Title: They're Not Candy
Summery: When Wilson gets tired of seeing House scarfing Vicodin throughout the a stressful day at work, he goes to House's apartment afterwards to lay down the bottom line. It's him or Vicodin… but ends up saying a little more than he originally planned.
Set somewhere after the Tritter Arc in Season three. Obviously came from The Fray's song How To Save A Life.
Note: Lotsa dialogue.
House knew he wasn't going to have much fun after Wilson arrived at his apartment after work. He didn't come to that conclusion when then younger man walked though the door, but after he put down his bag, hung his coat and said those four dreaded words House hated hearing. "We need to talk." It was those words that made House want to get off the couch and slip right past Wilson and out the door...even if it was his apartment. But Wilson seemed to be onto him and held firm; he took his hands-on-hips stance and kept a hard eye on him.
"You know how much I dread those four words." But the small joke did nothing for Wilson. House knew none of this was going to be fun. No sir, not by a long shot. When Wilson got all serious like this it meant two things. Either House had stepped over some line somewhere that Wilson had set up and he was now going to bark at him for a bit while House tossed casually sarcastic and funny remarks (not funny in Wilson's opinion, of course) as he tried to make light of the mood, or Wilson was going to talk about his Vicodin use.
House prayed it wasn't the latter.
"I don't even know how your body is even able to function correctly nowadays."
All House could think was, Damn…"Practice, I guess."
"I'm serious! What is it? Are you pissed off at yourself and just scarf the pills down until your body can't take it anymore?"
"I'm pissed off at my leg, not myself as a whole!" House shot, annoyed.
But Wilson on the other hand didn't seem to buy it. "Oh, and that's why you feel the need to be high 24/7?"
"No, I do that because of the idiots I work with on a 24 hour basis." He shot Wilson a glare, trying to get him to see that he was including him in the idiot category again as well.
"Oh, so you hate me now, too?" House rolled his eyes and let out a sigh. Wilson always seemed to throw everything way out of proportion.
"No, I didn't say that. I'm just saying that you've become much more annoying lately. And therefore, you're acting the idiot's part more efficiently."
"I just want to help you!"
"I don't need your help! I'm fine," he hissed angrily as he glared at the wall opposite of Wilson.
"No, you're not! You've changed! You're no longer the man I used to know," Wilson started to pace about the room as he went on into the argument, "You're mean and bitter even more so than before and you never smile anymore. Do you even remember how to smile? How to laugh? Do you even remember what happiness is?"
"Vaguely, I think," he tried to joke again, but still Wilson wasn't seeing the humor in it. "Why are you so caught up on this all of a sudden? Or, maybe I should say, more than usual."
"Why? I'll tell you why! Because I think I've lost my best friend! And it's taken me a while to realize that and I wish I had seen it sooner."
"You idiot, you haven't lost me. I'm right here. I'm still your best friend as much as I was when I first attained the position."
"Heh, yeah. My friend that pushes this friendship to the very edge just to get a fix"
"You're right! Is that what you want to hear? Yes, I have a problem, I do! I'm addicted to pills! But why don't you understand? Why don't you ever listen to what I'm telling you? I'm in PAIN! Sure, I got off them after I was shot; I stayed off them for two months, but if you remember I wasn't in pain then either!" He shook his head and let out a sigh.
His demeanor quickly went from defense mode to defeat, "I don't know what to do to get you to understand. You of all people should know. You've seen me, you've been face to face with me on each occasion you and everyone else conspires against me and makes me stay off Vicodin. You've seen me in pain." He lowered his gaze to the floor, not being able to look Wilson in the face as he spoke, "I'm not the same man I used to be. I've changed, for better or for worse. But even so, I still need the pills to get through. I don't like pain. They help me function and do my job."
"But you need to get on something that isn't going to tank your system! Eventually your liver is going to fail and I doubt you'll be able to get a new one, great diagnostician be damned."
"If it means not being in as much pain as I would be by taking something less harmful than I think it's something I have to live with!"
"I think doing this would be for the best. I don't really want to say it and I know you don't want to hear it or admit it but I think I know what's best."
"It's not what's best for me. I need my pills!"
"Oh, and the time you came this close to killing yourself after you stole my patient's pills? You were eating them like candy! Is that what you think was best for you?"
"I was in pain! You all took my pills away and expected me to be fine! Well, that's bullshit. I stole the pills so I could get some relief! I was so out of it that I thought I could make everything go away. Tritter, jail, rehab...all of it. But I managed to take too many to do the job right. Next thing I know I hear your voice and then I see you. I felt like an idiot. I felt even worse when you left me there lying in my own vomit."
"I had to get out. I didn't trust myself near you at that moment. I was too furious with you to act rationally."
"You could have stayed, or come back!"
"You could have killed yourself!" Wilson cried with his arms flailing about, trying to convey the message if his voice wasn't doing so already. He took in a breath and let it out just as quick, "You could have killed yourself; you're probably too selfish to think about the people you were leaving behind rather than making it all about you."
"Like who?! Who gives a care about me? Sure, everyone will put on a sad face and pretend they care"
"I care! Me! I care whether you live or die! I care even if you don't!"
"Of course you'd care! You'd care even if I were a man you never met and I robbed banks and was able to be put in prison for life!"
"I care because I'm your friend!" he yelled back before he managed to relax and quiet his voice. "I care because I care, House. I care because you're my friend. I care...because you're probably the only one I've got." There was a silence that took over the room for a moment. Neither man spoke, only letting the words drift about and soak in. It was only after a moment of this Wilson continued, "It's like I said. All I have left is my job and this screwed up friendship here. No woman in her right mind would marry me knowing she was wife number four, and with you gone all I'll have is my job. We both know I'd probably be able to stick it out and go on for my patients...but what kind of life it that?" He shook his head, "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have said it like that...I care."
"You care? You care, but you don't even believe me. I'm always in pain, I'm forever in pain and you think I take the Vicodin to get"
"I believe you."
"high! You...you believe me?"
"Because I'm listening to you for once," he kept his eyes locked on House's, "I just worry is all. I'm just afraid that even if you don't do it directly, those pills are going to be the end of you. I just want you to try something safer."
"Nothing else works. Everything else is either too weak or too strong."
"Do you want to die?" The unexpectedness of the question was what hit House the hardest. He looked away.
"I don't know." He couldn't look Wilson in the face and say those words. It felt too shameful. Yet another fit of silence filled the room as House stared at the wall opposite of his friend as Wilson did his best to keep his emotions in check.
"I can't save you," Wilson finally said softly, his voice filled with emotion. "I can't. I want to. But I can't save you unless you want to be saved. If you don't want to be saved then nothing in the world will help me do so. You have to want this; you have to want to live." Wilson looked away as he did his best to blink away the tears welling in his eyes. He pressed his lips together, swallowing hard. Brown eyes met blue again. "If you do, I'll do whatever it takes. If that means moving back in with you, fine. If that means staying up with you all night when you can't sleep to keep you company, that's fine too. If things like that are what it takes to save a life, I'll do it."
"But you have to understand, there's only so far I can go, and I'm close to the edge. I don't want to be...but I am. Please let me help you. If not...I'm sorry, but I can't continue on with this if you don't give a damn anymore. It hurts way too much watching you slowly kill yourself." The room grew quiet once again as Wilson waited for House to respond.
"Sooo, either I agree to this, or you're gone?" He answered with a small nod. "What makes you think I need you as much as you seem to think I do?"
"I'm not saying you need me. I'm just saying you want my company."
"Well, what makes you think I want your company?"
"Well, you've kept me around for twelve years now"
"No," House interrupted and shot teasingly, "I've tried to get rid of you for twelve years, but you never seem to leave."
"You obviously haven't been trying hard enough," he said with a soft laugh before adding in rather quickly, "And that wasn't an invitation to try harder." But it didn't take long for their small bit of banter to turn back to the previous mood of the conversation. "I just want you to understand the damage that the Vicodin is really doing to you."
"I know what it's doing. I am a doctor, too. I have M.D. at the end of my name, same as yours."
"It's just sometimes I don't think you do, the way you shove those things down your throat…They're not candy, House."
"Wait, they're not candy?"
"House!" Wilson glared. "I…I don't know what to do. This is the only thing I can do that might get you to do something. If you don't...then oh well. If you do, then that's terrific."
"Yeah, can't have me dying now." House shot Wilson a smile but he could see all this talk about the death of his best friend was starting to get to Wilson. He looked like he wanted to say something else but he was fighting with himself to get it out. House only gave him a suspicious but wary stare.
"House...I have to tell you something…" It was the way he said it, the unsteady way it seemed to slip out that told House what he was going to say. The way his eyes begged him desperately to listen and understand and not hate him.
"Don't. I know what you're going to say."
"No, I need to tell you."
"Nooo, you're going to make everything so much more complicated," House whined.
"Don't you dare!"
"I, I love you."
House only gave a nod. "You said it."
"I did," Wilson agreed.
"You love me."
"Why, why love me? What could possibly get you to love me?"
Wilson pulled a weak smile before answering, "It's not just one thing...It's a lot of things."
"But why me? Why would you want to love me, of all people?"
"I don't want to love you."
"You don't?" The question showed a little more hurt than House had wanted.
"Then why the hell do you?"
"My mother once told me when I was young that you can't choose who you fall in love with. I think that's true. I didn't choose to fall in love with an arrogant bastard...but I did. And I'm sure no one could make me happier."
House shook his head in disbelief. Seemed Wilson was more of an idiot than he originally thought he was. "I can make you happy?"
"You don't care that you made life that much more complicated?"
Wilson shrugged. "Guess not."
"Didn't think so." House shook his head as Wilson just watched him with those brown eyes of his. "I'm not going to kiss you," he said matter-of-factly.
Wilson only gave a small but charming smile before letting out a sigh. "I'm not asking you to. I'm asking that you let me help you."
"Because you're my friend."
"Because you love me?"
Wilson put a hand to his face; he was beginning to regret saying it. "Yes!"
"Do you want me to kiss you?"
"House!" Wilson barked.
"Wilson!" he mocked in the same tone Wilson had used. "Do you?"
"What does it matter?"
"I want to know."
"Humph! Yeah, you're just trying to anno" Wilson was cut off by House's lips suddenly being pressed to his. Wilson was so shocked he didn't know what he was supposed to do at first. He knew something was amiss when he felt House smiling and snickering against his mouth before finally pulling back. House couldn't help it one look at Wilson's confused and shocked expression and he started to laugh harder. It was always good fun messing with Wilson. But it seemed a babbling Wilson was funnier.
"But! You just said"
"Everybody lies," he supplied with a leering smile as everything started to fall into place in Wilson's mind and a smile started to grow on his face.
"Does that mean you're going to look into something else?"
House pulled a dreadful but thoughtful expression before asking, "Does thinking about it count? Mentally preparing myself?"
Wilson bit his lip in thought. He knew he should put his foot down, say it's all or nothing at all, but damn if House didn't make that decision twelve times harder. But he did learn in the years of knowing House that shoving him when he was willing to slowly make a compromise was nothing short of a bad decision, which would result in him dropping the idea all together.
"If you're honestly thinking about it." Wilson tried to push the Everyone lies statement from his mind. He wanted to try and believe House about this even if he might be let down later. But he'd deal with that then and deal with this now.
"Good." And with that and a shy smile that House knew he'd find hard to resist, he quickly pulled the younger man and pressed his lips back to his. This time with Wilson kissing back eagerly.