapped his hands and attempted to reach up to his father's stubble.
"Ok, we've established that pulling my hair and/or beard is not acceptable" said House turning the boy around on his knee so that he too was now facing the keyboard in front of them.
House had moved into Cuddy's home a few weeks after Ben's birth but hadn't been bothered to sort out his own things yet, keeping his apartment just as it had been six months previously. As such, he hadn't yet retrieved his grand piano and, therefore, had to get by with the small keyboard he had once insisted to buy Ben.
"That's skill" he laughed as the baby boy began to slam his hands down on the keys, giggling at the terrible sounds it made "Mozart would be jealous"
Taking his son's tiny hands, House began moving them on the keys, pressing each of the baby's fingers down at the right key as the sound of 'Greensleeves' began to fill the room
"Don't you think he's a little too young for that?" Blythe asked her son as she entered the room fixing her necklace as she walked.
Looking up at his mother with a smile, House shook his head "if it was good enough for Mozart, it's good enough for him. Right, Ben?" he asked his son who, recognizing his name, looked up and giggled
Smiling, Blythe stretched out her arms out and Ben mimicked her allowing himself to be taken from his father "your daddy is spoiling you already, isn't he?" she asked the little boy while tickling his tummy making him giggle even more.
"Gah!" he cried as he waved his arms around before his grandmother's face
"Sorry I took so long" said Cuddy as she entered the room, her jacket already on "ready?"
As always, House could do nothing but let his eyes roam her body. It still amazed him how quickly she'd regained her figure, keeping only a few extra curves which, if anything, made her even more attractive to him. Right then, he couldn't help but stare. She was wearing a long, deep blue dress which exposed just enough of her cleavage to make him look and hugged her curves just enough to make every other man jealous. And she looked so stunning that he didn't even notice the way she was looking at him.
Enjoying the sight of House in a tux, something she rarely got to witness, Cuddy felt herself begin to smile as Ben's attentions turned to her.
"You want to go to mommy?" Blythe asked Ben as he stretched his arms out towards his mother "Ok, sweetie, there you go" she said handing him to Cuddy "you look beautiful, Lisa. Doesn't she Greg?" Blythe asked her son having noticed his entranced stare
Nodding, House stood and picked up his coat "let's go?" he asked uncomfortably as his mother continued to look at him with that knowing smile
"Dah …" Ben whispered looking at House and stretching his arms out to him
"Want to go to daddy?" Cuddy asked the little boy with a smile
To this, Ben's reply was nothing but a louder "Dah …"
"Give him here" sighed House taking the boy and holding him in his free arm, his coat resting on his other one.
"Are you going to put that coat on?" Blythe asked him
"No, I'll be fine to the car" House replied rolling his eyes
"It's cold outside, Greg" Blythe insisted smiling at her son's annoyed look
"Mom!" House whined in his usual tone as Cuddy laughed at him
"You should really listen to your mother, Greg" she smiled
Glaring at her, House chose to ignore the two women in the room and, Ben still in his arms, proceeded to head towards the garage and to Cuddy's car.
"You sure you're ok to drive?" Cuddy asked House who had insisted upon driving after strapping Ben into his baby chair.
"I'm fine, woman" he replied turning the car on as Cuddy glanced at his thigh "it's just a few blocks!"
"Just making sure" said Cuddy in a low voice looking back at Blythe who merely winked.
"Ready for the party?" the older woman asked Ben in her cutest baby voice, leaning towards him as he giggled
"Must you talk in that tone?" House asked with a small smile "I can hear his brain turning to mush already"
"I always spoke to you in this tone" Blythe replied meeting her son's eyes in the rear-view mirror.
"That explains so much" he retorted looking sideways at Cuddy who laughed
"Fine" Blythe said turning to Ben "So, Benjamin, what do you think of the current state of world affairs?" she asked him in her most adult voice
Looking with an adorably confused expression at his grandmother, Ben tilted his head sideways trying to understand what was being asked of him.
"That obviously worked much better, didn't it, Greg?" his mother asked with a smile at Lisa who was still laughing quietly at the exchange between mother and son.
"There you are!" came Wilson's voice as he saw Cuddy's Lexus pull up by the front door.
"Hi, James, sorry we're late" smiled Cuddy moving around the car to get Ben.
"Mrs. House" James nodded in greeting upon spotting Blythe
"James" she did the same with a smile at the polite, handsome doctor.
"Stop flirting, you two!" House called from inside the car as he started the engine up again
"Leaving so soon?" Wilson asked glancing at Cuddy, wondering if, even after everything, she was still incapable of persuading House to attend one of these.
"He's just parking the car, aren't you, Greg?" Cuddy asked teasingly as House glared at her, obviously everything but excited at having to attend the party.
"How's my little nephew?" Wilson asked a giggling Ben as the little boy sat in his mother's arms.
"He'll be freezing his little butt off if we don't get him inside soon" replied Cuddy with a smile as a gust of wind blew by them and Ben whimpered, hiding his face against her arm.
Smiling, Wilson led the way back into the hospital as Cuddy and Blythe followed.
"Dr. Cuddy!" Cameron called as she spotted her boss by the entrance and moved towards her
"Cameron" Cuddy nodded with a smile, shifting Ben to her other side
"Oh!" Cameron smiled "and Ben!" she turned to the baby "Hi, Ben!" she spoke softly poking the child lightly in the stomach making him smile.
"You should greet the guests" said Wilson as he looked to wards the donors standing by the large Christmas tree in the centre of the room.
"I should, huh?" she asked looking over her shoulder at them "Will you take him?" Cuddy asked Blythe her referring to Ben.
"Of course!" Blythe smiled taking Ben into her arms as Cuddy straightened out her dress
"Mommy will be back, ok Ben?" Cuddy addressed the little boy who was now looking at her with a confused expression, wondering why he'd been passed onto someone else in these new, unfamiliar surroundings.
Watching his mother walk away towards people he did not know, Ben began to whimper turning towards his grandmother as the band began to play a new song
"It's ok, sweetie" Blythe smiled down at him "mommy will be back, and your dad should be here soon"
"I'll give him another five minutes, if he's not here by then, I'm sending out a search party" smiled Wilson as the baby recognised his voice and turned towards him
"Miss me that much, already, Jimmy?" House joked as he approached them, his jacket unbuttoned and his bowtie slightly crooked.
"Dah!" Ben cried as he saw his father, a smile growing on his lips as he stretched his arms out to House
"He obviously did" smiled Cameron as House took his son from Blythe.
While she'd seen House with his son before, she still found it an odd sight to behold. She'd known House in some of his worst moments, she'd seen how epically jerky he could be and been, at times, the target of his insults. It was hard to believe that the man standing before her, smiling with that cute baby boy in his arms was the same man she'd known back then.
"I still don't believe it" Foreman said to Chase as he looked to where House, Wilson, Blythe and Cameron were standing
"Come on, Foreman" Chase sighed not wanting to get into this again "you've seen the kid, if he's not House's then House must have a twin out there whose doing Cuddy …"
Shaking his head, Foreman continued to stare in that direction. Much like Cameron, he couldn't seem to wrap his head around the fact that House had had a kid. That the man he'd so desperately fought not to become had had the family he, Foreman, could only dream of.
"Dr. Cuddy" Cuddy heard an annoyingly familiar voice call from behind her. Closing her eyes briefly and turning on the spot, she put on her best smile
"Mr. Poole" she greeted him with a handshake, resisting the urge to roll her eyes as the donor lifted her hands to his lips
"Garret" he smiled releasing her hand which she promptly wiped on the back of her dress.
"Garret" she repeated with a fake smile looking around her for any other donor to speak to
"Would you care to dance?" he asked her with his best grin
Looking around her desperately, Cuddy managed to catch Wilson's eye and, thankfully, the oncologist got the hint as he quickly made his way towards her
"Oh" Cuddy feigned disappointment "I'd love to, but unfortunately …"
"Dr. Cuddy, how nice to see you, I hope I'm not interrupting" Wilson cut in with his typically polite smile
"Not at all" Cuddy replied with a low sigh of relief
Smiling at Garret, Wilson continued "Well, if you're not busy, I'd like to introduce you to someone"
"Oh, uh, sure. Excuse us, Mr. Poole" said Cuddy promptly moving next to Wilson
Smiling but obviously not happy, Garret nodded "I'll catch you later, then"
With one last fake smile, Cuddy began walking with Wilson, both of them attempting to hide their laughter.
"All done with your duties, dear?" Blythe asked Cuddy when she saw her and Wilson approach
Nodding, Cuddy looked at House with a smile "for now"
"No" House shook his head "I said I drew the line at …"
Clapping his best friend on the back, Wilson grinned to Cuddy "unless you want one of those rich, young and handsome investors over there swooping in, you will …" he said
Glaring at Cuddy, House leaned towards his son and whispered something in his ear making the baby giggle
"Stop turning our son against me and come on" she sighed motioning towards the dance floor.
Obviously everything but happy, House handed his son to Wilson and followed after Cuddy shaking his head and obviously muttering under his breath.
"If I didn't know better, I would honestly say he was here against his will" said Wilson with a laugh as Cuddy turned to glare at House
Smiling, Blythe shook her head "nah, I haven't seen him that happy in a long while. He's just playing his part …"
"One dance, that's all I ask of you!" Cuddy whispered as she and House stood in the middle of the dance floor.
Shaking his head, House glared playfully right back at her
"You know I have to dance at least one dance" she whispered as the band started their song
"Fine" he conceded "but I'm having Wilson cut in halfway through"
"Great" she sighed as he slowly placed his hands around her waist and pulled her closer
For a few moments, they just swayed on the spot, then she felt House's hands tighten on her waist as one threatened to drop lower
"You know" he grinned next to her ear "maybe this isn't that bad"
"Don't you dare!" she whispered urgently as his hand continued its descent.
Looking at her innocently, House shrugged his shoulders "what?"
"You know what" she whispered back
"I didn't hear you complain before …"
Inching her knee closer to his groin, Cuddy smiled sweetly "before I wasn't surrounded by over 20 important hospital donors"
"You wouldn't …" House said looking down at where her leg was positioned
"Wouldn't I?" she asked in response with an evil grin spreading on her face
Shaking his head confidently, House smiled "you'd miss it more than I would"
Frowning in a mock glare, Cuddy whispered back "you're right, I can't damage the one part of you that does as I command"
"Ohh" House whispered in mock offence "Ice" he smiled slowly dipping his hand onto the curve of her ass, loving the glare in her eyes as, at their close proximity, she fought the urge to kiss him.
"Look at them" Blythe laughed
Looking in the direction she had motioned towards the dancing couple "they're never going to stop trying to come out on top, are they?" he asked Blythe as, spotting his parents, Ben clapped his hands and giggled
"The day they do is the day Greg moves out" she smiled, knowing that the little battle for dominance going on on the dance floor was the couple's way of showing how much they loved each other.
"What happened to having Wilson cut in?" Cuddy asked with a triumphant grin as the song began to come to an end.
Looking down between them at Cuddy's cleavage, House grinned "I figured staying here had more benefits than swapping with him"
"Hm" Cuddy was surprised "I'll take that as a compliment, Dr. House" she said with a smile as he leaned towards her ear
"May I?" House then heard Wilson ask as he approached them with Ben in his arms
"Huh?" the diagnostician questioned before realising what Wilson was asking "have at her" he replied with a sly grin at Cuddy
"Lovely" sighed Wilson as he handed Ben to his father and began dancing with Cuddy.
After about a minute of dancing, Wilson looked up to see Cuddy's eyes fixed somewhere behind him
"Oh, no" she whispered
"Oh, crap" said Wilson turning them on the spot and looking at the man in question as he made his way down onto the dance floor and towards them.
"Dr. Wilson" he greeted with a smile "Nice to see you again, mind if I cut in?"
Shaking his head, Wilson let Cuddy go with an uneasy feeling, he knew Cuddy had a job to do, she had to humour the donors if she wanted them to keep investing, but he wasn't too happy about Poole being that close to her.
"Well, well, Dr. Cuddy, alone at last" he whispered to her as he began turning them on the spot.
"Where's Cuddy?" House asked Wilson as he returned from the dance floor alone
"Poole cut in"
"Poole?" Cameron asked knowing the man had been after Cuddy for years
"As in Garret Poole?" House asked, he too having heard stories of the man's attempts at having Cuddy
Nodding, Wilson looked over to them uneasily, watching as House's stare fixed on the man now whispering in Cuddy's ear.
"Here" House said handing Ben to Wilson
"Where are you going?" Blythe asked House worried about what he would do, not liking the look in his eyes
Without answering, House began his limp down onto the dance floor and towards Cuddy.
"May I?" he asked with polite sarcasm as he tapped Poole on the shoulder
"You've had your turn" Poole replied with a disgusted look at House
"Excuse me?" Cuddy asked suddenly angry "his turn?"
"Oh, that's not what I meant at all, Dr. Cuddy" Poole quickly amended turning towards her "I merely meant to say that …"
"I think you should go" she said taking a small step towards House
"Lisa" he grinned at her attempting to play the situation down "I'm sorry, come on …"
"It's Dr. Cuddy to you" House interrupted stepping next to Cuddy "and she said you should go"
"And who are you? Her big brother?" Poole asked House with another condescending look, this time focusing on his cane
Taking House's hand in a rare public display of affection, Cuddy replied "he's my fiancé and, as I said, you should go"
Suddenly unsure of what to do, Poole merely backed away and left, in House's opinion, looking a lot like a scared dog, his tail between his legs.
"Thanks" Cuddy smiled to House, preparing to walk back to where Wilson was standing with Ben when House's hand stopped her "what?" she asked turning back to him
"What you just … was that …" be began asking
"Oh, uh …" she replied looking down at her feet and taking a step closer to him "… I uh. Yes" she said looking up into his eyes.
The look she found there was like nothing she'd ever seen before, at least not on House. Leaning down towards her, House placed a small peck on her lips, using all his strength to pull back and not deepen the kiss.
"Can we go home, now?" he whispered to her with a grin on his face.
With a short laugh, Cuddy replied "uh, well, I kinda have to stay for the presentation, but you can …"
Groaning, House looked around, knowing that Cuddy would have to stay there the new donor's speech "I'll stay" he sighed, his eyes falling back onto hers.
Smiling, Cuddy tugged his hand and they both made their way back to Blythe, Wilson and Ben.
"Do you want to tell them?" Cuddy asked House before they reached them, her hand squeezing his lightly
Looking up at his mother, son and best friend, House shook his head "not yet" he smiled.
Nodding, Cuddy agreed, she liked keeping at least something from everyone else, she liked the idea of her and House having their own little secret for once.
Three hours later, the party had finally ended and everyone had made their way home.
As they drove back, the car was silent. Holding a sleeping Ben in her arms, Blythe was quiet so as not to wake him and, in the front seats, House and Cuddy were both lost in the same thought.
……It had been the 25th December. All the gifts had already been opened and Cuddy had just made her way up to her bedroom to shower and get ready for the day.
Upon entering, however, she froze. There, on the bed, was a small box wrapped in red and gold paper.
"Greg?" she called down the stairs, wondering what he was up to now
"Yes?" he whispered from behind her making her jump.
Turning around, she looked up at him "when did you get up here?!"
"About three seconds after you?" he asked with a frown as if she was being completely and intentionally thick
"Shh" he shook his head and placed a hand to her lips "open it" he commanded nodding to the little box
Looking uncertain, Cuddy walked towards it and, slowly, picked it up.
Leaning on the doorframe, House smiled as she began removing the wrapping, his smile growing as realisation hit her and she gasped.
"I …" she began, but as she opened the box, she lost all ability to speak
Nodding, House took a few steps towards her and spoke "you don't have to reply now. Actually, I don't want you to reply now. I just wanted to put it out there, I … just think it over …"
Nodding, tears in her eyes, Cuddy looked up at him "I will" she replied, placing the box back in his hands with a smile. She knew she didn't need to think anything through. Her answer would be a resounding yes, no matter when or how he had asked. But she knew that, even after all this time, he still feared rejection, and so she agreed to wait and think about it, because, for House, a thought about decision carried more meaning than a spontaneous one. Having tucked Ben in and wished Blythe a good night, House and Cuddy climbed the stairs up to what had once been Cuddy's room and was now theirs.
As Cuddy began removing her jewellery and putting her shoes away, House stood by the doorway, taking only a moment to reach into the top drawer of the dresser by the door and retrieve the small velvet box.
Noticing he wasn't moving, Cuddy paused to look up at him.
"What?" she asked as a smile grew on his face.
Holding up the box, House leaned on the doorframe and smirked
"Oh" she smiled
"I'm guessing you want your gift, now" he said opening the book and turning it towards himself so she couldn't see it.
Smiling, Cuddy put down the necklace she'd just removed and began to walk towards him "that I do"
Taking the small engagement ring from its box, House held it out in front of him, smiling as Cuddy's eyes focused on it.
"It is beautiful, Greg" she whispered taking it from his and examining it on the palm of her hand.
"You should be telling my mom that" he said "if it weren't for her, you'd be getting that plastic pink band that came in the cereal box …" he smirked
"Your mom picked it?" Cuddy asked surprised
Taking the ring from her and holding her hand in front of him, House slid it onto her finger and shook his head "No, it was hers"
Looking down at her hand, Cuddy's smile grew "I love it!" she said caressing the small diamond with her right hand before looking up at him "and I love you"
"Good, because if you didn't, then this would just be awkward" he replied before leaning down and kissing her passionately, pulling her towards him, his hands on her back, hers swiftly wrapping around his neck.
Later that night, as they each lay in the dark, Cuddy rolled over towards him, resting her head onto his shoulder.
"Hey" he whispered taking in the soft scent of her shampoo, this time knowing it wouldn't cause him to crash and nearly die
"Hey" she replied back kissing his chest softly "about my 'gift'" she began looking up at him, barely registering the outline of his face in the dark "do I have to change my name?"
Smiling, House shook his head "not if you don't want to …"
Thinking it over for a few seconds, Cuddy nodded into his chest "I don't know … Mrs. Lisa House does have a nice ring to it"
Feeling House smile above her, Cuddy reached up and kissed him softly on the lips.
"That it does" he replied as he let his hand run up and down her back
And once again, he felt happy. Happy to be there, happy to have Ben, happy to have Cuddy. Just happy to have taken a chance.
And here it is, ladies and gentlemen (are there any of those out there?!) the official ending of 'Foetus'. It's been a great ride, and, if it makes you any happier, I haven't completely excluded the idea of a sequel, but if I do write one, it won't be right away.
Once again, thank you all VERY much for all your support and for all the time you have taken to read this story, and as always, please do leave a review (particularly since this is your last chance to do so) :P
Thank you for reading!
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