Coming and Going
He felt empty.
There was no feeling.
He knew that he should feel something. Anything.
But there was nothing.
His hands clasped his red and gray tennis ball, he gripped it hard.
It almost seemed that he wanted to enforce a feeling.
It was torture to know he should feel something, but not being able to feel it. And even greater to not know why you can't feel anything at all.
The moment his office door opened he tore himself away from his thoughts and looked up.
It was Cuddy. Her glance indicated him that she knew.
Slowly, almost tentative she stepped closer. Suddenly she was behind him and he could feel her hand on his right shoulder.
Almost violently he shook it off.
Cuddy wasn't surprised. Not at all. She knew that he would react like this.
"I'm sorry", she whispered.
"I don't need your pity." His voice wasn't loud but still forceful.
"It's not pity."
"Of course it is!" He was avoiding looking in her eyes.
"No! I came to be by your side… I don't want you to handle this alone."
"You should leave… You've got work that needs to be done."
"I don't care about work right now… and I'm not leaving! Whether you like it or not." She was still standing behind him.
"OK… then I'm going to leave." He stood up and went to leave his office but Cuddy reached for his arm.
"I'm not letting you go."
"I don't need your permission… I can do whatever I want."
She stepped closer to him. Her eyes locked with his. "I told my assistant to cancel all my appointments for today… If you want we can go to her."
"It wouldn't change anything."
"Maybe it'll be easier for you if you see her one last time."
He shook his head. "A dead body won't make anything easier… it would be pointless to drive up to her. It's even pointless to have this conversation. Everybody dies. It's no big deal."
Cuddy took his hands and said gently: "Of course it's a big deal." She stepped closer to him. "Let's go home…"
"I have a patient that needs to be diagnosed."
"You have four doctors who can do that."
"They don't have my brains."
"They will call you if they need your brains."
"Can't you just go, do your work and leave me alone? I don't need a babysitter. I just want to have my peace and deal with my patient."
"I know that you don't want to deal with this right now… but you have to. You can't avoid feeling the pain even when you hold back your feelings."
"I have to go and check on my patient."
It was a lame excuse. He knew that she wouldn't buy it (no one would) but he didn't care. He just wanted to leave.
She didn't tell him to stop and neither did she follow him. He has never been good with his feelings. He was afraid of feeling emotional pain and that's why he closed off his mind and his heart.
But Cuddy wasn't going to leave him alone with this. He could reject her all he wanted. She wouldn't let him down.
He felt like shit and he was pissed like hell.
His life had been going good the past few months. He and Cuddy were having a great relationship. Of course they had argued at least once a day but in the end they had been okay.
He had been, as weird it may sound, happy. Happy and content. But obviously life had a problem with him being happy and less miserable. So something happened that made him believe even more that happiness doesn't last and that he didn't deserve to live a life without being in constant emotional or physical pain.
He was screwed up. He always had been. He was an idiot for thinking he would be able to get fixed.
He is unfixable. It was unfair that he made Cuddy believe that they could really be happy long term. He will screw it up… He will hurt her and he will hate himself for it.
No one should be with him. He wasn't able to make anyone happy. He was broken.
He exited the hospital and was heading towards his bike when he suddenly saw Cuddy. She was leaning against her car, her arms were crossed in front of her.
"What are you doing here? Don't you have paperwork to sign or something?" He asked.
"I have been waiting for you."
"Because I knew that you would leave and I don't want you to drive alone, especially not with this time bomb." She pointed at his bike.
"Just because my mom died doesn't mean that you have to take over her role. I am a big boy and I am already allowed to make my own decisions."
She ignored his comment. "Tell me where you want to go and I'll drive you."
"I own my own drivers license."
"And you have a girlfriend that wants to be on your side and that isn't going to leave you alone. So get your ass into my car and tell me where you want me to drive."
He knew that it was useless to say no. Cuddy would probably follow him if he drove away now. It made no difference what option he chose, the outcome would be the same anyway: Cuddy wouldn't let him go anywhere on his own.
So he opened the passenger door of Cuddy's car and got in.
She got in the car as well and asked: "Where to?"
House seems to think for a moment before he answers. "To the sea."
Cuddy was surprised about his requested destination but she didn't show it. She was just glad that he let her be with him. She would drive him to any place he wanted to go.
They hadn't spoken much during the ride. The radio was on even though neither of them had paid any attention to it.
It already dawned when they reached their destination.
After just observing the surroundings for a short time, House exited the car. His cane was left behind on the passenger seat.
A chilly breeze blew and made him shiver.
When he noticed that Cuddy had no intention of leaving the car he looked at her and hinted for her to join him.
She actually wanted to give him some time alone but she wasn't going to refuse his offer.
Cuddy left the car and silently followed him as he made his way across the beach to the sea. His limp was worse than usually. She hoped that it just was because of the missing cane and not because his pain has gotten worse in the last few hours.
House didn't stop walking until the water hit his ankles.
"She loved the sea", he said and watched the ocean. "She always wanted to move near the sea… but John had been against it. He had always been against anything she wanted… or I wanted."
Cuddy got rid of her heels and stepped to him into the cold water.
"She deserved a man who would have fulfilled her every wish and every dream she had. But she took John who turned out to be a strict, violent asshole…" His gaze was on his feet watching the water hitting his lower legs. "And now you are making the same mistake as her."
"What?" Cuddy hoped he didn't really say what she thought that she had just heard. "You don't really believe that, do you?"
"He was an ass and made my mom unhappy, he didn't care about what she wanted and needed… I don't want to do the same to you."
Cuddy was highly indignant. "How can you even think about something like that? You are not like your father! You don't ignore what I want, you care about my whishes, you are not always easy to be with but it is worth it because you are a wonderful man and I love you."
"But I do."
"He destroyed her life."
"House…" Cuddy laid her hand on his cheek and turned his head to her so she could look into his eyes. "You are not like your father. Not at all! You make me happy, you make me feel better, you make me feel alive."
"You are crazy."
"So are you."
He smiles. It was hardly noticeable but it was definitely a smile.
"Remember when my mom learned about us?"
A small smile lightened up her face when she remembered how incredibly happy Blythe had been for them. She had immediately called her sister and had told her about her son finally being happy and about also having a daughter now.
"I never saw her so happy." His voice was low. He finally seemed to accept the pain. He had let his guard down.
Cuddy snuggled up against his side. Tears were streaming down her face. "She was so friendly and caring… I can't believe that we won't ever see her again."
With his thumb he tenderly whipped a tear from her face and gave her a short kiss on the mouth.
"Life is coming and going. We need to accept this. The old ones go…" His hand went to her already noticeable 4-month belly and caressed it fondly. "…and the new ones come."
Her hand went to his. "It's just heartbreaking that she won't be able to hold the "new one" in her arms."
He nodded, looked into her beautiful eyes and knew: No matter what happens and how bad and hopeless it will be, as long as Cuddy was on his side everything would be OK again.