A/N – Check back on chapter 32 for a refresher for this one. We are back in the present, right after that chapter :-)


She arrived back in Princeton late. She stepped off the plane, and she actually glanced around, half hoping to see him. She actually wanted to see him waiting for her, standing there, his eyes blazing, watching for her.

She'd thought a lot about what she and Alec had talked about, and she realized she had been planning on running, again. Every time she tasted personal happiness, she felt the need to turn tail, to run from it. She felt like she had to force it to crash and burn before it could hurt her.

Now it was time to change that.

"Need a ride home?" Wilson's voice jarred her from her thoughts, and she shook her head. "No. I'm just going to catch a cab."

Wilson nodded. "Okay. See you tomorrow." He headed to his car, parked in the lot, leaving her alone.

"'Bye, Wilson," she called after him, smiling softly. Then walked to the front of the airport, where the yellow cars were lined up. She climbed in one, and she gave them the address.

The cab pulled up to a familiar apartment building, and she stepped out of the cab, tugging at her bag. She looked up at the building, feeling a bit of trepidation, then she walked in.

She stared at the brass 221B, a million thoughts running through her mind. The most frequent was run away! This can only end badly.

She swallowed her fear, and she knocked, softly at first, then louder. She waited a few moments, nervousness building in her belly. He didn't answer. She knocked again, and still, no answer. Sighing, and feeling foolish, she turned around and left.

And she bumped into him.

He'd run down to the small liquor store around the block to buy a bottle of scotch, and he hadn't expected her to be waiting at his doorstep. "L...Cuddy," he greeted her with a nod, no smile. He had forgotten that she had been coming back into town today.

"G...House," she nodded back. She scooted back, allowing him to unlock his door. "Sorry, I should have call..." She was cut off by his lips covering hers, and his tongue invaded her mouth. She tensed, then she allowed herself to melt into the kiss. He broke it off as quickly as he started it, and he slipped inside the apartment, placing the bottle on the kitchen counter.

He began rooting around in his cabinet for glasses, and she stepped inside, placing her bag by the door. They stood in silence for a while, each not wanting to say anything to the other, when finally, she cleared her throat.

"I ran into an old friend," she smirked nervously, teasing him, trying to draw a reaction from him.

He arch an eyebrow. "Another perk of being Dean of Medicine, servicing old employees. Where do I sign up?"

She barked out a nervous laugh. "The only employee I service is you." She sat down on the arm of the couch. "I ran into Alec."

"Alex?" He frowned, wrinkling. "Why does that sound familiar?"

"Not Alex. Alec," she corrected. She played with the hem of her coat. "We talked about college."

"What about it?" He poured her a glass of scotch and he handed it to her.

"Just, sharing stories, you know." She downed he scotch. "I'm sorry," she blurted out.

He froze. "It was a long time ago."

"I know. She put the glass down, and she took off her coat, tossing it on the couch. "I can't promise you that it won't happen again,"

"Cuddy," he stepped closer to her. He sighed, "Lisa." He nuzzled her neck, drinking in her scent. "I don't want promises. Promises can be broken." His stubble tickled her throat. "I want you." He found her lips again, and he pressed her against the couch arm. "I only want you."

She smiled, kissing him back. She wasn't running away this time. She melted into him, and they fell into a heap on the couch.


(The Next Day)

"You charged nearly six thousand dollars to the hospital expense account!" she shrieked. It wasn't a question; it was an accusation. From the smug look on his face, it was an accurate assumption. She stood up at her desk, rubbing her forehead with her fingers, trying not to kill the doctor in front of her.

He tightened the grip on his cane, smirking. "I was lonely."

"You charged a strip club visit to the hospital expense account in Cameron's name?" she asked again, trying not to throttle the smug son of a bitch.

"I wasn't the only one who went," he pouted, whining. "Chase, Taub, and Kutner seemed to have a good time."

"You can't charge a strip club to the hospital expense account! You don't even know the account numbers. Only members of the Budget Committee know that account information. That and Accounting. How did you..." Her eyes widened. "You hacked into the system?" She slumped back in her chair, closing her eyes.

"God no," he smirked. "I just blackmailed Doug on the committee.

"What?"

He grinned and shrugged. "I just had my P.I. Look into members of the committee. He was the only one cheating on his wife." He paused a second. "Oh, yeah, and I promised Debbie in Accounting that I'd set her up with Wilson." He grinned. "Gonna need your help on that."

"The six thousand dollars is coming out of your check." Her voice brokered no argument.

"What! You can't do that!" He was stunned, and he nearly lost his balance.

"Watch me," She powered up her computer. "And, you just added an extra three hours of clinic duty. A week."

He opened his mouth to protest, but she cut him off. "And, you owe Cameron an apology."

His eyes widened, and he clenched his jaw. Finally, he nodded, tightly. "Fine. To everything except the apology. She knew what she was getting into."

"Okay." He turned around, and he started to leave. She cupped her chin in her hand, smirking as she watched him pause as his hand touched the door. "Dinner, my place. Eightish, unless I get a patient."

She smiled, warm and genuine, and she nodded. "I'll be there."


"You're happy."

"Your tie is ugly."

"Stop deflecting," Wilson admonished. "You're happy!"

"Cuddy just yelled at me," he grinned. "For charging a six grand night at a strip club to the hospital." He explained as he limped to the cafeteria side by side with his best friend.

"You did what?" Wilson's voice rose as his eyes widened.

House smirked. "And I did it in Cameron's name."

"Why hasn't she killed you, yet?"

"She's plotting her revenge right now."

"I was talking about Cuddy.

House grinned. "So was I." They entered the cafeteria, and House gave one of his rare smiles. "All is right with the world." He paused and shrugged. "Okay, it'll be right, as soon as you pay for lunch."

Wilson shook his head, then he got in line. Everything was "normal."

The End


Final Author's Note -

I just want to take a moment to thank everyone of you for reading this! This is the longest (and one of the first) fic I've written! I didn't really have a plan when writing this, and it shows, but I'm so happy you stuck with me, through my trial and error! I've learned my lesson, and now, I plan my fics before I write them – LOL!!

Again, thank you so much! I really enjoyed writing this! It has been a lot of fun!

~ Imnotcrazy, aka ImNC, aka Amanda :-)