Held Up Without a Gun
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Random: Thanks to Valerie. You can pick and pull and trim and tuck, but in the end it's still my mess. Apologies for the Eliot bombardment via fan fiction.
Summary: He's standing at the foot of the bed with his cane tucked under his left arm.
His cane hits the floor with certain inevitability.
He pulls away from her. "Wait."
She gives him a look that indicates murder. And then gets over it.
"What's wrong?" she asks.
He lets go of her wrists and watches her hands fall into her lap.
He exhales loudly. "I'm not young-"
"Give me a break," she says, obviously not over it. "I've heard this spiel before. You're older than me, there's a limp, and you only speak two languages: mockery and sarcasm. I don't care about all that."
Her rant almost makes him smile.
"Thanks for that boost to my self-esteem, but I wasn't going to say that."
"Really?" she says, frowning.
"Now that you mention it …" he attempts.
She smiles. "Don't," she tells him, putting a hand on his chest and shoving him, "I've heard enough of that."
He offers no reply but starts to unbutton her shirt.
She's confused. Amused. There are other appropriate inflected verbs, she's sure, but syntax has never been her strong point. Especially when House's efficient fingers are unbuttoning her shirt.
"I believe in equal opportunity groping," he says, off her look.
"Of course." He unbuttoned the last button and pushed open her shirt. "As long as I have an advantage."
"If you have an advantage that's hardly equal opportunity," she says.
"Huh," he mumbles, staring at her breasts. "Like I say," he starts, without breaking his gaze on her chest, "you know, with the everybody and the lies."
He fingers her bra strap. "Purple?" He looks at her and she blushes. "I always thought white with a pretty bow."
"You thought wrong."
He watches the blush travel from her cheeks to her neck, stopping just past her collarbone.
"This is obstructing my view."
He reaches behind her to unclasp her bra.
She stops him. "What were you going to say before?" she asks.
He tugs on the back of her bra. "What?"
"It was two minutes ago."
"Greg," she tries.
He lets go of her offending bra and watches her closely. "To put it bluntly, no fucking on the piano bench."
"I could watch you try to play using your-"
He stands up, cane in hand. "Not going to happen." He starts to leave. "You know where my bedroom is," he says over his shoulder.
"You're too smug," she yells at his back.
He stops, "Hmm … don't think so," and keeps walking.
She sits on the piano bench and watches him walk away. He's the only man with a limp that can walk with a swagger. When he's out of sight she curses herself and gets up to follow him.
When she gets to the bedroom she doesn't see him anywhere. She takes a few steps further into the room and before she knows it she's lying face down on the bed. He actually pushed her onto the bed. God love a man who's an animal. She rolls onto her back.
He's standing at the foot of the bed with his cane tucked under his left arm.
"I couldn't resist," he confesses.
She slides to the end of the bed and sits on the edge.
"There's been, I think, a misunderstanding," he moves to stand between her legs, "I don't put out on first dates."
She tilts her head a bit. "That's fine with me," she replies, reaching for his belt. "This was a non-date; your morals will remain in tact."
"And you're so sure of yourself," he says, cocking his head.
He watches her take off his pants.
"I work with you," she pauses for his zipper, "it was bound to rub off on me," she finishes.
She tugs on his jeans and pulls down. He braces himself on her shoulders as he steps out of his pants. Her own shirt and jeans are discarded.
"Your leg?" she asks, as he takes off his shirt.
He drops his cane and tosses his shirt on top of it.
"I'm all Vicodin-ed up, I'll be fine unless you're a reverse cowboy type of gal," he comments, with a small grin.
She grabs both of his wrists and pulls him on top of her.
"Subtle." He parts her legs with his kneecap.
She reaches for him but he pins her hands to the bed.
"You're a control freak," he mutters.
Before she has a chance to reply, he grabs a handful of her hair and kisses her, gasping, his mouth into hers. She wrapped her arms around him; clutching any part of him she can get her hands on. She was needy, hooking her leg around his thigh and reaching for him through his boxers. He groaned, tracing circles on her hip, and thought about all the ways this could end. Biology was marvelous.
"Take off your boxers," she says, against his mouth.
"I don't need-"
"Your thigh," pulling away from him, "I want to see your scar," she whispers.
He braces himself on his forearms and sighs.
"Why'd you have to," he starts, rolling over onto his back. "Why'd you have to say that? You're nearly naked. I would very much enjoy you naked."
He lays an arm over his eyes and doesn't say a word - until he feels her tugging at the elastic around his waist.
He sits up on his elbows. "What are you doing?" he asks.
She stares, eyes warm at the sight of him, and rests a hand on his injured thigh.
"I want to see your thigh," she repeats.
He looks down to his chest. "I don't think that's such a good idea."
She slides her other hand onto his good thigh.
He looks her in the eye, willing her to drop the subject. She holds his gaze, returning it defiantly.
"Fine," he concedes.
He can do nothing but crumble under her scrutiny and hope she can find him worthy among the accumulated detritus.
"Scar tissue and atrophied muscle tends to kill the mood," he tells her as he takes off his boxers. "Don't say I didn't warn you."
She keeps her eyes fixed on his leg as his thigh comes into full view. She takes a closer look while his gaze burns a hole in top of her head.
"Oh, House," she whispers.
He doesn't reply but as she moves closer the surrounding muscles twitch as if he's already pulling away. Her fingertips are a breath away from contact but she hesitates.
"It's fine," he says reassuringly. "There's been some nerve damage; you can apply a fair amount of pressure. It's the muscle involved that causes the pain."
She nods and runs her hand over the inches long scar that runs parallel with his leg. The scar itself isn't bad; it's the thigh in its entirety. It's a bit thinner than his other leg and there's a hairless depression where dead tissue had been removed. She flattens her hand out over the depression and presses down until she can feel blood throbbing in her fingertips.
"I'm sorry," she murmurs, looking up to meet his eyes. "I wish it hadn't happened."
Her earnest expression and intense gaze would be bordering on rudeness if was anyone else. He needs to fix this.
"Not your fault."
She shakes her head. "I know …" she responds and then sniffles.
'Uh oh,' he thinks to himself.
"Admittedly, it's been a while, so correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think crying is a type of foreplay," he says.
He's relieved when she laughs, but the laugh somehow ends in a stifled sob. And she begins to cry. She's crying for him because he can't. He's never been this grateful or this ashamed. He won't tell her any of this; she already knows.
"Don't do that," he pleads.
He watches her, barely dressed and in his bedroom, but crying. He's jealous. She's managed to do in fifteen minutes what he hasn't been able to do in five years: come to terms with his leg. He reaches towards the floor and picks up the first thing his hand brushes. It's his t-shirt.
"Here," he says, holding the shirt out to her, "I don't have any tissues in this room."
He won't meet her gaze when she takes the shirt from his hand and throws it back onto the floor. She scoots next to him, turns around, and wraps her arms around his waist. He tries to move but she won't let go. He isn't surprised.
"Hey," he tells her, frustrated at his lack of words. This is the way the world ends … this is the way the world ends … this is the way the world ends …
He whispers into her hair, something akin to her name or God's. It could be either one; his hands slide to the small of her back while he remembers what it's like to have faith in something.
"Please tell me this won't become habit," he pauses and lowers his voice. "I couldn't stand it."
Her hair smells like autumn and when she shifts it softly snakes over his shoulder and down his back. He's quite content with the fact that there's a crying woman in his arms. This is when he knew there'd be no getting over her.