Disclaimer: In my world, which is completely unaffiliated with the show, they celebrate LOTS of anniversaries together.
?You know what day tomorrow is?? House said.
He was digging his hand into the candy jar on Wilson?s desk, searching for a red lollypop. There was none to be found. Slightly annoyed, he grabbed an orange one.
?Wednesday,? Wilson said, playing along.
?Correct,? House said, unwrapping the candy and flopping on the couch. ?It?s also May 17th. And do you know why that day is important??
?All you can eat wing night at Sullivan?s?? Wilson offered.
?Because it?s a trap.?
Wilson looked up.
?A trap?? he said.
?Yes,? House said, shoving the lollypop in his mouth. ?You?re out of cherry, by the way.?
??Gee, I wonder why . . . ? Wilson said. He tried to focus his friend. ?So why is it a trap??
?Because a year ago tomorrow was when Cuddy and I first hooked up, as the kids say.?
Wilson?s mouth dropped open.
?Wow! Trenton? That was really a year ago? Wow!? He regarded House fondly. ?I?m proud of you . . . Also, I think I owe Chase a hundred bucks.?
House stopped sucking on his lollypop, stared at him.
?There?s a pool on how long my relationship with Cuddy will last??
?And you bet less than a year??
?Hey, I was on your side! Taub bet 7 hours.?
?I?ll deal with that little prick later. . .?
?Back to the issue at hand . . .? Wilson said. Talking to House was sometimes like steering a large, wayward ship. ?Why is it a trap??
?Because although you and I know it?s a completely arbitrary date, Cuddy will want to celebrate it.?
?She said that??
?No. That?s the point. That?s why it?s a trap. She hasn?t mentioned it. At all. Classic boyfriend test.?
??She?s going to get something special for me?like a photo album of our love.?
?That would actually be sweet.?
?Or she?ll buy me a fancy watch.?
?She does have good taste.?
?And I have bad taste?a nice watch would clash.?
?So what?s the concern here House? That you have nothing for her??
?I can?t even imagine a solution to this vexing problem,? Wilson said. ?Oh wait. I know! Buy her something.?
?But that would be setting a dangerous precedent,? House said. ?Then she?ll think I?m the kind of guy who remembers anniversaries.?
?Apparently, you are the kind of guy who remembers anniversaries.?
?I wouldn?t know what to get her, even if I did decide to humor her.?
And suddenly Wilson got it. House wasn?t looking to complain about his anniversary. He was looking to brag a bit about his anniversary, and solicit advice on what to buy Cuddy.
?Do something meaningful for her,? Wilson said.
?I was thinking ling??
?Not lingerie,? Wilson said, cutting him off. ?A gift for her. Not you.?
?So I guess a stripper pole is totally out of the question??
Wilson tried not to smile. Pretending that it was all about sex was another one of House?s famous deflections.
?So what kind of gift?? House said, impatiently.
An idea popped into Wilson?s head. ?I?ve got it. It?s perfect. Tomorrow night she has that board meeting at 5 o clock. She?ll come home. She?ll be tired. Tense. And you will have dinner ready. A romantic, private dinner for two,?
?That?s going to be awkward with Rachel there.?
?I?ll babysit Rachel.?
Wilson made that last proclamation heroically, expecting a hearty thanks from House. But House?s wheels were already spinning.
?Cook dinner?? he said.
?Yeah. And none of your molecular gastronomy stuff. Cuddy doesn?t want a hard boiled egg that tastes like meatloaf. Something you know she?ll like.?
?And you?ll watch the rugrat??
House stood up, nodding.
?This could actually work, Wilson.?
He had the perfect dish: A dover sole with a banana cream sauce that she had fallen in love with at a little Spanish restaurant they?d gone to in Manhattan.
Cuddy had spent the night trying to pick apart the seasoning.
?Is that cilantro?? Cuddy said, giving House a spoonful.
?I think it?s parsley,? he said.
?And how do you think they get the sauce so. . .light??
?Probably egg white,? House said.
?Is it yellow because of the banana or because of saffron. . .??
House?s palate was, in some ways, just as honed as his intellect. But more importantly, he was inclined to remember everything that gave Cuddy pleasure. He was pretty sure he could recreate it.
That night, Wilson came over, inspected the house.
?Flowers,? he said, approvingly.
House shrugged. He was wearing an apron and had several pots going on the stove.
?And you ironed your shirt, the wonders never cease,? Wilson said.
Rachel came charging out of her room with her Hello Kitty overnight bag that House had packed.
As always was the case when House was in charge, she had dressed herself. She was a mismatched assortment of stripes and bright colors: Part ragamuffin, part Harajuku girl.
?Uncle Wilson!? she said, slamming into him.
?Hey Rachel!? Wilson said, hugging her, and taking the bag. ?How?s my favorite girl??
?You ready for the best sleepover ever??
?I rented The Little Princess,? Wilson said. ?You?re going? love it. It?s great.?
House shot him a quizzical look.
?Uh, from what I?ve heard,? Wilson said, looking down.
Then he eyed the kitchen.
?So you got everything under control here??
?Just call me the Galloping Gourmet,? House said. ?Well, the Limping Gourmet.?
Wilson smiled at him.
?Alright House. Good night. Good luck. Don?t screw this up.?
House was expecting Cuddy by 7 pm. At 7:30 she called.
?Ugh,? she said. ?This board meeting is running late. I probably won?t home until after 8.?
?No problem,? House said. He was trying to calculate when? he should start the last ingredient?the frothy banana cream sauce.
At 8 o clock, she called again.
?These trustees are driving me insane. You should probably just go ahead and have dinner without me.?
House hesitated. Was it possible she was messing with him? Did she have some sort of surprise planned herself?
?I?ll wait,? he said.
At 9, she called again.
?I?m in boardroom hell,? she moaned. ?And they just ordered sandwiches. I have a feeling I?m not getting home til really late.?
House was beginning to feel like?well, there was no other way to put it?a disappointed wife.
?Sandwiches?? he said.
?Yeah, you should probably just go ahead and have cereal or something. I?m sorry. Is Rachel asleep yet??
?She?s spending the night with Wilson,? House muttered.
?She is? Why??
And it occurred to him that she literally had no idea it was their anniversary. She just thought she was coming home for a regular Wednesday night dinner. He was a fool.
?He wanted to watch The Little Princess with her,? House said. Then he sighed, began scraping the sole into the garbage disposal. ?I?ll see you when you get home.?
?Don?t wait up.?
The first thing she noticed was that the house smelled wonderful?of ginger and parsley and bananas. Then she noticed the candles on the table, the embers still glowing a bit from having recently been blown out.
?What the.? ..??
She went into the kitchen. The dishes has been scrubbed clean. She looked in the garbage. A discarded bouquet of flowers. And a crumpled note: ?Thanks for the least sucky year of my life-H.?
Cuddy? leaned against the kitchen counter.
He was already asleep, or at least pretending to be asleep.
She crawled into bed next to him, put her arms around him, breathed into his neck.
?I?m sorry,? she said.
He didn?t stir.
?I totally didn?t think. I?ve been so busy at work but that?s no excuse. I screwed up. Please forgive me.?
She knew he was awake, but he wasn?t answering.
?I love you so much, but you know that. I thought I couldn?t love you anymore but right now I think I actually do,? she said.
Still no answer.
?Will you forgive me??
?Forget it,? he said, in a soft, terse voice. ?It?s no big deal.? But he shifted away from her, toward the edge of the bed.
She stared at his coiled back. He was angry and hurt. And what?s more, his anger was justified.
She had a fleeting, almost comical thought: So this is what it feels like to be House.
She got out of bed, went to her office, and started to write.
She found him in the cafeteria the next day.
?Hi,? she said.
Some of last night?s hurt was beginning to recede. He noticed her appearance. Slightly messy hair, bags under her eyes.
?What?s wrong? You look like shit,? he said.
?You really know how to flatter a girl,? she said with a chuckle. ?It so happens I was up all night working on something?for you.?
She slid a rather large document across the table to him.
He looked down at it.
?Minutes from last night?s interminable board meeting?? he said.
?Just read the cover,? she said.
?365 Reasons Why I Love Gregory House,? he read, shaking his head, trying to suppress a smile.
?Cause there?s 365 days in a year,? she said, sheepishly.
?Yeah, kinda got that.?
?House I?m so sorry. I totally fucked up.?
?It is a big deal?to me.?
?House looked at the table.
?No, this is actually good news. I now know that you are not the kind of woman who cares about anniversaries. I am officially off the hook.?
?I do care about anniversaries,? she said.
?Could?ve fooled me,? he said.
She took his hand.
?I do care,? she said.
?Just so you know,? he said. ?I am not Anniversary Guy.
This was an aberration.?
?I did it because I thought it was what you wanted.?
?Don?t expect me to keep this kind of behavior up.?
?I wouldn?t dream of it.?
?Good,? he said.
And they both had the exact same thought at the exact same moment: They were both assuming more anniversaries. Lots of them. Like it was no big thing.
Cuddy popped up.?
?I gotta get back to the office. I just wanted to drop off the world?s longest love letter. Read it.?
She leaned across the table, kissed him on the lips?a rare show of affection in public.
?It?s going to be mushy isn?t it?? he said.
?Oh yeah. Embarrassingly so.?
After she strode away, he started to read.
365 REASONS WHY I LOVE GREGORY HOUSE
by Lisa Cuddy
?? 1. I love how you look at me. It?s make me feel like the most desirable woman on the planet.
2. I love how you treat Rachel like a human being, not some sort of adorable trained chimpanzee
3. I love when people ask me, ?What?s he really like?? and I just smile knowingly.
4. I love sitting next to you at serious events when you try (and usually succeed) to make me laugh.
5. I love every single day of your sobriety.
6. I love that you hate sentimentality. Because when you are sentimental, it?s all the more meaningful.
7. I love listening to you play the piano
8. I love watching you play the piano because it?s like a little glimpse into your soul. . .not that you have a soul. (Heh)
9. Also, you pretty much look the same way when you cum, in case you were wondering.
10. I love that look on your face right before you solve the puzzle.
11. Which, coincidentally, is also the way you look when you cum. ;)
12. I love how fearless you are.
13. I love how brilliant you are. It makes me smarter.
14. I love how forgiving you are when I screw up. (Hopefully!!)
At some point, she just began listing body parts:
36. I love your hands.
37. I love your jawline
?? 38. I love your stubble. (Don?t ever shave, you asshole)
?? 39. I love your tongue. Good lord, I love your tongue.
?? 40. Any woman could love your insanely big blue eyes. But I try to focus on other things. (Okay, that was a lie. I love your insanely big blue eyes.)
?? 41. I love when you undress me with those insanely big blue eyes.
?? 42. I love when you actually undress me.
?? 43. Also, that one pink shirt of yours gives me a lady boner.
His grin got wider when he got to the sex part:
92. I love how you eat my pussy. If eating pussy was an Olympic sport, you?d be its Michael Phelps
93. I love your perfect cock. They should make a mold of it and sell it to sexually frustrated women for charity.
94. I love sucking your perfect cock
95. I love the fact that today, at precisely 6 pm, I?m going to come into your office, lock the door, and give you a blowjob under your desk as an anniversary gift. (It was either that, or get you a watch.)
He actually felt himself getting hard.
96. I love knowing how turned on you are right now thinking about me sucking your cock.
More sex talk. Then some talk of their daily rituals. (#111. I love that you always hand me the Style Section of the New York Times without even asking.) Then this:
123. I love that you stand up for what you believe in, no matter what the consequences and even if sometimes it means you?re a royal pain in my ass.
124. I love what a good man you are (even if you don't know it).
125. I love how many lost causes are alive because of you (You are the Patron Saint of Medical Lost Causes)
126. I love how hard you try to cover your bald spot
127. I will love you even when you are bald.
128. I love that you have a Wilson?and therefore, we have a Wilson.
129. I love watching TV with your arms around me.
He kept reading. Got to this:
235. I love the sound of your voice in the morning
236. Also during the day and at night.
237. I love the fact that, after all these years, my heart still beats a little faster every time I see you.
238. I even love how cranky you are. (But maybe you could be a little less cranky?)
239. I love your scar. Because it reminds me that we?ve been through battles together and we are both survivors.
240. I love how you look at me when you think I?m not looking.
241. I love watching you play with Rachel when you think I?m not looking.
242. I love that you remembered our annivesary. (See No. 6)
243. I love that this has been the least sucky year of my life, too.
He read more. Got to the end. The last line:
365. Or, to make a long story short: I love you.
?Whatya got there, smiley??
It was Wilson.
?The first draft to my new teen vampire trilogy,? House said. Folded it. None of your business.
?You seem like you?re in a good mood,? Wilson said. ?Last night must?ve gone well.?
House looked down at the folded letter, looked back up at Wilson.