Disclaimer: I don't own House. Yep, that's right, I said it. House does not, I repeat, does not, belong to me.
AN: So, I am so freaking sorry this took so long to post. I had to write a short story for my Creative Writing class, which took time away from this, plus homework, Marching Band, Band Shows, football games, sickness, and a whole bunch of other crap kept me away from working on this. I hope you enjoy it and again, I'm deeply sorry.
House was more flabbergasted than Cuddy, a complete look of shock on his face as he pulled out an empty chair for her. Foreman, Taub, and Chase were all trying to hold back bits of laughter, but when House finally said, "Wilson, can we talk in private, please?", they could hold back no longer. Cuddy sighed as Wilson got up and followed House to the men's restroom.
"What's the matter House?" Wilson asked as he leaned up against the wall.
"What's wrong?" he yelled, his words drowning in bitterness. "Is that really what you're going to ask me?"
"You couldn't leave me alone? I thought I had gotten my message across pretty clear earlier when you felt the need to come from Cuddy's window!"
"This could all be ruined! Do you know how much it took to get even where I am right now? And now the Black, the Jew, and the Crocodile Hunter know too! By tomorrow the whole hospital will!"
"You're my best friend, and I hate you." House pushed Wilson to the side as he limped out of the restroom, on his way back to the table. When he finally arrived he could see Cuddy, Foreman, Taub, and Chase all deep in conversation. "If any of you," he spat as he sat down, "any of you, mention this to anyone, you will be fired."
Cuddy rested her hand on top of House's. "You won't be fired, he's just upset." She could see the tension on House's face as he was trying to hold back all of his frustration. "Why don't we just go?" she whispered, just loud enough for only him to hear. House subtly nodded and Cuddy grabbed her purse as she stood up. "We'll see you three on Monday."
House stood up slowly, and they walked towards the exit. The somber look on his face was new to Cuddy, as he rarely showed his emotions. When they reached his car, he slouched into the driver's seat, both hands on the steering wheel with an unbreakable grip. Finally he looked over, his face filled with disappointment. "Cuddy I..."
"It's not your fault," she replied, reaching her hand over and gently releasing House's from the wheel.
"Listen, why don't we just go through the drive-thru somewhere and go back and eat at the house? We never had to go someplace fancy, there's no need to impress me." She smiled as she took her hand off of House's and he pulled out of the parking lot. "Look, there's a Subway down the street from here. Not too, well um, you know, and good for your health. Oh wait, you wouldn't like that, too healthy."
Cuddy finally got House to crack a smile. "That's fine." He turned the corner and completely drove past the restaurant though.
"What was that for?" asked Cuddy.
"Sign says it's closed. Chinese ok?" Cuddy nodded and they continued the drive around the block and parked outside Ling Ling's Chinese Buffet. They walked in, ordered their drinks, and made their way to the buffet. House grabbed a motley crüe of items while Cuddy stuck to the basic chicken and rice. Sitting down, House grabbed the soy sauce and poured it over the entire contents of his plate.
"Hmm?" he asked through a mouthful of food.
"Please get your mind off of Wilson."
"My mind's not on Wilson."
"Yes, it is. I know what he did was wrong, I'm even a little pissed off about it, but you would have done the same thing, probably worse, and Wilson wouldn't have thought a damn thing about it. You know why?"
"Because it's you! You're just upset because he's doing the same thing to you that you've been doing to you for years. Plus the fact that he's worried about you because you've only had one other stable relationship in the past ten years. He cares about you House, and doesn't want to see you get hurt."
"Right..." They continued eating their dinner, making small talk while House stuffed his face full of multiple plates of food. "Ready?" he finally asked after cleaning off his third plate.
"I have been for a while now," she smiled.
"Cuddy," he said as they got back into the car, "I'm sorry."
"Where'd House go? I don't think I've heard these words ever christen his lips."
"He's right here," he said as he pulled her into to kiss her. Finally she pulled away but smiled.
"Eyes on the road mister. Let's go." House chuckled as he pulled out into the flow of traffic and headed back towards his own home. "And why exactly are we going back to your house?"
"Because... Hmm, I don't know exactly. Force of habit. I can turn around and take you back to your house."
"I don't care, just wondered, that's all." After about ten minutes they arrived at the apartment that read 221B. House opened the door and limped inside, Cuddy behind him, and plopped down onto the couch. Cuddy sat her purse down and made her way towards the kitchen. "What do you have to drink?" she called.
"I'll just get some water." She came back and sat down next to him, setting her glass on the coffee table.
"Could you get me some Tums or Pepto Bismal please?" House suddenly asked, putting his hand across his stomach. "I feel like I'm about to puke my guts out."
"Probably too much to eat. I'll grab a garbage can on my way." Cuddy came back from the bathroom with pills and trash can in hand. "Here," she said, handing him the medicine, "take them." House quickly swallowed to pills but two minutes later was throwing up into the garbage can.
"Where's the pain?" Cuddy asked, feeling House's stomach. "High or low?"
"Right below my ribcage. Listen, it's probably food poisoning, I am a doctor you know." This was followed by another round of House emptying all the contents of his stomach and small intestine into the garbage can.
"Drink this," Cuddy said, handing him her glass of water. "You'll probably just end up puking it back up, but you need to stay hydrated." House took a few sips of the water and laid back down onto the couch, groaning and putting his arms over his stomach. Fifteen or so minutes later he sat up again, only to end up hunched over the garbage can. Cuddy gently rubbed his back, trying to comfort him.
"Damn Chinese food," he finally said.
"I don't think you have anything left to hurl up, you're going to be stuck with dry heaves for the rest of the night."
"Thank you, Dr. Cuddy, I had no idea." Cuddy chuckled and got up to retrieve a hot washcloth to put over his forehead. "Thanks..."
"Your welcome Dr. Smart ass."
"Hey, I'm the sick person here!"
"Lay back down and be quiet, I don't want you to start puking again."
"Yes Doctor." House sighed and closed his eyes, wishing the pain would go away. He eventually dosed off, hoping that would relieve the pain for a little while. He woke up about two hours later, opening his eyes to see Cuddy sitting in a recliner reading one of his books. "Which one are you reading?" he asked, startling her.
"Oh, um, I didn't realize you were awake already. Do you need anything?"
"Just the title of that book," he smirked.
"Right, well, I was really surprised you even had it on your bookshelf actually. Behind all those medical books who would've guessed Gregory House would have Sherlock Holmes on his shelf. Is this where you learned all your deduction skills?"
"No! It was my inspiration as a kid! Besides, Taub got that for me for Christmas a few years ago. What made you have interest in reading it?"
"I read all of them as a child. What story is your favorite?" she asked, smiling.
"Well, that ginger got what was coming to him in The Red-Headed League, and The Speckled Band was pretty good. I'll probably have to go with The Final Problem though. You?"
"Why that one? Holmes dies then!"
"Ah, but Moriarty dies too. Besides, Conan Doyle brought Holmes back, and that's all that really matters right? Holmes was able to come back to his Boswell." Cuddy wiped a small tear from her eye.
"You just like the friendship aspect of it," she teased. "Reminds you of yourself and Wilson."
"I never said that, maybe I just like death, cliff hangers, and people falling over waterfalls. Also, you never answered my question."
"Right, well it's a toss up between A Scandal in Bohemia and The Sign of the Four."
"Well, Irene Adler was the only woman to outsmart Holmes, and that always made me feel good, to know that a woman was in charge, kind of like how I'm in charge," she made her way over to House and poked his chest, "of you."
"And Watson and Mary get together in The Sign of the Four. I always thought it was one of the sweetest things ever."
"Always the romantic," House chuckled. Cuddy bent down and kissed the tip of his nose.
"I'm going to get some sleep because frankly, I have a feeling you're going to be puking some more soon, and I'll need to be up for that." House opened his mouth to protest but Cuddy had already started walking towards his bedroom. He closed his eyes and tried to get some more shut eye because he too predicted he'd be upchucking in the near future.
Meanwhile... Cuddy closed the bedroom door and made her way to House's dresser. She pulled open some drawers and eventually found a pair of House's pajama pants and a large t-shirt. After undressing and putting House's clothes on she plopped down onto the unmade bed, wrapping her arms around his pillows and pulling it close to her.
The pillow, the sheets, the clothes, they all smelled of him. Cuddy belittled herself for sounding like a lovesick teenager, but it was true. She took a deep breath, consuming every last drop, then exhaled and closed her eyes, drifting off into a peaceful sleep.
"Cuddy!" House called for the third time, three or so hours later. The clock read 11:53, and House really needed some more medicine. "Cuddy!" There was still no answer. Still queasy, he slowly stood up and limped over to his bedroom. He pushed the door open and supported himself up against the frame as he looked in on Cuddy sleeping. Her clothes were in a pile on the floor and she was wrapped in the sheets and comforter, arms still around House's pillow. House made his way over to her, sitting down on the side of the bed and gently shaking her awake. "Cuddy?"
"Hmm?" she asked drowsily.
"I have a feeling I'm going to start puking again."
"You're a big boy," she said, rolling away from him.
"I need you." Cuddy rolled over again, facing House.
"Of course you do." She sat up and waited for House to get off the bed so she could stand up. House went over to his dresser, also pulled out some blue pajama pants, and took off his dress shirt, leaving it lying on the floor.
"I'd finish getting changed in here," he said sarcastically, "but I don't want to turn you on."
He started walking over to the bathroom and called behind him, "Go ahead and turn whatever you want on the television, it's late so I'm just warning you that there's probably not much on." When he reached the bathroom he realized that yes, he did have to puke again, and once more his stomach tried to rid itself of what was inside of him, but there was nothing left. After finishing the current episode of dry heaves, he changed his pants, into thankfully something more comfortable. When House came back out to the living room, he was shocked to see Cuddy sitting there, watching what seemed to be a home video. "What are you watching?" he asked.
House only received the response, "Oh you were so cute back then!", which confirmed his assumption.
"Awe, your voice was cracking! How old were you? Thirteen or fourteen?" House sighed and came and sat down next to her on the couch.
"Fourteen," he replied, wrapping his arm around her. "May I ask where the hell you found these videos?"
"In the back of your VHS case, labeled 'DO NOT WATCH'."
"Oh, look, you don't want your mom follow you on your birthday! Is that your room? Look at all the books, almost the same as now." Cuddy laughed and turned to look at him. "Feeling any better?"
"Well not really, but hey, if you reliving my terrible childhood makes you happy, I'm happy."
"You were such an awkward teenager," she chuckled.
"Yep, that's me." They continued watching the painful, well at least on House's part, video when suddenly there was smack that could be heard from the tape, but not see. House looked away as Cuddy gasped in shock when a fourteen year old House came onto the screen with a black eye, on his birthday.
"Was that- I- Did your dad do that to you?" The House on screen ran out the back door, his mother with camera in hand chasing him, causing the screen to become rushed and nauseating to watch. Cuddy reached up and wiped a small tear away from the corner of his eye, then wrapped her arms around him tightly, hugging him.
"Yeah... Yeah he did."
AN: So I can't make any promises on when the next chapter will be up, but I hope it will be soon. Any suggestions about how the plot should move along are always appreciated, as are some nice reviews. I took some of your guys' advice and made House sick, and I hope you liked how it played out. Also, I wanted to mention that the line about "The Black, the Jew, and the Crocodile Hunter," was written before episode 7X05 was released and House says something very similar to it. Even surprised me when I wrote it! :D Again, a lovely review would be appreciated. :)