Author's Note: Post-"Birthmarks" piece. House/Wilson, because we love it so. First part is Wilson's POV; second is House's. Enjoy!
How many years has it been since the sound of breaking glass served as an introduction to this period of my life? No other name for it but the House period, like an artist's blue period—and it is blue, too; the shade of his eyes and my favorite shirt, never ironed in the collar or at the hem like it should be, like his mother did when he was a child, like I would if he let me touch his clothes.
And now I watch a bottle of expensive alcohol sail through the beautiful glass window with horror and thinly veiled delight, because I know now, now, something will happen. This sound is the herald of change. Glass into glass, a thousand exquisite shatters, and the catalyst is found: my life will begin again, completely new.
I never blamed him for her death.
I wanted his apology; I craved it, because I wanted to see him humbled, debased; I wanted to see him cry for something, someone other than himself; I wanted to watch him hate himself for a reason, this time, instead of the hopeless, helpless self-loathing he cannot seem to crawl out from beneath. I could taste the sweetness of his regret on my tongue, heavy and thick like raw honey, and I yearned for it like I had yearned for nothing before.
When it came, it was thin and sour and full of self-pity and unacknowledged terror, and I could only be angrier with him for not granting me my fantasy.
New fantasy, supplied: House tumbling backward into the sparkling window fragments, his eyes wide with surprise and pain, the weight of my body above his (not careful, not avoiding, not pretending) crushing him down into glass that we both forget when our lips collide. Pain is so prevalent that neither of us could believe it a deterrent to ecstasy. Perhaps, rather, an inspiration.
Memories of being rescued once collide with memories of rescuing constantly and solidify into agonized bitterness. When I look up at him, I meet his eyes, and emotion surges. His eyes: always beautiful, now framed with delicate slashes into skin, curling up on one another in patterns of pain, not joy. I will always remember these eyes. On my deathbed, when I breathe out my regrets, they will be chiefly one: not enough time spent looking into these eyes.
He shuts me out so thoroughly that sometimes I forget there is another way to be.
When I bailed on this relationship (ohmygodyou'resleepingwithme), I believed I was finally doing the right thing. Self-destruction is one thing; destruction of others should be a mortal sin. I aided and abetted, and the only person who ever encouraged me to think of myself for once—when all I could do to get through my day was think of him, believing I was saving the populace at large—paid the price for my complicity.
I buried Amber. I never buried my love.
He stands, always larger than life, a few feet away from my trembling body.
I should apologize to his mother. For not saving him from the world; for not saving the world from him.
For not doing what he asked of me when he awoke to Stacy's betrayal:
Kill me, Wilson. For the love of god.
I couldn't do it. Deep down, I am more of a selfish bastard than he could ever dream of being. Wives and girlfriends and dying patients—in the middle of every fuck I have ever had, I have wanted House. I saved him, broken into a thousand shining pieces, because I needed him. Because I needed to not be without him.
Because finally, oh so spectacularly, he would need me.
Now I apologize to myself, to Amber, to everyone, with a mouthful of blood and a heart full of glass.
It's always the dramatic moments with him. Always the let's break this and see what will happen. Mirrors, windows, hearts. I didn't want to push things until they broke. He's the one who stood back and relished the shattering.
He wanted to hurt me and leave me alone, off-balance and faltering. He saw himself as the hand of karmic justice, righting the wrong inflicted on the universe when he became my friend and, eventually, my enabler.
What James Wilson doesn't understand is that he is the only thing keeping me from going to hell and taking as many of these mindless bastards with me as I can.
At least on Tuesdays.
I like to watch him come apart at the seams, all flushed with anger. Pissed-off Wilson is better than sodden, weepy Wilson, or bitter, closed-off Wilson, or resigned, sighing-until-his-lungs-collapse Wilson. I can deal with anger; its familiarity comforts me. It's the softer, sadder side of Wilson I can't stomach. When he gets mad, he can punch me or kick my cane out from under me, and all will be right with the world. When he cries, all I have to offer is a tissue and a sneer. I would have made a lousy dad.
Speaking of—I want to get the hell out of here and prove myself right. Again. Like usual.
When we get home, I don't know what's going to happen. The ghost of Amber still rises, pale and sweet, between us—like a memory of roses. I know he loved her; he knows I didn't kill her. What we know and what we're saying are very different things. If he knew I loved her too, in my own way, it might be worse. Or better. But probably worse.
There might not be enough breaking in the world tonight to make the endless music stop.