Just a little something I cooked up in the middle of the jungle, literally.
Missing Thirteen already. I do not own House and co. And no, I'm not from Fiji, in case anyone could guess the inaccuracy of my geography.
To You, From Me
8 months after his release from prison
It was autumn in the US but in Fiji, it was a windy day. It's always a windy day in Fiji especially beside the beach, which was where one Gregory House had made a home of.
Everyday, he made his way to the beach. He would sit on the regular bench and ate a whatever that was sold around his route. If the best thing they sold were vegetarian sandwiches, that was what he would eat. Today he stopped by the Chinese food cafe. As he sat, he did one of his favourite things to fo in the early evenings, people watching.
He spotted a fat old man reading the paper, his skin ridisculously pink. Running towards him was a boy, about 10 years old, showing the man something in his palm. House assumed it was a seashell or a tiny living crustacean, it was always that. The pink man looked down from his paper and smiled at the boy. The boy put the precious objects next to the pink man and ran back towards the shore where 2 more children were and a woman in her 40's in a bikini. Family vacation, easy.
Then he watched a man and a woman, both in their mid 20's, that couldn't keep their hands off each other. Young love, he thought. He remembered those days when he had a young woman in his hands, one that he really loved or one that he just wanted for the night. He laughed at himself, he really was getting old.
He watched the dozen people walking along the beach, playing in the water while local venders sold cheap momento crap and artificial sugared tap water drinks. It was a beautiful place, too bad it was being polluted by travelling angencies.
He looked again and he saw a woman walking with her feet barely touching the salt water of the shore, alone from afar. She was a beautiful woman, she wore a flowing skirt and a white tank top, the wind blowing her auburn hair where the sun shined. Simple but he always thought those were the ones that were the best. He was never the type who enjoyed a woman with too much makeup, not that he complained if they did anyway. A woman was still a woman.
She looked familiar but she was too far away and she was walking further. He sighed, he wondered if she would hit the bar later. Maybe he could introduce himself.
He continued eating on his mu shu pork and watched the sun slowly fade into the sea. What happened next he blamed on musical vendors around him instead of admiting a deterioration in his hearing because he was scared the living daylight out when she appeared next to him. She had never seen him surprised so dramatically before.
"Hi." She said.
"Hi." Was his response with a gulp.
"What are you doing?" She said with a smile. He took a deep breath and looked around.
"Playing poker. You?"
"Building a spaceship." He nodded. She sat next to him, a brown box separating their distance.
"How are you Thirteen?" He finally said. She breathed a deep breath as she stared at the ocean then looking back.
"I'm good. What about you? How is life after prison treating you?"
"Well I'm here. Alive and kicking so I think I'm doing good."
"Oh, I heard your doing your PhD in Physics."
"Physics? That's an understatement. A more fitting way to say it is I heard you're doing your PhD in investigating the world's biggest mystery."
"Ahh, I'm sorry. I should've said that, you know, to feed your ego."
"Haha." He said sarcastically.
"What's with the box?"
"Like, research papers?"
"No, assignments from kids."
"Wait, you're teaching? Please don't say high school because I don't wanna say my ex-boss turned out to be a high school science teacher."
"University. Surprisingly, only 70% of them in my class are idiots." She gave a quiet chuckle.
"It's just so I could earn some money. After some time you soon realize the money you are given to fund your thesis is not really enough to actually keep you alive."
"Do they have even the facilities to investigate Dark Matter?"
"I brought some things from the US."
"Let's just stick with really good friends." They were both amused by the conversation.
"What are you doing in Fiji?" He asked.
"Where's your girl?"
"Left her in Jersey."
"You got a new girl?"
"Not yet." She said slyly.
"Can I tag along? The bar is full of Canadians this time around and they have really long legs."
"Maybe I just want to spend this trip in peace." She was looking at the horizon, orange with sun and cloud.
"What is this, Eat Pray Love? And if it is and you are in some spiritual journey, Julia Roberts still got some ass with Javier Bardem in the end." He saw her grinning.
"Yeah, I'm a guy who likes watching inspirational women movies. Sue me." He continued, eyes rolling.
"What's more disturbing is that you know the actors names." He shoved her playfully and she let out a loud laugh. He realised he never really heard her laugh like that. When they calmed down, she continued.
"Really, I decided that I want to be by myself for a while, while I still can." She said slowly.
"I thought you did that in Thailand?"
"I met a guy in Thailand, British. I think he was a spy. I saw a glint of black metal under his jacket when he got dressed."
"I thought you could tell if someone was packing?"
"Spies are different." How she knew that, he doesn't know, he wouldn't know, not today. And asking her wasn't really his style (it's not like he could get to the real truth if he did asked). He liked squeezing the truth out of her much better.
"Where are you staying?" He asked.
"A little motel down the road."
"Blues Motel?" She nodded.
"That place has a basement meth lab." He said bluntly.
"Well, I'm not exactly loaded with money."
"Yeah, as long as you're in in town, you can stay with me."
"Where do you live?" He pointed to a hill not far from the beach where a nice wooden home sat under a coconut tree.
"That is a very nice house."
"Very nice, House?" He said, raising an eyebrow. She rolled her eyes.
"How in the world did you get such a nice place?"
"An old friend of mine rented it to me."
"Is this a prison friend?"
"He prefers not to be talked about." He stood up and held out a hand to help her up. She raised an eyebrow, he was never a polite man back in the hospital.
"How long are you staying again? I don't want a freeloader around my place for too long."
"3 days, tops."
At times he wondered if fate brought them together. After some time he asked her if she had looked for him. She said no. Maybe she was lying, because he was not a big believer in coincidences. How could something as life changing as her came because of a coincidence?
December, 5 years later. New York City.
"Ladies and gentleman, without further ado, the man of the evening, Dr. Gregory House." A roar of applause flooded the room with a standing ovation as House limped up the stage. He gave a nervous smile to the crowd. He took a deep breath and started.
"Dr. House!" A short blonde woman in high black heels and rectangular glasses with a tape recorder in one hand and a notebook under the other ran across the winter carpark. She stopped just before she could run into him. He seemed twice her size when she was trying to catch her breath, white smoke as she puffed.
"My name is Gloria Hart, Hopkins Medical Journal. Do you mind if I gave you a quick interview?"
"Interviews goes through my publicist."
"Yeah, but you're not really doing anything walking towards you car right?"
"When you're a cripple, it's kind of hard to do one thing at a time. 2 things would just overide my system."
"How about you answer 10 questions and I will be out of your hair."
"How about I don't answer any and you don't get hit in the shins with my cane?"
"Dr. House," She called out and grabbed his arm. He glared at her but as a tough journalist, she didn't back down.
"If I don't get this story, my boss will have me get coffee for her for the next 2 months. Please sir." House shook his head.
"Fine. 2 questions."
"You know, when I reach my car, this deal would not be valid." He started walking fast, almost more than her little feet could handle.
"How about as many questions I can ask until you reach your car?"
"Okay. Why did you decided to leave a successful career in medicine and pursue a PhD?"
"Nobody wanted an ex-con for a doctor."
"Oh, ok, erm. Why did you choose Fiji as a place to do your research?"
"I always wanted to live in a warm place. Time's up." He reached his car and unlocked the door.
"One more question, please!" She was so desperate, it's pathetic. He stopped and looked at her. She took this as a green light.
"Who is Thirteen?"
"She was a friend of mine."
"Oh so it was a she?"
"No more questions. I'm getting cold." He entered the car and turned it on. He saw her banging on his window. He scrolled down the window.
"Where is she now?"
"She's dead." He scrolled up the window again but she jammed her hand in between before it could close because she knew he wouldn't crush her fingers.
"How?" She managed to say.
"Car accident." And he got the engine started and backed out of the parking lot. Shocked, she stumbled backwards and almost fell into the snow.
"What was her name?" She muttered to herself quietly as she watches the car drive away so fast.
To Thirteen, from House.
Because there was nothing else to say. The relationship they had for the past 4 years could never be described in one page of a book. The day she came for a holiday ended up being permanent. Until a tremor took her away. Until that January night she lost control of her vehicle and ran into a bus. She was his companion, his unofficial research partner, his never ending enigma, his lover, his friend. She was and always would be, his Thirteen.
Yeah, I'm not a big fan writing love stories.
So, challenge? If you think you can write a nice emotional ending, about how much he loved her and what not, leave a review or a PM and the best one (hopefully one that can make me weep) might actually be published.
Do you think you can handle it? Thanks for reading :)