damigella: (sad_thoughtful_wilson)
[personal profile] damigella
Chapter 1 and warnings. Chapters 2, 3, 4 and 5.



Chapter 6

I had been worried about returning home, but I shouldn't have: being out of the hospital feels good, and the little I can see is enough to navigate the few and familiar rooms. Still, I'll need help. Dr. Yu arranged for someone experienced to assist me for the first weeks. He'll both help me in everyday life and teach me some of the new skills I need, such as using an adapted computer, completing the basic instructions I got in the hospital on how to be blind and self-sufficient. I'm kind of satisfied with myself, and as I sit down on the couch with a beer (luckily there was some left in the fridge) I almost feel happy.

I do not precisely know what is in the pills the psychiatrist has given me but they seem to work incredibly well. I took one before leaving the hospital and fell calm and relaxed, not bothered by the fact that my helper is late. I can't call him since I only had his number on my cell, and the nurse couldn't find it anywhere this morning when she helped me pack, but I'm sure it will show up again when they clean the room tonight.

I can even think of House without feeling any kind of pain, because after all why should I? Just because my former best friend begged me to let him help me and then vanished again? And then showed up and pretended nothing was wrong? Former being the keyword, of course. I have no need for friends or family. I'm self-sufficient.

The doorbell rings, the helper is (I press the button and my new watch chimes four oh nine) not even ten minutes late. I stand up and open the door without even checking who it is - and regret it the moment I'm kindly but forcefully pushed away, and a person walks into my apartment. More accurately, a limping twerp.

"House. What do you want?"

"As I said, I want to help you."

I would be angry but I imagine this is what House expects, so I just laugh as to a joke.

"Thank you, but there's no need to, as I'm sure you know. The person Dr. Yu helped me hire will be here soon; he's a professional and we won't need you at all."

"He would have been here already, if his contract hadn't been canceled." There is an undeniable satisfaction in his voice, a happiness at a successful prank I hadn't heard since the chicken bet... oh my God, so long ago. My heart grows heavy as a collection of pranks each way in our shared history flashes before my eyes. Focusing back on the present requires a conscious effort.

"What... how did you do that?" I shake one more happy pill out of its bottle and swallow it.

"I just called and explained we had arranged for me to take care of you. I think he checked with Dr. Yu, and she thinks I'm the best for you, she was impressed by how much I knew."

My hands go to my temples, but the pill works wonders. "No unsolvable problem. I'll call him again and we'll reschedule."

"You can't very well do that, you know?"

"What? Why?"

"Because your cell's in my pocket."

Should I have guessed that?

"I can still use the landline, I don't know his number but I can call the hospital, or, better, the police."

"You can't do either. Your phone is missing."

I walk to where it usually stands, and am not surprised to notice it's gone: I feel my way around until I can feel an empty socket in the wall. Damn. Well, I can still knock on some neighbor's door and use their phone. I step quickly to the door but my ankle gets tangled in something (possibly a cane) and I find myself sprawled on the floor.

House helps me up. "Wilson, why won't you let me help you?"

"Because you never cared a damn for me? Because I've tried to help you ever since the breakup with Cuddy and all I got for my effort was a broken wrist? Because you couldn't be bothered to call me once in months and you talked to Thirteen every fucking week? The same Thirteen who knew you were injecting cancer-inducing rat poison - why would you bother mentioning this to your supposed best friend, who accidentally is an oncologist? Much better to perform self-surgery in a bathtub than to ask me for help, of course."

I'm shouting and crying and can't stop, however ashamed I feel about House witnessing my self-pity party.

"Why don't you go and drive her and her girlfriend mad for a change? See if I care! Just get the fuck out of here!"

I have managed to escape House's hold, but find myself swaying and end up sitting on the couch, my head in my hands.

"Is it because of me that you tried to off yourself?" There definitely is something like concern in House's voice. And yet words like "sorry" remain conspicuously absent.

The problem is that House is still House, that is one of the most brilliant minds in US medicine. It's hard to hide from him, and all I can do is deny and hope for best.

"It was an accident."

"It wasn't and we both know it. You tried to kill yourself, possibly because of me."

I manage to stop crying, and I try to forget how red my nose must be now. "Well that's past anyway. Next time I'll kill myself because my life is completely pointless. Now get out."

"Let's stop this useless discussion, just give me a chance to make you trust me again. A little time to talk."

I nod before my rational, angry brain has found the energy to shout "no!" , to remind him that there had been ample time to talk which he chose to spend in an undisclosed location, too far for me but not for Thirteen.

Deep down, I do want House to care for me. I want to trust him. I just don't think I can, and yet the prospect of facing a handicapped life alone terrifies me. I wonder whether House was similarly afraid after the infarction. And whether trusting him would be easier if I could look in his eyes. God, how I miss them.

I finally compose myself. "You can stay for dinner, then you're out of here for good and I'm free to do whatever I want."

I swear I can hear his smile. "Especially if what you want is asking me to stay."

"Don't count on it, House. I'm done with you and your so-called friendship."

House stands up abruptly, limps as fast as he can to the door. Of course. How stupid was I? He's already on his way out. I'm an idealistic idiot.

"I'll be back in ten minutes, I have to retrieve my stuff from the car. In the meantime you can start thinking about what you want to have for dinner. As you may recall I can actually cook."

_____

Of course there's no food at home, so House just calls the usual Chinese place. Using not only my credit card but my cellphone. During the meal we ignore the issue, as by agreement. I relax a bit and pretend everything's fine, that we're back at one of the so many take away dinners we had shared over the years. After all we're sitting quietly side by side on the couch, and I don't really need my eyes to ferry lacquered duck to my mouth with chopsticks.

The spell is broken the minute House, unconsciously I hope, switches on the TV, clicks until he gets the Discovery channel, then gasps and switches the TV off.

"I guess we need to talk now," he says with a sigh. "Ask whatever you want, and I'll answer honestly. I want you to trust me."

My heart is beating fast in my chest now, but I keep more or less rational. I argue when I would want to scream.

"Here I am blind and helpless, locked in my own apartment by a criminal addict, and this should make me trust you?"

The laughter in response may well be the saddest sound I ever heard House uttering.

"Ex-criminal and ex-addict, still I can understand your concern. But if I left you free to avoid me there would already be a restraining order against me, and I wish you could give me a chance. I got sober for you, I even..."

Here he stops, abruptly, giving me a chance to intervene in his monologue. To let out my blind anger. Blind.

"You got sober for me? Without telling me? How very believable, House! Because you care, right? Go on, tell me, what else have you done for me, eh? What else?"

I can hear him breathing hard near me, in a strange way I'm not familiar with, and he doesn't say anything for a while. A long while, giving me time to concentrate on the unusual sounds. I'm frightened out of my wits when I realize he's crying, and I cannot resist pushing forward a confirmatory fingertip to his face, finding proof I am right.

My whole hand is grabbed and held by strong, trembling fingers.

"I went to jail for you, Wilson."
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damigella

November 2011

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