Wilson woke from a deep sleep to the soothing sound of water running. He woke slowly, momentarily disoriented. He turned over toward the bathroom door, eyes barely open. Light filtered through the crack at the bottom of the door, and as realization dawned on him, House gargled and spit.
Wilson smiled to himself and snuggled down under the blankets. It wasn't unusual for House to be up before him, it was only odd for him to have slept through House getting up. He usually made so much noise Wilson couldn't possibly sleep. Maybe he'd been extra careful to be quiet since he had to leave so early, or maybe Wilson had just been sleeping so deeply that he hadn't noticed when House woke and slipped out of the bed.
Judging from the sounds within the bathroom, he'd have just enough time to get up, stretch, and surprise House by joining him at the last possible moment. He thought about House standing at the sink, wearing only his boxers, going through his morning routine. It was tempting. But, he could stay where he was, eyes closed, and see if House would even wake him. He still had half an hour to sleep, so he stayed where he was.
He kept his expression neutral when the door opened. House usually didn't take his cane into the bathroom first thing in the morning, preferring to work the stiffness out of his leg by walking on it the little bit he moved around from bed to shower to brushing his teeth and back out again.
He dressed quietly in the dark, and reclaimed his cane before he bent down to kiss Wilson's cheek. Wilson couldn't resist turning in to the kiss, pressing his lips against House's mouth.
"You're supposed to be sleeping," House scolded.
"Sorry to spoil your fun," Wilson teased his hand up House's arm.
House laughed. "I'm not complaining."
"Good." Wilson's hand lingered at the back of House's neck and pulled him down as Wilson strained up, for another kiss. "You sure you don't want me to drive you?"
House sought Wilson's hand with his own, linking their fingers. "I'm sure."
"I can be up and ready in ten minutes."
"You can stay in bed and sleep another half hour or so."
Wilson nodded "Okay." He drew House's hand to his lips, kissed the knuckles. "You'll be careful?"
"I'm always careful."
"Sure you are."
House tugged his hand from Wilson's grasp, and redirected it to touch his knuckles to Wilson's cheek. "Hey."
Wilson tilted his head to look up and meet House's eyes. "Hey yourself," he closed his eyes and rubbed his cheek against House's hand. House leaned in to kiss Wilson's forehead, then took a step back. "I love you."
"Love you," House answered without looking back until he reached the door. He smiled and nodded, and pivoted out of Wilson's sight. "See you at the clinic," he called out with the front door open. The door closed and Wilson heard the sound of House's key in the lock before he could answer.
Wilson lay on his back staring up at the ceiling for a few minutes. He had 33 minutes until the alarm would go off for him to get up. He knew he wasn't going to sleep in that half hour, but he'd lay in bed a little longer. He turned on his side, his hands moving up to curl around House's pillow, releasing a burst of House's scent into the air. Smiling, Wilson shifted his head to rest on House's pillow.
He didn't often sleep in later than House like this. Usually they were up at the same time, or Wilson got up as soon as House finished in the shower. It was a rare treat for him to wallow in the bed for a while after House left.
He was just starting to drift back to sleep when the alarm sounded. Startled, he groped for the clock, smacking his hand down on the snooze button. It didn't shut off. He sat up, holding the alarm clock in his hands, disoriented. As his mind cleared, he realised it wasn't the alarm at all, he still had four minutes.
His cell phone was ringing.
He stumbled out of the bed, feet tangled in the sheets, and nearly fell. He managed to catch himself, but he missed the call. Caller ID flashed his brother's name. He sighed and looked to the home phone just as it started to ring.
If he hadn't been so annoyed, he'd have been shocked Josh was awake and alert enough to call him at 7:00 am. He sat down on the bed and reached for the receiver. "Good morning, sunshine."
"I gotta see you, JJ."
"I'm busy all day, Josh. Meetings till 5, dinner with Lisa and the girls after that." He shut off the alarm while he was talking.
On the other end of the phone, he imagined Josh pulling at his hair. "No, man. You don't understand."
"I have to go, Josh."
"Asshole," Josh most likely sneered at the phone.
Wilson sighed as he hung up. "Love you too, Josh." His alarm would have gone off just then. He scrubbed a hand over his face, stood, and stretched. He glanced back at the hone, an unsettled feeling growing in the pit of his stomach.
He knew what Josh wanted. The same thing Josh always wanted. Money. Money for the drugs he swore he wasn't taking. Short of dragging him to a rehab against his will, there was little Wilson could do about his brother's habit.
Besides, he had enough drug problems to worry about with House. Making sure he wasn't indulging a little too much or too often in his Vicodin, making sure he wasn't drinking too much. He would have preferred House not drink at all, but he'd learned to choose his battles carefully with House, and that was a battle he'd never win, so as long as House kept it to a minimum, he over looked it, because he didn't like to fight with House. Josh on the other hand, seemed to like to pick fights, and sometimes it was easier just to avoid him.
Wilson dropped the soap twice while he was showering. All the tooth paste sloshed off his brush before he'd gotten it to his mouth. He struggled with his contacts, and then with the knot of his tie. Things he could do in his sleep.
By the time he'd fixed himself a bagel to eat, he really didn't want it. He took two bites, threw it away, and headed out the door to his car. He was sitting in traffic, trying in vain to see what was going on up ahead, figuring it was an accident, when his cell phone rang. He sighed, assumed it was his brother, and thought to ignore it. He decided to check the caller ID anyway, and saw Lisa Cuddy's name.
Why would Lisa be calling in at 7:00 am, unless something was wrong with the girls? Fear stabbed his gut. "Lisa?" He turned the radio off.
:James." One word, and he could tell she'd been crying, and was struggling to keep her voice level. "James, it's Greg. There's been an accident."
The car ahead of him had inched up, and he in he gap, he could see farther ahead. He could see an orange bike. What was left of it, anyway, at the side of the road. The phone slid from his ear, and dread overwhelmed him.
He could hear Lisa saying his name in the phone, and the chorus of car horns behind him. It all sounded so far away, and a black fog clouded his vision. Eyes squeezed shut, he pounded his fists against the steering wheel and screamed.