AN: It's just House always says...if you take a person off the street and run a body scan you'll find five things wrong with them. And just like it is on the show, you have to do the tests to make sure everything is all right. Happily, while solving my own medical mystery I did not have a cardiac arrest, nor did I have anything truly wrong with me. Sometimes normal really is normal. :D And even though my own doctors were very professional, I couldn't help superimposing the gruff, acerbic nature of a misanthropic jerk over their lab coated nice-ness...
To Hani-Ha Wafflenut, dmarchl, and the numerous other people who emailed me and asked me to continue--thanks! You gave me something to keep busy with.
His pager woke him out of a dead sleep at 4:45. Squinting in the darkness, Wilson could make out DDX/House on the glowing screen and he sat up with a grunt. He scrubbed his face and yawned, deeply. Running his fingers through his hair, he grimaced at the greasy feeling. Getting to his feet, he donned his lab coat to hide the worst of the wrinkles before shuffling wearily down to the elevator. Stepping out on the third floor, he moved first to the coffee maker and got himself a cup before moving into House's room. House's fellows were spread around the room on chairs or leaning against the wall; all looked as tired as he felt. House was awake, but barely, Wilson decided. His eyes were half-lidded and though he was sitting up, he was leaning heavily on the pillows piled behind him.
"Everything ok?" he asked, sipping his coffee.
"We're working on a new DDX." Foreman supplied. He was sitting closest to House, looking rumpled and tired. "If it's not Wegner's, what else can it be?" he asked. House rubbed his eyes tiredly, let his hand fall back to the bed.
"It's never lupus." He pointed out dryly. Glancing over to Wilson, he indicated the cup and stared at it enviously. "You didn't think to bring one for everyone?"
"Thought you all would have gotten your own." Wilson leaned back against the wall carefully.
"Hello, cripple here. And they don't feed the inmates before seven." House was pouting, and Wilson rolled his eyes. "All right, I want you to do a venogram. Find out what we can see before the damned Wegner's punches a hole in something we can't fix." House ran a hand over his face again and sighed, heavily. Foreman rose from his chair and the fellows pushed away from the wall. Once they had filed out of the room, Wilson sank down in Foreman's chair.
"You want coffee?" he asked quietly. House shook his head after a moment, looking worn and tired. He didn't say anything as he pushed the button to lower the bed. As he slowly reclined, Wilson set his coffee aside and helped House lie back on the pillows. He slid one under House's right knee wordlessly, and was secretly proud that he'd guessed House's right leg was bothering him. House leaned back and closed his eyes once more. Wilson switched off the overhead light, and then sank down beside him and sipped at his coffee.
Within minutes, House was asleep; his slow, steady breathing was lulling, and Wilson felt himself nodding off despite the jolt of caffeine from the coffee. He longed to ask House about the accident, but resisted, setting his cup on the bedside table and leaning back in his chair. Hugging himself to stay warm, Wilson drifted off not long after.
He woke next to the door sliding open, and Foreman put his head in. "House?" he called quietly. On the bed, House stirred but didn't wake, and Wilson sat up.
"Sorry, Dr Wilson." Foreman apologized.
"What time is it?" Wilson asked tiredly.
"Just past eight. Is he ok?"
Wilson sighed, deeply. "I think he's just tired." Gesturing to the chart in his hands, Wilson asked, "What's up?"
"Venogram showed no sign of Wegner's. We did an MRI. There is a weird shadow near the gallbladder."
Casting a glance at House, Wilson held a hand out for the films, and then retracted it. "Give him half an hour. Let him get cleaned up and eat some breakfast." And some pain meds, he added silently. Eyeing Foreman, Wilson rubbed the back of his neck. "Take a break yourself. You've all been working for what, four days now?" Foreman looked ready to protest, but pressed his lips together and said nothing. He nodded and left quietly. Wilson got to his feet stiffly, and pressed the call button. The nurse who entered looked entirely too chipper—she was beaming when he asked her for a vitals check, and Wilson silently prayed House would sleep through her ministrations. She disappeared to get a thermometer, but returned with it and set about ascertaining House's status. Temp was normal, pulse and heartrate holding steady, BP was steady at 110/70. Oxygenation was good. She moved to leave, but Wilson shook his head and held out his hand for the BP cuff. The nurse gave him a confused look, but handed it to him obediently. He wrapped it around House's right calf. It wasn't ideal, to check his leg's blood pressure so high up, but with the wrap on his ankle it wasn't possible to go any lower. The pressure was low, due to the positioning on his calf but was still decent for House. Unwrapping the cuff, he held it out for her to take and carefully began to check the pulses in House's right foot. Despite his caution, House jerked and then groaned when Wilson's fingers tickled the bottom of his foot. Surprisingly, he didn't wake.
"Sorry." Wilson told him quietly. His pulses were good, and Wilson hurried to finish before he woke. "Note in his chart that his BP and pulses were fair to good in his right leg." The nurse nodded, writing intently. "And bring his am meds up with his breakfast."
"Of course, Dr. Wilson." She said sweetly. Scooping up House's chart, she took it back down to the nurse's station and began requesting a tray. The staccato of heels on linoleum reached his ears, and Wilson looked up to find Cuddy sliding the glass door back.
"How is he?" she asked quietly.
"Everything looks good. His leg's fine, BP's low, but the pulses are strong. I requested his breakfast tray and meds."
"He awake yet?"
"Yes." House mumbled tiredly. Blinking, he lay still for a moment before fumbling for the button to raise the bed. As he slowly sat up, he cautiously pulled himself back onto the pillows.
"How do you feel?" Wilson asked. House shrugged, but couldn't contain a wince when he shifted his right leg.
"Like I was in an accident." He said shortly. Cuddy rolled her eyes, and Wilson sighed, deeply.
"House…" Wilson's voice trailed off, and House looked up at him through narrowed eyes for a moment before relenting.
"My whole body hurts. Both of my legs are immobile, and I won't even be able to use crutches until my left leg heals. I'll be in a damn wheelchair for the next three months. My bike was totaled, and I have no idea what's going on with my patient. I'm super." Wilson was spared the need for a response when the nurse returned with House's breakfast tray and a cup with his vicodin. Cuddy had also put him on blood thinners, since he was going to be relatively sedentary for a time, as well as his Miralax and ibuprofen. House had eyed the medication suspiciously, and then stared Cuddy and Wilson down before tossing all of the pills at once. Wilson was pleased when House had taken the breakfast tray with less suspicion and dug into the meal with gusto. Wilson reached for one of the slices of toast, but had his hand batted away. Cuddy picked up House's chart and began rifling through the notes from the night before. Uneventful. House had slept for nearly three hours before he'd been awakened by his team. Another two hours, and he'd been awakened again for medication and breakfast. She studied House, unsurprised by his surly response. She scribbled in his chart briefly about his medication and his meal, and set the chart down again. House had finished his meal and pushed the tray away, looking satisfied. Wilson had rolled his eyes and turned around, but when he met Cuddy's gaze he was smiling.
"Your team is waiting to meet with you." Cuddy began, and House's eyes lit up in anticipation of the case.
"I need clothes." House plucked at his gown distastefully. "And a shower."
"No shower." Cuddy said firmly. "I'm sure one of those young nurses would be happy to give you a sponge bath." She smirked at that, and House scowled.
"Give me a washcloth and basin. And get me some scrubs or something. I'm not wearing this out there." He gestured to the door, and all that lay beyond it. Cuddy and Wilson exchanged looks, and then Cuddy nodded. His requests weren't all that unreasonable, for once, and Wilson conveyed with his eyes that it would be more expeditious to accede to House's wishes than to fight him on something so senseless. House's patient was stable for the moment, but was still slowly declining. House had been delayed by his accident, and further deprived of the sleep he needed to make a snap diagnosis. Despite his bravado, she could see weariness lurking in House's eyes. He wasn't certain he could work hampered by his injuries. She wasn't certain he could either, but his patient stood a better chance if he at least tried than he did if House withdrew himself from the case. Cuddy left quietly, leaving an urgent request at the nurse's desk for a basin and washcloth and the set of scrubs he requested. Wilson lingered in House's room as the nurses brought in his basin and scrubs. House had scowled at the nurse when she asked him how he was feeling, and sniped at the one who offered to help bathe him. He'd snatched the scrubs away from her and Wilson had smothered a laugh at her stricken expression. He made a mental note to stop at the nurses' desk and apologize for House.
"Go shut the blinds." House ordered tersely. Wilson did so, sliding the door shut as well. House hurriedly divested himself of his gown and scrubbed at his face before running the washcloth over his shoulders and abdomen. Pushing the bed up as high as it could go, he swiped at his legs before throwing the washcloth to Wilson in a silent request to wipe his feet down.
Wilson complied, washing his swollen feet before drying them and sliding a set of diabetic socks on them. House wrestled himself into the scrub top, but held out the pants in a wordless plea for help. Wilson obliged, sliding the pant legs over House's casts and drawing them up to his knees. Placing both hands on House's lower legs, he held them steady while House grabbed the waist and lifted himself up on his elbows as he dragged the pants up over his boxers. He was grunting with exertion when he lay back again, and Wilson busied himself cleaning up the basin and washcloth while House recovered. Moving back to the bedside, Wilson lowered the railing and eased the bed back down a little bit. He brought the wheelchair close to the bedside and locked it, and then looked up to see House sit up slowly and ease his broken limbs over the edge of the bed. Wilson sighed, deeply, as House surveyed the wheelchair with trepidation. There wasn't a really good way to transfer him down and over without someone lifting him—something House would detest.
"Want me to get an orderly?" he asked quietly. After a long moment, House nodded and Wilson discreetly went to find one. The young man he found seemed to seriously consider Wilson's advice to remain silent regardless of whatever happened. He'd stepped into the room, introduced himself as Scott and then discreetly moved to support House's torso while Wilson took his legs. Moving in unison, they lifted House from the bed to the wheelchair in one smooth motion. Settling into the seat, House remained motionless as he struggled to get his breath back. Scott had told them he'd be around later as he'd lifted House's feet onto the wheelchair pedals, locking his broken limbs into a more comfortable position out in front of him. He'd wished them a good day and left as quietly as he'd come. House's lack of commentary meant Scott was okay, and Wilson silently promised himself that Scott was the only orderly that they'd use. Wilson stood quietly, undecided if he should take charge and push House to the elevator, but he was spared the agony of a decision when House unlocked the wheels and propelled himself to the door. Sliding it open, he rolled into the hall, with Wilson trailing behind him. The third floor was empty for the most part, and while House jabbed the up button on the elevator, Wilson paused at the nurses' desk to let them know that House was going to be off the floor, but still in the hospital. The floor nurse had been surprised, she knew House's reputation and was surprised to find that he'd been relatively compliant with her staff.
Wilson could do little more than shrug in explanation. Sometimes the only thing to do was to roll with it.
He grinned despite himself when the nurse laughed out loud. That pun would never get old.