... in which Lisa comes to terms with the fact that she's a Hugh-manitarian and Kaddison makes the Huli fandom finally happy.
Thanks for the incredibly sweet reviews, guys! A well rounded critique is the most rewarding gift for a writer and I would love to hear your thoughts. The more the better :-P
To say it Ausiello-style: Should I never dare to touch the key board of my laptop ever again or are you guys nominating me for the Pulitzer prize? Sound off below.
Merry Christmas, my fellow Huli sweeties!
Hugh poured two glasses of Riesling-Chardonnay while he spotted from the corner of his eyes that Lisa had discovered a huge bowl with – miniature snowballs? He picked up the glasses and handed her one which she answered with a smile.
Hugh: What are these? Ammo for a giant snowball battle me versus you?
Lisa: I'd kick your butt, just so you know, but these cute little white balls are sweets. I think they go by the name of 'Raffaello' – I had them once when I was in Germany to promote a new season. They actually taste like melted white chocolate although the wrapping claims they don't contain any. Try?
Hugh okayed and Lisa popped one piece into his mouth. A disturbingly intimate gesture, as Hugh realized just when it was too late. The people around them were snickering again. Oh, whatever, it wasn't like the rumor mill in PPTH concerning Cuddy and House didn't stand pale against the theories and bets that Hugh and Lisa were a whole lot more than friends.
He was not aware of the fact that he had been staring at Lisa all the time while his head decided to increase the thought pace by about 250%.
Lisa: Are you okay? You seem so distracted all night.
Hugh: I guess I am. A lot of things are running through my mind right now.
[Hugh lowers both his voice and his gaze a little]
Lisa (tentatively): You know, we should take our glasses and get out of here. At least for a minute to catch some air.
Hugh nodded his consent and followed Lisa as they exited the room. A nervous sensation was creeping up his spine – but he had no idea why. Their plan to evade the trouble for a few seconds was gracefully thwarted by a slightly tipsy David who shanghaied them just on their way out of Cuddy's office to make them get back to the couch and join the conversation. He did earn a glare from Doris for that. Lisa looked up to Hugh, shrugged and followed David back to the couch – with Hugh tied to her hand all the way through the dancing couples who were swaying to the beats of 'All I Want For Christmas'. A second before they got back to the couches and Lisa had to let his hand go, she turned around and looked at him affectionately which raised a lopsided smile on his face. She grinned widely at his reaction and joined David, Omar, Jesse and even male nurse Jeffrey without any further comment. Hugh shook his head. This woman was messing with him, big time. He smiled into his glass when he took a sip of his wine.
David (speaking through a mike): ...and I invite you join us on the dance floor we've set up after Katie and I have tortured you with a few minutes of the speech we feel we need to hold tonight...-
Hugh and Lisa were slouched back comfortably into the cushions of the couch, almost imperceptively leaning into each other.
Lisa (whispering into Hugh's ear): I need a refill to get through this part of the evening.
Hugh: Need company?
Lisa: Please. (she smiles)
They slowly got up, trying to cause as little commotion as possible and tip-toed along the walls towards Cuddy's office. The door was open for the first time that night and Hugh and Lisa soon found out that the room was deserted. Even better, they figured, if everyone was out there listening to on-set memories.
The next thing that struck was that the wall had been decorated with photos of the whole crew and the cast. Practiced shootings mingling with candid snap shots. That was why the room had been so packed the entire night. They split up, Lisa examining the pictures from the right side working left, Hugh vice versa.
Lisa: Hey, look at that. Do you remember where it's from?
[she points to a medium sized photograph of her and Hugh. She wears a midnight blue knee-length dress – not unlike then one she was sporting today -, Hugh dark jeans and a black sweater. She is posing just for him and obviously making a cute face, Hugh is laughing so hard that his knees are bent]
[Hugh places his glass on one of the bar tables and walks up to her, situating himself right behind her so he can look at the photograph in question above her shoulders.]
Hugh: Of course I do. That was season 6 promo shooting. I have no idea who shot that picture, it was listed nowhere!
Lisa: Now that you mention it, of course. I just didn't recognize it right away. I adored that dress. It was cut amazingly. (she pauses) That was probably one of the best days I've ever had on [H]ouse. It was great that we could spend so much time together and not to forget the fabulous wardrobe (she chuckles)...
[She leans back into him, first a little tentatively but when she feels he's holding firm against her weight, she lets herself fall a little more.]
Hugh (suddenly quite soft): That day was special to me as well and your dress ... (his voice trails off)
Lisa was feeling his body heat against her dress, his heartbeat thumping against her back.
You know, there are times when everything in the universe seems to shift into place. When the timing is right and it only requires you to pluck out some courage and jump in at the deep end. At crossroads like these, you can either win everything or embarrass yourself infinitely. Usually, you can just feel it. But even if it's right, it takes a leap of faith to take a chance because soft landing is never guaranteed.
Hugh tentatively snaked his arms around her waist from behind, and held her tight and safe in his embrace. At his bold move, Lisa tensed up and Hugh would have drawn back immediately, had she not clasped his hands with her own. She could feel his hot breath on her neck as he bent forward to see what she was doing: Actively telling she wanted to be near him.
[Hugh's gaze is still fixed on their picture but when he starts to talk in a hoarse whisper, barely audible, it shows there's nothing more important to him than this.]
Hugh: … was breathtaking. And it brought out your eyes marvelously. That was why I picked it in the first place. It reminded me of you. Like pretty much everything here. (he pauses for a split second)
You remember when I told you a lot was running through my mind? That was all you. Wearing running shoes with spikes, so much of a distraction were you, that is.(he attempts a feeble chuckle).
[Lisa squirms and is shifting as if trying to disentangle from Hugh's arms. He is taken aback, lifts his head and is about to loosen his embrace. Lisa turns around within his hug.]
Lisa (only a few inches away from his face, gravely): Honestly? You confess you are thinking of me non-stop and all you can come up with are spiked runners?
[Hugh stares at her utterly puzzled, still keeping her in his embrace. A grin explodes on Lisa's face]
Lisa: The very least I expect are 4-inch, killer stilettos. Something to haunt your dreams with.
Hugh (a smile tugging at the corner of his mouth): Believe me, if I let you wear those, I would be getting no sleep at all.
Lisa chuckled lowly. He made it sound like he spent every minute he was not awake thinking about her in his bed. Sleeping. Dreaming. Dreaming of her. She looked up to him with her eyes showing something Hugh could not quite put his finger on. Excitement, joy and great affection for sure but it was not the first and it wouldn't be the last time, he could not pin-point her exactly. That was part of her attraction.
Lisa gently and slowly placed both her hands on Hugh's chest just where she could feel his heart beat, never losing eye contact with him. Hugh closed up the remaining inches of space and hugged her closer to his body, feeling the chemistry and smoldering flames only two bodies could ever create. He shuddered at the sensation invading his limbs and his mind, his body and his heart.
He tilted his head, drowning out everything around him but her ivory face that seemed to glow, and marveled at the sheer perfection of this moment. Seconds, that were filled with eternity, passed until Hugh left it to his left hand to keep his girl safe and raised his right to gently brush a ringlet out of her face and behind her ear. Resting his hand on her neck, he pressed his thumb on a pulse point on the nape of her neck so he could feel her pulse as well. And find his very own, very Hugh-way to Lisa's heart.
Lisa was startled when Hugh first made contact with that sensitive pulse point on her neck. She didn't even know she had one until she felt his thumb experiencing each and every of her heart beats. The next one her heart promptly missed because this felt like he was genuinely touching her spirit, her inner soul. Simply: her heart.
This time it was Lisa who took action. With an amazed expression in both her eyes and her face she stretched up to draw nearer to Hugh's face. 90-10, 90-10. Before either of them knew their lips met in an incredible kiss. Stars exploded before their eyes, sparkling fire works of tender and novel passion. Thank God this was not fake and Hugh not House, so he could kick the office door shut which had been slightly ajar all the time.
They could have remained in this position forever and longer, heated faces, entangled bodies, mind-numbing adrenaline and pure bliss racing through their veins, but at some point they both ran out of oxygen and reluctantly separated their lips.
This was when the rest of the world finally came back to their minds. The laughter and chatter outside, the Jazz combo and their new intoned song: Cliff Richard's Mistletoe and Wine.
[Hugh rests his forehead on Lisa's and keeps his eyes closed as if not to lose that moment so soon]
Hugh (softly): You do know that we're standing once again below the mistletoe?
Lisa (breaking into a lopsided smile): Pure aphrodisiac...
Hugh (half-seriously): Mind if I buy all they have in stock and plaster every inch of L.A. with it?
P.S.: I know it's awfully long but I couldn't bear to split it anywhere... :)
PPS: If you liked it, spread word. Can't upload it on FF.net since there's no Huli spot so I need you guys to do some promo :P