Title:You can't always get what you want
Pairings: You'll have to read to find out ;P
Warnings: Somewhat AU (more like "What if..." story)
Disclaimer: I don't own House M.D. nor the characters.
Summary: What if Stacy wasn't the only one who was married? The title explains it all. A 5 parts story.
A/N: This will be a first, you can say a set up story, for a series I'm planning to write. Hopefully, you'll like it.
Chapter one - Stacy
Finally. She sighed, eyeing the high building in front of her. The Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital in New Jersey. She hasn't been in this hospital for years. Five years exactly. She sighed again, partly because of the weariness she suddenly felt, partly because of the anticipation. True, it was Mark who needed the best doctor in the States, but she herself needed to see him even more. She felt her heart flutter as if recognizing the said doctor being near her and felt a pang of guilt, thinking of her husband condition and how she used it to finally see him. And he was here, she could tell.
It wasn't hard to find him. And she shouldn't have been surprised. Really, she should have known better. He never liked changes that much. And even if he was not here, I would be able to find him anyway she mused after all he was one of the most famous doctors in whole States.
She wondered if he had changed. Did he gained some weight or did he get even thinner (but still proportionally built)? Has his hair got greyer? Is he still as sarcastic as she remembered him to be? So many questions in her head. The one that floated currently in her head was Will he be happy to see me? It was so long. Five years without completely seeing him. She was mad to leave him in the first place. She should have never done it. But hopefully she'll be able to get him into her life again. She sighed and thinking for the hundredth time that she had missed him. His smarty comments, sarcastic sense of humor, his big beautiful blue eyes.…
She got out from her car and headed across the parking-lot toward the main entrance. She could feel the anticipation settle in her stomach and she forced herself to not act all giddy. It was not like her. Yet, she wasn't surprised. She had thought a lot about him lately. Remembered him, recalled all the time spent together. Realized how much she has missed him…
She crossed the entrance and headed to the reception desk. There were patients waiting in the clinic to the right and she wondered if he was still avoiding his duties. He used to avoid his clinic duty a lot before the infarction.
"Can I help you?" asked a nurse whose name tag said Brenda Anderson.
"Yes, I'd like to see doctor House." She spoke, smiling at the nurse. The young woman frowned at the name, as if she disapproved of said doctor, yet despite this, if one looked closely they could see the strange combination of affection and aggravation in the nurse's eyes. She smiled to herself. Looks like he still had this effect on others. The nurse checked the computer and sighed.
"He should be starting his clinic duty in fifteen minutes. If you'll just wait for him over there-" she pointed to the waiting room with some chairs and a table "then you should catch him in a bit."
"Thank you" she said and went to the nearest chair that was facing the whole corridor. She didn't want to miss seeing him when he'll be passing by.
She looked to the right and her heart sank a little. Form this angle she could see Lisa Cuddy in the Dean's Office. She was clearly debating with someone and it looked like she got the upper hand. She felt a pang of guilt as she realized she had not only ignored him but hasn't called her other friends in those five years either. Neither had she kept in touch with Wilson. After her decision about leaving was made she just cut herself off of any contacts with this part of her life. But now she wanted it back. Even if just a small part of it was all she was going to get, she wanted it back. She just hoped it would be possible.
"Dr House! There is a patient." She heard the nurse saying, as a door was opened and she finally saw him. He was tall and lanky (just like she had remembered him) with his permanent stubble she disliked (but accepted). And he was limping using his cane (she felt a pang of guilt at the sight), his movements were graceful and deliberate.
"I'm outta here, take it up with Cuddy." He said never looking at the nurse and heading to the Clinic. She felt her face smiling and she called.
"Greg." He turned toward her, a shocked look on his face. She took a few steps shortening the distance between them, and felt her face smile involuntary at his sight. The hard beating of her heart will surely put her into cardiac arrest. He was watching her with solemn look on his face, yet she didn't allow herself to analyze it. He was here, standing in front of her in his whole glory. And that's what mattered at the moment.
"Hi Stacy." he said, and oh, how she missed his voice. It still could make her shiver and tingle in all right places.
"How're you doing?" she asked trying to take as much of him as possible with just one look. He looked good. Rested, despite the addiction of some wrinkles around his mouth, eyes and forehead. And it looked as if he had been smiling more during the past five years.
"How am I doing?" he repeated looking away, then exhaled and looked back at her "Well, the last five years have been like… you ever see those "Girls Gone Wild" videos?" he asked suddenly interrupting his previous sentence. Always hiding his true feelings. It was so much like him to do so that she opened her mouth to shot back, even before she registered what she was doing. It was such a natural response to him.
"Your life's been like that, or your life's been spent watching them?"
He smiled at her and she couldn't help but return it. In this very moment she realized even more how much she has lost with her leaving all those years ago. She cursed again her decision. Her feelings were taking the better of her in this moment. The ferocity of them was clouding her wit as she came closer to him, her eyes searching his face for any kind of emotion.
"I missed you" she blurted suddenly, but didn't allow herself to feel embarrassed. He looked away at her admission and she felt a cold dread sipping into her stomach. She squashed it quickly, still hoping, against the reason, for some positive reaction from him.
He opened his mouth to say something only to turn his head to the left where light footsteps could be heard heading toward them, followed by heavier ones.
"Mike! Mikey! Get back here! You know you shouldn't disturb your parents! They are working!"
A small boy of no more then four years was running toward them as fast as his small legs allowed him to. The voice belonged to young nurse following him with dreadful look on her face. The boy was clutching a toy stethoscope in his right hand and a small toy syringe in his right. His dark curly hair was bouncing around his angelic face. As he got closer, Stacy noticed his strikingly blue eyes and gasped-
"Daddy!" the child attached himself to House's left leg and looked up at him adoringly. "Daddy! You pwomised you pway with me!" he whined.
You could see Lisa Cuddy coming out of his room. He had been awakened from the induced coma mere minute ago, yet you couldn't find the courage to face him. You let Lisa be the one to wake him, to get the first lashing of his anger at the decision you had made. You are just too scared to face the music. You are such a coward.
Lisa's face is pale as she comes to you. Her whole being screaming weariness. You realize she is as much affected by this whole situation as you are. But she's so much better then you. She takes to the responsibility of taking care of him. You are just too afraid. Lisa is so much better then you…
"How is he?" you ask as she comes to you.
"Physically or emotionally?" she snaps accusingly, and you feel yourself flinch at her tone. She really didn't want to go against his wishes, but subdued to you. Her desire to save him was as strong as yours.
A guilty look crosses her face at the sight of you flinching, and she continues quickly and apologetically. "He's extremely angry, like we had predicted." She sighs tiredly and you think you heard a pain in her voice. "And he asked for another doctor."
"He didn't!" you gasp offended at her expanse "you're the best doctor in this hospital right after him! And you're his friend."
"Not anymore, it seems" she shots back "Excuse me" she sidesteps you and heads toward the bathroom, probably to collect herself. You watch her worried. Her shoulders are slouched and it all seems so wrong. You look back at the door leading to his room. Your whole being is filled with dread and not-a-small amount of guilt. You don't realize it now, but the decision of leaving him is already made subconsciously inside you. You push the door to his room bracing yourself for the lashing you'll get with no doubt.
"You had no right!" he speaks before you even close the door. His accusation stabs right through your heart.
"We tried to save your life" you try weakly to defend yourself. You don't feel as guilty as you should for trying to push (if only a small) part of your decision about this operation to her shoulders.
"Don't give me this crap!" he says, stinging venom in his tone. "And don't try to bring Cuddy into this! It was your call not hers. And she would have never violated my wishes!" he nearly screams, his voice still croaky form the lack of use.
You flinch at fact he's seen right through your scheme, yet you can't help the small voice in your head pointing out that he's (despite his anger at the both of you), defending her. Again. You feel your eyes water at the disappointment and betrayal you can clearly see in his eyes and voice.
"Get out. Get out! I don't want to see you anymore." He screams back at you and his head turns the other way, so he's no longer watching you.
You sob once and leave his side silently. The decision of leaving is crystallizing in your subconscious with every passing second. Unavoidably sipping into your consciousness. It's only matter of time now…
He had a son during those five years she had not seen him and she felt as if her whole world shattered into million pieces. He had moved on. Had found someone and became happy. Without her. Somehow she felt as if it shouldn't have been this way. He should have been miserable all this time, should be thinking about her, like she has been thinking about him. Somehow it all felt so wrong.
Her musings were interrupted by him as he bent down to his son.
"Hi there, Squirt." He said as he took up the small boy. "You know you're not allowed to run in the hospital, right?" he asked the child seriously, looking closely into his small face. The child looked small and fragile in his arms, yet very secure and protected. From the corner of her eyes Stacy could see Brenda the Nurse watching the display with a small affectionate smile on her face.
"Waight, Daddy." The child mumbles guiltily, looking down.
"And that you're not allowed to interrupt me or Mommy when we're working?" he asked him again, his whole being focused on the child in his arms.
"But I wanted to pway with you." Tears could be heard in the kid's voice and it wrenched Stacy heart. She watched transfixed as a new side of Greg emerged. She always thought he had never wanted to have any children and here he was talking comfortingly to his son making him all better. Did Greg even know how to make another human being feel better?
"I will come to play with you and I promise to bring Mommy with me" he winked at the child and the boy perked, smiling beautifully "but now I have a work to do. You will wait for us when we'll be able to come?" The child nodded a bit disappointed and House tickled him making the boy giggle. "Was he any trouble, Andie?" He asked the young nurse who was supposed to watch his son.
"No, sir. Just gave me the pass this once." She replied pinking at the admission to being outrun by a four-years-old.
"He shouldn't be so generous. We might think you're getting smarter" he replied sarcastically and the young girl flushed more. House turned then to his son, his face again looking solemn. "You shouldn't leave Andie, you understand? It'll make your Mommy worried."
"Okey. Daddy. I pwomise I won't do it again."
"Good. And now-" Stacy watched as Brenda the Nurse appeared beside Greg out of tin air and handed him two red lollipops. "-here is your treat. And mine too, you know." He said giving one sweet treat to his son and popping the other into his mouth "Just don't tell your Mother-"
"Don't tell me what?" a strong reply in a familiar amused voice came from behind them. Stacy watched as Greg's face turned into Busted!-expression, Brenda the Nurse just shook her head, and the child squirmed in his father arms trying to get down.
"Momma!" he screamed as House loosened his embrace, allowing the child to get down and run to his mother.
Stacy watched as the child progressed to a slim, confident looking Lisa Cuddy standing behind Greg, eyes already locked with his, her arm perched on her hip.
The past few weeks had been a real time from hell. After his initial anger has worn out, Greg has resigned himself to the life you have chosen for him. He allowed you to get back into his life shortly after he was awakened from the induced coma. He tolerates your presence, doesn't flinch at your voice or touch. But he never touches you back; he never smiles at you anymore.
His treatment of Lisa is not much better. He still allows her to be his physician, subdues to her orders, but you can see the strain on their friendship. He doesn't joke with her as he used to, he doesn't tease her nor banter with her. And you find yourself missing their small arguments. You cherish each one of them, if they happen (fortunately more often now as you all approach the end of his staying at the hospital).
You know he still hurts, so you don't expect any less of him. You await for the stinging remarks, sarcastic and hurting little knives he puts into your heart, deliberately trying to hurt you. It is some perverse form of punishment you've taken upon yourself, allowing him to stab in every vulnerable place. The guilt of your decision is stopping you from snapping at his behavior. You just embrace it, hoping the guilt will lessen because of it.
If you dare to be honest with yourself (which you don't do often), you admit to feeling relieved that his hospitalization has come to an end. You've been counting down the days he has to spend in the hospital, forcing yourself to stay with him during this time, but once he's out, you're going to go with your decision. You're going to free yourself.
You know it will hurt him, that he will need someone to be there for him. So you've spoken with Wilson. He doesn't approve but he understands. And you know that someone will be there for Greg.
You didn't tell Lisa. You are afraid of facing her accusation, the disappointment and betrayal in her eyes on his behalf. You're such a coward. You know she wouldn't have done this. You know she wouldn't have left him. You know she'd have been there for him for his whole rehab and beyond. But you can't. You just hope she will be there right behind Wilson, so Greg won't be alone. That she'll be there to patch the pieces your leaving will shatter him into.
And despite all that, you still can't force yourself to change your decision. While you've been staying with him in the hospital you've realized that the hollow painful feeling in you heart was nothing more then unhappiness. You didn't felt happy in a long time. You realized you've been feeling confined in your relationship with him. It wasn't what you've expected it to be and you want to be free again. It's selfish, you know this. But you're not a sacrificing type anyway.
You have not been happy for a long time and you won't be for a while, you suppose. But you know it has to be done. You have to take the first step to getting back your happiness. It will hurt. You expect it to do so. It's like putting an antiseptic on an opened wound. It has to hurt like hell for the wound to heal and get better.
A cherished banter brings you back from your musings as you walk beside Lisa, who's pushing Greg's wheelchair to the exit door. It's the day of his leaving the hospital and you feel both dread and anticipation. You don't want to hurt him but the need to free yourself won't stop you from doing it. Your only consolation is the knowledge that he is on better terms with Lisa now. Hearing them banter almost like before the infarction is like a balm to your guilt.
Greg makes a sarcastic and sexual comment (so much like him before the hospitalization), and Lisa shots back offhandedly, the imagined ball shooting form one to another. They banter lightly, yet you can feel the tense undertones to it. It doesn't bother you much though; you can see how it helps to heal their strange but strong friendship.
The ride to the apartment is spent in silence. You've packed all of your stuff during last week and everything left inside belongs to him. It's no longer your apartment but his now, and you feel uneasy at what his reaction will be. The silence stretches in the car, but both of you don't feel like talking. You never talk since his hospitalization. Actually… you didn't talk much before it either.
As the both of you approach his apartment, you begin to feel nervous, but still as much determined as before. Wilson knows about your decision, he helped pack your stuff. He'll be there for him. You hope again that Lisa won't leave him either. And… and that she'll forgive you someday…
He's sitting on his couch in the living room. He didn't say anything at the absence of your stuff just watches you solemnly. You stand before him looking everywhere but at him. The tension in the room is so tick it could be severed by a knife.
"You're leaving" he finally says. It's not a question. Just a simple statement of a fact. He knows you pretty well. He probably expected it, and the half empty apartment only proved him right.
You finally look back at him not able to say anything, but you know he can see the truth in your eyes.
"When?" he asks this time, his face and tone emotionless.
"I… tomorrow morning. The plane takes off at eight."
He says nothing at this, and you can't look at him anymore. The pain is severing your heart as much as his, but you know it's for the best. You turn around, heading to the doors. He's not stopping you, and you don't expect him to.
You pause before his entrance door, your back still turned toward him. "I'm sorry. I wish it hadn't turned out this way." You say the meaningless platitudes he despises so much, words he doesn't' want to hear, words you don't want to say. But what's there to say? It's not fair to leave him at the beginning of his rehab, but you have to protect yourself. "I… I hope you'll be happy."
"Yeah… wish I could say the same" he snaps angrily, his voice dripping with venom, and you flinch from the pain it causes you.
Your tears stream down your face as you leave his apartment silently. The doors shutting behind you and you feel a part of your life ending here.
Stacy watched as the small boy ran happily to Lisa Cuddy just like he had done it previously with his father. Lisa bent down to meet him with opened arms. Stacy took a glance at Greg and felt her heart clench at the tender look on his face. His whole being was focused on the two people before him. He was watching them carefully, intently, …contently. His face softened as the child was enveloped in Lisa's arms, and a small ghost of a smile graced his lips.
She didn't recognize this man. Where had this soft side of him been hiding during the time I knew him? She wondered He's always been strangely tender with Lisa a small annoying voice whisper back in her head. A voice she tried to ignore all those years she's spent with Greg.
"Hey Mikey" Lisa said to her son warmly. "What are you doing here? You're supposed to be in the nursery with Andie."
"Hi Mommy, I've come to see if you can pway with me." He said, happy to be in his Mother's arms. He gesticulated with his hands making his toy stethoscope whip around Lisa's head.
"Did you, now?" she smiled at the boy, avoiding expertly the dangerous toy. Then her face turned serious. "You know you're not allowed to do so?"
"Yeah Mommy." The child looked down mumbling "Daddy towd me this awweady."
"Good." Lisa replied looking briefly at Greg, who only shrugged with his shoulders, the smile on his face widening slightly. "Then you'll better get to your room with Andie."
"Okey, Mommy." He said, getting ready to head off to the young nurse, then turning back to his Mother. "You wiww come to pway with me, wight? Daddy said he'ww get you and bwing with him."
"Well, If he said that, I can't prove him wrong, now can I?" she replied smiling adoringly at the child before her. "We'll both come and play with you. I promise."
"Yay!" the boy run up to the young nurse. "Come on, we've gotta go to ouw woom." He said tugging Andie's pants. She just smiled at the boy and took his hand.
"Sure, Mike. Let's go."
"Don't get too involved in the kids' games, Andie, or he'll outsmart you yet again!" Greg yelled sarcastically behind them. And Stacy sighed relieved then smiled, not noticing the frown forming upon Brenda the Nurse's face. He's still the same Greg Stacy knew before. For a moment it seemed she's ended in some Twilight Zone or something.
The young nurse called Andie only flushed a bit at House's comment, but ignored him otherwise, as if used to his antics. The sentence however hadn't gone unnoticed by Lisa.
"The lecture." She said pointing at Greg with her finger, her eyes dancing mischievously. "It's in less than fifteen minutes." Stacy glanced back at Greg and could see his eyes laughing at Lisa as well, with just a hint of this fiendish glint in them.
"Yesss, Missstresss." He drawled like some disfigured servant going by the name of Igor. It only made the Dean of Medicine harden her look at him, and trying hardly to stop the corners of her mouth from lifting. And Stacy frowned.
"Now!" she said and he only smirked, then looked back at Stacy, the smile leaving his face instantly. "I need to go. We can catch up later" he added sarcastically.
"Sorry, Don't have time. The boss is watching and all." He said and sidestepped her gracefully, heading toward the lecture hall. Stacy watched him surprised, only to choke at Brenda the Nurse next words.
"These papers need to be signed up, Mrs. House."
End of part one.
Feedback is a nice thing. XD