A/N: For a standard disclaimer see my profile. The lyrics on top are from "Ironic" by Alanis Morissette and I don't think I have to tell you that I'm not her either. You can expect Chapter Two in a day or two. Unless I get lazy again, of course.
"Life has a funny way of sneaking up on you.
Life has a funny, funny way of helping you out,
helping you out."
Someone was scratching at his door.
It had been a long week. The patient discharged yesterday had set a new record in tiresomeness. The amount of tests that had to be ran on him would be enough to diagnose the entire legion of regular, sick morons. New symptoms had appeared faster than pimples on a chocolate-addicted fifteen year old. And if that hadn't been enough, his heart had stopped four times in five days and he had had to be put on a respirator on six separate occasions. House suspected that since Monday the asshole had spent more time flat-lining than he sleeping in his own bed.
Now it was Saturday evening, the irritating idiot left the hospital completely healed and could go irritate someone else, and House was sprawled on his couch, catching up on all his favorite soaps. His Vicodin was standing on the coffee table, next to a box of the best take-out chili in Princeton and two empty Grolsch bottles. House was currently working on a bottle number three and in his opinion that was a perfect evening. Then he heard the scratching.
At first he thought it was the TV. The old thing had seen better days, so it was possible it would start making suspicious noises right in the middle of the dramatic season finale of "General Hospital". Irritating, yes - but possible. House turned the TV on mute. It didn't help.
His next suspects were the neighbors upstairs - a young, childless married couple who either obsessively redecorated their apartment every few days at ungodly hours, or simply liked to have noisy sex on every piece of furniture they owned. Usually they were the ones responsible for the loud bangs, waking him up in the middle of the night.
House sat up and held his breath, listening closely. No, that wasn't it. The sound was clearly coming from the direction of the door. Which left only one explanation.
"I'm not getting up! Let your sorry ass in yourself, Wilson!" yelled House. The scratching stopped and something behind the door squeaked thinly.
"What the hell?..." House scratched his head in surprise. For a moment he considered ignoring the strange event, but finally the curiosity won.
House dragged himself to his feet and limped towards the door. He promised himself that if he would see a stupidly smiling Wilson behind it, he would smack him on a head with his cane.
House opened the door and almost fell, when a brown, furry and completely soaked something dashed between his legs and inside the living room. House caught his balance, looked around the hall to make sure and, not noticing anything or anyone out of the ordinary, he closed the door and turned around.
There was a cat sitting next to the couch. A rather small, brown cat with huge, terrified eyes, shivering from cold and leaving a wet stain on his carpet.
"Meow?" said the cat.
House stared at him and tilted his head. "Buddy, I think you've got the wrong address."
"Seriously. The nice old lady lives on the third floor. I'm a mean asshole, who doesn't like unexpected guests. And especially drenched to the skin unexpected guests, who look like drowned rats and drop by at the very moment when Nurse Mary is about to take her blouse off."
The cat glared at him, looking insulted, and started licking his right paw.
House sat on a bench next to the piano and watched the cat, busy with drying his fur.
"And what am I supposed to do with you now?" he asked the cat after short deliberation.
"Well, yeah, that's one option."
"Oh come on, I'm not that much of a bastard. It's November, it's raining, I'm not going to throw you out the door."
"Don't look so happy, you furry idiot, I didn't say you could stay."
The cat stopped licking his tail and looked House straight in the eye.
"That old lady is really very nice."
"Meow!" said the cat categorically.
House ran over the list of people he knew, who could be presented with a wet cat.
"How about Cameron?" he suggested. "She is even too nice. And she has a habit of adopting every stray she runs into. She even tried to adopt me."
"Chase? You could play with his hair."
"Cuddy? Shit, no. Cuddy's allergic to cats... Wilson?"
"Mui!" Another thin squeak, in place of normal meowing.
"Mm? You want to live with Wilson?"
"Well, good choice, Jimmy is a good guy, we'll call him right away... Damn!" groaned House, remembering something important. "No can do, cat."
"...is on a conference in New York. For the whole week."
That was the end of the list. House tried to convince himself that he shouldn't give a damn about the cat and kick him outside, rain or on rain, but somehow it didn't work. Tormenting his employees, employers, patients, their families and innocent bystanders was one thing. Throwing frightened little animals out in a freezing November rain was a different matter altogether.
House sighed in defeat. "Fine, you can stay."
The cat smiled, showing out all his teeth, like only cats can, stretched his back and ran up to House, rubbing against his legs.
"You're welcome. And you're out of here, as soon as I think of something."
The cat looked at him, as if trying to say he didn't believe him.
House leaned down and scratched him behind the ear. The cat purred loudly. "I suppose I should name you, right?"
"Christ, if Wilson..."
"...could see me now, he would never let me live it down."
House stood up and went to the kitchen, with the temporarily nameless cat weaving around his ankles. In the fridge he found the light, old cheese, mustard and the leftovers from yesterday's dinner, which he planned to eat tomorrow for breakfast. The cat looked at him pleadingly.
"I don't suppose you like mustard?" he asked, opening the jar and giving it for the cat to sniff.
The cat took a step back and shook his paws with disgust. "Meow!"
"...doesn't like it either."
House eyed the tuna salad with regret. "Fine, you can have it" he said, putting some in a bowl.
He went back to the living room, with a happily purring cat trailing behind him and put the bowl down on a floor, next to the couch. He sat carefully and reached for his beer. The salad was gone in a flash and after a moment the cat joined him on the couch.
"You know what, Wilson..."
"...always sits there."
The cat stretched himself out on the leather cushions and House, focusing back on the TV, reflexively begun scratching his ears.
"So, about that name?" he asked the cat, purring with contentment, after a minute. "Any ideas?"
House looked at him. "You sure?"
"All right, why not. Wilson it is."