Confusion and The Waterways in Egypt

It has been three days since the accident. Accident. No one else calls it an accident. Everyone else says House tried to kill five people.

Wilson turns onto his left side, careful not to roll over on Sarah. She rouses, yawns, stretches, and resettles nearer the foot of the bed. It's no use. He isn't going to be able to sleep, his insomnia is getting worse. He's slept a grand total of six hours since . . . the accident. And each time he has managed to drift off – he has been jolted awake by that dream again:

House, grinning wildly, driving straight at him … accelerating … Wilson stands frozen like a deer caught in headlights – and at the last second, House yanks the steering wheel to the right, just grazing Wilson's arm with the car's mirror as he roars past … then the car is going over a cliff in slow motion. Wilson tries to run to the edge, but he can't move his legs … then there is no cliff, no car. House is falling toward a swimming pool, but there is no water in the pool … and then it's the ocean. Wilson is watching from a great height as House plunges deep into the water. Wilson somehow soars down to the water's surface, waiting for House to come up … but it's Amber who breaks the surface. She smiles at Wilson and throws back her wet hair. "It's alright, he forgives you." Wilson stretches his hand out to her, but then it's Sam there. She does a flip backward into the waves, laughing . . . "You have to choose! You have to choose! You're such a …" then it's House again … "You're such a girl, Wilson. You're such a girl!" Wilson tries to get to him, but he swims back out of reach. House leaps out of the water and he has a Merman's tail. He swims away breaking the surface like a dolphin. Wilson tries to catch him. He's flying over the surface of the waves, but House is moving faster still, leaving him behind. Wilson's arms begin to ache. Suddenly he can't move one of them, and he realizes it's a wing. He falls into the water and cries out for House to save him …

That's when he wakes up covered in cold sweat and tangled in his bed sheets. It has happened three times now, with only minor differences. Once he and House both turned into flamingos, then Wilson's wing broke and he fell into the water … but House kept flying …

Wilson slides out of the bed and flicks on the lamp on the end-table. Sarah meows and jumps off the foot of the bed. He reaches for his pants, which he left lying on the chair. He picks up a sweatshirt from the pile of clothes beneath them, mentally chiding himself for turning into such a slob the past few days. The place looks like … like House was living here. Wilson closes his eyes. "I'm not going to cry!" he orders himself sternly. He thinks about cleaning the place up, but decides to go for a drive instead. He gathers up his wallet and keys and puts a bit of kibble in Sarah's bowl, then heads out to try and clear his mind and chase away all the haunting images.

Wilson drives around aimlessly for a while, but is not really surprised when he finds himself at House's apartment. He hasn't been here since the night of the … accident. He'd come here immediately after leaving the hospital from getting his wrist set, but could tell that House hadn't been back since they had left on that ill-fated trip to return Cuddy's hairbrush on the way to a bar. That meant that wherever House was, he hadn't packed or taken anything with him other than what was in his wallet when they'd left. Wilson decides to let himself into the apartment again and have another look around to see if he can figure out . . . what? Why his best friend of twenty years had nearly run him down and tried to run down four other people? And then … just … walked away. There had to be something … some explanation for what was going on, for what had happened to House . . . Why House, why? . . . maybe some clue as to where he might have gone - something Wilson had missed the previous time. "If only House was here . . . he could figure this out . . . he figures out everything," he thinks to himself, and then tries really hard to laugh at his own confusion.

Wilson wanders around the silent apartment, visiting ghosts of the past … long past and recent past. He runs his fingers along the piano keys, the sound jarring the silence … so unlike the way House makes it come to life and breathe with every perfect note …

Wilson goes into the kitchen and sees House's coffee mug still sitting on the little dinette table. There's a half pot of four day old coffee in the coffee maker, and a plate and a fork crusted with waffle syrup in the sink. He sets the mug in the sink on top of the plate, pours out the coffee, then sets the pot in the sink with them. He runs a bit of water from the tap in to let them soak while he continues his rounds of the empty apartment.

He steps into the bathroom. Towels are hanging awkwardly on the bath curtain rod, long since dried. He looks down and stops in horror. There are still small spots of blood on the tiles from House's attempt at self-surgery. Wilson reaches beneath the sink and pulls out a small bucket and a sponge and thrusts them beneath the tap, filling the pail half full of hot water. He wipes his eyes with the back of his unbandaged hand, because it's the steam after all … the steam from the hot water making his face wet …

He scrubs the bathroom floor until it gleams, then makes his way into the bedroom. His vision is blurry. It must be lack of sleep and all the dust making his eyes burn so. He picks up House's motorcycle helmet and tuns his hand over the top of it, then sets it gently on the dresser. He picks up a small photo frame, one of only four in the entire apartment. House as a small boy, standing with his mother in front of a plain square house with a small front yard, unadorned except for a pair of plastic pink flamingos stuck in the lawn. He thinks about the dream again, and sets the photo down quickly. Another is a picture of Stacy, taken on a boat somewhere. The third is a picture of Wilson and his ex-wife Bonnie, but her face isn't showing … only her hair blowing under a huge sombrero. Wilson is pointing at the photographer … that would be House … and laughing. Ghosts of the past. Wilson sniffles because it is really quite dusty in here, and picks up the fourth picture. Kutner, facing slightly away from the camera and smiling at something he sees in the distance. Wilson has no idea where or when it was taken, or indeed how House came to have it in his possession. He shivers slightly because it is actually rather cool in the apartment.

He's so tired. So very tired. Maybe he could just lie down on House's bed, just for a few minutes. Just to rest his eyes. The blanket is rumpled where House threw it carelessly up to cover the bed when he arose. Wilson pulls it down and sits on the edge of the bed to slip off his loafers. He would never lie on House's bed with his shoes on. On impulse he picks up one of House's tee-shirts and a pair of pajama pants from the pile of clothes lying on the floor beside the bed. He could do a load of laundry … if he wanted to … he lies back on the bed, then curls into a fetal position holding House's sleep clothing against his face, inhaling his scent. They're damp. All this time lying on the floor in here, and they're still damp … He reaches for House's pillow, and dislodges a small lump from behind it …

It's Doctor Bear. He'd gone missing from Wilson's office months ago. Wilson had always assumed some young cancer patient had taken a fancy to him and carried him out unnoticed. He holds the little Teddy bear dressed in its little lab coat against his chest and wonders why he is aching so, just because House stole yet another of his possessions … and hid it … in his bed … and then when the tears come, Wilson doesn't try to stop them.