Five Months When Wilson Lives (And One When He Doesn't)

Warnings: Character death and possible suicide.

Author's Note: This is pretty angsty, so if you're still basking in the ending of the finale, you should probably steer clear of this one!

1. He didn't think Wilson had it in him to wear a leather jacket, let alone ride a motorcycle. But hey, he's not complaining.

"This is the most freeing thing I've ever done!" Wilson yells from the next lane, letting out a "Waaahooo" that House can't bring himself to be embarrassed about.

"You mean, aside from crashing a brand new corvette?" House yells back.

"At least that had doors and airbags!" Wilson presses down on the gas pedal, surging ahead and surpassing House. "C'mon, let's go!"

"Not so fast, buddy," House murmurs under his breath, and urges his own bike forward.



2. New Orleans is the perfect road trip destination. The place reeks of nostalgia for Wilson, and whatever Wilson wants, he shall receive.

They stay in a better hotel than those on the road, eating better food and enjoying the ability to stay sedentary for a change. House tries not to notice how much more often Wilson seems to be grimacing and rubbing his chest in pain.

"Can you imagine," Wilson says one morning, "if you hadn't bailed me out of jail?"

"You'd be fine," House shrugs.

Wilson smiles sadly. "I'd still be dying."

House nods. "But I'd already be dead."



3. Back in Princeton, they share the master bedroom. House's couch, at Wilson's request before the funeral, had replaced the condo's usual one. Blythe hadn't minded.

"Memories," Wilson shrugs, so that House doesn't have to ask.

It's weeks before House can bring himself to ask the question that actually matters. "I need to know what you want me to do," he says.

Wilson looks at him quizzically, and House sighs.

"I'm talking about me. What you want me to do…when you're gone. If you want me to follow you."

Brown eyes gleam. The only answer House gets is a coughing fit.



4. "Who is your 'supplier,' anyway?" Wilson frowns.

House dumps the box from Foreman onto the floor. "Don't you trust me?"

"Not if you're getting your Vicodin and my meds from a shady drug dealer."

"Close enough," House smirks, joining Wilson on the couch. The man should really be in bed, but whatever Wilson wants…

"You asked if I want you to follow me," Wilson whispers suddenly.

House re-adjusts the blanket around Wilson's shoulders. "And?"

"Does that mean you actually think…?"

"No," House says truthfully. "But you think there's something else after this."

Wilson sighs. "It's not me I'm worried about."



5. Wilson pushes the oxygen mask away. "Your question," he rasps over House's protests. "I never…answered it."

"Shut up and breathe."

"I'm not…going to tell you…to kill yourself."

Oh. That question. "Okay," House says quietly.

"But…" Wilson shakes his head, white flag waving. "If you do…I won't…be mad. How can you – "

Harsh coughing interrupts, and House wonders what he meant to say. How can you live when you're already dead?

Wilson recovers and closes his eyes. "Was it…worth it?"

The kiss on Wilson's forehead is like all of their kisses – as natural as they come, and always like a dream.



6. Cancer is stupid.

Boring had been his original phrasing. He's not taking it back, he's just adding to it. Stupid is more all-encompassing.

House sits on his bike, surveying the familiar bridge. It's quiet, too early for anyone to be around. Too early for anyone to care.

He revs up the engine and presses down on the gas.

This is the most freeing thing I've ever done.

He still doesn't know if his feet will find the brakes. Soon enough, he'll find out. Or maybe he won't?

Seconds to go 'til the verdict is reached.

Either way, Wilson will understand.