I don't own anything but the plot. Hilson slash.

House didn't know what he was doing here, and felt rather stupid standing in the freezing night air waiting for him to come home.

Where in the hell are you?

He'd been here for an hour now, splitting his time between pacing and sitting in his car for warmth. Wilson had stormed off over three hours ago, slamming House's door shut. In House's currently slightly drunken state, he couldn't fully remember their fight, but it didn't matter anymore. He just wanted to get inside Wilson's bed and warm up, maybe take a shower or two.

"You have no right to get pissed off at me for overstepping boundaries!"

That's what Wilson had said, and House grimaced at the memory. Wilson had snooped through House's belongings, and stumbled upon the box where House kept his most private and prized posessions. He'd had a gift for Wilson in there that he was holding onto for the right moment, whether it was Christmas or a birthday, he wasn't sure. He was far from romantic, and he didn't know when it was appropriate to give another man a surprise, regardless of their relationship status. House hadn't even been sure he'd give it to Wilson at all.

All it had been was a sketch of a picture of the two of them. Kutner had taken it when neither of them expected it; they had been sitting at a table in the cafeteria across from each other, with their heads huddled in quiet conversation, and had both looked up simultaneously when Kutner snapped the picture. House had taken the copy Kutner gave him weeks later and found an artist to sketch it out for him in pencil. It'd been sitting in the box for months now.

Naturally, he panicked and overreacted, turning what was supposed to be a sweet moment into a disastrous argument.

"You expect me to cross lines!"

It had been a weak comeback.

House sighed and sat down on the cold pavement, watching as snow started to fall. He glanced at his watch and saw that it was after 9 now, and he had no idea where Wilson could be. Sure, he could use his key to get into the apartment, but that would negate everything he'd said during their fight about respecting Wilson's privacy and boundaries. I want to cross his boundaries House thought dryly, shuffling his feet on the icy ground, pulling his coat tighter around his body. He was starting to get really cold, and if Wilson didn't show up soon, he was going to have to break into Wilson's apartment, which would inevitibly spark up their earlier fight.

Minutes passed, and so did wary strangers, eyeing House up and down. One person dropped a dollar on the ground beside his cane, and House chortled, pocketing the cash. At least I get something good out of the night.

At 9:30, when House was nearly too frozen to handle his car safely if he drove home, Wilson's car pulled into his spot and idled for a minute before shutting off. House watched him eagerly, clenching his hands into fists to stop his arms from shivering so much. Wilson stepped out of his car and ran a hand through his wonderful hair - House pushed enticing thoughts away quickly - and shut his door. He held a paper bag in one hand, but House couldn't see in the dark where it was from.

Wilson walked up the sidewalk and slowed down when he saw House, his face carefully smooth and blank, a mirror of House's. He stopped in front of him, crossing his arms across his chest, raising a perfect eyebrow in mock wonder.

"What a surprise to see you," he said carefully, and House groaned internally. He knew I'd be here because he knows me too well. "What are you doing out here? It's too cold out."

"What the hell were you out doing the last hour and a half? Primping your hair?" House asked, ignoring the mixed anger and amusement that crossed Wilson's face before he schooled it back to emptiness.

"I was at a club," Wilson answered, pulling his keys from his pocket and heading toward his door. House's heart lodged in his throat at the words, and he numbly watched Wilson unlock the door. Could he have...cheated? It was definitely something Wilson would do - and he's done it in the past. He'd just never done it to House, and he certainly swore up and down that he never would. It just takes that one time, that one fight.

Wilson left the front door open for House, but he didn't feel like going in anymore. He was too tired, too cold, and he had a bottle of whiskey waiting at home for him. If this was "the fight", or "the revelation" or the God damn Armageddon, House was so not ready for it. Never let it be said that I'm not a coward he thought dully, gripping his cane in his icy hand. He took a few uneasy steps forward, debating on whether he was doing the right thing by walking away now. Maybe if we just stay away from each other for a while, it'll work itself out? House grimaced; he was being more than gay or girly, but he was almost near his car now and he didn't want to walk back to Wilson's place. Yeah, that's it.

It wasn't until his numb fingers were trying to grasp and turn the key in the car door that Wilson came back outside. House barely looked up at him, unsure of what to do or say. Wilson was probably pulling his chain about the club thing, and House knew deep down that Wilson wouldn't cheat on him (he'd be much smoother about telling him, anyway), but there was something wrong with them at the moment. They were off, and if a break is what it required to fix it, he'd do it.

Wilson walked forward and didn't stop until his body was nearly pressed against House's back. His pulse raced but he bit it back and said, "you're in my way. I can't open the door with you forcing me here."

"Come inside," Wilson said softly, warm fingers trailing on House's neck. House barely felt it. "You're freezing House. What is wrong with you? Go inside now."

House shook his head and finally got his car door unlocked, then pulled the handle of the door. His fingers ached from the cold, but he would be damned if Wilson won this.

"Oh." Wilson chuckled, and pushed the door closed. House turned around to argue with him, and Wilson put his hands on either side of his head against the car and forced him to still. "I wasn't serious about the club thing, if that's what you're upset about." He gave House a knowing smile, and House wanted to hit him for it.

"I'm not upset about anything. I'm cold and tired," House said defiantly. His breath caught in his throat as he met Wilson's eyes, and he set his jaw, trying to stay focussed. "Now get out of my way."

Wilson lowered his head and ran his smooth cheek along House's temple, and House had to stop himself before he sighed. His eyes fluttered slightly, wanting to close and enjoy the warmth of Wilson's skin on his.

"Come inside and let me warm you up," Wilson whispered into House's ear, and his hand found House's and he pulled the car keys from his grasp. "I bought something for you."

"I'm not a child," House snapped, pulling his face back a few inches, struggling internally with the desire to follow Wilson inside anyway. As he raised his eyes, he let out a shaky breath; the snow falling around them was picking up, and snowflakes clung to Wilson's hair and eyelashes.

"Then stop acting like one," Wilson retorted, pocketing House's keys. He took a step back and crossed his arms, shivering slightly. "We need to talk, House. Let's just go in."

The dreaded words hung between them, and House physically straightened himself. "Fine. Lead the way." He hated that his keys were in Wilson's possession, and he hated it even more that he was following him into the dragon's lair to be dumped. I'll be damned if he drops that bombshell and I have to beg for my car keys back.

House winced as he took his first few steps forward. His leg was starting to ache from the cold - he'd been outside entirely too long - and he couldn't wait to get inside to warm his hands and take more Vicodin. He'd definitely need it for "the talk".

Of course, he should've figured that Wilson was pulling his leg. Wilson had experience breaking up with people and confessing his sins to crying partners. Wilson wouldn't ever start their conversation with "we need to talk", especially after he claimed to have purchased a gift.

Wilson told House to shut and lock the front door, and he walked into the back of the apartment. House stood uncomfortably in the living room, his mind racing to put the pieces together and make them fit. He didn't want to get his hopes up in case he was wrong, but a part of his mind screamed, you're never wrong! That was a lie and he knew it, and that little smidge of doubt was why he raised his eyes to Wilson in defeat when he returned to the room.

"Don't give me that look," Wilson said, unfolding a blanket and placing it around House's shoulders carefully. He stood back with his hands on House's upper arms, and rubbed them to try to warm him up. House took a single step back, forcing Wilson to drop his arms to his sides.

"What did you need to tell me?" House asked quietly, gripping the blanket around his shoulders tighter. He felt like a fool.

"Sit down." Wilson moved around to the front of the couch and sat down smoothly, and waited until House gave in and sat on the arm of the couch awkwardly. They stared at each other in silence until Wilson smiled and said, "that was a really beautiful picture. Why were you hiding it?"

"I wasn't hiding it," House answered defensively, a blush creeping up his neck slowly.

"I bought a frame for it. You should hang it up somewhere in your apartment," Wilson said, and leaned forward to pick up the paper bag that he'd carried inside earlier. He pulled out a plain black 8x10 frame and placed it on top of the coffee table gently.

"I got it for you," House mumbled, lowering his eyes to the frame, pieces starting to click together in his head.

Wilson scooted over until he was sitting beside House's stiff body, and put a hand on his knee tenderly. "Thank you. It's really nice."

House shrugged uneasily, not sure of what to say or how to react. He was still waiting for the other shoe to drop.

"I'm sorry for snooping."

House looked up briefly before shrugging again and lowering his eyes. It wasn't the fact that Wilson snooped that bothered him; that was to be expected, considering that House snoops through everyone's things. It was the fact that House was embarrassed by the gift, because it was the first real meaningful gift he'd ever given Wilson. That wasn't how he'd wanted to give it to him.

Wilson moved over on the couch and grabbed House's arm. "Come down here," he said, and pulled him to the cushions. House grunted and moved around, trying to get comfortable. "Are you embarrassed now?"


"You can't lie to me."

"Sorry. I'm thinking about what's on TV later. I think The Master of Disguise is on tonight," House said weakly, and winced when Wilson gripped his cold hand in his under the blanket. His hands were starting to burn as the feeling slowly came back.

"I'm sorry for getting mad and leaving," Wilson offered, tilting his head to try and look at House's eyes. House kept his eyes locked on his lap. "House..?"

"You're an idiot," was the only thing House could think to say, and Wilson laughed softly. "You can't just leave and expect me to follow you all the time, you know."

"How long were you outside?"

House met his eyes for a split second before saying, "long enough to become hypothermic."

"You're an idiot," Wilson put his left arm around House's shoulders, running his right hand up and down House's arm in a lame attempt to warm him up.

"What's this thing we needed to talk about?"

Wilson leaned forward and ran his lips along House's jaw lightly. House's eyes closed against his will and he breathed in and out slowly, the feel of Wilson's skin on his almost intoxicating.

"Nothing. I just wanted you in here," Wilson answered, his breath puffing lightly against House's neck.

"You lied to me?" House asked, managing to sound just slightly annoyed. Wilson's hand trailed from his arm to House's cheek, and he turned his head to face him.

"Just a small white lie. You were freezing, and mad at me, and I want to make it up," Wilson said, and gave the barest of kisses on House's lips. A small sigh escaped House's lips, relief and desire wrapped up neatly.

"I'm not ready to forgive you yet."

Wilson smiled at that and said, "Let's go take a shower and get warmed up. You're still freezing. I'll get you to forgive me before the end of the night."