Counting Sheep

Wilson was exhausted. Not tired, not sleepy--completely worn out. It was the type of exhaustion that came after a long, never-ending, tiresome day after very little sleep the night before. House had insisted on watching some sort of television show marathon with him and Wilson could have dragged his ass to bed at ten, when he'd started yawning, but instead he'd somehow got invested in the uninteresting characters and crappily-written plots, and hadn't crawled his way to his comfortable bed and fluffy pillow until about one in the morning.

Wilson generally went to bed around eleven, sometimes earlier on the longer, rougher days, and he always regretted staying up later than that the next day and told himself he would never do it again. Wilson usually woke up early, got ready, woke up House, made some breakfast, woke up House again and fed him, then took House to work and woke him up the final time as he placed the handicap placard on his rear-view mirror and parked. Of course, on days when he was an idiot and didn't get any sleep, he usually hit snooze a few times, skipped his daily morning shower, went through drive-thru (waking up House to find out what he wanted) and then spent the rest of the day drinking coffee.

Perhaps his day would've run a bit more smoothly had things turned out that way. Alas, no. One of his patients coded so his pager went off twenty full minutes before his normal wake up time. He woke House up, who insisted he would drive himself to work whenever he felt like it, and Wilson grumbled as he combed his hair and put his pants on backwards, thus meaning he had to take them back off and put them on the proper way, brush his teeth quickly, grab the first tie he saw--yellow, and he knew House would mock him for it--and rush out the door, chugging too-hot coffee, burning his tongue and throat, and blasting the radio to stop himself from falling asleep at the wheel.

The patient who coded had been a middle-aged woman with colon cancer who had shown every sign of recovering smoothly. She's only lived four hours after she coded, so Wilson had spent a few hours with grieving, confused family members, accusations, and threats of being sued. Ah, the glorious life of being an oncologist. He managed to calm them down, remind them of the chances he'd given them before, and not long after he had his late patient's single sister sobbing into his arms and House walking by at the wrong time, which meant more accusations, stalking, and awkward lunch conversations.

That, of course, might have been a mishap in an otherwise tiring and boring, normal day, except that the estranged father of an eight-year-old patient decided to drop on by and start an argument with his ex-wife, so Wilson had stepped in as peacemaker, ended the fight, and somehow managed to get yet another woman hugging him (although quite a bit more flirtatiously than the previous one) and House, still stalking him, had seen that, too.

Two meetings had been interrupted by House, and the rest of the day he had to suffer through eight obnoxious pages (all during Wilson's rounds) and five missed calls (all during Wilson's clinic duty.) He had taken two calls while he'd been doing paperwork and talked about absolutely nothing important, and realized House was just checking on him as his wives used to when they started getting suspicious, which was ridiculous because Wilson really wasn't planning on seeing any of his patients' relatives outside of work, but House was paranoid for some reason.

All of this would have been normal, albeit mind-numbingly exhausting, had it not been that twenty minutes before it was his time to leave, one of his patients seized, which was an unexpected result. Since his name was not Gregory House, his patient didn't suddenly have a rare but curable disease that he pieced together at the last minute. Instead he found out that the tumour in the teenager's brain had grown and caused the seizure; his chances of survival had gone to slim into terminal, which meant a meeting with the parents. Which meant more crying and comforting another family; which meant his staff knowing he was there and needing help on reading an x-ray when they should have gone to someone else, but Wilson obliged anyway because they needed help and he was jittery with too much crappy espresso, anyway.

House sent him five emails and spammed his Facebook and texted him seven times. Wilson assured him through text he was not seeing any needy brunettes, having sex with any fiery blondes, or checking out any busty redheads.

Wilson did not make it out of the hospital until ten-forty and he would have considered sleeping on his couch but he didn't have work tomorrow, which would mean even more accusations when he went home in the morning with a sore neck.

So it was ten past eleven when he trudged into the loft, vision fading and skipping in front of his eyes like a television with bad reception. His thoughts tangled in his head around half-formed almost-dreams and his body moved sluggishly and in an uncoordinated fashion. He walked into the living room, where House blasted some mindless horror film (or was it pornography? At this level of tiredness, Wilson couldn't tell the different between screams of terror or pleasure) and tossed a McHeartAttack (Wilson had been too tired to cook and instead gone through drive-thru) onto his lap. "I'm going to bed," he insisted, which was his subtle way of telling House to turn down the television.

He hoped House would look at the bags under his lids, the redness of his eyes, and the fact he was staring in his general direction with half-closed lids and take him seriously.

After a slight altercation with his doorknob (it banged into his hip) Wilson practically toppled his way onto his bed and fell face first into the mattress, pants somehow unbuttoned but not unzipped, and a wave of soothing warmth washed over him.

With Herculean effort, he dragged himself onto his bed fully and flopped onto his back, staring at the darkened ceiling. The volume from the television was notably lower than it had been and he let out a sigh of relief. With hands that seemed too big to be his own, he loosened his tie and threw it somewhere. He toed off his shoes, kicking them to the floor. The two thunks that followed were like cannon blasts and he groaned, running his hands over his face tiredly, clutching at a bit of his hair, and then lazily--with his eyes closed--unbuttoned his shirt and tried to fling it off but realized he'd forgotten to undo his cuffs. He contemplated just ripping his shirt off and burning the thing, but after a few seconds of consideration he figured that would take too much effort for his sleep-deprived mind and undid the cuffs, tossing it aside, feeling the cool air brushing his arms and seeping through his boxers and undershirt.

His head lolled to the side, eyes opening briefly so he could see that it was now eleven-twenty, and he let out a sigh. Finally--some peace and--


The door opened with such violence Wilson jumped into the air, let out a strangled mixture of a yelp and a tired murmur, and looked at the new entrant. It was a dark, evil, fluid-y silhouette from hell. "Dammit, House, what are you doing?"

"Can't sleep," he chirped annoyingly.

"I hate you," Wilson groaned.

He heard a thwack and his bed shuddered. House had apparently hit his bed with his cane. "Get under the covers."

It took Wilson a minute to realize that he was, indeed, still on top of the covers, which explained why he felt chilly. When he realized just how cold he felt, he looked over at the alarm clock to see that it was one in the morning, which confused him since he had no recollection of falling asleep and his body still felt like it was filled with sand or lead or some other heavy, sleep-inducing substance.

He groaned and covered his eyes with his arm. "House . . . Why'd you wake me up? I was asle--hey!" House was tugging on the blankets roughly, jerking them out from underneath Wilson. He felt the cold sheets hit his back and he hissed, then felt the world dip and fall underneath him, as if he were falling deeply into sleep; rolling into a peaceful slumber like one would gracefully roll down a hill.

Except the dipping sensation was House crawling into the bed with him still in it.

"House, what are--"

"I couldn't sleep," he explained (which didn't really explain anything at all.)

Wilson was on his back, head turned so he could see House, and watched, quietly, and House pulled the blankets over the both of them, turned onto his left side (so he was facing Wilson) and let out a small, contented little sigh. Wilson felt House's warmth radiating form his body and slipping over his and for a moment he almost allowed this to continue, but then a part of his brain that wasn't drunk with tiredness said; "So you just . . . crawl into bed with me."

"Apparently," House answered, his eyes closed.

Wilson blinked his eyes slowly. Opening them from the blink was harder than it should've been; his lids were incredibly heavy. "I'm having difficulty seeing the basis of your decision into sleeping in my bed with me in it."

"Couldn't get comfortable. Thought maybe your mattress could fix that."

Wilson let out a tiny, but petulant, whine and dropped his head back against the pillow, staring at the ceiling. "House, please. I'm tired, I had a horrible day at work--could we not do this just now?"

"Do what? I'm trying to sleep. And considering you had your head nestled into not one, but two, pairs of breasts, I can't see how your day was all that horrible."

"I've already told you, I wasn't trying to--"

"Shh," House hissed, punching his arm. "I am trying to sleep. Stop talking."

Wilson pinched his lips closed and rubbed his arm, narrowing his eyes angrily at the ceiling. House having a problem falling asleep was not a new development. Insomnia attacked House on a regular basis so that Wilson had grown accustomed to hearing the faraway sounds of the television playing well away into the night, or House waking him up at three in the morning by playing something on the organ until the notes soothed Wilson back to sleep. Still, despite years of House's insomnia, and the fact they'd been living together for a considerable length of time, this was the first time he'd ever crawled into bed beside Wilson and attempted to sleep in the same bed as him.

"If you're trying to punish me for being hugged, House, now is not the--"

"Hey, you're the one who keeps jibber-jabbering away."

Wilson let out an annoyed huff and pushed himself up in a sitting position, having every intention of getting out of bed, but then House grabbed his arm--his grip tighter than necessary--and Wilson looked at him. His eyes were wide open, the blue irises shockingly visible somehow, and Wilson knew that it was probably just because his eyes were used to the darkness, but it still made his heart double-hit his chest anyway.

"You're warm," House insisted.

Despite knowing that he was probably making a mistake worthy of Hitler invading Russia, he slowly lied down again, and ignored the fact his heart was beating faintly, but quickly, in his chest. The thrill of whatever it was coursing through him was pushing away the fatigue--not enough for him to be fully awake, but enough to know that if he didn't relax soon he wouldn't be able to get back to sleep.

It wasn't his imagination that House sidled closer to him, but he could pretend it was since he moved only an inch or so. He could feel House's hot breath against the sleeve covering his shoulder; dancing up his neck and curling across his jugular, which he was sure was pulsing enough for House to see his heart was hitting his chest quicker than it should have been.

House finally released his arm and it dropped on the mattress beside him, the back of his palm curling beside his shoulder. Wilson took in deep, shaky breath and prayed House hadn't heard it, and closed his eyes, letting it out and imagining that all the stress of the day was leaving with it.

His heart began to slow its erratic beat and it felt as though his mattress were enveloping him; as if he were sinking into a warm bath, relaxation filling every muscle; sleep was dancing tantalizingly close and he felt himself dropping, the warmth from the body beside him lulling him to a peaceful--


His eyes snapped open and his fists clenched. "What?" he gritted through his teeth.

"I still can't sleep."

"Not my problem."

"Tell me a story."

Wilson ran his palms over his face and let out a groan. "House, of the love of God, just go. To. Sleep."

"Please?" he whined and although Wilson couldn't see it, he knew that House was sticking his bottom lip out in an exaggerated pout.

Wilson let out a harsh sigh, counted to ten, ignored the extra 'please' on five and the prod in his ribs on eight, and when he got to ten he opened his eyes, clenched his teeth, vowed to kill whoever made up that erroneous fable about counting to ten, and wondered how he had managed not to strangle House sometime in the past sixteen years.

"All right. Once upon a time there was an asshole named Greg." House snorted beside him. "He kept bothering his friend named James after a hard, tiring day at work. And so James murdered his best friend, and all was right with the world. The end."

House shifted closer to Wilson for some reason and Wilson ignored it. "You suck at telling bedtime stories."

"There's a moral in there somewhere," he muttered, pinching the bridge of his nose and squeezing his eyes shut. All he wanted was a good night's sleep and House couldn't even give him that.

"That so? I seemed to have missed it."

"Go to sleep or I will kill you."

House's hand brushed Wilson's side and the suddenness of it made Wilson's breath hitch. House's finger stroked his side again, forcing shivers up Wilson's spine so that he barely arched his back, and then he felt more than heard House's chuckle.

Wilson pushed to get off of his bed again, but House's hand slapped on his chest and forced him to the mattress. The pressure of his palm on his sternum remained for four seconds before it lessened, resting there, as if trying to feel his heartbeat. He probably could; it felt like it was beating hard enough to vibrate the bed.

"Stay," House whispered, and shivers ran up his spine again.

This was a monumentally bad idea.

It became a worse idea when House started tracing circles with his thumb and he could feel his skin even though the thin undershirt. His hand slid down slowly until it was resting on his abdomen, and Wilson swallowed the lump in his throat.

"I could tell you a story," House promised and Wilson probably imagined the husky, lecherous note in his voice.

"I'm really trying to sleep, House," he said, his voice raspy for no reason.

His hand slid lower so that his pinky rested over the top of Wilson boxers, and the small sliver of skin in between the shirt and his underwear was far too aware of House's skin.

"Then sleep," House told him, his hand sliding up again, dragging the shirt with it so more of his skin was exposed. It was far too warm underneath the blankets suddenly, but at the same time, his body craved the heat.

Wilson closed his eyes and concentrated on keeping his breathing even. He tried not to focus on the soft pattern House was tracing on his stomach with his thumb and how Wilson wanted House to lower his hand; feel his palm against his skin. Feel his fingers drawing idly on his bare flesh and feel his palm running across his chest; down his abdomen; brushing the top of his boxers . . .

Wilson shoved that thought aside immediately. An erection would not solve any problems; it would, however, create them, so he forcefully emptied his mind and focused on his breathing. The feeling of House so close to his side and his hand on his body was relaxing, so he focused on the slight burst of warm air on his shoulder; the quiet, barely there sound of House breathing.

Just as he was thinking that having House in his bed wasn't so bad and that maybe them resting together occasionally might be an improvement, House gave him a tiny shake. "Wilson?"

"I was almost asleep! What the hell?" Wilson demanded, turning his head so he could glare at him properly.

He hadn't realized how close House's face was.

"I was testing a theory. Did you know that it takes seven minutes for the average person to fall asleep? I counted to sixty eight times. Guess you must not be that tired after all."

"I hate you. I really, truly despise you with all my being. It's epic, really. The depth with which I loathe you."

"Now, now. You attract more flies with honey than vinegar."

"What about unrepentant, soulless demons churned from the darkest pits of hell?" House smirked in a way that made Wilson's stomach swoop and House finally slid his hand down, palm placed on his skin. Wilson sucked in a breath and clenched his jaw. His palm was warm and soft and gently sliding up under his shirt. Wilson cleared his throat. "House," he warned.

"Go to sleep," House ordered, as if he had been the one woken up, and the pulled his hand out of Wilson's shirt and closed his eyes.

Wilson chest was cold now, even though the blankets were tucked around both of them like they were two caterpillars in a cocoon, and House looked entirely peaceful. Too peaceful. That bastard had just stuffed his hand up Wilson's shirt and then pulled it out after waking him up and he had the audacity to act all . . . sleepily content?

"You're an asshole," Wilson muttered, turning onto his side fully so he could look at House without straining his neck.

House opened one of his eyes. "I thought you said you were trying to sleep?"

Wilson huffed and closed his eyes with the knowledge they were facing each other and that their chests were so close they almost touched when they breathed. He tried not to purse his lips or let his mind obsess over how it had felt to have House's hand against his body. House was just teasing him, that was all. They were sleeping in the bed together, and House was teasing him with hints.


Wilson opened his eyes cautiously. House's eyes were closed and he was breathing rhythmically. He knew he wasn't asleep but he memorized his features anyway; the way his cheekbones jutted out slightly and how his mouth was slightly parted. He scooted an inch closer, holding his breath momentarily, and House smiled for the briefest of seconds.

Wilson quickly closed his eyes, as if afraid House would see him staring. House acting strange wasn't anything new, but . . . Well, sticking his hand up Wilson's shirt was odd, even for him. He wouldn't go that far just to make light of a slightly homoerotic situation, would he? Make snide comments, yeah, but . . . flirt with him? He wouldn't do that just for fun, would he?

Wilson thought of Nora and then frowned. Of course he would.

Did that mean House knew about . . . ?

Wilson shoved that thought away, too. Of course he didn't. House couldn't know how Wilson felt, because then he wouldn't be in his bed sticking his hand up his shirt. He would've been packing up his things and finding the nearest hotel room. Unless House felt the same, in which case . . .

No, because House had feelings for Cuddy, and if House wanted Wilson he wouldn't bother being subtle. He would probably declare his love in the middle of the lunchroom, pounding a drum, and wearing a rainbow shirt. Right?


He felt House shift closer to him and curl his hand around Wilson's, as if holding it. Like one would hold a small kitten close--tenderly and gently tucked underneath his chin. Maybe . . . Maybe House did . . .

No. Wilson was just being an idiot from lack of sleep. He should be sleeping right now, not ruminating over House's non-feelings.

He turned off his mind and focused on his breathing.

"Wilson?" House whispered, his voice gentle and quiet and unsure.

Wilson opened his eyes. His nose was only a few inches from House's. "Yeah?" he whispered.

"Nine minutes."

He furrowed his brows. "What?"

"I counted to sixty nine times and you're still awake. If it takes the average person seven minutes to fall asleep, then--"

"House! Dammit, what is your problem?"

"I'm not the one with the problem. You're the one stumbling around into hot women's breasts, spending all day God knows where and avoiding all my calls and texts like the plague, and coming home too tired to hang out with me. Yet, you're the one who doesn't fall asleep within the average allotted time."

Wilson gritted his teeth together and attempted to squeeze his hand in a fist but failed since House's fingers were still entwined with his. House reciprocated the gesture and the anger that flared up in his chest died away just as quickly.

"You're punishing me for hugging those women?"

"I didn't say that. Jeez, overdramatic much?" House scoffed and rolled his eyes.

Wilson smirked. "You're jealous. You're jealous, like you always are, that I might have someone in my life besides you. I wasn't hitting on them; they were grieving and I was--"

"--conveniently there to dry their tears with your throbbing manhood; I get it. Who are you moving in with next? The ex-wife or the single, spinsterly-yet-hot sister?"

"I'm not going to leave you," Wilson told him a bit more insistently than he'd wanted. He saw House's Adam's apple bob and something in his chest ached at the sight of him moistening his bottom lip. "You don't have to worry, House. I'm not leaving."

"Not now, anyway."

"Not ever. Okay? I'm never going to leave you. So can we just go to sleep? We can discuss my complete lack of a sex life in the morning. Does that make you happy?"

House grinned. "Ecstatic."

"So can I go to sleep now?"

"Nobody's stopping you."

Wilson ignored the fact House was tucking Wilson's hand under his chin again so that they were hardly even an inch from nuzzling noses. Their toes brushed and their knees touched. Their heat waxed and waned under the blankets while his heart beat soundly in his chest. In the darkness of his room and cocoon of the blankets, it felt like a different, surreal world where House could be an intimate, albeit sarcastic, bed partner. Where maybe if Wilson pushed forward and closed the distance, House wouldn't push him away and deny his friendship, but instead roll on top of him and--

"House," Wilson rasped, ignoring the slight shake of his breath when he spoke. "I'm really want to sleep this time."

"Go ahead."

"I'm serious."

"I know."

"I mean it. I want to sleep. I don't want you waking me up in eight minutes to test your theory."

"Okay. Sleep away," he said casually, mouth lifted in the tiniest mocking smile, and Wilson didn't believe him for a second, just like he was sure House didn't believe him that Wilson would never leave for some needy blonde.

They stared at each other, eyes never wavering, and Wilson moistened his bottom lip. House nudged the tiniest bit closer, and the length of their legs were barely touching, their hands clasped between them. His stomach didn't touch House's when he breathed in, but it almost did--close enough he could almost feel it, at any rate.

As soon as Wilson closed his eyes, he heard a smug little chuckle, and House released his hand. He mourned the loss of the feeling of his fingers slipping through House's, but a moment later he felt that same hand sneak across his stomach and then settle on his side, fingers stroking him like one would tiredly caress a cat. Wilson bit the inside of his cheek and inhaled through his nose sharply, and House stroked his side again, this time a bit more deliberately.

Wilson opened his mouth to tell House to stop, but then he didn't. Why should he tell him to stop? They weren't drunk. Sure, Wilson was tired--beyond tired--but he wasn't the one flirting. House was the one who crawled into his bed and started brushing his fingers against his body. Sure, it was probably some sort of joke or test or some way of marking his territory because of his irrational fear of Wilson leaving him for some woman, but Wilson liked it, he wasn't making House do anything, and House didn't seem to mind.

In fact, the gentle brushes across, down, and up his side, although his skin jumped and his breath hitched every few moments, were relaxing. He froze as did House when his long, pianist fingers slid under his tee. For a second that seemed far longer than that he held his breath and considered rolling away; acting like he was just sleepily moving despite knowing House wouldn't be fooled. But then he nodded although he didn't know if House could see since his eyes were closed and he breathed outwards, fingers stretching forward to touch House's shirt, and House let out a tiny, sleepy hum.

His fingers skidded up his ribs, goosebumps following, and Wilson bit his bottom lip to stop himself from either giggling or moaning. When House scratched down his ribs, Wilson couldn't stop the tiny, surprised little grunt and House chuckled airily. He moved his hand so it was behind Wilson, tracing his spine, his blunt fingernails scratching lightly at his vertebrae, and Wilson arched suddenly against his will so his chest bumped House's and their hipbones knocked.

House's fingers danced down his spine; across his shoulder blades; along his flesh. Despite making shivers run through his spine and veins, it was also a soothing sensation that slipped into his brain, bringing back the fatigue that had started dissipating. He tried to ignore the small flutter of his groin when House let out a harsh sigh that ended in a quiet murmur of some word Wilson couldn't decipher.

House's fingers found their way up his back and just underneath his neck, pressing against the tense muscles between his shoulder blades. This forced their bodies together; Wilson's knee slipped between House's and House's ankle draped behind the crook of Wilson's knee. They were both wearing thin tees, but House was wearing proper pyjama pants whereas Wilson was just wearing boxers. He swallowed a lump in his throat and prayed that House would continue massaging the tenseness at the base of his neck; that was more relaxing than arousing, and he wondered if he could somehow get House to do this for him when he had tension migraines.

As he continued to press his fingers and soften the muscles, Wilson felt himself drifting. Whatever was happening between them was magnificent, but he was so tired he knew he wouldn't be able to hold onto this feeling much longer. Perhaps they could continue in the morning. Neither of them worked. What if House decided to act like nothing happened? Worse, what if nothing really was happening? What if Wilson was somehow misconstruing the entire thing?

The blackness from closed lids started swelling; enveloping him, like the blankets tucked around their bodies; their bodies tucked around each other. They shared the same breath; inhaling each other's exhale and feeling the other's heat. Maybe tomorrow he would crawl into House's bed and he wouldn't be kicked to the floor. Or maybe, just maybe, House would sleep with him again. They could curl around each other and maybe Wilson would taste his lips and throat and chest, pushing his hands down his pants and bucking; gripping.

He forced that thought away to prevent himself from becoming hard. His pelvis was pressed against House's and that would be downright mortifying.

Wilson pretty much sagged against House, chin tucked to his chest so that his forehead brushed the tip of House's nose, and he felt the world start to slip away. House hands slipped to the front of his body, slid down his chest, and left his shirt. Wilson almost whined but couldn't find the energy to do so; House had helped him start to drift to sleep. Perhaps he was actually being kind for once.

"Wilson?" House practically cooed, but it sounded more like screaming. Wilson very nearly punched him but then hoped that if he kept his mouth shut and acted like he was asleep House would leave him alone. "It's been ten minutes. Wilson?" He gently shook Wilson's shoulder, and Wilson kept his face impassive. He was too close to sleep for House to ruin it again.

He stopped shaking his arm and he brushed the back of his fingers down his cheek. Wilson resolutely did not flinch or lean into his touch. Then he felt pressure against his mouth; soft, slightly moist pressure, and he pulled away an inch, although it seemed like a mile, and his eyes were open, staring directly into House's wide open blue ones, face pale enough for Wilson to notice it in the lack of light, and Wilson whispered; "What?" as if he'd never encountered such a strange situation before.

House pulled away and cold air whooshed between them. He pushed upwards and slipped his legs away from Wilson's; he was making an escape, and a damned quick one too, and Wilson panicked, grabbing House's arm. "Wait, no--House--" He halted when House did. He really didn't know what else to say, but House's muscles were tense under his arm; coiled, ready to spring.

Wilson's heart was hammering in his chest so hard he could feel its pulse through his entire body. He could hear House's shaky breath; he was trying to control it and stop himself from hyperventilating--Wilson knew that because he was currently doing the same thing, too.

"It's okay," he soothed, voice cracking and throat dry suddenly. "I just . . . wasn't expecting . . ."

House didn't move away, but he didn't lie back down, either. He was still focusing on the bathroom door, chest moving rapidly, and body tense. Wilson hadn't meant to pull away, but it could still be seen as rejection in House's mind and House had difficulty handling rejection.

"House, come on. Lie down," he coaxed, rubbing his arm gently.

House finally glanced at him--or rather, it looked like he tried to glance at him but changed his mind halfway through. He nodded imperceptibly and slowly lowered himself to the mattress. It squeaked beneath his weight and Wilson didn't remove his arm until House was fully situated. Then he grabbed the blankets House had kicked askew and pulled them up and around their shoulders.

"It was just a goodnight kiss," House revealed calmly, as if he hadn't tried to bolt just moments before.

"I know."

"I wasn't trying--"

"I know, House," Wilson insisted.

Of course he knew. Wilson had been married three times, had had an innumerable amount of girlfriends, and a few one night stands under his belt. Although his marriages ended (some more bitterly than others) and most of his other relationships had been brief, there had been a time when he'd cared for them and he clearly remembered looking at their sleeping faces, peaceful with slumber, and he'd gently kissed their mouths. Not seeking sex, not seeking repentance or anything really, save for the taste of their lips and the knowledge she (whoever it had been at the time) was there. It didn't have any real motivation or need; just a gentle, soft kiss, and that was all.

Wilson couldn't help but wonder if House had ever kissed him before; how many times had Wilson been asleep on his couch? Hell, the bastard had drugged and stripped him just a few months ago--obviously he didn't care about boundaries. How many times had House snuck into his room (as he had probably been trying to do but failed and improvised) to stroke his cheek or kiss his forehead? Maybe never--maybe this was the first time. Or maybe this was the hundredth.

Wilson furrowed his brows when he realized that, although his eyes were open, House was obviously not looking at his face. He thought of how House had checked several times to see if he was sleeping, shaking him and saying his name. He hadn't anticipated Wilson faking. Had this been spurned on by his fear of losing him to a patient's family member? Did it really matter?

Wilson touched House's face then, no longer tired. His heart hammered and his body thrummed with the knowledge of what could be happening--what had happened. Years of sitting idly by, watching but never touching, filled his mind. Had House been doing the same?

"Friends give goodnight kisses sometimes, y'know," House tried to glibly state; as if he could brush away what had just happened. As if Wilson wasn't stroking his cheek with his thumb.

"No they don't," Wilson told him and House's blue eyes ticked and locked with his. Maybe that was untrue; maybe somewhere, two male friends did sleep together and kiss platonically, but House and Wilson didn't, and that was all that mattered.

Nervously, Wilson leaned forward and brushed House's mouth with his; he didn't push or lick or devour him hungrily. At any moment House could retreat and pretend like nothing had happened; ignore the fact he'd started it or that Wilson reciprocated. When he pulled away his eyes fluttered open although he didn't remember closing them and his breath shook as did his hands. Everything was on the line; he could be ridiculed, shot down, or ravished and appreciated.

House held Wilson jaw with his fingers and pushed forward, locking their lips together more firmly than before, and Wilson closed his eyes. Hitler had invaded Russia and they burned everything, leaving him and his army with nothing, and Wilson plunged into the unknown, hoping House wouldn't do the same.

It didn't take long for House to flick his tongue against his lips or for Wilson mouth to fall open, coaxing House's tongue into action. House's hand slipped from his jaw down his shoulder lightly, eliciting shivers, and then he clutched onto the dip of Wilson's side, his fingers squeezing; kneading.

The idea of falling asleep felt so far away and ludicrous that Wilson wondered why he'd even considered it in the first place. Why sleep when he could be clutching at House's collar, drawing him impossibly closer, his other hand searching his chest and arms and face and thin hair. The slow burn in his belly forced him to cant forward to meet another half-erect cock, and he couldn't help but grunt in surprise. That was a far better prospect than sleeping.

The kiss deepened suddenly to the point where it was an attack of tongues and moans; it probably looked and sounded hilariously ridiculous but Wilson really couldn't care any less at the moment; not with House thrusting forward, hand squeezing his ass for leverage, and grinding his soft, thin pyjama bottoms against Wilson's boxers. The slit in front opened with the pressure of Wilson hard-on and the feeling of the fabric sliding across the head made him moan louder and buck so that it slipped upwards and under House's tee for a brief second. The warmth of his skin felt even better.

House hand slid of his side and down his abdomen, long fingers tickling him through his shirt, and grasped his cock firmly; holding it through the warm, and probably damp, fabric. House held it for a second without moving, but then he stroked, slowly, from base to tip, the heel of his palm rubbing his bare tip, but fingers flexing around the clothed shaft.

Down, up, breathe.

Wilson nipped House's bottom lip, and House grunted before speeding his tempo and grasping firmer. He moved with their breath--up with the inhale, down with the exhale, and they were hyperventilating to the point Wilson's peripherals were fading, but that might've been the feeling of House hand pumping him for all he was worth.

"Still feel like," House began, gasping, before he plundered his mouth for a long, beautiful second, ". . . sleeping?"

"Mmmmmnnnnnuuuuh," Wilson replied, jerking his hips forward and clutching at House's hip. The sound of his hand and boxers slipping over his hard on, smoothing pre-ejaculate along his skin, warming with the friction, matched the slipping and sliding noises of their mouths, wet and warm, attacking and licking and biting.

When House hand disappeared, Wilson thrust forward so that their bodies knocked, cocks meeting and hard and rubbing. He circled his pelvis, pretty sure his cock was free of its constraints at this point, and slid it across his pants; up his shirt; along his abdomen. House was sucking and biting at his throat, pushing forward with as much speed so his erection was sandwiched between Wilson's thighs.

"You don't think--nnnnn--that we're going--unnnnngg--too fast?" Wilson asked, gasping.

"Don't be a girl," House murmured against his Adam's apple, then bit down enough to make Wilson arch.

Wilson clutched at House's tee in a way it pressed against his cock even more, trapping it between House's stomach and shirt, adding delicious friction to the combination of soft boxers and slick, moist skin. House was still holding onto Wilson's waist as if he were in real danger of him leaving (which Wilson did not foresee happening any time soon) and pistoning in between his thighs.

Just as Wilson half-wondered if House's fingers biting into him would leave bruises, House pulled his hands away--but only to jerk down his pyjama bottoms enough to release his bard member. Somehow he curled out and then up, forcing his erection inside his boxers, up Wilson's leg.

The feel of his penis against his soft inner thigh and jutting against the underside of his balls made him gulp back some made-up word and House's grunts echoed through his collarbone.

House moved up, clutching the back of Wilson's head, and shoved his tongue in his mouth. Wilson welcomed the intrusion, however, eyes snapping open when he realized House was fully inside his boxers, cock-alongside-cock, trapped in the damp, humid, and significantly-less-roomy underwear.

House bit down on Wilson lip harder than Wilson would've liked under normal conditions, but it somehow enhanced the situation and he reached down and squeezed House's ass, fingers digging into his cheeks in order to force him to thrust harder.

House pushed Wilson onto his back and pulled his mouth away, both of them panting, and he continued grinding. Wilson met House's eyes briefly--just long enough to see the dilated pupils and the mad lust reflecting his own desires--before he grabbed House head and forced their mouths together again. Perhaps in movies and romance novels, gazing longing into his partner's eyes would've been the exact thing he needed, but in reality, it was nearly impossible with all the eyes snapping shut and closed and head tossing and sloppily, aimlessly open-mouthing each other. House wasn't Bonnie, trying to salvage their marriage with awkwardly forced love-making with eye contact and whispered affections; he wasn't Amber, a mere proxy he'd eventually cared for as her own person; he wasn't Julie, half-heartedly rutting with a half-hearted result--no, this was House, and there was nothing half-hearted or forced about it.

Wilson frantically mapped down House's back, half-whimpering into his mouth while he explored the roof of his mouth until he reached the hem of his shirt and pulled. House lifted away from him long enough to help him remove the tee and then toss it aside, and then divested Wilson of his shirt, too.

House didn't return to Wilson's mouth, though. Instead he bit down on his collarbone, making Wilson yelp slightly, although it was more out of reflex than actual pain--his body mistook it for pleasure--and then House laved his way down his chest sloppily, nipping and sucking and licking.

Wilson clutched onto the sheets of the bed while House practically backhanded the blankets off the bed, suckling on the soft patch of skin indented beside his pelvis bone. He swore at the ceiling and squeezed his eyes shut, spreading his legs more, and letting loose a loud moan when House brought the moistened skin into his mouth and rolled it between his teeth.

House slid his boxers down, kissing his legs on the way, and then threw them. Wilson opened his eyes to see his boxers hit a wall and he chuckled, lifting his head to see House work his way back up, chastely kissing any part his lips could find.

His head hit the pillow when House bit down on his inner thigh, scratching his blunt nails along his stomach, near where his dick was resting. He licked his perineum; he suckled at the juncture where his leg met his body; he nipped just beneath his navel.

"House," Wilson whined, the few moments of teasing seemingly lasting forever.

"Wilson," House mocked, then barely flicked the underside of his cocked with the tip of his tongue. He then grasped him and flexed his fingers experimentally. "Look at this circumcised cock, all happy to see me," he teased.

"God you are so inappropriate," Wilson managed through a half-chuckle, half-gasp, and then let out a long, loud moan that probably woke the neighbours when House engulfed him.

Unlike all the teasing before, House went straight to business. No slow licks; not chaste kisses on the base of the penis; no trying to kid himself he was doing something other than sucking another man's cock. Just bobbing his head, fluctuating his tongue, and holding what he couldn't fit in his mouth with his hand, twisting around the shaft slightly.

Wilson gasped and clutched and arched, bucking his hips forward, and didn't wonder whether House had done this before or not--it would be hypocritical of him to be upset if he had, since Wilson was no stranger to giving blowjobs, and if this was House's first time, he was doing so spectacularly it didn't really matter. Stars danced vaguely in front of him, mouth open and letting out a continuous stream of vowel sounds and swear words.

His was wet and warm and had all the right suction in all the right places, and those fingers kneading into his pelvis and inner thigh were a fantastic enhancement, but then it was cold and House's mouth was gone. His hand still around his cock vigorously, so quickly Wilson pleasure-addled brain registered it as a blur, and then House was crawling up the mattress and sucking on his tongue, and perhaps tasting himself on House's lips was imagined, but maybe it wasn't.

House's pyjama bottoms were halfway down his legs, trapping his knees so they couldn't part further than a few inches, and he rolled his pelvis against Wilson's slowly, but roughly, and Wilson bent his knees and latched his ankles around the small of House's back.

"You're such a wanton slut," he murmured against Wilson's mouth, rocking against him at a quicker, but gentler, pace. He could feel the stubble scratching at his already half-raw skin and twisting into a grin.

"You're an old, crippled jackass," Wilson replied in a strained voice, feeling the heat of House's breath bouncing off of his face.

"With an affinity for--godfuck--wanton . . . sluts," he gasped when Wilson scratched down his back, none-too-gently. House pulled away, pressed his forehead against Wilson with his eyes squeezed shut, and Wilson could still see the fact House was clenching his teeth and hissing between them in arousal.

The whine of the mattress sinking under their rutting and the dull thud off the bed gently hitting the wall fills the room along with their grunts and sighs, and Wilson tightened his knees against House's side and clutched onto his backside at the same time he bucked upward into the thrust.

Wilson's dick was still wet with pre-come and saliva and House's cock slipped against it and the building pressure in his lower regions was mostly out of the impending orgasm but partly because of something else. Impatiently, Wilson arched and dug his heels into House' back, grinding against his harder and faster, until the squeak of the mattress became insistent and the gentle thudding against the wall evolved into split-second banging.

House tried to kiss him but ended up pressing his lips awkwardly against the side of his mouth, then moaned and reared his head back, planting his hand beside Wilson head and rutting against him madly, his body leaning very obviously to the left.

Wilson babbled idiotically and House murmured something unintelligible that was probably a sarcastic retort. Wilson scratched his back and arched, stars exploding in front of his eyes as everything came crashing down around him; a long, thin stream of his release shot up, making a mess of his abdomen, and House kept sliding against him; slicking himself in it as Wilson cried out and clutched and bucked, gasping and scratching and listening to House echo his grunts and the bed adding to their erotic symphony (or rather, convoluted cacophony of discordant cries.)

Breathing heavily, body still shaking a bit in aftermath, he came down from his high, House still rubbing against him, hissing through his teeth and cheeks splashed with red, sweat beading and tracing lines across his face. He dropped his forehead to Wilson's collarbone, fingers biting into his shoulder, slipping through the makeshift lubricant of ejaculate and sweat.

He came with a shout, biting down on a patch of skin, and Wilson winced--it actually hurt. House added to the mess all over Wilson's torso.

Eventually House's body stopped canting forward slightly and he stopped breathing into Wilson's skin, and he just held onto him as Wilson clutched onto him, swallowing and catching their breath.

House rolled off of him and pulled off his pyjama bottoms, using that to mop of the mess they made. He threw it to the floor and Wilson scoffed. "You're picking that up tomorrow," he insisted.

"Sure," he dismissed and Wilson rolled his eyes good-naturedly. "That was substantially longer than seven minutes."

"Well it had better be otherwise I'll need to re-evaluate my conceptions of my sexual prowess."

House snorted. "You're in no danger of needing to re-evaluate." Wilson turned his head to look at House, who was also on his back but turning to face him. "Of course, my leg'll hurt like a bitch tomorrow. Selfish bastard--taking advantage of poor old cripples."

"You're the one who mouth-raped me in my sleep."

"Well, with pouty lips like that, you know you're just begging for it."

They both grinned, but House's faded quickly and Wilson felt that foreboding sensation return, making his heart ache. "Tomorrow, um . . ." House said, then put on a forcibly nonchalant face, looked away, and Wilson felt chilly suddenly. "Whatever happens, just know that I'll always think your ties are damaging to my retinas."

Wilson full-on laughed. "And I'll keep trying to blind you with them," he managed through his chuckles.

House smiled but chose that moment to sit so Wilson wouldn't see (although he had, but he wasn't going to comment.) House grabbed the blanket he'd exiled to the floor and then pulled it over them and by the time they were lying next to each other again, his face was expressionless, although there was a gleam in his eyes that Wilson hadn't seen for years. He ducked under the covers and Wilson followed, both of them chuckling and chastely kissing one another every few minutes.

And with that, Wilson finally slept.

A/N--This is for theletterv. Insomnia's a bitch.