Title: Mending a Broken Man

Disclaimer: Angst, language, slash.


Chapter One: What Was I Thinkin?

House stood outside on the patio that joined his office. He had to get away from the world of the hospital and all the demands that were being made on him. It had only been a month since his return and already he felt like he was losing his mind. Of course, it didn't really help matters that his team was treating him differently. They weren't supposed to treat him this way. They were supposed to treat him like they used to do. Now Cameron would giggle every time she saw him with Wilson. She probably didn't realize she was doing. Not that he really cared. It was annoying either way. Both Chase and Foreman gave him looks, the kind that said they knew his deepest secret. And his friendship with Cuddy hadn't been repaired. They spoke to each other as little as possible. Either she was furious with him or she couldn't figure out the best way to apologize. That was one part of his life that he didn't really care about. Cuddy had caused him enough heartbreak and he still had the scars to prove it.

He traced a finger lightly across the scar on his arm. It would forever be a constant reminder of those days when he couldn't handle the pain. A reminder of the days when he finally confessed to Wilson how he truly felt. And Wilson did likewise. Nothing had really been the same between them since. To be perfectly honest, House wasn't sure he liked where they stood. Yes, he'd grown to love having Wilson around nearly twenty-four-seven again. They'd shared some kisses and even slept in the same bed, without really going to the next step. And it wasn't that which bothered him. He wasn't sure he could love Wilson. It had been so long since he closed his heart off to the world that maybe he'd forgotten how to love. The last thing he really wanted to do was hurt Wilson to the point of driving him away forever. He wouldn't be able to live with himself if that happened.

"What are you doing out here?"

House turned to find Cameron standing behind him. She had always felt something for him, and had never been afraid to let him know. So why couldn't he love her? At least loving a woman was normal. He was in love with his best friend, a man, and he still wasn't sure how he really felt about that. How would things have turned out if it had been Cameron at his door all the time instead of Wilson when he really needed help? Would he have fallen in love with her? No, he knew deep down that he couldn't ever love Cameron. He wasn't even going to admit to liking her company. If he couldn't admit to that, he couldn't ever love her. At least, that's how he seemed to rationalize it. That was one of many thoughts he would have to keep to himself. Not everyone understood his "House" logic.

"I was getting some fresh air," he replied, leaning all his weight on his cane. His leg was giving him hell today that was the real reason he had left the hospital for the quiet outdoors. "Still following after me like a sick puppy dog? Don't let Wilson catch you. As far as he's concerned I'm his property now. Don't want to have an oncologist giving you the evil eye, do you?"

Cameron just crossed her arms over her chest. "I could care less if Wilson gave me the evil eye. Just because the two of you are shacking up together doesn't mean I have to stop caring about you." A breeze sent the leaves in the trees dancing. "I just thought that you would like to know that you have a case to see to. Cuddy sent the file over just a few minutes ago."

"Good for Cuddy," remarked House hoping his voice sounded bored and dry. He didn't want her to see that he was in pain. She obviously couldn't see it herself. And she claimed to be his friend. He resisted the desire to pat down his pockets knowing full well that he wouldn't find any Vicodin. He had run out last night and hadn't bothered to refill his prescription this morning. It was out of character for him. But Cuddy had been hanging around the pharmacy and he didn't want to have to talk with her. It was childish and he didn't care, even though he was now paying for his stubbornness.

"Well, are you going to come in and take a look at it?" she asked him, raising her eyebrows in question.

"Nope," he replied simply. "I'm pretty sure you guys can handle it without me. And if you can't, than you all need to find new professions. Now if you don't mind, I'd like to be left alone. That's why I came out here."

Cameron scowled. "After all that shit you went through you're still a stubborn ass fool, House. When are you ever going to lose that thorn in your side and start acting like a hospitable person?"

"He does act like a hospitable person," Wilson said as he stepped up to the wall. He had came out of his office to see what was going on. "You just don't get the benefit of seeing that part of him. Now, if I may be so bold as to ask, why are you out here?" He directed the question at Cameron, not House.

Cameron looked from Wilson to House and back again. "You know," she sighed, "I liked the two of you better when you weren't going out. Now it's like no one else in the world matters. Whatever." She didn't give either one of them a chance to reply as she turned and stormed back into the office, leaving them behind.

By now House had given up on his cane and had taken to actually sitting on the wall. Wilson scowled at him. A scowl sexier than Cameron had. "Would you get off that damn thing before you fall over the edge? I don't think even you have mastered human flight, House"

"I like it up here, it's comfortable," House replied, closing his eyes. At least all the weight was off his leg, even though it still continued to throb in pain.

"Would get off the wall for this?" Wilson asked as he shook a bottle of pills.

House opened his eyes. "Where did you get those?"

"I was down in the pharmacy with one of my patients a few minutes ago and I noticed that you hadn't picked up your prescription. So I thought I'd get it for you. I take it from the way you're sitting on the wall that your leg hurts."

Having gotten off the wall and hobbled over to Wilson, House took the bottle from his hands. "Thanks," he said simply. Nothing else really needed to be said. 'Thanks' was one of those words that rarely got passed House's lips so it was more than enough. And Wilson was more than happy to accept it.

He watched as House popped two of the pills at once. "Hey, take it easy on those. We don't need a repeat of…" A cloud passed over Wilson's features as his words died on his breath.

House slowly recapped the bottle and slipped it into his pocket. He actually felt like kicking himself. Would he ever be able to make up for the pain that he'd caused Wilson? Would there be any way to erase the scars? On a spur of the moment idea he reached out, placing his hand behind Wilson's head and drawing him close. Their lips met in a tender kiss. House didn't even care if the others saw them through the window. He also didn't care that he loved Wilson. It had been so long since he was loved and he liked how it made him feel. And it was a feeling he never wanted to go without again.