Case #3288432

Cassie Oliveras handed over the bottle to the woman on the other side of the counter, feeling nervous but covering it well. It had been close, but she’d 
pulled it off, as usual, and Doctor Tompkins was still clueless, like he always 
was. An extra undone button on her perky dental hygienist’s smock insured 
that, no problem.

Yeah, it was easy to keep the old boss distracted and away from the drug 
cabinet. He hardly ever went into it these days anyway, so it was easy to slip 
extra bottles of pills in the back. Cassie had brought back a few goodies from 
her last trip to Montreal to see Mom, and now had almost enough prescription specials to make a quick couple of hundred on the side.

Cleaning teeth might be legit, but the pay sucked, and any supplemental 
income was cool with Cassie, oh yeah. She smiled at the patient, feeling 
happy as she handed the prescription to her.

“These should help, especially since you passed on the Novocain this time, 
Ms. Cuddy.”

“Yeah,” came the mumble. Lisa Cuddy popped open the little brown bottle and dropped on in her hand, then shook it again so another pill joined the first one. 
“All I needed was to be numb and drooling during my observations today. Hell 
of a time for a filling to fall out, huh?”

“These things happen,” Cassie commiserated, already thinking about her 
stash, and how much she could get for it if she hooked up with Ted . . .

“Got any water?” Cuddy broke into the girl’s reverie; starting, Cassie drew a 
cupful from the water cooler behind the appointment desk, handing it to Cuddy 
with an apologetic smile.

“Sorry. Anyway, the filling’s as good as new, and we’ll see you on your six 
month check up next time, ‘kay?”

“Thanks.” Cuddy nodded, popping the pills down and chugging the paper cup. 
She winced a bit, dropped the cup into the garbage and headed out to her car, 
glad to be outside again, and away from the unpleasantness of the last hour. Tompkins had managed to fit her in when he’d heard about her filling; for that 
she was grateful, but now it was time to get to work and forget about the ache 
in her upper jaw.

She slipped behind the wheel, did up her seatbelt and took a breath, trying to compose herself for facing Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital.

*** *** ***

Gregory House slouched behind his desk, musing over the merits of lunch in 
the cafeteria or out along the walkway to the clinic. Both had appeal, and it 
was a tough choice.

Either way House knew he could con Wilson into coming along; that part was 
easy. If they stayed in the cafeteria, they could play a few rounds of Dish the 
Dirt, with particular emphasis on who was fooling around, who was having 
trouble getting it up, who was being audited by the IRS and who had a new 
tattoo and where. Gossip mongering could be interesting, especially since 
House had a nice bit of info on one of his Fellows he wanted to share.

On the other hand, lunch along the walkway had a particular appeal that 
neither he nor Wilson could resist. It was cold most of the time and they 
usually had to wear their coats, but ah the benefits . . .

House made his decision and flipped out his cell phone, hitting speed dial. 
Wilson didn’t answer until the third ring, which meant he’d been consulting. 
That and his exasperated tone confirmed it. “Yes?”

“Thinking of catching lunch outside today.”

“How hard is the wind blowing?” came the instantly interested reply. House 
smirked, peeking out the window behind him.

“A sweetly gusty breeze. Enough to send kites dancing and flags flapping.”

“I’ll be there. And bring your own lunch, House—I’m not paying for yours 

House made a face as he snapped the phone shut and rose to his feet. 
Chase and Foreman were busy with the latest patient’s MRI and Cameron 
was on clinic duty, so for the moment his world was fine. Carefully he made 
his way out, shooting one curious glance down the hall towards Cuddy’s dark 
office before heading the dubious delights of the cafeteria.

Twenty minutes later, he was parked on the Howard X. Murgatroyd memorial 
bench under the cement walkway to the hospital lecture halls. The seat was 
cement and cold most of the time, but House didn’t mind it too much as he 
chewed on his sandwich. He looked up along the walkway, pleased that it 
was made of iron grille, and that the mini skirt had made a fashion comeback 
among the students.

Wilson showed up, sliding onto the area next to him with a wince. “Thanks for warming it up,” he groused. House spared him a lofty glance, and turned 
back to the entertainment above them.

“You and your petty demands—you want warmth, look upwards my son, to 
the spectacle of long legs and the occasional flash of panty. THAT’S what 
generates heat.”

“Too true,” Wilson agreed with a sheepish expression. He pulled out a 
Styrofoam box and undid the lid to reveal a beautiful little antipasto. House 
stared, then looked at his own sandwich of wilted lettuce and cold bologna. He pursed his mouth, but Wilson shook his head firmly. “No. No trade, especially 
since you’ve already taken a bite of yours.”

“Fine,” came the sulky response. “Like I even CARE about your stupid salad.”

“It’s not salad, it’s antipasto,” Wilson corrected, carefully pulling out a fork 
from his lab coat pocket, “With Sicilian olives and fresh provol—“ House cut 
him off with a cane jab to his foot and Wilson started to glare when House 
motioned up with his chin. Following him, Wilson glanced up in time to catch 
a flash of thighs under a fluttering lab coat and skirt. Both men gave collective 
little sighs of appreciation and Wilson waited until the student had moved 
away before finishing, “—one and salami.”

“You’re not even Italian.”

“And you’re full of bologna,” Wilson shot back, “in more ways than one.”

“Oh ha-ha, you really should take your act to the Catskills,” House sighed. 
“Such cutting wit, such withering—“

The sudden clack of high heels cut short his retort; both he and Wilson looked 
up at the walkway to see Cuddy standing there, her gloved hands on the rail 
as she leaned over to glare at them.

“My God, it’s only eleven-fifteen—taking lunch a little EARLY, aren’t you?” 
came her grieved tone. Wilson hunched his shoulders guiltily, but House 
threw his head back and smirked up at her.

“It’s not lunch, it’s nutrition break. Wilson and I like to follow the FDA recommendations—set an example.”

“Now you’re just blowing air up my skirt,” Cuddy growled; immediately an 
obedient gust obliged, whipping her hemline high, and billowing the material in 
a floral flounce around her hips. Stunned, both doctors stared up, Wilson 
looking like a bunny in the headlights; House looking like Christmas had just 
come early.

Cuddy let go of the railing to sweep her hands over the flutter of her skirt, her gestures both feminine and forceful. “Damn it, so THAT’S your little Peeping 
Tom game. Greeeeeeeeat. Hope you got an eyeful.”

Ever tactful, Wilson said nothing, but the pink flush over his cheeks betrayed 
him. House blinked, savoring the moment, then cocked his head. “Could you 
do that again? I’m not sure I had time to really appreciate the erotic irony of 
the moment.”

Cuddy’s hand gesture was both elegant and crude; she could only spare one upthrust middle finger since her other hand was anchoring her hem against 
yet another breeze. “I’m having that damned bench removed!”

“You can’t do that, it’s a memorial!” House protested. “Howard X. Murgatroyd 
willed this bench to be right here.”

“Just because he was a philanthropist who willed thousands of dollars to the Gynecology department does not mean . . .” Cuddy trailed off as realization 
struck her. “Oh God. That old PERVERT!” She exploded. Cuddy spun, 
marching off across the walkway, heels loud and menacing.

House watched her go, then turned to look at Wilson, who was digging into 
his antipasto with renewed intensity. “Did you see that?”

“In the words of Sergeant Shultz, I saw nothing,” Wilson intoned rapidly. 
House managed a half-grin and settled back on the bench, sandwich 

“Of course not. You never saw the sinfully wicked sight of Doctor Cuddy’s 
sleek, tennis-toned thighs encased in mauve stockings held up by a purple 
garter belt with matching panties. TINY matching panties.“

Wilson groaned a little, shooting House a familiar ‘I-hate-you’ look. “I hate 

“What? I’m not the one in denial, nooo, not me. I relish the memory of my 
boss’s delicate lingerie displayed for me by a roguishly convenient gust of 

“What’s the point? She’s going to castrate us,” Wilson pointed out glumly. 
“And she’ll get the bench removed too.”

“Never fear—balls and bench will remain where they are. I’m a little more 
interested in why Cuddy was staggering.”

“She was staggering?” Wilson looked up at House, who nodded.

“Slightly. And that was before she started yelling at us. Interesting.”

“But it’s not even eleven-thirty in the morning. And Cuddy doesn’t drink—at 
least not on the job,” Wilson murmured, staring at his antipasto and 
deliberately picking out the provolone first. House rose up and tucked his half-
eaten sandwich into his pocket. He tamped his cane on the ground and 
pursed his mouth for a long moment.

“Both true. I’ll leave you to keep an eye on things here while I indulge in a little cautious surveillance.”

“What, you’re going to go STALK her now? Cuddy’s already on the warpath, House—aggravating her further at the moment is a BAD idea.”

House ignored him and began to lumber off purposefully, heading back 
towards the hospital.

*** *** ***

Cuddy felt . . . relaxed. Oh sure, she was still angry about House and Wilson 
out on the stupid bench peeking under skirts like a pair of high school boys. 
And she needed to talk to Plant Facilities about moving the damned bench as 
well . . .

She absently rubbed her cheek as she looked over her schedule, noting a walk-through on Doctor Peranja’s first-year lab, a visit to the cancer ward and 
a policy committee meeting. All boring—well maybe not the kids, but the rest 
of the day certainly wasn’t a thrill a minute. Cuddy sighed, and flexed her long fingers, taking a mental inventory.

Her bra was too tight, she decided.

Well, there was an easy fix for that—moving deftly, she reached behind her 
and unhooked it through the sleeveless dress, then carefully slithered each 
strap off, finally pulling the purple lace bra out from her cleavage.

“Ta dah!” she chirped to her office, amused at her own skill. Carefully she 
folded it and looked around. Her purse was too small to hold it, so Cuddy 
carefully dropped her bra into the drawer of her desk, feeling much better now. 
Not as . . . constrained.

She picked up the phone, dialing Plant Facilities. As it rang, Cuddy looked up 
to see House barge into her office; imperiously she held up a hand to stall him 
as she spoke.

“This is the Dean calling to speak to Mr. Cosnofski, please. Thank you.”

House looked at the palm facing him; the long spread fingers and manicured 
nails. With a growl he dropped himself into the chair in front of the desk and 
scowled at her. Cuddy looked smug, then spoke again. “Mr. Cosnofski. You 
need to move the Howard X. Murgatroyd bench away from the lecture hall 
walkway of the hospital. I saw two BOYS playing around on it.”

House pulled an affronted face; Cuddy looked daggers at him and continued 
into the phone. “Yes, I know it’s a memorial bench. I wasn’t aware that it 
weighs over six hundred pounds but this is a safety issue. Mr. Murgatroyd 
wouldn’t have wanted anyone to . . . mis-USE his legacy I’m sure.”

When she’d received grumbling assurances from the Plant Facilities 
supervisor Cuddy hung up and looked at House with annoyance. He glared 
right back at her.

“Thanks a lot. You ruined a perfectly good lunch spot for no reason,” House complained. Cuddy rose and leaned over her desk, snarling a little.

“I have plenty of reasons starting with public decency and sexual harassment, House. Find another way to play your little upskirt games without bringing 
students and patients into it, hmmm?”

House rose up and leaned in himself, about to make a withering reply when a 
single glance downward threw him off track. He blinked, but Cuddy was 
already drawing back and checking her watch. “Damn, already off-schedule. 
House, get to work—“ And with that she sauntered around him and out of her 
office, her hips rolling a bit more than usual, her stride a little looser than 
normal. House turned his head to watch her go, his frown deepening.

Carefully he straightened up and walked around to sit at her desk, deep in 
thought. He glanced over her blotter, noting her daily schedule. He fished 
around in her trash can. He opened her desk drawer. He blinked again, and 
slowly drew out the purple lace bra, letting it dangle from his fingers like a magician’s colorful scarf before bringing it to his nose and inhaling.

Still slightly warm and deliciously Cuddy-scented.

With a little whine of frustration, House debated not returning the bra to the 
drawer, but finally did, reluctantly. He spoke to himself in a low tone. “I’ll be 
back for YOU later—first, I need to find out what’s going on with your 
residents and their manager.“

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Case #3288432 Ch. 2  



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