Hidden Bonus Track
Written by Blackmare (many thanks to her for sharing!)
Two months had passed before Wilson could bear to touch the garden gnome by the fireplace.
He hated the thing, because every time he looked at it he knew just how far he might have fallen, had his friend not insisted on catching him. And he loved the thing, because it reminded him that the friend he had known had never gone away. That in the end, Greg House, Grand Champion Selfish Bastard, had made one choice that told Wilson everything.
Those two thoughts buzzed around the squat concrete figure like hornets, keeping Wilson's hands at bay.
He would look at it and shake his head. Not what he says, but what he does. Oh, House.
It was a Sunday afternoon and he was in the middle of doing the dishes when he decided, at last, that something had to be done. He'd been scrubbing pots and glancing at it, remembering the Gnome Trail that had led him to this new apartment, when it occurred to him that he just never knew when House would choose to play another game. If House kidnapped the damn gnome again, he'd find It. The reaction—well, with House you just couldn't predict. Maybe nothing, maybe anger, maybe just a sense of regret that wouldn't do either of them any good. Despite the hot dishwater on his hands and the steam in his face, Wilson froze. There were a few things House didn't need to know.
So he dried his hands and braced himself. House wouldn't be at the hospital right now; he could dispose of the drug in the incinerator without getting caught. Mentally swatting away the phantom hornets of love and hate, he reached for the gnome, hefting it gently, and started in confusion when something metallic fell out onto the bricks. It was a chisel.
Wilson began laughing weakly. He really should have known. House found everything.
The inside of the gnome had been carefully altered. He had an idea of when House might've done it; there'd been an opportunity when Wilson was at a conference shortly after—it was still hard to think about that day. And yet he was smiling now.
Two grooves had been carved into the thick cement sides of the gnome's interior. It was done perfectly, which didn't surprise Wilson a bit. House had made just enough room to slide the case of a CD in there, and then he had tucked the chisel in alongside it and replaced it just so. The black leather bag, Wilson's secret, was gone. Wilson would find out later what House might have done with it.
Taking a breath, he plucked the musical offering from its hiding place, and tried to decide whether to laugh or cry. He settled on laughing, again, because this was a joke, the kind only House would pull. The name of the band was Morphine; the disc was titled Cure For Pain.
Shockingly (or maybe not), it turned out to be good.
At sunset on Monday, with two kazoos to play Taps and their camera phones in hand to record the occasion, they had a little ceremony. Together they pitched the gnome off the hospital balcony.