Fandom: House MD
Challenge/Prompt: 7snogs, #6 Argument
Summary: Set somewhere between “Who’s Your Daddy?” and “No Reason”. House and Cuddy have a huge fight and she realises that he’s on morphine.
Author’s Notes: My final piece for this set of seven, in case you haven’t been keeping count. One more challenge off the list. Written quite late at night and in a notebook so therefore might be a little bit incomprehensible, but that’s ok, right?
The way you were shouting, words spilling out of your mouth with more venom than usual, I knew. I knew there was something else in your system besides the normal Vicodin. I know you Vicodin-angry and Vicodin-high and you- you were neither of those. You were defensive and furious, bitter sarcasm replaced by something else entirely and sometimes I’ll never admit it but you scare me. You’re beyond suicidal and in a new place entirely and if I thought I could make you go to a therapist I’d do it without a moment’s hesitation. You are crazy. You are broken. Perhaps I broke you but to be honest I think you give me too much credit and I didn’t ask your leg to die like that.
I gave you a job, humoured your drug habit, did everything I could to make it easier on you, because maybe I felt guilty- but probably because you deserve an attempt at happiness and I will not- I will not- be the one to take it away from you. I think now that I have learned that I shouldn’t have left you to your own devices for so long- the way you looked at me then, fury in your eyes and it wasn’t you; I knew then that I’d made yet another mistake with you.
Does Wilson honestly not care? Is that his thing now, have you tormented him so long that it no longer matters what you do as long as you’re not doing it to him? And maybe it should disturb us both that that’s a viable option when it comes to you. I should have sacked you months ago. You’re brilliant but you’re clinically insane and I shouldn’t- won’t, can’t- compromise everything I worked so hard for yet again, just because you can’t shut your mouth and do your goddamn job once in a while.
From time to time you’re beyond every boundary I like to think I’ve put you behind. Every time I think that I’ve found a line you won’t or can’t cross, you grin at me and then do it anyway. You’re so proud of yourself and sometimes I look at you and I wonder why. Arguing with you all the time is just so exhausting and I think I’m running out of the energy to fight any longer.
But I knew. The shadows under your eyes lengthen and grow and you have this edge and then you cracked and poured out vicious bile at me, unadulterated practically hatred and do you even know that you’re losing everything that made you who you were? Do you care?
I slammed the door to your office behind me, leaving you glaring after me, and I realised then and there that although I’d refused to pump you full of morphine it didn’t mean that there weren’t other ways. You’re in pain. You’re in so much pain. And pain makes people stupid and it makes you stupid and I may never forgive you for this.
It takes a couple of hours in which I pace my office and make phonecalls without registering the sound of my voice and I roll post-its into little tubes and throw them at my garbage can. It takes time for your cane to tap its way down the corridors and I cannot and will not wait.
But I knew you would. I knew you would. And you do.
You don’t shout at me this time around. Don’t tell me I’m fucking useless and out of my depth and that I have let you down in every respect. This time around you don’t do any of that but you don’t apologise either. It’s almost a relief, to be honest. I’m not in the mood to be gracious and accept it, and it might scare me to hear the words I’m sorry tumble out of your mouth. I’m still too furious with you to speak.
So this time it’s better. This time we don’t shout and scream at each other, this time I understand, because what a difference a couple of hours can make. This time I know that you are pumped full of morphine and even if it’s wearing off you are still so far from being ok. I wonder if you know, now, that the person you used to be, Gregory House, is gone. Dr House is still hanging on with his shaking hands, but you’re on a one-way trip to killing him off stone dead.
I have nothing left that I want to say to you. So we don’t speak.
Your mouth finds mine and it’s been months but I know this game and all its rules, even when you try and break them. Perhaps this is your apology; actions speak louder than the words you’ll never say and I’ll never listen to anyway. This is what we do, what we’ve always done, more years than I can count, or maybe I just don’t want to.
Trembling hands- your trembling hands- tangle in my hair, tipping my head back and I’m stepping closer to you almost involuntarily, but you’re so dark now. You always were four steps ahead of me in everything but now you’re going where I can’t and don’t want to follow you. You are falling apart in front of me, under my hands, and I have to step in, do something, because I’m not as weak as you like to pretend to think I am. I’m not Wilson. I don’t love you enough to bite my mouth shut and hope that you’ll know when to stop. I don’t believe that you’re capable of stopping.
“Keep this up and I’ll fire you,” I whisper against your lips, and you move away from me like my body stings.
“You’d never do that,” you say, “You wouldn’t dare.”
“I’m sick of you thinking I’m spineless,” I snap, “Because I’m not. And maybe I let the Vicodin slide but I’m damned if you think you can slip morphine past me with my blessing.”
You stare at me.
“You wouldn’t give me any, remember? I’m not taking morphine.”
I reach for your left arm and you pull away so I can’t see the needle tracks and we both know now.
(You screamed at me and I figured out what Wilson wouldn’t see and what Cameron couldn’t see and what Foreman hadn’t even considered and what Chase didn’t care enough to change. I figured it out and now I tell you that you have a week to prove to me that you’ll change things and you glare at me and you leave. And six days will pass and I’ll have to consider that maybe I’ll have to kick you out for this, because there’s more than just you in the balance here, and just when I am steeling myself to fire you, I will receive a page telling me that you have been shot. You always were a lucky bastard.)
God, do we both know.