Disclaimer: I own neither the show House or the album Poison Kiss. I'm just messing with them, that's all...
Author's note: This is a collection of fics in response to a challenge that I've twisted a little. I first decided to do this when reading Snowfilly's Fragments of Forever, in which she took an album and wrote a drabble based on the title of every song. I'm using the same basic premise, but instead of a drabble I'll be writing a longer fic for each song, and I'll be using two lines from the song as well as its title for inspiration. The album is Poison Kiss by The Last Goodnight, and each fic will be exploring the House/Wilson relationship - primarily romance and angst in varying degrees depending on the song and the lyrics. Each chapter is a separate fic and can thus be read on its own. This is my first real attempt at writing angst, so any concrit to help me find my feet is welcome!
Your eyes don't lie, they give you away.
You say, you say: everything is different today.
Wilson was avoiding him.
On a normal day, House would have talked to his friend at least once by this stage of the afternoon. It was three o'clock, and by now their paths should have crossed in the hallway, or in a consult, or maybe even in Cuddy's office.
And if there hadn't been any such occasion to meet before lunch, they would have made a point to seek each other out in the cafeteria and share a friendly snipe over Wilson's plate of chips.
But not today.
He'd caught a glimpse of Wilson whilst he was in the lunch line - their eyes had even met across the scattering of tables on the floor. But that simple glance had been enough to push the oncologist into grabbing his half eaten sandwich and leaving. By the time House had limped to the table, he was gone.
Wilson was avoiding him. And they both knew why.
House wasn't the type of person to talk about personal issues. Sure, he enjoyed the odd bit of gossip now and then - if 'now and then' was code for 'whenever the opportunity arose in Wilson's office' - but he tended to steer clear of the deep conversations that really dug into one's emotions.
But if it came to a choice between confronting one such issue and having a best friend to talk to, there was only so long that he could hold out for before he capitulated.
Besides, having to pay for his own lunch sucked.
And so it was that, come mid afternoon, House found himself standing on the balcony outside Wilson's office door. The main door, the one that bore its owner's name and title so proudly, had been locked. As had this one, as a matter of a fact - but this door had glass panes, and was consequently see through.
He stood there, trying to be patient, watching as Wilson flicked through a file, pausing here and there to make notes. He twirled his cane, tapped the foot belonging to his uninjured leg and drummed his fingers against the door handle in various attempts to while away the time.
Before a minute was up, House was bored - he never had been one for waiting. He knew that the man inside was aware of his presence; Wilson simply didn't want to let him in. Well, he'd give him a reason to open the door then.
House lifted his cane and began rapping against the glass in a steady, jarring rhythm.
It took another minute for Wilson to cave. Jerking his head in irritation, he got up to unlock the door. As House limped into the office, he returned to his desk and continued with the paperwork that was spread out before him.
House perched himself on the couch. When Wilson took no further notice of him, he decided to fill the silence himself.
"Can we just fast forward to the part where you stop avoiding me so we can skip all this?"
"So you're telling me that you haven't been avoiding me all day?"
House snorted in disbelief, but Wilson refused to look up.
"That's why it's called work, you see, because you're supposed to do work when you're here." The retort lacked its usual bite. In fact, Wilson's voice sounded rather tired, stripped of its usually light tone. "So just get out and stop bothering me."
"This is ridiculous." House's mutter was ignored as the other doctor turned a page. "You can't stop talking to me just because of last night-"
"I don't know what you're talking about." Wilson's interruption was tight. Terse. Controlled.
House limped towards the desk and snatched the file away, tossing it into the bin. Agitated, Wilson threw his pen down and growled. "Did it ever occur to you that I might need some time to think about it? Time that didn't involve seeing your face every half hour?" He couldn't quite keep the tremor from creeping into his voice.
Visibly affronted, House made no effort to contain the outburst that was threatening to erupt from his mouth.
"There's nothing to think about! It was just a kiss - a stupid, drunken kiss! It didn't mean anything!"
There was a tense pause as both men froze with this statement. The silence seemed to stretch on, until-
"Yes, it did."
In a stark contrast to House's previously passionate cry, Wilson's voice was so quiet that it was almost imperceptible. But those three simple words resonated throughout the room, and the reverberating waves of their impact hung heavily in the stillness between the two men.
For the first time since House had entered the office, Wilson raised his eyes and the two men locked gazes.
There was an involuntarily sharp intake of breath as House realised the depth of emotion laden in that one torturous glance. Subconsciously, his mind worked to decipher them all - hope, hesitation, unease, and at the fore, longing - but consciously, he just stood and watched, saying nothing.
A convulsive tightening of his fist was all that betrayed his reaction to the revelation, but Wilson didn't notice.
The pause was stretched as each was unable to break away from the other's stare. But then something snapped, and what Wilson perceived as a lack of response was enough for him. With his mouth set grimly, he swung away from his desk and turned to leave.
"Wilson, I-" But House regretted opening his mouth as soon as he did so, because he had no words to express how he felt. Hell, he didn't even know how he felt.
"You what, House? You what?" Wilson's voice cracked with barely suppressed emotion as he wrenched the door open roughly. "You... you can't just kiss me and expect to go on like we always have. It's not the same any more; I'm not the same. We can't all be unfeeling bastards like you."
He slammed the door, leaving behind a stricken House clutching his cane with white knuckles.