Description: Wilson comes back into the ICU while House sleeps. Post Wilson's Heart. Season 5 spoilers. House/Wilson friendship. One-shot.

Disclaimer: I do not own House M.D. or any of the characters represented here. No money is being made from this harmless bit of fiction.

Author's Note: My first ever posted House M.D. fan fiction. I've got some other (better) ones in the works, although I'm not sure when/if they'll be done. Please leave feedback.


House was sound asleep when Wilson came back to the ICU. He had gone home, but found that without Amber, it was just too empty. The note was the last straw. He couldn't handle being there with her note, her one last message to him. Suddenly his comforting bed was the enemy, just a reminder of what he'd lost. There were only two places he would normally go when unable to be at home: House's apartment or the hospital. Neither seemed all that appealing tonight, but somehow he'd found himself back standing in front of House's bed.

He came to check on him earlier. Maybe not to check on him really. It seemed more like morbid curiosity to see if he was still alive. He was, and Wilson wasn't sure how he felt about that. On one hand, House was his oldest, closest friend. On the other hand, House was a sinking ship that had been threatening to pull Wilson down with him for years. Being House's friend was a full time job and Wilson was exhausted.

Cuddy must have decided that he was stable enough to leave alone for a while because she was no longer sleeping in the chair next to the bed. Not even she had taken as much from House as Wilson had over the years. She still had enough energy to deal with him, to love him. Wilson didn't have anymore to give.

He stared down at the man in the bed and felt like he hardly knew him in some ways. House was always looking for something more. A better high, a more shocking stunt, a bigger practical joke. Nothing was ever enough.

"What were you doing in that bar, House?" he whispered. "You never did answer me. What were you hiding from?"

Wilson wiped tears off his cheek with a sleeve.

"I guess, after all this time, I still don't get you. I know you better than anyone and I don't get you. I don't get why this can't be enough for you. You act like you need me, but you never let me help you. The whole past couple years feel like a big test that I can't figure out how to pass and I'm sick of it! You push and take to see how much I can stand, but I don't have anything left! All I had I gave to the only person who was even capable of reciprocating and now she's gone too. She's dead and all I know is that you had something to do with that. Why were you there? Why would you go drinking in the middle of the afternoon alone? Why don't you let me in?"

There were no answers of course. There wouldn't have been even if House was awake. House would never open up enough to give Wilson what he needed. He would never acknowledge verbally that he needed another human being. Wilson had worked so hard over the years to keep House alive and out of trouble and he had ignored his own needs in the process. And then Amber came along. She had told him to take care of himself, make his own decisions. Was that only a week ago? It's funny that the simple act of picking out a mattress could make him realize just how much he loved her. He might not have been able to save her, but he could at least give her what she wanted. He was going to look out for himself and stop wasting his life taking care of someone who obviously didn't care enough to try.

"I can't do this anymore. I hate this feeling. Lately when I look at you all I feel is useless because no matter what I do or how hard I try you still keep killing yourself." The image of House unconscious after electrocuting himself flashed into his mind. "And you don't care what it does to me. You don't care that there are people- a few of us- who love you. I won't let you drag me down with you. So I'm done. It's over. I'm walking away before you can destroy me like you have yourself. And Amber. Despite it all…" He paused, grasping for the words he would have never been able to speak if the man was awake. "I still love you and I hope that you survive because a world without Greg House is unimaginable to me. But I won't let it happen at the expense of my own survival."

He turned around to leave and stopped abruptly at the disheveled sight of Lisa Cuddy. She made no effort to hide the tears on her cheeks and he wondered how long she had been standing there. How much had she heard? Enough, he supposed.

"I was just going."

"I heard." Wilson started to walk past her, but she grabbed his arm, forcing him to face her. "Don't do this to him."

"Funny you never cried all the times he hurt me."

"Because he never wanted to hurt you. He wanted your attention and love and he went about it in all the wrong ways, but he would have never wanted to hurt you. He would have never wanted Amber to die or you to suffer like this."

"I'm trying to salvage what is left of my miserable life and if that means House gets hurt then I can't do anything about it. He's been more selfish for worse reasons."

"It will destroy him. And how do you think it's going to make your working environment if you can't patch things up with him? He'll make your life miserable until you forgive him."

"That's why I'm leaving." The decision was made so quickly Wilson wasn't sure where it had even come from, but the moment the words were out of his mouth he felt it was the right thing. "I'm resigning."

Cuddy's eyes were wide with shock. "You've been through a lot tonight. You need time to think it over."

"No, I don't. I need to leave. You're right. He would never leave me alone and eventually he would drag me back into his sick, drug abusing cycle. The only way to avoid it is to leave."

"I… I won't accept your resignation."

"You'll have to."

"Just wait and think it over. At least wait until after the funeral. If, after that, you still want to leave I'll write you letters of recommendation, make phone calls, whatever you need. But please, at least think it over a little longer. Talk to House about it. Maybe he would be willing to change."

Wilson laughed. "This is House we're talking about. He won't change just because I ask him to. He never did before. He doesn't even believe he can change. I won't talk to him, but I'll give it some more thought if it makes you feel better. I'm going to take a few weeks off for the funeral and everything. And then I'm going to bring you my resignation."

He began to leave again, but paused at the door. "Don't tell House."

"I wouldn't. I've seen him in enough pain to last a lifetime. I'll let you do the honors of breaking his heart."

He looked back at the unconscious man in the bed and then up at Cuddy's sad eyes. "House doesn't have a heart."

He left without looking back.