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Cats' Corners: the little HOUSE in the woods....
Where House is NEVER safe...
Legal Hour (twelfth in the HOUR series) 
5th-Jul-2007 08:25 am
HouseContemplative

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.

LEGAL 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 
 
 
 
Thoughts 
5th-Jul-2007 01:30 pm (UTC)
Very good :) *is proud of House*. I like the last line, good one, Tritter was certainly evil in this series. I don't think he was necessarily so evil in the actual arc on the show though, I hate what happened between House and Wilson because of him, but haven't been able to find it in myself to dislike the character, to me, Tritter IS House, just a cop not a doctor.
5th-Jul-2007 01:40 pm (UTC)
I don't think he was necessarily so evil in the actual arc on the show though

i just... keep seeing him (tritter) intentionally tripping a man on a cane. for me, that far out-trumps house's initial refusal to take tritter's medical problem as seriously as tritter felt it should be taken.

as well, i keep remembering that (to our knowledge) house, in his weirdly honorable way, never mentioned the tripping incident to anyone, never tried to defend himself. i myself detest tritter--but adore david morse, the actor who played him! :)
5th-Jul-2007 02:18 pm (UTC)
Amen to that! I was so outraged that that bully deliberately tripped House - and before House was particularly abrasive to him, either! And it's ridiculous that Tripper automatically assumed that House was a drug addict because he took his prescribed medication in front of him. For all Tritter knew, it was time for that pill.
5th-Jul-2007 02:25 pm (UTC)
ridiculous that Tripper automatically assumed

i do adore wordplay--and that one gave me a giggle; thanks!
5th-Jul-2007 03:34 pm (UTC)
i just... keep seeing him (tritter) intentionally tripping a man on a cane. Absolutely. The sequence of events was:

1. Tritter came to a free clinic and had to wait for his minor rash to be examined.
2. He complains about the wait.
3. The doctor (House) is rude.
4. He assaults the doctor.

And House is the one who was wrong???? Granted that Cuddy, Wilson and the fellows never know of the initial assault. But both Tritter and House do.

I love this chapter. The only bad thing about it is that it means this series won't last too much longer. It took a lot of guts for House to confess (and to beg for help getting Wilson out.)

If Doyle needs additional ammunition, don't forget Tritter's camping out at the hospital on his vacation, randomly reading any patient files that caught his fancy. (Violating doctor-patient confidentiality.)
5th-Jul-2007 03:41 pm (UTC)
And House is the one who was wrong????

i think part of the problem is that house is aware that cuddy's 'default setting' is "house has got to be in the wrong if it's a patient complaint" so maybe he saw no point... etc. etc.

The only bad thing about it is that it means this series won't last too much longer.

and the good thing about that is, i might actually get the sequel to TMTC off the ground! :)

5th-Jul-2007 03:38 pm (UTC)
I wanted to like Tritter on the show, truly I did. But from the start, I didn't think anything House said to him was justification for the humiliation of being tripped like that, humiliated in one of the worst possible ways. House was snarky; Tritter was vicious.

His search on House's apartment left the place in total disarray, ransacked. Necessary? Absolutely not, just a bullying tactic. More humiliation. As was the traffic stop and the search.

But what really clinched it for me was Tritter's sadistic joy at yanking the rug out from under House, retracting the rehab deal. Oh, and throwing House's apology in his face; and that nasty visit to rehab just to tell House that nothing he did would matter either (and I am convinced, since House was obviously detoxing prior to that, that Tritter's vindictive visit was the trigger for House to decide rehab wasn't worth the effort and to bribe the orderly for Vicodin).

Oh, and let's not forget Tritter's satisfied smugness as he took Wilson apart. I am convinced he'd have sent Wilson to jail quite happily, for trying to protect and help House. Tritter promised help to Wilson, and then betrayed his trust, and I saw him enjoying it.

Yeah, he had a lot in common with House in some ways, but for my money he was way, way worse.
5th-Jul-2007 03:45 pm (UTC)
But what really clinched it for me was Tritter's sadistic joy at yanking the rug out from under House, retracting the rehab deal.

and that was the initial trigger for my needing to write TMTC. there were plenty of other triggers, but that's the one which pushed me over the edge.