SUMMARY: At last, he gets a little bit of down time.
CHARACTERS: Wilson, House
RATING: 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.