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HOUSE M.D. FIC: Love Actually

Title: Love Actually
Fandom: House M.D.
Rating: PG-13 for language
Summary: House is a rock ‘n’ roll has-been making an unexpected comeback, and Wilson is the longtime manager he suddenly sees in a new light. House/Wilson friendship despite the title.
Disclaimer: I didn’t create these characters, and I definitely didn’t write the script for this film. Thus, this story is, quite simply, not at all mine.
Author's Note:
Written for justjuly4 , who wanted RockStar!House. Belated thanks to jezziejay for beta!

 

Two months to Christmas

“I feel it in my fingers / I feel it in my toes,
Love is all around me / and so the-“

In the glassed-in sound booth of the recording studio, Greg House’s middle-aged manager Jimmy Wilson frowns and leans forward to punch a button. “I’m afraid you did it again, House.”

The grizzled former rock star grimaces. “It’s just I know the old version so well, you know.”

“Well, we all do. That’s why we’re making the new version.” Wilson gives House what he hopes looks like an encouraging smile, fighting the urge to grind his teeth together. He’s followed House through the ups and downs of his career for too many years to count, through global adulation, drug addiction, and the long dark slide into obscurity, and he knows that this could very well be House’s last chance to get back in the public eye before he becomes a small photo in the right-hand corner of the cover of Time.

“Right, let’s go.” The track starts up again, the back-up singers nod and shift in time.

“I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes…” As if in illustration, House closes his eyes and sways from side to side, totally immersed in the music, such as it is.

“Love is all ar… oh, fuck, cock, cunt, shitting asshat-and-hole.” House rips the hi-fi headphones off and throws them petulantly to the floor.

Despite his frustration, Wilson can’t help grinning fondly. Some things never change. “Start again.”

***

Four weeks later

For House’s first major promotional appearance in fifteen years, his radio host is young, bespectacled, and smug. “Greg, welcome back to the airwaves. New single, cover of ‘Love Is All Around.’”

“Except we’ve changed the word ‘love’ to ‘Christmas,’” House points out unnecessarily.

Michael Payne pauses. “Yes. Is that an important message to you, Greg?”

House snickers. “Not really, Mike. Christmas is a time for people with someone they love in their lives.” Slumped on the sofa behind them, Wilson winces.

“And that’s not you?”

“That’s not me, Michael.” House shakes his head sorrowfully and then raises it again, an impish gleam in his eye. “When I was young and successful, I was greedy and foolish. And now I’m left with no one, wrinkled and alone.” He smirks at his host, daring the younger man to contradict him.

But Payne only looks at him in admiration. “Wow. Thanks for that, Greg.”

“For what?”

“For actually giving a real answer to a question.”

House winks. “Ask me anything you like, I’ll tell you the truth.”

“Best sex you ever had?” Payne ripostes immediately.

“Britney Spears.”

“Wow!”

Wilson sighs and massages the bridge of his nose.

“No, only kidding. She was lousy,” House shrugs.

“Okay, here’s one. How do you think the new record compares to your old, classic stuff?”

“Come on Mikey, you know as well as I do the record’s crap.” Wilson plunges his head into his hands. So many hours wasted, so many favors called in to get House on this second-rate show, and for this?!

“But… wouldn’t it be great if number one this Christmas wasn’t some smug teenager but an old ex-heroin addict searching for a comeback at any price? Those young popstars come Christmas will be stretched out naked with a cute bitch balancing on their balls, and I’ll be stuck in some dingy motel room with my manager Jimmy, ugliest man in the world, fucking miserable because our fucking gamble didn’t pay off.”

By now, Wilson can only shake his head, eyebrows raised in disbelief, as House plunges full throttle for the finish line. “So if you believe in Santa, children, like your Uncle Greg does, buy my festering turd of a record. And particularly enjoy the incredible crassness of the moment when we try to squeeze an extra syllable into the fourth line.”

“I think you’re referring to ‘If you really love Christmas-“

“Come on and let it snow,” House finishes with a nod. “Ouch.”

“So, here it is one more time, the dark horse for this year’s Christmas number one, ‘Christmas Is All Around.’ After this, the news.”

House swivels around in his chair and raises two triumphant “V for Victory” signs at his manager as Wilson groans and covers his face forlornly with his hand.

***

RADIO ANNOUNCER: “It’s a rainy Christmas Eve all along the West Coast, and the question is, who is number one on the Radio One chart show tonight? Is it Lady Gaga or the unexpected radio sensation from Greg House? You might have guessed it although you may not believe it. It’s Greg House!”

In front of the cheering studio audience, clear-eyed, cleanshaven, and in the sharpest clothes that Wilson could convince him to wear, House picks up the phone to take the first congratulatory caller.

“Hi, Greg!”

“Hello.”

“We’re live across the nation and you’re number one. How will you be celebrating?”

“Well, either I could behave like a real rock ‘n’ roll loser and get drunk with my fat manager…” –in the audience, Wilson raises his eyebrows in resignation and smiles, trying to convince himself that the stone in his stomach is actually happiness on his friend’s behalf- “or, when I hang up, I’ll be flooded with invitations to a large number of glamorous parties.”

“Let’s hope it’s the latter. Here it is. Number one, from Greg House, it’s ‘Christmas Is All Around.’”

“Oh, Jesus, not that crap again,” House jokes loudly, then claps his hand to his back pocket at the vibration of his cell phone. “Just a second. Hello? RuPaul.” He makes big eyes at the roaring crowd, milking the moment. “O-of course. Of course. Send an embarrassingly big car and I’ll be there.”

He flips the phone closed and grins at the host, this time in true good humor. “It’s gonna be a very good Christmas.” Glasses are raised all around him as Wilson makes his way to the door, his eyesight suddenly embarrassingly blurry.

***

An hour later

Wilson is watching House’s latest music video in his living room, smiling a little sadly at the images of buxom young blondes in Santa hats and furry crotch-length coats, when the doorbell rings. He hauls himself out of the comfort of the couch and heads downstairs to answer it.

House is standing framed in the doorway, still in his glamour rags, a bottle of aged bourbon in his hand.

“What the hell are you doing here?” Wilson asks without thinking. “You’re supposed to be at RuPaul’s.”

“Well,” House shrugs, “I was there for a minute or two and then I had an epiphany.”

“Really,” Wilson responds. House and his fucking epiphanies.

“Yeah,” House nods, practically bouncing on his heels in excitement.

Wilson sighs and turns towards the stairs, rubbing the back of his neck. “Well, come on. Come up.”

House follows hard on his heels all the way up, not even issuing his usual complaints at the steepness of the stairs.

“So what was this epiphany?” Wilson asks guardedly once they’ve squared off in his living room.

House cocks his head, looking suddenly unsure. “Uh, it… it was about Christmas.”

“You realized it was all around?” Wilson offers, voice heavy with sarcasm. He’s probably high. I’m too old for this shit.

“No. I realized… that Christmas is the time to be with the people you love.” House looks away, then straight at him.

“Right,” Wilson mumbles. Did House really come all the way back here to mock me?

But now House is on a roll. “And I realized that, as dire chance and, and fateful cock-up would have it, here I am, mid-fifties, and without knowing it, I’ve spent most of my adult life with a chubby employee. And, much as it grieves me to say it, it might be that the people I love is, in fact… you.” He strikes a dramatic, self-deprecating pose and stares piercingly at Wilson, who isn’t sure whether to laugh or cry.

“Well…” he manages, “this is a surprise.”

“Yeah,” House agrees, looking relieved.

“Ten minutes at RuPaul’s and you’re as gay as a maypole?”

“No, look. I’m serious here. I left RuPaul’s and a hefty number of half-naked chicks with their mouths open in order to hang out - with you - at Christmas.” House gives him a significant glance that Wilson is at a complete loss to interpret. After all these years, he can’t really mean it… can he?

“Well, House…” he stalls.

“It’s a terrible, terrible mistake, fatso… but you turned out to be the fucking love of my life. And to be honest, despite all my complaining… we have had a wonderful life.” He’s been moving stealthily closer all this time, and now he winks and nudges Wilson gently in the ribs.

“Well… thank you,” Wilson says thickly. He can feel his throat constrict around threatening tears. “I mean, come on, it’s been an honor. I feel very proud.” He reaches out tentatively to shake House’s hand.

House rolls his eyes. “Oh, look, don’t be a moron.” He takes a halting half-step forward and wraps his arms awkwardly around his old friend. They cling to each other hard for a moment, decades stretching unspoken between them, then let go and step back in silent consensus.

House clears his throat, blue eyes suspiciously bright. “Come on,” he suggests at last with a gruff chuckle, “let’s get wasted and watch porn.”

 

 

Comments

( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
jezziejay
Apr. 26th, 2011 10:48 pm (UTC)
One of my favourite scenes from one of my favourite movies - so it's all good! It really isn't too much of a stretch to recast House and Wilson into these rolls - but you did it effortlessly. Loving it :))
flywoman
Apr. 26th, 2011 11:16 pm (UTC)
The first time I rewatched this movie after becoming obsessed with House, I couldn't help but see the parallels. I'm glad that justjuly4's prompt gave me an excuse to write this up!
all_things413
Apr. 27th, 2011 12:07 am (UTC)
This is an interesting AU. One I'm sure very few people thought of. There's a movie with this plot? Let me guess, it sounds like an 80s, maybe early 90s movie, am I right?

Nice job. I can see Wilson almost crying in a situation like this. I'm glad House realized the value of his friendship with
Wilson.
flywoman
Apr. 27th, 2011 12:47 am (UTC)
Yes, it's a movie with almost this exact script. From 2003 actually, although I would agree that it has an older feel - reminds me a bit of Peter's Friends or Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Thanks very much for your comments!
yarroway
Apr. 27th, 2011 02:38 am (UTC)
Hilarious! But how gay exactly are Maypoles?
flywoman
Apr. 27th, 2011 02:42 am (UTC)
Hee! Well, very phallic, anyway. We don't have this expression in the US, and I could have changed it to something else but didn't. *ponders*
yarroway
Apr. 27th, 2011 09:28 am (UTC)
No, don't change it! Maypoles are so wonderfully phallic, and the symbolism works.
srsly_yes
Apr. 27th, 2011 04:21 am (UTC)
I saw the title of your fic and smiled. It reminded me of the movie--one of my favorite holiday flicks. What a surprise to discover you actually inserted House and Wilson into the rock star segment from that film. ZOMG! They're perfect! How ingenious of you. You really captured the poignancy and bromance of both relationships.

And I was going to comment that, “Ten minutes at RuPaul’s and you’re as gay as a maypole?” made me giggle. Please don't change it unless you replace RuPaul with Elton John, like in the movie. Bless EJ! He's still going strong.
flywoman
Apr. 27th, 2011 11:12 am (UTC)
What a surprise to discover you actually inserted House and Wilson into the rock star segment from that film.
Hee! I had seen the movie when it first came out, but I rewatched it recently on jezziejay's recommendation, and the parallels hit me very strongly in the last scene.

I replaced EJ in order to Americanize this, but I kept the maypole. Glad to hear it still works.

Thanks very much for your comments!
srsly_yes
Apr. 27th, 2011 02:19 pm (UTC)
FWIW Elton John is quite a fixture in the US. He owns homes in Atlanta and Los Angeles. His annual Academy Award after party is a fixture, and he performs weeks at a time at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas.

Can you tell I'm a fan? :D

I should add, I like RuPaul too. It puts your stamp on the story.

Edited at 2011-04-27 02:26 pm (UTC)
flywoman
Apr. 27th, 2011 10:13 pm (UTC)
LOL. If I had known that, I probably would have left EJ in. I'm not a particular fan of either of them. I had to google "gay musicians" to find a reasonable substitute.
justjuly4
Apr. 27th, 2011 11:02 am (UTC)
One of my favorite movies, one of my favorite bromances mixed in a great way! Thank you! *smile*
flywoman
Apr. 27th, 2011 11:10 am (UTC)
Hee! Thank you for the prompt - I'm very glad that you enjoyed this!
(Deleted comment)
flywoman
Apr. 27th, 2011 10:06 pm (UTC)
at least, I hope RSL won't split quite so far apart at the seams
LOL. I quite prefer him in his currently svelte incarnation myself.

Glad to hear that you thought this worked!
barefootpuddles
Apr. 27th, 2011 11:38 pm (UTC)
I love that movie. I like the Emma Thompson/Alan Rickman bit the best, but the second is the manager/aging rock star storyline.

I could definitely see both House and Wilson playing those parts.

Well done (very creative!)
flywoman
Apr. 28th, 2011 02:05 am (UTC)
I like the Emma Thompson/Alan Rickman bit the best, but the second is the manager/aging rock star storyline.

OMG ME TOO! Of course, jezziejay likes the unrequited-love-for-best-friend's-bride storyline best... which I'm tempted to conclude says a lot about our respective attitudes towards love and life ;).

Thanks for your comments - glad that you enjoyed this!
barefootpuddles
Apr. 28th, 2011 05:21 am (UTC)
OMG ME TOO!

Well, obviously that must be because you are a discerning woman of high taste. :)

Of course, [info]jezziejay likes the unrequited-love-for-best-friend's-bride storyline best... which I'm tempted to conclude says a lot about our respective attitudes towards love and life ;).

There was a House fanfiction that featured that scene, wasn't there? Did Jezziejay write that?

There were soooooo many good story lines in that film. The only one I absolutely disliked was the guy who comes to the US and heads to Milwaukee and meets those women in the bar. None of the story lines were very realistic (well, except for the AR/ET one) but that was way over the top. When they get that crazy it take me out of the piece and reminds me its just a movie.

Edited at 2011-04-28 05:21 am (UTC)
flywoman
Apr. 28th, 2011 11:25 am (UTC)
There was a House fanfiction that featured that scene, wasn't there? Did Jezziejay write that?

Yes, that's right! I was her beta for "Scene It," and the funny thing is that that story/scene had made so little impression on me that I didn't even recognize it in her story and had to go back and rewatch the film!

The only one I absolutely disliked was the guy who comes to the US and heads to Milwaukee and meets those women in the bar.

And another "OMG ME TOO!" That storyline was so ridiculous, and could have been left out completely without affecting any of the others.

None of the story lines were very realistic (well, except for the AR/ET one)

I definitely agree that the most realistic story was the one about putting a brave face on adultery and heartbreak. This is why I'm always accusing Jez of being the sappy/fluffy one ;).
wolfinmyheart
Apr. 28th, 2011 12:01 pm (UTC)
Oooh, this makes me *sigh happily*! :)

I love the movie, love the scene(s), love the series! :D

Combination of the best! :) And really well done, that American twist you gave it. :)
flywoman
Apr. 28th, 2011 12:21 pm (UTC)
I thought it was a perfect match and couldn't resist.

Thanks so much for letting me know that you liked it!
livejournal
Jun. 27th, 2016 05:16 am (UTC)
Author Interview: Flywoman
User house_what_if referenced to your post from Author Interview: Flywoman saying: [...] or "Love Actually [...]
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )

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