Characters/Pairing: Greg House/Brittany House; Michael Colefield/Brittany House
Prompt: #5 -- Commitment
Word Count: 477
Summary: It takes killing herself to bring herself to life.
Author's Notes: Written between Michael and Brittany's marriage, and House and Brittany's relationship.
He hasn't been able to look at her for the past ten minutes. Staring at the floor, whole body slumped in defeat, while she stands there, eyes slowly filling with tears. When he finally looks at her, his are already streaking down his cheeks, and the soul-sucked-out gaze will haunt her for the rest of her life.
She's just told him she wants a divorce.
It's not that she doesn't love him anymore. He's the first man she ever loved. The first one she ever told that to. The first one she ever kissed or slept with. She's crazy about him.
But she loves Greg more.
She doesn't know what to do; she never, ever imagined this happening. She can see him breaking into tiny little pieces in front of her eyes. Crossing the short distance between the two of them, she drops to her knees in front of him and tugs him into her arms, holding him while he cries. Muttering apologies that seem empty while he clings to her. She's tempted not to leave. It seems cruel, after all, to leave the one-time love of her life broken and alone.
He pulls back and looks at her. Takes her hands in his. Whispers words she didn't think she would ever hear. They must kill him to say but she's grateful that he understands. Understanding is not the same thing as acceptance.
They go to bed together, just holding one another, not talking about the paperwork or who gets what or what happens next. She stays with him until he falls asleep. Then she slides out of bed, tears in her eyes as she looks at him for the last time. Grabs her already packed bags from the closet and is in tears by the time she sets the wedding ring on the nightstand.
I promised him forever and I failed him.
It's a sense of guilt that follows her onto the airplane to Newark. It's just early morning when she gets there, picks up her rental car, finds somewhere quiet for breakfast. She tries to clean up for Greg's sake, though she knows he knows how difficult this has all been for her. Leaving a spouse isn't easy and he knows how far back she and Michael go.
She calls him when she's done. Wakes him up to tell him she's arrived and she'll be at his place fairly soon.
When she shows up he's half-awake and she's half-dead inside but neither of them care. She practically launches herself into his arms and he holds her and they don't talk much, just stand there holding each other. Talking is overrated. By being on his doorstep she's said all he needs to hear.
She's promised him forever and this time, because of what she's just done, she doesn't intend to fail. He won't let her, either.