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On Boats by daasgrrl (NC-17)

Title: On Boats by daasgrrl
Fandom: House
Pairing: House/Wilson
Categories: Romance, AU
Length: Medium (14,900 words)
Warning: None
Rating: NC-17


Author on LJ: Strictly Ornamental
Website: Don't think so


Summary: After Amber's death, House lets Wilson go. Now he has to find him again.

Review: Any story that starts out with a quote from Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead is pretty much going to get my vote anyway, but this has a great deal more going for it than just that. It starts, for example, with a wonderfully evocative description of a marina that right away lets you see that the author knows exactly what she's doing, and it just goes on getting better from there.

This story takes place some three years after a catastrophic split between House and Wilson; Cuddy has insisted that if House ever wants to have his job back he must resolve the issues that remain outstanding between them - and therefore, with the help of a PI, House seeks Wilson out and finds him living quietly on a boat. Naturally, with House's disability problems, a boat is not a particularly comfortable environment for him, but in placing himself in Wilson's territory and thus also at Wilson's mercy he effectively surrenders control of the situation to Wilson and allows him to direct the subsequent events in whatever way he chooses.

Since this is a slash story, what follows is less of a surprise to the reader than it is to House. However the great achievement here is the sense of quiet inevitability pervading the love scenes; there are strong emotions at play, of course, but they are handled calmly by both author and characters. They talk without really talking, they emote without hysteria, and when they make love it is in the certain knowledge that it is absolutely and completely right between them.

The characterisation is subtle; the relationship is treated as a personal matter, of interest only to the parties themselves, and although it changes their lives irrevocably they still prefer to keep it private. This is a difficult line to take as an author but when it works, as it does here, it results in some of the most satisfying slash fiction to be found - and this story can most certainly be included under that heading.

Link: On Boats

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Long: 15,000-40,000 words
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