Walking into the hospital, he had to admit he was almost impressed. Very sunny and welcoming. The sort of place he was certain someone had thought would be a grand comfort to people who were likely to die. Because even if they did die in the hospital, at least they would die in comfort.
Frowning, he stood near the elevator, trying his best to look approachably perplexed. After all, he knew where it was the doctor he was after worked, but that wasn’t the same as knowing exactly where he was. And sooner or later someone would notice him and say something.
“Are you ok?”
Turning to look toward the voice, Sherlock looked over the brunette and the small Asian girl, both of whom looked mildly worried. It tended to help get attention in a hospital when you showed up bleeding a bit as well, he figured.
“Uh… I’m just looking for a Dr. House?”
“Look, if you want him to look over a file, he’s probably going to say no. He doesn’t take many cases,” the brunette said, trying her best to sound stern and sympathetic.
“And you are so far from having something wrong with you,” the Asian one added. And after a surprised look from her co-worker, she said, “Not that I was coming onto you. You’re hot, but I just meant that a few bruises don’t make much of a case for House.”
“Oh. Thank you. But I’m not actually here for my health. It’s… a personal matter.”
“He deals with those even less.”
“I’m sorry. What’s your name?”
“I’m Dr. Adams and this is Dr. Park. And if you really need to see House, I’d suggest waiting until after he gets off, mister...”
Shaking his head, he said, “Holmes. Sherlock Holmes and I can’t do that. If you really don’t know where he is though, I can ask someone else.”
Sharing a look with Dr. Park, Adams frowned, clearly not wanting to give up their boss’s location for some reason. Though, from what he had learned of the man, it was probably best not to let random strangers know where the brilliant doctor was for his own safety. Still, Adams eventually rolled her eyes as she clutched her clipboard closer to her chest.
“He’s in the clinic. You might be able to catch him there if he’s actually dealing with people,” Park offered.
“Thank you. Which way is that?”
When they pointed the way, Sherlock nodded at them both before heading to the clinic. There seemed much more like a hospital. People suffering from varying degrees of unwell sitting about while the nurses ran back and forth from their station. It made his stomach tighten into knots as he thought of all the time he spent in St. Bart’s.
Sitting down next to a child that kept using his hand to wipe his nose, only to then wipe said hand on the chair, Sherlock hoped that things would go quickly enough.
It wasn’t long before a man was leaving the exam room with his wife, both clearly in a huff over something before the man Sherlock was after finally appeared, eyes focused intently on his clipboard as he limped his way in plain view of those he was set to deal with.
“Alright. Mrs. Mitschke? You’re next.”
When he noticed the little old woman getting up as Dr. House made his way back into the room, Sherlock stood and placed a hand on her shoulder.
“I need to take your place.”
“But I’m next. I have a rash on my hand and it’s spreading,” the little old woman complained.
Looking her over, Sherlock rolled his eyes. “You recently switched your detergent, yes?”
“Yes. How’d you know?”
“It’s on your hands, arms and where the edge of your shirt brushes against you neck and nowhere else. You’re likely allergic to whatever new product you’re using, so I suggest you find a new one when you go home. Now.”
With that he took a deep breath and made his way into the room. Standing by the bed, he stared at the man, who was busy filling out something on the chart. When Dr. House turned around in his swivel chair, Sherlock couldn’t help but take in every detail about him immediately.
“Well, for a 68 year old woman with a rash, you look damn good, if a bit mannish,” the doctor remarked snidely.
“I’ve come here to see you.”
House rolled his eyes. “Are you dying of anything interesting?”
“No,” Sherlock said before pausing. “Well, technically I’m already dead.”
The doctor narrowed his eyes at him, but Sherlock only remained impassive under the critical gaze. But whatever it was that House was looking for, he obviously found as he smirked and leaned back against the wall.
“Impressive, a lie, but impressive. So what is it you want from me? To be reanimated?”
“I wanted to meet you.”
“You don’t strike me as the groupie type,” House said with a shrug.
Nodding, Sherlock looked him over again before deciding that it was best he get to the point sooner rather than later.
“You’re supposed to be a brilliant mind. A medical genius in a self created field to solve the greatest medical mysteries.”
Sherlock merely stared at him.
Turning in his chair, House dug through a draw before pulling out a bandage and holding it out to him. “I figure that’s the most you’re gonna really need. Apply it directly to that cut on your cheek and try not to come here again.
When Sherlock didn’t take it, he placed it on the medical bed and stood up. Making his way to the door, he held it open and stared at him, obviously wanting their brief encounter to be over with as soon as possible.
Going up to him, Sherlock stared him down and said, “I’ve every reason to believe you’re my father.”
“You see, me opening the door means, you can leave now.”
“When you were younger you had an affair in England with a woman. She was older than you, married, had a son but likely never told you that, not that you cared. It was merely a tryst for you and you probably never thought about it again.”
“Done yet? Because I kind of have lives to save, you know, being a doctor and all.”
“You also know that I may very well be right.”
House scoffed. “Why? Because you did some fancy math in your head to calculate the time line? Trust me, those things never account for anyone else you mom might have slept with.”
“Perhaps not, but it’s more than that. We have the same eye color, jaw structure and build, not that I’m relying on such facts, it’s just that it makes a rather damnable case, wouldn’t you agree?” Sherlock asked smugly.
Of course, House didn’t seem to be willing to budge. Looking over at the patients and staff, staring at him, he shook his head. “I have a birthmark that matches my mom’s new hubbie but that still didn’t make him my dad, plus—“
“I don’t have your brows? Lips? Ears? No, I had to get something from mummy, didn’t I?”
“As an annoying friend once told me, just because you don’t like you dad doesn’t make some other guy your father.”
Sherlock chuckled at that, the hard glint to the other man’s eyes making him seem so familiar. He was almost certain that the doctor was making one of the face’s that John used to always complain about him making.
“Trust me, I don’t look anything like my father, that’d be my brother. I look vaguely like my mother, but since I doubt she had me on her own, it’s more logical to assume it was the man she had an affair with about nine months before my birth.”
“You know what they say about assuming.”
“I don’t think I could make you seem like more of an ass than you already appear to be.”
Both of them turned to look at Dr. Park, who seemed a bit nervous to interrupt as she held out a patient’s file.
“Dr. Foreman wants you to take this case.”
“Awesome. I’ll take it,” House said quickly making his way over to the girl. Taking the file, he looked it over before looking back at Sherlock with an overdramatic pout. “Aww man. I have work to get to. You can show yourself out, right?”
“This isn’t over,” Sherlock said seriously.
“I’m pretty sure it is. Come on, Park. We have a patient to heal.”
Watching the two doctors leave, Sherlock smiled to himself. This really was a most interesting development that he hadn’t actually accounted for. Putting his hands in his coat pockets, he began to make his way back to the elevators to see who he could convince to tell him more about the doctor.
Sitting in his office, Wilson couldn’t help but think that he should teach House how to knock when he heard someone barge into his office. Not that he thought the man would ever actually pay attention to the lesson. No, he’d probably just make some smart ass comment or turn it into a thing and just thinking about that made Wilson’s head hurt. So, finishing up his paper work, he looked up to those focused blue eyes and frowned.
“You’re not House.”
“I’m here to speak to you about him. That must count for something,” he said before leaning forward and holding out his hand toward Wilson. “Sherlock Holmes, detective.”
“Oh God,” Wilson muttered as he shook the man’s hand.
What was worse was the fact that he wasn’t particularly surprised. After all, House seemed to attract legal attention for the things he did and it wasn’t the first time he had some officer of the law after him. Sighing as he resigned himself to another House related fiasco, Wilson leaned back in his chair.
“Just… tell me he didn’t take your temperature rectally.”
Surprised by the comment, Sherlock shook his head before making his way over to the window. “No. Gave me the band-aid though when I tried to speak to him.”
Which only made Wilson hope that House hadn’t actually caused the faint bruises on the man’s cheek and jaw. After all, as far as he knew, no one had pissed off the doctor. Or gotten pissed off enough at him to take a swing at him. Well, not too recently.
“So why are you in my office?” Wilson asked, cautiously.
Turning away from the window, Sherlock seemed confused, as though he had completely forgotten where he was. “Oh. I was told that you were the best source of information on Dr. House.”
“Look, I don’t know what you want from him, but I’m not helping you.”
“You care about him.”
“He’s one of my friends.”
“And you’re his only one. Well, the only one that matters.”
Opening his mouth to question just where this guy had gotten his information, but stopped when he saw the vaguely sad look on Sherlock’s face. It was the same sort of look that he’d seen on House when they were fighting or when his best just wasn’t good enough. Clearly this detective knew what it was like to have one person that mattered and how it felt to lose them judging by his tone. And being James Wilson, he couldn’t just ignore that kind of look on anyone, even if the guy did appear to be spying on his best friend.
With a sigh, he stood up and walked over to the other, placing a friendly hand on his shoulder. “Look, I don’t know why you want to know about House, but there’s not that much to say. Yes, he’s an ass, but he cares and he’s good at his job and a billion other things because he has this addiction to being more than good.”
Sherlock nodded and glanced back over at the window. “Thank you, for that. I’ll just be going.”
“Yeah. Wait! Why are you looking into House?”
Instead of answering, Sherlock just began to head out to the balcony. Pausing as he opened the door, he looked back at Wilson and said, “Don’t tell anyone.”
Watching him close the blinds before slipping out, Wilson frowned before shaking his head. He didn’t want to know. He knew he didn’t want to know, so instead, he sat down on his couch, pointedly trying to forget everything that had just happened and debating whether the start of a headache he felt building was enough reason to take an aspirin.
“Why are you sitting there? And why are the blinds closed? Hungover?!” House asked, raising his voice with the last question.
Wincing, Wilson got up and went back over to his desk to find that aspirin since he knew that whatever House had to say to him would only make his blossoming headache even worse. Finding the pills, he took one before focusing on House, who was still staring at him like he was the most fascinating thing in the room.
“I was doing paper work, House. It tends to get a bit much for those of us who don’t have other people do it for them,” he lied.
Thankfully, House didn’t seem to notice. Just shrugged it off and said, “They sign my name a lot better than I do.”
“Is there something you need? Because I have work to do.”
“I have a problem I need a consult on.”
Perking up at that, Wilson sat up a bit straighter in his chair. “You think your patient has cancer?”
“What? No. It’s… personal.”
Which was even worse since House didn’t really ask for advice on personal problems. He just ignored them or flaunted them until Wilson couldn’t help but offer some sort of advice for the sake of his own mental health.
“I have a stalker.”
House glared at him for that, not that it wasn’t true. House attracted stalkers like a celebrity and his tended to be far more disturbing. Though, perhaps they had to be to decide that attempting to get the doctor’s attention was a good thing.
“Yeah. Again. He’s this obnoxious English guy.”
Paling, Wilson tried to school his features into a look of impassiveness, but he could tell by the look on House’s face that he’d been caught.
Making his way over to him, House prodded his chest with the butt of his cane. “You’ve met him.”
“He said he was a detective looking into you,” Wilson complained as he tried to bat the cane away.
“And that’s a reason to tell him something?!” House complained, jabbing him harder with the cane as he did.
Wincing away, Wilson frowned. “I didn’t tell him anything someone in a room with you for five minutes couldn’t figure out.”
Nodding, House placed his cane back on the floor, thankfully over his need to punish him. But then he was looking around the room again, carefully looking over everything before finally making his way to the blinds. Opening them, House practically growled at the clear sight of Sherlock sitting at his desk. Rising to his feet, Wilson followed after his friend as the man quickly headed to his office.
When they got there, Sherlock didn’t even move a muscle from where he sat at House’s desk, feet casually resting on House’s desk as he tossed around the tennis ball. It made Wilson come to a surprised stop at the door while House made his way to the other man and snatched away the ball.
“I thought I told you to leave,” House said angrily.
“And I told you this wasn’t over,” Sherlock said casually.
“You’re wrong. Very wrong. Now get out of my office!”
Rising to his feet, Sherlock glared back at him. “There’s a very simple way of testing my theory.”
Standing there, House clenched his jaw, but didn’t say anything. It was as if he was going over the idea in his head. Which made it all the more frustrating because Wilson didn’t even know what they were fighting about and couldn’t take a side on the matter with that being the case.
“I’m not really into testing theories. I prefer to wing it. Now if you don’t mind, I have another person with an annoying accent to deal with.”
“You’re just going to keep running from me?”
Stopping to think it over, House nodded. “Pretty much. Oh, and next time you break in here I’m calling security.”
With that said he brushed passed with Wilson, making sure to give him an annoyed look, not that Wilson felt he was really to blame. Well, not entirely, since House couldn’t expect him not to trust someone who said they were a detective.
But with him out of the room, it left Wilson alone with the man House seemed to be avoiding. Crossing his arms over his chest, he frowned, trying to think of the best way to broach the subject of just what the hell was going on.
“I didn’t lie to you,” Sherlock muttered, not even bothering to look at him.
Uncrossing his arms to rest his hands on his hips, Wilson bit back a few choice words. “You… You broke into his office and you expect me to believe that you also wouldn’t lie.”
“Of course I would lie. Everyone lies. I just didn’t lie to you.”
“And logically I should believe that,” Wilson said with a roll of his eyes.
Rolling the ball around the top of the desk, Sherlock sighed. “My name is Sherlock Holmes and I really am a detective. Of sorts.”
“Of sorts?” He questioned, not willing to let that slide.
“I’m a consulting detective. Detectives consult me on crimes they can’t solve.”
“Right,” he said disbelievingly. “You just make up that title right now?”
“No. Made it up years ago. But I am a detective. I use reasoning and obvious clues.”
Staring him down, Wilson was beginning to get the feeling that House was probably right about him being a groupie, even if he did seem to hide it better than most. Some young hot shot trying to prove something or other. It made him feel embarrassed that he had ever felt bad for the other man.
That was until he stepped closer and said in the most put upon voice, “You’re head of your department, from what I’ve heard, which means you’re rather bright considering your age. Ambitious, but for a reason. Something that led you into oncology, where you constantly are forced to give terrible news.”
“And they pay you for that?” Wilson questioned sarcastically.
Looking him over again, Sherlock smirked. “You hate to be surprised or caught off guard, hence working in a field where expectation are set. That implies that you went through something that didn’t just catch you off guard, but helpless since as a bright boy, you would’ve tried everything to change it. You’ve been married three times and have been known to have an affair. Add in your close relationship with Dr. House, the fact that you’re neatly coiffed in a hospital and the fact that you blow dry your hair, I’d say you’re gay. Possibly closeted.”
“I’m not gay and… Someone told you that.”
Closing his eyes, he rubbed at the bridge of his nose, that start of a headache back again.
“No because you would never tell anyone about your misplaced guilt leading you into oncology. Or the blow drying, though it is rather obvious when taking notice of—“
“House! No, Sherlock. Just… Let’s say I believe you. What does that have to do with House?”
For the first time, the man didn’t fire back with some immediate comment that made Wilson want to grind his teeth and walk away. Instead, he furrowed his brows as he appeared to think over the question. Thankfully, he seemed to come to a decision quickly, something in him settling before Wilson’s eyes.
“I want to get to know him.”
“Why?” Wilson asked, wishing he could take back the hint of surprise in his tone.
Staring out into the hallway, Sherlock said, “He’s my father.”
The sentence hit Wilson like a ton of bricks as he stared at the man before him. Following his gaze out toward the hallway where House was busy having a conversation with his team, Wilson couldn’t help but look between the two men. Shocked beyond all reason, he moved to stand next to Sherlock and simply watched his best friend.
“Does he know? I mean… Are you sure? Because he would’ve mentioned this at some point over the twenty years I’ve known him,” he said, unsure of what he could do beyond remembering how to breathe.
Sherlock only nodded before making his way toward the door. “What? Don’t think he’s old enough to have an adult son?”
“That’s not what I meant.”
“I’m as sure as I can be without a test.”
“And that’s what he said no to,” Wilson said, feeling a bit better knowing what had led to the sudden reaction in House. Taking a deep breath, he frowned when he caught the almost sad look in Sherlock’s eyes. No wonder it seemed so familiar. “I know House. You’re not just going to change his mind. Just… just let me talk to him, alright?”
Holding up a piece of paper with his number on it, Sherlock smiled when he took it before heading toward the door. “You are so predictably caring. He’s lucky to have you.”
Wilson looked at the piece of paper and then back at the retreating form of the other man. Frowning at the paper, he tried to ignore the usual sense of being played and told himself that he was doing this for a good cause. House couldn’t really not care about Sherlock and his plight. Not when it was so similar to his own father drama.
Reading the number on the paper, Wilson put it in his pocket and rubbed at the bridge of his nose again. Heading back to his own office, he muttered, “Oh God. There’s two of them out there.”
In his office listening to Chase and Adams fight for his attention about what they should do about the patient, who actually did turn out to be a lot more interesting as the day went on, House kind of wished for a distraction. He had been on his way out before the two doctors decided that they wanted to have a difference in opinion over what medication to give the patient.
They both had their own valid arguments and since House’s original idea of the guy just being another boring big wig Foreman wanted him to coddle was out the window, he had to mentally regroup. Something that was easy to do with his team around, but much more difficult with the memory of a young Englishman running around the hospital lurking in the back of his brain. That made him want to just go home and see what Dominika had made him for dinner and watch whatever was on tv.
Not that either doctor before him seemed to care. No, they were far more worried about the patient, which was a pretty alright thing to worry about since they were back at square one with the guy.
“House?” Wilson asked as he poked his head into the office. “Can we talk?”
Smiling, because Wilson was just the out he was looking for, House nodded. “I’ll be right out. Adams, Chase, flip a coin. Heads he lives, tails he dies. And when you get that answer, go with Adams’ idea. It’s less likely to kill the patient,” he said before heading out, never once missing the smug look her face.
Patting Wilson on the shoulder, he smiled. “Thanks for that. Almost makes up for letting a mad man into my office.”
“But you’re always in your office.”
Feigning shock, House slowly smiled as he poked Wilson’s chest. “I see what you did! You and… Then him. Ha! So funny!”
“Great, now can we have a moment of seriousness?” Wilson asked, resting his hand over the elevator buttons.
Despite not being particularly fond of the idea, he nodded. “Fine. Talk.”
“Why didn’t you say that your stalker thinks he’s your son?”
Furrowing his brows, House thought it over before saying, “Probably because he’s wrong and it’s not important.”
“No! See, you don’t know that he’s wrong. You think he’s wrong.”
“I think you’re annoying too. Does that make that wrong as well?”
“House, I know you’ve probably had enough with the DNA testing thing, but… You could have a son.”
“So could you and Chase and just about anyone with sperm to be taken,” House pointed out.
“How can you just ignore him? He just wants what you wanted when you were reading your… step-dad’s book. He wants to know he’s not alone.”
Nodding, House jabbed his cane at Wilson’s hand, smirking when the other instinctively moved it out of fear. It made hitting the down button a lot easier since House really didn’t want to stay and have the conversation Wilson had probably been planning all day.
“House, this is serious. You should at least get the test done to make sure he’s not yours.”
“I’m already fairly certain of that,” he said as he got in the elevator when the doors opened.
Sighing, Wilson shook his head. “Right, because you’re what? Gay? A virgin?”
“Both actually. I want to come out of the closet before I do anything serious,” House said with a serious nod.
And with that said he pressed the button to close the doors before pressing the down button. It was a preventable of fleeing, but thankfully, Wilson gave up easily. Well, easily for a first try. It’d be stupid of him not to expect the other man to come back with another bright idea come the next day. If anything, he’d be twice as annoying and clever.
Which put Wilson on his list of people to avoid. Again. Not exactly his favorite pass time since he did like the benefits of being James Wilson’s friend, but this was one mystery he didn’t want to be involved with in the slightest. Hell, he’d only just met that Sherlock guy that day and he was pretty sure he already hated him to some extent for trying to ruin things.
Thankfully the thoughts were fleeting, as he hadn’t even made it halfway home before his leg started to hurt. And for the first time in a long while, House let it. He took the mind numbing pain slowly flaring up from his leg because it left room for nothing more than the small amount of focus given to getting him home. Agony tended to be an all encompassing distraction and he couldn’t help but enjoy the misery as much as a person could.
When he finally pulled up to his place, he gave in and took the vicodin, officially off the misery kick and hoping that they’d kick in quickly. Not that it was all that important when he got to door and smelled that someone was cooking. Smirking, thinking about what he could offer Dominika to make him lunch for the week or two he’d have to avoid Wilson for, he walked into his place.
“Honey! I’m home,” he said as he followed the sounds to the kitchen. Pulling out a chair at the table, he stopped suddenly. Taking a deep breath, he calmly asked, “What is he doing here?”
“House, you are home. Sherlock came looking for you here,” Dominika said with a chipper smile.
“Breaking into my place now?” House questioned as he sat down.
Sherlock shrugged. “You did kick me out of your office. And no, Dominika let me.”
“He said he was your son,” Dominika explained, shoving Sherlock away from the food.
“And people never lie,” House muttered angrily
Dominika looked between them before shrugging it off as though it was nothing. “You look like his dad.”
Taking a seat across from House at the table, Sherlock sipped at his drink. Focusing on House, he sighed. “Why won’t you make this easy?”
“Because I’d know if I had a son.”
“Because people are honest and true and tell each other everything,” Sherlock shot back with a roll of his eyes.
From the kitchen, Dominika chuckled. When they both looked at her, Sherlock with frown and House with a glare, she simply said, “He talks like you as well.”
Deciding to ignore her, House got up and focused his anger on the man before him once more. “ Alright. You’ve had your fun. Now go.”
For a long moment, Sherlock merely looked him over, eyes a bit distant and he worked out whatever it was that was bothering him. A look House knew far too well since it was the look he tended to give people. So instead of letting it play out, he simply hit his cane against the man’s leg.
“Eyes front. I’m only saying this once.”
Looking up at him, Sherlock seemed annoyed to have his train of thought interrupted.
“I know what you’re after and you’re wrong. We’re just two people with no connection beyond the way you keep stalking me. So why don’t you go ahead and accept that and end this whole thing early for both of us, alright?”
“Because you’re just so certain you’ve never slept with my mother?”
“No, but if you want to believe in your mom’s chastity, I’ll play along.”
Frowning Sherlock nodded before finishing off his drink. “Alright. I’ll go. It was a pleasure to meet you Dominika.”
“No. You must stay for dinner. I cooked.”
“Another time, after your divorce,” Sherlock said before quietly excusing himself from the apartment.
Sighing to himself, House shook his head before taking his seat again. Noticing the way Dominika was frowning at him, he rolled his eyes.
“You know it’s wrong to like someone who thinks he’s your step-child like that. Just look at Woody Allen.”
“He was nice in strange way like you. I like you.”
And while it was one thing for Wilson to say things like that, given that he was champion of the nice guys, but Dominika was different. She was his wife until she got her green card and he got his money. There was real depth to what they had that made her remark a bit more serious than Wilson’s claim that they were two sides of the same coin.
Looking at the glass Sherlock had left, House thought about the possibilities. He had the cup with Sherlock’s DNA. He could easily have it tested and then have all the proof he needed that the man wasn’t his son and there was nothing between them aside from a semi-similar manner. Something that was bound to happen in a world with over a 6 billion people.
Of course that was likely why the cup was left there in the first place. A gentle taunt to get what he wanted and something House was far too clever to fall for. Getting up, he took the cup over to the sink and began to wash it out, completely ruining his own chances to soothe any curiosity the man may have gotten him to briefly feel. With that done, he smiled briefly to Dominika, who was looking at him curiously.
“Call me when dinner’s done,” he said as he made his way to the couch.
Grabbing for the remote, he stopped when he noticed the microscope slide sitting on top of it. Picking it up, he smirked. In the slide was some blood, something House knew he could easily throw away, but part of him was more amused with the fact that Sherlock had managed to get ahead of him in this strange game he found himself playing with the man. Staring at the small slide that held the answer to the mystery they were fighting over, House began to ponder his next manouever.
It was perfectly rational that now that the patient was interesting and not dying as quickly that House would send them to break in to the patient’s home, regardless of the fact that the man was a hospital donator. After all, it wasn’t like he was putting himself on the line, Taub had always figured. Not that he wasn’t used to the process by this point, but there was a huge difference between breaking into some person’s home and breaking into the home of someone who might go to those in charge of the hospital and make a big funk over it all.
“You coming or what?” Adams asked as she got the door open.
Nodding, Taub followed along, casting aside his nervousness to do his job. Well, his job according to House since he never had to learn to break into homes before working for that man.
Inside, it looked exactly like what one would’ve expected. High end furniture, plaques on the wall alongside family photos and some sparse art pieces. Everything looked perfectly neat and orderly, a place for everything and everything in its place.
“Nice place,” he commented as h headed looked around carefully.
Adams smiled at him before glancing toward the ceiling. “I’ll take upstairs, you take down here?”
“Sure,” he said before stilling. Grabbing her arm, he frowned. “Did you hear that?”
“That. There was a noise. Did you hear it?”
At first she looked at him as though he was insane. Her mouth poised to make some sort of comment about his behavior before there was the sound again and she stilled, face paling a bit in the process.
Swallowing, she looked around. “They might have a pet.”
“A pet that’s slamming things in the kitchen?”
“A cat could be in it,” she said, clearly not believing her own comment.
Glancing over at the kitchen, Taub looked back at the front door before giving in to the obvious. “We have to go check it out.”
“Agreed,” she said with a nod.
Straightening up, she seemed to mentally prepare herself for whatever was in the kitchen and Taub followed along, keeping close to her as he went over what it could be. A cat was nothing more than wishful thinking, that much was clear as they crept closer, but Taub couldn’t help but stay alone the lines of a pet. It was better than thinking that they had broken into a robbery, despite how ironic that would be.
Glancing at each other once more on the threshold of the kitchen, they nodded to each other before quickly going into the room and stilling when they saw the man with the security hat staring out the window.
“So you did break in,” the man stated.
Flustered, Taub said, “We’re friends of the family. Getting stuff to bring to the hospital for him.”
“And let me guess, she’s your daughter?”
“Hey,” Taub and Adams said, both taking offense to the comment.
Taking off his hat, the man placed it down on the counter before turning to face them. “Don’t worry. I’m here to see you.”
“You’re that Holmes guy from the hospital,” Adams said, suddenly less threatened and far more leery of the man.
“Yes. Sherlock Holmes, detective.”
“So you work for the patient?” Taub questioned, feeling very out of the loop since Adams seemed to know the man.
Sherlock looked around the kitchen as he shook his head. “No. Looking into your boss.”
“Is he going back to jail?”
Adams jabbed him in the side for that comment, clearly not amused, though equally worried about such a fact based on the look she was giving the Englishman.
“No. It’s part of a game we’re playing.”
“Where you… Wait. How did you even know we would be here?” asked Adams.
Leaning against the counter, Sherlock sighed.
“Dr. House has a patient and is distrustful of people because they lie. So if you want information about a person, you study them. Where they live, what they do. Those things lie in a person’s home along with certain causes of disease. And I knew he’d send you because a gimp isn’t the most effective of criminal.”
“You… understand House’s mind?” Taub asked.
After all, that was far more interesting than anything the man could want to know about their boss since it hadn’t really been since Kutner that someone could figure out the man so easily, and even then it was strange.
Smiling, Sherlock nodded. “It’s a very simple thought process I follow as well.”
“Great. Another House,” he muttered before his phone went off.
Picking it up and putting it on speaker, he couldn’t help but think of the saying ‘ speak of the devil’. Of course, House’s uncanny timing was another thing that he happened to get used to.
“Sherlock there?” House asked.
Looking at them curiously, Sherlock didn’t make a sound. He just watched them to see their reaction. Which was unsettling in a way since he already had the general feeling that as part of the game they were playing that they weren’t supposed to tell.
And Adams clearly had the same feeling as she said, “Uh… No. Who’s Sherlock?”
“The tall Englishman on your right.”
“Left,” Sherlock corrected with a roll of his eyes.
“Fifty-fifty chance,” House said before getting back on topic. “Either way, he’s going to help look for information on the patient.”
“I usually get paid for this sort of thing,” Sherlock remarked, amusement pouring off him in waves.
Glancing at Adams, it was nice to see she had the same look on her face that he was pretty sure he had on his. It was bad enough to think that House was playing more games than usual with a patient at stake, but playing them with a detective seemed to be a bit more dangerous given his criminal history. Not that Sherlock seemed like the most trustworthy individual either.
“Yeah, well, it’s hard to pay a dead man and if you help me, I’ll give you the answer you’re looking for.”
Adams shook her head. “Wait, you expect us to just work with some guy that—“
“Broke into the patient’s home before you? Yeah.”
“So you know each other well then?” Taub questioned, mostly wondering when the man had developed another friend.
But there was a brief silence on the other end that seemed to be filled with House smirking to himself or Chase and Park before he finally said, “Nope. I don’t even know the guy. Now, get to work angels.”
With that he hung up, leaving Adams and him to stare at Sherlock, who seemed fairly amused with the conversation they had all just suffered through. The man didn’t seem particularly threatening, but then there was the question of why House was working with a detective of any sort again and what kind of dirt he had on the other man.
“Are you going to stand there or are you going to look for something?” Sherlock questioned before walking away to set about the reason they were all suddenly there for.
Once he was out of the room, Taub looked at Adams and asked, “What’s House up to?”
“Why would I know?”
“You’re the one that seemed to know him.”
Frowning, she shook her head a bit reluctantly. “I met him the other day at the hospital. He was looking for House. Seemed pretty beat up.”
“And he was looking for House?” Taub asked, knowing that no one short of dying went to see House.
Shrugging, she started to look around the kitchen. “Yeah. It was weird then, but they obviously… know each other in some way.”
“And he’s never going to tell us,” Taub said under his breath.
Nodding in agreement, Adams stopped for a moment to look at him. “We could always try to ask Sherlock.”
“You really think someone who thinks like House is just going to tell us?”
“They’re playing a game. Maybe he’ll give up the information to score points or something,” she offered as she moved on to the cupboard.
Thinking it over, since she did seem to have a point, Taub began looking around as well. “Maybe. Though, how are we going to get him to talk?”
“Would you just ask House something?”
“No, but it’s a game. So it’s probably best to be one step ahead of them both.”
Taub only looked at her, not so sure that that was the way to get what they wanted. Of course, without a better plan of attack, so to speak, he couldn’t really knock the only idea they had. Instead, he just kept it in his mind as he searched through the patient’s home, not even speaking about anything aside from the important facts until they were almost done.
Sitting on the couch as he watched Adams help Sherlock inspect the living room again. It didn’t matter that he had told the man that they had already looked it over when he was upstairs, he was determined to do his own inspection and Adams was only too willing to help him out.
“It’s always about an accent,” he muttered to himself.
But Sherlock still looked up curiously at him as he asked, “Did you say something?”
“Uh…Yeah. How do you know House?”
“Yeah. Are you two friends or something?” Adams asked as she sat on the floor.
Going back to what he was doing, Sherlock merely shook his head. “No. He already said. We don’t even know each other really.”
“Oh come on.” With a knowing smirk, she said, “You two clearly seem to know each other well enough.”
“And? Someone has to be close to know another? You could sleep with someone and find out intimate facts about them without ever seeing them again.”
“So you’re sleeping with House?” Taub remarked sarcastically.
Except when Sherlock merely stopped what he was doing and stared at the picture on the bookcase, he couldn’t help but look at Adams with a shocked look. That was definitely something he hadn’t actually expected.
Getting to her feet, she rested a hand on the man’s shoulder. “Sherlock?”
“Huh? We can go now,” he said as he grabbed his scarf and started to put it on.
“Stop. I mean… If you’re sleeping with him, that’s fine. No one’s going to judge you.”
“Sleeping with who?”
“House?” Taub offered as he got up as well.
Scoffing, Sherlock waved his hand dismissively. “No. I’m not sleeping with him. I’m in a very committed relationship to my work. I don’t have time for those kinds of distractions.”
“Oh,” Adams said with a nod.
“Now. Can we go?”
“Wait,” Taub said, not letting the opportunity slide by so quickly. “How do you know House?”
“I met him in the hospital.”
Turning on his heel, Sherlock headed out before they had the opportunity to say anything else. Taub shook his head, deciding that he’d just wait until the news made itself known, since not much stayed secret around the hospital.
"We should get going," Taub said as he began to follow after the guy.
Following along with a small frown on her face, Adams nodded. "There's still something up here."
"Well maybe you can figure it out next time if you don't get distracted by how tall, dark and handsome he is," Taub teased her.
"So what if he's attractive?"
"He's just like House. Just with more hair."
Snickering, Taub said, "House doesn't have curls."
"Not with it short. But Sherlock is too much like a younger version of House," Adams said as she had clearly already taken out the time to think about the man they found themselves getting help with.
"Yeah. A younger... House."
Stopping, Taub frowned before choosing not to think about it. Just the idea of their being another House in the world was bad enough without considering that the man might have kids. After all, what would they know? It wasn't as if House was the most open of guys. But catching the shocked look on Adams' face as the idea dawned on her, he knew it was definitely best not be considered or talked about.
Sitting at one end of the table, House stared at the man across from him with a smug grin. Not that it could really be helped given the fact that he finally felt like he was winning this little game they had going on. Resting his elbows on the table, he leaned forward, thrilled when Sherlock simply cocked his head and smiled back at him.
“Are you two just going to bask in each other’s beauty or can we get back to the person dying?” chase questioned.
Which House figured was a bit fair since he’d been staring at the other man since he walked in about five minutes ago, the rest of the team far too confused and nervous to ask anything. Leaning back in his chair, he nodded in agreement.
“Don’t worry about him, Sherlock. He’s just pissy he’s not the handsomest guy with a cool accent anymore.”
“It’s the tone of my voice more than the accent. Deeper, sultry, an eargasm, I believe would be the best term,” Sherlock said, still basking in House’s presence.
Chuckling at the comment and Chase’s little eye roll, House looked at the blonde with the best puppy dog eyes he could muster. “Don’t worry. I’d still bone you first, even if Adams and Park think your chopped liver.”
“Could you leave me out of this?” Adams asked, annoyed, but pointedly not denying it.
Not that House didn’t expect as much. Sherlock had all the qualities that drew people to Chase, except instead of being a doctor; he was a man who put away criminals, giving him that James Bond sort of edge. Well, maybe not James Bond, but something like that. But despite all that, Chase was still right and they still had a patient to be moderately worried about.
“So, what did you find at the patient’s home team?” House questioned.
“Nothing important. They’re healthy eaters, highly organized. No signs of bacteria or anything like that, so it’s clearly not environmental,” Adams explained with a frown.
“And you think she’s right?” He asked Taub, who rolled his eyes.
“Yes. I was there. There wasn’t anything strange.”
“Interesting,” he said as he nodded to himself. Putting on the deerstalker he’d had resting in his lap, he pointed his cane at Sherlock with a grin. “What did you find detective?”
“Clearly nothing as interesting as that damn photo.”
“What? Dude, deerstalkers are awesome. My favorite detective wears them all the time,” House bragged.
Letting the matter go, Sherlock leaned back in his chair. “They’ve been together awhile, but he loves her more than she loves him.”
“And you know that how?” Adams questioned.
“While you two were searching downstairs, I inspected their bedroom. On his nightstand is a picture of them before they married. It’s near his alarm clock and lamp, making it the last thing he sees before he goes to sleep and the first he sees when he wakes up.”
“And that means he loves her more than she loves him?”
“No. It means he likes to think of the past he had with her because he’s probably caught onto the fact that she’s distant toward him or than she’s having an affair,” Sherlock explained.
House nodded as he gently tapped his cane against the table. “So what does that tell us, kids?”
“She could’ve given him an STD,” Park offered.
Adams shook her head. “Nothing he said makes the idea that she’s having an affair a fact.”
Sherlock sighed angrily. “If you look at her, even by his bedside, she can’t help but toy with the ring as though it’s uncomfortable to wear and it’s not just a nervous tick because she does that regardless of what you say. That and her nervous habit is pressing her lips together. Something I picked up on after spending a fraction of the time you have around her.”
“Oh! You just got slammed,” House remarked childishly.
Adams glared at him and then at Sherlock. Chase was about to be her favorite foreigner again, that much was very clear, though with the way the rest were looking at each other, they obviously didn’t know whether or not to be impressed with Sherlock. Not like House, who pointedly kept his gaze off the other man because of how impressed he was. The last thing he needed was the other to notice any sense of amusement.
“Anything else?” House asked him.
“The diet was her idea and he only pretends to go along with it, if the stain on one of his dirty shirt is anything to go by.”
“Anything about their place?”
“Not that I noticed but within the past year he has been out of the country, once on vacation to a beach in what appeared to be the pacific and four other times for business. He only recently got back from somewhere in western Europe judging by his watch, which he changes according to his suit.”
“Wow. Too bad you weren’t the doctor. I could have you and make you my Watson.”
Tensing, Sherlock nodded as he rose to his feet. “You want to talk. I’ll be in your office.”
With that, he walked out of the room leaving House with his team.
“So are we going to talk about what that was?” Park questioned shyly.
Shaking his head, House listened to their ideas given the information Sherlock had offered up. Something that wasn’t all that easy to get away with given the way the guy sat at his desk, bouncing his ball against the wall just like he tended to.
Blinking quickly, House got up and went to question the patient and his wife, his team trailing after him. She confessed after a bit of badgering and the look on his face indicated that Sherlock had been right about the guy being suspicious about the entire thing in the first place. All in all, it was a good day, well, it would be as soon as they had the test results they wanted back. Which left House with nothing else to do but go back to his office.
Walking in, he stopped and tried not to think of himself when he saw Sherlock casually leaning back in the chair, tossing the ball in the air casually, clearly bored. It was all just a game and he knew, deep down, even Sherlock had to have known that.
Sitting on the opposite side of the desk instead of making the other get out of his chair, House stared at him.
“So, you looked into me?” Sherlock questioned, never once taking his attention of the ball.
“I felt I should since you left your blood in my place.”
Sherlock smiled at that. Glancing over at him, he shrugged. “I figured you’d ignore the cup.”
“You really are dead.”
“Allegedly. Very nice tombstone though.”
“You took a nose dive off a building and survived. How?” House asked.
Of course, instead of answering, Sherlock merely caught the ball one last time before putting it down. “You tested my DNA. Finally beginning to believe me?”
“Not at all since I’m pretty sure you don’t believe you either.”
And just like he had expected, Sherlock nodded. “Not particularly, no. You’re the last of three potential men who my mother may have had an affair with.”
“And I’m last because, what? Going in alphabetical order?”
“No. I didn’t need to be in the States until recently. Kind of doing a bit of work here too,” Sherlock admitted with a small shrug.
Nodding, House figured that was a good enough reason since he couldn’t help but inspect the way the other man thought, regardless of how things seemed they might play out. “So let’s say I’m not your dad, what then?”
“I met the great Doctor House,” Sherlock said as though that was just as good.
“Flattery will get you everywhere.”
Chuckling, the man shook his head. “If I was wrong about you, I’ll let it go. I still have a family that loves me, even if the rest of the world thinks I’m mad and that’s good enough.”
“Mature. Seems like crap,” House said, knowing for a fact that he had wasted more time than he would like to admit dwelling on his own father. Whoever the man might have been, now that the man he had expected to be his dad was just another man boning his mom.
“Do you have the results?”
“Did you really hire someone to be your archenemy so you could play the hero to a bunch of murders you planned?”
Because there was no way to subtly ask that. Well, House was certain that Wilson would’ve thought of one, but House didn’t much care for subtle anyways. He cared about answers and any man who could fake jumping off a building seemed like the type of person who just might do that.
But the way Sherlock tensed at the question, eyes immediately looking away, told House that the man wasn’t that insane. It was clear that he felt bothered by the entire thing, although House was feeling less sure about questioning him about it.
“There was no Richard Brook. He was always Jim Moriarty and he was a very dangerous and psychotic man.”
“Who shot himself.”
“Yes. Test results?”
House leaned back in his chair and closed his eyes.“Wilson’s doing it for me.”
“So I guess we wait for him then,” Sherlock said drummed his fingers along House’s desk.
Of course neither of them expected to be waiting as long as they did. Hell, the day was nearly over before Wilson finally made his appearance, stopping in the doorway with a confused frown as House and Sherlock watched one of House’s shows as though it was the most enthralling thing ever. Well, to House it was since he kind of liked the predictable arcs and the overacting.
Sitting up a little, straighter, he shook his head at his friend. “I’m just going to assume that from your lateness that he’s not mine.”
“What?” Sherlock questioned.
Patting his shoulder before standing up, House smirked proudly. “James here would’ve told me sooner if you were mine.”
“Or, I could have a job with patients who need to see their doctor,” Wilson said sarcastically.
“Don’t worry, Wilson. We already accepted that I’m not his daddy dearest. We’re good.”
Sherlock nodded in agreement as he put his jacket and scarf back on. “Just tell us the news and I suppose I’ll be going.”
“It’s nice that you two agree on this, but you’re both wrong. House… You have a kid.”
Which was not what House was expecting in the slightest. Looking Sherlock over, he frowned before sitting on the edge of his desk. Sherlock simply stood there with his hand on his scarf, the shocked look in his eyes almost matching the one on House’s face, though apparently there was a reason for that now.
“Oh come on. This can’t be that bad, can it?” Wilson asked, trying to coax something out of one of them.
“Your friend has an adult son who he never knew about and who’s life he played no part in. Which would be fine if I wasn’t so much like him,” Sherlock explained quietly.
“No one is that much like, House. Yeah, you’re both jerks, but…a lot of people are.”
House shook his head in disagreement. “He’s wearing nicotine patches. About three that I’ve noticed. Add up that with the personality and addiction to mysteries, you kind of have the Diet version of me.”
Giving in, Wilson nodded as he held up his hands. “Alright. But, Sherlock, this is what you wanted. How are you not happy?”
“Right,” House said. “He should be thrilled that his mom cheated on a man he actually considers a father. Pretty sure there already people he already has a family he relates to in some way. This… This is just finding out he’s less connected to them than he actually expected.”
With that, Sherlock nodded quietly before slipping out of the room. Wilson stood there, unsure of whether or not he should do something as House merely gathered up his things and headed out as well.
“Aren’t you going to go after him?” Wilson questioned.
“He’s your son.”
“Yeah,” House agreed before walking in the other direction.
Out the corner of his eye, he could see Wilson rub at his face tiredly as he tried to pick which one of them to chase after. And House couldn’t actually bring himself to care either way since he was having enough trouble wrapping his mind around the idea that he had a son. A dead son, but a son nevertheless.
He hadn’t actually managed to catch up to Sherlock in the hospital, losing the young man rather quickly since he had forgotten about what a large gait a man his size could have since House wasn’t exactly the quickest man around thanks to his leg. Sherlock on the other hand was young, fully mobile and had the added benefit of trying to run from a problem, which tended to put a bit more pep in anyone’s step.
And given that he also wasn’t responding to calls made getting a hold of him to try and plan a place to talk even more difficult. If it hadn’t been for God and every other deity of the world being on his side, Wilson was certain that he never would’ve tracked down the other and the entire situation would forever go unresolved.
But standing in the doorway, he was almost pleased to see Sherlock sitting there quietly, jacket and scarf carefully laid out next to him, as though he needed to be ready to leave at a moment’s notice. Something that just didn’t seem likely given the fact that he didn’t even look at Wilson once.
Going over to the taller man, he shrugged. “You want to talk about it?”
“The test results?” Wilson offered helplessly.
Sherlock shook his head. “No.”
Nodding, Wilson took off his jacket and sat down next to him. Staring at television, he managed not to say something for a good moment before asking, “So, if you don’t want to talk, why did you break into my home?”
“Why did you come after me instead of your best friend?”
“Because I know him. He’ll go home and sulk and do God knows what, but he also knows he can turn to me if he needs to. He’s not the one that’s out following stupid whims or all on his own in a foreign country,” he said, hating how much he sounded like a concerned parent.
Sherlock changed the channel at random, searching for something very distraction like, Wilson was willing to bet judging by the look on his face. The one that reminded Wilson how he looked in his office when he said that House was a lucky man to have him. And while he might not have been a great genius like the two of them, he had practically earned his master’s in weird, emotionally stunted genius reactions over the past twenty years.
“What’s his name?” When Sherlock gave him a confused, Wilson stared him down. “You’re friend that you no longer have.”
“Good name. You two were close?”
“Yes. We shared a flat. He still lives there,” he said with a certain sadness to his tone.
“Right. Well… Why did you go looking for a possible father if you didn’t actually want an answer? “
Sherlock frowned at the change of subjects. “I thought we were talking about John.”
“No. That was just… a distraction to prove you can talk,” he lied. It seemed kinder than dragging up a conversation that Sherlock didn’t seem eager to have.
Leaning back against the couch, Sherlock stared blindly at the television before finally shaking his head. “It was statistically improbable that House would be my father after the first and second candidate proved to be bad matches. My mother has a very specific type that all of them fit into in one manner or another.”
“And you never tested your own father in any of this?”
“That’d be rude.”
Wilson stared at him, not actually sure if the other man was serious. After all, he had casually snuck into his own office only to break into House’s and then House’s apartment and a patient’s home. And now his own place, now that Wilson thought about it.
“I didn’t steal anything, if that’s why you’re looking around,” Sherlock said, noticing the way Wilson couldn’t help but look around. “And I wasn’t entirely sure. Well, it’s obvious I look nothing like him or even have all that much in common with my brother, but he’s my father.”
“You really didn’t expect to be proven right.”
“I assumed it would explain things if I wasn’t his son, but… He’s my father, he raised me and my parents have always been happy. Although, clearly I was wrong about that,” Sherlock said sarcastically.
It was clear to see that despite his efforts to find out if House was his father, he was hoping that he might be wrong. That bad genetics might be able to be blamed since there was no mistaking the fact that Sherlock cared for his family. Unlike House, he wasn’t off trying to prove that he was right and give himself a reason to hate a man who had raised him all his life.
“It wasn’t about being rude, was it? It was just easier to take three strangers and just pretend that… maybe if you weren’t related to them, you were related to your dad.”
When Sherlock simply changed the channel again, Wilson nodded to himself, knowing that was the only answer he was going to get.
Sitting there, staring blankly at the screen, he began to understand their reactions a little better. Well, House’s was obvious since it had to be one hell of a shock to realize that he had a son, let alone one as old as Sherlock. He certainly didn’t envy the position the man found himself in. Nor did he really feel that Sherlock’s reaction was all that terrible either.
Taking a deep breath, he let it out slowly as he looked at Sherlock. “Want pizza?”
Wilson nodded as he got up. Patting Sherlock’s shoulder sympathetically, he went over to his phone and placed a slightly larger than usual order. When it was done, he went to change into something more comfortable than his work clothes since there really wasn’t much else he could do for Sherlock.
Not that it mattered when the guy just sat there, hardly moving a muscle. Through Wilson changing, when the pizza finally arrived, Wilson clamoring around the kitchen to get him a plate and coaster for his food and drink. The only time that he actually made any overt movement was when he was finally handed a slice of pizza as Wilson sat back down next to him, slowly eating it as he continued to watch some show even Wilson couldn’t name.
“So, what are you going to do about House?” Wilson asked, occasionally glancing at the remote since he was certain of the fact that he was missing some show of mild importance. “I mean, he’s your biological dad now.”
“Does that change anything?”
“You tell me. It’s your life that just changed.”
Finishing his pizza, Sherlock only went back to staring at the television with that same distant gaze. Perhaps that was what he’d been thinking about the entire time. Feeling a bit bad for interrupting his thought process, Wilson looked at the screen where some woman was yelling at another before glancing at the remote resting in Sherlock’s lap.
“Either you want to change the channel or you want my –“
“I want the remote,” Wilson said quickly, unable to help the way he whipped his focus back on the television, an unhelpful blush coloring his cheeks in the process.
Handing it over with a smile, Sherlock also placed his plate on the table before bending down to untie his shoes. Pulling his knees up to his chest, Wilson couldn’t help but feel a bit grateful that he took off his shoes before hand as he changed the channel to ESPN.
“I’m guessing you don’t want to talk about it.”
“I do. Just not with you.”
Wilson furrowed his brows at the minor insult before his mind supplied the logical explanation. “You want to talk to House.”
Sherlock scoffed quietly. “No. I don’t want to, but it would best if I did it soon, regardless of that fact.”
“Mature. If not for the DNA results I’d question if you were really House’s kid,” Wilson joked nervously.
And even if it was poorly timed and a terrible joke, it was worth it to see the exasperated look on Sherlock’s face for having to suffer through such a comment.
Taking the remote, Sherlock changed it to one of those obnoxious Real Housewives shows. With that done, he sat on the remote as Wilson groaned miserably.
“Oh come on. Give me the remote back.”
“I’m going to my mind palace,” Sherlock declared childlishly.
Furrowing his brows, Wilson glanced at the TV before looking back at the man next to him. “Mind palace? What does that even mean? … Sherlock?”
Confused, Wilson waved his hand in front of the other’s face, snapped his fingers. After calling his name for the fifth time, Wilson gave up and debated how badly he hated the show to not just get up and search through the hundreds of channels that someone had deemed a good idea to have.
“Great. Two of them and they both can tune out the entire world on a whim. Just great. This is wonderful,” Wilson muttered to himself before placing his plate down on the table as well.
Going over to the TV, he looked at Sherlock, who was still staring blankly, and shook his head. No matter what kind of feelings they inspired in him, it really was a good thing that they knew about each other if they could work out some sort of relationship. And Wilson truly hoped that they could. Almost.
He’d been lying on the couch, gently rubbing at his leg, waiting for the vicodin to kick in when he had first heard the noise. So, reacting on instinct, he closed his eyes and pretended to sleep, managing to get his breathing slower pace as he listened to the footsteps. He’d been waiting for the sound of someone moving something or trying to take his things, but eventually the footsteps came to a stop. The sounds or a seat scraping against the floor briefly filled the air and then there was nothing yet again.
Nothing except for the gentle sounds of a violin.
“Are you playing Bach?” House asked as he sat up.
“It was on my mind,” Sherlock explained casually.
Watching him, House noted that the seat he heard scraping happened to be his piano chair. That and the fact that the guy really wasn’t all that bad. Looking over at the clock, though, he figured that could’ve easily had something to do with the fact that it was half past two in the morning and it wasn’t often a person was subjected to the sounds of a Bach concerto at that time.
Rubbing at his leg, the pain dying down, slowly but surely, House decided to get up from his place on the couch and sit next to Sherlock. Flexing his fingers, he met the curious gaze that was focused on him, violin silenced as they stared at each other.
“Know any Mozart?” House questioned casually.
“I will not play a sonata.”
“Oh and what would you prefer? Don Giovanni?”
“It was a very good opera.”
Staring down the man, House bit back any erstwhile comment he may have had and simply said, “Follow my lead.”
And with nothing else said, he began to play the Devil Went Down to Georgia just to mess with the guy. After all, no one was allowed to tell him no after breaking into his home at some ungodly hour, even if he had been awake anyways. But to his surprise, Sherlock merely rolled his eyes and went with it.
It was actually kind of amusing to watch, House found himself admitting to no one except himself. The guy was good at what he did and it had been a long time since he’d actually played with anyone. If he had more people to play with, he would’ve stopped after that song instead of going on to play Mozart and Debussy, both of them barely hiding their smiles as they did so.
And then, without either of them noticing, violin and piano duets had turned into duets for the violin and guitar, even if it was mostly them faking their way through string concertos, laughing along as they went. It filled a part of his soul he didn’t even realize was there before he found himself denying the fact that he could possibly have a son.
They were in the middle of Cats in the Cradle when Sherlock gestured toward the hallway with his beer, sheepish smile on his face. Looking over his shoulder at where Dominika leaned against the wall looking tired and mildly annoyed, House just smiled and kept on with the song, unwilling to stop for anything.
“And as I hung up the phone, it occurred to me. My boy was just like me,” House sang, smiled wavering slightly as he did.
It wasn’t that he wasn’t having fun or that they hadn’t seen the humor of the song when he had first started playing it. It was just some unnamable feeling as he looked at Sherlock sitting on the floor, beer in his hand as he sang along with the chorus. And as the song came to an end, House put his guitar aside, still staring at his new son.
“You both needs to shut up now. I trying to sleep,” she declared with a small pout.
Forcing a look of seriousness on his face, Sherlock nodded in agreement. “Of course. We’ll be mindful of that from now on.”
Turning to face her, House nodded as well. “What he said.”
“Good. And no more late music,” she complained before wandering back to the bedroom.
Waiting until she was out of the room, House couldn’t keep himself from snickering. Not when Sherlock quickly broke out into a similar look of boyish glee over their small reprimand. Leaning back against the piano, Sherlock took a deep breath and let it out slowly.
“So you’re my son,” House said quickly. The last thing he wanted was for any sort of awkward silence to overcome them now that things seemed so calm.
Caught off guard, Sherlock put down his beer and wiped his mouth. “It would seem that way.”
“I have a son named Sherlock Holmes.”
“I have a father named… House.”
“Gregory House,” he corrected.
“It’s still a livable structure. And… Your name’s Greg too? Interesting.”
House gave him a strange look before deciding that he wasn’t going to get caught up in questioning the guy’s odd little remarks. He genuinely wasn’t that curious at the moment. Instead, he finished off the last of his own beer and put away his guitar before sitting back down across from his son.
Ruffling his own hair, he sighed. “I have a dead son. Do anything interesting in your life? Other than the dying thing.”
Sherlock shrugged. “Not particularly. Well, unless you count being the world’s only consulting detective and having been taken naked to Buckingham Palace.”
And while he tried to remember that he wasn’t questioning the other’s oddities, house couldn’t resist asking, “Why were you naked?”
“I was at home when my brother’s… men chose to take regardless of my state of dress.”
Biting his tongue briefly, House asked, “You realize how dirty that sound, right?”
“Mycroft practically is the British government. He really does have men that take people.”
“Alright,” House said, figuring it was probably just best to agree.
The last thing he needed was to find out how annoying arguing with someone like him could be by continuing on with the subject. Instead, he just nudged Sherlock’s leg with his foot, giving a small snort of amusement when Sherlock repeated the action.
“So… You alright with the fact that your mom totally boned me?”
“As alright as one can be under such circumstances,” Sherlock said. Leaning his head back against the leg of the piano, he asked, “Are you alright with having a son who’s life you had absolutely no impact on?”
“I will be when you give me back the vicodin you took when I went to the john,” he said, not able to actually sound too bothered.
It wasn’t as though he didn’t already piece together the fact that the guy was a bit of an addict like him. And Sherlock didn’t put up much of a fight on the matter. Merely took one of the pills before handing the container back to him as though he’d simply taken a piece of candy instead of a serious drug. Of course, House tended to take them like candy as well.
“Oh. Who gave you this?” Sherlock questioned once they drug began to kick in.
“Doctor’s tend to give cripples with pain management problems drugs to shut them up.”
Closing his eyes, Sherlock sat there with a vague smile on his face. “My doctor does not treat as nicely.”
“You’re not a cripple and shouldn’t be taking my drugs.”
“It’s not even that strong. Or the worst thing I’ve done. It’s just… pleasant.”
“Finally, someone who understands me.”
Opening his eyes, Sherlock looked at him with a surprising focus considering the drugs and alcohol now coursing through his veins. Something House felt he should’ve considered before he let the guy pop one of his pills. Certainly if it had been anyone else, he wouldn’t have been even half as trusting.
“So what now?” Sherlock questioned, a serious quality coloring his voice the first time since the night started.
Frowning, House looked him in the eyes and simply said, “I want you to stick around for awhile. Get to know you.”
“You want to figure me out,” the younger man corrected with a roll of his eyes.
“Are you saying you don’t want to do the same to me?”
Smartly, Sherlock chose not to answer, instead looking away from him. “I suppose I’ll need to find somewhere to stay then.”
“Don’t worry,” House said, leaning his head back against the couch. “I know the perfect place for you to stay. Just let me handle everything.”
“I know. That’s why you’re going to do it.”
And as Sherlock chuckled in response, House could almost convince himself that maybe this wasn’t such a bad idea after all. Sure, he had a son that he didn’t actually know about until a two days ago, but he still didn’t know who his own father was and a son seemed like a fair enough trade for that particular mystery.
Besides, he knew about Sherlock now and with everything he’d found online about the man being a potential fraud and connected in the suicide of an actor that Sherlock was accused of making into a master criminal, he couldn’t just let that go. Although, as he sat there, watching his son stare off at the kitchen window, House found himself thinking it would be better if they really were all lies and his kid wasn’t some mass murdering psychopath. Not that it wasn’t cool, but what parent wouldn’t want their kid to not be a serial killer?
Amused with his own thoughts, House moved to sit next to Sherlock. When the guy looked at him, utterly confused, House merely slung an arm around his shoulder and said, “You’re my son.”
Because, really, he was still having troubles getting over that feeling.