Disclaimer: Do not own House MD, or the characters, and never will, sniff. Haven't been there, or done that, but bought the DVD's. Just playing with the alphabet and look! Some words spell 'House' and 'Wilson'.

A/N: The idea wouldn't go away until written. Please R&R, and let me know what you think about this kind of story. If you don't like, I will tuck similar stories away on my c/ drive, and never let them see the light of day. Unbeta'd. All mistakes are my own.


Moving Past the Pain

Always the early bird, Wilson's obsessive punctuality is affecting his internal clock. He arrives earlier to work each week until only the night security guard is on duty in the lobby to greet him. He prefers this schedule, appreciating the empty hallways, and the muffling quiet of his office.

No one to disturb him, he savors the wall of cool air that greets him when he unlocks his office door, allowing the chill to envelope him like a plunge into a refreshing mountain lake. The trick is to vanish into his office before any doctors or nurses notice him, and before the icy air escapes

Working by the light of his monitor, he reads and replies to emails, forwards Cuddy's announcements to his staff, and fires off his own directives in rapid succession. The same with phone messages. This insulating morning routine overtakes and replaces his compulsive need for neediness. Concentrating on work, and avoiding people is a screwed up coping mechanism, but his therapist accepts it as long as they both agree it is a stop gap measure.

Darkness fades into dawn as light paints the office walls with a phantom glow. Slowly, the muted voices of House's fellows drift into his consciousness, chipping away at his concentration. Checking the small clock in front of him, he slips off his sports jacket, and replaces it with the immaculate white one hanging from the coat tree. Time for rounds.

Returning, he begins charting the files of the patients he saw this morning. Wilson pinches the bridge of his nose. Six charts transfer from brown folders to blue. Four patients may not make it to the end of the week. He feels more like a drug dealer than a physician. Perhaps he is burning out.

Dazzling light streams through his balcony drawing him outside. Wilson breathes in the summer air and lets it out slowly, allowing the radiating warmth to relax his muscles. Eyelids droop as he drifts to a familiar memory. He is striding down the hospital halls matching House's gait, attempting to ignore the doctor's endless interrogation about . . . about . . . what?

"What House?" Wilson's head snaps up from his brief nap to find a vicodin bottle rattling in front of his nose, and grizzled features looking down at him with a flash of unguarded concern.

"Wakey, wakey, Wilson. Did you break your personal best coming into work today?" What are you going to do with all the money you save from your newspaper route? Buy a new set of wheels?"

"Very funny House. Have you considered changing careers and becoming a professional comedian? I'm sure you could give Don Rickles a run for his money."

"What would be the fun? I already have patients 'Screaming in the aisles' "

"Yes. Well, I suppose it gives a whole new meaning to 'Knocking 'em dead'." Wilson smiles, but his hand moves to the back of his neck as his muscles tighten. He knows what's coming, but isn't sure how he will respond to House's next question. "I repeat, what do you want, House?"

The pill bottle is once again shaking under his nose. Two or three pills dance up and down in the amber cage. "Pills, Wilson I need more pills."

"There is nothing to discuss. Can't you just let it go?"

"Nooooo. Having to deal with Cuddy as my boss, and as my attending overexposes me to her overexposed breasts. At least, you keep yours covered with a shirt and a tie. It's easier on my blood pressure. You can't be serious about Cuddy prescribing for me."

"Yes, I can. If you prefer, I will refer you to Brown or any other pain specialist, but I can't deal with you and your vicodin addiction right now."

House raises his voice in agitation, limping back and forth in front of Wilson, "But, I keep telling you my liver is not your responsibility!"

House barely hears Wilson's husky reply, but the brown eyes signal a message straight to the diagnostician's heart, "House, it's not your liver, that bothers me. Wilson blushes with shame, It's . . . I can't get past my jealousy of your pain."

Leaning against his cane, House is speechless as Wilson's hands reach for the wheels on his chair, and with a few deft maneuvers, disappears into the seclusion of his office.

Fin