Baby Steps Greg, Baby Steps
Part 2 of Accidentally In Love
Summary: Almost four years old, Wilson brings it to Greg's attention that it may be time to place Matthew with children his own age. After all they've had the child for nearly four months and he seems to have comfortably acclimated to life surrounding them. However, surprisingly, it isn't Matthew who turns the idea down, but House.
Author's Note: In response to popular demand and my own desires here is part two! Enjoy! PS LOOKING FOR A GOOD BETA WHO CAN GIVE ME A LITTLE OF THEIR TIME AND A COMMITMENT.
Four Months Later
James Wilson sighed in exhaustion as he slipped the key into the hole, and gently pushed the door open to their house. He smiled: their house. It felt odd to say, he was still sleeping in the guest room, but it was their house. They'd both signed mortgages to the house and one another's assets. James knew his life was becoming more permanent with each passing day.
Setting his stuff down, he slowly walked into the living room, and felt his heart melt at the sight: House was lying stretched out on their leather couch, the TV playing some movie softly in the background. Sprawled out on his chest, was their son, both breathing deeply and looking completely relaxed for the first time in days.
Matthew was a great kid, James was discovering, they couldn't wish for a better son. However, he was his father's son and had a tendency to get into trouble now and then. His most recent excursion involved several nurses, Callie the day care teacher, and the ducklings chasing after him. He'd escaped from the day care, Callie was busy with another baby, and he'd taken to wandering the halls of Princeton's Teaching hospital. They were lucky he was so small and couldn't open the doors to the stair wells yet. It was bad enough he could already reach the elevator buttons.
James shook his head at the thought of their growing child; the boy had grown two inches already and put on three pounds since arriving in his father's care. Perhaps a fine example of how much House really did care about his son. Not wanting to disturb them, James crept over and draped a blanket from the back of the couch over both father and son, then stepped into the kitchen, before deciding he was too tired to cook.
Ten minutes later he was ordering a pizza and stepping into the bathroom for a long hot shower. He'd lost two cancer patients today, he hadn't known them well; they hadn't been his patients, but he'd had contact with them before. Losing any patient could be difficult, but these had both been fairly young.
Twenty minutes after stepping into the shower, he came out, dressed in a pair of Greg's baggier sweats, and one of his college sweat shirts; red faced and his hair still damp. He looked at his watch, realizing the pizza would be here any minute, he decided to wake the sleeping duo.
Kneeling down he was graced to see the familiar bold blue eyes of his son staring back at him, "Hey big guy," he whispered as Matt reached out to him, still half asleep.
Lifting Matt gently, so not to wake House just yet, James cuddled his on for a moment; the hot little body pressed against his, his forehead buried in James' shoulder and neck, the light breathing against his collar bone, the hair tickling his ear. James felt his heart soar, there was nothing quite like holding a baby, much less your own.
Matthew, still half asleep wrapped his arms around his papa's neck with a sigh of contentment. Rubbing his back with one hand, James wandered into the kitchen to set the table and get the money ready for dinner. He was halfway through putting the plates out, when Matt finally appeared awake enough to go wash up.
Hesitant to let him go, James pressed a kiss to the child's forehead before setting him on the floor, "Get ready for dinner," he whispered as he brushed the fine hair from the toddler's eyes.
As he watched Matt hurry off to the bathroom, James was caught in the moment again, Matt would be four in February, a little over three months away and he felt as though the time was just flying by.
Shaking his head, he went to rouse House from his slumber that would no doubt affect the man's sleeping pattern that night. He reached down, instinctively doing the same thing to House as he had to Matt a moment ago, pressing a kiss to the man's head and brushing the hair from his face.
Greg immediately began to stir, looking up at his best friend; a soft smile graced the elder doctor's rugged features. One he reserved just for James. "Hi," Greg offered softly, "What time?"
"It's almost eight; sorry I'm so late I had a lot of paper work to catch up on. Pizza is on its way and your son is washing up for dinner."
Greg nodded and began to sit up, he gave a weary smile. James handed the diagnostician his cane, and allowed him room to stand up.
The doorbell rang while Greg was also washing up for dinner. Paying the delivery boy, James headed into the kitchen, smirking at the shrieks of laughter coming from the bathroom. Moments later Matt came running from the bathroom, barefoot and giggling as he reached his arms out to James.
Sweeping his son up into his arms, James grinned as Greg came out, in a wet t-shirt chuckling softly, "Where's the little rascal he's gonna get it now!"
"Protect me papa!" squealed their son.
James playfully wrapped both his arms around the prince, grinning as Greg came hobbling over, "Ah, don't be foolish Wonder Wilson, I know your weaknesses as well!" he immediately poked James in the side, causing the man to jump and giggle as well.
Placing their son down on the floor so not to get hurt, Wilson attempted to defend himself as Greg continued to take playful jabs at his sides and stomach. The tickle fest made it all the way to the floor of the living room, with Wilson on the floor shrieking in laughter, begging for mercy, Greg straddling his best friend's waist.
Matthew was perched on one of the chairs, taking a bite out of a piece of pizza giggling at their antics. He loved watching his daddies like this; they seemed at the height of their passion at moments when they were just playing around.
Greg finally caught James' wrists and pinned them to the ground, before dipping in for a chastising kiss. "Uncle?"
James grinned; a full blow, 1000 watt grin as he nodded, "Uncle," was all he managed as Greg rolled off him, careful of his bad leg.
Reaching down, Greg helped his best friend off the floor. Dusting one another off, James immediately scoffed at the sight of Matt who was half way through his first piece of pizza, "Little runt," he joked as he dropped a kiss on their tot's head.
"MMM extra sausage! More to clog the arteries," House chuckled as he grabbed a piece of pizza and took a bite to eat.
They watched one of Matt's many tapes of Bob the Builder, before Greg announced it was bedtimes for little boys whose names started with M's.
Greg went to grab a shower while James slipped into Matt's bedroom. He was sitting on his bed, waiting for one of his daddies to come and read to him. He held up the Good Night Moon book; James took the book from his son and jumped on the bed, getting comfortable against the corner. He watched and waited as Matt got situated and scooted into the crook over his arm, head against his the oncologist's shoulder.
"Good night Moon," he read softly; having learned the best way to read to the boy was to speak in a sing song voice.
Greg was dressed in a pair of his flannel bottoms, when he stepped into the doorway, and watched Jimmy and Matt. Matt was fast asleep, as James finished up the final page. With the ease of a man, who appeared to have done it all his life, James slipped off the bed and tucked Matt in before spotting Greg.
James gave him another soft smirk, before whispering goodnight and heading to his own bedroom. Greg smiled as he moved into the room, he dropped a kiss to Matt's forehead as well, before adjusting the covers one final time, and slipping out, making sure the nightlight was on and he could see the hall light from his doorway.
It was Wilson's turn to drop Matt off at the hospital day care; which he felt was a good thing because he had some questions to ask Callie.
"Do you think we should get him into preschool?" James questioned as he put Matt down and watched the boy hurry to play with some of the toys.
Callie smiled, nodding her blonde head, "Matt would do wonderful in preschool; he'd be better supervised. No offense Dr. Wilson, I love your son, but it's hard to keep an eye on him and the two other babies. He loves playing and he's good with the other babies, so I'm sure he would love some playmates his own age."
"No offense taken Callie, thank you for your honesty. Any good places you could recommend."
"There are plenty of places but I'm sure I can pick out some of the best, some are a little more selective than others. I'll see what I can do."
James nodded, "Thanks Callie, call us if you have any trouble." The oncologist made his way upstairs, considering what the younger woman had told him. Maybe it was time to get Matt into a preschool. He could start in the fall when all the schools started, by that time he'd be four and a little surer of himself. Deciding that he'd bring the subject up with Greg at lunch, James settled into his chair and dove into the day of paper work.
Matthew peaked around the corner, making sure no one saw him, as he reached his tiny fingers up, and pulled the door open to Dr. Lisa Cuddy's office.
Lisa sat behind her desk, and watched Matt enter out of the corner of her eyes. She knew he wasn't supposed to be here, and if he got caught one more time he'd be in big trouble with Greg. He'd been warned the last time that the next time he left there'd be no TV and no more warnings.
"Breaking jail again?" she questioned as her god-son made his way over to her. She laughed softly as she scooped him up in her arms. She quickly grabbed her phone and called down to Callie, in hopes to catch the young woman before she worried and called Greg.
"Aunt Lisa, when do I get to play wif big kids?"
She sighed as she cuddled him for a moment, cherishing his size, and knowing he wouldn't be tiny forever, "Soon sweetheart. So, how's my favorite nephew?" she asked with exaggeration to grab his attention.
Matt giggled softly before looking at her, "Daddy and Papa wrestled last night," he whispered.
Cuddy chuckled; they were working on getting the two men to realize that there was more to their friendship. So far it seemed to be working. It was the quiet nudges, or invitations to lunch and dinner that Cuddy would call with some random reason of not being able to come. Giving them cases that would require they see each other a little more often. There wasn't much work to be done, with the two men living together and spending so much time together, Cuddy knew it wouldn't be much longer before they both figured it out. They were stubborn, but Cuddy could be more stubborn than both of them put together, plus she had Matthew on her side. "Was this a playful wrestle?"
"Daddy tickled Papa," he grinned.
Cuddy nodded, deciding that it was okay for her sweet little prince to have seen such a thing. "Well then seems like they are right on track. Now, why don't we get you back down to Callie, before daddy finds out you've busted out."
As it turned out, Greg got a case that day, and spent most of the afternoon out of the office; Wilson realized that by noon there was no hope of actually seeing the older doctor for lunch and headed downstairs to gather his young son.
Matthew was playing with a ball, very similar to the one House had in his office, when James stepped into the day care centre. "PAPA!" the three year old cried in excitement. James immediately threw his arms out to protect himself from the speedy toddler. He hefted the boy up into the air, tossing him and catching him as he landed a kiss on the boy's forehead.
"Hey big guy, ready for lunch?"
"He has a case baby, so it's just you and me." James glanced up at Callie who looked a little frazzled with the two babies, "I thought I'd keep him the rest of the afternoon, is that okay?"
She didn't reply, simply nodded and went on trying to calm the colicky infant in her arms. James let Matt down, gripping his hand and they headed to the cafeteria. Since arriving with them, Matt had conquered his fear of larger groups of people and now they usually ate in the cafeteria so not to be disturbed by anyone else.
They went through the line, James getting Matt a ham, turkey and cheese sandwich, while getting tuna for himself. He grabbed two chocolate milks, deciding he could deal with that for now and grab a cup of coffee from the ducklings later and the grabbed a booth and took a seat.
James felt his heart flutter slightly, he still hadn't gotten used to that term, he had the feeling Greg hadn't either. They both lit up like Christmas trees when Matt spoke their names. He glanced at his sweet prince, "Yeah?"
"Hows come there ain't no other kids my age?"
James sighed and handed the child an apple he'd grabbed as well, "Fix your English and I'll answer you."
"Hows--how come there aren't any others my age?" he said with exasperation.
James chuckled, they were really trying to break any habits before they started, improper English, within reason, was one of the many habits they were concerned about. "Well, because most of the other kids of hospital staff are either in school or preschool."
Inwardly sighing, James took another bite of his tuna, "It's a school for kids about your age and a little older to play while their parents are at work. It's a lot of fun, both your daddy and I attended preschool, I think Aunt Lisa did too."
"Papa?" James watched the boy in response as he poked at his sandwich but ate his apple, "Can I got to preschool?"
A smile cross James' features, "I can ask your daddy about it, I'm sure he'll be thrilled."
"Absolutely not!" howled Greg that night at the house after work.
"Why on earth not!?" Demanded James, "He wants to go! And he'll be four when he starts, that's the age of most kids. He's so smart House!" He was revering back to last names, it was something he and House did when they became angry and got in a fight. He wasn't sure why, maybe it was a way of separating the two worlds, work and home, but this time it was about home, not an argument about some patient. But about their son--Greg's son.
"He's just a kid! He just got here, he's just starting to get used to living with us--"
"Which is exactly why he'll be fine! The new school year won't start until August! He can handle it."
Greg shook his head walking away, he would have gotten away too, if Wilson hadn't grabbed his cane and yanked him back, just enough to keep him from falling but bring him face forward. "He needs this House, and you're just being a selfish bastard again! If you with hold him from this--"
"What!?" House growled as he stepped closer to James, "You'll what!? He's my son James, or have you forgotten that!?" It stung, that was the problem with them, they both knew how to make their words sting painfully.
"What are you afraid of House? That he'll like it? That he won't be safe? What is it!?"
Matthew sat in his bedroom, crowded on his bed, legs to his chest listening to his daddies fight over him, it wasn't supposed to be like this. Daddy and Papa weren't supposed to fight, they were supposed to love each other. He jumped when the phone interrupted the two high pitched voices.
"WHAT?!" Growled House at the top of his voice, then it softened. "Yeah, I'll be there in a minute," House slammed the phone down, glowering at James, "I have to go," was all he mumbled as he grabbed his jacket and limped away.
James let him go this time, as he collapsed into the couch, feeling tired and defeated. He wasn't at all surprised when a red, blotchy faced, puffy eyed little boy peaked around the corner, as if checking for his father, before running to James. He caught Matt with ease and held onto him for a moment as the boy cuddled close to him, "Is daddy mad at me?"
"No Sprout, daddy's made because he's got a really hard case and he's a stubborn ass."
Matt looked up at his papa for a moment, "I don't wanna go no more."
James sighed, rubbing the bridge of his nose for a moment before pulling Matt away, "No, you're going to preschool Matt, you'll enjoy it, I'll talk to daddy, I promise."
"Papa, does this mean you can't be my papa no more?"
"No, where did you get that idea?"
Matt shrugged, "You was arguing wif him--"
James pulled his son close again, resting his head on top of Matt's, "Just because two people argue doesn't mean they stop loving in each other. It just means we drive each other absolutely crazy some days--more than others unfortunately."
Callie stepped into Greg's office early the next morning, surprised to find him fast asleep in the chair to the left of the door, his leg propped up, and cane leaning against the table nearby. Today was her day off; she'd dropped by the day care to look for Greg, James or Matt. She hadn't been surprised that Matt wasn't there yet, it was still early. So she'd figured she'd come into the office and put the pamphlets on Greg's desk, only to find him here.
Smiling sadly, she placed the booklets down on the desk and slipped back out, leaving the sleeping diagnostician to rest.
Two hours later, Wilson arrived with Matthew in tow. He dropped by Greg's office to talk with him, only to find him still fast asleep, Cameron as the only one of the two fellows who were in the office. "How long has he been here?" James questioned.
She rubbed her forehead in hopes to rid herself of the head, "All night I imagine, we almost lost the patient three times last night, he spent most of the time in between in surgery and coaching the family through it. He was surprisingly supportive last night actually. Anyway he sent Chase and Foreman home around three--I'm leaving as soon as they get here."
"How's the patient now?"
Allison gave him a weary smile as she stood up and poured herself a cup of coffee, "It doesn't look good."
"You know House, always pulls them off at the last minute."
She shook her head, "I'm not so sure this time; I just hope you're right, because he's unbearable on a regular basis, he's a complete ass hole when he loses patients."
Slipping into the office James gently poked Greg, until finally the bleary blue eyes slid open. Greg took a moment to look up at James before closing his eyes again, "Hand me my pills." A grimace began to overcome the older man's face as he gripped his thigh which was obviously becoming overwhelming.
Swiping the pill bottle from the shelf nearby he handed them to Greg, and watched at the man dry swallowed the two pills. "Feel better?"
Greg closed his eyes against the sounds of Wilson's voice, waiting for the pills to begin taking effect.
"Greg, we need top talk about last night--"
Greg opened an eye for a moment, "I'm sorry--" he mumbled.
James' head flopped to his chest in exhaustion as he shook his head in disbelief, "Don't worry about it; just think about it when you get a chance, okay?"
Greg just nodded, and watched the man he called best friend leave. He sighed, knowing it wasn't supposed to be like this, he wasn't supposed to beat his best friend down in anger because of his job.
Matt poked his face around the corner, aware that Chase and Foreman had both spotted him as he tried to sneak into his father's office.
Greg sat at his desk when he spotted the dark haired toddler poking his nose in the door. Hoping this was important enough to suffer a thorough punishment, he waved the child in, "I could have sworn I made it quite clear the next time you snuck out of the day care I was going to take away your TV and that'd be your last warning."
Matt nodded as he stepped further inside, "You did--daddy, I'm sorry."
House was surprised at this as he moved around from behind his desk, placing his hands on either side of his son's sides. "Sorry for what?"
Big blue eyes suddenly became watery, "I didn't mean to make you hate papa! Please don't! I wove papa!" he sobbed as he threw himself into his father's arms.
Greg was stunned as he lifted his son from the floor into his arms, rocking him back and forth lightly, "Matt, this isn't your fault, daddy and papa had a disagreement," He saw that his son was still crying and not really paying attention. Sighing, Greg pulled his son away and sat him on his good leg, "Listen to me Matthew," he pulled his son's chin up, so they'd look into one another's eyes, "Papa and I argue, it's in our nature, but it doesn't mean we love one another any less. In fact I probably love your papa more than I love anyone because he's the only person who can argue with me and not think any less of me." Matthew seemed to be slowly growing control over his tears and sniffles, "Do you understand?"
Matt nodded slowly, "So you ain't gonna make papa move out? Or break up?"
Greg chuckled softly and squeezed his son closer for another moment, "God I love you, no your papa isn't moving out any time soon! As for breaking up, I imagine we have to actually be going out to break up, but I'll see what I can do about that too. Now tell me little one, what do you think about preschool?"
Matthew smiled a little and leaned his head against Greg's shoulder, "I wanna go daddy, but only if you want me to go."
Smirking softly Greg ran his hands through his son's hair, "No, you're going whether I want you to, because sometimes Papa does know better than I do." Pressing a kiss to the boy's head he sighed, "You'll go; papa and I just have to figure out where. Would you like to hang out here with daddy the rest of today?"
Matthew nodded slowly and sighed in contentment. Greg's eyes suddenly grew wide, "FOREMAN!" he called, grabbing his cane he pushed himself up, still clutching his kid in his arms, "I've got it!"
Wilson stepped into Greg's office for the second time that day, it was nearing five, and he'd heard that Greg's patient was going to survive. What he found made him smile, curled up against his side in the overstuffed chair by the door was Matt, sleeping soundly in his father's arms. Based on that, they'd obviously made up.
Moving over he was about to nudge the two awake, when he spotted the pamphlets, and felt his heart melt a little further; at least House was thinking about it. With a wide smirk he nudged House awake gently, until two sets of identical electric blue eyes stared up at him in contempt for waking him.
Before House's eyes could register the pain his friend was obviously in, or going to be in for sleeping in the chair twice in one day, James swept their son out of his lap and handed Greg two Vicodin.
House immediately swallowed them with gratefulness, and sighed, waiting for them to take affect while, Matt became more awake in James' arms. "Daddy why do you take pills? Is it for your leg?"
House nodded, "James, could you get him ready?"
Nodding, James put their son down and began to gather his toys, "About six or seven years ago; before you were even considered, daddy had something called an infarction; that's a blood clot in my thigh. It stopped all the blood flow from my leg to the rest of my body. It killed muscles in my leg, which is why I don't have much use in it anymore.
Matt's eyes grew wide, "You're not gonna die are you daddy!? Don't die daddy!"
Greg smiled as he pulled his son close, off his feet and sat him in his lap again, pressing a kiss to the boy's cheek, forehead and finally his nose, "Daddy is going to live for a long time buddy, hopefully a very, very long time. But if anything were ever to happen to me, you know Papa would take care of you right?"
Matt looked up at James and smiled as he reached out to the younger man; James chuckled and easily accepted the small burden. "Papa and daddy, we can be a family again!" he clapped.
House stood up, stretching out his back muscles, before realizing he was about a foot away from James, staring directly into the younger man's beautiful eyes. Reaching out he pressed a hand to the man's cheek, "We never stopped being a family," he whispered softly, as he leaned in for a kiss.
Matt had gone to bed several hours ago, Wilson and House sat casually on the couch, watching some documentary, neither really paying attention. House's mind had been on Wilson all evening, and the two kisses they'd shared over the course of forty-eight hours. He was thinking about how good it felt, how normal and comfortable it felt.
Wilson smiled as he realized Greg had reached out for his hand at some point; he squeezed the hand, and looked over at his best friend. Greg returned the gaze steadily for a moment, "I was thinking--maybe you'd--stay in my room tonight?"
Wilson didn't even grace it with a response; he dove in for a kiss, surprising House, thought not a bad surprise, as the older man instantly began to respond, in more ways than one. The kiss was intense, House felt like he'd been waiting his entire life for this, he pulled away, both hands on either side of Wilson's face and he smiled, letting his thumb stroke the man's cheek. "I am totally getting some tonight!"
Wilson chuckled, "Not when you talk loudly!" he replied silencing his best friend with another breathtaking kiss that last for a few more moments, before Wilson stood up, and slowly, carefully led Greg down the hall to his bedroom. Greg's bed was bigger anyway. They fell back to the bed, in a tangle of arms, lips, and legs.
James looked at all these brochures, shaking his head in amazement, "I honestly didn't think preschool could be so competitive, I feel like I'm applying for college!"
Greg chuckled softly, "Hey, preschool can make or break a kid! Who knows what'll happen to him if we send him to some slum, he could end up a convicted felon--or like you, nice!" he sneered playfully.
"I know you don't want to send him, but he has to go Greg, you have to let go one day," James returned rolling his eyes.
Greg rebuked mildly as he looked at one of the pamphlets, "Okay, we're not sending him anywhere titled Never land, I will not have my son associated with Michael Jackson!"
James snatched the paper from Greg's hand for a moment, "I don't even wanna know," he mumbled as he threw it in the trash, both men chuckling quietly at the thought.
Greg and James opened the doors to the preschool, and smiled at all the children playing at their tables. An older woman with gray hair approached them, "Dr.s House and Wilson, it's so nice to see you again," she shook both of their hands. Then she knelt down and gave Matthew a warm smile, "Why don't you say goodbye to your parents, then you can go play, okay?"
Matthew turned and gave both Jimmy and Greg hugs before hurrying off to join a group of children playing with play dough. Greg smiled as he watched his little boy for a few moments, "Your welcome anytime, which you know."
Greg nodded, "Thanks, we'll be back to pick him up three, and if it's not one of us it'll be a young woman with auburn hair named Dr. Allison Cameron."
The older caretaker nodded, "Wonderful I look forward to see you or meeting her."
The two hesitantly gazed at their son a moment longer before slipping out, completely unnoticed. Greg smirked, "That wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be."
"Yeah," he heard a sniffled response from his side. Turning his electric blue eyes on the younger man he laughed out loud.
"Are you crying!?" He wrapped an arm around his friend's shoulders, "Awww Jimmy, we had to do it buddy, gotta let go some day," he joked turning the words back on his friend.
"Oh shut up Greg! He's just a baby!" whined James as he swiped at his eyes.
Greg laughed, agreeing with his friend, but it was true, this would be best for Matt. Without removing his arm from Jimmy's shoulders, they headed to the car. A new adventure was just about to begin.