Cuddy is just about to put on her lipstick.


House stops just outside the glass door, brought up short by the sight of her, 
one elbow braced on her desk holding a compact open as she pouts for the 
mirror, the fingers of the other hand delicately gripping the tube. The rush of 
heat through his system is instantaneous, a slam of testosterone-fueled desire 
right down the long muscles of his stomach and straight to his balls. He blinks, staying still, hoping she won’t notice him shifting there at the glass-paneled 
door but she does, shooting him an exasperated look. She snaps the compact 


House knows the voyeuristic moment is over and pushes the door open. He 
tries to remember exactly why he’s here; something to do with a lawsuit, but 
it’s at the back of his thoughts now. Shoved aside by the image of Cuddy 
dolling herself up; primping in such a very girly way. House knows all women 
do this after a fashion, that even Cameron wears lipstick, albeit in far more 
subtle shades.


Cuddy’s lipstick is rarely subtle though, and that’s what gets to him. When she wears lipstick, Cuddy chooses shades that House likes to imagine match the 
thong panties he pawed through so greedily half a year ago. Deep pinks, 
dusty lavenders, frosted cinnamons—shades he’s seen on her generous 
mouth and loves to fantasize about on her fabulous tushie. Bright colors; bold colors. Shades that demand attention and get it—at least from House.


She wears pinks when she visits the children’s wards. The color of bubblegum, sweet and tempting. House suspects Cuddy doesn’t consciously realize her 
choice, or how it probably soothes the kiddies. It doesn’t soothe him in the least—pink gives her a hint of innocence, and because House knows Cuddy 
is NOT innocent, the indecent thoughts he harbors on Pink days are all her 


Cuddy wears lavenders for meetings with lawyers and hospital visitors and dignitaries. The purple shades show she’s sensual but business-like; a woman balancing nurturing and nurses, as it were. House likes the violet-tinted 
shades because they make him think of hot house grapes and ripe plums, and 
how edible Cuddy’s mouth must be under the tempting richness of her lipstick.


“House, what do you want?” comes her husky demand, breaking into his 
reverie. He doesn’t answer, and looks down at her, eyes flickering to the tube 
in her hand. Tortoiseshell case, gold trimmings—


The red.


He feels his jaw tighten, feels his cock tighten in uncontrollable response. 
Cuddy is putting on the red.




House has only a few little genuine kinks, and fascination with this shade is 
one of them. Not just any red lipstick but THIS shade. Fire engine red, candy 
apple red, corvette red, a glossy wet fuck-me shade of red that leaves him 
with a sweaty upper lip and all the little hairs up on the back of his neck when 
he sees Cuddy wearing it.


House knows that every time he’s ever had an argument with Cuddy she’s 
been wearing this red lipstick. Every time he’s yelled at her, or leered at her, 
or made comments that would get him kicked out of any other hospital, it’s 
been on a day she’s been wearing this red lipstick.


Because the red gets to him. Every time.


“What is that shade called?” he demands abruptly, knowing he’s staring and 
not quite capable of looking away. Cuddy glances at the tube she’s holding, 
slightly flustered.




“The lipstick. In your hand,” he rasps, trying to look as if he doesn’t really care 
about the answer. Cuddy isn’t fooled though, not completely. She looks down 
at it and slowly smiles.


Slowly, with the finesse of a stripper drawing off a glove, Cuddy sets the 
compact down and twists the little tube, letting the bullet of gleaming red rise 
up almost obscenely from the base. In the light of her office the shade is 
crimson, scarlet and cochineal all in one, gaudy and slutty and House is 
fighting a hard on. He comes closer, trying to hide it under the edge of the 
desk but of course he’s too tall. Cuddy waves the lipstick at him.


“I’d have thought you’d be able to tell it’s red, House.”


“Yes, but what’s the name?” he replies testily now. “Cosmetic companies 
spend thousands to come up with new ways to re-label red. I want to know 
what cutesy description this one has.”


Cuddy cups her chin in her free hand and leans forward, deepening her 
cleavage. Cuddy is evil, House decides. Hot, but evil.


She smiles a little. “Right now I’m on my way to have lunch with Mr. Gordon Melcherson of Medi-Technology. He’s hoping to sell me a new MRI machine 
at full price. I on the other hand, am not interested in paying one hundred and seventy thousand dollars for your little bullet shrapnel fiasco, House, so I’m 
using feminine wiles to help lower the cost.”


House blinks. Cuddy waves the lipstick again, like a matador taunting a bull.


“You’re going to flirt with a technogoober salesman to knock a couple thou off 
the price?” he asks, grimly amused but still focused on the lipstick. Cuddy 
nods very slowly.


“Well YOU sure as hell aren’t going to do it, and we need a new machine, 
Greg. So if you don’t mind, I have to get ready.”


He says nothing. He minds. He minds like hell, but Cuddy has a point and 
more importantly, she’d figure out this weird little fetish pretty damned quickly. Cuddy can be suspiciously quick on the uptake at times. House watches her carefully flick the compact open again and study herself in it, then bring the 
tube of lipstick up and lightly smear it against her full bottom lip.


The sweep of color is shockingly sensual, leaving a bright band along the 
plump curve. House fights not to draw in a breath. Cuddy pouts a little, gliding 
the tip of the brilliant red bullet up along the sweet arch of her upper lip, 
working as carefully as an artist on a canvas. She opens her mouth widely, 
lightly touching the corners, then brings the compact closer to study the 


House knows if she glances to her right, she’ll see a result he can’t suppress, 
so he leans over the desk all the better to obscure the heavy ridge in his 


“You look like a whore,” he growls softly at her, angry and aroused, miserable 
in a way that Vicodin will never help, alcohol will never touch.


Cuddy lifts her chin. When she turns to look at him, House can’t help but 
stare at that beautiful mouth, ripe and red, glossy, tempting every cell in his 
weary body. It’s such a naughty mouth now; a mouth meant for kissing and 
biting and dragging along a naked body. That red should be left on sheets, 
and skin as a badge of sex.


“And it’s driving you crazy,” she finishes for him. House says nothing, which is 
all the more damning. Cuddy rises, setting her lipstick down on the middle of 
her desk blotter and moves sinuously around her desk. Very carefully she 
rises up on tiptoe, almost leaning on House, her pretty, pretty mouth close to 
his ear. He fights the shiver when her warm breath caresses it. She whispers.


“It’s called Blow Job Red . . .” she breathes into House’s ear with a low laugh. 
“I’ll lock the door after me, if you need a few minutes—“


And Cuddy slinks away, leaving him standing there, robbed of words, of 
breath, of functional thought.


House slides one big damp palm down the throbbing ridge along the fly of his 
jeans. He closes his eyes.


A few minutes. Yeah. That’s about all it’s going to take.  




House index