He would never know exactly what House had meant by, "Get out" – if it had been a bid to protect him from the latest bout of Housian madness or if it had been because House was tired of being around him. Wilson knew which one he preferred, of course. And it was only fair that if House had been trying to protect him, he tried to protect House in return.
Every past attempt Wilson had made to save House from himself had one way or another blown up in their faces. But hey, last time's the charm, right?
House hadn't seen it that way. Anger mingled with horror had practically crackled from his eyes and he wouldn't let Cuddy near the accident scene. At least, Wilson assumed it was Cuddy. He hadn't been able to move his head from the pain to confirm. And when House bent over him, looking as though he could finish with his bare hands what the car and side of the house had started, he lost the desire to look at anything or anyone else.
"You goddamned idiot!" House snarled, hands flying as they assessed his friend's condition. "I ought to . . . what were you . . . Damn it, Wilson!" he cried at last, realizing what Wilson had known from the moment of impact.
"Go," Wilson gasped out. "House, go. Please." If House didn't leave now this sacrifice would be worthless. Cuddy would press charges and he would end up arrested, losing his license . . . "Go!"
"I'm not going to leave you like this." Despite all evidence to the contrary, House was still looking for his last-minute miracle as if it were hidden somewhere in the tangle of metal and flesh and bone and vinyl siding. "I won't. I'm not leaving you. So don't you even think of leaving me."
Go! Don't let me die in vain, Wilson wanted to say but didn't. He didn't have the spare breath, and it was painfully trite, and using the "D" word around House now would not have a positive effect. "House. S'ok. Not a test. Go."
Cold blue eyes met his, tears building but freezing before they could spill. "You were the last person I had. How could you take that away from me too?"
"Sorry." Even if he had the strength or breath to say more, Wilson didn't have the words to explain. Not in a way that House would understand or accept.
"Screw you." House heaved himself up and limped away. Wilson watched for as long as he could, even twisting his already abused neck as much as he could until House was well and truly beyond his line of vision. He let his eyes close and when he opened them again there were flashing lights against a dimming sky. Cuddy crouched next to him. Her voice faded in and out like a bad radio signal but he got the gist of it Something about how he was doing, which was the least of his concerns.
"Don't. Press. Charges," Wilson pleaded.
Cuddy's brow furrowed and her mouth moved. He thought most of her words reached his ears. "Wilson, you're not thinking clearly. House needs help, serious help. He's not going to get that unless somebody forces it on him."
No kidding, Wilson reflected without a trace of irony.
Cuddy was crying now. The tears were in her voice even though he could only see faint glimmers on her face. "He - he's basically killed you and I know he didn't mean to but vehicular manslaughter is still a punishable offense."
"Accident," Wilson struggled to enunciate. His job wasn't finished yet, not with House still in danger. "Not his. Fault. I jumped. To save. Him. So don't. Press." He gave a choking gasp. He couldn't go on.
Cuddy took his hand though he could barely feel the pressure of her fingers. Her features were blurring, little more than dark smudges in a pale setting surrounded by more darkness.
"You knew he was going to drive into the house and you deliberately jumped in front of the car to make him hit the breaks. To save him from himself."
"Yeah." His lips had gone numb and Cuddy was turning sepia toned.
"You know the instant we move the car you'll die. There's no way we can get you into surgery fast enough."
"Yeah." Just like that woman in the M. Night Shamalan movie, his brain helpfully commented. Too bad. If he had to out in a cinematic re-enactment, Wilson wished it could have been something more like Hitchcock. He wished there had been another way. He wished he could have told House that. He hoped House already knew.
Wilson could sense Cuddy was there but his vision had tunneled and dimmed too much to see her any longer. And it seemed hearing really was the last too go. "So you saved my house," she said, voice shaking, "and you saved Greg House, but what about you?"
Wilson let his eyes slide shut with a tiny quirk of smile. She didn't get it.
It had never been about him.