Author's Notes: This is written for a dear friend of mine, samanthaviner, who requested I write a fic featuring House/Cuddy and a piano. This piece is set during season 1. Also, this fic features sex, so if you don't want to read that, please don't.
Disclaimer: I don't own House, Cuddy, Wilson, or any other character on the show.
In Your Dreams
By Duckie Nicks
There is no thin line between love and hate. Of this House is sure.
One little fight with Cuddy over clinic duty and Wilson's already picking out their china patterns. But House knows there's no affection fighting to be uncovered. There's no love between them, no emotional history to underscore the limited relationship they do have.
Obviously he can't deny they slept together. He won't. But he's not going to act like it means something. It doesn't. One night together years ago does not a meaningful time make.
And that's precisely why he has no intention of ever revealing to Wilson that he's had sex with Cuddy. He admits to jizzing in her beav (well, in a condom while he was in her beav, to be exact), and Wilson will just be further convinced something is going on.
It's not Wilson's fault really that he'll jump to that conclusion. Considering he's married or proposed to every vagina he's poked, it's not that absurd for him to make assumptions about Cuddy and the way House views her.
But he would be wrong.
Because House does not want her.
House does not love her.
He looks at Cuddy, and he can recognize that they have a history together, but it doesn't mean anything. He doesn't feel anything. He's not resentful or angry that she had a hand in ruining his leg. He's not attracted to her, because they slept with each other once. And most importantly, he's not pining after her.
Okay. If he hadn't gotten kicked out of school, would he have called the next day? Sure. He's not so indifferent now that he can't see what a great catch he thought she was back then.
He can even see why someone would want her now. She's hot, occasionally intelligent, and has enough of a sense of humor to put up with him, so he can understand why someone would want her.
But he does not.
As attractive as she is, as appealing as she might be to some, he doesn't feel anything for her. He refuses to.
To want her would be foolish. To act on those feelings would be to risk everything he's fought so hard to achieve.
It sounds all so melodramatic, but it's the truth: to let himself feel anything for Cuddy would jeopardize his work. It's really that simple.
After all, what would happen if they started dating? She begins to hate saying no to him, because she finally has a lover that doesn't require batteries to operate. He begins to back off when he knows he's right, because he's in love. And then they start to resent each other for those behaviors, making it impossible to separate their professional problems from their personal ones. So then they break up, and then they have the opposite issue: Cuddy starts telling him no, because she's pissy, and he starts taking risks just to annoy her.
In other words? Simply put, loving her, hating her – it's nowhere near the same thing, but both roads lead to the same destination: they can't work together anymore. Or maybe they can; maybe they do, but it won't be as good as it is now when they feel absolutely nothing for one another.
And frankly, that's all he needs to know. Wilson might like to believe that there's something more beneath the occasional agitation and aggravation, but House can guarantee that there's nothing hidden. His feelings for Cuddy are as kiddy-pool shallow as they seem.
But somewhere along the way, his subconscious has seemed to have forgotten that fact, because he can't stop dreaming about her.
He'll carelessly spot her putting on lipstick as he's darting out of the clinic, and that night, unbidden the image will appear in his mind: that particular shade of lipstick smeared along the length of his cock as she sucks him off. Or he'll catch her bending over to pick something up, and eight hours later, he'll dream of fucking her from behind, his balls slapping noisily against her pert ass.
And he has no idea why.
It's not like he welcomes these scenarios, encourages himself to dream of his boss in that way. If anything, he goes out of his way to pretend like Cuddy doesn't exist at all.
But his mind has different ideas.
Today, he saw her escort movers with a piano and set of drums into the hospital lobby to set up for the fundraiser that evening. He didn't mean to notice it while it was happening. She was micromanaging as usual, and he'd just been skipping out of work early when he saw her. And at the time, he'd barely noticed what she was doing.
Yet he must have paid enough attention, because that night, he dreams about her.
He can tell it's a dream almost immediately. His leg doesn't hurt; he's completely pain free, and that doesn't happen in real life, which means he can only be dreaming.
He's standing in a stark white room, large windows instead of walls stretching from ceiling to floor. He doesn't know how he got here, but he's unconcerned.
The sun peeks out from behind a cloud in the gray sky, and he winces as light floods the already harshly bright room. But he doesn't care why he's there.
"Why don't you sit down?" she suggests, her voice somehow echoing in the unfriendly room.
House turns to face her. It's Cuddy, which is no surprise. Despite his efforts to never think or dream about her, she comes to him whether he wants it or not.
She looks different than usual. Her hair is pulled back into a severe bun knotted at the base of her neck. Her skin is pale, contrasted only by the fresh paint of bright red lipstick across her lips.
She's wearing panty hose, the kind you need garters to hold up. How he knows this, he's not sure. She's wearing a black suit with an unusually loose skirt and conservative top (well, loose and conservative for her anyway), and there's no way he can see her thigh... or any of the other delectable bits she possesses. But somehow he knows what she's wearing underneath.
And he can feel his face flush with heat at that thought.
He doesn't want it to.
But as he stands there in front of her, he can't help but imagine what she looks like beneath her reserved appearance. He can't help but think how the ice queen would melt when he got her on her back and forced himself inside of her. Her legs draped over his shoulders, her white teeth nibbling on her bottom lip, he imagines she would whine an "Oh" with each thrust he gave her.
And it requires no imagination to realize how that makes him feel, because within seconds, he can tell his pants are getting unusually tight.
But that's when he notices that he's not dressed as he should be either. Instead of rumpled jeans and a t-shirt, he's wearing neatly pressed khaki pants and a navy sweater.
The wool itches against him, as he feels himself reject the reality he finds himself in. This isn't right, he thinks. He shouldn't be dressed like Chase headed to church.
Cuddy, however, doesn't give House a chance to admit to himself that this can't be real. Her cherry-glossed lips turning down into a frown, she tells him coolly, "I told you to sit down."
His eyes widen, as nervousness courses through his veins. That too isn't right, as he shouldn't be afraid of disappointing her. But that doesn't matter, because right or wrong, his face grows hot, and he swallows hard. His voice trembling, he says lamely, "There's no place to sit."
She shakes her head in disappointment. "Have you not been practicing?" she asks knowingly.
"I..." He doesn't understand. Practicing what?
"Come on," she tells him, dismissing the question before he even has a chance to ask it. "Sit down and show me what you've learned since we last met."
She moves a few inches to the right, and it's then that he sees it.
House isn't surprised that he missed it. It too is a brilliant white. Even the black keys are white for some reason he can't explain. But that's all right, he supposes. He can play the piano.
Awkwardly, he moves to sit down on the bench. He doesn't mean to limp, but he can't help it. His cock refuses to settle in his underwear, and somehow, the longer he's in Cuddy's presence, the harder he becomes.
He's so turned on that he even has to fight the gasp that struggles to escape his mouth when she sits next to him.
He doesn't mean to be like this. But he is. Whatever the reason - and he sure as hell doesn't know it - her nearness makes him want to have sex with her. The smell of her perfume, the warmth of her body as she moves on the bench to be closer to him, it's all more than enough to make him embarrassingly desperate.
"Did you bring your music?" she asks slowly, seemingly unaware of what his body is putting him through, what her body is putting him through.
House shakes his head. He hopes that it will clear his mind of any desire he feels for her. But he's not that lucky.
"No?" She looks at him with disappointment etched in the subtle lines of her face. "You do know you're required to bring the sheet music, don't you?"
"Yes," he says miserably, even though House rationally knows that he has no idea what the rules are in this world.
Her voice is stern when she asks, "Then why didn't you bring it?"
"I don't know." It's pretty much the truth.
She sighs. "All right. I guess we can work on your scales today." It sounds like a concession, one he for whatever reason feels grateful for. "However," she says, her tones hardening. "If you forget it next time, I will have to punish you."
His heart pounds in his ears. His throat seems to constrict at the idea, making every molecule of oxygen feel impossibly thick. He struggles to breathe as her words wash over him.
It's not out of fear exactly.
Or at all.
It's out of yearning.
To be punished by her... apparently, some part of him thinks with derision, that's something he wants.
In a moment of odd clarity, House knows in his marrow that this is a dream and that this is certainly not the first dream he's had where Cuddy has dominated him. He makes jokes about Cuddy liking rough sex or being a naughty nun or something along those lines, but he guesses some part of him really likes the idea of that, because it's not rare that he dreams about her in this manner.
She grabs his arm roughly then and pulls him out of his thoughts. "Do I make myself clear?"
He's tempted to be a smart ass.
He's really tempted.
And if this were real life, which this wouldn't be, because this would never happen in real life, he would absolutely offer her a sarcastic comment as an answer. But in this dream world, he can tell that he's... for some bizarre reason interested in pleasing her. Because before he can even think of a sardonic reply, he finds himself nodding and answering quietly, "Yes."
Cuddy looks displeased by his response, but she clearly shrugs it off. "All right. We'll start with C major."
It should be easy.
Lacking any sharps or flats, it means he won't have to touch any of the keys that are typically black.
But then again, it's not exactly a key that fits the positions of his fingers very well. And she must know this, because as he plays, she seems to wait expectantly for a mistake.
Again, he's not sure how he knows any of this. He can just feel her anticipation.
She doesn't have to wait long.
His sweaty fingers tentatively press the keys; he doesn't want to screw up, but the second he goes for the G, he falters and hits A at the same time.
He does, but that's all he allows himself to do. He certainly doesn't give himself permission to look at her.
"Have you been practicing?"
He nods his head. It isn't exactly the truth. He hasn't practiced whatever it is he's supposed to have been learning in this dream. But he is capable of playing the piano. He definitely knows how to play C major.
"Really?" Her voice is husky, like she's daring him to lie to her.
He can see her shake her head out of the corner of his eye. "It doesn't sound like it."
"I have." There's a note of pleading to the sentence that he despises. He shouldn't have to try so hard, especially when his subconscious is the one in control.
"But you made a mistake," she points out coldly. "If you'd been practicing, your hands would know how to navigate the keys more easily."
He decides that insisting that he's practiced isn't good enough; it won't get him out of this mess. So he offers her a helping of the truth. "I can't concentrate."
But immediately, he senses that this wasn't the right way to go. Because it just begs her to ask him why that is.
Indeed, that's exactly what she does. "Why not?"
He shrugs. "Don't know." He's mumbling, forcing himself to utter a lie he figures she probably won't believe.
Why should she believe him, really, when his distraction is tenting against his khakis obviously?
"I don't believe that," she tells him unsurprisingly. "You know why."
She lets the matter go. Pursing her lips together, Cuddy tells him, "Try again please."
He doesn't want to.
What he wants is for this stupid dream to be over, for his mind to stop punishing him with fantasies about a woman he does not want.
He wants to be anywhere but here, thinking of any woman but this one.
But his subconscious won't give into his wishes.
"Are you refusing to do what you're told?" she asks in a low voice. He thinks he feels her warm breath on his cheek, but looking over at her, he can see that she hasn't moved.
He shakes his head. He's not refusing, not exactly. He's simply railing against his own mind, no more, no less.
Cuddy doesn't know that though. Instead, she (or his version of her anyway) tells him warningly, "I won't tell you again, House. You need to listen to me."
"I am listening," he says bitterly. "I can hear you just fine."
She frowns, shakes her head. "I would have thought you'd have learned by now," she says disappointedly, though she's not really talking to him. It's more of a comment than anything else.
Suddenly cocking her head to the side, she admonishes him. "I thought you were smarter than this."
He can't help but glare at her. "I'm smarter than you."
It's a lame comeback. Seriously, it's one of the dumber lines he's ever uttered in her presence.
But House is unable to resist cutting himself some slack at the moment: blood's rushing to places it shouldn't be heading right now, and he doesn't know the rules of this game, so it's hard to play it well.
He has no time though to consider what a better response would be, because she suddenly demands, "Take out your penis."
It's such an odd and creepy (lots of emphasis on the creepy) instruction that he has no intention of listening. He doesn't think his own mind would castrate him, but he's not going to bet his dick on it.
"You think I don't notice?"
Her pale hands reach over. Instantly she goes for his fly and the single button on his pants. House knows he should stop her, but he doesn't. He's too intrigued to see what she will do… even if there's a possibility he'll wake up with castration anxiety.
She quickly opens up his pants and slips her hand inside. Her palm is warm, even through the cotton fabric of his underwear. And her grip is gentle as she slowly tugs his dick out of his shorts and khakis.
Intently he watches her as she strokes him a few times. But he pays little attention to what she says to him at that moment. "You can't hide this from me." She squeezes him just enough so he can really feel it in his balls.
He inhales sharply, which makes her smile. She pumps him quicker now, her hand knowing exactly what he wants and needs.
"I would have thought you'd learned by now."
He has no idea what she means by that. But with beads of precum leaking out of his tip, frankly, he's just happy he heard what she was saying. That seems like an accomplishment to be proud of, really.
For sure, the rest of his body has completely surrendered to her will. The hands that should be fighting her off are gripping the piano tightly to hold him up. The legs that should be walking away from all of his are relaxed on the bench. The mouth that should be telling her off is too busy panting, gasping for air. And the revulsion he should feel, that he wants to feel, is nowhere to be found.
In its place is complacency, desire, need.
He doesn't care what she's saying or what she wants. He doesn't care that all of this is probably wrong and definitely not real. All he cares about is the feel of her hand on him.
"If you want me, House…." Her voice is cold compared to the heat he feels rising in his body. Sweat dripping down his temples, he tries to focus on what she's saying.
And he's glad he does, because it's then that she says, "You're going to have to be a little bit better behaved than this."
Her hand releases him.
"Wait," he says loudly, his fingers reaching to grab her wrist.
But he's barely touched her before she disappears into thin air.
And that's when he wakes up, hot and out of breath.
It's the middle of the night, but he has no trouble believing that his skin is flush with desire or that his sheets tent around his erection awkwardly. He doesn't need the light to know that, just as he doesn't need to weigh his options before deciding getting off is his only choice.
As he shoves the sheets off of his body, he purposely ignores the implication of his actions. He ignores the parallel between the hurried way he pulls his hard cock out of the slit in his pants and the gentle way she had done it in his mind.
No, he tells himself, Cuddy didn't do anything.
She wasn't here; it was just a dream.
And in his mind, he likes to emphasize the just part. Sure, he could focus on the fact that he's beating himself off to the image of her. But he prefers not to look at it that way. He simply chooses to see it as finishing what his subconscious would not.
Closing his eyes, he thinks about what he just dreamed himself experiencing. As he tugs himself quickly to orgasm, he imagines it's her hand, not his. He imagines that she eventually replaces her fist with her mouth, all hot and wet. He pretends that it's her throat he comes down instead of all over his own hand.
And he doesn't feel guilty or conflicted about that at all.
It was just a dream, he tells himself once more. It doesn't mean anything.
Because he does not want Cuddy.
And probably, if he's dreaming about her at all, it's Wilson's fault for trying to convince House that he has feelings for her. Really, that's the only explanation: his subconscious is picking up on Wilson's nonsense.
But House is okay with that. He doesn't want to jeopardize his work, but he's not concerned. Wilson can keep making comments, and it won't make a difference.
Because there is no thin line between love and hate. Of this House is sure.