This is a follow-up to 'Home at Last' - you might want to read that first.
WARNINGS - Abuse, Rape.
For me, it's the apologies that got to me the most. Greg would apologise for anything and everything, practically pleading for me to forgive him. Even if it's over a silly thing like making coffee that was too strong, or using the last of the toilet paper. The first week or so after his return Greg was a jumpy, terrified and quiet man, cautious of the world around him. When he woke up after coming home he started to tell me what happened; I didn't think that Greg would be this withdrawn after that - I knew that he'd be forlorn and upset but I thought that he'd still have a bit of himself still shining through.
He was also much more of a cuddler than usual. Not that I minded - he needed comfort and I was more than willing to give it to him - but when we ate our dinner in front of the TV his head was resting on my shoulder, so I couldn't use both my knife and fork to eat without jarring him. In bed, however, he could cuddle me as much as he liked, and he knew it. The dark still scared him, but Greg also knew that I would take his mind off of it. With a few soothing words and a gentle rub of his back he was calmer and able to sleep.
In the three months that have gone by since Greg came back, I can only think of one incident where he was truly distraught. We were in bed - Greg was sleeping, snuggled against my chest with my arms protectively around him - when I heard him whimper. I shushed him and pressed a kiss into his hair, which seemed to work. Until five minutes later, when he flinched in my arms and tried to push me away. He hadn't had a nightmare yet so I didn't think that he would. I briefly considered a seizure, but that got ruled out when he started talking.
"No… Let me go… Please… I'm sorry!" Greg thrashed, trying to get away from me. "I'll… I'll be good... I swear!" I grappled with him, struggling to keep his arms down so he wouldn't hit me or himself. But that seemed to make matters much worse.
"Get your hands off me!" He swiped at my hands. I tried running my hand through his hair. BIG mistake.
"I WON'T LOOK AT YOU!" Greg screamed, finally shoving himself away from me – but he went too far and fell out of bed, landing with a thud. I scrambled off the bed and ran around to him, kneeling by his side. Greg was hugging his knees to his chest, staring at some spot on the wall in front of him and taking fast, deep breaths. I sat cross – legged beside him and reached out a careful hand to touch his shoulder.
"Greg, it's me… It's James." I softly said, squeezing his shoulder. A single tear trickled down Greg's face and got lost in his stubble.
"Jimmy?" He whispered.
"I'm right here buddy. You want a glass of water?"
"Where are you?" Another whisper. I frowned. His eyes were slightly glazed.
"Greg, we're in our bedroom."
"I miss you." I strained my ears to hear that. Damn. He's still asleep – still in the nightmare. This meant I had to wake him up.
"Greg, you're having a nightmare. You need to-"
"You said that nobody would ever hurt me, Jimmy… where are you?" Two more tears trickled down his cheek.
The breath hitched in my throat as I tried to stop my own tears from escaping. His nightmare has lasted long enough. I shook his shoulder with as little force as I could.
"Greg. Wake up!" Greg blinked several times before taking slow, deep breaths. He looked up at me.
"Jimmy?" I moved the hand on his shoulder up his neck until I could brush my fingers against his cheek.
"Yeah," I rubbed my thumb over his parted lips. "I'm right here." Greg's breathing began to steady, and he moved so that his head was buried in my stomach. I stroked his head as I whispered softly, "You were having a nightmare and you fell out of bed." At my words he closed his eyes and fingered the hem of my boxers.
"What, um… Was I still…" Greg mumbled.
"Yeah." Turning so he could look up at me, he sighed.
"Can we get back into bed now?" He tried to smile, but it didn't reach his eyes. I nodded, and with minimal difficultly we were both on our feet and then tucked up in bed. We settled back into our former position – myself on my back with Greg half on top of me and half on the bed, my arms around him.
"Did you really say those things?" I asked him. With his face buried in my neck, he toyed with the hairs on my arm before nodding.
"I was terrified, Jimmy. It kept me sane, talking to you. If I didn't whisper then he'd hear me and come back for more." Greg choked out. I lifted his face to meet mine and gently pressed my lips to his. Relief coursed through me when I felt him begin to kiss back. When we parted I gazed into his eyes, trying to convey how much love I felt for him right now. Judging by his shy, cute smile that I've always loved, I was successful.
"I just wish that I'd been there to save you. Maybe if I'd just waited ten minutes and given you a ride home then none of this would have happened…" I confessed, rubbing my nose in his hair. "Greg?"
"Hmm?" He mumbled.
"Your nightmare wouldn't have anything to do with the fact that the trial is in…" I checked the bedside clock. "10 hours, would it?" I felt Greg flinch. He tried to burrow his head further into my chest, before nodding. Sighing, I pulled the duvet over both of us before laying us on our sides. Greg clung to me like a frightened child, pillowing his face with my shoulder as soon as he was back in my arms. "It's going to be alright, buddy. I promise." I couldn't promise that he wouldn't get hurt. Not after I failed to keep my last promise. "I love you very much." I pressed a kiss to the top of his head.
"Love you too, Jimmy." Came his sleepy response.
Morning came all too soon for us. I knew that Greg was dreading the trial – it meant facing the man who did this to him again for the first time since Greg and I went to identify him out of a line of suspects. But I also knew that he couldn't wait for it all to be over.
Watching Greg trying to button up his shirt was painful – his hands were shaking too much. I walked over to him and softly took his trembling hands in my own. He looked up at me with huge, round blue eyes, and I thought I was going to burst into tears there and then. Gently moving his hands away I did his buttons up and fixed his tie. I smiled – it was the one I bought him as a joke for his birthday. I thought he'd thrown it out when I didn't see it around over the next few days. When I asked him if he'd thrown it away, he opened his bedside-table drawer and took out the tie. "Why would I? You gave it to me?" He said, smiling. I was so surprised that I didn't even notice when he blindfolded me and led me to our bed.
Once Greg was fully dressed, I ran my hands down his arms until I found his hands again. They weren't shaking any more. Even so, he still gripped my hands so tight I thought he was going to break my fingers.
"Our cab's going to be here in a minute. You ready?" I didn't feel like driving. And besides, this way I could look after Greg properly. He looked as if he was going to say something, and then nodded. I brought one hand up to caress his cheek, before leaning in to kiss him. The cab horn blared, ruining our moment. We both sighed, and went to get in it. We settled ourselves in the backseat, and I kept one arm around Greg for the entire journey to the courthouse. With every minute that passed he got more and more nervous, and it took everything I had to not gather him up in my arms right on the backset of the cab. When it pulled up outside, I practically had to drag a very reluctant Greg out of the safehouse that was our cab and into the courthouse. After informing the woman behind the desk that we were here, we were told to go to the waiting room and… well, wait. For ten minutes. We met Cuddy in there – she agreed to come with us for moral support. And she wanted to watch as justice was served; not that I blamed her. She came and sat next to Greg, and put a reassuring hand on his knee. He glanced up at her, and the corner of his mouth twitched.
"Hey." She said softly to him. "How are you?" He smirked. I found an interesting spot on the floor.
"I'm fine. Seriously." She raised an eyebrow and gave him a look that screamed dis-belief. Greg sat up properly and looked her square in the eye. "I'm fine as long as I've got Jimmy to look after me." I was radiating so much pride I felt like I was going to explode. God, I loved this man. I was about to ask Cuddy who was looking after the hospital when our names were called. As we stood up, Greg reached for my hand. I smiled at him, and gave it a soft squeeze. Then, not caring what anyone would say, I leaned in and kissed him. Nobody else's opinion mattered except for his. I didn't let go of his hand even as we were walking down to the front of the court. When we got to the front and turned to go to our seats, we walked passed Greg's captor to get to the plaintiff's table. His grip on my hand tightened, and when we sat down I slid my arm between his lower back and the bench to pull him against my side. Greg flashed me a quick smile as he settled against my hip. People began to file in, filling up the benches. Cuddy sat as close to us as she could, and our lawyer arrived shortly after her. Then, as the judge walked into the room we all stood.
"All rise for the honorable Judge Rebecca Williams."
As the Judge walked over to her seat, she looked over to Greg with a sad smile on her face. When we sat back down in our former positions Greg sank against my side and pulled my arm around him. I smiled down at him.
"Next witness," Williams spoke, getting the courtrooms attention. "Dr. Gregory House." I gave his shoulder a squeeze before he stood up and limped over to the stand. He swore himself on the bible (I wondered what Greg was thinking about that) and sat down on the chair provided by the guard, waiting to be questioned. He avoided looking at anyone, especially the defendants table.
"Dr. House," Mr. Morgan, Greg's lawyer, began. "If you would, please describe the events leading up to your abduction." Morgan was a nice man, but he didn't beat around the bush. Greg took a deep breath, and then began to tell his story.
"It was the end of the day, and Dr. Wilson was waiting for me to finish my work so we could go home. We go to work in his car, you see."
"You live together?" Williams interrupted. I could tell that Greg was biting back a snarky comment.
"Yes. We live in my apartment. He's my boyfriend." He smiled at me as he said the last part, and I returned the gesture. Williams glanced over at me, then back to Greg, signaling for him to continue.
"Anyway, Wilson was waiting for me in my office, but I hadn't quite finished my paperwork. I said I'd be ten minutes, but he couldn't wait. As it turned out, Wilson was planning a romantic dinner. Once I'd finished what I was doing, I called a cab and waited outside the hospital. By then it was dark. I didn't see two men approach me, and couldn't defend myself when they beat me into unconsciousness. Next thing I knew, I was in a basement with a cold and dingy floor." Greg finished explaining, taking a deep breath. We both knew what was coming next.
"Could you please tell the courtroom who organized your abduction?" Morgan asked. Greg looked over to me, and I wished I could be up there with him. He took a few short breaths before swallowing.
"Michael Tritter." Greg mumbled. Christ, he sounded so defeated. And because he mumbled, he had to repeat it for the tape recording of the trial. I chanced a glance over to the defendants' tables, and was sickened by Tritters smug look. His lawyer, on the other hand, wasn't looking so confident. Tritter lost his job as a detective ever since this whole fiasco began.
"Could you describe to the jury the abuse you suffered at the hands of Mr. Tritter please, Dr. House?" Greg shivered, and stared at the floor.
"Beatings every night, mainly to my upper body. Some nights it was to my already injured right thigh which was much worse. The basement where I was kept was always cold, and had no heating. I had to sleep on the floor. I'd get fed once a day if I was lucky. Which I wasn't."
"Was that all?" Judge Williams asked. I could sense the shock in her voice. Greg squeezed his eyes shut and shook his head.
"No," He choked out. "He… raped me." A gasp ran through the crowd, as well as the Judge. Greg kept his head bowed, not daring to raise his head. "Every night." Tritter still had that fucking smug look on his face. I'd love to wipe it clean off. But knowing that he was going to jail was enough.
"That's enough, Dr. House. You can step down now." Judge Williams said, glaring at Tritter as Greg made his way back to me. I pulled him close to me once he sat down and he sank into my side.
"I'm so proud of you, Greg. The worst part's over." I whispered into his hair, before kissing the crown of his head. He made a noise that sounded like a whimper into my shoulder when Tritter was called up to make his plea. I hugged Greg to my side, wishing for this to be over soon. I listened as Tritter told the jury why he kidnapped Greg – 'To teach him a lesson on how to treat other people.' I felt disgusted, and looking around it seemed I wasn't the only one. Throughout his whole testimony he showed no guilt or remorse for what he'd done. When the jury went to make their decision – not that it would be difficult – I took Greg outside the courtroom and into a private room. As soon as I shut the door I pulled Greg into my arms. He relished the contact and clung to me fiercely. We stood like that for about five minutes, and then we had to go back into the courtroom. Before we did, I cradled Greg's head in my hands and kissed him, loving the feeling of our tongues brushing against each other.
Back in the courtroom, and Greg was feeling more confident. Even though we knew what the outcome was going to be – Tritter didn't have a leg to stand on. A spokesperson for the jury stood.
"The jury finds Mr. Michael Tritter guilty of kidnapping, assault and multiple counts of rape." I started cheering at the word 'guilty', and threw my arms around Greg. Looking around, I watched with pride as the smirk was well and truly gone from Tritters face, replaced with one of shock as he was led away. We stood up and made our way back to the cab (I paid him a fair amount of money to wait for us), stopping to be congratulated by Cuddy and reminded that our holiday wasn't over for another two weeks.
Once we were back home, I was so thrilled, that I flung my arms around Greg's waist and spun him around a few times, until my back complained.
"Steady on here, Jimmy!" Greg chuckled, sliding his arms around my neck.
"I'm just glad it's over, Greg." I smiled and led us to the bedroom. Sex wasn't on my mind – and I knew that it certainly wasn't on his. But there was one thing that I could do. I stripped him down to his boxers, taking great time with his shirt to run my hands across his chest. The bruises had long since faded. He then took his turn and quickly removed my clothes, save my underwear – I think he knew what was coming.
Lying on my back, I watched as Greg crawled up the bed to lie on top of me, his head above my heart. He sighed in contentment as the first few thuds of my heartbeat reached his ears. I put my arms around him, drawing random patterns with my fingertips on his back.
"You know," I said. "We don't have to go back to work for another two weeks… I was thinking, we could go away and have a proper holiday?"I felt him smile against my skin.
"What do you mean, 'a proper holiday'?" I turned us onto our sides so I could look at him.
"Just you, me and a beach." I smiled sweetly at him, one arm around him while my other hand brushed his cheek.
"I'd like that." Greg whispered. I leaned in and kissed him, my hands skimming down his flanks as he turned onto his back.
I'd book the holiday tomorrow. Suddenly, sex was on both our minds.
I hope that you enjoyed it! Reviewwwwwww :)