Title: Who Are You, When You're At Home? (Conclusion)
Even though Greg House had his eyes closed, he could feel the presence of James Wilson. Perhaps it was the aroma of the handsome man - - an aroma that House had smelled many times before, through sweat, through semen, and through ecstasy, but why was the man here, now? Wilson had stormed out . . . minutes, hours . . . before - - why was he here now?
"Open your eyes, House. I know you're conscious."
Carefully, one of House's blue eyes opened, looking into his friend's face and promptly received a cool washcloth in the face. House attempted to sit up but dizziness forced him to lie down again. "Thanks for the wake up. What are you doing here?"
"Yeah, well, I've been asking myself that question. Found you lying on the floor, unconscious. From the smell of your bathroom, I would say that you've lost most of the Vicodin that you ever took."
House looked at the younger man silently then asked again, "Why are you here? And even more important, why aren't I in pain, am I dead?"
A strange looked entered the brown eyes, "No, you're not dead; I gave you a mild painkiller to keep you going since you lost the Vicodin. Holding up his medical bag, Wilson continued, "Just another friendly visit from your family doctor."
House attempted to smile, but his mind and body were badly depleted by the recent events in the bathroom. His stomach hurt from the constant heaving; even his throat hurt from the violent actions. All he could find in himself was, "Thanks, I think."
Wilson looked at him for a moment then nodded. "Well, now that you're alive again, I'll be going. You think you can clean up after yourself?"
House raised his super enlarged head too quickly and regretted it. He whispered, "Jamie, don't."
Wilson whirled around to face the seated House, his face full of anger and pain, "I told you to never call me that again."
"Sorry. I'm just not thinking too well right now. After all for more than eight years that's what I called you."
Wilson's lips hardened, "Yeah, well that all stopped the day you ended it, so don't do it again. How much do you think I can stand? Picking you up off the floor, undressing you, and cleaning you up was quite enough for one day; I don't need any more."
Those words rang a bell in House's dull mind. He finally noticed that he was lying on the bed, without any clothes on and only parts of his body covered.
House ran his left hand over his face, "Sorry, guess that was a really dumb move, huh?"
Wilson wasn't sure which dumb move House was referring to so he kept quiet.
Suddenly a towel hit House in the face. Opening his blue eyes slowly, he looked at James Wilson, his one-time lover and the man who had meant everything . . . and still did . . . to him. "You tryin' to tell me something?"
"Yeah, you stink. Clean yourself up. I'll clean up the bathroom, and then I gotta get going."
A deep sadness entered the troubled blue eyes. In a voice barely above a whisper, House said, "Well, it can't be wifey expecting you, so I suppose it's my company that disturbs you."
A flicker of anger entered the dark eyes then the look was shuttered and barriers were thrown up. "Look, House. I admit I made a mistake marrying on . . . the rebound." House's raised eyebrows stopped Wilson for a moment then he continued, "All right . . . all right . . . I made mistakes with all my marriages, but what did you leave me . . . I . . . wanted a career too and some . . . normalcy in my life." Wilson stopped giving his friend a frozen look then he mumbled something that sounded very much like, "And I didn't get it."
Wilson's eyes dropped to the floor, his shoulders slouching. He raised his head finally, rubbing his face. "God, I am so tired. I would like to go to sleep and not wake up for a thousand years."
House pushed himself up on his elbows, using sheer willpower to hold back the dizziness and nausea he still felt. A deep feeling of pain swept through his body which had nothing to do with dead muscles or an infarction - - no, this was a pain of his own making - - and the aftermath of that pain was standing in front of him, suffering as well.
"Jamie, I'm sorry; I was wrong." Relieved that Wilson did not lash out at him again for his use of the beloved name, he continued. "All those years we were together were the happiest I've ever known. Waking up in your arms or next to you filled my days and nights; I wanted so badly for it to continue, but interests just didn't coincide. We knew that it would happen as soon as you became interested in Oncology and me in Diagnostics. Maybe we should have ended it earlier, but . . ."
Wilson's face turned hard; his voice cold as icicles, "Excuse me, Dr. House, but we didn't choose to end it; YOU DID, and then you made me the fall guy because I went my separate way and . . . tried . . . tried to make a separate life."
Anger flared momentarily in the blue eyes, his scruffy face mirrored the pain in Wilson's eyes. Without stopping to think, typical House bluntness caused him to voice his thoughts. "Yeah, then why are you here in New Jersey now? Following me to New Jersey sure guaranteed your separate life, didn't it?"
Wilson's face turned red as if embarrassed, but rapidly changed to fury. Shaking his head in bewilderment, Wilson's next words froze House to the core. "Damn you, you bastard! How typical of your ego to assume that I couldn't stand to be away from you, so I followed you. I was offered Jamieson's position when he retired, because I am a damned good doctor and my reputation is every bit as good as yours, except in your eyes, of course."
House dropped his blue eyes to the bed cover. The fury on Wilson's face and the silence in the room seemed to magnify House's whispered, "I know."
"Yeah, well, you sure as hell don't act like it. I loved you so much; it wasn't just sex for me, but you had your career, and being with me might have loused that up. You never even asked me what I thought or what was I willing to do; you made the decision for both of us because 'it was for the best.'" Wilson's spot-on imitation of House's voice replicated House's sanctimonious statement that had been thrown out years before. Wilson took a deep breath and then continued, "Well, I'm proud of what I do at Princeton-Plainsboro, and I won't apologize for taking the position, although God knows it might have been easier, if I hadn't."
Wilson turned as if to leave the bedroom, but stopped when he heard, "Don't go . . . please."
Wilson continued to stand with his back towards the bed; his left hand clenched in a fist; the right holding so tightly onto the handle of his doctor's bag that his knuckles were white. House tried to get to his feet but discovered that his cane was no where around. "Jay, I want to talk, please."
Wilson raised his head, but refused to turn, "Will you stop calling me that?"
"I . . . I thought that's what we agreed on; you won't let me call you Jamie anymore."
"Wilson . . . just call me Wilson; you call everybody by their last name - - why not me?"
"Because . . . because you mean so much more to me than anyone else. I . . . can't just treat you like another colleague . . . I can't."
Now whirled around in a obvious fury, "Why can't you; that's what you made me that day in June almost 20 years ago." Wilson flung back his head, looking towards the ceiling, "God what a fool I was. You really had the silver tongue back then, didn't you? We both could have gotten jobs as strippers as fast as we undressed each other."
House's face looked haunted as he remembered their exquisite moments together. The images played through his mind as he felt again the happiness of that time. "Yeah, we stripped fast but loved slowly."
"Loved . . . loved . . . come off it; you never once said that you loved me. It was great sex to you and that was all; that's why you knew what was best for you, at the end." Wilson's voice broke at that moment; he was totally overwhelmed by the emotions that ran rampant through his body.
House carefully stepped towards his friend. Without a cane, he felt wobbly and fragile, but he was determined to make his friend listen. Invading Wilson's space, House breathed a sigh of relief that the younger man did not step out of his range.
House reached out with both arms and gently circled the man's waist with a loving embrace. House's lips moved close to Wilson's right ear. "Jamie, I loved you so much; I almost died when you left. I still love you and always will. I was wrong. You should have punched me in the nose and kept me in bed until I recovered my senses."
Wilson cleared his throat, saying nothing, refusing to look at House. After a moment, he felt a gentle kiss on the edge of his ear and then House's scruff from his beard rub against his cheek. Confusion fought with contentment over the feelings that House was arousing in him. Wilson would have sworn that his more intimate feelings for House had all been burned away in the fires of separation and abandonment, but then he had to admit the truth to himself.
In a voice filled with emotion, Wilson whispered, "I was working out in California when I got word about your infarction. All the way across the country, I kept thinking that if you were still alive when I got there, I would tell you how I felt about you, but you . . . were in such pain . . . you could hardly speak. I just wanted to take you in my arms and hold you, instead I just sat by your side."
House laid his head on the strong shoulder. "I don't remember much about that time. My life seemed to be filled with such pain, but having you there helped me to hold on. When you left, I couldn't tell the difference between the pain in my heart and my leg. I want us to be together . . . in whatever way, you can agree to. If its friendship only that's okay, but I need you even more now than I needed you twenty years ago. I pushed you away then; I can't do it again."
House stood back to look into his friend's eyes. Affection loomed in Wilson's eyes but there was still a hesitancy, "Greg, we need to get it right this time. When I thought I was going to lose you, I decided that I needed you in my life so it was easy to decide to come to Princeton-Plainsboro, but now with Vogler and . . . Cuddy; I just don't know. We've both done things in our past we're not bragging about, but we need to take this slow and be honest with each other."
House felt his body giving out on him after the emotional and physical roller coaster he had been on. He nodded in agreement at Wilson's words. "Right, I . . . need to sit down; I need you beside me. You got plans for the rest of today?"
"Well, I think Cuddy was slightly suspicious when I called you in sick, and I told her that I might be coming down with the same thing, but the bottom line is . . . no, I don't have anything planned."
House smiled his first smile, in a very long time. His blue eyes twinkled with the affection that he reserved for one person only - - the man, standing in front of him.
"Good, then let's say that as of now, Dr. Wilson; you are unavailable for consultation."
Wilson smiled shyly then rapidly removed his clothes. The two men got into House's full-sized bed together with House propped up against Wilson's chest. Wilson became to nibble and nuzzle the alluring neck and ear region of his friend, sometimes murmuring gentle words into the available ear.
A soft purring sound soon emanated from Greg House. Drawing Wilson's two arms around his waist and pulling them tight, House smiled and whispered, "You do have a really great bedside manner, Dr. Wilson."
Wilson smiled although that was unseen by House, but he heard the words that were so full of meaning, "Have to, don't I; can't let everybody at the hospital think that you're what all doctors are like."
With that, Dr. James Wilson sealed Dr. Gregory House's lips with a kiss, to forestall any sarcastic retorts.