Here's the next update of Shadows of Doubt. Hope you enjoy it, please let me know what you think of the chapter :)
Title: Shadows of Doubt: A Dark!Wilson House Redux
Episode: 2.10 -- Failure to Communicate
Disclaimer: House, Wilson, and all other characters/ideas taken from the show are not my own, and I'm making no profit from the writing of this fiction -- just for fun, I promise. :P (Some dialogue this chapter taken directly from the episode.)
Author's Note: In this particular 'verse, I've changed one thing about the canon timeline. At the beginning of the story, when House and Wilson first get together, Wilson is already recently divorced from Julie.
Story Warnings: slash, dark Wilson -- specific warnings for each chapter as necessary
Chapter Warnings: psychological abuse, physical abuse, violence
Story Summary: A darker version of how canon might have gone, if House and Wilson had entered into a relationship from the start -- and if that relationship took a gradually dark, disturbing turn.
Chapter Summary: Wilson is not pleased when House and Stacy end up having to be out of town overnight together.
“Look… there’s nothing I can do about it. The storm has all the flights grounded. I have no choice but to stay…”
“Couldn’t you rent a car and drive back? I’d pay…”
House winced at the wheedling, slightly desperate note in Wilson’s voice. He took a deep breath, his head beginning to ache with the building tension of this difficult conversation. He had known that Wilson would not be happy with this arrangement.
“The storm makes it dangerous to drive, Wilson… and it’d take about fourteen hours. It’s better just to wait until the morning when…”
“And Stacey’s staying, too?”
The sharp, steely sound of Wilson’s voice made House’s stomach drop, and he swallowed hard. “Well… all the flights being grounded kind of means that she’s every bit as stranded as I am. Unless she’s just holding out on everyone and taking her own private jet…”
“There’s no need to get smart about it, House.” Wilson sounded genuinely angry now, a hint of accusation in his voice. “She’s there with you right now, isn’t she? I just don’t like the idea of the two of you there, all night…”
“It’s not like that, Wilson. You know I’d never…”
“I know you’d never. I don’t trust her, House. You know that. I’m worried that she might try…”
“And I’d be such a pathetic, vulnerable idiot as to just go along with whatever she suggested, regardless of my own intentions?” House let out an offended huffing sound into the phone. “Because that kind of emotional weakness sounds just like me, doesn’t it?”
“You’re not the stone wall you think you are, House!” Wilson snapped. “The two of you have a history – and I know that she had a lot more in mind than work for this trip…”
“You’re out of your mind. She’s freakin’ married, Wilson! Happily! And I’ve seen the medical charts to prove it, so you can just take your insane, insulting theories and…”
“Do not talk to me like that, House!” The warning tone of Wilson’s voice made House feel a little sick, and he immediately fell silent as Wilson continued angrily. “Don’t talk to me like I’m some kind of idiot! I know you two pretty well, and I have very good reason to worry.”
A tense moment of silence passed between them before House ventured to speak again, his voice softer and more subdued. “I don’t know why you’re reacting like this. It’s not like I planned this. It’s the result of an unavoidable circumstance – and nothing’s going to happen, I swear…”
“It’d better not.” Wilson’s voice was dangerously soft, and House’s mouth went dry at the painfully familiar sound. “If you sleep with her, House…” His words broke off abruptly, and House could almost visualize his frustrated gestures as he struggled to maintain his calm, his voice trembling with quiet rage. “If you sleep with her…”
The abrupt disconnection of the call made House flinch slightly, and he stared at the silent receiver for a long moment, sobered and unsettled, before returning it to its cradle. The nauseous quiver in his stomach was by this point a conditioned response to the dark fury he’d heard in Wilson’s words. He had the disturbing certainty that it was only the miles that protected him from a less verbal, more violent reaction.
He hasn’t done that in weeks. There’s no way he’d hurt me; he knows I’d leave if he did. He’s just… angry. That doesn’t mean he’d actually… No, he wouldn’t. I know he wouldn’t.
House made his way back across the crowded room to where Stacey was waiting with an expectant expression on her face. As he neared her, House was troubled to see her expression shift to one of concern, and he looked away, uncomfortable and self-conscious.
Stacey was one of the few people who always seemed to be able to see right through him.
“Everything okay at home?” she asked him in a tone that was a little too innocent and casual, as soon as he reached her. “You look a little stressed.”
“Staying overnight in a strange town, in a strange bed, when you planned to be home hours ago would make anyone a little grumpy – and I’m already grumpy to begin with, remember?”
Stacey studied his face as he deliberately passed her, headed for the airport hotel where she had already reserved them a room. She followed, wisely opting not to push him any farther until they reached the privacy of the room. Once there, however, she couldn’t maintain her reluctant distance for long.
“Greg… I wish you’d talk to me.”
House didn’t look at her as he tossed his cane down on the bed and then sat down on the edge beside it. “I thought that’s what I’d been doing for the past couple of hours.”
“About you and Wilson. You know what I mean.”
House closed his eyes, drawing in a deep breath and letting it out slowly, his eyes still focused away from her. “I do. And I’ve already told you – there’s nothing for you to worry about.”
Stacey was quiet as she moved toward the bed, reaching out a tentative, gentle hand to rest on his shoulder before sitting down beside him on the bed. She waited until he grudgingly returned her gaze to speak, her voice soft and even.
“You know I don’t believe you.”
House looked away again, his expression solemn and resigned. “I know.”
“And… I shouldn’t. Should I?”
House’s silence was more than answer enough.
“I knew it.” Stacey rose from the bed, her tone angry and indignant. “I knew something wasn’t right with you two…”
“Everything’s fine, Stacey!” House insisted, alarm in his eyes as they tracked her agitated pacing. “Whatever problems we have had in the past – which are none of your business, by the way – are over now. Wilson’s in love with me – and I feel the same way about him. We’re doing just fine.” He looked away, a sullen note creeping into his voice as he concluded, “The last thing we need is some amateur therapist trying to tell us how to handle our relationship.”
“That’s not fair.” Stacey spun around to face him, her eyes blazing with restrained fury. “You know that’s not what this is. I care about you. I… I love you, Greg.” He looked up at her sharply, and she held his gaze, her shoulders falling slightly as she regained control of her irritation. Her voice was softer, reserved, as she added, “I think I always will. Things would never work between us again. I know that. But that doesn’t stop me from caring.” She paused a moment, her words halting and tremulous, barely over a whisper. “I don’t want to see you get hurt.”
“I’ll be fine,” House assured her, looking away again, lest she should read the lack of conviction in his eyes. “I won’t get hurt.”
“But… you already have,” Stacey pointed out gently, returning to sit beside him on the bed. “House… I’ve seen the bruises… heard the way he talks to you.”
She hesitated, aware that the subject was incredibly sensitive, but feeling that she had no choice but to tell him what she thought, now while she had what might be her only chance. She reached out a gentle hand to turn his face toward hers, not missing the slight flinch he barely managed to conceal. She waited until he met her eyes to continue with soft, slow certainty.
“If he’s hit you once… he’ll hit you again, Greg. You can’t let him think that it’s okay. You… you should leave…”
“You’re right.” Her eyes widened as he cut her off in a quiet, terse voice. He slowly, deliberately reached up to remove her hand from his face. “I should leave. Right now.” He rose to his feet without another word, taking his cane with him and heading toward the door.
“Greg, no!” Stacey called after him, upset by his reaction. “Wait a second…”
But as he opened the door, his cell phone began to ring. He glanced at the screen before giving her a false smile and shrugging. “The team. I’d better take this.” He opened the phone and spoke into it as he pointedly closed the door behind him.
House spent an uncomfortable night in the airport terminal, where he dozed a bit on the floor in between calls from his team and impromptu diagnosis sessions during which he used the wall of the terminal as a makeshift whiteboard. The next day, he avoided Stacey completely. When they were finally assigned a flight home, he made sure he claimed a seat that was far away from any other available seats, in order to prevent her cornering him on the plane and continuing to harass him about his relationship with Wilson.
Still, her absence did not keep him from worrying about the fact that she already seemed to know far too much.
Between the stress of his anxiety and the bone-weariness of his nearly sleepless night, House was exhausted by the time he dragged himself and his bags through the front door of his apartment. Wilson was sitting on the sofa, a stack of files on the coffee table in front of him, one open in his lap.
He didn’t even speak as House walked past him to the bedroom to put down his bags.
House barely repressed a weary sigh as he set down the bags, a hand pressing against his eyes in a vain attempt to fight off the tension headache swiftly forming, pounding inside his skull. He sat down on the side of the bed, leaning his cane against the side of the bed and resting his forehead against the cool, smooth surface of the headboard for some measure of relief.
This is ridiculous… suddenly he’s not even speaking to me because I stayed overnight when I had no choice but to stay overnight? I don’t know how much more of this I can…
His thoughts were abruptly cut off by an unexpected attack.
Wilson’s hands were harsh and grasping as one caught a handful of his hair, jerking his head up to face Wilson, and the other fell across his face in a sharp slap. House cringed, explosions of sparks obscuring his vision as his face flamed with pain. He raised his hands instinctively in self-defense, but Wilson roughly caught his wrists, jerking his hands down, turning him and shoving him back against the headboard, hard enough to knock the breath from his lungs.
“What, I don’t even merit a word when you walk in the door?” Wilson snapped, his voice trembling with seething rage. “You come in after being gone for days, without even a word?”
Wilson slapped him again, not hard enough to bruise, but hard enough to leave his cheek stinging and red. He dragged House off the bed by his hair and a clenched fist in his shirt, slamming him against the wall beside the bed instead, his taut, malicious smile widening slightly as House winced in pain.
“Why don’t you tell me all about your trip, House?” Wilson demanded in a dangerously soft, leading voice. “Why don’t you tell me all about how you and Stacey passed the time?”
“I swear to you, Wilson, nothing happened!” House insisted, breathless and panicked, holding up his hands in a pleading, placating gesture. “I told you, it was just… circumstances! We didn’t have a choice. Please…”
Wilson slammed him into the wall again, raising his fist as if to strike, but stopping at the last moment when House flinched in anticipation of the blow. His face twisted in bitter fury, Wilson diverted his fist, delivering a brutal blow to House’s stomach, hard enough to double him over in pain. His hand closed around House’s throat, shoving him back against the wall again.
House raised his hands to grasp at Wilson’s, struggling for breath, but Wilson caught his hands and forced them down, snarling in House’s face.
“Stop fighting me, you stupid whore!”
The menace in Wilson’s voice sent a terrified shudder through House. He couldn’t raise his hands, couldn’t draw breath to speak, but his lips formed the soundless words as he shook his head in a desperate plea.
“Stop… Wilson, please stop…”
Wilson just tightened his grip on House’s throat, leaning in close to his face with a chillingly cold smile, his dark eyes glittering with rage. His voice was unsettlingly gentle, filled with false patience, as his free hand held House’s hands together in front of him, not permitting him the instinctive struggle he was just barely managing to restrain.
“You’d better be telling me the truth about Stacey, House. Because you need to know this: If you ever… cheat on me…” His voice lowered to a whisper, his grip tightening so much that House’s vision began to fade around the edges as he gasped for breath that would not come. “… I will kill you, House. Do you understand me?”
House tried to free his hands, a soundless sob leaving his throat, but Wilson kept him restrained, refusing to yield. House nodded desperately, eyes closed as he began to feel weak, his legs starting to give out beneath him.
“Wilson, please… please no… please don’t…”
Wilson finally released him, and House collapsed to his knees on the floor, gasping for breath, one trembling hand clutching his aching throat. Wilson crouched beside him, moving in far too close for House’s comfort, and he instinctively drew back against the wall, trembling with fear as Wilson stroked a hand down the side of his face in a twisted gesture of possessive affection.
“I hope I’ve made myself clear.”
House nodded, still breathing hard as he tried to recover from the terrifying assault. “Y-yes,” he whispered, his eyes focused on the floor, unable to look at Wilson. “Yes… I-I’m sorry…” He added a soft, barely audible, “…please…”
Wilson said nothing, but he seemed satisfied, rising to his feet. House instinctively shrunk back away from his lover, who towered over him where he knelt on the floor at his feet.
“I’ve got to finish packing,” Wilson informed him, moving across the room to the dresser. “I have a conference to go to this weekend. I’m leaving tomorrow afternoon.”
House stayed there for a while in subdued silence, too stunned and bewildered by what had just happened to say a word. He was almost afraid to get up, afraid that Wilson might decide that he wasn’t finished yet if House drew too much attention to himself. Resentment flooded him as he thought of how Wilson would have brushed off his concerns if he had dared to question Wilson’s weekend trip out of town.
House waited until Wilson left the room again to cautiously pick himself up off the floor, wincing as the movement aggravated his various bruises. He felt a suspicious prickling at the back of his eyes, a cold knot in his throat, as he limped stiffly toward the shower, hoping the hot water would soothe his aching body. As he locked the door behind him, he couldn’t help but think that it shouldn’t take locking his partner out to make him feel safe in his own home.
As the steaming water pounded down onto him, House tried to put his troubled thoughts out of his mind and allow it to relax him – but Stacey’s warning words echoed over and over again in his head.
If you let him do it once… he’ll do it again. It won’t stop, unless you make it stop… unless you leave…
House’s heart sank with despair as he tried to lose himself in the hot, pounding spray, because when all was said and done – he wasn’t sure that he could.