Summary: House tells Wilson that they're going to a medical conference. But, of course, everybody lies. HW slash.
Warnings: Sickeningly romantic gestures on the part of Dr House.
Wilson sighed as he glanced at the clock; House was late back again, and he didn't even have any cases. He'd been given extra clinic duty, since he hadn't had anyone to treat in over a week, but he'd spent more time complaining about it than he had actually spent in any of the exam rooms. It had left him in a constantly bad mood, and although Wilson would never say anything about it, since it would cause arguments and leave House in a mood that was even worse, it was beginning to grate on him. It wasn't that easy, but Wilson managed to forget his work at least a little bit when he was at home. House was not fortunate enough to have this ability. Or, if he did, he was too damn stubborn to use it. That sounded like something House would do, just to annoy him.
Speaking of homes, though, Wilson was struggling to find himself regretting moving in with House. Okay, so he was a little cranky in the mornings, he complained slightly about Wilson's early waking habits and he drank a bit too much, but it wasn't that bad. It would have been better if it was only the mornings that left House cranky; if he only complained slightly, and if his drinking was only a bit too much… Wilson had a tendency to downplay the older man's flaws. He'd built up something of a resistance to them over the long years they'd spent together and, ever since a year ago…
Wilson found himself unable to keep from smiling at the memory. Glancing at the date display on his watch, he noticed that it was almost exactly a year since House had suggested that, since Wilson's central heating was less than functional, he might want to spend the night somewhere the water didn't come out of the taps with ice cubes already in it. It had been a suspiciously considerate gesture, but Wilson had forgotten all about how apprehensive he was when House had, after half a bottle or so of Scotch, pinned him against the wall in the hallway as he came back from the bathroom and captured his lips in a bruising kiss, muttering something about being unable to help it any longer.
Further doubts had set in at this point; was this just some sort of prank? A bet, maybe; House had seemed pretty deep in conversation with Foreman and Chase earlier in the day, and Wilson could have sworn he saw them looking at him a little oddly later on. But one look at his friend, and he could tell that there was something wrong. It had been truly difficult for him to take that chance, and although House was an accomplished actor in many ways, he hadn't yet mastered the art of looking scared. It just wasn't something he'd ever need, since that was the main emotion he was trying to hide. That and doubt, which was also evident in his expression; the way he leaned a little too heavily on his cane. Unable to say anything as shock numbed his brain, Wilson took a chance of his own, tilting House's chin up as the older man looked away and drawing him back into an embrace.
He hadn't really been thinking at the time; it had just seemed like the best thing to do. He hadn't thought about it at all, in fact, until the next morning. He'd woken up feeling comfortable, if a little tired, and warm. He assumed they'd fixed the heating until he moved, reaching an arm up to rub the sleep from his eyes, and felt the body next to him. He'd had a fair few drinks of his own the night before, and it took him a moment or two to remember.
As images came flooding back, he realised that he needed to throw up. It didn't have anything to do with the thoughts of what he'd done; he'd just had too much to drink, but he knew that House wouldn't see it that way, no matter how much he denied it. Still, first things first, he needed to get to the bathroom; he could explain afterwards. As he was bent double over the toilet bowl, though, he had time to think. What the hell was he going to say? Had House really wanted it? And if he did, did Wilson? But what if House didn't want it? What if he'd just been overly vulnerable because of the drink, had been seeking comfort and Wilson had just ended up taking advantage of him because of his own selfish desire for affection? Oh God, what was he going to do?
He took a little longer than he needed to brush his teeth; splashed his face with cold water; stared with some confusion at the red marks on his neck, particularly prominent due to the fact that he wasn't wearing a shirt. Those were going to be incredibly difficult to explain at work. Wait…
"Shit!" Wilson couldn't help but exclaim as he realised just how late he was going to be. According to his watch, it was already 9 o' clock. Heading back into the bedroom- House's bedroom, he reminded himself- he leaned on the doorframe, and froze as he saw that the other man was awake, sitting on the edge of the bed, leaning his chin on his cane.
"We're gonna be so late for work."
It was lame, and Wilson knew it. But it was all he could bring himself to say. He didn't want to confront things. He didn't want to be disappointed.
"It's Saturday. Yesterday was Friday?"
Wilson felt like an idiot as his friend gave him a look that clearly said that he thought that he was an idiot. House was really good at those, but then he had dealt with the general public for many years; he'd had plenty of opportunities for practice. Still, without the thought of work, there was nothing to distract him from the other issues that needed to be dealt with. And they really needed to be dealt with.
Before he could say anything, House beckoned him over with a jerk of his head, inviting him to sit next to him. Feeling more nervous than he had in years, Wilson did so. What the hell was wrong with him? This was House, for God's sake. He'd been perfectly fine with the relationship they'd had before, why had he let him kiss him? Why had he risked the only friendship that truly mattered to him for the sake of one night? They hadn't even got that far, for God's sake. His shirt was the only item of clothing he'd lost.
"Last night," much to Wilson's surprise, House spoke first, "I started it. Right?"
Wilson nodded, unable to speak.
"You didn't stop me, though. Why?"
Damnit, that was a question. He had to say something.
"Why did you start it?" Wilson asked eventually, copping out and answering the question with one of his own, even though he knew House wouldn't give up that easily.
"I asked first."
And House had that damn smile on his face, as he always did when he knew he'd won. Wilson liked to think that whenever that happened, he'd let him win, but that wasn't always the case. It wasn't even usually the case.
"I…" he began, struggling to think of a continuation. I was bored. I needed someone. Anyone. You just happened to be there. I couldn't bring myself to stop you. Didn't want to hurt your leg.
I wanted it.
The realisation hit him like a ton of bricks. This was not good. This was definitely not good. He didn't like House like that, he didn't!
House knew him too well, though; could see his internal conflict. He'd probably been aware of it before Wilson had even considered the idea, the smug bastard. Still, what did it matter; House's hand was on his cheek, turning Wilson to face him, kissing him again, as though it was the most natural thing in the world.
And what made Wilson think that it wasn't natural? House wanted it as much as he did; Wilson's marriages had failed for reasons he'd never previously understood; the one relationship House had ever been able to hold together for any length of time had fallen apart. But they'd always had each other. That one person that got each of them through the day. And they were being given the chance to show each other just how much that meant to them.
That chance, though, apparently wasn't enough. As Wilson gave into his urge to move closer, essentially straddling the other man with one hand tangled in House's hair as the other snaked around his waist, the fucking phone rang. Shifting his weight so it wasn't quite as heavy on House's bad leg, Wilson leaned his forehead against House's, waiting for the answering machine to kick in. While he waited, they kissed again, softly, but the sound of Cuddy's voice quickly killed any thoughts of immediate continuation.
"House, what have you done with Wilson? His eight thirty is waiting, and while I don't believe everything your team says, they seem pretty agreed on this one. He left with you yesterday, and no one's seen him since. I don't care how bad your hangover is, just return him in roughly the same state as he was yesterday."
Wilson gave House a severe look that faltered almost embarrassingly as it met with House's devilish smile. God, he was gorgeous. Leaning in to kiss him again, Wilson bit a little harder than he would usually have done at House's bottom lip.
"You told me it was Saturday," he muttered, trying his best to sound annoyed but failing miserably. How could he be annoyed with those eyes?
"It is Saturday. You work Saturdays, remember?"
Sometimes Wilson really hated House. But, unfortunately, he almost always loved him. And what he really hated, what he really couldn't stand, was his own weakness when it came to the other man. House knew him too well. And by agreeing to having that sort of relationship with him, Wilson had opened himself up to everything House could throw at him. House could tear his heart out, rip it into tiny pieces and sprinkle it over his oatmeal and Wilson would be able to do nothing but stand by and let him. It scared him, sometimes. It really did, that he depended that much on the other man. But he just loved him so much… He couldn't let him go.
"Honey, I'm home!"
Wilson heard the door slam open, the sound of House's cane clattering. And he smiled. He couldn't help it; House was completely and utterly insane, but somehow he made it work.
"And these," House leaned over the back of the sofa, capturing Wilson's lips in a long-awaited kiss, "are for you," he smiled, handing over a box of chocolates. Gift-wrapped, and definitely not from the hospital gift shop. Wilson looked at him in surprise for a moment, before remembering a comment that the other man had made on a previous occasion and narrowing his eyes, not entirely sure if he was joking or not when he asked.
"No," House had obviously been expecting the comment, and took a seat beside Wilson, pulling him into another kiss. He wouldn't admit it to anyone else, but he'd missed him. A day at work without even being able to see him was agonising, "I just love you."
Wilson felt his heart skip a beat, and he pulled House closer, fingers toying idly with the hair at the nape of House's neck. He didn't hear that often enough, and insecurity was a bitch. After a moment, though, House pulled away, wandering into the kitchen, and Wilson realised that he'd been had.
"What have you done?"
"Nothing! I really do." House sounded a little too offended for it to be realistic, and Wilson rolled his eyes.
House looked around the doorway to give Wilson an offended look that was as unconvincing as his speech had been. Having built up something of a resistance to those looks over the year, Wilson managed to give him a relatively successful incredulous look. And, for a change, House gave in.
"Alright. I've got a conference."
"Of course you do." Wilson sighed. That figured; House was never that friendly after a day of work, particularly one in which he'd been given extra clinic duty.
"Admit it, you loved hearing me say it."
"Love it more if you meant it." Wilson muttered, more to himself than anything. He felt more than a little rejected; for once he just wanted House to tell him how he felt. And mean it. House still heard though, as he wandered back into the room, unusually fidgety.
"Hey, I have half a mind not to tell you I was joking." he said, again giving Wilson that damn smile from across the room.
Understandably, Wilson was somewhat confused by all of this. House was messing with him, and although it was kind of cute, he would have liked an explanation.
"I don't have a conference." House told him, moving to join Wilson on the couch. He didn't sit next to him, though; instead leaning over the other man, his good leg between Wilson's as he rested his hands on the back of the couch either side of his head, effectively pinning him there. He had to lean all of his weight on his front leg, which was something of an awkward position, but it was worth it when he got to see Wilson's confused look close up. It was just so adorable.
"Yeah. That is to say, I don't. You, on the other hand…" House paused as he reached into his breast pocket and pulled out a piece of paper.
"Oh God…" Wilson rolled his eyes, still confused about exactly what was going on but with something of an idea about how little he was going to like it. Smiling, House began to read the piece of paper, leaning his elbow on the back of the couch as he held it up to see it.
"Dr James Wilson -and guest- hereby invited to a clinical conference. Led by Dr. Alfred Romero, the leading expert on cardiovascular disorders in Europe."
"Not another old schoolmate of yours, I hope." Wilson had to ask, bad memories of the last conference that House had attended coming flooding back. He was not going to deal with another LSD trip. The only thing worse than normal House was a giggling House, and it had been a traumatising experience for the both of them.
"Bit before my time." House retorted, getting to his feet as best he could, and wandering off again, this time to the bedroom.
"Didn't think they had cardiovascular disorders in the Stone Age." Wilson had to comment; there weren't many things House was sensitive about, but his age was one of them. More than 10 years Wilson's senior, he had some issues about it, and a reference to that was much more likely to piss him off than almost anything else. Except for withholding sex, which not only served to remind him of his dependence on the other man, but also, well, deprived him of sex. It was pretty fun, while it lasted, but Wilson was usually the one that ended up giving in. House was just too damn stubborn. And Wilson was pretty… active. He'd possibly picked the wrong strategy to cater for his own weaknesses.
"Ooh, a wisecrack. Someone's annoyed." House stuck his head around the bedroom door to give his observation, and Wilson frowned as he saw that his comment had been completely ineffectual in dampening House's mood. Still, he attempted to argue.
"It's my day off."
"You'll love it once you're there!" House told him loudly, not even bothering to look at Wilson as he searched for his jacket.
Wilson sighed; arguing was obviously completely pointless and, since he'd inevitably end up giving in anyway, it would only make them late. So, he might as well save time. He hated being late, as House well knew, and the tenacious bastard was using it to his advantage.
"Great. Get dressed, I'll meet you in the car."
Wilson frowned, somewhat confused as House passed him on his way out. He was in something of a hurry, and he wasn't complaining about his day's clinic duty. What was wrong with him?
"Alright, so where are we going?"
In the car, with House driving like a twelve year old, as usual, Wilson had to act. Loath as he was to distract House from the road, since he was clearly less than functional even when he was paying attention, he was incredibly curious about what could be making House act so strangely.
"The Royal. They've got a function room upstairs."
"He must be a pretty good doctor." Wilson couldn't help but be a little impressed; the Royal had a reputation for outstanding service; their function room was likely to be incredibly expensive, and only an exceptional doctor was likely to get that sort of treatment.
"Oh yeah." House agreed, smiling as he watched the road. After a moment of silence, though, he reached over to switch the radio on. Still with that smile on his face, he waited. And a moment later -after some inane DJ chat- music began to play, Wilson giving the radio something of a strange look at it did so. Since he was staring in disbelief at an inanimate and insentient object, House felt it was only right to mock him.
"What is this crap? Don't you have this?"
"It's my favourite song. But… it had a limited edition release. I've never heard it on the radio before."
Wilson looked confused, but there was a hint of a smile on his face. House hid his own smile behind derision.
"Always knew you had no taste in music."
The two doctors walked into the restaurant area and, while Wilson stared with some interest at the enormous waterfall structure that ran over the door, House headed over to the maitre d'.
"Table for two, Gregory House." he said in undertones, casting a sideways glance at his companion as the waiter checked through their book of reservations. It was so cute, the way he watched the water with a sort of rapt fascination, his eyes straying to the floor as he tried to figure out the cycle; how the whole contraption worked. House wanted to kiss him, right then and there, but it would hardly be conducive to the high-class atmosphere that this place was obviously trying to maintain. Also, he didn't want to spoil the surprise he'd spent so long planning. Comparatively. Twenty minutes was a long time for him.
"Jimmy! C'mon, they're waiting!" House called to the other man, signaling for Wilson to follow him as the maitre d' led the way to their table. Somewhat suspiciously, the other man did so, eyes narrowing as House pulled his chair out for him before sitting down himself.
"Happy anniversary. A week early. I do know that. But you'd be even more suspicious if I did it on the night."
Wilson stared at him, mouth literally falling open in surprise. He couldn't believe it. House had actually remembered! He had remembered, and actually made an effort. Had he stepped into some parallel universe; accidentally stumbled across one of House's various drug stashes and started hallucinating? This was… almost unbelievable.
"Tell me you're joking." was all Wilson could manage to say, his brain unable to process the concept of House actually making a romantic gesture. For him.
"I'm not." House smiled, which under any other circumstances would have been weird in itself. On this particular occasion, though, it was the last thing Wilson was worried about.
"You actually remembered?"
House's smile took on a softer look, and he reached across the table to take Wilson's hand in his.
"How could I forget the best thing that's ever happened to me?" he asked, painfully sincere. Wilson struggled not to burst into tears. House was… God, he was…oh, Wilson didn't know what he was, but he loved him. He squeezed House's hand, unable to say anything, his heart skipping a beat as the other man leaned in, about to kiss him.
"Good evening, sirs, are you ready to order?"
House barely spared the waitress a glance, evidently unappreciative of the interruption.
"I don't care, just bring me whatever."
Wilson gave him a warning look, pulling his hand from House's and turning to the waitress, smiling politely, "We'll both have the steak. Thanks." he handed her the menus, still smiling as she gave them something of an odd look. Behind her back, House pulled a face, and Wilson rolled his eyes, although he couldn't be annoyed for longer than a few seconds. Not after this.
"I still can't believe you did this," he said, noticing House's expression soften once more as he turned back to him.
"Oh, I'm just full of surprises. Wait until you get your present." House told him, that mischievous smile back again as he reached under the table to squeeze Wilson's knee, the movement accompanied by a meaningful look.
"Oh no…" Wilson was joking, obviously, although there was some doubt in his mind. House was hardly the conservative type, and a smile like that, with a look like that, usually meant that their neighbours were likely to be less than happy with whatever he'd bought.
"What do you mean 'Oh no'? You'll love it. I promise."
And they both knew that House, although he lacked some integrity elsewhere, would never break a promise.
Somewhat drunk, the two men stumbled through the door to House's apartment, House letting his cane drop to the floor as he pinned Wilson against the wall, attacking his mouth with a fervour brought about by his own achievement; he knew he had gone a damn good job at the whole anniversary present thing, and he was about to reap the benefits. He deserved it.
His hands drifting downwards to cup Wilson's behind, he lowered his mouth to the other man's neck, adoring the soft whimper that the action caused, the feeling of Wilson's fingers tangling in his hair as he sucked gently. He knew Wilson loved that; knew exactly what he loved, what made his knees literally give out; made him moan House's name. As he moved a hand to the front of Wilson's trousers, though, he was prevented from gaining entry, much to his frustration.
"No," Wilson said gently, unable to keep himself from smiling slightly at House's outraged look, "I want to… remember this night for that incredibly romantic gesture, and… not for the amazing, mind-blowing sex we had afterwards. Tomorrow?" he suggested, trailing his fingers idly over House's partially exposed chest. The other man looked unimpressed, though, so he made another attempt, "Tomorrow morning?"
He had known that would get House's attention; by the time House had woken up enough to demand attention, Wilson was usually on his way out the door, refusing to do anything that would result in him having to change his clothes or have another shower. And he had been right; House blinked at the rather uncharacteristic offer, and Wilson felt it only right to continue.
"As long as you like… I might even be late for work," he offered. House's expression was one of exaggerated contemplation, and Wilson couldn't resist the slight pout that came with it; he leaned forward to bite gently at House's bottom lip, tugging softly before kissing him again. He had to make an effort; House obviously had, and together, their mouths separating for no more than a few seconds at a time, they managed to stumble their way into the bedroom without either of them suffering a serious injury. Wilson finished removing House's shirt, tossing it aside before he found himself being pushed backwards, down onto the bed, House climbing atop him with only a little difficulty considering how hard it must have been on his leg. Slowly, softly, his lips were claimed again, Wilson wrapping his arms around the man he loved and holding him close as House rid him of his own shirt. The feeling of warm skin against his own was amazing; somehow House just seemed to fit against him, as though he was meant to be there. It sounded stupid, and House himself would have dismissed the idea in an instant, but Wilson couldn't help but wonder if, maybe, this had always been planned. Always been there, and it had just taken a while for them to notice it.
"Shit!" House cursed suddenly, and Wilson tensed in alarm, aware that House got very frustrated when the usual distraction, his own pain, prevented them from doing what they wanted. The other man, though, seemed to have other things on his mind than his leg, "Forgot something."
Wilson rolled his eyes as House clambered off the bed, limping across the room to his jacket. If anyone knew how to ruin a mood, it was House, he mused as he moved up on the bed, leaning back against the pillows and closing his eyes as he realised how tired he was. If House would just come back to bed, they could sleep; for some reason he was finding it increasingly difficult to do so without House next to him, breathing softly, expression gentle as he drifted in a world without the pain of his waking life. After a while of checking his jacket pockets, though, House discovered that whatever it was he had forgotten wasn't in there, and limped over to his bag, which was on the floor on his side of the bed. He rummaged noisily, cursing every few seconds as he checked another pocket, and eventually Wilson rolled over to face him, intending to hurry the process along somewhat and increase the chances of him actually getting some sleep.
"House, what are you-"
He froze, though, as he came face to face with House, who was not crouched somewhat awkwardly on the floor and searching through his bag, as he had expected. Instead, he was kneeling, on one knee, next to the bed, holding a ring and most definitely proposing.
"Are you serious?"
Was all Wilson could come up with on such short notice. Smiling, House nodded.
"I've never been more serious about anything in my life. Marry me."
"I… uh…" Wilson struggled for a moment, unable to think straight with such an unexpected request coming after a fair few glasses of wine. Suddenly, though, he remembered something, "Doesn't that hurt?" he asked, realising that the whole down-on-one-knee position was likely to be uncomfortable for someone with only one properly functioning leg.
"Like hell. Hurry up and say yes."
Wilson laughed, hardly even having to think about it. This was House, what else could he do? He loved him, more than anything, and all he had to do was say one word to prove it completely. The only doubts he had ever had about their relationship involved House's unwillingness to appear dependent, and he'd already shown in the act of proposing that he didn't have a problem with that. The answer was obvious.
"Yes." he had to say, unable to suppress a laugh as he did so. Leaning over, he helped House back onto the bed, leaning in to kiss him quickly, feeling the smile in his… God, in his fiancé's expression. His fiancé… This was amazing! He was getting married… admittedly not for the first time, but this was House! And he'd proposed! This was… definitely not a dream. There was no way he could ever have a dream this good.
"I believe…" House began, holding out the ring he'd been searching for, "that this is yours."
Wilson's smile broadened, trying his best to ignore the way House was looking at him as though he was some cute schoolgirl being spoiled by her sugar daddy. He took the ring- his ring- to get a closer look and inhaled sharply in surprise. He'd looked at this ring, this very ring, 14 years ago before he'd proposed to his first wife. But he hadn't been able to afford it then, and the company that made it had gone bankrupt less than a year later. He'd given up all hope of ever finding it again.
"How-" he stared at House, completely in shock.
"You… fold the pages of the catalogue over when you find something you want. And I am just that good." House found himself unable to hide his adoration for the other man as he saw just how pleased he was. Maybe there was something in this whole caring for others thing after all…
Yeah, right. This was Wilson; that was what made him want to see him smile, to hear him laugh. To… tell him things that he wouldn't dream of saying to anyone else.
"I know you. I know what you want. And I'll do anything in the world to make sure you get it."
For a moment, Wilson couldn't manage to do anything but pull House into another kiss, unable to quite express how completely and utterly stunned and amazed he was by the gesture. And how happy it had made him. Nobody had ever done anything like that for him before, and even though, most of the time, House was an arrogant, narcissistic ass, he had proven that he could be sweet, that he could be romantic, that he really cared. That he valued what they had.
"I love you."
And there it was, a phrase that Wilson had often used, said to various people over the course of many year. But never, in all that time, had he meant it as much as he did then. Never had he truly adored, and felt adored by someone else. They were all just preparation, just warm-ups before the main event. And this was the main event. It couldn't be anything else.
"I know." House smiled, "All we have to do now is decide who gets whose name. James House?"
"Gregory Wilson." Wilson tried it out, even though he knew House would never submit to being, well, the submissive. He had always claimed that he wore the trousers in their relationship, since he no longer had the legs to pull off a skirt. It was a fair comment; a few years back he really had had amazing legs. Irony was an ass.
"Hey, I proposed; I get the good deal." as Wilson had predicted, House objected, "Or we could just swap; it'd confuse the hell out of people. We'd be getting each others' mail for weeks."
"Why do I get the impression I'd end up doing both our clinic hours?" Wilson arched an eyebrow, aware of the lengths House would go to in order to avoid that section of his duty.
"Darn. Foiled again." House shook his head, although in all fairness the thought had crossed his mind. Briefly.
"Go to sleep, House." Wilson was still smiling; he didn't think he'd ever be able to stop after this, and he reached out to stroke House's cheek fondly as he affected his best scolding voice. His tone changed, though, as he spoke again, leaning in to whisper in House's ear "You'll need to get your strength up for tomorrow."
Resisting the urge to wink, since he knew he couldn't pull it off normally, let alone when he was half-drunk and very tired, Wilson kissed his new fiancé's cheek and settled down to sleep, warm with House in his arms and the other man's arms around him.
Boy, work was going to be fun. House was really going to mess with everyone's heads, Wilson just knew it. Still, first things first, he was going to have to deal with House in the morning before he even got out of the door. At least he hoped it was going to happen before he got out the door; he'd never really been big on having an audience.
He was thinking stupid things; he really needed to get some sleep. All he needed to know was that House loved him. He really did. He had proven it.
Wilson smiled to himself in the dark, giving House an appreciative squeeze and feeling one in return, safe in the knowledge that he wouldn't be a fourth-time divorcee. There was no way he was letting this one go. No way in hell.
House could feel it the next morning; what could only be the feeling of absolutely everyone in the vicinity staring at him in total shock as he practically strutted, whistling, into work, nodding a good morning to Cuddy, who stopped halfway through a sentence to watch him, wide-eyed, as he made his way to the lift. He was in a good mood, a very good mood, and although Wilson had spent a fair amount of time complaining that he wasn't going to be able to walk straight all day, it had done nothing to dampen his ardor. Not when his morning had been this fantastic; waking up to feel Wilson actually there, beside him, instead of hearing him in the bathroom with his hairdryer or those damn toenail clippers. Being able to just lay there and watch him for a while, since he didn't dare do so when Wilson was awake. That wouldn't do anything for the image he worked so hard to maintain.
And of course, when Wilson had finally stirred, the fun had really started. House had woken him with a kiss, and he would forever savor the image of Wilson smiling in comfortable surprise. That and the one of him caught up in the throes of his orgasm, his usually immaculate hair ruffled, forehead damp with the slightest hint of perspiration, eyes closed but mouth slightly open as he made that gorgeous little whimpering sound; gasped in shock and pleasure as House managed to surprise him; moaned softly. House loved it when he did that; loved to hear his name spilling from between those perfect pink lips; his first name, so rarely used by anyone but those closest to him…
But the lift was hardly the ideal place to experience the physical reaction that these images generally inspired. Trying his best to dispel them from his mind and store his energy for later, House ensured that his swagger remained intact as he made his way down the corridor and into his office, where his three not-so-wise monkeys awaited his instruction. Which meant that they had a patient… which meant that his extra clinic hours were no more.
Could the day possibly get any better?
"Right. We have a patient. Symptoms?" he asked brightly, taking his place in front of the whiteboard, marker in hand as he looked expectantly at his staff. They all exchanged a look, evidently unnerved by his mood, and House struggled to keep a straight face as Chase gave Cameron the sweetest little astonished look. It was so much fun to torture them, confuse them. Even when their jobs didn't hang in the balance. Cameron's voice broke into his thoughts, however, before he could think of a witty innuendo he could use in order to confuse them further.
"Didn't you even read the file?"
Stupid question. Why would he do that when he had an incredibly attractive oncologist ready and waiting in his bed, nothing on but the ring he'd given him… No, Foreman was looking at him oddly; obviously his dreaming had become a little too obvious. The conversation, he had to focus on that. What had Cameron said, again? Oh yeah, stupid question.
"That's what I pay you to do. Go." he leaned over his board, pen in hand, preparing to write, ignoring Cameron rolling her eyes. Yeah, you know you want a piece of this…
"Elevated white count, respiratory distress, fever-"
And she stopped. House frowned; surely that couldn't be it. Infection would explain all of those… Wait, she'd just paused. For a reason House welcomed immediately; Wilson had walked through the door, cheerful as ever- although House notice that his happiness wasn't quite as aggravating as usual this morning- and with something held behind his back.
"Ah! Doctor House will be joining us this morning, I'm afraid." House took the opportunity to make a double-edged comment; not only did it make a reference to an intimate conversation he'd had with Wilson, making the other man smile sweetly, it confused the hell out of his team. He'd managed to attend to both of his main purposes in life with a single sentence; how good was that?
Wilson paused for a moment, obviously aiming for dramatic effect, before producing a Tupperware container of pancakes and a bottle of sauce. House was impressed; not only had Wilson agreed to be late for work, he'd made himself even later than was absolutely necessary by stopping off at a 7-11 on the way. Still, House had his priorities; there were things to be attended to before he indulged in frivolities.
"Ooh!" he took the opportunity to express his enthusiasm vocally before sinking into a seat at the table, handing the marker to Foreman before accepting his present. Wilson handed him a fork, and House smiled appreciatively before proceeding to tuck in. It was only after a few moments, though, that he realised just how oddly the others, excluding Wilson, were looking at him.
"What?" he asked them, as though his behaviour was perfectly normal, and they were the ones acting weird. Ah, this confusing people thing was fun, "These things are better than sex."
He had meant it as a compliment, but a glance at Wilson told him the other man wasn't going to take it that way, even though he knew perfectly well that it was just a figure of speech. The idea of Wilson withholding sex was laughable; the younger man was even hornier than House was, but for the three or so days he usually managed to hold out, things got a little tense, not least because House was far too stubborn to give in under any circumstances and ended up distancing himself from the other man just so he wouldn't be tempted to give in first. They both had different situations that tortured them; House hated to be around Wilson without being able to touch him, while Wilson couldn't stand being away from him, so when they found themselves together, he was often the one that had to give in. Still, changing his comment wouldn't be too difficult.
"With girls, anyway." he added, noticing Wilson smile slightly as he did so, although he arched an eyebrow at the slightly inappropriate addition. Chase and Cameron exchanged a predictably unnerved look, but Foreman simply rolled his eyes. House was slightly disappointed, but it didn't last long since he went back to ignoring his team anyway while he ate. Wilson sat beside him, and he couldn't resist offering him a forkful, hiding a fond smile as the other man moved to catch a falling drop of syrup with his tongue before eating the proffered food, following House's lead in ignoring the others, before apparently realizing how they were looking at him.
"What?" he asked, doing his best to look innocent. Thankfully he didn't have to keep it up for long; House interrupted, evidently still somewhat mindful of his patient.
"Well, go on! Run some tests, find out what he's got!"
Foreman got up first, leaving the room with barely a glance at House and Wilson; evidently he was learning that the reaction House hated most was to be ignored when he was trying to get attention. After a moment, Chase followed him, giving them something of a strange look as he did so. House looked at Cameron expectantly, nodding in the direction of the door as she failed to get up. Reluctantly, she left as well, although she cast a couple of doubtful looks over her shoulder.
House snorted in amusement; they were so easily confused. That was a good thing, though; he didn't know how he'd manage to uphold his image if word got out that him and Wilson had been dating for almost a year and he'd not only been the one to initiate it, he'd also made a ridiculously romantic gesture for their anniversary. If that wasn't embarrassing, House didn't know what was.
For a moment, the two men just sat in silence, House eating while Wilson watched him fondly, enjoying the novelty of him actually seeming happy. As House went to finish his final bite, though, the fork partway to his mouth, he made the mistake of glancing at Wilson, who pouted, eyeing his food. Rolling his eyes, House went to offer it to him, the sweet smile he received almost making him feel a little guilty as, at the last minute, he stole it back and popped it in his mouth. He didn't even have time to chew, though, before Wilson had moved, leaning forward to claim his mouth, tongue invading in a much more dominant way than House was used to. Slightly stunned, House let his guard down, allowing Wilson to retrieve that last mouthful of pancake. He smiled as he chewed, House still staring at him in disbelief, before swallowing with deliberation.
"That's disgusting." House had to comment.
"I've swallowed worse." Wilson punctuated his comment with a meaningful glance at House's crotch, resisting the urge to get a real kiss in favor of creating a dramatic effect as he left the room.
For a moment, House stared after him, finally realizing the full extent of his corruption.
"I've created a monster…"
Wilson flipped through the file in front of him, giving the figures and charts a last look-over, idly chewing on the end of his pen as he did so. It took him a moment to realize that Cuddy was looking at him a little oddly, but he didn't quite realize why until she spoke.
"You chew your pen?" she asked, and Wilson, as surprised as she was to notice what she was doing, pulled the offending instrument from his mouth and stared at it. What the hell was he doing? Chewing his pen was not only unhygienic, it was incredibly unprofessional! But he hadn't even noticed he was doing it, so it must have become a habit at some point… House was seriously getting to him. Turning him into a… turning him into him. At the beginning of their relationship Wilson had been stupid enough to hope that maybe he'd have a positive influence on the other man, and to be honest he still kind of hoped it even after all these years despite a currently complete lack of progress. But it seemed that House was actually affecting him, and negatively. Wilson had been late; he hadn't had time to blow-dry his hair yet he'd stopped off at the store to get syrup, something that was definitely not a necessity.
Frowning slightly, Wilson wiped his pen on his trousers, trying to return his attention to the conversation.
"Anyway, she's fine. As fine as she's ever gonna be, anyway. You can release her, no trouble," he smiled, glancing up at Cuddy for a moment before returning his gaze to the file, having to actively resist the urge to chew his pen again. Yick.
Cuddy nodded, the file being set aside for storing, but from the way she failed to stand up, Wilson knew that the conversation was far from over.
"Are you doing anything tonight, or do you have," she cast a meaningful glance at the ring Wilson was wearing, rather obviously, on his left ring finger, "a prior engagement?"
Wilson frowned again, understandably a little confused by her question, but as he followed her gaze he couldn't help but smile, remembering the previous night and how House had acted just for him.
Cuddy had seen that smile, or one that resembled it, many times, though, in the years she had known James Wilson, and warning bells immediately rang in her head. He was in love, again, getting married, again, most likely going to end up getting divorced, again. It seemed pessimistic, but time had shown just how realistic that view was. People were beginning to place bets on just how many marriages he could take before either killing himself or joining a monastery. Cuddy had been tempted to bet that one more divorce would push him over the edge, since each one made him worse and his so-called best friend was hardly sympathetic, but she hadn't. It wouldn't have been appropriate… and she hadn't visited the ATM that day. Still, professional pride hadn't stopped Cameron from betting 20 on the monastery, Foreman putting 30 on the suicide and Chase from adding the newest outcome to the pool; 50 on Wilson giving up on the pursuit of the female form and turning to men. Although, if Chase's appearance was anything to go by, he was the expert in that area. Cuddy had seen him looking a little strangely at House on the odd occasion.
Still, this smile seemed a little different. She couldn't quite put her finger on it, but something about Wilson was different. And he hadn't mentioned any new women lately… although now that she thought about it, he hadn't been furthering his efforts to work his way through the entire female segment of the hospital personnel. There was usually something of a pause when he picked up a new fiancée.
"A fourth wife?" she arched an eyebrow, prompting a reply since none was forthcoming, her expression critical although her eyes revealed something akin to pity. Wilson was the last person who deserved to go through the trauma of divorce that many times.
"Not exactly," Wilson replied coyly, still with that smile on his face, and Cuddy resisted the urge to roll her eyes at the cryptic response.
"Fifth? You took another one while I was on vacation?"
She was joking, sort of, but the look Wilson gave her told her that it thankfully wasn't true. That would really have upset the pool. And of course been deeply concerning. Still, Wilson still wasn't giving away any more than necessary, and she tried not to push it. She did, however, ask another question, one that honestly concerned her, since she knew that a negative answer could cause some serious conflicts between her employees and, well, friends.
"What does House think?"
Wilson tried not to laugh, and he hesitated for a moment before speaking, not entirely sure that telling Cuddy without asking House was the best idea but figuring that it would be better for her to hear it from him than some strange rumor from Dr Grace in gynecology or something. She'd find out eventually anyway…
"Well, I should hope he approves. He's… the one that asked, after all."
"He…" Cuddy repeated what Wilson had said, unable to process it for a moment before the realization hit her, "What! How long?"
"Almost a year."
Cuddy was rarely speechless, but this was something of a revelation, she needed a moment to think. To try and figure out what the hell was going on. Wilson… and House. They'd always had a slightly strange relationship, but this really took the cake. They were getting married, and-
Shit. Chase had been right. Wilson was gay, turning to men. Well, realistically he was probably bisexual, since he clearly had no objection to femininity. But that wasn't the point! Marrying a man was okay, that she could kind of handle after being given a while to adjust, but House! And by the sound of things he'd been the one that had initiated it. The idea of House being romantic was enough to make Cuddy feel ill, but… it kind of made sense, in a way.
She struggled to speak, and Wilson smiled despite the fact that House was going to be a little upset that he hadn't seen the absolutely priceless assortment of looks that had crossed Cuddy's face as she processed his comment. He hadn't told her outright, and the confused look, followed by the realization, followed by the actual realization of the situation had made him wish he had a camera.
"I don't believe it," Cuddy managed to say eventually, "You and House… I mean, you always were the only one who could get through to him…"
At that, Wilson gave a scornful snort, "Yeah, right."
Cuddy smiled, though, as she realized that he hadn't completely lost his mind. He wasn't convinced he could change House; something he would simply never be able to do, but he knew him, knew more about him than anyone, and loved him all the same. House needed someone like that; not someone who would try to get him to change, but someone who could, someone who would convince him without even really doing anything. And Wilson would be perfect for that.
"I'm happy. For both of you," she said, and meant it.
"Thanks," Wilson nodded, unable to keep the smile from his face despite disagreeing with the request he knew House would want him to make, "Listen, could you kind of keep this on the down-low? I don't mind, but… House doesn't want anyone to find out."
"Of course," Cuddy smiled understandingly, aware of the circumstances Wilson found himself in and wanting nothing less than to do anything against his will. She didn't mind hurting House; he thrived in painful situations, but Wilson… she liked him. He was compassionate without being pretentious about it, and he had plenty of opportunities to be.
Which was why, as Wilson left the room, she reached for the microphone that connected to the intercom, which could, rather usefully, be heard throughout the hospital and part of the surrounding grounds.
"Attention all personnel and patients. It has come to my attention that two of our doctors are getting married. To each other, no less. I'd like to extend my congratulations to them, and I hope you will too. May they be very happy together. Well done, Doctors House and Wilson."
Barely out of Cuddy's office, Wilson had paused as the announcement had begun and, as it progressed, flushed a rather deep shade of red as he realized exactly what it was she was doing. As it finished, and every single member of staff in the vicinity stopped whatever they were doing to look at him in unison, he looked at the floor, his hand like a visor over his forehead as it shielded him at least slightly from their gaze, or at least prevented him from seeing their reactions. The hushed conversations that followed, though, were rather difficult to ignore; everyone was aware of his approach to marriage and his relationship with House, and the situation made for some rather interesting gossip.
"You do realize that I'm going to have to hurt you."
Somehow managing to be silent despite his cane, House had come up behind him, apparently immune to their rather large audience. Still, he had people talking about him most of the time, and it wasn't usually particularly good, so he'd probably built up something of a resistance to it, Wilson mused.
"Promise?" he asked, smiling over his shoulder at the other man, just catching a glimpse of a certain three little ducklings emerging from the lift as House pulled him into a kiss. Right in the middle of the hospital waiting room, in front of so many of his colleagues and a fair few patients. It would have been much more embarrassing if the attention had been solely directed at them; after a moment, Chase's incredibly tactful comment, "I told you so," caused a number of people to groan and reach for their wallets. And, after another moment, Wilson broke the embrace; although House wasn't pushing it physically speaking –he hadn't yet tried to work a hand inside Wilson's pants, at least- it was becoming increasingly difficult not to curl up on the floor and die of embarrassment. Together, the two men made their escape; the lift providing a short but welcome relief from the eyes of every single other person in the hospital and allowing Wilson's face to return to a color less reminiscent of an overripe tomato before they locked themselves in Wilson's office for the rest of the day.
Back in the waiting room. Cameron continued to stare, open-mouthed in shock, at the spot House and Wilson had chosen for their little display. Chase collected money from around two thirds of the hospital staff, and Cuddy sat in her office, smiling happily to herself in the knowledge that she had done something good. Foreman returned to the diagnostics office to read his newest medical journal before certain noises from the office next door made it rather difficult to concentrate. In the neurology lounge, he turned his iPod up to full volume in order to block out the sound of the creation a new pool: how long the relationship would last and how many of House's clinic hours would be covered by Wilson.
Sometimes he could have sworn that the hospital he worked in should have been a mental asylum.
Whoa. That's damn long, folks. And the story goes on for a while as well. Oh, I crack myself up. So c'mon, whaddya think? It's horrifyingly romantic, but I think House is quite in character… sort of.