A/N: My interpretation of what might have been happening in House's head during the balcony scene in 7x16 Out of the Chute.

A wise, albeit screwed up, man once said that living in misery is better than dying in it.

He was wrong.

Though it was not the misery itself but the realization that you will always be miserable that drives you to the top floor of a moderately priced motel.

And it's the knowledge of the impending misery to plague you for the rest of your natural life that makes you balance on the edge of the balcony, looking down in anticipation of the empty nothingness that awaits you after you hit the ground.

A wise, albeit screwed up, man once said that living in misery is better than dying in it.

He was not entirely correct.

The thing about standing at the top of tall structures is that you can see everything. Everything except the promise of the nothingness that drew you there in the first place.

And as much as you want that nothingness, that final and infinite peace, something about the horror on the upturned face of the man below you makes you hesitate. It's the unbidden premonitions of her face as they tell her the news that makes you change your mind at the last possible moment and aim for the conveniently placed pool beside the concrete, like you were never thinking of death in the first place.

A splash, a rebirth in chlorine.

A wise, albeit screwed up, man once said that living in misery is better than dying in it.

He wasn't wrong.