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Cats' Corners: the little HOUSE in the woods....
Where House is NEVER safe...
Fifty-Minute Hour (fourth in the HOUR series) 
22nd-Jun-2007 10:48 am
3StoriesMontage
Title: Fifty-Minute Hour
Characters: House, Wilson
Rating: G
Genre: Angst
Word Count: 600/575
Summary: Because others are concerned, both House and Wilson seek out help. An exercise in futility? This series began with
Visiting Hour, Happy Hour, and Midnight Hour. (these should be read in order, please!)

A/N: The title for this one comes from the traditional length of a counseling session.


FIFTY MINUTE HOUR: House

This is a crappy idea. Of course it is; it isn't his idea, it's Cuddy's. Which automatically makes it suspect, of course, but this time there's more. She's told House--in no uncertain terms--that if he doesn't keep this appointment she's set up for him, she'll suspend him. Indefinitely. An indefinite amount of time to mull over what his decisions have done to the only person in his life who's ever cared about him just because he's House. 

Not because he's a phenomenal diagnostician, not because his presence at Princeton-Plainsboro brings in the big donations. Not even because they're somehow related and, well, you have to care about family. No; Wilson cares about House because he wants to. And House would never admit it, not even to himself, but that makes his friendship with Wilson worth more than all his other relationships put together. So House shows up at the stupid appointment.

The psychiatrist is young, and self-important--two strikes against him. The third strike comes when he asks the first question. "Dr. Cuddy tells me that you've been sleeping excessively, even at work; shall we talk about the issue you're trying to avoid?"

Strike three, House thinks. You're out! He smiles at Dr. Arbeson, and it's a deceptively kind smile. "Sure," he says pleasantly. "What are the magic words that'll fix killing your best friend?"

House notes, with satisfaction, that the young man's eyes have just doubled in size. "You're... admitting to... committing a murder?" the psychiatrist asks hesitantly.

House leans back in the chair, closes his eyes. "Yup. Worst kind of crime, too. Kind I can't be punished for. Wilson's lost his medical license; he's in jail for two years, and he's lost me. I might not look like much of a prize to you, but that idiot's actually told me that the only two good things in his life are his job, and me--go figure, huh? So... I make sure he'll never work as a doctor again, and then I get him locked up for a couple of years. Not like I can stop by once in a while with a six-pack and a movie, is it? He's still breathing, but he's dead. Do you get that?"

"And you're... feeling a lot of guilt about this."

House lifts his head and regards the doctor with wry irony. "They pay you to figure that out? I'm in the wrong specialty!"

Dr. Arbeson has recovered his professional mask. “You need to come up with healthier coping mechanisms than avoidance; perhaps I can help you do that. Start by acknowledging your depression.”

“I’m not depressed, you moron,” House almost shouts. “I’m angry!”

Arbeson looks smug. “Depression,” he says sagely, “is simply anger without enthusiasm.”

House looks hard at Arbeson. “Here’s something they didn’t teach you at Harvard. Sometimes guilt is a valid feeling. Sometimes our choices have consequences. And sometimes people we care about have to live with those consequences, while we get off scot-free. Got a pill, or a bandage, or a nifty slogan for that?”

Arbeson simply stares back, and House sees, with cold amusement, that the psychiatrist is at a loss for words. House checks his watch.

“Seems I’ve used up nineteen minutes; gives you thirty-one minutes to dig out your DSM-IV. Maybe you can find the diagnostic criteria for ‘crappy friend.’ If I were you, I’d start under H. Then,” he says as he stands and grabs the doorknob, “at least the insurance company’ll know how to reimburse for this illuminating—” he checks his watch again, “—nineteen minutes and thirty-two seconds. And make sure you tell Cuddy I was here.”

House is halfway out the door. He turns around and says one more thing. “Sometimes, guilt is just… guilt. No fancy names, no simple cures. And we live with it.” And then he’s gone.



FIFTY-MINUTE HOUR: Wilson

 

Wilson enters Dr. Ambegley's office and smiles shyly.  It's evident that he's uncomfortable, ill at ease, and the psychiatrist makes an effort to greet him warmly.

 

"So nice to meet you, Dr. Wilson," he says, extending his hand.

 

Sadness radiates from Wilson's eyes.  "It's just Mister now," he says.  "Or... James."

 

They seat themselves, and the psychiatrist says, "That's as good a place to start as any.  Would you like to discuss how you feel about the loss of your medical license?"

 

Wilson rubs his hand across his face; it's difficult to tell if his unutterable fatigue is physical or emotional.  "I'm sorry," he begins, "that it hurts House so much.  He'd never admit that he feels guilty about my license.  But I know him, and he does.  I'm afraid it's gonna affect him.  When he can't avoid dealing with emotional issues, his physical pain increases.  I'm worried about that."

 

"But there's nothing you can do, so that concern isn't productive for you."

 

"But you don't understand House.  He's... different.  And now that I'm not around, he'll shut down.  Every aspect of his life will suffer.  His diagnostic skills, his interactions with others.  And his health.  That's my primary concern right now, his health--mental and physical."

 

"I have to point out, again, that you're powerless to intervene there."  Dr. Ambegley watches as his statement causes real pain to settle across Wilson's features.

 

"If I could just... talk to him.  Let him know that nothing's changed, that I still worry, I still care...."

 

The psychiatrist feels uncomfortable now--but he has to ask.  "I'm inferring from the... degree of your concern... that you and your friend House might, well, have a… relationship?"

 

Wilson smiles with open amusement.  "If you consider that someone you met, decades into your life, is your brother, always was your brother--even before you knew of each other's existence--then yeah; we have a relationship."

 

Now it's Ambegley's turn to smile.  "And I take it you're the big brother?"

 

Wilson actually laughs.  "Well... not chronologically.  But in every other way, yeah."  Wilson continues to talk animatedly about House, shares his concerns with Ambegley, and a few times, loses himself in the recollection of happy memories.

 

Dr. Ambegley watches the expressions, the memories, playing across Wilson's face.  Finally, he interrupts gently.  "James, our time is almost up. Do you realize you've spent over forty minutes telling me about your friend, and your friend's problems?  We haven't talked about you at all."

 

Wilson looks steadily at the doctor and says simply, quietly, "You don't understand; we've talked about everything I needed to talk about.  House isn't... doing well.  His problems are my problems.  Fix things with House.  Can you do that?  Then I won't need help either."

 

“I’d like to see you again, next Thursday,” Ambegley says.  “Are you willing?”

 

Wilson smiles gently, almost condescendingly, at the kind doctor who wishes he could help.  “I feel guilty, taking up your time when there are so many others who could benefit.  But… sure.”

 

The psychiatrist shakes his head and sighs as he scribbles out Wilson's scrips for anti-depressants and sleeping pills.  Ambegley's an intelligent man; he knows he's just come up against a rare situation.  No sage words, no amount of medication, will benefit this man in front of him.  Even if Ambegley could wave a magic wand, produce the lost license, he knows that its value to Wilson would be negligible compared with his other loss.  Only one thing will help him—and it’s the one thing Ambegley cannot do for this intriguing prisoner. He needs what no one can supply; James Wilson needs to be reunited with his brother. 


And onward to:
Random Hour

 

 

 
Thoughts 
22nd-Jun-2007 04:25 pm (UTC)
*sniff* Very IC sessions for both of them. That last line of Wilson's session is particularly poignant.
22nd-Jun-2007 07:59 pm (UTC)
Very IC sessions for both of them.

and house's "session" was very therapeutic for me!

**wanders away mumbling unfavorable things about psychiatrists under her breath**
22nd-Jun-2007 04:28 pm (UTC)
These two scenes come together really, really beautifully.

And did I mention how much I love seeing House take apart his oh-so-overconfident psychiatrist? If they ever send him to a shrink on the show, I predict that this is exactly how House will respond.

And Wilson -- oh, Wilson. Everything about that segment makes my heart hurt. Gah. I read them separately, I know, as you were writing, but when you hang them together everything's magnified. Good call on posting them as one segment.

22nd-Jun-2007 08:05 pm (UTC)
And did I mention how much I love seeing House take apart his oh-so-overconfident psychiatrist?

and did i mention how "therapeutic" writing that scene was for the author?
22nd-Jun-2007 04:37 pm (UTC)
Oh, ouch.

I love the contrast of House using only 19 minutes, while Wilson takes every bit of available time (and would probably talk for fifty more minutes -- about House).

This is a fascinating, fascinating series, kidsnurse.
22nd-Jun-2007 08:06 pm (UTC)
and would probably talk for fifty more minutes -- about House

oh, he did--but i had to gag him; he'd already used up his 600 word allotment! ;)
(Deleted comment)
22nd-Jun-2007 08:07 pm (UTC)
Poor Wilson...too much crying...

hey, kids--what'd we do with that box of kleenex? :)
22nd-Jun-2007 04:39 pm (UTC)
wow!!! I have read the others of your Hour series...
and are really good!!
but I just loved this one, specially Wilson's part!!!

He is so sweet!! *-*
Great Job!!!

Kisses

bye!
22nd-Jun-2007 08:10 pm (UTC)
but I just loved this one, specially Wilson's part!!!

wilson's easier to write than house, usually--but this time, house's part is actually my own favorite!

**still grumbling about psychiatry as a profession, psychiatrists in general, and one particular... oh, nevermind!) ;)
22nd-Jun-2007 04:55 pm (UTC) - *sniffle*
I really should know better than to read your heartbreaking stories during lunch at the office.

“I’m not depressed, you moron,” House almost shouts. “I’m angry!” I could definitely hear this in House's voice.

22nd-Jun-2007 08:11 pm (UTC) - Re: *sniffle*
to read your heartbreaking stories during lunch

i'm pretty certain there's a box of kleenex circulating above you, somewhere... ;)
(Deleted comment)
22nd-Jun-2007 08:14 pm (UTC)
It is a truly symbiotic relationship. When they can be with the other each of them is stronger and complete, without the other they are both incomplete and dysfunctional.

absolutely--you've said it all, right there. i don't even have anything to add!! (except that i adore your perceptions)
22nd-Jun-2007 05:11 pm (UTC)
all right then, if nobody can get Wilson out of jail, let's put House in jail. Reunite the brothers ! reunite the brothers !
Please ?
(Deleted comment)
22nd-Jun-2007 05:26 pm (UTC)
“Depression,” he says sagely, “is simply anger without enthusiasm.”


this is brilliant.
22nd-Jun-2007 08:18 pm (UTC)
this is brilliant

and i agree with it; much more "fun" to be truly angry than to be truly depressed!
22nd-Jun-2007 05:38 pm (UTC) - Fifty-Minute Hour (Dr. Fantabulous)
Anonymous
Very, very good, wonderfully in character. Only you can pull of House-in-therapy! This series is clever, I like it a lot. Can't wait for the sequel to The More Things Change, too!
22nd-Jun-2007 08:19 pm (UTC) - Re: Fifty-Minute Hour (Dr. Fantabulous)
wonderfully in character

ahh--the words that warm my heart! thank you!!
22nd-Jun-2007 06:28 pm (UTC)
beautiful. So sad and so beautiful.
And completely IC.

I physically cringed when I read that: It's just Mister now," he says. "Or... James."
This makes me wish I could bring them both together again. But that's entirely up to you, isn't it. :-)
22nd-Jun-2007 08:20 pm (UTC)
that's entirely up to you, isn't it

take heart; what i break, i intend to fix! :)
22nd-Jun-2007 07:08 pm (UTC)
Perfect. Once again. Very nice. I love the way they parallel each other. Yin and yang.

And I have just the perfect icon for that too.
22nd-Jun-2007 08:22 pm (UTC)
just the perfect icon

it's lovely--and doesn't cause migraines! yay!!
22nd-Jun-2007 07:47 pm (UTC)
Oh dear. You are so inside this universe now. It's a great thing, a wonderful thing to experience as a reader, but...ah...have you made friends with it yet or is it just nagging and nagging and demanding to be written? (The selfish part of me wants more and more and more of these; the author part knows it can be a pain to be nagged by fictional characters.)

These short fics are very nice counterpoints to your longer ones. And heart-wrenching...
22nd-Jun-2007 08:29 pm (UTC)
have you made friends with it yet or is it just nagging and nagging and demanding to be written

lemme see.... yesterday, i had to pull the suv off the road to spend 25 minutes writing out a scene for the next Hour fic, and was therefore five minutes late picking up my kid. does that answer the question? ;)
22nd-Jun-2007 07:50 pm (UTC)
Just when I think you were done with this, the knife enters in my heart and twists. Is it pathetic that I loved House's therapy session better then I liked Wilson's? Wilson is right, guilt is guilt. I liked the analogy of killing Wilson. Its said that House knows how broken up Wilson is about him. So what happens next?
22nd-Jun-2007 08:17 pm (UTC)
By the way, quit dissing the whole psychiatric profession. We are not all bad. The psychiatrists maybe, but there are psychologists (ME!!) who do not act like the bastards in this fic. I apologize for cussing, you know me. Violent tempered and way too much like House.

*grins* Don't act like a doctor, saying all nurses are imbeciles, okay? *ducks a smack*
22nd-Jun-2007 09:45 pm (UTC)
Heart-breaking, but lovely. This series really highlights how well these two fit together by showing how they fall apart.
Something that they may or may not take comfort in, he's technically still Dr. Wilson since the title goes with the degree not the license.
Wilson describing his role as the big brother and using his whole session to talk about House, was perfect. It really shows how central House is to him, especially now that his job is gone. House is the only thing left, and he can't really have him in his life either. House's session worked just as well from his challenging (and taking his aggression out on the psychiatrist;) to his storming out after less than half a session. Both were very true to form in balanced contrast.
Absolutely loving this gorgeous, painful story. Looking forward to the next. :)
22nd-Jun-2007 09:48 pm (UTC)
Something that they may or may not take comfort in, he's technically still Dr. Wilson since the title goes with the degree not the license

that's coming up later! :)
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