"I don't know who taught you how to share, but they did an absolutely deplorable job of it. Because this here is a prime example of how not to share." He eased back in his chair that was placed opposite hers, and indicated the desk with a toss of his hand.
Cuddy lifted her eyes from the paperwork she'd been filling out to meet his sardonic gaze with her own steely one. "Separating my side of the desk from yours with yellow police tape was your idea, House, not mine."
"Well, it was an awful bad one. Why didn't you stop me?"
"Because it got you to not only shut up for five minutes, but to stop invading my space. Those are two feats that are hard enough to accomplish when we're not sharing a desk, so I figured I should merely go along with it."
He placed a deliberate elbow on the yellow line of tape, leaning his head against his fist. "You don't like your space invaded?"
"No," she said flatly, returning to her work, "I don't."
He slouched over in his chair. The movement caused his elbow to slide just slightly over the boundary tape. Cuddy pretended not to notice, and continued on working as before.
The elbow slipped out a little farther.
Still, she gave no reaction, not even a flick of her eyes. He was only looking for attention, and she'd learned long ago not to reward him for his immaturity.
The hand he had been resting his chin against fell flat on the desk, right next to where she had been about to pen her signature.
"House," she warned, glaring daggers at his unwanted hand.
"It's very hypocritical of you to say that you don't like your space invaded," House pondered aloud, "considering this is my office."
"We've been over this," said Cuddy, glowering at him. "I'm only in your office because my office is currently in shambles because of what you went and – "
He wagged a finger at her with the hand not currently over her papers. "Now, now. We are mature adults. There's no need for us to play the blame game."
She smiled thinly. "Then let us be mature adults, and go back to our mature adult work." She turned her attention back to the documents, where his hand still rested, flat and unmoving. "Do you mind?" she asked cordially, but the hand remained. Determined to not show her agitation, she grabbed his stubborn extremity in her own and made to drop it on his side of the tape, but before she could do so, she found their fingers entwined together, his gripping hers in an unrelenting hold.
She fixed him with a stare, trying not to think about how warm his fingers were, or how well his hand seemed to fit with hers, or how nice it was to have someone hold her hand again . . .
After jerking herself away from these thoughts that she was not thinking about, Cuddy asked, "What are you doing?"
"Teaching you how to share." He placed his elbow down on the table again, forcing hers to do the same on the opposite side of the desk. In this manner, he positioned their hands so they hovered over the line. "You see, now the desk is shared, because we both occupy portions while acknowledging the other."
"I've never heard that definition of sharing. I always thought sharing merely meant dividing something into equal parts."
"You've been reading the wrong dictionary."
"Much as I appreciate your concern with the contents of my library shelf – "
"Do you share your library shelf either?" he asked now.
She stared at him for a minute, mute. Did he always have to detract from the subject? She couldn't even remember what they had originally been talking about.
Her pager chose that moment to go off. She checked it: she was needed in the maternity ward. Oh, her favorite place.
"I'm leaving now," she said, getting up. She walked around the desk and towards the door; her fingers were still locked with House's, but she didn't let that stop her. If he wanted to be dragged along, fine. She was not going to let him get in her way any longer, whether that be literally or psychologically.
All at once she found herself pulled backwards by the hand holding hers; her back slammed into the rim of the desk before she had time to brace herself. He had somehow stood up in the span of time between she attempting to leave and getting yanked by him, and he now towered over her, one hand at the desk's edge (very close to her hip), the other still sealed with hers. They were as close as two bodies could possibly be without touching. This fact must have affected the amount of oxygen available to her: she found it suddenly hard to breathe.
"House," she did her best to chide with the little air in her lungs, "I have to go."
He cocked his head to one side, those blue eyes piercing hers, eyes like the sky on a cloudless day, or like sapphires, or a bouquet of forget-me-nots . . .
No. I am not drowning in his eyes.
"Who was your kindergarten teacher?" he queried.
"Let me go."
He didn't listen to her. "He or she must have been terrible if they didn't even teach you how to share."
"Get out of my way."
Still, he paid her no heed. "I would hate to see how the other kids in your class turned out."
"Either step aside yourself, or I'll force you to," she commanded, with a meaningful glare at his trousers.
A crooked smirk lit his face then, sent a sparkle to his eyes, and he bent his head and brought it to the side of her face. "Lisa," he whispered in her ear, and she could not stop the shudder that ran down her spine as his soft breath tickled her skin, "why do you always force yourself to do what you don't even want to do?"
"I . . ." The words 'I want to go do my job' got lost somewhere, and she thought vaguely that all the maps and directions and GPSs in the world wouldn't be able to get them back to her now.
For all their close proximity, his body nearly pressed to hers, their cheeks almost touching, the only parts of them actually connected were their hands; she could hear a heartbeat thumping so fast it was almost a continuous sound, thumpthumpthumpthumpthumpthumpthump, and she couldn't tell if it was hers or his or perhaps even both of their pulses making the steady noise.
He spoke again, in that same husky tone that barely even passed for a whisper: "Why not, for once" – he paused – "do what you want?"
She didn't know who moved first then – whether it was he who brought his lips crashing against hers, or if it was she who twisted around to grasp at him. All she knew was that one second, he was murmuring in her ear – and in the next, their hands were no longer their only body parts that were connected. Mouths melded with equal passion; hands grasped at clothes, hair, cheeks, whatever they could touch.
It was nothing like their last kiss. That had been an outpouring of knotted and tangled emotions, a release of grief and sorrow and anger and everything that didn't know how to be discussed. This was pure desire; this was two people who had been denied what they hungered after for far too long – two people who had denied it to themselves for far too long.
He placed his hands on her hips and eased her onto the desk. She assisted him in this pursuit, and then, once seated on the surface, pulled him closer to her, wrapping her legs around his waist. His hands traveled up from her hips along her back, sliding under her shirt, and she grinned into his mouth. She had wanted this, wanted him, for so long.
And – were she to be completely honest with herself – this was why she had chosen to overtake his office while her own was being remodeled, no matter what she told the staff. She hadn't only chosen to use his office because he had ruined hers – well, that was certainly part of it – but she also just wanted to be with him. To heckle, to banter, to exchange insults, to snub and chide and smirk . . . to deepen this relationship that she wasn't sure whether or not they had.
She ran her hands through his hair as he kissed down the length of her neck. As a sudden thought occurred to her, she glanced down at the desk's surface: she was seated with her rear end crossing both sides of the yellow tape. She grinned. They were definitely sharing now. This certainly added a whole new meaning to the phrase 'their desk.' If she were to be entirely truthful on this front too, she had hoped that something of this sort would happen . . . that the desk would truly become 'theirs'. Determined to show him that she most certainly did do what she wanted, she reached for his belt buckle.
Cuddy's head snapped up so fast she heard it snap. Why was she seated in a chair? And where was . . .
"Sleeping on the job again?" House asked loudly, slapping another file onto their desk. Her eyes darted from the folders to his face, the realization that she had been dreaming washing over her in a flood that froze her stiff, powerless to move as he continued to rant at her. "That's not very professional. If you're going to be sharing my office, you could have least have the decency to pretend to work. It could look bad for my rep if I've got people in here snoozing – they'll think I'm either really boring, or really bad at sex."
She was not going to turn red, she was not going to turn red. She picked up the files he'd dropped. "What's the story with these?" she said curtly.
He arched an eyebrow at her as he sat down in the seat opposite. "That's it? No attempt at a withering comeback? And the story of these – " he took the files out of her hands " – doesn't matter, because they're mine, not yours."
"Oh, I don't have time for this, I've got to go," she snapped, as her pager went off (her real one this time – the words 'maternity ward' again were pure coincidence, she told herself silently, as she continued to will a blush to evade her cheeks).
"Hurry back," House called after her, "then I can prove that my performance isn't usually as bad as it was last night."
She left his office, cursing her subconscious for allowing her to dream about such matters . . . cursing her subconscious for being more willing than her conscious to admit, and to carry through, with what it wanted.