Ttitle: Back to normal
Author: Vicky
Category: general, friendship
Summary: She watched them leave the hospital together
Season/Sequel: season 5, post-ep for Birthmarks (5-04)
Spoilers: Birthmarks (5-04)
Rating: G
Archives: my website, others ask please, I never refuse
Disclaimer: I own neither the show nor the characters. I don't earn any money; I just do it for fun.
Author's Note: Just a short fic that I wrote after having watched this week's ep. Many thanks to my beta, Jess

She watched them leave the hospital together. Side by side. Like before. Things seemed to be back to normal.

She smiled at the sight, knowing that they still had a long road before them, but that they would be fine in the end. She had been there for both of them during their time away from each other, and though they hadn't told her, she could see that they were both suffering from it, in their own way. She hadn't done anything; she didn't feel it was her place to intervene. She might be friends with both men, if she could call her relationship with House friendship, but it was their problem, and only they could do something about it.

But when Wilson called her to tell her about House's father's death, she decided it was time for her to step in. She had managed to convince Wilson to drive House to the funeral, but she knew it was the easiest part. Convincing House to go was the hard one. She knew that he had already made up his mind, and that there was no way she could change his mind. So, she did the only other thing she could: she sedated him; once on the way, and with Wilson, she knew he wouldn't try and come back to PPTH.

Wilson hadn't even been surprised when he came to pick up an unconscious House, as if he was expecting it.

She didn't know how it went; it wasn't her place to ask, and House hadn't volunteered the information when he came back. But when she walked into her office and saw Wilson waiting for her, she had let out a sigh of relief. It had taken only one look for her to guess what he wanted to talk about. She had listened to him, and though she wanted to know what occurred between them for Wilson to come back, she had let him walk out without saying a word. If one of them wanted to talk about it one day, she would be there to listen, but otherwise, it was between them, and she had no right to ask.

The smile still on her lips, she sat behind her desk, and opened Wilson's file. Taking his letter of resignation in her hands, she shredded it. For the hospital, for the board, he had never resigned; she had told them that he was on extended leave, hoping, and somehow knowing, that one day he would tell her that he was ready to go back to work. It was a risk she was willing to take, and it had worked. When she told him about that though, he wasn't happy at first, but then she reminded him of all the paperwork he would have to go through to get his job back, and he had thanked her.

Placing his file away, she took another one from the pile, and this time, when she sighed it was of tiredness. She had hoped to go home early that night, but with all the paperwork she still had to do, she knew it wouldn't be possible.

Just as she started reading, the door of her office opened, and without raising her head, she had no doubt of who it was.

"What do you want, House?" she asked, before she remembered that he had left with Wilson a few minutes ago. She looked up and was surprised to see the two of them standing by the door. "What is it? And if he decided he didn't want to come back after all because of you, you'll deal with all the paperwork, alone, House," she warned him.

"Why do you always assume the worst?" House's replied, rolling his eyes.

"Because she knows you," Wilson answered before she even had the time to open her mouth. "And don't worry, I'm staying."

"Ok. Then, why are you two here? I mean, it's pretty late for you, House. Usually, you're already home with one of your prostitutes," she finished, smiling.

"Ah, you know me too well! And if I didn't know you, I would say you're jealous."

"In your dreams."

"Oh no, my dreams of you are far better than this. See, there was this time where…"

"Ok, stop right there, House, I really don't want to hear about any dreams involving you and Cuddy."

"Who said I was in the dream?" House replied to his friend.

"Once again, as much as I like talking to the both of you, why are you here?" Cuddy asked, getting tired of this; she just wanted to finish her paperwork and go home, that was all she was asking.

"We were going out to dinner, and wondered if you'd like to join us," Wilson answered, knowing by the tone of her voice that it was really time to get to the point.

"Well, I'd like to, but…," she trailed off, gesturing to the files in her inbox.

"Come on, Cuddy, they would still be there tomorrow, and Wilson's paying. You can't pass it up."

"Who said anything about me paying?"

"Hey! You invited me, then you invited Cuddy, I guess that says that you're the one paying," House explained, and Wilson had to admit that it somehow made sense; and he wasn't really expecting House to pay anyway. Turning back to Cuddy, House continued. "So, you coming? Because we're hungry, and I'd like to go before someone finds me a new patient."

"Fine, fine, I'm coming," she replied, grabbing her purse. She knew she wouldn't have the last word with them; House was bad enough alone, but when he teamed up with Wilson, she had yet to find a way to win. She thanked God everyday that it was never about a patient.

Following them out of the hospital, she watched as they bantered about the restaurant.

"You forced me to come, I get to choose," she said, catching up with them.

"Why?" the two grown-up men all but whined; they knew she would choose a vegetarian place.

She gave them her I'm the boss, don't mess with me look, and that shushed them up. Smiling, she walked a little faster and wiggled her hips just a little, knowing that they were both ogling.

Yeah, things were back to normal.