This is the last chapter, sorry about the wait my account has been down. Enjoy darlings.
It might be weeks later, perhaps it has only been days but the amount of time doesn't really make any difference to her anymore. All that matters right now is that the sun is making a half hearted attempt to poke through the clouds and her lunch hour has just begun.
She is sitting at a table neatly sheltered by the shrubbery, not too far a distance from the hospital. She doesn't need to look at her cup to see the steam rising off it, she smells the pungent aroma of tea and it's refreshing to her after hours of stale air.
Cuddy is chronicling her emotions and actions to see if she can break down every single one of her life and make it coincide with every next action, she is pondering the existence of fate itself and whether to believe makes her a fool or a hypocrite.
Now that she has fallen into bed with Gregory House again she feels the stirring of some serious affliction, the feel of righteous indignation as she visualizes him carving a notch into the handle of his cane. She is just making more excuses to call him an ass in her head.
And it's then that the imaginary games she played when she was a child begin unraveling around her ankles.
She remembers Alice; the girl who tumbled down a hole into a land where the rules were preposterous, a place where everything kept on changing without warning. The story used to frighten her. She had been such a shy child not having yet grown into her full character and uncertain of exactly what the world was asking of her.
However she had still been Cuddy, she made brave faces and became Alice, learning to cope with the things that came her way. She still sometimes thought of the blue pinafore dress, like dolls clothes, being placed in front of her with the tabs folded back to keep it in place, or was to keep her in place?
In the end it was apparent that the question itself was rhetorical.
Cuddy remembers her youthful launch into this journey.
Not unlike the second of her childhood heroines, Dorothy. She had been full of the exuberance skipping down the yellow brick road, she knew it led somewhere. It was the road she hoped would lead her to resolution, perhaps even back home but now the notion has faded and she has started to picture herself not as the lead role but one of the more minor, yet still pivotal characters.
She is the wizard himself, the one that the whole story is supposed to be about, even though she is just a flash on the screen. She is the man who denies his own existence so that the possibility that everyone else will keep on believing isn't lost. She has learnt to sympathize with his need to tell them to ignore the irrelevant facts for the sake of the greater picture, the image that he needs to portray, it's very similar to hers.
Cuddy huffs away the green mists that have been surrounding her, she removes herself form the Land of Oz and lifts the still warm white rim of the cup to her lips.
This is her lunch, her mind-food.
She is allowed to lose herself in her head now but later she must concentrate on forms and patients, this is the time where she can be lost somewhere undisclosed, a location neither here nor there.
Fingers seeking warmth wrap themselves around her cup and she thinks about how she doesn't like meeting new people, they make her feel uncertain and she is not sure of the correct way to act or speak with them. Through unofficial channels she had met and courted a rather placid lawyer type.
He had taken her to a romantic feeling restaurant though the feeling was somehow blurred with the stench of expensive cuisine. She hadn't minded Cuddy knows how to appreciate the worth of things.
It might have been the distinctive feeling that her seat was cushioned with money that made her feel so appreciated, maybe it was the warm human brush of his knees against hers under the linen folds of cloth that pushed her into such an receptive mood.
He had been a gentleman to her, pulling out her seat out and making polite small talk. The main point of the exercise had been that he was nothing like House.
Cuddy found that refreshing because she wasn't sure that House was exactly her type.
She had watched the faceless dinner date, because in the end this was all he really was to her pour a glass of a fine red wine. Then when at the end of their dinner he had asked for her number telling her that he wanted to see her again, there had been the hesitation. She was caught between her decision to give him what he had asked for and her weighing the consequences of declining his smooth request.
Cuddy had been decisive and departed with a chaste kiss to his cheek and pressed a slip of paper with her name and number on it into his hand, her heels had clacked on the pavement when she smoothed a hand across her stomach and unlocked the car.
She wasn't sure what to do with him, he was probably everything she could hope for wrapped in an Armani suit but the idea of him as short-term fuck buddy was more attractive then the hint of a long term relationship that he told her he was seeking.
She liked him, he was friendly, safe, warm- he reminded her that she was alive. Cuddy wanted to be told that she was alive, that she still had living left to do.
But that was all she didn't want him even though she wanted to want him, it didn't make much sense.
She moved onto a new thought
She had a wary suspicion that she might actually be an inanimate object, a fixture in place waiting to be used over and over. Until suddenly one day she would become redundant and be hauled away to be hidden with memories and other keep sakes in an attic, that is if there is an attic at her hospital.
The thought is terrifying in the same theoretical way that fairytales had scared her, because it was like magic, sinister and dark but still it was magic. She intrigued herself with whispers of old incantations, red wine and sparkling dust particles descending on a misbehaving ray of light that got caught between the rafters.
But such things are the dreams of children, Cuddy remind herself that she is a fully grown woman, though her size is small and her structure delicate. Grown women are supposed to have different dreams that include designer kitchen utensils and a high salary.
Her cup is empty now with nothing but the dregs gently rolling around in the bottom, dipping a finger in she ferrets a drop of the condensed liquid onto the corner of lips and lets her tongue swipe it clean. It doesn't taste good anymore, she knew it wouldn't but it's something she still does, an unbreakable habit.
She splays her fingers on the table before her and casually toys with a packet of sugar, it has split open and is letting tiny granules slide out, trapping one she crushes it between her finger and the smooth surface.
From inside she can hear the faint strains of a vocalist, easy listening music with a soggy soul. A tune that is undoubtedly heavy on the melody with an ascending piano scale that sounds like water.
His hands are not just those of a doctor, he plays an instrument also, a skill that works with a steady hands and strengthened fingers.
Cuddy makes a solemn vow, if possible, to always date a man with that kind of knowledge. It would work well to both of their advantages.
Her lawyer man doesn't know anything about music.
There is a tightening in her stomach which she brushes off to a tightening in her bladder so she takes initiative and makes her way to ladies room. Trying not to touch too many surfaces she closes a stall door behind her and while her hand traces lightly over the stall graffiti she promptly falls into another memory.
Sitting in one of the hospital toilets Cuddy pulled her feet up so no one could see her and wondered when she had started crying in toilet stalls during the lunch hour. It was just a momentary weakness; she had known it wasn't going to happen again anytime soon. It had just needed to be flushed out of her system. She could have justified it to herself, but she didn't want to have to and that had made things all the more difficult.
Carefully blotting at her eyes with a piece of toilet paper she cautiously left her sanctuary and adjusted her attire in the mirror. Running a hand through her hair and pulling at her lapel she was ready for the outside world again. A deep breath and she had stridden out oozing confidence; she had scaled the walls of the castle.
She returns to the table after washing her hands in the way only a doctor knows how, she was so very aware of her body, this caused problems. She was too aware of personal space and the symmetry between herself and other miscellaneous objects, often she found herself fighting the urge to adjust other people to coincide with her internal Feng Shui.
There is the fantasy of being discovered in a compromising position with House that has been troubling her, not so much a fantasy as an overwhelming fear but Cuddy can't deny that there is something about that thought, the blatant flouting of the rules, it excites her.
She imagines what the scenario might be but she can never pin the best one down all that she manages to conjure up is the play of shadows and silhouettes on hospital walls and Foreman's shocked expression as he quietly backs away.
She wanted it to be him who discovered because she didn't really know him well enough to gauge exactly what his reaction would be.
Cameron was predictable enough and would have blinked back tears and rushed off to nurse her wounded pride, she was sure Chase would try to use it to blackmail both of them and better his position, albeit unsuccessfully.
So naturally this left her with Foreman which added to the inconceivability that accompanied the desire, and the act it was all about the loss of control. These games she played would always end up with control as one of the arteries that demanded its survival.
Suddenly before she was ready to know it Cuddy glanced inside and caught a glimpse of the clock, time she left. Without knowing it she watches her own reflection in the glass of the window as a breeze brushes the tips of her hair across her collar bones. Is this vanity? Sometimes she asks too many questions that don't matter; often she forgets to ask the important ones.
There is another errant thought traipsing around in her mind as she gathers her hand bag and efficiently replaces its contents. She is thinking of what might happen if she doesn't return, what exactly would be the consequences of her going home, getting into bed and sleeping. Would they notice that she was gone? How long before they called her?
Of course the whole point of the game is that it's all just speculation, the possibility that it might happen, hiding under the certainty that it won't. She couldn't let herself forsake her prodigy, her claim to fame. Such an action would destroy everything she had ever dreamt of and worked for, it would possibly undermine her entire life.
Every stride that she takes is taking her a step closer to the source of all the troubles in her life so impulsively she rebels in a pathetic attempt to invoke jealousy from an entity completely incapable of comprehending or even appreciating her actions.
She is calling her date but all she gets is the answering machine, so she leaves a message and although it is laden with euphemism it's obviously a glorified booty call, she sets the date for tomorrow, she knows he'll comply. Poor boy he doesn't know what he is getting himself into, she tries to feel sorry for him but that just ends up rounding back on her, morphing in to self pity and she knows from experience that it isn't attractive on her.
Cell phone deposited back in to her bag, she doesn't want to hear the echo of the empty dial tone so she snaps it shut quicker than strictly necessary. The glass doors slide open and she walks back into her home.
This is the end of all unrelated thoughts until she finds herself driving home.
Here is the place where a thousand situations assault her; each could cause her varying degrees of discomfort. Scenarios that end with flashing lights and broken glass scattered across the road, screeching brakes and seconds that linger so much longer than their original given value. Cuddy would say she is just being overly wary but the possibility that she isn't prevents her from validating such a gesture.
She moves one of her slightly trembling hands from the wheel and switches on the radio; it's a classical station playing something baroque, brain music. So the ride home is in only one kind of silence, the physical sense of the word has been shattered but the silence of her brain is overweighing both.
Cuddy wakes that night and through the veil of still misty dreams she goes to fetch a glass of water. Though her limbs are still waking she manages to traverse the hallway without major incident. The light switch, however, proves to be her undoing.
Through hazy sequins with her pupils contracting from their sudden exposure she finds herself reeling back into the bench. Her coordination is till slightly off and the numb feeling that had surrounded her has been penetrated by a blunt ache across the small of her back.
With a hand gingerly rubbing at her back she straightens both her mind and limbs; she runs the situation through her mind, always coming to the same conclusion. She is fine. The injury is a small retribution from life, a petty reminder.
So she drinks her water and even though the hour is late she retires to a chair next to her book shelf and attempts to read. It's not as easy as she would have imagined, Cuddy could see herself sinking into a book but the state mind isn't there, she can't concentrate on the words. It feels like the author has nothing left to say to her.
Going back to bed doesn't agree with her either. She lies with sheets that are too warm cocooning her, her pillows arch her neck uncomfortably and she un-necessarily reminds herself that it's much easier to sleep after sex.
Cuddy can feel weariness creeping closer but every time she notes it's movements it seems to shy away. It doesn't want to be tracked through the corners of her mind.
She tries to let her mind wander somewhere else but it won't it just stays exactly where it is and it leaves her suspended between two worlds.
She wants to let got but she knows she can't, it's the same way with the Lawyer, if only he could satisfy her search. What is she looking for? The question is one she asks herself but she doesn't know how to answer or even if she wants to.
Greg isn't the remedy, she is fairly sure of it but they will keep on using one another taking what they can. Cuddy isn't sure why it happens but she knows it will continue, until it stops and that's fine as long as she doesn't have to explain.