A/N: This one shot is a little bit of an experiment for me. I've never written anything like it and wanted to try it out to see if I could make it work. This is for the most part Wilson's POV, I wanted to try to write a bit more from his side…again to see if I could make it work. There may be a couple of parts that some people may not like regarding events that occurred around the time of Amber's death. It was necessary to include them for the self reflection part of this. If I'd done it from House's POV, I would've included things that may have hurt Wilson over the years. I love both boys very much but this is all for the story (I'm making it sound worse than it is, there's no bashing). Thanks for reading!!
Fic warnings: Character death (but with a twist), spoilers season 5 and 6
Fic rating: T
Fic pairing: strong FS H/W
Words: 2800 one shot
He felt like he was floating; time standing still all around him. He could see House smiling at him; the smile reserved for only him. The darkness began to close in on the image of his best friend; he was having trouble making out House's form. Wilson called for him, but House just smiled back as he faded into the darkness.
He was having trouble catching his breath; the world turning to liquid form as panic set in. He tried desperately to go after House but his heavy limbs wouldn't obey. "House…wait…wait for me!" It was no use, he could feel himself slipping away from House or was House slipping away from him? He hears a voice…
"James…" His body is moving; someone is shaking him.
He opened his eyes to see the familiar surroundings of his office but something wasn't right, he felt like he should be somewhere else; somewhere with House. He looked up from his chair to see Cuddy standing over him. She'd been crying…God, now what personal drama is she going to drag me into?
"Cuddy, what's wrong…is Rachel ok?" She turned her back to him and gazed out the balcony door. The sky was grey and dreary, with an ominous feel to the day. The rain trickled down the doors the same way it had the day Amber died. He noted that it was a typical November day in New Jersey. Wilson stood from his chair and rounded his desk to place a gentle hand on Cuddy's shoulder. "What is it? Why are you crying?" She turned to make eye contact but couldn't quite hold it; Wilson knew at this point that something was terribly wrong and a wave of dread passed over him.
"It's House…" Wilson stepped back as if distancing himself from her would make whatever she came to say have less meaning.
"What about House?"
"I received a call from Nolan, House didn't…show up for his morning appointment so they sent someone to check on him…" She couldn't keep the tears from her eyes as she continued.
"James, he's…dead. The orderly found him in his room….he…."
Wilson was shaking his head in disbelief. "No…No. That can't be. What do mean an orderly found him? I just saw him this morning. We got in a fight at the apartment." Wilson took a moment to remember what they fought about. House had heard him talking to Amber in his room and told Wilson he was hearing voices and wanted to go back to Mayfield. Wilson had been so angry at what he assumed was House mocking him and proceeded to tell House that talking to Amber, even though dead made him feel better than talking to House.
Cuddy looked at Wilson with confusion. "What are you talking about? You couldn't have seen him this morning, House has been in Mayfield since May. You dropped him off, remember?"
Wilson backed up even further until he was flush against his desk. The room began to spin around him as his memories didn't jive with reality. No, House was there…at the apartment. I saw him. He lives with me, he moved in after leaving Mayfield…months ago. No, this is some sort of sick joke. "No! What the hell are you trying to pull here? Is this just some sick joke you're trying to play to see if House has really changed? This is low; House would never stoop this low."
Cuddy quickly moved to be by Wilson's side. "Wilson, I know this is a shock, but you're not making any sense. House has been in Mayfield…he never got out…."
"Stop…just stop! I don't know what this is but I want you to leave my office now." Cuddy, nodded her head and spoke softly as she was leaving. "Nolan is waiting for your call. He would like for you to come claim the…make arrangements for him."
As soon as Cuddy made her exit, Wilson hastily made his way to the diagnostics office. Someone there should be able to make sense of all of this for him. He was shocked and bewildered to find the room dark with sheets covering all of the furnishings. The office was in the same state of limbo now as it had been when House was institutionalized. "No…no. This isn't right."
Wilson found himself back at his desk, confusion abound as he stared at his daily planner. Something caught his eye…September 15, 2009. That's not right…it's November, isn't it? Wilson decided that the best thing at this point was to just call Nolan and have him verify that this was all just an elaborate joke to scare the shit out of James Wilson. Surely Nolan wouldn't play along with such a twisted notion.
"Doctor Nolan speaking." For some reason, Wilson was terribly afraid to speak. Even though he knew that House was in fact alive, something about the situation seemed all too real right now.
"Um…yes, this is Doctor…I-I mean this is James Wilson." Nolan hesitated on the other end of the line.
"Yes James, thank you for calling so quickly. As I'm sure Doctor Cuddy has told you, Greg passed away this morning and would like for you…." No…no, he's not dead; what the hell is going on?
"Doctor Nolan, I'm not sure what everyone is trying to accomplish here but I've had enough. I'm leaving now to come there to get to the bottom of this. I'll be there in an hour. Will you be there?"
Nolan was taken aback by Wilson's brash and uncaring behavior. Wasn't this supposed to be House's best friend? "Yes, of course I'll be here. I'll wait for you by the entrance and we can discuss what arrangements need to be made.
"Goodbye Doctor Nolan." With that Wilson hung up and made his way to Mayfield to give whomever a very large piece of his mind. Where the hell are you House? If you're the one pranking me, I'll kill you myself.
As promised, Nolan was waiting at reception when Wilson arrived.
"James, thank you for making the trip; please come to my office so we can discuss the details." Wilson shook off Nolan's extended hand and stood with jutted chin, hands on his hips, and with more determination that he felt at that very moment.
"I want to know what's going on now! House was fine this morning, I know he was. There's no way he came here and then…. died."
Nolan appeared confused by Wilson's choice of words but people handle grief differently so said nothing about it. "James, I know this is difficult to deal with, any loss is difficult but more so when it's a friend. Please come to my office and we'll discuss it."
Wilson didn't want to give in so easily but he figured if he was going to get to the bottom of this elaborate hoax, he would need to let the man speak. "Fine, lead the way."
"Please have a seat." Wilson took a seat directly across from Nolan and eyed him skeptically. He was shocked to think a man that House held in such high regard was capable of this.
"So, what happened, what's going on?"
"Greg didn't show up for his morning appointment so I sent an orderly to check on him. Somehow, he'd gotten a hold of a belt and….hung himself after his roommate left for breakfast."
"You expect me to believe the House killed himself. Do you know this man at all? He's reckless yes, but suicidal…no."
Now it was Nolan's turn to eye Wilson skeptically. "Do you have any idea of the issues that brought him here?" Wilson decided to play along just a bit longer. "Yes, he abuses Vicodin and it caused hallucinations."
"You think that was his only problem?"
"House has many problems…but yes, that's his biggest one. He's an addict, plain and simple; he needs to get his addictions under control before he hurts himself, or someone else…..again."
Doctor Nolan crossed his arms and gave a deep sigh. "I see."
Wilson's impatience was wearing thin. "Look, if this is some joke just to get me to understand him better, than you're wasting both of our time. I know House better than anyone. Is he here? If so I'd like to see him."
"Of course he's here; I'll take you to him." Finally, Wilson thought, he was getting somewhere and boy was he going to give House a piece of his mind.
"He's right through there." Wilson looked around in confusion. The only thing in the room was a body under a sheet. This wasn't House. It couldn't be. He saw House this morning, he was with him. He couldn't be dead.
"I'll give you a moment with him. I'll just be outside if you need me." Wilson's body went numb, this wasn't happening. House wasn't under that sheet, he was hiding behind a cabinet waiting to say I gottcha or at home sleeping. He needed to know though; some little part of his brain was telling him that all of this was actually happening. He approached the table as if some force was pushing against his every move. Slowly he lifted the sheet to bring an end to the uncertainty permeating through his entire being. What he saw was House; House's face looking as peaceful as he's ever seen it. Wilson could see the ligature marks around his neck from the belt he used. That was enough to send him to his knees. "Oh God, House….no…no. Why is this happening, why did you do this?" Just then Nolan appeared at Wilson's side and lifted him back to his feet. "Come on James, let's go out into the hall."
"I didn't want to believe it…I don't believe it…He can't be dead. No no no!"
Nolan helped Wilson to sit down in a chair as he allowed the younger man to gather his senses.
"He left a note, it was addressed to you. It's on his bed where he left it. Would you like me to take you there?"
Thoughts were running through Wilson's mind on the way to House's room. Thoughts about his own memory distortion, thoughts about their friendship, thoughts about the only person in the world that always stuck by him and how that person was now gone.
"Right in there. The note is sitting on his pillow. Please…take all the time you need."
Wilson thanked Nolan and entered House's room…the last room where his friend was alive. He sat down and picked up the note. The outside simply read "Wilson". He took a moment to catch his breath and he opened the letter that contained the last words his friend would ever speak to him.
I know you're getting ready to spew out one of your lectures about how I keep screwing my life up by the choices I make and you would follow it up by giving me your bestest "disappointed In House" face. I can picture it as I write this. I would never so much as admit it, but I liked seeing that face. Not because I wanted you disappointed in me, but because I felt like you cared about me when I would see it.
Well as you can see, I'm done screwing my life up….and yours. You probably think that this isn't my style, that suicide isn't something I'd do. Before this, maybe…but now, It really is for the best. I'll never beat the addiction or the drinking and I'll never be the friend that you need me to be. I killed her. She reminds me of that every day. I told Nolan she was gone but I lied…everybody lies right? She reminds me of how you wouldn't be alone if I wasn't your needy, pathetic, addict friend. She's right; you loved her. You knew her four months and you loved her more than you'd ever love me, but I understand why. I've never been good for you. I would have traded my life to save her for you. I know you wanted me too, I could see it in your face when you asked me to do the DBS. I was happy to do it for you but it didn't make a difference. She still died and took my best friend to the grave with her.
You were right about me. I spread misery everywhere I go because that's all I know. I don't want you to be miserable anymore. I don't want my team or Cuddy to be miserable anymore because of me. I…don't want to be miserable anymore.
Nolan tries to tell me I'm depressed and need to work through my daddy and best friend issues so I can try to find happiness in my life but I think it's better this way. Please tell Cuddy I'm sorry I yelled that I slept with her over the balcony at the hospital. I shouldn't have done it but, well I guess it's just a typical action of a fucked up junkie like me.
You tried to make me see many times over the course of the last several years that I was less of a friend because I'm a pathetic addict and you were right. I'm sorry I couldn't be who you needed me to be. I'm sorry I kept letting you down. I'm sorry I couldn't save her for you. I'm sorry I killed her!
I'm not sure if you'll believe me, but I love you…always have. My gift to you is to release you from this friendship that you didn't choose, but felt compelled to keep.
Wilson laid his head on House's pillow; he could smell his scent. No House, I don't blame you for her dying, she didn't take my friendship to the grave with her. I don't think you're a pathetic addict and I wanted your friendship…I needed it. God House, you're wrong. I didn't want you to trade places with her. She died but you lived. I know it took awhile to see it, but I couldn't leave you. Not because I felt compelled to stay but because I needed you as much as you needed me. God House I'm so sorry…so so sorry…..
Wilson felt the world turning to liquid again, his senses becoming distorted from the overwhelming sensations around him. He was cold…so very very cold. His limbs turned heavy once more and were becoming numb. He could see House's face smiling at him. It was again the smile that was reserved just for him. God, Wilson loved that smile.
He felt secure all of sudden, like someone was holding him. The cold was fading into an abstract feeling. Wilson felt as if his body was becoming detached from his emotions. House was coming closer to him now, not fading into the black like before. He's reaching for Wilson, trying to pull him in.
House is talking to him…but this can't be, House is dead. Isn't he?
"Wilson…Wake. Up!Stay with me Wilson…help is on the way, I can hear them."
Wilson opened his eyes to see House's face in front of him. It was dark and cold but the brilliant blue eyes of his best friend shown through the darkness to pierce Wilson's soul.
"Sh, sh…try not to talk. Helps coming."
"You're d-dead. I-I saw your b-body."
House ran his hand through Wilson's hair. "No buddy, I'm not dead. Not yet anyway. I have nine lives, remember?"
"W-what happened…I'm s-so cold."
"We hit an ice patch on the bridge and slid into the creek. You hit your head on the window when we rolled and you've been out for awhile. Been a bitch trying to keep your pretty hair above the water, wouldn't want the nurses to see it all mussed up."
"H-House, I'm sorry a-about this morning. I-I want to talk to you instead of Amber. I-I was j-just angry. I d-don't blame you f-for her dying and even through th-the worst t-times, you were al-always a good f-friend…I-I…."
"Wilson, stay with me. Come on you need to stay with me. I was never a good friend to you but you always stuck by me even after…Amber."
"I don't feel s-so good…I can't t-think…can't stay a-awake…"
"I'm sorry House t-that you thought I chose her over y-you. I loved her, but I've a-always l-loved you. I'm s-so sorry I d-didn't show y-you. Please forgive m-me?"
Wilson felt warmth spread across his body. Something changed in that moment as he began to drift from the conscious world to the peace that was waiting just beyond the darkness. Just as he felt himself slip from one world to the next, he heard House say…
"There's nothing to forgive my friend."
A/N: Thanks so much for reading and would love to know what you think!