Fandom: House MD
Notes: Requested by katakombs, who wanted the missing scene. Thanks to michelleann68 for speed-beta. Plot spoilers for Big Baby
Summary: Post ep for Big Baby. The conversation House and Wilson needed to have. Angst, snark and a little hope.
Wilson stood in the doorway of House’s office, unsure whether he had safe passage to cross the distance to where House sat staring at the computer so intently that it had to be a blank screen. There’d been a time when he’d thought nothing of invading House’s personal space to give an unsolicited piece of his mind.
Now it was like walking into a minefield, where a single unwelcome step could detonate a bomb labeled “Tritter,” or “Amber,” or “A town north of Bakersfield,’ among so many others waiting to blow up in his face and shatter the relative peace of the last few months.
House finally turned away from his nothingness, the slightly amused expression on his face allowing Wilson entrée. Wilson recognized that smile. It was the “not boring” smile, the one that meant House was deriving pleasure at Wilson’s expense.
Wilson let the door shut behind him and took another step into the room. Familiar, yet dangerous.
“Cuddy picked Cameron to supervise you.”
“She tried to get Rahm Emmanuel, but he turned her down. Apparently Cameron has the second biggest pair and isn’t quite as busy.“
“And you didn’t tell me?”
Never mind if he was being childish. This was him and House. They weren’t supposed to hold out on each other, except when Wilson had to protect himself.
“Neither did Cuddy. Kind of funny considering she trusted you enough to share her dark, disturbing doubts about her inability to bond with little Rebecca.”
“Rachel. And you know about it because I told you. Where’s the quid pro quo?”
He kept walking toward the desk. Closer than he’d been in a long time. Close enough to see how much House was enjoying Wilson’s fit of pique.
“I told you about Foreman and Thirteen,” House offered, playing the part of the reasonable one in the face of what Wilson knew was his own ridiculousness.
“Oh come on. I called that before you even hired her. You still owe me twenty.”
“I’ll buy dinner,” House muttered, possibly the closest thing he could manage to an out and out invitation these days. “How’d you find out, anyway?”
“Cameron told me.”
“Did you go all passive-aggressive, why-not-me, on her scrawny tuchus?”
“She’s filled out a bit, and you bet I did. And you know what she told me?
Wilson sat down on the corner of House’s desk, literally putting his ass in House’s business.
“Because she won the swimsuit competition?”
“She hasn’t filled out that much. She said Cuddy gave her the job because she wasn’t shtupping you.”
“Cameron said shtupping?”
That got House’s attention. His hand stopped midway between the pill-bottle and his mouth.
“Of course she didn’t say shtupping. She said something a bit more earthy and a lot more goyish.”
“Guess that cat’s out of the bag.”
Wilson didn’t get the feeling that House was overly perturbed by the second biggest gossip at Princeton Plainsboro being in on their secret. Of course it had been awhile since it was even a true statement. Lately every attempt at a vaguely intimate conversation had been brushed off with some crass joke about how House was screwing his plumber, whatever that was supposed to mean. He’d used the information about Cuddy to get past House’s first line of defense, hoping to prove that his attention to Cuddy and the baby wasn’t the threat to their friendship that House so obviously feared.
House leaned back in his chair, exuding smugness. It still looked better on him than it had any right to, and Wilson had his own comfortable awareness that House had invited him home for the first time in a long time.
“How was she?” he asked, extending this conversation rather than admitting how much he’d missed having them.
“Not half bad. But don’t worry. She’s already quit, and Cuddy can’t stay away from me any more than you can.”
Instead of protesting that he was never worried about Cameron, Wilson was hit with his own epiphany.
He stood up and moved even closer to House, close enough to touch him right there in the office, heedless of viewers or consequences. Something that had happened so far back in the pre-Tritter past he couldn’t place the date, but the memory was still there to taunt him.
“You didn’t tell me about Cameron because you knew I’d be hurt that Cuddy didn’t ask me. You were trying to protect my feelings.”
If it were possible to perform a full-body eye-roll, House was doing it.
“If you believe that, I should get you home right now. I’ll be able to talk you into anything and you’ll end up paying for dinner anyway.”
Wilson chose to ignore the words, the tone and even the head-shake as he watched House get up slowly and head for the door, his fingers barely brushing the fabric of Wilson’s cuff, instead putting all his faith in the affection he found in House’s eyes.
There was another lesson he could teach Cameron if he ever got the chance.
You’d be surprised what you can live with, but you’d be absolutely amazed what you can convince yourself of.