Chapter 3: Dalliance

House confirmed the terms of their arrangement to salvage Wilson's sanity. "I'll tell you something personal...and then I expect you to answer my questions truthfully." Wilson nodded, somewhat embarrassed by the childish endeavor. He felt like a teenage girl sharing hopes and fears during a slumber party. What surprised him most was the fact that House was actually going along with this seemingly juvenile scheme. Meanwhile, Ceara decided to sit quietly and be invisible. "I'm guessing I'll go first since you can't even complete a coherent sentence...let's start out small, shall we?" House's face changed to mock contemplation as he pondered what to reveal. "I slept with Cuddy." He stated nonchalantly.

Wilson's eyes widened as he finally turned to face the diagnostician. The casual tone the doctor used made Wilson doubt he had heard him right. "Cuddy? Our boss Cuddy?" He asked incredulously. Sure there were rumors, but Wilson had never really believed them. After all, Cuddy is a professional administrator and House...House is a disastrous pain in the ass for said administrator.

"Don't act surprised." House rolled his eyes. "As Chase put it...no two people can be that nasty to each other without being...nasty." He raised his eyebrows suggestively. Wilson just stared.

"I thought you said we were going to start out small?" Wilson asked, still skeptical regarding House's confession.

"Well in comparison to the other skeletons in my closet...that was small. Seriously, that one was actually legal!" House exclaimed. Wilson rolled his eyes.

"I thought you said you didn't have any secrets!" Wilson retorted.

"Wow you're naive. Everybody lies." House repeated his coined phrase as he finished off his fries. Wilson glanced at a confused Ceara before pinching the bridge of his nose in annoyance.

"I know I'm going to regret asking..., but when did you...you know?" He asked, despite his conscience's protest. Curiosity got the best of him.

"We went steady in college, broke up, and then we had a fling when I came to work at PPTH. Good times..." House stared into nothingness as if recalling a memory (only to annoy the hell out of Wilson). Wilson scratched his head nervously. This fact surprised him...and disturbed him. He feared House's answer to his next question.

"Do you...love her?" Wilson asked, his voice quiet and timid. House stared at the younger doctor curiously before answering.

"No." He stated indifferently. "Well, not like that." He watched his friend's reaction intently. "Now, I've just answered three questions, so it's my turn." Wilson tried to hide his relief, but House noticed; however, he assumed it was because Wilson loved Cuddy. If only he knew..., Wilson thought.

"I might as well order something, seeing as we'll be here for awhile." Wilson evaded, signaling for the waiter. The man arrived promptly to take his order.

"First off, did you ever sleep with Cuddy?" House asked, ignoring Wilson's reluctance and the bemused waiter.

"No." Wilson replied forcefully. He held his head in his hands to hide the redness in his cheeks. If this secret didn't kill him, House would. The waiter smiled, trying to ignore the man's question. House, yet again, ignored the waiter and continued loudly.

"Oh don't be so down...she only has eyes for gruff men of my high stature. The panty-peeler charm doesn't work on everyone." He smirked. Ceara rolled her eyes, amused by the screen play performing before her. The waiter seemed equally entertained.

"Sadly..." Wilson mumbled into his hands. House decided to spare the oncologist...sort of.

"He'd like a fat free caesar salad." House ordered for him. He then cupped his hand (so Wilson couldn't see) and added loudly, "self-conscious this one." The waiter held back a laugh as he nodded and took down the order.

"Anything else, sir?" Wilson tried to answer, but was cut off.

"He's fine. Now go earn your minimum wage." House shooed the man, who frowned at the rude comment. "Now." House stressed. The waiter stormed away.

"I wasn't going to order that."

"You were going to order a salad, and I like caesar."

"You just ate!" Wilson exclaimed, his eyes wide.

"Yes, but when you get your food, I'll suddenly get hungry again." Ceara finally chose to announce her presence.

"You better hope he doesn't poison your food," she quipped.

"I'll make Wilson eat it first. We'll know I really hit a nerve if Wilson turns green and keels over." Wilson hid a smile at that comment. House will kill me one way or another.

"But must you embarrass me? Don't you have some restraint?" Wilson asked exasperatedly, not expecting a real answer.

"That was restraint." House explained. "You did have the hots for her though, didn't you?" It took Wilson a moment to recall the previous conversation.

"No actually."

"You're supposed to tell the truth!" House argued, not believing Wilson's answer. After all, the man went on a couple of dates with the woman.

"He is." Ceara interrupted in support of Wilson. House ignored her, but abandoned his pursuit.

"Fine, third question...who's ex-wife number 4?" He asked with an oddly cheery disposition.

"Huh?" Wilson asked, caught completely off guard.

"I know you're dating someone, so I want to know who she is! Spill." House pressured impatiently.

"Ugh...Amber." Wilson revealed reluctantly. He didn't seem too proud of his answer.

"Cut throat bitch? Are you kidding me?" House asked, utterly shocked (a rare event). Wilson nodded slightly. "I fear your taste in women." House said more to himself. He couldn't believe it.

"I call her Amber." Wilson defended.

"Well, I call her cut throat bitch." House declared while pouting like a child.

"Look, it didn't last." Wilson stated, using his hands to emphasize his point.

"Cause you cheated?" House asked knowingly.

"That's the fourth question." Wilson pointed out with a frown.

"It was more of a statement."

"I...had eyes for someone else." Wilson explained weakly.

"I guess she lied about dying? That would tick me off too." House continued, ignoring Wilson.

"I don't need needy." Wilson argued, thoroughly annoyed.

"I finally understand why we're doing this." House mused.

"Why?"

"Because any good blackmail I get on you, you get on me. Tricky. You get brownie points for that." House elaborated, raising his eyebrows with intrigue.

"House! It didn't last. I like...someone else." Wilson explained, yet again.

"Cuddy?" House interjected.

"House!" Wilson practically yelled in frustration. His outburst attracted the attention of everyone in the restaurant.

"Okay, I get it. It's your turn...I'll get it out of you later." House responded calmly, unaffected by the sudden audience.

Important Notice: My computer crashed so there may be a delay in updates until I replace my hard drive.