Note: I love theletterv, and thank him for his patience and typo-catching.

Gone Midnight

"Cuddy. Cuddy," came the gruff stage-whisper of House, slicing into her dreams like a hot knife against the palm of her hand. She opened one bleary eye to look at the alarm clock. She couldn't tell the precise time, but she'd stayed up until one in the morning and she knew it wasn't five yet, so it was far too early to be woken up.

She closed that eyes and pulled the blanket tighter over her shoulder. Perhaps if she pretended she couldn't hear him, he'd go away.

She felt the bed dip behind her and knew House was getting on the mattress. She squeezed her eyes shut, then let out a sigh when she felt his hand on her shoulder. He gave her a shake. "Cuddy," he repeated, louder than before.

"You can take care of her. I'm sleeping," she murmured, then pulled her arm out of House's grasp and turned further away from him, digging the side of her face into the pillow more insistently. House had insisted on the both of them celebrating New Year together, so she'd stayed up until half-past midnight, but she wasn't used to the late hours like he was. She couldn't concentrate; she was just too tired.

"Wilson called," he said, grabbing her shoulder again.

"Oh, tell him Happy New Year." She tried to sound cheery and enthused, but the feeling somehow got muddled up in her exhaustion.

Now that they had that over with, she snuggled deeper into the pillow, then groaned when House kept his grip on her shoulder just as tight.

She sighed, thinking of all the meetings and budget paperwork she had waiting for her in just a few hours. "House. I'm trying to sleep."

"He was drunk."

Cuddy knew that Wilson was an adult, and had been drunk before several times-she would always wonder why Wilson had been travelling the streets without pants, looking for the home he'd just left-but there was something in House's voice that bothered her. It wasn't weird for him to be drunk-it was New Year, after all-so then why did she feel uneasy? Why did House feel the need to tell her? It was enough to get her to try and wake up-after all, he could've been in a car accident, or somehow needed bail money . . .

She finally rolled onto her back and opened her eyes barely, just enough to see the dark, blurry shadow of House leaning over her. The bedroom door was open, and a light from somewhere else in the house barely penetrated the room, a dim, hardly noticeable glow giving her just enough light to make out his shape.

"Is he all right?" she managed throatily.

"He called me. Things are . . . He doesn't sound . . . good."

House was panicking because Wilson drunk-dialled him? Where was the emergency? House drunk-dialled Wilson all the time. "He's a grown man, House," she slurred tiredly, closing her eyes as she spoke.

The low rumbling of thunder picked up in the distance, almost sounding like words in a familiar voice.

"Cuddy," House snapped, no longer whispering.

"What?" she growled, opening her eyes.

"I said he was . . . Look, I'm going over to Wilson's."

She made a noise that wasn't quite a whine, but not quite a groan, either. She tried to open her eyes, but they were glued shut with tiredness. "He's perfectly capable of being on his own. House, he doesn't need you."

Rumbling thunder; a shoulder shake. She snapped open hear eyes to hear; ". . . have to go. I can't ignore that."

She had the vague sense of time passing; she knew House had said something important, something Wilson had said-she could almost hear the sentence she'd missed in her haze of sleep, but not quite. "House, he's just drunk; he doesn't need help. Who will watch Rachel when I get ready for work?"

"I jusssssss . . ." Rain sliding across the outside of her house and windows, spattering the woodwork, the gentle hiss of consistent battering outside sliding into the rumbling thunder again. Rain in a New Jersey winter? That couldn't be right . . .

She told House again not to worry; Wilson would be fine. ". . . can take care of himself," she heard herself say clearly, felt her mouth move and form the vowels and consonants. She half saw House above her and she tried to wake herself up, but she kept being pulled back down; down into the drifting, calming sense of sleep.

Booming bursts of a faraway storm and she forced her eyes open to see House leaving the room, limping to the beat of the angry clouds. She saw his shadow slip away into the night and she closed her eyes, silence at last.

How had she never noticed the sharp clap of thunder sounded so much like a door slam?

When the pounding knocks slammed into his brain, Wilson's eyes opened, which was harder than it should've been. Something seemed to keep his lashes stuck together and when a second burst of knocks echoed around the loft, he brought up his right hand to wipe away wetness from underneath his eyes. His eyes burned from sobbing, and his throat felt slightly raw, although that could've been from the alcohol. His cell phone was pressed roughly against his ear, fingers loosely wrapped around it, cheek pressed into the cushion of the couch while he stared at the coffee table, which was at eye level.

When the third round of insistent knocking started, he sat up, a barely-there sting on the side of his face registering as almost-pain because it had been stuck to the couch and he clumsily put the warm cell phone on the coffee table, which kept shifting its place on the floor somehow. He wiped away the tears again and tried to remember why he'd been crying.

He heard the door open and fear slammed into his lungs, which seemed to bang against his chest. Perhaps that was his heart, but it felt larger than it should. He heard footsteps across the floor and he stood, readying to defend himself. His foot knocked the tumbler; scattered across the floor, tinkling, and he slipped on something wet-it must've been full when he dropped it. He righted his posture, only barely, and then saw House walk into the living room.

All the lights were on so he was illuminated, bright eyes like two big suns, swirling around him and shooting into his stomach, twirling his insides so he was nauseous. He felt his stomach clench as if he were going to puke, but he didn't.

"Why're you here?" Wilson asked, blinking away some tears and walking towards House, who was busy staring at the floor. The floor tilted with his gaze. Wilson looked down so he could see what House was staring at; the tumbler he'd kicked across the floor. He could see liquid, too.

"You called me."

"Did I?" he asked, then continued his trek up to House. "Well, it's a-" He hiccupped deep in his throat, or maybe he just quashed the urge to barf. He couldn't tell which. "It's a good thing, 'cause I was just thi-thinking about . . . you," he said, stepping right in front of House and smiling at him. There were two Houses, so he focused on the blank space between them, figuring that was where the real one was.

"Yeah, I think you might have mentioned that," House said, forming into one, and he smirked a little.

He remembered sobbing into his cell phone, but that had to have been a dream. "I . . . are you sure?"

"I'd trust my memory before I'd trust yours. Come on; I think you should get on to bed."

"No, nono. I jus-House," he whined as House wrapped his arm around his waist, crook of his elbow against Wilson's back. He pulled away and the world jumped. He spun his arms but slammed a hand down on House's shoulder to steady himself. "I was crying," he revealed a little sheepishly, after he sniffed because he was sure his nose was a little runny.

"You told me that, too. And I heard you. Sobbing is the word I would've used."

"I . . . don't re-" He cleared his throat and burped. House scrunched up his face. "Sorry. Just, I don't . . . remember?"

House chuckled airily. "Well, with the way you were sucking down shots, I don't blame you. You're going to hate life in the morning."

"Wait, wait, House-not bed; not . . . I just, I have to tell you something. You see . . . It's, well. I just . . . You know?"

"Actually, I do. You've told me several times tonight. It's why I came over. You need to get to bed. And probably hydrate yourself."

House tried to grab at him and lead him away again, but Wilson grabbed House's hands and stalled them in the air. "No, why . . . why won't you li-listen?"

"Wilson. You're drunk."

"Nooo," he insisted, getting into House's space. House swam in and out of his vision; blurring and focusing, then the colour dulling and sharpening.


"No. No, that's not-well, yes. I am. But, see, that's-it's not what I wanted to-to say, House." He reached forward and held House's head still, as it had begun floating. He knew he probably shouldn't say it, but he had to make sure House understood. House needed to know. "I run away. And . . . I don't want to, but . . . it's . . . scary. What if you don't . . . well, what if you just don't?"

House nodded. "I know," he said, his words heavy. Something about the way he said it brought tears to Wilson's eyes-tears that burned. "Believe me, Wilson. I know. Let's . . . you need sleep."

"No," he insisted, never removing his hand from House's face. House didn't try to make the move; his eyes seemed intent on remaining on Wilson's at the moment. "I love you," he rasped, tears falling down his cheeks.

"Yeah. So you said," House whispered, but his blue eyes kept moving like fireflies that darted in and out of Wilson's eyesight, making his head spin.

Tears burst forth and he snorted back some tears. "I'm in love with you," he managed through sucked-in breaths, and dropped his head to House's chest, crying into his shirt. He tried to tell him he was sorry; that he wanted to delete his feelings, but he just couldn't. The world was tipping back and forth like a boat in sea, and he needed House to stay upright.

House grabbed his shoulders as if to push him away, but he didn't. "Stop blubbering into my shirt," he ordered, voice somehow silky instead of irritated.

Wilson pulled away, but refused to lift his head and look into House's face. "I wish . . . wished you'd been here for New Year. Midnight," he admitted, although he figured after that last bombshell, there wasn't much he could say that would top that.


He must've been crying too hard for House to understand. He looked up and wiped the tears away from his eyes and sucked in a deep breath, forcing himself not to start sniffling again. "Just . . . I . . . I want-wished you were here at midnight," he stuttered, then wiped away more tears.

He'd thought that he could kiss House, and blame it on a mixture of alcohol and tradition.

House shrugged. "Well, it's midnight in Utah."

Wilson lurched forward, colours melting and blurring in his peripherals, and pushed his lips to House's. House mouth was dry, and warm, and maybe if he could lick his lips he could taste him; wash away the unpleasant cottony feeling of too much alcohol.

As soon as his tongue slipped past his own lips and hit House's, House pushed him back gently. "No. It's time for bed, Wilson. Come on."

Wilson felt his heart tear in half and fall into his stomach. "It's not-I didn't mean to . . . Because of traditions, House. I'm not trying to take advantage of you."

"Stop your worrying. You're drunk."

Wilson smiled and swayed into House's personal space again before realizing he was already in it, so they bumped chests inelegantly. House stumbled, but didn't back away. "Sooo, you're worried about taking advantage of me?" he asked, or rather slurred.

House blinked, but didn't push Wilson hands away when they slid up his chest, or back away when Wilson leaned his mouth upwards. "Wilson . . ." he warned.

"It's not taking advantage if I want to when I'm sober, too," he said, mouth inches form House's; centimetres, even.

House pulled his head back. "Go to sleep," he ordered.

Wilson chuckled, then kissed House's mouth anyway, gently and, well . . . He hoped it wasn't too wet. There was perhaps a bit more tongue thrown in than he'd wanted, but oh well. House wasn't responding, but he wasn't pulling away, either, even if his mouth remained resolutely closed.

Wilson kissed up his jaw line and cheek, then suckled on a spot of neck. House's fingers clutched at the fabric of the shirt at Wilson's sides, but didn't push or pull either way. "Wilson. I don't want to force you-"

"Force is okay," he breathed into House ear, and felt House tense slightly; pull Wilson closer just a fraction. He grinned against House's lobe, then flicked it with his tongue. House's fingers clutched tighter. "You know what I think, House?"

There was a brief silence. "What?" he rasped.

"I think . . ." he began, licking the shell of House's ear. ". . . that I'm going to vomit," he finished, then turned his head away and did just that.

It smacked the floor wetly and sickeningly; splattering with such an ugly noise Wilson retched again, and more puke hit the floor. Luckily he'd turned his head just in time to avoid getting it all over House, but instead it slipped down his shirt and got all over his shoes. House stepped away, so Wilson lost a bit of his balance, but House held onto Wilson at arms' length.

Shivers went up his spine; his skin prickled, and not in a good way. His head throbbed in time with his eyes, and he could feel the acidic snot he knew was mostly puke drip through his nostrils.

He whined a noise that could've been House's name.

"Yeah, this is why I said 'get to bed,'" House muttered.

Wilson wiped his mouth on the back of his hand. "Yeah, I think I should go do that, I think . . ."

He wrapped one arm around House's shoulders and House wrapped an arm around his back, and they step-limped towards his bedroom, the walls jerking back and forth in his peripherals.

When he was safely in his room, he broke free from House to go blow his nose on a tissue he took from the tissue box conveniently located on his nightstand. After he cleaned his nose, he unceremoniously tossed it to the floor and turned to say something to House, preferably something witty and outrageously wanton or sexy, but House was gone, and Wilson doubted his abilities at seducing him whilst drunk.

He grabbed onto the top button of his now-ruined shirt, and tugged it free after much concentration. The floor tilted underneath him again and he had to regain his posture by swinging his arms a bit. When his room spun a bit around him, he frowned, then went for the second button.

House entered the room and thrust a large, cold glass of water in his hand. "Drink this," he ordered.

Wilson drank it with such intensity and gusto some of it spilled over his lips and out his mouth, drenching the sides of his neck and soaking the very tip of his shirt. He swallowed the cold water, soothing his sore throat, and when there was no more water, he looked around his room confusedly, unsure of where to put it. He placed it on the nightstand, then turned around to say that unbearably smart and hot thing to House, but then House grabbed his belt and jerked Wilson to him.

"Guess I didn't have to say anything," he murmured mostly to himself as House jerkily removed the belt.

"Ha, ha," House muttered, then unzipped him, face incredibly close and scruffy and attractive . . .

Wilson hummed and leaned in for a kiss, but House leaned his head back. "But I thought . . . ?"

House shook his head. "You should do a little less of that. You can take off the rest of your clothes. I wasn't about to let you sleep in your bed covered in puke."

Wilson vaguely remembered vomiting on himself. "Oh, right."

House grabbed the empty glass of water as Wilson clumsily unbuttoned his shirt. It wasn't until House came back in the room that he pushed down his pants and tripped, falling backwards onto his bed, head in the middle of the mattress, and his fluffy pillow somewhere near his elbow.

House clinked the now-full glass of water on the nightstand. "You're pathetic."

"I'm drunk."

"Still pathetic," he chirped, and moved to walk away, but Wilson sat up so quickly he thought the air might have scraped his face and grabbed House's sleeve. House furrowed his eyebrows.

Wilson swallowed the lump that scratched at his sore throat. "Stay with me," he begged, and then squeezed his eyes shut, preparing for epic mockery.

House let out a very put-upon sigh then walked away, Wilson's hand dropping. Wilson opened his eyes and then stared at his pants, which were bunched around his ankles, and then at his shirt, which was on the floor although he didn't remember putting it there. He toed off his shoes and the rest of his pants before he felt some movement behind him.

He turned to see House slipping under the blankets. Wilson blinked at him, stunned. "What?" House asked, still in his clothes. "I'm not sleeping on the couch, and my old bed doesn't have any bedding."

Wilson nodded tiredly, then slipped under the covers too, curling up beside House.

"No funny business," House growled, and Wilson, with his head on House's shoulder, let out a few chuckles. "Don't breathe on my face," he added quietly, and Wilson relocated his head to House's chest, closing his eyes to sleep.

With the alarm, Cuddy awoke, feeling more refreshed than she thought she would, considering she hadn't gotten to sleep until past midnight. As she had never been that much of a night owl, she still wasn't as alert as she would've liked, but she could handle it. She turned in her bed to shake House awake, but realized slightly belatedly that he wasn't there.

It took a few seconds of frowning and racking her brain to remember that he'd woken her up, saying something about Wilson. She actually felt pretty bad considering she'd been so tired she kept nodding off, but she remembered him trying to talk to her, at least, and leaving despite the fact she told him not to-his voice had sounded like thunder, as had his footsteps and the door shutting. After she remembered that, she didn't feel that guilty anymore, and she jerked the blankets off of her legs, letting out a huff of agitated air.

Wilson was an adult, fully capable of drinking on his own. Although she knew it couldn't be that out-of-character for him to do so, as he had been drunk before and she was sure he and House had called each other plastered a number of times, it had felt strange-but not so strange House needed to gallop off and save the day, especially not when he knew someone had to watch Rachel as she got ready for work in the morning. Seeing as he didn't have to work today, it had only made sense for him to watch over her as she dressed.

Apparently she would have to do both.

She padded out of her room and checked on Rachel, soundly asleep, and then she left and went into the living to detour to the kitchen and start the coffee machine.

However, as soon as she stepped into the living room, she saw a random woman in her house. "Uh, excuse me?" she snapped. The woman, who had been sitting on the couch, slowly stood and turned to face Cuddy. There was a moment of vague familiarity, then she pursed her lips. "You're House's . . . masseuse," she stated, her tone caked in dislike; she had no reason to hide how she truly felt about her, so she didn't bother.

"Former," she replied, in a cheerful voice as real as her tan.

After staring at each other for a few tense seconds, Cuddy cleared her throat. "What are you doing in my house?"

"Baby-sitting. He paid me . . . well, more than enough."

Cuddy rubbed one of her temples and closed her eyes against a tension-migraine. "I . . . don't understand. What's going on?" she inquired tersely.

"He left a note on the fridge," she replied, gesturing towards the kitchen.

Cuddy wanted to snap at her and tell her to get out, but she remembered House's urgency last night even though she didn't understand it. Remembering that House had difficulty trusting people and had called the one person he did trust enough, other than Wilson, to watch Rachel, she pushed that anger down into her stomach although she wasn't fond of having a woman of her profession watching over her kid.

She walked into the kitchen and saw the scrap of paper under a magnet on the fridge. She pulled the paper free.

It didn't take long for her stomach to drop out and hit the floor beneath her.

When his dreams finally melted away and reality sunk in, Wilson was aware of the fact he was cuddling against someone. He had his arms wrapped around that person, nose snuggled deeply into short, curly hair, and hand stuck up that person's shirt, flat against that person's abdomen.

Somehow, with no real memory of what happened last night, he knew whose shirt was up against his bare chest. He knew whose jeans the front of his boxers were pressed against and the scent of the person's hair. He knew he was cuddling a fully clothed House while he wore nothing but his boxers, but he just couldn't fathom why. The last thing he remember was sitting on the couch in his empty loft, watching the stupid television, and realizing that a year ago, he'd been with House, sitting on unpacked boxes, watching television with takeout scattering the floor. House had made some joke about them kissing at midnight just for tradition, Wilson had said something sarcastically flirty back, and then when midnight came, neither of them did anything although Wilson had wanted to-he just didn't have the courage. Then he realized that this year, House was with his girlfriend, and Wilson was alone.

Then out came the alcohol.

He opened his eyes and heard House moan sleepily, then winced and extricated himself from House, trying his hardest to ignore the throbbing headache and queasiness stirring in his stomach. House made another odd noise and turned in his sleep, making it so his arm was draped over Wilson's chest lazily. Wilson swallowed a lump in his throat, which make his stomach churn even more, and he pushed House's arm off of him.

He got off the bed and looked at his dirty clothes on the floor, beside a rather disgusting tissue. He'd apparently vomited at some point. Which explained why he had such a horrible taste in his mouth, along with the burning scrape of pain in his throat. He glanced over at House, who was on his back, arm lying innocently across Wilson's side of the bed with his mouth open slightly, the delicate sounds of breathing almost soothing if he didn't have such a headache.

Wondering how the hell House had gotten into his bed, and what they'd done although they couldn't have had sex because House was clothed, Wilson wandered into the bathroom to shower.

It wasn't until he had completely showered, which took longer than usual as he was groggy and wanted to wash away the dirty feeling he always got after a night drinking, gotten dressed, taken some pain pills from behind the mirror, and was half-done with brushing his teeth that it fell into place.

It had started with the memory of kissing the cell phone in his hand as it dialled House's number, and it just derailed from there. Although he couldn't remember the exact words used, he remembered gushing about how much in love he was with House, and sobbing about how he knew it could never be reciprocated and how he hated the fact he was dating Cuddy but never said anything because he didn't want to seem selfish. He was pretty sure he'd passed out in mid sentence.

He remembered House showing up and taking care of him; getting him to bed, despite the many embarrassing attempts at seducing House. Oh, God. How could he have been such a moron? Although the memories were almost dream-like, he could tell they were real, so he couldn't try and pretend it was just some stupid fantasy he cooked up in his head. Besides, House wouldn't have let him.

House was going to mercilessly mock him, or worse . . .

He spat out the remaining toothpaste and stared at his dull and damp reflection in the mirror. His hair was wet still, sticking up randomly, and he had bags under his eyes. He didn't look altogether well, but he figured that was what he got for drinking so much. And for blurting his feelings out for House. Multiple times. While licking his face.

He splashed some cool water on his face and took in a few deep breaths. He could just go out there and blame it on the alcohol. If he was lucky, House might let them pretend that was all it was. He'd know it wasn't the truth, and they'd both know Wilson meant every word, but House might just let it slide. He'd let the organ slide. He'd let so many other things slide; why not this?

Sighing, he didn't bother blow-drying his hair, and just rubbed a towel over it. He tossed the towel in the hamper, then took his time putting his dirty clothes from last night in the hamper as well, and throwing away the tissue he didn't really remember using. He milled around in his room, half-listening to the sounds of the television through the walls.

Finally, after he caught himself contemplating changing out of pyjama bottoms and a green tee into something more flattering, he left the room. He padded into the living room cautiously, expecting House to make some random gay joke, or hand over the harsh truth about how he was in love with Cuddy and couldn't possibly think of being with Wilson.

Then why did he crawl into bed with him? Just being nice? To watch over him? Wilson didn't want to get him hopes up, but what if . . . ?

Wilson folded his arms. "Hey," he greeted, voice louder than he'd intended and obviously forced. He winced.

"Breakfast is on the counter," House said, eyes never leaving the television.

Wilson looked to see a McDonald's bag with his car keys and wallet next to it. "Wait, when did you . . . ?"

"You take long showers. I was hungry, and I have no idea how to work those newfangled contraptions called 'ovens.' Too many knobs."

Wilson went over to it, mostly to drag out the silence so he wouldn't have to talk about last night, or give House a chance to do so for him. He didn't have to ask how House had paid-McDonald's didn't ask for the PIN number, just swiped the card, and even if they did he was sure House had somehow figured it out ages ago anyway. He looked through the wallet for no real reason. House never spent Wilson's cash for some reason-only used his card. After he flipped through it half-heartedly a second time, he put that down and looked inside the bag-obviously it was past the time they served breakfast, so instead of a McGriddle and a hash brown, he had fries and a sandwich, but he didn't care enough to check and see what kind.

"I already drank your soda," House stated, his voice right behind him.

Wilson jumped and turned around to see House standing there. "What the he-you didn't have to sneak up on me, you know."

House just smirked. "Sleep well?"

He cleared his throat and walked away from the table, just so that he could get away from House. "Well, as well as I could, I guess. I don't . . . you know, sleep well after drinking."

"Yeah, tell me about it," House said, limping right behind him as he milled into the kitchen. He had no idea where he was going or what he planned to do, but his plan of getting away from House was apparently failing. "You kept moving around, snoring-I think you punched me in the spleen at one point. Not pretty."

Wilson let out a high, reedy laugh that sounded nervous and forced, so he cleared his throat and turned away from House, which meant he was facing a cupboard. He opened it to see pots and pans, realized he definitely didn't need any of them, and shut them. "Well, you didn't have to sleep in my bed, House." The heart that currently beat in his throat forced his voice to come out raspy.

"I told you," House said, voice unfathomably deep and close enough to be tangible against the back of Wilson's head. "I didn't want to sleep on the couch, and my bed doesn't have any bedding." Despite the fact there was no real need for it to, his sentence sounded smooth and deep.

Wilson felt something touch the back of his head-it felt like a nose-and he veered to the right and headed towards the fridge, opening it to see milk. In the door. "House, wh-? You know I hate that," he grumbled, the moved it to where it belonged, ignoring House's chuckle, which went right to his gut.

Wilson shut the fridge door, and House leaned against it. Wilson stared at the handle, but he could tell with his peripherals that House was staring at him. Wilson swallowed the lump in his throat, then his breath hitched, very obviously, when he felt House's fingers at his ear, tracing the shell of it gently and slowly, sending shocks up his spine and down his arms. "What was your new year's resolution?" House asked, just as gently as he traced his ear.

He cleared his throat. He wished he could blame the light-headedness on the alcohol, but he wasn't even buzzed anymore. "I didn't have one," Wilson muttered, then wrenched away from House abruptly, heading straight into the living room. He didn't get very far before House grabbed his arm tightly and jerked Wilson to face him. "House-"

"Stop it," he ordered, blue eyes flicking around his face; an expression etched there that he couldn't possibly be seeing, except all evidence proved otherwise.

"Does Cuddy know you're here?" he blurted.

House narrowed his eyes. "I left a note."

"Oh, good," he managed through a wholly unnecessary pitch-change. He pulled his arm free. "Listen, House, about last ni-"

"How many times did you wake up your wives to tell them you were coming over to see me?" House inquired, stepping even closer.

Wilson cleared his throat. "I don't know. A-a lot, I imagine. It's not-House, I don't . . . know."

"What did they say to you, every time?"

"What does it matter?" Wilson asked, fighting the urge to run away. House tilted his head and raised his eyebrows. "You didn't need me."

House's eyes looked past Wilson briefly and he nodded before meeting his eyes again. House's fingers were in Wilson's hair, just above his ear; slipping through the short strands and brushing the sensitive skin just below. "My resolution," House began, tilting his chin down slightly, "was to stop running from happiness."

Wilson snorted. "A bit on the cheesy side for you, isn't it?"

House frowned. "Yeah, it was," he admitted, then he shrugged. "I'm not really all that good with the wooing thing."

Wilson's heart stopped for a wild second, then slammed against his chest. "Wooing?" he repeated, losing what little breath he had left.

House nodded, then leaned down and brushed their lips together. Despite its chasteness, it still felt as though the world had shifted beneath his feet. His heart rammed into his sternum and heat bloomed in his stomach; moving upwards to warm his chest. Wilson held onto House's side, trying to anchor himself; when House nudged his mouth a second time, it felt as though he'd float away if he didn't grab onto something.

House pulled away long enough for Wilson to open his eyes and see his were still closed. House pressed their lips together a third time, longer than the last two. When he pulled away again, Wilson heard him suck in a quiet breath before opening his eyes, his pupils large and black against the vividness of his blue irises.

Wilson's heart was still doing odd things inside his stomach now, as it had apparently relocated, and his skin buzzed. The room itself seemed bright; colours, more vivid. When House wrapped his arms around his chest and pressed against him, Wilson didn't think about how weird it should've been for him to do that, and instead held him as well. He was warm and solid, and he buried his face in House's shoulder, closing his eyes and relaxing into him, despite the fact his head was still somewhat throbbing in time with his rapid heart because of the hangover.

"I left Cuddy," he revealed, lips moving against Wilson neck.

Wilson nodded slightly, then furrowed his brows. Wait a minute . . .

He pulled his head away so that he could look House in the face. "Wait. Did you . . . ? You didn't. Tell me you didn't break up with her in a note."

House, whose arms were still around Wilson's chest so that they were pressed against each other, shrugged one arm. "She wouldn't wake up."

Wilson couldn't help but laugh. "Oh, she is going to fire you," he managed through his chuckles.

"She can't. We signed contracts when we went to HR. Oops."

He kept laughing until House pushed their lips together again, this time with a tad more force, and his chuckles melted into a soft hum. This time, House flicked Wilson's mouth with his tongue and Wilson welcomed it into his mouth; soft, sure strokes and a light nibble that fluttered all the way through his body, not just in his stomach.

When they pulled away, Wilson blocked out the shrill laugh of Fran Drescher, and asked; "What was that for?"

"It's midnight in Australia."

"No it isn't."

"Well, we can pretend," he suggested lightly.

Wilson shook his head. "I'm done with pretending, House."

One side of House's mouth lifted upwards, and he nodded slightly. "Good," he said, and kissed him again.