A/N: Another random drabble. No slash intended.
Listen to "Tango de Roxanne" from Moulin Rouge, if you have it. Maybe even "Bolero."
Everything's a tango with them.
Wilson is the one who wears all his emotion in his movements. He's the grace and the beauty and the tear-jerker. He's the one who suffers and dances at the same time. His eyes are hot with whatever their dance is about in that moment, and his whole body is contorted with his own humanity, writhing with the damnation that a pure heart dooms him to. It's both breath-taking and horrific to watch – the way his muscles contract with responsibility, the way he stretches to be loved, the way he turns away from himself just to trust someone else. He's the dancer in black.
House, however, wears white. He's the stoic one, the one who seems to be in control, the one who holds all the power. He can make Wilson suffer, if he wants to. He can have his way with the oncologist, and Wilson will follow him no matter what – until the dance is over. He can push, pull, shove, spin his best friend until he feels Wilson's body radiating the ache. House never tells his audience anything through his face, except that it's only over when he decides. His eyes are cold – but anyone can tell that Wilson sees something in them that no one else can see. And House wants him to see – because he knows it's painful for Wilson to look at. Truth often is. And that's what House is all about. He finished lying years ago.
Sometimes, it's loving. Wilson will tell House he cares without actually saying it. House will accept his love with equal silence. Their eyes will flutter around each other, meet and glow, and love passes through. And they can feel it. Most of the time, when it comes to love, Wilson is the one who leads, but House doesn't need to be guided because he doesn't know how to lead. He just figures Wilson is a hell of a lot better at it. It can be simple – like Wilson answering House's phone without a second thought or spending Christmas together with no regard for the oncologist's wife. It can be complicated – like the mystery of Wilson's loyalty after so many years of House's bastard personality or why it's so easy to give without receiving much in return. It's Wilson's legs mirroring House's when they walk. It's House confiding in Wilson like a Catholic going to confession. House doesn't want to think about Wilson being the closest thing he has to a religion, but it's been in the back of his mind for a while. And Wilson – Wilson loves House more than he loves God. And he doesn't even think he's sorry for it.
Sometimes, it's angry. Their passion alone makes it a dance – the rage, the frustration, the blood thirst. Wilson wants revenge or victory, and House is too stubborn and too proud to go down passively, if he does at all. They scream about the Vicodin and the nosiness and the attitude and the relentless loyalty. They glare at each other and sometimes they slam things on desks and other times they just stalk off. It's not surrender; it's a taunt. Silence provokes both of them. Neither likes to be ignored, and neither likes to be wrong, especially about the other. Sometimes Wilson is so angry, he wants to steal House's cane, beat the shit out of him, and throw every Vicodin bottle in the hospital out the window – right in front of him. Sometimes, House is so annoyed, he wants to tell Wilson to fuck himself, wants to tell him he hates him, wants to cause him enough pain to finally prove that even Wilson will walk out on him. When they fight, it's a bright red struggle for victory and dominance – so much like a good tango, no one can ever take their eyes away.
Most of the time, it's a game. House will throw out more sarcastic remarks than his friend, but Wilson has enough of his own to balance the situation. House never means what he says to Wilson, unless it's about someone or something else. Wilson barely makes any personal comments about House; teasing is more his style. Other times, the oncologist has to play babysitter. House screws up, Wilson tells him to apologize or to acknowledge the mistake. House's role is Wilson's reality, the one person who won't bullshit the infamously kind oncologist, the one who makes him feel needed the most. And House knows its Wilson's secret high – the feeling of being needed. They're both drug addicts – but like love, House knows drugs come in many different forms.
They're both addicted to the dance itself, too. They need each other to live, to function properly. They're each the one thing that makes the other experience something close to happiness, even if it's artificial. The struggle reassures them both that they're worth something, that they're capable, that they've got some control.
But one of these days, realization will come like the musical climax – the apocalypse – the fact that the only thing they have control over is this dance. They'll have to realize that someone has to lead and someone has to follow; someone has to win and the other lose. And once it's over – what reason will they have to stay? What will keep their friendship alive?
House isn't entirely sure. He just knows that when he listens to some nameless tango on his iPod, he thinks of Wilson – and he smirks when the oncologist appears in his office doorway.
"Ready to go?"