A/N: My very first multi-chapter fic... Hope you enjoy! :)

"House! Wait..." Wilson grabbed the sleeve of his friend's jacket, bodily forcing him to stop running away from him. – Which he had successfully been doing, ever since the oncologist had returned from his 6-months working stay in Europe three days ago.

"I'm sick of trying to talk to you, while you're trying to avoid me... – What's wrong with you?" Even though he didn't mean just that, he nodded towards the other man's crutches.

House pulled his face into a comic grimace. "Why, Jimmy! What is wrong with you?!"

Wilson rolled his eyes at his friend's antics, completely ignoring his attempt to avoid this particular conversation. "Did you somehow…" he gestured slightly towards the other man's right side "…injure yourself?"

House shrugged almost casually. "Nope! This is me uninjured." With that, he continued his way towards his office.

Wilson followed him. "Then why – "

House immediately interrupted him again. "Going a little easy on the leg... Don't you always tell me to do that?" Not really a question.

He entered the conference room, where his three younger co-workers were already waiting for him, throwing Wilson a last short glance.

"Sorry. Got work to do. You might remember: Sick people and all..." With that he simply shut the door in Wilson's face.

When he returned a couple of hours later, intending to confront his friend again, Cameron, Foreman, and Chase were still in the conference room, while House himself was nowhere in sight. The blinds to his office were drawn.

Wilson eyed the younger medics questioningly, a half-confused, half-worried expression on his face. "What the hell is wrong with him?"

All eyes turned towards him.

After a moment of slightly uncomfortable silence, it was Cameron who answered his question. "He's off the narcotics."

Wilson raised an eyebrow. "What?!" That was definitely… unexpected.

Foreman now got up from his chair, turning towards the coffee machine. "Cuddy made him choose between the pills, and his job. – He obviously chose working here."

Wilson just stared at him, still completely stunned. "What… I mean… – How's it been going?" His voice reflected both shock and a trace of excitement.

The three younger medics seemed to grimace almost simultaneously.

It was Chase who finally replied in a careful tone, nodding towards the door to House's office. "He's been in a lot of pain..."

Foreman added meaningfully: "He already sold his bike. – And his car..." Ignoring Wilson's slight wince, he calmly continued: "He's hiding in his office most of the time. Refuses to do more than an hour of clinic duty a day. He's obviously unable to stay on his feet for more than a couple of minutes at a time."

Wilson paled at the information. "And Cuddy's going through with this?!"

Chase shrugged at that, searching the other man's gaze. "They're not talking."

Wilson could imagine...

He now determinedly approached his friend's office door. The moment he tried to open it and found he couldn't, Chase spoke again.

"It's locked. – He didn't seem to be feeling well earlier..."

Without replying anything, Wilson now knocked loudly. "Open up, House! Come on... I'm not going away." Silence.

Cameron, Chase, and Foreman exchanged glances.

Then Wilson turned towards them again. "What's he on now..."

Cameron quietly replied after another moment: "Paracetamol, anti-inflammatories and an anti-convulsant."

Wilson started to rub his neck, a frown of concern by now creasing his forehead. "Which ones exactly..."

A small shrug. "I think Naproxen and Neurontin right now..."

Not replying anything at first, Wilson briefly closed his eyes. Then he met Cameron's concerned gaze, voice once again determined.

"I'm getting a key."

tbc... :)