Author: HouseAddiction PM
House and Cuddy need to get social lives...so they're back on the dating scene. HUDDY ALL THE WAY! No flames, please.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Humor - G. House & L. Cuddy - Chapters: 14 - Words: 50,942 - Reviews: 383 - Favs: 73 - Follows: 120 - Updated: 01-25-08 - Published: 09-17-06 - id: 3158655
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters of House, of course.
Sitting in her office, Lisa Cuddy had to do everything in her power to stop herself from crying. Stacy Warner just sat there trying to comfort her. Obviously Lisa knew that she made the right decision when she told the doctors to cut off Alfredo's hand, but guilt was ripping through Lisa and Stacy knew that it wasn't going to go away anytime soon. She probably couldn't feel any worse than she was already feeling. Stacy just hoped House wouldn't walk in like she knew he did. He would just make everything worse and Lisa couldn't deal with that right now…she couldn't deal with it.
"He thanked me."
"He should have," said Stacy, relieved that Lisa was finally talking. She looked like she was on the verge of tears, so talking was good.
"We cut off his hand. If we'd figured it out earlier-"
"If you figured it out later, he'd be dead," said Stacy. Lisa had to understand that she made the right decision.
"I never figured it out at all," answered Lisa in a defeated voice. All thoughts of finishing that sentence vanished as the person who did figure out the case entered the room. Stacy turned around as the door banged open, and saw House enter the office. He was wearing a beige blazer and looked quite…groomed. It was the only word that came to Stacy's mind. Stacy groaned inwardly. Here we go, she thought.
"Hello," said House cheerfully, limping up to her desk.
"What do you want, House?" said Cuddy in a voice that would have let anyone in the vicinity know that she wasn't in the mood to deal with his sarcastic teasing. House caught the edge of her tone but decided to poke fun at her anyway. Besides getting her mad was fun.
"If you're wallowing in self-loathing, I've got something that might help." He took out a bunch of papers from the inside of his blazer with a dramatic flourish. "We're getting sued," he said excitedly.
Stacy's jaw dropped. Shocked did not quite cover what she was feeling at that very moment. She turned to House. "You saved his life. He admitted that."
"We'll settle," Cuddy cut in, in a tired voice. Stacy turned to her, not surprised by her statement. Lisa looked as though she had given up. "He's got a stub where his hand used to be. We have insurance. Case seems pretty solid to me." She sighed, keeping her eyes on her desk.
"Ca-ching. The new American dream. Happy ending. Kid's going to be just fine." House dropped the papers on Cuddy's desk and started to limp towards the door. He caught sight of Stacy's face as he turned to leave. She was giving him that "I-told-you-to-give-her-a-break" look. He thought to ignore it, but found that he couldn't. He stopped, his hand hovering over the door handle. Cuddy couldn't be anything less than she was. He had to give her a break once in a while. She put up with him and all his crap everyday for eight years. She was there for him during the infarction and though he had forgiven her a long time ago, he knew that she had never forgiven herself. Besides, she didn't even know that he had forgiven her. He should tell her that one day, but now was definitely not the time. Especially since the woman he would never be able to forgive was still in the room. No, now was definitely not the time.
Without turning around, he said, "Cuddy." Turning slowly, he saw her look up from her desk and give him a questioning stare, her blue eyes locking on to his own. He walked slowly back to her desk. "Your guilt; It's perverse, and it makes you a crappy doctor." He paused. "It also makes you okay at what you do."
"You think a perverted sense of guilt makes me a good boss?" asked Cuddy, disbelievingly. His gaze was too intense, like he was looking into her soul. She wanted to look away but fought to keep her gaze level. She was not weak.
"Now would the world be a better place if people never felt guilty? Makes sex better." He points at Stacy with is cane. "Should have seen her in the last months of our relationship. Lots of guilt. Lots of screaming." Stacy made a face and Cuddy fought to keep the smile off her face. House continued. "I know this wasn't just because it was your roof. Cuddy…you see the world as it is and how it could be. What you don't see is what everyone else sees. The giant, gaping chasm in between."
Cuddy's head jerked up and she met his gaze. "House I'm not naïve. I realize-" replied Cuddy defensively, but House interrupted her before she could finish.
"If you did, you never would have hired me."
Cuddy didn't answer. She couldn't answer. Not one comprehensible thought was running through her head at that very moment. She just sat there, stunned.
Taking her silence as permission, he continued. "You're not happy unless things are just right, which means two things. You're a good boss. And you'll never be happy." With that, he turned and walked towards the door for the second time.
"By the way," he said, looking over his shoulder, "Why does everyone think that you and I had sex? Think there could be something to it? I don't know." He shrugged and limped out the door, leaving Cuddy speechless and Stacy sitting there with one eyebrow raised, arms crossed over her chest. What they couldn't see as they watched House's receding back was the content smile that was splayed across his rugged features.
---- HOUSE M.D. ----
House walked back to his office thinking about what had just taken place in Cuddy's office. Everything he had said was true...including the sex thing… Most of the staff at PPTH thought that if they weren't currently sleeping together, they were lovers in the past. Well, he hadn't helped the situation much either, fueling the gossip fire with all his sexual comments. He smiled at the memory of one of his more recent antics.
Cuddy ran down the stairs and spotted House making his way to the door, about to sign out with the nurse at the front desk. She ran down to catch him.
"I want to run something by you," she said, breathless from running.
"I will not have sex with you! Not again!" said House loudly. "Miserable, that first time. All that desperate, administrative need!"
House laughed inwardly. He remembered that day well. The lobby had been bustling that day with nurses and everyone knows that the nurses are the biggest gossip. It was set up and executed perfectly…but she hadn't even flinched. Her ability to mask her emotions was almost as great as his, but then again she did learn from the best. All those years of shameless banter. She only exploded if he specifically pushed her buttons and that was always fun. Some of the faces she made were just…sexy.
Of course he remembered that day. How could he forget it? That was the day when Cuddy informed him that Stacy was going to work at the hospital until Mark's rehab was finished…
House walked into his office to see Wilson sitting behind the desk…his desk…in his chair…
"What, are you going to start doing my paperwork too? Start seeing my patients? Well that might be good. You'll be able to save a couple of lives for once."
"Well you're in a good mood," replied Wilson, moving around to sit in a different chair. "I take it kissing Cuddy's ass went well?"
House took his rightful place behind his desk and picked up his yo-yo as he replayed what had just happened, conveniently leaving out the part about the sex at the end.
"Cuddy feels guilty about not diagnosing psittacosis," Wilson deduced.
"There's no way she could have."
"No, no way she could have." House turned to look out the window. "It's raining," he said after a while.
---- HOUSE M.D. ----
Cuddy was still staring at the door long after House had left. People in the hospital think she's with House? I mean, sure, some of his comments are…suggestive, but she always thought that everyone knew it was a joke. Guess not.
Had she thought about having a relationship with House? Of course she had. She couldn't deny that she was attracted to him. She had been attracted to him since she met him in Michigan. But was he attracted to her? There were times when she had felt the sudden urge to kiss him mid-banter. There were times when she thought he was going to kiss her. But something always happened. Cameron interrupting their fighting with a new case or test results or him stopping just in time and spitting out some dirty remark and killing the moment… She'd had dreams about him too. About him kissing her…about him touching her…
Lisa blushed at where her thoughts were taking her and snapped out of her reverie. She looked at Stacy for the first time since House left and saw that she was staring at her.
"Well that was interesting," said Stacy, looking pointedly at Lisa.
"What? What House said? He always says things like that. He didn't mean any of it," said Lisa, trying to keep the sadness from her voice. The thought that House didn't care about her always bothered her. They had been friends for 20 years. When they left Michigan to establish their careers, they had tried to stay in touch but with him in California and her in New Jersey, especially being the head of the hospital, they soon fell apart. When she was finally able to get back in touch with him, he had told her that he was in town and they had set up a lunch date. That was when he told her that he had met Stacy. She remembered that she had been surprised that he had found someone because, considering his demeanor, she didn't think there was any other female on the planet besides herself and his mother that would be able to put up with him. She had told him that she was happy for him and she even invited them over for dinner. Stacy was nice enough and they became quick friends. That night during dinner, Greg had told her that he no longer had a job and would like to apply for one at her hospital. She was surprised and happy and she would be able to work with a friend. He and Stacy moved to a little townhouse about 8 miles from the hospital. Their friendship flourished. House even met James Wilson and was able to develop a great friendship with him. The four of them became especially close. It wasn't until much later that the infarction…
And then the infarction…whatever friendship they had had was over that day. He had made it perfectly clear that they now had a strictly professional relationship. He had felt betrayed by Stacy and herself and even though she knew that what they did saved his life, a bolt of guilt would shoot through her every time she saw him pop a pill of Vicodin or limp in pain when the medication was wearing off in between doses. She knew he would never forgive her and that was just something she would have to live with. "No, he didn't mean any of it." Cuddy repeated, shaking her head slightly in sadness.
"But that's where you're wrong," said Stacy. "He meant every word. After living with him for five years I think I'm capable of reading his tone and expression. He was serious."
"Well…what about what he said at the end?"
"About having sex with you? Of course that's true. Half the staff thinks that you guys are lovers. There are bets going and everything."
"Can you blame them? He's the only man they ever see you interact with on a regular basis. And you guys are always fighting. The younger doctors, like Cameron, might believe that you guys banter because you hate each other. But the older doctors know what they're seeing is the sexual tension mounting."
"Oh God. If they seriously think I'm sleeping with House I must really have no social life."
"Well, why don't you get one?"
"Um…because I'm a doctor and work 60 plus hours a week. I don't have time for a relationship. I have a hospital to run."
"But that doesn't mean that you don't have to have a love life. The hospital shouldn't stand in the way of you finding the love of your life."
"Okay. Well how do you propose I find, as you put it, the love of my life?"
"Well, do you have a professional preference? Like does it matter what he does for a living?"
"Not really. I just want someone who will understand what I do."
"So preferably a doctor?"
"I guess so."
"Okay. I know this great site called HotDoctors dot com. All you have to do is set up a profile and we'll see how many hits you get. If you don't want to wait for someone to find you, we can search for men by your preferences. Since you obviously need to get a life fast, we'll search for some guys. Here, let me see your computer and we'll set up an account for you." Stacy took a seat at Cuddy's computer and began setting up her profile. They entered all her personal information and began filling in her male preferences. "So what color hair?"
"Dark. Preferably brown."
"Taller than me. Preferably 6-6'3," answered Cuddy in a dreamy voice.
Stacy was starting to get suspicious. "What kind of doctor?"
"Um…preferably not a nurse, plastic surgeon or gynecologist. Now, a regular surgeon, diagnostician…all fine."
Ah-ha! Stacy thought, keeping in her grin."Um, Lisa?"
"Your dream man is starting to sound a lot like someone I know…"
"Really? That's great! Who?"