Out With A Bang

By Jules


A/N: Thanks so much for reading and reviewing! I think this is my favorite chapter-hopefully you like it too!

"How the hell did you find me?"

"When you weren't at your father's house, I figured you'd find the most expensive, ostentatious place that wasn't too far away." Cuddy stepped into the hotel suite. It was so House—wasteful grandeur with a mini bar.

He followed her into the room. "You got lucky. I should be passed out in a dive bar."

"I actually went there first." Cuddy sat down on the bed, looking at him expectantly.

House shook his head and sat next to her. He took her hand, pulling it firmly against his chest. "You just couldn't stay away."

"Well, at some point, we'll both get therapy and delve into my stubborn, idiotic need to be with you. " She kissed his prickly cheek. She pulled back and rested her chin on his shoulder. "Why'd you leave your dad's?"

House looked up to the ceiling and sighed. "I thought seeing him would make everything make sense. It didn't."

Cuddy frowned. "It's only been a day, House."

House got up and walked towards the mini bar. "Sometimes you don't need years to figure things out."

"What about us?" She asked quietly.

He turned around and met her eyes with a piercing gaze. She sucked in her breath. It always shocked and amazed her how he could make her feel with a single look.

He smiled sadly. "You'll always be the exception. But, Cuddy, you should know, I may never get there."

Cuddy nodded quickly. "I know."

She knew, but she didn't want to believe it. She couldn't imagine going back, digressing months and years in their relationship to wind up only as co-workers and casual friends. She stood up and walked to him. "Your mother came with me."

House did a double take. "She what? You went to see my mom?"

"Yeah. She wants to see you, House."

House stared at her, dumbfounded. He hadn't spoken to her in months, had never found the courage to tell her that he was in love. He didn't know why, but he knew that whatever her reaction was would be disappointing.

House turned back to the bar and began to pour himself a scotch. "I don't think that's a good idea."

Cuddy wasn't surprised by his reaction. From the way Blythe had reacted at first, virtually denying everything, she knew that House had probably received enough passivity to last him a lifetime. She put her hand on his wrist. "She wants to talk to you about everything that happened. John, your dad…."

House slammed the tumbler down on the bar. "There's nothing she can say."

Cuddy shuddered, backing away at his outburst. "But you expect your father, who didn't even know of your existence, to have all the answers?"

House ran agitated fingers through his hair. "She didn't do anything then. What the hell can she do now?"

Cuddy stepped closer to him, reaching for his trembling arms. She gripped his biceps, holding him still. "She can acknowledge it. Not talking about it is just giving the abuse power over your life and hers. You shouldn't be afraid of the people you love."

"I'm not afraid of you," he whispered, taking her fully in his arms. He cranked his neck to bury his face against shoulder.

Tears burned against her eyelids as she felt him physically need her, shaking with dormant fear and pain. She caressed the back of his head and whispered into his ear, "Yeah, you are."

She pushed back, taking his face in her hands. She pressed her forehead against his.

"When you thought I was dying, you couldn't even be in the same room with me without Vicodin. Of course you don't want to be in pain. You're afraid I'll hurt you the same way your father did."

House suddenly pushed back from her, his voice cracking with the pain of the last few days, months, and years, "Haven't you? He couldn't accept that I wasn't the son he wanted me to be. Sure, you've never physically expressed that to me, but how are his expectations any different than yours?"

Cuddy felt the words rise hotly from her core as she exploded, "How can I convince you that you can trust me, love me, be with me if you continue to hold this impenetrable wall of all of the crap that's happened to you between us? No one can get passed that because you won't deal with it. I hate what John did to you. I hate that he still has the power to keep you from me, even from his fucking grave." She grabbed him again, but this time, not allowing him to move, making him hear her. "I love the man you are behind it all. I know he's there. I know it. I'm asking you to face your past so you can move on—hopefully with me." She kissed him, putting every single day, month, year they had spent together, all of the things they had ever done and said, everything they had ever felt into his mouth. He responded in-kind, for no matter what he said, he was still fighting to be with her. She pulled back and ran her fingers against his face. "But even if it's not with me, I still want you to deal with it. Your mother's here. She's with your father. It's time. Let's go."

House opened his eyes and laughed sardonically, "You are such a stubborn bitch."

She smiled timidly. She knew she had won. She held out her hand. "I'll work on that," she gave him easily.

House took her hand. "I love you."