damigella: (sad_thoughtful_wilson)
[personal profile] damigella
Drabble Prologue
Chapter 1, warnings, and stuff.
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5

Chapter 6

House was speechless. He hadn't expected this at all. If he even knew what this was, which he didn't. And he had no time to think about it because Wilson went on speaking.

"I already proposed once, and I didn't mean it. This time I do, and I want you to think very carefully before you answer. Yes, I would like to marry you. Better said, to live with you indefinitely. The technical details aren't important."

House had no idea of what he could possibly answer, and gratefully accepted the only decorous way out short of faking a heart attack.

"I... I didn't expect this. I'll need time to think. Lots of time."

Wilson blushed a little. "You know, you just lost me twenty bucks."

"What do you mean?" House pulled his hand to himself, shivering with anger. "Was this a fucking joke?"

He calmed down instantly as Wilson's eyebrows shot up, and sorrow and honesty spread across his face together with a darker red.

"No, of course it wasn't a joke. But I had told my therapist that if I asked you to marry me you would either laugh, or punch me. She said you would do neither. I insisted, and she proposed a bet."

House breathed deeply. If this emotional seesaw continued he wouldn't need to fake a heart attack. He tried to pretend their relationship hadn't been changed irrevocably, or at least to delay as much as possible the decision he had to take.

"I should have gotten a cut in that bet. And I'll need to think for a very long time."

He could see relief as well as fear in Wilson's eyes. Of course he had been sincere.

"As much time as needed. Just promise you won't get angry at me, since I'm only following medical advice. They said I can't hope you to do what I want unless I tell you what it is."

"There's no arguing with that."

This was a serious proposal, and he would have to come up with a serious answer; a yes would have to be a long-term commitment. Something he had found incredibly hard to do, even when he and Stacy were deeply in love before the infarction. And now love wasn't part of the picture, on either side. Definitely not.

The silence lengthened as House tried to figure out what Wilson's request would imply. Finding another job, learning to work with new colleagues, selling his apartment. Getting used to a different location, maybe a different climate. Why was he even considering this? He must have gotten confused by Wilson asking such nonsense at all. Especially since there was, of course, one big question as yet unmentioned.

He may as well ask it openly, since he knew Wilson would be expecting it. Was expecting it, if he interpreted correctly the anxious expression on his face. The word unpleasant was a major understatement: he was terribly embarrassed. A simple three letter word, and he couldn't force himself to utter it, not with the huge brown eyes looking at him full of hope, for the first time since too long. He struggled for the right euphemism; what was even worse, he realized he had no idea what he wished Wilson's answer would be.

"When you say you would like to get married, do you imply also some sort of physical contact?"

Wilson lowered his eyes, looking sad and ashamed. He obviously had to make an effort to answer, and did so only slowly, struggling with every sentence and almost with every word.

"I'm damaged goods. The psychiatrist says I may never make it. Never be able to be naked with another human being. Particularly a man. He says I might also get better. With time."

There was a long pause. House wished he could see Wilson's eyes, but he kept them low and carefully avoided his gaze.

"What I want is to be together with you. Every day, every month, every year. You're the one relationship I've built in my life, the one I want to keep, the person I'm happiest with. But if it's not enough for you, or too much, I will understand. I can make it on my own, I'm told. I will stay in therapy, try not to… not to give up."

House felt frightened. This was too much responsibility. How could he say yes? More importantly, how could he possibly say no? And when had Wilson grabbed his hand again, how come he hadn't noticed? The latter seemed a simpler issue, and he decided to focus on it.

"How about holding hands?"

Wilson smiled again, and suddenly he had the contagious smile of a happy young boy, not the sad smirk of a man approaching middle age who had spent a week tied to a hospital bed after a failed suicide. It reminded him very much of the shy smile a young doctor had shared with the stranger that had just bailed him out of jail.

"Is it so unpleasant?"

House hadn't expected the question: he considered it by concentrating on the warm, strong fingers holding his, offering and demanding trust, and he found the answer easy.

"No, not really. Not at all, in fact."

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November 2011

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