A/N: Not new to fic, but this is my first Huddy fic that hasn't involved rulers and...y'know. I'm more of a House/Wilson shipper. This was written for the LJ daily prompt comm, comment_fic. Todays prompt was: "This is where you're taking me? You're kidding, right?" Fluff, fluff, fluff.
Every Bit of Me
"This is where you're taking me? You're kidding, right?" Cuddy was dumbfounded. Completely bowled over, in fact. She figured he'd take her to a Monster Truck rally or make her sit through and hour and a half of sweaty men wrestling. But here, the place was gorgeous. It had an almost velvety darkness to it, made soft by the single candle that flickered on each table, illuminating the faces of the couples sipping their wine and chattering idly to one another. And there was a stage, only small, complete with piano and mic.
"Problem?" House said, looking down at her. He seemed genuinely worried he'd made the wrong call.
"No, no, not at all. I just…this…I didn't expect it. It's so…un-you."
House scoffed, "You'd be surprised," before leading her to an empty table. Almost immediately, they were accosted by the maitre d.
"Ah, Dr House," he said, enthusiastically, "I'm so glad you could make it." He grinned as he spotted Cuddy. "And you brought a lady friend – a beautiful one at that." He took hold of Cuddy's hand and kissed it softly, tickling her with his moustache.
"Hands off, Smithy, unless you want my cane forcibly inserted where the sun don't shine. And I don't mean your ass," House said. For a moment, Cuddy was shocked, unsure whether or not she should be worried about House's heated words towards this Smithy, but after witnessing the grin they shared, she realised it must've been some kind of inside joke or familiar banter – she felt strangely out of the loop.
"What drink can I get for the lovely lady?" Smithy asked, voice dripping with charm and the remnants of a faded Mexican accent.
"A gin and tonic, no ice," Cuddy answered, shooting back a half-smile.
"And your usual, Dr House?" House simply nodded, leaving Smithy to go and fetch the drinks.
"You come here a lot?" Cuddy was curious. He seemed to have built a rapport with these people and they seemed to like him, to get him.
"Couple of times." House appeared nervous – it didn't suit him. Cuddy watched as he silently studied the menu, brow furrowed like he was deep in thought.
Seconds later, Smithy arrived back with the drinks – thankfully breaking the tension – and took their food orders. As Smithy turned to leave, House abruptly stood from his seat, making an awkward grab for Smithy's arm. Cuddy looked on as House leant in and whispered something into Smithy's ear. Smithy's eyes lit up and their brief exchange was rounded off with a nod. As he walked away, Smithy was smiling like a loved-up school girl. House was not.
Their meal was pleasant. Though House was still somewhat reserved, they still engaged in the normal banter mixed in with some talk of the hospital, music and, for some reason, House pointing out Cuddy's shoes, joking that Wilson has a pair exactly the same. It would've been funny had she not been able to imagine it so vividly.
On one occasion, House even said she was beautiful – in his usual round about way.
"I like the dress," he said, hurriedly, before quickly adding, "half the guys in here are looking in this direction and I'm pretty sure they're not staring at my thirty-two double D's."
When the meal was over, the waiters cleared the tables ready for the entertainment to begin.
The maitre d stepped out onto the stage, tapping the mic. "Okay, everybody quieten down now. We've got a full set-list to get through tonight, so without further ado, let's welcome our first act, braving the stage for the first time to do stand-up no less, Timmy Collins." Smithy stood aside, welcoming the comedian to the stage. "And remember," he shouted over the thunderous applause, "no heckling…unless he deserves it!"
House barely reacted to any of the punch lines.
By eleven pm, not even the jazz band had managed to draw him from his uncharacteristic – and quite frankly worrying – state of unease. In the middle of the saxophone solo, House signalled to Cuddy that he was going to the bathroom and left the table.
As the band members carried their instruments offstage, Smithy returned to the mic, grinning profusely. For a moment, Cuddy could have sworn he was looking at her.
"Now, to end the night we have one of our regulars and I'm sure, if you're not new to this place, he won't be new to you. I've been promised this is gonna be something special. So, you all know what to do," he said, sweeping his hand out, pointing at the audience.
"One, two, three –"
And then, out of (what seemed like) the blue, Cuddy was hit by a wall of sound as the entire audience screamed, "Is there a doctor in the house?"
"What was that? I didn't hear you!"
"Is there a doctor in the house?!" It was so loud, her ears buzzed like white noise.
"One more time!" Smithy sang into the mic. This time, Cuddy found herself joining in.
"IS THERE A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE?!"
And Cuddy's heart all but stopped. Dead. Frozen.
He limped onto the stage, the din of applause drowning out the sweeping 'good luck' from Smithy.
Sitting at the piano, his fingers poised almost teasingly above the keys, the clapping died down and he glanced, just once, at Cuddy before playing his first note. As that high E rang out through the audience, she was suddenly aware that her heart was thumping again, perhaps a little faster than it should.
The tune was slow, melancholy, but beautifully poignant.
At the sound of his voice, she all but melted into a puddle of sticky sweetness on the floor.
"You can have every bit of me…bit of me," he sang, closing his eyes, shutting off from the world.
"You can take it all. Have it all, have it all, have it all, have it all."
She kept her eyes on him, almost willing him to look up. He was playing to her, that much was obvious, but she just couldn't believe it. She needed a sign.
"When you get back, I'll be there waiting, naked and lonely."
The one time Cuddy managed to stray her eyes from his delicate, dancing fingers, she was amazed, but not surprised by the way he'd captivated the whole audience. Even the bar staff were rapt.
"I just can't live alone. I envy things that aren't my own."
Cuddy shivered at the emotion in his deep, growling voice.
"You have heard the story of the river. It gave away it's youth, even though it never wanted to."
He opened his eyes, baby blues locking with Cuddy's adoring gaze and her breath hitched.
"It gave it to you," he sang, and he meant it.
"It gave it to you."
He was singing to her. For her. Now she believed it.
"It gave it to you."
As he played the final chord, soft and low, the audience roared with appreciation, in awe. Many looked round at Cuddy, smiling and clapping in her direction.
Climbing off the stage, he walked towards Cuddy's table, aware that he was being watched by many members of the audience. Cuddy could see the apprehension in the way he walked, but she planned on showing him just how much she loved his performance. Holding out his hand, he nodded towards the exit, hoping she'd get the hint – he never stayed after playing.
Quickly, she grabbed her belongings and took his hand. On the way out, she had to ask, "So, when I asked if you came here often, you meant…"
"Once or twice a month for the past ten or twelve years. I didn't even tell Wilson. He thinks I've go to a masseuse. God, it's fun screwing with him."
As they reached the car, House stopped, key in the lock.
"Y'know, when I said you could have every bit of me, that meant little-little Greg too."
She rolled her eyes. That was the House she knew.
"Get in the car."
Little did he know he wouldn't sleep at home that night.