Despite the handicap of heels, Cuddy made excellent time through the parking garage. He was not going to get away that easily, not going to just ride off into the night without any sort of reasonable explanation. Never mind the fact that nothing House did ever had that, she wanted it now. Giving up wasn’t something he did, but Foreman, Chase, and Cameron couldn’t have managed to feign that degree of shock when telling her House was sending the boy home.
It was completely unlike him, but exactly what he was doing.
House stopped before pulling his helmet onto his head, and Cuddy walked around the motorcycle to face him. “You’re just giving up on this kid?” she asked, her voice incredulous. He showed no sign that her words affected him and did everything but shrug.
“You’ve got to know when to stop,” he said, and the coolness in his voice was almost painful.
“You don’t stop,” Cuddy said, and it was all she could do to keep her voice from rising to a yell. “You never stop! You just keep going until you come up with something so insane it’s usually right.” Cuddy could feel her palms beginning to sweat but she curled them into fists briefly, out of his range and sight.
House regarded her with amused indifference. “Except for my last case,” he said, and the familiar ache of guilt surged through her heart. Why had she ever listened to Wilson in the first place? Since when did she, Lisa Cuddy, answer to anyone, care about what anyone else thought? It isn’t that you care what Wilson thinks, the voice in her head chided. It’s that you’re worried he might be right about House, might be right about the pain, might be right about everything.
He had been favoring his left side, she could tell. She had been studying him for years, she knew when he was hurting.
“Don't be pathetic. Forget the last case. This kid obviously has something wrong with him.” The words had more conviction than she had normally been able to draw up, and Cuddy let her arms fall to her sides, refusing to let her eyes waver from House.
But he wasn’t looking at her with his usual brash defiance. He was regarding her curiously, the way he had looked at her when she asked him to give her the injections. “When did you develop such strong opinions about my patients?” he asked, his tone conversational. “Last week you were convinced my patient wasn't sick, now you're convinced this one is.”
Another cold shudder rolled through Cuddy and she fought to keep her expression as blank as possible. “This one is a young boy. His parents are desperate. Just get together with your team, spend a few extra hours...”
“I guess we can amputate his left leg, that's where we found most of it. Maybe we should just remove the infected eye completely.” House’s tone was glib, and Cuddy wanted nothing more than to slap it from his lips. He was being impossible, completely irrational, and completely...not House. Her heart twisted as realization descended upon her. Ever since this had happened, since Wilson had coerced her into keeping up the charade, House hadn’t been...House. There had been an absence of the arrogance, the rogue confidence and the rakish grin, all of which had driven her insane for years, and all of which she knew he wasn’t happy without.
And she wasn’t going to stop him any longer. Cuddy wasn’t going to inhibit his treatment of his patients for another minute. Not when he had been right the entire time, and certainly not when this was the outcome. “If you have reason to believe that might help...”
He cut her off abruptly. “I'm not going to start lopping off body parts.” His eyes were gleaming with curiosity and a smug sense of satisfaction that she wanted to slap from his face. “It's interesting you give me the green light.”
“I just want you to do something!” Exasperation flared in her voice and Cuddy shook her head. He was infuriating. Completely frustrating, just as Stacy had said in times before during their confidential talks between friends. He thought he was always right, and the most frustrating part of all was...that usually was the case.
House was still watching her, knowledge flashing in his eyes. “You've been overly supportive this entire week. Either you're hormonal or guilt ridden, and it's too early in the pregnancy for you to be hormonal...”
“I’m not pregnant!” Cuddy cried, a rush of anger flaring through her. And what was that she saw in his eyes...?
He wanted her to be pregnant...or didn’t he? Ever since he had begun giving her the injections, House had expressed a vocal opinion of in vitro and Cuddy’s choice to take part in it. His opinions were obvious, but he had never outwardly expressed his desire to see Cuddy without a child. No, House had been the one with support oozing from his normally dry pores, consideration dripping from him like the sweat had when he ran into her office each morning the weeks before. If he was so understanding...then why was he pleased when she said she wasn’t pregnant?
“Then what did you do wrong?”
The harsh bite of the question pulled Cuddy forcefully from her thoughts, and it suddenly became too much. The charade was over, he would be able to tell from the look on her face, the same defeated posture she took when he backed her into a corner with no way out.
And she had to tell him. All the strength she’d been drawing upon telling her this was the right thing to do had been sapped away by his insecurities and contradictions of himself, all of the self consciousness that he had never shown before so openly displayed now on the weathered features.
“He had Addison's.”
House’s eyes flickered, showing only vague recognition as to what she was talking about.
“Your last patient. You were right. I gave him one shot of Cortisol and he woke up like Rip Van Winkle.” Cuddy’s eyes were burning but she bit back the emotion and refused to look at him for a long moment. Her heart was thudding in her chest, the knot in her stomach finally beginning to lessen. At least the guilt was going away, but now she had to deal with the recourse of telling House.
There was nothing but silence in the garage for that aching second, and finally House smiled. A slow, gradual smile that eased the ache on his features. The self-assured smirk returned and Cuddy lifted her eyes to take it in. Grinning brashly, House leaned his head down towards her stomach.
“Oh, your Mommy is in such trouble,” House said to her stomach, his tone that of a conspirator. “She's such a liar! That's why you don't have a daddy, that's why she had to...” House paused in mid sentence and Cuddy didn’t want to know what he was going to say next. Something degrading, without a doubt. Something about her inability to hold down a relationship, her impossible attitude being passed on through genetics to her child, therefore condemning it before it even had a chance to be normal. Or...
“You aren’t pregnant.”
Cuddy’s head snapped up at the absolute conviction of his words, meeting his calm gaze full on. She had been saying that all along, but the aloof way he was taking her dismissals of his observation indicated he clearly didn’t care to believe her. It was much more fun to analyze her breasts and dissect her moods if the possibility of a baby was there as a means.
But now he was looking at her with a serious expression on his face, one that interwove anger, satisfaction, and curiosity all into one with a hint of something else. Sympathy...? No, House wouldn’t...
Shaking her head Cuddy lifted her hand to press to her forehead. “I told you I wasn’t,” she said, but her voice didn’t hold its usual bite. She wasn’t going to tell him all about it. About the failed in vitro attempts, the piles of useless donor files she’d been sifting through while he was occupied with his rehab. House had been there for the first part of it, to warn her against choosing someone simply for their genetics, but once he had realized he could walk again it was as though that part of his concern had disappeared into nothingness. And Cuddy hadn’t minded, not really, since it was what he wanted and what she wanted for him.
It was her baby, and she could deal with it alone. .Whether or not it was actually going to be.
House’s eyes were fixated on her profile, and Cuddy turned to face him again, hands falling helplessly to rest at her sides. “No,” she said again, “I’m not pregnant. The in vitro hasn’t worked twice, so that’s why you think my breasts are larger and my moods are irregular. They’ve increased my dosage of hormones to try and make things better for the next try, to give me better odds.” Her face was strained, and she turned away from him to rub the back of her neck once more.
House remained silent, lowering his eyes from her face to her stomach and then to the helmet in his lap. “The sperm is bad,” he said in that maddening, certain voice of his. “The fertility medications are working just fine. If you weren’t fertile, a doctor would have told you by now. I would have told you by now since I ran that test on your spoon.” The helmet clinked once as he set it on the ground, and Cuddy heard a faint sound of movement she didn’t bother to look at.
And that was when he grabbed her.
His big hands closed around her hips and Cuddy felt herself swung around, lifted clean off her feet only to be deposited on the bike in front of him. Her eyes widened when she found herself facing him, her back pressed against the front of the bike and him between her thighs.
“House,” she said in a thready voice, a flush creeping up her throat and face as she moved to shake her head, but House wasn’t listening to her. Shaking his head once he gripped her tighter, pulling her to rest firmly on his lap. Her hips were against his and she could feel the radiating warmth against her beneath the thick denim.
“The sperm is bad,” he repeated, and his fingers began to gently massage her hips through the fabric of her skirt. “Who knows where they get these donors anyway, since it takes a pretty pathetic schmuck to walk into an exam room and whack off to bad porn tapes.” Cuddy could feel him gathering the material of her skirt into his fingers, dragging it slowly up her thighs, and she squirmed to try and twist away.
“Greg.” She said his name this time, her tone almost pleading. The hormone injections were making her vulnerable enough, and she didn’t need him reopening the wound she’d been healing over by herself the past two months. It was disheartening enough to realize she couldn’t get pregnant by the injections, to spend all that money and time and, oh...what was he doing?
Cuddy shivered, snapped from her thoughts as House nuzzled beneath her chin, dragging his stubble slowly up the curve of her neck. A breath caught in her throat, hissing through her teeth, and Cuddy’s hips involuntarily twitched against his. The pressure of his hands changed and House slid his arms around her beneath her lab coat, his touch warm against her back even through her clothing.
“Greg,” she whispered again, but House wasn’t answering her. His lips were against her ear now, his breath hot against her skin, and Cuddy felt her eyes close. It was the hormones, or at least that was what she was telling herself. The hormones and nothing more. It had nothing to do with any of the feelings she’d been harboring for the past two months, with the unasked questions to House about the pregnancy and donors - and himself.
House let his lips part, brushing his open mouth slowly up her neck and cheek, hands tightening to pull her hips fully against his. Cuddy became aware that her skirt was up around her hips now, the lab coat falling down on either side to curtain her from anyone’s view except his. House’s face was buried in the hollow of her throat and when he began to kiss there Cuddy felt her consciousness reel.
So slow, but so hard. Everything was slow. House made no move to undress her, maybe because it was too complicated to do so in a parking garage or maybe because he wanted to keep this impersonal, but his hands were strong and warm against her back, forcing her spine to arch into his waiting lips.
Cuddy squirmed against him, feeling the combined heat of his skin and her own arousal, and her arms wrapped around his waist, hands crawling beneath his shirt to seek out warm skin. House’s fingers began to slowly massage her back and Cuddy felt the overwhelming sensation of being paralyzed wash over her. There were certain places on a woman’s back that, when touched just so, could bring a sexual pleasure similar to that of actual intercourse. Apparently, House knew just where they all were.
A moan escaped her lips, echoing in the garage, and House pulled his hand from her back to jerk her chin down, meeting her eyes. “Shh now, Cuddy,” he said, his voice rough. “Wouldn’t want anyone to come investigate, would you?” He smirked rakishly, and Cuddy wanted to wipe that arrogance away.
She didn’t know who made the first move but a moment after they were kissing, her fingers tangled in his shirt, his hands wound in her skirt and hair. House groaned into her mouth as Cuddy squirmed her hips against his more forcefully, and he dragged her up more firmly to sit on her lap. His hand slid beneath her skirt and pulled her panties down her hips, but getting them off was going to require her getting up. Making a gruff sound of displeasure in his throat House jerked his wrist once and the lacy thong was snapped free, the material pulled from beneath her skirt and tossed to the side.
Cuddy made a sound of protest but House silenced her with his mouth and pulled her to grind her hips against his. She whimpered once, and he took hold of the top of her shirt with his teeth, tugging the neckline down to expose the swelling curves of her breasts.
So it is an underwire, House thought to himself, smug satisfaction running over his features. Dragging his face down her throat he grazed his stubble against the soft skin of her breast, lips parting to kiss along the upper curve of each. Cuddy mewled again but House didn’t increase his pace, keeping her pulled taut against him.
Whimpering with frustration Cuddy’s fingers found the button and zipper on his jeans and made quick work of unfastening them. He was hard and hot in her hand and her trembling fingers stroked and caressed until he growled, his teeth sinking softly into the top of her breast above her bra. Cuddy mewled louder and wrapped one trembling hand around him, guiding him inside of her. House cursed against her skin and pulled her down in one rough motion, pushing himself completely inside of her.
He was musk and sweat, pain and want, and Cuddy’s arms wrapped desperately around his shoulders for some form of support. House’s lips forced her head to fall back and she felt his mouth, hot and wanting, move over the fabric of her shirt. Even through the two layers of material she felt his lips part and her nipples peaked with aching want against the suckling pressure of his mouth. House’s hands were on her hips, pulling her down again and again at his own pace and direction, and Cuddy felt the full, aching length of him completely inside of her with every thrust.
It was fast and hard, pain and want, anger and betrayal and so much more. She had hurt his trust by keeping the success of his case from him and he had hurt her by deserting her when she had needed him the most. Everything they were both feeling was poured into each other. Cuddy felt the raw ache of his betrayal and House drowned himself in the pain of her loss, and they moved together atop his bike, Cuddy’s hips slamming against his in a quick, bruising rhythm. He felt her hips tense beneath his grasp and House clenched his jaw, lips pressed into her throat as he pulled her down harder than before.
She would have bruises on her hips and inner thighs the next morning but Cuddy wasn’t thinking about that now. Dimly she became aware of the knowledge that he shouldn’t be doing this, not with the pressure she was putting on his thigh. She tried to shift to accommodate this but House made a low sound in his throat and kept her from doing so. Color flashed behind Cuddy’s closed eyelids and she dug her nails into his back, sinking her teeth into her lower lip. With a violent shudder she came, head falling back on her shoulders as House groaned against her neck, pulling her hips roughly into his. Burying himself in her to the hilt he came a second later, his big hands sliding to grasp her ass, not letting her move away.
Long moments passed and when Cuddy regained coherence she was leaning back against the front of the bike, House’s face buried in her throat. Her hair was lank with sweat, skirt rumpled around her hips, and there were wet marks on her shirt where his mouth had been. Unable to move against the aching in her body Cuddy murmured inanely and House groaned again before lifting his head slowly from her.
There was no forgiveness in his eyes, but she hadn’t expected to see it. What she hadn’t expected was the silent understanding, the intense look in his dark eyes that told her more than she wanted to think about right now. Her thoughts were awash with the aftermath of pleasure and the consequence of what they’d just done...
...because if it worked....
Cuddy’s heart skipped, eyes widening to search his face but House was tired of intense emotions and deep looks. Shifting he lowered her to sit in front of him on the motorcycle, swinging his right leg over to stand up. Not looking at her he smoothed his shirt and fastened his jeans, rolling his shoulders once. Smoothing her skirt Cuddy pulled herself to stand, only then realizing her panties were ripped beyond repair. The sharp retort she wanted to make died on her lips as she watched his posture and knew that while things weren’t all right between them now by any means, there was a chance for reconciliation in the future.
Where in the future, however, remained to be seen.
Slowly Cuddy pulled herself from her leaning position against the motorcycle, wincing slightly at the bruises that would be forming on her hips. House picked up the helmet and set it atop the seat, then abruptly turned and began walking back towards the elevators. Wordlessly she followed, her heels the only sound in the parking garage.
There were no words on the elevator ride up, and when the doors opened House let her step off first, following a pace behind. Together they walked until House turned to go down the hallway to his office, and Cuddy turned her back to him, beginning to walk away.
“Cuddy.” His voice stopped her and she turned to look back at him.
“Don’t bother hiding the results from me. I know how to get into your office.”