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HOUSE M.D. FIC: Stones Taught Me to Fly

Title: Stones Taught Me to Fly
Author: Flywoman
Fandom: House M.D.
Rating: PG-13
Summary: writerdot  has already written an awesome sequel to blackmare-9 ’s post-“Out of the Chute” fic. This is a different take.

 

 

He feels the grin freeze on his face as the dark suit disappears into the cheering, swaying crowd. Warm, wet skin jostles his upraised arm, upsetting the almost empty bottle, but when he turns his head sharply, a brunette with a bleary smile hands him another beer. House throws his head back, taking a long pull, and wipes his mouth on his wrist.

Fuck Wilson, anyway. He’s just experienced the most exhilarating eight seconds of his life and come up covered in curvaceous coeds, and all he can think about is the disgust and disappointment on his friend’s face.

House tries to maintain his hard-earned high, but even absent, his externalized conscience cannot be silenced in spite of his best efforts. He turns down the enthusiastic offer of a third beer and makes for the edge of the pool.

His scar has stiffened in the cool water, the stretch from his movements making him wince, and his pruned fingers slip on the handrail. He grimaces as a solidly built boy ambles up, matter-of-factly pulls his arm over his shoulders, and lifts him bodily up the stairs. “Dude, that was awesome,” the kid says once House has been deposited, safe but disgruntled, on shore. He holds up a hammy hand for the older man to give him a high-five.

Without acknowledgment or thanks, House turns and lurches away.

***

House drums his fingers impatiently on the wall of the elevator, dripping. When he gets up to the room, he sees immediately that Wilson isn’t here, which means that he’s gone home to sulk. Probably having his own private pity party, wondering why his only friend in the world is such an insensitive son of a bitch.

Getting out of wet jeans hasn’t gotten any easier since the last time, and the friction makes his thigh feel like it’s on fire. Half in and half out, a damp spot spreading on the mattress under his ass, he considers taking another Vicodin, but then decides he’s tempted fate enough for one night. Too bad that he’s the only one here to appreciate his self-restraint.

He finally manages to wriggle his way to freedom and celebrates with a warm shower, trying to rid himself of the chlorine clinging to his skin. In his bathrobe, he staggers back to the bed, fumbles for his cell phone on the nightstand. No calls.

Before he can overthink things, he presses the first number in his speed dial.

It goes to voicemail. House licks his lips, his brain too crowded with the things he wants to say for anything to make its way out of his mouth. I’m fine fights it out with Fuck you. And under that, much more quietly: I didn’t see you standing down there. I swear.

In the end, he gets annoyed by the sounds of his own harsh breaths and hangs up.

 

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Comments

( 29 comments — Leave a comment )
nightdog_barks
Mar. 16th, 2011 06:18 am (UTC)
This is terrific. Really excellent.

Loved reading this. :-)
flywoman
Mar. 16th, 2011 11:39 am (UTC)
Thank so much, glad you liked it :).
blackmare
Mar. 16th, 2011 06:26 am (UTC)
This is perfect. It is very, very, VERY House -- all his mixed resentment anger guilt love desperation that Wilson brings to the surface.

I'm going to link it, if you don't mind.
flywoman
Mar. 16th, 2011 11:40 am (UTC)
Mind? I'm delighted! Thanks again for writing the sucker-punching original.
menolly_au
Mar. 16th, 2011 07:57 am (UTC)
Great follow-up to Blackmare's fic, although, you know, sad! (: Love the bit about House's pain - I was wondering myself what smashing into water from that height would do to his leg...I had the feeling when I watched the episode that he looked down and saw Wilson and smirked but I really hope that its right that he didn't see him...I think House would secretly like to accept Wilson's comfort and counsel but there's just something in him that won't let him...
flywoman
Mar. 16th, 2011 11:42 am (UTC)
Secretly I also believe he saw Wilson when he looked down, but I think it was left open to interpretation, and honestly I just couldn't open myself up enough for the empathy to write his POV from that perspective.
menolly_au
Mar. 16th, 2011 11:46 am (UTC)
I'm wondering what the odds are of that sort of thing going wrong. Never having had the urge to hurl myself off tall buildings into a swimming pool, just wondered whether it was a sure thing he was going to hit the pool or whether the was a real chance he was going to die...
flywoman
Mar. 16th, 2011 11:48 am (UTC)
I really think you hit the nail on the head in your piece - he didn't care whether he lived on died. That was where the feeling of freedom came from.
damigella_314
Mar. 16th, 2011 02:44 pm (UTC)
Yes. There were good chances he'd die. And he didn't care a damn either way. Whether I would call this freedom, I'm not sure.
flywoman
Mar. 17th, 2011 01:12 am (UTC)
I think that House, and more importantly, his writers (specifically David Shore) do define freedom as the ability to do or say anything without worrying about the consequences. This is not my personal ideal of freedom either, however.
damigella_314
Mar. 17th, 2011 08:01 am (UTC)
That's were freedom came from. I try to avoid the writers' interviews, the spoilers, and so on. I think it's old-fashioned, but find it hard to change.
yarroway
Mar. 16th, 2011 11:50 am (UTC)
Fabulous.

As painful as this episode was, it's producing some really good fics.
flywoman
Mar. 16th, 2011 12:22 pm (UTC)
Thank you! And I agree, it's stirred up a lot of emotions and interesting interpretations and has resulted in some terrific fics.
damigella_314
Mar. 16th, 2011 12:01 pm (UTC)
"And under that, much more quietly: I didn’t see you standing down there. I swear."
This. I can't believe House would intentionally hurt Wilson so much.
Great, great fic. Totally IC and (because of this) heartbreaking. Canon, to me.
flywoman
Mar. 16th, 2011 12:26 pm (UTC)
I would really prefer not to believe it, hence this fic. But I honestly couldn't tell whether we were meant to think that he did, or not. And if he did see Wilson just before he jumped, allowing that to change his actions would have nullified the feeling of freedom that he was after.

Thanks very much for your comments!
cuddyclothes
Mar. 16th, 2011 01:21 pm (UTC)
My interpretation was that he didn't see Wilson; that he was going to commit suicide and then saw the pool, hence the smile. So instead of splattering all over the concrete, he jumped in the water. Thereby taking the risk of either living or dying, depending on where he landed.

Wilson was, as House would say, "collateral damage."

Edited at 2011-03-16 01:21 pm (UTC)
flywoman
Mar. 16th, 2011 01:50 pm (UTC)
I like that interpretation too. I do believe that House had no reason to think that Wilson would see him when he climbed up there, whether or not he noticed him before he actually jumped.
barefootpuddles
Mar. 16th, 2011 01:21 pm (UTC)
It goes to voicemail. House licks his lips, his brain too crowded with the things he wants to say for anything to make its way out of his mouth. I’m fine fights it out with Fuck you. And under that, much more quietly: I didn’t see you standing down there. I swear.

Ah, this is the House we love, the multilayered individual(at least in fandom, TPTB seem to think he is a one note act) that is more than juts a misanthropic bastard. He IS that, but he's more too.

Very nicely done. It felt very true.
flywoman
Mar. 16th, 2011 01:52 pm (UTC)
I couldn't watch the show if I didn't see these layers (although sometimes I think they're due more to Hugh Laurie's brilliance than the writers'). Thanks very much for your comments!
writerdot
Mar. 16th, 2011 01:35 pm (UTC)
*waves* hi!

I really loved this, I loved that you wrote the war within House: stick with his 'fuck you, Wilson' mindset, or try to work it out with him. You wrote that so well. :-)

Before he can overthink things, he presses the first number in his speed dial.

I really really liked that line. I like that idea that through everything, Wilson's still first on his speed dial.

Loved it!

Also, thank you for linking my story. :-)
flywoman
Mar. 16th, 2011 01:55 pm (UTC)
Hi! :D

through everything, Wilson's still first on his speed dial
That was a very deliberate choice; glad you liked it so much.

This episode really has been inspiring, hasn't it? Thanks again for your fic, and for your comments.
knitty_woman
Mar. 16th, 2011 02:37 pm (UTC)
I liked this so much better than than I liked the show. You capture House's emotional isolation really well, and the need for Wilson that he can't shake and resents, really. Lovely.
flywoman
Mar. 16th, 2011 03:27 pm (UTC)
Well put. I think that House despises Wilson's need to be needed, and at the same time himself for needing him. And he would really like to break free sometimes, but he can't.

Thanks very much for your comments!
jezziejay
Mar. 16th, 2011 03:41 pm (UTC)
Love House's last thought, and I really, really do hope that he didn't see Wilson standing there. Mostly I love the idea that maybe losing Wilson is a pain or guilt too far - and can't be masked by Vicodin, hookers or partying co-eds. (Bet you're shocked to hear that!) Beautifully done :)
flywoman
Mar. 16th, 2011 03:47 pm (UTC)
Er, yes. Shocked ;).

I don't have a firm stance on the question of whether House saw Wilson before he jumped (another shocker), and I think his actions would be in-character either way. But of course I would prefer to believe that he wouldn't do that deliberately to Wilson.

Thanks very much for your comments!
(Deleted comment)
flywoman
Mar. 16th, 2011 09:13 pm (UTC)
For Wilson the point may not be so much that he had to witness this (whether intentionally or not), but that there are scenes like this at all, that House doesn't care whether he lives or dies, and that he doesn't care for his friends enough to bother about how it makes them feel.
Yes, that's exactly what I think. He knows on some level that this has always been the case, but here House has really rubbed his nose in it, even if unintentionally, and it's very hard for him to have to face it head-on.

so much for Superman
Much as he would like to deny it in this episode, his actions DO have consequences, and as long as they leave him alive, he will be forced to deal with them.

Thanks so much for your comments!
rincewindy13
Mar. 16th, 2011 06:41 pm (UTC)
I didn’t see you standing down there. I swear.

I just hope that's what the writers wanted us to think!

Good, but sad post-ep ficlet! I really like how the fandom is coming to life again!
flywoman
Mar. 16th, 2011 09:15 pm (UTC)
I don't know what the writers wanted us to think, I'm afraid - this is seriously the most optimistic spin that I felt able to put on the situation.

It's awesome, though, how many different takes we've gotten on the end of this episode! Thanks for your comments.
( 29 comments — Leave a comment )

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