I know I did the right thing by making the deal with Tritter. Don't even try to tell me otherwise. I might have to hit you.

Greg didn't take the deal and now he's in deep shit.

All I wanted to do was to help my friend. I lied for him. I was ready to go to jail for him. Now we're both paying for it, big time. All he had to do was take the damn deal and it would saved everyone a lot of grief. But nnnooooo...his principles came first, as screwed up as they are. Ten years in jail for his goddamn principles. We had more than a few glorious screaming matches about it. I couldn't take the tension and fighting anymore. I packed a suitcase and went to a hotel.

That was three weeks ago.

So now here I am, all by myself in a hotel room on the outer rings of hell with a glass of booze for dinner. At the hospital I'm basically alone, except for my patients. Everyone avoids me as much as possible. I don't know if it's because they're still pissed at me or if they just don't know what to say. Either way, the silence is deafening.

Okay, maybe my windfall was a part of the reason I went to Tritter. Not much, but a little. I got my practice back, my car back, my money back, and Tritter off my back. Not that it did any good in the end. That stubborn bastard Greg had to go steal a prescription from my dead patient and overdose. And he calls me an idiot.

I should have warned the pharmacist. Why didn't I think of that? Maybe I am an idiot.

So everyone still treats me like a leper because I wanted to help. Now I know why the phrase 'the road to hell is paved with good intentions' was coined. That person must have had me in mind while writing it down.

I hate being alone. I hate having all my attempts to do what is right blow up in my face. I hate being hurt by the people I care about most. Come to think of it, I hate just about everything and everyone right now.

I even have enough hate left over for Greg. That stubborn bastard.

I miss Greg, stubborn bastard and all.

A thumping woke me up. At first I thought it was the trashy couple next door and closed my eyes. I was still in my clothes, complete with tie and shoes, sprawled on the hideously uncomfortable bed. I had been drinking too much and was nauseated. Scotch numbs the pain, but it didn't do a damn thing for the loneliness. I should try something else. Unlike a certain someone, I can never get used to being lonely.

More thumping. It was coming from the door. Someone was at my door.

"I know you're in there," came a muffled, familiar voice. "I can hear you caring."

"Go away!" Just because I missed him hardly meant that I was going to fling open the door and jump into his arms. He was the cause of my misery after all, whether he meant it or not.

"Open the door, please."

"Go away, please."

"Jimmy, I want to talk to you." Thunk, thunk, thunk. He was banging on the door with his cane and making an awful racket.

"No!," I yelled, getting furious. "Just get the hell out of here!"


"Goddammit, go away!"

"Open the fucking door!" He started pounding on the door with everything he had, cane and fists. It was so loud I couldn't hear myself think and he couldn't hear me yell at him to knock it off.

The pounding suddenly stopped and a woman's worried voice cried out, "What in heaven's name is going on out here?"

"Sorry ma'am," Greg said. "My transgendered lover and I are having a fight. See, we don't know whether to smuggle the babies from Romania or China, and–"

I had heard enough. I jumped off the bed, opened the door and dragged him inside while a middle-aged grandma with curlers in her hair watched with eyes the size of garbage can lids.

"What the hell do you think you're doing?" I asked, mortified. "You don't think you're in enough trouble already?"

He smirked and replied, "It got you to open the door, didn't it?"

"What are you doing here, anyway? Do you want one last look before Tritter hauls your sorry ass off to prison?"

"I'm not going to prison. I did nothing wrong."

"You stole a prescription from my dead patient, you fucking moron. How could you do that? What the hell is wrong with you?"

"I'm not going to prison," he said, avoiding my questions.

"All you had to do was take the damn deal. I made that deal for you. Are you listening to me, Greg? I did that for you! Two lousy months in rehab. No sanctions from the medical board. And where's my thanks? You and Cuddy and Cameron and everyone else acting like I'm the bad guy, like I'm the one who wants to lock you up and throw away the key."

"If that was such a noble gesture, why did you go behind my back to do it?"

"I didn't."

"It's nice having your car back, isn't it?"

"That had nothing to do with it."

"Liar," he snorted. "Okay, you're a big hero for trying to save me. Are you happy now?"

"I did the right thing."

"Just keep telling yourself that. Maybe someday it will be true."

"You fucking chicken-shit son of a bitch," I spat. "I did the right thing."

He leaned in and narrowed his eyes. "You've been drinking. Trying to drown your guilt?"

I closed my eyes and counted to ten. "Greg, please, you're here. What do you want?"

"I wanted to see you."

"Why? To tell me what a good job I did in betraying you? I've already heard that a million times, thank you."

"No," he answered, suddenly sincere. "I got tired of being alone at the apartment and wanted to see how you were doing."

"As you can see, I'm doing just fine," I told him, the sarcasm oozing from my words. I was angry with him and wanted him to know it. I wanted him to see how much he hurt me, to see with his blue eyes that weren't dulled by various narcotics. "I'm drunk in a hotel room, my best friend is going to prison for ten fucking years, and now everyone at the hospital hates my guts because I tried to help you." My voice started to waver. "See, I'm sitting on top of the world. The past few weeks have been the delightful cherry on top of the sundae of my life and I have you to thank for it. So thank you, Gregory House, thank you for everything. Thank you for fucking up my life beyond all recognition. I don't know how I'll ever repay you."

I turned away and broke down completely. My legs buckled and I had to sit at the edge of the bed before I collapsed.

"Jimmy." Greg had sat down beside me. I didn't even realize he had moved.

"What?" I snapped. "Aren't you finished yet? Are you going to rub my nose in it now?"

"Look," he began with a sigh, "no matter what has happened, or what's going to happen, I never meant to have you dragged into it."

"It's too late for that," I said with a scowl. "I've been dragged through the mud by you and Tritter and everyone else."

"I know," he said, and had the decency to look contrite.

"Goddamn you, Greg. I was trying to help you. All you had to do was take the deal when you had the chance."

"That was my mistake, not yours," he said. "Jimmy, I came here to say I'm sorry."

"Fine, you came here for your half-assed, half-baked worthless apology," I said, still beyond angry and bitter. "Okay, I heard it and it's music to my ears. Now please just get out."

"I'm not going anywhere."

"Get out."

"No. I'm not leaving. I can't."

"Greg, so help me–"

"My apology is sincere, whether you believe it or not," he broke in. "I wanted to see you and knew you wouldn't want to see me and would try to throw me out. I needed a way to stay here and be with you; so before I knocked on your door I swallowed a few of your sleeping pills, and they're starting to kick in."

My head jerked up. I gaped at him, incredulous. "Are you completely insane?"

"I'm woozy right now, but I'm not insane." His eyes were now glazed over like a church window. "They're over-the-counter, so in case Tritter stops by feel free to tell him that he can go fuck himself."

I was alarmed. "How many did you take?"

"Three. Just three. Don't have a panic attack."

Greg and his devious little tricks. I should have known.

"Damn, these suckers work fast...," Greg mumbled as he fell back, barely awake. His eyelids fluttered and closed. "Jimmy?"

"Yes?" I asked, while watching his quick spiral into unconsciousness.

"I'm sorry. I'm sorry. Don't leave me, please," he muttered before falling asleep.