A/N: Preslash. Second chapter will be graphic slashy goodness. If that might offend you, take heed and go elsewhere.
The first time it ever came up, Wilson was drunk. Severely.
"Is it really that hard to keep it in your pants?" House knew that Wilson wasn't exactly after a lecture right now, but he was so annoyed he couldn't quite help himself.
"I don't mean to," Wilson gushed, gesturing wildly enough to spill liquor everywhere. "I loved her. I do. I love her. It's just…"
"Just not enough to overcome the lure of Joanne," House guessed. "A secretary with the tits of an angel. I can hardly blame you. Finish that." Wilson obediently downed the last of his scotch, and House took the glass away from him without a word.
"Hey – I'm not done drinking here; this is serious!"
He limped over to the fridge and got out cans of beer. "I don't need broken glass all over my floor. Drown your sorrows in aluminum instead."
"Thanks. Sorry. I don't know. I just… I don't know how to break the pattern. Every woman I get serious with, every wife, every girlfriend… it's always the same thing."
"So stop getting serious with women," House tossed off, expecting Wilson to roll his eyes and declare that prostitutes were not for everyone.
Instead, Wilson laughed nervously into his beer can. "I'm not gay, House."
There was something a little steely in the tone, which struck House as odd. Wilson didn't seem to have noticed him noticing, so he kept his voice light and just answered, watching: "Never said you were."
"Good. Because I always sleep with women."
"Women in the plural… which is your problem." House was now sure he detected a blush that couldn't be explained by just the alcohol. Before it occurred to him that he should leave well enough alone, he poked Wilson with his cane and asked, "What aren't you telling me, Jimmy?"
Wilson looked up, panicked. "What?"
Well, now he sure as hell wasn't going to let it go. "Come on," he reasoned, "If you say it now you can always swear off it later… but if you wait til you're sober and I worm the secret out of you then, you won't be able to attribute it to the booze and then you'll really be screwed."
"There's-… there's nothing to say, House. No secret."
"That deer-in-the-headlights look begs to differ." House flashed an innocent smile, knowing that even if he was too drunk to bust out his very best acting skills, Wilson was far too drunk not to be fooled. "Cmon, tell me. It's no big deal," he assured, jostling him gently. He told himself he was probably wrong, he had to be… but he couldn't resist finding out for sure. "Tell Uncle Greggy. Brokeback Mountain push your buttons, is that it?"
He held his breath, waiting for Wilson to crack up, deny it, get grossed out, something.
Instead Wilson laughed, "More than you know," and then froze. "I did not just say that."
"Wow," House breathed, and scooted away a little. Very mature, Greg.
"No – it's not-…" Wilson started to reach for him, changed his mind and squeezed his beer until the can buckled. "I'm not, I'm not gay," he said again, forcefully. "Really. I've never been with a man in my life."
House couldn't resist: "Me neither."
"I mean it's not… I'm not gay. I just think... I think maybeIhavekindofacrushonyou."
"Say what?" House said, for time. He already knew he'd understood it perfectly.
"I said I think that maybe I-"
"No you don't," House argued. "You just… got some wires crossed or something. It'll go away. Go screw Joanne again. That rack will turn anybody straight." Snarling at himself every step of the way for being such a pussy, House got up and started clearing up the remains of their dinner. "Look, I gotta go to bed, I have to get up early tomorrow."
"Renewing your library card? Flossing your cat?" Wilson put his head in his hands. "Don't do this, House. I need you."
"Yeah, that's… the problem, isn't it?"
"Not that!" Wilson groaned. "I mean you're my friend, remember? I've had a crappy week. Please."
Suddenly, listening to Wilson whine about his girl troubles no longer seemed quite so objectionable. "Fine," House agreed. "Sober up and we'll get lunch tomorrow. If you need to moan about your depressing little life I can probably stand it for a couple of minutes. As long as it's about Joanne, and you're buying."
Neither of them tried for eye contact while Wilson got his coat on. "Okay, I'll… call you tomorrow."
And it went without saying that they weren't going to mention this ever again.
House took quick peeks out of the corner of his eye often, but couldn't catch Wilson so much as looking at him funny in the days that followed. He thought about trying to just forget it, but it was too weird standing in the bathroom peeing next to a guy who maybe…
Eventually he had to ask. "So… how's… you know… your little problem?"
It had been two weeks since the drunken confession and Wilson didn't immediately register. "My what?"
"Your…" House lowered his voice and looked both ways before spelling it out. "You know, your spinal difficulty…"
Wilson frowned, then got it and had to laugh. "Are you asking me if my back is still broken?"
He sighed. "I regret to tell you that my condition has not improved."
After another week or two had gone by…
"Hey. So, I was thinking of upgrading Steve McQueen's living arrangements…"
"Why – what's wrong with the cage he-…" Wilson grit his teeth, closed his eyes. "No, House," he said after a moment. "If you're asking whether Steve should be moved into a birdcage, my feelings on the matter remain unchanged."
"Okay, okay… just asking."
More time passed.
Wilson stopped by with a tin. "Patient's mom made cookies for me," he explained. "So, as usual, I figure you're entitled to half."
"Nice!" House tore into them. "You should save more people, instead of killing everyone," he said around a mouth full of crumbs. "Then we could have cookies every day."
"Or, you could try and be nice to patients, and then you might get cookies of your own," Wilson countered. "But you're right, it's probably easier for me to just find a way of curing cancer. D'you plan on saving any of those for me?"
House sighed and held one out. "Here. Although… speaking of dessert, I was-"
By now Wilson recognized where this was going. "If it contains the word fudge, I don't want to hear it," he anticipated. "How long before you run out of creative ways to ask?"
"I'm trying to be discreet here, Jimmy…"
"Believe me: if I get over you you'll be the first to know. I'll be ecstatic. I'll throw a party. Okay? Okay. Until then stop asking. Or I'll embarrass you right back."
"Yeah?" As usual, House couldn't resist the dare.
"Yeah. I'll say, out loud, that I want to sleep with you." House winced. "That your eyes are magnetic. And if you still don't stop, I'll threaten-"
"Don't you dare!" House turned and started to limp away.
"To think about you-"
"Can't hear you!"
House was all the way down the hallway but he still shouted it after him. "- In the SHOWER!"
And Wilson figured that would be the end of it.
I'll post the end of this probly tomorrow, and then back to Pain Management. Sorry for the delay on that. I've been away, but I'm back now.