AUTHOR: misstressmax (lj) somatogenic written during 3rd season

'I am an island,' he thought convincingly to himself as James Wilson took a step towards him with eyes as wide and truthful as-

'I am an island,' he thought a little less convincingly as his friend, his best friend, took another step towards him with eyes that had now hardened over.

'I AM an island,' he thought now with panic as James took two more steps towards him and those brown eyes of his looked black with determination.

'I AM AN ISLAND,' his mind yelled as the man before him, who he swore he once knew, took an unfamiliar step into his personal space and shatter his bubble forever.

'I AM AN ISLAND!' he nearly said this out load so forcefully it was screamed with in his mind as James Wilson, this stranger of a man, wrapped his strong, warm arms around him in an embrace.

'I am not an island,' he admitted meekly, brought down to his proverbial knees by this simple gesture. The slight breathe against his cheek was his undoing, as was the utter tenderness that shone in James's entire expression as he asked:

"Are you okay?"

House's heart beat so fast his mind rang with it, drowning out, for once in his entire life, the constant barrage of thoughts which plagued him. He was sure he resembled a deer in headlights so he closed the lips that somehow had parted themselves into a thin, grim line, as Jimmy searched his face.

"I just... thought you needed a hug," said Jimmy, abashed, obviously taking his stunned silence as disapproval and quickly backed out, back to his office, retracing those steps he took but not taking them back.

Oh how the two of them wished they could take back those first steps, yet the yearning for that ground drove them together for years afterward, silently touching hands, 'accidentally' brushing up against each other, in ways of trying o reach that sacred place once more.

Years later, Gregory House found James Wilson mirroring that same lost face as he had all those years ago, and stepped out of his office to that same balcony they shared.

He didn't make his presence known; James looked up as soon as he opened those glass doors, and warranted himself a brief smile.

Slowly, he took a step towards him, and did not stop.