Disclaimer: As sad as it is, I am not David Shore. I own nothing.
This is mainly from Cuddy's POV. The last part is from House.
Cuddy sat in her house, tears streaming over the picture of her and her mother, laughing together at her graduation from college. Her grief was more contained now, more reasonable, more healthy, but it was still grief. The sudden noise made her jump.
After a moment, she realized that it was the ringing of her cell phone. She checked the number: Wilson. She should have known that he would somehow find out, and she wasn't really ready to talk to anyone yet.
Sighing, she picked up the phone. "I'm fine."
There was a pause, and then Wilson replied, "And I wasn't in any doubt of that until just now. What happened?"
Damn. He hadn't been calling to comfort her about her mother. Which meant that he had been calling her about something else.
"Nothing. What do you need?" She tried her best to sound completely professional. Lucky for her, Wilson took the bait.
"It's just that well, House and I had planned to watch the game tonight at his place, but he wasn't there. It isn't like him to not come home on weekends. I called him, but there was no answer. Did he get a new case?" She heard the worry and irritation in Wilson's voice.
She was about to tell him no when she thought of something: House was probably still in pain. And he would probably be loped up on Vicodin. He didn't deserve a lecture from Wilson, not today at least.
"Sort of. It was someone else's problem but he kind of… took over," replied Cuddy, trying to be at least partially honest.
"Oh. Thank you. Have a good night Lisa."
"You as well Dr. Wilson." Cuddy said, emphasizing the use of his title and last name. She heard the click of the line, and hung up herself. For a moment, she just stood there, holding the phone. Then she grabbed her keys and headed out the door.
Before long, Cuddy again found herself standing in the doorway of her most infamous employee's office. He was in a much similar position than the last time she had seen him. Lying on the floor, hands massaging his temple, face twisted in pain. This was one of the few times that she understood why House didn't care that he was an addict. He needed the pills anyway, and not to get high. The end result was the same, whether there was an intermediate addiction being fed or not.
"House," she said softly. In response, he merely groaned. She then noticed the small white pills that lay scattered around a prescription bottle. Again, "House." It wasn't said angrily, rather sadly, resigned and even a little guilty.
"Didn't take them. Thought about, but didn't," House's voice was rough and almost as quiet as hers had been. She felt an immediate sense of relief at his words, but she didn't know if it was due to the fact that he had spoken, or to what he had spoken. "It… hurts more than it should. Think I need an MRI." This time the result of his words was a wave of guilt.
"Ok. I'll schedule you one for tomorrow." House only nodded. Cuddy stepped through the door, and sat down against the wall. "Thank you. You did a great thing." Cuddy couldn't bring herself to elaborate. Instead, twiddling with a string on her pants, realizing that she was still wearing pajamas.
His reply surprised her, both it its existence and content. "No. It wasn't great. It wasn't even good. It was expected." Expected? What was he talking about?
"You stood for hours. You put yourself into this state. You..." the last part was almost a whisper, "saved my life. It was great."
The man in front of her shook his head vehemently, and then seemed to regret it. "When it is within someone's power to save a life, it is their… responsibility to do so. No matter what."
At his statement, both her opinion and understanding of him increased. House would lie, cheat, steal, insult, and a commit a whole spectrum of social indiscretions, but he had his own moral standard. It was comprised of the most essential, most pure of the morals of the rest of society: morals that were often forgotten or overlooked in favor of the niceties. Looking at it the world from his point of view, she could understand his disdain for it.
Silence descended, and the two sat together. After a while, House's face smoothed, and before long he had drifted into an uneasy sleep. Cuddy got a few pillows and blankets from the nearest room, carefully put a blanket over House, and tucked a pillow under his head. She took a pillow and blanket for herself, and sat down in his chair for the night.
House woke up with an angry ache in his thigh, but other than that, he was surprisingly comfortable. He remembered falling asleep on the floor… Grudgingly, he opened his eyes and looked around. The first thing he noticed was Cuddy, looking distinctly disheveled, and in her pajamas, curled up asleep on his chair. The second was the pillow he was resting on and the blanket that was covering him. It wasn't hard to put two and two together. House allowed himself the smallest semblance of an earnest smile, and was thankful, once again, that his boss and friend was safe. House once again closed his eyes.
AU: Short, I know. Sorry. If you guys want another chapter, I might be able to manage that, but I would need suggestions.