A/N: Here it is. The fic idea I was playing around with when I wrote "Distortion." I don't know what my update time will be like because I have Utopia and Cotton Candy Baby (sorry!) to finish too. But eh.
I hope this doesn't suck. It's kinda short. (meh)
I want it to be believable, but I don't want it to be cold. Am I even capable of that? Probably not.
No slash intended!
Listen to "Heartbeats" by The Knife. Beautiful song. I think it'll be the theme song for this fic.
Also: A bunch of my song fics were deleted a few weeks ago (and my account obviously suspended for a week). Meh. I wonder if the admins just went on a random delete rampage and happened to find mineor if some malicious person actually went and told them I had songfics. (sigh)
"One night to be confused
One night to speed up truth
We had a promise made
Four hands and then away"
- "Heartbeats" by The Knife
Six. It had been six days. They were still loading him up with the strongest drug cocktail they could manage within safety limitations, and he still spent his waking hours sweating and struggling. He barely ate. First it had been because of the pain-induced nausea, and now it was also due to the total loss of appetite brought on by Stacy's sudden departure.
Six days. He had gone without three-quarters of his thigh muscle for six days. He hadn't gotten out of this bed in over a week. He couldn't use the bathroom. He couldn't sit up. He couldn't roll over onto his right side. He couldn't change himself because he couldn't stand. He hadn't had a shower since he was admitted.
He had been reduced to a – cripple. He was a cripple. He fingered his leg over and over no matter how much it hurt because he just couldn't wrap his mind around it: he was a cripple.
And Stacy was gone.
He had thought, during the first few days of his time here in the hospital, that he could feel no greater pain than that of his dying muscle. He had been wrong. He was seriously beginning to throw away his medical logic and decide that the pain stopping him from breathing correctly was emanating from his heart, not his leg.
Stacy. Oh, Stacy. God.
She was gone. Not coming back. Her hair, her skin, her eyes, her smile, her kiss, her touch. Her voice. Her body. Her love. Gone. Gone.
It made him shiver with pain and tears he had been holding back for a week. He almost wanted to call in help and tell them that his heart was failing again. He wished it would.
He gripped and gripped his thigh, still unsure if the muscles were really gone, still trying to will his own pain away. He wasn't used to failure. He cursed under his breath, working his fingers up and down the bandages, hissing with every sizzle of pain he created.
It felt like his heart was tied down to sleeping elephants, expected to pump forward. He couldn't do it. He knew he wouldn't last long. He hoped tomorrow would never come. He hoped he would stop blinking before primetime TV started. He gripped and gripped.
He groaned. New waves rose up and washed through his leg and up into his stomach, flirting with the pain in his chest. He threw his head back onto the pillow and caught sight of his drip again. Pain was like that. One drop at a time. It didn't run out fast enough.
He wondered for the hundredth time that day what Stacy was doing, imagining her moving out, half the apartment empty. He wondered who she was with, how work was going for her, what she was having for lunch and if she would have dinner with anyone else. He felt his leg. He felt and felt and wanted to kick something. It slightly sunk in that he could only kick with one leg now.
Wilson's soft voice interrupted his mental self-torture.
"What do you want?" House asked. Wilson stood just in front of the glass door, his white lab coat like an old lover that House hadn't seen in decades, like a lover who had cheated on him.
"You won't eat," said Wilson.
"I'm not hungry."
Wilson sighed. "House – you know you have to eat. You know it."
"I'm a grown-up, okay? And I can damn well decide whether or not I want to eat."
"You're doing harm to yourself. And as a doctor, it's my responsibility to--"
"Would you cut the crap already? This is my body, damn it. Mine! And I can do whatever the hell I want with it, which is what you should've said before they made me a God damn cripple!"
Wilson winced, having not yet accepted or acknowledged House's physical state yet.
"I didn't know she was going to--"
"Well, you should have! You should've fucking known! You should've been there!"
Wilson felt his face burning with shame.
"You're right," he murmured. "I should've been there. But you still have to eat."
"I don't want to fucking eat."
"If you don't, we'll start you on intravenous nutrition."
Wilson shut his eyes and turned away, making for the door.
"Fuck you!" House screamed. "Fuck you for not being there! Fuck you for letting this happen to me! Fuck you for treating me the same way she did!"
"Don't you dare compare me to her!" Wilson snapped, whipping around. "You don't know a God damn thing about how I feel! You don't know anything about what everybody else has been going through because you're so wrapped up in your own self-pity."
He regretted the words even before he finished saying them. House's eyes were alive for the first time since he was admitted.
"You fucking put yourself through this and see how you fucking feel, you bastard!" he yelled. "Get out!"
"I didn't mean that," said Wilson earnestly.
"Get out! And stay the hell away!"
"I don't care! You're just like everybody else! Why haven't you left yet?"
Wilson clenched his teeth, staring hard at the man who had always been his closest friend.
"Go!" House yelled. "Get the hell out!"
"No," Wilson whispered, shaking his head.
"Get out! Don't fucking stand there just because I can't get out of bed!"
Wilson said nothing, just stared. His eyes bore into House's no matter how many floor tiles lay between them. House wanted to tell him to leave again, but he couldn't make the words anymore. He couldn't make a sound. They stared, and the empty clock arms kept living. House felt his eyes quiver with all the wet pain he'd been fighting so hard to deny, because it was the only thing he still had control over.
"I'm sorry," Wilson said again, his voice pressing and pressing, tender and desperate.
House looked away. He didn't know how much it hurt Wilson. The oncologist pursed his lips, weaker than House, too weak to look away. And House cried. House cried with his eyes on the wall that felt like his only constant companion now, a companion that could not soothe him or touch him or make fighting worthwhile. He squeezed his eyes shut, realizing he was going to need walls to stand for days and days to come.
"What do you want me to do?" Wilson asked. The first tear slipped. House bit his lip to keep from whimpering. He wanted Wilson to leave. He wanted everyone to leave.
"Go away," he whispered. Wilson's second tear. "Go away."
"Go away." It grew louder.
"What do you want me to do?" Wilson murmured, realizing that his muscles hurt from standing. Everything burned. Everything. His heart, his face, his vision. "What do you want me to do, Greg?"
"Go away!" House yelled. "Go away, go away, go away!"
He curled onto his side, suffocating the corner of his pillow, setting it on fire with his anguish. His leg almost blinded him. The pain in his chest weighed down on his lungs. He had never felt more whole, more complete. He was pain, through and through, in every fiber and cell. No organ, no vein was left untouched. He couldn't even think of dying. He was consumed.
"Go away! Oh, God, leave!" he wailed. And the sound of his own sobs ripped through him, adding shame to his agony. Inside, he was begging Wilson to stay, never more terrified of being left alone. Wilson was all he had left, the only one standing here listening to him. Not Cuddy. Not any of his other friends. Not – Stacy.
Wilson. Just Wilson.
"Get out!" House shouted. "Get the hell out, oh God, just go away."
Please don't leave me. I'll die. I'll die.
Wilson didn't even think. He rushed across the room, climbed into the bed, and pulled House to him, holding fast.
"Go away!" House moaned. "Oh, God, go away."
Wilson had never felt something so real. His heart was a glowing core, twenty thousand degrees Fahrenheit. And he cried. He cried and House cried harder, moaning and sobbing and overwhelmed with the confusion of such intense pain searing inside him in more than one place simultaneously. House cried out until his voice bounced off every wall, and Wilson was discreet, the sounds of his weeping like a secret he whispered in House's ear.
"I'll never go away," he said. House moaned, frozen and heaving against Wilson's arm. "I'll never go away."
Wilson lay there for hours, until House fell asleep. They wore themselves out with more tears than they had ever collectively spent in their lives, unable to comprehend anything other than the pain. The pain of being a cripple. The pain of a damaged leg. The pain of losing a soul mate. The pain of abandonment in a vulnerable time. The pain of responsibility and compassion and fear. The pain of destruction and the pain of having no choice – but to move forward, through more darkness and more suffocation, or otherwise the pain of dying where they were.
"I'll never go away," Wilson murmured, wanting to pass out just as much as House but unable to – because he had to be the rock. No room to be tired. He held onto his friend and sought relief for his heart. God, he was scared. He was so scared, he clutched to House's mutilated body as if it were his security. He didn't know if he could do this. He didn't know if he could be strong enough to stay with House through hell. He didn't know if he would be good enough. He didn't know if he could do this. He bent his neck, buried his face in House's shoulder, and cried. He would always be the last to sleep.