Can't I Have Both?
Characters: Wilson/Amber, House, the rest?
Rating: PG – PG 13 for language
Warnings: Spoilers for 4x12, friendship/pre-slash
Summary: When Amber suddenly shows up at House's office begging for a fellowship behind Wilson's back, House sees the moment as a sign of her weakness and an opportunity to take matters into his own, revengeful hands.
Chapter 1 – Confrontation
A rhythmic sound of thudding followed by a palm making contact with a large tennis ball could be heard for over half an hour from a Dr. Gregory House's office. The man was reclining heavily in his office chair, his legs sturdily resting atop his desk, while his gaze was intense and seemingly fixated on the ball he was throwing.
Thunk, thunk, clap.
The ball made one bounce on the floor before hitting the wall and flying with strong momentum into House's outstretched hand.
Thunk, thunk, clap.
If anyone else had been in the room, the beat would've been worthy of a headache, but House's mind was elsewhere, leaving him unaffected by his fidgeting. It had one whole week since he had made his life-altering realization; one whole week since he had consciously let his best friend walk away with another potential lover, not to mention a woman who had been known from day one as the most destructive individual alive. Ever since that fatal moment in which he had realized his utter jealousy and simultaneous frustration towards Amber one week ago, House's mind had been in a new form of torment. Before last week, his mind's confusion and frustrations had been reserved for his toughest medical cases but now... now his mind struggled over his best friend.
How long had he truly had feelings for Wilson? Had he been lying to himself for all of these years? Most importantly, could Wilson return these feelings which House had not felt for anyone since Stacy all those years ago? Why were some people gay, while the rest were allowed to go unscathed by the ridiculous controversy surrounding the concept of homosexuality? Why was it that he, of all people, should suddenly find himself in love with his best friend? Where could any of this lead?
In his frustration, House threw the ball with extra enthusiasm, causing it to ricochet with double momentum towards House on the return. House grabbed the ball with two hands, baring his teeth as his catch caused his hands to sting. He dropped the ball and shook out his hands, wringing them occasionally. As he took his legs off of his desk and leaned forward in his chair to search for the dropped ball, he heard the slight shift of metal which signified someone entering his office. House was forced to suppress a double-take as he observed the familiar, intimidating form of Cut-Throat Bitch entering his office.
He gazed, slightly dumbfounded and confused for a moment, and his mouth gaped, signifying his confusion. Amber had apparently ignored House entirely, as she was now looking over her shoulder quickly and nervously. Appearing relieved, she hurried over to the windows of House's office, pulling the blinds on each one, giving House the feeling of being trapped in his own residence.
"What the hell are you---?" House attempted to ask.
"SH!" Amber snapped back hoarsely, giving House a quick, blazing glance before continuing to close the blinds. As finished, she gave a sigh as she faced the last closed window. She slowly turned towards House, and for a moment it seemed as though she was about to cry. House scrutinized the woman whom he currently reserved the most hatred in his heart for. She was the one who had caused all of his emotional torment, from his personal discovery to his jealousy.
"Get out of my office," he said, resting his arms squarely on his knees as he lowered his head to stare at the floor.
"House," Amber whispered frantically, "I – I need your help."
"Already sick of him?" House asked, trying to smother any tone of hopefulness in his voice.
"It's not about James..." she said. "Well," she paused, still speaking at a loud whispering tone, "okay, it is. But," she began in a form which seemed like the introduction to a small, rehearsed speech, "it's not about our relationship."
House looked up at Amber, his arms still resting on his knees. "Then why are you here?"
"I want a fellowship." Amber stammered quietly.
"No," House said immediately, his personal feelings taking their stance, "you've had your chance. I gave you your options: this fellowship or Wilson. You chose Wilson."
"Can't – can't I have both?" Amber pleaded.
House sighed and briefly gazed up at the ceiling. "Why do you want the fellowship?"
It was Amber's turn to sigh. "James gave me a job after you fired me. It was sort of like an additional treat once I started dating him. It started off great: I had a job which was the equivalent of the fellowship you offered, with the bonus of never having to manipulate you again. Yet, after a few weeks all I did all day was sit in clinic and diagnose strep throat."
House pretended to show interest and pity, causing him to give her an exaggerated pout. Amber glared at him as House resumed his normal expression followed by a stifled laugh.
"I'm bored with it all. You gave me assignments that were interesting. I felt like I was being tested. They're not letting me get that same feeling." Anger rose quickly in her voice as her face became fiercer and fiercer with determination.
"Selfish bitch," House said in his typical, mocking tone, "you already have - " he feigned deep thought, "ah, 'love' and 'respect' from dear ol' Jimmy. Now you want love, respect and a perfect job. Ever heard the phrase, 'You can't always get what you want'?"
"Yes..." Amber said slowly, as she began to pace in semi-circle from her post at the window closer to House, "but I know how to get what I need." She gave House a small, sideways smirk.
House's mind reeled. "But of course," he began, "if I gave you a job, I'm guessing you'd have to hide from Wilson, so you don't hurt his feelings, lose your job connections, all that fun stuff."
"If that's what it takes, I'm willing to do it. I need someplace to go with my life. Relationships aren't enough, I need to do something. I need a real job." Amber concluded.
With that, House immediately saw an array of potential obstacles line up for Amber which would ultimately ruin her and her relationship with Wilson. Amber would never be able to leave the diagnostic floor, leaving her in a form of entrapment equal to her worthless job elsewhere. House could drop mocking and tantalizing hints between both Wilson and Amber about the entire secret, which within itself could cause a rift between the couple.
There was no doubt in his mind that Amber would eventually be discovered by Wilson, causing an explosion between the two which could, no doubt, end their fling. Wilson would be left alone, while Amber would no longer be needy, leaving Wilson to latch onto House as he always did. House felt a pang of security in the concept, and his mind seemed to abandon its typical characteristic of being reasoning and logical to make decisions. His greed seemed to consume him: this was the way to get what he wanted.
"Start tomorrow," he said, rising from his seat, grabbing his cane that was lying on the desk. He walked towards to door and began to open it. He scrutinized Amber for a moment and then spoke,
"I think there's false moustache in one of the drawers... just in case." He then swiftly swung his office door open and hurried down the hall.
"Let the games begin," he smirked to himself.