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.


Saturday, April 23rd

"House! Wake up! House!"

Consciousness returned slowly. Wilson's body warmth still enveloped his torso, but his friend was calling him.

"Fuck you, Wilson, what do you want again? Let me sleep in peace. It's - he glanced at the oncologist's watch - three am." Then he looked up at the flushed face so close to his, saw the pager in the left hand. And knew, before the words were spoken.

"Don't worry, you'll soon be asleep again although I won't. You're getting a new liver."

Sunday, April 24th

Wilson sat up on the cot, rubbing his eyes. He realized he had been woken up by the ongoing sound of church bells. Why were bells ringing at (he checked his watch) one am, he wondered? He turned to check House's monitor and was very satisfied by the numbers on it. And then he heard a soft moan. House was finally waking up after the transplant.

"I feel like shit." The voice was hoarse after the long silence.

"Glad to know you appreciate your new liver." He felt a few tears forming in his eyes, and quickly wiped them away.

Just in time, as the blue eyes were looking at him. "I'm back from death and in pain, and it's all your own damn fault." He felt a hand squeezing his, as House closed his eyes again.

Author's Note. There's a sequel ready, but still in need of a beta reader; feel free to guess the title in the reviews.

Alternative Epilogue - What Might Have Been (But Wasn't)(This really, really didn't happen)

Saturday, April 23rd

Dominika and Cuddy were sitting on either side of the bed, each holding one of House's hands, when Wilson switched off the monitors and said quietly "Time of death, 7:23 pm." He felt sorry for them; when Dominika had arrived to the hospital in the morning, House had already been in a coma. Cuddy, busy with her double duties as mother and Dean, had only been able to be there since the middle of the afternoon. He recalled with some relief that both had been able to say goodbye the previous day.

His thoughts shifted back to five thirty in the morning, when House had woken up for the last time.

"Wilson, have you been awake all night?"

"Thanks to the magic power of caffeine."

"I'm tired, and my leg hurts. Can you up my morphine?"

Wilson disengaged his fingers, then slowly climbed out of the bed from under his friend's torso.

He upped the morphine and checked the monitors. House would soon be comatose. "More ice chips?"

"No. Get the flat metal bottle inside my jacket's pocket, please."

Wilson did as requested, then opened and smelled. "House…that's whiskey. You can't…"

"I'm a doctor, idiot! I can't but you can. Take a large sip, and let it wash all over your mouth before you swallow."

Wilson looked very puzzled, but did as he was told. The whiskey on an empty stomach was probably not a good idea, but he wasn't going to refuse any request of House, however absurd.

"And now come back in bed with me."

Wilson tried to resume his former position, but found that House had managed to turn towards him and was trying to hug him, as much as the various tubes allowed. He hugged him back, feelingly oddly comforted by the warmth of his body.

Suddenly House's face moved incredibly near. "I want to lose consciousness with whiskey on my taste buds." Wilson never knew how he managed to kiss House while keeping his eyes open, locked in the blue ones in front of him. Their tongues explored each other's mouths until all taste of whiskey was gone, and longer.

Until House lay back and whispered "I think I need to sleep some more," and closed his eyes.

Wilson let go of his hands and stepped out of the bed only hours later, when he realized that his friend was never going to wake up again.

Author's Note: Because I can barely resist the pull of death. Just barely.