Three Years Later
Wilson glanced upwards at the sky. It was one of those August days that started off sunny and hot but as evening approached threatened storms and rain. Looking sideways he noticed House sitting stiffly staring straight ahead. They hadn't said anything throughout the journey and Wilson was half afraid of breaking the older man's train of thought but he had to be sure they were doing the right thing.
"You sure you still want to do this, Wilson asked quietly, "We don't have to do this now."
There was no answer but Wilson was pretty sure that if he dared looked to his right he would see two blue lasers boring holes into him. That was all the answer he needed and he continued driving.
For the most part life with House returned to normal. House tried moving out but he found it difficult to live with the silence and loneliness and moved back in with Wilson. He was back at the hospital too but not in the same capacity as before. Though Cuddy offered him his old position and then badgered him to pick a crew, House just wasn't comfortable around doctors and patients. It was one thing to be treated and to work with the famous Doctor House it was another thing altogether to be treated and work with the infamous Doctor House. House didn't like the looks, the stares, the unspoken questions. Mostly though, he didn't like questioning himself and he found himself questioning more and more his own choices. He chose the safe over the risky, the easy over the hard. It wasn't how he did medicine but he couldn't find the switch that allowed him to be the same maverick genius he was before. Wilson understood and deep down Cuddy did as well. She justified House's position at the hospital to the board as one of a research professorship and House spent the days writing and editing medical journals, occasionally consulting with Wilson when a case seemed interesting enough. Wilson knew as in all things that when House was good and ready he would go back to doctoring. Wilson just waited for the signs that House was ready.
It was like that with this trip. Shortly after rejoining the land of the living House made mention of taking it but quickly dropped the subject. He mentioned it again briefly a few weeks later and again a few months later, and again a few years later. On Monday he had come to Wilson's office and announced it was time, he wanted to do it that weekend.
Wilson drove up the quiet tree lined street and pulled into the parking lot. A few other cars dotted the landscape but Wilson couldn't see any other people. House got out and gripped his cane so forcefully Wilson could see House's knuckles go white around the edges. House slowly began his advance towards the grass. He had never been here before but it was as though instinctively he knew the way to go. Wilson followed slowly behind watching for any signs that this was a bad idea but with vigorous determination House climbed the small hill finally coming to a small clearing beside a grove of trees. Looking down his eyes came to rest on the small high polished block of black granite.
House slowly sank to his knees and his hand traced the letters etched into the mirror frame. Wilson came up from behind and placed one hand on his friend's shoulder. With his other hand he placed the small bouquet of flowers into the holder in front of the headstone. Wilson could feel House's shoulder shake as the older man fought off the tears that threatened to spill from his eyes.
"I'm so sorry Cameron," House's voice was husky with emotion. The tears slowly made tracks down his face.
Wilson looked down and saw wet spots dotting the dusty dirt in front of the grave. He thought they were from House until the number became apparent they weren't from his friend. Somewhere, high above an apology was heard and accepted.
AN: And like that our journey has come to an end. Thank you to everyone who has been along for the ride. A very special thanks to DIYSheep and Priority for their guidance and sometimes good swift kick in the pants. Thank you to all my readers, both first party and otherwise. Thank you to everyone who reviewed, liked, favorited, or otherwise shared this story.
A brief note. I began the reedit along with Pri as she wrote Exigences. If the times comes that story is picked up again there may be additional edits to the is but as of now 16 May 2014, this story is complete.