One Last Drink

Drinking down his bourbon, House nodded towards his empty glass.

"Okay. One last drink. I'm not paying for the cleaning after you throw up in the cab," Wilson said, before adding, "like last time."

"Fine. Mom."

Wilson ordered House another bourbon, getting an appletini for himself. Barely ten minutes later, both had polished off their drinks. Wilson stood; putting his jacket on, sighing at the puppy dog eyes House was flashing him.

"No House, I said one last drink. Come on."

Having consumed a fair few more units than Wilson, House was considerably less steady on his feet – but that was no different when he was sober. Wilson took hold of his arm to steady him, but House – as usual – swatted his hand away. Cane wobbling beneath him, House staggered toward the exit, Wilson in tow.

Outside the bar, Wilson hailed a cab. He tucked a few dollars into House's jacket pocket – God forbid he'd have to pay for his own cab – before opening the car door and guiding House into the back seat. He shut the door on his friend, keeping an eye out of a taxi of his own – living on the other side of town from one another, it didn't make sense to share a cab home anymore.

"He smells like alcohol," House said loudly, signalling at the taxi driver and slurring through the closed window.

"House, that's you," Wilson shouted, smirking.

The cab driver scoffed at this.

Wilson bent his head down to the driver and relayed House's address. The guy looked wrecked.

Must suck doing late nights, Wilson thought watching the guy take a swig from his bottle of water.

After nodding at Wilson, the driver pulled off of the curb and onto the road. He ran the first set of red lights.

It's fine, the road was clear, Wilson decided, House would've done the same. Hell, I probably would've and I drive like a girl. Apparently.

He waited until the cab was out of sight before clumsily throwing his hand out again and flagging down one for himself.

*

Back at Wilson's place, the TV was on and Wilson stood in the kitchen gulping down an ibuprofen with a glass of water – hangover prevention. He drew a hand over his face and yawned. Defeated, he decided it was time to hit the hay. Just as his thumb hovered over the standby button on the remote, he heard the phrase, 'local news bulletin.'

"We're here at the incident on 23rd St. The exact details are not yet known, but it's thought that the driver of a Princeton Bay taxi ran the red lights that you can see behind me and collided with two oncoming vehicles."

Wilson's heart dropped to his feet.

"It is thought that the driver was under the influence of alcohol. We're unsure of the number of casualties although we do know that the driver and passenger of the cab in question were taken by ambulance to Princeton Plainsboro Hospital, though we are unaware of their condition."

Before he even had time to react, Wilson's cell phone rang. He fumbled messily through his jacket pocket and pulled out the phone. Flipping it open, he'd barely uttered the first syllable of a word before Cuddy's voice blurted down the phone, "Wilson, we need you to come in." Her voice was thick, breaths whistling down the receiver.

"It's House, isn't it?" Wilson's voice quaked with rising panic.

She ignored his question.

"Please Wilson, just come in." As her voice hitched, he heard her sniff and felt his own eyes turn heavy with grief. He knew. As soon as she let that little burst of emotion through the phone, he knew.

One last drink, he'd said. The reality of those words was just beginning to dawn on him.

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Thank you to menolly_au on LJ for the wonderful prompt.