Summary: Whatever it was, it wasn't with Wilson.
Fandom: House MD
Pairing: Gregory House/Eric Foreman
Disclaimer: The characters belong to FOX, David Shore, and Bad Hat Harry Productions.
Original story: Condoms and Flavored Lube by subluxate.
Notes: Props to my betas.
Foreman had no problem admitting that Wilson was House's best friend. Only friend, Chase laughed, and Cameron agreed, nodding sadly. Foreman just shrugged. House obviously didn't care about winning friends, and as for influencing people, he'd rather be right and let the morons catch up if they could. Saying the right thing at the wrong time was practically his fourth specialty.
The advantage to Wilson was obvious. Everyone else questioned why Wilson bothered, why he subjected himself to House, but Foreman had seen him hide a grin more than once at House's cutting remarks about--or to--a patient, and he got it. Wilson wasn't the bad guy. Wilson was the saint. And it worked for both of them.
During the differential, Foreman sat in the chair closest to the coffee counter, steepled his fingers, and watched Wilson. It wasn't hard to catch him smiling at House, if Foreman tilted his head to see him out of the corner of his eye. Cameron's gaze never left House's face, Chase was digging through the file; and Wilson's lips curved, into something mischievous and almost sweet, and House didn't miss a moment of it. It was harder to catch House smiling back, because he'd glare at the floor, or frown out the window, or snap Foreman's head off for a perfectly sensible suggestion. But he'd quirk his mouth, just so, dimple appearing-disappearing, his eyes warming, and even if his back was turned to Wilson, Foreman knew it was for him--and Wilson knew it, too.
"So they're friends," he said once, to Chase, while Cameron was in the ladies' room and their beers were nearly empty. "It doesn't mean they're having an affair."
"Torrid affair," Chase corrected, grinning, as if he'd written the grocery-store romance novel himself. "Why do you think Wilson's been divorced so many times? And House nearly had an orgasm over those pancakes."
He had; his eyes had rolled back in his head, and he'd moaned, deep in his throat, his tongue darting out to lick syrup off the fork. The sticky-sweet scent had stayed on his breath afterwards, not artificial like the cherry lollipops he liked best, but warmer, fuller, like honey. Foreman winced. "Please," he said. "He's our boss."
"That's your objection?" Chase said, laughing. "Not 'he's a guy', or 'he's old', or--"
Foreman rolled his eyes. "He's not sleeping with Wilson," he repeated, but then Cameron came back, and Foreman shook his head and dropped his money on the table when Chase suggested another round.
House wasn't having an affair with anyone. Foreman, at least, had learned the signs when Stacy was around. House got happy--started singing snatches of old songs, leaned less heavily on his cane, got more sarcastic but less bitter. And House had never once, in all the time Wilson had been living with him, come in to the office tapping out music with his fingers, with a hum catching in his throat, or ducking his head to smile, out of the blue, like he couldn't help himself. And Chase's betting pool piled up, but nobody collected.
Foreman had the weekend pager, and was spending his on-call hours catching up on paperwork, when House banged into the conference room from his office, trailing Wilson behind him like a morality bloodhound. House headed straight for the last round of coffee, sniffed at the pot, and poured it down the sink. Wilson stood in the middle of the office, his hands on his hips, barely acknowledging Foreman with a glance. Mainly, he was trying to stare a hole in House's back. House was as oblivious as ever--meaning, not at all--as he tore open a fresh coffee packet with his teeth.
"House, he has a girlfriend," Wilson said finally, when it was obvious that House wasn't going to keep up their argument on his own. "They've been together for years. They're planning the wedding. You can't make a diagnosis based on the assumption that he's gay."
"And this from a man who blow dries his hair and owns more copper-bottomed pots than Rachel Ray," House said. "Is it comfy enough in that closet for you?"
"You have his medical history. He told you about the girl he got pregnant in college. He's not holding back."
"Good thing you don't know all the lyrics to The Producers, that would be the trifecta," House said. "Oh wait--"
Wilson tilted his head to one side, staring at House repressively. "He told you his uncle was gay; his family is fine with it. Why wouldn't he tell you about himself?"
"The funny uncle defense doesn't mean anything with his very female fiancée hovering over his bed like the mountain come to Mahomet. Actually, make that two mountains--"
"He has no reason to lie."
"Strange how that doesn't stop people."
"Not everybody is hiding a deep dark secret from you," Wilson said.
House grinned as if he was stripping Wilson with a glance. "Just you?"
Wilson glared out his frustration at the ceiling. "Just...find proof first, House. You don't have enough left in this year's legal fund for another harassment suit." He stared pointedly until House heaved a melodramatic sigh and stuck out his tongue. Wilson took it for the surrender it was and headed for his office, the door providing his long-suffering sigh as it closed.
Foreman leaned back in his chair. House grabbed his yo-yo off the shelf and stared out the window, absently playing walk-the-dog while the coffee perked. "He is straight, you know," Foreman said. House could believe he meant the patient if he wanted to.
House managed to sneer, roll his eyes, and call the yo-yo back to his palm all at the same time. "Did you tune that gaydar yourself?" he said.
Foreman shook his head slightly and turned back to the computer. "It's not going to happen," he muttered, quietly enough that House could pretend he hadn't heard.
He knew better than to think House would ever ignore a remark like that. House turned on him, his interest leaping up like a fire, his stare brightening and turning insufferably smug. Foreman kept his eyes on the computer screen. His heart definitely wasn't racing just because he could feel House's eyes boring into the back of his head. He wasn't breathing quickly just because he could almost hear House considering, hypothesizing, discarding theories one by one.
"You don't want it to," House said, perfectly certain.
Foreman raised an eyebrow at him disdainfully. "I wasn't worried it would."
House's smirk grew. "Been working on that conclusion long?"
Foreman stood up. It was about time he checked on their patient, who was stable for now, gay or not. "Go ahead, House," he said. "Conduct the romance of the ages. Knock yourself out."
"Wilson's straight," House said, quiet, testing, blocking Foreman's path with his cane.
Foreman nudged the cane out of his way, but didn't continue for the door. "To hear you talk to Cuddy, so are you."
"But you're not." House raised his chin slightly, eyes flicking across Foreman's face, as if he could catch every nuance if he found the right angle.
Foreman stared at him until House met his eyes. Not quite the way Wilson did, asking must I endure this nonsense? but challenging, flat, and what are you going to do about it?
House looked away first, his lower lip relaxing slightly as if he'd almost smiled. Foreman brushed past him: closer than necessary, arm against shoulder, forcing himself not to hold his breath and holding it anyway. He heard the rustle as House turned to watch him go.
The rapping on his apartment door, six hours later, was no surprise at all.
Foreman didn't bother pulling on clothes. He yanked the door open and glared up at House. "I was sleeping."
"Don't bother complaining. You're on call." House's gaze dropped down his chest to his white boxerbriefs and stayed there. "The pastels don't go all the way down to the skin? I'm disappointed."
Foreman pulled his temper back and let himself wake up. He felt breathless, far less tired than four hours' sleep could account for, like an adrenaline high. Nerves tingled in his palms and anticipation prickled sweat in his armpits, the backs of his knees. "What do you want, House?"
"I haven't seen a menu yet." House leaned in his doorway as if it wasn't three in the morning, his eyes travelling over Foreman slowly. His lips parted slightly, as if he wanted to lick them, and his eyes were dark-sea blue, intent.
Foreman grabbed his arm and pulled him inside, closing the door behind him. The last thing he needed was for his neighbours to wake up and see this. "I'm not a hooker."
House let himself be pulled, and then kept coming, stalking forward. "Explains why you don't have a heart of gold."
Foreman shook his head, chuckling a bit. House was sparring, provoking, moving closer as if it meant that he was serious. Foreman waited until House nudged into his space, and then he stepped forward, forcing House to stop or start backing up. House's motorcycle jacket was cold against Foreman's chest, his jeans rough against his thighs. House let out a huff of breath, pausing, and he did lick his lips, then. Foreman felt like his heart had tangled with his lungs, until they were both thundering in his chest and he couldn't quite get a full breath. He grinned, letting his arousal spike hot-cold through his body, pushing forward to let House feel his erection. "Are you waiting for something?"
"Just the condoms and flavoured lube," House said.
Cherry, Foreman thought, scenting House's breath like his lollipops, all through clinic hours, and after, into the differential; he wouldn't be able to think. "No," he said, and paused before he added, "It's not flavoured."
House licked his lips again, his gaze dropping, and when he leaned closer, Foreman kissed him. He tilted his head and tongued his way into House's mouth, skin and stubble harsh against his lips, his cheeks. House grunted and almost pulled back, but then his hand was on Foreman's shoulder--warm, startling after the cold leather jacket--and he kissed back, lazily, as if he was laughing at Foreman for his eagerness. Foreman bit down on his lip, and House's breath hissed quickly between them.
The jacket came off first, tangled on House's cane, tripped them up when Foreman pushed House down the hall. Foreman laughed quietly when House stumbled and leaned against him for balance. By the time he had House on his bed, they were both naked, and the scar didn't matter, just the look on House's face--soft and hazy, lost, the way he'd looked bombed out on drugs, when Foreman treated his migraine--but purposeful at the same time. Preoccupied, as if he was committing Foreman's body to memory.
Foreman kneeled above him, pumping his cock in a loose, underhand grip, watching House's eyes, the way his breathing stopped and then picked up, his chest heaving. "This is not with Wilson," Foreman said, putting one hand on House's left thigh, the other below the scar, on his knee. House's erection curved against his stomach, warm and firm, and Foreman bent lower, waiting.
"Didn't think you kept him hidden in your bed," House said at last, tipping his head back impatiently, tilting his hips.
Foreman snorted, knowing he wouldn't get more than that out of House. He breathed his way down House's dick, holding him steady in one hand and then sucking the head into his mouth, licking down as far as he could go. He listened House's breathing, to the way he groaned as if Foreman was wrenching the sound from him. Foreman cupped his cock in his hand, slowed down until House thrust upwards in a shallow, helpless push. He laughed--mouth around House's dick--so good to make him react--and House came without warning, spilling sharp-bitter into Foreman's mouth--he'd pay for that later, but for now Foreman enjoyed the way House's body twisted and tensed, muscles contracting, until he finished and his erection started to soften.
Foreman licked his lips and moved up the bed, rubbing himself again. House's eyes never wavered from the sight, until he reached out and covered Foreman's hand with his, stroking at his rhythm, like he was learning. Foreman let him take over, let him finish, let him draw out Foreman's arousal like he intended--wanted--to see Foreman come. His orgasm spread through his thighs and stomach and up his spine, and he thrust shamelessly, spurting over House's fingers, lubricating the last of his strokes as Foreman dropped his head back and groaned.
When he opened his eyes, House was grimacing at his hand before he wiped it on the sheets. "I'm not leaving," he said, in a snit, as if Foreman had tried to kick him out.
Foreman smirked to himself. "Whatever," he said. He let House make himself comfortable, and then he threw his arm over him, like it belonged there.
In the morning, House didn't come into the office singing. Foreman scowled at the coffee as he poured for himself, ignoring House waving his mug at him. He sat down with all of yesterday's tests, ready to go over them again, and probably again after that. House got his own coffee, throwing out questions until Chase and Cameron started to argue, and then he frowned at the whiteboard as if the mystery was its fault.
Foreman sat back, threading his fingers together, waiting out the argument. Wilson walked by the conference room and glanced in, but House didn't even bother looking up. Foreman raised an eyebrow, watching until Wilson was gone, and when he turned back, House was smiling. It was half-hidden behind his coffee mug, and he could have been smirking at Chase's latest suggestion, or at Cameron's loopy cursive, or at anything at all; but he flicked a glance at Foreman, eyebrow lifting, lips twitching, right before he smacked his cane against the table and started shouting about the tests Foreman had screwed up the day before.
Foreman grinned right through the lecture, and laughed at Chase's incredulous stare afterwards. "I did the test perfectly," he said; and Chase could believe he meant the patient if he wanted to.
Wilson had a lot of positions as House's best friend. In his bed wasn't one of them. And Foreman was pretty sure he was glad that was the situation, too.