Written for the House/Wilson Fest over at LiveJournal. My prompt was #70: Someone overhears House's "confession" to Stacy in "The Mistake", and the rumors get a little out of hand.
Stacy: What are you hiding?
House: I'm gay.
House: Oh, that's not what you meant. But it does explain a lot, though. No girlfriend, always with Wilson, obsession with sneakers...
(House, M.D. Episode 2x08: The Mistake)
"House is gay."
Chase spat coffee into the sink.
"Heard it in the clinic," said Foreman, sitting at the glass table in the diagnostics room. Chase fumbled for a paper towel and wiped the coffee off his face.
"You can't trust anything you hear in the clinic," spluttered Chase from behind the paper towel, eyes wide. "That's where all the gossip starts, you can't honestly believe--"
"Heard it from House," elaborated Foreman, who sat back in his chair and smirked, shaking his head. Chase froze mid-sentence and gaped.
"What?" he yelped, a little too loudly, and thus failed to notice House tromping in through the door between the diagnostics room and House's office.
"What what?" said House crossly, glaring at his two underlings. "You got juicy scandals to share, do it outside my office. Goody McGossips aren't welcome in diagnostics."
Chase bristled like a terrified cat, whirled around, and looked House over from head to toe-- involuntarily, he would later defend himself to Foreman. He shared a startled glance with Foreman, then, as one, the two younger doctors bolted for the door.
House furrowed his brow and tried to figure out what had scared Chase this time.
"So when you showed up, Chase took one look at you and ran off? I thought that was par for the course on a regular day," said Wilson over his turkey sandwich at lunch the next day.
"It was a pretty long look, if you know what I mean," said House, looking up at Wilson and waggling his eyebrows. "And Foreman ran away, too. Think he's losing some of that homeboy toughness? He does have to work with two girls, after all."
Wilson rolled his eyes and took a sip of his soda. "Maybe he's just gained some common sense. He's working for you, after all."
House frowned. "Then by that reasoning, why aren't you far, far away from me?"
"Because..." Wilson contemplated his sandwich, making a face like he was thinking hard. "Because I like you so much?"
House pulled a maniacal grin the likes of which Wilson fervently hoped he'd never have to witness again in his life.
"Well, isn't that adorable?" said House in a thoroughly disturbing falsetto, waving at Wilson with a limp wrist. Wilson's eyes went wide as his hair stood on end.
Wilson scrunched his face up tightly in utter horror before he thought of something to say. "If you ever do that again, so help me, I will drag you to the clinic myself the next time Cuddy asks. And chain you to the exam room table."
"Sounds kinky," said House. "When can we start?"
Wilson's left eye twitched as he stared at House. "That was a cheap shot."
"You left yourself wide open for it. I couldn't resist," smirked House, leaning over and grabbing Wilson's potato chips.
"So you play dirty and you have no self-control, is that it?" asked Wilson, gazing forlornly at his kidnapped chips.
House opened the bag, pulled one out, and crunched it loudly, just to annoy Wilson. "Yup. I'm also a complete bastard, but then that's common knowledge."
Halfway across the cafeteria, Foreman was having a snickering fit with his forehead on the table while Chase stared in horror. "Look at him," whispered Chase in morbid fascination. "He's got the limp-wristed thing, and that falsetto we heard from all the way over here, and now House is teasing Wilson? With potato chips?"
"He also lets Wilson chain him to the exam room table," said Cameron, walking up and sitting down with a look of distinct bewilderment on her face, setting her lunch on the table across from her colleagues. She'd just passed by House and Wilson's table on her way over and had been privy to that little gem of knowledge.
"Gah?" said Chase, eyes gone wide again. The combined effect of that exclamation and his openmouthed expression gave Chase the look of a scared puppy. Foreman, who had just recovered from his previous laughing fit, started laughing harder, put his head down again, and pounded the table with a fist. Cameron cast a mildly worried glance at Foreman, then started giggling at the absurdity of it all.
"Do you think we should have seen it coming?" she asked, opening a packet of dressing and spreading it liberally over her salad. "I mean, he always hangs out with Wilson, and--" A fresh wave of laughter from Foreman made Cameron pause in dressing her salad to look over at him again. "Is Foreman okay?"
"He will be once he stops picturing the little rainbow triangles above House's head," said Chase weakly.
"House, have you got--" said Wilson, walking into the diagnostics room with his nose in a folder. He heard three chairs scraping and a few sharp intakes of breath, and looked up, confused at the unusual greeting. "I'm not that scary. Is Stacy walking behind me?"
"N-no," stammered Chase, who scooted his chair back in, head down with his long hair obscuring his face. Wilson wasn't entirely convinced the kid wasn't scared of him, but he couldn't think of anything about him that would be scary. Nothing had changed since the last time they'd all seen him, and they'd been perfectly fine with him. Or else they were scared of something House said, which gave Wilson all the more reason to find him.
He turned and looked around the diagnostics room, then peered into House's office. No luck. "Where's House?"
"In--" began Cameron, who abruptly squeaked and looked as if she'd bitten her own tongue, "in the clinic."
The effect this declaration had on the three doctors sitting at the table was unexpected. Chase's ears went red-- the only part of his face visible behind his curtain of hair-- and he clutched tightly at the desk. Foreman snorted once, hard, and covered his mouth with one hand. Cameron looked so terribly embarrassed she looked ready to faint.
Wilson stared. There's something I'm missing here, he thought to himself. Something really, really big.
"I'll... just... meet him down there, then," he said cautiously, and stepped towards the door. The blast of laughter Foreman let out a moment later made him jump.
Wilson made a note to himself to get House's team scheduled for a psych evaluation as soon as he could.
Wilson let himself into Exam Room One as quietly as he could and shut the door behind him. "Are you aware that your team has developed a phobia of me?"
House glanced up and pulled the stethoscope out of his ears, looping it around his neck and ignoring the confused look on the young female patient's face. "Aww, isn't that cute. Jimmy's learning how to scare people with just his presence!" he said, smirking. Wilson flailed in annoyance.
"Something you'd have a lot of experience with, I'm sure," retorted Wilson. "But now they're scared of me, which isn't exactly normal." He apologized briefly to the girl on the exam room table and put his folder down on the counter, then picked it up again so he'd have something to hold.
"You've got a cough and swollen lymph nodes. Just a bacterial infection," said House, writing out a prescription for an antibiotic. "Not you," he told Wilson, off his confused look. The girl scurried out, casting a backwards glance at the two weird doctors.
Wilson shut the door after her and rounded on House. "Why is your team scared of me?" he demanded.
House raised an eyebrow. "I dunno. Why would they be?"
"Well, not scared, really. Foreman was laughing pretty hard."
"Which he's been doing for the past few days. Who's to say it's because of... you..." House trailed off and stared at a spot on the wall.
"What?" asked Wilson.
"Past few days... which coincides with Stacy catching me outside the clinic before that hearing, and Foreman walking out of the clinic."
Wilson gazed levelly at House and put his hands on his hips. "And I'm just going to stand here, stoically, pretending to know exactly what that statement has to do with why Foreman is laughing so hard at me, Cameron looks ready to crawl into a cupboard and hide, and Chase is currently upstairs doing a very good impression of a tomato."
"Follow me!" said House, walking quickly out of the exam room, and Wilson felt a note of dread in the pit of his stomach when he realized his friend's voice held a substantial amount of glee.
Wilson got as far as House's office door before the curiosity-- and exasperation-- became too much.
"What's going on?" he asked, glancing at the three young doctors sitting around the diagnostics table, with various books and papers arranged around them.
"I'll tell you what's going on," said House, grinning as he walked into his office. "'Lots of fun' is what's going on." And with that, he turned sharply, grabbed Wilson's tie, and pulled them together.
Wilson yelped once, yanked off balance, and flinched when he found House wrapping one arm around his waist and using the other to hold his face steady for a long, lingering kiss.
Wilson couldn't really see much past House's face so close to his own, but he had a good idea that both the explosion of motion he could see with his peripheral vision and the panicked shouting he could hear from the other room meant that whatever House had realized down in the clinic was probably true.
There was a long pause.
Oh, hell, he thought, relaxing a bit. Might as well play along. For now.
He put his hands around House's waist and pulled him closer.