Fandom: House MD
Characters: Chase, Wilson, House
Prompt: 083. And
Word Count: 1873
Summary: Just one of those Chase POV things.
Author's Notes: Am obscenely proud of this one. It took weeks.
Feeling I’ve been lost for years- you can never understand me unless you’ve seen those tears, but you never get to sleep when I’m awake…
Four Star Mary
And you thought you’d given up on logic eons ago. As it turns out, logic is just about the only thing keeping you going, as you nervously peel back the corner of another medical file, and chew the end of your pen, and make promises you can’t keep. The others laugh at you, say you’re too young, you’re not competent enough, and you’re probably not, your main problem being that you don’t care enough, at least not about the right things. House spills white pills over the table and you look at them for a moment too long, wondering how many Vicodin it takes to fashion a pair of rose-tinted spectacles that he’s made perfectly clear you don’t deserve. Instead, you turn away as House scoops the pills back into that little rattling bottle and you stare out of the window at the rain.
“Why are you still here?” House asks. “Patient got better hours ago.”
“The central heating in my apartment’s broken.” You reply vaguely, unsure whether it’s a lie or not.
“It’s April.” House points out.
“I get cold easily.”
And you could tell him that you’re Australian, except that he won’t hear because he never does, so you grit your teeth, and smirk, and dig your nails into your palms hard enough to hurt, and at the end of every day you count how many marks there are, and gage how bad the day has been. Once, you counted nearly fifty grooves in your skin, and that was the day you went to Vogler and handed him your soul. It would have been far easier to sell it to House, even though his interest rate sucks, because at least he has some kind of two-for-one deal (although quite what that means, you’re not sure. You’re still a little bad at thinking in extended metaphors).
(You’ve stayed here a lot longer than you intended to the day you accepted the fellowship, and with hindsight, maybe you should have just said ‘no’.)
No one understands. It’s that simple. You’ve been alone so long that it’s getting hard to breathe sometimes, and you take your lighter out and run it down the veins on your arms, almost screaming at the pain as you try to work out what it was that Katrina liked about this, and you draw a big white blank like you always do, staring at whiteboards while your fingers close over thin air (House won’t let you touch his markers and some part of you doesn’t blame him). What is it about burning that awoke something in her that it can’t awake in you?
Loneliness is something you’ve never managed to deal with and you’d do anything to hand it back, even if it tore the skin from your fingertips as it went. You try to do what you can, chewing pencils until the taste of cheap wood and paint insidiously takes over your entire mouth, and nothing takes it away- not brushing your teeth, not drinking coffee, not kissing faceless men and women in nearly-empty bars. After a while, it occurs to you that that taste is probably in your head, and that’s both funny and terrifying (although pretty feeble as hallucinations go).
You don’t want to be noticed. You wear those shirts and flirt with anyone like you want the attention, like that spotlight is life-giving. It isn’t. If anything, it’s soul destroying, and you don’t want it, you don’t want it. You want to fall through the cracks. You want to be lost forever, drowning in a sea of apathy of your own creation. Maybe House knows this. He certainly gives you the attention you don’t want, although whether it’s because he wants to save you or he wants to annoy you, you’ve still got to work out.
(You don’t need anyone you don’t need anyone you don’t need anyone. Maybe if you keep repeating it it might come true, but you’ve got no ruby slippers to click together and there may be no place like home, but home is only a state of mind and you haven’t found it yet anyway.)
James Wilson is like every guy you’ve ever known and actually like none of them. There’s something intrinsically beautiful about him, about that bone structure, about those eyes. There’s something beautiful about that patience too- Wilson has the patience of a saint, except that there’s no way you’re going to heaven now, if you’re doing *that* with a saint. Then again, you were never going there anyway- God probably resents you for turning your back on him and that’s why you’ve never quite got the hang of that being happy lark. Or maybe it’s the Judas in you.
He left his wife three months ago but you were already deep into the affair by then, avoiding House’s gaze and Cameron’s quiet accusations that never got spoken, Foreman laughing behind coffee mugs as he realised how trapped you were (and then he wonders quite why you hate him so much), and it’s funny that the divorce only occurred because Julie was the one having the affair. You feel awkward and lonely a lot of the time, imagining that Wilson can look you in the eye, when it’s only too clear that he can’t. To be fair, you can’t return the favour, and you spend a lot of time staring at your shoes and hating them too.
Wilson has soft hands that hardly ever shake and are warmer than you’d expect (perhaps it’s because yours never warm up, they’re like ice no matter what), and he touches you and it doesn’t burn, and you suppose that’s a kind of love of a sort. Although your parents taught you long enough ago that you don’t need any kind of love to be with someone, and Wilson’s helpless eyes sometimes manage to distract you from the helplessness you feel. Maybe that’s some kind of security, and he could drop you tomorrow, but you sold hope off with that rosary your mother gave you back in the days when gin and tonics didn’t own her. When, in a sense, they didn’t own you either. You don’t care how Wilson feels because that is all relative- it’ll end when it should end. Maybe before then. Probably after. You never did quite get the hang of letting go of things.
(You really hate being stuck here with Cameron and her disturbing sympathy, Foreman and his arrogance, House and his indiscretions, and Wilson and his inability to keep anything from that man.)
You’re insane. It’s the only possible explanation. Insane in a world that’s becoming increasingly more screwed up and stupid, Cameron chewing her previously manicured nails into tattered stumps, Foreman acting like the son House never had, and you wonder if you’re in a coma. Surely Wilson should be standing with his arms around House’s waist getting hurt for his troubles but using brief moments of silence and great sex as band-aids against House’s scalpel-sharp personality. Surely Wilson should be sipping wine with Cuddy in her beautiful house while the gardener trims the hedges outside and pretends he can’t hear the screams from the open bedroom window. Surely Wilson should be holding Cameron while she sobs and tears cling to her eyelashes like silver pearls and her lips taste like honeysuckle. He shouldn’t be wasting his time with you, young and scowling and completely ungrateful for every whispered word, watching the world through malevolent eyes narrowed by hatred and fear and loneliness and always being given what you wanted but never what you wished for.
God, you need therapy.
Anyway, everything seems to be becoming more complicated than usual lately, as anion deficiencies and bromine poisonings and empty promises slip through your fingers to collect in a heap of yet more medical forms House won’t sign and Foreman can’t sign any more and where’s Stacy when you need her? Wilson continues to ruffle your hair in your sleep as though he’s trying to mess it up (it never works) and Cameron continues to pretend that she isn’t the slightest bit jealous. You’re just waiting patiently for the roll of the dice that sends you down the snake back to square one (you reckon it’ll be that new nurse in Paediatrics- she has distracting ginger hair and completely perfect breasts). The inside of your mouth goes back to tasting like pencils and pushing away Wilson really is too easy.
(There’s nothing you can give House that he doesn’t have already. Of course, by the time you realise this, it’s far too late.)
You never really wanted to be a doctor, did it because you thought it would pass the time, to please your father, maybe because being a priest was an even worse idea. You supposedly know what you’re doing, although a lot of the time you don’t, you learn to play House’s games and walk his lines until you trip over your feet, and eventually it occurs to you that you could have just flunked the tests on purpose and spent your life as an honest failure, rather than a failure masquerading as something entirely opposite. Now you just tell everyone some made up story about tonsillitis and slam the door behind you too hard, waiting for the glass to shatter (although it never does).
You used to give a damn. You used to be like Cameron, worrying about the patients, worrying about their lives, but it’s all too easy to get trapped into caring about another family whose mother is dying of alcoholism, all too easy to spend evenings on the floor sobbing because you lost another one. So you simply don’t care any more, put on a good enough veneer of actually giving a damn to fool people (as long as they’re sick or worried enough to not look too close), and don’t care if people think you’re sleazy or just a fake, because it’s not like they could ever know what you’ve been through. And Cameron cares enough for you, Foreman and House put together, blue eyes filling with tears and her head bowed because she doesn’t get what she wants either (she really picked the unattainable, and you’d pity her except that you’ve already done the pity fuck thing and it didn’t end too well).
Wilson has the calmest eyes you’ve ever seen on another person and even when he gets angry, he’s never actually *angry*. But he is still furious with you, and House takes great delight in informing you of this fact whenever he can, while you grind your teeth together and try to work out if you can sue the man for stating the obvious.
“You owe him an apology.” House tells you, and you swallow hot coffee and don’t complain when it scalds your mouth, because House is right and you’d rather be permanently dumb because you burnt your tongue off than admit it.
(You’re all trapped, on some level, in one of House’s party games, and since you’re all in the same boat it’s probably best not to rock it, and although you don’t miss Wilson, you really kinda do).
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