Yes, i have fallen to the seasonal fic writing. I've tried to make it unfluffy though. I'm having serious block writing "California" at the moment, it won't be updated till after xmas now, but i wanted to write something and here it is! The conclusion will be written and posted within the next couple of days.

It was December 26th, and House had thoroughly had enough of Christmas. Well, he had had enough of Christmas by December 12th; about 15 minutes after stupid decorations began appearing around the hospital. He wasn't against Christmas as a general rule, but all too soon he found the relentless fake-cheer and carol singers started to grate on his nerves. And then, of course, there were all the stupid people coming to the clinic terrified they had brain tumours because they couldn't make the link between heavy drinking and hang-overs, or the frantic parents who had somehow allowed their two year old child to eat tinsel. Lame strips of shiny plastic hung from the ceiling, crossing from corner to corner in the clinic lobby, seasonal greetings from various religions were pasted on the walls. House was tempted to remove the merry Christmas signs, after all Christmas was over, but dismissed it as a predictable action. No one ever had any respect for the atheists. House wondered why there were no signs wishing nothing to all those who didn't give a damn. His wrist-watch proclaimed 18 minutes to go before his lunch break. Desperate to avoid the man who clearly had food-poisoning (if he wasn't making a dash for the bathroom it was only because he was vomiting on the floor), House headed for the elevator. It felt wrong to be able to leave the clinic without Cuddy chasing him. He twirled his cane between his fingers whilst leaning against the wall, waiting patiently and surveying with pleasure the scene he was, at least momentarily, escaping.

His sharp blue eyes met with velvety brown ones across the room. Wilson leapt backwards out of the path of a green man heading for the bathroom, then proceeded to the elevator. He leant against the wall on the other side of the shiny grey doors from House and nodded his head in greeting. Now he was closer, House could see his friend's eyes were weary and bloodshot, his hair mussed and tie green. He offered a quiet hello, but did not follow with further questioning. Instead, he brushed his fingers against Wilson's wrist in silent comfort as they both entered the elevator. He knew how to deal with Wilson when he was unhappy, but today he looked different. Something in his demeanour reminded House of a lost little boy in a department store; like he knew he had to do something, find someone, but was scared of moving from the spot on which he stood. They rode up in the elevator in silence, they walked to House's office in silence, and Wilson looked over House's shoulder in silence as he drew up a sign.

House nearly jumped out of his skin when Wilson laughed, having grown accustomed to the silent state of his friend. His laugh was warm, which was also a surprise after how he had appeared only a few minutes earlier. House turned his head and saw that he was already beginning to relax. Wilson read aloud, "All those who don't believe, have a realistic holiday period."

"What do you think?"

"I think I've had enough of reality. And I think I want lunch."

"Dr Wilson, you read my mind. Cafeteria food is so much better when looked at in a biblical sense – the self flagellation will cleanse my sins."

"It's not that bad." Wilson smiled weakly, but genuinely.

Conversation stopped again as they passed through the halls to the cafeteria and Wilson's brief reprieve from bleakness ended. House could almost see weights settling on his shoulders once more as they walked side by side. Curiosity was starting to overcome his respect for Wilson's feelings. Clearly he was upset, and he wouldn't be here if he didn't want to talk about it. House ran over the best question to ask first as they paid for their meals and found a table. He decided to start with casual to gauge just how far Wilson could be pushed.

"I thought you had today off."

"Helping the sick seemed like a good way to spend the holidays."

"Oh, you're being a martyr." House popped a fry into his mouth. "We should just nail you to the cross and call you Jesus."


"Enjoy yesterday?" House asked. Although Wilson was Jewish, he knew he still had Christmas with Julie.

"Not sure," said Wilson with a wry smile. "I can't decide if I like what Julie got me."

"Which was…?"

"Divorce papers."

"Classy. She couldn't wait for your birthday, or Valentines day?"

Wilson didn't answer. His eyes welled up, and suddenly House felt like shit.

"Is there anything I can do?" he asked softly.

"Could I stay with you? I spent last night at a motel and I just…"

"Of course," House played with the food on his plate absent-mindedly. "You said you weren't sure if you were pleased about it…why would you be?"

"That's a conversation I really need to leave until later."

House reached across the table and squeezed his friend's hand. He flashed a smile then stole another fry from Wilson's plate.