This was the first time.

The first time in ten years.

The first time in ten years he hadn't been able to call that number and have, ten minutes later, someone softly telling him everything was ok. He shouldn't have yelled at House. He should have apologized. He knew he had just been lashing out, House probably knew that too, he wished he had apologized....

He sobbed, sitting on the floor of the bathroom.

A noise, and he jerked, gasping.

A while later, another noise came, and he pressed himself against the toilet, the rim digging into his back.

The door in front of him banged open, the flimsy lock snapping easily, the dark, looming figure--.... kneeling in front of him... And gently touching the side of his face. And wiping the tears away with one callused thumb.

He swallowed hard, still working out what was going on.

The only words that came to his fear-addled mind were "House" and "safe", which pretty much went together in his mind at that moment.

"Taub said he saw your shoe and heard what was going on," said the familiar, rough voice.

God, he missed that voice.

"Are you gonna be mad at me if I stick around a while?"

House looked... patient. House never looked patient. House never *was* patient.

Wilson shook his head.


The older doctor scooted further into the stall, making Wilson jump a little, and gently drew his friend's head over to rest on a shoulder covered by a wrinkled blue shirt.

Wilson sniffed, pressing his face into House's chest.

"Dude, don't get my shirt wet." but he knew House didn't mean it. House was just being House.

His conviction of that fact was proven right by a hand resting gently on the back of his head, softly stroking the brown strands.

Wilson sniffed again, tangling his hands in House's shirt.

He felt the other arm encircling his shoulders, and closed his eyes, letting the warm, comforting form soothe the fears, at least a little.

He heard the door open again, and gasped, pressing himself further against House.

"House?" Thirteen's voice, "this had better not be a joke, 'cause if it is... oh. Hi Wilson."

she knelt, uncapping a syringe and handing it to House, as Wilson whimpered quietly with fear.

House stuck it into Wilson's arm, handed it back to thirteen, and nodded.

She smiled briefly, leaving.

After a while the sedative started to take effect, and Wilson stopped breathing in gasping sobs, head no longer pressed but simply resting against his friend's warm shoulder.

House gently touched the tear-stained cheek, rasing Wilson's face with a finger under the chin.


Wilson looked at him, biting his lower lip.

"Better?" asked House, voice strangely soft compared to his usual tone.

Wilson nodded, liquid brown eyes showing exhaustion and the lingering traces of terror still remaining.

House nodded, wiping the tears away from the slightly flushed soft cheeks.

"I'm sorry I yelled at you."

House shook his head.

"I know. I knew. I was just waiting for you to know."

Wilson sniffed, nodding, and House helped him to his feet, walking next to his slightly woozy friend as he guided the younger doctor to the doctor's lounge so he could rest in the quiet and private space.

A few hours later, he had recovered via a short nap, and both of them went their separate ways, but no longer with an argument between them.