Title: Rubbernecking

Disclaimer: I don't own House.

A/N: I'm writing when I shouldn't again. Driver's Ed this time. But I can't help it, it's so boring!

At first he'd refused to believe that it was serious. House would be back smiling and laughing (or at least making witty comments) in no time. He loved lying to himself; he remembered his first wife asking him if he did. He hadn't answered, because the truth was too messed up, and he didn't like lying to other people.

But there always came a point when reality became just a little too strong, and broke free from the little box where he'd stuffed it all. Angry (as large things stuffed into small boxes often are) it would shatter all his lies. He supposed the point had come this time when he'd realized that House could barely speak over the pain.

Sometimes bad things happen. He knew it in his head, and was pretty sure he'd even read a self help book about it once. But bad things didn't happen to people he really cared about, not people close to him. The cancer patients he could deal with. He wasn't, well, confused was probably the best word, about them. This made him think of accidents on the freeway.

He was one of those rubberneckers that his dad used to yell at on the highway. It wasn't hoping, it was wishing he could look away. He'd noticed it before; it was practically the reason he'd gone into oncology. He was like a very large carrion bird, waiting to pick up the pieces. He only hoped that House would have some pieces left when this was over.