Title: Cutting The Curves
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: I can't understand how a woman so on guard against catastrophe could marry a man so bent on it.
Notes: Set between 5.15 and 5.16
It was testament to his obsession--and he did admit, most of the time, that it was obsession--that he knew where Cuddy could be found, each hour of every day.
The hours not devoted to her new, mewling accessory were spent primarily in meetings of the boardroom and fundraising variety.
He wondered how she could stand smiling for so long while never meaning it. (He told her, every seventh Tuesday, that the wrinkles were only becoming on women who couldn't rely on other, more obvious attributes.) He wondered how long it had been since she had felt like a doctor--a real doctor.
He'd watched her in surgery dozens of times. She always looked like she was dancing.
He barged into her office and she didn't even look up. She was staring at her computer monitor, and she raised a hand in a lazy wave.
"You're looking at porn, aren't you?" he accused, almost convincingly. "And yet it's violating policy when I do it. Who says there's no such thing as reverse sexism?"
"She smiled at me this morning," Cuddy said. "And when I said goodbye, she grabbed my finger."
"It was probably just gas," he replied. "Speaking of which--" He extended his left arm, index finger pointing.
"House." Cuddy finally looked up, but she didn't bother to roll her eyes, which was disappointing. "Is there a particular reason you're harassing me?"
"It's the bright spot of my day," he tells her.
"I'm going to ignore you now," she responded.
He spun his cane, caught it once. Cleared his throat.
"Do you want to see her?" Cuddy offered. She started to adjust the monitor, a smile on her face.
For a second, he considered it. The moment stretched too long, and his retort slipped away, half-formed.
He shook his head and retreated.
She stormed into his office four minutes after he started marking the time. "What did you do with my computer?"
"What?" He widened his eyes. "Something happened to your computer?"
"You stole it." She put her hands on her hips. He toyed with complimenting the extra-tight tailoring of her skirt, but she kept talking, so he saved it up for later. "And I don't even want to know where you found a manual typewriter."
He leaned back in his chair. "It sounds like you have quite a mystery on your hands."
"I can't work without my computer," she explained, very slowly.
"Apparently, you can't work with your computer," he said. "Or is compulsive nannycam watching part of your job description now?"
"That's why--" Cuddy sighed, folded into a chair like she was wilting. "She's my daughter, House. She makes me happy."
"Yeah." He sat up, suppressing a wince, and steepled his fingers. "Because you seem very relaxed right now."
"Just because you can't be happy," she said, "doesn't mean I can't be."
"Doesn't it?" He pursed his lips. "Evidence points to the contrary."
"Please, House." She paused, then sighed. "Please," she repeated.
He watched her as she stood, exited the office. He looked at his watch and considered Cuddy's schedule. She could wait until after her lunch meeting, he decided.
His fingers drummed against his leg, and he waited for the next interruption.
A/N: Title and summary adapted from Ruth Anderson Barnett's Provo Canyon, 1951. Link courtesy of breathe_poetry.