Author's Note: Thank you muchly to the lovely damigella_314 for beta-reading this for me. Though, I did tweak it a bit after she sent it back to me, so any mistakes are still mine. :-)
Spoilers: anything up to and including 7x17 "Fall from Grace."
Plausible Deniability: 1
He wakes to low beeping and bright light.
Gregory House opens his eyes, wincing against the light that seems far brighter then it should. He brings a hand up to wipe at his dry lips and sees the IV line attached in the vein on the back. He frowns at it, before setting the hand back down on the bed, palm down, and looking around slowly and carefully, in deference to a headache flaring up behind his eyes.
He's in a hospital room; that much he could glean from the low, rhythmic tone of the heart monitor. He can't see what the IV connected to his hand is as the bag is too far a way for him to read lying down. He starts to reach up to grab it, because he wants to know, when the door opens.
Wilson walks in…or, as House can see, he limps in. House is shocked to see the blue and purple bruises marring Wilson's face, and the sling that his right hand is cradled in. He looks behind Wilson to see Cuddy standing outside the room, her arms crossed over her chest and a sad, tired look on her face.
"Wilson… what the hell is going on?"
Wilson brings his left hand up and pinches the bridge of his nose and House can't tell whether it's because he's fighting his own headache, or if it's just his usual way of fighting off House-induced frustration. He decides it's probably both.
"What's the last thing you remember?"
He looks away as he tries to recall…he remembers wedding cake and a cold bed. He shakes his head and looks back at Wilson.
"The wedding. Why?"
Wilson exhales slowly. "House…that was a week ago."
House stares at him…waiting for the punch-line, for Wilson to wipe at the bruises on his face and show House the hand with make-up on it, for Wilson to say that everything was going to be okay between them, because they were back to their normal pranking selves. He'd been determined to settle for that years ago, and he'd been happy with it until the mess of Sam and Cuddy had screwed everything up. He doesn't even want to start in on Dominica…
He realizes that his brain is going on a tangent, and he notices that Wilson is staring at him grimly. "What happened?"
Wilson, he can see, is in obvious pain. He grabs a nearby chair and sits in it carefully. "We were in a car accident."
House shakes his head…because nothing is registering. He can't remember anything about a car accident. "When?"
Wilson is looking at him, as though he expects House to bounce up and say Just kidding. I remember everything! When House just looks at him steadily, waiting for Wilson to continue, Wilson sighs. "Today is March 31, 2011; it's nine in the morning. Last night, you called me, hysterical, drunk…high. You didn't know where Dominica was, and you told me that you didn't know what to do anymore. I told you to…to explain…but you wouldn't. You told me that you had somewhere you needed to go…. I asked you where you were and when you told me that you were on the bathroom floor, I told you to stay there and talk to me until I could get there…"
Wilson pauses and shakes his head, before continuing. "I was almost there, House, when you told me that you couldn't wait anymore. You hung up. I got to your apartment in time to see you backing out into the street."
Wilson takes a deep breath, as though this is the most painful part of his recitation. "I drove up, parked behind your car….you stopped, I didn't think you were going to, but you stopped. I got out of my car and went to the driver's side of yours, we argued…I told you that you were going to kill yourself, that you couldn't drive in the condition you were in….which was stupid, because that just made you more determined to go where ever the hell you thought you needed to go.
Wilson smiles, but there is no humor in it. "So, I compromised. I told you that if you needed to go somewhere, then let me take you there. You, amazingly, agreed. We got to the intersection just past your apartment, the light had turned green….I had just pulled into the intersection when the other car hit us. It ran a red light."
House looks around him, at the hospital room, then back at Wilson, processing. "So….my injuries?"
"Dehydration…because of the alcohol and Vicodin you were on, so that IV in your hand is for that. You have some contusions, and we'll get you an MRI to find out why you're experiencing the retrograde amnesia. Other then that, you're fine."
House nods slowly. "What about you?"
"Bruises, contusions, dislocated right shoulder." Wilson shrugs the good shoulder. "Sprained right ankle."
"But, you're okay?"
Wilson cocks his head, and looks at him steadily. "Yeah, House. I'm okay."
They sit there in silence before House feels his eyelids drooping. Wilson gets the hint and stands up. "I'll let you get some rest and go schedule the MRI, all right?"
But House doesn't answer; he's already drifted back to sleep.
And Wilson lets out an explosive, relieved, breath. He closes his eyes tightly, against the rush of emotions that threatens to overwhelm him, before opening them again, turning slowly and leaving.
Cuddy is still waiting for him outside the room; she doesn't look as though she moved from the spot he left her in when they both noticed that House was waking up.
"How is he," she says softly.
"Just like we thought might happen. Between the accident, the drugs and alcohol, he doesn't remember a thing. It's farther back, though…he doesn't remember anything after the wedding."
Cuddy shakes her head in frustration. "I haven't heard from Dominica, yet."
"You probably won't."
"I know. You told him what happened?"
Wilson pauses for a moment, looks in the room where House is sleeping, then back at Cuddy, who is looking at him in concern.
"Yeah. I told him what I told the police about the accident. As for the rest, for right now, I think it's better if he doesn't know."
"What did he say?"
Wilson shrugs. "What could he say? He interrogated, processed, then fell asleep."
Cuddy is looking at him as though she's trying to see through him and Wilson keeps his face blank…but he's so tired and he's finding it difficult to keep his thoughts from showing in his expression. He must do something right though, because she relents with a sigh. "Okay. I'll get an order for an MRI."
"Are you okay?"
Wilson nods. "Yeah. Tired, sore…but I'm all right."
Cuddy touches his good arm with a sad smile. "Get some rest." She holds up a hand when he opens his mouth. "I know you don't want to go home, but House is not the only one injured here. You need to take care of yourself, too. Go to the couch in your office, if you have to."
He wants to argue, but he doesn't have the energy to do so. She takes his silence as assent, nodding resolutely before turning around. She only takes a step before she's turning to look at him again. "Wilson?"
"I've tried to stay out of it…what I saw happening in the last week, like you asked. But you've been there for me and I want to do the same for you. If you need to talk, you know where I am."
Wilson smiles, because if he doesn't, he might just burst into tears. "I know. Thank you, Lisa."
She smiles again and Wilson watches her walk away, and the sound of her heels on the floor is almost comforting as he closes his eyes once more. He thanks god there's only one person, one story he needs to keep straight, and that's his own, because he's not sure he could handle it if he had to make sure House kept his mouth shut…and Cuddy, too, for that matter.
Please, he thinks desperately. This would be a lot easier if he never remembers. No one ever needs to know but me.