Disclaimer: Don't own it. Never did. Never will. Don't sue.
AN: Okay, I got a review that I find quite interesting. That the only person House cares about is Wilson, and going any other way wouldn't be 'canon'. Well hate to say, as a fan author - I can't write canon. The only thing that is absolutely in canon is what the TV show puts out as cold, hard facts. Everything else is interpretation by fans and most of the time - the show (any show) leaves a lot open to interpretation. That way it appeals to more people. Those who like Cameron with House can have their happy happy joy joy (at least up until DS rained on that parade), those who like Cuddy with House can have their happy happy joy joy - and yes, even those who like Wilson with House can have their happy happy joy joy.
I don't see it - not that I'm against boys with boys - one of my secondary pairings was Wesley with Angel - now that was hot - I just don't see Wilson or House as possibly gay. Wesley and Angel - well duh. But that's not to say that those who do see Wilson and House in that light are any more right or wrong than those who go in other directions. Again it's all about interpretation.
What I do find interesting - is I said up front that I REALLY don't like Wilson. So why would it be any shock that I wouldn't choose to take this in a Wilson/House direction? I got this review after the first chapter where the characters informed me which direction they would be going - which is what everyone calls Huddy around here (you'll have to excuse me - I'm old school - I use the old slash format rather than the Brangelina code). Sound psycho? Yep, it does - but that's just how the creativity works in my head - the story just flows - the characters go in the direction they like and I just transcribe the events. Anyway, Cuddy/House fans I hope you will enjoy. Wilson fans - I tried to be fair to him and not just let my rabid dislike of him go out of control... I gave him the benefit of the doubt and nodded at their best friend forever status.
Also excuse the fact that this took a lot longer to write - as I said controlling my rabid dislike and also - this was a longer chapter than most. With that said - enjoy.
She moved back to the black board, picking up the eraser and erasing the symptoms that they'd already attributed to others in the room.
"Three to go and only one person left." Del smiled somewhat malevolently as she focused on Wilson. "And this one is all mine…"
"You think I'm jealous of House…" Wilson scoffed.
"Yep…" Del picked up the small remnants of chalk from the edge of the board, palming them until she had a fairly large handful.
"You're deranged… I'm House's only friend for a reason." Wilson shook his head.
"Yep, you are – never denied that. He likes you too… A lot. I mean he's not going to marry you or anything, especially with your track record, but I will not deny that he honestly likes you." Del moved back to her perch and deposited the chalk in her pocket. "But just because he likes you doesn't discount any of that." She pointed back to the black board.
"Alright – you want to play your little game – go ahead." Wilson leaned back in his chair. "Tell me how I've screwed up House's life."
"Ah the sympathy ploy… How could he possibly have anything to do with how screwed House's life is? After all everyone knows House is responsible for Wilson's divorces. It's all House's fault." She jumped up and moved to where Amber sat. "He's good. See, everyone knows what a nice guy Wilson is…" She paused. "But he's not as nice as he makes himself out to be. That's part of the reason why he's friends with House. He's not just a masochist."
"Wilson is nice… I mean, he gets things wrong about House – but he's nice." Cameron interjected.
"Is he… Is he really really nice? Because I don't even think he's as nice as you are Cameron, and you're not really really nice either." Del said. "One of the things Wilson gets out of his relationship with House is contrast." The look on everyone's face was quizzical. "God people…"
"No…" Amber spoke up, cocking her head as she looked at Wilson. "I think I get it."
"Really…" Del looked from Wilson to Amber. "Well then Cutthroat Bitch – do enlighten us…"
"Amber…" Wilson started, but she shook her head cutting him off.
"No, it's alright – it doesn't bother me." She looked at Del. "He doesn't appear to be a jerk, because he associates with a bigger jerk than he is. Not that he's a jerk to me."
"Give it time." Del chuckled and moved to the board – awarding Amber thirty points. "If I had a fellowship to give, you'd be on my shortlist… A compliment from a Vicious Bitch to a Cutthroat one." She focused on Wilson again. "No one in their right mind should consider you a nice guy… You've been married and divorced three times, you …" She moved and covered Cuddy's ears with her hands. "You slept with one of your dying patients and that's just scratching the surface."
"I know you said something that I didn't need to hear, Del." Lisa turned and glared at Wilson suspiciously as Del released her.
"Be good, don't ask – you really don't want to know." Del squeezed Lisa's shoulder reassuringly.
"I'll ask House… He'll share. It's not about him – I may have to give him a month off of clinic – but he'll rat Wilson out." Lisa settled back; though there was an aura of don't mess with me around her now.
"Ooh… She might be onto something there." Del mock winced. "So, where were we? Right, Wilson and why he isn't Saint Jimmy for putting up with House. Okay, let's see – the contrast thing. There's a saying in the FBI – I'd rather deal with an honest crook, then a crooked cop. It applies here." She paused and fished in her pocket for a small piece of chalk. "House is the honest crook – he doesn't hide it when he's up to no good – oh, he'll try to keep you out of his business so you can't stop him, but you know he's up to something. If he's going to screw with your head, he screws with your head – he doesn't try to hide it under a layer of doing something for your own good. With House, you know exactly what he's doing – he's messing with you some how. You may not like it, but it is what it is."
"That makes James the crooked cop…" Lisa looked up at him and frowned again.
"Yep…" Del twisted the piece of chalk in her finger tips, then seeing that Wilson looked as though he'd written off their conversation, she flung it as hard as she could in his direction but making certain it wouldn't hit him. It left her grinning as the tiny piece of chalk exploded against the back wall in puff of dust that showered over the offending male and made a sharp crack like a gun shot.
"HEY…" Wilson bolted out of his seat.
"You weren't paying attention…" Del smirked. "World's fastest way of getting someone's attention. One of my profs used to do it…" She reached into her pocket and pulled out the handful of fragments, letting them rattle in her palm. "I'd suggest listening. Everyone else did."
"Wilson…" Cuddy turned and looked at him. "Stay."
With a slight huff of disappointment, the oncologist settled back in his seat. "Fine, I'm staying."
"Cool…" Del grinned though she set her ammunition within easy reach. "So who knows the definition of insanity?"
"Repeating the same action and expecting a different result." Thirteen ventured.
"Exactly… House hasn't changed appreciably in all the years you've been his friend, why in the hell do you expect him to change now. He changes some small aspects – but in actuality – House is House." Del moved to the blackboard, pulling out the chalk she was using to write and adding Thirteen to the board and giving her ten points.
"Vindaloo curry…" Stacy said with a slight smile that turned melancholy. "Like she said, he sent me back to Mark because he couldn't change for me."
"I don't actually think that's why he did it…" Wilson put his view point. "It's a romanticized view of why he did it."
"It doesn't matter, Wilson – if he gave her up because he couldn't change or if it was because he has to be miserable. He would have found a way to be miserable if she was there or not. He still put her, and her happiness ahead of his own. He didn't drag her into his misery." Del looked at her sister sympathetically – hopefully at the very least – this would give her sister some closure. Pulling her attention back to Wilson she forged onward. "You play mind games with House – but you cloak it under the disguise of trying to help him. You know what you're doing won't work, you've done some variation on it and probably the exact same thing practically hundreds of times but you still do it. Then you get other people, one of whom at least seems to forget that she knows House just as well as you do…" She looked pointedly at Cuddy. "…to do your bidding too. That's what really makes you an ass. Do what you want, screw around with your relationship with House. He probably respects you for it and expects it – your relationship with him is resilient enough to take it but don't screw around with other people's relationships with him by convincing them that doing things your way is going to help House."
"He didn't hold it against her." Wilson said with a slightly guilty tone to his voice.
"But did you know for certain that he wouldn't get pissed with her and refuse to speak to her again." She paused. "You do realize that it was your little speech about change and that he should tell Foreman how he felt, that convinced his little rat maze of a brain to fire Chase right?"
"What?" The three former ducklings asked in unison.
"He's contradictory – and Wilson knows it. It's happened before – if you really thought about it, and knew what Wilson had talked to House about, you probably could make a list and figure out exactly what events have been Wilson motivated." Del sighed and looked heavenward for strength. "See this is what either makes him a really bad friend – who doesn't know after god knows how many years what is going to happen when he pushes, or it makes him an ass that knows, but just doesn't care – which makes him a really bad friend too."
"House doesn't care…" Wilson started.
Now it was Stacy and Foreman who spoke up. "Because he's an ass…" They looked at each other, a little weirded out by the strange combination, but shrugged and turned their attention back to Del.
"Ah, I love them – House has them so well trained. What happened to you?" Del grinned and moved to add points to Foreman's total and actually gave Stacy her own heading and some points. "See again with the contrast – House doesn't care, but you're supposed to be the nice guy. The nice guy who flies being a manipulative ass under the guise of trying to help." She feigned looking introspective for a moment. "Huh… Kinda interesting isn't it? I didn't think nice guys did that kind of thing. Not to mention you sold him out to Tritter… Chase didn't even do that and he's smarmy."
"I regretted it later…" Wilson defended.
"You shouldn't have done it to begin with…" Del snarked. "He's not an addict – at least in the classical sense. It doesn't matter if he had more pills than he should have in his place. You know damned well that forging prescriptions has more to do with his pushing on you than anything else. Not to mention, he's right – you do get into moods where you figure you know better than him what's good for him."
"And he does…" The anger was evident in Wilson's voice. "You aren't here to pick up the pieces. I am."
"I didn't say that he did. I care, Cameron cares, Cuddy cares, Stacy cares – the rival boy ducks, the new ducklings and your honey the cutthroat bitch don't really, but they're human so they'd probably step in – but the difference is for the most part we all have boundaries. We don't automatically assume that we could run his life better than he does. So he's making a muck of it – it's his life, his mistakes – the most anyone can be is clean up crew – which is what you are when you pick up the pieces, but somewhere along the way you got confused in that being caring clean up crew for House's messes meant you actually have some sort of entitlement to try to run things. You don't. You don't get a veto on what he does. No one does. Even if you were his wife – it's still his life."
"So we're just supposed to clean up when he screws up." Wilson was frustrated with that.
"Yes," Cuddy sighed and looked at Wilson. "We aren't going to stop him. I just expect you to tell me what the hell is going on – stopping it is like trying to stop a runaway train – nice that you try, but I'm not holding my breath, James."
"So we just give up." Wilson looked at the hospital administrator in pure frustration.
"I didn't say that…" Lisa said with an equally frustrated sigh. "We have to accept that unless House chooses to, we can't change him. We're the definition of insanity, James. We keep doing the same things and expecting House to act differently than he does now."
Del smiled slightly at least she was making progress in some quarters. She focused her next question on Cuddy. "After the ketamine was he on the vicodin?"
"We had him go through the detox while he was out…" Cuddy supplied.
"Right, but did he jones for it? It shouldn't have mattered, even if he was detoxed – if he was addicted to vicodin – leg pain or not, he should have continued his drug seeking behavior shouldn't he? He should have wanted the euphoria – the mind altering affects."
"Yes." Cameron said definitively.
"And he should have needed treatment for the eight weeks he was in physio right – I mean drug treatment after the detox." Del knew the answers; she was just pushing buttons to make them think. "Did he have it? Or was he still on the vicodin."
"He was clean." Cuddy interjected.
"He was clean and no, he didn't have treatment, but House has a lot of willpower and he's stubborn – plus he was high on having his leg back." Wilson rationalized. "It wasn't long before he was back at work when the pain in his leg came back…"
"And that doesn't clue you in? Eight weeks of pain free use of his leg, and he's back at work for a week and suddenly the pain starts coming back? So far you haven't said anything that changes my mind that it could be psychosomatic." Del responded.
"It depends on what Wilson's trying to prove at any particular moment." Cuddy said with just a slight tinge of ire in her voice. "If he wants to prove House is an unsympathetic character with a god complex – then he's absolutely certain that House just needs the pills for real pain and we've got a limited amount of time while he's healthy enough to force House to make that change. If he wants him to be a slightly sympathetic character, at least as sympathetic as House gets, then he's convinced House is medicating his emotional pain with the meds."
Del couldn't help but smirk at the dirty look he shot her. "You know I could bring up how he reacted when he found out I was dating Amber." Wilson groused.
"And at the time, I stood up for you to him." Lisa smirked. "Well after that I did House's evil bidding – but you knew I was doing House's evil bidding – he didn't know I was doing yours with the entire not doing the treatment thing."
"Besides, House is supposed to manipulate people into doing his evil bidding…" Amber looked unconcerned as she pointed this out. "Most of the people in this room are either minions, former minions and in some cases minions who don't even realize they're actually minions."
"I like her." Stacy said with a chuckle. "I think she's too good for Wilson."
"You would, House has theorized that she's the female version of him." Wilson pointed out.
"Huh… Chicken vindaloo compared to his beef." Stacy grinned.
"Oh god, it's genetic." Lisa glared at her friend. "For years I was convinced Del was adopted and you getting along with House was some sort of crazy fluke but I was horribly wrong. And that was just…" Stacy started laughing at the look of disgust on Lisa's face.
"Priceless…" Del walked over and kissed the top of her sister's head. "I no longer disown you – though it would have been more House-like if you went for the fish."
"I'm a lawyer, sweetie – but that's lower than I'm prepared to go. Besides I was the one who disowned you…" Stacy shook her head at her sister. "And Ms. Prissy pants here…"
"That's party pants to you…" Cuddy shot back.
"Is only jealous because I came up with it and she didn't." Stacy finished, sticking her tongue out at Lisa for good measure.
"Now you're just feeding into fantasies of mine and House's that I'd successfully repressed." Del waggled her brows. "Don't stick it out unless you're prepared to use it … on her."
"Maybe we should get back on topic." Wilson suggested, looking decidedly embarrassed for them.
"You know it's bad when Wilson wants to be picked apart." Del paused. "No, wait – that's a normal state of affairs isn't it?" She shrugged and moved back to her perch. "Alright, we've covered manipulative… Have we covered sanctimonious in there too?"
"I'm big enough to admit that I can see where you came up with sanctimonious in all of that." Wilson said lifting his hands. "I'm wondering where you're getting jealousy from though. I'm jealous of House?"
"Not consciously maybe…" Del said. "Alright, I'll play Wilson – maybe because you're actually curious you might learn something here." She paused and took a breath, composing her thoughts. "On the surface, you're right – there's not a whole lot to be jealous of with House. He isn't capable of forming lasting meaningful relationships, but then again – neither are you. The difference is when House pushes someone away they maintain a sort of affection for him – which means there's something still there, an attachment – they still care. Case and point…" She pointed to Stacy and then to Cameron. "With you, their attachment is only to your pocket book."
"I've broken that pattern…" Wilson contended.
"So you say… And maybe you're right." Del smirked at Amber, "But wait, there's more… You're a good oncologist, probably one of the best – but you've never gone beyond that have you. Because oncology and cancer does it for you… Your big gift is to be able to tell someone they're dying and have them thank you. So much so that House actually pays you for it."
"It doesn't happen that often…" Wilson defended.
"Maybe not, but the fact that it's even happened once – it's a creepy gift. Maybe a good gift, but creepy." Del said with a slight shudder. "House's gift is a little more special isn't it – it comes back to that entire leaps of logic thing he does. It makes everyone, including you want to protect him because he's just that special. He saves people. You facilitate a treatment – or several treatments that either stops the cancer or not – cancer doesn't really leave you much room for strutting your stuff. You're never going to be the hero. Cuddy probably wouldn't perjure herself for you. As much as you get contrast from House, you also live in his shadow."
"And I'm okay with that…" Wilson's eyes narrowed.
Del nodded. "Maybe you are – but you've got this habit of doing things that almost seem like you're trying to screw with House – and not the normal mind games, that are to be expected – almost lashing out at him, at what he does…"
"Convincing Cuddy to not tell him about the treatment working?" Wilson posed.
"Selling him out to Tritter…" Del added. "It's a theory – but I don't think you're actually insane… So there's got to be a reason why you try these things when you're smart enough to know it's not going to work and it could actually really mess him up." She paused and shrugged. "I don't know everything, I only know what you people have told me in an interview that took a couple of hours of your life – only you know if there are other things that fall into the pattern."
"I'll think about it…" Wilson said looking down at his shoes, a range of emotions crossing his face, obviously introspective then he looked up at Del. "For the record though – I still don't think it's psychosomatic."
"Fine then…" Del smirked. "You can play devil's advocate…" She looked at everyone. "So who's in for fixing House's leg, by hook or by crook."
It only took a moment before the first hands came up. Stacy, Cuddy and Cameron typically were first, followed by the new ducklings (and Amber) and the remaining old ducklings. Finally with a shake of his head, Wilson's hand came up. "So you know he's not going to like this if he finds out…"
"Yep, he'll shove this cane…" She held it up threateningly. "In my ass and break it off. Still it's worth the risk." She focused on Lisa. "You're going to be his doctor right?"
"You said you couldn't put him in the trial…" Cuddy's brow furrowed.
"He'll be in the trial… I just need one thing from you right now." Del said, her tone suddenly serious.
"Alright…" Cuddy said hesitantly.
"Hospital privileges here." Del said simply.
"You want a job?" It was obvious by her expression that Cuddy didn't know where this was going.
"Yep…" Del nodded. "I'll even make arrangements with the study that they loan me to you – you and they can work out the dirty details later – but I need to be here."
As Dean of Medicine, Cuddy was practically drooling – she was getting a top notch psychologist who would be invaluable in their psych ward. Though Del's reputation for dislike of treating actual patients was almost as well known as House's – still, Del was reasonable to bite the bullet and do it if she had to. "Will you do counseling hours?"
Del let her eyes cross. "Good god woman – you and your free clinics. Yes, I will see all the little ADHD brats and the manically depressed women who don't realize their husbands are cheating on them." She shook her head. "Do I have a job?"
"Yes, I'll make arrangements." Cuddy nodded knowing better than to look a gift horse in the mouth. "So what now?"
"Get out…" Del said nodding to the door, leaving Cuddy standing there speechless. "I mean it, get out – the rest of what we're discussing – you don't need to hear."