Wilson laid back on his pillows and stared at the ceiling. One of the perks with being sick in a hospital where you worked was that you were given a private room. One of the perks with being friends with House was that you got a private room as far removed from civilisation as was possible in the hospital.
So it was quiet, but it was also boring. He wasn't sick enough to be unaware of the passing of time, but he was just sick enough to have no energy left to do anything meaningful. Work was out of the question, and his staff had been forbidden to contact him in any case. His doctor had confiscated the case files he'd brought with him. There was a small television in the corner of the room but daytime television held little appeal for him, at least not if House wasn't there to explain all the latest developments in the soaps.
As usual his thoughts then turned to House. House had been left alone too often lately, first in their apartment during Wilson's first hospitalization and now in the loft during this latest bout. Although House seemed to be doing fairly well Wilson was uneasy about him living alone for too long. Nolan had been very firm on that, and had stressed to Wilson that it would be unhealthy for House to return to his old brooding bachelor existence.
Wilson sighed, he had to admit that he missed House at the moment, they'd been practically joined at the hip since he had returned from Mayfield. Even though he could be maddening at times he could also be an entertaining person to be around, and right now Wilson was desperate for a bit of entertainment.
So far the only sign of House had been a stuffed animal that had mysteriously been waiting for him on his hospital bed when he arrived for his first stint of dialysis. It was the most grotesque looking stuffed dog he had ever seen and came complete with a noose around its neck. He'd hung it from a corner of the bed frame, the nurses had eyed it in horror every time they had come in.
'Isn't it ironic...like raiiinnnn on your wedding day..."
Wilson smiled as he heard House singing followed by the limping footsteps of the man himself. They day was looking a little brighter now.
"The rain would only be ironic if you were a weather man. And this isn't cancer, so no, it isn't ironic."
House stared at him with big wide blue eyes.
"I was thinking more of the giving your body parts to people and then needing some in return."
"It was one small piece of liver, and I'm not getting a kidney transplant."
"You might need one."
"I won't. Five weeks of dialysis tops, that's what Harvey said."
"Harvey is an idiot."
"Harvey is head of nephrology."
"Like I said, an idiot. I have me one of those big fancy board certifications in nephrology too. Of course, you don't think I'm good enough to be your doctor. You want that moron. Heard he got his degree from some hick college in Australia. Makes Chase look like a world class doctor."
"If there is one thing I've learned House, it's that doctors shouldn't treat their friends," Wilson said quietly. There was no way that Wilson was going to put House in that position, not again.
There was a moment of uncomfortable silence as they bumped up against that barrier of 'things they don't talk about'. After a minute House came closer and slumped into the visitor's chair.
"Well, if you're after one of my kidneys you're out of luck. They are pickled in alcohol and vicodin, they'd go into shock if they were put into your pristine body."
"Besides the fact that we are totally different blood types. It's not going to come to that anyway, I won't need a kidney transplant."
Wilson leaned back against the bed head with a sigh. Of course the possibility of transplant had occurred to him, and yes, he had considered the irony. For forty years he had existed quite happily without any hospitalisations at all and now he was on his second serious one in a little under a month. He was pretty sure that Tucker wouldn't come racing to his rescue with a kidney - even if he was able. He was also pretty sure that House would cut his own out with a dull blade if he thought it would save Wilson's life. He'd made his feelings on that subject pretty clear.
"If you die I'll be alone." House's words came back to him, he felt at once warmed by the open admittance of how much he meant to House but also overwhelmed by the knowledge. It was a responsibility that he was finding heavy, still troubled by the knowledge of how he had failed Danny that one night.
He had the image of House staking out the entrance of the hospital, evaluating all those who entered as potential kidney donors...
He looked sharply up at House, who was looking just a bit too innocent. "House? You haven't forced the minions to have blood tests have you?"
House twirled his cane.
"Of course not," he paused and then shrugged. "They went and got them done themselves. Said it would stop me trying to steal their blood in their sleep. Taub is a possible match."
"House, you can't just...." Wilson spluttered and then sighed, he guessed the fellows knew what they were letting themselves in for when they signed up again with House. "Taub isn't going to give me a kidney."
"Taub would do anything for some cash. Slip him a few bills and you'd be set. 'Course the kidney would be on the small side but it would be kosher."
"I'll...bear that in mind."
Wilson settled back into the bed. He was feeling better now, at least it seemed like House was intending to settle in and stay for a while. If there was one thing House was, it was never boring.
"So, what's happening downstairs?"
"Crazy Old Man stopped seizing and began vomiting copious amounts of blood and was paralyzed from the waist down. Foreman thought it was neurological, Taub thought he was just having a bad day, Thirteen thought it was whatever Foreman thought it wasn't, Chase is still doing the brooding Aussie thing so he had no idea. Same old same old. Morons!"
"I'm sure you set them on the right road."
"Went forth, solved the case, minions are administering the treatment now," House sat back with a satisfied smile. "I've still got it."
"Patient was lying through his teeth of course."
"They never fail to disappoint."
House got up and came over to the dialysis equipment and started to fiddle with it. Wilson sat up in alarm.
"Leave it alone House. The guys who set this up know what they are doing."
"So do I. Or did you miss the bit where I said I went to nephrology school too?"
"When was the last time you had anything to do with a dialysis machine? You have slaves to do all the scut work for you now."
There was a clatter as the door opened and House turned to watch his employees making their way through the door.
"Speaking of slaves..."
Wilson watched in surprise as the fellows spread out through the room. Chase was pushing a large TV on a trolley, Thirteen had another trolley of various electrical gear. Taub was carrying a picnic hamper of some sort. Foreman wasn't carrying anything and as usual he seemed to be trying to convey with his facial expression that he was above the antics of this travelling circus.
He nodded politely to Wilson.
"Hey Foreman. How did House talk you into this?"
Foreman sighed and rolled his eyes.
"Lost a bet."
"Foreman! Don't tell him that," House widened his eyes and acted scandalized. "We don't want Wilson to think you aren't here out of the kindness of your little ghetto heart," he turned to Wilson. "He loves you really Wilson, it was Chase we had to drag up here."
"House bet us that he would diagnose the patient before we could," Taub said with a resigned shrug, pulling food out of the hamper and setting it up on the tray in front of Wilson.
"And you took that bet?" Wilson asked.
"Yeah I know," he reached for one of the cakes that had appeared on the table and House struck his hand away.
"Get your grubby hands off them. Those are for Wilson."
"Wilson can't eat them House, you know that."
"When I say Wilson I mean the collective noun - as in, Wilson and I, " House grabbed a pastry and stuffed half of it into his mouth. The other half he waved at his fellows.
"Okay, you've all had your look at Wilson doing his sick oncologist act. You can come and cuddle him later Thirteen," he cocked his head on one side and looked at Chase. "And you can too Chase if you like, Wilson's into pretty ones."
Chase rolled his eyes.
"Why is he hanging around you then House?"
"Because of my charm and personality. Now run along children, leave the adults alone, those charts aren't going to write themselves."
As they left House yelled after them.
"And bring up that chair I had last time, this chair is only designed for midgets. Taub can use it in the conference room."
Wilson thought he saw Taub make a particularly rude gesture as he disappeared into the elevator but he couldn't be sure.
Wilson looked around after quiet had again descended on the room. His previously bare hospital room had now acquired a large flat screen television, a DVD player, an Ipod docking system with massive speakers and a Playstation 3.
"I'm only going to be on dialysis for five hours House. You have enough gear here to see us through the apocalypse," He poked through the enormous collection of junk food and junk drinks that had been dumped on his table. "You do know I can't eat most of this stuff don't you? Thought that a trained nephrologist would know about restricted diets."
House shook his head sadly, picking up a packet of chips.
"There you go, only thinking of yourself again Wilson. I'm your friend and if I need to 'be there for you', no reason I can't have fun at the same time."
House produced another large plastic bag and began pulling pieces of paper out of it. Wilson was startled to see that they were all colourful drawings, done in a variety of childish styles. Each was signed with a child's name.
"Where on earth..."
"Your assistant rounded up the balding kids and told them to draw pictures of you to cheer you up." House began tacking the pictures up on every available surface. Wilson sorted through the ones still one the bed.
"Why don't I have any hair in any of these House, and why do I have bright pink clothing in most of them?"
House smirked at him.
"Somehow they might have gotten the impression that the treatment was going to make your hair fall out, just like theirs, and it's possible that they are also under the impression that you are the gayest of gay doctors in the place."
Wilson stared at him in shock, hand going protectively to his hair.
"House! What am I going to tell them when I go back to the ward?"
House just shrugged. "Tell 'em it grew back. Or you know, do the sympathetic doctor thing and shave it off - I'll do the same, we can be two baldies together."
"Easy for you to say, you hardly have any. I am NOT shaving my head!" Wilson sighed again. Then it occurred to him that he hadn't made any protest about the gay thing, then it occurred to him that it was probably better to leave it alone.
He stared at a particularly lurid rendition of him with an enormous bald head and wearing what could only be described as a coat of many colours, and carrying a bunch of flowers. He groaned, going back to work was suddenly not an enticing prospect, maybe if he was sick long enough most of the kids would have been discharged by the time he returned.
Once the walls were sufficiently decorated House settled back down again. Wilson eyed him suspiciously but nothing further was produced from plastic bags, it seemed like House was done for now.
When the nurse came in to check on him he smiled at her shock at the state of the room. There were food wrappers and papers all over the bed, drawings decorated every inch of the walls, the television was blaring out some particularly lurid reality show and there was a scruffy diagnostician slumped in the chair, fast asleep and mouth open, snoring.
He smiled, it wasn't as if anyone could blame him for anything, he'd been right here in bed the whole time.
"I'll get someone to clear up this mess straight away," she eyed House as if she'd like to sweep him out with the garbage and Wilson fixed her with a stern look.
"No leave it the way it is, it's fine."
The nurse stared at him and then turned abruptly on her heel and left the room, muttering about getting the doctor to check him over. Wilson thought that his status as 'nicest doctor in the hospital' might be taking a sudden downturn. He didn't care, lately he was beginning to be less interested in hanging onto that description, other things now seemed far more important.
He leaned back against the pillows and surveyed his sleeping friend. Right now dialysis didn't seem like such a bad thing, he'd make it though. If it turned out he needed a kidney transplant...
Well, there was always Taub.