A/N: Okay, this is it! Thank you all for taking this journey with me. I enjoyed it so much. And thanks to those who have taken the time to review. It's an amazing feeling to know that you're enjoying the story. And constructive criticism is always welcome. Some of you have really helped me to improve my writing skills by pointing out issues that I hadn't been aware of.
I always find endings very difficult to write so I hope I don't disappoint anyone.
Slash warning ahead. Please note: This chapter is rated M! Thank you, nanashi-reikon, for reminding me.
Wilson followed House into his apartment and promptly dropped down onto the couch. The older man carried his duffle bag into his bedroom, emerging a few minutes later to find his friend sprawled across the cushions.
"Make yourself at home."
"That's kind of you."
House limped over to his chair and slowly sank into it, resting his cane against the side. They sat silently for several minutes, Wilson contemplating the ceiling, House watching him contemplate the ceiling.
"Anything you want to do?'
Wilson squinted his eyes in thought. "Yeah. I'm starving."
The other man's eyes opened wide. "I'm shocked and delighted. But mostly delighted." He leaned forward. "What would you like?"
"Anything as long is you don't cook it."
House smirked. "I'll order something in, but no Italian. I don't want to wake up in the middle of the night to the melodic sounds of you puking up meatballs and tomato sauce."
"What, you don't like that?"
House smiled as he picked up the phone and pressed speed dial for his favorite Chinese restaurant. He ordered steamed dumplings, wonton soup and chicken with rice. He hung up the phone to find Wilson staring at him clearly annoyed.
"You may as well have ordered baby food. What's wrong with spare ribs? Or an egg roll….or fried rice?"
House winced. "Again, the sound of you spewing dim sum is not a good thing. It interferes with my beauty sleep."
The younger man scratched his chin. "I guess I'm not ready for the hard stuff anyway. Steamed rice is probably all I could handle."
"Well, since I ordered this meal for your benefit, you can pay for it."
"Again, kind of you."
The other man smiled. "I always think of my friends first."
Wilson raised an eyebrow. "Your friends?
"Are you insinuating that I don't have any friends?"
"No, I'm not insinuating anything. You don't have any friends."
"What about you?"
Wilson stood to get his wallet. "You can't include me….I'm grandfathered in," he said as he walked into the spare bedroom returning a few minutes later. He placed his wallet on the coffee table and sank down into the couch all the while staring at a small item he was holding in his hand.
House squinted as he peered at the object. "What is that?"
"Don't know," the younger man said, shrugging. "I found it in my pants pocket."
House leaned forward to get a better look and noted that it was Wilson's partially melted good luck coin. He leaned back in his chair. "Looks like the coin I gave you before your ABIM exam."
"Right…that's what it is." He looked perplexed. "I wonder what happened to it."
House didn't reply. If Wilson were to remember what had occurred the day of the carjacking, he wanted him to do it on his own. The young oncologist dismissed the coin, placing it on the coffee table. A few minutes later the delivery boy rang the doorbell.
After dinner the two friends sat in front of the television watching a Twilight Zone marathon. Wilson was enjoying the evening, feeling better than he had in a while. House mocked the actors as he usually did, making fun of their acting abilities or their dated hairstyles and clothing.
At one point in the evening, he glanced over to find Wilson staring at the coin on the coffee table, a frown on his face, his eyes squinting. After a moment, he shrugged his shoulders and turned his attention back to the TV screen.
House switched off the television. "What say we call it a night?
Wilson stood. "I'm exhausted. Too much activity my first day out." The older doctor watched his friend stretch out his back, yawning. He looked at House. "Where are we sleeping tonight?"
"What are my choices?"
Wilson cocked his head in thought. "Well, you have two. Your room or mine."
"I'll go with mine," House said. "Home bed advantage."
"I just need to get some things out of my room," Wilson said, as he turned towards the spare bedroom.
"Make it snappy."
"Yes, dear," the younger man said as he disappeared into the bedroom.
Wilson slid into bed next to House, turning over on his side and leaning on his elbow to face his friend. "Are you sleepy?" he asked.
"So am I."
House shifted his eyes from the ceiling to his friend. "So why are we talking?"
Wilson leaned down and lightly touched his lips to the other man's. Briefly hesitating House returned the kiss, slipping his tongue into his friend's mouth, tasting him. There was silence in the room, save for the sound of steady breathing that slowly escalated to quiet moans.
The kiss grew more passionate as the younger man shifted his weight partially onto his friend, careful not to impinge on his right leg. They were both wearing sweatpants, but the mere act of their bodies touching inflamed the need they had for each other. Slowly rocking their hips, they moved in sync, House wrapping his arm around Wilson's back and gripping his hip, gradually giving in to his desire for the other man.
He stopped moving, cursing himself.
"Hmmph….? Wilson reacted, his mouth still pressed against his friend's.
House turned his head to the side and whispered into Wilson's ear. "We can't."
The young doctor didn't move for several seconds, groaning as he rolled off his friend.
There was silence in the room for a few moments.
"You're concerned for my welfare," Wilson said, sighing as he rubbed his face with his hand.
"Well, I'm certainly not thinking of myself."
House sighed. "I'm not taking any chances with you. I've already made too many mistakes at your expense."
Wilson leaned onto his elbow to look down at his friend, their eyes locking in the dark room. Staring at each other for several seconds, the young oncologist finally flopped onto his back defeated.
He sighed deeply. "Okay, we'll do it your way. But this wipes out any payback you get from me. In fact, you owe me…and I expect reparation. With interest."
The older man smiled as he stared up at the ceiling. "That you can count on."
It didn't take long for both men to drift off to sleep.
House groggily rolled onto his stomach, reaching his hand out to touch his friend on the other side of the bed. Except instead of feeling Wilson, he felt his pillow. With his eyes closed, he groped around with his hand attempting to land on a body part belonging to the other man. Without any luck, he opened one eye to see that Wilson wasn't there. His first reaction was to panic, fearing that his friend was sick in the bathroom. He turned over and sat up, noticing some light coming from the living room.
Wincing slightly, he sat up as he brought his legs to the side of the bed. Quickly downing a Vicodin, he leaned into his cane to stand and limped out of the bedroom to see where Wilson was.
He found him sitting on the living room couch, one table lamp casting a muted golden glow over the entire room. Wilson looked up as he approached and watched as he sank down into the cushions next to him.
The younger man sighed lightly. "I'm fine. Couldn't sleep."
"I thought you were exhausted."
"I was. I am. But this was bothering me."
"What?" House asked, sitting up.
Wilson held up the partially melted good luck coin. "This," he said as he handed it to his friend, staring into his eyes.
House remained silent as he looked at the coin. The other man leaned over and put his arms around him, pulling him close. Returning the hug, House lightly kissed him on the forehead.
"You remember, don't you?"
Wilson pulled back. "You locked yourself in my office."
"Made me feel closer to you."
The young oncologist shook his head. "Why didn't you tell me?"
"If you had insisted, I would've told you. But there really was no reason to relive that kind of pain."
House shook his head. "No reason to be sorry. You're sitting here next to me….makes talking about it a lot easier."
"We don't have to talk about it."
The other man looked into his best friend's eyes. "Good."
They both rested their heads on the back of the couch. After several minutes of silence, House rolled his head towards his friend.
"Let's go back to bed."