Nineteen years before
It's hot, and almost everyone else is inside, enjoying the air-conditioning and the free booze. There are almost no shadows on the grounds in front of the hotel, and Wilson can feel his shirt sticking to him, and sweat pooling around his knees and in the creases of his elbows. Gregory House seems to be immune to it. Gregory House is is throwing a tennis ball against the side of a bench, and catching it easily each time. Wilson's never been very good at sport, never felt very coordinated, but House is. Wilson barely know him and he can see that. There's something lithe, easy about the way he moves that Wilson feels drawn to. Catching the tennis ball like that is stupid, it's a stupid game, a stupid piece of showing-off, but Wilson can't stop looking, can't stop seeing the ball leaving House's hand and hitting the bench and returning to him over and over again like House isn't putting any effort into this at all, like this is just something that comes naturally to him.
Usually when Wilson catches himself looking at someone like this, really looking, like they've become the centre of his world, he'll stop himself, but this time he doesn't bother. He probably won't see House again, so he looks, watches the muscles in House's arms, the slim, light body turning effortlessly in the hot sun.
Later, Wilson will learn how to use that stare, how to look at everyone like they're the centre of his world, later, he'll think to himself on one of his endless, sleepless nights, that this is the look that made him a good doctor, the look he tried to hide and could not hide from Greg House, the look that makes him feel like the person he's staring at is the very centre of his world, and makes that person feel reassured, safe, loved.
Eventually he and House find a cooler spot at the corner of the hotel—though 'cooler' is definitely a relative term here: it just makes Wilson feel a bit less like he might start sweating his brain out of his ears—and House sits with his legs crossed in front of him in a way that doesn't look comfortable, and leans back against the wall. He looks over at Wilson, and his look is interested and somehow knowing.
Wilson doesn't know, not yet, that there is real knowing in this look, that House really does know his secrets just by looking at him, so he's not as frightened as he should be. He's not at all as frightened as he should be.
House is the one who kisses him later, and he doesn't even have the decency to get them properly drunk first. It's a brief, perfunctory sort of kiss, like he's making sure of something. When Wilson responds, hot and desperate, House almost seems to laugh, and then he draws away, and regards Wilson. It's a steady, calm stare, and calmness is the last thing Wilson wants. Wilson can't remember the last time he's been with a man, not really, except that they were both drunk and it was before he got married, and he realises he wants, oh, God, he wants, so he presses himself up against House, rubbing an already aroused cock against House's belly through layers of pants and boxers and fabric and kisses him, urgent and messy.
It's hot, it's really fucking hot, even with the AC on, and Wilson is desperate to get out of these clothes, has been aware for hours of the heat and the sweat and the tingling sensation of arousal and he feels like he can't stand any of them any more, not for another second, so he undoes his shirt, and then he realises that maybe that's too fast, but House seems to be all for it, undoing Wilson's belt, pulling them both towards the bed.
They break the barrier easily, then, the barrier of clothes and polite small talk, and the anxious, endless internal questions of is-he-or-isn't-he, does-he-want-or-doesn't-he. It's easy for them to get down to skin on skin, to see each other's lean, unscathed bodies, for their mouths to meet in a tangle of saliva and heat. This first time doesn't at all feel like the beginning of something. It feels simply like the satiation of a want. Wilson doesn't know he's letting himself in for a lifetime of need, of his need and House's, a lifetime of mouths and skin and hurt, and even if he did know he probably wouldn't be able to stop this because he wants House to suck his cock more, it feels, than he's ever wanted anything.
Eighteen years before
House picks him up at the airport. He's quiet at first, and then he begins to talk. Wilson learns what he did not learn during that first meeting—that House's conversation is unlike anyone else's, that it is esoteric to the extreme, that he does not ask questions, that he does not care whether or not you're tired after your flight, that he never gives you a chance to talk, but becomes frustrated if you do not weigh in. It's frustrating, even aggravating at first, but by the next morning Wilson finds that he's used to it. In a way, it's easier to communicate with House than it is with anyone else, because House is always honest, and it's a lot easier to deal with brutal honesty than with double-meanings and fabrications and hidden wounds. House is capable of finding other people's secrets and wounds at once despite how well they're hidden, but he seems to be incapable of hiding his own.
Wilson fucks House on the second afternoon. They haven't fucked before, Wilson's never certain about anal sex, there seem to be too many pitfalls, he's treated too many secondary anal fissures in the ER, but House is demanding, and he draws his legs up against his chest with surprising grace and he looks up at Wilson, open, assured, certain, and Wilson knows he's not going to hurt him. He likes it more than he thought he would like it, and he thinks that's partly House's reaction—he groans desperately, erratically, like this is too much and not enough at the same time.
House spoons him afterwards, though Wilson would never have called it that in his head, would never have though House is spooning me, but that is what House is doing, holding Wilson in his arms, against his chest, and Wilson can feel House's breath against his neck, is tickled by House's stubble.
They sleep briefly, until evening, when the shadows stretch long over the walls, and the light that fills House's apartment is warm and golden and makes up for the apartment's darkness, its unfinished look. Wilson sits in bed, naked, and House goes out to get them take-out. He takes longer than Wilson's expects, and Wilson flicks through the books next to House's bed—a medical journal, a physics textbook, a biography of Wittgenstein—feeling the sun on his face.
The food is slightly squashed, and colder than Wilson would like, but he's ravenous.
“You took a long time,” Wilson says.
“Ran there and back,” House says. “Haven't run since you've been here. Makes me edgy.”
Wilson wonders how he can possible feel edgy when Wilson feels so sleepy and satiated by alcohol and sex, but he lets it pass, just as he lets House steal most of his pork.
“You should move to Princeton,” House says suddenly. “Cancer's everywhere.”
“I don't know anyone here,” Wilson says, thinking about House's hands and House's mouth and the smell of House's neck after he's been running.
“You know me,” House says. “And I like the person I'm fucking to be in the same state as I am. I assume you do too.”
Wilson looks down. He wants to get out of the house suddenly, despite the warm bed, despite wanting this man so much. “I'm dating a woman called Bonnie,” Wilson tells him.
House looks at him, piercing, intense, and then looks away. He looks angry but he doesn't say anything, and Wilson thinks maybe he can't read House as well as he thought, maybe he's just stepped on a landmine.
Once they've eaten, House leaves Wilson alone in the bed, and Wilson hears him playing piano in the other room. Wilson doesn't know the tune, but it's fast and he's impressed by House's skill.
Sixteen years before
Wilson disengages his tongue from the roof of his mouth and reaches blindly for the clock-radio. He has to hit it repeatedly before the tinny noise of an unfamiliar song stops. He rolls onto his back. His head hurts a lot, and it's not that he doesn't know where he is or what's happened, it's really not that kind of hangover, but he kind of wishes it was, because he doesn't want to deal with standing up and finding his pants and leaving this bed.
He looks over at House. On his side, mouth open, eyes shut. He couldn't have slept through the alarm. Wilson reaches over and delicately touches some of the stubble to the left of House's mouth. House's eyes shoot open immediately, and fix on Wilson's. As ever, he doesn't look like the previous night had any particular affect on his constitution.
“Livin' easy, lovin' free, season ticket on a one way ride,” House sings, instantly, like the button to make House sing AC/DC lyrics really loud is that spot to the left of his lip. “Asking nothing, leave me be...”
Wilson yanks the pillows out from under his head and puts it over House's instead. House keeps going, but it's much quieter. Wilson closes his eyes. The mattress without the pillow is pretty comfortable. It's at least better than getting up.
House stops singing. Wilson hears the thump of the pillow landing on the floor. House shifts over the bed towards him and buries his head in the warm space above Wilson's shoulder. He puts his arm around Wilson's chest and throws his leg over Wilson's hips, his knee digging straight into Wilson's fairly full bladder. Wilson shifts uncomfortably. It's less like being hugged and more like being tackled.
He hears House's hot breath against his ear. “Don't you have rounds?” House says. House's breath is foul, it's both bitter and pungent at once, and there's a sweet edge to it, like rotting fruit. It's so bad it's almost impressive. Wilson wonders if House ever bothers going to the dentist.
“It's a Saturday,” Wilson says. He looks at the clock. It's 4:30 pm, evening rounds start in an hour and a half.
“People still get sick on Saturdays,” House says. “Especially cancer patients, that's what I hear.” He wriggles, nestling closer to Wilson, which might be nice except he's hot and he smells bad and he keeps jamming his knee up into Wilson's bladder like he's trying to torture him.
“Why don't you have a hangover?” Wilson said.
“Because I don't need to be plied with alcohol to get into bed with me,” House says. “I do that anyway.”
“Yeah,” Wilson says. He starts to get up. House clings in a bony, sweaty sort of way. It's unpleasant and Wilson assumes he's just doing it to annoy him. Wilson shifts, shrugs, forces House off. House flops back onto his own pillow. Wilson looks over at him, wondering if he'll see hurt on House's face, but he doesn't see any emotion he can name. He wonders what he'd do if he did see hurt. Instead he forces himself into House's bathroom and sticks his throbbing head under cold water.
It's easy not to think about it when he wakes up in House's bed. It shouldn't be, but it is. It's much harder not to think about it when he crawls into his own bed. It's 6:30 am, and Bonnie doesn't have work tomorrow so they can enjoy waking up together for once. He can see her silhouette in the dark, the curve of her hips, the shadow of her hair. The bed is warm when he gets into it, and she smells like shampoo and make-up remover and sleep, sweet and pleasant, and she rolls over, half-asleep, and she's warm and soft, and putting his arm around the soft circle of her shoulders is comforting.
She yawns, sighs against him, says, “Work OK?”
“I didn't mean to wake you,” Wilson says. He runs his fingers through her hair—it feels soft, and clean.
“S'OK,” she says. “Only time I get...” She murmurs something incoherent, nose pressing against his shoulder, sinking back into sleep. Wilson closes his eyes, thinking he should be soothed by being in his bed, be understandably exhausted by the long night, be comforted by Bonnie's warm presence.
Instead, House wanders into his mind, strolling in like he owns the place, and Wilson thinks maybe he does, and he's powerless to resist as House given him images of them together, House's cock pressed up against his stomach, House's face pressed into his neck, the film of sweat on Wilson's arms and knees as House crouches between his thighs, sucking him off. House's grimy sheets thrown onto the floor, House's breath tasting like bourbon and chips, House's hands on Wilson's shoulders, and the look on House's face, the look Wilson tries not to see, the raw, open expression of need and want and lust.
Wilson's aroused now, but he ignores it, closes his eyes, tries to think about Bonnie, think about how he might have sex with her later today, tries not to think about House, House, House.
Fifteen years before
He's drunk and she's soft in all the right places and he's completely happy to see her, especially since she doesn't seems to be at all fazed when she sees him in the hotel room.
“This is Elsa,” House says, “And she loves to watch men kissing.”
Wilson rubs his temples. The room a little bit out of focus, and he thinks it's going to stay that way, and he thinks that's not really a bad thing at all. “How on earth did you find that out?” Wilson says.
“We were just talking about things we had in common,” House says to her. She smiles, tosses her hair back over her shoulder. He can see the smooth line of her neck, the dark, soft hairs at her nape. “Weren't we, Elsa?”
House has made his face softer, somehow, and Wilson knows that look isn't genuine, but Elsa thinks it is, and maybe that's enough. She's being real, after all, she's sharing this facet of her sexuality with him.
Wilson's about ninety per cent sure she's not a hooker, but you can never be completely sure with House in the mix.
Later (if she was a hooker she'd be better at fellatio) he kisses House over her shoulder, feeling the smooth lines of her ribcage against his arm. She smells like cocoa butter, and her pussy tastes salty and familiar.
In the morning, he wakes early, and his waking disturbs Elsa. He gulps down water straight from the faucet and then they go out onto the balcony together. The sun's just coming up, he can see it rising over the sea. It occurs to him that House picked a pretty romantic destination for them.
“This is a nice room,” Elsa says. “You guys must be pretty rich, huh?”
“We're doctors,” Wilson says.
“Oh really?” Elsa says. “That must be intense.”
“What do you do?” Wilson says.
“I'm a paralegal,” Elsa says, “Well, training to be one. I'm interning with a firm not far from here.”
She's wearing House's t-shirt over her red panties. Wilson appreciates the length of her legs, the freckles on her calves. Often the women who are drawn to House are not as together as Elsa seems, and it makes Wilson worry about them.
It's strange to have this conversation now, after last night he had sex with her and House. Casual sex doesn't bother House at all, but it gets to Wilson. It's almost worse having this conversation, learning about Elsa, than it would be if it didn't happen. It puts the intimacy of the previous night into stark relief against how little they know each other.
“I had a good time last night,” Elsa says. She looks down at the sea, biting her lip. Then she says, “Hey, I've got this sore in my mouth, it's really bothering me. Could you check it out?”
“Uh, sure,” Wilson says, fearing the worst, fearing he'll have caught herpes from Elsa the cute paralegal who likes to watch guys kissing. But it's just a regular mouth ulcer, and he tells her not to worry.
“So is he your boyfriend?” Elsa says.
Wilson shrugs. “No. Not really.”
“So you kiss him and he takes you out to nice hotel rooms, and he's not your boyfriend?” Elsa says. She laughs. “Sure.”
Wilson shrugs—he doesn't know what to say to that. Then Elsa leaves, saying she's got to change before work, and he's left on the balcony, wanting to crawl back into bed next to the man who's not his boyfriend, and not wanting to. Wanting House, with all his madness and intensity and ability to pick up cute girls, out of his life. And not wanting that at all.
Fourteen years before
“Race you to the next tree,” House says, and starts running, nimble on the scree, body loose and athletic.
“We're in a forest,” Wilson shouts after him, letting himself be left behind. It's been a long time since Wilson has been out like this, far from pagers and doctors, wife and ex-wife, alone except for House. His knees are already aching from the walking, but House seems immune. House seems happier too, lighter. Wilson follows the sound of House's singing, his voice echoed by the woods.
Wilson eventually begs House to stop, and they do, in the space between the trees and the rushes beside a small creek. “Should we start drinking now, or later?”
“Later,” House says. “You're slowing me down enough sober.”
He digs around in Wilson's rucksack, and pulls out the extra BLT Wilson made. Wilson looks away as he devours it. He eats his own more slowly, and gets only a handful of chips because House has made his way through most of his bag. House has taken his boots and socks off, which Wilson never does when he's out hiking because putting them on again afterwards feels awful, and he can see House's pale insteps against the bright grass, paler than any other place on his skin.
They lie, comfortable, side by side, in the long grass, not talking, not doing anything. Wilson's not asleep, but he doesn't feel like moving either. House's eyes are open too, staring up at the sky.
“So,” says House out of nowhere. “Had enough of wives yet?”
“Of wives?” Wilson says. “Bonnie and I are happy, thanks.”
House snorts. “Yeah,” he says. He sits up suddenly, and grabs his boots. Wilson watches as he laces them, but doesn't move. He doesn't want to move. He doesn't want to think about Bonnie, he wants only to think about House and the sky and the sound of the creek. That's how it works for him, to only concentrate on House in moments like this. He'd try to concentrate solely on Bonnie, if she were the one with whom he was here.
“Come on,” House says, “We can get in at least five more miles today, even with you slowing me down.”
Sex has always come easily for them, they've always understood each other's bodies. House has drawn sounds from Wilson that he's never made for anyone else, and Wilson thinks he doesn't know anyone's body the way he knows House's, the smell of his cock, of his sweat, the moles across his rib cage, the feeling of his pubic hair between his fingers, and, unpleasantly, in his mouth. He knows he's never slept with anyone over as long a period as he has with House, he's never seen anyone's body at its best—muscular, lean, graceful—and its worst—after three days of food poisoning.
It's slower than he expected, in the warm air on top of the waterproof sheet. It's profoundly dark out here, even though the moon is full, and it doesn't make Wilson feel nervous, but he does feel dwarfed by it. He feels crushed by this much darkness, and by the soft animal sounds in the woods around them, that echo and seem magnified by the night.
And yet, in this dark, he find he wants to explore House's body more thoroughly than he has in years, run his hands over House's slight torso with a kind of reverence he doesn't really feel it deserves, burrow his face into House's neck with more need than he thinks he should feel. House responds to all of it, breath harsh, hands gripping the loose flesh above Wilson's hips both too tightly and not tightly enough.
“We could live together,” House says, suddenly and much later. “It's the '90s. It's not going to ruin our careers.”
Wilson imagines it—his clothes in House's wardrobe, his posters framed on House's walls. Doing House's laundry, cooking his meals. Waking up next to House every morning. He wonders if, eventually, he would start hating House. He wonders if he could stand that.
And somewhere, in an even more private part of himself, he imagines telling Cuddy, telling his mother, telling the elderly breast cancer patients who flirt with him, that he lives with another man, that he is, for all intents and purposes, gay now.
He can't really imagine it. He doesn't answer House's question, and House doesn't ask any subsequent ones. They lie there in the dark, and Wilson doesn't sleep, even though he's tired after all the walking and his knees hurt, he doesn't sleep, and the darkness just goes on and on, and he doesn't just feel dwarfed by it any more, he feels annihilated.
Thirteen years before
House has been running. It's cold today, but he's wearing only an old t-shirt, and the exertion has left him warm and glowing. His cheeks are pink, and he looks surprisingly wholesome. They're getting older, Wilson thinks, looking at him. He can, for a moment, imagine that this pink-cheeked, alternate version of House might be someone's husband, someone's father.
House pushes past him into the house, rubbing his arms. He steps close to Wilson, and Wilson can smell him, and though he's sweaty, he smells healthy and entirely attractive, and Wilson takes the opportunity to press up against House, feel House's smooth form against his own.
Wilson is surprised when House steps away, because usually it's Wilson saying, Not here, Not now, Not yet, usually it's Wilson separating them.
“Bonnie's not here,” Wilson says, gesturing House into the lounge.
House nods, non-committal, and sits on the couch. He doesn't say anything, which is weird. “Beer?” Wilson asks.
House nods, and Wilson goes to get one for them both. There's a little elated feeling in his stomach that always pops up when he sees House, whether or not he wants it to, and he's cheerful as he pulls the beers from the fridge, a step away from humming happily.
House accepts the beer quietly, swallows slowly, not quite looking at Wilson, but not quite looking away from him, either. “Stacy and I are going to move in together,” House says. He says it slowly, treating the words like they're momentous, though Wilson wonders why he's making it such a big deal. Wilson saw this coming. And House is here, now, and Bonnie's away, and they can do what they want.
“OK,” Wilson says. “That's good news.”
“Hmm,” House says, looking at him with that steady, even gaze, the one that always makes Wilson think he's reading his mind. They talk about nothing for a few minutes—the hospital, Wilson's dog, Cuddy's ass. Wilson wants to touch him, he always wants to touch him, and they've been fucking less and less lately, so maybe that's why House sounds so serious about Stacy, maybe he misses it too.
Wilson reaches for House the way he always does, expecting him to respond at once, demanding and needy as always. He wants to fuck House tonight, he wants him in his bed, he wants to lick his hole and listen to the sounds he makes.
House draws back, away from him, takes another drink of the beer. “Look, I'm...” House pauses, bites his lip, and that's an unexpected response. “I can't juggle you and Stacy,” House says, “I won't have any time to myself. I came over to let you know.”
The shock is immediately replaced by a much more unpleasant feeling of loss. He's surprised that House didn't rub it in more, didn't spell out that if Wilson would just sleep in his bed and keep his milk in House's refrigerator and stop marrying women then he wouldn't be doing this. That House, really, is far more honest with himself and with the people he cares about than Wilson is.
Realising House has a moral high ground makes Wilson uncomfortable. It's never good when House is being more moral than you are.
“Yeah,” he says. He feels like his voice might break, but it doesn't. He shifts down the couch because he's suddenly aware that the way he's sitting is crowding House's space, that two guys wouldn't normally sit like that, and says, “Yeah, of course, that makes sense.”
House nods. He looks sad, like maybe he was hoping Wilson would put up a fight. They rarely yell at each other, and Wilson thinks maybe House would like them to. There's an intimacy in yelling at each other, and Wilson thinks House maybe resents him for denying him another intimacy.
House leaves not long after that, and the house feels vast and silent. Wilson wishes Bonnie were here, he wants to feel her warmth against his body, hear her voice, know that she's here, that she's real, that she's his.
She isn't so he watches lesbian porn and jerks off twice and gets drunk, and the loss feel like physical pain.
Ten years before
When he was still in the hospital after the infarction, Wilson visited him late at night, when everyone else had been sent home. Patients struggled to sleep in the hospital, and Wilson didn't want him to be alone. He'd learnt and read about working with the recently disabled, but House didn't seem to fall into the category, House was just House, and in the hospital bed he looked out of place, but also broken, and Wilson didn't want to see him that way, but somehow that was all he could see.
He took House's hand in his, but House jerked it out of his grip. “Come to make me feel good about this?” he said.
“No,” Wilson said. He was thinking about running with House, about House leaving him behind, about watching House's body vanish around the corner ahead of him, about the shadows beneath House's feet just before the hit the ground. He gripped the sheets where House's hand had been. When you run, during each step both your feet leave the ground, and because of that running is the closest we can get to flying. House had flown more than Wilson ever had.
He wanted to cry, but he knew he shouldn't cry, that was the worst thing you could do for any patient, and it would be worse if it was House. “If you need anything,” Wilson said, trying to hold on to the feeling of loss, trying to hold on to his fear, his need, his longing to cling onto House, to save him, trying to contain that feeling because it was not something he could allow himself to feel, “Anything,” he said, his voice not breaking.
House couldn't roll over, but he turned his head away from Wilson and didn't talk to him for weeks.
Now he's at Wilson's door, weight distributed uncertainly between limbs and cane, shoulders thicker after weeks of dragging himself around by his arms, and waist thicker too, weight usually shed by exercise remaining. He still looks broken, and his face is raw, more open to feeling than Wilson has seen in years.
“I need something,” he says.
In fact, House needs more than Wilson's ever given him before, and Wilson should mind, should be exhausted, should question why he keeps doing this, should care that it's destroying his already rocky marriage—but he doesn't. He can't even begin to care.
They eat out a lot, watch a lot of TV, don't have sex. House is acerbic, difficult, constantly exhausted. Wilson doesn't keep track of the vicodin he takes, but he knows it's too much. House doesn't seem to be changed by it; he's visibly wounded now, but in some ways he's easier now because there's a reason to put up with his behaviour. It's no longer weakness to let him be rude and cruel, it's understanding, kindness.
They share a bed a few weeks after Stacy leaves for good. Wilson sleeps on his back, straight and awkward, unable to relearn the rhythms of House's body, afraid to touch him, afraid he'll hurt the leg. House shifts, groans, wakes to take more pills, and pools around Wilson. He feels different now, his body is not the one Wilson first knew, youthful and athletic, but in the morning he still has the same dragon breath, and Wilson's glad he's there.
They fuck a week after that, and it's something they have to talk about, have to vocalise, because they're dealing with a new body and a new set of rules. They do it with House on his side, bad leg propped on a pillow, Wilson behind him, hand caressing House's familiar cock. Wilson wasn't sure he even wanted to do this after so long, and after it took so much discussion. He doesn't like talking about what they do, he just wants to do it.
“You could fuck me,” he tells House, though it's not something they've done before because even though House tells him he's really missing out he just doesn't like the idea of a cock up his ass.
“That would probably hurt more,” House says, and Wilson wonders if it's worth it, keeps wondering even as he thrusts staccato against into House, as his hand twitches around House's cock, keeps wondering until he's seeing stars and House is coming into his hand. It shouldn't be worth it, it's just sex, uncomfortable and confusing, sex between two bodies who know each other so well, but somehow it is worth it, it's always worth it for the moment when House fists his fingers in the sheets, the moment when House finally lets go. It's worth it for the moments afterwards when Wilson lies against House, panting against House's neck, and feels more like himself than at any other time in his life.
Bonnie breaks up with him two weeks after that. He finds himself staring at a milk jug Bonnie's mother gave them just after they got married. It's old, and Bonnie describes it as 'bone china'. She said it was her grandmother's, and he's always liked it—it's white with a delicate patterns of blue and yellow flowers travelling from spout to base, and when Bonnie'd told him she'd had it when she was growing up, he imagined having a daughter, imagined her growing up with this same milk jug on the the table in front of her, he'd imagined years of him and his daughter and this milk jug, he'd imagined giving it to her when she went off to college, saying if she got lonely she only had to call.
Bonnie asks him if he wants it, because she's kind like that, but he says he doesn't. It isn't the milk jug he wants, it isn't even the imaginary daughter, dark-eyed like him, blonde like her mother, it is the longing he wants. He wants to long for a house and a milk jug and a wife and a family so much he'd do anything to have it. He wants to want the things he's supposed to want so badly, but instead he lets the chances to have them fall away from him. He lets House get in the way every time.
He never dreams about him and House, never even entertains the thought of bringing him home to his parents, of adopting kids with him. He doesn't want anything more with House than what he has, and what he has is so hard to put into words. He has House's mouth and the sounds House makes when he comes, and the slow knowledge and understanding that comes from knowing a person for years; he has shared hangovers, late nights, the smell of sweat.
House takes a lot of baths these days. He says they help his leg. Wilson responds to that enthusiastically, because it's rare for House to say that anything helps his leg, suggests House join a gym so he can use a hot tub or jacuzzi.
House resists this, as he resists all ideas, all offers of help. He won't do physio, and Wilson can't understand because while he knows it hurts, he's seen House push through pain far too often, seen him run further than he should, work longer hours than he should, fuck, he's even treated House for dehydration after he ran too far in the middle of summer, so he knows House has a high tolerance for physical exertion. He doesn't understand why House won't push his limits any more, why he won't try.
Then he wakes up in the middle of the night and finds House in his living room, trying to walk without the crutch. He can see the look on House's face when he falls, and Wilson knows that look, he knows it because he's seen that look on patient's faces when they're near the end. It's a look he only sees on certain patients, patients who tell him they're on a seven on the pain scale when Wilson knows it's really a nine, or even a ten. When they try to tell him they'll be OK even though they're in too much pain to talk, too much pain to look at him.
It's something only really stubborn people can carry off.
It's not a look he wants to see on anyone's face, let alone on House's. He doesn't let House know he saw; it's one privacy he doesn't want to invade.
One day, early on, just after Stacy left, when the wound is still red and raw, so raw Wilson thinks it should feel hot under his hand, House sits on the floor to watch TV and gets stuck there, unable to brace himself, unable to make his good leg do all the work. Wilson kneels in front of him, desperate to help, desperate to make this better, and House hauls himself up by Wilson's shoulders, face grim, hands trembling.
He flops back on the couch afterwards. The TV's still on, a Seinfeld rerun, and not much time has passed, barely five minutes, but Wilson feels like something momentous has happened, those moments when House couldn't get up weighing heavily on him.
He sits on the sofa, next to House. House isn't looking at anything. His fists are clenched, his jaw is set. After a moment he roots around in his pocket and finds the Vicodin. He takes three. He shouldn't take three but Wilson doesn't say anything.
He watches him.
After a little while, he says, “Maybe I should move in.”
After he says that the silence is long, and it's the bad kind of silence, the kind of silence that carries on beyond it being broken, the kind of silence that comes back to haunt for years. On screen, the studio audience laughs at Kramer.
“Fuck you, Wilson,” House says. “If it takes an infarction to get you here, I don't want you.”
Wilson doesn't say anything. He hates fighting with House.
House is looking at him, angry, angry with the way everything has turned out. Wilson can't read people like House can, but he can see some of it. House, desperate to have this conversation, to fight about this, Wilson denying him that as well as everything else. House wanting Wilson when he was young and strong and whole, House being brave enough to let Wilson know he wanted him, Wilson only saying yes after another failed marriage, only saying yes now that House was broken.
“You're a coward,” House says and grabs the remote and flicks through the channels looking for monster trucks.
Wilson doesn't bring it up again.
Eight years before
They're still not living together, and Wilson's glad. It's the kind of thing they might do if they were a couple, but they're not a couple.
Wilson doesn't have a name for what they are, and he's glad about that too. He's careful to be transparent with House about his relationship with Julie because that's what friends should do, they should be open with each other about what's going on, about who they're seeing.
House nods, takes it on board. Doesn't seem to care. Booby-traps Wilson's office and can still drag orgasm after orgasm out of him.
Wilson's been feeling pretty good about things.
They're in the cafeteria, Wilson can still feel House in the back of his throat from earlier, and House is eating Wilson's fries. Wilson wouldn't object anyway but he figures after this morning House definitely deserves them.
House is talking about haemochromatosis and Wilson knows he should weigh in, but he's too busy feeling warm and comfortable to try to dredge up information on a rare genetic blood disorder. It's been easy lately, and that should be worrying. Things aren't easy with House, with himself, that's just not how his life works.
Later he goes upstairs and sits with Elizabeth's mother, and feels guilty for feeling relaxed, for feeling like things might be OK, because Elizabeth is fifteen and dying of leukemia, and her mother looks like she's dying too. It's a look he's seen on a lot of parents, and it's one of the things he doesn't get used to.
She looks at Wilson like she can't really see him. She's put make-up on one eye and not the other, and her hands have developed a tremble. Wilson wants to hold them, to ease them, but he knows there's no point, he knows that there isn't really anything he can do.
“How long?” she says. They're standing outside the ward. Elizabeth's bed is sandwiched between a twenty-two year old who hardly moves and a thirteen-year-old who cries all night. They're not Wilson's patients, but he knows their names and their diagnoses, has held their hands and brought them jello.
Wilson clears his throat. She knows it's not long and he knows it's not long and Elizabeth really knows it's not long, but it's still hard to voice. “Two weeks,” Wilson says. “At the outside.”
Elizabeth's mother nods, and there's something crisp and efficient in that nod, and it makes Wilson want to picture her outside of this hospital, outside of this context, where he can think of her as Judith and not 'Elizabeth's mother': He pictures her taking her shoes off and walking across the grass in the dark, taking holiday cards out of the mailbox, dying her hair, picking flowers. There are so many moments in her life but Wilson will only know her in this one, in the moment when she learns how little time her daughter has left, how starved of moments her child is.
She doesn't look at him. She's past the point of arguing, of asking for more options, and Wilson knows this illness has been long, that she has lost layers and layers of herself. She goes into the ward, and sits next to Elizabeth on the thin bed and brushes Elizabeth's hair back from her face. She takes a Tupperware container of raspberries out of her bag, pops it open, and places it on the bed. The raspberries are very red against the cream-coloured sheets, red as a wound. He watches as Elizabeth takes one out and holds it between narrow fingers, like her mother has given her a box of jewels, not fruit.
Wilson goes and sits in his office and buries his face in his hands, and thinks it's selfish to even think about how selfish he is, because even thinking about himself when Elizabeth and her mother and all his other patients are out there feels wrong. And yet he's stuck always thinking about himself, about his wants and his needs and his future because as House says every human brain is wired to be selfish. And Wilson tries to hard not to be selfish, but he is, and there's nothing he can do about it.
He knows he should go home after work and clean out some of his cupboards and buy new curtains and make the place nicer for Julie when she moves in, but somehow he can't bring himself to do that. He pictures himself with Julie next to a dying daughter, he pictures how brave and strong he'd be, because he's arrogant like that, and he can't bring himself to do anything other than go to a bar with House and get drunk.
They don't even fuck, that night, in the end. House snores in his ear, and Wilson moves to the couch to get away from him, feeling the alcohol sloshing uncomfortably in his veins, trying to let the heavy feeling drag him down to sleep, but feeling only heavy, only tired.
Six years before
He and Julie elope, mostly because of House. House keeps talking about throwing him a bachelor party, and Wilson can picture it too clearly, the dim lighting, the smell of sweat and alcohol, and fucking in House's room or in front of a stripper, them playing the same old game. He wants to avoid that.
They have a nice honeymoon, better than Wilson would have anticipated, and they have sex most nights, and Wilson thinks, in a way he should have been thinking up until now but hasn't been thinking, that maybe this will work out, that maybe he and Julie will have that future he wants to want, that the imaginary daughter will exist again, will be real and solid, and Wilson will be a real man with a real family and House will fade out of his life. That he won't want House any more.
But it's just a honeymoon.
He didn't sleep with House for four years while House was with Stacy. He saw House less—at work, and maybe once or twice a week outside of it, which was still a lot for most people but not much by their standards—and his relationship with Bonnie improved. She saw more of him, she was happier. They played with the dog, joked about kids, she taught him how to cook.
He liked making her happy. And wasn't that love at its best, its most selfless—wanting to make someone else happy?
He'd never really wanted to make House happy. Look after him, yes. Fuck him, yes. Make him laugh, yes. But not make him happy. That wasn't the kind of people they were. But he wanted to make Bonnie happy, he liked to see her smile, he liked the weight of her in his arms, the shape of her in the bed next to him, the smell of her hair on the pillow.
But when House needed him again doing what she wanted seemed completely insignificant in comparison with helping House. House was the neediest person Wilson knew, and he was always drawn back in by that need.
When he gets back from the honeymoon, House says, “I can throw you a bachelor party anyway.”
“I think the last one was enough for a lifetime,” Wilson says.
“Oh come on, you loved it,” House says.
“I'm married now,” says Wilson. They're in his office, blinds drawn. They're not really doing anything they shouldn't be caught doing, but House is standing a little closer to Wilson than he needs to, around Wilson's side of the desk, and Wilson's hand is on the upper part of House's good thigh, idly feeling the weight of the muscle through the denim. He realises he's missed House, part of him really wants to kiss him.
“I'll only hire male strippers,” House says. “Then it would be OK, right?”
“I don't want a bachelor party,” Wilson says evenly, because he won't rise to House's needling.
Julie thinks he works much longer hours than he does. She's always thought that. And though sometimes emergencies do come up and Wilson needs to spend time with a dying patient, needs to be there even when there's nothing he can really do to ease the pain, the amount of time he spends doing that is completely eclipsed by the amount of time he spends with House.
So it's easy to sleep at House's place four days after the end of his honeymoon, to fuck House slowly and thoroughly, to drink too much with him and fall asleep with his nose against House's neck. He sleeps heavily for once, and when he wakes House is playing his guitar. Wilson can't name the tune, though he probably knows it. Wilson can never name the tune no matter how often House plays. He just doesn't have a good ear.
“Is Julie away?” House says as he stumbles into the living room. It's five thirty. Wilson doesn't have to be up yet, and House certainly doesn't have to be up yet.
“No,” Wilson says. “She thinks I'm working tonight.”
“And today as well?” House says. “She never asked why you're working all night as well as all day? Never asked why the head of a department has to take night shifts at all?”
“She knows I work long hours,” Wilson says. He's tired, and the room is stuffy, House's drapes are drawn, window shut, room smelling of old paint and paper. He rubs his head.
“Maybe she's cheating on you,” House says. “It's easier for her not to ask questions that way.”
“She's not cheating on me,” Wilson says.
“How would you know?” House says. He's smiling very slightly. He plays something else on the guitar, something else that Wilson can't recognise, can't name.
“Why are you up?” Wilson says.
“Leg hurts,” House says. “It woke me. You?”
“You woke me,” Wilson says, and he knows he won't sleep now, House's questions niggling in his mind just as House intended them to. He wants to say, “Julie loves me, she's not going to cheat on me four days after the honeymoon,” but he loves her too, and he's here.
Four years before
“I'm thinking of getting Steve McQueen a friend,” House says. “I think he might be lonely.”
He's leaning back on the couch, letting the rat crawl over his chest and shoulders. Wilson's still not sure whether he's just doing this to be unhygienic and difficult or whether he genuinely likes the rat. He's beginning to think it's the latter.
“We can go to the pet store later,” Wilson suggests, watching as House feeds the rat a chip. He holds it delicately in his two front paws and nibbles at a corner.
“I don't want a pet store rat,” House says. “God knows where they get them. I want one I can vouch for, like Steve.”
“Oh yes, I'm sure vermin is much safer than a domesticated animal,” Wilson says. “Good choice.”
“Domesticated is boring,” House says. The rat runs down his arm, the remains of the chip still grasped in his jaws. His teeth are very yellow.
“You're just saying that because you want to try and trap something,” Wilson says.
“Well you have to admit it is fun,” House says. “Want to join me?”
“No,” Wilson says, and leans back next to House, not sure why he's not grossed out by the rat. It's almost cute, and it's good for House to form an attachment with something. “Catching wild rats is not my idea of a good weekend.”
It shouldn't be this easy, living with House, but somehow, despite the pranks, despite House's ridiculous behaviour, it is. It feels familiar, even formulaic, and Wilson's almost frightened of how easy it is but he never wanted it to feel easy. It's meant to make him want Julie, to drive him back to how things are supposed to be.
He meets Julie to go over the divorce papers. It feels familiar: the hurt on her face, the house where he once lived no longer his, the neat rows of wedding china outlasting their relationship. Wanting to cup Julie's face in his hands, tell her he can be different, and being unable to do so, because he knows that he won't be. It feels too familiar, and he can see the proceedings, both legal and personal, going on for months, the forms filled, the friends told, the family spoken to. He sees it stretching ahead of him, long and bleak, and feels exhausted by it. Dwarfed by it. Julie hasn't been divorced before, she doesn't know how gruelling it will be. It's another thing from which he can't protect her.
Afterwards he drives back to House's apartment and finds House parking the motorbike. When they meet at the door, House smells like exhaust fumes and leather and sweat, and they're not all things he would have associated with House in the past, but somehow they all seem to be part of him, and he breathes in and that scent seems to run straight through him and settle in his groin.
He kisses House as soon as they're properly though the door, though it's not a very tidy kiss, more a vague nuzzling against House's face, leg settling between House's thighs, grabbing the leather in both hands. It's rough and smooth and stiffer in his hands than he would have thought.
“Gosh, just gimme a minute to freshen up and put on my negligee,” House says, and Wilson rubs his face against House's stubble, slides his hand under the jacket and grabs at the loose flesh above House's hips. Nothing matters except this, the heat under his hands, the wanting, the needing. House tilts his head, kissing Wilson, wet and rough, and Wilson groans, surprised by the force of his own arousal.
“OK, no negligee, but let's go somewhere with a horizontal surface,” House says. “My leg won't take vertical fornication.”
Wilson has a sudden, bizarre impulse to sweep House into his arms and carry him to his bedroom, but he never even did that for Sam, he certainly won't do it for House. Plus, House probably weighs about the same as he does. “Of course,” he says and he steps back, instead, lets House limp to the bedroom, seeing House's stooped posture, the slowness of his gait, and not wanting him any less.
They undress on the bed, Wilson shrugging out of his clothes, getting tangled unsexily in his socks and pants, and House's leather jacket lies across one of the pillows. House's eyes are ringed and darkened by sleeplessness and his breath tastes sour, and it's the end of the day so he's probably taken enough Vicodin to be pretty high right now, and Wilson waits for those things to turn him off, but as always they never do.
House rolls onto his side, props his bed leg up on to a pillow, says, “I'm ready for my spanking,” and Wilson kisses the back of House's neck, the skin there that is tanned and roughened by sun and winds, and darker than the pale skin of his back. He runs his hands over the familiar constellations of moles and freckles. House seems to know how badly he wants to fuck him; he's good at anticipating what Wilson wants. Wilson finds the lube on the floor by the bed, squirts some out and rolls it between his fingers. House's good thigh muscle is trembling slightly, like it's been overly exerted.
Wilson rubs it gently with his lubed hand, and House grunts, presses back against Wilson, and Wilson slides his fingers into House's ass instead, presses his face into House's thinning hair, smells his scalp, the scent of oil and shampoo that he is so familiar with, and fucks House, first with his fingers and then with his cock.
After they've both come Wilson flops back against the pillow, one arm trapped under House's shoulders, muscles trembling, unable to bring himself to move, to even grab a tissue to clean up the come. He knows he'll move in a minute. House's eyes are closed, his lips parted, and Wilson looks at the back of his neck instead, that familiar sliver of skin, and thinks, This. This. This could be all I want.
Four days later he moves out. He can't even blame House for the decision. House is just being House, and Wilson is used to it. He's not used to himself finding it so easy to lie next to House, to be able to imagine a future he might want instead of one he thinks he should want. It frightens him.
Three years before
He's looking at the signatures, at the signatures that are not his signatures, and he's not surprised. He should be surprised, he should be upset, betrayed, but the more he looks the more resigned he gets. This is just House. It's impossible to be angry with House for being an addict, because he's seen House's pain more clearly than anyone else.
He can try to help him, he has tried to help him, even if it feels like it's futile, but he can't summon up the energy to be angry too.
In the snow, waiting for a bus that doesn't come, he tries to be angry, but in the end he's just tired. He feels blunt, stripped, raw.
Three months later, it's these feelings he's talking to his psychologist about, not leaving House soaking in alcohol next to his own vomit. He thinks that moment should make him feel something, that he should care, should have felt worlds shift as he stepped away from House, as he left him there. But instead it doesn't seem worth mentioning—instead he's talking about being blunt, about feeling like he's naked in the snow and has gone past feeling anything, knowing he's dying but not caring because at least he's not cold any more.
His psychologist nods, taps her pen to her pad, talking about how she's used to working with those who treat the terminally ill, how it's common to feel depressed, used up. She says she likes his use of the word “blunt” and they could maybe talk about it some more later. She says he should feel better with some therapy and some anti-depressants.
You're not supposed to feel depressed. Not if you're James Wilson, anyway. If you're one of his patients it's a different story. But if you are depressed, the mature thing is to do something about it, visit a psychiatrist, a psychologist. Not marinate yourself in alcohol. So that's what he does. But he keeps on feeling blunt, resigned, naked, and it's hard to make himself talk about it in his psychologist's room, because when he's there he just feels like what would help the most is an hour off from thinking about it at all.
He says to himself that it doesn't matter. That he understands why House forged his signature. That he understands that House is an addict. But he keeps seeing his forged signature, House not even bothering to make them similar. He sees his own name spelt out in the wrong letters each night as he tries to sleep, and doesn't sleep.
It's some time before he shares a bed with House again, but when he does it's familiar, warm, and House's back is a familiar shape in the dark. Even when he's not with House, House's voice mocks him in his head, so it's almost relaxing when House is doing the mocking, not his own head. He lies there and see the letters shape themselves across the dark curve of House's back and doesn't sleep.
One year before
By dying when she did, Amber allowed him to love her forever. Other women would eventually start hating him; he would eventually start replacing other women with House, but Amber would always be his. He can hold her in his mind, safe from House's schemes, safe from his presence. Entirely his.
He knows better than to tell House about it. House would know how to ruin it.
He thinks he can't be friends with House afterwards. He imagine his life without House: the empty rooms, the despair, the cup with her lipstick on it perfectly preserved. He imagines them and waits from them, but doesn't really believe they will occur.
He thinks perhaps they were never really friends. They did a lot of things that friends don't do, after all. But he can't think of any word for his relationship with House, and even if it's incomplete, it feels true.
He doesn't let the hurt go, he holds onto it like a talisman, like a comfort blanket, for months, and then for years, though he knows he doesn't have the strength to hold House away forever. When he tells House it's clear that he can't pick his friends, it feels like he's letting go of Amber. And it feels almost like redemption.
Five months before
Wilson's cried before, and he's cried over House before, but never like this. Once he's seen House safely inside Mayfield he gets in his car even though his hands are shaking so much it doesn't seem like it would be safe to drive, and he puts them on the steering wheel and feels them shake against it, and shake, and shake, and he's crying, and it's the most uncomfortable way he's ever cried, each sob coming out of him like he's retching rather than weeping, curling in on his own body on the narrow car seat, face streaked with tears. He feels like a wounded animal, like a dying cat crawling beneath the floorboards, hiding its fear and suffering from anyone who might see it. He covers his face with his hands, digs his teeth into his skins, chews.
He feels like he's breaking into pieces.
Well, if he's going to have a breakdown the parking lot of a psychiatric hospital is a better place than most.
That thought almost makes him laugh. And then he does laugh, and he knows that the laughter has an edge of hysteria in it, but it's better than fucking crying. He keeps laughing and sobbing until he doesn't know which is which, until it all just seems like noise. He hates House for needing so much time and empathy; he hates House for not asking for help sooner.
When Wilson's throat begins to hurt he scrubs his face with his fist and sits up properly. He's worried someone's been watching him sob in his car, but the parking lot is empty. It takes him a few more minutes before he's composed enough to drive away.
As he drives, he sees, and can't stop seeing, continues to see every night for weeks and then months, House's small frame turned away from him, walking into that hospital, ready to get clean, ready to give everything up, walking in there was something very like dignity.
Wilson thinks he'd be a better person if he had half of House's courage.
Two months before
“This is the gayest thing I've ever done,” House says, picking up the blue apron.
“Shut up, this will be good for you,” Wilson says.
“I'm serious,” House says. “You've had your cock in my ass more times than I can count but this is the gayest thing I've ever done. This is the gayest thing we've ever done and we've done some really gay things.”
“And you'll have fun,” Wilson says. “Because clearly you're really, really gay.”
House laughs. “Not as gay as you,” he says, and Wilson kisses him, pressing the aprons between their bodies. House leans back against the sink, responds warmly. Wilson is really fucking glad he's here.
“You can't make fun when we're there,” Wilson says. “Promise me.”
House puts the apron on. “Does it bring out my eyes?” he says.
“Promise me,” Wilson says.
House kisses him, wet and distracting. “I can't do that.”
“You're not allowed to say how gay it is,” Wilson says, disengaging himself. “That's the first rule.”
“Well there's no point giving me a second one, because I won't be able to follow the first.”
Wilson sighs. “I really think this might help you. Please take it seriously.”
“Well OK,” House says. “Since you said please. And in the last few weeks I've grown as a person.”
Later, Wilson watches House carefully dab the burning meatballs, and thinks maybe he actually has.
Three days before
He throws House out of his apartment, though he suspects House won't really leave. Attempts to make House leave before it suits him are always futile.
House tells him that without Wilson, he'd be alone, and Wilson thinks without House he'd probably be alone too, despite how hard he's fought for that not be the case, to connect with other people too, to have the family and children he's supposed to have by now. Instead he has House, cluttering up his apartment, leaving books in his bed like shards of shrapnel, hiding his possessions, snoring in his ear.
As he lies, prepped for surgery, waiting to remove part of himself for someone who probably deserves it, Wilson sees House, because House can't leave him alone even in moments like this. He sees House sitting on a window seat in a hotel room, smoking a cigar, whole and unscathed and laughing.
It's times like this when he tells himself he doesn't need House, that he will cut House out of his life and things will be better, more complete. But it's also at times like these that he has the clarity to see that he's never going to be able to do that. He's resigned, as he was resigned when he saw House's version of his signature on the prescriptions, resigned, in a way, as he was when House drove them home from the airport on his first visit, and House would only talk about what he was interested in.
And he's not surprised when he sees House standing in the gallery just as he goes under. He's not surprised, but he's pleased. He can never predict when House will let him down, and will not let him down. And still, as always, the person he wants when he's sick is also the person he wants when he's well.
Eleven hours before
“You know, Cuddy will find out eventually,” House says, walking around the edges of their new loft, looking out the windows, exploring the tiles with his cane.
It kind of reminds Wilson of the time House got a bigger cage for Steve McQueen, and how slowly Steve explored each corner before venturing into the middle.
“I've changed our address to a PO box,” Wilson admits.
He expects House to bristle, but House just smiles. “Baby steps,” he says, walking across the gleaming room to Wilson's side.
Wilson once reflected on how well he knew House's body, on how he knew House's skin almost better than he knew his own. But that was years ago, and now it seems ridiculous, because he knows House's body so much more thoroughly now, has seen it age, shake with withdrawal, seen it scarred, seen the muscles grown slacker, the skin looser.
And yet there's something in him that moves with the same ease, the same natural comfort in his own skin, that he had when they first met, when House insisted on showing off with that stupid tennis ball. Wilson draws House to him, and he feels House relax against him, give him some of the weight that his limbs can no longer reliably support. When Wilson kisses him his mouth is so familiar it's almost like kissing himself, and yet it's nothing like that, there's something in the kiss that will always be foreign to him, something in House for which he will always be looking.
They don't have curtains yet, and the morning sun hits the wall opposite the bed. It's bright enough to wake Wilson, but at least it's not in his face. House is lying on his side, facing him, and he hasn't been woken yet.
The light hits the wall opposite in a perfect square, the edges of which seem so sharp, so defined, that it's hard to imagine them ever disappearing, that this light won't always be here, but will soon be diffused around the room. It's hard to imagine in the same way it's hard to imagine that this room won't always be here, that this oblong of space and air will one day vanish.
It will one day vanish, and so will Wilson. He's already slowly dissolving, neurons no longer growing, wrinkles developing. His liver may be regenerating, but right now he's missing part of it, a whole lobe of himself gone.
Wilson realises something. “You know what?” Wilson says.
House is still asleep. Wilson pokes him next to his mouth. He always wakes up when poked there.
“You know what?” Wilson says again.
House opens one eye. He looks tired, Wilson thinks suddenly, and Wilson almost feels guilty for waking him. “What?” House says, rubbing saliva off the side of his mouth with one hand.
“This is stupid,” Wilson says. “We should tell everyone.”
“Tell everyone what?” House says.
Wilson gestures—at them, at the bed, at the studio. At all of it. At all they were, and all they had been. It's a vague gesture and that House understands it is a testament to how well they know each other.
House snorts. “After nineteen years you want to announce it to the world? Should we make little engagement cards too? Should we go to Vermont and get married?”
“I mean it,” Wilson says. “House—you know I love you.”
House bursts out laughing. “Are you serious? If you're serious can I tell Cuddy?”
“Yeah,” Wilson says, hoping that the tone of his voice will convince House of the gravity of this. “You can tell whoever you like. I should probably tell my parents though.”
“I might need some preparation time for this. I think I might need to write Cuddy a song,” House says. “Chase and Foreman can do backing vocals. Chase will definitely need some time to learn the words, he's not the sharpest. Nice voice though.”
“House, come on, I'm trying to be nice,” Wilson said.
House ignores him. “I'm just going to start to leave lube everywhere I go. In little sachets. It'll be like my calling card.” He stretches, yawning. His breath smells as terrible as it does every morning. He rolls over the bed towards Wilson, and Wilson feels his familiar warmth against his arm and thigh. House says, “You know this isn't a big deal, right? Most people suspect or assume anyway.”
“No they don't,” Wilson says. “Do they?”
“Yes, they do,” House says. He tucks his head in next to Wilson. “You always seem really gay, anyway.”
“No I don't,” Wilson says.
House laughs. He takes Wilson's hand from under the bed covers, and puts it over his own half-hard cock. Wilson can feel it through House's pyjama pants—it's warm, and familiar. Wilson squeezes. House says, “So what rhymes with perineum? And don't say milk of magnesium, that'll give her the wrong idea.”