Aug. 27th, 2009

[identity profile] whatstheddx.livejournal.com
"You ready to go?" Wilson asked.

House pushed the locks shut on his suitcase and looked over at his friend standing in the doorway, hands bunched in his pockets. A week ago, House hadn't thought he'd ever hear those four words, not for a long while. A week ago, he'd had visions of being stuck in Mayfield hospital for weeks, even months, locked away from his life and from Cuddy while missing all the first milestones their kid would take. Megan had been true to her word - when he'd returned to the hospital after his weekend leave, his doctor had informed him on Tuesday that he could look towards going home. And today was the day. He'd been waiting for this day for the last month - the day he was able to pack up his belongings and say goodbye and a happy go to hell to Mayfield hospital for good.

Now it was here, though, he had mixed feelings. Eagerness to leave, definitely. He was eager to get back to his life, to Cuddy, to familiar surroundings and to feeling like he had more control over his life again. But he was also nervous. Megan was discharging him on the faith that he'd be able to cope on his own, that he'd continue to make progress towards better mental - and physical - health. He wanted to have faith that he could achieve those things without anybody else's help but the past month had done a lot to knock his confidence about. He wasn't just returning home to resume where life had left off. He was returning home to a whole new set of changes and challenges with an entirely new life awaiting him with expectant birth of this baby.

He looked back down to his suitcase. "You bet," he replied, careful not to give away anything to Wilson about what he was really thinking. With his coat tucked under one arm and his suitcase clasped in his other, he gave the empty, sterile room he'd come to be so familiar with one last glace over before he turned to Wilson and started for the door. "Let's get the hell outta here."

All the discharge papers had been signed already, so there was very little officiality to take care of. A couple of the nurses stopped House in the corridor to wish him well and to behave himself, advice he dismissed with an impatient nod for Wilson to lead the way out the door. After collecting his belongings from the nurses station, things had been confiscated upon initial entry to the hospital, he stepped out into the sunny afternoon with his eyes squinting against the sun's glare and made a beeline for Wilson's car.

The long car trip home was like old times between Wilson and himself - House making comments and touching things that didn't belong to him in the car, all which Wilson gave exasperated sighs to and cynical remarks. Wilson made conversation about Cuddy and the baby, while House made cutting remarks about the orcs in the hospital that he was now free of and told Wilson at one point to stop by a donut store and made Wilson buy him a box. He dropped crumbs and multicoloured sprinkles from the donut in the car as he ate, much to Wilson's chagrin, and at last his friend pulled into the curb outside House's apartment.

"Now, do you need anything?" Wilson asked once they were inside and all House's bags were stowed in the living room.

"You cleaned," House realised in an accusing tone, noticing the more orderly state of his apartment - books that had no room on his shelves stacked in neater piles, the wooden floors free of dust and other little details around the place that House noticed. He knew his home like the back of his hand and he knew when something was touched or disturbed.

"It was Cuddy's idea," Wilson said, hands held up in defence. "She wanted to make the place decent for you. Don't blame me."

"You didn't stop her, so of course I'm going to blame you," House shot back.

"She was just trying to do a nice thing for you. We both were. But fine, you're free to mess up your apartment however you want." Wilson then looked at his watch.

House turned to him. "You off?"

"Well, I figured you'd want to be on your own."

That was both true and false. House did want to be on his own. He hadn't been on his own for over a month and he was more than ready to have his own privacy for a change. However, he also wasn't sure what to do with himself now that he did have his own privacy. Now he was going to have to return to normal life - making his own meals, getting his own ass out of bed, remembering to take his medication, having to function like an ordinary person. It was such a basic thing, something he'd been doing for years on his own, but never had his own independence left him feeling so lost. But he didn't want Wilson knowing any of that.

He shrugged. "Fine by me."

Wilson didn't look too convinced but he knew better than to push. He nodded. "Maybe give Cuddy a call at work. Tell her you're home. Put her out of her misery - she's been so anxiously waiting for you to come home all week, I'm amazed her membranes haven't ruptured. If you need me, just give me a call. Don't abuse that privilege, by the way, even though I know you will." With that, he gave House a two fingered wave and stepped back to the door.House returned the wave and watched his friend leave. When the door closed, House was left all alone and he was acutely aware of silence. No people, no nurses, no doctors, nothing. Just him in his apartment, left to his own devices to pick up the rest of the pieces.

Grabbing his suitcase, he took it down the hall to his bedroom and dumped all his clean clothes into the drawers. Once he'd stashed the empty suitcase in the closet, he grabbed the phone and punched in Cuddy's work number as he wandered over to the window. He put the phone to his ear and listened to it ring, and greeted in an obnoxiously cheerful tone when it was answered, "Hi, honey, I'm home."

October 2010

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