Disclaimer: I don't own them. *sniff*
A/N: Another quickie story, so unbeta'd. Little angst and hopefully a little laughter in the end.
"Rough day?" House asked from Wilson's couch as his friend entered his office.
The oncologist sighed as he wearily shuffled to his desk and collapsed into his chair. "You here for a consult?"
"Hmm, no file in my hand, nothing on the light box… I'm going to say no."
Wilson cast a glare at his friend. "What then? You need me to buy you lunch?"
"Supper then? Just spit it out."
House leaned forward, resting his chin on the handle of his cane. "Seriously, Wilson… rough day?"
The oncologist allowed his eyes to meet House's and, upon spotting sincerity in his friend's expression, he nodded. "Roughest one since I took this job."
"Want to talk about it?"
He snorted as he straightened the files on his desk. "You don't want to."
"To talk? No. But I would be willing to listen." At Wilson's skeptical look, House shrugged. "Or I can wait until you're not around to go through your files and find out for myself."
Wilson couldn't help but smile at the truth in House's statement. "I don't know whether to find your level of obsession with my frame of mind to be comforting or frightening."
"Go with comforting," House suggested as he leaned back against the couch. "It'll be easier on you."
"Right," Wilson drawled. He silently studied his friend for a moment before taking a shaky breath and relaying the day's events. "I lost three today."
House whistled in surprise. "That's practically unheard of."
"Two kids and an elderly woman."
"That is a rough day."
"One of the children died this morning and the other one right after lunch. I was so busy with both of them and their parents that I didn't get word on Mrs. Aldrich until she was already gone." Wilson scrubbed a hand over his face, as if to wipe away the memory of the day. "She was seventy year old widow. Her husband died of a heart attack last year and they'd never had kids. She died alone, House. All because I wasn't there with her."
The diagnostician hesitated, knowing his friend needed comfort and cursing the fact that he didn't know how to offer it. Then again, Wilson had known that when they started their friendship. Deciding to show his support the best way he knew how, House quietly ventured, "At the risk of upsetting you further, I'd like to point out that none of this is your fault."
"I know," Wilson snapped as he pushed put of his chair and paced around his desk. "That doesn't help, though."
"I tell you what," House said as he rose from the couch and placed a hand on Wilson's arm to stop him from pacing. "Why don't we grab takeout and then we can watch a couple of movies at my place?"
"Is that supposed to cheer me up?"
The diagnostician looked at his friend in disbelief. "Um, yeah! It's worked before, hasn't it?"
Wilson thoughtfully nodded. "Yeah, it has." He put on his coat and stood in his doorway, holding the door open and gesturing for his friend to lead the way. As House passed him, Wilson gave him a firm slap on the butt.
"Wilson, what the hell?"
"Just expressing my gratitude in a manly fashion. You know, like football players."
"We don't play football," House pointed out with a glare. "Next time just say thank you instead of copping a feel."
Wilson was already starting to feel better as he followed his clearly agitated friend out of the hospital.
The next two hours passed in a blur of familiar routines. Their first stop was at their favorite Chinese restaurant where House ordered and then fled to the car, leaving Wilson to cover the bill. Next was a stop at the video store where, after being shooed out of the porn section by Wilson, House selected three action movies for their viewing pleasure. Once again he made quick work of ducking out of the store and leaving Wilson to pay. Their final stop was at a convenience store where House bought just about every form of junk food and a case of beer. He helped Wilson carry the items to the cashier and then studied a stain on the floor, seemingly oblivious to the fact he was making Wilson pay again.
Six hours later, the friends were relaxing on House's couch as the credits for the final movie scrolled on the screen. Wilson glanced at the other man and frowned.
"This is because I slapped you on the butt, isn't it?"
"This testosterone overload you rented at the video store."
"Sorry, but I don't do chick flicks. Besides, you rented them, remember? I was in the car."
Wilson shook his head and tried to stifle a yawn.
"You ready to hit the sack?"
"It is late," Wilson observed as he glanced at his watch.
"You know where the blankets and pillows are," House reminded him as he rose from the couch and headed for his bedroom.
He turned to face his friend. "Yeah?"
"Thanks for tonight," the oncologist smiled. "It helped."
House shrugged nonchalantly. "It always does."
"Yes," Wilson nodded in agreement. "But tonight was special somehow. I mean, I really feel better."
House shifted uncomfortably, not used to and not liking the way Wilson seemed to be fawning all over him. "I, uh… Just get some sleep." He turned around to leave only to be hear Wilson call his name again. "What?" he growled in frustration as he glared at his friend.
Wilson tossed an object in his direction. "You might need this later."
House snatched the item out of the air and studied it. "How…?"
"Did you really think I was copping a feel earlier?"
"Don't worry," Wilson assured him with a smug grin on his face. "I left all the receipts in there for you."