by Nix
(crimsonquills AT gmail DOT com)

Author's Notes: Many weeks ago, I opened myself up to fic requests from my friends list. Then I proceeded to take a hideously long time before actually writing the requests that made it in before deadline. This very late request response is for dementedsiren, who asked for a House and Wilson fluff bunny (not necessarily slash) with the line "Shooting apples off of somebody's head." I adapted the line a little, but I didn't think anyone would mind...

Thanks to the Vicodin, House can't drink anymore, but he still likes to pretend. Sometimes he'll pour a finger of flat gingerale or some other non-alcoholic drink into a glass, open a bottle of scotch (the same bottle every time), and sip the gingerale while he smells the scotch. Smell contributes so much to the taste of things that sometimes, if he's not really thinking about it, he can actually taste the liquor.

Of course, he can only do that at home. When he goes to a bar he orders a coke and lets people think it's a rum and coke, or orders water and lets them think it's vodka, or...there's a variety of dodges he can use, and House knows them all. He uses them all, too, because he does still go to bars. Partly because while Wilson never actually gets drunk (just like he never actually sleeps with all the women he flirts with), he's still infinitely more relaxed with a beer or two in him.

But mostly, House goes to bars because that's the only place he knows where you can still play darts.

Okay, so there are probably darts clubs and darts leagues and who knows what else, but House isn't about to join some back slapping social exercise with plastic yellow and blue team jackets just because the infarction had left him his hand to eye coordination, even if it had taken his leg. Besides, in bars he sometimes wins money playing darts.

"You're not even paying attention to the points anymore, are you?" Wilson asked, a half empty bottle dangling between his fingers. It was only his second, but House suspected he'd nurse it for the rest of the night.

"Of course I'm paying attention to the points," House said, and let fly with his last dart. It thunked solidly into the outermost ring, forming a perfectly horizontal line with the other two darts. The middle one was only through the bullseye because that was where the line went. Really. "How else would I know where to aim?"

"Just concentrate on the little red dot," Wilson said dryly.

House limped up to the board to retrieve his darts and shot Wilson a disappointed look on his way back. "The same target every time? But that would be boring."

Wilson took a drink from his bottle and shook his head as House positioned himself for another round. Strangely enough, everyone else had stopped playing after he'd started making patterns with his turns. "If you wanted to spice up the game, we could always blindfold you," Wilson suggested. House had to turn away from the board to look at him, because his friend sounded more than half serious.

James was smiling, so House quirked an eyebrow at him. "You have a blindfold on hand? What have you been doing on your breaks, Dr. Wilson?"

"We'd have to improvise," Wilson smirked a little and waved his tie a little.

"The voice of experience, I suspect," House said, smiling. He turned back to board and let fly with his first dart. "I was thinking something more along the lines of shooting an apple off of someone's head." His second dart found its target.

"The idea you trying to shoot an apple off of someone's head is frightening."

House planted his third dart and turned to appropriate Wilson's set. "What," he said as he gathered them up, "you don't think I'm the archery type? I think I could be very good." Two more projectiles sailed through the air and embedded themselves in the battered board.

"It's not that. I just don't think you're the type to aim for the apple."

The last dart completed the pattern. House turned to Wilson and found him shaking his head over the smiley face the darts marked out. "Well, that depends, doesn't it?" House said philosophically.

Wilson raised his eyebrows. "On what?"

House grinned at him. "On whose head is holding up the apple."