Title: Stuck
Author: Gomes
Fandom: House MD
Pairing: House/Cuddy
Rating: T
Warnings: None
Tags: Episode addition
Spoilers: Help Me (6x22)
Summary: "- you think I want to shack up because of some misguided coveting fetish?"
Disclaimer: All known characters and premises belong to their respectful owners. So there.

Fingers extended, stretching to grasp the edges of a dream they both fought against. But this was a reality - their reality, and they contracted as eagerly, gripping and needing the other's hand as fingers steepled together before clasping with a desired squeeze.

Her back was against the door frame, its uneven ridges digging in as his body pressed against hers fully. His position so wanting. So trusting. So believing.

Lips forced her head back, her hair scraping against the painted wood as his hot mouth tickled her neck, knowing what charmed her, what caused her to press her pelvis against his, as her body spasmed with remembered delight.

Twenty years and his touch was still just as fresh. Bold. Arrogant. Knowing.

From her vantage point, she watched speckles taint the bathroom's ceiling as light shone off the mangled mirror sitting prettily in his tub; evidence of his near collapse and subsequent broken mirror, shards that reflected not only the light bulb's profession, but one that offered her a glimpse into the events consequences.

So much had been lost; time, hearts, lives. Destruction reverberated from the collapsed building, a catalyst perhaps, in her own life and that of the man who's continue exploration had set her senses alive with fear and hope and sympathy and lust and love.

Hands cupped her rear through her pink scrubs, fingers cunningly snaking amidst layers of clothing in order to breathe her bare skin. They squeezed and fondled without shame, bringing her closer to him, to feel his own arousal building up for her.

Laboured breaths, tandem and complimenting, always filling the air with exhalations, seemingly burst through their ribcages, air bouncing off the other. Her own hands were far from idle as one gripped his shirt just above the small of his back while the other gripped his wiry hair, nails grazing his scalp.

She allowed her hand to rest at the base of his neck, pulling him back and holding him idle against her as warm foreheads touched, feverish hearts and bodies sweating desire that she felt sit , growing in the pit of her stomach.

"Slow down," she murmured, out of breath and full of desire for the man whose actions still had not receded, still had not ceased since secrets divulged.

A small push offered her the distance she wanted, but hands held his, once again clasped with his, held a balance they both required.

"What's with the non-rush?"

And for the first time, she witnessed a complete confusion, a full lack of understanding mirrored in the doctor's eyes. There was no hurt, no defiance, no mistrust…just incomprehension.

She closed her eyes as his hands whispered across her waist, lips brushing and nipping her mouth to a level of toe-curling delight.

But the stakes were high and physical pleasure seemed to dwarf the severity of the situation they found themselves basking in. They had the want, the history, the connection, but they also had the loss to contribute to fevered kisses and desperate touches beneath the covers.

"Rash decisions, House."

At her words, she watched his eyes darken and his body retreat slightly. Hands reached for him, gripping his forearms to stall any hasty escape.

"We've both lost…a lot. I'm not saying that it's a rebound but our judgments are impaired."

She watched his Adam's apple bob, a biting retort wet on his tongue.

"My break-up with Lucas was barely hours ago. Your patient's life. Your assumed loss of our…relationship, when I told you about the engagement -"

"- you think I want to shack up because of some misguided coveting fetish?"

And the acid burned, knowing his deliberate attempt to make her feel objectified. Yet she still did not relinquish her hold on him, still did not allow him flight from the fight.

"Don't flatter yourself, Cuddy."

All she could do was press her lips together as he wrenched his arms from her grasp, as he bent down awkwardly to retrieve the two pills from the floor.

Steely eyes turned, a mocking and self-hating smirk resting upon drawn lips. "What? Still no lunging?"

And she watched as he held the pills up to his mouth, defiantly popping one and seconds later, the other, his eyes never leaving her form and his mouth contorted into a dangerous smirk.

This time, the pills held much deadlier consequences, almost cementing the expansion of the growing rift which, mere minutes ago, had been sealed with truths and kisses.

To hurt and be hurt seemed to be their perpetual dance and for the first time, Cuddy wondered of her decision. To settle and experience a sense of happiness or to constantly fight but feel passion. He was so frightened, and it felt as if he was deliberately rushing and pushing, wanting to push her away as he, in his deliberate and infinite conflict, pulled her to him.

"Look at you," she began, her voice void of sympathy and yet, lacking the strength to fully convince of any callous intentions. "You're so scared…scared that something good can happen to you. That you have an opportunity to maybe be happy? And what, you're going to throw it all away because of a not-now?" She shook her head, fighting disgust and hurt and regret.

Blue searched blue, though she felt that his eyes were more observant than her tired gaze could hold and she dropped it, seeing mistakes and a questionable future almost through the floor.

She listened to him retreat, uneven and unsteady steps disappearing into his bedroom. His bed creaked and material rustled against material as she all but saw him settle beneath the covers.

She followed, perching herself on the end of the bed, body curled up with her legs folded underneath her. And she sat and watched as he feigned a ridiculous sleep. Minutes turned to moments, which proceeded to carry on far longer than she was beginning to accept. However through the darkness, she barely registered his eyes now watching her, as she had regressed inside her mind and heart, fighting to block out her mistake, his decision and her inability to move on, just as he was incapable of doing so.

Her heart ached at his avoidance, defiance, need to hurt, reluctance to trust.

"If we don't trust each other," he began, a slow whisper of drawn out words.

Her breath hitched minutely, and she wondered if he could read her mind. Or perhaps they were so attuned to each other that their personal language spilled over vocal barriers.

"If we don't trust each other, we'll just be stuck. Right where we are. In stasis between you and me and…us."

And everything rose up, welled up inside, from the pit of her stomach traveling up her esophagus. Cruel words, disbelieving words, angry words, accusing words. And all the while she debated with herself, he kept a cool gaze on her face. She knew he could pinpoint her exact emotions, and probably lecture her on the reasons each one appeared and disappeared in that succession.

In that moment, something wasn't right.

In that moment, she knew he was hiding something from her. Or perhaps testing her. Her eyes followed his blinked gaze, stopping on the dark brown bedside table.

Body leaning forward, she crawled across the bed, avoiding his legs. Hands held her weight, distributed half on her knees, as she peered at the two small pills that sat, in a small puddle of saliva. They showed signs of slight disintegration, edges choppy and pasty, but the pills in whole were there.

She remained on all fours, but turned to face him, questions and elation in her eyes.

"If you're waiting for me to tell you that you're more important than that," he motioned with a nod at the small table and its contents, "that you are the most important thing in my life…I'm not going to say it."

Her head cocked to the side, eyes soft and a smile to match, lips twitching in anticipation to join his, to feel his breath mingle with hers.

"You should already know..."