THE YOUNG MAN'S HEART

The cold night had embraced him quickly, the darkness surrounding every bit of his body. It shattered all warmth for him and caused the blankets to be of no use. The body that had been pressed up against him, providing the heat of another human, something he couldn't do on his own now, was no longer near him. His bed companion had pulled away and settled close to the edge, finding comfort on his good leg. Although the young man could easily reach out and touch him, pull himself close against him if he wanted to, James Wilson couldn't find the strength to do so. He longer had the strength to care, either.

Wilson turned his head to the side and rested his glare on the digital clock placed upon the nightstand. The red numbers beat into his brown, sensitive eyes, forcing him to find no sleep at three in the morning. This wasn't the first time Wilson stared blankly into the dark, sleepless, while his lover snored gently beside him. But there was something different about this time; there was no blank stare, or sitting on the edge shivering in his nakedness as he cursed himself for what he let things come to be. Instead, Wilson lay on his back, covers pulled up to his chest, and as the tears started pouring and his breath became short, thoughts flooded the young man's mind.

He couldn't stop them; they were tearing him up. It was pain, pleasure, hurt, love, and everything mixed with guiltiness and deceit. A pit formed in the bottom of his stomach and he suddenly felt sick. When did things get so complicated? After the second divorce he should have known better, and let everything suck him in until he was ready to start over, maybe from the beginning with a new job, in a new state, with a completely new life. But he didn't know better, and so he married again, only to get his heart broken a third time. None of his wives seemed to accept him and his love, when only they lusted after his looks and money in return. They days have been so hard on him, so hard on his heart, and yet…

Wilson looked at the sleeping man near him, his figure outlined by what little light could find its way into the room. After all those years, he was the only human being who truly understood him. No woman made Wilson feel the way Greg House made him feel; they couldn't compare. It was his friendship, love, care, and faith in him that made the young man's heart beat fast with joy. Everything House provided, Wilson wanted, craved, desperately needed to have. And now, with things so intimate between them, the brunette wondered what exactly the older doctor felt for him. Wilson loved House; he wanted to give his heart to him, it was where it belonged, but what if House wasn't so sure?

The mere thought of House not loving him turned his stomach even more. Wilson could feel everything coming up, and after pushing the blankets aside he ran for the bathroom. Tears were still on his face as he poured his guts into the toilet, hands gripping the sides as if he were hanging on for his dear life. Once he was done, he wiped his mouth with a handful of toilet paper, tossed it in the toilet and flushed the damn thing. He then pushed himself away and curled up on the floor, hugging himself against the cold tile. He tears fells so rapidly, but he sobbed quietly, afraid he already made too much noise.

His thoughts traveled back in and reality struck him hard. The divorce was now a sure thing; Julie was calling the lawyer on Monday. Another failed marriage, just more money he had to put out every month, and another lesson he has yet to learn. He would be the talk of the oncology department, and every nurse who was single or unhappy with her husband would be flirting with him, asking him out on dates until he would give in. But now…what if he finally said no? What if he did learn his lesson and realized he truly belonged with the man he has known since he was eighteen?

Footsteps stopped him from answering, and when he looked up he saw that perfect someone standing in the doorway. A concerned look was held on House's face, and now dressed in his boxers that had been eagerly pulled off hours before, he had Wilson's own pair draped over his left shoulder. His cane, held tightly in his hand, clicked softly against the tile as he limped into the bathroom.

House lowered himself slowly to the floor beside his lover and helped the young man into the shorts. No words had yet been exchanged, just glances and a look of surprise when House's warm hands touched Wilson's cold skin. The young doctor had stopped crying now, almost ashamed of being caught acting so vulnerable and pathetic. But all changed again when House placed his hand flat against his friend's chest, directly over the young man's heart.

"Just making sure it's still beating for me."

Wilson's eyes went wide, shiny now from fresh tears anticipating, and he couldn't find himself to speak.

"I know about the divorce; I overheard you talking to Julie about it yesterday. I know how much pain you are going through, all the confusion that's in your head, and I know how you feel about me. I know how complicated things must be, and how much harder they will get. But remember, I'm here for you, always have and always will, and well, I feel the same about you too."

Compliments, let alone endearments, never came from the man Wilson was starting at. So, when those words filled his ears he knew things were going to be okay after all, at least between him and House. Yet, when Wilson pulled his lover into his arms he didn't care about the other things anymore. His questions were answered, and in the end maybe he will get to start his life over again, minus the new job, plus the new, lasting love.

House eased himself up, grabbing his cane, and held a hand out for Wilson.

"Come on, let's go back to bed. I'm starting to get cold and you're already freezing. Wouldn't want you to die from hypothermia now that I finally got you."

Wilson managed a small smile as he grabbed the outstretched hand and stood up. He felt the warmth starting to come back into his body as House wrapped an arm around his waist, bringing him in an embrace so tight that it would be impossible for Wilson to escape. Not that he would want to anyway.

"House," Wilson breathed, as the two climbed into bed. "Thank you for being the one who actually cared."

House gave his friend a genuine smile and pulled the blankets up to cover them both. "It's hard not to care about the only person you have ever truly loved." He wrapped his arms around Wilson again and brought their lips to meet.

When the kissed ended, Wilson pulled back some and looked at the older man.

"How do I know for sure you won't break my heart?"

"I always swear up and down when you get involved with someone and if you're heart were broken I would end up killing the person. That hasn't really happened yet because murder isn't very legal." House smirked. "I'm not very found of suicide, either."

Wilson chuckled and snuggled up against House, placing his head against his chest. House left his arms wrapped comfortably around the young man, placing a kiss on his forehead before whispering goodnight.

"Good night, Greg," Wilson replied with a yawn. He closed his eyes, no longer the need to cry but only the need to get some sleep. But there was still one thing left on his mind…

"House?"

"Yeah?"

"Promise me everything will be better tomorrow?"

House wrapped his arms tighter around Wilson, reassuring him physically as well, and responding he felt sleep take him.

"I promise."

--END