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HOUSE MD FIC: Bad Influence (2/5)

Headers and notes in Part 1

James was sipping his coffee in the Oncology lounge the next morning when Patterson stormed in, running a hand distractedly through his usually neatly combed hair.

“What’s the matter?” he asked innocently, setting his cup down.

The other resident was rummaging distractedly through his briefcase, swearing. “I have the M&M in half an hour, and I just took my slides down for a practice run.”

“And?”

Patterson finally stopped and looked at him. “And…” he said, and his face took on a speculative look. “You wouldn’t happen to know anything about some pictures of baseball players from Sports Illustrated, would you?”

James stared back serenely. “You wouldn’t happen to know anything about my notes from the Franklin case, would you?”

“Look,” Patterson said, obviously struggling to summon what passed for a friendly smile with him, “I’m not saying that I had anything to do with your missing case notes. But tell you what… you return my slides in the next fifteen minutes, and I’ll see what I can do about helping you find them.”

James just looked at him. “I’ll tell you what,” he replied evenly. “You get my notes back to me within the next sixty seconds, and if you’re lucky, you won’t have any Playboy centerfolds pop up during your presentation.”

Patterson’s jaw dropped and hung there for a gratifying length of time before he tucked his tail between his legs and scurried away.

***

In a celebratory mood after this minor victory, James decided to beg off dinner with Bonnie’s parents, claiming that he had to work late, then went back to the hotel where he had dropped House off the night before. The manager just stared back at him blankly when he asked for Greg, but a few seconds later, House sauntered in.

“Hey Tony,” the manager said, “this guy says he’s a friend of yours.”

House smiled and slung an arm over James’ shoulders. “Thanks, Cal, I got it.” To James: “You bring your car?”

“Sure,” James said.

“Can I drive?”

In the Volvo, House laughed heartily as James related the story of his sleight of hand and ensuing confrontation with Patterson. He was especially tickled by the description of the M&M, through which Patterson had sweated and stammered, flinching with the change of every slide.

“You saw the whole thing?” House said in admiration. “Niiiice. You always gotta stick around and watch them squirm.” He glanced at the rear view mirror, then back at James. “Hey, wanna get a drink? I’m in the mood for champagne.”

***

James was expecting a high-toned restaurant, but instead House took him to an art gallery opening, introducing himself to the greeter as “Maxwell” as confidently as if she should know exactly who he was. Once inside, he took two flutes of champagne from a server, handed one to James, and then drifted into the crowd, schmoozing with an older couple here, a group of serious-looking young women there.

Left to his own devices, James wandered around the walls, trying not to gape. This exhibit leaned towards the sexually provocative avant-garde, with black and white nudes in soft focus arranged in suggestive poses with various household appliances. At one point a petite woman with long, curly, dark brown hair and clear blue eyes appeared next to him and gave a little gasp. James felt sorely tempted to clap his hand over her innocent eyes.

“That’s such a bad idea,” the girl observed indignantly. “There’s no way that wouldn’t cause damage to the large intestine.”

Okay, maybe not so innocent.

After about an hour of this, House hustled up to him, a lovely woman trailing in his wake. “Call me Franco,” he said in an undertone as he clapped James on the shoulder to pull him close. “I’ve told her your name is Dominic.” He put the accent on the last syllable, making the name sound French and vaguely obscene.

“Ah, bueno,” he added, turning back to the woman and speaking in an atrocious Spanish accent, “Claire, I would like you to meet Dominic.”

Claire was slim, striking, flawless pale skin and hair and eyes so dark that they were almost black. She held out her hand, and James kissed it, moved by the stirring of some emotion he could not name. “Hello. I was so sorry to hear about your wife.”

“Um… thank you,” James stammered, looking to House for help, and wondering where the man got off, blabbing about his divorce to perfect strangers. Then he had to correct himself – he’d never even mentioned Sam.

Si, I was just telling Claire about Yasmin’s tragic battle with leukemia,” House said smoothly, with a significant glance.

Oh. Oh, that, yes. Well, thank you. It’s… been hard.”

House allowed his gaze to flick briefly down in the direction of what Wilson realized only later was his crotch. “Well, I think we’ve ehseen eenough here, no?” He put an arm around James’ shoulders and placed the other hand on the small of Claire’s back.

***

James took them both back to his apartment, rummaged in the liquor cabinet for drinks. Claire accepted a martini, but House declined; he was prowling around the place, peering at James’ music collection, fingering his golf clubs. “You play?” he called over his shoulder.

James shrugged. “Not really. My father got them for me when I graduated from med school. Said every doctor needed to hold his own on the golf course.” The corner of House’s mouth quirked up at his choice of words, but he forbore to comment.

***

The next few hours passed in a blur of alcohol and laughter. After the fifth or sixth martini, James found himself stretched out on the sofa, just for a few minutes, with Claire holding his hand. The room seemed to be slowly spinning around him. He had a vague sense, when he struggled to open his eyes, that House was sitting in the armchair facing them, a smug smile on his lips.

Then Claire’s confident hands unbuttoned his shirt and slid firmly up his stomach and over his chest to clasp his jaw for a lingering, gin-soaked kiss, and he forgot about House, forgot about Bonnie, forgot about anything but this moment, this girl.

***

James was dragged reluctantly out of sleep by increasingly urgent moans. He propped himself up on his elbow, a little surprised to find himself still on the sofa but in nothing but boxers.

House was slouched in the easy chair in front of the tv, eating a chocolate pudding cup and watching porn. It struck James as amateurish, or perhaps deliberately shot to look like a home video, and the camera was too close for him to make out much more than rhythmic motion, flanks sheen with sweat, the shadow of pubic hair. He thought that it was a man on top, fairly young judging from the pale, smooth skin, sitting astride a slim woman who was lying on her back and encouraging him with her cries.

James frowned, feeling a mild frisson of shock at the brazenness of his guest… which was followed by a sudden surge of outrage, embarrassment, and something he would not, would not acknowledge as arousal as the man onscreen threw his head back, bringing his contorted features into the frame, and he suddenly realized why the cream-colored cushions under them looked so familiar.

At his indignant gasp, House turned his head to pin him with cool blue eyes and pulled the spoon slowly from his mouth, tongue curling to catch the last traces of chocolate. And then he remarked, so casually that for a moment James couldn’t be certain that he’d heard him correctly, “You make a very funny face when you come.”

James lunged for the remote.

“No no no,” House protested, “it was just gettin’ good!”

“Oh my God,” James groaned, burying his face in his hands. He felt a hand alight softly on his shoulder, apparently Claire back from the bathroom.

“Relax, Dominic,” she soothed him, “I thought we looked very good.”

He glanced up at her, grateful but still embarrassed, and saw that she had her coat on and her handbag under her arm. “Wait, you’re going? Let me drive you home.” He was not, he knew, in any condition to drive, but he couldn’t forgo at least a token gesture of gallantry.

She inclined her head gravely and demurred. “Oh no, I have a taxi waiting. Believe me, it’s better this way.”

“Oh. Well, at least let me walk with you.” James cast around for his pants, fished them from the untidy pile on the floor, and began pulling them on. House watched him, smirking and making no move to help.

Downstairs, Claire kissed him, one hand on the hood, and laughed when he asked for her number. “You’re sweet,” she said, and vanished into the cab.

***

House was pulling two shot glasses and his best bottle of tequila out of the liquor cabinet when he got back. “Here,” he said, handing him one.

“House,” he began to protest, but the other man tipped the bottle insistently into his glass.

“Oh, come on, I gave her to you,” he said, grinning. He filled his own as well, clinked the glasses together in camaraderie. James followed him obediently over to the sofa and sat down; House stretched his long legs out, feet propped on the coffee table.

“Now. Tell me what you want, Wilson. And tell me what you’re afraid of.” James frowned slightly, took a sip of his drink to stall, then swallowed the rest, relishing the slow burn. “Come on, it’ll be fun. Tell me what you want, and tell me what you’re afraid of.”

“I’m afraid…” James took a deep breath, then blurted out the thought that he had hardly admitted, even to himself. “I’m afraid of getting married again.”

House sat back abruptly, cocking a quizzical eyebrow. “Then why do it?”

“I don’t know… I feel like it’s too soon, but Bonnie wants to get married, and I… I don’t want to lose her.”

“And what do you want?” House asked, his rough voice low and irresistible.

“What I want…” James rolled his empty glass between his fingers, then held it out to House as the other man leaned forward to top it up.

“What I want… is to become Chief Resident thish year.” He downed the shot and smiled to himself, then fought to focus on House, whose face was beginning to blur. “I wan’ that so bad.”

“Drink to it,” House encouraged him, refilling his shot glass yet again. “Make it happen.”

***

James didn’t get to sleep at all that night. Once House had finally left and he himself had sobered up significantly, he painstakingly reread his recovered notes on the Franklin case, and was in to check in his patient before any of the other residents had made an appearance.

The boy had failed to respond to conventional chemotherapy. But in his reanalysis of the medical history and course of treatment, James had begun to suspect a misdiagnosis. The signs were subtle; some might say that he was going on nothing more than gut instinct. He said as much to House when he met him for a quick lunch.

“If I’m right, the course of treatment is obvious. But it’s high-risk. I could save the guy from cancer just to doom him to liver failure.”

“So? He can get a new liver. But only if he’s still alive. What’s stopping you?”

“It’s a question of standard of care,” James said, parroting what the hospital lawyer had said during their perfunctory discussion of malpractice insurance last year.

“It’s not a question of standard of care. It’s a question of balls,” and he whacked James in the crotch with a rolled-up magazine. “Now, do you have the cojones, or don’t you?”

James valiantly resisted the urge to cradle himself and picked at his salad. House eyed him with a sour expression. “What’s with the rabbit food, anyway?”

“I’m vegetarian,” James said, and then amended, “right now.”

House smirked. “Girlfriend?”

“Yeah,” James confessed. “But also, it’s, you know, better for me.”

“Whatever,” House said, taking another huge bite of his burger.


End Part 2. Go on to Part 3.

Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
damigella_314
Oct. 29th, 2011 01:13 pm (UTC)
Wilson aka Dominìc in a home porn movie with House as voyeur/director. Intense and hot. Your AU House doesn't waste time, does he?
Although imho the really dark character so far is Bonnie. Whatever House has in mind for Wilson, it can't be worse than what she offers.

I haven't seen the movie which inspired you, but this is really very creative anyway. Looking forward to the rest.
flywoman
Oct. 29th, 2011 01:36 pm (UTC)
Hee, no, House definitely doesn't waste any time!

And I agree, Bonnie (based on the equivalent character from the film) is truly frightening.

Thank you for commenting!
alternatealto
Oct. 29th, 2011 04:53 pm (UTC)
Wow. Wilson clearly doesn't know what he's getting into here!

Was that a cameo appearance by Cameron in the art gallery? It sure sounded like her . . .

And I hope Wilson has enough sense to insist that House leave him the porn tape -- although he probably won't think of it.

I can already see that this version of House may be sowing the seeds of his own destruction. It's going to be fun to watch the rest of this story unfold.
flywoman
Oct. 29th, 2011 05:22 pm (UTC)
Wow. Wilson clearly doesn't know what he's getting into here!

MWUH HAH HAH!

Was that a cameo appearance by Cameron in the art gallery?

Remember when Wilson and Cuddy went to the art gallery together in House Training?

And I hope Wilson has enough sense to insist that House leave him the porn tape -- although he probably won't think of it.

Heh. Hold that thought.

I can already see that this version of House may be sowing the seeds of his own destruction.

The film is much grimmer, and this is in fact the case there.
justjuly4
Oct. 29th, 2011 05:51 pm (UTC)
Vivid characters. Agree with Dami - intense and hot chapter. House is definitely seducing Wilson into a life of vice, and he is succeeding so far.

Look forward to more!

(and I liked your little slashy remarks, by the way. They give an impression where exactly the story goes...)
flywoman
Oct. 29th, 2011 06:12 pm (UTC)
House is definitely seducing Wilson into a life of vice, and he is succeeding so far.

Hee! But how much of this is House, and how much is it just Wilson doing what he wanted but didn't dare?

(and I liked your little slashy remarks, by the way. They give an impression where exactly the story goes...)

If only the story were going there ;). Seriously, I was astonished by how slashy the movie was when I watched it.

Thank you for commenting!
(Deleted comment)
flywoman
Oct. 29th, 2011 10:13 pm (UTC)
House watching an amateur porn starring Wilson

*smacks forehead* You know, I didn't even think of Feral Pleasures until you mentioned it. Yeesh.

Was it clear that House filmed James and Claire while they were having sex? If not, I need to make some edits.

Yes, House is corrupting Wilson, but - it's Wilson's choice each and every time.

YES, exactly!

Thank you for reading and commenting!
(Deleted comment)
flywoman
Oct. 29th, 2011 11:08 pm (UTC)
I also got the impression that Claire was some sort of high class prostitute whom House hired for the express purpose?

I left that up to the reader's imagination. In the film, Claire's just sort of a free spirit, but in the context of the House universe, obviously that would make a lot of sense... and perhaps even more so later in the fic...
idonmatrix
Oct. 29th, 2011 10:40 pm (UTC)
Geez! This is interesting :)
flywoman
Oct. 29th, 2011 11:05 pm (UTC)
Thank you for commenting!
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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