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Comfort Zone

Title: Comfort Zone
Authors: nakeno and recrudescence
Pairing: House/Wilson
Rating: R
Disclaimer: Don’t own ’em, making no profit off ’em, etc.
Word Count: 6,795
Spoilers: References to instances in Ugly and Resignation.

Summary: Over time, their lives and things and relationship just coalescing into one place.

Notes: This is the product of our goal to write House/Wilson that doesn't involve "the angsty, long-harbored lust shebang."


He’s been tempted many times to drug Wilson just to shut him up. Thirteen’s little display of moral flexibility has him at full attention in that area once again. Never saw that coming, he has to hand it to her. But apparently Wilson still thinks that particular battle is over, too.

Narcotic-hopped milkshake. Mmmm.

Mostly, the brain-mouth filter dies. A lot, if there’s no immunity to combat—flex nervous fingers over his thigh; those were the days. Inhibitions are few, if any. Everything that happens just seems to be acceptable—due to feelings of euphoria and all-over well-being. It's also a good method of springing surprise questions and getting honest answers. And Wilson, if he’s lucky, lazy-eyed and flushed and just smiling stupidly, too stoned for second-guessing.

But then again, it sometimes has the opposite effect and whoever downs the narcs ends up spilling their guts on just about anything and doesn’t stop talking. Though this is so completely off the charts of what he had in mind it’s gonna take a skywriting plane to map the results. Which is why he happens to be rubbing his temples in despair as Wilson prattles about band camp and the milkshake sits half-empty on the counter in the other room.

"…and no, I never did anything with flutes, so don't ask, but I did have a huge crush on this trumpeter..."

It's just too much to envision him on a flute. In any way. House is ready to beat him to death with a couch pillow. "Shutupshutupshutup! Could you be any more boring?" And here he thought he might learn something interesting...

Wilson tackles him, or does the straitlaced, cripple-cautious, nice-boy version of it, which essentially consists of plunking himself across House’s lap. "You spiked my milkshake, now deal."

Shit. Experiment is officially over. Play it cool, give nothing away…"You don't know th—crotch, watch the crotch!" Wilson's too many elbows, kneecaps and lead-heavy hands.

But Wilson just smiles calmly and shoots him a look of pure, undiluted evil. "Now let me tell you about the time I won the science fair.” As House groans and tries to climb over the couch arm to flee, which is a lost cause given his leg and the fact that there’s a disturbingly heavy mass of James Wilson stretching contently in the way of success. "Actually, what kind of science projects did you come up with? I bet you were the kid who set fire to the gym."

Christ. Even dosed to the point of babbling, Wilson’s still capable of getting revenge by pinning him in place and amping up the nostalgia meter. House isn’t sure he’s above letting him win this round. "Lemme tell you about the time I killed this hooker in Vegas and buried her in the desert...."

"Like you'd ever take out anyone willing to sleep with you. Or anything."

He snorts and fluffs at Wilson's hair since he's trapped anyhow. Maybe annoy the other into getting his own damn personal space instead of being forced to share. "I don't take to being haggled for more money. I paid off the science teacher and copped an A; spent the day behind the bleachers in Beth Anderson's panties." Pluck. Pluck. Fluff.

"Thanksgiving is over.” That ruffled head tips futilely and manages to move all of three inches. “Stop trying to scalp me. Worry about your own hair loss." A trifle belatedly, Wilson’s face assumes a disturbingly intrigued look. "Wow. Panties? Were they your size?"

Sigh. Tug. "Very much so. Flattering and pink, even. Makes for a better story than trying to power a generator by nuclear fission and catching the gym on fire."

"Im...pressive. Didn't know you had a thing for prancing around in pink underwear. No wonder you wanted Cuddy's thong.” Apparently this conversation isn’t as torturous as necessity demands because those dark eyes narrow and he adds, “At camp, we dared Rick to steal a pair of Crystal's, but he chickened out. Never count on a bassoonist."

"…Noted." Pinch at ear cartilage, give the subject a good hard shove onto another track. "Where'd you get these ears, anyway? All small and abnormal... high set." Ponder putting a pair of underwear over Wilson's head when he passes out and claiming he never even walked in the door with all the noise going on, so, no, he's not exactly sure what the other got up to the night before, thankssomuch.

Warm palms batting at his hands, Wilson evidently giving some thought to sitting upright but finding House sufficiently comfortable and much less of an effort. "Seriously, how drugged are you?"

Snort. "I'm not. Compared to you, anyway."

“Oh, and the truth comes out. Why would—”

"It's funny, though—I picture you in a little preppy school with your little school-colored tie, pressed slacks and stodgy little shirts...With your hair slicked and parted. Little comb in a cup on your dresser…bet you had braces."

"I thought dosing drinks was so six months ago,” Wilson whines, and House isn’t going to confess that, yeah, he did too. “Were you hoping I'd pass out so you could steal my blood and test it for whatever godforsaken reason you have? Maybe snag an internal organ or two?”

"I need an extra kidney."

“And there's nothing wrong with private school,” Wilson sullenly steamrolls. “You don't have to pick out clothes, saves on time in the mornings. Actually, I didn't have them." He bares his teeth like a kindergartner playing some overdramatic bad guy and House’s mind springboards into an Olympic-sized pool of ways to make sure Wilson never forgets tonight.

"I've seen some of your childhood pictures, Snaggletooth,” leaning forward a bit to peer down at the other, smirking. “And there's no way you get teeth like that without overpriced dental work. Especially with your two ounces of coffee in your eight-ounce cups of sugar." Tap the other once on the nose and watch as he goes momentarily cross-eyed.

Said snaggleteeth snap perilously close to the tip of House’s finger. "Splenda. Sugar's bad for you. Kind of like drugs."

"Bullshit. You do not use Splenda."

"Not all of us have the figure for women's underwear--hey!" Sputtering as House snags the other's bottom lip and pushes it up and down in time with: "No, House, you're absolutely right, I don't. I'm a lying asshole." Shake himself free, grimacing as one of House's fingers goes tripping over his bottom teeth. "For someone with a mouth like yours, you've got an unhealthy interest in mine all of a sudden."

"Exactly—another reason I know you don't use Splenda. You're fat." Push at the other's head, grunting, "Now get. off."

"You've been looking a little paunchy yourself, slim." But he does move out of the way. House can almost see Wilson’s thoughts flashing neon, determinedly declaring he's not overweight, he just needs to tone up.

"Mm, then again, I'm not the one who passes himself off as a ladies' man." Struggling to his feet, scooping up his cane as he does so. "M'going to bed. And, no, you can't come. Well, you can—but do it out here on the couch. And put a pillow over your face or something. You make too much noise."

"Screw you," amiably, flopping full-length on the couch. "You dished it out, you take the consequences. Is it too much to ask why you're drugging me this time?"

"You're more pleasant this way." Pass a shallow smile over his shoulder and leave it at that; down the hall, cane to the bed, slip out of jeans and shirt. Faded grey and striped pajama bottoms in their place. Finally peel off his socks with a huff and haphazardly toss them toward the corner. Down the hall, without the cane this time—pause for the linen closet and tug out the dark blue, thin blanket. Make sure it's a square hit over the other's face when he throws it at the couch. Fetch a clean, tall glass from the cabinet. A lyric-less blues tune bouncing off the idle places of his brain.

Fill the glass with tap water, no ice. Kill the overhead kitchen light, catch the dining room light as well. Wet his mouth with a single swallow of water. "Goodnight, ugly." Raise the cup in a faux toast.

"G'night, gramps."

Push at that little line in the sand. The second it's noticed, do nothing but retreat. Pause in the hallway. Swallow. "Goodnight, druggie."

"Sorry, pot, I didn't quite catch that."

Smile slightly to himself in the semi-dark. "Goodnight, fatso?"

Wilson pops his head up from prissily smoothing the blanket, brushing back tousled hair. "So, am I actually going to get any sleep or do you plan on desperately grabbing for the last word?"

Tilts his head, pondering that, then he shrugs. "Now you can sleep. ...Metal-mouth." Ease down the hall, hand to the wallpaper. Toy with the idea of spilling water just to hear the spatter. There’s nothing new about it, having a casual interest in Wilson sexually. Knowing he's attractive and, yeah, he would sleep with him if the opportunity presented itself. But not really ever expecting it to and not some desperate, years-running want, just... yeah, he notices. Something he thinks on from time to time, but not something that jumps straight to the forefront every time he sees him. Secretly, Wilson's just amusing when he's bashed and can't stop talking about any weird thing that Greg feels like bringing up. He just didn't think it would be stories of band camp panty raids.


Wilson lies awake frowning.

All he can think of at first is the phrase "who pissed in your cornflakes?" and resolves to get as far away from House as possible before breakfast. Maybe there was a motive for pranking before, when he was crashing here after things with Julie really hit the fan, or when House decided it was more fun to dose him than ask him about the anti-depressants, but as far as he can tell there's no clear-cut rationale this time. Before drifting off, he pulls the blanket over his head and contemplates TPing House's motorcycle.

He dreams that he shaves half of House's face in his sleep so the bastard’s forced to even it out in the morning. Waking up, earlier than House in spite of last night’s unexpected additions, it occurs to him that’s not a terrible idea. Might as well rack up an impressive pile of things to blame on the drugs while he still can.

It’s more than worth the nerve-racking process to watch House lurching out of the bathroom with wide eyes and a swath of clean-shaven skin down one cheek like razor-sized racing stripe. "You ass! Now finish it!"

"You trust me near you with a razor? I'm touched. But I'm also late." And buttoning his coat, saluting him with orange juice, and heading to work. Let House either devote some time to personal hygiene or start considering just how cool Two-Face really is.


Next time Wilson's over, they just kind of trade sidelong glances and inquisitively start kissing.

It's better than what's on TV, especially when Wilson accidentally shifts onto the remote and hikes up the volume so much they end up pulling apart to grimace and turn it off entirely.

House gets a chuckle out of that. "...What are you doing?"

"Dunno. Trying to... you know."


“We're not attached and we’re not getting any younger; might as well do it while you're still tolerable to look at. Drop trou, stat." Only half joking, curiously reaching out to get a grasp on House’s reaction and see if his hypothesis pans out.

House elbows him lightly in the side. "Wow, I cannot feel more flattered than I do right now."

"Romance isn't just dead, it's turning in its grave. Would it balm your ego if I said you're the sexiest thing on three legs and I want to pound you all night long?" Cracking open his eyes and lifting a brow. "Seriously, take what you can get."

"I guess I can live with that. Though I'm dubious as to how many things are three-legged and sexy..."


Laugh-huff. Any response would be smothered by Wilson's mouth, so House decides he doesn’t have anything more to say anyway.


The next time he’s over, Wilson is tapping anally away on his laptop, scanning the menu of whatever doomed restaurant CIA Chick chose for dinner. “The soy burgers there are good, too…and the turkey ones.”

"Do I look better in that blue shirt or the black one?" They will not discuss burgers. Turkey or otherwise.

“Um, don’t order the spaghetti, though; bad idea on any date…are you really going to do this? Haven’t we done this before?”

"No, wait, seriously—the black or the blue?" Drop into the chair beside him; nudge, nudge, nudge. Cuddy said blue, he remembers, but he doesn't trust her opinion. Wilson just rolls his eyes and House winds up trying them both in front of a mirror to try to decide for himself.

Not much later, House comes trumping back through the door, unbuttoning that stupid blue shirt and claiming, "No. No. I'm not the idiot, she's the goddamn idiot, but I think I might be the top idiot for listening to you."

Ten minutes at the table with CIA girl and he'd just gotten up and walked out with a head full of flashbacks and resentment. Can’t even remember what he upchucked as an excuse; it might very well have been "Diarrhea. Toodles."

"Fire her, he says. Ask her out, he says. Bunch of fucking morons.” He throws the shirt at the back of Wilson’s head. Fucked if he knows why Wilson’s still here, sitting up like an overprotective father out to keep his offspring’s virtue and curfew intact. He’d better not have munched through all the tortilla chips, anyway.

"Do I have to pay for this show?" Wilson’s folding said shirt and looking like he half-expects he’ll have to dodge the pants. "In all fairness, it was pretty stupid of you to hire her."

"Suck. My. Dick. All right?"

"I was going to make some hot chocolate, but if you really want..."

"Hot chocolate and alcohol?" And, really, one has to consider how much Wilson has invested if he's sitting there in Greg's living room waiting for him to come back to see how everything went. Leaving aside the weird doting-parent analogy, which is just disturbing.

"Sure.” A small smile knocks a few lines of tension off his face; cabinets rattle open under Wilson’s hands as if they’re his own. “Whatever brings the warm fuzzies. You know, I hear anti-depressants..."

"Don't. Not right now. Not ever again." Pause, mumble: "M'gonna go change."

Wilson makes hot chocolate anyway and has it sitting on the table when House slouches back out with sweatpants, messy hair, and a huge frown. "She was an idiot to quit her job and wave it in your face anyway," flipping idly through a magazine. "Wanna put in a DVD?"

Sigh almost pleasantly, shoulders slumping; ease down onto the other side of the sofa and carefully cup the mug in both hands. Breathe deep on cocoa-scented steam. "Why did I ever forsake you? Sounds divine." If Wilson looks a little smug because House can't tell there's Splenda in the cocoa or because CIA Chick just stalked out of the picture once again, he’s not up for bickering over it. Like a figurative comfort blanket, as he pops in something mindless but engaging and they just sit there sipping and shifting a few inches apart. House frowning down in his hot chocolate and sneaking glances and, well, he’s going to kiss someone by the end of this night, goddammit.

And if House lays one on him, Wilson hardly gets time to make some crack about not being a rebound kind of guy before seeming to get a very thorough reminder how nice chocolate tastes in someone else's mouth.

House just snickers that he totally is and keeps on going.

Sweats make for easy access and Wilson evidently decides House is nice and clean from all that primping, so he slips a hand up that shifting spine and guides him in a little closer. "I'm sure she looks better in transparent dresses, but we both know your standards aren't the loftiest."

It's soothing and relaxing in the oddest way; no need for a shirt that supposedly “brings out one's eyes” and no uncomfortable slacks. No shirt, no shoes (nor socks) required, as it were. Sigh quietly against red-wet lips and he's fairly confident he didn't spike anything with anything for Wilson's consumption before he left... Fairly.

Silently situating themselves on the same page, mugs clinking lightly to the coffee table, the movie still playing in the background for several long minutes. Better than nothing—much better, actually—and then Wilson eases a hand under the drawstring waist and touches him.

Maybe he forgot how much comfort and being comfortable in a situation, and with the person involved (never mind who said individual actually is), could improve the overall result. It's not exactly surprising. Maybe it should be. They don't need to actually voice anything, questions could come later if they come at all. That. That, perhaps, is the most comforting factor in the whole. Willowy fingers, sinewy constraints around wrists; hands clenching, unclenching—at a bicep. At a side. House's head is heavy and maybe his face is growing a little hot; his teeth touching at shirt material on a shoulder. Only the briefest pause, tension curling and uncurling like thread on a spool. But it's nice to relax all over again, even so. They're both getting older and if some extra no-strings-attached intimacy is up for grabs, well...

House’s breath catches, the most quiet, small sound being released on the wave of the next exhale. Wet pattern on his neck, wet patterns on his abdomen. Let his head loll, feel the strength of bone beneath flesh and shirt against his crumpled brow. Shift just a little closer. Don't crowd. Spark of desire, low and deep-- more keenly refined than when dim lighting played over the shimmer and sheen of white dress cloth. Crawl-push his hands up under material, across the smooth warmth of a back. Head ducked down, face hidden and touched with heat, mouth damp and slightly ajar. Doesn't have to think-- first little noticeable push of his hips. Wilson just jerking him off slow and easy till he quietly falls apart and the hot chocolate's gone stone-cold. He'd sucked most of his down, anyhow.


It's not like he's going to do anything stupid. He's learned from his mistakes, he's learned from House. Not going to whip out a ring or whisper he's gorgeous, just drag his lips down that bared throat, drag his fist up that hard, heated flesh and feel House's pulse and breath rush from a strain that has nothing to do with work or drugs or apprehensiveness about some ill-advised dinner date. It's not a big deal; they've known each other long enough and well enough to be past that...it's just...really, really cool is the first phrase that comes to mind.

Wilson sitting on the couch and having his hand down House's sweatpants, getting him off—relaxes and soothes Wilson almost as much as the other way around. He's kind of awed and kind of satisfied, but at the same time completely just taking it in stride. When House isn't tense, when House unwinds, it somehow catches. He's not sure why. It's warm and wordless and strangely somber, but the way House's face slackens and those brightbright eyes fly open just for a half-moment is incredible.


The two of them not even having to talk about it, just sort of falling into this sort of intimacy when they sense it. And House really doesn't look bad naked for a guy his age, scar and all.

It gets even more interesting when Wilson leaves in a huff over a half a sink of dishes that have been there for three days. No, it was not his turn. House, in his less than suave manner, showing up at the hotel to rap incessantly at the door and announcing loud enough for the entire floor to hear, "C'mon, open up! ...Open up and I'll go down on you!"

Wilson has no choice but to look into this way of apology a little more closely.

House huffing and grumbling like it's a chore. Wilson vaguely registering as he's lying stark naked with his toes clenching and both hands combing urgently through House's hair that he's actually rather good at this. Beats the usual just hands-on approach, anyhow. Getting House off with one hand and just passing out all pink-flushed and sated right there.


It's better than thinking of something to say. It's better than ho-humming and 'no, no, take your time' when you'd decided on your meal twenty minutes earlier. Better, but it's weird trying to picture the other across from him instead. Pick up just about any menu and know already what Wilson's going to have on his plate. Wouldn't have to strive for something to say. Make bad jokes, make fun of the waiter, treat each other's plates like fair game. Odd, but better. He doesn't have Wilson's sex appeal, but with Wilson that doesn't fucking matter in the least.

Wilson also doesn't seem to mind him spitting up in the neat, hotel-sized trashcan and downing two Vicodin in the next swallow. Or maybe too dazed to care. Maybe he'd poke around, see what's on TV, raid the mini-fridge, play at casual. Doesn't have to. Just toe off his shoes and shove-push at a warm, naked body until he's made room for himself. Like he always does with anything that belongs to the other. What's mine is mine and what's yours is ours. Wilson muttering that he's got mouthwash if House needs some and promptly snuggling back into the pillow. Just conscious enough to be OCD, and to register that House is making himself comfortable on the other side of the bed.

Smother his mouth against a bare curve of shoulder instead. Lazily pass a flat hand over the satin-warmth of a stomach. Feels nice. So it stays there. Funny how it progressed over time from small kissing sessions to him having his mouth on the other's cock. Funny, but not worrisome in any shape or form.


It should feel awkward, waking up naked with House in his bed. It isn't. House has pillowcase creases down one side of his face and looks suspiciously like he's been drooling on said pillowcase. You can't get more relaxed than drool, though he can’t help rolling his eyes and thinking that of course House would find a way to be destructive even in his sleep. If it were anyone else beside him, Wilson might take a minute or two to debate with himself --should he get out of bed, risk waking the other, risk seeming impolite?--but House knows him better than that and doesn't give a damn about being polite.

If he was in the market for a relationship full of strained interactions, he'd be deserving of every insult House has ever heaped on him regarding that subject. As it is, he just rolls to his feet and heads into the bathroom. Same as every other morning, only this time it happens to be the morning after his best friend went down on him. He grins a little around his toothbrush.


The light at the end of the tunnel turns out to be the fucking sun-- it's way too bright. The hotel window the size of the gaping mouth of hell doesn't have the curtains drawn. Not in the mood. Way too early. Remedy the problem by kick-rolling grumpily onto his stomach and proceeding to do a good impression of an ostrich with the mounds of pillows. House just doesn't smile in the morning. Ever.

Whereas Wilson is annoyingly chipper, practically bounding around the room in his stupid hotel bathrobe, checking the weather channel, checking his email, heating up some oatmeal and picking out a pinstriped shirt that manages to be offensive in a bland, nondescript sort of way. It's a curiosity game. Exploring each level thoroughly before moving on to the next without too much thought.

"Hey, you're going to be late." And that's all. Bitch about the morning, the noise, but drag himself into the bathroom anyway. Swing by his house for a change of clothes and when they run into each other at the hospital, it's exactly the same as it always is.

Pretty much. Except mentally now and again, he’s sure Wilson makes a joke about House's mouth and his crotch. House can practically smell the smug.

But it's getting him laid too and he's not exactly smug-free himself, so he supposes he can tolerate it. It's better than listening to Wilson drone on about the different circles of happiness. Much, much better. There are more pleasant ways of shutting him up.

Tough for Wilson to moralize when he's got a cock down his throat. It's a good look for him.

There were periods of time between such intimacy before. Which doesn't actually matter, waking up in bed together isn't exactly new, intimacy or no; just something he notices without real focus. Also note this is more noise than he's made than anytime beforehand. Not a bad thing, that. Also happens to be the first time he's had Wilson mouthing anything below his stomach, so maybe it's expected. No verbal feedback ever needed, wordless or not, but no one is objecting. Wilson isn't complaining, certainly.

He's not averse to kissing the other afterward, either. Seems perfectly acceptable, comfortable. House is a mixture of flattered, disgusted, and curious about that particular choice. And then Wilson’s dabbing his mouth, taking a long drink of water, and declaring the whole situation "amazing," which is the first time either of them have ever actually put words to any of this. House had never thought to put a word to it at all.

Wilson also has a thing for sleeping naked after sex, which is almost funny for someone so perpetually buttoned-up, and seems completely content to do it again, evidently not thinking anything of what he's just said. House is usually picky about his space, however he doesn't at all mind Wilson crawling in next to him. Against him, even. Almost thinking he might prefer that. Just warmth and solidity, a comforting combination. And after such proceedings, he'll fall asleep without noticing for the first time in quite a while. Wilson's hair having been looped around his fingers, Wilson's mouth being wet and hot and tight. And few other things he didn't even have a description for. The vibration of sound in his own throat and the smell, the feel of sweat, sensation of involuntary clenching.

It's annoying as all hell when he wakes up cursing and sweating because Wilson's jostled his leg, but the good outweighs the bad so far and maybe Wilson can be trained. The first time it happens, he doesn’t even have the heart to hit the other in his sleep. Just lie and describe a dream where he thought he left the oven on—not that he ever uses the damn oven. The second time, just shove him over, awake or not.

But it happens more than twice, since Wilson's not used to sleeping with a cripple, and diplomacy is the farthest thing from House’s mind when he’s hissing through his teeth and Wilson jolts upright, looking stricken and ridiculous.

Wilson grimacing and getting him water, a heating pad, would probably run down the road for ice cream and pickles without bothering to get dressed if House said that would ease the pain. And, seriously, why one who sleeps so soundly would wriggle and kick and squirm so much in the middle of it is beyond him. When the worst spikes of agony simmer into a throbbing but tolerable roar, Wilson looks at him and says he can go back to the hotel.

House just keeps staring adamantly at the bottom of his glass, saying if anything he should go to IKEA and get some bedrails so they can make a barricade.

He learns to sleep with his bad leg toward the outer edge of the mattress, since even when Wilson goes to sleep on the opposite side of the bed, he doesn't actually stay there. No wonder all his wives left him. Maybe that was just a lie and he accidentally smothered them all in their sleep. Bonnie did have some spectacular bags under her eyes the last time he saw her. The fuss Wilson doesn't put up in the waking hours, he more than makes up for in his sleep.

Adapt. Something that House just blows at. But it seems worth it this time around. Notice Wilson always sleeps a little more immobile after getting off; make a habit of that even if he has to convince the other to masturbate when he himself is not in the mood.

It makes Wilson’s mouth go dry and his face heat up, being urged into the spotlight that way, but House seems to like watching him get himself off, and there's something a little thrilling about that. He learns how to play into that, keeping his legs wide and his strokes slow, taking his time and watching House watching him, glittering eyes going heavy and dark. And House can't help but touch, anyway—even if it's just feathering touches at the chest or the jaw.

One night, he ups the ante, pulling House into a messy jaw-breaker of a kiss with his free hand and then slipping a finger inside, stroking along the hot pliancy of his tongue. Close his eyes, catch his breath, and shift his hips enough to slip that finger elsewhere.

He can feel himself flushing down to his toes, it seems, but he's a second away from coming over his hand and he can't look at House just now, can't--shove that finger in deeper, draw it almost entirely back before pressing it in all the way, groaning and nearly whimpering through his clamped teeth.

House narrows his gaze just a little, after collecting himself from those few stunned seconds, tip his head-- questioning expression fleeting until he works it all out. Doesn't have to question. Just pass his fingers into dampening hair and seal his mouth over Wilson's, slowly work his tongue inside, just to feel catching breath, just to feel tension-trembling muscles along the backs of his arms.

Muffle that next moan against House's lips when it rises in him, body jerking as those wide hands firmly slip through his hair and cup the back of his head. He's too close to master kissing back, but just a few moments of House tonguing hot and smoothly into his mouth has him spilling onto his fist and abdomen, stomach muscles clenching, feet digging roughly into the knotted sheet. Fumble for composure, for the edge of the bed and going to clean up once he compensates breathlessly for not quite managing to return House's attention earlier. Returning to practically nosedive back into the covers, feeling completely boneless.

There's never been a real line of sexual orientation for either of them-- they never cared to define it. Not to each other, anyway. And it never mattered. Now, was it admitting to prior activities, finding the idea of sliding a finger into himself enticing, or saying something more? Did it matter? Not so much. He'd pick up the edges of that wordless communication and work it out later. For now, just a slight huff of amusement before passing a hand over Wilson's lower back and mouthing up the slate of a shoulder blade.

If nothing else, it's a pretty good indication that Wilson will be motionless and snoring into that pillow he's got his face buried into.

Wilson sleeps solidly. House drools. You don't get more comfortable than that.


In a way, it's almost insulting that no one catches on. Either they're masters of stealth or the bulk of the hospital staff has been blithely assuming they've been lovers all along. Wilson prefers to think they're just good at being subtle, since for once House seems content not to wring all the possible dramatics out of a situation. And really, he reminds himself, it isn't as if anything's actually changed. There haven't been any soul-baring confessions or spontaneous bouquets or even public displays of affection. House is still an annoying bastard, Wilson still prescribes, though having a steady sex life seems to have mellowed House a fair amount in that area, not that he’s going to ruin it all by crowing about psychosomatics. They’re just two friends who have become so attuned to each other over the past several years that sleeping together just isn’t that monumental. He’s seen House hospitalized a few times and terrify him within an inch of his life several times. Sucking him off isn’t anywhere near that colossal.

Doorknob knocking against the wood, a wall of noise spilling out, drowning him, and all his thoughts are pressed into a mixer on high for a few seconds.

God help him for replacing that stereo-- House playing air drum accompaniment with Wilson's personalized (yes, personalized) black lacquered chopsticks.

"Shake! Shake yourself! You're every move you make!"

Of course, neither of those times have been a result of Wilson hospitalizing him. Yet.

"Owner of a lonely heart! Much better than--"



The hotel finally just fades out of the picture, not a dramatic or marked thing; it just sort of drifts away. Wilson moving in one piece of clothing, one toothbrush, one towel at a time; House taking it in with a collective shrug. Isn't like anyone else is going to be moving in with him any time soon, though it’s a given that they're bound to need time apart fairly regularly so they don't go insane. When Wilson can't bring over any more things without overcrowding the apartment entirely, he pays off a couple movers to come over and not leave till House weeds out some of his crap for storage. Over time, their lives and things and relationship just coalescing into one place.

Actual penetrative sex doesn’t end up being some huge benchmark of trust--just a conspiring "So, you wanna..." Wilson engaging and after a moment pressing a condom into House's hand. Just a raise of an eyebrow in response. House popping two pills and rattling the bottle at him, "Want one? This could be painful... for the both of us." Quick flash of a smirk and that faux 'see me being concerned?' expression that follows with the shift-slide of observant eyes that gives him away to no one but those who know him best. And Wilson likes to think he's firmly in that category.

"Calm down, this isn't supposed to hurt if you do it right..."

"Really? Then you suck."

That first effort ending with enough fumbling to make them both give up and fall asleep facing opposite directions.

Next time, they fare a little better, but neither of them finishes during the actual act--too preoccupied by conscientiousness and concentration--and they just end up coming in each other's hands eventually. But it's a little less awful.

After getting sick of hearing House whine that it’d be easier to just blow each other, Wilson politely suggests trying it the other way around. Which at least goes over better than the time he finally couldn’t take House joking about what a tightass he is and fired back "At least I'm not full of sh--ugh. Oh."

"So not in the mood now, thanks very much," and House stomping into his rarely-used home office-cum-library-cum-nuclear fallout shelter of accumulated junk to read or watch Internet porn or something.

Granted, House has been pretty much a complaining jerk in every situation. But he never flat-out lets on that he doesn't enjoy what's happening. And that's what Wilson has to go on. Actions always, always speak louder. House can bitch as much as he likes, Wilson doesn't see him stalking out on the idea. Another nice change from all his other relationships, aside from the fact that this one involves another penis and a lot of stubble-burn: he doesn't have to explain himself or make excuses. House is too incisive and irreverent for that to matter.

House goes flopping over like he's about to get tied to a railroad track, huffing, “Give me the lube," with the air of a martyr.

"...Are you going to get your face out of the pillow?"

Batting back at him. "This isn't open surgery, for crying out loud!"

"Actually, you know what? Keep it there. This'll be easier if the peanut gallery shuts up."

House can only retort by blindly flipping him off. So far, so good. Then he turns his face about twenty seconds in and mumbles, "Are we there yet?"

"Don't make me turn the car around." Wilson's just sort of been…waiting, trying to make sure everything's okay, trying to tell himself it's all right to actually move.

"Actually have to step on the gas to get to the destination, y'know."

"I hate you sometimes."

"I know."

And if House is laughing and groaning (grunting, huffing), it can't be all that bad. Smudge his mouth up that whipcord of spine, lapping between his shoulder blades, jerking back when House practically has a giggle fit from Wilson's hair brushing the back of his neck. "Ticklish. It's fine. Why are you not moving?" Afterward, the tacit consensus is that this time has sucked marginally less than all previous efforts. But eventually the full-fledged gay sex gets better.


Five years later, Wilson is still doing the dishes ninety percent of the time. Sleeves rolled back, arms caked in suds. And thinking, as he does more and more these days about... well, about House. Older now, and not getting any younger. His hair carries more grey, beard salt and pepper, more intense lines across that brow. And, yeah, a little less hair. He'd finally decided to prescribe a stronger painkiller that was acetaminophen free, and House looked about as glowy as a kid on Christmas. In reality, it was less about pleasing the druggie and more about preserving what liver function the man had left.

And that, that always got him to tentatively consider the actual length of the other's lifespan, despite the lessened burden on the other's more vital organs. When he stands back, with a doctorly frame of mind, it's a sure bet that he'll lose House before the other way around, save for any unseen accidents. Age, health; time takes its toll. He avoids thinking about it as much as possible, but sometimes...

He can imagine, quite clearly-- and if he's lucky-- sitting next to a sterile hospital bed, listening to familiar machinery do unfamiliar things to every aspect of his own insides. They don't have to say it. They've never really spoken it out loud. Even in death, he's sure it wouldn't be worded. Not with House. House would laugh at him, he's sure. Snort and question him as to how this is any different than anyone else he's watched die. Gruff and harsh and bold-faced.

His chest burns, and he's rather good at this-- yanking his own heartstrings and depressing himself. Can't just force himself to focus on to enjoy the time he's got, while he's got it. And he should. He really, really should. The sink has drained, his eyes are closed, and he's clenching the side of the porcelain with both soapy, slippery hands. He only notices this when the word "hey" draws him out of himself.

House. He hadn't even heard the other come into the kitchen. Discreetly busy shaking hands by balling a dry dish towel between them, head ducked briefly, brow drawn. House is holding up a tattered piece of paper, worn folds in it-- obviously something that has seen a lot of back-pocket action. It takes Wilson a few blinking seconds to realize it's a recipe House has ripped out of one of the clinic's magazines.

"Hey, think you could pull this off?"

Focus on the time you’ve got with the aging jerk while you've still got it. Yeah, he could do that.

And Wilson just staring at him for a minute before walking out of the kitchen, amused, but his thoughts now more along the lines of: "yeah, still a bastard."

House following behind, flapping that page, "No, wait, seriously..."



( 86 comments — Leave a comment )
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Nov. 26th, 2007 03:25 am (UTC)
Oh god, I love this. It's funny and awkward and comfortable and beautifully written just so them all the way through. (And I'm still snickering at the bit with CIA chick - and Wilson's never-ending repetoire of band camp stories.)
Nov. 27th, 2007 08:28 am (UTC)
Hee, Wilson's geeky childhood... Thanks for your feedback--we were aiming for something very subtle and easy and it sounds like that came across. =) Neither of us saw much point to CIA Chick, but I don't think many people did.
Nov. 26th, 2007 03:27 am (UTC)
Mmmmm. Slow, easy, and wonderful.

Nov. 27th, 2007 08:29 am (UTC)
ZOMG MEM. Thank you again for taking time to go over this.
Nov. 26th, 2007 03:30 am (UTC)
Awww... this story was like hot chocolate, and it felt right. Like how House and Wilson would sort of fall into things.
Nov. 29th, 2007 11:09 pm (UTC)
Sometimes it's just nice to let the pieces fall where they may.

Kinda like when someone takes the time to appreciate something you enjoyed writing. Thanks for reading. <3
Nov. 26th, 2007 03:40 am (UTC)
This has to be one of the hottest things I have ever read because of how it was written. *cries for Wilson at the end* Thanks for sharing this.
Nov. 29th, 2007 11:21 pm (UTC)
Wow. That's new. Usually it's, "your style melts my brain-- but oh, my H/W." Well... not exactly like that, but... still. =D

Unbelievably tickled this worked for you and thanks so much for taking time to comment. =)
Nov. 26th, 2007 03:48 am (UTC)
I love this. Just love it. It's so nice to read a fic in which House and Wilson have ended up in some sort of halfway "normal" life.

Nov. 29th, 2007 11:40 pm (UTC)
If it works, why fiddle with it? Except for the occasional House-beatings until scruples improve.

We appreciate you reading-- and memming, which is just beyond flattering-- and taking the time to comment. Hopefully whatever comes up next will be just as enjoyable. <3
Nov. 26th, 2007 04:05 am (UTC)
Loved this!

It seems a very likely scenario, with very characteristic reactions.

Happy sigh....
Nov. 30th, 2007 12:16 am (UTC)
Yay, thank you! We hoped it would come across as a believable chain of events.
Nov. 26th, 2007 05:23 am (UTC)
I love it like a warm cup of choclate with marshmallow in a cold winter night.

Seriously, this is exactly what we need more of, an injury free Wilson and a House who is more than his pain.

Wonderful job!
Dec. 2nd, 2007 08:57 pm (UTC)
It's nice to focus on their other traits. As they do, indeed, have them. =)

Thank you so much for giving this a read over and taking the time to comment.

You can curl up with us with a cup of hot chocolate any time at all. <3
Nov. 26th, 2007 05:40 am (UTC)
This felt just wonderful, the way I really imagine they will end up. I loved the slow slid of it, the humor you captured and Wilson's very real fears at the end. It was perfect.
Dec. 2nd, 2007 08:59 pm (UTC)
I think the humorous bits tempered what might have been too serious or daunting-- and life's kind of like that, happy and sad all in one go.

I'm not sure about perfect, but we're very glad you feel that way. Thanks for commenting, dove. <3
Nov. 26th, 2007 05:44 am (UTC)
This is awesome. I loved the tempo and the voices. Just awesome.
Dec. 2nd, 2007 09:00 pm (UTC)
And your reading and commenting is just as awesome. Thanks so much. =)
Nov. 26th, 2007 06:34 am (UTC)
Very good portrayal of their relationship. Very them.

I can better see them just sort of falling into this sort of relationship and not really questioning their emotions than the long, drawn out, romances. Because these two don't really seem the type to analyze every single aspect of their relationship--it just is, and it works. They have their bumps, but they always bounce back.

Or something like that. At any rate, well written, realistic, and I can totally see this happening.
Nov. 26th, 2007 10:34 am (UTC)
I agree
Exactly what she said. Very IC. And very well written.
The only thing I miss was their coming-out: It would be so much fun to see them both avoid thinking about or even voicing their feelings ... :-)
Anyway, I loved it. Thanks so much for sharing,
Re: I agree - nakeno - Dec. 2nd, 2007 09:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - nakeno - Dec. 2nd, 2007 09:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 26th, 2007 06:52 am (UTC)
so good! i really like the no angst aspect. it works very well.
Dec. 2nd, 2007 09:26 pm (UTC)
Sometimes there's just too much angst for anyone's good. We enjoyed doing something lighter and relaxing.

And we're glad you enjoyed reading it as much as we liked writing it. Thanks, dear. <3
Nov. 26th, 2007 07:43 am (UTC)
"Over time, their lives and things and relationship just coalescing into one place."

Really beautiful idea but grammatically unclear and incorrect. If you just change "coalescing" to "coalesce" it makes so much more sense. Obviously, this can be considered a stylistic choice but really. Making the verb active helps so much with clarity!
Nov. 26th, 2007 02:45 pm (UTC)
*rolls eyes*

They left the subject off a lot of the sentences too. I'm pretty sure it was a conscious stylistic decision.

(no subject) - lilapaddy - Nov. 26th, 2007 09:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ezcheeze - Nov. 27th, 2007 10:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lilapaddy - Nov. 27th, 2007 10:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - nakeno - Dec. 3rd, 2007 01:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - recrudescence - Nov. 29th, 2007 11:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lilapaddy - Dec. 2nd, 2007 04:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
I did. - nakeno - Dec. 2nd, 2007 09:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 26th, 2007 08:41 am (UTC)
Wow... that was both hot and absolutely lovely all at once. Truly wonderful. Thanks v. much for posting it.

Dec. 2nd, 2007 09:29 pm (UTC)
*snugs* And thank you so much for reading it. And memming. That always makes me pink. =D

Nov. 26th, 2007 09:30 am (UTC)
Oh. Gorgeous. The very end makes me sad and happy at the same time. And actually sort of weepy, which is kind of pathetic, but there you go.
Dec. 3rd, 2007 06:14 am (UTC)
Well, if it makes you feel better, it's canon that their blood types are compatible, so Wilson could theoretically volunteer to donate for a liver transplant. Thanks for reading!
Nov. 26th, 2007 09:34 am (UTC)
This is absolutely gorgeous - I love the way they just get on with things, without needing to discuss anything.

Wilson sleeps solidly. House drools. You don't get more comfortable than that.


Dec. 3rd, 2007 06:15 am (UTC)
Bit of a change from a lot of our other stuff, where the guys talk in circles for ages and ages. =) Glad you enjoyed.
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( 86 comments — Leave a comment )