A/N: A continuation of Chapter 63. Same warnings apply! I can't believe it took me so long to update this. With school and interning, I had very little time or energy for anything else. But now that I've graduated, hopefully I can get back on track with this and other projects!
Wilson had moved into a small one-bedroom apartment a month and a half after House's death. He had kept all of House's stuff, aside from what his mother had asked for, in a storage unit for the time being. Although the guitar, that very thing that used to annoy him to no end when it was played in the middle of the night, seemed to stay with him wherever he went.
Chase had taken over as Head of Diagnostic Medicine (apparently surgery lost its appeal, or maybe it was his way of keeping House close) and he, Foreman, and Wilson would still occasionally hang out. It was nothing more than a small comfort for Wilson, but he supposed it was the best way to keep people from accusing him of drawing into himself too much. Besides, they weren't terrible company and, while listening to them, he sometimes heard snarky comments in House's voice floating around in his head - he had to hold onto whatever part of House he could, even if it meant he was going a bit crazy.
At first, Wilson had gone to visit his grave nearly every day. It was mostly to yell at House, to scream at him for being a selfish bastard and leaving him all alone in a world that looked much more mediocre without him to liven it up. It always took him becoming hoarse to realize he'd started crying; he would sit with his shoulder against the side of the gravestone and just let it out, often spending entire afternoons or evenings at the cemetery. Cuddy had found him once when it was raining and she sat down beside him, holding an umbrella over them and not saying a word unless Wilson spoke to her. As time passed, however, he didn't visit the grave as often; it was almost like House was compelling him to stay away, telling him there were much better uses of his time. When he did visit after that, it wasn't to yell and let out his anguish, but to show his old friend how he was coming along with the guitar.
Time passed both too slowly and too quickly. Some days it felt like he would never finish his work and other days it was as though he was leaving the office almost as soon as he arrived. Everything was surreal, like he was watching somebody else's increasingly boring life. Reality became a distant memory and soon he stopped caring about what was and wasn't real. He could fake it well enough that it only seemed like he was just an odd - if still empathetic - oncologist with his patients. His colleagues, thankfully, ignoring his growing eccentricities, citing it all as his "reaction to what happened to House" (and maybe it was, but it was as though they were blaming House for Wilson's actions; in that case, Wilson thought it only fair that they blame him for what House had done).
Less than a year after House's passing, precisely on his birthday, Wilson arrived in his office to find the largest bouquet of assorted roses he had ever seen placed directly in the center of his desk. Curious, he quickly shed his coat and set aside his briefcase before going to inspect the flowers. There was a small card stuck in the colorful jungle, which he carefully wrestled away from the display. As soon as he opened it, tears filled his eyes as he couldn't help but laugh.
Hope this crap is romantic enough for you. You owe me big when we get home, if-you-know-what-I-mean.
p.s. I pre-paid for these with your credit card about a year ago and you never noticed. I'm appalled.'
"Wilson... Wilson! ... Wilson!"
He jerked awake with a start, sitting up straight to find himself in a bed that seemed so distantly familiar. He looked around wildly as someone reached to turn on the bedside lamp, freezing when the room became illuminated.
"House," he said breathlessly, "where...?"
"Oh c'mon. I know I told you I was working late on a case tonight." House did his best to look annoyed, but he seemed far too worried for it to pass as real. "You scared me. I walk in at two a.m. to hear you screaming and crying like you were being murdered. And there you were, asleep."
Wilson swallowed thickly, reaching a hand up to wipe at the tear tracks staining his face. "I-It was a dream?"
"A hell of one, too, from the sound of things. You should probably-" Before he could finish his line of thought, Wilson nearly knocked the air out of him as he yanked House close, pressing a hard kiss on his lips.
"I... House, you were dead," Wilson muttered when he finally pulled away, his lungs screaming for air.
"Well, I'm not," he groused, though his expression seemed much softer now. Standing, he quickly shed his shoes and jeans before motioning for Wilson to scoot over. The younger man moved just far enough to allow House to lay down before he pressed against him again, resting his head beneath House's chin. "... Wanna stay home tomorrow?"
"Yeah. Yeah, I do."
They lay in silence for several minutes before House put an arm around him and gave him a tight squeeze. "Maybe next time you'll listen to me when I tell you to stop eating Thai food right before bed?"
At that, Wilson broke out into a fit of laughter, feeling the tension and pain slowly ease from his mind.