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It's Just a Joke, Right?

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Vogler walks into Wilson's office without knocking. “Word of mouth told me that you would be the greatest obstacle when getting rid of Dr. Gregory House but I actually believed they were wrong. Why do you defend such an egotistical, selfish man?”, he says while fixing Wilson with dark eyes.

“Hello”, Wilson says, looking up from the file which he is currently working on at his desk: “You know that 'egotistical' and 'selfish' are synonyms, right? Why not go for 'self-destructive' or 'asinine'?”

Vogler bites his teeth together. “You are ready to throw away your whole career for him”, he says. It's a statement: “Why?”

Wilson closes his file. “Well, for one, he makes great Martinis...”

“Are you sleeping with him?”, Vogler barks. He looks angry and his eyebrows contract as Wilson lets out a small laugh.

“Yes, I am”, he says with a grin: “I top. Is that all?”

Vogler clenches his fists. “Your mockery and defensiveness will not win you any favours with the rest of the hospital staff”, he says: “House is going down, and you only have two options: to cooperate or to go down with him.”

There is still a hint of that smile in the corners of Wilson's mouth. “If that is all”, he says: “I would like to get back to my work. Please close the door on your way out.”

“You are not going to win this!”, Vogler threatens but Wilson doesn't say another word. He just looks at the other man until he turns around and leaves, closing the door behind him.

As soon as he is gone, a worried look creeps over Wilson's features. He might have acted all tough but, in reality, he is worried. Worried that his friend has gone too far this time.

 

-

 

Chinese food in hand, Wilson lets himself into House's flat. “Hello!”, he shouts, walking in and closing the door behind him.

“You're late!”, House answers out of the living room. The TV is already running: “Show has started seven minutes ago. Brock is asking out Anna for real this time!”

Wilson gets rid of his shoes and coat. “What about Mick?”, he enquires as he makes his way to the couch.

House regards him with a quick glance, taking the bag of food out of his hands. “Mick is a big fat liar!”, he states: “If Anna was really that important to him, why didn't he tell her about her mother?”

Wilson flops down on the couch next to House and grabs one of the beers while House is putting their food on the table. He opens the can and takes a large gulp, the cool beer running smoothly down his throat. “Aaaah! That is exactly what I needed!”, he says with a bright smile.

House shoots him a look. “Rough day?”, he asks.

“Hm hm! Vogler came to my office this morning”, Wilson says, and the pure mention of that name brings an angry expression to his friend's face: “He accused me of sleeping with you.” There's that grin again as Wilson shakes his head.

“Did you tell him that I top?”, House asks, an amused glint in his eyes.

“Oh no!”, Wilson says, leaning forward to grab his food: “If anyone would be topping, it would be me!”

House squints his eyes. “Really?”, he asks in a challenging voice: “I bet you don't even top your wife!”

Wilson's mischievous smile makes House pause for a moment. “Oh, you have no idea!”, the younger doctor states in a voice that makes something in House stir up: “But I guess you would have to sleep with me to find out.”

“Thanks for the offer but I'm not a homewrecker”, House retorts and goes for his food as well: “Ask me again when you're single.” He winks and Wilson smiles. It's just a joke, right? Some friendly banter like they always have. Wilson shakes his head and starts eating.

 

-

 

“Tell me all about it!”, House demands, barging into Wilson's office.

Wilson furrows his brows. “All about what?”, he asks.

“Oh, come on!” House lets himself fall down on the couch. “There's no reason to deny it, I've seen it with my own two eyes: You were feeling up that hot new nurse in your office! Angela?”

“Annette”, Wilson corrects him: “And I wasn't 'feeling her up'!” His cheeks turn a light shade of pink: “She asked me if I could apply some ointment on a rash she had on her back.”

“If you say so, doc”, House says with an exaggerated wink and Wilson sighs heavily.

“She's twenty-one, House! And she probably asked me because she knew I wouldn't be 'feeling her up'.”

“Right”, House nods: “Because you're all gay for me. I'm sure Vogler has spread the word.” Wilson shrugs. “You're not bothered by this?”, House asks. Interesting, is what he thinks.

“Why should I be?”, Wilson retorts: “Everybody already knows I'm your best friend. I don't think that me sleeping with you would actually change anybody's opinion of me.” House thinks about this.

“Probably not”, he agrees: “See you at lunch, darling!” And with that, he stands up and leaves the room. Wilson looks after him with a smile.

 

-

 

As soon as he hears the knock, House limps to the door of his apartment. He looks through the peephole and sighs to himself. It's Wilson. He opens the door. There is a suitcase standing next to his best friend. “Could I stay with you for a few days?”, Wilson asks.

House stares at him: “You idiot!”, he says: “You told her.”

“She told me”, Wilson corrects him. He looks miserable: “Things have been crappy at home lately. Figured I wasn't spending enough time with her. I figured...”, he looks down defeated and sighs: “Turns out you're right. It's always about sex.” He makes a pause. “She's been having an affair.”

House continues to look at him. There is nothing he can say that would make this situation better. “Want a beer?”, he finally asks. Wilson nods. He picks up his suitcase and walks in. House disappears into the kitchen and soon, Wilson hears the sound of the fridge opening. He puts his suitcase down in the living room.

“On the bright side”, House says, entering and handing him an ice cold beer: “Now that you are single, we can finally start having sex.”

Wilson frowns and opens the can. “Can we eat first?”, he asks: “I'm starving!” House nods but his gaze lingers for a moment, until he turns around and walks towards the phone to order take-out.

 

It's probably as pleasant an evening as you could get when you have just been kicked out of your home. House has the power of distracting Wilson from anything and soon he finds himself smiling again. It takes a bit longer to make him laugh but, in the end, when they finally decide to go to sleep, Wilson feels somewhat lighter. He starts making his bed on the couch.

“What's this?”, House asks as he sees Wilson leaving the bedroom with a cushion and a blanket: “I thought we'd established that you are sleeping with me in my bed?”

Wilson frowns. “Come on, House, I'm tired”, he mumbles, throwing cushion and blanket on the couch.

House observes his actions. “We don't have to start sleeping with each other right away, if it's too soon for you. For now, we can just cuddle”, he offers.

Wilson throws him a look. “I told you, I'm not in the mood for jokes, I'm tired.”

House blinks. “Jokes?”, he says with disbelieve: “What jokes? You think I would joke about this? You've been in relationships constantly! When I met you, you were married. Once you got over that, you had already found Bonnie. Then, the same thing with Julie. This is a very small window of opportunity right now and I don't want to miss it!”

Wilson freezes. He stares at House. “This is a joke”, he says: “You're joking!” For the fraction of a second, House looks vulnerable, defeated. Shit.

“Apparently, I am”, House states. He avoids looking at Wilson.

“Except that you're not”, Wilson continues.

Silence.

 

“Right. I think you should go”, House says, his face a mixture of emotions that he soon manages to push down, turning it into something blank. Wilson can't move. All this time he'd thought they were just amusing themselves, making fun of something that would never happen, could never happen. And now... Now it turned out, House was being serious all along?

Overwhelming, that's what it is. He doesn't know what to do or say or think. All he can do is stare at House in complete disbelieve.

Something ought to be done, by him, preferably. If only he knew what.

 

“Okay, maybe don't go”, House backs down. He looks uncertain: “You can sleep on the couch tonight and find a hotel room tomorrow.”

Silence again, until House suddenly bursts out laughing. “Oh, come on, Jimmy, did you think this was real? I was just messing with you! It's a prank!” He does his best to look amused. “You should see your face!”, he adds.

Wilson shakes his head. “It's not a prank”, he says and takes a step forward. House immediately becomes serious again: “You are interested in me.”

“Okay, fine!”, House admits: “But it doesn't have to change anything. I'm a mature adult. I can probably get over this, if you give me some time.”

That claim actually makes Wilson smile “No”, he disagrees: “I won't.”

He has reached House who is eyeing him with a mixture of curiosity and fear. His face is very open, and Wilson is fascinated. He reaches out with his right hand and places it on House's neck. Still, the other man does not move.

Slowly, carefully, Wilson leans forward while pulling House in. As he presses a soft kiss on House's lips, he can feel the other man sigh, relax. Wilson draws back. He looks into those startlingly blue eyes. Eyes, he has never seen up close like this.

House laughs. He sounds happy. “This must be the best prank I ever pulled!”, he states: “You actually kissed me!”

Cold creeps into Wilson's heart as he stares in disbelieve. “What?”, he says.

“Oh, don't look at me like that, it's not fair!”, House whines: “I'm just pulling your leg, now kiss me again!” And before Wilson can even register what is happening, he is pulled into another kiss by House. It's slow and it's passionate in a way that Wilson hasn't felt in a long time. For a moment, all his worries melt away. This is all that matters: him and House. Not his failed marriage. Not Julie... Shit!

He breaks off the kiss, hating the way, House looks at him. “I'm sorry...”, he mumbles: “It's all just a little much. I... I just got out of my marriage and I didn't even think this was a possibility and now.... I think I need more time. I'm sorry!”

House furrows his brows. “Okay, first: Stop apologising!”, he says: “Second: You can take all the time you need. You can sleep on the couch, if you want to and not kiss me for another year, as long as you promise not to run off with the next hot and needy girl you meet.” Wilson snorts. “And don't act offended”, House adds: “I know you!” Wilson can argue with a lot of things but not with that statement.

“I won't sleep on the couch”, he states: “But you also won't get lucky tonight.”

House grins. “Okay”, he simply says, grabbing the blanket and cushion before Wilson can reach them and limps towards the bedroom. Wilson's gaze follows him. He takes a deep breath. This is going to be fine. If House has waited literally since they've met, he can wait a little longer, until Wilson is ready. He follows House into the bedroom.

 

-

 

It doesn't take long before Wilson has moved all his stuff into House's apartment. House is actually very patient. He never pressures Wilson to do anything and always waits for him to initiate intimacy. It's actually very sweet.

A month after their first kiss, when Wilson finally climbs on top of him, holding his wrists in a tight grip and pushing him into the mattress, kissing him hot and deep, House has to agree with one thing: He'd actually had no idea what Wilson would be like during sex! But he loves every second of it!