Fandom: House MD
Pairing: House/Wilson (with a couple of hints at other stuff)
Challenge/Prompt: 5sentence_fics, prompt table four.
Genre: slash (with vague hints of gen)
Copyright: All twirled up with “Apples and Oranges” by The Charlatans (one of my favourite songs by them), but it’s not meant as a song fic so don’t take it like that. The lyrics just fitted after I’d finished writing the lot.
Summary: Twenty-five H/W moments.
Author’s Notes: Sorry girls, but I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t like this pairing. I don’t like writing it (although that’s not to say I won’t do it again). Some were written on the train to/from Scotland, some were written on the sofa while watching Lost, and some were written during my crazy muse period from half midnight onwards (no prizes for guessing which ones those are; the ones that make no fucking sense).
Dedicated to rivers_bend as an apology for missing her birthday.
You know what it’s like
“So,” Laura said, twisting a strand of dyed-purple hair around her index finger and looking awkward but not actually guilty. James could tell, just from looking at her, that divorce was minutes off. “I, um, I- I fucked House. That’s going to be a problem, isn’t it.”
“Even as James mumbled “er, probably,” and tried to mentally list a few good divorce lawyers, he realised that the problem was going to be more that he was jealous of Laura, not angry with her.
We’re so different yet we’re so alike
“Stacy’s gone,” House says thoughtfully when they’re watching the sunset on the roof. Wilson thinks oh God no, I will not let you do this to me again, but all he says is:
“Yes, she is.”
House turns and smiles and his eyes are golden-blue against the pinky sky and that shouldn’t be physically possible but it is and Wilson’s breath rushes out of him. Oh God no I will not let you do this to me, you always use me as a last resort and I’m still married and you can’t do this again, I won’t let you.
But he also knows damn well that he will.
We’re like apples and oranges
03. Blue Skies
A long time (lifetime) ago House could walk and laugh like a human being and they kissed in the back rows of movie theatres (never remembered the film afterwards; never cared). He wasn’t soft and warm but he wasn’t quite as hard, there were places you could break through and Wilson sometimes did, not eliciting an ‘I love you’ but never drawing out an ‘I hate you’ either (but really he wouldn’t have minded if he did). House’s moods were more curves than angles and sometimes it was ok to call him Greg and his temper had a slightly longer fuse and there wasn’t that rattling sound of white demons in a pot waiting to escape and eat his soul (it’s melodramatic but Wilson is ooh, a little drunk right now. Hic.)
And then, of course, inevitably, there was Stacy.
I’m not your leaf
04. Broken Wing
She twists her wedding ring around as she plays with her fingers, feet curled up surprisingly defensively, white and pale (and you think Julie won't like this and then you think Julie doesn't care any more). House thinks that she's the devil; he doesn't know that you're the one who whispered in her ear about medical proxies and Greg not being in his right mind and you changed her world and her opinions to fit what you wanted (you've had plenty of practise at that). And even when he was throwing his cane at her and screaming abuse she didn't drop you in it, didn't tell him what you told her it was late and you needed him not to die (lips pressed together and God, you were selfish- does it matter now?). House rages at her, constantly, angrily, resented her forever and still does, but he's not angry with you; so beyond redemption because you refuse to admit what your sin is. So it isn't really a surprise that you have nothing to say to her; you both know you made her give everything up just so that you could step in and take it all away.
You can’t rake me up
05. High Octane
The lights are switched off and House leans back in his chair and listens to Jimmy scream down the phone about how it’s two o’clock in the morning and normal people should be asleep or at least watching the porn channel not tormenting their friends like this. They argued at work today and House has been calling on the hour every hour until he can make Wilson crumple and forgive him without ever needing to say the word ‘sorry’, like he does every time.
“I don’t want to talk to you,” Wilson snaps furiously, futilely, trying to draw a line which House amuses himself by ignoring.
“Yes, Jimmy, yes you do,” he says, and they both sit there in silence on either end of the phoneline. And then House laughs and hangs up, because he always wins, every time.
I don’t believe
06. Silver And Gold
Laura insisted on silver wedding rings, which James actually rather liked, at least until the divorce was finalised. Rose wanted traditional rings, which James was happy enough to go along with; simple gold bands that matched and sparkled. He doesn’t wear the wedding ring that Julie slid onto his finger a couple of years ago. He tells her (and himself to a certain extent) that it would get lost at work, or tear a hole in his gloves or something. But in truth, it’s because it prevents him from feeling guilty as his fingers tangle in House’s hair, unadorned, without that cold metal band reminding him of his penchant for making the same mistake.
I should live in the wilderness
07. Too Good To Be True
On good days House doesn’t take too many pills, calls him ‘Jimmy’, smiles once or twice, plays him soft melodies on the piano, kisses him on the mouth. He runs his fingers through Wilson’s hair almost reverently, takes his time tracing the contours of Wilson’s body with his lips. House doesn’t pin him to the mattress, biting his neck and treating the whole thing more like it’s clinically necessary, rather than something he wants or needs. On good days House doesn’t taste like instant coffee, doesn’t leave bruises, and laughs like he used to, hands warm and gentle on Wilson’s hips and thighs, almost promising James that the man he was before the infarction is still in there somewhere.
The good days are getting fewer and farther between.
And I miss you now
08. Tangled And Dark
After a particularly bad argument that begins with Vicodin (“For God’s sake Wilson, haven’t we gone through this enough?”), staggers messily through “and is there anyone you haven’t successfully pushed away through your antisocial masochism?” (“Well, Jimmy boy, there’s you…”), scrapes its knees on how House really shouldn’t be mixing pills and alcohol (“You drive me to it”), and collapses somewhere during the subject of Cameron (“Come on, she begs for me to treat her like that”), Wilson hisses “I don’t know why we do this”.
He regrets saying it, sometime later, when he’s got the shower on burning hot, trying to wash away the nail marks and the red teeth imprints down his chest. Wilson and House argue about everything but their friendsh- whatever it is they have going on; that, at least, is something they agree on, that they don’t touch. So Wilson showers with the lights off and his eyes shut and his fingers sliding across the slick white tiles, and he knows that he has to move out soon.
But no matter how hard he tries, Wilson can’t-and doesn’t- forget the feeling of House pinning him to the wall, mouth crushing his and nails digging into his wrists, hissing between bruising kisses- “This, Jimmy; this is why we do this.”
We live in a rag bag world
09. Best Served Cold
[Babies and Bathwater]
They don’t discuss Vogler, not ever, not again.
[House gave him up (gave them all up but Wilson is the one who tastes it like a personal betrayal- it was- and oh, it’s a bitter dish to swallow) and went down in flames himself and maybe Wilson’s a little angry that it was all for nothing but they share champagne-tinted kisses against the lightbox in House’s office, much later when Chase has gone home to slit his wrists and Foreman has gone home to think things over and Cuddy has gone home to cry (“you should be mourning- I know I am”). Julie won’t be waiting up (she’s never waiting up any more) so Wilson is perfectly happy to be crushed against the x-rays of yet another patient and bite at House’s lips and feel stubble scrape against his skin.]
A dark patch in a friendship absolutely full of dark patches and ups and downs and perhaps it’s easier not to recall what nearly cost them everything when they already had so little to lose in the first place.
(Wilson still wants to be a little avenged though; it stung for months and months what House did to him, although he’d never say a word.)
I’m not afraid any more
10. Running On Empty
House has a thumping headache and he feels sick and he’s in all kinds of pain and his mouth burns from the vomiting and the whole lot is a side effect of giving up Vicodin (he’s not an addict he’s not he’s not- ok, maybe he is). Wilson sits calmly and wraps his broken fingers together, hands warm on House’s skin. And it’s then that House knows. He knows that it’s not Cuddy behind this whole thing; it’s Wilson. And yes; he could shout and scream and break every bone in Wilson’s body just so he’ll know how much this fucking hurts; but then again it’s true that Wilson is the only one in the world who loves House enough to break him into pieces, so House bites his mouth together and swallows the words whole.
Blowing out of control
11. Slow Hand
Long after the wedding reception has finished, House sits in his apartment and plays a lot of tunes on the piano- and badly. He can’t find the right notes because he’s too stoned and too tired and he feels sick just thinking about Wilson in yet another smartly tailored suit giving away another piece of himself he’s incapable of getting back. And maybe he’s jealous and maybe he won’t admit it and maybe he will and there’s Vicodin spilt on the piano lid, laid out in lines of the mock control he doesn’t have right now.
His own tuxedo is ripped on the floor and the best man’s speech paper went missing hours ago in a little cloud of smoke, because he fucking hates weddings (or, at least, he hates Wilson’s, which may be a different thing entirely).
The notes slow, slow right down, then flutter, and die out.
12. Double Vision
Quite how House has managed to call him, Wilson is not sure (Wilson is speed dial 2 on House’s cell phone, that is true, but House is so drunk that it’s surprising he is capable of pressing buttons at all). But he has managed to call him, and slur an address, and in spite of Julie’s shouting Wilson drives to the downtown bar to pick up his friend.
“You have very pretty eyes, Jimmy,” House mumbles, “All four of them.”
Wilson just smiles and slides an arm around House’s shoulders with a whisper of “come on, let’s get you home”. House laughs and presses his face into Wilson’s shoulder as they shuffle clumsily from the bar and into what will be a crazily awkward car ride.
We know they come and go
House always insists that the handicapped stall is for his own, personal use, what with him being handicapped himself and all, and Wilson is normally too horny to give it more than a moment’s thought. The fact that it’s a bathroom sometimes impinges on Wilson’s consciousness, usually when his back is slammed against the tiles and House’s hand moves with arrogant certainty underneath his work slacks (neatly ironed by his wife this morning but he’s not thinking about- oh God, there, right there), but he manages to forget to care. Sure, it’s slightly sleazy (“Jimmy, you’re really quite cheap, aren’t you?” House asked once), but it’s a common enough occurrence for Wilson to justify it inside his head. (House’s stubble scraping across his skin, biting down on each other’s mouths in an effort to keep silent.) There is, after all, something to be said for fucking in the hospital toilets, even if it is only House coming with his fingers tangled in Wilson’s hair, groaning “Oh, this is so much better than clinic duty.”
Like apples and oranges
14. In The Dark
Late at night with no lights on and the drapes shut and Wilson’s new cheap apartment could mean anything and be anywhere (Rotterdam or anywhere, Liverpool or Rome… only not really) and neither of them give a shit. In the pitch dark they’re not the people that they are (does that make sense? Probably not) and crippled thighs and crippled emotions and fucked-up messed-up it’sallhousesfaultreally failed marriages cease to actually matter. All that does matter is the sensation and the burning and the guilt that follows through afterwards, the rattle of Vicodin pills that manage to show up even in the half-light, white and glowing and murderous.
The dry whisper of you should get back to your wife.
The unspoken murmur of but I want to stay with you.
Talking to my demons
15. Personal Space
“I can’t be around you right now,” is what Wilson says about thirty seconds before House decides that he could potentially be heartbroken. He is supposed to be able to help Wilson get through divorces and break-ups (with scotch and pity sex- lots of pity sex- and stupid action movies with chicks with bit tits in them) but Jimmy doesn’t want him, not at all and he shrugs.
“Sure,” he tosses off like he doesn’t give a shit, “You need your space.”
Wilson opens his mouth like he’s going to say something else (tender or angry or whatever, House can’t tell, which makes a disturbing change) and then nods.
“Yes,” he agrees, “I need to- just- just go.”
To my angels and devils
16. Stormy Weather
It’s absolutely pouring down with rain and Wilson is standing in his doorway all drenched with it and shivering and there’s a very, very obvious blank patch where House could have sworn there used to be a wedding ring. Ah.
“House,” Wilson gasps, “I just- I mean, Rose, and she- and I- And- I mean, you, and it’s you and I want- and I don’t know why I want but I want you and- it’s raining and I shouldn’t be here but I am but you- and I want- but- please.”
“Shut up Jimmy,” House mumbles, stepping aside to let the other man come in.
(Sometimes House looks back to this memory and thinks this is where it all started but he knows that that’s kind of a lie and it was probably, in fact, the beginning of the end.)
And I miss you now
17. Wax Paper
People seem to think that House doesn’t care about anything; that problems just roll off him like he’s waterproof and they don’t cling. Wilson knows otherwise; he knows that House holds onto things longer than he should do, absorbs them and holds them deep down while they crack him from the inside out. Wilson wants to hold him together but he doesn’t; he just lets him fall apart, occasionally trying to pull him back from the edge, constantly failing. Crumpling like paper. (Wilson isn’t any good at letting go of things either, even when they’re bad for him.)
We live in a rag bag world
18. Sentimental Journey
It’s about three o’clock in the morning and between the shots they’ve been drinking and the fact House is really quite good at poker when he wants to be (and so he now has all the banknotes), there are cards scattered all over the table and floor and the game has fallen apart. Realising they’re going to have to sleep in their offices, House and Wilson make their way to the elevator. House waits until the door closes behind them before unbuttoning a few more buttons of Wilson’s previously crisp white dress shirt, leaning in and pressing a soft kiss against Wilson’s lips, which Wilson wants to deepen and doesn’t.
“You looked good tonight,” House mumbles, “It was pretty distracting.”
Wilson blushes and they arrive at their floor, and he whispers “Goodnight, House,” lingering for just a second too long before turning away.
I’m not afraid any more
19. Perfect Balance
House has Cameron to act as his conscience, Chase to act as his own personal whipping boy, Foreman to bounce ideas off (and, on occasion, to wheedle money out of), and Cuddy to have blazing rows with. He has hookers to get him laid and files in his bottom drawer to remind him that he’s not entirely infallible and ignored phonecalls from his mother to make him feel guilty. He has Stacy to regret forever and his gameboy to entertain him and an alarm clock to get him up in the morning and a takeout number to make sure he eats and a corvette and a motorbike to get him to work and back. He has an entire world full of pretty people to torment. But the first evening House sits alone in his apartment because Jimmy has moved out, staring at the bookcase and playing all kinds of wrong notes on his piano, he realises exactly why it is he needs Wilson.
The morning light shows trouble
20. No Worries
“So, what we know about Australians is that they say “no worries” a lot, they’re pretty, they have lots of shiny hair, nice asses, and as far as you’re concerned they’re actually English,” Wilson mutters, ticking them off on his fingers.
“What are you trying to achieve with this?” House asks, tilting his head back to look at the ceiling and not at his new blonde fellow who is next door and apparently captivating Wilson to a degree that’s making him almost jealous.
“Reckon he’s gay?” Wilson enquires innocently, but his eyes are alight with fire and something else that makes House shift in his seat.
“Dr Wilson,” he breathes mockingly, “I had no idea you were so kinky. I guess you do learn something new every day.”
Like a rock in the road
21. Chasing The Wind
After the date has ended and Cameron is seriously thinking about just going home and weeping, she finds Wilson leaning against the door to her apartment. He gives an almost triumphant little smile when he sees her standing there and for the first time Cameron decides that she hates him.
“He’ll never love you, you know,” she tells him, digging for her keys in her purse and pretending she can’t feel his eyes looking where her corsage ought to be. Cameron hopes that she’ll hurt him; it hardly seems like the same man who was telling her to be careful with House earlier.
“Yes,” Wilson murmurs softly, “But he’ll never love you either.”
This ride is taking its toll
22. Blown Away
Being around House when they’re alone is different to when other people are around. House is razor-sharp and crueller than he normally is, but he’s also got a sweetness to him that it takes time to recognise. Wilson has never understood how Greg manages to be both concentrated and diluted at the same time, but it’s only part of a long, long list of things he’ll never quite get about House. Maybe that’s all right though. Wilson doesn’t want to save House and while everyone else has been forced away by the whirlwind that is House and his self-destructive spiral that destructs everyone else too, Wilson is still hanging on by his fingertips. By splinters, resolutely not letting go.
And I miss you now
“So this is some personal campaign to get me to move out,” Wilson sighs, “You could have just asked me to go, you know.”
“You broke my cane!” House rages.
“You made me pee on your couch!” Wilson snaps back.
The two of them look at each other for an impossibly long moment before bursting out laughing.
(“I don’t want you to go,” House says; yes you do thinks Wilson)
We live in a rag bag world
24. In Chaos
Cameron is sobbing into her palms, looking like she’s going to be sick. Chase is missing and Cuddy is yelling at people and Foreman is sitting stock still with his head in his hands. Wilson can’t stop shaking. He has a cup of lukewarm coffee and after spilling it three times he’s settled it on the floor under his plastic seat, focusing instead on not breaking down. House is in surgery, sedated from his random mutterings about ‘ketamine’, and Wilson is fairly certain that until he knows that House is all right, he’ll never stop trembling.
I’m not afraid of the world
25. Rising Tide
House knows that the maps are all wrong; coastlines shift and change and bits wash into the sea and the outlines of the map if the world everyone has are simply the way the world looked to one person at one point in time.
The frozen moment in time he likes best is a photograph he has in a drawer somewhere- one of few; neither of them are very sentimental and neither of them own a camera- of just the two of them together, younger than they are now, laughing, shoulder to shoulder, like brothers, like something more. Like maybe they were.
Now, of course, they've lost lots (a couple more wives and a thigh muscle if nothing else) and the frozen moment is grossly inaccurate (whatever they were they're not that now- older, exhausted, no longer finding excuses to get each other naked).
House looks at the photograph sometimes, pictures the whole thing washing into the sea, the lines redrawn and erased, and realises that that's exactly what's happened.