Author: Coco // madampresident
Pairing: Cuddy/Thirteen, House/Cuddy, Bella/Julie. Slash or het, you say? Both!
Rating: PG-13/R for language
Disclaimer: I do not own House and I make no profit from any of this!
Spoilers: At least up to 5x05, I don't think anything else is spoilery because it's mostly my take on what Thirteen does after 4x16. Even though I started this series pre-season 5 I have picked and chosen some things from canon to keep.
Summary: The trilogy with four parts! Actually, the trilogy ended with Cuddy and Thirteen's break up and the death of Cuddy's father but a lot of loose ends were still left untied and if anyone was left wondering at the end of the last part, you're in luck! This is what happens after the end. How will the doctors of PPTH pick up the pieces, what will change, what will stay the same? Are Bella and Julie a permanent item? These and other questions will be answered in this installment!
Series: Long Day's Journey into Night
The Morning After
An Afternoon in the Garden
An Evening In
“Annulment papers?” Stacy’s brow furrowed in confusion, “your parents can’t file for divorce and annulment and what grounds would they have for an annulment?”
“They’re not for my parents they’re for me.”
Stacy’s jaw dropped, “didn’t you just get married…” Stacy looked at her desk calendar, “6 days ago?”
“It’s a long story but Remy wants an annulment. I don’t really want to talk about it.”
Stacy regarded her with sympathy. “I understand that but in order to get an annulment I need grounds.”
“Um…” Cuddy paused to avoid choking up. “She says that I went into the marriage without meaning till death do us part because… when I said it, I meant till her death do us part. And… I guess I kind of did go into it expecting… that she, well… you know! But that doesn’t mean I didn’t stand up there and mean it when I said to love, honor and cherish… and I think that if either of us was the worse fuck up here it was her because she wouldn’t even give me… a chance to make it up to her… for better or worse, you know?”
Cuddy’s eyes were full of tears that threatened to fall at any moment and Stacy was a little stunned by her display of emotion.
Stacy was caught between a plethora of reactions but was finally overcome with confusion. “I’m sorry, Lisa, I don’t understand.”
“I kissed House. I was in a really bad place-”
“You’d have to be.” Stacy teased, drawing out a small smile from Cuddy.
“Remy… hi, it’s Lisa. I got the papers you wanted but I’d really like to talk about this, I don’t want this. Please, please, please let’s talk about this.” Cuddy got out her keys and let herself into her house. “Call me back. Thanks.” She hung up her phone.
“Hi baby,” Bella took the papers from her hand and set them on the table and pulled her in for a hug. “Want to order Chinese food and pig out and watch a movie tonight?”
“Uh-huh.” Cuddy sniffled against her mother’s shoulder.
“Go settle down in the living room and pick a movie and I’ll order the food.” Bella picked up the phone and it rang, she jumped and yelped then laughed, “hello?”
“Hey Bella,” Julie smiled on the other end of the line, “I was wondering what you were up to tonight.”
“Oh Julie, I’m having a girl’s night with Lisa.”
“Mom, Julie can come over if she wants.” Cuddy said from the living room. “I wouldn’t mind if she did. It might be nice”
“Are you sure, sweetie?” Cuddy nodded. “Absolutely sure?” She was skeptical.
Bella turned her attentions back to the phone, “did you hear that?”
Cuddy’s cheek rested against her hand and she stared blankly at the television that she wasn’t paying attention to. She heaved a silent sigh and looked over at her mother and Julie out of the corner of her eye.
Bella and Julie’s hands were locked together; Bella’s thumb stroking Julie’s hand. Bella leaning against Julie.
It was sickeningly sweet and it almost made Cuddy want to throw up…
“I think I’m going to go to bed.” She stood up and placed the remote on Bella’s lap.
“Are you sure? The movie’s not over yet.”
“I’m really drained; I just want to go to bed. You two have a good night.” Cuddy managed a small smile. She turned to leave.
“Hey hey,” Bella insisted, Cuddy turned and saw Bella’s outstretched arms.
Cuddy sighed a little and leaned down. Bella pulled her down further and kissed her forehead. “I love you, baby.”
“Love you too, mom.” Cuddy walked down the hall to her bedroom and stripped to her underwear.
Gabby looked up from her dog bed and wagged her stubbed tail, watching Cuddy moving around the room. Cuddy pulled the covers back, fluffed her pillow and climbed in. Gabby watched her expectantly from amid her mounds of blanket.
Cuddy patted the bed, “come on up here, Gabs.”
Gabby jumped to her feet and leapt onto the bed, making a few tight circles before curling up against Cuddy and closing her eyes with a yawn.
Cuddy petted the petite Jack Russell and closed her eyes. An undeterminable sleepless time passed before she heard the TV shut off and Bella and Whitner make their way down the hallway to the guest bedroom.
Cuddy turned her head toward the other wall and heaved a heavy sigh.
It couldn’t have been more than a few minutes before the hushed voices started, a few soft giggles and then silence before the faintest of moans.
“Jesus.” Cuddy groaned and got up. Gabby watched her leave the room. Cuddy knocked on the door to Bella’s room. “Hey guys… I’m sorry but I’m having trouble sleeping so…”
“Oh we’re sorry, sweetheart.” Bella said from inside, “of course we’ll be quiet.”
“Thanks.” Cuddy looked back at her bedroom and paused. “Actually, I’m going to go out so just do whatever.”
Bella emerged from the bedroom. “Sweetie, are you okay?”
“I’m fine, mom. I just want to go out.”
“Where are you going?”
“Mom, I’m 42, I don’t have to tell you where I’m going.” Cuddy whined.
“It’s just that I know you’re upset and I don’t want you to go out and do something… impulsive.”
“I won’t.” Cuddy resisted the urge to roll her eyes.
“I hope you’re going to put some clothes on…” Bella teased, finally eliciting a small smile from Cuddy.
“Yes, mom. I’m going to put clothes on.”
“Yes?” House’s gruff voice grumbled into the phone.
“Come get a drink with me?” Cuddy asked, resting her cell phone between her ear and shoulder and backed out of her driveway.
He rubbed his eyes, “yeah, okay.” He leaned forward and pulled on a sneaker, “where?”
Cuddy waved to him from the bar, he nodded and went over, taking a seat on the stool next to her. “Order yet?”
“No, I just got here.” Cuddy turned to the bartender and waved. “Give me a screwdriver.”
House took her hand and put it down on the wood of the bar. “She’ll have a glass of water. And so will I.”
She scowled at him.
“Drowning your sorrows is not the answer. Take my word for it.” He picked up his water once they were set down in front of them. “Booth?”
She picked up her water and followed him to the booth. She sipped her water and sighed again. “Papers signed today?”
“Well, I got them. Remy’s coming over tomorrow to sign them. It’s just… having them makes this real… this just sucks. And it isn’t easy sleeping in the room next to my mother and Julie Whitner and their sexcapades.”
“That loud?” His eyebrows rose.
“No, not that loud but because I can’t sleep because I’m wallowing and so everything is a million times louder. I mean, of course I’m happy for my mother and Julie but it’s not easy being around blossoming love when you’re newly divorced. I’m just really in a bad place right now. I haven’t even told my mom that my dad’s dead.”
House’s jaw dropped, “when did that happen?”
“Like, two days ago.”
“And nobody called your mother?”
“Didn’t know how to get in touch with her so they called me. The funeral’s on Wednesday morning. I’m going to tell her tomorrow… I don’t wanna, but I know I have to…”
Several glasses of water later the bartender approached the table, “hey guys, sorry, but I gotta kick you out. Closing time.”
Cuddy looked at her cell phone, “it’s only 1.”
“Sunday night, always close early.” The bartender, who Cuddy realized bore a strong resemblance to Fred Durst, wandered back to the bar.
Cuddy turned back to House. “Will you come home with me?”
“I-” House bit his lip.
She laid her hands over his. “Please? I don’t want to be alone.”
House’s better judgment was screaming at him to say no. He knew that going home with Cuddy could very easily lead to trouble. His heart won out over his head and he nodded, “okay.”
“When’d you get a dog?” House nodded towards Gabby as he pulled off his leather jacket and laid it on the chair in Cuddy’s bedroom. Gabby looked up at him.
“Remy got her for me…”
Cuddy sat on the bed and motioned to the other side, “join me?”
He hesitated for only a moment before sitting next to her, leaning his cane against the wall.
“Lisa?” Thirteen knocked loudly on the door. “I see your car, I know you’re in there, come on!”
Cuddy jolted awake and looked over at the clock, just past noon. “Damn it.” She leapt up and pulled on her skirt and blouse. She ran to the door and opened it. “Remy,”
“Do you have the papers?”
“Remy, please can we talk about this? We don’t have to do this. We can still fix this.”
“Okay, I. I can still fix if this is you just give me the chance.” Cuddy pleaded, “Remy please, I love you so much.”
“Lisa, Christ! Don’t treat me like I’m retarded! I see House’s motorcycle in the driveway and you’ve got sex hair for fuck’s sake!”
She looked up in the direction of her hair, “it’s not sex hair; I just woke up. House stayed over last night but we didn’t do anything. We were up late talking.”
“Lisa, the papers.” Remy put her foot down.
“The papers.” She repeated through gritted teeth.
Cuddy sighed and retreated into the house and reappeared with the papers. Thirteen grabbed them from her, put them against the door and signed them. Cuddy bit her lip, biting back tears.
Thirteen thrust the papers into Cuddy’s hands. “Done.” She put on her sunglasses and headed for her car, “I wash my hands of this and you.”
Cuddy squeezed her eyes shut, her lip quivering. She pulled the door shut, “goddamnit…” she slammed her fist against the door.
“Cuddy,” House emerged from the bedroom, leaning on his cane. “I think I’m going to go…”
Cuddy ran her fingers through her hair. “Yeah, whatever.”
“Do you want me to stay?”
“Just do whatever you want to do!” She yelled.
Cuddy had managed to reel in her tears and had been able to compose herself to a degree of presentability before her mother arrived home. Bella took the steps with agility, a smile across her face that was more genuine than any Cuddy could recall and she begrudged having to deliver bad news.
Bella entered the house and smiled at her daughter. "Lisa, I'm taking you out for lunch, have you eaten?"
"No, I haven't, but-"
"I got a job!"
"When do you start?"
"Friday." Bella smiled.
"Good because we have to go to Boston on Tuesday afternoon." Cuddy turned toward the kitchen.
"Oh, and baby, I wanted to talk to you about the motorcycle in the driveway. Whoa whoa whoa, wait! Come back here, Lisa Anne."
Cuddy reappeared slowly. "Yes mom?"
"Why are we going to Boston?"
"Mom, I think we should sit down."
"Lisa, stop stalling! I'm serious!" Bella scolded.
The color drained from Bella's face and she sank slowly into a chair. "Lisa Anne... if this is some sort of a sick joke..."
"Mom, it's not a joke, I wish it was. I really do... it happened on Thursday."
"And you're just telling me now?!"
"I didn't know how to deal with this! I don't know how to deal with any of this, okay? I am not okay right now! I am not doing okay, mom!"
"Sweetheart," Bella pulled her tight against her.
"I'm falling apart and I don't know what to do. I need you, I need your help."
Bella kissed Cuddy's temple, "you'll be okay because you're strong, and you’re strong because of me and because of your father. I'll be here with you but you'll realize soon enough that you don't need anything other than your own strength."
Wilson was already outside House's apartment by the time he got there. He was somehow less than surprised. He reached forward and unlocked the door and brushed past Wilson who followed him inside.
"Beer?" House asked, heading for the kitchen.
"No." He crossed his arms across his chest.
House returned with his beer, took a swig and flopped down onto the couch.
"I tried calling you all morning."
"I was out."
"I know that. And I followed a hunch and I swung by Cuddy's place and do you know what I saw in the driveway?" Wilson's hands planted firmly on his hips.
"Um... a double breasted yellow-tail swallow?"
"...no. I saw your motorcycle."
"Jeez Wilson, stalker much? Do you not have enough to do? Not enough people have cancer these days? Are you so bored and lonely that you have to stalk me?"
"House, I'm only saying this for your own good. Do not profess your love to a woman who is still hung up on someone else. Do not profess your love to a woman who already has enough to deal with; you'll become more of an annoyance, well, than you already are. I mean, you've already basically screwed everything up by sleeping with her."
"Wilson, have a little faith. I have this all under control. Not that I need to report all my actions to you, but if you must know, we didn't have sex, we made out- started by her- but I told her that sleeping with me would only prevent any reconciliation between her and 13."
"You think Cuddy has a chance of winning her back?" Wilson raised his eyebrow in surprise, feeling quite doubtful himself.
"Oh not a chance in hell. Not even if she could invent a time machine and go back in time because she'd still make the same shitty choices. No, I have no doubt that any relationship between she and Thirteen is completely and utterly done. Maybe in two years they can have a cup of coffee together but you know better than anyone, after your heart strays you lose your woman." House said pointedly.
Wilson scowled. "So why did you say that?"
"Because she has to realize on her own that it's unfixable, if I tell her that she'll resent me."
"You seem to have thought a lot about this." Wilson was almost impressed.
"I have." House leaned back and put his foot on the table. "Between your failed relationships and mine I've learned a lot. And I actually have a fail safe plan."
Wilson's interest was indefinitely piqued. "What is it?"
"I'm not going to tell you. Even Nurse Cathy can keep a secret better than you."
Wilson rolled his eyes.
Cuddy sat at her desk, flipping through her paperwork, trying to get as much as paperwork as possible before departing for Boston. She looked up from her papers to see her mother walk up to the door and walk in.
“Mom, what are you doing here?”
“I wanted to see how you’re holding up.” Bella said.
Cuddy sighed a little and shrugged. “I’m just trying to make it through the day. So I can leave tomorrow and not be too behind when I get back.”
“Well, sweetheart, I want you to remember that you’re a beautiful person and even though things did go wrong this time you’re still the wonderful, strong, confident person you’ve always been.”
Cuddy nodded, “yes, mom…”
Bella went over and kissed Cuddy’s forehead. “I love you, little girl.”
“Love you too, mom.” Cuddy said softly.
Bella rubbed Cuddy’s shoulder comfortingly. “Can I get you anything?”
“No, I’m okay.”
“Would it be alright if I went up and saw Julie?”
Cuddy bit her lip, “mom, it could put Julie and me in a really weird position if any board members know that you’re dating, or if they find out I know that you’re dating…”
“Okay, well, I’ll see you at home then.” Bella smiled a little, she turned and almost ran into House.
They both stared at each other for a moment, neither of them sure what to say to the other before Bella turned to Cuddy, gave her another small smile and left the office.
“Working through lunch.”
Cuddy looked at the clock, “wow, yeah, so it seems. I didn’t even notice it had gotten so late.”
“I brought you a salad.” House held up a round plastic container.
She looked at it with skepticism then smiled a little, “who’d you steal it from? Wilson?”
He grinned a little, “I bought it from the cafeteria. It’s Caesar, I think.”
“You bought me a salad?” She took it gingerly. “Why?”
“Thought you might be hungry.” He said on the way out the door.
Cuddy ate the salad, did some paperwork and wandered up to research. Julie Whitner looked up at her and smiled; she squeezed a few drops of blood into a vial and waited. When it failed to react she sighed, “damn.”
She put her instruments down and turned to Cuddy. “What’s up?”
“My mom stopped by and wanted to say hi. But I’m just a little nervous about the board.”
“I know.” Julie smiled, “thanks for relaying the message though.”
"Julie... um, I was hoping you could-" Cuddy stepped towards her.
"Stop right there. I'm not getting in the middle of this; I value my friendships with you both far too much to step into the middle of this. I'm sorry, sweetie."
Cuddy pouted a little, "I love her so much."
"I know you do."
"I hurt her so much..."
"Yes, you did."
"I don't think I can fix this." Cuddy whispered, finally for the first time feeling the despair and hopelessness of the situation.
Julie gave Cuddy a sympathetic little smile.
Bella picked up her carry on and slung it over her shoulder in preparation to board the plane with Cuddy.
“Bella, wait.” Whitner wheeled up, sporting a simple, foldable wheelchair instead of her usual power wheelchair.
Bella smiled. “Julie,”
“Cuddy, I was thinking, I don’t think the board members would care if I was dating your mother or if you knew I was dating your mother. So, I’m going to take my chances with the board.” Julie turned to Bella, “may I come to Boston with you to support you at the funeral?”
“I would absolutely love that.” Bella breathed.
Cuddy walked into her bedroom and dropped her bag onto the floor and looked around her childhood room, essentially perfectly preserved. Everything felt surreal. She'd been away from work for nearly a week, apart from a few four to five hour visits in which to check up on things and relegate work, and she was feeling very displaced.
Bella was feeling very similarly. She stopped outside of the bedroom that she'd shared with Frances and shut her eyes, trying in vain to stop the barrage of memories that flooded her mind. She reached in and pulled the door closed and turned to the left and put her bags down in the guestroom.
"I'm in here, Julie." She called down the hallway.
In her room, Cuddy sank down onto her bed and started to cry, silently at first and then muffled the emotion with the use of overstuffed teddy bears.
"Dinner tonight?" Wilson asked as soon as House picked up the phone.
"Is it porn night again already?" Wilson asked sarcastically.
"I will be in Boston. I'll bring you back some chowdah."
"House, you're going to Bos-!" House shut his phone and handed the attendant his boarding pass.
Cuddy nibbled unenthusiastically on her toast as she sat in the kitchen staring at the kitchen counter. Bella and Julie were still getting ready. Cuddy looked up in confusion when she heard a knock on the door. She walked to the oak door and leaned up to look through the peep hole.
Her eyes widened and she threw open the door and wrapped her arms around House's neck, burying her face in the warm crescent of his neck.
He wrapped his arms around her comfortingly.
After a few minutes she pulled back and watched him gratefully, "what are you doing here?"
"I thought you might want someone to go to the funeral with you."
Frances's funeral was being held in a small public park where he wanted his ashes scattered, he couldn't have been interred in a cemetery because of his suicide. The wind was cold and it started to snow softly. The funeral gatherers were comprised of Bella and Julie, House and Cuddy, a smattering of cousins and their spouses and Frances's best and only real friend.
Bella shifted from one foot to the other, feeling anxious to escape the funeral. Not only did funerals make her uncomfortable but so did priests. The only other funeral lead by a priest that she had attended had been her mother-in-law's, but thanks to Irish Catholic wakes being a blanket excuse to get shitfaced she could honestly say she didn't remember it very clearly.
"Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. We commit this man to the ground, may his creator welcome him into the kingdom of heaven." The priest nodded to Cuddy. Cuddy stepped forward and unscrewed the urn and slowly dumped the ashes and watched as the wind swirled them together with the snow flakes and had to bite down on the inside of her lip to not lose her composure.
She stepped back to House and he put an arm around her.
Bella watched House out of the corner of her eye with some suspicion. She had met him once when the two attended UMICH together and had seen that Cuddy was quite taken with him. She questioned his motives for taking this sudden interest in her again.
When the proceedings were over and people dispersed Cuddy turned to Bella. "What now, mom?"
"Now we go back to New Jersey and get on with our lives." Bella gave her daughter a small smile. "I've arranged for someone to come and clear the house out and then I'm going to sell it. And Julie and I will take your father's car back to New Jersey and you and your friend can fly back."
"Can I have the house?"
"You want the house?" Bella was confused.
"Yeah, why not?"
"Oh sweetie, you don't really want the house, you're just feeling understandably unresolved. Why don't you stay in it tonight and fly back tomorrow. Make your peace with your father." Bella gave Cuddy's hands a gentle squeeze.
Cuddy nodded, she turned to House. "Will you stay in the house with me tonight?"
"Of course." He nodded and she smiled at him. He put his arm around her and the started walking to the car.
Bella scowled. She looked over at Julie, "what are your impressions of him?"
"House? He's an arrogant son of a bitch. He feels entitled to everything and he thinks everyone but him is a moron. I can't even fathom how he's managed to maintain the two friendships he has. He's constantly making passes at Cuddy- Lisa, I'm sorry; I have a hard time calling her by her first name. Anyway, yeah, he's an ass. What she sees in him, I have no idea, maybe there is a good person buried in there... somewhere... very deep... and yet to be seen by human eyes..."
Bella crossed her arms across her chest.
Thirteen handed money over to the barista at the local coffee shop and blew on it as she turned to leave and nearly ran into Spencer.
“Remy,” she smiled. “I haven’t seen you in forever. What’s it been? 7 months?”
“Yeah, it’s been a hell of a 7 months.”
“Are you seeing anybody?” Spencer asked.
“I’m going to be perfectly honest with you, I really felt like we connected and I would love to have a chance to connect with you again. Stop me anytime if I’m putting my foot in my mouth.” Spencer smiled.
Thirteen smiled a little, “I’m not seeing anyone right now, but… I just got out of a serious relationship that went really bad… I’m not really ready to start dating again just yet.”
“I understand.” Spencer dug into her purse and produced a business card, “promise to think of me when you are ready?”
“I have your number.”
“I have a new number.” Spencer smiled, “and a shiny new job, note the fancy embossed business card.”
Thirteen smiled and took the business card, “not dying looks good on you.”
“You know what makes us different?” Spencer watched Thirteen for a moment, “you look at yourself in the mirror and you see someone who’s dying and I look at you and see the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen and someone I could spend the rest of my life with.”
“The rest of your life or the rest of mine?”
“The rest of my life.” Spencer grinned as she turned and walked out of the coffee shop.
Thirteen smiled, tilting her head down to hide her school girlish blush.
Cuddy walked through all the rooms on the first floor and then moved upstairs and picked up a few trinkets that she wanted to keep before she came back down. House hung up the phone as she came back.
"I ordered Chinese; I didn't think you'd want to go out for food or anything."
Cuddy walked up to him and wrapped her arms around him, laying her head against his chest. He nuzzled her hair gently and put one arm around her.
Cuddy was quiet and introspective while they ate and she wasn't particularly interested in sitting around the living room twiddling her thumbs. What Bella had told her about being able to rely on her own strength and she was feeling her strength returning.
She stood up, "I'm going to bed." He nodded. "Would you sleep with me?" But just because she was strong didn't mean it isn't nice to have a friend in your bed.
"Um... sure." He followed her, somewhat apprehensively into the bedroom.
She pulled off her shirt and pushed her skirt down around her legs and climbed into the bed. He hesitated and stripped down to his boxers, willing himself to stay cool. He lifted back the covers and slipped inside carefully.
Cuddy snuggled up to him and rested her head underneath his chin. House put an arm around her. "Thanks for staying with me... and coming to Boston in the first place."
"No need to thank me, I just thought you might like someone to go with you."
She smiled against his chest and a shiver ran down his spine. He closed his eyes and let out a soft sigh. His heart was pounding a little and he was hoping she wouldn't notice.
But just as he finished thinking the words her long manicured fingernails splayed out over his heart and she tilted her head to look up. "Your heart is pounding." She whispered.
He shrugged, not having a good answer. She kissed his neck and his heart skipped. She lifted her head to look at him. He bit the inside of his lip and looked away.
"No ulterior motives at all?" She asked with a grin.
He shook his head.
Cuddy straddled his waist.
House groaned and shut his eyes. "Cuddy, we shouldn't... you-"
"I'm a big girl; I can make my own decisions. Look at me. Do you not want to have sex with me or are you putting up a fuss so that I don't sleep with you and then regret it and ignore you?"
House looked away again.
"Look at me."
He looked back at her, "the second one."
"Well, let me promise you that I want this." He opened his mouth and she covered his mouth with her hand. "And I'm going to fuck you now. Anything else to say?"
She scoffed, "I'm as infertile as the day is long." And without another word she covered his mouth with her own. “Now shut up.”
Julie was fighting to stay awake by the time Bella pulled up to the curb at Julie’s apartment complex.
“Home sweet home.” Bella smiled.
“Would you like to stay over tonight?” Julie tucked a lock of hair behind Bella’s ear, “you haven’t stayed over at my place yet.”
“I would absolutely like to stay over tonight.”
Cuddy stepped off of the plane into the Princeton airport. She felt like she had just been cleansed. A long silent plane ride had given her plenty of time to ponder and think on her father’s suicide.
She felt like she had reached some peace of mind about his untimely and planned death. The emotions abounded: guilt, fear, anger, sadness. Cuddy felt those emotions subside in favor of adopting a forced façade of indifference.
She situated the bag on her shoulder and turned to House. “Share a cab?”
“I brought the motorcycle; it’s in the parking lot.”
“See you at work tomorrow, I guess.”
“We’d both fit on the motorcycle.” House shrugged. “I could drive you home.”
“If it’s all the same to you I’d really just like to take a cab home and go pick up Gabby.” She switched the carry on to the other shoulder. “Rain check on the motorcycle ride?”
Cuddy smiled and hugged him. He shut his eyes and ran his hand along her back. She gave him a squeeze and leaned up and kissed his cheek. “You’re a good friend, House.”
“Yeah, I really appreciate you coming to Boston for me. You’re a really good friend.”
Cuddy nodded slowly, brow furrowed, wondering what was still confusing him. “Am I saying it wrong? Friend, ami, amigo, Freund.” She smiled.
“You’re welcome, Cuddy.” House nodded and looked down at his feet.
“See you tomorrow.” She nodded with a smile and turned to go.
“Cuddy- Lisa, wait.”
She turned around and waited for him to continue.
“I- fuck it. Lisa, I don’t want to be your friend.” He said and she furrowed her brow looking hurt, not understanding what he meant. “That’s not enough for me. I want… to be with you. And I’m sick of acting like I don’t want to date you. I want to see you look at me like you used to, the way that always made my heart skip… And I’m sick of pretending… that I don’t love you.” He ended softly. He felt very cliché but he also felt like nothing he’d ever said before held so much meaning and honesty.
Cuddy stared at him. “You… love me?” She whispered. He nodded. “I… I don’t… know what to say…”
House shrugged, “just say whatever you feel.”
She was silent for a few moments and House felt like he was waiting for a verdict that could send him to the electric chair. She shook her head, “I can’t date you.”
House’s heart jumped into his throat and he couldn’t speak for a moment. “Right. You can’t date me. What the fuck was I thinking?” He pushed forward with his cane and made haste to the door.
“House!” Cuddy called, not sure what else to say.
Wilson let Cuddy into the house and she gave him a small smile. “How was the funeral?” Wilson asked.
Cuddy shrugged, “as good as a funeral can be I guess. The wake was basically a kegger though. My mom and Julie threw down about 10 shots of vodka each.” Cuddy laughed a little.
“Julie… Whitner? From research? Why was she at your father’s funeral… getting plastered?” Wilson was confused.
“She’s dating my mother.”
“Julie Whitner’s a lesbian?!” Wilson was astounded.
“You’re more surprised that Julie’s a lesbian than my mother? How does your brain work?”
“Oh god. You remember that charity ball last month?”
“I spent the entire thing hitting on her. Oh my god, I’m so embarrassed.” Wilson shook his head, “she didn’t even say anything, and she just let me dig my own grave…”
“You have no gaydar, my friend.” Cuddy clapped him on the back. “Whitner’s the biggest lesbian I’ve ever met.”
“She was married to a man though…” Wilson pouted.
“We’ll go out sometime, you and me and I’ll be your wingman. I’ll tell you which women wave the rainbow flag.” Cuddy laughed.
Wilson laughed, “I’m going to take you up on that.”
Gabby wandered into the room from the kitchen and wagged her tail and wiggled in excitement when she saw Cuddy.
“Gabbles!” Cuddy bent down and Gabby ran over to her. Cuddy rubbed her ears and kissed the top of her head. Cuddy looked back up at Wilson, “was she any trouble?”
“None at all. I took her to Bonnie’s yesterday to play with Hector.”
“Oh,” Cuddy smiled, “did you have a good time, little girl?”
“She humped him.”
“I guess you had a very good time.” Cuddy bit back the urge to laugh.
“So did Hector.” Wilson grinned. “I think he likes being dominated by females.”
“Takes after you, does he?” Cuddy teased and Wilson blushed.
“So, uh…” he started, “anything else of interest happen while you were in Boston?” Wilson asked.
“Um… no.” Cuddy didn’t even believe herself but she hoped that Wilson wouldn’t push the issue.
Wilson nodded, “okay.”
“Well, I’m going to go.” Cuddy clipped the leash onto Gabby’s collar and she wagged her tail. “Thanks again for watching Gabby.”
“No problem. Anytime.”
Bella was surprised by Julie’s house. She had expected everything to be placed on low shelves and the like and was astonished when her living room boasted two large, beautiful and packed oak bookcases. She was in awe when she saw the pantry closet that was taller than she was with food on every shelf.
“How about bagels for breakfast? I’d offer something else but I haven’t gone grocery shopping in over a week.” Julie apologized, “we could go out and eat though, if you don’t want a bagel.”
“No, no. A bagel sounds perfect.” Bella smiled, watching Julie deftly maneuver around the kitchen.
Julie pulled up to the pantry closet and pulled it open.
“Can I help you?” Bella asked with concern.
“It’s okay,” she smiled, “I do this every day.”
Bella noticed that there were two rods protruding from the wall and Julie grabbed the first one to lift herself out of the chair and then grabbed the higher one with the other hand and lifted herself until she had risen to her full height.
She grabbed a bag of bagels from the top shelf and set it on the counter before sinking back into her wheelchair.
“Cream cheese or butter?” Julie asked, pulling the bagels apart and sticking them into the toaster oven.
“Cream cheese. Refrigerator?”
Bella opened the door and was hit by the cold air; she leant down and grabbed the cream cheese.
Wilson had been looking for House for over two hours and his search finally ended in the clinic. Wilson opened the door of the exam room and House, who’d been trying to sleep, watched him with annoyance.
“You slept with Cuddy!”
“Jesus Wilson. I-”
“Don’t deny it. I know you slept with Cuddy.” Wilson put his hands on his hips and closed the door behind him.
House swung his legs over the edge of the exam table and sat up straight and rubbed his eyes. “She told you?”
“No. She didn’t have to. She came over to get the dog and when she was leaning down I saw the trademark House-boob-hickeys.”
“You only know that because you’re a pervert and can’t stop yourself from staring down Cuddy’s and Stacy’s shirts.” House rubbed his eyes, “so, what did she say?”
“She didn’t say anything. I asked her if anything interesting happened and she said no.”
“Fuck.” House shook his head; feeling quite defeated. He ran his fingers through his hair and sighed heavily.
“Is this all part of your master plan?” Wilson crossed his arms.
“Shut-up!” House snapped, “okay? Just shut the fuck up! I fucked it up, I fucked everything up and I don’t want the goddamn lecture. I told her I love her.”
Wilson’s brow furrowed in sympathy.
“And don’t look at me like that.”
“Wanna get a beer?” Wilson asked.
The insistent knocking on the door drew Cuddy away from the paperwork she had brought from the hospital. She opened the door, somewhat confused, and her eyes widened when she saw Thirteen standing there.
She smiled for a moment, for a brief moment she felt a glimmer of hope. Her good feelings were dashed quickly as the enraged expression on Thirteen’s face registered and Cuddy’s face fell.
“I’m here for Gabby, I want my dog.” Thirteen’s eyes were wet from tears and Cuddy knew in her heart this was a battle she was about to lose.
“What? No, please… I love Gabby so much…”
“Yeah, well, you took away something I loved so I think it’s my turn.”
“Remy… please, you got her for me…”
“I got her for my wife. You’re not my wife anymore so she’s not your dog anymore.”
“Remy, please!” Cuddy pleaded. “I need my dog!”
“Oh, you need?” Thirteen’s anger flared up again, “Lisa Cuddy needs, Lisa Cuddy wants and Lisa Cuddy always fucking gets what she wants, right? Fuck you! I’m sitting in my condo all alone and you’re here with your mother and Julie and Gabby. You Cuddys are like a major corporation who just absorbs smaller entities without any regard for anyone else. I hate you for having a mother who’s still alive, I hate your mother for monopolizing my best friend when I could really fucking use her. And to put a big red cherry on the top of all the shit you’re already fucking House. So, pardon me if I don’t give a shit what you want. Go get my dog, Lisa.”
Cuddy, having never taken chastising well, hung her head guiltily and retreated to the bedroom to find Gabby.
Gabby looked up at Cuddy from her dog bed and immediately sensed Cuddy’s sadness and put her ears back. Cuddy got down on her knees in front of Gabby and she got up and pressed her head into Cuddy’s legs. Cuddy wrapped her arms around the little dog and hugged her. She kissed the top of Gabby’s head and whispered, “I love you to pieces, baby dog and I’ll see you soon, okay?” She kissed her again and set her down.
Cuddy emerged from the room with Gabby on her leash and holding her bed and all her toys and handed everything wordlessly over to Thirteen.
And Thirteen wordlessly left the house.
Cuddy sat down on the couch and rubbed her eyes, trying to keep her composure.
The front door opened and Bella came in. “Was Remy just here? I thought I saw her car at the end of the street.”
“You did.” Cuddy said softly and rubbed her eyes again, “she came and took Gabby. She bought her so… how was your first day of work?”
“It was good. It was very good.” Bella sat down next to Cuddy, “I think you and I need to talk though.”
Cuddy looked at her with skepticism, “talk about what?”
“I think that it’s very impetuous and distasteful of you to take up with that man so soon. Especially considering it was a little tryst in a Connecticut motel with him that ended your marriage.”
“Mom… you have no idea how much I don’t need a lecture right now.” Cuddy held her face in her hand and said softly, “least of all from you.”
Bella stared at her, “and may I ask you just what you mean by that?”
“Well, I mean you made a date the day your divorce papers were signed. You slept with Julie on your first date. I can’t even fathom why you’re more upset about my break-up than dad’s death. You didn’t even cry, not even a little.”
“That man was a selfish old bigot.”
“Maybe so but he was my father and I loved him. He was your husband; you were married to him for over 40 years!”
“Familiarity breeds contempt, dear.”
“Is that all you have to say? Is that really all? You’re not even the slightest bit upset?”
“I am extremely upset. It broke my heart when he walked out on your wedding. It killed me that the mistakes you made with Remy were a direct result of your father refusing to tell you he was happy for you. It pisses me off that he had the nerve to martyr himself. The selfish bastard deserved to live the rest of his miserable life alone but instead he made everything about him as usual. And I for one am not going to waste any more of my time on that man. And baby if you never take any other advice from me, take this. That man didn’t have any consideration for you so don’t bother having any for him, it is not worth your time.”
Cuddy stared off into space for a long moment. She knew that Bella was right. She felt as though Bella had just yanked the wool away from her eyes and she felt like she was suddenly seeing things with more clarity than ever before.
She stood up and grabbed her keys from the bowl and headed for the door.
“Lisa, wait. Don’t be mad at me.”
“I’m not, mom.” Cuddy shook her head. She went back over to the couch and hugged Bella tightly, “thanks for that kick in the ass, I needed that.”
“It was about a week late, but better late than never, right?” Bella smiled and Cuddy did too, “I love you.”
“I love you too.” Cuddy kissed her mother’s forehead, “I’ll be back in a while. I have to go do something.”
Wilson’s cell phone rang and he dug it out of his pocket. He squinted at the caller id before flipping it open. “Hi.”
“Hi. Is House with you?” Cuddy asked.
“What if he is?” Wilson retorted coyly.
“Are you at your apartment?”
“I need to talk to House.” Cuddy said with importance. “Can I come over? Please…”
Wilson put the phone against his chest and turned to House who was absently sipping his coffee. “It okay if Cuddy comes over?”
“It’s your apartment…” House shrugged.
Wilson sighed and put the phone to his ear again, “is it important?”
“It’s very important. Wilson, please.”
Cuddy circled the block again looking for a parking spot and finally had to parallel park a block away from the apartment. She made excellent time and took two stairs in every step as she ascended the stairs.
She paused for a moment to catch her breath and then knocked on the door.
Wilson opened the door and looked at her with surprise, “you got here really fast…”
“I was circling the block when I called… I just had to find a parking spot.” Her breathing was still a little heavy, “can I come in?”
“Yeah.” He stepped out of the way and Cuddy went into the living room. Wilson picked up his key from the key ring, “I’m going to take a walk.”
Cuddy watched the door close before going further into the living room and standing across the coffee table from House. “I went to your apartment.”
“I haven’t been home yet.”
“You didn’t answer your phone.”
“Didn’t want to talk to you.”
“And you do now?”
“Not really. I don’t think I’ll like anything you have to say.” He sat forward, daring her to continue speaking.
She sidestepped the coffee table and sat in the chair, leaning forward towards him. “I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. My mom was talking about the idea of serendipity and fate. And… well, life keeps bringing you into my life. Even dating and marrying Remy subsequently brought me closer to you. And you said to me once that what I want I run away from and what I need I don’t know… and it’s true. I ran away from you at college, I ran away from you before Stacy, I ran away from you after Stacy and I’ve been running away from you ever since I hired you at the hospital. I think I’ve always known that I want to be with you but I think that also scares me. What I need? You’re right, I don’t know, I’m 42 and I still don’t know what I need. But I know what I want and I want you to be part of my life. I think you not being part of my life is clearly not an option.” Cuddy smiled a little, “I know I was insensitive at the airport but… can we do this? Greg House, would you do me the honor of dating me?”
House just stared at her and she bit her lip worriedly.
He smiled, “well, duh.”
“Yeah, Julie that sounds great.” Remy smiled, holding the phone in one hand and petting Gabby with the other. “Yes, I think I’m okay… Yeah, no. I mean it. I’m feeling world’s better. I’ll see you for lunch tomorrow then.” Thirteen laughed, “yeah, yeah… definitely. Okay… bye.”
Thirteen hung up the phone and leaned down and kissed Gabby’s head. Gabby nuzzled her hand and Thirteen ruffled her ears playfully. “What do you think, Gabs?” Thirteen kissed her head. “Should I call her?”
Gabby licked Thirteen’s nose. Thirteen smiled, “you’re absolutely right, Gabs.” Thirteen picked up the business card and dialed the number on it. “Hey Spencer, it’s Remy. How about dinner tonight?”
So I've become really attached to this 'verse, especially Bella/Julie, they make me very happy. But anyway, I'm thinking of starting a House/Cuddy, Thirteen/Spencer, Bella/Julie series to follow this one up. Any thoughts?