A/N - Okay, so its my first real attempt at a FanFic. Just a one-shot inspired by a Jack Johnson song (Broken). R&R please!
It had been "one of those days" for Lisa Cuddy. She had woken up late, broken the heel on her new shoes (Christian Louboutins… they had cost a fortune) lost a large donation to the hospital, and to top it all off, was sitting in her broken-down car on the side of the highway.
She tried to resist the impulse to cry. She had never really been a big cryer, even when she was young. She had always felt slightly ridiculous doing it; she much preferred to just make things right and not waste time pining over them. But this was an exception. Because not only was Cuddy going to have to deal with getting her car fixed, but actually calling a tow truck was going to be a problem as well. Her cell phone had been dead all morning, and she hadn't bothered to charge it; she hadn't needed it, and wasn't really in the mood to answer it.
She switched her hazards on, stepped out of the car, and waved her hands above her head; another thing that made her feel slightly ridiculous. Hey, at least she wasn't crying at the same time.
Cuddy breathed a sigh of relief when she saw a car pull off the highway and onto the side of the road, right behind her car. But her sigh of relief turned to a groan of frustration when she realized who was behind the wheel of said car. She walked up to the window just as its occupant was rolling it down.
"You know, Cuddy, hitchhiking is never a good idea. There are all kinds of crazy perverts driving around Jersey," said the one and only Gregory House.
"Yeah, I know," Cuddy replied pointedly. "Do you have your phone with you? My car broke down."
House passed the phone to her wordlessly, and Cuddy turned around, back toward her car. She dug around her glove compartment and found the card with the tow truck number on it. Once she had got through telling them where she was, she snapped the phone shut, and walked back to House's car, where he was fiddling with the radio.
"Thanks," Cuddy smiled as she passed back the phone. "Oh, and could you give me a ride home?"
"You can't call a taxi?"
"I don't have any cash on me."
"No? Not even a few singles left over from last night?"
Cuddy didn't even bother to respond to that comment. She just walked around to the other side of the car and got in. She started fiddling with the staticky radio that House had abandoned. She settled on an old Springsteen song, something House wouldn't complain about listening to.
"Springsteen, nice choice. I would have made you walk home if you chose to let me suffer through your 80's pop," he said, noting her selection.
She was about to reply with some defense of her 80's pop when the tow truck pulled up next to her car. "I'll be right back. Don't you dare leave without me," she emphasized her statement with a slam of the car door.
After working out with the tow truck driver exactly where she would pick up her car, she returned to House, who was starting to look bored. No sooner had she shut the car door, than House pulled away from the side of the road, and turned onto the highway in what Cuddy was fairly certain was an illegal move.
There was an odd lack of the usual banter that usually played out between them on the short car ride home. House seemed absorbed in thought, and Cuddy decided to enjoy the first real silence she had experienced all day. She looked over at House as he pulled into her driveway.
"Thank you for driving me home. Do you want something to drink?" Cuddy asked, more out of politeness than anything. She didn't actually expect him to accept the offer, but the manners her mother had drilled into her head from an early age would surface automatically at times like this. So when he answered her, it was actually a bit of a surprise.
She led him into her kitchen and sat him down at the table. "What can I get you, coffee? Or I have Diet Coke in this fridge and seltzer outside."
"Coffee," he said, glancing around her kitchen. He still seemed sort of distracted, but it wasn't as obvious as when they had been in the confines of his car.
Cuddy measured out the coffee and switched on the machine. She sat down across from House at the table. "Thanks again for picking me up," she said to him, hoping to snap him out of the strange mood he was in.
"Well, I wouldn't want my boss to be abducted by some psycho with a fetish for hospital administrators," House shot back at her, proving that her thanks had done what she wanted it to.
Cuddy grinned, "You're referring to yourself, right?"
"You're the one who wants me."
Her Cheshire cat grin widened, "Really, then why were you the one who suggested ditching that medical conference and having sex in the hot tub at that hotel in Brazil?"
House gave a small start at the mention of their one-night stand. He loved to bring it up in casual conversation, but Cuddy…. She avoided the topic as much as she could. Her bringing it up was completely unexpected, especially her mentioning so specifically what had happened.
Cuddy blushed slightly when she realized what she had said. She didn't know where it had come from. Usually she was trying as hard as she could to stay away from the subject.
It wasn't as though that night had been so terrible. She had actually enjoyed herself quite a bit. But after it had happened she had realized that it could never happen again; she had responsibilities as a hospital administrator. And sleeping with an employee was always taboo, especially when you were a female in power.
But now she had laid it out on the table. And knowing House, he wouldn't just let that comment slide.
He raised his eyebrows, "If I remember correctly you were having just as much fun as I was."
Cuddy's cheeks blushed slightly once again. "Well, it's never going to happen again. So just enjoy the memories."
"Why not?" he asked, at once turning from his usual callousness to deadly serious in the blink of an eye.
"Because, I have to watch my back as it is, and if anyone found out I was sleeping with an employee, they would kick me out on my ass before I would even have time to defend myself."
House regarded her with those cool blue eyes before he spoke, "You know that's not true. What's the real reason?"
Cuddy considered the question. And she knew the reason. He was broken, she was broken, and they couldn't possibly try ot fix each other.
"House… you've changed. You're not the same person you were before. I'm not either. It would never work. We'd both end up getting hurt," Cuddy looked down before adding quietly, "And I think we've both dealt with enough of that."
The two sat in silence until the ticking of Cuddy's kitchen clock was punctuated by the buzzing of the coffee machine. Cuddy went over to it and switched it off. She grabbed two of her coffee mugs from the cabinet, and placed them on the counter.
When she turned around to ask House how he wanted his coffee, and came face-to-face with his chest.
And as he ran his hands through her hair, all of her logic and reasoning fell apart; and when he kissed her, she realized that maybe it was better to be broken with someone.
A/N - So, review please! Don't be afraid to point out the bad. I want to improve as a writer and need positive AND negative feedback!