Since 'No Children' was a while ago, and you may not have time to skim 16 chapters all over again, here's a brief recap of where we left our intrepid characters:
Cuddy is pregnant, House is the father. Their relationship is currently undefined, other than spending almost every night together. House's mother died, which was a catalyst for throwing these two together. This was started in the summer, so assume that season 5 hasn't happened (even though I'm terribly glad that it has). House finally agreed to join a Pain Management Program run by the hospital which will provide him with medication management and physical therapy among other things.
Amber is sadly still dead, and Wilson is still grieving. He and Cameron have formed a casual snooping alliance. We pick up from the evening where House and Cuddy's baby news is being broken over dinner with her family.
Whereas 'No Children' was based on the lyrics of one particular song, this new WIP will use lyrics from a few different Mountain Goats songs as chapter headings. I hope you enjoy it.
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"Tile floor of the bathroom
Scrubbed clean and bright
Checkerboard white and grey"
Mountain Goats – "Have to Explode"
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There Will Be No Divorce Chapter 1
There Will Be No Divorce Chapter 1
He was hovering over her, his tall frame casting a long shadow from the bathroom door.
"Are you ever getting up off the floor? You weren't done yelling at me."
Cuddy waved him away with a limp arm, unwilling to be parted from the cool stone floor of her bathroom. After another charming bout of morning sickness, coming as it always had in the evening, she was incapable of doing anything more than pressing her flushed face against the cool marble tiles that made up the floor. She made a mental note to give her cleaning lady a better holiday bonus this year. Even with House leaving debris in his wake, the floor was still spotless enough to serve dinner from.
"You know, this may not just be morning sickness with crappy timekeeping. We have to consider hyperemesis gravidarium. You're approaching 16 weeks and…"
"Shut up, House."
"You have to consider the possibility that…
"Shut up! We've had this conversation. I know a whole lot more about this than you, and my OB-GYN agrees with me. It's unusual, but some women do experience morning sickness after the end of the first trimester. I'm keeping myself hydrated and it's really not excessive. Besides, it's not as frequent now; it'll stop altogether soon."
He sighed huffily, shifting the weight on his good leg slightly.
"I thought it went very well." The words were drowned in sarcasm, and she hated
him for enjoying himself while she felt so crappy.
"Oh yeah, House. You told every offensive lawyer joke you could think of and outed my sister. The very definition of a successful dinner party. Not to mention when you implied that my mother's cooking had given me an eating disorder."
He shrugged with a typical naughty glint in his eye. Cuddy really hated that expressions like that were some of her biggest turn-ons, and with the hormone-palooza going on in her body lately, she didn't need much encouragement. Forcing herself to stay angry with him, she pushed all horny thoughts to the back of her mind. Luckily, House's propensity for being a complete ass solved her problem temporarily.
"I'm totally setting your sister up with Thirteen. Not that she needs much persuading these days."
House moved to sit on the edge of the bathtub, absent-mindedly massaging his thigh as he watched her.
"You'll be lucky if Karen ever speaks to you again." Cuddy spoke quietly, her words little more than a series of groans.
"She's 35 years old. When was she going to get around to telling them that she bats for the other team? Besides, they already knew. Their reaction was way too low-key."
Frustrated by his pop psychology approach to her family, Cuddy attempted to raise herself from the floor, the appeal of a comfortable bed too much to resist. The overwhelming combination of nausea and dizziness left her stuck halfway, and she couldn't help but feel a little grateful when she felt House's arms encircling her waist to help her up.
Unsteady on her feet, they made slow progress out into the bedroom, her additional weight doing House's leg no favors. It did feel good to have a strong body to lean on though, not that she'd ever admit such a weakness aloud.
House deposited her roughly on the edge of the bed, joining her with a wince.
"Still, it must feel pretty good to be the golden child again. I bet they're screaming at each other all the way back to Long Island."
It was probably a ham-fisted attempt at comfort, Cuddy mused. She felt a lot better for being back in comfortable surroundings. The bombsite masquerading as her kitchen could wait until morning. All she felt capable of was getting out of the too-tight dress she had thought would impress her parents. Unfortunately, she spent most of the night hoping her rapidly expanding bust wouldn't pop a seam. Why hadn't she considered little facts like that before getting knocked up? Thirty years of daily exercise being undone in nine months.
She felt obliged to defend her loved ones, after all she was the only one permitted to complain about their… idiosyncrasies.
"We're a reserved family, we don't have big fights."
The snort of disbelief from House caused her eyes to narrow defensively.
"Oh please, when you let them in, I thought we were hosting a Jonas Brothers concert in the hallway! You people make noise like we're in some Turkish village where they have to shout across the valley to each other."
It earned him one of her more vicious glares, and he at least had the decency to look a little intimidated.
"Need I remind you that I'm perfectly capable of killing you and making it look like an accident? Help me out of this dress, would you?"
Predictably, his eyes lit up at the suggestion. If she'd known the only effective incentive for him was to get her naked as often as possible, she'd have taken to doing stripteases in the clinic years ago.
His occasional gentleness still took her by surprise, as he ghosted the small zipper down and eased the straps lightly over her shoulders. Out of habit, she leaned back against his chest and allowed him to hold her.
"You're not helping with the disrobing there, Cuddy."
It was hard to get used to, House doing what he was told. After a few quiet moment, she allowed him to continue his important quest, slipping naked beneath the sheets when he was done.
Closing her eyes, she waited for him to join her in the bed and was confused when she didn't feel the usual dip in the mattress beside her. She looked up to see him heading for he bedroom door, and called out to stop him.
"Aren't you coming to bed?"
He didn't turn to face her, simply shrugged as he turned off the light.
"I'm not tired. See you in the morning."
"You could come keep me warm for a while." It was an effort to sound suggestive, but she tried her best.
"I need to get some stuff from my place. Maybe play some X-Box. See you at work."
Cuddy was already drifting off as he closed the bedroom door. It was only fair he retreat to his own comfort zone after an evening spent in the least House-like way imaginable. The fact that he was limping a little worse than usual flickered briefly through her thoughts, but it dissolved in the face of exhaustion. She remembered nothing else until the sound of the alarm roused her six hours later.