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Cats' Corners: the little HOUSE in the woods....
Where House is NEVER safe...
Evening Hour (nineteenth in the HOUR series) 
16th-Jul-2007 10:30 am
Title: Evening Hour
Characters: House, Wilson
Rating: PG
Genre: Angst
Word Count: 1100 
Summary: Wilson thinks he's doing fine; House knows better. 

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 HourDinner Hour Legal Hour  Honorable Hour,  House's Hour ,  Wilson's Hour ,  Uncomfortable Hour ,  Lunch Hour , and Administrative Hour .



As House and Wilson enter the apartment, Wilson sighs shakily, and collapses on the couch.  House is immediately on alert.


“How’s the shoulder?”


“It’s fine, House.  Relax.  Just been a… full day, that’s all.  A good day.  I’m a little tired; nothing to worry about.”


“I’m not worried; just don’t want you getting sick.  You might expect me to act like a doctor, or something.”


“Heaven forbid!  Like I said, relax.  I’ve only got two more days of antibiotics.  Then the whole thing just becomes some story to tell my grandchildren.  Or not.”  Wilson smiles ruefully.


“You take ‘em yet?  The antibiotics?”


Wilson’s got his head leaned against the back of the couch; his eyes are closed, and he’s comfortable.  “Not yet; I will.  Just give me a few minutes.”  He hears House’s uneven footsteps leaving the room, and he sighs with relief; concerned House is turning out to be more work than selfish House.


Too soon, he hears the footsteps headed his way again; they stop right next to him.  Without opening his eyes, he says, “Yeah, House.  What is it?”  There’s no response, so Wilson reluctantly opens his eyes.


House is standing in front of him, cane in one hand, a plate in the other.  He’s somehow managed to balance a glass of water, the prescription bottle, and some unrecognizable food item on the plate.


Wilson frowns.  “What’s that?”


House sighs.  “What’s it look like?  It’s your meds and something to wash ‘em down with.  And a sandwich; you take antibiotics on an empty stomach, you might barf on my couch.”


Wilson gives up and raises his head.  “That is not a sandwich. That is… that is—what is that?”


“It’s bologna and cheese, between a couple of Pop Tarts.  We’re out of bread; I improvised!” House says proudly.


“House,” Wilson says patiently.  “Meat and cheese, between two toaster pastries filled with… filled with….”


“Chocolate,” House supplies.


Wilson’s eyebrows climb.  “Chocolate?  Seriously?”  When House nods, Wilson shakes his head and continues.  “That does not constitute a sandwich.”


House makes a show of looking hurt.  “I’ll have you know that in Sweden, this is considered a delicacy.”


That’d be the same country where ‘limping twerp’ translates to ‘friend,’ Wilson reflects fondly.


“Gimme,” Wilson says, holding out his hand for the plate.  “Never let it be said I turned down a sure-fire ticket to heartburn—or worse.”


House hands the plate over, but continues to stand just in front of Wilson.


“What?  I said I’d eat.”  Then he sees that what House is looking at is the pill bottle.  Wilson picks it up and pops two of the capsules into his mouth.  “Happy?” he asks after he swallows them.


House nods his head, but Wilson notes that his expression, on anyone else’s face, would qualify as worried.


“House, what’s up with you?  You’re acting… strange.  I mean, you’re acting… concerned, but for you, that’s synonymous with strange.”


House wrinkles his brow.  “Just trying to be a good host, is all.  Sorry if it’s annoying you.”  He sits next to Wilson on the couch, and reaches for the TV remote.  Wilson’s busy trying to separate ‘dinner’ from ‘dessert’, but he’s uncomfortably aware that House is still watching him.


The next few minutes pass in silence as Wilson chokes down some of the more edible parts of the “sandwich,” and House flicks through the television channels.  He settles on an old black-and-white movie, and turns to Wilson.  “This okay?” he asks deferentially.  When Wilson nods, he says, “You sure?  If you wanna watch something else—”


Wilson flings the plate onto the coffee table and stands up.  “All right; that’s it!  News bulletin: I’m fine.  I just got out of a prison that wasn’t too much worse than the hotel I was staying in.  I got my license back, and my job, and my title.  I got my friend back!  Everything’s great!”  He’s pacing now, and he’s agitated, and House is simply watching him, expressionless, and he’s not saying anything, and Wilson doesn’t understand why.  The silence is weird, and empty, and it needs to be filled, and if House won’t speak, well then, Wilson will.


“Yeah, I’m tired, and I’m at the tail end of an uncomplicated infection, and it’s my first day out, and maybe some of it was a little overwhelming.  And I need to get some rest, and things feel a little strange right now, and yeah—it’s hard to really relax.  I can’t quite believe it’s over, and I can’t quite believe it even happened in the first place.  It’s a little tough, okay?  But I’m not going to break!”  Now he’s gesturing frantically, and yelling—and still, House is just sitting there, looking at him like he’s some sort of intriguing zoo exhibit.


Wilson throws his arms wildly into the air.  “What the hell do you want from me?” he shouts, and as he brings his arms down, he feels something pull in his left shoulder, and he glances towards it, and there’s fresh blood, and he can’t look away from it even though he’s feeling dizzy, and then House is there, right there, guiding him over to the couch, and making him sit, and mumbling something that sounds like, ‘good, it’s about time; that was good,’ and the mumble is oddly soothing, and finally Wilson’s able to pull in a deep breath, and then another, and he can’t remember the last time it was so easy to fill his lungs with air, and then he has a question, and he’s able to ask it in a quiet, calm voice.  “You want to tell me what all that was about?”


House shrugs.  “You needed to get angry,” he says simply, as he presses a dish towel to Wilson’s shoulder.  “Hold that there a minute; I’ll be right back. Tearing that wound open wasn’t part of the plan.”


House returns before Wilson even notices that he’s gone.  “Lie back,” he orders.  “It’ll give me a better angle on that thing.”


So Wilson does as he’s told, and he closes his eyes, and when House does something to his shoulder that stings it doesn’t bother him, because he’s still marveling at how suddenly easy it is to breathe, how effortless, and why hadn’t he noticed before how much work breathing had become?  And when House does something that takes away the stinging and replaces it with wonderful coolness, Wilson takes another miraculously deep breath, and he falls effortlessly into a soft, safe place, a place where the only sound is a quiet, comforting, familiar voice telling him it’s okay, everything’s all right now.  And then he sleeps.

And the end of our journey: 

Bittersweet Hour

16th-Jul-2007 02:55 pm (UTC)
nd when House does something that takes away the stinging and replaces it with wonderful coolness, Wilson takes another miraculously deep breath, and he falls effortlessly into a soft, safe place, a place where the only sound is a quiet, comforting, familiar voice telling him it’s okay, everything’s all right now. And then he sleeps.

*cries* but in a good way :)
17th-Jul-2007 11:23 am (UTC)

*smiles in triumph, and passes the kleenex*
16th-Jul-2007 03:02 pm (UTC)
LOL Concerned!House creeps out Wilson. It would freak me out too. I love that House figured out what was wrong and went about giving his cure in tru House fashion.
17th-Jul-2007 11:26 am (UTC)
went about giving his cure in tru House fashion

i do believe that--in his own, twisted way--house is just as compassionate as wilson is; the challenge is in demonstrating that! :)
16th-Jul-2007 03:03 pm (UTC)
“It’s bologna and cheese, between a couple of Pop Tarts. We’re out of bread; I improvised!” House says proudly.

House is a man after my own heart. I love it. He would be proud of coming up with a Pop Tart sandwich :)
16th-Jul-2007 10:31 pm (UTC)
Reminds me of when my husband (who is entirely too much like House) made a meal out of Saltines and BBQ sauce.
(Deleted comment)
16th-Jul-2007 03:14 pm (UTC)
mmm poptart sandwich
16th-Jul-2007 03:38 pm (UTC)
Say it isn't so... This can't have just one more part to it! But other than that, this part was fabulous and concern!House is adorable. :)
17th-Jul-2007 11:31 am (UTC)
concern!House is adorable

he's got a special place in my heart too! ;)
16th-Jul-2007 03:40 pm (UTC)
LOL a pop tart sandwich! YES! GO HOUSE!

and I really like the end. Yes, getting angry sometimes is necessary for moving on!
17th-Jul-2007 11:34 am (UTC)
getting angry sometimes is necessary

and boy, does wilson have every right to be angry over what happened to his life! house knows that, and cares enough to acknowledge it.
16th-Jul-2007 03:57 pm (UTC)
I can't believe it's almost over!

This was beautiful, which is no longer surprising. ;-) I'm glad Wilson can breathe easily again. And I'm glad House recognized that Wilson had to get angry about it. Lovely.
17th-Jul-2007 11:36 am (UTC)
I can't believe it's almost over!

me neither. i'm sitting here telling myself, 'last one goes up in an hour'--yet my brain is still trying to think of more titles... sigh.
16th-Jul-2007 04:11 pm (UTC)
Whoa. I'm not entirely sure what you did to this since the last time I saw it, but it's better than it was, and I loved it before. And now ...

In case I never told you this the first time around, I really enjoy the way House is pushing at Wilson here, the way he knows exactly how to bring Wilson's real emotions to the surface when he chooses to do so. He does to Wilson all the same hovering kinds of things that would aggravate House, and of course it works, because they really are so much alike.

That sandwich is a thing of beauty.

Wilson's voice sounds exceptionally accurate here. I mean they both do, but it's particularly noticeable for Wilson because he's doing most of the talking. The rushing run-on sentences you used for his thought process, at the end, are really effective at conveying the dizzying surge of emotions that has just come out.

And somehow, for me, seeing Wilson choose to relax and trust House, is perhaps even more touching than seeing it the other way 'round. It's just something Wilson never normally does, and I wish he'd do it more often.
17th-Jul-2007 11:40 am (UTC)
And somehow, for me, seeing Wilson choose to relax and trust House, is perhaps even more touching than seeing it the other way 'round.

i absolutely agree with this. there's something especially poignant about watching the collapse of someone who prides themselves on self-sufficiency and their ability to care for others.
16th-Jul-2007 05:46 pm (UTC)
I just read the whole series through. I loved it. Thank you!
17th-Jul-2007 11:42 am (UTC)
read the whole series

remember--the final vignette goes up this morning! and you're welcome!
16th-Jul-2007 05:56 pm (UTC)
loved the whole scene, the sandwich, the hovering almost disturbing House, so nice, so caring, doing the right thing in his own special way. And Wilson, used to his friend's tricky tricks, not asking for more development. "you did that to help me ? ok then". Those guys are wonderful, both. And this story, one of the best about their friendship.
thanks !
17th-Jul-2007 11:44 am (UTC)
And Wilson, used to his friend's tricky tricks, not asking for more development.

i think if wilson weren't so exhausted (both physically and emotionally) he'd have been a bit more distrustful of house's motives. but then, if he weren't that exhausted, house mightn't have had to intervene!
16th-Jul-2007 10:47 pm (UTC)
I think this is my fave of all the hours so far. Wilson needed to do that and House being so quiet and watching and then the beautiful ending. Yeah, that was amazing.
17th-Jul-2007 11:47 am (UTC)
I think this is my fave of all the hours so far.

it might be mine as well--although i'm also partial to desperate, AND to the final vignette, coming up later this morning. ;)
(Deleted comment)
17th-Jul-2007 11:50 am (UTC)
I also liked this one at least as much, if not better that when I first read it.

yeah, i tend to do what i call "fidget" in the hour before i post. that's the only time i'm able to read these things as if i didn't write them, and sometimes it's at that point that i realize that something's missing, or unclear, or i'd like to see it developed further.

as you know, i'm even wont to change perfectly good titles in those final minutes before posting! ;)
16th-Jul-2007 11:37 pm (UTC)
*melts* Aww I just love it how House's unconventional treatment works! Wilson's so passive-agressive, forever responding to explosions with calm... Good thing House knows him better than anyone else ;]
17th-Jul-2007 12:00 pm (UTC)
Wilson's so passive-agressive, forever responding to explosions with calm

and when he does explode, himself, it's on a grand scale--which is his own fault, because of all that holding-back that he normally engages in! ;)
17th-Jul-2007 12:14 am (UTC)
That has to be the best idea for an improvised sandwich ever! lol
17th-Jul-2007 12:01 pm (UTC)
the best idea for an improvised sandwich

only if you aren't the one who has to eat the thing! ;)
17th-Jul-2007 01:04 am (UTC)
So lovely. I adore Concerned!House, and the fact that it creeped out Wilson was a bonus. This was another marvelous addition to your series. I look forward to the next.

17th-Jul-2007 12:02 pm (UTC)
I look forward to the next.

which will be posted shortly! can't believe it's the final one.... :(
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