Title: What Wilson Knows
Rating: PG
Genre: Angst
Characters: Wilson, House, Cuddy

Wilson sighs, stops writing, lifts his head, and gazes across the lobby towards the raised voice. House is exiting the elevator, engaged in an animated conversation with the radiologist. It's more of a monologue, really; Dr. Hendrickson is simply House's unwilling audience. Wilson watches, amused, as the man bobs his head at House and tries to step away. Wilson's unable to bite back a smile when he sees the tip of House's cane come down firmly on Hendrickson's left shoe and stay there, essentially pinning him in place while House continues to harangue him.

Cuddy walks to the door of her office and watches Wilson, watching House. There's something she's always wondered about, and she sees it now--despite the indulgent, affectionate smile on Wilson's face as he observes his friend's antics, there's a sadness in his eyes. He masks it well; it's doubtful that anyone other than Cuddy even notices. But Cuddy sees it every time Wilson looks at House. When she first noticed it, all she saw was the sadness--but every once in a while, she can see guilt and grief hiding there too. Yet the why of it all continues to elude her.

Wilson actually laughs out loud when House says something that causes Hendrickson to hold up his hands in a clear plea for mercy. Wilson's laughing--but that look is still there, and finally his sorrow threatens to overcome her too, and so Cuddy turns away, deeply and inexplicably affected by his private hurt.

As House continues to expound on whatever it is that's upsetting him, Wilson goes back to filling out the prescription in front of him. He looks again at the latest liver enzymes--they've made it safely through another month. When House, moments later, stalks by him, Wilson doesn't even look up from the labs; he simply holds out the prescription.

House snags the piece of paper and glances at it. "For me? You shouldn't have!" And then he's gone.

"No," Wilson agrees quietly, looking after him. "I shouldn't have." And if Cuddy had still been observing Wilson, she'd have seen that mysterious, guilt-tinged sadness return full force. Because Wilson knows.

Wilson knows something that no one else seems to have yet figured out--not even House. Only Wilson knows, and he's still surprised that he continues to carry the secret alone. It's not going to be an angry patient. It's not going to be a blood clot, or an electrocution, or even an overdose. No. Wilson knows what's going to kill House. So he carries the sadness, and the guilt, and the grief, because the weapon that will yield the mortal blow will be Vicodin.

And Wilson will wield that weapon...