X Plus Y
Written May 2006
Synopsis: “I don’t want in your pants. I want your DNA.”
Notes: Companion ficlet to the episode “Who’s Your Daddy”.
Disclaimer: The characters within are property of Heel & Toe, Shore Z. Productions, Bad Hat Harry Productions, and other corporations. No infringement is intended.
“What’s this?” he asked of the paper that had been thrust into his hands. “Another genetic profile from a mysterious sperm donor? What, Mozart Man not doing it for you?”
“House! Just … tell me what you see.”
He skimmed over the page, head bobbing, eyebrows raised. “A match made in genetic heaven.” He shoved the paper back at her. “Lisa Cuddy, meet your baby daddy.”
“That’s it? You don’t even want to know if he likes Mozart?”
“Well, hopefully you’d think twice before making that mistake again.” Her glare made him sigh. “It’s your ovary. I have nothing to do with–” The proverbial light bulb sparked to life. “Give that back.” He didn’t wait for her, snatching the papers. “Where did you get this?”
“Something about you trying to pay your way through med school.”
“Oh yeah.” He looked over the sheet again. “This is Grade A, top choice sperm right here. The best of the best.” His voice dropped a notch, and he frowned. “So why didn’t anyone want it?”
“Because you’re a miserable bastard whose delusions of brilliance are less than charming,” she offered.
“Yet you want it.”
“I like a challenge.” She paused. “And I respect you and trust you.”
“Oh, stop buttering me up. It’ll take a lot more than pretty words to get into my pants, sister.”
“I don’t want in your pants. I want your DNA.”
His heavy stare was enough to make anyone run away, but she stood her ground. She knew what she wanted, and once she made up her mind, she didn’t back down.
“Look, I’m not asking for commitment or child support. Nobody even has to know.”
An almost imperceptible flinch and then — nothing. He said nothing, did nothing. But his eyes … his eyes spoke volumes.
She held his gaze, saw the deep-set pain and longing. “You didn’t donate your sperm for money, did you?”
“A part of you wanted a child. A part of you hoped that one day, years later, you’d get a call. Someone’s mother had used your sperm, and your progeny had figured it out somehow, contacted you.”
“I can see why you don’t have a degree in psychology. You suck.” He turned away from her.
“Do I? So you want a child someday. It’s not something you should hide from.”
“You’re one to talk.”
“I’m not hiding from it.”
He scoffed. “Please. You wouldn’t hike your skirt up for just anyone.”
“Okay, okay, fine.” She held her hands up as a show of peace. “I want to have a baby. I have the egg, I need the sperm. I’ve found a genetically compatible donor–”
“Mozart Man,” he interjected.
“–who has above average intelligence and a medical degree.”
“You forgot about my good looks and quick wit. You’d better hope the little swimmers have more athletic prowess than me, though. Otherwise you’re screwed.” He smirked at his own joke and hobbled toward the door to her office.
“I’m sorry about earlier,” she said. “I didn’t mean to bring up any bad memories.”
“What memories? You can’t remember things that never happened.” He threw his genetic profile to the floor, but it didn’t have the right effect. It fluttered gently and landed without a sound. He stared at it for a long moment. “Fine. You want my sperm, you can have it.”
She began to grin, a look that vanished with his next words.
“The old fashioned way.”