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Title: Love Me Cancerously
Authors: [ profile] serotonin_storm and [ profile] lostwiginity
Fandom: House
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: House/Wilson
Word Count: 1500 words
Summary: Wilson wants romance. House fails to comply.
Disclaimer: Not ours.
Notes: Edited 12/9/08.

6:52am, Monday - the bedroom:

There are few less dignified ways of awakening than having a finger shoved cruelly into the line of your side. Wilson yelps and tries to twist away, too tangled up in the sheets to actually accomplish anything. He squints an eye open to see House staring blearily down at him, propped up on his elbow and frowning.

"Get up," he says, voice rough from sleep (but not enough of it, Wilson thinks). He's kneading the morning ache from the damaged muscle of his thigh.

"You're up before eight." Wilson yawns, fingers clenching tight around the fabric in his fists. "Now I'm sure the world's going to implode."

House deadpans, "Ha ha", then shoves him more firmly. "We smell like sex, and I don't know about you, but that's not my favorite cologne. You need to go take a shower."

"At least I don't smell like sex and decay, Grandpa," he snaps, then immediately scrubs a hand over his face. "I didn't mean that." He peers at House guiltily, who's glaring at him. "Why don't we ever say anything romantic to each other?" Wilson asks.

Obviously annoyed, House pulls a face. "Are you hinting that you want us to have our dicks removed, sweetheart? Because that's a very serious marital decision. I may need some time to consider."

"We've been together for five years, House. Don't you think we should at least be... I don't know," he waves his hand, trying to put some vague notion into words, "affectionate, at least? Trish and Bonnie and Julie used to want me to wax poetry at them. Cook them elaborate dinners. Flowers, I guess..." He could feel House's incredulous stare boring into the side of his head. "Just. Couple things."

"And obviously your marriages ended spectacularly. I'd forgotten about all the wonderful alimony. Your dream come true."

Wilson exhales harshly. He should have known House wouldn't grasp the concept of courtship. The man barely grasps the concept of putting the seat down when they're having company. "Yes, House. I'm sure it was shared romanticisms that did us in." He runs a hand through his messy hair, scratching nervously at his scalp and adds jokingly, "I know this is hard for you. Acting like a human being is foreign enough on its own, let alone acting like a decent human being. But I'd like it if you'd just... try it out."

For a brief moment, House looks like he's considering the idea. But there's a glint in his eyes that has Wilson bracing himself and trying not to groan even before he's opened his mouth. "My love for you," House begins, "is like diarrhea. I just can't hold it in." And there's a little half-grin on his face that says Wilson should be amused, but the emotions churning Wilson's stomach are closer to self-pity and disappointment than anything else.

"Just... forget about it," he says, chucking his pillow at House's head and then heading to the bathroom for a morning shower. He feels House's thoughtful gaze on him long after he's shut the door.


11:37am, Monday - the cafeteria:

House's overflowing tray clicks against the table as he joins Wilson at lunch. Wilson glances up from the medical journal he'd snagged from a colleague and gives him a withering look. "Stake and fries," he says disapprovingly. "Looking forward to your next heart attack?"

"Always." Slicing off an over-sized bite of beef and shoving it between his teeth, House considers him. "I thought of another one," he says, chewing.

"Another what?" Wilson asks, too engrossed in an article about sciatica and its treatment to hear the warning bells frantically chime.

House bats his eyelashes. "Another way that I love you, darling," he answers, sticky sweet.

"Oh god," groans Wilson. "Get it over with."

"What, no token protest?"

Wilson cocks an eyebrow. "I tend to waste my energy on things that actually have a chance of succeeding."

"...said the oncologist," House remarks through another mouthful of steak. He swallows, then grins. "My love for you is like constipation. I just can't -- "

" -- let it go. Yes, very nice." He shakes his head, gathering his plate and the journal and turning. "Go molest your patients, House," he calls over his shoulder. And maybe House says something else then, asks him to stay, but Wilson doesn't know, because he's walking too fast to hear.


6:20pm, Monday - Wilson's office:

"My love for you is like -- " House starts to say as he walks into the room, jacket on, ready to take them both home.

Wilson holds up a warning finger and growls, "House" like that should mean something. But it's never put a stop to House's jackassery before, never made him stop watching lesbians on mute and go do the dishes, or wash the come stains from the sheets when it's his turn -- and truth be told, Wilson doesn't expect it to help now, either.

It's doesn't. "My love for you is like terminal cancer," House forges on, and Wilson yells, "Don't go there!" before he even gives himself a chance to think about it and get himself angrier. He shuts the door in House's face and stalks out to the car, and by the time House finally catches up with him, he looks almost genuinely contrite.

It's a quiet rest of the evening. House does the dishes, and Wilson busies himself with pretending he doesn't care, but even when he's angry, seeing House up to his elbows in soap suds makes him smile.


11:04pm, Monday - the hallway:

House clasps Wilson's shoulder as he limps by in the hallway, then stops as Wilson covers his hand with his own. "You're an ass, House," he says quietly, but there's no anger behind it. It's the only kind of forgiveness Wilson knows how to give when House is too stubborn to admit he's wrong.

Who knows, maybe he isn't wrong in the first place, anyway.

Across from him, House opens his mouth to speak, but Wilson cuts him off with a kiss before he can say a word. "House, go to sleep," he orders, squeezing House's hand and letting go.

House nods silently and trails him to bed.


3:59am, Tuesday - the bedroom, take two:

Until he feels the puff of breath shiver across his neck, Wilson isn't quite sure what it is that pulls him from sleep. He rolls over and opens his eyes, and sure enough, there House is, staring back. There's not a lot in the way of blinking going on, and Wilson croaks, "No, that isn't creepy at all" and cringes at his own morning breath.

"I feel like I married one of your wives," House says. "And I'd secretly promised myself that should such an event ever occur, imminent death would be the way to go."

Wilson scowls. "You woke me up for this?"

"You decided to turn into a whiny woman." House sighs and turns onto his back. "Suffer the consequences."

A thought occurs to Wilson. He smiles slowly and runs his fingers over the skin of House's forearm. "You've been angsting. You care, House. I do believe I'm getting to you," he observes smugly.

"In your dreams. And I say that because I know how boring your dreams actually are, not because it isn't a truly pathetic thing to dream about." Wilson snorts. House focuses on a spot on the ceiling and takes a deep breath. "My love for you is like the five stages of grief," he says. "I can deny it, be furious with it, try to bargain my way out of it, and mope in self-pity and self-loathing about feeling it, but in the end, I've gotta accept the diagnosis."

Wilson stares, processing. It wasn't an "I'd die for you", like Bonnie had once told him. It wasn't "we'll always be together", or even a serious "I love you" (and yet, it really kind of was), but he realizes suddenly that that isn't what he wanted. He doesn't need that kind of romance from House, of all people. Hearing these sentiments out of House's mouth is cringe-worthy.

House is looking at him expectantly (and trying not to let it show, manly man that he is), so Wilson cracks a grin. "...Wow. That was awful," he says after a moment.

House rolls his eyes. "I know."

"Unforgivably cheesy," he adds.

"I know," House says. "It was your fault for wanting me to spill my heart out in poetry form onto sheets of notebook paper for you to keep and sign it all in blood."

"Probably," Wilson agrees fondly. "No more poetry. You wouldn't want to hurt yourself." He turns over and pulls the covers up again. "Thanks, House," he murmurs into his pillow, and House grumbles something that sounds suspiciously like, "For the love of god, you're welcome."

They sleep a couple hours more after that, until the sun streams insistently through the curtains and forces them awake. Wilson makes pancakes, House has a break in a case and rushes out to his motorcycle too quickly to eat them, and Wilson never brings their conversation up again. He doesn't need to.

But, cheesy as it may have been, he never, ever forgets.
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