They both knew that their friendship was terminal. Eventually, one day, it would either burn out or rekindle into something more then just a buddy-buddy situation. This fact; they never spoke about, but it was always in the back of their minds. They secretly knew that they were too close, and that one of them eventually would want more, or less. Wilson knew this because he was constantly worrying about House and giving into him. He knew one of these days it had to stop. He didn't really want to stop though, he found it especially fulfilling when he could do something to help House out. Wilson worried also that one day House would tell him that he didn't need him hovering over him all the time and that he was a big boy and could take care of himself, which they both knew he couldn't. And House knew because he was way to damn satisfied with Wilson and everything he did. Even when he was pissed with Wilson, he couldn't stay that way. He was a needy bastard who wanted him every minute of the day for something or other, even just for company. Sometimes House would have nothing to say, and they just sat. They were way to close.
House was walking the dog with his yo-yo one Friday afternoon in his office. It was a terribly slow day, and he was just waiting until the right moment to make his escape. He figured that at 2:30 it was still a little early for him to leave without Cuddy getting on his back about it. The yo-yo did everything House intended it to do, he was very good and he knew it. He was smiling as he brought it up to his fingers and wrapped the string around before putting it back on his desk. He leaned back in his chair then, and folded his arms on top of his stomach. Wilson wasn't busy either, just finishing up with a few phone calls. He knew House was in his office, because of the thin layered wall between them, he heard House blasting his music earlier on that afternoon.
Wilson decided to see what House was up to, so locking his door behind him, he walked over to the neighboring office. House acknowledged him with a nod of his head and watched as Wilson took a seat on his couch, letting out a grunt as bent down. They were silent for more than fifteen minutes before House finally vocalized what he was thinking.
"Do you want to hang out this weekend?"
"I don't know."
"What's not to know?"
"I might have plans on Saturday."
"How do you 'might' have plans?"
"I don't know what time yet, probably around 7 or 8."
"What's her name?"
Wilson wasn't the least bit shocked that House already knew what he was talking about. He was still a little unsure of verifying that House was right. He knew he would have to hear about it for weeks if he was actually going out with someone. He didn't really know why House hackled him all the time when he went out. Even before his three failed marriages, House seemed to know why it wouldn't work out, and what Wilson needed in a partner. He just never told him.
"Her name is Beth Ann."
"I think you should come over and watch movies with me instead."
"As much fun as that is, I would rather take my chances to hear from Beth Ann."
House looked a little hurt then, when he realized Wilson would choose a girl over their friendship. He knew that he was blowing it way out of proportion, but in a way, he wanted to fight with Wilson today. It seemed like a good day.
"You would rather fuck some girl then hang out with me?"
"Go then. Fuck her all weekend for all I care."
"What the hell is your problem House?"
"I'm going home."
He didn't answer the question, because he really didn't know what his problem was all of a sudden. He stood up, gathered his stuff and threw it in his backpack, grabbed his cane and walked past Wilson and out of the office. Wilson was staring blankly and shaking his head at what just happened. That wasn't like House at all to act…jealous. Usually House would tease him a bit then wish him good luck, knowing full well it wouldn't work out, but he would save that for after. This time he was pissed off that House didn't want to hang out with him. It never seemed to bother him before.
House was drinking himself silly Saturday night. He'd downed four beers, and now was onto a bottle of scotch. He wasn't drunk though. He seemed to be immune to the stuff and had to drink a hell of a lot before he felt any tangible side effects. He was just depressed and immersing himself in melancholy. He was sitting on his couch watching a re-run of Frasier since nothing else was on when he heard a knock on his door. He popped two Vicodin and followed them down with another swig from the scotch bottle that was rapidly emptying. He shuffled over to the door cane less and opened it slowly, only to see Wilson standing there in jeans and a sweat shirt. He figured Wilson had been out on a date, and was surprised to see him.
"You cancelled on Beth Ann?"
"Yeah. Can I come in?"
"What are you watching?"
Wilson walked over to the couch and sat down and started watching the television at once. House rolled his eyes and shut the door assuming Wilson would be staying a while. Wilson, by the way, was acting as if nothing had happened that afternoon. He was playing it off like there never was a fight. And this made House curious as to why. Wilson seemed to let these things linger. But this time he moved on almost immediately. Normally it took Wilson a week or so to get over fights with House, but this time it only took him one night; impressive.
"I'm watching Frasier."
House took a seat beside Wilson.
"I didn't know you liked that show."
They watched the rest of the show sitting only a few feet apart from one another. Wilson laughed right along cue with the audience as House only scoffed at how unfunny he found everything. Wilson would let out little chuckles of amusement and House would look over at him and smile to himself when he saw Wilson so happy. He often did that when he knew Wilson was happy. It was a strange feeling to House, but he almost felt victorious when Wilson smiled, even when it wasn't his doing.
"I see you've been drinking…a lot." Wilson said finally when the credits came up.
"Why did you cancel your date?"
House didn't think that Wilson's statement really needed a reply. It was clear that he had been drinking, Wilson was just pointing out the obvious.
"I didn't feel like going."
"You're so full of shit."
"I know. I felt bad about the other day."
"You always feel bad."
"I shouldn't feel this bad, House."
House didn't know what Wilson meant by this. He both feared and hoped that it meant what he thought it meant. He was going to ask him before Wilson started to say something else.
"Maybe we're not meant to be friends."
"What the hell are you talking about?"
"I just can't help thinking 'is this is?' I mean, is this as far as it going to get?"
"You mean you want to be closer? Jeez Wilson we already spend way to much time together as it is."
"It's not how much time we spend with each other. It's what we do…together."
House gulped loudly, though he didn't intend to. If he was to agree with Wilson, he might take it as an invite. And House was certainly not gay. Well, he wasn't quiet certain, but he was pretty sure. He wondered at that moment if jacking off to thoughts of Wilson in the shower made him gay. 'People can be attracted to all sorts of people. It's just a weird physical thing. It will go away.' He told himself. But was Wilson gay? There was no way in hell. Though it would explain why no relationships he had with women worked out. Granting, someone could say the same thing about House. If you looked closely at both, they exhibited some major signs, which they both chose to ignore. But it was becoming harder now.
"What do you want to do together Jimmy?" House asked as casually as he could.
"I don't know. But I do know that if we don't change some things, we won't be in each other's lives for much longer."
Neither of them could imagine a life without the other. And this fact, which they both knew, terrified them to the core.
"So we have two choices I guess." House concluded his fate.
"We have two choices?"
"Yeah. Either end this friendship on good terms right now, instead of fighting it out later. Or…"
House didn't know if he could say it. But the more he thought about it, the more sense it was making. They would make a good couple, and it wasn't like anyone would be surprised at the pairing. Except maybe Cameron, but she was still convinced that House was in love with her.
"Or what, House?"
"Or we could, you know."
"No, I don't know."
"Oh for God sakes Jimmy, you do know. Why do you think I raised my eyebrows for?"
Wilson eyes widened when he realized what House was talking about. He had thought about it before, but never suspected in a million years House had too. He appraised the idea for a minute. It probably would solve their fighting all the time. And they both wanted to stay in each other's lives, and if they couldn't be friends, and only that, why not? Wilson had to admit that it was hard to find someone to be with when he would often opt to spend his time with House. It seemed logical to him that this was the way to go.
"I guess that would solve everything." Wilson agreed.
"So you want to go with option two?"
"Yes, unless you don't want to of course."
"I think it would be beneficial."
They had to be honest with themselves. They seemingly could remain only friends if they worked at it. This was just an excuse to have sex. And since neither of them could think of a better one, this was the most plausible option. But it seemed to work for both of them. The only problem was, they had no idea how to go about it. It had been on their minds, but how to approach each other 'that way' was unclear.
"Not tonight." House said standing up and walking to the kitchen.
"Too soon I guess."
"One step at a time. Much like rehab."
"At least you got something out of it."
"We could kiss I guess." House walked back out holding two open beers in his hands, and handed one to Wilson.
"That would make the whole, you know, easier when we got to it."
Neither Wilson nor House could say what they were intending to do. But they were convinced that they were doing it to save themselves from losing one another. 'You got to do what you got to do' played over and over in their minds. House was too important to Wilson and Wilson was too important to House to let each other go. Truth was this was festering in them for quiet some time now. And by making this step in their relationship the answer to their impending 'doom' it was easier to deal with. If this had just been a random act of love or passion, neither of them would have let it go far. They would have had one night and that would have been it for them. Not any more; they were going to fuck to save themselves.
"Should we kiss…now?" Wilson asked before taking a sip of his beer.
"I don't see why not."
Wilson edged closer to House on the couch until they were less than inches apart. House was determined not to make the first move, but was willing to go all in once Wilson's lips touched his own. So Wilson leaned his head up a bit and House bent down until their lips were pressed together tightly. It was spectacular, but it was comfortable. Their tongues entangled with one another and both men were aroused very quickly. But they weren't going to do anything tonight, so they stopped before it became out of hand. Wilson took a leap and fit his head against House's chest. At first House was taken aback. He gave in rather easy as he stroked Wilson's hair with his fingers.
"So when are we going to…" Wilson asked shutting his eyes.