Jippy! Back at home. Damn hospital. And it's just about 6 weeks limping. Maybe I should find myself a stylish cane. ;-)
So here comes the finale!
This time House was lucky. A wheelchair waited for him already when they arrived.
"Get my luggage, Wilson. I see tomorrow!", he told his buddy and signaled his "driver" to wheel him away quickly. He got the passport control done and sat in a taxi to Princeton 20 minutes after the plane had landed.
Only when he arrived at Cuddy's house he realized his next problem. He had no cane. House looked at Cuddy's home and measured the distance between the car and her door. House sighed and swallowed a Vicodin.
"You're in or out, man?", the taxi driver asked him eventually.
House handed him some bank notes and opened the door.
"Hey, what the hell is this shit?", the driver held him back and returned the notes.
"Sorry!", House mumbled and exchanged the British Pounds with Dollar bills.
Finally he got out of the car and limped over to Cuddy's door.
He had no idea what time it was. It was not too late but with all the time shifting and the long flight he was totally confused. House knocked and waited but Cuddy didn't show up. He knocked again but the house stayed dark.
House got his cell but couldn't reach Lisa since her phone was shut off. He sighed and thought about giving up and going home. But he decided otherwise and sat down on the steps leading up to her porch.
Without knowing it the diagnostician made the right decision because 2 minutes later the door opened and Cuddy stepped out. She had observed him from the moment the taxi had stopped in front of her house.
"That's really sweet.", she mumbled making him startle.
"What is?", he asked and looked up at her.
"It's the first time a man travels half around the globe only to end up on my porch."
She sat down next to him.
"Why did you leave without me?", he wanted to know.
"I thought you didn't want to get up that early. "
"I wanted to be with you.", House admitted now. "So why did you leave me behind?"
She smiled at him. "I just wanted to make sure you mean it this time. How did you feel when you woke up this morning?"
"I don't remember. That was probably 28 hours ago.", he said.
"Greg! Say it!"
"I felt confused and lonely.", House told her in his fake whining voice but she knew he was serious about it.
Cuddy nodded. "Well, don't forget that feeling."
"Come on. You'll catch the flu sitting here on the cold floor.", she said and helped him up.
"Where is your cane?", she wondered.
"I hope it's save with Wilson. I didn't have time to wait for my luggage."
Eventually she grabbed his head carefully with both hands and pulled him close for a deep kiss.
"I missed you.", she whispered and stroke his cheek. He had his stubble back and she liked it.
Greg smiled at her but held her back when she was about to go back inside with him.
"You owe me 2500 pounds!", he told her and brought out the hotel bill.
"You still owe me the 100 million you cost us."
House raised an eyebrow.
"Ok. Forget about it. Do you have a ruler?"
Lisa looked astonished.
"My arm has been itching for hours."
"Oh I can make you better. Trust me, Greg.", she took his hand and he followed her inside.
Four weeks later House and Wilson had lunch in the cafeteria together. While Wilson's finger had been fine for 3 weeks House got stuck with his injury a little bit longer. Two days after they had returned from London he had forced Chase to remove the stupid cast and exchange it with a simple splint. Cuddy didn't like that idea and had told him to be careful. He had promised it and had indicated that it would be much safer if he wouldn't show up in the clinic for a while. Of course Lisa had denied.
So the fracture had not a chance to heal in a proper way since one of the moron patients who had been waiting in the exam room very long stormed out of it and right into House.
The wrist had been messed up completely and Cuddy had plastered it herself this time warning him to make sure he would only treat sick homeless people for a decade if he only thought about removing the cast this time.
So House had been fighting with the itching and the other inconveniences this stupid arm had brought him in the last weeks. Only three days earlier Wilson had finally relieved him and the arm was as good as new.
Suddenly the cafeteria chick showed up at their table.
"Got your bill for this month, Dr. House.", she said and handed him an envelope.
House rolled his eyes and ripped it open.
He glanced at the sum and then at Wilson.
"You eat too much!", he complained. Wilson laughed.
"Get used to it. I had to deal with this for 10 years."
"No, this is way too expensive. I told you no desserts!"
Wilson grinned. "Actually I wonder you really pay for my meals. Cuddy is so in love with you. Even if I told her now that you hit me in London it wouldn't change anything for you. Still you do it. You are turning into a softie, House!"
"Lets go outside for a moment and I'll introduce you to my not so soft cane!", House snapped. "I'm a man with principles. We have a deal so I pay. That's it. Anyway, this is too expensive."
"If you didn't spend half your lunch breaks with Cuddy nowadays you could control me better."
House raised his eyebrow.
"Are you jealous? Did you just blame me for spending too much time with Lisa?"
"No…. Well, maybe a little.", Wilson stuttered.
"So either I have lunch with you more often or you spend all my money here in this cafeteria?", House asked him.
Wilson thought about this for a moment.
"Nice idea but no. I'm not you."
"Right, you are worse than me."
House looked around for a moment.
"Alright, we can have lunch more often."
"And Cuddy?", Wilson asked him.
House shrugged. "She always kicks me out of her office at half past 12. She's really busy. So I can have lunch twice. She won't even know about it."
Wilson grinned. "Yes, she will."
"So what?", House snapped. "I show up one hour earlier in the morning thanks to her. I'm entitled to that spare time."
Wilson got up. "See you tomorrow noon."
House looked after him until the oncologist had left. Then he glanced back at the bill. No way he would pay that much for the entire year without resistance. He went back to the clinic in a really good mood.
Whistling he limped over to the counter in the clinic to meet his "favorite" nurse. Nurse Brenda Roberts.
"Good afternoon, sweetheart!", he greeted her making her look very confused.
"Ahm, good afternoon, Dr. House. Are you alright?"
"Terrific! Thank you. Listen, I need a favor. There is this colleague of mine who obviously forces his subordinates to cover his clinic duty for him."
"Yes, I know.", Brenda interrupted him. "His name is Dr. House and it's about time you do something about it."
"I don't force my employees. I just don't show up at all. Dr. Wilson on the other hand hasn't shown up here in years."
"I know.", the nurse objected.
"We have to stop this. So I ask you to inform Cuddy the next time Wilson is supposed to do clinic duty but sends one of his cancer docs again."
"Depends.", she told him.
"On what?", House wondered.
"If you match his offer."
House was astonished.
"He bribes you?"
She shrugged. "Sure. I really wonder you didn't come up with that idea."
"Ok, if you don't want to help me.", he turned around and was about to walk away but faced her again. "You do realize that I changed my signature half a year ago? It's strange that my signature on clinic documents doesn't match mine at all half the time. I wonder what Cuddy would say if she finds out about this."
"You are an ass, House!", she told him.
"And?", he smirked.
"And I'm happy to help you.", she sighed.
Satisfied House nodded and smiled.
"Thank you very much!"
Instead of taking care for patients he vanished into an empty exam room and brought out his little TV. Unfortunately Lisa didn't wait for a commercial when she burst into the room.
"House!", she yelled and he knew it was trouble time when she called him by his last name. "You haven't treated a single patient today."
"I can't. I have a broken arm."
"Your arm is perfectly alright. Plus you don't touch half your patients anyway! Do your job now!"
"Right. Got to go back to my other excuse. I have a bum leg!"
"DO YOUR JOB!", Cuddy said in an urgent try to keep her temper.
House smiled at her.
"This turns me on. You as the annoyed boss."
"Greg, I'm serious!", but she had lost. He had already grabbed her waist with his arms and pulled her close.
"Stop this!", she made a last try but gave up. His charm had won her over once more.
So instead of forcing him to work she enjoyed a nice kiss. Finally she let go of him and stepped back.
"Now go back to work or you'll find yourself on my couch tonight!", she told him.
House sighed. "Don't bring our relationship into this, Lisa! How am I supposed to win this if you make threats like this?"
She chuckled. "You started it by grabbing my ass."
Then she left and got back to her office. A minute later she was satisfied when she saw Greg picking up a file and vanishing in an exam room with his first patient.
Later that day House sat in his office. His legs on the table a red sucker in his mouth he pondered about the past weeks.
When they had started their bet over a month ago he really couldn't know where this would get him. So what did he get out of it?
Well, a broken arm of course but now it was fine. He was a permanent member on that transplant committee thing but he certainly could find a way out of that one.
His hungry friend cost him way too much money. He would probably have to get a part-time job sooner or later but so far he was ok with it.
He had found himself a new roomie since Wilson refused to move out. Just two days before House had removed all of Wilson's possessions from the apartment. Wilson had come home and realized the lack of his belongings but had not shown any reaction at all.
The oncologist just started to use House's stuff. He only bought himself some underwear and a toothbrush.
"What do I have to do to get you out of here?", House had asked him the day before.
Wilson shrugged. "I don't know."
"Seriously buddy. I have a relationship going on. I'd love to bring Lisa over here for a change. I didn't move in with you and your wife."
Wilson had mustered him for a moment.
"You really love her, don't you?"
House had smirked.
"She makes me very happy.", he had told his friend.
Wilson had nodded.
"I found a place. I'll move out this weekend. I know I stayed too long. Sorry."
House had shaken his head.
"Don't worry. I enjoyed you doing my chores. Next time you get divorced I'll be happy to give you asylum again."
House sat in his office and thought about this chat. He was glad to have his place back for himself pretty soon on the one hand. But he couldn't deny it, he would miss his buddy. He still wondered how easy it was for him now to admit his feelings for Lisa. He loved her and there was nothing to be ashamed about this. So why shouldn't he admit it?
A month ago this would have been impossible for him.
Lisa was so good for him. And she was the perfect woman for him. Because she had known him for such a long time. She knew she had to share him with medicine. She knew he wouldn't show up for a day or two when he was working on a case. She gave him his spare time when he needed it. It had been a big step for him to make room for her in his life to let her participate in his life but he enjoyed being with her. Every now and then he just needed time for himself. Then he would go on a ride with his bike or would spend an afternoon watching TV.
House was very grateful for this time she gave him. He also loved her for her never ending tries of making him do his clinic hours. He loved her because she was not afraid of standing up against him. She was smart enough to play games with him and trick him. Not many people could say this of themselves.
House loved her because he missed Lisa after a day without her. He loved her because she could reach him and cause these feelings inside him.
Suddenly he got interrupted by Foreman.
"We have a new case, House!", the neurologist told him and handed him a file.
House sighed and got his cell phone. He called Lisa and told her that he would probably be late this evening since he had a patient.
When he hung up he paused for a moment and looked at the phone in his hand. Even that made him happy. He could inform someone that he would be late because there was a person who waited for him and who took care about his whereabouts. And that felt terrific.
House joined his team in the conference room and noted the symptoms on his white board.
"So people, what do we have? Any ideas?", he asked them.
An hour later his team was busy running tests and House spent the time in his office playing with his cane. A knock on his door interrupted his thought process.
"Dr. House, I have your dinner.", a young guy informed him and placed a large brown bag on his desk.
House smiled and got his wallet.
"She forgot to pay again, didn't she?", he asked the delivery guy.
He nodded. "I fear so, yes."
House paid the guy and inspected the bag. Lisa was just too sweet. First time he had told her he would show up late he was surprised when she had ordered dinner for him. Now it was sort of a routine. Unfortunately she didn't just take care of his bones but his entire body. So she didn't exactly match his diet and made him eat healthy stuff.
It had taken him some time to find out where she ordered but nowadays the guys from the restaurant knew that an order for healthy stuff by Dr. Cuddy for the diagnostic apartment in the PPTH had to be changed into an unhealthy but tasty order for Dr. House immediately.
So he opened the bag and found his favorite pizza and some French fries.
He also found the salad he always ordered to calm down his guilt ridden bad conscience. That was also a new feeling he had not experienced in a very long time.
Somehow Wilson and House had changed the rules of their food game. Not only had House to pay now Wilson also managed to show up every time House had food. Actually a talent House had shown and perfected in the past.
Now the oncologist sat down and took some fries.
"Cuddy ordered you your special meal again?", he grinned.
House shrugged. "What do you expect me to do? Eat that healthy shit?"
Now he leaned back in his chair again and enjoyed his dinner. House couldn't be happier that moment. He had a complicated medical case to solve and shared some dinner with his best friend before he would return to Lisa later that night. What else could he ask for?
Lisa had similar thoughts back at her place. She was so glad about the decision she made a month ago. Of course Greg drove her nuts every now and then but sometimes she couldn't believe how sweet he could be. She knew he was not the type of man who brought her flowers to show his affection. But he had his own ways to show his feelings. Only two days ago he had offered her a ride on his bike and she had nearly freaked out. No way had been her only thought but when she had seen his disappointed look she agreed and he cheered up immediately. And just two weeks ago he had sat down at his piano and had played for her. Even with his broken arm he could play wonderfully.
"Will you write me a song one day?", she had asked him.
"For our 10th anniversary maybe."
Actually it only took him one week to fulfill her wish and she was speechless.
"You get the lyrics for our 10th anniversary!", he told her after he had played it for her and she believed him.
Cuddy sat on her couch and drank some tea. She had just decided to put Wilson on her personal "I watch Greg to make sure he does his clinic duty"-list as well since he obviously was even more productive than Greg to find a way out of it. Maybe Greg was right. Wilson was a really bad boy, too. She ordered Greg his dinner again this night since he would be late. It had taken her some time to find out about his change of orders but when Steve from the restaurant had told her that Greg even ordered salad she forgave him and let him go away with it. She loved the fact that he still thought he could fool her.
They both couldn't deny it. They were made for each other. A relationship that was challenging, full of surprises, sometimes anger and lots of fun. And Lisa and Greg both knew it; that's exactly the way they wanted it to be.
And that's the end of it. Thank you very much for sticking with my story for one and a half months. And thank you very much for all your great reviews.:-)