Rather than words comes the thought of high windows:
The sun-comprehending glass,
And beyond it, the deep blue air,
Nothing, and is nowhere, and is endless. - Philip Larkin.
House does not come
home to a doormat covered in Final Notices and an empty
His apartment, silent and empty, is the same
as he left it eighteen hours ago.
He spent the night at the hospital looking at films and screaming at his cowed and purple-eyed
fellows. His tiredness pulls him in all directions.
It takes a conscious effort to pull against the fridge door seal.
He slops something canned into a saucepan for his stomach and shrewdly opens a beer for everything else. It isn’t
hard. The sharp, aching failure makes it easier.
When he awakes at 4AM, in shock and pain, the red-eyed look he gives
his mirror likeness as the water drips from his face is enough to scatter any resolve that remains.
He paces. He finds
Morphine. She lays her cool cool hands on his head.
He falls. He falls.
is shocked. At himself.
It's no surprise when House pushes him, something hard against his back.
hot anger flashes with the ache behind his eyes, with tomorrow’s hangover fog, and then the shock is House's sudden
gasp, clatter, crash.
Now, and too soon, House is glaring up at him, there. The fright, hurt register on his face,
then a very dark flash of anger.
Wilson feels really sober all of a sudden.
The anger fades. Offering his hand
would be stupid under these circumstances, so he turns away slightly as House drags his anger and shame away. He’s more
than able to make up for it but he doesn’t.
Wilson hears his uneven footsteps. The bathroom door slams. House takes
no opportunity to pay him back now or later. There is no dry comment on his swing, no uncertainty.
He never mentions
it again. Neither does Wilson.
He is surrounded by green.
The air and light are
hot, clean, cleansing. The stick is cool against his practiced hands. Flying drops of water, and wet, loose grass hit his
All of a sudden the world spins and the sun is in his eyes and he can smell the grass. Boom. He lies there
and feels the wet on the back of his neck, and feels the heat in his arms and legs, the sweat. He breathes. In, out. Far away
voices ring. Laughter.
Then they’re all over him, he can’t hear, he can’t see, he’s suffocating.
Black shapes. His lungs scream, and then his throat hurts because he’s screaming, too.
When he awakes to a low burn
in his throat and to a strangling, nervous pain in his chest and legs, he lies on the floor, the floorboards cool under his
His body will not forget.
The intern in Emergency who stitches his hand is
The kid glances twice at the cane-wielding, disheveled man on the chair front of him. House can feel him
take in the threadbare UMich sweater, the shiny new cane, the way his clothes hang off him, the wrung-out, wasted air of his
body, the weary frustration.
As he reads the chart his eyes widen. House can see him mouth his name as he writes something
down. Gregory House.
He feels like saying that he’ll probably need a prescription, avoiding the inevitable
hassle later, but he’s so damn tired, and his mouth stays shut. No fuss, he thinks. Please.
say anything the whole ride home, and neither does he. Maybe I should be more careful, he thinks.
That night in bed, she
traces a manicured hand lightly along the bruises on his back.
Greg, she says. Greg.