So, I've hit a serious case of writer's block on my other story. I started to write this one, to keep my creative juices flowing, and it's really coming together nicely.

I'm exploring their past, but I will have a story set in the present (roughly, after Birthmarks). I'll be flipping back and forth between the past and the present, but they won't be sharing the same chapter, and I'll always let you know what the chapter is set in.

Thank you, and enjoy!

I don't own House, Cuddy, or any other aspect of House

January, 1985

She first noticed him in the library. He was sitting in one of the comfy lounge chairs, and he had his long legs stretched out in front of him, crossed at the ankles. He was wearing a pair of faded jeans that had the knees ripped out of them, scuffed sneakers, and a worn Rolling Stones concert t-shirt. His brown hair was longish, falling just past his ears in a shaggy cut, and he had a designer 5 o'clock shadow. While it looked like he was reading an anatomy textbook, she felt his eyes on her. She had come to the library to study, but she wound up wondering who he was.

It was the first day of second semester classes, and she had wanted to get a jump start on her studies. She was a straight A student in high school, and she had been Valedictorian of her class. Since she was 12, she had wanted to be a doctor. She had an appendectomy, and she had been fascinated by the medical process. Her parents, a school teacher and a lawyer, had encouraged her to pursue whatever career interested her, but they wanted her to be the best at it. That was fine with her, because she wanted to be the best. In her first semester at Michigan, she had received a 4.0 GPA, but that didn't please her. She had to be the best, and she lived for a challenge.

She sat alone at a table, and she spread her textbooks in front of her. She pulled out her syllabus for her biology class, and she began to highlight dates. She wrote down the exam dates in her date book, and blocked out the project dates. She flipped through her lab book, looking at the interesting labs that they would be doing. She liked science. If she hadn't wanted to become a doctor, biologist or chemist wouldn't be far down on the list.

She became so engrossed in her work, that she didn't notice when he came over to her. "You're a control freak." When she heard his voice, she nearly jumped out of her skin. She looked up, and there he was, sitting across from her. His elbows rested on the table, and he had steepled his fingertips together, lightly resting his chin on them. He had an angular, long face, with a nose that looked like it had been broken at least once. His bright blue eyes bored into hers with an intensity that made her want to look away.

She swallowed, suddenly finding her mouth dry. "What did you say?" She dropped her gaze back down to her books, not wanting to look into that gaze anymore.

"You're a control freak," he repeated, as if she was an idiot. He looked at her books. "Anatomy, Chemistry, Biology, Physics. You're in Pre-med, freshman. If you're going to study medicine, you can't be a control freak."

"Says who?" she retorted, starting to feel annoyed. "I think being a control freak will be a good thing. I'll be able to..."

"You won't be able to do anything." He cut her off. "Something out of your control will happen, and you'll rabbit. You'll lock yourself in your office and cry."

She glared at him. "Who in the hell do you think you are?" she snarled. This man had just insulted her ability, without warning. She felt her anger start to rise, and she sat up a little straighter. She was prepared to defend herself against this scruffy punk. He was probably some philosophy student trying to get a reaction out of her, but she was still irritated by him.

He shrugged nonchalantly. "Greg House," he said, sounding bored. He tilted his head, and he watched her reaction. "You may make a suck ass doctor, but you'll make one hell of an administrator," he commented mildly.

"Well, thank you, Greg House," she answered him, her voice dripping with sarcasm. "It was wonderful to hear your assessment of my skills, but I really have to get back to work."

"What work," he sat back in the hard wooden chair, and he interlaced his fingers behind his head. He grinned at her. "It's the first day of classes, we don't have any work yet."

"Maybe you Liberal Arts majors don't, but we science majors already have pre labs to work on," she said haughtily. He raised his eyebrows at her, and a small grin began to form on his lips, but he didn't say anything. "Now," she continued, "go smoke up, or whatever you philosophy students do for fun. I have work to do."

He didn't take the hint. He just sat there, staring at her. It was unnerving. She decided to ignore him. She lowered her head, and she tried to focus on her work. She sat there, working on her physics assignment. It wasn't due until that Friday, but she liked to get things done ahead of time. Besides, she planned on having questions about it during the Wednesday class.

"You got that one wrong." His voice rumbled, shocking her out of her thoughts. She jerked her head back up, and noticed that forty-five minutes had passed since she had stopped talking to him. She couldn't believe he was still there. He grinned at her, but he didn't say anything. He wanted to see how she reacted to him. He was discovering that he liked pushing her buttons. It was fun.

"Don't you have anything better to do?" she glared at him.

"Plenty, but I'd rather be here. Your top gives me a great view of your fun-bags," he leered at her, but his blue eyes twinkled with mischievousness. "I feel after the free show, you should at least tell me your name." He winked at her.

She was horrified. She wanted to pack up her things right then and leave, but she didn't want to give this asshole the satisfaction of running her off. "Miss Lisa Cuddy," she said, tersely. She glanced down, and she realized that her top didn't show off anything. She looked at him in confusion, and he grinned at her. "Made ya look, now didn't I."

"You're an ass."

"So I've been told, Lisa Cuddy," he drew out her name. "You still got that wrong." He took a pen from her bag, and began to scribble something on a scrap piece of paper. Then he flipped it over, so she couldn't see it, and once again, he stared into her cool blue-gray eyes. "Try again."

They played this game for the next four hours. She would work on her homework, and he would watch, correcting her, sometimes harshly. They would banter back and forth, trading praises cleverly hidden behind insults. It was easy, and they both enjoyed it. The scruffy man made her smile, even laugh, behind her glares. His arrogance and intelligence irritated her, but she enjoyed his challenges. It was like he wanted her to be the best she could be.

Sadly, it all had to come to an end, and she needed to return to her dorm room. She began to pack her things, and she saw the light go out of his eyes. "Um," she began, awkwardly, "I guess I'll see you around."

He nodded, but didn't say anything. She turned around to reach for her coat, and when she turned back toward him, she found that he was gone. That made her sad. She bit her lip, and she slung her backpack over one shoulder. She found herself wondering if she would ever see him again.


(the next day...)

As soon as the previous class let out, she walked into the lecture hall. She walked up to the front of the classroom, and took a seat where she would be able to see the professor clearly. The other students began to file in, and the seats in the back filled up quickly. She pulled out her notebook and a pen from her book bag. It was her first anatomy lecture, and she was looking forward to it. She didn't notice as the seats around her began to fill in.

"Bet you even color code your class notes," a voice drawled to her right. "I'm thinkin', red for anatomy, yellow for chemistry, green for..." She looked up, and she saw him sitting there, a goofy half-grin on his face.

"Why are you here?" she asked stiffly, rolling her eyes. "And why do you care if I color code my notes, it helps me..."

"It proves to me that you are a control freak," he said, cutting off her argument. He saw her steel colored eyes fill with anger, and for some strange reason, that turned him on. He'd never met a girl so fierce and so smart. She defended herself, and he wanted her to defend herself. He shifted his posture, cupping his chin in his hand, and he leaned his elbow on the desk top. His hair fell into his eyes, making him blink.

She shot him an annoyed look. "Why are you here, beside me. There are easily a..."

"I'm a student, and you're incredibly cute," he could almost laugh at the indignant look she got on her face at that comment. "Why wouldn't I want to sit next to someone gifted with such a sexy..." he let his eyes drift to her chest, then back up to her eyes, "brain."

She was shocked. "You're a pig!" Then she narrowed her eyes, "you're just screwing with me."

"I'd like to," he grinned. She may be acting irritated, but she was playing his game. That intrigued him even more. She met his eyes, and she saw how bright they were. She smiled at him. He was still wearing faded jeans and sneakers, but he wore a button up shirt over his t-shirt. It was his feeble effort to be quasi-professional.

She leaned over and whispered, "Keep dreaming, because that's the only way it'll happen." She sat back in her seat, enjoying the shocked grin that was plastered on his face. She was shocked herself. She wasn't a flirt. In fact, she had never been a flirt, but here she was, flirting with this guy she barely knew. She could kick herself; she hated girls who constantly flirted with guys, but this guy brought a side of her out that she didn't know existed.

He winked at her, but before he had a chance to say anything more, the professor walked to the front of the hall. He sat back in his chair, and, out of the corner of his eye, he saw her sit straight up. He smiled to himself; she was such a teacher's pet.

The professor walked to the front of the class, and he arraigned his notes. He glanced at the clock, then he turned and faced the class. It was time to begin.

"I'm Dr. Martin, and welcome to Anatomy 201. My teaching assistants, Mr. Micheal Carter and Mr. Gregory House will hand out the course syllabus..."

She stared in shock as the scruffy man got up, and he accepted a pile of papers from the professor. She got a good look of the other T.A., Mr. Carter. He was tall, with close cropped blond hair. He wore neatly pressed slacks and a pressed collared shirt, with a tie. Just about every female eye in the room was glued to him, but her eyes kept drifting back to Greg. There was just something about him that drew her to him, and she didn't like the disdainful look that the other T.A. gave him.

After he passed out the papers to half the room, he slid gracefully back into his seat, and he raised his eyebrow at her. When she didn't pay any attention to him, he frowned, and he turned his attention to what the professor was saying. He soon grew bored, and he noticed that her syllabus was hanging out of her backpack, so he feigned digging a notebook out his own knapsack. In the process, he took her syllabus, and he left a little note on it. He put it back in her bag, by again, feigning looking for something in his own bag.

She couldn't believe that he was a T.A. He must have been a med student, since Professor Martin only took med students on as T.A.'s. She wanted to ask him about it, but the lecture began immediately after the course papers were handed out. She became so focused on what was being said, that she failed to notice him going through her things.

As the class ended, she took a few moments to organize her notes, then she turned to him. She had wanted to ask him why he hadn't told her he was a med student, but she found that once again, he had disappeared. She sighed in frustration, and she began to pack up her books.

She didn't notice the other T.A. walk up. He cleared his throat, causing her to look up. "Hello," he smiled, showing off his brilliantly white teeth. "I'm Micheal Carter. I noticed you were paying close attention to Dr. Martin's lecture. Are you a biology student?"

"No," she answered him, a little unsure at what he wanted. "Pre-Med."

"Good. I just wanted you to know that my office hours are posted on the course syllabus. You strike me as the type of student who would want some extra help."

"Um, thanks." She was starting to become uncomfortable with his overt friendliness. "I'll remember that."

He nodded, then looked at her. In a hushed voice, he whispered to her "I saw you talking with Greg House. You'll be smart to stay away from him. He's trouble." With that, he turned and walked out of the room.

She was insulted by the way that he had warned her about Greg. She sneered at him as he left the room, thinking that she had never met such a pompous ass. She shook her head, and she had a bitter taste in her mouth. She instantly didn't like the guy at all.

She was finishing putting her stuff in her bag, and she noticed the course paper was folded and sticking out of pocket of her bag. She hadn't left in it that particular pocket nor had she folded it. She walked out into the hall, and she opened it. She laughed out loud, drawing looks from students milling by. He had written the word "tool" by Michael Carter's name, and he had outlined his own name and office hours with bold red lines. Underneath them, he had written, "Free study sessions with the Master, and I'll only try to get in your pants if you let me."

She chuckled at his overwhelming ego. She folded the paper back up, and put it back in her bag. She walked to her her next class, wondering if she should take him up on his offer.