Author's note: And we hit the end! This chapter contains a slashy moment that I couldn't resist adding in, just as a warning for those who don't like that sort of thing. Thanks to all my readers, especially the reviewers amongst you, who have stuck with this story!
"The way you drive that thing makes you a health hazard." Wilson gestured towards the motorbike behind them as the pair walked towards the door of his apartment block. "I don't even know if I'd call it driving... it's more like you think you're playing some game on your Gameboy. Seriously, why haven't they taken you off the road yet?"
"Because I'm a perfectly capable driver." House rolled his eyes as if he were stating the obvious.
"More like a guy that's too old to be treating everything with an engine like a toy."
House glared at his friend as they entered the building. Frowning, he transferred his glare to the open stairwell before him.
"Couldn't you have picked an apartment with an elevator? Or at least one with less floors?"
"You say that every time you come here. And every time, I reply with-"
"-life doesn't revolve around you. I thought you'd have come up with something a bit more original by now. Creativity not your strong point?"
"I'm working on it. You don't have to come up, you know."
House looked offended that his friend would even suggest such a thing. "Hey, you're my date. Common etiquette says I have to see you to your door."
"Does common etiquette mention anything with regards to compaining about said action?" Wilson rolled his eyes with good humour. "It's only three floors anyway."
"So says the man with two perfectly functioning legs."
Shaking his head, Wilson began to make his way up the stairs. He paused at the top of the first flight to wait for his friend to catch up. House threw a few words over his shoulder as he passed.
"How'd you find tonight then?"
"It was... interesting."
Even House had trouble discerning whether Wilson's tone indicated a positive or negative response.
"Bet your wives never took you to anywhere that 'interesting'-"
"Frankly, I can't say that they did."
"-or any of your blonde thingys."
"Speaking of which, I think that the blonde one from tonight had a thing for you."
House paused as he cast his mind back to the performers at the theatre restaurant.
"The one in the pink dress? Told you I was popular with the... ladies." Wilson snorted at the euphemism. "It's definitely the cane. You should get one, you know. It'd work much better for you than those ties that you're always changing."
They had reached the door to Wilson's apartment. He rummaged through his pockets for the key, glancing up to see House rearranging his features to hide the snigger that had been apparent a few seconds ago.
"And you would know... how?"
"I know you're not getting any right now. You haven't polished your shoes in weeks; clearly there's been no one worth polishing them for."
"Must you analyse every aspect of what I wear to work?"
"Must you make the clothes you wear to work so easy to analyse?"
Wilson sighed. "You've can't talk anyway, since I don't suppose you're 'getting any' either."
"The term 'getting any' is relative."
This response caused his friend to raise an eyebrow.
"Do you want to come in?"
"Is that a 'do you want to come in to have a beer', or a 'do you want to come in to sleep with me'?"
Wilson laughed as he twisted the key in the lock and pushed open the door. He found his path blocked, however, by the cane that had been raised to bar the doorway. He turned to face the owner of the cane with an inquiring stare.
"Generally, a date that went well ends with a kiss at the door."
Wilson was unable to tell if the statement was said seriously or in jest. He was similarly unsure as to whether it was the beer coursing through his body or the strangely intense look in House's eyes that caused him to suppress the objection that rose to his lips in response to the question.
Realising that his mouth suddenly seemed dry, he swallowed in a vain attempt to rid himself of this new feeling.
"Are you going to kiss me, then?"
Almost as if he saw this as an invitation, House reached forward and, with a surprisingly gentle touch, ran his fingers down the side of Wilson's face. Tilting his friend's chin up, he leaned in to capture Wilson's mouth with his own.
They remained joined at the lips for an indeterminable amount of time - mere seconds or long minutes; neither could tell. But when they reluctantly broke away from each other, both immediately noticed the subtle shift in the air around them. The atmosphere now swirled with a combination of arousal and anticipation, and each found that he was unable to tear his face further than an inch away from the other.
Wilson was the first to break this silence.
"So... do you want to come in?"
"You already asked me that."
"You never did answer me the first time."
Remembering what he had responded with the last time he had been faced with this question, House's lips twitched upwards in a small smile.
"I'm guessing that your answer to my question would be different now?"
This time, it was Wilson who initiated the kiss in response. He opened his lips slightly, allowing House to slide his tongue into his mouth. After a brief period in which each fought to assert dominance over the other, Wilson slid his tongue along House's jawbone, pausing to nibble on the sensitive skin underneath his ear. House leaned against the doorframe for support, exhaling heavily as Wilson nipped the vulnerable area.
"If this is how you end all your dates, I'm no longer surprised at how quickly you can get yourself into someone's pants."
House's voice was a mere gasp, and Wilson smirked as he sucked on his earlobe.
"Do you think this is one of those 'we'll regret it in the morning' moments?" The whispered tones were huskily breathed into House's ear.
Wilson found himself pushed back slightly so as to be faced with a powerful blue stare. Both men noted that their partner's gaze was clouded with a mist of desire.
His breathing was somewhat ragged, but Wilson's voice was steady as he answered without hesitation.
House, too, smirked.
He pulled his date into his arms once more and together they stumbled through the door.