WELL, AS I SAID, THIS IS THE FINAL CHAPTER.
I CAN'T THANK YOU ALL ENOUGH FOR READING THIS STORY.
AS ALWAYS, IT HAS BEEN SUCH A PLEASURE TO WRITE FOR ALL OF YOU. YOUR WONDERFUL REVIEWS MEAN MORE TO ME THAN YOU CAN EVER KNOW.
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CHAPTER 54: Please read and comment.
The next morning at 8 AM, House and Cuddy were in an exam room in Dr. Sobol's office. Cuddy had changed into a patient's gown and was lying on an exam table while Sobol performed a vaginal ultrasound on her.
House was sitting by her side, critically eyeing the monitor that displayed Cuddy's uterus, while Cuddy and Sobol did the same.
"Everything looks fine," Sobol said with a confident smile.
"Oh thank god!!" Cuddy exhaled in relief.
"So the spotting was just implantation bleeding," House clarified.
"Most likely," Sobol replied while he finished the test, removed his gloves and began to read Cuddy's chart.
Cuddy smiled happily at House, who squeezed her hand and gave her a little wink, refusing to show any of the overwhelming emotions he was feeling inside.
"Told ya," he said.
"Yeah, rub it in," she muttered with a grin as she sat up on the table.
"I'm putting you on limited bed rest for the duration of the pregnancy," Sobol announced to Cuddy.
At this, House and Cuddy turned to Sobol in unison, Cuddy's jaw slacking open as if she was moving in slow motion.
House merely arched his eyebrow in curiosity.
"… Don't you think that's a little extreme??" she asked.
"In typical cases of first trimester spotting, yes. But with your medical history—" he began.
"I CAN'T BE ON BED REST FOR THE NEXT THIRTY- SEVEN WEEKS!!" she exclaimed.
"It's actually thirty- five weeks," he clarified. "Technically, you're already five weeks into the pregnancy because—"
"Your due date is calculated from your last period, which means that you're already two weeks into the pregnancy by the time you conceive," House finished for him, at which Sobol nodded in agreement.
"And it's LIMITED bed rest," Sobol repeated.
"And what exactly does that mean?" Cuddy demanded in agitation, already knowing the answer.
"You can get up at certain times during the day, you can get up to go to the bathroom and you don't have to lay in bed. You can sit in a chair," Sobol explained.
"But under no circumstances can you go to work for the rest of the pregnancy," Sobol stated firmly.
Cuddy felt like she was hallucinating.
"Who's going to run the hospital?!" she shouted.
"Oh please. The hospital basically runs itself. You're not worried about the hospital," House told her.
"Yes I am! I have a ton of responsibilities—"
"You're worried that if you're not around to baby-sit me, that I'm going to run amok around this place like a mad scientist but with better hair," House interrupted.
Cuddy stared at House for a moment before letting out an exasperated sigh and rubbing her forehead, which was her way of telling him that he was absolutely right.
Sobol couldn't help but smile a little at the two of them.
"What about if I have to run errands or food shop?" she asked Sobol with a weary gaze.
"You'll be able to leave the house occasionally, but definitely not for the next three weeks. I want to see how your eight week ultrasound goes first," he replied.
"So I'm supposed to live on take- out for the next three weeks?" she demanded.
"No, it means that you'll need to ask other people to help you," Sobol explained as if he was talking to a child.
"Have you met her?" House snarked.
Sobol pursed his lips together, fighting off a huge laugh that was bubbling up in his throat.
Cuddy's reputation around the hospital as someone who could do it all herself and did was well known.
But Cuddy didn't look happy at all.
"Greg… I don't know if I can do this—" she began.
"There's only two ways to look at this. Either you want this baby, or you DON'T want this baby," House told her, his bright blue eyes intense as he met hers.
Cuddy stared right back at him.
"I want this baby," she declared emphatically.
"Then you're gonna have to follow doctor's orders. You're not coming anywhere NEAR this place unless its for your prenatal appointments or to give birth for the next thirty- five weeks," he stated firmly.
Cuddy soft blue- grey eyes remained on him, her stare communicating to him that he had better do his part as well.
"I'll behave," he assured her, knowing exactly what her look meant.
Cuddy laughed curtly.
"You say that now," she said in disbelief.
"Well here's a news flash for you. I want this baby, too," he told her.
"I PROMISE I'll behave," he repeated.
Cuddy drew in a breath, hoping to god that House would actually be able to live up to his words.
But it wasn't only him that she was worried out.
"I'll have to find someone competent to take over for me while I'm gone," she commented, not thrilled about handing over the hospital to anyone else.
A small smile crept across House's face.
"What?" Cuddy said, nervously.
House didn't answer her as he took out his cell phone and pressed the speed dial for one of his contacts, waiting until the person he was calling picked up on the other end.
"Be in Cuddy's office in ten minutes ," House said into the phone.
"You CAN'T be serious," Wilson stated, dumbfounded, standing in the middle of Cuddys office.
"It's just temporary," Cuddy told him, facing him as she leaned against the front edge of her desk, having changed back into her street clothes after her exam.
"I have a practice! How am I supposed to run the hospital?!" he exclaimed.
"How hard can it be to assign parking spaces and run after me in heels to do my Clinic duty?" House snarked from his position on Cuddy's couch.
"I'm not wearing heels," Wilson declared, not bothering to look in House's direction.
"I'll delegate some of my responsibilities to other administrators so you won't be overwhelmed," Cuddy said.
Wilson paused, mulling everything over, taking his familiar stance and placing his hands on his hips.
"What about him?" Wilson asked, jutting his head in House's direction.
"He promised he'd behave," Cuddy assured him.
Wilson burst out laughing.
"You know words can hurt!" House mocked him.
"Oh shut up," Wilson muttered.
Cuddy kept a patient gaze on Wilson staying silent, waiting for him to speak again before she made her move.
"Isn't there anyone else—" he began.
"Sobol said that if I want a better chance of keeping this baby that I have to follow his orders," Cuddy interrupted him.
"And there's no one else I'd trust more than you to do my job," she added after a well- timed pause.
"Please, James," she pleaded.
Wilson stared at her for a moment longer. He then raked his fingers through the front of his hair in aggravation, assuming his superman stance once more.
"...All right," he mumbled.
House smiled almost unnoticeably.
"Thank you," she said sincerely.
"Do you own any low cut tops?" House asked Wilson.
Wilson finally turned around, glaring at House.
"Don't think I won't file a sexual harassment complaint against you," he said.
"What if I buy you dinner first?" House asked.
Wilson glanced at his hip as his pager went off.
"I'll see you later, and buying me a meal with my money in the cafeteria doesn't count," Wilson said before leaving Cuddy's office.
House watched Wilson leave with an amused expression on his face before turning back to Cuddy.
"Using his first name was a nice touch, by the way," House remarked.
"Yeah, I thought so, too," Cuddy replied with a huge grin.
FOUR WEEKS LATER, AUGUST 14
Sophie was talking on her cell phone, sitting in the packed waiting room of her doctor's office at the Mount Sinai medical center, surrounded by other waiting patients who were coughing and sneezing loudly.
"So how's it going, boss?" Sophie joked into the phone.
"Don't call me that," Wilson muttered on the other end in reply.
"How 'bout 'El Jefe?' Is that better?" she teased.
"Yuk yuk," he replied.
"Are you still working late every night?" she asked.
He exhaled deeply. "Yep," he said flatly.
"Is House behaving himself at least?"
"So far. But I'm expecting the apocalypse any minute."
"How's Cuddy doing?" she asked. "I feel bad that I haven't called her."
"She's keeping busy by emailing me at least thirty times a day reminding me what I shouldn't let House do," Wilson told her.
"What's the over- under on when she goes insane from being stuck at home?" Sophie quipped.
Wilson chuckled. "Don't know. Chase didn't start a pool yet."
Sophie bristled immediately at the sound of his name, an uncomfortable sensation rising in her chest.
"…I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said that," Wilson apologized, mentally kicking himself for mentioning Chase to her.
By now, it had been five weeks since Sophie had left Chase and had moved back in with her parents in Manhattan.
She hadn't called Chase once, and he had never called her.
She knew that Wilson saw Chase almost every day, but she had never asked her brother about him, and he didn't dare bring him up in conversation. Wilson had reconciled with Sophie after she left Princeton and Chase, and he didn't want to screw that up.
"…How's he doing?" Sophie asked reluctantly.
"Well, he got drunk at Cuddy's fundraiser…" Wilson began hesitantly.
"… And… he took some Vicodin," he mumbled.
"… What?" was all she could say.
"He only took six pills. He ordered them online and made the mistake of flaunting his stash in front of House at the bowling event," Wilson explained.
Sophie had to admit to herself that she was shocked. She remembered that in Paris he needed Ultram because he had twisted his bad ankle a bit.
But she never expected him to take Vicodin again.
"House also took Chase's computer, searched his home and his locker for any more drugs and is having Foreman and Thirteen keep tabs on him," Wilson added.
"…And it's working because Chase has thrown himself completely into his job," he finished.
"…He must've be in real pain to go for the Vicodin," Sophie mused, unable to keep the sadness out of her voice.
"Why don't you give him a call?" Wilson suggested.
"I'm not calling him," Sophie stated flatly.
"It's obvious that you're worried about him," Wilson pointed.
"…And that you still love him," he added after a concerted pause.
She reached up as a reflex and fiddled with the Tiffany Key charm that Chase had bought her as a present when she had first moved in with him. She had contemplated taking it off plenty of times in the last month.
But she just couldn't bring herself to do it.
"I'll always love him," she muttered miserably under her breath.
Wilson smiled sympathetically on the other end. Even thought she hadn't verbalized to him how difficult her decision was to leave him, he knew it couldn't have been easy.
And even though he'd never admit it to her, part of him felt she had made a mistake by leaving him.
"It's my fault that he went back to the pills," she said with deep regret.
"You did what you thought was right," he replied.
She frowned, slightly put off by her brother's words, his left- handed comment not making her feel any better.
"How much longer until they call your name?" he asked.
Sophie glanced around the waiting room. "Dunno. There's a ton of people in here."
"So call Chase while you're waiting," he suggested.
Sophie paused, still playing with the key charm around her neck.
"…I'll think about it," she acquiesced.
"Let me know what the doctor says," he told her, knowing that he wasn't going to get anymore out of her than that.
"I will, Chief," she snarked.
"Bye, So," he said in a sing- song voice, laughing a bit.
"Bye, bro," she replied, imitating his mocking tone before hanging up.
A tiny smile still on her face, she stared at her cell phone in turmoil as she decided what to do.
Back in Princeton, Chase was in the cafeteria sitting by himself, immersed in a medical journal when his cell rang.
"This is Chase," Chase stated flatly into the phone.
He was met with silence on the other end.
"Hello??" Chase said, becoming impatient and annoyed.
"… Hi," Sophie finally said.
Chase's heart lurched with emotion when he heard her voice.
"H- hi!" Chase managed to say, shocked and somewhat hopeful.
"…How are you?" Sophie asked.
"I… I'm ok," he stammered, still completely stunned that she had called.
"… Heard you made the scene at Cuddy's fundraiser thingy," Sophie commented.
Chase laughed. "If you mean I made 'a' scene, then yes," he replied.
Sophie chuckled a bit, hating herself for doing so.
But Chase was all smiles.
"How are you?" he asked.
"Not so great. I've been sick lately," she admitted.
"What's wrong?" he asked her, concerned.
"I don't know. I've been really tired and achy… and my stomach hasn't been feeling right, either."
"Do you have any fever?"
"No, but this waiting room is packed. Something must be going around," she replied.
"Well hopefully you'll be better before the fall term starts," he said in an optimistic tone.
"DAMN YOU, JIMMY," she thought in silence, knowing that Wilson now had access to the hospital's mainframe as acting Dean.
Which meant that he must have shown Chase that she had registered for the new term for her fourth year at Princeton Plainsboro.
"I'm glad you didn't transfer," he said sincerely.
"Yeah, I'm gonna finish at Princeton. Didn't want to lose any more credits," she said, trying to sound as casual as possible.
"… Maybe… we could get together when you come back?" he asked, his tone still optimistic.
At first she said nothing, the angst churning inside her.
"I heard you took some Vicodin a while back," she finally said.
This time it was Chase's turn to be silent. She waited patiently on the other end for a response to her statement.
"I'm not on it anymore. I went back to the Ultram," he said.
"What happened to the Clinical trial?" she asked lightly.
Chase drew in a breath, letting it out slowly and evenly, remembering that the only reason he had participated in the Clinical trial in the first place was because she agreed to come back to him the second time they had broken up.
"Didn't really see the point in going back," he replied.
An irritated laugh fell out of Sophie's mouth at Chase's dig.
She was about to tell him that he was an idiot for discontinuing his LLLT treatment regardless of what had happened between them.
"I miss you," he blurted out, interrupting her train of thought.
A conflicted ache spread through her at the sound of his words. She couldn't deny that she missed him terribly. There wasn't a day that went by in the last four weeks that she doubted her decision to leave him.
But every time she did, the memories of Cameron's wedding came flooding back and how Chase had admitted that he still couldn't get over her.
"Sophie Wilson?" one of the nurse's in her doctor's practice called out, snapping her out of her thoughts.
"I'm sorry, Rob. I've gotta go. They just called my name," Sophie said into the phone as she gathered her belongings and got up off her chair.
Chase stiffened at what she had called him, but quickly brushed it away.
"Will you call me later and tell me what the doctor said?" he asked, almost pleadingly.
"…Sure," she replied.
Around an hour later, Sophie was still sitting on the exam table wearing a patient's gown with a look of utter shock and confusion on her face.
"… That's… impossible," she stammered.
"Apparently not," her internist, Dr. Burke, a woman in her late forties replied.
"You know that—" Sophie began.
"Yes. Which is why I did the test twice," Burke interrupted.
Sophie laughed. "Well you must have mixed up my test results with someone else's," she stated.
Dr. Burke smiled slightly.
"There is another way to confirm…" she offered.
A few moments later, Sophie was lying down on an exam table in another room, staring in complete awe at a hi- definition monitor while Dr. Burke gently probed her lower abdomen with an ultrasound transducer.
"Pretty sure I didn't mix up your UTERUS with someone else's," Burke quipped, a smile tugging at her lips.
"…Oh my god…" Sophie whispered, her eyes transfixed on the screen.
"Congratulations, Sophie," Dr. Burke told her, holding the transducer steady so both of them could see the distinctive image on the monitor of a fetus, its tiny heart beating exactly as it should be.
I HOPE YOU ALL DECIDE TO STAY TUNED FOR THE SEQUEL TO "ALL IN," ENTITLED:
"WHATEVER IT TAKES."
I HOPE TO HAVE THE FIRST CHAPTER UP BY THE BEGINNING OF NEXT WEEK.
(YOU DIDN'T THINK I WAS ACTUALLY GOING TO LEAVE IT THERE, DID YOU?) ;)
PLEASE LET ME KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS LAST CHAPTER AND IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN A SEQUEL.