"Samson went back to bed,
Not much hair left on his head.
Ate a slice of Wonder Bread
And went right back to bed."
Every day is the same. The same grinding tedium, the same wearing down of his patience and the same mind numbing misery.
Every morning he woke up to the prospect of facing the same hell as the previous day. All that changed was the weather, the case, and the amount of cleavage Cuddy was exposing. His only joys in life came from his motorbike, annoying Wilson, and tormenting Cuddy. Even those past-times had begun to lose their shine. The only thing that didn't seem old and humdrum was his favourite soaps. Then again, there was only so much television one could watch.
So his days followed the same boring routine – waking up in agony, half-wishing that this could have been the day his drug and alcohol abuse could finally have gotten the better of him. His alarm screeching on the bedside table barely registered over the pain screeching in his leg. He would slap the alarm off, grabbing his vicodin bottle on the way back, popping his first of many pills for the day. Then he would lie in bed, waiting for the drug to flood his system and take the pain back to a barely-tolerable level.
Morning was always the worst – after a night lying almost motionless his muscles would be stiff and sore. It was hard to toss and turn into a more comfortable position with his bum leg. He knew that once he got moving that the muscles would warm up, the kinks would work out, and his pain would become more bearable. It was just the period where he was lying in bed, waiting for the narcotics to take effect, trying to find the gumption to face the agony that would result from trying to get out of bed.
Eventually he'd manage it, gritting his teeth and swinging his legs out of bed. Leaning heavily on his cane he'd make his way to the bathroom to shower. Everyone thought he was lazy about his appearance – the ruffled hair, the unshaven face, the crumpled shirt. What they didn't know was that it was all too hard in the morning. He could barely stand in the shower long enough to get clean, let alone shaving, brushing his hair, or ironing his shirt. That was why he usually shaved at night before going to bed so that his scruffiness stayed at least manageable.
Pop another pill.
Everything relied on his leg – when he got up, what he wore to work, how he got to work, how many pills he popped a day. That last one had also started to be influenced by his boredom level - the drugs were a way to escape the misery that his life had become. He found himself caring less and less about how self-destructive his behaviour was becoming. He had cared at one point. He had always known when he'd gone too far, pushed people's tolerance, popped too many pills. These days it was easier to take more drugs than take a look in the mirror. It was too hard trying to change what couldn't be fixed.
When he finally managed to get to work his leg then dictated whether or not he went straight to his office. A good day meant he spent some time collecting messages from reception and looking for an opportunity to cause Cuddy grief. He got a morbid fascination out of forcing himself to spend time in her presence. Out of all his associates at work, seeing her was always the hardest – she reminded him of lost opportunities, misspent youth, and the folly of believing that he could have anything in this world he wanted just because he was brilliant. Cuddy was the first thing he had lost to his anti-social behaviour and egotistical attitude. He tormented her as a way of tormenting himself.
Conversely a bad day meant he went straight to the lift, head down, avoiding eye contact with anyone. If he didn't look at people he couldn't see the pity in their eyes. He hated nothing more than being pitied. Nobody could look at him and see the genius Diagnostician. They all assumed he was a patient – a cripple here for physical therapy, a war veteran getting his yearly check-up, anything other than a doctor. The pity in their eyes stripped away the think shell of his pride and left him feeling naked and vulnerable. He never looked up. If he was especially lucky one of his team would meet him in the lobby with a new case and he would fend off the boredom for a while, concentrating on his work, never having to see anybody pitying him as he matched his wits against whatever disease was trying to kill his patient.
Being met in the lobby by a case-bearing team member didn't happen so much now Cameron wasn't on his team. He would never admit that he missed her, or her passion for the job, but he sometimes wished she would meet him in the lobby, waving a file in front of her, trying to persuade him that it was something that would interest him. He would admit, at least to himself, that she knew him well enough to only present him with cases that were worthy of his attention.
In the quietness of his own mind he knew that he missed his old team and maybe one fellow in particular more than the others. The ER nurses hadn't seen enough of him previously to know to avoid him. Now they knew him on sight and steered clear. They left him for Cameron to deal with. He told himself he was spending more time in the ER because he was trying to pester her into coming back to work for him, or even just to annoy Cuddy through Cameron.
House found Cameron's obsession with him aggravating. Mostly because he couldn't work out if she thought she could fix him or because she had an older-man-come-mentor infatuation with him. He didn't believe she truly had any feelings for him. How could anyone possibly love a cantankerous old cripple? He wasn't fool enough, or high enough, to convince himself that she had any true feelings for him.
As for him? Well, any time he caught himself contemplating the possibilities, looking at her as anything other than a doctor or lobby art, he felt honest disgust with himself. He, of course, blamed that drop in self-respect on her, punished her for it. Maybe if he was enough of a jerk to her she'd leave forever and he'd never have to feel that way again. Maybe he could drive her away from him the same way he had with Cuddy.
But sometimes he caught her looking at him with something other than pity – with an almost hungry, needing look. At those times he doubted his convictions, lashed out at her for making him think he could have the impossible. On those days he'd go home to spend some quality time with a woman who charged by the hour, and then left him alone to drink himself into oblivion.
Such behaviour always resulted in a visit from the embodiment of his conscience. Cameron would go running to Wilson, and Wilson would come to annoy House. If he was still conscious when Wilson turned up he'd let him in, listen to him elucidate the folly of House's ways. House would then mock him until he either left in frustration or gave up to sit down and watch TV together.
Pop another pill.
It wasn't that House couldn't care about anyone else; he just found it easier to intentionally annoy everyone around him rather than feel the disappointment and pain of rejection when people eventually worked out how much of an ass he really was. He'd found that caring about people inevitably led to disappointment and unhappiness. He figured he could just skip all the effort in the middle and go straight on to lonely and miserable. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.
He looked at the people in his life and wondered why they bothered to put up with him. Wilson was co-dependent, his constant enabler and companion. He'd lost at least one wife due to his friendship with House, loaned him more money than any reasonable friend could expect, and even been threatened with jail time for covering for him. Why on Earth would the moron stick around for more punishment? House knew Wilson would always answer his calls, would always come when asked. He could only assume that Wilson wasn't entirely mentally stable. House fulfilled his need to be needed. If he ever became independent Wilson would no longer need him
Then there was Cameron. The silly girl didn't even know who she really was. She'd spent her entire life going against the norm. She was a beautiful woman who'd studied medicine and been in the top of her class, not taking advantage of her aesthetic qualities. She was a doctor who'd married a man with terminal cancer, knowing full well that he had little time left. She'd been an intern at the Mayo Clinic and given up her position to come and work for him at a small hospital in a nearly inactive department. Cameron always tried to make things harder for herself. House couldn't work out what she thought she was compensating for. Now she'd gone against the grain again and deluded herself into thinking she was in love with a scruffy, grouchy old cripple twice her age. House wasn't stupid enough to think that she'd maintain that particular delusion for long if he wasn't damaged goods. House fulfilled her need to fix the unfixable. If he was whole and sociable Cameron would no longer want him.
This brought him to Lisa Cuddy. He'd thought once that he could possibly have a future with her. She'd been interesting, intelligent and ambitious, but realistic about her goals. Their brief fling together had ended far too abruptly and House still felt the need to explain things to her. But what was the point? He'd rocked too many boats and stepped on too many toes to fit into the neat and perfect world that Cuddy occupied. He kept their fling a secret, knowing that revealing that particular gem would not only drive her away, but tarnish her reputation. He felt no need to cause that level of damage. He believed she'd only hired him and kept him on staff because of the prestige having a diagnostician of his calibre on the books lent to the hospital. If he ever told her how he'd once felt about her she'd just laugh in his face. So instead he mocked and taunted her, pushing to see how far he could go before she gave up, realised what a jerk he was, that the hospital didn't need him, and sent him packing. House fulfilled her need to be seen as the best of the best. If he became detrimental enough to the hospital's reputation Cuddy would no longer want him.
So his life boiled down to soap operas, drugs, alcohol and misery. He was a husk of a man, a degenerate with personality flaws a mile wide, and a cripple just to top it all off. He knew he was completely unlovable. He knew he would always be alone and miserable, so why fight it. If he pushed everyone away before they could get close to him then he'd never have to worry about hurting anyone. Or being hurt himself. The world could go to hell for all he cared. Just pop another pill, have another glass of scotch and go back to bed. Hopefully one day soon it would all end, one way or another, and everyone he made miserable could get on with their lives without him around messing things up.
Pop another pill and let unloved, unlovable, unwanted House fade away.