This was written for the HWfest on Livejournal. Basically a whole series of prompts were put up for people to select and then write. This was the first one I chose.
Hwfest fic challenge prompt - 4. House somehow overhears/interogates Cameron and learns about the speech Wilson made to her about the special someone who made him feel funny and the whole "you'd be surprised what you can live with" and, of course, being House, he has to get to the bottom of the mystery.
Overheard In An Office
House was slumped in the armchair in his office, eyes closed, iPod headphones in his ears, to all appearances miles away mentally from the hospital. In actuality there was no music playing and he was instead listening intently to the conversation going on out in the conference room. The door between his office and the conference room had been left open for some reason and House was taking advantage of it. He could now listen in on his team to his heart's content without them realising what he was doing. Right now they were discussing their current patients – a husband and wife along with each of their lovers; the wife's lover had picked up a nasty disease, passed it on to the wife who then passed it on to her husband who then passed it on to his lover. So what looked like two connected and two unconnected people all turning up with the same symptoms had ended up being four very intimately connected people. House had found it all fairly amusing once everyone stopped lying and hindering the diagnostic process. And from the current topic of conversation amongst his team, he was about to find out how they felt about it.
"You're taking her side?" Foreman said, cynicism dripping from his voice. "Why? They're both as bad as each other."
"What do you mean?" Cameron said defensively.
"They were both having affairs," Foreman replied. "I don't see how you can feel sympathy for any of them. They all knew what they were doing and what the situation was."
"But she didn't know her lover had this disease," Cameron objected. "He didn't tell her that he wasn't feeling well."
"Yeah but if she wasn't having an affair with him, she wouldn't have picked it up in the first place," Chase pointed out, his voice slightly smug.
"You don't approve," Cameron said.
"I'm Catholic," Chase said dryly. "Or I was. We're sort of brought up to not approve of that sort of thing."
"You like Dr Wilson though," Cameron said tartly. "He's had more than one affair."
"I said we didn't approve, not that we had to dislike the people who do that sort of thing," Chase replied calmly. "What Dr Wilson does is his own business. Besides I think two divorces and a third on the cards if the rumours are anything to go by is punishment enough."
"I wonder why…" Cameron's voice trailed off thoughtfully.
"You wonder why what?" Foreman asked, sounding interested in the topic almost in spite of himself.
"Dr Wilson and I had a talk once," Cameron said absently. "I…I almost had an affair when my husband was dying. I was telling him about it and he said that he met someone who made him feel funny, made him feel good and that he didn't want to let that feeling go. He said it was surprising what you can live with."
"Interesting reasoning," Foreman observed.
"I wonder when it was," Cameron mused. "It doesn't sound recent."
"It sounds like it's more recent than you're thinking," Chase said thoughtfully. "It almost sounds like it's still going. 'He didn't want to let that feeling go.' 'Surprising what you can live with.' Doesn't sound like something in the past to me."
House frowned slightly as he continued to eavesdrop. He couldn't remember Wilson feeling good about any of his affairs. Sure, he enjoyed the sex but he was usually guilt-ridden immediately afterwards. Hell, even during and before in most cases. And as far as House knew none of them had made Wilson feel funny or good nor had they been anything more than one-night stands. Yet he was inclined to agree with Chase; if Cameron had reported Wilson's words correctly then it did sound like something long term, maybe even continuing today. Which was curious to say the least since he would have been prepared to put money down on the fact that Wilson was not seeing anybody. Seemingly a sucker bet since Wilson was in the process of getting a divorce and was sleeping on his couch these days. When it came to Wilson's divorces, rumours hadn't quite caught up with fact but they weren't far behind.
He shifted slightly in the chair as something akin to jealously flared inside his chest. He hated feeling like that. He hated that somewhere between the infarction and Stacy leaving and Wilson sticking around where others wouldn't, he fallen in love with his best friend. He'd never meant to, never wanted to. Love left you open to betrayal, it made you do stupid things, trust people. He tried to shove that feeling into the same place he shoved pretty much all of his emotions but it refused to stay there. It kept popping back up, usually at inopportune moments. Even his recent night with Stacy hadn't got rid of it.
He'd never had a problem with Wilson's wives or his affairs since they always ended sooner or later. But this…this sounded more…permanent. More meaningful. The jealously snarled its way around his chest and he scowled. He had no reason to feel threatened by this woman…if she existed. She certainly didn't seem to have come between him and Wilson before. What had made the jealousy flare was this woman had what he wanted.
He scowled then ripped the earpieces of the iPod out and tossed the entire thing across the room. He saw the three doctors in the other flinch at the clatter and he wasn't overly surprised when he saw Cameron get up and gingerly poke her head into the room.
"Everything okay?" she asked warily.
"Fine," he snapped. "Don't you have work to do? Instead of gossiping like a bunch of old women."
Cameron flinched then gave House a long stare before turning and heading back out into the conference room. Out of the corner of his eye he saw her lean over and murmur to the two men then the three of them hurried out of the room. House sneered at their departing backs then slumped back down in his chair in the manner of a sulky child.
Damn Cameron for bringing up Wilson and this mystery woman! And damn Foreman and Chase for being interested and encouraging her to talk about it!
The door from the corridor opened and the man in question walked in.
"Hey, House, I saw your team scurrying away. What have you done to them now?" Wilson asked with a small amused smile.
"What do you care?" House snarled.
Wilson eyed House with surprise then walked over and shut the door to the conference room.
"Alright," he said slowly. "What have they done that's got you in this mood?"
"Who says it was them?" House said with a sneer.
Wilson leaned against the desk. "Well, you were actually in a pretty good mood this morning when we left home so it's either your team or your patients. But last I heard your patients actually seem to be amusing you now that they've stopped lying, so that makes your team the next logical choice."
"How wonderfully pedantic of you," House said sourly. "Ever thought it might be you?"
Wilson looked mildly surprised. "Well, I am good, aren't I? I don't even have to be in the room to irritate you. So, what have I done now?"
House gave him a penetrating look. "Been talking to Cameron again, I hear."
Wilson crossed his arms across his chest and leaned back a fraction. "I talk to Cameron quite a bit. You're going to have to be more specific."
House scowled at that then snatched up his cane and hauled himself to his feet. He limped across to the other side of the room and Wilson turned to face him, waiting patiently.
"So who is she?" House spat, feeling that jealousy snarl up around his chest and take up a more permanent residency.
Much to House's surprise, Wilson blinked and looked remarkably blank.
"Who?" the younger man said, sounding baffled.
House hesitated for the briefest second, that bafflement actually sounded honest, then he sneered.
"Nice try," he snapped. "Who is she? The one who makes you feel funny and good?" The last was said with sneering contempt.
Wilson's jaw dropped and he stared at House for a long moment.
House snorted. "Next time I recommend you don't talk to Cameron. She can't keep her mouth shut. And quite the revelation it was." Sarcasm began to colour his words. "This mystery 'she' of yours makes you feel funny and good and you apparently didn't want to give that up. That you could live with it. Were you ever planning on telling me who she is?"
Wilson sighed and ran one hand down his face. He then slid his hand round the back of his neck and made a sudden decision. He pushed himself off the desk and stalked over to lock both doors and shut the blinds. Once that was done, he turned and faced House, his hands sliding into the pockets of his lab coat.
"I never actually said the word 'she' to Cameron," he said calmly, wondering how long it would take for that to sink in.
House frowned and stared at Wilson then his eyes widened slightly, confusion growing in them. "What?" he snapped.
Wilson's lips twitched into a small smile. "I never actually said the word 'she' to Cameron," he repeated. "But yes, I met…someone who made…makes me feel…funny and…good. I didn't want to give that up and I haven't." He paused and smiled ruefully. "And it's very surprising what you can live with."
He fell silent, sure that that would be more than enough to allow House to put all of the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle together. He waited a long time for some indication of how House really felt and today's remarkable and oddly flattering display of what he presumed…hoped…was jealousy from the man was all he needed to actually admit the truth that he'd…evaded with Cameron.
House stared at Wilson as he digested that and slowly came to a conclusion that both pleased and scared the hell out of him. It was one thing to fantasise about what he wanted but quite another to actually get it…which he was fairly sure was what was on offer right now. Even setting aside the debacle that was labelled 'Greg and Stacy'; he was phenomenally bad at relationships. He sucked at them. He was argumentative, stubborn, arrogant, smug and about sixteen different varieties of bastard.
But then…Wilson knew that already. And apparently didn't mind. And he knew exactly what Wilson's faults were. And apart from the infidelity thing, he didn't mind them either. It wasn't as though either of them would be going into this…if there really was a this…with rose-coloured glasses. So maybe it would work. Because he wanted it to, not just because of how he felt but also because of the fact that he sucked so much at relationships that when they blew up…and they always blew up, they never just fizzled out or ended amicably…he never managed to remain friends. And if he couldn't have Wilson as a friend then there wasn't much point in trying for anything more.
Finally he realised that Wilson's expression was telling him he really needed to say something.
"Me?" he said, sounding more baffled than he would have liked.
Wilson sighed and gave him a fond, exasperated smile. "Yes, idiot."
House blinked at that confirmation. "I make you feel funny?"
Wilson blushed a little and he looked down at his shoes. "Yes, you do," he said quietly. "Because you don't laugh at things unless they are funny."
House's eyebrows quirked at that and he wondered how many times people had faked laughter with Wilson that he actually knew how to differentiate so well.
"I make you feel…good?" House asked curiously.
Wilson blushed even more. "You do," he said without elaboration.
House stared at him for a moment longer but Wilson neither looked up nor continued.
"My ducklings think you've been having a long-term affair with…well, me, apparently," House offered.
Wilson shrugged and scuffed the carpet with one shoe. "I…suppose I have…if you look at it from one point of view."
"Wish I'd known," House muttered, still feeling like this was all a little surreal.
That quiet comment had Wilson looking up sharply. "What?" he asked intently.
Now it was House's turn to stare at the floor. "Wish I'd known," he repeated after a few moments.
"You're not…upset?" Wilson asked, the barest hint of hope tinting his voice.
House limped over until he was pressing Wilson back against the desk, his left leg slipping between Wilson's legs. He leaned his cane against the desk and placed one hand very deliberately on Wilson's hip while he grabbed Wilson's tie with the other.
"Do I look like I'm upset?" he said before yanking on Wilson's tie, pulling him into a kiss.
The kiss was tentative and uncertain at first until they both realised this was real then it modulated into something far more intense and heated. The hand that was on Wilson's hip wrapped around his waist, while the one that had been on the tie shifted up and buried itself in Wilson's hair. In return Wilson grabbed House's shirt in a convulsive grip and tried to pull him even closer. That action brought their rapidly growing erections into contact with each other and they both groaned into the kiss.
Wilson pulled away from the kiss and gasped, "Not here."
"Why not?" House said as he turned his attention to Wilson's neck, discovering that the younger man really did taste as good as he looked.
Wilson moaned as House licked and nibbled his way down his throat then swallowed hard.
"It's…the middle of the day," he said, trying to keep at least some of his brain working. "You have patients. I have patients." He gasped as House bit softly at the juncture of his neck and shoulder. "And…I don't want to do this quickly."
House stopped suddenly and Wilson's breath caught at the expression of hunger and desire on his face.
"How do you want to do this?" House asked intently.
Wilson licked his lips, noting with delight the flare of desire that ran through House's eyes at that action.
"I want to do this slowly," he said in a low voice. "I want to strip you naked and have you spreadeagled on your bed. I want to discover every part of your body and find out what makes you moan. Then I want you to do the same to me. And finally I want you to fuck me, I want you to make it slow, make it last. Make it so I remember exactly what happened for days afterwards."
House made an inarticulate noise and he dropped his head so that his forehead rested on Wilson's shoulder.
"You expect me to go back to work now?" he demanded with a breathless laugh.
Wilson chuckled and he gently ran a hand through House's hair. "I'm in the same boat. I've wanted this for far too long to settle for a quickie in your office, Greg. I want to do this right and…" He hesitated for a moment. "And I don't want this to be…to be anything short-term."
House looked up sharply at that, his expression suddenly uncertain. "I…I'm really bad at long-term."
Wilson smiled and ran his fingers lightly down House's stubbled cheek. "We've been…together if you like…for over ten years. We've done fine so far."
House leaned into the caress. "This isn't the same."
"I know," Wilson replied. "But we know each other. We know each other's best…and we know each other's worst. I think we can make this work." He looked nervous. "You do want this, don't you?"
The word burst out of House before he really had a chance to think about it and he immediately scowled. Wilson chuckled at that and gave House a quick kiss.
"Good," he said with satisfaction.
He then carefully eased out of House's embrace, steading him until he could grab his cane and give it to him. He then stepped away a little and House turned so that he was now leaning on the desk.
"We both have to go back to work," Wilson said, noting in the back of his mind that he'd calmed down enough to be able to walk out of the office without embarrassment. "Tonight we revisit this."
A heated grin flashed across House's face and he tapped his cane on the floor. "Remind me to be nice to my team tomorrow."
"Now, Greg, don't be mean," Wilson said with an answering grin as he headed for the door.
"Hey, how often do I get a chance to tease, thank and confuse all in one go?" House replied lightly.