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Title: At a Price
Author: menolly_au
Prompt: Greg House walks into a bar and meets... Regina Mills
Fandoms: House MD / Once Upon a Time
Word count: Approx 1280
Rating/Contents: M
Pairing : Greg House/Regina Mills
Warning : Off-screen, and before story starts, death of Wilson which is briefly mentioned. Not a happy story. Dark.

Authors Notes - Takes place after Everybody Dies (season finale) for House MD and in the second season of Once Upon a Time. Written for the [livejournal.com profile] intoabar ficathon. Cut text from Once Upon a Time 1.22.



She looks up and sees a stranger walk into Granny's Diner. A stranger where no stranger should be. Every sense is on high alert as she watches him make his way across the room.

He's tall, over six feet, but a little stooped as he walks with a cane in his right hand, leaning heavily on it for every step. His eyes are downcast as he picks his way across the floor.

He's wearing leathers, dusty from the road, and carrying a bag slung over one shoulder. His face is a mess of untidy stubble and deep lines; his hair is overgrown and windswept. He's worn down, exhausted, at the end of his patience with life.

He slumps into the closest booth, slides his cane across the table with a thump and sits there, staring into space. After a few moments his eyes close.

Casually she gets up and walks over to his booth, leaning in close.

"Mind if I sit?"

His eyes snap back open and he looks at her, his face is blank for a moment before he makes a show of looking around at all the empty seats in the diner.

"Looks like there's plenty of other places to park your ass - as spectacular as it is. Not in the mood for small talk tonight, thanks." His voice is harsh, his words clipped. There's a challenge in his eyes. He'll pick a fight with anyone he can. At the same time there's a speculative look there - he wants to know about her, as much as she wants to know about him.

She considers how quickly she could crush his throat and steal his voice, and her fingers even start to curl in on each other, but instead she slides into the seat opposite him.

"Regina Mills, I'm the mayor of Storybrooke, and I don't do small talk."

"Storybrooke?" He has no idea where he is. Or he's lying.

"This town. Speaking of which, how did you get here?"

"Clicked my heels three times and made a wish."

The reference escapes her but Storybrooke is still hidden from the people who inhabit this mundane world. Whatever form of magic brought this man here, it must be powerful.

"You're travelling alone?"

His eyes harden and his face is set in stone when he answers. "I am now."

"And your name?"

He hesitates long enough that she is sure he is giving a false name when he replies.

"House."

The single syllable is clipped and definite. That's all she is going to get out of him. She looks around. She could extract his heart, pull it from his chest, and crush it, or take it and control him forever. She'd know all his secrets. It would be so easy.

She taps her long fingernails on the table between them as she considers. The townsfolk are still hostile towards her, taking this man's heart in such a public place would only lead to more tiresome protests. And then there was Henry, word would get back to him. She might not care what the others think of her, but her son's opinion matters.

"If you're just going to just sit there and stare at me you could hustle up some food. What does this dump serve?" House's eyes are sharp, assessing her, despite his weariness. He's not unattractive, and there is more than one way to extract information.

She leans in close and meets his eyes. "The apples are good." Then she runs a finger down the side of his face, lightly scratching the skin. "But I know something even better."




"You remind me of someone I used to know," he says as she straddles his naked body, her thighs pressed against the outside of his. "I called her the Wicked Witch."

"And I'm the Evil Queen." He starts to say something else and she silences him with her mouth upon his. He kisses back, his stubble pricking her skin. He smells of hardship and long journey. A being not of her own world, a stranger she didn't create for her own ends. Someone she can use.

It's been too long since Graham - she wants House inside of her. Taking him in hand she joins their bodies together. Their love making isn't gentle; neither of them wants it to be. He thrusts harshly into her, his body tense and strained and she claws at his back with her fingernails, marking him. There's nothing of love or even lust about this - this is purely physical, and emotional. Whatever has brought him here has left him an ugly open wound, and he is almost desperate in his attempts to seek a diversion from his pain.

When he comes it's not a release but an explosion of anger. He turns away from her but she sees the disappointment in his face. Doing this hasn't brought him whatever escape he's been seeking. Nothing has changed for him.

She turns his face towards her, not surprised to see tears glistening, unshed, in his eyes.

"Who was she?" He's recently lost a love, and she knows what that feels like.

"Is this the point where we tell each other about our sad, sad, lives? Because if it's all the same to you I'd prefer to just keep fucking."

"No, this is the point where you tell me how you got here, and what you are doing here, or I rip your heart out of your chest." She rests her hand against his chest, feeling the steady beat of his heart there. Very slightly she tugs and then watches his face as he feels the pull.

He stares at her for a moment and then laughs. It's not the reaction she expected.

"And why would I care if you did that?"

"You wouldn't die," she says. She thinks that death would be a relief to this man, a way out that he can't take himself. She tugs again and watches his face for traces of fear - there are none.

"Lady, I'm already dead. I've got nothing to lose." He reaches for her and she tightens her grip on his chest and pulls hard. He gasps as his heart is taken, but makes no other protest.

She holds it in her hand. It's not the heart of the pure, there's a blackness to it. A dark core. Her fingers tighten around it and he collapses to his knees.

"Tell me why you're here," she says. "Who sent you?"

"Nobody sent me. I was taking a trip on my bike. I got lost, took a wrong turn and somehow I ended up in this dump. I've never heard of this place before."

With his heart beating in the palm of her hand he can do nothing but tell the truth. She kneels down to his level and shows him her hand.

"Does anyone know where you are? Is anyone going to come looking for you?"

His eyes are fixed on the heart and his voice is flat when he answers. "No, everyone thinks I am dead. I was travelling with my friend, but he died." There is no grief in his voice. Without his heart he can feel neither love nor loss. His eyes widen at the realization. "I don't feel anything."

"Of course," she says, standing up and taking his heart with her. She'll take it to her vault later, and keep it safe. He'll stay here, in Storybrooke, and serve her well.

He struggles to his feet and looks at her, his eyes are grateful. The pain he was feeling has gone.

"Thank you," he says.

~ End

Date: 2013-12-01 11:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yarroway.livejournal.com
I rarely watch OUAT, but somehow I don't think House is as safe and obedient sans heart as Regina thinks he is.

Anyway, I can easily see House thanking her here. If she'd told him in the diner that she would take away his pain permanently, he might even have gone with her.
Edited Date: 2013-12-01 11:31 am (UTC)

Date: 2013-12-01 10:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] menolly-au.livejournal.com
You'd have to think that House would find some way to cause trouble eventually :)

Thanks for reading :)

Date: 2013-12-01 01:24 pm (UTC)
ext_471285: (Xaviker)
From: [identity profile] flywoman.livejournal.com
Ooh, that *is* dark. I think you've nailed Regina's internal voice perfectly here.

Date: 2013-12-01 10:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] menolly-au.livejournal.com
Yeah - it was *supposed* to be a Wilson-is-cured-by-magic fic, but this came out instead!

Thanks for reading :)

Date: 2013-12-01 07:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] astrogirl2.livejournal.com
Ooh, this is wonderfully dark, and I think you've captured House's voice well.

Date: 2013-12-01 10:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] menolly-au.livejournal.com
Thank you, glad you liked it :) Thanks for reading :)

Date: 2013-12-05 09:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] menolly-au.livejournal.com
Thanks for reading!

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