BUSTED

Migraine. He doesn't get 'em often, maybe once a year—but when he does, he's got a system. Dark room. Icy-cold cloth to the forehead. Ibuprofen, 800mg. Two pillows; one for under his head, one for over. And no noise. No. Noise. It's a simple formula; too bad he'd forgotten to figure House into the equation. How the hell could he have forgotten House? No one can forget House. But he had—and now, he thinks, he'll have to pay, big-time, for the oversight.

"Go away, House. Please. In the name of all that's compassionate, just turn around and leave. I'm begging." Wilson's voice is muffled by Pillow Number Two, but he's pretty sure House gets the gist.

"What's the matter with you?"

"I broke my arm. See the cast? I'll let you autograph it later if you'll just. Go. Away."

"Well, your sarcasm button's definitely broken; that was lame, even for you. Got a headache?"

"Sherlock Holmes. Not just a headache. Migraine From Hell." Shouldn't have admitted to anything—now he'll use it against me.

Wilson braces himself for a slamming door, a toppled desk chair. A gunshot. When the expected assault to his senses doesn't come, he cracks an eye open and peers from beneath the pillow. House is just standing there, watching him.

Wilson sighs. "Oddly enough, I find it more unsettling that you're not trying to increase my misery exponentially. Just do whatever it is that you're plotting, so I can go back to dying in peace."

"What've you taken?"

"Ibuprofen. If I'd known you were coming, I'd have thrown in some cyanide too, ended this a little faster. But wouldn't want to deprive you of your fun."

"How long?"

"How long what? I'm really not up for Twenty Questions right now, House. Ten, maybe. If you'll leave after I answer them." Wilson can't help it; he groans.

"How long have you had the headache, you moron?"

Wilson has to think about it. "Visual aura started about an hour ago. Pain and nausea… I dunno. Maybe twenty minutes."

"Idiot," House whispers, and leaves quietly, shutting the door soundlessly behind him.

Great. He behaved himself. Must be a new form of torture; now I have to lie here and worry about why he didn't act like a jerk.

Wilson tries to relax, attempts to allow the cool, comforting, quiet darkness a chance to work its slow magic on his headache—but he can't enjoy it. He's too busy trying to solve the puzzle of House's human-like behavior.

The sound of House's cane out in the hall causes Wilson to groan again. Probably needed a few minutes to come up with something extra special. Like a laser light show and a live band.

But House enters just as quietly as he'd departed. He does turn on the desk lamp, but angles the light away from Wilson. And when he sits on the edge of the couch, it almost seems like he's being careful not to cause any extra movement—Wilson's on red alert now.

"Whaddaya want now, House? Not dying fast enough for you?"

"Jimmy, I'm hurt! Ever occur to you I might just want to help?"

"Uhh… no." Wilson feels his shirt sleeve being pushed up, and he forces his eyes open. House has a syringe poised over his arm. "What are you doing? House, the triptans are contraindicated; don't you think I already thought of that? Anti-depressants, remember? Serotonin Syndrome ring any bells with you?"

"You think I'm an idiot? That's the trouble with you younger doctors; you forget the tried-and-true stuff. Good, old-fashioned D.H.E.45. Ergotamine." Before Wilson can object, House expertly administers the subcutaneous injection. "You should be almost good as new in a couple hours."

Wilson's really mystified now; House has also brought another ice pack with him, and he's removing the cloth from Wilson's forehead and replacing it with the new one. "Are you all right?" he asks House.

"There's gotta be something wrong with me? You think I enjoy seeing you suffer?"

"That'd be a 'yes.' What do you want, House?"

"What makes you think I want anything?"

"You've got some sort of ulterior motive for wanting my migraine over with. Under normal circumstances, you'd be rubbing your hands together and cackling with glee, making a list of all the ways you could use this to nurture your inner sadist. So what gives?"

House frowns and pauses, then smiles. "Okay, you got me. Busted. Had these tickets to… something… for a few weeks now. Don't wanna go by myself. Guess I could ask Cameron…."

"Yeah, because that whole encouraging-an-unrequited-crush thing always works out so well," Wilson responds dryly.

"Exactly. Not going there. So I need you back in shape by tonight."

Wilson's relieved, but only a little bit. There's the ulterior motive. But—tickets to something? Uh-oh.

"Tickets to where, House?"

House stands smoothly. "Now that'd spoil the surprise, wouldn't it? Get some rest; been looking forward to this for weeks. Don't want some sicko ruining my evening." And he's gone. Wilson closes his eyes and orders himself not to think.

Several hours later, Wilson's feeling almost normal again. He's going to check on a patient when Chase flags him down.

"Dr. Wilson, I can't find House. Could you do me a favor? Tell him I finally found something for him, but it's gonna cost."

"What are you talking about, Chase?"

Chase rolls his eyes. "House told me to find him some nice, quiet activity for tonight. Wouldn't explain anything else. Just said it'd be cool if it was something that wouldn't bore him too much. I figured you'd know what was going on."

When Wilson shakes his head, Chase continues, "Anyway, took me most of the day, but I found a Mel Brooks movie festival. Should make him happy; he did mention that dim lighting would be a plus. It's been sold out for a week, though, so I had to get the tickets off an auction site. Not cheap. Can you let him know?"

Wilson stares at Chase. "Uh… no. No, I can't. And we need to pretend this conversation never happened, Chase. You never saw me—tell him yourself."

Chase walks off shaking his head, and Wilson has to laugh. Chase's expression is easy to read: House. Wilson. Subterfuge. I am so not going there! So let him think this is one of House's crazy bets, or something. As far as Wilson's concerned, the truth is just as unbelievable, anyway.

Later that evening, on the drive to the movie theater, House glances over at Wilson. "Lucky for you I had these tickets. Otherwise, you'd be lying in your office puking, praying for a merciful death."

Wilson hides his smile, and shakes his head. "Yeah, I knew that. It's all about you, House—always gotta be an ulterior motive. Can't believe I didn't figure it out sooner, though. Actually believed—for a second or two—that you were being nice for the sake of… being nice. Had me worried. Must've been sicker than I thought."

"It's okay. Migraine messed with your brain. You'll catch on faster next time," House assures him.

"Yeah," Wilson says quietly, "I will." And he smiles into the darkness.