A/N: So this is the end, folks, my final chapter of Our Favorite Mistake. I promise a sequel in the near future, but for now, read and review this final installment. Thanks!
Chapter Twenty- Life after You
House looked down at his daughter, Emma sleeping soundly in her bassinet with love and affection. The neonatal attending just finished his examination of Emma with good results. Although Emma was a little less than a month early, the attending noted no complications so far. After tearing his eyes off his daughter and glancing at Cuddy, House noticed how exhausted she looked. House couldn't blame her really; he was exhausted as well even without pushing a bowling ball out his happy place for eighteen hours straight. A knowing look and a short nod from Cuddy, House showed the nurses tending to Cuddy the door.
"Do you want to hold her?" House asked although he already knew the answer. Cuddy nodded, House gently lifted Emma up, limped over to Cuddy and carefully placed the baby in her arms. House sat down in the chair next to Cuddy, watching her gaze at Emma with love, affection, and fierce protectiveness all rolled into one. A comfortable silence washed over the room only to be broken by the sound of sniffling. House looked at Cuddy, shocked to see her crying heavily.
"Jesus Cuddy, she's only been alive for an hour, what could I have done to make you cry?" House asked with more venom then he meant to. Cuddy wiped her eyes and threw a confused glance at House.
"You didn't do anything wrong House, it's just that this seems like a dream. I never imagined our stupid little one night stand would turn into me holding our child. Emma is just so beautiful and this feels right." House normally would have laughed at this cheesy speech, but Cuddy was right. Had he ever expected to end up here? Not in a million years if he had to be harshly honest with himself. When they had sex, House thought it was a mistake, that friends should never become lovers, especially when one friend is the boss over the other.
Then Cuddy got pregnant and he agreed to stick by her, to be her partner, lover and best friend. The only good thing House learned from his miserable bastard of a father was how to treat your woman right.
"This isn't a dream, Lisa," House mumbled quietly, not caring anymore that he used her first name. Cuddy stared at him in astonishment; did he just call me Lisa? He never says that, it's always Cuddy or Cuddles if he is in a good mood.
"You called me Lisa," Cuddy said quietly, to which House nodded. "You never, ever call me Lisa." House shrugged, as if he didn't realize the role their first names played in their relationship.
"I have a proposition for you," House waited until he got Cuddy's full and undivided attention before he continued. "Since we have Emma now it wouldn't make sense to call each other by our last names in front of her. So, we can be Greg and Lisa as long as we are at home while bickering like an old married couple." Cuddy considered House's proposal and it made sense. God forbid Emma's first word would be House or Cuddy from them screaming at each other.
"I agree with you," Cuddy said, "but we have to remain House and Cuddy at work. Just because we have a child doesn't mean we can flaunt our relationship in the board's face."
"Of course not, I would hate to seem unprofessional, can I still make comments about our ass and boobs?"
"I wouldn't recognize you if you didn't," Cuddy said and her eyes sparkled with that rare mischievous glint House loved. Cuddy yawned, officially putting an end to their discussion. House stood up, took Emma from Cuddy and gently placed Emma back into her basinet. House limped back to the chair he's been accustomed to for the past twenty four hours and looked at Cuddy starting to doze off. "Hey, Greg?" Cuddy was shocked at how foreign yet so familiar House's first name sounded on her lips.
"What, Lisa?" House felt weird calling Cuddy by her first name, he has always known her as just Cuddy for the past ten years. It was as if Cuddy and Lisa were two different people, Cuddy was his boss and employer, Lisa was his partner and mother of his child.
"I love you," Cuddy knew more than probably anyone how big of a risk she was taking. House froze, he expected his barriers to come up, his finely tuned fight-or-flight response to kick in, sending him flying out the door, nothing coming close to that ever came so he decided to be a decent guy for once and say it back.
"I love you too, now go to sleep," House said, kissed Cuddy on the forehead and left to go find his best friend. House barged into Wilson's office with a smile on his face. Wilson was surprised; House sometimes had his infamous smirk which usually accompanied Cuddy's screaming a few hours later, but never a real smile, until now.
"I did it," House said and sat in the unofficial House chair. Wilson knitted his bushy eyebrows together and waited for House to elaborate.
"Okay, I'll play along, did what?"
"I had a sprog, and as soon as she is old enough she will learn daddy's manipulation skills. I can use Emma as an ally against Cuddy."
"Yes, because that is the only reason you had a kid," Wilson deadpanned. House got up to leave, but stopped and turned to Wilson.
"Oh yeah, mind as well send that email announcing the birth of the kid you had in your computer since January."
"How did you…"
"Turns out sleeping with the boss have its benefits. I made her scream her computer password one time during sex. Oh yes Jimmy, I am that good." Wilson's eyes went wide, but sent the email and the secret mass text all the same. Suddenly every pager, computer and cell phone came alive with the news of Emma's birth splashed across the screen. House's team, both past and present, along with Wilson collided in front of the nursery observation window.
"Wow, House's baby is actually pretty cute," Foreman said, looking at the squirming baby.
"I know, she is the spitting image of Cuddy, but Emma has House's eyes." Cameron cooed.
"Yeah, but her eyes don't have that roughness to them yet, like House's do. They are a lot softer and kinder." Thirteen stated.
"Well at least it's a girl; two Cuddy's are a hell of a lot better than two House's." Chase said, much to the surprise of the team. "What? House is a friend, but do you really want another one of him around here?" The team shook their heads, Chase did have a point.
"I think House will be a great father," Wilson declared randomly. House's current team turned around with puzzled expressions on their faces.
"Why do you think that?" Taub asked, although he really didn't care about the answer. The only reason he came down here was to have some leverage over House.
"Because I know House and I know what he is so afraid of being." Wilson mentally picked his words carefully, being careful not to divulge his best friend's greatest most guarded secret.
"What do you mean? What is he so afraid of?" Thirteen asked, her curiosity peaked.
"You will need to spend a few more years on House's team to know what I mean." Thirteen and Taub turned to Chase, Cameron and Foreman while Wilson walked away leaving them to wonder.
"Do you know what Wilson is talking about?" Thirteen asked Cameron.
"No," Cameron quickly lied, but answered the question in her head. What House is most afraid of is turning into is a failure, a bad father to Emma and a lousy partner to Cuddy. Thirteen, Taub, and Foreman's pager beeped sending them off running towards the patient rooms leaving Chase and Cameron standing there looking at Emma.
The moonlight danced on Cuddy's features as she and House looked down on their sleeping baby wrapped in Cuddy's arms.
"Cuddy, are you happy?" House asked out of the blue. Cuddy looked at House with confusion.
"Yes, House I am very happy, are you?" House was motionless; he didn't know how to answer that question. Sure he has been content, but even as a kid he was never really happy. As life dragged on the pain only got worse leaving him stuck with more misery. But in the past ten months his relationship with Cuddy bloomed, now with a new baby and his pain has been manageable. If this isn't happiness, I don't know what the hell is. House looked up to find Cuddy waiting for him to answer.
"Yes, Cuddy I am happy," House proclaimed. Happy felt unusual on his lips, he was so used to feeling pain and misery he didn't know what it felt like to be truly happy. House looked over at Cuddy to find her fast asleep. Well, House it took you fifty years, but you found happiness. House smiled to himself in the darkness. Yes, House was happy, but how long with this new found feeling last?
A/N 2: That's it, I hope you enjoyed my story. Please read/review and anything you want to be included in the sequel feel free to include in your review or send me a message. Also, be on the lookout for the sequel Prepare for Complications. Thanks!