Wilson moved though the halls on a mission. Something happened between House and Cuddy while they were at that symposium in
Boston, but neither were talking to each other or to him about it. Desperation of knowing what happened won out over the tenseness
of the situation. He knew there was one-person left who might talk about what happened, and he was going to pump it out of
him one way or the other.
He could easily see as he passed House’s office Foreman leaning back in his chair,
studying his readouts on their latest patient in the adjacent conference room. Wilson’s pace quickened. He had never
seen Cuddy as livid in his life as she was today. He was dying to find out what happened with her this time.
entered the conference room and promptly put his hands across his chest as he quickly thought of a way to bring the subject
up. “How was the symposium?” he asked trying not to sound too anxious.
Foreman offered Wilson a short
nod of greeting as he turned back to the filed test readouts, “It was fine. Very informative.”
the trip itself?” Wilson pressed lightly.
Foreman replied respectfully but curt, “Boston’s a beautiful
city, fabulous food.”
“Humm…,” Wilson paused a moment to pull his thoughts together, “How
were your traveling companions? You had to sit with them for four days.”
Foreman did not react to the question
as Wilson had hoped. Instead, he flipped to another page of the report and answered vaguely, “They were no less interesting
as usual, I guess.”
“Really? I heard that Cuddy added an extra twelve hours to House’s clinic duty
this week; and every week for the next two months, and they haven’t said a word to each other since they’ve returned.
Why is that?”
“The usual, I guess.”
Wilson chuckled slightly, “Care to tell me what
this ‘usual’ was?”
Foreman scoffed and turned back to his readouts.
“I see,” Wilson
said as he pulled out his wallet and produced a couple of twenties and a ten to the table. He tried again, “What happened
during that conference?”
“Foreman regarded the money on the table and smiled, “Have a seat.”
He leaned forward and placed the file on the table as Wilson sat. “You know, this was supposed to be simple. House and
Cuddy were personally invited to this symposium; she brought me along to keep House from slipping out during the speeches.
In return, she gave me a few extra days paid vacation.Her plan worked, he only made one attempt at a slip out during the entire
two days of seminar.”
Wilson perked up and asked incredulously, “She’s spitting fire now because
he tried to walk out on a boring speech?”
“No, that wasn’t the problem. It all started the day before
we were supposed to take our flight home.”
know, if you ever gave me a justifiable reason to borrow that thing,” Cuddy gestured toward the rental car they had
taken around in Boston now sitting in the parking lot, “I would have let you lone it for an evening.” She took
another bite of her pancakes.
“What? I thought I gave you a justifiable reason.”
The small modern
café we had picked out by our hotel was very convenient for the three of us. We still were not very familiar with the city’s
layout. The small booth we took a seat in overlooked a picture window, giving a perfect view of hopping city outside in the
morning sunlight. Cuddy had taken one side of the maroon booth for herself. She was nearly finished with her pancakes. House
on the outside of the booth had several sausage links. I was on the inside of the booth, satisfied with my finished plate
of eggs. All three of us took several refills of coffee.
“Picking up hookers, House, does not count as a justifiable
reason. And tonight your not getting it at all. I’m going to start packing it for tomorrow.” She finished her
plate and indicated his, “Are you done yet?”
“But you’re renting a brand new sleek silver Mazda.
You can’t tell me something that fine deserves to be left parked all night.”
“How many shots of rum
did you have before even asking me for the keys yesterday anyway?” Cuddy pointed out as a server came to take their
plates, “You were too drunk to be behind the wheel.”
“Hey guys,” I said, trying to break up
their argument, “we only have another day together before we go home, can we at least make the best of it?”
silent pouting and confrontational eyes on Cuddy at least allowed the two of us to finish our coffees before leaving. Cuddy
turned to me as she stood up with her purse, “Foreman, I have your papers for the extra vacation days ready in my office,
I’ll send them to you first thing Monday morning.”
House was not going to let that go without complaining,
“Why does Foreman get extra vacation days to come to this lousy dump and I don’t?” He gave me a funny look
as he finally started getting up from his seat. “He wasn’t even invited to this thing.”
invited Foreman to come to this symposium, but it was to baby-sit you.” Cuddy said as she paid the bill, “and
as incentive to actually come, I gave him an extra five days vacation.”
House gave me a look of cheated surprise
before he moved to let me out of the seat. He was about to start heading for the door when something from Cuddy’s seat
caught his eye.
“What’s this?” he asked as he held up a large ziplock bag full of pink and white
Cuddy stared at the bag, then checked her purse quickly before saying, “That’s mine,”
she walked over to House as he opened the bag and took one out. “Thanks for finding that.”
to her with a mouthful of her candy, “Who’s your boyfriend?”
Cuddy froze for a moment before looking
at me for answers. I shrugged. She turned back to House and asked carefully, “What makes you think that?”
makes these things for themselves.” He picked through the bag, took out a bright pink piece of chocolate in the shape
of a stethoscope, and showed it to Cuddy. “Isn’t that cute?” He put that one in his mouth. “Your boyfriend
gave you a parting gift for the trip.”
Cuddy reached out for her bag, not amused by the accusation, “I
found a new recipe; I decided to try it out.”
House pulled back, “There’s no way you made these.
You can’t cook to save your life.”
“There is nothing wrong with my cooking. You’ve had my
cooking.” Cuddy shot back as she reached again for the candy as House continued to twist it away from her.
don’t eat your famous dishes. They rent them by the hour.” House put some distance between himself and Cuddy as
a realization came to him, “You’ve been dating a cook for the last two months, haven’t you? That’s
why you’ve gained those fifteen pounds on your thighs.”
Cuddy’s reaching hand and jaw dropped at
that last statement. Her eyes betrayed shock and anger warring under her careful control. Then, exasperation won over both.
Without another word, she headed for the exit.
“House,” I said growing impatient, “just give the
“I don’t want it,” she said tersely as she headed outside.
I followed her
out, mumbling to House, who was putting the chocolate candies inside his backpack, “What a wonderful way to begin a
“Exactly,” he said as he palmed his cane and headed out on my tail, “Now we’ll
be prepared for when her boy-toy drops by for a visit. Just think of the sex stories we’ll tell him.”
I said as we walked toward the car and let myself in the passenger side.
House opened the back door, threw his backpack
in, and joined it in the seat.
“You are not bringing that thing in.” Cuddy commanded, eyeing him from the
rear-view mirror, “You already look like a bum, don’t make it look like your going to rob the place.” Her
cheeks were still flushed with anger.
House, for a change, wisely stayed quiet back there listening to his Ipod with
his eyes closed.
“How long have we been waiting?”
House asked, not missing a beat with the cane he twirled in his hand.
I shifted my attention from the newspaper I
picked up to my watch, “About forty-five minutes,” I said as I reclined on the uncomfortable wooden bench in the
lobby of Benton Hall.
The lobby itself was spacious and prestigious looking. The beautiful black marble countertop
lined the inside wall. Mahogany wood wrapped around the walls and furniture, overall, giving the room the feeling of night,
despite it only being mid afternoon. On the end we sat at were the remnants of the lunch booth being cleared away. On the
other, dozens of groups of three or four peppered the expanse. The dull roar of their voices easily filtered their way to
House stopped twirling his cane and laid it across his lap as he leaned forward on the bench, his face
took on irritated contemplation. “She was supposed to be finished a half-hour ago.”
enjoying herself. It’s not like she hasn’t deserved it after what you said to her this morning.”
took out his Vicodin and dry swallowed a pill. “Did she really offer you an extra week of vacation?”
set down my newspaper on the bench. “That was about the only reason I came,” I said, taking a glance at him.
probably never heard me. His eyes were off to the far corner with intensity usually reserved for his most vexing of cases.
I turned to see what he was so absorbed with and saw Cuddy talking with an old man, a Dr. Embry, one of the one of the hosts
of this convention and his wife.
Somehow, during the time I was watching Cuddy, I realized that I was sitting alone.
I stood up and tried to see where House wandered off. I found him a few moments later determinedly walking, already halfway
to Cuddy’s small group. Not wanting him to aggravate Cuddy further, I hastily made my way across the room only to get
there just in time to hear him begin his conversation.
He pulled out his phone and waved it open in front of Cuddy
before getting the group’s attention with, “You really have to stop giving your boyfriends my number. Your newest
hubby just called me again. Based on the muffled moans and screaming of your cat’s name on his end, I think he’s
rubbing his phone all over his body. Why is he calling out your cat during his orgasm anyway?”
Nobody was more
horrified in that group of three by his words than Cuddy. Her face blanched at the phone as he innocently held it up to her.
The old doctor was the first to recover. He smiled diplomatically, “Well, unfortunately, we must get going.
Work has a regrettable way of accumulating while one is away.”
“I can understand that,” House said
as he held out his hand and Dr. Embry took it. “Thank you for inviting us. You have done a wonderful job of organizing
such a gathering, and you couldn’t have picked a better place to host it,” he said, sounding completely sincere.
host gave a quick nod toward House and I after he shook House’s hand. “Thank you again for coming.” He bowed
slightly and the two made a quick retreat away from us.
“Can we go now?” House asked Cuddy after they
were out of earshot. She numbly nodded.
She found her voice as soon as we were in the sweltering car. Her eyes glistened
with renewed rage. “What on earth were you thinking?” she yelled over her shoulder as she pulled out of the parking
lot, “Telling them my boyfriend called you for phone sex?!”
I turned back to look at House who was searching
through his backpack. His answer was more calm if not defensive, “Why are you making this like it’s all my fault?
You’re the one with your head so far up old Embry’s ass that I had to surgically remove it.”
don’t want to hear another word out of you today, got it?”
House was already in his own little world playing
his Ipod. He never replied to her comment.
was quiet until we neared the hotel and Cuddy pulled into a gas station, and stopped at a pump. House immediately noticed
this change in rout and grumbled, “Why spend money of a fill up? We still have a half tank.”
take to the question lightly as she opened the car door and spat, “Because when we got it, it was full of gas. I’m
not taking it back any other way.” She exited the car and turned to me just before closing the door, “Keep him
here.” The car door shut with finality as she went to fill our car with gas.
“What crawled up her ass?”
House asked as he fished through his backpack again.
I scoffed, “Who do you think crawled up her ass? Does the
fact that you weren’t that great for these three days and have been tormenting her on our last full day here mean anything
“Well if she can’t handle the heat, how’s she going to handle a long term relationship?”
there’s the problem. If you would just leave her personal things alone, you two wouldn’t have a problem with each
“Thank you, Dr. Phil.” He apparently found what he was looking for in his pack. “It
appears that her boyfriend’s candy can’t take the heat either.”
That comment found my curiosity.
I twisted in the seat to see what he was talking about and saw the ziplock bag he had gotten from Cuddy this morning. In the
bottom was a pooled form of all the pink and white candies it contained earlier. They had melted while we spent all that time
inside the symposium this afternoon. “Don’t show that to Cuddy.” I said as I turned back to face the front.
I added softly, “That’s the last thing that she needs to see.”
wisely said nothing for the remainder of the ride back to the hotel. He gathered his things in the car and disappeared into
his room soon after we arrived. I thought nothing of it and busied myself getting my things together for our flight home at
ten o’clock tomorrow morning. At about a quarter after five, I received a knock at the door.
I opened it to see
Cuddy, dressed in more casual wear than earlier today, looking at me. “I was just looking to see if you’re ready
to go eat?” she asked.
“Sure.” I said amiably. I made certain I had my wallet and key in my pocket,
then shut the door and followed her down the hall to House’s room. “Were you still thinking of that Garfield’s
place?” I asked as she rapped on House’s door.
“Go away.” I heard him call over a TV and through
Cuddy shrugged and knocked louder. The TV volume slowly receded and a few moments later we heard House unbolt
the locks and open the door to reveal his disheveled self and a messy room. “House,” Cuddy said, “we’re
going for dinner-”
“I’m not going,” he stated simply.
This stopped us short. He came
to every meal up until now. “Do you want us to pick something up for you?” I asked.
He contemplated a beat.
“Sure,” he said as he shut the door and relocked it. The TV sound resumed in the background.
was odd for him,” I admitted as we walked on to the elevator.
“Who cares?” she muttered as she pushed
for ground floor. With more conviction she added, “I have been praying for one night of peace without him for this trip.
I am not going to question my prayers when they are answered.”
I shrugged, in partial agreement. Without him,
this small trip would at least be more peaceful.
returned with a bag from McDonald’s for House about forty-five minutes after we left. We had had it ourselves since
the waiting list at Garfield’s was too long for us. Cuddy stopped at House’s room with the bag of food as I unlocked
my door right beside it. She rapped for entrance and received no reply.
“Do you think he’s hurt himself
in there?” Cuddy asked as she knocked again.
Smelling something fishy going on, I peered through the peephole
to see I could see him in there. He appeared to have actually packed some of his things away. There was less mess. The TV
was still on but I could not hear it. “I don’t think he’s in there.” I said to Cuddy. “I’ll
call him.” I pulled out my phone.
After two rings, he answered with a low, almost whisper, “House,”
on the other end.
“Where are you?” I asked now knowing something was going on. “We got your food
out here getting cold.”
The whispered reply was almost inaudible, “Cuddy’s boyfriend called again.
He invited me for some sex fun this time.”
That was all I needed to know, “Oh shit,” I said in horror.
I knew where he was.
“What’s wrong?” Cuddy asked, equally horrified by the sound of my voice.
shut off my phone and rapidly moved toward Cuddy’s room, “Quick,” I said urgently pointing at her door lock,
“open the door.”
Cuddy looked at me in surprise but did so.
As the door opened, our first sight
was the toppled over suitcases with Cuddy’s clothes and other contents strung out all over the floor and bed. A picture
of a bright eyed and blond haired young man I did not recognize lay on top of the mess. Almost as if on cue, the toilet flushed.
Out from the bathroom emerged a very content House with his phone and one of Cuddy’s thongs in his hand. “Now
that was phone sex,” he said in complete ease.
Cuddy’s dismay was almost beyond words. Her hands were actually
trembling, and her cheeks were bright red. With her voice ragged from the shock, and waving her hands in House’s direction,
she almost shouted, “What the hell are you doing in here? How did you get in here? What gave you the damn right to be
in here?” Her hands were still trembling as she covered her mouth and looked again at her things scattered around the
House’s eyes almost glittered with satisfaction as he said, “Richard McClowery, he looks nice enough.
He’s at least five years younger than you. This Greek chef has been fattening you up real nice with his cuisines hasn’t
he? Kind of odd since McClowery is not much of a Greek name… more Scottish.”
Cuddy could not take it anymore.
She jabbed her finger out the door and succeeded in screaming, “Get out! Get out now! Forget about riding to the airport
with me! You can walk home for all I care! Out!”
House was halfway out the door when she turned on me, “You!
You were supposed to baby-sit that bastard!” I was quickly backing up past her door when she made her final cry, “You
can walk home with him!” She slammed the door in our faces.
We were silent for a moment before House turned to
me and commented, “Do you think she means literally?”
never saw Cuddy the next morning at the hotel. I was a little uncomfortable at the thought of actually encountering her after
the ordeal House caused that had sent security and the manager up to our rooms the night before. The fact that I had yet to
see House either did bring some measure of comfort.
I checked out at the hotel and waited at the curb for the taxi
I called this morning. The vehicle pulled up promptly at seven thirty. The driver popped the trunk and I loaded my belongings.
I then hopped into the backseat and started to say, “Airport,” when a cane beat the side of my window scared me.
House called to the driver, “I’m with him,” as he opened my door and handed me his suitcases. He
then plopped into the passenger seat and ordered, “Airport.”
We rode in near silence in light traffic for
about ten minutes when we both saw it at the same time. A new silver Mazda pulled out and cruised just a few cars ahead of
us. A few moments later, House turned to me with a smile in his eyes that could only mean trouble.
I said in warning over the seat as he fished into his backpack. He pulled out a large ziplock bag with something in it I did
not immediately recognize. He held it up for me to see and I gasped, I remembered those pink and white splotches.
had hardened along the bottom of the bag from end to end. The pull of the bag rounded it out at the bottom giving it an irregular
cylindrical shape with a diameter of about an inch and a half. The top was more flattened and slightly jagged from the bag
having rested on its surface while it hardened, but the image of the penile organ was clear.
House pulled it out of
the bag and rubbed on it as if it was himself. The corners of his mouth turned up into an actual smile as he said to our driver,
“Pull alongside that Mazda up there.”
Our driver obeyed without a word and pulled into the passing lane
to catch up to Cuddy.
House rummaged around in his backpack again and pulled out a half empty coke bottle. He replaced
the offensive candy into the bag and poured some of the coke into it. He sloshed it around to coat the entire candy with the
drink and removed a napkin from his pack.
Using the napkin as a barrier, House removed the candy from the bag again.
We were now nearly even with Cuddy and we pulled up to a red light. House wasted no time before he lowered his window and
shouted across the way to Cuddy. Cuddy appeared none too happy as she caught sight of us and reluctantly lowered her window,
“If you’re going to apologize to me, it’s too late-”
“I wasn’t going to apologize,”
He said over her, “I just wanted to say that after a night of thinking about it, I don’t want your boyfriend’s
candy anymore.” House then chucked the candy through his window and through Cuddy’s window. It ricocheted off
the passenger side of her dashboard and windshield before it fell somewhere in the seat.
The light changed to green
as House rolled up his window and he said tersely to the cabbie, “Drive.”
no, no, no,” Wilson croaked, nearly in tears from laughing so hard. He slapped the tabletop and fell back into his chair
in a fit of giggles.
Foreman had to smile at the story himself. “I never saw her on the flight home. She may
have taken a different one, for all that I know. This morning, she came in here before House, she handed me my vacation forms,
and left a note on House’s desk about the extra clinic duty and a bill for the cleanup of the mess in that rental car.
that new piece of information, Wilson leaned onto the table for balance and screamed in mirth. “Wha-wa-wa-wa,”
he stuttered between laughs before giving up. He finally managed a, “Oh my God, that was so funny,” after nearly
a minute under the grip of giggles. Another minute later, he calmed down enough to stand. “That was a great story,”
he said, a little hoarse. “Thank you.”
“Hey,” Foreman pointed out, “You paid for it.”
still a little giddy from the story, chuckled, “It was still a great story! You just made my week.” He exited
the glass doors and walked a little weakly, still chuckling to himself, as he passed through the halls. He continued to laugh
slightly to himself as he took the elevator to the ground floor and walked into the parking lot for the evening.