Tool By pgrabia

Disclaimer: House M.D., its characters, locations and storyline are the property of David Shore, Bad Hat Harry Productions and the Fox Television Network. All Rights Reserved.

A/N: Written for the House/Wilson Porn Fest for the greglovesjimmy community at . Also posted at House_Wilson and at . This is Part Two of a two-part story. It is H/W slash.

Spoiler Alert: This story includes spoilers for all seasons of House M.D. up to and including Season 6 Ep. 22 "Help Me".

Rating: NC-17 (or M) for explicit sex and bad language.

Genre: Fanfiction: AU, slash, Post-"Help Me". G. House and J. Wilson with mention of House x Cuddy and Wilson x Sam Carr.

Part Two:

With clinical dispatch House snapped the oncologist's shoulder back into place, eliciting a cry from the younger man until everything had settled back to where it belonged, at which time the pain from the dislocation decreased almost completely. There was still the ache from the deep tissue bruising to contend with as well as the kink in his back that would be taken care of by his chiropractor as soon as he could book an appointment. After a quick once over the diagnostician was satisfied that there wasn't anything else to be concerned about.

"I take it you dumped out the Oxy after I passed out last night?" House asked rhetorically, knowing damned well that he had. "Too bad—one of those would take the edge off the pain a lot better than ibuprofen."

"I'll be fine," Wilson assured him. "House, before you go and try to lock yourself in another room somewhere, we need to sit down and talk—and not just about what happened this morning. You need to tell me about what the hell has been going on between you and Cuddy over the past three months or so and fill me in on what happened to bring you to the point of desperation that you were in last night."

"No need," House told him, trying to sound cavalier but not quite succeeding. "I'm all better. It's amazing what a night of drinking and a hangover can do for a person. So you can toddle off home to Sam now and we'll pretend that this day never happened." The older man went to the fridge and pulled out a bottle of Gatorade. He removed the cap and chucked it into the garbage can before limping, cane-less, to the sofa in the living room where he sat himself down and put his feet up onto the coffee table. He picked up the remote control and turned on his television. Wilson knew he was being dismissed, but he hadn't gone through everything he had over the past few hours just to be sent on his way empty handed. Besides, he'd missed his best friend and didn't want to end this time together so soon.

"I was telling the truth when I said that I'd dumped Sam," Wilson told him. "It's over." He waited for the diagnostician to begin crowing "I told you so" but it never came.

House didn't look at him but he sounded a little surprised when he asked, "Why did you do that?"

He hobbled a little stiffly into the living room and sat at the other end of the sofa.

"When she told my best friend who is a recovering addict to take the Oxycontin pills he had in his hand, I decided she wasn't someone I wanted to be involved with."

House glanced over at him, frowning suspiciously. "You don't look too broken up about it."

The oncologist sighed and shrugged. "I'm not, really. Actually, this has only been one of several things she's done that have concerned me. You know that Monster truck rally you took Chase to?"

Rolling his eyes, House grabbed the bottle of ibuprofen on the table, dumped three into his hand then into his mouth and took a long swallow of his electrolytic drink and shrugged. "You make it sound like a date. I had an extra ticket and since you were too busy banging the Harpy to even return my phone call, I gave it to Chase instead."

Wilson nodded, feeling the burn of anger in his gut again. "I wasn't busy 'banging Sam'. I never got the message that you'd called about it. Sam decided I didn't need to spend time with you and didn't bother telling me that you had called. I found out that she had deceived me only after I talked to Chase about the show and he told me that when I hadn't returned your call you took him instead. When I asked her about it, she outright lied to me and told me that you hadn't called."

The diagnostician released a low-pitched whistle but said nothing more.

They sat in silence for a minute or two as House channel surfed. Wilson couldn't help but notice that both he and House were still in their underwear. They had never been around each other that way for this long before, not even when they had been roommates. He found himself staring at his friend's body, amazed at how toned his muscles were despite the fact that he spent most of his time when not at work as a couch potato. House had to have a high metabolism, he decided, and consciously looked away from his chest to look at his face instead.

"You still haven't told me what's going on, House," Wilson told him adamantly.

Ignoring him, House settled on ESPN. "Shh, World Cup!" he told the oncologist, placing a finger to his lips.

Wilson wasn't about to be put off. "You don't even like soccer," he retorted, reaching across and snatching the remote from House's hand when he had his guard down.

"Give me the remote," the older man demanded, not amused. He held out a pianist's hand, waiting for the oncologist to hand it back to him.

In defiant response Wilson turned off the TV and then held it away from its owner.

"We're going to talk," Wilson told him simply. House's frown only deepened, as did his voice.

"Wilson, give me the damned remote."

"Uh-uh," was his response, shaking his head. He knew that he was playing with fire and was prepared to get burned if necessary. They never talked about anything of real significance in their relationship, and that had to change.

Wilson jumped in his seat when House bellowed, "Give me the fucking remote!" He lunged at Wilson but the younger man dodged him, moving over to the arm chair a few feet further away. To make certain House knew that he meant business he stuck the remote down the front of his briefs.

"You might want to rethink that strategy," House growled with an angry smirk. "We've established that I have no problem with sticking my hand down your pants to retrieve that remote."

Feeling himself begin to blush, Wilson nonetheless held his ground, crossing his arms in front of his chest.

"If that's what it takes to get you to talk with me, then I'll risk it," he replied. Wilson felt his stomach flip a little at the mental picture of House jumping him and reaching into his underwear to grab the remote—and missing….

Damn! The oncologist thought to himself as his cock began to respond to the thought. What the hell is wrong with me? This has never happened to me before…well, that's not entirely true…. Wilson rolled his eyes at himself. That wasn't true at all. He'd felt stirrings plenty of times in the past, but had never allowed himself to entertain the thoughts any farther than that. So why was he doing so now? Was it because he now knew that House had entertained sexual thoughts about him as well, so there was no threat of judgment?

House met his brown-eyed glare for a few moments in silence before rising to his feet and moving towards the armchair and its occupant. Wilson realized what House was planning on doing and he felt himself harden at the mere thought of being touched there. He had to admit to himself that his arousal was due to the fact that it was House who was about to do it.

Face it, James, he told himself, a big part of you wants him to touch you.

The older man stopped about halfway there and then smiled wolfishly at the younger. Wilson followed the line of House's sight to his hardening member stretching at the confines of his cotton briefs, threatening to poke its head out the buttoned window in the front. It was too late to hide it or deny it, so Wilson didn't bother doing either. His mouth suddenly felt cotton dry and the more his best friend stared at his cock the harder his erection became. Suddenly having to share the space with the remote control was becoming very uncomfortable for it. A fine sweat began to bead Wilson's brow and upper lip, mimicking what was going on with House. Wilson could help but be drawn to look at House's fully erect penis that was tenting his boxers.

What am I doing? Wilson asked himself, his mind spinning. Okay, I've thought about this before, and I do love House, but just as a friend…Right?…So why do I want him so badly right now? Can I do this? Can I actually cross the line and have sex with my male best friend? What will happen to our friendship then—will it destroy it, or make it so much better? House wants me, so I know he won't freak out and run away, at least not right away. There was no doubt about it anymore, and it was plain that he was wanted back. But he couldn't just relegate this off as just a meaningless sexual experiment, not with House. It had to be much more than that with him. Oh fuck I want him! He knows…he knows! Why not just give in to it?

House closed the gap between them and then, with a wince, knelt a little awkwardly with his bad leg in front of the younger man. Wilson couldn't move, knew he didn't want to. He was becoming incredibly aroused, both mystified with his reaction and feeling somewhat liberated by it at the same time. Of course it had crossed his mind from time to time the curiosity of what it would be like to be physical with House. He'd had a couple of very heated dreams about them together sexually over the years but had quickly dismissed them out of hand. Yet, here he was with a hard on at the mere fact that House was staring at his cock like a hungry animal staring at a juicy steak, barely able to contain himself. House not only wanted him, but also cared about him. Did he care about him as much as Wilson cared about House? Did he love him, too?

House's lust-filled eyes met Wilson's; they had darkened to a smoky blue and were filled with desire and fear.

"You want me to go after it," House asked him deeply, seductively, "don't you?"

Wilson panted lightly, wanting to reach down and unbutton the front of his underwear, relieving the pressure on his throbbing cock. He wanted to touch himself….no, he wanted House to touch him instead.

The older man was panting as well. "You want me to reach into your pants, don't you? Of course you do. I can see that you do, Wilson. It's written all over your face."

Wilson couldn't see himself but he imagined he looked just a horny as House did. He couldn't believe this was happening. He should be running away, but that was the last thing he wanted. Wilson wanted to get closer to House, not further away. The little het voice in his head kept telling him that this was sick and wrong, but his growing need was easily drowning it out.

House placed one long-fingered hand on the inside of Wilson's thigh and the oncologist hissed uncontrollably at the incredible sensations it created in him. The need was growing steadily higher as House place his other hand on the inside of Wilson's other thigh. Wilson closed his eyes for a moment. His cock was straining and twitching now, the button on his shorts gave way and its head popped out the opening as if reaching out to House, begging him for relief. As House's hands slowly slid across Wilson's perspiration-beaded skin, up towards his groin and the remote nestled next to Wilson's straining cock, he whispered, "I've wanted this for a long time; so have you, haven't you?"

The younger man nodded slightly, stammering, "Y-yes. Yes!" he swallowed thickly, fighting the urge to beg him to touch him already. Pre-cum was already leaking out of his slit.

House told him huskily, "Wilson, just let go. There's no point in fighting it any longer. Give yourself to me. You know you want to—just do it."

House's hands slid up and over Wilson's cock. A moan of sheer pleasure escaped Wilson's throat and he involuntarily bucked his pelvis up into the other's hands, wanting and needing more touch, more friction, and more delicious stimulation. The diagnostician slowly, torturously slid one of his hands under the waist band of his underwear and Wilson shuddered as the remote was slowly drawn out against his aching cock. He watched through hooded eyes as House set the remote aside, no longer having any interest in watching TV. His interest was drawn towards his best friend instead.

Wilson had the sudden and unexplainable urge to take House's rock-hard member into his mouth. It was an urge almost as strong as his need to be taken into House's mouth.

As if reading his thoughts, House grinned lustily and began to carefully lower Wilson's shorts.

"Lift," House murmured. Wilson lifted his hips high enough long enough for House to pull the underwear past his hips and then all of the way off, tossing them aside. He gently grasped Wilson's knees and separated them, moving in closer until he could reach Wilson's neck. The older man pulled him into a deep, hot, sloppy, hungry kiss. Wilson allowed himself to let go and just forget about everything but pleasuring and being pleasured by his friend.

Allowing House's insistent tongue access into his mouth, he savored the way House explored every square centimeter of him, tickling the top of his mouth, running the muscle along Wilson's teeth, under his tongue and then caressed the top and sides of his tongue—it was the most erotic kiss Wilson had ever experienced and then it was his turn to explore and caress House's mouth and tongue at length, pulling back only long enough to breathe before lunging in again for more. Wilson felt as much as heard the diagnostician moan into his mouth. And that alone drove Wilson crazy with lust. He began to run his hands all over House's shoulders and back and then moving them around his sides to reach his chest, running his fingers through the light patch of brown and grey hair, caressing everywhere, mapping and remembering the feel of every freckle, every birthmark, every scar. He then began to slide his hands down House's sides, causing the other man to shiver. Wilson began to caress House's lower abdomen until his finger touched the waistband of the older man's boxers.

Wilson drew back, panting for air, "Those have to go."

House nodded and disentangled his hands from Wilson's hair to help him remove the offending underwear. They too were tossed carelessly aside. Wilson slid his hand down underneath House's scrotum, tickling and teasing the ultrasensitive skin there. House moaned loudly and released a couple of curses before attacking Wilson with his mouth where the neck meets the shoulder, first kissing and then licking before biting him hard enough to make Wilson wince in both pain and pleasure. House began to suck hard on the bite, leaving his mark as if signing his signature, making it clear that he had laid claim to the oncologist and he was now the diagnostician's own and no one else's. That only proceeded to fan the flame of Wilson's passion. Being claimed, possessed by his best friend was hotter that hot.

Wilson's hand continued to massage House's testicles gently, bringing small whines and moans from him. "Mmmm, Jimmy! Oh god, yes, yes, that feels so good!"

The oncologist smiled with satisfaction, proud of the fact that he was the one causing his normally stony, misanthropic companion to purr like a kitten.

"Let's switch places," Wilson breathed. He rose from the chair and helped House up and into it in his place. House watched him with wanton abandon and Wilson knelt in front of him and grabbed his aching member in his soft hands.

House hissed, bucking his hips up into his friend's hand.

"I've never done this before," Wilson gasped. "So you'll have to tell me what I'm doing right and wrong."

"Jimmy," House murmured, reaching out to comb his fingers through the other man's thick, dark hair. He gasped loudly as Wilson began by licking the underside of House's dick upwards slowly towards the head, tracing little circles and patterns with the tip of his tongue as he did. He thought that he wouldn't like the taste and smell of another man's cock, but he found himself pleasantly surprised, and the more he inhaled House's heady scent of musk and pre-cum he found himself becoming more and more excited himself. He was amazed at how much he was enjoying giving head and watching House wriggle and writhe in ecstasy, his face full of yearning, desire and lust—he was so beautiful! The diagnostician was coming undone, and he was the one causing it to happen!

"Mmm, House," Wilson said between licks, flicks and kisses, "You taste incredible! I never would have believed it."

"Take me in!" House half-commanded, half-begged. "Please suck me. Suck me!"

Wilson hesitated for only a moment before lowering his mouth over House's dick. He took him in as far as he could without gagging. The hardness, the heat radiating off of his cock and the silky smoothness of it against his tongue were the most amazing oral sensations Wilson had experienced so far. He closed his eyes and remembered back to some of the best blow jobs he'd ever received, and what had been done to drive him wild and set to work imitating it, mixing a combination of bobbing, taking House's length in and out while tightening his lips around the shaft to increase friction, and sucking, short little sucks interspersed with long hard ones, constantly watching House's reaction to what he was doing to know what was working for the older man and what wasn't. House for his part had been moaning almost non-stop except when he would keen out Wilson's first name and words of encouragement like, "Yes, oh yes! Uh…uh…oh, James, oh my god, James! More, oh more! Harder! Suck harder! Oh god, oh god, I can't, I can't….oh….oh! You fucking slut…that's amazing!"

The more House babbled the harder Wilson got, his cock aching now for release as he sensed the diagnostician was getting ever closer to the edge, nearly there, nearly!

House bucked hard into Wilson's mouth, wanting more, needing more and not knowing what he needed but definitely out of his mind in ecstasy until Wilson heard his best friend curse a stream of unintelligible epithets and dirty words; cum exploded from his penis into Wilson's mouth. The oncologist began to gag on it at first, uncertain about the taste and consistency. It was strong and bitter; Wilson wondered if that was normal. He forced himself to swallow as much of it as he could before removing his mouth and spitting the rest out. House was too overwhelmed by the intensity of his orgasm to notice. Wilson wiped his mouth on his arm and watched the diagnostician bask in his afterglow. The look of absolute contentment and debauchery on his face caused Wilson to forget the unpleasant taste of House's cum. Wilson reached up and kissed House hungrily on the mouth, sharing some of the man's own semen with him. House kissed back and broke into chuckle.

"For never…having done…that before," the diagnostician managed to say between his gasps for air, "you're fucking…amazing at it!"

"Natural talent," Wilson muttered, receiving further chuckling in response. He would have laughed as well but he was still desperate to be taken care of. He rubbed his cock against House's leg, moaning in delight at the pleasure brought about by the friction, but he needed more!

House hadn't forgotten about him, however.

"Up!" the older man told him. Wilson got off of his knees and stood to his full height. House rose from the chair, receiving a hand from his friend.

"Over behind the sofa," the diagnostician instructed, his hands running over Wilson's body, "Lean forward against it supporting yourself with your hands."

Wilson allowed himself to be guided into place by his best friend, willing to do anything at that point to get off. House reached over the back of the same sofa and dug around under the cushions. His hand emerged holding a tube of lubricant. Wilson didn't bother asking why that item had been there. Probably he and Cuddy had-No! The oncologist told himself. Don't even think about it! House was with him right now.

He quickly caught on to House's intentions when he felt his warm, calloused finger begin to apply some of the lube around the oncologist's anus. Just being touched there sent a shiver through the younger man. He felt a little apprehensive—he'd heard that the first time one was fucked up the ass it was painful, but he'd also been told that if it was done gradually, gently and carefully, it could be the most incredibly pleasurable experience one could have.

"Relax," House told him quietly, running one of his hands up and down Wilson's side caress-soft while he pushed his body up against him and began to nibble on the younger man's neck and earlobe. "It's better if you relax. I want you to enjoy this completely. I promise to stop whenever you want me to, but trust me—you won't want me to!"

"I don't know how much longer I can wait!" Wilson heard himself whine pathetically.

"Just a little longer," House assured him as he began to slip a well lubricated finger into his opening, past the sphincter muscle, stretching it open, and then slid it all the way in. Wilson trembled slightly, but it wasn't unpleasant, especially because the entire time the older man continued to nuzzle and kiss him, first on one side of the neck, then the other; he didn't mind the scratchy nature of his scruff against tender skin. House whispered things into the oncologist's ears that he never dreamed would come from the diagnostician's mouth and certainly never to him. They were passionate, reassuring, loving words and phrases; although not once did he tell Wilson specifically that he loved him; he used the terms 'loved one' and 'beloved', words alone that Wilson never thought would cross Gregory House's lips. Of course, he'd never had the older man 'make love' to him before, either. Wilson stopped calling him House and began calling him 'Greg', which, apparently, the diagnostician loved to hear rolling off his lips. House pressed his pelvis into Wilson; the diagnostician was rock-hard again. Not bad for a man of his age, Wilson noted.

Gradually House stretched Wilson's opening wider by adding more fingers one at a time. A couple of times Wilson hissed in discomfort and House froze, waiting for Wilson to tell him either to go on or to stop. It was always the same answer: a desperate plea to continue, to hurry.

In a few seconds he felt him remove his fingers and press his swollen cock against his opening instead. The younger man gasped and then moaned in anticipation. Without warning, House quickly thrust into him, staying shallow at first. Wilson made a small cry of pain and House froze again.

"James?" he whispered, blowing hot, moist air into the oncologist's ear before kissing it gently.

"K-Keep going, Greg," Wilson moaned. "Don't stop!"

House grinned against his skin and then began to thrust slowly, going a little deeper each time. The discomfort was temporary and was soon replaced with pleasurable sensations and a need in Wilson for his best friend to go deeper, which he gasped out and House obliged. Wilson reached down with one hand and grabbed his own cock; he began to stroke his length at the same time. He felt one of House's hands slide past his side and push his hand out of the way, beginning to stroke it for him while the other arm wrapped across Wilson's chest to hold him steady and in place for the thrusts.

"My job," House told him, leaning his forehead against the back of Wilson's head. The oncologist could hear the other man begin to breathe heavily, his throat catching from time to time as his own arousal and enjoyment began to take over him as well. Knowing House was enjoying it as much as Wilson was made the younger man even more excited. When House thrusted deeper he hit his best friend's prostate and caused the recipient to go crazy with gratification. Wilson began to back up hard against House's thrusts, moaning loudly now with each thrust while nearly coming out of his skin with the way the older man was pumping his cock.

Wilson couldn't say anything intelligent, could barely form words at all. All he could do was vocalize unintelligible babbles, grunts and groans that seemed to blend like music with the noises coming from House. Wilson knew he was only a couple of thrusts away from cumming, and from the speed and strength of House's pumping he knew that his friend was close as well.

"Give it to me Jimmy!" House growled into his ear, his voice an octave lower than usual and on edge. "Cum for me!"

"Oh god!" Wilson squealed. "Oh Greg! Ahhhh!" He keened as he came, shooting hot, sticky semen all over House's hand and the back of the sofa, who continued to pump him until every bit of it was out. Two more thrusts into him and House came as well, ejaculating into the oncologist and filling him up and overflowing with his seed.

As they rode out their orgasms, House held Wilson close, resting his head on the younger man's shoulder and using him to balance almost all of his weight off of his bad leg and onto his good. Wilson's head had dropped to his chest and he was giggling softly with tears running down his face. He only giggled when he was impacted both body and heart. It hadn't just been the most phenomenal sex he'd ever experienced but throughout he had known that the one with him was making love to him, not just fucking him. He had never-not even with his ex-wives or even Amber- felt as close to someone as he did right now with his best friend.

House's breathing was beginning to slow down but his hold on him never weakened.

"You better not be laughing at me," House told him, but the oncologist could hear the amused lilt to his voice that told him that the older man was not offended in any way.

"God, no!" Wilson assured him eagerly.

House had already withdrawn his softened member from the younger man's body. He turned Wilson around to look at him. They stared into each other's eyes, hiding nothing. House looked at him with eyes that said 'I love you' even if his mouth never would.

"I bet Sam has never satisfied you like that," the diagnostician said smugly, smirking.

"Not even close," Wilson said in agreement, and wrapped his arms around the other man. "I don't even want to think about her right now."

House smiled with approval and leaned in to kiss him.

They cleaned up the sofa and floor; following that they took a shower together, exploring each other further and when they were done they found House's bed again. They lay beneath a sheet and blanket, still nude, wrapped up in each other. Wilson was amused at how much of a cuddler the diagnostician was; in fact, House the lover was different in many ways from House the grouchy friend and general misanthrope. He was gentler, softer and more indulgent. He physically clung to Wilson almost as if he was afraid that if he let go of him, the younger man would run away.

He had no intention of running away.

It was then that Wilson acknowledged just how much in love he was with his friend of twenty years. Everything was making much more sense now. He understood now why none of his marriages had worked, why he had always put House's needs ahead of his wives. He could see where House's jealousy and possessiveness sprang from. He and Sam never would have worked out even if she hadn't started lying and told his friend to relapse rather than giving him the phone. Wilson hadn't been consciously aware of it at the time, but none of the women in his life could ever compare to House.

They dozed for a while and then Wilson murmured, "Did you mean it—what you said about Cuddy being a sorry surrogate for me because you believed I would never return your feelings?"

"MmmHmm," House confirmed sleepily, stroking Wilson's hair.

"Will you talk to me now about what's been going on with you?" the younger man asked next.

House sighed but smiled. "I guess so—I mean, you did give great head so I suppose I owe you something for that."

Wilson chuckled into the crook of House's neck.

House sobered and became pensive. Wilson squeezed him tighter and patiently waited; he knew the diagnostician would begin when he was ready and pushing him any further now would cause him to withdraw.

He began by relating again to his best friend and new lover about his few weeks after moving out of the loft and the day of the crane disaster. Wilson listened in silence, sometimes feeling guilt and other moments compassion for his friend, particularly when he related the part about Alvie leaving to go to live with his cousin in Arizona, his storming out of Nolan's office after a frustrating session and the feeling of worthlessness and abandonment when, at the disaster sight, Cuddy had laid into him angrily, telling him that he was stuck and that both she and Wilson were moving on their lives without him. That enraged the oncologist, who resented her ignorantly speaking for him; he had never intended on forsaking his friendship with House. He'd been a jerk in some ways, to be sure, but Wilson had always included House in his vision for the future. House kissed the top of his head upon hearing that.

Wilson was nearly brought to tears when he heard about what had happened with Hannah, the woman who had been trapped underground whose leg had been crushed and which House had tried valiantly to save but in the end had had to amputate it in an effort to save her life. The older man's voice cracked as he talked about her dying from the fat embolism anyway, and how useless and worthless the diagnostician had felt after it. He related how Foreman had tried to comfort him only to be lashed out at and how he'd returned to his apartment, uncovered his stash of Vicodin and had considered taking it when Cuddy arrived, taking him by surprise.

"I was hoping…." House let his words trail off and he shook his head.

"Hoping what?" Wilson asked. "Tell me."

The other man exhaled loudly through his nose. "I was hoping that it would be you coming to check up on me."

Wilson took that in for a moment, allowing himself to feel the guilt that came. He deserved to feel it. It should have been him. Instead he went home and ended up having to massage Sam's bony feet as she watched American Idol and munched loudly on carrot sticks.

"I'm-." Wilson began to say but House shook his head.

"Don't say it," House told him sternly. "There was no reason for it to be you. You'd spent the entire day patching together the people we sent your way. Of course the only thing you wanted to do after that was to go home and crash."

"It doesn't matter," Wilson told him. "Just before I left the hospital I saw Foreman. He told me a very brief description of what had happened—I should have known how hard it would have hit you. I was only thinking of myself."

"So was I," the older man told him quietly. "Do you want to hear the rest of this or not?"

"Yes." Wilson squeezed his lips shut and remained quiet. He felt House's arms tighten just a little around him.

House closed his eyes as he recounted that night. "I went home and headed straight to the bathroom where I tore the mirror off of the wall and smashed it to pieces in the bathtub. After the Tritter ordeal I had carved a small hole out of the wall plaster behind the mirror and stashed away two bottles of Vicodin, an emergency stash in case I ever needed it. I didn't get rid of them when I was released from Mayfield. I don't know why not—maybe it was my idea of a back door to escape through should the front door become impassible. Anyway, I grabbed them and sat on the floor. I felt like I had nothing and no one left to stay sober for so I poured two tablets into my hand and just sat there with them, trying to decide whether to take them or throw them away.

"That's when Cuddy came in—she was the last person I expected to see. Don't get me wrong—I was happy to see her in spite of what she'd said to me earlier that day. Hell, I would have been glad to see Taub standing there at that point, just to know that I wasn't alone….I asked her if she was going to leap across the room to take the Vicodin away from me and she said no. So I demanded to know why she'd come. She told me that she'd broken up with Lucas, that as much as she didn't want to be and in spite of how hard she had tried not to be, she was, in fact, in love with me. She asked me if I thought we could work. I asked her if she thought I could fix myself. We didn't have an answer for either question. I just knew that it was either try, or end up alone and on drugs again. I wanted you…but I knew that wasn't going to happen so I decided she was better than nothing." House shook his head and chuckled ruefully. "What a fucking way to start a relationship—but it worked, at first. We had that honeymoon period that pop-psychologists blabber on about on TV where the sex was several times a day and damned good, where we got along well because we were too busy fucking to evaluate anything. She overlooked my bad habits and frustrating personality quirks—don't say anything, Jimmy!—and I overlooked her neurotic need to be in charge and in control of everyone and everything in her life. I even got up at night a couple of times to take care of her screaming brat so she could sleep. I was usually unable to sleep anyway. Lisa never seemed to appreciate it, though. She never said thank you—in fact, she never said it, but I almost felt like she expected it, like it was a hoop I had to jump through if I wanted to be with her.

"What the hell, I figured. I'd known all too well that she wanted a responsible, caring, dependable man to help her raise the little pooper. I should have known she'd expect me to act like one. I tried, I really did. But it was never enough. I spent nearly every night over at her place because she said she was uncomfortable in my apartment and she'd have to deal with Rachel in a strange environment. I figured that she had a point, so I didn't argue it—but when I suggested that I move in with her, she resisted that. She said she wanted to take things slowly. I knew it was because she wasn't certain that we were going to last so she didn't want to make any kind of commitments. Hell, she was right…but I really tried to make it work."

"So what happened last night?" Wilson asked him, watching the diagnostician's face fondly. Here was the real Gregory House, the one behind the walls and porcupine quills that was capable of love and gentleness and commitment. Wilson had felt privileged many times in the past to be his friend, but never more so than now.

House kissed Wilson's forehead again. "She didn't want anyone to know about us, and when I say anyone, I mean anyone. She wanted me to be up and out of the house before the nanny arrived in the mornings, and she wanted me to park my bike a block and a half away so no one she knew would pass by and see it there and find out about us. At first I thought it was strange and annoying, but not all that unreasonable. After the first month of sneaking around and hiding at her place and at work, I was sick of it and told her that I wanted to come out about our relationship. She nixed the idea right away, citing reasons like she needed time to tell her family because they all had liked Lucas so much and might not be happy about her seeing me, she didn't want anyone at the hospital to know because of gossip and accusations of favoritism and impropriety—she is my boss, she was fond of reminding me. I told her that I didn't give a flying fuck what others thought or said about us, but then she got angry and suggested that we weren't going to work, so like a whipped dog I gave in to her. She would go out to fundraisers and sponsor dinners and leave me home to babysit. In fact, she made it clear that either I rush to her place every evening to relieve the nanny—as her friend not her lover, of course—or I was proving that I wasn't really serious about our relationship.

"Last night she said she had a business dinner with an FDA agent, got dressed to the nines and told me that she would be back around ten. I decided I was tired of being left behind, so I found a babysitter and went to the restaurant she was meeting the agent at only to find her sitting with Lucas."

"What?" Wilson reacted in surprise. "Did she explain why?"

"Not exactly," House said, his voice becoming no louder than a whisper. "I saw them but they didn't see me. I managed to get close enough to listen in without them noticing. She was telling him that she'd made a mistake with me and was asking him for his advice on what to do. That was the verbal message. The non-verbal language she used said that she wanted to give their relationship another try. I didn't stick around long enough to hear what he said—it didn't matter what the fuck he said or did. It was what Lisa had said that mattered. I went to the liquor store, loaded up on the bourbon and went to my apartment where I called up an old acquaintance for the Oxy. I faintly remember calling you now, but I don't remember our conversation." House paused a moment before adding, "I'm a failure."

"She's the failure!" Wilson told him adamantly. "She didn't give you a fair chance; I doubt she even intended for your relationship to be permanent. She manipulated you to do her bidding by dangling the possibility of ending your relationship in front of you! The gall of the woman! She's the one who doesn't deserve you, Greg—not the other way around."

"You're not objective," House told him, smirking. "You're in love with me."

"You're right," the oncologist agreed, serious for a moment. There, it was in the open, admitted to. He'd burned that bridge and was glad that he had. "Quite frankly I'm glad she treated you badly. Her loss is my gain."

"You mean that, don't you?" House asked him, receiving a nod in reply. "Where do you see this going?"

Wilson thought about that for a moment. What he saw as his future a couple of hours earlier was light-years away from where he saw it going now. He didn't know what House was expecting to hear him say or, more importantly, what he wanted him to say. So he said the first thing that came to him.

"I want us to be more than just 'friends with benefits'. Our friendship could never survive that, and the last thing I want is to lose that. I've finally given up all pretense of not loving you, so now that I've finally figured it out, I want to spend my future with you…like this. Jesus, I sound like a character on one of those soap operas you like to watch!"

"So you're saying no to the fuck-buddies thing, then?" House clarified, trying to hide his grin but failing. "You want an actual relationship."

"Yes, and don't ever use the term 'fuck-buddies' to describe us again," Wilson told him with a frown of distaste.

"And you're not afraid of being seen in public with me and risking being mocked for being in a gay relationship?" House asked him, and Wilson felt the older man tense a little. He knew that the diagnostician needed to be reassured that Wilson wasn't ashamed of him like Cuddy seemed to be.

"Greg, half of the hospital and the people in the condo complex already think we're gay," the oncologist told him. "Besides, I've never really been afraid to be known as your friend. You've embarrassed me on several occasions, sure—but only temporarily. I don't care who knows it. Okay, there is one person I don't want to know about us."

"Your father?" the older man guessed.

"Nope," Wilson answered, smiling crookedly. "Nora."

House looked at him quizzically. "Why Nora?"

"If she finds out she was right about us after all, we'll have to suffer with her smug attitude for as long as we live there." Wilson told him seriously.

"We?" House echoed.

"Well, yeah," was his answer, feeling a little apprehensive. "Unless you think that's moving too fast or you're having doubts…."

"I have no doubts," House told him sincerely. "I've wanted this for a long time. I just want you to be certain that you don't have any."

Wilson placed his hand on the diagnostician's cheek and turned his head towards him. He kissed him, lingering before answering. "I should never have asked you to leave in the first place."

"And you promise to tell me when you're getting sick of me rather than finding some nurse to drive the point home?" The older man looked at him with serious blue eyes. "Because I can forgive a lot, but not being lied to and humiliated like that."

"I promise," Wilson told him, reminding himself that he had no right to resent the question. His past history of infidelity made it a valid one to be asked.

House smiled indulgently at him. "One more thing."

Rolling his eyes, the younger man sighed and asked, "What is it?"

"You come with me tomorrow while I give Cuddy the good news."

Wilson chuckled at that. "It will be my pleasure."