menolly_au: (lacrosse)
[personal profile] menolly_au
Title: Unbreakable
Pairing: House/Wilson
Rating: PG-13
Words: 3500
Genre: AU - very AU! Hurt/comfort. Slavery, forced combat, a little bit of this, a little bit of that.
Summary: When Cuddy purchased a pair of mated doctors for her hospital she didn't think they'd be this much trouble. However she's found the perfect punishment for House's misdeeds - throwing Wilson to the proverbial lions.

Notes: Written for the February hc-bingo mini challenge. The deadline was 28th February so I just missed that :) Prompts were Cages, Combat, Slaves. The intial idea was sparked by a conversation with [livejournal.com profile] readingrat but don't blame her for the result :)



"You can't do this to him!" House burst into Cuddy's office.

Cuddy didn't look up from her paperwork. "I don't want to but you left me with no choice, House. You disregarded direct orders, and violated five separate hospital procedures. I warned you what would happen. As usual you didn't listen."

"If you're angry with me then make me fight! Don't take it out on Wilson. He didn't do anything wrong."

She looked up then, her eyes going to his cane, a smile playing around her lips. "We both know that isn't going to happen. Wilson was made your guarantor for a reason."

"Wilson will get killed!"

"Stop yelling at me or I'll get the marshall in here and have you gagged for the rest of the day." She eyed him and he subsided, but still paced angrily around the room. "It's not like I'm ordering a death match. Wilson will not be killed. He'll be hurt of course, but his injuries won't be anything a little first aid won't fix. I'm not going to throw away one of this hospital's best assets to teach you a lesson."

"Then why are you insisting on this ridiculous bout?" House had lowered his voice enough that she didn't make an issue of it. "Why put him through that?"

"You know why. This is entirely your fault, House. Don't forget that. Now get out of my office and go back to work, before Wilson has to suffer any more for you."

"Can I at least see him?"

"Oh, of course. I wouldn't want you to miss this opportunity, House. You'll be at the bout as his doctor. Before then he'll be held in the cells at the Arena. For three days."

He dropped his head at the mention of the cells and she nodded in satisfaction. She had no delusions that this would bring about a permanent change in his behaviour but it should work as a temporary curb. House and Wilson had been sold to her as a mated pair and so far it had been an excellent purchase. Both were highly talented doctors and they worked together wonderfully. The hospital had risen in the rankings due to the acquisition and they were now a very valuable asset. She didn't want to lose either one but she couldn't allow House to run roughshod over hospital rules - it would set a bad example to the other Bondeds.

Of course the Bouts were also a lucrative boost to the hospital's fundraising efforts. Wilson wouldn't provide much opposition for his opponent of course but he'd be a drawcard on the ticket. The organisers were always looking for educated fighters - the audiences liked to see them go down. The hospital would be paid a nice premium for his appearance.

"You can go now," she said to House who was still standing silently in her office, staring down at the carpet. He looked up at her, a hopeless expression on his face.

"Please..." he said quietly. "Please, don't do this to him."

She almost wavered. She was fond of Wilson and he was a good worker but she knew her decision was correct. If she gave in now House would have learned nothing.

"I said you can go," she repeated firmly.

His head dropped again and he slowly made his way back to the door, limping much more heavily and leaning on his cane as if his life depended on it.

She waited until his hand was touching the door handle and then delivered the second half of his punishment.

"Oh, and you'll do continuous clinic duty until the bout or until we have a patient for you. You can make up Wilson's time. You'll be permitted six hours sleep a night and time for meals but otherwise you'll be in the clinic. And if there is a hint of attitude from you, or any complaints, from anyone, Wilson will become a regular on the card."

He seemed about to protest but then a look of defeat crossed his face and he nodded silently. That wasn't enough.

"Say it," she said. This was important. House had to acknowledge her authority. Especially after the stunt he'd just pulled.

There was a long silence and she put her hand on the caller in warning.

"Yes, ma'am. Thank you, ma'am." He said the words reluctantly, as if he was reading his death sentence but he said them. She took her hand away.

"You have your orders," she said and he went without another word.




Working in the clinic was tiresome at the best of times. But now, separated from Wilson for three days it was a constant irritation that ate away at him. Without his mate he was off balance, adrift. Knowing what Wilson was facing because of him didn't help.

Cuddy had been true to her word and kept him working. A marshall had been assigned to make sure he attended the clinic for every minute when he wasn't eating or sleeping. There was a constant stream of patients, mostly free people and they all thought that somehow they were owed his services. He was indebted to the hospital, not to its patients but the fine distinction seemed lost on them. Holding his tongue in the face of their stupidity grew increasingly difficult but he managed. For Wilson, he told himself many times. He could do this. He had to.

By the evening of the third day he was exhausted, in more pain than usual, and desperately missing Wilson. The bout was scheduled for that evening and his thoughts rarely left it. He was sure that Cuddy meant it when she said she didn't intend this to be a fatal match, but accidents could happen. At the very least Wilson would get a severe beating - he'd be no match for the trained fighter they would put him up against. Oh, no doubt the organisers would ramp his implant up to at least ensure that Wilson put on a good show but he didn't have the skill or experience to match the artificial level of aggression they would extract from him.

As he finished up his last patient that evening he caught sight of the marshall standing beside the reception desk. He would be taking House to the Arena to observe the bout. Normally House disliked being transported off-grounds but at least they would be taking him to Wilson, and he'd get away from this damned clinic. He returned the patient file to the nurse's desk and then went over to the marshall.

"Come on, I've got a hot date tonight," he said, summoning the last of his strength in an effort to hide his fear from the man.

"You know the drill." The marshall took his cuffs off his belt and stood waiting. House put down his cane and turned around, placing his hands behind his back. The steel clicked around his wrists tightly. House hated having his hands confined behind him like this. Without his cane he struggled to walk, and to balance. The marshall's heavy grip on his elbow kept him upright but it was still painful to keep up with his brisk pace across the lobby.

Fortunately the transport van was parked right outside the hospital doors. The marshall was joined by the driver and House was bodily lifted into the back of the van. His cuffs were fastened to the bench seat with a heavy chain and then the door was slammed shut. The darkness in the windowless back of the van closed around him as they made the short trip to the Arena.




Wilson was the first fight on the card. He was what the organisers called a 'novelty act'. Come see the bonded doctor from Princeton-Plainsboro being slaughtered by the People's Champion - aptly called The Hulk. House knew that the audience would lap it up. Entertainment for the masses.

There was raucous laughter from the crowd as Wilson was led into the ring by a chain around his neck. Stripped down to the waist, his pale body was dwarfed by the muscled one of his opponent.

The collar around his neck was glowing red as the implant in his brain pressed down and forced the required anger from him. He looked around wildly, trying to fight his way away from the two handlers who were holding chains attached to his wrists. The crowd laughed at his efforts and the ring announcer encouraged him to try harder as another handler prodded him with a stunner, bringing him to his knees. The crowd began to slow clap as Wilson struggled back up to his feet.

House strained to make eye contact with him but it was hopeless. Even if Wilson could see him in the crowd he wouldn't recognise House in his current state. He half rose from his seat, trying to get a better view so he could assess him but the marshall next to him pushed him back.

"Sit still or we'll add you to the ticket as a special," he warned. "I'm sure Doctor Cuddy wouldn't mind seeing some stripes on your back."

House slumped back into his seat, he didn't want to risk getting a whipping when Wilson would be needing him tonight. The marshall grinned at him. "There's a good lad. I don't know why you're so eager. You'll be getting a nice good view after the bout. My orders are to take you down below straight afterwards and let you look after pretty boy there. Too bad we'll miss the real fights."

"Yeah, yeah, sucks to be you," House muttered. The marshall regarded him for a moment and then tapped a control on his belt and House's implant gave him a warning jolt - not enough to really hurt but enough to have every nerve on edge and have his leg screaming in protest. He squirmed in his seat but of course there was no getting away from the sensation.

"Shut your mouth," the marshall said pleasantly and after a few more seconds the sensation went away. House gritted his teeth and subsided into his seat. Wilson wouldn't want him to do anything stupid. Anything else stupid.

The ring announcer finished his spiel and the warning buzzer sounded. The lights went down, the crew got out of the way, and a spotlight shone on the two men left on the platform as a large steel cage descended around them. At the last moment the marshalls holding Wilson's chains released them and pushed him into the centre of the stage. Then the cage locked into place around the two men, holding them prisoner in each other's company.

The bell went and the crowd roared its approval as Wilson charged straight at his opponent, screaming inarticulately. The implant didn't allow for subtlety, and although his anger gave him strength it didn't give him any magical fighting abilities. The Champion met him with a crunching blow to Wilson's midriff and kicked his legs out from under him when Wilson staggered. Wilson collapsed to the ground and his opponent was on top of him, trying to force his arms up behind his back.

Stay down, you idiot. House sent a silent plea to his mate but of course Wilson was beyond hearing him. Instead he was squirming in his opponent's grasp, trying desperately to turn his body and shake the man off. He kicked out blindly and by blind luck connected with the Champion's groin. The man loosened his hold on Wilson and Wilson turned on him, hands going to the vulnerable throat. The men collided again, rolling around the floor of the stage and fetching up against the metal surrounds of the cage.

House watched in fear as the trained fighter gained the upper hand. Blow after blow smashed into Wilson's body. Blood began to flow from a cut above his eye.

"Call time," House muttered. The marshall next to him looked over at him and laughed.

"They don't call time unless someone is dying. Don't worry - it won't be long now. The Hulk hasn't lost a fight in thirteen months. He's just toying with the doc, gotta make the show last as long as possible. Let the crowd get their money worth. But they'll be wanting to get onto the real stuff soon."

"Hopefully before Wilson is killed," House rejoined.

"Nah. They won't let that happen." The marshall ate some more popcorn. "Deaths are bad for business. Feds start sniffing around and the do-gooders start complaining. Your buddy is putting on a good show." He leaned forward in his seat as Wilson was thrown to the ground. "Oh, that's gotta hurt."

The crowd was chanting its approval as the Hulk let loose a flurry of kicks into Wilson's body. Wilson curled in on himself and the Hulk backed off. Slowly Wilson shook his head and somehow pushed himself to his knees. Blood was dripping onto the white surface of the stage. Wilson's blood.

Wilson managed to regain his feet, swaying in one place. He was clearly spent but he staggered a couple of steps towards his taunting opponent, his hands coming up weakly - only to be met by a punishing flurry of punches to his body. An uppercut to his jaw knocked him down again and the Hulk fell on him, pinning his legs and holding his arms up behind his body for the required ten seconds.

The bell rang out again and it was over. The lights came back on and the cage ascended. The Hulk took his applause while Wilson lay motionless on the canvas.

House stood up and ran towards the stage, aware of the pain tearing through his body as he stressed his leg, but needing to get to Wilson as soon as possible. He still hadn't moved.

"Hey! Come back here you bastard!" The marshall yelled after him and the implant sent a warning shock to him. He staggered but kept on, managing the few steps to the stage and collapsing on his knees next to Wilson. He rolled him over slowly, ignoring the hands pulling at him.

Wilson's eyes were open, but unfocused and House gently touched the bloodied face.

"Hey, stay with me, Wilson."

Wilson's head rolled towards him and his eyes found House. They were filled with anger and Wilson surged in his hands, attempting to rise.

"Wilson..." House tried to hold him down, Wilson was going to hurt himself worse. Wilson's collar was still glowing red, the implant was pressing down on him, forcing aggression from him. With the implant turned on Wilson would keep trying to fight until he was unconscious, or dead. House tried to send reassurance through the bond but it was useless, Wilson had gone where he couldn't reach him.

"Turn this damn thing off!" he yelled, still struggling to restrain his mate. "Unless you want him to fight some other brain dead neanderthal for your entertainment. Maybe you have some lions you can feed him to."

There were sounds behind him and then the red disappeared. Like a puppet with its strings cut Wilson sagged back to the ground. His eyes closed and then with great effort opened again.

"House..." He could hardly hear the word but he could feel Wilson coming back to him. He kept his hands on Wilson, sending a wave of reassurance through to him.

"Who else?" He began a preliminary check of Wilson's injuries. Nothing life threatening at first glance but he needed to get him to some proper facilities and check him out properly.

"How... how did I do?" Wilson breathed out, then gasped as the pain swept through his body. There were tears in his eyes and House wiped them away with one hand.

"Don't give up your day job," he muttered. He looked around. Three marshalls, including the pissed off one from the hospital, were looking down at him. "So, give me a hand getting him down from this damned stage. I'm a cripple in case you haven't noticed."

"Shut the fuck up and step back. The medics will take him out of here."

"I'm his doctor." House didn't move. "I stay with him."

"Shut up, I said." A hand moved to a belt and the implant jolted him. Pain exploded in his head and then was gone. He stayed where he was. If they wanted him to leave Wilson's side they'd have to drag him away.

The marshall scowled at him but waved the medics in. A board was produced and Wilson was manhandled onto it with little regard for his injuries. He yelped in pain as he was roughly strapped to the hard surface, one hand rising weakly in protest.

"Hey, watch it you morons!" House yelled. This time he was ignored as the medics loaded the board onto a motorized cart. Wilson was whisked away from the stage. The crowd let up a fresh cheer as they saw his exit being projected onto the big screen. House turned to yell - whether at the crowd, the organisers or just at the whole damned world he wasn't sure - but he found himself being pushed into line behind the cart by the marshall. He clamped down on his anger and kept up as quick a pace as he could as the cart went down backstage.

The medical room was well supplied at least. House let the medics transfer Wilson to the exam table without comment.

"He's all yours," one of them said as he took back his board. "We've got to get back up top. The real fights are about to start."

The marshall followed them out. "Doctor Cuddy said to leave you alone with him to patch him up. I'll be outside so don't even think about stepping outside this room."

House didn't answer him. His attention was focused on Wilson. His body was mottled with bruises and abrasions where the Hulk's fists had pummelled him. His nose was dripping blood and his lip was split. One of his eyes was puffy and almost closed. Wilson would be scaring the patients in the clinic for the next week or so. Unless Cuddy decided to let him off that particular duty. Wouldn't do to have the general public confronted with the evidence of their bloodsport.

House ran his hands over Wilson's bruised ribcage. There were a couple of tender spots as he discovered when Wilson hissed in pain at his touch.

"Might be a couple of cracked ribs."

"Feels like it," Wilson said breathlessly, his face distorting further as House touched one of the suspect ribs. He tried to raise his head to look down at his battered body but dropped back with a groan. House went over to the sink and poured a glass of water for him.

"Slow sips," he advised, holding it to Wilson's bloody lips.

As Wilson took a few sips of the water House watched his face. Wilson's expression was even harder to read than normal.

"I should have just let my patient die."

Wilson shook his head slightly and then grimaced. "You couldn't do that."

He couldn't and they both knew it. When he was on the track of a diagnosis nothing got between him and the answer. Not even Wilson.

"Hey," Wilson raised a shaky, bloodied, hand and touched House's fingers with his own. "It's okay. I told you to do it."

"You didn't know that Cuddy would do..." he waved a hand at Wilson's body, "...this."

"It was worth it," Wilson insisted, a crooked smile on his crooked face. "You know it was. We agreed. We don't give in. Ever."

"Yeah," House breathed out. It didn't seem like it at the moment but it was. They didn't have much of their own, but they had this. The ability to carve out small victories, even while they appeared to be losing.

He returned Wilson's touch, gripping his hand loosely, careful of the swollen fingers. Their bond hummed between them, the touch bringing it to life. He leaned into it, feeling the calm reassurance of his mate steady him. In return he poured himself down their link, and watched as some of the pain left Wilson's face. After a minute he slowly let go of Wilson's hand, the loss tugging at him as it always did. Wilson's eyes closed, his body spent, but his mind at ease. For a moment House just watched him. He could have lost him today, and then lost himself. He'd never survive without Wilson, not now.

Tearing himself away he gathered up the supplies he needed. Then he carefully cleaned Wilson up. Every touch of his fingers to Wilson's body sparked the bond into life, and as he cleaned away blood from skin he felt himself calming. Wilson was alive. He'd heal.

When he was finished Wilson was at least clean, and as comfortable as House could make him. When they got back to the hospital he'd wrangle an x-ray for him and check on the ribs. Cuddy would have to give Wilson time off work, although she'd probably make House put in extra hours to make up for it. Well, he'd get Chase to find him a patient from somewhere. At least he could spend the time with something more interesting than moronic clinic patients.

The marshall hadn't come back in. He'd probably gone back up to see the rest of the fights. House sat down in the chair next to Wilson's bed and stretched out his legs. Wilson was still half asleep but his hand reached out blindly and House took it, entwining their fingers.

He closed his own eyes, clearing his mind of all the anger and fear that had been there. The least he could do was give Wilson peaceful dreams.

Both men fell into an exhausted sleep, the bond between them strong and bright.

Unbreakable.

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