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Distress Call 2.7: A Moment's Peace



Distress Call 2.7: A Moment's Peace

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TITLE: Distress Call 2.7: A Moment's Peace
SUMMARY:  At last, he gets a little bit of down time.
CHARACTERS: Wilson, House
R for language and themes (gen fic).
WARNINGS: This is a very alternate universe. Adult themes and adult language.
DISCLAIMER: Don't own 'em. Never will.
NOTES: The stories from this ficverse are numbered by chapter and scene. Links to all chapters are here.

Wilson, freshly showered, loose-boned and starving, slumps into the kitchen.

He runs longing hands over the archaic oven and range. There are cupboards full of saucepans and pots, copper and steel shining out a bright invitation. Every implement he could want, he has.

It would be so good to lose himself in fragrant clouds of steam, the rhythm of a blade in his hand. They'd fed him well on Capinari, but his "ambassador's quarters" at the Grand Regina Suites had only a coldbox and a heater. Wilson hasn't cooked in the two years since he left home.

Now he's got all the right tools, but no ingredients. What he has is freeze-food, which is just one step up from emergency rations.  With no meat or produce on hand, there can be no soothing himself with the ancient rituals of cutting boards, knives and fire. Sighing, Wilson plunks a frozen dish of soup into the heater unit. He's heartily sick of soup, but it's all he can handle, for now.  Tomorrow -- as if there's really such a thing as passing days, sunrise and sunset, in deep space -- tomorrow, he thinks, he'll try eating something real.

"Dinner is served," he mutters to himself as the heater door slides open again.

Balancing the steaming bowl, he wanders back to the infirmary, a place he doesn't even like. The kitchen is inviting, warmly lit, and has a comfortable table and chairs. All the infirmary has is one lousy chair, the old vidscreen, and House, who is probably asleep.  A sleeping ... haemovore.

Wilson tries to tell himself that he's only going in there to make sure that House's condition is stable, but he knows that's not the whole truth. He's troubled, afraid, curious, alone. The entire universe has spun uncontrollably around him, taking away so many of the answers he thought he had.

If he's going to get any new bearings, for better or worse, he'll have to get them from House.

House is indeed asleep, all pale and clammy, probably from the heavy doses of pain meds in his system.

Wilson imagines how this man must have looked, how he must have moved, before the wreck. Tall as he is, long-legged, muscular, he would have been an imposing presence. He certainly will be again, though he's likely to limp through the rest of his life -- however long that is for his kind.

He lies there with an IV in his arm, an oxygen cannula in his nose, and a catheter in place because he can't get out of bed yet. A thin black sensor glove -- one of the few modern pieces of medical equipment on board -- covers his left hand and relays his vitals to Wilson's monitor screen. Steady; no more improvements, no more tailspin. His organ functions aren't at a hundred percent, but they're acceptable.

House begins to dream, his eyes darting sideways beneath the lids, just like they would if he were any ordinary man.  He shifts and sighs, his mouth opening slightly. The retracted fangs can't be seen at all. It still seems impossible. Turning up his wrist, Wilson runs his fingers over the small, rapidly fading incision.  The cut on his finger is healing, too.  If I survive this, he thinks, how many scars will I have?

A quiet whimper escapes House's throat, a sound that seems to belong more to a child than a man. House was right; if Wilson wanted to kill him, this would be the time. It won't get any easier, House had said, and how awful is that? Awful, to walk around being certain that half the people you met would, if they knew your real nature, murder you. Is that how House has had to live?

He turns away from his exotic new patient and gives up thinking about it. The ship isn't in any imminent danger. House will be out for a while. Now that he's eaten, Wilson can barely keep his eyes open. He pulls a second rolling bed out of storage, stretches out on it, and is asleep in five seconds.
  • Just wanted to let you know how much I'm enjoying this story. For some reason I've become a big fan of AU House/Wilson fics.

    I'm sorry for not commenting on every chapter, but I never want to just say "Great! Keep going!" but I may do that anyway because of my love for this.

    I just love the way you're slowly unravelling all the little details about their way of life out there in space.

    Wilson watching House sleep is slightly hot in some strange and twisted way. I think I would've jumped House right there, but that's me. :) Wilson is so fascinated by him and I think he's realizing just how human House really is, except for that strange little habit of drinking blood. :)

    Sorry this review sucks. I should just say "Love it!". That says it all.
    • This review does not suck. Love it.

      Not so sure poor House looks all that delectable at the moment, though. Pale, clammy, all full of tubes & a catheter and all. Might wanna re-think that urge to jump him. Hee!

      I'll agree, though, that there's something about very-vulnerable!House that's ... hm. Interesting.


      Edited at 2008-05-02 12:20 pm (UTC)
      • Well see, I have this THING for very-vulnerable!House. Makes me all hot and bothered. Can't really explain it. I'll jump House any time, just don't tell my husband. ;)

        I hope this story goes on for quite a while. It feeds my daily fic addiction.

        Edited at 2008-05-02 12:26 pm (UTC)
  • An aside to the conversation up-thread: As viewers we're already conditioned to accept House as a softer, more vulnerable person when he's lying down. It's hard to be a curmudgeon in your sleep, plus his face completely changes when he's horizontal.

    This is another great chapter. Now that Wilson himself is not struggling with being sick, I get the feeling he's longing more for normalcy in his own life, and that seems to include seeing House as a patient, albeit a quite unusual one. I like the little hints of being able to see things from House's perspective with his observation on why House has to conceal his true nature.
  • This chapter is so not going to last me a week. *pout*
    I love Kitchen!Wilson. Somehow him wanting to cook, makes him seem incredibly human. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's just that I understand what it is he's missing; the smells and rhythm. I feel sorry for him because he's denied that comfort.

    It won't get any easier, House had said, and how awful is that? Awful, to walk around being certain that half the people you met would, if they knew your real nature, murder you. Is that how House has had to live? Poor House. It's such a terrible way to live. Wilson is so sympathetic and caring. I love how they interact with each other- that they both need each other but for two compleely different reasons. I can't help but wonder how they'd act if they'd met under different circumstances, if Wilson didn't rely on House to stay sane.

    Nothing overly terrible has happened yet. I wonder how long that's going to last. Every new chapter I half expect there to be some sort of disaster.

    Also, In a past chapter Wilson was just finding out that House was a haemovore. House said that he wasn't the same as Wilson or something and Wilson replies that there's nothing out there other than humans. At least I think that's what happened, my memory isn't so good this time of night. If I've understood that correctly, does that mean that there are no alien species in space, or that there are no known alien species? I don't know if you've said anything about how long humans have been travelling around in space for but they seem like they've had the technology for some time.

    Sorry for the long, rambling comment. I'm just really loving your fic and have this bad habit of asking annoying questions about things I find interesting. Hopefully what I've written makes some sense, I'm too tired to re-read it.

    I wait somewhat patiently for the next chapter.


    • Oh, don't apologize for rambling! We love the rambling!

      And we're ... working on the next bits of this story.

      There's a twist that no one seems to have seen coming yet -- though the tiny hints are there in Two Deals With the Devil -- that will make this situation rather more thorny than Wilson currently thinks it is.
  • Another great chapter :) Love Wilson watching over House, the bond forming already. I must say though when I saw the icon I got scared. Didn't think that knife could bode anything easy for the boys. I got conditioned with the icon changes and what they might indicate from the last series lol.
    • when I saw the icon I got scared

      Hee! Yeah, that was ... sort of evil of us, wasn't it? And then it turned out to only be a mere kitchen knife.

  • These short little chunks are frustrating, in a very good way. Little bits of story that I wish were much longer, but I love the suspense of having the story revealed slowly.

    I love how you've all managed to keep House and Wilson in character while putting them in a completely different universe.

    I look forward to seeing this play out.
  • Wilson, poor baby, so lonely. So much so that he leaves the kitchen, where he feels comfortable and seeks out the company of a sleeping patient.

    I really like your descriptions of the spaceship interiors, here and in the earlier instalment -- love what you've done with the place -- which makes it seem real.

    And all the while, you are quietly feeding us more intriguing exposition.
  • just catching up with this - reading the last three bits in a row has been very satisfying and yet at the same time I keep craving for more. But since they are peacefully asleep, I'm going to do the same.

    But first, I have to say that I loved how sympathetic Wilson was here, able to think at how hard House's life must be.

    Moreover, though unwillingly, I must recognize that - for how much I'd love to have the whole story NOW and read it in one session (oh, yes, I am so greedy) - reading each chapter by itself makes me think more about it and, in the end, I probably understand the various layers of the story better, and it definitely leaves me with some unforgettable images.
    • It's good to hear from you.

      We're working on the next parts of this tonight. It's still going to be a week; our quality control process is pretty rigorous.

      It's true that as readers we tend to speed through things when there's a whole lot to read at once. As writers, we find that one of the most fun things about long fics is the ability to post a little bit at a time and torture our readers watch the responses.
  • Awww, stop being mean to Wilson and give the man some produce. He needs his vitamins if House is going to keep snacking.

    I'm starting to see all the potential layers and ways you could go with this story. It is going to be fun.
    • Freeze-food is nutritious; it's just that Wilson would love to cook and you can no more cook the stuff than you can really cook a Swanson's dinner.

      And Wilson ... has no idea, just yet, what he's getting into.
      • *grins* There's an art to frozen dinners. I spend more effort making them taste barely edible than most people do just making it on the stove. Too bad I'm allergic to the stove and I've seemed to have lost my Wilson.
  • I was surprised by my lack of comment on this chapter. I must have been busy.

    Really enjoyed the description of House in this "House is indeed asleep, all pale and clammy, probably from the heavy doses of pain meds in his system. " Phew! And, "He lies there with an IV in his arm, an oxygen cannula in his nose, and a catheter in place because he can't get out of bed yet."

    Your description of the two of them is so good. I found myself totally exhausted. I'm sure that's what you meant to convey. You did it well!
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