A/N: I wrote this in just a few minutes, and I'm not quite sure if I'm happy with it, but I tend to just leave stuff sitting on my computer if I don't publish it right away. So, read, and then tell me what you think. By the way, I got the idea for this from the song One Flight Down by Norah Jones.
The piano had seen many different homes over the years. Cuddy couldn't even say why it had been in the hospital in the first place. It was hardly used enough to merit any floor space. House might play it once and a while, but that was it.
Yet she couldn't bring herself to get rid of it. Perhaps it was the neglected air it gave off that made her almost pity it. Or maybe it was just plain laziness. Either way, it stayed, a vagrant, moving from room to room.
So when it faint notes reached her ears one exceptionally slow Friday afternoon, she decided to investigate.
The piano had recently been moved to a small storage room right beneath her office; so she took the stairs and crept to the door of the storage space filled with empty cardboard boxes and folding chairs.
Unsurprisingly, House was the one playing.
She stood in the door for a moment, watching him. He was unaware of her presence.
Almost magnetically, she was drawn to him. As she got closer, he looked up, and his fingers paused over the keys.
"Don't stop," she said, sitting down in a chair next to the piano.
He started playing again.
Cuddy leaned back and closed her eyes.
The notes began, and immediately they seemed out of place next to each other. Sharps and flats crashing into one another making music that was at once ugly and beautiful. It grew in intensity, to the point where she thought that the music would have to end, because it couldn't continue like this. But then he backed off, and the music was softer, gentler. The notes chased after each other in circles, running around and around, but never catching each other. They wove around each other, each one achingly familiar. They sounded like a heart that had been broken, healed, and then broken again. They sang a song of irreparable damage, of denial, of joy, of anger, of sadness, of loss.
She wasn't sure how long she sat there listening to him play. It could have been five minutes; it could have been half an hour.
When he finished, she looked at him. Her eyes met his. They stared at each other, searching.
Finally, she gave a small, sad, smile and left the room.
And he let her go. Just as he had done in the past, just as he was doing now, just as he would continue to do.
A/N: So, read and review, and remeber that as always, I like all kinds of criticism, even negative. It helps me become a better writer.