Summary: House/Wilson pre-slash, eventual slash. Spoilers for 7.03 "Unwritten." Wilson and Cuddy are shocked to discover that House is actually making a friend. They are even more shocked about who it is.
Disclaimer: I do not own House. [insert clever comment about why I don't own House here]
A/N—please read: This story is rated M. There are not going to be any detailed sex scenes (sorry), but there is going to be one scene in chapter three that some readers may find disturbing, indecent, and possibly even unnatural. Again, sorry, but it was something new and different and we get to House/Wilson in the end, we always do. So please see this through.
There are going to be four chapters, and I will post one each day.
House strode through the hospital down to his girlfriend's office, pushing the doors open in front of him and letting them slam shut behind him to make his entrance grander. Cuddy, unflinching, glanced up from her phone call before returning her eyes to her computer and her attention to the caller.
"It will have to wait until the twenty-first," the Dean of Medicine said into the phone, "I'm completely booked until then, unless you want to do it after five."
House cleared his throat loudly.
Nodding to her caller, Cuddy ignored him. "All right, 6pm on the eighteenth, then. Goodbye." She hung up her phone and looked up at House. "What?"
"Will you go out with me...?" House asked.
She chuckled and scoffed. "Aren't we a little past that?"
"...and Wilson and Sam?" he finished his sentence. "Last time you got pissy at me for agreeing without your permission, so this time I wanted to make doubly sure it was okay."
"House," she responded, rolling her eyes, "I didn't get pissy because you agreed without my permission, I just wanted you to ask me first."
"And now I'm asking you," House said. He picked the plush penguin that he'd stolen from a patient room off her desk and held it out to her. "Pweeze, go out wiff me? And Wilson and Sam?"
Taking the penguin, Cuddy chuckled. "All right," she agreed. "Where and when?"
"Dinner Friday night. Wilson's picking the restaurant."
"Sounds good. You know, I'm surprised they asked again," Cuddy commented as House was about to leave the office. "I wasn't really sure about how much fun they had last time."
"No, it was my idea," House clarified. "I had fun last time."
She looked up in surprise. "You suggested us going out with Sam and Wilson? As in, voluntarily spending time with Sam? I thought you hated her."
"Of course I hated her. Past tense," House explained. He made a sweeping gesture with his hand. "I have seen the light."
"House, you called her an 'evil blonde' who would 'gorge on Wilson's tender flesh and toss out his bones.'"
"I did," House agreed with a nod. "I also called her a harpy, and to her face I even called her a cold-hearted bitch and my enemy. But that was a long time ago."
"Back when you were jealous of her for hogging Wilson's attention," Cuddy clarified, smiling. "But now that you've got a significant other in your life, it's okay for him to have one too."
House shrugged. "Something like that."
Still smiling, Cuddy shook her head and went back to her work. House left the office.
She'd only been partially right. Yes, House had been jealous of Sam back before he had been dating Cuddy, but not just because she got to spend more time with Wilson than he did. She was getting things from Wilson that House wanted and didn't get, and not just his attention.
House had been secretly in love with his best friend for years. It had taken him a long time to admit the truth to himself, but once having Vicodin-induced hallucinations severe enough to land him in a mental institution made him take another look at his life, he realised what his priorities were and knew that he'd been lying to himself for years. Not only was he completely, head-over-heels in love with James Wilson, he had been for ages and would be forever.
After he'd been released from Mayfield, House spent the next few months living with Wilson, analysing his every move and trying to gauge whether his oncologist best friend felt the same way. But Wilson, being as bad about mixed signals as women could be, did not give him a clear picture. He bought a condo for the two of them to live in and then tried to go out with their downstairs neighbour. He asked House to marry him and then suggested House go speed-dating with him. And, most confusing of all, he bought House an organ worth thousands of dollars, shared a loving glance with him across the room, and then contacted his ex-wife on Facebook and started a relationship with her again.
And at the time, House had blamed her: Sam. From the moment House had moved in with Wilson, the two doctors had been growing closer and closer. While not convinced that the younger man was in love with him, House held out hope and tried to believe that if their life together continued, they would eventually cross the line from best friends to lovers. Wilson buying the organ had been so close, and House had had half a mind to go into Wilson's bedroom that very night and kiss him, see if he felt the same. Not wanting to risk their friendship, though, he'd backed out at the last minute. And before he knew it he'd come home from New York early just to hear the sounds of Wilson and some girl fucking in the next room. It had about broken his heart. But he'd hidden his feelings, like he always did, and pretended he was all right with the relationship while really trying to break the two up. When that plan had failed, he'd grudgingly accepted that Sam was there to stay, at least for awhile, and when they did break up it wouldn't be because of House. He'd turned to liquor to help himself cope, pining for Wilson and cursing Sam's guts for taking the man he loved away from him.
But this had changed once Cuddy had shown up at House's apartment saying she'd left her fiancé because she was in love with House. Shocked but thrilled, House had abandoned his plan to relapse on Vicodin, kissed Cuddy, let her clean up his cut, carried her to his bed and made love to her. They had been together ever since. Which was now about three weeks.
And to House's surprise and delight, he was finding that he was happy with Cuddy. Though they weren't nearly as strong as the feelings he had for Wilson, House had harboured romantic feelings for his boss dating back to the time in medical school when they'd had a one-night-stand. Even then, he'd intended to call her afterward and make it a lot more than a one-night-stand, but then he'd been expelled from the university and figured there wasn't any point since he wouldn't be going to school there any more. He'd never expected to meet her, years later, just to have her offer him a job. At the time he'd still been in a committed relationship with Stacy, so his feelings for her hadn't re-emerged much until after his infarction and their breakup, but they, like those for Wilson, had been lingering for years.
Now, since House was with Cuddy, loving her while not quite in love with her, and happy, he'd come to realise he hadn't quite been justified in his vilification of Sam. As much as he wanted Wilson to love him, to be in love with him, the man either simply wasn't or simply wasn't ready to admit his feelings. Neither of which was Sam's fault. And yes, she had really hurt her then-husband with the divorce nineteen years ago, but she seemed to have changed since then. House generally believed people didn't change, but he knew he himself had changed, and besides, when Wilson and Sam had broken up temporarily (and Wilson had turned down House's blatant offer of a dinner date), she had come back, apologised, and showed she had learned from her mistake. Wilson had learned from his mistakes as well, and he seemed to be happy with Sam.
That was quite an important factor in House's newfound acceptance of the woman—she made Wilson happy. And now that House wasn't wallowing in his own misery anymore, he could be happy for them. He didn't have to hate Sam any more, he could even like her. She was a Jack Cannon fan.
The four of them sat around a small square table in the back of the restaurant. House studied the dessert menu while Sam, giggling, ordered another margarita.
"Honey," Wilson said, placing a gentle hand on her arm and speaking in a low voice, though House and Cuddy could still clearly hear him, "don't you think you've had enough?"
"Come on, Wilson," House said over the dessert menu. "You and I get way drunker than she is sometimes. It's Friday night—no work tomorrow. Let the girl party."
Sam giggled again. "Thank you, House. Besides, this is gonna be my last one anyway."
"No, don't do it," House objected, smirking. "You're starting to let Wilson be a good influence on you. For shame. I learned years ago to ignore the little Wilson-voice in my head telling me when to stop. I find I have more fun that way."
"That 'little voice' is your conscience," Wilson said with a frown.
"That explains a lot," House said, nodding, and his comment made Sam laugh.
"Oh!" the blonde said suddenly, turning to House and setting her drink on the table. "I finished it, and there's no way it ends like that. Seriously, House, what have you done with the real one?"
"That was the real one!" House replied indignantly, though the Wilson-voice in his head reminded him that giving someone a fake manuscript just to mess with them was exactly the type of thing he would do. "She's just sending us all a big 'fuck you,' and after we cured her and everything."
"I can't believe it!" Sam groused. "All right, so she was using the writing as a form of therapy, but without her fans, she never would have been able to make a living off of it and would have starved to death years ago."
"House really did try to change her mind," Cuddy piped up as though trying to force herself into the conversation. "He was as indignant as all get out and she just sat there and refused. It was adorable, really," she added fondly. "He was like a little kid finding out Santa wasn't real."
"Santa's not real?" House turned to her in mock-shock/horror, and Sam giggled again while Cuddy and Wilson shared an eye-roll.
"So yeah," House continued, turning to Wilson's girlfriend again, "her fucked-up excuse was that this way the readers get to pick their own ending."
"Ha!" Sam said triumphantly. "So I win—she does choose Deacon."
"No, it never said that," House argued. "Since it doesn't say she chooses anyone then she doesn't choose anyone. She lives out the rest of her life as a celibate spinster with forty cats."
Sam snorted. "She's got these two hot guys to choose from and you think she picks neither?"
"'Hot guys'?" House repeated. "They're sixteen. Wilson, you're dating a paedophile."
"I meant hot in her opinion," Sam clarified quickly, though she was blushing. "Besides, according to James you're the one who almost dated a seventeen-year-old."
"You told her about that?" House asked Wilson, but he turned back to Sam before his friend could even answer him. "Well it's a lie, I didn't almost date a seventeen-year-old. I almost waited for a seventeen-year-old to turn eighteen, but before that could happen I cured her of the disease making her lust after me in the first place."
"Ooh, maybe someone should have a look at you, Lisa," Sam commented.
Both Wilson and Cuddy laughed.
"Hey, that was uncalled for," House said, but he was smirking.
Sam shook her head. "Seriously, House, my argument is way more convincing than yours. Deacon is the one who was always there for her, Deacon is the one she had her first kiss with–"
"–But no one in their right mind would choose Deacon when they could have both."
"Right, cause they'd consent to a three-way."
"Hey, you never know," House said, shrugging.
The white candle in the table's centre had burned lower and would soon go out.
"Helen's ex-husband can't be the father—Susan would never betray her sister like that," Sam argued.
"Susan was a slut," House pointed out. "She might even have been a sex addict, and Helen's ex-husband was obviously an asshole. He even abused her."
"Oh my god!" Sam said, lighting up. "What if it wasn't Susan's fault—what if he raped her?"
"...Jack was conceived during the rape," they said in unison.
House grinned triumphantly. "See? Told you the ex was the father."
"House," Cuddy interrupted, placing a hand on his arm. "We've really got to get going. I told the babysitter ten; it's almost ten-thirty."
"But we're talking," House argued, gesturing at himself and Sam.
"It's all right," Sam said, smiling. "We can continue this on the discussion boards, I'm Deaconlover67."
"DiagnosticGenius91," House replied, getting up from the table.
"But we'll have to start our own forum," Sam pointed out. "No one's gonna believe that we got the actual manuscript from a typewriter ribbon—not until the book comes out anyway." She sighed. "There sure are gonna be a ton of disappointed fans."
"Or we could sell the manuscript to a magazine for a ton of money," House suggested as the foursome headed for the restaurant's exit.
Sam shook her head. "They'll never believe us. I don't even know if the publishers will publish the tenth book with an ending like that–"
"–and miss an opportunity to sell millions of copies? Of course they'll publish it, they don't care. Maybe it won't sell as well as the last nine once word of the ending gets out, but that's sure as hell more than they'd sell if they–"
"–House," Cuddy interrupted.
He looked at her. "What?"
"We're at the car," she pointed out.
"Oh," House said, shrugging.
"All right," Sam said cheerfully. "Well, we'll do this again next week." She stepped over to Cuddy and gave her a goodbye hug, which the older woman hesitantly returned. "Bye, Lisa."
Then, to House's immense surprise, she did the same to him. "Bye, House," she said, even going so far as to give him a quick peck on the cheek before backing up and slipping her arm through Wilson's. She waved goodbye at them while House and Wilson shared a half-amused, half-bemused look and the younger couple made their way to Wilson's car.
House shook his head and got into his car. Cuddy got in beside him and chuckled. "I don't believe it," she said.
"What?" House asked innocently, starting the car and pulling out of the parking spot. "So she had a couple of drinks. So what?"
"House, you've made a friend," she said. "You found a person that you have something in common with, you had...well not an adult conversation, but a conversation with them, and they showed affection for you."
"Sam's not my friend," House objected. "Wilson is my friend. I was being nice to her for his sake."
"No, you weren't," Cuddy argued, grinning. "House, you actually like her."
"I don't like her," House said, rolling his eyes. "I just don't hate her anymore. I acknowledge that I misjudged her and now I'm being civil with her."
"'Civil'? House, you were a bit more than 'civil.' 'Civil' would be if you just put up with her," Cuddy pointed out. "You spent the last half hour socialising more with her than Wilson and I put together, chattering like teenage girls. House, just admit it. You like her."
"Fine," House agreed, rolling his eyes again. "All right, I like her. So what? She's cool—she likes Jack Cannon and go-carts, and she's unopposed to using three million dollar pieces of hospital equipment to read a novel. What's not to like?"
Other than the fact that she's sleeping with Wilson, House's brain responded automatically, but he ignored it. He'd forgiven her for that. Of course she was sleeping with Wilson—who wouldn't sleep with Wilson, given the opportunity? Besides, he was sleeping with Cuddy now anyway, and he was content with that.