The House Fan Fiction Archive


Tipping Point

by Kass

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Many thanks to Sanj and Shalott for beta-ing!




When House allowed himself to imagine it, usually as he settled into the last Vicodin haze of the day, he assumed it would happen in the wake of some near miss. Or maybe after Wilson had lost a patient; a kid, maybe. (He honestly cared about them, and he wasn't apologetic about it, which was oddly charming. Not that House would ever have told him so.) An affirmation of life in the face of darkness, or some bullshit like that. Which he could live with, if it got Wilson into his bed.

As it turned out, he was entirely wrong. An intriguing rarity.

It was an ordinary Thursday. Cameron smiled at him sweetly as she passed in the hall. He bared his teeth, but she didn't react, which was disappointing. Life was so much more fun when you could terrorize the pretty girls.

Walking past the room where their most recent Rubik's cube was housed -- a leggy redhead, now recovering from vasculitis -- he almost collided with Chase, who was exiting and not looking where he was going.

"Sorry -- I'm -- I was --"

Chase's embarassment was written all over his face. Probably from being idiot enough to have nearly knocked down his boss, but House took advantage, raising an eyebrow. "Visiting the patient again, very good, Doctor Chase. Very thorough." The innuendo gained him a vivid blush and a ducked head, which was briefly amusing.

Sadly, that appeared to be his moment of excitement for the day. No new mysteries, which should have made him happy (nobody suffering from undiagnosable ailments meant nobody unduly suffering, blah blah) but instead made him irritable. Maybe that was his natural state. He watched a couple of soaps on his mini-television, ear cocked for the telltale clack of Cuddy's heels in the hall. They never came, which was annoying; bad moods were perfect for battle. He read half of the latest JAMA, got fed up, read Harper's instead.

Wilson appeared in his office just after dark, shrugging out of his white coat as he walked in the door. "Bacon guacamole burgers?"

"Hmm," House said, pretending to consider. "High-fat, high-cholesterol, plus I'm willing to bet we'll add some liquid toxins to the mix. Good thinking, doctor."

They had a favorite pub not far from House's place. They weren't regulars; the regulars each had pewter beer mugs, engraved with their names, hanging over the bar. (House tended to drink whiskey: more bang for the buck.) But they'd been there often enough that no one bothered to watch House make his way, slowly, to the corner table where he could lean his cane against the wall.

During dinner he took a perverse pleasure in pointing out that Wilson had a smear of guacamole just beside his lips. Watching him lick it away gave House a wave of desire, which he ignored. It was one of the little games he played with himself: see how desperate he could get without losing his faade. Without breaking stride, as it were.

Wilson, who knew him too well, didn't even ask what the bitter little smile was for, just kept talking. He stopped when the waitress came to clear their plates, and then he didn't start again. Just sat there looking at House, something peculiar in his eyes.

He didn't want to give Wilson the satisfaction of asking, so House waited him out.

"How long," Wilson said, finally, putting his napkin on the table, "have we been pretending?"

House knew it wasn't medically possible for his heart to stop beating. "Since at least two marriages ago."

"Aren't you tired of it?" Wilson was leaning forward now, his voice quieter. "Of me dropping you off, you playing 'The Thrill is Gone' and 'My Funny Valentine' until two a.m.--"

House wasn't about to admit to that, even if he did sit at his piano too late most nights. "And you going home to...?"

"The hottest shower I can stand," Wilson said, wryly.

The understanding of what transpired in those showers passed between them without a word. House was glad it was too dim in the pub for his flush to be visible.

He tried not to indulge himself in hope, generally speaking, but he couldn't seem to help it tonight. At least his voice didn't betray him. "I take it you have a better plan?"

"I do, actually," Wilson said, as the waitress appeared with their check.

"Is this the part where I'm supposed to buy you dinner?"

Wilson reached smoothly for the leather folder and slid his card into it, handing it back and waving the girl away. "Since I'm the one making the overture, allow me."

"Please. You think I'd put out for a cheeseburger?"

Wilson grinned. "I think you'd put out for free. But I thought I'd feed you first. A man's got to keep up his strength." He was the picture of innocence, unless you knew him well enough, in which case the glint in his eye gave everything away.

House snorted. "Thanks for your concern."

"Call it enlightened self-interest."

They headed for the door. Mirabile dictu, they were actually going to do this. Maybe it wasn't such an ordinary Thursday afterall.


That was it. No brush with death. No dying cancer patients -- at least no more of them than usual. Just some kind of tipping point, and suddenly everything was permissible. Before, he'd gotten a frisson from the illicit desire; now there was a new reciprocal electricity, an interpersonal feedback loop. The drive back to his apartment was exactly as usual, except that it wasn't as usual at all.

They stood a while just inside his door, kissing, and it was almost ridiculous how fast he got hard feeling Wilson pressed against him, Wilson's tongue licking now at the edges of his mouth.

And just before the twinge from standing this long got unbearable, Wilson broke away and headed for the bedroom. Like he knew what House could handle.

Wilson was naked first, unsurprisingly, and he sat on the edge of the bed and watched House undress. One hand on the cane, the other working unsteadily down the buttons of his shirt.

"You'd better hope you like it slow," House said.

"I like watching you," Wilson said, which wasn't an answer, exactly.

And then House limped to bed, wondering how exactly it was that a man as pretty as James Wilson could be looking at him with such hunger.


"Jesus, yeah."

Sounded like Wilson couldn't quite breathe. House knew the feeling. Amazing that this could be erotic. And if anybody knew the heat inside a human body, it should be a doctor, shouldn't it? Yet it was mesmerizing. He could almost forget that this activity was supposed to be goal-oriented.

Wilson couldn't. He interrupted the reverie. "Any day now would be fine."

House bit back a laugh. "Patience," he said, though he withdrew his hand, reached for the condom, slicked it on.

"You try being patient in my position," Wilson muttered, darkly.

I should be so lucky, House thought, but didn't speak. He knelt, hissing slightly. Even putting most of his weight on the good leg, this wasn't going to be easy.

"We don't have to--" Wilson, chivalrous. Didn't want him to feel like a cripple.

As though he could feel like anything else. "Like hell we don't," he gritted out. "'S good. Hands and knees." The awkwardness burned off in an instant when Wilson scrambled to obey.

He took a deep breath. The pain was manageable. It would keep him from coming too soon. As he steadied himself with one hand and pushed his way in, the thought dimly crossed his mind that that was a good thing.

Wilson moved against him, sighing. Sweat broke out across his forehead, for once not from pain.

A very good thing indeed.


House was flopped on his back, still breathing hard, when Wilson got up. He wanted to relish the sight of Wilson walking naked toward his bathroom, but predictably the flesh was weak, so instead he took a smug, slightly mean satisfaction in Wilson's wince.

On his way back to bed Wilson detoured to the pile of clothes House had left on the floor, rummaging in his sportcoat and returning to bed with two white pills, luminous in the dark of his bedroom. House swallowed them gratefully as Wilson clambered back into bed. They lay there for a few minutes.

"I was jealous of that masseuse last week, you know." Wilson's tone was too conversational.

"Oh? Because she got an eyeful of my charms?"

He expected the usual response ('Oh, is that what they're calling it nowadays?') but Wilson didn't oblige. "Because she put that look on your face."

Her hands had been small but surprisingly strong, and she knew all the pressure points. He'd tried to find those knots in his own hands, but he could never get it to work. Maybe you couldn't do it to yourself.

Kind of like a blowjob. House smirked.

Apparently Wilson had good night vision. "What's funny?"

"If you want to make me go -- how would Playboy put it? 'Slack-jawed with pleasure'?" he said, curling his lips around the words to make them sting (though who he was mocking, himself or Wilson, he wasn't sure.) "I can think of plenty of ways."

"Be careful what you wish for. I know where you work."

House spared a moment to imagine Wilson closing the venetian blinds, locking his office door, dropping to his knees. Then he put the fantasy in a box and pushed back. "Why were you really jealous?"

Wilson exhaled. "Because you let her touch you."

House thought about retorting 'she's a trained masseuse,' but didn't. Because he wasn't an idiot, and that wasn't really what Wilson was talking about.

"I let you touch me," he said, instead.

There was a pause.

"Yeah, you do." Wilson sounded sleepy, but like he might be smiling.

He'd blame it on the post-coital endorphin rush if Wilson asked, or the Vicodin, but maybe he was, too.


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Legal Disclaimer: The authors published here make no claims on the ownership of Dr. Gregory House and the other fictional residents of Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital. Like the television show House (and quite possibly Dr. Wilson's pocket protector), they are the property of Fox Television, David Shore and undoubtedly other individuals of whom I am only peripherally aware. The fan fiction authors published here receive no monetary benefit from their work and intend no copyright infringement nor slight to the actual owners. We love the characters and we love the show, otherwise we wouldn't be here.