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Cats' Corners: the little HOUSE in the woods....
Where House is NEVER safe...
Two Ancient One-Shots 
12th-Oct-2007 01:40 pm

Whilst attempting to do an index for my stories, I discovered that still I had two one-shots over at the Pit that hadn't migrated over here.  So, here they be:

WHERE WERE YOU?  [rated G, House-Wilson friendship]

Greg House and James Wilson have been friends for a long time. They’ve discussed everything from movies to women to politics and religion. Their relationship is an easy one, mostly, and they know each other’s strengths and foibles. They know how to make each other laugh. They know how to make each other angry. They have no secrets.

As House sees it, they know everything there is to know about each other. Or at least Wilson knows everything about House. There’s just one thing that House doesn’t know about Wilson, and it’s been eating at him for six years.

So tonight, after a pretty good movie and too much very good beer, House decides to ask. He grabs the remote and turns off the TV. Then, he turns to his best friend in all the world and asks him. “Where were you?”

Wilson, slightly drunk, looks confused. “On your couch, I think. Why, did I leave and forget to let myself know?”

House won’t be dissuaded. “Where were you when it happened?”

“Did I miss an alert? I didn’t know we were watching the news….”

“Okay, I’ll spell it out, then. Where were you when I had the infarct?”

Wilson’s eyes widen, and he sobers up quickly; he feels like he’s just been blindsided. “Where the hell’d that come from?” He’s angry, and he’s not sure why. This conversation suddenly feels dangerous.

“It didn’t come from anywhere. It’s just a question. I’m curious.” House’s tone is mild, but his posture is not. Both hands are clenched, and his knuckles are white.

“House, you know where I was. In California, at the ALL conference. I was presenting a paper on that new chemo protocol, and—“

No, damn it! Why didn’t you come back?” House is surprised at the anger in his own voice.

“House, you had Cuddy, you had Stacy. You were pretty much out of it. I called six times a day—you shoulda seen my cellphone bill!” Wilson smiles. House doesn’t.

“I had Cuddy and Stacy. I didn’t have my best friend, he was out golfing under the palm trees—“

“House, that’s not fair!”

“No, but what was happening to me without my permission—hell, without my knowledge—that was as fair as a day in May, right, Jimmy?” House sneers.

So that was it. “You think I could’ve stopped the surgery.” It isn’t a question.

“We’ll never know, will we?” House’s voice is cold.

Wilson takes a deep breath. He’s entering dangerous waters, and he weighs his words carefully. “Stacy asked my opinion. I agreed with what Cuddy wanted to do. That wasn’t a decision Stacy should have had to make alone.”

That wasn’t Stacy’s decision to make! And it wasn’t yours, either.” House is breathing raggedly; he’s given up trying to control his anger.

“You gave her your medical proxy because you trusted her.”

“Misplaced trust; it’s a wonderful thing.” House’s laugh is bitter, humorless.

“I didn’t come back because she asked me not to. She figured it was better that there was someone you didn’t blame.”

“Selfless of her.”

“Yes, actually, it was. Would you have let me help you recover after the surgery if you’d known?”

House stares into him, says very slowly, “I’m all finished recovering; you can leave now.”

“You don’t mean that!”

“I think this little chat is over. Shouldn’t you be out looking for your next needy cripple?”

Wilson stares at him. “Oh, nice segue, House. You traveled from angry to vicious without even stopping at cruel.”

They stare intently at each other, two boxers squaring off for the next round, both suspecting that this fight won’t have a winner.

House speaks first. “Why are you still here? I asked you to leave.”

Something has to give, and it’s not gonna be House. Wilson takes a deep breath, decides it’s not gonna be their friendship, either. He’ll give; he’ll give.

“I’m still here now because I wasn’t there then. You needed me, and I wasn’t there.” He looks House square in the eye. “I’m sorry I wasn’t there. I’m here now. I’m staying.”

House looks at him. “I needed you.” It comes down, all of it, to this one simple truth, this one festering hurt.

“I know. I should have been there. I’m sorry.” An acknowledgement, an admission, an apology. A balm for the wound, finally.

House takes a deep breath. “Thanks for clearing that up.”

“No problem.”

Wilson knows all there is to know about House, and now House knows everything there is to know about Wilson. And so they move on.

[rated G, House-Wilson friendship]

House pretends that the pain in his leg hasn’t exceeded the ability of the Vicodin to control it, but he knows that Wilson isn’t buying it. He continues to pretend anyway, because he must.

House’s eyes are shuttered against Wilson’s compassion; he won’t meet Wilson’s eyes with his own, because he knows that if he allows himself to feel the empathy radiating from his friend, he’ll break. He’ll let the pain pull him under, and then he’ll have to admit how bad it is, and then they’ll both hurt, they’ll both drown in it, and Wilson will know that House is weak and scared and overwhelmingly grateful that he isn’t facing down the pain alone. And then House will, figuratively, crawl into that warm, soothing, safe embrace that Wilson is offering with his eyes. And he’ll exhale, in the shuddering hitch of a child who’s been crying for too many hours, and who finally admits exhaustion, finally embraces the comfort that’s been there all along. And then Wilson will know how weak he is, how tired. Wilson will know how strong the pain is, and how very hard House has to fight it. And then, House knows, Wilson will know exactly how much protection House really needs, how damaged House really is, and Wilson will go away.

So, as Wilson silently offers everything that keeps House alive, that keeps him safe, House tries very, very hard to pretend that he’s unaware of it. Because House knows that—as long as Wilson isn’t aware that, without him, House would allow the pain to drown him—Wilson will stay.

As long as House can continue to pretend that he’s alone, he’ll never be alone. As the pain continues to swirl in tightening, angry, smothering circles around him, House knows only this one good thing—Wilson will always be here, because House will never ask him to stay.

And here's the companion piece to 'Knowing.'  It's from Wilson's POV, and it's entitled Wondering.

12th-Oct-2007 06:59 pm (UTC)
God!! Both are so moving. You are ... undescribeable. A great and wonderful author described that not good enough. Really I love your fics and I hope you are doing as well as you can. Arrgh, I have a language-problem. Can´t say what I want to say but I wish you good days without pain. I hope you`ll understand my words in the right way. Sorry for the language problem. I wish you the best.
12th-Oct-2007 07:05 pm (UTC)
you know, i was positive that all the folks who read my stuff had already read these pieces--so it's a lovely surprise to get such a kind comment! thanks so much.
12th-Oct-2007 08:04 pm (UTC)
Loved them, both the first time around and on re-read. They hold great insight and depth of emotion. Wonderful as always, and tempting me to go back and re-read more of your stuff because it's such a pleasure to do so. :)
12th-Oct-2007 08:08 pm (UTC)
tempting me to go back and re-read

NO! NO!! NO!!! back to the studies for you, m'dear! [don't make me feel guilty for neatly organizing all the junk i've written, please!] ;-)
12th-Oct-2007 08:16 pm (UTC)
Wow, you're tougher than my attendings.
But I assure you, no guilt necessary. My life is pretty much all about medicine at the moment, hence the extended absences from fandom although I have to admit, it's been nice popping back in, as it's still one of my favorite de-stressors.
Hope all is well with you. :)
12th-Oct-2007 08:34 pm (UTC)
yes! happy to report that things are improving daily. anxious to get to work on the [long promised] sequel to TMTC, but i know that'll come when it's ready!! :)

and i, for one, am very pleased that you've popped back in!
12th-Oct-2007 08:38 pm (UTC)
Thanks muchly.
Glad to know things are looking up, and of course looking forward to the sequel as well.
And I can't believe I missed that, good on MisanthropicObs. Your writing is most assuredly, not junk. :)
(Deleted comment)
12th-Oct-2007 08:38 pm (UTC)
Good catch. :)
12th-Oct-2007 08:41 pm (UTC)
emphatically NOT JUNK

calm down, my dear. BREATHE! it's just a term i was using to mean "a whole lot of unorganized stuff." there, is that better? :-)
13th-Oct-2007 01:30 am (UTC)
I'm so glad to see these here.

Knowing in particular just wrenches me apart, because, oh House. How little he really understands, sometimes.

13th-Oct-2007 12:49 pm (UTC)
oh House. How little he really understands, sometimes

beg to differ, for... reasons. but hey--how 'bout you jump in and write this one from wilson's pov? i tried several times; didn't work, as my empathy here is so totally wrapped up with house. whaddaya think??? :)
14th-Oct-2007 12:11 am (UTC)
in the shuddering hitch of a child who’s been crying for too many hours, and who finally admits exhaustion is a wonderful line. perfect. :-)
14th-Oct-2007 12:25 pm (UTC)
so happy you liked it!
14th-Oct-2007 02:21 pm (UTC)
I'm sure I saw "Where were you" somewhere once, and loved it, but I couldn't find it anymore. So happy to have it back. It's beautiful. Thanks (and "knowing" is beautiful too, I already told you that).
14th-Oct-2007 02:32 pm (UTC)
you're right; it (and also knowing) was over at the Pit [fanfiction.net], but somehow hadn't made its way over here when i transferred everything. btw, misanthropicobs just told me about your recc for Wondering at HHoW; thanks muchly!
14th-Oct-2007 07:34 pm (UTC)
Well thank you for writing such beautiful fics! I always try to rec fics I like!
15th-Oct-2007 07:11 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
I loved your explanation to Wilson's absence during to the infarction. I think it's the only explanation possible. And I loved the way you described it all, in all the three installments. Your House and Wilson even better than the canon ones to me, because you go and tell what it's missing in the show in such a moving and deep way, and that is what their charachters deserve.
I've always been wondering why Wilson is never mentioned to have been close to House during the infarct, and found this would have been a very interesting thing to tell about in some episode. But no episode had the chance to explain that...
15th-Oct-2007 07:19 pm (UTC)
i wrote where were you? for just the reasons you describe; i couldn't imagine wilson not being there without a very good reason, and it seemed as if the show's writers weren't ever going to address the question--so i did! :-)

and i'm so pleased that my portrayals of house and wilson touch you so deeply; comments like yours are a very big part of why i write--thank you.
17th-Oct-2007 05:23 pm (UTC)
and maybe, maybe, he's right...
18th-Oct-2007 05:07 am (UTC)
maybe, he's right

poor house; i don't think so. i think wilson's there because he truly wants to be there. that's what i like to think, anyway!
18th-Oct-2007 01:54 pm (UTC)
Don’t get me wrong : I don’t think Wilson will ever let House down, I don’t want Wilson to ever let House down. I know how he feels about his friend, how badly he really wants to be here for him, whatever House might do and I’m sure he’ll always love him. Yes, he wouldn’t leave him physically, but emotionally ?

Who knows. In the show Wilson sent mixed signals at least 3 times when House admitted some weakness. He reacted in a total unexpected way, denying his friend’s pain, talking to him as if he was a junkie, teaching him useless lessons.

I’m just not sure how Wilson would react if House stopped being stubborn and overly proud, if he just stopped being the House we know. I don’t know...

I love that sentence : “Wilson will always be here, because House will never ask him to stay”. As long as House hides the severity of his pain, Wilson is free to stand by his side or not. It’s about a man being friend with another man. If I got you right, House is afraid that if he admits this pain, he, himself, will drown because he’d have stopped fighting, and Wilson being by his side will no longer be a free decision. Their relationship would be influenced by new entities. Pain/need/dependance.
I’m confused...
"WILSON: He's no different than anyone else with cancer. Once you tell, then every conversation is about that."
18th-Oct-2007 06:41 pm (UTC)
If I got you right, House is afraid that if he admits this pain, he, himself, will drown because he’d have stopped fighting, and Wilson being by his side will no longer be a free decision.

yup--you nailed it! also, i believe that house equates vulnerability with weakness, and weakness with pity--and i don't think he could ever tolerate believing that wilson pities him [even though wilson doesn't, house might think he would if house allows his vulnerability to show]. hope that makes sense!
18th-Oct-2007 07:19 pm (UTC)
Sure it makes sense .
I'm so relieved you considered my point of view without bashing me.
vulnerability/weakness/pity...how can someone like House deals with this.
I couldn't ? could I ?
That's not the point.
Eager to hear from you
Thanks, the usual,

18th-Oct-2007 09:42 pm (UTC)
you considered my point of view without bashing me

sweetie, no! i'd never do that to anyone; it's not in my nature. but furthermore, you've been on of the most loyal followers of my work, virtually since i began posting here, and i value your opinion!

i used to post my fics only at one other site. but at that site, praise is freely given, whether it's deserved or not--and that isn't how a writer grows or improves. so i came to lj, because i hoped to find readers who aren't afraid to offer suggestions or criticism or analysis. and boy, did i find the greatest bunch of readers, you included!

and i'll tell you something--the comments, analysis, and concrit are my favorite type of comment. and if they lead to a spirited discussion? all the better, in my opinion!! because it keeps things interesting, and helps me to improve my writing--so we all benefit.

Thanks, the usual

no, hon--thank you, for faithfully commenting, and for sharing your perceptions on our favorite two guys!!
19th-Oct-2007 11:58 am (UTC)
"i used to post my fics only at one other site" : To me LJ is a cosy, warm, mature and friendly private club whilst FoneFotherFsiteDotNet is a world trade fair. Invaded by House/Cameron geeks.
I love your insights on our two boys. They're often like an echo of my own perception. And when they're not (I don't know if that ever happened actually, I couldn't come up with an instance), I love to discuss it with you.
Nice meeting you.
18th-Oct-2007 02:59 am (UTC)

These are still most wonderful and it's so loverly to see them safe Over Here, instead of merely Over There. :-D

Thank'ee's for the posting!
18th-Oct-2007 05:08 am (UTC)
not sure how much 'safer' they are [lj and i are currently having... issues], but i'm glad they're here too. and thanks!!
27th-May-2008 04:29 am (UTC) - central Florida
Where in central Florida? I grew up in Mulberry and Bartow. I've got 75 relatives first cousin or closer in Polk County. Five generations of Pipkin and Spence are buried in the old Fitzgerald Cemetery by Scott Lake between Bartow and Lakeland. My daddy was born in Land Pebble (gone now ... it was one of the phosphate "company" towns between Mulberry and Lakeland. Clark Lake (also between Mulberry and Lakeland) is named after my paternal grandfather ... he was mining superintendant when it was dug.