Us Against the World

Disclaimer/Author Note: I do not own any characters from House; David Shore does, I believe.

AU explanation: Consider for the purposes of this fic that the events of "House's Head"/"Wilson's Heart" never happened, and that Wilson and Amber have stayed together through Seasons 5 & 6. As this fic begins, House has only recently gotten into a relationship with Cuddy, and only even more recently made it public. (So this would be VERY early in Season 7). Hopefully that wasn't too confusing.

Another note: All of these chapter titles are song titles, as is the title of this fic (though in the fic title case the song, "Us Against the World" by Play, has nothing much to do with either the tone or the action of the fic). If anyone is sufficiently interested, there will be a note at the end of each chapter of what song it is…

Feedback is appreciated, as well as gushing about how awesome my music taste is. Flames are welcomed, as they are far more interesting than nothing at all!

Chapter One: A Shot in the Dark

"But a shot in the dark
One step away from you…"

Dr. James Wilson was happy to finally be home. It had been a long and frankly incredibly depressing night, and he'd been confronted with two cases of pancreatic cancer and three of lung cancer, all terminal and all rapidly progressing. It wasn't as if losing a patient was a rare thing in his profession, but that didn't mean that it made it any easier or that it didn't stop him from constantly wondering if there was something more that he could have done to help them. But at least he could curl up in his bed and watch some TV and then, when his girlfriend Amber returned home from work, they could make late dinner together and he could try and forget, for at least a little while.

As he reached over to pop the lock of his car, he thought about the strange events that had occurred over the last few weeks. Against all odds, somehow, his friend and boss Lisa Cuddy had decided to initiate a relationship with his best friend and colleague, Greg House. The words seemed utterly bizarre to Wilson, and he wasn't entirely sure that he could believe them, even after House and Cuddy had both told him that it really was the case and not a late and rather cruel April Fools joke being played upon him.

Not that he was jealous of Cuddy, of course. He reminded himself of that, because the feeling that had been flowing through him would have convinced him otherwise. He was desperately happy with Amber, after all; they had been together for almost three years now, and Wilson had finally allowed himself to consider the idea of proposing to her and ending up in a fourth marriage – one that could potentially, actually work.

So why was he still turning over the question of House being with Cuddy in his head? Wasn't that the best thing for him if he did decide to propose to Amber, after all? House would be happy with Cuddy, and he wouldn't have to worry about attempts to destroy his relationship, just the usual House attempts to embarrass him which both he and Amber had chalked up to inevitable by now.

He began to consider what exactly would go down if he invited House and Cuddy out on a double-date.

He then realized that he hadn't opened the door to his car, despite having been staring at it for the last ten minutes. He popped the locked and pressed the door open, kicking one leg out and stepping into the wet grass and hoping that his tie wasn't about to get soaked from the drizzle that was beginning to spit noisily at his apartment.

He slammed the door shut as he wondered why he hadn't gotten a chance to flick on the TV and find out that there was supposed to be rain today. He hoped that the leak in the bathroom ceiling, the one he'd promised Amber he'd call the landlord about having fixed, hadn't resulted in a huge puddle of nasty water on the tile floor yet again. She was, after all, still giving him a bit of a hard time about the last time. Admittedly, though, it hadn't been his fault that she'd decided that the bathroom sink was a good place to dry out her week-long attempt at watercolors, but Wilson still felt guilty about letting a stylized and psychedelic rendering of a liver get ruined.

He gave only a few second's thought to the unfamiliar car parked off to the right of his apartment, because his thoughts were drifting, pinballing back and forth between the two most important people in his life – Amber and House, House and Amber. He'd been so critical of House's jealousy when he and Amber had gotten together, and he was kicking himself for feeling it now that House was with Cuddy. Did he feel left out? Was that it? Or was it a case of feeling fifteen again, that irritating notion that one's best friend now has a girlfriend and doesn't want to hang out with you anymore?

Either way, Wilson refused to have it. That wasn't him. He wasn't that immature, and he was going to be happy for House. Cuddy would be good for him. Maybe he would change for the better, like Wilson had always tried to get him to. And what did Wilson care, anyway?

He took another step towards the apartments, smiling as he remembered that not so long ago he was calling a lonely, if luxurious, hotel room home, and the only guest he was entertaining was a certain Detective Tritter. Now, he was in a happy relationship with a woman he loved, living in a cozy apartment, and his best friend had not only kicked the addiction that had nearly gotten them both thrown in jail, but he was also in a relationship, a potentially happy one. Then why was his mind still reeling with thoughts of what could all go wrong? Was he afraid Cuddy would hurt House? After all, that had been his concern with Cameron. Then again, that was Cameron, who gushed after House because he was something broken, something she could try and fix. A project. Cuddy seemed to like House for House – maybe just as Wilson did.

Wilson took a few more steps forward as he held his left hand in front of his face, staring at the place where his wedding band had been, three times now. It seemed a bit ludicrous to get married four times, but he was indeed considering it. Didn't that type of thing seem to be more up the alley of celebrities, models, movie stars, or rock stars – not oncologists? But if it was right this time – and it felt right…

But hadn't it felt right with Sam? Well, not quite.

With Bonnie? Perhaps…

With Julie? There he was just fooling himself.

He allowed himself to mull over how the name Amber Wilson sounded. Amber Volakis-Wilson, maybe?

Was she even really that interested in getting married? Maybe just this, what they had, worked for both of them.

That was the thought that was stuck in Wilson's head, on replay, like a record that had played too many times and now the needle was stuck, when Wilson felt a pinch on his neck. He didn't quite register it at first, until he realized that something hurt. Then, that something wasn't right.

"Hello, Dr. Wilson." There was a voice in his ear. The voice hurt, or maybe his neck did. And then he closed his eyes and saw blue, red, green, bright flashing orbs and then the quiet lull of nothing.

* "A Shot in the Dark" – Ozzy Osbourne, The Ultimate Sin, 1986.