AN: I do not own the characters of House MD nor do I make any money writing this story. Thank you CorruptedSmile for beta reading this for me.
“speech”emphasisflashback starts/finishesanother day95% of All Accidents Happen at Home
It was once again raining in Princeton. Gregory House was pacing in the condo he shared with James Wilson—his cane on the couch—wondering where the heck Wilson was.
He rubbed his leg when a stabbing pain shot through it.
‘I will not take my Vicodin. I will not take my Vicodin.’
The bet between him and Wilson was firmly on his mind.Flashback To the Day Before
They were sitting in Wilson’s office; House with his ever-present smirk on his face and Wilson with his ever-present scowl on his face.
“Colour me shocked: you don’t believe that I can cold turkey my pills, Jimmy. I’m willing to bet that I can go two whole weeks without painkillers. One week for any withdrawal symptoms and one week to show you that I don’t need them,’ House told Wilson, giving him an arrogant look.
He held out his hand to the other doctor.
Wilson looked at the hand as if it had something smelly on it. “You do know that I can monitor you much better now that we share a condo together, don’t you? Before I agree on this bet, I’d like to make a few conditions: I will search the entire condo for Vicodin pills and dispose of them before the bet officially startsand I want Cuddy and your ducklings in on this.”
House scowled, but nodded. He knew that his underlings would monitor him just as closely as Wilson and Cuddy would. There would be no way to get out of the bet with them in on it too.
He watched as Wilson picked up his phone and called first Cuddy and then his ducklings, inviting them into his office.
Sitting back in his chair, House crossed his arms and scowled. He had preferred to have no one else in on his bet with Wilson, but that seemed out of the question now. He continued completely ignored Wilson until his underlings and Cuddy knocked on the door.
Entering Wilson’s office, they were all startled at the sight of the scowling House and the smug-looking Wilson. Usually it was the other way around.
“James, you had a favour to ask of us?” Lisa Cuddy asked.
Raising an eyebrow, Cuddy thought, ‘Whatever’s going on, it’s going to be good.’
“House and I have a bet going on—that’s to say, we will have a bet going on soon—and we all know that when House makes a bet, he will either try to weasel his way out of it or try everything he can think of to win the bet. I want to make sure he has to stick tohis side of the bet and in order to make that happen, I want to ask for your help. To be honest, I really don’t care, if I win this bet or not, because I win either way.”
“What’s the bet about?” Forman asked.
“For dinner and drinks at our favourite bar, I wanted to bet that I can stop taking all my pain medication for two entire weeks. One week for any withdrawal symptoms and one week to show you that I don’t need them,” House answered.
Cuddy smirked. “I will allow daily drug test to ensure that he upholds his end of the bet. And to make it worth your while, House, I will reduce your clinic hours.”
House, who had been glaring at his cane at the thought of a daily pee in a cup, looked up to stare at Cuddy. The two of them just looked at one another for the longest time before House gave a simple nod.
House’s underlings all looked at each other and gathered together to discuss what they wanted to do.
“We’ll make sure that the office is Vicodin free and we’ll try our best to head off all schemes that House might come up with such as using a patient’s urine for the test instead of his own.”
“Oh, I wouldn’t worry about the latter,” Wilson replied. “I have my own thoughts for that particular scheme.”End Flashback
Hearing the scratch of the key turning the lock, House flopped himself down on the couch and started rubbing his leg. ‘Finally!’
“Evening, Greg,” Wilson greeted as he walked into the living room carrying a large bag. Placing the bag on the counter, he walked over to House. “Is it hurting a lot?”
“What do you think?! I take Vicodin for a reason, you dolt!” House snapped, glaring up at him.
Wilson smiled and shook his head. “I see that you’re in fine form tonight.” Walking to his bag, he pulled out a bag of candies and popped one into his mouth. “Want one? They are your favourites.”
Sighing, Wilson sidled over and popped one into a surprised House’s open mouth.
“There, that will solve our problems with you finding someone else’s urine to test,” Wilson said smugly.
House sputtered. “What did you make me eat?!”
“It’s simply a marking agent. It will take you at least two weeks to finally figure out exactly what is in it and a way around, which means that you won’t be able to use someone else’s urine, because every cup that doesn’t have the correct colour won’t be used in the test. Normally it will last about a month in your body. After that you will have simply peed it all out.”
Glaring at Wilson, House stood up, grabbed his cane and walked towards the bathroom—but not before hitting Wilson with it once.
” House screamed, shaking the condo with the force of his voice.
Wilson smirked and continued putting away his groceries.
All day in the hospital, every time he had seen House he had burst out laughing. Even the thunder clouds that were rolling around his friend could make him stop.
Walking around the corner, he saw Foreman talking to former-ducklings Chase and Cameron.
“Green?! You have got to be kidding me!” Cameron said shocked.
“Not kidding: a bright acid green. Wilson said that he introduced a marking agent into House’s system. So if we ever get a cup that doesn’t have that colour, House is scamming us,” Foreman replied.
“No, that’s not what I said at all. What I said that that colour wasone indicator that he was scamming us. The molecular structure is another one,” Wilson chided. “Now Foreman, gossip is not something that I approve of and especially not gossip that involves House.”
Blushing, they all walked away. Having watched them walking off, Wilson continued on his way to his office.
Once there he noticed that all his blinds were closed. Unlocking his door, he slipped inside and looked around cautiously. His eye fell on House’s prone body lying in a corner. House was curled up in as a small a ball as he could and was rubbing his leg vigorously.
“Greg?! What’s wrong? Are you hurt?” Wilson asked in concern, dropping on his knees down next to his friend.
“No, I’m angry. You just made me the butt of every joke here in the hospital!” House snapped back at him, glowering. “What do you think? That I rub my leg for fun?! Of course it hurts!”
Suddenly he exploded into motion; shouting obscenities at Wilson while kicking, hitting and biting him. Wilson just sat there and took it all; not trying to defend himself.
Once House had worn himself down enough to fall into a fitful sleep, Wilson left him to call Cuddy, getting her to agree to giving them both two weeks off. Turning around to his sleeping friend, he said, “Never tell me that I don’t do anything for you, Greg.”
Sighing, Wilson crouched down and slipped his arms under House’s form before lifting him up and carrying him to his car. Having done that, Wilson drove straight home.
House woke up as soon as they pulled into the condo’s parking lot.
“Where are we?” he asked, voice still hazy with sleep.
“We’re home, House. You fell asleep in my office and I arranged for us both to have the next two weeks off,” Wilson answered, looking over at him.
House gasped at the sight of the split lip and black eye, reaching out to gently touch Wilson’s face. “I did that? I don’t even remember doing that.”
“I told you that you were going to go through withdrawal, Greg. Your concentration is shot and you’ll become more violent as the symptoms of your withdrawal worsen. I’d rather you harm me than someone else,” Wilson told him.
House sat back, consciously keeping his face blank while he studied Wilson. Taking a deep breath, he simply nodded and asked, “How did you get me to your car?”
“I carried you,” was the simple answer. “Now, let’s go inside. That way you can lie down on the couch.”
Noticing that he had started rubbing his leg again, House nodded. Opening the door, he attempted to get out on his own, but as soon as he put weight on his leg, it buckled which made him fall flat on his butt. Having fallen down, he tried to get up again.
Hurrying to House’s side, Wilson slipped his hands under his armpits and lifted House. Seeing that House’s leg still wouldn’t hold his weight—not even with the use of his cane—Wilson slipped his arm around House’s waist to keep him from greeting the floor again.
“Jimmy, have I ever told you that even when I hate you, you’re still my best friend and I love you?” House asked.
Grinning at the slurred words, Wilson said, “Let’s get you inside and into a bed before you decide to sleep standing up. With your leg of yours, that doesn’t sound like a good idea to me.”
The minute they stopped to unlock the door of the condo, House’s head hit Wilson’s shoulder and stayed there. Looking sideways, Wilson grinned at the sight of his best friend fast asleep on his feet. Slipping his arms under House’s shoulders and knees again, Wilson once again lifted him up and carried him to his destination: House’s bedroom
Reaching the bed, Wilson put down House gently before starting to make him more comfortable by taking of his shoes and jacket. Turning around, he tried to leave. He would have left to, if his wrist hadn’t been caught in a death grip.
“Don’t go,” House sleepily said.
Wilson’s arm was pulled as House rolled further on the bed which meant that Wilson fell down beside him. Rolling back again, House pillowed his head on Wilson’s shoulder and sighed contently. Sighing, Wilson looked down at House. It wasn’t long, however, before he fell into a light dose himself.
Wilson was woken by whimpering. House’s hand, which had been on his chest, was rubbing his leg again. Sliding his own hand down, Wilson took over; gently rubbing House’s leg. Feeling House press his leg up into the hand rubbing at it, Wilson put a bit more force behind it and was rewarded with House quieting and falling in a deeper sleep again.
Slipping out from under House’s body, Wilson went to the bathroom and took care of some pressing matter. After having tucked himself in again, he washed his hands and walked to his own bedroom to change clothes before walking to the kitchen to warm up some soup. He knew that the minute House woke up, he would be hungry and the soup would soothe House’s upset stomach.
Just as the soup was warming up, he heard whimpering again. Turning off the heat, he went to House’s bedroom where Wilson saw him curled into himself with one hand stretching out to where Wilson had been only minutes before.
Sitting down on the edge of the bed, Wilson saw House rolling over and placing his head on his lap. A small smile graced Wilson’s face at seeing House’s moment of weakness. House was normally such a paranoid guy that it felt nice to know that he was trusted this much by this strong man.
Running his hand through House’s hair, Wilson whispered, “Greg, it’s time to wake up. If you sleep any longer, you’ll be up all night. Come on, wakey wakey, eggs and bakey. Well, not really bacon, but I did make some soup for you.” He grinned down at his friend. “If you wake and eat all the soup, we can watch that soap you like so much. It’s on in about half an hour.”
Smirking, Wilson ran his hand down the length of House’s body until he came across one of House’s ticklish spots. Once there, Wilson poked once; knowing that House hated being tickled.
Blue eyes opened enough to glare at him after that first poke. Sitting up he yawned and stretched. “I’m not hungry. And why was my head in your lap?”
“You tell me, my friend,” Wilson replied, still grinning. “Now, let’s go eat.”
Grumbling, House wearily got to his feet. And once again putting his weight on his bad leg made it crumble which meant he fell back down on the bed again. Growling now, House got up again and put his weight on his good leg only.
Glaring at Wilson, he said, “I’m going to need my crutches for this. And I need to change first.”
Grabbing House pyjama pants and a fresh shirt, he handed them over before heading over the closet and searching for House’s crutches.
“Where did you put them?” Wilson asked, searching futily.
“They were the first things that I put in there. They are probably behind those boxes at the back of the closet.”
“Well, it might take me awhile to get them, because these boxes are really heavy. Would you like me set you up in the kitchen with your soup while I find them?” Wilson asked.
“That would be good.”
Helping House to the kitchen, Wilson put a big bowl of steaming homemade chicken soup in front of him. “Eat this. I’ll be right back with your crutches.”
Glaring at Wilson, House reluctantly started eating.
A good twenty minutes later, House heard a triumphant “aha!” and then a crash.
“That had better not have been anything important!” House yelled in the direction of his bedroom.
“It wasn’t,” Wilson yelled back. “It was just that plastic bucket of rolled coins. I knocked it over with one of your crutches.”
“Pick it up later! The show’s about to start!”
“I’m coming, I’m coming. Hold your horses, Greg!”
House turned when Wilson rushed into the room; the forearm crutches in his arms.
“Give them to me,” House told him, holding out his arms demandingly. “I don’t want to miss anything of General Hospital.”
Fixing the crutches under his arms, House hobbled over to the couch where he sat down and turned on the TV. Flipping through the channels, he settled on the correct one just as Wilson sat down next to him.
Wilson looked down startled when House laid down and put his head back in his lap. "Greg—”
“It feels comfortable,” House interrupted him.
“Oh. By all means then,” Wilson replied, watching as House started rubbing his leg again.
He had been staring at that rubbing hand for awhile before he came to a decision. Piling a couple of cushions against his lap and the arm of the couch, he pulled up House until he could put his head on the cushions against the armrest.
“What are you doing?”
House’s grumbling stopped when he felt Wilson’s hand on his leg. Tensing at first, he started relaxing as soon as the pain started to dissipate. Giving Wilson a curious look, he then turned back to watch his show.
For the first time in ten days, Wilson woke up alone. Rubbing his eyes, he looked around the bedroom he was in. For the first time in ten days House’s bedroom was clean. Who knew that going through withdrawal would be so messy? This and the fact that the withdrawal symptoms had really hit House hard drove home the fact that every time that House had promised to quit, he hadn’t.
The faint sound of piano music floated from the basement.
‘How on earth had House gotten there without help?’ Wilson thought.
Climbing out of bed, he went down to the basement. And there he was. House. Tinkering away with the keys. Wilson could recognise Mozart and Back, but he had never heard this piece before.
“I just wrote this,” House told him quietly, unknowingly responding to Wilson’s thoughts. “I haven’t written anything since before my leg. I used to write all the time, remember? You and Stacy used to sit down and listen to me. But then Stacy left and it was just you and me. And thenit happened and Stacy came back, but I never found that creative ‘oomph’ I need to write music. It didn’t even come back after I had pushed her away.” He looked up at Wilson. “I never thought I’d find it again.”
“Your creative spirit never went away, Greg,” Wilson told him. “You just turned it towards diagnosing patients rather than writing music.
“You’re right.” House looked down.
Silence reigned in the basement.
“Jimmy, I don’t know, if I want to go back again, if I can go back again. If I want to function at the level needed to save someone’s life, I need the pain to be gone, but I need the pills for that. And if I take the pills so my leg won’t buckle anymore, I won’t be able to write music anymore.” He turned to watch Wilson. “I don’t want to lose the ability to write music again.
“Take some time to see if we can find a way for you to do both,” Wilson replied. “Maybe we can find someone to help with the pain that won’t mess with your head so much.”
Coming closer, Wilson drew House into a hug. “You can let go, Greg.”
House finally relaxed into the strong arms of his friend. His breath hitched. “I hate not being in control of my own body, Jimmy.”
“Relax and let it all out, Greg,” Wilson whispered, “because I don’t think you’ve ever let yourself grieve for all you’ve lost and all you’ve gone through over the years.”
House broke down at softly spoken words. For the first time in as long as he could remember, he cried while Wilson held him. No words were spoken, only soft crooning and humming broke the silence in the basement.
After exhausting himself with his crying, House fell asleep against Wilson. Wilson lifted the sleeping man and once again carried him to bed.
Wilson and House were sitting at the breakfast table, laughing, talking and joking together in a way they hadn’t done before House’s accident. Their friendship had solidified to the point that even cheesy jokes were funny again.
Looking at House, Wilson catalogued all the differences in him. He wasn’t the same as before, but neither was he the same as he was while he was taking the pain medication. There was less snark, less nastiness, but the sarcasm was still there. He seemed happier although he still couldn’t put any weight on his leg.
“So . . . We’re due back tomorrow,” House said quietly, poking at his food.
“What did you decide? You’ll be welcome in your own department. You can still do your job while using crutches. Maybe a weaker painkiller such as Tylenol would help with the pain now that you’ve been off Vicodin for two entire weeks,” Wilson replied.
“The daily massages you’ve been giving me have helped a lot too,” House said, grinning. “Rub my leg for me, would you, Jimmy?”
Pouting, House put his leg in Wilson’s lap.
“All you had to was ask, brat. There’s no need to pout,” Wilson said.
He gave House a quick grin before starting to rub his leg. After poking House’s foot, he continued to massage his leg muscles.
“After our trip to the hospital for my final drug test, could we go to the movies or something?” House asked.
“Sure we can,” Wilson replied.
Cleaning up the kitchen, both men went to take a shower and to change before they went to the hospital.
Wilson commandeered the shower first, knowing that House preferred long hot showers that would leave absolutely no hot water in the tank for him.
A squeak of sliding flesh against the tub drew Wilson’s attention before the thud of House’s body hitting the floor.
Rushing to the bathroom, he knocked on the door. “Greg, are you ok?”
The rush of water was his only answer.
He knocked on the door again, hoping that House was only teasing him. “Greg, I heard you fall. Are you ok?”
There was still no answer.
‘Crap,” he thought.
“Greg, you’d better not be hurt!” he yelled through the closed door.
Using a small screwdriver, Wilson removed the bathroom lock and cautiously entered in case it was all some elaborate prank. Through the clear shower curtain, though, he could see House’s prone body on the floor; blood from a small cut on his head mingling with the water that was still running.
Looking concerned, he turned off the water and called for aid; checking everything he could while waiting for the ambulance to come. He kept House’s neck and head still, dried him off and tucked a blanket around the prone form and even packed an overnight bag with pyjamas, clean clothes and toiletries.
“You crazy dolt,” he said fondly. “You have a shower chair! This could have been prevented, if you had used it.”
Hearing the paramedics call out for him, he reluctantly left House alone to let them in the condo.
“He’s in here,” he told them, showing them to the bathroom.
“Jimmy?” House asked through shattering teeth.
“I’m here, Greg,” Wilson told him. “You fell in the shower. We’re taking you to the hospital now.”
“No painkillers,” House pleaded.
“If that’s what you want, sir, we won’t give you any,” one of the paramedics promised him.
“And I won’t let the hospital give you any either,” Wilson assured him.
Blue eyes briefly showed his relief before House became unconscious once more.
“His name is Dr. Gregory House, Head of Diagnostic Medicine at Princeton Plainsboro Hospital. BP 140 over 100. Elevated heart rate. He fell in the tub while taking a shower. No, I didn’t move him. I turned off the shower, stabilised his head and neck, dried him off as well as I could and then covered him with a blanket,” Wilson told the paramedics. “My name is Dr. James Wilson, Head of Oncology at Princeton Plainsboro Hospital. I’d like it, if you could take him there.”
The paramedics briefly stared at him in shock before shaking themselves out of their stupor and going back to work. They stabilised his head and neck with a collar before lifting him onto the gurney they had brought with him.
The ride to the hospital was mostly silent except for the noises of the machines House was hooked too and the beeping of Wilson’s cell phone as he tried to contact Lisa Cuddy, Robert Chase, Allison Cameron, Eric Foreman and House’s other ducklings, Thirteen and Taub. He figured that House would want the best and brightest working on him—even if Wilson suspected it was only a concussion.
As they arrived at the Emergency Room of the Princeton Plainsboro Hospital and the paramedics were unloading House from the ambulance, Lisa Cuddy ran out the door.
“James! What happened? she asked worriedly.
“He fell in the bathtub. He has a chair to prevent just this, but he was too stubborn to use it,” Wilson answered. He shook his head. “I could have told him that 95% of all accidents happen at home and that of those 95% at least 5% are bathtub related.”