A vignette based on the House episode, Merry Little Christmas. This is my take on why Wilson left House after the OD. I don't own House or the characters.

I want to thank the people at Television Without Pity forums for all their insights and Mary Kirkland for her screen captures.


House had laughed in his face. Yet another slap. Another push away. And still Wilson dialed the number and left messages three times when he didn't answer.

It was pretty obvious that House had made his choice. The wrong decision, but the one who most desperately needed to see what was happening was completely oblivious to the danger. His stubbornness was ferrying him to hell, pulling him along as he ignored the pleas that were lobbed at him like ropes to a drowning fool.

And so Wilson drove to the apartment, recognizing the probable futility of such an action, knowing that he'd most certainly be mocked, turned away, his help rejected again. Every intersection offered a chance to turn around, to go back to the hotel, his new home, his perch during the hurricane that was House. He commanded his arms to obey his thoughts, but they refused to turn the steering wheel, and somehow he found himself parked on the street and knowing that the apartment stood waiting.

I'm worried about him. He was desperate for pills, and somehow he got his hands on some. He's already taken too many. He's not holding back anymore. Look what he said to Cuddy. And punching out Chase. He's not in control of himself. Nothing I do will help anymore, but I can't not go to him.

The filter had disintegrated, allowing the demons that so tormented House to tear free. Wilson left his car, closed the door, locked it. Method. Routine. Just stopping by to check on a friend. Nothing wrong with that. Why would there be? Just because the friend was crashing.

He listened before knocking, hoping to hear the TV, the piano, the guitar. Anything that would indicate normalcy.


He knocked, knowing that he would go in whether House answered the door or not. The key stood poised in his hand.


He knocked again, right handed, the key in his left already pushed into the lock.

"House, are you okay? I called three times."

Three phone calls. Three days to accept the offer that would fix everything. But neither trio had delivered. House rejected the offer. And then Tritter had changed the rules. Wilson's betrayal (sure, that's what everyone thought it was) couldn't be nullified anymore. He hadn't thought everything through. Or maybe he'd trusted the cop.

Maybe he thought that House would finally recognize the value of their friendship.

Snap. The door unlocked and he slipped inside.

The silence continued. He closed the door and scanned the apartment, wishing so hard, so fervently, that House would step from another room and yell at him for bothering him. He moved farther in, looking toward the couch. Maybe House was asleep on it—


Something blocked his way—guitar—he leaped over. Was he doctor or friend at the moment?


Somewhere far away a whisper told him to be a doctor, a professional, but a scream drowned out the suggestion of professionalism, and he knelt…nearly fell…next to the very still figure of his friend.

He needed to see his face. House lay on his side, the tumbled lamp throwing light along the floor, one bulb dark but the other garish in its inappropriate position. Wilson grasped House's arm and pulled, noting but not really seeing the vomit on the floor. He searched his friend's visage, almost frantic, until he realized that the eyes were open. It was then that he smelled the debris, the bile and pills and saliva, and he saw that House's eyes were not only open but focused on his own. Bleary and dead, but recognizing, it seemed to Wilson, that this absolute fall, this shameful, terrifying, uncontrollable nadir had actually, finally happened.

The pill bottle, its amber color chuckling its presence even in the horror of a fallen man, caught his attention, and he knew before taking it in his hand that it would bear a name other than House's. Hours before he had taken a bottle from House's pocket, a bottle of narcotics that would never be ingested by their rightful owner. Wilson read the name of his dead patient on the bottle, and the theft became clear. The pills didn't belong to House, and yet he'd been swallowing them all day, at first slyly, then more and more brazenly. Disgust overwhelmed Wilson.

After everything…after every thing…

He stood up, still holding the bottle, the damning evidence that smashed the bit of acceptance that had remained.

No more. I've had enough. This is as low as it gets, and I don't care.

Wilson started to place the bottle, the empty bottle, in his coat pocket as he turned away from his friend, but a final spitting laugh stabbed him, and he dropped the bottle. It hit the floor with a sharp cry, and as Wilson exited he noted that the slamming door seemed to resonate like a single pounding heartbeat which then stops when it no longer has blood to surge.