Fandom: House M.D.
Word Count: 8,670
Summary: Wilson has an unusually rough day and House decides (somewhat despite himself) to help. Things go further than he planned.
Disclaimer: Not mine in any way, alas.
A/N: Takes place between "Forever" and "No Reason." Spoilers through "Forever."
- Written for slashfest for michelleann68's prompt, Wilson loses 4 patients in one day and wants to be left alone, House has other plans.
- Thank you to everyone who offered tips and listened to me worry about keeping things in-character. And thank you to wrongdiagnosis.com for being an invaluable resource. Unbetaed; concrit welcome.
* * *
House pushed open the front door to the hospital Friday morning and scanned the room for hormone-ridden administrators and meddlesome colleagues as he headed for the elevators. Negative on the first, but Wilson was flipping through folders at the admissions desk.
Wilson caught sight of him too, scooped up his papers and strolled over. "I called you last night," he said. "Everything okay?"
House thought back to the previous evening. He'd had to stop playing piano while the phone rang. He'd listened to Wilson's completely forgettable message at some point later and then erased it. "Didn't sound like anybody was dying. I was busy."
Wilson made a face that suggested he should have expected as much. "Doing what—looking at porn?"
"Ouch. Someone's cranky this morning." House jabbed the "up" button with the end of his cane. "And so early."
"Yes, what are you doing here before noon?"
"Secret rendezvous with Cuddy."
"Right. Isn't her office over there?" He pointed behind them.
"Gotta freshen up first. Figure I'll make sure my patient's still alive while I'm up there."
"You diagnosed endocarditis, right? He should be better by today."
"'Should be' doesn't always translate to 'actually is' in my department, if you haven't noticed," House said. He caught Wilson checking his watch. "Cuddy pencil you in too?"
"Have a patient, end-stage lung cancer, about to go off the ventilator. The family wants me there."
"Sounds like fun."
The elevator arrived. They stepped apart to let out a pale and solemn-looking couple in their twenties. Then House got in.
"See you for lunch?" Wilson asked.
"Yep. Happy plug-pulling," he called as the elevator doors closed.
The last thing House saw was Wilson rolling his eyes.
Eleven o'clock, and House was irritable. The endocarditis had cleared, but instead of the complete recovery the team had expected after the antibiotics and corticosteroids they'd administered, the kid's fever had risen to 104 degrees and stayed there, sending them back to the whiteboard. They were down to nondescript but persistent symptoms, his least favorite to work with. Fever, vomiting, malaise, myalgia, headache.
Cameron was the first to speak up. "Lupus can present with everything here, and it's been known to cause endocarditis."
"Lupus would probably be responding to the steroids," Foreman countered. "Staph infection or gonorrhea are far more likely."
"Septicemia," Cameron offered next. "Maybe he just needs more antibiotics."
"Could be Q fever," Chase said. "People back home used to get that sometimes and they had the same symptoms."
House made an appreciative face. "Rare and has a cool name. Too bad our city college boy hasn't been partying with sheep and cows for the last two months. What else, people?"
They worked through more possible diagnoses and compiled a list beside the symptoms on the board.
"Could also be cancer," House concluded, adding it to the bottom. "Where's Wilson?" He glanced at the clock; it was past time for Dr. Predictable's mid-morning cup of coffee.
"One of his patients just died," Cameron said. "I saw him with the woman's husband and kids on my way back from Keith's room."
"Didn't he lose one earlier?" Chase asked.
"Do we care?" asked Foreman. "We have a 21-year-old who's still alive, but he might not be for much longer if we don't figure out what's causing his fever."
"Fine," House said. "Do an ANA for the lupus, double his current antibiotics to counteract possible septicemia, and give him penicillin in case it's one of the infections. Page me when something changes."
As the trio filed out, Cuddy came in.
"Baby-making time?" House asked.
"Clinic. You're an hour late." When he opened his mouth, she cut him off. "I saw you send your little helpers scurrying to run tests. You can go to the clinic." He tried to protest a second time and she overrode him again. "Now. And this time, you will actually see some patients while you're down there."
House spent two agonizing hours diagnosing stuffy noses, sprained ankles and hemorrhoids before he escaped Cuddy's clutches and slipped away to the cafeteria.
He found Wilson at a table near the far wall. He must have just sat down; his salad had hardly been touched and the plastic wrap was still on his sandwich.
"Hey," House said, dropping down opposite him.
"Hey," Wilson replied. He didn't sound particularly glad to see him and he didn't smile, just poked at his food.
House scrunched his mouth to one side. "What's the matter with you? That time of the month?"
Wilson grimaced. "Lost three patients this morning."
"You sleeping with any of them?"
"Let's see, would that be the 84-year-old, the guy on dialysis with pneumonia, or the woman whose family didn't leave her bedside from the minute she was admitted?"
"Ageist and sexist. Not bad. At least you stayed away from the married one."
Wilson gave him a half-hearted glare before rooting around in his salad with his fork.
That wasn't the reaction House had been hoping for, so he tried a different tack. "Well, like I always say, when the terminal cases give up, head down to the hospital cafeteria for some truly gourmet cuisine. Nothing says 'mourning for a patient' like a pile of wilted lettuce."
"Oh, you're one to offer advice," Wilson said, stabbing an apparently offensive piece of tomato and sounding relieved to have an excuse to release some tension. "When was the last time you lost a patient?"
House hardly had to pause. "MALT lymphoma mom."
"Doesn't count, that was her decision." He struck again before he had finished chewing. "And technically she was my patient by then."
"The cop with amoebiasis."
"Okay, and before him? We're talking...October? September?"
"So you lose maybe a handful a year. You could probably rattle them all off right now. I gave up trying to keep track of mine years ago." He frowned. "I've probably lost more patients than you've had patients in the last five years."
"And you've also cured more, so can we drop the self-pity now? Plus, your logic is backwards. Losing patients all the time is supposed to numb you to it."
Wilson let his fork clatter to his plate. A few heads turned, then turned away again when their owners saw House at the table. "Just because you've found the key to not letting any patient get to you doesn't mean we all want to," Wilson snapped.
Whoa. "You should be having this conversation with Cameron," he said. "The two of you could co-chair a faculty Care Bears committee."
"Yeah, great. I don't know why I talk to you sometimes." Wilson wiped his mouth, threw his napkin onto his tray and pushed his chair back.
House's beeper went off.
"Don't get up," he said, checking the display even though he knew who it was. "My team calls." He pushed his own chair back and grabbed his cane. Wilson started to say something. "Love to stay and argue," he interrupted, "but I've got patients to save."
Eight hours later the kid still wasn't responding to any of the treatment adjustments, his diarrhea had returned thanks to the double dose of antibiotics, and now he was starting to cough. The team was gathered in the Diagnostics office doing another differential when House saw Wilson striding past. He called to him.
Wilson stopped in the doorway but didn't step inside. He practically radiated anxiety. House frowned. "How'd those tests turn out?"
"All negative," Wilson said flatly. "Your kid doesn't have cancer." He started to leave.
"Whoa, whoa, what's the rush? Don't you want to join in the fun? I know how much you love playing the fifth Beatle."
Wilson opened his mouth and held up the hand that wasn't holding his clipboard to his chest. Then he lowered his hand, closed his mouth, shook his head, and kept walking.
House made a face. "What's up with him?" he asked his disinterested audience.
"Kevin's liver is enlarged," Chase repeated, since House hadn't responded the first time he'd said it.
House decided it was time to make one of his semi-annual bedside visits. He enlisted Foreman to distract the hovering parents so he could confront the kid alone and instructed Cameron and Chase to wait in the office.
He was in and out of the patient's room within five minutes. He snagged Foreman, walked back to his office and announced what he'd learned. "Run the antibody tests, and when they come back positive, put him on tetracycline," he ordered. "And somebody tell the boyfriend's family they need to clean their barn."
* * *
House lounged around the office playing Gameboy until word came back that Kevin's fever was going down. At 10:30, buoyed by the satisfaction of having solved another case, he slipped into his jacket, slung his backpack over one shoulder and stepped into the hallway to lock up.
As he was adjusting his iPod earbuds for the ride home, he heard a man further down the hallway say, "Good night, Dr. Wilson" before a door closed. A few moments later, Brown rounded the corner. House nodded as the man passed him on his way to the elevators.
House walked in the opposite direction, pulling the earbuds out and slipping them into his pocket. He stopped in front of Wilson's office and opened the door.
Sure enough, Wilson was doing paperwork at his desk when everyone else had gone home—or, more accurately, he was leaning his elbows on his paperwork, staring at the desk with his hands buried in his hair.
House let the door close behind him.
"Your wife already left you; there's no reason to hide here anymore," he said as he strolled past the desk to drop his backpack on the couch.
Wilson raised his head in his hands. His eyes looked terrible, all bleary and red-rimmed. "Taking a break from the case?" he asked, sounding as weary as he looked.
"Patient's fine. Well, he will be."
"What's he got?"
Wilson's eyebrows drew together. "Didn't you say he goes to Drexel? And that his parents live in Philadelphia too? Not many sheep around there, unless he works at the zoo."
"You're gonna love this one."
Wilson propped his chin up on his right hand and bounced his fountain pen against his desk in his left. "Who lied?"
"Patient. Idiot has a boyfriend he didn't tell his all-American parents or his clearly homophobic diagnostics team about. Boyfriend's family has a dairy farm. The two of them have been having sex in the barn loft every weekend."
"He said they use condoms, so he thought it didn't matter that he didn't say anything. Figures—the one pair of gay college students in the country who have safe sex, and it's in a barn contaminated with bacteria."
Wilson "hmm"ed again. "The other family's got to get checked out."
"Cameron's taking care of it." He took a few steps closer to the desk. "Got any plans tonight?"
"I have a lot of paperwork to do," he said, mood visibly dimming again.
"Yeah, those dying people. Such a nuisance with all the forms to fill out. That's why I always make Chase and Cameron do it."
Wilson gave him half a smile that didn't reach his eyes. "Four in one day; that may be a personal record."
"You said three."
"The fourth happened right before you accosted me about those tests."
"And that's why you've been miserable all day?"
"Is it so difficult to believe I actually care about my patients?"
"Of course not. You're the Mother Teresa of the Oncology Department, ready to give everything he has for the benefit of those in need."
Wilson rolled his eyes.
"But you lose patients all the time and it doesn't affect you like this. What's really going on?"
"You don't think I can be this upset over just a bunch of patients."
"I don't think you're this upset right now over 'just a bunch of patients.'"
"You're going to hound me until I confess something."
Wilson put down his pen a little more forcefully than was warranted.
"Fine. I'm thirty-seven years old going on three divorces, living in an apartment by myself, and you're the best friend I have. I did something stupid with Grace that could've cost me my job. Brown is threatening to transfer to Sloan-Kettering, which I didn't just tell you, I had to deliver a terminal diagnosis to the parents of a two-year-old, and now I've managed to lose a nice chunk of my caseload in a single day." He rubbed his face.
Damn, damn, damn.
House felt a surge of sympathy and concern tug at his gut. It was the same one he'd succumbed to when Cameron had been exposed to HIV. When Foreman had caught the mystery bug. When Chase had lost the celiac baby. When Cuddy had looked at him and assumed he'd spill her secret to his friend. When Wilson had shown up on his doorstep with a suitcase and a pained smile. The one that made him want to help and almost—almost—made him sorry for being his usual asshole-ish self.
He tried to hold it at bay.
Wilson said, "Did you even ask because you care or did you just want to appease your curiosity?"
House refocused. "Is there a difference?"
Wilson shook his head and picked up his pen again. "It's been a miserable day. I want to finish these and go home."
"So you can be aw awone in your cold, lonely apartment and wallow in your midlife crisis soul-searching?"
"Yes, that's the general idea."
"Well, it's a bad idea. Go out, have a few beers, get laid, do your usual thing, whatever that is. Don't sit in your office brooding. That's my schtick."
"I'm not brooding, I'm doing my job."
"It's a Friday night. Most people with your problems aren't sitting in the dark at work; they're out at strip joints stuffing twenties into women's thongs hoping for a lap dance. We could follow their excellent lead."
"I don't want a hooker!" Wilson said with the quick exasperation that told House he'd touched a nerve. "I want—" He stopped.
Here we go, House thought.
"I want—" Wilson began again. He straightened some folders. Then all the fight drained out of him and he sank back in his chair. "Someone who cares," he finished.
Concern nudged at House once more. He willed it down but knew it was futile; he'd have to do something to ease his conscience. "You really are maudlin tonight," he said.
"Burnout," House decided.
"Bad day," Wilson insisted. "It gets to you sometimes. Well, maybe not to you, but to normal people."
"Why don't you take some time off?"
"It'll pass. Always does."
"I've never seen you this bad."
"I'm not usually around you when it gets this bad."
"You're always around me."
"Not on nights like these."
"Where do you go then? Out bar-hopping to drink away your sorrows? Go home with some busty blonde? Need a woman's touch to take away your pain?"
Wilson began to sputter a protest.
"Ah!" House said with a grin. "You do."
"No, I—Sometimes it helps to have someone there to take my mind off things."
"So, tonight. When you said you're going home and denied wanting to get laid..."
"I meant it. I can handle it myself."
"Oh, I bet you can."
Wilson had the grace to turn a little red at the neck.
"Next thing you're gonna tell me you had all those affairs for the good of your patients. I can see the inspirational headlines now. One of the greatest oncologists in the country owes his mental health and impressive list of publications to the healing power of sex. Mortality rate got you down? One good screw and he's back on his—"
"It's not like that! I know this is hard for you to understand, but some people are cheered up by actual human contact."
"With the proper protection, I hope."
Wilson closed his eyes and rested his forehead on his hand.
House worked things through in his head and began to formulate a solution. "Julie used to 'handle it' for you," he guessed. "But now she's not here."
Wilson said nothing, which was as good as a confirmation.
"And you haven't called Debbie, or whoever else you're flirting with this week," House went on. "You're used to being the provider. You don't know how to handle being the needy one. How to ask a friend for help."
At that, Wilson looked up, incredulous. "I've asked you for help plenty of times! I asked you last night to call me back and you wouldn't even pick up the phone. When I tell you I need to talk, you run the other way."
"I'm not running now."
"No, you're not," Wilson said, slowly, as if just realizing the fact. "Why is that?"
Cornered. He prevaricated. "This is different."
"It doesn't involve listening to you whine about your wife."
Wilson did that thing where his eyes flicked back and forth between House's, searching for something.
House was supposed to be the originator of that look, not its recipient. He allowed it for a few moments before raising his eyebrows.
Wilson said, "I don't think this is something you can help me with."
"I beg to differ. If you're going to go home and jerk off and feel sorry for yourself and your poor patients and cry for a world that inflicts cancer on innocents, you may as well stay here and let me do it for you."
"No. Jerk you off."
He finally blinked, then blinked a few more times. "I—What?"
"You need some release, your soon-to-be-ex-wife's gone, for once in your life you're unwilling to seduce a nurse or rescue a waif, and you're much more fun when you aren't moping." In case that sounded too heartfelt, he added with exaggerated assurance, "Don't worry; this doesn't mean we're gay."
"House, I don't think—"
"Good idea. Got any lubricant?"
It was a testament to how long Wilson had known him, House thought, that he simply retorted, "In my office?"
"No, in the clinic. Where we can go, if you want this to be a little more public and way kinkier."
This time Wilson paused. In the silence, House felt that he had drawn the proverbial line and that what Wilson said next would determine whether they crossed it or laughed off the whole thing.
When Wilson spoke again, his voice had gone quiet. "I...have some lotion in my desk."
His brown eyes flicked up to meet House's. Wide. Uncertain. He looked younger than usual.
House lowered his head and raised his eyebrows to indicate that Wilson should get the aforementioned lotion out of his desk instead of merely announcing its existence. After a moment, Wilson dutifully slid open the top drawer and produced a small plastic jar.
At the same time, House leaned his cane against the couch and slid off his jacket, since he wouldn't be going outside as soon as he'd been planning. He draped the jacket over his backpack and jerked his head at Wilson again, this time motioning him over. "It'll be easier if we're both standing," he explained in response to the questioning look Wilson shot him even as he rose from his chair.
"Back against the wall," he said when Wilson stopped a few feet away.
Wilson walked to the open space between the armchair and the flatscreen TV and turned around to face the room.
House stepped up to him. He distributed his weight along his left side in preparation, leaning on his forearm on the wall and resting his hip just above Wilson's. He didn't hold back, but Wilson didn't seem to mind.
"Gimme," House said, gesturing for the lotion container. Wilson handed it over, put his hands on his belt buckle and raised his eyebrows in query. House raised his back in affirmation.
"'Patented skin rejuvenation formula with shea butter and aloe extract for unequaled softness,'" House read from the lotion label. "I take it back. This doesn't mean I'm gay." At least it was nice to think so, considering the fact that he was about to voluntarily and very non-medically touch his friend's dick. What the hell was he doing?
It helped that Wilson seemed comparably uncomfortable, if the glacial slowness with which he was undoing his belt was any indication.
"Little faster, there, sport, or we'll be here all night," House said. "Have no fear. It's nothing I haven't seen before."
Wilson laughed and it sounded strangled. "Right, because this is an ordinary clinical exam."
"Fine, we can role-play if you want, but I get to be the doctor. You want me to put gloves on?"
Wilson snorted and pulled his belt open. At the next step, though, he hesitated again.
"Here." House pressed the jar of lotion into Wilson's hand, took Wilson's wrists and moved his arms away, batted aside the dangling ends of the belt, unbuttoned Wilson's fly, and pulled the zipper all the way down. Wilson made a quick, soft, unidentifiable noise.
House swiped the lotion back. "There, now, can you do the rest on your own?"
Wilson flashed him a withering glare that lasted long enough for House to notice that his pupils were slightly dilated. Interesting. Wilson accidentally-on-purpose jabbed him in the ribs with his elbow as he tugged his loosened shirt free. Another pause before Wilson took a breath, hooked his fingers into his pants and pushed them down to his hips along with his underwear. That done, he dropped his arms to his sides.
"Okay, then," House said.
He had avoided looking lower than Wilson's shoulders after he'd unzipped the man's pants, so when he glanced down he was surprised to discover that Wilson was already partially erect. Definitely interesting. He glanced at his friend's face, but Wilson was looking resolutely at the wall on his left.
House considered the mechanics of what they were about to do. The shirttails were going to be a problem. He slipped his fingers beneath the shirt and undershirt and lifted them to Wilson's stomach. The bottom of Wilson's tie folded in the process so now it, too, was out of the way.
"Make yourself useful," he said. Wilson held the fabric in place with his left hand.
That settled, House opened the lotion container and dipped two fingers into the cool cream. He screwed the top back on with the clean part of his hand and dropped the jar on the couch behind him without turning around. Then he reached for Wilson's penis.
After a moment in which he wondered at the strangeness of that action, House wiped most of the lotion off his hand and onto Wilson's dick in one downward movement and began to spread it around with a few quick twists of his wrist. Wilson shivered.
"What, no 'Oh my, your fingers are so cold, Dr. House'?" House asked in a high-pitched voice as he worked in the lotion with a slick-sticky sound.
"It wouldn't be entirely inappropriate, since you're treating this like a physical," Wilson said a bit breathlessly. "Mind letting up a little?"
House rubbed more vigorously for a moment just to show that he could, then dropped his speed and pressure to what he hoped was the too-gentle end of the spectrum. "Better, honey?"
He could almost hear Wilson grind his teeth. "Yes, darling, thank you ever so much."
Because Wilson was being such a good sport about it, House pulled at him slightly harder and settled into a leisurely rhythm. "You're too caring for your own good," he murmured. "It makes you a first-rate doctor but it can be hell on the nerves."
Wilson laughed a little. "Be careful, someone might think you've had first-hand experience with this whole... compassion business."
"Shut up. Who were they?"
"Who were who?"
"Two minutes of sexual arousal and the man forgets what's supposedly been bothering him so much he hid in his office after hours."
"My patients?" Wilson said, tensing. "Are you trying to help me forget about today or re-traumatize me?"
"First thing this morning, your ventilator guy. What was his name?"
"I don't want to think about it right now."
He squeezed; Wilson jerked and gasped, and his pupils dilated and retracted. "What was his name?"
"George," he said in a strained voice. "That feels..."
"Lung cancer, right?"
"Yeah. He'd had enough. Wanted to die naturally."
"Okay. That's ordinary. Next."
Wilson tipped his head back against the wall with a groan. Good; he was surrendering. "Reginald Hayes," he said.
"Reg," House guessed.
"He preferred Reginald."
Wilson's cheeks were starting to flush. He spoke slowly as House stroked him. "Multiple myeloma. We didn't get him till it was everywhere. Renal failure, pneumonia, anemia, the works. He lasted three days after admission this time." His hips pushed forward against House's hand. "He was fifty-six."
House added a slight twist to each pull on Wilson's dick. He was so intent on watching Wilson open his mouth wider and lick his lower lip that it took him a moment to realize it was his turn to speak. "Nothing you could have done," he said. "Who else?"
"Can you hold on...just a minute?"
House let him enjoy his attentions uninterrupted until Wilson was almost fully erect. He shifted his grip. The backs of his fingers brushed the soft skin and crisp hair of Wilson's lower abdomen.
Wilson squirmed. He brought his right hand up to relieve his left in holding his shirt against his stomach. He dropped his other hand to his side, twitched it around a few times restlessly, then raised it again and took hold of House's right sleeve.
"Time's up," House said. "Number three."
Wilson pinched his eyes shut. His brows and forehead twisted in a grimace. It took a few moments for him to manage, "Mary-Ann Miller. Ovarian cancer."
His quickening breaths stretched out his sentences so each one sounded like a story in itself. "She was young.... Left three kids. The middle one is...six years old. Blonde pigtails. Clutched her stuffed pony... and cried. So her...father broke down too." His hand fisted in House's sleeve, pulling the material tight around his upper arm.
House grunted. That was a tough one. "Who else?"
Wilson turned his head away, eyes still closed.
"You said there were four. Who else?"
Wilson shook his head. "I don't wa—"
Without warning, House doubled the speed and intensity of his assault, leaning forward a little more, working his whole arm. His bicep pressed against Wilson's knuckles and his tricep strained within his constricted sleeve with each swift stroke. "Who else?"
"Lukas," Wilson choked out. "Osteosa—sarcoma." His mouth was open, his nose and upper lip beaded with sweat.
"What about him?"
"He was only—seventeen," Wilson panted. The flush in his cheeks had spread to his forehead and neck. "Tall. Beautiful blue eyes.
"He lost his leg—months ago. Got a prosthetic. Was depressed for a while but—he got through it. Was doing well. We played pickup baske—basketball once when he was—in remission—" He stopped, probably to catch his breath.
"But it came back," House prompted.
"Metasta—sized to his lungs." He swallowed. "We did—a thoracotomy. He got an infection."
House swiped his thumb over the head of Wilson's dick at the end of every few jerks. Wilson was gasping now. Their eyes met. Wilson's pupils were huge.
"He was a great kid—reminded me of you—" His voice broke. "God, House—"
Wilson's dick twitched in warning before he orgasmed, making a quiet, urgent noise like a sob. Semen spattered the back of House's hand.
Wilson's head fell forward. Forehead resting on House's right shoulder, he breathed hard—out, warm, in, cool—into House's shirt. He was trembling.
House glanced at the ceiling as if he'd find help there. He murmured into Wilson's hair, which smelled of antiseptic and conditioner, "Okay. Okay, Jimmy. It's okay."
He let go of Wilson's dick but left his arm between them so Wilson could still hold on to him.
Just when he was convincing himself that maybe this whole thing hadn't been so freakishly strange after all, two things happened. He realized he was getting hard. And Wilson tilted his head up, lips dragging along the side of House's neck to the corner of his jaw.
House jerked backwards onto his left leg, hopping a little to keep his balance. "Hey, whoa," he said. His heart was pounding.
Wilson had let go of House's sleeve and stumbled a little when House had removed his support. "Sorry," he said simply, and his tone was so casual—as if they'd bumped elbows in the hall—that the world stopped tilting. Wilson leaned back against the wall.
Covering for his momentary panic, House asked, "You okay?"
"Yeah. Need a minute."
House decided to ignore the soft pulses of arousal emanating from his groin. He stepped back again and took in the sight of Wilson recovering, the contradiction of him. Legs spread slightly and arms loose at his sides, Wilson remained impeccable at the top and bottom—shoes polished and neatly laced; pants pressed; collar straight; tie knotted. His middle, however, was a shock of disarray: pants and briefs around his hips, belt open, shirt and undershirt loose, damp spots pockmarking his shirt and slacks. Standing in the middle of his office, his eyes closed and his mouth open, he looked ridiculous.
House said, "You look ridiculous."
"I'm sure," Wilson replied without opening his eyes.
House needed to clean his hand. He needed to sit down or at least lean on his cane. He needed a Vicodin. He needed a long ride on his bike. He needed to figure out what the hell had just happened. He needed a lot of things, but he settled for the first item on the list for the moment, and looked around for something with which to wipe off the semen and lotion.
There was a small box of tissues on the desk. He whipped out a few and swabbed at the various sticky and slimy substances on his hand. It helped, but he still needed to wash.
Wilson could probably use a shower himself, but he wouldn't be able to leave his office without some preliminary measures. House dropped the tissues into the garbage, grabbed another handful from the box and held them out. "Here," he said. "Clean yourself up."
Wilson took the offering. "Yes, Mom."
"Your mom used to comfort you like this after a bad day? No wonder you have relationship issues."
"No, I only did this with your mom."
When Wilson finished, he crumpled the soiled tissues into a ball and tossed it at the garbage can. It puffed open midway through its arc and landed on the carpet in front of its target. He made an "oh, well" face.
House limped over to the couch to retrieve his cane. With his back to Wilson, he rested his weight on the wood with a small sigh of relief (though his still-slick hand slipped a little on the handle) and closed his eyes. He listened to Wilson tuck himself back in and refasten his pants and belt.
The weirdness reappeared. House turned around to face it.
Wilson's clothes were back in order. Aside from his flushed face and neck, he looked eerily normal.
Wilson gestured toward House's groin. "Do you want me to...?" He left his arm out, hand palm up, fingers half-extended.
There was no way Wilson could see the nascent erection through House's jeans; he was simply offering to reciprocate. House felt a sudden stab of anger, though for what and at whom he didn't immediately know. "No thanks."
Wilson let his arm fall, took a step forward, stopped. "House...I—"
"Don't say anything. I'm going to wash my hand. God knows where that's been." He nodded at Wilson's groin.
Wilson didn't stop him as he pushed past him to the door.
* * *