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Title: Goodbye Past, Goodbye Future
Author: [livejournal.com profile] batty_gal/Tetra26
Fandom: House, M.D.
Characters: Lucas, Rachel, Cuddy
Genre: Drama, Gen
Word Count: 1805
Rating: K
Warnings: None
Notes: This is a post-breakup fic that's set after season 6 finale. It will probably be Jossed soon, lol.
Summary: Lucas discovers that saying goodbye to Rachel is like saying goodbye to the past and future. Lucas-centric, post-Lucas/Cuddy breakup




The last box Lucas Douglas packed was both smallest and lightest, filled with mostly mementos of his life prior to meeting Lisa Cuddy.

Framed portraits of himself with the few family members he still cared for, that he'd placed on the mantle beside Lisa's own pictures of her huge, loving family. Five paperbacks with detective characters that did not make him cringe at their fallacious methods. His diploma in administrative assisting, which was something he swallowed his pride and did when the detective work was fewer and farer between.

He had already moved out his clothing and more important things, not that he'd had much there. In fact, for such a serious relationship that had seemed to be heading towards marriage, he had kept much of his life separate from it.

In retrospect, Lucas figured that he had always been fearful that this life – this new family he was hoping to gain – would not be his in the end. In the entire relationship between he and Lisa, he'd felt as if there was some invisible wall between them – one that he could not ever breech.

He supposed he had always known that the wall was not actually invisible, was actually a person, and had a name: Greg House.

Still, he was only slightly bitter. As much as it hurt him to lose Lisa to House, he still had a begrudging respect for the man. Also, admittedly – though he had grown to love Lisa immensely – Lucas had initially pursued her because he had known House's feelings about her even before House fully understood them himself.

In a way, it was like House was his father, and taking away something his son loved because he'd misbehaved and spited him.

Lisa would kill him if she knew how he thought of it, because she most certainly was not an item to be taken away from anyone. She was her own woman, a woman who had made a choice to go with someone else. He was not even upset with her. Hurt, yes. But definitely not upset.

Lucas sighed, before taping the last box closed. He'd said his goodbyes to Lisa thrice over, and now it was time to move on. Maybe to better things; maybe to worse things.

Well, it was almost time to move on. He still had one more goodbye to say, one that he suspected was going to be far harder than the ones with Lisa.

He looked over to where Lisa had been quietly observing him as he'd packed the last of his things, noting that she looked as if she was searching for something to say to him. Perhaps words of encouragement. Perhaps another apology.

He did not really want to hear it, however.

“I'm going to go tell the little one goodbye, alright,” he said, giving her a half-smile. He hoped it conveyed that he did not want to hear what she was conjuring up to say.

He watched as she struggled a few seconds with the choice of saying something more to him, or letting it go.

Letting it go won out.

“Alright,” she said, ultimately. “Ten minutes, though. She has to go to bed at eight.”

“It'll only take me five,” he said.

He gave her a polite nod, before turning and making his way towards Rachel's room. Before he went in, however, he sat the box beside her door. He knew Rachel; if she saw the box, she'd pester him until he opened it and showed her there was nothing in it for her.

It was his own fault for spoiling her, though. Almost every day he had brought her something home. A bear. A little dog toy that walked around and barked, much to Lisa's chagrin. Big plushy alphabet blocks.

He knocked, before opening the door and peeping in. Rachel was sitting on the floor with the plushy alphabet blocks he'd bought her, tossing them into a yellow bucket placed about three feet from her. He smiled as he watched how engrossed she was in her game, before remembering he was limited to a ten-minute goodbye.

“Rachel,” he said, gently, so not to scare her. She had obviously not noticed his entrance.

“Lucas-daddy!” she said. “Look, I got three in the bucket.”

He smiled at how she pronounced three as thwee. He loved her little pronunciations, and habits of making up words when she couldn't find the one she was looking for.

“Maybe you'll be a NBA champion someday,” he said. “Then I'll tell the world, 'Look at that champion right there! I once wiped her drool off my shirt!'”

“What's a NBA?” she asked, her face scrunching up into cute confusion. He laughed.

“Don't worry about it. Anyhow, I came to talk to you,” he said.

Lucas walked over to where she sat on the floor, and knelt down beside her. He stared at the child, so full of youth and vibrant life, and swallowed hard. He was going to miss her most of all.

“Lucas-daddy, what's wrong? You have frowny-sad face today,” she said.

“Well, it's because Lucas-daddy is a bit sad,” he admitted to her.

“Why?”

“Because Lucas-daddy has to say goodbye to his Rachel,” he said.

“Why?”

Kids and their “whys”. He suspected that the entire conversation was going to be him trying to explain that he won't be seeing her anymore in age-appropriate terms, and her not grasping it.

“Well, that's because Lucas-daddy is moving away,” he said, using the explanation he and Lisa had agreed upon.

“Why?”

“Well,” he started, struggling with the words he wanted to say. Perhaps it would have been better to let Lisa explain it, and have him simply disappear out of her life, but he'd wanted to say this goodbye.

He needed to say this goodbye.

“Well, it's because Lucas-daddy and your mommy need to live in different places now. So Lucas-daddy is moving away, but you and your mom are staying here.”

It was a non-explanation, really, and he hoped that Rachel would not question him further about the reason why he was saying goodbye.

He lucked out.

“When will I see you again?” she asked.

“You probably won't see me again,” he said, truthfully. He most certainly had no intentions of showing up in her life, and further confusing her. Plus, it's not like Lisa would – or was obligated to – allow it, anyhow.

After all, Rachel was Lisa's child, not his. It did not matter how much he loved the kid.

It did not matter how much he wished she was his own.

He watched as she suddenly started to ramble through the plushy blocks, plucking a certain one out. She offered it to him, and he took it from her.

He stared down at the block, turning it over in his hands. R, which she probably intended for Rachel. “Is this my going-away present from you?” he asked in a jovial tone. He did not want to situation to turn too sad.

“Yes.”

“Thank you. I'll keep it forever,” he said. He held open his arms, and when she ran into them, he engulfed her into a big hug.

“Goodbye, Rachel,” he said. As lighthearted as he'd wanted to keep the situation at the end, it did not prevent his voice from cracking a bit.

“Goodbye, Lucas-daddy.”

He released her from his bear hug and gave her a kiss on the cheek, before standing up. He looked down at her, noting her smiling face, and patted her on the head.

“Take care of yourself and your mommy, kid.”

“I will.”

“And don't forget out number one golden rule, alright? Mommy's makeup-”

“-does not go on the dog,” she completed, somberly.

“Right.”

He smiled as he remembered the screeching lecture he'd received the day he'd dozed off after a night of staking someone out while he was supposed to be watching Rachel, just to have Lisa come home and discover blue eyeshadow and red lipstick all over the dog.

In the time he had spent with Lisa and Rachel, he'd been privy to so many interesting events in their daily lives. As bad as it hurt to have to walk away from them both, he wouldn't have traded that short time for anything.

The short time he'd had a family.

Lucas gave her one final smile, before turning away and exiting her room. He was not surprised to find Lisa there beside the door and listening in, and noted the slight shimmer in her eyes from unshed tears. Just as he'd done her daughter Rachel, he suddenly patted her on the head as well, causing her to laugh at the ridiculousness of it all.

“Hey, it works for kids close to three,” he joked.

“Perhaps, but I'm an adult close to forty-three,” she said.

“Close enough.”

“Not even.”

He smirked at her, before picking up the box he'd left in front of Rachel's door.

“If I did not think it would be confusing for her, you know I would let you stay in her life, right?” Lisa said, quietly. “I just... I don't think it's a good idea. I don't know how things are going to be right now, or where they are going.”

He knew she was offhandedly referring to her newfound relationship with House.

“I understand,” he said, honestly.

“Maybe... maybe one day, you can be a figure in her life again.”

“Maybe so. Goodbye, Lisa. I have everything that was left of mine in this box. I won't need to come back here.”

“Goodbye, Lucas.”

It was one of many goodbyes he'd said to Lisa from their breakup on, and hopefully it was the last. But a thousand goodbyes to Lisa would never hurt as much as that one goodbye to Rachel.

As he walked out the door, into the fairly humid night, he came to a further conclusion as to why. A conclusion beyond his feelings for Rachel, his thoughts of her as his own, and the times he'd watched her and wondered how it would be to see her grow from a child, to a teen, to a woman who had her own accomplishments.

Saying goodbye to Rachel was officially and permanently saying goodbye to the family he'd considered his, even for the briefest of time. Saying goodbye to Rachel was saying goodbye to dreams of him, Lisa and Rachel, and perhaps more additions to their trio that potentially would have come along later on, growing together and making further memories.

And that's what hurt him the most of all.



Author's Note: I've been playing with this idea since season 6 ended, but I never got it beyond thoughts until a week ago. I loved Lucas. This is my first fic for this fandom and possibly my last, if I don't ever finish that Foreman and Cameron fic I started work on.


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