100. Criminal


House sat on the floor in the corner of the holding cell and tapped his cane against the concrete floor. His expression was one of sour disgust and his gaze occasionally flickered to two of the other holding cells where two men were lying on their backs in drunken stupors, snoring loudly.


House looked up at the sound of Wilson's voice and saw his friend standing outside the cell, looking at him with confusion and vague disapproval.

"Don't start," House snapped, levering himself to his feet with a pained grunt. "This is not my fault. Just get me out of here."

"Uh, they won't let me," Wilson said, his confusion growing. "They said they were waiting for a fax from Los Angeles. House? What's going on?"

House's sour expression grew as he limped over to the bars.

"Dumb and Dumber over there started a fight in a bar," he growled, gesturing with his thumb towards the two sleeping men.

"You got involved in a fight," Wilson said with flat disapproval.

"Of course not," House said with a glare. "Do I look like I was involved in a fight?" Wilson opened his mouth to answer but House just kept going. "When the police arrived, one of them took one look at me and arrested me. They think I'm some kind of criminal from Los Angeles."

Wilson blinked. "They what? You're joking, aren't you?"

House's scowl became incendiary. "Do I look like I'm joking?" he snarled, gesturing to the holding cell with his free hand.

"Ah, okay," Wilson said soothingly. "I'll just…go and speak to the detective who directed me here. I'm sure I can get this sorted out."

"You'd better," House said sourly.

Wilson thought better of answering that and walked back down the corridor. House limped back to where he'd been sitting and slowly lowered himself to the floor again. They'd taken everything in his pockets, including his Vicodin, and the alcohol he'd drunk had long ago worn off. The pain in his leg was starting to overwhelm him and he just wanted to get out of here before he did something to really earn a night in a cell.

He sat there on the floor, tapping his cane on the concrete and unconsciously clenching and unclenching his other hand, for nearly half an hour before Wilson finally came back. This time he was accompanied by a policeman who unlocked the door of the cell then eyed him curiously when he didn't get up.

"House? Come on," Wilson said with a frown. "The fax came through and it's pretty damn obvious the man they're looking for isn't you. Let's get out of here."

House scowled down at his shoes and muttered something under his breath.

"What was that?" Wilson asked.

House's scowl deepened and he glared at Wilson with a mix of anger, frustration and helplessness.

"I don't know if I can get up," he said acidly. "They took everything out of my pockets and I've been here for quite a while."

It took a moment for that to sink in then Wilson's eyes widened. He turned to the policeman who was still standing them, watching them both like they were the most interesting thing he'd encountered that evening.

"Get his things," Wilson snapped in a voice House had only heard him use during emergencies at the hospital.

House was marginally amused to see the cop snap into action as smartly as Wilson's nurses. The moment the cop disappeared, Wilson walked into the cell and crouched down next to House.

"If I offer to help you, are you actually going to accept it for once in your life or are you going to be your usual pig-headed, stupid, stubborn self?" he said with exasperation.

"You're such a sweet-talker," House griped. "No wonder you get all the women."

He hesitated for a moment then reluctantly held out one hand. He'd much rather have gotten to his feet on his own but he really didn't want to wait for the stupid cop to get back with his things and then wait for the damn pill to kick in. Besides, the cold concrete floor was probably going to give him piles if he sat here for too much longer.

Wilson gave him a small smile then stood up and took the pro-offered hand. Between the two of them, they got House to his feet and leaning back against the wall. House hung his head as pain rippled through him from his thigh and he eased all of his weight onto his good leg, clutching his cane tightly with one hand and Wilson's arm with the other.

"Uh, what were you after? Or should I get a doctor?"

They both looked up to see the cop standing in the doorway, a brown paper bag in his hand and a slightly startled look on his face as he saw the amount of pain House was in.

"We are doctors," Wilson snapped. "Give me that."

He gently extricated himself from House's grasp and grabbed the bag, reaching in and pulling out the small orange bottle. He opened it and shook out a pill before hesitating and evaluating House for a moment. He then shook out a second and offered them to his friend.

House gave Wilson a long look. "Two, Dr Wilson?" he said sardonically.

"I don't like it but you're not going to make it out of here upright any other way," Wilson said, his lips thinning with disapproval.

House conceded the point with a snort. He reached out and grabbed the pills, dry-swallowing them then leaning back against the wall as he waited desperately for them to kick in. It took nearly twenty minutes before he felt the first easing of the pain rippling through him and he looked up and nodded briefly to Wilson. His friend had spent the entire time watching him, standing absolutely still in stark contrast to the young cop who was still standing in the door of the cell, shifting nervously from one foot to the other and looking indecisive.

"Let's get out of here," House said. "Before I really do collapse."

Wilson nodded then turned towards the door.

"You might want to move or we're going to have a little difficulty getting out of here," he said acerbically.

The cop quickly skittered out of the door and watched with wary eyes as Wilson followed House out of the cell. House simply concentrated of staying upright as he limped down the corridor and through the station, letting Wilson direct him with gentle touches and quiet words. Once they were in the car, House let himself slump into the front seat, listening absently as Wilson threw the bag containing his belongings into the back seat and settled down in the driver's seat. He gave a start when he felt a warm hand on his arm and looked over at Wilson.

"You okay?" Wilson asked, his worry and concern plain to see. "Anything you want?"

House nodded, the drugs now having fully kicked in. The pain had receded to a dull throb and his brain was full of haze.

"Home," he said, his voice slightly slurred. "Bed. You."

Wilson blinked and gave him a startled look. "What?"

House closed his eyes slowly as he realised what his drugged brain had just made him say then he opened them again with a mental shrug.

He gave Wilson a slow half-smile. "You heard me."

"Yes," Wilson admitted, sounding stunned. "And you're drugged."

House shrugged loosely. "Maybe. Still mean it."

Wilson stared at him again then abruptly turned away and started the car. He pulled out of the parking spot and drove away from the police station, very determinedly paying attention to the road. But House could practically see his mind running at top gear and he slowly smiled. They'd get back to his apartment then he'd see what happened.