Unquiet Night


If joking with himself is a sign of insanity, then he's been insane all his life, long before this tall blonde figment of his imagination showed up and started its protracted game of sabotage. Self-sabotage, really, since she's mostly his own id in a beautiful, creepy wrapper.

His Amber-shaped id wants to know why it's Amber-shaped instead of, of ... well, she doesn't specify instead of what. A gigantic white rabbit, maybe. Or Mr. Snuffleupagus - and the realization that House knows the name of that thing is enough to drive him to make the crack about subconsciously wanting Wilson in his bedroom.

In the following moment he knows it is, like so many jokes, fractionally true.

Fractionally, as in: there's a sliver-sized fraction of himself that is already imagining - has often, over the years, imagined - Wilson's head on that other pillow. There's a fraction of himself that wants, if not to fuck Wilson, at least to have that presence beside him, to not be so alone. It would be ... good. Right now, if you didn't count the weirdness of having Wilson and the Ghost of Girlfriend Past in the same room, it would be better than good. Undead Cutthroat Bitch doesn't count as company; she makes him more alone than he has ever been, and he can't even sleep through the misery.

There were no plagues of insomnia while Wilson was living here. Wilson doesn't even snore.

House shuts his eyes and can still hear her footsteps, her breathing, snatches of her humming. After a while he gives up and turns on the television to drown out the little noises.

"You were serious," she says.

"And I seriously need to sleep." He rolls over, grabs that spare pillow and puts his arms around it, the way he never will with his friend. There's a part of him that wishes he could, and not be ashamed of what he wants. Wilson's love. Not the frothy pink synthetic stuff Wilson churns out for any needy woman in a ten-mile radius. House wants the real thing. He knows it's in there: Wilson shows it in allowing food-theft and providing bail and driving all night to get to the funeral.

It's there, but House can't grab onto it, and there's not even a good reason why not. He's thrown damn near every other cultural dictate onto his personal bonfire, but he's kept believing the one that says Men Don't Touch and its corollary, Unless They're Gay. As if Gay is even a bad thing. Either society's ridiculous or he is, and this is one of very few times when House honestly doesn't know which party to blame.

His usual solution is not to think about it. Insomnia will do strange things, though. Make him wonder how it might feel to fall blessedly asleep with his best friend's arm around him. Whether it would ever be possible to lean into Wilson's chest and feel Wilson's hands on his back, drawing him into a dark, secret, safe place. Maybe the desire is sexual or maybe it's just how bad his dad fucked him up, that he wants to make a blanket-fort with little Jimmy and huddle inside until he feels okay again.

He hopes it's just the latter; he can't imagine a romance ever working out, but either way he's got the phone in his hand and -

"You're an idiot," says Amber.

House isn't sure if she means the fact that he wants to call Wilson, or the fact that he won't.