Die Trying

Summary: Post Houses Head/Wilsons Heart. SPOILERS! Pre-slash. Hurt.

Pairings: H/C H/W.

Rating: (for now) General. Some language.

XXXXXXX

"And who's gonna' help him?"

XXX

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Three weeks is hardly enough time to properly mourn anyone.

Once you reach the state where you're not just in the heady beginnings of love, but in the deep seated head knowledge that you love them more than you love yourself or any other human, it doesn't matter if you've known them four months or forty years. There's no going back on it.

Wilson understood that now.

Once his parents had discussed divorce; had in fact, since he was the last one left living at home due to the time constraints and rigors of pre-med, discussed it with him. They had not been getting along for a while. But they still loved each other.

At the time that had puzzled the hell out of him. How can you not get along with someone you loved so much that twenty years had been spent together, raising three rapidly growing boys and a slowly maturing mortgage?

His mom had later explained it to him as to a child. Which he supposed, at twenty-two when it came to matters of love, he still was.

You can love someone deeply and still fight. You can disagree and hurt one another. Love does not prevent you from injuring someone. Hurting someone you love is not a sign of hatred, but of freedom. It's never pleasant but it does happen. Can and will happen.

And that freedom can only occur when you know, through and through, they won't leave you because of it. A difference of opinion, a fight, angry words, even an affair - they will stay anyway because you know deeply, so deeply, that they love you. And you love them too.

Then why the talk of divorce? he had asked.

Because you can love that deeply and still be unhappy.

Love is a ride, she had said. The highs are sky-high. The lows...are the lowest you can imagine.

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Wilson inserted the key into the lock of his dark office. It smelled of furniture polish and a fresh vacuuming. Cleaning staff probably tidied up weeks ago after he went on grievance leave to bury his wife.

She wasn't...that, but he had been planning on it. Not too soon, though. Not as soon as the others. Not like the others either. Amber had been too important. She had been too...wonderful, too in love with him for him to miss the point -- and rush right to the end in quick divorce court (Justice Collingwood knew him by name) -- this time.

She had been too...just what he had wanted all along.

Wilson, his dark carefully combed hair staying neatly in place from his recent hair cut, set his briefcase on his shining desk with the spanking new organizer and sat in his comfortable freshly padded chair. Soon the briefcase would be filled with files of new patients, new responsibilities and his life would go back to normal.

Pre-Amber, the love of his life normal. Not the normal he had been shooting for.

Which shot had ultimately fallen short. By about a bus length.

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When he knew it was her regular arrival time, Wilson poked his head into Cuddy's office to let her know he was in.

"You could've just phoned." She said, glancing up from her paperwork with kindness and something...he wasn't sure what it was. "I know. I just wanted to say hi." He came all the way in and stood before her desk. Cuddy looked up at him expectantly.

Wilson cleared his throat. He wanted to know but...he also didn't want to. "Um, how's House? Still here?"

Then he understood her previous enigmatic look -- disappointment. "Where else would he be?"

In his room. House's hospital room, where he still was after weeks out of the short term coma and crazy insane experiment to stimulate the buried memories of his concussion induced amnesia to see if his brain pot could be stirred enough that the memories pertinent to Amber's survival would surface.

They had. That part had worked. Amber still died. House was not a miracle worker. He could not change evolutionary chemistry or hold back the tides.

But he had sure given it a hell of a shot.

That, too, had fallen short.

"Talking yet?"

Cuddy snapped her head up and her voice was a match. "Go ask him. Find out!"

Wilson knew he deserved her contempt. In mourning or not, he had not seen nor spoken to House since he'd had to shut off Amber's life support and watch as she died in his arms. "Maybe I will." Wilson turned away.

"Wilson."

He turned back and she was behind him, in his face a bit. "Don't." She shook her head. "Don't go if it's just curiosity or conscience."

"House knows I've forgiven him. I always do, No matter-"

"Wha-? forgiven him-? Don't you dare put this on him or trivialize what he did for you. For you. He risked his life twice - almost died - for you."

"He made Amber pick him up because he was drunk. He made her drink alcohol. She had to deliver his cane to him on the bus because he was too drunk and forgot it in the bar-"

"-Why was he at the bar?"

"-What?"

"Why do you think he was at the bar?"

"I don't know. Because he's House, because he drinks, does drugs, he-"

"-Do you want to know why I think he was at the bar getting plastered? Because for weeks he'd been trying to see you. One night. He wanted one night. Bowling. Wrestling. Bar-hopping. Something. Because he needed you," she pinched her fingers together like holding a seed, "this much and you kept blowing him off."

"I did not "blow him off", and how do you know any of this?"

"He told me. He tells me things. House talks to me. He thought he was losing his friend. His only friend, Wilson."

"It's not my fault I'm his only friend. I'm,...I was in a relationship with a woman I loved. It was working. I was happy. House knew that, he understood."

"He was giving you plenty of space without complaint --" Cuddy held out her hands face down to stop the circular train. Red nail-polished fingers, like blood. "Look. Even if the friendship is off now, you owe him your gratitude."

"For what? -- killing my girlfriend?"

Cuddy raised a hand and slapped his face, not hard. Then she stepped back. "I'm sorry." She shook her head at herself and him. "House almost died - twice. Do you really think he risked his life trying to solve that mystery because it was for just...anyone?"

Wilson, cheek still stinging, never-the-less gave her a sarcastic tilt of his head.

Cuddy defered. "Okay, okay, maybe he would do that. But I think he knew in his subconscious that it was Amber he was trying to save. And because Amber was important to you, she was important enough to him to do whatever it took. Important enough to almost die trying. You're punishing him for loving you."

"Amber's dead because House got drunk, again, and she had to go to his rescue."

"Amber's dead because she was trying to get along with him for your sake." At his crumpling look, "-- I know this is painful -- but Amber's dead because she took a drink, then took a pill, then was in an accident." Cuddy let a huge ball of tension fall from her shoulders. "The first three were her decision, her fault. The last one, the one that killed her, was the bus drivers or the truck drivers fault. None of it was Houses."

Cuddy returned to her desk. "See him. Or don't. But unless you mean to thank him and tell him that you're his friend and that you care about him,...

"...please don't go at all."

XXX Part II soon. 8)

(those two episodes were too shit hot to not write a follow-up fic' of some kind)