Title: Losing It
Betaed by: zeppomarx
Pairing: sort of House/Wilson, story is mostly focused on a twisted relationship between House and Wilson, though a non-sexual one; House/Cuddy friendship, House/Cameron friendship
Summary: After Amber's death, Wilson is having trouble moving on, he cant bring himself to forgive his former friend for the part he played in her loss. All he can think about is vengeance. House is willing to do anything to earn back Wilson's friendship, and this proves to be a recipe for disaster.
Warnings: abuse, violence, dark themes, mild language, *very* dark Wilson throughout
“Okay, so who’d wewe manage to piss off this time?”
“Doesn’t matter,” House muttered, not quite meeting Cuddy’s eyes as he sat down wearily in the chair across from her desk.
Cuddy frowned, troubled kwa the lack of any barbed maoni being tossed in her direction, au even self-defense on House’s part. His usual ever-present humor seemed to have gradually vanished over the weeks since Amber’s death. Oh, sure, there were still the occasional sarcastic maoni and such, but he rarely found the energy to mock her clothing choices anymore, and he was unusually unresisting about doing the things she asked of him around the hospital.
Now, sitting across from her, he seemed listless, weary, and she had noticed that his limp was alarmingly pronounced as he made his way across her office.
And his face was badly bruised.
“That…kinda looks like it matters, House,” she pointed out, gesturing to his face. “Was it a patient? What did wewe say?”
She was slightly ashamed to realize that she was actually hopeful that perhaps House had gotten into some kind of altercation with a patient. Before, she just hoped to get through one siku without the kind of drama that House was so very good at provoking – but now, it would have been proof that he was still in there, somewhere, buried under the guilt and grief that seemed to be slowly crushing him.
“It’s none of your business. Why did wewe call me in here, anyway?” House sounded a little irritable under her scrutiny, rolling his eyes as he gave her an impatient look.
Well…it’s a start, anyway…
“Actually, it is my business,” Cuddy argued, one perfectly shaped brow raised as she met his eyes. “Out of everyone in this hospital, zaidi than anyone else, is is my business. If we’re going to have a lawsuit because of something wewe said...” She paused, amending with a little half-shrug, “…or if we need to file one, because the patient was out of line…well, I need to know about it.”
“It was nothing. It’s over,” House alisema shortly. “The patient didn’t like my diagnosis of marital infidelity, and took it out on my face. That’s all. But, since he is being unfaithful – I highly doubt he’ll bring the incident up again. Of course, if wewe just want to look through all thirty-one of the files of the male patients I saw in the clinic today and see if wewe can figure out which one it is…” He gave her a ghost of his old smug grin, but it faded as quickly as it appeared, as he sighed, frustrated, and repeated, “Now…why did wewe call me in here again?”
Cuddy was struck silent.
She knew why she had called him in here, knew what it was that she wanted to say.
It wasn’t your fault, wewe know. It was just an accident. He’ll come around; he’ll remember your friendship and miss you, and he’ll come around again. Are wewe okay? If wewe need anything, I’m here for you.
But the nature of their barely acknowledged friendship made such words impossible to actually say to House, and Cuddy could not seem to make her mind function well enough to come up with alternative ways of saying them – ways that House would not immediately recognize and dismiss in disgust. The last thing he wanted was anyone’s pity; and House had a way of mistaking genuine affectionate concern for pity.
“I…was just wondering how your latest case is coming along,” she replied, well aware of how lame the attempt was. There was nothing all that unusual about House’s latest case, at least as far as his cases usually went – no reason for her to seek him out to ask about it.
House immediately recognized her failed attempt.
His eyes narrowed as he rose from the chair, and Cuddy could not help but notice his wince as he pulled himself painfully up on his cane. “Fine,” he replied with a curt nod. “Glad we had this little chat.” Without another word, he turned and headed slowly toward the door.
Cuddy frowned, troubled as she once again noticed how much deeper his limp seemed to be today, how much pain he seemed to be in, and she wondered how many times the irate patient had struck him, and if the attack had been limited to his face. “Whatever wewe alisema au did,” she remarked just as he reached the door, “It must have been terrible.” She laughed softly, really just trying to ease the tension with a touch of their usual banter. “You probably deserved it.”
House paused in the doorway, his head lowered, his back turned to her, surprising her with his softly spoken words.
“It was. I did.”
Cuddy gasped in surprise, stunned to hear such an admission from House, and deeply troubled kwa the aching sorrow she heard in his voice. Her eyes widened as a terrible thought occurred to her – one she almost immediately tried to dismiss – Couldn’t be…there’s no way he would ever let it go that far – but before she could say another word au attempt to address it – he was gone.
“You wanted to see me?” The soft knock on her office door nearly an saa later was followed kwa Wilson’s head peering around the door.
She beckoned to him, and he stepped inside, closing the door behind him. “What’s up?” he asked, sounding calm and together for a change, and actually smiling as he took a kiti, kiti cha in front of her desk, the same kiti, kiti cha in which House had sat an saa earlier.
Cuddy drew in a deep breath, letting it out in a shaky sigh as she tried to think of the best way to phrase her questions, without drawing the anger that seemed so readily to rise to the surface in Wilson lately, anytime anyone so much as mentioned the name of his former best friend.
“Look…you may not be the person to ask right now, but…I know wewe worked in the clinic today, didn’t you?” she began, her voice trembling slightly.
A slight frown of confusion creasing his brow, Wilson nodded. “Yes, I did.”
“Well…Dr. House was just here a little while ago, and…well it seems he got in a bit of an altercation with a patient earlier this afternoon…”
It felt odd to her, adding the “Dr.” title to the front of House’s name, but since Amber’s death, Wilson no longer seemed to think of the other doctor in personal terms. He was a part of the hospital’s furniture, to be ignored whenever possible, and acknowledged only when it was absolutely necessary to do so – and the title just seemed to slip out, these days, whenever she was talking to Wilson about House.
Which was…well, almost never, lately.
Even as she spoke House’s name, just as she had expected, Wilson’s expression had darkened, his jaw automatically setting in a stubborn, unyielding line. Between Cuddy and House’s original team, he had already had several attempts made to convince him to forgive his former friend; and kwa this point, Wilson automatically put his guard up the moment another person mentioned House.
She thought for a moment that she detected a flash of fear in the younger doctor’s eyes, and barely allowed a shred of hope to surface that maybe, just maybe it might bother him zaidi than he wanted to admit to think that House had been hurt – but then it was gone, quickly masked kwa the same stone cold expression Wilson usually wore when thinking about House.
“Well, anyway…he was pretty badly beaten up. Claimed it was nothing, wanted me to just forget it. But…I was wondering if wewe might have seen anything, if it possibly happened while wewe were in the clinic, too,” Cuddy finished, rushing to get out the rest of her explanation before Wilson could get the wrong idea of her motives, and think she had called him in here to try to convince him again to change his mind.
Wilson frowned thoughtfully, calmly considering as he appeared to be thinking back over his afternoon in the clinic; and when he answered in a cool, emotionless tone, Cuddy felt a shiver go down her spine at the utter lack of concern she heard in his voice.
“No, I didn’t see anything strange – not that I was paying much attention to what he did au didn’t do,” Wilson shrugged carelessly. “If there was a fight au something, it must have happened in an exam room, because I didn’t see it, and I didn’t hear about it later.”
Cuddy didn’t mention the fact that Wilson would not have been likely to hear about it later, as everyone was too afraid to bring up House’s name at all in his presence these days – everyone except crazy people like her, anyway.
“Is that it?” Wilson asked, sounding bored as he rose to his feet. “Can I go?”
Cuddy nodded, studying his face with a troubled frown as he turned and headed for the door. She warred with herself as he neared it, struggling against her instincts, her need to at least try to do something to get Wilson to think about the cruelty of his hivi karibuni behavior.
Don’t say anything, don’t do it, just let him go…
Wilson turned to face her again, a polite swali evident on his face, his brows raised expectantly.
Against her better judgment, knowing that she shouldn’t, but apparently unable to stop herself, Cuddy searched his eyes as she asked softly, “Doesn’t it bother you? Even a little? He was your best friend, Wilson! Don’t wewe even care to know how badly he was hurt? If he’s even all right?”
Wilson was quiet for a moment, his polite smile fading, and after a moment’s consideration, he answered in a quiet, cold voice, “The key word there is ‘was’, Dr. Cuddy. He’s nothing to me anymore. And if he got hurt because of yet another pointless, stupid maoni he made to some bila mpangilio patient – well, that just tells me that he hasn’t let this change him, not at all. He’s still the same self-centered, arrogant bastard he’s always been – and I’m done with him.”
“Maybe it should tell wewe something else,” Cuddy argued, unable to keep the heated tremble from her voice as she rose to her feet, her hands resting on the juu of her desk. “Like maybe that he’s hurting, too! Wilson…it wasn’t like he could have known that bus would crash. He couldn’t have really stopped it, and he did everything he could to save her; don’t wewe think wewe can at least try to forgive…?”
Wilson cut her off abruptly, snapping back at her, “No, I really can’t. I gave and gave and gave in that stupid, pointless friendship, and all I got for it was losing the upendo of my life! He doesn’t deserve another sekunde of my time – let alone my forgiveness!”
Cuddy was quiet for a moment, before adding thoughtfully, “We don’t forgive people because they deserve it, Wilson. We forgive them because they need it. If they deserved it – there’d be no need for forgiveness.”
Wilson’s eyes narrowed in uchungu, chungu anger, but the momentarily flinch that preceded it told Cuddy that her words had struck home.
“I don’t need wewe to preach at me,” Wilson spat out the words, glaring at her. “Now, if wewe don’t mind, can we stop discussing my personal life? I have a job to do.”
Cuddy nodded, head lowered in defeat as she sat back down at her desk. She did not know what she had hoped to accomplish. After all, she and the others had all tried numerous times already to get Wilson to at least talk to House, at least try to see where he was coming from – all with no success.
With a heavy sigh, she reached for the phone and dialed the extension for medical records.
“Yes, this is Dr. Cuddy…yes…I need all of the records for any male patients Dr. House has seen in the clinic today…”
House sat on his sofa, staring morosely at the vial of Vicodin in his hand, tipping it up and down, over and over, listening to the soft rattle of the pills inside. Since nearly going to prison and losing his license over his addiction, he had stopped keeping large amounts of extra pills around his apartment, simply getting refills when he needed them from the hospital dispensary.
But…there were still a good twenty pills au so in the bottle he held in his hand.
Tonight, as he nursed his aching jaw and more-aching-than-usual leg, his thoughts took a darker turn – not that he had not contemplated it before, in the weeks since Wilson had disowned him. He had just not allowed himself to dwell on the idea so much – not until tonight. With his face bruised and his leg and moyo bruised kwa his friend’s betrayal, it was easy to think of the peaceful release that would come with simply ending it all.
Twenty pills…combined with the whiskey…I’d never know what hit me…be gone before I could even think about…
The knock at the door drew him out of his thoughts, and he glanced up at it in surprise. No one ever came to his door, not anymore.
Well…that’s not quite true…
Cuddy had come a couple of times in the last few weeks, but he had put her off as quickly as possible, not having any desire whatsoever to discuss what actually losing one’s best friend really felt like.
“Go away,” he muttered listlessly, returning his gaze to the bottle of pills, though he kept his voice quiet enough that she would not hear it. The easiest way to get her to go away faster would be to pretend that he was not there.
“House? It’s me. I know you’re there; open the door!”
His eyes widened as he stared back up at the door, disbelieving of the voice he had heard on the other side.
He rose unsteadily to his feet with the help of his cane, heading eagerly toward the door on legs shaking with weariness and anticipation. Was it possible that his friend was finally coming around, willing to at least try to address the issue between them, instead of simply uandishi him off as if their friendship had never mattered? House thought back to that afternoon, and the violent attack he had endured willingly at Wilson’s hands, and his hopes fell a little.
Not so soon…surely not…but maybe…maybe if he’ll just…
The thought dropped off, unfinished, as he opened the door to see the younger man standing in his doorway, a dark, unreadable expression in his eyes as he just stared at House for a long, awkward moment. When he finally spoke, it was all House could do not to visibly recoil from the strong smell of alcohol evident on Wilson’s breath.
“Well, aren’t wewe going to let me in?” Wilson snapped irritably, leaning against the doorframe as if exhausted – though House was fairly certain that he was just very, very drunk.
“Depends,” House replied in an even, cautious voice. “Why are wewe here?”
Wilson shrugged, the gesture almost sullen, though he did not break eye contact with the other man, the look in his eyes still an indecipherable mystery to House, his emotions, once clearly evident in his every expression, now hidden kwa a cold, calm mask.
“Because I think it’s time we talked about what happened.”
House considered those words for a moment, barely daring to allow himself to hope.
After all…Wilson was drunk.
Wilson hated him, now.
Wilson had beaten him without mercy that very afternoon, deliberately targeting the one area he knew would cause him the most pain.
House was not stupid, and the wiser part of his mind was screaming at him to close the door, to tell Wilson that if he still wanted to come back and talk when he was sober and in his right mind, then he should do so, but that tonight, he was not coming in.
The smaller part that was still clinging to hope won out.
With a silent nod of agreement, House stepped back and allowed Wilson to come inside, closing the door firmly behind him.