Characters: House, Wilson
Genre: Angst, Friendship, Hurt/Comfort
Summary: After the events of House's extra-rough day, Wilson plays doctor, psychiatrist--and friend. Short, quickly written tag for House episode 4.08, You Don't Want To Know.
A/N: Those of you who read my rant yesterday will recognize this as my attempt to correct a bit of the medicine that the episode overlooked. Also, an attempt to mitigate my own symptoms of Wilson Withdrawal. Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
Transfusions, Tampering, Tests… Tenderness and Trust
House is lying on the couch. He's somehow managed to change into a pair of pajama pants and an old T-shirt, but apparently hasn't been able to do anything else to make himself comfortable--he's got no blankets, no pillows, not even a glass of water on the coffee table. He's shivering visibly, and he's clearly miserable. Even so, he's got the strength to favor
"What are you doing here?"
When House wearily closes his eyes and doesn't even attempt a snappy comeback,
With an effort, House opens his eyes and focuses on
Hands on hips,
"Gee, thanks," House responds dryly. He shifts uncomfortably, unable to suppress a moan when the site of the kidney biopsy scrapes against the back of the couch.
“I’m just gonna get a set of baseline vitals,” he tells House as he pulls out a blood pressure cuff. “Assuming everything’s okay, I’ll help you get to bed.”
“I’m okay here; thanks anyway.”
“Couch isn’t big enough for two,”
House makes a show of looking around the room. “Could’ve sworn I cancelled tonight’s hooker. Sad as that is, I therefore have no plans for sharing it.”
“Neither do I,”
“Don’t need a sitter, don’t want one, either. But I don’t suppose that matters, so why the hell not?” House says half-heartedly.
“You’re wrong, you know,” House continues. “Karma’s a bitch. I deserved everything I got."
“No great loss. Matter of fact, some might’ve even found cause for celebration in my demise.” House is obediently holding out his arm for the BP cuff, and
“I expected at least a token argument to all the fussing,”
“I’m fine,” House says shortly, not meeting
Traditional House-speak for ‘let’s change the subject’; he must really feel like crap.
The mild bruising at the sites doesn’t surprise him—but he is relieved. His main concern had centered around the fact that, like most patients on opioids for treatment of chronic pain, House supplemented his Vicodin with large amounts of ibuprofen to take advantage of the synergistic effects of the two meds. And among the other stupid decisions House’s potential fellows had made, they’d apparently forgotten that House’s frequent ingestion of those NSAIDs affected his clotting ability. And of course, they’d completely disregarded the post-biopsy protocol for aftercare. These things infuriate
House leans his head back, closes his eyes. “I goaded them into it. Gotta admit, I’m a little surprised they… went as far as they did.” He smiles ruefully, waves his hand in the general direction of his liver, his chest. “but hey,” he continues, “you’ve been bugging me for a liver biopsy for a couple years now; thought you’d be happy!”
“About the results, yes. About the conditions under which it was performed, and the care you didn’t receive afterwards….”
House attempts to sit up straighter, and begins to cough.
“Let’s get you to bed.”
House nods dispiritedly, and grasps the hand
“Doing great,” House calls back. “Mommy didn’t send you that celebratory email last week? Those Cheerios targets floating in the bowl really did the trick; I can aim, and flush now, and everything!”
This glimpse of House’s normal demeanor makes
“Nephrologist in here, you know. Amazingly, I know just what to look for after a kidney biopsy. So I’ll spare you the sight of my pee.”
“Shy bladder,” House retorts. “I don’t perform well under pressure.”
When House opens the door, he reports, “Pale yellow. Clear. Boring.”
“Thank God for boring,”
House lies quietly as
“Non-hemolytic transfusion reaction can result in fever of up to sixteen hours duration,” House recites dully. He’s begun to shiver again, and he’s sweating.
“What is it?”
“It’s water, House! What’s it look like?”
House rolls his eyes. “You’ll forgive my suspicion. Lately, it seems anytime I’m handed a beverage, my state of mind is significantly altered.”
House’s eyebrow climbs. “Is that a threat?”
House takes a long drink from the glass and almost smiles. “Okay,” he says quietly. “And that?” he asks, indicating the syringe.
“Meperidine. Anti-pyretic, analgesic, and a nice, safe high. What’s not to like?”
But that was his decision; everything that happened was planned, under his control. This time, they stripped away his control, made him vulnerable. He could’ve died, for real. And whether or not he did was at the mercy of others.
After he’s administered the injection and turned out the light, he stops to smooth a perfectly straight blanket—an excuse to let his hand linger warmly on a trembling shoulder; his fingers squeeze the tense muscles. “Get some rest,” he says gently as he walks to the door.
He turns. “Yeah?”
“In the morning, I want breakfast in bed. Three-cheese omelet. And bacon. Crisp.”
And then he returns to the living room, ready to stand guard over his friend throughout the long night. And happy to do it.