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07 December 2007 @ 02:37 am
Fic: five times cuddy drives house's car  
Title: five times cuddy drives house's car
Author: ellixian
Characters: House, Cuddy
Rating: PG-13
Summary: "I think that means you won the ‘designated driver’ lottery."
Concrit: Absolutely.
Disclaimer: I don't make money off this, and all related characters don't belong to me.
A/N: Some of these are post-eps for or mention events from 1x21 Three Stories, 3x10 Merry Little Christmas and 4x09 Games, so - spoilers beware. And yes, given that mixed bag of episodes, expect angst and fluff in equal measure.

- - - - - 

01. she also stalks him

She commits crimes the same way she does everything else - single-mindedly.

For days, she conducts research - first in books, then in a car workshop as far removed from campus as possible. She flirts with one of the young mechanics until he shows her where the wires are under the dashboard, and how to connect them, and he even lets her practise on a few cars until she gets the hang of it.

It doesn't take long before she's an expert.

She also stalks him, a little, so she knows which car he drives, its colour and its make, and where he likes to park it.

If anyone asks (no one does), she blames it on the bet. 

That's Gregory House, Tom said, pointing out the Campus Legend swaggering lazily in the opposite direction from the class he was supposed to be auditing, he doesn't talk to anyone in their first year. Bet you can't make him notice you.

She's always liked a challenge.

So, one day two weeks into the new school year, the night of the first big football game, she steals his car.

Not just steals it. She hotwires it, drives it a few miles off campus and parks it in a godforsaken part of town.

She returns to class to find that everyone's already talking about it. Someone stole House's car -- you're kidding -- is he mad? -- have you seen him mad? -- He can't even sit through my class without calling the teacher a moron every five minutes -- Make that two minutes --

That evening, she retrieves the car and parks it in the middle of the football field. She signs her name on a napkin - not Lisa, just Cuddy, so he won't have to look far to find her - and leaves it on the dashboard.

She wins the bet. And he's never called her Lisa.

- - - - -

02. he won't

That day, she wakes up thinking - his car.

She goes to work as usual, a little earlier than usual, and Stacy is still there (Stacy is always there, these days). He's not awake - not yet, she adds to herself, not yet - and she tells Stacy the same thing she tells her every morning, god, you look like you haven't slept in a year. Go home. Get some rest. There's no point waiting around.

Stacy refuses, as she does every morning.

So she says, suddenly, "House - Greg's car."

Stacy blinks - furrows her brow - Greg's car?

"He left it--" she starts, and pauses, "at the golf course." And she remembers (she'll never forget) him saying with that catch in his voice, You're gonna cut me open, aren't ya? and she thinks, god if only I could have said no.

She clears her throat, blinks so she won't cry, "I can - we can drive out. I'll take it back to your place, meet you there, you can drive us back to the hospital."

So they do drive out, like a road trip, except they don't talk much, or laugh at all, and she wants the radio on to fill in the white noise except she knows that the tinny, happy music will only drive her crazy.

The car slows to a stop. "Thank you so much for doing this, Lisa."

Everything about Stacy these days is a mix of exhaustion and gratitude.

She wants to say - don't thank me. he won't. She doesn't say anything.

"You have our address, and I gave you Greg's key, right?"

She nods, and wonders how it came to this, that House is still trapped in a coma, and when he wakes up a chunk of his leg that he didn't want to be gone will be gone, and there's nothing left for her and Stacy to do but play tag with his car.

But, she thinks, as the engine jumps to life: he drove his car to the golf course six days ago, and never drove it back.

She drives his car home.

- - - - -

03. the word is 'smashed'

She doesn't even notice the first time he knocks on her office door.

When he raps the second time, a tired, drumming rhythm, she looks up in surprise. Not that it's him, but that he bothered to knock at all - that he didn't barge in the way he always does.

"House," she says to herself, almost quizzically, as she walks over and opens the door for him.

She smells the alcohol right away, recognises the glassy stain of it in his eyes. He doesn't focus on her, just... slouches, upright, as if the bones in his body are seconds away from collapsing and melting into the floor.

He hides it as well as she thought he would. None of his fellows is any the wiser. She’s pretty sure Wilson suspects (Wilson always suspects), but has so far steered clear of the disaster zone.

But he's looked almost as bad as this at least once a week since Stacy left.

"I hear," he starts, then gulps, "you took a cab into work today."

His words come out loose and jumbled, slick with alcohol, but she can tell from the way he swallows at odd intervals that they burn his throat like shots of acid.

"Car’s in the shop," she says, "Word certainly travels fast on the grapevine."

"Which means..." he pauses, blinks once, and clears his throat, "I think that means you won the ‘designated driver’ lottery."

She looks at him. "First prize, evidently."

He tries for a smirk that ends up more like a grimace.

She grabs his sleeve, "God, House. Come in. Sit down."

"You don't want me to do that," he warns her, "Don’t think I could get up again. I’d have to start paying rent."

"You’re drunk," she says simply.

She doesn’t have the heart to add that he shouldn’t be drinking when he’s on the clock, or that Stacy’s been gone for months now, or that she’s already seen him like this twice before and hasn’t done anything because he’s never asked and because he’s a grown-up and because asking him about it would mean admitting that something is wrong and that she can’t fix any of it.

"I think the word is ‘smashed’," he replies blandly, "Completely. And utterly. Smashed."

"Not funny." She reaches up so her fingers brush against his forehead, and when he doesn’t flinch away, she presses her palm to his skin, gently. "You’re burning up."

"For some reason," he snorts, as he grabs her wrist and pulls her hand away, "I don’t process alcohol as well as I did when we were youthful sprites blessed with ridiculously hardy livers."

"Clearly," she sighs, and leaves him leaning against the door. She moves to switch her computer off, to get her coat, and her bag.

They head to the car park in silence, and before she even starts the car, he’s leaned his head against the window and shut his eyes.

She tunes the radio so low that it hums more static than melody, and drives more carefully than she usually does.

She’s not sure if he’s awake, but she asks him, five minutes away from his apartment, "Does all this make you feel better, House?"

He grunts, and shifts a little in his seat, and she sighs.

It’s only after they reach his street, and she refuses his offer to drive his car home, that he tells her, his eyes surprisingly clear, "It makes me feel less."

He takes his key, and doesn't say thank you.

She takes a cab home.

- - - - -

04. it's bloody christmas eve

"House, you idiot," is the first thing she says when she finds the door open and Wilson gone.

He barely stirs when she slaps him in the face.

"You bastard," she grits out against the lump in her throat and the salt in her eyes, "Wake the fuck up."

He barely stirs when she thumps him on the chest.

"So help me God..." she starts but doesn't end the sentence.

He finally stirs when she flings a glass of cold water, straight from the tap, all over him.

"Don't go back to sleep," she warns him, dragging his head into her lap, "Fuck it, House, you moron, stay awake."

"Cuddy," he slurs, "whatthehell..."

She starts rummaging in the pockets of his jeans, "Where are your car keys? Damn it, House, answer me."

His eyes slide shut over the glaze of drugs and alcohol and pain, and he thinks he asks her, where the hell's your car, leave mine alone, but before he can slip back into the darkness, she pinches his arm. Hard.

"OwCuddywhatthefuck," he mumbles.

"You--" she says, and stops to draw a ragged, painful breath before she allows her anger to seep from the taut lines of her shoulders into her words, "need your stomach pumped, and I don't have my bloody car because I was jogging in your neighbourhood and thought I'd come and check on you and for fuck's sake, House, you're wasted and it's bloody Christmas Eve and you're two minutes away from never waking up again. Where the fuck are your car keys?"

He's never sure after the fact if he did ever tell her where his keys were, but he knows they never make it back to her hospital.

Instead, she sponges his forehead when he throws up again, and forces five glasses of water into him, and sits there with a world of shadows in her eyes until he says, "I can't drive."

"Obviously," she snaps, and her fingers are trembling as she takes the glass from his hand.

"I need a lift," he mutters, "to the police station."

He doesn't tell her why.

She doesn't ask.

But she does drive him there, and home afterward, when the deed is done but all is lost anyway.

He doesn't say anything when the car shudders to a stop and she removes the key from the ignition.

She doesn't say anything, either, when she drops it into his hand. She just sighs, and lets herself out to walk the four miles home.

- - - - -

05. we need ground rules

He expected to find her waiting for him in the E lot.

Then again, he also expected his car to be in the E lot.

Frowning, he runs his hand through his hair, and sighs. He has a long enough list of enemies - Wilson has become something of a folk hero for being the first (and so far still the only) person at PPTH to have successfully sawed through his cane - but it's fairly obvious to him that Cutthroat Bitch has drastically improved her key-napping skills.

He turns at the sound of heels clicking against asphalt.

"Cuuuuddy," he starts to whine, but doesn't really get a chance to complain about the lax security in her hospital, because he can tell it's been a long day for her by the way she just grabs him and kisses him, and he tastes vanilla and roses and a hint of...

"Chocolate," he observes, when she finally breaks the kiss, "Defcon One. Did a donor die?"

She makes a face at him.

"Where's your car?" she asks, "You said you'd drive today."

"I'm surprised she took so long," he grumbles, "But it looks like Cutthroat Bitch decided to wreak a little revenge, after all."

She cocks her head, studies him with a bemused look on her face, and says, "You're sure about that?"

"Who else would it be?" he asks, "Freshest, shiniest grudge. Plus, her name? Is Cutthroat Bitch for a reason."

"And you're actually going to let her get away with it?"

He shrugs, and takes the opportunity to needle her, "It's not like she doesn't have reason to be upset", at which point she interrupts, "No guilt trip, no five-man team, just NO, House."

"Let me finish talking, woman," he gripes, and she grins, "so I'll report her to the police tomorrow."

She shrugs, and they start walking out to the main street.

It's when he's flapping his arms like an idiot trying to flag a cab when she asks, innocently, "You're sure you have the right person?"

He groans, and slaps his hand against his forehead.

"Cuddy," he sighs in exasperation, "you felon."

"House," she smirks in response, "you felon."

He jabs her in the ribs, and she laughs.

"So where is my car?" he asks, "Just out of curiosity."

"Drove it to your new lot," she says cheerfully, "In Zone D. I guess you're right - the games aren't over after all."

"Okay, we need ground rules for these games," he says, grabbing her by the wrist, "Especially since you're a big, blatant cheater. Rule One - no using my spare key to steal my car. You didn't need it twenty years ago. Don't need it now."

She rolls her eyes. "Fine."

"Rule Two - you really need to stop switching my parking lot just to prove a point, Cuddy. It's not playing fair. You have all this administrator mojo that totally cramps my style."

"Like you play fair!" she scoffs, "So is that all?"

He nods.

"Good. Just admit it, House," she teases him, "you lost. You looo-ooost."

"On a technicality," he huffs, "Several technicalities, all involving you cheating. And you know what? Rule Three: no singing. Especially your own praises."

He makes a fairly valiant effort at pretending to be mad, if he does say so himself.

She isn't fooled, though - she just grins, and kisses him quickly. "You know it doesn't matter if you're the world's biggest loser, right? I'll come home with you anyway."

He rolls his eyes in his best imitation of her. "I guess that means I'm okay with the score being 'Cuddy - 1, House - 25,124'. For now."

She laughs at the threat in his last two words - she's always liked a challenge.

- - - - -

Mood: confusedconfused
roses of the day: Happy Lisa Eorelle_peredhil on December 6th, 2007 07:23 pm (UTC)
That is awesome. XD The lightness of the first ones is a heart-breaking contrast to the next three, and the last one brings the light back again. All of these are totally believable (Car-thief Cuddy ftw! =D) and excellently done. Great job!
ellixian: Lisa: rockstarellixian on December 7th, 2007 05:12 am (UTC)
So glad you enjoyed - I had to bookend the angst with some lightness, because I couldn't take all the sadness and pain that CAN be their relationship at times. And I definitely think Cuddy would be a totally kickass car-thief. Heh.
Thanks for the comment! :)
csirogers on December 6th, 2007 07:27 pm (UTC)
Cooool :D

You should do an extended fic on the first time she stole his car and his reaction after he knows who it is coz it would be awesome :D
phineas_gatsbyphineas_gatsby on December 6th, 2007 09:12 pm (UTC)
i agree with this one. the first was my favorite too :)

and somehow, i just love the idea of cuddy driving house's car...
(no subject) - ellixian on December 7th, 2007 05:15 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - phineas_gatsby on December 7th, 2007 05:42 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ellixian on December 7th, 2007 05:51 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - phineas_gatsby on December 7th, 2007 11:13 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ellixian on December 8th, 2007 03:26 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - phineas_gatsby on December 8th, 2007 04:59 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ellixian on December 9th, 2007 03:32 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ellixian on December 7th, 2007 05:14 am (UTC) (Expand)
Halima: [huddy] hugcartography on December 6th, 2007 07:44 pm (UTC)
This is amazing! My favourite is the first part. :)
And that you came up with an idea like this is so great.
ellixian: H/C - thank god for microbesellixian on December 7th, 2007 05:17 am (UTC)
I'm so glad you enjoyed! KickassCriminal!Cuddy is indeed awesome to behold. ;)
Thanks for the comment!
Mrs Alias424babylon_whore on December 6th, 2007 07:52 pm (UTC)
Oh that was so much fun. I love the bookends of car stealage. And all the bits in between :)
ellixian: House - cuddy's bitchellixian on December 7th, 2007 05:18 am (UTC)
Yay, so happy to know it worked for you. Cuddy stealing House's car is right up there on my list of things I want to see on the show, dammit. Figured I could only get it through writing a fic about it! Thanks for reading!
elliejgirl: Huddy:  House watching Cuddyelliejgirl on December 6th, 2007 08:44 pm (UTC)
I love this. I like the juxtaposition of the silly ones with the heartbreaking ones. Great job!
ellixian: H/C - movie dateellixian on December 7th, 2007 05:20 am (UTC)
Thank you - I wanted to fit in the dark and the light and the complex and fun parts of their relationship (what an awesome ship we have, seriously!). Glad to know it worked for you!
burn_so_pretty on December 6th, 2007 08:45 pm (UTC)
Yay, you wrote fic. :D *pleased*

I loved this. I loved how you bookended the angst with two bits of fluff. My favourite angsty one was the MLC one but they're all fabulously heart wrenching. And the two fluffy ones are gorgeous. Hotwiring, car stealing Cuddy for the WIN. :D

And I just loved this line for "aww" factor:

"You know it doesn't matter if you're the world's biggest loser, right? I'll come home with you anyway."

Just BEAUTIFUL. *happy sigh*
ellixian: H/C - thank god for microbesellixian on December 7th, 2007 05:26 am (UTC)
YAY YOU'VE SEEN ALONE. (When I'm not skiving at work, I'll try to come fangirl. Really!) Have you seen all the rest? Surely you've seen Games yes yes??? The fic will make more sense in that context! ;)

And thank you, hon, for reading and commenting - you're such a sweetheart, really. *hugs* Glad you enjoyed the angst - I felt it would be rather a nice (and necessary!) counter-balance to the UNADULTERATED SCHMOOPY FLUFF of the last segment... Car-thief!Cuddy ftw!
(no subject) - burn_so_pretty on December 7th, 2007 12:05 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ellixian on December 7th, 2007 02:52 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - burn_so_pretty on December 7th, 2007 04:29 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ellixian on December 7th, 2007 04:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - burn_so_pretty on December 7th, 2007 07:01 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ellixian on December 8th, 2007 03:24 am (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
ellixian: Lisa: looking westellixian on December 7th, 2007 05:26 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for reading! Glad you liked.
ex_bluebonn on December 6th, 2007 08:49 pm (UTC)
Yay, I love you. These were great.
ellixian: House - he's worth itellixian on December 7th, 2007 05:27 am (UTC)
And I love you back! Thanks for the feedback! *hugs*
(Deleted comment)
ellixian: Cuddy: dies of cuteellixian on December 7th, 2007 05:28 am (UTC)
I was a bit apprehensive about this one, so I'm glad you liked. Thanks for reading!
*squeaks at the hotness of Cuddy in your icon*
Spex: House - Lisa (Coke Party?)speckleberry on December 6th, 2007 11:27 pm (UTC)
I think the last one is kinda proof that if they happened, they'd work. Hehehe, loved this!
ellixian: H/C - OTP aheadellixian on December 7th, 2007 05:30 am (UTC)
Oh they would totally work. TOTALLY. I admit to getting rather a bit too fluffy with the last ficlet, but I DO think House and Cuddy can be totally functional as a couple. In their own complex, bantery, snarky way.
Thanks for reading! :)
Cuddy's Cuddy: Car Fave picscuddyrific on December 6th, 2007 11:39 pm (UTC)
Oh wow those were both so funny and angsty, but of course I have to love the last one best, ha ha!! Great job!
ellixian: hughellixian on December 7th, 2007 05:31 am (UTC)
Glad to know that the funny and the angsty both worked for you! Thanks for the comment!
asymptote: tv | house : cuddy's hairtree on December 6th, 2007 11:47 pm (UTC)
*applauds you*

this was so wonderful, just the right blend of funny and poignant. they need little matching sweaters that say 'felon'. ;)

(i really fail at comments today)

Edited at 2007-12-06 11:47 pm (UTC)
ellixian: House - cuddy's bitchellixian on December 7th, 2007 05:33 am (UTC)

Thank you so much for reading. And OMG. The twin 'felon' sweaters idea is of the AWESOME. *wishes I had Photoshop on my new computer*
crumpled_up: wantcrumpled_up on December 7th, 2007 12:02 am (UTC)
Um, ILU for writing this. I was seriously laughing up a storm at the first one! Oh man, I'd love to see college!Cuddy hotwiring House's car and moving it as a prank. The angst, as usual is gut wrenching and I still love it. Especially the 3x10 one. I really enjoyed that. And the last one was full of smiles for me. Teehee. Way to go Cuddy! Make him think CTB did it. I love their relationship and YOU are amazing for writing it. :D
ellixian: hughellixian on December 7th, 2007 05:36 am (UTC)
Car-thief!Cuddy for the win, for definite. Funny thing is I can totally see Cuddy doing this, and doing it WELL, too. She'd shock the heck out of House and that would just set up their relationship so well, since they seem to delight in surprising each other so much!

And yay that you liked the angst too. There's a lot of darkness in their relationship that isn't explored on the show as much as I'd like. So I definitely have to write some to get it out of my system and to balance out the fluff sometimes! ;)

Thanks for reading! :)
Yu: Induces Death by Cutenessshikabane_mai on December 7th, 2007 12:26 am (UTC)
I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!

"Chocolate," he observes, when she finally breaks the kiss, "Defcon One. Did a donor die?"

Dammit, I just love this one-shot SO much. Especially the last part with them in the parking lot and her driving his car to Zone D. *happy sigh* This makes up so much for the lack of new House episodes. :)
ellixian: Cuddy: dies of cuteellixian on December 7th, 2007 05:38 am (UTC)
SHIKA! YOU'RE BACK!!! *hugs* I haven't been posting on FF as regularly as I'd like, but I have been lurking and noticed you'd stopped posting for a while. Hope everything is okay.

Consider this fic a welcome-back gift then! :)

Hee. I LOVE that chocolate line too, if I must say so myself.
And I'm really glad the fic worked for you. Thanks for the comment, hon!
(no subject) - shikabane_mai on December 7th, 2007 01:27 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ellixian on December 7th, 2007 02:54 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shikabane_mai on December 8th, 2007 01:29 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ellixian on December 8th, 2007 03:28 am (UTC) (Expand)
pwcorgigirl on December 7th, 2007 01:21 am (UTC)
This is just brilliant. I love how she gets his attention in the first one, and the sorrow of the middle three is heartbreaking. Tast one, with all its lightness, is the circle completed.
ellixian: readingellixian on December 7th, 2007 05:41 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for the commment - I was a bit apprehensive about mixing the lightness and the sorrow in quite this way, so it's definitely good to know it comes together alright.