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All Good Things

Title: All Good Things
Pairing: House/Wilson
Rating: R for language, adult themes and brief sexuality
Words: 23,000 (in four parts)
Summary: Life, death, and a double shot of irony.
Warning: character death, cancer, medical liberties
Works consulted: here.

Betas and thanks: Thanks to elynittria and bironic for their thorough and insightful betaing and to nightdog_writes for help and encouragement

Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four


House was in an unusually chipper mood as he entered Wilson’s office, flinging the door open with a gratifying bang. His latest case had been solved and, more importantly, everyone knew it had been solved by his genius. Plus, it was almost lunchtime.
He’d let Wilson buy him lunch, skive off clinic hours, and go home. Today was shaping up rather nicely.

Wilson didn’t acknowledge him, instead captivated by the sonograms he held. “Guess how clever I was today,” House demanded, settling himself down on the desk’s edge. But Wilson continued to ignore him, which was not acceptable. House snatched the films from Wilson’s hands and dodged out of reach before Wilson could make a counter-strike. House studied the sonograms and whistled appreciatively. “Somebody’s got themselves an impressive mass.” But there was nothing wildly interesting in that, nothing to demand that kind of interest from Wilson.

“It looks like a carcinoma,” Wilson interjected, sounding edgy and tense. He wore the world-weary look he usually saved for the bleak prognosis of cute kids, but this was an adult’s sonogram. Not a cancer kiddie, then. Hot chick, maybe.

“Well, you would know. I hope.” House rolled his eyes expansively. “Cuddy would be pissed if she were paying you all that money and you were just guessing. No sign of cirrhosis. Hepatitis?” He considered the films again.

Wilson rubbed his eyes, hard enough that he must have seen spots, and House wondered just how tired Wilson really was. House had left the hospital first last night and had no idea when Wilson had finally gone home. “It was negative. The AFP level is elevated,” Wilson added; he held up a lab printout in case House needed evidence. “Give me those, House. It’s not a diagnostic mystery. I don’t require your opinion.” He held out a hand, waiting.

House obstinately continued his examination. “I just like giving it. Probably hepatocellular carcinoma then. Advanced. Going to die.” He tossed the films back onto Wilson’s desk and gave a dramatic yawn. “Boring.”

Wilson collected them with exaggerated caution as if they were ancient vellum and not celluloid. “Liver cancer doesn’t have to be a death sentence. Resection isn’t possible, but there’s still cryosurgery, radiofrequency ablation, ethanol injection, one of the clinical trials…”

House snorted derisively, tipping back in his chair trying to find the furthest he could go without toppling. “You know why they have so many treatments for liver cancer? Cause each one sucks worse than the last. Has it metastasized?” He wandered over to the window; the blinds were still closed, furthering the impression that Wilson had holed himself up. House opened them, sending light flooding into the room. They both blinked in the sudden brightness.

“The CT’s already scheduled, I’ll know then.” Wilson slipped the films and papers neatly into a manila envelope and slid it into one of his desk drawers. There was tension in his shoulders, in itself not an unusual thing, but something about the rigidity seemed unsettling. And he wasn’t meeting House’s gaze. Something was up.

House took a seat in one of the chairs opposite the desk, leaning backward, balancing precariously on the chair’s back feet, finding the tipping point where if he went any further he’d topple over backward. Wilson could only lie two ways. If he was prepared and committed to the falsehood, he could lie exceptionally well. If he was lying off the cuff or felt guilty, however, he was frighteningly abysmal and folded like a house of cards under the least pressure. This was suspiciously like Wilson’s terrible lying behavior.

“Lemme see that file.” House reached an insistent hand out for the file. Wilson refused, laying his arms on the edge of the desk in a vaguely protective gesture. He kept his eyes downcast, stubbornly studying his day planner.

House let the chair fall back into place with a resounding thump that reverberated darkly, making Wilson flinch. “Who’s the patient?” he heard himself ask, his voice strangely distant.

Wilson traced the black smears of ink on his blotter as if they would arrange themselves into legible writing if he stared hard enough. Finally he sighed, a sound of mixed resignation and exhaustion. “Me, actually.”

For a long moment neither of them moved, House staring at Wilson and Wilson staring at his desk. Eventually House looked away, glance wandering to the door. He wished his leg was still up to running. “Didn’t know you liked cancer so much that you were getting one of your very own.” He beat out a muted tattoo on the carpeted floor with his cane.

Wilson looked at him finally and shrugged. “Well, it just looked like so much fun.” The tremor in his voice undermined his ironic tone.

House swallowed with a little difficulty. “How long have you known?”

“Since now, really. Just got back the results today. I’d been having some nausea, a little fever.” He gave a little ‘and here we are’ shrug and ran a hand through his hair, his expression bleak and disbelieving. “I just thought it was stress. My stomach hurt; I figured ulcers, maybe. I almost didn’t run the blood test. But I had an uncle who died of liver cancer and, you know me, I worry. Good thing, I guess.”  He didn’t sound too grateful.

“Your uncle was an old drunk.” House slid lower in his chair and gave the ceiling tile careful consideration. “What time’s the CT?”

“Ten tomorrow.” Wilson straightened some of the papers scattered across his desk.

“Tomorrow?” House rolled his eyes. “Why not next month? Or hell, just put it off long enough and you won’t need it any more.”

Even without looking at Wilson, House could feel the glare. “One day is not putting it off.” He sounded defensive, as if explaining why he was being so irresponsible. “It was the earliest they could get me in.”

House stood abruptly. “Screw that. Meet me down there in a half hour. I’ve got something to do first.”

“House! It doesn’t matter,” Wilson protested, but he was standing, following, which meant he was already planning on letting House have his way. “There have been people waiting for this machine…”

“They can wait a little longer. I don’t want to spend the rest of the day watching you sit and obsess. You worry like most people breathe.”

It wasn’t much of a challenge getting Wilson in; the scheduling nurse was new and absolutely terrified of him. Plus, he was privy to some knowledge she was rather keen to keep quiet. Well, actually, he wasn’t, but she thought he was after he made a few vague insinuations. Everybody had a skeleton in their closet.

Wilson looked especially ridiculous in the hospital gown, with his pasty legs and girly toes. “Don’t. Don’t even,” he warned, when he caught House staring at him.

“Did I say anything?” House pressed a hand dramatically to his chest.

“You were thinking it,” Wilson grimaced.

“I can’t be held responsible for that,” House finished smoothly, ushering Wilson into the chamber with the CT machine. “’K, you know the drill. Let’s fire this puppy up.” Wilson climbed onto the table, smoothing out the hospital gown nervously, like it mattered whether the fugly thing got wrinkled. “Catch you on the flipside,” House said with a mock salute.

He went to wait on the other side of the glass, drumming his fingers against the table top, impatient for the scans to appear. “Fuck,” House swore under his breath when they finally did, looking at pernicious white blurs invading Wilson’s liver. “Fuck.”

“House?” Wilson’s voice was thin and reedy over the speaker. “What do you see?” House stared at the computer screen, willing the image to change, for the ghostly shadows to be a machine malfunction. “House? If you’re ignoring me, it can’t be good.”

House held his breath a moment, steadying his voice before punching the intercom button. “There are no metastases.” He felt selfish for being glad that there was glass and a CT machine between them.

“But?” And even in one word, House heard the fear and dread in Wilson’s voice.

“You’ll want to look at this for sure. But it’s pretty substantial.”

“Oh,” Wilson breathed. “Damn.”

Wilson’s face was grim but composed when he looked over the slides for himself. “Yeah. You’re right. Looks like hepatocellular carcinoma. Nearly seven centimeters and the size and placement make resection impossible. Transplantation would be tricky, but possible.” Wilson sounded calm and coolly professional; he always had been a master of compartmentalization.

“Are you…” House started, but then realized he didn’t actually know what he was asking, so he trailed off, letting Wilson make whatever he wanted of it.

“Yeah, I am, I think,” Wilson answered, though House wasn’t sure how to interpret it. “It’s funny. Being an oncologist makes you take precautions. I don’t smoke, I always wear sunscreen. I even drink pomegranate juice.” He frowned helplessly. “But it didn’t matter.”

“That’s called irony,” House observed dryly.

“You want irony?” Wilson’s expression was wry. “How about the irony that it was my liver that gave out first? I’ve got an appointment with a patient,” he said, checking his watch and half turning. He paused. “House? Thanks.”

“For…?” House wondered what he’d done to deserve thanks and if he should demand ten dollars from Wilson.

Wilson shifted uncomfortably. “The CT. You gossip less than the technicians. Surprisingly. And I’d really appreciate it if people found out on my terms.”

House nodded. “I’m known for my ability to withstand torture
years of practice with Cuddy. Nothing shall pass these lips.” Wilson rolled his eyes and nearly smiled, but then it was gone. “When can you do the biopsy?” House called before he could make his escape.

Wilson stopped and looked at him dubiously. “A biopsy isn’t really necessary.”

“Just to be sure. It might be fibrolamellar. It’s more likely considering your age and health.”

Wilson sighed, but considered briefly and nodded. “HCC’s kinder cousin. Unlikely with an elevated AFP level. But maybe.” Neither of them thought there was much of a chance that it was, but both of them were looking for reasons to hope.

They waited until most of the staff had gone home, the daytime bustle of the hospital dying to a murmur as everyone who could leave did. House did the biopsy with guidance from Wilson. He suggested bringing in another member of the staff, one with whom Wilson didn’t have to deal, but Wilson was adamant. The removed tissue was sent to a peevish Chase, with instructions to test it and to leave it off the record. House took Wilson home himself and got him to bed without too much trouble, trying not to think of what Cuddy would say if she knew he’d moved Wilson so soon after an illicit liver biopsy.

He sat a glass of water and bottle of painkillers on the bedside table. Wilson was already dozing, so House took a chair to sit by the window and wait. It was after ten; he would have been able to see the stars, but the light pollution of the city easily snuffed them out. He was debating whether to raid Wilson’s liquor cabinet when Chase called; he answered his cell on the first ring.

“And?” House prompted.

“Definitely hepatocellular carcinoma.” Chase sounded vaguely annoyed, but House didn’t really care what date Chase had canceled. He’d told himself not to hope, that the diagnosis was definite and they were just doing the biopsy in case, but Chase’s words hit him like a blow to the solar plexus.

“You sure?” he asked automatically.

“No.” Chase was sarcastic. “I’m just guessing.”

House bit back the stinging retort—no need to let Chase know he’d hit a nerve
and instead said, “Wouldn’t put it past you” and ended the call, shutting his phone in disgust and slipping it back in his pocket.

“Who was that?” Wilson’s voice startled him and he turned.

“Chase, with the results.” Wilson didn’t bother asking, just waited expectantly. House swallowed, trying to wet his throat. “HCC.” Wilson was looking toward him, but not exactly at him, seeming to stare at a fixed point beyond House. He shook himself a little and lay back, adjusting the pillow beneath his head.

“I need to get on the transplant list, then.” It was an idle, detached observation.

“You already are,” House said after a slight hesitation. Wilson propped himself up on an elbow, eyebrow raised questioningly. “I submitted you today, before the CT. In case.”

“Ah.” Wilson considered a moment. “Suddenly you’re all about contingencies.” He gave House a meaningful look.

House shrugged. “Sometimes I am.”

“What did Cuddy say?” Wilson asked, concerned.

“Not much.” That was an outright lie. Cuddy had grilled him, but he hadn’t told her much, so it came down to the same thing. “That you’re on the list.”

“Behind how many others?” Wilson waved a hand dismissively. “Don’t answer that. It was rhetorical.” He paused. “Do your fellows know?”

House looked out the window at the night sky, but with the street lamp’s glare he could barely make out a waning moon. “Nope. Chase ran the biopsy. He’s the one dumb enough not to figure out what’s up and smart enough not to ask questions. They’ll find out sooner or later, though.”

“I know.” Wilson’s voice sounded strained, close to snapping. “I just want a little more time.”

“Sure,” House readily agreed. “Whatever you want.”

“I just can’t stand the thought of their expressions,” Wilson started to explain as though House had argued with him. “Not now. Not yet.” He was almost plaintive.

House rubbed at a dirty spot on the window pane and then realized that the dirt was on the outside and the oil from his fingers had just made the glass grimier. “So what are you going to do?”

“Uh. Still trying to adjust, actually,” Wilson sniped. He reached over and grabbed the bottle of pills, downing a couple and then finishing the glass of water. He took a breath and held it and then continued in a calmer voice. “There are a couple of treatments to consider. Cryosurgery—”

“Useless,” House interrupted.

Wilson looked at him sharply and tried again. “Ethanol injection.”

“More useless.”

“Chemo.”

“Worse than useless.”

“House!” Wilson finally snapped. “Little support here? They don’t have to be great; they just have to keep me alive long enough to find a new liver.” He threw an arm over his face. Always the drama queen. “Shit.” The expletive was more exhausted than emphatic.

House collected his cane and rose. “You should sleep,” he told Wilson, who didn’t move or otherwise react. House left, with a last glance over his shoulder at Wilson’s prone form.

* * * * *

House spent the next day corralled into clinic duty. It was a good thing he could go through the motions blindfolded with one arm tied behind his back. Flu, sprain, infection, flu, cold, cold. He tried to catch Wilson for lunch, but Wilson had managed to completely fill his schedule and House could barely see him in the halls between staff meetings and appointments. He managed to escape after work too. House called two or three or six times that evening, but his calls were all put over to voicemail.

During the course of their friendship, Wilson had spent a lot of time avoiding House. As such, House had long ago learned the many levels and nuances of being avoided by Jimmy Wilson. There was the eye roll and walk in the other direction when he saw House coming. That was for the everyday annoyances. Then there was the slightly more involved “Sorry, can’t hang out, I’m going to wash my hair.” That was used for greater insults and whenever House was truly obnoxious. House could usually get around that with minimal whining. Greater levels of avoidance were occasionally implemented and entailed Wilson filling his schedule and walking the long way to the bathroom to avoid passing House’s office. The last time he’d done that was when House had ‘accidentally’ let Wilson’s second wife, Linda, know that Wilson wasn’t with him and implied he was with his mistress instead. Wilson hadn’t been, that time, but the effect was much the same. That had been the highest level of avoidance for nearly two weeks, until House had broken into his office and ambushed him.

This was probably a level-three avoidance level. House’s call for consults went largely ignored, and when Wilson did answer, his replies were brief and to the point. House found himself eating alone, since Wilson had either locked himself in his office to work through lunch or was in a meeting. They exchanged pleasantries—or not so pleasantries—when they passed in the corridors, but Wilson always had somewhere else he really needed to be and refused to make eye contact.

But House could actually be a very patient man when he wanted to be, and Wilson could only play hard to get for so long. House finally intercepted him in the lobby a week and a half later. “And where are you off to? Sneaking out of work again?” he called loudly, patients and staff alike turning to stare first at him and then at the escaping Wilson. “Probably smart to use another door, though.”

“I’ve got an appointment,” Wilson replied, stopping and turning to face House. “At Princeton General.” He gave House a significant look, the kind that warned House he’d best be careful or risk Wilson’s wrath.

Wilson’s wrath was something House had long lost any respect for. “No wonder you’re being sneaky—what kind of a message does that send?” Wilson realized there was no way that he’d come out ahead in this confrontation and wheeled quickly about, heading for the door again, but House followed stubbornly. “The Head of Oncology getting treatment at another hospital?” He caught Wilson’s elbow, stopping him just outside the building.

Wilson scowled and shook him off. “I didn’t think it would be right to ask my coworkers to treat me. It would just be too hard for them.” He hesitated. “And me. Dr. Abbott is very good. She ran a trial on the benefits of radiofrequency ablation a few years back.”

House met Wilson’s gaze briefly, then glanced away. “Come on,” he pulled him in the opposite direction. “I’ll give you a ride. Unless you want to keep avoiding me. “It was a challenge and House thought Wilson might argue, but then he just sighed.

“A ride? On the bike?” Wilson was clearly dubious.

“Unless you’d prefer piggy-back. But I don’t think the leg would hold. So the bike it is.” House tugged a bit more insistently when Wilson resisted.

But Wilson shook his head vehemently. “No way. You can come. You can even drive, but there is no way I am getting on that motorcycle.” He was resolute, judging by the set of his hands on his hips.

“Fine.” House held out his hand for the keys. For a moment Wilson just looked at him, and House thought he was going to renege, but then he glanced momentarily heavenward and tossed them over.

It was strange how different and the same Princeton General was. It had the same disinfectant and bad cafeteria food smell as PPTH, the same noise of nurses and patients, but the layout was different, the nurses unfamiliar. Their eyes slid over him; he was just another confused family member. The tile was an aged gray color, and for the first time, House appreciated PPTH’s overabundance of glass. Here he felt claustrophobic, closed in by all the dingy neutral-colored walls. And the florescent lighting wasn’t doing anything for his complexion. Or Wilson’s, who looked washed out and ill. Or maybe that was the cancer.

“You sit down. I’ll sign in,” Wilson said. “We’re a little early.”

Dr. Abbott saw them almost immediately, and House privately wondered if that was out of respect or if the woman really was that efficient. He was inclined to think the latter when he met her. She was pretty much exactly what he guessed Cameron would be in another thirty years.

They exchanged the most banal of pleasantries; Wilson thanked her for seeing him a little too enthusiastically and then turned to House. “Dr. Abbott, this is Dr. House. He’s just here for, uh, moral support.” House debated whether to insert a comment about the other kinds of support he could be supplying, but Wilson’s smile was brittle glass and House satisfied himself with a curt nod.

Dr. Abbott gave him a long, considering look, but he couldn’t guess what her conclusion was. “Ah. Well, please, take a seat, doctors.” House threw himself down on the couch she indicated, wondering if there was a section in the Oncologists’ Code about office design. She could have stolen the low leather couch, dark maple desk, and tacky patient gifts from Wilson’s office.

“I’ve had a chance to look over your file, Dr. Wilson,” she started cautiously, “but I’m not exactly sure what you’d like me to do.”

Wilson took a seat next to House on the couch. Though he looked calm, House could tell by the rigid way he held himself, the stiffness in his shoulders, that he was anything but. “I just want a second opinion, I guess. I know things aren’t exactly…optimal with my case,” Wilson began, “but I thought there might be a clinical trial or something. Besides the cancer, I’m in excellent health.” That seemed like a slightly ridiculous thing to say but House bit his tongue and refrained from pointing it out.

Dr. Abbott frowned apologetically. “Unfortunately, I don’t have any current trials that you would meet the criteria for. There may be some treatments aimed at palliative care that we could look at.”

“Palliative care?” House exploded. Both Wilson and Dr. Abbott turned to him, the former looking pissed and the latter surprised. He continued angrily, “I know, why don’t you just take him out back and shoot him? That would be even easier.” Standing, he paced tensely in the confined space of the room. Dr. Abbott flinched, clearly intimidated by House’s tirade.

“House,” Wilson warned. Their eyes met for a moment and House looked away.

“I assure you, everything will be done to help Dr. Wilson.” She glanced between the two of them, unsure where to direct her attention. “But most curative treatments have been ruled out by the extent of the tumor. If it responds to chemo, surgery may become possible. A clinical trial may open up. Right now we need to focus on taking it a day at a time.” She held the folder in front of her defensively, as if to protect herself from House’s wrath.

“What is this? A courtesy call?” House snarled. “I’ve always admired your work, but now you’re just fucked?”

“House!” Now Wilson was truly angry, eyebrows even lower over nearly black eyes. “If you can’t keep quiet, then leave.”

“I’m not going to sit here and let this quack tell you to get your affairs in order,” House snapped, throwing a vicious look in Dr. Abbott’s direction.

“I assure you, that is not—” Dr. Abbott tried, a bit helplessly.

“Don’t bother,” Wilson interrupted, and then clarified. “He’s not mad at you; he’s mad at me.”

“Why would—?” she started, confused.

“An oncologist who can’t even catch his own cancer?” This time it was House who cut her off. “That’s not going to look too good on your record. Hardly inspires confidence.”

Dr. Abbott, apparently still unaware that this wasn’t her argument, held up a hand in a calming gesture. “Liver cancer usually has no symptoms until it is advanced. And Dr. Wilson has none of the risk factors—” she kept her voice irritatingly soothing.

“I know!” they said in unison, then turned back to each other in surprise.

“We’ll talk about this later,” Wilson directed at House. “Go wait outside.”

House returned the glare for a moment, and then stood stiffly. He’d go, but he would not be gracious. “Really, it’d just be easier to do a Kevorkian now—save us all the time. Well, except Wilson,” he shot from the door, shutting it behind him before Dr. Abbott could reply or he could see the look on Wilson’s face.

He sat in the waiting room, flipping through a Reader’s Digest circa 1998, and glowered. Glowering was more effort than most people thought. There were the heavy sighs, the exasperated fidgeting, the scanning the room and staring down anyone who had the gall to look him in the eye. He’d perfected the art sitting outside the principal’s office in high school. The feeling was much the same, actually, only now instead of adolescent rage he had nothing but guilt and overwhelming dread.

Wilson collected him a half hour later, leaving House to trail after him as he left the hospital. Wilson drove on the way back, maintaining a stony silence except for a short “Put on your seatbelt.”

“What are you going to do?” House finally asked, unable to take the silent treatment Wilson was so carefully applying.

Wilson took a long moment before replying. “Chemoembolization. I’m in good enough shape to take it. With 5FU and cisplatin, as well.” House made a face to show what he thought of that plan. “If you have any other ideas, I’d love to hear them.” Wilson’s voice caught and his knuckles were white from gripping the steering wheel.

Reluctantly House replied, “No,” feeling the utter defeat in the word. “But there’s got to be something.”

“Right,” Wilson quickly agreed, “the power of positive thinking. I know you’re a big fan.”

“You’re certainly giving me a run for my money right now.” House used his thumbnail to scrape at a smear of mustard on his jeans, left over from lunch.

Wilson was specifically not looking at him, and House couldn’t try his normal attention-getting tactics for fear of causing an accident. Wilson cleared his throat. “I’ve already scheduled the chemoembolization.”

“At Princeton General?” The question was seemingly neutral, but Wilson still caught the subtext behind it.

“Would you want your team treating you?” Wilson glanced at him out of the corner of his eye, smiling wryly.

“An excellent point,” House conceded, spitting on his fingers and working on the mustard with more enthusiasm. “You’re going to have to take off for the treatments.”

Wilson shifted his grip on the steering wheel and checked the rearview mirror. “If I plan the treatments carefully, I shouldn’t have to take too much time off for a while.”

“Yeah, I see that going well. Don’t worry,” House assured him. “I’ll cover for you. I’m already working on some elaborate cover stories—something with hookers and Columbian cocaine.”

* * * * *

House had managed to ignore Cuddy’s first dozen pages, but now they were into the teens and House knew the next step would be for her to send someone, or worse, come for him herself. He reluctantly levered himself to his feet and made his way toward her office. He’d delayed enough to make his point, and it would be better if he showed up unescorted. Cuddy was on the phone when he entered her office, phone held between her shoulder and ear as she sorted through the files scattered across her desk. He debated whether to reach over and end the call, since she was so desperate to talk to him, but resisted the impulse. Instead, he took a seat in one of the chairs across from her desk, propping his feet up.

She shot him a dirty look and hurriedly brought her call to a close. “Well?” she demanded, setting the phone down hard.

House considered, screwing his face into an exaggerated expression. “Well, what?”

Cuddy stood abruptly and House thought for a minute that she was going to come around the desk and hurt him, but instead she gathered the files, angrily filing them into her desk drawers. “I put Wilson on the transplant list, upon your demand; you don’t think that deserves an explanation? Or does Wilson just feel like a new liver because he’s redecorating and the old one doesn’t match his curtains?”

“He’s just got a lot of fava beans and a great recipe.”

“House.” She set her palms on the desk, leaning forward, which gave him a better view down her blouse than she probably realized.

“He hasn’t told you?” he hedged. It was clear from her expression that she had no idea what was going on and was more than a little concerned.

“No. In fact, I’m really beginning to wonder if this is some kind of sick prank.” Her head tilted to the side as she studied him, looking for evidence that yes, he was that sick a puppy.

“Yeah. This is my idea of a good time.” House let his feet drop to the floor with a thump.

She threw up her hands in exasperation. “How should I know? House, either tell me now or I’m taking him off the list.”

“No,” he started, bracing his elbows on his knees. “You wouldn’t risk his life to call my bluff.”

“Want to try me?” she challenged.

House closed his eyes briefly, but unfortunately Cuddy was still there when he opened them again. “He needs the liver.”

“Why?!”

“Because his current one is cancer riddled, that’s why,” he burst out, annoyed. “And it doesn’t go with the new curtains.”

“Oh God, you can’t be serious,” Cuddy gasped, jaw dropping as she fumbled for the right thing to say, still unsure if he was just playing her, hoping that he was.

“Yeah, they’re kind of a green color and it just clashes—” He gestured vaguely as if sketching ugly drapes.

“House.” The color had drained from her face.

“Yes. Stage three.” He traced a scrape in the wood of his cane with a fingernail.

She sank down, barely catching herself with the chair. “God,” she repeated. Worry tended to bring out the blasphemy in her.

“Don’t bother. It’s not like he’s listening.”

“Why hasn’t he told me?” was her next question, her eyes growing suspiciously damp. He hoped she wouldn’t cry.

“It’s not always about you,” he reminded her. “It’s about me.” He shrugged. “He didn’t want to burden you, or he doesn’t want to talk about it. Maybe he just forgot. I don’t know.”

“Should I—”

“No.”

“But I could—”

“Still no. Just let him do it on his own time.” She met his eyes and nodded slowly. “Just keep on as normal.”

“Like you know what normal is,” she snapped, the snark autopilot taking over.

“Right. Am I excused, now? Or do you want to go over this further?” She opened her mouth and he realized his mistake—he shouldn’t have given her the option of saying yes. “Because I sure don’t.” He rose, bracing both hands on his cane.

She grimaced and nodded again. “All right. But you can talk—” He didn’t hear the rest of her offer, already outside with the door shut behind him.


Continue to Part Two

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
roga
Feb. 11th, 2007 10:13 am (UTC)
Oh, wow. I wasn't going to read this now, but the first two paragraphs completely hooked me in. This is so well written, and there were so many small details I loved - House's sudden appreciation for PPTH glass, the effort it takes to glower, House's irrational anger at Wilson (and vice versa), and all the bits of snarky black humor in between. Off to read the next parts, with the completely irrational hope that despite the character death warning, Wilson will somehow make it through.

Tiny note: “You’re going to have to take off for the treatments.”
- did you mean to leave out the 'time'?
thriftstoredesk
Jul. 1st, 2007 10:03 pm (UTC)
I really like where this is going, except for, ya know, cancer!Wilson. But it's going to be good, I can tell.
rnwannabe
Jul. 2nd, 2007 08:56 am (UTC)
Yay! This is good. (but all scary and dark and sad, ya know) LOVE the fava bean reference. In fact, that whole exchange with Cuddy was very nicely done. You have House's voice down pat. Off to part two, now, even with the death-fic warning. Because I love good fic. Even if everybody dies.
elesecks
Sep. 2nd, 2007 12:35 pm (UTC)
I'm sitting here, tears flowing, breath catching, occasionally trying not to heave my guts up, because I've just broken one of my own rules, and read this deathfic.

It was in a list of recommendations, and I only glanced down, after seeing the warning, to see who it would be. I caught the first couple of paras, and that was it. had to read it all.

Now I'm gonna be crying for the next few hours. It was such a good story, but I know my reactions are always way too much with a deathfic, with all this grief and emo rolling around in me.

too upset to say any more

elesecks
rubberbutton
Sep. 2nd, 2007 02:38 pm (UTC)
Aw, hon. I'm sorry it hit you so hard.

*hands over handkerchief and a box of chocolates*
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )