Author's Note (Part One): I started writing this to take a breather from a depressing chapter in the other fic I'm writing... so it's fluff, a little crack. It takes place sometime after the Season 4 finale, in Season 5 when House and Wilson are buddies again. Hope you like it! Reviews kittens and cupcakes (in other words, happiness). Also, I don't own House and the gang.
ps- I have no idea why I can't get dollar signs to save, but I'm sorry they're missing. They were there before I uploaded.
"How do you always get out of these things?" House whined as he fumbled with his black bow tie. He could never remember how to tie the damn thing.
Wilson sighed, "I haven't gotten out of anything. I have to be there, too."
"Yeah, but you're not being auctioned off like a Star Wars action figure on E-bay." House continued to struggle with his tie. "You are so lucky. She'll let you out of anything these days."
"Yes, thank God my girlfriend died; so I can guilt Cuddy into letting me do whatever I want," Wilson replied bitterly.
There was uncomfortable silence between them for a moment as House finally finished tying his bow tie lamely and Wilson took a deep, steadying breath.
"What do you say," House began, trying to break the ice, "I'll give you fifty bucks if you give me your keys and tell Cuddy I had to go home because I spewed all over the men's bathroom?"
"I say, no."
Before either of them could turn around, they heard the office door open behind them and the familiar clicking sound of high heels. "No way you're getting out of this, House."
"I have multiple escape routes. One minute you'll see me at the back of the room and the next I'll have disappeared."
She stood in front of him and frowned. "You will do this. You will be charming. You will not be an ass. You owe me, or the hospital to be precise, another MRI. And you will do your part to help raise funding. It is not an easy job to convince the board for a third time not to hold you personally responsible for the broken MRI. And who tied your tie? A fifth grader?"
"Hey! Have you ever tried to tie one of these things? It's a lot harder than putting on some pantyhose and a Wonderbra." House raised his eyebrows and unmistakingly stared down Cuddy's dress. "Not that I'm complaining about Wonderbras because Candy and Michelle are smokin' hot this evening."
"Candy and Michelle?" Wilson questioned from the side of the room.
"The girls. I named them a couple of months ago. They really like me. Always staring. "
Wilson chuckled. Cuddy stifled a smile and rolled her eyes as she reached up, unknotted House's bow, lifted his collar, pushed his chin up and began to re-tie it.
"So, who else are you else are you prostituting this evening?"
"Brown, Liu, Keller, Jacobs, McClellen, April, Poole, Johnson, Evans, Prentiss, Shandar, Boies, Cherry, Klein, Cooper, Lincoln, Schwartz, Foreman, Chase, Cameron, Taub, Kutner, 13 and some nurses. All perfectly willing to donate their time to such a good cause. And they even do it without complaining." Cuddy pushed the final loop through the knot and pulled it snugly, adjusting it until she created the perfect bow.
House glanced at his reflection in the glass wall of his office. "Nice. Where'd you learn how to do that?"
"Around," she said simply. House raised an eyebrow curiously, but before he could ask another question, Wilson spoke.
"Lisa, I forgot to tell you, Hadley can't make it. She's sick today." They all knew why, he didn't see the point of going into details.
"How bad?" Cuddy asked concerned.
"She'll be fine tomorrow."
"Great. Now we're one woman short. We already have twice the number of men as women."
"I'll take one for the team and withdraw myself from the auction to help balance the numbers," House offered.
"No," Cuddy said firmly. "You are not getting out of this."
"Well, then I can only see one solution. You'll have to take her place. After all, it is for the good of the hospital."
"I have to officiate with Wilson." Lisa chose to be emcee so she didn't have to actually be in the auction. The only reason why she even asked Wilson to help her was so that House couldn't use Wilson's absence as an excuse not to take part himself.
"I can handle it myself. I'm not that hopeless," Wilson said.
"It's not that, it's just that--"
"That you don't want to do it," House interrupted. "That you gave yourself the emcee job so you wouldn't have to pimp yourself out."
"It's not that I don't want to do it, it's just--"
"If you don't do it, it will look like you don't want to do it. How can you force me, or anyone else for that matter, to do something you yourself won't do?"
Wilson smiled and shook his head. "He's got a point. You'd be a hypocrite." Cuddy shot him a dirty look. She couldn't believe he was encouraging House, especially after she told him how relieved she was to not be on the auction block.
"Wasn't this auction thing your idea? How would it look to the board if you refuse to--"
"Fine," she said sharply. "I'll do it. Now, can we make our way to the clinic? People should start arriving at any second and we have to be there to mingle."
Cuddy turned and left House's office, the two men lagging behind her, admiring her ass as she sashayed down the hallway in front of them.
"You're going to bid on me, right?," House asked Wilson when Cuddy was safely out of earshot.
"I've got 500 in my wallet with your name on it."
"What if someone outbids you?"
Wilson laughed. "They won't."
"What if they do?"
"Then they can have you."
"Some friend you are, I'm not even worth a lousy grand." Wilson laughed. "Hey, can I borrow a couple thousand dollars?"
"In case I see something I like," House wagged his eyebrows.
"No. I don't loan you money any more, remember?"
"But it was so much more fun when you did. What do you say? For old times sake?"
"House, if you want to bid, you'll have to use your own money."
Cuddy was pleased. Besides Hadley's absence and her being the emergency substitute, the evening was going quite well. House, surprisingly, had been on his best behavior, chatting up every female to come within a one-foot radius of him. Wilson was an excellent emcee, funny and charming. Cameron had set the record high for the night so far; a donor paid over 10,000 to spend the next day with her. Chase currently had the highest buying price of the men; the attractive wife of a philanthropist paid over seven grand so he would spend the day with her on the golf course. Foreman and Kutner also brought in four-figures and Taub's wife spent 4,250 for some "alone time" with him. There were only a handful of doctors left, herself included, when House walked onstage.
"Ladies and gentlemen, the next item up for bid, Dr. Gregory House!" The crowd applauded. "Dr. House is the Head of Diagnostic Medicine with a specialties in Nephology and Infectious Disease. He likes long rides on his motorcycles, candlelit dinners of Chinese take-out and snuggling at a monster truck rally. His hobbies include watching 'General Hospital', pulling pranks and annoying the crap out of people." The audience laughed loudly as House crossed his arms in mock-anger. "Doctor, do you mind giving us a turn." Wilson motioned for House to spin around. "Let them see what they're getting." House rolled his eyes and slowly did a 360. The crowd cheered as Kutner and Chase wolf-whistled. "Very nice. Shall I start the bidding at 500?"
"500," an cute blond bid.
"1,000," an equally attractive brunette at the back countered.
"1,500!" an pretty redhead yelled. House was pleased. All of them were hot.
"2,000!" an elderly woman in the front called. Her equally old friend beside her giggled. House remembered talking to her earlier that evening, she wanted him to have a look at her bunion. He had refused, but, apparently, too politely since she was bidding on him.
"2,500!," the blond shouted.
"3,000!," the redhead roared.
"4,000!," the old lady screamed.
"4,500!" The brunette was back in the game.
"6,000!," the old lady yelled.
"6,500," the blond offered.
"7,000," the redhead countered.
"7,500!," the old lady shouted enthusiastically. The brunette looked down, obviously she couldn't afford any more. The blond turned her attention to the man standing beside her.
"7,600." The redhead was almost out of cash, too. House was worried, he could think of nothing worse than being stuck with some old broad, diagnosing her bunion for an entire day.
"8,000!," The old lady screamed triumphantly.
The redhead was silent. House, looked at Wilson and said, under his breath so only his friend could hear, "Bid on me. Lend me the money. I swear I'll pay you back."
Wilson temporarily covered the microphone as he whispered his response. "And miss your date with the septuagenarian? Never."
"You realize this is war?," House threatened.
Taking his hand away from the mic, Wilson prodded the crowd, "Only 8,000? Ladies, Dr. House can cure what ails you, even if you don't know what you're suffering from!"
"8,250," the redhead smiled at House.
"9,000!" The old lady had bid again. House looked at the redhead, begging her, with his eyes, to buy him, but she just shrugged apologetically.
"9,000... going once... going twice... Sold to the little lady with the large checkbook!" The crowd clapped. House gave Wilson the coldest stare he could muster as he limped away.
Cuddy passed House on her way up to the stage. "Congratulations, House," she said earnestly. He scowled at her. "Look at it this way, you earned more money for the hospital than any of the other male doctors." He stared at her still glowering. "And I bet that redhead would give you her number if you asked." He scrutinized her for a moment and then smiled reluctantly.
"Ladies and gentlemen, the next doctor up for grabs and the last female of the evening... the lovely Dr. Lisa Cuddy!" Cuddy nervously walked onstage to generous applause. "For those of you who don't know, Dr. Cuddy is the woman responsible for this fabulous event." The crowd cheered. "She is the Dean of Medicine at Princeton Plainsboro Teaching Hospital with a specialty in Endocrinology. Though busy with her work, she loves to try new things and enjoys going to plays and art exhibits. She is beautiful, intelligent, charming... the list could go on and on." Cuddy smiled at Wilson and blushed slightly. "So why not we skip straight to the good stuff. Shall I start the bidding at--"
"12.73?," House yelled from the crowd. "I think I've got exact change in my pocket--"
"Please, ignore the man with the limp. Bidding will start at 500."
"500," Dr. Vincent called out. For three years Vincent had been hoping to bed Cuddy. Wilson knew it, House knew it, everyone knew it. Cuddy prayed that he would be outbid, so did House and Wilson.
"1,000," a silver-haired board member countered.
"2,000," offered a man who resembled George Clooney. Cuddy smiled brightly, House frowned.
"3,000," Vincent answered, confidently.
"4,000," the board member bid.
"5,000," Vincent responded.
"6,000," George rebutted.
"7,000." Vincent almost seemed bored.
"7,500," George replied.
"10,000." Vincent grinned victoriously as George shook his head. Wilson waited for someone, anyone to counter. After a few moments of silence, Vincent called out, "Does that mean I've won?" The crowd laughed lightly. Though she hid it well, Wilson could tell that Cuddy was panicking on inside and he couldn't blame her. Vincent was a good doctor, but a wart of a human being. He was like a used car salesman... except slimier.
Maybe it was the fact that no one should have to be subjected to a date with Vincent... Maybe is was the fact that he felt bad for her... Or maybe it was the fact that she had held their group together for the past few months, that she had been there for him and for House, that she had been closer to him at the hardest time in his life, closer than anyone... what ever the reason, Wilson felt himself compelled to act.
"11,759.23," Wilson countered.
James saw House's jaw drop and he heard Cuddy quietly whisper to him, "You do know, I can't pay you back? I don't have that kind of money just sitting around."
"Are you bidding?," Vincent shouted, irritated.
"You can't bid!"
"Sure I can. 11,759.23...goingoncegoingtwiceSOLD!... to me for the price of a couple's cruise around the world." Wilson had said it as quickly as possible, so Vincent wouldn't have a chance to outbid him. The audience laughed loudly. Vincent stormed away, livid. Cuddy smiled at him, both stunned and grateful. House, on the other hand, did not look pleased or amused. In fact, he looked furious.
Author's Note (Part Two): I really wanted to do a fic with House freaked out about Cuddy/Wilson because I absolutely adore the "Seriously?!" episode. Next up... date day/night!