Wilson emerged from the bathroom, looking as haggard as when he went in there. He lent against the door jamb wearily.
"I need a shower, I can't stand being in the same room as myself," he said, looking down at his sweaty and stained clothing in disgust.
"I wasn't going to say anything, but you could do with a good hosing off," House pulled a face and wrinkled his nose. It was true; Wilson smelled pretty ripe.
Wilson gave him a look and began to shuffle back into the bathroom, still holding onto the door. He turned and glared at House when House started to follow him.
"You're going to need help, you can barely stand," House pointed out, "I can do your back, and... other parts, for you, if you know what I mean," he winked and leered in Wilson's direction.
Wilson moved a hand through the air in what was probably supposed be a cutting motion but came out more like a weak flap. "No."
"It won't be anything I haven't seen before; I did change your diaper you know. You've nothing to be ashamed of, even if Little Jimmy is a little on the small side, we can't all be hung like... well, let's just say the ladies have no complaints about Mount Gregory."
Wilson made a sort of screwed up face like he'd eaten something particularly unpleasant and weakly waved a finger in House's face. "You will never mention the word 'diaper' in my presence again, or I will kill you myself and spread the ashes all over the clinic."
House opened his mouth to say something and Wilson shook his head, "no, not one smart ass remark. Now, I'm getting that shower, alone." He resumed his shuffling steps.
House rolled his eyes at his friend's back and limped to the closet in the hallway, fetching a couple of towels which he threw into the bathroom before the door closed in his face.
"Don't fall down in there, I'm not picking you off the floor again. I'm a cripple you know, not a nurse's aide."
House waited outside the door until he heard the shower turn on and then dragged himself back to the living room to pick up a change of clothes for Wilson out of the bag he'd brought with him. He dumped the clothes outside the bathroom door and then headed for the kitchen, Wilson would need something to eat when he was finished.
Wilson felt a little better dressed in clean clothes as he sat on one of the chairs in the living room eating the soup House had presented him with. He'd made a face at the bowl of soup when House gave it to him, remembering how the last one tasted coming back up, but he knew it was the most sensible thing to eat given that his throat was raw and his stomach still unsettled. His body was still a mass of muscle soreness, and he was exhausted and weak. He'd never really understood just what pain and sickness could do to someone, even though he'd held vigil over dying patients countless times. He knew now.
He glanced over at House who was slumped in the other chair, nursing a glass of scotch.
"Soup is good, you should have some," he said as he finished his bowl, setting it aside carefully.
"Hookers brought over some takeout when you were doing your dying patient act on the couch. I'm good," House said, but the slight tremor in his hands betrayed him as did the pain lines in his face.
"I could go out and get some Vicodin," Wilson offered, although his entire body was telling him that no, he couldn't.
House didn't even deign to answer that, instead his gaze flickered to his phone screen and then to the door. He levered himself to his feet abruptly and slowly limped to the apartment door, going through it and closing it firmly behind him.
Wilson heard a familiar voice, and then House's low growl, there seemed to be an extended argument and then House came back into the apartment alone. He was carrying a small paper bag, from which he extracted a bottle of pills which he threw at Wilson who fumbled but caught them.
"Got them from my dealer," House said. Wilson examined the label, Oxycontin, prescribed to him by Foreman. He looked up to see House tipping a couple of tablets into his mouth from his own bottle. Vicodin. House's eyes closed and his expression relaxed as he swallowed the tablet. Usually it was a sight that disturbed Wilson, knowing the addiction behind that seemingly instant feeling of relief, but today he just felt relieved. He opened his own bottle and took a dose of the strong painkiller, washing it down with the glass of water House had provided for him.
"You could have gotten Foreman or one of your minions to come around yesterday with these," he pointed out, referring to that endless day which had culminated in House feeding him what had apparently been the last of the Vicodin.
House looked away, "no, I couldn't."
Not without telling them what we were doing, Wilson realised, not without breaking his friend's trust. Foreman would have put a stop to it if he realised. Better to seek forgiveness than permission. Not that House would be concerned with forgiveness.
"What did Foreman say?"
"That he wants my ass, and all the equipment you 'borrowed', in his office at nine on Monday morning. I think he's going to cane me, the power's gone to his head. You wanna come watch?"
""He'll have to go through me to do it," Wilson said quietly.
House looked at him for a moment with widened eyes and then away, uncomfortable as always with gratitude.
Wilson felt exhaustion settle over him, despite it being only early in the day he was longing for sleep, for real, restful, sleep. He glanced at the couch, now abandoned by both men. The medical debris lay on it, along with the blanket Wilson had been wrapped in for three days. He shuddered at the thought of those three days on that couch. He didn't want to sleep there.
"I'm not cleaning that up, you can do it later, cancer boy," House told him, following his gaze to the couch.
"I need to lie down," Wilson admitted.
"If only I had a, what do you call it, that thing with a mattress?"
"You'd let me sleep in your bed?"
"I let you pee on my couch; just don't do a repeat performance in the bed."
Wilson settled down in House's bed, relaxing into the soft sheets, his head resting on a pillow. He still ached all over but the Oxy was taking the edge off, and making him sleepy. He closed his eyes, only to open them again when he heard limping footsteps and felt the other side of the bed dip down under House's weight. He turned his head to see House lying next to him, arms and limbs sprawled untidily and taking up more than his fair share of the bed. House looked back at him, obviously amused by his antics.
"House! What are you doing? You said I could sleep here." He couldn't take any of House's games, not today.
House pulled the sheets up over his long body and tugged at the blankets that Wilson had huddled over himself.
"Bed's made for two," House said smugly. "Just don't make any moves on me, I have a cane and I know how to use it."
Wilson sighed and sunk back down onto the bed, it was a little weird, sharing a bed with House but House needed to sleep too, he'd only dozed on the chair last night and had been awake before Wilson was this morning. He pulled back his fair share of the blankets and rolled onto his side, facing away from House. After a moment he relaxed, it was comforting, in a strange way, to have House here.
"You know, House, if you keep on making the gay jokes, one day I might take you up on it," he said with a smile to himself, waiting for the smart response that was sure to come.
Only the sound of gentle breathing answered him, House must have fallen asleep already. Wilson closed his own eyes and spoke softly so as not to wake him, "sleep well, House."
"You too, Wilson," came the quick response.
He probably only imagined the faint touch of a hand on his back as he fell into a deep sleep.
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