Title: There Were Five Times
Author: Dee Laundry
Characters: House, Wilson
Summary: The first time they tried it, it was an unmitigated disaster.
The first time they tried it, it was an unmitigated disaster. Wilson expected it to be like marriage, and House expected it to be like roommates at a frat house but slightly less homoerotic. The fights were epic and upset everyone around them until Wilson got his first-ever less than perfect performance review and House’s boss fired him.
Wilson let himself be “loaned” to Dana-Farber for a three-month pancreatic cancer clinical trial. House worked in a music store for two weeks and then saved the life of the illegitimate son of a major hospital donor.
House didn’t like the mousy skinny girlfriend Wilson brought back from Boston, but that was par for the course. They consulted on each other’s cases and ate lunch together every few days, and everything was back to normal.
The second time they tried it, there was some debate as to whether they were actually doing it. Wilson still had a house, after all, and a big over-made marriage bed with a skinny mousy wife sleeping in it. (House used to have a Stacy and a lot more muscle in his right thigh but they didn’t talk about those things, unless Wilson was asking him for a number on the pain scale but House could never remember which one meant soul-numbing agony.)
House put the cable bill in Wilson’s name anyway, because all you ever do is watch TV, you lazy son of a bitch, and Wilson rolled his eyes and dropped the laundry basket on the couch cushion next to House, your arms still work, fucker, on the way to the kitchen to check on the Stouffer’s lasagna.
House folded Wilson’s boxers in half instead of thirds, just to spite him.
The third time they tried it, Wilson showed up on House’s doorstep with a slightly cross-eyed puppy dog look and a single suitcase. He was wearing House’s scarf, filched the previous winter, and House let him in.
House expected it, once again, to be like fraternity brothers and proceeded accordingly. Wilson never said what he expected but he ditched House for a mousy skinny woman who caught herpes in the hallway of the hospital and went on to die a little more slowly than she had been before.
House was as God made him and Wilson’s stupid move never caught up with him. Things went back to normal, the occasional psycho stalker – gunman, smitten teen, obsessed cop et al. – notwithstanding.
The fourth time they tried it, Wilson bought a spacious two-bedroom condo and House moved in. The place was perfect, with space for the piano and a million bookcases and pre-wired for entertainment devices and a kitchen to die for… everything either of them needed. They kept their own schedules and didn’t expect anything of each other.
It all went along fine, smooth sailing, until Wilson tripped into a bottle of Bombay Sapphire and couldn’t swim back to the surface. House insisted that the living arrangements had nothing to do with it, but nevertheless when Wilson got back from rehab the piano was gone and the outgoing message on the answering machine had been reset to the default.
The fifth time they tried it, Wilson had finally let himself go gray at the temples and House’s eyes had gained a yellowish tint. It was one bed, one boring room, a tiny TV but with a million channels. Wilson hated the food and House bitched about the neighbors, but they were happy with each other and they made it all the way to ‘until death do us part.’ Twenty-one days later.