Fandom: House MD
Pairings: H/W, Wilson/Cameron
A/N-Very vague reference to Merry Little Cristmas, but no definite spoilers. Thanks so much to drunken_hedghog for looking into the heart of darkness and doing beta on this.
Warnings: If you don't know me by now...
Crossposted like crazy and running like hell.
Summary: A disaster is announced.
It was a bad leg day, a bad everything day. His stomach hurt from hunger and taking pills without eating. When he’d been ready for lunch, Wilson wasn’t available, claiming he was busy with patients. House could never understand why Wilson insisted on tilting at his malignant windmills while House was deprived of companionship and carbs. All he wanted to do was go home, but first he needed to take Vicodin number “who's counting” in order to face the bike on a chilly night.
He was glad to see Wilson standing in the door of his office, possibly hoping to make up for his earlier neglect. House considered giving in to his fatigue this once and cadging a ride home. They could order in, watch bad movies and chew over the latest hospital gossip. Wilson was best source of dirt in town. People loved to look into those deceptively kind eyes and spill all their secrets, never imagining they would become grist for the sophomoric snickering of two grown men who should know better.
Wilson’s body language wasn’t saying “Brenda and Cuddy in the supply closet.” He had combined the “hip hand of righteousness” with the “neck rub of shame” twisting himself into a pretzel of embarrassment, which was only proper considering the crap that was coming out of his mouth.
“Allison and I are getting married.”
House had thought he couldn’t possibly feel any worse, until the throbbing started in his jaw and temples as his brain was forced to contend with the information that Wilson had managed to get involved with some unknown “Allison” without House’s knowledge or permission and things had gotten serious enough for Wilson to be playing his favorite “make believe” game, the one where he had the makings of a faithful husband.
“Allison who?” he grumbled, rubbing his head at the point where the pain was worst. Where the hell could Wilson have met someone who didn’t already know his reputation for philandering or was stupid enough not to care.
The name sounded strange. House never called her that, or thought of her that way, when he thought of her at all. Sometimes he forgot that his fellows and colleagues even had first names, so well had he dehumanized them in his mind and he appreciated Wilson following suit.
“Allison.” He repeated numbly, covering annoyance by reaching into his pocket for the pill bottle and finding a rubber band as well, which he started stretching over his fingers. Anything to distract himself from this bullshit.
“Yes. When normal people have emotional relationships, they usually start calling each other by their first names.”
House was well aware of that. Wilson had called him “Greg” once.
“Did you get her knocked up?” he snarled, trying to keep his voice at a level that could be passed off at as ‘typical obnoxious House’ rather than anything more meaningful. “Cause we can take care of that.”
“No. But if it happens, we have no intention of ‘taking care of it.’
The nausea had to be a coincidence. He wanted to focus his brain on what exactly was wrong with this conversation. The pain and pills tried to block his shot while the shock of the news and general numbness placed their hands over his eyes. He fought them all off until he could see the target right in front of him and he pulled out the big guns.
“You can’t marry Cameron, you schmuck.”
“Because she’s not Jewish? Because she’s a co-worker? Because she’s too young for me? Tell me, oh oracle of wedded bliss.”
“Because she’s in love with me,” House reminded him, as though talking to a particularly slow third grader.
Wilson didn’t seem upset or surprised by this assertion, but House’s reading of Wilson’s posture, especially the two hands jammed into his pants pockets told him that words were being chosen very carefully.
“You keeping pushing away the people who love you and you eventually lose them.”
“It’s not losing if it doesn’t matter in the first place.”
He looked away from Wilson, toward the balcony door. If it were raining, he could blame the headache on sinuses, but the night seemed to be clear. Maybe his allergies were acting up again.
“Why are you here?”
“I wanted to tell you first.”
“I’m not her father. You don’t need my blessing and you’re sure as hell not going to get it. I’m not going to encourage you to make her miserable.”
“Because that’s your job?” Wilson was quick on the draw and starting to let his irritation show through the ‘nice guy’ demeanor.
“Does Allison have any idea why she’s number four in your continuing series of Mrs. Wilsons?”
Wilson’s sigh held a familiar tone of exasperated martyrdom that House was not in the mood for.
“I don’t expect you to understand.”
House gritted his teeth. The headache was everywhere, worse than his self-induced migraine. He should have held on to his LSD stash, he thought forlornly. Seeing music would be better than hearing Wilson’s self-deluding crap. There was a different kind of stash waiting at home, one he’d browbeaten Cuddy into supplying. The pain was rapidly approaching the level where he’d be able to justify it. He closed his eyes, but opened them quickly as another thought struck him.
“But you do expect something. What is it? Gonna ask me to be your best man again? I think you’d sooner have me kidnapped and taken out of the state so I can’t say anything embarrassing at…that’s it. You need me to keep my mouth shut.”
Just a bit of the pain abated as he realized that Wilson was desperate for him not to tell Cameron the truth about them. Nice basis for a healthy marriage there. It was time for a little fun, or as much as he could squeeze out of a disaster in the making.
“So when did you and lovely Dr. Cameron plight your troth, and by that I mean when did you guys start rutting like animals?”
Wilson seemed to be considering walking out. He loved to gossip about other people’s lives, but always tried to keep House in the dark about his own. It never worked, and it certainly wouldn’t now that House could put the kibosh on his so-called emotional relationship with Cameron by cluing her in to certain facts.
“Christmas,” Wilson admitted.
“Oh come on. Just because you got drunk at the hospital Christmas party and wound up necking in the hallway is no reason to…”
He stopped short, remembering exactly how he’d celebrated Christmas. In the course of one miserable day, he’d managed to show Cameron and Wilson the very worst of himself and sent them running into each other’s arms. The inevitable scene unfolded in his mind as clearly as a porn flick, only this one had Cameron crying over what House was doing to himself and Wilson stroking her hair, telling her that House wasn’t worth her tears, explaining exactly what he’d found when he showed up at House’s apartment. Then came sex; the hurt, desperate, kind that Wilson had a special genius for, right down to the almost too rough kisses, and usually some kind of rueful “we shouldn’t be doing this,” so that the other party was forced to take responsibility.
House was too numb to be aroused by the images, but they would probably come back to haunt him and he’d hear Cameron’s voice, thick with need, assuring Wilson that she wanted this as much as he did, and it was only about the two of them. House hadn’t quite figured Cameron out, but he did know that her need to fix the unfixable was second only to Wilson’s.
House had decided to back off. He wasn’t going to torture Wilson with the laundry list of dirty secrets, some of which Wilson didn’t even know House had in his possession, but Wilson must have misread his silence as a rebuke. If there was anything designed to turn House’s headache up to eleven, it was a lecture on his failings as human being.
“She is so much more than you’ll ever know, House. If you’d given her a chance, she could have made you happy. All that shit you gave her and she never stopped loving you. She would have done anything for you, defended you to the bitter end. All you could do was throw it back in her face until she couldn’t take it any more. And now it’s too late.”
House refused to feel guilty because he had better things to do than share his toys with a girl who had a crush on him, no matter how pretty she was, but something in Wilson’s voice that gave him a hint and maybe hope that Wilson wasn’t just ranting in defense of his new cuddly toy.
He stood up, using the desk for support, while the leg lodged a formal protest and the head started shouting “Hell no, we won’t go.” He got as far as the front of the desk, so that he could look Wilson in the eye, make him remember that he’d once been ‘Greg,’ and all the things they’d been through since then.
“James,” he said, hoping that would be enough because it was all he had.
Wilson shook his head, rejecting the offering.
“It’s too late for that too.”
There was nothing else to do but wish his friend well and hope to make a killing in the next “Wilson divorce” pool.
He reached back for the pill bottle and held it up in lieu of a wine glass.