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Cats' Corners: the little HOUSE in the woods....
Where House is NEVER safe...
Desperate Hour (eighth in the HOUR series) 
28th-Jun-2007 10:44 am

Title: Desperate Hour
Characters: House, Wilson
Rating: PG
Genre: Angst
Word Count: 900
Summary: Okay, kids; you just knew this one was coming; it was... inevitable..  The previous vignettes, in order, are:
Visiting HourHappy HourMidnight Hour,   Fifty-Minute Hour,  Random HourPainful Hour, and Dark Hour .



In a real dark night of the soul, it is always three o’clock in the morning.  ~F. Scott Fitzgerald


3:00am:  Wilson

Tonight’s the night.  Wilson’s planned for this with his usual attention to detail.  He’s saved two weeks’ worth of his sleeping pills—no one even questioned why he’d suddenly begun accepting them each evening—and, for good measure, he’s also got six of his antidepressants.


He’ll take all the pills shortly after 3:00am, when the guard makes rounds, because the guard won’t come by again until 6:00am—and by then it’ll be too late.


Wilson had thought he’d be able to handle prison; after all, two years isn’t forever.  And maybe his career is gone, and that’s a blow—but he’d still have the other good thing in his life; he’d still have House.  But House’s last visit, when Wilson had been injured, had changed everything.  He could see that the guilt was destroying House—and Wilson can’t allow that to happen.


Sure, his suicide will upset his friend.  But death is finite; it has a definite end, and the survivors move on, given time.  Imprisonment, Wilson’s decided, goes on forever.  Even after he’s served his sentence and been released, his continued presence on this Earth would be a daily reminder to House of the lost medical license, the lost two years.  A reminder that, Wilson knows, would eventually kill House. 


I’ve screwed up enough.  My marriages.  My career.  I’ve already lost House’s trust; things might never be the same.  And without House, there’s nothing left for me.  Nothing.  So Wilson will die instead.



3:00am:  House

Tonight’s the night.  House has made no plans, said no goodbyes.  But it’s time.  So he retrieves his secret stash of morphine tablets—he’s not gonna die like a junkie, an empty syringe by his side—and the bottle of aged scotch he’d been saving for Wilson’s release from prison; it’ll wind up providing release for House instead.


It’s almost 3:00am, the time he’s picked, at random, to start the process.  He wants to be dead by dawn, doesn’t want to suffer through another cruel, cheerful sunrise.


House had thought he’d be able to handle his guilt about Wilson’s imprisonment.  But his last visit to Wilson had changed everything.  The look in Wilson’s eyes… the hurt.  He’d needed something House couldn’t give; he’d needed a real friend, and House doesn’t know how to be that. House had realized then that Wilson wouldn’t ever be able to move on with his life as long as House was a part of it.  So House will remove himself from Wilson’s life quickly, cleanly—no different than the surgical removal of a cancer, really.


Yeah, his suicide will upset Wilson.  But Wilson’s a pragmatic guy; he’ll realize, eventually, that it’s for the best.  When Wilson gets out of prison, it’ll be difficult enough establishing a new life—he doesn’t need the added anchor of being House’s friend to weigh him down further.  That anchor would drown him, eventually.  So House will drown himself first.




Wilson feigns sleep as the guard passes.  Once the man is gone, Wilson goes to the small stainless steel sink in his cell.  He divides the pills into two handfuls and places the first group of ten in his mouth, swallowing it quickly with a handful of the rusty-tasting water.  He takes the second bunch of pills the same way, then returns to his cot.


House lays out the pills on the coffee table.  He figures twenty ought to do it.  Any more than that might cause him to throw them all up; any less, and his stupid body would probably just think it was at some awesome party, and then he’d wind up living through another mocking dawn.


As Wilson waits for his final sleep to overtake him, vivid pictures start to play in his mind.  Holding House’s bruised, crushed hand between his own after Wilson’s plan to detox him had gone terribly wrong.  Watching House lie in a coma of his own choosing, chasing the dream of having a normal life again.  Thinking House had terminal brain cancer, and not being able to eat or sleep or even breathe that week, because House was dying. House, needing Wilson.  House needs Wilson.


House picks up the first bunch of pills and stares at them.  But instead of seeing the chalky white ovals, he sees Wilson.  Standing forlornly with a suitcase at House’s front door, his life falling apart and nowhere else to go.  Yelling at House like a rebellious teenager over an affair with a patient that would’ve ruined Wilson’s career.  Telling House that their friendship was one of the two good things he had, and listening to his voice crack and break as he said it. 


Damn him—too stupid to know I’m no good for him.  I pulled him down, and the fool let me do it.  When I’m gone, the world’ll eat him alive—no one left to watch out for him.  He’ll never make it; damn—Wilson needs me.  


Wilson can’t do it; House needs him.  He bolts from the cot to the toilet and forces his fingers down his throat.  The pills and the bile burn as they come up, and Wilson gasps for air.  When he can breathe again, he counts the pills, floating and dissolving in the water—they’re all there.  He sighs in satisfaction; he’ll live.


House can’t do it; Wilson needs him.  Slowly, he collects all the pills and puts them back in the amber bottle.  Then he limps to the kitchen and carefully replaces the bottle of scotch in the cabinet.  He returns to the couch and allows himself a frustrated sigh; screw it—he’ll live.


Hours later, the sun rises on another day, and they’re both awake to see it.

On to:
Witching Hour

28th-Jun-2007 03:25 pm (UTC)
You're a mean, evil writer.

And I love every second of it. I'm looking forward to seeing this finished. Please tell me this isn't finished with this section. I need more of this. More, says I.
28th-Jun-2007 04:28 pm (UTC)
I need more of this

and more is, indeed, on its way!
28th-Jun-2007 03:28 pm (UTC)
Ouch, ouch, but a good ouch if that makes sense....
28th-Jun-2007 04:31 pm (UTC)
good ouch

yeah, makes sense to me. there's a sort of... release in writing and/or reading these. kinda like a 'safe danger.'
28th-Jun-2007 03:37 pm (UTC)
I'm glad they live to see another day, even if they're depressing ones.

Really loving this series. And the last one. And the ones before them too, actually. But since I am a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad fic-reader I haven't said so before now. My very very bad. Keep it up, and let them be happy?
28th-Jun-2007 04:32 pm (UTC)
Keep it up, and let them be happy?

not to worry--i (almost) always fix what i break! ;)
28th-Jun-2007 03:47 pm (UTC) - Oh No
Oh my gosh, I was really getting upset and then I just cried at the pain they are both going through. But I agree bettter that they are alive to live through another pain filled day than dead. I just love the stories. My mood right now is shaky but trying to get there. Listening to Radiohead because I love them and even when I'm said they came make me feel like I'm not alone in the world. Need some hot tea and crackers. Must buy some cheese.
28th-Jun-2007 04:35 pm (UTC) - Re: Oh No
aww, hon, i'm so sorry that you're having a bad day. sending virtual tea and crackers (with cheese) your way. and many, many hugs, too.
28th-Jun-2007 04:04 pm (UTC)
aaaahhhhhh ! pheeeeewwwww !
Fortunately I know your other stories and I KNOW you wouldn't kill one or the other (you wouldn't, would you ?). Never. So this aknowledge allowed me to breathe while I was reading. Otherwise, no pffff5, no comment.
THe usual
special mention to Fitzgerald quote.

28th-Jun-2007 04:37 pm (UTC)
special mention to Fitzgerald quote

fitzgerald is my all-time favorite author; that's my all-time favorite quote! and it just... fit so well here.
28th-Jun-2007 04:16 pm (UTC)
First of all - the Fitzgerald quote is one of my personal favorites.

This is one of the most painful installments yet. But, in this weird way, it's also one of the most uplifting for me. It left me with the same gnawing ache that the others left me with, yes, but it also left me with a very slight twinge of hope. =) I'm not going to give up on these two just yet. As always, more please!
28th-Jun-2007 04:39 pm (UTC)
not going to give up on these two

you mustn't ever give up on house and wilson! as long as they have each other, they shall persevere!!
28th-Jun-2007 04:18 pm (UTC)
We must be up to the Not Quite So Mindthumpingly Horrible and Depressing Hour soon?
28th-Jun-2007 04:33 pm (UTC)
And the Sheep-Pot calls the Nurse-Kettle black, I see.

What? Don't give me that innocent-lamb face, my dear. I've read </i>The Contract.</i> And that Mouth of Madness thing, and...

Admit it. You're loving every bit of teh mindthumping angst.
28th-Jun-2007 04:47 pm (UTC)
Another happy kudo here for the Fitzgerald quote -- one of my favorite writers also.

The counterpoint here of them both deciding they need to be there for the other is nicely done. It's also very interesting that Wilson goes ahead and actually takes the pills ... and House doesn't.
28th-Jun-2007 04:54 pm (UTC)
also very interesting that Wilson goes ahead and actually takes the pills

i feel that their actions (and non-actions) fit their basic personalities here (or at least i hope they do). wilson, i feel, is more able than house to see a 'way out' of any situation, including a partially-accomplished suicide. i think that--once those pills were in house's body--house wouldn't even bother to look for a way out.

i don't know why i feel that this is the way it would play out, but i do know that i'm convinced of the 'rightness' of it.
28th-Jun-2007 05:29 pm (UTC)
You know, all you're really proving is that they are soulmates here. I mean look at it this way. They plan to take the pills on the same night, at the same time because they think that they are dragging the other one down. Then they stop or throw up said pills because they realize the other person needs them. Soulmates. Lets not even get started on the fact that both of them were going to do pills, possibly symbolic of the vicodin that put them in this position in the first place.

God, this is great! (Before you call the people with the white coats, I'll admit to taking an anti-depressant today. I'm not insane, I swear!) Anyhow great job, I can't wait for the one were Tritter goes down. Make me proud hun!! ;<)
28th-Jun-2007 05:47 pm (UTC)
You know, all you're really proving is that they are soulmates here.

'twas my intent, from the start. i don't much like the new term "bromance," being used to indicate a deep, nonsexual male friendship--but i must admit, it does tend to cover all aspects of relationships like house and wilson's. kind of like the old star trek kirk and spock thing, of a brotherly love that goes 'to the soul,' or some such like that.
28th-Jun-2007 05:49 pm (UTC)
*sigh of relief* Okay you didn't kill them but you certainly had me going for a bit there. I know I've probably said this before but I really do enjoy the way House and Wilson's narrations echo each other. Can't wait for more!
28th-Jun-2007 05:58 pm (UTC)
you didn't kill them

but you are killing me with that user icon! every time i see it, i'm forced to relive the tritter years. (yeah, okay, so it was only seven weeks, but it FELT like years!) ;)
28th-Jun-2007 06:27 pm (UTC)
I'm really enjoying these!
28th-Jun-2007 06:57 pm (UTC)
and i'm really enjoying writing them--so it works out well all around! :)
(Deleted comment)
28th-Jun-2007 09:36 pm (UTC)
yikes! i just this second discovered that LJ is (again) not sending out comment alerts--sorry! deja vu--like being at the Pit all over again, with their inconsistent email system. ugh.

as usual, i agree with all points you've made, and you've made them better than i could--so i'll leave it at that! :)
28th-Jun-2007 11:01 pm (UTC)
Oh, I need more of this. This is so good.
29th-Jun-2007 12:24 am (UTC)
there will, i assure you, be more. and at some point it might actually not be quite so depressing, too.
28th-Jun-2007 11:02 pm (UTC) - Desperate Hour (Dr. Fantabulous)
Eek! Had me freaking out there! Awesome, so intense, so suspenseful.
Can't wait for the next Hour!!!
29th-Jun-2007 12:25 am (UTC) - Re: Desperate Hour (Dr. Fantabulous)
you really thought i'd kill 'em??? nah.... (not yet anyway)
28th-Jun-2007 11:48 pm (UTC)
thanks for bringing me down. I can always count on you.
29th-Jun-2007 12:26 am (UTC)
ummmm.... you're welcome?
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