Okay. So I obviously lied about the two part thing. There are three. I gave it a semi-positive ending.

Like a Prayer: Part III

"So you care about him."


"You actually care about him."


"That's why you're here, despite your own reservations with the concept of an all powerful God...you care enough about him that you're willing to set aside your doubts and make an effort."

"That's not why I'm here, Wilson."

"Then why are you here?"

"I think it's safe to say, that anyone who's stupid enough to invest in a relationship with me...is destined to suffer for it."

"What does that mean?"

"Well let's see. How did Cuddy phrase it? Oh yeah. I make everyone around me worse for being there."


"He shouldn't have to suffer for my mistakes. No one should."


"I mean, God...someone should write a book."

"A book?"

"You know, warning people."


"Who would be better qualified to extol my...what's the opposite of a virtue? You could consider it a public service."


"You could call it 101 Ways Greg House is Guaranteed to Fuck up Your Life."

"I don't think that's the kind of thing..."

"What I don't understand is...why not me?"

"What do you mean?"

"I mean...like the accident for instance."

"What accident?"


"What about it?"

"I survived and Amber didn't. And that doesn't make any sense."

"Not everything that happens in life is going to make sense, House. You should know that as well as anyone."

"She was young, attractive, successful. She had everything going for her. She had...you."


"I was the one who deserved to suffer the consequences. Not her."

"So...you should have been the one to die because what...you were older, because you weren't currently in a romantic relationship?"

"That's not what I'm saying."

"Then what the hell are you saying?"

"If someone has to die, logically speaking, it should be the person who will leave the fewest people grieving in their wake."


"Or in my case, no people."

"Why would you think that nobody would..."

"And look at Kutner...his death made no sense at all."


"I saw him every day and I never once picked up on the fact that he was suicidal."

"Do you think you could have prevented his death if you had?"

"I've scoured my memory banks, trying to figure out what I might have said or done that would drive him to kill himself for relief."

"It had nothing to do with you, House."

"But you don't know that."

"He was obviously in some kind of pain."

"And I'm sure that anything I might have done would have made it worse, not better."

"He enjoyed working for you."

"Apparently not enough to want to go on living."

"Where the hell is this even coming from? House...it's not your fault that he killed himself."

"But you have no way of knowing that for sure."

"And you do?"

"He never should have gotten caught up in this nonsense."

"Who, Kutner?"


"You mean Alvie."

"I should never have allowed him to become involved."

"Then why did you?"

"Why do you think?"

"I wouldn't be asking if I knew."

"I was lonely."


"I was used to seeing you every day. I mean, you were the last person I saw before I went to sleep at night and the first person I saw when I woke up in the morning. I was just starting to like my life, maybe even for the first time ever."


"Then all of a sudden, you were gone and I was alone again."


"And I realized how unlikely that was to change. I was lonely and desperate, and in a very dark place. I came very close to falling off the wagon. I was sure I'd hit rock bottom, that I could stoop no lower, that I was way past the point of no return. I was sure that wherever I was headed, there would be no turning back."


"But then Alvie showed up at just the right moment, and I suddenly remembered."

"Remembered what?"

"What it felt like to have someone actually want me around."

"You don't think I want you around?"


"Why would you think that?"

"I have no idea what you really want, Wilson. But I seriously doubt that it includes me."

"Well...you're wrong."


"I mean, I know it doesn't seem like it. I know that lately I haven't exactly been available...but that's not because I don't want to spend time with you."

"You either make time for something or you don't. If something is important to you, then you make the time."

"It's not that simple."

"Yes, it is."

"But I honestly had no idea that you felt this way, House. Why didn't you tell me?"

"You were busy."

"I would have made the time, House. I would have made time, if you'd asked."

"I did ask. Several times, in fact. Every time I called, you sounded like you were counting the seconds until you could hang up."

"You still could have told me how you felt."

"What good would that have done? What would that have changed? In what way would that have benefited me?"


"I mean, when have I ever confided in you about anything that didn't result in you drawing presumptuous conclusions?"


"When have I ever shared anything remotely personal with you that you didn't assume was the product of an ulterior motive?"


"What have I ever told you about anything that you didn't feel compelled to maim and dissect, until it had been broken down to a submolecular level?"

"It's wrong for me to want to help you?"



"My mom used to say you should make sure your own house is in order, before you try rearranging the furniture in someone else's."

"Your point being?"

"I don't need you to rearrange my furniture. I like it where it is."


"You have enough problems of your own to deal with. There's no reason for you to waste energy obsessing about mine."

"Then what the hell do you need me for?"

"I just...can't you listen?"


"I mean, when have you ever just listened?"


"I didn't bother telling you how I felt, because it was too great a risk. I didn't want to put myself into a position to be dependent on you for anything, because I already knew that you probably weren't going to be there."


"You know why I stopped meddling in your relationship?"

"I guess I don't."

"I figured that as long as I wasn't the cause of any friction between the two of you, if you did break up, I'd know for sure that it wasn't my fault. Then you wouldn't be able to hold it against me."

"It wouldn't be your fault if we broke up, House."


"It would be my fault, or maybe hers. But not yours."


"And I should have known."

"Known what?"

"That you'd have trouble adjusting to being alone again, after we'd lived together for all those months. I should have found some way to make it easier for you."

"You mean besides bribing people who would probably rather die than spend their free time with me, into doing just that? You must have realized that you'd eventually go broke."


"God...I can only imagine how that conversation went."

"It wasn't like that, House."

"Foreman and Chase at least spent their money on drinks. All that Taub got out of it were some tacky napkin rings."

"I shouldn't have told you that."

"Shouldn't have told me what?"

"That I'd asked them to spend time with you, that I'd...paid them to."

"Why not?"

"Because it's not true."


"I mean, I did bring it to their attention...that you might be lonely, that you might need some company. But whatever it is that you did together was their idea, and their participation was voluntarily."

"Wait...so you're saying there was no money involved."

"I offered Foreman twenty bucks to cover his gasoline, and he turned it down."

"Why the hell would you lie about something like that? What purpose could it possibly serve?"

"You always see the worst in people. You always assume the worst about people."


"So I thought it would be easier if you just went into the arrangement, thinking that they'd been compensated somehow. That way...you could enjoy yourself, instead of wasting time and energy trying to figure out their agenda."

"Let me get this straight. You actually thought that I'd be more likely to enjoy myself with people who I knew in advance were being paid to tolerate my presence?"


"Did you eat a bowl of stupid for breakfast?"


"I mean, I always suspected. But I didn't expect to get any sort of confirmation, at least not to this extent."

"Confirmation of what?"

"You don't know me, Wilson."

"What do you mean?"

"I mean, you probably think you do. But you don't."


"This person, this image you've conjured up in your mind, of exactly who and what it is that you think I am...he doesn't even exist. I don't know who he is. But he sure as hell isn't me."

"Maybe you're right."


"Maybe...I don't know you as well as I thought I did."


"And I was one who insisted on putting distance between us. I don't know when it started exactly, probably around the time that Amber died. But I take full responsibility for the fact that you and...I drifted apart."

"Drifted apart?"


"It seems your memories are rather biased. I didn't drift away from you, Wilson. I didn't drift at all. I was dragged, kicking and screaming."



"I wish you could understand."

"Understand what?"

"I thought…I really thought I had to choose. I honestly didn't think it would work, trying to have you both."

"So if you could have had us both, you would. But if you had to choose one of us, you'd choose her."


"Is that supposed to make me feel better? Why the hell are you even telling me this?"

"I just want you to understand..."

"You didn't have to choose. I never once told you that I expected you to choose."


"I know for a fact that she didn't either, because as much as she can't stand me, unlike the second and third Mrs. Wilsons, she at least made a minimal effort to tolerate me. But you...you made a choice anyway."

"I thought she might have been trying to trick me."

"Trick you how?"

"I thought it was some kind of game. I thought maybe she was only claiming to be indifferent, to see if I'd figure out that she was lying. I thought it was some sort of test. It honestly didn't occur to me that when she said she didn't expect me to choose her over you, she was completely serious."

"So you're planning on marrying someone who will probably lie to you at some point, who has probably already lied to you at some point, and who you already know is capable of emotionally manipulating you with ease. Great plan."


"You tossed me out, Wilson."

"I know."

"It was the first place I'd ever lived, that actually felt like home."


"I mean, I didn't have anybody else to lean on. Just where the hell did you think I was going to go?"

"You acted like you were fine with it."

"How would you even know? You were never around me, once the decision had been made."

"From what I could see, you seemed fine."

"Okay...I'm just going to assume that you're legally blind."

"You could have said something. Why didn't you tell me you were having a hard time?"

"I wanted to see if you'd figure it out on your own. I wanted to see if you even could figure it out on your own."

"So you were the one playing games, not Sam. Wow, what a surprise."

"Yeah, Wilson. I was playing games...and here comes the irony. The main reason that I didn't tell you how I felt was because...wait for it...I didn't want you to think that I was attempting to manipulate you."


"If you neglected Sam in some way, in favor of giving your attention to me, I wanted it to be your choice. More importantly, I wanted her to know that it was your choice."


"I guess that's what I get for trying to do the right thing. Things go wrong...even when I do everything right. And people wonder why I don't bother."


"You made a choice, Wilson. It's already done...and now you have to live with it. You can't undo it. You can't just say you were kidding and expect things to go back to normal. Because in case you haven't noticed, normal was pretty screwed up."


"I'm through coming in second."

"You mean with me?"

"I mean with everyone. I mean in life."


"And I'm done talking to you about this."

"It was never about who I liked better, House."

"You know what? I don't give a flying fuck."

"Yes, you do."


"I only chose her, because I thought that of the two of you, she would react more adversely to being rejected."

"Still don't care."

"I thought that you'd be able to handle it, because you already knew how important you were to me, and therefore you didn't need any further proof."

"What a crock of shit."


"This wasn't about me. This was about you doing what you always do, which is whatever you thought would be easiest...for you."

"Ever since I made that decision, I've found myself questioning it or trying to figure out why the hell I even made it in the first place."


"I made a choice, and it was a poor one. But I can't go back and fix it. I can't undo the way it made you feel."


"So I guess what I'm asking is for you to give me another chance."

"Another chance to what...lull me back into a false sense of security and then purge me from your life, the second I get comfortable?"


"Thanks, I think I'm going to have to pass on that."


"What I want, I can't have."

"What is it that you want?"

"It doesn't matter."

"If that were true, you wouldn't have brought it up."


"House...I'm seriously asking."

"And I'm seriously saying that it doesn't matter."

"So you don't see the point in communicating your needs, because you know that whatever they are, they're probably not going to fulfilled anyway."

"Yes...all except for the probably part."

"Why can't you just tell me what it is?"

"Because there are actually some things about me that I'd prefer you didn't know."


"I know it probably doesn't seem like it. But over the past two years or so, I've learned the value of keeping my mouth shut."



"Your phone is vibrating."


"Are you going to answer it?"

"It's a text message."

"Which they're probably only sending because they have something urgent to tell you and you won't answer your damn phone."

"Why do you even care?"

"Are you going to read it?"

"Probably someday."

"Someday soon?"


"Maybe you can just wait until they send you a singing telegram."


"Can I read it?"

"Why the hell would you want to?"

"How long to you intend to keep running from this?"

"I'm assuming you mean that figuratively."

"Okay...how long do you think you can keep limping from this?"

"Until I collapse and die."


"Oh for God's sake, here."


"If you want to read it so badly? Knock yourself out."


"But I don't want to know what it says. So just keep it to yourself."

"Then what would be the point of me reading it?"


"You know that if you hand this over to me, I will probably end up telling you what it says, whether you like it or not."


"So...I think that's what you want. I think you want to know the truth, without having to actually ask for it."


"Because asking implies interest. This way you can pretend that it's out of your control, that the information is being forced on you. You can pretend that you don't care, thus making it easier to give everyone else the false impression that you're completely indifferent."



"I said I didn't want to know. And that's exactly what I meant. There's no deeper agenda or hidden meaning. I just don't want to know."


"Why what?"

"Well usually you want to know everything. So why don't you want to know this?"


"I'm going to tell you what this says."

"No, you're not."

"You need to deal with this."

"No, I don't."

"You're eventually going to have to confront this, House. You can't just sit in here for the rest of your life."

"Actually I can. I'm claiming sanctuary."


"Worked for Quasimodo."

"That's terrific, all except for the part about us not being in nineteenth century France."


"I'm going to read this now."

"No, you're not."

"Yes, I am."

"I'd really appreciate it if you didn't."

"I'm sure you would. But I wouldn't be doing you any favors if I enabled your desire to remain willfully ignorant."


"They apparently coded him for thirty minutes."

"I don't want to hear it."

"He went into DIC, and it took them too long to find the source of the bleeding."

"I said I don't want to hear it."

"They gave him five units. But they just couldn't replace his blood volume fast enough."

"You can stop talking now."

"The time of death was…"

"Just shut up, Wilson. Just shut the fuck up."

"Time of death was...five thirteen."


"I am so sorry."


"Please say something."



"Who the hell gives a terminal prognosis via text message?"

"Given the circumstances, they probably assumed that Alvie was your patient. And you're not exactly known for developing personal relationships with your patients."


"I'm not saying you can't. I just saying that you usually don't."


"Do you want me to leave?"

"Suddenly you care about what I want?

"Do you want to be alone right now?"

"I don't know."

"Do you want me to stay?"


"Maybe we can just sit here. We don't have to talk."

"This is just ridiculous."

"What is?"



"I manage to make one friend and now he's dead. And he's not just dead. He's dead because of me."

"But you're not responsible for his actions. You didn't ask Alvie to steal the book back, and you had no way of knowing that he'd be willing to break the law in order to get it."

"I knew at the time...I knew exactly what he was capable of."


"I mean, I met him in a mental hospital for God's sake. That alone suggests that maybe he wasn't firing on all cylinders."

"You have other friends, House."

"No, I don't."

"You're in pain."

"When has that ever really mattered to you?"

"You don't think I care if you're in pain?"

"Are you going to kiss my boo-boo and make it all better? Maybe afterwards we can go get some ice cream."

"You're angry."

"Gee, does it show? Because I was trying so hard to hide it."

"Anger is a perfectly normal response to grief."

"The source of my anger isn't grief. The source of my anger is anger."

"If you want to talk about this, we can. I'm not busy."

"Sure...at the moment."


"Moments pass, Wilson. But the pain doesn't."


"Meaning that I'll probably end up needing way more from you than you're willing or able to give."

"You shouldn't do this alone."

"I do everything else alone. Suddenly that bothers you?"

"I just mean...you're going to need someone to help you get through this."

"And it sure as hell isn't going to be you."

"Yeah well...that's why I'm sitting here now, because I don't give a crap."

"You're sitting here because your girlfriend is busy."


"Your interest in my life will only last until she becomes available again, at which point I will be promptly forgotten until the next time you have nothing better to do than talk to me."

"If that's what you want to believe."

"I believe it because it's true."


"You gave me one week's notice to vacate the loft, prior to which I had been under the impression was going to be my semi-permanent residence. You then proceeded to ignore me for several months. You even sent several of my cancer referrals to other oncologists. We have one thirty-minute conversation that's probably based more on nosiness than genuine concern, and you're expecting some kind of recognition?"


"Get over yourself, Wilson."

"You think my interest in your life is merely a product of nosiness. What the hell are you basing that on?"

"Your impeccable timing...and the last seventeen years."

"So you have no qualms about attributing motives to my behavior. Yet you're no less presumptuous than you're accusing me of being."


"If you were so dissatisfied with the last seventeen years, you must have hid it really well. Because I don't recall you ever having issued any complaints about our relationship, except for maybe those made in jest."

"I told you. I learned to keep my mouth shut."

"But why? I can understand wanting to do that with some people, patients and strangers. But why would you feel the need to do it with me?"

"I couldn't afford to lose you."

"So you basically refrained from communicating your thoughts, needs and feelings, because it was distinctly possible that the alternative would be ending up alone."

"I don't have anything else, Wilson."

"What do you mean?"

"I have this job. I wish I could say that it gives my life meaning. But I can't, because it doesn't. Alvie's dead and this relationship, or whatever the hell you want to call it, is basically all I've got left."


"I think it's remotely possible that if we examine our relationship more closely, we will probably discover that what little remains of it is hardly worth salvaging."


"I can't think of any way in which our relationship has improved the quality of my life. At least not in the past few years."

"I could say the same of you."

"So we're both assholes."


"You told me once, that you don't get to choose who your friends are."


"And you really believe that?"

"Obviously, or I wouldn't have said it."

"Then there's something I think you should know."


"There isn't a single second of time that I've spent with you, that wasn't by choice."


"I need to know how you feel."

"About what?"

"We need to make a decision, once and for all. Should we even bother trying to make this friendship work? Or should we just scrap it and move on?"

"I don't know."

"That's not an acceptable answer."


"Okay...let's simplify this into a yes or no question. Do you want to be my friend or not?"

"It's not a matter of want."


"Even when I left...it wasn't because I didn't want to be your friend. It was because I wasn't sure how."

"It's not exactly rocket science."

"With you...I never know what to expect. The normal rules don't apply. Being your friend is like trying to cook in someone else's kitchen. Everything you need is there. You just have to keep opening cupboards until you find it."


"I want to be your friend, House. But have some things I need to figure out and I want some personal space to do it in."

"Personal space that just happens to have room for your girlfriend."


"So how long do you think your little soul searching adventure of yours is going to take?"

"I honestly don't know."

"But in the meantime, I'm supposed to just sit around and wait until you feel like paying attention to me again?"


"It's like you want to be able to say that we're friends, without having to actually be a friend."

"What do you want from me, House?"

"You keep telling me that you care, that you're my friend, that you want to support me. But if that were true, you'd set aside time to spend with me."

"Is that all you want...just to spend time with me? Is that what it would take to fix this?"


"If it's that important to you, I'm sure we can figure something out."

"Yeah that worked out really well last time."

"It doesn't have to be like last time."


"I mean, how much time are we talking here?"

"I don't know. I'm not going to be greedy about it. One night a week would be nice."

"How about one night a week and every other Saturday?"

"You sure you don't want to ask your old lady first?"

"I don't need her permission to socialize with someone."


"Besides that, I'm not asking. I'm telling. This...isn't going to be negotiable."


"That's what you wanted, right?"

"What do you mean?"

"You wanted me to assert myself, to take responsibility for my own decisions, be willing to take a stand...for you."

"Yeah but I didn't think you were actually going to do it."

"From now on, whenever I spend time with you, I will make sure Sam knows in advance that it was my choice."

"And what happens when she breaks up with you?"

"If she ends our relationship over something that trivial, then it was destined to fail eventually."

"And you'd be okay with that?"

"Of course not. But I also know that it's entirely out of my control."




"Let's get out of here and get you cleaned up, maybe get something to eat."

"I think I'm going to stay."

"For how long?"

"I don't know...a while."




"I don't want to be alone right now."

"You're not alone, House."

"Are you sure there isn't someplace else you're supposed to be?"

"There probably is."

"Then why aren't you leaving?"

"Because if something is important to you, you make the time."

Madonna. "Like A Prayer." Studio Album. Warner Bros. 1989.

Dear readers:

I appreciate you sitting through this lengthy story.

I am adding this note because of the recent number of messages I have gotten, asking me if I plan to update or continue this story.

I am completely finished writing anything for the HOUSE MD fandom. I will not be updating any House stories or writing any sequels.

I do -however- have many other stories written for this fandom, that are stored on a locked Live Journal account, user name californiaquail. If you wish to access them, you will have to make a Live Journal account -which is free- and add me as a friend.

I will most likely eventually be removing my work from this site completely. All House stories will remain on the Live Journal account and new stories will be posted to AO3.

Thank you for reading.