Fun and Games
A loud bang and the sound of wood slamming against wood echoed through the apartment as Wilson barreled through the front door.
House had been sitting peacefully on the couch, enjoying a Tivo'd episode of General Hospital when Wilson's knocking and yelling had interrupted Nurse Betty's confession to Doctor Brad.
"Thanks for the help," Wilson muttered as he slammed the door with the heel of his foot, plastic bags hanging from both forearms.
"Why were you knocking? You do remember that you live here now, right?"
"Maybe it might have meant...oooh, I don't know...that I needed some help? I was standing out there yelling your name."
"Sorry, didn't hear you. I'm not used to you screaming my name in this context. Next time you might want to add a few moans in there to grab my attention."
"I thought you might be a little more receptive to my arrival, considering I got this mainly for you."
House glanced down at the bags and caught site of the vibrant red and yellow lettering spelling out 'Game Crazy' on the side. A childish giddiness overcame him at the thought of possibly a new video game console.
His original Playstation had been stolen along with his stereo and several other items back when he was watching Hector, the geriatric mutt. Maybe Wilson was feeling guilty and decided to finally replace it. Silently, he hoped it was a new X-Box 360 or maybe the PS 3.
But then, through the paper-thin white plastic, he made out three distinct letters.
"You bought a Wii?" House responded, a little confused about the choice of systems. It wasn't exactly cripple-friendly.
"Okay. So you stole a Wii? You do realize that this is an interactive game, which means you have to get up and like actually be active. In case you haven't noticed, got a bit of a problem with the whole running and jumping thing."
"So, did you hold someone hostage to get it?"
"No! It was given to me...as a gift. I thought this would be a good adjunct to your physical therapy sessions."
House groaned in disapproval. Why did he ever make that promise to Wilson as a condition to him moving in. He had reluctantly agreed to go back to PT and work his leg strength. In return, Wilson put out. It was simple bribery, but it worked. "Isn't it enough that I'm being tortured three times a week because of you?"
"That's not torture. It's good for you. And not every game is like that. I got you one where you don't have to do anything more than move your thumbs. Unless you think that might be a little too demanding for you." He dug through the other bag, pulling out several boxes adorned with vibrant colors and cartoon action scenes.
"Super Mario Galaxy?" House asked, staring at the little Italian character on the cover with the oversized mustache, blue overalls and red hat.
"The kid at the store said it was pretty cool."
"Pretty cool?" Well, with a description like that, how could you go wrong?" House picked up the box and examined the outer-space-themed game. "Looks like it's for a five year old."
"Exactly. That's who I told him it was for."
House was already making a mental note to pick up the latest Guitar Hero and maybe Grand Theft Auto. Speaking of... "Hey, did you buy a steering wheel?"
"No. None of these games require one. Just the remotes and Nunchuks. He did recommend Mario Kart, though. So maybe we can get the wheels then."
House wrinkled his brow and tried to guess who would buy him a video game. Obviously, it was someone who didn't know him very well. "So, you still haven't told me who got this for you. Secret admirer?"
"One of my patients...well, her parents own Game Crazy over in Trenton and wanted to thank me for taking care of her. She's officially in remission as of last Tuesday."
"Yeah, yeah. I get it. Mommy and daddy are so happy their daughter will be around to graduate from junior high. So you get thanked with expensive video games? Sure beats some of that crap other patients have given you. Maybe I should change specialties. Become an oncologist."
"Or maybe you should consider being nicer to your patients."
"Hey, I save their lives. Isn't that enough nowadays? I just do it without all the added unnecessary crap."
"A little kindness can go a long way."
"Yeah, look where it's gotten you so far. Shacked up with your newfound boytoy, trying to figure out what plug goes into what hole."
"Aren't you lucky." It was not a question.
"I think I need a bigger TV," House stated, squinting at the tiny images on the screen from the vantage point from his couch.
"Good excuse as any. I've been telling you that for years but you're too damn stubborn to spend the money," Wilson replied, sitting next to House, occasionally glancing down at the owner's manual in his lap and then back up at the ancient television set.
"The prices keep dropping. I'm waiting it out."
"Give it up. They'll never be free, House. Hey, we can make our own versions of ourselves on here," he added, flipping through the manual. Leave it to Wilson to actually read the directions.
Wilson turned on the game and aimed the remote at the Mii Channel, following the prompts until he was on the main Mii building screen.
"Okay, let's start with the hair." Wilson would start there.
They navigated through the different options, House making lewd comments about disproportionate anatomy and lack of available accessories, including canes. This sparked a comment about discrimination and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
"It's a stupid game, House. Get over it."
"Oh my god, they stole your eyebrows!" House pointed with his cane towards the two rectangles that mimicked Wilson's own bushy ones perfectly.
Wilson's glare almost singed off House's own eyebrows. "They are not that big."
"Have you looked in the mirror lately? Yes, they are that big."
"Fine." Wilson added the eyebrows reluctantly.
"Now you need that big, stupid grin," House suggested as Wilson aimed the cursor at the open-mouthed smile. "Yeah, that one." Wilson obliged somewhat reluctantly. He finished up by adding a white shirt.
House stared at the screen and found the little Wilson Mii to be almost...dare he say...cute, right down to the rectangular eyebrows and goofy grin.
"Your turn." Wilson finished by adding his name and then clicked on 'new Mii'. "Let's see if they have a crippled, misanthropic jerk."
"You flatter me."
Staring at the screen with his big, stupid grin, Wilson repeated the steps for creating a new Mii and started to create House's likeness on screen.
"They need more choices for facial hair," House complained, "I can either look like Grizzly Adams or some pre pubescent punk. Where's the stubble? Oh! Maybe I should have the goatee." House scrutinized his Mii, grabbing his own chin, fingers rubbing gently over his jaw, staring at the likeness in front of him. "My face is not that wide."
"Well, that's the thinnest one they've got. Deal with it."
"And my head's not that big."
"I beg to differ."
"Gimme the mad face. I want to look intimidating."
"No. I'm going to at least give you a little smile. Be glad I don't give you the giant red lips." They settled on the simple half-smirk, satisfying both of them. He looked almost conniving and cunning with his furrowed brows and bright blue eyes, which fit House perfectly.
House grimaced disapprovingly at the screen. "I look like Butthead."
"It's a cartoon. A caricature. What do you expect?" Wilson chuckled a bit. House's Mii did have a scary resemblance to the character from Beavis and Butthead. "You act just like him, anyway. And that was your favorite show back then."
"Doesn't mean I want to look like him."
"Well, tough. It's staying like that. Now pick your color."
"Black? Okay." He changed the character's clothing to black.
"Great. Now I look like Butthead trying to impersonate Johnny Cash."
"It was your choice. Want a different color?"
"No, what I want is to actually, like, play a game. Can we do that now please?" House asked impatiently, pointing his own controller at the television, silently willing his remote to somehow overpower Player 1 and take control of the options screen.
No such luck.
After Wilson repeatedly edited his own Mii until it resembled him down to the hair parting on the correct side (even though the eyebrow choice was still open for discussion), he was finally ready to play.
From his slouched position against the back of the couch, House cracked an eye open and yawned dramatically. "Done already?"
"Oh, shut up. It's only been a few minutes." The little blue arrow hovered over 'Wii Sports' box. "Hey, the remote vibrates."
"Oh, really?" House's mind ran through possible alternative uses for the device before receiving an elbow to the ribs. "What? I didn't say anything!"
"I know what you're thinking. Stop it." House swore he saw the slightest glint in Wilson's eyes as he tried to be the 'serious' one.
"So now I get in trouble for keeping my mouth shut. That's fair."
"Oh, quit bitching. What do you want to play?"
They scanned the options together and decided on bowling, since it was one of the sports they still enjoyed together on occasion when House's leg wasn't acting up.
"Okaaaaay," Wilson, squinting at the screen as if it held instructions for unlocking the secrets of the universe, "Looks like you hold down the 'B' button." House enjoyed watching Wilson try to figure out the detailed intricacies of the system. Wilson had never been a video game connoisseur. It was a bit surprising Wilson even knew what end of the remote to hold.
"Yeah. I'm guessing that's what you do, since that's what it says," House answered dryly.
Wilson stood and lined up his shot as if he was on the Pro Bowlers Tour, eyes staring in concentration over the end of the white remote.
"Oh, just throw the damn ball already! This isn't rocket science."
After brown eyes glared over his shoulder, Wilson swung his arm stiffly back and then forward again, hand flying up in front of his own face in a "Heil Hitler" fashion. They both watched the ball land with a clunk on the alley and meander down the lane. After what seemed an eternity, the ball eventually reached the pins and nudged a few over with a slight 'thunk'.
"Nice form. Since when did you become a Nazi?"
"Ha ha. I can't wait to see how well you do your first time."
"I always score big the first time. You should know." Waggling his own Mii-friendly eyebrows at Wilson.
House held his remote in a seductive fashion, fingers wrapped tightly around the long slender device.
"It's long, it's hard, it fits perfectly in the palm of my hand, vibrates and is conveniently wrapped in silicone. Sounds to me like this should be in your-"
"Is everything a sexual innuendo with you?"
"Why shouldn't it be? It makes life that much more enjoyable. Don't you think?" House could see the redness creeping up into Wilson's exposed neck, the tips of his earlobes turning pink with embarrassment...or maybe that was lust?
Wilson shook his head in mock disgust and lined up his next shot, eyes peering over the top of the controller once again as he tried to keep a straight face while holding the conveniently shaped piece of equipment. He felt the heat rise in his face after House's comment, but tried to play it off as anger instead of a burning desire to jump the man right there on the couch.
Pressing the B button, he stepped forward and swung his arm in a giant arc reminiscent of his usual bowling motion, narrowly missing House's chin with his left-handed backswing.
"Watch it." House raised an arm for protection as he leaned out of the way to avoid Wilson's flailing limbs. "You're bowling, not cheerleading for the Eagles. Now I know why they have all those warnings on here about keeping breakable objects out of reach."
The pink (why did he get pink?) ball made its way down the lane and slowly curved to the right, missing the remaining four pins.
"Damn. I hooked it."
"And that's different how? You've always had a hook. Something to do with the limp wrists." Since they had moved in together, House hadn't stopped with the bad 'gay' jokes.
"Have not! And I don't have limp wrists. You didn't complain about my wrist strength the other night." He turned and motioned towards House's remote, catching a glimpse of something resembling a smile on his face. "Your turn, smart ass."
House remained sitting and leaned forward to the edge of the couch, right leg stretched out in front of him. Pressing the button, he prepared to swing.
Wilson stepped in front of him, waving a finger. "Nu uh uh. Stand up and do it right. That's the whole point of this game. No cheating." If House was going to build strength in that leg, he needed to actually use it.
"Since when was it cheating if a cripple had to sit down to play a sport? I don't see the refs pushing the people out of their wheelchairs during a game of cripple basketball."
"You're not in a wheelchair. You can stand in one place and throw the ball. It seems to work for you when we really go bowling."
"And it really hurts when we really go bowling. If I could throw the ball from my chair without having to get up...hey! I may need to try that next-"
"Remind me not to take you real bowling ever again." Why did he always have to invoke these crazy thoughts in that twisted brain of his?
House sent a sideways smirk Wilson's direction as he levered himself to his feet. "Happy now? I'm suffering only for you."
"I feel so special." Wilson scooted out of the way and sat on the end of the couch, feeling just a little touched by House's effort.
House transferred his weight to his left leg, his cane acting as an extra appendage in his left hand. With a flick of his forearm and wrist, he sent the ball careening down the alley with lightning speed. Pins scattered in all directions as the ball took out everything in its path.
'Strike' flashed across the screen as House simultaneously plopped back on the couch next to Wilson. "It's called conservation. One throw requires less time on my feet."
Wilson stared at House, dumbfounded, his jaw hanging open. "How'd you...?" he stammered, pointing at the screen. It was obvious House had played before.
"Beginner's luck." House shrugged nonchalantly, cane resting between his knees.
Wilson continued to stare at House, eyes narrowing suspiciously. "Riiight."
"Seriously, I've never played."
Doubt still evident on his face, Wilson lined up for his next shot.
Refusing to take his eyes off House, Wilson stood in front of the tiny TV. Finally, he turned his attention back to the game and lined up his shot. He threw the virtual ball once again, this time releasing it in a more timely fashion. Pins went flying and only two remained. "Ha! Eight! And I've never played before."
"What are you implying?" House asked with a hint of sincerity in his voice.
"I'm not implying anything; I'm outright saying it. You're a ringer!"
"I've thrown one damn ball! How can you call me a ringer?"
"I just know how you operate. You never jump into something unless you've studied it up and down and disassembled it piece by piece to be sure you'll gain some kind of benefit from it." Wilson eyed House closely, looking for any telltale signs of lying. Maybe a twitch or broken eye contact, but he got nothing.
House's face remained stoic, with a bit of surprise mixed in for good measure. "This game is not that difficult. You're acting like I'm asking you to unravel the Chaos Theory or something. You've got a physical advantage. You don't hear me bitching about it. Throw the damn ball."
"Um. Yes, you were bitching about it." Wilson let the next shot go. The ball started down the alley, then slowly curved to the right, passing by the two remaining pins in the center of the lane.
House pushed himself to his feet, embellishing the effort with a groan and a pause as he balanced again for his shot. He swung his right arm, releasing the ball with precision. It struck the head pin dead on and only eight pins tumbled to the floor.
He lined up his next shot, positioning his character further to the right of the lane to pick up the spare.
"You have played this before, haven't you? How did you know you could do that?"
"Because it says so right there on the damn screen! God, Wilson. Are you always this suspicious of me? I thought trust was the most important aspect in a functional relationship."
"'Functional' being the key word here. When you stop doing things to break my trust, then I'll stop being suspicious. But so far you've failed in that department. I know there's not a video game you haven't tried at least once. Come on, spit it out. Where have you been playing?"
"You think just because I'm more skilled and coordinated than you that I'm lying? What, do you think I'm moonlighting as an underground Wii gamer? Wilson, I'm hurt."
Wilson pondered for a moment as he studied House's posture. "I know you too well. Someone you work with must have one. Is it Kutner?" Wilson thought the new lackey would be the most likely candidate who'd own a gaming system.
"Yeah, I've been going to Kutner's house after work and hanging out with him. We'd down a few Cherry Slurpees while watching a Star Trek marathon then sharpen our Wii skills just so I could beat you when you unexpectedly bring one home," his voice laced with sarcasm. "I just used the 'dying patient' excuse as a cover."
House threw the ball with a casual swing of his arm, picking up one of the two remaining pins. Without a word, he plopped back onto the leather cushion, cane in left hand, remote in right. "Happy now?
Wilson remained on the couch, staring over at House who was focused on the little Wilson smiling like some giddy Muppet over the edge of his ball, awaiting the real Wilson's commands.
Finally, House turned toward Wilson. "Well? Are you gonna go or are you just waiting for Mii Wilson to go all HAL on you and throw the ball himself?"
The game continued. House was feeling like a pogo stick, bouncing up and down off the couch all to appease Wilson's demand to "play the right way." At least, when he played the Wii at physical therapy, he was able to sit down. He had mastered each game literally from the seat of his pants.
PT had gotten a game to help patients with balance and coordination but also let staff play it when there weren't any patients. House had convinced Wilson that he was actually putting in extra time with his leg, when in fact he was sharpening his skills with the Wii.
He had already been scolded for bowling from his ass. It was so much easier to remain on the couch, but no. Wilson and his damn "rules." The only reason House tolerated Wilson's pedantic interpretation of the game was because he really didn't feel like sleeping alone tonight, or even worse, relegate himself to the couch because Wilson's cold shoulder would cause frostbite in parts of his body he'd prefer to remain intact. It was always more important to win the war, even if a few battles were lost on the way - something he had learned while living with Wilson these last few months.
House ended up winning the game but only by a few pins. He had to continue the charade and not let Wilson get too suspicious. Surprisingly, Wilson had caught on relatively quickly and had finished with a smile on his face almost as obnoxious as his Mii. "This is fun, isn't it?"
"A laugh riot..." House mumbled, rubbing his aching thigh. He had ended up sitting on the armrest of the couch, tired of levering himself up and down like a goddamn yo-yo.
"How about boxing?" Wilson fiddled with the controller, aiming it towards the game.
"You're kidding, right?" He rubbed his thigh for added effect. "How many crippled boxers have you seen?
"Oh, come on. It can't be as hard as the real thing," Wilson answered nonchalantly.
Sure, easy for him to say. The one with two fully functional legs.
"Just so you know, payback's a bitch. I'd say this torture you're about to put me through deserves at least a full body massage with benefits...if you know what I mean." A flirtatious waggle of his eyebrows emphasized the request.
"We'll see. But you have to be a good boy."
"What am I? A dog?"
"Keep obeying me and I'll throw you a nice bone." That smile of Wilson's melted away any negative thoughts He could deal with this as long as there was a payoff.
Suddenly, two pieces of plastic were thrust in front of his face, a white cord snaking between them.
"Here, see what you can do with these."
"You didn't tell me it came with attachments." The corner of House's mouth raised ever so slightly as indecent and suggestive thoughts raced through his head.
Wilson felt like beating that smug grin right off House's face. House had to have played this game before. He was too good. Or maybe it really was just natural talent? The man was quite an athlete before the infarction, beating him on a regular basis in tennis and bowling.
"Now I need two hands? How am I supposed to hold my cane?" House whined. "And I suppose you expect me to stand for this too."
"Of course. Come on, you can do it. One more game and I promise you'll be rewarded handsomely."
House rested his cane against the end of the couch and stood up, his balance canted to the left, right leg slightly bent. He held the two white controllers casually in front of him in a half-hearted attempt to show interest, the safety strap dangling uselessly below his wrist.
Wilson securely fastened his own strap around his left wrist and held the nunchuck firmly in his right hand.
Brown eyes met blue as they stood side by side, weapons at the ready.
"So, what do we do now, besides stare stupidly at each other?"
"I'll start the game and then punch like you do for real."
"Sure, because in my line of work, slugging people is an everyday occurrence,"
"Well, it is with you." Wilson kept fiddling with the controls. "Somehow you've made practicing medicine a contact sport."
"Just start the damn game."
"You sure you're ready?"
House raised his fists in front of him in a threatening pose, eyebrows furrowed menacingly. "Bring it on."
The bell rang and both men came out swinging.
Wilson threw combos of jabs and crosses while House let go with a barrage of rights and lefts, catching Wilson's exposed midsection in counterpunches that quickly drained his energy.
With one mighty right cross, House sent Wilson sprawling to the mat as the announcer started counting aloud to ten. At 'eight,' a shaky Mii Wilson unfolded himself and stood again to face his counterpart.
The real Wilson glared menacingly at the real House.
The fight resumed and House continued to beat the crap out of Wilson on the tiny screen. Wilson's Mii executed almost a back flip when House caught him right in the face with a vicious left jab. This time Wilson stayed down.
"Bullshit you've never played," Wilson accused as the Miis performed their little post fight dance.
"Not my fault you fight like a girl." House plopped backwards onto the couch for the umpteenth time that evening. It was getting old. "Hey, check it out, we're dancing." House pointed at the screen with more amusement than deemed necessary as he watched the characters bounce to the music.
"I want a rematch." Wilson demanded , totally ignoring House's observation.
"Fine. You think you're gonna suddenly turn into Mike Tyson and beat the crap out of me? Just remember, no ear biting...unless it leads to further action in the bedroom."
"In your dreams..." Wilson was doing a good job of playing hard to get tonight.
Halfway through the first round in the fourth rematch, House had Wilson literally on the ropes, peppering him with a combination of jabs and body shots that had Wilson dodging and blocking punches like some poor picked on nerd being bullied at school.
Discreetly, House sank slowly back onto the comfort of the soft cushions as he kept up the onslaught. His leg thanked him profusely as the damaged muscle was relieved from trying to support his weight. Even his left leg was grateful.
House had to be conscious of flying fists both on and off screen. Wilson was now positioned slightly in front of his left knee. Flying elbows and fists swung dangerously close to his nose. It was like sitting next to someone with a severe case of Tourette's Syndrome.
As the bout continued, House found his focus wavering from the game back to Wilson. He had rolled up his sleeves, exposing well defined forearms bulging with exertion. Tendons on the back of his hand rippled like plucked guitar strings under slightly tanned skin.
House's eyes followed pinstripes up to broad shoulders straining against thin cotton as he watched Wilson's trapezius muscles working with each swing of his arm.
Following the thin black lines down to the small of his back where a small patch of sweat had soaked through the thin material, leaving a grey oval of damp fabric adhered to the hollow just above his belt line.
An overly ecstatic "Ha! You're down!" shook House out of his happy place. He looked at the screen and saw his Mii lying in a mass of crumpled arms and legs. The announcer started to count.
"Lucky shot..." Even though all he had seen at the moment of impact was the sexy damp spot on Wilson's lower back. A confused face peeked over a shoulder and stared down at him, eyebrows furrowed in question.
"Why are you...I thought we agreed you'd do this the right way." The announcer reached 'six'.
"No. You agreed. I simply chose to appease you to prevent further whining and complaining. And who's to say what is the right way? We all have our own unique style."
"Oh, cut the philosophical bullshit. Stand up." As if on command, House's Mii righted himself and prepared to fight again. Too bad the real House had no intentions of leaving his perch.
"No." The view was pretty nice from down here. House started punching, catching Wilson with a few unsuspecting blows.
"Hey! No fair!" Wilson spun back around and countered with his own combinations and dodges.
"All is fair in love and war," House muttered as he swung his hands in a large arc, catching Wilson with a few well placed body shots.
But quickly House's mind wandered back to the man standing to his left. An odd urge suddenly overcame him and a sly smirk snuck onto his face. Oh, this was going to be fun.
Bending forward, he leaned to his left and abruptly took a mouthful of Wilson's ass cheek in his mouth and bit down firmly but not too hard.
"OW! What the hell?" Wilson spun to his right, recoiling away from the love bite, arms and legs flailing. A remote clad hand suddenly appeared out of the corner of his eye before smacking him in the side of his head.
"Hey! No fair!"
"Who's talking fair? You bit me in the ass!" Wilson snapped, rubbing his right butt cheek with the Wii controller still in his grasp.
"And you just whacked me in the head with the remote. I'd say we're even." House answered rubbing the area next to his temple. Good thing those things are silicone wrapped for my protection, he thought.
The onscreen bout was still taking place and Wilson quickly swung back around to finish the fight.
"Whose idea was it to get this damn game anyway? Oh yeah, yours." House stabbed the nunchuk into Wilson's side.
"Would you stop it already?" Wilson's shrieked, his voice climbing several octaves. He tended to do that when he got mad or upset.
House stared at the two dark semicircles forming a perfect wet impression of his own teeth on the seat of Wilson's pants. He proudly smiled to himself. It looked like he had been branded. Wilson: Owned by House. Not quite as cool as two horseshoes but it worked.
Suddenly he felt eyes staring at him. He slowly glanced up to see Wilson staring at him ogling his rear end. A glimmer of affection shown through in those brown eyes, a smile creeping across his face as recognition struck. "House, are you checking me out?"
A warmth surged upward and settled in his face as he tried to play it off as nothing more than a quick glance. "I was getting bored and your rotundus rear end got in my way."
"You like my rotundus rear end, don't you?" The two boxers were staring at each other in the ring.
House ran the remote between Wilson's legs seductively. "Hmmmm, I could think of some other games we could play."
Suddenly, Wilson's controller clad hands were around House's back, rubbing furiously up and down in the heat of passion. They were both entwined in white cords, House's around Wilson's right leg, Wilson's around House's back.
"If you wanted bondage...I'm sure you could have... found an easier way to do...it." House muttered between hot, wet kisses.
Suddenly, House heard counting and raised an eyebrow. He pulled away from WIlson just far enough to see Mii House out cold on the floor, the announcer declaring a knockout.
"Ha! I won!" Wilson pulled back and lifted his arms over Houses head to untangle them and removed the safety strap from his left wrist.
"No fair! That's cheating!" That manipulative bastard, playing his weaknesses like that only for personal gain.
"Oh! And this coming from the king of deception. How does it feel to have one pulled over on you? I won. Deal with it."
"Fine. You finally won. Now what do I get?"
"I think you have it wrong. Usually, the person who wins, which would be me, gets the prize. So, what do I win?"
"Hmmmm, I could think of a number of ways to reward you." He squeezed Wilson's rear with one hand while gently rubbing against the fabric covering Wilson's crotch with the other. "I think I left your prize in the bedroom."
The sultry, flirtatious smile said it all.
House pulled himself to his feet with a helping hand from Wilson and started to head down the hall.
"Wait!" House turned around and picked up the abandoned remote from the couch. "This may come in handy," he said, the corner of his mouth rising in a seductive smirk.
As they made their way to the bedroom together, the Wii all but forgotten, House made a mental note to keep Wilson as far away from his physical therapy appointments as possible.