Gregory House never had been good at being prompt, especially when it comes to his job. In fact, he took pride in the fact that he hadn't been on time to work in over two years. However, he never can seem to manage leaving on time either. It's mostly because of the department that he runs; add in the fact that any sort of unsolved puzzle draws him in like a bug zapper and it becomes more understandable that Dr. House leaves during the wee hours of the morning (if that).

But tonight he leaves without his puzzle solved.

Three days. Seventy-two hours without little more than a catnap at his desk, and still he couldn't figure it out. No egotistical gloating today, no showing off for the ducklings. He failed.

The parents refused an autopsy, forcing the physician to go home with many protests and a buzzing mind.


House left his car in the parking lot, deciding to call out a Yellow Cab and save his leg the trouble of being useful. The ride to his flat was a short one; he didn't even attempt to be friendly to the middle-aged cabbie that offered small talk. Address: Name, number and zip code. That was all the communication needed for the transaction, so he gave no notice to the jabbering of the driver.

He tipped his cane back and forth between his hands, the metal ring that interrupted the wooden handle clinking against the metal of his watch face. Ping, thump. Ping, thump. Ping, thump. His eyes drooped, and they felt dried out from being open so long. The squeal of the cab's breaks pulled him from the stupor of the rhythmic cane dance. He tossed cash to the cabbie, change be damned, and gimped his way up the sidewalk. The lights were on in the living room, the television casting a blue glow through the open curtains of the window.


He hobbled up the front steps, leaning heavily on the stoop railing. The elevator ride took years and the hall was longer than he remembered. He rapped the handle of his cane against the door, too tired to search for his keys. After an eternity, his door opened with a creak. Wilson snorted as he watched House limp heavily into the condo.

"You look like crap."

House sneered half-heartedly, "We can't all be beautiful." He flopped onto the couch, cane landing with a clatter on the polished cherry floorboards. Wilson dismissed the sarcasm, "I was sitting there, you know."

"Was; past tense. Now I am laying here; present tense. See the difference?"

"At least move over." House grunted, not moving as he stared at the television. He didn't fool Wilson, he was looking right through that TV set; something wasn't right. He stood in House's line of sight, tapping his shoulder, "Move or I'm sitting on you."

With a dramatic sigh House sat up, palm running over his thigh as he melted into the leather cushions. Wilson settled next to him, making the cushions sink slightly. He tipped himself back over, his head comfortably pressed into Wilson's shirt collar. He closed his eyes, his left hand fishing around in his jacket pocket for his little helpers. Rattle. Ah, there we go. Pop. The taste was bitter on his tongue as always, but the pounding in his leg settled to a dull throb. He could feel Wilson's eyes on him. "Stop that, you're making my Wilson-sense tingle." He got cuffed on the ear.

"Grow up."


The banter was cut short as House squeezed his eyes shut tighter, willing his brain to shut up and let him be. But symptoms kept running across his vision, what he could've done, what he should've done. What he didn't do. He sighed and shifted restlessly, looking up at Wilson pitifully.


No response, just those blue puppy-dog eyes.

"Use your words House, you're a big boy, remember?"

House didn't bite. Wilson caved, throwing his hands up in faux annoyance, "Ok. Fine." House sat up, scooting forward to give Wilson room to stretch his legs out the length of the sofa, lying on his back. House flopped down atop him, head canted to the side, pressed into Wilson's ribcage, with his ear listening to the rhythm. Th-thump. Th-thump. Just like his cane. Th-thump. Th-thump. He stopped thinking. No more dead girl. No more symptoms. No more. He drifted off with the steady beat. Th-thump. Th-thump. Just him and his Wilson. Just rhythm. Th-thump.


A/N: Retarded I know, but the stupid plotbunny was just so cute and annoyingly adorable. R&R? Be nice, I bruise easy.