Disclaimer: I don't own House MD. Be forewarned, there is character death in this.

Never Die

House was supposed to be invincible.

He was supposed to be the one who outlived everyone else and years later, would take a swig of beer while standing on everyone else's graves. He was supposed to be swinging a cane twenty years down the road with the same, eternal, self-righteous smirk on his lips and a witty comment ready to be said.

Wilson can't help but feel betrayed.

In retrospect, it's not a death that House would've wanted. He would've sought a final ending from an obscure disease that nobody could figure out. But, a part of Wilson points out, even with an obscure disease, he would've figured it out and saved himself. Invincible. Immortal.

But it wasn't the way he'd gone.

He'd died the way thousands of teenagers died when they were careless or getting too hyped on cocaine and drugs to see straight. Drunk driving. House never had a chance.

The office is strangely quiet, but the items are still there. The red-gray ball, the red coffee mug, the thousands of unread and unsigned paperwork shoved in the desk and underneath DC comic books. For a minute, it becomes all too easy to pretend that it's just another day, that House is just coming late as usual.

But Wilson's never been good at pretending. So the mirage shimmers in mid-air, suspended by wishful thinking, and then evaporates as reality comes back in with the force of a truck. He closes his eyes, tries to wash away the images of blood-covered splinters that belong to a cane, and desperately tries to remember his last words to House.

House had said something, an off-hand remark about catching a beer later. Just the two of them, but Wilson had too many papers and too many hours to catch up on from the last time he'd played hooky with House, so he'd said sometime over the weekend.

The guilt creeps up and he doesn't even bother to resist the familiar, aching feeling of being pulled underneath and drowned. His last words were, "Maybe later." But there is no later, no tomorrow. There is only him and his chasm of grief. And it hurts, hurts more than Michael's disappearance, hurts more than his three divorces, hurts more than anything within the physical boundary.

Nerveless fingers fumble to unscrew the cap of a Vicodin bottle, one of many left on House's desk, and Wilson thinks that he would've let House taken a million Vicodin pills if it'd mean he'd be back here again. He raises the nearly empty orange cylinder and downs what's left.

The pain doesn't cease.

It stays there, throbbing beneath his skin and running through his veins. It makes his chest constrict and his throat close up. He's a wreck, his shirt and pants are encrusted with House's blood from where he'd held the other's lifeless body and the tear tracks stick to his face.

Smokesmokesmoke…and there's blood everywhere, on the asphalt and on his face and his skin, and it's leakingleakingleaking out of House. Sirens, people reaching out for him, trying to pry him away from House. He's not breathing, not breathing, and shouldn't someone perform CPR on him? And he's frantically trying to push air into House's lungs, lips slanted against the other's mouth. But he's not breathing, not responding, and the blood slides across his exposed skin and he's crying, crying, and it isn't until Cuddy restrains him that they can take the body away.

They always said Wilson was never the same afterwards.