This is my first attempt to write something with more than 1,000 words, and I must thank The Profane Angel for having the patiance to read and correct my mistakes!
This is also a response to the 7_crossovers community at LJ.
She hated these conventions. Hated being away from home, away from the hospital, and most important, she hated admitting she hated being away from House. Without her around to control him, he might burn down the hospital. And hate was too weak a word to describe how she felt about being away from Rachel. One week away from home and her baby, Lisa thought, and she might just go crazy.
So, there she sat, in some New York bar, thinking about these things and yet thinking nothing at all. It wasn't late, and after a while, she looked around and realized she was in a typical lawyer's bar. Some men wore fine suits that probably cost more than she earned in three months, while others wore suits that appeared as old as her Michigan sweater. Taking a sip from her drink, she sighed and looked around one more time.
Mike had had a bitching day. Actually, it was a bitching week. Two trials running concurrently, three arraignments, two meetings with defendants at Rikers, judges kicking his ass while Jack ate his lunch was something Mike was used to, but it didn't mean he enjoyed it. To compensate, there he was, drinking his second scotch in less than fifteen minutes.
He usually didn't look around a bar. He was more inclined to sit, drink, pay, and then leave, especially when he was in a bad mood, like today, but as the bartender tarried bringing his third scotch, he spun on his stool and looked around. He smiled when he saw her. A brunette, with curly hair and the most beautiful blue eyes he'd ever seen was a few stools away, drinking something he couldn't identify.
The bartender saw him looking at her and smiled. "She's been sitting there for over an hour, all by herself, buddy." He poured another drink for Mike.
"Over an hour?"
"You're sure she's not waiting for anyone?"
"No phone calls, never checked her watch, and never looked at the front door. All by herself, buddy."
"Hmm. What's she drinking?"
"Not a bold drink, but very fine. Send her another one."
"Sure thing." The bartender smirked as he prepared the drink.
Mike stared at her, trying to read something, anything about the woman. She wore a nice suit, but she didn't look like a lawyer. He had no clue as to what she did for a living, but she seemed very out of place sitting there alone. He thought about Connie, and how she usually fooled men with her non-lawyer attire. He shook his head, trying to focus on the brunette near him, and watched as the bartender approached her with the glass, then pointed at him.
She finished her drink and thought about calling it a night. She'd had enough to feel a little dizzy, and that was more than enough warning when the bartender appeared with a fresh drink, which he placed in front of her.
"You must be mistaken," she said with a smile, "I didn't order another one."
"No, this one is courtesy of the gentleman over there." He smiled as he pointed at Mike.
Cuddy raised her eyebrows and looked at the man the bartender identified with a pointed finger. She saw a tall guy, with sandy hair, and, by the light in the bar, eyes that were either blue or gray. She thanked the bartender, then raised the drink in her benefactor's direction and took a sip, aware he watched her.
He watched her sip the drink, and silently asked if he could approach, and smiled when she nodded.
"Hi," Mike said, sitting on the stool next to her. "I'm Mike, Mike Cutter." His smile was shy.
She thought that was cute. "Hi Mike, I'm Lisa. Lisa Cuddy." She flashed her best smile when they shook hands. She had a feeling no one would interrupt her conversation with this guy, and she was more than willing to make a New York friend, to guide her through the city.
"I'm not really the kind who look around in bars, but I'm pretty sure you're not a regular here, are you?"
"No. This is my first time," she said, before taking another sip of the drink. "Actually, I'm not from NY."
"Kinda. I'm attending a medical conference."
"You're a doctor?"
"Yeah. Although right now I'm an administrator." She smiled, remembering House's words. The smile confused Mike.
"Sorry, I didn't catch the joke." A faint blush crept up his face.
"I'm the Dean of Medicine at Princeton-Plainsboro Hospital," she explained.
"Dean of medicine? That's...awesome."
"Yeah, it is." She sipped again while he ordered another drink for himself. "And you, Mike?"
"I work at the DA's office."
"So you're a lawyer?"
"Yeah, I'm the EADA."
"Now that's awesome." She smiled as he blushed again.
"I guess it is, but it's something I really love doing."
"Speaking for the victims and their families."
"It's similar to being a physician, Mike. Giving life some meaning."
"I guess so. While I can't bring those victims back, at least I can assure the families of some closure, some sense that justice will be done." He smiled. "Let's not talk shop, we're seriously off duty right now." He smiled while watching her sip the mojito again. "I apologize for this ancient line, but what's a woman like you doing all by herself in a bar like this?" He tried not to look at her breasts, but the V-necked blouse made that hard.
"I told you, I'm attending a convention." She tried to sound annoyed, but her smile betrayed her.
"I guess you misunderstood. I wanted to know if you were waiting for someone."
"Oh, I get it. You want to know if I'm going to dump you anytime soon."
"That's the idea." They smiled.
"I'm alone in city, Mike. No one's going to meet me here."
With a few more drinks, they were chatting like old friends, telling each other the most curious or bizarre cases they'd dealt with in their careers.
"..and then there I was, in the courtroom, and the defense attorney said something to me, and you know what? I..just..snapped."
"You went physical on the attorney?"
"I did. I was prosecuting a drug dealer, who also happened to be a rapist and murderer, and that SOB said out loud, to the courtroom, that the People were completely wrong and out of their minds by seeking life."
"What did the judge do?"
"Contempt. Both of us. That was the first time the DA's office dropped a thousand bucks on me," Mike said, with a proud smile, as Lisa finished her drink.
"How many contempt citations do you have?"
"Four. Each one was completely worth it. My conviction ratings are the highest in my office. And it is a big deal."
"Are you really an eloquent man?" She teased him.
"Usually. When I'm sober and focused, and in front of the jury, yeah, I'm pretty damned eloquent. If I wasn't, Jack McCoy wouldn't have promoted me to EADA." He finished his drink, then looked her in the eyes.
"I know, I was just teasing."
"You know, you could come to court tomorrow, see me in action. I have this murder case. I promise, nothing gross or too scary. But, just.."
"Justice must be done," she finished for him. "I know. You know, Mike, I bet you're way more eloquent and handle words better when you're sober, but, as I said, it's a bet, a hunch, since I've never seen you before."
"Enough about me." He rattled the ice in his glass. "Tell me something about Lisa."
"Hmm. I'm the dean of a very big, important hospital in Princeton. I teach endocrinology classes once in awhile, I handle almost three hundred employees, and I have a beautiful daughter, Rachel, who's seven months old."
"That's nice. Children make it all worth it. So, are you divorced?"
"No, no. I adopted Rachel. Some teenager gave birth in an old house and abandoned her when the baby didn't cry. The mother then appeared at the hospital with eclampsia, but it was too late to help her, and as none of her family wanted the baby, I adopted her. I love her like my own."
"And what does Rachel look like?" Mike couldn't help smiling as Lisa grabbed her wallet and flashed a picture of her with Rachel, on a bench, in front of the hospital. "She's pretty cute," he said.
"She's my little angel. I love her so much." Lisa couldn't stop smiling.
"She really is." He smiled, watching Lisa's shining eyes as she spoke about her baby.
Lisa covered his nearest hand with her own. "Mike, it was really nice to meet you, but I have to go back to my hotel."
Mike looked from her eyes to her hand, covering his own, and slowly said,
"You know what, Lisa, you're damned right." He looked at his watch. "It's too late for a fine woman like you to be wandering the streets. "Come on, I'll walk you to your hotel." He put three twenty dollar bills beside their glasses, stood, and extended his hand, which she took.
They walked slowly through the streets, Mike struggling to be coherent as he babbled about the office. "Y'know, when I first started there, I had the hots for my ADA, Connie. God, I wanted to shag her senseless." His grin was lopsided. "It didn't take me long to realize why she never gave me a chance.'
"Lesbian?" Lisa asked, holding back laughter at the way Mike sounded.
"What? No. No. Connie's straight. She and Jack McCoy, my boss, the big boss, are dating. On the sly."
"Oh. I see."
" I don't see a problem, it's actually nice they're together, Jack needs someone like Connie, who takes care of him. The man's got a handful of problems and it's a bad thing to be alone handling those things. Oh, well... seems like we're here."
They stopped at the hotel's door, Mike nodded to the doorman and took Lisa's hand into his.
"Ya know... I might have had a bit too much scotch, but I can't remember feeling this good on a first date."
Lisa took her room keycard out of her wallet.
"Room 1012, what a coincidence." Mike looked from it to her.
"Why? Is that your house's number too?"
"No, It's the number of my Office at One Hogan Place." He locked his eyes with hers.
"Ok, Lisa, I'm pretty done with this talking." He looked from her eyes to her lips.
He leaned forward, placing his lips over hers, giving her the chance to refuse, which she didn't. So they shared a kiss, and Mike's ears were bright red when she looked at him again.
"Good night, Mike."
"Good night, Lisa. Oh, here's my card, call me. Whenever you want. We can have a lunch some of these days, when I'm sober, right?"
"Ok. I promise to call."
They shared another kiss before Lisa went inside the hotel.
The next morning, when room service brought her breakfast, there was a bouquet of red roses, with a note.
Lisa, I'm pretty sure I wasn't the wisest man on earth last night, and I'm not sure I can remember everything we said, but I do remember very well the kisses. Hope these red roses makes you have a very beautiful day, just like you.
Lisa knew something good might have stated there last night.