Summary: Chase, in love with House, asks Wilson for some advice. Wilson's insecurity kicks in and, for a change, House manages to comfort him. HW slash.
Warning: If you slip at work and try to grab something to steady yourself, don't make it the fucking griddle. I'll be taking a couple of days out from writing to give my hand a while to recover, so expect a short wait for other updates.
Wilson glances up from his paperwork, wondering vaguely if that's the image House's ducklings have of him. If he's seen as just the oncologist next door, always sitting in his office, working late over some file or other. Because they seem to encounter him like that pretty often. On this particular occasion, however, he's surprised to find Dr Chase in his doorway. Strangely, not because it's 7 o'clock in the evening on a Friday, but because Chase looks worried, keeps glancing up and down the corridor as though he's scared to be caught. To be fair, House is working late too and if he walks in on what could become an embarrassing conversation, he won't let it go easily, but Chase has to be used to the verbal abuse by now; he gets it almost daily. What more could House put him through?
Wilson's greeting is formal; he doesn't know Chase all that well even though he's worked alongside him for a while now. The Australian doctor's asked him for a couple of consults and they've made small talk at a couple of conventions when they ran into each other; at one of them they'd used the same janitor's closet for some… physical examinations and Chase had nearly wet himself when Wilson mentioned it later on that evening. Wilson has to struggle not to laugh as memories of his expression come to mind. He keeps his cool, composed, mildly concerned expression intact, however, and waits for Chase to continue.
"I… wondered if I could ask your advice."
So nervous. How can Wilson say no to that wounded puppy expression?
"Alright…" he nods, puts his pen down, trying to show that he's paying attention, and watches, analysing as Chase closes the door behind him after a final glance down the corridor
"I… you promise you won't tell House?"
Wilson snorts in amusement, unable to resist despite how tactless it is. Chase should know he can't promise that; House is convincing enough generally, and although Wilson is more resistant than most, House has some special persuasive methods just for him that Chase really doesn't need to know about. Still, he takes pity on him, since he obviously needs somebody to talk to and Wilson supposes he should be flattered he was chosen over the infinite concern that Cameron exudes. Oh, God. He's not going to get a truckload of angst about the whole Cameron thing, is he?
"I can only promise to do my best. Now c'mon, what is it? Everything okay?"
He's honest, but concerned; Chase is usually so resilient.
"Yeah, I just… I… God, I don't know how to…"
Chase is struggling, and Wilson stands up, crosses the room to place a hand on his shoulder, slightly relieved that Chase isn't quite unstable enough to want a hug because he knows House would rip the shit out of them if he saw. Chase sighs and, forgetting every warning he's ever been given, makes his confession.
"I'm in love with Doctor House."
Wilson thinks, well, it sure sucks to be you. Also, two down, only Foreman to go. Now that could be an interesting conversation. Says simply,
He gives nothing away, keeps his voice steady and expression understanding. Chase looks at him helplessly, lost and alone and Wilson doesn't want to admit just how much he can relate because then he'll have to explain and somehow he doesn't think that'll help.
"I just… wanted to know what you thought I should do."
"You wanna know what I think?" Wilson raises both eyebrows, having expected to just be listening to Chase describe just how hopeless it all was, rather than actually having to offer advice about taking on a challenge bigger than fucking Everest. Chase has to know he can't be objective in this one.
"Yeah… how should I tell him?" Chase fidgets, plays with the cuff of his shirt and Wilson's struck by how young he seems. He ponders vaguely how much of this love is likely to be a father complex, and suddenly wants to hug Chase, because he's already suffered more than he should, without this adding to it.
"My advice would be not to," he says softly, and as blue eyes meet his he sees rebellion in them.
"What's he gonna do, make offensive comments every five minutes for the rest of my life? Oh wait…"
Okay, apparently Chase wasn't used to the verbal abuse. He's bitter and angry and Wilson knows that anything he says is only going to make him worse. Still, though, he makes an effort; he can't do anything else.
"House is very, very difficult to deal with," Wilson tries his best not to sound patronising, but apparently it comes across like that anyway, as Chase glares at him, clearly believing he already knew that, although he's blissfully unaware of the real extent of those difficulties, "And his emotions are something he doesn't like to talk about."
"But… that means that there are some emotions there…" Chase is grasping at straws and there's a question in his voice that begs Wilson to agree with him, to give him some hope, but Wilson knows that letting him down is going to be difficult anyway, and doesn't want to make it any worse. Removing his hand from Chase's shoulder, he runs a hand through his hair and sighs. He's going to have to say something.
"I… don't know," he admits, and it's true because, really, he's unaware of just how House feels for Chase, and if he's honest he's had doubts too, "But what I do know is that… he already has someone."
"He can't pine over Stacey for the rest of his life."
Chase's eyes narrow, and the bitterness is there again. Honestly, Wilson's slightly scared by the sudden change in his character. He had no idea he could be so… intense. There are suppressed emotions bubbling underneath the surface of the man before him, and Wilson knows that he has to proceed gently or risk doing some real damage to Chase's already fairly battered self-esteem.
"I'm… not talking about Stacey," he doesn't know why, but he's speaking quietly, as though it will soften the blow slightly. Years of experience have told him it's not true; the news is the same and cancer patients are just as likely to hit him, no matter which volume he's speaking in. Still, though, the habit sticks.
"You mean there's actually someone else who can put up with him."
Wilson smiles slightly, suppressing another snort of amusement because Chase's tone borders on dangerous, and gives the younger doctor a meaningful look. After a moment, Chase stops looking at him and simply stares in disbelief.
"You're not… You and House aren't… how long?"
Wilson has an urge to say 'about ten inches' but stops himself and answers truthfully, "About 3 months. And… I'm afraid I have to tell you that if you try to take him away from me, I will tear you into tiny pieces with my bare hands and sell you as pet food."
Possibly a little too truthfully, he thinks as Chase looks more than a little unnerved by the sudden change in Wilson's tone. Although he had endeavoured to keep his expression pleasant, it had been a serious warning.
"I… I had no idea, I… he really swings that way?"
Chase is struggling with different emotions this time; confusion as he takes in new information, the loss of the fantasy he now knows can't happen combined with the fact that there's a slightly greater chance that it could. Wilson wants to comfort him, but there is a chance that Chase will direct frustration at him, and he doesn't really want to get too close. He answers, still trying his best to be gentle even though he knows the information is anything but.
"God, I even stood a chance… this is fucked."
Wilson has never heard Chase swear before, and watches sympathetically as the other man wilts visibly, anger gone as it is replaced by dejection. Rolling his eyes and cursing his inability to stop himself from caring, Wilson pulls him into a loose hug. Nothing too emotional, because he knows it's still really his fault Chase is this upset, but enough to let him know he's there. Chase resists initially but soon gives in, desperate for the comfort he knows he won't find anywhere else, and hugs back. He can't feel angry; this is Wilson, for God's sake, he hasn't done anything except care more than Chase ever fucking did. It's only fair that he should lose out to someone who'd been there, through everything, for years.
Oh, and Wilson was apologising to him. As though it was his fault!
"I really love him," Chase confesses, needing to say something even though he knows he's lost.
"Whereas I'm only with him for my own selfish reasons," Wilson's tone is sarcastic but slightly amused, and Chase pulls out of his arms to look him in the eye, needing to correct what his words could have implied.
"I didn't mean…"
"I know," Wilson understands. Of course he understands, he always does, it's just one of the reasons why he's so much better than Chase, "I just… I can't lose him. He's everything to me."
Chase nods, sadly, resignedly, "And you to him?"
Wilson smiles, "Like I said, he doesn't like to talk. But I like to believe it."
"You're perfect for each other."
Wilson resists the urge to make a similar comment about Chase and Cameron, "I know."
Chase sighs, suddenly frustrated with himself for showing such weakness as he pulls out of Wilson's arms with more difficulty than he would have liked. Still, if nothing else, he can accept defeat gracefully. He won't begrudge Wilson; he's just too fucking nice. There's just one more thing he has to ask…
"What's he like? In bed, I mean."
"Go home, Chase."
As usual, Wilson's tone holds a hint of amusement as he responds to a comment that most people would have minded a lot more. Managing a soft smile in reply, letting him know he was at least partially joking, Chase does as he is bid, turning as he is on his way out the door to nod a silent thanks that's welcomed with a smile Chase can honestly understand House falling in love with.
As the door closes, Wilson's smile fades, slowly. That had certainly been unexpected. And slightly disconcerting, if he was honest. He had never been entirely sure just how much House really cared about him, and had never wanted to risk starting such a conversation just in case he really was disappointed. The idea of somebody else- other than Cameron, of course, who was frankly no competition with her incessant caring and her ethics and her fucking stupid fringe- being in love with House, was terrifying. He took some, sad refuge in the knowledge that he had very little competition for the man he loved, and since Wilson didn't believe particularly strongly in his own worth, it wasn't a particularly pleasant to find out that Chase; young, intelligent if a little inexperienced, pretty blond-haired Chase was also in the running.
Wilson jumps as his door opens again, knowing immediately from the lack of knocking that it's House, back from running some tests or whatever it was he'd been doing. Honestly, Wilson hadn't really been listening as he silently, personally grieved the loss of a patient that was 3 fucking years old. House closes the door behind him, blissfully unaware of Wilson's conflict and insecurity until Wilson, unable to help himself in his fear of losing the one person he loves most in the world, wraps gentle but strong arms around his neck and kisses him, desperately seeking reassurance; some sign that House truly loves him, wouldn't leave him for somebody else, somebody better.
"Hey, I thought you were all for being subtle at work," House doesn't object, can't when it's been hours since he's last been able to act as anything more than a friend a man he can barely keep his hands off. He has to question it, though, because Wilson had been incredibly intent on keeping up appearances, and this was definitely not in keeping with that, even if everybody except for the night staff- who wouldn't dare to come in without knocking- had already gone home.
"I don't care. I love you."
Wilson's eyes are imploring, desperate, but House can't quite bring himself to do anything but tighten the hold his arms have around Wilson's waist, watching him curiously, trying to figure this out, even if those eyes make him want to melt.
"I love you." Wilson repeats, pleading for House to say it back but getting no reply other than a slight narrowing of searching eyes.
"What's wrong?" House has to know. He needs to have that knowledge because he has no idea what he's letting himself in for if he says those words without knowing why. Is he dying? Is Wilson dying? Or cheating on him? No, he wouldn't. This isn't guilt…
"Nothing, I just…. Please, Greg." Wilson can't keep his emotions from his voice, although he's glad he's not quite tired enough to let tears start. Why won't House understand? Understand that he needs this and doesn't want to tell him why because it's so fucking stupid and what if House is only with him out of pity?
Actually, that wasn't likely. He needed an emotion House was actually capable of feeling…
"Out with it." House persists, even making the effort to suppress the arousal that courses through him as he pins Wilson against his desk. Now there's an idea to save for later…
"I just…" Wilson begins, looking anywhere but at House because he knows he can't resist him at the best of times. A single glance is enough, though, and he despairs as he recalls the promise he made to Chase and his pathetic attempt to protect him, "Chase… he loves you."
"So do you."
As though it were really that simple.
"He's younger, fitter. More attractive than I am." Wilson was sure that, with time, he could have come up with a much longer list, but this would have to do for the time being.
"Younger, certainly. Fitter, most probably. But he's far too pretty to be the man I need," House kisses Wilson, reassuring slightly in that he had been the one to initiate it, "I'm not going to leave you."
"I'm scared…" Wilson feels pathetic for admitting it, and for the way he clings like a fucking child while House just holds him, cool and collected as ever. But he has to make him understand; has to make House accept that what he does- or doesn't do- terrifies him because, for once, he just needs to know that this isn't just another one of his marriages; superficial and agonisingly short-term.
"Wilson. James. Look at me," House urges, as Wilson is aggravatingly evasive and he realises just how bothered he really is by all of this. Unable to stop himself from rolling his eyes, though, he grips Wilson's chin, forcing him to do as he's told because he knows that if he leaves any doubt, any at all, he's going to have to do it again and the snowball will have picked up momentum, "I need you. I love you. I'm never gonna let you go, especially not for some pretty boy Brit."
"Australian," another reflex Wilson can't suppress, even as he examines House for any sign of anything but sincerity.
"Whatever. The point is," House pauses to give Wilson another, soft kiss that only remains that way through the force of every ounce of willpower he possesses, "I'm not interested in Chase, in the slightest. You're the one I love."
He can't even bring himself to feel uncomfortable with his confession as he sees the open relief on Wilson's face, feels the way the younger man pulls him closer, up against him and they kiss again, slowly and as House feels Wilson's tongue lapping softly against his bottom lip, a wordless apology and thanks he doesn't need to hear, it's all he can do not to just take him right there. The night staff aren't quite as bold as the daily nurses, but they're still likely to investigate if they hear noises like the ones Wilson's prone to making. It's definitely time to go home, but as House reluctantly breaks the kiss to suggest it, he can't help but add something that, even if it makes him sound like a complete sap, is worth it to see Wilson smile.
"You always will be."
In the mood for a little oneshot to break up the drama of Real Good Time, and this has been in the planning stages for far too long, festering in my House folder. Festering, I say.
Somehow I managed to make myself feel sorry for Chase, even if I have turned him into a bit of a slut. Sequel where he talks to House about being in love with Wilson, anyone?
I think I'm losing my mind.
Also, House is showing emotions. It disturbs me, but not as much as it turns me on.
Note: Oh my God. After two edits, there are still far too many semicolons. If anybody notices an example and can think of a good way to change it, I'm listening.