House had known what day it was the minute he had stepped out of the elevator – he was still trying to fathom why he hadn’t checked the date that morning – and had immediately attempted to scramble back inside, unnoticed, and flee to the safety of his apartment. Unfortunately, luck was against him. Cuddy approached, pressing files into his hands and shooing him in the direction of the clinic.
He was there now, fingers rubbing against his temple, as his newest patient explained what was wrong. He opened the drawer, took out his bottle of Vicodin, and gave it a thorough shake. The patient stopped in his relentless tirade of a diagnosis and stared at him. House just grinned and said ‘yummy’, popping a few into his mouth.
House raised his hand, to keep the patient silent, and deliberated his response. “What you mean to tell me is that you are here because you burnt your hand baking…” He paused, shaking his head. “Baking cookies for your girlfriend. I understand it’s Valentines Day and all of that lovey-dovey crap, but seriously… what do you want me to do?”
“Well…” The patient began, “It… hurts. So I was wondering if I could have some painkillers and-”
House laughed. “I’m sorry. Painkillers for a burn that has practically vanished? Are you wasting my time on purpose, or is this a hobby of yours? Never mind. Just go home, rub some cream into it, and then-” He stopped for dramatic effect.
“And then?” The patient asked, leaning forward from where he was perched on those stupid plastic chairs.
“And then,” House continued, “take a couple of dollars, go to the nearest bakery and buy some bloody cookies. It’s not like your girlfriend will give a damn anyway.”
“I-I-” The patient stuttered. “I don’t appreciate your disregard of both my pain and effort.”
House stared at the man as though he had just sprouted an extra head. “Oh blah-de-freaking-blah. Just shut up and get out. You’re wasting my goddamn time, which, to be honest, I could be using to treat patients that need it more than you.”
He heard the door slam shut, and something that sounded like ‘report to your superior’, and he let his head rest on the desk. There was a genuine reason he had skipped on clinic duty for so long, specifically because he would be prone to encounter idiots (like the man that had just swept out of the room). He wondered distantly if he had some comic books stashed away in here, somewhere, so that he could commandeer them and barricade himself in his office for the rest of this damnable day.
There was a rapping noise at the door – very polite rapping, House thought, that could only be one person – and he opened one eye. He lifted his hand and gestured for them to enter.
“You know, you really should stop insulting the patients. It’s not good for the reputation of the clinic.” Wilson shut the door behind him with a click, his lab coat stained near the collar with a pink-ish tinge.
“You know, you really should stop eating doughnuts. It’ll go straight to your hips,” House retorted.
Wilson rubbed at the offending stain with his hand. “It was a strawberry tart, actually.”
“I'll bet she was.” House grinned and, although he couldn't see his face, Wilson knew it.
“Oh ha-ha, you’re so hilarious I may need surgery to sew up my split sides.” Wilson flopped down onto the seat nearest the desk.
House lifted his head up and stretched his arms over his head. He yawned. “I’m sure I could arrange something.”
“Can’t you just feel the love today? I am so overwhelmed by this feeling emanating from you that I may just pass out from bliss. Oh joyous love, such a rose thou art.”
“Says the man who has had three marriages, three divorces, and countless affairs.” House smirked. “Though you’re probably right, Wilson. Love is like a rose. You know… with all those thorns. Ouch.”
“You’re being more of a cynical bastard than usual today, what’s the occasion?” Wilson asked, fiddling with a pen that had been in his coat pocket.
House nodded at the calendar on the wall. “The same one that has you wearing that atrocious tie. Bright pink with a teddy bear holding a heart? What were you thinking?”
“You bought it for me last year,” Wilson said, re-pocketing his pen. “I thought you’d appreciate me wearing it.”
“I thought you’d have burned it. It’s the ugliest tie I have ever seen.” He scratched the top of his head, clearly deep in though. “What was I on when I bought it?”
“I must have been close to overdosing if I didn’t feel the pain of purchasing that…monstrosity.”
“Hey! Now don’t be mean, it has feelings too.” Wilson smoothed the tie down.
“Next you’ll be calling it ‘the love of your life’ and having some kind of civil ceremony. I’m sure you’ll have lots of wonderfully grotesque offspring together.” House leant his cheek against his palm. “At least it’s prettier than Julie.”
Wilson sighed. “We may be divorced, Greg, but you don’t have to resort to insulting her.”
“A-ha!” House chanted. “So you admit that the tie is ugly!”
“Alright, alright, it’s ugly. Still though, I did love her.” Wilson tugged at the bottom of the tie, letting it fall back into place after a couple of seconds.
“Wilson, you loved all your wives. You loved that hooker you picked up. Hell, you even loved that strawberry tart.” He stared at Wilson, noticing that he was fidgeting a lot. First with the pen and then the tie. “What did you come in here for, there must have been a reason?”
“Yeah. To defend love with a great big sword, and fight valiantly in it’s honor, against the cynical evil known as…” Wilson paused momentarily. “Known as Darth House! But with all seriousness, I came in here to ask what we were doing tonight.”
“Love is a luxury, not a necessity. Love is society's dangerous pressure, which ruins those who vainly try to comply with it. Love leeches you of your intelligence, rational abilities, creativity, time and money.”
“So… that means pizza and a movie at your place then,” Wilson hazarded, completely ignoring his run-down of the ‘meaning of love.’
“Actually, I was thinking more along the lines of Chinese. Pizza works for me though.”
Wilson smiled. “I’ll pick up a pizza after my shift is over. You finish before me so you get the film. But, please, no porn.”
House looked crestfallen. “Dash my dreams, Wilson, why don’t you? I had the perfect one in mind too. This wonderful story of a tie and an Oncologist that… Oof!” He rubbed his head viciously. “Ow, pen!”
“You’ll live. Anyway, I have to get back to work.” Wilson stood up and walked towards the door. “Play nice with the children now.”
Wilson grabbed at the door-handle then stopped. “Oh, almost forgot.” He stuck his hand into his pocket, and pulled out a familiar bottle with a red ribbon tied around the middle. He chucked it at House. “Here. Happy Valentine’s Day.”
House stared at the bottle for a little longer than necessary. “Vidocin? Wilson, you shouldn’t have.”
“I know.” Wilson scowled.
“No really. You shouldn’t have. I was going to nick some from the med-store later.” House put the bottle onto the table.
“Well, I just saved you a trip. See you later.” Wilson left, his lab coat trailing behind him, the door slightly ajar.
He grinned and shook the bottle. Opening it a familiar scent met his senses. “Bastard…” He whispered to himself. “It’s chocolate.”