Of Cats And Men

Afternoon naps were a must for all cats. House was lying on the sofa, one hand elegantly crossed over the other in front of him, chin resting on them, tail curled around him. He watched Wilson's every move, eyes narrowed to slits, watched him vacuum around the room, then wipe off the coffee table and put a vase with flowers on it. Wilson was humming a little to himself, arranging the flowers, making them rustle and nod their heads slightly.

What a complete sap Wilson could be, it was pathetic. Typical human!

Then House froze, eyes going round. Was there something inside the bouquet? The rustling and jostling wasn't Wilson's hands alone! There was a fat, warm Mouse or a juicy, jittering moth hiding inside! He felt his skin crawl and his jaws chattered lightly, pupils blown, an incredible urge to hunt building up inside.

Wilson stood back and admired his work, smiling. He turned to go into the kitchen.

That's when a loud crash behind him almost gave him a heart attack and he swiveled.

"HOUSE! Don't…! NO… Stoppit! You – you – cut it out! Down! Stop!" House had knocked over the vase and was now frazzling the poor snapdragons, columbines and peonies to sheds in search for the nasty little teases that just wouldn't come out. When every last stalk was bent or broken, House's head snapped up, eyes wild.

"Did you see the feisty little bugger? It got away! Don't just stand there, help me! It's still in here!"

Wilson stared at him, still in shock. "Are you insane?? There is nothing, nothing! You ruined my flowers! They were from a patient! He was released this morning." He flailed his arms, then putting his hands on his hips, exhaling harshly, looking around, frustrated.

"A man gave you flowers?" House gazed at him, horrified. "He's either 'yanking your chain' or he's in love with you! Or both!" House licked his left hand a few times, irritated.

"NO one is yanking my chain! People give each other flowers as a gesture of gratitude, or to make someone else happy. He was happy he survived cancer and wanted to thank me for being the one who told him he is cured for now!"

"Yeah, he must really like you, hiding a rodent or some nasty bugs inside a bouquet oozes love and gratefulness!" House crawled over to the armchair and ducked his head to look under it. "I think it ran in the direction of your room!"

"Don't you dare sneak into my room! And don't touch anything else! There is no mouse! It's all a figment of your imagination, or a trick of the light." Wilson paused. "Chasing shadows is more of a dog habit, isn't it?" He looked at House, a small glint in his brown eyes.

House stopped dead in his tracks, hissing slightly, turning back to Wilson. "Dog? Did you call me a birdbrained, boneheaded imbecile of a dog??"

"N-no?" Wilson took a step back, House's stare making his scalp tingle and his cheek twitch.

"Dogs are abject, philistine brown-nosers with no self-respect and not the least bit of dignity, shamelessly sucking up to their masters, trapped in their dull, infantile, clueless personalities, playing clown for everyone!" House bared his teeth, shuddering.

Wilson stared at him. "But you liked Hector!"

"I didn't 'like' him! He wasn't a complete idiot. Ready to learn. But ultimately he was the same credulous, uninspired moron as everyone else! He ate my sneakers for crying out loud!"

"Hah!" Wilson barked, thrusting out an arm with a twitchy hand in House's direction. "You almost ate my flowers! And you are chasing after imaginary mice! That's really mature!"

"It was a mouse or a moth! And I would never eat anything without a pulse, or anything produced by anything without a pulse!" He screwed up his face in thought but then nodded once in self-affirmation. "And if you don't stop insulting me I might consider going back to not being potty-trained! You won't be able to recognize your bath tub, and you just won't feel the same love towards your favorite rug anymore!" He looked at Wilson with big, warning eyes, blinking one of them, nervously.

Wilson had been holding his breath, staring in fascination and horror at his friend.

"You wouldn't!"

"Try me!"

"House! O.k., no more dog references. Although I think dogs are very intelligent and faithful animals! They trust and they care about their owners."

"See? They obey without questioning, they have owners! Why would someone want to be owned?! Who needs a master? I pick the one I want to be with, not the other way round!"

Wilson exhaled long and noisily, nodding. "You picked me."

House gazed at him, eyes losing their fierceness, softening. "Yes." He looked down, studying the carpet's pattern sheepishly. "Because you don't try to possess me. I'm not your asset. We choose each other every day. You don't want me to obey or be someone I'm not."

Wilson felt a warm glow spreading in his chest. He smiled a little. "Sometimes, though it would be nice if you–"

House rolled his eyes, uncomfortable with the turn of their little argument into confessions of sorts and grateful Wilson turned back to bantering. "You know, sometimes I regret my choice!" His eyes were mischievous, his tail twitching a little aggressively. "You don't play with me, ever! No balls of wool, no stuffed mice on a string, no toys at all! And you never buy me live mice either! I'm frustrated!"

Wilson looks flabbergasted. "Is this an attempt to justify you shredding my flowers, or pouncing me like Hobbes after meals? You are making this my fault? Making me feel guilty?"

"I do love your understanding and kind demeanor, and that you always yield! That's really a fine trait!" House's eyes gleamed and he blinked, smiling up at Wilson as he sleekly walked towards him on all fours, his limp giving his hips a pronounced sway. He wound around Wilson's legs and sniffed his fingers when Wilson held them out as a peace offering, his whiskers tickling Wilson's skin.

"We do have one toy here!" Wilson said playfully over House's loud purring. He went over to House's backpack and produced Ball-y from its confines. House's eyes went wide, his breathing quickening. He meowed through his teeth, a longing note to it and jumped onto the armchair to snatch the fuzzy red and white ball out of Wilson's 'claws' and chased it through the entire apartment.

Wilson found him twenty minutes later on his bed, lying on his stomach, propped up on his elbows, Ball-y in one arm, slowly and luxuriously licking the back of an elegant hand. He blinked contentedly at Wilson then, letting himself fall on his side into the soft cushions, the tip of his tail tapping the sheets lightly. Wilson carefully sat down on the bed and lifted a hand to House's face, tenderly stroking his soft cheek with his knuckles and down over stubble to his smooth and long neck. House closed his eyes, ears twitching, but elongated his neck to give Wilson better access. One eye followed Wilson's movements. Wilson's palm slides down over House's chest to his belly, slipping under his shirt and rubbing his belly in slow circles. House twitches and rolls fully onto his back, spreading his arms and legs, indulging in Wilson's caresses, breathing deeply, eyes closed, a hint of teeth showing through his lips, brows lifted in bliss. Wilson marveled at the rare sight of House utterly relaxed and at ease, trusting him, letting his guard down.

He carefully removed his shoes with one hand and lay down beside House, never ceasing the gentle rub of his hand, feeling House's flat belly, feeling warm and smooth skin. He brought his face close to House's and nudged him with his nose while his hand gradually slipped lower until it passes the waistband of his jeans. House's eyes snapped open and his hand stopped Wilson's over his groin. Wilson touched his lips to the corner of House's mouth and waited, trying to breathe evenly. It was done, he'd made clear his intentions.

"Cats don't kiss." House's voice was raspy, a hint of uncertainty in it. Wilson smiled against House's lips.

"But men do."

And Wilson showed him.