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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
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?



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


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)
You got me !
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)
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.

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)
18th-Jun-2007 05:00 pm (UTC)

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!
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