Disclaimer: I do not own House, MD - or else this episode would have ended this way.
"It doesn't hurt here... I let it - I don't wanna be in pain. I don't wanna be miserable. And I don't want him to hate me." His voice sounded rough to his own ears.
Amber looked at him and smiled, with that strange mix of sarcasm and pity.
"Well, you can't always get what you want."
Still filled with dread, but pushed forward by those words, House stood. He walked down the length of the bus, and out the door - and opened his eyes.
There was Wilson, right above him, grief written across his features.
"Blink if you can hear me."
House blinked, and Wilson sighed deeply in relief.
"No, don't speak. Rest, just rest... Get better, please. I can't lose you too."
House felt an overwhelming wave of relief wash over him. He cared, he still cared - and Wilson wasn't blaming Amber's death on him as he'd feared. He closed his eyes again and fell into blessed unconsciousness.
When he woke up, Wilson was sleeping. He was curled in the armchair, head tucked into his chest, with an arm extended, holding House's hand.
House didn't let go. He didn't ever want to.
I can't lose you too, Wilson's words echoed in his mind.
House smiled, and he didn't notice the tears trickling down his face.
They had lost Amber, but they hadn't lost this, their closeness... Not yet, anyway.
Wilson woke up and rubbed his sore neck. He was cramped all over, and when he opened his eyes and returned to the conscious world, his memories of the last night returned and made it worse.
Amber was dead, he realized, and it still hurt like hell.
He was holding something tightly - he looked, and realized it was House's hand. The more surprising thing was that House was wide awake - and unafraid to still be touching, holding him.
"I'm sorry." House rasped.
"What?" Wilson asked in confusion. "Wh - why?"
"It's my fault she was on the bus," House looked away, but couldn't prevent Wilson from seeing the pain in his eyes.
"No, House - "
"Yes it was!"
"Shut up!" Wilson barked. His eyes flashed, and he pulled House into a sitting position near him.
"Don't you dare try to blame yourself! Amber was an adult, and she had the choice to get on that bus. She also had the right to decide to take those pills! You certainly didn't force her to make those choices, and you didn't cause that bus to crash. House, you are completely blameless, so shut up and stop pitying yourself." He finished heatedly.
"Oh - okay," House breathed, looking quite astonished.
Wilson took a deep, shuddering breath and continued.
"If anything, I should be apologizing to you. I asked to do that... procedure, and you nearly died! That was my fault, my suggestion - I had no right to do that, not after what you had already been through!"
House's heart almost broke at the look of guilt on Wilson's face.
"No, no," he said frantically. "Adult, remember? I had the choice..."
"If I'd lost you," Wilson went on, his eyes filling with tears. "God, House! I couldn't take it. I'm - I'm going to need you. So much. Amber - Amber's gone. I - I can't... Please, just... Get better."
"Yes, yes," House murmured, pulling Wilson to him. The younger man burst into tears and began to sob quietly on House's shoulder.
"I'll get better, I promise. I'll help you. Wilson. God, Wilson. I'm here."
Wilson clutched his friend and didn't let go. Yes, Amber was gone, and he would sad for quite some time.
But as long as he had House... Wilson's heart could still mend.