Fandom: House MD
Characters: Wilson, House, Foreman, Cameron, Cuddy
Prompt: 065. Passing
Word Count: 1207
Summary: Chase/Wilson Death fic- but with a twist. Essentially, how the characters react after Chase commits suicide. It's incredibly insensitive and I've tried to give it a sort of black humour thing.
Author's Notes: The strangest, possibly cruelest thing I've ever written. It's surprisingly flippant, given the subject matter. I would not actually be this flippant if Chase died in canon.
Tumbling towards unclear destinations, do they wash away the pain, the wind and the searing rains, as our powers interchange… Oh God, can you tell us when it’s going to stop- maybe it’s not just down to you…
Cuddy puts House into therapy because everyone’s convinced he mentally tortured Chase into committing suicide anyway. She puts Wilson in just in case he decides to follow his now rather dead sort-of lover into the afterlife. Then she puts in Foreman for never being supportive towards his colleague (and therefore possibly being mentally unstable), and Cameron for being far too supportive (and therefore definitely being mentally unstable).
House sits and stares at the psychiatrist in utter silence for seven two-hour sessions before deigning to speak (“You know what I like about you? Fuck all.”). Foreman looks at his hands and mumbles brief fragments of a life that might not have been as stable as he pretends it was (so House then goes and tries to steal the files so he can tease the hell out of him, and also because he needs to know these things). Cameron sobs her heart out and spills all the lonely evenings with a dying husband and no idea what to do next (and then the rumour goes around that the psychiatrist wants to admit her to a mental home, because House gets incredibly bored sometimes. All the time). Wilson doesn’t go. He points out to Cuddy that he and Chase were hardly star-crossed lovers, there is no need for a suicide watch, and yes; he’s fine. Really.
It’s a sentiment he has to pass on to dozens of people a day, telling them that it doesn’t matter, that he’s all right, why don’t you try talking to Dr Cameron (“That was cruel Jimmy,” House tells him, “Cameron has to stop crying for at least ten minutes a day or she’ll completely dehydrate”). Maybe he is all right because the whole world seems to bright, too steady, and he doesn’t feel guilty; but he doesn’t feel anything much at all.
The flowers outside diagnostics are building up for the young intensivist who shot himself (the first day House came out, he looked at all the bouquets and said “Hey, did somebody die? Christ, I hope it wasn’t me”, causing Cameron to burst into noisy sobs-typical- and Foreman to bite back vicious and impossible-to-take-back words). Wilson doesn’t leave any, won’t read the cards, ignore the psychiatrist’s begging phonecalls (he doesn’t need her, he doesn’t). He goes home to his empty apartment (Julie left months ago trailing fury and brimstone in her wake) and doesn’t cry, doesn’t drink, eats dinner like a regular guy (wraps the rosary found in Chase’s cold, dead hand around his fingers but prays in Hebrew), watches old comedy re-runs and only doesn’t laugh because he knows the jokes inside-out ten times over (honestly).
He and House blow off the funeral and instead go to a bar somewhere near where Chase used to live. Wilson never came here with Chase and so he and House can peacefully sit, and drink, and let their cell phones ring pointlessly on the table, occasionally picking up their voicemail (Cameron screaming at them that they’re bastards, do they have any idea what they’re doing, God, she can’t *stay* here any more with cruel maniacs like them, Foreman sighing and just saying that Chase might actually have wanted them to be there, but he’s speaking on their behalf, and he’s not coming in on Monday, might not ever be again, and Cuddy just asks them to get home safe, don’t get too blind drunk, she’s not going to come and bail them out of whatever trouble they get into).
House tells Wilson that he’s probably just lost his entire team in one neat fell swoop, and then asks if he’d like a Vicodin. Wilson shakes his head (because he’s taken Vicodin with House before and vomited all over *that* t-shirt), runs a fingertip around the rim of the glass, presses his face into his palm for a moment, asks House if he’d like help with the interviews. House declines and they sit in silence for hours, toasting Chase’s memory with gin and tonics (a very cruel thing to toast him with really-dead mother and all that- but one Chase would understand. House doesn’t change for anything or anyone, and the mocking of people’s insecurities doesn’t stop just because his victim has very little head left and is now six feet under. And Wilson is dragged along for the ride as ever. La plus ça change and all that).
Wilson wakes up on House’s sofa, head pounding, and in the clarity that only comes after you’ve drunk a fuck of a lot, he realises that he and House are the only ones that really understand (which is kind of ironic), really understand that you can grieve without grieving, and you don’t have to cry your eyes out to anyone who’ll listen in order to hurt (Cameron; take note), really understand that God, Chase is-
He imagines himself pitching forward, vomiting, sobbing his heart out, clutching fistfuls of House’s shirt like a lifeline. But he feels it’s less than Chase deserves, and Cameron’s filling up the tear quotient single-handed thank you very much, so he pulls his tie over his head and lies there silently for a while, and later on he’ll go down to the fresh grave, talk to Chase for a while (maybe cry out all these tears into the mud but then his self-control has never been what it should be), and then he’ll get on with the business of finding and marrying wife number four, because no one understands what goes on in his head, but he thinks Chase just might.
The next day House trips over the flowers and loudly tells everyone in the hall that he’s fucking getting rid of them, go donate your fake-sympathy somewhere else. He walks into an empty office (and isn’t surprised). Cameron’s gone to the effort of writing him a letter of resignation, placed nearly on the desk, words smudged a little (does the woman never fucking stop crying? Why does she even bother putting on mascara?), and there’s a memo from Cuddy informing him Foreman quit and she doesn’t exactly blame him. House sits in his chair for an hour or so, expressionless, thinking of pretty blue eyes, that accent drifting through the room, eye-watering shirts he’ll never see again. And for a while, wonders whether he drove Chase to it. It’s not an impossible idea.
And Wilson sits in his office with the blinds drawn to hide from the accusing glares of the other staff, who thing he’s unfeeling just because he’s not clawing at the walls and screaming. No one understands. Then he gets a page from House, saying just one word: why? Wilson doesn’t know and he doesn’t want to either. Chase was always more complicated than people ever gave him credit for. Let the dead rest in peace.
A week later, he watches House tear another job applicant to shreds, and smiles to himself because nothing changes, and maybe it’s better that way. House won’t be nice to his fellows even if there’s the possibility he drove one to a shotgun. And Wilson is privately grateful for small mercies.
House is still going to see that psychiatrist though. Wilson isn’t sure why. Come to think of it though, Chase probably knows.
Little Damn Table