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ZOMG...I wrote fanfiction again. 

Title: Mexican Standoff
Rating: PG 
Characters: House/Wilson/Foreman
Words: 772
Summary: It can't end well with two stubborn, armed adversaries...or can it? Spoilers for 8.07 Dead and Buried

He had expected the worst. To be wrestled ungainly from the office by two or three burly, bloated badge carriers, through the reception and out the front door, with gawking yet clearly unsurprised colleagues observing from the sidelines. That Dr. House. Always flipping one to authority, pushing, probing, pressing the buttons of his superiors. It was only a matter of time before he found the destructive combination and had his ass hauled back to jail.

But thirty clinic hours.

It was a meagre morsel of a punishment than the one he thought would be dished out. Foreman was a worthy adversary at times, a man of his word, staunch, principled and authoritative in his own right. His resignation, informing to Cuddy on his exploits, tests that he believed were necessary regardless of House's mocking. Foreman says, Foreman does. And when Foreman threatens with jail time, that's what House expects to get. 

He goes to that office with the unfamiliar sensation of defeat in his stomach. They've called each other's bluff, and one of them was going to lose out. House's Freedom versus House's Knowing. Some would say it was an unfair match up, a Mexican stand off between an old rusting revolver and a semi-automatic machine gun, and that there was only ever one outcome. 

The machine gun blitzes the tie, and the rusting revolver is at its mercy. 

He had seen it coming, of course he'd seen it coming. He knew it and Wilson had spent most of the week not so subtly telling him to step back, put down the weapon and get out of the firing line. It's not worth it, it's not worth it. The younger man flapped and frittered. Bouncing back and forth like a pinball between the two of them, being the physical manifestation of being stuck between a rock and hard place. 

He'd wavered for a moment, a tiny but significant flutter in his brain, as he saw the look on Wilson's face when he came back for the last time to plead for him to stop. A mixture of careful hope, delicate loneliness and heavy weariness. And for one moment it was gone, that need, that urge, that yearning to decipher the puzzle. It was gone, if only briefly. 

But his head ruled his heart, no matter how hard he tried, and as he raised and cocked his gun, he could see Wilson, frustrated and listless in the corner of his eye. He had to do this. He had to know. What is life without knowing? What is freedom without knowing?

He was surprised to see Wilson in Foreman's office when he takes his seat outside the walnut brown door. He can't make out what either man is saying, but Wilson is animated, even with this apparently losing cause. Foreman stands, stiff and upright, absorbing and decoding without even a flicker of the eyelids. Two undecipherable men having an almost undecipherable conversation. 

Wilson doesn't want to take the bullet, he wants to stop the bullet being fired altogether, and this is his last attempt, the last distraction, the last beg to both men's rational reasoning, before the flag is waved and bellows of 'FIRE!' echo through the hospital. The look on Foreman's face hinted that perhaps his calls for restraint were falling on deaf ears. 

House had to wonder, and he did, why Wilson is still defending him with such vigour. He's violated parole, went behind Foreman's back and should, technically, be thrown back into the penitentiary. Even Wilson knows that. 

But then it occurred to him. This is not just a case of His Freedom versus His Knowing. It's Their Friendship, Their Freedom, Their Sanity versus His Knowing. 

When Wilson exited the office, he offered a small yet victorious smirk. The pacifist tactic had paid off and Foreman had removed his ammunition and laid down his weapon. A peace offering in the form of thirty clinic hours has been put forward, and House could do nothing but accept. 

He found Wilson sitting on a bench in the parking lot, absent-mindedly twiddling the keys of his Volvo between his fingers. 

"How many?" 

"He gave me thirty."

"I would have gave you fifty." Wilson smiled and dumped the keys back into his pocket. 

"That's 'cos you'd be a crappy Dean of Medicine. You don't have the people skills."

"Oh ok, pot, kettle, black, over there."

"What do I owe you?"

Wilson could have gone the whole hog, some clinic duty here, some administration paperwork there, injecting his pissy, diabetic cat, but his request was simple."A bottle of beer and pizza would do just fine."

Date: 22/11/2011 01:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yarroway.livejournal.com
It's great to see a new fic from you. I loved Wilson's price, it was right in line with House's realization of why Wilson was doing this.

Date: 23/11/2011 09:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] moose-mcmoose.livejournal.com
Who thought my muse would EVER return... I thought my House fanfiction brain had shrivelled and died.

Thanks for reading and commenting. :)

Date: 22/11/2011 01:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alternatealto.livejournal.com
A [livejournal.com profile] moose_mcmoose fic! (Does happy dance)

This is not just a case of His Freedom versus His Knowing. It's Their Friendship, Their Freedom, Their Sanity versus His Knowing. --THIS. This was the heart of it all -- all of Wilson's unceasing efforts to get House to get a clue were because of this. House got damn lucky he was able to have both the Knowing and the rest of it -- this time.

Date: 22/11/2011 03:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] blackmare-9.livejournal.com
Yep, this!

And on that note, off I go to work!

Date: 23/11/2011 09:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] moose-mcmoose.livejournal.com
:) Thanks for reading and for commenting

Date: 23/11/2011 02:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] blackmare-9.livejournal.com
I really was in a hurry yesterday, or else I would have mentioned that you're so right about Foreman being, historically, the one follows through on anything he threatens. I thought it was foolish of him in this case to 1. set an arbitrary boundary by not allowing House to work on two cases at once and 2. threaten to send House back to jail for this.

I wonder if Foreman was trying to reassert his authority as House's boss after (also foolishly, IMO) going with House to that boxing match. Whatever he meant to do, he ended up eroding his position of authority, and that doesn't bode well for him.

Date: 23/11/2011 11:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] moose-mcmoose.livejournal.com
Yeah, Foreman always comes across as unwavering in his stance, most of the time, whether it be against the wishes of others or not. And i think the worry we saw on House's face outside the office in that episode was a reflection of that. If it was someone along the lines of Cuddy or Wilson then he may have been more reassured that he definitively would NOT have gone back to jail.

Foreman's issue is that he's giving mixed signals. One week his taking House to boxing matches, the next he's threatening jail time, and I totally agree, he is eroding his position by trying to be a pal and trying to be this staunch, immovable object of a boss all at the same time.

Date: 23/11/2011 09:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] moose-mcmoose.livejournal.com
Haha, I'm impressed with your jig. :)

I'm glad you enjoyed this, thanks for reading and commenting :)

Date: 22/11/2011 02:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] barefootpuddles.livejournal.com
I like the gun metaphor alot and I agree with you, House (and Wilson too) knew that the 'knowing' would win out.

I didn't think Wilson knew what was going to happen when he exited. I thought it was just a tiny "here's hoping for the best" smile he gave House. But I am going to watch the part again and see. I like the idea too that Wilson extracts a price, however small, that you put at the end of your story.

Date: 23/11/2011 09:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] moose-mcmoose.livejournal.com
Maybe it's just what I saw or wanted to see, but I thought Wilson's smile was quiet sign that he knew he had managed to persuade Foreman not to send House to jail.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

Date: 22/11/2011 03:10 pm (UTC)

Date: 23/11/2011 09:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] moose-mcmoose.livejournal.com
Haha, I adore that icon...how bizarre. Hehe.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

Date: 22/11/2011 04:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lovemywilson.livejournal.com
Awww thank you! I simply love this!

Date: 23/11/2011 09:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] moose-mcmoose.livejournal.com
Glad to hear you enjoyed this!!

Thanks for reading and commenting. Much appreciated.

Date: 22/11/2011 05:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] srsly-yes.livejournal.com
The Moose is back! *hugs* I missed your House stories.

I adored House's gunslinger move last night and your metaphor does amazing things with it. Brava!

Date: 23/11/2011 09:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] moose-mcmoose.livejournal.com
Aw bless you. My muse has fluttered back, if only for a short period.

So glad you enjoyed this one. Thanks for reading!!

Date: 22/11/2011 10:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] writerdot.livejournal.com
Oh, nicely done. I especially liked Wilson's price, too. :-)

Date: 23/11/2011 09:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] moose-mcmoose.livejournal.com
Hehe, a pizza is the least he deserves.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

Date: 22/11/2011 10:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] menolly-au.livejournal.com
I loved that Wilson went in to bat for House in that episode, and the little smile he gives House as he leaves the office. This is a great followup, and I like that Wilson extracts a 'price' and that House realises (belatedly) just what Wilson was fighting for all through the episode.

Date: 23/11/2011 09:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] moose-mcmoose.livejournal.com
Extremely glad to hear you enjoyed this. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Date: 22/11/2011 10:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] smiddlecn.livejournal.com
Nice story! Thanks for giving us a scene we needed.

Date: 23/11/2011 09:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] moose-mcmoose.livejournal.com
Thank you!! Glad to hear you enjoyed this one.

Date: 23/11/2011 10:58 am (UTC)

Date: 23/11/2011 11:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] moose-mcmoose.livejournal.com
Thank you! And cheers for reading and commenting.

Date: 23/11/2011 03:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] damigella-314.livejournal.com
I love the way you put the accent on House's need for knowing, trumping (to his own unhappiness) everything else he cares for. I think this is probably the thing I most like about him as a character, and one that had gotten lost in Season 7.

This isn't really a fic, is it? More like a little glimpse in House's head, written by someone who has been in there. Thank you so much for this perfect vision.

Date: 23/11/2011 11:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] moose-mcmoose.livejournal.com
And thank you for the delightful comment. It was nice to see that aspect of House's character making a bold return.

Thanks for reading!

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