Author's Note: Still a WIP. It's only up here because I can't tell if putting the dreams in present tense is effective or annoying as hell. Anyone's opinion on the matter would be helpful

It starts with the cuffs.

The cuffs are one his wrists and his wrists are over his head and his head pushed into the bed with considerable force.

He rolls and Wilson is on top of him. Wilson. He looks young. He looks scared. He looks horny.

One of Wilson's hands is on himself and the other is between House's legs, gripping him through the rough fabric of his blue jeans. House wants to touch him.

He can't because someone is holding down his hands, rough, trying to bend his body backwards. His back arches up in defense, pressing himself against Wilson who groans and pulls at House's fly. The buttons give.

He gasps and shots of pure unadulterated terror run through his veins.

The metal.

The cuffs are on to tight; the metal is digging into his wrists.

Someone his pushing on his arms. Wilson is straddling his legs.

He can't bend back any farther and his back is screaming in pain from the very idea. Someone pushes harder, still harder. The person has grabbed the chain between his cuffs and is trying to make his knuckles touch the floor.


Wilson's hand goes around his throat and pushes down. House can't breathe. Wilson's hand grabs his chin and pushes up, forcing House's head back.

Tritter is leering down at him.

House sat straight up in bed, sweaty, panting, scared to death and more turned on then he'd ever been in his entire life.


"Differential diagnosis for incredibly vivid sex dreams."

Foremen pretended to ponder this.

"Proximity to the nurse's shower?"

"Cute," House said, taking a seat across from Foremen, "even tantamount to witty. To bad I was being serious." House leaned across the table and nabbed one of Foremen's bacon strips.

Foremen put down his forkful of omelet.

"How vivid?"

House looked down at his wrists, expecting bruises.

"Pretty vivid."

Foremen thought. "Pregnancy can cause intense dreams."

House shook his head. "Not thinking he's pregnant."

Foremen shrugged. "Drug side effects. Alcoholism. Onset of puberty."

"See, none of those apply."

"Or he just really wants to have sex. 'Dreams' is too vague, sorry." Foremen picked up his fork again and began ignoring House.

House was not pleased. He expressed this through glares.

Foremen rolled his eyes. "Look, you can't tell me weird dreams…"

"Weird sex dreams."

"Weird sex dreams and expect me to make a diagnosis. We know almost nothing about dreams, neurologically. It could be anything. It could be nothing. We wouldn't even know what part of the brain to look in."

House considered that. He nodded.

"Okay."

Then he walked out of the cafeteria.


A few minutes later, he walked into Cuddy's office.

"There's something wrong with my brain," he announced.

Cuddy's mouth opened. It closed. She nodded once.

"Thank you for ignoring the obvious jokes," he said.

"You owe me," she finally managed.

"I need an MRI."

"So? You want me to authorize it?"

"I want you to do it. I can't be in the tube and look at the pretty lights on the screen."

Cuddy waved a hand in dismissal.

"Get Wilson to do it. Or one of your cronies. I'm busy."

"Can't. Avoiding Wilson. Cronies can't know." He made a mock pondering face. "Unless you want a rumor to quickly spread across the hospital that your chief diagnostician is having neurological symptoms. You know Cameron can't keep her mouth shut."

"Yeah, you know, we couldn't take the time out of our busy schedules to stare at each other and go, 'Oh that makes sense.'"

"I'm serious."

Cuddy got up from her desk, arms crossed across her chest.

"Why are you avoiding Wilson?"

House looked down. "He's busy."

"He's always busy. He's a department head. Department heads are busy, assuming they have more then four people in the whole department."

"Speaking of which, we'll be discussing appointing me a secretary soon. One that looks like Maggie Gyllenhaal."

Cuddy shook her head. "Absolutely not."

House breathed a sigh of relief that he had successfully gotten her off the topic of Wilson. "Will you do this? Please?"

Cuddy sighed. "My lunch is at 1:00. Can you get the machine for then?"

House nodded.

Cuddy turned back to her desk. "And don't tell me how you get the machine for then."

"Plausible deniability. Good plan, Madame President."

She pointed at the door. "And get out!"

House got.


He got a Red Bull, avoided the clinic, watched CNN inform the vox populi regarding the latest terrorism threat (three kids, a basement, and internet plans to build a flamethrower). He then tried to pick the lock on his filing cabinet just to see if he could, spent twenty minute looking for a slinky, avoided Wilson, avoided the clinic, blasted through The Silent Cartographer on Legendary, dropped his slinky off the balcony to hear the noise, went back into his office to avoid Wilson, watched the Daily Show mock CNN, walked to the pharmacy to stretch his legs, avoided the clinic and then took an early lunch.

Where Wilson found him.

"You're avoiding me." Wilson was in his shirtsleeves, looking tired. He took the seat across from House.

"Cuddy's got a big mouth."

"Ha," Wilson said, pretending to be amused and doing a piss poor job of it. "Not as big as yours."

House looked down into his plate. He'd randomly grabbed some food as he walked through the line and now realized he couldn't identify a single item. The white stuff might be mashed potatoes or it might be ice cream.

"God, this food is bad," he said, jabbing a spoon in the white mound. It wasn't melting which led one to determine mashed potatoes.

"What did I do?" Wilson asked.

House stuck the spoon in his mouth. It tasted rather liked gluey air but it definitely wasn't frozen. Mashed potatoes it was then.

"What?"

"What did I do?"

"I don't know. What did you do?"

Wilson jerked his head to the left and his neck cracked. "Nothing. That's what I'm asking."

"What did you do that got you thrown out of the hotel?"

"What?" Wilson's eyes widened. "I didn't…"

"Then why did you sleep in your office?"

"I just did." Wilson said crankily. "Are you avoiding me because I slept in my office?"

"Yeah." House said. "I don't like grunge."

Wilson rolled his eyes. "Fine. Don't tell me."

House waited patiently, spooning up something that might be creamed corn.

"Come one, tell me," Wilson whined.

"I'm not avoiding you," House said, pushing his tray forward and rising. "I have to go."

Then he left.


Cuddy tapped her fingernails against the massive shell of the MRI machine.

"I said one."

"Forgot to change," House muttered. This meant considerably more then was said and Cuddy knew him well enough to decode. 'Forgot to change' meant 'got all the way down here, realized I forgot to change and had to go all the way back to my office.' This took House a little longer then most people.

She took his cane and stayed nearby as he hoisted himself on the MRI table.

"You know, policy says you're supposed to wear a gown." She mentioned.

He sighed. "You got my jeans off; that's as far as you get on the first date."

Cuddy glanced down the long line of his legs as he arranged himself on the table. His ankles stuck out between the light green drawstring pants and his tennis shoes. "You're returning the scrubs," she informed him, "and the shoes come off."

"There is nothing metal in my shoes."

"The shoes come off," Cuddy repeated, moving to his feet and taking them. "You don't have any jewelry on?"

"No. And you don't have to ask about pacemakers or aneurysm clips because you know all that. Skip the procedure, please."

"Well, do you have any bridgework? I don't know that."

"No. But I also said I didn't have any metal in my shoes. Are you going to take my teeth out just to be safe?"

Cuddy rolled her eyes. "Know how to work the emergency button?"

"Yeah."

"Good. Lay still and shut up," she said, marching into the control room, her arms full.

"I bet you say that to all the boys," he muttered as his head disappeared inside the long tube.


"There is nothing here."

"Yeah. Says you."

Cuddy rolled her eyes. "If you're not going to believe me then what's the point of doing this."

"Just look again. Okay?"

"Okay. Stop talking. Don't move."

House remained very still, keeping his breaths slow and deep to discourage jittering. So slow and even that he fell asleep.

He's pushed onto the bed, again. His hands bound, again. Wilson is on top of him, biting at the delicate skin at the where his neck meets his shoulder. House loops the cuffs over Wilson's head and pulls tight, fingers in Wilson's hair. He groans deep in his throat and pulls the warm body closer.

Someone his holding down his head, hard, so that he can't move it. He arches his back and sees Tritter, a grim smile on his face.


"House." Wilson whispers desperately. "House."

"House?"

House woke. He was sitting up because Cuddy was holding him up. He was also nauseous.

"I think I'm gonna…" And he did.

Vomit splattered on Cuddy's shoes. She winced.

"Thanks," She said.

House wiped his mouth and took a deep breath. Cuddy's hand felt surprisingly comforting against his back.

"What was it?" she asked.

"Bad dream."

Cuddy narrowed her eyes. "It didn't…look…like a bad dream," she said delicately.

House pulled away harshly, turning on the table. The idea of Cuddy noticing that amount of…whatever …made his face flush. He curled his back and griped his left bicep with his right hand. The feel of his fingers against his arm felt steady, anchoring. The blush faded but he still couldn't look at her.

"Well…" Cuddy said slowly. "I'm not a world famous diagnostician; but…avoiding Wilson plus scary dreams that make you think your losing you mind does not equal brain tumor. It equals something else."

"I'm not gay," House said.

"House…"

He glared at her. "I'm forty years old. I would know if I was gay."

Cuddy raised an eyebrow. "You're only forty now?"

House tried to stay mad but wound up smiling.

Cuddy smiled back, a little relief showing in her eyes.

House leaned back a little, propping up his body with his hand. The other hand rubbed his face. "Those sorts of things…" he explained, "don't really bother me. They never have. These dreams bother me. I need to know why."

Cuddy nodded, agreeing, testing him. "You could see a shrink," she said.

House sighed. He suddenly had a horrible headache.

"Yeah." He said. "I could. Know any who don't hate me?"