House woke up an hour after the results had arrived, Wilson was still at his side, but he'd sent Chase to the cafeteria for a cup of coffee to help him stay awake. He was still sipping quietly on the coffee when he saw those baby, blue eyes staring back at him.
"House? You're awake?" Wilson asked, knowing the question was stupid, but House hadn't really been with it the past couple of hours.
"You promised you would stay," House murmured, he wasn't making much sense until Wilson remembered the promise he'd made House in the procedure room that he would be here when House woke up from the bone biopsy.
"I did and here I am. Let me just check you over and then we can talk, okay?" Wilson said, putting down his coffee and House's chart and checking his eyes with his penlight. House flinched away from the light, but that was normal with the type of concussion House had. Next Wilson checked the contents of House's catheter bag, which was suddenly a lot fuller than it had been before the procedure which meant that whatever the problem had been with his bladder or kidneys was either not there now, or was laying dormant.
"Do you know where you are?" Wilson asked House, who had temporarily closed his eyes. "House, wake up."
"I'm awake," House said, opening his eyes again.
"Can you tell me where you are?"
"I'm in bed."
Wilson laughed, it reminded him so much of the old House, the one before the accident that had left him seeming like a stranger because of the concussion. "I know that, but do you know why?"
"I had a fall at home and you brought me here in an ambulance, really, Wilson, if you wanted to get me to come to hospital you could have just asked Cuddy to wear a low cut blouse and no bar…that woulda brought me running!" House told him, a twinkle in his eye. So, the old House was back and apart from the headache the concussion seemed to have resolved itself.
"I need you to be serious for a moment; can you remember what procedure we did a few hours ago?" Wilson asked, part of him hoping that House could remember Wilson finding three lumps in his bad leg so he didn't have to tell him again and the other part of him wished he had forgotten so that he didn't have to remember.
"I've had an MRI, a CT, I think and most recently, the lovely Dr. Suarez took samples of some tumours you found in my femur, there were three, I think. In my bad leg, the right one."
"I know which one is your bad leg, House you don't have to remind me."
"So, how bad is it?" House asked, looking solemn.
"The biopsy showed that you have Osteosarcoma – bone cancer."
"Stage three, I'd say from the size of them, I'd also say it's a primary cancer and that we've caught it before its spread, but to be sure I'll have to get a biopsy of your lymph nodes and earlier on you weren't producing enough urine for what fluids we were giving you so I'd like to do a scan of your kidneys, if that's okay?"
"No scan, I've been poked and prodded enough for one day, thanks."
"House…" Wilson started in his, annoying, 'I only ask because I care' voice.
"Ask me tomorrow, when I've had a decent nights sleep."
"Okay, but the lymph node thing can't wait, I'll get Suarez to do it in a couple of hours, how does that sound?"
"Why can't you do it?"
"Ethics. I'm your boyfriend, life partner, whatever you want to call it and I think it would be best if the tests were done by members of my team and not me, is that okay with you?"
"Okay, just don't think about leaving me alone with any of them."
"I promise I won't."
"What aren't you telling me?" House asked, watching Wilson's face. He'd been fine when they'd been talking about how the cancer may have spread, but now that was over and the tests were arranged it was time to talk about treatments and House could sense that he wasn't going to like what Wilson had to offer.
"In terms of treatment, the tumors are deep in your bone, we can't operate to get them out or do 'limb salvage surgery' as we call it."
"What does that mean? Chemo and radiation? Make me sick and make me glow?"
"You'll have chemo, of course, but House, the best option may be to amputate," Wilson said, softly, praying that House both heard and didn't.
House's face closed down. He went rigid. "You are not taking my leg."
"House, this cancer is aggressive, the fact that you're not even in the risk groups means you've been really unlucky this time, but it's in your leg, any surgery we do will just inhibit your mobility even more, and it cuts your chance of survival down to such a small percentage," Wilson ranted, desperate for House to see it from his point of view.
"You are not having my leg," House repeated, leaning back on his pillow and closing his eyes. "Arrange the lymph node biopsy for a couple of hours from now, I'm going to sleep." That was it, as far as House was concerned the conversation was over and Wilson didn't know what else to do but to concoct a treatment plan that didn't involve amputation.
He left House to sleep and phoned Dr. Suarez to arrange a time for him to do a lymph node biopsy on House. Sure enough, two hours later, House was awake and prepped for the biopsy, Wilson was on one side of him and Suarez on the other with the ling, thin needle that would go into his neck and take a sample of the lymph node for testing in the lab.
"Do you want a shot of lidocaine?" Wilson asked, before Suarez could.
"Nope, I'm a big boy," House replied and nodded at Suarez to begin the procedure.
It was over with in minutes and they had their sample for testing. Everything was cleared away and once Suarez had left, Wilson stayed to get House comfortable for the night. "House, please think about the amputation, it may be the only thing to save your life," Wilson half whispered. He got no response from House, but he knew that the man had heard him.
As he turned to leave, House sighed deeply. "Can you stay for a little while, my head still hurts and it's boring here with nothing to do."
"Of course, I'll stay," Wilson said, hoping that maybe this was the time to bring up his whispered words. "You heard me, didn't you, House?"
"Heard what?" House asked, sounding oblivious, but Wilson knew him well and could tell when he was acting.
"You heard me tell you to consider the amputation…"Wilson started.
"Dammit! I told you that conversation was over."
"Do you want to die, House? Because if you do, you're doing a damn good job of it!"
"I don't want to lose my leg, why is that so hard for people to understand?"
"I don't know, all I know is that you have a stage three, aggressive cancer in a leg that gives you nothing but problems and yet you don't welcome the chance to be rid of it!"
"I didn't want an amputation then and I sure as hell, don't want one now! As my lover, my partner, my DOCTOR, you should respect that!"
"I know, and I will, but as a doctor yourself, you should realise that there is little chance of limb salvage surgery considering your pre-existing condition of the leg. It's dying House; don't let it take you with it!"
"Leave me alone."
"I mean it, Jimmy, fuck off." Wilson sighed, he didn't know what to do, so he did the only thing he could and sat down in the chair where he'd sat waiting for House to wake up following the bone biopsy. He wasn't going to let House push him away, no matter how hard he tried.