At The Spectra

Disclaimer: House M.D., its characters, locations and storyline are the property of David Shore, Bad Hat Harry Productions and the Fox Television Network. All Rights Reserved.

A/N: Thanks to everybody who has so faithfully reviewed and to all of you for reading! It's been fun!

Warning: This is an H/W pre-slash/slash fic. If you are not into that, this fic is not for you.

Rated M for explicit sexual content, coarse language and violence. Reader Discretion is advised.

Chapter Fifteen

House leapt just as he heard the gunshot explode in the bedroom and the front door to the loft apartment crash to the floor behind him. His heart dropped into the pit of his stomach and stopped beating, or so it seemed. He didn't have time to really react to it, however. He managed to land solely on his left leg, but just the jolt alone caused him to see stars for a moment. The diagnostician tried to see through them. There was broken glass on the floor around Davin, whose flailing legs and lower torso protruded from Wilson's closet. The smell of spent gun powder stung House's nose. Wilson lay on his side on the floor, moaning. There was blood oozing out of his right shoulder. Davin began to rise up and move towards the oncologist. House swung his cane like a bat with every ounce of strength in his body. His hand-eye coordination was back; the walking aid hit the side of the serial killer's head as if it were a baseball . He could hear the crunch of Davin's skull as it was crushed and fragments of bone were driven into his brain, and the crack of vertebrae as his neck was snapped by his head being sent flying to the side.

Davin was dead before his body hit the floor just a couple of feet next to Wilson's.

"James!" House shouted in horror. He hobbled painfully to the younger man who was still lying, rocking slightly and groaning with pain. His robe was stained with blood and some of the life fluid made a fist-sized pool of blood on the hardwood. Half-shoving, half-throwing Davin's corpse aside, House knelt next to his lover. There was agonizing pain from his leg trying to overwhelm him but his adrenalin and fear held it back so that he could focus on Wilson. House rolled the wounded man onto his back.

He was barely aware of the cops storming to the bedroom from behind him. House tore open the robe to expose Wilson's bare shoulder and chest.

"OH GOD, it hurts!" Wilson muttered through gritted teeth. "Greg, you're okay!"

"You're hallucinating," House told him, covering the shoulder wound with his hands as he looked for something to stop the bleeding. He saw his towel that had fallen off of his body a few feet away and grabbed it, pressing it against the wound to staunch the bleeding. He didn't care that he was sans clothing; it didn't matter. "How do…you always…manage…to get hurt?"

"Just…oww! Just clumsy, I guess," he retorted, tears of pain running down his cheeks. "It's just…the shoulder, Greg. Didn't…hit the lung."

"So why are you…struggling to breathe?" the diagnostician asked him, trying to keep himself together and not allowing his emotions to overwhelm him. He only just began to hear the sound of sirens now, and was hoping that one of them was an ambulance. "Just shut up…conserve…your strength!"

"It's just…the pain…."

"I said shut up!"

House felt a hand on his shoulder and he jumped, automatically jerking away from the touch. It was one of the cops that had come to the rescue a minute too late, as usual. He was furious at them, at Davin, at Wilson but mostly at himself. It was his fault his lover had been shot.

"Dr. House?" Tsui said, "Is he alright?"

"Does he look alright!" House snapped sharply at the idiot asking him such a stupid question. "I need an…ambulance…a.s.a.p.!"

The detective went quickly to get help.

"Calm down, Greg," Wilson told him between gasps; neither doctor saw the irony of the injured oncologist being calmer than the normally stoic diagnostician. "I'm…going to be…alright. It's just…a flesh wound."

House didn't know whether to smack him or kiss him. He chose the latter, brushing the younger doctor's lips with his own. "A…flesh wound?" he echoed incredulously when he backed away. "We need…to get your…head…X-rayed as well." He caressed his lover's face with one of his hands while the other continued to apply pressure to the injured shoulder; he smeared some of the blood droplets that had sprayed up from Wilson's shoulder when the bullet slammed into his body.

Hearing another set of feet running into the room, House glanced briefly over his shoulder to see Levison, dressed nicely in a soft-blue dress and heels, come to kneel next to Wilson as well.

"Hold on, Dr. Wilson," she said softly to the oncologist and then looked at House. "The ambulance just arrived and the paramedics are on their way up."

Nodding in acknowledgement, House hoped she didn't launch into a bunch of questions about what had happened. She didn't. Instead the female detective stood up and grabbed a throw off of the bed and discreetly wrapped it around House's shoulders before moving over to view the body of the maniac who had caused all of this.

The older doctor sighed a little in relief when he heard the familiar clatter and roll of a stretcher as it entered the loft apartment and headed their way. He was surprised when he saw Chase accompanying the paramedics.

Levison turned and glared at the Australian. "I thought I told you to stay in the car until everything is all clear!"

Shrugging, he replied, "It looks all clear to me."

Sighing, Annie Levison said to a couple of cops just standing around, "Okay, whoever doesn't have to be in here right now clear out to give the paramedics room to move!" Obviously that included her, as she followed the others out of the bedroom.

Chase joined House at Wilson's side, automatically checking Wilson's pulse.

"What…are you doing here?" the diagnostician demanded.

"Pulse one-hundred," Chase said before answering his boss. "Annie and I were having dinner when she received a call from the station. I was driving her there when she told to divert here." he answered matter-of-factly. "I came up when I heard someone had been shot—thought they might need a doctor."

"And what…am I?"House groused, "Chopped liver?"

The Fellow ignored the comment, smiling weakly in encouragement to Wilson. "You look like hell," he said to him.

"I've…been shot," Wilson uttered, trying to smile but grimacing instead. "What's…your excuse?"

Chuckling at that, Chase backed away to give the paramedics access to the injured man. The Fellow touched House's arm in a silent encouragement to the older doctor to do the same. Grudging, House rose to his foot and cane, groaning slightly at the pain as he did.

"Greg," Wilson said with concern, "are you…alright?"

"Just my leg," the diagnostician told him, frowning. "Don't worry…focus on…you!"

House quickly pulled on some clothes as he watched impatiently as the paramedics tended to his best friend and then loaded and secured him to the stretcher, covering him with a blanket. He turned to Chase.

"Going to…ride along…in the ambulance," he told his employee quietly. "My leg is screaming…like a bitch. Shit! Would you..?."

"No problem," Chase said, "I'll help you get down there. While at the hospital we may be able to give you something a little stronger than ibuprofen for your leg."

The diagnostician merely offered his thanks as a curt nod; he felt incredibly frustrated at needing anyone else's help to get around because of his useless appendage, much less one of his minions'.

With Chase's help, House followed Wilson's stretcher out of the apartment as the police set about cordoning off the loft for the second time in a week.

"~*~"

Wilson had been right—the bullet had just missed his lung and had lodged itself near his shoulder blade. The surgery to remove the bullet and repair the damage done in its wake had been fairly straight forward although House still had stood vigil in the observation gallery above the operating theatre, watching the procedure from prep to finish and had been in Recovery when the oncologist awoke from the anesthetic.

Once Davinport's apartment had been searched, a bounty of evidence presented itself, along with his collection of diaries that he had kept since he was a child. The forensic psychiatrists, criminologists and profilers at the FBI would pour over them in an attempt to figure out the inner workings of the serial killer to discover that he had been molested by his pediatrician when he was seven years old and in the hospital with appendicitis. That added to the verbal and emotional abuse from his father as he developed (including his dad's disapproval of his choice to pursue artistic pursuits other than sports or business) and his own genetic predisposition had created the messed up sociopath that died in the loft apartment.

House wasn't one to be sympathetic to others, but even he felt pangs of empathy for the man he had killed to protect the man he loved. They were short-lived, however, when he looked at Wilson in his hospital bed, sleeping peacefully thanks to the morphine he had been given for the pain. Pangs of guilt bothered him then. If he'd only been able to get to the bedroom in time to prevent Wilson being shot. If only he'd gone home that night instead of going to The Spectra Lounge to get drunk, high and take a total stranger home for retaliatory sex. If only he'd taken the risk and told Wilson sooner just how much he loved and needed him, before Sam; 'If onlies' didn't change a damned thing however. They only fueled the fires of guilt and self-pity.

This relationship…this one he promised himself he wouldn't sabotage or run away from because he knew what that would mean for him, and it wasn't something he wanted to think about. It was different with Wilson, he knew. The oncologist and he had been through thick and thin, life and death, literally, and still they were here, together. Wilson could have just cheated on Sam with the diagnostician, like he had in his other relationships except for Amber, but he hadn't. He'd done the right thing, possibly because he knew that House was different from the rest. Not only were they in love, but they had been best of friends before they had fallen in love. They'd seen each other before the rose-colored glasses of romance and sex had blinded them to each others' dark sides and yet they still had wanted to be together and accept each other. Perhaps that was the key—being best friends before lovers. Maybe that was the preventative cure to broken relationships and broken hearts. It would be an interesting social experiment that he may consider pursuing someday; for now he would focus his attention on the most important person in his life.

Wilson awoke, blinking his eyes sleepily. "Hey," he said quietly, smiling lovingly.

House was startled from his thoughts and returned the smile, leaning in to place a lingering kiss on the younger man's lips.

"How do you feel?" the diagnostician asked him.

"Okay," was the answer. "A little sore, a little nauseous."

"That's the…morphine," House reminded him. "It'll pass." He stared at Wilson for a long moment. "What…were you thinking? Jumping…him! He…had a…gun!"

"I thought you were dying," the oncologist said to him with puppy dog eyes. "I needed to save you, I couldn't think about anything else. You were faking?"

A smug smile was House's response.

"Son of a bitch," Wilson said affectionately. "Do that to me again and I'm going to put Exlax in your Hot Chocolate!"

The older man shrugged. "Fine…with me—you…do the laundry."

Wilson couldn't help but chuckle and then winced.

"You should…get full use of your…shoulder and arm back," House informed him, giving him the information the surgeon had passed on to him. "Lots of Physio ahead. Should be…released…two days. After…we're going…on…vacation. I say so."

Grinning Wilson nodded, "Sounds good to me! Where do you want to go?"

"Kentucky."

The oncologists eyebrows arched in surprise. "To visit your mother?"

"With Dad gone…why not?" the diagnostician replied taking both of Wilson's hands in his. "I…want to tell…her about us."

"Maybe we could stop to see my parents along the way," Wilson told him. "My Dad will be happy if I'm happy but my Mom…may have a heart attack."

Unable to help himself, House grinned. "We're doctors. We'll…resuscitate."

He leaned in again and kissed the younger deeply, savoring his lips, his taste, the heat that radiated off of him. "You…know…how I feel about…you, don't you?" House whispered against Wilson's mouth.

"Yes," he replied, "but I like to hear it."

House sighed in mock frustration, rolling his eyes. "You're worse than…a chick!" he said and then sobered, staring into Wilson's eyes with soulful, honest blues. "You make me feel…happy, James. I love you."

"I love you, too, Greg," was the younger man's reply.

~fin~