Pairings: House/Wilson, House/Stacy
Rating: Hard R
Notes: Written for shara_i in the House/Wilson gift exchange. Prompt: Prompt: House and Wilson's friendship when House was with Stacy. Thanks to both beta_goddess and leakey_lover for superlative Beta.
Warnings: Spoilers thru “Birthmarks” and lots of angst.
Summary: They both liked a good game of Scrabble, vindaloo curry, and House.
“Do you do this a lot?” Wilson asked, peering under the bed for the watch he remembered pulling off earlier in the evening. At the time, it had felt like an encumbrance; now its absence made him feel more naked than the actual lack of clothes.
The man for whom he’d removed his watch, his clothing and most of his inhibitions didn’t bother answering. He was fiddling with the remote for the TV, seemingly on the verge of ordering Saturday Night Beaver from the in-room movie menu.
Watching those hands made Wilson think about what they’d done to him in the last few hours. Somehow the fingers -- on his face, and thighs, and most of all inside him -- had been far more intimate than what followed. He still felt bruised and dirty and slightly ashamed, but couldn’t help wanting to know when and if it would happen again.
It might be a rude question or a just plain stupid one.
“Bailing strangers out of jail and then taking them back to your hotel room for….” he gestured at the emphatically unmade bed, the condom wrappers and their naked bodies.
“It’s called fucking. You seem to be familiar with the concept. Usually the fucking preceeds the bail-out. Unless they happen at the same time. No point spending the money if you’re not sure they’re going to put out.”
“You were that sure of me?”
“I thought it was worth the risk.”
House leaned back, seemingly comfortable in his nudity, giving Wilson another chance to take in all the details. The long legs, muscular arms and shoulders, the lower lip that seemed to be screaming for Wilson to nibble it again, and of course the eyes that had first caught his attention through a haze of booze and self-pity when he was back in the bar, seething over some jerk with too much change and a Billy Joel fetish.
“I’m not gay,” Wilson insisted, feeling the need to throw up some emotional barricades against whatever it was he’d walked into when he’d accepted the bail bond, a drive to the hotel and a drink, followed by several more drinks, all before he even knew Greg House’s name.
“That blow-job wasn’t beginner’s luck.”
Staring at his benefactor’s chest and midriff might not be the best way to make the case either, since it was probably obvious what he was really looking at. After all, it wasn’t just the hands that had left him sweaty and sore.
“Does she know?” House asked.
“The soon-to-be-ex-Mrs. Wilson. Is she dumping your shapely ass because of another woman or because she knows you really like dudes?”
Wilson knew he should be outraged by the invasion of privacy, but found himself touched that House cared enough to pry, and amused by his use of teen-age slang.
“What about you? Is there a soon-to-be-ex-Mrs. House?”
“Hah!” House scoffed, giving Wilson a jolt of hope, only to immediately quash it. “Stacy’s too smart for that. She’s met my parents.”
“Stacy,” he repeated. A first name. After a night with House, he’d practically forgotten his own.
“Don’t worry. You’ll like her. You guys have a lot in common.”
Well, they both liked a good game of Scrabble, vindaloo curry, and House.
Wilson adopted House’s passion for Monster Trucks as his own, accompanied him to various sports events and spent hours with House and Stacy watching movies, looking for the perfect 7-letter word and trying not to hate her, because she got to call him Greg and he didn’t.
It wasn’t her fault that he’d moved to New Jersey and taken a job at Princeton Plainsboro to be closer to a man who clearly intended to absorb Wilson into his life without making any changes in his own routine.
Then there was the fucking. He still didn’t like the word, but there wasn’t much else he could call what took place at his new apartment, which was less than a mile from House and Stacy’s townhouse, or the furtive groping which occurred in the hospital itself. Saying no was never really an option. House’s love affair with danger was contagious.
Wilson could have sworn he’d once had a life; now there was only work, Scrabble and House -- or rather House and Stacy.
“Does Stacy know?” he kept asking, never getting a straight answer, but logging an impressive list of evasions, such as:
“Stacy knows what she wants to know.”
“Why? You want to invite her for a threesome?”
“I’m not the guilt-ridden bastard who feels the need to confess infidelity to make myself feel better no matter who I hurt in the process. Now are you going to suck me off, or do I have to call the psych ward and order up a nymphomaniac.”
He told himself it was fun to be continually challenged, even if it was also exhausting, and occasionally life-threatening.
House and Stacy took it upon themselves to throw a party to celebrate Wilson’s becoming head of the oncology department. It would have been nice to invite his parents, or even some of his friends from school, but he couldn’t bring himself to explain that his new best friends had a sentimental attachment to Delilah’s Den in Pleasanton, so they weren’t there when the fight broke out. Fists and glasses went flying mostly in House’s direction, requiring a trip to the emergency room. House and Stacy argued in the back seat, leaving Wilson to drive, seething because Stacy seemed more interested in berating House than worrying about the blood dripping from his forehead.
“You’re an idiot!”
“Free speech. I’m allowed to express an opinion. She danced like a spastic elephant. You could do better. Wilson could do better. I’ve seen him.”
“I’ll just bet you have.”
Wilson gripped the wheel, trying not to have a heart attack, telling himself it didn’t mean anything. Just House and Stacy being House and Stacy. She really didn’t know. Or he was kidding himself and she’d known all along. Which meant what? That she was knowingly sharing House? Wilson would never do that. Except, of course, that he was. Settling for being a last name and hospital fuck-buddy. He wasn’t going to have a heart attack, he was going to vomit, but not until he got House safely to a hospital.
He managed to avoid puking, but not having to sit next to Stacy in the waiting room and presumably offer her reassurance. Only she beat him to the punch, as she had so many times.
“Don’t worry. He’s an idiot, but he’s indestructible. It’s everybody else who gets hurt.” Stacy turned to him with tired eyes and a long, eloquent sigh. “Don’t let him do it to you. Find something or someone that’s just yours or otherwise…” she trailed off, unwilling to enunciate what Wilson already knew in his heart about House taking over his life.
It was too late for him; he was sure of it, and listening to Stacy say the words out loud felt vaguely treasonous. House, emerged with a dressing on his forehead and a prescription for pain-killers that he insisted on having filled before they went back to Delilah’s for the rest of the party. The possibility of going home and getting some rest was never seriously discussed, except as a suggestion from Wilson that was immediately shot down by House.
He respected her for finding a way to protect part of herself from the all-consuming force that was Greg House, but resented her every time he witnessed a moment of closeness that should have been his. He didn’t count the moments he shared with House that should have been hers.
House clearly had every intention of maintaining the status quo indefinitely and Wilson kept telling himself he was okay with that. Half of House was better than all of anyone else. With this arrangement, he’d finally found a way to be faithful, something neither the now-officially-ex-Mrs. Wilson, nor any of his previous girlfriends would have believed possible.
Under the circumstances, it seemed safe, even reasonable, to schedule a speaking engagement at the ASTRO meeting, despite House’s immediate and completely unfounded suspicions of his motives for going out of town.
“You’re meeting someone.”
House’s tone reminded him of his ex-wife in similar circumstances. If he didn’t know better, he’d say House was jealous, something he would expect House to deny, because that would require admitting there was a real relationship.
“There’s no one, House. I’m happy. I don’t want to cheat.”
“I didn’t say you wanted to. I said you will.”
That night, when House was fucking him, caressing his buttocks, Wilson felt something tender and loving in the touch, as though igniting House’s jealousy was the way to remind him that he was still fucking Wilson because he actually cared about him.
Wilson could have sworn he heard House murmur “James” as his teeth pressed against the most sensitive part of Wilson’s neck. He didn’t know if it was the nipping or the sense of intimacy brought on by the use of his first name that caused his prolonged gasping and shuddering.
“You’re going to miss Stacy’s birthday party,” House commented as he was dressing to go.
“I don’t think I can handle another trip to Delilah’s.”
“We’re on the permanent 86 list there, but I’ve got Destiny Davenport’s number if you want it. She told Stacy you were cute.”
“Don’t tell me it’s going to be something as mundane as a restaurant. Unless it’s topless or drag or something.”
“Glow-in-the-dark miniature golf. Suitable for the whole family. You can bring mom and dad if you like. Oh sorry, you’re going to be taking a powder to Boston for chowder.”
“It’s a conference, House. Lectures. Seminars. Free pens from the drug reps.”
“You met me at a medical conference.”
If House had been willing to stay the night or even expressed a desire to, Wilson would have canceled, or so he told himself many, many times afterwards.
In which case, he wouldn’t have been sitting on a train the next day trying to concentrate on the Newark Star Ledger and the trees going by, instead of the woman in the seat opposite him crying. He made it all the way to the Newark stop before giving in and offering her a handkerchief along with his best smile and an exchange of names.
He managed to coax a tentative grin and nearly two hours of monologue about her horrible ex-boyfriend. When she brushed some hair out of her face, he couldn’t help noticing that she was actually very cute. That was when he turned his cell phone off, so she wouldn’t be interrupted by the rude ring every time House called to annoy him.
When he turned it on again, it was nearly 24 hours later and there were five increasingly hysterical messages from Stacy that had nothing to do with her birthday and everything to do with House’s leg and pain and more pain and surgery.
By that time, he’d found something that was just his.