.

.

.

"We'll meet you in the parking garage," she tells him, and then softens her voice. "Thank you for doing this. It ... it means a lot to him."

"It's not about him; this is for his mother's sake," Wilson huffs, and hangs up the phone. He's lying, of course -- to her, to himself, to everyone. Cuddy knows this, but it only makes them even: she's been lying too.

She told Wilson that House said he would go, on the condition that Wilson drove. House probably would do it -- the bait would likely be irresistible -- but there is only this one chance. Sedatives are fairly predictable. House is not.

With just twenty minutes until Wilson arrives, she's got to act, and act fast.

.


.
.

"You ... you tranked him?!" If Wilson's eyes get any wider, they're going to pop out, drop onto the concrete and roll away. House, if he were awake rather than passed out on this gurney, would be very amused. "Cuddy, you can't ... you can't do that!"

"I can and I did." She nods to Kutner, who steps forward and loads House's backpack into the rear seat of Wilson's car. "You might want to put his cane in the trunk."

"You tranked him. Because he never agreed to --"

"Wilson. Right now, you can lecture me, you can drive away and leave Blythe House waiting, or you can take the idiot 'as is' and get this over with." She pulls a third syringe -- the first had been the sedative; the second, the IG that House really did need -- from her coat pocket. "If you want more than another ten minutes' peace, I suggest you help me roll him over."

She knows that defeated sag in Wilson's shoulders. It usually doesn't make her smile, but today it does.

"What is that?"

"Nembutal. Same thing I used on him fifteen minutes ago. I couldn't stay there to monitor him, so I didn't use enough to last very long. A second dose should keep him out for a while."

Sighing and scowling, Wilson helps her roll House onto his side. He appears unconcerned about unbuckling his friend's belt and pulling down his jeans right there in the parking garage. "Not the first time he's shown his ass in public," Wilson mutters. "Won't be the last."
.

.


.

.

Kutner helps the two of them arrange his sleeping boss in the passenger seat. Cuddy shuts the door firmly, steps back, and finds Kutner blinking at her as if in some strange kind of awe.

"Wow," he says. "Wow. You're ... " Whatever's going through his head, he seems to think better of saying it.

"I'm in charge," she says. "I think you have a patient?"

Kutner turns and practically runs back inside.
.

.


.

.

She exhales, watching Wilson's angry red taillights disappear from the garage. So far, so good. He can be mad at her all he likes.

Wilson, foolish Wilson, must imagine that this -- like everything else -- is all about House. He surely believes that Cuddy drugged House just to get him out the door, into the car, off to the funeral, for House's sake and no other reason.

He's wrong.

He's Wilson, and she knows how to work him. She puts it on him to make Blythe happy, entrusts him with a helpless Greg House, and he caves. All his protests to the contrary, he's not thinking about himself any more than he ever has.

Cuddy slips the empty syringe into her pocket and says a short, silent prayer that at last, Wilson will take the one thing he most desperately needs.

After all, she practically gift-wrapped it for him.

.

~end~