They'd both had a bad day. They'd both decided that in order to block out that bad day they needed each other, money, a bar and several jokes about Dr Cuddy's cleavage – which they'd noticed, despite everything, had been on top form today.
It was barely past 5pm and the place was practically empty, with the exception of the two men that sat on their stools practically using the bar to prop themselves up. Both had drunk far too much. Wilson had always been a fun drunk, but with House it was more like a process with many different stages. After the first few drinks, House would barely speak – this was his depressive stage. After a few more he'd break out of his shell with a couple of insults towards Wilson – Wilson knew this process very well, so the insults didn't bother him, not that they ever did, drunk or not. All Wilson had to do was wait it out, for after the fourth or fifth round of drinks (that Wilson paid for…naturally) the doors to the Fun-House were open.
This was the stage they were at – like two teenage boys, firing jokes about Cuddy's underwear, House shouting something inappropriate mid-way in the conversation, subsequently making Wilson cringe and then giggle to himself.
"I saw you ogling her today. Don't deny it," Wilson said through an intoxicated grin, "You love Cuddy!" he teased some more.
"I do not love Cuddy. Just cos' you want to SLEEP WITH HER!" The barman gave House a quizzical look as Wilson buried his head in his drink. "Anyway, her ass would get in the way."
"I thought you liked big-"
"Butts? Yeah. I cannot lie." House looked pleased with himself for that remark. Wilson sniggered, sucking the last dregs from his glass, and that was when it occurred to him.
"So. Wait." Wilson slurred, "You do love her?" House hesitated, a tell tale sign Wilson would have picked up on if his brain wasn't an alcoholic mush.
"No. But she does have the hots for you."
The game begins. This would be fun.
"Me? Really? No. You're lying." Wilson was swaying now and gesturing flamboyantly with his empty glass.
"No, really. She said – sh – she said – what she said was that she was waiting for you to do something." House grinned to himself.
"No…Really? Well, w-what can I do? I don't know what she likes." Wilson was flustered. Suddenly Cuddy wanted him. Suddenly he wanted her. Perhaps it was the alcohol talking, but with whiskey prevailing over coherent thought, twisted logic said that it was too late not to do something now. "Won't she…will she…wait. She'll still be at the hop…hop-sital…hospital, right?"
"In her office thinking about what she'd like to do to you," House said matter-of-factly. "There'll be baby Wilson crawling around in no time, looking up Cameron's skirt, befriending the little crippled kid in the corner…you'll be begging me to be godfather-" House snorted, realising how insane the conversation was.
"You do realise if me and Cuddy died, you'd be given a child?" There was pause as both men shook their heads and tried to suck nothingness from their glasses. That was when Wilson had an idea. Possibly the worst idea in his life – bar the 3 failed marriages.
"Come on," Wilson commanded.
"Where we going now? Strip joint? Steal some liquor from your dad and hide in the tree house?" House quipped.
"To the hospital, I'm gonna serenade her."
Now for the fun part of the evening. I'd better remember this is the morning, House thought.
As Wilson slid off his stool he could barely stay standing and House…well he had enough trouble standing up at the best of times. House grabbed his cane, Wilson flung his arm over House's shoulder to stay upright and onward to the hospital they staggered.
The clinic was fairly quiet. A few nurses were roaming the floor and there were still a couple of patients waiting to be seen. Usually if patients were waiting, House would avoid the clinic like the plague; this time, however, his friend's humiliation was worth venturing inside (plus he had no intention of actually being seen). They both stood at reception, behind the pillar, peeking at Cuddy through the doors of her office. They were far from inconspicuous; both had practically fallen into the hospital, both were swaying and both were talking much louder than they thought.
"So…now what?" Wilson said.
"I don't know; this was your idea."
"Well, er…w-w-what song should I sing?"
"You're really going through with this?"
"Well, she does like you. I mean me. You like me. I mean she likes me. You said she likes me, right?"
"Oh yeah. Like a hooker digs my cane."
Wilson's face looked puzzled.
Did Cuddy really say she was waiting for me? Is she thinking about what she wants to do to me? Do hookers really like House's cane?
His mind wandered, blinded by a drunken haze.
"I know. I know what to sing!" Without further warning, Wilson shot out from behind the pillar and stood in the middle of the clinic facing Cuddy's office doors. He looked serious as he knelt before the glass and began belting out his song.
"It might have appeared to go unnoticed, but I've got it all here in my heart! I want you to know I know the truth, of course I know it. I would be nothing without you!"
Cuddy shot a perplexed look from her desk to the loud, drunken man in her clinic. Oh no. Lisa Cuddy did not embarrass very easily, but as she headed out of her office she felt incredibly flushed, not many people were around, but the ones that were certainly weren't hiding their curiosity.
House kept behind the pillar. He didn't laugh he just stood, mouth agape, completely stunned by Wilson's new confidence. Wilson was usually so predictable. It was boring. House might've felt guilty if he hadn't been so impressed by his friend's sudden spontaneity.
The shock on Cuddy's face was apparent from the moment she realised Wilson was singing Bette Midler. Why Bette Midler, Wilson? Why?
"Did you ever know that you're my hero, and everything I would like to be?"
What the hell is he doing?
"I can fly higher than an eagle,"
No, Wilson. Don't say it!
"'cause you are the wind beneath my wings."
Then there was silence.
Wilson stayed down on his knees with his arms stretched, wide and inviting. He kept a satisfied yet slightly pathetic look plastered across his face as he fixed his eyes on Cuddy. She, on the other hand, was more than displeased. Trying to hide her embarrassment she stepped purposefully towards Wilson, looked directly down at him and whispered harshly, "Wilson, what the hell?"
Upon hearing her scolding tone, he felt his arms plummet to his sides. His face dropped from pathetically amused to crushed and confused in a second. Even whilst intoxicated, it clicked that this was all House's doing and he fell for it once again. He could only hope that he wouldn't remember this on Monday, but knowing House, he'd soon be reminded.
"It's not even 6pm and you're drunk! What force on God's green Earth told you this was a good idea?!"
Wilson looked like a little boy. His eyes were almost pleading for forgiveness. He thought about Cuddy's question and realised this wasn't all his fault. Why should he have to take all the blame? Keeping his eyes as puppy-dog as possible Wilson gradually turned his head towards the pillar and gave a nod in its direction. As Cuddy looked up, she was not at all surprised to see a wooden cane protruding from behind the white pillar and a wide eye peering around it.
"Oh. I might have…House!"
With that, House fell out from behind the pillar and onto the floor. His attention was not on Cuddy, but on Wilson. "Always knew you were a snitch," he slurred without derision, pointing his cane in Wilson's direction. Wilson simply grinned back at him, seemingly oblivious to the damage he'd recently done to his dignity – if, in fact, he had any left at all. House sat on the floor as Cuddy towered over him, but unlike her manner with Wilson, she was calm. She held out her hand to help him up, which he accepted, thanking her by accidentally-on-purpose falling into her cleavage. House heard Wilson scoff to himself as Cuddy shook him off.
"Go home, House." There was no harsh tone, no furrowed brow. "And take him with you." Cuddy pointed in Wilson's direction, but couldn't keep herself from smiling at the situation she was in.
As she turned away from House and headed back into her office, Wilson wobbled back onto his feet and sent a disgruntled look towards his soon to be ex-friend. But it was useless, House would just say something completely insensitive, Wilson would laugh at his candour and they'd be back to square one – Wilson falling for every little game House would invent. Wilson's frown curled into a smile and House smirked back at him.
"Back to my place?"
"What is it w-with you and getting me into trouble?"
"Oh no, Wilson's in trouble with the Dean again," House sang out in a high pitched voice. "Come on, it's late. Back to my place."
"House, it's 6:15."
There was a long pause as House fumbled with his jacket sleeve to check his watch.
"…Back to the bar?"
With the day they'd had, neither wanted a night to remember. Perhaps some aspects of their evening may have made for good memories, but House already had enough humiliated-Wilson anecdotes to last him a lifetime. No doubt Cuddy would bring it up sooner or later anyway. For now, all they needed was each other.
And the bar.
And many, many more jokes about Cuddy's cleavage – which House had now seen up close and personal.