Disclaimer: The characters of House, M.D. aren't my creations and I therefore make not a penny from writing about them. Woe is me.


He's halfway home (If you call that 'home', which it isn't; House is right), sitting at a stoplight, when the understanding breaks over him like a cold Atlantic wave.

Oh, House. You jackass.

When the light changes, he checks for cops, and not seeing any, pulls an illegal U-turn.

I'm so sorry, House. God, I'm sorry. Why didn't you just tell me? I'd have --

But he cuts himself short, because he already knows why House didn't tell him. Because the last time House really tried to tell him, really tried --

Oh, God, House. God, I'm an imbecile.


House, naturally, is right where Wilson left him.

Well. No time like the present to stop being stupid. If your patient is hurting, what do you do, Doctor Wilson?

You do something about it. Now. He doesn't want to waste time with pills or with going to the hospital to pick something up. He's waited far too long, months too long, already. There's another option, though, as soon as he can find it. He grabs the step stool and goes searching; the box is always on one of these shelves.


That's right, House. Sleep.

He watches House slip under, the puzzled, pained expression giving way first to relief and then to slumber. There are so many things to do; there's a kitchen that needs some restocking, an evening meal to be cooked. House probably hasn't eaten in more than 24 hours.

So much to do. He ought to get started.

Instead he's sitting there on the floor, holding one callused hand in both of his, the way House would never permit if he were awake. Calluses, a cane, pills -- House, I'm so sorry. He knows his friend is still in there, still the House that he once knew. None of these things were ever what House wanted. Not the pills or the needle or the way he hurts the people who love him.

Wilson softly massages that sleeping hand, feels the muscles loosen, and sets it carefully down. He gets up; it's time to be useful again. The kitchen beckons.