Author's Note: This fic was originally written for the Secret Santa activity on the House Cuddy Livejournal community. My recipient, autumnrain78, gave me the prompt of red thong and requested smut, the more perverted the better. As such, this fic contains adult sexual situations. Spanking and watersports (specifically the consumption of urine) are in this piece. If that offends you, please do not read any further. This is set in season 4, after "You Don't Want to Know."

Disclaimer: I don't own the show.

A Dark Inclination
By Duckie Nicks

She realizes, as Cole leaves, that this has been the oddest way she's gone about to ruin someone else's fun. And considering the person she's messing around with is House, Cuddy understands that that's saying a lot. But it is true – and truly screwed up that, instead of talking about what's going on, they play a version of tug-of-war that involves her thong and his future staff.

At the moment, she's waiting for him to limp his moronic self into her office, the news that he has fired Cole spreading through the hospital and into her office faster than House is able to move. And as she waits, she contemplates the very real possibility that she's the one who instigated this convoluted contest.

Of course, Cuddy doesn't actually think this is her fault or that House has been justified to behave the way he has. But as she paces back and forth in front of her desk, she can't help but think that she's the one who got the ball rolling a week ago. Because it was a week ago that she called attention to what they'd been doing the past couple months, and somehow that doesn't seem like a coincidence to her.

They'd been sleeping together carelessly for a while now, a slew of nights that involved little more than a silent acknowledgement that they were going to screw one another senseless and say nothing more. If they'd talked at all, it had been the kind of conversation they'd perfected – all wit and insult, all challenge and no concession. Meaningless bits of dialogue, like how he couldn't get out of clinic duty simply because he'd given the boss multiple orgasms or impolite reminders that she wanted two names for his new team as she'd ridden him hard, had been the norm.

Would still be the norm, she thinks, if she hadn't been so displeased by House's obvious crush on Dr. Terzi.

Cuddy hates the way her lips shape themselves into a sneer at the other doctor's name. She doesn't want to be the jealous girlfriend – especially not House's jealous girlfriend.

But she realizes that that desire doesn't really matter. Because while Cuddy had never wanted to be the envious type, she'd found herself rankled by the attention House had bestowed upon the other woman anyway. And so, once Terzi had been fired, once the documentary crew had left, Cuddy had been blindly emboldened to reveal to him a part of herself she hadn't even believed existed.

That night, several glasses of wine in both of their systems, House and Cuddy had both been particularly insistent on getting laid. Sprawled on the couch, empty Chinese food cartons disposed of on her coffee table, they'd been far too interested in one another to consider the cramped space they were in.

One of his hands had slipped underneath her blouse roughly, a button falling off in the process. His rough fingers sliding underneath her bra, he had eagerly run a thumb over her already hardened nipple. His other hand had been working her skirt up her hips, and as they'd kissed, she'd been fumbling with the fly on his jeans.

The distinct metallic sound of his zipper being pulled apart tooth by tooth had cut through the hushed sounds of their labored breathing and hard kissing. And the second she'd managed to free his erection, he'd asked – well, not so much asked as practically demanded – "Give me a blow job."

His dick in her hand, she'd slowly stroked him, his skin hot to the touch, to his full hardness. The temptation to taste him had been there, had been something she probably would have done under different circumstances. But after seeing him flirt and act like an ass (even more so than usual), Cuddy hadn't been interested. If anything, she'd thought that he should be the one on his knees. So she'd shaken her head and told him in a punishing voice, "That's not going to happen."

House had frowned at her response, despite his grip on her breast tightening as her thumb flitted over the top of his prick. "Come on," he'd replied slowly, his breathing labored and mind too distracted to come up with any convincing argument.

She'd let go of him by then, her hands reaching behind her back to undo her own zipper. As annoyed as she'd been, the sex in general was too good to deny herself. He hadn't deserved it then, but she certainly had. "You can't spend your days flirting with whoever the hell you want and then come to me and expect –"

"Well, obviously, I can, if you're taking off your skirt in order to have sex with me," House had pointed out in irritation, his hand curling around his cock and stroking lightly.

And it had been then, that off-handed comment he'd said in annoyance, that Cuddy had wondered what it was that they were doing exactly.

They weren't in a relationship, she'd thought. Even if she'd wanted to use that word, what kind of relationship was it if it were the kind that allowed for the kind of incessant flirting that made her privately fume?

The questions ones she had no answers for, she'd sighed, slumping down on the couch next to him. Reality had begun to sink into her, and she hadn't been able to shake it away soon enough. The moment ruined for her, she'd said almost mournfully, "We can't keep doing this."

"You're right," he'd agreed easily. His fingers clasping around her wrist, it had then become almost immediately apparent that he either had no idea what she was talking about or just didn't care, because he'd told her, "My dick is so hard it hurts. Forget the blow job."

He'd tugged on her, but she'd refused to move. Instead, she'd shaken her head. "That's not what I mean, you moron." Angrily brushing a strand of dark hair out of her face, she'd explained, "I'm talking about how we've been running around like two horny teenagers with nothing to lose."

The words had come out more harried than she'd wanted them to. Her hands wildly gesticulating in front of her hadn't helped matters. Not that it had really mattered; House hadn't seemed concerned by the situation at all. "Yeah. I figured you were referring to something I don't care about," he'd responded snottily. "I was just hoping you'd take the hint and have sex with me, so we could avoid this conversation."

"I just think…" she'd begun to say, her voice tight with emotion. "That we can't keep doing this. We can't keep… randomly having sex."

Their situation had sounded even more childish and ridiculous when she'd said those words.

Becoming increasingly agitated, she'd reminded him, "We're adults, House. We're supposed to have actual, not-screwed-up relationships – relationships with weddings and children and don't include activities like speculating about the kind of bra I'm wearing at work or hiring someone just so you can flirt with her –"

"So that's what this is about," House had interrupted, quickly deducing what had set this off. "This is about Terzi and –"


"Yes, it is."

She'd decided to relent… a little. "Well, that didn't help. But that's not…" Her voice had trailed off, the words she'd wanted to say just out of reach. And when she had managed to figure what it was she wanted to tell him, she hadn't been able to keep the sadness out of her tone or her gaze. "I just think… we're too old to be doing… this."

"According to… who exactly?" he'd asked curiously.

Shaking her head, Cuddy had answered, "Me." When he hadn't said anything, she'd continued, "Seeing you flirt the past few days… I guess it's made me realize that, as much as I like this, I need something else from you."

And never missing a beat, House had responded by gesturing to his penis, still painfully hard and ready for her. "I have more – a lot more – to give you," he'd replied sarcastically, eyebrows waggling dramatically as though to entice her.

But what it had done had been to effectively end the conversation she'd wanted to have.

Because as serious as she'd been, as serious as she'd wanted him to be, she'd realized in that moment that… he wasn't going to give her the answer she wanted.

He wasn't going to say anything of substance at all.

She'd known in that moment that he wasn't going to give her a relationship or risk not getting laid by saying he didn't want a relationship.

That fact had stung – not that she'd wanted to show that to him. The hurt he'd caused her not something she'd wanted to advertise, she'd only allowed her irritation over the situation to bleed through her walls and surface for him to see.

And standing up, Cuddy had yanked down her skirt. Through gritted teeth, she'd nearly snarled out a "Fine," before straddling him. His dick easily sliding into her, the conversation had ended, a finger running along her clit moments later making her forget all too easily just how annoyed she was.

But that hadn't been the end to it. Because the next work day, House was asking his fellows for her thong, and Cuddy can't believe that the two things are unrelated.

Of course, she's not sure how they might be related. She's not entirely unconvinced that this isn't a mere power play, something he would have done regardless of the conversation they'd just had. But she also knows that House doesn't do anything without a reason, without an agenda, and it makes more sense that he's trying to prove something – although God only knows what.

Her inability to read his actions with the same accuracy that he can do the same to her is annoying.

And so the second he bursts through her office doors, she's agitated and ready for a fight. "What the hell are you doing?" she asks, arms folding across her chest.

"Apparently spending the next five minutes being yelled at, instead of doing naughty things to your thong," he says in mocking lamentation.

"You gave yourself a potentially lethal blood – "

"And I'm fine, Mommy."

He unceremoniously shuts the door behind him with his cane. Which means he's not annoyed with her, or at least nowhere near as irritated with her as she is with him; when he is that irate, he slams things or tries to get away from her as quickly as possible, leaving no room for interpretation over just how he feels.

Still, Cuddy doesn't feel at ease at the moment. He's not responding, just looking at her innocently, making her feel as though she's about to fall into one of his carefully laid traps.

Naturally, though, it's not in her nature to back down from her own irritation in order to avoid a fight. It's certainly not her character to back down, because he's been sick for part of the day. If it was, she could never be mad at him, as he always puts himself in that position. "You fired the one person who would be good for you."

"He didn't play by the rules," House defends easily, moving closer to her.

"Since when do you care about following rules?"

"Since I decided to care," he replies quickly.

Reaching behind herself, Cuddy grabs a couple of manila folders on her desk and moves towards the file cabinets in her office. She has a feeling that this conversation won't resolve itself in a short amount of time; he's clearly decided to keep her in suspense, and she's okay with that. But she needs to get some last minute work done in the meantime. Without looking in his direction, she says, "You told them to get my thong. He got it. He did what you wanted."

"No," House disagrees, using the voice he would probably use if he were talking to a child. As he stalks towards her, he tells her, "The point was for him to do something without you knowing."

He comes to stand behind her, not that she turns around to look at him; she doesn't need to; she can feel his disapproving eyes on her back, and she has no desire to let him see the unsettling effect it has on her. "He got the thong," House concedes. "But you gave it to him. And honestly…."

His voice trails off dangerously, and before she has any sense to turn around or move out of the way, he's pressed his body to hers. Pushed against the file cabinet, she has nowhere to go, no way to escape. His arms coming down on either side of her body, he's balancing his weight on the metal top of the cabinet. Which has the effect of making sure she has no choice but to stay exactly where she is – completely under his control.

And that means she can't move when he puts his warm lips to her ear and whispers with a harsh edge to his voice, "I don't like it."

She ignores him and places another folder into its appropriate place, offering no immediate response, which makes him say, "Last week you pout because of Terzi. This week you're giving away your panties to the highest bidder."

Injecting a hint of venom in her voice, Cuddy finally responds snottily, "You're only pissed, because I messed with your little game."

"No. I'm just trying to figure out if you interfered in 'my little game' because you thought it would make me jealous –"

She snorts loudly at the accusation. "I am not trying to make you –"

"Well, then you're a previously undiagnosed schizophrenic," he finishes easily, ignoring her attempt at a denial.

Rolling her eyes, Cuddy retorts, "Yeah, I'm the one with the mental illness." She shoves another file into the drawer. "Considering you're the lunatic who made stealing the boss's panties a game, that's rich."

He sighs dramatically then, his chin resting on her shoulder.

It's so inappropriate, dangerous even, to be doing this at work.

Especially when he moves one his hands to grip her tightly around her waist, because, although right now they aren't visible from the doorway, she is aware that it will be hard for them to quickly extract themselves if someone does walk in.

But before she can even issue a warning, House says, "You know I was going to give you a chance to earn your thong back –"

"You can keep it," she interrupts in earnest. "Honestly, given what you've probably already done to it, I'm not interested in having it returned."

Ignoring her, he continues condescendingly, "But I don't think you're very sorry for interrupting my fun, and now –"

She spins around to face him, a smug look on her face. "Why would I feel bad about that?" Honestly, Cuddy thinks, if he's looking for contrition, he should look elsewhere, because she has no intention of apologizing for meddling with his games.

He ignores her question and continues talking. "Now I'm thinking you should be punished," he draws out lasciviously, in a manner designed to catch her attention.

And it works, because as soon as the word, punished, is mentioned, she's scoffing, folding her arms across her chest. "Right. You're going to punish me," she repeats, the words sounding even more ludicrous coming out of her mouth. "What are you going to do, House – send me to bed without dinner? Give me a time out in my office? Spank me?"

Naturally, House pretends to consider it – as though it's actually an offer. "You know… that sounds about right," he tells her in a low voice, one of his hands moving to palm her ass in a way that suggests he's truly interested.

Which makes her nervous enough to push him away. Her hands shoving his chest, he can't help but stumble back a little, probably making his thigh ache painfully. But moving back to her desk, Cuddy isn't concerned about that, about him. "We are at work," she reminds him angrily.

"Hmm," he says, nodding his head in understanding. "Sorry. I forgot you drew the line somewhere between giving your panties to an employee and letting another one touch your ass."

She wants to shout out a retort, wants to yell until her voice is hoarse that it was at his insistence that there was a clamor for her underwear to begin with. But she doesn't do that, because she's incredibly aware of her assistant being only ten feet or so away – and the clinic being just beyond that. So she tells him through gritted teeth, "Go find a sick person to harass."

"In a minute." There's no missing that he sounds equally annoyed. But whereas her voice was borderline whiney, his is… gruff and low.

To be honest, it's not entirely unlike how he sounds when he's balls deep inside of her and ordering her to do something to get him off. And just as she thinks it then, she thinks now that his harsh words should be offensive to her.

Well… maybe it is a little, but nevertheless, it turns her on, wetness beginning to pool between her legs. Much to her dismay if not her surprise, she realizes, because at this point in their lives, she thinks she should be able to resist House and his little tricks. She should be able to ignore him and push him out of her life and find someone who vaguely approaches normal.

But the fact is that she's never known how to say no to his games. And in this case, more than the tone of his voice or the look in his eyes, it's the collective allure of the power play, something that House knows she's drawn to and that he can't deny himself. As he takes a step closer to her, he tells her, "We still have to settle the matter of your punishment."

In all honesty, Cuddy isn't sure how far House is willing to take this. But as is usually her way, she is hesitant to blink first. "Well, if you want to spank me –"

"I do," he interrupts pointedly, his blue eyes narrowing on her, waiting for her to crumble under the challenge. "Since you haven't apologized yet, it seems to me you need an incentive."

She can't help but look away, her fingers lightly touching the pen on her desk. She's not sure she wants to go down the rabbit hole, isn't sure that she wants to dare House to do what he's suggesting. But then…

Part of her is absolutely convinced that he won't go through with it. Because as overbearing and abrasive as he can be, she's never taken him for someone who enjoys physical punishment of any sort. And so, with that in mind, she confidently calls his bluff. "Fine. But it'll have to wait until after work."

His own fingers beginning to drum against the chair in front of him, House asks, "Hoping I'll chicken out if we wait a couple hours?"

"Is that your way of saying you will?"

"Is that your way of saying that you want me to?" he throws back at her.

She brushes off the implication in his question. "I'm not afraid. I can easily handle anything you throw my way."

He smirks. "I guess we'll see after work. My place." He turns to leave, calling to her over his shoulder in a warning voice, "Don't be late."

But in the end, Cuddy is going to be late, she realizes only ten minutes or so after he's left her office. Because she's had a last minute meeting with an overly conversational donor added to her calendar, and by the time, she's shoved him out the door, it's way past the hour House would have expected her at his apartment.

Which means when she does show up at his place, he's going to be bitchy and childish and whiny, and none of those things really turn her on. But at this point, Cuddy knows that she doesn't really have any choice but to show up; he'll be obnoxious tonight but nowhere near the same level of obnoxious as when he thinks she's backed out.

So really, the best she can do is make a peace offering, which comes, in this case, in the form of Thai food and beer. Picking up the dinner on the way to his apartment, she makes sure to pick up the things he likes the most – including some little appetizer called "golden bags" that she's sure he enjoys solely for the inappropriate jokes he can make.

Unfortunately by the time she arrives at his apartment, it's obvious that House is angry. Closing the door behind her with her foot, Cuddy announces her presence by saying, "Sorry I'm late. There was a donor and…."

She shakes her head, her voice trailing off. She doesn't want to relive the horror of that particular meeting if she doesn't have to, and given that House doesn't look remotely interested, his back turned to her, she stops talking.

He's sitting on the couch in the near dark, only a small light in one of the corners on and burning way too dimly to give the large room any real brightness. His gaze, as best she can tell, is on the fireplace, and his shoulders are set harshly, his displeasure so clear that she can't help but roll her eyes at the childish display. "You're late," he finally growls.

As she shrugs herself out of her coat, precariously balancing the take out and liquor in her hands, she replies with slight irritation, "That's what I said."

"I told you not to be late."

She drops her coat on the back of the couch and places the food in her hands on the coffee table in front of him. "Well, you know I contemplated on telling my assistant to cancel my meeting because of the kinky sex games you clearly have planned for me," she tells him sarcastically. "And then I realized that that was stupid. I mean as enticing as this all sounds, I'm not exactly in a rush to be spanked."

He smirks, fiddling with the glass of scotch she didn't notice until now in his hands. "Afraid?"

"Of course not," Cuddy replies with a scowl.

Really, she's not afraid as much as she is confused by the whole thing. But then again, she also realizes that if there really is fear inside of her, she's not going to admit it to herself, much less to him, because she knows that he'll easily see through her and know that she's afraid. And then, although she is sure that he won't continue, he will make fun of her, taunt her, which would be, simply put, irritating.

His smirk turns into a wolfish grin. "And yet… you're still over there."

She fights back, "I'm not avoiding you."

"Then come here."

The challenge is clearly visible in his eyes. He's daring her to make her choice, to either let him do what he's been saying he'll do or tell him that she's no longer game. And the latter is obviously no option at all. Because just as she's willing to part with her thong for a chance to outdo him, she's willing to risk a spanking if only to prove that he won't do it.

She slinks over to him, her own challenging look meeting his. But House is still unconvinced, because as she stops in front of him, he notes, "You don't think I'm going to go through with this." He sets his scotch to the side so he can focus on her.

"No," Cuddy disagrees haughtily, even if part of her does believe that. "I don't think that at all."

"Good," he tells her, leaning forward, his fingers gripping the edge of her skirt. He yanks hard on the material, pulling the fabric up over her hips so that it's bunched around her waist. Only her thong keeps her from being completely bottomless, from being exposed to him.

And Cuddy can't help but gasp at his actions, her legs teetering on the thin points of her heels. Which makes him look at her in disappointment. "You should know by now when I'm serious," he says with light dismay.

Ignoring the comment, she reaches down and takes off her shoes. To herself, she can admit that she's made a misstep by allowing any shock to show at all. But it really couldn't be helped, because even if she could have known that he was serious, she knows that there really was no predicting that he would tug at her clothing like that. Or rather, she thinks wryly, there was no predicting that he would do that when they weren't trying to have sex as quickly as possible.

Obviously taking her silence for fear, House offers carefully, "If you don't want to do this, I'll give you a way out." His fingers drum tantalizingly on her thighs, reminding her just how exposed she really is. "All you have to do is admit that you screwed up by –"

"I didn't screw up. You're just angry that someone had the balls to mess with your little game," she interrupts knowingly.

He slides a warm hand across the smooth plane of her thigh. Moving between her legs, his fingers cup her mound through the tight silk of her thong. Somehow he manages to turn her body against her, her nipples tightening and folds becoming slick instinctively because he's this close to her.

It's a fact that she hates, a fact that she wishes would become false so that she can return to normal. Return to a life where she doesn't feel the need to have sex with House any chance she can at least. But right about now, her clitoris beginning to pulse at his nearness, she thinks that will never happen.

Suddenly interrupting her thoughts, House says, "Doesn't feel like you have any balls."

Admittedly, it's hard to go for haughty when he's got a hand between her legs, but she goes for it nevertheless. "Metaphorical balls, jackass."

He smirks. "You're pretty cocky for someone about to be punished." As he taunts her, he slips his fingers into her thong, his thumb holding the material away from her body so he can lightly stroke her.

He's still not penetrating her, but his finger circles her clit in slow motions. That she is already wet and eager does not go unnoticed by him, which she hates. "Interesting," House murmurs. "This is turning you on?"

He doesn't wait for her to answer, and at first, she's grateful for that, because she's not sure what she wants to say to him. But when he speaks again, all thoughts of gratitude go out the window, because he asks, "Does the idea of being forced over my knee, being spanked over and over make you wet, Cuddy? Is that what you want – to be treated like that?"

She closes her eyes so that she can ignore the way he's looking at her expectantly, knowingly. But in doing so, Cuddy understands that the missing sense only amplifies the others, and now she can feel his fingers sliding through her wetness even more intensely, hear how slick she is. And she has to fight to tell him, "No."

Which he clearly doesn't believe for a second. At that moment, as soon as the word is out of her mouth, House slips two of his fingers inside of her easily, just as easily disproving her denial in the process. "Your lips say no, but these lips are saying something else. Don't you think?" he asks her quietly.

As he flicks her clit with his thumb, Cuddy answers his question half-heartedly, shaking her head, "No."

"You're lying," House points out with dismay, pumping his fingers in and out of her at a painfully slow pace.

Opening her eyes, she gives him the best glare she possibly can while still allowing herself to enjoy the pleasure his hand is giving her in rough thrusts. "I'm not lying," she says in a tight voice.

His reaction is to pull his fingers out of her, to remove his hand completely from between her thighs. Holding it up to her, he makes sure she can see what they both know is on his skin. Though the lighting in the room is dim, Cuddy can easily make out her juices on him. "So then you're always this wet?" he asks in disbelief. "You're always this ready to be fucked?"

She folds her arms across her chest. "When someone's fingering me, yes."

Irritation is beginning to clamor within her body, almost as fervently as her desire for him to have sex with her is. The combination not a foreign one, it's what defines their relationship, she knows. The need to annoy mixed with the need to screw, the need to hate the game even as they keep playing it – this is what they do. And she both hates it and loves it, despises it and gets off on it, just as she can tell by the irritation in his eyes that he does too.

At that moment, House shakes his head and says, "You're still lying." But before Cuddy can deny that, he continues, "Don't worry, though… I'll give you what your tight, wet pussy is telling me it wants, even if you're too scared to admit it."

He roughly shoves a hand in her thong once more, his knuckles rubbing against her briefly as he pushes her panties down till they're hanging around the middle of her thighs. And although he's then content to sit back, leave the underwear where it is, and stare at her lustily, she's not feeling the same.

In all honesty, she's feeling a little ridiculous with her skirt bunched and thong pulled down just enough so that her ass and vagina are bare. Actually, she feels completely ridiculous, not just because of the nudity, but also because of her sudden, bizarre embarrassment over it – as though he hasn't seen her naked before. He's fucked her in just about every way imaginable, given her shots of menotropins, among other things.

Which she knows, making her feel like an idiot for even thinking that this is embarrassing in some way. Because it's not, certainly not when compared to all the other things he's done to her or said to her, and she knows that. But nevertheless, Cuddy can feel her cheeks begin to turn red.

So she tries to cover it by muttering, "Yeah, don't listen to anything I say." Reaching down, she pulls her thong the rest of the way off and tosses it aside as she says, "My vagina is much more honest."

"I don't think I said you could take that off," he snaps, referring to the thong strewn across the floor.

She is unmoved. "I'm pretty sure I didn't agree to you hiring forty interns, but you did it anyway."

"And I didn't agree to be followed around by a documentary crew, so they could turn my practice into an episode of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, but I did it anyway, and you made money from that," he says with a shrug. She wants to respond to that, but he doesn't give her the chance. His fingers curling under the waist band of her skirt, House instructs her firmly, "Now, enough talk; get over my knee."

There should be a moment of hesitation on her part, she thinks. There should be that split second where she realizes that there's no backing out beyond this point, because even if he'll let her go, her pride won't acquiesce so easily.

But there isn't that little bit of doubt niggling in the back of her mind. She's so blind with the desire to beat him at his own game that there's not even a little piece of her thinking about chickening out.

Her jaw clenched together, eyes assertive and arrogant, Cuddy climbs onto the couch. She's a little awkward at it, despite not feeling all that nervous by what she's doing. Her knees pressing into the sofa cushions, she's trying to avoid accidentally hitting his thigh and his crotch (even if he really does deserve a kick in the balls). Because, God help her, but she is actually hoping that they'll have sex tonight, and as tempting as hurting him is, she can't do it. As much as this kind of kink allows for it, putting him in any more pain will make sex impossible.

And so, Cuddy lowers herself onto his lap slowly, her hips and thighs most resting on his good leg. Which inevitably means that he'll be able to get a better swing his hand, she realizes.

He'll be able to hit her harder.

Well, assuming that he actually does go through with it, she tells herself.

Mentally sighing at that moment, she wonders once again why they are so screwed up, why they can't go on dates instead of fucking over take out, why they refuse to spend days "in the dog house" and instead choose this.

She wonders:

Why do they have to be like this all the time?

Of course… Cuddy understands that her feelings would have more validation if she weren't lying across him right now, waiting for him to spank her. But she has no more time to consider the matter as House asks suddenly, "You ready?"

She turns her head back toward him. "If you're going to do this, would you please hurry it up? My dinner's getting cold, and I'm tired of listening to you talk. So, please, get on with –"

Her words are abruptly cut off as he does just that – get on with it. The flat palm of his hand comes crashing down full force against her ass, a loud snap ringing through the air. The noise swallows the squeak (she actually squeaks) his action elicits. Which she would be grateful for if it weren't for the fact that it hurts.

Every bit of skin his hand has come into contact with burns – stings. Itchy heat radiates along her flushed cheeks, and she can't help but squirm a little at the uncomfortable feeling.

House notices the movement and decides, apparently, that it's the perfect opportunity to taunt her (although when does he ever think it's a bad time to do that, she wonders bitterly). "Wow," he says in mock surprise. "One slap and you're already itching to get away."

Scowling she nearly snarls, "Go to hell."

His left arm pins her to the spot, his fingers gripping her waist tightly; she can't move, won't be able to avoid being spanked, and she tenses at that knowledge. Because although she has no doubts that House would never go too far in this (it's probably one thing she thinks he is capable of showing restraint in), she's still aware that this is going farther than she thought they would go. After all, clearly when she gave her thong to Cole, she wasn't expecting to end up here. And knowing that, she's a little unsure as to whether or not she wants this to continue.

But the decision is practically wrenched from her hands when House tells her, "Admit you screwed up – tell me what a sorry little whore you are – and we don't have to do this." The tone of his voice is one that almost makes his words sound as though he's being kind, the soft volume nearly enough to take the shock out of the idea of being called a whore. Nearly enough, but definitely not enough, she realizes, her entire demeanor changing as soon as she hears the insult.

It's not so much that she feels demeaned. She's pretty sure you have to be having sex with more than one person in order to be a whore, and her sex life has been in a coma outside of what she has with House. No, the issue for her is that he still thinks he's earned any sort of an apology. Or more to the point, she's annoyed that he thinks that she's scared and/or embarrassed enough by one slap to completely reverse her position and give him what he wants.

That is never going to happen, if she can help it. Because even though she doesn't really want to be spanked any more, Cuddy knows that that is a far more desirable thing to go through than to say she's sorry for pulling the sorts of acts House does all the time.

Craning her head around so that she can look at him, she defiantly tells him, "Do what you want. I am never going to apologize."

His immediate reaction is something that approaches a broad smile. Technically it's a grin, Cuddy thinks, but on him, it looks all wrong, the expression about as fitting for him as a pink tutu. She's not used to seeing him happy, not used to seeing him so intently pleased by something. And that she's inadvertently told him the one thing he clearly wanted her to say irritates her even as part of her is secretly content with that fact.

Of course, he doesn't give her much of an opportunity to consider the dichotomy before her. "I was hoping you'd say that," he confesses, practically sounding thrilled at the thought of being able to continue.

She wonders briefly how long he's been wanting to do this if he sounds that excited at the mere thought of it. Memories of all the instances he's mentioned bondage and spanking flit through her mind. But she thinks that, more than alluding to specific interests, at the time, he was just looking for a way to make her uncomfortable, manipulate her… play with her. She thinks the same can probably said for his actions right now.

Certainly, he's outplayed her in this instance, creating a set of circumstances that gives him a victory no matter what; either she chose to get spanked or beg for his forgiveness, and she knows he would have been happy either way.

Oddly enough, part of her is almost impressed by his maneuvering. Taking advantage of her stubbornness, using her participation in his stupid little panty game – it's all something he's perfectly choreographed, a wonderful demonstration of just how well he knows her and how to manipulate her. And while she could be irritated about that fact, she's not at all annoyed.

She could be counting her losses, but it is not in her nature to back down or give up. House has won this round, and she accepts the defeat. Even as some part of her wishes things between them were different, she finds herself not wanting that at all, finds herself instead looking for the next move she needs to make to one up him.

That's why it's easy to lay across his lap and wait for him to punish her; because in her mind, she's already passed the moment. In her head, this is in some odd way finished and done, and now she's trying to decide what she needs to do to win the next round.

But in thinking that, she begins to suspect that she's already emerged victorious. Because as her body tenses for the next slap, she realizes that it's not coming. She waits and waits, for what feels like forever but can't be more than a handful of seconds. Yet he doesn't hit her.

Slowly she turns her head around and sees the expectant look on his face.

He's giving her another chance to apologize. It's so obvious that he doesn't need to say it. But he does.

"If you just admitted that you were trying to get a reaction out of me, none of this would have to happen."

She purposely stays silent. If she says she was trying to get a response from him, then that will set him into overdrive while he tries to figure out why she would do that. If she admits what he wants, she loses by backing down – and loses again by then having him get to the root of her motivation. And that's not what she wants.

"Oh I see," she says patronizingly. "You keep giving me ways out of this, because really, you're too afraid to –"

The comment is cut off by him slapping her once more. The blow lands equally between her cheeks, on the swell of her ass. Perfectly placed she'll be reminded of the act when she sits down, she thinks. The pain it creates is sharp and makes her skin hot instantly. There was no big wind up, no dramatic raise of the hand – just a quick movement against her ass that makes her realize how much it will hurt if he continues.

He must feel the same, because he looks at her then like he's afraid to keep going. The muscles in his jaw twitch lightly; he pauses, his hand resting against the back of her leg like he's not sure how to proceed.

"You have to say it," he tells her finally, a hint of pleading in his voice.

"That I'm sorry?" She scoffs, because she thinks she's made it clear: she's not apologetic, especially not when it comes to something she has no need to apologize for.

"No," he says with a stern shake of the head. "If I can continue."

That doesn't make it any better in her mind. "So you want me to beg you to –"

"Of course not," he snaps, apparently tired of her confusion. He pauses again and takes a deep breath. Forcing himself to remain calm, he explains slowly, "It's one thing if you want this. But I don't want to keep going if you're going to resent me for it."

Her answer is the truth. "I'm not going to tell you to stop."

"You're not listening to me."

His grip on her has loosened enough so that she can roll over onto her side. She's still across his lap, but this way she can look at him more easily. With a nod of the head, she agrees with him. "You're right. Because you're being an –"

"No. I'm being smart. One of us has to think clearly here." He must quickly see how inflammatory his words are, because almost immediately he raises a hand as if to say wait. "I'm not saying you aren't," he adds hastily. "But we're both caught up in… this, and one of us has to step back for a moment. Because if it's not clear to me that you want to stop, I will keep going." He shifts, his body uncomfortable with the emotion in his voice when he says, "And then you'll hate me. I don't want you to think I'm –"

"I know," she interrupts calmly. Her words are no longer challenging as they once were. Now that she can see in his eyes that he's not toying with her, she doesn't feel the need to lob denials and sarcasm in his direction. She can tell that this isn't a ploy to outwit or outmaneuver her. She thought it was; it wasn't exactly out the question, given that these moments usually are about beating her at their familiar game, but she knows now that this is different.

"I didn't think you would go through with it," she admits. "But I'm not afraid of what you're going to do. If I thought you were going to beat me, I wouldn't have come here or stayed – or even slept with you to begin with. Besides," she tells him, the sauciness returning to her voice. "You were right."

He doesn't understand, obviously, because he's not saying anything.

"I have been wanting a reaction from you." It feels safe under these circumstances to admit it. She's not sure why.

He smiles triumphantly. "I knew it."

"Well, you're right. I wanted one. Because I thought that if you can get this upset over me handing my thong to another man –"

"I don't want to date you," he says quickly. Clearly House knows where this is headed.

"Right." The word is filled with doubt.

"I don't. Like you said, I don't like you interfering with –"

"Your fun? Your work? I get involved with that at least ten times a day," she points out. "And you don't like it. But when was the last time you decided you wanted to spank me for it?"

He rolls his eyes. "That's not relevant."

"No? You don't think it says something that every time I have a date –"

"Oh shut up."

"You are obnoxiously interested and overprotective?" she continues, ignoring him. "And when I give Cole my underwear, you waste half your day trying to figure out if I've had sex with him."

"I didn't."

"I know you did."

"That doesn't mean anything."

"Of course not. It doesn't mean you want me for yourself. It doesn't mean you want to date me at all." She's mocking him, which only seems to make him more agitated.

"I've never said that," he shoots back. "Pretty sure having sex with you indicates some level of desire for –"

"Fine. You want to have sex with me," she concedes. "But you don't want to date me. You don't want to be in a relationship with me, because you have no feelings whatsoever for me, right? You would have thrown a fit if I'd had sex with someone else, but that doesn't mean a thing to you. You don't care at all." She has to work hard to prevent what she's saying from sounding desperate or pathetic. It very easily could go that way, so she has to keep her words as biting as possible to stop it from sounding like she's begging for a date. "God forbid though another man takes any interest in me, because –"

"Because I'm not going to share you." The words are dark, possessive. They make her cheeks blush with desire, his voice cool but somehow hot at the same time. "You think I want to come in some hole another man's just been in?"

His grip on her tightens once more.

"You're mine," he declares.

"Oh, of course," she says coolly. "And how is anyone supposed to know that? How is anyone going to know I'm yours if all we do is sneak around and –"

"They don't need to know. You do."

She is not at all put off by the tone of the conversations. They are discussing her as though she is a possession; his voice makes her seem like a child who needs to know the rules, and that's annoying, but she's not offended. If anything part of her… likes it – or at least embraces it.

She could do without the hint of patronization, of course, but she likes the sense of ownership in his voice. As much as it bothers her to want this, she does in fact want to be his. She wants the world to see them dating, to know that she is his, he is hers, and that no one has the right to flirt with him in her hospital. And then she understands why she's not offended. She can handle his tone, because it is identical to the way she thinks of him. She is equally possessive.

"There's no way for me to know that," she tells him with a shrug. "If you're going to flirt with other women in –"

"Oh God," he groans.

She speaks over him. "Public, then why, exactly, should I –"

"I'm about to give you many, many reasons," he says, his hand patting her ass promisingly.

Cuddy isn't distressed by the way he's talking. She wasn't lying when she said she wasn't worried about him hurting her. She's not afraid of him at all. And honestly, knowing that he won't agree to a date stings, but equally she is convinced that it's for the best. She wants this to turn into a relationship, mostly because she thinks it's the right thing to do, but no matter the reason, she gets that it's probably not a good idea. House isn't exactly dating material, and so perhaps it's for the best that he's so reluctant to accept the idea. Maybe it's actually a blessing for him to be against dating. Maybe that's the reason she drops the matter and smirks at him.

"Then you better hit hard, because if you don't, who knows what'll happen tomorrow?" She's taunting him, for lack of any better choices. "Kutner could ask for my bra and –"

"So you're trying to make this worse for yourself."

It would seem that way, wouldn't it? There's no denying that she's egging him on, encouraging him to punish her worse than he intended. But she's not concerned about that. All she cares about in that moment is his belief that this will reinforce just how much she belongs to him.

It seems so stupid, to give herself to him in this way for that reason. Outside of her own perspective, it definitely resembles idiocy on her part, and it would be easy to assume then that he's manipulating her. But he's not. She's smart enough to know when he's trying to play her. She's not so stupid as to believe that this will solve any of their problems.

She does, however, believe that this will offer a brief reprieve from their current situation. For a moment he will mark her as his – and if he is willing to do that, then some part of him is admitting to wanting her for himself. He is unconsciously giving her a piece of himself, an ownership she can victoriously claim without revealing to him (or anyone else) just how badly she wants that.

No, it's not a solution, not a permanent one at all. But she'll embrace it anyway.

"I know what I'm doing," she tells him, rolling over onto her stomach once more. Her lips press into the crook of his elbow, which is near her mouth. Into the soft skin, she says, "You have all the permission in the world."

She waits for the slap to come, but it never does. Instead she feels him shifting beneath her. Looking back, Cuddy watches him pluck the controversial cherry red thong from his pocket.

"Here," he says, stuffing the lingerie into her palm. She opens her mouth to say she doesn't want it back; she really doesn't, given that he's probably sniffed it, masturbated with it, and who knows what else. But she doesn't get a chance to speak before he does. "Hold that up if you want me to stop."

She doesn't scoff at the idea. It seems stupid, but she knows House well enough to know that a way out is necessary. He likes to push; within him there is a constant need to ram head first into personal boundaries, and this won't be any different. She trusts him not to go too far, but at the same time, they are headed into territory where the lines aren't distinctly drawn. He usually knows when he's about to push her too hard, but he has no idea when that might happen with this. They are going into this blind, and she accepts the thong, knowing that it's important to have a way of telling him to stop.

"Okay," she tells him. She fists her thong and tucks both hand and underwear underneath her body.

And then the dread of waiting sets in. She pictures in her mind what they must look like now, with her spread across his lap, waiting for him to hit her, and she's suddenly eager for him to start.

He must know that, because he purposely takes his time. "Nervous?" he asks.


"You're tense."

"Because you've been talking about this all afternoon, but so far…."

"I haven't done much of anything, because it's pissing you off," he explains. She believes him.

"Of course."

"And that's entertaining to me." That much is obvious. "Since I didn't get any satisfaction from watching my team trying to get your panties, really, letting me have this one is the least you can do."

"You have ten minutes," she tells him. He may be amused by this, but she definitely is not. And if he's just going to toy with her, then she's not interested.

"Of waiting, because –"

"No. Ten minutes starting this second to hit me, have sex with me… do what you want. And then I'm leaving."


"Nine minutes, fifty-four seconds, yes."

She can practically hear him trying to work it out in his head. "You mean –"

"I'm not joking, House. As much as you wish my life revolved around you –"

"I never said I wanted that."

"I have other things to do. So although I have no doubt that this is fun for you, I'm not going to wait around indefinitely for you to decide to start. Eight minutes, fifty – "

"And you're just going to get up and walk away when the time's up, even if I'm in the process of having sex with you."

In all honesty, she would let him finish; if they're having sex, it's not like she'll make him pull out and stop right then and there. But why should she tell him that?

"That's exactly what I'm going to do. So I'd use my time wisely if I were you."

He can't keep her here against her will; he can't cajole her into staying longer if that's not what she wants, and surely he knows all of that. He's the one about to punish her, but unfortunately for him, she's still the one in control. And he has no choice but to accept her terms.

"Fine." The word is punctuated with the harshest slap yet. His hand hits the exact same spot in the center of her ass, and it burns. A flutter of concern flits through her mind as she wonders just how long she'll last before she asks him to stop.

He does it again. This time the blow is centered solely on her right cheek. It hurts, the sound ringing out in the quiet room, but she is able to let the pain go with this one. It roils through her hotly before melting away in a haze of warmth that makes her toes tingle.

And then House returns to his initial spot with a loud, harsh whack that makes her whimper into the couch cushion beneath her.

He pauses, having obviously heard the noise she made. He doesn't ask if she's okay though. Pride dictates that she will never answer no to that question; she'll encourage him to go harder then, to avoid looking weak, and he must understand that, because he doesn't ask her that or say anything at all. He simply silently gives her an opening to make him stop.

She doesn't want to do that, however. Again, she has to maintain some pride in this situation, and she's not calling it quits this soon. That's all it comes down to: appearance. Cuddy would like to say she's getting off on it, because at least then the behavior makes sense; she's getting something from the experience. But right now all she feels is pain. There is no pleasure in this.

But she won't say stop.

Her resolve clear, he starts once more. Again he delivers a softer slap to the outer curve of her ass. She can feel the flesh, no matter how usually taut, jiggle under the force. And that sensation slowly makes her wonder what it's like from his perspective. Her own body makes her aware of what's going on outside of it from his viewpoint. Is she red? Can he see the faint trace of his fingers on her skin?

The questions are immediately forgotten when he once again returns to the center of her ass. And his methodology suddenly becomes clear to her.

His palm works its way around her bottom, delivering soft, almost gentle (by comparison anyway) slaps to make her pink and warm. Those she can handle; those she is used to. When he fucks her from behind, drives into her while she's on all fours and begging for more, he likes to spank her like that. It's never enough to hurt, just enough to punctuate the moment in a way she has always enjoyed.

But now, for each tap like that, there is an alternating one. It is a hard blow aimed directly at the center, and it is quickly headed towards agonizing. She'll feel it for days, whether he stops now or not, and she must want that, because he spanks that area with painful accuracy. Each time he returns to that one spot, she fumbles to catch her breath. The beginning of tears blurs the edges of her vision. She doesn't cry, but she cries out with each slap he gives her to that area. And he keeps going now without hesitation.

She lets him.

The silky thong feels heavy in her palm; she knows she has the power to stop this when it becomes unbearable, but she doesn't want to do that.

As he spanks her, she no longer knows what she wants, actually. The pain is sharp enough to keep her in the moment; each blow feels worse than the last, the itchy sting constantly the focus of her consciousness. And she feels each and every individual slap; it's not something she can ignore at all. But by the same token, it also seems to send her further into… she's not sure what to call it. She's not even sure there's a name for it.

But with each spanking, she feels her mind being drawn into the moment. She is physically present and aware of what he's doing, and her brain in turn seems transfixed by his behavior. The heat he's creating burns, but that fire has her entranced, brings her further into his actions. Her attention is fixed on the flame now, and she is unable and unwilling to turn away from the blaze seemingly surrounding her.

She hears herself cry out as he hits her there once more. Tears slide down her cheeks, and she is surprised by their sudden presence. Because it hurts and she knows that and a tiny, tiny voice inside says she doesn't like this (and shouldn't), but it doesn't even cross Cuddy's mind to hold up the thong in her hands.

House would stop. She has no doubt of that. But she doesn't want him to. She wants him to keep going; she wants the pain, to feel him remind her who she belongs to. She trusts him in that, to give her what she needs, to give her what is necessary to make her good.

The idea should make her ashamed, but her heart beats rapidly, fueled by an affection for him she's never experienced before. He will protect her, she thinks.

Her nose nuzzles against the arm holding her in place, and that is what gives him pause. Because immediately he stops.

She is tempted to ask for more; that is, after all, what she wants. And if she stays silent, it's because she's not sure she can speak, much less form a coherent sentence.

House, on the other hand, has no trouble speaking his mind. "You liking those endorphins?" he asks knowingly.

She blinks but says nothing.

"Come here," he tells her. Her muscles are unsteady, her mind hazy and torn between wanting to stay like this and being concerned about hitting his thigh, and she is unsure how to move in this state. He solves the problem by wrapping an arm around her hips, the other around her chest, and effectively manhandles her to get her off his lap.

He leaves her sitting up and next to him. But she is quick to lean against him, her face burying into his shoulder. Her ass burns as she sits on it, the sting that much more palpable with all of her weight resting on it. Her whimper manages to be muffled into his t-shirt, though he must hear it anyway.

"You okay?" he asks in all seriousness. She can feel his concerned gaze on her, and it hits her then that he has probably never shown her this much worry for her well being in all of the time they've known each other.

It strikes her as odd, because she knows she's okay – just as she knows that this is a question she must answer. If she wants him to continue, if she wants this feeling to last, she has to say something. But all she can manage is a nod of the head and one word.


"More?" He's suddenly taken aback and pulls away from her so that he can look at her more directly. She nods her head again. "Really," he says doubtfully.

She forces her mouth to form and utter a raspy, "Yes."

He must hear the honesty in her voice, because he backs off. "Okay." But the second she tries to lie across his lap once more, he stops her. "No."

"But –"

"Trust me?"

The question tugs at her as though his words are a leash tethering her to him.


She can see the pleasure in his face, which makes her happy.

"You're mine," he declares. "You know that?" She nods her head, but he seems less pleased in that moment. "You shouldn't have given your thong to him."

The way House is bringing the conversation back around to the game they've been playing all week takes her out of the moment. And in all honesty, she doesn't like it. She hates it. She doesn't want to think about that, and she doesn't appreciate being forced to.

He must see the change in her demeanor, because he lets that topic of discussion go without demanding any agreement from her.

Suddenly he gently presses a thumb to her lips. It's a light touch, but she understands what it means, even before he says the words.

"This is mine," he says possessively, sending her back into that headspace she was just in. His hand meanders down her body. His palm purposely runs along her breasts before continuing on. Her legs intuitively spread when he reaches her lower stomach. And he takes the hint. Two fingers slide into her wet cunt, forcing her to realize just how turned on she really is. She gasps in surprise, because she hadn't thought about that at all. She really had no idea. But now that he has called attention to her pulsing clitoris and slick pussy… it's hard not to think about it. Now she never wants him to stop what he's doing, especially when he says, pumping her a couple times, "This is mine. No one uses this pussy but me. Not even you."

That's what she wants: to be with him, to have sex with him. It's not as though she has enjoyed being alone, without someone else to satisfy her sexually. She has been willing to wait for someone good to come along, because the only thing more pathetic than being alone is to visibly hate it. At no point, has she betrayed that belief; she has never settled for less than, nor will she ever do that. But Cuddy has always understood the lie she portrays. She has never been so caught up in appearances as to enjoy going home alone, masturbating when her need becomes too much. She has done what is necessary, but it's not what she prefers.

If House is interested in providing that for her, obviously she's willing to accept.


His hand closes around her wrists. When he tugs on her, she moves so that she's leaning against his chest with her ass in the air. Her eyelids flutter shut as she assumes he plans on spanking her again.

To her disappointment, he doesn't.

His fingers slip between her butt cheeks. The heel of his hand brushes against a particularly sore spot, which makes her gasp. House pays no attention to the sound this time and continues on with his ministrations. One of his fingers slick with her juices, presses against her asshole. There's no penetration, just enough so that she can feel him and the warmth ripple through her body.

Against the crown of her head, he says in a low voice, "This is mine too, isn't it?" He kisses her hair when she nods. "That's right. All mine."

His hand pulls away, offering her a light swat in the process.

"Get me a beer," he orders suddenly.

Cuddy hesitates to obey; it has never been her way – to just give him what he wants because he demands it. And when he's not even asking nicely, it's her first reaction to think he should get it himself.

This too pulls her out of the moment. Because even if she listens to him, she has now been reminded of their usual habits. She's remembered that her life exists outside of this couch and his hand, and that makes her more self conscious about what she's doing.

"You're closer," House explains, perhaps sensing her reticence.

"Fine." It's not that she doubts him. Her irritation is obvious but not because she is doubtful. It's just that she's beginning to become annoyed at his repeated missteps – particularly since she's starting to wonder if they really are mistakes. He is an incredibly calculated man who can read her with disturbing accuracy. He can piss her off and upset her, of course, but rarely do those things happen by mistake. If anything, he understands her in ways she herself does not. He knows her, certainly well enough to know that these instances aren't what she wants anyway. But that hasn't stopped him from making these stumbles. And that can't be coincidental, can it?

House doesn't do things without a reason.

Reaching for the beer she bought, she grabs one for herself. To be sure he enjoys alcohol more than she does; she's not exactly a beer drinker by nature. But at this point Cuddy knows she has to say something in order to understand what he's doing. And asking why he is so eager to return to normal requires a bit of liquor in her. If she's going to say that she likes being… put in a submissive position, yeah, she definitely wants to be able to blame it on the alcohol later on.

But he seems dead set against that. She's no sooner sat back then he plucks the bottle out of her hand. "I didn't say you could have one," he explains in a tone that is filled with dismay. What she doesn't know is how serious he is.

However, Cuddy doesn't waste time asking if he means what he says. In the grand scheme of things, that's not important. He'll give her the beer or he won't, but in the time it takes to get that answer, she will back away from asking what she wants to ask. Because although she wants a drink, there are bigger things at stake. She can go without the beer; she doesn't want to let him go another second longer without knowing how she's feeling.

Admittedly it's not easy to open her mouth and speak up. Even as she does it, she can practically hear herself saying shut up. But she does eventually ask him, "Can we not mention Cole anymore?"

House doesn't understand. "He's the reason we're –"

"It's not." When he doesn't automatically agree, she insists, "He's a cover, but he's not the reason. And the more you remind of our… real lives, the less I want –"

"And you want to date me," he interrupts incredulously.

"I don't –"

"You want to date me," he repeats as though she can't deny it and shouldn't insult him by trying.

He's not an idiot, but he is, she thinks then. For all of his genius, he is incapable at times of dealing with shades of gray. If she doesn't want their entire lives to be open for others' viewing, it is apparently a sign that she's embarrassed to be with him – that's what he's thinking. "You want to keep our personal and professional lives separate, but you wanna date me."

She frowns. Clearly he doesn't get it. "You did it again."

"I'm just trying to understand" is his way of apologizing.

"I –"

"Wait a minute." He twists the top off of the beer in his hand and takes a long pull from the bottle. He swallows loudly. "Okay. You can continue."

"This," she nearly barks. "Is what I mean. Things are great and then you bring something up that you know will ruin the mood. If I wanted you to irritate me, I would go back to work and keep my clothes on."

House takes another sip of his drink. This time though it's not a show to intentionally annoy her. Looking at him, she can see as much. He's not being obnoxious but rather contemplating what she has said. He looks worn then, weary in a way she rarely sees. She is surprised by that change; he is nothing if not stubborn, always determined to go in the direction he feels is best. Listening is a skill he would prefer not to have, but right now, he is doing just that: hearing what she has said.

"You're right," he admits after a moment. "I am doing that."

His honesty provokes more of her own. She's not sure why he is so willing to agree with her, to look at his own behavior and see what she's telling him. But while he's listening, she's not going to let the opportunity go. "I want something different between us. I do," she admits cautiously. After the past few days, his position on the matter has been made clear to her, and it's hard for her to tell him this knowing how he feels. "I don't know if that means a relationship or what. I don't know if a possible relationship is why you're doing this. But… like you said, one of us has to start using our brain and stop acting like we can just do whatever we want at work and at home and pretend like that's not going to catch up with us."

"Well, if you're the brains of the operation –"

"Oh shut up," she snaps. "Considering you're not thinking at all, the job has fallen on me. So let me tell you: you have to stop before you ruin what we both agree is good right now for us."

She is serious enough that it forces him to consider her words.

"This is driving you nuts," he deduces after a moment.

Maybe that's a simplistic way of putting it; maybe it's not even that true at all. But she decides to go with that explanation, because at least then she doesn't have to say any more.

"It's driving me nuts," she agrees calmly.

He smiles a little before bowing his head. When he is eye level with her, he kisses her lightly. "Problem is," he tells her when he pulls away. "I really do enjoy making you crazy."

They share another kiss before she can respond, his mouth cool and tasting of beer.

"So I've noticed," she says quietly. He's so near that her voice is barely above a whisper. "I just want to enjoy this, keep all of that other stuff out for a while."

He agrees at first. "I can do that." But as soon as he says that, his demeanor changes. She's not surprised in the least by this, because this is House and being acquiescent is impossible for him. She can see the desire to give her what she wants. It's not like he is coldly insensitive, intentionally choosing to deny her what she's asking for. He wants to follow her instruction. But he can't, because she knows that, for him, any unclear motivation coming from her is worthy of questioning. If she isn't completely transparent, then there is a puzzle for him to solve, and he is compelled to work it out. That's why she is prepared for the inevitable question: "What changed?"

Prepared, yes, but not necessarily ready to answer truthfully, she laments.


"No. No, that's not it. There's a reason." She can practically see his mind dissecting her behavior. No doubt he's reliving the past couple of days, trying to figure out just where things started to seem off. "Something's changed, because I've brought up work before. We both have." He toys with the bottle in his hand but just for a moment. His eyes soon widening with realization, he says knowingly, "But I've never spanked you before, huh. And you liked it, which is a little difficult for you to accept if you think about how you're my boss and –"

"I'm not ashamed of enjoying it," she interrupts. "But that specifically and work have to be separate things."

"You think I'm going to go into work tomorrow and shout from the rooftops that being spanked makes your pussy wet?"

That is exactly the kind of thing that terrifies her, but she shakes her head no anyway. It's not as convincing as she would like it to be. "No…. I just… when we're like this, I don't want to think about –"

"Let's be clear," he says sternly. "I have no intention of telling anyone about this." He is able to tell that she's not convinced, because he keeps talking. Running a hand through her hair, he explains, "It's tempting. Of course it is. You turned out to be even kinkier than I thought. Who wouldn't want to mention that? But if I say something, what does that get me?"

It's a rhetorical question, but she answers anyway. "Bragging –"

"I tell someone I had sex with you, they're not going to believe me. They're going to assume I'm lying. And then they'll tell you, because they're gonna think it's inappropriate for me to talk about tea bagging the Dean of Medicine. And then you'll be pissed, because you know it's not a lie, and then I'm no longer the one buttering your muffin." She barely cracks a smile at the euphemism. "What do you think is more important to me – everyone knowing that I'm banging you or being the one doing it?"

Inwardly she is relieved. There won't be a day she goes to work and faces board members wanting explanations, interns giving her lascivious looks, or Wilson planning their wedding.

"This is between us," House reiterates in a firm voice. "I'm not gonna give up any of that for someone else. And if you're going to be my own personal whore, I'd be an idiot to screw that up."

She raises an eyebrow at his choice of words. "I'm not your personal whore."

"You're right. I have to pay those women, and even then –"

"Yes, you're so funny," she says while shooting him a dirty look.

He is unconcerned with her irritation. "Not trying to be funny. I'm merely accurately describing the –"

"You are not."


"Yes. Really." Her chin juts out in defiance.

Predictably House sees that as a challenge. The inkling of relief it creates makes her think his reaction is one she wanted. And it's not hard to understand why, not for her at least. For her, it's actually a simple equation. She doesn't want to be called a whore, she guesses, but that's hardly the worst thing he has called her in all the years they've known one another. It doesn't bother her. But she'll definitely pretend that it annoys her or that it's not true, so that he'll want to prove her wrong. She'll do it to give him the incentive needed to take them back down the road they'd been on before he screwed the moment up.

"You know that's a lie," he tells her. Gone is the apologetic and friendly tone from seconds ago. He's serious in a different way, dangerously on edge. He leans in close to her. His breath is hot on her cheek, and the intensity of his gaze makes her shiver. A lesser opponent would back down. A less trusting lover would walk away completely.

She is neither.

"Do I?"

It feels like she's barely had a chance to impishly ask the question before he's grabbing at her once more. The bottles of beer balance precariously on the sofa, but he's rough enough with her that it's clear he doesn't care about that at all. As he shoves her over his lap, she is tempted to say he doesn't need to force her. The first time he did this, she was unsure how it would go. But having enjoyed it then, she's more than willing to ease herself down onto his lap without being forced.

He is more than aware of this, she knows. He saw how much she liked it the first time, which must be why he doesn't take his time this round. The second she lies down, he gives her ten powerful smacks – all on that same place he's been punishing all evening.

She cries a little, the rain of blows far stronger than her willpower to stay stoic. The slaps are loud and come in quick succession. She tenses each time she waits for another one to come – which just makes it worse somehow. He's moving so quickly but somehow manages to time his spankings in such a way that each slap comes just when she wonders if he's done. And as much as it hurts, she loves him for doing this. The longer it lasts, the further she moves into that warm, safe place of hers.

There is pain then, but it's… delicious in a way. Maybe it's the endorphins talking like he said, but in the hurt, there is that knowledge that he will keep her safe – both from physical danger and the danger of someone else finding out about this. In this frenzied act, she is capable of understanding:

No matter what they have, it will never be normal. Whether they date or not, their relationship will always be crazed, dark, bittersweet, and absolutely everything she wants.

And by the time he yanks her back up onto her knees, she is content with that knowledge.

"I'd ask you how wet you are right now," he says as he unzips his pants. "But I really don't care." Cuddy watches him intently as he carefully tugs his dick out of his underwear. At first she thinks he plans on fucking her, and that's why he's not asking questions. But as soon as she sees his cock, she disappointedly notices that he's not hard. He could get there easily, but he's flaccid. And she guesses he's thinking similar ideas, because he grabs her by the chin at that instant. It's not particularly harsh, but it's forceful enough that she understands his intentions.

"Put my dick in your mouth now," he demands.

She doesn't hesitate to listen. The order is rude, but the sooner he has an erection, the sooner she gets all the pleasure that comes with one.

Only that's apparently not what he has in mind.

She shifts her body, so she can lean down comfortable. But finding a good position isn't entirely easy with her ass red and beginning to bruise. So as she moves around, she decides to help things along. She reaches for his dick, just so that she can give herself a head start with a few strokes from her hand. Immediately though House is displeased.

He fists some of her hair roughly. "I said mouth. If I wanted a hand job, I would ask for one."

She crouches down and presses a kiss to his dick. The sooner she gives him what he wants, the sooner she gets what she wants, she reminds herself. Her tongue darting out to lick the head, this too seems to not be what he wants. "Put it in your mouth," he repeats.

Truthfully it's odd to her. She's not used to a soft dick in her mouth – at least not without the bitter aftertaste of his semen coating her taste buds to accompany the feeling. So she's tentative with her approach. She slowly slides the head of his penis into her mouth. But it's not quickly enough because House is eager to encourage her, "Take it all in." When that doesn't happen fast enough for his liking, his hands tangle in her hair, and he slowly guides her down his long shaft.

It's unlike anything she has experienced before. When he's hard and dripping precum, her tendency is to suck him off as quickly as possible. Something animalistic rises with her, and she forces herself to take him even when her body isn't necessarily prepared for it. But there is no such urge here. Now he's soft and warm against her; there's no need to make him come, no rush to do so, and bizarrely enough there's something almost… comforting about it.

Sex is the last thing this seems to be about. Her head resting on his thighs, her face pressed into the hem of his dark button down shirt, she is surrounded by the scent of his flesh and the warmth of his body. She closes her eyes and listens to the sound of him finish one beer and begin to drink the other. Every now and then, he tells her how good she's being or runs his fingers through her hair. And it's soothing, to be near him like this, to be, in their own screwed up way, cuddling together on the couch.

She tries not to romanticize the act too much. Her thoughts meander into that territory, but rationally she knows that this isn't love. When he reaches for the remote to the television and starts to watch The Real World, she gets that this isn't anywhere near tender. When he accidentally makes her gag as he grabs the bag of Thai food and beer off of the table, she knows it's not what normal couples do. He's certainly not being sweet when he tells her as her throat tightens around his dick, "It's okay. Just relax. Breathe." And it's not a term of endearment she loves when he says after she has calmed down, "That's it. That's my little cock holder." She's not delusional; she knows this isn't nearly as soothing and gentle as it feels.

But that doesn't bother her much. It has the potential to, and perhaps that's what he's after. Regardless of what he's promised, it's hard for him to refrain from irritating her. And maybe he wants the reaction from her. It's definitely possible, just as it's possible for him to have other intentions. She's not sure, but perhaps he wants her to feel humiliated now so that she sympathizes with how he felt when Cole gave him her underwear.

Cuddy is determined to make sure it won't work. No matter what House says or does, she will take what she wants from him and ignore the rest. As with everything else involving him, she is able to separate the bitter from the sweet. Which she thinks is a useful skill to have considering she's got his dick shoved down her throat while he's shoveling in the Thai food she's hungry for.

It would be very easy to be upset. But she is calm lying against him. Her jaw is starting to hurt, because she can't close her mouth. Yet it doesn't ever really cross her mind to pull away or ask him to stop. Even if it didn't feel nice to be this close to him, she wouldn't want to end this prematurely. As always, she doesn't want to be the one to say stop, because in her mind – in his mind as well – that would be losing.

That determination to win, however, nearly evaporates when his phone rings. Her throat tightens around him in surprise, and he gasps at the new sensation. Reaching for the phone, he tells her, "Calm down." She starts to pull away from him, but he says almost instantly, "No, just stay where you are."

He rubs between her shoulder blades, but that gentle touch is undone when he puts the phone on speaker. The temptation to bite him has never been stronger, because he's effectively trapped her where she is, and she's not sure that she wants to be doing this while he's on the phone. But hurting him, alas, is not an option. If she bites him or starts giving him a blow job or pulls away too quickly and chokes, the person on the other line will hear.

In this case, the person in question is Wilson, and Cuddy knows she can't do anything now. The second she thinks that though, she is reminded of her thong. She still has it in her hand, giving her a way to tell House that he has to stop. And somehow that alone makes the moment okay for her. She has the power to make him hang up the phone without letting Wilson know she's there, and that makes all the difference in the world to her. It allows her to calmly listen to the conversation going on around her.

"I'm fine," House says at that particular moment.

There is a brief pause before Wilson says almost bitterly, "Of course you are."

"I know that's disappointing to you since you were hoping you could come over and nurse me back to health."

"I don't think so."

"You mean this isn't Cameron on the phone?"

Wilson makes a sigh of exasperation. "Have you talked to Cuddy yet?"

She feels her stomach drop at the sound of her name. As though he will see her, she doesn't dare move, doesn't dare breathe out of fear. House drops the phone on to the couch cushion next to him, so he can use both hands to stroke her hair and rub her back. But the warmth of his hands does nothing to stop the dread from spreading through her body. As gentle as he's being, the fact of the matter is he has to answer the question.

And there's no way that's going to end well for her.

"Absolutely," he finally answers. "She calls me every night so we can gossip while we paint our toenails. In fact, she's on the other line right now. We're debating who's dreamier Taub or Dr. Buffer. I said Taub, but she's –"

"Joke about it all you want, but I don't think she's going to be pleased that you –"

"God forbid I make Cuddy unhappy."

"You do realize she's the reason you're allowed to play out your version of Survivor, right? And if you keep doing dumb things, she'll put a stop to it. You do understand that, I hope."

House looks down at her as if he's silently challenging her to do just that. She's not sure if he's actually idiotic enough to think that she won't welcome the challenge, but at that moment, she thinks Wilson's reasoning sounds absolutely perfect to her. House must realize this, because he clears his throat.

"Yeah, I get it. Tomorrow she's gonna have her whips and chains set up for me. Thanks for giving me that mental picture."

"I didn't –"

"Sure you did. And now I got a hooker puking in the bathroom from the horror of that –"

"You're with a prostitute," Wilson says with a touch of disgust. Cuddy isn't sure why, given that she has come to think over the years that he has probably frequented a few hookers after his many divorces.

"Absolutely." House sounds cheery, but she doesn't feel anywhere near as joyous. She definitely doesn't when he adds, "You know how I feel about having sex with someone special. Why get it for free when I can pay some pimp for it?"

It's not that she doesn't understand what he's doing. She gets it. She really does. He can't tell Wilson that he's here with someone of any importance. He can't mention her name or imply that anything he's doing has any meaning whatsoever. If House asked her what she wanted him to say, that would be it. But hearing him say those words…

She doesn't like it.

As frightening as it is to want to be House's girlfriend, she would prefer to be that than someone of no importance. It's terrifying to be introduced as his lover, to be acknowledged as someone intimately acquainted with him, but at least then… all of this risk is for something. Right now, they're just having sex and driving each other nuts and jeopardizing everything for something that isn't going anywhere. If they're in a relationship, it's different. There's an end goal, a reason to be putting their professional lives on the line.

But knowing that doesn't make the next few minutes of her life any less nerve wracking. It's for the best, she understands, but telling him won't be easy, especially when she has said already that she doesn't want to think about their real lives tonight.

House rushes his way through the rest of his conversation with Wilson, and that frenetic energy just makes her feel worse. When he finally hangs up the phone, she doesn't even have to hold up the underwear to get him to stop. The second House ends the call, he's pulling her off his dick.

"See?" he asks, as she wipes the drool from her mouth. "I could have said you were with me, but I didn't." He offers her a bite of pineapple from the container of fried rice, which she eagerly accepts.

Chewing she hates that she will be contradicting herself, hates that he will take issue with it. But she doesn't really have another option, does she? Swallowing, she tells him, "You said you weren't having sex with someone special."

He hands her the carton of food, and she greedily eats a couple bites. As she does that, he tucks himself back into his shorts, though he doesn't bother to zip up his pants. "What did you want me to say – 'Oh sorry, Wilson. I'd love to talk to you, but Cuddy's got my peen in her mouth, so be back later'?"

"No," she says, jabbing a piece of carrot with the chopsticks in her hand. "But you didn't have to say –"

"Actually, I did." His hand rummages loudly through the bag of take out. "If I said I was home alone, Wilson would come over."

"You said you were fine."

"Yeah, because that was going to stop him from coming over," he says sarcastically.

As he starts gulping down curried beef, she forces herself to keep the conversation going. "I understand that."

"But you're pissed off anyway? I'm so shocked."

"I'm not –"

"All right," he says, cutting her off. "Tell me what I should have said that would keep him away and –"

"I don't care about that," she says loudly. Her frustration is so palpable for her then – and easy for him to see, because it shuts him up.


"I get it," she tells him, forcing herself to calm down. "I understand why you told him what you did."

"Then what's the problem?"

She shrugs and glances down at the food in her hand. Suddenly it looks greasy, bits of burnt egg dotting the dark rice. Truthfully it makes her feel a little sick, so she looks back at him.

"I don't know," she says quickly. But that doesn't exactly feel like the truth, so she elaborates. "I thought I could handle this and… have it mean nothing."

He makes a face as though she was foolish to ever think that. "Of course it was going to mean something." Her heart races at what he's saying, the implication of his words electric to her mind. But then he ruins it by saying, "This is the best dick you've ever –"

The sound of disgust she makes silences him but not for long.

"Even if it weren't, how long has it been?" He doesn't give her a chance to answer/kill him. "Fact is, this is a nice break from your sadly Amish life. Your cumspringa if you will."

"I won't," she says dryly. "And…." She has to force herself to push forward, because his attitude makes her feel like she's about to make a fool of herself. But she thinks that, if she chickens out now, it'll just be that much harder to bring the topic up in the future. And she will do that, she knows, because a relationship of some sort is too enticing for her to deny herself of it. She wants it, whether it makes sense or not, and no matter how hard he tries, that's not going to change any time soon.

So she makes her mouth keep saying the things she's thinking. "I'm not happy with the way things are," she confesses.

"That's pretty obvious." He seems neither surprised nor dismayed, and she's not sure what to do with that.

"I don't want to mean nothing to you," she says slowly. "I –"

"You don't," he assures her in an emotionless tone. It doesn't strike her as a lie. If anything, it is simply a matter of fact, it seems. She means something to him is the same as honeybees having hair on their eyes or Dalmatians being born without sports are for him. It's merely the truth, and that makes her smile a little.

Holding up a piece of beef for her to eat, he says as she chews the food, "Tell me what you want." The second of hesitation is enough to make him agitated. "Tell me."

"A relationship," she says, her voice wavering more than she likes.

His response is steady. "You have it."

She's not sure why he is agreeing now. Perhaps he knows saying no will ruin the evening. Maybe she's convinced him that it's for the best, or perhaps his reluctance all along has been the result of a foregone conclusion: they are already in a relationship. She doesn't know definitely why he's doing this, but she understands that she won't let the opportunity go.

"No flirting with other women."

"Fine. No panties."

She nods her head. "From now on, I will… keep my underwear to myself."

"No, I mean don't wear –"

"That's never going to happen."

"How disappointing for me then." The words are clearly said in jest. But what he says next is unfortunately not. "Can't tell anyone, you know."

She doesn't even think about what he's said before asking, "Why not?"

He gives her an exasperated look. He doesn't demand that she use her brain, but in those eyes, the thought is there for her to see. When she doesn't figure it out fast enough, he explains, "You want to date? Fine. Let's… do that. But I would think you of all people would understand why…." His voice trails off, and she gets why; the way he's putting it, it would be easy for her to take it the wrong way. She doesn't, but clearly it wouldn't be hard to take offense. "We have no idea how this is going to go."

"No," she agrees.

"We tell everyone… we can't un-tell them if things don't go the way we want them to."

"So you don't want to say anything until –"

"We know it's worth it? Yeah."

Cuddy isn't immediately taken with the idea. His point is understandable. But part of her can't help but wonder why have a relationship if it's going to be a secret.

"Your reputation is going to take a hit," he tells her. "'Course mine will too, considering most people think I'm Wilson's boyfriend."

"You poor thing."

"I can get over it. You know it won't be so easy for you."

Her attitude remains defiant. "Maybe I don't want easy."

"Well obviously. You're asking to date me. But maybe we handle one problem at a time." As usual his condescension is obvious and almost enough to make her so angry that she misses his point. Through her irritation though, she does understand what he's saying.

"All right."

She means what she says, but she sounds reluctant nevertheless. Being House, he picks up on the emotion and immediately responds to it.

"Lots of work dinners in your future," he says as though it's an enticing offer. His hand runs along her bare thighs, which reminds her that her skirt is still hiked up from earlier. But her nudity hardly bothers her. It's not like he hasn't seen her naked before, and if he's willing to call attention to it in this nice way, she has no reason to be concerned. Suddenly though his hand stops moving. "You still give blow jobs under the table with –"

"Yes absolutely." The sarcasm is impossible to miss, which makes him frown.

"I thought deans of medicine –"

"I know what you think."

His fingers run along the curve of one of her knees. "And I have to be wrong about that?"


"Well that sucks."

That should be the end of it. No matter how badly he would like her to change her mind, he has to know that that will never happen. And even if it's disappointing for him, so too is it the way things are and will always be. But that doesn't stop him from bringing it up throughout dinner.

She doesn't mind it. As they eat, she realizes that they need that distraction. When they aren't discussing it, they are silent with one another. They eat and every now and then attempt to talk about something else, but the conversation quickly dissipates, and quiet returns once more. The awkwardness between them is subtle, but she feels it creeping in on them nonetheless. As amazing as their chemistry is, they are not prepared for a relationship, she understands. They can go back and forth, but being supportive boyfriend and girlfriend is something they have yet to perfect. And given how long it has been since either has played that role for anyone, she is not surprised. But even though she knows that, she's still grateful for the distraction.

"So when exactly can my dick come into contact with your mouth?" House asks, as they shove the empty food cartons onto the coffee table.

Cuddy sits back on the couch. She pretends to think about the question for a moment before giving him an answer. "Now?"

He nods his head. "That sounds about right. Especially since you gave your thong to –"

"Are you ever going to let that go?" she asks casually.

"Of course not. My girlfriend –"

"I wasn't your girlfriend then," she points out snottily.

He grimaces a little. "You didn't think a little thing like facts was going to stop me, right?" Then his gaze narrows and fills with realization. "Besides what do you care? Even if you didn't want to do it, you'd let me, wouldn't you?" She isn't given the chance to respond. "You'd swallow my cock down like a good little slut for me anyway. I'm betting you'd prefer if I made you."

It's a lie when she denies it. "I would not."

"I know your secret now," he says in a voice that almost makes it seem even dirtier or lascivious than she knows it is. "I won't tell anyone else just how much you enjoy being spanked and treated like just another warm hole for me to use. But you're not going to get me to pretend like I don't know what you like. You shouldn't even waste your time trying."

"And if I do anyways?" she challenges. "What are you going to do then?"

He leans back into the couch to consider the possibilities. His palm rubs against his chin, the sandpaper-y scrape of his stubble just audible to her. And then he has an answer for her. "Your ass is nice to hit," he admits. "But you won't be able to take more than a few more slaps, and that's not nearly enough for a bad girl like you. Luckily for me, you have breasts, which I have yet to touch."

Of its own volition, her mind starts to picture the things he's saying, implying. She sees him slowly taking off her shirt, unhooking her bra. He looks at her carefully then, to give her a choice – be slapped or do what he wants – but they both know at this point what she will do. And when she says nothing, he raises his hands and spanks the tip of her breast. It's low enough that no one will know what's happened to her, right across her areola so she really feels it. That's what she imagines, but it's not actually occurring… oddly to her dismay.

That doesn't matter though. Whether he's doing it or not, his words have touched something within her. She's not subservient by nature; she finds it hard to believe that she has enjoyed this as much as she has. But he has drawn that side out of her.

Maybe it is just a chemical reaction that she has found delightful, and it's not actually what he's doing that's making the difference. At this point, she doesn't know what's happening. She does know that she doesn't care. Later on, she may be concerned about her behavior. But in the moment, she is far too interested in making the feeling last to reflect much on what she's doing or what it means. Really, it's probably a necessity – to keep this going – because if she lets it end, then she has no choice but to consider what they've done.

"Do it," she tells him, spurred on by her desire to put off reality for a little while longer.

"Oh but you'd like that, wouldn't you?"

"There's no need to be smug."

"I think there kinda is." He is visibly reluctant, closing and his opening his mouth again. But eventually he does say, "As tempting as doing that is –"

"You're not interested?" she asks in mild surprise. He's brought it up, and she is oddly let down by the possibility of him not following through.

That's clearly not what he has in mind, however, because when she says those words, he looks at her like she's insane.

"I didn't say that. And if someone waited for me to finish my sentence, she would know that."

"Is there a reason you're being even more obnoxiously condescending than usual or –"

"You like it." He says it completely seriously without sarcasm or smugness. From that she can tell that he absolutely means what he says, and she's not sure if she's angry because he's right or because she thinks he's wrong.

Whatever the reason, she chooses to disagree either way. "I do not like –"

"There's no point in lying. But as it is, Daddy has to pee, so this conversation will have to wait." He shifts on the couch in preparation of standing up. Yet he's barely moved an inch before he tells her in a dark voice, "If I were you, I'd be topless by the time I get back from the bathroom."

The threat, or promise as she would see it, is lost on her. She hears him, of course; it's not as though she is unaware of what he's saying. She understands every word he utters and what he means. But what will happen seems less important than what is occurring now. Which is to say that for her she is more concerned about a lull in the action than the guarantee that it will continue when he returns.

Admittedly Cuddy trusts that he will still be interested. Having stumbled upon this side to her, House will no doubt be compelled to see just how far he can take it before she says no. But how will she react to that short break? The answer is obvious to her: as he goes to the bathroom, reality will begin to set in for her. She'll be reminded of all the reasons she shouldn't have let him do this to start with; she'll think of how wrong it is for her to enjoy any of it, and she'll put a stop to it the moment he returns. And the thing about that is: she doesn't want that to happen.

It would be easy to take that inevitable instance of shame and use it as proof that she has done something wrong, been pushed beyond measure to do things she doesn't like. But actually, sitting here now, she thinks that the fact is: she does like this; she has enjoyed it. And she will probably eventually be embarrassed by how much she has given into this dark impulse, but she knows:

She'll let it happen again.

She'll want it to.

And in the interim, if she is going to be ashamed, then she wants to make sure she has fully enjoyed herself in the experience. She wants to push this as far as she can, so that there is no question in his mind or hers that she has wanted this every step of the way. She wants to be so thoroughly used that it would be futile to act as though he had manipulated her into getting his way.

In other words, she doesn't want this to stop until she knows they'll do this again in the future. If she clams up prematurely, he will never go down this road again – which she doesn't want. As frightening as it may be to wish for this to continue, she knows, in spite of all her fears, that that's what she would like.

Knowing that, she instinctively shakes her head. House, not understanding what she means by that, looks vaguely enraged by her refusal. "No? Do you think you have permission to tell me no?"

In truth the answer is yes. That's why she has the thong – to say no and have him know she means it. But that's not what he's referring to, and she gets it.

Still she can't help but smirk when she answers, "No?"

He is suddenly calm. Whatever forced agitation he felt is gone, and it's not hard to understand why. With one matter-of-fact sentence, he clears any confusion she might have up. "You're going to be so sore when I'm done with you."

He stands up. At his full height, he easily towers over her. Given that she's sitting down, he seems even larger, stronger, and more powerful. She is not usually one to find any of those things attractive. But right now, she is lost in desire that by all accounts is unexpected, and she has already thrown herself headlong into the forbiddenness of it all. She has embraced it, freed herself of the restrictions she usually operates in. It feels as though a weight has been lifted off her shoulders, as though she is now unbound from the rules that have, up until this point, guided her.

And maybe it's because she's open to it that the idea strikes her. But at that precise moment, an impulse strikes her that she is helpless to refuse. His dick is so close to her, the need to taste him, have him in her mouth once more so strong. In the back of her mind, she can sense the degradation that would come from what she's mentally proposing. Somehow that just makes her desire all the more keen.

She doesn't know how to explain it, doesn't want to. She doesn't think about the why or even care enough about her motivation to even ask herself what her reasons are here. In all likelihood doing that would give her a reason to stop herself from giving into this urge. So she simply chooses to give into her own needs without question.

Her hands move towards his unzipped fly. She can feel his questioning gaze on her, which makes her at least outwardly more confident in her behavior. Reluctance doesn't penetrate her steel stance that this is absolutely what she wants, but she knows it can't even appear as though she is unsure.

For all of his displays of control, House is not the one in charge. He has looked to her all evening to see how far they can go. If at any point she said stop, he would. And if she isn't completely visibly assured of the rightness in this, he will waste time with his doubt.

As it is, he nearly stops her when she slips her hand into the slat of his shorts. "Come on," he tells her as she pulls his warm cock out. "You have to –"

"No, I don't," she says calmly. Butterflies in her stomach flutter at the conversation they are on the cusp of having.

"Cuddy." His voice is filled with dismay. "I wasn't kidding. I have to –"

"It's okay." She nuzzles his good thigh with her nose.

His fingers grab hold of her hair and roughly wrench her head back. When she's looking up at him, he warns, "Unless you want a faceful of urine –"

"No –"

"Or plan on being my own personal…." He trails off, and she's not confused why. When he said the words, she felt her body respond – her cunt becoming wetter, her tongue darting out to lick her lips in anticipation. And if he stops talking, it's because he understands just what it is that she wants.

"Seriously?" he asks in shock. There is no judgment in the words, just amazement.

She forces out a "Yes."

Doubt quickly sets in. She can see the surprise give way to it, and his resultant reticence is expected. "You don't mean that," he says with a shake of the head.

And in the face of his own doubt, part of her wants to agree. Rationally she understands that once she does this, once she even suggests she wants this, there's no taking that back. Even if they don't do any of it, even if she changes her mind, the impulse will be something House is aware of. And that terrifies her, because, while she knows he would never make her do something she didn't want, he'll know her. He will have seen just how dark she considers going, be a witness to the perversions she has buried until this moment.

She supposes that he already does understand her in ways no one else has ever come close to. This is in a way just one more piece of her that only he has ever seen.

But just as it was with in vitro, it makes her fearful that he might know something that dark about her. His tongue is sharp, his insistence on pushing buttons obvious, and there is in the back of her mind the concern that he might say something at some point.

She knows, however, that that is her inherent shame talking. She trusts what he said earlier – that no one would believe him if he did say something, that he would lose quite a lot by hurting her. And she is reminded that even when his vicious comments drew blood by saying she would be a horrible mother, it was a remark done in private. For all the ways he has embarrassed her, he has respected certain lines. She knows she is safe now.

Besides, who would believe him if he did tell?

He can't even believe it himself – as evidenced by the disbelief in his eyes. But, with her interest reinforced, she is more than willing to prove him wrong.

"I do," she says firmly.

"Convince me."

She is sure her cheeks are red, despite her effort to remain calm. As much as she wants this, the fact of the matter is… she hasn't even been able to say to herself what it is she's interested in. Her mind has skirted around the issue, though she can very clearly picture what it is that she wants. She doubts he knows this, but it is obvious to her that, for his own enjoyment, he wants her to say the words out loud. And the issues that creates for her are apparent. How is she supposed to convince him if the words are ones she can barely think?

"I don't know how," she tells him honestly.

"Tell me. Exactly what you want. Say the words."

She doesn't. Hedging she asks, "Why does it matter?"

"Because I say it does."

"But you know what I want."

"I don't care. I'm telling you to do something. Right now, you do what I want."

His words do not offend her. On the contrary, much like it was with being spanked, his orders push her further into this mood of hers. The need to please him, to be his, is marrow deep in her, flowing through her blood, and into every cell of her being. It makes no sense, as it hasn't all night. But in that wrongness, there is a rightness she craves.

"Touch yourself," he demands while tightening his grip on her hair.

Her mouth feels dry as she slowly removes on hand from his thigh and moves it towards her own. She spreads her legs, so he can see more clearly what she's about to do. There is an inherent discomfort in masturbating on his couch while he is practically yanking on her hair and towering over her. But that awkwardness is turned electric the second her index finger glides over her swollen clit. She is so wet and warm that she doubts she has ever been as turned on before.

"How good does that feel," he says in a voice that makes her pussy clench with desire. "Go ahead and put a couple fingers in your little cunt for me, okay?" She nods her head, though she can feel the strain on her scalp. Her hand slips downward, and she inserts her index and middle fingers slowly inside herself.

Immediately she cries out. Her walls are clenched tightly around her. A few moves are all it will take for her to come all over herself.

She has no doubt House knows this.

"Remember what I said earlier? Your pussy is for my use only. I'm letting you borrow it for right now, but after you come, it's all mine again. No one touches it but me, and you'll have to be very good if you want me to play with it."

Her exhale is raspy and harsh, her body hot and starting to sweat. She is so close that she doesn't need much more in order to orgasm.

"Now," he says roughly. "Tell me what you want me to do."

Masturbating for him, she finds it hard to be embarrassed. "I want you in my mouth," she blurts out forcing herself to say each word without stopping.

It's not enough for him. "Which part?"

"Your dick."

"So you can blow me?" he asks snidely.


Her thumb briefly runs along her clit as he tells her, "Well, that's going to happen eventually. You know that, right?"

"Yes." At this point, she's enjoying herself so much that she's not just answering the question.

"But in the meantime," he prompts.

"You know what –"

"If you can't even tell me," he says casually. "That makes me think you're not interested."

Her fingers still inside her. It's not like she wants to stop, but she wants it to be absolutely clear that this is what she is asking for. The words themselves escape her, but it is definitely what she wants from him. And she's not going to let the opportunity go, because he's in doubt.

"I am."

She leaves no room in her tone for disagreement. At least, she doesn't think she has, because she doesn't have any other way of making him understand just how badly she wants him to do this. Cuddy understands that she should be able to say the words. But… she can't. She knows that if she says what she wants, somehow it will ruin the moment.

"All right fine," he says after a moment. "Since you won't say it, I will." She is afraid to have the words spoken aloud, and yet at the same time, her body thrums on the energy just the thought of hearing him say it creates. "You want me to piss in your mouth."

She doesn't allow herself to cringe at the ridiculousness of his words. She knows he'll misinterpret the expression if she does. So she forces herself to remain calm, to answer as firmly as she can, "Yes."

Once again he is surprised. "Really?" He must fear that the question will make her uncomfortable, because he doesn't prompt her for further agreement. Thankfully, he backs down then.

Reaching down, he grabs the thong, which she has forgotten about entirely. He pushes it into her free hand. "Don't drop this," he tells her seriously. All evening he has had an affect of sternness, but whereas he hasn't actually been grave before, he suddenly is. The change in his demeanor makes it clear: he wants to guarantee that she has a way out. His fingers loosening their grip in her hair, he gently cards through her curls. "I mean it."


"Open your mouth."

She does without hesitation. The expectation was for her that she would feel reluctant or queasy the second they got to this point. For whatever reason, however, she doesn't feel that way at all. The promise that he will stop helps, but mostly, she thinks it's the way he has given into this act without question, without disgust that makes her feel the most secure. It reinforces the idea that he is in fact the right if not the only person to do this with, because he will protect her every step of the way and respect her right to control the act. So instead of being nervous, she is relaxed when he slowly pushes his dick into her mouth.

He buries himself to the hilt, one of his hands moving to cup her cheek. His thumb lightly strokes the bottom tip of her earlobe, but he does nothing else. He just stands there, with his penis down her throat.

She understands. As doctors they are trained to evaluate and understand the inherent risk involved. He, like she has, will eventually decide that the possibility of transferring bacteria from his urethra to her is minimal. But he no doubt has to think about it. And even when he has that matter settled, there is still the concern that he will be doing something she doesn't want. Unfortunately there's nothing she can do or say to convince him of that. She can only wait until he decides she won't object.

It's torture for her – to have two fingers in her cunt, his cock in his mouth, and the knowledge of what he's going to do firmly implanted in her mind. But she tells herself to be patient. Whatever he's feeling has to be equally hard for him; the need to urinate but the fear that doing so will upset her… she doesn't doubt that it's a tense moment for him as well.

But they get past it. His dick slips against her tongue as he shifts on his feet a little, and then, as her eyes flutter shut, he starts. He's warm against her and inside her. Unlike when he comes, this does not take her by surprise; there's no force behind it, just the soft flow of fluid that she can barely taste. She's okay with that, comfortable with the hint of saltiness she does get from him. And swallowing what he offers her, she is hit by an arousal that almost makes her choke.

Reminded of the fingers inside of her, she starts to pump herself quickly in harsh thrusts. The movement doesn't go unnoticed by House. She can feel him settle against her; the restlessness he was displaying moments ago is gone. He no longer seems tense, and he lets himself go, much to her liking.

"You're going to come aren't you?" he asks, stroking her cheek. Obviously she can't answer, so he keeps talking. "That's it. Let me fill you up, make you mine." Her thumb fumbles against her clit, and she has to fight back a moan that would choke her.

He doesn't have to tell her to come. Her fingers hit her in just the right way, and then nothing he says or does matters at all. She needs no encouragement at that moment. Her muscles seize instantly, her fingers trapped by the warmth of her slick walls. Pleasure rushes through her in waves so powerful she can feel it in her toes. Tossed headlong into ecstasy, she cries against his dick. She can't speak, but in her head is a refrain of yeses that are so loud they are deafening.

She doesn't notice that he has finished until she feels him gradually become hard in her mouth. As her own orgasm fades away, her mind focuses on him, on giving him the release he now needs. She pulls her fingers out of her body and tosses the thong to the side now that she has no need for it. Bracing herself against the couch, she bobs her tongue along the underside of his stiffened cock.

He begins to thrust himself in and out of her, using her with as much force as she can take. And then it doesn't take him long. She's not sure if he's just denied himself pleasure for too long or the result of watching her consume his fluid, but he is just as turned on now as she was. He nearly pulls out completely before pushing himself back in as hard and fast as he can go. The grip in her hair tightens, and when he comes, he lets out a groan so loud that she's sure even the neighbors can hear.

She swallows the best she can before licking him clean with her tongue. He slumps against her, sweaty and practically gasping for air. When she's tucked his softened cock back into his shorts, he straightens his back. He is visibly weary, as though the evening has sapped him of all his energy.

She can relate and does not protest when, moments later, handing her a glass of water, he tells her to spend the night. Her lips touching the rim of the cup, she tells him, "That's fine."

They do not discuss what they have done. Just as they have (up until tonight anyway) spent months not talking about their behavior, so too do they stay silent now. Words are rarely their friends and almost always a source of contention, of contest. Even if they have agreed to be in a relationship, some things won't change any time soon, and she takes comfort in that.

He hands her a button down for her to wear, and she takes it without a word. Part of her expects him to say at some point that, if he had known she was that kinky, he would have dated her sooner. She is grateful that that sentiment remains unsaid for the time being.

She crawls into the bed first, and he follows suit. His head rests on her chest, an arm slung over her waist. One of her hands covers his bicep, and she spreads her legs, so his knee can rest between them. They say nothing then in the dark; they don't need to. One silent, shared word exists between them. It's the only thing she thinks as she falls asleep:


The End