The Pain of Being a Man

"Suffering like this proves you are still a man!"

The chill that had set into the Formica slowly melded into the warmth of his palms, mixing with the thin layer of sweat that was slowly beginning to form. James Wilson gripped the bathroom counter convulsively, desperately in a pathetic attempt to steel the shaking that was quickly overtaking his normally steady hands.

It had been so easy.

Just… so easy to leave his friend lying on the floor in a puddle of his own vomit. It shouldn't have been, but it was. In retrospect, Wilson blamed his actions on a sickening mix of anger, disappointment, and adrenaline.

Looking back, had his emotions and adrenaline not joined together to form the horrible cocktail that had been his state of mind, James would have acted differently. Been responsible and at least left House lying on his side, maybe even had tried to help him up or stayed with him for a while.

Reaching out with a trembling hand, the oncologist turned the sink handle marked with a red sticker before doing the same with the other, allowing the competing temperatures to mix together, much like his and House's own polar personalities.

The sound of rushing water quickly filled the bleak expanse of the hotel room, drowning out the din of loneliness that seemed to invade his senses whenever he took one step into Room #15.

Wilson had been staying in the tiny motel for a few months and he had yet to really unpack any of his things. More so, he had yet to make himself feel at home. Sure, he could have, but the idea of making himself comfortable in a fifty dollar a night room was worse than the idea of finally getting his own place. At least if he was uncomfortable in this room he hadn't resigned his fate to a state of misery where even House hated him.

As the luke warm water continued to cascade into the cracked porcelain bowl, Wilson placed his hand back on the counter. The shaking that had overtaken his hands was slowly beginning to invade the muscles of his forearms. Surrounded by the glow of soft fluorescent lights, James had caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror and the very sight of his eyes caused him to look away instantly.

"I'm going to need 30 pieces of silver."

He had betrayed his best friend and that act had taken over his eyes, making them a mix of chocolate brown laced with the ache of Judas.

The worst part was that in his heart, Wilson hadn't thought of his actions as a betrayal. His intentions, despite Cameron's accusations, had been pure. James had been friends with House for years and he had no desire to hurt him, despite the fact that the other man seemed to delight in finding new ways to inflict pain on him whenever possible.

His eyes flickered from the freshly laundered towels to the tiny bar of soap wrapped in white tissue paper. Wilson shook his head slightly, wondering how his life had come to this point. He understood the divorces; after all, his affairs had been their primary cause of death. And sadly enough, he was able to understand why trying to live with House was a bad idea and even why he was keeping the address of his current residence a secret.

But what he couldn't understand was why, no matter how hard her tried, he couldn't help the one thing that really mattered to him. And that was the worst pain of all.

Just as the clear liquid was bubbling at the rounded edge of the sink, James reached out with his left hand, giving each of the plastic handles a quick turn. As quickly as the porcelain basin had filled, the water began to seep though the broken plug, draining quickly down the cruddy pipe.

It was almost as if even the water knew of his sins and was attempting to get away from him as quickly as possible.

Reaching out with both hands, James plunged into the warm liquid, cupping his palms together in an effort to scoop up what he hoped to be a splash of cleansing relief.

The water washed over his face, slipped into the roots of his hair and slid down the curves of his jaw and Wilson couldn't help but smile at the irony of the scene. Soaking into the collar of his shirt he felt as if he were being baptized. Too bad Judas was still hovering near by.

One again, his hands found themselves gripping the cool, wet surface of the counter but this time their clinging ferocity was an effort to keep his legs from collapsing underneath him.

He had left his best friend in a puddle of his own vomit.

The fact hit the oncologist hard and square in the gut, knocking all of the wind out of his body. With the cool droplets sliding down the sides of his face, James dropped to his knees before the toilet, slamming the lid up with a barely controllable hand.

The muscles of his stomach contracted and lurched but the heaves that followed resulted in nothing more than a sickening mix of acid and bile. Sitting back against the wall, a thin sheen of sweat had begun to mingle with the baptismal droplets on his forehead.

Once again, James brought his palm up to his face but instead of wiping the vomit from the edges of his mouth, he placed the heels of his shaking hands to his eyes and resisted the urge to slam the back of his head into the stucco wall.

He was Judas even though he didn't mean to be and this was his own personal hell.

"This pain is part of being human."

- Albus Dumbledore

Cillian Chase's Chart

- This was originally written for the lj community houselas. The theme for the challenge was "human".

- This is set between "Merry Little Christmas" and "Words and Deeds".

- the quote is from J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

- There are a lot of reasons that I wrote this piece. But mainly, I wanted to humanize Wilson after his actions in "Merry Little Christmas". Leaving House on the floor was quite controversial so, I really wanted to look at why he would do that and what effect it would really have on him.

- Katie, where do I begin? Seriously. This piece about killed me. All I have to say is thank you being there for help and support. :duck: