Really? Wilson says he's going into experimental treatment, I say, "Let's go," and that's it? Just, boom, off we go, problem solved?

Okay, I don't know what his deal is. Maybe he's trying to save us both some embarrassment, but screw it. My hallucinatory pal, Amber, bitched me out for skipping stuff, and she (which is to say I) was right.

Here's the part he didn't tell you:

First of all, I knew he was reading his e-mails. I also knew it was just making things worse for him. I would have broken his phone, or somehow made him stop (for both our sakes), except I also knew he had friends in dull places - i.e. cancer research - and I knew at least one of them was likely to smell his "guinea pig potential", and bait the hook with something more tempting than just keeping poor ol' House company for a few more years.

And let me me set the record straight: Wilson did not show me that e-mail right away. What he did do was claim that an 'old friend' really wanted to see him, and he fudged around about why he was in such a big ass hurry to grant this request, especially as the 'friend' was someone he'd never mentioned to me before. Something else he tried to lie about, but sorry, if my memory ever deteriorates to the point where I don't remember exactly who Wilson talks to, and when, I won't walk out of the next fire. Anyway, rather than give him any reason to have second thoughts, that's when I said, "Let's go," and left it at that.

So yes, we rode hard for three days (that's what she said - har-har). Once there, I stayed in our lovely room at the Guilt Compensation Inn while Wilson went to visit his so-called friend. When he returned that evening, I could see the visit didn't go well. In fact, he looked about as low as I'd seen him since this started, not counting the time he cried in his car and made me feel like a jerk for wanting him to live. Shit. I was tempted to ask for details just to force him to make up even more lies, but in spite of what most people think, I'm not completely heartless. Besides, I was feeling pretty crappy, too, and was pissed at myself for allowing a moldy crumb of hope, even for a day.

And let me make it perfectly clear: He insisted on a double room when we checked in. Okay, so he probably figured it would be easier to hide the marks of the needle biopsy, or whatever else they did to him, but don't let him make it sound like I shoved him out in the cold. He shoved first. So that night, he was in his bed and I was in mine, and we just stared at each other across the void. I'm not sure if I fell asleep first, or maybe he dosed me with something. All I know is one second I was looking at him over there, the next I was looking at an empty, made bed in the daylight. Just blink - now you see him, blink - now you don't.

I sat up, confused, and checked the time: 9am. Oh, yeah, he dosed me. But why? I called his name. No answer. Got up and checked the bathroom. Empty. Looked outside. Just one bike. A really bad feeling rose up in my gut. And that's when I noticed the envelope lying on the tidy bed.

I stared at that envelope without touching it for I don't know for how long. Then I looked away, and once more around the room. I'm not sure why, not sure what I was looking for, but what I saw was his knapsack, his slippers, his socks. Back in the bathroom, his aftershave (good stuff, and yes, I borrow it, sue me), comb, and razor (he'd shaved for his meeting the previous day). And then I realized the worst: his cell phone was still sitting on the night stand.

It all fell into place: The meeting had gone bad, his pain was too much to handle (he always was a wimp), and he realized he didn't want me there in the end. Didn't want to put me through it. I dug into his knapsack to check our Vicodin stash, and sure enough, one full bottle was missing. More than enough.

My mind exploded in so many directions, my body didn't know which one to take, so my legs just gave out. I half fell, half stumbled into the wall, then slid to the floor. And unlike you-know-who, I'm not at all ashamed of crying when I have good reason, and I'd say I had a pretty damn good reason. Except I'm not even sure I'd call it crying. I'm not sure what I'd call it. My guts boiled up into my chest and throat, and erupted out of my face. Just noise and mucus and air, all fighting to exit my body at the same time. I gasped, I wailed, I struck out and hit things - the wall, the floor, myself - until the physical pain was almost comforting. I'm not sure how long it lasted. Hours, at least. Some rational corner of my mind (something I never lose - and again, if I ever do ...) wondered why security or the hotel manager hadn't come knocking, looking for another night's rent, or at least checking on the racket I was making, but then I figured Wilson paid/bribed them off for awhile. As I hadn't yet read the note, I didn't know how long he estimated it would take me to grieve for my fucking best friend. Oh, my god, I was never going to see him again, and I didn't even get to say goodbye. Something I'd been dreading, and that rational corner reasoned he'd made the right call there, and I needed to get as drunk and high as possible to shut that rational corner the hell up as soon as possible.

The sun was going down before I made any attempt to get off the floor. My stomach was growling, I was horribly thirsty, had to pee, and I still desperately, desperately needed to get very, very drunk. The human body fights for what it needs, fights for life, which only reminded me that his was no longer in the fight, and somewhere, some total stranger was looking at that sweet, still face and wondering who the poor bastard was. Strangers touching him, lifting him, taking him away.

If it isn't obvious, my first attempt to get off the floor failed, and I ended up howling for another hour, or two. And so it went until the door opened and Wilson was standing there looking at me, even more cross-eyed than usual.

###

Dosed him? He says I dosed him? Of course, he left out the part where he'd put away half a bottle of scotch before we went to bed (yeah, okay, I asked for separate beds that night, and for exactly the reasons he figured), and I didn't bother counting how many Vicodin. He claimed the long ride made his leg sore. I didn't need to dose him! He passed out on his own, thank you very much.

And I did not lie. I really did visit my friend that first day (and okay, so maybe I didn't mention him to House before, but I'm sure you can see why). We met for lunch and discussed the details of what he wanted to do, then I followed him back to his office to make an appointment for the pre-qualifying tests to be done the following day. House spent the better part of ten years surrounded by people who ran any kind of lab work he wanted the moment he demanded it. The rest of us in the real world usually have to wait, and getting an appointment the very next day was pretty impressive, frankly.

So that night when I came back, I wasn't glum, just nervous. House drank himself into oblivion, I hardly got a wink of sleep, then had to get up before sunrise to make it in time for my appointment. I LEFT HOUSE A NOTE explaining all this (as well as leaving my phone to charge, since I wasn't allowed to have it during the procedure, anyway), but ... oh, god, I still feel awful for the misunderstanding. I really do. It honestly never occurred to me that he thought I'd slipped off to ... well, slip off. I think what bothers me the most is that I had seriously considered doing just that if things didn't work out, but now that I've seen what it did to him, I just feel ... well, I don't deserve him. And yes, House, I know you're going to read this and no doubt add more contradictions (can't even let me have the last word in my own journal). And my face is not sweet!

###

Hi, sweetieface. And no, you don't deserve me. Ha-ha.

###

Fuck you.

###

Love you, too. See? Told you I'd say it if you fought.

So Wilson walks in and finds me lying in a puddle of my own snot, and confesses everything. Apparently he thought he was sparing me unnecessary worry by attempting to be more devious than me (haven't we been over that?), and instead carved a good ten years off my life expectancy. That is to say, he explained it after we spend the rest of that night tangled up on the floor together in a sobbing heap.

You know the rest. Nothing to do but wait two weeks for the results to see if he qualified for the fancy wonder drug. Got an apartment, drifted into different sleep schedules. And I will say I'm sorry about that. I had some heavy thinking to do. Having experienced his 'death' for a day, I had serious doubts I wanted to go through it a second time.

###

By the way, enjoy your funeral, House?

###

Touche'.

So Wilson passed the test, got in the trial, it worked, and here we are: A nearly-dead guy who won a reprieve and a not-really-dead dead guy, happily haunting an apartment together.

###

Who you gonna call?

End