Disclaimer: Sadly House and Wilson do not belong to me.
Summary: Wilson cannot live with House anymore. House/Wilson established relationship.
A/N: There will be one more chapter after this one. As always, any reviews/comments will be gratefully received! Thanks!
House had been waiting for this moment to happen. He had taken time and effort to orchestrate it. Wilson was predictable and everyone has a breaking point. It just seemed to House that Wilson had taken a pathetically long time to reach it.
Wilson was standing near the front door of the apartment, ready to leave once he had said the words. House was watching Wilson, but not really paying attention to what he was saying. House was distracted. The setting was wrong. They should have been in Wilson's office. Wilson was in his work clothes, ugly brown tie, crisp white shirt and smart pants; all part of his uniform. They were worn to radiate professionalism, to show that he knew what he was talking about. House thought all that was missing was the white coat.
Wilson was brilliant at delivering bad news using the correct soft, sympathetic tone of voice. So House thought it was appropriate for Wilson to be using it now. The common motif was death; of his patients and of their relationship. The only thing that was preventing House from throwing his cane at Wilson in anger and disgust was that he'd wanted it to happen; for Wilson to think it was his own idea to move out.
Under any other circumstances he wouldn't hesitate to tell Wilson what he really wanted. But he didn't want Wilson to give him reasons to change his mind. The underlying issue would always be there. So he had been reduced to giving Wilson excuses to hate him so that he would leave under his own volition.
"I'm going to visit an old Med School friend in LA for a couple of weeks. Adam is a Plastic Surgeon." Wilson continued.
House couldn't care less about Wilson's idiotic friend who had chosen to deal with patients that wished for an unattainable ideal of beauty. But the name had caused House's eyes to flash with barely concealed jealousy. Wilson took a cautious step forward and sighed as he placed his hands on his hips. If he was predictable, so was House. Only House could be jealous even while they were in the midst of breaking up.
"Adam and his wife Lucy moved out there eight months ago. I've been meaning to visit them for a while." Wilson explained. House looked across at the bookshelf which had an old family photograph of the Wilson family on the middle shelf. Wilson's parents and their three young sons posing in front of a tree, all wearing cheesy, goofy grins. It was the only picture Wilson had from that time so it was a treasured possession.
"I'll get the rest of my things when I get back." Wilson said as he followed House's gaze. House had a guarantee that Wilson would return so he simply nodded in acceptance.
Wilson took several steps so that he was standing in front of House. The atmosphere had changed. The calm, neutral expression had left Wilson's face. His left hand rose to sweep over his hair before it rested on the back of his neck.
"I can't do it anymore, House. I tried, but it's...I can't." Wilson whispered. House tapped the tip of cane against the wooden floor. He could feel the sorrow Wilson felt. His heart ached, even though he knew he was doing the right thing.
"Wilson..." House trailed off, unable to find the words he wanted to say.
"At least this way, we can still be friends." Wilson's voice trembled with the effort of trying to salvage something positive from the mess of their incredibly dysfunctional relationship. A dry, strangled chuckle left Wilson's mouth as he recalled all the jokes House had made about him remaining on good terms with his ex-wives.
"I'm sorry." House admitted. He knew Wilson deserved much more than a belated apology. Wilson took a deep breath and regained his composure as he fished out a piece of paper from his wallet.
"This has my flight details on it and you can call me if you need to. " He passed the paper to House. "I've written down Adam's number if you can't reach me on my cell phone."
House managed to stop himself scoffing with incredulity. Only Wilson would be capable of being so caring at a time like that. But he was grateful for it. They needed the time apart and when Wilson returned they could start afresh as friends.
"Bye Wilson." House quietly said.
"Goodbye House." Wilson pressed his lips briefly against House's. He wasn't sure if he was acting on instinct or just in denial that the split would be permanent. He quickly pulled away and turned around, collecting his small suitcase as he took long strides to the front door. House only moved when he heard the sound of the door shutting behind Wilson.
House abandoned his cane, resting it against the back of the couch. He slowly made his way to the bookshelf and picked up the Wilson family photo. He then sat down in his usual spot on the couch and settled the picture frame on the coffee table. He took the amber coloured bottle from the pocket of his jeans and swallowed one Vicodin before returning it to it's usual home. He decided to take another tablet, letting the now empty vial spin on the surface of the table after he threw it carelessly. As he stared at the photograph, he realised that Wilson was indeed an expert in manipulating him. House had thought he had been in control of the situation, engineering increasingly pointless arguments so that Wilson would be forced to leave.
But the apartment was still full of Wilson's possessions. His clothes and books and even meals that he had made for House, all in labelled containers in the freezer. He could still feel Wilson's tender kiss on his lips and smell his favourite cologne in the air. House would have no choice, but to think about Wilson for the next two weeks. Even work wouldn't be a good enough distraction. It seemed inevitable that he would miss Wilson and ask him to come back. The vicious cycle could then start once again.