She braced herself against the cold. She pulled her coat tighter around her, and shivered slightly. Remembering, just how bitter the cold could be, Martha shivered again.

She was knocked back, by a man hobbling past her. She turned to apologize, but he had not stopped. She began walking after him, slowly at first. She saw that the man had a cane. It was vaguely familiar. He had stopped. Martha saw him turn around. She looked up and met his gaze. Those piercing blue eyes transfixed her.

Smirking at her, in a uniquely arrogant manner, Martha felt powerless. She could feel her legs move her body after him. He was limping away faster, but she kept up with him.

He turned sharply and headed in a different direction. Momentarily lost, Martha scanned for him. She saw him enter a coffee shop. Again, she felt herself follow him without conscious thought.

Entering the warm shop, Martha sighed. She walked up to the counter and ordered a coffee, taking the time to scan for House.

She thanked the waitress and handed over a crisp note, not even bothering to take the change. She quickly made her way over to a free table. She sat down, deep in thought.

"I wouldn't have expected you to be at my funeral," Martha heard. She smiled and nodded. Feeling him behind her, she looked up and saw him move around and sit opposite her.

"You taught me a lot..." Martha started.

"And that's the reason for attending my funeral?" House scoffed.

"Why was this necessary? Why fake your own death?" Martha took a sip of her coffee. House's expression changed.

"Wilson," came his blunt reply.

"What do you mean?" Martha pressed. She could see him fidget beneath the table. She smiled at him. In her mind's eye, she saw him as a child with a secret that he didn't want to tell.

"Wilson was dying. I didn't want to be in prison while he suffered. I promised him that I would be there."

"That's kind of you, House..." He flashed her a look that made her smile falter for a second. "So why are you back here?"

"A couple of last errands to take care of," he admitted, shortly.

"Then what?" Martha pressed. He flashed her an annoyed glance.

"What's with all the questions?" House asked, and she merely shrugged back at him. He sighed loudly.

"I could travel..." House said, half-heatedly. Martha smiled at him.

"We both know that's not going to happen," Martha interjected serenely, taking another sip of coffee. House scowled at her. "Don't worry I won't tell anyone."

"Not that anyone would believe you," House retorted. Her smile merely grew wider. His expression changed as he considered her.

"What happened to the naive, young woman, who wanted to be a surgeon, and was a pain in my ass?" House asked. Martha laughed loudly.

"She's still a little naive," she paused. "But, she realizes that sometimes people are finished with this life." His grin stretched wider over his face.

"Something's happened..."

"Not really. I know you. Most people are afraid of death. I know you well enough to know you're not afraid. You've wanted it for years."

Martha drained her cup and placed it carefully on the table.

"Whatever you do, House, is up to you. I'm not going to sit here and try to stop you, or talk you out of it. There's no point. I know you enough to know how stubborn you can be. If you think you're done, then go ahead. Everyone thinks you're dead anyway."

"But, you..."

"Think you died, and I attended your funeral."

She smiled at him. He smiled back. Understanding flashed between them. She stood up and pulled her coat tighter around her. Smiling for one last time, she grabbed her coffee cup and left the shop. House merely sat there smiling.


Martha sighed as she walked through the door into her apartment. A hand written envelope lay on the kitchen counter. Martha smiled at the sight.

Reaching out, she opened it in one swift movement.

"Masters. Thank you." Martha laughed and set it down, before taking off her coat and heading into her bedroom

Martha heard the font door open and her roommate call it to her.

"Martha, you home?"

"Yeah," she called.

"Had a good day?" Her roommate asked.

"I swear I saw a ghost..."