Chapter Eighty-Two: Good News, Bad News
He sat before the window in his office. From his position he could see the millions of people that flocked around the hospital day in and day out. There was a group of children having a snowball fight while two little girls tried to build a snowman. For once the sun was not out so the world wasn't a blinding white that hurt the eyes. A mother pushed her child in a stroller, her husband right beside her, the two of them deep in conversation. Teenagers went by on bikes, backpacks filled with books as they returned from school or headed toward the library. An ambulance pulled up to the emergency room, lights swirling but the siren turned off. All around him the world was going on, people were living their lives.
And here he sat in his office after working for nearly three hours straight. He finally had a little time for himself, a few fleeting minutes before his next patient would arrive and he could deliver the news. Whether it would be good or bad he wasn't sure. Either way, he knew what the outcome would be. They always cried, tears of happiness and tears of sorrow. He saw them all. Every once in a while he would get a patient that showed no emotion when the news was delivered, even if it was a death sentence. For some reason he found those people to be the most interesting of them all. What was going on in their heads at that time in their life? Were they thinking about their family, about the things they still wanted to accomplish before they got too sick? Or did they simply think of it as an act of mercy, their easy escape from a world that could be so cruel? In a passing conversation with Cameron he'd learned that earlier in the day a man with Hepatitis C, a fatal disease, had shot himself in the stomach in an attempt to end his own life. Though they fought like hell in the ER to save his life in the long run his heart gave out. He said all the things a doctor was supposed to say about such a case. Meanwhile, in his mind, he was trying to figure out why they fought so hard for someone who wanted to die. Wasn't it his right to choose whether he lived or died? Why suffer the liver failure and every other complication that Hepatitis C presented when he could go out on his own terms? It was his body, his life, his choice to make. But at the same time Wilson knew that every doctor had taken an oath to save lives and that meant even those who no longer wanted to be a part of the living.
So deep in his thoughts, a moral battle unspoken, he didn't hear the door to his office open or the person cross the room toward him. He continued to stare out the window at all the people below, especially the children, wondering what sort of tragedies lay ahead of them. Everybody suffered one way or the other, whether it was them doing the suffering or someone they loved. He still had trouble figuring out which was worse. He suffered. His heart was torn apart while he watched House suffer. There really was no easy choice between the two. Somebody always got hurt in the long run…
The sudden voice startled him. He turned to see that House was standing behind him, a frown upon his face. He tried to smile and knew that it probably didn't look right. "Hey, how's your patient?"
"Better," he replied. "Looks like the puzzle might have finally been figured out. Unless, of course, the patient was lying to me."
"Everybody lies," Wilson said before House could. He knew the line was coming. It was like House's motto, the words he chose to live his life by.
"Something on your mind?"
Wilson shook his head. "No, just taking a breather between patients, that's all."
"Everybody lies," House echoed.
Wilson chose to ignore him. "What did Cuddy want to talk about this morning?"
"Jacob. Looks like Detective Tritter finally found a way to do his job," House told him. "From what I've heard that little bastard will be spending the next few years of his life behind some pretty bars. I think it's the perfect place for him."
This time when Wilson smiled it was a little more genuine. "That definitely is good news. I think I'll sleep better knowing that he isn't poking around, waiting for that next opportunity to jump out of the shadows."
"Wilson, what aren't you telling me?" House asked, studying his lover. He could tell that something was off. He knew Wilson too well.
"The cancer," interrupted House. "It came back, didn't it?" Judging by the way that Wilson refused to look at him, his eyes once again gazing out the window, he knew what the answer was. "You're strong, James. This won't beat you. I won't let it."
"There's nothing you can do about it." Wilson turned back to him, unshed tears glistening in his eyes.
"There is a lot I can do about it," House said, falling onto the couch beside Wilson and taking his hand. "I can love you the rest of my life. I can stand by your side, be your shoulder to cry on, the crazy fuck that brings a smile to your face. You managed to beat it once, you can do it again."
"I don't know…"
"I do," House said with such strength that even Wilson was surprised. Where had this sentimental person come from? What happened to the wiseass? "I love you, Wilson. And I don't plan on going anywhere anytime soon so you better be prepared to fight with everything you have. Or I'll find a way to make your afterlife miserable."
Despite himself Wilson smiled. "Knowing you, you would." He rested his head on House's shoulder, closing his eyes. "With you by my side I should be able to beat anything. I love you, House."
"I love you, too."