A/N: A big thank you to ranrata for their honesty and suggestions.
Disc: I wish. *Sigh* I just borrow them from time to time.
Wilson came out from the kitchen carrying two bottles of beer, one in each hand. He sat down on the leather sofa and offered one to House.
House took it and cracked the top off, then brought it up to his mouth; his fixation with the television made him move his lips awkwardly, in search of the lip. He eventually managed to take a swig, and then sighed in satisfaction.
Wilson smirked, opening his drink, as well. He took a sip, enjoying the taste. It was just past midnight, and things were winding down.
"I just had a thought," Wilson announced suddenly.
"Seriously?" House replied distractedly. "You should tell someone."
"I'm telling you."
"What I meant to say was: you should tell someone who isn't me."
Wilson shot him a dirty look. "Oh, ha ha. Very funny."
With a great sigh, House seized the remote and hit the mute button.
"Make it fast," he warned. "I don't have the luxury of pausing live television."
"You would if you'd get TiVo," Wilson remarked. He shifted around so that his leg was bent under him. It was about time they had "The Talk." "Anyway, I was just thinking: what are we?"
"What do you mean, 'what are we'? What the hell kind of question is that?"
"Well, we're not gay, are we?" Wilson continued, completely unfazed.
House snorted, raising his eyebrows in surprise.
"I'm not gay," he said. A deep wrinkle formed in his forehead, as though he were just realizing something. "You might be."
Wilson gave him an unamused look.
"House, be serious."
"What?" House said, sounding pleased. "You've been frustrated about your sexuality for years now. You said so yourself."
"Fine. I'm… sexually frustrated, and you're not gay, so what does that make us? Bi?"
"More importantly, why do you care?"
Wilson shrugged and innocently said, "What if it comes up in conversation?"
"It won't come up in conversation, because it's nobody's business."
"I know," Wilson admitted. "But what if it does? You know how people are; rumors spread fast at the hospital."
"So what?" House barked, his face scrunched up in disbelief at Wilson's paranoia. "There're've been rumors going around about us for years now! Mostly you. I should know," he said, almost proudly, "I started most of them."
"But this time," Wilson said, pretending not to be annoyed, "there's some truth behind them."
"Which brings us back to my original response of: so what?" House took a long drink, then wiped his mouth with his arm. "Who gives a crap?"
Wilson raised an eyebrow. "Uh, I do? You and I both know you've managed to drag your team—both teams, actually, old and new—into your web of insanity. House, they're just like you. The instant that one of them suspects something, they'll stop at nothing to find out what it is we're hiding."
House snorted in amusement. He tore his gaze away from the silent television screen and locked eyes with Wilson, who was giving him a stern glare. "How long have we been doing—" he shrugged, coming up short for an appropriate word, "This."
I don't know," Wilson said, expression softening. "A couple of months. Maybe five? Why?"
"Five months and no one's suspected a thing. Even if one of them does start to suspect something, which they won't, what are they gonna do about it? They're terrible at lying, and even worse at spying. Foreman's the only one that's useful," he paused to take another sip of his drink, and then he said in mock excitement, "He knows how to pick locks."
Wilson gave everything a moment of thought, and then gently shrugged, wiping some condensation from the bottle with his thumb. "I guess."
No sooner had the words left his mouth, sound exploded back into the room.
He frowned but said nothing.
As with most of his past relationships, he got caught up in the moment and never took the time to think about the long term. Of course, that wasn't exactly true in this situation—things had been steadily building for a number of years. Wilson couldn't help but feel that his negligence was slowly beginning to surface, with plans to bite him in the ass.
House finished his first beer and limped into the kitchen to grab a second.
Sighing, Wilson allowed himself to sink further into the sofa. He found himself unable to concentrate, and waited until House had returned to ask, "Doesn't it bother you? Having to hide from everyone?"
"Oh, would you stop?" House chided, glowering at the television. "This isn't the holocaust and you aren't Anne Frank. We're not hiding anything. We're choosing not to go public . Those are two completely different things and you know it."
"So let me get this straight: You, Greg House, the man that never stops thinking, never stops analyzing…haven't thought about it," Wilson asked, though it sounded more like a statement. "At all."
"What are you so worried about?"
"I'm just... What happens when we," he hunched his shoulders and made a rolling gesture with his hand, the words stunted. "'Come out'? Aren't you the least bit curious as to how our parents are going to react?"
"Well, you should be. I wish I could at least talk to Thirteen about it," he complained.
"Hey, that's right!" House exclaimed, as though just remembering his employee's sexuality. "Think she'd be interested in a threesome?"
"I'm joking, relax. Get a sense of humor, will you?" That got him an exasperated look in reply. "Look, in a perfect world, everyone would get what they want and could do as they please, and nobody would say a thing. In case you hadn't noticed, the world is far from perfect." He slowly stretched his long legs, gently rubbing his thigh, and held Wilson's gaze. "You wanna tell people about us? Go ahead. But don't come crying to me when the kids on the playground start pouring sand down your pants."
Wilson dropped his head and sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose. "Wow. That… that actually made sense. I can't believe I'm saying this, but…you're right."
House grinned in triumph and motioned at the television with the remote, and Wilson nodded, downing the rest of his beer. He leaned forward and set the bottle on the coffee table, and then slouched back into the sofa, arms folded.
For a while after that, neither man spoke.
"Are you gonna be obsessing over this all night?" House eventually asked.
Wilson shrugged a shoulder. "Probably."
"Well cut it out. That's my job."
"Sorry?" Wilson said sarcastically.
"Wilson," House said, drawing his attention away from the television. He looked incredibly bored, and maybe even a bit angry at being disturbed so many times, but his eyes were calm and steady. "We don't need a label. Nothing's changed. Well, the sex thing is new, but we don't hold hands or play tiddlywinks under the table at lunch. This—" he gestured between the two of them. "Whatever this is—it doesn't change anything."
Wilson sat quietly and listened, his brows knitting together in awe and confusion.
"That was practically bordering on 'nice', House," Wilson said in astonishment. Then his expression clouded. He skeptically asked, "You're not dying, are you?"
House rolled his eyes impatiently. "Shut up. My point is: stop worrying. You'll get wrinkles, and then I'll stop finding you attractive, and then I'll have to start looking for a new favorite hooker."
"Great," Wilson exclaimed, rolling his eyes. "Thanks for the warning. I'll be sure to keep that in mind."
"Oh, relax," House said loudly. He reached over and set a hand on Wilson's knee, giving it a light squeeze. "I'm not going to start looking for a new favorite hooker. You're my favorite—wait. That didn't come out right."
Wilson tried his best to glare, but could feel a smile start at the corners of his lips.
"There's a compliment in there somewhere," House assured him. He removed his hand a second later.
"Thanks… I think."
"We done yet?" House asked gruffly, waving a hand at the television.
"Yeah, we're done."
House tilted his head and squinted dubiously. "You're going to shut up and let me watch my show now?"
"I'm going to shut up and let you watch your show," he confirmed, raising his hands defensively.
"You're done sulking?"
"No more sulking, I promise."
"Good," House said, wrapping his arm around the spine of the sofa. He switched the volume back on; beside him, Wilson sighed again. Groaning, he hung his head back and began waving his hand, as though to pull Wilson in. "Get over here."
Wilson gave him a confused look, sitting up slightly.
"I said get over here," he repeated, irritably. "What are you, deaf?" He continued waving his hand, looking as though this was the most annoying task on earth, until Wilson finally scooted close enough for him to lazily drape an arm around his shoulder.
Wilson smirked and made himself comfortable.
"I'm glad we had this talk."
"Wilson!" House groused. "Shut. Up."