Disclaimer: I don't own House, though I can't imagine that, if I did, I'd ever be able to improve on it. Lyrics are Unguarded Moment by The Churches. Title comes from a quote by Jack Kerouac.

Note: Okay, hi House fandom. First time trying blah blah blah, but also my first time trying real people, not counting Labyrinth (which is not really realistic anyway). So I'd be interested to know if it turned out vaguely okay. Apologies for any mistakes, sorry for shortness, and...I hope you enjoy.


A Commonplace Thing


so deep
deep without a meaning
i knew you'd find me leaving


House and Wilson aren't in a relationship.

They spend a lot of time together - more, now. They share an apartment and they're pretty much the only ones to know, except Cameron, who stumbled across enough evidence in House's mail to piece it together. They eat dinner out sometimes, and Wilson will cook and House won't wash up. Wilson will complain it's House's apartment and House will say that Wilson's the one that made the mess, and Wilson will say that that's not what he said when he was eating it a minute ago. Then House turns the word 'mess' into some kind of innuendo, and they have sex.

Those are the nights when they share a bed, when they're both spent and too tired to move, too content to try to stir themselves to. The rest of the time, House has his bed – naturally – and Wilson is laid out on the couch, or, when House is feeling generous, the camp bed. House has never thrown him out of bed per se – no, it's Wilson's choice to evacuate. House moves about in his sleep, twists in the covers, thrusts his leg out to try to get it comfortable. As much as he likes him and as much as he enjoys waking up with him (more accurately, before him, and there's nothing better than the disgruntled, sleepy look on the older man's face when he's roused at ten to seven), and as sorry as he is that House is missing a muscle, there's only so many knees-to-the-stomach that Wilson can take before he rolls out of bed, groaning, and sleeps on the floor. Hence, the couch.

It works. It doesn't really mesh together and it doesn't run smoothly, but it works. Days pass in relative comfort and with relative ease. House isn't happy because he's House and Wilson isn't happy because there's too much wrong in the background to be fixed by rampant sex and affectionate company. But days keep passing...and it still works.

House doesn't think of it as a relationship. It never had the beginnings of one, he decides – there was no awkward exchange of "I like you"s, no dates, none of those sudden, passionate moments that turn a friendship into something more. It was just Wilson, turning up, again, depressed, and staying for a while. And he kept promising he was going to leave, and House kept blocking him, and Wilson was only half trying anyway. He still tries, even now – there's still the odd property brochure splayed on the couch, a hotel pamphlet next to the toaster. But Wilson isn't going anyway and they both know it.

But it's not a relationship. House doesn't admit it to himself because he doesn't even know it, not consciously, because a part of him is blocking it. He'd have no problem calling it a relationship, not really, not with Wilson. But a part of him know if he does, the moment he does – that's the moment the lines shift and change and it's not a good thing anymore, it's a time bomb. Greg House doesn't do relationships very well. He just does Wilson.

Wilson doesn't call it a relationship either. He's a little bit more honest about it, but he's still lying to himself. It's different, he thinks, because House is a guy. It's not like it was with Julie and the others. So it's not really a relationship, because Wilson's not really prepared to admit he's gay. And really he's not – other men have never attracted him. It's just House. It'd be easy to just run with that, but if it's a relationship then there have to be sacrifices...and you don't make sacrifices for someone who just takes and takes. Not unless you don't know you're doing it. As soon as you know, you're resenting it, and then –

So it's not a relationship. It's just House and Wilson.

That's still what they are to each other, too – House and Wilson. They tried out Greg and James for a while and it really, really didn't fit. Occasionally, Wilson is "Jimmy", and House is "caustic bastard", but beyond that, it's still the same. Because this isn't some major shift, or some dramatic change – this is an easing of one thing into another, the changing of light into shadow along the fold of a curtain, an extension of instinct and simplicity.

House makes Wilson feel good, so he stays around. He knows it's mad because House is a very destructive influence, and Wilson will be the first to point that out to you – but what can he do? He's around him enough anyway, all this means is he doesn't have House bugging him about which nurse he's boning. Well, he does. But in a different way.

Wilson doesn't make House feel good, but nothing does. But when Wilson's around, House notices he takes less Vicodin. It's probably because of the hormones, and the brain deleting the pain to make room for new sensations, but whatever. He wants Wilson, so he'll have him. He doesn't think too much about it. When Wilson gets fed up of him, they'll fight, and not speak for five years, or something.

But it doesn't happen. The fight never comes, and Wilson never gets fed up. House does, once, and he starts sniping more than usual, doing even less about the place. He spends the night with a hooker and Wilson knows, and nothing comes of it. Wilson doesn't fuss or change or try to compensate or feel bad. Just reminds House that it's coming out of his half of the paychecks, and not Wilson's. Damned if he's paying for House's fun, he says, because does House ever chip for Wilson's things?

House doesn't get fed up again. He doesn't know why. Things fit with Wilson, and not just in the sexual sense. He tells Wilson, sarcastically, that they'll grow old together, and Wilson scoffs and tells House that he's as old as he's going to get and the most he can expect is a fond farewell when he ODs. So House knows that they're going to be okay. That they're going to work.

And the strangest thing is, they do.