A/N: Originally I had this idea as just a humorous slashy bit based on the whole "I don't eat red meat anymore" and "screw it, I want steak" but it came across fluffy instead. Sorry. Anyway, it's just a missing scene kind of thing following the events of 8x02.

Rating: PG

Pairing: House/Wilson

Warnings: Implied slash, spoilers for 8x02

Info for timeline: For the purpose of this ficlet, House and Wilson have always had a friends with benefits kind of thing going on.

Word Count: 550

Premium Cut Steak House

Eight o'clock sharp; the rap on the door is a welcome symbol to privacy that's held no place in his life over the past eight months; prison serves no illusion toward such basic need in human nature. It, of course is not a right when one is locked away from society due to their own maddening behavior.

The knock is of an expected nature; the commencement of a reconciliation dinner for a relationship long withstanding but nearly destroyed. The hell they each put the other through over the many years has been great and on occasion nearly the last straw to shatter the fragile atmosphere that has always surrounded them. This time however, it is of his doing; just one more crack. Of course when you're in it for life, then as the saying goes; life must go on. Anger has been spent, long grudges put in small compartments not ever quite forgotten, punches thrown to even the score once more, and dinner invites for steak. Indeed, life moves forward with or without you; this time unlike the past year, it just may move with him.

"You're late!" Of course he's not, the man is the epitome of structure; tardiness is not even a word in the Dictionary of James Wilson's Etiquette. In his mind however, this point in time; the threshold in which they find themselves is long overdue. He can't take away the past year; can't change the pain he caused and the lives he affected, but he can search for familiarity and hope that life can fall back into step just a little bit.

"Well, you know me, I had to run home and put on my super hero disguise now that you're back in town. God knows I'll be needing it at some point when you start to wreak havoc on our quaint little town of Princeton once more."

And there it was; the subtle smirk that flashed across his doe eyed face that most people wouldn't see; that was only there for him: The small hint of un-change from this man by his side. The man that has given him love, that's given him pain, but most importantly has given him hope.

"So, no red meat for a year huh?"

The small self conscious flash of a beautifully crooked smile and the salacious nature of the words are what have kept House going through all the turmoil of his own creation.

"You know how hard it is to get a premium cut steak in this town? The best steak house has been closed for a year…oh and yes, pun intended."

Yes, once more life will move forward with him along for the ride and he's hoping that at least for this one evening, it will be one hell of a bumpy ride.

END