A/N: God. I finally got through this chapter.
I'm sorry it took so damn long. I'm sorry it's not as long as it should be. I'm sorry it's kind of pointless. Meh. I would just give up because now my flow is all screwed and it's going to suck -- but I don't like not completing fics.
Listen to "Fly Me to the Moon" by Frank Sinatra, while reading.
No slash! Thanks for the patience and support.
P.S. MOVIE RECS: Cinderalla Man and Four Brothers. Wonderful. I actually wrote some Four Brothers fic recently, too.
House found himself wincing, as he limped into his bathroom at 7 AM to find Wilson on his knees.
"Don't hold back, James," he said. The oncologist gave another gagging sound in response. House hobbled downstairs and fetched the paper from the driveway, pausing for a moment to survey the neighborhood. He sighed to himself before going inside, tossed the paper on the kitchen counter, and filled a pot with water to boil for Wendy's bottle.
"Wendy's in her crib," he called out, loud enough for Wilson to hear from upstairs. "Bring her down here."
He had changed her first thing when he woke up, feeling another new sense of overwhelming relief to find she was alive and well. He had never taken SIDS seriously before. Now he wished he could stop sleeping, just to watch her through the night.
She gurgled happily in Wilson's arms, as he reached the bottom of the stairs and grimaced at House.
"I'm never drinking again," he remarked, as she cooed.
"You say that now. Just wait until Friday when we'll celebrate surviving our first set of weekdays."
"You up to it?" House asked with a raised eyebrow.
"Got any raisin bran?"
"Raisin bran? What am I, sixty?"
House glowered at him. "Don't listen to him, Wendy. He's hung over because he married Medusa."
"Who would be a lot more pissed off if she knew about you," Wilson said to the baby, looking fondly at her.
"Not even a week since you arrived, and you're already the other woman. You're good, Wendy. You're too good," said House. Wilson smiled. "And your daddy? Well, he's just a bad, bad man. Don't marry him."
Wilson rolled his eyes, as House turned his attention back to the bottle on the stove.
"Only 8:30, we're making good time," said Wilson, as they packed into the Mercedes again, after one of the most pleasant breakfasts either one of the doctors had had in recent years. It wasn't anything special, but there was something about sitting in one's kitchen in the bright morning light coming from the window and drinking orange juice.
"You know, I'm starting to miss my car," House commented.
"You can drive it, if you want."
"Show up separately? What would that do to Wendy's fragile psyche?"
Wilson shook his head and walked around the car to the driver's side, Wendy already strapped into the back seat. House finally took the 'vette out of the garage.
"Did you miss me, baby?" he said, as he pulled out into the driveway, after Wilson left. The engine rumbled. "I thought so."
House squinted around at the town, as he followed closely behind Wilson. The wind was cool against his skin, and the red paint gleamed bolder than anything else around. He wondered how people would react. He wondered what the hell Wilson was going to do about his marriage. He thought of what Stacy would say when she heard all about this.
He thought about the rest of his life and what he had been planning for it. He realized he had never given it any thought. He lived day by day, but he had never bothered to think about another thirty years. Maybe he hadn't intended to live that long.
But things might be different. It might become worthwhile.
Had he really thought to leave Wilson alone? He frowned as the car cruised along without stopping. Had he really thought he would abandon his only friend whenever he got tired of life? He knew up until now that he had been Wilson's most cherished figure, that their friendship was the one relationship Wilson could say had not been a total failure. House might be self-centered, but he did care for Wilson. He loved Wilson. It may be an unspoken thing, but it was still truth.
Why, then, had he never given any thought to where his life was going?
It had to end somewhere. He had never considered how or where. He had never mapped out an estimated time frame. He had just – forced himself to get up every day and go back to work. But hadn't he known it couldn't just go on like that forever? At some point, it's not worth living for anymore. At some point, it's time to retire.
But what did he have to retire to?
Maybe he would have something now.
The oncologist waited in the parking lot for two minutes, until House swerved into the space next to Wilson's car.
"Get her bag for me, will you?"
Wendy was still strapped into her car seat at Wilson's feet.
"Are you ready for your debut?" House asked her. She bounced her legs, and he smiled. Wilson rubbed his neck and mentally apologized to God for not going to temple enough, before asking for mercy.
"Morning," House said brightly, as he followed Wilson past the front desk, carrying Wendy's bag. The nurse seated there eyed him in confusion, as Wilson hurried toward the elevator and avoided eye contact with anyone and everyone.
"Did you find that in my closet?" House asked, looking at the tie Wilson had on. They were the only ones in the elevator, thanks to House pushing the close button.
"Drawer," said Wilson, looking up at the ceiling.
"Since when do I own ties?"
Wendy made noises of pleasure, and House smiled down at her.
"She digs our hang out place."
"We do spend too much time in this elevator," said Wilson.
"It's fun going up and down," said House. Wilson gave him a skeptical look.
They found House's office and meeting room empty, much to Wilson's relief, and dumped her bag next to his desk. Wilson motioned to put her down, but House took her in the seat before it touched the top of his desk. He smirked at the oncologist as he turned toward the adjoining door to the conference room, and Wilson slumped.
"Your fans are here," he said to Wendy, as he spotted the ducklings fast approaching. They didn't get far before they noticed House's companion and stopped where they stood.
"What is that?" asked Foreman, looking at Wendy.
"It's a baby, you idiot," House said.
"Obviously. Why do you have it?"
Cuddy slipped in, and House jerked, blinking melodramatically at her pink suit jacket and skirt.
"You paged me? What is it?"
"The kids here wouldn't believe me when I described your outfit today."
She rolled her eyes and sighed, putting her hands on her hips. House's eyes twinkled.
"Now that we've got the whole hen coop here, I can get this over with. People – this is Wendy." He indicated the baby, and Wilson rubbed his neck. "She's Wilson's baby, and she's staying at my place. Now, back to the patient --"
"What?" Cuddy exclaimed.
"You're kidding," Foreman smirked. Cameron blanched. Chase looked at Wilson, who was fidgeting in agony.
"I kid you not, Ghetto Man. She's got Wilson's DNA, and I turned my guest room into a pink wonderland."
"Dr. Wilson, you never mentioned your wife was pregnant," Chase remarked.
"Oh, but Julie has no idea," House said pleasurably.
"You can't be serious," said Cuddy. "Wilson?"
"We're – uh – figuring it out," he said.
"You're actually going to take partial responsibility for a baby?" Foreman piped, not interested with Wilson's obvious infidelity.
"Babies are cake," said House. "It's the idiots that most of them grow up into that are a pain in the ass. At least I get to make sure this one doesn't turn out to be useless."
"Wilson, are you sure House is a person you can trust with your kid?" Chase asked.
"Uh – I – um."
"Dr. House will be fine," Cuddy said suddenly, surprising everyone. She met Wilson's gaze, and he thanked her silently. She strutted toward Wendy and leaned over to smile at her.
"She's a beautiful baby, Dr. Wilson," she remarked.
"Thank you," Wilson blushed.
"All right, Cuddy. We have work to do," House reminded.
"Don't forget clinic duty, House. I can get you a nurse to watch the baby."
"A nurse? I might as well hand her over to the park hobo."
"You won't get out of work, House."
She left, and he sighed in annoyance.
"I've got work to do, too," said Wilson, making for the door.
"I'll see you later," House replied.
"Are you sleeping with him?" Cameron asked loudly, once Wilson was gone.
"Cameron!" Chase chided. House smirked.
"You'd like to think so, wouldn't you? That's the oldest rumor at this hospital. I'll let you figure it out, though. Let your imagination run wild." He bugged out his eyes, and Foreman couldn't help but grin and shake his head. Cameron, on the other hand, wasn't laughing.
Wilson spent the morning trying to ignore the whispers and looks from staff members, the smirks from other doctors, the evil eyes from the receptionists. He forced himself to stay away from House's office the whole time, trusting – hoping, really – that Wendy was being properly looked after. He told himself she most likely was. Despite what Cuddy had said, House wouldn't miss the opportunity to use Wendy as an excuse to do virtually nothing.
"Dr. Wilson? Your wife is on line two."
Wilson looked up from his paperwork at his secretary that had popped in.
"Tell her I'm unavailable," said Wilson.
"Should I take a message?"
"No... She's got nothing pleasant to say."
She gave him a confused look but nodded and left Wilson sighing to himself. He didn't know how long he could avoid dealing with Julie, but he was going to stall as long as possible.
Cameron approached House's office sometime around 11 o'clock with an update on the patient's condition but stopped in utter amazement when she saw that House was dancing around with his cane to Frank Sinatra and lip syncing to Wendy. Cameron's mouth came apart, and she left without a word after watching for a minute or two.
"He's gone totally insane," she commented to Chase and Foreman in the lab. "He's – happy."
"What are the odds?" Foreman scoffed.
"What I don't get is that it's not even his kid," Chase said.
"Exactly. He doesn't have full responsibility, Wilson does. If it were his kid, he'd probably just be even more stressed out and unbearable."
"But it's not like he's just a by stander in the situation. He's taking some responsibility. He's going to actually commit to helping Wilson out."
"That's why he's happy," said Cameron, realizing it out loud. "He's finally got something worthwhile in his personal life."
Foreman and Chase shared a look.
"Wendy – is irresistible," said House, as he and Wilson sat down in the cafeteria for lunch. Some nurses smiled at him as they passed by, and for once, he smiled back. "We're pimpin' now, man. Babies bring in all the ladies."
Wilson sighed and glanced up at him dubiously. House popped open a bag of chips and munched.
"Cuddy's given her approval. Foreman thinks it's a joke. Chase is indifferent, and Cameron is totally upset. The nurses think it's a conspiracy, and your reputation as a naughty husband is totally out in the open."
House hit the carrier again so it would rock, and Wendy drooled happily, as she played with her caterpillar rattle. Wilson sipped on his water.
"See – it wasn't that bad," said House jovially.
"Cameron thinks we're lovers."
Wilson snorted into his salad. House grinned.
"God," said Wilson, once he swallowed. "What did you tell her?"
"I told her Jews are great in bed."