b

Disclaimer: House not mine.

Author's Notes: Just a little House/Wilson ficlet. Feedback is love!

&&&&&&

You're standing there, at the window. It's one of your sporadic moments of self-loathing. I don't remember what brought it on. We've been fighting for a while now.

"I don't know why you stay. I don't know why you... stick around here when all you ever get is trouble. Pain? Is that what I do for you? Is that what you want?"

I don't know why I stay. I don't know why I stick around when all I ever get is... This. What is this? What the hell is this? I don't know. I don't know anything. Why do I let you push me around? I don't know.

You keep staring out the window. You haven't looked at me once in all the time you've been speaking. Has it been hours? Minutes? But you continue.

"Masochist? Is that it? Do you want this pain of mine? I have plenty to share. I would gladly give it to you. I don't want it. I never wanted it. I never wanted any of it. But that wasn't my choice, was it? No, you know it wasn't. It's not your fault... But you're stuck with it, too, aren't you?"

I can just barely understand what you're talking about. You seem to be talking to yourself. But maybe you're only making it seem that way, so you can get more of your thoughts in without feeling like you're actually telling them to me.

You still haven't turned to me. Is it that you can't bear to look at me? What's really going on in your mind, House?

"One of these days, I'll show you. I'll show you that you can't handle this any more than I can. Only difference is, I really am stuck with it. It's not your problem- you can leave. Why don't you? Why don't you EVER leave?"

We both know I'll never do it. I couldn't. You're an asshole, you're unbearable, you're sarcastic, you're... brilliant. And funny. You're in pain. Some of it becomes my pain, but it's nothing that I can't handle. Even if I couldn't, I'd do it anyway. You must know that.

I think I get it now.

"You'll never do it, will you? You can't. Somehow, you just can't bring yourself to just. Fucking. Leave."

I don't know how you got to this state of mind, but you need to snap out of it.

You must know that I truly want to be here. You're my friend. You're one of the only things that matter to me. You do know that.

You finally spin around and look at me. Your eyes are ablaze. Full of pain. The full force of your gaze almost sends me staggering backwards.

"Why not? Why won't you just go the hell away? Why the hell are you still here? Why can't you get it through your thick skull that it just isn't worth it? It's not, it can't be... You can't be happy. You can't, I won't let you, so just go away. Just leave like everyone else and get it over with. Just. Get. OUT."

You're yelling now. You're yelling and you're advancing on me and I'm only slightly afraid of your cane swinging as you're gesturing towards the door.

You take yet another step closer. You're ready to yell again but then-

I quickly wrap my arms around you. (Just barely missed the cane. Thank God.) You tense up, and for a moment I'm afraid that I've just made things ten times worse. But finally I feel your body relax slightly. I tighten my hold a bit, and you surprise me by dropping your head onto my shoulder.

You seem exhausted. When you speak again, your voice is barely above a whisper.

"Just leave..."

You'll keep trying to push me away. Or trying to shock me, or freak me out, or make me angry. It'll work sometimes. Sometimes I'll get so angry that I can barely speak to you. But you have to know... "I'll never leave."

Silence.

You're shaking just a little, and I know that you probably won't speak again for a while. You have what you were looking for.

That doesn't stop me from quietly reassuring you as we stand there. 'I'll never leave you', repeated over and over. 'Don't worry' may have slipped through, as well.

We're going to have to sit down soon. Your leg must be killing you.