Wilson drove into the parking lot of a large restaurant named Stephan's Italian Dining, and parked his car in the first available parking space he saw.
"Go ahead," House said, "I'll meet you in there."
Wilson didn't seem the harm in waiting, but decided not to ask any questions. He yanked the keys out of the ignition and got out of the car, shutting the door before making his way towards the restaurant entrance. House sat motionless until Wilson disappeared. After he was sure that Wilson couldn't see him, he reached into his blue book bag and pulled out a medium-sized box. It was similar to the type that somebody would keep an engagement ring in, but almost two times larger.
After stuffing the box into his leather jacket, House got out of the car and made his way into the building. Once he was inside, he looked around for Wilson. The busyness made it difficult to find anyone.
"Can I help you, sir?"
House looked over at a young female hostess. Her name tag said Mandy. She had dark red hair, blue eyes, and splotchy freckles all over her face.
"I'm looking for my..."
House trailed off, furrowing his brow. He was contemplating whether or not to use the word. Mandy just stared at him, impatiently tapping her pen on a clipboard until he finished his sentence.
"My boyfriend," House replied.
"What's his name?" Mandy asked, trying to hide the surprise at his confession to being gay.
"Wilson. Er…James Wilson. Has he been seated yet?"
Mandy didn't answer. She looked down at the clipboard she had been holding, using her finger to sort through the list for a Wilson. She found the name and location at the very bottom of her list.
"Wilson, party of two," She mumbled to herself.
Looking up from her list, she gave House a bright smile. He didn't smile back.
"Table 17," She replied.
House blandly thanked her, and then asked which direction that would be in. She offered to lead him there, and then walked off without waiting for a response. House followed her through a maze of people and dining tables. They found Wilson seated at a booth against the back wall of the restaurant. He smiled at the sight of his companion, and then thanked the hostess for her help. She simply nodded, then left them alone.
"How the hell did you get seated so fast?" House asked, taking a seat across from Wilson.
Wilson shrugged; acting like it was sheer luck. Truthfully, he had slipped the hostess a hundred-dollar bill. The place was busy, but he wanted to make sure that House enjoyed the evening. Even if it meant wasting a Franklin so that they didn't have to wait to get seated.
"So," Wilson continued, "How was your day?"
House grunted. His day had been horrendous. It had been irrevocably dreadful. Cuddy had decided to punish him for neglecting work all of the day before. She didn't fire him or suspend him, though. No, she took a much crueler approach. The woman revoked all of his case rights for two weeks. Then she gave him mandatory clinic work to keep him occupied for fourteen days.
Today had been his first day on such conditions. He had worked in the clinic for almost nine hours. That meant nine grueling hours dealing with nothing but patients who were coming in with the sniffles, or a cold, or maybe even just a headache. It was the worst kind of punishment House could think of.
"Sorry about that," Wilson said.
House shrugged it off, asking Wilson what he had done today. It wasn't like him to be social and actually listen, but he'd try.
"You don't really care," Wilson said, giving him a charming smile.
"Yes I do."
Wilson gave him a look of skepticism.
"Okay, maybe not." House replied.
"I don't mind."
"You could still tell me," House said, "And I could pretend to listen."
Wilson laughed. What was the point in that? He might as well be speaking to a brick wall.
"What's so wrong with having an actual conversation with somebody? Why can't you just sit down and socialize like normal people do?"
"I would," House explained, "But you bore me."
"Thanks," Wilson said flatly, "You make me feel very loved."
"Well you do! All you do is whine about bald little children."
"I don't whine," Wilson argued.
"Oh, you whine. You whine like a five-year-old."
"I do not!"
"Not!" Wilson hissed.
"Stop whining about not whining."
"You're such a child."
"You're such a child," House mocked, clearly trying his best to annoy Wilson.
Luckily, a waiter interrupted them before the argument could get any worse. He stood at the edge of their table, asking if they would be interested in anything to drink. Wilson ordered a glass of water, House a cup of coffee. The waiter hastily scribbled the order onto a small pad, and then walked off. Wilson turned his attention back to House, who had calmed down.
"It's like nine-thirty," Wilson said, "Why do you want coffee?"
House smiled suspiciously.
"I plan on staying up quite late tonight."
Wilson rolled his eyes.
Of course, the subject of them having sex created another disagreement between the two doctors. An argument about who was the man in their relationship. House declared that he already possessed the title, but Wilson disagreed. House said that he rightfully owned it because he had asked Wilson out. Wilson argued that he had been the one to convince House to do so. House argued that he had made the first move, but Wilson- of course- told House that they wouldn't have had a chance to kiss if he had never stumbled into House's office because of a silly dare that night. House argued that he deserved the title as man because he was older…
And then Wilson finally made the winning argument.
"Mine's bigger." He said.
That was all he had to say.
House opened his mouth to say something, but knew that he had just lost. Wilson raised his brow and smiled, quite satisfied with the reaction. Still, he felt bad at the defeated look in his companion's eyes.
"Nobody's gotta take a title," He replied.
"You cook, clean the dishes, and blow-dry your hair," House said, "Even if you won't admit it, you're already the woman."
Wilson tilted his head to the side and thought about it. House had a valid point. He was the one enriched with better culinary knowledge. He was the one who did the dishes, too. And- yes- he blow-dried his hair. Maybe he was more fit for the position. There was no way in hell the man would admit it, though. He just shrugged it off, deciding that there was no need to linger on the subject.
"Anyways," Wilson deflected, "What are you doing tomorrow?"
House laughed inwardly, telling him that he was probably going to stay home and drown his sorrows with hard liquor. He didn't use those exact words, but Wilson knew him well enough to understand.
"That's… unhealthy." Wilson replied, looking sincerely concerned.
House shrugged. It was the same routine every year.
"House, ya know…If you want to come with me to my parent's tomorrow…"
House looked at him as if he were crazy.
"Okay," Wilson replied, "Forget I even asked."
The waiter arrived with their respective beverages. He carefully placed them on the table, and then left after Wilson thanked him. House watched the man walk away, catering to a family of seven sitting on the other side of the restaurant. Wilson took a sip of his water, and then let out a sigh.
"So… no cases? For a whole week?"
House turned his attention back to Wilson.
"Two," He replied, "Two weeks, and she's forcing me to work in the clinic for at least seven hours a day during those two weeks."
Wilson shook his head disapprovingly.
"I don't see why it's that big of a deal," The oncologist replied, "You've done worse things than hide for a day. You've done much worse things."
"I dunno. I just don't understand that woman."
"And she actually expresses her feelings," Wilson teased, "How do you think she feels about you?"
House sighed. A thought came to Wilson's mind.
"Speaking of Cuddy, could I ask you something?"
"I just…" He struggled to find the right words, "I just want to clear some things up. I mean, I thought you were into Lisa, but you're gay. I mean, you surely acted like you wanted her."
"I did," House explained, "I wanted her for a long time. I slowly started to lose interest, though. After a while, I realized why."
It was a simple answer, but Wilson was willing to accept it.
"I just wondered."
Wilson took another drink of water, draining half of his glass before starting up another conversation. He asked his companion how the team was. He received nothing more than a shrug and reassurance of their good health. Wracking his brain for something else to talk about, he found himself asking House how his mother was.
Wilson gritted his teeth, becoming frustrated with House's inability to elaborate.
"How's she dealing with your father-"
"That man wasn't my father," House argued in a slightly hostile tone.
Wilson stifled the urge to role his eyes.
"How's she dealing with John's death?" He corrected.
"I don't know."
Realizing that the atmosphere had been thickened by awkwardness, House reached into the left pocket of his jacket and pulled out the little black box he had stuffed in there earlier. Without saying anything, he put it on the table. Wilson eyeballed it curiously.
"It's for you," House explained.
Wilson looked up at House, and then back at the small box he had been offered.
"Go on," House urged, pushing it towards him.
With much caution, Wilson picked the box up and shook it.
"What is it?"
"I got it for you. Since you're a generous idiot, I knew you'd buy me something. I mean, you do every single year, even though I tell you not to. Anyways, I wanted to repay the favor. I want you to open it tonight, though, because I won't let that god-damned Jesus think that I'm acknowledging his birthday."
Wilson studied the box for a few moments more, and then flipped it open. His eyes widened in disbelief at the sight of what was inside.
"Just something I picked up," House modestly replied, "I thought you'd like it."
Wilson took the silver watch out of the box and scrutinized it. It was a silver Milgauss edition Rolex, complete with orange hour markers and a white dial. The case was trimmed in gold, and water-resistant up to 330 feet. It was one of the most elegant accessories he had ever laid his eyes on.
"This had to be expensive," Wilson said, looking up from the gift.
"Doesn't matter," House replied.
"This is Rolex," Wilson said, looking back down at the watch, "We're talking about a lot of money. Especially with the gold trim."
"Just put it on."
House was good at hiding it, but he was overjoyed by the fact that Wilson took such interest in it. He watched with much pleasure as the man took his old watch off and carefully opened the clasp on the new Rolex. Wilson wrapped it around his wrist and held his arm up for House too see.
"It's great, House. I love it."
House smiled bashfully.
"Seriously," Wilson continued, "This is really nice. Thank you."
On that note, the waiter arrived to take their orders.