She trailed after Cuddy with her head down. She wasn't sure if that was because she was ashamed or because the harsh lights of the clinic were still hurting her eyes. And she wasn't sure she was ashamed of what she had done or that she'd gotten caught out. She'd only gotten half way through the IV fluids, not nearly enough to really help the hangover and she kept her eyes to the floor.

It needed a clean.

Not important, and not something Cuddy would've missed. It probably got polished everyday.

Not important but she couldn't focus her mind and didn't want to think about what was coming.

Linoleum turned to carpet and she finally looked up to watch Cuddy walk around to the other side of her desk.

"Sit down," she ordered and Thirteen dropped down onto a chair, but didn't look at Cuddy again, inspecting the carpet instead. Her shoes, the hem of her jeans, the legs of the chair she was sitting on.

"What the hell were you thinking?"

"It's just a hangover."

"I don't believe that," Cuddy said with half a smile, "what did you take?"

"I bet you've done it. Probably not since med school maybe," Thirteen muttered.

"What? Drugs?"

"No, I mean the IV."

"Never needed it," Cuddy said. "What did you take?"

"It's just a hangover. Too many vodka shots."

Cuddy rolled her eyes.

"I'm having you tested."

"You can't do that."

"Then I'm having you fired."

She picked up her phone, asked for House to paged to her office and sat down at her desk.

"What the hell is wrong with you?" she asked Thirteen.

"I'm having a good time. Enjoying my life."

"Destroying your career," she said getting up again. Thirteen watched her be antsy and irritated, all aimed at her.

"It's just a bit of fun."

"You don't even care." She walked around the desk to stand in front of Thirteen whose eyes went back to the carpet. "You don't even care." She threw her arms up in the air, but Thirteen missed the dramatic motion.

"I care," she muttered.

"About what?" Cuddy snapped. "Your job? Your life?"


"You could've fooled me!"

Thirteen jumped up, eyes on Cuddy, forgetting the pattern in the floor in her anger.

"I'm just having fun!"

"This is fun?" Cuddy asked. "Getting high and needing a shortcut hangover cure? What else are you doing? Casual sex, screwing guys in club bathrooms?"

"Girls," she said, voice quiet, smiling at the jolt of surprise that shot across Cuddy's face. "It's just a bit of fun," she repeated, and was starting to have trouble believing the words herself.

"Looks like you're having a blast."

Thirteen took a step forward and kissed Cuddy on the lips, the movement awkward, waiting for the older doctor to respond. To kiss back or push back.

She did neither and Thirteen kept moving her lips for a few moments until Cuddy finally snapped and pushed her back. The push was hard, and unexpected and Thirteen fell into her chair, rocking back on the piece of furniture until she settled. They stared at each other, both going to speak when House came bursting into the office.


"House fired me," Thirteen said, running to catch up with Cuddy as she walked across the entrance area of the hospital. Her head was still thumping, the light jog not helping. Every thump of her feet sent a jolt straight to her brain.

"He doesn't want to be at the end of your path or destruction, or your downward spiral, or whatever metaphor he used."


Cuddy paused and turned to face Thirteen, cutting her off.

"Actually, he probably wouldn't mind being there, he doesn't want his diagnosis at the end of this path. His patients," she said, "neither do I."

She started walking again and after a beat Thirteen continued to follow, struggling to keep up with the woman as her heels clacked quietly across the floor.

"I wouldn't let that happen."

"It's already is, already has."

They came to the entrance of the clinic and she paused before following Cuddy inside. She wasn't sure she wanted everyone to see her on Cuddy's heels, looking washed out and pathetic. It was busy, full of patients and staff and she wanted to hide her hangover away, not parade it through the hospital.

"You were cheating your way through a hangover while the team was trying to diagnose the patient."

"I would've missed half an hour at most."

"I'm not hiring you back."

"You were the one who wanted House to hire me in the first place!" she cried, then looked around to see who had heard her, and who had looked across to see what was going on.

They entered Cuddy's office and Thirteen closed the door behind her, looking out into the clinic again before turning back to hear what Cuddy was saying.

"-because you're a good doctor and you care about people. But if you don't care about yourself, your own life and job, then I don't need you in my hospital. I get enough of that attitude from House."

"I care about my life. I just want to enjoy it before it's gone."

"You need to deal with your condition in better ways if you want any sort of job."

Thirteen didn't reply, had run out of replies and turned around to leave. At the door Cuddy spoke again, stopping her.

"Why did you kiss me?"

She turned back, facing the older woman and smiling.

"Because I care about you."


Cuddy dropped down into her chair frowning and Thirteen gave her a moment for any further response.

"I don't need you in my life either," she said.

"Like this or at all?" Thirteen asked.

Cuddy hesitated, looked at the young woman before, hung over and strung out, physically and emotionally, and sighed. Thirteen took a step towards her desk, but stopped when Cuddy delved into the pile of files on her desk.

"You've been fired Dr. Hadley. I suggest you leave the hospital before I have Security escort you from the premises."

She smiled and nodded, leaving the office, hoping Cuddy didn't see her head for the elevators and not the main entrance to the hospital. She had no intention of giving up her life, her job, or Cuddy.