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Cats' Corners: the little HOUSE in the woods....
Where House is NEVER safe...
House's Hour (fourteenth in the HOUR series) 
9th-Jul-2007 11:42 am

Title: House's Hour
Characters: House, Wilson
Rating: PG
Genre: Angst
Word Count: 850 
Summary:  House reflects on the lessons taught him by influential men in his life.  

The previous vignettes, in order, are:
Visiting Hour,  Happy Hour,  Midnight Hour  Fifty-Minute Hour Random Hour,  Painful Hour,  Dark Hour ,   Desperate Hour,   Witching Hour ,   Lonely Hour,    Dinner Hour   Legal Hour and  Honorable Hour .



Despite the increased pain in his right thigh, House has to admit that he's enjoying the ride back to Princeton.  The weather is good, the traffic is light, the bike is running well.


And none of those things even remotely explain the smile on your face, you moron, House says to himself.  Can't even be honest enough to tell yourself the truth; that's just... pathetic.  Admit it; you're happy.  You're actually... happy.  May not last long, but it's here now.  Enjoy it.


House thinks about the long week he's just been through, and about everything that's still coming up, some of which will be difficult, even painful.  But for right now, what matters—all that matters to House—is that there's an end in sight, a conclusion to Wilson's nightmare.


Gotta tell Cuddy, give her time to find somewhere else to put the guy who's in Wilson's office.  What's his name?  Oh well, doesn't matter now.  Only been there four months anyway; that’s not long enough to learn his name.


House wonders what Wilson’s thinking about right now, wonders how long it’ll be before he’s ready to come back to work.  Me, I’d wanna come back right away.  But Wilson… he might want to take some time, ease into it.  Cuddy’ll just have to understand; Wilson’s always been the cautious type.  Shouldn’t be a problem, though; Cuddy’s told me often enough that I could learn a thing or two from ‘the careful approach’.


House laughs aloud; Cuddy can think what she wants, but it sure isn’t the careful approach that’s getting Wilson out of jail.  Sometimes, doing the right thing means taking risks—no one knows that better than House.  And when it pays off, it pays off big.


As House pulls up to his building and gets off the bike, he can’t deny the physical pain any longer.  The few steps to his door are agony, and by the time he collapses on the couch, each breath is a labored gasp.  But he’s still smiling.  He allows two bitter Vicodin tablets to melt on his tongue; relief will come faster that way.


He leans his head against the back of the couch, rubs at his leg, and he remembers.


House had been eleven years old that summer, a skinny misfit, a loner.  His dad had been determined that they’d run together in the annual Father-Son Marathon.  To that end, his father had shouted him awake each morning at 5:30, and they’d run.  When House would be ready to collapse with pain and fatigue, when each breath was fire in his throat, his dad would laugh at him, egg him on, shouting, “No pain, no gain, you wimp!”  And House would force himself to go on, tears making hot, steady tracks down his thin face.


Until one day he’d collapsed.  He’d spent the next three weeks in bed, muscles bunched in a hard, tight knot in his thigh.  In all that time, his dad had entered his bedroom only three times.  The first time, he’d told him to “suck it up and get back out there.” 


The second time, the young House, hope in his eyes, had said to the man looking disdainfully down on him, “Hurts so bad I must’ve made a lotta gains, huh, dad?”


“Baby!” his father had growled, and had slammed the door on his way out.  The last time, the day of the race, he’d looked at the boy writhing in pain—no doctor was ever called—and whispered, “I raised a sissy.”  During these bedside visits, there was no mistaking the look of disgust on his father’s face.  And all three times, on his way out, he’d turn in the doorway and hiss, “No pain, no gain.”


All these years, House has felt the expression was macho garbage.  He didn’t know what lesson his dad had intended to impart, but what he’d taught his son was that pain was to be hated, because it diminished him, made him less of a man.  And—over three decades later—House was still living his life with that belief.  After all, the only gifts pain’s ever given him are a dark way to view the world, and a dependence on narcotics—not exactly advantages.


But this pain—this is different.  This pain is his friend; it’s tangible proof that he did something good today, something rightWilson’s gonna get his life back.  And House?  A couple days of hurting like hell is a negligible price to pay for regaining his friend.  “You were right, dad,” he whispers aloud into the dark room as he massages the thigh.


“Whaddaya know, you old bastard; you finally called one.  But this time, I had a different teacher.  Didn’t force the words down my throat.  Didn’t call me names even though he had every right to.  What he did was showed me how to handle it.  Never said a word; just gave a damned good demonstration.”


House thinks of Wilson’s quiet grace, his acceptance, all these months, in the face of a pain House’s father couldn’t begin to imagine.  He’d shown House that pain didn’t have to diminish him.  In fact, House thinks, it’s the opposite.  Embrace the growth that pain can bring, accept it for what it can accomplish, and the man doesn’t diminish—but the pain does.

Now, it's Wilson's turn:
Wilson's Hour


9th-Jul-2007 04:13 pm (UTC)
this was truly awesome. No other words needed. I love the last three paragraphs.
Is this the end??
9th-Jul-2007 04:57 pm (UTC)
Is this the end??

no--i couldn't/wouldn't end it with wilson still unjustly imprisoned! after this one, there are six more.
9th-Jul-2007 04:13 pm (UTC)
"No pain no gain" is quite the lesson to learn. Loved the very last line especially.
9th-Jul-2007 04:58 pm (UTC)
Loved the very last line especially.

thank you very much; that line has a lot of meaning for me as well.
9th-Jul-2007 04:23 pm (UTC)
Wilson taught House a lesson his own father couldn't.

*wibbles and loves Wilson*

Beautiful installment, kidsnurse. I wonder though how long it will take for Wilson to readjust. Four months, even in a minimum-security prison, has got to do a number on anyone's head.
9th-Jul-2007 05:01 pm (UTC)
I wonder though how long it will take for Wilson to readjust.

before it's over, i will be showing just a bit of wilson's readjustment difficulties. it's not gonna be all sweetness and light from here on in, believe me! ;)
9th-Jul-2007 05:54 pm (UTC)
Oooo! Oooo!! Are there going to be twenty-four of them all together?

Wow. That sadistic sonuvabitch. I cannot believe someone would do that to their own kid! Poor House no wonder he's so fucked up. But I am proud of our baby boy all grown up! And yay! Wilson's coming back!

9th-Jul-2007 06:54 pm (UTC)
Are there going to be twenty-four of them all together?

no, hon--just twenty. but still plenty of angst, and some humor, coming up!

koda--you've read the word, you've heard the word when i let you listen to Robert Sean Leonard performing Prey. this is just a loving reminder that you are still not allowed to SAY the word. got me, dude? love, mom
9th-Jul-2007 07:08 pm (UTC)
this is way too deep for me to be reading before noon.
9th-Jul-2007 07:16 pm (UTC)
i'm... uh... not sure how to respond to this.... ;)
9th-Jul-2007 07:57 pm (UTC)
House's memories are heartbreaking. I can imagine his dad saying those things, even from the little we've seen him on the show. I love how much House has grown during this whole hellish experience and that he and Wilson may both come out better for it.
9th-Jul-2007 08:12 pm (UTC)
his dad saying those things, even from the little we've seen him on the show

i pretty much based house's memory on the very little bit of info we have about his father--but yeah, i know what you mean; after i wrote it, it 'felt' right.
9th-Jul-2007 08:32 pm (UTC)
I'm always a little torn about John House in fanfic. What we know from Daddy's Boy and One Day, One Room is that House hates him and that he believed in extreme discipline.

A lot of fics demonize him. And I enjoy that -- it lets me wallow in feeling sorry for the kid Greg House was. But the man we say in Daddy's Boy wasn't a monster, he was someone who loved his son and was clueless as to how to reach him (and so set in his ways that he still couldn't stop criticizing everything House said.)

I think you got him right. Somebody who believed "one size fits all" and couldn't see the difference between the way to treat a Marine recruit in boot camp and his son. Even calling him a wimp and a baby fit that mindset.

And I know all the other posters mentioned it, but there isn't enough love in the world for that last line.
9th-Jul-2007 09:02 pm (UTC)
there isn't enough love in the world for that last line

[uh-oh: the author's feeling grateful for the kindness of her readers, so she's getting ready to 'share'--run and hide!]

i've learned, since i began writing fanfic fourteen months ago, that the last line is true in more ways than i ever could've previously imagined. because i've found that living with chronic pain has brought me an unexpected gift--the ability to share with others, through the character of house, what that life is like--the good as well as the bad. and to share these things, and have them not only be understood, but also empathized with, is... amazing. and when i'm sharing with you, and you're letting me know that what i've written has touched you, it does, indeed, diminish the pain. and i thank all of you for that gift! :)
9th-Jul-2007 09:21 pm (UTC)
I've been reading these vignettes open-mouthed and speechlessly for some days now, and shamefully never left a comment.

Just to show how hooked you've got me:

When I was half-way through this installment, I skimmed the text (sorry, the damage of learning Classical languages...), and, reaching the bottom of my browser window, thought, "Oh, no, that isn't the end of this one already, is it?!" :)

Yeah, I suck at making compliments, but there you are.
9th-Jul-2007 09:59 pm (UTC)
i've always believed that not wanting a piece of writing to be over is some of the highest praise any reader can offer any writer--so i very much appreciate the compliment!
9th-Jul-2007 11:11 pm (UTC)
This was awesome, I loved the whole series! It was great , and you should be proud of your work :)
9th-Jul-2007 11:14 pm (UTC)
the series isn't over! there are six more vignettes left. glad you're enjoying it; i hope you're glad it isn't over!
10th-Jul-2007 12:04 am (UTC)
Love seeing a happy House. And since it is really close to home, love seeing a House able to deal with and put to rest some of the memories of his father. Really love that last line, one of the best yet. Thanks :)
10th-Jul-2007 01:41 am (UTC)
i thought of this scene because i remember my brother, at about age 11, running after a football my dad had thrown, falling, and skidding across the street on his knee. my father kept saying "shake it off; be like vince [lombardi, a popular football coach at the time],--winners never quit, and quitters never win" while my brother's knee swelled. and swelled. and swelled. the next morning, when the poor kid couldn't get his pj leg down over the knee, he wound up in the ER having blood aspirated from the knee. sigh. macho men. (my father was not abusive; he was... i don't know what he was.) anyway. from there came the memory!
10th-Jul-2007 02:22 am (UTC)
Hmm, House learning stoicism from Wilson, and that stoicism doesn't have to be taken too far - I like it. Of course, the big idiot doesn't have to suffer for his friend except in his own messed up head (and you did a great job giving us a peak at how that head got so messed up). House finally concedes one to his dad, while noting that someone's taught the same lesson by a better method. Our Wittle Gwegowy is growing up.

I have to add to the love fest for the last line, too. Tightly-written piece, this one. :)
10th-Jul-2007 12:31 pm (UTC)
Of course, the big idiot doesn't have to suffer for his friend except in his own messed up head

so true, so true. i think both his upbringing and his adult experiences have taught him that valid lessons must have pain attached, and i think he'll probably always believe that. poor house.
(Deleted comment)
10th-Jul-2007 12:28 pm (UTC)
Wilson really has been conducting himself in such a noble manner throughout this entire adventure. I'm glad his demonstration of how to deal with pain was a lesson House could take to heart.

oddly enough, i've always seen house as even more noble, in the way he consistently adheres to what he believes in. i've seen wilson as someone who struggles, daily, to be noble (as do most of us). he had the chance here, and did a fine job of it! :)
(Deleted comment)
10th-Jul-2007 06:38 am (UTC)
Oh, I like that. It's a peaceful interlude (unless the next 'hours' are also peaceful :D ) and I love House's reflections on his pain.
10th-Jul-2007 10:40 am (UTC)
we needed a peaceful interlude, as there's more angst to come! ;)
10th-Jul-2007 10:35 am (UTC) - great
Great chapter series. You captured Wilson's loyalty to House wonderfully. When will you start the sequel to "The More Things Change"? I was so wrapped up in that one and your cliff hanger has me on pins and needles. Please hurry.
10th-Jul-2007 10:39 am (UTC) - Re: great
THIS ONE ISN'T OVER!!! there are six more vignettes after this one!!!

sequel? what sequel? (just kidding) ;)
12th-Jul-2007 01:34 am (UTC)
Awesome chapter!
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