Title: My Best Friend's Funeral
Beta: Anna was kind enough to give this a look
Pairing: House/Wilson, not established
Wordcount: 1 746
Disclaimer: I don't own House MD or anything related to the show. I'm just playing around a little.
Summary: A two-in-one story in which House and Wilson attend to each other's funeral.
Author's Note: This is angst. Heavy angst. Just look at the title. It was a bit hard for me to write because I'm really not that fond of death!fics and I always worry that the angst I write just will fall flat. Although... This was pretty fun to write. Why, yes, I am an angst-whore.
Wilson looked out over the crowd. Fixed expressions on all of their faces. There were surprisingly many there that day, considering how House would have had the tendency to drive everyone he met away. Cameron, Chase, Foreman, Cuddy and House's parents sat in the front row. Chase and Cameron wore similar expressions of badly repressed grief. Their eyes were shiny with tears and Chase's were red around the edges. Foreman was a bit more put together, but the clenched jaw and somewhat hollow look in his eyes gave him away immediately. Wilson knew Cuddy's eyes were red-rimmed underneath the makeup. She had cried her heart out ever since it had happened. John and Blythe House both looked devastated but controlled. Wilson couldn't say anything more since he didn't know them that well. More people were present, but they didn't interest him. He could only guess how devastated he himself looked, beneath the immaculate clothes and well-groomed hair. The past two weeks were just a blur of work, sleep, alcohol and apathetical staring at the ceiling of his hotel room. He glanced down at the paper in his hand and would have blinked away tears if he'd been able to cry. Despite that it had happened only two weeks ago, he hadn't shed a single tear. He'd tried to - God only knows how many times - but never once did his eyes even burn. Taking a deep breath, he looked up again. When he started to speak, his voice was as clear and strong as always.
"Gregory House was, as we all know, a very special man..." he started but trailed off, frowning when he heard his own voice. He'd worked on the speech for a week, trying to make it good. But when he glanced down and saw what he'd written, his frown deepened. What was he doing? His was at his best friend's funeral, House's funeral, standing on front of people that knew House as a person and not by rumors, otherwise they wouldn't have been there. Suddenly the impeccable speech with the pretty words appalled him. Without giving it a second thought Wilson tore the paper in two and let the shreds fall to the floor. Ignoring the confused looks from the others, he opened his mouth again.
"He was a complete ass, an utter jerk and a mean son of a bitch," he said, his voice now sounding both frustrated and angry as images and memories of times with House started to flash before his eyes. "He was a drug-addict, broke the law more times than I can count and was an anti-social bastard. He made sure that everyone who met him wouldn't like him, and he made a damn good job with that. It isn't surprising that he died from an accident on that goddamn motorcycle. That stupid idiot never listened when we told him to take it easy". The shocked looks on the audiences' faces were almost comical, but he paid it no attention. "But aside from all of that, he was a brilliant diagnostician. He saved more lives than most people can even dream about. He solved cases everybody else called impossible. He saw connections where others only saw random facts. He was a genius, and a mad man. He was truly one of a kind". Wilson paused to catch his breath. The anger had subsided in him as he had spoken, and only sorrow and emptiness was left. But his mind kept playing happy memories, and he felt an inexplicable tightness in his chest. As memories flew by, a small smile suddenly tugged at his lips and he looked down. When he spoke again, his voice was low and affectionate.
"He was also my best friend. Or I don't know, I don't think there is a word to describe what he was to me. If I called us soul mates he would just mock me. All I know... He was like a brother to me, a friend, a stranger, a partner, my worst enemy and the best thing that has ever happened to me. My whole life was centered around him, everything I did or thought went back to him. I guess I was more committed to him than I was to all of my wives together". Wilson stopped and took a shaking breath. He suddenly chuckled, though it was with little mirth.
"If he was here... Well, of course he is here, but I mean if he were alive... he would probably mock me right now. Call me a girl and tell me to get that stick out of my ass. Say that I am much too formal and drab. If he had left a damn will it would probably have said that only five persons were allowed to attend and that they would be having a wet and wild party at his expense. He would have hated this. But he didn't leave a will, so this is how it is. But if he were here, he would somehow figure out that all of this is my fault. He always did that, placing the blame on others. But that's okay, which is just his way. That's how he is. He pisses people off and then asks them for favors. He is an idiot when it comes to office politics. And when he is denied, he'll come running to me and tell me to fix the mess. And I will, because I always do. And when I've done that he will drag me away with him and demand to be fed or something like that. And after I've bought him lunch or dinner or whatever he will start making horrible jokes about what has happened. They aren't even funny, they're just crude and obscene. But I will laugh, because I always do. And he will smile. Then he... Damn," Wilson said, unaware that he had switched tenses as he spoke, and run a hand through his hair. He did know he was rambling, he knew he was talking much too fast and incoherently. He didn't care about it though. During the whole time he had been looking down, caught in his own world. He didn't see his feet or the floor, what he saw was House's face. House smiling, House laughing, House absorbed by a puzzle, House stealing his lunch, House mocking him, House glaring, House looking content. His stomach was clenching, his chest ached, his throat tight and he felt a longing stronger than anything he'd ever felt before. For once in his life he wasn't focusing on denial and realization hit him full force. His eyes widened.
"I love him," he whispered, shocked and barely audible. As soon as the words had left his lips, he felt how his eyes burned and warm droplets of water trailing down his cheeks. He repeated the words over and over again, the crying intensifying. He had completely forgotten everything around him. He didn't see the worried looks everyone gave him, he didn't hear their voices. All he could hear and see was the memories of House.
House looked out over the crowd. The room was filled with people. He didn't know more than a handful of them, and he couldn't care less. He knew that Wilson's younger brother, parents, ex-wives and Cuddy were there, but that was that. The rest were strangers. All the faces held various degrees of grief on them. Ifhe'd of had his way, House would have kicked them all out. They didn't know Wilson, they didn't deserve to be there. But right then he didn't particularly care. It hadn't even felt too horrible to put on a tie or even shave. He was dressed up like a doll, and he wasn't counting the seconds left to when he could tear it all off. He wasn't actually thinking much at all. Ever since Wilson's death he'd felt hollow inside. He would still have dressed up for Wilson if he'd been alive, despite the fact that he hated it. Why? It was simple. He did everything Wilson told him to do, whether he wanted to or not. But now Wilson wasn't there to tell him anything. House had felt lost ever since Wilson went away. Hollow and lost. Numb. House looked down at the paper in his hand. He started to read the speech out loud, his voice monotone and his eyes never leaving the paper. It was a good speech, an immaculate one, full of pretty words and completely inoffensive. Just like Wilson's facade. House had been considering acting hellish at the funeral, but he'd changed his mind for two reasons. One, that he knew how much time and energy Wilson had put into trying to be perfect. He decided to show some respect for the man since he'd never done it particularly often when Wilson was alive. And two, he simply didn't have the energy or urge to be anything else than apathetic. As the words left his lips in a constant stream, he felt how his mind slowly drifted away. Partly because of the ridiculous amounts of alcohol and Vicodin he'd been pouring down ever since he got the news (Was it a week ago? Two weeks? A month?), but also because of the vivid memories that bordered on hallucinations. He somehow managed to monotonously and sternly read out loud while at the same time be at home, by his piano, together with Wilson. Wilson was smiling at him, laughing with him. Wilson had drunk enough to be extra sarcastic and witty but not enough to have his mind slowed down. Wilson was simply put how House liked him best. The man could have asked House to jump off a cliff, and House would have obeyed him. House was never able to refuse Wilson when the man was like that. The speech ended and House was pulled back to the real world. The painful real word. He desperately wanted back to his own world. Ignoring whatever response or reaction his speech had caused, he turned his head and looked at the coffin. He didn't say the words, didn't even think them. He reached for his bottle of Vicodin and dry-swallowed two pills. He would say the words though. When he came home. And had consumed a lot more alcohol and his mind had drifted away. Then he would tell the Wilson in his hallucinations. He turned around and headed for the exit.