A mediocre writer's first shot at fanfiction- in other words, be nice! :P Comments and concstructive criticism of course are welcome.
Disclaimer: I own none of these characters, House MD belongs to David Shore and Fox, blah blah blah, wonk wonk wonk.
It was the same thing every time. He wondered how he still found this more appealing than sex.
Heading to House's apartment, ordering Chinese, watching crappy old movies and getting drunk. He had to admit it was fun, though… and so he kept going, preferring to hang out with his cranky friend than go 'home' to a hotel room.
Wilson decided against politeness and just let himself in, finding House speaking botched Mandarin over the phone- most likely to the nice old lady at the Chinese eatery that didn't deserve this torture. He knew House could speak three languages almost fluently, one of them Mandarin. He could only imagine what he was saying to her, just trying his best to learn being his sad excuse. But, in a flash he was off, smirking in Wilson's direction.
"Off to get the finest of Asian cuisine," he said as he moved past Wilson to the door.
"If she didn't decide to go through the trouble of poisoning it, just for you."
"With my charm and boyish good looks? She wouldn't dare!" Wilson lost his aggravated composure and chuckled at his friend. He looked over at the movie title frozen on the screen via Tivo- tonight's horror was 'Deathbed: The Bed that Eats.' He shook his head, amused and deeply concerned for whoever decided to film it. We're gonna have to get tanked to enjoy this…
As if his mind had been read, a shout came from the doorway, "Booze is in the closet, top shelf. Cragganmore, Flor de Caña and Jack Daniels! The fun will never end!" And with that the door shut. Wilson smiled to himself- an alcoholic keeping his addiction in the closet. Irony of ironies. It was then that he realized as he looked around, slightly surprised, that this was one of the only- if not the only- time he'd been left to his own devices in House's apartment. He wondered why he even left- doesn't just about every restaurant in this area deliver? But as the angels on his shoulders battled over whether to be a good little boy or ransack the place, he chose simply to bring out the drinks and get a small head-start. He headed to the closet and reached for the shelf, perfectly positioned mere millimeters out of reach, making Wilson have to stand on his toes and feel around for a bottle. Finally having found one, he grabbed it and decided he'd search for the rest with the help of a chair. Now able to see, he found the other bottles easily and brought them down, but something else caught his eye as well- a box that appeared to have, among other things, photo albums in it. House actually has a photo album? What the hell of? The man had never been known for sentimentality, and was never one to sport a camera. Wilson generally had more respect for peoples' privacy… but this was House. The words 'privacy' and 'respect' were completely foreign to him, especially towards his best friend. Seeing as he wouldn't be back for about another 15 minutes, Wilson let his curiosity get the better of him and brought the box down as well.
Wilson couldn't believe what he was seeing.
House not only liked photography, he was pretty damn good at it himself. Pages and pages of the album were taken up by photos he'd taken as a kid, travelling worldwide from base to base. Earlier ones in stark black and white, moving into color as the years went on, all had an almost professional look to them- a sense of depth, captured feelings in color and movement, good contrast, creative angles and close-ups… apparently this was more than a hobby, it was a passion. Wilson stared at blooming cherry blossoms lit up by filtered sunlight. He watched from a distance as Buddhist monks walked solemnly and gracefully through a temple courtyard. Machu Picchu's ruins were ominously darkened by rolling thunderclouds, and leathery old women in colorful shawls and comical derbies laughed as they wove blankets. Colorfully clad and adorned with crowns and anklets, Odissi dancers moved beautifully and almost hauntingly in unison, enigmatic eyes on fire and smiles playful. A young man, ribs protruding and cheeks hollow, lovingly patted a fat cow wandering the Indian streets. The sun haloed the Sphinx and turbaned men bowed in prayer on vivid carpets. He simply could not believe that the self-centered, cynical grump-ass that was House had snapped these. Wilson knew House from every angle. He had been friends with the man for nearly a decade, and at that point, like it or not these days there were few tricks of his that could fool Wilson, very little that he could hide.
But this was something new, something interesting that completely shattered House's self-image of a heartless, soulless bastard. He only wondered what made him stop? Obviously there was talent there, and a lot of thought and even emotion. Had he not turned out a brilliant diagnostician, Wilson would say he'd missed his calling.
"Just what the hell are you doing?"
The sudden voice nearly made Wilson hit the ceiling, the album flying onto the table.
"You really are an idiot if you think you can get away with probing my stuff- I can smell your Jewboy guilt for snooping through thy neighbor's junk over the Eau-de-horsepiss you insist on wearing. Now what's the deal? You were to retrieve throat-scorching booze, not examine my knick-knacks." He set the bags of food on the floor near the couch and headed to the kitchen.
With nothing to add to House's mini-monologue, Wilson simply picked up the album again and asked, "Why did you stop taking pictures?"
"Because eventually it just felt wrong to violate your privacy. I couldn't help it though- you're just like a little kitten in your sleep, all cute and curled up." Wilson rolled his eyes, trying to erase that comment from memory.
"You really do have talent, though… I think some professionals would envy the pictures you took when you were a kid."
House came back to the couch, glasses in hand. "Which leads me back to the start- why the hell were you going through my things?"
Wilson snorted. "Why should I have to have a reason? You steal personal files, order your team to break into patients' houses, you loot my office on a regular basis, take my things, break my things, forge-"
House cut him off. "Alright, enough of your Jewish Momma lecture. The reason is simple: Its my stuff. There. Now do you want to get drunk and watch a possessed mattress eat people or not?"
Wilson refused to fold, though. "I don't understand- you pride yourself on your skills. Your ego could flatten an elephant with one toe. Why would you keep something like this hidden away?"
House sighed and poured a glass of whiskey. "Because, that's all from the past. Doesn't matter anymore. Not important anymore. I don't care about the past or what I did back then."
"Says the man who still broods over a relationship that ended 5 years ago." Wilson got a glare, but he was only playing House's own game. There were a few moments of silence between the two men.
House tapped his cane absentmindedly on the floor. "There's nothing interesting to take pictures of around here. Even if there was, a man with a cane a photographer does not make. Couldn't kneel for ground shots, getting a clear picture while practically balanced on one leg would take a damned miracle and zoomed shots would be impossible." He paused a moment to take a drink. "I can't go back to any of the places that are interesting either. I couldn't hobble around in the Andes if my life depended on it, let alone climb to Machu Picchu."
Wilson recognized House's statement for what it was: an admission of weakness. The man who acted like a god had confessed his humanity, which was not to be taken lightly. Wilson seemed to be the only person on the planet House would willingly be serious with, and he didn't take that for granted. He looked over at House, fiddling with the cane, and let the simple silence continue for a bit longer. He took the photo album and opened it, and put it between himself and his friend.
"Tell me about them."
House looked at him incredulously. "You've gotta be kidding. I think we're a little old for Show and Tell."
"I'm being serious! I just want to get into your head for once. I want to know why you took them, what caught your eye and made these things special, why the angles, why take it that way."
"You're a sad little man."
"And you invited me. Your fault. A host must cater to his guest's whims." Wilson smirked. "what about this one? Where were you, I've never seen this before." House rolled his eyes and grumbled, but took the book for a closer look.
"We were in India again. This time I was 16 and we were headed for Kashmir, but took a detour through Calcutta because of violence in the area. That's Kalighat…" and the night from there on ensued that way- Wilson finding particularly interesting photos throughout the album, House decidedly patient enough that night to explain them. Wilson was silently in awe of how things turned out- House was actually acting like a regular, social person- sharing stories while explaining the meaning and detail behind the photos that summed up his childhood experiences. He knew there were slim chances of this ever occurring again, so Wilson hung onto every word and provoked him to keep going. Page after page, photos of Venezuelan farms, Roman ruins, rivers, plants, animals, occasionally a childhood friend would pop up… House actually letting someone else take in his memories and stories and see him as he was before. They spent the night drinking, laughing and browsing through a photo album.
They had skimmed down to the last few pages, House staring off into space as Wilson looked for something else. He hit a blank page and figured they'd finally reached the end, but turned the page over anyway, and once again that night sat genuinely surprised.
The last few pages of the photo album included pictures of House and Wilson.
He looked them over, seeing old photos from college, graduation, random parties and games- Wilson always went to House's Lacrosse games and House usually showed up for Wilson's soccer matches- and an occasional picture from recent times, most apparently taken by one of them while fairly drunk(hence he, for the life of him, could not remember these moments.) Wilson just started to laugh.
House finally came back to the world and saw what Wilson was so amused by. "Oh dear god, you'll never let me forget this night…" he groaned. "I suddenly see the benefit of having plentiful alcohol. Besides the obvious ones."
Wilson just grinned in his direction. "I can't believe you actually have these! Holy shit, look at us… we looked so dorky in college. No wonder none of our dates ever came back."
House smirked. "Well, at least one of us has been gifted with good looks. And I do mean me," he said as Wilson laughed at him.
"I'm honestly surprised. I'd never believe you had pictures of me and you saved if you'd flat-out told me so."
House smiled. "You're an idiot, but you're more fun than all the other idiots."
"I love you too, House."
House looked over at his friend, who outwardly appeared calm but was inwardly beaming, and sighed.
"Okay… NOW can we watch a demonic mattress eat people? I didn't break out my best scotch to have a scrapbook party and talk about our feelings."
House would always be House. And for Wilson, House would always be his best friend.
They took a shot of some frighteningly strong liquor and settled in.
"Bring on the Deathbed, my friend."