Disclaimer: I do not own House M.D.
His leg, his head, his chest, all of it was burning in a variety of sharp and dull and familiar pains. It was as if someone had thrown him on a bed of needles, both literally and emotionally. He wanted to see Wilson, to see he could salvage their friendship before the oncologist would grow to loathe him.
House stared longingly at his coat, slung over the chair a mere few feet away from his bed. The monitor beeped steadily nearby, creating a dull background noise that only seemed to aggravate House's head. In the black blazer's pocket held a bottle of unopened vicodin, stocked full and ready to heal pain. He groaned, massaging softly at his aching leg. His cane wasn't even in reach.
Ignoring the stabbing pain, House slipped out of the bed and grabbed onto his IV stand firmly. He hobbled carefully over to the chair, wincing with ever step he shuffled. He didn't remember his leg hurting this badly since a year or so.
Finally, anticipation shining on his face like a child seconds before devouring a chocolate sundae, he groped through the dark pocket and withdrew the bottle. He deftly opened the bottle and shook several pills onto his palm. House hastily swallowed them before Cuddy would return to his room to chastise him on defying the meds with vicodin.
With a sigh, House rolled the IV stand and himself back to the bedside. He fell onto the mattress with as much vigilance as he could muster, biting onto his bottom lip as another samurai sword slashed sharply at his thigh. He rubbed it soothingly.
He needed to see Wilson. Apologize for Amber's death and his lack of help – surely he had aided his friend in trying to save the girl but he hadn't helped enough. He felt responsible for not stopping Amber from taking the amantadine, not realizing sooner, not valuing their friendship enough to do deep brain stimulation earlier.
House kneaded at his temples. Normally he wouldn't be so concerned about Wilson's state. Normally House wouldn't blame everything on himself. Running a rough hand over his forehead, the doctor concluded that it must be the meds messing with his mind. He looked over to the monitor, his dosage written on the board in scarlet neon letters.
House groaned. He wouldn't be able to do anything here, stuck in a cloud of linens and a stiff bed. He would get routine visits from Cuddy and his team – never Wilson – but if there was a case he wouldn't be able to do a very thorough job treating and diagnosing a patient while resting himself.
He didn't need the rest.
He frustratingly threw off his sheets, reaching to yank to curtain closed so he could get dressed. He was just about to shrug off his hospital gown when the hangings were jerked open with a loud and obnoxious screeching from the metal curtain rings shrieking on the rod. Cuddy stood disapprovingly by the bed, a fistful of curtain still grasped in her fingers.
"Do you yank open the curtains with all of your patients? Because then all of lawsuits of me assaulting patients is a drop in a bucket compared to your crimes, Cuddy." House snapped irritably, attempting to close the curtains again.
"Are you changing?"
House sighed. "It's not what it seems. It looks like I'm putting on my pants, but I'm actually burning down the hospital."
"You wouldn't think that a person who just went though a complex partial seizure would have as much energy as you do." Cuddy replied, rubbing her forehead in her hands. "Would you get back into the bed? I'm not letting you leave without full treatment."
House sighed, still holding his pants in his fingers, raising his eyebrows at his boss. "Cuddy. I have people to save. Lives to rescue. I'm going to leave the room whether you want me to or not, because I'm a lot stronger than you are and also a lot cooler." He smirked impishly, closing the curtains roughly in her censorious face.
He had just gotten his pants on when Cuddy opened the curtain again, a smug smirk playing on her face as she brandished House's cane.
"You're not gonna be able to hobble forever." She said, a satisfied smile on her lips.
"Now that's cruel. It's like taking the wheelchair away from a cripple just as he's about to sit down."
"You want the cane? Lie down for another hours." She flourished it suggestively, twirling it slowly in her fingers.
House threw on his shirt, reaching for his shoes. He slid off the bed, giving Cuddy a pointed stare of undefeated firmness in the situation. He winced with every step, trying to walk lightly with as little pressure as possible.
Cuddy tutted incredulously behind him, putting a hand on her hip before tapping the cane on the floor. "Where are you limping off to, Grandpa?"
"I need to see Wilson."
"Yeah. He's the one who was in the major bus accident who could die any second if he's removed from bypass."
House stopped in his tracks, racking his brain for a recollection.
"What is it?" Cuddy asked concernedly from behind him, House's cane still in hand.
"Did Amber die last night?"
The brown-haired woman sighed softly, silently staring at the floor. "Wilson removed her from bypass himself. Died seconds after."
"And you made jokes about her death. Now that's just mean, Cuddy." The older man admonished playfully, a hint of teasing at the edge of his voice.
Cuddy grabbed House's arm firmly. "Don't you think it would be better if you let Wilson get through it himself right now? It's the morning after her death."
"He needs a friend. This is exactly what happened with his wives."
"He didn't love his wives anymore. And they didn't die!"
"When will you realize that arguing will do you no good? Now are you going to hand me my damn cane or not?"
Cuddy sighed, reluctantly handing over the cane. "Fine. But only because Wilson is having a hard time."
House hadn't listened anymore. He hurried away, the aid of his cane helping immensely. He rapped on his friend's door, listening for movement through the thick would, the silver peeling letters James Wilson pressing painfully against his ear.
"Wilson? Wilson, let me in."
No response. House sighed, knocking harder this time. "It'll hurt my leg a lot more when I have to go around through the balcony. Come on, Wilson, it hurts!" House pined histrionically, "Fine." He finally said when there was not a sound heard on the other side of the door.
House limped his way over his office and balcony until he could spy into the meticulously shiny door and windows to Wilson's office.
A small grin laughed its way out of the doctor's lips when he saw Wilson, head on the desk and forehead rested in the crook of his elbow in a deep sleep. House opened the balcony door before roughly slamming his cane against the wall.
The younger man gave a sudden start, blinking rapidly and rising from the desk with a glance to his wristwatch.
"House," he mumbled, "I'm sleeping."
"No. You were sleeping," House said quietly, still unsure about how his friend felt about House and whether he blamed him for Amber's death, "you have a friend who wants to talk to you."
"For the first time ever." Wilson muttered, straightening out in his chair.
"And probably the last time," House admitted, shrugging. He twirled his cane into intricate movement with his hand, giving a fixed gaze on Wilson's unresponsive chocolate eyes, completely unreadable in emotion. "Why were you sleeping in your office?"
"I couldn't sleep last night," Wilson confessed, "was up most of the night. I was too tired to work when I got in."
House laid his chin calmly on his cane, silent for a moment. Wilson stared at his desk.
"Are you angry with me?" the diagnostician finally asked.
"I was," Wilson said, "I thought about it for most of the night. I thought that you should have stopped her from taking the amantadine or didn't make her pick you up. It was… a desperate attempt to act like this wasn't my fault. That I didn't just kill my girlfriend. But at the end of the night I ended up blaming myself."
"Do you need a hug?" House offered.
Wilson looked up surprisingly, furrowing his eyebrows, "You never offer to hug me. What's wrong?"
House shrugged. "Meds have gone to my head."
Wilson sighed, looking at his lap as though it held all of the answers in the world. "So can I have that hug?" he pleaded in a small, hopeful voice.
"As long as these meds are making me want to hug people, you might as well take advantage of it." he reasoned, meekly holding out his arms.
Wilson got up from his chair, embracing his friend with a strength that could crush wood. He buried his face in House's shoulder, who awkwardly patted Wilson on the back. He never hugged people. He barely even hugged his friends. People occasionally hugged him. Grateful patients, thankful parents, but never did he entirely return those hugs. Wilson gave a strangled sob, attempting to keep his tears to himself.
"I know that you want to say that," Wilson choked out in a stifled voice as he murmured into House's shirt, "I was too good for her. Or that she was a cutthroat bitch. But I don't think it's going to help."
"I think it should," House said logically, "the easiest way to get over pain is to make fun of it."
"Did you make fun of your leg?"
"No. But I did use it for my advantage. I could use the hey! Did you lose the feeling of your leg because your ex-wife consented to a procedure you weren't approving of? And people would stare at me blankly and shut up. It was the cripple card. You can use the dead girlfriend card."
"I don't want to." Wilson sobbed, his voice still muffled.
"Not yet," House said comfortingly, patting uneasily on his friend's back. "But you will."
"Can… can you try to convince me that I didn't miss out on anything? Make fun of her. Maybe… maybe it'll work."
"Okay," House agreed slowly, "she was an insufferable tattletale. She used her underwear to try to eliminate people in my game. She couldn't handle being wrong–"
"Wait, wait, wait," Wilson said, drawing in a breath and pulling back an inch, "what did she use her underwear for?"
House swayed on the spot, his mind wavering in between dismissing the comment and making an offhand sarcastic comment. He sighed.
They stayed into their one-sided embrace for a few seconds more with House becoming more uncomfortable by each nanosecond flitting by his brain. Finally Wilson pulled back, avoiding House's eyes and hastening back to his seat. He hid his tearing eyes in his palms.
"Hey," House said softly, gently attempting to soothe his friend, "at least you don't need a cane."
The brown-haired man gave a watery chuckle, wiping at his eyes.
"You'll get over this," House continued, "you'll wake up a few months from now without any pain. I never got over this, though." He feebly moved his leg and waved his cane.
"I'm sorry, House." Wilson murmured.
"For what? My leg?"
"No," he forcibly shook his head, taking a shuddering breath, "yesterday I wasn't being rational. I didn't think of you when I asked you to have brain stimulation. I was thinking of Amber. The entire night I was thinking about her life, not yours. It was selfish. You helped a lot, House."
Wilson let his large, sorrow-filled eyes lock gazes with House. "I still appreciate it."
House cocked an eyebrow suspiciously, tilting his head, "If you're giving me that look because you want another hug, then tough luck. Meds are wearing off."
"I know," the oncologist said, "you've softened, House. Maybe you think that you're still the same, but you've changed. You… thank you."
House chuckled, shaking his head, before he withdrew his bottle of vicodin again, "I save patient's lives every week. Every day, maybe," he said confidently, "and my best friend deserves saving too. Even if it because you're pining after Cutthroat Bitch."
Wilson furrowed his eyebrows together. "What did she do to get that nickname?"
"She was a bitch." House said, as though it had been obvious, "want lunch?"
Wilson sighed, "Why not?" he said, shrugging. "Wait. Do I have to pay again this time?"
House waggled a finger at Wilson, narrowing his eyes as though he was punished a child for dragging mud into the house. "You. Always mooching off of your friend."
"Yeah. That's me." Wilson rolled his eyes.
AN: I'd like to apologize for my lack of R/S writing. I will get to more oneshots, but right now I'm totally into House. I was rewatching all of the episodes and realized how much I loved season four and how much I hated Amber and how much I love H/W. Which, if you're reading this, you probably do too!
There will be slashy goodness ahead in the chapters. :D Can't wait to meet all of you in the House community. Review if you liked the first chapter!