Pairing: Stacy/Wilson Wife #1 (references to House/Stacy and implied House/Wilson)
Notes: Written from a suggestion from babykid528 in the Canon-Schmanon Meme. It was supposed to be a snippet and it grew a plot. Great blessings on beta_goddess and vanillafluffy for superlative, speedy beta.
Spoilers/Warnings. Barely there 5th Season spoiler. Seriously, there's no reason not to read this, I promise. (Unless you're looking for fluff. It's not here.)
Summary: Stacy wants Greg's new friend off her couch.
“This is Wilson. He’ll be staying with us for a while.”
Three weeks later, Stacy decided that “a while” needed to stop or it was going to become “forever.”
Stacy had made her peace with Greg’s constant need for attention years ago. She knew she had to share him with colleagues, patients, poker buddies and anyone else who could feed his ego. James was sweet, and his kitchen skills were a godsend in their world of frozen food and take-out, but having a stray puppy permanently camped out on her living-room couch was more than Stacy could tolerate, no matter how many soufflés he made or how many flirtatious compliments he threw her way.
It was simple enough to track down Isabel Wilson (nee Singer)and even easier to justify making a trip to Bergen County, complete with a prepared argument for why Isabel should give James another chance in spite of his infidelity.
The woman who answered the door didn’t fit the image she’d acquired after long nights of listening to James blame himself for everything from Isabel’s limp to her unhappiness in the marriage and of course the affair or affairs or series of one-night stands, depending on how many beers he’d had at the point in the evening he told the tale.
The limp was barely noticeable because her attention was drawn to the stunning blue eyes, almost as blue as Greg’s, and long blonde hair. It might not be natural either in color or texture, but it certainly worked for Isabel and knocked Stacy off her game even before she’d made her first move.
“I’m Stacy Collins,” she started, “I’m a friend of James and he…”
“Do you want a drink?”
It was two in the afternoon and suddenly she did. Very much.
After a rather potent martini, she tried again.
“James. He’s a good man and he loves you.”
Isabel shook her head.
“No, he really does. He’s sorry for what happened with the librarian.”
“Librarian? I didn’t know about a librarian.“ Stacy winced. Maybe it was the physical therapist he was sorry for. This wasn’t going the way she’d planned it at all. “I’m not divorcing him because he fucks around. “
“Really? Was it an…open marriage? God, that sounds so sixties, doesn’t it?”
“It does and it wasn’t. Not really. I pretended not to know about him and he pretended not to know about me. I’m divorcing him because I can’t live with his guilt any more. There was no way he could know I had cancer, so there was no way to avoid the amputation. It happened. I lost part of the leg, and you know what? I’m fine. See?”
The skirt was up so far that Stacy could either look at the prosthetic or see Isabel’s underwear. She caught a glimpse anyway. Pink and silky, as far as she could tell. For a second Stacy caught herself thinking about something pink on the other side of the fabric.
“But he still loves you.”
“Why are you really here, Stacy?”
“I want him off my couch,” she answered bluntly.
“You want him off your boyfriend, you mean.”
Stacy nearly choked on her olive. Greg joked a lot about homosexuality, enough that Stacy had never had a doubt about him. Until now. Until Isabel Wilson told her that James could seduce anyone and Greg was no exception.
Suddenly all those home-cooked meals and late-night movie sessions seemed considerably less benign.
“NO!” she blurted, but Isabel was looking at her the way Greg did when he’d caught out someone in a giant lie about themselves, and it was not a good feeling. Between Isabel’s insinuations about James and Greg, and her own furtive desire to see more of what Isabel had so casually shown her, Stacy knew she currently had very little control over this situation. She suspected things could only get worse.
She watched as Isabel rose from the couch, pushing off from the coffee table, and came over to her chair, placing what might have been a comforting hand on Stacy’s shoulder, but it felt less like reassurance and more like something else, because Isabel clearly read her the way Greg did
“I still love him, you know?” she said, moving a hand up Stacy’s neck to run her fingers through Stacy’s hair and make her shiver, before placing a gentle kiss on top of her head.
“Maybe if I do something really bad, he’ll hate me so much he can forgive himself.”
“That’s a very interesting rationale. I’m not sure it would stand up in court.”
A good line, but not one that was stopping Isabel’s lips or her hands. If anyone was going to put a stop to this, it would have to be Stacy.
Think, she insisted. Think like a lawyer. Like an adult. Like someone who wants to save her relationship, not destroy it.
“It doesn’t have to stand up anyway. All I have to do is pick up the phone.”
“What do I have to do?”
Isabel’s hand was lingering on the back of Stacy’s neck. If anything else was going to happen, she’d have to stand up and equalize their heights.
“I think you know.”
She knew what she was risking, and what she stood to gain, along with what she wanted. All she had to do was stand up, so what was taking so long?
Stacy hadn’t kissed a woman since college and those were the ones she’d already told Greg about as part of the early courtship ritual. This was a fresh betrayal, wrong on so many levels, capable of causing pain to everyone involved.
Getting to her feet made her feel dizzy even before Isabel had pulled her close, letting her know this was serious, and by the time she’d decided she couldn’t do this to Greg, or James, or herself, they gotten as far as the bedroom and Isabel was whispering in her ear.
“They might be doing it right now. If James wants House, it’s going to happen. What’s wrong with him anyway?”
Stacy was confused by the mixture of soft skin against her fingers as she stroked Isabel’s neck and what Isabel was doing to her as she reached under Stacy’s blouse and bra, finding out within seconds exactly how to make Stacy gasp and bite down on her lower lip, trying to muffle it.
She was calling Greg by his last name, the way Wilson did.
“You’ve talked to James about him, haven’t you? Oh…my…god!”
Gasping gave way to whimpering. Isabel had moved one hand downwards and showed no sign of stopping.
This was a disaster in the making and might not even accomplish whatever ludicrous mission she’d come here on, but it was too late. The mixture of Isabel’s hands and the image of James and Greg, together, in her bed, James on top, the way Isabel was now on top of her, the grinding together, the need for release. This was not what should be happening, but it was going to, and as Isabel was promising, Stacy loved every treacherous minute of it.
Isabel made the call while Stacy was still lying next to her in bed, smoking a cigarette. That couldn’t be good for either of them, she thought vaguely. A cancer survivor and the live-in lover of a doctor with a great sense of smell. On the other hand she’d have something far worse for him to sniff out if this really worked.
“Hello James. Yes, it’s me. No, no, I’m fine. I was just thinking…I know it’s sudden after everything that’s happened but since we’ve never had a final decree…I was just wondering…would you…well, I’d understand if you’re not interested. We said some pretty rough…yes…that’s right. Exactly.
“Why don’t you come up over the weekend and we can talk about it.
“Tonight? Well, you don’t have to…I’d love to see you. The sooner the better, but I’d hate for you to….”
Stacy could imagine James throwing clothes into his suitcase so fast it became a blur.
“You’re good,” she said in admiration, not just meaning the performance that Isabel had given, but what had gone on before in the bed.
Isabel shrugged and took another puff on her cigarette.
“You never told me what’s wrong with your boyfriend.”
“Why should anything be wrong? He’s funny, he’s smart, he’s good-looking. “
She kept the raging egomania, borderline gambling problem and occasional bouts of melancholy to herself. Nothing was wrong with Greg. In fact, she’d do well to get back home, and think of an excuse for where she’d been today, just in case he checked the office and her secretary screwed up the lie about a deposition.
“James has a sixth sense about people. He’s a bloodhound for pain. Trust me, I was fucked up long before I lost the foot. I’m actually much better now.”
Now you just drag total strangers into bed.
Not too nice, considering she was the one trying to drag herself out of said bed. Isabel’s smirk told Stacy that her thoughts were fairly transparent.
“Thank you,” she said, feeling guilty and ludicrously grateful at the same time. “I really appreciate it.”
She told herself she meant the call to James, rather than the sex.
“It won’t last. At the most, I’m just buying you some more time. James does like House. He told me that House made him laugh.”
There was something about this that didn’t make any sense.
“Why do you still talk so much?”
Isabel smiled as she put out her cigarette and sighed, a little too innocently under the circumstances.
“I still love him. He’s a hard guy to get over.”
Stacy thought she was going to be sick.
She found Greg waiting for her on a Wilson-less couch with a grim look on his face.
It was going to be a long night, she thought, full of lies and pain, but she was still sure it was the best thing for everybody.
“What have you done?”
With any luck, he’d never know.