Light leaked through the blinds from a lone office on the fourth floor.
The late hour was taking a toll on the doctor's good-looking features.
Usually paperwork calmed him. Removed the faces from the facts, but he'd finished going through his patient's files, and something felt...odd...off...out of the ordinary.
His day was filled with new and old patients with one thing in common, dreading to hear they had some variation on his specialty, cancer. They filed through his office as he gave them his thumbs up or down verdict. Those who were told the tests were negative fled with the speed of someone running away from a killer tomato or a...vampire.
If they only knew....
Then there were the not so lucky few too sluggish to leave his lair. Faces all too human as their blood turned to poison, their bodies transformed into an enemy.
What wouldn’t he give to make them healthy again. But there were rules, and taking a life to save one was against everything he believed.
All he could do was order tests. Put on a show. Truthfully, he could almost advise his patients of their prognosis from the scent off their vials of blood, but try to explain that to his staff, Cuddy, or the board.
House would understand and his blue eyes would turn vivid with appreciation.
Leaning back in his chair, the oncologist thought about the diagnostician. Closed his eyes to check on their connection. The distance between them was too far to send or receive telepathic messages, but he perceived a steady heartbeat. House was awake and relaxed--probably watching television.
Picking up his cell on the desk, he called home.
"Minion with an opinion. How may I help you?" The television buzzed in the background. The gruff voice and peripheral sounds were so comforting, he almost sighed a breath as if he needed to use his lungs.
"Hey. I'm running later than expected. Need to enter my numbers and I'll be out of here."
There was a significant pause. "Is that your way of asking me to stay up? Planning on a late cocktail hour, are you? Not going to sit down with that damn book of yours and read the rest of the night away about flying or turning into a bat?"
"No. Tonight all I want is you."
The graveled voice dipped to a sexy growl. "You know I'm ready."
Eyelids lowered over the brown eyes, sparkling with sensuous desire. "Good. I'll be home in less than an hour."
Wilson shut the phone, but he held onto the connection, appreciating the slight rise in House's heartbeat for a minute longer before he let go.
The keyboard clicked as he entered the final set of figures for the evening: his. One by one he entered numbers that reduced his patients to statistics. Prognoses and mortality of men, women and children distilled into percentages that Cuddy and the board interpreted as a health report on his department.
He looked up to see how the formula was converting the numbers on the spreadsheet and his hand stilled, hovering over the keyboard.
No, it couldn't be.
Stopping, his hand shook as it rifled through the remaining folders.
One more fatality, and he would be up for review.
Thankfully, the rest under his care were alive.
He shuddered. Fuck the stats. What was going on with his patients?
Entering the last of the numbers, he compared his with his attendings. His own were the worst.
Forgetting the heated promise that was cooling on his lips, Wilson began analyzing all the files in front of him.
Three hours later he was still at his desk with his head in his hands.
Arriving home an hour before dawn, Wilson quietly removed his clothes before entering the bedroom, hoping not to disturb House. Slipping under the covers, he stayed close to the edge of the bed, hungering to wrap his arms around him. He ached to feel the vitality under House's robust, well-muscled chest as red blood cells traveled one-way highways. But he didn't dare.
His own heart and body were cold. He could not reciprocate the same comfort.
"Less than an hour, isn't that what you said?" A voice ripped through the curtain of darkness.
"There was an emergency."
"One with a nurse? My spies said you never left your office."
"Your spies should tend to your patients." Wilson huffed his annoyance.
"They can do two things at once. Is that what you were doing? Paperwork and a nurse?" House replied roughly.
"Can we drop this? At least wait until later this morning?"
Analyzing the fatigue in the vampire's voice, House saw it as an opportunity and pushed, "You've cheated before. You expect me to roll over and share my bed with you?"
Much like a pebble rippling a lake for a finite moment, the bed rocked and leveled.
Wilson's voice receded with his footsteps. "Fine. I'll go to the couch. At least I'm guaranteed to sleep well."
Of course, neither did.
House considered downing two pills for twin aches: one for the crater in his thigh, and the other for the hole in his heart. He believed the two went together. The weakening of the connection between Wilson and him.
They were drifting apart.
Wilson had been preoccupied for weeks. Mainly with that damn mysterious, ugly book he received from the Godfather of the vampire clan at the annual vampire's ball. An honor bestowed for services rendered, it was the most grotesque volume he had ever seen. The cover moldy and cracked, it smelled peculiar like rancid ash and burnt blood. The pages tinged brown and dusty. Most were warped and many stuck together. It looked like it had been published in a printing press from hell. Most likely was.
It prickled in House's hands whenever he touched it, but Wilson could barely let it go, spending hours every evening pouring over the pages and trying to decipher the archaic and bastardized Latin.
House’s ears echoed with Wilson’s whispers.
“…lux lucis profusum praen pereti.”
His brain curdled at the words.
“Cruor mortii mos nunquam verto.”
Wilson was obsessed with it to the point that House couldn't tell if he was consuming what was between the covers, or if the book was consuming him. At first the leather bound parchment pages were something of a joke.
"What do you expect to learn from that sheep in cow's clothing? World peace? Find the cure for cancer?" House would heckle.
Wilson was too spellbound to look up from the crisp, fragile leaves. "Um-humm."
"While you're at it, would you find out how to raise Marilyn Monroe from the dead?"
"Okay." Brown hair flopped in careful negligence.
"Better yet, can you have Carmen Electra grow a penis and show up for my birthday?"
Wilson finally came up for air. "House, I'm concentrating. What do you want? For me to fly or an electric cock?"
Not exactly what he was asking, but worth considering. House did a pause worthy of Kelsey Grammar or Jack Benny.
"House?! Answer me? You can't really be thinking...?" Wilson's question dissolved into a chuckle.
It ended with a fiery kiss and greedy hands roaming over responsive flesh, before they fell into bed.
A new thought insidiously took hold. He wasn't sure if Wilson was really enthralled with the book or it was his way of signaling something was wrong with their relationship.
They definitely were going through a rough patch.
Wilson couldn't be budged from the couch. He huddled over the tome, whispering and repeating passages, waiting for something to happen, then shaking his head as his eyes crossed and he pinched the bridge of his nose with annoyance.
There was something unhealthy about this fixation. House could see darkening rings forming under Wilson's eyes from late nights. He was getting thinner, running out of energy and patience.
Their lovemaking was suffering, and he didn't like it one bit.
Vampire sex--the supernatural out-of-this-fucking-world sexual marathon that took place when Wilson sucked on his neck--was the hottest he had ever enjoyed in his life. Electricity ran through his veins, and every cell ignited with passion. It made a probing knife in an electric socket feel like mere static electricity.
As an added bonus, he was off Vicodin. As long as they had sex, his leg was feeling fine, but Wilson had cautioned not to expect this offshoot to remain permanent, so they agreed he should keep the cane as a prop not to arouse suspicion from his colleagues.
Right now, he was sporting a particularly handsome one he found in a small junk shop. A cane made out of ebony. He purchased it for two reasons, the well-balanced weight and Wilson's immediate dislike of it. With use, the cane yielded two more surprises. From his hand rubbing against the handle, he found there was an intricate silver filigree design embedded into the wood with an initial, "H," as if it was custom made for him. What were the chances? The second he discovered purely by accident one day when fidgeting with it. A smart quarter turn dislodged the top from the bottom, which proved that the handle hid a bright dazzling dagger.
He far preferred using the cane as a prop rather than to prop himself up, but he might have to rely upon it if his relationship kept going south. Lately, everything had gone flat. They were becoming like a dull neutered couple from a '50s sitcom. Wilson would drag himself home exhausted and the first thing he'd do was bury himself in the cursed book. If House were at all lucky, Wilson would next bury his fangs into him.
He felt like an afterthought. The last fuel stop on the road for another 200 miles.
The sex was all too "human." A kiss, bite, and a schtoop in the ass, roll over and play dead. In Wilson's case the dead was almost too literal.
That's why he jumped to the conclusion that Wilson was back to his old ways. Woo 'em, love 'em, and divorce 'em. House was tempted to look elsewhere. Damned if he didn't feel a pang of sympathy for Julie.
Jealousy made House suspicious. Lying was second nature for his partner.
When Wilson confessed about his “condition” after Amber died--that he was a vampire, he was physically weak and barely able to walk. He tried surviving on animal blood, but needed a human’s to exist.
At the same time, he admitted to a longtime attraction and ardent, sexual interest in House, who was whole-heartedly ready to couple. But now House was rethinking Wilson's motives. Perhaps his declaration was only an act--a vampire's crafty way of luring a victim to willingly volunteer blood.
He knew Wilson was back on women. He'd admitted to one slip-up. The woman at an airport hotel after being away at a conference for nearly a week, claiming his only attraction to her was his hunger for blood, but now House was sure there was some nurse....
Insecurity prompted House to get out of bed and limp into the living room.
"Wilson, what the fuck is going on with--"
Wilson wasn't there. He was nowhere to be seen, and a shiver ran up House's spine. On closer inspection, there was an indentation from a body on the sofa.
And the book...it was open. Floating a foot above the cushions.
"I want some answers now," House demanded.
A triumphant voice whispered in his head, "I did it! I finally figured out the incantation!"
"Congratulations," House answered dryly. At one time he joked about Wilson's undeveloped talents. Why he couldn't become invisible, fly or transform into a bat, but now he saw it as an example of Wilson's waning interest in him. He was being pushed out by this new hobby.
"Are you a ventriloquist too? Besides not seeing your lips move or for that matter, your lips, I'm hearing you inside of me."
The imprint on the sofa disappeared and the book flew to the coffee table. Arms encircled him as Wilson's voice vibrated within him. He could feel the length of his body along his back.
"I'm speaking telepathically. It's a corollary to the spell."
Feeling a firm prod in his backside, House's curiosity was rising. "What about sex? Can you fangbang while channeling the invisible man?"
He felt Wilson move away from him but cup a hand on his butt, as another ran down his arm and held his hand, dragging him in the direction of the bedroom. "I was hoping that curiosity of yours would make you ask that very question. Let's find out."
They started as they always did. Wilson gripping House snugly as he bit sharply down on his neck.
Without leaving the bedroom they flew halfway across the world and back. Their blood turned into explosive jet fuel. Their bodies transformed into thundering rockets. Earthly pleasures swallowed them up in an orgy of lust. The juice squeezed out of each and every cell in their tumultuous need for each other until their bodies shook out of control. When they were too weak to move, a tidal wave of warming nirvana drowned them as they clutched onto each other, drenching and restoring them. Parachutes of euphoria protected them during their descent.
The embers of satiated desire were still giving off smoke an hour later. Invisible or not, their relations always worked that way when Wilson was attentive and wanted to please. A handful of minutes served up mind-blowing sex that included at least a half-dozen orgasms, and fifty-five minutes were allotted for coming down to earth and recovering in each other's arms.
House thought, That was too sinful for heaven.
Wilson thought, I'm racking up another reason to go to hell.
Neither man cared where they went, as long as it was together.
The next morning House woke up feeling woozy around the edges. It took a full minute to realize he was looking at a completely visible and naked Wilson. "Another corollary?" he asked.
"Wha--?" Wilson looked far more fresh and vibrant than last night, but mentally had not completely broken out of his fuzzy cocoon.
Running a finger along his partner's jawline, House said, "I can see you."
Wilson looked at his hand. "Hmmm. I didn't say the reversing spell, but a transfusion of blood may trigger the same thing."
The brown eyes were filled with concern. "You were limping earlier; how's your leg?"
House tested it, "Feels fine." Deciding to go to the bathroom, he got out of bed and promptly collapsed, but didn't fall on the floor. With vamp hyperdrive, Wilson was there and caught him. "House, easy, sit down." Wilson did a quick check on his vitals.
"I fed too much on you," Wilson said regretfully. "Between the late nights and recovering from the spell, I went a little overboard. Forgive me."
"As long as you reciprocate and feed me." A parting kiss and House shoved off the bed, this time finding his sea legs, and worked his way toward the bathroom.
By the time House washed up, he could find his way to the kitchen blindfolded simply by following the scent of bacon. Wilson was in his element, cooking in his newly remodeled kitchen that the landlord was only too pleased to let him spend his own money on. Stainless steel appliances nestled between black granite-topped maple cabinets. The cabinets were entirely too light and pasty for House's taste, but it had been his bargaining chip to avoid doing any chores.
"Your money, your choice of cabinets. I'm not going near the kitchen."
The culinary examples produced from Wilson's revamped little world were spectacular.
Right now, Wilson was serving up a fluffy, moist, golden cheese omelet with crispy rashers.
Savory buttered rye toast helped encourage the last drops of egg onto House's fork.
Ensuring he had seconds before he launched into dangerous territory with his question, House asked, "Why were you late last night?"
Not meeting his eyes, Wilson began, "I told you, an emergen--"
House let his fork drop against the plate. "Don’t start that again, because I know you’re lying. Granted, it wasn't a nurse, because you were too hungry last night, which meant you hadn't fed. You were locked in your office most of the night, but you know your job too well to take that long with paperwork."
"How would you know? You never do your own forms.” Wilson answered with asperity. “There were some discrepancies, that's all. I had to recheck everyone's work. Drop it."
Noting the surly expression, and believing for the most part that their relationship was on track, House let it go.
But he didn't forget.