Fandom: House MD
Characters: Wilson/Julie, mentions of House/Wilson
Notes: Originally posted at ficwriters_anon, where after some initial confusion, it was pretty much sussed out by one and all. Tinkered with a bit since original posting. One of my "moody" fics, so still no fluff, schmoop or happiness in H/W land. Thanks to Beta Goddess Carol for House-like honesty when necessary.
Crossposted. Mods, feel free to delete if not enough H/W or slash content.
Summary: Wilson makes a tactical error.
“You hate me that much?” Wilson asked, waving a copy of the document that Bruce had faxed over.
“You hurt me that much. More than anybody’s ever hurt me in my life.”
Given her history, that was saying something. He was being unfavorably compared to an embezzler and an abuser.
Maybe sending a bouquet and a card on their wedding anniversary hadn’t been such a good idea, less than six months after the final decree. Bonnie and Trish had never objected and he’d managed to stay on warm terms with them. He and Bonnie even had a standing dinner date to commemorate the night they’d first gone out together.
He certainly hadn’t expected a call from his lawyer advising him that Julie had been awarded a temporary restraining order, which he proceeded to immediately violate by driving over to the house.
She met him at the front door with a cigarette in her hand and the same glare that used to drive him away from home for days at a time, until it was just easier not to come back.
“Go away.” Her eyes tried to flash the fierce anger of old, but he could tell her heart wasn’t in it.
He followed her inside, even though she could easily pick up the phone and call some friend of Tritter’s. From what he’d seen on HBO, life behind bars wasn’t everything that House’s taste in novels would suggest.
“Come on, Julie. I know I wasn’t perfect, but I never yelled at you. I didn’t hit you or take your money…”
“Yeah,” she said bitterly, flinging herself onto the couch, “You’re a saint, aren’t you? Just because you weren’t screwing any women.” There was no mistaking the emphasis. Wilson knew he needed to put on his “outraged by the very idea” expression, but suspected it was already too late. He sat down gingerly on the living room sofa, giving her as much space as he could.
“A restraining order?” If he’d meant to keep the pain out of his own voice, he failed. Accepting that she actually felt this way hurt far more than her admission of infidelity, which had actually been a relief.
“Do you have any idea how much it hurts to see you, to even think about you, knowing what you did to me? I can’t eat. I can’t sleep. My shrink says I need closure, so I’m trying to sell this damn place and the market sucks right now.”
Wilson was tempted to ask if she’d list the house with Bonnie.
“Julie…” he started, looking for something to say that would make things better, or at least make it not his fault. He’d never meant to leave her so broken.
“Don’t worry about me,” she retorted with an attempted laugh that refused to come out as anything but a prelude to tears. “I’ve got Prozac and Xanax. I pull myself together enough to see Dr. Schneider three times a week so I can keep getting them. I’m doing fine. Just get the hell out of my sight. Play your little ‘we’ll still be friends’ game with Bonnie. She’s enough of an idiot to fall for it.”
It was hard to see Julie looking like this, her dark hair carelessly pulled into a pony-tail, dark circles under her eyes from lack of sleep, and psychic agony she wore like make-up. So why did he suddenly feel attracted to her again? It reminded him of the first time he’d met her in the hospital cafeteria, crying into a cup of coffee because her father was dying. “I’ve got Paxil and a hotel room,” he said softly, hoping to placate her with his own miserable existence..
“What about him?”
He’d walked out of the lie with Julie into what he thought was truth with House, only to learn that House couldn’t be fixed and wouldn’t let himself be loved.
“Tell me how I can make this OK?”
“What are you saying?” she asked, shaking one of her pill bottles, in a disturbingly familiar way.
“If I wanted to come back. What would it take?”
She took a deep breath and Wilson wondered if he’d walked into a trap of his own making. He’d come to believe that only House really understood him, and yet Julie must have known that nothing would bring him to the bargaining table as quickly as his need not to be the bad guy.
“I want an apology for every time you made me feel like a bitch because I wanted you to be with me instead of him. I want you to admit I was right about you and him. I want you to be the man I married.”
If I see that guy, I’ll let you know. Not very likely since he was an illusion, anyway.
Total surrender and radical reconstruction. Not much to ask for, really. It might even be worth it. Wilson still resented the most recent round of hell with House’s cancer scare. The news that he was getting back together with Julie might knock a bit of that “I’m screwing a 27-year-old nutritionist” smirk off House’s face.
He was about to cross his heart and hope to die when his cell phone rang. It could have been his answering service, or a patient, or his tennis partner, but it wasn’t. There was something about House’s ring and both he and Julie knew it.
“You sent her flowers, didn’t you? Do I need to send in the marines for a rescue mission?”
He held up the phone to show Julie he was disconnecting the line, but it was too late. He could never give her enough without excising House from his life altogether, and he couldn’t do that.
“Get out,” she said, taking a pill from one of the vials on the table and turning on the TV set to watch “Days Of Our Lives.”
Julie had finally become what he wanted and he’d just lost her all over again.