A/N: Angst in two parts, maybe three. Don't own it, but I wouldn't mind having Hugh Laurie in my bed.

He was gone, He always was in the morning. No matter how hard I tried to get him to stay, he'd leave before dawn. He'd carefully extricate himself from my grasp, and make it out to the car, no doubt parked outside, and when I'd wake, he'd be gone. No one to latch on to. No one to wake up to. Just a rapidly cooling spot where a body had been.

And I wonder if this was how my exes had felt. As though they'd been abandoned when I'd go to bed with them, and leave before they woke in the guise of having to go to work early and not wanting to wake them. It makes me wonder if he'd learned the same tricks I had to pretend to go to sleep before getting up and leaving.

The feeling, when you wake up alone when you hope that someone will be next to you, isn't loneliness. It isn't emptiness. No, rather, it's a feeling of being worthless. Of being used and forgotten about. I've never felt lonely. I've never felt as though there was something missing when he'd leave afterwards. I only felt used. As though I was just another hooker, as though I had existed purely to give him pleasure, and nothing more.

Every morning, I'd wake up knowing that this had to be how my exes had felt. Opening an eye to an empty hotel bed, and nothing else. No note. No "I'll see you later." No...nothing. Just gone, empty. And we'd never talk about it. Not before, not the next day when we inevitably saw each other. It was just an accepted part of the relationship. A painful, horrible, but accepted part of the relationship. We both had said we didn't want a relationship. We both had said that we'd probably just screw one up anyway.

But that didn't mean that it didn't hurt. That it didn't leave me feeling used when I'd wake up alone. I didn't want a relationship. I didn't want dates, and flowers, or proclamations of love. We didn't have that. He didn't want that. But that doesn't mean that I didn't want to be able to wake up and see him smile, or go someplace other than this hotel. Why, even though we've progressed to this, we've taken a step back emotionally.

It's as though the two, going on three decades of friendship have been jumbled up in the mess of this. Oh, there will still be movie nights, and we'll still sit on his couch and drink beer, but he's different then, just as he's different when he shows up at my hotel, and lets himself in. At his place he's lighthearted, he's spending time with his best friend, catching up on hospital gossip. At my hotel he's needy, wanting, but emotionally detached. And I can't help but wonder if this is all my fault.

Every morning I wake up naked and alone I tell myself that this will be the day. The day when I talk to him, and tell him that I'm sick of him leaving in the morning. That it doesn't have to be puppies and roses and flowers, but that I want to wake up not feeling used-and if he can't do that, then maybe, just maybe, we should cut this part of whatever it is we have out.

This morning is no different. It's a shower and a change, and I'm driving the familiar two blocks-that's all it is, but it feels like forever. He's in his office, like he always is on these mornings. His staff has made comments, but he just waves them off, saying that occasionally, he does rise before lunchtime, and he might as well make himself productive, seeing as morning television was all cartoons anyway. They don't object.

I play it off as something normal as well, but I know why he's here early. And I occasionally stand out on the balcony, wishing he'd come over just to say hi, just to do something that isn't pretend as though nothing has changed between us, when everything has.

And I tell myself that today will be the day that I'm no longer Wilson-the-doormat, I tell myself that today, I'll actually stand up to him. Today, I'll actually be a man, and not just his personal manservant, willing to do anything, jumping on command, and following him around like a little lost puppy.

But the hours drag by, and he never stops by, and I never go in there to tell him. To give him the ultimatum that I desire to. Because I can't do it. I can't risk pushing him away entirely. I'm afraid that he'd see it as wanting a relationship-and while I can convince myself I don't want it, I do, and I'm not going to lose the one constant in my life over something stupid.

I need him too much. I'd rather be used by him, than not have him at all. And the thought sickens me, but it's just become an accepted part of my life. A painful, hated part of my life, but a part of it nonetheless.