Title: Where No One Knows Me
Category: TV Shows ยป House, M.D.
Author: GeeLady
Language: English, Rating: Fiction Rated: K+
Genre: Drama/Angst
Published: 09-17-08, Updated: 10-08-08
Chapters: 9, Words: 17,181

Summary: A One Shot. When grief takes the wheel, regret is where it's headed. Post Dying Changes Everything. Minimum Spoilers.

Pairing: Wilson and No-one. House and No-one.

Rating: General. Language.

Disclaimer: I manipulate the sexy House to my hearts desire. No money, just fun.

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Chapter 1:

Wilson felt euphoric for the first few miles.

He had spoken his true feelings to House, for one of the very few times in the fifteen years he had been friends with him. No more need to now. House was behind him, past, a rough road he'd traveled for years and, at the last possible breath, he taken an exit.

When he saw the pain and quiet shock in Houses tired face, it had almost -- almost -- been enough to give him pause. Not enough to throw his soul into Reverse, and back up all those years and miles over again, only to see the same stretch of highway snaking ahead and taking him where he no longer wanted to go. Taking care of House, protecting him, enabling him, excusing him, wasn't on the map anymore.

Nothing ever changed with House and nothing was ever going to. There had to be something better, somewhere. Better friends. Better things to experience and remember. Had to be. Three wives, a prestigious career, a beautiful girlfriend, all these things had been in his hands at one time or another. But never contentment Only the striving for it. Joy and feeling right - settled - knowing you had achieved exactly what you wanted - were with exactly who you wanted to be with - he had never felt those things.

Everything wasn't Houses' fault. It was his own. He let the man use him and told himself he was being a noble friend. No one should sacrifice so much that he sacrifices self. Houses' words. Maybe paraphrased a little.

Wilson smiled into the rear-view mirror of his Volvo, seeing how it looked on him. How weird it was to see his teeth again. Maybe the smile wasn't genuine right now, but it soon would be. New job, eventually a new apartment, a new therapist and most of all, new friends. Healthy relationships.

A tiny twinge in his gut tried to convince him to, if not turn around, then call and just tell him that he hadn't really meant to say the things he had said. But the cooler headed thoughts with their shiny, happy New and Improved purpose shut it up.

House would be okay. He always said so. Always went out of his way to prove so.

Wilson kept his hands on the wheel and promised himself no regrets. Did House have regrets? Amber had to die before House was willing to apologize for being so selfish, and then he only did it because he wanted to make sure their friendship was okay.

Then . . we're okay? House all over.

Right. It was all about you House. Thought but not spoken.

From now on it was going to be all about Wilson. He would become, he decided, more like House. Just like him.

Wilson cast House from his mind.

XXX

House turned his Honda onto the sidewalk and shut off the engine. His chest was tight with nausea and his head ached. The crack in his noggin was healing well but still just enough there to kick into gear once in a while and remind him that he had almost died for being so damn stupid.

It wasn't your fault.

House unlocked his apartment door and entered. The place was a mess. Too many nights spent with a broken skull and a dying patient and not enough at home asleep.

You brought muscle?? Even Cuddys' attempts at keeping him home were fruitless, as she soon found out.

But now he was in for too much sleep and too many dreams packed with words that poked and prodded at his mind. And though his heart hadn't almost stopped since that day and he hadn't experienced any seizures or coma's in weeks, he was still in pain. Two kinds of it now. The one in his leg -- as familiar as a miserable and hated old miser who clung to him like a bad relation, and the other -- a cold, hollow stranger sitting on his chest, a bruising, unforgiving visitor from ten years back he had not then been sorry to finally see go.

House stashed his cane by the desk and limped to his bathroom, stopping to stare in the mirror for a few seconds and take down the bottle of Vicodin. The last one with his name.

He'd have to ask Cuddy to prescribe for him now. She was even more controlling than Wilson. Wilson had perpetually draped himself in the concerned, self-righteous friend robe, scribbling the prescription while chastising him for its abuse. Tsk, tsk, tsk, scribble, scribble . . .

Cuddy, though, once her mind was made up stood unmovable like a mountain wearing the Mommy apron with the Vicodin in one hand and a rolling pin in the other. And he was the always hungry kid. He would have to tread carefully if he wanted at least some of his days to be pain-free.

Two days previous, after Wilson left, Cuddy had already asserted her dominatrix role by emphasizing he would only get "enough Vicodin as is liver-healthy."

So, with stash cut in half, his leg was back to nearly crippling spasms and he was downing twice the Cuddy-approved amount. Maybe he could get Kutner or Taub to cough up a 'script or two as a supplement if he asked nicely or, smartly and more effectively, threatened them with being fired.

Being helpful, willing, sacrificing, good, noble and nice had got him a cracked skull, a dicky heart, a leg full of pain and his best and only friend telling him that he was done with him and couldn't remember if they had ever actually been friends. House felt a stab of both pains. Only Wilson had been unsure about that part.

House thought he ought to write a paper on it. "Get Rid of Your Best Friend by Being Nice." He'd heard the monologues all his life from everyone. Be nice. Be good. His parents had drilled it into him. Being good for his Dad hadn't won him any points.

Be self sacrificing. Okay. He did that. He'd said yes almost without hesitation. This is Wilson. Wilson.

But as it turned out, almost dying wasn't enough.

House swallowed two pills and sat heavily on his dark couch. A pizza box weeks old still sat empty on the coffee table. Wilson had brought it over one night a few days before the crash. First time he'd done that in three months.

House felt kind of like the pizza box. A fast-food friend. Good enough until something better comes along. He shouldn't be cynical about it. It happens to everyone at least once. Best friends 4ever - until school ends. Then your life becomes a desert and you wonder where all the people went.

Wilson didn't even say where he was going or "I'll call you." He hadn't even used the common, meaningless bullshit phrases like: "We'll do lunch." or "It's not you, it's me."

What he said had been packed tight with meaning. "We're not friends anymore House."

And he had felt the floor dropped out beneath his shoes and cane. He had expected anger or shouting or a lecture or cold eyes.

Not stark naked hate.

House had never questioned his own philosophies in life. He'd learned them from others. By experience, by mother, father, friends, relatives, lonely weekends, people filling up hours with meaningless platitudes and socially conscious political correctness, by compulsory gathering of pleasantries and fake smiles, by empty, invented purpose. Things which made him sick to his stomach and which he could not possibly engage in unless coerced. Things which required falseness and lies to give them meaning.

"Truth" constructed from falsehoods. He just couldn't swallow it and feel like a real, honest human being. That, however, could be his problem. Perhaps he needed to learn how to be a better liar. The kind of lies people tell all the time, not the kind spoken to dig up medical truths or to save a patients' life in spite of their moral stupidity.

Maybe his problem really was himself? Maybe being happy required a specific amount of make-believe? Missing his friend was a true feeling, but to survive well in the world, to do it better, maybe he needed to start telling the big lies? To pretend he was happy?

Maybe he needed to be more like Wilson.

XXX

Got my suitcase

Got my dog

I'm packing up my life so far

Got my pictures

Got some cash

I'm getting out of here at last

Got my hands on the wheel

Got my foot on the pedal

Gonna drive 'til I drop

'Til the tires turn to metal

Gonna sleep when I'm dead

Gonna laugh like the devil

Gonna find some place where no one knows me

Gonna stop when the last drop of gas turns to vapor

Gonna ride 'til I can't even seem to remember

Who I was when I left and it don't even matter

Gonna find some place where no one knows me

(Jann Arden)