SUMMARY: Wilson deserves better answers than this.
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.
He tries to shield himself, running ever deeper into the darkening forest, his arms crossed over the crown of his head.
The huge black bird flies faster than Wilson can run. Its sharp beak strikes without mercy at his scalp. He feels blood running down the side of his face, sees it -- strangely bright in the low light of the woods -- falling on the white sleeve of his shirt. Not knowing what else to do, he runs onward until a stretching tree-root catches his foot. He falls hard, gasping as he --
"About damn time," says House, and flicks him on the head once more for good measure.
"I hate you."
"Too bad." If House cares about anyone's hatred, it doesn't show. "I need merstellin, and only one of us can walk all the way over there to get it."
Slowly Wilson gets out of that stupid uncomfortable chair where he fell asleep, again. His left arm is numb because he's lain on it; he shakes it, rubs the skin and notes the small cut and the puncture wounds. Where House --
It comes back to him in a terrifying instant. The bite, the loss of mental control, the inability to run. The helpless blacking out. "You said," he says, his throat tightening, "that if I helped you, you wouldn't hurt me."
"And I didn't," House snaps. "You're fine."
"I'm not fine!" He doesn't mean to sound so shrill, but this ... this is ... too much. "You're not just a vampire; you're a damn viper. The least you could have done was tell me."
"The worst thing I could have done was tell you. You'd still have let me do it, just with a lot more whining first. Pointless suffering should always be prevented, especially when it's mine."
"I can't believe you --"
"You still would have let me do it." House is accusing him, staring into him, like Wilson's a murderer rather than a doctor.
"Yes." There's no getting around the fact that House is right. "I would've ... I wouldn't have let you die. That's beside the point. I have a right to know what kind of ... venom that is."
"It's not venom, you moron."
"So the similarity to a snake bite --"
"Ends when it doesn't hurt and you don't die. It's a painkiller and sedative, and don't even try to tell me you didn't need it."
"I didn't!" Wilson's squawking like the black bird in his dream, flapping his hands rather more than he means to. "I was perfectly calm --"
"Hey!" House barks. "Could you try doing that again? The 'calm' part, I mean. Not the part where you passed out and drooled on my blanket."
"You could ... you could take my blood without drugging --"
"No, I can't, and we'll discuss it after you stop bitching and bring me the damn merstellin."
"What do you mean, you can't?" Wilson crosses his arms and doesn't budge. House is surely lying. That snake-bite of his seemed awfully deliberate, which means House could certainly not do it if he chose, and --
House pounds the bed with his fist. "I said," he shouts, "it fucking hurts!"
Wilson startles out of his anger as if it's nothing but a daydream. How did he not see it? House is sweating, his breaths are hard and shallow, his eyes wild, dilated. Pain, desperation, anger, and ... fear. Wilson backs off, turning away to gather his wits and the merstellin. He thought if he told me ... if I hadn't already had the experience, didn't know I'd be all right ... he thought ...
House snatches away the drug and syringe the moment Wilson's close enough. "Still want me to live?" he growls, while he shakily draws up a much larger dose than Wilson expects.
"Alarmingly, yes. House, that's --"
"It's enough to kick me from here to Vega Rora. Kind of the point."
"It's that bad?" Wilson wonders aloud.
"Yes," says House, taking the swab Wilson hands him and cleaning a spot in the crook of his arm. "And it's about to be even worse, because I'm filthy and I stink. Imagine my joy," he snarls, as he jams the needle into his own vein and slowly pushes in the drug. "You have to help me get cleaned up. I intend to be thoroughly stoned."
"Too bad we both can't be," replies Wilson, taking the empty needle away. "I'll get what you need. By the time I get back, maybe you'll be so loopy you'll forget to be mean."
"Not enough drugs in the universe," growls House, leaning his head back against the pillow. Wilson watches the drug take effect, easing the hard lines of House's face. For just the barest moment there's something there, a faint flicker of emotion -- gratitude, or relief, or something -- in House's eyes before they close.
What's going on in there? Wilson wonders. This is the strangest man he's ever met; this would still be the strangest man he's ever met, even without the fangs. He tried to get some answers out of House and only ended up with more questions.
There are times -- and this is one of them -- when this still feels like a bad dream; he thinks a dark forest and a vicious black bird would be easier to cope with, but that's not where he is. He's here, with the floor seeming to list sideways a little bit under his shoes. One thing at a time, he tells himself, and the floor seems to steady a bit. Deal with ... the things you can deal with. Patient needs a bath; get supplies. Get your answers when House is more cooperative. He snorts at the thought. And when will that be?
The halls are dark, only faintly lit by the ornate glass sconces that punctuate the walls. Wilson blinks in momentary surprise, and then realizes that it's the middle of his newly-created night. The diurnal cycle he programmed is working.
It's a small thing, a stupid thing -- yet it gives Wilson more hope than he's felt in all the time since this began.