Title: Down
Warnings: Spoiler for 5.20, A Simple Explanation
Disclaimer: I don't own these characters, and am neither making nor seeking profit from my writing habit.




They're not going to understand this, because they all think you're happy, and the weird part is they're right.

You've always been happy, ever since your first memory, out in the back yard watching a pale grasshopper eating leaf after leaf from the weeds.

There was, of course, that one exception, the Big Loss, but you don't think there's much connection between that and this. You lived with it and life was full of things you liked; it still is.

Your birthday cakes and your chemistry set; secretly yanking the bouncing blonde pigtail of Shana who sat just ahead of you in sixth-grade English class; years later, the first time that promise of perfume and hair turned into something that felt real.

You still have those moments of wonder, just like always. They're bright coins falling in the wishing well, shiny and flashing and then gone, down into a depth whose bottom you've never found. You always thought you would, or that you'd find some way to stop up the well so that you could gather the riches life threw at you and keep them -- but it never worked that way, and now, after two years with House, you know that it never will.

You've seen and done more amazing things here than you ever did before or likely ever will again, once you leave him. And you've loved every minute of it and still haven't cared, not the way he does. If you could do it -- if you could be greedy instead of generous, and learn from House how to hoard your treasures -- you might be all right. But you've never cared enough to hang on like that.

Each day when you walk out those doors, all the pennies and quarters and bold silver dollars have already sunk into the silent, irretrievable dark.

For months now you've been thinking you might find them all again, if you could just dive in after.

The gun in your hand, you look down the barrel. Round and dark and endless: in your mind you see a shower of coins falling in, and the water splashing up to meet you.