Gregory House, M.D. (doctorgreghouse) wrote in willingtoliefor,
Gregory House, M.D.

that you'll run, and never tire

Who: House, Cuddy, hopefully Cameron a little later in the thread.
When: Logically, this gets put somewhere around 6:30-7:00 P.M., Monday evening, as the odious staff cookout is just beginning to get funky/wind down just a little.
Where: PPTH field-->Lobby/Corridors-->Dean's office
What: He just can't let well enough alone.

Notes: There may be a little adult capering later on in this one. Consider yourself warned.

Welcome to the Seventh Circle of Hell.

Greg House would later reflect that there were an extraordinary number of things that he, in his relatively checkered medical career, had seen that would have frightened away most normal people: organs rupturing, parasites leeching life from patients even as those patients themselves turned psychotic and paranoid; backstabbing physicians, manipulations and human error, all manner of blood and gore and guts and the eventual -- if inevitable -- final failures. He'd seen illness bring out the worst in humanity, and he'd seen every version of lying, cheating, stealing and self-preservation that he really thought humankind as a whole was capable of. Kind of impressive, if you really stopped to think about it, the lows to which people sank, the ease with which they tossed aside all pretense of "goodness" when it was their own ass on the line.

Some of these had been his colleagues.

But even with all he'd seen during his time at Princeton-Plainsboro, House was absolutely certain by Monday evening that a special circle of Hades had purposefully been constructed for him in the form of a faux-cheery and far-too-social outdoor staff event. He wouldn't dignify it by referring to it as a "barbeque"; even the thought had made him snort derisively when he'd heard the phrase pass Cameron's lips. I'd like to plan to not be there, he'd absently told his team when the subject had come up... but here he was, after all. Caught and snared.

Pinned like a bug on a slide, and there was no way in hell that his being there had anything to do with the fact that, like a moth to a candle flame that instead of warming it will light its wings on fire and singe it to death in one screaming burst of antennae-disintegrating blaze, he'd wanted a chance to talk to Cuddy.

Maybe to reiterate his stance: You're an idiot. Christ knew that that itself would be as satisfying as a... well. Incredibly satisfying, anyway.

Nope. He was a doctor, after all, that's why they paid him the big bucks, and it was a rule or something that the on-call doctors had to be present. Who knew.

Nothing at all to do with anything, least of all a three in the morning spent aimlessly composing on his solitary piano.


But it was suitably inane enough to make him feel as if the skin was crawling off the back of his neck within five and a half minutes, and he spent the better part of half an hour devising cruel and unique tortures for all of those involved that were either partly responsible for his presence, or who just as a rule pissed him off.

See, that's Miller. Cardiology. Looks like a truck ran over his face and no one could tell the difference. His wife was supposed to be covering for one of the other doctors today, but she's off having a baby or something... think it's something in the water? I remember when he tried to snag me up with the Board for fudging that transplant. Well, what the hell did he expect me to do? Tell the truth? Do the noble thing, and let some little girl die? Tough shit all around. I did manage to swap his Sweet'N'Low for Adderall that next morning, though. Like a tom on catnip, it was truly beautiful to behold. Christ, what am I even doing here?

He'd lurked on the fringes for as long as he could possibly get away with it, but when he'd seen Cameron come swooping by looking both exhausted and accomplished -- with an undertone of something else that he couldn't quite place from this distance -- he'd slunk off through the crowd, avoiding eye contact wherever possible and doing his best to terrify everyone else when it wasn't, scanning backs and sweaters and windbreakers until he finally caught sight of the world's most familiar ugly tie. Thank God, a fucking oasis.

Only Wilson could pair casual with... well... ugly, but at this point House was so relieved to see the back of Wilson's carefully-overcombed head that he was willing to overlook the baby-vomit-colored apparel accessories. [House himself had simply dressed as he might have any other day, without bothering to think it over too deeply: jeans and black-and-red tennis shoes, the nifty gel kind. A faded red KISS T-shirt with a black semi-patterned[all right, a Hawaiian knockoff, of sorts, but one with dignity, damnit, black and gray, not those horrid clashing nightmares in Wilson's closet] button-down thrown haphazardly over it. Although the day was fairly cool, he'd abandoned his sportcoat at his bike, although he kept the Vicodin bottle stashed safely in his jeans pocket.

Wilson -- chatting up someone, and House felt the familiar and yet mildly uncomfortable flash of something, knowing somehow that there was something more, here, than met the eye but not curious enough in the puzzle of Wilson to try and figure it out just yet -- hadn't looked too pleased to see him, and House figured that that might have had something to do with the fact that they'd almost killed each other that night in his apartment. Well, not quite literally. But nevertheless, he turned his attention to House and, when House asked if he'd "cover for him with Dr. Doom" if he were to partake in the available beverages, seeing as "how I'm on-call, or something", Wilson merely shook his head, rolled his eyes, and waved that hand: Yes, fine, go ahead.

"Enabler," House had smirked at him, already fidgeting and using the hem of Wilson's jacket to pop the top off a semi-cold beer bottle. This is so fucking stupid, I might as well just go back in to the office and hide behind my desk until someone wonders where I am... not that they would, in any case. Get Wilson to say I'm in the bathroom.

Another twenty minutes and two extra beers[okay, and a wine cooler; but who's counting? And it wasn't like he was a lightweight by any stretch of the imagination] and a casually-thrown pebble[he'd just had to; it'd landed in the Head Cardiologist's Cup Of Whatever and splashed all over the pretty petite blonde he'd been chatting up... the one that definitely wasn't his wife, to say the least. House had actually been really proud of that one: the clumsy splash had landed on Pretty Petite's Not-So-Petite Cleavage, and she'd gotten all wide-eyed and smacked Mr. Butterfingers hard enough to turn heads all around. she stalked off, Miller had turned and quite accidentally met House's gaze; House had shrugged and tossed the extra pebble in his palm directly into one of the gathered trash receptacles. In full ironic view. Score. Perfect shot. Bad luck, there, my man, and then he'd grinned in victory] later, he'd been about to do just that: he opened his mouth to implicate Wilson in his alibi when voices from his eight o'clock shoulder made him pause in mid-sentence.

And sure enough, just when he'd thought he was free and clear.

Enter Dr. Doom.

For a moment House did what he did best, ignoring the fact that Wilson was staring at him -- first in patient expectation for him to finish his damn sentence, next in annoyance, and lastly in curiosity -- he simply sat back and watched, taking in information, processing it, distilling it into interpretation. It's what made him damn good at his job, what made him the best, but some people said that it was also what put up that impenetrable fourth wall between him and everyone else: everything became a puzzle to him. Information to be processed, analyzed, filed. And most people didn't like to be told why their husband ought to be having an affair if he wasn't already, or why their children were doing drugs that might kill them because Mommy and Daddy are just a little too overbearing.

All you do is substitute your own rules for society’s. That’s a nice, simple rule – tell the blunt, honest truth in the starkest, darkest way. And what will be, will be. What will be, should be. And everyone else is a coward.

He probably also hadn't figured out that he'd been shoving everyone by the wayside for weeks, that his team had begun to ever-so-slightly casually mistrust him -- not necessarily as a diagnostician, he hadn't fucked up that badly, yet, but as a boss, as a person to be reckoned with in an unstable way -- and that even Wilson was even further down his neck than usual.

They thought it was the leg.

Wilson thought it was the drugs.

And all of them were right... while simultaneously being so brutally, mind-bendingly wrong that it was all he could do some days not to simply laugh in their faces.

Fuck, even he wasn't entirely sure what was wrong with him. House had gotten used to a familiar series of feelings over the last eight or ten years. Pain. That was a given. The adrenal spike-rush of a new case, a new puzzle, something shiny to take apart and solve when the ultimate prize was the patient's life, and he did what he did so that they could go home with that prize; no matter what his ultimate, private motivations might be. And who gave a shit, really? They were alive to worry about it. Chalk it up as a point and go home already. The deep, festering, unsutured wound that was Stacy. The old betrayals. Resentment, morbid amusement toward all people in general.

But this? This was a new one.

And, sing it in a Greek chorus all together: Dr. House loathed the odd detail out.

You can't forgive me for authorizing the surgery on your leg, which I can accept and live with. I cannot, however, tie my child to that.

It was this awareness, this anomaly, that odd conflict of emotional whatever that coiled in his stomach, that made House scowl in the general direction of where Cuddy was currently attempting to make Important Big Boss Dean of Medicine Small Talk with some faceless person or another. But after seeing her nearly every day for going on nine years, now, he could read something different in her body language. Maybe it was just a tilt in the shoulders, or the frown line between her eyebrows[Lycanthrope eyebrows, he'd told her through a mouthful of chips once years ago, and she had not been amused]... but more likely, it looked like...

Something's wrong, was the thought, but in Greg House's mind it immediately became something a lot less polite: She went and fucked it up.

No one else might have noticed.

And later he never knew quite why he'd muttered to Wilson that he had to take a crap, and to make sure no one came looking for him, stuffed the empty bottles into Wilson's free hand[except for the half-full one he was still currently holding], and shifted his palm on the smooth handle of his cane long enough to make his deliberate, limping way across the idiotic space full of equally idiotic, well, idiots. Few people would have stopped to converse with him on a normal day, but he did make quite a few of them awkward by pausing at random intervals to burst out, "Hey! Joe! How's that bladder issue working out for you?" simply to forestall his progress.

By the time he caught her out of the corner of his eye picking up a coffee-pot-sized cooler from one of the listing tables and turning back for the side stairwell, he was already on his way to the elevators.

Fuck it. At the very least, it's a more interesting riddle than what Johnny Jerkoff had for breakfast and how well the new Cancer Wing's coming along. And at least it won't be boring.

His footsteps drag-tap-scuffed oddly in the comparative silence; most of the doctors who weren't on current rotation or whose patients didn't require their constant supervision were currently off, socializing, drinking, making complete and utter asses of themselves, who knew. But something made him pause, resting the cane lightly on the floor, having followed Cuddy to her office about two full minutes behind her.

He was still angry, and -- although no one, even Wilson, could ever have dragged it out of him: infarction, chainsaw, amputation, he'd never say a fucking word, as far as he was currently concerned -- hurt. He was righteously pissed as only the privileged egocentric can be: why ask for his opinion, then? And he was pissed off beyond all rational measure that for all the times she'd accused him of not thinking with his brain[or some version of that platitude, anyway], she was letting some imagined obligation throw everything[Including your focus, that infuriating internal monologue chimed in helpfully] to the fucking four winds.

Do you really want to find out? The voice of reason, as it were. Or what passed for Greg House's voice of reason, anyway.

Nope, he answered himself internally, and quite cheerfully. But I'm gonna anyway.

And he poked the barely-open door with the end of his cane and gave a shove.
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Cuddy froze, her hand firmly gripped around the neck of the liquor bottle, lips to its mouth. It's one thing to be rudely interrupted in the process of becoming smashingly drunk, it's another when one of your employees catches you red-handed, and it's an entirely different class when it's House.

She slammed the bottle back onto the surface of her desk audibly and gave him a cold look with as much dignity as she could muster. "If you're going to say what I think you're going to say, you can leave now."
Patient's unstable. Proceed with caution.

Something must not be Well in Happyville, House realized as he followed the end of the cane with his shoulder and then the rest of him through the door, if Cuddy was forsaking a Let's-Play-Nice-With-the-Staff event to start slugging booze from the bottle. The More You Know...

"Well," he returned fairly smoothly, half-turning to close the door behind him, "Which thing? 'Cause, you know, there were several I was working on choosing from."

He cocked an eyebrow, limping a few steps toward the desk to drag the extra chair a little back away from said desk, pausing briefly to lean his hands on the back. Lips pressed together, no sure whether to smirk or scowl. "Gonna kill that all by yourself? Should I get a gurney ready now, save time?"

And now that he was here, he couldn't do anything but curse himself inwardly. Mistake to think he could do anything but snark. Mistake to give a shit at all.
In pointed response, she lifted the bottle and took a long, hard, unflinching swig, not breaking her gaze. "Just leave, House. Go brood in your office. Go rant some more in your journal. Go alienate your team and your only friend, just don't do it here."

"You do realize that there's something frighteningly arousing about you drinking like a sailor, right?" Sure. Cover it with the same old come-ons. But why not. You've apparently tripped through the looking glass on your way to the bathroom, anyway.

Contrary to said instructions -- of course -- he pulled the chair back and dropped into it. "So, you've given me a list of my least-appreciated qualities. Cool. Doesn't explain what's wrong with you, though."

Go rant in my journal. Wow. I'm surprised she even pays attention.
She almost laughed, wiping her bottom lip with the back of one hand. "Like I should tell you considering the delightful nature of our last conversation. No, trust me, I've learned my lesson. My business? Will no longer be yours. At least willingly."
"If you remember correctly," still casual, extending his bad leg and letting the cane spin once or twice through his fingers, "I told you the truth, in that conversation. You shot me down. And it is my business, in any case. I'm the only one who knows. And I have, for whatever charming reason, kept your little secret." Eyeing her.

Jesus, this was like watching an Afterschoo Special on the Dangers of Alcohol, or something. He hadn't been that far behind her, had he? Even with the limp.

We'd never know what's wrong without the pain;
sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same.

"Come on," finally, curling his lip. "You took the good stuff. At least share."

"If it'll shut you up? Be my guest." She gave the bottle a minute shove towards him. "Truth is relative, and yours is a particularly skewed view, so excuse me for not putting that much stock into it."

She didn't know why she kept talking, maybe only that the feeling of utter defeat made her slightly apathetic about consequences and later regrets. Made her brazen and defiant. "Congratulations, you win. No donor, no father, no baby. This is me officially giving up."
He'd been reaching out for that elusive bottle -- Might as well take it, now that she offered -- and turning over a series of comments when she made everything he might have said or asked instantly irrelevant.

Not even five minutes, no argument, and out it came.

Which explained a lot, really. A whole hell of a lot.

But that didn't prevent him from opening and closing his mouth at least twice before he was finally able to right his brain back on the track he wanted it on.

"He said no?" Opening the bottle, raising an eyebrow at the idea of sharing straight-from-the-neck shots with his boss. Be careful.
"Never got the chance to. I didn't ask," she said with finality, smiling bitterly at herself before ratcheting up her glare a few notches when she meets his eyes. Go on, say something about it.
And oh Christ, I wish I could think that that means what it might have meant, in some other life.

He nodded, slowly, feeling the slow burn of alcohol through his chest that mingled with the few bottles of various flavors that he'd already downed so far. Careful... even though, truth be told, there was that blazing righteous fury of I Told You So hanging unspoken in the air. So.

"Was it because of something I said?" Faintly curious, faintly... what? Self-satisfied? Not quite. But something. "'Cause I completely didn't expect you to actually listen to me. Good Ship Estrogen, full steam ahead, and all that fun stuff."

God, this isn't awkward, or anything. Say what you wanted to, Greg, or make your exit and bow out. Maybe she did trust you with this. But not anymore.
"I don't know anymore," she said in a voice so soft that even she can't believe it herself. It was embarrassing. And she could start crying again.

As if to compensate for this strange streak of vulnerability, she stood up and rounded the desk, grabbing the bottle back from him without asking. "But it hardly matters now anyway. And the least thing I could do is not give you the satisfaction of a confirmation or denial."

She swallowed another couple mouthfuls, denying the burn until she pulled back and coughed a little. "Anyways. It's nothing that Jameson's won't assauge right now."
It had been a strange few weeks for House, all around: he'd found himself reacting to things he hadn't expected, saying things that he never would have thought possible coming out of his mouth. And he'd... felt things that threatened him, threatened his comfortable little twin worldviews of Everybody lies and No one's worth the fucking bother.

And this... woman, this woman had gotten tangled in the center of it.

It fucking figures, he thought, wrenched with the brutal irony of it and twisting his mouth. Every major upheaval I've had, Cuddy's been there. Now she gets to cut me open all over again. And this time she's doing it fucking blindly.

"There are other donors," he shrugged, but his eyes were sharp, following her movements, reading her body language. And, frankly, he wasn't entirely sure what to say. He knew what he probably would say... but then again, those weren't always the same thing, were they? "You're, what? A week out from the end of the cycle? You can wait and try again."

So what's so damaging that it didn't happen now? And why, someone please tell me, do I still feel like beating something to death whenever this comes up?


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Cameron had watched House and Cuddy leave, biting her lip. There was a temptation to talk to Cuddy, to tell her what she knew --- Cuddy was the Dean of Medicine, after all, and so should be aware of House's spiral, Cameron tried to rationalize. The fact that Cuddy was the reason for House's self-destruction was the problem, and she'd stood outside at the Memorial Day party for several hours turning the problem over in her mind.

Eventually, having had enough of being sunburnt anyway, she decided to just tell Cuddy. What happened next would happen between them, but someone needed to tell Cuddy what House was doing and why. Cameron waved a quick goodbye to one of the nurses she was friendly with and headed into the hospital, quickly turning into Cuddy's office. She knocked on the door. "Hello?" she called. "Dr. Cuddy, it's Dr. Cameron. I need to speak to you for a moment. . . ."
"You're so full of shit--"

But Cameron's voice cut off her sentence as Cuddy stared a the closed door.

Glaring at House, Cuddy moved past him to the door and opened it slightly, trying for sober and dignified. "Dr. Cameron, is everything alright?"
"Um," Cameron said, standing before Cuddy's doorway. Perhaps she should have thought of what to say before coming. "House --- House is drinking a lot, he's having problems, he won't work, he's more aggressive than usual, and he wants to leave the hospital because he's in love with you. Obviously that last part is entirely your business," she said, prattling on to cover up, or rather to expose, her total nervousness, "but everything else --- you should know. I went to visit him last night and he was mixing quite a bit of alcohol with too much Vicodin, throwing things ... it's not good, and I don't think there's anything I can do, so I thought you should know. Not because he loves you, but because I'm worried and you're the Dean of Medicine. I'll go now," she finished, having talked herself into quite a large hole. "I'm sorry for bothering you."
It was a few long moments before she could actually speak. "Thank you, Dr. Cameron," she said almost emptily, as if on autopilot.

"I'll investigate your concerns."
He really didn't know why he hadn't actually left, yet: that was what he had originally intended when he'd turned his back on Cuddy to make the appropriate dramatic stomping exit. Well, limping exit, but so what. But then she'd tossed that last barb at him[You are so full of shit], and he'd paused in his leaving to turn and throw an equally nasty reply right back at her.

He had, at least, until he'd heard Cameron's voice from the doorway.

Still angry, frustrated, ever-so-slightly buzzed on the series of drinks he'd inhaled at the party, it didn't quite register to him exactly what was going on until it was far, far too late.

House is drinking a lot, he's having problems, he won't work, he's more aggressive than usual, and he wants to leave the hospital because he's in love with you.

And his stomach shriveled to approximately the size and texture of a walnut.

God. Did I... what the hell did I SAY to Cameron? And... for fuck's sake, is it true?

But he already knew the answer to that.

He hadn't kept the secret to lord it over Cuddy later, and oh how clear this diagnosis was, now that he dropped the wool from his own eyes and looked, he'd kept it because he cared about her, and he'd been at war with himself for weeks because Cuddy had fucking been right, it hadn't been that she was trying to have a baby. It was the fact that he'd been convinced that she'd been planning to ask him. That he felt... protective of her, and yeah, he blamed her for the leg, for fuck's sake he couldn't change, but she'd kept him here, kept him on, she'd made sacrifices so that he could have something to go on, to live for, and all of it hit Greg House like a ton of fucking bricks as he heard the temperature of Cuddy's voice drop about fifteen degrees.

And for one brief, there-and-gone moment, he wished that he had taken just one more dose of Vicodin last night. Quiet, and dark, and not to be standing here now.

"Yeah," he heard himself snap, moving into the light, without even realizing he'd opened his mouth. "Thank you, Dr. Cameron."
Oh, fuck. This, Cameron realized, was why Cuddy didn't open the door, and why her breath smelled faintly of alcohol, and why --- and why my life is going to be hell for the next fifteen years, she thought. Maybe it's not too late to get a fellowship with Yule.

"Um," she squeaked. And then: "Um, well. Yes. Sorry. Goodbye." And with that she beat a hasty retreat back into the sun and then to her car, wanting to put as much distance between her body and the hospital as possible for the time being.
With a surreal calm, Cuddy closed the door in Cameron's scampering wake, taking time to make sure it clicked shut satisfactorily. Then, she turned back to the other occupant in her office, studying him with a mixture of wild incredulity and confusion.

"Is this true?"
He might have laughed. So, there it was, courtesy of Cameron. Right out there on the table.

So what was left to say?

"Well," casually, trying valiantly to head for the door himself. "I have been drinking a little more lately. Can't let you have all the fun."
"You...IDIOT!" she exclaimed, touching her fingers to her temple.

She felt like she needed to vent a few things.

"What are you, still living your middle school years? Was there some note that didn't get passed to me at recess where I was supposed to check off 'yes' or 'no' to the 'Do you like me?' question? World famous diagnostician and you have the emotional maturity of a ... of a schoolyard bully!"

Hand on the door, he stopped.



But of course, his first reaction was defense. "I'm an idiot?" He threw a derisive laugh back at her, turning around again. "I'm an idiot?! What, I needed to spell it OUT for you?"

I can't believe I'm having this conversation, I can't BELIEVE I'm HAVING this conversation.

"I've been trying to tell you for WEEKS that I was... that... that you... for FUCK'S SAKE!"

Shaking his head. "You made it VERY CLEAR to me that you weren't interested! Right here, in this goddamn office! You KNOW I'm not any good at this. I'm sorry if the Big Bad Nasty Dr. House makes you uncomfortable!"

A pause, furious, awkward. "I'm not world-famous for my people skills. I don't have to... I don't have to fucking like people, to make them better!"
"Oh, poor sad Greg can't get the other kids to play in the sandbox with him so he has to beat them over the head with sand trawls!" she said caustically, but her voice is laced with far too much emotion than she would have liked.

She closed her eyes, which made her feel disoriented, but she tried to rein in carreening thoughts and feelings that, she thinks, would sink her down to House's level. House's mean, bitter level.

"You hate me," she stated matter-of-factly. It has always been the one thing she could count on that, while not always at the forefront, shaped many facets of their relationship over the years and allowed her a permanant distance she could always maintain, because he could. He would. "And that's clearly not something you're over. How am I supposed to react to this?"
Again, the half-remembered dream: the most brutal truth, in the starkest, darkest way.

He could have simply turned around and shouldered his way out the door; it wasn't that late, after all, and if he was still on call his shift would be over in a matter of an hour or two. It would be easy to go back to the thinning crowd, to cadge drinks and food off Wilson, to go back and forget that any of this had ever really happened. To close off that door in his mind, the door that Cameron had forced open on the sharp wind of something he hadn't even admitted to himself.

He could.

Sometimes the hard thing and the right thing are one and the same.

But maybe it was time to stop playing the game. Or at least start playing by a different set of rules.

House completed his turn, facing her but looking at the floor until he limped over to his earlier-evacuated chair and swung it around again, hanging his cane over the back and curling his hands around it.

"I don't hate you," he began, his lip curling in wry amusement... but his eyes were focused in thought. "I think... that you... okay, yeah. Somewhere in there I do still blame you." But not like I blame Stacy, he wanted to say. "I think you could have told Stacy to shove it. You knew what I wanted." Half a shrug. "And I hated that you expected me to be this happy shiny person when you knew what it had been like for me. You don't have Chase's, or Cameron's, bullshit excuses. You were there."

A long, quiet sigh, and he rubbed at his face with one dry hand. "I don't know. I... I was pretty goddamn pissed last night. Cameron came... barging in, and there was a hooker, and..." Oh for fuck's sake, Greg. Way to endear yourself. "I'm the biggest pain in the ass you've ever had the pleasure of dealing with. But is it true?"

He looked up at her. "Yeah. Probably. Although 'love' is Cameron's word, not mine, I don't believe you can apply it like a Hallmark card when someone sprains their little toe and needs cheering up. And I have no fucking IDEA what to do about it. Happy?"
Of course, only House can provide an answer like that, sparking a wealth of often conflicting emotions, from anger and guilt to disgust and something else. Love is a Cameron word. They could at least agree on that, or maybe they had both, in their own way, lost some vital path normal, idealistic people continued traveling on where such a word was now regarded with derision and laughter.

Suddenly, she no longer wanted to be here. Too many people close by, too many major decisions made, and far, far too many revelations unveiled. It was rather impossible to simply attempt to go back to whatever it was they had before - before babies and hookers, she inwardly snorted.

"This baby," she began, walking over to her desk, picking up her phone, and forcefully pressing the digits to a cab company, "was important to me. I don't think you'll ever realize how much time, energy, and agonizing was put into that decision, nevermind cost. Every time I'd gather up the courage to ask, all I would hear was your words, making me doubt myself and the decisions I've made. I couldn't even commit to an anonymous donor. No one has ever done that." No one has ever had the power to. "And like everything you do, you did it freely. Yes, I'd like a cab..." she turned her attention back to the phone, rattling off her location and then hanging up.

"And I to, for reasons even I probably don't know. You're self-aborbed, arrogant, obnoxious, selfish, bitter, inconsiderate, and even cruel...." she trailed off, then simply shook her head. She was surprised by how light the bottle was when she went to cap it. Had she - they - really drunk so much? Oh yeah. Apparently so. "What sterling qualities I'm settled with."

Then, she approached him and rested each of her hands on his shoulders. It was supposed to be brisk, but they softened anyway, one slipping around his neck as she leaned forward and tentively brushed her lips against his. It was only meant to be an experiment, though. Something a little desperate and reckless and impulsive and Why the hell not? She had this hospital and nothing else now, and it's not like she could deny that there wasn't physical attraction there.


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