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Title: Unextinguished
Pairing: House/Wilson (Can be interpreted as friendship or slash.)
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: Wilson is still dying in this fic, but it is not a death!fic.
Summary: Post-Season 8. Wilson has a nightmare.

The scent of smoke invades his nostrils.

He can feel a familiar tightening in his chest, as if two hands are fighting to choke the very breath from his lungs.

Before Foreman can even suggest where House might be, Wilson breaks off into a run.

It's almost like he's floating. He doesn't even notice the crunch of pebbles beneath his loafers. All earlier frustration, anger, they seem to melt away as blurred memories flow through his consciousness. Pills. Vomit. No breath sounds. Pulse. Gotta check the pulse. Syringe. Urgency. All he can focus on is getting to House. Now. Right now.

He can hear the crackling of flames, see a brightness so intense it's almost blinding.

Wilson narrows his eyes, trying to catch a glimpse of who might be inside.

All it takes is the sight of a single shadow, for Wilson to accept that he'd known who was inside all along.

His breath catches in his throat. He can see the flames rising, the figure in the building becoming more obscured by bright bursts of yellow and orange.

He sees a beam fall and again, he's running. Urgently running. If he can just get there fast enough, just like he's always done. Always, in the very nick of time, he's managed. He knows that if he just runs a little faster...

He feels a hand grip his shoulder, the ground rumbling beneath him, the force of an explosion throwing him backward.

He can't breathe. He can't breathe. He can't breathe. He tries to scream, cry out for help, and it's as if the flames have burned his throat. He can't move his lips, he can't form words. He can't--He can't.

"WILSON!"

Wilson wakes up with a start, his pajamas drenched in sweat, his hair sticking to his forehead. He gasps for air when he feels that hand tighten around his shoulder, bringing him back to his surroundings. He turns his head to find House sitting perched on the side of his bed.

"You were having a nightmare," House tells him. "Know where you are right now?"

Wilson swallows thickly, cheeks flushing red with embarrassment.

House moves to stand when he feels a hand curling in his shirt. Wilson isn't looking at him. He's staring at the TV screen.

"General Hospital marathon, Channel 2," Wilson rasps.

House stares blankly for a few moments before turning on the television. Normally, he'd be impressed at Wilson's knowledge of his television watching habits.

"Move over," House grunts.

Wilson slides over to the other side of the bed, giving House room to sit.

He doesn't let go of House's shirt, and House doesn't force him to.

They sit in silence, the dull murmur of familiar overdramatized music and voices settling into the background.

Wilson thought that he had never been more terrified than when being faced with his own mortality, in the form of an illness he'd been fighting for others for so many years.

He was wrong.
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August 2013

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