Title: Recovering Faith
Author: Megan (mmorgan317) and Charity (all things)
Rating:NC-17 for content
Summary: After House comes home from rehab, he and Wilson try to start over with their relationship. But what happens when an unexpected guest arrives and shatters everything they've worked so hard to fix?
Spoilers: Spoilers for previous fic Shattered Innocence
Disclaimer: We own nothing, just borrowing them.
Author's Notes: Takes place 1yr after Shattered Innocence. Please read that first so you know what's going on.
"Today is a big day," Nolan announced quietly from his overstuffed chair. His calculated look and prying eyes focused on House from a few feet distance between their chairs. Thoughtfulness and encouragement shown from his dark orbs, giving House a sense of calm, like he was understood and accepted. That was a feeling he'd only experienced around Wilson and, on occasions, Cuddy or his mom. He felt safe here, even if he'd never admit it. It was like he couldn't hurt anyone here.
This last year in Mayfield had been the hardest year of his life. First coming off the Vicodin and alcohol, then tramping down his pride to get the help he really needed. Oh, he had hated every minute of it at first. In fact, he still hated it but not as much. Now, he would look back on those six months with Wilson and not help but notice his downward spiral. It sickened him to think that he had hurt the most precious person in his life. But that was all in the past and Wilson had forgiven him long ago. Nolan said to move on from past events but look back on them every so often to remind one of their lessons. House was determined never to repeat history in this instance.
"Have you talked to him lately?" the black man asked in his deep, clinical voice.
House nodded. "I called him yesterday." Wilson has mostly made a full recovery from all of his injures, much to House's relief. He has some weakness in his left leg from the hip surgery and even some pain once in a while but those were to be expected when a middle-aged man has had minimal hip replacement surgery. The only scars that were left (other than the one from the surgery) were the ones that formed the message on the oncologist's back. Those would be a permanent reminder of the whole nightmarish ordeal, something House was not proud of.
"I'm sure he'll be happy to have you home," Nolan volunteered. He had found the case of Gregory House to be an interesting study. It was the perfect example of fear, pride, and arrogance mixed together; fear of failure and unimportance countered by a mass of prideful arrogance that inhibited him from admitting to anything less than excellent.
But probably almost as interest as House, was his partner, James Wilson. Having only met the man three times, he didn't know him well enough to say anything definite except that he is the classic case of an abused man. But at the same time there was something more to him that seemed to make him impossible to understand.
There seemed to be a hidden strength in James Wilson that he very rarely let anyone see. Nolan didn't know if it was because he wanted everyone to underestimate him and therefore it would lower their expectations of him, if he had only recently acquired it, or whether James himself didn't know he had it.
Either way it was because of this strength and resolved that Nolan agreed to allow the two men to go back to living together. While he wanted House to have someone around to provide constant support he wasn't one-hundred percent sure that the support should come from the man that he had abused so severely. However, the psychiatrist also knew that it would be futile to keep the two lovers apart and thought it easier to sanction their decisions to relieve the pressure off his patient.
In all of his experience as a psychiatrist, rarely has he ever met any two people as intriguing as his patient, House, and his boyfriend.
House walked out of Mayfield a free man. Free from his dependence on alcohol and Vicodin, free from his incarceration in the dreaded place and free from his past. He walked out to find Wilson waiting for him just like he promised. What he hadn't mentioned was that Cuddy was coming too.
They both leaned against Wilson's silver Volvo seemingly the epitome of relaxed; only the anxiousness in Cuddy's blue-grey eyes and excitement mixed with anxiousness in Wilson's eyes alerted House to how they really felt.
He understood both of their feelings and felt them himself. Over the past year he had grown to trust himself more than he had before. Not when it came to his job, of course since he didn't need any help with that but he had learned to trust himself with Wilson. Nolan had helped him grow more secure in his relationship with the oncologist and had even managed to get them to talk about their feelings of the six month relationship between the two.
House had been amazed at how easy it had been to express his regret, remorse and sadness to Wilson. Wilson had returned the offer of trust by accepting his feelings and trying to assure his friend that he held no grudge against him, though they would definitely have to work on rebuilding their trust. House had nodded and hung his head in defeat. He knew that that was the one thing that had been lost and would be the most difficult to get back but he was also willing to do anything to make sure it was regained.
Wilson was the first to see House. Automatically, moving himself off the car, he began walking to him. He had a limp on his left side but it had definitely improved from the last time House had seen him a couple of months ago.
Not caring for any restrictions anyone may have placed on the two of them Wilson threw his arms around House's neck and held on tightly. He had missed his friend so much over the last year and it had taken all his strength to not mope around like a dog that had lost its master while he had been gone.
Recovery from House's last beating had taken a lot of time, patience and strength. In between work and physical therapy Wilson had also gone to a therapist. It had been one of Cuddy's proviso's for returning back to work that he find one and go regularly, only recently had he managed to talk his way out of going anymore.
Dr. Reynolds had helped him find some inner strength and helped him try to realize that what his father, wife and House had done to him wasn't normal or right. She'd told him that she would only allow him to return to full duty (currently he was on part time) once he'd learned to stand up for himself which he'd done last week by telling her he didn't need to see her anymore and that he was done.
Wilson felt strong and trembling arms wrap around his waist, embracing him just as tightly as he was holding House. They stayed like that until both of their bodies began to object to the stance then they drew apart and began walking to the car.
"You didn't tell me Cuddy would be joining." House accused lightly.
"Yeah, she wanted to be here when you got out to." Wilson answered hoping to hide his wince and the truth.
"No she didn't." House supplied. "She doesn't fully trust me around you."
Wilson's heart ached with sympathy at the defeated tone in his friend's voice, "Well, she may not but I do." He assured. The oncologist knew that no matter how many times he let House know that he forgave him, the scruffy, taciturn doctor would always need more and he was more than willing to give it.
Cuddy walked up to them with a smile plastered on her face and gave House a welcoming hug. She was very glad to see her friend again and healthy at that but she found it very hard to forgive him the things he did to Wilson. She knew that Wilson had forgiven House and that the younger man trusted the diagnostician immensely but she couldn't forgive and forget that easily.
Throughout Wilson's recovery, Cuddy had been there every step of the way. She'd grown closer to him during this past year not only emotionally but boundary-wise as well. She knew perfectly well that Wilson held everyone at arms length; no matter how well you got to know him or how close you think you got, you still didn't know the real Wilson. During those months of pain, exhaustion and determination, Cuddy had helped him get through it all and had felt a few of his walls crumble during that time. They both agreed to disagree where House and Wilson's relationship was concerned, future or present, but they also felt a sense of closeness that had been missing over the past few years.
"Well, I think that's enough pleasantries," House began after clearing his throat, "let's blow this joint." With that he walked over to the car and began to get in the back seat, through some unspoken understanding all three of them had determined that House wasn't to be driving any time soon.
Wilson stopped House with a hand on his arm, "You take the front seat, there's more leg room."
House wanted to argue that Wilson was probably in more need of the leg room than he was but then he'd remind them all once again of what he'd done and that was something House couldn't do right now. He nodded, earning a scoff from Cuddy.
"House would be fine if he sat behind me," She argued addressing both of them, "Wilson you should be in the front." She didn't explain her reasons because she knew she didn't have to; she'd seen House's thoughts just before he nodded.
"If House would be fine in the backseat then so would I," Wilson countered, "seeing as he's taller than I am." He finished his argument with a smirk and a reassuring look of 'I'm fine'.
"Okay," she conceded before she walked over to the driver's side door.
They all got in then Cuddy pulled away. The ride back to Princeton was spent in silence. It wasn't uncomfortable, surprisingly, but it wasn't relaxed either. Neither one of them knew what to expect when they got home. They all wanted things to go back to normal but each had doubts as to whether or not things could.
The car pulled up to the curb beside House's apartment. House felt his heart stop a beat as memories rushed back with enough clarity that he could be experiencing it all again.
"House?" Wilson's soft voice called, breaking through his fears and warming his heart.
House looked up to find Wilson holding his door open and waiting for the diagnostician to climb out of the car. He gracefully climbed out and walked into the apartment. Wilson had taken good care of it while he'd been gone and he'd also left everything just as it was. The only evidence that Wilson lived there as were the little things that merged with his own; books, CD's, DVD's and knick knacks. He looked to his left and found Wilson standing beside him, waiting patiently.
"Well, I'm going to leave you two alone. I'll see you Monday?" Cuddy asked.
"Yeah, we'll be there." Wilson answered. He'd already discussed things with Nolan and House and both of them had agreed that returning to work was a good way to get things on their way to normal.
The medical board had suspended House's license to practice medicine and he'd have to re-certify to take over the diagnostic's department but for right now he was going to be consulting while Foreman ran things. House had been close to overjoyed with the prospect of being able to solve the puzzles while Foreman was stuck with all the responsibility and clerical work.
Cuddy nodded her acknowledgement then stepped forward and gave Wilson a hug good-bye before exiting the premises.
For lack of anything else better to do both men collapsed onto the leather couch while Wilson grabbed the remote and turned on the TV. Normally they'd add drinking beer to the routine but Wilson had rid the apartment of anything alcoholic while House had been in rehab and had no intention of ever bringing anything back in. "Want a soda?" He offered casually while some girls on spring break tore off their tops.
"Yeah," House replied noncommittally, keeping his eyes focused on good old fashioned crap TV. It felt so unbelievably good to be home, sitting on his couch and watching TV with his friend that he feared if he said anything more he'd tear up.
Wilson stiffly stood up wincing slightly at the ache in his hip, then went and grabbed two Cokes. He walked slowly to allow his hip to loosen up as he did so; the ride there and back had caused his hip to stiffen and slightly throb with too quick of movement. He didn't care; it had been worth it to see House when he exited.
He walked back to the couch, handing House his soda before he gingerly lowered himself back onto the leather bed. Okay, so the couch wasn't that comfortable but there had been plenty of nights in the past where that's exactly what this sofa had represented to the oncologist.
"You okay?" House asked as his blue eyes focused on the man beside him instead of the TV. Wilson's hand had snaked down to his hip and had begun to massage it, catching House's full and undivided attention.
"Yeah, just aching." Wilson replied while laying a soft hand on House's left thigh and giving it a gentle squeeze.
House's first instinct was to rub the hurting hip himself but he quickly repressed the urge and settled for nodding, "Okay." He said as he checked his watch and his stomach rumbled. "So, what's for dinner?"
Wilson laughed warmly, the crow's feet at the corner of his eyes wrinkling sexily. "I thought we'd go out for dinner if you're up to it."
"Perfect," House answered, getting off the couch, "let me take a shower and change then we can go." He limped off to the bathroom, stopping at the hall closet for a fresh towel before he closed the door behind him.
Wilson collapsed sprawled over the couch, groaning lightly when his hip protested the quick movement. This was harder than he thought! He knew that they both wanted things to go back to normal but the oncologist was honestly lost as to how to get them there and he could tell that his friend was equally as lost.
There's always sex. A voice akin to House's suggested.
We couldn't do that! His own argued. Could we?
Sure, why not? House's asked with an invisible shrug and challenge.
While Wilson lay on the couch contemplating that idea, wondering why he and House shouldn't engage in an activity that would, no doubt, bring pleasure and comfort to both of them, House had finished his shower and limped out into the living room unnoticed by his friend. He stood in the doorway to the hallway, watching the younger man as he lay on the couch.
Wilson was laying on a throw pillow with his right hand behind his head while his left lay limply on his stomach. His face was slack with concentration and his eyes looking up at the ceiling. Even still, House could see the confusion, contemplation and small hint of pain in them. He understood the confusion, they were all confused, but that didn't make it any easier to solve.
House cleared his throat to grab Wilson's attention. The oncologist's eyes refocused from the ceiling onto his face. "You ready?" he asked somewhat awkwardly.
"Yeah, just let me change then we can go." Wilson answered, easing himself off the couch.
"Why didn't you do that while I was in the shower?" House asked though he knew that his friend had lost track of time and wasn't paying attention. His lip curled up at Wilson's answer.
"Didn't want to deprive you of the honor of watching me get naked." Wilson said hoping he managed to sound off-handed when he was actually trying not to tremble with nerves. He couldn't hide the blush at his friend's almost feral lip curl. He knew exactly what that meant and didn't think they'd be going to dinner any time soon.
Pretending not to notice House's longing stare, Wilson walked into the bedroom and began to undress. He'd been at work for a few hours before he and Cuddy went to pick House up. He wanted nothing more than to get out of the slacks and into a fresh shirt and loose jeans. Since he'd almost been late to work this morning, Wilson hadn't bothered changing his undershirt and had just thrown the soft blue dress shirt on over it so he was stripped down to his boxer-briefs when House entered.
Wilson had his back to House when the diagnostician had entered but at the not-so-well-disguised gasp of shock, he quickly spun around, cheeks crimson with embarrassment. He'd forgotten that House hadn't seen his back and wanted to face-palm himself for letting him see it now. If there was one thing that would be a mood killer, it would be the scarred message on his back. "Sorry," he apologized though neither man knew why he was doing the apologizing, "I needed to change my undershirt as well."
House kept his face stone blank and devoid of emotion. He limped over to Wilson and pulled him in a lovingly gentle embrace, rubbing soothing circles on the younger man's ivory skin. Since he couldn't think of anything to say that wasn't overly cheesy, House settled for pulling slightly back and covering Wilson's wonderfully sensual mouth with his own.
Wilson automatically responded by opening his mouth and gently nipping House's lower lip while the older man did the same to his top. They pulled back for air, "I don't think we're going to make it to dinner if we keep going this way," the oncologist warned silkily.
House grinned and sultry fire burned in his eyes, "That's fine with me."
Wilson chuckled huskily in his throat then leaned back in and continuing their kiss.
They moved towards the bed, Wilson stripping House as they did so, and eased themselves onto it. They both knew there was a big chance that by the time they got around to eating they'd be stuck with Chinese, Tai or Pizza take-out but neither one cared. Tonight, it was about them re-meeting each other again and letting the sparks fly without the past to convolute their emotions.