Next morning it’s half past ten and they are asleep embraced. The light that comes from the window wakes him up. He breathes deeply and sees her lying next to him.
Cuddy opens her eyes slowly and looks at him. She doesn’t know exactly what to say.
She’s still a bit confused. ‘How... Did you sleep well?’
‘The truth is that my back hurts a little due to sleeping in this position, I mean, huged to you.’
‘Oh--sorry’ She separates a bit from him and House takes a better posture. Cuddy looks at his cheek, it’s still a little redden because of the slap.
‘I'm sorry for that. I slapped you quite strongly...But you deserved it.’
‘Well, at least I'll have a memory from this trip... temporary, but it’s a memory...’
‘If that is the best memory of the trip I can slap you again’ laughs Cuddy.
He chuckles. ‘I-I think it's fine... Don’t bother...’
Some minutes later Cuddy takes the sheets and puts them around her body to go to the bathroom and get dressed. House sees her more beautiful than any other day. He remains quiet on the bed until she goes out of the bathroom wearing a white summer dress.
‘I hope today it’s cooler than yesterday.’
She looks at his eyes, they have an special shine, they are bluer than any other day.
‘I hope so, I don't want you to faint in my arms again haha...’
House takes the bedspread and goes to the bathroom to get dressed. When they are ready, they go to the cafeteria. Any of them know what would happen from now on, but the situation will be more uncomfortable if they’re still silent. Lisa tries to break the ice. ‘Want some juice?’
‘Coffee would be better, thanks...’
She serves the coffee and some juice for her.
‘Well... What are we gonna do today? We could visit something interesting...’
‘House...what are we now?’
‘Um... um... you mean appart from travel-mates, boss and employee, and all that...??’
‘Um... well... we certainly are... um...’
Cuddy stares at him. ‘...something? There isn’t a specific word to describe it... is it?’
‘Yeah... yeah... exactly.’ House is surprised because of her question and just looks to his cup of coffee. Cuddy likes when he doesn't know the answer to a question but she doesn't like not knowing the answer to the question either. She drinks her glass of juice. Suddenly House rises his head.
‘What do you think we are??’
‘Eh..well.. we--we are friends who know each other for a very long time, and work together, and always have felt attraction for each other but we have never recognized it.’
‘Um... that... Well, you've been very accurate...’
‘Am I wrong?’
‘Eerr... I’m... not... sure. Well... could be...’
‘Shit, Gregory, say something’
He whispers. ‘Shit, Lisa I don't know what to say!!! Do you want me to say something specific??’
‘If you have something else to say yes’
He remains in silence looking at his cup and rises his eyes to look at her, who is looking at her empty glass. ‘Well, shall we go??’
They go for a walk. From the distance they see a bridge. ‘What are those things on the bridge?’ Asks Cuddy.
‘Are they...’ He approaches a bit. ‘Padlocks?’
‘Yeah, lots of them.’
‘Yeah... Christ!! No one is gonna steal the bridge, please...’
Cuddy chuckles and goes next to a man who sells padlocks in the bridge. ‘Excuse me, why are there so many padlocks?’
The man looks at them and tries to talk with his best English. ‘Lovers put them and throw the key to river. You two should put one too! You're a very nice couple’
Cuddy blushes and House laughs nervously, then the man keeps talking.
‘So... you want one? You write your names on the padlock, put it on the bridge and throw one of the keys to river and the other two keys, one for each’
She looks at Greg speachless and he pays the man. ‘Well... why not?? A padlock can't hurt anyone...
They write their names and put the padlock on a lamp. ‘Are you sure of this? This is a kind of sign that this means something.’
‘Well, I thought this was a harmless custom but... will I have to marry you when we do this??’
They laugh nervously and look around. A couple is back to river trowing the key over their shoulders and then they kiss. House looks at her. ‘Ready to throw it??’ Both throw the key together. Then he kisses her cheek and looks to the water quickly, while Cuddy touches her cheek. ‘I have nothing contagious, you're safe.’
Cuddy smiles. ‘Yeah, good to know.’
Some time later they bought a vanilla ice cream for Greg and a strawberry one for her, and then, leaned against the bridge while they eat.
‘You wanna taste mine?’ House nods and she gives him a spoonful.
‘Hmmm... it's nice. You wanna taste mine? ‘He’s gonna give her a spoonful but he dirties her nose intentionally. ‘Whoops, sorry!’
He laughs and Lisa looks at him with indignant face. ‘Now clean it.’ House laughs out loud and she looks at him serious. ‘I’m not kidding Greg, clean it.’
House chuckles and cleans it with his index inger and sucks the ice cream from it. ‘Hmm, it’s even tastier when it comes from your nose.’ He laughs and she puts some of her ice cream on his cheek. ‘Whoops, it has been inadvertently... I'm very clumsy.’
‘You don't have to swear... Cleaning service please!!’
Cuddy throws him a paper napkin and he rubs his cheek with it.
‘I would have given you a kiss on your cheek but I don't know if that is uncomfortable for you.’ House looks away embarrased. ‘Actually I want to see you embarrassing.’ Cuddy chuckles and kisses him on his cheek. ‘Come on!! Stop annoying me!’
They’re leaned on the bridge wall looking at the water. ‘How is your leg? Did it hurt yesterday?’
‘It didn't hurt more than normal...’
She insists. ‘And during that specific moment?’
‘You mean "THAT" specific moment?? Well, let's say that... I was more concentrated on other issues...’
‘Very well concentrated.’
‘Is that a compliment?’
She deflects. ‘Let’s sit for a while.’
They sit down on a seat on the bridge and Lisa lies her head on his shoulder. She doubts for a moment, because she doesn’t know if that bothers him. House looks at her surprised, but inside he wants her close to him, so he just approaches his head a bit and finally he lies his head on hers. They stay thus for a while, and they can’t help thinking that, right now, it looks more than «something».
‘You could say something nice.’
House remains thinking. He really wanted to say something nice, but he wasn’t very good at it. ‘I'll try not to spoil this... isn't it nice enough?’
She nods. ‘It’s enough for me.’
They start walking again. ‘When are we gonna go back to New Jersey?’
‘Isn't is written in our airline tickets?? I have them in our room. I'll look for them when we get there.’ Says House.
The sky is overcast and looks like it’s going to rain. Before they have time to leave the bridge, it stats to drizzle.
‘Let's go, my dress is gonna get soaked.’
‘Well, that's not a problem’ Laughs House.
‘Yes, it is... It’s white, when it’s wet, it’s transparent.’
House folds his arms. ‘Good, I can wait.’
‘Wait for what?’
‘For your dress to become transparent.’
‘No! I don't like to go half-naked in the street...’ It starts raining stronger. They cross the bridge and look for shelter under an awning, but they are very wet already. Cuddy has not just her dress, but her hair soaked and puts a tuft behind her ear, then looks at House and dishevel him.
‘Hey, hey, hey!!! It's not my fault if your hair is horrible because of the rain!!’
After a while it doesn’t stop raining. ‘What if we go to the hotel?? There's nothing wrong about walking under the rain... apart from your dress problem... but no one will be in the streets looking at you.’
‘Argh... I'll walk with my eyes closed if you feel better...’
‘Don’t be stupid... you cannot walk very fast and if you go with your eyes closed, we would get to the hotel tomorrow... Besides, you’ve already seen everything.’
They walk towards the hotel. On their way, House looks at her from the corner of his eye. ‘Beautiful dress...’
Cuddy looks at her dress that is completely soaked and can see her bra. ‘Oh God... I hope the bra doesn’t become transparent too...’
He opens widely his eyes. ‘Oh my God, I got to see that!’
‘House!! Shut up!... Actually your shirt is becoming transparent too.’
‘Thank God I'm not wearing a bra!!’
Cuddy rolls her eyes and they keep walking. She says kidding ‘Will we arrive today?’
‘Don’t think so!’ House stops walking suddenly.
‘Ha! Oh come on! Don't stop now! I'm wet enough, and the hotel is right there.’
‘I just don't feel like walking right now.’ He smiles.
‘Don't make me drag you to the hotel Gregory House.’
He chuckles and she tries to push him, but he doesn’t move at all. She approaches a little bit more to him. ‘Let’s walk, come on.’
‘It's fine being here, under the rain...’ House stares at her and so does she.
‘Until it stops rainig maybe??’ He approaches a bit more.
‘And what if it doesn't stop until tomorrow?’
‘I don't have any problem with that...’ He’s still staring and looks for her hand with his.
Cuddy holds his hand and he gets closer. She puts her other hand around his neck and they kiss under the rain, while it becomes heavier.
‘We are gonna be sick tomorrow.’ She whispers, but doesn’t stop kissing.
‘We'll have to discuss who takes care of who...’
‘If I get sick is your fault.’
‘What a pity I don’t feel guilty!’ He chuckles.
‘Then when I'm in bed, with fever, nausea, headaches and I don't feel like having sex, you will feel guilty.’
‘Okay, I’ll make a big effort to take care of you!! But I rather you don’t get a cold, so let’s go to the hotel.’
To be continued...
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