"Just A Game"

Fandom: House, M.D.

AN: Let's say this takes place in season six or so, when Wilson and House are still living together in their loft.


Thirty-six, thirty-seven, thirty-eight..., he counted.

There were thirty-eight dirty glasses stacked in their kitchen, covering all of the countertops and filling the sink. Some were even scattered amongst their living room and dining room areas.

It was all about the game, Wilson reminded himself. And this time, he was going to win.

He had decided that he would play a little game with House. He was tired of the messy and nearly unlivable conditions the loft had fallen into. He wouldn't lift a finger to clean anything he didn't need for himself. He was going to let everything stay dirty and messy until House inevitably gave in and cleaned up all of his messes. After all, the loft was filthy and in this state because of him. Sure, Wilson was a little messy but he wasn't above cleaning up after himself. He was however, tired of cleaning up after House.

The game was on, but Wilson wasn't sure just how long he'd be able to keep it up. It drove him crazy not having any clean plates to eat on. And, the amount of dirty laundry currently piling up around the dining room table was really beginning to smell.

He sighed, moving over towards their love seat, deciding to relax a bit with his coffee. The place was quiet, being early still. It was Saturday, which meant neither of them had work and House was still asleep, of course, it being way too early for the man to be up.

Wilson sipped at his hot beverage while flipping through a few pages of the newspaper. He tried to distract himself from the annoying and imposing pile of House's sneakers which surrounded the coffee table in front of him.

He could feel the anger bubbling up inside of him, the white, hot annoyance that burned through him whenever he thought about House and how inconsiderate he was.

But no, he wouldn't give in this time. No, this time he was going to play the game to the end. It was just a matter of time before the diagnostician would give in, tired of the mess. He couldn't live like this forever! Although... Wilson recalled the state of House's old apartment and the different occasions he had been by. It had looked less like a bachelor pad and more like a cesspool.

It occurred to him, however, that that wasn't a constant state. In fact, sometimes it was downright tidy. That probably had a lot to do with House never being there and spending all of his time working on cases at the hospital. Still... he couldn't help but wonder if the man was just messing with him. It was, after all, his favorite past time, screwing with his best friend.

Wilson took a few more sips of coffee, mulling all of it over. He set it down on top of the coaster on the table and leaned back into the loveseat to get more comfortable.

A few moments later, House stumbled in, having just awoken from a less than adequate amount of sleep. He leaned heavily into his cane as he limped into their kitchen and began pouring himself an extra large cup of coffee. The oncologist glanced up to see which mug he was using as there were currently no clean dishes. It was the seafoam green one that he'd bought House one weekend while he was out. It was a friendly little gift, just something he'd seen in a shop and picked up. House hated presents so he had to sneak them in on non-holidays only. It was the only way he could actually give him things without him protesting.

What concerned him wasn't the fact that he was actually using the gift, but the fact that it was clearly dirty from previous use and yet House was pouring coffee into it. Wilson crinkled his nose in disgust and hid his face behind the morning paper.

"Morning!" he called out to him cheerfully.

House merely grunted in response and made his way over to the couch, nearly crashing down next to him. The younger man snuck another glance at his friend and the insulting mug that was in his grasp.

He paid him no mind however and began to sip gingerly at the hot drink, letting his mind slowly wake up and come back to the world around him.

They were quiet for a while, each absorbed in their own thoughts. The round, red clock on the kitchen wall ticked by slowly, its sound echoing around the loft.

Finally, Wilson couldn't take it anymore. He shoved the newspaper down into a crumpled mess and abandoned it on the floor in front of him. Twisting in his seat to face the diagnostician, he jammed a finger in his direction. "What are you doing?!"

House jumped at the sudden movement, nearly spilling hot, black coffee all over his pajama pants. He blinked at the sudden indignation in confusion. The man must have finally lost it, he decided.

"I mean your mug," Wilson continued,"It's dirty. Are you messing with me?!"

"I don't know what you're talking about." House muttered dismissively, sipping slowly at his coffee.

A roll of the eyes is all his friend returned and they were silent once more as he gathered up his forgotten newspaper from before. He busied himself in reading some article regarding a hit and run that blemished the front page and then continued on 7. House reached over and clicked the television on, hoping to find something entertaining to try to wake up to, although unlikely this early in the morning.

The volume level was startling when it came on and both men jumped slightly at the intrusion of the noise into their calm environment. The graying man quickly jabbed at the volume button on the remote control to bring it down to a lower, more 9:30 in the morning sort of level.

Wilson tried to focus on the obviously tragic story in front of him but found the combined smells of House's sneakers, the pile of dishes in the sink and his pile of various laundry in the other room to be far too assaulting on his senses. Unable to stand it anymore, he gathered up the paper once more and folded it neatly to lay on top of their coffee table.

He turned to look at House who was now channel surfing at a rapid rate. Retrieving his coffee cup from the table, he took a few sips trying to find the best words to use.

Sighing deeply in defeat, he faced his best friend. "Are you going to do anything about the... you know, laundry?"

A smirk played across the diagnostician's lips and he paused in his search for the perfect show to gaze at the man. "I knew you wouldn't be able to stand it."

"What?" Wilson exclaimed.

"I was wondering how long it was going to take you to start complaining about the mess. I thought I'd let it go as long as possible. Honestly, I don't mind it, but I know it drives you crazy. You're oh-so-OCD when it comes to your life and your surroundings. This has been very entertaining, so thank you."

House turned back to his channel surfing, ignoring the look of annoyance that crossed his roommate's face.

"I knew it," he breathed. "I just knew you were messing with me."

A chuckle left his friends lips, a joyous look playing across the older man's face.

Wilson rolled his eyes again and finished off his coffee. "Just so you know, you're going to pick all of this up. And, you're doing all of the dishes. And, you're going to run a vacuum or something through here."

House glanced at him, a gentle, teasing smile on his face. "Yes, mom."