Characters: House, Wilson
Genre: Angst, hurt/comfort
Summary: It's the middle of the night, and Wilson takes an important phone call.
Aww, House—third time this month. Damn.
He grabs frantically for a copy of Journal of Clinical Oncology, starts paging through it as he presses the ‘talk’ button on the phone.
“Hey, House. Glad you called; I was just thinking about a new case, a tough one.”
Two hitched breaths. “Happy to be of assistance.”
“It’s a, uh… uh… twenty-eight year old male. Malignant melanoma. But it’s metastasized to his right eye.”
“So remove the eye.”
“I’d… mmm… like to avoid that. Seems he lost his left eye in… a childhood BB-gun accident.”
“You’re making that up.” A sharp, audible intake of breath, and a dry swallow.
“No. Go on.” The answer comes too fast, and it’s tinged with resignation.
“Okay. So what I want to try is focused radiation. But what I was thinking was that a radioactive implant might be more effective.”
House calls him a moron for even considering the implant, then launches into a five minute analysis of the optimum schedule and dosage of radiation. His voice becomes hoarse, and fades completely a couple of times;
“House, listen. I’m really thirsty. Hate to do this to ya, but I need to go down to the lobby, hit the Coke machine. Can’t take the cell; no reception. So I’m just gonna leave it here. Gonna take a few minutes, though—need to get change from the front desk. Why don’t you get something to drink too? This might be a long one.” C’mon, House. How long’s it been? Seven hours? Ten? Make yourself get up, get some water. I won’t hang up. I’m not going anywhere. Do it.
“Yeah,” House says. “Not a bad idea.”
The sound of the cane clattering to the hardwood floor, and then a curse during the struggle to pick it up. Slow, uneven steps punctuated by an occasional groan, and by silences that mean House is trying to force himself to make the next painful step. Then a very long silence that means House has made it to the kitchen.
Several minutes later, he can hear noise again. He pictures what’s happening, based on the sounds. He’s in the hall, trying to carry the glass and maneuver the cane. His shoulder keeps hitting the wall.
Then, when the heavy tap of rubber on wood disappears, He’s given up on trying to use the cane; he’s supporting himself on the wall now. Got the cane hung across his arm—probably shooting it dirty looks.
“House, just got back—sorry it took so long. You still there?”
“Yeah. What’d you do, crawl there and back?”
“Had trouble getting change. You get something to drink?”
“Yup. Brought some back with me too—if you’re really stupid enough to consider an implant for this guy, we could be here a while.”
Wilson hears House adjusting himself in the bed, hears House cover the mouthpiece on the phone long enough to hitch his breath and sigh with relief as he finds a semi-comfortable position and takes a few gulps of water.
“Okay, now lemme give you the history. This guy’s wife is a real talker; she started by telling me all about the beach trip where he got the sunburn that she thinks led to the melanoma. You ready?”
“Uh-huh.” House’s answer is thick and lethargic.
“So anyway, it’s their first day in
At , the coffee’s finished brewing, the first batch of pancakes is ready to come off the griddle, and
“Hey,” House greets
“Not a problem,” House says, and digs into his breakfast.