A short epilogue just to wrap it up.
Thank you all for reading, and special heartfelt thanks for those who took the time to review. x
The smell of fresh paint filtered through the hallway, tarps and barriers littering the foyer as they began to patch up the crumpled front of the building.
He taken a few days off, had phoned Cuddy and politely enforced his holiday allowance that he hadn't touched for years and laid it on thick with his leg. He got the impression he only got away with it because all there was left to do was glorified clinic work and the mountains of paperwork that had built up, he also got the distinct impression that his time was better spent keeping an eye on Wilson than getting underfoot in the singularly spectacular way he was capable of when he felt undervalued.
Five blissful carefree days had passed, the days sliding by in a drowsy haze of sleeping in and staying up late. He felt reborn, like a weight lifted from his shoulders, something finally shifting and settling into place the first morning he had woken up with Wilson beside him, being able to turn over and wrap his arm neatly around his sleep warm body, the low mumble of something unintelligible as he pressed his face to his neck.
He smiled, twirling his cane as he waited for the elevator, the smirk twitching at his lips. It was like rediscovering the world anew, the simple things he'd always taken for granted, the monotony taken out of day to day life and injected with new purpose. He'd always gone through the motions with his easy lays and two week flings, had done the usual dinner and dates, the steamy showers and days spent in bed, and he always thought that maybe it was just his personality that he found them lacking, couldn't see why people wrote long and boring romantic comedies about contrived situations dreamt up by lonely women waiting for their knight in shining armour.
But this was different.
Picture postcard moments snapped and filed away, every smile, every laugh they shared held close to warm his heart. He almost made himself feel sick.
He looked down at the pink slips of message paper in his hand and wondered if he was about to completely blow his misanthropic image for good.
Still, it would be worth it, if all he lost was his reputation as lonely and heartless bastard then so be it, he was willing to give up so much more to have the simple pleasure of being able to slump down onto the sofa at the end of a long day, arm on the back of the couch, his fingers gentle and fleeting in Wilson's hair as he leant into him. It would probably be quite fun, he mused, he'd trained his team to be overtly suspicious of any out of character behaviour, he could probably drag this out for months if he tried hard enough.
"Good morning my little bunch of chickadees." He sung loudly, dumping his rucksack on to the differential table and scattering the files that had been neatly stacked.
Foreman snapped his wrist to look at his watch. "It's one thirty seven." He muttered drily without glancing up.
House shrugged, he considered it morning if he'd only gotten out of bed an hour before getting in. Admittedly he'd been up a lot earlier than that, woken just as the sun crested the horizon by the smell of breakfast cooking and the bed still warm beside him. Wilson always looked his cutest when sleepy and domestic, and he'd put up a half decent fight about the bacon burning when House had turned him and pressed him back against the kitchen counter.
He'd left for work ten minutes late and sniping that House now owed him for the breakfast he'd have to pick up on the way. House just smirked and crawled back into bed.
"Anybody seen Wilson?" he cast a furtive eye at the corridor as though expecting him to appear that second.
He was pleased at the frigid moment of tension his request created, the sound of paper slipping over itself ceasing as they all looked warily between themselves until Cameron diplomatically cleared her throat. "He's been in all morning, I thought you two..."
"Just wondering if he got my welcome back present." He grinned, something malicious pulling at his smile.
"Has this got anything to do with those two guys with all the buckets?" Chase straightened in his chair, looking suddenly intrigued, pen caught between his teeth as he looked eagerly at House.
"Buckets?" House wondered if there would ever be a time when Cameron wouldn't look concerned. His eyes flicked to wall clock, any minute now he'd finish rounds. Poor, predictable Wilson.
"It's not important." He breezed, sliding one of the blue folders to the edge of the table and flipping through the case Cuddy and deemed worthy of his notice. It wasn't of his normal calibre, in fact it wasn't a puzzle at all, it was just some unfortunate middle aged family man who'd been back and forth between several departments since he'd been caught in one of the scarring blasts that had wiped out half of his colleagues. He cast the folder back onto the table and was about to ask why Chase was still staring at him with that same amused look and why Cameron was perched on the edge of her seat, lip caught between her teeth to stop her obvious desire to fill the silence.
He was saved the hassle. A muffled boom echoed from the other side of the wall, nothing remotely like the one that had destroyed the foyer, more like the soft thump of an air cannon loaded to the brim with glitter and confetti going off.
From where they sat they could see the nurses in the corridor stop and stare, their eyes wide and hands pressed to their mouths as they slowly stepped backwards to avoid the encroaching cloud of misty pink powder and eddying glitter as it slowly filtered out into the hallway, like the inside of a snow globe viciously shaken.
Foreman finally looked up, file falling to his lap as the dust settled outside and he could almost count the seconds until Wilson appeared, and even he had to bite the inside of his mouth to keep a bark of laughter from erupting.
"That wasn't exactly necessary was it?" Wilson asked rhetorically as the door closed behind him.
House tried to look non plussed, as though the demented sight of Wilson covered head to toe in glitter and powder paint were completely normal. He'd definitely have to pay for the dry cleaning this time. "I don't know, I think the kids in paediatrics will love it." He had the audacity to grin.
"It looks like a rainbow threw up in my office." Wilson gestured wildly, the motion unsettling another cloud of glitter, shining as it caught the light and drifted slowly to the floor. There was softness to his eyes despite the tone.
"You know what they say Wilson, 'out and proud.'" He leant jauntily on his cane, holding Wilson's eye and fighting the ache in his face to stop his amused smile turning into a full blown grin.
Wilson huffed, giving up on a fight he'd never be able to win. "I'm charging the clean up to your card." He warned with a pointed finger. He turned to leave, completely ignoring the others sat at the table but paused just short of pulling open the door, his hands reaching up instead to vigorously ruffle at his own hair, powder and glitter exploding into the air, a miniscule replica of the carnage House had inflicted upon his office. He looked momentarily triumphant and petty as the carpet around his feet turned colour and shone, pulling at the door handle and fighting the urge to make a rude gesture.
"Wilson, wait." House limped over, footprints in the dust. "You missed a bit." His hand in Wilson hair, brushing away specks of glitter he knew would take days to disappear fully. His thumb tracing over his cheek, smudging at the dusting of pink that highlighted his skin, eyes caught and soft under House's gaze. "Wait for me to get home before you shower." He winked salaciously and Wilson laughed, cut short by a swift but lingering kiss that was more for the occupants of the room than it was for him, not that it stopped House appreciating the subtle sigh as Wilson leaned into him.
Wilson rolled his eyes, the paint on his face hiding his blush as he backed out of the door and House watched him leave, giving himself the necessary dramatic pause before he turned back to the room, all eyes on him.
He waited, an expectant look on his face until Chase stood, smug and smiling, arms raised in triumph before he turned on his co workers, holding out his hand and grinning childishly as Foreman and Cameron dug through pockets and wallets, pressing folded notes into his hand. "Looks like an extra slice of cake at lunch for me." He pocketed the cash and swiped up his file, tapping it smartly on his desk as the others glowered at him. "Gonna go get me an MRI." He saluted them and made for the door.
"Wait," House caught him by the arm, eyes narrowed. "You bet for me?"
Chase stopped short, regarding him with an odd look on his face. "Course I did," He smiled, words almost silent as he spoke. "No one could fake the way you look at him."
It was an oddly unsettling sensation that filled his stomach, the opposite of the cold and dreary weight of low grade depression that had seemed to sink into his pores. The door shut behind Chase and House had to stop himself from watching him go, the realisation that he was actually grateful for the young man's faith in him at war with the age old practise of shrugging him off with well practised scorn.
Maybe Wilson was going to be a bad influence after all.
Not that he really cared.
Thanks again. I'll be writing more in the near future, so keep an eye out if you like my style. :)