Fandom: RPS-Hugh Laurie/Robert Sean Leonard
Notes/Warnings/Spoilers: THIS IS RPS! That means real people, including sig others, family members,(yeah, children too) friends etc. If that's a problem for you, DON'T READ THE STORY.
Appearances by and references to the usual suspects and a few new ones. Spoilers for Season 4 and a slight one for Dying Changes Everything. Thanks beyond measure to beta_goddess who was still pushing me to get it just right up to a few hours ago, and who is soley responsible for the KEL. Love and Hugs to all the Hugh&Bobby fans who have ever enjoyed or commented on the series.
Disclaimer: None of this happened and I'm not making any money for saying it did.
Summary: What really happened during the writer's strike?
What am I doing here?
Bobby looked around the living room of his temporary home in Venice Beach, wondering how he’d ended up having an existential crisis in the middle of the worst party ever.
For one thing, it wasn’t supposed to be a party, just Kal, Omar and a few others coming over to do scene studies. During the strike, the House MD cast had formed the nucleus of an ad hoc acting workshop consisting of whoever happened to be in town at any given time.
He’d noticed that the younger actors looked up to him as the de facto leader of the group. It was fun letting out his inner Lee Strasberg, but it was slightly frustrating to have them ask questions about Dead Poet’s Society when he was trying to get Kal and Anne to focus on Arthur Miller. He thought Kal had tremendous potential to tackle some of the American classics, if he’d stop wasting his time on…yeah, he should tell someone to stop making incredibly lucrative films just because the great Robert Sean Leonard thought he should be the first Indian-American Biff Loman. Mr. Pot, I have Mr. Kettle for you on line one.
That would be the same Mr. Pot who might as well label himself Hollywood Hack and have it done. With time on his hands, what exactly was he doing for the greater glory of the theater? Not bloody much, as Hugh would say.
Here he was thinking about Hugh again. He’d better short-circuit the more explicit fantasies for once, since he was currently watching the party from hell unfold around him.
Kal and Omar had pitched camp in the living room, insisting they just wanted to watch the election returns from the New York primary. Of course if New York, then why not Illinois, and if Illinois then they might as well hang around for California. Calls were made. Friends arrived, followed by friends of friends, who brought beer and munchies.
Great. A fucking election party, of all things. He’d barely recovered from the last one of those he’d attended.
Bobby wasn’t even sure how he felt about the primaries at this point. He’d voted absentee for Hillary in the New York primary weeks ago. Since then, he’d been to a few Obama rallies. Omar and Kal were on the bandwagon big time, but Bobby had been a Clinton guy for a long time, and wasn’t quite ready to jump ship.
None of it really seemed to matter, which was completely fucked up. He knew exactly how important the election was and why. Each Republican candidate was more horrifying than the next, with the possible exception of Ron Paul, who was just ludicrous. Getting out of Iraq was crucial, so why couldn’t he get off his ass long enough to get involved? Or at least get his ass to the gym so it would be halfway believable that Amber wanted to be involved with Wilson whenever shooting started again.
Doris had told him to book something because the union was prepared to hold out through the Emmys and beyond. He’d listened and nodded, never believing he’d spend the next four months in a state of malaise that was starting to verge on depression. For all the joking about his lazy streak, Bobby needed to work or he went a little nuts.
He’d been trying to get some clue as to how far the writers planned to take the relationship between House and Wilson without giving any clues as to what was happening off-screen. All Doris would give up was a promise to give him a shot at the Emmy, not that Bobby cared about those things. Except when he did.
Maybe that cat was already out of the bag, and they were just kidding themselves to think otherwise. It was one thing to read a script where House tells Wilson, “I love you,” in response to prescribing more Vicodin, and quite another to hear the words out loud in a read-through, with Hugh actually looking at him in front of the rest of the cast, the director and what felt like the whole crew as well.
For a second, he’d felt like everybody knew exactly what was going on at the beach house, the West Hollywood condo, and even occasionally in Hugh’s trailer.
Of course it was nothing. Nobody knew anything. Just to be sure, Hugh saved the moment by slipping back into his British accent and throwing in just a hint of camp.
“Oh dear, Robert, I do believe they’re onto us.”
Hugh never used Robert when they were alone. Then it was always Bobby.
Being a big poofy Englishman paid off once again, deflecting attention from Bobby’s moment of terror.
Lately, he felt like they’d been alone less and less. He kept trying to convince himself that nothing had changed when there were so many hints that it had.
There was no way to know what Hugh was thinking, because he never got a chance to ask. Hugh had left for London three days before the end of the shooting schedule. Family emergency was all anybody seemed to know. Given Hugh’s nearly obsessive work ethic, no one doubted that only something dire would make him leave early, but the abrupt departure deprived Bobby of a last night together that had become a ritual.
And Bobby hadn’t talked to him since. No calls. No emails. No contact via magical owl. They never communicated during filming breaks, but the lack of a formal goodbye made all the difference.
“Awesome party,” said an actor he was sure he’d seen as a judge on Law & Order. Bobby had a sarcastic comeback ready to go until he looked around. Okay, maybe it wasn’t such a bad one after all. Uma had brought her daughter and Robert Downey Jr, thereby increasing both the fun and the star-power exponentially. He didn’t remember actually asking Uma to come over, past a vague discussion suggesting she should come to the house some Tuesday night to watch the show in person, thus avoiding her weekly assault on his eardrums.
This was a good night for it. Uma’s reaction to House’s assertion that Wilson was dating House by sleeping with Amber would have provoked screeches loud enough to blow out both of their phones, not to mention those of anyone who might be listening in, waiting to blow his relationship with Hugh across the front page of a tabloid. Having her in a room full of people was just as dangerous, but presumably her outburst could be passed off as enthusiasm for the fictional characters.
Downey had disappeared into the kitchen. According to Omar, he was making protein shakes for the assembled guests and indulging Kal’s questions about Iron Man. You had to admire the guy. Bobby had known him back in the day and some of those days were pretty scary.
Meanwhile, the host who didn’t give a shit had managed to pull himself into a sitting position from which to contemplate his empty beer bottle and the election results. Hillary had New York. Obama had Illinois. No surprises, no resolution and still no call from Hugh.
What do you expect?
That was his most critical inner voice demanding to know if he really thought that Hugh was going to duck into a room while his wife and children were asleep to salve Bobby’s ego with reassurances of love, or even a few minutes of dirty talk.
He didn’t expect it, he told himself only a bit sullenly, but if honesty was going to rear its ugly head, he sure as hell wanted it. At least an explanation, a few minutes of catching up, and yes, fine, some kind of reassurance.
Moping in Hollywood was bad enough, thinking of Hugh every time he walked on the beach, but it had been worse to be waiting for a call that wasn’t coming when he’d been back east with Gaby in February.
They’d been eating pizza at The Original Ray’s and Gaby was talking about the Olympics. She thought the Israeli equestrian team had the chance to qualify, which raised the question of whether she would ride for her adopted country or her place of birth. It wasn’t a new topic and the one thing Bobby knew was that any criticism of her choice to emigrate would not be welcome, so he concentrated on the greasy glory of New York pizza, ignoring any concern about his waistline.
“Oh my god,” Gaby exclaimed, making Bobby think she’d burned her tongue on the hot cheese. She was looking out the window at a man on crutches passing in front of them.
“I forgot to tell you. Did you hear about Stephen?”
He didn’t bother asking which Stephen. It had to be that Stephen. Still Hugh’s best friend, still Gaby’s email pen-pal, still a source of emotional turmoil for Bobby on both counts, although the actual threat of exposure had been held at bay by Stephen’s feelings for Hugh.
“He broke his arm.”
“Uh huh. He was in Brazil making a documentary and he fell and broke his arm in two places. It was so serious they had to rush him back to England.”
It was. Not just because he wouldn’t wish physical harm on anyone, even someone who had seemed determined to sabotage his relationship with Gaby out of spite. The idea of Stephen in London provoking all kinds of sympathy was enough to raise Bobby’s mope to an all-out brood.
Gaby knew what was happening, if not why. They’d been through enough that she didn’t immediately ask what was wrong or jump to conclusions. He loved her for that, loved everything about her, so why was he walking around the East Village in a funk over the notion of Hugh doing the most natural thing in the world, fussing over his injured friend? His best friend. Which Bobby would never be.
Even Gaby had to call him on it eventually. She waited until they were in bed, and he was gently stroking the curve of her hip, hoping to make up for what he knew had been a crappy day caused by his mood.
“It’s the weather, isn’t it?”
“I know you love the idea of yourself as Mr. New York, but you’ve been out in Hollywood so long, you get cranky if it’s too cold.”
She was using her serious voice, as though she were delivering a lecture on the climactic effects of constant sunshine on expatriate Jersey boys.
“It was pretty brutal out there,” he admitted, although the last thing on his mind had been the weather.
“So now you want to go back to California.”
“No. Now I want to be here with you,” he murmured into her hair, and started kissing her neck.
“Bob, I’m serious. Why don’t you come back with me? We could stay at Ari and Yael’s place in Haifa. Now that’s a beach. The water is so blue you never want to look away.”
He tuned out most of the Israeli Board of Tourism spiel to concentrate on his admiration for Gaby, especially her passion for the things she cared about and exactly how unfair it was for him to have his mind on someone else.
It was time to do what he always did when things got tricky. He made it worse.
Going back to Hollywood got him out of the cold, but the damage was done and he still hadn’t figured out what was going to happen next, beyond waiting for the strike to end.
“Are you guys really going to do it?” Uma asked, interrupting his personal pity party. How could a woman be that tall and still wear high heels?
For a second he thought she might be talking about House and Wilson. She was still convinced that the writers were seriously going to go there. In prime time. On Fox. What did Paul Simon say? Still crazy after all these years.
“Ethan thinks one of you is going to chicken out. Probably Gaby.”
Faced with overwhelming doubt and confusion about himself, his sexuality and his relationship with Gaby, he’d asked her if she was ready to set a date. They stayed up most of the night talking, more than they had for years, and now he was absolutely, positively committed to getting married in August.
There were also brochures from real estate agents on various flat surfaces around the house. Ethan was coming back in April, so bye-bye beach house. Time to find a real home for his bride-to-be, at least for those times she’d actually be in California. He wasn’t expecting her to give up either of her careers, or her new country. Marriage wouldn’t change anything.
So why was Uma giving him that wide-eyed look from such a great height? Did she think she had a shot at being Gaby’s maid of honor? Considering that Ethan was his best man and Uma was still high on Gaby’s shit list, it was a long shot. She’d be lucky to get an invite and Bobby had doubts, given that she was just loony enough to….
“What about Hugh?” she stage-whispered, complete with hand gestures worthy of a first-year acting student.
“Excuse me?” he said, trying to remind her they were in a room full of people, including several of his co-stars, any of whom might be listening.
He knew all right. So much for his “nice guy” image, even if it was only to himself and the nut job on stilettos he’d chosen to confide in.
“Can we not talk about this right now?”
“Bobby, you can’t…”
But he could. Hugh did it, and if he wanted to keep seeing Hugh, he’d have to take the step from cheating on a fiancée to outright marital infidelity. Never mind the fact that Hugh had moments so dark Bobby had encouraged him to get back into therapy, some of which had to be triggered by the guilt of cheating on Jo. They sometimes joked privately about who was the gloomier Gus, never quite admitting how bad they felt because being together was too good to give up.
New arrivals were filling the living room, including what appeared to be half the cast of either a CSI or a Law and Order, and Bobby was on the verge of clinching his status as worst host ever by ordering everyone to leave when his cell-phone started vibrating. Probably one of the real estate agents. Or someone telling him they were coming to the party and should they stop at Von's on the way over to pick up paté.
“Hello,” he said, raising his voice to be heard over the TV, which was currently blasting the opening theme from House MD to great cheers as the names appeared on the screen.
Homina, homina, homina.
After hours of near-stupor, he practically jumped off the couch, stopping to mouth “it’s him” to Uma before striding out to the back porch. Zooey and Emily Deschanel were smoking out there. The smell reminded him of being out there with Hugh, watching the sunset together.
“Do you mind? It’s my agent,” he lied smoothly.
They probably started a fire tossing their butts over the side as they left, but so what? He had the sound of waves, the last red and yellow streaks across the sky, and Hugh’s voice in his ear.
“How’s it going?”
He wanted to sound casual, but Hugh immediately broke through any hopes of pretense.
“I miss you.”
Bobby tried to calculate the time difference. Three in the morning? Hugh alone in his study, risking a phone call for him.
“Me too. I think I’m going nuts.”
“Well, we can’t have that. I want to see you.”
“Oh sure. I’ll just hop on the next flight to Heathrow. You can send the car round for me.”
“I wasn’t really…”
“In Los Angeles. At the condo. Can you come?”
“Uma’s daughter just broke out the Candyland.”
“I’m on my way.”
First he had to get past Downey and his protein shake, Omar and another Obama pitch and Uma standing by the door, serving as the unlikely voice of reason.
“Where do you think you’re going?”
“It was him.”
“Yeah. I got that. So now you’re just going to run out on your own party?”
“It’s not my party, and Hugh’s waiting for me.”
“This is serious,” she said slowly, as though it were finally sinking in.
“You still have keys to this place, don’t you?”
Ethan and Uma had access to each other’s homes, presumably for the sake of the kids and because they still loved each other. Naturally, Uma being Uma, there’d been at least one embarrassing incident with each of Ethan’s girlfriends.
“I got in, didn’t I?”
“Stick around until this thing breaks up and lock the door on your way out. Go watch the show. I promise you’ll love it.”
“And what should I tell everybody when they notice you’ve left?”
He wasn’t so sure they would. He was tempted to go with the last line from “Anastasia,” but the perfect rejoinder struck him just in time. Why not pose as the kind of romantic who would fly across the ocean to see his fiancée on a whim?
“Tell them I went to Israel.”
It usually took twenty minutes to get from Venice to West Hollywood, but Bobby had the Stones on iPod and time, time, time was on his side. He made all the lights on Santa Monica as though the traffic gods were conspiring to get him to Hugh in record time.
He rolled into the garage on Sweetzer Avenue, banging the dashboard and singing along at the top of his lungs. Luckily, he had the elevator to himself, so there was no one to hear him mangling the melody or doing his Mick imitation, which had been known to frighten small children.
Honey, got no money,
I'm all sixes and sevens and nines.
Say now, baby, I'm the rank outsider,
You can be my partner in crime.
But baby, I can't stay,
You got to roll me and call me the tumblin',
Roll me and call me the tumblin' dice.
He kept singing as he walked down the hall to the doorway where Hugh was standing, waiting, although he did modulate his voice in deference to the neighbors, not to mention the last shreds of discretion.
Roll me and call me the tumblin' dice.
Got to roll me. Got to roll me
“My pleasure,” Hugh said, in a voice that promised to make up for the last three months, before pulling him into the apartment.
Things had changed so much since the first time he’d been here. The shyness and awkwardness were long gone. Their mouths met instantly, insistently, saying how much they missed each other without needing words. Hugh’s hands immediately started working their way under his clothing, grasping and groping, reminding him exactly how possessive Hugh could be.
He loved being here, having Hugh lying on top of him, still dressed, but with hardness more than evident through two sets of clothing. It had been too long since he’d felt Hugh’s teeth against his neck or heard the familiar rough whisper of his own name. He loved it, loved Hugh more than he would have thought possible when he tested for the pilot, never thinking he’d get the job or that the show would get picked up.
It was hard to keep his eyes open while Hugh was pushing up his t-shirt and doing deliciously obscene things to his nipples, but he wanted to keep watching, see Hugh’s head, even the endearing bald spot. The fight went on, with every lick and nibble making it (and him) harder. Finally he gave in, eyes closing and one fist reaching for the blanket in anticipation of Hugh moving lower.
More memories of the first night. The shock of realizing what was really happening after nine months of working with Hugh and wondering how much of the flirting was serious and how much was just Hugh being Hugh. Because he couldn’t possibly be sexually attracted to a man, much less willing to act on it. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
This is your life, Robert Sean Leonard. Lying here in anticipation of a blow-job from your married, male co-star, while your girlfriend, scratch that, fiancée, is in Tel Aviv, planning the wedding.
The guilt was never far away, but it didn’t inhibit the desire. Maybe there was some corollary between how guilty he felt for cheating and how much he wanted Hugh. If that were true, the blow-job was the least of his problems.
Oops. Change of plans. While he’d been distracted with his guilt trip to Israel, Hugh had been removing clothing and readjusting his position. Instead of moving down, he’d gone up, so that Bobby felt the unmistakable sensation of Hugh’s cock being rubbed against his lips, coaxing them open. As if Bobby needed any encouragement to open his mouth for that.
He loved this as well, something else he couldn’t have imagined before the first time he’d tentatively bent over and touched Hugh’s cock with his tongue, somewhat confused by the foreskin. Now he knew exactly what to do, how to find the softest, most sensitive part of the head with his tongue until it was Hugh’s turn to gasp and pant. He could control his gag reflex just enough to do it in this position, with Hugh poised over him, ready to thrust deeply if he could take it, but always in control, until he wasn’t.
For Bobby, this was the closest contact, the most immediate and visceral part. Getting fucked required preparation, lube and of course condoms, so there was a kind of detachment that was impossible when he could taste and smell Hugh like this. In his mouth, trembling with excitement and exertion. Bobby had his own possessive streak and in this moment, Hugh was the most his, getting closer, grunting out a few appreciative obscenities. Just as Bobby was reaching the limits of much he could take before he’d start gagging, Hugh stopped moving and gasped out, “Bobby!” followed by a deep groan.
Bobby let his mouth fill with the slightly bitter fluid, never taking his eyes off Hugh’s face, ugly in its contortions, beautiful as it achieved release and relaxation.
Once Hugh had settled onto the bed next to him, Bobby had the chance to swallow and take off his clothes, knowing Hugh was watching with a playful smile on his face. He got back into bed in a state of nearly painful arousal. Part him wanted to get off immediately, but Hugh was an expert tease, able to keep Bobby on the brink longer than any man should have to endure, especially with words.
“I swear to you, I’d be out for an afternoon walk and all I could think about was your arse. I was afraid I’d have to hide behind a tree for a quick wank, thinking of fucking you the whole time.”
“Prove it,” he grunted. Hugh’s hands were toying with his inner thighs, moving upwards, but not fast enough.
“Oh, I will.”
“Please. It’s been….I can’t…”
He didn’t know what to say anymore. Everything that had gone before, even the worrisome admission of love, was insufficient.
“I know. Me too. Not fair at all, is it?”
What did that mean? He couldn’t think; didn’t want to think. Hugh had taken the lubricant out of the nightstand Even the act of smearing it on his hands was a sexual provocation when it was those hands and those fingers, tips slightly calloused from playing the guitar. He couldn’t be the only one fascinated by the sight of Hugh’s hands at the piano, but he was the one getting this particular experience. Two or maybe three fingers inside his body, moving in and out, while he pushed back to increase the pressure on the point that made him gasp every time Hugh hit it.
Hugh continued to whisper words of passion and possession until Bobby was ready to let go and scream himself hoarse, light and heat singing through him, making every moment of the last four months fade away like a bad dream.
Childhood living is easy to do
The things you wanted I bought them for you
Graceless lady you know who I am
You know I can’t let you slide through my hands.
It took time to register reality. He wasn’t dreaming the song. Mick was singing the Stones’ most poignant lyric, soon to be joined by Hugh on the chorus, crooning into his ear.
Wild horses couldn’t drag me away
He felt Hugh’s cheek rubbing against his. Smooth. He must have gotten up to shave, but even before that, he’d only had a normal five o’clock shadow. Not House-level growth. No need for it. The writer’s union was scheduled to vote on the new contract that Friday. If the strike ended, it would still take weeks to get production up and running, assuming pencils had really been down the whole time.
Hugh wasn’t here to play House, and the movie he’d done with Keanu wasn’t opening until April. He liked the thought that Hugh had flown all the way from London just to see him. But denial was one thing, delusion another.
“What are you doing here?”
He could sense Hugh considering a glib response and then thinking better of it. Their friendship had earned him that much.
“I’m buying a house.”
“That’s great,” he replied, denial mechanism attempting to override the obvious implications of that simple, declarative statement. A house in Los Angeles meant Jo, Charlie, Bill and Rebecca. It meant Hugh going home to his family at night instead of a temporary dwelling. Maybe it meant Hugh feeling less lonely and isolated. All good things. Reasons to be happy for his dear friend. Right?
“I understand congratulations are in order to you and Gabriella as well. You’re finally making her an honest woman. Good for you.”
Hugh was still pressed against his back, one arm lying over him, but Bobby heard an edge to his voice, something that sounded like jealousy. Hugh’s possessive streak was an odd source of pride, whether it was rearing its attractive head over Bobby’s engagement or friendship with Ethan. It was good to remember that he wasn’t the only one who’d fallen in love.
“I know how lonely it can be out here without your family,” Hugh continued. “It makes you do things you’d never think of.”
That’s what I’ve been all along.
And now Hugh’s family was going to be here so he wouldn’t be thinking about those things anymore. That jealous streak only went so far.
Maybe there was a chance he wasn’t getting dumped, but if he was, he’d try to go down with some dignity.
“What happened?” he asked, knowing his own voice was getting a bit rough, even sarcastic. “When you left? Why did you…?”
Bobby knew he was taking a risk by bringing it up. Even more of one by turning around in bed to face Hugh.
“My wife and children are not idiots.” There was no smile behind the words. He wondered if this was as painful for Hugh as it was for him.
“What about you?”
“Frequently, but not when I can hurt them.”
Wild, wild horses couldn’t drag me away.
Apparently they could. Quite easily. Déjà vu all over again. Hugh’s words were both a verdict and a sentence. As reality set in, Bobby realized with a shock that he was tired of being the ping-pong ball between Hugh’s alternating bouts of guilt and lust. He pulled himself away from the warmth of Hugh’s body, the same body he’d come running to like a….he’d leave the name-calling for later.
He started dressing, waiting for Hugh to say something that would tell him this wasn’t the end, looking for an expression of guilt toward him for a change. Something in those heart-stopping eyes beyond vague disappointment that Bobby was leaving rather than extending a last night together. After everything that had happened, he deserved more than this ostentatious silence.
He might not get an explanation or even an apology, but it was probably just as well they weren’t exchanging any recriminations. The strike was going to end and they’d be back playing House and Wilson soon enough. They’d still have their acting chemistry and the friendship and Bobby had learned enough about Hugh to suspect that as long as they were in the same city, on the same set, nothing was really over. Unless he decided it was. That remained to be seen. For now, it was his turn to walk away, preferably with one hard shot to Hugh’s emotional solar plexus, because he wasn’t a nice guy anymore. He already had the perfect line at hand.
“I’m going to Israel.”
Hooray for Hollywood…where friends call you at ungodly hours to tell you how sorry they are you didn’t get nominated for an Emmy, for the fourth year in a row.
Doris had been the first, nearly begging forgiveness, convinced the failure was somehow hers and the writing staff’s. Bobby had to reassure her that if crying over his dying girlfriend wasn’t enough to impress the voters, there was nothing left to try short of onscreen immolation. He didn’t suggest the possibility of giving Uma what she wanted, if only to shut her up.
Uma herself went on for ten minutes on all the ways he was being screwed over, followed by another ten on how Wilson was a bastard for trying to have a relationship with anyone other than House and how they should totally have sex on screen and why couldn’t she do a part on the show and maybe Quentin could direct it.
Bobby let her go on while watching MSNBC with the sound off, wondering why she even had time to worry about any of this. Didn’t she have scripts to read or something?
Lewis Black was hysterically obscene on the topic, and promised to get something in on the Daily Show, which was sweet. None of them seemed to realize just how little he really cared.
Ethan had the decency to wait until after nine.
“Sucks, man,” he said succinctly.
“How’s the new place.”
“It’s a place. Gaby’s got plans.”
“I’ll bet. You guys still going through with this?”
Ethan was taking his role as best man so seriously that he felt obliged to take Bobby’s marital temperature on a weekly basis.
“Are you making book on this or something?”
“Nobody drags it out this long and then pulls it off.”
“You are so wrong. It’s going to be perfect. The place we wanted since we first met. The whole thing.”
“And her still living in Israel.”
“Yeah. That too.”
“What’s happening with….”
“Nothing,” he replied, cutting Ethan off before he could mention Hugh. He wasn’t discussing that with anybody, even Uma, which had been like putting both of them through six months of cold turkey.
Ethan had a call coming in and Bobby had to get to the studio, which was going to require a hard-core caffeine infusion because he’d been up late talking to Gaby. She was in Jerusalem leading a tour for her advanced seminar. She’d found a site called Wilson’s Arch, and said the baby had kicked when they first arrived.
“Next time you actually have to see some of the country.”
There was a hint of teasing in her voice, as if to remind him that there was more to do in Israel than shack up in a beach house, alternating walks on the beach with making love. Not that it had turned out all that badly.
After the usual round of endearments and reminders about the wedding, Gaby said good-bye, leaving him with time to make one more call before leaving for the studio.
The minute the nominations were announced, Bobby’s first instinct had been to call Hugh and congratulate him. Now that he’d dealt with his own friends, he could follow through on the impulse. He got out his cell phone and nearly pushed speed-dial before stopping himself. It wasn’t his place anymore, and hadn’t been since Hugh made that special trip to LA.
Things had been awkward, especially in light of what Doris and the writers had up their sleeves. Playing scenes where Wilson questioned his friendship with House was almost too close for comfort. The hardest part was when they were alone in character, opening up the old chemistry and closeness, hurting for what had been lost. At least Bobby hurt. He didn’t know if Hugh felt it too, because there hadn’t been the opportunity to talk about it. His family was here now. Hugh had Jo to confide in and no doubt a guest-room permanently made up for Stephen.
On the other hand, Bobby still cared enough to be happy that Hugh was getting another chance at the Emmy. He remembered going over to the condo to cheer Hugh up after last year’s award show. Cheering up being a euphemism for having incredibly hot sex, the kind he tried not to think about now that it seemed clear he wasn’t going to be having it anymore. Hugh had admitted that night just how much the stupid award mattered and how much he hated himself for feeling that way.
Bobby understood. He’d been there. He’d felt it before, just not this year.
He was getting married and Gaby was pregnant.
That’s what really mattered. It had to be. Because that was all he had left.