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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 03:47 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 06:56 pm (UTC) - Re: Oh No
The kindness of strangers, but then we are not so strange. Thanks for the words, they help. Wish I could help you with the struggle somehow. Big hugs and words of comfort back at you. Now listening to of all things The Magnolia soundtrack. I love Aimee Mann, and can play her on the guitar and piano. Wise is a big fave for me and I cry while I sing along. I such a weepy thing, but my Bryan, he's my guitar teacher, doesn't mind and since it over music and various things, approves. As I like to tell Bryan, Go away, but to myself.

PS Love Fitzgerald. I'm a bookaholic.
28th-Jun-2007 09:44 pm (UTC) - Re: Oh No
so sorry--LJ is w-a-a-y behind on comment alerts (again). yes, i agree wholeheartedly--music is the only thing that allows me to truly cry. thank god for music (try josh groban's february song--works every time, for me).

fitzgerald is the best--just the best. if i had to pick just one book to read for the rest of my life (awful thought), it'd be The Great Gatsby. There are so many layers in that story--i never grow tired of it. And if you haven't heard Robert Sean Leonard reading Fitzgerald's Diamond As Big As the Ritz, do yourself a favor and track it down. it's wonderful.
28th-Jun-2007 10:25 pm (UTC) - Re: Oh No
Sorry about the wierdness of my writing, I'm somewhat dyslexic. I try hard to pay attention to what I'm typing but sometimes things get through. I tend to put things out of order or forget things because they appear to be there to me. I'll check out Josh Groban and also RSL reading Fitzgerald. I think that's why I can type fast now because I really focus on the letters, still sometimes speed isn't so great. LOL. I was charmed by the email.