by Pun

Notes: If you haven't seen the episode Three Stories a few lines of the story might confuse you, but other than that you're good. Great thanks go out to my betas: Clannadlvr, Moonlash, and Corinna, all of whom made some excellent suggestions. Remaining mistakes are mine alone.

"You owe me twenty bucks," Wilson said. There was an unaccustomed tension about his shoulders, and he was staring out House's office window at the rain, touching the glass like he was thinking of putting his fist through it.

House took him out and paid his debt in beer. When that didn't seem to be having any effect he started in on the harder stuff. Once he thought Wilson was drunk enough not to dodge the question, he put both hands on the table, leaned in and said in what he thought of as his sensitive voice, "So. Two in one day, huh?"

The first time House had seen a patient thank Wilson for a terminal diagnosis he'd been convinced it was a fluke. He had to sit in as a "consulting physician" multiple times before he believed Wilson's assurances that it happened about half the time. House had expected it to be mostly the women, since Wilson always knew how to charm women with his earnest, boy's smile and his big brown eyes, but, surprisingly, the men were more likely to say it. He supposed men weren't used to other men addressing them with that kind of compassion.

"Well, three actually," Wilson explained almost angrily, "the pancreas and the lymphoma said thank you, but the eight year old with leukemia and her mother were crying too hard to say anything." Wilson ran his hand through his hair and then brought it back down to the table in a wide shaky arc that tipped over one of the empty pint glasses. He fumbled for it, but it rolled out of his reach and shattered against the floor.

"Fuck!" he shouted loudly enough to attract a few looks, and buried his face in his hands.

The last one explained Wilson's agitation. Generally the guy kept it together amazingly well for someone whose professional lexicon mostly consisted of phrases like "five percent survival rate" and "we can make you comfortable," but once in awhile he got a little weepy over the children.

"Come on," House said. "Let's go before those women eyeing you in the corner think asking if you want to talk about it makes a good pick up line." He threw a hundred down on their table and took Wilson's elbow to keep him from weaving too much as they stumbled out.

They got drenched on the way to the parking lot, pea-sized raindrops pelting against them like they were being thrown by an angry god. House told Wilson he was too drunk to drive, and then that he was far too drunk to know what he was doing when, back at his place, Wilson leaned in and kissed him on the couch.

"This is a bad idea," House said after the second kiss, but it was too hard to stop when Wilson was pressing against him with so much need. Everyone knew House never denied Wilson anything. All he could do was gasp out his insincere objections between licks and bites and those sweet, rainwater kisses.

Wilson finally shut him up by going down on him. He sucked House's cock with an intense look of concentration on his face. House kept his eyes wide open and watched for as long as he could before throwing his head back and coming like crazy down Wilson's throat, shouting his ecstasy at the ceiling.

The next morning it was hard to tell which was the greater cause of Wilson's obvious misery—his hangover or what had happened. He beat a hasty retreat after a few mumbled apologies, and House wasn't sure whether to be relieved or to cry.

He got in the shower and glared at his morning erection. "I hope you're happy," he told his dick. "You just lost me my only friend." But his penis refused to be abashed and stayed hard until House gave in and jerked off to the memories, sorry that his fist was tighter than Wilson's mouth, but nowhere near as hot or as desperate.

It was a testament to how thoroughly sex interferes with higher brain function that it took two days before it occurred to him that Wilson had clearly done this before. No one gave a blowjob that spectacular on their first try. With a sick feeling House wondered who the others were, and had Wilson kissed them like that afterwards? Had they wrapped their arms around him while he crushed his face to theirs and whispered "thank you" like he was the one who'd been given a gift? House simultaneously really did and really did not want to know.

On the third day he had to sneak into the bathroom at work to jerk off like he was still in high school. The memories were getting more intense with time instead of less, but now they carried a feeling of hopeless dread as well as arousal. Wilson had been noticeably absent since slinking off that morning, and House hated to think that "Oh god, Greg," might be the last words his best friend ever willingly said to him. He never would have believed before this that an impromptu blowjob could make him unhappy.

House tried to block out the fear and just focus on the feeling of his hand working his cock. He focused on his memories of the way Wilson's hands had pushed up under his shirt, smooth and sure, and the way Wilson's mouth had given him a rush like a rollercoaster and burnt like a brand. He thought about Wilson's moist, boozy breath on his cheek and Wilson's tongue in his mouth and came in a series of hot spurts, turning his head into his shoulder to muffle his ragged breathing.

Afterwards House sat on the toilet and rested his head on his cane, alone with the rock in his stomach.

House stayed away from his office the rest of the day. The place felt too empty when he knew there was no chance of Wilson dropping by, but by nine p.m. he'd gotten himself chased out of the cardiology lounge and the obstetrics lounge and every other lounge on the opposite side of the hospital from oncology. He returned to his office and dropped down into the armchair with a sigh.

He briefly considered going home, but the memories were stronger there. He'd look at the couch and think, "This is where it happened." The sound of the leather creaking beneath him and the hot, dirty sucking noises as he pumped in and out of Wilson's mouth would come back to him in vivid detail. He'd remember the way Wilson's moans of encouragement had vibrated along his dick and all the way up his spine, making him writhe with pleasure.

House had finished reliving the event from start to finish for the hundredth time, and was on to the part where he wondered how many other people Wilson had done that to, and whether there was enough in his savings account to have them all killed, or if he'd have to focus on the ones who'd had it more than once, when the mouth in question walked in.

Wilson was impeccably dressed, as usual, and if their encounter was causing him anywhere near the level of turmoil it'd been causing House, he hid it well. "Hi," he said, with a little shrug of his shoulders, and House knew instinctively that that was how Wilson greeted his wives after he'd "worked late" for the tenth night in a row, or gotten a page and run out on yet another important dinner. Somehow, with that one syllable, he managed to convey an air of resourceful penitence, as if he were promising to do better next time if the listener would only go easy on him.

House was in no mood to be merciful. Why ignore a two-ton pink elephant when shouting and poking at it were so much more fun? "There you are. I was wondering when you'd stop avoiding me."

That wiped the serenity right off Wilson's face. "I haven't been avoiding you," he said indignantly. "You've been avoiding me. I came by your office three times today, and you weren't here."

"That has nothing to do with you. Cuddy's on the warpath because I fudged a little to get that kid with Hep B into Mark Miller's clinical trial. Now I've destroyed their data because her name doesn't begin with 'R,' or whatever. I had to go on the lam until she calmed down." It was a lame lie. Actually, it was true, but all Cuddy would do was yell and maybe slap his wrist, and Wilson knew that. "You're the one who skipped lunch yesterday and the day before."
"Look, it's not important who was avoiding who," Wilson said. "We should talk."

"I don't see how there's anything to talk about. It was a mistake, and we both regret it, and it'll never happen again. So on and so forth, yadda yadda." House waved a hand dismissively as if the whole thing were nothing more than a minor misunderstanding.

Wilson gave him a skeptical sideways look. "So, if we just close our eyes, click our heels and pretend really hard it never happened then everything can go back to normal. Is that what you think?"

"I don't see why not. You're a married man. Repression and denial are your stock in trade, and I have some expertise in those areas myself."

"I keep failing at marriage, actually. And besides, I don't regret it, and I do want it to happen again."

House's stomach lurched at that revelation. He could imagine it happening again right then and there. Wilson could pin his hips to the chair, swallow him down and make him come in under a minute if he wanted to. House wouldn't have the strength to stop him, not even if every last employee of Princeton Plainsboro were standing outside the glass doors watching them. He pushed up out of the chair and walked to the other side of his desk, trying to regain some composure. 

"You're awfully cavalier about adultery, aren't you?"

"Julie left me two weeks ago. I just haven't been able to face telling you."

This news hit even harder. Two weeks, and House hadn't known something was wrong until that night in his office, and then he'd blindly accepted the red herring of the patients. It terrified him that Wilson could lie that well. It scared him even more that a part of him didn't care. A part of him was thrilled and hopeful and completely heedless of just how dangerous Wilson was. He ruthlessly crushed that part down, took a shallow breath and said, "But I don't want it to happen again. I got carried away in the moment, but I'm not interested in you that way. I'm a breast man, you know, and yours are pretty pathetic."

Wilson placed his hands on his hips and looked deliberately down at House's crotch. "That'd be a lot easier to believe if there weren't a four-man tent in your pants while you were saying it, House."

House tugged his t-shirt down before he could stop himself and Wilson laughed. "Or is that just a really big bottle of Vicodin in your pocket?"

"A man can't fantasize about Angelina Jolie alone in his office anymore?" He was having trouble hitting his usual note of flippancy, and he knew the blush was completely ruining the effect. Wilson only glared at him in annoyed disbelief.

House sighed. "Let's not make this bigger than it has to be. It was no big deal. I'm already over it."

"Yeah." Wilson nodded and gave that sarcastic smile House knew so well. "I'm sure your first sexual encounter in two years was a real non-event for you."

"That's right. I'm not the panty peeler that you are," House bit out, finally wholly, liberatingly furious. "Or should I say 'boxer peeler?' Exactly how many—"

"House." Wilson cut him off, a real note of warning in his voice. His head was tucked down now like he was squaring off for a fight. "Don't change the subject. This is about you and me."

"So, what? You think you get some kind of bonus points for sucking lonely old cripple cock? If that's what you're into I'm sure it can't be too hard to find in a hospital. I'd be happy to put the word out on your consummate skill, if you need the help. But somehow, I doubt you do."

Wilson jutted his chin out and met House's eyes defiantly. "Thanks, but I'm sick of surrogates."

The reason Wilson was so good at arguing with House was because he could take the bait and run with it like that, run circles around him until the room was spinning and he had to brace his free hand on the desk for support. Wilson wanted him and only him. That was a heady thought, and yet . . .

"It would be a complete disaster. We'd wind up hating each other," he said softly, the truth shocked out of him. "Fine. I'll admit that I'm attracted to you, but that doesn't make it right. The penis isn't an organ known for its good sense."

"But at least it knows what it wants."

"I know what I want," House said, still quiet and even. "I want us to stay friends."

Wilson searched House's eyes for a few seconds and then nodded a little. "We will. Let me know when you're ready for more. I'll be waiting."

House watched Wilson turn and walk out the door. He wiped his sweaty palms on his pants, hearing the familiar rattle in his pocket. He swallowed a pill as he sank down into his desk chair; feeling like what he really needed was some digitalis to slow his racing heart.

Wilson shouldn't hold his breath. House took risks all the time but not on people. Not on a person who could laugh and split a bag of chips with you over lunch while his wife was at home loading their wedding albums and half their dishes and all of her fifty-eight pairs of shoes into a U-haul.

A friendship wasn't worth a few orgasms. He'd meant what he said. But Wilson said he'd be waiting. And everyone who really knew House knew that he never denied Wilson anything.

The End


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