Summary: He didn't know she could be that good
Season/Sequel: Season 4
Archives: my website, others ask please, I never refuse
Disclaimer: I own neither the show nor the characters. I don't earn any money; I just do it for fun.
Author's Note: Don't ask. That fic came to me during class, I don't even know why I've thought about that! But of course, while I intended it to be lighter at first, well, it turned out all angsty as I was writing it… Many thanks to Jess who have beta'd the fic!
You have a go !
"Oh god," he breathed, closing his eyes. "If I knew you were that good, I would have called you sooner," he continued. She didn't answer, but he didn't need her to; he could see the look she was giving him. "No, I'm serious there. Had I known before that you were that good with your hands and…"
"What? You don't like talking while…"
"House. Shut up, or I'm leaving."
"Why? Cuddy, why are you so cruel to me?"
"I am cruel? I am cruel?" she repeated, not believing her ears. "House, you make my life a living hell every single day, and here I am, at night, massaging your thigh because you couldn't hire one of your prostitutes for once, and I am cruel? You came here at night, I let you in, and I am cruel."
"You don't need to repeat that every five seconds. And I resent that! She's a real masseuse."
"Yeah, right. Tell me again why you couldn't do it yourself?"
"What? You've never heard of something called…"
"You know what?" she interrupted him. "I don't want to know."
He watched as she continued massaging his right thigh. It wasn't the first time it happened, but again it didn't happen that often. The first time was a few weeks after he was released from the hospital. Stacy had been in San Diego for a conference, and he had called her. When she came, he had guessed at the time that she had still been feeling guilty about the surgery, and he had used it, used her without any remorse.
But he couldn't figure out why she had agreed to help him tonight. She could have easily closed the door on his face, threatened him with more clinic hours if he tried to let himself in, but she had done nothing like that. She had just listened to him, and stepped back to let him enter. He had been surprised but hadn't questioned it at the time. It was too good an opportunity to pass.
But now, now he couldn't help but wonder.
He could try and ask her, but he knew she wouldn't give him a truthful answer; if she answered at all. She wouldn't answer this kind of question coming from him. She couldn't be guilt-ridden anymore, so there had to be another explanation. One he couldn't figure out for once. Something must have happened, something he didn't know about, so it couldn't be related to the hospital.
Before he could wonder more on the subject, her hands left him, and she got up from where she was crouching on the floor. He watched her leave the room, and listened to the running of water in the kitchen as he pulled up his jeans.
"You know where the door is," Cuddy said, stopping at the living-room entrance. She turned around, not waiting for an answer. She headed towards her bedroom, and he could guess that she was hoping that he would leave soon.
He watched her leave before deciding to just bite the metaphorical bullet and follow her down the hall. She didn't stop, nor acknowledge his presence, like she usually would, but he knew that she had noticed him.
"Why?" he finally asked, sick of waiting.
"Why what?" she replied, stopping but not turning towards him.
"Why did you do this, Cuddy? You could have told me to go to hell, but you let me in and massaged my thigh without saying anything. So why?"
"Moment of weakness," she simply said after a few seconds of silence. "Now leave." She resumed walking towards her room, but he wasn't ready to let it go. Not yet.
Now, he was sure that something was up. She hadn't even bothered to face him.
He waited until he heard the bathroom door closing before venturing further into her bedroom. It wasn't the first time he had been there, but it was the first time that she was in the house at the same time. He considered going through her underwear to see if she bought some new ones since the last time, but the thought lasted only a few seconds; she would definitely never talk to him if she saw him rummaging through her underwear.
He sat on the bed, his hands resting on the top of his cane. He was facing the bathroom door, knowing he would be the first thing she would see when she came out. She wouldn't be happy to see that he was still there, but he hoped that she would refrain from killing him.
Usually, he wouldn't be one to seek conversation, and especially not with her, but he had been the one to notice her behaviour, and if he wasn't the one to ask, no one would.
He listened as water ran in the bathroom; she was probably taking a shower. He shouldn't, but he couldn't help but imagine her as water, hot water of course, though he hoped that sometimes she indulged in cold showers to keep the twins firm, ran down her face, past her collarbone, between her breasts, rapidly going south…
His eyes snapped opened in realisation of what he was doing. He shook his head to try and clear his mind of those images. She would already be pissed at him because he had stayed - no need for her to be even more pissed off because he was aroused by some fantasy about her. But this time, he hadn't been able to help himself. It wasn't the first time he wondered how her body had changed since college. It had been a one night stand, just before Spring Break, and they had agreed it couldn't happen again; they were friends, nothing more, nothing else could happen between them.
No one knew about this, not even Wilson. He was pretty sure that his friend wouldn't believe him if he told him. No one would. Hell, he had said it out loud in front of everyone once, and nobody had believed him. Why would they? For everyone, but Wilson, believed they hated each other. No one suspected that there was a time when they would hang out together. A long time ago. Since then, things had happened, Stacy had happened, the infarction had happened, and nothing was the same anymore.
"What are you doing here?" Cuddy's voice jolted him from his thoughts; engrossed in the past, their past, he hadn't realised that the shower had stopped. And now, she was standing there, demanding an explanation as to why he was in her bedroom.
"I was waiting for you," he said, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world, and for him it was; after all, why else would he be there?
"That's strange… I remember telling you to leave. Care to explain to me why you're still here, House? And before you try anything, I'm not up for one of your mind games."
"I want you to tell me what's going on with you," he simply replied.
"I've just told you that…"
"I'm serious here, Cuddy," he interrupted her. "Any other time, you would have closed the door on my face, but not tonight. So why? I know something is wrong so don't try to deny it. I also know that it can't be related to the hospital, one of my lackeys or Wilson would have told me. So, I guess it's related to you."
"What makes you think I would tell you anything? And why would you even want to know in the first place?"
"You know how much I love solving mysteries. And right now, you're the mystery."
She sighed, massaging her temples. He was obviously giving her a headache, but he didn't intend to leave just yet. Not until he got an answer. And she should know that.
"You just love making my life miserable, House? Now, the hospital isn't enough anymore that you have to come here. And even if something was indeed wrong, and I'm not saying you're right, what makes you think that I would tell you. We're not friends, House, we haven't been for years. If I were to confide in someone, it certainly wouldn't be you."
He lowered his eyes to the floor, knowing that she was right. He had told her enough times over the years that they weren't friends; he should have known that at one point it would come back in his face. Standing up, he walked out of the room without looking at her. He wasn't hurt; why would he be? She was saying the truth. He had played with her for years, pushing her to the edge more time that he cared to think of. He simply couldn't be the one she would talk to.
He registered her footsteps following him, probably to see that this time he would really leave. But this time, he would. If she didn't want to talk to him, this time he wouldn't push. He opened and then closed the door after him, leaving her alone as she wanted to be.
Days passed by and they fell back into their routine. Nothing had changed, as if nothing had happened that night at Cuddy's. And really, nothing had.
That was why House was surprised when he found her standing on his doorstep exactly one week after he had left her house. He stepped back to let her enter, and neither said a word when he joined her in the living-room. He waited for her to talk; after all she was the one who came. He didn't know why she was there, only that he probably hadn't done anything; she would have already started to shout at him if that was the case.
"I had just seen my doctor," she finally blurted out in a soft voice, but he didn't understand what she was meant. His face must have given that away, since she continued. "When you came, I had just seen my doctor. That was why I let you in."
"I still don't understand. You'll have to be more specific."
"She… She told me that we should stop the IVF - for a while, at least. She added that I should consider adoption." She paused, but not long enough for him to talk. "You were right. I suck so much at being a mother that no child wants me. I should just give up altogether. It'd probably be for the best."
She flopped down on the couch, closing her eyes tight. He knew that despite being of the verge of tears, she wouldn't do it before him - because they weren't friends, and he shouldn't be there when she finally indulged in crying.
"So that's why you've reacted like that, that night?" he said in a cold voice. "You're pathetic, Cuddy," he continued, wanting to make her react.
"I'm not ready for that now, House," she said in a small voice, but he wasn't ready to let go.
"For once, something didn't work when you wanted it to, so you just give up. You can't have a baby now, so you just give up. You know what? It makes me think that you never really wanted a kid to begin with."
"I want a child!"
She got up from the couch. House watched as she glared at him, fire burning in her eyes. But he wasn't done, not yet.
"Then, why are you talking about giving up?"
"Because it doesn't work!" she sighed.
"She has given you another option, and you're choosing not to try. Why Cuddy? Do orphaned children not deserve your love?"
"It's not that! But do you really think that they would grant me an adoption? I'm single; I have a job that takes up all my time…"
"There you go!" he interrupted her. "You're trying to find excuses. Don't you think that you're not the only one in that situation? Or are you selfish enough to not think about anyone but your poor little self?"
"Don't, House," she warned him, but he didn't listen to her.
"Why, You want me to stop, well I won't. Someone needs to tell you this. And since you told me about all this, I have the right to think I should be the one to."
"I don't want to be hurt again," she finally admitted when it seemed like he was finished.
He didn't know what to answer to that. He obviously didn't know everything. She wasn't telling him the whole story here; something had to have happened, something that might explain her behaviour.
"Why do you think you'll be hurt?" he asked in a soft tone that surprised them both.
"You said it yourself; I fail at being a mother." He watched as she walked past him and went to the door. She opened it, turned her head towards him and said words he hadn't her from her mouth that often. "Thank you, Greg."
And with that, she was gone.