Pairings: Wilson and a cast of many including House/Julie/Chase/Cameron/Cuddy
Warnings: Spoilers through Whac-A-Mole. Het & Slash content. Angst&Darkness. Fluff-free zone. Abandon hope all ye who click here.
Notes: Written as a Christmas/Birthday present for fallen_arazil She wanted "slut!Wilson, but still sympathetic". I'm not sure how much sympathy survived. Thanks to Beta Goddess Carol for sending it back again and again until it was right.
Summary: How we got from the end of "Whac-A-Mole" to "Findng Judas".
Rainy Night In Princeton
What the hell did Wilson expect?
House had never pretended to be anything but the bastard he was. So what if he’d refused to let Cameron or either of the others go write prescriptions for useless medications? Big fucking deal. Like Wilson didn’t have doctors in his own department who could do that.
He wouldn’t give an inch on admitting any responsibility, wasn’t giving Wilson the chance to spend that much time with Cameron, and just couldn’t give in to anybody’s arbitrary demands, not even Wilson’s.
All Wilson had to do was get on the back of the bike. House would take him to the apartment and even let him pick the take-out. He’d do whatever it took to make it up to Wilson, as long as it didn’t involve admitting his own guilt or making any kind of deal with the cops.
Wilson’s normally expressive face turned into a closed book with no warmth in his eyes whatsoever.
Let him take the bus. Let him sit on the bench all fucking night. House was stopped in the middle of the street, a traffic violation. Tritter might be waiting behind the next bush. He gunned the engine and rode off.
The bus schedule was obviously written by a delusional lunatic.
He’d been out there nearly forty-five minutes. Cold. Still in shock from the events of the day. In less than forty-eight hours, the situation had escalated from a nuisance to a downright Kafka-esque nightmare. Wilson wouldn’t be surprised to find himself transformed into a cockroach. That’s how House had made him feel when he’d come to the diagnostics office needing Cameron to write a Compazine script because one of his chemo patients was puking her guts out. House had brushed him off like an annoying insect.
Wilson’s career, their friendship, all the things Wilson had done or was willing to do, it all meant nothing to House. People had been telling him for years. He’d always shrug them off and congratulate himself on being the one person that House did give a damn about. Maybe he should have gotten a job writing bus schedules.
House was gone, the bus was never going to come and the same Checker Cab had been circling the block, crawling by alluringly and then disappearing only to return and do the dance again.
He’d reluctantly accepted a twenty from Cuddy and scrounged another dollar and twenty-three cents from various drawers in his desk. It was enough for a cab ride back to the hotel, but he’d have to order room service and pray they put it on his bill without trying to run the card.
Mr. Checker was back. The driver was no doubt looking at his pathetic state and thinking, What a schmuck. Wilson was tired of being a schmuck. The inside of the cab was warm and the radio was playing smooth jazz.
“Where to?” said a raspy voice with a Philly accent.
“Home,” he replied automatically.
“Does that come with an address?”
He started to say “Park Hyatt,” but that wasn’t home, more like a prison he was terrified of being evicted from. His next choice would have been 221-B, but after today, he couldn’t imagine going there again. He heard himself saying “1017 Carlton Place, Hopewell.” That was farther than he could get with $21.23 and he had no idea if he’d even get in the front door.
“Can I borrow your cell?” he asked the driver, who glanced over his shoulder suspiciously. “Mine’s in my car,” he started for the umpteenth time that day. “Which got impounded.” It didn’t sound any better. “By this psychotic policeman...” Wilson trailed off; he had less than a minute to tell the driver to turn around before they’d eaten up more than half of the twenty. “Local call. I promise.”
“Go ahead. I got free minutes after six.”
Wilson found himself pathetically grateful for the first piece of luck he’d caught all day. The driver had put the windshield wipers on. Rain was sheeting against the front window.
“Who is this?” She sounded suspicious and confused, probably by the unfamiliar number on her Caller I.D. “If you’re selling something, it’s dinnertime and….”
“I’m not selling anything.”
“Hi Jules,“he said softly, not wanting to annoy her more than he’d already done in their time together.
“Where are you calling from? Where’s your phone?”
“It’s a long, horrible story.” He took a deep breath and let his voice convey all the crap he’d been though and how much he needed her. It was cheap and manipulative, but he didn’t have a choice. “I know I screwed up and I have no right to ask you for…anything, but I need a favor.”
He heard her thinking. It wasn’t a pretty sound.
“Can I come over?”
“One good reason, James. Tell me, because I’d like to hear it.”
“You get to say ‘I told you so’.”
Julie had never stopped loving James, but the longer they were married, the harder it became to believe he’d ever loved her.
She’d ignored the pitying looks and bitten tongues of James’s hospital colleagues and the too-hopeful smiles on the faces of his family. It would have nice if one of them had taken the trouble to tell her what she was getting into.
Correction: Someone had. She had just refused to listen.
Lisa Cuddy had invited her out to lunch a week before the wedding. At that point, Julie was living on carrot sticks and seltzer with the goal of getting into her dress. Instead they went for drinks.
Cuddy had downed her pretty green drink as though it was a shot of Jack Daniels and launched into a well-rehearsed speech about doctors being married to their jobs and her fiancé, as an oncologist, losing more patients than the average doctor.
Julie let her annoyance melt into the alcohol. She was so famished that the first sip made her dizzy. She’d already had this conversation with James. He’d told her about the long hours, the middle-of-the-night calls, and how much he still suffered whenever a patient, especially one of the kids, died. She waved the waiter over for another pair of Appletinis.
After making a serious dent in the new drink, Cuddy sighed deeply. Julie expected her to say something about James’ pattern of infidelity. There was really no need. James had been honest about that too.
His voice had nearly cracked when he looked into her eyes and confessed to ruining two marriages with meaningless affairs. He’d changed. He wanted to be with her forever, grow old, have kids.
She’d started seeing James when he came to the library to research a ridiculous alternative therapy that one of his patients was insisting on. He wanted to know all the details so he could tell her why it wouldn’t work.
They’d ended up necking in the stacks, even though he was still wearing his wedding ring and the divorce from Candace wasn’t final yet. Julie had no intention of being self-righteous about the past. They were moving forward together, so Dr. Cuddy could keep her busybodyness to herself.
“Have you met House yet?”
Julie was also determined not to become some stereotype of a doctor’s wife. She would keep her job and she wasn’t going to be jealous of her husband’s hours, patients or best friend. James had explained about the infarction and the pills. The part that stood out to her was the cruelty of House’s girlfriend.
“How could she leave him?” she’d asked, unable to fathom how a woman could do that to a man she loved. In time, she’d come to understand all too well.
At their first attempted “dinner for three”, he’d been just abrasive enough to put her on guard, but James had consistently taken her side in the more heated discussions, leaving Julie absolutely sure she could handle House’s place in her soon-to-be-husband’s life.
The goodwill lasted until House nodded off in the back of the synagogue during the wedding. James smiled, saying they were better off that way. He couldn’t say or do anything if he were unconscious. Julie had considered flinging her bouquet at House’s head to make sure he woke up and saw her drive away with James. As it was, the first phone call had come less than two hours after they checked into Paradise Island.
Now she heard the horn honking and saw James standing in the rain next to a cab, looking shattered. This was worse than the times he’d come home completely withdrawn but unwilling to share the pain. It had been as if those heartfelt conversations of their courtship had never occurred. By the end of the first year, she had become the cliché, right down to getting Botox and hating the sound of the name Greg House.
Her so-called affair had hardly been worthy of the name, just a few giddy kisses in Stephen’s car because he made her laugh. She’d told James, thinking he might actually care enough to ask her to stop. He couldn’t pack his bag fast enough and she didn’t need Cuddy’s solicitous call a few days later to know where he’d gone.
She ran outside with the money, getting her jeans and one of his old shirts soaked in the downpour. Once the cab had driven off, they stood in the rain looking at each other.
“We’re getting wet out here,” she yelled over the pouring rain and thunder.
Instead of running for the door, he stared at her, shaking his head.
“I’m sorry,” he said, too softly to really be heard, but Julie felt the words land on her like the drops of water hitting her skin. “You were right about House.”
He reached out and she couldn’t resist letting him hold her as though she were a life raft in the plane crash that his life had become, and then kissing her like they were back in the library, cheating on the world together.
All that was missing from the scene was a cat, she thought, amused by the notion that Cattillac was upstairs watching all this from the safety of the bedroom and they’d need to throw him out when they finally got inside. There was no doubt in Julie’s mind that they were going to end up in bed. She was cold and wet, but also insanely happy at finally getting what she’d wanted for so long.
He needed her. James needed her, not that son of a bitch, her.
She could hardly wait to get him upstairs.
House couldn’t be bothered to interview his own fellowship applicants, so Cameron had met Dr. Wilson instead. They’d had a pleasant, if perfunctory, conversation about her background and a few mutual acquaintances.
Wilson had been sympathetic to her nervousness and gently humorous about the man she hoped to work for and learn from. Cameron couldn’t deny that he was attractive, but he was ten years older, which mattered to her. He was also married. That mattered more.
Only after she found herself hopelessly infatuated with a man almost twenty years her senior who went out of his way to make himself unappealing did she put some of the pieces together.
I hired you because you’re extremely pretty.
Wilson hadn’t been dispatched to check her references. He was there to verify that she was attractive enough to serve as an objet d’art. She wondered if he'd used his own aesthetics or House’s taste in women. He’d always been there with kind words when House was being such an ass that she couldn’t stand it. They’d hovered at the periphery of each other’s lives at PPTH, bound together by devotion to one impossible man.
He’d warned her not to hurt House, leading Cameron to believe she even had a chance to get close, and she’d ended up with the emotional equivalent of a bloody nose from walking into a brick wall. When he’d told her about cheating on his wives, she’d been so disgusted that she didn’t notice he hadn’t identified the gender of the person who made him feel good enough to betray his vows.
After the shooting, they’d both waited by the ICU bed. Cameron watched the remnant of her dream dissolve into humiliation as House’s eyes opened and immediately sought out the only face he wanted to see. It wasn’t hers.
I thought you were too screwed up to love anybody. You just couldn’t love me. I’m happy for you.
This time she meant it. House and Wilson would be together. House might be in less pain, even if the ketamine didn’t work. She had certainly never expected to find herself in bed with Dr. Wilson.
Part of her wondered how this could be happening, a very small, stupid part. The rest of her was otherwise occupied.
Her right hand was making its way up and down Wilson’s arm with feathery strokes, always careful to avoid the dressing that covered the bruised knuckles of his left hand. The note-taker in her mind observed his soft skin and the tense muscles in his shoulders and biceps, as well the strong forearms. Her other arm was losing all feeling, but she didn’t want to move it because her hand was playing with Wilson’s still damp hair. Her mouth and lips had been inflamed by his insistent tongue. She buried her groans and curses in his smooth neck to keep them from escaping.
Cameron could never have imagined exactly how good Wilson would feel inside her and how frustrating it would be to have him filling her like that and then move only incrementally, driving her crazy with every twitch. He knew exactly what he was doing to her and what he was waiting for.
If she’d ever fantasized about Wilson, it wouldn’t have been like this. He wouldn’t have been with his wife less than an hour ago, he wouldn’t be teasing her like this, and she would definitely not be looking over Wilson’s shoulder into the eyes of Robert Chase.
He didn’t like to say no, especially to House. Refusing to write another Vicodin prescription had been nearly impossible. There was no way he’d turn down a request that fit so neatly into his own agenda.
“I need you to do an extraction.”
“Like a tooth?”
“No, you idiot, like a prisoner. Get over there and get Wilson. Julie just called screaming at me because her ex-husband is in the shower punching out tiles.”
Chase had jotted down the address and was zipping up his jacket when his phone vibrated again.
“Is Cameron with you?”
They’d drifted back together out of loneliness and boredom. It didn’t matter that Cameron was still obsessed with House or that Chase often imagined bending Wilson over a convenient exam room table. It wasn’t healthy, but it didn’t suck. He’d been kidding himself to think House didn’t know.
“If not, go get her. She can make soothing noises while you’re taping his hand. She’s good at that stuff.”
“Should we bring him to your place?”
The silence prickled Chase’s ear.
“No. Just get him somewhere safe.”
The scene at the house was fairly easy to read. Mrs. Wilson in a bathrobe with wet hair, vague traces of makeup, and a terrified expression. Dr. Wilson still in the bathroom, although the shower had been turned off. He was now sitting on the edge of the tub, contemplating his left hand, which was bleeding at the knuckles. Julie said she’d heard noises coming from the bathroom and found James alternately cursing and laughing hysterically. When she’d tried to ask what the matter was, he’d turned away from her and put a fist into the shower wall, breaking the tiles. Mrs. Wilson’s completely logical reaction had been to run out of the room and call House to yell, “What have you done to him this time, you bastard.”
Chase and Cameron exchanged a look and silently agreed that Cameron would deal with Julie, who needed soothing as much as anybody.
Chase managed to keep his professional demeanor in the face of a wet, naked James Wilson. For the time being, this was a patient, not one of his fantasies. He gently toweled Wilson from head to toe, although the hair was too wet and the towels a bit sparse. In the medicine chest, he found the gauze and tape needed to dress the damage Wilson had done to his hand. Wilson winced as Chase took his hand, unfolding it to see exactly how bad the bruise was.
He felt the sharpest urge to kiss the tips of Wilson’s fingers as a prelude to kissing him all over, wanting to take away the pain that was obviously filling the man’s soul. Instead all he had to offer was more hurt, in the form of iodine to cleanse the wound.
“What happened?” he asked, trying to looking into Wilson’s eyes and finding that door firmly closed. Wilson just shrugged, the way House did when he didn’t want to talk about something and couldn’t be troubled to make up an outrageous lie. “Do you want to stay here?” In spite of House’s orders, he didn’t think he could force Wilson to leave if he didn’t want to.
“Back to your hotel?”
Wilson closed his eyes in another grimace of pain. He also shivered. It was getting cold in there.
He found Cameron in the kitchen trying to find out what had triggered the outburst, as if they both didn’t know. Between House and Tritter, it was a wonder he hadn’t snapped sooner. Maybe a safe place would be a bed in the psych ward.
“Clothes?” he asked bluntly, letting Julie know that they needed to get Wilson dressed and away from her, probably for both their sakes. She must have known what calling House would lead to. Even after six months, there were still plenty of Wilson’s clothes in the house. A whole closet had never been cleaned out. He brought the garments back to the bathroom, where Wilson was now observing himself in the mirror. He didn’t seem to recognize himself.
“Chase? What are you doing here?”
Short term amnesia? Shock? They needed to get him to the hospital. Maybe call in Foreman for a neurological assessment.
“Don’t you remember? I just bandaged your hand.”
“Of course I remember,” he snapped. Chase breathed a sigh of relief, happy to have been an idiot for a change. “I mean, what the hell are you doing here.”
“Your…wife, ex-wife? I don’t know what your…anyway. You freaked out so she called House.”
“And he sent you?”
Wilson seemed both surprised and disappointed.
Wilson nodded, lost in his own thoughts again, until he noticed the shirt and slacks in Chase’s hands.
“She got rid of all that.”
“Apparently not. Do you need any help?”
“I think I can get myself dressed, thank you, Dr. Chase.”
Wilson seemed to have finally noticed his own nudity and made the connection that Chase had seen it. Instead of rushing to cover himself, he held Chase’s eyes for just a second. Was that anger or curiosity?
“OK, I’ll be right outside if you need anything.”
Like me to come in there and give you the best blowjob of your life.
The need for a “safe place” was the next issue to be decided. There wasn’t much of a discussion. Wilson had chosen to get into the back seat and Cameron had joined him there. Whatever soothing noises she was supposed to be making degenerated into the kind involving breathy gasps from her and groans from Wilson. Chase’s mind reacted with a parfait of jealousy and lust. Cameron’s apartment was closer.
Chase fully intended to be an observer. He told himself he had to be there to protect Cameron if Wilson freaked out again, but he was barely able to drive to Cameron’s place because the sounds from the back seat were making a beeline to his crotch. He made a pretense at parking and looked over his shoulder to see that Wilson already had his hand inside Cameron’s pants.
“Not here,” he whispered fiercely. He wouldn’t have minded a little car action himself, but there were local sensibilities to consider.
Once inside, he let Wilson know the way to Cameron’s bedroom and made a necessary stop in the bathroom before heading there himself. By that time Wilson was already on top of Cameron, dry-humping her, his erection visible to Chase’s imagination if not his eyes.
“Wilson,” he said sharply.
Wilson was too busy burying his face in Cameron’s neck to say anything and Cameron didn’t seem inclined to make one of her “This is wrong” speeches, although it was wrong and someone should stop it. Immediately. House would be furious.
Chase’s long-standing lust for Wilson mixed with fear of House and the combination increased his arousal. He unsnapped his jeans, and opened the zipper, exposing himself to the couple getting ready to screw in front of him.
“Hey!” he called out. This time Wilson looked over his shoulder, and gaped at what Chase was doing. “So,” he continued, with more nonchalance than he felt, “is this going to be a show or a party?”
Wilson’s cold smile was all the invitation he needed and clothes were soon everywhere but on the bodies they had been covering. Chase figured he’d be lucky to get his hands or mouth on Wilson during the festivities, but the naked ass almost literally in his face as Wilson entered Cameron was too much for a horny ex-Jesuit to resist. Chase moved cautiously, ready to retreat at the first indication that such attention wasn’t welcome.
He ran his hands gently over the smooth flesh, then his lips. He let his tongue introduce the idea of penetration. Wilson accepted the concept by thrusting more deeply into Cameron while managing to open himself to Chase at the same time. Chase’s and Cameron’s eyes met over Wilson’s body. She was letting Wilson fuck her because it was as close as she could get to having House. What the hell Wilson might actually be thinking was anybody’s guess, but he was open to it all, including Chase’s tongue, his fingers, and finally, unbelievably, his cock.
Three bodies locked together. Frustrations, dreams, hopes, and fears, cubed in one mass of flesh. Rocking, thrusting, writhing. Wilson’s heat, Cameron’s cries, his own longing for both of them. Like a dream, or a poem, or puzzle that couldn’t be solved until now because a piece was missing. He wrapped his arms around Wilson’s back and found Cameron’s hands on the other side. Their fingers entwined as they shared the body between them. He heard Cameron’s familiar sounds of release and felt his own explosion make his legs tremble as he came into Wilson. Cameron’s hands continued to maul his, as they shared the best orgasm they’d ever had together. Wilson’s sound followed, tortured and desperate and finally elated.
All Chase wanted at that moment was to protect Wilson. Why the hell did Wilson give so much to a man who didn’t appreciate him? Why did any of them? His concern extended to Cameron, who looked so deliciously slutty he would have liked to fuck her immediately. Unfortunately, Wilson was collapsed on top of her and Chase didn’t think he’d be able to get it up again right away anyway.
For now, Chase could only hope that they’d given Wilson what he needed and that House would never find out.
“I don’t need this shit,” she growled at Chase before getting out of bed to deal with the latest flurry in the never-ending shit storm that had taken over her life.
It had been three weeks since House’s stupid stunt in the clinic. Instead of having a single moment to process her own feelings after her miscarriage, she been forced to deal with House’s arrest and the destruction of Wilson’s career in the wake of Tritter’s vendetta.
Before, she’d been able to shield herself from the reality of House’s addiction by letting Wilson do the dirty work of writing the prescriptions. Now, House was in her face with his hand out like a junkie. Wilson was watching his life turn to ashes and all she could do was tell him to protect House. Not much of a boss or a friend there, Lisa, she thought, getting dressed and mechanically putting on make-up, even though it was three in the morning. She had been so focused on House and so used to Wilson’s solid sanity that she hadn’t see the crash coming.
“Can I do anything?” she’d asked, meaning would he take money for dinner because the hospital couldn’t pay for or even publicly support his legal battles. Liability and all that. He’d accepted a twenty and told her he was closing his practice. Even then she hadn’t realized that House had pushed his only friend too far.
Chase clued her in.
“Wilson’s here. At Cameron’s apartment. He’s sick. Cameron’s trying to get some soup into him. I don’t think he’s eaten for hours, but…he’s…I don’t know what to do.”
Eventually she got the story, or as much of it as that self-serving weasel was willing to tell her. The rest she could figure out.
“We were trying to let him sleep, but he woke up. I think he was having nightmares. Calling out names. When he saw us -- me and Cameron -- he looked…well, he wasn’t very happy.”
“Guilty,” she said, knowing how Wilson reacted to stress and then how he reacted to himself. Without House to catch him, he must be in emotional freefall.
“And disgusted. He kept apologizing to us.”
“What did you do? No, don’t answer that. Please.”
After restraining herself from appropriate screaming and name-calling, including “idiot” and “rapist,” Cuddy had told Chase that she was on her way.
The only visible bruise was the dressing on his left hand, but Wilson looked as if he’d been worked over by the kind of thug who could beat the crap out of you and never leave a mark.
She avoided looking at Chase and Cameron, despite their silent pleas for some kind of explanation. Idiot children, she thought. Thinking they could fix Wilson with sex, when it was like feeding an addict drugs that would only make him hurt more when the fix wore off. Wilson couldn’t even enjoy his addiction the way House did.
“If I take you out for a meal, will you eat it?” she asked, trying to cut off all his possible apologies and self-rebukes.
“It’s three in the morning.”
“Three-thirty. We live in New Jersey and the diners never close.”
She led him out with a parting glare at Chase and Cameron over her shoulder. What the hell had House been thinking? It was like sending Bonnie and Clyde to make your bank deposit.
It was amazing what a chicken salad sandwich and a cup of decaf could accomplish. By four AM, he was actually starting to resemble the man whose sperm she’d once coveted, hoping to have a baby as handsome as his father, instead of the pale, shivering wreck she’d seen hunched over Cameron’s kitchen table.
Cuddy nibbled at the croutons from her Caesar salad, realizing that once again they were in a restaurant with nothing to say to each other. This time they couldn’t even joke about House. That would be too painful. The ongoing investigation was off-limits for legal reasons and a chipper “How’s Julie?” probably wouldn’t go down too well either. There was only one thing they could talk about, one solace she could offer.
“Come into work tomorrow.”
“And do what?” he asked bitterly.
“Work in the clinic.”
“Lisa, I can’t write prescriptions. I can’t do my job. I’m useless.”
He was right, but she couldn’t let it go. She clutched at straws even though they were cutting her fingers.
“You can do charting. Help with the schedules.”
“At least it’s work.”
Wilson might be exhausted and shattered but he wasn’t stupid.
“I’m not going to roll over on House just because I’m broke or bored.”
“I know that.”
“He needs to see reason and make some kind of deal.”
She nodded as if that were a possibility.
The check came and Wilson made a grab for it. She tried not to stare at the dressing on his hand as it wrapped around hers. Even at his lowest ebb, it was Wilson’s nature to care for others. She declined both offers.
“You need to get some sleep. You can stay at my place for a while.”
He raised his eyebrows and smiled. She hadn’t seen thatsmile lately. “In the guestroom,” she insisted, unable to keep from grinning back, because Wilson-on-the-make was adorable.
She got him set up in the guestroom with blankets, pillows and a stuffed koala that her nieces liked to play with. The next day wouldn’t be any easier and she needed any minutes of sleep she could still try to get.
Cuddy had almost fallen into soothing blackness when she became aware of the body getting into bed next to her. She opened her mouth to scream, but James’ hand stilled her mouth, brushing his fingers gently against her lips before moving up to stroke her hair. She let herself sigh and relax because she was tired and his hands were soft and they’d been dancing around the possibility for so long. She remembered the word “no” and exactly why she should be saying it, but the only sounds coming out of her mouth were gasps and a few intermittent “oh gods”.
By the time she actually managed to say “We shouldn’t do this,” he’d already started nuzzling her inner thighs and she was squeezing her own tits in frustration. “Let me do this for you,” he whispered, before picking up the trail of kisses where he’d left off. Her legs were opening, knees bent, pelvis arching up.
For months, she’d only been touched by the fertility team with their impersonal latex and fluorescent lights. Now there were naked hands and a warm, knowing mouth caressing her flesh, exploring and tasting with no goal except her pleasure. She’d nearly forgotten the concept. It was all coming back. More fingers. His right hand, she surmised. Ambisextrous perhaps?
Giggling. She was giddy and silly and getting close to breaking because oh god, it felt so good. His fingers moving in and out of her, picking up speed, his tongue gently but deliberately licking around her clit.
He was completely possessing her and she couldn’t even touch him. She threw back her head and thrust up against his mouth, telling him “now”. He understood and knew what to do about it. His thumb, fingers, lips and tongue all worked together, pushing her toward the edge, almost, almost, right there, right now, oh my god!
Her nails dug into her own flesh as the first wave rolled through her body. She would have flown off the bed if Wilson’s hands weren’t on her hips, his mouth taking the whole ride with her, making sure it lasted as long as possible and that she came out the other end safely, if slightly hoarse.
When her eyes focused again, she noticed it was light outside. At least the rain had stopped.
Cuddy turned her head to find Wilson watching her with a well-earned smug grin. Her body was still tingling. It would be so easy to tell him about her baby dreams. Maybe he could help her make a child the old-fashioned way. Such a pretty fantasy. She abandoned it almost immediately.
She wasn’t what he needed, even though his eyes were saying “Let me stay here and take care of you.” They’d be such beautiful brown eyes to give to a baby. It was a shame she had to throw him out.
House was having a lousy night. The leg. The rain. Julie’s call. More rain. And the goddamned motherfucking shoulder. None of it his fault, mind you. He needed more pills and better porn and Wilson to get off his high horse.
So one more annoying call shouldn’t have made any difference, even if Cuddy was awake at dawn and on the warpath.
“You need to fix this!”
“If your toilet’s stopped up with Tampax again, you’ve got the wrong guy,” he grumbled, pretending to consider taking only one pill from his diminishing supply.
“It’s Wilson,” she said seriously.
He swallowed two.
“What about Wilson?”
“If you want to get another pill, ever, you’re going to find a way to make up.”
“Do I have to kiss?”
“Completely up to you. You treat me and your staff and the rest of the world like crap. Fine. But Wilson deserves better. Now go to his hotel and give it to him.”
She hung up before House could bitch about blackmail or make at least one joke about her pregnancy or lack thereof.
He dragged his miserable leg and twice-as-miserable arm to the bathroom for a hot shower. The leg had been bad enough, but this arm thing was making him wish for a shot of morphine. That stash was long gone, which was just as well. Tritter probably could have locked him up for years if he’d found that.
Nothing made him want to shoot Cuddy and pin the murder on Wilson more than either of them suggesting that any part of his pain was psychosomatic. His pain was real. All of it. He wasn’t going to Wilson’s hotel to say anything but “Stop being a self-righteous jerk and come home with me.”
On the other hand, he couldn’t reach up high enough to adjust the showerhead.
The rain had stopped, but it was still a cold morning. The ride to the hotel didn’t improve his mood. He wondered if Wilson would even let him in. Maybe he was too busy glorying in his own martyrdom.
He found Wilson’s room and used the cane to knock.
The door opened. Wilson was wearing jeans and one of his older work shirts. His shoes looked scuffed but dry. Conclusion: old clothes, the ones Julie was supposed to have gotten rid of. The gauze dressing was on his left hand, as expected. At least Chase and Cameron hadn’t screwed that up. It was Wilson’s face that took him by surprise.
“You look like crap.”
Someone must have confiscated Wilson’s blow-dryer and hair-gel, leaving him with no defense against rain and bed-head. His skin looked grayish and you could carry groceries in the bags under his eyes.
House knew he wouldn’t get a response until he gave something up. Being House, he could only give the minimum.
“I’m sorry about yesterday. I should have let Cameron go and write your prescriptions. I was being…petty.”
The bastard made him wait, mulling over whether to accept the apology, even though he knew how hard it had been to give. House mentally allowed Wilson ten seconds and then another three and a half before he saw a nod and a hint of a smile. It was a good start, but why wasn’t Wilson pulling him inside or asking to come home, or at least taking a blood oath to fight the good fight together?
He tried to find a hint of the old camaraderie in Wilson’s eyes and found nothing. He couldn’t recall seeing Wilson look this defeated, not even after he lost a patient or a marriage.
“Look, House. I really need to get some sleep. Long night, you know.”
Through the weariness came a hint of bragging. Wilson had always pretended to hide his philandering from House, even though they both knew it was futile. Now he was pretending to flaunt it. That wasn’t the Wilson he knew and…cared about.
House grabbed his shoulder, which suddenly felt as if one of Tritter’s thugs was about to pull it out of its socket.
“Chase or Cameron?” he asked numbly, needing to know which one to fire. He couldn’t blame Julie. Wilson had reached for her like a security blanket, but his brats should have known better.
“They’re a great team, House. Not every day you see doctors work in tandem like that.”
Wilson had always been capable of inflicting pain with his casual lies and infidelities, but it was always collateral damage, not intentional. He’d known that Wilson was mad at him and yeah, a little hurt, but for him to be deliberately doing this to House of all people. The thought ran through his head that he’d really fucked up this time.
House reached for his pill bottle. Two Vicodin went down on an empty stomach and he was already feeling nauseated. More pieces fell into place. Julie, Chase, Cameron. He tried to shut out the images and the effect they had on him. It had been Cuddy who called to make him apologize. Had her voice been a little too relaxed? Wilson’s lips looked puffy. How many beds had it taken to get his hair that messed up? What had Wilson been driven to? House fought down a mixture ugly feelings.
It’s not my fault. As convincing as Carmen Electra trying to emote pain.
“See you later,” Wilson said, closing the door.
House felt himself shaking with rage, but it wasn’t aimed at his round-heeled friend or himself. Cameron, Chase, and Cuddy were the culprits. Just because Wilson had probably made all the moves didn’t mean they hadn’t taken advantage of his friend.
And they were all going to pay.