One blind House,
One blind House.
See how he limps,
See how he limps.
Cuddy went after him with a carving knife,
Did you ever see such a thing in your life?
As one blind House.
House was sitting on the couch amid the wreckage.
"What are you doing House?" asked Wilson cautiously from the doorway.
House didn't move. "Why Wilson, what does it look like I'm doing. I am watching television."
"You can see," said Cuddy incredulously.
"Of course he can't," hissed Wilson.
"I heard that." House waggled the whiskey bottle he was holding at the television. "That… is a vicious rumour, spread by malcontents and Chase."
"You can't see House," said Wilson more forcefully. "And the television isn't even on."
House's only response was to stand up slowly. He turned around to the general direction of Wilson and Cuddy. "Isn't it?" he asked sarcastically. "Really? Because I wouldn't know." And with unerring accuracy he threw the whiskey bottle at the television set, smashing the glass and sending sparks all over the place.
"Right, that's it." Wilson made a grab for House, who, with surprising agility, ducked away round the couch and backed up against the wall.
"Leave me alone Wilson," he growled menacingly as he looked blindly around.
"How do we get him?" asked Cuddy. "Want me to call the hospital?"
"Leave him to me," said Wilson vehemently as he untied his tie, all the while steadily advancing on House.
"Come on House, let's take you back to the hospital," he said.
House drunkenly waggled his head from side to side. "No way Wonder Boy," he sneered. "I am not going back there. And I'm bigger than you." He tried to slide along the wall, but ended up sidling into a chair and sending it and everything on it flying, only adding to the debris in the flat.
Using the distraction Wilson leapt on House. House went down like a sack of drunken flour. They went crashing to the floor in a heap. A whiskey bottle went rolling across the floor.
"Gerroff me," cried House, his arms flailing. "Let me go." A lucky punch caught Wilson across the jaw and he fell backwards.
House tried to use this opportunity to crawl away, but almost comically scooted head first into a wall.
He was still reeling when Wilson regrouped and grabbed the back of his shirt and violently pushed him face first into the floor.
"No," said Wilson as he pulled House's hands behind his back. "I am not going to let you go."
House kept up a stream of curses as Wilson kept pinned House down and used his tie to bind House's hands behind his back.
Wilson looked up and Cuddy saw tears in his eyes, though from the punch or what he had to do she didn't know. "Help me get him to the car will you?" said Wilson.
Cuddy and Wilson hauled the still struggling House to his feet and dragged him to the car.
By the time they got there he was a dead weight. Everything had taken their toll and House was wasted – coming in and out of consciousness. The two struggled with their burden.
"We could just put him in the trunk," said Cuddy. It was meant as a joke. But Wilson just gave her a look that chilled her. This is my best friend. Yes he is an ass, but I love him – and while it is tempting to stick him in the trunk, sadly no… no fucking way.
He didn't say any of this. Instead Wilson smiled and countered with: "How about we just put him in the back seat?"
Together they managed to sort of throw House into the back seat of the car.
"Can you lock the door and get his cane," asked Wilson. "I'll strap him in." Cuddy did as she was bid, leaving Wilson to maneuver House's uncooperative and very dead weight into a position where he could put the seatbelt on him.
House 'looked' up as Wilson was fastening the seatbelt around him.
"I hate you."
Wilson slumped down into the back seat next to House. "You are a maudlin drunk, you know that," he said as he wiped his tired eyes, noticing their wetness for the first time.
Cuddy returned with House's cane and watched the two of them as they sat slumped side by side. Both exhausted. Both in agony.
She handed Wilson the cane. "Just make sure he doesn't throw up."
Wilson nodded slowly and painfully pulled his own seatbelt on, looking over at House.
As they drove to the hospital Cuddy made a point of not looking into the rear view mirror. Both exhausted. Both in agony. But together.
She drove, trying not to listen to the murmured conversation going on in the back. But she knew 'together' mattered when she heard a soft laugh from the back and Wilson's voice saying pointedly "No I am not untying you, you bastard – and don't say my tie is ugly, you can't even see it."
House woke up. Hung over and yes, oh joy of joy, still blind. He tried to lift a hand to rub his eyes, but realized he was restrained.
"What did I do?" he said tiredly to the ceiling.
"You busted out and somehow made it back home, although how exactly we haven't figured out. Then, in what was presumably a fit of self pity you got stinking drunk… and you had your t-shirt on backwards - which just looked silly," came a disembodied voice from his left.
"Hence why you now have, what I presume is a terrible hang over and are tied to your bed." The voice continued. "Although that last part may also have something to do with you also throwing up in the Dean of Medicine's car."
There was a pause.
"I am in trouble aren't I?"
"Yes." House could practically see the cock of Wilson's head. "I would have to say you are."
"Where am I," he asked.
Cuddy looked down at her feet and hesitated. She hadn't been looking forward to this conversation. She knew how much House valued control and right now he had none.
"You are in a private room."
She tried to say it casually, but House picked up on the hesitancy in her tone.
"Which floor?" he said simply.
She tried to head him off at the pass. "Does it matter?"
"Which floor?" he repeated slowly.
Cuddy caved. "Third," she whispered.
He didn't blow. He didn't scream. He just lay back on the pillows and sighed. "So I suppose there is no door handle on this side then."
Then he surprised her, as he always did. "You did what you thought you had to."
After a moment he sat up a bit. "Can I have these off now?" he said tugging at the restraints. "I promise I won't throw up in your car again."
Cuddy looked at him incredulously. "You don't remember do you," she said.
"Oh nothing too important. Only that you trashed your house, nearly killed yourself and hit your only friend."
House was stunned. "He never said anything," he whispered. "I didn't know."
Cuddy cruelly continued. "And you threw a whisky bottle through the TV screen." She watched House flinch.
"So until you can convince us you aren't a selfish deranged self destructive jerk you can stay like that for a while and have a think about things." She held up a finger. "And before you say anything… no House, there is a difference between feeling sorry for yourself and 'wallowing'. And you have turned 'wallowing' into an art form. So don't expect sympathy from me."
Cuddy got up. He heard her knock on the door and then the jangle of keys as it was unlocked.
She paused in the doorway. "And as you can't escape I have scheduled you a physio session for your leg. Think of it as payback for the car."
He heard the solid click of the lock as the door closed behind her. It was suddenly very quiet in the room, intensified by the total darkness. So unlike the noisy beeping bustle of the hospital that House was used to.
He's heard the smile in Cuddy's voice as she'd rolled the word physio on her tongue. But he couldn't see the look of worry on her face as she strode down the corridor.
They sat side by side on House's bed. An untouched meal sat on the little nightstand by the bed. The third in a row he hadn't eaten. Wilson was prattling on about various tests he was going to have to have. Saying oncology type things like 'how the chances looked good' and 'with time you could be back to normal'. Yeah right thought House as he fingered his right leg. I have all the medical luck.
"… And Steve says hi and wants to know when you are coming home," finished Wilson.
House looked up from his reverie. "Steve says hi?" he asked slowly.
"Yeah, he misses you."
House scoffed. "How can you tell that?"
"I am an expert in rat psychology and I can tell you Steve is pining," said Wilson mock seriously, but inwardly he was pleased when he got a small smile out of House.
But the smile was as fleeting as a shooting star. As it faded House uncertainly put his hand out until he found Wilson's chest and then unsteadily began to move it up to his face. Wilson stayed perfectly still as House traced lightly over his face, resting on his lip and jaw, feeling the scab where the lip was split.
After a moment he put his hand down and sighed. "Wilson…"
Wilson watched as House got that awkward look on his face that always happened when he was desperately wracking his brains trying to work out how to be nice to somebody. It took a while. Wilson always imagined him digging up memories of Hall Mark card greetings or remembering back to his mom at Christmas. He smiled and cut him off. "It's OK House, you already apologized."
He'd never ever felt so helpless. The cheery nurse had come in to dress him, all the while nattering away about some shit. He had been lead out into the day room and deposited into a chair.
Then she had cheerfully taken his cane.
"And you won't need this dearie," she said as she plucked it from his fingers.
"Hey," he said indignantly, waving his arms around. "Give me that back."
"I'm sorry, but I can't let you keep that in here. Hospital policy."
He stood up, just managing to balance himself on his good leg and the arm of the chair. "Stuff hospital policy," he yelled. "I need my Goddamn cane."
"Now now – there is no need to get upset Greg."
"Don't call me Greg," he said furiously.
"Cuddy, get Cuddy," he bellowed into the darkness. "I want to see Cuddy," he growled, completely ignoring the irony. He staggered around, nearly falling over something or someone. He felt hands grabbing him. He realized what they were going to do. "I don't need this. I just want my cane," he whined pathetically. He felt the prick of a needle in his arm and nothing more.
The next day there had been no cheery nurse. No cane. No Cuddy. Just the endlessness of the quiet room with the locked door.
He lay there, staring into the blackness and listening to the silence.
"Did you really tell Dr Martin to 'fuck off'?" asked Wilson. "You do know that is probably not the best approach to take with your psychiatrist."
House said nothing. He just lay there with head facing the wall.
"I hear they banned you from the common room for causing a ruckus," he tried again.
Wilson sighed and leant over, unbuckling the straps on House's wrists, but even then House didn't move or acknowledge his presence.
"I brought chips," said Wilson hopefully as he rummaged through the bag he had brought and pulling out a packet. "Salty goodness." But even this had no effect.
They sat there for a while: House 'not staring' at the wall and Wilson slumped over on the chair by the bed, still holding the bag of chips.
Wilson didn't know how much later it was when House turned his head slowly in Wilson's direction. Normally he was pretty good at judging where people were, but this time he got it wrong.
"They took my cane," was all he said to a spot three feet from Wilson's left ear. Then he turned his head back to the wall.
"It's killing him," announced Wilson dramatically from the doorway. "We have to get him out of there."
"Look, I know he's your friend, but I can't do anything until his psychiatrist gives the OK," she replied, not looking up from her paperwork.
"Have you seen him lately. This is like 'Infarction II: The Sequel'. He isn't eating or talking."
"He's wallowing," countered Cuddy. "He won't talk to the psychiatrist. He won't talk to the rehabilitation coordinator. He is just wallowing in his own self pity. If he is going to sulk, he can stay where he is."
"You have him locked up. Of course he's wallowing. And you are only encouraging him." Wilson slammed his hand down on her desk. "Because it's House and you know how he is you are being extra hard on him. But because House is…" Wilson looked around for a suitable adjective to describe his friend: eccentric, weird, not normal, different, total raving loony.
Eventually he settled on the right word. "But because House is 'House' all the usual treatments and care won't work on him. You can't leave him in the hands of the shrinks. You know they have never seen anyone like House. Dr Martin is already muttering about how many papers she is going to write. Next thing you know they'll be dissecting him."
He slumped down in a chair and tried to take a more reasonable approach. "You know perfectly well he's not suicidal. He's bored, he's frightened and right now he's got no control over anything in his life. He's been punished enough for his little stunt. He needs to work. That's the therapy he needs." Wilson looked at her urgently. Cuddy could see the desperation in his eyes. Too much desperation. She knew there was something neither of them were telling her.
Wilson lowered his voice. "Lisa, he needs to know he can work," he said gently.
Cuddy dropped her pen and relented. "OK Doctor Wilson, how are we going to do it? We have a big moody blind cripple with the personality of Jack the Ripper and the mentality of an eight year old on our hands."
She stood up to meet him. "How can you see this working? House is not exactly a pet person… unless you want to train Steve McQueen to become a seeing eye rat, and House already has a big stick. The last thing I want is to give him another one."
Wilson rubbed the back of his neck. How did Cuddy know about Steve? "Well – he'll be OK at home because I'm there and I've House proofed the house, but as for work…" Wilson gave a sly smile. "I have an idea."
"Doctor House, meet your 'seeing-eye doctor'. She'll be helping you at work."
House put his head in his hands and groaned. "You really are evil, aren't you?"
Cuddy leaned down and hissed. "She was the only one willing to put up with you. You can always stay here..?"
House jerked his head up. "No, that's fine."
There was an uncomfortable silence in the room.
"Say something nice," ordered Cuddy.
He sighed deeply. "Thank you Cameron… for volunteering to be my bitch."
This proclamation was shortly followed by House's squawk as Cuddy cuffed him across the back of his head.
Cameron smiled uncertainly. House was rubbing the back of his head and scowling; Wilson was trying to hold back a snigger and Cuddy was glaring daggers at the impervious House. Oh yeah, this is going to work, she thought.
After they had left Wilson threw House's duffle bag at him. Being blind he had no idea there was an incoming duffle bag until it hit him in the head.
"Ow," yelled House. "More respect for the blind cripple please." But Wilson could see he was smiling.
"Baby," said Wilson as he picked up the bag and began to pull clothes out of it, dropping them on the bed next to House. "Get dressed and we can get out of here."
A few minutes later House was dressed (T shirt on the right way this time) and caned up. Wilson could tell he was much happier in his own clothes and armed, but a moment later the fear returned.
"Which way," was all he said, but Wilson could see the nervousness behind House's words.
He went and stood next to House, and poked him in the ribs with his right elbow. "Why don't you hang onto this and let me lead?" he said softly.
"But you're the girl. You can't lead," said House, but he reached out and took Wilson's arm.
Cuddy watched them leave. It nearly broke her heart. It was bad enough to see him before as he gimped down the corridors. Now it was worse. Every step was tentative. He was afraid. No, he was terrified she decided. If he had known she was there he would have strode ahead full guns and probably walked into a door. But he didn't. She watched as he practically clung to Wilson – the only certainty.
"Play something for me."
"Come on, the TV is…" Wilson searched for the appropriate word. "… broken. You play by ear anyway. So play," he said as he nudged House's leg.
House harrumphed. God Wilson was a pesky bastard. "What? Three blind mice?"
But Wilson didn't rise to the bait. "Whatever."
House didn't move for a minute, then he suddenly stood up and Wilson watched protectively as House uncertainly made his way across the room, bouncing gently off the piano it as he walked into it and then feeling his way around the curve of the instrument until he found the piano stool.
He opened the lid and found middle C. From there every note fell into place.
"What's it today?" he asked.
"Oh, come on – how about a hint."
"Wilson," he yelled. "Where's the toaster again."
Wilson looked up. "No, I am not letting you scam me into making you any more food. You want something to eat, you do it yourself," and he went back to his journal.
House grumbled, but soon Wilson could hear exaggerated clanging noises coming from the kitchen.
"What cha reading?" asked House as he carefully limped the three measured paces to the couch and sat down next to Wilson.
"How could you tell I was reading?"
House grinned and pointed to his head with a piece of toast. "I could hear the little wheels turning – they squeak."
Wilson humphed. "Its an oncology journal."
House held out his hand and Wilson plunked the remote into it. "No it's not," said House. "You're reading about blind people."
Wilson looked down at the sentence he had been staring at for the last five minutes. 'The eyes have amazing recuperative powers.' He looked up.
"Okay, how did you know that?"
"I didn't, you just told me."
House found the specially marked button and turned on the TV, seemingly paying Wilson no more attention. "Besides," he said through a mouthful of toast. "You stink of guilt."
Wilson jerked his head up sharply and examined House suspiciously. This was the first time either one of them had brought it up. But House was just sitting there, hands on his cane, one ear cocked as he listened to the news.
'Do you blame me?' was the question Wilson desperately wanted to ask. But he didn't. He just sat there beside House and watched the news, the journal forgotten on his lap.