James Wilson, MD, handsome and saintly oncologist, really liked clinic duty. It allowed him to escape the desperation of oncology for a few hours, keep in touch with a variety of patients, and give some good news for a change. He was actually whistling as he stepped into the exam room. "I'm Dr. Wilson. What can I-"
Gregory House, also MD, equally handsome but considerably less than saintly diagnostician, was lying on the exam table, cotton swabs stuck up each nostril, legs in the gyno stirrups. He swivelled his head languidly to gaze at his best-well, only-friend. "Differential on a 47-year-old male Caucasian, stunningly gorgeous with a great body in spite of a slight loss of muscle tissue thanks to an idiotic move made by an ex-wife-"
James Wilson, MD, suddenly hated clinic duty. "House-"
"-hung like a prize stallion, awesome in bed-"
"House-" A token effort, really. House would stop when House was good and diddly-damn ready to stop.
"-temporarily employed as a brilliant diagnostic medicine physician until such time as hospital administration sees fit to kick his crippled ass to the curb, most likely following some minor political ditty-bop such as killing a patient. Status: post budget meeting. Presenting with both acute and chronic boredom." House stopped for a breath and blinked at Wilson expectantly. "This is your cue to whine my name again," he stage whispered.
Wilson sighed. "Diagnosis: terminal cancer of the personality." He yanked the swabs out of his friend's nose and threw them in the nearest bio-hazard container. "I'm sorry to be the one to tell you this, but it's progressed past the point of treatment. If you had just come in sooner, say 47 years ago, we might have been able to do a personality transplant, but now..." he shrugged elaborately and leaned back against the wall.
House lay back and adopted a more serious expression. "Okay, Jimmy, here's the real reason I'm here-"
"This should be good."
"I'm pregnant, you're the father, and if you don't do the right thing and marry me I'm going to tell my daddy."
Wilson thought that sighing again would be repetitious, so he reached deeper into his repetoire of House-related noises and groaned. "I want a paternity test." He rubbed his forehead. "I also want an aspirin."
Blue eyes opened wide. "You calling me a slut?" He patted his flat abdomen sadly. "Don't worry; I'll find you a daddy." He turned his face toward the wall and started to sob loudly.
Wilson took a deep breath, gathering patience around him like The Force. Scratch that. The Force would actually help, while all patience really did was keep him from strangling House with his stethoscope. "House, do you have an actual medical reason for being here? I say medical because I'm not a qualified psychiatrist-"
"Just as well." House rolled his eyes. "They're not real doctors. Not like you and me, Jimmy."
"-which is what you indubitably need, " Wilson finished. Paused. "Are. You. Sick. Or. Hurt?"
House tapped his fingers on the steel table, eyes gleaming. "Not as much as a hemmorhoid."
"Of course not. You're a perfect asshole." Wilson turned to the door. "Well, have a nice day and good luck getting your leg out of those stirrups."
House sat up on his elbows. "Where are you going?"
"Um, hmmm, see, I have an hour more of clinic duty and then back to my office to catch up on paperwork. It's called a job. You should try it sometime."
House shrugged. "I got you out of it."
Wilson froze, klaxons sounding, a panicked voice in his head screaming "Evacuate! This is not a drill!" over some mental PA system. "How?" he asked slowly, already knowing he wouldn't like the answer.
"Told Cuddy you were having projectile vomiting and explosive diarrhea.."
Odd, Wilson thought idly, that coming from House this declaration seemed natural. "And she bought that?"
House reconsidered. "Well, I actually didn't talk to her. I talked to her secretary, you know the one-Brianna with the double 'n'. Or is that double D? Hmm. Anyway, I just called while Cuddy was in a board meeting, pretended to be you, and got you off work for the rest of the day. She totally bought it." He paused. "'course, she's so dumb she'd probably buy dehydrated water..."
Wilson nodded, resigned. Satan had endowed Greg House with the unholy ability to mimic almost anyone. Like the time he'd replaced Wilson's office voicemail greeting with "You've reached the office of James Wilson, sex god and resident oncology stud. If you're dying of cancer, please hang up and dial 911. If you're looking for a hot, all-male party, call me at-" followed by Wilson's home number. Looking back, Wilson had to admit that, while the sheer volume of calls to his home phone had been annoying, he had spoken to, and saved the life of, a nice young man with skin cancer. Wilson had accepted his thank-you hug with customary modesty and grace, but had wound up refusing his offer of a thank-you blowjob.
"Okay," he said now. "So I take it you and I have plans and we're blowing off work? Well, at least this time you didn't send a blood specimen from a chlamydia patient to the lab with my name on it."
"Come on, Wilson. That got you off work for a week while Infection Control sorted it out. Besides, I'm bored out of my fucking mind." He pulled two more swabs from his pocket and jammed them into his nostrils.
Uh oh. A bored House was a dangerous House. Any sensible man would have run, screaming, into the unseasonably warm New Jersey afternoon, leaving home and all possessions behind. But then, Wilson reflected, any sensible man would never have put up with Greg House for 12 agonizing years. Besides, Wilson's ex had shut most of his possessions in their former house and changed the locks and he technically had no home except a lumpy, recently-peed-on couch at House's apartment. No, sensible had been removed from the equation that was the life of James Wilson.
House pushed himself up on his elbows. "Jimmy?"
"If you don't come with me I'll be forced to take my frustration out on everyone else."
Wilson rested his forehead against the cool wall. Last bout of boredom hadn't been pretty. The ducklings had lost various bets. Chase had been forced to wear a pink t-shirt that read "Don't you wish your girlfriend was hot like me", Foreman had been forced to say "Keep your pimp hand strong, young brotha"every time House entered a room, and Cameron...well, the important thing was that no one's eye had been poked out by the pointy-cup Madonna bra.
Still, Wilson tried to make a last stand, for honor and country. "And this, while sad and pathetic, is my problem how?" Hoo-rah!
House screwed up his face. "Well, seeing as how you're the celebrated Saint James Wilson, strong and stoic in the face of death, sweet and adorable in the face of...well, everything else-" House threw his hands on the air "-I just figured you'd rather suffer than see anyone else suffering. Take Cuddy, for instance-and believe me, I'd like to. You know that speech she's giving this afternoon?"
"The important one in front of the donors and their families?"
House sighed dramatically. "Wouldn't it be a shame if someone planted a remote controlled fart machine in the podium, lurked in the wings, and pressed it repeatedly during key points in her speech, thereby making it sound like the estimable Dr. Cuddy had been overindulging in cafeteria baked beans?"
Wilson banged his head lightly against the wall. "A new best friend," he muttered, losing himself in fantasy, "that's what I need." Bang. "One who doesn't make fun of my patients or steal my food-" bang "- or snore so loud dead people curse him. Instead, I could find one who listens, who cares about how my day went, who occasionally washes dishes and buys groceries. One who people like." Bang. "One with whom I can actually appear in public and never worry about outrunning a lynch mob." Bangbang.
"Keep banging your head against the wall like that and you'll incur massive brain damage and have to be promoted to administrator."
Bang-once more, in defiance. "Okay, so where are we going?"
House struggled to sit up, tugging at his trapped right leg. "I was thinking we could take advantage of this long weekend and just get in the car and go. Stop at some exotic bed and breakfast. Stroll down Main Street and browse through some little antique store."
"So pizza, beer, and bad action movies on your couch?"
"Right. Hey, help me up." House's bad right leg was having none.
Wilson threw the door open and tossed a "Screw you, House, do it yourself" over his shoulder that was met with loud, cheerfully malicious applause from the clinic nursing staff.
Wilson's exit was spoiled a bit by the new clinic secretary rushing into the room and rescuing House. "You poor man. I'm so sorry about that. Who is that awful doctor?" Baleful glare thrown in Wilson's direction.
House leaned on her (managing to get a good look down her shirt in the bargain) and sighed. "That's Dr. James Wilson," he said sadly, clutching his leg and limping more than was strictly necessary. "I'm surprised you've never heard of him. Brilliant mind, but no bedside manner whatsoever. Everyone hates him around here. He-" Leg clutch. Limp. "-well, I guess he had his reasons for what he did to me in there." Leg clutch. Soft moan. "Although I don't know why a sprained ankle requires a rectal exam..."
Wilson threw up his hands and got the hell out of Dodge, but not before hearing an indignant, "Don't worry, honey. Next time I see him I'll assign him all the really gross patients."
By the time Wilson got back to the apartment House's deathcycle was already there. Of course it was. House drove like a manic hormone-raddled sixteen-year-old on crack with a crack chaser and a side order of crack.
Strangely, there was pizza and cold beer laid out on the table. "You actually paid for a meal?" Wilson asked suspiciously.
House shrugged. "Your birthday's coming up." He dived into the box. "Go change. The original Nightmare on Elm Street is on."
Wilson quickly washed off the hospital cooties, changed into sweats and a t-shirt, and joined House on the couch. "Paper plates?" he asked, looking around.
Without looking away from the TV, House grabbed Wilson's hand and slapped a big, greasy slice of pizza in it.
"Napkins?" Wilson asked hopefully.
House rolled his eyes. "That's why God gave us pants." He demonstrated by wiping his own cheese-covered hand on Wilson's clean sweats. "See? Nothing to crowd the landfill. Very environmentally sound. Now shut up. My man Freddy's about to go to work on that co-ed."
Three dead teenagers later, Wilson felt an elbow in his side. "Go get me another beer, will you?"
Wilson snorted. "I have a better idea: you go get both of us another beer."
Pained sigh. "My leg hurts, Jimmy." Half-sigh, half-moan of one doomed to eternal damnation. "I've been on it all day."
"What all day? You played Halo in your office for an hour, popped a few dozen Vicodin, emerged to make a few racial jokes aimed at Foreman, a few hair jokes aimed at Chase, a few boob jokes aimed at Cameron, then you gimped into the clinic and wasted my time. Excuse me if I don't see a major strain there."
House peered at him from behind his lashes. "How can a doctor be this uncaring?" he asked mournfully. "Okay. I guess if I need hydration I'll have to heave myself to my feet and make my way to the kitchen, biting back tears of agony with every pained step. If my leg gives out, please find it in your heart to throw a blanket over me."
Wilson was surprised to find his own legs already carrying him to the kitchen. "I'm only getting myself a beer," he rationalized out loud. "You want one, get it your damn self." He closed the fridge, two beers in hand.
"Great, and bring me a plate of those coconut nutmeg brownies you made last night."
"I am not bringing you brownies, House," Wilson snapped, balancing the brownies on top of the beers.
"Uh huh. And maybe a bag of Doritos while you're at it."
Wilson wanted to give House the finger, but that would have sent snack food raining in all directions, so he had to be content with, "Fuck you and your Doritos," while reaching for the Doritos. He set it all down on the coffee table and plopped down again.
"Why do I always do this?" he asked plaintively.
"Do what, Wilson?" House asked, brownie stuffed into his mouth so it sounded like "Duh wuh, Wuhlsuh?"
Wilson gestured. "This. Get your beers, get your snacks, clean your apartment, cook your food, do your shopping. Everything. Am I insane?"
House swallowed with a massive effort. "Nope, just in love with me." He turned away from Nightmare on Elm Street to inspect the collateral damage his l-bomb had caused. Status report, private? Direct hit, sir. The enemy is red-faced and choking on his beer.
"Wh-you think-I-you-I mean, us...love?"
House frowned. "I'm sorry, was there a sentence in there? Really, Wilson, you can poll the audience and you still have one lifeline to use. I'd hate to see you get voted off the island as the weakest link."
"You're mixing up two game shows, dickhead." Ah, this was safer ground. Maybe if he got House distracted enough-
"But the salient point is that you love me."
But then again, distracting House was about as easy as distracting a rabid pit bull with his teeth sunk into a juicy fat guy's arm. The pit bull, not House. House had never had his teeth sunk into a fat guy's arm. That Wilson knew of. But it wouldn't surprise him.
The silence stretched on while the mute oncologist pondered the image of House's incisors attached to the appendage of a corpulent gentleman. Clearly, some response was needed. How about sarcasm? "Yeah, in the wettest of your dreams." Wilson nodded mentally. Not bad. A little lame, but he felt he could be forgiven, considering the circumstances.
"I do seem to be changing my sheets a lot more since you moved in," House conceded, "but I didn't think you kept track, Jimmy."
The smirk on his face was almost too smirky to be allowed. The Smirk Police were going to bust down the door at any moment and carry him off to Smirk Federal Prison where he would drop the smirk soap in the smirk shower and-
"Aw, come on, Boy Wonder. You wear your heart on your sleeve. You think I didn't notice those big doe-eyes following me-"
"I do not have doe-eyes!"
"You do, and they love me, too." House sat up straight. "I'll prove it to you."
Suddenly, there was a hand on the back of Wilson's neck, a hand on his waist, and a tongue in his mouth.
There's always a tongue in my mouth, Wilson thought, but I seem to have sprouted an extra one. And it seems to want to move in.
Here coherent thought and Dr. James Wilson parted company while his own hands and tongue became tangled in and around House. They only broke for air because it would have been awkward to explain to the Princeton-Petersboro ER doctors why both of them had been found passed out in their pjs, lips pressed together. Practicing for CPR re-certification, maybe, but that was a long shot.
Wilson slumped back against the couch cushions, panting. "So I love you, yeah. Now what? I mean, where do we go from here?"
House crinkled his nose. "Nowhere tonight. There a Nightmare on Elm Street marathon and I just can't miss the one with Roseanne and Tom Arnold."
Wilson swallowed. "What I meant was-" he paused to gather his courage "-do you love me back?"
House rolled his eyes. "Do I love you back? I mean, jeez, do you want me to write your name on my Trapper Keeper? Make you a mix tape? Ask Cameron to ask Chase to ask Foreman to ask Cuddy to ask you if you'd, like, totally go to the prom with me?" He snorted and swung his body around so that his head was in Wilson's lap. "You're such a girl, Jimmy."
Wilson snickered at the image of Cuddy bouncing into his office, giggling and chanting, "Greg loves Jimmy! Greg loves Jimmy!"
Besides, he thought, running his fingers through House's hair, I already know the answer.
They sat, quietly admiring the lethal efficiency of Monsieur Frederick Krueger.
"I can't reach the brownies from here."
Wilson smiled and pushed the plate closer.