"I can't believe it!" House came storming into Wilson's office one morning as fast as his good and bad leg could carry him. "I can't believe they ripped me off! Damn that Ebay! And I waited until the last possible minute to bid to ensure I'd be the highest bidder. And look what they send me!" He tossed two tattered looking Catwoman comic books and a large, shiny purple rock onto Wilson's desk. Wilson absently flipped through one of the comics.
"I didn't know you had a thing for cats." he commented.
"I don't," House said. "I have a thing for skin-tight vinyl and a whip. Plus, she has the biggest, roundest-"
"I take it this is not what you were expecting," Wilson quickly cut-off his friend from making a lewd comment.
"You don't think I'm stupid enough to bid on two torn comics and a rock, do you?" House demanded and Wilson only shrugged.
"What did you bid on?" he inquired.
"The first three issues of Catwoman, mint condition." House replied. "Two hundred dollars, gone!" he exclaimed, falling into the chair in front of Wilson's desk. "What am I supposed to do with two ripped comics and a useless rock?"
"You know you shouldn't trust those places, House," Wilson said, putting down the comic.
"It's Ebay!" House protested.
"Doesn't matter," Wilson shook his head and picked up the rock to look at it. "You send somebody a pile of money, you have no way of knowing if you'll get what you ordered or if you'll get anything at all." Wilson tossed the rock in the air and caught it. He did this several times while House sat there, fuming. Had he been a cartoon, smoke would have been coming out of his ears.
House dry-swallowed two Vicodin as Wilson, once again, studied the rock. Upon closer inspection, he noticed a thin line going all the way around it. He twisted it and out popped another, heavier stone and a piece of paper. It piqued House's curiosity.
"What the hell?" He was bewildered as he looked at the rock and Wilson read the note:
"Misuse of this stone could result in a terrible curse."
"Hah!" House scoffed. "Like I'm not cursed enough already!"
"Be careful what you wish for." Wilson finished.
"I suppose if I rub this, a genie will pop out?" House said, his voice laced with sarcasm. He tossed the rock back to Wilson. "Here, you first. Make a wish. Let's see if my two hundred dollars did pay off."
Wilson didn't believe a word of what the note said and neither did House, but at least it would be funny.
Wilson rubbed the rock and made a wish.
"I wish for the perfect woman." he said, sighing dreamily.
House rolled his eyes.
"Leave it to you to wish for the impossible," he said. "Give me that thing."
Wilson threw it over to House. He rubbed it dramatically and squeezed his eyes shut.
"I wish for a never ending supply of Vicodin."
Wilson laughed. Only House would wish for that.
"House, as long as I'm around to write your prescriptions, you'll never run out." Wilson pointed out.
House shrugged. "I guess I got my wish then." He chuckled. "You want to keep the rock?" he offered.
"What would I want a rock for?" Wilson asked. "Why don't you keep it?"
House handed it to Wilson.
"Just throw it out." House said.
The minute they both had their fingers on the rock, there was a huge blast of light and they were both knocked to the floor, unconscious. The rock was blasted from their hands and shattered into a million pieces.
Wilson wasn't sure how long he'd been laying there before he finally woke up. His head hurt, so he figured he must have hit it. He didn't see House anywhere and realized that he was probably on the floor, on the other side of the desk. He had no idea what had just happened. But he knew it had something to do with that rock.
"House?" Wilson called out to his friend and then suddenly clapped a hand over his mouth. That wasn't his voice! His hand felt a lot bigger, too. He looked at it. Darker, rough and slightly calloused, with the imprint of something on it. That wasn't his hand! His hands were always soft, smooth, with neatly trimmed nails. Wilson propped himself up on what he thought were his elbows, concerned. He still felt like himself. Why did he not sound like himself and what happened to his hands? He looked around and saw House's cane laying beside him. Then he looked down and saw House's clothes on him. Realization had almost hit him. Then, a sharp pain shot through his right leg and he winced in pain.
Oh God, he thought. I'm House!
This was impossible. He had to be dreaming. Or he was still unconscious. There was no such thing as body transfer. He dug the heels of his hands into his eyes and tried to clear his head. Then he heard the sound of his own voice, only it was coming from the other side of the desk.
"Wilson, what the hell just-" House clapped his hand over his mouth, shocked at the sound that came out. He tried to clear his throat, but even that didn't sound like him.
They both lay there, on opposite sides of the desk, silent, too scared to say anything. They could only hear each other breathing. It was quick and worried. Wilson's right leg was killing him. He tried to ignore it, but it wasn't easy. Is this what House had to deal with everyday? Because it was a lot worse than Wilson had figured.
He couldn't lay there all day. He was expecting patients. He stood up, bracing himself on the edge of his desk. House heard Wilson get up and he rose to his feet as well. They turned to face each other and their mouths fell open in horror. They saw themselves! It was like looking in a mirror.
"What the hell am I doing over there?" House demanded in Wilson's voice. Again, he clapped a hand over his mouth.
"My God," Wilson whispered, practically cringing at the deep voice that came from his lips. "House… you're me. I'm… I'm you."
"I can see that, Wilson!" House snapped. Wilson never heard his own voice so angry before. "Quick, where's that rock? We have to touch it again."
Wilson pointed to a pile of dust on the floor, where the rock had fell and shattered.
"I think that may have been our rock, House," he said. House was having a hard time hearing his own voice coming from somewhere else.
On Wilson's desk, the shell that had contained the rock had also disintegrated into a pile of dust. All that was left was the note with the warning on it. House grabbed it and put it in the pocket of the lab coat he was wearing, the one Wilson always wore.
"We have to get Cuddy." House declared.
House and Wilson had decided to just page Cuddy, rather than walk to her office in their new bodies. Plus, Wilson's leg was killing him; he didn't feel like moving at all. His face was crunched up in pain as they waited for Cuddy.
"Are you going to sit there cringing or are you going to take some Vicodin?" House asked Wilson, his lips curling into a slight smirk.
"Forget it!" Wilson retorted. "I am not supporting your drug habit. Besides, I don't plan on living the rest of my life in your body. I'll deal with the pain."
"Fine, go ahead and suffer," House shrugged. "You just wait a few days until it gets to be unbearable. Then the drugs will become your best friend."
The pain in his leg was already unbearable. But Wilson was determined not to take Vicodin. As long as he was in House's body, he was not about to further the damage that had already been done. But the pain…
House was busy looking at his new hands, looking down his shirt at his new chest, moving his new legs and running his fingers through thick, wavy hair. Wilson reached into his pocket, where he knew House kept his pills and quickly took one without House noticing. The pain had won over his determination.
But it's only one, thought Wilson. He was certain one would be enough.
Finally, Cuddy entered the office.
"Took you long enough!" House spat and Cuddy looked shocked because to her, it was Wilson who had said it.
"I didn't realize you were so impatient, Dr. Wilson." she said, crossing her arms.
"Lisa, we need your help," Wilson piped up and again, she looked shocked. House never called her by her first name.
"What's going on here?" Cuddy demanded. She knew something was up.
"We switched bodies!" Wilson blurted out.
For a moment, Lisa Cuddy didn't say anything. She wrinkled her brow, skeptically.
"Very funny, House," she said to Wilson. "If you made me come all the way up here for this, I see some extra clinic hours in your futures. Both of you!" she added, firmly. "Frankly, I'm surprised," She looked at House. "Something like this coming from you, Dr. Wilson?"
"He's Dr. Wilson," said House, pointing at Wilson who was rubbing his right leg again.
"That's enough!" Cuddy raised her voice with a note of absolute warning. "I don't have time for your games. I'm going back to my office." She started to leave.
"Lisa, wait!" Wilson called to her and limped towards the door.
"And stop calling me Lisa!" she said. "It gives me the creeps, House. You only use my first name when you're trying to annoy me and right now, I am beyond annoyed."
Both House and Wilson sighed. This was impossible and frustrating. Who would ever believe such an outrageous story anyway?
"Dr, Cuddy, please," Wilson begged, this time not daring to call her Lisa. "I'm Wilson. I swear to you with all my being." House rolled his eyes. Cuddy regarded Wilson for a moment. He looked like House, he sounded like House… but not completely. There was a sincerity in his voice that was so un-House-like, she almost wanted to believe them. But she sill wasn't convinced. House was also a pretty damn good actor.
"Alright, prove to me that you're not House," she challenged and the two of them gawked at her as though she had asked the impossible. Wilson had no idea what he could say or do to prove that it was, in fact him in House's body. House, on the other hand, had an idea.
"Let's see now," House mused, scratching his chin and noticing that Wilson had shaved quite thoroughly because there wasn't a bit of stubble to be found. "You know, Cuddy, for starters, it wasn't me who took you on a date to the museum."
"It wasn't a date!" Wilson and Cuddy shouted at the same time. They looked at one another in surprise and Cuddy saw a puppy-dog eyes look on House's face she had never seen before. But now she knew it was Wilson. House just smiled.
"My God…" she muttered.
"Now do you believe us?" House demanded.
Cuddy nodded, very slowly.
"Oh my God, James, how's your leg?" she suddenly asked. House was furious.
"What the hell is this?" he exclaimed. "When it's Jimmy, it's a big deal? When it's Greg House, nobody gives a damn! This is bull shit!"
"House, calm down," Cuddy said. "It's just that you're already used to it. James never had to deal with something like this before."
Wilson did not feel right about accepting sympathy from Cuddy, especially since she had never expressed it for House.
"It's fine, Lisa." Wilson said quickly. "I'll be fine."
Cuddy wasn't convinced, but she didn't press him any further. Plus, she couldn't bare to see the furious look House had managed to put on his new face.
"Don't scowl like that, please," she said to House. "Don't forget whose face that is. It's not very becoming at all."
House relaxed his new features, reluctantly.
"How exactly did this happen?" Cuddy asked. "I mean this is something out of a science fiction movie. It's like Freaky Friday or something."
"More like Moronic Monday." House quipped.
Wilson sighed. He was in no mood for House's dry humor. Especially coming from what used to be his mouth.
"There was this rock," Wilson explained. "House got it from some guy on Ebay, selling comics. When we both touched it at the same time, we switched bodies."
"You bought a rock from somebody on Ebay?" She turned around and looked at House. "Are you insane? For God's sake, House, why can't you just do like everyone else and bid on an Xbox or something?"
"I didn't bid on a rock, Cuddy, I bid on some comics," House informed her, his scowl resurfacing. "And in case you were wondering, I didn't get those, either. They just sent me that stupid rock." He handed her the note that had come with it. She read it and handed it back.
"That doesn't explain much." Cuddy sighed and pinched the bridge of her nose, thinking. "Did you try touching the rock again, together?" she suggested.
Wilson pointed to the small pile of ashes on the office floor.
"That's what's left of the rock," he told her.
She let out a long, tired breath.
"I don't know what to do, then," she said. "First of all, we can't tell anyone. You'll just have to continue like everything is normal."
"Easy for you to say," said House, dryly. "You're not the one who has to pretend to be Saint Jimmy, the boy-wonder oncologist."
"I don't see what you're complaining about," Wilson shot back. "I'm the one who has to deal with those three ducklings of yours."
The team! If anyone would be able to tell something was up, it would definitely be Chase, Cameron and Foreman. They knew House and his mannerisms better than anyone. As much as he hated to admit it, House knew they were sharp.
"Well, I'll tell them," Cuddy decided. "They'd figure it out eventually, anyway, as unreal as it is." She looked sympathetically at her switched colleagues. The sarcastic look did not suit Wilson's face, just as the genuinely sad look didn't suit House's face. "In the meantime, maybe you can search Ebay or anywhere else on the Internet to see if you can buy a rock that looks just like the one that did this to you. Then maybe you can switch back the same way."
"Good idea," Wilson said and Cuddy couldn't help acting surprised again. Even though it was Wilson, it still sounded like House and he had never, ever given her credit for an idea before. Mostly, he opposed her. She enjoyed the moment, briefly.
"I'll reschedule my appointments," said Wilson, then looked at House. "Or rather, I'll get you to ask Marg to do it. She'll think you're playing a prank if I do it, looking like this." He chuckled.
House heaved a huge sigh, grabbed Wilson's appointment book and walked out the door to talk to Marg, the receptionist. It took him a moment to get used to Wilson's legs, but not too long. It felt great to have use of two legs. And two young legs, at that!
When House was gone, Cuddy turned to Wilson.
"Seriously, how is your leg, James?" she inquired.
"It's killing me!" Wilson confessed. "I don't know what to do. I… I did take one Vicodin." he admitted, sheepishly.
Cuddy's pretty eyes grew very wide.
"No, James! No Vicodin!" she scolded him. "Give me the bottle." Wilson surrendered the pills. "You know it's highly addictive. I really can't have two doctors addicted to it. I'll get you something else for your - er - House's leg." she promised. "Be careful." She left the room and Wilson wondered if there was any medication that Cuddy could get that would be strong enough to ease that horrible pain. House seemed to think that the only solution was Vicodin. Wilson didn't want to become dependant on that. Once they found an identical rock, it would only be a matter of days before they would be back in their own bodies again and Wilson wouldn't have to worry about a sore leg anymore.
To be continued….