Chapter 12

~ Four days later ~

The first thing that came to Wilson's mind was a stiff ache in his hips from lying down for so long. He groaned tiredly, cracking his eyes open and squinting in the bright fluorescent lighting.

"Hey," a female voice greeted him. "You're alive."

Blinking to rid his eyes of the blurriness, he attempted to sit up, his joints cracking. A gentle hand pushed him back down. "Don't move, you'll get dizzy."

He rubbed a hand over his eyes. "What happened?" he grumbled. Finally, he was able to clear his vision and see that the person speaking to him was Thirteen.

"What's the last thing you remember?" she asked.

"Uh…" he tried to think. "Getting a CT, I think…"

She smiled, giving him a pat on the shoulder. "That was a week ago."

"Jesus Christ," he swore. He must be worse of than he thought.

"You're Jewish," a gruff voice said from the doorway.

Wilson tensed. "Go away," he said.

Thirteen headed for the door, feeling awkward. "I'm…gonna let you two talk."

House limped over to the foot of the bed. "You've been unconscious for the past two days, and under full sedation for three days before that."

"What?" Wilson cried, pushing himself up on his elbows. "Why the hell— Whoa…" He gave his head a shake to try and clear the sudden blood rush.

"It's best if you take it slow," House advised.

Wilson ignored the advice and stayed where he was. "What happened to your face?" he asked.

"I pissed off a 300-pound cat," House answered.

"Yeah, right," Wilson said. "Did you find out what was wrong with me?"

House nodded. "South American bat lyssavirus."

Wilson's brows knitted together. "Lyssavirus? But that's—"

"It's a different string of the rabies virus more commonly known as Peruvian vampirism."

"You're pulling my leg."

House shrugged. "Well, the treatment worked," he said. "That's usually a sign that we got it right. Of course, I'm not sure the rest of the team is ever going to forgive you – we all had to get shots. Hurt like a bitch, too."

The sound of the door sliding open alerted them to the entrance of another visitor. "Good to have you back, Dr. Wilson," Cuddy said, leaning in. "House, can I talk to you for a minute?"

"The lady beckons," House said dramatically, following her out the door.

"I just wanted to let you know that I was able to…juggle some things around, and since nobody's pressing any charges against Wilson for the incident in the lobby…" she began. "As far as the paperwork is concerned, it never happened."

A smile crept onto House's face. "Well, I'll be damned. Dr. Cuddy has taken a leaf out of my book."

Cuddy grinned. "He'll be able to keep his job here for as long as he wants. And you," she tapped his chest. "You can go back to doing your clinic hours."

"You mean blowing them off."

Cuddy answered by rolling here eyes and re-entering Wilson's room. "How are you feeling?" she asked him, going to stand by the side of the bed.

"Better," Wilson answered.

House hovered in the doorway for a moment before turning to leave.

"House," Wilson called.

The gruff diagnostician stopped, poking his head back in. "What?"

"Thank you."

"Wilson, I would do anything," he said, entirely serious, "to get out of clinic duty."