Title: Some Days Are Worse Than Others
By: Sy Dedalus
Pairing: Gen; House/Wilson strong friendship, House/Cuddy friendship. The ducks may or may not be involved later.
Rating: This chapter is M, R for language.
Warnings: Extremely dark fic, graphic violence, graphic language, WIP.
Spoilers: "The Honeymoon" et al
Summary: An alternate ending for "The Honeymoon" based on the script sides leaked by Fox in April 2005. Synopsis: instead of going home to his Vicodin, House gets angry and ends up starting a bar fight and nearly overdosing. We go from there….
Disclaimer: The beginning of this fic is written around lines from the sides for "The Honeymoon" which very obviously belong to FOX, David Shore, the writers, etc., anyone but me. I do not own the characters or the lines from the sides and make no claim to own them. I am making no money off of this. Please don't sue me. All epigraphs by Modest Mouse, Robert Lowell, …And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, W.B. Yeats, etc., belong to their respective owners and not to me. Please don't sue over that either.
A/N: This fic used to be spoilerific, based on the leaked ending to "The Honeymoon," which Fox changed drastically. Here you have a fic that takes the original ending and runs with it. Please see the endnote to chapter 4 for a partial transcription of the sides that this fic is based on. I'd frontload them here but maybe it's more fun if you read through it like it is. ;) Obviously, the dialogue in this chapter was kept with minimal changes in the final aired version of "The Honeymoon." It is, of course, NOT MINE: it belongs to Fox, the writers, the producers, etc. Same with the dialogue from the script that appears in chapter 2. Everything after chapter 2 is original material.
A note on the rating of this fic. In general, it'll be T+. The first two chapters are M, though, for language and violence, so please use your discretion in reading them.
One final note on the writing. Most of the early chapters were written before "Kids" aired, i.e. before House and Cameron's date. I'm going to fix some of the inaccuracies relative to that but until I get to it, I just wanted to let you know when the writing occurred as an explanation for the discrepancies between this fic and canon. Also, clearly what you see in this chapter was not what Hugh Laurie and Lisa Edelstein gave us in "The Honeymoon." Call it dramatic license. ;)
So. Here's how it might have gone…
One: You've Killed the Better Part of Me
I said that I'd said that I'd tell ya
And that's you've killed the better part of me.
If you could just milk it for everything.
I've said what I've said and you know what I mean
But I still can't focus on anything.
We kiss on the mouth but still cough down our sleeves.
—Modest Mouse, "Dramamine"
Cuddy and House stood in the hallway talking. It had been a long week for both of them and even longer month in the wake of Vogler. For his part, House just wanted to leave.
It was Friday. He wanted to go home and forget everything that had happened since Stacy had walked back into his life. He wanted to drive home reckless and stupid and running red lights and stop signs, to feel how his leg hurt for it, driving a stick. He wanted to walk into his apartment and leave all the shit at the door. Then he wanted to take a few Vicodin, have a drink, jerk off, whale on the punching bag he'd borrowed from Wilson until he collapsed, and end by sleeping as long as he possibly could, alone, away from everything and everyone. That was what he wanted. He wanted to be left the fuck alone.
So he'd just tried to extricate himself from the conversation to get started on that list and she'd stopped him. "Hang on," she'd said.
He gripped his cane impatiently and drummed the fingers of his left hand against his side. Whatever she had to say to him right now was of no interest whatsoever to him. She could say, 'take me, House, I'm all yours,' and look all breathless and horny and he'd just leave. He wasn't in the mood for anything right now that wasn't on his to-do list.
"I want to run something by you," she said.
She didn't just say things like that. He tensed, on guard, expecting something bad, though what could be worse than what he'd already been through this week?
Cuddy annoyed him. Cuddy annoyed him most of the time, but since she'd gone to bat for him with Vogler, he'd felt a little less annoyed. Now, though, he was back to his usual level of annoyance with her. It was bad enough that he'd been so unfortunate as to dig himself into the memory of five years ago recently, the infarction, the fuck up, how he'd been dead (that part didn't bother him) and how Cuddy'd brought him back (that part bothered him). How Cuddy had seen him dead, a corpse on the table, and shocked his ass back into the mortal coil. His life in her hands then. His job in her hands recently, which only made things worse when they'd been bad enough as it was. And after Stacy'd left, his heart in her hands.
They'd fucked that up too. That is to say, they'd fucked, and then they'd fucked up. He was on the rebound, he should've known better. She'd seen him dead and probably had at least some idea of just how big his dick was, his formerly dead dick attached to his formerly dead body, before she entered into it, and she should've known better. Fuck ethics. Fuck patient/doctor relations. If she had really felt something for him, she would have known better than to try and glue him back together when he'd only just been smashed apart. She'd given it a try, resuscitating him emotionally after she'd done it physically, she'd really given it not so bad of a try, but she should've known. She had been there. She had fucking been there. For that moment when Stacy let it slip just as he was losing consciousness, the moment he'd realized that (and he'd known it all along, really he had) things could go very badly. She'd seen how in love he'd been with Stacy. She was a woman. He operated under the assumption that women knew that it took a while 1. to get over a serious relationship and 2. to get used to the idea that you're crippled for life. Well, the last one was unisexual, but the first thing—Cuddy should've known.
When he thought back on it now, he liked to think that she had known and she'd done it anyway. That it had been another one of life's little kicks to keep him down, face permanently stuck in the mud. It made it easier for him to live, thinking that. But he knew she hadn't done it knowingly and he couldn't really hate her for it. He didn't hate her. He didn't even dislike her. It might be a leap to say he actually did like her, but at the least he respected and tolerated her, and he could count on one hand the number of people those two verbs applied to. And she was, despite the comment that was about to spring from his lips, a pretty decent fuck.
"I will not have sex with you again no matter how much you beg me," he said. "It was miserable the first time, all the desperate administrative need—"
She squared on him and he knew whatever was coming next he wasn't going to like at all. He was, in fact, going to hate it. Whatever it was.
She took a deep breath. She knew that what she was about to tell him wasn't going to be easy on him. Nothing about this week or the last week had been easy on him. But she needed to know. It was her job to get his answer because she was in charge of hiring and that was that. She didn't have to like it and right now she'd give anything to have someone else tell him this.
"Stacy's husband is going to need close monitoring here at the hospital and since we could definitely use her back here, I offered her a consulting job, risk management," she said.
His gaze, which had been defiant and fixed on Cuddy, dropped immediately to the floor. A very small, emotionally disconnected part of his brain raised lips and eyebrows in ironic laughter at having her back here in risk management of all things. It was so apt. But for the most part he just felt numb.
The week had been such hell already, starting with Stacy's outright refusal to acknowledge that they'd ever had anything when she'd gone with the ambulance crew instead of taking up his offer to drive her to the hospital. She was upset. At him. At hubby passing out. He understood that, but couldn't she just….
And now this.
He couldn't say that he hadn't seen it coming. He had just hoped that life wouldn't give him another kick in the pants, grind his face further into the mud. It was bad enough that he had to treat the guy who got to come home to her everyday, to tell her he loved her, to be told the same thing back, to smell the scent of her at home after she'd left a room, to fuck her senseless one night and go slowly and tenderly the next, to wake up next to her in the morning, sniff her morning breath and send her to the toothpaste, to take in all the small things that she did that made her who she was, to feel her warm next to him on the couch watching tv, to make her laugh, to wear a ring that said she was his and his only and everyone else could back the fuck up—it was more than bad enough that he had treat this guy, this Mark, to be forced by his job to think about how he was doing everyday and wonder how soon he'd send him home so he could go back to fucking the woman he loved, but now he was going to have to see her too everyday, no longer as the patient's wife, the next of kin, someone he could shirk like so much excess baggage, but now as a colleague. A lawyer. Given his penchant for risk, probably his lawyer. And it meant that now she was here, she might not ever leave. He might be forced to watch her love someone else—that every time he saw her, he would know that she loved someone else and not him. That he would never get her back. Because, hell, even if hubby did kick off, what were the chances she'd come back to him? to the bitter, selfish old man he'd become? They were just about fucking zero.
He realized Cuddy was still looking at him. He was dazed by this news but his mind had never stopped working—that was his problem, it never did stop working, ever. It kept him trapped as much as his leg did now.
He took the next logical step in the conversation because he didn't know what else to do and he sure as hell didn't want Cuddy doing anything drastic like giving him a hug.
He didn't look at her. He couldn't look at her.
"Did she say yes?" he asked dully, eyes still on the floor. As if it fucking mattered.
"She said only if it was okay with you," Cuddy answered.
She had that softened quality in her voice again that meant she was feeling something other than contempt for him at that moment. He couldn't stand it.
And Stacy. Fuck. She would. She fucking would. Do the nice fucking thing that in reality only put it all on him again, so that if she started working here, it was with his blessing, and if she didn't, he was the asshole who'd fucked her out of a good job while she watched her husband suffer.
What choice did he have.
Really. In any of it. In all of it.
What choice did he fucking have.
He didn't have a choice about his leg and until very recently, he didn't have a choice about his job. Now he did have a "choice," in a manner of speaking, but his job was his life and whatever he chose would make it even more of a living hell than it already was, take away the small amount of pleasure he had until now managed to derive from it, so what choice was that.
But he did have one real choice about his life. The ultimate choice.
Cuddy had brought him back before and it had been a mistake. She should've let him die happy and in love right then and there. Everyone's lives would have been easier, including his. But no. Instead she'd done the doctorly thing. He hadn't signed a DNR because he'd still had hope then. Hell, he'd had hope and love. But once those paddles touched his chest and got his fucking heart beating again, beating him into the ground, all choices, all hope of love, were removed from his life. Only the illusion of choice was left, what he had dangling in his face right now. He'd already signed his leg away by the time Cuddy got around to shocking him and Stacy had started in on signing the better part of him away too. He should've signed that DNR. But he still had that one thing. And he'd be damned if he let Cuddy save him this time.
He was determined now. It was time to leave.
He turned and walked away without looking at her again. He knew what he would do. He didn't know how he'd do it, but he knew what he would do.
"Yes or no," he heard her say.
He stopped and turned to look at her, feeling nothing. "It's fine," he said.
He wouldn't be the asshole anymore.