Summary: Wilson, autumn, melancholy, and House.
Notes: Unbetaed. Title stolen from a really awesome Badly Drawn Boy song. Second person pov.
When autumn comes, the leaves crunch beneath your feet, and your breath leaves white trails in the air. The sounds of the birds change. They sound sadder, yearning for summer. The cold has come early this year. It's barely even October.
You run in the autumn, through orange-yellow-red parks, across gray pavement, because when you run, the cold air fills your lungs and claws at your skin.
Because when you run, your brain clears, your heart pumps, your muscles ache, and it reminds you you're here, you're alive.
("You're being pathetic," House says when you tell him this while drunk. "And maudlin. But mostly pathetic."
You laugh, because House is telling the truth, always telling the truth, first, last, always. "I guess it could be worse," you reply. "I could be you.")
On Yom Kippur, you go to synagogue alone. No Julie, no Sarah, no Allison. It is a day of self-denial, of repentance, and you have not eaten since sundown the previous day. You're being a good Jew. Your parents would be proud.
The rabbi's beard is flecked black amongst the gray, and his voice is rough and low. You don't know Hebrew, but you know the words, the way they flow over you, through you, leave traces on your skin.
It is the Day of Atonement, and you imagine your sins as leaves, scattered along the sidewalks, gathered up into piles, crushed underfoot.
("Jewish guilt. It's entirely overrated." House has a big lunch today, and he's exaggerating each bite, each chew.
You watch him and try not to think of food. "So is being an asshole, but you seem to enjoy it anyway.")
You had your second wedding in the fall, because her family was from California, and they wanted an excuse to see the color change.
It had rained the night before. The ground was soft beneath your feet, and the air smelled like dirt and moss and rain. House whispered comments about all the guests in your ear, trying to get you laugh at inappropriate times.
You remember the feel of her hands in yours, the white of her smile, the white of her dress. You remember the moment you kissed her and thought you were in love.
("Love is for idiots and optimists," House says before kissing you, lips on lips, teeth against teeth.
You agree, of course, but that doesn't stop you from kissing him back. Doesn't stop love from settling on your skin, your heart. Doesn't stop it from wrapping itself around your body, blanketing you in its heat.)
You visit House's apartment every night for a week to drink bad beer and watch the Yankees win the playoffs again. The tree outside his window is shedding its leaves, and in late afternoon, the shadows of its branches look like fingers reaching for your feet.
One night, you drift off during the eighth inning, head rolling to rest on his shoulder. The television hums in the background and the aftertaste of Pad Thai rests on your tongue. The remnants of the day linger on the edges of your mind.
His fingers drift over your palm before sleep overtakes you.
That night, you dream of running, leaves crunching beneath your feet, your breath leaving white trails in the air. A familiar figure at your side, matching you step for step, beat for beat.
(His fingers tangle in your hair, and you can hear his heart beating in his chest. "Guess this means I'm an idiot," he mutters, almost too softly for you to hear.
Your eyes close, and something in your throat constricts, something in your heart tightens. "Hey, you never know," you murmur against his neck. "You could just be an optimist.")
Autumn fades like like an old photograph, colors washed away with time.
Flu season is coming, and the clinic begins to fill with hacking coughs, bleary eyes, runny noses. You still eat outside, under the trees. House smirks smugly about something, and his eyes make you think of ice, cold and blue and sharp, but his hand tightens around yours, point of contact, shared body heat.
A brown leaf drifts down to land on the table, curled and brittle. The sky is a pale gray, and you think of snow and hot chocolate and Chinese food in front of fireplaces. A smile ghosts over your lips.
You count the days until winter.