Feb. 22nd, 2009

[identity profile] hbic-cuddy.livejournal.com

Cuddy made her way to House's office with the intention of finding out if he had any plans for the evening. More to the point, whether his plans involved her. It was only two days since his Valentine's surprise and they'd both been in a pretty good mood. Happy, even. That evening, with the game, that had been exactly what both of them had needed--a nice break from the usual stress of their lives. She knew, though, that he still liked to spend some evenings alone even when things were good between them. She was fine with that; she simply wanted to know so she could make plans for her evening. A soak in a hot bath and a big bowl of ice cream were sounding really good.

She pushed through the door to his empty office. The conference room was nearly empty as well. Chase was the only one present and accounted for. She was tempted to ignore him, especially given his curious look but she didn't want to sit around House's office if he was going to be gone for a while. With a sigh, she turned and opened the door to the conference room. "Any idea where House is?"

"Not really, no," Chase said. He looked puzzled. "He said something about seeing a man about a truck. I have no idea what that means." 

Cuddy nodded with a small smile. She guessed House was talking to Wilson about the monster truck jam. She considered crossing the balcony to Wilson's office but decided to let them indulge their excitement over strangely named trucks by themselves. She could wait. She pulled back but Chase called to her before she could close the door.

"Enjoy your Valentine's present?" he asked, looking amused.

"I did, yes. Very much," she told him. She wasn't just talking about the sandwich and rose either, but Chase had no way of knowing about the rest. Chase had no need to know about the rest. She gave him an amused look and returned to House's office.

For a few minutes she did nothing but sit in his chair, swaying back and forth and rolling House's big ball between her hands. The longer she sat, the more she started to look around his things. His mail was piled on the corner of the desk, unopened. A few scattered files and magazines were littered over the surface of the desk. His usual knickknacks littered the shelves. There was really nothing new or terribly interesting. She idly opened one of his drawers, glancing over his iPod and Gameboy and a yo-yo and other assorted amusements. All the toys a boy could want. She closed that drawer and pulled open another one, flicking her fingers through a jumble of papers.

She wasn't being nosey, per se. She was simply passing time by nosing around. There was a difference. Still bored, she turned the chair completely around and looked over the books on the shelves behind his desk. She knew he used to use one book to stash his Vicodin, cutting a hole in the center of the pages. She wondered if he still had drugs hidden in his old secret spots now that he didn't need the drugs anymore. The first couple of books she checked were undamaged. She plucked the third book from the shelf. As she began to flip through the pages, a photo fell out. She reshelved the book and leaned over to pick up the photo.

It was a picture of House and Stacy. Cuddy held it in her hands and stared at it. Knowing that he had a picture of Stacy still in his office was.... It hurt. Of course it did. It wasn't that she expected him to have a picture of Cuddy in his office. Hell, until a couple days ago, he'd refused to even acknowledge their relationship at work. She knew he had a few vacation pictures hidden somewhere but probably not in his office. Not like he had a picture of Stacy...even though his relationship with her had ended years ago.

Cuddy pushed her hair behind her ear as she continued to look at the photo. He looked happy. How could she claim to love him, to want him happy and still resent that he had been happy? How could she resent him keeping reminders of that happiness? How she could do that was easy, of course--she was human. She was selfish and she loved him and she wanted him to think only about her. Knowing he had a picture of Stacy tucked away where he could look at it any time meant he still thought about her which meant Cuddy couldn't be the only woman on his mind. Which...hurt.

She let out a heavy sigh. She didn't know how to deal with this. She knew she couldn't expect him to forget Stacy but she didn't know how to deal with this 'ghost' hanging over their relationship. She was so lost in thought, so confused, she didn't hear the office door open.

October 2010

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