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HOUSE M.D. FIC: Faith (1/1)

Just a little vignette I felt compelled to write. Could potentially become part of a longer piece later. Concrit welcome.

TITLE: Faith
AUTHOR: Flywoman
FANDOM: House M.D.
RATING: PG
SUMMARY: Speculations of an inveterate invertebrate just before surgery. Spoilers for the DVD commentary of 6X9, “Wilson.”
DISCLAIMER: Do you see my name when the House M.D. credits roll? Didn’t think so.

 

The last thing I saw was his hand reaching down to rub his right thigh.

I can’t get that gesture out of my mind, even as I announce my intentions to Tucker, sign the consent forms, and get prepped for surgery. Had it simply been an unconscious response to referred pain at the prospect of possible loss? Or had it been a deliberate manipulation on House’s part, intended to make me feel guilty and weaken my resolve? He hadn’t looked up at me for a reaction; that would have been a clear signal. But then again, if he had wanted me to believe that I was causing him so much distress that he wasn’t even fully aware of his own actions, he would have played it exactly as he had.

These sorts of insanity-inducing speculations are a familiar refrain in our friendship, although the regularity of the rhythm doesn’t make the duet any easier. Should I have turned back and expressed some sympathy, at least said something to reassure him that despite last night’s alcohol-fueled outburst, we were going to be okay? Or should I have allowed myself to swell in a repeat performance of self-righteous indignation, accused him of still being able to astonish with new heights of self-absorbed assholishness, and then stomped out to have the surgery?

I don’t doubt that my decision was correct, and far from feeling like a doormat, I’m basking in a kind of quiet pride that I have chosen to do what I wanted for once, over both House’s and Cuddy’s protests. But at the same time, I can’t dismiss that visual, the kneading of his scar tissue, the permanent stigmata commemorating House’s loss of faith in the woman he’d loved. Deliberate or not, it couldn’t help but be a symbol of perceived betrayal. 

And then, lying on the gurney, surrounded by surgical personnel, I experience an epiphany of sorts. I realize that I have failed once again to trust House, to give him the benefit of the doubt when it came to his capacity for caring about another human being. The whining about his possible future need for a liver donation to compensate for decades of prescription drug use had only been a cover for the depth of his fear for me, and that of his foreseeable grief. In the heat of the moment, I had almost missed the real message, the one he had even been willing to say aloud for once: “Because if you die, I’m alone.”

Can I really blame him for that? Hadn’t I had the same thought many times, as his behavior became more and more self-destructive over the years, without any apparent regard for how his death might actually affect the lives intertwined with his? Wasn’t that why I had fled PTTH after Amber’s death, knowing that I couldn’t possibly weather a second wreck in its wake?

And why might he be feeling especially vulnerable right now? The answer to that is obvious. I had taken him in after rehab, promised him and Cuddy and myself that I would be there for as long as he needed me, and then turned around and demanded his departure at the first sign of trouble. Some friend. It wasn’t like this was the first time we’d ever lived together. Had I really thought that sharing my home with him was going to be a walk in the park, that there would be no need for conflict or compromise?

Sure, he had woken me up with his damned guitar and taken over my freezer. And why was that? Because he was just being his usual obnoxious self? Because he hadn’t realized how I would react? No. House never does anything without a reason. It had been a test. Having maneuvered himself off the sofa, he had been taking his first tentative steps towards truly moving in with me, and he had been purposely pushing the boundaries to see how far I would bend. Like a child, House has always needed to know where the limits are before he can feel safe in his relationships. He needs me to grow a spine if he’s going to trust that I’ll call him on his crap instead of abandoning his ass. And I have failed him, and although he would never say it, he must be scared shitless.

I should not have been shocked that he couldn’t bring himself to be here with me.

Suddenly a shape shambles into the observation suite above, coming to rest in the center of my vision. I can barely make out the familiar face as the anesthesiologist presses the pungent mask over my nose and mouth, but I can imagine all it must conceal. Relief floods through me, as powerful as any artificial anesthetic. As my muscles relax, I feel my lips curving in an involuntary smile.

The last thing I see is his solid silhouette, standing there without wavering, even as everything else dissolves into a bright blur.

 

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
jezziejay
Sep. 6th, 2010 06:58 pm (UTC)
Very nice glimpse into Wilson's thoughts just before the donation, and I love your 'between the lines' perspective, particularly for parts of the episode that I hadn't given much thought to - such House not feeling safe until he knows the limits, or rubbing at his thigh to signify betrayal.

There are so many really sweet lines, but these are my favourite:

"These sorts of insanity-inducing speculations are a familiar refrain in our friendship, although the regularity of the rhythm doesn’t make the duet any easier."

"He needs me to grow a spine if he’s going to trust that I’ll call him on his crap instead of abandoning his ass. And I have failed him, and although he would never say it, he must be scared shitless."

And yes, 'Faith' fits this so much!

Again - lovely work!

flywoman
Sep. 6th, 2010 07:59 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm afraid that this might be closer to what I wish Wilson had been thinking than to what he actually thought, but... what the hell.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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