Rating: T, for some language. House/Wilson slash. Last two chapters rated M.
A/N:Please note: This is NOT a death story. And it's not a dream. Please bear with me.
House stormed out of the elevator. He hated being interrupted during General Hospital, especially since The Soap Channel had been airing a marathon of episodes he had never seen before. As he approached the clinic he was even more annoyed to find all three members of his staff standing idly by the nurses' station. He distinctly recalled assigning each one of them a specific diagnostic test in an attempt to explain the unusual symptoms of their latest patient. So why were they here? And why were they talking to his boss? Even though her back was to him, he could easily recognize Dr. Cuddy's long dark cascading curls as they fell softly around her shoulders. His eyes slowly traveled downward as he took in her shapely derriere, clearly visible under her stylishly fitted lab coat. As he approached the other doctors, he reminded himself how profoundly pissed he was to be paged just as he was about to learn the identity of the father of Brooke's baby.
"This better be important," he barked as he quickly limped towards the four doctors huddled together. Dr. Cuddy, startled by the sound of his voice quickly turned to face him. Alarmed by her appearance he furrowed his brow, tilted his head and studied her. Her eyes were red and swollen, her expression one of shock and dismay. She kept her arms tightly wrapped around her body, her hands clutching at her waist. House glanced at the other three doctors who were now staring at him, their faces revealing similar states of distress.
"What the hell happened?" he asked, expecting to hear Cuddy announce that a plague had hit the hospital and that everyone had been quarantined. He realized the news would probably be bad, but that didn't diminish his agitation at being disturbed.
Glancing at the other doctors, Cuddy left the small group and approached her colleague. She wasn't sure how she would tell him…she hadn't had time to prepare. No one had. She was still in shock.
"What is it?" he asked impatiently, making a point of ogling his watch. "I'm busy."
She sighed deeply and looked into his eyes. "It's Dr. Wilson," she said, her voice breaking.
House took a step back, suddenly afraid. This was about his best friend. Which meant it mattered. Cuddy looked away.
"Just tell me!" he snapped at her. She turned her attention back towards him, not realizing how intensely she was wringing her hands.
"There was a car accident." She paused and took a deep breath. "Dr. Wilson… he…"
"Where is he?" House attacked, frantically scanning the room hoping to find his best friend sitting in the triage area waiting to be treated. He looked back at Cuddy, his eyes boring into her.
"House, I'm sorry. The police were here…they told us… he…he didn't make it."
The older doctor swayed, barely managing to stay on his feet. He leaned heavily into his cane clutching it with all his strength as he quickly turned his head away. He understood what Dr. Cuddy had just told him. But that didn't mean he had to believe it.
He spoke angrily without looking at her. "Where is he?"
Cuddy didn't answer. His head snapped in her direction, his eyes flaring with anger and impatience. "I asked you a question." His voice was threatening, barely controlled.
"He…his car…hit a pole. It exploded on impact." She spoke haltingly, fighting to control her emotions. "There was a fire….they couldn't get to him." She stopped talking and looked pleadingly into House's eyes. She couldn't continue.
House squeezed his eyes shut. "Oh god," he whispered, his balance teetering. Cuddy instinctively reached out to steady him, but caught herself. She knew it would be an unwelcome gesture. House continued to lean into his cane, relying on it to keep himself upright as he slowly opened his eyes and stared past her, his expression vacant. Without looking at his colleague, he turned and quickly limped back towards the elevator.
"Dr. House!" Cuddy called after him.
He reluctantly stopped and faced her. "Just…. please…just let me be." He turned away and continued towards the elevator.
Dr. Cuddy took a deep sobering breath, her eyes welling with tears. She turned towards the members of House's staff. Cameron was quietly crying while Foreman attempted to comfort her; Chase was watching House intently as he entered the elevator.
"Dr. Chase," she called out. The young intensivist jumped. With blinking eyes, he looked questioningly at Dr. Cuddy.
"Find him!" Realizing the caustic edge to her voice she softened her tone. "Please…. make sure he's okay." She laughed bitterly at her own words…how could he ever be okay? She sighed. "Just tell me where he is."
Chase nodded, acknowledging her frustration and concern as he headed towards the stairwell, hoping to get to the second floor before the elevator. He sprinted up the steps, reaching his floor barely in time to see House disappear around the corner. He's going to Dr. Wilson's office, he thought. The young doctor quickly walked to the corner and peered down the hallway. He watched as House stopped in front of his friend's office and removed a key from his pocket. Before placing the key in the lock, the older doctor dropped his head against the door, leaning into it for several seconds. Chase averted his eyes. As House entered the office, Chase fell against the wall and sighed. He couldn't imagine anything worse happening to Greg House.