Irony

Chapter 11: Don't Go!
1 - Weird Wet Wednesday
2 - Greggs Place
3 - Questions Without Answers
4 - Wilson Goes Down
5 - Roger
6 - In Wilson's Room
7 - Billy Arrives
8 - Brothers
9 - Mixed Bag
10 - Gregg Screws Up
11 - Don't Go!
12 - The Signal
13 - Finding Jules
14 - Houses is Where??
15 - Billy Rides Again
16 - Looking Out For The Cripple
17 - The Cripple Gets Even
18 - Wilson's Boys
19 - I Need You!
20 - Jules and Roger
21 - Me 'n' My Shadow
22 - Crutch Ballet
23 - Wilson Speaks
24 - Whispers
25 - Winners
26 - Business at Hand
27 - All These Men ...
28 - Get Ready... Get Set...
29: Caper
30 - Over The Rainbow
31 - All Over But The Shoutin'!
32 - Irony

by Betz88

Wilson drove slowly back to House’s condo, alarmed and aware that in the seat across from him, House was quietly losing it.  Gregg was moving like a zombie, his head turned away, eyes glued to the moving lights beyond the darkened window.  Wilson knew his friend’s thoughts were in turmoil, control slipping rapidly.  His body had betrayed him, not only in front of Wilson, but also in front of their boss.  He was angry, ashamed, humiliated, blaming himself for the incident over which he had no control.  Much to her credit, Lisa Cuddy had not stuck around after they’d got Gregg downstairs and into the Pacifica.  She took the dreaded wheelchair, flipped it around and reentered the elevator with it, throwing an understanding glance over her shoulder in Wilson‘s direction.  For his part, Wilson closed the car door on House, seated as comfortably as possible in the passenger seat, and met Cuddy’s eyes in appreciation as the elevator door closed and she disappeared from view.

 

By the time they arrived at the underground garage on East Side Drive, Gregg House had straightened in his seat and was massaging his knee between the palms of his hands.  His leg was bent now, finally relaxing from the punishment it had suffered in House’s office.  Wilson watched from the corner of his eye as he pulled into the slot beside the big Envoy and shut down the Pacifica’s engine.  He did not speak, but sat still, content to wait out any unexpected turns in House’s black mood.

 

Finally, Gregg straightened in his seat and glanced resentfully across at his companion.  “What?!”

 

Wilson shrugged with a slight tilt of his head.  “Waiting for you to let me know when you’re ready to go inside.”

 

“Whenever you are!”  Came the petulant reply.  “I’m fine.”

 

“Seems I’ve heard those words before,” Wilson remarked calmly.  “So I’m assuming you think you can walk?”

 

“I can walk, God damn it!  I can walk, I can dance, I can run, I can jump rope … I can fly!”

 

Wilson sat frozen, watching Gregory House come apart at the seams.  He did not dare allow the man to see how frightened he was.  Not for himself, but for the tortured creature staring wild-eyed in his direction.  Finally he spoke; the only words he could think of to diffuse the situation.

 

“House!  Let it go!  Let it go now!”

 

                                                          ********

 

Wilson got him into the condo with little effort.  House was able to walk on his own, although his gait was a travesty, and the flexibility of his knee was sadly diminished.  He was silent, perhaps embarrassed over his outburst in the car.  But if he was, Wilson was certain his friend would never admit it.  Gregg was concentrating mainly on his movements, but heading directly for the bedroom, bypassing his usual perch on the couch or the leather lounge chair.  Wilson did not question, just followed him closely, gathered up his discarded button-down shirt and suit coat and waited until he’d seated himself on the edge of the big bed.  Wilson dropped the shirt and jacket on the comforter, assisted the other man to turn, then lifted his legs gently onto the bed also.  He pulled off Gregg’s left sneaker and let it clunk to the floor, but carefully untied, gapped the laces and slid the right one off with a tenderness that spoke of long devotion.

 

Only for a moment did their focus meet across the space between them.  Then the blue eyes drifted away and fastened on the thick blue draperies at the window.  House’s face looked vacant:  “nobody home”.   Wilson had no idea what he might be thinking.  He did not ask.  He drew the extra pillow down toward House’s right leg.  “I’m going to lift you a little … it may hurt …”

 

Nothing.

 

Wilson picked up the leg and settled the pillow beneath it.  A sharp intake of breath was the only indication of discomfort.  “I’ll be on the couch,” he said.  “Call me if you need anything.  I’m going to leave the door open.”  He turned.

 

“No!  Don’t go!”

 

Wilson paused and turned, not knowing what to expect.  “What?”

 

House lifted his arm from his side and extended his hand, palm up.  In the cramped little world of his stunted social skills, it was the closest he could come to a plea for his friend to return to his side.

 

To Wilson it was a cry for help.  He walked back and sat down on the edge of the bed, extending his hand to clasp Gregg’s.  “What is it now, House?  I’m tired.”

 

“Yeah, I can tell.  Tired of me, mostly.”

 

Wilson did not offer the platitude House was fishing for.  He sat and met the hollow blue-eyed stare with his own.  He sighed.  He had nothing to offer that would not sound trite. “What would you have me say?”

 

“You do look tired, Jimmy.  You’ve been sick and I haven’t even asked how you’re feeling.  Your life is suddenly turned upside down by a brother you haven’t seen in ten years, and then he turns up as another crippled guy in your life.  Like you need another one of those!  And your so-called best friend is going off the deep end and splashing shit all over you.  I … wish I could think of something cool so you’d know it’s not just another load of crap for you to clean up behind me.  But I … don’t know if there’s that much decency left in me.”

 

Wilson’s tears burned to the surface upon hearing that halting admission.  He looked up and away from the stricken eyes, fighting for control and losing it regardless.   “House, I don’t expect anything from you that you don’t have to give.  I don’t need you to faun over me or take care of me.  That’s not you.  The only thing I need is what you’re willing to part with.  Let me be the ‘Mother Hen’.  That hat doesn’t look very good on you.”  Wilson grinned at the startled look on House’s face, wishing he had a tissue, but at the same time realizing he was unashamed of the tears splashing onto his cheeks.  “Dammit, Roger is important to me.  He’s my brother!  But he chose to walk away a long time ago, and I got over it.  Mostly. You’re not just some run-of-the-mill crippled guy; you’re my best friend who just happens to be a limping twerp …”

 

“You’re not pissed off at me?”

 

“Not any more than usual.  I’d be pleased if you took better care of yourself, but harping at you about it all the time is like spitting into the wind.  It just comes back to smack you in the face.  What happened tonight was your own fault, and you know it.  Do you need your meds?”

 

“Yeah.”

 

Wilson let go of House’s hand to reach to the pocket of the discarded jacket.  “Here you go.”

 

“Thank you.”

 

“Sure.  Now get some sleep.  There’s lots to do tomorrow.  I have appointments all day, and I have to check with Stan Ralls about things that have been happening since I’ve been off.  You’re going to talk to Chase about hunting down Jules, right?”

 

 

“Uh huh.  Don’t go out on the couch.  Crash here with me.”

 

“You sure?  I can do that …”

 

It was midnight.  They were both asleep by 12:30 a.m., on separate sides of the bed; both fully clothed.

Enter supporting content here