“I'm here to bail out Dr. James Wilson”, House says, slamming a wad of cash on the counter, just for dramatic effect. The man behind said counter looks at him with a very bored expression. “One moment please”, he says in a flat tone.
It does in fact take a few more moments but then the door to House's right opens and Dr. Wilson himself walks in. He is a young man, far too young to get divorced already. Lean but not skinny. A relatively square face with good cheekbones. His shoulders are hunched. He looks miserable, probably still a bit drunk. As he looks at House, he has a blank expression. His eyes are interesting. It's not the first time House has noticed that.
“Your little escapade in the bar has been taken care of. I'm Dr. House, by the way. Wanna have a drink?”, House says.
Wilson freezes right in front of him. He stares at him, his forehead wrinkled, furled eyebrows. “Why did you bail me out?”, he asks: “Do I know you?”
“Nope, but I thought that might change.”
Wilson keeps studying his face. “Why?”
“Because I need someone to drink with me.”
The young man blinks. He is, actually, kind of cute. “I'll pay you back”, he says: “As soon as I have access to my accounts.”
“It's not a big deal. Now, how about those drinks?”
Wilson sighs and they walk out of the station together. “You know, I am no longer allowed in the hotel bar, right?”, he asks.
A mischievous smile appears on House's face. “I know. Just trust me, do as I say and we will have a great evening.” For some Reason, Wilson does.
When he sets a foot into the hotel bar, the bartender immediately rushes towards him.
“Leave! Now! I don't want to see you in here any more!”, he shouts with a level of anger in his voice that would make anyone flinch.
“I just came in to see if I left my...”
“I don't care!”, the bartender interrupts, furiously: “If there's anything you are missing, go to the lost and found. I don't want to see you in here ever again!”
“All right, all right!” Wilson raises his hands in defence. “Have a good evening.”
He turns around while the bartender proceeds to stare furiously. A moment later, Wilson feels a pat on the back.
“Well done!”, House praises with a wide grin.
Wilson raises an eyebrow. “And what have I done exactly?”
“Distracted the bartender while I snuck around the counter to get us one bottle of his finest scotch.”
House shows him the bottle. Now the other man will surely lecture him, tell him off for stealing or get offended for being pulled into this.
“What?” Wilson stares, eyes wide. He shakes his head. “You're unbelievable!” His voice is meant to sound scolding but it actually sounds like. . . admiration.
“Figured, if you are going to pay that much for a mirror, might as well get something in return.”
“Right! Because that's how that works...” Wilson still doesn't sound offended. He sounds amused.
House is intrigued. “So, you steal often?”, he asks.
“But you have no scruples against it?”
Wilson sighs deeply. “Listen, do you want me to give you a lecture, or do you want to get drunk?”
“I think, I'll choose option B.”
They decide to take the bottle up to the roof, a small part of the roof that is only accessible through one of the rooms.
“This' really your room?”, Wilson asks, while House is picking the lock.
“Let's say yes.”
House swings open the door while he gets another one of these peculiar looks from Wilson. Like the other man knows he shouldn't approve of this but, somehow, he does. As if he admired House's recklessness against his own will.
“What if someone is inside?”, the young man asks.
“Don't worry, there all at the seminars or the bar. And if someone comes in, just pretend, you don't know me and say I dragged you into this. At least, that's my go to excuse.”
“I don't know you.”
“That's a god start!” House winks at him. It's very dark but for a moment, House thinks he sees a slight blush on Wilson's cheeks.
They cross the empty, dark apartment to get on the roof. It's fresh outside but not too cold. They sit down and let their feet dangle from the rooftop. House unscrews the bottle.
“To your divorce!”, he toasts and takes a swig.
“How did you know?” Wilson looks puzzled, not offended. He takes the bottle and drinks without hesitation. House watches as he takes two large gulps.
“I'm psychic”, House says and Wilson frowns. “Or, maybe you ran around with an unopened envelope from a divorce attorney. Definitely one of the two.”
He grabs for the bottle and his fingers brush against Wilson's hand before the young man lets go. He is staring into the distance.
“I thought I would spend my life with her”, he says: “And now...”
“Probably all her fault”, House offers: “That's what you wanna say?”
“I don't know.”
It's silent for a while. Just two strangers sitting on the roof, drinking scotch. Not looking at each other.
“Or maybe you're an ass-hole and deserve to be divorced. It's too early for me to say...”
“Are you always this brutally honest?” Wilson asks. It's not judgemental.
“And how does that work out for you?”
“Usually not very good.”
Wilson grabs the bottle from House, not touching his hand in any way. He raises it to his mouth and then pauses.
“Let's talk about something else”, he says: “Any ideas?”
“Do you like monster trucks?”
As a matter of fact, Wilson does.
They talk and drink and soon House gets to see another side of Wilson. The enthusiastic, fun side. He is very big on gestures and modulating his voice and his smile is truly contagious. And, man, does he smile a lot!
House can't help but stare at him. There is a certain boyish look to his features that he cannot really pin down. Is it the eyes? Or his cheekbones? Or his smile? He looks so young and full of life. Why would anybody want to divorce this man? There must be something truly wrong with him and House has to find out what.
“What?”, Wilson asks, handing him the bottle, slightly swaying.
“Hmm?” House is snapped out of his thoughts.
“You're staring at me.”
“Must be that big writing on your forehead that says 'divorced looser'”
Wilson frowns. “You always deflect with jokes?”
“You always over analyse people?”
House drinks the last bit of scotch. Have they really emptied a whole bottle together? He feels slightly dizzy and Wilson is still eyeing him with that particular look as if he is thinking about saying something but still weighing the options in his head.
“Getting drunk: Check! What you wanna do next?” House asks.
“Probably something stupid.”
Wilson sounds a bit confused so House decides to make a joke. “I'm stupid”, he says: “Well, technically not, but...” He pauses.
Suddenly, the confusion in Wilson's face is gone. There is another expression now. Determination.
He is practically grabbing House, pulling him towards himself, kissing him way too passionately for two men whose feet are dangling off a rooftop and who are both very well beyond tipsy by now.
“Woah!”, House whispers, holding onto the young man as he feels his body shift dangerously close to the edge. His brain cannot even begin to process what has just happened and the last thing he needs right now is the man who has just kissed him like that to fall to his death.
Wilson giggles as if falling of the roof were a joke. Or, maybe, he just feels safe in House's grip. Their faces are still very close. Lot's of wrinkly lines around Wilson's eyes, his eyebrows raised, his eyes... House cannot believe what has just happened.
“You're beautiful”, House says, because he always tells the truth and Wilson smiles. It's the careless smile of a young man who gets told that he is beautiful a lot.
“Let's go inside”, Wilson whispers, all shyness suddenly forgotten. His gaze is piercing and full of want. How can House say no?
Later, as they lie in bed together and House looks at the patch of fluffy but now very tousled brown hair, he still cannot believe it! Wilson is already asleep. He has fallen asleep almost immediately afterwards and House cannot really blame him for it. He had really overexerted himself!
In his sleep, he looks peaceful. House stretches out a hand and carefully runs his fingers through the young man's hair. Wilson hums but doesn't wake.
When House wakes up the next morning, the bed is empty next to him. He takes a deep breath as the all too familiar feeling of cold creeps into him, of being alone. Of course it had been too good to be true! A handsome, intelligent, truly interesting young man like that wasn't exactly waiting for a cynical curmudgeon like him to enter his life. House had been a distraction, nothing more.
He closes his eyes and takes a deep breath. Maybe he can just stay in bed for the rest of the conference, for the rest of the week, or month...
There is a clatter in the kitchen and a slight hissing sound. Some under the breath cursing. It washes over House like a warm wave. He smiles and gets up without putting on any of his clothes. After all, he is wearing his boxers.
“Morning, sunshine!” He says, pushing open the door to the kitchen that, despite the hotel having a restaurant, is equipped with a very small kitchen unit, which Wilson has apparently used to make pancakes. He also has, apparently, shared House's attitude towards clothing.
As the door swings open with a slight creak, House grimaces. Drinking half a bottle of scotch has left its mark. Nonetheless, he is completely distracted by the sight of a topless Wilson who smiles at him as if he had just had a quiet evening and a good nights sleep.
“Morning!”, Wilson answers.
This is it. This is the moment that determines if this was just a one night stand or maybe something else, something, they both want.
House walks over as nonchalantly as he can, getting right into Wilson's personal space without touching him. He is going to let him determine what he wants. After all, he is the young, handsome one.
Apparently, what he wants is to kiss him. Wilson leans in touching House's neck and pulling him closer for a kiss that is quite different than those of last night. This one is slow, meaningful. It's not leading to anything. It's just... appreciative, intimate. House gets lost. He grabs Wilson's waist and pulls him closer while not changing the pace or the intention of the kiss. He just wants to hold him. Feel that he's there, that he still wants him not only in the way he did last night.
He smells burning pancake.
“Oh shit”, Wilson hisses, breaking off the kiss to tend to the pan.
“That was not quite the reaction I hoped for.”
Wilson shoots him a look and House sits down at the table. There is some syrup and also some strawberries on it. House looks at them.
“I didn't have any of this stuff here last night. Did you go out and buy this?”
Wilson shrugs. “You didn't have anything to eat.”
“Wait a minute! Are you wooing me?” House sounds mocking but there actually is a slight tingle in his stomach.
Wilson shoots him an over the shoulder glance and a quick smile. “Maybe I am.”
The young doctor has his back turned to him as he retrieves the pancake and pours new batter into the pan.
“So, what do you want to do today?”, House asks, phrasing his question that way deliberately. He isn't going to use the word 'we' after one night.
“I thought about actually going to some lectures.”
There it is.
“If you want to?” He adds.
“You realise that I am going to bitch about them the whole way through?”, House asks with mock curiosity.
“Oh, I'm aware...”
It's really fun. Wilson snickers and smiles at his quips, all without ever approving of them verbally. Nevertheless, he looks at House as if they are in class and he is the only student smart enough to question the teacher. When House is called out by one of the people on the nearby seats, Wilson apologises to them sincerely. It is truly a thing to behold!
In the evening, they order Chinese food and eat in bed, while watching TV. Wilson makes a fuss about not soiling the sheets, so much so that House drops his food on them deliberately. “Seriously?”, Wilson asks, but he seems more relaxed afterwards. When he drops a noodle, he just picks it up and eats it without further comment.
The conference is over far too quickly. Soon enough, they stand in House's room, saying their goodbyes.
“That was the most fun I've had in a long time”, Wilson says.
“Yeah, the sex was pretty good!” House smiles as Wilson blushes slightly.
“Will you give me your number, so I can call you?” The young man looks as if this isn't even a question, as if House has to say yes.
There is a pause.
“I'm sorry but no.”
“Why?”, Wilson stares at him in disbelieve. He looks more than ever like a kicked puppy.
“These last few days were really good. I don't want to ruin it. For some reason, you seem to be the perfect match for me. You're smart, laugh at all of my jokes. You approve of my honesty and even seem to like me for it and not despite it. You're young and handsome. You're everything I want. This was good. If it goes on any longer, I'll ruin it. Maybe you'll realise that being a jerk is fun sometimes but not all the time, maybe I say something too insensitive and you resent me. Either way, I'm going to ruin it, likely sooner rather than later. I cannot have that.”
The more he speaks, the more Wilson's disbelieving frown deepens.
“Well, that was a load of crap”, he says as soon as House is finished: “Just give me your number.”
House sighs deeply. He grabs Wilson's phone out of his hand and starts typing. After he is finished, Wilson examines his face before dialling.
His piercing gaze is fixed on House as he holds the phone to his ear, waiting. When he eventually seems to hear something, he does an exasperated eye-roll and hangs up.
“I asked for your number not the one of the Chinese delivery service. Tough, I'm impressed that you memorised it after using it only one time.”
“Fine!” House snatches the phone and starts typing again.
“You realise that I am going to call that number as well?”
House shoots him a death glare, before erasing everything and typing in his actual phone number.
“Here you go! Happy?” He tosses the phone to Wilson who barely catches it.
“I'll see.” He presses the button to dial and holds the phone to his ear. A moment later there is a ringing sound from the other room.
“Good”, Wilson says, letting the phone slip back into his pocket: “You better pick up when I call.”
“Fine!” House sounds angry but there is some desperation as well. He hates it.
Before he can say another word, Wilson pulls him into a final kiss. It's hot and desperate and suddenly House doesn't feel as bad.
“I'll call you”, Wilson says. A promise.
Wilson calls him only a few hours later. “Hello”, he says.
“I just wanted to see if you would pick up.
“I guess, I would.”
There is a moment of silence.
“Okay.” Then, Wilson hangs up. House can't help himself but smile.