Chapter: 1/6 (Plus epilogue)
Fandom: House MD
Pairings: Wilson/Park, House/Wilson
Worcount: (This Chapter) 1075
Rating: This chapter-G, but there will be NC17 material.
Warnings: Graphic sex for both pairings. Massive Angst-fest ahead. No fluff, no schmoop. Possible triggers. Read at your own risk.
Notes: THIS IS NOT A WIP! The whole thing is done. I just feel like posting in chapters. Very short chapters. Thanks to Michelleann68 for Full Metal Beta. Comments and concrit welcome.
Summary: Things are back to normal, so everyone gets hurt.
Why is he looking at me?
More to the point, was he looking at her at all, or was it just her imagination?
Park wished she had someone she could talk to. Unfortunately, House’s “method” required keeping his team in a constant state of mutual distrust. Anything she told Adams or Taub in the strictest confidence would be repeated to House within the hour.
Not that she could really blame them. She’d rat either of them out in a nanosecond to make a single point with House. It was an act of self-preservation. Working for House was an object lesson in survival of the fittest or at least most devious. Whoever wasn’t being abused by House that day, or even that moment, was the winner.
Under other circumstances, she might have taken a chance on Chase. He’d worked for House the longest, which meant he knew about all of House’s previous fellows, especially what really happened between House and Cuddy. More to the point, he knew about the only person House was willing to identify as a friend, even if the relationship (from what Park could see of it) bore no resemblance to any friendship she’d ever witnessed.
If anybody knew what it meant for Dr. Wilson to be looking at Park, if he was looking, it would be Chase. Maybe he’d even keep the information to himself, if she were lucky, then again … it was Chase.
Unfortunately Chase was still recovering from the incident. His limp was gone, almost by force of will it seemed, given the ridiculously short period of time since he’d been nearly dead on the operating table. To Park, Chase’s near miss was a symptom of what she’d personally dubbed “The House Syndrome.”
She sometimes imagined herself presenting a paper. Her hypothesis was that working for Gregory House made you desperate to prove that you weren’t becoming like him, even as you found yourself absorbing his bleak view of humanity. She knew she’d succumbed the first time she heard herself say, “everybody lies.”
She could only imagine what effect the stabbing had had on Chase’s psyche, which she suspected was already pretty damaged from his years of working for House. It wouldn’t be fair to drag him into her possible Wilson situation, especially if the whole thing turned out to be a complete figment of her imagination.
That left her pre-House colleagues in the Neurology department, some of whom she had actually considered friends. Now they rarely spoke to her and tended to avoid her gaze if they ran into her in the hallway or ended up on the same elevator. She didn’t know exactly what House had done or said, but she was sure he was responsible. It was like he’d marked them with the scent of his cynicism. He wanted his people to be just that, his people. Loyal only to him and isolated from the rest of the hospital, or from anyone resembling a lifeline. The parallel to domestic abuse seemed obvious, but wasn’t helpful at the moment.
Park’s lunch break was almost over and Wilson was still looking at her. Unless, of course, he wasn’t.
To hell with this, she thought, after realizing she’d consumed the better part of a veggie burger without actually tasting it, although given the general quality of the cafeteria’s food, maybe that was just as well.
She threw a napkin onto her plate, and stood up. It took her full measure of annoyance to walk over to Wilson’s table.
“Yes, Dr. Park,” he said, after she’d been standing there long enough to feel completely awkward.
He hadn’t been looking at all. She was about to humiliate herself, and Wilson being Wilson would have to convey the story to House, thereby compounding the shame.
No. House might be driving her crazy, but she hadn’t gone completely around the bend. She knew what she had seen.
“Dr. Wilson, why were you looking at me?”
She braced herself for a denial followed by the polite insinuation that she’d been imagining things, maybe a bit of wishful thinking? After all, Wilson was generally considered to be a heartthrob, while most people were too polite to offer any comment on her looks. Of course the word “polite” was completely alien to House and he didn’t bother to hide the fact that he considered her lack of physical appeal to be second only to Taub’s. Naturally she’d be expected to swoon at the idea of James Wilson giving her so much as a second glance.
Except that Wilson wasn’t even close to being her type, starting with his age, and ending with his status as a professional co-dependent. Not an appealing combination, so if he were planning to tell her she was nuts, he could get on with it, but if he tried to “let her down easy,” she would have a thing or two to say about that. Assuming she could get the words out.
Wilson had aside the copy of the Star Ledger he’d been pretending to read in between looking at her, and instead of critiquing her mental state, he started smiling. Not a professional smile either. It was the kind of smile he sometimes gave House when he thought they weren’t being watched. It made her feel funny, but in a good way.
“Why wouldn’t I be looking at you?”
His voice took on an intimate tone, which combined with the smile had more of an effect on her heart rate than she would have thought, given the whole totally not her type thing.
At least a dozen good reasons came to mind, but they stalled between the rational part of her brain and her lips.
“Because,” she replied, realizing exactly how childish that sounded.
Wilson nodded as if he understood completely. Good for him, because she was totally confused.
“You’re right. I shouldn’t be looking at you here. Very unprofessional. I apologize. But it was the only way I could get you to come over here so I could ask you to have dinner with me.”
Park blinked and considered saying something along the lines of suggesting a good psychiatrist. She wasn’t crazy, but Wilson clearly was.
“I have to get back to work,” she said, trying to sound calm.
She left as quickly as she possibly could without actually breaking into a run, reminding herself all the way back to Diagnostics that James Wilson was most definitely not her type.