Chapter 5—Recovery

"Cuddy," Foreman exclaimed, clapping his head to his forehead. "For the last time, you are not having hallucinations. House and Wilson are screwing with you."

"There's no way," Cuddy insisted, adjusting a stack of papers on her desk. "Even House doesn't go that far on a whim."

"Well, I've seen them, too. They're messing with your head and unsuccessfully trying to mess with mine."

Foreman's gaze narrowed in frustration. Whatever degree of insanity that House and Wilson were planning to impose, they had nearly reached it. Cuddy was almost at the breaking point, driven up the walls by the confusion over House and Wilson's relationship status. Not knowing would eventually cause her to combust, he reasoned.

"Where's House?" Foreman asked, about to leave Cuddy's office, and deciding against it.

"He had to take care of something, I think. He and Wilson had his bike in the truck this morning."

"We're going to need him if you're in the mood for handing out cases."

"He's been damned to the clinic for awhile, so you're on your own."

"What'd he do?"

"A lot of things."

Cuddy was interrupted by Wilson crashing through the door to her office. He was a mess; tie loose, collar unbuttoned, hair disheveled.

"Are you okay?" Cuddy asked, slightly alarmed at Wilson's appearance.

"Is House here yet?"

"He checked out a couple of hours ago. He said he had to take his bike in for an oil change."

"Crap. What time did you say?"

"I don't know, two hours ago, maybe? Is someone in trouble?" Cuddy quickly glanced at the calendar on her desk. House had checked out at 8, and it was now nearly eleven.
"I've been looking for him for ages."

"Haven't seen him," Foreman said unhelpfully. "Did you try the morgue?"

"Yes, and he wasn't there. I think something might've happened to him. He hasn't returned any calls."

"Maybe he's playing a prank on you."

"I doubt it. He'd be in my office gloating about it."

Cuddy stared at Wilson, evaluating his appearance, and the fear exuding from him. His tie was gone, collar unbuttoned, hair disheveled. Cuddy realized that he had probably spent most of the morning wondering where House had vanished off to.

"Alright. Fine. Come on," she took her car keys out of her pocket, but Wilson stopped her.

"I have four-wheel drive," he said, "House took his bike, remember?"

"Don't just stand there!"

Wilson led the way out of Cuddy's office at a run. They crossed the hospital in minutes, and quickened their pace when the truck was in sight.

"Are you sure about that?" Cuddy asked when Wilson ran in front of her and hurled himself into the driver's seat.

"I hope so," he said, not bothering to adjust the mirrors or seat. He gunned the engine and sped away. House would've taken the back routes, he devised, too much traffic on the interstate. He shuddered at the thought of his own adventures when he'd made the same decision, hoping that House wasn't somewhere in a ditch, pinned to the icy ground by a seven-hundred pound motorcycle.

"We'll check the apartment first," Wilson said, escalating to nearly a hundred and ten miles per hour, sailing down the interstate and weaving in and out of the slower-moving cars. He made it to the apartment in record time, and sent Cuddy in to search for House.

"Nothing," she said, climbing back into the truck, chest heaving from the strain of sprinting through the parking lot, running up three flights of stairs, and back again. "Cane, helmet and keys all gone. Didn't see his bike anywhere."

"Shit." Wilson began to sweat. He set off toward the hospital at a far slower pace, scouring the roadsides for any sign of a wreck. He was about to come up over a particularly icy hill when something caught his eye. Skid marks.

"Damn it," he breathed, stopping the truck and throwing it into four-wheel drive. He put the parking brake on and ran to the side of the hill. The guardrail was perfectly fine, not a trace of blood or oil. As he looked farther, he saw House's motorcycle at the bottom of the hill, in a hundred pieces. Terror began to envelop him as he called for Cuddy.

"Cuddy, I found the bike!"

"Did you find him?" Cuddy ran up beside him, searching the trees. Then, they heard a scuffle from below. They climbed over the guard rail and looked down over the very edge of the hill.

"Greg!" Wilson and Cuddy yelled in unison.

"Down here, you morons," House responded. He was hanging by his coat from a sturdy tree, caught by two inches of chance. His helmet was scratched and dinged, but House himself appeared fine, no apparent blood or fractures. "Get that goddamn truck over here and toss me the fucking winch!"

Wilson regained the feeling in his knees and quickly obliged. Cuddy tossed the steel hook down to House, who all too eagerly latched on and allowed Wilson to carefully reel him in.

"Took you long enough," House said, dusting bits of rock and tree off of his pants. "Figure it out when I didn't call? I mean, I would've, but my phone is currently down with my bike."

"Obviously," Wilson said, softly wrapping his arms around House. Cuddy turned away. "How the hell did you manage to pull that one off?"

"I have no idea. The proper combination of trees and gravity. How long was I down there?"

"Upwards of two hours. Let's get you home."

"No. Cane store, then home." House gestured towards the hill. "I lost it when I flew over the guard rail."

"You went over it?"

"I quite obviously didn't go through it, moron. The bike went over and I figured it would be in my best interest to let go. Let's get out of here."

House slowly limped around to the passenger's seat and heaved his tired body into the passenger's seat. To his shock, Wilson belted himself in behind the wheel.

"Are you insane?" House asked, looking from Wilson to Cuddy, then back to Wilson.

"No," Cuddy sighed, "He's fine. He went well over a hundred miles an hour to get here. He weaved in and out of traffic, too."

House's jaw dropped in awe. Wilson simply shrugged and started the truck as House grasped blindly for words.

"Can't you go any faster?" He finally said.

"Nope," Wilson said, a joking glint in his eyes, "speed limit's forty-five."

**End

A/N: Sorry if that was a bit rushed. Endings aren't my strong point. Once again, I do not own House, M.D., Ford, Monty Python, the Spanish Inquisition, Pearl drums, etc.