Title: My December

Disclaimer: Angst, language, slash. Character death(?)

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Chapter Eighteen: Breaking the Habit

Another day passed and House was officially released from the hospital, mainly because he refused to stay in his bed another day. He kept complaining about feeling useless. None of the nurses wanted to enter his room to check his stats because he said rude things to them. Wilson would stand in the corner and smile, happy that his old fiery friend was back in full swing. It amazed him how much he missed the snide remarks that came pouring forth from House's mouth. Even when House said a few rude things to him he smiled, brushing them off like fallen snow on a jacket. He was just happy to have House back. Though from the frowns and complaints, he was the only one.

Cuddy allowed him to be discharged, knowing full well that she couldn't stop him either way. She did put her foot down to keep him from coming back to work for another two days. She sent him on his way home, a bottle of Vicodin in his hand. Cameron muttered something about her giving in and the consequences they were all going face. Cuddy just shrugged it off. What could she do? The hospital needed House. He was the best they had. If he wanted to pop pills for a pain that he felt then she wasn't going to stand in his way anymore. The play had run its last course; she had seen all the acts. With the pills House was a functioning, life-saving doctor. Without them he quickly self-destructed. Next time a cop came waltzing in to tell her that House needed rehab she would kick them out on their ass, tell them to find another doctor. Trittor would hopefully count his lucky stars that he never needed to have House's help. Sure, House would help him, but the things he would do while trying to diagnose the situation. No one needed to grow through that hell.

And so, House found himself back at his apartment, bored out of his skull. At least he wasn't in pain anymore. His mind was clear, free of the fog that had clouded it for so many days. Now he could think about what mattered most; Wilson. Every day he said one rude thing after another to his only friend. How could he do that to someone who cared for him so much that he told off his own boss with no regard to his job? Cameron had filled him in on Wilson's little fit when she found him alone at one point. Wilson had stepped out to make a phone call to one of his patients, or so he said. To hear that he yelled at Cuddy, putting his job on the line to tell her how he really felt, to show her how wrong she was, filled House with something he had been feeling a lot of lately. Especially when it came to Wilson.

It was a feeling of warmth, of loving comfort. He always knew that the others cared about him, respected him as a good doctor, but he had never felt something quite like this, and he wanted to feel it for the rest of his life. He liked looking into Wilson's eyes knowing that there was more than friendship between them. For once in his life he wasn't standing alone. He had found someone willing to stand by his side. However, it was up to him to let Wilson know that it was okay, that it was what he wanted. That meant he would have to change, at least a small part of him. He would have to be nicer to Wilson, say kinder things, do kind gestures out of the goodness of his heart. He would never treat his team that way. They needed to the discipline; they needed to learn to think outside the box. And that's what he would teach them while Wilson taught him how to love again.

He looked at the clock on the wall above his TV. Wilson would be swinging by soon, his shift having ended. House stood, leaving his cane on the coffee table, and limped around the couch. He leaned back against it, watching the door. He wanted to Wilson as he walked through it, tired from a day's work. He wanted to watch the light go on in his eyes when they settled on him. He wanted to experience every angle, every aspect of love. Sometime later, he wasn't sure if it was twenty minutes or more or less, the doorknob turned. Wilson let himself in, stopping in his tracks as he saw House waiting for him.

All this time House had been trying to think of the best thing to say it had finally come to him. "I'm going to break the habit," he told Wilson, not even bothering to say hi or ask him how his day was.

Wilson settled his briefcase on the floor. "What habit? Don't tell me you nearly killed yourself to win a fight with Cuddy and now you're giving up your Vicodin."

House smiled. "No, hadn't even thought of that, but thanks for the idea. No, I've decided that I'm going to stop being rude to you. I have to be nicer if I want you to stay around, and that's what I really want. When I'm not at work you're all I think about. And even when I am at work you aren't far from my mind. Why do you think I always barge into your office without knocking? I want to be in your company, I want to see you smile, see you frown. I like watching the corners of your mouth turn down while the sparkle still glimmers in your eyes. I don't want to push you away," he finished up, his voice having gotten softer.

While he spoke Wilson stood quietly listening. In the last few days House had done a lot to surprise him. He wasn't sure he liked the new House, and he felt he should say so. "House, don't stop being you. Yes, it would be nice if you were a little nicer to me. However, I would hate myself if you stopped being so cold and cruel. I like watching you push everybody's buttons. And truth be told, you are the one who says things others can't, you say what needs to be said. Be just a little bit nicer to me, but don't give up who you are. I'm not going anywhere. Not for a long time."

Wilson closed the gap between them, embracing House much the way he had before. Only this time he was pleasantly surprised when he felt House's arms around his waist. He tilted his head up, brushing his lips gently against Houses, afraid that House would pull away. Instead House surprised him yet again, making the kiss more than just a peck. He pressed his lips against Wilson's, letting all the emotion flow through him. When they broke apart Wilson rested his forehead against House's chest as he tried to catch his breath. He hadn't been kissed like that in so long.

"Would I be rude if I asked you to my bedroom?" House asked after a moment.

Wilson smiled, though House couldn't see it. "No, that wouldn't be rude at all. That would be just fine with me."

Fin

Stay tuned for the upcoming sequel!