Title: "The Slashy Epilogue to Maineac's 'Sleeping Man'"
A/N: Today's guest author in the Sleeping Man Final Chapter Open Invitational is the wonderful deelaundry, author of many great House fics. (Check them out here.) Like </a></b></a>cindy_lou_who8, she has done what I can't: provided H/W fans with a (moderately) slashy happy ending. Thanks, Dee!
Still to come: There are rumored to be other Epilogues out there being written. There's no timeline for submitting them. Send them in whenever you finish. Or, if you prefer, post them yourselves. We need some House/Cuddy endings to round out the field, n'est ce pas?
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The drive back to House's apartment from the hospital was quick and, thankfully, quiet, as House's litany of demands had stopped.
It was a struggle for Wilson to get the wheelchair up the couple of steps into the building (during which time House helped not at all, amusing himself by literally flipping his wig at everyone who walked by), but at last, they were safely in House's living room.
House refused Wilson's sensible suggestion to move from wheelchair to couch, shooing him into the kitchen instead to get them water. When Wilson returned to the living room, House gazed at him carefully, thoughtfully.
"Want to watch something?" Wilson asked, in what he intended to be an extremely nonchalant tone, as he handed House his glass and took a seat on the couch. He tugged his wig off -- itchy damn thing -- and tossed it on the coffee table.
"I've always been intrigued," House said, clearly ignoring Wilson's words completely, "by the way you lie. Smooth as silk about some things; guilt-ridden and confessing at the first opportunity about other things; and for a weird mélange of yet other things, cool until you're caught when you immediately fall apart and start gibbering like a monkey."
Wilson jumped in and asked, "How many metaphors can you cram into one sentence?" but the attempt at distraction didn't work.
"But the way you don't lie, that's what's really fascinating." House was studying Wilson's face as if he'd never seen it before. Wilson waited, one hand curled around a cold glass of water of his own and the other on the arm of the couch next to House's wheelchair.
"You're not my secret gay ex-lover, huh?" House continued.
"No," Wilson replied truthfully, and took a sip. He should've seen this conversation coming, but then again he'd had a lot of other things on his mind.
House's eyes narrowed. "People with amnesia are supposed to be surrounded by the familiar to help prompt their memories."
That seemed utterly unfair, and Wilson abandoned the cool exterior he was trying to maintain. "I was with you around the clock. My presence didn't help at all?"
Straightening up, House stuck his nose in the air haughtily, looking like the world's oldest, stubbliest spoiled princess. "A blowjob probably would have done the job quicker."
There it was. Wilson kept himself from sighing by sheer will alone. "House, you were in critical care. In a hospital. Where you work. And I work. No way was it going to happen." When House's "snubbing" continued, Wilson was compelled to jab a little. "Besides, your system wasn't quite up to it."
House glanced over at him, posture softening. "You copped a feel when you were washing me, didn’t you?"
"I plead the fifth," Wilson declared.
"Oh, I prefer a different kind of pleading." A small, sly grin spread across House's lips, and Wilson couldn't help his own lips lifting. "But let's get back to the topic at hand: how you are so incredibly closeted that you wouldn't provide your poor, lost lover with the one sweet gesture that might have brought his mind back to him."
Rolling his eyes, Wilson recapped his eminently reasonable arguments, "ICU. Glass walls. Workplace." He paused just long enough to make it interesting, then pointed toward House's lap. "And dicky no risey."
"Now you're just being cruel," House retorted, shifting a fraction toward the couch. "And slightly racist. Dicky like."
"If you'd still had amnesia by the time I brought you home," Wilson insisted, "I would've had my head in your lap the second the door closed. I swear."
"Door's closed now."
Wilson hadn't expected that. Recovery was different for each patient, but House had been through serious trauma to his system. Then again... "You seriously --"
"What part of 'dicky like' was unclear?"
Well. This was unusual, but it had been a couple of weeks since he'd been alone with House, and a couple of weeks (he was fairly sure) since House had gotten any. It'd relax House, help him sleep better, and Wilson had missed hearing that little hitched groan House always made when -- hm, Wilson's dicky was starting to like the idea, too.
His suggestion to transfer House to the bed was met with an absolute refusal. Transfer to the couch was similarly shot down. "Here and now," House insisted, even though it took longer for them to get Wilson situated comfortably between the chair's footrests than it would've taken to lug a resisting House down the hallway to the bedroom.
No matter. He was here, he was queer (under certain definitions of the term), he was eager to wrap his lips around his lover's long, strong -- completely flaccid penis.
He took matters in hand, rubbed just the right spots in just the right way, and... nothing. "Um, House?"
House laughed a deep, throaty chuckle that was so good to hear. Even if it was aimed at him.
Wilson let go of everything and rocked back on his heels. "You were kidding, weren't you?"
"Oh, yeah." House's smile was a unique mixture of affection and evil as he stretched out a hand to caress Wilson's skull. "I just like seeing you on your knees."
Leaning into the touch, Wilson marveled at the feeling of House's palm so close to his scalp. He would've preferred to still have his hair, but there was something uniquely pleasurable in this sensation. "Your hand-hold is gone now, anyway," he noted.
"So it is," House replied, not moving his hand away. They sat there a few moments, House looking something like content, and Wilson feeling grateful that he still could have this. This touch, this connection, this warmth that he'd been afraid he'd lost forever.
"Were you kidding about the closeted thing?" Wilson asked quietly.
With a smirk, House slid his hand to the front of Wilson's head and pushed so that Wilson fell back. "No, you're definitely closeted."
"I mean," Wilson said, rising, "about it bothering you."
House's look grew far away. He was considering, Wilson realized with a start. He was taking Wilson's question seriously. Wilson resumed his seat on the couch and told himself firmly that he wasn't nervous.
He was such a goddamned liar.
After a year-long two seconds, House looked over at him and shrugged. "Everybody knows what they need to know. Think about the past couple of weeks. What would've been different if everyone had known we sleep together every once in a while?"
A soothing emotion that was not supposed to be relief warred with irritation. Irritation was easier to let out. "Every once in a while?"
"When you can get it up."
Irritation blended into anger so easily. "When I can get it up? Now, listen here --"
"I think my recovery from amnesia must be incomplete," House noted, and Wilson stopped immediately. Any downward blip in House's condition, and they were going right back to the hospital. "Because I thought I remembered that you had a sense of humor."
Wilson breathed easier as the typical House-provoked cycle of emotions continued turning, with anger fading to exasperation and melting into fondness. He leaned into the corner of the couch, arm coming to rest where it could lie lightly against House's, and said sincerely, "I missed you, House."
"I know," House replied, and his arm pressed closer to Wilson's. "If I'd remembered you at all, I probably would've missed you too."
"Well, I really needed some money," House mused. "And medical attention."
"And, of course, a blowjob or two. It's harder than you'd think to score with homeless people."
Irritation again, just shy of anger. "House!"
House chuckled and knocked his elbow. "Your goat is so easy to get today. You need to build that fence stronger, Farmer Wilson."
Relaxing again, Wilson sighed, "It's been a rough few weeks."
"You don't have to tell me," House replied, and Wilson saw his opening.
He straightened and turned, looking into House's eyes earnestly. "But I will."
House pushed into the wheelchair back and raised a hand between them. "Oh no, you don't."
"It was a very, very difficult time. As lovers, it's important that we share our feel--"
The frantic fumble for the wheelchair brake as a clear first step in getting away would've stopped Wilson even if House's words hadn't. "No, no, no! Recovering man here!"
Wilson smirked at the brilliant idiot who fell for that one every time. "Your goat, my pocket."
Glaring, House settled back into his seat. "You're an ass."
"Learned from the master." He grabbed the remote and aimed it at the TV. "I Tivo'ed some stuff for you."
Grumbling, House snatched the remote away. "Give me that; you'll do it wrong."
Wilson stretched out on the sofa, his head on the couch arm. He had to live with the silent treatment and a dizzyingly fast flipping through the channels for several minutes, but when the TV had settled on an old black-and-white comedy, he felt House's hand begin to stroke his head and shoulders.
It was so good to have the bastard home.
[Other alternate endings to Sleeping Man can be found by clicking on the green "previous entry" arrow at the top of this entry.]