"Is what House is saying true?" Cuddy didn't bother with a preamble. She stood in front of Wilson's desk with her hands on her hips and was staring at him, looking highly suspicious.
Wilson repressed a smile. He hadn't been sure if she was going to believe them or not, and offered to be there when House told Cuddy, but he said he should do it by himself. Wilson could understand why. Even though the last few days had shown him, without a doubt, that House returned his feelings as much as and more than he'd ever imagined, he had still had something serious with Cuddy and still cared for her. Wilson knew that even though it hadn't worked out, Cuddy also still had feelings for House and would always be somewhat hurt and jealous to find out that House was in a relationship with someone else. The news should be delivered with some degree of sensitivity, and even House was capable of that when he needed to be.
"Will a simple 'yes' be enough?" Wilson asked. "Or am I going to need to find a more dramatic way of proving it to you?"
Cuddy sank into the chair in front of Wilson's desk and rested her elbows on her knees, palms to her forehead. "I don't know," she murmured. "I've always wondered, but I told myself that I was foolish for even thinking it. Then I'd wonder again."
"Are you okay?" Wilson asked.
She shook her head. "I don't know." Then she lifted her head and looked at Wilson. "All this time I've been asking myself why. When I see House with your baby I just...why him? Why him and not Rachel? I suppose he could have been worse with her than he was, but he was never as good with her as Lucas was. So I just wrote it off as him not being the paternal sort. I made excuses for him. Then I walk past his office and seeing him holding a baby—your baby—and I keep asking myself what's so special about Wil that House loves him but not my daughter. 'They're not even together,' kept flicking through my mind," she added wryly.
"We weren't," Wilson promised her. "We just...wanted to be. But that was for years, I think. Neither of us did anything about it. We were each too afraid of losing the other." He couldn't help smiling sadly. "It's not easy to change a 20-year status quo, no matter how much evidence you have that the other person wants the change as much as you do."
"You really think he's wanted it that long?" she asked. "What about when he was with me? Is that why he never gave himself to me completely? He secretly wanted you the whole time?" She was sounding angry now, looking at Wilson almost accusingly.
"I don't know," Wilson said. "I think he's been in love with me for a long time, but that doesn't mean he didn't want you. He's known you even longer than he's known me and I know you two have something. Maybe he could have been as happy with you as I hope he is with me, but I don't know. It's over now, anyway. You're the one who broke up with him," he reminded her.
"It's not like he gave me a choice," she murmured, looking away. Then she paused a moment and turned back to Wilson. "Do you really think it's going to last, you and him?"
Wilson didn't think she intended to sound condescending, probably more curious than anything else, but he couldn't help feeling defensive. "We've made it this far," he pointed out. "I know we fight sometimes, and I'm sure that will happen even with us being...together...but we've always managed to come back from it. It's not going to be easy, but I think if we try hard enough–"
"–You think he'll try harder for you than he did for me?" she asked.
Wilson sighed. "What do you want me to say, Cuddy? Do you want me to tell you he loves me more than you so you can get upset about that? You're allowed to be hurt—your ex moved on. It happens. If you really care about him, you should be happy that he's happy. That's what I did when you two got together—or at least I tried to."
She looked at him. He didn't know what else to say. He was feeling annoyed with her. This was about House, and she was making it about herself. She wasn't upset that she and House weren't together anymore—she was upset about losing the hold she had over him by being the woman he loved. Now that he loved someone else, she couldn't hurt him anymore, but she wanted to make herself into the victim. Wilson had seen House after the breakup; as much as he may love Wilson, losing Cuddy had been hard on him.
Cuddy got up from her chair and walked to Wilson's office door, turning back to him at the last minute. "I don't think you should be leaving Wil with House anymore if you're going to continue bringing him," she said coolly. "He's been paying more attention to your kid than to his work."
Wilson didn't bother pointing out that House had always found a way to avoid work, and Wilson had never given the baby to House when he'd been busy with a patient or had clinic hours. "Am I still allowed to bring him?" he asked, watching her reaction carefully.
"For now," she said. "As long long as he doesn't interfere with your work, which it doesn't seem like he has been. But I think he should stay with you or the daycare, not House. You're his father."
Wilson smiled. "Then, as long as he takes care of his patients and does his clinic hours, House should be able to watch him too."
"Just because he's your boyfriend now doesn't make him–"
"–He's adopting Wil," Wilson said, looking at her. "As soon as the paperwork goes through, he'll be a legal guardian and have as much right to my son as I do." Then he sighed and stood up, approaching his boss. "Look, Cuddy, I know you're upset about this right now. I know you're jealous. But...this...House and I...it's something you're going to have to get used to. We're not trying to hurt you, Cuddy. We just want to be happy."
She looked at Wilson, and then scoffed and walked out. She stopped just outside the door and turned to glare at something (or someone, and Wilson had a guess who) before continuing to the elevator.
Wilson followed her out of his office, but stopped past the entrance and turned to where House was standing, holding Wil.
"She took it well, then?" House said, handing the baby back to his biological father, who took him and adjusted him in his arms.
Wilson sighed, not otherwise answering the question.
House stepped closer, and then kissed Wilson briefly and gently on the side of the mouth. Wilson smiled. He wasn't yet used to casual displays of affection, especially from House, and the simple touch filled him up with warmth and love.
"She'll get over it," House said, sounding assured. "Eventually," he added.
"I think Wil makes it worse," Wilson said, looking down at their baby. "Not only does she feel like she's been replaced—she feels like you love me more because it's so obvious that you love Wil more."
"I didn't replace—I upgraded," House said, and Wilson couldn't help but laugh. "And I might have loved Rachel if I actually thought we could last," he said, more quietly. "Maybe after a couple of years or so, if we were still together, I could have grown to love her and even might have felt like her dad. But just think how much more it would have sucked for me if I'd lost not only one chick I love—but two."
Wilson nodded. "That had crossed my mind. Why Wil, though?" he asked, turning to his best friend. "You didn't know what I would do until later; for all you knew I would have kicked you out again and...I don't know, remarried Bonnie or something."
House chuckled softly. "No. Bonnie I would have succeeded in sabotaging. And I knew the risks with Wil," he said. He poked the baby's belly with his finger, and Wil grabbed it and held tight. "But I had no control over that," he said softly, almost to the point where Wilson couldn't hear him. He watched the soon-to-be father of his child and the child himself stare at each other. There was an intimacy there, he'd noticed it a long time ago.
Then House turned away from Wil and back to Wilson. "He has your eyes."