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Fic: A (not so) Bright Future (H/W), PG-13

Title: A (not so) Bright Future

Prompt:
#2 AU/supernatural/sci-fi (Established relationship fic: Wilson, in the early stages of anorexia, unexpectedly becomes pregnant. House is pleased about this, and Wilson, while wanting the child, can't give up his illness and continues in an anorexic manner. He does his best to hide it, but eventually House suspects. Writer's choice if it results in miscarriage or House catches him in time and forces him to stop, etc., whatever you want.)
Pairing:
House/Wilson
Category:
Angst, hurt/comfort
Rating/Warnings:
PG-13/This fic contains (for obvious reasons = see prompt) MPreg. Don’t like, don’t read!
Words: ~4,900
Summary:
Wilson and House are going to be parents and both of them are looking forward to it. Unfortunately, the happiness doesn’t ensue as expected.
Disclaimer:
I don’t own any of the known characters or places. No money is being made.
Beta:
Thanks as always to JP. :-))

 
 
Gregory House was in his early fifties when he finally got into a relationship with his best friend/man of his dreams, James Wilson. About six months into the relationship, they had pretty much gotten used to each other.
 
While not everything was perfect, they had reached a level of contentedness.
 
Other men his age might start to panic, mourning the missed chance of having a family of their own, but it had been almost two decades since House had last played with the thought of ever having a child. Now, in a relationship with a man only ten years younger than him, that notion was further away than ever.
 
While he, as a doctor, had distantly heard of cases where males got pregnant and reached full gestation, including the birth of a healthy child, he never dreamed that his partner might be one of the rare ones who were actually able to carry a child. Not only did that thought never occur to him, but he was also aware that fertility decreased with age and, above all, Wilson was anorexic – or maybe bulimic, he couldn’t be sure, a condition that stood in many young women’s way of a much desired pregnancy.
 
To make it short, after being tested they ended using condoms, never thinking of their contraceptive value, and so it shouldn’t have been that big a surprise when Wilson’s increasing vomiting wasn’t an indication of his eating disorder getting worse but one of the comparatively common signs of an early pregnancy.
 
“Uh, I’m sorry, but would you excuse us for a moment?” Wilson asked the obstetrician. She had just confirmed the suspicions of the physician who had done Wilson annual physical examination at the PPTH.
 
Dr Carmichael nodded and left the room, closing the door behind her on her way out.
 
House removed his eyes from the monitor, which still showed a picture of the fetus, and turned his gaze on Wilson, still lying dazedly on the examination table. His shirt was scrunched up, his lower abdomen covered with gel from the earlier sonogram.
 
“Could you pass me some tissues?” Wilson asked warily and House complied instantly. He was still busy trying to digest the fact that he was the father of an eight week old fetus and currently didn’t possess the energy to say something sarcastic or be difficult in any way. It was a rare occurrence, but it happened.
 
“Here.”
 
“Thank you…” Rubbing the rest of the gel off, Wilson sat up and pulled his shirt down. “Well…”
 
“Yeah.”
 
Joining Wilson on the table, House twirled his cane and then said cautiously, “I believe I like the idea of us having a kid.”
 
Wilson’s head snapped in his direction.
 
“You do?”
 
“It’s…certainly unexpected but in a good way. Isn’t it?” House stopped his fiddling and met Wilson’s gaze. His partner looked stressed and not that happy, but eventually a tiny smile formed on his face.
 
“As long as you don’t picture me as a stay-at-home mom,” he joked.
 
House violently shook his head. “God, no! I know you love your job and I won’t force you to give it up. But you might have to cut back your hours for a short while…before and after the birth,” he said, waiting for Wilson to explode. But the explosion never came. If anything, the smile morphed into an evil grin.
 
“Cuddy will be delighted to hear that, I’m sure.”
 
Chuckling, House agreed. Both stared straight ahead for a few moments before House asked, “So we’re doing this?”
 
There were a lot of things to consider. His health (would he still be alive to watch the child finish high school), their respective ages (House’s because of the same reason like before and Wilson’s because the pregnancy was a higher risk now than it would have been years ago), Wilson’s eating disorder (he didn’t know specifics – yet, but it couldn’t be great for the fetus and God knew what being pregnant would do to Wilson), their jobs and who would care for the child once it was born. But at the moment all that counted was Wilson’s answer: positive meant research and finding ways to make it work despite everything and negative meant coming to terms with an abortion and its consequences on each of them separately and both of them as a couple.
 
“Hell, yes!” Wilson said determinedly.
 
--
 
They had gone home after that fateful appointment, agreeing that they’d give themselves until after the upcoming weekend to get over the shock of the pregnancy. Unfortunately, time flew by as always when you didn’t want it to and sooner than House liked it was Monday morning. Being the supportive partner that he wanted to be, he had dragged himself to work at a ridiculously early time only to linger around in front of Cuddy’s office and wait for Wilson to come out again. Wilson had insisted on walking into the lion’s den all on his own, arguing that House wouldn’t be capable of stopping himself from making degrading comments only to rile her up. He said he didn’t want to start World War III; he just wanted to inform his boss of his pregnancy. House let him go when he promised to retell everything that went on in there afterwards – detailed and with illustrations if necessary.
 
To his disappointment, he couldn’t hear any shouting through the door and when Wilson reemerged, the glance House got of Cuddy showed her completely composed. Quickly scanning Wilson for evidence of stress, he had to accept that he looked just as calm.
 
When the door was falling shut behind him, House hobbled to his side as fast as he could. “And?”
 
“And nothing,” Wilson said. “She congratulated me, asked me to pass her well wishes along and scribbled down a reminder into her calendar to notify her in time when she’ll have to look for a replacement.”
 
“That’s all? No ‘Oh-my-God-how-could-you-fuck-House-and-get-pregnant’?” House imitated the slightly shrill tone she had when she was annoyed.
 
“Not likely, seeing that she had sex with you as well,” the younger man threw in.
 
“Yes, she did. But without the consequences.”
 
“She wanted a child more than anyone else, so who is she to talk other people out of it?”
 
“Cuddy. Cuddy likes informing other people of her opinion and she gets off on people coming to see things her way and acting like she thinks is best,” House told him, a bitter undertone barely audible. But of course, Wilson noticed it.
 
“Maybe she learned something? Maybe she’s really happy for us? You do remember that you called her a friend once?” he asked in a placating – infuriating – manner.
 
“If you have time, I’d happily list all the mistakes you made over the years,” was all House was willing to say and when they entered the lift, already cramped with colleagues, they mutually agreed to postpone their conversation. The upside of having to get up in the middle of the night was the curious glances House got for being at work on time. He was good. Who else could mess with people’s minds without intending to do so or doing anything at all? That required a special kind of talent.
 
--
 
Stepping into the conference room and startling the ducklings with his presence, House banged his backpack on the glass table and announced, “I want you to find at least five different sources on the following… Chase, find out everything there is to know about eating disorders, especially anorexia and bulimia, and the differences between them. Thirteen, I need to know what can be done to help an affected person and Foreman, list the effects an eating disorder can have on a pregnant person plus the effects mum’s condition has on the fetus.”
 
He didn’t say please and when the opened their mouths to inquire about the reasons for this particular assignment, House waved them off and warned them not to come back without a reasonable amount of results. Working for him as long as they did, they should have a pretty good grasp of what reasonable meant in House-speak. Apparently, they did and nearly tripped over themselves in their haste to exit the room.
 
Allowing himself a brief moment of satisfaction at their reaction, House turned and walked into his office. When he sat down at the desk, booting up his computer, he sobered. As much as he had fallen in love with the idea of having a child – having a child with Wilson!! – he was no idiot. While he didn’t know any specifics so far, he was well aware of the risks involved – not only for the unborn child, but for Wilson as well. He probably wouldn’t drop dead, but House could still lose him over this if the worst happened.
 
Now he regretted more than ever that he had never sat Wilson down and demanded answers regarding the eating disorder. It was not that he hadn’t taken it seriously, but unfortunately, he hadn’t taken it seriously enough, he could see that now. Just because Wilson was not rail thin didn’t mean that he was healthy. And just because it had been a while since House had caught him throwing up a meal didn’t mean that he had stopped altogether. Because he hadn’t, House was sure of it. He was too fixated on everything food-related still and his decreasing weight didn’t add up with the amount of food House saw him consuming. Now, adding the pregnancy to that, it was even more alarming.
 
And so House was spending the whole morning perched in front of his computer, trying to cram as much information as possible in his aching head and forgetting everything else. At lunchtime, he barely managed to shut every compromising window before Wilson had completely walked around his desk.
 
“Hey, are you busy?”
 
“No, no, not really,” House hastened to reassure him, praying that he wouldn’t ask what he’d been working on.
 
“What had you so engrossed? You didn’t react at all when I knocked and only noticed me when I was standing beside you.”
 
Okay, no such luck.
 
“Uh, just some research.”
 
“Do you have a new patient?” Wilson asked curiously, as he had every right to be. Usually he was one of the first people to know.
 
“Nope, no patient, but something else came up and at least the ducklings are working now for a change,” House replied. Hopefully that would suffice to satisfy Wilson?
 
“Oh, you’re playing with them and now you’re busy coming up with new symptoms to make their lives difficult?” Wilson grinned and House almost sagged in relief. It was a lie, he hadn’t started it and it worked wonderfully.
 
“Something like that,” he said evasively. “Did you come here to get me for lunch?”
 
“Actually, yes,” Wilson said, nodding. “But I’ve got an appointment at one and so I might just grab something small to go. Still, I wanted to see you.” He smiled at him winningly.
 
“Oh. But make sure you eat something, okay? Your child’s going to be grateful,” House couldn’t resist adding.
 
Wilson waved him off, deliberately unconcerned. “I just said I would, right?”
 
Opting to pass up a potential fight, for now, House reached for his cane and got to his feet.
 
“Then let’s go. That way you might just have enough time to keep me company for a sandwich or something.”
 
Shrugging, Wilson held the door open for him and they walked to the lift side by side. They’d almost reached it when they heard quick steps coming nearer and turned around in time to see Chase hurrying toward them, carrying a quite impressive stack of paper. House winced. The idiot couldn’t pick a more inappropriate moment to bother him.
 
“House, I found a lot of interesting things. And it’s not always possible to distinguish between them as there are hybrid forms like…” He consulted his papers. “…an--”
 
Trying to fend off the looming catastrophe, he cut Chase off mid-word, “Not now. Whatever you have to say, I’ll be happy to listen after lunch.”
 
“But you said to come back as soon as we got results,” the younger man protested.
 
“And I’m positive that they’ll be the same in half an hour. So, shoo!”
 
“House, wait. If it’s something important like he alluded, then shouldn’t you look at it now?” Wilson threw in, ever the arbitrator.
 
Shaking his head, House leaned forward and pressed the button to call the elevator. “And miss your lunch break? I don’t think so.”
 
Chase had hovered near by but upon hearing that, he growled and shuffled away, clearly miffed.
 
Wilson rolled his eyes. “You love being able to push them around almost too much, you know?”
 
“Aw, but can you really love too much?” House asked, winking at Wilson when they stepped into the lift. They turned around, facing the closing doors, and he caught Wilson smiling softly for a moment.
 
--
 
House was sitting alone in his office, contemplating everything his minions had told him and came to the conclusion that he had a problem. Well, not just he, but his unborn baby as well, not to mention Wilson. Eating disorders weren’t healthy, he had known that. Everyone knew that. But reading over the papers in front of him, he was reminded once again that they needed help. And since Wilson didn’t believe anything might be wrong, it was up to him to get help.
 
And so he went ahead and called some therapist he was acquainted with and made an appointment for himself. He figured it would be better to check it out alone before he dragged Wilson there with him. If anything, the poor woman could be warned accordingly what she was getting herself into.
 
Not that that was needed. Wilson was being a bit difficult lately with what he was eating and how much and it had happened once or twice that huge amounts of food had vanished mysteriously, but that didn’t mean he was really, really sick. The appointment House had made with Dr Fisher was just to calm his conscience, House told himself. Taking precautions was never wrong. And since he couldn’t change anything about both their ages and his own state of health, he merely wanted to ensure that Wilson was fine.
 
So he actively avoided any confrontation until he knew more and treated Wilson with utmost care in the meantime.
 
House didn’t like what he was told when he went to see Dr Fisher but that was nothing compared to the appointment when Wilson accompanied him. Instead of being grateful that his loving partner was trying to help him, Wilson remained closed off in front of the therapist and ripped into House the moment they had left her office.
 
“What the hell were you thinking? Why would you drag me here, forcing me to speak with her?” Wilson demanded to know in a sharp tone, his hands already on his hips.
 
“Listen, we both know that what you’re doing isn’t exactly healthy--”
 
“Ah, yes, and you’re the poster boy of living a healthy life,” Wilson cut in. “We are both adults; please don’t let us forget that!”
 
 “I’m worried about you and the child. You didn’t deny the fact that you’ve got some issues, by the way,” House gave back self-righteously.
 
“And that gives you the right to act like my parent? Hardly.”
 
“No, I’m trying to help, that’s all.”
 
“Leave it.”
 
“I can’t. Wilson, please, you’re putting both your lives on the line if you don’t start being more responsible,” House pleaded. Yes, pleaded. Thankfully no one else was around to hear it.
 
Wilson chuckled mirthlessly.
 
You are asking me to act more responsibly? Tell me you’re joking.”
 
“No, I--”
 
“You look after yourself and I look after myself and we’re going to get along just fine!”
 
“But you’re pregnant…with my child,” House tried again only to get interrupted once more.
 
“And that means you own me? I don’t think so!” Wilson spat. “I don’t tell you how to live your life, do I?” House was taken aback.
 
“Uh, no, not right now. But I remember the good old times when you made my life hell because of the Vicodin. You always claimed it was for my own good and you were worried and I don’t see a difference between--”
 
“I do. You were close to killing yourself, I’m not,” Wilson stated and House wanted to smack him. He had never been interrupted that often within one conversation.
 
“But you are,” House insisted.
 
“Oh, bullshit! I know the facts, too. If I was so sick I wouldn’t have gotten pregnant in the first place,” Wilson argued. “Just because I lost a bit of weight doesn’t mean I’m anorexic. I’m not too thin just because I got my waist back. You should be happy that I try to keep in shape for you.”
 
“Maybe your hormonal balance isn’t totally fucked up – yet, but that doesn’t mean you’re doing fine,” House said, fighting to keep his cool. He knew the worst he could do was losing his patience now. He was well known to say the wrong thing at the best of times, anyways. Wilson crossed his arms and stared provokingly at House.
 
“Okay. If I eat more, will you back the fuck off?”
 
--
 
House had grudgingly agreed and by now, he was relieved that he hadn’t forced the issue. He had watched Wilson closely during the last two weeks and so far, he hadn’t noticed anything out of the way. Wilson still wasn’t eating much but it could be considered enough. He didn’t lose significantly more weight and House hadn’t noticed food disappearing. It seemed like his partner had come to his senses.
 
But maybe he should have been more suspicious? Sometimes things were too good to be true and House usually tended to be aware of that. But he was too happy that Wilson seemed to do fine and the pregnancy developed like it should.
 
Having safely reached the eighth week, Wilson had another sonogram scheduled and House decided to tag along. Not only was it supposed to be more interesting than work, but he was also curious how the baby and Wilson were really faring. Wilson was still feeling bad most mornings but he rarely puked. He didn’t look exactly healthy but seeing that pregnancies were hard on the body in general and a male organism wasn’t designed for it like a female one, that was nothing to be overly concerned about. It just meant that he was to be closely watched.
 
They didn’t have to wait long for Dr Carmichael and soon Wilson was lying once more on the examination table, his belly slicked with gel.
 
“So, let’s have a look at your baby,” the doctor announced cheerily. She had asked them beforehand if they were encountering any difficulties in the pregnancy so far and had been satisfied upon being told that, aside from the nausea, Wilson felt fine.
 
She moved the ultrasonic probe around, zooming in and out and House, who had been following the progress on the monitor, felt his heart constrict. She tried a bit longer and told the nurse who was waiting at the side to put another probe on.
 
“It can be difficult to get a clear image of the fetus at this stage,” she explained, her voice calm.
 
“We are doctors as well,” House ground out. Really, there was no need for her to sugarcoat things. Yes, sometimes children turned into a position that made it hard to check for a heartbeat but sometimes no visible heartbeat simply meant…the unspeakable.
 
Wilson was sweating profusely. His eyes, huge with worry, darted from the monitor to the obstetrician to House and back.
 
“Jimmy, you need to relax,” House whispered in his ear, knowing full well that there was no chance in hell his partner would do as asked, not before a positive outcome anyway. Wilson gulped, reaching for House’s hand.
 
“Do you think it will be all right?” Wilson asked, his voice laced with concern.
 
“Of course it will,” House reassured him. To be honest he had no idea but at the moment he’d tell Wilson anything to keep him calm. He just prayed that he was right because Wilson might never forgive him if it turned out he had lied. And he hoped that nurse would hurry the fuck up and get this other ultrasonic probe going before he was forced to rip it out of her hands and install it himself.
 
His hand caught in an iron grip by Wilson, House watched as Dr Carmichael looked at the monitor once more, only this time they did a color duplex sonogram. And this time, thankfully, it was easy to see that the child was alive.
 
“See?” She pointed at the monitor. “Everything is as it should be.” She quickly measured the baby’s length and nodded. “That’s within the range, too.”
 
Wilson closed his eyes and let out a long breath. “Thank God…”
 
House was relieved as well. He had been really afraid for a moment there. Funny how a potential drama involving his loved ones was able to knock him off track when he only showed professional curiosity where other people were concerned, he thought.
 
Wilson cleaned himself up and sat up to close the buttons of his shirt. It took him a while since his fingers were still shaking. Dr Carmichael had gone back to her office, telling them she’d be waiting there. Eventually he stood up on shaky feet, leaning on House until he regained his balance.
 
“Oh, you’ve been sweating a lot,” the nurse remarked as she reached for the paper covering the bed.
 
“And that surprises you…?” House snapped. He tightened the grip on his cane and he and Wilson slowly made their way toward the door.
 
--
 
The following day Wilson’s cell phone was ringing while he had supposedly stepped out of his office for a moment and House, coincidentally, was walking by. After looking up and down the corridor, establishing that Wilson was truly nowhere in sight, House entered the office and answered the call.
 
“Hello.”
 
“This is Dr Carmichael speaking. James?”
 
Lying is bad… Oh, fuck it… House grunted in what could be heard as affirmation. If she interpreted this the wrong way he wasn’t to blame.
 
“We got the results of your blood test. When would be a good time to discuss them?” She paused; the rustling of paper could be heard. “This afternoon would be great.”
 
Huh? What was that supposed to tell him? That something was wrong? Please, no.
 
“Can’t you tell me what’s wrong over the phone?”
 
A sigh. “Nothing serious. But we should talk about your diet. And didn’t you say the nausea let up over the past days…?”
 
No? But Wilson had said… “Uh, yes, it did.”
 
“As I said, I’d like to see you today or tomorrow at the latest so we can talk about this personally.”
 
“Yes, okay. I’ll check with my assistant and get back to you soon,” House promised. Oh, he would trail behind Wilson like a shadow from now on and he was so accompanying him to this appointment.
 
“Thank you, James.” She ended the call without waiting for him to say his goodbyes.
 
“What are you doing with my phone?”
 
House spun around and almost fell on his ass. His leg wasn’t grateful for this inconsiderate move and complained loudly. He sank into one of the chairs nearby and put the phone back on desk before he turned to Wilson.
 
“Is there anything you’d like to tell me?”
 
“No. But maybe you’d like to tell me what you’re doing in here and what the hell you’re doing with me phone?”
 
“Got anything to hide?”
 
“Is today one of your asshole days?” Wilson asked exasperatedly.
 
So he had something to hide. House nodded to himself. Wilson’s games could be so frustrating sometimes.
 
“Dr Carmichael called. She’s expecting to see you today or tomorrow at the latest,” House relayed dutifully. “See that you make an appointment. Oh, and try and come up with an explanation why your blood test results are suboptimal,” House recommended.
 
“What are you trying to say?”
 
“I’m not trying anything. I meant what I said, though,” House said before he got up again. “Let me know when we’re going to see the doctor. And don’t try and leave without me. I’ll know.”
 
--
 
The appointment had been far from fun and when they came home that night both of them headed in different directions. Wilson holed himself up in the bedroom and House retreated to the couch, craving the distraction the television promised.
 
How could he have been so blind? If the patient had been anyone else, he would have told them weeks ago that they had an eating disorder and must get help immediately in order to safely carry the child to term. And he had known, damn it! He had just believed what he wanted to believe and clung to a false sense of security. He had been right the other day. Things had been too good to be true.
 
Their baby was in serious danger of being born premature or stillborn. There was an increased danger delayed fetal growth, of respiratory problems and a generally low Apgar score. Not to mention a few other things and that was only what could happen to the baby. What about Wilson? Complications during birth, What about his, already existing, depression? He was able to keep taking his meds; they were safe during pregnancy so he didn’t have to switch, but still…
 
What had started as something positive was turning into House’s biggest nightmare, one that could cost him everything.
 
The sound Wilson’s naked feet made on the wooden floor startled House. He craned his neck and watched his partner slinking toward him. He must have taken a shower; his hair was still slightly wet and he was already dressed in his pajamas.
 
“I swear I won’t bite,” House offered when he noticed the reluctance in Wilson’s movements.
 
“Yes?” A weak chuckle followed.
 
“Honestly.” House sat up and shifted aside to make room for Wilson. Wilson took a seat but kept himself on the far end of the couch.
 
“So, what do you think?”
 
House frowned. “About what, life in general? War? Health care policy?”
 
“All important topics,” Wilson conceded. “But I was more thinking about my problem…”
 
Well, at least now he knew what he was dealing with, thought House. Wilson had told them about his love/hate relationship with food. From an early age on he had been aware that he was supposed to be perfect and the one child that caused no problems. In order to provide his family with Super-James, he had to establish a tight control over every aspect of his life. Eating was one of those. And when he had started to eat more unhealthily during his teenage years, he had found that there was a means to control his weight. It involved a little sneakiness, but it could be done.
 
When he started medical school, he learned that throwing up every so often wasn’t exactly healthy and he got help. For almost two decades he was able to tell himself that he was cured but then he had felt that he lost control over his life after Amber’s death and House’s stay in Mayfield. He had started to put on weight and eventually he decided that he had to put a stop to it.
 
This time the focus was on losing weight and there had been days where he not only restricted his intake of food but narrowed it down to next to nothing. Those days were followed by days where he ate too much and he had to rectify that by getting rid of the excessive calories immediately because it set him back in his goal of getting his earlier, handsome build back. In House’s opinion, Wilson had overdone it already. He should have stopped twenty pounds ago.
 
But he mentioned none of that.
 
“Do you plan to start another therapy?”
 
“I want this child, so…yes. I’m a doctor, for fuck’s sake. I should have known that what I’m doing can be lethal for a fetus,” Wilson said quietly, shaking his head at himself.
 
“There’s a reason why eating disorders are called diseases. You can’t stop just like that. But you heard what Dr Carmichael said, didn’t you. The sooner you get help the better are the chances that mini-Wilson survives unscathed.” That had been a huge relief. Since Wilson had started only recently, he hadn’t managed to damage himself too badly. It needed to stop, yes, but his health wasn’t beyond repair. Now they just had to pray that it wasn’t yet too late for the baby. The stress it had been exposed to, the malnourishment in its first weeks…all of that could have consequences.
 
“Do you think it will be all right?” Wilson asked pleadingly.
 
“Yes. It’s our child, it’s a fighter.” He really needed to stop lying. There was a huge difference between what he thought and what he hoped for, but right now Wilson needed the reassurance and House would do his best to help him. He could think about the what-if’s another time.
 
“Good.”
 
Wilson had crept closer until he was able to rest his back against House’s side.
 
“House?”
 
“Hmm?”
 
“It’s a good thing you answered the phone call…”
 
--
 

THE END

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
shadowb3e
Sep. 11th, 2011 06:27 pm (UTC)
Really good story. I'm glad Wilson is getting some help and the baby is going to be ok.
tinarebekka
Sep. 16th, 2011 11:25 am (UTC)
:-) Thank you!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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