Chapter Nine

Cuddy was not in a good mood. After House's latest shenanigans, it was no wonder her perfectly plucked eyebrows and the corners of her Revlon ColorBurst lipstick colored lips were pulled downwards in a deep frown. Only House would think of doing an MRI on a chicken to see if its owner and it shared some who-knew-what-disease-besides-House. She still was a little fuzzy on the details, but somehow House saved another patient. Whether the chicken had anything to do with it or not, that was still one more human saved. Cuddy was just glad that House just went home.

Heaving a heavy sigh, Cuddy looked back to her desk. There was a stack of folders about six inches high settled right in the center of the desktop waiting to be signed, filed, reviewed, and what not. Another tired sigh bubbled in her chest ready to escape out her mouth but she restrained it. After standing there, manicured hand gripping back of her chair, staring unseeingly at the files for three minutes, she decided that they could wait until tomorrow. Grabbing her purse, coat, and brief case, she made her way to the office door, turning off the lights on her way out. Her mind wandered to happy thoughts of showers and beds as she locked her office doors and bade her secretary good night.

She was halfway through the lobby, just passing the nurse station, when Blythe House entered PPTH's front doors. Surprise and curiosity mixed in Cuddy at the sight of the older woman, wondering why she was here. The click click click of Cuddy's heels punctuated each step as she made her way towards House's mother.

"Mrs. House," she called getting the attention of the other woman, "What a surprise to see you."

Blythe turned her gaze on the pretty doctor coming her way. Dr. Cuddy, if she remembered correctly, was the hospitals head manager, or "Dean" as they called them. She returned the smile Dr. Cuddy gave her. "Dr. Cuddy, it's so nice to see you again."

By that time the two women had met and were standing in the middle of the lobby exchanging polite greetings. Patients and staff moved about them in a busy haze trying to get from here to there as fast or as slowly as possible. It was late, but not so late that the night shift had started already.

"So what brings you to Princeton?" Cuddy inquired. She didn't know much about House parents, but from what she did know, Blythe House didn't do anything without a reason. She was curious as to what that reason was.

"Oh," Blythe relied, "I'm here to see Greg." She smiled warmly causing the wrinkles around her eyes to crinkle. It was true. She did come here to see Greg. With her husband being gone on another hunting trip, she had thought that now was the time to talk to her son. She mostly wanted to talk about his and James relationship, but that was just her being noisy, something that Gregory would surely not appreciate. Then again, though her relationship with her son wasn't the greatest, she did have some privileges – as a mother – to know something about her son's partner. She had met James a few times but she didn't really know much about him. He seemed like a nice young man and if Greg was…attracted…to other men, then he had made an excellent choice. That is, of course, in Blythe's opinion. She also wanted to talk to Greg about his father, something which has been put off for far too long.

Cuddy tilted her head slightly in a sign of shallow sympathy when she informed Mrs. House that her son had left already. "I'm sure you can see him tomorrow when he comes in to work, or you could always go to his loft to see him."

Blythe gave her a disappointed smile at the news. "Thank you," she said then frowned slightly in thought, "I think that maybe it would be better if I see him at his home."

"Oh," Cuddy commented, her snooping trait getting the best of her, "Is whatever you have to say personal?"

Blythe actually laughed a little at the question. "No, I was just going to ask my son about his relationship with James." She left out the part about John, not wanting to feed any gossip tree that might exist in this hospital. After all, she didn't know Dr. Cuddy that well.

Cuddy smiled warmly at that. Ah, yes, House's relationship with Wilson. It was an interesting one at that.

Cuddy was just about to comment when a sudden beep from her pager immediately drew her attention away from the older woman. Her hand instantly went to retrieve her pager from her purse were she had put in in its own pocket. Glancing at the screen, dread filled her stomach twisting it in knots. The ER wouldn't page her unless there was a crisis of some kind or….

She turned on her heels, ending the conversation. Her mind was already going through all the emergencies that could happen and that she was needed for. A fire, explosion, building collapse, sunken boat, plague, bridge collapse, sick family member, sick friend, sick staff member...the list went on. She was so absorbed in her own thoughts that she didn't even notice Blythe following her asking what was wrong.

When she had reached the ER, she went straight to where she could see Dr. Jones, the Head of the Emergency Room, standing by the ambulance doors. He was barking out orders to some nurses, getting them ready for an arrival.

"Jones," Cuddy shouted, "Tell me what's going on."

The tall Hispanic spared a brief glance at her before returning to getting things ready. "We've got two ambulances coming in. One of them has Dr. Wilson in it and the other has his attacker."

"His attacker?" Cuddy practically squealed. Her horror was written clearly across her face. "What happened?" she then demanded.

"Dr. House called saying that Dr. Wilson was assaulted by his father and required immediate help," Jones said, still not pausing in his work. He shouted another order which a nearby nurse scrambled to obey.

That was when Cuddy released that Blythe was still with her. The gasp and barely concealed sob attracted her attention long enough for her to see unhindered shock in the older woman's eyes. For a moment, Cuddy felt sorry for Blythe. To learn that your husband beat someone couldn't be an easy thing to handle. But that moment of pity was short lived as the chaos around was interrupted by the ambulance bay doors opening to reveal a tired, pained looking Wilson on a stretcher being wheeled into a separate room for examination. Jones ordered them to get started on treating the oncologist when – to Cuddy's great surprise – the bay doors opened again and in came John House, unconscious, on a stretcher being brought into a different examination room. "John?" Blythe called as he was wheeled passed them. This time Jones followed them into the room, still shouting orders. Cuddy was about to tell Blythe that she needed to leave when the doors, for the third time in five minutes, opened, only this time to reveal a very worried and very angry Gregory House.

Cuddy marched up to him, noticing the pronounced limp as House tried to hurry through the ER.

"House, what happened?" she demanded, quickly looking the man over for any injuries. She had no clue what was going on besides that Wilson was attacked by John House.

House's steely gaze latched onto her with an intensity that startled her. "Where is he?" he asked, ignoring her question.

"Wilson's in good hands," she tried to assure the distraught man before she repeated her question, "What. Happened."

"I'll tell you what happened," House spat before pointing to his mother, "Your husband beat the crap out of my boyfriend!" House was furious. Nobody, nobody,hurt his lover. Ever. If they did, they were going to wish they had never seen the oncologist by the time House was through with them.

Blythe's chest and eyes stung at the accusation; to have such hate directed to her from her son hurt more than the fact that her husband was now, quite possibly, fighting for his life. Tears filled her eyes as Greg refocused on Dr. Cuddy, completely ignoring her very existence.

"Where is he?" House repeated. This time Cuddy didn't try to deter the diagnostician's determination. She simply pointed to the room in which Wilson had been wheel into. With barely a second glance in their direction, House limped heavily across the ER and into the separate room, disappearing behind the doors. As she watched, Cuddy hoped that he wouldn't try to interfere with the doctors and nurses already working on Wilson. Turning to Blythe – who was still watching the door with tear streaked cheeks – the dean began to usher the older woman to a waiting room, praying that this nightmare would be over soon and hoping for a positive outcome.

John woke to the sounds of a heart monitor beeping. It was a distinctive sound, one that he had come to learn when he was a marine. The steady bleepbleepbleep was comforting, assuring him that he was still hanging on. Sergeant Botany had always said he was a stubborn one. He never knew when to give up so he just didn't. It saved him a lot of worrying. But he wasn't in the marine core anymore.

Everything came back to him flooding his mind with emotions of hate, disgust, and anger. Flashes of images like a damaged film missing a few frames flew across his vision. He could see James at the door at first surprised and then angry…then afraid. Suddenly the other man was on the wooden floor trying to protect himself from blow after blow, from John. He felt slightly guilty for beating the boy, but he was just so fed up with homosexuals and their twisted views. To him, they were sick, confused people that didn't have their head screwed on straight.

During this thought process, the headache in the back of his skull started to make its presence more prominent. The beat of the monitor changed from bleeping to thudding in a matter of seconds. He was just about to call a nurse when he noticed that he wasn't alone in his hospital room.

In the far corner of the room, seated in one of the chairs that lined the room, was his son. Greg sat leaning back against the back of the chair with his cane resting against his left inner thigh. His intense blue eyes stared holes into John, filled with hate and rage. They didn't say anything but just stared at one another.

The silence stretched on for what seemed like hours but was merely minutes. Finally, the younger of the two men spoke, his tone cold and flat. "Sprained wrist. Two cracked bones, one on the left arm and one on the right leg. Severe bruising to the chest and abdomen as well as both arms and legs. Cracked hip bone on the left side. Mild bruising to the cheek bone. I'd say he has about three months of recovery time ahead of him."

John said nothing. It was obvious who his son was talking about.

Greg continued. "For you, on the other hand, there is only mild bruising to the upper chest, a moderate concussion, and about fifteen years in a state prison."

That shocked John, though it probably shouldn't have. "Prison," he said, his voice raising a notch, "You're going to send your own father to prison?"

"Yup." Just like that. Greg stood, using his cane for support, and limped to the door. All John could do was watch him in a stunned silence. Greg slid the door open and stepped out of the room, disappearing into the halls.

John stared at the closed door. How could this be? He was an upstanding and prideful man. Sending him to prison would be the ultimate humiliation and Greg knew it. Greg knewit. He knew that it would destroy him in a way that no man should be destroyed. Greg, his own son, was feeding him to the wolves. John felt anger surge up in him but was abruptly deflated when he realized that this was his own doing. He should have waited longer. He should have made sure that his son wouldn't have walked in on him. He should have taken James somewhere else. He should have…should have… He should have disowned his son long ago. But he was a stubborn man.

What had he been thinking?

House entered Wilson's room quietly not wishing to disturb his friend's slumber. He limped to the chair at the bedside and sat. Distain and satisfaction still mixed in him as the residue from his "conversation" with his father. John House was going to prison and in the process burning that perfect citizen portrait that he always flaunted except when he had been dealing with his son. But House didn't want to think about his father. It was bad enough that anger surged through him every time he looked at the bruising on Wilson's body, he didn't need more fury to add to the fire. Otherwise he might blow a top and do something stupid which would take him away from his partner. House didn't want that. Mayfield had been bad enough, but prison would be much worse. So instead, House tried to focus on his relief that Wilson was going to be okay.

Yes. Everything was going to be okay and he was going to make sure it stayed that way.

From the glass window, Cuddy watched House sit in his non-stop vigil over Wilson. The nightmare was over and though the results weren't perfect, she wasn't complaining. After all, things could have easily been worse. But she tried not to let herself think of "what ifs" because she had learned early on in life that they were just a waste of time.

Heaving a heavy sigh, she thought about that shower and bed that seemed to have escaped her for the night. If she had never met Blythe in the lobby then she would have been on her way home when she would've gotten the call. But that was just another "what if". Thinking about Mrs. House brought her thoughts back to her. Cuddy felt sorry for her. In one day, her husband had been treated for a concussion and her son had practically disowned her.

After they had heard the news that both Wilson and Mr. House were going to be okay, Blythe had left for her hotel saying that she didn't want to see John and that she needed to "give Greg some time to cool down." Cuddy suspected that the poor woman had just needed to get away from everything and gather herself. Not that she blamed the older woman. Everything was kind of hard to grasp, with House's father beating Wilson and all.

Cuddy smiled as she watched House momentarily stand to fix Wilson's blankets before sitting again and restoring his staring contest with the oncologist's chest. He was no doubt watching his lover's breathing to assure himself that Wilson would be okay; and he would be. Wilson would be okay. Those two were quite a pair but she knew that nothing would separate them. They were meant for each other. Yes, everything was going to be okay. They were going to be okay.

She was sure of it.

The End.

Well there you have it folks! The story is finished. all things and I would like to thank you for your patience, your reviews and most importantly, for reading!