Dear Readers, I wrote this several years ago and have had numerous people ask that I put it on FFic. I'm updating it to reflect canon. I hope you enjoy it, I think it's a fun story with some angst. Let me know what you think. Don't worry about the slang in the beginning of the story--MacBeth starts using 'English' fairly soon into the story. Thanks, Gorblimey2
© Kim Brogan 2006
Hath Murdered Sleep
Lisa Cuddy was prostrate on her sofa in her office with a cold gel pack on her forehead. She had dimmed the lights and turned off the phone, hoping to have a half-hour to get rid of the blinding headache that had hit her earlier that morning. Gregory House wasn't sure if Cuddy was in her office because the lights were off, but he decided to go inside so that he could leave her a scathing note about the class she was forcing him to teach. When he opened the door he was surprised to see a foot sticking up from the sofa. He turned his head and saw Cuddy, her head lifting up in response to his intrusion.
She said it quietly but deliberately, "House get out of here."
"No! You never told me that I would be teaching a night class! No way, no night courses."
She swallowed and looked up in obvious pain. "You're low man on the faculty totem pole and you don't get to choose the comfy slots, you get a three hour night class on Wednesday, deal with it."
"Then pick up your final check on Friday."
"You can't do that, I have tenure."
"Your contract allows me to terminate you if you refuse to honor your obligations under it. Teaching a course, day, night or weekends, is part of your contract. I suggest you read it. Now get out of here."
House decided to back down, he knew she was right but was hoping she hadn't read his contract in awhile. "What's wrong with you?"
"Headache. Bad one."
He could see from the glaze over her eyes and the way she held her neck stiff that she was having trouble with the pain. "Any reason for the headache?"
"Besides you being in my office?" she paused and then laid back down putting the gel pack back on her head, "The hospital was purchased by the Stratford Group. They're nice enough, but they've just blessed me with one of their many relatives, MacBeth Stratford, the new 'Stacey,' our legal affairs officer. On top of it, they're self-insuring the hospital up to the first $1.0 million, meaning that all of the lawsuits will be initially worked up by MacBeth Stratford. It's a nightmare, not to mention that they want to renegotiate my contract."
House pursed his lips as he thought about what she was saying. "First, who the hell names their kid MacBeth? Besides why would they self-insure?"
"Insurance rates for hospitals, staff and doctors just went up again. They can keep those costs down by hiring their own legal staff and handling the smaller cases themselves. Most of the cases are small so they save money. If the case is too big for MacBeth to handle, it will go to outside counsel and the insurance company who insures all cases over $1.0 million." She opened an eye, "And I don't know why they would name a kid MacBeth...but MacBeth arrives tomorrow. Now leave!"
"No chance getting the course switched to days?"
"Not unless you want Saturday mornings, there's a slot open then."
House shook his head violently, "No, no. Not my weekends."
"Didn't think so, now get."
House left but he wasn't happy. Lazy and apathetic, he detested the idea of teaching snot-nosed medical students. Why did I join a teaching hospital? He had too many documents to fill out for the class. The book store wanted to know what text he was using; the Dean of the Medical School wanted to see his syllabus and lesson plans; and the school administration wanted to know if he had the roster or any handouts that needed copying.
House blew through the door to his office and spotted Thirteen, one of his fellows, working on an article, "Thirteen, I want you to draft a syllabus for Diagnostics 310, Infectious & Zoonotic Diseases. I also need a few lesson plans."
Knitting her brow she shook her head, "And just how am I supposed to know what you want to teach? You have to give me more information, like, how are you going to grade the students? Are you going to give them tests? Papers? Outside work? House, you can't just pull something out of your butt, you have to think it through."
He gave her a sneer and then collapsed in his Aeron chair. "Jesus H. Christ...ok, what do I have to do?"
"Well first off, what are you going to teach them?"
House put his legs up on his desk, looking up at the ceiling he let out the low moan of a hopeless man. For the next two hours Thirteen browbeat him until she was able to get an outline of the class, enough to draft a syllabus and an outline of the first two lesson plans. After they were done at 4:00 p.m., House just wanted to go home to his Grey Goose and piano. Academia was exhausting. He grabbed his wallet off his desk along with his keys and took off as fast as his bad leg would let him. He practically pole vaulted with his cane out to his motorcycle. It was mid-August and school was starting the following week. House was not happy, his poker game had just been changed back to Wednesdays and now he was going to have to change it back to Tuesdays. The boys were going to be pissed.
James Wilson was just getting back from a dental appointment when he met House out in the parking lot. Wilson wasn't shocked to see his best friend going home early, it was House's m.o. Occasionally, Wilson was drafted by House to play hookey, but not today. House looked worn down.
"Going home?" Wilson asked.
"No, I'm going to throw myself off the Roman steps." House said with a dramatic flare.
Lamenting about some tragedy in House's life was so familiar that Wilson stood unimpressed and asked, "That bad?"
"I have to teach a course this fall in diagnostics...at night!"
"Ho-ho...that's painful. What did you do to piss Cuddy off?"
"Nothing," House looked away, annoyed and frustrated. "She says it's based on the Med school faculty seniority and I have none."
"If it's any consolation, I had to teach my first class at night. Now I teach a regular spring Oncology course on Tuesday mornings."
"How long did it take before you got a day class?"
"Ahhggg." House put his motorcycle helmet on and turned the key. Within seconds he was on his way to the nearest burger joint to grab dinner and go home to his solitary life. He had moved back home after a year living with Wilson after a stint in a psychiatric care facility.
Cuddy had instructed the staff to clean out the former legal officer's old office for MacBeth, but realized that the office wasn't going to be large enough. She had just received a letter stating that MacBeth would be bringing another attorney and two paralegals with her today. Cuddy had to evict a doctor from a corner office so that she could find three empty offices in a row. MacBeth would get the corner office, the associate would get the smallest office and the two paralegals would share the middle office along with the file cabinets, copying machine and printers.
They were bringing their own computers and office furniture, so Cuddy wasn't worried about making sure the office was decorated. After working out the office situation, Cuddy went back to her office and back to work. It was noon and the attorneys hadn't shown up yet. She hated attorneys; they could be just as bad as doctors--divas with law degrees. Cuddy was hoping MacBeth was good looking and single. She hated working with them, but she liked dating lawyers, they tended to be smart but more fun than doctors.
The receptionist hit the intercom. "Dr. Cuddy, MacBeth Stratford is here."
"Send him in."
The door opened up and in walked an average sized woman with black hair cut in a bob wearing a white hip hugging mini-skirt with a wide hip hugger belt in black, a red and white ruffled polka dot blouse, white go-go boots, white eyeshadow, Peggy Moffit black eyeliner, phony eyelashes and bright pink lipstick. Cuddy was sure this was a joke. The woman looked like she just stepped out of a 1960's "Shindig" tv show.
"Dr. Cuddy, glad to meet you, I'm MacBeth Stratford. But you can call me by my nickname if you like."
"No, MacBeth. Wow, it's so boss to meet you. I've never been in a hospital with a woman running it. It's all too groovy, you know?"
"Ah, yes..." Cuddy was sure someone was going to tell her this was a joke, but no one burst in and made that announcement so Cuddy played along. "Where did you go to law school?"
"Oh, I went to law school at nights at the University of Hawaii, Richardson. I surfed during the day."
"Oh. That's great, just...great." Cuddy's headache was coming back. She was also disappointed that MacBeth was a woman.
"Can I see our offices? My friends don't start until mañana. But I thought I'd come in and scope out the joint."
"Do you mind if I ask you how old you are?" Lisa couldn't decide. One minute she looked in her late twenties, another in her early thirties.
"Sure, I'm 36 going on 18."
"Oh!" Lisa would never have guessed 36. "Well, this way to your office. You'll need to swing by human resources and fill out all the new hire forms."
"Bitchin'." MacBeth tilted her head and smiled pleasantly at Lisa who smiled back.
They went up the stairs to the second floor and everywhere they went people looked. The women gave looks of puzzlement while the men were openly gawking at the legs and go-go boots. Lisa suddenly felt ill to her stomach, House and Wilson had just turned the corner and were coming towards them. House looked up and came to an abrupt stop. Wilson stopped and followed his gaze. Wilson tried not to look surprised, but not House. He gave an exaggerated look of bewilderment.
Cuddy was on a collision course with destiny and knew it. As they approached, Cuddy stopped and said, "MacBeth Stratford, these gentlemen are Drs. Gregory House, diagnostics and Jim Wilson, oncology."
House put his hand to his face, "That outfit is just so fab. Why didn't someone tell me so I could have worn my Nehru jacket?"
She seemed genuinely interested in what House had to say, "You have a Nehru jacket? That's far out! I'd love to see it."
House was dismayed, she hadn't caught the sarcasm in his voice, "You must be a Gremmy around here...I'm just givin' you winnie."
"Oh, I'm no gremmy, I bet you're a hodad though. Don't jump bad me, Dr House. I'm hep to you." She smiled.
Cuddy shook her head and said sadly, "We have to go. House I want to see your syllabus before you give it to Kirkland, I don't want you to embarrass me."
As they left House turned and watched her mini-skirt walk away, and he yelled lamely, "I'm no hodad..." He thought to himself that the two women were quite a contrast. One was in fancy dress and the other a St. Johns Knit business suit with the appropriate pumps.
Wilson shook his head in disbelief, "Ok, what was that about?"
"Wha'? Oh Jimmy, you're so square." House kept trying to get a look at the woman again, "Man did you see those legs? They went all the way up to her ass."
"Yeah, something tells me you need to get in line in if you want to play with those thighs. Who is she?"
"The new Stacey." House wiggled his eyebrows and ducked into his office. Wilson followed on his heels.
"She's the new shyster, she's taking Stacey's old job."
"She's our lawyer? Oh man, I hope I don't get sued. Boy, with your record you're in trouble. You better think about buying your own malpractice insurance."
"Yeah, yeah. Hey, did you see the new object of Foreman's affection? The sister in Peds?"
"You mean Dr. Tinashe Hawthorne?"
"Yeah. I think Tinashe needs some special emails, don't you?"
"You're going to need Foreman's password."
"No problemo, human resources gave it to me when he was on vacation and I told them that I just had to get an important email that was sent to the department."
"That's so bad."
"Come on." House went to the computer in the presentation room, the one used by his team. It sat on the metal desk next to the white board they used for their differential diagnosis. He started the computer and went into Outlook, brought up Foreman's email and was asked for the password. House typed in, "Grey's Anatomy" and Foreman's email popped up.
"Go get the email directory off my desk." House nodded towards his desk.
Wilson went in, grabbed it and brought it to House, "Here."
House looked through the emails and found one sent to Tinashe and two from her. They were making plans for dinner and she was thanking him for a great time. It said, "P.S. Next time I'll wear the black ones that you like."
Wilson looked over his shoulders and said, "Ho-oh! The black ones?"
House began to type, "I don't know how to tell you this in person, so I thought I would just send you this email, but I have a hooker fantasy and was hoping you wouldn't mind if the next time we went out you wore really high heels, fishnets and a tight, short black leather skirt with no underwear on and a low cut top. Don't forget the bright red lipstick. I know this sounds different but I hope you are up for it. If you don't want to do it, I understand." House hit send and then erased the message in the sent files and the deleted files.
"That should do it."
"Problem is that we don't know if she'll do it."
"I heard him make plans with her for dinner tomorrow at the Cottages."
"Oh my God, that's pretty upscale. If she plays along Foreman will be sitting there with a woman in a hooker outfit. He'll be mortified."
"Yeahhhh!" House was grinning. "We need to do surveillance in the parking lot tomorrow night around 7:00 p.m. to see if she plays ball."
Lisa left MacBeth in her new office making phone calls and arranging the delivery of the furniture for that afternoon. She made her way back to her office and took two more Excedrin. Her headache was raging.