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for lauriestein

Written by: tuckp3
Written for: damelola
Rating: PG-13
A/N: the michigan backstory and house's ball being a present from cuddy is not mine. it’s from pokeitlikejello’s fic. ‘a year in misery almost sort of’.



House sat in his office absently rolling his oversized red and grey tennis ball between his hands as he contemplated the year that had gone by. The lights were off and his attention was on the snow falling into an unbroken sheet of white on his balcony. It had been coming down steadily since that morning and he could see that there were already several inches piled up at the bottom of his glass door.



The snow reminded him of Michigan.



He looked down at the ball in his hands, thinking back to the day he had received it; it was a day much like this one, snowy and quiet. It had been a gift from Cuddy or Lisa as he had thought of her then. They had spent a semester in a sort of secret late night society that they were the only members of and she had given him the tennis ball as a Christmas present before she went home for break. He had not given her anything.


He rolled the ball between his palms, smiling to himself as he recalled that even then she had known him well enough to notice that his hands fidgeted when he was deep in thought and had given him something to fill that void. Glancing at his watch, he saw that despite the darkness it was barely seven. Knowing that the shops stayed open late in the days leading up to the holiday, he hopped out of his chair, sat the ball on his desk and grabbed his backpack and jacket, heading out of his office in a rush.



*



Cuddy leaned in the doorway of the nursery, one hand wrapped around her waist and the other rubbing her collarbone underneath her robe as she looked around the room. She was still mildly in shock that she was going to have a baby soon; she would be bringing the little girl home in a couple of days. This was not how she had envisioned becoming a mother, but she was happy nonetheless.



After a few minutes, she flipped the switch turning off the light and made her way down the hallway to the kitchen. She was filling a glass with water when she heard the knocking at her front door. She sat the glass on the counter and tightened the robe as she headed to answer the door, rolling her eyes at the persistent knocking that could only be from one person. She unlocked the deadbolt and pulled off the chain, opening the door and stepping back to let House enter.



Cuddy shut the door behind her and followed House out of the foyer, coming to a stop a few feet from where he was awkwardly standing in her living room. She lifted a hand and smoothed her hair back behind her ear, shifting on her feet as she contemplated the man standing across from her. The last time he had been in her home, she had just lost Joy and now she had...she had a little girl, but she had not named her yet.



House looked around the room his jaw clenching as he leaned his weight on his cane. He had not really thought this through; now that the adrenalin was gone, he was just a guy standing in Cuddy’s living room with a package in his coat pocket and nothing to say.



“So...” Cuddy began trailing off, her eyebrow lifted in question.



House stared back at her for a few moments before responding with a shrug, his fingers tightening around his cane as he struggled for something to say. “I’m happy for you,” he offered quietly his eyes finally meeting hers.



His words triggered Cuddy’s memory, returning her to the night House had followed her and Wilson to the baby story and she had asked him that question and he had not had an answer. Her eyes narrowed at him, “No you’re not.You...Why are you here, House?” She bit out, her hand gesturing to encompass the room as she felt the beginning embers of anger spark within her.



House was taken aback by her tone and not knowing how to respond he glared at her briefly before deciding it would be best to just leave now. He brushed past Cuddy and was in the entrance hall when her hand grabbed his upper arm and halted him mid step. They stood in almost the same spot where he had kissed her the night she lost Joy.

She did not say anything; she simply stood there looking up at him as he stared down at her - their eyes saying more to each other than either of them could voice.



Cuddy’s grip lessened on his arm and as she made to step back and allow him to leave, his hand came up to grip the side of her neck and hold her in place as he lowered his head and kissed her. Their response to each other was instant. Her hands came up and gripped his neck before running through his hair. She stumbled as he began guiding her backwards in halting steps towards her bedroom, his cane falling to the floor and bouncing against the hardwood before settling awkwardly across the hallway.



They bumped into walls and fell through the doorway, the door swinging wide behind them and knocking against the wall as they continued kissing. House’s tongue slid over her own and she captured it sucking strongly as she divested him of his motorcycle jacket. Her hands moved to the belt at his waist and worked at the buckle as they continued their halting path towards her bed.



House’s hands slid inside of Cuddy’s robe, parting it easily as they sought her ass, finding and gripping it as he moved his mouth from hers and kissed a trail down her neck. They fell awkwardly onto the bed, somehow managing to end up with Cuddy on top. She broke away from him to pull down his jeans as he kicked off his sneakers and sat up to pull his t-shirt over his head. Cuddy stood straight, leaning into House’s hands as they slid under the material of her robe caressing her shoulders as he pushed the garment off staring and her naked body and smiling up at her before he slid his hands to her waist and pulled her onto the bed with him.



*



Cuddy woke up alone the next morning. She had not expected House to stay the night, but it still stung a little that he was not there. Getting out of the bed she padded across the room to her robe that had somehow wound up in the center of the room. Bending over to pick it up, she stopped surprised by the unusually heavy weight of the garment. Lifting it, she grasped the area where the pockets were and stuck her hand inside of one shocked when she pulled out a box wrapped in silver and blue paper.



She put the gift on the bed, giving it a puzzled expression before putting on her robe and heading to the bathroom. Cuddy went through most of her morning routine, before her curiosity got the better of her and she went back into her room and picked up the gift. She sat on the edge of her bed and looked down at it as her hair dripped into her lap.



She slowly unwrapped the gift, laying the paper and ribbon to the side and turning the box a couple of times in her hands before lifting off the lid. There was a small business sized card in it with House’s script scrawled across one side.



You will be a great mom. I’m sorry for ever saying otherwise.



Cuddy’s hand came up and covered her mouth as she read his words. They shouldn’t have meant so much to her, but they did. She had known the first time, when he screamed at her in the shower as she held that little girl, that he had said that to hurt her. He had never apologised though and that hurt her more. To read the words today, after last night and knowing she had a baby coming lifted a weight from her that she had not known she was carrying.



She tucked the card into the pocket of her robe and reached in to peel back the layers of tissue paper, revealing a silver spoon. There was another card and she lifted it out and read it.



Considering where you found her, I figured she’ll probably use this later in life ‘recreationally’ and even when preparing crack a Cuddy woman always deserves the best.



She smiled to herself hoping this was a sign that things would be okay between them. She leaned over and sat the present on the her nightstand, then got up to finish preparing for her day.

The End

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