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16 October 2007 @ 12:24 am
May 2, 1995  
All week, Stacy had felt like an idiot.

At work, all her friends had asked her what happened with Greg, what happened with the doctor that she'd left to go to the bar with. And she'd answered them all with a polite, bold-faced lie, simply saying, "Not much," because she hardly wanted to discuss how much of an idiot she was with anyone, much less her co-workers. And most of all, she just wanted to forget about it.

Regardless, though, she couldn't really help thinking about it. It was pathetic, yes, but she couldn't help thinking about what she could've done differently. Most of the time, she just envisioned herself walking away and not going with him to the bar in the first place. Other times, she wondered if she said something wrong, but she couldn't figure it out. At the end of the night, she'd felt like a hooker, and he'd done nothing to help that.

So she wasn't going to see him again.

It was a decision that was easily made, and she went on with her week, immersing herself in her work and reminding herself not to think about it. She'd never had any real luck in relationship, and there was no reason to think that now would be any different.

The decision, she thought, was made.
sans_pickles on October 16th, 2007 07:43 am (UTC)
House had pissed a number of women off in his lifetime. Either because they were annoying and he told them so, or because they were too clingy and he wanted them to get lost, or because he said something that they seemed to take offence at for whatever reason. Stacy fell into the last category. He supposed, in hindsight, that maybe he'd been a bit blunt. But he still didn't get what her issue was.

Despite that, he found himself thinking more and more about her as the week progressed. He'd never met a woman who'd really dished it back at him with as much confidence as Stacy did, and maybe that was because she was a lawyer and was used to arguing. Or maybe that was because she was just that kind of woman. By the end of the week, he was getting annoyed that he didn't have her number because he was honestly intrigued by her, the more he thought about her.

The only option he had in order to obtain her number was to ask Gary, seeing Stacy was a mutual friend of his. He phoned Gary up after work and asked casually for the number, hanging up on him once he got it when Gary started asking questions. It was none of Gary's business what he did with Stacy or where they went. But now he had the slip of paper with Stacy's number on it, he stood by the phone in his apartment and put the receiver to his ear as he dialled.

He dropped the paper to the table once the number started ringing. Either she was going to be in or she wasn't. Or she was going to hang up on him. Or not. He'd just have to wait to see.
Stacy Warner: house & stacyharvard_law on October 16th, 2007 07:47 am (UTC)
Up until then, that day, Stacy was having no trouble forgetting about it. It had been a busy day, a long day, and there were plenty of distractions. Until, of course, when she came home. She heard the phone start to ring just as she was getting home from work. She rushed inside, dropping her keys and purse on a table beside the door, and then moving to the other end of the room, where the phone was. She didn't recognize the number on the display, but she answered it anyway, lifting the receiver to her ear.

sans_pickles on October 16th, 2007 07:53 am (UTC)
House snapped to attention when he heard the phone being picked up. He raised his brows and pulled a speculative look at the voice on the other end of the line. People always sounded different on the phone, especially if he'd only spent time with them for a couple of hours a week before, a portion of that time spent in bed.

"Hey," he greeted. He paused. "This Stacy?"
Stacy Warner: stacy 3harvard_law on October 16th, 2007 07:56 am (UTC)

Stacy, at first, didn't recognize the voice on the end of the line, and then it hit her, suddenly. Oh, no. Of course, the voice was a bit different than she remembered it, but then again, most of the work being done later that day had had nothing to do with talking. She paused for a moment, hoping she wouldn't have to speak, and took off her jacket. But he was saying nothing.

"I really hope this isn't who I think it is."
sans_pickles on October 16th, 2007 08:02 am (UTC)
House frowned, then raised his brows again in mild surprise. A series of speculative expressions crossed his face at Stacy's curt response.

"Well, that's not going to work," he replied. "Because I either am who you think I am, or you're not thinking properly."

Damn it. So, she was still pissed at him? What the hell for? He pressed his lips together, debating whether it was smart to continue with the phone call. Well, what did he have to lose if it didn't work out?

"It's Greg," he said after a pause. "You shot me in the shoulder."
Stacy Warnerharvard_law on October 16th, 2007 08:06 am (UTC)
Oh, damn it. It was him.


She was surprised, to be honest, with the fact that he was calling her. He'd made it pretty clear that he'd wanted her to leave. That he hadn't wanted anything else. And she'd been fine, fine with coming to terms with that and understanding that she was being naive and ridiculous in expecting him to say something different.

Regardless, she didn't want to snap at him. Not yet, anyway.

"Why are you calling me?"
sans_pickles on October 16th, 2007 08:13 am (UTC)
"Because I can?" he replied.

Probably the wrong answer. He frowned in mild frustration and sighed. So... why was he calling her? Hi, you intrigue me, let's go out some time. Or, Hi, you were a good lay-- no. He puffed his cheeks out and let out another breath with a pop from his mouth.

God, women were complicated.

He scratched his head. "Just calling to see what you're up to."
Stacy Warner: black and whiteharvard_law on October 16th, 2007 08:18 am (UTC)
"I just got home from work.'

The question struck her as incredibly strange, and she assumed he was stalling, or trying to figure something out on the fly, because-- god, she was confused. He'd made it clear that she was just a one-night stand. Why would he be calling her?

"I didn't give you my number," she said. "Which means you actually went to some trouble to get it. So, really, if you could just tell me why you called, that would be nice. From what I've seen, you really have no problem with skipping pleasantries."
sans_pickles on October 16th, 2007 08:24 am (UTC)
House rolled his eyes and looked towards the ceiling as though pleading for some heavenly being to help him out here. Good Lord. Yeah, he'd gone through the trouble. Why couldn't she just take his 'just calling to see what you're up to' for face value? Because that was all he was phoning her for.

"No, you didn't give me your number," he said patiently. "Shall I recount the tale of how I had to twist a few arms to get it?"

No, he didn't. Gary had been fairly compliant with giving him the number, bar the questioning. Which House hanged the phone up on. He silently muttered to himself something about how he was probably going about this all wrong, rolled his eyes again and then sighed once more.

"I get it," he said, a little less patiently this time. "You're pissy about the 'you can leave if you want' thing." Which was about as close to an apology as he was going to offer.
Stacy Warner: house & stacyharvard_law on October 16th, 2007 08:30 am (UTC)
"Yes, I am," she said. "I mean, I know I shouldn't have expected that much from you, considering I don't know you that well, but I wanted a little more respect than you would've given to a prostitute."

She looked down, and moved to one of her chairs, sitting down on it and holding her phone to her ear. She didn't want to be rude to him-- he wasn't being rude to her; rather, he sounded confused, which in turn confused her, because she thought it was obvious, what he'd done and why she'd been hurt.

"Sorry if I'm a little less than agreeable about it."
sans_pickles on October 16th, 2007 08:36 am (UTC)
"No, I didn't," he argued. "I would've slapped you a wad of bills if I was giving you the respect equal to a prostitute."

Treated her like a hooker? What the hell? No, he hadn't. He'd given her the option to leave if she wanted to leave. Why the hell did women always have to make things so confusing?

"I would've told you to leave if I wanted you to leave," he continued. "I said you could leave if you want. Totally left the ball in your court."

Okay, this isn't what he phoned her up for - to have an argument about last week. Seemed she wasn't going to listen to him if he didn't try to make it up to her somehow. How, though, he had no idea.

"I want to see you again, that's why I'm calling."
Stacy Warnerharvard_law on October 16th, 2007 08:43 am (UTC)
"Didn't seem to care if I stayed or went--"

Stacy began to argue with him, but then just gave up, deciding that she wasn't going to do that. And she forgot about it, anyway, when he said he wanted to see her again.

"I-- you what?"

When the shock subsided, Stacy thought about it-- on one hand, she was just surprised at his audacity, at the fact that, even after saying what he did, he would call her up like it was nothing, and want to see her again. But on the other, she was starting to see, see that this was the kind of thing he seemed to do. Honesty. And he hardly seemed to have a lot of experience talking to women. She'd been attracted to him, incredibly so, but it--

Damn it, she was doing it again. Rationalizing.

She'd always prided herself on being strong, on standing by what she believed-- she'd made a career on it. And she was almost, almost considering it. She prayed that he wouldn't push any more. But, knowing what little she did about him, he probably would.

"I don't think so," she tried. "Probably not a good idea."
sans_pickles on October 16th, 2007 08:52 am (UTC)
House had his mouth open to argue with her - and stopped when she point-blank said that seeing her again was a bad idea. He snapped his mouth shut and frowned, and looked down at the floor.

Huh. So, he obviously really pissed her off. He didn't even do anything! She wanted sex, he wanted sex, they both got sex. Or coffee. Or whatever. What had he missed in translation?

He pressed his lips together again and then bit his bottom lip in thought for a brief moment.

"I disagree with you," he replied, keeping his tone matter-of-fact.
Stacy Warnerharvard_law on October 16th, 2007 08:57 am (UTC)
Stacy raised her eyebrows in surprise. He was nothing if not persistent, and kind of annoying, but she allowed herself to be fooled by it for a moment, answering him back.

"You disagree?"

For the moment, though, she decided to play along, because it didn't seem like she was going to get rid of him easily. And besides, it wasn't like she had something more to say to him, really.

"Why's that?"
sans_pickles on October 16th, 2007 09:02 am (UTC)
He raised his brows, feeling mildly hopeful that Stacy had asked him for an explanation rather than rebuked him. He ran his thumb across his forehead and then dropped his hand to his hip.

"Because I can," he replied. He paused. "Because I'd like to see you again. Because you shot me and it's not very often a woman shoots me and has coffee with me on the same day."

He paused again. "What're you doing Saturday night?"
Stacy Warnerharvard_law on October 16th, 2007 09:06 am (UTC)
"You are the most contradictory man I've ever met."

Stacy shook her head, rubbing her forehead and trying to think. She wanted to be strong, stick to principles, and turn him down. His argument didn't seem very powerful, and at first should've struck her as arrogant, but there was something in it that she found amusing.

"I'm not doing anything Saturday night," she said. "At least, nothing involving coffee of any kind."
sans_pickles on October 16th, 2007 09:09 am (UTC)
"More interesting that way," he agreed at being called contradictory.

He honestly didn't expect Stacy to agree, so he was surprised when she did. He frowned, suspicious, as though he wasn't sure if he heard correctly. But then he brightened, pleased to have gotten his way.

"Want to go out for coffee?" he asked. "As in, actual coffee. Not coffee coffee. The other kind of coffee coffee."
Stacy Warnerharvard_law on October 16th, 2007 09:18 am (UTC)
She raised an eyebrow.

"So you just decided to completely ignore what I just said. The 'no coffee of any kind' thing? Is it more interesting that way, too?"

Shaking her head, Stacy paused. And she knew that she was about to go against every single decision she'd made concerning him. And she really, really hoped she wasn't making a mistake.

"Fine. But no metaphors."
sans_pickles on October 16th, 2007 09:27 am (UTC)
"No coffee of that kind," he corrected. "Coffee of the other kind is okay because it's not coffee coffee. I mean, it's still coffee, but it's not..."

He trailed off when she said metaphors. Well, now, that was unfair. This was how he talked. He liked relating things to metaphors. Made conversation more interesting.

He frowned. "You take away my metaphors, you're depriving me of my livelihood."
Stacy Warnerharvard_law on October 20th, 2007 07:12 am (UTC)
"Well, I can't possibly do that," she muttered dryly, shaking her head. She was still annoyed with him, irritated, but she couldn't shake that initial attraction to him that she had.

"Fine," said, then paused for a moment before asking, "Where are we going to have coffee, then? Assuming that this isn't an elaborate joke on your part."
sans_pickles on October 20th, 2007 07:23 am (UTC)
House couldn't resist. "Well, seeing coffee's on the house, we'll go to a coffee house that serves good coffee."

Of course, Stacy didn't know his last name yet, so the meaning would've been completely lost on her. He smirked all the same at his own little private joke.

"I may joke elaborately, but that doesn't mean I pull elaborate jokes. Do you really think I'd be calling you and asking you out for coffee if this was just a joke? Be a waste of time, wouldn't it?"
Stacy Warner: stacy 3harvard_law on October 20th, 2007 07:31 am (UTC)
"You'd be surprised what people would waste their time on," she said quietly, standing up and starting to pace. It was a habit she had, when she was on the phone. Especially when she was having a conversation she didn't want to have, or just felt annoyed.

"Do you want to give me the address of this coffee house of yours, then?"
sans_pickles on October 20th, 2007 07:44 am (UTC)
"Yeah, but I'm not 'people'," House replied. He rubbed his thumb across his brow and started to pace.

"Do I want to give you the address of this coffee house..." he mused. "You've been there before. Is that a help?"

He paused. "Judging from the tone of your voice, you want me to leave you alone."
Stacy Warner: house & stacyharvard_law on October 20th, 2007 07:51 am (UTC)
"No, I--" she struggled with her words for a moment, and then settled on saying, "I'd just rather not make the same mistake twice."

She sighed, calming herself for a moment before speaking again. No matter how much she wanted to get over it, she still felt a little hurt by what he'd said, and it wouldn't just go away.

"Can you just tell me where the place is, please?"
sans_pickles on November 10th, 2007 07:54 am (UTC)
House frowned slightly at that. Mistake? "I was a mistake now?" he asked. All because he'd given her an option to stay or go? What the hell was it with women, huh? You give them a choice, they think you're being dismissive and careless. You tell them what you want, they think you're being sexist and controlling.

He scratched his head again. "How about I come and meet you?" he said, sound a little disheartened now that he was aware she thought of sleeping with him as a mistake. Was there really any point if that was her opinion? He wasn't so sure now.

"Or you can come here. And I'll take you to the coffee house."
Stacy Warnerharvard_law on November 10th, 2007 08:00 am (UTC)
Stacy chose not to address the 'mistake' part-- he could figure out on his own what she was referring to. And if not, they'd probably end up talking about it on Saturday. It depended on what mood she'd be in, but right now, she didn't have a clue why he was even calling to begin with. That would take time and thought, and she'd been trying very hard not to do the latter.

"I can come to your place. Since I know where it is. And you can take me to this secret coffee house of yours," she said. Then paused. "Saturday night it is, then."
sans_pickles on November 10th, 2007 08:12 am (UTC)
House paused for a long moment, trying to discern the tone of Stacy's voice. He couldn't work out if she sounded resigned, annoyed, or completely reluctant. She certainly didn't sound pleased. It annoyed him that she'd taken the whole 'you can leave if you want' thing so personally. He didn't get what there was to get so upset about.

"Don't jump around in excitement or anything," he couldn't help remarking. He quickly bit his tongue before he said anything else to that effect, though. "Okay," he continued, his tone a more cheerful, though not much. "Saturday night it is, then."

He paused again and wondered whether to say anything else, then began to lower the receiver. Wait. Better say good bye or she'll likely get even more pissed off. He dashed it back up to his ear.

"Good bye?" he said uncertainly. Seemed she didn't have anything much to say to him, so he wasn't sure if this was his cue to leave her alone or not.
Stacy Warner: stacy 2harvard_law on November 10th, 2007 08:17 am (UTC)
"Well, I'll be sure to conjure up some excitement for you next time we go to coffee," she said. Then added, for the sake of not being too presumptuous, "Should there be a next time."

God damn it, she thought. He was making her reconsider, and wonder if she'd taken it all too seriously. But then-- what the hell was she supposed to think? The way he'd responded had been so cold and, she thought, rude. But then again, they'd probably talk about that, too.

Saturday it was, then.

"Bye," she said, trying to sound a little bit more interested. "See you Saturday."

She tried to think of something more to say, but there wasn't. So she just slowly put the receiver down and hung up.