Summary: House/Wilson slash. When House inadvertently discovers a way to change his past (think "Back to the Future" meets "Butterfly Effect") he wants to see if there's a way for him to end up with Wilson instead of Cuddy.

Disclaimer: I don't own House, time travel, or an MRI machine.

A/N: Back in season six, House mentioned his leg pain was getting worse. I don't know what kinds of things would cause worse leg pain for someone in House's condition and I don't know how to test for them because I know nothing about medicine. But if we can say, for the purposes of this story, that whatever House thinks the problem might be would be visible on an MRI, that would be very helpful. Thanks.

This story has fourteen chapters and I will post a new one every day.


November 9, 2010

House rubbed his aching thigh. It had been bugging him all evening. Well, all right, really it had been bugging him for the past eleven years, save for a couple months of ketamine and a day of methadone, but tonight it was even worse than usual. He'd pretended everything was normal, making sure to take the extra ibuprofen when Cuddy was occupied with Rachel so she wouldn't notice, and though the pain had been bad even during the sex, he hadn't let on that anything was out of the ordinary.

Now the sex was over for tonight, and he could lie back and rub his leg without worrying about having to aggravate it. A nagging voice in his head (that sounded like Wilson for some reason, though the nagging voices in his head usually sounded like Wilson) told him to have it looked at. The last thing he needed was another infarction. But he didn't want anyone to know. If it really was nothing, Wilson and Cuddy would get concerned that was having extra pain with no extra cause, they might get suspicious that House would go back to opiates, and he would resent them for not trusting him on top of having worse pain.

But what if it was something? A particularly painful twinge accompanied this thought. If there was another blood clot forming, it would be better for all involved if House knew about it. Another infarction, if it didn't result in worse pain or a lost limb, could possibly kill him, and he didn't want to die now that he and Cuddy were finally together. After they broke up, maybe he wouldn't care so much, but he knew they probably wouldn't last too long, and considering how long he'd waited for this relationship it would be counterproductive not to hold onto it for as long as possible.

For some reason, though, Cuddy was determined not to share House's view of the outcome of their relationship. Though he'd warned her when they first got together that it wouldn't last and she hadn't been able to argue with any of his reasons why, against all logic she believed (or, more possibly, wanted to believe) that they would be together forever. After they'd had sex, she'd cuddled up to him, stroking his hair.

"I'm so glad I'm finally with you," she'd whispered.

"Yup," House had agreed, squeezing her upper arm with one hand and his thigh with the other. "It's pretty awesome."

"Hmm," she'd sighed, snuggling closer. "You know, with all that's happened between us, between college and hiring you and...that time you kissed me, everything that happened with Lucas, and that confession you made to me at the medical's like we've been through so much and now we're finally here...I know you don't believe in this, and a lot of the time I don't either, but I feel like we were destined to be together."

He hadn't responded. No, she was right, he didn't believe in destiny or fate or soul mates or any of that kind of stuff. It wasn't real. It was just crap people made up as justification for why their lives sucked or to try and convince themselves that their lives didn't suck. Stuff happened based on the decisions people made—that was what life was. If they'd made different decisions things would have turned out differently; fate and destiny had absolutely nothing to do with it.

House squeezed his thigh again as the pain spiked. He really should get it scanned, but he didn't want anyone to know that his pain was worse. Unless...unless he went and just did the scan himself. House frowned at this thought, thinking. If he could calibrate the MRI machine to go off on a timer, he could just perform the scan himself, look at the images himself, and if there was something there he could get it taken care of and if there wasn't then no one needed to know about it.

That could work. He could go in the middle of the night when no MRIs were scheduled, hope that no emergency patients would need the scanner while he was using it, and have the results by morning. He could go now.

House looked over at Cuddy, who had fallen asleep beside him, and got quietly out of bed. He left her a note explaining that he couldn't sleep and decided to occupy himself at his apartment so he wouldn't bother her, and then took his bike over to the hospital.


House sat in front of the MRI monitors trying to calibrate the thing. He needed to time it so that it wouldn't start until he was already in the gown and lying in the machine. And as brilliant as he was, he wasn't a radiologist, he didn't know these machines inside and out, he wasn't entirely sure it would work, and eventually he decided it might take a few tries before he got it right. So House set the machine in a way that looked good to him, grabbed his cane, and hurried into the adjoining room to change into the gown and climb into the machine.

Fortunately, it didn't start until House was already lying still inside the tube, and he hoped that meant it would turn out right the first time and he wouldn't need to do this again.

As the magnets did their thing, House couldn't help but continue to reflect on what Cuddy had said to him earlier that evening about destiny. It wasn't just that he didn't believe in soul mates—he also knew that if he was wrong about his theory of the world, if there was such a thing as two people meant to be together, he wouldn't want Cuddy to be the one for him. He'd want it to be Wilson. And as it was, even without fate, he still wanted Wilson to be the one he ended up with. Yes, he loved Cuddy. He loved her very much. But no matter how much he loved her, he would always love Wilson more. And yes, he was, for all intents and purposes, happy with Cuddy right now, but he still hoped that once he and his boss broke up (that wasn't fate or destiny, it was just inevitable), there might be a chance for he and Wilson to be together.

Not that it was very likely. Wilson most probably did not share his feelings, anyway. Cuddy did. She had feelings even stronger than his. So it was good they were together. House did want this. He'd had feelings for Cuddy since that time in medical school when they'd had that one night stand. He smiled to himself, thinking of that time...he and Cuddy were at the dance together and they'd kissed, started making out like it was going out of style. The date was...

April 6, 1985

House's lips were against Cuddy's, tongue in her mouth, and he was pressing her against the wall.

"Wait..." he stepped back. What was he doing? When had he gone back to Cuddy's? He was going to go scan his leg...

"Greg, something wrong?" she asked, trailing a seductive finger up his neck and the side of his face.

He stared at her in shock.

This wasn't Cuddy...well, it was, but...she didn't look a day over nineteen. And her clothes, her hair...looked like something a college student from the '80s would wear. House glanced around, confused. They were in a long hallway of what was undoubtably a college dorm. And his leg...his leg didn't hurt at all...

"I'm dreaming," House concluded.

Nineteen-year-old Cuddy laughed. "Well I knew I was good, I didn't know I was that good," she said flirtatiously. And her lips were on his again, arms snaking around his waist. He kissed back just as passionately, grabbing her ass which made her giggle. "What do you say we take this to my room?" she suggested, nibbling on his ear.

He remembered her saying the exact same thing back when this had happened all those years ago. And he responded in this dream the same way he had in real life. "Best idea you've had all night."

He slid an arm under her knees and carried her, while she giggled and kissed his neck, to her dorm room.

It went exactly how House had remembered it. She moaned at exactly the same times, whispered the exact same phrases, and he did too. It was the most vivid dream he'd ever had. And strange, because while he knew sometimes people had dreams of actual memories, it had never happened to him before. It really didn't feel like a dream, and he wondered if maybe he was in a coma. Maybe something had happened during the MRI (they were supposed to be supervised for a reason) and he was reliving his med school years in his head while his body lay in a vegetative state somewhere.

Well, whatever this was, House decided to take advantage of having a fully functional body and being in a college-aged Cuddy's bed. In real life, he'd watched her fall asleep after they'd made love, he'd rested his hand between her shoulder blades feeling her respirations until he'd fallen asleep himself.

But this time, in this dream, as soon as the high of the orgasm started to wear off he started kissing her neck.

"Again?" she whispered, bright eyes sparking at him as she raked her fingers though his hair.

"Why not?" he breathed against her clavicle. He raised his head to look at her. "You don't have any objections, do you?" he smirked.

Cuddy grinned at him. "Absolutely not. But this time..." she kissed him and wrapped her arms around him before rolling them over so he was on his back, "...I'm on top." She kissed his ear. "Objections?" she breathed into it.

House grabbed her ass. "Absolutely not."

The second time was just a good as the first, but going at it twice in a row was pretty exhausting, so House decided that was enough. He watched Cuddy start to drift off next to him. After her breathing had evened out, he brushed her hair out of her forehead and gave her temple a light kiss. Then he lay back and fell asleep himself.

House woke up to the sound of a toddler crying from the next room. A 44-year-old Cuddy groaned next to him and got up. He grabbed her pillow and pulled it over his face. Well, at least it had just been a dream and not a coma. Weird, though, because he could have sworn that the MRI part, at least, had happened in real life. Well, obviously he'd been wrong.

"House, give that back," Cuddy whined tiredly, getting back into bed and tugging at her pillow.

He meant to complain, but his voice box apparently didn't want to make the effort this early in the morning and the only distinguishable word that came from his mouth was "Rachel."

"It's only five in the morning, she went back to sleep," Cuddy explained, successfully retrieving her pillow from his grip.

The dim sunlight that managed to get through the curtains of Cuddy's bedroom felt like surgical lights against House's eyelids and he squinted at the assault. He squeezed his eyes open to see Cuddy pulling the comforter over herself to settle back down for another hour of sleep. House was surprised she was even trying, considering how bright it was in there. He didn't think he'd be able to fall back asleep now that he was up. But sleep wasn't the only thing they could do in bed. And...that dream had been pretty vivid...

"House, what are you doing?" Cuddy whined as he started mouthing her neck. "It's early."

"I had a dream about you last night," he said between kisses. It was a line, but it was also true and would probably work.

"Really?" she said, propping herself up on her elbows and looking at him.

"Yup," he said, giving a light kiss to her lips. "Our first night back in med school. Except it was twice as awesome—we did it twice in a row instead of once."

"What are you talking about? House, we did do it twice in a row back in college," she said, rolling her eyes.

"No we didn't," House objected. "We went once and then went to sleep. Then I wanted to call you after and do it again, but I got expelled that week so I figured there wasn't a point."

"I know, you told me that at the '80s dance at the medical conference, but our one night stand definitely had two rounds of sex," Cuddy insisted, looking at him slightly confused. "I was ready to go to sleep but you started kissing me. I wasn't about to complain, though, and the second time around I was on top. Then we went to sleep. And you stroked my hair and kissed my forehead. You thought I was asleep but I wasn't, I felt it."

The two stared at each other.

"House, it was one of the most memorable nights of my life," Cuddy said, watching him. "I'm not wrong."

"No...I...believe you..." House said, staring right back at her. How else would she know details like that if it hadn't really happened?

But that wasn't what happened. It was a dream. Maybe he was still dreaming.

"Are you okay?" Cuddy asked, looking at him with concern.

"I...think so," he muttered. None of this made sense.

"You really don't remember us doing it twice?" she asked, furrowing her brow.

"No, I do..." House said. "...I asked if you had any objections to a second round..."

"...and I said 'absolutely not.'" She smiled at the memory.

House shook his head. "I thought that was just in my dream," he muttered. No, he knew. He wasn't losing his mind. He would be prepared to bet his life on the fact that he and Cuddy only had sex once their first time around.

"Maybe you're just tired," Cuddy suggested. "So we could try for another hour of sleep..." she gave him a flirty smile and climbed over to him, swinging her leg across his lap, "...or I can help remind you of round two." Then she kissed him, and he participated equally but the conundrum did not leave his mind.