Title: Gotta Run
Summary: Remember the days when Wilson and House were friends? So do I.
Word Count: 5378 total
Head Count: House, Wilson, OC. Cameo appearance by Foreman. Chase gets three lines, because it's in his contract. Cameron and Cuddy have the week off.
Directions: 2 C. fluff, 3 T. angst, 1 C. heavy drama. Beat ingredients well. Cook in hawt oven til a crisp golden brown. Season to taste (S1, S2, or S3).
Disclaimer: Don't own. Don't even rent. Just squatting illegally. (Hey, back off, Tritter. It was a joke, man! Can't you take a joke? No, really. Put those cuffs away. I-- )
A/N: This is set in early fall, a few weeks post Cane and Able.
A/M: "A chapter a day keeps the WTF-No-New-Ep-for-Two-Weeks Blues away."

A/NAuthor's Note
A/MAuthor's Motto

Chapter 1 What Passes for Good Behavior

House leaned across the cafeteria table and actually plucked the bag of Fritos out of Wilson's hand just as he was extracting a chip. Then he sat down and passed Wilson the green salad from his own tray.

"What are you doing?" Wilson asked.

"Saving you from yourself," said House smugly. "More green vegetables, fewer trans fats."

"I can manage my own diet, thank you." He retrieved the Fritos.

"Mmmmm," House waggled his head from side to side consideringly. "Not judging from the extra notch you've had to add to your belt."

Wilson paused with a chip halfway to his mouth and narrowed his eyes in disbelief. "Are you trying to tell me I'm getting fat?"

"Well, let's just say, your chin is ready to publish a second edition. Time to lay off the saturated fats if you want to keep your boyish figure." There was a pause while House chewed a Frito. And then in a different tone of voice: "You've given up running, haven't you?"

Wilson hesitated briefly before answering.

"I only took up running again because you wanted someone to run with. It's boring without a partner…and now that you're not—" He was cut off by the looming presence of a man House had never seen before, wearing a lab coat and bearing a cafeteria tray.

"Dr. Wilson," said the man politely. "May I joins you?" He glanced at Wilson and then House, and raised his eyebrows questioningly.

House stared at the newcomer in something close to shock. He couldn't remember the last time someone had tried to sit with him and Wilson, at lunch. There wasn't actually a force field around them, or a 'keep out' sign, but there might as well have been. After a brief, awkward pause, which the stranger did not seem to notice, Wilson spoke up.

"Of course," he said hastily.

The man put his tray down next to House's, and stuck out his hand. "Please to make your acquaintance," he said in a voice with a foreign undercurrent to it. He was a tall slim man in his late thirties with a shock of dark black hair and broad Slavic cheekbones.

Wilson hastened to do the introductions as House shook hands wordlessly. "Uh, Anton Milosovic, Gregory House. Anton is my new fellow. Dr. House is head of Diagnostic Medicine."

House raised his eyebrows at Wilson—when did you get a fellow?-- and then looked back at the newcomer, sizing him up. "First day on the job?"

"Yes," he said with a wry smile. "Is it so obvious? I am still learning the, what is the word? Learning the lines?"

"Learning the ropes, I think you mean," said Wilson. He gave House a look that clearly said, Please don't kill him.

"What's your specialty?" asked House around a mouthful of French fries, in a pretty good imitation of someone making small talk and being on good behavior.

"Pediatrics. I am doing a hem/onc fellowship with Dr. Wilson and Dr. MacIntosh."

"Pediatrics and oncology? You must really like to cry yourself to sleep. Say, I have a doctor I think you should meet. You and she would have a lot to talk a--"

"He's already met Dr. Cameron." Wilson's voice had a hard warning edge to it.

"She is very kind to me," said Anton quietly. Then, in an obvious effort to change the subject, he looked at Wilson and asked, "What is it that is boring without a partner?" When Wilson looked blank he added, "You were saying, just as I joins you, that it is boring…"

Wilson opened his mouth to answer, but he wasn't fast enough.

"Sex," said House, deadpan. "Much more fun with a partner."

"Running," corrected Wilson.

"That too," House agreed, his mouth full of hamburger. He smiled at Anton. "Do you run?"

Wilson watched as Anton glanced from one to the other of them. "I very much enjoy to run," he said guardedly. "And you?"

"Me?" said House. He washed the remaining hamburger down with the last of his drink and stood up. "Very much. I very much enjoy to run." He glanced ostentatiously at his watch and unhooked his cane from the end of the table. "In fact, right now I gotta run. Save some lives. You two must have a lot to talk about. Don't mind me." And he limped around the table and out of the room.

Wilson watched him go, then propped his forehead on his hands for a moment, aware of Anton's embarrassment.

"I'm sorry," said Anton. "I sayed the wrong thing."

"Don't worry," said Wilson. "In this case, it's almost impossible to say the right thing."

TBC Tomorrow