Wesley used to be the one who always thought twice about situations, but when the situation arose he didn't even bother with a backward glance. After fighting his way out of the smoke filled building he had barely time to gasp in a lungful of clean air before he was back inside again, calling into the black and orange whirl of smoke that engulfed him and his apartment block.

He never considered the fact that the fire brigade would be here within a couple of minutes, having only two blocks to come. He never considered the fact that he was only a man, he just did without thinking, and he supposes that was the point that he really became a man.

He stumbled forward into the black throng, coughing into the sleeve of his coat. He had barely had time to shrug the jacket from his shoulders before the fire alarm was ringing into the night, piercing his head that was already pounding due to late night research. He ducked down the corridor as he heard wood breaking behind him, only now realising how much danger he was actually in.

He found his prize cowered under the stairs that lead to the roof, wrapped up in a comforter, a bear hugged to her chest. She looked up at him with big round blue eyes a mixture of fear and guilt as Wesley pulled her into his arms before stumbling back down the corridor, trying to find his way out of what was no doubt the soon to be remains of his apartment block.

He could feel the child coughing into his shoulder as he descended the first flight of stairs, steering them both very fast past what were quickly becoming red hot floorboards, heated by the inferno raging below. Wesley could hear nothing but the roar of fire and the sound of his own hacking coughs as he fought his way down the last flight of stairs, only to find the front door blocked. He shielded his face from the red hot flames, turning on the spot, feeling his legs failing under him as he raced for the back entrance, kicking at the door with his boot clad foot.

He felt dizzy, the world sliding away from him as the door refused to give way, each kick becoming weaker until finally he felt the lock splinter, though not under his own force. Two firemen stood in the doorway, one with an axe in hand as they pulled both Wesley and the child towards them. He vaguely heard someone ask him if anyone else was inside and he shook his head as he continued to cough. He stopped just short of the sidewalk and handed the child over to the paramedics that were arriving on the scene as he continued to take short sharp breathes, unconcerned about his own health as he watched the child being lowered to the floor, her blacked face unmoving, blue eyes no longer visible.

He tried to rasp out the words "Is she alright?" but instead descended into another fit of coughing as the world started to fade again and he felt even dizzier, tried to draw in ragged breaths, trying desperately to breathe before he felt his legs give way under him and he slipped sideways into unconsciousness.

James Wilson was sure karma owed him a lottery win or something after this. First his wife leaves him and then his apartment burns down. He didn't suppose he could really get any worse off at this moment in time, but at least he could make himself useful in the aftermath, even if he was in his PJs.

He moved to help the small girl that had just been brought out the building by the guy who lived opposite him on the 2nd floor. He was a nice guy, what James had seen of him, always polite, very proper and English, but at the same time seemed like he had something to hide, House would have a field day with him. It was at that moment of course he realised House really was going to have a field day as the guy collapsed into the side of James, causing him to stagger before holding the dead weight in his arms and lowering him to the floor.

"Can we get some oxygen over here?" Wilson called out forcefully as he checked for a pulse and found neither that, nor the guy to be breathing. There was a few minutes in which James thought the man had given his life for the child before he found a thready pulse and the man fought to breath in air as James secured the oxygen mask over his nose and mouth before sitting back on his heals and breathing in air himself, apparently inhaled more smoke than he first thought as his vision swam. He felt a mask on his own face as the damp of the grass started to soak through his pyjama trousers. House was just gonna love this when he got to the hospital.


"Did I miss Legally Blond and What a girl wants or are we still playing truth or dare?" Wilson turned to regard his friend, half glaring at him as he removed his oxygen mask, breathing much easier now.

"I'm sorry I left the TV remote in my other set of my pyjamas, let me just nip home and get them, oh no that's right I have no home now, to go with no wife." Wilson remarked, too tired and feeling far too sorry for himself to play House's games.

"Oh someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, either that or they rolled over and didn't like what they saw." House said as he took a seat next to Wilson's bed, putting his feet up on it and pulling the sheets tight around Wilson's legs making him feel claustrophobic.

"Sorry, I'll try to be less grouchy about the fact that I no longer have anything." Wilson snapped back at House, taking another gulp of oxygen, "I no longer have a wife, or a home or anything that ever really mattered to me, except this stupid messed up friendship, and even when I've lost everything I don't have that to fall back on." Wilson was taking rasping breathes now, "You really can be a bastard sometimes." Wilson said glaring at House as he stood up, taking the oxygen mask from his friend's hand, gently but forcefully and placing it back over his mouth and nose.

"You should probably try not to get worked up." House said, his hand brushing Wilson's for a moment as he turned and picked up his cane, "And don't worry, I'll buy you a new hairdryer." House threw over his shoulder as he exited the room.

"So?" Cameron asked as House left Wilson's room, limping back down the corridor, "Did you find out anything about him?"

"Wilson doesn't know the guy." House said without a backward glance. Cameron turned to regard Wilson whom was still sat up in bed staring vacantly at the blank TV screen in his room, and if Cameron was very much mistaken she could see his eyes glistening with tears that would not fall.


"The guy has sepsis." House said mildly, sounding bored, shifting uncomfortably on the spot.

"If the guy has sepsis then he should already be getting better. We've been pumping him full of antibiotics since he entered the hospital." Foreman protested.

"And the blood cultures were negative." Chase piped up.

"Lets say he's already been to the doctor's before he was brought to us, doctor misdiagnosed it as a cold or the flu, gave him antibiotics and sent him on his merry way. Few days later he almost drops dead." House says glancing at the board briefly. "Antibiotics would mean the blood would come back negative, and since we don't know the cause of the infection the antibiotics we're giving him probably aren't helping."

"So what, we keep him in the ICU and hope he doesn't die on us until we find the cause of the infection?" Foreman asked.

"Or we could just keep giving him antibiotics while we continue to investigate." Chase suggested.

"I've got a baseball bat in the boot of my car, we could just go finish the job right now." House said sarcastically. "I think we're forgetting something very important in our diagnosis." House said taking his Vicodin out of his pocket and shaking the bottle at them before taking one.

"Drugs?" Cameron questions, raising an eyebrow.

"It's what all the cool kids are doing." House said, limping towards the door.

"He can't be doing drugs, he would have told us." Cameron started to protest standing up.

"Why?" House asked turning to face her, "Because he poured out his heart and soul to you about wanting to live for his kid and you lapped up every word of it because you're such a sucker for fairy tales of that sort?"

Cameron turned bright pink, opening her mouth like a goldfish for a moment before retorting, "I just don't think he's the kind of man who would do that."

House stared at Cameron for a moment before turning and exiting his office, "Go prove me wrong then." House threw over his shoulder as he left.