Fandom: House, MD
Characters/Pairing: Gregory House, James Wilson
Prompt: #4 - "Sloth"
Word Count: 2776
Rating: T for themes.
Warnings: Suicide implications and attempt. Total angst.
Disclaimer: House, MD © David Shore
Author's Notes: I was listening to a happy song when the intro hit me. From there is spontaneous combusted into something that even makes me weep in my sleep. I'm sorry Wilson. I love you. I'm going to miss you! (Tears) Oh yeah, I did research for all of this. Gah, so annoying. T.T
The alarm's annoying buzzer beeps once--twice--three times, and then is successfully shut off with a pushy finger on a snooze button. The welcomed silence is quickly interrupted by the sudden outburst of a radio host complaining about gas prices and politicians, and Wilson knows that he should've turned the volume down on the radio before going to bed.
The red digits on the clock--a six, a zero, and a zero; wait, now it's a one-- laugh at him as he struggles to recall why he set his alarm so early on a Saturday. His shift starts at nine. Lunch at noon. Clinic duty at one. Meeting with the department heads at three.
He sits up from the starched sheets, rubs a hand over his sleep-addled face, and finds himself yearning to crawl back under the warmth of the sheets to escape the coolness of the morning--when had he opened that window? The cool autumn morning was literally pouring cold air into his room, and he didn't want to step into it.
He pulled the covers back over his shoulders and up to his chin as he allowed his eyes to close and he drifts back into a light slumber.
The next time he wakes up, the clock reads seven-fifteen. An extra hour's worth of sleep is usually a blessing, but he feels just as tired as he did before going to bed last night.
He finally braves the cold, and stalks across the room like a zombie and yanks his window back and locks it before making his way into the bathroom for his morning routine. He uses the toilet before heading to the sink, washing his hands before he grabs a white washcloth and soaks it in the hot water. As he rings out the access water, he stares into the mirror and frowns at the man staring back at him.
He shuts the water off and heads back to the other room--he just doesn't have enough energy this morning to primp himself to look like Prince Wilson. Sure, his hair will be a bit flat and he won't glow like a knight in polished armor, but really--
--was there anybody out there worth wooing?
He lazily drops back onto his bed and grabs for the remote and decides that no, there really isn't.
When he gets to the hospital, he feels like he hadn't slept for over a month. He drags his feet, cleverly avoiding going by House's office and heads directly for his own, locking the doors and closing the shades to ward off any suspecting Diagnosticians.
He finds a stack of folders neatly placed on the corner of his desk and he frowns at the bright yellow memo left on his monitor.
In the neat print from his secretary is the words "Tritter wants to talk to you, call..."--
He yanks it off and crumbles it up in his hand before dropping it into the trash, barely able to resist snarling at it.
It's been almost a month and a half since "The Incident", as everyone at the hospital liked to dub it. He considers it the time in which he and House were actually at bitter threads, snarling and snapping at each other, waiting for the other to slip and fall before tearing at them. Unfortunately (or fortunately), Wilson fell first and House pounced. Severing whatever friendship that had existed between them and saddled off with his drugs and alcohol, completely ignoring the risks.
Wilson, determined to save his friend, and himself, picked himself up, dabbed at his wounds, and followed him from a safe distance--ready to dive out to catch him just in case if he happened to miss that patch of black ice that laid in his path.
Though they made it through the end--House avoided ten years of jail time thanks to Cuddy. Wilson received a half-assed apology from the man, but lots of glares and stares from staff members in the hospital.
A lot of snarls and threats from House's team.
But whatever. He made it through. House still hated his guts for trying to save him, and he came out in the end alive and with his job. Although he did lose his friendship, what good did it do for him in the end anyway?
There was a loud rap of stone on glass and it shook Wilson out of his state. He turned his head slightly to glare and spotted House standing on the other side of the balcony barrier--hand cradling a bunch of small rocks and the other poised to toss another one.
Wilson pursed his lips and looked away, pretending to be more interested in the files.
Another rock connected with his door and he sighed in defeat before sliding to the door, unlocking it to poke his head out.
He narrowed his eyes slightly. "Not at the moment because I just got here. Why?"
"I need you to look after my team for a little bit."
He could feel his heart start racing and his palms started to get clammy. "Eh--why?"
"Road trip with Cuddy." Ah, of course. "Actually, more of an air trip, seeing as how I have to go by plane. Speech. Cuddy says it's good for the hospital's rep. Not for me though."
Wilson wants to laugh in his face before slamming the door and run to pout in the corner. It's childish, but it would be worth it after everything House put him through the past six months. "I'm sure your team can take care of themselves. They're big kids now. They can do it."
House sneers before shaking his head and hand. "Not with Little Miss Sunshine and British Boy getting it on."
He can only stare at him before everything suddenly sinks in. "Cameron and Chase?"
"No, Annie and Jude Law. What do you think? Of course, I mean them two. I caught them in the janitor's closet."
Wilson wants to ignore him. He wants to crawl back into his office and pretend he wasn't here having this conversation. It wasn't embarrassing--it was degrading. "You caught them in the closet?"
"Doing what, kissing?"
"And groping, and general things that horny teenagers do." House slides up to the barrier and makes a move to jump over it but Wilson glares.
"No, you're not coming in to bother me. And no, I won't watch your team. They're fine on their own." He starts to back up to lock his door but pauses to make a final remark. "And leave those two alone--if their happy, let them be happy. God knows it's the only form of peace they can get when they work under you."
It's harsh, but he feels just a little bit better from the look he receives from his ex-friend.
Yet his victory is short lasted and he feels just as bleak as he had six months ago.
He doesn't bother going to lunch. He's not hungry. In fact, he calls up Cuddy to inform her that he can't make it to the meeting--that he just got too much to do and needs to catch up. She's irritated, but when he lies that House had been pulling him from his tasks by pestering him with annoying little things (he cleverly leaves out the morning discussion about horny teenagers). She sympathizes for him and says that she'll forgive him this once and will cover just the basics for the other departments and fill him in on whatever he really needs to know.
With a quick little promise of meeting up with the heads when he has another opening in his already peaked schedule, he plays Cuddy like putty and broods in his office the rest of the day. One of his subordinates volunteers to do clinic duty for him, and so he sits at his desk and glares at the pile of paperwork.
He picks up one of the toys that sat on the corner of his desk. It's a bobble head of a cartoonish animal. He's unsure of what though, and decides he just doesn't quite care. Besides, the patient who gave it to him wouldn't care either, what with being buried under six feet of dirt at nine years anyway.
Ignoring the screaming of his conscience in the back of his mind, he pops the plastic head off the spring and drops it into the garbage.
Almost a week later House leaves for Asia as promised. Cuddy is accompanying him, whether to be a representative or a babysitter is free for interpretation. Wilson doesn't even say goodbye the night before, and instead locks himself in his hotel room with a bottle of vodka that he stole from House's office and he's toying carelessly with the tie that Julie had bought him. It's an ugly green, and a pretty green, and he hates the pattern yet loves it all the same.
He ignores the humble little comment in the back of his mind that says that it's just the right length to tie around his neck and hang off the ceiling fan. He blames it on the alcohol and sips it right from the bottle.
It's torment working with House's team. He promised himself that he wouldn't, but when he doesn't know what to do, he just drops the file in on their glass table and says with a forced smile "I think it's something in your area of expertise." before he tries to sidle away. He's dragged back in with invisible kicks and silent screams and participates unwillingly in the diagnostics of the case--woman with mysterious seizures with a mysterious friend with a mysterious job. Nothing interesting there.
He spends the day working with them collecting data, running tests, and doesn't even have to pretend to be disappointed in not receiving a single phone call or a single e-mail from House during his absence.
It just chalks up to be another day and Wilson lives on.
The morning that House comes back, Wilson is scared. He isn't scared of meeting up with him. In fact, he's a little eager, although his enthusiasm is forced.
For once, he's not scared of being with people, he's scared of being alone.
He pretends that there is nothing unusual about untying a rope from the ceiling fan and practically runs out of the hotel room, but not before pouring all of the alcohol in his room down the sink and discards the glass bottles in a plastic bag that he conveniently drops off in the hotel lobby.
House's stories aren't that interesting anymore. The flight story about mass hysteria sounds ridiculous, and he just wants to tell him to shut the hell up so he can go to bed and sleep peacefully on his own with any alcohol to help him.
He pretends that nothing is different when House steals his fries and nonchalantly pushes the tray to the man and stalks out of the cafeteria.
He knows that he can't ignore the eyes on his back when they feel just as heavy as the air on his chest at night when he opens his eyes to a half full bottle of alcohol that he doesn't remember getting and a bottle of sleeping pills that he doesn't need sitting conveniently in arm's reach, side by side.
He suspects House suspects something, but if the man knows anything, he doesn't say anything.
And that right there just adds another load to the already overbearing weight on him.
Cuddy suspects stress. Cameron suspects guilt. Foreman suspects that it's from being House's friend for so long, and Chase doesn't care.
His secretary suggests that he talk to someone, whether it be her or a shrink. She even offers a number, scribbling it down on a scrap piece of paper and offers it with a smile.
"I'm not calling you crazy or anything. You just seemed stressed. It's nice to have something to talk to and not have to spill your secrets to the world. Trust me. It's better than a diary."
He doesn't feel offended. In fact, he mumbles a thanks and stuffs it into his wallet before leaving to go help his next patient.
Stress talks can wait, patient's lives can't.
It's the final straw when House calls him a coward.
Their latest case about a sick bone marrow donor and a dying cancer patient. Save donor brother means saving cancer brother, but when sick donor's brother is getting worse and time is running out, choices are plucked off the list like items on a grocery list. It's a bad analogy, but it works for him like everything else in this screwed up hospital.
House apologizes later that day, but it's an empty reconciliation. Wilson still feels like something is pressing down on him and House still acts like an ass.
When the cure is found, and the donor brother donates, the cancer family get a happy reunion and live happily ever after outside the hospital.
Wilson stills gets rebuked by his cowardice and goes back to the apartment feeling just a little more numb and a little less human.
He knows that there is something wrong, but he doesn't care. He knows he shouldn't feel this empty, but he blames it on his stupidity for wanting a happy life with a wife and a dream career of unworldly proportions. It's his fault for cheating, not the world.
The world didn't make him cheat; he did. The world didn't make him a failure; he did. The world didn't drive out his brother, break their family, and break bonds; he did.
He didn't cause House to become an asshole, but at this point it might as well be.
He pops the cap off the bottle of sleeping pills and starts to count them out into the palm of his hand.
One pill, two pills, four pills, eight pills, twelve pills...
He loses count and just downs the handful. He doesn't want to get up tomorrow morning. He doesn't want to see House anymore. He doesn't want to see anymore suffering cancer patients.
He just wants to escape. (He's forgotten what he's running from. What has he been doing all this time? Who does he hate? Why is he running? What's going on? Run, run, run away.)
He drops down onto his bed and doesn't even care that he dropped the open bottle of pills onto the floor. Maybe the maid will clean them up when they come to clean tomorrow.
There's vomit in his throat when he wakes up, and he's barely out of bed before it's on the floor--all over the scattered pills and remnants of his clothes that he doesn't bother to clean. He stumbles to the bathroom and heaves into the toilet, and it's all a blur.
His head hurts, the world spins, and he's just so goddamned tired. He pukes into the toilet several more times, and when he can't anymore, he lays down on the cold tiles of the bathroom and tries to cling to the last bit of his humanity.
He fears he's losing his mind.
When he wakes up, there's more vomit than he remembered ever being there. It's well past two, there are a dozen messages on his answering machine, and the room reeks.
He attempts to clean, but says to hell with it. He leaves a quick (apologetic) note to the staff with a hundred dollar tip and leaves after cleaning himself.
He's scared out of his mind. He's too scared to go to the hospital at the moment, and he's too scared to go back to the hotel. He's afraid of doing something stupid, but he knows that it's no longer if he'll do something, but when.
He sits in his car and feels sick again. Whether it being from the pills (He didn't take that many did he? There wasn't that many, right? He won't die, right? Grab a coffee? Will that be okay? Won't it eat his stomach? Oh god, how stupid.) or being scared, he doesn't know anymore.
He pulls out his cell phone and stares blankly at it before pulling out a piece of paper with a number scribbled haphazardly on it. He's waited long enough. He can't keep doing this anymore.
He presses the numbers in the phone and waits one ring, two rings, 'Hello, Frederick speaking.'
"Hello, Frederick? This is Dr. Wilson, I was wondering if you had an opening today. The earliest one possible."