The soft drizzle began to fall, washing away the early spring haze of warmth and humidity. The tiny droplets fell from the murky heavens, claiming the windshield of Dr. James Wilson's car, splattering it with the droplets like those that refused to fall from his eyes.
Sitting in the parking lot of House's favorite jogging park, Wilson watched as a few people climbed out their cars, testing the weather before setting about the winding asphalt path. With the windows shut and the motor off, the smell of McDonald's hung in the stale air, a painful reminder of his "home" life.
He'd begun avoiding eating in his hotel room in an effort to distance himself from that waking death as much as possible. Now, living off a diet of hospital food and drive-through hamburgers, he'd turn his car into the very thing that he feared the most. It was quickly becoming one more nail in the coffin of his life.
His car, it seemed, was full of various nails, some sharper than others. All seemed to be intent upon burying him in the muck and mire of his life.
Sitting on the passenger's seat was one that was particularly sharp. Stapled inside a glossy white bag was the prescription that he'd picked up after leaving the hospital. Staring at the bag, he thought about the past year of his life. If he were to be completely honest with himself, it would be a miracle if the tiny pills could alleviate the cocktail of emotions that had intoxicated his mind.
Reaching towards the waxy bag, James was surprised by how calm he was. Closing his hand over the top, he was amazed by how easy this was, and that bothered him. He was used to being able to work through his problems on his own. The fact that he was to the point where he had to medicate his moods filled him with a hopeless-ness he'd not felt since he found House lying in a puddle of his own vomit.
Sighing softly the oncologist ripped open the stapled top and withdrew the plastic bottle from within. Despite the fact that he spent his days prescribing various medications, the orange bottle felt foreign in the palm of his hand. Rolling the container between his thumb and middle finger, a long forgotten memory played out in his mind.
However many years ago, Wilson wasn't really sure anymore James had had his first glimpse of House. He'd been chatting up a new nurse, not sparing on the boyish charm when Cuddy came around the corner with a patient and his wife. The Dean of Medicine seemed to be apologizing profusely as the man tapped angrily on the ground with his cane.
Through the noise of doctors rushing about and waiting patients complaining, the oncologist caught a small part of their conversation. Rough with anger, the caned man's voice ripped through the air. "Where's my Vicodin?"
Even from across the room, James could see the sigh that threatened to overtake the woman's body, as she rummaged through her purse for the painkillers. The nurse long forgotten, Wilson couldn't take his eyes off the woman, as she passed the man the orange prescription bottle without making eye contact with him.
Still growling at Cuddy, the man didn't bother to let go of his cane to open the bottle. Instead, he managed to pop off the cap and down a pill without water in the space of a moment. Smiling slightly to himself, Wilson couldn't help but wonder how long it had taken him to master that trick when his boss's voice slipped through the air. "House, please remember, you're just starting to recover. You don't want to overdo the medication…"
A laugh that was a mixture of humor and shock escaped the oncologist as he turned back to his 'work.' Instead of finding the blonde nurse, he was now staring into the green eyes of a black-haired accountant. Though he had already begun flirting with the woman, he looked back one last time. The man with the cane had surrendered his life to what was sure to be an addiction disguised by a tiny label and a prescription note.
Twisting the lid of the pill bottle, Wilson couldn't help but smile at the memory. In retrospect, it really hadn't been all that long ago, but he felt as if his friendship with House had already lasted a lifetime. Popping off the cap, James shook two of the tiny pills into the palm of his hand where they sat staring up at him.
Closing his hand over the pills, James reached out for his drink. Normally, he would have obeyed the instructions to a T and taken the pills with milk, but, as there wasn't any nearby, he settled for what was left in the papery McDonald's cup. Taking a gulp, he grimaced as the liquid flooded over his taste buds. It had once been Diet Coke, but it seemed that, after the mid-afternoon heat took hold of it, it had become a flat mix of water and syrup more than anything else.
Not swallowing the disgusting liquid, James brought the hand containing the medication to his mouth and parted his lips slightly, just enough to throw in the pills. As the tiny pieces of hope slipped from their place in his palm, they scraped over his lip, bringing the harsh reality of his life into focus.
Mingling with the diluted pop, the pills floated around his mouth. Before they'd had a chance to settle, Wilson had swallowed them. Reclining his seat slightly, the oncologist closed his eyes, allowing the warm spring sun to kiss his weary features.
Since they'd first met, he'd seen House pop countless pills, and now, he had his own. Throwing the bottle aside, Wilson couldn't help but wonder how long it would take him to develop an addiction of his own.
Cillian Chase's Chart
- This was originally written for the lj communities "houselas" (Theme: Remember) and "alphabetasoup" (N is for Nostalgic).
- Katie – Thank you so much. If it weren't for you, this fic (like so many others), would not be what it is now. :duck: