Title: Opening Up
Author: Xander (Aeolian Angel)
Rating: PG
Pairing: Wilson/House
Categories: Fluff, Pre-Slash, Slash
Spoilers: "Half-wit"
Warnings: Weird notes. OOC-ness? Too tired to tell.
Summary: Will House take Wilson's advice to let someone in?
A/N: Dude... I had no idea where this was going. I just ... finished watching the episode and went from there. It's 2:33 AM. I have an essay to write for my comp class. I am so screwed. But I hope you guys enjoy the story!! X3;;

Oh, yeah. By the way, sorry my titles are becoming so ... uncreative lately ... if that's a word. I guess it is 'cause MSWord didn't red squiggle me for it. Wow, it didn't squiggle me for MSWord either. Doesn't it think highly of itself? Or something?... Yeah. 2:40 AM now. Dying. Essay. Buh-bye. Enjoy.


House had to fight desperately to keep from showing any emotion. Albeit, he wasn't sure whether he would've broken into a silly grin or crawled into the nearest hole like a scared rabbit, neither was acceptable. Something just wasn't right here. He'd ... he'd pulled another one of his evil, manipulative schemes, and Wilson was—what?—trying to make him feel better? Something about that gesture both warmed his heart and sent chills down his spine. He didn't deserve that. He had expected to be chastised, and he wasn't sure whether to be thrilled or disappointed that he wasn't going to be. He sank back away from Wilson, into his chair, just the tiniest bit. Nobody else would've noticed it, but he caught sight of the infinitesimal quirk in Wilson's eyebrow, and it was obvious that his friend had noticed. The little brat even went so far as to take the smallest step forward in response to House's move backward, and that earned him a discreet glare. To any other eye, though, the exchange would've gone unnoticed. It simply would've appeared that they were staring at each other.

Nothing else was said between them after that, and it wasn't until later that Wilson's words actually reoccurred to him. He paused in front of a restaurant, noticing Cameron and reaching for the doorknob. He should let someone in, huh? Now, he didn't have anything against Cameron (well, he didn't have much against her anyway), but the last thing he wanted was for her to think he might have even the slightest interest in getting romantically involved with her. He peered around once more. Setting? Romantic candlelit restaurant under a starry sky and a full moon. Time? Evening. Recent events? Cameron was convinced he was dying, and probably renewed her resolve to "heal him." Dinner? Not a good idea. He bypassed the restaurant and, instead, settled on heading home. When he came to a crossroad, though, at a stoplight between his place and Wilson's, he wasn't sure which seemed more pleasant. No, that's not true. He was sure. His home—nay, his ... residence—was empty and lonely and ... well, it just sucked. But Wilson's place... Well, fine, it probably sucked too! But what did it matter? Wilson was there. And wherever Wilson was, home was.

The last thought froze in House's mind, and he repeated it like a broken record. 'Wilson Home? When ... did that happen?' He was so caught up in his thoughts that, even when the light turned green again, it took the blow of a car horn to pull him back to reality, and without a second thought, he turned toward Wilson's apartment, mentally berating himself when he realized what he'd done.

So, now, he stood in front of his best friend's door, rubbing his arm and shifting from foot to cane. What exactly was he supposed to say? Then again, there really wouldn't be a need for any words. And he was right because, at that moment, the door opened, and there stood a smug-looking Wilson, his arms folded across his chest and an almost unnoticeable smirk on his face.

The younger man stood in the doorway for just long enough to annoy House but not quite long enough to draw a complaint from him. He stepped aside quickly and allowed House entrance, smiling fondly at his back and closing the door behind them. "I heard your motorcycle outside," he explained, moving to House's side on the couch and watching him curiously. "S-..." Wilson stopped short. Asking if something was wrong was about the worst thing he could do. He was just glad he hadn't let it slip. "Want a beer? I have a—"

"Pizza," House said quickly, a smile flittering across his face as he remembered the events from earlier that day and the way Wilson had exaggeratedly gestured toward himself when he mentioned that House should let someone in. "And beer," he added, folding his arms behind his head and leaning back.

Wilson nodded and headed toward the kitchen, an affectionate smile playing over his lips the moment he was sure House could no longer see them. He opened the refrigerator door and lingered there for a bit to relish in the excitement that House had taken to heart what he said before, and he grabbed two beers and took one to House, setting the other on the table so he could go call the pizza place.

"Y'know," House began, swallowing a gulp of beer and setting the bottle on the table next to Wilson's, "if you wanted me to hang out with you so bad, you should've said so earlier." He smirked in a satisfied little way and reached for his beer again, leaning back against the couch. It was obvious from the way he'd sat the bottle down in the first place and the pointless chatter that he was anxious—he never was able to handle anxiety well when it came to Wilson.

"Right, because I'm depressed," Wilson stated, hanging up the phone and leaning against the doorframe with his arms folded.

"I would be too if my best friend was a misanthropic asshole," House spouted, waving his beer in a nonchalant way as he talked (yet another sign of his nervousness), and Wilson seemed to take pity on him because he wandered over and sat on the arm of the chair, flicking the television on and glancing back to House.

"Wanna watch a crappy movie?" Wilson began to flip through the channels, gazing uninterestedly at the blur on the screen before he spotted a familiar scene and turned the channel back, a grin spreading across his face. A Hitchcock film. "Can we watch this?" he asked in a voice that was a pitch or two higher than his normal tone, and House smirked to himself at Wilson's delight.

"Ah, what a perfect crappy movie!" House exclaimed teasingly, grinning and stretching his legs out.

"It's not crappy!" Wilson insisted, and House opened his mouth to respond but was silence before he could get a word in. "Shh, shh, shh, this is a good part."

House watched as his friend slowly slid off the arm of the couch and into one of the cushions, eyes glued on the screen the whole time, and he smiled one of his invisible smiles, a warmness reaching his eyes that he normally kept at bay. Unfortunately, he didn't seem to notice how long he had been staring because Wilson turned to face him, a curious look on his face.

"House?" He muted the television and turned to his side, facing his friend. "What's on your mind?" he asked with a smile, setting the remote down and leaning against the couch.

House shifted uncomfortably in his seat, casting his eyes downward and patting his knee in a distracting way. "Ah, nothin'..." he responded after a moment, fidgeting slightly and frowning.

Wilson stared at him expectantly, a puzzling look covering his feature when he gained no other reply, but he said nothing just yet, and House twisted slightly in his seat. The motion nearly went unnoticed by Wilson, but it was so childlike that he couldn't keep himself from smiling. In that instant, House looked very much like a kid who'd been sent to the corner, and Wilson felt an odd combination of pity and affection for him. Sometimes, he forgot how insecure House could be, and a part of him hoped it was because he wanted the same thing that Wilson wanted: to touch. Oh, how he wanted to reach out and pull House into his arms, to brush his fingers over the man's hair, or just to cover that calloused, restlessly twitching hand with his own.

House seemed to sense that he was now the one being stared at because he slowly raised his head, locking eyes with Wilson and watching him warily. There seemed to be an inner turmoil going on in his head because Wilson could see the expression on his face changing slightly from moment to moment. The older of the two opened and closed his mouth a few times, desperately wanting to say something but not knowing what to say, and after giving up on that, he cautiously slid closer, staring over at Wilson through eyes that seemed almost afraid. Wilson ... was always consoling patients and hugging and patting on them and things like that. He did that with everyone—male or female. So ... it'd ... be okay for House to... Right? The diagnostician, with his diagnostician's approach (going over all possible and probable outcomes), slowly came to a decision, and he trembled slightly—though he'd never admit it—reaching out quickly, before he had the opportunity to change his mind, and wrapping his arms tightly around Wilson's waist, pressing his face into the younger man's neck.

An overwhelming sense of love washed over Wilson, and he didn't even try to hide the smile that graced his feature. Instead, he wrapped his arms around his best friend and held him close. The words "I'm here" and "don't worry" rested on the tip of his tongue but were never released, and he simply stroked House's back, sighing silently against the other's hair.

House's eyelids slowly lowered and closed as he became completely content in Wilson's arms. He nestled his face against the other's shoulder and let his body slump against his best friend's, a calm tiredness overtaking him.

"Sleepy?" Wilson whispered, almost afraid of breaking the silence that hung between them. He smiled warmly and shifted so that he could lean on his back against the arm of the couch, pulling House with him so that the man's head rested against Wilson's chest.

House nodded twice and pillowed his head against the soft cotton of Wilson's shirt, breathing in the fresh scent of his friend's clean clothes along with the smell that was uniquely Wilson. That fact that all of this was becoming—had become—quite a bit more intimate than Wilson would ever get with any of his normal patients was lost on House. All that mattered to him was the comforting scent and the soft sound of his best friend's heartbeat against his ear. Before he could stop himself, he was asleep.

"House..." Wilson crooned almost silently, laying a hand gently on the back of his friend's head and blinking rapidly to clear the tears that had gathered in the corners of his eyes. "I love you," he mouthed, rubbing his cheek lightly against House's silky hair and letting out another breath that he hadn't realized he'd been holding. He was sure, so mesmerized by watching House's sleeping form, that he wouldn't sleep a wink that night, but after only a few minutes, they were both resting peacefully on the couch.

(More A/N: Please be gentle with me. Flames make me depressed. Or murderous.)