KidsNurse (kidsnurse) wrote,

Legal Hour (twelfth in the HOUR series)

Title: Legal Hour
Characters: House
Rating: PG
Genre: Angst
Word Count: 1200 (yeah, okay, I know--but I had a lot of rationalizing carefully thought-out explaining to do)
Summary:  House thinks he's got a way to help Wilson--but it means House must go to prison.  

The previous vignettes, in order, are:
Visiting HourHappy HourMidnight Hour,   Fifty-Minute Hour,  Random HourPainful HourDark Hour ,   Desperate Hour,   Witching Hour ,   Lonely Hourand  Dinner Hour.

House is twitching.  He doesn't like to be kept waiting, and he's been waiting for twenty one minutes.  His cane is threatening to wear a hole in the plush carpet beneath its tip; he estimates that it's hit the same spot at least three hundred and four times now.  Three hundred and five.
"Ms. Doyle will see you now, Dr. House," the receptionist says irritably--the man is driving her to distraction.
House smiles pleasantly at the grumpy woman, and sweeps past her into the inner sanctum of the one person who might really be able to help him--help WilsonIn the last three days, he's spoken with a private detective, a criminal lawyer, and a retired cop--and apparently, all roads lead here, to the office of the state's attorney, the woman who'd originally set up the deal for Wilson.
"I need to talk to you," he announces.  "There's a flaw in your conviction of Dr. James Wilson.  And--since you're all about justice--I'm presuming that you'll want to take care of it yesterday."
The woman frowns at him, then presses a button House can't see.  "Lydia, look up James Wilson's file.  I don't have the case number in front--"
House shoves a piece of paper at her.  She looks at it, then at him.  "Never mind, Lydia.  Found it."
Doyle presses the numbers into her keyboard, and begins to study the file.
For a minute, House is able to distract himself by studying Ms. Doyle, as she examines the file. He likes what he sees; intelligent brown eyes, short auburn hair swept back from her face, confident posture. A no-nonsense woman who’ll take him seriously. But House is tired of waiting.  "I'm here because Wilson said... he said I...."  House clears his throat and swallows.  "Did the right thing.  But I didn't.  I'm the one you want, the one who belongs in prison.  You need to release him, remove the sanctions from his license."
When Doyle doesn’t appear to hear him, House continues, ignoring the note of desperation in his own voice. “I’ve done the research; if you need a loophole I found it. Vicodin’s schedule III; this is a federal sentence. Wilson wrote me six legit prescriptions in five and a half months. You subtract the ones I wrote—which I’m confessing to—he comes in just under the DEA guidelines.”
Doyle is studying her computer screen, and frowning; she doesn't respond.
"Didn't you hear what I just told you?" House asks impatiently.  "You don't even need to go over his file.  I'm confessing.  Put me in prison, let him out.  Seems pretty simple to me!"  House's agitation has gotten the best of him; now he's up and pacing.
Doyle looks up slowly from the computer.  "You're... wrong, Dr. House," she says seriously.
"I know I'm wrong--that's why I'm here!  I'm trying to fix it, to... do the right thing."
"No.  You don't understand. Let me remind you that your case was dismissed. You could confess to all the charges now, and I couldn’t do a thing; double jeopardy attaches. It’s irrelevant now. But there’s something else.  Under federal law, you aren't the one who committed a crime; Detective Michael Tritter is."
House, speechless, stops pacing and stares at the woman.
"From what I can see here, Detective Tritter's raid on your home was... not legal.  He obtained the warrant on false grounds."
Never removing his eyes from Ms. Doyle's face, House sinks slowly into a chair.
"You should know," she continues, "that we've been investigating Tritter for some months now.  It came to our attention that his... methods... were a bit overzealous.  After a preliminary investigation, we've also discovered that many of his methods were also illegal.  And--the way the law works--when evidence and information are obtained illegally, and convictions are handed out on the basis of that initial evidence, those convictions are automatically nullified.  Further, any investigations which are begun based on the initial faulty presumption are also negated."
House continues to stare at Doyle; he’s trying hard to hear everything she’s saying, but it’s difficult to comprehend anything past Wilson’s getting out; he’ll get his license back. The thought shouts and echoes in his brain, refusing to leave room for anything else. It isn’t until much later that it even occurs to him that he’s not going to prison either.
Doyle can tell that he's not quite processing what she's telling him.  "Let me put this more simply.  If I do B and C based solely on A, and it turns out, later, that A should never have happened, then the law considers that no matter how valid B and C are, they shouldn't exist.  Therefore Dr. Wilson should never have been imprisoned, never have had his license sanctioned.  We'd have caught this... grievous error... eventually, in the course of our investigation into Detective Tritter.  But it's fortunate for Dr. Wilson, in terms of expediency, that you've brought this to my attention now. We’ve… quite a backlog of cases to examine. Dr. Wilson might’ve had to serve out his entire term. I’m grateful to you for bringing this to my attention; I’m certain your friend will be grateful to you as well."  She smiles, but House doesn't smile back.
“How long before Wilson’s released? Before he gets his license back?”
“Normally, that process can take many weeks. But I’m going to expedite Dr. Wilson’s case personally. I’ll be in touch with you, and with his lawyer, very soon. And I must echo Dr. Wilson; you did the right thing.” Doyle smiles again, encouragingly, but she notes that the man in front of her is still distressed.
“So you’re gonna give ‘em another shot at killing him?” House glowers at her.
“What are you talking about?”
“He was shanked. A few weeks ago. He’s still being treated for the infection it caused.”
“I’m so sorry, Dr. House. I wasn’t notified. And I know it’s no comfort to you, but a situation like that is almost unheard of at that prison.”
“Damned right it’s no comfort! I’m on a first-name basis now with the staff at the infirmary; have to call ‘em every day. And believe me, Ms. Doyle, I’m not normally a first-name kinda guy!”
“I’ll have the judge take that incident into consideration; you have my word. Dr. Wilson will be released as soon as humanly possible.”
House takes a deep breath.  "And Tritter?"
"He's currently in jail for evidence tampering.  I can't go into the details with you, as that case itself is still pending."
House stands to leave.  “I need… I want to be the one to tell Wilson. Could you….”
Doyle looks sympathetically at House; it’s clear that this is a man not used to asking for favors. “Of course,” she responds warmly. “I’ll put in a call right away, arrange for you to meet with him privately. I assume you’re going there now?”
House nods. “Thank you. And… I’d suggest,” he says to Doyle, “that—what with his… pleasant personality, and his former career—you might want to put ex-Detective Tritter into protective custody.” He moves towards the door, but with his hand on the knob, he turns around. “Or… not,” he says—and now he’s smiling.

Let's go with House to see Wilson: 
Honorable Hour 
Tags: house

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