House raised his champagne. "Happy new year."

"Yeah." Wilson held his up briefly, grimly, and tossed it back.

House watched him thoughtfully as he sipped. "What?"

He shook his head. "Nothing."

"Just thinking about previous New Yearses?" House guessed. "Previous ones where you always had a Mrs. Wilson by your side?"

Wilson caught himself stuttering and looking embarrassed. Too late to deny it, he tried to laugh it off. "Yeah, well… didn't you know it's bad luck to start the year without making out? That's what you're supposed to do at midnight. It's my first year dropping the ball."

"Mm." House finished his champagne and put down the glass. "Well, if you wanted, I could always make out with you."

Wilson shot him a look. "House."

There was warning, real warning, in his tone. Not a joke. House watched him for a long minute. "Why not?" he teased.

And all he got in response was another bone fide dirty look.

He scooted over until they were sitting right next to each other, put one hand to Wilson's shoulder and the other to his jaw.

"Wh- what are you doing?" Wilson choked out.

"It's good luck," House assured innocently, then leaned in and kissed him.

Wilson most emphatically did not kiss back. He jerked at the very first brush of lips, recoiled, tried to pull away as House pressed in on him and then darted his tongue out. "Nn- stop, what are you-" The talking only rubbed their mouths together, making it almost like he was cooperating or something, so he stopped it quickly. Instead he just struggled physically to break free.

House let him go after a moment. "What?" he asked, for all the world as if Wilson were the one behaving strangely.

"What the hell are you doing? Don't do that." Wilson wiped his mouth, squashed himself against the arm of the couch to create some space between them, and stared resolutely at the TV.

"Jeez, fine. Homophobic much?" House turned back to the TV too, still watching his friend out of the corner of his eye. Stuff like pinching Wilson, throwing things at him, stealing his food… those just made Wilson swat back and hiss "Quit it." But this – a tiny, drunken, half-joking kiss – infuriated him.

Or maybe not infuriated. He was sitting there stiff as a board, lips pressed tight together, breathing shallow. As if he was scared.

Now, why should a kiss cause outright panic? It's not like Wilson thought he was about to be raped or something.

Hmm. Time to get to the bottom of this.

House pounced suddenly, dragged him down, and wrestled him flat on the couch.

"House!" Wilson sputtered, "What the hell are you-" When he tried to push House up and off him, House pinned both his hands above his head.

"Shh. I just want to talk to you. Look at me… hey, look at me." House waited for eye contact, then asked softly, "Why won't you kiss me?"

"Wh- what the hell kind of a question is that? Get off me!"

"Why – am I squishing you?" House shifted his weight a little. "Are you physically uncomfortable?"

"If I say yes," Wilson hissed through grit teeth, "will you let me up?"

House considered. "Mmmm… yes, if I believe you. But if I think you're lying to me, then I'm going to stick my hand down your pants."

Wilson surged up in a panic. When House laughed that it was just a joke, he relaxed only a little. "Why are you doing this?"

"I don't know. Because I'm curious. Seriously: why won't you kiss me?"

Wilson finally gave up – humiliating as it was to lose a fight to a cripple, he had to admit he was just not going anywhere. "I don't know," he said quietly. Honestly. "Because it would be incredibly awkward. House, come on… can we please just let it drop?"

They locked eyes. Wilson was shaking his head, silently begging him not to go there, but House suddenly knew and as usual he couldn't let it go unsaid. "You're afraid to kiss me," he recognized. "Not pissed or grossed out, but scared. Which means…"

"Don't."

"You know I don't have a disease. You know I'm not going to tell anybody. You know that kissing in and of itself is not really all that objectionable."

"Please don't," Wilson interrupted again. "I'm asking you not to – please."

And then something weird happened. House, straight, lying on top of his very best (straight) friend in the world, found his body reacting. As if the person beneath him was being held there for some purpose other than mortification. As if the idea of kissing that person was more than just a joke.

Forget it, House told himself. This is about Wilson being confused and embarrassed – not me. Focus. Still, he shifted a little because he thought it impolite to grind on someone who was clearly unwilling. Or at least was claiming to be. "You're afraid to kiss me," he said at last, "Because you're afraid it might lead to something." He smiled as Wilson's eyes squeezed close. "Like… my finding out you have a crush on me. Jimmy, I'm flattered."

"I don't-," Wilson protested feebly, then sighed. House let go of his hands, and he used them to cover his face with. "I had dreams a couple of times, okay?" he said through his fingers. "That's all."

"Dreams?" House teased, but gently. "Do tell." Hands on Wilson's shoulders, he shook him just a bit and wheedled, "Come on… Otherwise I'll have to use my imagination. And the truth can't possibly be as bad as whatever I'm going to think up."

"Okay. Okay look:" Wilson abruptly laced his fingers behind his head and opened his eyes. "I had a dream. For some reason you and I hired a hooker for a threesome. Probably because you were broke and mooching, as usual," he added as an aside. "Anyway I had a hell of a time and woke up to ruined PJ's, and it wasn't until I thought about it afterwards that I realized that… you know… that the hooker wasn't… what was doing it for me."

"Uh huh." House bit his lip. "And you didn't want to tell me this because…?"

"Because I knew you'd torment me with it, that's why! Why do you think?"

House thought it over. "If I tell you I'm not going to torment you with it, then can we make out?"

"Are you kidding me!"

"Why not?" He fought to get hold of Wilson's wrists again. "It probably won't be that awkward. We can always pretend it never happened."

"House!" He resisted every inch of the way but eventually House had him trapped and secure, their faces almost touching… "House, why?" he whispered against his best friend's mouth.

"Because I want to." It was news to both of them. House laughed a little. "It's good luck." He ducked his head…

This time, Wilson let it happen. The kiss was gentle, tentative, and over almost before he could believe it was happening. He licked his lips. "You're insane, House" he breathed.

"Yeah. Happy new year."


The End.

Okay, maybe not the "end," per se. There is obviously a delicious H/W scene that takes place next… however, I think the story is kind of cute and completish as is. I spose I'll leave it for now, but may someday cave and write the lemony part.

Feedback is appreciated!