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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 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*