"Why didn't you go on vacation?" Cuddy asked, "go somewhere?"

They were on his sofa, eating Chinese food out of white cartons with chopsticks, while the television flickered silently in front of them. It was quiet between them and she wasn't used to it, she had forgotten it could be quiet between them, sometimes. It had been a while though. Hell, it had been a while since they had sat down together outside of the hospital, outside a drama.

"I told you, I wanted to be alone."

"I can see that," she said with a smirk, gesturing to the small space between them with her chopsticks.

"Mostly alone."

"You would've been if you had gone away."

"No where I want to go."


He smirked, she didn't believe him, even when it came to the little things, the middle things, anything. She thought he was lying about everything, or she at least had to check about everything. It was sad really, but he had pushed their...friendship into this. He preferred it like this most of the time, she would be easier with a little faith in him on her part but less fun.

"I've been everywhere remember?" he said, stretching his legs out to rest them on the coffee table, balancing a large piece of chicken between his chopsticks, the sauce threatening to fall and stain his jeans. Cuddy watched, torn between amazement and disgust at the sheer amount of food he could get into his mouth.

"When you were a kid?" she asked. He nodded in reply and devoured the chicken.

"I've been to Asia, Europe, Africa. All before I was sixteen."

"South America?" she asked, leaning forward to listen because this was the part of House she really liked, when he had something to say to her, not shout at her.

"Argentina when I was seventeen, Brazil at nineteen. Even been to Alaska, Greenland for three months too, until my mother became ill."


"The lack of night time was too much for her. We came back to the States, my father stayed out there for another three months."

She took this information in, finally eating some more of her own meal, in much smaller chunks, still watching House as he continued with his, waiting to see if he would say more, if there was more information coming. When there wasn't, she spoke.

"There are hundreds of places I want to go."

"There are not."

"Rome, Paris, Sydney."

"If you wanted to see those places you would've, you could," House said, putting his carton down on the table. "You do what you want, you wanted to be a doctor, Dean of Medicine, you want to be a mother...You go for what you want Cuddy, you don't just desire it and wait," he turned a bit, legs dropping from the table so he could face her, and she felt her cheeks flare up under the scrutiny. "You've had time and opportunity to go all over the world, but you don't really want to."

She smiled, she forgot sometimes how well he knew her, how much he had learnt about her over the past two decades. She'd forgotten how his intensity made her feel like a teenager again, foolish and shy, unable to figure out having a friendship with a boy and she had never felt like that, even as a teenager, or with anyone else.

"What about when I retire?" she asked.

He huffed and picked his carton back up, taking a quick bite before speaking again.

"You won't retire," he said, "neither of us will. We'll die at our desks. You of old age, filling out forms, me any time from now on, in a Vicodin induced stupor over some porn," then adding, "hopefully."

"Nice to know you still have plans," she said, with a laugh.

He grinned, then shrugged and turned his attention to the television.

"They may not be as lofty as yours, but no less valid."

"Don't you want to do anything else?" she asked, getting lost in the conversation with him, not wanting to end it.

"Done it all. Sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll."

"Love, marriage, children?"

"Tried it, no chance, no comment."

"Hah, at no point in your life have you said no comment."

"Every time I get arrested I say no comment unless otherwise instructed by my lawyer."

She sighed, finishing her food and dropping the carton onto the table. She curled up in the corner of her sofa, her feet resting against his leg, but he didn't comment on it, his gaze on the silent television. She spotted the remote control and reached for it, holding it out for him. When he noticed he turned to take it for her, with a tiny nod of his head.

"There's more you know," she said, holding onto the remote for a second before letting it go.

He held it in the air between them and nodded again.

"I know," he said in a small voice, before turning the television up.