Search (a Perils of Paranoia drabble)

~by crazymadjo

Wilson glanced at his watch. Two-and-a-half hours he'd been trapped in House's net the day before. He didn't figure he'd need that much time to search House's small apartment (sans bathroom, from where House's pleasant baritone could be heard mournfully singing, "Please release me, let me goooo"), but it was the maximum he would allow. Fair's fair.

He started in the bedroom, checking all the obvious places (and a few less-obvious), but stopping short of removing major fixtures or checking for freshly-plastered or painted sections of wall. He moved to the living room, then the kitchen, making a point of banging pots and pans around enough to start House moaning though the hole in the bathroom door (where the knob once resided) that he wanted a snack. Wilson just smiled and continued his search.

In the end, he was satisfied with the results: No gun (naturally, House had already moved it), and six Vicodin bottles: Three full, two half empty, one fully empty. Not that he'd found them all, of course, but Wilson wasn't concerned about that. He didn't confiscate or even disturb them. He was just after a general feel for how House was doing, and just six find-able bottles was extremely good. Of course, House probably anticipated this search, too. But over the years, Wilson learned that even House's willingness to hide his stash was a decent a indicator of his state of mind.

He checked his watch again: Just one hour, and already House had gone completely silent, which was far more bothersome than the earlier noise. Wilson toyed with the idea of making him wait longer, though he was technically finished with the search, but the silence was too much to resist. Which, of course, House knew.

Just to himself, Wilson called this stage of the contest a draw.