A/N: I can't remember if Wilson and House met before or after the infarction, lets just assume before because I'm too lazy to go and watch that episode again. Set Season 1 - ah the good ol' days. Thanks to dresdin for being my IM word weirdness consultant. Self-beta'd.

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You're just tired. Tired of everything, always tired. You're just one of those people who hates - you can't escape it. The pain - how easy it is to blame it on the pain - but the truth is you were like this before. The pain just amplies it, makes you bitter and cold, cutting where you may have once held your tongue.

Blinding anger, as it's often written, you've never understood that. Never been so consumed with anger for it to cloud your rational mind. But then it's there, swallowing you, tightening your fists and clenching your teeth - nothing like living with someone for nearly five years (loving that someone for that long) and telling them, screaming at them, to "GET THE FUCK OUT." Meaning it with every atom in your body, from the top of your head to the tips of your toes right down to the deepest part of your heart - your soul.

And everything becomes dark after that. Tainted. You can't escape it, everywhere you look you see her. See what she's done to you and it comes back in waves. But after awhile you don't see her anymore, you just have that darkness. Swimming beneath the surface of your eyes, manifesting in the white of your knuckled grip on your cane. You're angry all the time. At the world, at Stacy, at your body, at God (briefly when you feeling particularly ironic with yourself).

You try so hard not to be that way. To be nicer. To not snap at the people around you for their blatant stupidity or sometimes for just not leaving you the hell alone. It works for a short while, but it builds up and spills over in one big wave. Uncontrollably. Usually ends up in a broken coffee machine - occasionally (usually) something of Wilson's. You don't ever remember being this bad before, but the pain - it always comes back to the pain. There's lots of not-sleeping and pills and hurting. It hurts and you can't make it stop, it hurts when you really cannot and simply do not want to deal with it. You want it to go away but it's always there like the fucking throb of your thigh. A constant reminder that you're just a miserable bastard, and always will be. You're damaged - which is not really a problem for you, damaged people are always much more interesting - but you're damaged in a way that leaves you aching.

You want it to be gone. But you can't leave it, can't make it leave (though you've tried).

You hate everyone around you for not suffering like you do (like it's their fault), they don't understand what it's like - and you have no patience for people who pretend to know what it's like for you. People you've liked for a long long time you're suddenly mad at, furious, you're pissed for things that shouldn't make you that angry. The first time Wilson pranks you after your leg you break the lamp in his office. You throw it, feeling that familiar anger clouding your ability to pick the reason - the humour - out of his actions, and it whizzes over the top of his head. It cracks, shattering against the bookcase, explodes into a million fragments as you realize what you've just done. Wilson doesn't get mad, he looks like he knows, like he's sorry for what he's done - you don't apologize.

And then one day you notice her. Notice that she works for you (you do remember hiring her now that you think of it and why, but had apparently forgotten), and that you're trash - unopened mail - has been disappearing. She's pretty, exceptionally - almost ridiculously - pretty, and smart. Maybe not the smartest or best applicant but there is something about her that draws you to her. You end up thinking about her more than you should, you can see something in her that no one else seems to notice (because most people will just see how stunning she is). It's there, an undercurrent to her movements, fuelling her actions. Like a fractured pattern hidden amongst the hue of her eyes, it only presents itself at certain times allowing you to see that there is something scarred beneath that pretty skin. Invisibly, but undeniably there - she tries to hide it from you but you can see that she's drawn to you too. She knows your secret, she can see it just as easily as you hers when she dares to really look at you. She sits in your chair and does your charts, and touches your stuff - but it doesn't seem to bother you at all really. Which is weird because not even Wilson is allowed to sit in your chair... or touch anything on your desk (you'd gladly let him do your charts for you).

You find yourself for the first time in a long while not quite so angry. But curious. You find yourself questioning her instead, wondering why... she's just like everyone else - it doesn't make sense to you. Everything makes sense to you eventually, after enough brooding and obsessing, but she remains a mystery that you can't quite fit the pieces to. And even though you'd like not to admit it, it's inadvertently doing you some good. The pain is still there, same as always but the hate isn't quite as sharp - you find yourself thinking of her instead - you can't decide if that's actually good or bad - but one thing is for certain, she's getting to you.

And you really really shouldn't let her.

You're both damaged. Wrecked beyond repair, surely setting sail on fire but it's not something you can help. You'd like to chalk it up to something simple (like you're both broken), but your relationship with her grows in its complexity everyday. Morphing into something a lot deeper than you'd like to realize. You find yourself saying things you normally don't say, trying - for her - being... almost nice. It's scary at times, the pain reminds you of what trust does - everyone lies - and you find yourself recoiling, lashing out at her. But she never flinches for long, remaining absolutely loyal to you, her capacity to sacrifice herself for someone else is startling, unnerving even. You're afraid she wants to help heal some of your scars and will lose herself trying, you don't want to do that to her - you want to protect her from yourself, something else she brings out of you.

No matter what you try you become more drawn to her, seeking her out. You'd rather risk contracting the plague than have a personal conversation but you're always finding her - in the lab, late at night in the office, or in the locker room - maybe if you could understand why someone like her is attracted to someone like you then you wouldn't feel that pull.

Nothing eases it though.

You should stop this, you think as she leans up and kisses you. She keeps it light allowing you the opportunity to refuse her if you wish, you should - but you don't. Your head is spinning trying to calculate the reasons - why why why. You still don't get it, but maybe you should decide one way or the other because you're kissing her back, encouraging her as she slowly unbuttons your shirt. She grips it hard pulling you closer, deepening the kiss, before she shoves it off your shoulders. She's here, still unaffected by your laundry list of flaws, trying as she does (she doesn't have to try very hard) to convince you of this. She nudges you, lips not breaking from yours as she pushes you backward. Your cane drops, snapping against the hard wood floor, but she doesn't even twitch. A moment later she pulls away from your lips, kissing the side of your mouth before she works her way across your jaw and down your neck. You grit your teeth, she's way too good at this, but as good - great - as it feels it has to stop. You can feel that anger seeping back, you grumble under your breath, body tensing - you're not supposed to be back in this place ever again. On the edge of trusting again, especially with someone like her. She's young, she'll move on when it's over but you're not so sure you could handle it after everything that's happened in your past.

Just as you move to push her off she shoves you rather suddenly, with a surprising amount of force (she is quite tiny compared to your larger frame), and your body collapses back against the couch. Your eyes jerk open and skip upwards. She's smiling, grinning really, and you find yourself thinking that you've never found someone fully clothed (in clothes such as hers) to be that sexy before. Her beauty is unassuming, she's never cocky about it, she just looks generally pleased - like she just shoved you off your tracks successfully (and she did).

She straddles you slowly, sure to keep her weight off your bad thigh. Her grin still there as she nuzzles your face. Her eyes slip closed and you can't help but follow. Her nose lightly brushes against yours as she moves down to your mouth and begins her leisurely assault once again. Her left hand slides up your neck and hooks against your jaw as her right drags down to settle over your heart.

Maybe, you think. Maybe it's time.

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end.