(A/N: Well I know that I don't normally do House/Wilson pieces but I've had so many floating around in my head lately that I just had to write one down. This one is set in season 6, slightly before the pair gets their new apartment oh and *cough* OOC *cough*. I don't own the show, only David Shore and Fox may say that.)

Chapter 1—Strange but New

"It really is kind of beautiful isn't it?" Wilson was relaxing next to his best friend on their conjoined balconies, his eyes fixed heavenward, avoiding the scrutiny of House's gaze. The younger doctor had taken a seat on the concrete divide that House so regularly jumped just to come and see him. House was leaning casually on the barrier, twirling his cane absently as he struggled to avoid looking at what Wilson was seeing. But he couldn't help glancing up, heavy clouds dotted the sky, breaking sunset beams of light into bursts of shimmering golden that lanced the city beyond the hospital giving everything a sparkling quality. Later that night snow was in the forecast and Wilson had heard that several inches of the white stuff was destined for their little corner of New Jersey. They had already planned to take the next day off, neither of them much liking the idea of driving in the snow or dealing with the trauma cases libel to result from others driving on icy roads. Wilson already had plans for carry out dinner, a cup of hot chocolate and a night near the space heater watching late night T.V. on mute.

"Yeah," House gave a simple that startled Wilson out of his contemplative state; he hadn't expected House to treat the question as anything other than rhetorical. But he smiled, Mayfield really had changed him for the better, and Wilson appreciated the attempt at being more normal. He wasn't going to tell House how happy he was that the pills had stopped being an issue, that his pain was manageable. But more than anything he was certain that he wasn't going to tell the Diagnostician that he was ecstatic that Cuddy was no longer on his list of romantic possibilities. He had encouraged House to stop hiding his feelings, and though that had led to him getting hurt, it was alright because House had turned to Wilson. When the younger doctor felt his friend's shoulder against his side he was startled, but he allowed it when House made no motion to shove him off of the wall, it even brought a little smile to both of their faces. Wilson was still getting used to having something like a real best friend, someone who needed his help and accepted it rather than shunning it.

"Well, I'm cold…and hungry," it was a gentle, honest statement but he had used it to conceal his concern for the older man's health and comfort. He knew that House was concerned that 'the shine of his neediness' would wear off and that Wilson would one day stop caring for him, but the younger doctor was almost certain that wouldn't happen. With a soft nod the blue-eyed man smiled, leading the way back through his office with a stage-like sweep of his arm that made Wilson laugh under his breath. Before they had met on the balconies House had made Wilson to get himself ready to leave for the night, he wanted to miss the almost nightly ritual of Lucas coming to meet Cuddy when she got off of work. It wasn't that he still cared, but with Lucas trying to be a buddy…well House wasn't really willing to make the same gesture. Wilson quickly swung his legs over the balcony; he was close on House's heels, briefcase in hand, ready for their long weekend.

They had locked their offices up for the night; leaving the doors open for the weekend cleaning crew just was not an option. Sure they would have on Friday night but while they still had a work day to go through there was no way they were going to let people into their private space. The hallway had never seemed so long (Wilson was feeling guilty about not telling his fellows he wasn't going to be in tomorrow) and when they finally boarded the elevator he felt himself heave a sigh of relief. House glanced cautiously at his friend, he wasn't sure he wanted Wilson to know that he was sticking close on purpose, as long as it didn't make the Oncologist uncomfortable he was going to keep it up. But the younger doctor had noticed the strange behavior of his friend, and did as he had done with many a patient, finding House's hand and giving it a quick reassuring squeeze.

The gesture was not unnoticed by the older man, but he decided to leave it without comment, the touch had made him feel better. When House visibly relaxed Wilson did his best not to smile, his friend was changed but not altogether different, he had no desire to push his luck. If something was bothering House then they would talk about it when it needed to be talked about, or House would mention it in therapy and Wilson would hear about it anyway. But he already knew that their relationship was the last thing House had left, not only had he mentioned it before; he was constantly reminded by the older man's presence. Wilson was a smart man, and he never mentioned anything about it to House, their friendship had been under strain before from lack of caring and now he didn't want to admit that he cared too much.

The moment the elevator doors opened they moved through the lobby, but they knew that they had been spotted. Cuddy had been standing at the information desk and was moving toward them like a shark in chummed waters. Thinking quickly (God he was sneaky) House seized Wilson's hand and hung his head, he looked genuinely miserable and the younger man got the silently conveyed message. Switching his briefcase to his free hand he allowed House to tuck himself closer to his side, Wilson had to resist the urge to hug the older man close to him. It was true pity that shown from his eyes as he looked on House's face, the Diagnostician looked as though he were about to cry. It didn't stop Cuddy from swooping down on them like a bird of prey, resplendent in the sleep that she had begun to get back; Wilson spotted the challenge in her eyes.

"House, you owe me Clinic duty," she stated flatly and either in a masterful theatric move or true misery House sniffed and summoned a few tears, tucking himself closer to James' side. Wilson's protective grip on the older man didn't seem to fool Cuddy, her face pulled into a scowl. "Don't think I'm going to let you get around me just because you shed a few tears," she said and venom dripped from her tone, she was dangerous. But House was not willing to back down; he went into a defensive position and buried his head against Wilson's shoulder. The Oncologist almost told him to stop fooling around until he felt the tears soaking his shirt, House was actually crying.

"Look Cuddy…I don't want to start things, he just needs time," Wilson spoke calmly and twisted a little awkwardly to wipe the tears away from the taller doctor's cheeks. He was struck by just how utterly tragic and almost broken House looked, it was almost as though he truly felt empty at the loss of Cuddy from his life, it made Wilson's heart ache. But James reasoned that it had to be something else, it had to be something deeper that he had yet to mention to Wilson, probably the cause of his close proximity. He wasn't going to pry, Wilson knew better than to comment on it or risk never finding out. Totally unwilling to look at Lisa Cuddy the blue-eyed doctor maintained focus on the floor and his friend's face, shifting between the as tears slowly made their way down his cheeks.

"What's wrong with you?" Cuddy demanded, as if she hadn't heard a word from Wilson's mouth, her eyes were cold and fixed darkly on House. She held her ground, arms crossed over her chest in a gesture of dominance and annoyance, Wilson didn't know how he was going to get House out of it. With a sigh House leaned more heavily on his friend's shoulder, his face shown with a strange intensity, as though he were willing the tears to stop and his sarcastic side to return.

"It isn't something I need to share, alright?" Greg House was not normally a shy or quiet man, nor was he one to cry publicly, and he was really hating that he couldn't turn it off. He knew that he had taken the avoiding Cuddy game over the top, but 15 minutes bullshitting her was better than 4 hours seeing idiots. It was annoying that the clinic stayed open so long, but it was necessary, he understood that, it just wasn't necessary for him to be in it.

"Fine," Cuddy threw up her arms, attempting to be angry though her face brightened when she saw Lucas waltzing into the Lobby, the 'brat' bundled up in his arms. The situation seemed to be defused and House quickly tucked his head down, shifting his back pack and cane and motioning for Wilson to lead the way out of the Hospital. When he didn't move the blue-eyed doctor grabbed his brown-eyed friend by the hand and began to drag him away like a child.

Wilson noted silently that the grip that House maintained was almost painful, and that there were still a few tears sparkling in the Diagnostician's eyes. It still wasn't something that the younger of the pair wished to mention and he allowed himself to be walked out of the hospital, hand still firmly clasped in House's. Only when they reached Wilson's car did House let go of his friend's fingers, and the Oncologist noticed a soft blush on his companion's face. The smile that passed between them was something new, it made Wilson's heart flutter and he stayed outside of the car to call in their order for Thai food. He selected his and House's normal orders, planning on meeting the delivery when it got to their apartment.

(A/N: Not sure when the next chapter will be coming out, but stay tuned. Reviews are appreciated.)