SUMMARY: House is back to the very beginning and there's nothing for it.
CHARACTERS: House, Wilson
RATING: R for language and themes (gen fic).
WARNINGS: Details the aftermath of events in Bad Company, a rough, violent story. Aftermath isn't always pretty; may distress some readers. Adult themes and adult language.
DISCLAIMER: Don't own 'em. Never will.
NOTES: The pieces of this shattered story are numbered. The first number signifies the number of days that have elapsed since the original event in Bad Company; the second number signifies when the fic occurs during that day.
Nothing For It
Martin was in the park. Fuck.
House had forced himself to go home, to pretend everything was as normal and sunny as before the trip to the park, to follow their new routine. When Wilson had fallen asleep, House began his pacing, slow and silent, checking every window.
Wilson sleeps the sleep of the blameless, the well-medicated, the very exhausted.
House doesn't sleep. He already knows it's useless to try.
He can't go to work, leaving Wilson alone. Then again, he can't not go to work. Wilson will have no patience for acquiring a new shadow; he's getting better and will practically shove House out the door. He can't tell Cuddy a goddamned thing, can't even take it out on his minions because he was so fucking cheerful that everybody noticed.
No one to tell, no one can know; House is back to the very beginning and there's nothing for it.
Martin was in the fucking park. Waving.
He should have expected it, really. He should have known that this one 'professional' contact wouldn't have been enough for the bastard, that he would need more to complete his cycle of fucking with House, that getting to Wilson wouldn't be close enough for that viper to him.
To leave Wilson or not to leave Wilson. That is The Question.
Would he come after Wilson again? All the other times he's done this, he'd never once revealed his true nature to anyone House knew. Their faces reflect back at him in the windows: His mother, with Martin sitting next to her while he walked the stage at his high school graduation. Dr. Brightman, inviting Martin for coffee after an Epidemiology lecture. Stacy, exclaiming happily when her charming new client came to dinner and he turned out to be Greg's old friend.
But Wilson is different. Wilson knows.
Then again, Wilson was a job, a way to get House to pay Reno. House pauses at Wilson's bedside to listen to the rasp of his breathing, just for a moment, then continues on. What had Reno said? Martin was a professional. And the job is over; House paid.
So. House plays through all the possible scenarios as he paces. He weighs his knowledge of Martin with his knowledge of Wilson and plays the odds, which feels uncomfortably similar to what got him into this situation in the first place. If Martin wants Wilson, he'll take him, and nothing House could possibly do will prevent it. Oh, he could perhaps delay it, force Martin to change his plans, but...Martin will find a way. He always does.
In the end, though, Wilson isn't the one Martin wants. And Martin wants House to react, to panic or flail or get angry; the son of a bitch gets off on it. The more House responds, the worse it will get.
So this time, he won't panic.
House makes another silent circuit of the apartment.
House had replaced the locks the day after he'd decided Wilson was coming home with him. Now he wakes before Wilson and calls the lumberyard. He knows a new door won't stop Martin completely, but it might slow him down just long enough. He'd like nothing better than to bar the windows, too, or pack up and move to a fortress, but there's no way to explain any of it to Wilson.
At least he doesn't have to go to the hospital today, since he did his time in hell over the weekend. House spends the morning at his piano and watches out the window. He warns Wilson just before the knock comes.
Wilson looks up from his book and his eyes go wide, then narrow. He marks his place in his book, rolls off his bed and silently pads into House's bedroom.
Once the workers are gone, House heads for the bedroom and drops a set of keys on Wilson's book.
"New locks, new deadbolt, new steel-core door," House explains as he turns to leave. "Means you get shiny new keys."
"House!" Wilson says as loudly as he can, with a nervous little tremor. He's struggling to pull himself out of the mound of pillows he's nested on the bed. "The hell? Why now?"
House glances back. "Oh, calm down. I ordered it before any of this ever happened. Somebody kept droning on and on about burglary rates going up until the boredom drove me insane enough to buy the stupid thing."
Wilson seems appeased; he settles back against the pillows again. "Should've told me."
House nods, once, and grunts, half-skeptical but admitting that he probably should have.
"But then, I know how hard it is for you to admit when 'm right," Wilson says in that teasing way of his. House scoffs and heads for the door.
"You should do the windows, too," Wilson calls after him. House stops, standing still in the doorway, and listens. "Thieves love windows."
House and offers up a silent thanks to whoever's listening and narrows his eyes at Wilson. "Okay, I'll bar the windows. Anything else?"
"A moat migh' be nice," Wilson murmurs. He's already turned his attention back to his book.
"I'm not digging a moat," he says testily, and Wilson snorts. "But I'll look into getting us a dragon."
"Ha," Wilson says, but he sounds sulky. "You still shoulda told me."
"Yeah," he replies, and turns his head away so Wilson won't see the lie.