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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 04:51 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! :-)