Summary: Once again Wilson knocks on House's door asking for temporary custody of his favorite couch. Feeling possessive, House wants this do-over to be permanent. How will he make Wilson understand, and send a message to the women of PPTH that it's hands off Prince Charming. A 1960's style bromantic comedy. The story begins on Wednesday night – Wilson seeks asylum from 'Rosalie the Screamer.'
Characters: House, Wilson, co-starring Wilson's infamous blow dryer. Macadamia nut pancakes featured in a cameo.
Rating: PG17 for a word or two. Pre fluff. There is more fluff in the lint trap of my dryer, nevertheless . . .
Disclaimer: So not mine, and never will be sigh
A/N: Originally written for sick!House and sick!Wilson birthday challenge.
Please note italicized phrases are House talking to himself. I apologize for the story written in present tense. It went through several permutations and my head was too scrambled to change it back to past tense. The story is completely written, and chapters will be released every few days. Please read and review.
I want to thank the reviewers of my other stories. It encouraged me to try a long story this time. My betas, infotriedunture and infobookfan85 deserve a round of applause for their many wonderful suggestions. They are the best, and I don't deserve them. Clapping I'm responsible for all remaining errors.
Chapter 1: Love Potion #9
It is Wednesday, House is settling in front of the TV for a long evening of mindless entertainment and comfort food – ice cold beer and hot drippy pizza when he hears the customary 5 raps at the door – uh, 1 & and uh, 1, 2, 3, 4.
That could only belong to . . . Wilson? You could almost hear "House, House are you there?" calling out in the rhythm.
Could it be Wilson? He isn't expecting him, not with Wilson still walking around with that schmoopy look on his face all day long. Now that he took up residence with Rosalie the Screamer.
House listens for more taps, but all he hears is silence. It must be Wilson – you can hear the man's anxiety right through the heavy wood door. First, a woodpecker's mating call, followed by silence, and then Wilson's sonorous cooing. House's Animal Planet program halts in mid-fantasy as an unexpected and impatient screech saws through the door. "House!! Come on, open up!"
The frosty bottle almost slips through House's fingers as Wilson's forceful demand pierces his eardrums.
Getting up with a grunt, the doctor stumps his way to the door, and opens it wide to find the stressed doctor standing next to a suitcase with his bandaged left hand pinching the bridge of his nose. He quickly drops his hand to his side, but not before House detects a wince of pain. Wilson scowls, "We had a fight".
"No, seriously?" House invokes their safe word. It is only used when there is a need for complete honesty between the two, or if brakes need to be applied before their friendship is crushed under the wheels of their never ending arguing and snark.
"Seriously? Yes. She threw me out. Can I stay for a few days?"
House controls his joy. He has waited years to hear any variation on those very words from Wilson. Surely, if House believes in a Higher Power, he might admit his non-prayers are answered.
He opens the door wide, and tilts his head toward his couch. "Mi sofa es su sofa, but not the pizza unless your dinero is my dinero."
"I thought you were fluent in Spanish."
"I am, but you're not."
Both of Wilson's hands shoot up in supplication, "Fine, fine I know the drill. Food is on me while I'm here, or until I stop breathing - whichever comes last." Another twinge of pain reflects in his dark eyes as he fails to discreetly drop his left hand into his slack's pocket. The bandage catches on the opening.
"Yeah, well there are irrevocable trusts too, you know. Be prepared to support my habits beyond the grave."
The edge creeps back into Wilson's voice as he moves to the fridge, grabs a beer, turns and bows towards House, "Right, I'll be sure to be buried with my checkbook and a case of vicodin, and hang a sign over my grave, printed in Spanish, Japanese or whatever language you like, that says 'Break open in case of emergency.'"
"That's all I'm sayin'."
House waits until the pizza, beer and television numb Wilson before beginning his first round of questions.
"So, what happened? You slugged Rosalie with your left-hook because she decided to get a sex change operation for your birthday? I suggested to her that you would like it, since you enjoy hanging out with the tranny nurse."
"House! . . . That is . . . so wrong!" A pause and a questioning look. "You actually know when my birthday is? You never acknowledged it before."
"I don't make a practice of it, but it doesn't mean I don't know when it is. Got to mark the boy wonder oncologist's passage from boy to MAOI, Middle Age Oncologist with Incontinence."
"Only when you place a pot of warm water under my hand."
"Never mind me, did Rosalie tattoo her initials on your ass and buy you a gift certificate to be gelded at Cowboy Bob's Large Animal Veterinary off the interstate? You seem to like that in your women. Or, just skip to the good part, and spill when she started screaming."
"Shut up, House."
"She screamed, didn't she?!"
" . . . "
"You told me the sound editor's union voted her the best screamer for three years in a row."
A long sigh trembles through Wilson's body as he tosses his greasy plate on top of the pizza box. "I was making my bubbe's bubbe's matzoh ball soup."
House feels his knees go weak when he hears 'matzoh ball soup.' A recipe handed down from Wilson's maternal grandmother's line from generation to generation. Tender chunks of chicken cohabiting with vegetables and two types of dumplings – fluffy and heavy. The first time Wilson gave House a steamy aromatic bowl, he did his Groucho Marx impersonation with his eyebrows and invisible cigar shaking up and down, "If you don't love the one on top, you will love the one on the bottom." House loved them both. Ambrosia from the Gods with a heartburn kick that could release enough heat to warm all the Eastern Seaboard clear through the dead of winter. Simply, 'Love in a bowl.'
A feeling very much like jealousy flashes through House's core. Wilson was creating his love potion for Rosalie the Screamer. One taste of the golden liquid and she would be under his spell. Snow White's poison apple doesn't have half the kick as that magical broth. And, she so didn't deserve it.
Wilson's choice of girlfriends went from bad to worse in the last couple of years. He lacked the ability to distinguish brash from bold, foolhardy from courageous, or stupid from smart. House frowns. After Amber, Wilson lost any sense of judgment regarding women. He bypassed the needy, and House-like surrogates and went straight for the sociopaths. Rosalie the Screamer headed the list.
Shaking himself out of his thoughts, he continues listening to Wilson's story: "I thought she would like a traditional Passover Seder, and was making matzoh ball soup when she came into the kitchen . . . and . . . screamed! She startled me, and I didn't realize at first that I spilled blazing hot soup over my hand. Before I had a chance to put ice on it, she told me she sublet her apartment over a month ago, needed me to pack and leave at once. She's moving to Los Angeles to get better horror movie opportunities, and said we were through. Just like that." Wilson tries to snap his fingers with his left hand, forgetting about the burn, and grimaces in pain.
"She began screaming again and wouldn't let up. I tried to find out what was wrong with our relationship . . . (House silently smirks, Uh-oh . . . Probing Wilson – strike one!), I controlled my temper when she said I was never around, and reminded her that I kept doctor's hours (Superhero Pose – Strike two!), and then I lost it and told her she could take charm lessons from you." (Blazing Brown Eyes, and Pinched Lips . . . And You're OUT!)
"But, she never tasted your soup?"
"Wha . . ? No."
"Why Jimmy, you behaved like the caring concerned person (usual supercilious dumb-ass bastard) you always are. Now, let me look at your hand."
Wilson's repeated assurance of "I'm fine" evaporates under the diagnostician's determination to investigate the swollen red skin under the gauze. House curses himself and his curiosity for wanting to get the details about the breakup before checking on his friend's health. He drags his reluctant buddy into the glaring white light of the bathroom to further inspect the injury.
The back of the hand is capped with a large wicked-looking blister, and two smaller ones straddle the lines across the palm. "Second degree burns. Can you flex your fingers?"
A tentative wiggle is followed up by a grunt from Wilson.
"Do you want a vicodin?"
"Do you want me to kiss your booboo and make it all better?"
"Extra strength Tylenol?"
"It's in the medicine cabinet."
Sighing, Wilson opens the mirrored door over the sink, removes the bottle off the shelf, and fiddles with the childproof cap. Snatching the bottle away, House pushes and twists the cap, shaking out two pills into Wilson's waiting hand. "Still too much of a girl to dry swallow? Go get some water and take the pills before I replace the dressing."
Either the man is in a lot of pain, or The Screamer drained all the fight out of him, because House did not hear a peep out of him as Wilson trudges to the kitchen. He should feel bad for his friend except Wilson's misery fuels his own happiness. His drug supplier, personal chef, and conscience are back under his roof. He could do without the last one, but it is worth the trade-off. Rosalie was an idiot.
Upon Wilson's return, House gently cleans and applies antiseptic salve to the angry red flesh. By the time he finishes re-wrapping the hand, the spider web of fine lines begin to soften around the liquid brown eyes.
Looking at his workmanship, House stretches, clutches his cane, and with a backward glance, looks at Wilson admiring the fresh bandage as if it is a sculptural masterpiece. "Well, at least Rosalie the Screamer left you with one unscalded hand. Too bad it's your right instead of your left, so don't stay up too late perfecting your technique on little Wilson. You're going to have to get up extra early if you plan to dress and blow dry your precious head of hair with one hand."
"Up yours, House."
"Same to you, Wilson"