He woke up to a cup of day old coffee and mashed cigarette butts in an ashtray by his bed. He had two days left to pay the rent before the land lord evicted him. She'd already granted him an extra week. To let him slide another day would be bad for business.
Bad for business. She didn't know the first thing about bad for business. Lying to the cops, that was bad for business. Trusting Greg House to hold up his end of a friendship, that was bad for business. Wilson didn't care about business anymore. He had no business.
He'd taken the fall. He'd given up his practice, he'd walked away. He'd held up his side, he'd maintained the lie and he'd kept House out of jail. He'd bargained with House to get help for his addiction. House had gone through the rehab program, he'd sought other pain management options.
Somehow their friendship endured, though it was never the same. There was a distance there, but Wilson showed up at House's door with pizza and porn at least once a week, and they rarely saw each other or even spoke in between.
Somehow he scraped up the fifteen dollars for the pizza. There wasn't enough for a movie rental, so he pawed through his box of videos to find one they hadn't watched for a while and headed over to House's apartment. Rain soaked him through and he was shivering as he let himself in the main hallway of the building, hoping he'd beat the delivery boy to the door. "House. Open up."
He walked to the door that opened to the street, shielding his eyes from the rain, to see House's bike in its usual spot. He glanced around the street. No one was out in the rain, and Wilson shouldn't have been out in it either. "House!" Wilson knocked again, "I know you're in there. Come on. Open up."
Three minutes later, Wilson paid the pizza boy. "House, I've got pizza." House still didn't answer. Wilson sighed, and pushed his hand through his hair. He didn't want to acknowledge the shock of fear that lay heavy in his gut. "House, I'm counting to five, then I'm coming in."
He counted, and still waited a moment before setting the pizza down. "I'm coming in." He knew House might be with a prostitute or a therapist, or he could have fallen. Several unpleasant scenarios ran through Wilson's mind, distracting him from the pain of slamming his shoulder into the door.
He hit the door far too many times before it finally gave under the pressure. He hoped House had the insurance to pay for it, because he sure didn't. He scraped his hand on a rough edge of the wood, and he raised his hand to his mouth to suck on the throbbing scratch.
He'd feel like an idiot if House wasn't home. Wilson couldn't imagine where he would be, his bike was out front. He walked through the living room, unaffected by the mess of books and papers and dirty dishes he would most likely end up washing. "House?" He called, and knocked outside the bedroom door before he looked in to the room, just in case House was in there.
He saw House's hand first, on the bed, gripping a prescription bottle. His eyes scanned House's body, and even as he said House's name again he knew House wasn't going to answer him. His color was pale, his head drooped too far to one side. "Damn it, Greg," Wilson muttered, reading the bottle. Vicodin, prescribed to Jeffrey Sanderson, and most likely stolen from the hospital, from a patient. "You son of a bitch," Wilson thumped House's chest, then shut down his emotional response to assess House's condition.
He didn't recognize most of the nurses, and for that he was grateful. Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital was like a foreign country to him. He didn't even identify himself as a doctor, and he paced the waiting room like any other concerned friend or family member of a patient.
He looked up at the sound of footsteps coming toward him. His eyes went wide with the recognition, and he reached up to try to tame his hair and make himself look a little more presentable than a bum off the street.
"They told me a neighbor brought him in." Cuddy reached out to touch his arm.
Wilson looked down at her hand on his arm, and smiled a sad sort of smile. "No, just me. How is he?"
"Let's go in my office."
Wilson shook his head. "I don't want special treatment, Cuddy. Just tell me" His eyes darkened. He felt the burn of tears, the ache starting in his throat. Cuddy's straight backed posture giving way to slumped shoulders when she saw him told him all he needed to know. He was too late.
Cuddy squeezed his arm. "He's…There is no brain function, Wilson." She closed her eyes so she wouldn't see him bite his lip. He swayed, and put his hand out to the wall to steady himself. His other hand fisted and pressed against his forehead.
He stumbled a step back, walking as if he were drunk. He gripped the back of a chair, and bent forward to press his face against his arms. Cuddy walked over to him and lay her hand on his back. "It's not your fault, James."
"I should have gone in right away." Wilson looked over his shoulder. His voice trembled, and the tears finally spilled down his cheeks making his words slurred and choppy. "His bike was there. He didn't answer the door. I…"
"No, Wilson. You didn't do anything wrong." Cuddy gently led him around the chair so he could sit down.
He sat, and held his head in his hands, breathing hard. He looked up after a moment, eyes hard and focused. "I need to get you a copy of his DNR."
Cuddy nodded. "I'll call his parents."