rtlemurs: (OldBlue)
[personal profile] rtlemurs
Title: Brief Encounters
Fandom: House MD
Characters or Pairing: House/Cuddy
Rating: PG
Word Count:1450 on the nose!
Summary: "Just take the damn shirt off."
Notes: Written for the "Comes As You're Not" party '08. Tremendous thanks to our hostess with the mostess [livejournal.com profile] karaokegal and the always wonderful hl_lover for their last minute beta work, concrit, and encouragement! I would not be here if not for them. Thank you ladies!
Why it's a costume: So many reasons. First of all this is my first fic in ages and it usually takes me months to even get a usable rough draft. This was completed in two weeks. Next it is almost fluffy slash and I don't normally write that, I'm a non-shipping angst monger. And finally, it is short, the shortest I have ever written. This is deep cover folks even though you may not know it!



Brief Encounters

“It’s ridiculous.”

“It’s a legitimate complaint.”

“It’s nowhere near legitimate.”

“You’re saying that,” she pointed at his shirt for emphasis, “is not offensive?”

“It’s the truth. Which I’ll admit can be offensive to some people… in fact most people, but I can’t be held responsible for the truth.”

“No, but you can be responsible for your attire.”

“She’s still upset about the parking space.”

“Which I could give back to her”

“You wouldn’t”

“Don’t test it.”

“Then where does it stop?”

“It’s a small concession…”

“I’m serious, where does it stop?”

“Just…”

“No. Really. Are the gays going to storm your office and threaten to sue because I’m wearing a pink shirt today? Oh no, my jacket’s made of wool! That’ll get the animal activists in a snit. And god forbid I wear a tight pair of pants some day, the nurses will threaten a sexual harassment suit. Maybe I should just come into work naked.”

She could feel the chill from the windows behind her as the amusing mental image of House stepping out of a blizzard, into the lobby, in nothing but sox and Shox, played across her mind.

“Oh no, wait, that would put someone else on the warpath. Maybe I should just stay at home, keep everyone happy. You think this is funny?”

“Yes. And no you will not stay home and remain an employee of this hospital. Only once have I ever tried to enforce the dress code with you.”

“And we know how that turned out.”

“Yes, it cost us $100 million.” He opened his mouth to protest but she raised a hand and stopped him. “I hardly think you have room to complain about this one simple request.”

“That’s not the point,”

“That is precisely the point. She’s threatening a lawsuit which could cost this hospital millions of dollars.”

“She’ll never win.”

“Why? Because you’re a cripple too? She’s in a wheelchair, which trumps your cane any day.”

“It shouldn’t…”

“But it does.”

“You’re setting a dangerous precedent.”

“Just take the damn shirt off.”

House tossed his cane onto the sofa, reached up and grabbed the collar of both shirts and pulled them over his head. Separating the two shirts he deposited the offending t-shirt on her desk and stood waiting for her response.

“Not what I was hoping for but it’ll do.” He continued to stare and she began to get flustered. She moved the t-shirt and tried to concentrate on what she had been working on before he had stormed into her office.

She found herself rereading the same five lines as her mind insisted on visiting the past. That party, “The Legend” making a rare appearance and her determination to be the one.

She had heard all the rumors. He was gay, too self-centered, an ass, celibate, freaky, kinky, juvenile, STD infested, you name it, it had been said about Greg House. But she had never talked to anyone who had actually been with him. It was always a friend of a friend or this girl I have a class with. She’d figured some of the rumors had a grain of truth to them but no one theory explained why he didn’t have a steady girlfriend. An extraordinary man needed an extraordinary woman and she was just the woman he needed.

He loomed over her now just as he had then.

“Was there something else?”

“No.”

“Then why are you still here?”

“Waiting for further instructions.” She looked at him, trying to figure out what the game was this time. He was still in fine shape, not bulging, but nicely toned. Sometimes she forgot that it was only his leg that was crippled. “After all, if I can’t be trusted to dress myself -”

“Don’t be ridiculous.” She noticed the gray hairs on his chest were threatening to outnumber the dark ones. She found that and the graying at his temples appealing.

“I’m not being –“

“Yes you are. Now go play your games elsewhere. I’m busy.” It came out harsher than she had intended but the memories had her struggling to keep her mask in place. If she smiled now he’d never leave.

Still shirtless he limped out of her office. Nurses stopped staring and tried to look busy while the people in the waiting room stared at the half naked man leaving the administrator’s office. Her thoughts were already in the past.

She had watched him enter the party but pretended to ignore him. Only watching out of the corner of her eye, to make sure she stayed in his orbit. Eventually a friend pointed out that he was watching her. She turned, looked him over casually and returned to the conversation she had been having. Eventually curiosity must have gotten the best of him and he approached her.

“So you’re Lisa Cuddy, the great Jewish hope?”

“And you are?”

“Just a horny undergrad looking to get into your pants,” he ogled her, playing his chosen role down to the last leer.

“Sorry, no room at the inn.”

“I can see that.”

“Does this technique generally work for you?”

“You’d be surprised what drunken sorority girls will go for.”

“Well it doesn’t work on me.”

“Because you are neither drunk nor a sorority girl and I’m surprised you consider your pants an inn. From what I hear they’re more like room number thirteen at the Travelodge in the backwaters of the upper peninsula.”

“Wow, you really are as big an ass as I’ve heard.”

“So you do know who I am.”

“There’s only one ego that big around here.”

“That’s not the only thing about me that’s big.” He tilted his head towards the stairs and raised his eyebrows. Before she could reply he turned and headed up the stairs.

Now that she’d met him she wasn’t so sure this conquest would be worth the notch in her bra strap. As his feet disappeared beyond the ceiling she made the decision to follow. He did not turn at the second floor landing and go to one of the bedrooms as she had expected but continued up five flights to the ladder that led to the roof. Only then did he turn to see if she was with him.

Sudden movement in the clinic brought her focus back to the present. House had tossed his shirt to one of the nurses behind the desk and continued towards the clinic door. She didn’t need anymore threatened lawsuits so she went after him. On her way she grabbed his cane from the couch, removing his planted reason for coming back later and harassing her.

She was able to catch him before he reached the door to the lobby. Not wanting the waiting patients to realize this crazy man was staff she discreetly grabbed his elbow.

“You forgot your cane,” she said politely then added in a low voice “Put your shirt on. Now.”

“Why thank you Dr. Cuddy. Some of those positions are going to have me walking funny for a week, this’ll come in handy. Next week page sixty-seven right?”

Her grip on his elbow tightened as she steered him to the nearest exam room. Smiling over her shoulder to reassure the waiting patients she made hands gestures indicating that the man she was with was not right in the head.

“Kama Sutra. She can’t get enough of it,” he said to the girl closest to the exam room.

Shoving him into the room first she entered and slammed the door.

“What the hell –“

He cut her off with a kiss. She resisted and he backed off.

“House!” His look so neutral she wasn’t sure what was happening or what she should do next. “If that was an apology –“

“I have nothing to apologize for.” Nothing changed yet she knew he was waiting on her to make the next move.

It had been the same on the roof that long ago night. He never made a move, just talked, waiting for her to decide what she wanted. The little boy in him taking the lead, trying to impress her with his knowledge and yet he made fun of her with a cutting adult wit. In the end they parted with no more than a conversation between them and she had been relieved. It was like he knew what she wanted even before she did.

“I have work to do.”

“Go do it.”

That was her cue to walk away. But she couldn't. He leaned in once again and kissed her. She didn't resist. She closed her eyes imagining that first time and realized that once again he had led her right to where she wanted to be.
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