Writer's block sucks.
He barged into her office as he usually did, Cuddy's assistant having learned long ago that there was no point in trying to stop him.
"The answer is no." He announced as he shut the door behind him, reaching one of the chairs in front of her desk and dropping into it.
"What are you talking about?" She asked, looking away from the screen of her computer.
"Hospital volleyball game on Wednesday? You – " He pointed his cane at her before continuing. "are not playing this year."
"And why is that?" She asked, raising an eyebrow in response as she crossed her arms.
"Because you, my friend are five months pregnant." He continued, tapping his cane against her desk.
"And your point is? I didn't play in last year's game because I was eight months pregnant, but this time around I'm playing. I've already checked it out with Ramirez to make sure it's okay, I'm as big as I was the first time around, so my mobility isn't as affected as it would be if I were as big as I was with Tom, and just because we're married now, you can't exactly tell me what to do."
He raised his eyebrow at her reply, surprised as she clearly had this answer ready to give.
"Wilson told me you were worried." She replied, and he wondered how it was possible for her to sometimes read him like a book.
"I am not worried…I just don't want to deal with the medical bills if something happens to you and the spawn…I also don't want to be left to raise spawn A alone, if anything terrible were to happen to you."
"You're sweet, House. But really, I'll be fine. Besides, you can join in on the pools going around on whether or not my team will win or not."
"It's you, Wilson, Chase, Thirteen, two department heads, and two of the nurses. Wilson's a good server, Chase is a good setter, Thirteen has a hell of a spike, and you may be tiny, but once you bump the ball, no matter where you're standing, it's going over the net. You four alone would win the match."
"How do you know about my bumps? You've never been to any of the games in the past."
"I haven't? As if I would ever miss out on watching you jump around in a pair of shorts. I was always there, lurking in the background." He responded, smirking as her eyes widened in disbelief.
"You're full of surprises, aren't you?" Cuddy replied, raising an eyebrow and shaking her head as a smile spread across her features.
"Indeed, I am…You ready to go home?"
"It's only four in the afternoon. You know I don't usually leave until at least five – thirty…Besides, I have quarterlies to file – "
"It's May. You don't need to file quarterlies until June, because May is not one of the quarter months. Besides, going home an hour and a half early won't hurt you, why not take the extra time to stay off of your feet since you'll be on them for at least two hours during the game?"
He'd learned how to get his way with her when he wanted to, especially when it came to wanting what was best for her. She worked too hard and sometimes he had to check in on her to make sure she wasn't over working herself. When she was overworked, she was stressed, and when she was stressed, she was tense and extra bitchy, and when she was like that it made it difficult for Tom to settle down when she was the one trying to calm him after one of his fits. So, for the sake of everyone involved, he made sure that she was never overworked and mostly in a good mood. He owed it to her after the stunt he had pulled months earlier when he had disappeared for a week after she had told him she was pregnant again.
He was still beating himself up over it – he should have reacted differently. He should have been accepting of the matter, seeing as their son was the best thing to have happened to him. He'd been clean for almost a year at the time, he wasn't as bad as a parent he thought he would have been, and most importantly, he was happy. He shouldn't have walked out on her, especially after doing so the first time round.
His motto was that people didn't change, but if he wanted to ensure that his marriage would last in the long run, he would need to change himself for the better.
He was pulled out of his reverie at the snap of Cuddy's fingers, only inches from his face.
"I'll go home early, but you're making dinner."
"Sounds like a deal."
"One, two, three, four." Cuddy counted Tom's steps as she slowly walked into the kitchen, the eleven – month old holding her hands as she supported him as he took wobbly steps. He had started to pull himself up in his crib only a week earlier, and was suddenly attempting to stand at every chance he got.
They reached the kitchen and she scooped him into her arms, smiling as he buried his face into her neck, giggling. She walked over to House who was standing in front of the stove and gave him a peck on the lips.
"What are you making?" She asked curiously, the aromas wafting through the air making her stomach growl, also earning her a kick from inside her womb. She reached her free hand down to her abdomen and affectionately patted it.
"Baked mac and cheese, garlic bread, and grilled chicken." He responded, grabbing a spoon and dipping it into the pot of cheesy pasta and then bringing it to her mouth. She willingly tried the food, savoring the flavor.
"Mmm. So far, so good." She replied, licking her lips. "How much longer until – "
"Ten minutes tops. Meanwhile, you can sit around and wait, or you can set the table."
"You're so bossy." She responded, shaking her head before walking over to the high chair and setting Tom into it, pursing her lips as the infant began to fuss.
"I get it from you." Cuddy heard House respond as she ran her fingers through Tom's light brown curls in attempt to soothe him.
"Shhhh, baby. Daddy's almost done making dinner, five more minutes, okay?" She cooed, watching as the infant furrowed his brow. When she was sure he wouldn't throw a tantrum, she left his side and gathered everything she needed in order to set the table. When she was finished, she poured Tom a sippy cup full of apple juice and watched as he eagerly accepted it before dropping down into her seat at the table.
She was so thankful that fate had allowed her to mother such a beautiful and incredible baby boy. It hadn't been an easy journey into motherhood – it had had plenty of its ups and downs, the emotional trials of her relationship with House and her post-partum depression after Tom's birth, but in the end it was worth it. She was happily married to a man whom drove her crazy but she couldn't help but adore him anyway and they a son who was the light of her life, with a daughter on the way.
"You know, we haven't decided on a name yet."
"We have another four months, why rush?" House asked as he placed the dish of mac and cheese on the table along with a plate of grilled chicken.
"I like having these things planned out in advance." She responded, spooning some of the pasta onto Tom's plate and then her, using her fork to slide a piece of chicken onto it as well.
"You choose the name this time, I'll choose the middle name." He retorted, and she shook her head at his simplistic solution.
"Are you at least going to use your power of veto if I come up with a name that sounds ridiculous?" She blew on the forkful of mac and cheese in front of her waiting until it was cool enough before feeding it to Tom. She smiled as he gave a squawk of approval.
"Okay then, but don't get annoyed when I can't pick a name and keep asking you for suggestions."
She chuckled softly to herself as he rolled his eyes.
House sat on the lowest rafter at the gym with Tom in his lap, watching the volleyball game. Currently, Cuddy's team was two points behind, but he knew no one on the team was worried about losing, nor was he worried about them losing. There was always a pool on which team would win and he had bet a thousand dollars on their team winning.
"Momma!" Tom squawked, pointing towards Cuddy who turned and waved in their direction before turning her attention back to the game.
"Yeah kiddo, that's your mom kickin' ass. She may be tiny, but she'll prove anyone who doubts her wrong."
He watched as Wilson set the ball in Thirteen's direction and the younger woman spiked the ball over the net, smirking as Taub dropped to the ground in attempts to volley the ball back and failing.
"They are really good." He heard Kutner comment as he sat down beside him.
"The score is nine to ten, match point is at sixteen. Wilson's set to serve next, which means that there will at least be three points added to their score, Cuddy's in the back row which makes it easier for her to bump the ball especially since Chase is next to her and since he's the weakest player his default move is to pass it to her. Plus Cameron's the opposing team's weakest player, Taub is too short to do anything than dig the ball after a spike, and Foreman's indifference alone could cost them the game."
"You've been around for two games and you've noticed all of this?"
"I'm observant." Kutner shrugged, just as Wilson served the ball over the net and when Cameron attempted to volley it back over, it flew straight into the center of the net. They watched as Wilson high-fived Cuddy and Chase mocked Cameron who glared in response.
"Told you." The younger man continued, smirking.
House shook his head.
"Go get me something to drink." He said simply, handing him a five.
"Water or soda?"
"Water and make it quick, there's a time out in five minutes."
He heard a hiccup and grabbed one of the baby bottles full of water from the stroller and handed it to Tom, watching him to ensure the infant didn't choke. There was a loud roar of approval from the crowd and he looked up to see the score change again, making it thirteen to eleven. Fifteen minutes ago they had been two points behind and now they were two ahead.
Kutner returned and handed him the water bottle, just as time out was called and Cuddy walked over to them.
"You're welcome." House said, handing her the water bottle.
"Thanks." She replied, downing half of the bottle in one chug.
"I'm good." She reassured him, giving him a quick peck on the lips and running her fingers through Tom's hair before heading back onto the court.
She could feel the adrenaline pumping through her as she prepared to serve the ball. The score was tied, fifteen to fifteen and there was no way she was going to be on the losing team. She hadn't lost at a game of volleyball since her senior year of high school, and there was no way she was going to lose now.
She served the ball watching as it soared over the net only to be volleyed back just as quickly. Chase set the ball to Wilson, who set it to Thirteen who then spiked the ball over the net. Unfortunately, Taub was able to dig the ball back into play almost a split second before it hit the ground.
Cuddy sighed as she watched the ball volley back and forth between the two teams, impatiently waiting until it was within her reach. All she needed was one good bump to Thirteen and they would be able to call it a game.
The opportunity came and she bumped the ball high into the air, a feeling of triumph over coming her as she watched Thirteen spike the ball over the net – except that it came flying back over it. For the first time in the game Cameron had successfully gotten the ball over the net without the help of one of her team members.
She groaned, cracking her wrists before taking a deep breath.
Chase hit the ball in her direction and she passed it to Thirteen, who spiked it again and hit Cameron square in the nose. Cuddy brought a hand up to her mouth to cover the laugh that had involuntarily escaped her.
"I'm okay!" She heard Cameron shout as most of her team members swarmed her to make sure her nose wasn't bleeding or broken.
"Nice hit, Dr. Hadley." Cuddy praised, giving the younger doctor a high – five.
"Couldn't have done it without your pass." Thirteen replied, winking.
"On the bright side, we won." Wilson commented as he came over to join them.
"Of course we did, I'm on this team." She replied jokingly.
"You and House have been married for like a month and you're already starting to act more like him."
"What does that have to do with us being married? We've been together for a year and a half."
"Nothing at all." Wilson replied.
She shook her head before they walked toward the other team and shook hands with their opponents.
"You might want to put an icepack on that…" She said once she reached Cameron, whose nose had started to swell ever so slightly.
"I'll make sure." Cameron replied through gritted teeth.
Cuddy had to resist the urge to laugh again. When they had congratulated all of the opposing team for being great opponents, she walked over to where House was sitting, feeling herself involuntarily smile as she reached him.
"We're going out to celebrate." He said simply as she picked up Tom.
"Because I bet a thousand dollars that your team would win." He replied, wrapping an arm around her and pulling her closer to him. She tilted her chin up and kissed him. They usually weren't into public displays of affection, but they weren't at the hospital and she was in a good mood.
There was a sound of protest from between them and they pulled apart, looking down at Tom who had grown frustrated at being squished between his parents.
"Sorry kid." House replied, ruffling his hair. "So, MVP where do you want to go dinner?"
"Hm, I'm craving pancakes…So IHOP?"
"IHOP it is."
House watched as Cuddy dropped her fork and grimaced, her hand moving down to her stomach.
"Fuck." He heard her whisper under her breath and he raised an eyebrow in curiosity.
"Yeah, I'm fine, it's just the usual pains of being pregnant." She responded, shaking it off.
"If you say so." He replied shrugging before turning his attention back to his burger. She would tell him what was wrong eventually.
"Open your mouth, Tommy." Cuddy cooed, giving the child a piece of pancake.
House watched as Tom spit it out before handing him a French fry.
"A kid who doesn't like pancakes, you're a little weirdo. Let's hope you grow out of that."
"Any weird quirks he gets from you."
"Oh yeah, because mommy dearest's healthy food obsession is not a weird quirk."
"At least I don't eat Rye bread." She responded, wrinkling her nose in disgust.
He shook his head resisting the urge to smile.
"It's an acquired taste."
"It's disgusting, and I hope our kids have an aversion to it like I do, so that there's less of it in the house."
"I hope they have an aversion to pasta, just so that you can't make it as often."
"Shut up." She replied, throwing a piece of pancake at him and rolling her eyes. "You love to eat pasta as much as I do. Plus, Tom doesn't have the aversion to that, so the chances are this one won't either."
"Speaking of the other spawn…Why don't we name her Lucy, after my favorite angel?"
He watched as Cuddy chocked on her water.
"We are NOT naming our daughter after Lucifer!" She laughed.
"But mooooooom! It has a nice ring to it. Lucy House. Lucille House."
"Okay, Lucy does have a nice ring to it, but you picked Tom's first name, you can't pick hers too." She pouted in response.
"I named Tom after your dad. Family names shouldn't count."
"But I wanted to name her Charlotte."
"Charlotte Lucille House."
"Cuddy – House."
"Charlotte Lucille Cuddy – House. Not bad."
"Soo, I guess we have a name."
"Guess we do."
When they were finished with their dinners they made their way to the car and he smirked as he felt Cuddy's hand against his ass.
"You're grabbing at nothing."
"Your ass might not be as big as mine but there's something there." She responded smirking as she went to take Tom to buckle him into his car seat.
"I got him. Get off your feet, I can sense your ankles swelling."
"If only people knew about this side of you."
He picked up the sleeping child and buckled him into his car seat before stuffing the stroller into the trunk. House opened the driver's side door to the car and paused as he noted Cuddy's expression.
It was one of pure panic.
"My water just broke."