House brings Wilson lunch. This makes Wilson suspicious.
"What's in there?" he says, eyeing the grease-stained bag.
"Nothing," House says a little too innocently. He sits down on Wilson's couch and swings his legs up to rest across the cushions. Apparently, what's in there includes a burger with a good deal of ketchup and far too many onions for a rational human being's consumption.
"It's harmless," House mutters through a mouthful of what's gotta be half a pound of cow. "You really think I'd be stupid enough to drug you again?"
Wilson makes a point of ignoring the "again" and continues staring at the food. He's actually pretty hungry.
"You," House continues, having swallowed the cow's left leg, "are now interesting. For awhile, anyway."
"So this is your way of saying that I haven't been interesting for forty-two years?"
"Hey, you said it, not me." House takes another enormous bite and commences chomping. He is just about to drip some of that ketchup on Wilson's leather couch. Wilson has the presence of mind to fish around in the bag and hand him a napkin. House ignores the napkin.
"Okay. I am taking a break. I use the word 'break' for a reason. It implies a resting period and a resting period is another way of saying time without you."
"Now that's harsh." House has spilled the ketchup by now, and Wilson gazes morosely at the spot on his upholstery.
"That's not going to come out, you know."
"I always pull out."
Wilson's jaw drops. "That doesn't even make sense!"
"But it was the perfect opportunity to say something crude, and—" House is reaching across his desk as he speaks— "crude enough stuff still shocks you for some reason—" he's got another sandwich in his hand— "and you do that cartoon crap with your face when you're shocked. Never waste an opportunity."
Wilson has a mouthful of ground beef, and House is sitting there smirking at him, looking far too pleased with himself, and there is ketchup on his couch. It's not bad. The food, that is.
"Thanks," he says. He grabs the abandoned napkin and dabs reluctantly at the brand-new stain. House has spilled so many things on various pieces of his furniture over the years that he could almost, just by licking the cushions, remember every meal they'd consumed together in a decade. "So."
"So?" House hasn't quit eating, and he appears to be watching the clean-up process with rabid curiosity. He looks at Wilson now, eyes wide, eyebrows raised.
"When can I expect to start putting the moves on patients?" Wilson gives him an exaggerated wink.
"Oh. Didn't I say it wasn't drugged?"
"Didn't I say I don't believe you?"
"Stop scrubbing at that," House says irritably, "you're just going to make it worse." He pulls another napkin out of the bag, scrubs it over his face, and tosses the filthy wad in the general direction of Wilson's trash can. He misses by a mile.
"Aren't you going to pick that up?"
House's beeper buzzes. "Sorry, can't. Patient's going into cardiac arrest."
"And last time I checked, you weren't a nurse."
"Last time I checked, you weren't a janitor, but—" House waves a hand at the trash can, and he's right; Wilson picked up the napkin. "You are such a control freak. They're not very good in bed."
Wilson sits behind his desk again and stares pointedly at the wall.
"You're boring, too," House says from the doorway.
"Oh get out."
"Not till you admit it."
Wilson blows a straw at him, and House leaves laughing.
They keep up the routine for two weeks. House doesn't drug him the first day. He doesn't drug him the second, or the third, or the fourth, or the ninth, either. On the tenth, Wilson swallows the last bite of a hamburger special that is really wearing out its welcome (provided it ever had one) and begins to wonder about House's ulterior motive, because House always, always always always has an ulterior motive and House has not paid for his lunch in years.
Come to think of it, the last time House bought anything for Wilson he dosed him with amphetamines and he nearly felt up one of his patients—sitting up for a breast exam? Gloves? He was lucky he didn't have a heart attack. Okay, afterward he'd had to admit that it was a little funny—but it could've been disastrous. And that headache was the headache from hell.
He runs through the options.
House might be trying to escape someone. But he hasn't heard of anything.
Wilson adds a footnote to his mental list: Talk to Cuddy.
House might be trying to… trying to be nice.
Wilson scratches that off immediately, and scrawls under it his reasons for elimination—no flying pigs, no rain of fire, no end of times. Not yet, at least.
House might be trying to drug him again.
That doesn't make sense either. He's eaten ten hamburgers—okay, four, since he threw away six because he didn't think he could look at another chunk of cow again, let alone eat one—and there's nothing wrong with him.
House might be easing into things so he can slip him a drug with less difficulty.
Yeah, that has potential.
Wilson leans back and runs a hand through his hair, loosens his tie a little, tries to relax—which reminds him. Two weeks ago he'd had another panic attack, and it'd been in House's living room. Damn, that was embarrassing, and House never brought it up. Odd behavior; if House found anything he thought could be used against Wilson, he was sure to milk that thing for all it was worth, bringing it up at every possible opportunity, shouting it down the hallways when he had the chance.
Panic attack plus free hamburgers equals….
Wilson leaves the equation incomplete. He's just turned his brain into a synaptic whiteboard, for God's sake.
The ketchup stain is still on his couch, and he has a meeting in half an hour.