Diversions & Digressions | fanfiction by mara

Doubt Truth To Be a Liar

Doubt Truth To Be a Liar

by Mara

Summary: “The call telling him to get his butt into Cuddy’s office *immediately*
came not from Cuddy, but from her secretary. Crap, House thought. That was a bad
sign.”

Author’s Chapter Notes:
Takes place at the end of “Half-Wit”, just before Wilson comes to
lecture House. Contains a BIG spoiler for the episode.

The call telling him to get his butt into Cuddy’s office *immediately* came not
from Cuddy, but from her secretary. Crap, House thought. That was a bad sign.

When he arrived in her office, she wasn’t there. Shit. That was an even worse
sign, because it meant she was so mad she felt the need to cool off before
talking to him. That rarely ever happened. Slumping into a chair, House began to
marshal his defenses and prepare himself.

But when she stalked into the room, face set and cold, he found he wasn’t
prepared at all.

“I should fire you right now,” she said.

“Really? We–”

“Failing that, I should report you to the ethics board.” She went behind her
desk and sat down.

“I–”

“Be quiet, House.” Her tone was soft, but venomous, and he closed his mouth.
“Failing *that*, I should knock you on your ass.”

He couldn’t help it. “Bet you can’t.”

“Bet you’re wrong. Don’t tempt me.”

He opened his mouth, then realized she wasn’t joking, and shut it again.

“The only reason I’m not doing any of those things is because Wilson asked me
not to.” Fingernails clicked on the edge of her desk as she studied him like a
particularly nasty insect she’d found crawling on her kitchen floor. “He begged,
actually. I don’t know what hold you have on him, but whatever it is, it’s damn
good, because after the way you’ve treated us…”

“I didn’t–”

“Did I tell you it was your turn to talk?”

He closed his mouth again.

“I’ve taken a lot of shit from you over the years, House. And for once I’m not
talking about the sexual harassment.”

Her tone went from angry to simply uncaring and he found he missed the anger.

“And do you know,” she said, staring at him, “despite every time you’ve lied to
me and circumvented my authority and basically treated me like a spoilsport,
I’ve defended you to the board, I’ve defended you to your peers, I’ve defended
you to the cops, and I’ve defended you to the *patients* you treat like shit
even as you cure them.”

She leaned back in her chair, shaking her head slightly. “But this really takes
the cake, even for you. Faking cancer? That’s amateur. That’s running up to your
mommy and telling her you have a boo-boo so can get a bandage.”

House stared up at the ceiling, trying to ignore the sting of her words.

“House, *look at me*.”

“Are you done lecturing?” His tone came out harsher than he’d planned, making it
hard to play this the way he wanted.

“Not by a long shot. Wilson thinks this is some passive-aggressive thing. I
think he gives you too much credit. You know, I thought we were finally
connecting a little. I thought you finally understood that I was trying to help
you. But it turns out I was wrong and you’ve been playing me like a piano. And
I’m tired of it.”

“And I’m tired of my leg hurting, but nobody seems to care about that.”

Cuddy slammed her hand down on the desk. “Stop that! Stop trying to make
everything about poor baby you. I’m not impressed. You *lied* to the doctors at
Mass General and you let all of us think you were dying. You’re only here
because of Wilson, so maybe you can go tell him your sob story, because I don’t
care. Now get out of my office and try not to get in my way.”

He stood slowly, playing for time, trying to think of something to say,
something funny, something sarcastic, anything to show he was the same as
always. But for once, his quick wit had deserted him. “I…”

“Don’t say you’re sorry unless you mean it.”

“I didn’t intend for anyone to find out.” Leaning on the cane, he felt himself
sagging.

Her face didn’t change. “Get out. Don’t say another word. Just get out before I
change my mind and fire you.”

Staring at her for a long moment, he was tempted to say something, anything,
just to see what she’d do. But he turned and stomped out, the cane sounding very
loud in the silence.

As he closed her office door behind him, he risked a glance at Cuddy, just to
see her expression. She was flipping through her calendar, phone already in her
hand. She wasn’t even looking in his direction.

Oddly, that hurt more than anything she’d said. Taking a ragged breath, House
went back to his office, wondering how the pain in his leg had migrated to his
chest.

–end–

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