The neon display goaded from its perch on the opposing night stand. “‘More like 6:66.’”
House stuck his tongue out the alarm clock until sheets rustled and the head on the pillow beside him made a sleepy slurping
sound. Wilson pulled the comforter tightly into his fist as the dawn light revealed a smooth stretch of his lower back.
leaned across with stealth, unable to pass up a chance to admire the view, before reminding himself that he only had a five
minute window of opportunity. He knew Wilson, as nearly all people do, slept most soundly in the ten or so minutes before
the alarm buzzer unceremoniously saluted the start of another day. He edged away and shifted as silently as he could manage
whilst rummaging beneath the bed. Offering up a silent curse as he realised that that he’d forgotten to remove the wrapper,
House froze as Wilson exhaled a gentle snore. Screwing his eyes tight shut, he paused until the breathing returned to a regular
pattern, steady, shallow and hopefully indicative of deep sleep.
Three minutes before the clock crowed,
House knew he had to act swiftly. Pulling off the cap, he tried to ignore the vaguely intoxicating vapour that drifted to
his nose and dared him to sneeze. Manoeuvring carefully, he pressed the tip into his palm and allowed himself a small smile
at the wet imprint it left on his hand. Perfect. Brushing away the remaining residue with the back of his other hand, he turned
carefully onto his side, wincing as a mattress creak shattered the near silence. Touch. The acid test.
clock smirked and House listened as conversation from the previous night played back in his head. Hovering close to the skin,
he was unable to avoid drawing a comparison between the soft terrain of Wilson’s back and the desert level of his Flight
Sim game. He locked the target in his night vision. The birthmark conveniently situated in the slight curve above Wilson’s
arse. He looked up, checking his reconnaissance one last time before honing in on his target. Resisting the urge to trial
a dry run with his finger, he slid the first damp stroke against Wilson’s back. House tensed, waiting with a raised
ear, the moment of truth arrived.
He raised his head in anticipation until the air moved.
House revelled in a first successful strike before the glow of red digits ambushed his relief.
pressed again, forcing his grip to remain steady.
He completed his final stroke, soaking in the sight before Wilson
coughed. Pulling the marker clear of Wilson’s body, he swiftly replaced the cap. Although tempted to blow dry his work,
House settled for admiring clarity and near legible print. A truly magic marker. If Wilson slept to the alarm, in around thirty
seconds, he was magic too.
Raising his middle finger to the alarm clock, House basked in satisfaction. He was still
sneering at the nearly-but not-quite-six display when it exploded into life,
“And his clinging wife doesn't understand.”
The alarm’s radio screeched.
House joined in. The clock’s poor man excuse at audio reproduction didn’t
matter to him this morning.
“His son is working for the Daily Mail,” House hollered, hi-hat-ing his night
stand with the marker whilst thudding the bed with an empty fist.
“It's a steady job but he wants to be a paperback
writer.” House upped his volume, watching as Wilson stirred. “Paperback writer.” He chorused loudly whilst
rounding off an elaborate part air, part bed, drum roll with a dramatic beating of the nightstand.
deeply into his pillow before forcing his eyes open and lifting his head.
“What..,” Wilson began with
a sleep cracked voice, groaning as he exhumed himself from the clutches of the comforter. “Is wrong with you?”
move.” House panicked. “Stay really still.”
“What?.. Why…?” Wilson rubbed his eyes
with disbelief, “Please do not tell me you have been breeding tarantulas in here again…”
said don’t move.” House insisted, trying desperately not to stare as Wilson arched closer to the sheet and his
mind fast forwarded to a scene where he tried explaining a double whammy of ink and lube on the sheets to his cleaning lady.
“What? Don’t move for how long?” Wilson enquired, bemused, “Forever? House, I need to pee.”
it dries.” House advised with caution.
“What have you been doing?” Wilson sighed, thinking about
reaching for the glass on the night stand before remembering he wasn’t supposed to move. “Scratch what I said
before. Think I prefer to wake up to your miserable morning mode.”
“Miserable is my default after horny.”
House remarked as he smoothed out the fist ruffled sheet, “Besides, you started it.”
“How did I start
it?” Wilson protested, “I was asleep.”
“Before you went to sleep.” House reminded him.
“You said sometimes you want something back.”
“Yeah….. I did.” Wilson conceded, “But
I didn’t mean give me Keith Moon at six o’clock in the morning.”
“So I gave you something back.”
House ignored Wilson, focusing on fiddling with the marker lid instead, “I gave your back something.”
early for the longhand tour of your brain.” Wilson complained half heatedly as he pulled back the comforter, “I’m
getting a shower.”
“Wait..” House tried to sound casual. “Don’t you want to know?”
something you’ve done?” Wilson shook his head tiredly, “Probably not.”
House let out a sigh,
“I wrote on your back.” He picked at the blanket as Wilson gaped back open mouthed.
Wilson exclaimed, his face failing to pick the winner between horror and annoyance in a photo finish.
on your back.” House repeated nonchalantly.
“Why?” Wilson demanded, “Did you mistake me for
House feigned contemplation before venturing a suggestive grin at Wilson, “Well…you
are both open to ideas.”
Wilson returned the smirk with an eye roll “And both of us are, apparently, subjected
to the scribblings of the truly deranged.”
“That’s sooo harsh on Cameron.” House pouted with
“You don’t let Cameron touch the markers.” Wilson reminded him.
House relented before adding as a leer, “And you are the only other person who gets to touch my marker.”
resisted the bait and pushed, “What did you write? Wilson blows goats? House Was Here?” he suggested with ill
“I gave you something back.” House repeated.
pushed back the covers and padded to the bathroom.
He was tired and the prospect of trying to scrub whiteboard marker
off his back made him feel even less like starting the day. He snatched at the light chord and grabbed a flannel from the
sink to begin cleaning up. While the water warmed as he ran the faucet, Wilson looked into the mirror, giving his rough reflection
a glare as it confirmed he’d been right all along. Swimming lessons with the Indo-Pacific puffer fish would be a less
dangerous pass-time than sleeping with House.
Wilson squeezed out the flannel, sighing as he turned his back to the
mirror and tried squinting over his shoulder. Black marked letters across the small of his back. Perfect. Deciphering the
slightly smudged marks was tricky enough in itself without the added bonus of having to reverse them from a reflection.
the early morning haze lifted. Letters formed words and the words formed together. Wilson dropped the flannel and the immediate
desire to free his back of marker pen scribble.
House was still lying on the bed, drumming idly with his pen in an
attempt at casual indifference, when he looked up and noticed Wilson had appeared in the bedroom doorway.
couldn’t just say it to me?” Wilson asked softly, smiling as he shook his head as he moved to the foot of the
“You’d prefer something more romantic?” House asked looking up at the ceiling, “Don’t
tell me, let me guess…something more candlelit? Violins serenading a sunset followed by banqueting on a carpet of tulip
petals with dolphins…”
House let his eyes rest on Wilson’s for a moment before mumbling as he confessed,
“Your back is a way more attractive place to say it than anywhere else I could think of.”
an eyebrow as House explained further, “I did thing about going for a Japanese translation to, you know, keep you in
with the hip crowd.” House raised his hands, with a regretful sigh, “Would have helped you fit right in with the
locker room scene too. If you told them it was the name of your first born child you’d trump Foreman in the dapper gent
“Right, I’ll go shirtless to work.” Wilson sniggered.
House gave him a lengthy, heated stare, “I’d take that.. come here while I think that through some more. No shirt…..
just a tie…. pens…” House mused as Wilson tossed his pillow off the bed. Climbing over his lap, Wilson settled
a leg on either side of House, leaning in as he kissed him. House placed an arm around Wilson’s neck, pulling him closer,
tracing his tongue in a weightless kiss on Wilson’s shoulder.
“A place for all your pens?” House
tried to remain coherent and continue with his thought as Wilson drifted a finger across his stomach. “Guess they do
back pocket…” House paused for a moment, rubbing his thumb in a teasing sweep below the marker script on Wilson’s
back. Wilson gasped, a light moan as House buried a smile his forehead and continued, “….protectors too….that
could be very cute..”
Wilson backed away slightly, giving House a doubtful glance, “You do realise that
permanent maker on skin doesn’t last forever?”
“It wears off?” Kissing him again, “Shame”,
House added as he lifted Wilson’s hair from his eyes, “The loving you part though…” he murmured between
licking Wilson’s neck and earlobe, “…Gotta feeling that might be a little harder to shift.”