TKO*

By Genie

Rating: K

Pairing: None that I can stomach to mention.

Disclaimer: MINE, MINE, MINE! Oh - I mean...no they're not.

This is a one shot only.

XXXXXXXXXXX

"Cuddy said she loves me."

As he drops his pencil, so James Wilson drops his mouth open. "You're kidding? When did this happen? So she and Lucas are over? Where - ?"

House takes a deep breath, sits down and taps his cane on the floor. He looks like he rode his motorbike over after he had already gone home. His new home. His old one. Not the condo. Not the place he, Wilson, bought just for House and now shares with Sam. Sam was great. Not as much fun as House, but great.

So I kicked him out. Wilson reminded himself, and then thought of the lovely lady he had waiting for him at home as he nursed his way through his third coffee of the evening, the second stack of paperwork, and House's disheveled, spirit ruffled presence. He was wearing his black leather jacket with the red patches on the upper sleeves, and red lettering of which he had no idea as to its meaning. House had clearly not worn his helmet as his now slightly longer hair had been teased and buffeted by the wind.

House appeared stiffly relaxed. Calmly discontent. "Yeah. When, what, who, where, etc, etc...the mystery questions compounded by time and circumstance. The answers often elusive and..." He puffed out his cheeks when his train of thought appeared to derail. Finally he said "She came to me. Said she and Lucas were done, and that she loved me,.." With the tiniest of twitch of uncertainty on his cheek, he added, quoting ""though she wished she didn't"."

Cuddy brand declaration of forever? What had Lucas heard in his ear, Wilson wondered, the night he gave Lisa his grandmother's ring? James imagined it was something rehearsed especially for such an occasion. Cuddy and...Cuddy, went together well.

"Wow." An echoing round of non-enthusiasm, but Wilson couldn't help it. House didn't look thrilled, he looked sad, and Wilson was sure he didn't know why, though he didn't want to add to the confusion by being too chipper about an event that obviously had his friend more shaken than happy.

But House had pursued Cuddy for years. "This is what you've always wanted."

"Right. Except not always."

"But lately. The last few years."

"A few years."

Weird conversation. Did House want her or not? Was he glad or upset? How was this a bad thing?

"Lucas was TKO-ed. And she's my last chance."

Oh. House and his self esteem had taken a beating lately. He had probably been feeling like a wall flower, or maybe a weed. House had won Cuddy by default. For sure not the most glamorous way to have it be made known to you that you're wanted. Lucas being cast out made House the winner. But that still made House the second choice. Cuddy was laying her bet down on the long-shot.

Second choice. Last chance. No, not the epitomes of romance, those. "Um,..I don't know what to say. Oddly enough, congratulations seems out-of-place."

"'S'okay." House twisted the rubber tip of his cane into the broadloom.

"You really think Cuddy is your only option?" But a good option. Right? The raven haired option House had been shamelessly flirting with and dropping hints as to her copious cleavage for years.

"First she wasn't. Now she is." House stood.

"House?"

House stopped, listening at the door, but not looking.

"You didn't say how you felt about her." Wilson reminded him.

House still didn't look. "'Right again."

XXX

*TKO

A KO, a knockout, is usually awarded when one participant is unable to rise from the canvas within a specified period of time, typically because of fatigue, injury (serious or temporarily incapacitating, e.g. a bleeding cut above the eye can blind a fighter), loss of balance, or unconsciousness; that is, the person may literally be knocked out.

A Technical KnockOut (also referred to as a T.K.O.) is often declared when the referee or other judges (such as official ring physician, the fighter, or the fighter's cornermen) decide that a fighter cannot continue the match, even though he did not fail the count, or, in many regions, a fighter has been knocked down three times in one round.