As much as I wish I did, I DO NOT own House, Cuddy, Wilson, his team and anyone on or related to the show. That's all David Shore.

This entire fic builds up from the episode "Insensitive" way back in Season 3. Yeah, I know we're on season 6 now but I've been dying to write something based on that episode. Bear in my mind this is my FIRST EVER story so constructive criticism will be LOVED! So review and review and review some more. Tell me what you think and who knows, I might post something else in a day or so…

Chapter 1

"Nooo…" she moaned, mostly to herself. She wasn't even surprised, hell she had been expecting him since she got home. Why did she even open the door? Oh, yeah, she half-remembered. He'd just keep banging her door with his cane until she answered.

House didn't so much as crack a smile, though he was obviously pleased with himself. "Need a consult," he said, holding up the file for her. Cuddy didn't take it.

"I already okayed your nerve biopsy," she added, not about to enable him. Not yet, anyway.

"Need an endocrinologist," he shot back.

"Bennett's on call," she shot back just as fast.

"Won't pick up. His cell phone must be broken," he said quickly, an obvious lie. As if that had ever stopped him before.

"Mine's working!" she whispered loudly, pissed.

"Had to give you the file."

Cuddy glared at him and snatched the file from his outstretched hand and took a look. "I assume you're thinking Thyroid Storm. Done a hormone panel?

"Normal. TSH was on the low side," House answered not really paying attention. He peered around and then inside her home. "Is that…a cheery fire crackling nearby?" he added his eyes flashing devilishly at this new piece of information.

"No. What about CPK enzymes?"

"Elevated. 275. People light fire for themselves, but then they don't deny it…" House added as he scrutinized her expression. When Cuddy didn't answer or even look at him for that matter, a small smirk appeared across his face followed by the childish realization. "He's here?" he mouthed, the smirk expanding into a full blown grin of triumph.

Oh, God, Cuddy thought to herself, knowing this had been coming. How can he act like a stupid 8th grader and still be so damn annoying? "CPK isn't high enough. Potassium's what you'd expect because of the bronchodilators." She handed back the file keeping the straightest face she possibly could. House wasn't impressed. In fact, her 'straight face attempt' only allowed the deductions to continue.

"Oh my God!" House gasped immaturely, his eyes rolling up toward the sky. "You're not wearing a bra!"

"It's not a Thyroid Storm," she repeated firmly.

"You just met him!" he exclaimed, dropping the middle school act, frowning ever so slightly.

"I like him. And I like sex. Do I need to stitch a letter on my tops?"

"No. It might be worth taking an ad in the local papers," he suggested.

Cuddy smiled and looked inside her house before stepping out and right into House's personal space. He was going to get him now, she thought to herself and right before he could make some remark about her close proximity she quickly asked, "Do you like me House?"

He was taken aback by the question, truly. He said nothing and looked off the side for a moment before looking back at her. Cuddy caught it, but didn't pay it much attention. He was embarrassed, and he damn well should be. Cuddy continued, content that for once she had the upper hand. "I was on the phone with Bennett 15 minutes ago. His cell phone's working. Your MO is to avoid me at all costs. And suddenly you need my input on every move you make. I can only assume it's because I'm on a date." She said the last few words firmly, trying to drive the words home.

"When we met I noticed-" House began.

Cuddy shook her head and interrupted him quickly. "You noticed he was a shriner from the way he parted his hair. You noticed he was a momma's boy from the way he blinked his left eye. I'm not interested. I'm not impressed. There are only two reasons anyone would want to screw with me tonight. Either they're an altruistic, decent person who is worried about my well-being or…they want me for themself."

If she had said this to any other person, an awkward silence probably would have followed. But not House. And that was exactly why she had no problem talking to the bastard, twisted as he was. Already, the man with the genius mind was already about to shoot a witty remark. "You left out the third option: Evil bastard that just wants to mess with other people's happiness." He nodded slightly and made a face as if he was giving her grave advice.

She chuckled to herself and smiled and turned to walk back inside. "Good night, House." And with that, she closed the door quietly behind her.

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He was left out in the cold smiling to himself. He laughed softly to himself before turning away and walking toward his bike. But he couldn't help but think about what she had said. Or…they want me for themselves.

He wasn't going to lie, he wanted her for himself…well, her funbags he wanted no problem, but what about her? Their banter was obviously more, everyone knew that. But it was one of those things everyone knew but never talked about…like hot dogs. You knew the evils of where it came from, but you didn't think about it when you ate one. He smiled again, Wilson would have gotten a kick out of that metaphor.

He groaned loudly. Wilson. He was going to give him a lecture once he got back to the hospital. Not only about the patient but the stalking Cuddy stunt he was pulling off. He could see it now, "If you like her, just ask her out like a normal person." Then Wilson would remember the patient and lecture him about that too until House brought up the man-lady with eleven fingers who was dating that other man-lady…

He stuck the key into the ignition still thinking. Yes, he liked Cuddy but he knew it wouldn't work. Everyone knew it wouldn't work. They'd been playing cat and mouse for years, why ruin it when they were just fine the way things were. Changing that would just make everything more complicated, and the last thing he wanted to deal with was change. Not now. He revved up the engine and started towards Princeton Plainsboro. Time to break the CIPA patient's arm.

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"We won't be bothered again," Cuddy said to her date, Don, on the way back to the living room, only to see him putting on his shoes.

"It's late," he said simply, his voice almost completely devoid of emotion. "I should go."

"Why?" she asked, confused.

He stood up and looked at her asking, "I part my hair on the left..? and I'm a shriner..?"

She slammed her hands into her face. Damn it. Damn it, House. "You heard the conversation…"

"Hmm," Don hummed in agreement.

"I'm not interested in him."

"I don't blame you."

"I only said those things so he wouldn't come back." Cuddy continued trying to redeem herself. He had to make her understand she didn't think those things. He was nice, friendly. A great guy, really.

Don took in a deep breath. "I don't really care about my job. I do it well, I provide a service, but my goal was always to make enough money to do the things I really like. Music, travel…"

"I like those things too," Cuddy said weakly. It wasn't nearly convincing and she knew it. She knew it was over.

Don shrugged. "You like them but they're not really important to you. I don't' know whether it's House, your job, or you just…thrive on conflict. But you should hear yourself when you're talking to him. Nothing else in the world's going on. You're focused, confident, compelling." He picked up his coat. "Don't take this the wrong way but…I'd like to go out with that woman."

She smiled slightly…sadly. "I can get her on the phone."

Don smiled a little and leaned forward to kiss her on the cheek before walking out of Cuddy's home.

"Damn him," she said to herself once he had left. She walked over the couch and sat down lazily, propping her head with her hand. House had ruined yet another one of her dates. What the hell did the man want? Did he want her to be pissed off at him? Did he get some primeval thrill after causing her to lose every chance she had to get something she wanted? Something she needed?

She sighed. She'd go to work tomorrow and he wouldn't know a single thing had happened. He'd mention how big her ass was, make a joke about whether or not Don was "as big as she thought", and then ask for half of a patient's brain or an arm. She'd say yes and she'd be stuck wondering, what if that bastard hadn't ruined her date? What if he hadn't ruined any of her dates ever? Maybe she'd have someone now. Someone permanent. Maybe she would actually have a life outside of the hospital. Maybe she would have the kid she always wanted.

She couldn't help but think about what Don had said. But you should hear yourself when you're talking to him. Nothing else in the world's going on.

Well, of course she was like that. She was focused and determined, especially if it had to do with her job. And House happened to be part of her job, a stressful part. She had to be completely focused when talking to him, she had to throw back equally blunt and sharp remarks at him when he mentioned her ass or anything ridiculous. House wasn't someone you could casually talk to. Otherwise he'd take advantage. So what Don had said…there was nothing to it, right?

She pursed her lips and shook her head. Of course there was nothing to it. She hated him right now. Who did he think he was, barging into her social life, ruining her plans? He didn't own her, control her. She wasn't his. And she'd have to show him that. House wasn't going to run her life.

Face it, she told herself. That's not why I'm pissed. I'm not pissed because he ruined a date. I'm pissed because of what Don said. Hell, I'm not even pissed…I don't even know what the hell I should feel. It's complicated....He's complicated.

No, no, that was all wrong. It couldn't be complicated. It shouldn't be complicated. Annoying banter, that's all it was. And Don had read it all wrong, and because of that, he had left, thinking she wasn't capable of having a real relationship because she was too busy stuck in the cat-and-dog relationship with House.

She was stuck with no way out.