A/N: What I'm doing now is I'm glomping chapters together. When I get time, I'm going to supply more material for chapters one and two, then make them their own selves again :)
"House, this is dangerous," Cuddy said, eyes flashing.
"But Mommy, I want to play with the chainsaw," House whined ironically. Cuddy stared at him.
"You're totally unbelievable!" she exclaimed finally. "You can't just fire everyone!"
"But Mommy," House continued. "They're annoying. All of them."
"Well, it's your fault. You started the elimination system," Cuddy fired back.
"Well, they all sucked."
Cuddy drew in a deep breath, then let it out. "House," she said very carefully. "If you fire everyone, I will personally hire your next team. And I don't care if you like them or not."
"As long as it doesn't include Foreman I'm happy," House replied darkly, and limped off. Cuddy gaped after him. Had he just agreed to one of her proposals?
"You're all fired," she heard him yell from the lecture hall. She took another deep breath and reminded herself yet again that House was incorrigible. The lecture hall door banged open again and House limped back out, raising an eyebrow at her.
"Where's my new team?" he asked smugly.
Cuddy looked into those blue eyes. They were hard, calculating, a little mischievous. "You'll have a new team within the next week or so," she relented, and stalked off. She could feel House's eyes following her down the hall. The Fellows walked past them, shooting evil looks in House's directions. He smiled and waved, mocking their inferiority to the end. Cutthroat Bitch looked particularly murderous; Thirteen looked bemused, Taub looked heartbroken and Kutner looked as though he might cry.
"What did I ever do wrong?" Cutthroat demanded, swerving to face House.
"Your skirts," House replied blithely. "Were never short enough."
She gawped at him for a moment, then regained her composure and resumed storming down the hallway.
Wilson sidled up beside House. "Smooth move," he commented.
House looked at him cryptically. "I'm known for it," he quipped, a smirk tugging at his mouth.
"Listen, House, do you mind if I – "
"Crash with me a few nights?" House completed the by-now familiar phrase. "No." He leaned forward conspiratorially. "But you have to cook."
"Of course, House." Wilson couldn't help a smile. "It's a given." House nodded at him once, a slight smile on his face.
"I'll see you in about an hour, then?" Wilson asked, following House to his office.
"Make it two," House replied. "I don't have a team."
"House, it's classic Wilson's," Wilson said, taking a moment to think about the weirdness of him suggesting Wilson's. Wilson suggesting Wilson's. He stared at his reflection on House's glass wall. He was fully ready to go, still wearing his jacket and carrying his briefcase, but of course, House, still in merely a t-shirt and his backpack half-packed on the floor, was not ready to go home. He didn't appear to even have the mild want to start getting ready to leave.
"Why didn't it rear its ugly head earlier? And it doesn't explain the rashes." House dismissed Wilson's theory easily. "It's heavy metals, radiation or just an allergy…"
Wilson yawned. "House, can you do the blood cultures tomorrow? Or, rather, later today?" he added acridly. "It's two in the morning."
House glanced at him, measuring, calculating as always. "Is poor little Wilson tired?" he challenged.
"Yes," he nearly yelled. "I just said, it's two in the morning, most normal people are sleeping!"
"Ah," contradicted House. "But that's not what you said. You said it was two in the morning, you didn't say anything about norma - "
"It was implied," Wilson said loudly.
"Because I'm normal," House said sarcastically. "I'm so normal it's unbelievable. I even have a cell phone."
"Shut up, House. Can we go now?"
House shot him another wordless glance, analyzing. He rolled his eyes, and limped toward the door with surprising speed. "You coming or not?" he asked irritably. Wilson pressed his lips together and got up. "I'm sorry," House said as they walked down the hallway. Wilson looked up at him, extremely surprised. House, apologizing? Somehow the only symbol that came to mind between the two words was 'does not equal'…
"I forgot, you need your beauty sleep," House continued bitingly. "It's important to look as pretty as possible while telling people they're going to be dead in six months."
"Shut up, House," Wilson repeated.
House, being House, didn't shut up. "And of course, you have to do your little beauty regime at seven-thirty in the morning, while other normal people are trying to get some sleep – "
"House, unlike you, I go to sleep before two, usually. I sleep the same hours you do, only more sensibly. And, unlike you, I actually look in the mirror before I leave the house," Wilson retorted. It was a stale, overworked argument, but Wilson clung to it because it was what he knew. He added another old argument in, just to round it off. "And I'm not constantly hyped up on Vicodin."
House grunted noncommittally. "Are you going to add anything about morphine shots? Because I think that's item number four on the list."
Wilson sighed. "House, I'm sorry. It's just…oh, you know, already. Don't you?"
House hmmphed. "If I didn't know, I would've asked you. But I haven't asked you. Which must mean?" Wilson searched his coat pockets whilst attempting to follow House's logic.
"I forgot my car keys," he said aloud.
House turned on him. "Wrong! It means I do know. Surprise!" He put on his mock-shock face.
Wilson sighed. "I guess I'll have to go back and get them."
"Or," House said with an evil glint in his eye. "You could ride the bike."
Wilson stared at him. "With you?"
"Don't worry, the helmet makes a great disguise," House assured him, wide-eyed. "No one will see you with the devil incarnate."
"Not the point," Wilson replied, rubbing his forehead tiredly. "Are you sure? You're tired, and it could be very dangerous."
"I'm always dangerous, Jimmy," House leered. "Besides, the worst that could happen is that you'd actually become a saint."
"Okay," Wilson said, not believing that he was agreeing. House glanced at him, face unreadable. "Okay. I'll ride your bike."
House grinned in his slightly maniacal manner. "Okay. You can ride my bike," he drawled, dragging out every insinuation that statement could ever possess. "But don't start anything you can't finish."
Wilson rolled his eyes and blushed, looking at House as though to say, 'You really are fifteen, you know that?'
House sat on the bike, stowed his cane, gunned the engine. He paused before putting on his helmet. "You know, it helps when you actually sit on the bike." Suddenly feeling a little timid, Wilson sat tentatively behind House. He put the briefcase on his lap awkwardly. He didn't quite want to sit too close to House, because he actually respected people's personal space. On the other hand, he didn't exactly want to fly off the bike as soon as it -
Totally unexpectedly, the bike shot forward, and Wilson felt himself nearly die as the parking lot rushed by him in a blur of fluorescent light. Just as abruptly, the bike jerked to a stop. House turned to him with an exasperated look on his face. "Sorry, I forgot to disseminate the dangers of riding the bike," he snarked. Wilson, head still spinning, didn't respond. "Hold on." Wilson nodded dumbly, and clasped his arms loosely around House's waist. House looked back at him again, fixing him with a bright blue eye. "Although tiredness does sometimes interrupt with basic cognitive functions, usually people can usually still understand what I perceive to be coherent English," he snapped. "Hold." Wilson tightened his grip around House's waist. "Almost. And, here. You wear the helmet."
House wasn't watching Wilson. At least, he wasn't intending to watch Wilson. But the ease with which he moved around the kitchen, his efficiency, the way he knew where everything was…it was strangely attractive. Comforting. It said enough about how messed up he was that Comforting automatically equated Attractive. "Wilson, I'm divorcing you," House called from the couch.
"And why is that?" Wilson asked, not missing a beat.
"It's taking you over half an hour to make breakfast." Wilson frowned.
"Just commenting," he said lightly, turning back to the stove, "It would go a lot faster if you helped me."
"But that would involve me getting up from the couch," House whinged. "And you know…"
Neither mentioned how they had been woken up at three in the morning: House with a searing pain in his leg, and Wilson by House getting up because of his leg. "Done!" Wilson exclaimed triumphantly, breaking the silence.
"Finally," House muttered, picking up National Geographic from the coffee table. "What is it?"
"Brunch," Wilson said, carefully carrying a plate of something steaming hot that smelled delicious.
Of course, House wasn't going to say so. "Stewed vomit?" he inquired helpfully.
"Omelet," Wilson corrected, a muscle in his jaw tightening. He really should get used to House's jibes about his cooking.
"Same thing." House took a bite, regardless. He closed his eyes, let the bell peppers crunch against his teeth as the cheese melted on his tongue and the mushrooms added their extra little kick and the egg went along with every little burst of flavor. "This is why I keep you. Pepper?" House wiped his mouth. Wilson rolled his eyes, but got up anyway.
"Here you go, master," Wilson passed him the peppershaker, sighed and flopped onto the couch with his own plate of omelet. "Mm. It is good." And he proceeded to make little contented noises that for some reason made House want to lean over and –
"What time is it?" he asked, unnecessarily loudly.
"Eleven," Wilson answered brightly, and kept eating. House watched as he attempted to retrieve a square of bell pepper that was stuck on his lip, then looked at his own plate. This was strange. This was very strange.
"I'm going for a walk," House announced. "And you're…not coming!" Making a face, he stood up, and immediately regretted it. That burning pain shot up his thigh again, and he wavered, almost collapsing back on the couch.
"A walk?" Wilson repeated blankly.
"Sorry, I mean, I'm going for a limp," House yelled over his shoulder as he started toward his bedroom to change clothes.
"I think it's better you stay home," Wilson said, catching up to his irregular gait easily.
"Really? How sweet of you to offer your opinion. Now watch as I totally disregard it." House tried to push by him, to get into the room, where he could collapse onto the bed and scream into his pillow. Or something to that effect.
"House. You can barely walk."
"Wilson, you're gay."
"Exactly. Why are we discussing the obvious, again?" House snapped. "Now why don't you be a good little boy and move."
"It's not obvious that I'm gay," Wilson protested weakly, but let him through.
House fixed him with a stare. "It's not obvious. In fact, it's so imperceptible, you haven't even realized. Don't worry, the door's locked from the inside." Should he wear the red shirt or the white one?
"Inside the what?" Wilson asked perplexedly.
"The closet." The 'duh!' was almost audible.
"House, I'm not in the closet," Wilson objected.
"Ha." Or maybe the green one was better.
Wilson put his hands on his hips. "I'm not gay."
"It's still locked, Jimmy."
"I'm as gay as you are!" Wilson nearly yelled, sure that House would then affirm his own Straightness, thus making Wilson, by a twist of logic, also Straight.
"Because I've been married three times," House shot back, deciding on the light blue shirt. Pulling off his plain white one, he debated which pants would look best with the shirt. Maybe he didn't want to change pants; the leg hurt terribly even without him jostling it.
"All because I've been married and divorced three times doesn't mean I'm gay," Wilson retorted.
"You're right." House contemplated the jeans on the far left. "It doesn't make you gay." Wilson peered at him, sure there was more. He was right. "It makes you closeted."
Wilson groaned. "No, it doesn't. It just means that I'm not compatible with marriage! It just doesn't work with me, I guess."
"Well, then, you're lucky you're gay. Unless you move to Canada." Another painful twinge made House decide to not change his pants.
"Why am I discussing my sexuality with you, anyway?"
House shrugged. "You brought it up."
"Did I?" Wilson squinted and tried to remember how he had gotten into this in the first place. "No, wait, you – "
"Classic signs, Wilson!" House bellowed, extracting himself from the white shirt. Wilson stared at him. "You've been married three times and had a lot more sex than that -- overcompensation. You throw yourself into this cycle over and over again – denial. You're an excellent cook – self-explanatory. Where's my Vicodin?"
"Thank you," Wilson said quietly, passing a still-shirtless House the orange bottle.
House swallowed two dry. "For what? Making your life a hell of a lot easier?"
"No. For telling me I'm an excellent cook." House winced as the pills went down, leaving the bitter aftertaste as always. "I'm not having this conversation anymore." No response. "House?"
House sat down on the bed, breathing ragged, eyes wide. The Vicodin was doing its job, but it wasn't hitting the pain fast or hard enough. "Bookshelf," he gasped. Wilson nodded once, and rushed to the bookshelf. Spotting the ladder he virtually leaped up it, scrabbling around the top. He encountered a cold, metal box. Hoping, praying this was the one, he scampered back down and gave the box to House. "Morphine?" he asked, frantic tone betraying his cool exterior. House gritted his teeth and shook his head, snatching the box and preparing himself for an injection. His hands were shaking so much he couldn't do it properly, the syringe slipping from his fingers.
"I'll do it," Wilson suggested. He carefully took the syringe in his fingers, hoping to God it wasn't going to kill House, and plunged it into House's arm. Slowly, his breathing returned to normal, and Wilson carefully slid out the syringe and undid the tie around House's upper arm. House dropped backwards onto the bed, and Wilson leaned over him, checking his pulse and breathing. He reached automatically to his breast pocket for a penlight to check if he was responsive to light, but found only the material of his cotton t-shirt. "House. House."
House cracked an eye open. "What?"
"What did I inject into you?" Wilson spoke slowly and carefully, as if to a person who didn't speak fluent English.
His eyes closed again. "Sodium thiopental," House replied.
"I injected an anesthetic?" Wilson considered being totally outraged that House even owned such a substance. "Okay. Okay. Does your leg still hurt?"
"Not really," House breathed.
"How do you feel?" Wilson asked awkwardly. He never asked House this. He asked patients this. House wasn't his patient, House was…House was…
Sodium thiopental was a truth drug, Wilson remembered. Sometimes. And it was used by the bad guys. "House," he began. Don't do it, Wilson, he begged himself. It's disgustingly manipulative. It's juvenile. It's…
It's what he would do, were the positions reversed. He took a deep breath. "House, why did you suggest that I was gay?"