"I told you that thing was a death-trap."

House turned his head slightly, tiredly meeting Wilson's calm gaze. "Do I look dead to you?" If he was surprised by the other man's sudden presence, he didn't show it.

The oncologist wearily flopped down in the chair next to House's bed. "I'm never leaving town again."

When House didn't immediately reply anything, he took a moment to take in the sight of his friend once again in a hospital bed, face a little pale, right leg elevated and supported by a mount of pillows. His left forearm was encased in a heavy cast, the fingers of that hand visibly swollen. Wilson's gaze involuntarily softened.

"How are you feeling..?"

Wrong question.

"Perfect! – Except for the part where random people stop by my room every five seconds, bugging me with irrelevant and stupid questions...!"

Wilson suppressed the urge to roll his eyes. The head injury obviously wasn't affecting his friend's acerbic wit…

Before he could come up with a reply, House already rambled on. "What the hell are you doing here anyway?! I thought I told Cuddy not to call you. I don't need an audience for this…"

Deciding on a non-confrontational course of action for now, Wilson just shrugged slightly in response, while unobtrusively reaching for his friend's chart. "Just thought I'd… keep you some company; that's all."

He quickly scanned the initial report of the other man's injuries, professional mask fully in place until he spotted the wrist x-rays.

"Shit, House! This…" He reflexively raised both eyebrows, a painful grimace crossing his features. "…is perfect." He very briefly glanced at the forearm cast, before hesitantly searching his friend's eyes. "Surgery?"

House replied with a small shake of his head, avoiding the other man's now openly concerned gaze. "Closed reduction under finger-trap traction."

Wilson immediately frowned at that. "Was that wise…?"

Just a shrug. "Guess we'll know in a couple of weeks."

Shaking his head slightly, Wilson worriedly eyed the x-rays again. "House… If the bone – "

He was rudely interrupted. "Wilson!"

"What?! – I know that you don't wanna make a big deal out of this, but I just…" He made an awkward gesture with the chart. "…practically crossed the continent, worried out of my mind!"

House raised an eyebrow at that. "Well, none of that's my fault! I'm fine! – And to call a flight from Illinois to New Jersey 'crossing the continent' is a bit of stretch, don't you think?"

Suddenly unable to sit still, Wilson pushed himself to his feet, quickly bringing some space between himself and his friend. He could feel House's eyes resting on him.


He reluctantly turned towards the other man again, one hand vigorously rubbing the back of his neck.

House was looking at him intently, speaking slowly now. "I'm fine. I'm not dying. It's just a broken wrist…"

Briefly glancing towards the ceiling in apparent frustration, Wilson nodded in mock agreement. "And broken ribs, and a concussion, and a sprained knee; and I don't even wanna know how many contusions…!"

The other man regarded him patiently. "My point exactly. There's no permanent damage. I'll be just fine. – So do me a favor and stop freaking out now…"

"Freaking out?! I'm not freaking out! This is me…" He gestured somewhat hectically in front of his own body. "…composed." Suddenly embarrassed by his own irrational behavior, he forced himself to still his frantic movements.

When he glanced towards his friend again, he was surprised to see House almost smiling at him, his gaze unusually mild. "Yeah, well… Then I propose you better compose yourself some more."

Taking a deep breath and releasing it slowly, Wilson finally nodded. "You're right. Okay. – This just…" He vaguely gestured towards the hospital bed, then shook his head once. "How long do they plan on keeping you here?"

A slight shrug. "Couple of days maybe. – If not for the leg, I probably wouldn't even be here now…" Frustration was evident in his tone.

Wilson was about to reply something, but then just nodded, warm eyes once again resting on his friend. "Was anyone else injured…?"

A slight shake of his head was House's only response.

Wilson suddenly grimaced again, already anticipating the answer to his next question. "How's the bike?"


Nodding, the younger man suddenly smiled somewhat wryly. "I sense another loan coming…"

When House didn't reply anything, Wilson noticed that he had closed his eyes, awkwardly holding his casted hand up slightly. He seemed paler than before.

"You want a pillow for that?" He nodded towards the other man's injured arm, when House just threw him a questioning glance.

A weak shrug. "Yeah; guess so…"

Carefully helping House to elevate his hand on a quickly organized additional pillow, Wilson briefly touched the markedly swollen fingers.

"You feel that okay…?"

To the warning look House gave him, he quickly held up a hand defensively. "I'm not freaked out! Just… you know… asking."

They were interrupted by one of the nurses bringing in two dinner trays.

A couple of minutes and a short fight about the relative flaws and merits of hospital food later, House seemed to be feeling a little better and had at least started to somewhat noisily sip his orange juice. He suddenly smirked, causing Wilson to look up from the vegetable-like dinner addition he'd just been inspecting.

"So… Worried out of your mind, huh…?!"

Wilson almost would have moaned in response. He'd definitely be hearing this for weeks…

"You're actually surprised?" Concentrating on keeping his tone light, he made a weak attempt to evade the other man's relentless teasing. "You're in pain, means I'll be in pain. You're immobile, means I'll have to move for you." He finished with a casual half-shrug. "Who wouldn't be worried?"

One side of House's mouth quirked upward at that, his eyes never leaving his so far untouched dinner. "Yeah." The smirk on his face suddenly widened to a full-fledged grin. "Who wouldn't be…"

The end