by Kass


Written for hi_falutin as part of Purimgifts 2008 / 5768.

"Sorry I'm late," Wilson called as he opened the door to House's place. "I brought beer."

"I was hoping you were the pizza guy," House called from the kitchen.

"The pizza guy has a key to your apartment? That's really more information than I needed," Wilson said, toeing off his snow-crusted boots and shrugging out of his jacket.

"Is it good beer?" Cuddy asked, leaning back in her chair.

"Lisa! I'm...glad to see you," Wilson said, recovering quickly. Then, to House, "I thought you said this was a mens' game."

House shrugged. "Didn't want Cutthroat Bitch joining us."

"Afraid she could outplay you?" Wilson smirked and pulled up a chair, dropping the sixpack on the table with a thud.

"I just didn't have any interest in seeing her naked," House said, and reached for a bottle.

"Ah. That explains why the guy from the bus stop and the guy from the dry cleaners' aren't here this week," Wilson said drily.

"Although it would be fun to watch you squirm," House said, thoughtfully.

"In front of bus stop guy?"

"In front of Amber," and now there was a glint in House's eye. "Not to mention Cuddy and me." He took a long swig of his beer.

A blush was starting, high on Wilson's cheekbones, but he was trying not to smile. "You're assuming I'd lose."

"On the contrary," House said. "Might be fun to let you win." He raised an eyebrow. "See what you'd do with us."

"House, where's your scotch?" Cuddy asked. "If you two are going to carry on like this, I need a real drink."

"You and me both," Wilson muttered.

House gestured to the cabinet where he kept the booze, and Cuddy got up to pour herself a drink. But he didn't take his eyes off Wilson, and Wilson didn't break the stare.

Though he wondered what his gaze was giving away.

"I'm going to call Zimmerman," Cuddy said, from the next room. "We need at least four."

"This isn't bridge," House objected.

"Is that really a nice thing to do to Fred Zimmerman?" Wilson asked. He looked over his shoulder at Cuddy, who grimaced.

"How about Remy?" Cuddy suggested.

"Who?" Wilson had the feeling he ought to know, but he didn't.

"Thirteen," House said, "and no; I told you, this is a men's game."

"Excuse me?" Cuddy said.

"You've got balls," House said, as if that explained anything.

"You're just jealous," Cuddy said, smiling sweetly.

Wilson couldn't resist a low whistle; point to Cuddy, for sure. "So...she's bi, but that doesn't mean Thirteen has balls?"

"Not like Papa Cuddy," House said. "Besides, being bi doesn't give you balls."

Cuddy rolled her eyes. "I'm calling Foreman."

House gave a little shrug. "Okay. I wouldn't mind seeing him strip."

"I hate to be the bearer of bad news," Cuddy said, pulling her cellphone out of her purse and sitting back down, crossing her legs in a way that almost offered a glimpse up her skirt, "but I don't strip for poker."

"Will you strip afterwards?" House leered.

"You'd have to ask a lot nicer than that," Cuddy said, and dialed.

"If you're not going to strip, get out of here," House said imperiously. "Wilson, call your handler. She can play with us if she'll take off her shirt."

"Fuck you," Cuddy said cheerfully, and then, into the phone, "Eric? It's Lisa Cuddy --"

"You want me to say she's not my handler," Wilson mused, "but I actually like having a handler."

"You like getting handled," House retorted.

"Shh," Cuddy said, glaring at both of them. "Yeah, poker night. At House's. Want to help me clean his clock?"

"Don't knock it 'til you've tried it," Wilson stage-whispered to House.

"Ooh, are you willing to share?" House whispered back.

"Thank you," Cuddy said fervently. "We need somebody sane."

"Oh, if that's what you're looking for, you called the wrong guy," House said. Cuddy ignored him.

"Great," she said. "See you in ten." Her phone clicked shut.

"So," House said, "we have ten minutes to kill."

"I need a beer," Wilson said. "And where's that pizza guy?"

"I hadn't actually ordered," House said. "But thanks for offering!"

"I bought the beer," Wilson ojected, halfheartedly.

"Fine," House said. "Call in the order. We'll make Foreman pay for it."

Cuddy was shakng her head, her expression somewhere between exasperation and admiration. "You two deserve each other."

"Foreman and me, or me and Wilson?"

"Either," she said. "Both."

"And yet you're spending your evening with us," Wilson pointed out.

"What was I thinking," Cuddy agreed, and raised her glass.

The End