Title: People and Things
Fandoms: House MD/Torchwood
Pairing: Dr. Gregory House/Captain Jack Harkness
Notes/Warnings-Vague spoilers for both shows, but nothing specific.
Lots of crossposting. I need the curry.
Summary: What House really did on his vacation.
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Jack didn’t know which was more scary: an evil genius intent on world domination or two idiots out to make a few quid. In this case, the edge went to the idiots. University students smart enough to know what they’d found while goofing around during their summer job in the sewers and too stupid to see anything but pound signs. One go-round at the crusades and they were open for business by the next morning.
Luckily, Tosh had a ’bot program keeping an eye out for that kind of thing. It wasn’t the first time they’d had to put the kibosh on unauthorised time travel schemes, but this one actually had a bit of panache to it.
It had to be shut down immediately, of course. He dispatched Owen to supervise the construction crew in the sewer that adjoined the Hub so that none of the workmen accidentally ended up in the California gold rush. He took it upon himself to visit the idiots in their dorm room for an especially dramatic reading of the riot act regarding the dangers of time travel and specifically the penalties they’d be subject to from the city, the state, the nation, the time agency and, of course, Torchwood itself if word of their mammoth imbecility ever got out. Strangely enough, it was the Cardiff City Council that seemed to frighten them most, even without Margaret Blaine. Jack demanded a list of every potential client they’d been in contact with and then stood watching, arms folded, as they took down their website, wiped their hard-drives and practically shit their trousers in fear.
The hardest part for Jack was keeping his “angry” look on. Oh, he was pissed all right, mostly that the damn rift still wasn’t completely under control, but the part of him that had once been a con-man couldn’t help appreciating this one. The idiots hadn’t bothered promoting the idea of time travel as such. They were only offering trips to specific musical performances in the past. Right now Gwen was explaining to a group of school teachers from Newcastle that Elvis had left the building and they were not going to see him in Las Vegas in 1973. Ianto had the job of telling a French couple that they couldn’t be part of the riot that broke out when Le Sacre Du Printemps premiered in 1913.
It wasn’t exactly a self-cleaning con, but it wasn’t half-bad. There was always a chance the customer might get what he wanted. They might end up in the wrong time, but they’d still have had an adventure, and if they got stuck in history (or the future for that matter) they wouldn’t be able to ask for their money back. It was brilliant, aside from the possibility of completely changing history thereby destroying the universe. Good thing they’d stopped it when they had. Only one more customer on the list and he was waiting in an empty rehearsal hall at the University, expecting a trip to Liverpool in 1961 to see the Beatles at the Cavern Club.
Jack and Tosh had watched the tall man in jeans and a leather jacket using a cane to walk. He carried a piece of paper, probably the meet-up instructions. The steps up to the doors of the college must have been problematic. They certainly slowed him down, but he had a certain hopeful energy to his walk. Jack almost regretted what he had to do to that hope.
“I can go tell him, Jack.”
“No, I’ll do it.”
“Because he’s an American?”
Jack shook his head, trying not to smile. Tosh was sweet, but obvious. He knew the team wanted any titbit of information they could glean about him, even something as simple as his nation of origin. As if they had nations in the fifty-first century.
“Because I want to know why. Take the van and go back to the Hub. Make sure Tweedledum and Tweedledee didn’t place any ads in Melody Maker or something.”
He got out and walked into the University. The day was cool with a hint of moisture in the air. It couldn’t be good for a man with a limp. Tosh had put together a comprehensive report on Dr. Gregory House and Owen had gone into graphic detail as to what kind of pain an infarction might entail. And yet he’d come all this way. Alone. For the Beatles? It didn’t make sense.
The sound of a piano playing “If I Fell” greeted him as he arrived at room number 302 in the performing arts wing. He stood and watched Dr. House from the doorway. The man clearly took music seriously, even when playing a frivolous pop tune.
Jack waited until the song was over before making his presence known, walking toward the piano swiftly.
“Dr. House, I’m Captain Jack Harkness. We need to talk.”
The man looked up, instantly on the defensive. He must know that Jack wasn’t part of the vacation operation, which meant he was in some kind of trouble and already thinking of a way out. Jack was struck by the blue of his eyes. Even with the amount of time he’d spent in the British Isles, he’d rarely seen eyes that intense. On this planet anyway.
He watched as Dr. House assessed the situation. The file said that he came from a military family. That didn’t mean he necessarily responded well to authority figures. The body language said just the opposite, not to mention the arrest record.
“I’m not going to find out if they really were better with Pete Best, am I?”
Jack felt bad for the guy, but somewhat relieved. He wouldn’t need to dispense any amnesia in a glass. Dr. House would go home disappointed, but harmless. Torchwood had done their job; the threat was contained. He should leave now, maybe with a sympathetic grin. Before he could produce one, the doctor spoke again.
“You didn’t say exactly what you were captain of. Am I the winner of a one-way ticket to Gitmo?”
Jack resisted the impulse to recite his litany of what he and Torchwood weren’t. Dr. House didn’t need to know any of that.
“Trust me. I’m the best person you could be talking to right now. You do not want to meet Cardiff City Council.” He should stop right there, but the curiosity kept him going. “How much do you know about time travel, Dr. House?”
Suspicion played across Dr. House’s features, clearly visible even with what looked like three days’ worth of beard growth. He reached into the pocket of his jacket and pulled out a white pill, which he then swallowed without benefit of any liquid. Apparently his recent entanglement with the law hadn’t dissuaded him from public drug use.
“Enough to know it’s probably impossible, and incredibly dangerous if it is possible.”
That was the only sane answer for a man in Dr. House’s position. He knew the probabilities and the risks, so why…? Jack looked at the cane sitting on top of the piano. He thought about the pills and some of the other things in the dossier.
“You didn’t expect it to work, did you? Not to a specific time and place. You just wanted to get to some other time…sometime before that happened.”
There was a shrug, but no denial. He wondered what else Gregory House might have done in an effort to escape his pain.
He looked again. There was an attractive man behind all that pain and anger. Maybe because of it. Something about those eyes. He let his own eyes stare a little longer than necessary to see if there was any response as he sat down on the piano bench, his legs slightly apart. The only name of note in the file as a romantic connection was a Stacy MacDonald, who’d been his medical proxy at the time of the infarction. That had been several years ago and a man can change, especially a man in pain.
House clearly got the message.
“Are you my consolation prize?” he asked bluntly.
It was Jack’s turn to shrug. He hadn’t actually thought of it that way, but he didn’t object to the idea. He’d always thought of himself as some kind of prize.
“You’re not planning on fixing me, are you?”
“So not interested in that,” he said, thinking wistfully of the nanogenes on his Chula warship. He still missed it. Her.
“It’s been tried.”
The conversation was going nowhere. Jack had gotten the answer he came looking for. Time travel as an analgesic. The Doctor might appreciate that. He’d have to tell him, if…when he saw him again. As for the other thing, it seemed that Gregory House wasn’t going to be charmed into bed with a few smiles and Jack didn’t have time for a more sustained attack. Maybe just as well. There was probably work waiting for him at the Hub and the clubs were always full of potential playmates if he felt like being a good boss and not hitting on the employees this week.
He stood up and idly touched a few piano keys before turning to Dr. House with an outstretched hand to shake, which was rather ostentatiously ignored.
“Sorry I had to bring the bad news. But there are still plenty of things to do in Cardiff. We’ve got castles, museums, nightclubs--”
“Look, Harkness, whatever kind of captain you are, I came here for one thing. It looks like I’m not going to get it, so why don’t you take that ridiculous coat and your board of tourism spiel and leave me alone. I’m not going to hang around here when I can get a flight to Amsterdam and be having a party before dinner, if you know what I mean.”
Jack wondered if that was Dr. House’s typical approach to life in general or just to not getting what he wanted. The barrage of rudeness was certainly impressive. He could imagine patients being intimidated and nurses scurrying away in fear. It might be interesting to find out what happened when someone stood up to him.
“As you like, but I think you should give Cardiff a chance, at least for a few more hours.” He leaned slightly forward, letting a deliberately provocative smile play over his lips. “Amsterdam’s overrated. The sex is much better here.”
That got his attention. A cocked head and raised eyebrows at least. Those eyes…Jack tried to clinch the deal with a hand against House’s shoulder. “And it’s free.”
“Sex is never free.”
Jack didn’t have an answer to that. For him, sex was the only thing in the universe that was free and freeing, but life had clearly taught Dr. House a different lesson.
A good soldier knows when to retreat and even Jack Harkness had to take “no” for an answer sometimes. He removed his hand, attempting no further conversation or inducement, and started walking away.
As Jack approached the door, he heard House playing the piano again. Even before he recognised the tune, the sadness in the music hit him. He hummed a little until he could place it as “In My Life,” a song of great meaning whether you were talking about a young man who’d died too young or someone who’d lived too much. Some are gone, and some remain. The tune was dirgelike enough on its own, but the way it was being played carried a volume of sorrow that Jack felt to his soul.
Something struck him. The teachers had come as a group and the potential rioters as a couple. Gregory House had come on his adventure alone. What did that mean?
He went back and watched until the song was done. The man had extraordinarily beautiful hands, graceful and erotic as they played, but that was nothing compared to the face, eyes closed, completely engrossed. Jack found himself fixated on the upper lip and getting seriously intrigued by the possibilities of his mouth in that general vicinity.
He cleared his throat to indicate his presence. Dr. House looked up and then down just slowly enough to make Jack feel that he might not be wasting his time.
“Is there a somebody?” he asked boldly, wanting to make his intentions clear while indicating that he wouldn’t try to push a man to infidelity, which was rubbish, but it would be useful to know what he was up against.
The lack of an immediate response led Jack to believe he was going to get another outright rejection.
“There’s a Wilson,” came the reply eventually.
Jack had no idea what a Wilson was or what that meant for his own chances of getting lucky before whatever shit was heading his way connected with the nearest fan again.
“Is that a problem?” he asked, giving House the benefit of one of his really good smiles. In return, he got a few heady seconds of those incredible eyes looking into his, and the hint of a grin.
“Not for you, apparently.”
Sticks and stones… And then only temporarily.
“How about you?”
Jack had to listen carefully to the piano for his answer. If Greg House was asking for someone to please, please him, Jack was the man.
“I know a place,” he volunteered, removing his ear-piece so that he couldn’t be interrupted, at least for a while.
“I’m not surprised.”
The place, one of many he had in Cardiff, was a room at the Black Dog Inn and Pub, a few blocks from the University. There was a fireplace, a divan, a bed and a bar.
His companion had taken in the set-up and rendered instant judgment. “You do this kind of thing a lot.”
No reason to lie. He did wonder if Dr. House was more curious about the number of partners or the gender. It would take a few more centuries before human beings became truly comfortable with their sexuality, which was too bad.
Jack was still curious about Gregory House as well, even what to call him. He normally used people’s first names or titles if necessary and expected other people to do the same, but that wasn’t happening. All he’d heard was “Harkness,” Dr. House clearly being no respecter of titles or individuals. Jack couldn’t call him “Doctor” and that left only his last name. So many walls, he thought.
At least House was here. He’d taken off his leather jacket and was sitting on the sofa. Watching, Jack was sure, as he removed his coat, rolled up his sleeves, poured a drink and played the charming host, all the while resisting the urge to move things forward with a direct pounce. He was also doing his own assessments while removing his wrist-com rather than passing it off as a fashion accessory or leather kink. He’d watched the specifics of House’s limp as they walked the few blocks to the pub. Damage had been to the right leg, so that had to be taken into consideration.
House seemed to approach medicine as a puzzle rather than a calling, and he wouldn’t be sitting here now if something about Jack hadn’t engaged him mentally. Jack kind of liked being more than just his looks for a while. He’d have to be really careful not to get killed while House was around or he’d never get rid of him, but he might drop enough titbits to keep him interested for awhile.
“…so there I was in the lift, holding two cartons of Indian takeaway, and this guy gets in and says he’s got to get to St. Mary’s right away ’cause his wife’s in hospital…”
He stopped when he noticed how intently House was focusing on him, and suspected it had nothing to do with his story.
“American accent, British idioms.”
“Citizen of the world,” he replied, glibly.
“But you wanted me to notice. And shouldn’t that be citizen of the universe?”
Gotcha, Jack thought, taking a purposeful step toward the couch.
“You know, the dimples are nice, but if I just want something pretty, I can get it at home.”
Jack knelt on the couch straddling House’s lap, mindful of putting weight on the right leg, but more than willing to press the other man backwards so he had no way to escape. He placed his hands on either side of House’s face, the beard growth rough under his fingers, before leaning in to kiss him on the lips. Soft, sexy lips that pressed back and opened under his touch, allowing tongues to meet and breath to mingle.
He felt hands gripping his shoulders, pulling him closer, somehow telling him not to worry about the weight, so he didn’t. Not for now. Now it was just the feeling of lips and tongue and even the rough edge of teeth, and his face being scratched, while he was pressed tightly against another human being, feeling their heartbeat pounding against his through the fabric of their clothing.
The upper lip was just as delightful to the touch of his tongue as he’d imagined, and the reaction even better than that. House’s head fell backwards and Jack took advantage of the exposed neck. Gregory House was no longer rude or sarcastic or even sad. He was just a human being, getting pleasure. For free, Jack reminded himself, although there’d been more than a few financial transactions (going in both directions) in his life.
Each nip and lick produced a gratifying response. Who’s playing the instrument now? he thought as he noticed the hardness pressing through House’s blue jeans. Jack had wondered if the pills would be a problem. Apparently not. This was going to be good. Just what he needed, just what they both needed.
It was time to take some pressure off House’s legs as well as his own. He pushed backwards off the couch, assuring himself that House was paying close attention as he removed his boots and pulled down his braces one side at a time. Not quite the Dance of the Seven Veils, but enticing enough to get House on his feet, leaning heavily on his cane. Jack felt slightly giddy at the sight of those eyes, looking at him, waiting to see more, so he continued the show by unbuttoning his shirt. He started undoing the button of his trousers but decided to wait for House to make another move.
“Do I get to see something?” he challenged, raising his eyebrows. House stood there, leaving Jack increasingly frustrated. What was this guy’s problem, he wondered, shifting uncomfortably, hyperaware of his own growing need. He could see that House wanted him. It was there in his eyes, in the clenched teeth, the tight grip on his cane, which Jack was finding oddly sexy the longer he looked at it.
He was starting to think he was going to have to grab the cane, push House onto the bed and forcibly strip him, an idea that had a lot going for it, when he was surprised to hear House’s voice come out in a low growl.
“Go ahead. Show me something I can’t get in Amsterdam.”
“You’re a hard sell, Dr. House.”
“You said this was free. Captain.”
Jack decided to take the use of his adopted title as a victory, even if it was sarcastic. He was determined to get House to use his first name, preferably in passion. If he had to strip first to get that, so be it.
Trousers and the shirt came off quickly. Maybe it was strange to be wearing an undershirt but not pants. Everyone has their own priorities. If he hadn’t been fully erect before, he was now, proudly and slightly painfully so. House had to be uncomfortable, constrained by the denim and the boxers that no doubt lay underneath.
Nudity taboos, he thought sadly. If you’ve got a fireplace and a soft blanket, what’s the point?
“It’s free, but you still have to come and get it,” he taunted, touching himself to make the point that if House waited much longer the party might start without him.
“Either you’re the most arrogant son-of-a-bitch I’ve ever met, or you’re the best piece of ass on the planet.”
Not just this one.
“Only one way to find out. Ain’t got all day here.”
The bed was only steps away and Jack decided to take advantage of it. He lay back against the pillows, one hand behind his head, the other firmly grasping his own prick. One way or another, it was show time.
“Zombies to arrest?”
Still talking? Jack wondered if he was losing his touch. Not the touch he was giving himself, of course. That was working fine and dandy.
“Usually werewolves, actually.”
“I thought they were in London.”
House sounded like he was having fun, even if he still had all his clothing on. Maybe he needed the illusion of privacy. Jack made a great show of turning away while he spent more time than he actually needed to find the lubricant and condoms. By the time he returned to his position, House had removed his t-shirt. Definite progress. Worth the wait, too. Muscular chest. Quite a bit of hair. Nice.
“I told you. Cardiff has a lot to offer.” He patted the space next to him on the bed, spreading his legs wider. What did he have to do, send a holographic invitation? He closed his eyes and closed his fist around his cock again, feeling it throb against his skin.
Then he heard the sound, almost felt the zipper coming down.
“So I’ve noticed.”
“I wasn’t sure you had.”
The rustle of clothing. A clunk as something heavy hit the floor. Probably keys or a wallet in a pocket.
“You like the sound of your own voice, Harkness.”
Right now he liked the sound of House’s a lot more. Low, slightly menacing, dead sexy.
“Oh yeah?” he gritted out between clenched teeth.
“You need someone to shut you up for a while.” Teasing, Jack realised. Meaning it, but playing a game as well.
“I’d like to see you…”
And before he could finish the words, it had happened. His hand had been taken away from his cock and his wrist was being encircled by those same fingers he’d watched on the piano. Both hands were being held over his head, and the long, lean body was covering his. Flesh against flesh, mouth on mouth, one leg, presumably the left, pressing between his. House had complete control of Jack’s hands and mouth and anything else he wanted. Jack let himself get completely lost in the roughness against his face, the ferocity of the teeth practically mauling his lips and the sense of need that was now transmitting from House’s body to his at every point of contact.
When he became vaguely aware that his hands had been freed, he immediately moved them to House’s back and shoulders. Smooth skin, hard muscles, and so much tension. He tried to knead at the knots, but found himself distracted by the fact that there were hands on his own torso, taking in the fall and rise of his chest, tweaking his nipples and making him moan. He heard “Greg” coming out of his mouth, which meant that he couldn’t bring himself to say “House” to a man whose naked body was pressed tightly against his own, but also that the kissing had stopped. At least the mouth on mouth part. There were definitely still lips and a tongue and even—wow—teeth, but they were moving along his jaw-line and his throat. Jack knew he was going to be doing a lot more than moaning if this didn’t stop and there was no indication of that happening anytime soon.
Jack put his hands behind his head and watched with a wriggle of anticipation. Obviously whatever it had taken to get past House’s boundaries had been the right thing. Now he had a very enthusiastic lover, ready, willing and determined to do delicious things to his body with a knowing mouth and those hands. Might as well lie back and enjoy the ride.
Before he could get too comfortable with the hands gripping his hips and the hot breath against his cock, he noticed that House was repositioning himself. It took a second of disorientation before Jack figured out what was happening.
Few things about sex could really surprise him, but this didn’t seem like an obvious choice for a man who needed to treat his leg a bit gingerly. Not that he objected; mutual happiness was definitely the name of his game.
Hello, he thought, finding himself face to face with the length and hardness of Gregory House. Why the hell did he want to hide that, he wondered, propping himself up on an elbow to take advantage of the opportunity. He’d experienced more shapes and sizes than most people could even imagine and knew that numbers didn’t matter, but aesthetically, big was still nice.
Very nice he thought, rubbing the head with his thumb. Taking time to appreciate the feel of smooth skin over the hardness beneath. He’d lost track of the lube, so he gave a quick lick to his fingers before he cradled House’s balls and brought his mouth down to show Greg House exactly how good free sex in Cardiff could be.
Better than even Jack had thought, because at the same time he was remembering some of the more useful information he’d acquired about overriding the gag reflex, he felt hot breath against his groin and an inquisitive tongue, followed by a mouth that knew all the answers as it engulfed him.
Pleasure, pure pleasure, and a challenge. His mouth moving up House’s shaft, humming something, maybe a Beatles song, to send vibrations through House, making him suck harder, use his hands and fingers, and speaking of fingers, there was the lube and Jack knew exactly what to do with it. He forced his mind away from what was happening on the other end of the bed. Friction was just friction for the time it took to get the tube open and some of the slippery gel onto his fingers. Then he could let himself get back in the game, where things were definitely heating up.
Slurping sounds and muffled groaning at both ends of the bed. Jack’s cock moving in and out of House’s mouth. Jack taking House deep, holding on to his buttocks and then slowly, carefully, running his fingers along the crack. There was a full body twitch in response, but nothing that Jack felt obliged to take as an objection, much less a refusal.
He could feel the cock in his mouth hardening even further, veins against his tongue. Close, Jack thought, so close. Greg House, prepare to have your circuits seriously blown. He could feel the coarse hairs against his face as he flicked his tongue against the tight sac and pressed one finger against House’s opening. Now he had House’s attention, maybe a little too much, but Jack was not turning back now. All he needed was time and patience, although patience was hard to come by when he felt his own urgency growing, and he might have been giving House more that he was ready for so why not go all the way?
The finger went in, and Jack felt the reaction as House’s mouth opened wide and practically screamed before closing again, panting against him. Jack gave him time to adjust while allowing himself to bask in the heat and relish the squirming, trembling effect he’d had, all while keeping up the suction that would assist in pushing House over the edge.
The panting subsided, giving Jack his cue for the second finger. He felt tension galvanize House’s body like a shot of electricity. He was shaking and sweating, and the sounds could have been anything from curses to whimpers. Jack was working his fingers slowly into the heat, holding House steady in his mouth, gently sliding and probing until he found the spot. He closed his eyes tightly, mentally grinning. Best piece of ass on more worlds that you’ll ever know about, Greg. Lips clamped around the base and a pre-emptive breath through his nose. Then the two fingers, spreading, curling, pushing and Greg House opening his mouth, this time to gasp as his body twitched and spasmed through what Jack was willing to wager was one rip-snorter of an orgasm.
After all the centuries and lives, there was still nothing like that level of intimacy. Another being, no matter what the species, completely open, vulnerable. Warm, salty fluid in his mouth and every quiver of pleasure conveyed through his fingers. Maybe that alien had the right idea, aside from the whole killing people thing. He hadn’t gotten his name called out, but everything else was perfect, except for the fact that he was still hard and really, really needed to get off.
He waited until House had stopped shaking before pulling out his fingers and letting him go from his mouth. Now it was his turn. He lay back and started jerking off in earnest. His hands were so slippery, he had to wipe a little off to create the necessary friction and he was so hot it wouldn’t take long, just a few rough jerks and the memory of Greg coming in his mouth, maybe a few flashes from past conquests…and hmmmm, he could have sworn he was only using one hand, but that was definitely another one on his cock and his own fingers weren’t that long.
House had pulled himself into a sitting position and was staring intently at Jack’s hand and his own working in tandem, finding a staccato rhythm. “Greg,” he whispered, urging him to do or say something. Jack wasn’t usually shy about asking for what he wanted, but House was different.
Jack felt House squeeze at his balls, and heard him growl, “Come on, Harkness.” It was exactly what he needed. He rolled onto his side, holding himself as the stickiness spilled out into his hands, and for those few seconds there was nothing but pleasure. Not as good as thinking he might get killed, but damn close. He’d have to thank House, as soon as he could remember how to talk. Sometimes it was easier to come back from death than really good sex.
“So tell me, Jack. Where are you really from?”
He awarded himself the victory, even if Greg was only trying to get information while he thought Jack was too blissed out to keep his defences up.
“Or should I say, when?”
That got his eyes open in a hurry. He sat up to find House lying back with his eyes closed, looking more relaxed than he had since Jack had walked into the rehearsal room. He’d pulled the blanket up to his waist. Openness went just so far, but the mind never stopped working. For a second, he wished he could actually be honest. Having an intellect like that on the team would be a tremendous asset.
On the other hand, he already had one doctor with a bad attitude. At least Owen could be trusted to obey Jack’s orders most of the time. It was impossible to imagine Greg doing anything of the kind.
“If I told you…”
He got up and gathered clothes, starting with the wrist-com.
“You’d have to kill me?” He didn’t sound completely upset by the prospect.
“Worse. I’d have to make you forget you ever knew.”
“Can you do that?”
House’s eyes were open, watching the dressing with the same level of interest as he’d observed the disrobing.
“You’d wake up in Amsterdam with a woman named Gisela and there wouldn’t even be a UK stamp on your passport.”
He let the idea sink in as he put on his trousers and tucked in his shirt. Hopefully he’d given House a good enough time that he’d want to remember it, even if he had nothing but questions that could never be answered.
Something was beeping. Several things actually. Cell phone, ear-piece, wrist-com. He put the ear-piece on first.
“Yeah?” he barked.
“Jack!” Tosh sounded rather put out. “We’ve got a situation at the art museum. Someone’s reporting a zombie attack.”
“What, no werewolves?” He laughed out loud, only to sense Tosh’s disapproval, as if she were very miffed and very close. “Where are you?”
“Across the street. We’re all here. Come on out.”
“How did you know where to find me?”
“GPS on your cell-phone. You hadn’t been in touch for over an hour.”
And the team was dying to know who or what he’d shacked up with this time. Or maybe he’d been kidding himself to think they didn’t know all his spots anyway. Ianto probably had it in a secret file in case he went missing. You can’t hide from your family.
He turned back to House. “I have to go. But you’re free to stay here for a few days. See the sights.”
“Yeah, I hear the art museum is a do-not-miss.”
“You might want to miss that one right now.”
Jack ran a hand through his hair and picked up the coat. Normally he’d try for a good-bye kiss, but Greg had become House again and he didn’t have enough time to press the issue.
Besides there was something he needed more than a kiss, even if it meant keeping the gang in the SUV waiting for an extra few minutes.
Even the name produced an eye-roll.
“What exactly is a Wilson?”
Someone was leaning on the horn outside. It sounded suspiciously like Owen’s brand of exasperated pushiness.
“It’s an oncologist,” he muttered, clearly uncomfortable with the topic.
“Is Wilson important to you?”
All House had to do was wait another minute. Jack would have to leave without the answer.
“If I told you…”
“You’d have to kill me?”
“I’d have to know.”
There was nothing left to say and the zombies probably weren’t at the art museum to appreciate sixteenth century Celtic crosses.
He wondered if House would think about him after this, but he knew better than to ask. He saw House’s jacket on the couch and calculated how long it had been since the last pill and the amount of exertion since then. Endorphins were great, but pain is pain. He picked up the jacket and brought it over to the bed, coming up with a casual remark to cover any import in what he was doing.
“You know, you strike me as more of a Rolling Stones kind of guy.”
“Yeah, but who wants to go to Altamont? I’d probably wind up saving the guy and changing history.”
He probably would, too.
The car horn asserted itself again. “Sounds like someone needs you, Captain Jack.”
Not the worst thing that could happen to a guy, Jack thought. Those zombies were going to wish they’d never been…zombified.
It was a good thing he’d met House while working for Torchwood and not the Time Agency.
Greg House was worth remembering.