Summary: Very short sad sick Wilson piece. Strong friendship more than slash but can be taken either way. Takes place during or before season six, no spoilers.
Disclaimer: I own nothing of significance.
A/N: I actually wrote this a long time ago, intending to make it longer and turn it into actual slash and give it a less depressing ending, but I read it over and like it just the way it is and I've already got over twenty stories with less depressing endings so this is something a little different but I hope you like it all the same.
Don't Let Go
"No!" House said. "He doesn't!"
"House..." Thirteen said, giving him an apologetic look. "The test confirms it."
"It's wrong. Find something else."
"House," Foreman said sternly, approaching him slowly across the conference room. "There's nothing we can do about it. It is what is. We can't change it."
"We can find out what's really killing him," House snapped, glaring at him. "And then fix it."
"No," Thirteen said, also approaching him. "We can't. He's going to die. Running more tests won't change that."
"Come on, House," Foreman said. "This happens with patients all the time. We find out what's wrong, and sometimes we can fix it and sometimes we can't. But we know when to stop and accept the fact that people sometimes get incurable diseases."
"Patients also get doctors that screw up tests and diagnose incurable diseases when all the patient needs is the right medication and he'll be fine," House pointed out angrily.
"House," Chase said, looking at him. "I ran it twice. And Thirteen ran it twice. And Taub and Foreman ran it. We all got the same results. We're sorry. Wilson's dying."
"You're fired," House snapped. He grabbed his cane and stomped out of the room.
"I thought I'd find you here," Cuddy said, leaning against the door jamb.
"I'm busy," House answered, his eyes pressed to a microscope. "Either come with an idea or come back with something helpful."
"House, give it up," Cuddy said, sighing. "You've been in this lab for six hours. Wilson's got a day left, two at the most. You should be in there with him, not in here with slides of his blood cells."
"I'm not giving up on him," House glared. "You think I'm going to just let him die?"
"I think you're going to regret not being there when he does die."
"What I'll regret is when the autopsy discovers that the actual cause of death was something curable that I didn't find because you kicked me out of the lab."
"I never should have let you take this case," Cuddy said, rubbing her temples. "You know I only did because I knew if anyone could find out what was wrong with him, you could. It didn't occur to me that it would be something even you couldn't fix. House, I'm so sorry. It's the middle of the night, but when the rest of your team gets back here in the morning I'll instruct them to keep looking. As for you, you're off the case. Go downstairs and be with your friend."
"Right," House said. "Just as soon as I find out what's wrong with him and bring him down some medicine."
"No," Cuddy said, moving to step in between House and the machine. "Wilson's room. Now. Come on, House, he's been asking for you all night. He's dying. He wants to spend his last hours with you."
"He'll be able to spend a lot more hours with me if you let me–"
He turned away from her and left the room.
"Thank you," she said, following him. He ignored her and went over to the nurses station.
"I'm gonna need a full body scan on the patient in room 203–"
"–House," Cuddy cut him off again. She turned to the nurse. "He's no longer on the case, cancel that. House, listen to me. If you don't get into that room of your own accord I'm going to have security escort you down there."
He looked at her. He searched her eyes. She wasn't bluffing. She was serious. What was wrong with her? He couldn't afford to be with Wilson now. Every second that he didn't spend coming up with another diagnosis was a second of his friend's life slipping away. He had maybe more than a day to figure out what was wrong and fix it. And once he did that he could spend as much time with Wilson as he wanted.
But a part of him, a little part in the back of his mind knew that was no good. The tests were conclusive. Wilson was dying. No medicine could help him. A morphine drip could manage his pain but nothing could keep him alive. House had maybe a day left before Wilson would be gone from this world forever. As much as he wanted to fix Wilson, he knew that he couldn't, and he didn't want to spend Wilson's last hours apart from him.
House looked at the floor and followed Cuddy into Wilson's room.
Wilson had been asleep, but he opened his eyes when House and Cuddy came in and he smiled when he saw who it was.
"Hey," he said, his voice a bit hoarse.
"You look like crap," House responded, planting himself in the chair by Wilson's bed.
"Still better than you," Wilson smirked, causing the diagnostician to give a weak smile as well.
Cuddy left the room and closed the door, giving them some privacy.
House and Wilson looked at each other for a moment.
"I'm glad you came," Wilson said finally.
"Cuddy forced me into it," House explained. "Threatened to call security."
"Didn't wanna see me?" Wilson asked.
"No," House said without looking at him. "Wanted to find something wrong with you that wasn't incurable."
Wilson gave him a sad smile and reached for his hand.
"What are you doing?" House said cautiously as Wilson's fingers threaded through his.
"I'm dying," Wilson said. "When someone's dying, you hold their hand."
"A new treatment I haven't heard of?" House asked, inspecting him. "You should publish a study, you'll be famous. They'll name it Wilson's Cure. They've already got a Wilson's Disease. You couldn't just get that, could you?"
"Sorry," Wilson said, squeezing House's fingers.
House didn't let go but looked away.
"I'm sorry," he said finally.
"House, there's nothing you can do," Wilson said, his voice starting to break. "Even if you'd caught it sooner, it wouldn't have mattered–"
"–Not for that," House snapped. "I know. For...you know...being such an ass all the time. Not being a good friend. Screwing with all your relationships, not letting you be happy-"
"–House," Wilson interrupted, pulling on his hand.
"Look at me."
House looked up roughly.
"House, you've been the best friend I've ever had."
House rolled his eyes and looked away again. "Just because you're dying doesn't give you an excuse to be sappy."
"Yes it does," Wilson insisted. "House, you've always been there for me when it matters. When Amber died, I didn't let you, but you offered to be there for me. When I went to go see Danny, you came with me. I know you care about me, and you look out for me the way no one else does. You are my best friend just as you are."
House didn't look at him. He was looking at the floor.
"Come here," Wilson said fondly.
House looked up. "We're already holding hands, we don't need to hug too."
"Yes we do."
"We don't need to."
"I want to."
"We never hug."
"A bit late to change our patterns."
"House, just get over here." Wilson sat up in his hospital bed and House leaned forward in his chair. Wilson put his arms around House but could barely reach him. He scooted over so House could sit on the side of his bed. Rolling his eyes, House got out of the chair and reseated himself on the bed. Wilson hugged him, and House tentatively put his arms around Wilson in return.
"See?" Wilson said, his head resting against the back of House's neck. "This isn't so bad."
House didn't say anything. He rested his head on Wilson's shoulder and was grateful that Wilson couldn't see him. Forces beyond his control had caused him to start crying. Not hard, and silently, but there were tears seeping down his cheeks.
Wilson, too, had started crying. Not loudly, not forcefully, but harder than House. He squeezed House to him tightly. "It'll be okay," he said, trying to reassure both of them. "It'll be okay."
House didn't answer. He just didn't let go.