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Cats' Corners: the little HOUSE in the woods....
Where House is NEVER safe...
Reparations [new one-shot] 
29th-Nov-2007 01:12 pm
Title:  Reparations
Rating:  PG
Characters:  Wilson, House
Summary:  It's House's second day back at work following Rehab--and he has something to share with Wilson.
Genre:  Angst, Friendship
A/N:   This rather short one-shot came to me out of nowhere this morning; i believe that it may have been inspired by a discussion with   leaveout    following my take yesterday on episode 4.09.  And for an amazing drive-by beta, heartfelt thanks to the wonderful, invaluable   blackmare_9   !
P.S.  Yeah--you might've read this yesterday.  But then, because I continued to revise it several times after posting--and because I had a crisis of confidence based on a very weird combination of factors all coming together at the same time, I locked it.  And this morn, all those factors have been put into perspective, I've [well, some bitter white tablets have--finally] gotten a handle on an unusually bad spate of pain, and I'm finished sitting out in the garden, munching on the worms  blackmare_9  so generously offered to fry.  So I ask your indulgence with that little blip on my radar.  Here's the story, again, with a zillion minor [and likely unnecessary] revisions. I apologize.



House and Wilson glare at each other across Wilson’s desk.  House stands in an accusatory posture; Wilson sits not-quite-defensively, but he has clasped his hands together.


It’s House’s second day at work after the travesty that was Christmas Eve, the cosmic joke that was Rehab.  His first day back, by unspoken agreement, he and Wilson had successfully avoided one another.  But now, House has entered Wilson’s office clearly primed for a fight.  That much is easy to figure out—but still, Wilson’s utterly unprepared for House’s opening volley.


“You almost killed me.”


Wilson sighs.  “House.  When I left you on the floor, you’d vomited.  And all indications were you were gonna vomit some more.  The oxy was leaving your system.”




Wilson looks at him, genuinely confused.  “So how did I almost kill you?”


House takes a deep breath, in an attempt to calm himself.  It works; when he begins to speak, his tone is neutral.  “I came to you.  Asked for a scrip for anti-emetics.  Remember that?”  He waits until Wilson nods impatiently.  “You refused.”


Wilson waits, certain that House is going to continue, going to explain.  When House remains silent, Wilson says, “I didn’t almost kill you; if I’d given you the metoclopramide, that would’ve been murder.  All that oxy would have stayed down.”  Wilson pauses, and meets House’s eyes.  “You would’ve died.”


House shakes his head.  “No.  If you’d given me the scrip, the rest of it wouldn’t have happened.  I… the withdrawal, the nausea.  I couldn’t sleep.  I couldn’t eat.  And it was just…  I had to control some of it.”


Wilson’s eyes grow wide; he’s beginning to figure out where this is going.


“So I stole the oxy; figured I could take just enough to take the edge off the withdrawal, get the vomiting under control.  But by then I… wasn’t thinking straight.  You know the rest.”


House tone has remained calm throughout, but now the hard, accusatory look is back in his eyes—and they’re trained directly at Wilson.


Wilson, unaware that he’s doing it, stands as his jaw goes slack.  He stares back at House as the horror grows in his eyes.  When his face goes pale and he wavers on his feet, House instinctively takes a step towards him, hand out.  But House stops when Wilson involuntarily takes a faltering step back.


Wilson finds his voice.  “I… House, I….  Oh, God,” he whispers.  His legs give out then; the chair’s there to catch him as his head drops to his hands.


House moves to the couch and sits.  He’s still watching Wilson, but now the anger’s drained from his eyes, replaced with puzzled concern; he'd expected an argument, a denial--not this heartsick, guilty man crumpled in front of him.  He says nothing, just watches.


Finally, Wilson whispers, “I’m… sorry,” and House nods.


When House speaks, his voice is—almost—gentle.  “Just thought you should know.  Because… patients don’t always lie.  And doctors aren’t always right.”


The two sit, in silence, for several minutes, each lost in his own thoughts, his own memories.  It’s not uncomfortable, exactly; there’s simply a mutual air of waiting.  What comes next?  So Wilson ventures quietly, “Wanna get some lunch?”


Their eyes meet, and in this silent conversation, both acknowledge that there’s still work to be done, understanding and forgiveness granted—from both sides.  But they’ve taken the initial step, that very first, incredibly difficult step, and House smiles hesitantly.


“Who’s buying?” he asks.  Wilson knows that House knows the answer—but that he needs the comfort of the familiar, the past.  And Wilson sees the hope in his eyes, vulnerable and almost childlike.

Wilson grins.  “Stupid question.  I’m buying.” 


As they leave the office together, Wilson thinks that lunch—the first, Wilson suspects, in a long line of reparative meals provided, of course, by him—is a ridiculously small price to pay.

1st-Dec-2007 02:16 am (UTC)
Gaah, how is it that whenever I discuss ANYTHING about this show, I'm somehow pitted against a bunch of people who are either born geniuses or have a medical degree or something!?! *cries* :'D I know close to nothing about, and rarely pay attention to, the medical stuff on the show. My medical knowledge pretty much ends with the fact that I know you can take ibuprofen if you suffer from headaches or menstrual pains. ;)

Though I still see House as an addict, from what the show's given us on this. You make valid points, but I still don't think it's possible to make such a clear distinction between him being an addict, as opposed to having a physical dependence. I mean, sure he depends on his meds to avoid the pain, but hasn't it also been mentioned that he gets a "high" from them?

(Oh..One thing worth mentioning: addiction and dependence is only one word in Swedish. Might have something to do with why I'm having trouble seeing a distinct line between the two.)

"[...] experiencing withdrawal and they've hinted that he's built tolerance to the drug. Those are indicative of one thing only: Physical dependence which is *not* a sign of addiction [...]"

But those are signs of addiction, as in drug abuse, as well, aren't they? Like people who do narcotis; it's not uncommon that they start out with just "lightweight" drugs, then slowly move on to stronger stuff. A kind of "tolerance" resulting in the need of something stronger.

"[...] addiction counsellors don't know what's best for pain patients."

Ok, so perhaps rehab can do more harm than I thought, (NOTE: though, I still want to say House would fit perfectly into those 1-5%...) but medical facts aside, I just want to point out that Wilson isn't some councellor, only House's friend, and it's just the fact that people keep BLAMING Wilson for TRYING to help that annoys me! It's not like anyone else even tried, least of all Cameron.. *mutters*

"All pain is in your head."
Sure, if you see it THAT way, then of course it is. But I meant more like "it's in his head" = it's not actually his infarction that's acting up, but stress in general making the pain(-signals in his brain) seem stronger. And if he keeps increasing his Vicodin intake for these kinds of stress-and-otherwise-mentally-induced pains, taking even more than his already (apparently) too high intake of meds, he's not doing himself any good.

Eh, anyway, this is just how I see the situation. I'm not saying everyone has to agree with me. ^__^