Breathing His Dream
by Topaz Eyes
For Porn Battle VIII (Bigger, Longer, Uncut), prompt "breathe." Notes: Spoilers for 5 x 24, "Both Sides Now". Much love to karaokegal for beta.
It's late, just past nine that evening when he arrives at her door, but Cuddy greets Wilson with a welcoming smile all the same. "Come on in," she says, stepping back to allow him entry.
Wilson enters, kicks his shoes off, shoves his hands in his pockets as he walks into her living room. Rachel, still wearing her little green dress, is out cold in her play yard. He gazes fondly at her sleeping form. "Looks like she had a long day."
"She had fun. Would you like anything?"
"I'm fine. I'm just--passing by on my way home," he says. "Just wanted to see how you and Rachel were doing."
Cuddy has changed into old sweat pants and a too-large sweater, too warm for the weather. There are purplish circles under her eyes. "If by 'passing by' you mean driving fifteen minutes out of your way," she says wryly.
Wilson grins, shies away from her pointed gaze. "Caught me red-handed," he says.
"We missed you at the wedding," she says.
He moves to the window, stands with arms folded and head down, refusing to meet her gaze as he leans against the sill. "They deserved to be happy," he says. "I didn't think it'd be fair, if I went and dragged them all down."
Cuddy purses her lips but doesn't push the matter further, at least for the moment. They chat for a few minutes instead, about Chase and Cameron's wedding, low murmurs so as not to wake the baby: the perfect day, the radiant bride, the five-layer cake. Both of them snicker when Cuddy describes how Foreman caught the bouquet and Thirteen the garter.
"So where were you today?" she asks, after they've exhausted the small talk.
It always comes down to this between them. Wilson stays silent. After a minute, Cuddy nods in understanding. Of course she knows. "Wilson," she says softly, "I'm your friend. Don't hide what you're feeling from me."
He clenches his fists. Three days later, and the weight of warm leather, plastic and metal, still weigh heavy in his hands; the brush of cold fingers, the slumped back retreating--that last, searching look from House's haggard, gray face, just before the door closed, still weigh heavy in his memory. God damn it, but it hurts--Wilson turns his head and stares out the living-room window. He sees the weariness in his profile, reflected in the pink-tinged glass, sun off the pearl-gray clouds at the cusp of twilight.
Then he turns to look at her, spreads his hands with a sigh. "I don't know what to do anymore," he says. He does not even bother to mask the depth of anguish in his voice.
New lines crinkle around Cuddy's eyes. She steps up to him, lays a hand on his shoulder. The next thing Wilson knows, her arms encircle him, and he's stooping to embrace her. He buries his face in her hair, inhales her comfort along with her warmth and her scent.
"We breathe, James," she says in his ear. "We keep breathing. Just because he's not here--it doesn't mean we stop."
There is a soft press of lips on his cheek. He draws back, they look at each other, and he feels the air change with the pressure of her grip on his shoulders. He has to bend down in order to kiss her--and while it's definitely not right, it can't be wrong, either, if the pliancy of her mouth under his means anything.
Wilson tries not to think of the irony as they stumble towards her bedroom in the deepening shadows, that he's the one who's peeling Cuddy's sweater over her head, who unhooks her bra, who cups the swells of her breasts and revels in their firmness. That he's the one who groans when Cuddy unfastens the fly of his jeans, shoves his pants down--grasps and strokes his cock until he thrusts wantonly in her hand.
Wilson is so hard he aches, and he wonders if House had felt all of this too, the way he feels everything right now: how Cuddy moans when he lowers her onto the bed, when he teases her nipples with his tongue, when he pushes her sweatpants and panties down into a tangle around her feet. He brushes her clit with his thumb, dips his fingers into her wet softness, plunges his tongue into her mouth; he wonders if House had felt Cuddy grind into his palm the way she's pressing against Wilson's right now as he rocks insistently against her hip. He wonders if they'd battled outright for dominance in bed, or if they submitted to each other without a fight. (He does not think about how screwed up this is, getting it on with Cuddy in real life while he fantasizes about House's delusion of it.)
Soon Cuddy pulls his hand away to guide him inside her, quivers and clenches her muscles around him in a frantic rhythm to urge him on. Wilson complies, pumps into her hard and fast and just as desperate. Like this, he decides in his haze: House and Cuddy had fucked just like this, in and out, clutching, bruising, no tenderness between them; just grunts and lust and feral need, tongues and sweat and heated skin.
Cuddy grabs Wilson's buttocks to pull him in, as deep as he can go, and all thoughts of House with Cuddy dissolve from his brain. She comes just minutes later: her fingernails rake his back and she cries into his mouth with each wave of her orgasm crashing against him. And in the end it's Wilson, not House, who burrows his face between her breasts; who hurls past the edge to empty himself with long, shuddering breaths.
Either way, delusion or reality, it's over far too quickly. Wilson tries not to shiver as the sweat dries on his skin in the coolness of the bedroom. Cuddy lies relaxed and motionless in the circle of his arms; but when he draws back to check on her, her eyes shine too brightly in the half-light.
"It's all right, Cuddy," he says, "we didn't betray him. He'd have done the same thing in our place." Seek solace in them. Live. Breathe.
Her mouth twitches in reply. He tastes the warm salt on her cheeks when he kisses them in turn, and she rests her head on his shoulder with a sigh. He wants to hold her, stay inside her as long as he can, but too soon he softens and slips out, and a few minutes later he hears Rachel griping from the other room.
Cuddy pulls away, pushes her damp hair off her face, smiles wanly. "I have to go," she says.
Wilson nods, lets her go without a word. She slides off the bed, dresses and pads out of the room in bare feet. In a minute he hears Rachel's whimpers change to happy gurgles. After another minute or so he rises too, pulls his clothes on, straightens the comforter. He passes Cuddy sitting on the couch with Rachel in the living room on his way out. He stands on the front step in the violet-gray twilight, inhales the cool night air, and reminds himself that, in the wake of House's madness and everything that goes with it, he still needs to keep breathing.
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Legal Disclaimer: The authors published here make no claims on the ownership of Dr. Gregory House and the other fictional residents of Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital. Like the television show House (and quite possibly Dr. Wilson's pocket protector), they are the property of NBC/Universal, David Shore and undoubtedly other individuals of whom I am only peripherally aware. The fan fiction authors published here receive no monetary benefit from their work and intend no copyright infringement nor slight to the actual owners. We love the characters and we love the show, otherwise we wouldn't be here.