SUMMARY: One wrong move.
CHARACTERS: House, OC.
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: Links to all chapters of the Distress Call universe can be found here.
Eggie leaned back in his chair and watched the kid eat like food was going out of style. His cheeks were wind-burned and his eyes red from the cold, but Eggie couldn't stop looking at him.
He didn't look like a kid any more. He looked like a soldier home from a mission, tired yet still alert, his shoulders hunched under that old jacket, his long fingers grabbing bits of day-old cream roll as he wolfed it down.
Sometimes Eggie still saw the little thief who'd walked into his shop, the kid who never talked about having friends and whose parents never came 'round looking for him. Those same long fingers could be now counted on to lift a few secrets from competitors when necessary, and thanks to Eggie's tutelage, he was never caught.
Eggie felt a little glow of pride, and then Greggo turned his head, the light falling on that mess of auburn curls and the fine planes of his long face.
He was beautiful, and Eggie bet no one had ever told him that. Not that Eggie could, either; the kid would laugh in the face of anyone fool enough to say such a thing.
"I gotta go do my chores," Greg muttered, snatching up a pastry for the road. "Be back, though. I need to stay here tonight." He was looking down again as he walked out, and Eggie didn't need to ask why. Greggo'd been staying in the back office on a cot, more and more often. Same old shit as always, with his dad. It had gotten steadily worse since Greg got that bike, but Eggie felt no guilt for his part in the matter. If it wasn't the Nymph it would have been some other thing.
It would be an hour before the kid returned. Eggie went upstairs to his loft above the shop, cleaned up the dirty dishes and the stale pile of laundry, and put fresh sheets on the bed.
"There's more dust on you than on the damn bike," Eggie said, meeting him as he walked back in. "Go on up to my flat; I got a shower cube with your name on it."
Greg nodded and slipped past, toward the stairs.
He knew better than to keep looking, but holy hell. Greg, in a thin gray shirt clinging to his clean skin, was such a sight. Those newly-widened shoulders, the muscle and bone moving so easily; the washed-but-wrinkled pair of loose work pants that he obviously meant to sleep in, downstairs on that lousy old cot.
But in the end, it had been the tired, wary blue eyes and the head full of dark, damp curls that had done Eggie in. His fingers itched, just watching the kid nosing around Eggie's place as if he belonged there.
"So what're these chores you gotta do every damn night?"
"The usual. Feed animals, clean up shit. Miss a day and the shit gets deep."
"Your dad's a real son of a bitch, isn't he, kid?"
"Total sweetheart. That's why I stay here." Greg was fidgeting around the apartment, idly picking up whatever damn thing he found. Not wanting to leave and be alone, was what.
"He ever even tell you he loves you? Any kinda shit like that?"
"Yeah, every day. And then we have long heart-to-heart talks about all my hopes and dreams." Greg wasn't looking at him. Had some piece of junk or other in his hand, looking at that, like he could still hide from someone who knew him as well as Eggie.
"C'mere, kiddo," he said. "You don't have to sleep on that fuckin' wobbly cot." And Greg did come closer, because he was miserable and lonely and needed some affection; Eggie could tell. He knew the look, the way people moved. The kid's eyes had this tired question, this longing, that in hindsight Eggie guesses he misread. Too many damn shadows in the room, and too much blood flowing out of his brain and into his dick, and he stuck his fingers into the kid's hair, leaned in close, felt the anticipation in the Greg's tense shoulder. It was just a taste he wanted, hell, after all this time and everything he'd done for the kid, just a taste.
So he took it -- moved in and caught a second of pure white bliss, his mouth pressing into Greg's. He could feel that sharp crease in the upper lip, that detail that had driven him crazy for what felt like fucking forever. He'd hesitated and fought with himself and resisted, and after all that it was so simple; Greg wasn't even moving. He'd been waiting for this, the teenage bastard, teasing. Eggie let out a low chuckle, and he began to open his mouth, oh, just like this ...
And then Greg moved.
Eggie never saw it happen. Just a dim blur. His shoulder wrenched sideways, backward, almost out of the fucking socket. An instant blow knocked his legs out from under him. Before he could blink his back hit the floor, hard. All the air pounded out of his lungs; the room spun around while he gasped for breath. When the spinning stopped, he realized Greg was holding him down like a set of fucking grav-straps. The grip on his arms was so tight he thought the bones would break. Greg was snarling like an animal, like nothing Eggie'd ever fucking seen, and his teeth, holy fuck. Needles, long ones, thin and white like a cobra's; fucking fangs, oh holy fuck. "Holy fuck," Eggie said.
Greg grabbed him by the shoulders and those eyes were so hard and wild. He'll kill me, Eggie thought, but Greg didn't. He slammed Eggie's head against the floor. The room went dark as the kid's weight lifted off him.
Eggie wasn't sure if he imagined it or if he really heard the Nymph speed away, but when the lights came back on in his brain, Greg was gone.