AN: This fic came to me while I was trying to sleep last night, I hope you all like it! I'm not an expert with slash nor medicine so if things are wrong, I apologize!
AN2: Also, characters may not be Canon, if so, I apologize! Please review and let me know what you think!
Disclaimer: Not mine, just borrowing!
Wilson walked through the front entrance of Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital, carrying his briefcase in his left hand and hunching slightly. He hoped to be able to go straight to his office and avoid the concerned questions by fellow coworkers since it's Monday and he has some work to catch up on that was left over from the weekend.
No such luck as Cuddy spots him and immediately heads over. "Wilson, are you ok?" She asks. Her mouth is in a frown, her brows are knitted and concern written in her grey-blue eyes.
"I'm fine," he assures her, "just hurt my back trying to pick up some boxes." He dismisses his injury with practiced ease.
Cuddy eyes him skeptically, but if she thinks he's lying, she doesn't comment. "OOOk." She replies as she drags out the word, "Well if you need anything let me know." She tells him sincerely as she gently squeezes his arm.
Wilson hides the wince as best as he can with a smile. He's thankful that it's November and therefore no one questions the use of a coat and keeping one's shirt sleeves rolled down, he doesn't want anyone to see the bruises on his arms. "Thanks, I appreciate that but I think I just want to get to my office and get caught up." He tells her.
She nods her head and walks away leaving Wilson free to go to the elevators and to the 4th floor where his office is. Normally he takes the stairs but with his back hurting he doesn't think that's a good idea. The elevator dings before opening the doors and he exits sparing a quick glance at the diagnostics office, happy to find the lights on but seemingly no one around, he doesn't want to run into House right now.
Wilson deposits his coat and briefcase in his office and dons his white lab coat before quickly heading to the doctor's lounge to get a cup of coffee that he found himself needing. The weekend, while wonderful, had been tiring and he was dragging this morning. He scurries as fast as he can back to his office, eager to get going on work and avoid House. He checks his calendar for the day to see what all he had to do and found that other than a few appointments he only had the normal patient rounds and clinic duty.
Wilson cringed inwardly. Neither patient rounds nor clinic duty were going to be particularly fun with his back but he figured if House can deal with the agony that he calls a thigh, Wilson can handle the twinges of back pain that he gets when he's walking around.
The combination of getting older and spending half of his adult life sleeping on random couches, crappy beds or sitting upright in a chair had made him more susceptible for back pain and Wilson usually found himself with an injury every 2-3months. It was easy for him to hurt it picking up simple things like a box or more complicated things like House. It was his fault really, he never used proper lifting technique and therefore tried to complain as little as possible when it happened.
He opened his bottom drawer and pulled out the heating pad he kept there for times like this, thankful that his white lab coat hid all signs of it as he didn't want his patients knowing about it. They're the patient and their attentions should be focused on themselves and their situations and not his aches and pains which were trivial compared to theirs.
Once he felt the heat radiating from the pad, he gently scooted back so that his back was against the pad, and in turn also against the back of the ergonomic chair, then rolled the chair forward so that he was close enough to his desk that he could return phone calls and emails and look over paperwork without much strain.
He checked his voicemail and began returning phone calls, taking small sips of coffee in between and wincing when the sleeves of his shirt pulled up and against the bruises on his arms. Wilson hated having his sleeves rolled down but given the hand-shaped bruises on his forearms that wasn't an option right now.
House's pain had been bad over the weekend, flaring up sporadically and usually leaving the diagnostician drained. In between the flare ups, House had been insatiable, using sex with Wilson to get out his frustration, anger and pain as well as a wonderful distraction. Unfortunately that meant that he was rougher with Wilson, leaving bruises in random places and in some places best not mentioned.
Wilson had managed to avoid seeing the diagnostician all morning, allowing him to catch up with work. Just as he was about to get up and go grab some lunch before his next appointment his door flung open.
"I'm hungry!" House announced.
"Ok." Wilson replied nonchalantly while keeping focused on the patient chart before him.
"Let's grab some lunch." House suggested, his tone saying Come on, I know you wanna do it all the other kids are!
"I'm busy." Wilson replied waving his hands across his desk like they illuminated the paperwork scattered all over it. He really wasn't THAT busy but House would think something's wrong with him if he gave in too easily.
"Oh come on. You can take a break from being James Wilson, Boy Wonder Oncologist and trying to save your bald headed kiddies for an hour to eat. We wouldn't want you fainting from lack of food now would we?" House cajoled.
"I didn't faint, I passed out." Wilson corrected insulted at the implication.
House sneered, "No Jimmy, you fainted like a girl. Even had the hand on your forehead to complete the look." He chuckled at the memory. House wouldn't admit it but when he got the call saying Wilson had fainted his heart skipped a couple beats and he found nothing funny about it at all until after he knew that Wilson was alright if not a little embarrassed.
Wilson just rolled his eyes and scoffed. "I did not."
"Did so, want me to show you the pictures?" House countered while pulling out his cell phone.
"You took pictures?" Wilson exclaimed a little surprised (and dare he say hurt) that House had thought to take pictures of him passed out on the floor instead of checking to see if he was ok. House was about to reply when Wilson held up a hand, "You know what? Nevermind, I don't want to know. If you're hungry why don't you go down and eat?"
House had a different question however, "Why aren't your sleeves rolled up?"
"Because I was cold." Wilson replied hoping he sounded convincing.
"You're never that cold." House countered while giving Wilson the "House Stare" he gave while he was trying to figure out a puzzle. This can't be good! Wilson thought and tried to steer the conversation away from his appearance. "Fine," he said, "you're right." He paused long enough to let House think that he was going to get something out of him before he finished his sentence. "I can take a break for lunch. I'm assuming I'm buying?"
House sneered again, not planning on dropping the subject but knowing that he wasn't going to get anything out of Wilson right now and a full frontal assault wouldn't do the trick. "Duh, do you really think I'd waste money on you?" he joked. Both of them knew that House HAD and WOULD spend money on Wilson, it just wasn't a regular occurrence.
House watched Wilson like a Lion hunting it's prey, looking for any other signs of something being off. He didn't have to wait long as he saw Wilson wince when he stood up and grabbed his lab coat. House couldn't tell what was bothering him but he could tell SOMETHING was and he didn't like it.
Wilson began walking to the door, trying to hide his winces when his back zinged at the movement. He knew House was watching him, trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together and he didn't want to give House another piece. House would put things together sooner or later and Wilson hoped that it would be later rather than sooner.
He tried to inconspicuously use the walk to stretch out his back but one quick glance at House told him it wasn't working out well so he just gave up entirely.
"Back hurt?" House asked already knowing the answer. Cuddy had come to him sometime mid-morning and asked how Wilson had hurt his back. House was surprised to hear that Wilson HAD hurt his back but he had kept none of that from showing on his face when he'd told her that Wilson had tried to lift a box that was too heavy, figuring that's what Wilson told her. She nodded, looking satisfied with his answer and then asked House to keep an eye on Wilson and make sure he doesn't "over do it" then walked out of his office.
"It's fine." Wilson dismissed with an assuring grin and a wave of his hand. He really didn't want to discuss this with House. Contrary to what he told Cuddy, he hadn't hurt it lifting boxes. It had happened last night while Wilson was giving House head and House, being the kind to give physical instructions on what he wanted, had pushed a little too firmly on Wilson's shoulder, popping his back and straining it at the same time. The man was stronger than he looked! Wilson had gasped but House had taken it for a pleasurable gasp and said nothing and Wilson, being a people pleaser, had kept going while blocking out the pain. He hadn't really felt it until this morning. Oh the wonders of amazing sex!
House applied pressure to Wilson's lower back causing Wilson to gasp audibly enough for only House to hear, clench his teeth and grimace. House frowned, "Sure it's fine." He replied sarcastically.
"Just leave it alone House. I'm fine." Wilson warned trying to give his lover a pleading look while blinking rapidly, trying to keep a threatening tear from falling. His back had felt better after the heat and stretch but House had managed to find the spot that was still tender.
"No you're not but I'll leave it alone," House replied, digging into Wilson's fries, "for now."
Wilson had lost his appetite and allowed House to "mooch" off of his plate, waiting patiently for the diagnostician to finish. "Thank you." Wilson replied, knowing that an interrogation waited for him when he got home tonight.
House gave a barely perceptible nod before standing up and throwing their trash away and waited for Wilson to stand up and join him on leaving the cafeteria. Wilson gingerly got to his feet, the pain and tightness in his lower back making quick movements nonexistent, and joined House at the door noting the way House watched him with something akin to remorse in his eyes.
Just as they got to the elevator House got a page from his team, their patient had another unexplained symptom. House looked at his pager then turned to Wilson, "Get back to your office and get the heating pad on your back." He instructed the younger doctor, annoyance and concern flashing briefly across his face before he limped away to scheme with his team.
Wilson just shook his head while he boarded the elevator. Oh yeah, there was going to be a definite interrogation tonight and he wasn't looking forward to it.
At 6p that night Wilson gingerly walked out of the clinic doing his best not to stoop, limp or rub at the stiff and painful muscles that had started to spasm while he was examining his last clinic patient. Thankfully, it had been easy for him to hide from his clueless patient and was able to send them away with a diagnosis of mild pneumonia and prescriptions for predinisone and an inhaler for when their asthma acted up due to complications from the pneumonia.
Wilson finally made it to his office, the 5minute walk taking a painstakingly 20minutes. He closed the door behind him and leaned against it, his head leaning against the smooth wood and his eyes closed, catching his breath. The walk had tired him considerably since he had been focusing on moving his back as little as possible and yet still trying to seem like he was ok. He could tell that he failed miserably when he'd pass someone (a colleague, nurse or acquaintance) and they'd ask if he was alright. The nurses in Oncology had been the hardest to shake off having always adored and doted on him, but finally it seemed that they got the message and had left him alone after he promised to let them know if he needed anything. All he could think about was a heating pad on his back while he lay on the couch and rested for a few minutes before going home and being grilled by House.
He opened his eyes to begin his task only to jump, then gasp and cringe, when he saw House sitting on his couch. "House! What are you doing here?" he asked sounding more exhausted than mad.
"Hiding from my patient's family, they keep asking me questions." House replied disdainfully while continuing to thumb through the Oncology Medical Journal that had sat on Wilson's table.
Wilson smiled, there was a reason why House didn't meet the patients and this was one of them. "So you decided to camp out on my couch and read a medical journal on a topic that you could care less about?" Wilson replied sarcastically, "Makes sense."
"I thought so too." House said. He frowned when he finally looked up at Wilson and saw pain, fatigue and tears in the younger man's eyes. He hated seeing his lover and friend in such pain. Not only did it throw off the balance of life (HE was supposed to be the one in pain NOT Wilson) but he had a sneaky suspicion that he caused the most current pain by hiding in Wilson's office and surprising him. Guilt was not an emotion that he was comfortable with, not that he was comfortable with ANY emotion, and he did his best to avoid it.
House got up and led Wilson down to the couch noting the stiff movements and the way his friend's teeth were clenched and a solitary tear slid down his cheek. This was not how he liked to see Wilson at all. He reached up a hand and brushed the tear off Wilson's handsomely prominent cheek with his thumb before he stood up and grabbed the heating pad, plugging it in and applying it to Wilson's back while the Oncologist gently lay down on the couch obviously doing his best not to make a sound of pain.
Once Wilson was settled with the heat pad working and a pillow beneath his knees, taking pressure off his lower back, House stood up and walked out of the office and headed for his own. He sat down in his chair and began to pack what little he had planned on taking home with him while he called Cuddy.
"What House?" Cuddy said by way of greeting.
"Wilson and I need tomorrow off." He said, his tone not leaving room for argument, or so he hoped.
"Why?" Cuddy asked, clearly not planning on just taking his word for it.
"His back is pretty bad. He could barely move when he got back to his office just now." House answered not mentioning the crying that he was sure Wilson was doing when he left.
"Ok," she said, once again dragging out the word, "so why do YOU need the day off?" she asked.
"To take care of him. Duh!" House replied like it was the most obvious thing ever.
"I don't really think he needs you to stay home with him and take care of him." Cuddy said, clearly not wanting to let this go.
"Hey, you came to me earlier this morning and asked me to keep an eye on him and I can't do that if I'm at work and he's at home now can I?" House asked growing slowly more annoyed that she was refusing to let him take care of his injured lover.
Cuddy was silent for a while, obviously trying to decide if there was ANY way to get House to come in to work tomorrow. "Alright, fine." She responded with a sigh. "But you BOTH had better come in the next day or I'll be adding 10 more clinic hours to BOTH of your schedules." She threatened.
"Fine." House retorted before hanging up on her. He poked his head in the conference room and told the ducklings that he was leaving to take Wilson home and that he wasn't coming in tomorrow but they had better call if they need him.
Masters couldn't help herself, "What's wrong with Dr. Wilson?" she asked. "Is he ok?"
House rolled his eyes in annoyance, "Well obviously not if I'm taking care of him." He answered, smiling devilishly when she blushed slightly.
She wasn't going to be deterred however. "Is he ok?" she asked again while glaring at him.
"He's fine, just hurt is back." House replied with the world's biggest (and most exaggerated) sigh. He inwardly cringed when he saw her face morph from intrigue to full concern. "Oh not you too!" he exclaimed. "Is there NO female in this hospital that hasn't fallen for Wilson!" he cried dramatically though he inwardly meant it.
Masters blushed furiously but held his glare. "I did not fall for Dr. Wilson." She retorted petulantly. "I'm just concerned that he's in pain."
"Yeah, that's a requirement what with being a doctor and all." House quipped before rolling his eyes again.
"It's not a requirement, look at you." Chase pitched in smiling.
"Says the guy who "drove daddy's car"." House retorted using the same phrase he had used when he last mentioned Chase intentionally killing the foreign dictator in front of others. Chase's entire demeanor darkened but he said nothing in return.
Masters, who was totally lost on what was going on, replied, "No it's not a requirement but Dr. Wilson is a nice guy-"
"So what you're saying is only nice people shouldn't be in pain?" House cut her off.
"No, what I'm saying is that I hope he has someone that actually cares about him taking care of him." She replied. Her face went from what House refers to as the "Bambi Look" to utter shock. Clearly she hadn't meant to say that knowing full well that House and Wilson were in a relationship.
House sneered at her. "It's about time." Was all he said.
"It's about time what?" she asked stuttering slight. Still shocked but also confused.
"It's about time you found your backbone." House replied as he walked out of the office leaving a stunned Masters, an angered Chase, a curious Taub (who had sat quietly just watching the show) and a completely disinterested Foreman in his wake.