So, I wanted to write something about House and Rachel but teeny tiny babies can't have conversations, so, Rachel is five in this story.

Soft Spot

House paced towards his office feeling slightly better than the previous day. After an entire month of restless and painful nights, he had finally managed to sleep two straight hours… it wasn't a lot, but at least his head was not hurting and his eyes were not about to shut every minute.

Like always, someone had to ruin his semi peaceful disposition.

As he pushed the glass door open, he realised a tiny, almost pocket-sized person had stolen his favourite ergonomic chair. And it wasn't the first time.

'Don't you have anything better to do, kid?' He spat out harshly.

The child in question, a five-year-old dressed impeccably in a white dress, her hair neatly combed by her mother's meticulous hands simply smiled as she sucked on her strawberry lollipop.

'My name is Rachel,' she retorted, frowning.

'Sorry, my bad,' House sat on his couch, stretching his leg out. 'Go bother your Uncle Jimmy, kid.'

The girl narrowed her eyes in anger. She hated Doctor House calling her 'kid' with a passion. She considered five a very respectable age which forced people around you to call you by your actual name. Uncle James called her Rachel, and so did everyone at the hospital, except for House.

'Seriously, get out of my chair.'

'You are sitting on the couch. You can't sit here too,' she granted him another toothless grin and crossed her legs. 'And Uncle James is with Mommy and the board.' She didn't know what 'the board' was for sure. She just knew it consisted in mostly old people who had to decide very important things because that was what Cuddy had told her when she had first asked. Some of those people where friendly and were always telling her how cute she was (sometimes it was annoying) or giving her chocolate or lollipops which her mother confiscated, much to her dismay.

But being an intuitive child, she was sure most of those people didn't like her very much and patted her head only because her mother was watching.

House never patted her head, but she liked him better than those who did. At least he wasn't trying that hard to seem nice. She also liked his chair and his tennis balls (though she wasn't allowed to play with them.)

'I'm sure your mommy would be really mad if I tell her you stole my chair,' he arched his eyebrows.

'No, she won't,' she dismissed him 'She told me I could bother you whenever I liked,' she mimicked her mother's tone and word.

God, he hated that fucking spring break!

'She did?'

Rachel nodded enthusiastically.

House pursed his lips thinking of a thousand ways of killing Cuddy, slowly and painfully. If she had chosen to adopt the leech, why did he have to put up with her antics? It was an unfair punishment. He guessed it was her revenge for all the horrible things he had done to her. Damn, why did she have to be so smart? She knew there was nothing worse than forcing him to spend time with a little kid. A little girl. Her daughter.

When Rachel had first said an insult, she blamed him. Hell, he was sure the extra clinic hours he was assigned that week were due to that.

When Rachel had first declared he didn't like old Baxter from Paediatrics, Cuddy blamed it all on him.

And he was not going to watch his mouth just because the child was there. If she didn't like it, she could always prevent her daughter from visiting him…

But the miracle never materialised, and House was beginning to worry.

`Doctor House,' Rachel suddenly spoke up. 'What are you doing?' She asked, puzzled. He was facing away from her, his eyes closed and his fists clenched.

'I'm avoiding you,' he replied, pitiless.

'What does that mean?'

'I'm imagining you're not here, sitting on my chair and asking me stupid questions,' he smirked to himself.

'You're not supposed to say that,' Rachel appeared shocked by his words.

'Says who?'

'Mommy,' she answered, as if Cuddy were the judge of everyone's actions. House simply chuckled.

Truth be told, he didn't absolutely hate the fact that Rachel kept showing up at his office when she was around the hospital. The girl was not entirely unbearable. She didn't cry, she didn't ask for candy every two seconds. Sometimes she didn't speak at all. She would just sit and draw, or sit and watch him as he flicked through some medical journals or listened to music. Still, he liked to keep the façade…

He observed her out of the corner of her eyes. She was drumming her fingers against the glass desk and trying to whistle a familiar song, the lollipop still in her mouth, her eyes closed as though she were reflecting on something crucial.

'Doctor House?'

'What do you want now?' He exclaimed, exasperated. OK, maybe he did hate her constant visits.

'Can I tell the kids at school that you're my Daddy?'

If House had been drinking coffee, he would have choked on it and spill the remains all over his crumpled shirt.


'Charlie Lewis makes fun of me because I don't have a daddy,' she explained, pouting, her blue eyes welling up with tears.

House sighed in exasperation. The last thing he needed was Cuddy's daughter having doubts about her identity in his presence. Now Cuddy would be all over him (and not in the way he fantasised about), making him responsible for the kid's questions- - lovely. He stood up and limped towards the only free chair and sat down across the girl.

'Well, I'm not your daddy, Rachel,' he realised he had called her by her first name. And so did Rachel, who smiled softlty.

'I know,' she lowered her gaze. 'But… Charlie…'

'Charlie is an idiot. He might have a daddy but I bet he doesn't know how to write his name.' He had taught her to do that, a month ago, when she had paid him another of her visits, just to keep her quiet for a while.

Rachel grinned. 'No, he doesn't.'

'See. Having a daddy doesn't mean you should be smarter or better.' Wow, was he actually comforting somebody? What was wrong with him these days? Did he have a soft spot for Rachel?

No. He didn't. He was just telling her the truth.

'I tell you what,' House decided he could say something to make the girl feel better. After all, it was not her fault that she didn't have a father, and five year old kids could be incredibly mean… any other day, he would have told her to go away. It was not very often that he felt the urge to help the people around him. 'You tell that Charlie Lewis kid that you don't have a father, but you have a friend that will kick his ass,' Rachel's eyes widened 'if he keeps making fun of you. OK?'

Rachel's features lit up, her lips curving into a smile. House found himself smirking.

'Okay. But Mommy won't let me say that. It's a bad word, doctor House,' she clarified.

'Your mommy won't find out. We'll tell her on your eighteenth birthday,' he winked his left eye. Winked! 'Do we have a deal?'

The little girl leaned forward and intertwined her tiny fingers with House's large callous ones, and shook his hand, sealing the deal.

'Yes,' she replied. 'Do you have some candy?'

House rolled his eyes in dramatic fashion. 'Just when I was beginning to think you were not that bad.'

'I'm not that bad,' she retorted, grimacing. 'Do you have candy or not?'

'Not for you. You'll have to ask one of the nurses. I only have one lollipop,' he searched for it inside one his trousers' pockets. 'For me,' he concluded as he tore the wrap apart under Rachel's jealous gaze.

'I hate you,' she blurted out, annoyed.

'You stole my chair. We're even,' he smirked, full of himself.

'I still want to tell the kids at school that you're my daddy. You have a bike,' she said. House knew she was just trying to trick him into giving candy. He knew better.

'I'm still not giving you my candy, but thank you,' he chortled, and Rachel's face confirmed his theory.

'You're mean.'

'I know. But one lollipop is not enough.' He stood up. 'Let's go steal some candy from the Nurse Station!'

Rachel beamed and quickly rose from her chair. She attempted to grab his hand, but he pulled away.

'You won't tell mommy, would you?' She inquired, worried that she might get in trouble.

House laughed to himself.

'We'll tell her on your eighteenth birthday.'

A/N: So, yes. Nice, sweet, OOC. Did you like it?