scruffylies: The elevator pinged, and Gregory House rolled out smoothly, headed down the hallway. He ignored the strange look of the nurse carrying files as he deftly weaved around her. A little bit of practice and he was already great at this thing.
The skateboard rolled easily over the floor, much easier than it had on concrete or pavement. House pushed it along, then put his hands in his pockets - was that a suit? brown pants, brown jacket, it was close enough to a suit, though the look was perhaps slightly marred by the untucked white oxford shirt and the Adidas Samba sneakers. He looked nonchalant as he glided right past the glass doors of the Dean of Medicine's office.
At the end of the hall, House turned, made another pass. At the elevators he turned again, started back.
Negotiatory: Cuddy had been on the phone, having already been at work for two hours before House chose to grace them (if that's what he called it) with his presence. Situated as comfortably as she could get in her desk chair despite ongoing nausea she had not quite shaken that morning, tapered fingers were curled against the receiver of her phone, holding it to her ear. Her opposite hand was wavering near her face, digits rubbing feverishly at the muscles at the back of her neck to fend off a headache as she listened to the obnoxious hold music from her doctor's office phone service.
When she first saw him, she thought her mind was playing tricks on her, a haze brought on by morning sickness and fatigue from not having the best night's sleep. Then he...rolled by again.
Frowning, Cuddy sat up to get a better look before she dropped the receiver back into the cradle, not quite caring that she'd hung up just as a voice finally came over asking if she was still holding to set up an appointment.
Rising from her chair, Lisa angled a hastened stride for the glass-panel of her doorway, pushing them open just as House made a third pass. "There... are probably about 30 different campus rules if not New Jersey state laws you are breaking right now." None of which she could name off the top of her head, but that was beside the point.
scruffylies: House skateboarded right past her with a chipper, "And a very good morning to you, Dr. Cuddy!" Enjoying her reaction.
After managing a tight turn -- which he seemed very pleased with -- House brought the board to a stop and stepped off. He stomped down on the end, kicking it into his hand. Hmm, that was a bit harder on the smooth floor, but he managed it fairly well. He grinned at Cuddy as he walked back and stopped in front of her. "Miss me?"
Negotiatory: Eyes flicked downward to follow the stomping motion that sent the back end of the skateboard into tiled floor and left a nasty scuff mark in its wake. Scowling, Cuddy backpedaled a few paces until she was able to snag hold of her door and pull it open to maneuver back into her office. "Not nearly as much as the janitorial staff, I'm sure."
So she was in a decent mood and not as prone to griping at him over the skateboard as she might have been otherwise. Maybe ignoring it would work like with a child -- realizing it wouldn't get him more attention from MommyCuddy would end the behaviour. "If you're looking for a case, your team already has one. I gave it to Chase this morning when you were supposed to be here." Not that House being late was old news...
scruffylies: She was in a decent mood. No fire in her tone, no real rebuke about the skateboard. Interesting...
House followed her into the office, dropped into a chair so he could observe her when she returned to her desk. "Chase? You gave my case to Chase? My first day back and you're giving away my cases." House tilted his head back to he was speaking to the ceiling. "Now how'dya like that."
Negotiatory: Dropping into her chair a little harder than she might have normally done so, a grudging glance was fired towards him and his lean towards the melodramatic, grasping a pile of folders she'd put off in favor of the call she'd inevitably had to hang up on. It was just going to be one of those mornings.
"House, I've got... a department head and a resident sick today and occupying our beds rather than their own at home, and another department head almost two hours late. I gave his case to one of three of his highly overqualified doctors. Go upstairs and get the Head of Pediatrics out of our hospital bed and I'll gladly give you all the cases you want." For the time being, she had bigger fish to fry than House's ego, hard as it might be to believe that some things actually were larger.
scruffylies: He'd been about to ask about the odd fact that the Pediatrics department head was his -- not Chase's, this was still technically his -- patient, when he realized something was... different, about Cuddy.
House blinked, rested the skateboard against his knee as he leaned forward in the chair and examined her. His look was probing and his silence disconcerting.
Negotiatory: Part-way through the process of opening the first file, Cuddy could all but feel the weight of his gaze on her and it only took a handful of instances under the stare for her to squirm and frown as if it was burning her. Lifting her attention, her expression deadpanned, brows inching upward in query.
She'd just push on and pretend he wasn't staring at her like she had a new tattoo in the center of her forehead. "He was admitted yesterday afternoon during his shift, complaining of acute abdominal pain. Constant fever, a nurse had to give him an ice bath last night to get it down when it sustained at 103." It was most likely something simple like ulcers, but as she was shorthanded, she figured House could stand to solve a routine case in a few hours. Honestly, she halfway expected his team to have the pediatrician diagnosed by now.
scruffylies: House's eyes, piercing blue, did not waver in their attention, even as his mind filed away the information. Fever was too high for something as simple as appendicitis, a foodborne thing -- like bacteria, food poisoning -- well, that would've presented with vomiting, too, and Cuddy didn't mention...
Hm. Hard to pin it down, really. She looked vexed but sounded normal; no, in a better mood than normal. And she'd moved under his gaze like she'd been uncomfortable... though Cuddy was used to some of his more disquieting tactics.
"And what's wrong with you?" He abruptly asked after she'd finished, in the same bright tone he'd greeted her with outside her office.
Negotiatory: Hesitating, she fought the urge to smile despite herself at the question, managing to ride in between with a subtle turn of the lips upward and nothing more. She could have answered it several different ways but settled on the more elusive "Absolutely nothing." she used.
Things were actually very, very right.
Grabbing up a pen, she returned to the file in silent effort to direct him out the door and in the general direction of people who were actually sick.
scruffylies: The slight smile, her answer a study in avoidance... Oh, there was definitely something going on. He was going to have to keep dropping by here all day. Here was an opportunity too interesting to pass up.
House stood, picked up the skateboard again. Heaving a deeply dramatic sigh, he started for the door, "Welllllllllll," he drew out over his shoulder. "I should go make sure the team hasn't killed your pediatrician in my absence."
Negotiatory: She might have averted him for the time being, but he'd be back, that much was evident. Cuddy would just have to cross that bridge when she came to it and in the meantime stick to the side of caution. She didn't want anyone, especially House, jumping on the 'Cuddy's pregnant' train until she was able to schedule an ultrasound and get in for it.
All signs pointed to a resounding yes, but she was still cautious of getting her hopes up.
"House," It came almost as an afterthought and she didn't even raise her head from her work until it was already out, eyes subconsciously checking his right leg from behind, then the skateboard in question. "Don't bring that in again."
scruffylies: He felt her eyes on him and immediately started in with, "Look, I can't help it if my butt is cuter than yours; I can't NOT bring it in, it's attached to--" House turned, feigning embarrassment. "Oh, you meant the skateboard. You don't want me to bring the skateboard in again."
Negotiatory: Of course. It figured.
"You know, your team probably has Dr. Matthews under control, I could really use you in the clinic this morning, and considering you haven't actually been there in over two months --"
And he'd be out the door in 3...2...1...
scruffylies: Already heading to the hallway. "Sorry, I'd better check in with my team--" note he didn't actually say he'd be checking on Matthews, just the team "--before they..." The rest of his response was muffled by the glass; House waved, as if promising he'd return soon. He dropped the skateboard to the ground, yelled something that sounded like, "Hold the elevator!" and jumped on the board, pushing it down the hall to relative freedom.
Negotiatory: It really was too bad she had too many patients that came through on wheelchairs and walkers, otherwise she'd order an extra coat of wax on the floors. Shaking her head, she resumed the process of attempting to rub away the headache, allowing her attention to be reabsorbed by the file.
(OOC: reminder to ducklings to respond to the previous post on the comm here; that's where House is headed next!)