Summary: House enjoys the company of a patient- obviously signaling the apocalypse, Wilson is getting a divorce, Chase is falling head over heels, Foreman's thinking of leaving the team and Cameron's sister has cancer. At least it's not raining. Yet.

Disclaimer: Not mine. Although I do have a cutting wit! That has to count for something, right? House belongs to David Shore and Fox. "It Doesn't Get Much Better Than This" is Nicole Burdette's.

Author's Note: Done! This will make a bit more sense if you've read "Her Name Was." If you haven't read that… Sorry for the randomness of it.

First, I'd like to thank all of you who took the time to review. You guys have no idea how much your support motivated me to keep writing this thing (for almost a year!).

On that note, I want to give special thanks to Acerbus Canis, Angelfirenze, March Hare,Teenwitch, iscariot, ms. imagine, phineyj, Cap'n Meg, SilverMoonShining, CalliopeMused, Tears of Melpomene, kristendotcom, sammayx23, and Beth-TauriChick. Their critical, consistent and encouraging reviews kept me writing this beast!

And, of course, the largest thanks must go to LastScorpion, who has managed to save me from myself and keep my madness in check. She's brilliant everyone. Brilliant!

This story is cannon-compatible up to "Skin Deep."

Reviews/Reviewers are loved, very very much. -nudge-

Thank you and enjoy!


Epilogue: And…

And when you're lost I want to find you.
And when you're weary
I want to give you steeples,
And cathedral thoughts,
And coliseum dreams.


Her name was Allison, and she wasn't perfect, although Wilson wouldn't have believed it if someone told him so. She was stunning, possessing a classic and elegant beauty that she was almost resentful of. Slim and graceful, with brown hair and blue-green eyes that he could never quite tell the color of, she was widely known as a kind, generous soul who dedicated herself entirely to her work and the people she loved.

Theirs was an uneventful meeting, nothing more than the sharing of a brisk handshake at Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital the day she joined House's Diagnostic team as his second fellow. By that time Wilson had managed to establish himself as a competent doctor, developed the reputation of being an excellent Head of Oncology, had just entered into his third marriage, and had little time to devote himself to forming a friendship with the latest of House's long line of lackeys, one who was just as likely to be gone in a week as she was to remain.

Much to his surprise, she did remain, and as the years passed they slowly began to know each other on the superficial levels required for acquaintanceship. She was dedicated and hard working with an honorable set of morals that she wouldn't allow House to take away from her, and that was enough for Allison to gain his respect and admiration, if not his interest. She was a friendly stranger to him, and although he liked her well enough, there was little cause for him to take any great notice of her. Until, almost all at once, things changed.

Through a series of events that neither suspected would bring them together, they saved each other in the small, unspectacular ways that really mattered. The kind that involve drunken staggering down hallways and crying sessions on bathroom floors.

When the fiasco was all through, they found themselves inexplicably and unavoidably intertwined, a situation that, by the end of their long unexpected association, neither was unhappy with. They cared for each other deeply. Far more deeply than Wilson thought himself capable of, and with more intensity than any sensation he had felt before. He had come to find that he loved Allison in every sense possible for a man to care for another being, but even so, it wasn't always perfect.

Some days, early on, he couldn't help but doubt her when she said she loved him, and she couldn't quite believe him when he said he wouldn't leave, and the would fight for hours, days. Both would become moody and taciturn, retreating in on themselves, frightening those around them when they lost the warmth that characterized them both.

But those times were rare and short-lived, neither capable of sustaining the hostility for long without serious, detrimental, effects to their psyches. Before long someone would apologize, someone would be forgiven and they would move on, leaving all doubt and suspicion behind.

When not in the middle of an argument, they would meet in the cafeteria everyday at noon and she would call him "Wilson" as the talked and laughed about colleagues and patients, recipes and paint colors, hidden talents and middle names.

When annoyed, she would call him "James" as she insisted he stopped being stubborn, chasing him throughout the small apartment when he turned off the TV and stole the remote control after the third hour of watching nothing but her favorite television show.

And then he would apologize and do something to make her smile, and she would call him "Jimmy" when she gave in and hugged him, forgiving everything.

And when her family came to visit on weekends, often times with stragglers like Greg, Eric and, eventually, Lisa, she would call him "Jim" as she begged him not to listen to Mark's outlandish family stories, to turn a blind eye when Rob and Sammy disappeared for hours at a time, to humor Matt as he detailed his latest science project.

And he would call her Allison. At work and home, when angry, sad or overjoyed. He loved the sound of her name on his lips just like he loved the rest of her. Reverently and unabashedly, without shame or hesitation. Nothing would keep him from uttering it as often as he could, not after it had taken him so long to feel as if he had the right to say it.

She was finally his to love, and he was hers.

After 3 years, 7 months and 4 days of a disconnected friendship, 10 of the most grueling, painful, wonderful months he had ever experienced and a lifetime of uncertainty, she stayed.


I want to drag you from the darkness
And kneel with you exhausted
By the blinding light blaring on us.
-Nicole Burdette