He'd puked up everything but his lungs, and his entire body ached from the strain of the retching. He felt like he could barely move, and when he did he instantly regretted it. Pain knotted up in his leg, cramping so intense he couldn't breathe for a moment.
His hands clutched his thigh, fingers digging in to the flesh to try to alleviate the pain any way he could. Unsuccessful, he rolled on his side, writhing in pain.
Where was Wilson? Cameron? Cuddy? Chase? Foreman? Someone? Anyone? Not that he really wanted them there. He didn't want anyone to see him this way. He was sweating profusely, arms and legs trembling. His breath was labored when the pain didn't force him to hold it. He whimpered occasionally, unable to suppress it.
But the cramping couldn't last forever. He just had to wait it out. Breathe through it as best he could. It would dissipate, it had to dissipate eventually. Once he could formulate a coherent thought, he forced himself to take deep breaths, calming, relaxing breaths until he was able to sit up.
His cane seemed to mock him from the other side of the room, discarded on the floor where he'd thrown it. He slid off the chair carefully, easing his weight onto his left leg. Shaking and unsteady, he hopped across the room to his cane, and nearly tumbled to the floor when he leaned down to pick it up.
The cane helped him right himself, though there was a tense minute or two of him standing there unable to move. Afraid to move. His hand gripped the smooth handle of his cane so tightly that his fingers turned white and stiff.
He flexed his fingers and took a step. Pain traveled up his leg, into his back. He held his breath and let it out with a hiss.
"What the hell are you doing?" James Wilson powered into the office, brow knit with worry, eyes scanning House in the seconds before he reached for him. Strong hands guided him back to his chair.
"I have a patient!" House objected, left arm attempting to bully Wilson away. The effort compromised his balance, and he swayed, shouldered into Wilson. Wilson caught him, carefully maneuvered his hands under House's arms, and swiftly deposited him in his chair.
"Get up again, I'll make up an excuse to admit you."
Blue eyes burned into brown. If looks could kill…
"Try me," Wilson challenged.
House's bottom lip trembled. Just once, and just slightly, but he knew Wilson didn't miss it. He closed his eyes and turned his face away. He heard Wilson sigh, and then the swoosh of air pushed out of his deck chair when Wilson sat down.
He cracked one eye open. "I don't need you to babysit me."
"Too bad." Wilson propped his feet on the desk.
House sighed. "Why are we doing this, James?"
"You wanted a week off clinic duty."
"Cuddy wants me to admit I'm addicted."
Another sigh, and blue eyes fixed on brown. "The pills take away my pain. They let me do my job."
"House…" Wilson started, but there was no follow up. Nothing he could really say to that. He sighed and rubbed the back of his neck. "Did the massage help?"
He was standing next to House, and House hadn't even heard him get up from the chair. He knelt and kneed in close to House's leg.
"What are you doing?"
"Massage." Wilson gently set his hands on House's thigh. House stiffened, waves of resistance washing over him. The muscle was so sore, from the recent cramp. He bit his lip, threw his head back, fought the urge to howl.
His leg shook, but Wilson didn't falter. Didn't draw back, didn't let up. He rubbed circles with both thumbs, applied a carefully calculated pressure to the damaged tissue.
"I didn't let her…touch it." House pushed out through his teeth. "Hurts. Stop. Please. Stop." Wilson's hands stilled. "Don't…stop." House brought his head around to meet Wilson's eyes. "Hurts. God, it hurts."
"Do you want me to stop?"
"No." House blinked, but couldn't prevent the hot tears that streamed down his face.