Lady Paperclip (paperclipbitch) wrote,
Lady Paperclip
paperclipbitch

Yet MORE of the AU I should leave well alone.

Title: Natasha
Fandom: House MD –Grey Gardens AU
Pairing: House/Cuddy (technically House-Cuddy)
Challenge/Prompt: 7snogs, #5 Rumour
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Het/gen
BY THE WAY: Prequel/Companion Piece/Sequel to Grey Gardens and April Fools. You technically don’t need to have read GG, but you do need to have at least flicked through AF.
Copyright Title taken from another Rufus Wainwright song. *snicker*
Summary: Greg and Lisa’s version of April Fools. Ish. Twelve moments in assorted years.
Warnings: Some feelings so strong they’re potentially OOC. Possibly because I started crying during part nine ;) Also: this needs beta-ing as you read. Please find britisisms, spelling/grammar mistakes, and anything that doesn't match up. Thank you :D
Author’s Notes: I really wanted to write this, and it does contain one kiss to make it legal for the challenge community but also because I felt there ought to be one in their past somewhere. Also: there is no one called Natasha in this fic, anywhere at all. I just thought the song was suitable.



Natasha

I’m happy that you really care; but do you really know how scary this is for you and is for me? Oh, do you really know? Do you really know?
Rufus Wainwright

~*~

One.


Gregory House is infamous, and Lisa Cuddy rapidly becomes sick of him before she even meets him. His name is on the lips of pretty much every student she meets, along with a stream of rumours and anecdotes that cannot possibly be true, and if they are, then he really ought not to still be here. Anyway, Lisa is in her first year of studying medicine after a couple of exhausting years of pre-med, and she has very little time to spare for anarchists or at least badly-behaved antisocial menaces who might be utterly brilliant but who really ought to learn some basic manners and grow up sometime.

They finally meet in a crowded corridor, although it isn’t the cliché where he knocks her papers to the ground and they scramble for them and their fingers brush, because that’s ridiculous and they don’t live in a movie. But they meet in a crowded corridor full of students dashing to their various classes, all carrying huge piles of textbooks and paper cups of coffee, narrowly avoiding colliding with each other. Lisa is nearly knocked over by a particularly obnoxious jerk from her anatomy class; he’s about six and a half foot tall and seems compelled to carry around about a million more books than anyone else. He clips her arm with the corner of a heavy hardcover book and keeps on walking.

“Ow,” Lisa mutters, and “Fuck.” It’s then that an arm closes around her upper arm and pulls her sideways. A door slams behind her a moment later. She is, apparently, in a broom closet of some kind, lit by a bare light bulb and full of various bleaches and cleaning products. She is also standing about half a foot away from a tall, dark-haired man, who is grinning at her.

Lisa very swiftly goes through all the possibilities that being shut in a broom closet with a complete stranger could throw up at her, and then contemplates being buffeted around in the corridor outside. She sighs, and sits down on an upturned bucket, sliding her shoulder bag off and onto the floor. She’ll stay here in quiet for a couple of minutes, and only be slightly late for her lecture on immunology.

“You know,” the completely random man says, “Most people would have asked questions by now. Or slapped me. Or tried to take advantage of the small space.”

Lisa keeps her gaze on the floor. From her sitting position she’s at crotch height to him, and there’s nothing she can say.

“House,” she says, because there really is no one else this could be, “I’m going to have a quick break, and get back to class. I have absolutely nothing to say to you.”

“Nothing?” he drawls. Lisa looks at his red hightops and sighs as he shuffles a little closer.

“From the rumours going around, you’re the most arrogant bastard I’ve ever heard of.”

“Ah,” House says softly, and suddenly he’s kneeling down at her height, looking her right in the eye, “But you have heard of me.”

A smirk quirks Lisa’s lips at that one.

“I don’t like you,” she says quickly. One of the painfully blue eyes in front of her winks.

“Look, if it’s about that rumour about me and the coachload of Swedish exchange students and the corpse I borrowed then that one is definitely a lie. I started that one myself.” House seems to consider something for a moment. “I think I actually started most of the rumours.” His smile broadens and Lisa hates herself for almost being drawn in.

“Do I have to like you?” she enquires, feeling a smile quirk her own lips.

“No,” House says, “Most people don’t.”

Lisa shrugs at his frank statement, and then suddenly realises just how small this closet is, and just how close together they’re crammed. She opens her mouth to say something along the lines of why exactly are we in here or I really should get to my lecture and then closes it again. House gives her a thoroughly triumphant smile.

~*~

Two.

Lisa takes a long, hot shower, humming something or other under the sound of the running water, and then abruptly shuts it off. She stands in the stall, dripping and shivering for a while, and then steps out and pulls a towel around her. She unlocks the bathroom door and steps into the living room. House is lying on her sofa and sipping a coffee from one of her mugs.

“Morning,” she says.

“Morning,” House replies vaguely, giving her a vague once-over more out of force of habit than anything else.

“You have got to stop getting drunk and passing out on my couch,” Lisa says, walking past him towards her bedroom where useful things like clothing live.

“Why?” he asks, reaching for the TV remote, and Lisa has to admit that he has her there. She shakes her head and instead heads to get dressed. They’ve spent most of the last six months on each other’s couches anyway. When Lisa can persuade House to act like the medical student he is, he can teach her a lot, and they have long debates that last way longer than they should. Lisa still thinks he’s arrogant and far too cocky for his own good, but those emotions are wrapped up in something considerably more affectionate.

The rumours are that they’re dating. Lisa hasn’t got around to shooting them down yet. Maybe she never will.

She walks back through to her living room, fully dressed, and neatly removes the coffee mug from House’s hand, settling down on the couch to drink it. House takes his coffee sickeningly sweet, and she winces at the first sip.

“Just how much sugar is in here?” she asks.

“You really don’t want to know,” he replies, running a tired hand over his face. Lisa manages about two more mouthfuls of the far too sweet coffee before she has to hand it back over. House laughs and resumes drinking it cheerfully. Lisa sighs and gets up to make her own breakfast, wondering just when the two of them became quite so domesticated.

~*~

Three.

House is very, very drunk. Lisa only has herself to blame for this, as she bought him almost all the drinks sloshing happily around in his system, but still. He is very drunk.

“Stupid bastards,” House mutters. His head is smushed into the table and Lisa sighs.

“Greg,” she says, “This is stupid. It’s not the end of the world. You’ve been kicked out, but was there honestly anything left that they could teach you?”

House mumbles something incomprehensible, although Lisa gets the feeling it’s along the lines of you’re missing the point. She sighs, contemplating going to call James Wilson, a friend of theirs that House picked up somewhere-God knows where- and seeing if him and his wife want to come peel House off the table and get him home. It’s about this point that Greg manages to sit up.

“Do you want to go home now?” she asks, praying it doesn’t sound too much she’s whining. It was, all right, her idea to take Greg out and get him very drunk so he wouldn’t have to think about the fact Hopkins threw him out for cheating off a particularly annoying guy called Weber, but she’s tired now and just wants to get some sleep. She thinks that Greg could probably do with some rest too. The hangover is going to be horrible.

House contemplates her question for a while.

“Ok,” he says softly. “Take me home.”

Lisa calls them both a cab and loops Greg’s arm around her shoulders so she can support him on the way out. It’s not the first time she’s done this, but it is getting a little tiring. They end up sitting on the sidewalk, waiting for the cab to arrive. Greg turns to her, with a little smirk on his face.

And before Lisa can think, House’s lips are crushing hers. He tastes like tequila but it’s not entirely horrible. She pushes him back anyway.

“Do you honestly think this is a good idea?” she asks. She personally doesn’t think it is, but she’ll go along with it if House likes the idea, because she always does.

“Not really,” House admits, running a hand down her cheek. He moves away abruptly, and grins. “Tomorrow should be amusingly awkward.”

“You won’t remember this tomorrow,” Lisa points out, ruffling his hair because she knows it annoys him. “You’re out of your head.”

“That is very true,” House agrees, leaning his head on her shoulder, and they sit in companionable silence until the cab arrives.

~*~

Four.

Lisa decides to specialise in Oncology. House mocks her for it, but she thinks it’s more because he wanted her to go into diagnostics like him. Lisa finds diagnostics interesting but it not an area of medicine she wants to spend the rest of her life in.

“It’ll all be crying bald children,” House informs her. Wilson laughs. They’re all sitting around in her apartment drinking warm champagne and eating liquorice, since she forgot to go grocery shopping this week and that’s all she has.

“Maybe I like crying bald children,” she protests, watching Wilson smirk in an amused fashion. He’s apparently decided that he’s interested in becoming a surgeon, and his surgical rotation will begin next year. It’ll be a lot of hard work, but he’s recently divorced for the first time (not that Lisa and House are actively surprised, as such) and so will have plenty of time on his hands.

“Fine,” House shrugs. “Don’t come crying to me when all the weeping bald people make you miserable.”

“I will never come crying to you about anything,” Lisa replies, like it’s obvious. “You are about the most unsympathetic person I have ever, ever met.”

“I’ll take that as a compliment,” House yawns, reaching for the champagne bottle and finding it empty.

“It’s probably not,” Wilson sighs, automatically moving his fingers to fiddle with his wedding band and finding it, yet again, conspicuously absent. “She’s right, you know.”

House cuffs Wilson around the head and slumps a little further in his spot on her floor. He’s spent a lot of time in this apartment in the last couple of years- both men have. Wilson’s wife did keep insisting on kicking him out, and her couch is comfier than House’s by a long shot. She’s lost count of how many dates she’s taken home only to find House or Wilson (and, on one memorable occasion, both of them) passed out on her sofa, or casually wandering around her kitchen helping themselves to her drinks cabinet. It leads to awkward questions and neither man is particularly inclined to help her out. Quite the opposite, in fact.

“I liked that guy, you know,” she says, apropos of nothing.

“Which one?” House asks, but Wilson’s already sniggering and Lisa knows he knows exactly who she’s talking about.

“Luke,” she replies. “The one you knew that I really liked, so you waited until I brought him home so that you’d be lying semi-naked on the couch, and you called me ‘honey’. A lot.”

“He was an ass,” House replies casually.

“No, he wasn’t, you just-” Wilson starts, and then shuts himself up instantly. Lisa wants to press him for further information, but then on the other hand she really doesn’t.

~*~

Five.

Wedding Numero Dos. Lisa toys with her hair, ruining the pretty up-do she had it put in. She’s getting quite drunk, actually, but then so is House, and so is Wilson, and she reflects once again that she really doesn’t like weddings. House is contentedly eating his way through one of the tiers of the multi-tier wedding cake, apparently unnoticed by everyone else, who obediently had their slice and left it at that.

“You’re going to be sick,” she suggests vaguely. Lisa doesn’t actually care, but then again she also knows that there’s a good chance Greg will end up out of his brain on her couch tonight, and she’ll wind up having to clean up after him.

“I am not going to be sick,” House responds far too brightly. Lisa rolls her eyes and looks over to where James and his new bride, Rose, are contentedly looking into each other’s eyes and probably counting down the hours until the wedding night. Sighing, Lisa gets started on a full bottle of champagne conveniently on the table in front of her.

“Are you going to sleep with this one?” she asks, jerking her head in the direction of Mrs Wilson Number Two. House grimaces.

“Laura seduced me,” he responds calmly, “Needed an excuse to break up with Jimmy.”

“You never told me that,” Lisa says.

“I know,” he shrugs. “Wanna dance?”

“What?”

“You heard me.” House eases himself to his feet, eyes way too bright.

“Just how drunk are you?”

“Drunk enough. What about you?”

Lisa tips her head to one side, feeling the rest of her hair tumble out of its bun at the movement. Then she smiles and nods, accepting his hand to help her to her feet. She’s wearing heels that are far too high and they hurt but somehow that ceases to matter as House’s arms wrap around her and they begin that thing called ‘slow dancing’ but should probably just be called ‘swaying randomly’.

“How long do you give this one?”

“I’ll put a hundred bucks on eighteen months,” Lisa murmurs into his shoulder. House seems to consider this.

“Two hundred on them not making it past a year.”

“Deal,” Lisa mutters, wondering just how much champagne she’s drunk and remembering that House has actually managed to eat a whole sponge cake, iced roses included. But it’s sort of nice, just randomly swaying on the dancefloor surrounded by happy couples she’s never seen before in her life.

House stops dead.

“I think I’m going to be sick,” he announces vaguely, abruptly letting go of her and wandering off to throw up somewhere. Lisa stands utterly still for a moment, and then a rueful smirk spreads across her face and she heads over to discreetly steal the bouquet.

~*~

Six.

It’s House’s birthday and they’re sitting in his apartment sucking cake crumbs and cream off their fingers. Wilson made the cake, using a recipe he got from his first wife. It’s blackcurrant crumble cake, surprisingly sticky, and Lisa vaguely remembers that it was Laura’s pride and joy, except for maybe her macadamia nut pancakes.

“You make good cake, Jimmy,” House remarks happily, reaching for another slice.

“You’d know,” Wilson murmurs. He’s never quite forgiven House for eating a large proportion of his wedding cake and then throwing it all back up again. Lisa has somehow got away with the fact she drank a lot of his expensive French champagne and threw it all back up the next morning.

“Boys,” she says, trying to head this latest argument off at the pass. Their friendship is more than a little strained because Divorce Numero Dos has just finished combusting and James feels guilty and House feels pissed because Lisa won the bet, and Lisa feels exhausted from being the emotional equivalent of Switzerland between the two of them. At the moment, House and Wilson tend to be sniping at each other, and if they’re not doing that, they’re getting drunk and sitting around singing Goldfinger increasingly badly.

Wilson smirks and reaches for another slice of cake and House leans back in his chair, mouth twisting like he wants to get started on the “you were such a bastard to Rose, and I’m not going to let you forget it, and I didn’t even sleep with this one so you can’t blame a thing on me” thing yet again.

“House,” Lisa says in a warning tone.

“You’re turning into my mother,” House tells her reproachfully, but stops anyway. Wilson throws her a grateful look and Lisa shrugs, wishing that hanging out with her friends didn’t feel quite so much like babysitting.

~*~

Seven.

It would probably be easy to dislike Stacy, only Lisa doesn’t. She actually really likes her, which is impossibly awkward, since she thinks on the same level she’s kind of jealous. It’s ridiculous to feel jealous; she could have had House years ago if she wanted him, but now he’s officially off the table (standing at the altar in a tux Lisa spent half an hour pouring him into, trying not to look too overly hungover), she feels unbelievably petulant. It’s a horrible feeling and she forces a vague smile onto her face while toying with the hem of her skirt.

James and his new and exciting Wife Number Um, Four are watching with vague interest, hand in hand. Lisa feels awkward, being the only person in the church inspecting her fingernails for chips in the manicure and feeling unreasonably tearful for no apparent reason. This is ridiculous; but ridiculous or no, Lisa’s eyes are welling up and she feels nauseous, and it can’t just be because House had them all out drinking last night.

What doesn’t help is that Stacy looks stunningly beautiful, dark hair long enough to froth around her shoulders, white veil down to her waist, a pair of frustratingly lovely white pumps on her feet. Lisa grits her teeth. She doesn’t look half bad herself, but she’s pale and hungover and right now she wants to curl up under the pew until this whole thing resoundingly stops.

Laura is sitting just across the aisle from her, chewing bubblegum and picking a ladder in her stockings. She catches Lisa’s eye and gives her a sympathetic wink. Which is all very well really, but Laura’s not the one aching to run up the aisle and beg House into jilting Stacy at the altar.

Gritting her teeth, Lisa lets her head drop into her hands and wills this moment of indecision and confusion to pass.

~*~

Eight.

House is sitting in the corridor, on the floor. It’s about one in the morning and Stacy has gone home and the hospital is much quieter. Lisa sits down beside him, easing off her shoes and tucking her legs underneath her. There’s nothing to say and they sit in silence for a while.

“He’s going to need us to be strong for him,” she says softly. The walls of Princeton/Plainsboro Teaching Hospital are made of glass and they can see right through from the corridor into the room opposite them, and they can sit here and watch Wilson sleep. He looks so small and lost against the white covers, and Lisa catches her lower lip between her teeth.

“I know,” House replies simply. This last week has been so tough and James- James nearly died, which wasn’t supposed to happen at all, and they haven’t slept or eaten or left and now Wilson’s lost a load of muscles from his right thigh and the world as Lisa knew it has cracked into neat pieces.

She’s had a week of holding it together and Lisa is sick of it. She finds herself sobbing before she can stop herself, pressing the heels of her hands into her eyes in the hope of pushing the exhausted tears back into her ducts or something, fuck that being physically impossible, probably smearing mascara everywhere, but she’s tired and she’s terrified.

“Come here,” House whispers, sounding resigned but with an edge of tenderness that makes Lisa sob harder, because if House is being genuinely concerned then the apocalypse is definitely minutes away, but she folds herself into his arms anyway and cries into his shoulder for what feels like an eternity (but probably isn’t).

Greg strokes her hair gently until Lisa has stopped completely, and she pulls back, smiling slightly.

“The chances are it’ll be all right,” Greg tells her with a twisted little smile of his own, and Lisa digs her fingernails into her palms to stop herself wiping that one tear off his face, because it’s been a long, long week for both of them. “You should get some sleep.”

“I know.”

It’s strange that five minutes ago she was crying like she’d never stop, and now she’s leaning her head against his shoulder and closing her eyes, because no matter House’s fatal, fatal flaws, if everything is changing and falling to pieces, there’s no one she’d rather be sitting here with.

[A couple of hours later she wakes up with a crick in her neck to find that a) House has fallen asleep too, Levi-clad legs stretched out across the corridor, and b) Wilson is awake and smirking at them both.]

~*~

Nine.

The crack is scarred as badly as James’ thigh (shown to her once, his hands trembling on the waistband on his jeans, biting his lips together like he was going to be sick and she refused to be horrified because she was so afraid she’d make him cry). But they don’t acknowledge it. Don’t notice the crack, ignore it like they pretend nothing’s changed but it all has and if they don’t alter themselves to fix it then they might as well give up now.

Lisa knows this without even having to think about it. She thinks that Wilson hasn’t noticed yet (but who can blame him?) and she hopes that House has figured it out, but he isn’t helping matters. She spends hours screaming at him until her throat is raw and her eyes are full of unshed tears, and he shouts back and they’re both losing Wilson and they’re losing each other and the world is different now. This world has a lot of tears and a lot of anger and painkillers and canes and other things in it and Lisa is suddenly afraid that a friendship formed so long ago and for such different reasons than the reasons they need it now just won’t be enough.

Wilson was fired a couple of months ago. A drug addiction that was never supposed to happen and Lisa and Greg couldn’t stop it, couldn’t stage the intervention, couldn’t paper him with pamphlets or whatever the fuck it was that they were supposed to do because they didn’t know. James pushed them so far out that they couldn’t tell he was taking up to nearly 80 mg of Vicodin a day just to be able to walk without stumbling, to operate without his hands shaking, to breathe without vomiting from exhaustion and pain. And they didn’t know, couldn’t tell, stepped too far back to be able to see.

Lisa honest-to-fucking-God isn’t expecting it when the crack finally splits sufficiently enough. It’s an evening like a dozen others but Wilson isn’t answering his phone and neither is House. With an uneasy weight in her chest, Lisa tries to go round to James’ but the lights are off and he won’t let her in, so she drives over to House and Stacy’s.

“It’s open,” House says in a voice that sounds nothing like his own and Lisa pushes through the door with something akin to panic in her veins. Stacy is nowhere to be seen and House is standing in his hall with a black eye.

“Wilson won’t let me in,” she says quietly. “I thought you said you were going to visit him.”

“Yes,” House says, and, “I did.”

Fear and anger wells up inside her and it’s been four years of hell and she can’t take it any longer.

“What the hell happened?” she demands.

“Don’t,” House says softly, like he thinks there’s some tiny chance she’ll listen, and Lisa won’t.


“House. Tell me.”

House punches the wall so hard the plaster cracks and his knuckles split. His jaw his clenched too hard and Lisa is genuinely frightened for a moment but she doesn’t back away. House shakes his hand and blood runs down the fingers.

“What did you do?” she screams. “What the fuck did you do?”

House stares at her for a very long moment, like he’s never seen her before.

“I talked to him,” he says eventually. “And now he never wants to see us again.”

His fist connects with the wall again, too hard and Lisa swears she hears something crunch. She screams at him to stop it and he doesn’t and this is how Stacy finds them a few minutes later, House slamming his bleeding hand into the cracked wall, Lisa with tears in her eyes shouting at him.

Change is inevitable.

~*~

Ten.

Lisa is, by now, an old hand at divorces. Having sat through four with James, she knows exactly what to do, what to say, which bottles of alcohol to buy, how much to pour at which time, when to step back and let said divorcee stew in self-pity, and when to step in say “ok, now you’re being self-indulgent”. She sometimes thinks that maybe she should write a book or something about exactly how to survive when your friend is getting divorced, but she can never be bothered.

House and Stacy managed to hold out for five years. Which is a lot more than Lisa was expecting, to tell the truth, although it’s not like she’ll ever mention it. It’s starting to look dangerously like this divorce could drag on for months, as House and Stacy dig their heels in for the long haul, happy enough to bleed each other dry for everything they can lay their hands on. Stacy is determined and House has never been one to back away from a challenge. It will be long, and awkward, and bitter. Lisa can tell that House is looking forward to it. She isn’t. Especially now James isn’t around to help her out.

“I need a lawyer,” House says sleepily, tipping his shotglass over with a finger and watching scotch seep into her kitchen tablecloth. Lisa grits her teeth together. “Stacy won’t do it; I already asked.”

Lisa looks at him in a bemused fashion.

“Did you honestly think that she would?” she enquires, getting to her feet to find a cloth to soak up the worst of the alcohol mess. “Did you genuinely think she would just sit there and say ‘yes, Greg, I’ll join you on your side and defend you against- oh yes, me!’?”

“It would be the least she could do,” House points out, but he’s smiling slightly now, as Lisa starts the exhausting and never-ending job of cleaning up after him. After all, she’s been doing it for more years than she cares to count now.

Lisa isn’t exactly sure, although she is curious in a morbid fashion, what the final straw was. What it was, what the words were, that finally made Stacy crack and give in and walk out. House won’t tell her and she won’t ask. It’s not like Wilson’s divorces, because Lisa knows why each of those happened (1. Infidelity, 2. Being A General Bastard, 3. They Were Just, You Know, Completely Wrong For Each Other and 4. Elizabeth Didn’t Want To Be Near Him After The Infarction). But although she knows House and Stacy have been arguing for months and months and months, she doesn’t know what broke and how badly it broke and if it can be repaired again.

Wilson used to cry in the middle of the night with alcohol dripping down his chin and his face buried in his hands, aching sobs that Lisa listened to, standing in her bedroom doorway in her nightdress with her lips bitten together and her hands shaking. House would be dead to the world on her couch but she’d be awake and she’d watch him cry for what he’d lost and only creep back to bed when he was safely passed out on the table. But House doesn’t cry. Not ever. Not once. He goes hard and cold and relieved and Lisa can’t work out which breakdown is worse.


~*~

Eleven.

The motorbike is roaring outside as Lisa makes her way out of the hospital, wrapping her arms around her against the almost unseasonable cold.

“Wasn’t expecting to see you here,” she says vaguely.

“Vogler doesn’t have a restraining order yet,” House replies with a smirk, tossing her the spare helmet. “Wilson and I thought you might like it if we took you out for a ‘yay you got fired too’ pizza.”

Lisa bites down a grin.

“I don’t see Wilson anywhere,” she says.

“He’ll meet us there, he’s hanging out with Goldilocks at the moment,” House replies abruptly.

“You let him be in the same room as Robert Chase in spite of-” Lisa begins.

“He can hardly make things worse,” House points out. “Now come on. Bike. Pizza. Possibly alcohol of some kind.”

Lisa slides the helmet on over her hair and climbs onto the bike behind him, arms tight around his waist. At some point she’ll probably have to explain to him that she isn’t technically fired and that Foreman was curiously enigmatic when informing her he was putting her on paid leave, and tell him that a lot of things are resting on his sexual harassment trial than just his career. Maybe over pizza. House can be more sensible when there’s food around. And if James does come to meet them after whatever the hell it is he’s doing with Chase, then maybe he can help her convince House that he needs to take this seriously.

She yawns broadly and rests her helmet-clad head against House’s shoulder, because he’s riding too fast again and it’s mildly disturbing, and bites her lower lip to shreds with all the things she needs to and doesn’t need to say.

~*~

Twelve.

“Sweetheart,” House says, smirking as she glares at the moniker, “There’s this rumour going round.”

“Which rumour would that one be?” Lisa asks, pushing a pile of files sideways on her desk and indicating House can sit down opposite her.

“This one,” House says, reaching for a specific folder and opening it. Lisa bites her lips together and blushes. The file has her final few contenders for sperm donors.

“Well, apparently that rumour’s right,” Lisa says. “There’s also this rumour going round that you’ve been getting Gilmar to do your clinic duty all this week. Is that one right too?”

“Yeah,” House shrugs, flipping carelessly through the papers. “This one sounds thrilling, Lisa, he likes golfing- and, gasp- opera! Just think of the child you can get from him!”

“Shut up,” she mutters, snatching the folder back and then sitting on it to make sure he can’t get to it. Lisa purposely never mentioned this to House because she knew how he’d react. It’s why she’s been getting Wilson to do her fertility injections, and he’s been sworn to absolute secrecy.

“Fine,” he shrugs, “If you can’t take a simple piece of advice-” House gets to his feet and makes his way over to the door. He turns back and gives her a borderline reproachful look. “You could have told me.”

And then he’s gone before Lisa can begin to think up any form of reply.

But three days later, when Lisa’s starting to realise that he’s right, the guys on the sperm donation forms really are not going to work out having wonderful DNA, House comes back into her office.

All it takes is one look from him, a raise of her eyebrows, and a definitive nod from them both to decide that they’re going to be parents.

“Do you want-” House begins hopefully.

“If I’ve held off sleeping with you for nearly seventeen years, I’m not going to start now,” she replies. “Not even to conceive a child. Use a sample pot like everyone else.”

House rolls his eyes, but obeys, and a few weeks later she’s waiting for the test results to see if it’s worked. Considering that it’s supposed to be a private and special moment, there are a surprising number of people hanging around.

Wilson is looking particularly happy because he extracted a promise from House in a moment of weakness that he can be godfather, and Robert is looking particularly happy because he extracted a promise from Lisa in a moment of weakness that if he stays with James and doesn’t break his heart he can also be a godfather. Allison Cameron is waiting with baited breath so that the moment the test comes back positive she can share all her tips for getting rid of stretchmarks and so on, and Petra Gilmar and Eric Foreman are hanging around partially to show support and mostly so Gilmar can start persuading Foreman that yes, they can have children once they get around to getting married. Stacy’s on the other end of a phoneline (as it turns out, getting engaged again makes her considerably less hostile towards House) and Laura expects an email right away.

“Well?” House demands irritably, looking towards the unexploded bomb of a folded sheet of lab results that is technically going to change their lives forever in a [mostly not] melodramatic way, “What does it say?”

Lisa reaches for the piece of paper, taking in a deep breath, for a moment unsure exactly what she wants the result to be.

~Finis~



(And I promise there will be at least one more piece in this complex AU puzzle, no matter how much I should leave it well alone; I’m writing a Christmas one because what else can I use for my prompt: 092. Christmas? Anyway, there will be more House-Cuddy-baby stuff in that one, although not to a mushy degree and I think I’ve decided now I will probably never get them together together, although I make no promises that it won’t happen.)

Tags: challenge: 7snogs, character: greg house, character: james wilson, character: lisa cuddy, pairing: greg house/lisa cuddy, pairing: robert chase/james wilson, series: grey gardens, tv show: house md
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