Disclaimer: Unfortunately, I don't own the two sexy men you're about to read about. But if I do ever get a chance to purchase them, I will definitely NOT be sharing! LOL

Author's Notes: I have decided to embark on a little adventure. I have recently been popping in my old DVDs of season one of House and I was thinking of what I thought of the House/Wilson relationship at that exact point. So, I will be writing several oneshot fics each taking place directly after the episode they are named for. There will be spoilers for the episode mentioned, not that will matter since I'm sure each of us have already seen these eps, but I thought I'd better mention it or get scolded! Please keep in mind that I tried to push all information out of my mind except exactly what was given to us in the episode titled and previous episodes. Also, this will not be a series, saying that you will NOT have to read this one to read the next. Nothing that happened in this one will be mentioned or will have happened in the next. The only connection is that they will all be House/Wilson mostly SLASH fics. Hope you enjoy!

Damned If You Do

I stood outside the apartment door, listening to the familiar holiday tune coming from inside the apartment, enjoying the rare opportunity I got to hear House play. His moments at the piano, his fingers moving over the ivory keys, notes flowing from the strings, were his own. He never played for an audience, only himself. But occasionally, I would approach the door and enjoy a few minutes of his musical talent before I knocked. I liked to think that he knew I was outside the door, and didn't care. I wanted to believe that he didn't mind sharing his private moment with me, his best friend.

These were the thoughts that always brought me back to this doorway, away from my wife, away from the possibility of actually making my marriage work, away from having a life that revolved around anything other than this friendship, which even I couldn't fully explain. But one thing I knew for certain was that I had to be here, with him.

One song ended and another began, still remaining true to the season. I leaned against the wall, remembering the night we'd spent. He'd been miserable all day. The constant religious discussions had pushed him deeper into his bottle of Vicodin. Faith was so hard for him, I knew that; he couldn't believe in something that wasn't tangible. His whole life revolved around proof. And there would never be proof that God or the afterlife existed. No matter how hard I or anyone else pushed him, he would never believe.

But some part of me needed to press on. I needed him to believe, just in case. I admit, that I too am just a bit skeptical of the golden roads and fluffy clouds, but I'm not too naïve to admit that I am scared of the alternative. What worried me even more, though, was the thought of spending eternity without him. In our current lives, I never went more than a few waking hours at a time without at the very least speaking to him. I had even called him while on my honeymoon, which was probably the beginning of my downhill marriage. But that was a different matter altogether. My point was that if I couldn't even separate myself from him to save my marriage, how was I supposed to go an eternity without him?

Sometimes it frustrated me to know that I needed him. But knowing that he needed me too, in his own perverse, devious way made it okay. Of course, he would never admit it out loud, but I could tell that he needed me. We had a special relationship. I was the only one who could truly make him laugh. Not the sarcastic snicker or the polite chuckle, but true, full laughter. My mind drifted to earlier that night as we sat eating Chinese takeout in his living room. I had watched him laugh, the lines near his eyes more pronounced and his head thrown back. In those moments, he had truly been happy; I could see it in his eyes.

Happiness in House came in minute, infrequent spurts, almost always in my presence. I made him happy. Not all the time, not even most of the time, but on rare occasions I had the unique pleasure of enjoying House's happiness that I, myself, had created. In his happiness, I found my own. With that thought, a smile came over my face. I listened to the song from within the apartment come to an end and I knocked on the door that separated me from where I was and where I wanted to be.

The sound of his pronounced limp, without the thud of the cane, followed, moving closer and closer. He opened the door without even asking who it was. For a moment we just stood in silence on either side of the doorway. I watched as the knowing look formed on his face and the corners of his mouth rose just slightly.

"What'd you tell the wife?"

I knew he truly didn't care, though his curiosity always got the better of him. He didn't want an answer because he cared about my wife's feelings, but rather to find out what lie I'd told this time in order to be with him rather than her. I shrugged. "I told her I drank a little too much and probably shouldn't drive home."

"Isn't that the same excuse you gave last Christmas?"

I thought back and wondered if he was right. Honestly, I had no idea. I'd given up trying to keep track of my excuses. I gave them and my wife took them. Most of the time we would fight the next day and I'd just end up spending another night at House's apartment, which is where I'd rather be anyway.

I shrugged again as I brushed past my friend into the apartment. "Does it matter?"

He pushed the door shut, "Nope. As long as you're here, why don't you get us both a beer."

After tossing my coat over the chair, I continued on my path to the kitchen, having anticipated House's request. Funny, I thought, that I knew my best friend better than even my wife. But when I returned to the living room I found House seated at the piano, and wondered whether I knew him as well as I thought I did. I handed him his beer without a word and moved to a chair with the jut of his chin directing me to. As I settled into a comfortable position, a leg thrown over one arm of the leather chair, I realized he had been watching me the entire time.

His eyes met mine, locked in the strangest of moments, as if trying to read my mind. I swallowed hard, fully aware of the emotion swirling in his ocean blues. But the moment ended as quickly as it had begun, House turning his attention to the piano keys and I turned mine to a long pull of my beer.

Notes flowed again, created by his fingertips. I watched as his every emotion was poured into each note. His eyes closed, as if blocking any unwanted distraction, his head tilted and wrinkles came and went with every sway of his upper body. Suddenly I felt like I was intruding, like I was watching him make love thru music. But then I relaxed, comforted by the knowledge that this was something he wanted me to see. This little performance was designed especially for my eyes. I felt my body react, completely unable to stop it.

Our relationship was special. We never talked about it, not one single word. It was just an unspoken agreement between the two of us that, during certain vulnerable or even special moments, we morphed into the roles of lovers. As the music filled my soul, letting House's form of foreplay take effect, I reminisced to the first time our relationship had found its new course.

It had been almost five years ago, just after his accident. He'd come home from the hospital, completely miserable and convinced his life was over. Of course I'd moved in with him, having been the only one who could possibly put up with him, and tried to bring him back to reality. A week into my stay, after seven consecutive nights of heated arguments, I brought his dinner to his bedroom on a tray just as I had each previous night, only to have it thrown across the room. I'd started to yell at him, but instead of evil words being spat in my direction, he'd grabbed my shirt and pulled me on top of him.

I had frantically pushed my self to the side, not so much shocked by what had happened, but more worried about hurting his leg. Little did I know that I had played directly into his hand. His lips had attacked mine without a moment's hesitation. Even more surprising was my immediate frantic reaction to deepen the kiss. We had both wanted each other, even if for different reasons.

Although I knew my desire for him was purely for normal reasons, as much as one man being in love with his best friend could be normal, it did take time for me to figure out his motives. He'd never said the words, but for him it was about trust and comfort. Since his leg, the scar, the physical limitations, he no longer felt attractive. I was the only person he truly trusted and he was comfortable enough with me to put himself in a vulnerable position.

But even with this knowledge, there were still understood rules. He initiated almost every encounter, although he never forced me into anything. It was all bout his comfort with the situation. Even the very few times when I felt like it had been my idea, it had been more like my asking him if it was okay. This also always occurred within the safety of his apartment. The suggestion might be made in other locations, but the actual act of us being together only happened behind his closed apartment door. But not only in his apartment; we only made love in his bed, under the covers. The lights were always off and afterwards I took my place on the sofa to sleep the rest of the night away. Even though he trusted me, he had to be in control and his comfort was in being hidden by the darkness and shadows. But even in knowing that, I still loved him, which I'm not even sure he knew.

Although he'd never told me I couldn't, I'd never uttered the three little words. I was afraid they would change everything. While our relationship was by no means perfect, it worked for us. Most days, we were best friends, inseparable by anyone or anything. On occasion we were lovers, lost in each other and content with the life we'd created.

I was lost in my thoughts when the song came to an end. My eyes found his, exuding emotion. "You've never played for me before."

He picked up his beer and took a long pull before replying, "Consider it your first Chanukah gift."

Intrigued, "First?"

"You get eight, right?"

House had never bought me any gift, or even thought about buying me any gift. What had changed, I wonder? Better question, what would my other seven gifts be? I figured I should start at the beginning. "I didn't know we were exchanging gifts this year."

"Exchanging would imply that you got me something. Did you?"

I paused. Literally, no I hadn't. But if he could play me a song as one of my gifts, surely I could come up with something before the end of the night. "You could say that."

"Goody." I watched as he sauntered in my direction, as much as his limp would allow. "So, gift number two then." He turned away from me and headed to the kitchen, returning a few minutes later with another beer for himself and a glass of wine for me. He had actually purchased something for me. I didn't even try to hide my shock.

With an evil glint in his eye, he plopped down on the couch and flipped on the television, bathing the room in the flickering lights and sounds coming from the set. He tossed the remote to the side and patted the cushion beside him. "Gift three. Come 're."

I raised an eyebrow, but did as I was told, another rule in our relationship. House ordered, I followed; it was that simple. His arm snaked around my shoulders and my body instantly stiffened. This was completely against his own set of rules. We never cuddled. We barely even touched outside of the bedroom.

My brain registered him speaking, "Relax. I know you want this. Pick a show. A short show."

I turned to him briefly, terrified that I might be pushing my luck. "How did you…?"

He rolled his eyes. "I'm not an idiot. Your minutes are ticking away. I do have plans for the rest of the night."

I put my glass on the coffee table after I took a sip and settled into the crook of his arm. I didn't even care what was on the television. "Just tell me when my time's up." It wasn't a lover's embrace, but rather my being comfortable beside him. My back, angled just slightly in his direction, was leaned half against his side and half against the couch and my arms were folded across my chest, my feet propped on the coffee table. My head was nestled between his shoulder and neck, his arm draped casually around my shoulders. It made me feel loved, even though I had no idea if I was.

I tried to stop my mind from whirring during whatever time period I'd been allotted for my gift, but I couldn't help but wonder what my other five gifts would be. This gift had been a stretch for House. It may have been a simple gesture for others, but for him to give up his personal space spoke volumes. My eyes drifted shut, even though I had no intention of falling asleep, enjoying the moment I knew would probably never be repeated. This was a one-time gift. Tomorrow, everything would go back to the way it had been yesterday.

After a period of time passed, how long I didn't even know, House shrugged his shoulder against my head, signaling my time was up. Without argument, I sat up and reached for my glass. I took a sip, silently waiting for the next instruction that I knew would come. I felt the couch shift as he moved beside me and was surprised when a bag was set in front of me. It wasn't a gift bag, but a brown paper bag, like an old lunch sack, with the top rolled over.

I reach for it, just as House said, "Gift four." I unrolled the bag, trying to hide my amazement in the fact that House had actually shopped for me. This was not the first, but actually the second tangible gift that he'd gone out of his way to purchase. This was the part of him that no one else saw. Underneath his rough exterior, his miserable attitude and his general ability to be an ass, was a thoughtful human being. He actually was capable of feeling. What his feelings were still remained a mystery, but his actions pointed in a positive direction.

From the paper bag, a pulled a cinnamon scented jar candle. I turned an inquisitive look in his direction. His answer shocked me. "For the bedroom. Go light it."

With my jaw feeling like it was touching my chest, I walked down the hallway. It was evidently a night for breaking rules. When I got in the room, I found a lighter on the nightstand. After lighting the candle, I went back into the living room. But before I sat down, with my arms crossed over my chest, I asked, "How did you even know I'd come back?"

He was confident in his response, another thing I loved about him. "Because we haven't spent a Christmas apart in four years." As quickly as was possible for him, he swung his legs off the coffee table, downed the last of his beer and walked toward me. "Which brings me to gift number five. Top or bottom?" With a wicked grin, he walked right past me and down the hall. He was letting me choose? I was always on the bottom. Always.

With a flush, I followed him into the bedroom. He greeted me with, "Well?"

My immediate reaction was to say top, but let's face it, I'm an over thinker. House had already made quite a few sacrifices tonight. We had tried House being the bottom once. It had ended horribly with his leg sending him into a fit of pain. He'd yelled at me and I'd retreated to the sofa, distraught with grief and sexually frustrated. It was an event I never wanted to repeat. House's comfort was in being in control. And his enjoyment, and consequently mine, was dependent upon his pain level. With confidence, I replied, "Bottom."

The craved look in his eyes told me I'd given the answer he wanted to hear. As much as he was doing this for me, House would always be House. He always wanted to be in control and he would always be first. That quality was one that most people hated, but it was one that I envied. As much as I tried, I never put myself first. My over rationalizations always put someone ahead of me. I wondered what it would feel like to make a decision based solely on how it would affect me. But I feared that day would never come.

But this day, the day where House was making sacrifices for me, was one I never thought would come either. I reached over and flicked off the bedroom light, this time smiling when I did. Instead of the normal darkness, the room was bathed in the warm, flickering glow of the newly placed candle, the spicy aroma intoxicating my senses. House stepped toward me and I could see his transformation in the hunger in his eyes. There would be no more chitchat. There'd be no mention of things that happened outside this room. In that moment, the imaginary switch in his brain had flipped from friend to lover.

I loved the way my skin felt as he consumed me with his ocean blue eyes. It was as though a thousand tiny volts of electricity shot thru me, traveling at the speed of light, shocking every sense into hyper drive. The first touch of his fingers to my face, the rough pads trailing their way along my cheek, jaw, then traveling down my neck, caused me knees to weaken. Every time he touched me, it felt like the very first time. My body reacted to his touch like it did to no other, never quite satisfied, always wanting more.

I wanted all of him. I knew I would never have him, not entirely. He wasn't capable of wholly giving himself to anyone. But I tried to keep telling myself that as long as he never gave more of himself to anyone else than he gave to me, I was okay with that. I could go on for eternity as long as I knew that no one had more of him than me. He belonged to me. I knew I had no right to think that, I was the married one, but I couldn't stop myself from feeling it.

And feeling was what I did best when surrounded by these four walls. I felt his touch on my skin, creating the thin barrier of sweat with the gentlest of touches. He worked with both hands now, stripping away the clothing piece by piece that I would have swiftly tore off. Each article pooled on top of the last in a neat little pile until I stood completely naked in front of him. He gazed at my body, devouring me with his eyes. I waited for his next move, my knees that were turning into jell-o by the second, protesting against performing their duty to hold me upright.

When he made no attempt at coming toward me, I took the step toward him and gently tugged at his t-shirt. He never let me undress him, but tonight was about changes. I took my chances, giving him ample opportunities to stop me. When he made no objection, I pulled his shirt over his head, baring his chest to my wanton eyes. His jeans and boxers followed and for the first time ever, he stood naked in front of me. I took my time taking in every curve, every dip and every crease. He was gorgeous. I wanted to tell him, but dared not. Instead, I took a step toward him and pushed onto my toes to press my lips against his.

His lips were like heaven. Heaven protected by the piercing stubble that I was willing to crawl naked thru in order to reach. My skin did complain for hours after our love making, but they were cries I never heard. Each red blotch was worth the satisfaction I'd acquired during its receipt.

As our kiss deepened, tongues clashing together inside one mouth or the other, he crushed our bodies together. My knees could take no more, and I knew I couldn't rely on him to hold me up. With tentative steps, I maneuvered us both to the bed where we, not so graciously, fell to the mattress. Ever careful of his leg, I pushed him onto his back and set my mouth to exploring his nakedness. I watched every inch of his flesh, the flickering glow providing the perfect amount of light to enhance each of his gorgeous features.

My body trembled as I elicited moans and hisses from deep within him. He tasted of salt and sex. With each nip and lick at skin I'd never traversed over, a new sound erupted. I felt myself pulse and precum ooze just knowing I was giving him pleasure. His body twisted, arched and jerked as my tongue lapped at already dampened skin. I traveled lower and lower on his torso, enjoying every second until his desire filled growl interrupted the silence. "Christ. Get to your destination already."

I smiled, knowing that I'd pushed him to needing me. I wrapped my lips around him, cupping his balls in my hand as I did, not even pulling back with the thrust of his hips. I felt him pulsing in my mouth. He was fighting to regain control, struggling between giving in to his orgasm and prolonging our lovemaking. I listened as his breathing evened and felt his body relax underneath me. After a few more laps of my tongue, I dragged my body up his.

He wasted no time reaching for the condom and lube. He desperately needed me, as I did him. I watched as he rolled the condom on and slicked himself up then I made my move to turn over. I was shocked when his hand pressed against my shoulder and pushed me back onto the mattress. He eyes were swirling with passion as he positioned himself between my legs.

With each short thrust, his eyes darkened to midnight until he was completely buried within me. I bit my lip to keep from shouting his name. He felt so damn good. He fell forward, supporting his weight with his left arm, bringing his right to stroke me, matching the movement of his hips. His words came in short, intermittent husky whispers. "Listen carefully. Gifts six and seven. Very close." A few more strokes and I was throbbing in his hand, barely able to have a conscious thought. "Say it."

My mind raced, lost between the passion and the pure need for release. It took a moment for my brain to register his words. This was it. This was my one chance to utter the three little words that explained everything. I could barely control my emotion. My eyes locked with his. "I love you."

I was consumed by the passion created by that moment, teetering on the brink of explosion, when he suddenly stilled over me. "You too." Two words, barely above a whisper, filled my soul. With one final thrust, I felt him explode inside me, stroking me one last time, bringing me to my own completion. Wave after wave carried me higher into my orgasm, my entire body jerking from the release.

My eyes were still squeezed tight when I felt him fall to the bed beside me. Our deep breaths seemed to pulse in rhythm with each other, not yet ready to separate. A few silent minutes passed, both of us having regained some sort of normality, before the order came from his side of the bed. "Washcloth."

With a groan I stood and returned from the bathroom a few minutes later and tossed a warm washcloth and towel in his direction. I pulled on my boxers as he cleaned off, all the while wondering whether I should thank him for the night. I wanted to thank him. I wanted to tell him that this was the best night I'd ever spent with another person. But the reality was that he didn't want to hear any of those things, not in the way I wanted to say them. He liked our relationship just the way it was.

I picked up his clothes from the floor, tossing his boxers in his direction and putting the rest of the clothes in the hamper. I took the washcloth and towel from him and tossed them in the hamper also, then went to the dresser and withdrew a pair of lounge pants and a t-shirt that I knew he'd want to put on and grabbed a set for myself. As I pulled his t-shirt over my head, I had to stop myself from hugging it to my body. The lounge pants came next and I suddenly felt engulfed by his warmth once again.

I picked the rest of my clothes up from the floor and looked around the room, searching for something more to do, anything to prolong my time within these four walls. Seeing the flickering candle, I walked over and extinguished it with one blow, bathing the room in the darkness it was used to. A sigh escaped me, knowing that there was nothing else to keep me here. I reached the doorway of his room and without turning said, "'Night House."

I only took one step before his response stopped me dead in my tracks. "Gift eight." I waited, barely noticing that I was holding my breath. "You can stay. We're not cuddling. You can't touch me or cross over your side onto mine. If I take up too much space or snore too loud, you aren't allowed to complain. But, if you want, you can stay."

My heart beat rapidly in my chest as I made the silent return to the bed I longed to spend the night in. I dropped my clothes by the door and crawled under the covers. Lying on my back, I stared at the ceiling, not daring to look in his direction, and listened to the familiar shake of a pill bottle followed by the pop of the lid. Afterward, the click of the plastic hitting the nightstand came before the rustle of sheets and the shifting of the mattress, signaling House was trying to find some position, any position, that would bring him some sort of comfort. It took a good five minutes for him to finally settle and I chanced a glance in his direction.

I nearly chuckled seeing that we slept in practically the same position, on our backs, one arm under our head and one leg cocked to the side. Focusing back on the ceiling, I listened to the silence, a feeling of belonging washing over me. This is where I belonged, here in this bed, with him. My wife, job and all the rest of my life be damned. I just wanted to stay right here.

I was just about to will myself to sleep when his voice filled the otherwise silent room. "Which one was your favorite?"

I knew he was talking about the gifts. Each one, in its own way, was special. I didn't know if I could choose. My rational mind started eliminating, and brought me quickly to my answer. "Seven."

"Something you knew." It wasn't a question, but a statement.

"I hoped. I didn't know."

"Well now you do." He talked about it so simply, like it was just another night in our regular relationship. This complicated, basically ridiculous bond that held us together, was something his brain could rationalize. Why was I surprised? His next question surprised me even more. "Does it change anything?"

A simple yes or no would not satisfy him, I knew that. But the question was very cryptic, not only because I couldn't tell what he was truly asking, but also because we were actually have a conversation about our relationship. I chanced a look in his direction. "Should it?"

His eyes met mine and I was shocked to see just a bit of vulnerability. "Shouldn't it?"

I tried to read the answer in the question, my only conclusion being that he did want something to change, though what it was I was still unsure of. I said the only thing I could. "Yeah, it changes things."

He looked back to the ceiling and remained silent for longer than I was comfortable with. His next move only complicated things more. "So…you'll drink too much more often?"

In his own way, he was telling me that he wanted me around more. How could I argue with that? "I could…get busier at work…maybe take up bowling…sign up for conferences."

He turned to me again and nodded. I smiled before he looked away again, settling into his pillow. I was just about to drift to sleep when he said, "Don't think I forgot that you never gave me my gift."

My smile widened. Of course he wouldn't forget. "We'll have plenty of time tomorrow. I'll get my fight over with in the morning after I make breakfast and I'll come back after that."

A few seconds passed before he spoke again, his voice filled with sleep. "In case I forget…tomorrow…you can stay."

Yes, things had changed. For once, they changed in my favor. As I pushed deeper into my pillow, I finally felt completely at home, needed by the one person I needed most. "'Night House."

"'Night Wilson."