If you got here via a link, HEADS UP: this story has SPOILERS for "Bombshells" and is based on the promo for next week's episode.




He hasn't had your bed removed.

You'd opened the door of your old room and found it impeccably clean. There's a blue floral comforter, matching bedskirt, and a set of those ridiculous cylindrical throw pillows. Samantha must have marked her territory the moment you moved out, but you know the room has gone untouched since then. The air has that stillness about it, the weird clean-staleness of a guest room in a place that never has guests.

So you've strayed into his room, while he's showering. It's messier than usual, the bed unmade and blankets all rumpled. His dress shoes and sneakers are both sitting out, on the floor; you can smell warm cotton and hints of whatever dorky, expensive cologne he buys. Someone lives here, and you do in fact want to hang onto life, and so - already in pajamas - you simply sit down. And then lie down, taking one of his pillows that smells of his shampoo.

This all feels right, but isn't likely to end well. Knowing this, you're still wide awake when you hear the footsteps and the tentative, "House?"

"Thought you'd wanna keep an eye on me," you answer. Accuse, don't admit. You were standing on a damn balcony railing eight hours ago, high in more ways than one; of course he wants to watch over you. It's what he does. Just not like this.

You start to get up. "Never mind," you say. "I'll -"

"House. I'm surprised, not ... you can stay."

"No, I can't. It's stupid."

"Stupid is getting stoned and damn near jumping off a balcony. This is ... understandable." He turns off the lights and lies down. That shampoo-smell is stronger now, fresh and damp. You'd rather not ask yourself why it's reassuring. Easier to decide it's the lack of pain - the pills you took and the fact that he's not bugging you about them. That, doubtless, will begin tomorrow.

"You do want to keep an eye on me," you say, but you're stretching out beside him, your back turned so you don't have to see annoyance or concern on his face. You're going to let him do it. After Sam and everything, you're still going to let him, because yes, he may shove you out again. But it won't be tonight.

You roll over onto your back, your shoulder nudging his; he sighs and you can feel him relax. I didn't really want to die, you want to tell him. I wanted to know if it mattered to me anymore. But you've already had way too many Serious Conversations with Wilson today, and aren't about to start another one when you know he won't let you stop it.

"Be sure to wake me for breakfast," you say.

The way he snorts, you know he's smiling, and for just a few seconds, you are too.