You're always there.

And I don't mean that in a sappy Christmas special wind beneath my wings you raise me up kind of way. You're always there. When I least need a lecture on morality and patient rights, you magically appear to make my day worse. Whenever I hate humanity, there you are to fabricate some example that they're not all bad. You're like a really annoying, really talkative shadow that never shuts up even when I'm clearly right.


But there aren't many people in this godforsaken world I call friend and when I say not many, I probably mean you. I never got it, why you stuck around after all the abuse I put you through. Sure, martyr complex, blah blah, but after a while even a true masochist is going to realize I'm a hopeless case and find someone else to preach at. Besides, you put me before yourself, which is the stupid thing any human being can do to another.

And I've finally figured out why.


It's the fourth time today and Dr. James Wilson was starting to get edgy. Uncomfortable, even. He was in House's office, telling House that Cuddy wanted to see him--or rather, trying to tell House that Cuddy wanted to see him, because every time he looked over at House, he got distracted by House's…smile.

It would have been one thing if it had happened once today. That would only have indicated House had made a sudden breakthrough. However, the case wasn't going anywhere, Cuddy was stonewalling House more than usual and he was still smiling.

Wilson was starting to get genuinely nervous, wondering if House had overdosed on vicodin. It didn't help that he was starting to notice these little smiling fits only happened when he was in the room.

"What, what is it?" He demanded, finally, his nerves pushed over the edge by that little smirk.

"What is what?" House swung his legs off the edge of the stool and stood up with the help of his cane.

"You're smiling." Wilson accused.

House touched his face with two fingers and gasped aloud. "Why, I can't believe it! You're right!"

Wilson glowered and crossed his arms tighter. "You don't smile."

House raised an eyebrow. "Shouldn't you be pleased? Maybe it means your efforts to turn me into a reasonable human being who laughs and smiles and frolics may actually be getting somewhere." He looked down at the cane. "Though frolicking may be out of the question."

"I know you better than that." Wilson said.

House's smile widened. "Haven't you ever wondered what it is about you that makes you take on completely hopeless cases? Cases you know you can't fix."

"You're the only one I have." Wilson said, a little unnerved by the glint in House's eyes. "Anyway, maybe I have a martyr complex."

House shook his head, his eyes uncannily focused "That's what I figured. But a martyr complex normally presents with symptoms of guilt. You're seemingly asymptomatic in that regard." He moved forward slowly. Wilson actually thought about taking a step back, but there was a wall in his way.

"I'm not a patient, House, you can't diagnose my emotional state." He complained and House laughed. It was a jarring sound.

"But I can. There's a perfect solution I should have seen years ago, that explains why you've actually remained my friend against all common sense and my own inability to in any way compensate you. Aside from your need to validate yourself as the better man."

Wilson let out an exaggerated sigh. "Only you would think people need a reason for friendship."

"Friendship to me. But yes, people don't just form friendships because they want to, it's all about what they need and what they want. And your reason is just as selfish as anyone else's, meaning it's a useful validation of my view of humanity. Call that a bonus prize."

"My reason?" Wilson said, aware suddenly that House was very close, looking him directly in the eye, and for no reason he could think of his adrenal gland had released stimulants to make his heart beat more rapidly and his blood pump faster through his veins.

"You like men. No, more specifically, man. You're sexually attracted to me and that, combined with your martyr complex and your guilt over your own desires and selfishness, is why you've stuck around despite everything I've done to you." And House smirked. His best 'I've made my diagnosis and I know I'm right' smirk.

"I like women. I am…was…married." Wilson said. He couldn't meet House's eyes at the moment, and he wet dry lips with the tip of his tongue.

"Ignoring that that is in no way a refutation of anything I just said, there is a simple test that can confirm or deny my diagnosis."

"What tes…"

And then House kissed him.

Full-on, open-mouthed, wet and hard, their lips fighting each other before finding the perfect place, nuzzling against each other's mouth. Wilson had never kissed a man. He had done other things that were probably considered more intimate, but this was a whole new release of endorphins. Every sensation was a new feast, the way House's stubble scraped against his face, the way House leaned a little closer to him, putting a little more of his weight on the kiss that was necessary, like it was helping him to stand. The heat and the taste and the fact that it hit some long, deep-seated desire and fanned it from a tiny pitiful flame to a fire.

House pulled back to look at his colleague, who was flushed and panting, his chest heaving, his eyes wide and slightly wet. He smiled. "Test confirmed it." He said, turning and limping away.

Wilson slid slowly down the wall, put his head in his hands. He was panting, still, trying to take in more oxygen than he needed. There were tears in his eyes, and he wiped them. He had to get up. People couldn't see doctors sitting on the floor sniffling like schoolgirls. What would they think? He had to get up.

Diagnosis. Test confirmed it.

Somehow that's all that was going through his mind. House had solved him, figured out the puzzle of what made Wilson's mind tick and now he would move on to other cases, other patients, other problems.

Which left Wilson as just another case solved by the brilliant Dr. House