Wilson broke the news to House on Tuesday. "I'm moving out," Wilson said, his weight shifting once from his left foot and to his right. "I'm serious. I'm done with the pranks, and the moldy dishes, and the back pain from your stupid couch. We're not in college. This isn't a"-Wilson waved his hand, hoping to draw the word out of the air-"fraternity, House."
Apparently as far as House was concerned, Wilson just effectively shattered the sacred bonds of brotherhood. House's expression hardened as he shook his head, back and forth once. "No, but maybe you'd lose the stick up your ass if it was."
Wilson narrowed his eyes. He adjusted the shoulder strap of his suitcase as he opened the door and hurried into the hallway, leaving House alone in the middle of his living room.
Before the sun rose, Wilson slipped back into the apartment. His eyes widened in the dark as he scanned the floor for a forgotten pair of shoes and a basket of clean laundry. With any luck, House hadn't-burned, disassembled, strewn them across the back alley, dyed them all fuschia, auctioned them on Ebay-disposed of them yet. Wilson quietly rounded the couch, shoulders falling with relief when he spied the basket beside the coffee table. His shoes joined a pair of House's near the end table. He reached for the shoes, but his body froze, heart instantly pounding in his throat when a loud, half-aborted snore sounded from the couch. Wilson peered at the couch to find House stretched over the cushions, asleep, half-covered with a blanket and wearing-Wilson squinted and shimmied closer to rub the fabric between his fingers-a hand-knitted sweater. A maroon hand-knitted sweater. His maroon hand-knitted sweater. His primary comfort through four Canadian winters. He'd bargained for it with leftover book money at La Foire des Marchands. Now House's fingers were curled around the hem, his chin hidden by the high collar. Wilson sighed deeply as he stood and, two minutes later, left with his shoes, but not with his laundry.
The next day, when House shoved the basket against Wilson's chest-"You forgot a pile of your crap," he said-Wilson pretended not to notice that the sweater was missing.