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Cats' Corners: the little HOUSE in the woods....
Where House is NEVER safe...
Wilson's Heart [new one-shot] 
11th-Dec-2008 04:29 pm



Title:  Wilson’s Heart [unrelated to the episode of the same name]
Rating:  PG
WordCount:  825
Genre:  Angst, Friendship, Hurt/Comfort
Characters:  House, Cuddy, Wilson
TimeLine:  After episode 5.01, Dying Changes Everything and up to episode 5.05, Lucky Thirteen
Summary:  Wilson has resigned from PPTH.  House appears to be handling it in typical fashion—except for one very small thing.

A/N:  Short, simple, and predictable—because sometimes, we find comfort in those things.



Shortly after Wilson had told House that they weren’t friends anymore—and, in fact, may never have been—Cuddy happens to spy House, seated on the floor alone, outside Wilson’s newly emptied office.  He looks angry and miserable, lost and fidgety—and if rubber bands were living creatures, there’s no doubt in Cuddy’s mind that they’d shortly be holding a funeral for the one House holds in his hand—his fingers are worrying, twisting, torturing it.  Cuddy shakes her head and slips away, unseen.

The next day, walking by Wilson’s now-open office door, Cuddy stops when she sees House standing inside, holding something, looking thoughtful.  House doesn’t acknowledge her when she walks in and stands beside him; he only mumbles, “Couldn’t have meant to leave this.  Must’ve fallen behind a shelf or something.  Housekeeping must have found it.  He’d want it back.  Never did understand why these idiot thingamajigs meant so much to him….”

Cuddy moves in closer, to get a better look at the object which has so entranced House.  It’s an almost shapeless, dried blob of clay, apparently meant to represent a heart; it’s painted Pepto-Bismol pink.  “Dr. Wilson” has been scrawled in a child’s crooked hand across the front of it in glow-in-the-dark green marker.  Cuddy reaches out her hand to take it, but House shakes his head and slips the bauble into his pocket.

“I’ll take care of it,” is all he says as he leaves the room.  Cuddy stares after him, sadness in her eyes. 

Over the next few days and weeks, Cuddy never knows where the little talisman will appear.  Many days, House carries it inside his jacket pocket.  Cuddy sees him, hand in pocket, surreptitiously running his fingers over its smooth, childishly-formed contours when he’s deep in thought, or thinks no one’s watching.  Other times, when Cuddy knows House is alone, she’ll sneak a careful glance through the blinds and see the heart sitting on his desk, and House, leaning towards it, studying it intently, expectantly.  Almost… almost as if they were deep in conversation, and he was awaiting an answer. 

One night, after Wilson’s been gone for over three months, House is at the hospital late, in his office, working alone.  Cuddy stops in to wish him good night, and something odd catches her eye; there’s a minute, muddy-green glow atop the balcony dividing wall.  Cuddy moves casually to the balcony door, pretends to simply be scanning the hospital grounds. 

The tiny heart is almost indistinguishable in the darkness; all that’s visible is Wilson’s glowing name—and two shot glasses, both full, one on either side of the heart.  It’s the loneliest, most melancholy tableau Cuddy’s ever witnessed.

Two days later, Cuddy figures it out.  The small ornament is much, much more than simply a souvenir, a reminder, for House; it’s become his touchstone, his poignant replacement for the heart of a man he’d loved, the only person he’d ever really trusted.  It’s no wonder that he keeps the trinket hidden, keeps it safe in the way he couldn’t keep Wilson safe, couldn’t protect their friendship.  So Cuddy keeps his secret safe, too.

A month later, Wilson returns, is reinstalled in his office, things are finally beginning to settle down.  The second morning, House and Cuddy are in Wilson’s office, the three of them exchanging their usual affectionate barbs.  House, who’s been leaning against a bookcase, is paged back to his own office, and after he leaves, Wilson finds his eyes drawn to a bright spot on the bookshelf, uncovered when House had walked away.

“What’s that?” he queries Cuddy; Cuddy recognizes it immediately.  Sitting on the upper shelf is the gaudy little heart.  Cuddy walks over and picks it up carefully; it’s still warm from having been tucked snugly inside House’s pocket.

“Something House found in here, a while back.  He’s been… keeping it safe for you while you’ve been away.”  She hands the heart slowly back to Wilson, staring into his eyes, begging him wordlessly to get the message.  And he nods, and closes his hand securely around the trinket.

Later that afternoon, Wilson enters House’s office.  House looks up curiously from his video game.  “What’s up?”

Wilson smiles at his friend.  “Not much.  Just wanted to return something that belongs in here.”  He takes the heart out of his pocket and holds it up for House to see.  Then, he places it safely and discreetly into House’s top desk drawer, and turns to leave.  “Thanks,” he says as he walks out, “for taking such good care of it for me.”

And House nods, and almost smiles.


(Deleted comment)
11th-Dec-2008 09:59 pm (UTC)
you're very welcome!
11th-Dec-2008 10:04 pm (UTC)
Oh, this is so beautiful - I love the way the little heart became House's replacement for the friend he lost... Very insightful, so beautiful. Thanks for sharing.
11th-Dec-2008 10:07 pm (UTC)
well, as i said, quite predictable--but comforting. and a happy ending, what more could one want? thanks, sweetie.
11th-Dec-2008 10:10 pm (UTC)

11th-Dec-2008 10:12 pm (UTC)
happy tears, i hope! *Hugs and passes tissue*
11th-Dec-2008 10:13 pm (UTC)
Great fic even if it reminds me that you and Ko also took such good care of both of your hearts when you spoke to each other after his actions at school. I like your fic. Thanks a lot for sharing.
11th-Dec-2008 10:15 pm (UTC)
you're so welcome, sweetie; thank you for your unflagging support! *hugs*
11th-Dec-2008 10:22 pm (UTC)
I like it. The heart was cute, I could picture House doing that. Funny that its writing glowed green, and that House, someone who hates that kind of stuff, would replace someone he loved with such a thing :)

Great story idea, great story! :)
11th-Dec-2008 10:23 pm (UTC)
glad you enjoyed it; thanks for commenting!
11th-Dec-2008 10:53 pm (UTC)
11th-Dec-2008 11:06 pm (UTC)
*passes more kleenex* :)
11th-Dec-2008 11:18 pm (UTC)
Oh, a new fic by kidsnurse - that's always good news!
This was utterly wonderful and touching. I love the idea of House carrying a reminder of Wilson with him, and you captured that perfectly.
11th-Dec-2008 11:21 pm (UTC)
thanks so much for the compliment; i'm happy you enjoyed the story!
11th-Dec-2008 11:21 pm (UTC)
*wipes away tears*

You captured the emotions of the first two episodes of Season 5 beautifully, episodes in which I ached for both House and Wilson. This ficlet made me ache for House more because how much he was missing his friend and I think is fic also emphasized how lonely he was during that time too. This is just such a beautiful ficlet.

I somehow missed what's going on in your personal life but I hope, pray things will work out for you. *hugs*
11th-Dec-2008 11:24 pm (UTC)
thanks, dear--and many thanks for the prayers.
11th-Dec-2008 11:44 pm (UTC)
Wow. That was incredibly sweet. The whole shot-glass/heart/balcony bit was such a sad image. I think I may have actually said 'Awwwww' out loud at that point lol.

Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed it XD

11th-Dec-2008 11:49 pm (UTC)
whole shot-glass/heart/balcony bit

that just seemed to illustrate the word 'melancholy' for me. glad you enjoyed; thanks for commenting!
(Deleted comment)
12th-Dec-2008 12:52 am (UTC)
i'm glad you liked it, and i have to agree--i don't believe that wilson will ever pay the price for the things he's done to house on the show. i suppose that's why we write, so that things can be the way we wish they were.
12th-Dec-2008 01:11 am (UTC)
*cries* So good, angsty yet happy. Thanks for sharing :)
12th-Dec-2008 01:14 am (UTC)
*passes out yet more kleenex and hugs* thanks for reading!
12th-Dec-2008 02:27 am (UTC)
Oh, this was good-- I especially like that most of it is from Cuddy's point of view. The heart and the shot glasses on the ledge was so sad, and yet kinda hopeful since it was like House and Wilson had been called away for a moment and the drinks were just waiting for them to come back.

Thanks for sharing (and hope you and Ko are doing okay. *hugs*)
12th-Dec-2008 02:34 am (UTC)
i'm happy you enjoyed it; it was oddly satisfying to write.

ko's doing remarkably well--kids are so resilient, thank God! *hugs*
12th-Dec-2008 03:01 am (UTC)
awww... [melts]
12th-Dec-2008 03:10 am (UTC)
that was pretty much the effect i was going for; thanks!
12th-Dec-2008 03:42 am (UTC)
AWWWW, now i'm all choked up :P that was soooo sweet and heart-warming and just lovely... thanx for sharing this, hon :)
12th-Dec-2008 03:49 am (UTC)
thanks very much; i have to say, the response this story's receiving is heart-warming too! :)
12th-Dec-2008 03:59 am (UTC)
Sometimes other writers make me cry, or sometimes they make me laugh.

But you make me feel and you make me respond with so much more than tears or laughter.

Sometimes it's physical (holding my breath, wringing my hands), sometimes it's deeply psychological and continues to make me think for days. One thing it ALWAYS is is emotional and so much of the time they're emotions I hardly understand or can explain.

I loved this, I knew you said it would be predicable and I knew House's state of mind about Wilson being gone (sitting in his empty office on the show). But you still managed to create this reaction in me that pretty much ended up with me curled up into some kind of ball. Rocking in my desk chair. (I wish you could have seen it because it says so much more than my words can -- not to mention funny and would probably make you laugh! ;) )

Thanks for sharing.
12th-Dec-2008 04:07 am (UTC)
your comment really makes me feel good, and even a little proud of my writing, so thank you for sharing your thoughts! i truly appreciate it.
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