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In My Darkest Dreams

Chapter Text

"Everybody's looking for something."

"About time you joined me," Wilson snaps. "I've been waiting forever."

House is puzzled. He looks around. They're on the hospital roof. House can't quite remember why he came up here in the first place, and he's certain Wilson hasn't been here that long. He thinks he saw Wilson just an hour before, leaving his office, but he can't remember. He had been too caught up in the diagnosis.

Wilson's sitting where House always sits, on the low wall. He's resolutely not looking at the ground below him (unlike House, who always looks down).

"Why?" House asks finally, when he realises that Wilson won't elaborate.

"I want you to see it," Wilson answers.

House looks around again, wondering what he's supposed to see. The hospital roof looks like the hospital roof always looks. Boring, mainly. House likes it up here because it's quiet and lonely and gives him time alone, away from everyone. He can't fathom what Wilson wants to show him.

"See what?" he demands, exasperated.

"See this." Wilson pushes himself backward, off the wall. House stands, shocked for a long moment, not knowing whether this is some sort of sick prank. He almost wants to laugh. Until he hears Wilson land. It's a sickening sound, a mixture of a splat and the cracking of hundreds of bones. House rushes to the edge, and sees Wilson several storeys down, blood from his head splattered in a morbid halo around him.

Dead.

House's breath catches in his throat and he tries to look away, but he can't. Wilson's arms are bent at unnatural angles and his legs, bones pulverized from the impact, are rubbery. One is bent up underneath him and the other is curved sideways, away from his body.

House opens his eyes and groans, heart racing, head spinning. Bad dream. He limps off to the bathroom to piss. Maybe he'll take a bath; his pyjamas are pretty sweat-soaked. He splashes water on his face, washing the bad dream out of his eyes. He yawns and decides against the bath. He'll just go back to bed. He glances in the mirror and something catches his eye. Something out of place behind him.

Wondering what it was that he saw, he turns and goes to the living room.

There's an empty bottle of scotch on his coffee table. That's odd, House thinks. It was half-full when I left it. That's not what caught his eye, though, so he keeps looking. His Vicodin bottle is empty, and House may be a drug addict, but he knows how much he takes and how much he has left. And it definitely wasn't empty when he went to bed. He wonders idly if he had finished them off in his sleep, some strange form of somnambulism, but he doubts it. He's never sleep-walked before. He looks around, trying to remember what it was that had caught his eye in the mirror.

He sees it suddenly.

Wilson's arm, stretched out on the floor and just peeking around the edge of the sofa. Idiot must've fallen off the couch in his sleep. House shakes his head, wondering vaguely how exhausted Wilson must have been if he didn't wake up upon hitting the ground. Or maybe he hit his head during the fall. House makes his way around the couch and stops.

There's Wilson, lying on the ground, a puddle of vomit next to him. House rushes over, tossing his cane out of the way at the last moment, and gets down on his knees, feeling for a pulse.

There is none.

House suddenly knows why his bottles of scotch and Vicodin are empty.

It doesn't matter.

Wilson's dead.

House's eyes flutter open, and he groans again. He should know better than to fall asleep in his chair in his office. He swivels around and cracks his back. He rolls his neck to get the crick out. He blinks a few times and yawns, then looks out the window and notices that night has fallen meanwhile. He checks his computer's clock. 8:12. Way past time to go home.He gets up and grabs his backpack. He notices with a glance that Wilson's light is still on.

It's late. Clearly, Wilson's working too hard. Time to distract him.

House changes direction and heads to Wilson's office. He knocks perfunctorily. No answer, not that he particularly expected one. Wilson's notorious for not noticing when someone's knocking if he's deep in work.He opens the door, looking immediately towards Wilson's desk. Wilson's slumped over his desk, and House snorts. His back'll hate him for that in the morning. House considers leaving Wilson there, just to prove that paperwork is painful, but he's feeling kind today. He walks over to the desk and shakes Wilson's shoulder.

Wilson doesn't awaken. House frowns. His hand slides off Wilson's shoulder, and he grimaces.

His hand is wet.

He raises his hand to his eyes.

His hand is wet with blood.

His fingers move immediately to Wilson's neck, searching for a pulse.

There is none.

House looks Wilson over, trying to figure out cause of death. No discolouration on his lips, so not suffocation. No bruising, so not a broken neck.

House finds what he's looking for. A blow to the head. Bled out. House runs his fingers over the wound, feeling bile rise in his throat. Wilson's skull is caved in, and bits of brain ooze like warm jelly out from between the skull fragments. There is a magnum champagne bottle on the desk, its base slick and black with blood.

House's eyes open, and he gasps, shooting into a sitting position. He looks around blearily, trying to remember where he is. Clinic. Well, clearly he should know better than to fall asleep on one of the clinic beds.

"House!" Wilson repeats. "You okay?"

He breathes a sigh of relief. "Yeah. Sorry. Up late..."

"Internet porn," Wilson finishes, rolling his eyes.

House yawns and stretches. "So, is Cuddy looking for me?"

"No. I am."

"Show's not on for another half-hour."

Wilson shrugs. "I know that. Not the reason I'm looking for you." He leans against the closed door and raises an eyebrow expectantly.

"Well?" House prompts finally.

Wilson says nothing, just goes over to the drawers full of syringes. He pulls out a couple. Epinephrine. House watches curiously, not following Wilson, who uncaps three needles at once, and before House can react, jabs them in his arm. He grimaces; three needles at once is hard to manoeuver, but clearly he doesn't care about this.

He shoves the plungers down.

"I want you to know one thing," he says calmly. "It was because of you."

He falls to the floor. House slides off the exam table and finds his pulse. Racing. He can't count the beats, they're going so fast. House straightens Wilson out and finds his pulse again, hoping it has slowed down. It hasn't.

Suddenly, it stops. House calls the code and rips open Wilson's shirt. He begins chest compressions, stopping occasionally to breathe into Wilson's mouth.

Nurses rush in with a crash cart, and House grabs the paddles, squirting a dollop of gel onto each of them. "CHARGING! CLEAR!" he shouts, applying them to Wilson's chest. Wilson jumps, then falls flat again. House searches for a pulse.

None.

"CHARGING! CLEAR!"

Wilson jumps, falls flat, doesn't move. There's still no pulse.

"CHARGING! CLEAR!"

Nothing. It's been four minutes.

"CLEAR!"

Five minutes.

House is desperate by now. Wilson can't stand this long without any oxygen. He'll be brain-damaged. Severely brain-damaged.

He doesn't care. He doesn't care how Wilson comes back, he just wants Wilson to come back.

"CLEAR!"

Wilson's still form is mocking him. Reminding him that this is, in some strange, twisted way, entirely his fault. House ups the voltage again, shouting, "CLEAR!"

Six minutes.

One of the nurses runs out. House doesn't care. It has nothing to do with Wilson. He wills Wilson's heart to start again. Come on, you fucking idiot! Start! Live, you moron. Why did you do this? Why? How is this my fault?

"CLEAR!"

The door opens again. House glances up at Cuddy, who is staring at the scene with disbelief.

"How many times have you tried to restart his heart?" she asks calmly. As if one of her doctors isn't lying dead on the floor. As if one of her favourite doctors, one of her friends, isn't lying dead (not dead! He's not dead, he's not!) on the floor.

House doesn't answer, just charges the paddles again. "CLEAR!"

"This is the eighth time," the other nurse, the one who had stayed in the room, says.

Wilson still doesn't stir. Still doesn't have a pulse.

"CHARGING! CLEAR!" House shouts desperately, a note of panic, a half-formed sob, in his voice.

They wait with bated breath to see if Wilson moves, but he doesn't.

House begins charging the paddles again.

"Time of death: Two thirteen p.m.," Cuddy intones. "Put the paddles away, House. It's over."

House doesn't move, and Cuddy shuts the machine off and gently takes the paddles away. She helps him up and leads him out, fighting him all the while. He needs to see his friend. He can still save him.

"No!" House tears at Cuddy's sleeves. "I didn't... Shit! G- get atropine! We can still--"

"House. It's too late."

House's eyes fly open. He takes a few deep breaths to calm his racing heart, looking around his bedroom. Just a bad dream. That beer-Vicodin-scotch combination probably hadn't been the brightest idea. Never was, but it usually didn't give him dreams this bad.

He stretches and glances at his clock. Past seven. Might as well get up now. He walks out of his bedroom, glancing at his couch where Wilson's sleeping after yet another break-up (House really, really doesn't understand why Wilson keeps moving in with them; he just ends up on House's couch).

He moves around, purposefully loud. He finally has the chance to avenge himself for all those mornings when Wilson blow-dried his hair or clipped his toenails or made placenta and whale blubber smoothies for his hair in the blender.

He slams the cupboard doors open and shut, bangs the mug down on the counter, whistles and sings obnoxiously loudly, and in general is a nuisance.He peeks back in the living room. Wilson hasn't so much as shifted. House raises an eyebrow. Wilson isn't a particularly light sleeper, but he isn't very heavy sleeper, either.

Come to think of it, Wilson's chest isn't rising and falling, either. House frowns and goes over to take a pulse.

There isn't one.

House feels his own heart stutter in panic, and spares a thought for prophetic dreams, but turns his attention quickly to Wilson. His body's cooling.

He's definitely gone.

House's eyes slide open.

"You're an idiot," Wilson snaps. "You nearly killed yourself."

"That was the whole idea."

"You wanted to kill yourself?"

"I wanted to nearly kill myself," House replies, although at this point, he doubts that. Weird dreams. The brain, shutting down. It's all that was. Some chemical reactions. This is it. Neurons firing from nowhere to nowhere as my brain was starved of oxygen. Wilson's fine, I'm fine...

Wilson debriefs him on their patient, adding: "Maybe you didn't want to die, but you didn't care if you lived!"

"You insisted that I needed to see for myself." House is beginning to think that maybe that hadn't been such a great idea to begin with. And, after all, how many times does a guy really need to die?

Doesn't matter. I didn't see anything. Nothing worth mentioning, at least. Just some strange, completely uninterconnected images as my brain went through the dying process. There's nothing there. Nothing out there.

He asks after the knife-in-the-socket guy, suddenly needing to talk to him. After all, House was right.There is nothing there. Wilson dying can't be heaven. Could be my own personal hell, though, House realises.

"He died almost an hour ago. Apparently it's bad to electrocute yourself days after suffering massive internal injuries."

House relishes Wilson talking, no matter how ordinary what he's saying is. Wilson talking means Wilson's alive, and this is real. This is real, this is real, this is real. He's learned one thing during his brief sojourn into death.

He can't live without Wilson.

"Why did you need to talk to him? Did you... see something?"

I didn't see anything. Wilson doesn't need to know what I saw. He doesn't. He absolutely doesn't need to know this.

Anyway. I saw nothing.

He tries to distract with the eosinophilic pneumonia, but Wilson won't be deterred. "House?" And he looks worried, looks curious, and House lies. He saw nothing, after all. Just neurons firing.

Wilson doesn't have to know about it. So, there's nothing to talk about, nothing to tell him about.

He saw nothing, after all.

Except for Wilson dying, that is.

But that was just the chemical reactions of death.

House tries again to distract Wilson again, and Wilson's half-distractible, but he keeps returning to the near-death experience. Nothing as in nothing as in nothing, and that's it, and would you please stop asking already? I saw nothing. Nothing I'm going to tell you about. Nothing I want to think about ever again.

He flexes his hand, and it hurts, and the pain feels good. It reminds him that this is real, this is real, and Wilson is there. He is there, and he's talking, and he's not dying or dead.

After all. House saw nothing.

"Just looking at you hurts. I'm going to order up some extra pain meds."

And suddenly, it becomes very, very important that he tells Wilson something. I didn't see it because it was a message from heaven, because that's just stupid, but my brain was clearly trying to bring up the more important things.

Wilson's the most important thing in my life.

"I love you."

Wilson raises his eyebrows and keeps writing. Just the damn pain meds. He doesn't love me. He can't, not if he keeps doing this to himself. To me. How many times do I have to watch him die? How many more times do I have to be told that House is dead again? How can I keep doing this?

House panics. Damn. Shit. He's... he doesn't believe it. No... he's rejecting me. He doesn't want this.

He doesn't want it.

It's fine. It's fine. I just wanted him to know that I do love him.

Just not like that.

Right. Not like that. Good thing Wilson doesn't love me, because then it would be awkward.

Because I'm not in love with him. Right.