Authors Note: I do not own the television show House, Star Treck, or Hanf Solo.


Hesitance. It was the feeling that swooped over me walking out of the back room of my parents' store that night.

When the stocky man in the ski mask came charging through the door, gun in hand, I'd been playing under the counter with my Han Solo action figure. No lie- it was my favorite. The angry shouts began, and I felt my father's firm hands guiding me- no shoving me, into the back room. Then there was shouting.

More shouting.

And the roar of bullets.

The silence came after, and for the first time in my life, I hesitated. I was scared out of my mind. The slight glance I'd caught of steal glinting in the fluorescent lights was enough indicate what had just happened.

I don't know how long I stood behind the closed door, but when the thin, red, liquid trail started seeping into the back room, I knew I had to see what happened. Stepping out, I found my parents lying in two vast pools of blood. It covered the floor, engulfing Han Solo, whom I'd dropped under the counter.

I was convinced, for the longest time it was my fault. That if I hadn't hesitated, I could have saved them. They would have lived, and we'd be a family. Looking back now, it was impossible. I went back and read through the police report when I'd finished medical school. Surviving an execution style killing is nigh on a miracle.

Loss is a difficult thing to explain to a kid, if you've never been through it. The police, the social worker, my foster parents all did their best, but they weren't speaking from experience, and I could tell. All I knew is that I didn't want to experience loss again.

For me, loss came from hesitation. So, following the example of my favorite movie heroes, I made a melodramatic promise to myself never to hesitate again. And one world recording in crawling, and one near death experience with a defribulator later, I had succeeded in keeping that promise.

Until now.

It wasn't the whole concept of asking her out that made me hesitate, though it probably should. The whole drug problem and sleeping with women thing should probably make me turn around a run, but it doesn't. The hesitance didn't come from a fear of rejection either. Hell, I've asked out and subsequently been rejected by plenty of hot chicks. It happens to every Treckie.

It's the loss that ultimately comes with her.

She won't be the person lying on the floor after shouts, and bullets. She won't have the pool of blood surrounding her like a halo.

It probably would be easier that way. It's easier than losing all function in your body, watching your control slip away. Easier than the mood swings and the depression.

Easier than forgetting your past, and your present, and living constantly with the fact that you will have no future.

I know I sound like a coward, and I know I'm taking the easy way out. But, you see, I've lived through sudden loss, and that was hard enough. To know that in the end I'll just lose her is something I can't deal with. I'm not as strong as I think I am—I'm only a man.

So I watch as she falls apart. I offer a ride home, or a midnight chat, nothing more, nothing less. A friend she can count on as the world comes crashing down.

And she takes me up on that offer, calling from a bar at three in the morning.

There aren't tears. She's completely ambivalent and resigned to the fact that she's drunk, high on E, and preparing for the immanent apocalypse. We make small talk. Pass the time on the ten minute drive to her home.

Small talk turns into coffee, and by five in the morning we're in bed together. One night becomes two, becomes five, and I can't help but wonder why I hesitated.

In this life, loss in inevitable. And either way, we're both going to lose.

But at least, in this version of our story, we almost get a happy ending.

Almost.


So I'm new on board the Kutner/Thirteen ship, and this came to me the other night. I'm not much of an angst writer. I believe in happy endings, so this is an odd piece for me. I wrote this pretty spur of the moment, so hopefully it all flows. Please leave a review and tell me wha you think. Any constructive criticism would be GREATLY appreciated.

Best wishes! Jac