Part IfBy GeeLadyf
Time-line: Sequel to Gone With the World & Riddled With Heavenf
Summary: "Take what you like and pay for it, says God." (Spanish proverb)
Rating: NC-17, Adult, +18, Mature. Alternate Universe. Language. Rape. Sexual situations. Implausible medical conditions. SLASH.
Disclaimer: I will probably never have House, but others in this story certainly do!
NOTE: If you want to enjoy this story or its prequels, suspend your disbelief.
Thanks to manidefronsac for the theme suggestion: "What about people who want House BECAUSE he CAN bear children?"
Nothing says I love you like murder.
In the quiet of the still evening, around the small world of the farm and its familiar inhabitants, the unfamiliar came.
A noise like the buzzing of insects, if insects could raise a cloud on a gravel road or rise above the sudden bleating the disturbed nanny goats.
"Hey." Foreman left off shaking out feed to the nervous creatures jostling his legs in the pen. Their bearded snoozes sought out the shade of the small lean-to in the hot July sun, each trying to get its nose into the bucket first.
"Hey!" Foreman shouted even louder, back over his shoulder to Chase who was nearer to the main house than he was. "Get the others!" Foreman dumped the bucket on the ground for the goats to fend for themselves, and raced to the brick, two-story to warn Danny and Wilson.
Wilson was busy mixing coarse flour in a bowl and Danny was trying to repair a weak spot in the stove pipe that rose from the wood burning, black iron furnace to just below the ceiling by wrapping a flat piece of tin around the pipe, and holding it in place by twisting together the ends of two lengths of naked wire. Both men turned when Foreman burst into the room. "Danny! Get your revolver." He threw Wilson a look of sober urgency. "Hide House and the kids right now and keep them quiet. We've got visitors."
A rag-tag trio of motorized two-wheelers that had seen far better days snaked narrow patterns into the dirt lane leading to the farms main courtyard of black dirt and weeds. The section of land and tumbled down buildings that Foreman, Chase, Wilson, Danny and House had come to call home gave no sign that the strangers were not welcome and the strangers offered no sign that said they were something to be unwelcome.
They appeared to be simply men traveling on motorbikes down a country lane. Like the old days when it would have a pleasure trip and a pit-stop at cousin's so-and-so for beers and a barbecue.
Foreman knew it was hardly for any such reason the strangers had arrived. Why so swiftly became evident when the last of the three gas fired contraptions came to a cough and stopped. When the dust settled a bit, a two wheeled wood cart affair that had followed the motorbike-cade, and pulled by the third and largest motorcycle, halted. It was obviously the convoy's rickety caboose.
Foreman's physician's eye for the human form immediately noted that on its rough surface lay a man wrapped in blankets. Hovering over him was the protective presence of the final man in the four man group.
"Help!" The first of the fellows, thin, black hair styled in a mop of dirty strings by days of dusty travel, leaped off his bike and hurried up to Foreman.
Danny had appeared at Foreman's side with his small revolver, the one he had used to shoot the murderer Hayes in the back, and had it aimed at the strangers mid-section.
But the thin man with the messy hair seemed not to notice anything or anyone but Foreman. "Are you Foreman?" He asked.
Foreman nodded. Clearly the man knew him, or of him.
"We heard about you guys from some travelers who passed our way about eight or nine weeks ago. You're doctors, right? They said we'd know you, because at least one of you would be black."
When Foreman only exchanged looks with Chase and Wilson, the fellow added, his face sweaty, his forehead lined with worry. "They said to come here if we needed a doctor's help."
As he spoke, Foreman watched with one eye as the still form in the blankets was gently lifted off the wood cart by two of the others and carried closer. They brought the mummy-like wrapped person and lay him just a few yards away from the porch, looking to the one speaking, waiting. Looking to Foreman as well, for words of welcome or warning.
"Yes. We're doctors. What do you want?" Foremen was careful to keep his tone neutral but not friendly. Friendly wouldn't have hurt in the old times, but these days, friendliness was a manner of scared men. Cautious was the new friendly. He knew what they wanted of course. But that's about he knew of them, and that was an unbalanced state that needed to be rapidly altered. Goods were hardly ever weighed in the scales of need anymore. People and their hidden agendas, were.
The skinny man pointed behind him and walked toward his very still companion lying on the ground, all the while looking over his shoulder at Foreman, beseeching him to come closer with anxious words. "Our mate. Our Blue, he's sick. Please. He's real sick."
Foreman turned his head to look Danny in the eye and nodded. Danny understood that Foreman meant to approach their guests ill mate and Danny should have Chase, who stood in the doorway of the main house, his arms crossed defensively, his longbow tucked at his side, have Wilson come outside too. "Tell Wilson to bring the bag." Foreman ordered.
Their only medicine bag was produced by Wilson, who gave it to Chase who brought it to Danny who handed it to Foreman. It was a small leather case that had once served as a bowling ball pouch and now called for a more noble purpose. It's contents were significantly lighter and far more precious than any ceramic globe.
Foreman approached the quiet men and could feel the fear. He wasn't sure if it was fear of him or fear for their ill mate. Perhaps both.
Even from a few feet away, Foreman could smell the illness, the infection, rising from the tissues of the Blue. "Unwrap him please. I need to examine him." Foreman thought better of it. "In fact, let's get him onto the porch."
With hardly any effort, two of the stranger companions shuttled their breeder the short distance to the freshly swept porch. Foreman was glad for Wilson's daily spic and spanning with a broom.
There on the cleaner, more level surface Foreman was able to make his examination out of the blinding heat of a noon day summer sun. Under the blanket, though, he knew was gloom. The coverings were removed and beneath the layers, their birth-mate was naked.
Checking his patient's carotid pulse while watching for regular breaths, Foreman cited his findings for Wilson who crouched beside him, ready to assist. "Pulse is rapid and thready." He gently lifted each of the man's slack eyelids, falling easily back into the doctor speak he hardly had occasion to use anymore. It returned like an old friend. "Pupils equal, round, sluggish." Foreman had no tiny flashlight tucked conveniently into his shirt pocket, so he turned the man's face to a small beam of sun that had wiggled its way through a crack in the porch roof and, in turn, let it shine on each of the dull blue irises and the pinpoint black pupils. "Little response to light."
Wilson thrust a thermometer beneath the man's armpit. While waiting for its glassy knowledge, Foreman palpitated the unconscious man's abdomen and felt a familiar and distinctive swelling. "He's pregnant?" He asked the man closest to him, realizing he knew none of their names. "What's your name, kid?"
"Bobby." Answered the young blond fellow with the pocked complexion.
"Do you know how far along he is, Bobby"
Bobby looked to one of his older mates to provide and answer. Next to him, an older man of forty-some years said, "More'n' three weeks. Maybe four."
Foreman solicited Wilson's help in lifting and bending the patient's legs so he could have better access to the the perineum. Immediately, the acrid stench of septicemia invaded all their senses. Foreman held his breath and visually examined the un-broken perineum where a birth canal should have split through and dropped. There was old bruising and swelling - too much swelling - but no birth canal.
Foreman knew Wilson knew without speaking it that the breed-mate had gone septic-beyond help many hours ago, probably days ago. The poor creature's body had demanded he birth the child but then for some reason his body had failed to open the gate for that child to escape.
Foreman quietly said to Wilson. "He's completely purulent." Foreman palpitated the man's lower abdomen, farther down, closer to his groin and could feel the larger swelling there. The color of the skin directly above the area was gray and the dead tissue of his unborn lay wedged in a putrefying mass against the unyielding wall of the acetabulum. Foreman could feel the crackling of the fetus's decomposing flesh beneath his probing fingers.
The two physicians exchanged glances. Both understood the poor birth-father of the dead baby was soon to follow his unborn into the after-life. Hopefully a far better life, if there was any justice at all.
"The baby's dead." Foreman announced simply. No one had time or heart to mince words anymore. Death had left it's unmistakable brand on the consciousness of every man left alive and the soft-peddling of stark truth had been gladly abandoned by all. No one had the stomach for it anymore.
"I'm sorry." Foreman announced to the desperate men who had ferried their sick breed-mate he knew not how many miles or days so he, a doctor, a rare and wonderful kind of person, could save him. "Your mate is going to die. There's nothing we can do."
The youngest member of the group of visitors stared at Foreman in shock. That kind of news can knock the wind out of a person. His face scrunched up and he began to cry.
Watching and feeling useless, "I'm sorry." Wilson said. The kid had to be no more than nineteen.
Two other members of their new-found acquaintances gathered around their beloved companion. The men were something sorry to look at though not in features or body.
The three of them, from the young one with the bad complexion crying freely beside his dying mate and gazing around him as though the oppressive summer air might explain the unfairness of it, to the oldest-looking graying-haired man who seemed more a father than a sire to the dying one - all of them looked hungry, exhausted and desperate in their sadness.
Even their clothes showed evidence of bad times; dirty and torn, as though the men had traveled a very long way only to watch helplessly while their precious mate died on a foreign patch of soil.
Only one man stood apart, a tall, huskily built man of narrow, finely boned face and skin as black as coal. He had the whitest of the white in his eyes set above a wide nose and prominent cheekbones, but the eyes were rimmed in tears and shot through with the red veins of a beaten-to-death grief.
Wilson wondered if this man had been the primary love of the dying BM's life.
Wilson walked over to Foreman, who waited apart a respectful distance. He could hear the comatose patient's labored breaths as they slowed and shallowed out.
Wilson felt again, as he had often felt years ago, that without the modern conveniences of machines designed to support life-crucial functions such as heart-rate, breathing, fluids, and bacteria and pathogen killing drugs, his skills were limited to the point of being nearly useless.
It was not even an hour later that the BM finally took his last swallow of air. By that time, Foreman and Wilson had wandered off on an aimless, solitary circle walk, to give the men space to mourn. After what seemed like the proper time interval, he, Foreman and Chase offered to help them bury their dead mate in a fresh dirt grave in the woods nearby.
Chase was thoughtful enough not only to offer to plant flowers around the fresh mound, but say a service over the body, if they wished. The men quietly thanked him. Wilson had forgotten Chase's on-again, off-again religious proclivities and was suddenly glad to have someone around who knew a few words of prayer.
Once the words were said and the odd-ball group of men gathered back at the main house, the big man who had stood apart shyly approached Wilson and shook his hand, his face unashamedly wet. "He was my mate first-" The hulk of a man, broken up over his dead lover, looked away to the field to hide his heart from scrutiny,
"-before any of the others came along, see." He explained, as though apologizing for his tears.
Wilson understood very well how the man felt and had a longing to tell him so. He wanted the fellow to know that someone in the world had once felt exactly the same way he did.
When House had been gone, dragged off to New Dawn to face deprivation and execution at the hands of religious zealots, Wilson had felt a hole open in him the world could not have choked, with room to spare. A pain more horrible than any he had known prior or since. A pain that drove him nearly mad with anguish. His mind had froze on the terrible moment and for his stolen mate, his flesh had become trapped in a perpetual howl.
They had all lived in a torturous hunger over House's absence and the very real terror that he was gone forever.
Wilson wished he could say these things to the crying man who wiped at the tears he seemed to find cumbersome, but the safety of House and the kids, and therefore the absolute secrecy to assure them of it, was too important. It was crucial. Knowledge of House, a so-called "BM", a Blue-Eyed Mutant, capable of becoming pregnant and giving birth to real, live, tiny babies, was too precious a gift to risk for anything or anyone. Not even this poor, grieving soul.
House was, in a very literal sense, irreplaceable. He was their future. Wilson secretly smiled to himself that House's swollen ego, king over all things House, regularly gloated about by House himself all those years ago, had turned out to be correct. House was The Man.
"If you've never had a birth-mate," the black man, who's towering bulk dwarfed Wilson's six-foot-one, snorted to clear his dripping nose, "well, let me just say losing him is the worst fucking pain I've ever felt in my whole life." He angrily erased the tears once more by drawing his right sleeve across his face, leaving a wide smear of dirt. "If I didn't have my other mates, I'd wanna' go down to the dirt with 'im."
Wilson fed them all vegetable stew and bread. The four still living visitors lapped it up like hounds, so starved were they after pushing the light to reach Foreman and the others.
Wilson felt sorry for them. Especially the young one and the big fellow, who's eyelids were still rims of red.
The doctor's had learned the stranger's names and from where they had come.
"We drove almost three days." The gray-haired fellow said, who's name was Josh. "We came 'bout six hundred miles we figure."
The other man's name, the man who hardly said a word, preferring to let his mates do all the talking, called himself Wolf and the big, black fellow's name was Eli.
When introductions were spoken all around, "Pleased to meet you." Was all Eli said.
Wilson suggested giving them some provisions for the road so the men could return home safely. Secretly he wanted to hurry them off as fast as possible. The longer they were there, the more risk one of them might discover the existence of House. Already Wilson had sneaked on sock feet up the stairs with hidden food and water for House and the kids. Thankfully, the babies were sleepy and had full tummies. No crying bouts so far but they both knew that couldn't possibly last.
But urging them to be off while still dark might rouse suspicion, so Foreman suggested to the guests they could sleep in the barn. "It's warm in there. Sorry, we have no room in the house."
Though clearly depressed over his dead mate, Eli was grateful. Bobby followed Eli out to the barn and Wolf and Josh, who appeared to be their leader, soon followed.
Wilson closed and cross-barred the door, breathing a sigh of relief.
Chase voiced what they were all thinking. "I'm glad they're leaving tomorrow."
Foreman nodded. "I think one of us should stay in the room with House and the kids." Foreman was their unspoken leader. He was a cautious man who calculated his steps.
They all agreed and Danny was chosen for the job. Danny checked his revolver and though it held no bullets it seemed sufficiently threatening that anyone would hesitate to test out if there was. He was the only one who had ever shot a man and felt now that if House or any of them were threatened, he could do so again.
Foreman had teased him about it. "Nothing says I love you like murder."
But the consensus was to shoot straight and apologize later.
Wilson was disappointed that he was not the one chosen to stay with House but then he also knew he was relatively useless in a fight. "We'll be right next door." He assured Danny needlessly.
Danny patted Wilson on the shoulder. "I know."
By the time Foreman and Wilson had got up, the motorbikes were already gone from the yard and Foreman could not help but be relieved. The tight register of tension that had set up in his guts since the strangers arrival was finally easing.
"Where's Chase?" Wilson asked.
Foreman zipped up his well-worn jeans. He was down to two pairs. One for work and one for every other moment in life. He hardly ever wore the other ones. "Probably down at the shed."
The shed was the out-door toilet, put back in use rather than waste the precious well water for something as frivolous as a flushing John.
"Wake up Danny and House." Wilson instructed. "I'm starting breakfast."
Wilson stoked the smoldering embers in his black cook stove and encouraged them to life with additions of kindling and two or three larger pieces of dry wood. In minutes, he had a healthy fire and put water on to boil for the tea and for the heating of baby formula.
In the center of the kitchen floor was a trap door that lead down nine steep stairs to the dirt cellar where everything was in cool darkness. He lit a candle and looked on the shelves for a jar of the June berries he had preserved in a syrup of their own juice and honey. Mashed with soft-baked bread, it was breakfast for the children.
Wilson almost bumped his head on the ceiling when Foreman bellowed his name from the second floor.
He scrambled from the cellar with a jar in each hand. "What?" He asked, irritated. Foreman had almost made him drop them.
"Did House come downstairs while I was dressing?" Foreman was hurrying from kitchen to living room to porch, sticking his head around every corner in search of the often frustratingly elusive House.
"No. I don't think so."
"Danny's not in their room."
Wilson felt the smallest chill of fear in his chest. "The kids?"
"The kids are fine, they're still in their cribs but House isn't there and neither is Danny."
Wilson raced up the stairs, breakfast forgotten. "I'll stay with them. Find House and get Chase!"
Foreman didn't have to be asked and beat his own record for a dash to the out-house. He rapped on the door with a hard fist. "Chase?"
"What?" Chase asked. Foreman could hear him turning the page of a magazine.
"We can't find House, man. Did you see Danny this morning?"
Dead silence. Then, "Jesus, no, I haven't. Either of them."
Danny they found after a short search of the feed and junk sheds. Behind the rusting bones of a long dead auger, they found Danny, empty, useless gun still tangled in his skinny fingers. He'd been strangled and he was dead.
They never found House.
Part II asap.
Goals: Part V of Going Inside-Out by Friday. Ditto for Fairy God Doctor Part VIII