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Cats' Corners: the little HOUSE in the woods....
Where House is NEVER safe...
Dinner Hour (eleventh in the HOUR series) 
4th-Jul-2007 09:03 am
HouCud

Title: Dinner Hour
Characters: House, Cuddy
Rating: PG
Genre: Angst
Word Count: 800
Summary:  Cuddy has something to say, on Wilson's behalf..  The previous vignettes, in order, are:
Visiting HourHappy HourMidnight Hour,   Fifty-Minute Hour,  Random HourPainful HourDark Hour ,   Desperate Hour,   Witching Hour , and  Lonely Hour.

DINNER HOUR

 

Cuddy’s already seated at a secluded table in the restaurant when House arrives.  For once, she’s very happy to see him leaning more heavily than usual on his cane, moving slowly through the room.  Once he’s seated across from her, she casually reaches over and grabs the cane, which he’s hung on the back of his chair.  Then she smiles mischievously at him.

 

“Niiice,” House says as he regards her appraisingly.  “Any reason my mobility’s posing a particular threat to you tonight?”

 

Cuddy’s still smiling.  “Nope.  Having a captive audience is a secret fantasy of mine; that’s all.”

 

Now House leers at her.  “Care to share any more… fantasies?”

 

The smile disappears rapidly from Cuddy’s face.  “Yes, actually, I do.  I’ve got this crazy dream that you’ll go visit Wilson next Tuesday.  And the Tuesday after that.  And so on.”

 

House no longer looks amused, either.  “Sorry.  Not happening.  And—since it seems you got me here under false pretenses—I’d appreciate the return of my cane.  Need to be going now.”

 

“The pretense wasn’t false.  I told you I needed to go over some paperwork with you.  In private.  And I do.”  Cuddy reaches into her purse and hands House two folded sheets of paper.

 

House begins to read the first page, then tosses the papers to the tabletop.  “Also not happening.  This letter is addressed to you.  It’s a violation of federal law for me to stick my nose into your mail.  Don’t wanna break any laws.”

 

Cuddy smiles.  “Fine.  Then let me summarize for you.  Wilson knew you wouldn’t read anything he sent you.  So he wrote to me, because there are some things he wants you to know.  Says he figures that for all the times I’ve used him as a go-between, when I was trying to get you to listen, I owe him this one.  And he’s right.”

 

House reaches for his cane; Cuddy pulls it further away.  House sighs in resignation.  “Gimme the condensed version.  And then give me my cane.”

 

They’re interrupted briefly by the waiter.  Cuddy orders a meal; House says he won’t be staying and asks for a glass of water.

 

Once the waiter leaves, Cuddy picks up Wilson’s letter.  “The first thing he says is that you’ve done nothing wrong.”

 

House makes a scoffing, disbelieving noise, and Cuddy laughs.  “The second thing he says is you don’t believe that.  And that I’m going to have to explain it to you.”  She sets the letter down on the table and meets House’s eyes.

 

Wilson says that throughout the entire investigation, you were the only one of us who stuck by your principles, never wavered.  He’s right, you know.  Says what you did was admirable, and that you were his role model for the choices he eventually made—and that he doesn’t regret one single thing he did.  He says you taught him about real honesty, and it’s a lesson that’ll always be with him.  And that a couple of years in prison is a cheap price for such a valuable lesson.”

 

The waiter reappears with Cuddy’s food, and sets a glass of water in front of House.  The interruption annoys Cuddy, but House seems relieved by the enforced break in the conversation.  So Cuddy fidgets until the waiter departs, and forces herself to sit quietly until House drains the glass of water, then returns his attention to her.

 

House has been listening intently to everything Cuddy’s telling him,  and she knows that the time will never be better to impart to him the most important point Wilson wants him to know.  So she locks her eyes with his, and grabs both his hands across the table; he has to know that Wilson means this.

 

Wilson wants you to know that he’s proud to be your friend.  He says that you need to remember just one thing, and you’ll be okay.  He wants you to remember that… he’s proud of you.  He says to tell you that… you were right.  You did the right thing.”  Cuddy releases House’s hands and watches his face.

 

House’s eyes are unreadable as he nods slowly at her.  He holds his hand out for the cane; she returns it to him, and he stands.

 

“I need some time off,” he says.  “Not sure how long—need to take care of something.”

 

Cuddy isn’t certain what’s going on, but her instincts tell her that it’s good.  “Take all the time you need, House.”  She watches him as he takes Wilson’s letter from the table, then folds it carefully and puts it in his pocket.

 

Then House reaches across the table and grabs a handful of fries from Cuddy’s plate.

 

That’s for Wilson,” he tells her as he stalks off.  Cuddy sees the small smile on his face, just before he turns to leave, and—for the first time—she’s beginning to believe that House and Wilson might just be all right.

And on to
Legal Hour

Thoughts 
4th-Jul-2007 04:13 pm (UTC)
Wilson says that throughout the entire investigation, you were the only one of us who stuck by your principles, never wavered.
mmmhhh - I generally agree with that (and thats the only good thing about the T-arc), although I feel somewhat uneasy with that statement. Maybe because I do think that House went a little too far. Maybe it's because I'm not happy with the whole T-arc and how they simply dropped everything afterwards. Maybe it's because House IS an addict. I don't know. Just makes me frown...

He says to tell you that… you were right. You did the right thing. I whinced at that. Would House really take that as a good thing??? Does Wilson know he want's to hear that from his father? (He wasn't in the room during that scene) And if Wilson does know and House knows that, I think House would be rather pissed, if Wilson said it. But that's just my view.

And now this comment sounds rather bad, so I want to make sure to say this too:
I really like this vignette. It makes me hopeful. Although I'm still a little worried about what House is planning. I'll just rely on Cuddys instincts. :-)
4th-Jul-2007 04:21 pm (UTC)
see above, my reply to poeia. and we'll simply have to agree to disagree on the "addict" thing. if house is an addict, then so am i. period. no joke. i see worlds of difference between dependence on opioids and addiction to opioids. but that's because a major part of house's fictional world is also a mojor part of my real world.
4th-Jul-2007 04:33 pm (UTC)
see above, my reply to poeia.
I see your point. And it works for the story. So no need to argue over it. :-) Good thing about fictional characters is, that there's always room for interpretation. It's what makes it interesting.

we'll simply have to agree to disagree on the "addict" thing.
I have to admit that I don't have any 'personal' experience when it comes to the question of dependence/addiction to opiods (I do see that there's a difference). But I think my opinion of House might be based on the fact that he seems to refuse even the idea of any other possibilities. I know that sometimes there is simply no other way and that doesn't just concern pain-meds, it's also true with other meds. But House uses Vidodin not only for pyhsical pain, but for 'mental pain' too and that's not a good thing. gosh, this is really hard to explain, esp. in english... hope you get what I mean :-/
Anyway. I don't have a problem with agreeing to disagree. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and those are usually based on personal experience, so that's fine. :-) Who kows, I might change mine in the future...
4th-Jul-2007 04:51 pm (UTC)
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and those are usually based on personal experience, so that's fine. :-) Who kows, I might change mine in the future...

your initial comment did upset me a bit--but i'm certain it's not for the reasons you might think. it upset me because i'm pretty sure you read The Devil, You Say, and i know you read The More Things Change. in both (but most especially in Devil), one of my goals was to illustrate the difference between dependence and addiction. and your comment has forced me to acknowledge that i didn't present as compelling an argument as i'd hoped, that's all.

as to medicating for 'mental pain', i, too, am "guilty" of that; when one suffers with chronic physical pain, one learns very quickly that mental pain has an incredible capacity to exacerbate physical pain--past the level where any meds will be effective. so, one takes steps to prevent the physical pain from becoming intractable. and no, it's not "healthy". but it is the reality of it, for both house and for me.

as to refusing other possibilities; it'd blow your mind if you knew that house's medication of choice is among the most mild opioids out there. i weigh about half of what he weighs, yet--in terms of strength of meds--i'm probably twice as medicated as he is at any given time. and ya know what? still hurts. the pain is mediated, certainly, but it's never gone.

anyway. thanks for responding and clarifying! :)
5th-Jul-2007 08:23 am (UTC)
i'm pretty sure you read The Devil, You Say, and i know you read The More Things Change.
I have started The Devil, but acutally at the moment I'm a little swamped with RL, so I've dropped it again. But I am definitely going to read it in the future. So I can't tell you if you've managed to get your point across.

About the mental/physical pain: Like I said, I have no personal experience with chronic pain, so all I can go on is what I read/hear from other people. I am willing to learn and I'm very glad that you take the time to explain your view/experiences on this.
As a general opinion I think that pain should be treated the such a way that is the best for the one who suffers. If that means dependance it's not 'good' but maybe a necessary 'evil'.
About House: I'm going with entegonemo: It's probably the inconcistency of the writers that makes it so hard to "judge" him.
And entegonemo right here too: I personally would rather error by enabling an addict than deny a sufferer
5th-Jul-2007 11:25 am (UTC)
we don't want to get me started on the writers again. we really, really don't want to get me started on the writers again..... sigh.........
6th-Jul-2007 08:04 am (UTC)
No, you're right. We shouldn't get started on that topic. It's just not good for the general well-being! :-)
(Deleted comment)
4th-Jul-2007 06:38 pm (UTC)
I like to think (maybe because I am an optimist) that this long debate on addict/dependent is the fault of the inconsistent writers, and that it is a character, however well played. Watching Words and Deeds last night, I had almost forgotten the "good days it's merely unbearable" take because they were rare this season. I think in season 1 there was more establishment that House's pain is not just real but worse than he usually lets on. If your judgment about his pain is formed by that lens, then it's always pseudoaddiction/dependency no matter what lengths he goes to or how resistant to change he is. If you go simply by how he often appears (and as a character that is something we have to go on), the new beliefs of The Powers, and often the plot needs of later episodes, I can see how you can believe he is magnifying. I personally would rather error by enabling an addict than deny a sufferer (and I hope ultimately Wilson and Cuddy would, too), but my limited but genuine experience with addiction includes people who have justified their drug use with a questionable diagnosis (making them in my mind very unlike House's diagnosis) and later see their pain as, in fact, treatable by more conservative therapy (also making it different from House's problem - I did like this season establishing for certain that House isn't seeking an altered feeling (he's anti- hazy)). Sorry, this probably belongs in a discussion board.
Anyway, I am enjoying this story group (though I would enjoy it more when I wasn't eagerly awaiting House's recovery from sepsis/kidney failure).
4th-Jul-2007 06:54 pm (UTC)
(though I would enjoy it more when I wasn't eagerly awaiting House's recovery from sepsis/kidney failure)

this wouldn't happen to be just a subtle, teeny-tiny, even understated reminder to some idiot who promised a sequel this summer, before she took a (really really) wrong turn and wound up with wilson in prison, would it??? ;)
5th-Jul-2007 02:08 am (UTC)
this wouldn't happen to be just a subtle, teeny-tiny, even understated reminder to some idiot who promised a sequel this summer, before she took a (really really) wrong turn and wound up with wilson in prison, would it??? ;)
Oh no, it isn't like I have been counting down the days until, umm, around three weeks from three weeks ago, umm, let's say day after tomorrow. I have a family, friends, a job, lots of things to fill my time while House is stuck in the ICU on dialysis for weeks and weeks.
I mean Wilson is going to be in prison for 2 years (unless House has something up his rumpled sleeves) we have all the hours in the day (actually I like the suggestion to have 24 of these ones).
Honestly, I shouldn't be greedy, a few months ago all I could do was reread the Devil series from time to time, you can write whatever fills your muse.
5th-Jul-2007 08:14 am (UTC)
Please! We've already completely forgotten that promised sequel... *gg*
Har de Har Har
5th-Jul-2007 11:22 am (UTC)
completely forgotten that promised sequel

and i'd actually believe you, too, if you hadn't stuck the word "promised" in there!! :)
6th-Jul-2007 08:03 am (UTC)
*gg*