Title: Lies My Friend Told Me
Summary: House confronts Wilson after finding out something Wilson didn't want him to know. Occurs a few weeks after "Detox". House-Wilson friendship.
Rated: T (some language)
Disclaimer: I still don't own themChapter 1
Dr. Greg House sat quietly at his desk listening to Pinball Wizard blaring through the speakers of his Ipod, his desk lamp the lone source of illumination in the office. As the music played, his mind was absorbed with thoughts of his friend and colleague, Dr. James Wilson. He leaned back in his chair, resting his head against the back, sighing quietly as he rehashed the issue over and over again, still unable to come up with a plausible explanation.
For the past two days, he and his staff had been involved with a new case…or patient… whose diagnosis had so far eluded him and his underlings. He had planned to spend the rest of the day researching possible explanations for his patient's curious symptoms. But as the afternoon faded into evening, House had found himself thinking only of this, and in spite of himself, realized that his initial feelings of doubt had morphed into anger. As he stared out the window watching the rain batter the glass in steady droplets, his thoughts were totally consumed with James Wilson.
At that moment, the young doctor entered House's office carrying his overcoat across his forearm and his briefcase at his side. He walked up to House's desk, dropped his belongings onto a chair and sank down into the other chair. The older doctor didn't acknowledge his presence.
"I totally forgot to eat today," Wilson said as he picked up the oversized tennis ball from House's desk and began tossing it back and forth between his hands.
"And you're telling me this, why? I'm not your Mommy. Eat a sandwich," House said, his voice unwelcoming, his attention still on the raindrops bouncing off the window.
Wilson caught the ball and placed it back onto to the desk. "Okay. Why are you so cranky?" he asked. "What happened?"
House turned to look at his colleague as he reached over to turn off the music. "I'm busy. If you're the smart, intuitive doctor you think you are, you'll leave me to my thoughts." He turned away from Wilson.
"Is that a warning, House?" He cocked his head. "Because that's unusual for you… you generally just strike at will." House didn't reply. "Okay, just tell me what it is… I'm a doctor, I can take it." He sat there, his head at an angle scrutinizing House. Something was obviously bothering him and the younger doctor wanted to help. Or maybe not… he wasn't quite certain.
House ignored Wilson's comments and continued to gaze out the window.
Wilson sighed, growing frustrated at House's apparent dismissal of his presence.
"Look, House, if you want me to leave, I'll leave. But this little game you're playing is starting to get on my nerves. What, are you five?" Wilson leaned forward in his chair, waiting for House to reply. It was a long day and he was tired. And now he was becoming angry.
House snickered and turned to look at him. The corners of his mouth slanted up into a smile, but his eyes narrowed menacingly. "I thought you liked games," he said, rubbing his cheek with his hand.
Wilson shook his head in confusion. "Look, House, I'm tired and I'm hungry. If you have something to say, then …"
"I've been sitting here all afternoon trying to figure what could possess you to do something like that. I wondered…. could it be the challenge, sheer curiosity, that dark side of you that nobody seems to know about …. "
Wilson had had enough. "House! What? What is it?" He stood up abruptly and leaned over the desk, palms flat on the surface, his eyes glaring.
"My, my, aren't you crabby when you're hungry. Want a lollipop?" House reached across his desk to grab the candy that lay there, but was suddenly interrupted by Wilson grasping his wrist.
"Stop it," Wilson said, his voice low and controlled. "You're acting weird, even for you."
House smirked and yanked his hand away from the young doctor's grip. He leaned back in his chair and looked up at him. "I know all about it, Dr. Wilson. I know that it was you," he said, his voice unemotional.
"Okay. You know that it was me," Wilson said slowly repeating House's words, furrowing his brow as he attempted to discern what this was about. After a few moments, he lifted his arms in the air and dropped them down to his sides in exasperation. He looked at House, whose face was still expressionless. Totally unsure what to make of this, Wilson crossed his arms across his chest and looked questioningly at the scruffy doctor sitting behind the desk.
House looked up at the addled oncologist and smiled dauntingly. "It was you, Dr. Wilson, who came up with the game plan." He leaned back in his chair and waited for a response.
"What game plan, House? Stop playing with me!" Wilson shouted.
"The bet," House said, his voice controlled, demeanor casual, in fact almost appearing to be amused.
Wilson stiffened. The bet. House didn't have to elaborate… he knew what bet his friend was referring to. Wilson had been afraid that this might happen, that House would somehow find out. And he had no idea how he would deal with that possibility if it did occur. But as the weeks wore on, that fear slowly dissipated, too soon apparently, and he found himself caught off guard. He uncrossed his arms and let them drop to his sides, almost in defeat. "Okay. Well, uh…how did you find …"
"What difference does it make?" House cut him off, his voice now with an edge to it. "I know." He leaned accusingly towards Wilson.
The young doctor stared at House; noticing the stiffness of his jaw, the narrowed blue eyes penetrating his own. There was no point in asking; the answer was obvious. "And you're angry," he said, resignation clear in his voice.
House grinned. "You think?" He leaned back in his chair again, his piercing eyes unnerving the younger doctor. Wilson knew he had to come clean; obviously he had no choice, but in truth, he actually felt relieved. When Dr. Cuddy had asked him what he was going to do, he had replied that he would do nothing, that he had done enough damage. The guilt had eaten at him for weeks, and now, due to this unforeseen development, he actually had the opportunity to explain his actions to House. He owed him that much anyway.
His eyes fell to the floor as he rubbed the back of his neck, returning his attention to House who stared icily at him. "Look, House, you must know that Cuddy and I were concerned about you; we only had your best interest at heart," he said, fully aware of how lame he sounded.
"Save it, Wilson", House quipped. "Your motives are irrelevant. What pisses me off is that you and Cuddy actually took the time to discuss me like some kind of lab rat. So, tell me, do you two have weekly meetings where you both decide what food I should be eating, what woman I should be doing, what drugs I should or shouldn't be taking? You two get off conspiring behind my back?"
The young doctor's eyes narrowed. "There was no conspiring," he said, taking offense to House's accusation.
"The hell there wasn't," House shouted. "Get yourself a life, Wilson, and stay the hell out of mine."
"You're twisting this around into something it's not, "Wilson shouted back. He took a deep breath to calm down. "Okay, okay. If I'm guilty of anything it's that I didn't think this through. I was concentrating on the end result and didn't anticipate the chain of events… I apologize for that."
"Chain of events? By 'chain of events' are you by any chance referring, for example… the fact that I broke my own fingers?"
Wilson said nothing, avoiding House's stare.
"At a loss for words, Dr. Wilson? Or do you just hate admitting you were wrong?"
"I apologize for my methods but not for taking action; something had to be done," Wilson said, carefully choosing his words trying not to further antagonize House. Apparently, he chose unwisely.
House banged his fist loudly on the desk. "That's not your call, Doctor!" He shouted, clearly enraged.
Wilson sighed. "I'm your friend, House. I felt I had to do something. You need…needed help."
House laughed bitterly. "Help? That's what you call it? I don't need that kind of help." He held up his hand. "I fucking broke my fingers! You could've said something when I came to you."
"And if I had, what would you have done?"
"That's not the point, damn it! Why didn't you say something?"
Wilson shifted his eyes up towards the ceiling, then turned his attention back to the older doctor. He looked into House's eyes. "I did the best I could at the time."
House smirked. "You disappoint me, Dr. Wilson." He shook his head and turned away.
He knew House was right. The entire idea of the bet was clearly a bad one, and he regretted it everyday. Yet, he still felt that some good had come of it. Or was he just placating himself? He wasn't sure. "But you did learn something," he said quietly.
"Yeah, I guess I did," House said. "I learned that I need to pick my friends more carefully."
Wilson flinched. "I'm your friend."
House glared at him. "Sorry, Doc, but I'm finding that hard to buy at this moment."
Wilson sighed. "I told you that I'm sorry. What can I do to make you believe that?" he asked, his voice low.
"You're sorry," House repeated as if he were contemplating whether to believe the veracity of those words.
"Yes," Wilson replied softly.
"Or is it that you're sorry you were caught?"
Wilson's eyes narrowed. "You can't really believe that," he said trying to contain his increasing irritation.
"Well, duh. How could I not? Admit it… you never would've said anything if I hadn't found out."
Wilson nodded slightly, his anger dissipating somewhat. House wasn't really wrong; he never would've said anything if he hadn't been confronted. But he still felt he had made the right call by keeping his mouth shut. He was sure House would've continued with the bet anyway, and it would've served no useful purpose if he had come forward. In fact, considering the emotional and physical mess House was in that week, it probably would've made matters worse.
"The bet was a bad idea, I admit that. But you have to know that I'm your friend," Wilson said hesitantly. How could House think otherwise, he thought. As furious as he may be, he still had to know that Wilson was his friend and always would be.
House looked away from Wilson.
"House, you can't really think…."
House returned his gaze to the younger doctor. "What I'm finding fucking difficult to understand is why you'd keep this from me. I might buy that you and Cuddy had good intentions…as misguided as they were… but why hide behind Cuddy?"
"I wasn't hiding," Wilson said, his voice raised.
"You were hiding behind Cuddy," House persisted.
"House, I tried more than once to talk to you about this… about the pills. You blew me off every time. I told you that I was worried about the effects they were having on your health, but you never listened. I was desperate to reach you, so I came up with this bet, stupid as it was. But it had to come from Cuddy or you never would've agreed to it."
"So… in your asinine logic, you were actually trying to teach me something. Or were you really trying to learn something for yourself and you needed me to be the scapegoat?"
Wilson shook his head, squinting his eyes.
"No, I'm really curious," House said, leaning back in his chair, his expression inquisitive.
"I felt you couldn't go on like you had been… with the pills," he said. "Like you continue to do now. You know how I feel about that." The young doctor looked out the window noticing how unusually dark the clouds had become.
"Because you're my friend."
Wilson's head snapped back towards House. "Yes, because I'm your friend. Is that an issue?"
"I'm not sure."
"You should've said something." House swiveled his chair away from Wilson and pretended to watch the rain.
Wilson lowered his eyes to the floor. He had already apologized twice… what else could he say? Obviously House was not in a forgiving mode; hopefully he just needed some time. The young oncologist retrieved his coat and briefcase from the chair, hesitating as if he were about to say something, then thought better of it. He turned to leave, quickly walking out of House's office.
House spun his chair around and watched Wilson's shadow disappear around the corner. He was still angry. Even though his so-called friend had apologized, House felt that he had offered it reluctantly. And what bothered him most was that Wilson had not apologized for keeping his involvement a secret. If Wilson were truly the close friend he claimed to be, he would've come to House and talked to him. But even now when confronted, Wilson still hadn't apologized for that.
House reached over and turned on his Ipod. Leaning back in his chair, he closed his eyes and lost himself in the music.
A/N: I just wanted to explain that I based House's initial reaction to finding out about Wilson's involvement in the bet on Cuddy's line at the end of "Detox" where she says to Wilson, "Better hope he never finds out that it was your idea." To which Wilson replies, "he'd never believe it." To me, that exchange suggests that House would react badly.