Title: House's Liver

Spoilers: mild for Season 7 up to Ep 18. AU for further episodes.

Warning: possible major character death.

Disclaimer: I don't own any of the House, MD characters, which is good since I tend to kill them.

Acknowledgements: many thanks to my efficient and helpful beta reader, George Stark II, who never complains no matter how many mistakes I manage to pile up in a single sentence. Further thanks to yarroway and karaokegal for consults about Judaica. Any remaining errors are of course mine.

Sunday, April 17

He woke up suddenly. He opened his eyes and closed them again, blinded by the light.

"House, what are you doing here in the middle of the night?"

"It's only eleven thirty, and I need your help."

Wilson raised himself very slowly, moved away the hair in front of his eyes and looked sleepily at the tall man sitting on his bed, his cane banging softly on the floor between his legs. "What do you want?"

House looked back at him, no sign of emotion on his face. Wilson scrubbed his eyes, trying to focus his sight or possibly his thoughts.

"My liver is failing."

Ten minutes and (for Wilson) a hasty shower later, they were in the kitchen sitting in front of two large mugs of coffee. That wasn't necessarily a good idea for a failing liver, but Wilson hadn't felt like arguing since he needed it if he hoped to be useful.

"I got my blood test results this afternoon, but I didn't open them until Dominika fell asleep." Wilson looked carefully: the diagnostician's eyes and, to a lesser extent, his face had a barely noticeable yellow hue. Or maybe he was imagining that.

"How thoughtful of you not to spoil your wife's sleep." He wished he could have skipped the bitterness, but it had been impossible. The whole wedding and green card marriage nonsense still stung him. "So how long are you going to be around?"

"I might have still a week." He pulled an envelope from his jacket's inner pocket and slid it over the table to Wilson. The oncologist opened it, read the sheet of paper inside, and paled. He checked the numbers again, then lifted his eyes to House's face, in the absurd hope that the brilliant diagnostician was going to find a way out.

House's tone was quiet, his eyes fixed in his friend's. "I'll get a more precise estimate in a couple of days. But there's a lot to arrange and Dominika can't do that."

"What do you mean, 'arrange'? You have to be in hospital and on the transplant list." Wilson's hand tried to find comfort in the hair on the back of his head, but with little success. He knew how difficult it was to find a liver fast.

House laughed, but his eyes stayed as empty of emotion as they had been before. "Nobody will give a liver to a relapsed Vicodin addict with a drinking problem. As if finding an AB liver in time wasn't hard enough."

"So what is it you want me to do?"

"I want you to make sure Dominika gets my insurance money and, if at all possible, her green card. I would be sorry to cheat her when she has fulfilled her part of the contract. Plus, I think she genuinely likes me. Or she's good at pretending it."

Wilson had had the same impression about her, and he tried very hard not to think about what said contract may or may not have included. Then he wondered why he should feel bothered by the thought of Dominika sleeping with House when he hadn't cared about the hookers. "Do you want me to marry her next?"

"That would be a brilliant solution, and she's certainly a nicer woman than any of your ex-wives. Although, after me, you'll be a sad second choice."

"I'll help, of course. But…I need time to process this. I can't believe you're dying." He bit his tongue not to add "again". The jump in the pool had been scary as hell, but it had been mercifully fast. This felt like a very long nightmare from which he may never wake up.

"You're such a girl, Wilson. You spend your days merrily delivering life sentences, and yet you want me to live forever. I'll see you tomorrow at my place. Around noon."

House lifted himself from the chair and started moving towards the door. Wilson stopped him, a hand on his shoulder. "House…I…"

"Don't say anything soppy or I'll have five Vicodins and a bottle of whiskey the moment I get home." The blue in House's eyes looked more impressive than usual, perhaps because the pupils were so tiny. There was definitely enough Vicodin in his system already.

Wilson lowered his hand, and saw his friend to the door. "See you tomorrow, House."

"Goodnight, Wilson."

The oncologist brewed himself more coffee and looked again at House's test results that had been left on his table. Then he switched on his laptop and started browsing.