(disclaimers et all in first chapter)
NOTES: Thanks for all the great reviews. I really appreciate all of the encouragement.
The day had passed with seemingly ease, save for the role reversal that occurred in the Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital: Greg House had been proudly wandering the halls, avoiding Clinic duty while the Dean had been hiding out in her office until her workday ended.
Packing up the work she had neglected due to several mixed moments of daydreams, wallowing and angry mumblings, she prepared for a long night at home. Normally, she would opt in just remaining in her office, feeling more in control in the hospital's environment but circumstances forced her to retreat to her comfort haven; a warm cup of tea and a night sans sleep would help her analytically planning on terminating the rumours that were already beginning to brew, mingling with suspicions already festering.
A familiar knock of wood-on-glass jarred her out of her thoughts and she blatantly ignored it, roughly shoving papers in her briefcase.
His lower lip jutted out as he observed her through her door, inwardly satisfied that he was in command of the situation. He knocked again, and kept up the constant rhythm of banging his cane against the glass, his smile widening as her face became an angrier shade of red.
Lisa whipped around, her eyes slicing into the misanthropic doctor.
'Can I come in?' Greg mouthed, pointing at the door with his cane.
'No,' she mouthed her refusal, shaking her head as if she was conversing with a little child. She threw him a warning glance before turning and gathering more folders to take home. She really didn't plan on sleeping, knowing that sleep left her at her weakest state - left her unable to govern her life and threw her at the mercy of her sometimes twisted imagination. Sleep was the enemy and today's event would only fuel its sadistic desire to torture her unprotected heart, playing games with her yearnings of her own. No, she wouldn't concede defeat: Lisa Cuddy was not a failure. She threw her head back with despair as she heard the door close and the familiar 'thump' of the cane on her carpeted floor. "House, couldn't you read my lips, I said 'no'."
He leaned against the door, not at all intimidated by her uncharacteristic harsh tone. "Didn't you know, I'm dyslexic. I thought you said on as in, 'come on in'."
"I mean it, get out. I'm not in the mood."
He pushed himself from the door and walked towards her, enjoying the way she tensed up when his figure loomed over her. "I don't understand why you're so cranky."
"That's rich, coming from Dr. Kevorkian himself."
"Hey, Kevorkian cared about those people. He just wanted to make them a little more comfortable."
"He killed them!" Lisa exclaimed, looking at Greg in awe.
"And you kill a piece of my heart everyday, Dr. Cuddy. So does that make you the Kevorkian of love?"
"House, shut up."
Greg cocked his head to the side, knowing the condescending look was doing nothing but irritating her further. "What's wrong. I'm listening."
"What's wrong? What's wrong! You made a fool of me out there!" She pointed towards the hall, pausing before taking a deep, controlling breath. "You kissed me and -"
"- and you continued." He smiled at her shocked expression. "And that's why I'm here: why did you continue, and don't tell me it was to play along - your tongue tells me different."
She pressed her lips together, and closed her eyes momentarily. "I was just trying to make it convincing."
"Let me guess: Lisa Cuddy, president of the Highschool Drama Club. She wasn't a commitment-phobe heartbreaker, no...she was an actor. Woe to any man who falls victim to such a prowess!" Greg exclaimed, sweeping his hand through the air before resting it on top of his other hand, that was clutching his cane. "Do you want to know what I think?"
"Again, dyslexic so I'll just carry on. It's because you're human and you need the contact no matter how deep you bury yourself away in your work."
She stepped in front of him, hating that he was dissecting her life, but more so that he was skating dangerously close to the truth. "You're a bastard," she muttered through clenched teeth.
"And you love it." He smiled at her silent response before pushing further. "You get off on this as much as I do, admit it." He leaned forward, infiltrating her personal space. "You need some conflict in your life and I'm it. I keep that balance and it kills you inside because you don't know whether to hate me...or love me."
She took a step back, a surprised smile surfacing. "Love? Please! You're a misanthrope...since when are you capable of love?" Her words were sharper than she expected them to be, and she averted her eyes, staring at her shoes instead.
His grip tightened on his cane as he too dropped his gaze to the floor. "I've loved before," he admitted softly, before meeting her blues.
His eyes crinkled slightly at the sadness in her voice, a curiosity sparking within. "Actually, Samus Aran had captured my heart before but -"
"- but?" She interrupted him, the dejection still present.
"...yeah," he muttered softly, his eyes falling to the floor once more.
"Yeah," she repeated, picking up her briefcase and heading to the door.
"But that was a long time ago. People change...love changes." He paced about the room, slightly uncomfortable about the topic. He finally leaned against the wall, looking at her with great interest.
Lisa glanced back and shook her head. "Lock up when you finish," she threw over her shoulder, reaching for the handle.
"People are talking about it," He knew that would get her attention, and he quickly covered his grin, "well more so than usual since that kiss we shared."
She dropped her briefcase near the door and marched back to where he was leaning. "We didn't share anything! You forced me into that situation!"
"Semantics," he dismissed her accusations before pressing on, "well, that really gives them a basis for our history."
"Rumoured, made-up history," she corrected, folding her arms across her chest.
"Semantics, again." His eyes glanced down for a split second and then back up, meeting her 'less-than-amused' frown. He averted his gaze, watching passing nurses and doctors glance in, through the glass doors, whispering and murmuring no doubt. "See...they're already formulating theories." He cocked his head to the side, "and me being in your office, in a somewhat state of undress will definitely give them something to talk about." He began to unbutton his wrinkled dress shirt, all the while keeping his eyes trained or her pacing form.
"...state of undress -" She whipped around, her eyes growing wide with shock. "No! No no no! You keep your clothes on!" She batted his hands away from his shirt, despite t already being open and revealing his white-undershirt.
He grabbed hold of her wrists, his cane clattering to the floor. They both looked down before their eyes slowly met in an intense moment.
"I'm at an advantage." Lisa's voice was quiet yet surprisingly in control.
"No, you're trying to take advantage...of me." A Puckish smile responded, irking her further.
"Please...I have better ways of spending my time than trying to feel you up. Besides, who's going to believe you, especially with your track-record."
His grip loosened by the still held on, guiding her hands to touch his chest. "All they need is to see the evidence," he mumbled.. "Look how inappropriately you're touching me...trying to take advantage of a poor cripple..."
She tried to wrestle her hands from his grip, though she didn't put much effort to distance herself from him.
He pulled her towards him, feeling her fall against his chest. His arms released her wrists and gently rested against her hips, holding her to him. "C'mon Cuddy...one night, just let go. You can go back to controlling the Universe tomorrow. Hell, God took a whole day off."
"Yeah, but it wasn't to promiscuously wander about with a horny doctor," she murmured, her hands still resting against his chest.
He leaned his head back against the wall, feeling her warm breath hit his neck. "One night...release the tension and give foundation to the rumours floating about."
Her eyes snapped to his face. "What, no! I'm not feeding those gossipping gaggles of geese!"
"Nice alliteration," he breathed out, as he felt her hands glide over his chest, up to the skin near his neck. He felt her slender fingers slide around, while her thumb remained near his Adam's apple. "You can't strangle me...there are witnesses," he whispered out hoarsely as her fingers continued to glide up his neck, until she was cupping his cheek. He tilted his head downwards as her thumb glided across his bottom lip. "One night."
She nodded and pushed herself away from him, not being able to meet his eyes. "Meet you in the parking lot," the words tumbled out of her mouth as she tried to weigh the consequences against the moments of pleasure, as she imagined the feelings and compared them to those that would linger after, as she thought of whether she should stay or leave after the climax...of whether or not she would fall harder.
"You're over-analysing," he noted, his hand on the door-knob. "Whatever your worried about...don't." He swallowed hard and glanced at her over his shoulder. "We do it. It's done. It's simple."
"Simple," she repeated after him, watching him head towards his office, "but you're so complicated."