Characters: House, Wilson, Cuddy
Word Count: 1150
Summary: House has a plan. Wilson has anxiety. Cuddy has a solution.
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 , Honorable Hour, House's Hour , Wilson's Hour , Uncomfortable Hour , and Lunch Hour .
Once Cameron and Chase have left,
“You’re getting right back into the swing of things,” House observes cheerfully as he swipes a pickle from
“I just answered a few questions; that’s hardly—hey, wait a minute! You don’t even like pickles!”
“Well, yeah, but you forgot to order fries, and I need to polish my food-borrowing skills. Hate to admit it, but they’ve gotten a little rusty lately.”
“Nah; no fun unless they belong to you. Anyway, we need to see Cuddy before she leaves for the day.”
House determinedly ignores the way
“That’s fine; you can stay here, then. Finish your lunch. Start your lunch!” House has noticed that all
House bites back a smile and waits for
When they arrive at Cuddy’s office, House doesn’t knock—he bangs open the doors and shouts, “Hi honey, we’re home!”
Cuddy forces herself not to jump, and aims a manufactured smile in House’s direction. The smile she turns on
House waits impatiently; touching scenes aren’t his thing, and there’s work to be done. As the two old friends finally break apart, he raps his cane against the desk to get their attention. “You,” he announces to Cuddy, “have a problem. A big problem.”
Cuddy shakes her head regretfully. “I’m well aware of that, House, but once I realized that you have tenure, I figured there are simply some things I’ve gotta learn to live with.”
House makes a face. “Cute. Now listen. I’ve decided how we’re gonna get
Cuddy starts to say something; House silences her with a look. He imperiously points to the couch with his cane, and waits until his audience has seated themselves. Then, he begins to pace.
“Here’s the way I see it. The three of us have already brought down one Evil Empire, with nothing but our light sabers and our wicked tongues, and—”
Cuddy leans over and whispers loudly to
“He’s been drinking?”
“‘He’ has not,” House intones dramatically. “He has figured out a way to get you out of this mess!” House stops speaking and glares at Cuddy when she groans. “What!” he demands.
Cuddy smiles sweetly at him. “It may have… escaped your attention, but most of your attempts to bravely right the wrongs of the world wind up costing me money. Lots of money. And anyway—”
“Silence!” House roars. He sneaks a look at Wilson, who no longer looks pale and uncertain—he’s snickering indulgently behind his hand.
House continues. “So here’s the cunning plan. I will sneak into the Throne Room, and lay waste to the gilt-edged Secret Documents, thus rendering them unusable. Boy Wonder and Super Girl—”
“I thought I was Princess Leia!” Cuddy objects to
“Different empire,” he informs her matter-of-factly, while House glowers at both of them.
“If I may continue.” House waits until they both nod obediently. “Boy Wonder and Super Girl are charged with invading the
“Isn’t he mixing his metaphors? Now we’ve somehow got trains in this scenario.” Cuddy’s shaking her head in confusion.
“Mixed metaphors appear to be the least of his problems. Any beds available in Psych?”
“Yeah,” Cuddy says, “but none in the lockdown unit. I’m afraid we’re stuck with him.”
“You two have no imagination,” House grumbles.
“No, but I do have a plan based in… uh… reality,” Cuddy smiles.
“How prosaic,” House sulks, collapsing into a chair.
“As you know,” Cuddy begins, “Dr. Henley’s position hasn’t been made permanent. And… it’s not going to be. I’ve already spoken with all the board members. Seems he’s rubbed most of them the wrong way. Imagine that!” Cuddy smiles dryly. “He has a six month contract, which gives us about seven weeks to come up with a replacement. I’ve been informed that Dr. Wilson should have his license back, officially, in about six weeks. Funny how these things work out.”
House is still sulking. “You let me go through all that, and you knew all along….”
Cuddy doesn’t bother to point out that House wouldn’t let her speak. “It’s okay, House,” she soothes. “That was perhaps the most entertaining psychotic break I’ve ever been privileged to witness.”
Wilson nods his assent, and House grins in satisfaction.
“One more thing,” Cuddy says to
“That’s very kind of them, Cuddy,”
“Oh yeah, you will,” Cuddy says. “When you’re ready to come back, you can do some consulting for your department, fill in as guest lecturer—we’ll keep you busy,” she assures him.
“Did you hear that, House?”
“I’m gonna need a raise,” he sighs.