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HOUSE M.D. FIC: Balcony Scene

Title: Balcony Scene
House M.D.
Rating: PG-13 for language
Word Count: ~1300
Pairings: House/Wilson friendship
Summary: Pure self-indulgence, based on the promo for 7X16.



The view was so much better from up here. Okay, it was a view mainly of mangy grass and a desolate parking lot, but still, he had range, he had perspective.

Most importantly, he had height.

House balanced precariously on the balcony railing, his right thigh trembling with pain even after the handful of Vicodin he’d choked down. He’d asked for a room on the top floor, but this would do. He wasn’t a cat, and he wouldn’t get another eight lives after this one. Although some might argue that he’d already used up two or three of them. He snorted a little. High in more ways than one, and that thought made him snort some more.

Yeah, you’re a riot, Greg. Now do what you came up here to do. He took a deep breath, bracing himself for the fall.

But then he paused, squinting. A car had just squealed into the lot, stopping askew on the painted line between two spaces. The driver’s side door was flung violently open. In the dim moonlight, he could just make out a familiar figure climbing out, then trotting over to stand staring up at him, hands on hips. White male, brown hair, brown eyes. Of course, the cavalry, come in the nick of time. Except not.

“House!” The courtyard carried Wilson’s voice up so that it sounded like his friend was standing right beside him.

“Don’t,” House sighed, and then, realizing that Wilson couldn’t hear him from down there, he called more loudly, “I’m a failure. I’m done. There is nothing you can do or say to stop me.” And yet, belying his belligerent words, House hesitated, watching as the heavy brows furrowed, then rose in an implicit challenge: you wanna bet?

Wilson straightened, thrusting out his chest, and raised his left arm in a gracefully theatrical gesture. “See how she leans her cheek upon her hand!” he declaimed. “Oh that I were a glove upon that hand, that I might touch that cheek!”

Despite his best efforts, House felt the corner of his mouth twitch upwards. “You jackass,” he muttered.

“She speaks! Oh speak again, bright angel! For thou art as glorious to this night, being o’er my head, as is a winged messenger of heaven…”

“Oh, Christ,” House groaned, fighting futilely to suppress his grin, and clambered down off the railing. His legs and hands, he noted with chemically detached interest, were shaking.

“Don’t move,” Wilson called. “I’ll be right up.”

Against his better judgment, House stumbled back inside, rubbing his ruined thigh, and waited for Wilson. He estimated that only a couple of minutes had passed before the knock came at the door, but they felt long, and fuzzy around the edges.

Wilson stood just outside in the hallway, looking drained but relieved. He didn’t bother to ask whether he could come in since that would have forced House to refuse him on principle, all the more so given how absurdly happy he felt to have him here. Instead, he brushed by House, touching him briefly on the arm, and then headed hastily to the bathroom.

Under the high-pitched hum of running water, House was certain that he could hear Wilson puking. He dry-swallowed another pill to keep the unsettling sounds at bay.

When Wilson emerged at last, his face was pale but resolute. “Look,” he said, “I’ll understand if you don’t want to talk about it, but I’ve already heard Cuddy’s version. Tell me how you ended up here?”

“I…” House said, and almost found himself hanging his head. Scowling, he straightened up. “Cuddy dumped me. With good reason.”

“Because you took one pill.”

“Because I went to see her, stoned, after being clean for a year and half. Because now she knows that she’ll never be able to trust me around her kid. Around her life.”

“You fucked up,” Wilson observed. “Once.”

“We both know,” House said, “that I would have fucked up again.”

“I know,” Wilson said. “That’s what addicts do. Cuddy should have realized that.”

“She’s right,” House said hollowly. “I couldn’t handle the thought of losing her. I told myself that it would be just this once, but the truth is that sooner or later something stressful would happen, and then…”

“I know,” Wilson said again, more forcefully. “Which is why you need help. Other methods of coping. And someone who cares enough to stick by you when you fall.”

“I thought that you were sick of picking up the pieces,” House said. He’d meant it to come out as a sneer, but somehow it softened into something more closely resembling a plea.

“Foreman shouldn’t have told you that. And House… not wanting to,” Wilson said slowly, “and not being willing to, are two different things.”

“Cuddy-“ House began.

“I am really pissed at her right now,” Wilson interrupted him in a low voice, and House suddenly realized that he had never seen his friend so angry – not when he’d gotten his car impounded and bank accounts frozen by Tritter, not when House had goaded him into throwing the bottle through the funeral home’s stained glass window. This was a quiet, bitter, deliberate rage, and it was scary as fuck.

“She… toyed with you, House. She couldn’t shake her interest in you, so she wanted to see if she could make it work. I wonder whether she even considered the likely consequences of failure for you.” Wilson spoke evenly, but the way in which he clipped his words spoke volumes about the intensity of his feeling. “You can’t just… rescue someone and then abandon them when they need you the most.”

“Yeah,” House said. “Or when your hot ex-wife wants to move into the condo. Oops, we were talking about Cuddy, weren’t we?”

Wilson’s gaze shifted away, then back. “No. You’re right. I deserved that.” He sighed, his fury visibly dissipating, to be replaced by wry self-deprecation. “If I think about it, you were doing really well right up until I decided that one spectacular failure with that woman wasn’t enough.”

Abruptly House found himself slumping in exhaustion. Wilson stepped forward swiftly and grabbed him under the arm, guided him backward so that he sank down on the bed. Then he sat down next to House, the mattress dipping under his weight, a bright point of body heat their contact at the shoulder.

“Now what?” House asked dully. For an absurd moment he wished that he could lean sideways and rest his head against Wilson’s.

“Now?” Wilson repeated, stifling a yawn. “It’s been a long day. I think we should both get some rest.” He pulled away and stood up, unknotted his tie and hung it carefully over the back of a chair, then followed it with his coat.

“You’re staying here?”

“This time you’re not getting rid of me no matter how hard you try,” Wilson said, toeing off his shoes and placing them neatly underneath.

“There’s only one bed,” House pointed out the obvious.

“Not a problem, unless you go hogging all the covers,” Wilson replied, sliding almost fully dressed between the sheets. He turned on his side, away from House, and heaved a sleepy sigh.

For a few seconds, House could only stare bemusedly at his friend’s solid back. By the time he grunted, “Rebound relationships are your MO,” Wilson’s breaths were already slow and regular.

After a long moment of silence, House surrendered, unbuttoned the shirt that stank of stale sweat, and climbed stiffly into the double bed beside Wilson, who didn’t so much as twitch as the mattress moved. House folded his arms behind his head and stared unseeing at the ceiling. "I am afear'd, being in night, all this is but a dream," he whispered. After a few seconds, his eyelids fluttered shut.


( 31 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 9th, 2011 03:52 am (UTC)
Love it! I loved Wilson declaiming at the balcony...I only wish there had been one little follow-up reference, no matter how obscure. This is excellent, so IC.
Mar. 9th, 2011 03:56 am (UTC)
.I only wish there had been one little follow-up reference, no matter how obscure.
That's an excellent suggestion, it would tie things up very neatly. I'll have a sleep on it.
Mar. 9th, 2011 04:04 am (UTC)
I like you follow up idea to the promo. Wouldn't that be wonderful (which means there will be no chance we'll get that)?

I thought on the promo with House's neck so deliciously in view that it be great if Wilson crawled into that picture and licked his neck. Okay, now I am clearly into fanfiction, but it's a nice place to be. I hope this promo spawns tons of H/W fics (where House doesn't jump!). :)
Mar. 9th, 2011 04:12 am (UTC)
I hope this promo spawns tons of H/W fics (where House doesn't jump!). :)

Yes. That last bit would be key.

Thanks for commenting!
Mar. 9th, 2011 05:41 am (UTC)
Nice. I can totally see Wilson launching into Shakespeare to get House off that railing. That is a stroke of brilliance.

Mar. 9th, 2011 12:14 pm (UTC)
Thank you - it just felt too perfect!
Mar. 9th, 2011 07:36 am (UTC)
Now that would be great :) Love how Wilson was all angry at Cuddy, reminds me of the end of when he bought the loft out from underneath Cuddy. And of course the balcony scene is terrific :)
Mar. 9th, 2011 12:15 pm (UTC)
Yeah, Wilson has been repressing a lot of anger this season (not just at Cuddy, but now she makes a convenient target). And I can't help loving the balcony scene.

Thanks for commenting!
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 9th, 2011 12:17 pm (UTC)
What is fanfic for if not showing what we'd like to see if we could? (Okay, it's for a lot of other things, too, but that's the reason for the "pure self-indulgence" label.)

Thanks for commenting!
Mar. 9th, 2011 12:30 pm (UTC)
I'll take this over canon any day. I loved Wilson quoting Shakespeare at House. I'm so impressed that you managed to have them do Romeo and Juliet and stay IC.
Mar. 9th, 2011 12:48 pm (UTC)
Hee! Seemed like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, really.

Thanks for commenting!
Mar. 9th, 2011 03:54 pm (UTC)
lol. "The Balcony Scene" is an apropos title. I loved Wilson citing "Romeo and Juliet" to talk House off the railing.
Mar. 9th, 2011 11:06 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad that everyone else seems to think that this is as hilariously IC as I do!

Thanks for commenting!
Mar. 9th, 2011 04:54 pm (UTC)
yeah! go Wilson!
Mar. 9th, 2011 11:07 pm (UTC)
"Still not boring!" *grin*

Thanks for commenting!
Mar. 9th, 2011 05:09 pm (UTC)
I loved Wilson's theatrics from the ground below! This was so incredibly IC! Both of them trying to joke about it (in a way that was honestly hilarious) but then we get to see how much it actually bothers Wilson by him throwing up in the bathroom. It was painful to read, but in the good way. I agree with Wilson; Cuddy should have realized the potential for relapse. I think...she tried to ignore that as a possibility. Also, I LOVE that Wilson got angry. I feel as though his frustration has really built up this season and there is SO much potential to see Wilson actually get mad. And I think that he might be angrier because he knows Cuddy, and he knows that Cuddy knows House's history with drugs.

I also like the fact that you illustrated that House is still bitter over being kicked out of the condo and that Wilson feels remorse.

Also, I LOVE the call back to "Now What?" Perfectly placed.

Rebound relationships are your MO. Totally a Housian line.

And I love House's last line at the end! Really enjoyed this. :)
Mar. 9th, 2011 11:14 pm (UTC)
You leave the loveliest long comments, and it makes me so happy when other people point out my favorite bits.

I agree, Wilson has had so much cause for anger this season. I wish we'd see him deal with it on the show. He's not blameless for the current situation, though, so I wanted him to experience that remorse as well as the rage.

And yeah, can you imagine? Wilson probably came this close to having a heart attack when he spotted House up on that railing, but he stayed strong until the crisis was over.

Thanks so much for your comments!
Mar. 9th, 2011 05:52 pm (UTC)
Awesome. Like everyone else, I just love Romeo Wilson! He has redeemed himself somewhat for planting the vicodin on House ;)
Mar. 9th, 2011 11:08 pm (UTC)
Huh? Oh, that must have been my evil twin... Namowylf.

So glad that you enjoyed this! :D
Mar. 9th, 2011 05:58 pm (UTC)
This was brilliant and very IC. Now I hope this'll happen on the show!
Mar. 9th, 2011 11:09 pm (UTC)
A girl can dream...

Thanks for commenting!
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 9th, 2011 11:09 pm (UTC)
Um... thanks?
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - flywoman - Mar. 10th, 2011 04:09 am (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 9th, 2011 11:25 pm (UTC)
Someone should tell the writers that we need House and Wilson quoting Shakespeare to each other on the show. That? Would be awesome.

This image Wilson straightened, thrusting out his chest, and raised his left arm in a gracefully theatrical gesture. made me laugh for ages after I read it, because we all know Wilson's a bit of a dork and would totally do something like this on the show.

This was fun and in character all at the same time.

Great job!
Mar. 10th, 2011 02:33 am (UTC)
Wilson is totally a big enough dork to do this. I'm thinking of the poem he read aloud by that sweet demented old lady. And of course the proposal.

Thanks for your comments!
Mar. 10th, 2011 03:11 am (UTC)
This is absolutely brilliant. As an English major, I automatically love anything with Shakespeare in it, but--as others have said--the specific lines and Wilson's use of them is in character and an excellent tactic.

Wilson's throwing up in the bathroom said everything about Wilson's reaction to seeing House up there that the Romeo role didn't, neatly preempting any need for Wilson to tell House what he already knows--i.e., that he'd have been devastated had House jumped, and seeing House standing there ranks high on his list of all-time worst moments.

I loved the dialogue: both voices were easy to hear, and everything that needed to be said was said. Wilson's anger--as much as himself as at Cuddy--makes the piece: he sees not only her failure but also his own. Of course, he redeems himself by understanding House well enough to be there to pick up the pieces. (House's description of Wilson's restrained rage was another favorite part. There's power in it when the quiet ones show anger.)

And House, who would naturally fear that Wilson's offer of help and constancy is "too flattering-sweet to be substantial" should find some beginnings of healing when Wilson keeps his word.
Mar. 10th, 2011 04:12 am (UTC)
And House, who would naturally fear that Wilson's offer of help and constancy is "too flattering-sweet to be substantial" should find some beginnings of healing when Wilson keeps his word.

I debated how much of these verses to include; I decided to keep it shorter and a little more ambiguous (since, yes, it applies to Wilson's willingness to stick around once the crisis has passed, but also to the possibility that House is merely hallucinating his help). I'm so glad that you got the reference!

And thanks so much for all of your lovely comments.
(no subject) - lit_luminary - Mar. 10th, 2011 04:37 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - flywoman - Mar. 10th, 2011 05:35 am (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 12th, 2011 07:52 pm (UTC)
Awwww Wilson, Romeo!
Mar. 12th, 2011 08:24 pm (UTC)
Wilson staring up at House on a balcony... how could I resist?

Thank you for commenting.
( 31 comments — Leave a comment )



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