Title: Five Ways Out of Hell
Author: sy dedalus
Rating: T
Pairing: House/broken heart
Warnings: Drinking, sex with strangers, general Housian masochism
Summary: House's five ways out of hell following "Need to Know." Couldn't keep my paws off this one.
Disclaimer: Not mine.

Re: "Distractions" (no spoilers). You know why I love this show? Cause no matter what I do to House in fic, the show's writers will always do more. That just doesn't ever happen. What a great show. I love it.

Here's the end of this piece. It's not my usual mixed-but-at-least-semi-happy ending because I don't think that's where House is right now. I don't think that's where Wilson is. So…here's this. Thanks to everyone who reviewed. I really appreciate it. Can't say that enough. Thank you!

5: Nothing

House returned to the hospital, leg aching horribly. But that wasn't why he'd gone back. No. He knew if he didn't go home now and face his bed, his sheets, her pillow—the pillow, he would be in the fire for a long time. He could do it, but he needed some supplies first.

Limping heavily, he parked himself in front of the pharmacy and rattled off a list of drugs to a surprised pharmacist. The regular guy was off this morning. He produced a prescription pad and wrote them out for her. Stealing would be easier but not with his leg screaming like it was. He waited while she filled the prescriptions.

"I thought Cuddy sent you home."

Wilson. Of course Wilson. Who else but Wilson? Putting in his clinic hours like a good boy. House didn't even turn around.

"Cuddy's not the boss of me."

"Well, I know that," Wilson said. He walked up to stand next to House and nodded at the counter. "Early for a refill," he said.

"Not getting a refill," House said.

"What are you getting?"

"Idiot stuff," House replied. "Things for idiots. Especially idiots who hang out on rooftops."

Wilson tensed but didn't take the bait. Instead, he asked, "What happened to your hand?"

House glanced down at his hands, not knowing what Wilson was talking about. His right hand was red, scratched, and covered in small lines of dried blood. He hadn't even noticed.

"Bully," House said. "Knocked me off my bike and stole my candy."

Wilson stared at him, waiting for clarification. House glanced at him, saw the anticipation, and offered nothing.

"You're not going to do anything stupid, are you?" Wilson asked.

"You wanna see what she's getting for me?" House asked. "Do a little snooping? Go ahead."

Hands in his pockets, Wilson rocked back and forth on his heels. "I came up one short yesterday," he said. "I'd ask, but I know it's already gone."

House tilted his head slightly. Wilson knew he was right. No need to provide confirmation.

"Dr. House," the pharmacist said, offering him a bag.

House took it and offered it to Wilson. Wilson glanced at it, at him, and walked away without a word.

"Hey, House," Wilson said, entering the apartment, "I heard about—"

He didn't get to finish before House cut him off by vomiting copiously on the hardwood floor. He choked, spat, and leaned back on the couch, a half-empty bottle of bourbon in his lap.

Wilson stopped short, face twisting in disgust. "How long have you been drinking?" he asked.

"Long enough," House answered.

"How many pills did you take?"

"Doesn't matter," House said, taking a long pull of bourbon. He nodded dizzily at the floor. "Not the first time."

The stain on his sweat pants spoke to that.

"When is she coming for her stuff?" Wilson asked, sitting down in a chair next to the couch and as far from the puke as he could get.

"When I go to PT tomorrow," House answered.

Wilson nodded. He looked to the ceiling and around at the walls. "You going to stay here?"

"Six months left on the lease," House said. "See how long I can stand it."

"Is she coming back tonight?"

House shook his head. "Went to a hotel."

Wilson nodded and went to the kitchen, returning with a glass of water.

House looked it at it and then at him. "Thirsty?"

Wilson shrugged. "It's your binge. Any idea how long you'll be at it?"

"What kind of stupid question is that?" House asked.

"Just trying to plan my week," Wilson answered.

House parked his bike next to the vette. Side by side, they clashed horribly. Orange and red. Hideous.

He let himself in, locked the door, and went straight to the bedroom. He didn't look at the sheets. He didn't inhale the air.

Undressing without care, he dropped his shirt on top of a condom wrapper, propped his cane against the night table and sat down to unzip his back pack. With the right mix of sedatives, he could sleep for hours.

He arranged the bottles according to his needs and opened one of the table's drawers to fetch a flask and a pre-packaged dose of Ativan. One controlled-release sleeper went down his throat with a swallow of vodka and before he could let himself think about it, the syringe was digging into his hip muscle.

He could smell her perfume as he injected the drug. Still on the pillow next to him. Well. That didn't matter now.

He tossed the syringe in the open drawer and took a deep breath. His back and leg liked the feel of sheets. Less than a minute.

He couldn't change for her. Nothing changes. Mark was a guy who would always be willing to change. And if he didn't…she deserved what she got. Now she would be the one mourning the lost relationship. He'd gotten out with the perfect excuse. I'm doing it for you, not me, honey, because I love you so much. I just want you to be happy. It was true but it was also a load of crap.

"You've got to be miserable."

So what if Wilson was right. So what if he wasn't right. What did it matter. He did his job. He fixed people. He wasn't required to be happy while he did it. He didn't need to be happy. He didn't need anything.

Nothing. Nothing was the best thing he had. He needed nothing.

Nothing but to sleep right now. Just to sleep.