Sink Hole: How James Wilson Lost a Home and Found a House (2/2)
Rating: Slash; PG-13
Disclaimer: I sure wish I owned these guys, but I don't
James Wilson felt as if he were sneaking into Fort Knox. It wasn't that he was afraid of meeting House . . . after all, how could House know what he was planning, but, ever since the literal collapse of his hopes for a home, Wilson had felt like wearing garlic or something to protect himself from the specter of further bad news.
It was a relief, therefore, when he met . . . no one, as he entered the lobby . . . not even Cuddy was there to offer further advice and sympathy. Turning the key to open his office, he felt a sense of relief upon entering the darkened room. Looking across into the meeting room, he realized that the ducklings were not even about. Perhaps House wasn't even here. Wilson collapsed on his sofa for a moment then noticed that his hands were filthy. He had had to clean the windshield this morning and obviously some dirt had been left.
Unlike House whose hygiene often left a great deal to be desired, Wilson thought of himself as fastidious. As he headed towards the men's toilet, however, he also had to admit to himself that House's usual musk had a sexual lure that could be enticing . . . not that he, himself, was attracted.
Washing his hands moments later, the peace of the day quickly disintegrated when a well-known bellicose voice was heard, just as the door to the restroom opened,
House had arrived.
Turning to face the bellowing monster, Wilson queried, "Did Cuddy tell you?"
A genuine look of confusion crossed the scruffy face. "What'd ya mean, Cuddy? She knows about this too?" For a second Wilson thought he saw genuine hurt in the blue eyes but it was hidden swiftly.
Realizing his mistake, Wilson decided to tread carefully. "I . . . uh, talked to her because she owns a house, and I wanted her advice."
House smirked as he contemplated that discussion, but then he bore in on the most important point. "Why'd ya want a house anyway?"
"I thought I would like to spend my money on something a bit more permanent . . . you know, instead of paying rent for an apartment or something."
"You can BUY a condo. Oh, I forgot you've already done that several times with your wives."
**Oh brother, the sarcasm assembly line is really getting in gear now.** Wilson stared for a moment and then remembered how this had all started, "How'd you find out?"
In his snarkiest voice, House related his "ordeal" in dealing with a phone call to Wilson's phone. One in which Wilson was not there to answer so it kept ringing and ringing. On the other end, after a bit of confusion, House discovered one Morton Kendall, who was calling to apologize for Dr. Wilson's problems with HIS house. House promised to give his bestest friend the message and hung up, running (figuratively) to find the fugitive from the truth.
"That's all you've got to say? Oh?"
"Did . . . Kendall say anything else?"
"Well, he said something about you losing the house, but that's all."
Feeling slightly relieved, Wilson shrugged, trying to make light of the situation. "Yeah, I never got to sign the papers so I lost the house. You know . . . sort of like the time, you deleted the message so I didn't buy that condo I was hoping to get?" **Might as well take it to the man, so he won't ask more.**
House stood in the open space of the restroom contemplating his friend. Something was going on and one of them was not coming out of here alive, until the secret was exposed.
"How was it lost?"
Wilson knew that his hope of avoiding the ridicule and sarcasm was gone, but he was moving; he was getting a new home; he was starting a new life, and he was going to be without Greg House so he might as well find his backbone and tell all.
And he did. For the next ten minutes, he explained his dealings with Morton Kendall, the ordeal with the sink hole and even more importantly, his plans to move out of the state and begin a new life in a new position. House listened and said nothing.
Fortunately for both combatants, several personnel entered the room at that point. House snarled and growled, mumbling something about weak bladders, but it was enough of a diversion for Wilson to make his way out of the restroom and return to his office ahead of his limping interrogator.
Wilson sat down, preparing for the worst, but the worst never happened. House did not barge in and within minutes James Wilson was involved in clinic duty and his other duties in Oncology. Nevertheless, he kept waiting for the other shoe to drop.
About 1:00, Wilson was paged to go to the main lobby where he had a visitor. Arriving there within minutes, he was surprised to see a visitor whose very appearance spoke sensuality. His long blond hair tumbled gently to his shoulders, but it was certainly pleasant to see such a clean shaven, self-confident man, wanting to meet him. Walking up to the lobby desk, he announced, "I'm James Wilson."
Holding out his hand, the tall, strikingly handsome man introduced himself, "I'm Simon Cantwell, Dr. Wilson. I have to go to Paramus today, and I thought I would come by and introduce myself and give you the information that I've gathered so far."
Pleased to see such efficiency, Wilson smiled and took the folder. "That's great. There's so much to think about; this will help me get started. Do you have time to stay for a cup of coffee or something?"
The handsome man, just a few years older than Wilson seemed pleased by the suggestion so the two men went to the hospital cafeteria to discuss Wilson's plans. Surprisingly the two men hit it off immediately, finding common interests. Cantwell seemed to understand exactly what Wilson was looking for. The inner turmoil that Wilson had been feeling had settled down to a mild euphoria. He would have his home.
Wilson would have been less content, however, if he had known that while he spent a pleasant half hour with his realtor, Greg House had spotted the two men who had their heads together over some folders, and that the same Greg House was planning to launch a campaign which would be fought to the death for the person of James Wilson.
It had been a long day . . . a very long day. Two young patients of his had had relapses but were now stabilized. He had stayed at the hospital until well after 9:00. His lunch had been the cup of coffee while he was with Cantwell. He had gone to the lounge later and thought about a peanut butter sandwich, but just the sight of the swirling goober made his stomach cringe with the memories of the time that Tritter had cut off his funds and peanut butter had become his refuge.
James Wilson had thought he had put the Tritter episode behind him, but now he realized that it took very little to bring up the memories that still haunted him. The same was true about Amber. He'd loved her, but he would never have married her. Even now, he would find or see something that would haunt him about those months and her soft, warm body next to his.
House was an enigma and a mystery and even though Wilson had known the man for twenty years, the last several months disturbed him. He had returned to PPTH after Amber's death and seemingly taken up his friendship with House again, but had they really repaired the terrible wound that had separated them for many months? If that schism had really been repaired then why was he so willing to move to another state as well as moving out of House's life? He kept telling himself that he wanted more, but why had a home become the focal point of his desire?
Tiredness flowed over him like a hot shower. Luckily, he had prepared casserole weeks before so it was easy to put it in the oven. That is if he could stay awake. Deciding to take a shower, Wilson began to remove his clothing when the door buzzer sounded. Dragging himself to the door, he looked out the peep hole and saw a sight that he never expected: House blowing him a kiss . . . of course, he could have been blowing a razzie, but it did look much more like a kiss.
Opening the door slowly, Wilson looked out and saw . . . nothing. Suddenly a bouquet of roses appeared from behind the exterior wall. Since a hand was attached to the roses, Wilson assumed that it must be House, as ridiculous as that seemed.
"Come in, House."
The aforementioned House immediately appeared and waltzed his way into the room. Wilson stared at the huge bouquet of roses but said nothing. The two men continued to stare at each other for several moments then House smiled and said, "Here's some roses for your girlfriend."
Wilson's handsome face frowned, "What are you talking about?"
"Well, I saw that hot babe you were having a tête à tête with at lunch this afternoon, and I figured that you might need something to sweeten her up."
"Are you insane? That was a man, not a woman."
House attempted to look mortified, but it was obviously faked. "Oh, excuse me. I thought that long hair meant something. Is he good?"
Wilson attempted to look disgusted by shaking his head like the man standing in front of him had an IQ in single digits, but that didn't faze House. "Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy, I know you swing both ways, but really - - in the cafeteria?"
"HE'S MY REALTOR!"
"Wow, I bet you'll get a LOW mortgage rate, IF you know what I mean?" Here House wiggled his eyebrows in a lurid and obscene way.
"WHAT do you want, House?"
Gregory House threw down the roses and stood staring at his friend; then in a small, almost desperate whisper, he said, "I don't want you to move."
Wilson stood there . . . blinking. Greg House had actually asked him to stay?
"I'm not just moving House; I may be getting a position at New York General. I've talked to Cheevers about the possibility, but I thought I told you that?"
Tiny flecks of green appeared in the blue eyes as House said with a touch of frost in his voice, "You sleepin' with him too?"
Wilson's mouth dropped open, "Are you crazy; I haven't seen Cheevers in five years or more. I'm a good enough Oncologist that I don't have to sleep with anybody to get to the top."
"Did you say that to Cuddy, too?"
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"Well, you were 36 when you got to be Oncology head; that must mean something." House's facial expression said that it must have been quite obvious.
"Well, you were 95 when she appointed you Head of Diagnostics so did you wait that long to put out?"
House gave his friend a gentle, proud smile. "Nah, didn't have to. She's always wanted my body after that one time."
Wilson's eyebrow shot up, but not really in surprise. He had guessed right, but, for some reason, he was getting no pleasure from it. "House, I'm tired; I just want to eat and go to bed."
"I'm willing to go along with that, but frankly I think your dinner is burning."
Suddenly, Wilson noticed the rather burnt smell that was in the air. Rushing into the kitchen, he opened the door to the oven. Thankfully, only the outer crust was somewhat dark. The casserole was still edible. Taking it out of the oven, he sat it on a trivet and began dipping out a large piece onto the waiting plate.
A noise in the doorway reminded him that House was still in the apartment . . . only now he was waiting in the doorway, looking at the aromatic food with a definite lustful stare. Sighing, knowing that he was being conned, Wilson asked, "Have you had dinner?"
"Sure, something from the cafeteria called Baby Beef Drumsticks . . . only they weren't babies, or beef, and if those are drumsticks, they've been doing gene splicing on them."
Wilson was quite familiar with this strange offering that the hospital cafeteria managed to have about once a month. He had overheard a conversation in which two doctors were wondering if the road kill quotas had been used to supply this "unusual" dish.
Seeing the forlorn face, Wilson fell into the trap and asked, "Sit down; there's plenty of casserole."
House smiled; his face labelling Wilson . . . a sucker . . . AGAIN. Both men sat down and tucked into the filling meal. After a half hour or so, with their stomachs full, Wilson started to get up to clear off the table, but House's hand stopped him.
"I meant what I said; I don't want you to move. If you want a home then get one around here, except Cuddy's that is."
"I've already tried that, remember. That sink hole seemed to be a message; try somewhere else."
"You're a moron. If money's a problem, I'll buy half of the house."
Wilson frowned and hesitantly asked, "Why . . . why would you put money into a house that I would be living in?"
"How did you ever make Magna Cum Laude? I meant that we'd each buy half and we'd live together."
LIVE TOGETHER! Just the sound of those words shook Wilson to the core. Trying not to swallow his tongue, Wilson managed to splutter out, "We . . . we've already tried that once, remember. That didn't work out too well."
"Well, of course not, Mr. Perfect Hair and Toe Nails, but we could buy one of those split type places where you would have your bedroom at one end of the house, and I could have my domain at the other end."
"Your domain, huh? Listen you haven't moved in 15 years; why would you do so now?"
House looked at him like "duh", and then his voice softened, "You walked out on me once; you married twice more; you committed adultery with me, and you flaunted your "girlfriend" in front of me. Figured I better speak up before you really blow it and move to New York or something."
Figuring that House was referring to Amber when he mentioned a girlfriend, Wilson was about to retaliate when he realized that House was referring to Simon Cantwell. Snorting, Wilson replied, "House, I am not involved with Simon Cantwell; he's my realtor. I haven't slept with a man since . . ." Here he stopped, realizing that he was about to blurt out that-which-must-never-be-spoken-about.
House looked at him suspiciously; his blue eyes hidden behind drooping eyelids. There was tension in the air, and Wilson was afraid what House would say next, but he was mildly surprised by what House was focussing on.
"Whose fault was that? How'd I know that you were going to divorce "Woody" so soon after the Medical Convention? Did you expect me to wait around to see what you were going to do when you left Louisiana with your tail behind your legs, and not even mentioning those two nights?"
"I know . . . but when I did contact you, you were already with Stacey. I thought you would settle down."
"Yeah, and you were hooked up with Bonnie. What's with you and realtors? You don't feel compelled to marry every one of them, do you?"
"Yes, I do; maybe it's this need for a home that I have."
"How about a House; will a House do instead?"
Wilson was speechless. What a loaded question. It could mean a lot or a little. Wilson was sure that whatever he said would be the wrong thing, but the two men couldn't just stand there, staring at each other.
"I don't know why a home has become so important, maybe because it represents commitment, and I know you're not willing to make a commitment. I'm sorry, House, but you once told me when I needed to talk to a friend that you weren't that type. You would soon find the whole thing boring. You'd expect me to do the dishes, wash the clothes, and cook the food and what would you contribute to the whole thing?"
"How about sex?"
"I'm willing to trade sex for you doing all those "wifey" chores."
Wilson bristled at the suggestion of him being feminine but he held back his anger. "Doesn't sound like much of a bargain; if I wanted sex I could pay a few dollars and save myself having to do all the chores."
"Yeah, but the sex would be with me."
"Gee, Mr. Modesty! Why did I forget that?"
"Cut it, Wilson. I'm willing to give up my privacy, and my way of life to keep you here; where can you find a better deal than that?"
"Well, I'm sure the Yellow Pages could give me a few ideas."
"What's New York and a home got that I can't give you?"
Wilson ran his hand over his forehead; a monstrous headache beginning to grow. "House go home and sleep it off. I'm sure when the aliens put you back in your bed, it will all seem like it never happened."
House limped a few steps toward the younger man. "Why are you really doing this; it can't just be a home?"
"All right, call it my genetic clock or something. Maybe I'm reaching a mid-life crisis; some men want a cute young thing; I want a home and . . ."
"What you want is me; just as I've wanted you since that goddamned Medical Convention 20 years ago. You went home to your wife, and I went on to Stacey. We both made a mistake; let's not make another one."
Wilson stood, blinking his eyes in utter amazement. "Why didn't you say something before?"
"When have I ever had time between wives, dying lovers, or cutthroat bitches?"
"I . . . I . . . I . . . don't know what to say."
"Nicely put; now, let's go to bed and I'll show you how sincere I am."
"Wake up, Wilson. I may not be able to give you a home, yet, but I'm certainly willing to give you a House."
"You're really serious?"
"Let's go to the bedroom, and I'll show you how serious."
Turning towards the bedroom, Wilson had taken a few steps when he whirled around, looking extremely insecure. "This isn't just one of your jokes, is it? I mean, like sending me flowers in Cuddy's name?"
The look on Gregory House's face spoke of many things, especially his determination and sincerity.
"Okay, let's go."
Hours later the two men lay entwined in each other's arms. House had taken a Vicodin and was fairly floating, but he wasn't sure if it was the med or Wilson's musk. They had brought each other to climax in a mindboggling act of need, but now they were lying next to each other, Wilson felt contentment, but he wasn't sure about House. The oncologist had wanted to lay his head on House's chest but felt that House might think that was too sentimental.
You never knew with House. He berated feelings and sentiment, but he was the one who had pushed this. Perhaps it would be better to cool things down a bit because he was extremely wary of being hurt again by the scruffy faced man. To that end, he began to pull away from the other man in preparation for getting up, but a roughened hand stopped him.
"You tired of this already? What was it . . . just another test?"
Wilson turned and looked at the dishevelled man, "What test?"
"Like the one you gave me when I tried to get you to go with me to dinner when my mom and dad came to town."
"Oh, you mean, like the gradual increase of money that you kept asking for?"
"I just wondered how far you would go . . . how far are you willing to go with this?"
"House, I'm not even sure what THIS is."
"Gee, I thought they would have covered it all in various medical courses you took, but if you need me to explain."
Lightly tapping the man, Wilson whispered, "You know I didn't mean that. House, I need to know what you want from me. You say you'll give me sex in return for us living together and me doing the chores. Okay, but that's not what I want so I think we better talk about this . . . or I'm out of here."
"This is your apartment, you idiot; how can you leave?"
Wilson scrunched up his face and made another effort to move away, but once again was stopped.
"Okay, okay, here's what I want. I-want-you-to-stay-in-Princeton-and-not-move-away."
Feeling strangely disappointed, Wilson said nothing, just stared into the blue eyes. After several moments silence, he whispered, "I see." With that he pulled his arm free and got up from the bed. "How often do I get sex if I follow your wishes, oh magnanimous one?"
Greg House knew that somehow this whole thing had taken a wrong turn, but he didn't know where so he decided to bluff. "Whenever you want; Cuddy would love to see us in the main lobby, I'm sure."
That was a mistake and House knew it as soon as he said it. James Wilson headed towards the bathroom, slamming the door loudly. In typical House style, he shouted at the closed door, "WELL, YOU ASKED!"
Although it was getting late, it was still earlier than House usually arrived at the hospital so he decided to wait out his recalcitrant friend. Hearing the shower and later the hair dryer, House knew that Wilson was getting ready to go to PPTH. What was he going to do now?
Finally, the younger man came out of the bathroom, fresh shaven and looking devastatingly handsome. Wilson headed for the kitchen but halted when he heard House whisper, "I can't tell you I love you."
Turning slightly, his brown eyes shuttered against further hurt, Wilson replied, "Well, thanks for that; I'm glad I didn't force you to do anything that you can't do."
"I can't say I love you because I said it to Stacey and it meant nothing. Did I tell you that I met her when she shot me?"
Wilson nodded but said nothing. House continued, "She wasn't boring, and she was good in bed, but I couldn't tell her what she really wanted to hear . . . that I was in love with her. I couldn't do that because I was already in love . . . with you."
Now House had Wilson's attention. "You were in love with me?"
"Yeah, I guess it was the medical convention or you throwin' the bottle through the window or whatever, but I fell pretty hard."
"Well, it's good to know that at one time you were in love with me, but it's not really relevant to the situation now. I have to get to the hospital. Lock up when you leave."
House frowned, not understanding why Wilson seemed so unenthusiastic about this major pronouncement; then he realized how the man had read it. Shaking his head at the vast gap between them, he got out of bed, walked over to Wilson and said directly to him. "I AM still in love with you, you moron. I loved Stacey, but it wore off; you have never worn off. When you came to the hospital after the infarction, you were what kept me alive. If I could say I love you, I would. Let me show you instead."
"No, with this. House leaned over and kissed his friend of twenty years. Soon their bodies were pressed together in a mind numbing embrace. They kissed until they ran out of breath. Finally, House released his friend and stood back to stare at him.
Wilson's eyes seemed glazed over for a moment; then he returned to consciousness and asked, "Are you saying this just to get me in bed with you?"
House smirked, "Boy, you really trust me, don't you?"
"Okay, are you saying this just to stop me from moving?"
"No, I'M SAYING IT because I mean it although I understand why you might be a bit sceptical."
Wilson's eyebrows shot up to reveal that scepticism, but he also put his arms around House's waist. "How about the home I want?"
"What about it?"
"I want to move in in the very near future."
"We can negotiate that."
"Okay, but Simon Cantwell is out."
"What? He was really efficient."
"I don't want to hear the lurid details of your relationship; we're going to get some guy that knows this area around Princeton; not Mr. Blond Poof Realtor of the Month."
Wilson smiled gently, "You're jealous."
"Well, I guess we'll have to find someone else."
"No problem; I asked Morton Kendall to start looking."
"MORTON KENDALL - - not him, he's the one who tried to sell me a sink hole."
"Yeah, but at least he won't try to grope you."
"House, we are not using Morton Kendall."
"Okay, okay, we'll talk about the whereabouts of our home when we get back tonight, but right now you've got your House, what are you going to put in it?" As he asked this question filled with innuendo, Wilson gave him a quick kiss and then headed to the kitchen.
"Go take a shower. The only thing that's going into you now is breakfast, but if you're a very good boy, I might find something else this evening."
House gave him a lascivious look and rapidly headed towards the bathroom. Hearing the water running, Wilson began preparing breakfast. Within a few minutes, the shower shut down and House limped out into the kitchen with just a towel wrapped around his hips.
"Do I have any clean clothes here?"
"I think so, but I'll have to check."
"By the way, what are you going to put into this House later this evening?"
Looking at his lover, James Wilson, with a dead pan face, replied, "Why baby beef drumsticks, of course. Got them . . ."
Wilson never finished the rest of the statement as a very wet towel slapped him in the face. A riot ensued as Wilson saw the naked body. Both men were extremely late to the hospital that morning, and were not one iota repentant.