Sweet

.

.

"Dominika?" She shouldn't have been there, in his office in the middle of the day. Especially not now, after his ridiculous, botched attempt to help. "Is something the -"

"I want you to know I am not mad about it. What you did for him. It was stupid, but love is not so smart sometimes."

"I ... yes, it was stupid. I almost got you deported and him thrown back in prison, and - wait. Are you ... actually in love with him?"

Dominika smiled at him in a way that suggested many, many things, none of which Wilson could read. "No," she said. "He is difficult, selfish, cold. I would not be happy."

"That's ... that's all true, actually. I mean, it's not like he's a ... okay, he crashed his car into his last girlfriend's living room." He sighed in defeat. He kept wanting to say, House isn't that bad, he isn't a monster, but he couldn't say that, because sometimes House was. "So you're talking about love, why?"

"Because you see what is good and warm in him. You do stupid things, because you love him." She stepped forward and leaned easily against the side of his desk. "And for that, I maybe love you a little. Here," she said, and picked up a large paper bag that Wilson hadn't quite realized she was carrying. Whenever he saw her, she seemed to have something in her hands, and he'd stopped noticing. "These are for you."

Inside the bag was a flimsy box full of puffy, round pastries whose name Wilson didn't know. They smelled of butter and almonds, and traces of heat were still seeping through the thin cardboard. Wilson stammered out some kind of thanks, but blinked up at her, waiting for the punch line.

He was just about to ask if there was anything she needed when she leaned over and kissed him once, lightly, on the cheek. He forgot what he meant to say, and then she was gone.

Twelve-fifteen, he thought, trying to get his mind back into gear. His best friend's wife was just maybe-or-maybe-not hitting on him; he'd missed lunch; and he had ten minutes before his next patient would arrive. And his office was going to smell like a bakery no matter what he did now.

Wilson picked out the pastry with the most inviting swirl of icing on top, and took a bite.