Cuddy tends to House, bloodied, bruised, and emotionally exhausted following the accident and the death of his patient. Even near collapse, House is afraid to let Cuddy see his leg scars. "It's OK. I love you," she says, and she gently touches and kisses his leg. House carries Cuddy to his bed.
They awake the next morning. House wants Cuddy to stay, but she tells him that she should get dressed and go to work. "So that's it?," he asks. "I'm hoping this is the beginning of 'it,' " she replies.
Cuddy's new assistant is calling. House answers Cuddy's phone and announces that she's sick and won't be coming in today. The assistant tells House that another doctor at the hospital has become ill; House tells him to send the man home and then hangs up, telling Cuddy that it's just a "puke" issue and nothing to worry about. At Princeton-Plainsboro the team is reviewing potential new cases. Foreman worries that House hasn't shown up yet, knowing how devastated he was the previous evening. "It's 10:00 a.m. I'd be worried if he was here," Taub says. Thirteen thinks that the best thing for House is a new medical puzzle, which prompts Chase to point out that she's the only one who didn't bring in a new case. He asks if it's related to the leave of absence request she submitted last night. Foreman knows, too. He wants to know where she's going, but she's not talking.
House and Cuddy are picking pieces of glass broken the night before out of House's bathtub. Cuddy's phone rings again, and as she gets up she eyes two prescription bottles on the floor, which she palms and hides from House. He doesn't want her to answer the call. "It could be important," she says. He's adamant. "This is important. Right now we are more important than what's going on at the hospital."
Impressed by his resolution, she agrees. But it's clear that she's worried about what's happening in her absence. There's a funding crisis, Human Resources complaints, and a neurosurgeon, Dr. Richardson, is threatening to quit. Because he's the only neurosurgeon on staff at the moment, he's been forced to stay on hospital premises at all times so that the hospital can maintain its Level 1 trauma center status. If he leaves, Cuddy would have to close the E.R. and transfer patients. Richardson is the doctor House told Cuddy's assistant to send home.
Thinking quickly, House distracts Cuddy with the promise of a luxurious bath while he calls Chase and informs him that he'll be acting as hospital neurosurgeon for the remainder of the day. One problem: Chase isn't a neurosurgeon. House tells Chase if an EMT calls with a brain or spinal trauma, Chase should just divert him to another hospital.
"Why are you going to Rome?," Foreman asks Thirteen. He's found plane tickets in her locker. A local hospital is conducting a Huntington's disease trial, one that Foreman thinks is risky. Thirteen isn't interested in a lecture from Foreman after he's ignored her request for privacy about her leave and then searched her locker. House and Cuddy are soaking in a bath. House wants to know what Cuddy thinks about last night, and what kind of relationship they'll have now. "Don't do this. Why do you have to analyze things to death? Why can't you just let it be nice?"
Chase and Foreman present themselves to Cuddy's assistant, who's desperately trying to both reach Cuddy and find a replacement neurosurgeon. "I'm a neurosurgeon," Chase announces. Unfortunately, the assistant knows this isn't true: Cuddy has warned him not to believe anything House or any member of his team says. House has made Cuddy breakfast, and as they're talking on the couch, House's phone vibrates. He takes the call in the bathroom so Cuddy won't hear. It's Chase: the assistant has called the Department of Public Health to report the hospital's lack of a neurosurgeon. "When DPH shows up, they're going to shut down our E.R. This can't be fixed. It is what it is, House." House remains unconcerned. Cuddy's anxiety wins out, and she tells House that she's going to get changed and go to work. He can't persuade her to stay, but mysteriously a fuse has gone missing from her car. "Are you afraid this will end as soon as I walk out that door?," she asks. "Are you afraid everything will go wrong if you stay?," House asks. He hands over the fuse, and Cuddy says she'll stay.
House is attempting to open a bottle of Champagne (with a sword) when Wilson knocks. He tells Cuddy if they ignore Wilson he'll eventually go away. Meanwhile, the team is frantically trying to find a replacement neurosurgeon, with no success. Thirteen suggests that they find Richardson and drag him back in. She and Chase track him down - hugging a toilet, sweaty, and pale with nausea. "Unless you can transport this toilet with me, I'm not leaving the room," Richardson tells them. But Chase and Thirteen think his symptoms don't add up to the food poisoning he thinks he has. Something else is wrong with the doctor. They want to give him some potentially harmful drugs that may help his symptoms.
Cuddy wants to know if House was hiding her from Wilson. "I wasn't sure if you were ready to go public with the whole 'us' thing yet," he tells her. "Maybe you're not ready yet," Cuddy says.
Chase and Thirteen wait to see if Dr. Richardson gets better. Chase is worried about the possible side effects of the drugs, but Thirteen tells him as soon as he's better they can get him to the hospital and run whatever tests Chase wants to run. She wants to know if he, like Foreman, is going to offer his unsolicited advice on the Huntington's trial in Rome. He's not: "There is one thing, though. Will you have sex with me?" "What?" "Well, this trial means you're leaving right away. I was playing a long game. Deadlines have been moved up."
Before she can answer, Dr. Richardson appears, looking like a new man - a new man who for some reason thinks his table lamp is really, really shiny. Chase and Thirteen assume it's just one of the drugs' side effects and take him to the hospital.
House tries to convince Cuddy he's ready to tell the world about their love . . . by offering to videotape them having sex and sending it to Wilson. But he's interrupted by the sound of breaking glass: Wilson cracked a window in House's kitchen. House tells him he's fine and that he's been ignoring him because he was having sex with Cuddy, who is now his girlfriend. Wilson wants to know how many Vicodins he's taken. House proudly walks Wilson to his bedroom to prove that he's not hallucinating, but Cuddy's gone.
Wilson checks House's pupils and pulse. He seems fine. So why did he lie about Cuddy? House says that he was just trying to make a point. Wilson offers to stay with him, but House says that he's OK. After Wilson leaves, he opens his bedroom closet doors and finds Cuddy, hiding. Taub and Thirteen have Dr. Richardson on a bed in the hospital, under the watchful eye of Cuddy's assistant, who's worried about Richardson's odd behavior. The DPH agent is scheduled to arrive in 20 minutes. Taub and Thirteen assure him that the doctor will be fine, though they still aren't really sure what's wrong with him. Taub wants to know if today is Thirteen's last day. She assumes he's going to warn her against the risky drug trial, but Taub says that if there's any chance it could keep her alive she should go for it.
House can't believe Cuddy would hide herself from Wilson when she was the one accusing him of being scared to tell him. Cuddy says she felt like she was pressuring him, and she doesn't want to force him into anything.
Chase and Cuddy's assistant lead the DPH agent to Dr. Richardson, who is unfortunately prepping for surgery and unable to speak with the agent. "I just need to confirm that he is who you say he is and that he's a licensed neurosurgeon," he tells them. Chase offers the doctor's license and paperwork, but the agent insists on speaking to him. Chase convinces him that it'd be too much trouble to re-sterilize the room and re-anesthetize the patient. As the agent turns to leave, Dr. Richardson bursts from the operating room, strips off his clothes, and strolls down the hall. "Tell the attending to divert all ambulances away, and start calling other hospitals and see who can take your stabilized I.C.U. patients, because those departments are shutting down," he says.
"Why didn't you tell me you loved me?" A Scrabble game uncovers a potential concern for Cuddy. "I told you I loved you. You didn't tell me you loved me back. You don't think that should give me cause for concern?" House tells her words don't matter - only actions do. "You can't say it?," she asks. He can't, but he can spell it on his Scrabble tiles. Or he could if he had a "v." " 'Lobe' . . . gets you one point," Cuddy tells him. "One." Lab work on the doctor is all negative. Thirteen doesn't know why they're bothering, since the hospital is half-closed now by the health department. But they still need to find out what's wrong with Richardson, who is now undressing himself again in House's office. Foreman wonders if his behavior isn't a side effect after all, but a symptom. Taub points out that he's been stuck in the hospital for days, and no one else is sick, so it can't be environmental. "Not exactly stuck. I snuck out. Freedom is my birthright!" Apparently the doctor attended a local seafood festival. Thirteen guesses that he ate roe, which could cause both nausea and his apparent delirium. If she's right, there's a fast-acting antidote.
House and Cuddy are planning a dream vacation in France. But when House suggests that they actually leave tomorrow, Cuddy balks. What about the hospital? Or Rachel? She tells him it's crazy. "So, you'll break off your engagement, but you won't adjust your schedule?," he asks her. Cuddy tells him to give her a couple of weeks to prepare.
Foreman and Thirteen give Dr. Richardson the treatment and try to keep his clothes on. Foreman wants to know if anyone is going with Thirteen to Rome. "Is that your passive-aggressive way of asking me if I'm seeing someone else?," she asks. "I hope you are," he says. "I mean, I hope you have someone with you. If I'm scared about this, I can't imagine how you must feel. You shouldn't be alone. If you want, I could fly over for a few days. Friends." Thirteen is moved, but she declines his offer.
It's finally time for Cuddy to leave House's apartment. "This isn't going to work," he tells her as she's heading to the door. She's shocked. He matter-of-factly tells her, "You're going to remember all the horrible things I've done, and you're going to try and convince yourself that I've changed. And I'm going to start doing those horrible things again, because I haven't changed. And then you'll realize that I am an insane choice for someone who has a kid. And from there it's a short step to the inevitable conclusion that all of this was a mistake. Tell me any of that isn't true."
Back at the hospital Dr. Richardson is back to full health and meeting with the DPH agent. Thirteen explains it was an accidental poisoning, but the doctor is now ready to resume his duties. Chase tells Thirteen about a going-away party they're throwing in her honor, and takes the opportunity to follow up on his request from earlier. No, she won't be having sex with him.
Cuddy tells House he's only afraid because he's happy, and he doesn't expect it to last. He says it won't. He thinks she expects him to change. "I don't want you to change. I know you're screwed up. I know you are always going to be screwed up. You're the most incredible man I've ever known. You are always going to be the most incredible man I have ever known. So unless you're breaking up with me, I am going home now." She kisses him, and as she gets up from the couch he tells her that he loves her.
Chase and Taub walk into House's office to find Foreman and a cake, but no Thirteen. Foreman says she's not going to Rome. He called the hospital and found out that she's not even in the trial. She'd been lying to them all day. Her phone lines have been disconnected. She's just gone.
House and Cuddy finally say goodbye, smiling to each other, but privately it's clear that they have doubts about their future.