Title: One Year
Author: Cosmic

Email: bananacosmicgirl at hotmail . com
Website: www . cosmicuniverse . net
LiveJournal: bananacosmic . livejournal . com

Genre: Gen, possible pre-slash
Table: 3: Occasions
Prompt: 10. Anniversary

Part: 1/1
Rating: G
Words: 1 058
Characters: Gregory House
Pairings: None

Warnings: None
Spoilers: 4x15 "House's Head", 4x16 "Wilson's Heart"

Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations from the tv-show "House M.D.", created and owned by NBC/Universal, David Shore and others. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.

Summary: Three-hundred and sixty-five days have passed since that day, and even though it wasn't his girlfriend who died, not a day passes when he doesn't think about it.

Author's notes: Response to prompt 10 on my Occasions table.

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One Year
By Cosmic

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It has been a year.

Three-hundred and sixty-five days have passed since that day, and even though it wasn't his girlfriend who died, not a day passes when he doesn't think about it.

Some might say he thinks about it because it was the day they drilled a hole into his skull, the day he nearly died several times over, the day he failed to save someone. House knows differently; although those things probably trigger the memories sometimes, they are not what he thinks about.

He replays a certain couple of scenes in his mind, over and over.

"You wan me to risk my life to save hers?"

Wilson asked, and there was a nodded response – a hesitant nod, but an affirmation nonetheless. Wilson was all right with House dying if it saved her. The bitch. Amber.

And then House nearly did, and it still wasn't enough.

He gave Wilson everything, and it still wasn't enough.

He recalls waking up, finding Wilson standing there by the opposite wall, tears streaming down cheeks from eyes that are red and puffy from hours of crying. He remembers his heart breaking, he remembers wanting to speak, wanting to call out, wanting Wilson next to him. Cuddy held his hand, and he wanted it as little then as he does now. Wilson is all he wants, all he ever wanted.

In the year that has passed, things have changed.

There is a new name on the door to Wilson's office (Levine, what kind of stupid name is that, anyway?).

House wonders why he sticks around. Without Wilson, there's no real reason. He has enough money to stop working and become a full-time drug addict, and the hospital would probably be better off without him anyway (except for those few patients no one but him can solve, but what's fifty people a year, in a world with millions dying every day?).

Working doesn't give his life meaning. The puzzles make the day pass, but if that's the whole point – waiting for the days to pass so that he can die – then there are easier ways to get it done quicker.

He sighs to himself and thinks that if he's really honest with himself (which he rarely is), he might be sticking around because he hopes that Wilson will come back, will realize that he's made a mistake. They need each other.

But he's not honest for long, even to himself, and he decides that the reason he sticks around is so that he can call people idiots (never mind that he could do that with the pizza delivery guy at home) and check out Cuddy's ass (he could do that too at home, he thinks, because she probably wouldn't mind getting hot and heavy with him).

Darkness has fallen, and House thinks that one year ago, he was a vegetable. He doesn't remember much from it, except for one dream – one vivid dream that won't leave him alone, even now.

"Everyone dies."

He can still see her when he closes his eyes. She was a beautiful girl in her own way, although House was always more interested in the intellectual battle, than in her looks. He has Thirteen and Cameron to look at whenever he just wants pretty (and in this ugly world, he really does deserve some specks of pretty).

He wonders what it would have been like if he hadn't gotten off the Bus of Death, as he has dubbed it. Would Wilson mourn him as he has mourned Amber? And what if it had been the other way around – what if she had lived and he had died?

He pushes the thoughts away. They're useless – what ifs will never happen; that's the point of them.

He takes out his bottle of Vicodin and in a smooth motion, he pops the lid, gets a tablet, and downs it.

He does it too often.

He wonders if anyone would even react if he overdosed and was found dead by the janitor come morning. Cuddy would probably be annoyed with the extra cleaning she'd have to pay for – the carpet would need to be replaced.

His fellows have long since left, and the hospital is quiet. But House thinks that if (or perhaps when) he commits suicide, it won't be at the hospital; it will be at home, where no one will find him and resuscitate him. It would defeat the purpose of the whole thing – he won't be doing it as a cry for help, he will actually want to die.

Footsteps echo lightly outside and a janitor pushes his cart past House's office, never glancing House's way. It's as though House is invisible, and he likes the feeling.

Has Wilson found anyone new to share his days with? House knows he's being sentimental and stupid for even thinking about Wilson and days that have long since passed, but he can't seem to help it. He wonders if Wilson has found a new home, a new life – a new best friend. He hopes not, because he really wants Wilson to be as miserable as he is.

Then again, another part of him wants Wilson to be happy.

He wants to beat that part of himself to a pulp for being moronic. After everything, why should he want Wilson to be happy?

(Because he loves Wilson, but again, he's hardly ever honest with himself.)

He thinks of Amber again, and wonders if Wilson would have married her, had she lived. They were still freshly in love when she died – perhaps the flame would have gone out.

They will never know, and to Wilson, she will always be perfect.

Someone comes walking down the corridor again. House ignores it, leaned back in his chair as he is, eyes now closed. When the door opens, he is determined to ignore whoever just came in, until they leave again. It usually doesn't take them long.

He hears shuffling, and a soft sigh that is oddly familiar.

"House."

House's eyes snap open. He nearly loses his balance in the chair, but regains momentum and stares wide-eyed at his visitor. One year, and he seems to have aged ten – but those brown eyes are as beautiful and kind as House remembers them to be.

He can hardly breathe, but finally the name passes over his lips.

"Wilson."

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