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26 September 2007 @ 12:10 pm
Stage Five (House, Wilson, PG)  
Title: Stage Five
Fandom: House, M.D.
Pairing/Rating: none, really, PG.
Wordcount: 480 words
Summary: Five years ago, House managed to convince Wilson to put up a poster of Rebel Without A Cause in his office, across from the desk, so that Wilson would see it every day.
Author's Notes: For ficwriters_anon. Thanks to savemoony for the beta.

Five years ago, House managed to convince Wilson to put up a poster of Rebel Without A Cause in his office, across from the desk, so that Wilson would see it every day. It's appropriate, he had said at the time, grinning as Wilson finally rolled his eyes and relented. Two years after that, Wilson took it down, and no one ever asked him why. They understood.

It leaves a blank space on Wilson's wall, though, and he thinks maybe it's time he filled it with something again.


Cuddy's made Foreman the new head of Diagnostics, though it's mostly in name only, since all three of the former fellows get equal time at the board, passing the marker around, calling out suggestions. Wilson pokes his head in occasionally to make sure everything's okay, but they don't need him, and they probably never did.

Sometimes, he'll just watch them work, so familiar with one another that they finish each other's sentences, sharing entire conversations with just one glance. While their solve rate isn't as good as it was before, it's still pretty amazing, and Wilson's proud, prouder than he has any right to be, because this is theirs. This is what they've learned. This is what they've accomplished.


Most days, he eats lunch with Cuddy, because they're friends; that's what friends do. They have their own table in the cafeteria, sort of, off in a corner that no one else ever takes, though in the summer, they eat outside, even on the days it's so bright Wilson has to squint in order to see.

She never steals his food, except for the fries every other Thursday, but he knows that's because the calories don't count if they're off someone else's plate. Wilson doesn't mind, really. He actually kind of likes it.

They don't talk about work over lunch. They talk like college students about art and life and relationships and superhero comics, and even though Wilson's never going to love her more than a friend, more than a close colleague, he's happiest when he's right here, with fries missing from his plate, the sun in his eyes, and the Grand Unified Theory of the Universe spilling from Cuddy's lips.


There's a piano in his living room that he's never played, never learned how to play.

But he occasionally flips through the yellow pages, stopping between "Musical Arrangers-Composers" and "Musical Instruction-Vocal", and wonders.


Wilson's always thought that he'd be constantly aware of death, that it'd never take him by surprise, but he's learned that it can sneak up on you, that it can happen when you least it expect it.


A few years have passed since the accident, and Wilson feels that maybe that's enough time, so he puts the poster back up, spreading it across his wall with careful fingers, stickytac at each of the corners. When he's done, he steps back and admires his work.

James Dean glares sullenly at him, but Wilson smiles, and the ache in his chest is gentle.

Tags: ,
Dee Laundrydeelaundry on September 26th, 2007 06:12 pm (UTC)
I'm in love with this. Yeah, seriously. Absolutely perfect conveying of mood. Stunning. *mems*

Typo here? Cuddy's made Foreman's the new head of Diagnostics,
Zulu: house - god's foolzulu on September 26th, 2007 06:17 pm (UTC)
I so much love this story. I think it was vying for first place in my affections for ficanon--this and Tuesday. It hurt really happily well, not over the top, not a tear-jerker, but it had me all choked up. OH WILSON.

And, good on you, for writing differently.
Lady Not-Appearing-In-This-Film: house walk ondemonqueen666 on September 26th, 2007 06:33 pm (UTC)
If I say that was pretty with it's hurtiness, will you understand?
Vilyvily on September 26th, 2007 06:35 pm (UTC)
Oh, poor Wilson! He lost his boyfriend.
woodencoyote: nursewoodencoyote on September 27th, 2007 05:26 pm (UTC)
Just stopping by to say your icon is awesome.
Rogaroga on September 26th, 2007 07:48 pm (UTC)
I love this. And I totally could have written an entire essay about why this was yours, but even if I hadn't recognized your style by the second paragraph, this is what would have clued me in:

While their solve rate isn't as good as it was before, it's still pretty amazing, and Wilson's proud, prouder than he has any right to be, because this is theirs.

My brain was thinking, oh, oh, Wilson, but my heart was thinking, oh, John.

But anyway. Yeah, I loved this :-)
nightdog_barks: Wilson Half My Lifenightdog_barks on September 26th, 2007 08:23 pm (UTC)
I usually have trouble reading fics in which House is dead or injured (yeah, go figure).

I love this. Just love it. It's so beautiful and gentle, and even though there's an underlying note of sadness, it's so, so lovely to see Wilson's recovery and how he can take pleasure in small things.

GQMF NICOLE: House - Is that what youre saying?karmadownurgun on September 26th, 2007 11:18 pm (UTC)
This is very nice, despite the solemn feel to it. The whole Rebel Without A Cause poster with James Dean is just so fitting. It's such a great descriptive tool, without really, verbally, describing anything.
lover of all things RSLfallin4redheads on September 26th, 2007 11:42 pm (UTC)

That was beautiful. I love it, even though it's sad. It hurts in just the right way.

For some reason, I love reading death!fics, even though I get so sad when I read them.
me.: everybody-liestheyreforrachel on September 27th, 2007 12:51 am (UTC)
I love it.
Elva Barr: cuddy - sultry; waiting; busyelva_barr on September 27th, 2007 01:31 am (UTC)
The imagery in that fourth paragraph is the first place where you begin to fall in love with this piece of emotions here: you really convey great motion there. I would've felt insecure about the recurring repetition of 'maybe,' but I find it works beautifully here.

teensy typo:and "Musical Instruction-Vocal", should have that comma before the close-quote
Oblique Outputs: House/Wilsonsaara_zaara on September 27th, 2007 01:50 am (UTC)
Very nice. I love the compactness of this. Reced at HHoW.
Bloodanna: Hopeless Romanticbloodanna on September 27th, 2007 02:38 am (UTC)
Oh, this is just beautiful.
Simple and quietly painful in a way that's just perfect.
I'd pick a favourite line, but I really can't separate a single sentence as they all work and flow together and it'd kind be like picking out a favouite brush stroke in a painting.
blackmare_9: littlemoonblackmare on September 27th, 2007 03:10 am (UTC)
Ouch, dammit.

Just ... oh, Wilson.

This just ... ouch. I'm going to stop typing now before I embarrass myself. :-)
shutterbug12: House/Wilsonshutterbug12 on September 27th, 2007 04:16 am (UTC)
Oh, this was so sad. Wonderful, though. The poster was incredibly appropriate. I like that its image frames the piece and, when Wilson takes the poster down, he's still surrounded by constant reminders of House. Ugh, so sad.
Kate: [House] If I just lay herearwen_kenobi on September 27th, 2007 04:57 am (UTC)
Oh that aches. But "gently aches" if I may paraphrase your fic there. ;)
unavailable, fictional, and over-qualified: bad coffeespoggly on September 27th, 2007 09:33 am (UTC)
So sad and sweet. I really, really like this.
KB: Jackpsyko_kittie on September 27th, 2007 01:17 pm (UTC)
Oh, beautiful and heartbreaking!
silja_bsilja_b on September 27th, 2007 03:08 pm (UTC)
Very well written.

It has subtlety and an almost fragile sense of loss. The last line is terribly moving.
Jessicaxjessica_faithx on September 28th, 2007 02:05 am (UTC)
My gosh....
annalullyannalully on September 29th, 2007 03:24 pm (UTC)
Sad and lovely. What really got me was Wilson's quiet acceptance and loneliness and the little things he does to keep living.

It's touching because it's simple and poignant, as life usually is. :)
eeveekitty85: come with meeeveekitty85 on September 29th, 2007 08:54 pm (UTC)
Ohhh...I don't even want to say 'ouch' because it seems like too harsh a word to describe this...hard to put my finger on why it works so well and why it's got me so choked up... It's simple, uncomplicated, quiet, and very very beautiful. It makes me miss House even though obviously in the real world (can a TV show be a real world?) he's not...ohhh it's just lovely. And not a scrap of emo in sight!
nightdog_barks: Roman Broochnightdog_barks on April 11th, 2017 03:58 am (UTC)
I was copying some fic links over to DW tonight, and this was one of the stories I stopped and re-read. And it's still so beautifully done and so quietly lovely. Thought I'd pause and tell you that. ♥ ♥ ♥