****Thank you all for sticking with me as my postings have gotten slower and slower. Real life is kicking my ass right now! Just a note, forgot to say…I did steal the trolley song in chap 13! So, okay…this is it, the LAST chapter to Breaking the Dam! Very tough, please enjoy. I will be taking a very short break to get all my deadlines under control and then I will start with part 2 of this story. *****
Lisa Cuddy hummed softly headed down the street towards her house pushing Rachel in her stroller. She had spent two lovely hours at the park with her beautiful baby girl, letting her enjoy the sunshine, and the soft green grass. Pushing her on the swing and reveling in the joy of her daughter's laughter.
Actually, she was reveling in the joy of her memories of the previous night. Memories of Greg House, finally in her arms. This past week she had seen sides of him that he had kept hidden for far too long. At this stage, she had surely, been one of the few people who still believed that he had such a tender and caring side left inside of him. She was sure; that most people thought his emotions, as well as his heart had atrophied, from years left unused.
But, the death of Kutner, whom she believed all along, had been his favorite of the team had really rattled him. Maybe it had been an emotional overload; maybe it had been a final realization that life could be too brief. Whatever the reason had been, something had given him that final nudge towards her, and she was overjoyed.
She wasn't kidding herself. She knew that one night didn't necessarily change everything. But, something had changed inside him, and she was glad to have been a part of it.
Humming happily to Rachel and herself, she turned the corner towards her house, and her heart froze. The street was entirely empty. His car was gone. She slowed the stroller for a moment and tried to get herself under control. Her hands were shaking as she started walking again, this time more briskly and without the hum. Nothing, could keep her heart from catapulting into the pits of her stomach. And even though she had not even stepped into her front door, she knew exactly what she would find; an empty house and no note.
Sure enough as she pushed the stroller through the front door, she found herself facing a silence that on this day seemed overwhelming. This was the way her house always was, but on this day she had expected him to be there, she had wanted it so badly. She had envisioned the way he would be sprawled on her sofa watching the TV; or playing the upright piano in the corner of the living room. Maybe even still asleep in her bed, anything, anything but gone.
She picked up Rachel and walked quickly through the main rooms of the house. It was ridiculous of her, and she knew it; but she was hoping to find a note. Something, anything, but the cold abandonment she was left with.
"That bastard" she said out loud as she collapsed on the couch with Rachel in her lap. She was tired, exhausted in fact, and her nerves after this past week, were stretched to the max. Her emotions got the better of her, and even though she had Rachel kicking and cooing in her lap, she couldn't stop the tears from coming.
She placed her daughter down, sitting on the soft carpet at her feet, and layed some toys in front of her before doubling over and weeping into her hands. "Damn it! Damn it!" she said aloud as sob after sob wrenched itself from inside her. She had been left by men before, of course she had, but this was different. This time it hurt so much, she felt like throwing up, she felt like she was being turned inside out. "Why did I let him do this?" she asked herself as she cried and cried, waiting for some of the pain to subside.
She looked down to see her apple faced baby looking up at her, and giving her a gummy grin. She covered her forehead and tried to pull it together. She had slept with him, had sex with him, actually it had been way more than sex…they had made love. Well, at least she had thought so.
The way he had held her, and looked into her eyes, waiting for her approval before slowly pushing himself inside of her. The way he had kept his eyes locked on hers the entire time, wanting to make sure beyond the shadow of a doubt, that she had wanted him as much as he wanted her. Had she imagined all of that? Had she been simply a night of sex? A lay that he had wanted for so long, unfinished business from his Michigan days?
Or worst of all; had he sensed the love and need that had surely poured out of her, and had he been frightened out of his skin. Had he seen her as a needy, overworked single mother and simply turned on his heel; in no way willing or able to tie himself to someone like that.
Slowly, very slowly Lisa Cuddy slowly began to shrug off the grief and pull herself together. She had Rachel after all, someone who regardless of how sad she was, still needed to be fed and changed, and laid down for a nap. Whether Gregory House had used her or not, her child needed her, and she was a strong woman, a professional woman, who would bottle up her needs, and her pain, and her anger and move forward, like she had so many times when it came to him.
With these thoughts in her mind Cuddy found the way to trudge through her day. And though the pain was still there, she had managed to push it aside and get by. So through small, sporadic fits of tears she had put Rachel down for a nap, showered, dressed and gotten her up again, and was heading in to start dinner when she heard the knock at her door.
She opened the door, red rimmed eyes, and a squirming Rachel in her arms. "Go away House," she said flatly, as she made to slam the door.
House reached out and stopped it with one hand. "Hey, Cuddy, Hey." He stammered, dropping the overnight bag at his feet, and planting his cane firmly in the path of the door.
"House, go home" she repeated, leaning up against the half open door. "Just go home."
He stood still, facing her, his deep blue eyes narrowing as they searched her face, as they bore into her swollen red-rimmed eyes. "Cuddy, I…"
"You what?"She cut him off angrily, "you what? You decided that after all you did feel like having another night of sex? Or maybe what, screwing your boss just once wasn't enough for you? Or maybe what, what else, you needed comfort, needed to talk, to rest, to sleep?" Little by little her voice escalated, as he stood rooted to his spot, and as Rachel became slightly more and more agitated.
"You need to calm down." He replied softly, his eyes fixed on hers.
She ran a hand through her hair, pushing a long loose strand behind her ear, "You need to get out!"
"We need to talk." He continued calmly, his eyes never leaving hers.
"I'm tired of talking Greg!" she exclaimed, as a fresh batch of tears found its way to her eyes. "I'm done talking. I can't do this anymore." She looked at him, and then looked down at his feet, for the first time noticing the small duffel bag he had dropped when he blocked the door from slamming in his face.
He looked down at the bag, and smiled, shrugging his shoulders. "The one time I did the right thing" he said with a weak chuckle.
"Greg, I…" she shut her eyes and shifted the baby to her other side.
He raised his eyes, and rested them on hers for a second before looking down at his bag again. "Can I come in then?" he asked tapping the door with his cane,
Without waiting for an answer, he picked up his bag, scooted by her and headed into the living room, where he plopped comfortably on the couch, the bag at his feet.
Cuddy walked in behind him and leaned against the doorway, Rachel still in her arms. "You came back." She said simply.
"Told ya, you needed to calm down." He answered tersely.
"I didn't think you would come back." She said shaking her head from side to side, as she walked up and deposited Rachel inside her playpen. "When I came home, you were gone…so I figured."
'You figured?" He asked matter of factly.
"I figured it was a one night…..stand" She said uncomfortably as she came up and sat on the ottoman in front of him.
"Ahhh," he answered looking up "hence the tears."
"You're an ass." She mumbled.
"I'm an ass who didn't know a one night stand was even an option with you." He smiled.
"It's not!" she snapped.
"Hence the tears." He repeated
"Yes," she answered, finally looking him straight in the eye, "hence a lot of tears."
"Cuddy," he said softly "When are you gonna learn I am not worth crying over?"
She shook her head and brought her hand up to squeeze her eyes, trying to stop the tears that were starting to form again. "I don't know," she smiled "never? Or, maybe you could stop giving me a reason to cry."
"Ahhh," he said again "you know me better than that."
They both sat silently for a moment. One across from the other, him on the couch, her on the ottoman, both looking at their feet. The only sounds that could be heard were the occasional squeals of delight coming from the playpen.
"Was last night a mistake?" Cuddy asked breaking the silence.
He tapped his cane on the floor, then looked up at her. "Not for me." He smiled.
"Sex is never a mistake for you." She smiled back.
"Lees," he laughed, tilting his head to the side. "It was more than just sex to me."
"Was it?" she answered, needing to make sure that he felt like she did.
"Well, for one it was fucking unbelievably good sex!" he smiled wickedly, waggling his eyebrows, before pausing to look directly into her beautiful grey eyes. "And, for seconds….it was you."
She laughed and reached out a hand intertwining her fingers with his, "After all these years…" she started.
"After all these years, you finally got me back in the sack!" He finished for her, giving her hand a slight squeeze, accompanied by a teasing smile.
"Oh, please." She replied coyly. "You're the one who wanted me, you spent five loooong years pining away and you finally made it."
"Hm," he replied "that's exactly what Wilson said."
"Wilson?!" she exclaimed pulling her hand out of his.
"Oops. "He smiled sheepishly as he squeezed her hand harder, refusing to let it go.
"You did NOT tell Wilson we slept together did you?" She asked firmly, pulling her hand free.
"It might have slipped out." He answered leaning back against her couch.
"House!" she practically shouted "How am I supposed to believe this meant something to you? You run home and call Wilson within minutes of your big 'conquest'! How many lurid details did you and that, that, that weasel share? You are an even bigger jack ass than I ever thought possible!"
House leaned forward and took both her hands in his pulling her forward. "Hey," he said in a soft yet firm voice, "Wilson was at my place this morning. He had been calling me nonstop, he was worried and he came by. AND, when he saw me smiling away and whistling Dixie, he kind of figured it out." He chuckled. "And besides, you haven't exactly been able to keep your feelings for me hidden very well."
"First of all," she replied snappily, "the only 'feelings' I have shown for you have been ones of sheer frustration, and second of all, I do NOT appreciate you discussing the details of MY sex life with Wilson" she added angrily.
"Well, first of all," he countered "everybody knows that you have been the one pinning away for me for the past …five years, and second," he let go of one her hands and gently cupped her face, tilting it up so that they could be eye to eye, "I would never divulge a single solitary detail of how you were with me to anyone…ever. Those memories are strictly for me to re-live." He paused, shutting his eyes and inhaling deeply, "Ahhh," he added as he smiled smugly "I am in fact re-living a particularly good one right now."
"You are unbelievable!" she said pulling her hand free and smacking him on the shoulder. "So," she continued getting up and heading across the room to the playpen "I take it Wilson had something to do with you heading back here?"
"Maybe a little nudge," he conceded, "But not entirely…I knew what I wanted…I just…had some issues."
"Is she one of them?" she asked softly, leaning down to pick up Rachel out of the playpen.
"Not as long as you keep her in that cage for extended periods of time." He replied smiling.
"What is it about her that scares you so much?" She asked as she maneuvered her onto her hip.
"I never said I was scared." He answered simply
"What else?" she asked, as she sat on the sofa besides him, Rachel on her lap. "You said 'issues', so what else?"
He took a deep breath than turned to face her. "I'm not very good at commitment." He finished.
"Oh," she exhaled, shaking her head softly from side to side. "Good thing it's nothing major."
"Lees," he said snaking an arm around her back, "I'm here because I want to try."
She turned to face him, the man she had wanted for so long; the cold heartless bastard who had put her through the ringer more times than she could count. The tortured genius who had finally been able to find a tiny bit of light deep within his soul. She stared right into his deep blue eyes and asked him the one thing she needed to know.
"Greg," she asked softly "what do you want?"
He paused for a moment to take everything in. This could after all be the last moment of his old life. Life as he knew it, alone, unencumbered, uncommitted, miserable, but oddly content. He looked at Cuddy, beautiful, Cuddy, with her long loose curls framing her face. Her flawless perfect skin, Her gorgeous blue grey eyes, red rimmed and puffy from a day of crying, so full of emotion as they awaited his response. He looked at Rachel, a chubby gurgling baby, to him like so many others. Nothing more than an intrusion, a burden he would have to learn to accept.
Babies, a commitment, both of these were things he never thought he'd have. Never thought he'd want. But here he was, after so many years, face to face with the one thing he wanted more than anything he had ever wanted before. And he was willing to accept babies, and burdens, and just about anything as long as they came with Lisa Cuddy.
"I want you." He said looking her deep in the eyes, and leaning forward to press his lips against hers. "I want you."
****Thank you all for reading my short fiction. This return to writing has really been life altering for me! As have been your reviews! Please keep an eye out for part 2 of this fiction. I would love to keep it going!******************