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Title:  Buying It
Characters:  House, Wilson
Genre:  General/friendship
Rating:  G
Word Count:  570
TimeLine:  Sometime prior to the Season Four finale
Part Two of Selling It

Wilson stares at House's rapidly departing back.  He's surprisingly successful in swallowing his anger at what House has just put him through, but his puzzlement remains.  Something's... off, and he needs to figure out what it is.  Last time he'd let one of these convoluted conversations with House slide, he found out three days later that apparently, he'd made a $1000, online, nonrefundable donation to Save A Sloth--in House's honor.
 
Absently, he takes a prescription pad from his lab coat and starts to scribble out information so familiar to him that he scarcely needs to think about what he's writing.  So when his pen runs out of ink, he's still on auto-pilot as he reaches across the desk to grab one of House's, and he almost misses the torn scrap of paper that flutters to the floor when his movement disturbs the organized chaos of House's desktop.
 
He's tempted to just leave it there, half-hidden by his chair leg, but finally picks it up.  No sense being blamed later when he claims I lost the cure for cancer.  Or the secret to life.  Or worse--his bookie's new phone number.
 
Wilson glances idly at the scrap as he's replacing it, and then draws it closer to him.  It's a few simple math equations, written out in House's lazy scrawl:  8 x 500 = 4000.  2 x 500 = 1000.  5 x 500 = 2500.  And off to the side alone, 7500 and 1g.
 
As the meaning of the seemingly random numbers begins to dawn on him, Wilson looks at what he's just written on the scrip pad.  Gregory House--  Hydrocodone/APAP 5/500, and it hits him--hard.
 
"Damn it, House!"  Wilson stands and begins to pace; his mind is racing.  Why didn't you tell me, you idiot?  And me--how the hell could I have been so oblivious, so... so willing to buy into your game?  Russian roulette with the acetaminophen... you're in pain.  Lots of it.  You're afraid your liver's gonna crap out, and I'm standing by, watching it happen.
 
Wilson grabs up the scrap of paper and heads down to the pharmacy.
 
That evening, he isn't surprised to find House in his darkened apartment, curled tightly on the couch.  He tosses the paper-wrapped bottle he's carrying at House, and waits.
 
House unfurls the ragged scrap of paper and glances at it, then quickly away.  Wilson can tell that House knows immediately he's been busted--he won't look towards Wilson, choosing instead to study the tiny printing on the bottle's label:  Hycodan 5mg tabs.
 
It's not perfect, of course, but at least it doesn't contain acetaminophen.  The important thing is, it's still House's drug of choice--hydrocodone.  No, Wilson thinks, the important thing is we'll be able to get a grip on his pain without killing him in the process.
 
House raises his head, finally, and looks quizzically at Wilson.
 
"So it took me a while to figure it out.  You could sell mink coats at a PETA rally," Wilson says defensively.
 
"And you'd be first in line to buy one," House retorts as they stare coldly at one another.
 
Wilson's secretly amused.  We're probably the only two people on Earth who could manage to glare the apologies across a room, he thinks.
 
Wilson breaks eye contact first.  He grabs the TV remote and tosses it to House.  "Find something good," he orders.  "I'll get the beer."




And on to Deciphering It
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