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 [ 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.


Date: 2015-06-11 02:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
chilling, and very well done.

Date: 2015-06-12 07:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks, glad you liked it!

Date: 2015-06-11 06:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I like how they grasp their small victories, and each other.

Date: 2015-06-12 07:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You gotta make the best of what you've got :) Thanks for reading!

Date: 2015-06-11 11:30 pm (UTC)
ext_25882: (Roman Brooch)
From: [identity profile]
Ouch, what a painfully different world! But I still enjoyed the read. :D

Date: 2015-06-12 07:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah, wouldn't want to live there :) Glad you enjoyed it, thanks for reading!

Date: 2015-06-12 02:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well, it's certainly easy to loathe Cuddy here, even though she's a product of a loathsome culture. You make me speculate: how would this kind of society evolve? Especially to the point where someone like Cuddy could casually cause a valued member of her staff to be beaten to a pulp for the entertainment of a crowd, merely as a matter of internal discipline? She is, after all, ostensibly a physician whose philosophy should include "First, do no harm".

That Wilson doesn't hesitate to absolve House of responsibility for Wilson's injuries says so much about them both. Wilson knows that House can't stop being who he is, and that part of who he is sometimes involves going way over the line in order to save a patient. Wilson's fine with that, even when it costs him a high personal price.

It's also fascinating to see how their relationship has "mellowed" House to the point that he's able to exercise a surprising degree of control over himself for Wilson's sake. I get the feeling that this House, while he can be angry and bitter, isn't miserable in this a/u, simply because he has what he wants most deeply: a deep, tight, powerful and permanent relationship with Wilson.

Edited Date: 2015-06-12 02:37 am (UTC)

Date: 2015-06-12 03:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Everything you said, yes.

I would actually like to see more of this horrific world, and understand a little better how it all works. Or, if not how it works, at least the effects of it all.

Date: 2015-06-12 07:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm thinking that this is the end result of several warnings Cuddy has given House and by this point she just feels that she has to do something that has an impact. Although of course it is really screwed up.

She is, after all, ostensibly a physician whose philosophy should include "First, do no harm".

True, but the whole 'do no harm' thing didn't stop Chase from murdering his patient.... She probably rationalises it as being for the greater good.

I get the feeling that this House, while he can be angry and bitter, isn't miserable in this a/u, simply because he has what he wants most deeply: a deep, tight, powerful and permanent relationship with Wilson.

Yeah, the circumstances of his life aren't great but he isn't alone, and hasn't been for a long time, which I think would have made a difference. He's not unhappy with himself in this AU, which I think he is in canon.

Thanks for reading!

Date: 2015-06-12 10:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
. . . but the whole 'do no harm' thing didn't stop Chase from murdering his patient.... She probably rationalises it as being for the greater good.

Hmmm. I'd make the argument that at least Chase's definition of "greater good" is sane -- Dibala really was a homicidal/genocidal monster who had harmed or killed hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people. Killing him at least meant stopping the harm in that regard.

But Cuddy is doing what she does for administrative reasons, in spite of the fact that she's now rendered her top oncologist unable to work, thereby possibly condemning others to death or suffering.

There just seems to be a level of callousness here beyond what's been engrained into her by her society.

Date: 2015-06-12 08:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
But if House continues to do whatever the hell he wants with no regard to the proper hospital procedures (or best medical practices) then other patients may die, or House (and therefore Wilson) may be removed from the hospital by the Authorities, or the hospital may come under investigation... all things Cuddy wants to prevent. So she considers the loss of Wilson for a few days a small price to pay. It's a ruthless move, but maybe that's what you have to be to survive in that world.

Would it be better or worse I wonder if she ordered him whipped? (which is my usual thing in these sorts of fics :-) Or if she did it to House instead of Wilson (I think that's the most callous thing - to order punishment for a totally innocent man instead of the one committing the actual 'crime').

Date: 2015-06-12 09:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oooh, fun speculation time!

If this was a desperation move by Cuddy because absolutely nothing else has worked to rein in House, then I think she's just cooked her goose: because this didn't work either. Wilson is injured, and so the hospital is out the time an expensively-trained specialist was away being prepped for the fight and the time it will take for him to heal enough to work effectively. In exchange, the hospital got another expensively-trained specialist with unique skills working in the clinic, which any resident could have done. That's a net operational loss.

Further, while it did make House behave for awhile so as not to make things worse for Wilson, that won't be a permanent change because Wilson will recover and does not blame House for Cuddy's actions. Cuddy is in a bind, or so it seems to me: The two of them support each other, and have the bond between them as a constant supply of emotional and psychological resources against her. If she pushes punishment too far and kills one of them, she loses both of them. If she tries to make Wilson believe House is betraying him in some way, or does what he does because he doesn't care about Wilson, their bond will make that manoeuvre useless. If she tries separation, all she gets is reduced effectiveness from both of them.

Odds are that her last threat in reserve is to sell them on to another (and much less "considerate") owner, so they'd still be together but under far more harrowing conditions. Or maybe rent them out to such an owner for awhile, then use the threat of sale to enforce her demands.

Edited Date: 2015-06-12 09:27 pm (UTC)

Date: 2015-06-12 09:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well Cuddy does insist on House doing clinic hours in canon for reasons that escape my understanding :)

It's possible that House won't want a repeat of this experience (which he did find distressing despite Wilson's reassurances) so he won't push things for a while and that gives her some temporary reprieve at least. But yes, trying to 'control' House will probably always be futile in any universe. You either have to accept that he's going to do these crazy things, and deal with the consequences, or you have to get rid of him. Cuddy is canonically the only person who's prepared to deal with it for any length of time. She does try to enforce rules in canon but her success is very varied. Foreman never stood a chance.

She'll sell them if the cost of having them there outweighs the benefits they bring, but she'll be a bit regretful about it.

Date: 2015-06-13 01:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
But do you think House would want this to happen to Wilson again? Cuddy wouldn't have to keep increasing the severity of the physical punishment to keep House in line, methinks.

I think 'renting' out just Wilson to a less considerate person would be the worst thing she could do to House, since he wouldn't know what was happening and would be temporarily separated from his mate. Of course, I'm not the ruthless head of a hospital in a slave AU....So what do I know?

Date: 2015-06-13 02:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Of course it's always possible that this Cuddy is just a really crappy administrator who went to this punishment because she had no idea what else to do :)

Date: 2015-06-13 01:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well, there are many examples in our world where we can't believe a person or group of people would think and act they way they do. But that's an outsider's perspective. If Cuddy was born into a society where certain people are not seen as human, but commodities, then I can see how her actions here would be justifiable in her mind: Temporarily damage one purchase, and have two better-functioning ones in the long run. She might be wrong, but I can see how she'd think this could work. I have no idea, however, how a society like this would form in the first place. Scary.

Date: 2015-06-12 03:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, my, what an interesting story! I was a bit trepidatious about reading it, but it was extremely rewarding. The AU worked very well, even if it was hard for me to envision Cuddy being so evil. Loved House fighting the implant to be with Wilson, loved their relationship. It was subtle and sweet.

Date: 2015-06-12 07:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks for giving it a chance :) Glad you enjoyed it! Yeah, poor Cuddy, I'll have to make it up to her in the next story :)

Date: 2015-06-12 06:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
So they are bonded, in some way that can't happen in our own world. Is this magic, or different biology? Or another form of the same technology that the arena masters used to force combatants to rage out, and inflict pain at will?

It's intriguing, whatever it is.

So is the slavery situation. Born into it? Sold for payment of debts, or as punishment for some crime? We don't know. Do they have any hope at all of freedom, I wonder. Or is it once a slave, always a slave.

What would happen if a master were to break apart a bonded pair? Say, by selling only one of them to that Vogler fellow who would like a personal trained dog, I mean physician.

...I mentioned I was curious to see more of this world, right?

Date: 2015-06-12 07:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ha, the reason this fic has lurked on my google docs for about four months is that I really don't have the answer to all those questions :)

The best I got - the bond is a biological way, they are born with that capability. Children born with this ability are identified and raised to be 'slaves' (it's not called that, but essentially that's what it is). The implants are put in early to help control them. People with this ability make the best doctors because it gives them mildly telepathic/empathic ability (you should see Wilson with his patients with this extra ability!).

Nobody would deliberately break apart a bonded pair because it would eventually lead to the death of both partners - and they would be useless at work after a period of time. It's probably illegal to sell one without the other. Although someone like Vogler could buy a pair of them and then keep them separated for most of the time if he wanted to amuse himself/ punish them.

Thanks for reading! I'm glad it intrigued you :)

Date: 2015-06-12 02:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm thinking that people who have this ability are kept under tight control by this (really repressive) society because they are considered to be dangerous for some reason. Perhaps they have varying degrees of telepathic ability and the people in power are afraid of that, afraid of their own dirty secrets being revealed or plots being hatched against them by those who are able on occasion to read their minds.

The reason some of them are allowed to become doctors could be because it's a "safe" use of that ability.

Date: 2015-06-12 08:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Maybe the implants also repress this ability a little?

Although now I'm wondering why they allow them to bond with each other and stay together as pairs.

Date: 2015-06-12 09:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Perhaps the bond enhances a pair's healing abilities in some way that makes it worth the problems that come with it?

Date: 2015-06-12 03:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ah, so this is what happens when one tells you to throw Wilson to the lions. You actually go and do it -- wow!

This is an interesting answer to the question, 'What would make House happy?' Most writers tend towards: being his own master, unrestrained by the administrative rules and regulations that PPTH imposes on him, or being free from pain. You've subjected him to a much harsher regime than canon Cuddy and he's at the mercy of pain not only from his leg but also as administered via his implant, and yet he's happier. The unbreakable bond between him and Wilson gives him a sense of security that's absent in canon and it gives Wilson the confidence in House's loyalty that allows him to put up with the negative consequences of House's 'do or die' attitude. (Have you ever read Pullman's Dark Materials series?)

I totally see Cuddy acting like that in a society that allows for corporeal punishment and slavery. When my mother was a young teacher, she still caned students. It was the done thing and it was expected of her. She never lifted her hands against her children, and she wouldn't have dreamed of caning students in the later part of her career. She certainly isn't crueller than I am, but if I caned students, I'd be fired and prosecuted. So yeah, if that kind of thing was acceptable and Cuddy saw it as a possibility for controlling House, she'd do it.

Date: 2015-06-12 08:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I agree that Cuddy wouldn't have to have any particular innate cruelty in order to behave as she does in this world, under these circumstances. The degree to which human beings will do what they are expected to do is rather frightening; see also: Milgram experiments.

Date: 2015-06-14 07:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The degree to which human beings will do what they are expected to do is rather frightening; see also: Milgram experiments.
I saw I as in Icarus as a teen and it changed my attitude to mankind.

Even Cameron, who is probably the most soft-hearted member of House's team, treats patients with indifference (Clarence in Acceptance) or even outright cruelty (Ezra Powell, Dibala) if she believes that they have forfeited their right to compassion. Considering that she is paid to behave professionally at all times, that is interesting. It means that she isn't innately nice; she is only nice as long as she has no moral justification for denying compassion. Give her a socially acceptable reason to be nasty, and even Cameron will be so. I figure that we humans need a social contract that forces us to behave with a modicum of decency to our fellow wo-/men, otherwise we go all Lord of the Flies on them.

Date: 2015-06-12 08:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well, it could have been worse - I could have thrown Wilson to the actual lions :-) Probably no way to control the lions to make sure they only did just the right amount of damage though.

No, I've never read Dark Materials (although I've read fanfic based on it, which was moderately confusing :)

That's an interesting point about your mother - yeah, caning was still in schools (boys only!) when I was a child - I never thought about the person who had to do it, but as you say, it was perfectly acceptable and considered part of the job.

It would be interesting to see what Cuddy thinks when Wilson comes back - she's never ordered this sort of punishment before.

Thanks for reading - I dithered about posting it for a couple of months or so because it seemed a bit out there but it wasn't doing much good sitting on my hard drive :)

Date: 2015-06-14 06:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well, it could have been worse - I could have thrown Wilson to the actual lions :-)
I'm not going to say anything that you might construe as encouragement :)

No, I've never read Dark Materials (although I've read fanfic based on it, which was moderately confusing :)
The universe of Dark Materials is based on the premise that people's souls manifest themselves as animal companions called daemons. When human and daemon are separated, both die. Human and daemon draw strength and comfort from each other's presence. House and Wilson as two aspects of an inseparable unit is basically a heightening of what we see in canon, just as Pullman's daemons are a heightening of the body/soul duality.

caning was still in schools (boys only!) when I was a child
Same here. The boys' school still had caning, the girls' didn't. My friend's younger brother was often in tears on the drive home. I quoted my mother rather than my school because I know that my mother is neither sadistic nor cruel.

It would be interesting to see what Cuddy thinks when Wilson comes back
I think that's the only part of the story with which I had issues. I can see Cuddy subjecting House (or his team, for that matter) to that kind of a punishment without batting an eyelid, but canon Cuddy respects Wilson and defers to him, and I think that even if he was a slave, she'd have problems subjecting him to an undeserved punishment. And somehow I think that Wilson would manage to make her life miserable after that.

it wasn't doing much good sitting on my hard drive
Defintely not. I'm glad you posted it.

Date: 2015-06-13 01:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I think I've mentioned before that I'm a huge baby, so I was afraid to read this at first. But I was comforted by the rating :)

Anyhoo, this was really disturbing without being graphic -- my fave. And as others have mentioned, House in this AU isn't in misery and despair, because he's not alone. So there's a weird sort of hope underneath all the insanity. Plus, House is still able to use his mind in this world.

So was Canon!House wrong in his belief that a committed relationship would make him a lesser doctor? :)

Date: 2015-06-13 01:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I was hoping that people would be somewhat reassured by the pg-13 rating :-)

So was Canon!House wrong in his belief that a committed relationship would make him a lesser doctor? :)

LOL - yes, it appears so :) I wonder why House didn't think his relationship with Stacy made him a crappy doctor? And was he a worse doctor before the infarction?? This whole thing about 'I need to be miserable to be a great doctor' just makes me grrrr.....


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