Spoilers: S7E16

Summary: Yet another post "Down the Chute" fic, inspired by jezziejay's amazing [jezziejay . livejournal . com / 46247 . html] Falling Slowly, and in particular a specific sentence in it.

Rating: T, maybe M. Very angsty. Dark!wilson.

Word Count: 1000 approx

Disclaimer: we own nothing, except our deepest beliefs.

House looked at the whiteboard. "I think it's cancer."

Masters started speaking almost before he'd finished. "Should I page Dr. Wilson for a consult?"

There was a moment of startled silence. House smiled inside: Masters must have been the only one at Princeton Plainsboro not to notice that he and Wilson hadn't said a word to each other since the cannonball stunt - which had of course been discussed all over the hospital.

Foreman tried to say something, but House interrupted him. "Sure. Please page Dr. Wilson." It was high time his friend got over his anger anyway. He wasn't sure he would. Everybody leaves, in the end. And maybe this time he had pushed too far. Not that he cared, he didn't need Wilson any more than he needed Cuddy. He wondered whether Brown would show up instead.

His thoughts were interrupted by Wilson's arrival. He carefully reviewed the patient's scans, noticed a detail that had escaped them, and concluded that it was almost certainly cancer, recommending a biopsy. House had expected him to leave when his team did, but he sat down in front of him instead.

"Are you planning to stay on Vicodin?" Count on Wilson to go directly to the heart of a problem. Except this wasn't a problem; this was the solution.

"Vicodin, booze and hookers. Never felt better in my life, and I got all my diagnostics skills back." He grinned and braced himself for the next you-really-shouldn't speech.

Manicured fingers scratched briefly at the back of the head, then fished a sheet of paper from the lab coat pocket. "Then I guess you'll need this."

House found himself staring, open-mouthed, to a Vicodin scrip in his name. "Why would you do that?"

Wilson shook his head. "It's too long and boring to explain. Just let me know when you need more."

The oncologist stood up and walked to the door.

"Wilson… how about dinner at my place tonight?"

"Is seven okay? I'll bring beer." As soon as House nodded his assent, he was gone.

He played with his cane, musing. Wilson could be extremely annoying, but he was definitely not boring.

They had eaten almost in silence. When the soap they were pretending to watch ended, House switched the television off.

"Is that a hint for me to go? I guess you're expecting more exciting company." Wilson started to get up from the couch.

"Don't go yet. You remember what I asked in the hospital. We have time now, answer me."

"If you want. I've been thinking a lot in the past days, bout you and about me." Wilson let his back relax again. He kept looking towards the empty screen.

House didn't even pretend not to know what 'in the past days' meant. "You're right. Sounds boring. But go on."

"I realized I can't stop you from taking Vicodin if you so choose."

"That's better. Does this mean you'll no longer preach to me?"

"I guess. But there are things I can do. I can prevent you from losing your license for self-prescribing, stealing drugs, or faking signatures. And getting poisoned by whatever you can buy on the street."

"That's my answer. Does this mean I can get a Viagra scrip, too?"

"If that's what you want. Maybe I can ask a question, too."


"Had you seen I was looking?"

He toyed with the possibility of lying, but decided a Vicodin scrip without a sermon deserved the truth. "I saw you just before I jumped. A bit late to stop."

He could remember the terror in the brown eyes, whose presence he had noticed in the last minute before diving. But by then, he had made up his mind - and was so drunk and stoned that he had clearly underestimated the risk. Wilson probably overestimated it.

His friend (he thought he was still his friend, after all) unsuccessfully attempted a smile. "I knew you hadn't wanted to hurt me." He sighed. "I was sure you would die, from the instant you jumped until I heard the splash."

"I'm sorry." He was sincere, to his own astonishment.

"It was worse than Amber dying. Much worse. Those two seconds…I've been drugging myself to sleep since."

Now Wilson looked at him. The pain in his eyes was deep and unmistakable, but his voice held firm. "I can't stop loving you, House, anymore than I can stop your self-destructive behavior. I'll be there for you whenever you want me, whatever you want me for; also whenever you need me, whether you want me or not. It doesn't matter how many times you try to kill yourself or otherwise hurt me. All I can do is be ready in case you succeed or I can't stand the pain anymore."

House decided to concentrate on the alarming last sentence. "Ready how?"

"I gave Sarah away." Wilson pulled what looked like a pen out of the inner pocket of his jacket. When he removed the cap, a short, sharp blade reflected the light; with a smooth movement he ran it lightly along his own throat, easily cutting the outer layer of the skin for about half an inch.

He then capped the blade and put it away, pulling out a tissue as the first drop of blood started appearing on the cut line, red on the pale skin.

House stared horrified as drop after drop was caught by the tissue, until Wilson slipped a plaster in his right hand.

"Could you please stick it in place?"

He did as he was told, his brain frantically trying to process what was going on.

His friend stood up, put on his coat and opened the door. He looked at House and, for the first time since that fateful night, smiled at him. "Welcome to my world." He went out and closed the door behind him.

Author's note. Of course before I wrote this fic I computed how long House had been falling. It's closer to 1.5 seconds. No, I don't need pencil and paper for that.