House walks into Exam Room Three. A seven-foot-tall, extremely muscular, green woman holding a microphone is sitting on the exam table. A boring-looking white woman is standing next to her. Gal: GAL ANGRY! House: I gathered that. Let me get a blood pressure. Oh, the cuff won’t fit. So why are you angry? Gal: GAL HATE WEEPING! House: Me too. Gal: OF COURSE. YOU REAL MAN. WILSON REAL MAN, TOO. House: Well, that last point’s debatable. I’m going to have to see the fic so I can diagnose this. Dee: If you insist. It’s the author’s first fic. House/Gal: *groan* Dee: And it was written for some kind of Album challenge, so there might be some song lyrics thrown in there somewhere, but they’re not clearly marked. House: *face scrunched in disgust* I think I’d better take this to my team.
House: *recognizes the boring one* Hi, Dee. What’s up?
Dee: My friend Gal here was quietly reading a fanfic, and then turned into this.
James Wilson looks out the rain splattered window of his lonely office, tears welling behind tightly closed eyes, when the door swings open. House: OK, people, we have a new fanfic to diagnose. Where are my markers? I want this up on the whiteboard. We’ll start with just the first sentence. First action? Chase: Wilson looks out the rain splattered window. Cameron: It’d be very difficult to actually see through a window being splattered with rain. Foreman: But not impossible, depending on the size of the splatters. House: I agree: unlikely, but not impossible, so that’s OK. Next action? Cameron: Tears welling behind tightly closed eyes. Chase: Tears behind the eyes? That’s obviously a structural malformation of the tear ducts. Foreman: Or the author-person meant “eyelids” instead of “eyes.” Cameron: That would make more sense. House: People, you’re missing the big picture! Look at the sentence again – whose eyes are they? Foreman: Structure of the sentence clearly implies they are Wilson’s eyes. House: And how can – Chase: Wilson be looking out the window when his eyes are closed? House: Exactly! Wilson: *entering the room* I have X-ray vision. Cameron: How did you know what we were talking about? Wilson: *taking a seat nonchalantly* And super hearing. Chase: You are so cool! Foreman: *ignoring* Also, given the latter phrase of “when the door swings open,” the main verb should be in the present progressive tense. House: And think about it – have any of us ever seen Wilson cry? Foreman: No. Not even when you were shot and in a coma. Cameron: Not even when I smacked him down with my moral superiority for making the deal with Tritter. Chase: Not even when Julie had sex with her new boyfriend in the middle of the oncology benefit. House: And let’s face it, he’s not going to cry, if he didn’t that time I accidentally bit his – never mind. Diagnosis, people? All: Bad!fic. Wilson: *flinching*
The tear’s cause limps in and takes a seat in the chair across the desk. Cameron: Wouldn’t “welling” indicate more than one tear? Chase: What do you think the tear’s “cause” is? Treating AIDS? Vaccinations? Debt relief for poorer countries? Preserving the environment?
He opens his mouth to speak, closes it again, and then, “Tears?” Cameron: Wait a minute. Wilson, while almost crying, says, “Tears?” Foreman: I think the “he” refers to the “cause,” who, because he’s limping, must be House.
James clears his throat and quickly swipes the back of his hands over his eyes. “I must of sneezed.” Cameron: Author-person “must of” fallen asleep during English class.
They hold each other’s stare for what seems like an eternity. James can feel the cobalt blue orbs reading his thoughts, Chase: ALIENS! Mind-reading orb-shaped cobalt aliens!
staring straight trough him, and he can’t move. He’s frozen. Finally he speaks.
“I heard she left you.” Greg says, punctuating the last word with a raised eyebrow. Foreman: Did you ever think about punctuating it with a comma? Because that’s what it really needs. House: But what did Wilson say? He’s frozen – frozen stiff, I’d say – and then he speaks, but the next attributed speech is mine. Wilson: My third super-power: silent speech. Also known as telepathy.
Before James can answer, he continues. “Is that why you’re here so late? You can’t sleep in an empty house full of so many memories?” Wilson: First of all, House’s speech patterns don’t sound like dime-store romance novels. Second, he would so not care about my emotional state. Cameron: Unless he’s being sarcastic. Wilson: OK, that’s a possibility.
James sighs and turns his eyes to the ground. “I slept, somehow.” Wilson: Perhaps by lying down, closing my eyes, and relaxing. Chase: Or a shot of Ativan. Wilson: That helps too.
The older man leans forward in his chair. Those inquisitive eyes are on him again. They both know this conversation isn’t about his latest wife leaving him, it’s about something bigger: bigger than her leaving him, bigger than labels, bigger than the both of them. Cameron: Bigger than Wilson’s ass! Wilson: Drop it, or I’m booking every bed in the sleep lab for the next three months. Chase: She’ll stop! Cameron, apologize. Foreman: Pronoun confusion in there. Again.
“Do you dream?”
James’ heart jumps into his throat as he looks straight into Greg’s eyes again. “I dream. I mean, I uh, dreamt of nothing.” His voice sounds timid and scared, foreign to his own ears. Foreman: *sighing* Timid and scared are synonyms and thus redundant. Wilson: And why the hell is fic!me terrified to answer a simple yes/no question about dreaming? By the way, nice non sequitur there, House. House: I aim to please. Cameron: What?
That’s one thing, among many, that this man does to him. He turns his world upside down. Sure, before House came in, he was lost, but now that he’s here, it’s a different story. He’s no longer able to breath, it’s like a northern degree has dove into his heart. Cameron: To breathe. The verb ends in “e.” Foreman: Pronoun confusion. Again. Chase: It’s good that the author-person is trying to stretch by using a simile, but what in the world is a “northern degree”? Does it ever dive? Why would it be in his heart? Foreman: And “dive” in the present perfect tense is “has dived.”
He can’t feel his extremities and all he can hear is the rush of blood in his ears., but at the same time, it’s like he’s recovering. House: Wilson, you’re on drugs, too! Which ones? We can be rehab buddies! Wilson: Now you’re scaring me.
All James ever wanted was for Greg to see his favorite part of himself; not the side that was self-doubting and unsure, not his ugly side, but here they were, he can’t stop his tears, and Greg’s damn eyes just keep on looking. House: But I do see your favorite part of yourself. All the time. Wilson: Quiet. House: I love seeing your favorite part. Can I see it now? Wilson: No. Not at work; we agreed. House: Come on! Just a little. Chase/Cameron/Foreman: Please don’t. Wilson: *grumbling* It’s not little.
“Why?” Greg asks, as he stands.
i My God /i , James thinks, he’s like a CB radio, let the conversation flow. He knows, and yet he still asks, so James will follow his lead. Chase: CB radio? Wilson: Breaker One-Nine, this here's the Rubber Duck. You got a copy on me Pig-Pen? House: Oh, dear lord. Wilson: We gotta great big convoy, rockin' through the night. Convoy! House: Wilson, I’ll let you see your favorite part of me now, if you stop singing that horrible song immediately and forever. Wilson: You have to let me touch it, too. In fact, do whatever I want with it. House: Fine. Wilson: Woo hoo! That’s a big ten-four, good buddy. *leaves for his office* House: *sighing, following* I hated 1975. Chase: I don’t even want to know what that was about. Cameron/Foreman: Me neither.
“Why..” He swallows a dry lump in his throat as House comes to stand right in front of him, “what?” Chase/Cameron: *stare at Foreman* Foreman: What? Chase: Punctuation in that sentence… Foreman: I’m over it. Did you know I have four dishwashers in my house?
Greg kneels before him and slowly shakes his head. “Don’t prolong the inevitable. Why?” Foreman: I’m with fic!Wilson here. Why what? The last thing Wilson said, lo those many paragraphs ago, was “I dreamt of nothing.” So is House asking why he dreamed of nothing? Cameron: I’m wondering what the “inevitable” is. Chase: I’m wondering both how and why House is kneeling. Seems rather submissive for House. And painful. Foreman: Unless he’s doped to the gills on drugs, which is always possible.
James can feel the rage rising in the back of his tortured mind. i Play/i If anyone was playing, it was Greg. Foreman: *as fic!Wilson* I’m getting angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry. Voice from the hallway: GAL SMASH! Second voice: Hey, Gal, come away from the nurses’ station and look! Two guys having sex! First voice: GAL POSSIBLY INTERESTED. POSSIBLY FIND BORING. Second voice: House, you and Wilson don’t happen to be angry with each other, do you? House’s voice: Not now that he’s agreed to never again sing that stupid song. Wilson’s voice: Ha! I lied! Convoooooooy! House’s voice: You manipulative piece of shit! *assorted thumps, smacks, and grunts* First voice: *blissfully* GAL HAPPY.
Whenever they’re together he feels like he’s shoved into Greg’s cage, a place of ripping judgements and harsh realizations. A place where the only thing that matters is a kick and a scream. To him, distance means don’t let me go. That’s why, he remembers, he feels the way he feels and the rage slowly dissipates. Cameron: I don’t get that at all. Guy thing? Chase: No, I think it’s a strange author thing. Foreman: And once again, the pronoun confusion doesn’t help. Chase: You’ve gone from grammar nazi to pronoun nazi. Foreman: *shrugs* Character development.
James leans his forehead against Greg’s, surprised when he doesn’t pull away.
“You can’t know, but you have to, I guess.” He whispers, each word dripping with fear. Chase: What is Wilson afraid of now? Cameron: Public speaking?
Foreman: Spiders? Cameron: Terrorism? Foreman: Consistent characterization?
James opens his eyes. Greg’s expression is one of silent understanding. He knows, without being told. Cameron: Knows what? I really don’t understand what’s going on. Chase: You and me both, sister. Foreman: Wouldn’t that be “neither,” Chase?
Chase: Who cares? I’m bored. Let’s find House’s secret vodka stash.
They stay that way, leaning into one another, the only sound their light breathing, until Greg breaks the dark mood. He presses his lips to James’ in a swift affectionate kiss, no lust behind it, no wanting, but so much love, and then silence again. Cameron: Because House is all about the love and affection. And not at all about the lust. *rolls eyes* Chase: Found it! Foreman/Cameron: Gimme! All: *scuffle and struggle over vodka bottle*
“I don’t have to know anything you don’t want me to, Jimmy.” House and Wilson re-enter. Wilson’s tie is askew, his hair is mussed, and the side of his face is red, rubbed raw. House looks pretty much as normal, except for the large darkening bruise just to the right of his Adam’s apple. House: I don’t even know what fic!me is talking about, but I can assure you, Wilson, I have to know, regardless of whether you want me to or not. Wilson: And yet, you want to keep everything you do and think private. House: The enigma that is me. Wilson: The bastard that is you. House: Same thing.
He’s smiling a soft and serene smile and James can’t help but smile back as he leaves the room. House: A soft and serene smile. Have I ever made one of those before? Let me try it. *tries* Wilson: *gasps* Cameron/Chase/Foreman: *look up from scuffle and shriek* House: No? How about this? Wilson: *averts eyes* Cameron/Chase/Foreman: *gasp, pass vodka around, and take big swigs*
He’s left to his state of pondering again, only now, he’s more confused. It’s calmer then before, but now, it’s as if he’ll always be searching for that kiss to light his heart. Wilson: I – uh – what? Chase: *hiccups* Have some vodka. House has wandered into the hallway and is still trying out different smiles. More shrieking is heard, and a thump as a nurse faints away. Gal: HOUSE NO SWEET SMILES! GAL SMASH! GAL SMASH LEG! Dee: No, Gal, no! You might make him cry! Gal: OK. INSTEAD GAL MAKE HOUSE KISS CAMERON! Dee: Now you’re going to make me cry. Gal: DEE MADE HOUSE AND CAMERON GET MARRIED, HAVE BABY, HAVE HAPPY LIFE TOGETHER. Dee: It was a youthful fling, a total mistake! Every girl experiments! Oh great, now I’m going to make me cry.
He’s stuck between the moon and Greg House. He can’t be far, he thinks as he clicks his desk lamp off , he can’t be far. Wilson: “Stuck between the moon and Greg House”? Is that some kind of reference to the theme song from Arthur? Cameron: Have some more vodka, and you won’t care. Anyone ever tell you that you have a pretty mouth? House and Gal: UH OH. Dee: Wilson/Cameron? Wilson/Cameron?!? DEE SMASH!