A/N: Just a short note (have recently been told off by a reviewer - who I'm sure meant well, despitehaving adoptedanarsey tone -for writing lengthy A/N's) to say that I haven't forgotten the Lord Of The Rings story... I am just swamped with work. I promise to get back to it, though, soon.

Hope you enjoy this, in any case, and do please review!


Morning light drifted into the thick air of the silent room, and hung like a lazy presence all around.

Lisa Cuddy opened her eyes, and was greeted with the sight of the ceiling. Her ceiling. Dark blue eyes blinked languidly to focus, and she recognised all the familiar plaster-works, the twirling Edwardian leaves and the circle of detail around the hanging lamp. Yes, her ceiling.

She sighed as a dull ache made itself known inside her skull... she had apparently been drinking last night. She winced as it cranked itself up a notch or five... she'd been drinking a lot. She couldn't exactly remember why, but she had a feeling the reason would reoccur to her later on in the day. Lisa rolled over between the sheets, with the intention of fetching some water to try and quell the hangover before it had a chance to really pounce.

Instead she came face to face with a sleeping Greg House.

Oh

It all came flooding back to Cuddy then: the argument she'd had with her ex-husband over the phone in her office; House stopping by and finding her crying softly, scrunched as far down in her huge, padded chair as it was possible. His caring hands had soothed her, rubbing patterns down her back, and his piercing eyes had seen right through her pretence at being fine, as they always did.

It had been so easy to fall back into the routine, to regress back to their days at University with one another... the familiarity they both shared with one another was irresistable. She'd taken refuge in his arms, and she knew she'd given him some small haven with her.

For some reason, God only knew why, House was the only person Lisa ever felt entirely secure with. She didn't have as many appearance issues with herself as so many women her age did - there simply wasn't room for such nonsense in her busy life - but she still had normal insecurities like anyone else. Whether her ass was in the same state it was when she was twenty... if the skin on her upper arms was beginning to sag... whether the lines around her eyes and mouth were really as noticeable as they appeared to her. Normal everyday worries.

And yet, with House, she forgot about everything.

Trying to keep up with him, his quick wit and his sharp tongue, was enough alone. While he tried his best to appear otherwise, she knew he respected her, just as she respected him - they were equals... the male and female halves of one another. It had always been like this, ever since they first met, and Cuddy had the feeling it always would be this way.

No matter how far apart they drifted, no matter which partners came and went, no matter how much time elapsed, they would always return to each others arms. It was natural, it was comforting, it was fucking enjoyable. It was a blissful and much-needed reminder that life wasn't always pain and suffering. It was good sex - well, great sex - with no strings attatched.

It was uncomplicated.

At least, Lisa sighed and laid her head back down on the pillow, the hair pooling down her naked back, looking at House... that was what it was supposed to be.

She had to admit it. She had always had a certain something for Greg House. She hated him, he exasperated the hell out of her, made her scream and throw wine glasses at her kitchen wall when she got home at night... but she couldn't help but notice how her stomach clenched whenever she saw him limp across the width of a corridor she was walking down; how her heart beat faster when he banged his way into her office and demanded answers from her.

Lisa hated it when her job as administrator of PPTH got in the way of their deep, lengthy friendship, as it so often did. She couldn't stand it when her hands were tied and she wasn't able to back him up or give him what he wanted. She loathed it when there was an alien, uncomfortable silence between them after a fight.

But now, now that they were beginning to grow old together, now that they kept coming back to one another... she could feel the affection she held for him growing within her, gathering size and speed with every shared joke and every friendly argument.

And she was sure she could feel the same thing returned. It was ridiculous to expect such a thing from House, of course... but she knew him better than most people, better even than Wilson, and she could tell when something was shifting within him, though to the outside world his appearance only hardened and his manner sharpened. She could see him beginning to soften slightly before her very eyes... Cameron thought he was mean now? She should have seen him in the old days.

When they had fucked the previous night, it had been amazing. There was something there that hadn't been there before, even before the leg, she was sure of it.

Their sex was always caring, and House was always a generous and highly talented lover. But he'd seemed to take even more pleasure in her, somehow... as if he were savouring every moment he had with her. It was as it was when they'd gone out in University.

Last night they had sat at the piano, side by side, drinking whiskey and coke for hours and hours, smoking endless cigarettes before they finally went to bed late. He'd played any song she had wanted to hear, and had seemed pleased when she clapped her hands in delight when he'd played 'Alice's Restaurant' and sung a little bit for her, a request she'd thrown at him to catch him out. It hadn't been a need last night, not a desire or an urge... it had been an enjoyment of each other's company...

This was a little odd, but not at all unwelcome.

Lisa had thought she had lost him forever, when he and Wilson had begun their thing... she knew it was still going on, in one way or another, and yet she didn't mind in the slightest. Okay, well she minded a bit - that little flame of jealousy occasionally flared up when she saw them exchanging their secret boy glances. But she loved her boys, and couldn't really begrudge James Wilson anything, even if it was hers.

Cuddy turned her attention to House. Her eyes wandered luxuriously down the entire length of his body, apprecitaing the view, trying to commit every part of him, every aspect of his being, to memory.

He lay on his back, with his head turned towards her, his mouth open ever so slightly - she could hear his deep breaths catching every so often in the back of his open throat. His brow was, for once, unfurrowed.

The only time she ever saw him completely untroubled and utterly relaxed was when he was asleep. He was so peaceful, and the ever present shadows under his eyes seemed to lift. It was as if all the things that had fucked him up simply fell away from him in sleep... it was a shame that the only real sleep he got was that deep post-coital coma that overcame everyone after sex. His frequent insomnia and depression robbed him of even this last pleasure. He looked almost like a little boy when he was asleep, vulnerable and innocent.

Lisa snorted softly to herself. What a thought: House as a little boy?

Of course, while she could never truly call him innocent, Cuddy knew better than to believe all the bravado and all the attitude. He seemed to forget how well she knew him, just as she forgot how well he knew her.

He forgot she had seen him in the depths of his blackest despairs, drinking so much whisky he had to sleep it off for two days straight; he forgot she had been the one to stop him from killing himself just after the infarcation, a very close shave; he forgot she was the one he had screamed and screamed at, until his voice failed him and he had no more tears left to cry, just after Stacy left him and he was alone in his apartment.

The favour was returned, of course.

She, in turn, forgot he was the one to try and find her when she went missing before her wedding, and when he'd found her weeping into her scotch, sat in her wedding dress in some godforsaken bar, he'd pulled her together again; she forgot he was the one who helped her after she was raped in University, who saw her in her lowest possible state, utterly broken; she forgot he was the one to examine her when she'd had her miscarriage...

They both forgot, and they both appreciated it greatly.

Shaking her dark head to release it from such ugly thoughts, she continued to look at him.

The laughter lines around his eyes which had always been there, were now deepened and full of years of unremitting pain. Her memory flickered backwards to the first time she had noticed that when he smiled - really smiled, she meant, a rarity when regarding Greg - the wrinkles around his eyes joined up to the dimples of his cheeks, which then lead into the lines around his mouth... she had been utterly amazed at this discovery, and had told him so. He'd laughed deeply, only adding to her fascination.

Cuddy mourned the fact that now she rarely saw the man she loved happy.

She did love him, she knew she did. She would probably never admit it out loud... but she knew she did and always had.

It was hard not to love him in one way or another. If not only for his looks, which were still unashamedly dashing, no matter how hard he tried to make them appear unapproachable. His incredibly tall, slender figure cut through crowds, turned heads with it's strut, long before a limp had become associated with his gait. And those eyes... well, it was hard not to take notice of a person with eyes like that.

Enormous and bright blue, they were unlike anything Lisa had ever seen before, and she'd been mesmerised by them for a full six-months at University before finally talking to the man. It was a shame such a haunted look painted their depths nowadays, and how House had been forced to guard them carefully, so now his gaze was very rarely open, even less likely to be accepting.

But the bit Lisa herself loved the most about Greg's appearance was his hands. They were long and thin, strong yet incredibly beautiful - the quintessential musician's hand. They posessed such skill within them, and they were thrown about so gracefully by their owner. She had spent entire evenings curled up with him, just playing with his hands, and he never minded... she was certain he would have said if he had.

She wished she could tell him how beautiful he was. But she knew he'd just deflect this sincerity with a joke or a mean barb aimed at her.

Greg had been devastated by the loss of his leg, and though aware of his good looks, now seemed to feel they were inadequate somehow. Lisa herself hadn't been allowed near his leg in a sexual manner for a very long time after what had happened... and she'd seen how he'd deftly covered it up when they were together. He was ashamed of how ugly it was. But Cuddy didn't mind at all... she'd told him so. But when had House ever listened to her?

She could see it now. The white sheets of her bed were barely covering him - in no way could his state of dress be described as 'decent' - and she looked at the limb for a brief while. The top of his thigh was now a concave shape, entirely flat in the middle space between the hip and the knee. Massive amounts of the scarring still, after six years, looked red and puckered. White healed scars ran a criss cross pattern across the remaining skin. It was entirely disfigured there was no doubt about it, but Cuddy simply did not care. She was neither disgusted nor appalled, but House simply refused to believe this, no matter how many times she said it.

Sighing, and knowing they had to go to work in a few precious hours, Lisa leaned forward and pressed herself against Greg's form. She laid her head on his lean chest, and played idly with his coarse hair, careful not to wake him. Soon, they would go back to their roles in the hospital, and pretend for everyone that they weren't screwing. Soon, it would be back to the drama and guilt of their jobs. They would return to suppressing their feelings for one another, though neither was sure why exactly they did this... soon, it would be back to normal Dr Cuddy and Dr House.

But for now, she thought, as she looked once more into the face of her lover, they were together. For a few more hours, they were Lisa and Greg.

The End.


A/N: There you go, my first House fic. Please review and let me know what you thought! Cheers, Ailcia xxxx