You lost,' House was the first to speak.

Maybe the sight of Wilson as a poster boy for debauchery might have taken some of the bite from his triumph.

'Yeah', Wilson said, trying unsuccessfully to open his still rolling eyes. 'I lost big time.'

House frowned, pulled from his afterglow somewhat quicker than he would have liked, and all because something was missing. Something was not quite right. Pacing had always helped House progress from the abstract to the concrete, but at this very moment his right leg was bound to strongly object to any movement at all, and his left leg would object to any separation from a third leg next to it.

'How did you get Stenson's medical file?' he asked.

'I was alone in your office when the front desk called to say it had been faxed through,' Wilson mumbled into a pillow.

'And they just gave it to you?'

'No, all above board, I had to sign for it. You know that male nurse that hates you? He agreed not to tell you but he made me sign the receipt. He didn't want to risk his job. Said I wasn't that good looking.'

House's failure to hide his smile might have contradicted that last statement. As for the murse, well, House would either punch him or buy him a coffee. Kind of depended on how the rest of tonight went.

He turned to Wilson again and rolled his eyes at his at the ridiculous smirk on his face.

'I don't know what you're looking so pleased with yourself about. We wouldn't be here if someone hadn't left that file on my desk.'

The bed shook with Wilson's laughter.

'Yeah,' he drawled 'someone.' And he finally managed to open both eyes at the same time.

House had almost given up being shocked by now. Almost.

'Youyou put it there…why would you..?' And he felt a little sick. 'Didn't we do the Icarus thing already? All of this' he gestured between them, 'began with a lesson to teach me a little humility?'

'What did I tell you about getting over yourself?' and there was no playfulness in either Wilson's tone or expression.

House stared at him. 'So, why then? What was the point? You could have gotten away with it.'

Wilson, pulled himself up onto his elbows and put on a 'business' like expression – which considering he was naked, should have looked far more ridiculous than it did.

'Okay, you know what would be fun? A differential. Start.'

Of course, Wilson was a ludicrously cheerful bastard after sex. House was too impatient for this shit.

'Are you trying to piss me off?' he asked in a tone that suggested that Wilson had succeeded.

Wilson continued to smirk. 'You're getting close', he answered slyly.

He now had House's full attention. 'You wanted me to get mad? Why? Why would you want...' and he trailed off as the pieces began to fit together. 'You wanted me to get mad, because you wanted…you wanted me…' House was now talking to himself, Wilson all but forgotten as the picture became clearer. 'That's why you waited until now to give me the file. You knew that had I found earlier, I would have taken the money. You knew that if I was mad, I would have wanted to get back at you, and so I would have kissed you…you…Oh my God, that's why you didn't react when you first saw the file…you were still trying to annoy me…you…you…you wanted me to kiss you.'

House stared at Wilson in awe, as impressed with him as Wilson was with himself.

A pillow rustled as Wilson nodded. 'In my defence, I also wanted a clean apartment and to keep my money. It's like a win-win-win situation.'

'You planned this…all of this?'

'No, just up to the kissing part. The rest, well it kind of took on a life of its own,' and Wilson shrugged as well as a man still lying on his stomach could.

House lay perfectly still as he processed all of this new information, before discarding what was superfluous and condensing it in to one sentence. One incredible possibility.

'You wanted me to kiss you.' House was hovering on the crest of an enormous wave of relief.

Wilson must have heard the question in that statement. 'Yes.'

House was sure that the breath he released must have been heard next door.

'My friend is an asshole,' he told the ceiling.

'I can empathise,' answered Wilson.

House ignored him. 'My friend is a sneaky bastard,' he continued.

'I'll say. He sounds utterly diabolical. I bet he's a great lay as well.'

'Substitute great for easy. And I never want to hear the words 'I bet' from his mouth again.'

Wilson smiled tiredly before yawning. 'I bet he's also doesn't like referring to himself in the third person. And he wants to go to sleep. Anything else can wait 'til tomorrow.'

That last word froze the air around them. Tomorrow. The dawn of realities, the bringer of regrets, the birth of truths, the emergence of doubts, the unfolding of…House was snapped out of his reverie by a peculiar sound coming from the other side of the bed.


House snapped his head around to stare at Wilson and Jesus-on-a-bike that dickhead actually had his thumb and forefinger stretched out on his forehead in an 'L' shape.

'Get out of my bed.'

'Gladly. If this was actually your bed.'

And House did not like this effect that Wilson was having on him. Turning him into an idiot, and what not.

He slapped at the hand that Wilson had lowered onto his tummy.

'Get off, I don't cuddle'

Wilson sighed a 'Thank God,' before shifting away from House. He rolled onto his side, facing his bedmate, but not touching and within seconds was asleep.

House scowled at the peaceful looking face. Who the hell falls asleep in less than ten seconds? He chewed the inside of his cheek and for the hundredth time today, wondered 'what next?'. It was true, what he had told Wilson. He wasn't a cuddler but he was human, and just like every human, amazing sex flooded his body with oxytocin, awakening a biological imperative to touch and be touched. When he had been with Stacy, he would often spend his post-coital period drumming his fingers up and down her back while she fell asleep. Or examining the bones of her wrist. Even more casual or expensive encounters always ended with him riding out endorphins with a casual hand placed gently on someone else's skin. It was how he asked for, and returned, intimacy.

But Wilson was all the way over the other side of the bed, looking contented and breathing evenly. Too far away to touch and too far away...House refused to add 'period' to that thought. He also decided that Wilson had had enough of getting his own way recently.

All the same, when he scooted closer, he tried to do so with as much grace as one with a crap leg could do, so as not to alert the sleeping man. Wilson didn't move. Another couple of inches were gained when House repeated the move, and still Wilson remained asleep. One final shuffle and House was there, Wilson's mouth resting against House's shoulder and House's lips gently pressed to Wilson's forehead. He closed his eyes and then immediately snapped them open again when an arm slipped around his waist and a smirk was pressed into his shoulder. House froze, while Wilson shook with silent laughter.

The sneaky bastard.

House turned his face away from Wilson's forehead so that Wilson would not feel his answering smile. But when his mouth was a safe distance from Wilson's skin, House just completely gave up. And grinned like an idiot.

The. Sneaky. Bastard.