Summary: House/Wilson slash. Wilson's confusion over his feelings for his best friend lead him to desperate measures that begin to interfere with not just his own life, but the lives of those around him as well. Rated M for Mature.

Disclaimer: I don't own House. I don't own Wilson. I don't own Cuddy. I don't own Sam. I don't own any of the other "House M.D." characters that may show up in this story, either.

A/N: Hey all. I'm only saying this once, so please listen up. There will be SEVEN (7) chapters. And I'm going to apologise in advance for the variance of chapter lengths—figuring out how to split a story into chapters that make sense is one of the hardest parts of writing, particularly since some of my scenes last like 14 pages and some of my scenes are only a couple of paragraphs. And this is one of those that changes POV so obviously I want to start a new chapter whenever that happens, anyway...I'll put up a new chapter every day because I'm nice. Thank you for reading.

Mid-Life Crisis

Wilson

The music was loud. Very loud. And the lights, though not bright, were colourful and distracting. It was making Wilson uncomfortable.

All right, it wasn't the music and the lights, it was the whole situation making him uncomfortable. What was he doing here? He didn't belong here. He should leave.

Yes, he thought, smiling to himself. That's what he would do. He would leave, he would go home, he would tell Sam he didn't have to work late after all, and then he would make love to her like he did every night. It was a perfect plan.

Before Wilson could get up and carry out this plan, however, the bartender placed a glass of wine in front of him.

"Here's your Zinfandel," the man said before turning around to go help another customer.

Wilson remained seated. Now that he'd been given his wine, he would have to pay for it, so he might as well sit for a moment and drink it. He'd thought about ordering something stronger than wine—it would help with the nerves and lower his inhibitions, which would definitely be helpful in this situation—but not only did getting too drunk always cause him bedroom problems, Wilson kind of wanted his wits about him tonight.

He sipped the Zinfandel slowly, staring at the counter of the bar instead of looking around.

That's what he would do. He would have just one drink, then he would go home, and maybe...if he really needed to...he could come back another time and try again.

Relief coursed through Wilson at this thought. It was all right. He could leave. He could always come back if he felt he needed to. Only if he felt he needed to. Otherwise he could just spend the rest of his life with Sam and be happy with her.

Yes. This was just Plan B. Sam was Plan A.

Wilson smiled, feeling better now that he'd made the decision to leave, but then the back of his neck got the prickly feeling that meant someone was looking at him.

The relief was instantly replaced by fear. Someone was looking at him? Why would anyone be looking at him? They must have the wrong idea...they must not realise that Wilson was going to be going home in a few minutes...

Slowly, hesitantly, Wilson picked his head up and moved his gaze down the bar until his eyes came to rest on a thirtyish blond man wearing tight-but-not-too-tight dark jeans and a colourful but tasteful button-down shirt. Wilson gulped. This was the guy that had been looking at him. And now, without even meaning to, Wilson had made eye contact. The man's eyes were blue. They weren't nearly as vibrant as House's—not even close—but they were...pretty. And the man himself was...attractive...

No! Wilson cursed himself for thinking that. No, he didn't think guys were attractive. Well, he could appreciate male beauty for aesthetic reasons, like he did with Dr. Chase, but he wasn't attracted to men.

Except...sort of...for House.

But only sort of. Really. Only sort of. Wilson didn't even know what it was. Attraction...maybe it was just a man-crush. That happens sometimes. Just because sometimes you feel like you want to do your best friend of the same sex doesn't mean you're gay. Of course not. Especially since you already know you're definitely attracted to the opposite sex. You've had crushes on girls since elementary school, and you've fallen in love with them almost more times than you can count. If you really were gay, wouldn't your affairs have been with men?

Wilson broke eye contact with the blond man, turning back to the bar instead. Really, coming here had been a stupid idea. He wasn't gay. He wasn't.

That...was what he was trying to prove.

And how was he going to prove it if he just sat at a bar all night drinking White Zinfandel?

Nervous, Wilson looked up again. The man was looking in another direction, but he must have felt Wilson's gaze because he turned back to him, made eye contact again, and smiled. Wilson tried to smile back, but he failed to give the flirty, charming smile that he usually used to get into someone's pants. He knew his smile was just nervous.

However, the guy was either endeared by nervous or he thought the pickings were slim, because he started walking toward Wilson.

Oh no, Wilson thought, feeling his heart start beating quickly in his chest. The guy was coming over to talk to him. Now what? What was he supposed to do?

"Hi," the young man said, smiling at Wilson slightly flirtatiously. "What's your name?"

"I'm...James," Wilson said, eyes darting about a bit before returning to the other man's.

"Victor," he said, sitting down on the barstool next to Wilson. "I haven't seen you around here before, James. Are you new to the area?"

Wilson shook his head. "I..." he said, looking at the bar again, "I've never...uh...I mean, I don't usually...I..."

He glanced up at Victor to see comprehension take over his face. The younger man gave a warm smile. "It's your first time at a gay bar?" he asked gently. He had a very calm, soothing voice that for some reason made Wilson feel more comfortable than he'd been a moment ago.

Blushing, the older man nodded. "I mean...I don't even...I don't...I don't even know if I'm gay," he whispered, terrified at saying the words out loud. He glanced around quickly as though afraid someone other than Victor might have heard him. As though the rest of the men in this bar weren't gay as well. "I..." he said, starting to lose his nerve again, "I really don't think I am. You should...you might have more luck with somebody else."

Victor chuckled slightly. "Well there must be some reason you're here, James. And I'm guessing it's not the drink prices."

Wilson smiled weakly. He noticed one of Victor's hands moving closer to him before resting gently on his arm. His already increased heart rate sped up even further, but Wilson couldn't tell if it was due to nerves or attraction. "I..." Wilson said, catching Victor's eye for a second and then looking away again. He didn't know what else to say. He didn't know where this was going.

"James..." Victor said softly, and Wilson looked up at him again. His thumb gently stroked the doctor's arm. "It's okay to be confused," he continued, soothing. "It takes some people longer than others to figure out who they really are and what they really want. Maybe you're bisexual. Maybe you are gay, or maybe you're not at all. But if you're not sure, one way to figure it out is to experiment."

Still smiling at Wilson, the young man swivelled his bar stool slightly so their knees touched. He trailed his hand down Wilson's arm and laced their fingers together.

It felt odd to Wilson, who was usually the seducer, to for once be the seducee. He wondered if he should go along with it...and the idea scared him, causing his heart rate to jump through the roof again. But Victor's hands were soft...

"Come over to my place," Victor requested gently. His thumb stroked Wilson's. "I can help you...figure some things out."

"I..." Wilson repeated, somehow maintaining eye contact. "I haven't exactly...ever...with a guy...I don't..."

"It's okay," Victor soothed. "We can go slowly. We don't have to do anything you're not comfortable with. But unless you try, James, you're going to be spending the rest of your life sitting on stools in gay bars wondering who you're supposed to be."

At the moment, the prospect actually seemed quite attractive to Wilson—much safer and more comfortable than going to a stranger's house and having sex with him...but Victor had a point. The only way Wilson could figure out if his feelings for House were real or just a fluke was to figure out if he really was gay or bi, and sleeping with a guy...as mortifying as it sounded...should help him do that.

Looking at his knees, Wilson nodded. With the hand not holding Victor's attached to the back of his neck, he glanced up and caught the younger man's eye. He whispered, "Okay."

.

What was I thinking? Wilson thought over and over again on the car ride to Victor's place. Seriously. He was in the car with a complete stranger, going over to his place to have sex with him. Had someone drugged his wine? This was just...no. He couldn't do this. He couldn't do this.

"We're here," Victor said, smiling flirtatiously at Wilson as he parked. Wilson tried to smile back but he didn't think he quite managed it. He got out of the car, where Victor met him on the other side and took his hand again, giving it a reassuring squeeze that didn't really reassure Wilson. "Come on," Victor smiled. "Let's go upstairs."

Victor's flat was on the third floor and Wilson somehow let himself be led up and inside. He wasn't entirely sure why he didn't just tell the young man he changed his mind and call for a cab home, but the fact that this was still an option comforted him. He could still back out at any second. He would back out. Of course he would back out. He wasn't actually going to sleep with this guy he just met. But he didn't need to back out right this second. He could wait another few minutes...see how far it would go before he lost his nerve. Yes, that's what he would do. He would back out, just not quite yet.

The blond led the brunet to a black leather sofa in a modern, tastefully decorated living room. There was an entertainment centre with a large collection of DVDs varying in genre and a shiny black stereo in the corner as well as a wet bar. But Wilson's assessment of the apartment was interrupted when he felt a hand on his knee. He turned to its softly smiling owner. "Are you all right, James?"

Wilson nodded. "Yeah," he said. He wanted to do this. He needed to do this. He needed to know...was he attracted to men too? Could he really be falling in love with House? He had to do this. "Yeah," Wilson repeated. "Just...a little nervous."

"That's okay," Victor comforted. He smiled. "You know, you're kinda cute when you're nervous. It's actually quite endearing."

Wilson blushed and smiled. Victor scooted closer to him on the sofa so the sides of their legs were touching. Then, moving slowly and carefully gauging Wilson's reaction, he leaned forward until their faces were just inches apart. Wilson could feel his breath on his face. The younger man closed the distance until their lips met, giving Wilson a soft, chaste kiss.

That was the point at which Wilson freaked out. "Whoa," he said, pulling back from the kiss and scooting to the far end of the sofa. "Victor, stop. I can't. I...can't." Looking away, he got up of the sofa and began pacing. "I'm sorry, I can't do this. I...I don't even know what I'm doing here–"

"James," Victor said gently, but Wilson continued as though he hadn't heard him.

"–I need to call my girlfriend, I need to tell her I'm coming home, I need to call a cab–"

"James," he repeated, getting up himself and approaching Wilson carefully.

Wilson took his phone out of his pocket, shaking his head at Victor, and began to dial Sam's number. "I need to get home, I need to–"

"–James," Victor said firmly, a hand closing around the wrist that held the phone.

Wilson looked up at him.

Victor plucked the phone from his hand and placed it on a table. He shook his head. "James, relax," Victor said, and somehow Wilson felt his body begin to obey the command without even meaning to. The young man did have a very calming voice. He took both of Wilson's hands in both of his own and held them together. "James, it's okay. You're just nervous."

"No," Wilson contradicted, shaking his head but not pulling his hands from Victor's. "It's not that, I just...I shouldn't be doing this. This is crazy. I need to go home."

"James, you're scared," Victor said, stroking his fingers comfortingly. "And I understand. I was scared my first time too."

"Victor, listen," Wilson said, his eyes darting around the apartment. "I'm sorry—look, I know you were hoping to get laid tonight, but I just can't–"

"–How about this?" Victor suggested gently. "How about we try the kissing again—for more than a nanosecond—and if you're still uncomfortable with it and don't want to go any further, I promise I won't pressure you." He squeezed Wilson's hands. "Does that sound okay?"

Wilson had to give him credit—he was a charmer. He knew what to say and how to say it. The young man's soothing voice and touch relaxed Wilson and reminded him he was here for a reason. He need to do this, at least try this. He'd just panicked, and he hadn't even sat through the kiss long enough to see whether he liked it or not. Wilson nodded, and Victor took a step closer to him, smiling and running a hand affectionately through his hair. Wilson, trying to be braver than he was, took a step closer as well.

Victor slowly wrapped an arm around Wilson's waist and Wilson hesitantly placed a hand on either side of Victor's. Victor gave Wilson's lips a gentle peck, pulling away from it before the older man had a chance to freak out again, and then slowly locked their lips together, pressing his body close to Wilson's.

This time Wilson let the younger man keep their lips together. His heart was beating loudly enough in his chest that Victor could probably hear it, but he kept his eyes closed and pressed his lips against the other man's because that was why he had come here in the first place.

It...wasn't unpleasant. It was a guy and that was weird because he'd never kissed a guy before, but it wasn't really different from kissing a girl. Victor had soft lips and he was clean-shaven. Kissing someone like House would probably be a different experience altogether.

Wilson smiled involuntarily at this thought.

That was why he was here. Because the thought of kissing House, of feeling House's lips against his...that was something Wilson wanted. Or thought he wanted. And hopefully this would help him see if he really could want it, really could want more with him...

He had absolutely no idea what he would do if he discovered that he was attracted to men and therefore in love with House—there was almost no way his best friend returned his feelings. But if Wilson was straight, if sex with Victor was thoroughly unenjoyable, then he needn't worry about whether he wanted House to return his feelings at all because there would be no feelings to return in the first place.

That was why he was here.

Victor pulled back from the kiss and Wilson opened his eyes to look at him. The young man slid a couple of fingers through Wilson's hair. "Was that okay?" he asked.

Wilson nodded. "Yeah..." he said, smiling slightly. "Thanks for...talking me into it. You were right. I was just nervous. I mean...I still am...but...I think I'm a little more comfortable now."

Victor smiled at him. "Good," he said. "Should we try again?"

"All right," Wilson agreed softly.

Wrapping his arms around him again, Victor moved to close the distance and Wilson met him halfway. They kissed, and Wilson felt a tongue nudge his lips. Oh. Well, that was the next step, of course. So he parted his lips very slightly and let the tongue in. It explored his mouth, curious. This...all right. New, because it was a guy, but...all right. Not gross. Just...he was kissing a guy. Okay.

They continued to kiss, pulled apart for a second for a breath, making eye contact, and then went back and resumed the kiss. Victor's tongue coaxed Wilson's into his mouth, which he hesitantly probed. Really, no different from a woman's. And he tasted rather nice, like cinnamon. Victor must chew cinnamon-flavoured gum.

So Wilson kept kissing him, and moved one of his hands up Victor's back, feeling the skin and muscles beneath his shirt. He must work out. Victor's hands also moved—one rested on the back of Wilson's neck and the other was making its way down his back. It paused at the small of Wilson's back and then very slowly crept downward to feel Wilson's ass.

Okay. Wilson hesitated for a short second but did not break the kiss. This was okay. When Victor's hand did not meet resistance, it cupped one of Wilson's ass cheeks and then squeezed slightly.

It...felt nice. Almost surprisingly, Wilson started to feel a tingling. Oh. Wow. This...really? This...kissing a guy...having a guy feel him up...this was turning him on? Oh...kay.

Wilson's comfort level began to descend again, but this time the nervousness was accompanied by a twinge of excitement. Maybe he actually would...have sex with a guy tonight. And maybe...scarier still...maybe he might actually enjoy it.

They broke from their kiss, once again needing to breathe, but after a few seconds Victor moved his lips to the side of Wilson's face instead of his mouth. He kissed his way over to Wilson's ear and then suckled behind it, and Wilson actually had to hold back a moan. Yeah...that...even coming from a guy...he liked that.

Wilson ran his hands across Victor's back, and he had to admit he liked that too. Then, hesitantly, he also reached a hand down to cup the other man's ass. His fingers massaged gently, getting a feel for it. Wilson felt a puff of air hit the side of his neck as Victor exhaled sharply, and then the younger man made a "hmm," sound and gave little kisses to Wilson's neck. He shifted their bodies, pressing closer together, and Wilson was surprised to feel a hardness against his hip.

Without meaning to he let go of Victor and stepped back. Nervous again. That was new. That was...a little too new.

"James, you okay?" Victor asked, slightly breathless.

"Uh..." Wilson said in lieu of a real answer. He tried to look at Victor's flushed face, but his eyes kept flickering down to the tented front of his pants. That was...well...it was sort of kind of hot, that Wilson had caused that to happen, but...also...weird.

"James," Victor smiled, stepping up to him but not close enough for their bodies to touch again. He slipped his hand into Wilson's. "It's okay. We've got time." He leaned forward and pressed a closed-mouth but lingering kiss to Wilson's lips. He pulled back and looked Wilson in the eye. It struck the older man what a dark blue colour the younger's eyes were. "Come to bed with me," Victor whispered.

Wilson nodded.

The bedroom was tastefully decorated like the rest of the apartment. Colourful, abstract art hung on the walls and the furniture was dark wood.

Leading him by the hand, Victor took Wilson to the king-sized bed, where they both sat down on the edge. Victor leaned down to take off his shoes and Wilson copied him. Then the blond scooted farther in and Wilson followed.

"You okay?" Victor checked, and the older man nodded. Victor smiled. "I'm going to take my shirt off? We good with that?"

Wilson smiled shyly. "Yeah."

"Okay," Victor nodded, and he leaned forward to give Wilson a quick kiss before undoing his buttons. Wilson watched as Victor took his shirt off, checking him out on purpose. Yes, he had a nice body. Toned and defined, but not overly muscular. There was some hair on his chest, but it was very light blond. After the shirt was off, Victor and Wilson looked at each other. "You can touch me, you know," Victor reminded him.

Wilson nodded and leaned forward slowly, running a hand over the younger man's pectorals down his abdomen. Victor curled an arm around him, pulling him closer, and then laid them both on the bed on their sides, facing each other. He glanced at Wilson to check his comfort level before starting to kiss him again. Wilson kissed back, feeling Victor's upper body. This...was different from a woman. No breasts. Hair. Flat. Different...but not in a bad way. The nipple still hardened when he experimentally ran his fingers over it, not brave enough to actually play with it yet. This...he could do this.

He was aware that Victor was pulling at Wilson's buttons while they kissed, but he was all right with that. As kisses became more intense he felt himself responding to them more. If they kept this up, which it seemed like they would, he would have a full-blown erection before long. Which...kind of scared him.

When Victor had Wilson's shirt fully unbuttoned and made to take it off, the older man helped him. He was rewarded by a series of kisses to his clavicle and a pinch to his nipple, which helped him fill out the rest of the way.

Wilson was aware of one of Victor's hands travelling downward, and it put him on edge but he didn't stop him. They needed to do this. They needed to get to the main part. Victor cupped Wilson's hard-on and he expelled a breath of air against the younger man's neck. Yes, that was nice.

Victor gave him a couple of squeezes, and Wilson bit his lip to keep from moaning. He gripped Victor's waist and pressed kisses to the back of his neck. Then Victor's hand left his penis and found one of Wilson's hands. Giving it a squeeze, he slowly guided it toward the front of his own pants.

Wilson froze when his palm met the hot, throbbing bulge at Victor's crotch, pulling his hand away immediately. That...okay, it was weird. In bed, Wilson was supposed to be the one with the erection, and the other person was supposed to have a vagina. That was how it went, okay? And even as Victor ran a hand through Wilson's hair and caught his eye to ask if they were okay, Wilson felt his own erection waning. He didn't know if it was the shock...or the newness or the weirdness, but whatever it was...

"I don't know," Wilson said, shaking his head. "I...it's weird, Victor."

"It's all right," Victor said, kissing Wilson's forehead. "We can take it slow."

So they started again, kissing and hands exploring everywhere but the groin area. Wilson was slightly embarrassed that the one time Victor's hand did drift to his crotch, it found only softness, but the younger man did not comment on it and after a few more minutes of kissing and miscellaneous fondling he was becoming hard again.

After a little while Victor pulled back and caught Wilson's eye. "I'm going to put your hand on me again," he said. "Is that okay?"

Wilson nodded. When they tried kissing the second time, it had worked, so hopefully this would work better on the second try too. He let Victor lead his hand to his hard-on, and this time the older man didn't jerk away and go soft when he encountered it. He spent a second just resting his hand there, getting used to the feeling, and then tried an experimental rub through the material.

"James, yeah," Victor said, shuddering at the touch.

Encouraged, Wilson rubbed again, still hard himself, and he felt Victor shivering and pressing himself into his touch.

Victor kissed Wilson's throat and stuck his own hand to the other's crotch to reciprocate. Wilson also leaned into the touch, feeling himself throbbing, and shuddering when Victor's hand squeezed him. After a few seconds of fondling, Victor's hand trailed up, meeting the other one at the waistband of Wilson's pants to take them off.

Wilson's heart jumped in his chest at what this next step meant, but he didn't pull away. He mouthed Victor's chest and rubbed him beneath his pants and allowed his pants and boxers to be taken off.

Once Wilson was pants-less, Victor leaned him on his back on the bed, panting, and pressed a quick kiss to the side of his mouth before reaching to take off his own pants. He slid the jeans down his legs, followed by silky black boxers, and poised himself over Wilson. His pulsing erection and balls poked out of a mass of curly blond pubic hairs.

And it hit Wilson—he was naked in bed with a man, about to have sex, and his panic returned full-force.

"James, what's the matter?" Victor asked, most likely at the horrified expression on Wilson's face.

"I..." Wilson said, scrambling around to find an article of clothing to cover himself with. He didn't know if he wanted to hide himself from view because there was absolutely no way in hell he was going to have sex with a man—he was straight, for god's sakes!—or because he was ashamed of the fact that he was going completely flaccid again and didn't want Victor to see. "I can't do this, Victor," he said without catching the other man's eye. Having used his shirt to cover his crotch, he was free to look around for his boxers and khakis. "I don't know what I was thinking." There they were. Turning his body away so Victor wouldn't see him, he started to pull his pants back on. "This is nuts, this is...a huge mistake. I'm sorry, I can't–"

"–James," Victor said, putting a hand on Wilson's shoulder in comfort, but Wilson shrugged it off and moved away from him. Pants successfully on, he fumbled to right the inside-out sleeves of his shirt to put that back on as well.

"No, I just..." Sighing, Wilson turned to Victor. His blue eyes were soft and apologetic. Wilson shook his head. "I'm straight, Victor. I don't know why I was even in the bar tonight. I'm sorry I led you on–"

"–You're confused," Victor corrected. "James, I'm certainly not gonna force you into anything, but we both know you were enjoying yourself. If you want to stop, fine, we can stop. But I think you're just panicking because this is new for you and you're nervous."

Wilson shook his head again. "I...I can't do it, Victor. Maybe...maybe I'm a little confused, but I've gotta be straight, I can't even fucking keep it up," he muttered. Pulling his shirt on, he stood up and got off the bed. Victor, still erect, grabbed for his boxers and pulled them on to follow him. "I've gotta go home," Wilson said, either to himself or to Victor. "I need to see Sam—Samantha–" yes, that part was for Victor's benefit "–I need to tell her I love her. Don't know what I'm doing here. I'm straight, Victor."

Spying his phone on a table in the living room, Wilson grabbed it and scrolled through his contacts lists for the number of the cab company he had stored in there. It had proven very useful on nights he and House had gone out drinking. House...Wilson shook his head. He wasn't in love with House. He was mistaken. Whatever it was...it was a phase, Wilson would get over it. But certainly wasn't attraction and it certainly wasn't stronger-than-platonic love. It was biologically impossible for Wilson to be attracted to or in love with House or any other man for that matter. Because he was heterosexual. He wouldn't have flinched at kissing a guy, touching a guy, and seeing a guy naked and he wouldn't have gone flaccid making out with a guy twice in the same night if he wasn't straight. That was all there was to it.