karaokegal (karaokegal) wrote,
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"When It Really Mattered" H/W angstfic NC17 Wordcount 6160

Title: When It Really Mattered
Fandom: House MD
Pairings: House/Wilson, House/Stacy
Rating: NC17
Wordcount: 6160
Notes: Pre/post-infarction through the prism of Season 3. Seriously angsty. No fluff, no light, no hope. Quite a bit of smut. Amazing beta by Beta Goddess Carol.
Summary: It wasn't supposed to happen this way; it wasn't supposed to happen at all.



When It Really Mattered


Stacy made her second (or was it the third?) trip from the living room to the refrigerator and back again, telling herself this would not turn into a melodramatic cliché. She would not spend the night curled up on the couch watching the inevitable tear-jerking chick-flick while drowning her sorrows in an all-too-tempting pint of Haagen Dazs. She wouldn’t pace either, she thought, starting the third (or was it the fourth?) trip.

Shit.

How about the bedroom? As good a place as any to contemplate the fact that your lover is cheating on you.

She’d already overruled the voices in her head saying “Don’t be silly” and “I must be crazy” and “He wouldn’t do this to me.”

This wasn’t silly.

She wasn’t crazy.

Greg would do anything. That was one of the reasons she’d fallen in love with him.

Stacy had never worried about infidelity, because Greg wouldn’t join a club that would have him as a member, especially “I Love House” clubs run by nurses or patients who found his blue eyes and brilliance appealing enough to try and cross swords with a man who thought most of the human race were imbeciles. Who knew the snake in the grass was practically living on the couch?

It had all happened so quickly, from the moment she’d shot a doctor with her paintball gun and found out that his name was Greg House. He’d said something rude about her tits and she’d responded with something ruder about his ass. It turned out that they both thought the tournament and the “charity” were a load of crap. He said he’d rather be at a strip club and she concurred. While they were getting to know each other a little better in the great outdoors, another doctor came by and was briefly introduced with the first of many references to his sex life before hurrying off to continue the tournament in which she and Greg had already lost interest.

Once she’d moved in with Greg -- against the better judgment of everybody she asked, including Lisa, who actually knew him -- she found out that James was part of the package. It wasn’t a bad deal. He was smart, funny, willing to go to museums that Greg wouldn’t be caught dead at. If they ever had children, James would probably babysit.

She wasn’t surprised to find out that his first marriage had broken up before she arrived on the scene. If she thought things would be different after James and Bonnie got married, it was only a delusion. Greg could never let anyone or anything out of his grasp after he had them. Once or twice, Stacy had tried to send James home before midnight, reminding him that there was a wife waiting there for him. Sometimes it worked, but less and less often as time went on.

Greg never chastised her for trying to keep James’ marriage from hitting the skids, but he seemed to know it was a lost cause, even if James didn’t. How did he know? Were they already…?

No. She had to believe it hadn’t started then, simply because Greg wouldn’t have bothered with her if he was getting what he wanted elsewhere. Greg could be a bastard, but he was also a pragmatist.

She wondered if it had started the night they had that ridiculous fight about the Christmas decorations and Greg had stomped out in a huff, followed by a scurrying James. He’d never done that before. They’d fought, they’d yelled, they’d even shoved a little, but he’d never walked away and they almost always resolved it with sex or laughter or both.

That night he left and wasn’t heard from again until he arrived back the next day, bearing bagels and a look of contrition but never an explanation of where he’d gone or what he’d done.

Since then things had been different. It was subtle, but her job sometimes hinged on the meaning of single words in a piece of legislation, so slightly less sex and a few more nights where Greg claimed he was at “the game” with Wilson didn’t escape her notice. The picture came into focus the day she went to the hospital hoping to surprise Greg by taking him out to lunch and had instead seen him and Wilson in the cafeteria completely lost to the world and laughing a little too loudly at something that he seemed unable to explain when she walked up and interrupted the party.

Maybe she shouldn’t care. They weren’t married. If he was discreet and careful, did she even have the right to throw a hissy fit over where he might be sticking his dick?

Damn right she did! He was the one. He made her laugh, or cry, or scream in a way nobody else could. He said he loved her and she believed him. Greg got her in a way no one ever had. She knew she was already sharing his attention with the fellows, patients, and of course James. She could handle that, but not this.

Why, Greg? Why?

The sex was great. Always. Or had she been missing something? Greg was willing to do what it took to make sure they were both happy, whether it was using his mouth or hands or even the occasional toy. She’d found herself more comfortable and uninhibited than she’d been with previous lovers. On their first date, she’d accepted his dare that she go to that strip club with him and ended up giving him a lap dance while he smoked a cigar and grinned like a lewd loon.

The only thing was…Greg liked a blowjob as much as any other man. Stacy thought she was pretty good at it. She’d been a technical virgin long enough to acquire some skills and Greg had never complained. On the other hand, he was well endowed and she’d never been able to do the old Linda Lovelace move. Not that he’d ever complained or pushed or anything, but what if…

“That’s Wilson, the biggest slut at Princeton Plainsboro, and believe me there’s a lot of competition. Wilson, say hello and goodbye to Stacy…what did you say your last name was?”

Greg was always full of James’ latest scandalous doings with nurses and patients’ wives and waitresses, but what if James wasn’t just a womanizer?

Was it a cliché to find yourself envisioning your boyfriend standing somewhere… she couldn’t be sure where because all she could focus on was his best friend, on his knees, eyes closed, face torn between bliss and contortion as he struggled not to gag the way she always did when she tried to take him all. Tears started as she imagined Greg moaning with satisfaction and rising excitement because James was giving him something she couldn’t. It was painful to imagine and yet it was also…oddly hot.

Her hands moved without her conscious control, pushing pants and underwear off so she could spread her legs and work her fingers against her clit. She might as well get something out of her night alone.

Greg’s eyes would be closed, his face expressing the same rapture she’d seen when he was playing the piano or listening to a favorite piece of music. She could hear his sounds, knew that he was getting close. James knew exactly what he was doing, managed to relax and take it, even when Greg’s hands grasped the back of his head, the way he never did to her.

Her fingers moved faster, thrusting in and out the way Greg was thrusting into James’ mouth and she felt her own orgasm hitting just as Greg did that funny almost gasping, almost whimpering sound that let her know…

James swallowed, Greg sighed deeply and Stacy cried out with a mixture of release and sorrow before rolling onto her side trying to decide what she was going to do.

She couldn’t just leave. They’d been together nearly four years. There was a joint bank account, medical proxies, life insurance. All the legalities she’d insisted on when he asked her to move in. Besides, she still loved the son of a bitch.

Don’t be silly. I must be crazy. He wouldn’t do this to me.

She allowed herself to be lulled back into doubt.

Greg came in around midnight.

“Are you asleep?”

“Don’t be ridiculous. This whole lying in bed in the dark thing is just a ploy to throw you off the track.”

“I’m going to have some ice cream. Want some?”

“Sure.”

She put on a robe and met Greg in the living room. When she kissed him, he tasted of strawberry ice cream and a hint of beer. If he smelled like sex or James or betrayal, she couldn’t tell.

“How was the game?”

“Extra innings and they still lost. It’s pathetic.”

“How’s James?”

“Bonnie’s busting his balls to apply for the position as head of oncology.”

“He’d be good.”

“He’d be great, but then he’d have to be the madam instead of one of the girls and he can’t see himself in the big feather boa.”

“Can you?”

“It would look better than some of those ties he wears.”

If head games were an Olympic sport, Greg would be Bruce Jenner.

He was flipping through channels on the TV set, finding nothing but Home Shopping Network and Ab Lounger commercials.

“You’re playing golf tomorrow, right?”

“Yup.”

Stacy smiled as she ate a spoonful of ice cream and gently pried the remote out of Greg’s hand, putting on AMC. Waterloo Bridge was on. She’d never learn anything from Greg, but James might give something away, even if he didn’t mean to.

At least, it would give her something to do while Greg was golfing.

*****

It wasn’t supposed to happen this way; it wasn’t supposed to happen at all.

He’d gone through with the wedding, telling himself that things would be different this time. The only difference turned out to be the speed of the unraveling. Weeks instead of months before he was choosing between the short drive to Trenton and the long one to Manhattan. Days instead of weeks before he was thinking those thoughts. The puppy had been a symbol of hope, and now it stared at him mournfully when he came home late or just not early enough to satisfy Bonnie’s expectations of marriage.

The only reason he hadn’t given up was that House had a serious girlfriend now, so why bother?

He’d managed to talk House into participating in a charity paintball tournament by promising him the opportunity to whale on some malpractice attorneys. They’d been assigned to separate platoons and the next time he saw House, he was sitting against a tree with a red paint splotch on his forehead and a brunette in his lap. Wilson had been nonplussed to hear himself described as “the biggest slut at Princeton Plainsboro” before being dismissed so that House could continue whatever he’d been up to before Wilson’s appearance in that neck of the woods.

Slut?

Had that referred to his carefully constructed persona as a serial flirt or had House finally figured out Wilson’s true nature and by extension his feelings for House?

By the time he got absolute proof that House knew all about him, Stacy had moved into House’s apartment. They were such an overtly sexual couple that he’d overheard them in the bedroom during one of his stays on the couch. Stacy was a screamer, and he’d lain there in a sleepless, sweaty daze imagining exactly what House was doing to her, expertly editing Stacy out of the mental picture and replacing her with himself.

House had always loved to gossip, especially about Wilson’s philandering, which Wilson put up with because it was part of the game. Somewhere along the line, the jokes changed. House stopped referring to Wilson’s flings as her or she. He threw in random references to Jeff Stryker or the Den in Princeton, a place Wilson wouldn’t go near for fear of running into anyone who might be doing the ‘let’s go to a gay bar for a lark’ thing, or, worse, a colleague who was actually out. There was no way to know if House was trying to tell him something or just being an ass.

He was spending so much time at the apartment instead of his own home that Bonnie accused him of being interested in “that bitch, Stacy,” and he’d put just enough wounded outrage into his denial to convince her she was right. Having her think that was better than the alternative.

It was a good enough joke that he tried to sell it to House over lunch, which turned out to be a big mistake or a brilliant move depending on how you looked at it and when.

“Bonnie’s gone off the deep end. She thinks I’m hot for Stacy,” he said in his best “ha-ha” voice.

“But you’re not, are you?” House said seriously, looking directly into Wilson’s eyes, stopping him in mid-chew. His mouth grew dry and his cheeks burned before he could find an approximation of his voice.

“No, of course not.”

“Why not?”

“What? How about because she’s your girlfriend.

“That’s why you can’t have her. Why don’t you want her?”

“She’s not my type?” he asked, more than answered, still shrinking under that cool blue gaze.

“Uh huh. Long hair. Great legs. Perky ass. Must be that horrible troll-like face that’s such a turn-off.”

“House, please…”

Now he was reduced to begging for mercy. House knew everything and clearly wasn’t interested.

“All right, calm down. If you want to con your wife, that’s your business. Maybe it’s your duty. But don’t try it on me.“

And then he’d winked, sending a rush of blood far from Wilson’s brain.

The jokes and jibes continued until Wilson was considering leaving Bonnie, moving out-of-state and changing his name. Anything to avoid House’s increasingly blatant provocations. He wondered how Stacy could not see what was going on. Didn’t she feel his resentment of her very existence in House’s life?

He happened to be sitting on the couch half-watching the Giants get pummeled by Green Bay, listening to an amusing conversation about who should or shouldn’t be getting holiday cards, when the argument erupted seemingly out of nowhere because House took offense to some decorations that Stacy had put up, leaving Stacy in tears and Wilson mortified at being dragged into the middle of the display. He didn’t know if he should follow House out of the apartment or stay behind to comfort Stacy. His feet made the decision, and he followed. What could he say to Stacy that wouldn’t be a betrayal of the man he knew he was already in love with?

It wasn’t until they were in the elevator that House’s grim face reverted to a smirk.

“Alone at last,” he intoned dramatically, taking a step toward Wilson, from which he retreated.

Wilson was temporarily mystified and then deeply outraged.

“You did that deliberately? You really hurt her feelings!”

“Yeah, I know. I’ll pay for it later and she’ll get over it.”

House took another step forward. Wilson was running out of space, not to mention willpower.

The door was kind enough to open, giving him a means of escape. He hadn’t spent this long cultivating his image to have the whole thing collapse in an elevator just because Greg House wanted to indulge his curiosity. “Just a minute there, Sparky. Who says I…?”

“Put up or shut up. I don’t want to put Stacy through that again.”

“But…”

“You’re not going to waste my time waving your straight credentials at me, are you?”

“No, but…”

“So where do you usually take your tricks?”

Tricks?

Wilson wondered where House was getting his lingo and exactly what expectations he’d be carrying into whatever was going to happen. In the meantime, he let him get far enough ahead to watch the perfect combination of denim and butt.

“Their place,” he admitted, desire starting to catch up with reality.

“Not an option,” House pointed out. Wilson decided not to mention the encounters that hadn’t gone any further than his car. If he was only going to get one shot at this, he didn’t want to waste it on a front-seat blowjob, although his cock reacted to the mental picture with great interest.

A hotel room it would have to be. Wilson chose to be flattered by House’s willingness to pick up the tab for the Hyatt and didn’t mention that Motel 6 was cheaper and closer. He spent the drive from House and Stacy’s place trying to talk himself out of this by remembering that for all his wit and brilliance and those damned eyes, House couldn’t keep a secret to save his life. If they did this even once, House would use it to torment, tease, or blackmail Wilson into spending more time away from Bonnie. The illusion of love was getting harder to maintain, but there were still months if not years of miserable cohabitation ahead if he played his cards right.

He could still say “no” and send House back to apologize to Stacy. He could go home to Bonnie and resume his “normal” life. All great ideas, except as he watched House get out of the car next to his in the parking lot, he didn’t think he’d be able to wait until they got to the actual hotel room.

The condoms and the lube proved this was no random act of kindness, but something deliberately planned, down to the cruelty inflicted on the woman House supposedly loved. Maybe he should have paid more attention to that fact, but he’d been hoping and dreaming for too long to let the chance go by on the technicality that he was going to bed with a sadistic bastard. He already knew that.

The first kiss was better than a first kiss had any right to be, especially when they had barely cleared the front door of a hotel room before grabbing at each other like greedy children, each afraid the other would get the bigger share. House’s lips were soft, his tongue insistent, tasting of beer and a hint of Stacy’s guacamole.

Stubble scratched his cheeks, a familiar discomfort. He’d had a type since college, if not before. This wouldn’t be his first case of whisker burn. He felt strong hands gripping his shoulders while he wrapped a hand around the back of House’s neck. Somehow they crossed the room to the bed without breaking the kiss.

Wilson found himself on his back with the full weight of House on top of him, hands on his face, in his hair, devouring his mouth. This wasn’t exactly the way he’d envisioned the encounter, but he wasn’t complaining, not that he could have spoken anyway.

“House,” was about all he could manage. It sounded ridiculous, given his breathless gasp, and the fact that they were in bed together, but it was what he thought and therefore what he said.

Later on, there would be time to talk, compare notes and find out that House had more experience than he’d let on, but for now there was the urgent need to disrobe. He wanted to see House’s body. Feel House’s hands on his own skin. Exorcise the jealousy that had bitten into him every time he saw House put an arm around Stacy while they were watching a movie, or laid a possessive hand on her knee.

Now he was writhing under those hands, arching his back, spreading his legs to their probing, being set alight and getting to see House’s body, naked just for him. The legs and hips, the chest that he’d had to imagine for so long, right in front of him to be touched and caressed. His gaze kept moving upward until their eyes were locked and House’s expression conveyed pure hunger.

No words had been exchanged beyond groans, obscenities and last names that came to sound less ludicrous as the repetition and volume increased.

“Wilson.”

It was a request, a plea and a demand all at once. Wilson turned onto his stomach, instinctively, hoping House knew what he was doing. He’d always been like this as long as he’d known he was like this, leaving him vulnerable to both the inexperienced and the malicious. House could be cruel, but right now he didn’t appear malicious. As for experience…he could only hope.

The sounds of a condom being opened and put on, followed by the familiar slosh of lubricant, calmed his nerves and then House was on top of him, hard chest against his back, breath warm against his ear, cock nestling between his buttocks as if saying, honey, I’m home.

Wilson knew what he wanted and how to make House give it to him. He spread himself wider, pushing upwards and groaning enticingly.

“Wilson?”

“Yeah, now.”

The sensation of House pushing in, going past both rings of tight flesh, filling him, was exactly what he’d been dreaming of while jerking off, and sometimes even when he was making love to Bonnie, but at least he knew what to expect. House, on the other hand, seemed overwhelmed by what he was experiencing.

“Oh my god…that’s…”

The master of verbal jujitsu was without words. Wilson found that so endearing he wasn’t sure how much time would elapse before he bypassed the actual orgasm and just melted, leaving behind a particularly nasty bit of evidence for the hotel maids and the police to deal with.

Even if he never found himself in this position again, Wilson would have those noises, the incoherence and the sense of awe, preserved in his memory forever. He was looking forward to seeing the post-fuck flush on House’s face, so he pushed up just a little, tightening himself around House and getting a lengthy “fuuuuccckkkk” hissed back in response.

“House!”

“Wilson?”

“Yeah.”

House’s hand’s dug into his shoulders and with one deep thrust that almost hurt the wrong way, he collapsed on top of Wilson, shaking and sweating and gasping. Wilson even thought he might have heard his first name in there somewhere. It was hard to be sure but the illusion and a quick brush of his aching cock against the bed was enough for him to come, his whole body clenching tightly, pushing House out of him. House held on though, practically crooning encouragement in his ear as release shuddered through him.

Wilson had suspected that House might retreat behind his sarcastic persona as soon as he’d finished disposing of the rubber, but he proved to be surprisingly sweet, holding on to Wilson as they talked about this and that, mostly sex. It had been worth the risk to feel House’s possessive hand on his leg for a change, even if tomorrow things went back to “normal” including his charade with Bonnie.

It would always be worth the risk because he knew he’d never feel this way about anyone else.
*****


Stacy didn’t show up for brunch. Instead there was a message on his cell phone that he was afraid to listen to. Her invitation to get together while House was golfing had filled him with guilty anxiety. Every time he brought up the possibility that Stacy might know, House had shrugged and asked Wilson if he wanted to stop, as though any such thing were possible.

He wasn’t surprised that Stacy might have figured it out, only that no one else had. They’d been unbelievably reckless. House was that way by nature and Wilson found himself unable to assert his dignity or sanity when House gave him that look. Making out in closets, playing footsie under the table in the cafeteria, hand jobs in the parking lot, and of course ogling each other because Wilson couldn’t stop himself and House didn’t give a damn.

He was standing outside the restaurant staring at his cell phone when it started buzzing in his hand, making him think he was being electrocuted.

“Hello?”

“James, where the hell are you? Didn’t you get my message?”

She wasn’t angry. She was frantic.

“What is it?”

“It’s Greg. He’s in pain. His leg….”

“Did he hurt it playing golf?”

“He says it just came out of nowhere. We’re at the emergency room. Please get over here.”

“On my way.”

He got to PPTH too late to prevent the self-injection or the eviction and near arrest that followed. There were a few hours of Demerol-assisted calm before things got much worse.

Wilson couldn’t stand being near House when he was in so much pain and he felt too guilty to offer Stacy any support, so he ended up letting them both down. He spent the time in his office trying to figure out what could be causing the problem, but he wasn’t House, so he failed to come up with the solution and House suffered for three days.

After the infarction had been diagnosed and House scheduled for surgery to remove the necrotic tissue, Wilson went home to tell Bonnie he’d been having an affair. He didn’t volunteer details or mention a gender. Bonnie held her composure long enough to thank him for being honest with her before bursting into tears, giving him the opportunity he’d been looking for to comfort someone in pain.

It took time and gave him the perfect excuse to stay home until the following afternoon.

He ventured a trip to ICU in time to see Stacy talking to Dr. Cuddy. They both looked grim. Wilson had already gotten an update on House’s condition. The pain hadn’t decreased and there was a definite possibility he would lose the leg and he couldn’t stand the thought because House’s legs were so…

There was something about Stacy’s expression and Cuddy’s body language that felt wrong. He waited until Cuddy had walked past him, almost too purposefully, barely acknowledging Wilson as she passed.

“Stacy.”

“James. Oh god!”

He tried to embrace her, needing to offer comfort but also wanting to reassure himself that she still trusted him. It didn’t happen. Then again, Stacy was a tough cookie. Maybe the stiffness was just nerves. Or maybe she knew everything.

“Stacy, what’s going on?”

“He’s asked to be put into a chemically induced coma. He can’t stand the pain.”

That made sense. The pain from an infarction and the muscle dying must have been beyond even what most cancer patients suffered.

“When?”

“Now.”

Wilson glanced toward the door of House’s room, barely making out the figure in the bed but noticing the IV.

“Where’s Lisa going in such a hurry?”

Stacy’s whole body seemed to go rigid and she let out a long, determined breath before looking Wilson in the eye and outlining the situation. Even before she said the words “middle ground,” he saw where she was going and started to shout “No!” only to realize the corridor had nurses, orderlies and patients, all potential witnesses.

“You can’t do that,” he said, fighting for control with every word.

“Why not?” she asked slowly.

“He doesn’t want it. You’re taking advantage of him. You need to give it more time to get better.”

“But it’s not! It’s getting worse. The pain has been getting worse. He can’t think straight and now he can’t think at all, so I’m doing the thinking. Lisa says this is the best way to save his leg.”

Some part of Wilson’s brain registered the truth of her statement but it was drowned out by the sheer force of his feelings for House. He didn’t want House to die or be crippled, but more than anything, he didn’t want House to be operated on against his will. He had to stop this.

“Come on, James. Give me a reason.”

Stacy’s voice was rising in volume and pitch, drawing attention. Wilson felt like everyone was staring at them, straining to hear what she was saying and what his response would be.

“I love him. I’m his medical proxy and that gives me the right to make this decision, so if you know something, if you think someone loves him or cares about him more than I do, this would be the time to tell me. Do you have anything to tell me, James?”

She was yelling, begging him for the answer, as if she wanted someone to take the weight of responsibility off her shoulders. It would have been easy to say “I love him!” and tell her everything. He’d break her heart, but he’d stop the surgery.

He couldn’t do it. The word would be around the hospital in half an hour, back to Bonnie in forty-five minutes, and probably to his parents by supper time. He’d be Dr. Wilson, the gay oncologist who was fucking his best friend.

The thought terrified him.

“No,” he said swallowing down any hint of emotion in his voice along with his pride and self-respect. “It’s your decision.”

She looked up at him, tears of relief welling in her tired eyes. Wilson knew how to comfort crying women. It was one of his specialties, even when he’d been screwing their boyfriends and just condemned them to surgery with his own cowardice.

He let Stacy cling to him tightly, weep into his shirt and thank him, just the way Bonnie had. They were stuck together now, he knew, and he suspected there was going to be enough suffering in the future for both of them.

*****
It took him a while to figure it all out.

Stacy had left him the first clue as he was being put into the coma.

“ I’m sorry.”

“You’ve got nothing to be sorry about.”


He’d spend years wishing to have that one moment back, when the drugs were taking away the pain and Stacy was grasping his hand.

When he woke up, it was all gone, along with the better part of his thigh muscle. He was left with pain that never went away, drugs that couldn’t come close to eradicating it and a kaleidoscope of emotions, none of which could even charitably be described as love. Love meant trusting and look what that had led to.

Maybe she still loved him or thought she did. He’d take care of that soon enough. His pain and anger were too strong to allow any kindness.

He lay in the bedroom, day after day, listening to Miles mostly, a little Bird. Taking his prescribed drugs and as many more as he could get his hands on. Thinking, or trying not to, and coming up only with more pain and more hatred. Stacy brought food and bathed him. She also provided other services, but he could hardly stand to look at her.

She’d done this to him. All the apologies, hand and foot waiting and blowjobs weren’t going to change that.

Speaking of blowjobs, where was Wilson? He was there, sometimes, but never all there. Never comfortable. Never the way they’d been before. Of course not. He wasn’t the way he’d been before. He was a cripple. A gimp. A man with a scar. How could anyone stand to be around him, especially Wilson, who could still cause flutters with a single one of his boyish smiles?

Hey, if it wasn’t for self-pity, I wouldn’t get any sympathy at all.

Stacy had already started lecturing him about that, reminding him that he was still alive as though that were a good thing.

Focus on something. Anything but Wilson, so naturally that was all he could think about. His memories, if he could still trust them. He remembered the smoothness of Wilson’s skin and the way he could lie there with him with sweat drying on their bodies, never wanting to let go, especially when he knew Wilson was going home to Bonnie. Sometimes he would physically restrain Wilson, pin him to the bed, start stroking, sucking, kissing, anything to prolong the encounter.

All of that, the fucking and sucking, thrusting and screaming ran through his head like scenes from some vaguely glimpsed porno film. Those days were gone. Now he wasn’t much use for anything but lying back and letting someone else do the work. He didn’t want Stacy, but he got a certain satisfaction from using her for whatever pleasure he could still get. It took prolonged stimulation to accomplish much of anything and he was starting to notice resentment in Stacy’s mouth, which she kept denying.

Maybe Stacy and Wilson could start taking turns. Or working together. That idea actually produced a slight frisson.

He’d started out fucking Wilson as a game, and kept telling himself it was only a game that he was getting away with. He had to believe he was getting away with it, because otherwise he would have to give it up. On the other hand, he loved Stacy -- correction, had loved Stacy -- for many reasons, one of which was that she wasn’t an idiot, and only an idiot could possibly not know what was going on. He’d practically flaunted what was going on with Wilson around the hospital. He’d acted like a real prick.

House winced as his leg agreed. He couldn’t go so far as to say Stacy had punished him using the medically “necessary” scalpel as her means of revenge. She wouldn’t have done that just because he’d treated her like shit unless she knew about Wilson. If she knew, why was she here? If she didn’t, why not? Around and around until his head hurt more than his leg.

And where was Wilson? Not now, but then. Where was Wilson when Cuddy and Stacy were ruining his life? He remembered the hospital room, the monitors, the blessed peace of drugs in his veins. Stacy had said “I’m sorry,” and like a fool he’d brushed it off. She was sorry because she already knew what she was going to do.

There he was…Wilson and Stacy were talking right outside his door. She must have told him. Why didn’t he stop her?

“Wilson!” he bellowed.

Wilson appeared promptly with Stacy right behind. Even in his semi-stupor he could read the guilt/tension vibe between the two of them.

“Get out,” he snarled at Stacy, dismissing her with a rude wave. Pain flickered across her face before she tightened her lips into a mask of martyrdom. She could go have a cigarette and hopefully give herself cancer.

House observed the tentative pat at Wilson’s shoulder as she left, nothing like the camaraderie that had once existed between them.

He could sense Wilson’s reluctance to come close, as if House could hurt him. Yeah, right. It was still a major project to get from the bedroom to the living room using two canes. Trying to find a more comfortable position in bed brought new waves of pain.

Of course, he could still hurt Wilson simply by staring at him from his current pathetic position and forcing Wilson to look him in the eye.

“You knew?” he whispered and watched Wilson pressed his lips together, as if trying to keep from throwing up before nodding.

House had heard all of Wilson’s self-justifications when it came to infidelity, but there was no way to achieve absolution for this and House had no intention of relieving that burden for him.

“Why didn’t you stop her?”

“House…you don’t understand. She wanted to know about us.”

“So? All you had to do was admit it.”

“I couldn’t!” Wilson shouted miserably, “I couldn’t do it. I’m sorry.”

Sorry.

Just like Stacy was sorry.

Wilson was talking about Bonnie and his reputation, trying to explain. House registered the voice cracking and Wilson’s obvious agony and he didn’t want to hear any of it.

He just nodded and turned on to his left side with a loud groan because it hurt, but also because he wanted Wilson to know exactly how much it hurt. He’d already started wearing Stacy down and now he could add Wilson to the list. It would be interesting to see which one would give up on him first. A game. Something to keep his interest while he suffered through rehab and the inevitable day when Cuddy insisted on replacing Percocet with Vicodin, even though the Percocet already had him nostalgic for morphine.

Stacy would probably leave him. She still had the conviction that she’d done the right thing. Wilson’s refusal to come clean meant that she could pretend she’d never even suspected him of infidelity and had no reason to punish him. She’d walk away convinced of her own innocence.

Wilson had nothing but his commitment to the illusion of his happy “normal” life. He’d take House’s crap indefinitely and think it was love as long as he didn’t have his dirty secrets exposed.

House smiled to himself, or grimaced anyway. Smiling hurt as much as anything else.

At least he had something to live for.

Tags: angst, house/wilson, housefic, nc17
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