Friday, July 30, 2010

Life Support

Look, I find some of what you teach suspect,
Because I'm used to relying on intellect,
But I try to open up to what I don't know
Because reason says
I should've died three years ago...
There's only us.

There's only this.
Forget regret, or life is yours to miss.
No other road, no other way.
No day but today.

Greg House limped into his empty apartment. He had come home after solving yet another case. Awesome as he thought that was, that was work and now he was home. Home to nothing. House hung his cane on the ledge over the entryway, fell into the cushions of his couch, and poured a glass of bourbon from the waiting bottle on the coffee table. He took a long drink. He was somehow thankful as he felt the alcohol burn down his throat. Maybe thankful that he could still feel it burn, maybe thankful something hadn't changed, or maybe thankful that in a couple more glasses he wouldn't care how miserable he was. For once the 'why' didn't matter. He was just... thankful.
Realizing how quiet it was and not wanting to watch TV, House made his way over to his stereo. He searched for a certain unmarked CD case containing a certain CD, the only mark on which was a hastily scribbled "R". Of all the things House should have been embarrassed about - the hookers, the porn, the drugs, the brazen misanthropy - this CD was the one thing in his life he would never bring up in front of another person, even jokingly. House gently blew on the back of the disk to clear it of any particles, gingerly placed it in the player, and pressed play. Just as he had reached the couch once more, that familiar guitar rift wafted through the room, followed shortly by the voice of Rosario Dawson.

"RENT?" House practically yelled at what could best be described as his counterpart.
"I've heard it's a good movie," James Wilson said defensively.
"A, it's based off a musical, so there's no way it can be a good movie, B, it's a total chick-flick, and C, you're an oncologist, for God's sake. Don't you get enough of people dying in real life?"
"What, so because I'm an oncologist I'm resigned to watch Jackass and Old School for the rest of my life? No thanks." Wilson put the DVD in the player.
House sat down with a drawn-out sigh, but didn't comment again for the rest of the movie. He watched with rapt attention. He even - though he would never admit it to any one, ever - almost teared up at the funeral scene.
"See, that wasn't so bad, was it?" Wilson asked as the credits rolled. "I really liked some of that music." He walked over to his computer.
"Please, God, don't tell me you're about to download the soundtrack."
"Shut up, House," was all he could say to counter the correct assumption.
Wilson clicked 'buy' and walked away to let his computer download. "You want something to eat?" he asked House and walked to the kitchen.
"Got any pizza?"
"Yeah, you want me to warm it for you?" Wilson's disembodied voice came from the kitchen.
"Sure." House's attention was glued to the computer.
Wilson put the pizza in the microwave. "I'm going to the bathroom, come get your piece when it's done."
"Right," House said towards the kitchen. His eyes still hadn't left the monitor.
The bathroom door closed just as the computer dinged, signaling the completion of the download. House jumped off the couch and toward the computer. He had to work fast. He made a new playlist and added his favorite songs from the movie. "CD, CD," he mumbled as he searched Wilson's computer desk for a blank disk. "Damnit, Wilson. Why is this the only part of your life you're not anal about organizing? AH." House found a blank CD and put it in the slot. He pressed "copy" just as Wilson walked out of the bathroom.
"House, please tell me you're not downloading porn to my computer again. There're so many viruses attached to that stuff."
"No, controlling, I was just checking out your music library, seeing what other sappy musicals you had in there," he lied convincingly.
Wilson walked into the kitchen. "It's not controlling when it's MY computer."
House found a sharpie and scribbled an "R" on the completed disk. He stowed it in his jacket pocket and deleted the playlist just before Wilson walked back in holding both pieces of pizza.
"You want another beer?" Wilson asked.
"Nope, gotta get home," House said suddenly and stood. "Patient in surgery tomorrow. You know how that whole doctor thing goes."
"Okay," Wilson said, completely confused at his friend's sudden attitude change. "See you tomorrow."
"Yeah, see ya." House raced out the door and Wilson just stood there, holding both pieces of pizza.

House realized it had been almost two years since he had made this CD. He wondered how many times he'd listened to it since then.
As the third track, "Without You" came to and end, House added his own harmony. He sang on the third, which clashed beautifully with the second and the fifth intervals.
The music ended, and House seemingly readied himself for the next track. He could hear the faster, yet more mellow guitar rift before it even started. Finally the piano entered, and a man's voice joined. House tensed. It had always felt like this song was written specifically for him.
"...Because reason says I should've died three years ago."
No matter how many times he heard it, this line always had an effect on House. He thought about all the times he should have died. All the times he wished he would have died.
"Forget regret, or life is yours to miss."
He couldn't. He couldn't forget all the regrets he had in his life. Even in just the past few years. Stacy. He never should have let her go. Especially not the second time. His dad. He wished he could have been a better son. Cameron. The only thing he didn't regret about that was hiring her. Even Amber. He should have told her to get off the bus. He should have told her...
House poured himself another glass of bourbon and downed it all. He didn't know why he did this to himself. He drank more and more as the CD played on, finally ending with "Seasons of Love". That ridiculous, overplayed song. Why did every one like it so much? Why did he like it so much?
The ending chords resolved and the room was silent once more. He thought again about the words in "Life Support".
"No other road, no other way. No day but today."
House muttered into the silence, "No day but today, indeed," and poured himself another drink.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Love Song to a Family

Tomorrow morning if you wake up
And the sun does not appear,
I will be here.
If in the dark we lose sight of love,
Hold my hand and have no fear,
'Cause I will be here.
I will be here when you feel like being quiet;
When you need to speak your mind,
I will listen.
And I will be here when the laughter turns to crying;
Through the winning, losing, and trying, we'll be together,
'Cause I will be here.

Tony DiNozzo loves team Gibbs. And not in the way the word love gets thrown about, but in the deepest, most sincere way. It's not as if they are his family, they are his family.
He loves them each in their own way - the respect he holds for Gibbs and Ziva, the protectiveness he feels for Tim and Abby, and the fond amusement he nurses for Ducky and Jimmy.
These people matter to him more than any one else in the world.
Sometimes he forgets to show that.
Sometimes they forget to see.
But it's always there. Tony would do - has done - anything and everything for this team. He's risked his life, his career, his heart, all in the name of family.
Sometimes he wonders if they feel the same way.
Sometimes he knows they do.
This team, this family, has laughed together, cried together, been to hell and back, and all the while, Tony has come to love each person more.
Sometimes he wonders what keeps this team together.
Other times he knows - it's love.