A/N: Post Half-Wit. What made Wilson decide to dose House with his antidepressants? Not quite as angsty as the H/W ficlets I usually do.
House pokes his head in without knocking, as usual. When he sees that Wilson is alone, he steps in and shuts the door behind him. "I suppose you know no one is speaking to me," he begins coolly.
"I just wanted to say thank you."
Wilson's startled. He squints, not sure if he's understanding or not. "House... I'm not speaking to you either."
"I know." He moves towards the patio door and looks out. "But you're the only one who thought to ask me if I'm depressed."
"Which you then mocked me for." Wilson's tone is unusually harsh. "You told me I was wrong. You told me you just wanted to get high."
"That's what I told everybody." There's a small awkward silence, and then House changes his mind about the conversation and decides to bow out. There's no sympathy here, and he's not going to whine about his feelings to a judgmental, sarcastic son-of-a-bitch. It escapes him entirely that this is how Wilson must feel during every single one of their conversations. "Anyway, thanks for believing otherwise. For a minute."
He's to the door already when Wilson calls after him: "House." It's a firm, no-nonsense tone and it's not very inviting. "Are you depressed?"
The frank admission was obviously not what he was expecting. "Well... are you... okay?" Now he's hesitating, still kind of cold but at least he's more confused than angry.
"I'm fine," House assures, and the relief he feels at Wilson's concern helps him sound a little more convincing.
Wilson's rising from his chair. "How fine can you be - you just asked for brain surgery to try and correct it!"
Now House can't imagine what he was thinking, to come here. He knows Wilson is terrible at handling problems head-on. If he needs comfort he can look for it in off-the-cuff comments that make him smile, in lunches paid for and torments endured. Over time, he knows, he'll probably feel better and will owe it in no small part to Wilson's efforts... but this right here is not the way.
"Never mind - I'm fine," he says again, and goes.
He can feel Wilson staring after him.
Later on it's Wilson who busts in on him. "House - we need to talk."
"No - you need to talk," he corrects without looking up from his article. "I need to read. Go away."
The defiant tone makes House wince. Getting rid of Wilson this time could take some work. "There's a phone booth downstairs," he says. "You should change into your spandex first; you'd be much more impressive." He looks up to see how Wilson's taking it. "And take the hands off the hips," he adds in exasperation. "That's so Peter Pan."
Wilson presses his lips together for a second. House expects a violent outburst, and is then amazed as Wilson manages to play by the rules instead. "Plenty of grownup superheroes do hands on the hips."
"No way," House argues. "They cross their arms."
"Only when they want to draw attention to their massive pecs... which, regrettably, I don't have." But Wilson does cross his arms after that, waiting for House to give him permission to speak.
House sighs. He knows he can break out the really big guns, make fun of somebody who's dead or about to be, and then Wilson will go away for sure. But he'll only come back again later, with the same suggestions. Shrinks, friends, yoga, other useless and/or fictional remedies. Maybe even happy pills, which is ironic given his attitude towards the Vicodin and any other fun chemicals that House manages to get his hands on.
Might as well get it over with. House puts down his journal and sits up. "What do you want?"
"I just want to know that you're okay."
"I just told you I'm-"
"Most days you'd rather cop to ED than depression," Wilson interrupts bluntly. "And you've always chosen constant pain over a painkiller that clouds your thoughts... Yet you're now willing to risk brain damage for this treatment. Something is obviously wrong. I just want to make sure..." He trails off, trying to find the answer on House's face.
But House hasn't even figured out the question yet. "That I don't actually have cancer?" he guesses after a moment of silence. "I don't. I really did enter the trial just for the pick-me-up."
"No. I just want to know that you're not... that there's nothing else drastic you're willing to do."
Oh. That. "Why - you know any other drug trials I could lie my way into?" House asks brightly.
Wilson won't let him brush it off so easily. "Look me in the eyes and tell me you haven't thought of suicide," he orders grimly. "Just tell me, so I can stop worrying."
"You can stop worrying. I'm not going to do it," House says with authority. He means for for the subject to be closed... and is surprised to see Wilson's eyes go all wide and horrified.
"You've thought of it?"
"Everybody's thought of it," House dismisses, a little surprised at what a big deal Wilson is making.
"No - everybody has not thought of it. House-..."
Since when wasn't it okay to know you had a way out if you needed one? "Well I'm not going to do it," he repeats irritably. "So you can relax. And you can also go away, leaving me to do my reading in peace." Ordinarily he would consider it to be a confession of weakness, but he's annoyed enough right now to snap petulantly: "Of course, sometime later, if you feel like cheering me up instead of getting on my case, then that'd be just as good. Maybe even better."
That Friday, House sits alone in his office, shaking his pill bottle. As hard as he's been pushing Wilson away lately, today he's in the mood to hang out and he's sort of hoping Wilson will come to see him and demand to go out for a movie or something. Pizza with a friend. Anything. But he's certainly not about to go ask.
If he asks it will be too much like he's agreeing with all of Wilson's crap about how it's his feelings that are doing this to him. And he does not want to talk about that right now. Or ever.
He already knows he meets criteria for depression, and that antidepressants might help him with some of his neuropathic pain. He knows it's just as likely, though, that causation runs in the other direction - that the pain is what's making him miserable, and that if he felt better at some point, then he might feel better too.
If this were any other patient, he would decide there was no harm in treating for both, and would dose the guy up with painkillers and antidepressants until he figured out the right answer. But he's not any other patient, and more importantly, Wilson and Cuddy are not him. Half the time, their thought process closely resembles that of a fish or a third-grader. God help him if they start to think depression is causing his pain... if he lets them latch onto that idea they will cut his Vicodin.
His leg flares up at the mere thought of it. Some small part of him notes this as proof that there is indeed a psychosomatic component to his problems, but he silences it quickly. We are not going to be testing that theory, he snarls to himself - he's experienced enough detox lately to last a lifetime. His current pain management regimen is, for a certain definition of the word "working," working.
And who knows? Maybe he's been right all along, and it really is just a simple case of chronic pain causing a mild depression. Maybe it is. If that's the case, all he needs is to pop a little more Vicodin and everything will sort itself out.
He takes one more pill and leaves his office, glaring at the light under Wilson's door.
Wilson, in the meantime, sits in his office shaking his pill bottle. He's been trying to resist the urge to go knock House unconscious and drag him into therapy where he belongs... but he knows that would be counterproductive considering House won't even admit he has problems.
That's not true,Wilson reminds himself. He now says he is depressed, but refuses to seek treatment.
How ridiuclous is that? The guy who prides himself on being so rational balks because of some half-baked fear that medication will interfere with his cognition, will change him somehow. If only. "This isn't One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, House!" Wilson finally shouted today. "Nobody's forcing anything! I'm only trying to help you!"
Which, of course, following the Tritter and rehab disaster, was completely the wrong thing to say. House chased him out at once, and stayed alone in his office to do whatever it was that depressed people do when they're left alone and lonely.
(In Wilson's experience, this could mean anything from staring at infomercials, to going to bed before it's even dark out, to re-ordering room service six times in a vain effort to find something that will satisfy.)
Wilson himself hasn't done any of these things in weeks now - thanks to therapy and thanks to antidepressants. No thanks, of course, to House.
Anyway, he's in his office now, and he's glaring at his pills knowing they might help if he could only get House to agree to take them. Which will never happen.
Of course... unlike therapy, which would require House's participation, the drugs could always be given without his knowledge...
Wilson likes the idea at once and decides to run with it. Problem is, where is he going to get the pills from? Given his recent problems prescribing for House, he's not sure that writing more scrips for him is a good plan. Now why did you write this one, Dr. Wilson? he can hear Tritter purring at him. Isn't that your medication? House hasn't even seen a mental-health professional at all, has he. I see.
Prescribing it himself is out. Next he considers trying to share his own bottle. It could work for a week or so, but soon he will run out and then he'll be right where House is now, worrying about where his next fix is coming from and concocting lies upon lies to get more pills prescribed to him. I lost them... Dropped the bottle in the toilet... I had the flu and I kept puking them up...
Thanks, but no thanks.
Who can he get to prescribe him extra happy pills without asking him any questions?
The answer limps past his office just a few moments later. Wilson almost laughs aloud. Well, if I get busted, at least he won't turn me in to Cuddy... or the cops, he thinks. A good friend is someone who will help you move, but a best friend is someone who will help you move a body.
He's already inside House's office before the thought strikes him that perhaps that was House's reasoning behind stealing his pad - not some perverse desire to strain their friendship past its breaking point.
He feels guilty for not considering that sooner, but easily pushes it away because now he is actually doing something to help. He gets a sick little thrill the first time he sets the name on paper. He practices for half a page first - unlike House, he's determined to manage at least an approximately passable forgery - and then opens the drawer to hunt for the pad.
House has some bizarre things in there. Wilson wonders about the brochure for the Galapagos Islands, and tries not to wonder about the razor blade. It's for crushing up pills to make them snortable, he tells himself firmly, even though the blade is nestled in between disinfectant and a styptic pencil.
Just as he starts writing out the prescription, someone walks by the office. It's only a nurse and she doesn't even look at him, but still, it takes Wilson a moment to start breathing again. His stomach is clenched up so hard it hurts. Poor House, he thinks. Stealing medication is nerve-wracking.
"Poor House?" he repeats aloud, incredulous. House is lucky. House has better friends than he realizes - friends who will go ahead with a plot they know they're eventually going to be punished for, just to help him.
Wilson hesitates a moment at the signature line. He's definitely going to kill me for this, he thinks, then holds his breath and does it.
Leave me love - nobody died this time!!
Edit: 120 hits and no reviews yet... does that mean you like it better when everyone dies?