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Better Than Sex

Title: Better Than Sex
Author: Avidreadergirl aka Wrytingtyme
Pairing: House/Cuddy
Raiting: PG-13
For: Vday_Huddy EXchange
Prompt Requirments: House and Cuddy NOT already in an established relationship, Valentine's Day, Chocolate,.Huddy kissage,  Extra credit if you manage to fit some kind of dare in there.  I"m sad to say I didn't get the extra credit. .
General Spoilers for Season 4 up to 4x12 "Don't Ever Change" Includes use of 13's name.
Summery
:"You want me to go to the fundraiser; you always want me to go to the fundraisers. You like it when the donors can press the flesh with the great, powerful, and awesomely reputationed me " 
Disclaimer:  Not Mine!: Please Don't Sue Me!



 
 

 

Better Than Sex

 

 February 7th 6:08pm Princeton Plainsboro Teaching Hospital.

 

“Kutner, you’re fired.”

 

The fellow in question, who was trying to balance a cup of coffee and put away a stack of medical texts they’d been consulting, jumped; the coffee spilled on the textbooks which he promptly dropped.

 

“Why is he fired?” Taub, the hardest to rattle of the new fellows, asked while getting napkins and paper-towels and handing them to the younger man. 

 

“Because he didn’t tell me it was time to go home, and now the devil is coming to take all our souls,” House pronounced dramatically as Dr. Lisa Cuddy pushed open the door and walked into the room. “And our weekend,” he muttered as the door closed behind her 

 

Cuddy shot a tiny glare at him before letting her eyes sweep the frozen room. “Relax; I’m not going to ask you to do any work.”

 

“It’s a trick!” House sang out.

 

“In fact, I’ve got good news.” She flashed a smile.

 

“A big trick.”

 

Cuddy ignored him. “The hospital will be holding a fundraiser this Valentine’s Day.”

 

“You hold fundraisers every Valentine’s Day,” House complained.

 

“Yes, and for some reason your staff never seems to know about it,” Cuddy said. “So this year, I’m making sure everyone knows.” 

 

Kutner looked excited, Hadley looked interested but reserved, Taub resigned and Foreman, who knew the drill tried to keep from rolling his eyes.

 

“The benefit is for Cardiology; dress is formal. We will be having a chocolate buffet, a raffle and a silent auction. You are strongly urged to attend.” She punctuated the statement with a hard look at each of the fellows and Foreman.

 

House leaned back in his chair glaring cheerfully at Cuddy. “Don’t worry Boss; if I have to go, they have to go.”

 

Cuddy gave House a long look. “Actually, Dr. House, you’re excused from this one.” And she swept out, leaving a surprised silence in her wake.

 

“What did she just say?” Foreman asked at last.

 

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

 

That went better than I expected, Cuddy thought as she pressed the call button for the elevator.

 

Fundraisers were an enormous strain on both her time and attention; there were dozens of details that she, accounting, and public relations collaborated on. But doctor-wrangling wasn’t a job she could delegate. They simply refused to be wrangled by anyone except another doctor, and then only reluctantly.

 

But I solved one diagnostic problem, she thought cheerfully as she waited.

 

For a genius, House’s party tricks were depressingly routine.  He would either find a patient, thus dragging himself and his staff away, putting the burden of entertaining benefactors and donors on other, extremely resentful doctors; or, he would get plastered and wreak as much havoc as possible. It was a lose-lose situation and it just wasn’t worth it anymore.

 

She heard the tapping behind her as the elevator seemed to be stuck on the second floor. The rhythmic muffled click of a rubber-tipped cane. She reached out and pressed the call button again.

 

House didn’t say anything, though she could feel him behind her, especially when he gripped her arm and spun her to face him, gazing intently into her eyes. She blinked in surprise, moving back only to have him tug her forward before placing the back of his hand to her forehead, nearly whacking her with the cane he still held. 

 

“No fever,” he muttered. “Any aches, pains, trouble breathing or swallowing?”

 

“I beg your pardon?” Cuddy asked, drawing back and swatting his hand away. Too late, she heard the elevator doors snap closed behind her.

 

It was going to be one of those days.

 

“You’re obviously sick.”

 

“Cuddy’s sick?” Wilson, who’d just gotten off the elevator, asked.

 

I’m not the sick one here.”

 

“She’s having delusions,” House insisted, handing her his cane and reaching for her neck. “She said I didn’t need to go to the stupid Valentines Fundraiser.”

 

Wilson snickered.

 

“Bite me,” Cuddy snapped at the oncologist.

 

House glared at his friend.

 

“Wow, look at the time, gotta see a guy about a prostrate, excuse me,” Wilson said as he sped to his office.

 

 “Interesting,” House said, his hands still on her throat.

 

“House…”

 

“Shut up, I’m thinking,” he snapped, fingers still on her neck, no longer exploring her glands but settled over her pulse. 

 

“Oh god.” She moaned and tried to move away but he tightened his grip, encouraging her to stay in place.

 

“So Foreman gets to go—“

 

“No Foreman has to go; I already sent him a memo.”

 

“The fellows get to go—“

 

”They better go.”

 

“But I don’t have to go to the fundraiser, which means I shouldn’t go to the fundraiser doesn’t it?”

 

“You don’t like going to fundraisers,” she said, stepping out of his grip firmly, with a shake of her head, before shoving his cane at him.

 

“Yeah, but you always say that’s part of being a department head. Forman taking over now? Making me a consultant?” he asked, bitterness creeping into his tone.

 

 “House—“ Cuddy fumbled, at a loss for words.

 

“Phasing me out of my own department, nice.” His eyes were cold and his grip on the cane was tight. “I’ve got a nice new team all picked out, Foreman is here; you think you can get rid of me.”

 

“I’m trying to be nice to you, you stupid jackass!” she bellowed. The bustle in the hall stopped as everyone turned to watch. “Damn it,” she growled, taking hold of House’s arm and tugging him to Wilson’s office.

 

“I’m kinda busy,” Wilson said, as Cuddy dragged House in.

 

“Just passing through.”

 

“It’s physical restraint,” House told his friend. “You’re my witness.” But he was being summarily shoved onto the balcony he shared with Wilson.

 

“Look,” Cuddy said as soon as the door closed. The balcony was covered in snow. And the February chill sliced through the thin material of her dress but she was angry enough to ignore the cold. “Do you want to go to the fundraiser?”

 

“No.”

 

Then what is the problem?”

 

You want me to go to the fundraiser; you always want me to go to the fundraisers. You like it when the donors can press the flesh with the great, powerful, and awesomely reputationed me.”

 

“The last time you pressed a donor’s flesh at a party we got sued, if you recall,” she snapped.

 

“How was I supposed to know those were real and that she was lactating? I thought one of her implants had ruptured.”

 

Cuddy opened her mouth to explain, again, about talking to people before grabbing their breasts. But House kept talking, ”…and despite that I still get little memos every time there’s a hospital function, threatening me with jail and deportation if I don’t go.” A thought appeared to strike him and he glared at her more intently. “Do you have a date?”

 

Cuddy took a deep breath that would have been calming if it didn’t feel like she was getting frostbite on her lungs. “My love life, or lack thereof, is None of Your Business.”

 

“Interesting.”

 

“Stop saying that!” Cuddy began to wave her arms in irritation. “House, I agree your reputation does mean a lot to the hospital; a lot of people are curious about you, so they come to the parties to see what a real live medical genius looks like.”

 

House gave her a cocky smirk.

 

“Once they do see you, or heaven forbid, speak to you, they decide to give all their millions to PBS. So you win, I’ve given up.”

 

“I’m not getting fired and I don’t have to go to the party?”

 

“Yes!” Cuddy said desperately.

 

“But I can go if I want too?”

 

“Do whatever you want,” she sighed, turning back toward Wilson’s office.

 

“Interesting.”

 

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

 

Cuddy didn’t turn, didn’t say anything just went firmly into Wilson’s office and closed the door before sitting on the sofa and putting her head in her hands.

 

“Didn’t go well?” Wilson asked.

 

“No, I don’t know why I try,” Cuddy said, sitting back up with a sigh. “And before you say it, yes you were right and you told me so. I really thought it would be a treat for him, getting to skip the PR stuff.”

 

“Ah but then you wouldn’t be coming around forcing him to.” Wilson said sagely.

 

“He hates that.”

 

Wilson opened his mouth to say something and then paused, seeming to change his mind.

 

“What?” Cuddy asked

 

“Nothing.  So what kind of stuff have you collected for the silent auction?”

 

Distracted, Cuddy began to describe the items she’d managed to get people to donate.

 

::::::::::::::::::::::::

 

House, thoughtful, turned and went into his own offices. The conference room was empty, the new fellows having fled. He went into his own office and sat at his desk pleased about that. That took initiative and showed self-interest - both good qualities for his department.  

 

He picked up his ball and tossed it, thinking about Cuddy and the Valentine’s Day Fundraiser, setting up a white board in his mind.  

 

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

“What are you still doing here?” Wilson asked, sticking his head in the office. “Do you have a patient?”

 

“Not a patient.”  House tossed the ball from hand to hand.  “But I do have a case. I’m working on the Mystery of the Valentine’s Day Fundraiser.”

 

“You can’t accept that she was just trying to be nice?” Wilson asked, coming into the room.

 

“No way,” House said. “When Cuddy is nice to me it’s because I play on her cripple-pity. She’s never just nice.”

 

“Well, could you accept that she’s tired of having you insult potential donors, sexually harass the catering staff and in general make it clear that you’re an ass to everyone at the event?”

 

“Maybe,” House conceded. “But I’ve been doing that for years. Why the sudden change?”

 

“Ok,” Wilson sat in the Eams chair. “Maybe she has a hot date and she thinks she’s more likely to get lucky if you aren’t there to torture him.”

 

“Does she have a hot date?” House’s voice was so casual Wilson almost couldn’t keep the grin off his face.

 

“I don’t know,” Wilson said.  “You’re the one who freaked out because she gave you something you wanted, I’m just helping with the exposition.”

 

“Is it you?”

 

“Ah, no; I’m taking—“

 

“The bitch,” House rolled his eyes. 

 

“Scoff all you want,” Wilson said, getting up. “I’m going home, and getting laid,” he said cheerfully. “You should try it some time.”

 

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

 

February 14th. 7pm.

 

There were hearts and kisses everywhere.

 

Lisa Cuddy observed her transformed lobby with approval. They’d put the musicians on the balcony and the music was pleasant but not intrusive. The Silent Auction had been set up in the clinic and it was getting a lot of attention.

 

But she really thought the chocolate buffet was going to be the big hit.

 

It had been set up in the cafeteria, two huge Hershey kisses flanking the door. The caterer, in a stroke of genius, had draped a banner over the doors. The word “CHOCOLATE” was written out large and bold, and underneath in slightly smaller lettering: “Enter at Your Own Risk”.

 

The variety and quality of the goodies were amazing, cakes, torts and tarts, fruit set out around fondue pots filled with steaming liquid chocolate, chocolate-covered strawberries, grapes, and orange slices were heaped between bars of gourmet chocolate. There were chocolate cupids, chocolate hearts and pots of hot chocolate. And everywhere, every kind of chocolate kiss.

 

Cuddy stood in the doorway surveying it, trying not breathe in the heady scent of chocolate. How long since I had chocolate? she wondered. She always got chocolate frozen yogurt but that didn’t count. She hadn’t had real, solid, sweet chocolate in longer than she could remember; it was beginning to look like a really stupid idea.

 

No, you decided no booze and no sugar, she told herself, sternly turning around in the door and nearly smacking into House’s chest.

 

“Oh, you showed up,” she told his wicked little smile.

 

“I was going to sit at home in my underwear watching reality TV and then I thought, I can do that just as easily here.”

 

“Great,” she muttered, walking away from him, not noticing the way his eyes happily followed her ass as she walked into the silent auction.

 

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

 

Interesting.

 

House watched people mingle, leaning on the huge Hershey Kiss that was at the entrance to hell… or heaven, depending on your point of view.

 

Cameron, he noticed, was secure enough in Chase’s affection that they didn’t mind spending a little time with a chocolate fondue pot.

 

The cutthroat bitch had only let go of Wilson’s arm when he ventured into the den of iniquity.

 

House followed Wilson in with the smug thought that someone wasn’t very secure. 

 

“I wouldn’t,” he told his friend who was looking at brightly foiled squares of Swiss chocolate.

 

“I’m not on a diet,” Wilson said

 

“No, but your girlfriend is,” House pointed out.

 

“She’s not on a diet,” Wilson snorted.  “She’s just –“

 

“Avoiding things that taste good and make you fat, right.” House picked up a chocolate covered grape and tossed it into his mouth. “That’s kind of the definition of a diet.”

 

“Do you know any women who aren’t--, never mind you don’t know any women.” Wilson muttered filling the pockets of his dress jacket with the candy.”Why are you here anyway?  I thought for sure you’d take Cuddy’s pass.”

 

“You know I really thought she was trying to use reverse psychology on me, telling me not to go so I would show up,” he muttered, picking up a small handful of chocolate-covered walnuts and tossing them into his mouth.

 

“She wasn’t?”  Wilson wasn’t looking at House as he browsed the delicacies set before him.

 

“Nope.”  House waked to the door and looked out into the hallway, seeing Cuddy circulating among the guests. “She’s not normally this apathetic to me this early in the year.” 

 

Wilson joined him, looking over his shoulder. “Well, let’s see. You fired your team, hired forty replacements, attempted to kill yourself, had your new and, I might add, desperate, employees set a patient on fire and flood the hyperbaric chamber, flood the clinic, shock themselves with defibrillators, rob graves, blow up bathrooms, attempt to steal her underwear… am I missing anything?”

 

“Kill a patient.”

 

“Kill a patient and his dog. You’re right, there’s no reason she wouldn’t want you around.” Wilson clapped House on the shoulder with false camaraderie and headed back into the throng to the waiting Amber.

 

House walked down the line of the buffet thinking about change again. The idea of it had been bothering him lately. Wilson had changed, which was uncomfortable. Cuddy was showing every sign of changing; that was equally uncomfortable and, he realized, he’d precipitated it. Change occurred as a response to pleasure or pain, he knew. He’d been ladling on the pain lately.  He stopped in front of a particularly rich dessert, an idea taking shape in his mind.

 

Maybe it was time to try a different stimulus.

 

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

 

“Cuddy..”

 

House’s voice came from directly behind her and she jumped, spinning quickly and almost slamming into him.

 

Cuddy had managed to avoid House all night, mostly because she was avoiding the chocolate and he’d been lurking around the buffet being frighteningly well behaved. It made her nervous.

 

“Watch it,” he scolded her, “you almost crushed my cookies.”

 

“What do you want, House?” she sighed at him.

 

“Just a quick consult.” He had that innocent look that was hard to read; sometimes he was actually on the level and sometimes it meant whatever he was pulling was huge, and likely to get everyone in serious trouble.

 

“I didn’t know you had a patient,” she temporized quickly, not really believing him but not wanting to take risks with that expression.

 

“Not that kind of consult,” he said, holding out a small plate to her. There was a slab of something dark and moist on it, and the rich scent of coco practically steamed off it.

 

“It’s a cake,” she said, rolling her eyes. He wanted that kind of consult.

 

“Yes, but it’s a very special cake.” Suddenly the plate was in her hands and his left hand was in the small of her back pushing her gently out of the lobby and into the clinic past the items in the silent auction. “That’s why I need a consult.”

 

“You realize I can’t leave the party, right?” she said as she was efficiently hustled into her office.

 

“Oh, this probably won’t take long,” House muttered with a sigh.

 

“What’s this really about?” she asked, flipping on her Tiffany lamp before seating herself on the edge of her desk.

 

“Great dress,” he said, raking her up and down with his eyes. “Do you get a discount if they use less fabric? Try the cake.”

 

“No, the less fabric the more expensive the dress,” she said with a small smile. “The best things come with the least wrapping.”

 

“Oh how true that is.” He limped over to her. The silver handle on his dress cane gleamed and somehow made the white shirt seem whiter, the dark jacket darker. “Try the damn cake,” he said, holding out a fork he’d had stashed in his pocket.

 

“You want me to taste-test the chocolate cake?” She didn’t reach for the fork, just looked from it, to him, to the plate in her hand.

 

“Yes. Eating is very simple. You put the fork--” he held it out, “into the cake so as to remove a small or bite sized portion with these sharp things we’ll call tines,” he explained as he carefully cut into the cake and scooped a small portion up with the fork. He held it near her lips. “Don’t make me make airplane noises,” he warned her.

 

She snorted a laugh -- she couldn’t help it -- and then tried to dodge his hand as he tried to slip the cake into her mouth. “Ok stop,” she said, leaning back; she was going to end up with cake in her hair in a minute.

 

“Just eat the damn cake, god!” he grumbled at her. “If Marie Antoinette could figure it out--”

 

“Well was Marie Antoinette being force fed it from a guy who’s been known to dose patients and other doctors with interesting chemicals with – OW, watch it!” She glared at him as some of the chocolate got smeared on her neck.

 

“There is nothing in the cake your insane caterer didn’t put there. Open up,” he demanded. 

 

“Fine,” she said and reached for the fork, but he moved faster and slipped it between her lips. “Mgggnumfff,” she said, rolling her eyes

 

“Gezundheit”

 

Cuddy took the fork from his hand and let the cake slide off it onto her tongue. She closed her eyes and shivered. She hadn’t had chocolate in a while, not since the last time she’d had frozen yoghurt anyway. And that wasn’t real chocolate, not like this stuff. She let the dark sweetness melt onto her taste buds, feeling the rush of warmth and pleasure that was like the memory of being loved.

 

No wonder people give chocolates for Valentines.

 

“Interesting.”

 

::::::::::::::::::::::::::

 

Her eyes snapped open, still that misty grey that happened when she was in a soft mood, happy, pleased; but it was hardening fast as she looked at him, heading to arctic ice. He moved to head her off, leaning in quickly and kissing her deeply on the mouth.

 

She didn’t push him away; of course, she was still holding both the plate and the fork, but she didn’t pull away either. She also didn’t kiss back.

 

“House?”

 

“The cake is called Better Than Sex,” he told her, bending down and running his lips and tongue on the chocolate he’d inadvertently smeared on her neck. She shivered again and his lips felt the flutter of her pulse. Interesting.

 

“You want me to tell you if it’s better than sex?” she asked, laughter, amusement and annoyance all mixed in her tone. But there was desire there too, he could taste it.

 

“If your caterer,” he mumbled into her neck, “is going to make a claim like that, I think you should be prepared to test it.”

 

“Maybe you should ask my caterer, his name is Jack,” she told him, but she didn’t try to pull away as he ran his tongue over the shell of her ear.

 

”Let him get his own test subject,” House said, pulling back and frowning down at her. She was smiling; it wasn’t the you’re-so-screwed smile he was used to. It wasn’t the triumphant I-have-your-balls-in-my-blender smile that he feared.

 

It was one he hadn’t seen in a while.

 

She sat on her desk and took a bite closing her eyes in pleasure.

 

“It’s a hard call,” she told him in mock seriousness. She cut a piece of cake off and held the fork up to his lips. “It’s probably going to take a lot of study.”

 

House leaned forward and took the cake off the fork. His eyes widened a little in surprise at the intense flavor of pleasure. “Damn, that’s good cake.”

 

“I beg your pardon?”

 

“I didn’t test it before I gave it to you and I don’t know about--”  He stopped as he felt one of Cuddy’s hands around his neck, pulling him down to her. “Better than--” she kissed him, her mouth warm and still flavored with the chocolate cake. “Sex.” He moaned as her arms wrapped around him, pulling him close. “I was right before,” he finally breathed into her hair when she broke the kiss. “It needs study.”

 

Cuddy licked her lips. “Thorough study.”

 

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

 

“What’s the matter, James?” Amber asked. He’d been heading to Cuddy’s office to ask her about one of the silent auction items, a weekend at the Hershey Hotel with a full spa package.

 

“Nothing’s the matter,” Wilson told her, a small grin playing around his mouth.”She’s in there with House; I didn’t want to interrupt.”

 

“I don’t blame you,” Amber said soothingly. “Do you want me to go, it will only take a--”

 

“No.” Wilson said firmly. “They seemed to have achieved a détente, don’t blow it up.”

 

“What makes you think they’ve stopped fighting?”

 

“They’re eating cake,” Wilson smiled. 

 

 

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
nitsa_maro
Apr. 2nd, 2008 08:54 pm (UTC)
This is was so delicious!!!!!!!!!! I really enjoyed it ♥
Now I want chocolate cake too "lol"
avidreadergirl
Apr. 3rd, 2008 12:30 am (UTC)
I'm so glad you liked it! Thanks for leaving a comment. It's better than chocolate. ;)
k00kb03
Jun. 16th, 2008 08:57 pm (UTC)
Awesome! I love this story - very creative and very in-character! Great job!

(sorry this is so late - I only just found this)
:)
avidreadergirl
Jun. 17th, 2008 12:22 am (UTC)
Thank you so much, I appreciate it. It's always lovely to get feedback and I, personally, will happily take it at anytime. :)

I'm actually kind of surprised you managed to find it at all, I think I only posted it at one spot on LJ outside my journal, but I'm very happy you did, thanks again!
london_fan
Sep. 28th, 2009 07:56 pm (UTC)
Delicious! I thought I knew all your stories, but somehow this one looked new to me!
(Deleted comment)
avidreadergirl
Mar. 5th, 2011 06:36 am (UTC)
I don't think you did miss it, at least you gave me a very nice review on FF.net when it came out :)

ETA: I'm not complaining though! I love reviews! Two are just twice as awesome!

Edited at 2011-03-05 06:39 am (UTC)
silent_snark
Jun. 16th, 2011 06:28 pm (UTC)
I know I've told you several times how much I like this story, but it occurred to me the other night that I haven't left an actual comment...

JFTR, I love this story. You captured the snarky-yet-lighthearted House and Cuddy perfectly. Well done!
avidreadergirl
Jun. 17th, 2011 02:12 am (UTC)
thank you :)
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )