Author's note: I am so sorry for the delay between updates! I was planning on doing the chapters in the same order as the songs on the album but I hit this massive block writing up a chapter for the second song. So I decided to toss that idea out the window and am now back on track... unless uni starts getting in the way. But until then, here's the next chapter - hope you guys like it!
Pictures Of You
There is a title we can't win
no matter how hard we might swing.
The envelope had been inconspicuously wedged between a stack of patient files and his pay cheque for the month.
Juggling the pile of paper in one hand and a tray of coffees in the other, Wilson didn't notice its existence until he had reached his office. Only after he had carefully set aside a coffee for House and begun sorting through his paperwork did he realise that there was a foreign object in the pile.
He picked up the envelope and, immediately recognising the hand that had written his name as belonging to the hospital administrator, deftly flipped it over. What could Cuddy have to say that couldn't be communicated face to face, or on the phone?
A love letter, he mused as he sipped his own coffee and rummaged in a drawer for his letter opener.
Moments later, he stopped himself, snorting. Clearly, all that time he spent with House was having a bad influence on his thoughts regarding the Dean of Medicine.
Having procured the object in question, Wilson slit the envelope open and turned it upside down, shaking vigorously. Two separate objects fell onto his desk: a sheet of paper, folded in two, and what appeared to be the back of a photograph. The latter bore a series of numbers - 01/01/08. A date, he realised.
Assuming that it contained a note of explanation, he unfolded the piece of paper with raised eyebrows and scanned its contents.
Thought you might like to have a copy. Looks like both of you had a bit too much to drink that night. Either that, or the rumours are true and you two really are gay. Don't worry, I'll keep your secret.
Wilson almost dropped his coffee as the insinuations behind the letter hit him - there was only one rumour circulating throughout the hospital grapevine that she could be referring to.
It took a second reading of the scribbled note for him to realise that the reference was in jest, though this recognition did not prevent trepidation from creeping over him as he turned the photo over.
It was House.
Well, him and House to be precise.
There they were, lying on the very couch that stood several feet away from him now. He hadn't realised that anyone else had been into his office that night - the party was several floors away in the lobby, so why Cuddy had been in a position to snap a photo of them was beyond him.
He thought back to that night. Certainly, they had been drunk - or at least they'd lost enough of their inhibitions to risk making out in his office. Wilson frowned. No, he had lost enough of his inhibitions... House probably wouldn't have cared if they'd been caught.
But he'd been conscious enough to remember drifting off to sleep with his arms wrapped around House's waist, with the other man's head tucked in the crook of his neck. Clearly they had shifted out of this position sometime in the night - the photo showed House sprawled on the couch, and himself facing the opposite direction with most of his body lying on the floor. He had woken that morning with such a piercing headache that he hadn't even been aware of being pushed onto the ground halfway through the night.
Perhaps it was for the best. If Cuddy had walked in to see him spooning House in his sleep, he suspected she'd find it far harder to attribute the incident to alcohol, and he'd have a lot more explaining to do.
Wilson brushed his fingers gently over the photo, smiling in reminiscence. What Cuddy had seen as evidence proving that they had been completely drunk, he saw as marks of their affectionate romping that night: the ruffled hair, the disheveled clothing, and above all, the relaxed slouch of the two men who had collapsed together on the couch.
She didn't even consider that it could signify something else. That the pair of them could be anything other than two friends who had crumpled in a drunken fit on the same sofa.
He sighed. Although he often told himself that he was happy with the current status of his relationship with House, that he wouldn't be able to deal with the consequences and backlash that would surely accompany their coming out, he couldn't help occasionally wishing that they could be taken seriously as lovers. That people wouldn't discuss their relationship as a rumour that was seen to be as impossible as it was amusing.
Wilson knew it would never happen, simply because everyone's preconceived notions of the relationship between the oncologist and the diagnostician. It was unusual, sarcastic, strong... but ultimately, it was one of friendship. Anything else, they felt, would be absurd, and nothing he nor House did would change that.
He'd never told House, who would have scoffed at such a regard for the opinions of other people. Sometimes he considered doing so - that way, he could get the lecture that would put him off thinking of such a thing ever again.
But he didn't, for while he held onto the thought, he had something to wish for; and while he had wishes, he had the hope that some day, they would be accepted for who they were.
Shaking his head as he reminded himself how much paperwork he had left to be done, Wilson slid the photo into his pocket and picked up a file from his desk.