The next couple of weeks were busy for diagnostics. They had three difficult cases in two weeks and the patient in the third case died before they could find the answer. House had sent the team home but Wilson and Foreman were in his office trying to get him to go home. Home was the last place House wanted to go right now. He had yet to deal with the bottles of vicodin and that was too much temptation tonight. Suddenly he looked up, spotting something between Foreman and Wilson then smiled.

"House? What is it? Are you hallucinating?" Wilson asked, completely unsure what to make of the smile.

"No, he isn't," a voice said from the doorway. Wilson and Foreman both spun around to see a man in an elegant dark suit standing just inside the doorway.

"Wilson, Foreman, this is Marius. My sponsor," House said, enjoying their surprise to actually meet the mystery man.

"Doctors. Your concern is commendable, but your methods are deplorable," Marius said. "Come with me, House," he said, turning and leaving the office, disappearing down the hall. House blinked, unsure what to make of that but following Marius was preferable to trying to ignore Wilson and Foreman any longer. He closed down his computer and picked up his back pack.

"You heard the man. Gotta go," House said and slipped past them both to follow after Marius, whom he found waiting in front of the elevators. Marius pushed the call button when House arrived.

"How did you know to come here tonight?" House asked.

"I paid someone to watch out for you here. No one on your team. In housekeeping. He told me that your department lost a patient today so I came to see you. Do those two do that to you often?" Marius asked as the elevator arrived and they both entered, pushing the button for the lobby.

"They're just trying to help," House said with a shrug. "Yeah, they do that pretty often. So you're paying someone to spy on me?"

"No, I'm paying someone to watch over you," Marius said.

"So where are we going? To the pub?" House said with irritation, not seeing much difference between the two states.

"No. We're going to my house," Marius said, leading the way from the elevator to the parking lot where the jaguar was waiting in the loading zone. He got into the car and waited. After a moment, House dropped his head and followed, putting his pack into the back seat and settling into the front seat. Marius started the car and drove them back to his house.

Once they were inside, Timmy appeared and took their coats along with House's backpack and Marius gestured for House to follow him into the den.

"Sit down," Marius invited, going to pour them both a drink as Timmy reappeared and stoked up the coals in the hearth to a nice sized fire. House took a seat close enough to feel the heat and after a few moments closed his eyes, feeling like his bones were thawing out after being up for the last three days straight. He startled when he felt fingers on his hand and jerked awake to see Marius taking the glass out of his hands, then looked away realizing that he'd fallen asleep.

"You're exhausted," Marius observed. "I've arranged a massage for you as you look as though you're tied in knots. Come, we'll talk tomorrow," he said holding out his hand. House ignored his hand and reached for his cane to lever himself up with but Marius was quicker and grabbed the cane, handing it to Timmy who had reappeared out of nowhere. "Put this beside the bed. He won't be needing it tonight. Now. Take my hand," Marius said after Timmy left with the cane.

"Does he just pop up out of thin air or is he some kind of hologram?" House snapped, irritated to be made dependent on Marius's aid.

"As any good servant should be, he is nearby and unseen until the need arises," Marius answered, still holding his hand out to House.

"Why are you doing this? Just let me walk with my cane, why all the lean on me crap?" House demanded, refusing to budge.

"Because I want you to learn to trust me as much as you trust that piece of wood," Marius replied. "And once Sidney has finished your massage you may find that the relaxation will leave you more exhausted and unsteady on your feet than you are now. Take my hand," he commanded.

House looked up at him with a frown at the sudden change of tone without any escalation of emotion and studied him for a full minute before hesitantly reaching out and taking his hand. Marius helped him to his feet and supported him as they walked to the master suite again.

"This is Sidney, Sidney this is Dr. House. I leave him in your care. See him into bed and call me when you're finished," Marius ordered softly as he leaned House against the massage table.

"I will, Master Marius," Sidney answered. Marius withdrew from the room and Sidney took a quick look at House and the level of discomfort and exhaustion he was feeling both emotional and physical. "I'll give you a moment to undress but if you need help, please ask," he said, turning around and gathering up the oils and supplies he would use.

House managed to get undressed but couldn't get his shoes off nor jeans over them. He was acutely embarrassed to have to ask for help but there was nothing to be done for it. "I can't reach my shoes," he muttered.

Sidney came over at once and untied his shoes, slipping them off and his jeans as well then steadied him while he lay down on the table. He used a warming oil to help relax and unknot his muscles, though he had to work at a couple of hard knots on his right shoulder. He kept him covered with warm towels while he worked and finished with a gentle stroking that had House very close to sleep, so close that he mechanically followed Sidney's instructions and aid to get into the bed, burrowing into the covers and falling deeply asleep at once. After quickly cleaning up, Sidney went into the sitting room where Marius was sitting in his robe, smoking a joint and watching the process.

"How did you find him?" Marius asked, stripping off the robe as Sidney came over and began to massage his shoulders and neck.

"Very tight and very knotted. Do you know what caused the scarring on his thigh?" Sidney asked. "I didn't want to do much around it but if feels as though some of the muscle is missing."

"I'm told it was an infarction that went undiagnosed. Surgery to remove the dead muscle left the scar and the limp as well as chronic pain," Marius answered, groaning in pleasure at Sidney's ministrations.

"He has knots on top of knots," Sidney added, "the kind that come from being stressed for a long time with no outlet for it. It will take weeks to work that out of him. He's also very self-conscious, almost self-loathing of needing help."

"I noticed," Marius said dryly. "That will take weeks to work out of him as well. Come here," he said, tugging on Sidney's fingers. Sidney came around in front of him. "Strip for me," he said, sitting back in the chair at ease with a full erection.

Sidney smiled and bowed his head, as if to say, as you wish, and proceeded to slowly and sensually disrobe for Marius, standing just beyond his knees, close enough to be touched. Thoroughly enjoying the private showing, Marius sat forward and fondled Sidney's balls, mouthing them gently then sliding his teeth down his shaft as he took him into his mouth with the lightest of friction. Marius teased the head with his tongue until Sidney was fighting thrusting against him then began sucking from base to just below the ridge, in a slow rhythm with heavy sucking pressure, thoroughly enjoying the prolonged time the method took to bring Sidney to orgasm. Marius steadied him as he came hard and long then eased him to sit on the plush carpet while he recovered.

"I'm glad to have you in the house again, Sidney," he said brushing his fingers over then man's hair and handing him his glass of wine to drink from. "I'll be wanting you to work with him frequently."

"Then you are claiming him, Master? Timmy wasn't sure Dr. House would agree," Sidney asked quietly as he regained his breath.

"He has agreed. Not verbally, perhaps not even consciously. But that will come too. Yes, I am claiming him. But he is like a wild horse. I must move slowly to prevent spooking him enough to cause him to run and hurt himself," Marius answered. "We'll see you in the morning then," he said with a smile, rising and going into the bedroom leaving Sidney free to seek his room or company with Timmy.

Marius came up to the bed and carefully pulled back the covers, checking that the bruises and injuries sustained in the crane accident were healing. Satisfied that they were, he turned off the lights and got into the bed covering them both.

Once again, House woke up wondering where he was, although at least this time he recognized the room when he looked around. He smelled coffee in the air and sat up to see where it was. Timmy was just putting on the brakes of a breakfast cart and he smiled when he saw House was awake.

"I'm sorry if I woke you," Timmy said quietly. "How are you feeling?"

"Pretty good," House answered. "Why are we whispering?"

"Master Marius is still asleep," Timmy said, nodding to the bed. House frowned and turned slightly to see that Marius was indeed sleeping in the bed next to him.

"Don't you have a guest room or something here," House asked as he got up out of the bed and shrugged into the robe that Timmy held out for him. "Why does he bring me into his room?"

"It is the most comfortable and the only one with the large Jacuzzi," Timmy answered, pouring him a cup of coffee and sliding the sugar his way.

"What time is it?"

"Eight thirty," Timmy said, sitting down with House to wait for Marius to wake. "I'm glad you're better this morning. You looked awful last night. I thought you might be ill."

"No, just tired. No sleep for three days," House muttered taking a sip of his coffee. "God, this is great. So you think he'll let me have my cane today?"

"Yes, it's there by the bed stand for you," Timmy said with a smile. "The way you were lurching when you walked last night, I thought you were going to fall. So did Master Marius."

"Yeah, well. My feet were smarter than the rest of me and went to sleep," House quipped, taking another sip of coffee. "How long have you worked for him?"

"Four years now."

"And what exactly do you do? Butler? Cook? Valet?"

"A little of all of the above," Timmy answered. "He has other servants. Sometimes they are here, sometimes not. It depends on what his needs are and whether he has guests. Sidney is staying on now."

"You like working for him?"

"Yes. I'll stay the rest of my life working for him," Timmy answered, getting to his feet and pouring another cup of coffee. House was confused until he heard movement behind him and realized that Marius was awake. He waited until the man was seated at the small table and had a sip of coffee before turning to him.

"So, what should I read from the fact that we slept in the same bed?" House asked.

"We were tired?" Marius suggested, raising his eyebrows and smirking at him. "I didn't ravage you while you slept, I promise."

"Yeah. You like your partners conscious and aware. I remember. So now what? Got another big day planned out for me?" House asked.

"No. You have work today and I have a meeting in Trenton this afternoon. However, if you do not have another case come up, I want you to come and stay here this weekend."

"Stay for the weekend? Are we going to have another sleepover? Can we make s'mores?" House jibed.

"If you like. Would you prefer to be the marshmallow, the chocolate or the graham cracker?" Marius asked glibly.

"Oh you're funny," House groused.

"I want you to be here Friday evening and stay through until Monday morning when you return to work. I want to talk with you and give Sidney a chance to work on easing those knots you have in your shoulders," Marius said firmly. "I have to leave now to prepare for my meeting. Timmy will see that you get to work when you're ready. I'll see you on Friday," Marius said, getting up and going through to the shower leaving House with his coffee, confused and conflicted. Twenty minutes later Marius was dressed and gone. Timmy brought up some breakfast while House showered and all too soon, he was climbing out of the car at the hospital doors and back at work.