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Cats' Corners: the little HOUSE in the woods....
Where House is NEVER safe...
Visiting Hour (first in the HOUR series) 
18th-Jun-2007 09:37 am
HWJAIL
Title:  Visiting Hour
Characters:  House, Wilson
Rating: G
Genre:  Angst
Word Count:  525
Summary:  What if Tritter's vendetta had been allowed to play out?


VISITING HOUR

 

House shifts restlessly in the molded plastic chair.  The chair's so old that the edges are crumbling, and each time he moves, a sharp piece of plastic bites into the back of his thigh.  But he can't sit still, and for once he's oddly grateful for the added physical discomfort--it gives him something to focus on besides his usual pain, besides his unusual surroundings.  This room where he sits and waits for Wilson isn't where he's supposed to be, was never where he was meant to be--so it's a concrete reminder of everything he's ever done wrong.  Eventually, when even his pain can't distract him from the room anymore, he simply closes his eyes and waits for Wilson.

 

Funny what the brain does to the body when you put it under enough stress; he must've fallen asleep--the ultimate escape from reality.  He struggles back to wakefulness when he realizes that Wilson's called his name at least three times.  When he opens his eyes, Wilson's sitting across from him wearing the same gentle smile on his face, the same poorly-masked concern in his eyes, that House remembers from the last time they'd seen each other.

 

"Good to see you," Wilson says.  "You doing okay?"

 

House thinks about the question a minute, then answers with uncharacteristic seriousness, "Guess so.  Be doing better if this were the hospital cafeteria and I was stealing french fries from you."

 

Wilson quirks the corner of his mouth into an expression House can't quite make out.  "Yeah," he says.  "Me too."

 

There's half a minute of painful silence then, until Wilson says, "It's good to see you."

 

"You've already said that," House points out.  "And we've already determined that I'm doing okay."

 

"Sorry," Wilson says with just the slightest bit of irritation.  "Misplaced my copy of Emily Post's Guide To Proper Prison Etiquette."

 

House breaks the next silence.  "You were late," he observes.

 

"I know.  I was helping out... with a patient.  Sorry."  Wilson truly does feel badly about that; House doesn't like to be reminded of the medical license, lost forever.

 

"No skin off my nose," House assures him.  "Just that we don't have much time; looks like the school bell's gonna be ringing any minute," he says, indicating the guard headed towards the PA system.  "Recess is over."

 

Both men stand and stare at one another.  Wilson sees a sudden wash of anger and bitterness roll through House's eyes.

 

"Neither one of us would be here now if you hadn't been such a moron," House says abruptly, in a barely controlled voice.  “We could’ve beaten Tritter.  You know that, don’t you?”

 

Wilson smiles, and when he speaks his voice is soft, almost soothing; he knows House's anger isn't directed at him.  "I know.  And it's okay."

 

The buzzer goes off, and the two men nod solemnly at one another, then each turns quickly away from the other.

 

On the way back to Princeton, House drives the bike a bit faster, a bit more aggressively than normal.  And in the prison infirmary, a nurse comments to her co-worker at how extraordinarily gentle that new inmate-orderly, Wilson, is today, handling the grumpy prisoner with the twisted foot and the bad attitude.

 


The second in the series: 
Happy Hour

 

Thoughts 
18th-Jun-2007 02:03 pm (UTC)
Good twist at the end, making it Wilson, as it so easily could have been.
18th-Jun-2007 02:10 pm (UTC)
and the truly sad thing is, wilson would've gone without complaint, in order to save house.
18th-Jun-2007 02:04 pm (UTC)
Wow. This made me cry. I didn't expect it to be Wilson.
18th-Jun-2007 02:11 pm (UTC)
don't feel bad about crying--i wrote the blithering thing, and i can't read through it without choking up.
18th-Jun-2007 02:55 pm (UTC)
Very nice. I love the little twist at the end.
18th-Jun-2007 02:59 pm (UTC)
wish i could say it was fun to write; it wasn't. i still feel heavy and sad, and it's just not helping to repeat to myself "fictional characters, mj, fictional characters." but i couldn't not write it; it kept invading my poor tiny brain! ;)
18th-Jun-2007 03:03 pm (UTC)
OOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHHH !!!!
You got me !
;-)
thanks
ps : you'd rather put Wilson in prison than dealing with your Xmas tree, hum...
18th-Jun-2007 03:07 pm (UTC)
rather put Wilson in prison

like i don't feel guilty enough for having written the damned thing! thanks a lot! ;)
18th-Jun-2007 03:18 pm (UTC)
Anonymous
good story but how was wilson helping with a patient if hes in jail?
18th-Jun-2007 03:20 pm (UTC)
how was wilson helping with a patient if hes in jail?

sorry you were confused--try rereading the very last line. when professionals are jailed, they're often given prison jobs that reflect their careers in the 'outside world,' so wilson was given a job as an orderly in the prison infirmary.
18th-Jun-2007 03:43 pm (UTC)
I use this phrase sparingly, but...aw.
18th-Jun-2007 03:46 pm (UTC)
sparingly, but...aw

i am honored by your "aw"!! :)
18th-Jun-2007 03:55 pm (UTC)
Ohhhhh. Nice twist! Sure as hell never expected that.
18th-Jun-2007 04:04 pm (UTC)
odd thing, that. i never expected any of it; but when i awakened this morn, the scene was playing, in a continuous loop, in my brain--a brain so tiny it can't afford to be consumed by a wee one-shot! so i wrote it out, and hoped i'd exorcised it. no such luck; it's still haunting me.... :(
18th-Jun-2007 04:06 pm (UTC)
Oh, that was excellent... I had a little shudder of horror at the end. It could so easily have happened. Fantastic fic :D
18th-Jun-2007 04:10 pm (UTC)
It could so easily have happened.

and i think that's exactly why i'm still obsessing over the scene--how close it came to being (fictional) reality.
18th-Jun-2007 04:26 pm (UTC)
Holy crap, I never even saw that coming. 0_0 Nice
18th-Jun-2007 04:29 pm (UTC)
and that twist is, i think, what makes it hurt so badly. i'm having every bit as much trouble living with having written this one as i did after writing Swan Song, and now regret having done it. yeah, i know that's stupid... but oh, well.
18th-Jun-2007 04:32 pm (UTC)
Well done, kidsnurse. You had me guessing until the end. I always thought it would've been an absolutely fascinating twist, with the potential for a lot of character insight and development, if TPTB had explored this angle even the tiniest bit. Obviously Wilson couldn't go to prison on the show, but if they had led right up to that point (and then had a deus ex machina save), I think it would've made more sense and been a more compelling plotline than what actually happened.

But that's just me. Heh.

*mems*
18th-Jun-2007 04:39 pm (UTC)
But that's just me.

and me, i'm afraid. wilson's words of self-sacrifice to tritter would've meant more to me at that distressing point in the arc, if we'd seen the deed, and not just the words! ;) thanks.
18th-Jun-2007 04:55 pm (UTC)
Oh man, ouch! I was right there with House saying that they could have beaten him. Thank God they did. Powerful oneshot though!
18th-Jun-2007 04:57 pm (UTC)
Oh man, ouch!

oh yeah... i'd say that about covers it nicely. :(
18th-Jun-2007 04:57 pm (UTC)
*whimper*
18th-Jun-2007 05:00 pm (UTC)
*whimper*

and that covers it nicely, as well. :(
18th-Jun-2007 05:31 pm (UTC)
Wow, that was a surprising twist. At first I read it and I was like, "No way!" So I reread it and I realized what a fantastic job you did by keeping the reader in the dark about who it really was in prison, and making it believable that it would be either. BTW- I loved how House's rant shows he cares about Wilson, not just himself. Awesome job!

And a rather strange comment to add. three days ago I was looking through my parents library and came across the book, "Etiquette; The Blue Book of Social Usage," by Emily Post. When I read that line, I was quite surprised! :-)

Again, great job, and sorry for the rambling comment!

18th-Jun-2007 05:41 pm (UTC)
I loved how House's rant shows he cares about Wilson, not just himself.

house had to show he cared, and was upset by the circumstances, but--being house--he had to go about it by "yelling" at wilson. their relationship is endlessly fascinating to me--obviously! ;)
18th-Jun-2007 05:34 pm (UTC)
What I like most about this, is the weight of things not said and not done. This is pitch-perfect.
18th-Jun-2007 05:42 pm (UTC)
the weight of things not said and not done

and that was the challenging part of the writing, for me. i'm really pleased that it seems to have worked!
18th-Jun-2007 06:02 pm (UTC)
What happened to "we are never going to mention this possibility"? I loved the end, I had a feeling that it was Wilson in the jail. So Wilson didn't lose his license or did he and he's just in the infirmary? So what is House doing with his life? You know me, always curious.

Anyhow, have I mentioned how evil you can be? I love it, but this brought back all the hard memories of those two terrible months. Hey, want to join the "Coalition for the Violation of Tritter with Large Foreign Objects" or the "Coalition for the Imprisonment and Torture of Michael Tritter?" *Tries to look innocent*
18th-Jun-2007 08:28 pm (UTC)
No, I just reread the last line. Wilson can't replace House! That's not allowed!
18th-Jun-2007 06:31 pm (UTC)
Oh boy... You totally got me by surprise there...
WELL DONE! WOW! I'd never have thought that.

How very very sad. Especially "I know. And it's okay."

18th-Jun-2007 09:14 pm (UTC)
How very very sad. Especially "I know. And it's okay."

broke my heart to write that line, too--but this was one of those things where house and wilson literally tell me what to say, and i'm just along for they typing..
18th-Jun-2007 08:12 pm (UTC)
I thought Wilson's reassuring tone was odd... until I read the last bit. That was a great twist. Like others, I went back and re-read it with new eyes, and it was every bit as good the second time around because I could appreciate what they were each saying that much more. Bravo.
18th-Jun-2007 09:37 pm (UTC)
I thought Wilson's reassuring tone was odd... until I read the last bit.

poor, sweet wilson; always trying to comfort house. it just seemed... fitting, somehow, that he spent the short visit trying to make house feel better.
18th-Jun-2007 08:48 pm (UTC)
Ach. OMG. This HURT. And it is DEFINITELY something that could have happened. I would love to see you explore this universe more!
18th-Jun-2007 09:40 pm (UTC)
I would love to see you explore this universe more!

your wish, my dear, is my command--give me ten minutes; i'm putting up a companion piece that just... kind've... happened. go figure.
18th-Jun-2007 09:56 pm (UTC)
The twist at the end was great. Wonderful story. :)
18th-Jun-2007 10:18 pm (UTC)
Glad you liked! The companion piece, Happy Hour, just went up!
18th-Jun-2007 10:33 pm (UTC)
That twist took me completely by surprise. Damn. I thought something felt off when Wilson said, "I know. And it's okay." But damn.

This just aches something awful. And I mean that in the kindest way possible.
18th-Jun-2007 10:41 pm (UTC)
just aches something awful

for you and me both. and house. and wilson. and i'm sorry i started it....
19th-Jun-2007 12:12 am (UTC)
Oh, wow... OUCH. I spent today waiting in the jury summons room for seating on a capital murder case and ALMOST got seated. That, followed by this...wow. Talk about being hit broadside!

Mick
19th-Jun-2007 01:29 pm (UTC)
Talk about being hit broadside!

i felt precisely the same way when i awakened this morning with this scene swirling in my head, refusing to go away. sigh.....
19th-Jun-2007 12:57 am (UTC)
Good voices and the twist definitely worked.
19th-Jun-2007 01:39 pm (UTC)
Good voices and the twist definitely worked

i'm honored that you think so, and that you took the time to tell me so--thank you! :)
20th-Jun-2007 03:55 am (UTC)
Ah-this is really good. Quite a deft touch-particularly the end, and Wilson being so patient with the grumpy prisoner.
23rd-Jun-2007 11:25 am (UTC)
Wilson being so patient with the grumpy prisoner

glad you picked up on that; it felt 'right,' to me, that he'd have to give to someone all the concern he couldn't show to house.
23rd-Jun-2007 03:02 am (UTC)
did not expect that...
*sigh* You talented fic writers... how am I ever going to break from the addiction?
23rd-Jun-2007 11:27 am (UTC)
ever going to break from the addiction?

ahh, but this addiction is healthy! ;)
26th-Jul-2007 04:31 pm (UTC)
Greetings!

Ah... the wonderfullness of a Nottie Author - teasing and playing with us poor readers like that! Good on you!!! :-D

""Misplaced my copy of Emily Post's Guide To Proper Prison Etiquette."" BWAHAHAHAHA!!! Love it - such a wonderful blend of Wilson's contrite and his own warm, wonderful version of sarcasm.

Masterful switch at the end - took me by surprise, until I remembered a line. I've always wondered why Tritter pushed so hard, what dark secrets are lurking around in the bottom of his own soul. Working on my own speculation at the moment and looking immensely forward to seeing what you do with this.

Thank you for sharing!
-Katrina
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