AUTHOR: Michelle Christian
WARNINGS: Spoilers up through "Control."
SUMMARY: Certain days you just want to hold down head-first in a bottle's worth of scotch until thet stopped kicking.
DISCLAIMER: Not mine.
NOTES: Thanks once again to the wonderful and beautious corilannam for the beta. Dedicated to kassrachel for her birthday.
Greg House didn't usually drink. His drug of choice was generally pill-shaped and solid, and he hated falling into the cliche of the bitter, old drunken doctor, drowning his sorrows and crying into his beer. He preferred his sorrows to quietly float away on the great Vicodin breeze, drifting like clouds across a sea blue sky.
Certain days, though, you just wanted to hold head-first in a bottle's worth of scotch until they stopped kicking. So, he sat alone in his living room, drinking middle-brow alcohol, and wondering what made today so special. It could have to do with Cuddy continuing to be on his ass about his clinic duties and playing nice with the new boss; it seemed unlikely, as their game was too much fun, and bosses came and went (no matter how permanent they themselves thought they were). It could be it was lying to the transplant board and risking his license, though that seemed even less likely. He generally did five things a day which the medical board would not approve of, and besides that was days ago. It could be it was because Wilson....
He took another drink.
This really was pathetic. He wasn't just crying into his reasonably-priced booze, but he was acting as if he was doing it over his boyfriend who dumped him. All he needed was to get his hair bleached and let it grow out so he could tease it as high as possible, and he'd complete the image.
It wasn't just Wilson, though, and he knew it. It was this increasing feeling of doom, the crackling he felt just along his skin which he surmised might be similar to how someone felt right before lightning struck. His life was shaded in black and white, and he was watching the storm clouds come closer, like Dorothy running for home at the beginning of Wizard of Oz.
House wondered when his life had become a metaphor. And not just that, but a metaphor for a movie that was, in and of itself, a metaphor. It wasn't even for the main part of the movie, it was the prolog--there were no flying monkeys or crabby trees in sight. His life was a metaphor for the prolog of a metaphor and that seemed deeply wrong.
He looked at the glass in his hand. Maybe he shouldn't have had that last scotch.
House ignored the knocking on his front door in lieu of picturing Cameron in a gingham dress. It was his metaphor, so by rights he should be in the gingham, but he knew it wouldn't go well with his skin tones--and he just didn't have the legs for the dress--and besides, it was also his drunken ramblings, so he'd put who he wanted in the damned outfits.
He ignored the second knocking, too. He thought Foreman was really more built for the Cowardly Lion role, though he hardly lacked nerve, and Chase could be the Tinman, since House suspected he'd look better in silver paint. Cuddy kept popping into his head as Glinda and the Wicked Witch, alternately. He bet she had a whole closet-full of flying monkeys at home.
At the third knocking was harder to ignore, but he still managed. Whoever it was should give up right about now, unless it was the one person with his spare key....
The door opened and footsteps which somehow managed to sound disapproving approached the living room.
"So there I was, sitting in my office, waiting for my ride to show," Wilson said from the hallway, as he leaned against the doorjamb. "But no one ever showed. So I go to my friend's office and it's locked up tight."
"And yet here you are," House said. He decided to risk further metaphor horrors and took another drink; looked more dramatic and gave him something else to do than stare at Wilson and wish he didn't look so genuinely pissed under the surface irritation. "I knew you were a resourceful lad. Probably a boy scout. Did you follow the moss on the north side of the tree until you made your way here."
"I suppose the cab driver did, though I didn't think to ask him."
Wilson continued staring and didn't come any closer. He also didn't say any more.
One of the things House had always liked about Wilson was that he not only seemed to know when to talk and what to say, but when to just shut the hell up. They could spar and taunt each other for hours on end until all surrounding people had gotten up and left or tried to intervene in their "fight." Or they could sit quietly in a room, watching TV, reading a magazine, and never make a sound. Right now, though, House wished he would just say something, anything, or hopefully get out all together. And in House's head, offense and defense were the same thing.
"Oh, sorry, is my drinking bothering you? I know how my habits upset you so," House said, taking another insulting drink, and waited.
Wilson stared at him a beat more without blinking. "Maudlin drunks are so sexy," he finally said as he crossed the living room, pulling off his long wool coat.
House sighed inwardly. Okay, that didn't work, but this was ground he knew, at least. "Yeah, we're planning to organize, maybe put together a pageant. If you're nice to me, I'll let you help me pick out my swimsuit."
"I'm always nice to you," Wilson said as he took the mostly empty glass out of his hand. House was done with it anyway, so he let him.
"Yes, you'll make someone an excellent mom some day." House could feel the eyes on him and he knew that Wilson was checking for signs of an OD, not just of alcohol poisoning. He could have reassured him quickly that it had been hours since he took his last pill--and his leg was even now reminding him of that fact through the alcoholic haze, but he had left his bottle in his jacket which was currently on the other side of the room. He could have erased that almost-hidden look of worry with just a brief sentence of reassurance, but he decided to let the guy suffer. For giving him crap about his meds. For not telling him how many brothers he really had. For jilting him and monster trucks for his own ex-girlfriend. For not knowing when to be cowed and coming right out with a line like "Our friendship is an ethical responsibility," as if House could have a response to that.
For seeing him at his worst and still being here.
Whatever signs Wilson had been looking for seemed to be found and cataloged as he stood up out of his crouch, but didn't move away. "How long have you been sitting there?" Read: How long have you been drinking, and can you get up on your own?
Ah, yes, House had forgotten the one big drawback of sitting at home and drinking away his sorrows: the real possibility he would be stuck in this chair for time immemorial. He simply glared at Wilson and did an internal assessment of his own ability to become fully vertical.
And Wilson, he of the too many marriages and too few friendships for such a nice guy, was also king of timing. He knew exactly how long to wait to get beyond the "too humiliating to be offered help up" moment, but offer a hand before the "don't make me ask for help" moment. Between the two of them, House was on his feet, arm around James's shoulders, in a non-embarrassing amount of time.
At which point House belched in his face.
Without missing a beat, while staring straight into House's eyes, Wilson said, "I have never wanted you more."
"Yes, but I'm not that kind of doctor," House said primly, and disentangled himself from Wilson, grabbing his cane from beside the chair and making his way, with as much dignity as possible, towards the bedroom.
Once there, he wasn't sure what to do. If he was on his own, he'd just fall into bed. He knew he'd feel like crap sleeping in his clothes, and he didn't want to further humiliate himself in front of Wilson, but unless he somehow magically found himself transported into one of those Harry Potter books where he could wave a wand and be naked....
Aw, fuck it, he thought, and fell face first on the bed. It wasn't as if Wilson hadn't helped him through more embarrassing moments. And House preferred his 'wand,' anyway.
Soon, he felt himself turned over and his shoes coming off. This was both irritatingly paternal and disturbingly sensual. House was afraid he was going to end up with daddy issues if this kept up, and frankly, he had enough issues as it was.
But off came the shoes, and then hands were on his belt. "Why, Dr. Wilson, are you getting fresh with me," House said, eyes closed.
"If you don't know what me getting fresh feels like by now...," Wilson said and pulled his pants down his legs and off.
House felt a sudden surge of anger that he couldn't explain and didn't look at too closely as he felt Wilson start on the buttons of his shirt, so he grabbed Wilson's hand with one of his and asked, "Why are you here?"
Wilson smirked at him and said, "What, isn't this the new strip club? I hear all the cute diagnosticians get naked here." He started again on his buttons, but House grabbed him by his head, forcing it up and making Wilson look him in the eye.
"Why?" he asked again. "Don't you get enough of holding people's hands and taking care of them at work? Or not getting enough of it at home?" He'd never felt pity from Wilson, but you never knew when it might creep in.
"You are a bucket of cheer tonight," Wilson said, his mouth twisting into a less amused, more cynical expression, one he let very few people see, and reached again for the shirt.
This time House tightened his fingers in his friends hair to a point where he knew it would be painful. "Why?" he asked straight and serious, asking for the truth and one of the things they just didn't talk about. There were years of questions in that one word: Why are you here tonight? Why did you stay when everyone else left? When will you leave?
And he didn't know why he asked it any more than he knew why he came home on a regular Thursday night during a regular work week and decided to get drunk instead of driving Wilson home.
Wilson, finally hearing him, knew the code to House-speak, knew all the other meanings under the actual words spoken. And if Wilson was a good oncologist, it wasn't just because he was good with people and treatments; he could also be brilliant with a scalpel. So he didn't flinch from House's eyes, didn't blink or look away and said, no softer or lower than he'd said anything else tonight, "Because you're here."
House pulled his head down and bit at his lips, as if to punish him for the thought, for saying it out loud, for meaning it and making House want him to mean it. To push just a little because he didn't know how else to make sure if a wall would hold.
Wilson met him bite for bite, but swiped back with his tongue, too. And soon the kiss eased away from the edge, stopped drawing new blood from either of them and went where Wilson drew them. House was more than interested in all the possibilities, when Wilson pulled back and continued where he'd left off pulling off his shirt. House thought this was a fine start to things, so continued running his hands across Wilson's body, but Wilson drew away and seemed to be about to stand. This was not how he wanted things to go, so House took advantage of his awkward position and his lack of balance, and pulled Wilson back down to the bed, immediately rolling over on him.
"Hey!" Wilson said in genuine surprise. "Can't a guy take his shoes off without being molested?"
"Depends on the guy, I suppose," House said and started attacking his neck.
"No, no, no," Wilson gasped, and pushed back at House. "I know how this ends: you get me all excited and then start snoring before we can get to the good stuff. I watch TV, and that's always how it works."
"We'll watch some of my special channels later--my parents don't have the V-chip," House said and kissed him quiet. "Trust me, sometimes it ends a lot better," he commented between kisses.
Wilson moaned. "You pass out on me and I will melt your record collection," he said with the most sincerity House had ever heard from him.
"Deal," House replied, having gotten his second wind and feeling that his albums were safe.
Pulling back from the latest kiss, Wilson complained one last time, "You taste like a distillery."
House moved down to his collar bone, unbuttoning his shirt as he went. "Then let me do the tasting."
This was familiar ground to House, well mapped and well traveled, and he knew his way around it like it was his back yard when he was a kid. If he bit here, Wilson would sigh; if he pressed his hand there, he would moan. Familiarity didn't breed contempt in this one case, and if House still couldn't figure out why, he wasn't feeling like asking anymore. For this moment, it was enough to know that it didn't, that this was here, at least for now, and that would have to be enough.
So he worked his way down Wilson's torso, pushing open the shirt as he went. He didn't even try to get the clothes off, simply nudged them out of the way enough to let him at the parts he needed to get to with his tongue and hands most.
And once the pants were opened and the erection inside freed, House looked at it for a moment before saying, "Nice," and diving down on it.
If House knew Wilson's body and where to touch, it worked the other way around, as well. Even better, Wilson had long since learned where not to touch, where nerve and muscle damage had long since happened, so his hands wandered to only the right places, the safe places, as House made him groan as much as he could. He brushed his hand against House's groin as well, obviously wanting to return the favor (nice guy that he was), but as House could have told him, while he wasn't ready to pass out yet, the alcohol had put certain parts of his body down for the night already. And Wilson, being Wilson and a guy, didn't push, merely moved his hand back to all those wonderfully, lovely safe places and kept moaning.
House was good at this, he knew. All those years of experience told him what Wilson liked, but since House was House and also a guy, he knew that if you put a vacuum cleaner attachment on most men's dicks, you'd get positive results. And a gunked-up vacuum cleaner. But he also knew how to press, just there behind the balls, and knew how to squeeze just there. He also found himself humming "Every Sperm is Sacred," which seemed to be all that was needed to finish Wilson off.
"Check," House said, moving awkwardly around until he was in a comfortable enough position, half-draped over Wilson. Whatever energy he'd had left tonight was fast leaving him. He should get up and get more water, but didn't. Wilson was too warm. "Monty Python songs turn you on. I'll have to remember that."
Wilson laughed in between his last post-orgasm pants. "Yes, when you hum them while having your mouth wrapped around my cock, they do engage my interest." He snuggled his nose into House's hair. "I'll buy you the complete CD collection."
"I always liked the idea of being a kept man." House was already drifting off, when he felt Wilson's arms tighten, and heard him mumble into his head.
"Did it ever enter that genius head of yours that I'm here because you're the one person I don't have to take care of?"
Maybe he meant for House not to hear it or maybe he figured it wouldn't be remembered in the hangover haze that would undoubtedly permeate his mind the next morning. But House smiled ever-so-slightly there, into Wilson's shoulder, where no one could see, and drifted off to sleep.