Random Thoughts in the Course of
eyes the smooth expanse of rounded muscle under his fingers, trying
to find the
“You’re drinking—I didn’t
think you were allowed to.”
“It . . . didn’t take.”
“No. I started this morning.
“No. If I leave you here in
the dark you’ll sit and cry and tomorrow you’ll be
that I saw you this way tonight. Pass me the bottle.”
“It’s only the second try.
I’m going to do you a favor and finish this, and then
“I’m . . . I’m starting to
“That’s the estrogen
talking. You’re not out, just two strikes down. One more try
month. Go the distance.”
“Why are you giving me a . . .
fertility pep talk?”
The sound of Lisa Cuddy gently
vomiting carries through the office door, and he winces
even as he
barges in, annoyed and slightly worried. She is dabbing her pale lips
Kleenex and shoots him a stare of annoyance. He makes a
greatly exaggerated great
show of looking grossed out. “Tummy
trouble? Let me guess—I’ve had a rough ride with
the sushi around
“God, don’t say sushi—“
Cuddy orders him, a fresh wave of green crossing her face. He
on his cane uneasily, wanting to torment her; to tease her in the
way he always has, and knowing he can’t anymore.
At least not for another seven months
or so. He fetches a bottled
water out of his pocket and tosses it to her. Surprised, Cuddy
catches it. House watches her drink it thirstily. He waits until
Cuddy looks uneasy, and not
because of her stomach. She props her chin in her hand,
ignore the garbage can and its undignified contents just off to the
side of her
“Took your advice. Someone I
And because it’s his fantasy,
he looks in her beautiful blue eyes and knows.
She’s eating cottage cheese
with mandarin orange slices and salsa on it. He’s repulsed,
unable to look away from the elegant bowl of the stuff. Cuddy is out
of her shoes,
reading a report and just rounded enough to be showing.
He’s waiting for her to finish the damned report so she’ll
it and he can order the test.
She squirms. His eyes narrow,
and unwillingly he stretches out a hand. Cuddy cups it
bulge of her abdomen, grinning.
A shift, a definite kick, right
into his palm, and for a breathless moment, House is
focused on the memory of that sensation; the audacity of life within
Cuddy announcing itself. To hide the tremble of his fingers he
presses harder, and she growls a
“Save the shoving contest
until after the kid’s born, House.”
He sees her in her eighth month,
full and round, a fine-boned brood mare with glossy
mane and bright
eyes. Curvy and soft, learning patience as she moves more slowly
still stylish in her business maternity wear. One long hand slips to
her back, pressing to
ease the ache out of it, fingers free of rings.
Pushing. She’s red-faced, her
hair wet with sweat, long fingers clenching the bedrails.
yelled, hasn’t cried. House loves that about Cuddy; she’s
pragmatic enough to
focus on the job, just like she’s done with
everything in her life up to this moment. Save
the girly crap for
someone else, it’s pushing time.
He’s waiting down in his
office, doing jack shit, himself. This is what he normally does,
he’s doing it with a vengeance now, not even pretending to work
while up in Maternity
Cuddy is widening that Circle of Life without
his damned help, thank you very much.
Athos, Porthos and Camer-os are
keeping themselves scarce, but everyone’s waiting for
Wilson of course is up there,
holding her hand.
House tries not to jump at the
ring of his cell phone. He flips it open, about to make a
remark, but the puffing startles him.
“H-H-House, you’d BETTER be
d-d-d-doing your damned clinic hours!”
The wave of relief hits him
then; the sound of her redirected frustration is music to his
House doesn’t laugh—she really WOULD kill him—but he
“Make me, Tubby,”
“I will s-st-STRANGLE you with
my umbilical cord if y-y-youuuuuuGODDDDD!!!!”
He’s out of his chair, his
office, the cell phone dropped carelessly on the carpet far behind
him as for the first time in years, House drags himself the
staircase, clinging to the
handrail in frustration, not willing to
wait for the elevator.
She’s small, and snuffly, and
peers up at him with wide unfocused eyes of midnight blue.
amused until Wilson hands her to him with a smirk. He doesn’t
and that’s the most damning evidence of all.
Wilson sees this; Wilson knows. House
wraps a careful grip around the
baby, bringing her to his shoulder, letting his big hands
warm weight of her, this little poop machine, this scream machine in
a flesh box,
this indignant little new PERSON who is half of Lisa
The baby opens her little mouth,
pink gums and tiny tongue visible. House stares at her,
stay objective, wondering about Apgar results and college funds and
in between. Finally House sighs, his breath moves over the
delicate wispy hair on the top
of the baby’s head in a shiver of
House plunges the needle in, and