Author’s notes: Quite short, but I hope you like it anyway. Written before “Bang, Bang”. Set back in season two, just days after Wilson moved out of House’s apartment. I'm mostly just trying to get a hang of writing House.


The hotel room smelled very, very clean, in a way that houses where people lived on a day to day basis, without a maid, never did. His first wife had been rather obsessed with cleaning – one of the reasons why they snapped at each other quite a bit at the end, because James Wilson had never been one to prefer vacuuming over drinking a beer on the couch – and the crisp smell of antibacterial sprays reminded him of just how many failed marriages he had been through.

Wilson’s clothes were still in the suitcase he had brought from House’s apartment.


Now there was someone not obsessed with cleaning. Although never dirty, because House did have a cleaning lady after all, the smell of fresh citrus would never be one associated with his apartment.

Then again, House’s apartment had always felt rather homey to Wilson, in a way that his own homes had never felt. They would sit there, House and Wilson – really, he thought sometimes it was one word, houseandwilson – and drink beer and watch a movie, snapping rather fondly at each other but quite content in each other’s company. For a while, Stacy had been in their lives – House had lived in a real house with her, not the dingy apartment – but even then, House’s home had been more home than Wilson’s own.

Home is where the heart is, Wilson thought ruefully.

He tried, unsuccessfully, to push the thought away, and he had equal bad luck with pushing all of the other thoughts of House away. Not that anything would ever happen – he had resigned himself to as much after a decade in House’s company – but he could not deny his own feelings.

Though the pranks they had played on each other whilst living together had been rather awful, they were also awfully funny. Wilson had obviously annoyed House to no end with his hair dryer and his ‘girlish ways’, but Wilson had been unable to do anything other than enjoy the other man’s presence, even as he plotted his revenge.

But House obviously did not want him there – although there had been some mixed signals, when House erased the call back about the apartment Wilson had wanted from the answering machine – so Wilson had left with a heavy heart. Funny – it had been harder to leave House after living with him for a week, than it had to leave his wife after two years of marriage.

The hotel room felt cold and Wilson walked to his suitcase to get his old McGill sweatshirt. Worn and old, Wilson still liked wearing it, because it reminded him of the first time he ever met House. He had been a first year med student, House had been a resident. Wilson had been wearing his favorite sweatshirt, and he had seen the man with the clear blue eyes long before House had noticed Wilson. The eyes had held less pain then, but he had been just as big an ass. Wilson had fallen immediately, though he had failed to realized it until recently. Then again, the fact that they were still friends, years later, should attest to something – House was not an easy person to be friends with.

The sweatshirt was not where it was supposed to be, and after rummaging through the contents of the suitcase for a minute or two, Wilson realized that he must have forgotten it at House’s.

He did not really mind – and excuse to go over to House’s was always nice, especially when the hotel room smelled of antiseptics and fake citrus.

“Can’t stay away from me?” House quipped when Wilson rang the doorbell and the former opened. “Is it the ruggedly handsome look that gets to you?”

“Yes, you’re irresistible,” Wilson said with a roll of his eyes, a smile ghosting over his lips, hiding any truth to the statement beneath layers of sarcasm. “I forgot my sweatshirt.”

“And it’s all cold and lonely in that hotel room of yours?” House teased.

“Cold, anyway,” said Wilson, unwilling to admit just how lonely it was, especially when he had gotten used to House’s constant company. “It should be on your hanger – I think I had it on the other night.”

They had watched some movie and had some beer, and Wilson remembered the nice feeling of sitting next to House, even though he had sat on a pillow because he really did not want to be sitting on that spot on the couch.

The sweatshirt did not hang in its place on the hanger.

“I was sure it’d be here,” he frowned.

“Yeah, well, it’s not. You’ve probably left it at some girl’s apartment.”

Wilson gave him a look. “I don’t have a girlfriend.”

“No? I’m sure there’s a needy nurse around somewhere to change that,” House said. “Li’l curvy thing up in ped’s?”

“No thanks,” Wilson said.

He started looking around the apartment, certain he had left the sweatshirt at House’s. He very rarely wore the sweatshirt to work – it was far below the professional look he strived for there – and seeing how his rather depressing life only included Princeton-Plainsborogh [], his hotel room and House’s apartment, and he had already excluded or searched the former, it left where he was at now.

House followed him around with commentary.

Under the TV? Really, I don’t want to know why it’d be there,” House said.

“It’s your apartment,” Wilson said, “and you always treat my stuff so well.”

“Your crap, you mean,” House said. “And what’s this shirt we – you – are looking for anyway? That lumpy ol’ gray thing?”

“My McGill sweatshirt, yes,” Wilson said patiently. “And it’s not lumpy.”


Wilson shook his head. “Can’t you make yourself useful?”

“Does that sound like me?”

“I suppose not.”

Wilson sighed, wondering what on earth he saw in the man. But then he glanced at House, and saw the twinkling oh-so-blue eyes and flash of a smile, and he felt his heart melt like ice cream in the sun.

After searching the living room and the kitchen, and a quick look into the bathroom, all coming up with zilch, Wilson pushed at the door to House’s bedroom – only to be met by an arm, stopping him from going inside.

“Private sphere,” House said.

Wilson’s eyebrows rose. “So you get to have those, but no one else?”


“I’m just going to look for my sweatshirt. I promise I won’t try to peek into your diary,” Wilson said, rolling his eyes.

“As though I’d ever have something so girly,” House said. “That’s the kind of thing you’d do.”

“Haven’t, for many years,” Wilson said, smiling. “It’s easier just to tell you – that way we don’t have to go through the extra steps of my writing and you reading.”

“So you tell me everything,” House said.


Definitely not.

“Lying to ourselves, are we?” House asked. “What’s not to admit? That you cry after sex? Prefer romantic comedies over sport? Feel like putting on girlie underwear?”

“All of the above, of course,” Wilson said sarcastically. “Now, let me into your bedroom.”


“It’s not like I haven’t been in there before,” Wilson sighed.

He had, although not more than a handful of times. He did not like being in there – looking at the bed, sometimes with a half-dressed House in it, when he had been forced to come drag House out of bed to the hospital, made his imagination run far too wild. House had a fine body for a crippled man in his fifties, and the mere thought of it made Wilson’s body tingle.

“I said no,” House said petulantly.

Wilson shook his head and pushed past him.

The bedroom was as he remembered it – dark like the rest of the apartment, with a huge bed that he had never seen made. The shades were half drawn, letting very little light into the room, instead giving it a dark glow. There was a shirt on the floor, haphazardly thrown away, probably as House had been getting ready for bed some night. The sheets on said bed were in a rumpled mess and there was a gray—

“What’s my sweatshirt doing in your bed?”

Wilson turned to stare at House, who looked rather sour, yet somehow vulnerable at the same time. His eyes shifted from the bed to Wilson.

“I have no idea,” House muttered.

Wilson stood rooted to the floor, looking back and forth between the sweatshirt, lying in a little grey heap on the bed, and House, who was looking anywhere but at him.


He took a careful step towards House, slowly as though nearing a dangerous animal. House was not dangerous physically, but he could lash out with his tongue and cut Wilson’s heart out and rip it to pieces in seconds.

They stood a foot or two away from each other.

“The maid must’ve put it there,” House muttered.

“I’m sure she’d do such a thing; it makes perfect sense,” Wilson said, and then immediately continued, “You—slept with my sweatshirt?”

He had a hard time even saying the words, so filled with hope of something that he could not – would not – define. And if he had trouble wording his feelings, it was no surprise that House had an even harder time. House had never been particularly in touch with his own feelings, even less so to the point of talking about them, and now he refused to look at Wilson.

“Do you miss me?”

“How can I miss you,” House muttered, “you’re standing right here.”

“I moved out,” Wilson said.

“Really? Hadn’t noticed.”

House glared at everything but at Wilson. Wilson’s heart beat quickly, his mind alight with hope. Could it be that he was not the only one with feelings? Could House have some of the same, no matter how deeply buried? Had he slept with Wilson’s sweatshirt, because he missed having Wilson around? Could it be?

Aware that he might be doing the stupidest thing in his entire life, and knowing that he was putting his most valued friendship on the line, Wilson reached up and in and pressed a kiss against House’s lips.

They stayed like that, frozen in time, Wilson leaning forward but not quite touching House anywhere but by lips, and House, not responding but not pulling away, until something melted in them both, and Wilson felt House’s hesitant kiss back. He smelled of brandy and soap and musk, and his lips were a bit dry but heavenly all the same. Wilson had never kissed another man before – he had had dozens of girlfriends and several wives, but never found men interesting, not before Gregory House. And never had a kiss with any girl or woman or wife ever felt so right, so much like coming home.

House’s arms snaked around him and Wilson wrapped his arms around House’s waist. They did not stop kissing – it felt too good to stop. They had waited far too long, years and years and now when they were finally here, neither wanted to let go. Wilson would be quite content to stay in House’s arms forever, warm lips against his own, tongues battling, his whole body on fire.

When they did part, they were both panting and Wilson’s heart still beat hard against his chest.

He smiled at House, who still wore a rather shocked expression, even after kissing Wilson for several minutes. On some level, Wilson was quite proud of himself – he had managed to shut Gregory House up – but mostly, he was ridiculously happy.

“I think you did notice that I moved out,” Wilson said with a smile.


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