Disclaimer: I do not own House M.D. or any of it's characters. They all belong to David Shore and co.
A/N- I was on a House/Cuddy LJ community and after reading the posts by some of the other members, this little ficlet would just not leave me alone and my muse, evil thing that she is, made me write this. Enjoy!
While she knew that weddings were supposed to be happy occasions, she couldn't concentrate. She wanted to be able to focus on the wedding, to focus on the fact that today was a day about two people that worked for her celebrating their love and committing to each other. She was unable to do that; she couldn't focus on anything but him, and what was worse was she knew it, and she didn't care. She knew that she shouldn't be so damned focused on him, that her thoughts shouldn't center around him like they did when she remembered what he'd done to her over the past forty-eight hours. While it hadn't been the truth, she couldn't walk anywhere in the hospital, whether it was the clinic or the entrance hall, without getting side glances and stares from people. She didn't have to have the ability to read minds to know what they were thinking, but it was plainly written on their faces.
But she did. She knew that he had only said that because he had believed that it was the truth. He had thought that it had happened, and for a few moments, she wished that it had happened so the alternative could be avoided. The thought of opposing Wilson's idea of House being sent to a psychiatric facility had arisen in her more than once, but she clamped down on that urge. She knew that House had to go, for his sake and for her own. She would let him come back to work once he was given a clean bill of health by the hospital that he went to and had done a full psychiatric evaluation done by the therapist who worked at the teaching hospital. She didn't know how long it would take, and she knew that she shouldn't hope for him to come back soon, all things considered. After the decision had been made and the proper calls had been taken care of, she found that the only thing she could think of was him. The way he'd looked at her in her office like a man that was lost and desperate, how open he'd looked to her in that moment like he'd never looked before. Staying as late as she could, she'd given him one last glance before leaving as quickly as she could yet maintaining a sense of decorum and propriety. She had gone home and put on her dress for the wedding and dressed Rachel, hoping that by going it would take her mind off of the barrage of thoughts that focused around the one man in her life that she'd come to see as a constant that would always be there, no matter how hard she tried to get rid of him. She'd carefully applied her makeup, making sure that her eyelashes were coated in water-proof mascara, in the event that she cried. Because of the wedding, she could make it look as though that was the reason, but she managed to breathe carefully and maintain that breathing so as to not cry like she secretly wanted to. A fake smile was plastered on her face, painted on there like a masterpiece that Picasso himself would have been proud of. Anyone looking at her wouldn't have been able to tell that she was in pain and feeling as though she'd practically given up the man that she lo…. No, she couldn't think that. If she did, then that made it true, and that was nearly as bad as admitting it to herself, something that she wouldn't do.
She had tried focusing on the baby that she held in her arms, her beautiful baby girl, and found that she couldn't. Moments that she and House had had together replayed over and over in her head, like a movie stuck on replay.
The only time they'd slept together. The day she'd met him for the first time. When she saw him again after years of not seeing him, that day in her hospital, of all places. His biting words and sarcasm. Him baiting her trying to get a rise out of her. When he'd kissed her after telling her that she'd be a great mother.
The thought of that kiss still made her lips tingle. She could remember, in vivid detail, how the kiss had played out. Had she been vulnerable? Yes, but she could say without doubt that it had been something she had wanted, and a small part of her had wished then and still did that he hadn't pulled away. That he would have been normal, selfish House and had just kept kissing her as though his life depended on it and not walked out of her front door with barely a glance goodbye. She was unaware of the frown on her face until Cameron approached her, a smile on her lips.
"Are you okay, Dr. Cuddy?"
Lisa shook her head inwardly and nodded. "Yeah, I'm fine. I was just thinking, that's all. And what are you doing over here? You should be dancing and spending time with your husband."
"He's greeting the other people that came. Where is House? I know that I sent him an invitation and that he said he was going to come, that it was too good of a chance to pass up free alcohol," said Cameron, shaking her head.
Before Lisa could answer, Chase walked up behind his new wife and put his arm around her shoulders. "Sorry, babe. I'm back. What's this I hear about House now?"
"I was just asking Dr. Cuddy where he is. I know he told us both that he'd be here."
Lisa bit her lip. She knew that she couldn't tell them the truth. It wasn't entirely her business, nor was it her choice to tell them. Granted, she was their boss, but she knew that it was mainly House's business and not her own to be telling people. "He took some personal time off to take care of himself. He should be back to work soon."
"Huh, that's weird. I just would have thought that he would have mentioned it. I know that he wasn't well and that he had Wilson sitting in on his differentials with the team from what Foreman told me," Chase remarked casually. "Do you mind if I steal my wife away for a dance?"
"No, by all means, go on. And congratulations," Lisa told them.
"Thank you!" came the twin replies as the new couple walked into the throng of people on the dance floor again. As she watched them go, she was grateful that Chase hadn't pushed the issue any further. She knew that there would likely be a day when all of them, the old team and the new, would corner her in her office and interrogate her until she told them what was going on. She'd have to avoid being alone and until they did corner her, she wasn't going to say a word. 'Not that I have to tell them anything. It really isn't any of their business,' she thought. Her eyes began to scan the crowd looking for James before a twinge of pain reminded her that he was gone, having agreed with her to be the one to take House to the facility where he would no doubt be staying for quite awhile. She had looked at Wilson while the three of them had been in his office, and she knew that he'd seen the look on her face. The one that begged him to not make her be the one to take House to a mental hospital and have to watch him walk away from her into that place. Wilson had nodded ever so slightly, silently telling her that he would take care of it, and she'd been able to breathe again. There were many things that she could do and experience, but watching him, someone she cared about deeply walking away from her, was something she knew she couldn't take, whether he knew how she felt about him or not. Watching that would crush her, and she could at least admit that. Which was why she was here: attempting to do anything but think about him and what had happened and how she felt. Because if she did do that, if she sat and thought about how she felt, she knew she would want to do nothing more than cry, so her façade stayed firmly where it was until she had taken Rachel back up in her arms from a co-worker, said goodbye and good luck to the happy couple and gone back home. Once Rachel had been put to bed in her crib, only then did she allow herself to change into a pair of blue pajama pants and a tank top before curling up into a ball in her bed and letting it all out. Because she couldn't let them see her as weak. The tears poured down her cheeks and the smile turned to sobs, her shoulders shaking as she kept her arms around herself, cursing herself for caring so much that she was crying.