Wilson looked in the mirror and straightened his tie. It was 7:00. All he had to do now was leave the hospital, but first he needed to stop by House's office. He regretted the fact that he wouldn't be laughing the night away over takeout at House's, but tonight was not about them; it was about him.
Wilson came to the door with his friend's full name engraved on it. House had his back to the door and was tossing a nerf ball in the air in a casual manner. Wilson always felt it was a little redundant to knock on House's glass door both because it was already obvious that someone was there and also because they were so close that Wilson could tell when it was a good time to walk in on House simply by glancing in.
Now seemed fine. Wilson pried open the door and walked in.
"You're seeing someone." House didn't even turn around. Wilson had walked into a trap.
"Oh, great House, the infallible detective, shine on a poor mortal your light of knowledge!" Wilson acted with mock grandeur.
House swiveled around, "Not until you ask properly without the false praise."
"How can you prove I'm seeing someone?"
"You got a haircut."
"You don't think I was due for one?"
"And you clipped your fingernails."
Wilson stared at his fingers with mock apprehension, "Oh dear. Perhaps I've got a neurological disorder. This is a drastic personality change, this increase in personal hygiene."
House was unamused, "You're blowing me off tonight."
"You usually drop in to see me directly after clinic duty, and then we stop by your office for your stuff. Then we leave the hospital and go to my place for dinner. You're stopping in now, after you've collected your stuff, to tell me that you're not coming home with me."
"Perhaps I have some serious homework tonight."
House looked disappointed in Wilson and frowned at him, "Your satchel would hang a bit heavier at your side. There's almost nothing in it."
"Maybe I just need a night to myself. We go to your place every Thursday. No harm in breaking the habit for once."
"You changed your clothes. That means you're going out," House growled, "and not with me."
Wilson stared guiltily at the floor. House had him pinned.
"Okay, I have a date."
House usually looked a bit smugger when Wilson gave in. "Why didn't you just say so?"
"To avoid the twenty questions about whom it is, do they work here, how unprofessional it is—"
"Who are they? Or should I say he?"
"He is a friend."
"He is not a friend."
Wilson was faced with a small dilemma here. He could lie, but House would most likely reason his way to the squirming truth. He could admit it, but then there would be many more questions and some very pressing ones about Wilson's sexuality.
So Wilson panicked and chose the coward's route: running out the door without giving an answer.
The date was awful. Wilson regretted blowing off House more and more as the night wore on and his date he had met through the internet spent the uncomfortable silence examining his teeth in the reflection of the bread knife. He was pretty, but that was about all Wilson liked about him. They ended the night early after Wilson's date had tried to kiss him in his drunken euphoria. Wilson just about ran out the door to the sanctuary of his car.
On the way home Wilson couldn't get his mind off House. How the hell was he going to explain himself after such a display?
The truth was that Wilson's marriages had been a series of failed attempts at hiding his sexuality. He married to try and prove he was straight, then began sneaking around with men. Sooner or later the wife caught him and divorced him. After the first marriage he'd learned his lesson about pre-nups. After this final and most recent divorce, Wilson had promised himself that his would be last time. It was time to embrace this fact that he liked men. This time there would be no call from his mother causing a panic attack and his next hasty, farce of a marriage to perfectly wonderful girl who didn't deserve to be hurt like that. They were all wonderful. That was the worst part. The last one, Julie, had found out about his closeted homosexuality a long time ago. She had actually taken it well, so well in fact that she was helping him come out. She was a world-renown psychiatrist, after all. Smart as a whip. Perhaps that was why Wilson married her. She was a lot like House. But that was the problem. She wasn't House.
Julie said that would be the real test of Wilson's "recovery" (that's what she called it): coming out to House. She said if he could do that, he could do anything.
Wilson thought he was ready to do it, too. The years of confusing crying fits that lasted throughout the night were over. He was strong. He was ready…until he saw House's face today.
He had panicked, which he had promised himself he wasn't going to do, but that was not how he'd wanted it to be. He had wanted to tell House before he'd been assaulted with his friend's unmerciful line of deduction. He didn't want to be forced to admit it like a naughty little boy caught playing with Barbies. He wanted to choose the moment. He wanted to remain calm and in control. Perhaps he could fight off the panic and the frustrated tears long enough to make his statement with dignity.
He parked his car in the driveway of his house and began the walk up to the front door. Julie and he had decided to sell the house and the "For Sale" sign flapped noisily in the breeze. But now what could Wilson do? He had been caught and the only thing he could do was admit to it before House reasoned his way to the obvious truth.
Wilson put his key in the lock, but found the door already open. Once in the house he called out into the darkness.
"No…" came the reply twenty feet to his left. Wilson jumped out of his socks.
"Jesus CHRIST, House. I nearly had an apoplexy."
House rose with the aid of his cane and approached Wilson with unnerving speed.
"Why were you sitting in my house in the dark?"
"You never answered my question."
Wilson's throat tightened, "I know. I'd rather not answer it. Besides, you already know, don't you?"
"I know," House stood very close, "that you and Julie have come to some sort of understanding. I know that you've had sex with the blond male orderly from radiology."
Wilson swallowed hard. He hadn't expected that.
"I also know that you can't take your eyes off me for longer than ten seconds."
House was closing in on Wilson and it made him much more apprehensive of this moment that he had ever imagined he would be. His eyes grew wide as House drew even closer.
"I know that right now," House was mere inches from Wilson now and he wrapped an arm around Wilson's waist, keeping him from backing away, "you are using all of your will power not to kiss me." It sounded like a challenge.
House's breath was hot on his face. It was a very tempting position, but Wilson closed his eyes to the temptation and held his ground. He didn't want to ruin his friendship with House despite House's forwardness. It was probably just House's way of bullying the truth out of him.
"On the contrary," Wilson replied with his eyes still shut tight, "I am perfectly capable of controlling myself." But behind his closed eyelids, Wilson was shaking to maintain that show of control.
Then there was a wet warmth on his lips, gentle brushing of facial hair on his chin and cheek, and hot air exhaling from a foreign nose.
Wilson opened his mouth to protest this sudden, though welcome invasion, but House took this as an invitation and his tongue was entangling itself with Wilson's. Any control Wilson had was whisked away from him as he reached up to grab House and pulled him deeper into the kiss. There was nothing else, just him, House, and this kiss. That was all Wilson wanted right then or forever because they seemed to be the same thing in that moment that stretched on and on and on.