Title: In Need of a Friend
On Website: beyond-redemption.net
Rating(s): PG/13- Rated.
Pairing(s): Gen(/PreSlash?): Gregory House/ James Wilson.
Word Count: 847words.
Summary: Set at the end of 2.14 Sex Kills. A look into what may have happened after House silently invites Wilson to stay.
A/N: (Unbetad) I had intended to turn this into a slashy H/W piece, but Wilson was just being too angsty to make it work. I may be inclined to do a continuation of sorts if there is any interest. Thanks all.
- - -
[Set at the end of 2.14 Sex Kills.]
“Want a beer?” House asked, unsure how to reply to Wilson’s confession that it was his wife having the affair and not Wilson himself. Though House had been serious in his teasing, he hadn’t really expected things to be as bad as Wilson had admitted they were. To have the man turn up at his door like this, House almost felt guilty at the jibes he’d been throwing Wilson all week.
Stepping back into the room, House silently gave his permission for Wilson to stay. He took critical note of Wilson’s tight-lipped look and the way his face was all but scrunched in that kicked puppy-dog kind of way.
House closed the door behind him, turning his back on Wilson and heading towards the kitchen and his unfinished peanut butter sandwich. He detoured by the fridge, removing two bottles of beer and making to open the lids all the while keeping an ear out for Wilson. He listened to the sounds of Wilson dumping his bags and shedding his coat, all but heard the pause of indecision as Wilson hesitated a moment before following House into the kitchen.
House finished fiddling with the bottle opener and turned to pass one of the beers over to Wilson, finding that the other man had settled, head bowed, leaning against the sink. Despite all his selfishness, House could see that it was taking everything Wilson had just to hold it together. Hell, he was probably in shock over the fact that his wife had been cheating on him. House doubted that Wilson had had much time to mull over the fact that his third marriage had just collapsed, not between his wife telling him, packing his bags and then turning up on House’s doorstep anyway.
And now here he was, alone and hurting and with only a cranky, anti-social, egotistical associate for company and House knew that what Wilson really needed was a friend. Not this pretence at a friendship they had, not when House couldn’t open up to others and especially loathed when others tried to open up to him, usually throwing any attempt to do so back with sarcasm and derision. It was any wonder Wilson was still around. Despite this however, he had chosen House’s company tonight above any others, and though House was rather clueless as to why, he wasn’t twisted enough to throw this back at Wilson.
Shuffling over, House held out the beer, watching as Wilson took it with a mumbled thank you, the words whispering past his lips as he kept his head down.
“I’m sorry,” House began awkwardly and Wilson raised his head.
“I didn’t know it was this serious.” House continued, shifting his weight onto his good leg, his gaze only half-avoiding Wilson’s. “I will listen if you have to talk.” He flicked his eyes up catching Wilson’s own before the other man looked down again, fixating himself on the tight-fingered grip he held his beer bottle in and noting with renewed desolation his empty ring finger. He remembered throwing the wedding band across the bedroom as he’d stuffed most of what he needed into a travel bag.
“Too late to talk.” Wilson replied simply and House found himself sympathising with Wilson’s pain. He bit at the inside of his cheek with indecision before chancing a hobbling-step closer, reaching past Wilson to sit his own bottle of beer on the counter beside him and then settling his freed hand on Wilson’s hip, sliding it round to touch at his friend’s back and tug him forward into a one-armed hug that was both awkward and tense until House released his grip on his cane, letting it lean against his leg as he slipped his other arm about Wilson’s shoulders.
“What are you doing?” Wilson asked apprehensively, feeling edgy at the contact from House.
“You’re upset.” House answered shortly, sounding just as uncomfortable with the contact though he did not release his hold on Wilson.
“You’ve never been into this touchy-feely emotional stuff, House.” Wilson said, though he cautiously allowed his arms to slip about House’s waist, resting his body more fully against House’s.
“I’m trying to be comforting.” House replied stiffly, breathing in the scent of Wilson’s hair- something flowery and subtly sweet, he noted, also something House suspected Wilson’s soon to be ex-wife had purchased, therefore making it something Wilson would probably never use again.
“You don’t have to,” Wilson began in response, his voice slightly hoarse as he turned his head- pressing his face into House’s neck and sighing shakily against his skin.
“Shut up and be comforted.” House muttered gruffly, tightening his hold on Wilson as he felt the minute tremors running through his friend’s body. The only sign of Wilson’s grief came from the wetness he could feel soaking into his t-shirt. House was thankful; thankful that Wilson chose to display his sorrow with silent dignity, knowing that once it was out his system there would be no need to humour any pretence at talking about this- he really wasn’t up to dealing with the ‘touchy-feely emotional stuff’.
- - -
- - -