Chapter Five: Never Gonna Let Go

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Cuddy watched anxiously from the observatory above the surgery. She was beyond happy that House's death sentence had been lifted, but when will it come back? She couldn't help but think back to what the Head of the transplant board had said. Dr. House has proven that he does not value his life. Dr. House has insisted on his self-destructive behavior… Was he saved this time, just so he could keep to the same lifestyle? Was all of this going to happen again, only the next time there might be no miracle?

No. She couldn't let that happen. Yet…House's pain was a very real thing, and he could not cope without Vicodin. No other painkiller was powerful enough. Cuddy closed her eyes and for a moment she remembered the days of the ketamine treatment. House had been happy—genuinely happy. He had actually smiled without any trace of bitterness or sarcasm. He had being able to run.

At that moment, she knew that House could be capable of happiness. She also knew that House did value his life: every time he came close to the brink of death he had fought to get back again, because he believed a miserable life was better than none at all. And she was determined for House to be—if not happy, then at least less miserable.

---

"How is he?" She asked as a tired Chase came out of surgery, four and half hours later. House had been wheeled to the ICU for monitoring, and would stay there for about a week.

"Good," he replied. "Stable." As Cuddy breathed a sigh of relief, he added, "But we're not sure if his body will reject the liver yet. We're just playing the waiting game now."

Cuddy nodded, biting her lips.

---

Throughout the week, Cuddy had taken advantage of every break to visit House in the ICU. Wilson was there even more often than her. Cuddy wondered just what it was about this man that made people close to him care about him so much. He was a miserable, manipulative bastard who consistently pushed people away. Yet there was something so compelling about him that she couldn't stay away.

"Hey," she said, sitting down beside him. It was day six after work, and she was popping in to see him before she went home.

He was watching General Hospital reruns on TV. "Hey," he said, looking over at her and turning the TV off.

"Dr. Oshiri said you could be discharged tomorrow," she said.

"Thank God," House said with a dramatic eye roll. "I thought I'd never say this, but even Luke and Laura are losing their charm after five days straight."

"God forbid," she smiled and then became serious. "We need to discuss what happens when you are discharged."

He sighed exaggeratedly. "What's there to discuss? I get discharged, you nag for a bit, I go home, I come back to work the next day, you nag some more, et cetra, et cetra, life goes on."

She ignored him. "You have quit drinking."

He grimaced. "Mmm, dunno about that. Jack and I are best friends, he'll be hurt if I blow him off like that."

She gave him a look. "Jack?"

"Jack Daniels. Geez, woman, what other Jack do you know?"

She didn't say anything and just looked at him steadily in the eyes. Finally he averted his and looked away. "Fine," he mumbled. "Wouldn't want to raise everybody's hopes of me dying again."

She smiled.

He looked back again fiercely. "I can't quit Vicodin though."

She sighed slightly. She had expected as much. "Fine. We'll work on that."

He raised an eyebrow. "We?"

To his surprise, she laughed. "Oh no you don't, House."

"No I don't what?"

"You admitted your feelings, you can't take them back now."

"I was dying. Dying people say crazy things."

"You were perfectly lucid," she grinned, leaning close to him and giving him a good view down her blouse.

"Perhaps," he said, raising his eyebrows as he glanced down at her chest. "Are you sure you are, though?" An arm came out to wind around her waist.

"Hmm?" she murmured, understandably distracted.

"For a Dean of Medicine to provoke an employee like that…you must be delusional," he said before his lips met hers.

"Must be," she smiled against his lips before kissing him again.

She didn't know what was going to happen, but she did know that now she had House back again, she was never going to let go.

.

You can be happy

I hope you are

You've made me happier

Than I've ever been by far

.

The End.


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