Thank you to everyone fore the great ideas! You all are so helpful.
The days passed. January turned into February fairly quickly, no one noticing as the time passed. And with February came the usual amount of romance and hullabaloo.
It was not yet known at the hospital that Wilson and House were together – though it was highly suspected. The two were the most talked about in the hospital by a wide margin. Wilson had been turning down dates and offers to coffee. House had been minutely less grumpy in the clinic. These were small things, but they were enough to have Chase setting up a betting pool about the two men's relationship.
Valentine's day rolled around, as it does every year. The men drove to the hospital in separate cars, per usual, and arrived at different times, per usual. Only this time, when Wilson woke up, it was House that was gone, and not vise versa.
Wilson couldn't help but be faintly suspicious about it. He knew that House knew what day it was. The fourteenth of February, to House, was an annoying and somewhat cumbersome reminder of humanity. But Wilson knew he remembered it, every single year. Because, normally, House would go home early and get drunk and ramble about Stacey to Wilson when he came home from work to do the annual clean up.
Hopefully, this year would be different.
And, by God, it was. After dropping off Jacob, Wilson opened his office door that morning and nearly fell backwards. The reason? His office was filled – to the absolute maximum – with balloons. Red, white, and pink Valentine's Day balloons. Something was making a tinny, mechanical song in the unreachable depth of the room… Dancing Queen.
It was House, alright.
As balloons escaped into the hallway, Wilson sat down on the bench outside his office and laughed.
"What the hell, Wilson?" Cuddy asked. She'd arrived to work only to find her secretary animatedly gossiping about the scene in Wilson's office, and she'd come straight up. By this time, Wilson was having nurses take the helium inflated balloons to various patient rooms to get rid of them.
Wilson cracked a grin at her, handing her a particularly putrid sparkle covered pink balloon. "Happy Valentine's Day, via House."
House was struggling to keep a straight face in the DDX room as he watched the balloons be carted out of Wilson's office. His fellows hadn't arrived yet, accustomed as they were to House coming in late on any given week day. He figured they'd be sorry that they'd decided to sleep in – hopefully, his stunt with the balloons would have the hospital talking for weeks.
Wilson wandered into his office a few minutes later, a satisfied expression on his face. He was carrying two balloons, a red and a white, both in the shape of hearts. He tethered both to the whiteboard.
"You're keeping the, there," he informed House, and House just laughed and agreed.
"I'm getting you back for that," he said, sitting a chair next to his lover and grabbing his hand. "Don't think I won't."
"Oh, I don't doubt it. In fact, I'm looking forward to it."
Wilson leaned over to give House a kiss, which House returned with interest.
The red and white heart shaped balloons remained tethered to the whiteboard for the remainder of the day. None of the fellows had courage enough to ask about it, for a good three hours. They all treated them like they was some sort of mystical apparition.
Finally, Foreman had the testicular fortitude to speak up. "What's with…?" he questioned vaguely, gesturing to the balloons.
House grinned at him. "My favorite hooker got 'em for me. You like?"
Foreman frowned, disgusted, but Chase spoke up from the other side of the table. "You're not buying that, are you Foreman?"
Foreman and House both gave Chase a piercing look, but he continued on. "You didn't hear what happened in Wilson's office this morning?"
Kutner and Taub were laughing, both trying to cover it up with coughs. They'd both heard the rumor, but Foreman, with his pursuit of professionalism, discouraged people from gossiping around him.
"What?" he demanded sourly.
Kutner laughed out loud. "He filled Wilson's room with balloons. Thousands of 'em. How in the hell did you manage that?" he asked, turning to House.
House smirked, leaning back. "I got up early and offered some of the students a lecture if they'd fill them before Wilson got here."
Chase grinned. He'd just won quite a bit of money in the pot, if his hunch was correct.
The same thought seemed to be going through Kutner and Foreman's head, though Taub seemed oblivious. Kutner was the only one brave (or possibly stupid) enough to ask.
"So, are you and Wilson… I mean… are you guys… uh…" he asked, confident at first and then, realizing what he was saying, suddenly timid.
House was suppressing a smile at by then, but to the fellows he looked bored and emotionless. "Care to clarify?"
Kutner was very quiet at this point, and paler than a man of his color should feasibly be.
"He wants to know if you and I are together, House," Wilson clarified from the doorway, a slight smirk on his face.
If possible, Kutner paled more. "Oh – I mean – Dr. Wlison, I – "
House was really struggling now. "I don't know Wilson. Are we together? Or are we just – uh – roommates?"
Wilson laughed, and the fellows collectively looked at each other.
"I don't know House, I think I'm too handsome for you," Wilson joked, flipping his hair and winking.
House scoffed. "If anything, it's you that can't handle my rugged good looks."
"Oookay," Foreman interrupted. "Not that I don't think the bromance is fun and all, but I think I'm going to go down to the clinic."
Taub and Kutner hurried out the door after him, glancing over their shoulders at the two smirking men.
Chase was the only one to stay, leaning against the wall with his arms crossed. "You going to answer or what, cuz I have a pool riding on this."
House and Wilson silently exchanged glances. House was, in his own way, seeking permission. He didn't give a damn about what people thought about him, but Wilson had a reputation at the hospital. And, as far as House was concerned, he was nothing to boast about.
Wilson didn't even give him time to think.
"We get a cut of the pool."
Chase grinned. "Fine."
Wilson grinned back, grabbing House's hand and holding it up in a "victory" pose.
"I knew it!" Chase exclaimed, throwing a fist in the air. "About freaking time, you two."
House swallowed, suddenly, inexplicably finding his eyes stinging. He blinked away the feeling before anyone noticed.
By the end of the day, everyone knew. That was mostly because almost everyone had had money and the pool, and very few of them had been seriously betting that House and Wilson were together. There is nothing that spreads news faster like losing money.
To their credit, House and Wilson carried on like they always had. They ate lunch together, they hung out in each other's offices. But , suddenly, their actions were being taken as love instead of as friendship. They got plenty of looks from passerby – Wilson got some curious of flat out disbelieving stares, and House got several acid glares from aspiring nurses that were hoping to be the next Mrs. Wilson.
House didn't care. The fact that Wilson had so readily claimed him – so readily trashed his reputation – was more than enough for him. He got hate filled looks every day. A few more didn't bother him, not when Wilson was by his side.
Wilson, similarly, seemed indifferent to the whispers of the nurses. As much as he cared about appearances, being House's friend for years had cured him of any vainness when it came to that particular part of his life. As far as he was concerned, not much had changed – other than the fact that he and House were now officially together, and there would be no more divorces.
Of course, neither of them could get through the day without Cuddy finding out. A bit after lunch time, they were both called down to her office for a private meeting.
After they'd both been texted, they joined together in the hall.
"Cuddy?" House asked.
Wilson nodded. "You think it's about…?" he asked, gesturing between the two of them like the relationship was a physical rope holding them together.
House rolled his eyes. "Of course it is. Why else would she willingly call me down there, with you in tow?"
Wilson smiled nervously.
Sure enough, when they got down to the office, Cuddy looked up silently. "Sit," she demanded, after a moment, pointing to the chairs in front of her desk. She got up while they sat, closing the blinds on the nosy staff that were surreptitiously peeking glances inside.
Wilson bounced his leg nervously, sure he was about to be scolded, and House twirled his cane. Cuddy came back around to sit on her desk, silently appraising them for a long moment.
"You two are together," she stated. It wasn't a question.
Again, Wilson did the confirming. House nodded as well when Cuddy looked at him.
"This will not affect your work," she informed them. "And there will be no PDA in my hospital."
Wilson blinked. This was not what he'd been expecting. "Uh… no, of course not, Cuddy."
Cuddy narrowed her eyes at House. "Filling someone's office with thousands of balloons counts as affecting your work, House."
Wilson reassured her as best he could. "No further problems, we swear."
House smirked, amending his statement. "Well, I can agree to the work part, but as far as PDA goes…"
Cuddy shot him a dangerous look, slowly turning her head back to focus on Wilson. "Keep him in line, Wilson."
Wilson chuckled. "Yeah, right."
Fairly early in the afternoon, both men were done. House had had no case, and Wilson had had an unusually light workload. They decided to take Wilson's car to go and pick up Jacob from school.
The boy spotted them, trotting over to the car through the schoolyard and sitting in the car silently. He was unusually quiet. Usually, when Wilson picked him up, he was happy and had a new joke or something along those lines to tell him. But now, his mouth was in a thin line, his eyes worried.
"What's up, kid?" House asked, looking in the rearview at Jacob. His sharp gaze missed nothing on the kid.
Jacob opened his mouth, then closed it. "I… this girl…"
Wilson's eyes widened, and House turned around. "Yes…?"
"This girl asked me to the Valentine's dance. Friday."
House whistled. "Jacob, bro! You're killing 'em!"
"That's great, Jake," Wilson agreed, smiling.
Jacob didn't look very happy about the whole prospect. "I guess."
"Do you not like her back or something?" Wilson asked, his eyebrows rising.
"Yeah, is she a hag?" House added, and Wilson shot him a look, frowning.
"No, she's fine. I just…"
He spread his hands wide, looking down at himself. "Why?"
House had been wondering the same thing all day long, but with Wilson. So he knew what the kid was feeling… and he didn't know how to fix his problem.
Wilson did, instead. "You're a very handsome young man," he insisted, giving Jacob an encouraging smile. "You've been putting yourself out there more. I told you, that's all it takes!"
Jacob still looked troubled. "I've known her since like… elementary school. But she never…"
"Just take it as a compliment, Jacob. There's nothing wrong with you now, and there was nothing wrong with you before," Wilson explained gently. "She just saw her chance and she took it."
"What's her name anyway?" House asked.
"Sounds like a…" House began haughtily, but trailed off at Wilson's look. He sighed. "Sounds like a nice young woman. With an old ass name," he slipped in.
That night, House and Wilson lay together on the bed. House's arm was around Wilson's shoulders, both men tired from the day but not yet tired enough to sleep.
"I can't believe you just told everybody," House burst out, breaking the soft silence of the room.
Wilson opened his eyes, looking over at House. His face was confused.
"I mean, you didn't even stop to think about it. You just… told them."
Wilson's face suddenly cleared. "Are you… Did you not want them to know? House, I'm so sorry, I thought-"
"No! Wilson, I don't care. I couldn't possibly give less of a shit. But I thought… you would."
Wilson swallowed, laying back. House was examining the ceiling.
"I'm not ashamed of you," Wilson reassured him quietly. As usual, he saw through all the extraneous data and right into House's soul.
"No reason why you shouldn't be," House replied bitterly.
Wilson got up, looking hard into House's face. "I. Am. Not. Ashamed of you," he reiterated, his dark browns staring into House's sky blues. "There's nothing wrong with you. Nothing to be ashamed of."
House closed his eyes, pulling Wilson back down. He put his chin on top of Wilson's head, sighing.
"Happy Valentine's Day, Wilson," he breathed, sounding slightly more at ease.
"Happy Valentine's Day, House."
To give credit where credit is due - Two reviewers suggested that I give Jake a girlfriend. They are: Fox. House and nickythehippi. Thanks guys! Also, other reviewer's suggestions have been taken into account and may appear in further chapters. Credit will always be given at the end, like this. Thanks again!