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Title: They Can Be Heroes
Author: menolly_au
Prompt: James Wilson goes into a bar and meets... David Nolan/Prince Charming
Fandoms: House MD / Once Upon a Time
Word count: Approx 2800
Rating/Contents: PG
Pairing : Greg House/James Wilson
Wilson's Health:
Wilson has cancer at the start of the story, it's miraculously cured by the end.

Summary: When he set out on a road trip with House Wilson wasn't expecting to end up in Storybrooke.

Authors Notes - Takes place after Everybody Dies (season finale) for House MD and in no particular season for Once Upon a Time.
Written for the [livejournal.com profile] intoabar ficathon.



It happens suddenly. One minute he's riding his motorcycle along a quiet road and the next there's a giant swirly whirlpool thing opening up in front of him. Being a sensible person he tries to swerve past the thing but the motorcycle is powerless to resist its pull and he's sucked into it. His life flashes before his eyes but he's only up to Bonnie - his second wife - when the thing spits him back out onto the road. His few brief lessons on riding a motorcycle didn't include instructions on what to do if you were sucked up and subsequently spat out by a mysterious blue whirlpool thing so he fails to control the slide of the bike and he ends up 'eating the dirt' as House would no doubt say.

He's dazed for a few seconds and that's all it takes for the whirlpool thing to disappear as if it had never been there, leaving clear blue skies behind.

Confused, but relieved that nothing worse has happened; he gets to his feet, brushing the road surface off his leathers. Beyond an aching back and a minor scrape on his cheek he's in good shape. Well, as good a shape as someone with five months to live could be anyway. He rubs at his chest, and suppresses the cough that bubbles to the surface.

He's about to go and examine the fallen motorcycle when he realises that something is very wrong. He's not on the road he was on a few minutes ago. That road had been deserted. This one runs through what appears to be the main street of a small town.

He looks around. There's a row of shops, and the occasional car. There are no handy signs telling him where exactly he is. The town also appears to be bereft of people. Which seems odd because he's just crashed a motorcycle in the middle of Downtown wherever-this-is. You'd think someone would have noticed and come to investigate.

All he can think is that the whirlpool thing was, in fact, a tornado and it picked him up and took him some distance before spitting him back out again, conveniently near the ground. Like in the Wizard of Oz , a small inner voice tells him. Yeah exactly like that except you're no Judy Garland and I'm sure as hell not Toto , his 'House' voice responds.

"Wilson, you're not in Kansas anymore," he mutters. Tornado explanation aside, he's pretty sure he's not in New Jersey anymore either, going by the Maine license plates on the few cars he can see. He pulls out his cell, tries to make a call, then another and then notices he doesn't have any service. Curiouser and curiouser, he thinks.

It's probably selfish that he wishes House had gone to the store with him and been sucked up by the same whirlpool but he wishes it anyway.

After moving the motorcycle to the side of the road he looks at the nearest building. Granny's Diner a sign proclaims. Hopefully someone in Granny's will be able to help him. At the worst it looks like they do food and drink there, and he could certainly use a drink.

He pushes the door open and is confronted by an almost empty diner. There's an old lady with a, swear to God, an actual pitchfork, standing in one corner and in front of him there's a guy with a sword. He blinks. Yep, it's still a sword. He looks longingly towards the bar.

"Who are you?" The guy asks him, and Wilson drags his gaze back. He's probably dreaming right now, or maybe he's dead. Either way this guy is waiting for an answer.

"James Wilson," he says and wonders why he's bothering. This guy, the old lady with the pitchfork ( Granny , he thinks), the bar, the whole town - all figments of his imagination. Just like House he's suddenly taken to having intricately scripted delusions. Maybe there'll be a bed in Mayfield for him. Maybe he's already in a bed in Mayfield.

Maybe the whole cancer thing was a delusion too. And the road trip with House. And well, maybe everything since elementary school for all he knows.

He puts out his hand to shake, because he knows it's important to be polite to total strangers holding swords. Even if they don't really exist.

The guy stares at his hand and then shakes it. His grip is real, and firm. He's what House would call hero material.

"David," he says and Wilson takes a second to realise that's his name. "Look, James, we have a bit of a situation here. It's not safe. You should have stayed home like everyone else. We'll deal with this." He speaks with an air of confidence that is quite convincing. Whoever 'David' is, Wilson suspects that he's in a position of authority.

House would say that David is the perfect persona that Wilson has always striven towards. But then House is full of crap sometimes.

"I didn't have a lot of choice about coming here," he explains. "I was riding my motorcycle and a giant blue whirlpool thing opened up in front of me and sucked me and I ended up.... here," he finishes lamely, waving a hand about to encompass Granny's Diner, the road, and the whole damned town.

Instead of calling 911 and asking for a mental health team David nods and looks interested. "Must have been a portal between your world and here."

"My... world?"

"Wherever you came from. You didn't come over in the curse did you?"

"The.. curse?" Wilson has to hand it to his subconscious; it has a very vivid imagination. If he remembers any of this when he wakes up he'll be able to publish it.

"The curse that the Evil Queen cast, that brought us here from the Enchanted Forest." David explains in that calm, reasonable tone of voice.

Maybe he'll even be able to make a television series out of this.

He's trying to think of a question that will shed some light on what's happening here when the ground beneath him begins to shake. David looks past him and out the window. The once blue sky has darkened.

"Damn! I was hoping the others would be in time." He takes a firmer grip on his sword and looks at Wilson. "Stay here with Granny. Wherever you came from we'll sort it out later and get you back home. Right now we've got this dragon to defeat."

A dragon. Of course.

David claps Wilson on the shoulder as if they're life-long friends and then opens the door and goes outside, a determined expression on his face. Wilson feels oddly convinced that whatever it is he's going to do out there, he'll achieve it.

The door bangs shut behind him, but not before Wilson has a glimpse of a ball of fire and smoke screaming down the street. He guesses that must have something to do with the dragon.

"What's he going to do?" He turns to Granny, careful of the pitchfork she's still holding. He wonders if she'll think he's heartless if he asks for a drink.

"He's going to deal with the dragon. That's what he does." There's a look of pride on her face. "That's what they all do. They keep us safe."

The door rattles and the ground shakes again. Outside something is howling. Wilson has a feeling that the walls of Granny's aren't enough to protect them from what's out there. 'Safe' might be a relative term.

"There must be something we can do." Someone they can call, he means. Maybe the dragon catching division of the local police?

"He told you to stay here."

Well, he hadn't meant that he was going to do something. But she's looking at him like she's expecting him to step up to the mark and Wilson's never been able to resist a damsel in distress. He's still a doctor; he might be able to help.

He puts a hand on the door handle.

He can't believe he's about to do this. Then again, none of this is real so does it matter?

"Here, take this." Granny thrusts the pitchfork at him and he grabs it (and damn, it feels pretty real) and pulls the door open.

Outside on the street, a line of people are standing in the path of the dragon, weapons in hand. He takes a step forward, ready to join them. David turn towards him and Wilson hears him start to yell. At the same time another of the whirlpool things opens up across the street and a motorcycle comes screaming out of it, its rider struggling to keep it upright. It's House. Of course. Wilson starts to run towards him - maybe he can grab House and they can go back through the whirlpool and get home - when there's a flash of something, and the ground shakes and somebody screams.

And that's the last thing he remembers.




He feels a brush of lips against his own and stubble scratching his skin. Wait. Stubble?

He opens his eyes and stares straight up into worried blue eyes staring down at him. House's eyes are as wide as he suspects his own are.

"House?"

"It worked!" A woman's voice cut in. "True love's kiss broke the curse."

Okay, so things hadn't suddenly started making sense while he was out. Oh, well.

And House had kissed him. That was news.

He looks around and finds that he's lying on a couch in what looks to be some sort of industrial themed loft. The guy, David, is standing with his arm around a shorter woman, and both of them are staring at him with sappy smiles on their faces.

"Welcome back. You had us worried. Gold gave us a healing spell which we used on you, but the Dragon had some magic in that blast. You wouldn't wake up."

His hand goes to his lips, touching the place where House kissed him.

"Dragon's magic can only be undone by a kiss from your true love," the woman says. She looks between he and House like they're the best show in town.

"This is Mary Margaret, my wife," David says. "You'll have to excuse her, she's a romantic."

"And you're not?" Mary Margaret says, staring into her husband's eyes.

He lets them have their moment and looks back at House.

"True love?"

He expects some snarky reply - something about House's true love of Wilson's food maybe - but House looks at him seriously.

"It only works if it goes both ways," he says.

And it's not like Wilson doesn't know that he loves House.

This isn't the time or place to explore what this means so he meets House's gaze and slowly nods. House will know what he means. Then he pushes himself up to a sitting position and takes stock of himself. He actually feels... good. Surprisingly good. Even the tightness in his chest has gone. He rubs his fist there, as if he could feel the tumour through the skin but of course there's nothing.

"I told you to stay in Granny's," David says, passing him a mug of what turns out to be coffee.

"Did you defeat the dragon?" he asks and can almost hear House's eyes rolling in their head.

"Between you and House it was distracted long enough for Emma to do her thing," David says.There’s pride in his voice. "It's gone. We're safe."

He had helped to defeat a dragon. Well, he was basically a side show but still, a dragon . That was something he hadn't thought to put on his bucket list, maybe he should have.

"Oh, you're awake," another voice cuts in and Wilson looks up as a kid enters the room. He's carrying a massive old book and his voice is filled with excitement. Harry Potter , Wilson thinks. But this kid doesn't have a scar.

"Henry, did you find anything in the book?" David asks and the kid nods.

"Yes. Look," he opens the book and flips to some pages at the back. They all stare at an illustration on the page. Two men on motorcycles, riding through some woods and into the sunset. One of the men bears a resemblance to him, the other to House.

"They're from a place called Houseland," Henry chatters on. "How did they get here?"

"A portal opened up from their land," David says distractedly. He's thumbing through the book.

Houseland? He looks across the room and of course House is making some sort of triumphant gesture which is apparently supposed to convey that House has won the universe. Maybe he has. So many things seem to make sense now. No wonder the world has always seemed to revolve around House.

"I remember this story from before," Henry says. "It was one of the sad ones. Two doctors from Houseland ran away together. One of the doctors had cancer and the other one would have gone to prison if he stayed so he faked his own death in a fire. It ended with both the doctors dying."

Oh. He thinks he didn't want to know that.

"But look," Henry waves the book at him, a huge smile on his face. "It's changed! The last page is blank now."

Henry is correct. After the picture of them on their motorcycles there is another page - a blank one.

David examines the picture. "The healing spell... you were the doctor with cancer? The spell must have cured your cancer as well," he says with a smile.

It's not like any of this is real anyway, he tells himself, but he can't help the feeling of relief that washes through him.

"So, how does the story end now?" he asks.

"However you want it to," David says.

"Heroes get happy endings," Henry says smugly. "And you're a hero."

He is?

"I am?"

"You went out to face a dragon armed only with a pitchfork," David says. "That makes you a hero in my book."

"Makes him a reckless lunatic," House grumbles. "You could have been killed. You nearly were. Where would Houseland be without you?"

Despite the circumstances House's words warmed him. "I was dying anyway," Wilson reminds him.

"And now you're not?" There's hope in House's voice as he seeks confirmation and Wilson shares it. He feels better than he has in a long time, and the relentless pressure in his chest is missing. He knows that the cancer is gone.

"Now I'm not." He says, looking into House's eyes.

"We'll look for a way to send you back to your land," David says. "It may take a while. We're fresh out of magic beans and Gold says he has no ideas."

Which makes about as much sense as anything David has said up until now. Wilson lets it go.

"Granny has rooms she lets out. I'll take you back there if you like," David offers.

They exchange looks and House nods. His eyes are alive with the tantalising promise of a puzzle. A whole new world to understand is just what he needs, Wilson thinks.

There's a knock on the door and David and his wife go to answer it, Henry trailing behind them. Wilson catches a glimpse of a small group of people, all of whom seem agitated, and then they take the conversation outside leaving him alone with House.

"We're probably in some sort of shared drug induced hallucination," House muses.

"Or we're both dead and this is the afterlife."

House makes a scoffing sound, but it isn't totally convincing.

David opens the door. "The dragon is back, I've got to go. Make yourself at home and I'll take you over to Granny's later."

Wilson and House both stare at him and he shrugs. "It happens. Things can get pretty crazy around here sometimes - but it's never boring. Welcome to Storybrooke." He sketches a wave and closes the door behind him.

"Maybe we should go and help." Wilson says but his heart really isn't in it. It's been a long day.

"Because your efforts at dragon slaying were so good the first time."

Wilson has to concede that he has a point.

"So... do you want to talk about the whole 'true love's kiss' thing?" he asks House.

"No. I want to do this." House closes the distance between them and kisses Wilson again. In a manner that is totally not just a healing kiss. Wilson responds in the same fashion. Over House's shoulder he glances at the discarded book.

He thinks that they'll get their happy ending after all.

As long as the dragon doesn't kill them first.

~ End

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