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Genre: Slash, hurt/comfort
Table: 3: Occasions
Prompt: 04. Winter
Words: 2 153
Characters: Gregory House, James Wilson
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations from the tv-show "House M.D.", created and owned by NBC/Universal, David Shore and others. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Summary: "Good drivers have been known to have accidents too," Wilson pointed out uselessly. House simply shrugged.
Author's notes: Response to prompt 4 on my Occasions table. Hurt/comfort, fluff. Comments are, as always, extremely appreciated.
He'd told House to be careful. He knew it wouldn't matter – it never did – because House wouldn't listen. House was never careful, especially not with his own life.
Fall had just turned into winter, the first snowflakes falling only just this morning, a beautiful sight just beyond their window. Wilson had woken with one arm around House's waist, snuggled tight in blankets and keeping warm with the help of House's body heat. It had been a lovely way to start the day. House didn't like cuddling, but if they woke up intertwined, he'd allow it to continue. Wilson usually pretended to sleep whilst getting comfortable against House, if they woke up apart. He suspected House knew this, but apparently, he was okay with it.
Two hours later, when they were up and about, cuddling long gone and a breakfast made and eaten, Wilson had been called in to work. The sound of the pager's beep cut through the audio of House's TV-show.
"I've got to go in," Wilson said.
"Amazingly, I had figured out that that was what the beeping meant," House said. "I am that smart."
"I'll be back in an hour or so," Wilson said.
"Yeye," House said. "Go frolic with your cancer kiddies, I'm sure they've missed you. I'm going for a ride. Need some freedom."
"On your motorcycle?" Wilson asked as he grabbed his coat and put it on.
"Not much freedom in a car," House said, as though this was an obvious fact.
Wilson frowned. "Be careful. It just snowed this morning. The roads are treacherous."
"The snow's all gone," House said. "And unlike you, I'm a good driver. Great, really."
"Good drivers have been known to have accidents too," Wilson pointed out uselessly. "And there may be ice left."
House simply shrugged. Wilson sighed and left, his office and work waiting. He hoped it would be a quick visit, so that he could return home. He wanted to have time to make a real dinner – he rarely had the time to cook, and he'd bought groceries and even wine for the night.
An hour later, his heart nearly stopped with fear when Cuddy came into his office, clearly distressed. There were lines on her face, and she hadn't knocked, which always meant bad news.
"House—is downstairs," she said, voice shaking. "An ambulance just brought him in."
His voice was empty, hollow with shock.
"It was—a motorcycle accident," she said. She wrung her hands, thin fingers never stilling.
Wilson was on his feet, passing her, running down the corridor. His heart beat a stressed drum roll in his chest, each step feeling like it took forever, each second passing as though it was an eternity. Downstairs meant House hadn't yet been passed off to surgery or the ICU. Cuddy hadn't gotten as far as to how badly injured House had been, but if he'd been brought in by ambulance—
He ran down the stairs, two at a time, unable to wait for the elevator. Some part of him realized that nothing would get better from him falling and breaking his neck, but he didn't, so it didn't matter. He ran into the emergency room, white coat flaring behind him. He felt like the anti-Superman, the one who couldn't stop the accidents, who couldn't save anyone.
Who couldn't save House.
Though the ER was busy as usual, only one bed was surrounded by doctors and nurses. They swarmed around like ants around left-over food, and Wilson felt his blood freeze at the sight of a jeans clad leg, ripped and bloody. They were cutting it off as he stared.
The nurse by his head moved back slightly and Wilson caught sight of House's face. There was some bruising and bleeding, but his eyes were open – and he was staring straight at Wilson.
Wilson had never been so happy to see those blue eyes.
Wilson rushed forward, kneeling to get down to House's level.
"God, what did you do this time?"
"You think 'm God?" House said, voice soft and slightly wheezy. His eyes fell shut for a brief moment, before he seemed to force himself to open them again.
"Obviously not," Wilson said. "God wouldn't be in a traffic accident."
"'t wasn't a traffic accident," House said. "Was an ice-and-tree accident."
Images came to Wilson instantly, filling his mind with ideas of just what had happened to get House into this state. He grabbed a sterilized napkin and swabbed at House's face, wiping blood from a cut just above his eyebrow, while the others worked on the rest of House's body. The marks on his face and throat suggested that he'd worn his helmet.
There was a small part of him that wasn't surprised by what had happened – he had known that House would ignore his warnings about the ice. It didn't make it any easier to watch House in pain now. House hissed and growled as someone did something to him. Wilson looked down and saw House's bleeding leg – his good leg – which was obviously broken.
"What are you trying to do, rip it off with your bare hands?" House yelled at them, fighting to sit up but being forced back down by Wilson and two nurses.
"Calm down," Wilson said. He spoke softly, hoping to relax House slightly. "What happened?"
"I know what you're trying to do," House gasped, pressing out words between gritted teeth. "Can't make me forget 'bout the pain by asking me—questions. 's a constant—companion."
"I can try," Wilson said. He took House's hand in his own and squeezed. House's fingers were cold, probably from riding the motorbike wearing only thin gloves. They still felt familiar and safe in Wilson's grasp, and he didn't let go, even when the nurse on the other side looked at their clasped hands.
"Dr. Wilson, we're taking him to surgery."
Wilson realized that it was Dr. Cameron speaking. He hadn't even noticed she was there. She continued talking, eyes wide with that constant worry that she always seemed to emanate. He didn't listen, his fingers wrapping tightly around House's, their gazes meeting steadily, when House wasn't gasping and writhing in pain, despite the pain meds they were administering.
"I'll be here when you wake up," Wilson said.
"If 't makes you feel better," House said.
Wilson rolled his eyes, shaking his head with a pained smile. He bent down and placed a quick kiss on House's forehead, ignoring the fact that House hated public displays of affection, and that hardly anyone knew that they were together at all. It felt good, the intimate feeling the forehead kiss lent.
He felt Cameron's stare at the back of his head, and he knew that she must have suspected. He ignored her; she was nothing right now. Only House mattered.
"I'm not staying for me," Wilson said softly.
He followed them as they wheeled House to surgery, still holding House's hand. Dr. Chase was waiting for them in the OR – apparently, House had asked to have him as his surgeon as soon as he reached PPTH. He took in the scene with a nod to Wilson, appearing calm and collected, scrubs on and hands clean and ready to work.
"You'll be watching?" he asked.
Wilson nodded. House's condition wasn't life-threatening, but surgery always carried a certain danger, and with traffic accident victims, there was always the possibility of internal bleeding. Besides, it wouldn't matter if House was only having his tonsil's removed – Wilson would still be there, whether House wanted to or not. The latter seemed more likely, really.
He went upstairs to the viewing area. There he paced back and forth, never taking his eyes off as they worked on House, unable to stand still. Chase was a quick, efficient and precise surgeon and Wilson understood why House had wanted him. Still, Wilson's heart beat hard, his mouth dry as a desert, craving water but unable to get anything down. Cuddy came and offered him something to drink, something to eat, but he couldn't make himself. His throat constricted at the mere thought of food or drink.
Only later, when he sat next to House in a chair, his fingers once more laced with House's, did the shock of House's accident finally strike him. He was a doctor, and he'd seen things that most people never would and it didn't affect him, but when House was the one—he couldn't stop his own shock. He felt himself start to shake, and was glad for the blanket Cuddy had already wrapped around his shoulders. He felt cold, shivering, and his eyes burned with unshed tears of fear that were only barely held back. The fear and worry of the last few hours finally released its hold on him, and he held onto House's hand like a lifeline.
"'m I dying?"
Wilson looked up to find House gazing at him sleepily through lids that were only barely open. He was pale, but awake.
"What? No," Wilson said.
House's voice was hoarse as he talked, barely holding together after the anesthesia. "'cause you look crap, and you only look like that when I'm dying or 've done something really stupid."
Wilson let out a dry chuckle. "You drove on icy roads and said hi to a tree with your head. It might be considered stupid."
He stood up and took an ice cube from the small stand by the bed, placing it first to House's lips, wetting them, and then slipped it into his mouth.
"But 'm not dying?" House asked, once the ice had melted.
"No, not this time," Wilson said softly.
House cocked his head and looked up at him suspiciously. "You kissed my forehead, didn't you?"
Wilson blushed slightly, but smiled. "That I did."
"In public," House grumbled.
"I held your hand too."
House glared at him. "You're a little minx, you know. Taking advantage of me like that."
"Oh, yeah, I'm horrible for worrying about you," Wilson said, rolling his eyes.
"It's not like it helps," House said.
"No, but us humans worry sometimes anyway, even though it won't help," Wilson said. "You should try it sometime."
"Nu-uh," House said. "'m God, remember?"
"Delusions of grandeur," Wilson said. "Impressive, with one bad leg and the other one in a cast, a couple of broken ribs and a twisted wrist. You know, you're gonna have to use a wheelchair for a while."
House made a face. "I think I'll just stay in bed. Hey, here's an idea – you can be my servant!"
Wilson smiled slightly. "Aren't I already?"
House looked up at him, eyes rather wide, and so very blue. Wilson's heart churned at the thought of House dead – his head supplied him with plenty of ways: the goddamn motorcycle, or a madman with a gun, or a knife in the electrical socket, or an infarction—it made him hurt, and he did the only thing he could think of to ease his pain – he kissed House gently, lips brushing softly against each other.
House's lips were still a bit cold from the ice, but there was always such a feeling of coming home when Wilson kissed House.
"You're taking advantage of the fact that I can't run away," House said when Wilson pulled back. "Kissing in public."
"Oh, stop whining," Wilson said, and he ran a hand through House's hair, just to assure himself that House was there, as safe and real as he ever was. "Everyone knows already. Deal with it."
"You're gonna have to make it up to me," House said.
"How? We're not going to have sex as long as you've got a broken leg," Wilson said.
"Oh, don't be so sure of that," House said, grinning.
Wilson sat back down, grasping House's hand in his own. House looked at him with an eyebrow raised, and Wilson met his gaze evenly, challenging him to say anything. House stared back for a minute, and Wilson imagined he could see a thanks in those blue depths – an I love you, one that would never be voiced, but a thank you nonetheless. He hoped House could see the same thing in his own eyes.
House stayed quiet. He let his eyelids close, breathing eventually evening out into sleep. Wilson smiled slightly at the sight, and wondered what House would say if Wilson crept up into bed with him, nuzzling his head into the crook of House's neck, and wrapping an arm carefully around House's waist. It probably wouldn't go over too well, and Wilson didn't want to deal with a nurse or five running into the room and finding them. Besides, House had a broken rib, and Wilson didn't want to aggravate that further.
So Wilson sat by House's side, and picked up the book Cuddy had brought for him.
He didn't get much reading done amidst the House-watching.