Warning: Grief, Have Tissues Handy...Two Character Deaths...
Chapter 5: Quietus
Wilson jumped as the gunshot echoed through the hospital. The horrible sound engrained itself in Wilson's memory as the world began to move in slow motion. He saw House collapse on the floor right at his feet and he watched as his cane was flung across the room. Blood stained the man's light blue shirt and dark jacket a crimson red. His brilliant blue eyes, which Wilson had come to love, fluttered shut.
Before Wilson could process what was happening, another gunshot rang out accompanied by the sound of shattering glass. For a moment, he thought he'd been shot too, but then he looked up and saw Amber fall on the floor having suffered a fatal head wound from a sniper. Her outfit remained pure as blood accumulated around her head in a puddle.
Wilson's gaze returned to House's lifeless body and he just stared down at him, frozen in disbelief. He wasn't sure what to do or how to act. He had the urge to be sick and look away, but he simply couldn't. Instead, he followed his doctor instinct and practically fell to his knees, reached out his shaky hand timidly, and checked for a pulse. The scene was surreal…as he felt House's cold skin beneath his fingers.
Wilson started crying again and was barely aware of his surroundings as he became lost in a state of shock. At some point, the empty room was filled with police and panicked doctors and nurses. Wilson vaguely recalled someone placing a hand on his shoulder before being forced to his feet. He remembered urgent and worried voices, but he couldn't recognize the voices or what they were saying, and quite frankly he didn't care. He couldn't comprehend the situation. House couldn't be dead. He'd always been…immortal. Everything was finally perfect between them…and then suddenly he's gone and Wilson can't even summon up how or why he was gone. Wilson remained in a trance he could not escape. His mind kept repeating the traumatic moment over and over in his head, screen by screen and he was forced to watch again and again.
"I have my reasons. I'm not about to go to your funeral, so shut up…and remember I love you."
House's voice rang in his ears as he finally understood what he'd done. Everything overwhelmed him. Sounds were distorted and his vision was blurred as his mind fought to process reality. He drifted out of his delirium briefly and was suddenly aware of a bright light being shined into his eyes. At first he thought he was dead too, until he recognized Foreman's face staring back at him worriedly, penlight in hand. The man was talking to him, but Wilson couldn't understand what he was saying. His eyes focused instead on the scene behind Foreman...where Cuddy was calling time of death.
Wilson couldn't remember anything that happened during the hours afterwards. He remained in a hallow daze, engulfed in his own thoughts. He might have seen a grief counselor at some point and he vaguely remembered being admitted at the hospital, where doctors monitored his mental state. He refused to speak or make eye contact, his attention focused solely on the vivid details and images of House's death at the hands of his wife. The pictures poisoned his mind, but he couldn't stop them. They reeled so fast that his head began to spin with nausea and dizziness.
It's my fault. The guilt was now setting it and was washing away the denial. He would still be alive if I had only listened…if I had been faithful or if I had taken his advice in the beginning and not gotten married in the first place, but now there is nothing I can do. Nothing will ever bring him back.
"It's not your fault. You didn't know…what you wanted."
The fact that he could hear House's voice in his head clear as day should have been worrying Wilson, but instead his vivid memories comforted him, but only a little. After all, they were only memories.
His mind must have skipped a couple hours because suddenly he was in a car being driven home. Foreman was driving while Chase rode shotgun. Wilson turned and noticed a distraught Cuddy sitting next to him, her hand perched precariously on his shoulder. He wanted to shove her hand away, but he didn't have the energy to move, so he sat in silence. Cuddy noticed his awareness and began to speak solemnly. "H-his funeral will be on Saturday." She whispered sadly. It took a moment for him to process the words and then he actually started crying again.
"What'd you do that for, Cuddy?" Chase asked with concern.
"H-he deserves to know. The doctor said it's best if he doesn't slip into a state of denial." Cuddy answered weakly, merely repeating the doctor's words.
"If denial makes him feel better, if only for a little while, then let him believe what he wants." Foreman replied absently, eyes still trained on the road. This whole tragedy was affecting him more than he'd expected.
The conversation continued, but Wilson didn't hear a word of it. The numbness that Wilson had been feeling was ebbing away in his fingers and he suddenly looked down and noticed he was carrying House's cane. His knuckles were white from holding on too tight and the cane had left a temporary imprint on his hand. He wasn't sure how long he'd been carrying the thing and he couldn't even recall how he got it. He tightened his grip again as he began to feel dizzy. He took a couple deep breaths to ward of the nausea before returning his eyes to the window. The memories overwhelmed him again.
His mind skipped ahead again until they were at his apartment…the one he shared with his wife. They were still in the car when Wilson came back to reality.
"He needs to stay in the car. I'll simply go in, get him some stuff, and then we'll all stay at my place tonight. He can't be left alone. The doctor said he could be suicidal after what he witnessed." Foreman stated seriously, stealing worried glances at Wilson. The oncologist laughed a little seeing as they were talking like he wasn't even there. Well…, he wasn't most of the time. They all looked at him, deeply concerned by his bizarre behavior.
"Are you okay?" Chase asked stupidly. As soon as he said, he regretted it. Cuddy and Foreman glared at him.
"Swell." Wilson sneered, though his voice was barely audible. He didn't even recognize himself and he still refused to make eye contact. "I-I just saw my wife kill…" Wilson paused, unable to finish. That was a barrier he wasn't ready to cross.
"I want revenge, I want what's mine! He ruined my life and now I want him to pay for it! I want him to suffer and beg for mercy! He's going to regret what he did to me!"
Amber's vindictive voice penetrated his brain and made him squirm and grimace. Cuddy was about to speak when Wilson broke in again, his voice still dispirited. "I want to go in."
Both Foreman and Chase frowned. "I don't think…" Chase began, but was silenced by Wilson opening his car door and slamming it behind him. Wilson fell back against the car as soon as he set foot on the sidewalk. His legs were shaky and threatened to give way any moment, but Wilson was determined to go inside, though he wasn't sure why. His hands were still clutching the cane for dear life. His three colleagues rushed out of the car and were by his side in a matter of seconds.
"You really shouldn't…"
"It's my apartment!" Wilson snapped at Foreman, though his voice still refused to reach a perceptible volume. The three just nodded, not wanting to anger him further.
Foreman, the most emotionally steady in the group, lead the way into the apartment. Wilson followed, closely monitored by Chase and a perpetually worried Cuddy. Foreman made a beeline for the bedroom while Chase remained close to Wilson. Cuddy, meanwhile, just stared down at her shoes.
Wilson's eyes drifted around the apartment. He suddenly noticed the great number of pictures of his wife and him littering the room. He also observed the unsettling amount of photos of House and him, which Amber had conveniently placed behind her own photos. Chase followed Wilson's gaze. "I'm sorry," he managed to say, but he received no response or even acknowledgment from Wilson.
Wilson's eyes suddenly spotted his phone hidden in the bowl on the table. He wasn't sure how he'd overlooked it before. He instinctively picked it up and opened it.
1 Voicemail Message
Wilson never gets voicemails, so against his better judgment, he listened to the message. House's voice flooded over him one last time.
"Hey James…I can't believe you're not answering…this is a first. Anyways, I was hoping you could make it over to my place tonight. I mean…if you can sneak past the wife and all. I've been missing you. Yeah…don't give me crap for being sentimental. I just…I wish you'd leave her already, so that you can move back in with me. It's just…look I'll talk to you later…I love you…bye."
Wilson broke out in tears and collapsed on the floor with House's cane still in his hand. He fell exactly where Amber had been standing the day before when she first discovered their love affair. The wine stain, still visible on the carpet, had lost its purple hue and was now a blood red, which Wilson considered only fitting.
It all started with a voicemail…and it all ended with a voicemail.
"The broken glass is on the floor,
The red stain will never fade,
The pain you forced into my heart,
I could only be afraid,
I turned my pain to power,
I may have dug my grave,
But sure as hell was worth it,
To see you not-so-brave,
The guilt alone will kill you,
You'll suffer and die in pain,
In a way I succeeded,
All that's left is his cane."
This final poem is by me, Hadley.
This story was intended to have a happy ending, but then my mood took a turn for the worst and I decided to write a tragedy. Also, I wanted to incorporate the short poem above which I randomly threw together one school night. Anyways, I hope you enjoyed it and didn't run out of tissues! If you didn't like how this turned out...well I can't please everyone and I promise my next story will have a happy ending.
On another note, the first chapter titled Affair de Coeur means Love Affair and the last chapter titled Quietus means Death. Sneaky, sneaky...
Reviews are always appreciated! Thanks.