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“You can’t save me,” he whispers.

She closes her eyes and shakes her head.


She misses believing in fairy tales. This doesn’t change the fact that she doesn’t believe in them now, and she’s more likely than not painting a layer of white over her childhood fancies.

She remembers watching Snow White in the theater with her mother. It had taken most of the previews for her cheeks to warm up from the stinging cold outside, and her woolen peacoat had been scratchy under her knees from where it had slumped during the show.

Lisa doesn’t remember wanting to be Snow White so much as she had wanted to dig diamonds in the park.

It’s not lying to herself so much as wishing she had it in her to be someone else.


She doesn’t actually remember meeting House. She remembers his presence and pain-in-the-ass remarks from college more than anything else. When she’s tired or angry with him – a fairly common occurrence – she dredges her memory, trying to look for that key moment when everything went to hell and he exploded into her life.

But she doesn’t remember it. Nearest she can come is noticing him scrubbing out glassware when she and her BIO 350 class had stumbled in for their lab. One of her lab partners had nudged her in the side and pointed the lanky young man out, chittering about Greg House, and how wasn’t he just so smart?

But that wasn’t right either because she’d known who he was before the other girl had even opened her mouth. Had looked at him and past him because oh, that was just Greg House.

It seems wrong that House doesn’t have a dramatic Here I Am! moment of introduction in her mind.

Sometimes, when she’s sad or quiet – those times also seem fairly common – she wonders if it’s the same with her in his mind, or whether or not he can pinpoint the exact moment she faded into his existence.

She never asks.


There are days, long grueling days, where Lisa wants nothing more than to close her eyes and have someone swoop in and fix everything. To take over for a few hours so she can just stop. Let someone else make the decisions and step up for the hard choices. Have someone mop up after her and just do what she wants.

Those moments don’t last long. Partially because she knows herself well enough that it would take a long, bloody fight to get her to let go enough for it to happen. The rest of her knows that if someone did storm in to save the day, if someone managed it, there wouldn’t be a place left for her. That she would be unnecessary.

She feels like that enough already.


“You can’t save me,” he whispers, eyes angry.

She closes her eyes and shakes her head.

I never thought I could, she doesn’t say.