Lisa Cuddy & Chase // Bells Ringing
Reluctant when he pulled his hands away, she saw the deception in his eyes. It wasn’t really him, his actions, making her upset. Of course, his tenderness had sprung the tears, finding her in this vulnerable state, and allowing herself to be lead through it. To Lisa, that showed change. Or perhaps it showed that she was merely tired, too tired to care if anyone saw her. Too tired to carry on this put-together exterior. Which wasn’t far off in her professional life, just when it came to her personal life it was really all in shambles. But to be as successful as she was, some things had to be sacrificed. That’s what she liked to tell herself at least. But no, it wasn’t really what he had done. It was the lack of having that comfort readily available to her. And yet, it also had a great deal to do with the person offering it to her. That was the thing with Robert, had it been any other person, they really wouldn’t have cared at all. So perhaps it had been him, that had brought her to tears. Regardless, it was tears of relief, if anything. Of finally.. someone noticed.
Raising an eyebrow, Cuddy chuckled, grateful she had feeling back in her face, her confidence shooting through her once more as she eased herself back into herself. “I’m not some completely wilted flower, Chase. You’re not House You’re not going to offend me. Speak freely,” the woman responded to his obvious fear of offending as she leaned back in her chair, sighing and feeling the slight droop in her eye still, impairing her vision slightly. She could feel the dried tears on her face, there was no use hiding them now. It was ridiculous to think anyone would think less of her because of this. Even so… It. It stripped her of that ever needed control. Neat and tidy and planned. Getting a mini-stroke was not part of her plan.
“You’re right,” Cuddy said, smiling and nodding. “It’s called Bell’s Palsy. After one larger mini-stroke, it just. Comes and goes. They don’t know why it happens. But it’s common among people under serious stress or that have gone through extreme trauma,” she stated, snorting. “And yes, I know. I have my doctor. Every doctor needs a doctor,” the poised woman said, sitting up straighter and now avoiding eye contact as she blushed slightly. “Chase… I just.. I’m either here doing paperwork, or dealing with House, or trying to get my house back in order after House crashed a car in it, or going to run errands for Rachel, or tending to her, changing diapers. Outside of work I have maybe three friends? All of which are ten years younger than me and most likely have no idea how to react to Lisa Cuddy having problems,” she replied, looking down and blinking slowly. “I don’t have time to have problems. I’m not supposed to have problems.”
That chuckling of hers was almost unsettling. It was almost like she knew something he didn’t, which of course would unnerve the most laid-back of all people, which Chase could have been classed as. He blinked twice in response, a little confused as to how any of this was funny, but then soon realized it was probably for another reason. He wasn’t thinking clearly in that moment. It was like his mind was there, fully functioning, yet somehow it was elsewhere at the same time, thinking about surfing, boobs or even work that he still had yet to finish. Chase’s mind was quite the place; there was never a time where he just relaxed totally, where he didn’t worry about something in the back of his mind, where he wasn’t constantly thinking and analysing and working out the best possible route to a destination where as many of the people around him would be as happy as he could possibly get it. To say the least, he was busy all of the time. If not physically then definitely mentally. While Cuddy took her seat, Chase swallowed as quietly as he could the bundle of nerves and worry that had gathered there and waltzed back to his place on the other side of her desk. Now this was how it was supposed to be between them; Chase on one end of the desk, Cuddy on the other, talking about medical business and the like.
Only it was different now.
Since he began working at the centre, life had taken a weird change for him. Suddenly all of those years he not-so-regrettably ‘wasted’ in uni and med school almost meant nothing now. Working at the hospital, he had a much bigger part to play than just… sewing back together cuts. It wasn’t what he should have been doing, but working anywhere without House just wouldn’t feel right. He’d never admit that, of course; he was far too facetious to say or even imply those things. But back to the basis of this situation now: this was how they were supposed to be. They weren’t supposed to have done that. They were boss and employee; they barely spoke to each other at all unless the topic of conversation was the morose medic House or one of his outlandish risk-taking procedures. Despite all of this, though, Chase had almost forgotten what he’d come here to ask of her. It was something to do with work because he never spoke to the woman outside of it… but just her reaction to his care alone in her wellbeing and not just her physical but mental health too told him otherwise. Plus, Cuddy’s words only confirmed this. She only had three friends outside of work? But… but she was so… confident. Then, she practically spoke his mind half of the time; doctors or deans of medicine weren’t supposed to have problems or be as broken down as these two were. Coincidence, maybe. Or maybe not.
Chase lifted his pale eyes to view Cuddy from where they had previously been downcast, apparently surveying the papers on her desk as she spoke about them. She really did have a busy life. Not to mention Rachel was in the picture now, too. Mm. Rachel. Chase still hadn’t seen her apart from that one time at her baby-naming-ceremony. Now was probably a bad time to ask if she’d like to socialize, but still, he wondered about how that would pan out. Surprisingly, Sophia had only crossed his mind once during this whole meeting, and even then as he narrowed his eyes on the dean, she didn’t even crop up. Weird, huh? “Everyone gets stressed,” he said plainly, trying to come across as nonchalant as she always had seen him as. Bearing in mind the fact that he’d just wasted his time – more less he was holding her hands – he was still kind of freaking out inside. Chase knew that House had a thing for Cuddy; what was the old bastard going to do if he found out that this had happened without his knowledge? Jesus…
“That’s why we take breaks. Relax a little,” hypocrite. “it’s also why we get drunk on weekends and cherish that time that we do get off when people decide to stop dying—“ he paused a second and managed a small smirk, as well as touching his fingers to a pencil that lay on her desk, where he rolled it across the surface slowly. “—not that I really get to save those people anymore…” He trailed off and then shrugged mildly. A thought came into his mind, and with Cuddy’s new found comfortability around him, he relaxed a little and smiled slightly at her. “Why did you uh—make me… diagnose you?” he questioned, but then quickly shook his head and pouted. “Nah, forget I jus’ asked that,” The blonde held his lips together tightly for a moment before the corners of his mouth tugged wider still. He was sure he could get his boss to smile, she deserved that much. “If you want, maybe… You could take a day off,” Crap. Screwing it up, I’m screwing it up! “Take Rachel to the park or something. Forget about this,” he gestured to her work with his open hand, and then slid it back into his pocket satisfyingly. “for a day and just relax. I could try and cover your work, if you’d like,” well that was a poor proposition. “…Or we could just get drunk.” Woah, okay. “Y’know, we could probably both use a good’n, couldn’t we?” Chase didn’t know where the hell that just came from, but somewhere in the mix he forgot to mention that he should have invite her properly… with him and Sophia. Oh well, too late for that. Anyway, they were just friends. A drink wouldn’t hurt. Right?