2. Like Floating

She was clad in white, and in white only. An eerie glow radiated from her. There was no doubt about who she was, but he somehow knew her name would never fall from his lips again, just like his wouldn't even enter his thoughts, the memory of their last encounters still fresh in his mind. When she came to visit him, he was lost. He had been before and was now.

He was sorry about everything, sorry about her death because the other one, his friend, loved her. Sorry because he had once again managed to make a mess without meaning to.

He couldn't bring himself to feel sorry for her, though, because he didn't even remember her name.

The secret they obviously shared effectively made emotions like remorse or guilt – at least towards her - impossible. She had made sure of that with her sharp, measured words. None of it would be mentioned again.

"You've been drinking, Greg."

You've been a very bad boy, Gregory. Do you know what happens to bad boys?

The added emphasis on his first name was making him uneasy. She hadn't allowed herself to call him that before, always labeling him "House". He didn't know why anymore. Being here, alone with her, chased the less important things away from him like bad dreams.

"Your pills are gone, Greg. When did you take the last of them?"

Again with the name. He couldn't remember how long ago it had been, but wasn't alarmed by that fact. Didn't matter. His leg wasn't hurting, and he didn't question it.

But she was still there, sitting on the same spot as she had done few days before. Her questions started to make him dizzy.

"Why did you choose to come back, Greg?"

"How could you let me get to you? He was your friend, Greg."

Her use of the past tense didn't escape him. But Greg remained silent, his gaze solemnly locked on his bare feet. His mind was as blank as the empty, sterile room surrounding the two of them.

Why did you run away, son? Now they think you're afraid. Afraid! Can you imagine that? You should be ashamed of yourself, Gregory.

"'m sorry."

"Yeah, Greg. You should be."

Was she still talking? He couldn't remember if she ever stopped. Only then he realized where he was, with whom he was. What she was talking about. And what would happen now. When he saw the red scarf lightly wound around her neck, he knew he would wake up again and she would be gone once more.

So when he finally did wake up, sweaty and sticky in all the wrong places but still in his own bed, he wasn't the least bit surprised to find himself actually clinging to the red fabric for dear life with one hand, the other wrapped tightly around another pair of surprisingly cold fingers.


Cuddy hadn't meant to doze off. She just wanted to make sure House was physically well enough to be discharged and wouldn't pull off another seizure once he was home, but then they had ordered take-out. Which usually meant discussing every single item on the menu list until one of them would give up, settling for whatever the other one was having.

Well, maybe on other nights.

This time, House only threw the flyer at her along with the phone and flopped down on the couch. He was visibly exhausted from the journey they had behind them. She had ordered on her own then, picking out her most favorite meal for herself and some Chicken Lo Mein for House. It was an obvious choice since he ordered that stuff all the time.

After dinner, House was even more withdrawn.