OF MOMENTS PAST
Disclaimer - Wish I owned them, but I don't.
Synopsis - House pines over Stacy leaving for good and accidentally overdoses on Vicodin. Plot in progress. Please R&R . House/Stacy, House/Cameron, House/Wilson friendship.
Attention reviewers - Took advice from previous reviews. Tell me what you think about this. I'm brainstorming ideas right now about what the plot will follow, but want imput on chapter one first.
CHAPTER 1 - THE ONE
House sat in his office late on a Thursday evening deep in thought, so deep in fact, he did not even realize what time it was. Visiting hours were long since over and just the overnight nurses along with a handful of interns and residents staffed the building. He was one of a small few day shift employees who should have been home instead of still at work but only because his department had just received a new patient that afternoon at Cuddy's request. Surprisingly enough, it seemed as if the new treatment he had prescribed for the new patient's supposed allergies was working. Cameron had even impressed him that day for thinking both so quickly and so far out of the normal realm of immunology; she had even mentioned a treatment that he hadn't heard of before.
As House continued to think, spinning his favorite red ball in his hands, there was a gentle but firm knock on his door. He looked up to see Wilson standing there smiling. Things were apparently going well for him and Julie, or at least Julie didn't know about James' newest fling. Either way, Wilson was in a good mood.
"So you know how you told me last month that if you could go back in time, you would?" Wilson asked House without bothering to enter the office suite.
House stopped spinning the ball momentarily to ponder what his friend just said. He didn't recall saying that at all to Wilson, but between the weeklong ill-advised Vicodin-booze binge and the busier-than-normal caseload, it was hard to remember.
"Are you asking me about the other Gregory House that works here?"
"So there's more than one of you now?"
"Got cloned last month. Didn't you notice?"
"Apparently not." Wilson entered and sat in an empty chair across from House's desk. It had really been a long time since the two took time to spend together. It wasn't that odd however considering how busy both doctors were. They looked at each other for a brief moment before Wilson asked, "So, what exactly is happening between you and Stacy?"
The immortal question.
House looked at Wilson, knowing that for once it was okay to actually speak the truth and not fabricate fiction for the sake of driving someone away. What exactly was happening? He knew he had read her psych file, he knew he still wanted to be with her, and he knew that Mark was well on his way to recovery.
Wilson blinked and was about to give up on an answer when House finally jarred himself from his thoughts, "I don't know."
With the answer, Wilson lowered himself back into his chair and gave House a quizzing look. He knew that his friend of all people, the one who dated Stacy for several years and whose life was dramatically altered by her, should know what was happening.
"I never wanted her to come back in my life. I never wanted to have to forgive her."
The truth. Wilson sighed. For years he had been trying to get House to admit his true feelings to him and to the world, but the harder he tried, the more House withdrew into himself in frustration, pain, and depression. Wilson had been trying to convince House to try antidepressants for several years now, but to no avail. The only thing House would let him prescribe was the Vicodin, and it was no secret that he became more and more dependant on it to function physically and emotionally. He had become the drug.
"Jim, do you know what she said to me?"
Wilson knew; he was the one that forced Stacy to tell him. If she didn't tell him this to his face, it would tear him apart beyond recovery, it would kill him. She had done this to him, and neither he nor House would really be able to forgive her for it.
"She told me I was the one. Not yesterday, not a week ago, but when she first came back. How could she tell me that?"
Wilson shook his head, not knowing how to answer. He had been expecting House to tell him the other thing he had found out, the other thing he forced Stacy to tell House. Either his friend didn't know the news or he refused to believe it, refused to see her disappear from him again.
"Have any of your exes told you that?"
Wilson looked slightly uncomfortable at that question due to his past indiscretions. "Well, generally, I'm the one telling them that."
House flashed him a look. Not your story Jimmy. Not your time for confession. He felt the need to continue, "Well, she told me that right after she reminded me of her husband."
Wilson had to admit that despite being trusted friends with Stacy, she definitely struck House at a moment of extreme vulnerability. He didn't understand how she could come back into his life and twist a knife in his friend's heart again. He tried to protect House when she came to town and had dinner with her -the night he was supposed to speak at the Oncology Dinner. He then noticed that House took two Vicodin.
"Greg, exactly how many of those have you taken?"
The pill bottle dropped from the crippled man's hand to the floor, spilling the treasured pills with it. "I can't do this anymore Jim. I can't."
Wilson wanted to console House hug him, comfort him, but he knew his friend wouldn't let it be seen in the literal glass walls of the hospital. Whoever had designed the building, though beautiful and open inside, had never heard of HIPAA laws (the healthcare laws that protect doctor-patient confidentiality).
"You should take a vacation. Get away from here."
Wilson saw House reach down and pick up the Vicodin, popping another couple in his mouth. He stood up and ran over to his friend to keep him from swallowing. He knew it had been an intense day for his friend, both physically and emotionally, and he knew House's leg was acting up again. However, the extra narcotic in his system was the last thing that was needed. Wilson pocketed the pills, squatted down to House's eye level, and said, "She told you something else today. I know she did. What did she say?"
House looked deep into Wilson's caring eyes as his friend took his hands. "She's leaving."
Late that morning, Wilson had gone to see Stacy about some insurance claims that needed some legal references when she had first told him the news. Tomorrow would be her last day at PPTH, and she only wanted Cuddy and Wilson to know. Wilson somehow convinced her to tell House, knowing that while it would kill him, not knowing would be worse.
Wilson swallowed hard as he looked back at House, sighed, and said with regret in his voice, "You needed to know. It would be worse if you didn't."
"How? How would it be worse?"
Wilson sighed, he didn't really know and he didn't want to skirt the issue to his best friend. Instead, he pulled over a chair and changed the subject. "We all knew this day had been coming for awhile now. Mark was able to walk already two weeks ago."
House looked at the wall suddenly and said blankly, "You knew."
"Yes, I did, but only because I got it out of her earlier today."
"Stacy only wanted Cuddy to know."
Wilson sighed. He knew House was trying to get him to take full responsibility, force him into admitting it in fact, but it wouldn't work. "You need to see a professional about this House."
"After the leg, the first time."
"And did you give it time to work?" Wilson knew how impatient House was. If something didn't work, he'd just try something else until he found something that did or exhausted all possibilities. The first time with Stacy, the Vicodin had been the first thing that worked, despite the fact that he insisted then that it was only for the pain. Wilson also knew that House only went to one therapy session and stared at the counselor the entire time, diagnosing her at the end of the session with Corrigan's Disease.
He took House's lack of an answer to mean a no.
"I had gotten used to coming to work, doing my job, and going home to nothing. I had started to move on. I even went out with Cameron."
Wilson smiled slightly at this. It was too much fun to see House mock the young doctor behind her back about her puppy-love crush she had. It was even more fun to see her approach House with those eyes and then see his friend squirm.
"Then Stacy came back, and it was like the infarction happened all over again. I was back at square one, seeing myself watch her from a distance, wishing it was like old times again, wishing I was with her. But now, there's this!" House had motioned at his leg. "The pain, the pills, the scripts, the…"
"Yes. I hate it, and when she came, she reminded me of how dependant I had become on the pills." House looked down at his watch, finally realizing that it was well after nine in the evening and finally realizing that Wilson wasn't there just to visit. "So, why exactly are you here?"
"Finishing paperwork." A total lie, both men knew it and both accepted it as reality.
House nodded at Wilson's response, just grateful that he didn't need to be alone in his office at this vulnerable moment on this vulnerable evening. He didn't want to go back to the emptiness and loneliness of the his apartment, and he didn't want to go to the bar to only stare down a glass of alcohol. He wanted to be here, to try to live within a memory of a more pleasant time in his life, before the leg, and during Stacy. He could feel the four Vicodin he just took swimming within his veins now on top of the others he had taken earlier. If Wilson hadn't picked up the other pills, he would have taken more; the reality of Stacy leaving his life for good had created more pain for him physically, even though he knew it was his emotions manifesting themselves across his physical body. Somehow though, he could feel his breathing slow down.
"When did she tell you that she was leaving?" Wilson asked, trying to get his friend to open up about a sensitive topic, knowing he needed to get House to talk about this or it could be the end.
"This afternoon. You were with patients. The kids and I had just finished up brainstorming the newest patient, and they had all left. As I settled in to play some Space Monkeys she came into my office. She told me she had to talk, so we went up to the roof to talk. That's where she told me, up on the roof."
Wilson sat across from House listening to the story but his mind wandering to the old days and what House was like before the leg. He hadn't noticed but his friend's breathing had slowed further to almost nothing, and House was bracing his head with his arm, trying to steady himself in the chair.
"Remember the good old days Wilson? Remember how we'd used to party?"
"Yeah." House grunted in approval. The parties and trouble they had caused had been what sustained him in the days before he met Stacy. He wanted to hear more from Wilson, be reminded of the fact that there was a point in his life where there had not been a "Stacy" and when he was actually happy. He closed his eyes and smiled. He could vaguely remember what it was like, however, it didn't seem as real anymore, in fact, the more he thought about it, the more he just wanted to lie down in his chair and take a nap.
Not only was House getting tired, but it was getting harder for him to hold himself up in his chair; dizziness had taken over his field of vision and sense of motion. He knew he took too many Vicodin, and he had intended to take even more before Wilson came in but couldn't. He tried to tell Wilson to leave but found it harder than normal to talk, words wouldn't come out right. He was cold, so cold, and needed to get warm, but found the task impossible. At the same time, all he wanted to do was curl up in bed and sleep, but first he had to address his friend in front of him, blocking him from what he really wanted to do. He knew he had to show Wilson out of his office. However, as he stood up to say goodnight to his friend, everything became a blur and he could feel his body shake in a million directions beneath him; nerve cells rapidly misfiring in his brain shaking the muscle fibers of his body like a limp rag-doll.
As consciousness failed Gregory House, only one thing focused clearly in front of his eyes however, an apparition of his past, present, and future: Stacy.