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Title: Bridging
Author: rubyjuly
Fandom: House M.D.
Rating & warning: Rated R for homosexual encounter, but there's nothing explicit. Reference to events in "Locked In."
Characters: James Wilson/original male character. Wilson's brother Danny and House are mentioned but are not present in the story.
Summary: Sometimes Wilson just wants things to be uncomplicated.
Word count: 750
Disclaimer: Anybody you recognize here does not belong to me.


If there’s one thing Wilson knows about bluffing House, it’s when to make a near miss look like a bullseye.

So when House guesses he’s seeing someone who takes care of Danny, he reacts just enough to nudge House’s train of thought onto the familiar track of ex-wives. That House guesses he’s seeing someone like his mother is a leap of logic so wild Wilson wants to laugh, but he pushes the impulse way down deep and keeps his face straight.

It's only later that he smiles about it. The person he’s seeing is nothing like his mother, or his ex-wives, or Amber. And he’s nothing like House.

Everybody calls him Jay, so Wilson does too. Jay carries cigarettes for the patients and doesn't smoke himself, although his hair sometimes smells of it at the end of his shift because he sits with the patients on the fenced-in patio that serves as their smoking area.

He works the night shift most of the time, and he's the one who comes out when Wilson's been waiting for hours for Danny to change his mind and accept a short visit.

He's exhausted by it all and doesn't stand up when Jay opens the steel door with the safety mesh imbedded in glass at the top. Jay comes to him, kneels by his chair and touches his arm in a way that's immediately comforting.

"I'm sorry," he says. "Today hasn't been a good day for him."

It hasn't been a good day for Wilson either and maybe Jay knows that. "My shift's over in twenty minutes. Let me buy you a drink," he offers.

Wilson accepts because it's been that kind of day, month and year and it shows no signs of really improving. They get there just before closing time and he drinks most of a pitcher of beer while bending Jay's ear all about Danny. At some point he realizes what a good listener Jay is and how sympathetic he is, and one drink leads to another and another until he can't drive home, but Jay's a good guy and his apartment's just around the corner.

"I can't ... it doesn't work when I've been drinking," Wilson says in the apartment as Jay pulls him close and kisses his neck, but that doesn't seem to matter or slow him down, and then it starts working, this thing he hasn't done since college and he stopped that by his senior year when he met Kellie.

He's had just enough to drink that it's too much trouble to try to pull all his thoughts together and come up with a reason not to do this. Jay's got light, sure hands and he closes his eyes and just goes with it. When he comes it's a relief in more ways than one.

He wakes up just after sunrise to the sound of doves cooing in the little garden outside the bedroom window, and Jay's sprawled on top of the sheets with one leg thrown over his and he can't think of a way to get up without waking him.

He stares up at the ceiling where an old water stain looks vaguely like Australia or maybe a rhino's head, and he listens to Jay breathing soft and evenly beside him, and he thinks this probably won't lead to anything -- at least nothing he can admit in public -- and that really doesn't matter for once. Not everything has to have an endgame, and for once he's not straining to see how everything in his life connects.

Moments like this are a bridge to where he ought to be, and everyone forgets about the value of a bridge until there isn't one and they're stuck stranded. Sometimes it's nice to stop in the middle of the span and watch the river flow past, to look back at how far he's traveled and not think about how far he has to go.

Sometimes he just wants to be, to live in the moment without considering anyone else's history or expectations, without the weight of everything that's gone wrong or he's done wrong.

Sometimes he just wants things to be simple, to feel again, to not think or be questioned, and that's how it is now in this narrow bed with a stranger who knows about his brother and kissed him without any pity.

And so he turns to the sleeping man beside him, traces the line of his smooth back, and hides nothing from him when he opens his eyes.

-- Finis

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rubyjuly

July 2012

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