Special Bonus feature! House thinks about his and Wilson's relationship a few months after the story ends.
House didn't tell Wilson of his dream.
It began pleasantly enough. He and Wilson were at PPHT, eating lunch in the cafe as per usual. Wilson had been talking about one of his cancer kids when he got up to toss out the leftover trash from his meal. As Wilson stood his pants abruptly began to slide down his legs, forcing the doctor to grab at them.
House broke out in gleeful laughter. "I know you're trying to drop a few pounds Wilson, but that may be a bit much."
"That's not funny." Wilson replied, looking angry and a tad alarmed. "They fit fine this morning."
"Uh-huh." House smirked at him. "Let's get you back upstairs before you traumatize someone."As House stood up Wilson took a step forward and went sprawling onto the floor.
"Remind me, were you drinking water or vodka?"
"My pant leg tripped me." Came the reply as Wilson picked himself up.
House held in a snicker. "Looks like you have an excuse to go clothes shopping."
"I don't like clothes shopping." Wilson huffed as he hurried out and into an empty elevator. House followed him, barely catching up before the doors shut.
"Like it or not, I think you may have to go soon." House eyed him. "Because those clothes are all but falling off you. Not that that's a bad thing…"
"Not right now!"
House watched as Wilson looked himself over. His clothing seemed to be sizes too big. Even the collar on the shirt was beginning to gape...
"Hang on." House swung his cane above Wilson's head, clipping him slightly.
"Ow! What was that for?" Wilson winced.
"Stand still." House replied, holding his cane aloft. He squinted at it for a few moments then nodded. "Well, that explains a lot."
"What explains a lot?" Wilson rubbed the sore spot on his head.
"I'm holding my cane still and your head is no longer touching it." House's eyes gleamed. "Ergo, you're getting smaller. Plus you're staring straight into my chest. About five feet even I'd say, and rapidly diminishing."
"Oh…Shit." Wilson paled.
Now that he knew what to look for, it was painfully obvious to the older doctor. Wilson was shrinking fast, right out of his clothes. He looked up at House, fear clearly visible on his features.
"Don't worry, I'll figure out how to fix it." House sighed. "Let's just get you into my office before someone sees you."
"Great." Wilson groaned. "I feel so much better."
"Here, hurry up." House grabbed his arm and pulled him into the hallway. Wilson stumbled over his oversized clothes but kept his balance. House closed the door to his office behind them, locked it, and drew the blinds.
"Why do weird things keep happening to me?" Wilson muttered.
"Us, Jimmy, not just you." House corrected him. "Although this is pretty high on the freak-o-meter."
Wilson, perhaps four feet tall now, kicked off the oversized pants and shoes. House quirked one eyebrow at him and grinned.
"This is turning you on?" The Oncologist demanded.
"You being half-naked? Hell yes."
"You are unbelievable." Wilson reached up the pinch the bridge of his nose, but his hands were lost in his gigantic shirtsleeves. "Oh, for the love of God!"
"Not your day, huh?"
Wilson now resembled a toddler playing dress up. He couldn't have been more than three feet high. The shirt was all but falling off his narrow shoulders. He glared up at House, arms crossed.
"I don't suppose you'd like to help me instead of making sarcastic remarks?"
"I'd like to, but I'm drawing a blank. And unless this is an exotic new form of cancer, you're not going to have many ideas either." House said quietly. This might have been amusing at first, but it was rapidly losing it's entertainment value. At this rate Wilson would soon vanish entirely.
"Fantastic. I'm screwed." Wilson moaned.
"If that were the case it wouldn't be a problem. In fact…" House trailed off as Wilson abruptly vanished from sight. "Wilson?"
"I'm here!" The cry came from the floor. House's gaze traveled down to the pile of clothes now heaped at his feet. He couched down and spotted a tiny bump moving about inside the shirt. Very carefully he pulled the excess cloth aside. After a moment of searching he spotted the Oncologist. He looked to be about four inches high.
"What happened?" He looked dazed.
"To quote a great piece of literature: You almost went out like a candle." House replied.
"I…oh." Wilson seemed to come to his senses. He paled, realzing what had happened. "Oh, no! No way."
"Denial as an initial reaction. Interesting." House said, more to himself than Wilson.
" 'Interesting'? This is a disaster!" Wilson shot back. He clutched a portion of his shirt collar to his chest.
"It's not all bad. You've stopped shrinking." House pointed out. Relief washed over him. "You're fine."
"I don't want to be 'fine' I want to be normal!" Wilson wailed.
"Fat chance of that." House grinned. Now that the immediate danger was gone, he could relax. He removed Wilson's handkerchief from his coat pocket and offered it to the smaller man. "Here."
He watched in amusement as Wilson grabbed the cloth and retreated under the shirt to wrap it around himself. "There's really no sense in being bashful. I've already seen you naked, and I'll see you naked again."
"Well you're not seeing me naked at work," came the reply. Wilson emerged a few moments later draped toga-style in the cloth. "Oof. I never noticed how heavy this fabric was."
"It's not, you're just a point ninety-nine ounce weakling." House smirked. Very gently he reached down and gripped the little doctor between his thumb and forefinger.
Wilson looked up, alarmed. "What are you doing?"
"Well I can't leave you down there." House replied. "It's too dangerous for a cute little thing like you."
"Don't call me a thing." Wilson protested as House picked him up.
"I know, 'objectifying your partner is bad', blah blah." House rolled his eyes. "Honestly, you never let me have any fun."
"Your idea of fun is warped enough without adding this into the mix!" Wilson growled. "Now are you going to try and fix this or what?"
"Well, if you're going to have that attitude maybe I'll just leave you this way." House said, grinning. Wilson being both metaphorically and literally in the palm of his hand had its own amusement potential. "I've always wanted an Oncologist action figure."
"Don't worry, I'll find a way to change you back." House replied, drawing the shades in his office. "It could take a while though. I'm sure we can find something to entertain ourselves in the meantime."
"Doing what?" Wilson asked hesitantly. He looked a little green around the gills.
"Not that. What are you, sick?" House wrinkled his nose. "I don't even want to think about the schematics of doing that when you're this size."
Wilson didn't look much relieved. "Then what are you planning?"
House sat down at his desk and shrugged. "Well, have you ever wanted to eat your body weight in ice cream? I could buy a half-pint of Ben and Jerry's and you'd be all set."
"Well, I could get some whipped cream and then-"
"No." Wilson cut him off.
"Really? Because I'm sure we have some left over."
"Number one: not when I'm this small. Number two: not at the office." Wilson was standing on his palm, hands on his hips. House brought him to eye level.
"You are really tiny." He marveled.
"Just what every boyfriend wants to hear."
House fixed him with a smile that could almost be sweet. "You've got to admit, this is pretty cool. Having you literally in hand could be fun."
" 'Cool' or not, I don't like being this size. Everything is much bigger than it should be, and if the wrong person saw me I could be in real danger. I know some people would just love to play with me. A lot of them wouldn't understand that I'm still a real person." Wilson said worriedly. "They would treat me like a doll."
"Well, you certainly primp enough to pass for Ken." House smirked.
"It's not funny." Wilson's eyes were downcast. "If someone did treat me like that I couldn't do anything about it. I'm practically helpless."
This struck hard at House. He silently cursed the fact that Wilson was too small for him to administer some sort of physical comfort. That only left him with verbal, which he wasn't nearly as good at.
"You are not helpless." He kept his voice steady. "Having me at your beck and call is pretty far away from helpless."
That seemed to do the trick. The fear faded from his lover's eyes. "That is true, unless I want something that requires us to use the stairs. Then we're pretty well screwed."
House rolled his eyes. "If I were you I wouldn't be making fun of the guy who could stick me in a mason jar and put me on display."
"Mm-hm." Wilson nuzzled his fingertip. House ran a finger lightly down his back, reciprocating the affection.
"House, don't! That tickles!"
"I'll bet." House smirked. Wilson squirmed in his hand, but didn't seem to be trying to avoid the touch.
'Maybe physical comfort isn't off the table.' House thought wryly. Slowly, he started to stroke Wilson's thigh.
"What are you doing?"
"Remember what you said earlier about people wanting to play with you? Same general idea."
"You are a sick, sick man." Wilson shook his head.
"You're the one who's in love with me. That says way more about you than me." House replied.
"House, this is neither the time nor the place to...ahhh, that's not fair." Wilson's protest was cut short when House hit a sweet spot.
"I'm just trying to make you feel better." House said innocently.
"The hell you are, you're taking a power trip. I think you actually like that I'm--"
House grinned as Wilson's entier body twitched as when slid down the solar plexus. "Sorry, didn't quite catch that. I like that you're what?"
"You...jerk." Wilson managed. "Put me down."
For an instant House thought about refusing. It wasn't as if Wilson could actually do anything to stop him...
'Stop it, or you'll be doing exactly what he was afraid of.' An analytical voice said coldly. 'Or do you actually care about what he wants? If you don't now would be a fine time to stop pretending. He's completly at your mercy.'
This thought intstantly pulled House out of his playful mood. He set Wilson down on the desk.
"That's better." Wilson sounded a bit more composed. He took a few moments to straighten his toga.
"I'm going to call my Ducklings in to help figure this out." House said, trying to get his mind off what had just happened. He felt sick. It had taken mere minutes for him to transition from seeing Wilson as person to seeing him as an object.
'That's nothing new.' The analytical voice continued. 'You see most people as objects--Puppets, riddles, puzzles, whatever you want. Not such a big jump to add a doll."
'I'm not. He isn't.' House thought dully as he reached for the phone.
"I wouldn't do that." A third voice growled from behind him.
House didn't spin around. Even if his leg permitted it, it would have been was completely undignified. He slowly, deliberately, turned.
Leaning nonchalantly against the wall was Tritter.
The face of the Detective was frozen in a pensive smirk. He had his gun trained on the Diagnostician.
House reached back and curled his fingers protectively around Wilson.
"It's okay." House said grimly. His eyes stayed on Tritter's gun. It was pointed squarely at his chest.
"Dr. House." Tritter nodded politely.
"Detective. What brings you to my office?"
Tritter gave a dry, mirthless laugh. "I'd say 'revenge' and cackle manically, but it would be clichéd."
"Glad to see you haven't lost your sense of humor." House said warily, eyeing the gun.
"When you've lost everything else, humor is generally all there is." The amused expression did not reach Tritter's eyes. They were almost blank.
"He's lost his mind." Wilson whispered.
"Temporary insanity." Tritter corrected him. "Looks much better on the court transcripts."
"I'm glad you thought this through." House took a slow step back and bumped into his desk.
"Stop." The gun was cocked.
"Okay, but in another hour or so I'm really going to need to sit down."
Tritter still looked vaguely amused. "Now, are you going to hand your little friend over or do I have to kill you first then take him?"
"Leave Wilson alone." House growled.
"Not an option. I slipped him the drugs that did this, and I'll be getting him either way Dr. House. For some God-forsaken reason he seems to prefer you alive." The false mirth vanished. "So, which will it be?"
"House, do it." Wilson said quietly.
"Getting yourself killed and leaving me with him isn't going to help. Do it." Wilson sounded calm but was trembling in his hand. He was right, of course. House keeping himself from getting killed was their only shot at getting out of this. But handing him over…
Slowly, House extended the hand holding Wilson to Tritter. His fingers uncurled, removing the last bit of protection Wilson had.
He shot an uneasy smile at House. "It'll be okay."
"I wouldn't go that far." Tritter un-ceremonially plucked Wilson from House's fingertips. "There's a long day ahead of us."
"Don't you dare-" House took a step forward.
"OW! Don't, please!" Wilson cried out, cutting House off. Tritter was squeezing the little doctor. "I can't breath!"
"I suggest you step back." Tritter growled at House. The diagnostician did so, quickly. Tritter eased his grip and Wilson drew in a gasp.
"You do anything I deem remotely funny Dr. House and your little doll will be the one who suffers."
"Let him go." House said angrily. "He's not the one you're pissed at, why are you-"
"It's easier to break a man's body than his spirit, but your body is already broken. Ergo, I go for the spirit, all of which seems to be centered on him." Tritter looked slightly bored. "I should have known the two of you were screwing. He's to prissy to be straight."
House glared at Tritter. "You're a homophobe on top of everything else? That figures You're already an idiot and a jerk."
Tritter gave him a bored look and slowly revolved his hand, leaving Wilson hanging upside down. Wilson slammed his eyes shut and emitted a tiny whimper.
"Think a fall from this height would break his neck? Leave him paralyzed? Kill him outright? You're the doctor, you tell me." He punctuated the remark by uncurling two of his fingers.
"Stop it." House choked out.
Smirking, Tritter turned his hand palm-up. Wilson lay sprawled across it, panting heavily.
"Please…you don't have to do this…"
"Aw, sounds like the poor little doll is scared."
"Stop that." House managed a growl. "He's a human being, not a fucking plaything."
"Really." Tritter took a long moment to re-holster his gun. With Wilson literally in hand he didn't need anything else to keep House in line. "Seems that you were playing with him for years, Doctor House."
This stopped House cold.
"Don't listen to him." Wilson managed. "It's not the same thing at all. You wouldn't hurt me."
"He would. He has." Tritter smirked. "And he'll do it again. Hell, it's his fault you're being hurt right now-"
Wilson cried out as Tritter twisted his arm.
"I'll kill you for this." House said quietly. He tightened his grip on his cane, wondering how hard he would have to swing it to bash the detective's head in.
"You know I'm right." Tritter released Wilson's arm. "He trusts you, you abuse that trust and hurt him. Just like all your relationships."
House tried to fire back at the detective, but was at a total loss. Tritter was right. He'd played with Wilson's emotions for the entier span of their friendship, and he'd nearly disregaurded him totally only minutes ago.
Tritter slowly moved his hand over the edge of the bookcase and dropped Wilson onto it, eliciting a frighten shriek from the doctor. House restrained himself from leaping forward. Tritter could snatch Wilson right back up long before he could begin to get into position.
"You don't know what you're talking about." Wilson winced as he climbed to his feet.
"Dr. House injures everyone he interacts with. It's a simple fact." Tritter finally addressed Wilson directly, glowering down at him.
"He doesn't." Wilson replied. "He makes them stronger."
"The hell he does." Tritter growled.
"You can't understand it, and that makes you afraid." Wilson continued calmly. "That's why you used me to get to him. You fear him."
"Well then, lets see how this grabs him." Tritter swung his hand forward and knocked Wilson off the shelf.
House wasn't even aware that he'd leapt forward until he was on top of Tritter. It didn't matter that the detective had cracked his head on the desk, it didn't matter if he was still conscious and able to fire his gun, all that mattered was grabbing Wilson out of midair before he hit the floor.
House could hardly believe it when he felt the featherweight doctor land in his outstretched fingertips.
Wilson gave him a rather weary smile. "I knew you wouldn't let me get hurt."
House didn't sit up in bed gasping for air, although it would have been more dramatic if he had. He jerked awkwardly out of his dream, clutching his sleeping partner tightly. Wilson lay snuggled to his side, head on his bare chest.
In the light of day House knew he'd be able to shake the dream off as mental garbage, junk output from a busy mind. For now he snuggled a little closer to Wilson. Wilson, safe in his arms, not being abused by an insane detective out for revenge.
Or by a Misanthropic Doctor who had problems with limits.
'It's not a game anymore. This is for keeps.' House thought as he drifted back into dreamless sleep.
And he was okay with that.