He had walked into his office ready for a fight. His emotional wall was toughened and callused from these many disputes, and he clenched his jaw and his heart as he pushed open the door.

He was not ready to see his friend asleep in his chair, his head resting on Wilson's desk.

It was foolish, really, to be so surprised. House had been awake for several days now; enduring terrible withdrawals coupled heart-wrenching pain. He had finally succumbed to exhaustion, and Wilson only hoped he didn't succumb to life.

He wandered over to his desk; it was neat and organized and surprisingly empty, as most the patient files that found their way into his office did not stay for long. Wilson reached out to a man who would never reach back, brushing his fingers over the crinkled skin on his forehead. He wasn't nervous, House was a deep sleeper.

His lap coat rustled as the Oncologist leaned over the invader's body, sliding his fingers down his neck and twisting them in the soft hairs. He closed his eyes.

His mother would be so ashamed.

But what was so wrong about this? How could the fact that Wilson had found a bond that wouldn't ever fade away make anybody so angry? What kind of world is this, anyways, where love creates hate?

House smacked his lips in his sleep, and smiled lightly, and Wilson smiled himself. He loved to watch him sleep, he was so peaceful.

Wilson let his hand continue on its journey, this time roaming to the base of House's skull and up into his thinning hair, trying to imagine what House will look like bald and biting back a laugh. He stretched his fingers outwards until they sloped down onto his face, over the bulge of his flittering eyes, the arch of his nose and the dip of his upper lip and then its lower counterpart, finally coming to rest on his stubbly chin.

He felt his own face too, how much smoother the flesh was, how his nose was flatter and his lips fuller and his chin smaller and his cheekbones lower; and yet, basically the same.

Before reason prohibited him, Wilson leaned over and pressed his lips to his friend's, noticing how much warmer and wetter they were than his wife's.

He surprised himself in that it wasn't a kiss of passion or lust or heat or need; but one of a friendship cemented by triumphs and sorry losses so that it withstood all conceivable ills, a kiss that promised a soaring future and celebrated an expansive past, a kiss that didn't say, "I want you", but rather "I have you".

Wilson didn't know this kind of thing existed. He had no awareness that there was in nature a kind of falling in love that didn't involve spontaneous sex or long, passionate kisses, or lots of cuddles and hugs and staring deep into each other's eyes. He never knew you could be in love with someone, passionately in love, but still know that there was no mystery or fear or possibility it won't work out, a love that was fiery and wondrous but secure and unflappable.

He found it painfully ironic that it was the only kind of love that wasn't allowed.

He paused for a moment, and considered waking him.

No, he thought, no, this wasn't right. It never would be, not in his lifetime at least.

It was the wrong kind of love.


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