Fandom: House M.D
Pairing: (will be i promise) House/Wilson
Warning: Severe AU
Disclaimer: Not mine. **crycry**
Summary: An alternate universe backstory to how House and Wilson first met. House is a demon on the run from his own kind, who meets a Wilson who is dying from cancer. Will include possibly depressing themes in the first few chapters, wing kink later on. :D
Notes: This is inspired by the art of GDI1 on deviantart.com. She does some awesome angel/demon work of House and Wilson.
’and I am not frightened of dying, any time will do,
I don’t mind. why should I be frightened of dying?
There’s no reason for it, you’ve gotta go sometime.’
-Pink Floyd, the great gig in the sky
He couldn't remember the beginning. Granted, he could remember pretty far back. He remembered the rise and fall of the Roman Empire. He could recall the creak of the wooden boats that carried settlers from Europe into the Americas. He even remembered that commercial from the 50's where that turtle told kids what to do in the event of a nuclear holocaust. Duck! And cover…
He couldn't remember as far back as some of his brothers could, like when Lucifer rebelled against heaven and started creating demons like him.
But the memories that really mattered were enough. He remembered his first kill; a rather low level angelic that shuddered as his Grace seeped out of the knife wound in his side. He remembered so many of the kills, the awful, wonderful, gleefully disgusting things he'd done at the command of his superiors. Things he'd done in the name of Him.
The Big Man.
The one who danced in the pale moonlight.
He remembers when he fled, finally unable to reconcile the deeds he was doing with the shriveled, dying voice of reason inside him.this is wrong
It would nag at him. wrong wrong wrong
Demons weren't supposed to have thoughts like that and so one day he broke. He flew, propelling himself as fast as he could through a landscape he didn't stop to look at. Away from the shrill screams of his name, echoing in the night behind him. Screaming that only his kind could make and only his kind could hear.
He could remember the way he’d hid after. Staying in a solid, human form instead of his true form, since it was harder for them to track him that way. He couldn’t go back to his home, the only home he knew, so he wandered the human world he only barely recognized. It had changed so much; horses were replaced with huge metal boxes that barreled here and there, whonking and shooting up dust. There were colored lights on the streets and in every building now. There were considerably less trees, which had seemed to be all replaced by metal. He remembered, rather painfully, the next few agonizing days filled with an emotion he’d never felt before; fear.
He hid in homeless shelters, behind buildings, stowed away in the backs of buses. Knowing at ever turn, there they could be, waiting to drag him back to hell.
He had gotten hurt in his human form, shot in knee during a brief altercation with a homeless man over a spot on the ground. You don’t have money for food but you can buy a gun?
He could have easily over powered the man, took his true form or at least unfurl his wings to scare the man off. But there were others around and he was hesitant to let everyone know there was a demon lurking the streets. Word got around and he was supposed to be a fugitive.
So instead he limped his way into a local hospital. It was there he found his niche. The doctors there, having no reason to suspect his disguise was anything but a genuine human body, treated him as if he was one of their own. As if he didn’t slay countless innocents then drag their souls to hell.
He kept expecting one of the doctors to look at him over his wire frame glasses, smirk and say,
“You didn’t think you could hide from us, did you Greggy baby?”
But no one did.
And when they sent him off, clean set of clothes and crutches in hand, he remembered feeling lost. Where was he to go? The loud, cold, unforgiving streets that held no family or friends on them?
So he decided to stay.
He usually kept to his true form, which manifested as no more than a spirit on the human plane that humans couldn’t see but sometimes sense if he willed it.
But when he tried to take a solid form, he found his knee never really seemed to heal correctly. He never changed the way his human form looked; he never had to. So many people rushed in and out of the building the doctors and nurses could hardly keep up.
He changed in the crutches for a cane.
He had found his home.
He overheard the name spoken first, “Mr. Wilson”. It reminded him of some kindly old history teacher. He drifted just behind the doctors talking about the man to the cancer ward of the hospital. He knew these halls like the back of his currently incorporeal hand. He didn’t see the name badges of the men he was following, but they sounded like battle weary doctors who’d seen too much death to be affected by one more cancer patient.
They stopped by Mr. Wilson’s door, door number 391, and greeted a younger looking doctor. His young face and cheerful demeanor told Gregory he was a fresh fish, just about to plunge into the deep end of the pool. They nodded their goodbyes and the two veterans went their way leaving he newbie to deal with his patient.
Newbie Doctor opened the door, but Gregory had no need of doors and simply followed behind him as the door swung through him. The man in the bed looked to be in his early thirties with light brown hair and a pale but handsome face. He looked like he might have been in great shape at one point, but now his frame was skinny and skeletal, his bones forming sharper shapes in the gown covering them than they should.
He could see the cancer without even trying. Damn, It must really be bad.
Gregory could see into human’s bodies, into all the inner “complex” workings of the cardiovascular system and lymph system and nervous system. He could see the man’s veins, worn and hard around his elbows and hands from prolonged exposure to needles. He could see the man’s stomach and intestines twitch and move with food. He could see the man’s heart beating. And he could see the cancer, drawing his eyes inexorably to it like a fly in a jar of mayonnaise. It blemished an otherwise perfect human body, black and pulsating and… moving.
The good thing about having such an intimate knowledge of how the inside of a human body worked, was that he knew things human doctors did not. He could see how you could fix something like a malignant disease, or help halt the spread of it. The only thing he couldn’t do was heal the man himself. So, he decided to do what he always did and “inspire” Newbie Doctor. He can see the solution, the way to keep this man alive for at least another 10 years or so. Even better was that Newbie would take all the credit and would probably be able to live off the notoriety for the rest of his life. You know, I should probably be more evil than this.
He considered the thought briefly, considered what his demon brothers would have him do.
“Kill him!” They’d urge gleefully. “Go inside him and make him dance and make him stab that doctors pen through into his neck! Make him laugh and choke on his blood!”
He considered it briefly then shook his head. Nah.
He drifted close to Newbie Doctor, about to whisper what he so plainly saw as the proper treatment into his ear, when the patient spoke.
"Well, I'm basically ready to go." They had been talking about his diagnosis and prognosis while Gregory was busy looking inside the man.
"I was...angry when I first found out about it. I kept asking why God would allow this to happen to me, when so much had already gone wrong in my life. Why pile this on top of it?" He paused momentarily, Gregory heard the doctor shuffle his feet in the silence.
"And then I figured it out; God gave me this cancer as a reward!" The demon heard a sharp, shocked intake of air and almost chuckled.
'Bet he didn't see that one coming.'
"He's ending my suffering and taking me away from this awful place. I mean, it's a pretty horrible way to go but... so is just about every other way to die. And it's not like it's in my power to be picky about it."
The man paused again, as if considering something. He heard the doctor breath in, perhaps about to say something but the man started speaking again too soon to give him a chance.
"So…I'm actually okay with this. I don't think my life was really worth saving, you know? So I think it's actually kind of a good thing that my crappy life is coming to an end in, what, 2 weeks you said?"
The poor Newbie nodded, stunned into silence. Gregory was surprised as well at the dying man's attitude. He'd heard the speeches of hundreds of men and women on their deathbeds and most of them expressed despair, or more often anger at their situation. It was very rare to find someone who seemed truly happy about dying a slow and painful death.
And it fascinated him.
The doctor said a few more things to his patient and swept out of the room, probably anxious to get out. The demeanor of the gaunt man lying there, smiling a peaceful little half smile, was undoubtedly a bit unsettling. At least Newbie will have something to gossip about during lunch.
The demon was at a loss for what to do. He knew what could help this man but it didn’t sound like he wanted to be helped. So Gregory just hovered beside his bed and watched him as the day went on. Nurses came and went as their shifts revolved, and most were more than happy to chat with him as they went about their normal routine of changing, fluffing, drawing blood, and listening. He talked to them about his ex-wife. A lot. He talked to them about his job, about how he used to be a doctor himself before the sickness took away his ability to work. He spoke briefly of a time he'd gone to Mexico for a conference and almost had an affair when he was still married.
Later the demon overheard him mention to someone completely different that he'd ended up divorcing his wife because she'd had an affair on him with her personal trainer.
Gregory idly thought, 'Should have done it when you had the chance, stupid.'
He didn't hear the man talk about many happy things. He overheard him talking to himself, after dinner had been brought and he'd been left alone to eat it, about how he sort of regretted not being able to have children. Then a snort followed that statement, along with a dark huff of a chuckle.
"Right, and bring a child into this cruddy world too? Maybe being sterile was a blessing as well."
Geez, this guy was just too pitiful to be true..
He'd seen some sob stories and humans in a bad way before in his years haunting this hospital, but this was one of the worst.
The demon, created to be a heartless and evil representation of the Devil's hatred for humanity, started to... feel for this human. He started to understand why maybe death would be preferable to an empty life.
Twelve hours later and it was dark outside. The man was still wearing that almost creepy contented look on his face, staring past whatever program was on TV right now. Gregory had been sitting beside the man, just watching his face.
Trying to decide what to do. Should he try to save this man’s life, or let him die?
Questions of conscience could still be, even almost 50 years after he’d escaped from hell, a problem for him.
Gregory glanced up, following the path of the man's eyes. Except for the latest re-run of ER making droning background noises, nothing looked too interesting.
He wasn't even watching the show, just staring off into space.
Gregory decided to make himself seen, as was in his power to do, and concentrated briefly on his body becoming solid. It was kind of like driving; just a push here, a pull there, turn this… He could feel the familiar ache in his leg.
Remember the cane, you’re going to need it.
Before the rest of him solidified, he ducked into the bathroom on an afterthought; he didn't want to scare the poor guy into a heart attack by just appearing right in front of him. As a second afterthought, he decided to give himself a long white doctors coat and badge, to help explain why he was there. Yeah, that was a pretty good cover story. Don't be afraid, I'm not a demon spawned from Hell, I'm just one of the many useless doctors who can't save your life.
But he could safe his life. Or at least extend it with minimal pain. Make him able to go back to work again.
Taking a deep breath, Gregory opened the bathroom door and into the main living space of the hospital room. The man in the bed glanced over and his expression finally changed from one of peace to confusion, and then to a little fear. He pushed himself up on his elbows to a more seated position, eyeing Gregory up and down.
"Huh-How did you get in here?" The demon flashed what he hoped was his most charming smile and started to make his way to the small stool beside the bed, meant for doctors to sit and chat up close with their patients.
"Through the door of course. What do you think, I just floated in here through the walls?"
"No I.. Why were you in the bathroom? How long have you been in there? And why does your... name badge just say GREGORY on it?"
The demon kept smiling and, unable to think of an answer to any of those questions, decided to try and change the subject. He held out his hand.
"Hi. I'm a doctor. You can call me..."
"Dr. GREGORY?" The man supplied. "It doesn't even have a picture of you, it doesn't say what hospital you work for, it doesn't even have a last name! It's like you just grabbed a real badge and replaced it with a piece of paper that just says your first name on it..."
Damn, gotta work on ironing out the details of human accessories better…
"You can call me "Greg" for short. And you're Mr. Wilson, right?"
"Uhhm..." The man just stared open mouthed for a second, before answering.
"Just... call me James. I insist everyone who happens to pop out of my bathroom after hours in a lab coat call me by my Christian name."
He finally took Gregory's hand, giving it a gentle shake. James' hand felt like ice, even though the room was warm enough. Greg could almost swear he felt the cold, solid pressure of death in that hand.
Okay, time to explain himself.
"I've been assigned to your case and I think I know.." He stopped short of finishing the sentence when he caught James' eyes. A soft shade of brown that reminded Greg of ancient oak. The color was soft but dull, no light shone behind those eyes and they didn't mirror the half smile plastered on James' face.“Well, I'm basically ready to go."
There had been no bitterness in that statement, no sadness. Just a quiet, normal tone one might use to say, "Well, the mall is closing, we'd better leave."
He realized he was still holding James' hand. He hadn't thought to let go.
Neither had James, apparently. He felt his fingers drag against the softer skin beneath them as they disconnected.
"You think you know what?" James lay back in bed, picked up the remote beside him and started to click buttons.
"Everything that everyone else has already done is in my chart." He gestured with the remote toward the end of the bed.
"I have stage IV metastatic prostate cancer." He rattled off the name of the disease in a tired, bored sounding voice. "We've tried chemo, surgery, androgen-suppression... It keeps coming back. I'm on a 75 mg Fentanyl Patch along with
5 mg Oxycodon, 2 tablets every four hours and also something for the
vomiting. Which isn't helping."
"Wow. Don't you know your way around hospital lingo." Greg quipped lightly. "And you look pretty good right now!"
"Yeah, that's because I'm having a good day and I'm pumped full of happy drugs. See me tomorrow and I might not be able to eat. Or walk. Or talk much." His face fell fully then, for the first time since Greg had seen him. The serene look left him and he looked like he was seriously considering his situation for the first time.
It probably wasn't the first time though.
"So what do you think, doc? Any good news? Any new treatments?" He started coughing then, doubling over and turning red, and Gregory couldn't take anymore.Kill him
he heard the imagined voices of his brothers repeat, but this time with a different motive. End it for him. You know how to do it. Just put your fingers right here and press. Right here on his neck.
He should do it, if not because he was a demon and was created to do such things but because he was a different kind of demon in the first place. One that didn't quite belong. One that felt differently about human suffering.
One that couldn't take looking at those achingly dull brown eyes anymore.
Gregory reached out his hand and pressed it against the side of James' neck. He could feel the veins popping out at the last of the coughing fit worked its way through his system.
Just press right here. He thought, eyeing the main vein that brought blood to the human’s brain. But then the coughing subsided, and James leaned toward him, tilting his head into his touch.
"Mmm thank you." The soft murmur reached his ears just as he was about to squeeze, and it made him stop. He listened to James catch his breath for a moment before asking,
"Thank you for what?"
Then James put his hand on Gregory's arm, that cold, weak hand, resting it there as he talked.
"Just... I don't know. I've been in this bed for weeks, been groped and poked in so many places I can't count them. But no one's ever just..."
And again he moved his head against Gregory's hand, his smooth cheek nuzzling his palm.
Standing up quickly, the bewildered demon tore away the contact between the two of them. Without another word, without a backward glance, Gregory turned and left the room, leaving an equally confused James behind him.(next chapter)