Alvie Home for Christmas
By G. Waldo (formerly GeeLady)f
Rating: NC-17 Adult.
Summary: Short story based on spoilers for May 3rd episode (or the one where Wilson kicks House out - which ever that one is).
This takes place several months from now, starting about October. I just wanted to write a ficlet about House/Alvie, and Wilson's idiotic decision to boot House out of the loft. I don't remember a lot of how Alvie spoke and acted, so here's my attempt to write the character. Personally I'd be supportive of a H/A situation on the show. Alive really cared for House, I think.
Disclaimer: Not mine...blah, blah, blah - though a fantasy never hurt anyone.
"You're kicking me out?"
Wilson cringed at House's choice of words. "No, I'm not kicking you out. I just want you to...move out."
House dropped the pair of baseball gloves and soft ball he had picked up tot he floor. The ball rolled a few feet away and came to a stop by a brass floor vent. He may not be able to run the quarter mile anymore, but he could still pitch a ball or two.
Wilson realized the baseball stuff were for him and House. House had actually purchased some equipment to play ball with. Catch ball, to be exact. There was a huge green treed park a half block away. Perfect for some summer outdoor activities. It made asking what he was asking all the harder. But he wanted to try again with Sam, and if House was still in the picture, he and his ex' were doomed to failure before they even left the gate.
House nodded. "You and Sam?" Knowing Wilson would understand what he meant. It was so simple.
"Yes." Wilson rubbed his palms together. "I know you don't like her, but I do and I think we can make it this time."
"I didn't say I didn't like her, I just don't trust her."
Since he'd walked in the door, House had not looked him in the eye even once. He was upset, sure. But this move-in thing had never been meant as permanent and House knew that. "It's not like you've never struck out and tried again."
Meaning Stacy. True enough. Though he had come to understand that he had re-fallen in love with the memory of having her, but not her. Plus there was the pain of possibly losing her again (a distinct possibility since she had been only too willing to cheat on Mark without batting a curled eyelash), and he knew he could not have survived it twice.
Sort of like now. Not that he and Wilson had been together in any real sense of the word - other than pals. A choice not of his own making except by default. Wilson was thicker than an old growth tree and, when it came to matters of the heart, almost as smart.
Hints were wasted on the ever dense James Wilson, and invitations to dinner were looked upon by the man as: Go out. Eat food. The idiot had even rejected an expensive bottle of wine as a waste of money.
Wilson was the lousiest dinner date in the history of the New Jersey single scene. It was a wonder the man ever got layed. "How long do I have?"
Odd way of putting it. "End of next month?"
Six and a half weeks. House nodded again. He still had his old apartment. No electricity; he'd have to get it hooked up again. his piano was still there. Dust. His old couch and his bed. A few clothes. Empty fridge. He'd survived it just fine before. "Okay."
Wilson stepped away, off to call Sam, happy in his many preparations for moving his regular ex-lay back under his roof.
House packed his things and was gone at the end of the first week. He didn't bother to leave a note. Wilson had his cell number.
"Wilson kicked me out."
Nolan was very careful not to react except to ask the reason.
"Moving his ex-wife back in."
"Well," Nolan said with measured words, "I did give you the green light to go it alone again. You're fine on your own."
House said nothing, just rubbed at his leg.
"You don't think so?"
"I'll be fine." Rub, rub. "I guess."
"You liked living with Wilson? Or is it you just don't like not having him under your control?"
"I don't want to control Wilson." House growled. "It's just if I don't, he ends up doing stupid things like this."
"How can you be sure it won't work out just fine?"
Nolan had not failed to note House's lack of eye contact with his therapist, and his perpetual stare out the rain-splashed window. House was depressed. "Are you sure that's all it is? That this Sam person isn't trustworthy? Or is it simply that she isn't worthy?"
House abandoned the wet window and watched his own right hand massage his thigh. the pain had gotten much worse the last few months.
"Have you told Wilson about the pain?"
"No reason to."
Nolan regarded his most recalcitrant and difficult patient. This drug addicted physician had come to him at Mayfield a deeply troubled man, and had left healthier than he had been, Nolan surmised, in many years. But he could see some of the old trouble inching its way back, and he could not help but wonder how much of it was related to the very curious relationship he had with his friend Wilson. Some of it had to be connected with whatever was going on, or not going on, between the two men. No matter the subject, Greg House, (without, Nolan had come to see, consciously realizing it), inevitably brought the conversation back around to in which ever way he saw his friend involved or related to his own troubles and life. Nolan had encountered married couples who had not spoken to each other in a year harboring less mystery.
Nolan also knew, or had guessed since his patient had never spoken the words, that Greg House loved his friend very deeply. More deeply, he thought, than Greg was willing to admit. "You're upset that Doctor Wilson has someone in his life again. Someone that's not you."
"Why? Because it's bothering you? Of course it matters. You care about him. You like being in his company. You miss him." House's frown deepened, causing sharp crevasses to form between his eyes. Wilson was a touchy subject with Greg House, and Nolan stopped there. He would broach the deeper, harder stuff another time. House was far too wary today for that kind of discomfort; too depressed to want to talk about his true feelings, whatever they may be, toward his friend.
Depression was a touchy thing, too. From the depressed, you had to coax feelings forth without the slightest hint of threat or doubt, or you were done for as a therapist.
Because House said nothing, Nolan knew he'd made the right call. "I can temporarily put you on Tylenol Three's to supplement the Ibuprofen, if the pain is that bad. We can get you into some regular massage therapy." It might help. Couldn't hurt. For the time being, House was clearly done talking. "By the way, I gave someone your number. Hope that's all right."
House shrugged. "Whatever."
Wilson slipped on his jacket. A good day. An excellent day. Lunch with Sam where they laughed and talked and made plans for the weekend. She had almost all of her things moved in now. Good of House to have gotten out so soon. Really decent of him actually. Too decent to be House-normal, but he'd let it slide. Safer that way. House had always been a bit jealous of his wives and girlfriends. Flattering. Kind of sweet in a screwed up fifty-year-old guy sort of way.
Wilson glanced out the double door windows to the parking lot as he fished for his keys at the hospital entrance. A limping form he knew was House walking beside someone.
Another human. A man. Shorter, thinner. Dark haired, jaunting along beside House's rhythmic lurch like a guy with a purpose. No one Wilson recognized from the hospital. Not from the back of his head at any rate.
Wilson exited the doors and walked, not in the direction of his own car, but a little to his right, where House always parked in the handicapped spaces. He saw House suddenly turn his head to the right to answer something the other man had said. House was, to Wilson's deep shock, not talking but laughing. The other fellow had made House laugh.
Or was House laughing at the guy? Far more likely. They were too far away to make out specific words. Other than the sparkling sound of House's un-censored laughter. Actually teeth were showing.
Wilson walked to his car in wonder. Surprising, he thought.
He unlocked the door and strapped himself in. How interesting.
Wilson stuck the key in the ignition and fired the engine. A bit strange.
He sat and let the engine warm up for a moment. Somewhat puzzling.
Wilson drove, hardly registering the traffic lights or which way he was turning the wheel. Completely unexpected.
Somehow he arrived home safely. Oddly disconcerting.
House had made himself a new friend.
House opened the door to the knocking. Not Wilson's knock. He knew that insistent I'm-only-here-for-your-own-good knock. This was altogether different. Lower, for one thing. As lower physically, on the door, not lower in volume.
House opened it and was speechless for a few seconds. Then - "Alvie."
Alive, his former room mate at Mayfield's pajama parade stood there, looking a little sheepish and a little anxious. "Hey, House."
Alive shuffled nervous feet. "Yeah, sorry. Got bored."
House swung the door wide. "Come on in. I got beer. You allowed?"
"Sure. One or two."
Alive closed the door after himself.
"Didja' bring the movie?"
"Oh, you bet. This is so cool, you'll be kissing me later."
House threw him a strange look, and Alvie added. "I mean I went all out for this one. Cost me ten bucks."
"Plenty of women lacking clothing?"
"Good guys lose?"
The movie ended with a half case of beer emptied between them. Cans rattled on the cushions as Alvie pushed them onto the floor. This was almost perfect. He finally had his friend back. He took to House like a duck did to water that very first day when House had been admitted to Mayfield.
House had been fearless and smart, and had tolerated having him for a room mate. then , after a while, liked him. Talked to him, not at him, like the nurses did. Talked like a doctor a lot, but like a doctor who was his friend. Made him feel like he wasn't a hopeless moron; like he mattered in some way. Like he was liked for being himself, even if he was a mental patient. To House, geography made no difference.
And when House had been discharged, Alive had watched him go through the wire-meshed safety glass from the third floor, then locked himself away in his room and cried like a child. First friend ever. First man, first person on earth, he ever loved.
And here he was with him again. It was the greatest thing ever. Like his rap. Sexy-cool!
But then again, House didn't seem all that happy to see him. "Should I go?"
That made his friend frown at him. "Why would I want you to go?"
He shrugged. "You just look like you're...like maybe I'm being a pain in the ass. Maybe I'm too crazy still."
"Shut up, Alvie. You're not crazy."
Nodding, anxious to please. "'K." The movie was over, the beer was gone. But House was there on the couch beside him, and he never wanted to go home. House was sad, too. Really sad. He could tell. Alvie thought he knew the reason. He remembered something House had said to him in Mayfield, that he was House's only friend. That meant that other guy House used to talk about, the William guy or whatever, wasn't his friend anymore, and House was feeling pretty bad about it.
"I'll be your friend, House." Alive blurted. "'Cause I get you, you know?" Alvie wished he was better with words than he was. He knew his education and IQ were probably about half of what his doctor friend's was. He didn't care. The heart wants what it wants.
"And, and you get me. We're perfect." Alvie felt his own heart speed up in fear. "And, and you're perfect. And I really like you. So screw that other guy."
House stared down the couch at him and Alvie feared he'd said too much. House was going to toss him out now.
"I love him."
Even Alvie understood what House was talking about. He'd heard it before. He'd felt it himself. Why House had chosen to tell him he didn't know. Maybe because House knew he was too stupid, or too scared, to ever blab it to anyone else. "I know." He'd guessed. Hard to miss. House talked about the guy so much.
Alvie felt sick to his stomach but never more alive in his young life. "I know I'm not much, but I'd really like a chance, y'know?"
Funny. They each weren't saying much, no specifics going back and forth, but each knew what the other was talking about. Meant to be. Meant to be..."I know how you feel." Alvie said.
House stared at him dully.
Alvie knew House wasn't going to move an inch, and it would be up to him, and for the first time in his life, he felt up to it. He jumped up and sat down again, right next to his friend, and kissed him. No waiting, no wondering. And kissed him again when it appeared House was going to offer no resistance. "I love you, House, I fucking love you."
Now he talked. "I don't love you."
Alvie's heart wailed. "I know." He said. His mind was okay with that. His heart would have to wait in line. "But maybe someday...?"
And he kissed him again. He stood and walked around the room, excited at life. Loving the future now. "Oh, this is gonna' be great! We could go to my cousin's cabin for Christmas. Jus' you n' me, House. The two Musketeer's. We'll bring some movies, beer - I know this awesome board-game..."
House watched his new friend metaphorically bouncing off the walls. His new lover who'd just kissed him and declared his love. Slim. Dark haired. Shorter than he would have liked but still, Alvie willing to put up with him. Had put up with him for months back at Mayfield. Alvie liked him a lot, too, and that was important. Something he'd learned at fifty-some years of age. It was important to be liked by someone. By even just one.
Alvie was sweet, too, and Alvie loved him. That had become important as well - to be loved by someone. By even just one. Alvie would never leave him or hurt him, or thoughtlessly toss him aside when someone better came along because, for Alvie, no one better ever would.
Until Alvie had walked back into his life, the loneliness had been eating him alive. Now he'd probably be okay. Maybe that wasn't enough of a reason to be with someone, but it's what he had, all he had, and so Alvie would do just fine.
House pulled him down onto the couch, and kissed him back.
Wilson opened the glass doors and entered. House was seated at his desk. He was flipping through files. Potential patients. He looked relaxed. Rested.
"Hey. Hi." Wilson said. He didn't sit and House didn't offer. "How'r you doing?"
House nodded. "Good. Really good." For the first time in months, he was sincere.
Wilson rubbed his hands together. "Say, wanna' get some lunch?"
"Sam visiting her mom?"
"Uh,..yeah, as a matter of fact."
House nodded again. A "thought so" nod. "Sorry. Got a date. Christmas thing."
Wilson's eyebrows near disappeared beneath his hairline. "Really? You?"
House opened a new file. "Yes. Believe it or not - me."
"Good. Great." Painful, painful conversation. Static. Jerky. Unfamiliar, and for himself, unhappy. "Um. 'nother time then?"
Sincere once more, and this time Wilson didn't miss it. House meant it. He would have lunch with him some day, but he was also just fine with not having lunch. "Um. Can I ask you something?"
"Who was that guy you were talking to a few weeks ago? Out in the parking lot?"
"You mean back in November?"
Had it been that long ago? "Yes."
"An old room mate. Mayfield mental patient."
"Is that who you're having lunch with?" That was too blunt. Too nosy. none of his business and why the hell did he need to know anyway? Why was it weird to see House happy?
"Yup. We're having lunch."
"You seeing a lot of him." Good. A good thing. It is good for House to have a new friend. It is what I have always wished for him.
"As a matter of fact..."
"Well, how about you and me catching a game tonight?"
"Sorry. Dinner. Alvie."
Wilson scratched his face. It was suddenly very hot in House's office. "Um. Breakfast out tomorrow. There's a new place - "
"Um, can't." House really was trying to be gentle, and Wilson was angry at him for it. "Alvie and me,.. you understand."
"You're having breakfast together, too?"
House sat back and swiveled on his chair. He was enjoying the movement. His leg seemed to not be bothering him, his color was healthy, his expression soft and...happy. "Yes. Dinner, breakfast, lunch, dinner...breakfast again..."
Wilson understood. With all the naked stars of heaven above and the open pits of hell below, he understood. "You mean you and him? Alvie and you are - ?"
Wilson hung his mouth, slack like a yokel from too much home made hooch. All that came out was "Oh."
He was happy for House. He guessed he was. Shocked, disconcerted and puzzled at the unexpected revelation, but happy for him. 'Cause he and Sam were happy. Pretty well. Things were going okay. Not bad. For now.
House momentarily, looked a little disappointed in his friend. A trifle sad, even. "You didn't see this coming at all, did you?"
"What? You in love with a man? Well, no..."
House dropped his eyes back to his charts. "Didn't think so."
"This is kind of new, House."
House didn't look up again. "Actually, it's kind of old."
Wilson got it. "You mean...you mean you and...me? Me?"
Sam was gone to her mothers for a week. She'd taken an awful lot of clothes this time. With a great many assurances that she'd be back on the day she said she would.
She'd turned from his kiss. She'd been quiet lately, and leaving the milk in the door. And putting the bowls on the bottom rack of the dishwasher.
And she'd lost most of the coasters.
"I see." Marry in haste. Repent at leisure. "Are you, you know, in love with him?"
"No. But he knows that. He's an irritating, fussy, annoyingly obsessive idiot. But he treats me good and he loves me, and I'm not going to do anything to screw that up, or hurt him."
Wilson crossed his arms. Found an interesting mark on the carpet to stare at. "House. Are you sure about this?"
"Why? You want me to move back home? Is Sam on the way out the door?"
It was terrible to have to admit it. "Maybe." Wilson scratched the back of his neck. Nervous tic. When he was in pain, hurt, worried.
Shamefaced. "I guess we moved too fast." Wilson answered. "I moved too fast. Again."
House looked sad for his friend. Disappointed, and just a little hurt. Sad all around. Shared grief and regret for both of them. Wilson recognized the truth of it, and that he'd brought all of it on his friend, and on himself, single-handedly.
"Actually," House said, "this time you moved too slow."
Wilson nodded. Too slowly to catch what he might have had if he had looked just a little clearer and in the right direction. "Yeah, okay." He turned to go.
He turned back.
"How about next Wednesday?" House asked. "Lunch, I mean. Just because I'm with him, doesn't mean we can't have lunch."
Wilson felt a rushing wave of relief. A cooling submerge on a sweltering day. "Think maybe someday...?"
House got it. Wilson was blind, but he himself had always seen. So House smiled just a little, to put them both at rest. "Maybe."