Okay, so this is just something random that sort of popped into my head. I'm not really happy with it, but its just been sitting for so long that I decided to just finish it and publish it, even though I don't think its good enough yet. Oh, and I'm going to Princeton for a class trip, so I really wanted to write a longer story that will have tons of description about Princeton, because its such a neat place, but I couldn't do that if this wasn't finished... anyhoodles, just R&R!
It was an ugly day, the kind of day where the last little bits of winter insisted on clinging to the pavement in dirty, slushy, grey patches, and the ice covering the parking lot of Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital was made dangerous by its invisibility. Dr. Gregory House stepped out of his car on this day and looked around the parking lot. As he stood there, putting on his jacket, he saw none other than Lisa Cuddy walking toward him.
As she approached his car, she gave him a small smile. "Good morning Dr. Cuddy," House said cheerfully.
"Good morning Dr. House," she replied as she stopped behind his car. She put her steaming cup of coffee on his trunk and fixed her scarf.
"You're in late today," he commented, limping around to stand next to her. "Have any gentlemen callers last night?"
Cuddy smiled. The real reason she was late was because one of her college friends had stopped by for an impromptu visit. Their chat fest had gone on much later than expected, but seeing an old friend had put her in a good mood. Which is why she decided to play with House a little. She gave another coy smile, "Maybe."
With her scarf fixed, she picked up her coffee, and began walking toward the entrance to the hospital, with House following her. "So who was it? Do you let donors stop by your house when you sleep with them, or was this non work related?" in response to comment Cuddy stopped, turned around, and raised her eyebrows. Just as she was about to reply, her phone rang.
Cursing it for ruining her timing, she dug through her bag looking for the elusive little thing.
She saw the display. It was from Tara, the friend who had been visiting with her last night. She smiled.
And then it hit her. A black car. It wasn't going fast enough to do any real damage, but as the front end of the car smashed into her thigh, she crumpled and fell to the ground.
House had seen the whole thing happen. Saw the car hit Cuddy. Saw her go down. Saw her purse fly one way, and her cup of coffee the other. House limped as fast as he possibly could over to her, lying motionless on the ground.
He knelt down next to her, and she turned her head toward him. He let out a breath that he hadn't even known he had been holding. As he looked at her he had the sudden urge to brush away the hair that had fallen across her face. And he probably would have done it if Kutner hadn't stepped out of the car at that very moment.
If the situation hadn't scared him so much, House probably would have laughed at the expression on Kutner's face. "I'm so sorry, Dr. Cuddy, I swear I didn't see you, are you okay? Is there anything I can do for you? Here let me help you," he said all in one breath, as he bent down to try and help Cuddy up.
Cuddy sat up. "I'm fine Kutner. Could you hand me my purse?" He turned around in circles for a moment until he spotted her bag sitting on the ground a few feet away from where she fell. He picked it up and handed it to her. "Thank you," she said as she received it.
Cuddy put the bag on her shoulder. Brushing off both House and Kutner's attempts to help her, she stood up and smoothed out her skirt. As she took her first step toward the hospital doors however, she winced and stumbled. House, standing right behind her, put a hand around her waist. Kutner walked over to support her on the other side, and House shot him a glare. "Go park your car," he snapped.
Kutner, who looked more shocked and out of place than Cuddy, nodded hurriedly and ran off to his car. "Moron," House mumbled under his breath.
Cuddy gave a little smirk as the two of them limped toward to hospital entrance. "Well we're quite the pair," she remarked as they hobbled off the parking lot and onto the sidewalk in front of the hospital.
The trip through the lobby, up the elevator and to her office had been exhausting, and when she and House finally got there, Cuddy sat down in her chair with a sigh of relief. "Thanks," she said to House. "I doubt I would have made it up here alone."
"Knight in shining armor, at your service," he replied sarcastically. "Stand up, let me see your leg."
Cuddy was definitely not inclined to stand up right at this moment. "Its fine," she told House.
"Well, let me see it."
"House, I'm a doctor too. It's fine. Now go do your job, you are way behind on paperwork."
"Cuddy, let me see your leg."
Cuddy knew she wouldn't win this battle. She stood up out of her seat and walked over to House, who was standing in front of her desk. He sat down in one of her chairs and motioned for her to come closer. She took a step closer and turned the bruised leg so it faced him.
As he lifted up her skirt she felt her heart race just a little bit. But that didn't even make sense, she hated House… right? But when his fingers brushed the skin on her thigh right around her bruise, she felt her breath get just a touch shallower, and her hands get a little sweaty. I'm like a hormonal teenager, she thought.
She was snapped out of her daze by a sharp pain on the side of her thigh. She winced, "Ow."
"Sorry," House replied, "I needed to see if you had any swelling."
"Well you didn't have to poke it. It's a bruise. Obviously there's swelling," Cuddy said, fully recovered from the haze she had found herself in moments before. "Now go do your paperwork, or get in the clinic. Your choice."
House rolled his eyes and exited the room, leaving behind one very confused Lisa Cuddy.
She hated House, and had good reason to; he caused more problems than the rest of the doctors at the hospital combined, was a complete jerk, and made comments that were the very definition of sexual harassment. And yet right now, she found herself wanting him for absolutely no reason at all.
House left Cuddy's office deep in thought. Cuddy was a pain in the ass. Nice to look at, but a pain in the ass. And yet he actually cared about what was going to happen to her. This was strange. House cared about very few people, especially hospital administrators with sticks up their asses. House shook his head. He was probably just feeling this way because of his lack of caffeine this morning.
And yet despite his inner protests that he felt nothing for Cuddy, House still found himself filling up a plastic bag with ice and carrying it to her office. He entered in his usual manner, and dropped the ice on her desk.
Cuddy looked up at him, confused for a moment. When she saw the ice on her desk she smiled gratefully, and reached for it. "Thanks," she said, slightly confused. Since when did House care about her?
House simply nodded in response.
Lifting up her skirt, Cuddy placed the ice next to the bruise. It had swelled up quickly, and was now a deep purple with an ugly yellow tinge around the edges.
"Come here," House motioned to her, but then decided he didn't want to wait for her to move, and walked around her desk to stand next to her. He took an ace bandage out from his pocket and reached down to secure the ice on Cuddy's leg. Cuddy, however, grabbed his hand.
"I can do it myself," she said. She was already starting to feel the way she used to when she talked to her crushes in high school, and she knew that if House got any closer, it would only get worse.
"Not the right way though."
"House, really, its fine. I'll get it. You have work to do."
"Cuddy," he looked at her with his piercing blue eyes. She gave in.
"Fine. But hurry up, I have a lot to get done."
As House wrapped her leg so that the ice numbed the bruise, Cuddy felt increasingly affected by his nearness. When he was finally finished, she had difficulty shaking herself out of it.
"I never thought I would say this so many times in one day to you, but thank you."
"You can repay me tonight in bed," replied House, his strange caring demeanor replaced by his usual brash sexual comments.
Cuddy smiled. As he walked out of her office, she found herself thinking about how she really wouldn't mind paying him back in bed. And then she had to mentally slap herself. Where the hell had that thought come from? She had been down that road with House once before, and it had been a mess.
Cuddy shook her head and attempted to focus on her expense report. Maybe she had hit her head when the car knocked her to the ground this morning.
Cuddy looked at the clock on her computer. 2:00. She groaned.
The ice had long since melted, her leg was starting to throb, and she could feel the dull thudding pressure of a headache beginning to form behind her eyes. Cuddy rubbed her temples. The thing she wanted most right now was to curl up under a blanket with a glass of red wine and House. Wait… House? What was with her today? This strange obsession with House. She had always sort of wanted him before, but not like this….
Cuddy sat up abruptly in her chair. She needed to go home. She was sick of being a slave to everyone in this hospital. She had gotten hit by a car today, dammit! She deserved a break.
Cuddy dialed the number of the front desk. "Can you cancel all of my appointments for this afternoon?...I'm going home…. Reschedule them for Monday…. Thank you," with that taken care of, Cuddy hung up the phone.
She felt the burden of having to face the rest of the day lift from her shoulders. But when she saw who was about to enter through her office doors, it returned.
House had been thinking about Cuddy all day. It was strange, but he was worried about her. Worried if she would be okay. Worried if something more serious hadn't happened when she got hit by that car.
Frankly, his thoughts were disturbing him.
Disturbing as these thoughts were to him though, he couldn't resist them as they pulled him to Cuddy's office to check on her.
When he entered, he noticed that the desk was bare of the usual paperwork, and her computer was off.
Cuddy rolled her chair away from her desk.
"Can I help you?"
"Depends. Would you be willing to have sex with me?"
That comment only merited a half-smirk from Cuddy.
She stood up from her chair, and began to make her way over to her coat and purse hanging together in the corner of her office. But after the first step, she grimaced and started limping. Once she reached her jacket, she turned her attention to House. "You know I'm actually starting to feel bad for you?"
"Finally the cripple gets some pity."
Cuddy laughed as she put her coat on. "I'm going home, so you need to leave."
House walked over to stand next her. Before he could stop himself, the words slipped from his mouth, "Are you sure you don't need any help?"
"I'll be fine," she replied, throwing her bag over her shoulder. She straightened her coat, and grabbed her scarf from the hook on the wall. But once again, the stupid crush she had on this man got the better of her, and it fell from her fingers, onto the floor.
House was right on it. He bent down to pick it up, and when he stood back up, he looked at Cuddy's face and something shifted in him. Was it… love, he felt for her? No, definitely not.
As her fingers brushed his to take the scarf from him, he grabbed her hand. And before Cuddy could say anything, he pulled her closer.
House looked down at Cuddy's face. She really was beautiful. He gave her a soft kiss on the lips, gentle and questioning. Cuddy, surprised at first, didn't respond. But then she wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him back, more deeply than before.
Her scarf lay forgotten on the floor.
When they pulled away, the expression House registered on Cuddy's face was one of pure shock. She stumbled over her words, "I-I have to go. I have… laundry… to do."
She couldn't think until she was alone in the elevator, on her way to the first floor. He had gotten her scarf off the floor for her, which was not typical House. And then he had kissed her. Definitely not typical House. She had kissed him back. But then afterward, why had she run? She had laundry to do? What was that? And why was she so scared? That kiss had been what she had wanted all day long… right?
House stood in Cuddy's office, still in shock over what he had done. Cuddy was hot, any man could see that, but hadn't he been thinking about how beautiful she was? Why was he suddenly feeling as if he was in love with her? He looked down at the ground. The scarf she had dropped was sitting there.
As soon as Cuddy got home, she had taken two Aspirin; and ignoring the warnings on the pill bottle, had uncorked a bottle of wine and poured herself a glass.
Now she sat on her couch, watching Project Runway re-runs and trying to shake the thoughts of House that were bothering her.
What was it with him? She had always found him dangerously attractive, but she generally managed to keep her feelings for him at bay. She guessed that today had just been so overwhelming, and House had been behaving so strangely, that her feelings had caught her off guard.
When the knock on the door came, Cuddy groaned. She knew exactly who it was. Sometimes, House just didn't know when to give up.
Sure enough, her hunch was right. House was standing on her porch when she opened the door.
He held out her scarf to her. She took it from him, and without moving from the doorway asked, "What are you doing here?"
"What does it look like I'm doing?"
"I was returning your scarf. "
Cuddy raised an eyebrow. "You couldn't have just left it in my office? Or even waited to return it to me tomorrow?"
"I was trying to be nice," he shot back. Cuddy rolled her eyes and started to make her way back inside, to her TV, wine, and fuzzy blanket. She didn't close the door, which House took as an invitation to enter. As he walked behind her, he noticed that her limp was much less pronounced now that her heels had been removed. Wordlessly, she passed through her living room into the kitchen, where she deposited the scarf on an empty chair and grabbed a clean wine glass.
When she came back into her living room, she found House, sprawled on her couch, making himself quite at home. He was taking up roughly two thirds of the couch and had started watching Gladiator. She found herself for the millionth time today thinking about how much she wanted him. And right about now, she was too tired to care.
As Cuddy poured him a glass of wine, she wrinkled her nose. "I am not watching Gladiator."
House looked up at her. She handed him the glass, and as he took it he replied, "Well, I'm not watching Project Runway."
"I like that show," Cuddy protested as she sat back down on the couch next to House.
"And I like this movie. It's educational. Project Runway is gay guys getting into catfights over scraps of fabric. Although, Heidi Klum isn't bad."
Cuddy laughed as she grabbed the remote from House. Something had shifted between the two of them today. House was no longer just the difficult employee she wanted on a physical level. He was… more.
Once she had gained control of the remote she switched the channel to the Giants game. She put the it down on her coffee table and sat back on her couch with a sigh.
Cuddy could feel House's eyes drilling a hole in the side of her head. She wanted to look at him, but she was almost afraid of what was to come. She knew she wanted him, but didn't know if she wanted the emotional fallout.
But somehow, her eyes were drawn with a magnetic force to his. She opened her mouth to say something…anything to get her out of this situation, but the words wouldn't come. House put a finger over her mouth, and tilted his head so their lips were millimeters apart.
"House," Cuddy murmured, finding her voice, "we can't…."
"Lisa," House cut her off.
The use of her first name sounded so… good coming out of his mouth.
Lisa Cuddy snapped.
She didn't care anymore. She was tired of resisting House, tired of trying to suppress her feelings, tired of being responsible, hell, she was just plain tired.
So she kissed him for the second time that day.
This time, when they broke apart, Cuddy didn't run away.
Any type of relationship with House would be a mess. She wasn't stupid or naïve enough to try and deny that. But perhaps the two of them could create something beautiful within that mess.
Because that's what they were. A beautiful mess.
So, now that you've read, review please! Remember, I like both positive and negative criticism, because I really want to grow as a writer (if only to help with AP English next year ;) )