Pairing: House/Cuddy (kinda)
Notes: Untitled, unbetaed, and not mine.
He’d come into the clinic about ten seconds ago.
And there was that thing.
Wilson bent down to examine it closer. “Is that…stubble?” He touched it with a finger. “Brown…eyeliner stubble?”
“Gee, and I always thought Cuddy was more the ‘black as her soul’ type.”
“It might not have been her idea. There are other people who would consider you scary.”
House tapped his cane against the chair. “”No one else keeps telling me to shave as much as she does.”
His friend poked the stomach of the dummy sitting in the chair. “And isn’t that your Rolling Stones t-shirt? How did Cuddy get her hands on…”
“Don’t go there,” House cut him off. “Cameron volunteered to do my laundry last week. I can only guess what Cuddy promised to have it handed over.”
Wilson raised his eyebrows at that. “You have her doing-”
“She volunteers for it! Don’t tell me you wouldn’t take advantage of that.” House laid his cane to the side and removed the pumpkin head.
“What are you doing?”
“Getting my shirt back,” House pulled it off the dummy, which flopped over into its lap. He pushed the pumpkin head underneath the chair and held his shirt out to look it over, scowling slightly.
“I’m just checking-”
“It’s fine. You should start before Cuddy really has a reason to come down on you.” Wilson handed him a chart.
There was an angel in Exam Room One. Perfect waves of golden curls fell around her shoulders and framed her pink cheeks. She sat calmly with her hands folded over her lacy white dress.
Her mother practically tackled House before he could close the door. “She ate sand.”
“Excuse me?” he asked, looking at the frantic woman.
The mother threw up her hands in exasperation. “Sand! We were out trick-or-treating and she wandered away and I found her in the playground sandbox eating handfuls of…of this.” Reaching into her bag, she tried to dump a load of dirt into House’s hands, but he stepped back before she could. “Well? Do something!”
“What do you want me to do? Isn’t eating sand a childhood rite or something?” He pulled out a stethoscope and moved over to the little girl, hoping it would calm the mother a bit.
“Pump her stomach! You could make her throw it up, just do SOMETHING!” the mother screamed.
House winced. “How old are you?” he asked the little girl.
“She’s three. How is that relevant?” the mother snapped.
House ignored her. “Do you like to eat sand?”
The cherub nodded with a beatific smile.
House stood up. “She’ll be fine.” He stood up to leave, but the woman grabbed his arm tightly and tried to whip him back around.
“That’s it? You can’t just leave us here without giving her anything!”
He pried her fingers off her arm. “I’m going to give you something: a little advice. First of all, pay more attention to your daughter instead of schmoozing with your friends. Second, read some parenting books: you might learn a little about children. And third, fire your nanny. Seems that nobody wants to watch your little ‘angel’, even if you pay them too.”
Shocked, the mother dropped his arm and stepped back. The child smiled wider, sand in between her teeth and said, “Bye Mr. Doctor!”
He ran into Wilson by the desk. “Another reason why sterilization should be mandatory for the rich,” he said, tossing the kid’s chart on the pile.
Wilson shrugged. “They’d just adopt.”
“Right. Then sterilization for the stupid, not matter what their net income.”
“Because that will solve…” Wilson trailed off and coughed quietly. House turned to find Cuddy with her arms crossed, looking perturbed. “Let me leave before the blood starts flowing?”
“Coward,” House muttered under his breath. “Dr. Cuddy, love the witch costume. Very fitting. Oh wait, that’s not a costume…”
“Very funny,” she snipped back. “What did you do to my scarecrow?”
“You mean your effigy? I have to say, bravo. You truly have guts to be able to con Cameron into handing over my laundry basket.”
“Oh believe me, she was more than willing to help.” Cuddy turned and walked into her office, House following. “Since you let those two hellions pull any prank they want, she’s been looking for some kind of retribution. Speaking of juvenile pranks…”
“You’re admitting the scarecrow was juvenile?”
“…I thought I made it clear not to use hospital equipment, or involve patients. Do you want people to think we don’t take our jobs seriously here?”
“You mean we do?” House pulled out an orange sucker and popped it in his mouth. “Well, that just changes everything!”
“Ha ha.” Cuddy sat behind her desk and pointed at him. “It ends today. No pranks, no exploding EKGs, no more naughty X-rays being passed around the intensive care ward. All of it stops, and I’ll relinquish the rest of your precious t-shirts.”
“You have the rest of them?” House said, outraged.
“All in my hall closet,” she shot him a smirk. “Of course I’ll have to disinfect it now. Have those ever seen the wash before?”
“I like the worn-in look,” he snarked. “I could have you arrested for theft, you know. Some of those shirts are vintage.”
“Vintage crap, maybe.”
“You do realize I’m not Foreman or Chase’s daddy, right? I can tell them to stop and they might not listen.”
“Oh, they will. Those two follow by example, and if you behave yourself, they’ll behave themselves.”
He glowered. “Now, that part of the deal requires more than just the return of my t-shirts, AKA my rightful property. I’d say it amounts to…oh…a week of clinic duty?”
“Oh no,” she shook her finger at him. “No more time off clinic duty. At this rate when you finish we’ll be too old to remember how much you owe in the first place!” She tapped her pen against her phone. “Just…let’s do something normal, like my buying you dinner.”
“Make it a steak dinner.”
“Champagne, appetizers, entrees, the works?”
“Whatever you want!” she threw up her hands.
House cocked his head. “All right. I agree.”
Cuddy narrowed her eyes. “You’re up to something.”
“Why do you always think that of me?”
“Because it’s always true when it comes to you.”
“You’re offering a free meal; I’m not stupid enough to turn that down.”
“Okay then.” Cuddy let out a big breath. “I’ll pick you up on Friday. Dress nice.”
House smirked. “It’s a date.”
“It is not a date!”
Wilson was waiting, pretending to work while loitering around the desk. “She didn’t kill you, that’s a good sign.”
House replaced the scarecrow effigy’s head. “She’s buying me dinner on Friday.”
“Wasn’t it her turn to pay anyway?”
“Sounds likely.” He tucked a few files under his arm. “Now, Foreman has a great idea to get Cameron with that leukemia patient…”