The Corleone Offer
The Physical Therapy room smelt of disinfectant and frustration, the mingle of acrid
cleanliness and sour sweat lingering in the air. Lisa Cuddy looked down the length of
the support bars at the lanky man standing there and tried to bite back her frustration
but it was getting more and more difficult. Greg House was a superb diagnostician, and
a genius in his field, but as the old cliché went, he was an utter shit of a patient himself.
He stood there gripping the rails, his sneer firmly in place; a lean figure in drawstring
pants and teeshirt: unshaven, uncombed, uncooperative.
“And so, Doctor Mengele, I don’t really see the need to come and harass me each and
every time. I’m not about to do ten reps. Five is fine.”
“Five is good,” Cuddy agreed, mentally gritting her teeth, “But ten would be better. Ten
would actually promote your healing.”
“Ten crosses the line from strengthening my thigh to sadistic, unnecessary torture of it,
and Josette is an acolyte from Hell to assign that many repetitions,” House snarled.
Cuddy noted how white his knuckles were where they gripped the bars. It had only
been three months since his surgery, and the man wasn’t healing nearly as quickly as
he should. Part of it was sheer emotional exhaustion she knew—Stacy had moved out
days after his surgery and Greg wasn’t dealing with that well either. But most of it was
that he simply wouldn’t push himself here, in Therapy.
He hadn’t given up, but certainly he’d lost heart along with muscle.
Cuddy sighed, and leaned down on one bar, trying to think. House gazed at her with a
hint of triumph.
“What could I offer you that would get you to DO this? What incentive would be enough
to make you walk ten more steps?” she mused out loud.
“Not much. Hey, how about my leg the way it was? THAT would be a hell of an
incentive—no, wait, can’t do that, you sliced into it and took a big section of muscle out,
that’s right—“ he snidely remarked. Cuddy gave an irritated sigh; his tone wasn’t nearly
as vicious as it had been in the weeks after the surgery, but he was still plenty bitter.
She tugged her collar, and instantly his gaze shifted.
“Don’t flash me like that. Bad enough you’ve got the Pointer sisters on display most of
the time. People will think you’ve got the hots for your gimpiest patient.”
Cuddy blinked. She lightly ran her hand down the neckline of her blouse, letting the
stroke linger at the bottom. It wasn’t a particularly risqué blouse, but it framed her chest
nicely and she was gratified by House’s irritated glance.
“That’s funny—from the way you constantly check out my cleavage I assumed you
rather liked it. I do have pretty nice breasts.” Cuddy brazened, keeping her expression composed. House looked slightly uneasy, and shifted his grip on the support rails he
“As knockers go, yours aren’t bad,” he admitted in a low voice. “For a Nazi doctor.”
Cuddy ignored that remark and thought carefully. Then, she glanced around the room;
it was after hours, and already late into Friday afternoon. Josette had left early to beat
the three-day weekend traffic, and currently House was the only patient here. Cuddy
knew the cleaning crew was scheduled for Saturday morning—which meant for the next
hour or two, she and her recalcitrant patient had a great deal of privacy.
She walked over to the door and carefully locked it. House eyed her, his jaw slightly out
in a mulish expression she was all too familiar with. He mock-sighed.
“Getting set to yell at me?”
“Not quite—“ Cuddy murmured. Very deliberately she took off first her lab coat, draping
it over the end of the bar. Then she began to unbutton her blouse. House narrowed his
gaze, shifting a bit uneasily as he watched her. She undid all the little pearl buttons and
flicked her shirt open, trying to keep a tremor out of her voice, “—but YOU’RE welcome
to scream for help if you’d like.”
“Ooooh, for those, I don’t need help. I can handle them alllll by myself—“ House blurted,
then lifted his suspicious gaze up to her face. “Isn’t this a bit—unethical of you?”
Cuddy turned around, letting the blouse slip off her shoulders in what she hoped was a
slow and tempting gesture. House hissed a little.
“Only if I specifically insisted on some sort of physical or sexual contact,” she murmured
clearly. “But I’m sure you know that the interpretation of suggestion is murky at best,
Doctor House. Just because the room is warm, and I want to get more comfortable
doesn’t imply anything.”
She reached back to unhook her bra, practice and habit making the gesture as natural
as breathing. Behind her came a low moan, just on the edge of hearing. The edges
slithered open and Cuddy gave her best theatrical ‘come thither’ groan, lolling her head
a bit as she gently let the straps slide off her shoulders.
“This is . . . harassment.” House muttered in a tone that struggled for outraged dignity
and came out tinted in choked wonderment. Cuddy brushed her long hair over her
shoulders and shook it loose a little. In a slow flick, she dropped her bra down on the
mat under her feet and forced a soft laugh.
“Yes, I’m harassing you by standing here half-naked, waiting for you to come touch me.”
The pause was thick with tension; she could feel it at her back, and for a moment she wondered if she really HAD gone too far. Some primitive instinct kept her from looking
over her shoulder, and in the silence she heard House’s breathing deepen a little. His
hand changed grip on the bar, making a small squeak.
“What do you WANT from me?” he finally sighed. “Because interesting as this offer is,
I’m not moving until I know exactly what I’m getting here.”
“Ten reps will bring you all the way across. Move you from there to here. The reward for
ten reps is the right to . . . touch. Or, you can drop your sorry ass back into the
wheelchair and we’ll move on like this proposition never even happened. That’s the
He exhaled harshly; Cuddy swore she felt the last little gust of it against her spine,
traveling the long distance between them. She waited.
“Touch, huh? And just what are the limits on THAT, Cuddy? Ten for a tit? If I did twenty
do I get the right to dip into your thong? What if I managed thirty, the full meal deal?”
“If you manage thirty you’ll be too exhausted for sex.” Cuddy pointed out in a practical
tone. House snorted.
“I have NEVER been too exhausted for sex. Ever.”
“Got affidavits to verify that?” she countered sweetly, still not turning around. She heard
the soft squeak of weight on metal, the shifting of the foam pads underfoot.
“Certainly, I included them on my CV. So, getting back to my original line of inquiry—
How much I put forth is directly related to how far you’ll put out? Or is it the other way
Cuddy paused a moment. She felt both vulnerable and strong; House WAS interested,
that much was clear. Very carefully she stretched her hands out and over her head,
flexing the long muscles of her arms. Tennis kept them toned, and she allowed herself
a small moment of vanity.
“This is where we start negotiations, Doctor House. Working for an incentive is a tried
and true management technique. I want you to get through your PT, and that makes me amenable to what YOU want. What DO you want?”
“At the moment, having you turn around would be one hell of a start—“ he commented
softly. She almost did it too, responding to House’s coaxing tone, but caught herself a
quarter of the way, and ended up peeking over one bare shoulder at him. It was hard
not to stare. He slouched between the support bars, bristly-cheeked, eyes
incandescently blue as his gaze burned back into hers. Protectively Cuddy dropped her
arms and wrapped them around her chest, knowing they weren’t covering as much as enhancing things; for the first time she felt her genetics were working in her favor.
“Now you look like you’re posing for Sports Medicine Illustrated—Doctor Come-On
“Nickname or a verb?” she replied quickly, not willing to lose the upper hand. House
would be cruel if he sensed any hesitation, and Cuddy wasn’t going to let him win. Not
this time. He flashed her a wolfish grin, shifting his shoulders a little even as his
knuckles whitened on the bars.
“Touché, but you already HAVE a pearl necklace. No, I favor a hands-on scenario, but I
might need a little more to seal the deal, you know?”
Cuddy said nothing, letting her gaze drop down the length of his lanky body, making
sure he watched her. He shifted again, a little more uncomfortably this time.
“Oh I think you get the point perfectly well, Greg. And until you start moving, that’s ALL
you’re getting.” She growled throatily.
For a moment House wavered, and a wary expression flashed across his worn face; the
look of a man fearful of being conned. Cuddy turned towards him a little more, aware
that the sleek curve of her torso looked pretty good. She didn’t blink.
Very deliberately, House gripped the bars and swung himself forward. He moved
without grace, but with a degree of control he hadn’t exhibited before. Cuddy felt a
surge of pride. He could do it. He WAS doing it. Bracing himself, House slid his hands
forward, preparing to repeat the step. His voice stayed low as he spoke again.
“I’ll see your bluff, and that much more . . .” one step closer; he let his momentum
create a rhythm to his forward progress. The lurching wasn’t pretty, and his shadow fell
across her after four more steps.
Cuddy lifted her chin and tightened her hands around her chest.
“No bluff; not this time.” She confessed in a low voice. House was looming closer, his
jaw tight with the strain of effort, the tendons on his long rangy arms standing out.
Cuddy fought down the urge to stop him. He took a breath, fingers tensing on the
“Sure. Wouldn’t it be just the funniest damn thing if I made it all the way and right at that moment you backed up?” he commented in a harsh whisper. “Sort of Princeton-
Plainsboro’s own version of Bloopers and Practical Jokes?”
“Six down, four to go. Don’t waste your breath talking,” she advised, aching a tiny bit for
him now, shifting her thighs under her skirt. Some odd little madness pounded in the
back of her brain, screaming things about professional ethics and crossing the line of doctor/patient relations, but she squelched them down and kept her eyes moving over
the long lean lines of the man moving towards her. A small trickle of sweat rolled down
the side of his face; House ignored it and slid his hands forward again, gripping the
metal bars tightly.
“This isn’t because I particularly LIKE you, you know.” He grunted. Cuddy let the pang
of that go, even though she felt her lip tremble. Damn the man. He rolled his head a
little, pretending the gesture was relaxed. “However, a chance to check out your much
flaunted sweater meat, pffft, well THAT puts a grueling session in perspective now,
“I don’t care if it’s just hormones and loneliness, Greg. You’re moving, that’s the deal
here.” Cuddy forced herself to keep her voice light. House cocked his head, his hair
starting to curl from his exertion, and his glance held hers for one excruciating minute.
“Yes, but the question is . . . whose hormones? Whose loneliness?”
He reached out a hand to her, and with an unexpected gentleness caught her thin wrist, pulling her arm away from her chest. Cuddy let him, feeling the flush of confusion and
desire boil up under her stomach. She blinked. House drew her to him, sliding his arm
under hers, bringing her body against his as he leaned one hip on the support bars.
The shock forced a gasp from her; Cuddy tensed at the heat and muscle of his torso
through his thin tee shirt, the overwhelming sensation of House’s sweaty strength
pinning her to his chest.
“Does it matter?” she blurted, her words awkward and rushing out too fast. Heat and
chill rolled through her chest in little waves, peaking at her nipples where they pressed
hard against him. House laughed soundlessly; she felt it as her arms slid around his
“No . . . “ he murmured gruffly, his free hand sliding down the shallow trench of her
spine in a lingering stroke, his warm fingers still slightly damp from the bars. Cuddy involuntarily shivered, arching, pressing closer. He moaned just under his breath, half in
pain, half in frustration.
Carefully, Cuddy reached up to his face, caressing the fine stubble of his unshaven
cheek, her cool fingers gliding to his lashes.
“Close. Your. Eyes.” She intoned, the words slow, and meaningful. House looked as if
he would protest, but she shook her head, fighting the prickle of tears in her own. He
did as she directed, his mouth thinning out in a line of disapproval, but Cuddy stood on
tiptoe and kissed it; kept kissing it until he responded.
House kissed with a tender ruthlessness, drawing out the glide of his tongue around
hers, nibbling her lower lip and playfully slurping his way into deeper hotter oral finesse
with a hunger that made Cuddy weak in the knees. She reached for the bar behind his
hips to steady herself, unprepared for his body’s urgent push against her belly.
She slid her free hand up under his tee shirt, gliding it over trembling muscle, stroking
House’s chest soothingly as she spoke against his mouth. “Down on the mat.”
He nodded, shifting his grip and struggling to lower himself with as little stress to his leg
as possible. Cuddy wrapped her arms around House, guiding him, slipping down
herself in a graceful sprawl. She didn’t give a damn at how odd she probably looked at
that moment, topless and slightly-wild eyed; the only thing that mattered was keeping
Not pulling back.
On his back, House reached for her, his hands moving to her chest with an exquisite
delicacy of touch and the flick of his thumbs over her nipples had her gasping. Cuddy straddled his hips, aware of his heavy ridge pressing up between her thighs, hot and
urgent. She leaned down, her hair cascading in a loose wave of glossy brown all
around them. House smiled. Cuddy reached to press her hand over his eyes again.
“No.” he told her firmly. “No.” His hands pulled her down, and the sweet press of her
rounded chest against his face tickled against the beard, making her squirm with added
need now. House let his teeth lightly squeeze one ruckered nipple, and Cuddy heard
herself cry out, the sound utterly drenched in pleasure. Between her thighs, House
“Damn it, that’s good,” he growled, shifting his mouth to the other nipple, his hands
sliding down her slender back and into the waistband of her skirt. Cuddy shuddered in agreement, and leaned down to kiss him again.
Slowly, inevitably, the heat and hunger between them built until neither of them could
resist it anymore. Cuddy tugged his sweatpants down, wrapped cool fingers around the
thick hot shaft rising up under her. House gripped her ass under the skirt, the span of
his hands nearly cupping the warm globes and squeezing lightly.
“Are you—?” he hesitated, blue eyes locked on hers. Cuddy stroked him gently and
“Oh God I’ve never been more sure of anything. I’m safe and right now I want you.”
“Concur—“ came his hoarse reply, and House thrust up, impaling her in one smooth
stroke of slick thick power so blunt that Cuddy gasped and threw her head back. Big.
God he was SO big, filling her, taking her hard . . .
“Oohhhhhh!“ the sound rumbled up out of his chest; tones of a man barely in control of
his passion. His fingers around her ass clenched tightly and he lifted her slightly only to
yank her down again. Cuddy groaned herself. They moved, and after a few awkward
strokes found a perfect rhythm with their bodies, strong and hard; muscle and flesh
moving in pulsing waves of pleasure, the glow stoking higher with every flex and thrust.
Cuddy whimpered and wriggled, reveling in the insanely sweet pressure deep in her
tingling body. Damn the man for making even a mercy fuck more than it was supposed
to be! And then House slid one hand between their bouncing bodies, fingers teasing
their way through her fur to glide over her stiff little bud in the lightest of concentrated caresses--
She came, shockingly hard, her body clenching around House’s cock, drawling a wild
groan from him as she did so, but Cuddy barely heard him as she rode out the searing pleasure spiraling through her. Her spine had turned to Jell-o and she would have fallen across him, but House slid his grip to her small waist as he surged up, lifting his ass
from the mat in the hard final thrusts of his orgasm. Cuddy slumped against him,
dazedly looking at his face as he fought to keep his eyes open.
Moments later, as they lay together, stunned and wordless on the damp vinyl mat,
Cuddy shifted. Rising up on her two hands, she leaned over House once more, and with infinite tenderness, kissed away the wet streaks along the corners of his closed eyes.
He pretended not to notice for a moment, them slipped an arm around her and pulled
her onto his chest. After a few moments he spoke into her damp, tangled hair.
“So—“ came his low voice, the familiar mocking tone now tempered with an
undershade of tenderness, “I think your Physical Therapy incentive program is a deeply satisfying success, Doctor Cuddy, and I’m definitely open to negotiations for further engagements.”
“Is that so?” she murmured back, smiling against his chest. “Then maybe it’s time to up
the ante. I read The Godfather, I know how these things work.”
“Don Cuddy. I suppose you really DID make me an offer I couldn’t refuse.” House mock-grumbled, “And it’s only because I’m so good-natured that I’m willing to let you
make it again.”
“And again—I need LOTS of therapy.” House pointed out. Cuddy laughed, leaning up to
kiss the underside of his chin.
“Now that’s an offer that I can’t refuse.”