A/N: This is the final chapter. Thanks for all the reviews- I had fun writing this daft little fic!
Chapter 6: Appreciation
I stopped thinking of Saturdays as part of the weekend a long time ago. I actually like being in my office at the weekend. It's quieter with fewer staff around and I get more work done with no phone calls to make. I'm not planning to stay long today though. I just have to collect copies of the monthly departmental reports. I'm flying to Vancouver tonight for a conference and I'm planning to read the reports during the flight. I begin to reminisce about the last time I went to a conference in Vancouver. I met a really nice Canadian Haematologist who just happened to be gorgeous. I have very good memories of Vancouver!
My pleasant reverie is interrupted when I look up to see two figures outside my office. I don't believe my eyes. There is no reason why House and Wilson should be here at the hospital. It looks like they are arguing. Wilson is gesticulating wildly and I think House is just rolling his eyes in response. Eventually Wilson throws his arms up in the air in apparent defeat before he manhandles House into my office. The honeymoon period obviously didn't last very long!
For a moment I think that perhaps they've had a massive argument and they want me to act as their relationship counsellor. The phrase 'too much information' rushes through my mind and I can't prevent the shudder of unease that runs through me. Fortunately, House and Wilson don't seem ready to kill each other. House is clearly here against his will though, grumbling under his breath about being awake before midday on a weekend. Wilson simply smiles a greeting at me.
"Are you two okay?" I quickly ask. I need to steel myself if Wilson says he needs my advice.
"Yes, we're fine, great." Wilson shrugs his shoulders as if I've asked a strange question. I breathe a sigh of relief as Wilson walks towards my desk and sits down in the empty chair nearest to him. House scans my office and opts for the couch and lies down on it as if he wants to take a nap there. It's his way of protesting his presence I'm sure.
"Why are you here?"
"We wanted to catch you before your flight to…" Wilson trails off as he tries to rack his brain.
"Vancouver, you fool!" House calls out. He opens his eyes briefly, but only to retrieve his Vicodin bottle from his jacket pocket which had been digging into his side. He puts it down on the table in front of him before returning to his original position on the couch. Apparently Wilson's new coping mechanism is to ignore House's name-calling completely.
"Do you want to get some coffee?" Wilson asks me. We share a private smile as we both remember how just over a week ago I had suggested the same thing to him.
"That's sounds good." I reply.
"Finally!" House quickly sits up to make his way to the door, but he remembers to grab his Vicodin before he leaves the couch.
This time Wilson gets the coffee while I follow House across the hospital cafeteria to a table of his choosing. I don't know why he doesn't just pick the first table he sees. I have no idea what thought process is involved. I did once think that he probably does things like this on purpose, to create the perception of being an eccentric genius, but he really doesn't care what people think of him.
We sit in silence while we wait for Wilson to return. It gives me an opportunity to study House for a moment. He doesn't look different really. It's not as if he is glowing with happiness. But he does seem more relaxed, as if a weight has been lifted from his shoulders. He tolerates my scrutiny for only a few seconds before he twists his expression into a funny grimace. I retaliate by copying the face he makes. Wilson's arrival quickly puts an end to our juvenile behaviour, but it's good to see House smile warmly at Wilson as he sits down next to House.
"I wanted say thank you…" Wilson glances across at House before adding, "…for not listening to me." He then produces a small varnished wooden box from his pocket and slides it across the table towards me.
"Is this for me?" I ask in surprise. "You didn't have to."
I open the box to find a beautiful emerald cut amethyst pendant which is on a long gold chain. It's not my usual style of jewellery, but stunning nonetheless. It's obvious that Wilson chose the necklace, and that he has very good taste. I take the necklace out of the box so that I can put it on. House snickers like a twelve year boy when the pendant falls down my shirt and disappears into my cleavage.
"Thank you." I add as I look down to rescue the pendant.
From the corner of my eye, I catch how House can't stop his fingers skimming across the table to touch Wilson's hand. It really is too cute for words. But I won't mention it. I can't risk making House feel self-conscious; he will only fold his arms to keep his hands away from Wilson. Even though the expression on House's face is neutral, his eyes give away far too much. I don't want to spoil his good mood.
"So have your started to plan the wedding?" I ask, changing the subject away from myself. I am rewarded by the sight of both House and Wilson choking on their coffee.
"Cuddy!" Wilson exclaims when he stops coughing.
"Oh, that made my day!" I gleefully say after I've stopped giggling at them. I glance at my watch and remember that I was only planning to stay for a few minutes. I still have a few errands I need to run as well as packing my suitcase.
"As much fun it is to tease you both, I really have to go now." I pick up my half-full cup of coffee and the jewellery box as I get ready to leave.
"Just one question." House looks up at me. "How long did it take to cook up your little plan? Wilson said…"
"Wilson talked to me last Friday." I reply quickly. "I didn't tell him what I was up to." House shakes his head once and I soon realise what he is really asking. I shrug my shoulders and open my mouth to continue my answer, but Wilson begins to speak.
"Well, we'd be happy to return the favour anytime. In fact I have a friend in New York who's a Paediatric…"
"No! No, no. There's no need!" I manage to interject. The look of horror that must be on my face makes them laugh heartily. My scheme was nothing compared to what House could think up. He'd consider it as retribution for allowing himself to be manipulated by me.
"Thanks again, Lisa." I can hear the sincerity in Wilson's voice.
"It's clear you…care for each other." I choose my words carefully, finally answering House's question. "But I just wanted to find a way to make you both realise how much."
My response seems to satisfy House as he looks away and I am surprised to see him blushing. I don't know if it is embarrassment over his overt jealousy or that the depth of his love for Wilson is now no longer a secret.
"I'll see you next week." I say as I stand up. I make my way to the cafeteria exit, turning around when I reach the door to take one last look at them. House has moved from his chair so that he is now sitting opposite Wilson. They are simply looking at each other and smiling with the same sappy, goofy grin. It is so adorably romantic that it makes me smile too.
I head back to my office to collect my purse and the reports and I think about how House and Wilson have renewed my hope that maybe I too will find the love of my life in the most unexpected way.