The Lost Shall Be Found
The Lost Shall Be Found........
He never forgot anything he heard, or read, or thought but sometimes the information got pushed aside for newer data and it took him months to get back to it. That was what happened to Wilson's brother. Not Wilson's actual brother, what happened to him was a mystery, but to the revelation his best friend even had a mysteriously missing brother in the first place. House, after solving a string of bizarrely baffling medical maladies, found himself bored by the routine of coming to work each day and sitting in his office avoiding more work. Even a partially successful attempt at learning to play Jenga with bedpans hadn't alleviated the stifling monotony of being the brightest star in the medical field of Princeton, most of New Jersey, and, he liked to think, docporn.com. So he sat contemplating the ceiling, twirling his cane, desperate for something complicated, something spellbinding, something - ah, cute.
He could see the top of Wilson's head from where he sat, just a soft brownish blur which occasionally bobbed out of sight only to return a few seconds later. There was something about that motion, the bobbing up and down of Wilson's head that quickened his breath. He could feel his heart beginning to race, matching the pace set by his lungs and beads of sweat breaking out on his forehead like inmates at some minimum security prison. He knew he had to get a grip on himself, and not in the fun way so by sheer force of will, and imagining Vogler in his underwear, House slowed his breathing and forced his muscles to go limp. He risked another glance at Wilson's office. The perfect head bobbed again but he was pleased to find the sight had no adverse affect on him this time. He was a rock, he was an island, and a rock feels no pain, especially after a couple of Vicodin. House grinned, swallowed and let his gaze rest on Wilson's distant figure, imagining his friend sitting in there as a little perfect island of compassion in a sea of indifference. He liked that about Wilson, the perfection he presented to the outside world. Few people besides House realized just how far from perfect Wilson really was, but his parents and sibling - siblings, House amended, would know the truth.
House reached for the phone and in his best unbearable-agony-being-manfully-repressed voice, one he had cultivated through college, med school and various other gullible institutions, he informed Cuddy he was too ill to do clinic duty. She bandied about a few observations on his dedication to duty to which he, and this was the key to success, stayed unnaturally mute, merely breathing into the receiver in a remarkable impression of pained silence. He'd learned it was the silence that did it, how could he, Gregory House - the Mouth that Roared, stay silent when confronted with such accusations? He couldn't Cuddy reasoned, unless he really was too ill or more likely in too much pain, to work.
"I'll have Wilson take you home," Cuddy said. And that was the problem, really, with having only one friend - when you were spying on that lone companion you didn't want him driving you home and then tucking you into bed. Well, once in a while he liked for Wilson to drive him home and tuck him into bed, but those times were merely grist for his nocturnal fantasies and had no bearing on the situation at hand.
"No," House said, managing to work his strangled tone into a fair imitation of stifled agony. He gripped his cane tighter and popped it against the floor twice, letting his mind race over a dozen possible scenarios before settling on an implausible, but amusing, solution. "No," he wheezed, sounding weaker by the second, "he's got that meeting. Cameron's here, I'll have her take me home." He gave a small, but convincing gasp - convincing because he'd accidentally rammed his good knee into the desk support - and prepared to hang up.
"Greg," Cuddy said quickly, shocking him for a moment into pulling the receiver away and staring at it, "- anything," he caught when it was once again held to his ear, "let me know, okay?"
"I'm fine," House said firmly, forgetting his ruse for a moment under the wave of annoyance sweeping through him. Cuddy, however, chose to take his curt reply as evidence of a frail, vulnerable state and a valiant attempt to cover it. He resisted the urge to slam the phone down, turning his attentions instead to his personal Habitrail and the three white mice he had collected - well, two white and one black, he corrected with a smirk. Chase, his most well trained rodent was nibbling on a coffee stirrer. Foreman, whiskers twitching, had taken up position in front of the whiteboard, obviously railing against Fate for his lot in life or at least for House's part in his, while Cameron, the prettiest of the three if you didn't count Chase's hair, seemed to be translating War and Peace into medical jargon. Actually he couldn't tell what she was doing but she had a humongous stack of papers in front of her, a scowl on her face, and was wearing her "serious but still a sexy woman" glasses on her pert nose. Now, to make like a Blue Healer - er, Heeler and cull the chick from the herd and dupe her into his nefarious plan.
"Yo, minions!!" He bellowed, unreasonably delighted when Chase nearly swallowed the straw, Foreman knocked over the whiteboard and Cameron - sighed. Damn, she'd been hanging around Wilson too much lately, he must have splattered her with his Imperviousness to Irritation. House twirled his cane, imagining Snidely Whiplash checking the train schedule and watched his underlings march into his office. "Chase, Foreman, Cuddy wants an overview of my statistics for Billing. That means you two are confined to the bowels of this learning institution until you have collated any files kicked back by the insurance companied." Both men stared at him as if he had just told them to bend over and take it like men - which he basically had. "Be gone!"
"But-," said Chase.
"You can't -," complained Foreman but another wave of his magic cane and they disappeared with barely a muttered curse to give a hint they had been there.
Cameron gave him a wary look, one which clearly said she would have liked to join them in the safety of some dusty and forgotten fiscal pit. "I need an accomplice," House said, grinning, "and you come highly recommended." He snagged his backpack, stabbed his cane into the carpet and levered himself to his feet.
"We - we aren't going to do anything illegal, are we?" She asked but his smirk pretty much told her it would not only be against the laws of the land but probably against those of nature as well. If she had been more aggressive and less blinded by the hypnotic blue of his eyes, not to mention the way his worn jeans hugged his slender hips, Cameron might have had a chance to stop his diabolical scheme before it went too far. Alas, she was only human and had no defenses against the weapons Dr. Gregory House had at his disposal. And besides she thought she might score another ride on the back of his bike. She did. Half an hour later, perched on the back of a motorcycle speeding dangerously down congested roadways, Cameron regretted her urge to cop a feel. Once they had stopped and she had risen from kneeling to kiss the ground in thanks, she regretted it more. They were parked in front of the a lovely home in a nice part of town, the name on the mailbox said WILSON.
"Wilson?" Cameron, heart sinking fast, asked him. "Isn't he still at the hospital?"
House gave her a look of pure theatrical shock. "Is he? Oh, my, however will we get in?"
"House. No, we can't," Cameron pleaded but House was already walking around to the back of the house, trying windows and doors as they went. "House, we can't break into Wilson's place. He's your best friend! Isn't this immoral?"
"No, why do you ask?" House said. He stopped at the patio door, jiggled the handle and continued. Cameron dogged him, her confusion growing when he came to the front door once again. "Ah, here we are."
"But we were here a minute ago," she pointed out.
"Then why didn't I open the door?" House produced a key and unlocked the door. Inside, he punched in the alarm code, limped through the beautifully decorated rooms until he entered the kitchen and began rummaging through the refrigerator. "Ugh, you think that's spinach or has a veal cutlet gone bad?"
"House? What are you doing?"
House sighed, chin dropping to his chest for an instant before he shook his head. "I'm here on a mission," he said, "I need you to keep a watch for Julie and warn me if she shows."
"Oh, and then what? How are we going to explain being here in the middle of the day, alone, when Dr. Wilson is still at work?"
"I'll just tell her we were having a threesome and Jimmy had to run out for more condoms."
Cameron's mouth dropped open. She shook her head and stomped back to the front door. House watched her with a smile, sometimes being an Evil Genius had the side benefit of pricking the self-righteous tendencies of people who should be above such things. He abandoned his culinary reconnaissance after snagging an apple and headed for Wilson's home office. It was a good sized room with a plethora of paneling, pine and plaid but Wilson didn't like it. He'd complained to House many times that the whole North Woods Lodge theme Julie had come up with gave him severe flashbacks and it had taken House ten hours and a bottle of his best scotch to find out Wilson had been a Boy Scout. Unfortunately Wilson had passed out before explaining why Merit Badges made him break out in hives and since then any time House asked Wilson just turned pale and excused himself.
Still, if Wilson had anything to hide - anything other than a missing brother, several affairs, and a penchant for living life as if it had been dictated by Barbara Cartland, he'd find it here. House made quick work of all the usual hiding places; the desk, the drawers, and the liquor cabinet, well, the liquor cabinet took a while because he had to make sure Wilson hadn't hidden anything in with the bourbon. Hiccupping, House eventually settled himself at Wilson's desk and heaved a sigh. His friend was obviously a master at subterfuge, he'd managed to hide the existence of this second brother for nearly ten years, House had been fooling himself to think he could - A photograph caught his eye and, once he recovered from whiskey burning its way down a bronchial tube instead of his esophagus, House recognized Wilson - the eyebrows were a dead giveaway, but it was the two other young men that had caused such a extreme reaction.
He picked up the framed photo, the one where Wilson had written ME AND MY BROTHERS - DAVID, MICHAEL AND JAMES WILSON 1993. A shrill whistling sound followed by a whooping bird-like cry interrupted his musing. Cameron was shouting from the front hall. "Julie's coming this way!" House scooped up the picture, downed the rest of his bourbon and limped from the room. He just had time to reset the alarm and pull Cameron into the bushes before Julie's BMW pulled into the garage. "House, I thought you didn't like me," Cameron purred, batting her eyes up at him hopefully. They were pressed tightly together, a blush stained her creamy cheeks and she wore a dreamy expression.
"That's my cane," House said.
Her smile faded, but after a second she got a speculative gleam in her eye. "Where could a girl get one of those anyway?"
House's eyebrows rose nearly to his hairline but he didn't answer, just grabbed her wrist and hurried for the bike as fast as his impaired mobility would allow. They roared away from suburbia unscathed, undetected and unmolested, the same could not be said of his cane, strapped, as it were, to the side of the bike in close proximity to Cameron's inner thigh. He insisted on dropping her a block from the hospital and making her walk the rest of the way. "Sensible shoes," he shouted, engine whining as he blasted towards his home. Cameron resisted the urge to shake her fist after his retreating form, instead she hobbled back to work silently vowing in the future to spend her money on chews and not Choo's.
For his part, House and the purloined photo arrived back at his place in one piece. Unfortunately they were meant to be two separate entities, but the force of traveling at warp speed and the fact he had the photo stuffed down the front of his jeans, made removing it a bit sticky and not in a good way. He peeled the picture from his genitals, uncomfortably aware that this was the closest he'd managed to get Wilson to his naughty place, and smoothed out the crinkles. He positioned himself in his favorite leather chair, eschewing his normal accoutrements when looking at pictures of Wilson in favor of the ones which helped him think.
House leaned back, cane twirling like a propeller in one hand, yo-yo dangling from the other, scotch and Vicodin at his elbow, and Leon Redbone crooning in the background. In 1993 Wilson would have been around 24, he looked 12 which wasn't surprising since he only looked 15 now, but there was a youthful optimism in those brown eyes that House couldn't recall ever seeing in his best friend's gaze before. Slightly disturbed by this, House turned his attention to the other Wilsons in the photograph. He'd met Michael at one of Wilson's weddings, the one with live doves and bad shrimp, House wasn't sure which wedding it had been, but he'd not been able to look at shrimp or squab since then. In the photo Michael reminded him of Daniel Jackson on Stargate SG1. House liked Dr. Jackson - a lot. It took some effort but House finally drew his imagination away from picturing Michael and James Wilson in those sexy jumpsuits talking about wormholes and gating, and DHDs. He let his eyes rest on the oldest brother, the one he hadn't met unless Wilson the Elder had panhandled him down on Vine, but surely the eyebrows would have given him away.
A little taller, a little broader in the face, this David Wilson still looked enough like `his' Wilson to be - well, a brother. Funny how genetics worked, House had always wanted a younger sibling, someone to torment, someone like him in mind and body - a brother would have been ideal, a sister with stubble probably would have been an embarrassment. Still, you'd never be lonely with a sibling. In the photo Wilson didn't look lonely, he looked amused. In fact he wore an expression very similar to his secretly pleased with himself grin, the one he'd acquired a couple of years after beginning his association with House and discovering his own natural sarcasm came off as charming rhetoric in comparison. House canted his head, staring at the slightly blurred background in the photograph, studying the shapes and colors for any hint of what might have become of the missing brother. His mind soon drifted away from the mystery to something more pleasant, like fantasies of him and Wilson and kinky exam room sex. Caught up in his musings House was startled by a familiar voice wafting through the room, one completely at odds with the muscular form growling "spank me, Greg" in his daydreams, this one sounded high and a little girlish with anxiety and not at all inclined to spanking.
"Wilson!" he shrieked, and shoved the photograph in the only place he could think of, but getting it back down the front of his pant was more difficult this time because there seemed to be less room for some reason. House managed the deed, then realized Wilson must have heard from Cuddy that he'd gone home ill and was here to check on him. Getting to his feet, House flew to his bedroom in a herky-jerky lopsided gait that would have been comical except for the fact - no, it was comical. He hurled himself into bed peeling clothes off like a porcupine shooting quills, bounced onto the mattress, then crawled under the covers in jeans, t-shirt and socks. The exertion caused pain to lance through his leg but that tickled compared to the pain caused by the edge of the photo stabbing his scrotum. He could hear the unmistakable sound of Wilson using his key to open the front door, followed by his friend calling his name.
"House?" Quiet footsteps hurried down the hallway and the door to his bedroom eased open. "House? House, you okay?" Wilson called softly, entering the room and coming to his bedside. "Hey," he whispered, reaching out to touch House's cheek. "Cuddy said you weren't feeling well."
House squirmed under the concerned gaze raking his features, the gentle hand stroking over his cheek and forehead. Wilson was the only person who touched him anymore. Since the infarction and the constant attentions of nurses and doctors, physical therapists and rehab professionals, having people put their hands on him caused House to lash out, always verbally but sometimes even physically. But right now, having those warm, strong hands on his face and knowing that Wilson still cared for him, the only lashing he wanted to do was take Wilson's god-awful tie and lash him to the bedpost. His frustration and the cresting tidal wave of hot steamy desire being near Wilson seemed to stir made him moan. House liked to think he possessed a certain eloquence, able to convey a phalanx of meaning with a word, a sound, a gesture, a look but the sound that spilled out of his mouth at that moment could have been made by a constipated sheep. Still, it had the effect of spurring Wilson's concern a notch higher. On the down side, it also made the situation in his pants a bit more dicey.
"I'm - I'm," House puffed, writhing on the bed as blood rushed southward only to be turned back at the photographic barrier like an illegal at the boarder, "a little tired."
"You're working too hard," Wilson murmured, "let's get you comfortable and you can get some sleep." House tried to focus on his words, really he did, but there was something about Wilson's voice that kept distracting him. Maybe Wilson had taken a hypnotism course or something but the next thing House knew Wilson had stripped him of his shirt and socks and those clever doctor fingers were working on the fly of his jeans. Panic swept in and House grabbed his crotch.
"No!" He squeaked. "Uh, I mean, I'm shy." He nodded, pleased with his own quick thinking. "Terribly shy. I had a bad experience in school, my pants fell down in gym class, traumatized me for life."
Wilson shot him a skeptical look, his hands going back to House's zipper. "It's okay," he soothed, "I'm a doctor. You don't have anything I haven't - HOLY MOTHER OF GOD!" House cringed as his jeans were opened and Wilson got his first glimpse of the shiny, happy faces decorating his groin.
"It's n-not what you think," House sputtered and sat up but he could see the doubt in Wilson's eyes had more than doubled - a lot, lot more. "Really! I can explain."
"You can - explain," Wilson repeated slowly. "You can explain why you have a photograph of me and my brothers down the front of your pants?" He sat back, the skepticism in his eyes spreading like a virus to infect the rest of his face; his lips thinned out, his brows drew down and his nose did that unattractive flaring thing but House didn't rebuke him for it because the great whirring mechanism that was his brain had suddenly become a mushy mound of randomly firing neurons and all he could do was picture pressing his lips to the wrinkle between Wilson's abundant eyebrows and tasting the skin there.
"Uh, what was the question again?" House asked, and he would have been worried about his sudden lack of brain cell activity but Wilson sighed. Most times when Wilson sighed it was the world weary Greg-House-is-going-to-be-the-death-of-me-someday sigh House had become use to and if it wasn't that one it was his Greg-House-is-the-way-he-is-and-I-can't-change-him-so-why-am-I-upset sigh but this sigh sounded different, maybe it was the tone, or the length or the slight wobble it gave at the end but it brought his dithering mind to an abrupt halt. House looked at his friend, his only friend and knew that if he said the wrong thing he would lose so much more than a lunch companion, a co-conspirator in his pranks, and a fellow soap opera junkie, he would lose the one person he loved enough to endure the pain and humiliation his life had become. House swallowed his pride and, praying his obfuscation skills had not deserted him, said the first thing that came to mind. "I was looking for your brother." Damn, not only had they deserted him, but taken the car, the dog and probably wiped out his bank account before hitting the highway out of town. Not good.
"You -" Wilson stopped, mouth hanging open in a fair imitation of a trout, then he seemed to regroup and try again. "You were looking for my brother - in your pants?"
Damn, Wilson's perceptive powers rivaled his own. Mustering his best look of disdain, House said, "Don't be an idiot. I wasn't even wearing these pants when your brother disappeared. I just didn't want you to know I -"
"-broke into my house, rifled through my personal property, then stole the last photograph taken of me and my brothers to use as some perverse sexual aid?" Wilson asked.
"It sounds bad when you put it that way," House pouted.
"It sounds bad because it is bad! Jeez, House," Wilson jumped to his feet, pacing beside the bed as he ran a hand through his dark hair. "Sometimes you just astound me. I don't think you even know how terrible a person you can be."
"I do have feelings, you know?" House said but he was lying, he didn't have feelings; unless you counted the overwhelming currents of lust, love, fear and panic clanging around inside his chest like sneakers in a dryer. Wilson paused, shooting him a glare that could have peeled vanish, before shaking his head in resignation. House relaxed, he could see the initial shock and anger had worn off and Wilson was beginning to work out what House had done. He wasn't just friends with Wilson because the man was gullible when it came to loaning people money, or had a streak of black humor as wide as House's own, or even because he was the cutest thing in a tie House had ever seen, no he was friends with James Wilson because Wilson could keep up with him. He'd never before met anyone able to meet him as an equal in intellect, humor, emotional baggage or amount of pain they could take, but Wilson could and made it look easy. House smiled a little to himself, he loved watching Wilson apply all he knew about him and come to an answer.
"You haven't had any cases in ten days so you're bored," Wilson said, tilting his head to peer at House from beneath a dark wing of hair. "When you're bored stray thoughts ping back onto your radar."
"Oooooh, Navel metaphors," House murmured.
"You probably saw me, remembered what I said about my brother and came up with your pathetic little escapade," Wilson reasoned. He raked a hand back through his hair and House felt his pulse jump. Something about seeing Wilson ruffled, be it emotionally or physically, made him randy. He plastered on his most innocent face, the one he had stolen off a six year old boy when he wasn't looking, and went into one of his patented contrite expressions; huge blue eyes dropping, chin tucked to his chest, shoulders slumped. House silently counted to thirty before using his right hand to rub his ruined thigh, shifting uncomfortably. "That doesn't really work," Wilson said conversationally.
"W-what?" House jerked his head up, glaring at Wilson.
"That," Wilson waved a hand towards him, "the poor-me-I'm-in-pain" thing - it doesn't work on me."
"Uh, no, it's just you've been playing that card for the last five years and I can tell when you're really in pain." Contrary to his words, Wilson's tone was warm and he moved to sit back beside House. "You can't con a con man, House." He brushed House's hand aside, laying his over the damaged thigh and massaging gently. House dropped his gaze, smiling with genuine affection. Wilson never ceased to amaze him.
"I thought I might find a clue," House said with a shrug. "I wanted to find your missing brother, bring home the prodigal son and restore happiness to the Wilson clan." Wilson's hand stilled and when House looked up he was surprised to see Wilson had his eyes squeezed shut, that pained parody of a smile he wore when he was hurting evident on his lips. "Guess that didn't work."
"Wh-why?" Wilson asked.
"You miss him," House said simply.
Their eyes locked. "Not as much anymore," Wilson said and leaned in, placing a chaste kiss on House's lips.
"Does that mean we can borrow each other's clothes?"
Wilson laughed. "That's sisters. I don't think I can wear your skinny ass clothes, anyway." House shifted over on the mattress, making room for Wilson to stretch out beside him. The next kiss they shared was anything but chaste, it sizzled along House's nervous system until he thought a seizure was imminent. But the only involuntary muscle movement he experienced wasn't exactly involuntary and the movement part was hindered by the photo. He reached down and pulled it out, restoring blood flow just in time. "Mmmmm, is that your cane or are you glad to see me?" Wilson asked, chuckling.
"Thanks for reminding me," House murmured, nibbling along Wilson's jaw, "I need to get a cane condom, Cameron molested it today." Wilson pulled away, dark brown gaze searching his for a long moment and House could just see the dozen or so questions forming in his friend's mind. Always an advocate of peace and harmony, House stopped Wilson's mouth with another burning kiss before he could start asking.
And so it was that the mystery of the mysteriously missing brother was not solved, but other things came to light because of the investigation. Cameron discovered she liked the hard wood. Julie discovered it really was a veal cutlet, while Wilson discovered that failing at marriage didn't mean you couldn't find love. And Gregory House discovered that sometimes you really did get what you wanted - sometimes twice in one night.
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Legal Disclaimer: The authors published here make no claims on the ownership of Dr. Gregory House and the other fictional residents of Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital. Like the television show House (and quite possibly Dr. Wilson's pocket protector), they are the property of Fox Television, David Shore and undoubtedly other individuals of whom I am only peripherally aware. The fan fiction authors published here receive no monetary benefit from their work and intend no copyright infringement nor slight to the actual owners. We love the characters and we love the show, otherwise we wouldn't be here.