House – Ghosts – fishtank36

Warnings: Deals with Character Death. There is some swearing also.

A/N: Takes place end of Season 2. AU. I was in a really weird mood when I wrote this... but, uh, enjoy! :P

--

What am I supposed to do

When it's all a lie

- Lie To me

--

He's living with her ghosts now. She's always there. Sitting at the table with Chase and Foreman, or standing near his whiteboard staring at the symptoms. She's in his office in his chair, staring at the stack of unopened mail he can't bring himself to throw out - sometimes she's sleeping in his ugly yellow chair, leaving him staring at her for hours. He's probably losing his mind.

He doesn't care.

It's like she's really there with him. Again. She looks impossibly young when she sleeps, like innocence, it's worse than when she used to stare up at him with those wide green eyes making his heart ache - but he had to deny her, had to act the same way towards her as he did everyone else. He had to make sure she learned, make sure she built her own armor so that when the time came she would stand up for her and not sacrifice herself.

He hates himself for failing her.

More than he has before. He hates himself more than he hated Stacy over his leg, or Cuddy for allowing it to happen. More than he hates his leg. More than he hates Cameron for being so stupid. It's his fault not hers. And now he's stuck with this phantom, this phantom he can't shake. Just another reminder of how fucked up he is, how he fucked everything up. He should have given her a chance. Now everyday is the same misery (not that he wasn't miserable before, but this is worse). He doesn't bother with patients much anymore, Cuddy hasn't been forcing him to the clinic since he sat in a room with some woman for two hours, staring at (Cameron) the wall.

She's a phantom he can't shake.

She waits outside the Men's Room, and sits beside him on the bench in the locker room, she appears in his apartment even after he's sped off on his bike, leaving her in the parking lot. He doesn't know why his mind is so wrapped up in torturing him, he's aching with every thump of his heart. His chest heavy and painful, it's a slow decent into madness. He wants to tell her to leave him alone, he's punishing himself enough already.

He's afraid if he tells her to go away, she will.

She's there with him in the late hours as he stares at symptoms on his whiteboard, trying to drink away the demons (her). His vision gets cloudy, but the pain - that awful ache in his chest - remains, and so does she. Occasionally she'll go and pickup a marker, leaving the imprint of a diagnosis on his board. He traces it, and leaves it there until Foreman or Wilson erases it. He wants to yell at them, but he knows it's absurd of him to do it anyways.

He misses her.

She's there with him, her ghost, everyday and he misses her still. It's not Cameron if he can't hear her voice, or feel the warmth of her small body as he crowds her to make his point. There's no coffee on his desk in the late morning, there's no one answering his mail or telling him to go home and get some rest. He misses her caring for him even though he insults her and mocks her for it. He suspected she had an endless capacity in her heart for love, she tolerated so much from him and yet she stayed... she knew him, could see past his walls - could see something beneath his prickly exterior. It made him consider that she may not have been so naive when it came to him and love, she was intelligent - he knew there were reasons under the crush that made it all the more frightening, but didn't dare face them like she.

He wants her back.

She was young and pretty (and smart) and made him question things he would never consider before - the patient, the ethics, his moral choices... she was a thorn in his side. She was frustrating, annoying him to no end on some days and yet - he wanted her back. He hates cliches, doesn't want to be one, but it doesn't stop him from wanting to go back in time and make it him instead of her. He knows (partially) what it was like for her, watching her husband die, to be the one left there hurting. Absolutely aching down to the core, tired (drained), and unable to sleep for more than a few hours at a time. Vicodin used to put him to sleep, his leg used to wake him, now she keeps him awake.

He wishes she would take his pain away and return to him.

He's turning into a sad cliche. Laying in bed, staring at her figure in his chair (she used to stand there looking almost nervous, but then he moved a chair in for her), his neck would cramp painfully and finally he would just stare at the ceiling... hoping for a miracle. He can't bring himself to close his eyes, eventually he passes out his body succumbing to the need for sleep. It's many nights being drunk, full of pills, where he thinks the pain will start to numb but it doesn't - so he stops, but not before wondering briefly if maybe he should just keep going - keep drinking and popping pills - so he could join her.

He knows that's not what she would want.

She'd want him to be okay, to get over it. Her and her heart (bigger than any human should be allowed to have) would want him to be happy, to be at peace. She wouldn't want to see him suffer like he does. Maybe that's why she lingers (won't leave him the fuck alone), she wants to make sure he's okay.

But he's not.

Another night of staring at her, finally she moves and he holds his breath. It's different now, she never moves once she's in that chair, but she's moving now. Slow steps across the carpet to the side of his bed. She reaches out to touch him but he flinches back, pulling himself away, as his heart hammers in his chest. She smiles sadly at him, his rumpled form looking absolutely terrified on the other side of the bed, so she joins him. She lays down and stares at the ceiling like he has for so many nights. After he calms down he settles himself on his back and falls asleep.

He wants to hold her and he doesn't know why.

It becomes a routine between the two of them, (it's absolutely absurd to him) he shares a bed with her ghost. He lays down, leaving space for her, and she joins him. He's been getting a lot more sleep than he has been for the last few months, his reflection isn't quite as terrifying anymore. There are still many nights where he lies awake and stares at her. She begins sleeping in his bed, he didn't know ghosts slept (but she did sleep in his office), and he starts to torture himself wondering what it would have been like to really have her there. One night she doesn't join him, instead coming to stand on his side of the bed, she leans over him and brushes her hand against his forehead. He closes his eyes, feeling the feather light brush of her airy fingers cool against his skin. She bends down, her face brushing against his, "I need you to fight," she whispers.

He would give anything to bring her back.

His eyes snap open, and he can feel the warmth trickling out of his body. It's painful, he feels like his soul is separating from his body. There's bright white light burning into his field of vision consuming it until he can't see. "Stay with me," he hears. It's a desperate plea aimed down at him, and pressure trying to stop the heat from escaping him. His eyes open, finally seeing, and she's there - her pretty face scrunched in concern, eyes wide with panic. "It's going to be okay. You're going to be okay."

He knows he has to fight.

-

end.