He was bent over his computer when Wilson approached the office. Wilson hesitated a moment, didn't want to interrupt him. He seemed so focused. He glanced up, smiled, when Wilson pushed the glass door open. "I'm almost done," he said absently.
Wilson nodded and grabbed the Lacrosse ball off House's desk. He sat down to toss it up in the air while House's fingers danced over the keyboard with a rhythmic click-clack. He set the ball back in place when House swiveled his chair around to the front of the desk.
"You ready?" House asked, hand blindly groping for his cane. Wilson looked, no handle hanging off the side of the desk. House's eyes drifted to the ground, he frowned. No cane there either. "Damn it," House muttered.
Wilson stood, and caught sight of the walking stick hanging on the white board in the conference room. "Lucky thing you have glass walls. It's over there," he gestured. House sighed. Wilson sighed. "Stay put, I'll get it."
"Thanks." House braced both hands on the surface of his desk and pulled himself to his feet. His right leg objected, an all too familiar protest streaking through his thigh and into his lower back. He grit his teeth and held his breath to ride out the shock of discomfort.
"Here you go." Wilson held out the cane. House's hand brushed against Wilson's fingers, creating a slight tingling sensation. House distracted himself with the cane, tapping it on the floor a couple times, as if testing it, before taking a step away from his desk.
They walked in comfortable silence to the elevators. Wilson could tell House's leg was bothering him more than usual because his step was slightly off balance, reminding Wilson of the early days when House first learned to walk with the cane. Wilson strategically kept his pace a step behind and to House's right, ready to catch him, just in case.
"Think I could get a rain check on the pizza and porn?" House asked, once they were alone in the elevator. He stood in the corner, right shoulder to the wall.
"You feeling okay?"
"I'm fine," House nodded. He knew that wasn't enough to pacify Wilson. Wilson would challenge him, and he wasn't in the mood for discussion. "Just tired."
Wilson sighed, pushed a hand through his hair and let it rest at the back of his neck. It had been a long day for both of them, but especially House. House always took a patient's death hard, even if there was nothing he could have done to prevent it.
"Pizza and porn is probably the best medicine."
House shrugged. "Maybe."
Wilson rubbed the back of his neck. i I just don't think you should be alone tonight /i .
House righted himself as the elevator doors opened. Wilson nearly reached out to help him, but stepped out a head, giving House a moment to pull himself together.
The uneven thump of House's cane unnerved Wilson, especially in the parking garage where it echoed off the concrete walls. "You okay to drive?"
"No." House answered so softly Wilson wasn't sure he heard it. Could easily have imagined it, but House went to the passenger side of his cherry red '69 Corvette. Fishing his keys out of his pocket, he tossed them over his shoulder to Wilson. "You wanna drive the 'Vette?"
"Do I wanna drive the 'Vette?" Wilson asked, rhetorically, a hand moving to caress the sleek red hood.
He didn't watch as House eased himself in to the passenger seat. Didn't even look at the other man until he was settled behind the wheel.
"Shut up and drive," House snarled gruffly before Wilson had a chance to say anything.
Wilson only nodded and turned the key.