A strange little fic, but it was stuck in my head for a long time after I read an article about Anterograde Amnesia.


Anterograde Amnesia: the loss of the ability to create new memories after the event that caused the amnesia, leading to a partial or complete inability to recall the recent past, while long-term memories from before the event remain intact.


He opens his eyes slowly.

I need to find Wilson.

Suddenly, Cuddy's face appears in his peripheral vision. He tries to tell her that he needs to find Wilson, but the words get stuck. She hushes him. She asks him to rest.

He feels so tired. His head hurts.

Maybe he'll listen to her for once.

So he closes his eyes, and rests.


He opens his eyes slowly.

I need to go find Wilson.

He thought he would be in the ICU. That's where people are supposed to be when they have a skull fracture, a heart attack, and give themselves deep brain stimulation, right?

Instead, he's in what appears to be a normal hospital room.

He feels fine. His mind is surprisingly clear for someone who's just woken up from a coma. For someone who's just gotten off the bus. For someone who might have not gotten off the bus at all. He pushes himself off the bed, and uses his hands to swing his right leg to the edge of the bed. He gets to his feet.

A nurse comes in. "Good morning, Dr House!"

She's surprisingly cheery. He's used to exasperation or glares from them. Not cheery good mornings. He nods curtly, and tries to move past her. He's not really in the mood for talking.

"You really should rest, Dr House."

He doesn't answer her. He tries to dodge past her, but she's quick on her feet and he's still not a hundred percent.

He's about to snap at her when Cuddy enters the room.

"House. Get back in the bed." Cuddy nods a thank you to the nurse, who smiles and leaves. House is disconcerted by how nice the nurse seems to be. He's quite sure he has seen her before, probably even insulted her before.

"Where's Wilson?"

"Get back in the bed."

He sits down heavily on the bed, suddenly feeling so weary. "Amber's dead, isn't she?"

Cuddy sits down next to him. "Yeah," she says quietly.

"I need to find Wilson. Where is he?"

"He's… not here."

"He's with Amber."

"He… Yeah."

"I need to go be with him."

"House…"

Then House gets it.

"He hates me, right? That's why he's not here."

He lies back down in his bed, and turns away from her.


He opens his eyes slowly.

I need to go find Wilson.

He's lying in his bed at home. He's quite sure it's not where he's supposed to be. He's supposed to be in the hospital. That's where people are supposed to be when they're hurt.

He's in his white tee and blue pajama pants.

He can hear someone in the kitchen. He can't find his cane anywhere. Instead, he finds a crutch leaning by his bedside table. He huffs. He hasn't used the crutch since after the shooting.

He propels himself to the kitchen. He finds Cuddy there.

The first sentence that comes out of his mouth is, "Where's Wilson?"

Cuddy seats him down on his couch, and hands him coffee. She sits down next to him. She has that look on her face. Serious conversation coming, he thinks.

"It's too early for whatever you want to say, Cuddy. I need to find Wilson." Amber's dead. I need to find him. I need to say sorry.

When she tells him gently that a month has passed, and that Wilson has taken two months off, he cannot quite believe it.

It feels like he was just on the bus with Amber. It feels like he was just saying sorry to Wilson. It feels like just yesterday that he was in the bus crash.

Right?


He opens his eyes slowly.

I need to go find Wilson.

He's tangled up in his sheets. He can smell bacon. Shouldn't he be in the hospital?

He sees a suit and tie hung on his closet door. It's his best blazer, perfectly ironed. Sky blue shirt, and a tie.

Maybe that's for Amber's funeral. For once, he doesn't feel annoyed that he has to dress up and go for the funeral. It's the least he can do for Wilson.

He walks out to the kitchen. Cameron's standing at his stove, frying up the bacon and some scrambled eggs. Chase hands him a cup of coffee, and brings him to the couch.

Then Chase tells him everything. It's been four months, he says. Your dad passed away three days ago. We're going to the funeral today.

He lets Cuddy drive him to the funeral. He can't find it in himself to protest going to the funeral, even though he hates his dad. Cameron and Chase tag along, since they've met his parents before.

Wilson's not there.

They just reach the funeral home when he turns to Cuddy and asks, "Why are we here?"

He can't remember that breakfast was scrambled eggs and bacon too.


"Do you know that he wakes up each time, and says that he needs to find you?"

"I can't. Cuddy, I can't."

"You have to. He looks for you every single time. His first thought is that he needs to be with you because you are grieving. That he needs to apologise. Every single time, Wilson."

"I can't… I can't go back. I'm not sure if I was even friends with him."

"I know it takes time. But each day, he wakes up feeling guilty. He looks for you, knowing that he's let you down. He knows he needs to find you, and to be with you because your girlfriend has died."

"Cuddy…"

"It's been two months, and each day he still wakes up looking for you. We take turns going to his apartment in the morning you know? So that we can explain to him why he's not in the ICU, and why he can't go find you."

"I – "

"Your entire friendship is going to be redefined now, Wilson. Don't you get it? Because he wakes up every day, thinking that it had all just happened yesterday. Amber and the bus crash is going to be the first thought on his mind each day, for every single day from now on. Guilt is the first thing he feels each morning."


He opens his eyes slowly.

I need to go find Wilson.

He expects to have a pounding headache. He feels his head. No stitches. Weird. He can vaguely remember being impaled on probes, waiting for Chase to zap his brain with electricity.

Someone walks into his room.

He turns around, and finds his mom.

"Mom?"

"Morning, Greg."

"Where's Wilson? I need to find Wilson."

"He's… not here."

Somehow he feels like a little boy again. He knows that he's done something awfully wrong, and that there are going to be consequences. There's a heavy feeling in his chest, and he feels like he can't breathe.

When Blythe sits down next to him, he finds himself leaning into her embrace. It's like how he used to look for her when he did something wrong. And she would try to make it right. Sometimes she couldn't, but it was nice to know that she tried. That someone would be on his side, no matter what.

"I did something bad, Mom."

Everything becomes blurry, and he tries to pull away because he's getting her blouse wet and it's embarrassing to cry in front of your mother when you're nearly fifty.

But then her arms feel so good around him, and he just feels so very sorry and sad that Wilson's Amber is gone because of him, and he just needs someone to hold him.

"Greg, dear, it's okay…"

"I shouldn't have gone to the bar. You called and said Dad was sick and I just wanted to drink it all away and Wilson was supposed to pick me up but she came and then…" He blubbers like a small child, lost and so guilty.

"It's okay…" Blythe soothes, "It's okay…"

It's the third time she's doing this, ever since she moved in one month ago after John died.

She can handle the small things. Like how he wakes up everyday and asks her why she's living with him now. Or how he brushes his teeth twice in the morning because he can't remember that he did so earlier. Or how he'll ask, "Where's Dad?" because he doesn't remember that his dad has passed away over a month ago.

But it's hardest when he first wakes up. Sometimes he broods over it, then gets on with the day. Sometimes he shuts himself off emotionally, and he doesn't talk about it. Sometimes, he gets angry at how his brain has betrayed him, and he messes up his whole room.

It's worst when he wakes up feeling like this. Alone, sad, and guilty.


He opens his eyes slowly.

I need to go find Wilson.

He's lying in his recliner in his office. Weird. Maybe he escaped here from his hospital room. But he can't remember doing that. And he's not dressed in a hospital gown, like he should be.

Foreman sees House wake up, and immediately heads over. House had insisted on sleeping over the previous night because their patient was deteriorating rapidly.

By now, House seems to accept what they tell him every single day, just fine. Maybe it's the brain rerouting and reconfiguring itself to make up for it. They don't know. If any brain could do that, it would be House's.

House seems to have retained all his medical knowledge and skills. It's just the new information that he has trouble retaining. They have to remind him of the current patient's condition constantly now. He doesn't work in the clinic anymore, because he tends to forget about follow-up consultations. He doesn't remember his patients. He sometimes asks about the bus driver though.

Sometimes, House still goes out to the balcony. Then he realizes that Wilson's office is dark, and that Wilson is not there. Something somewhere in him tells him that he knows why – after all, everyone has been telling him everyday why it's dark. But he still can't really remember.


He opens his eyes slowly.

I need to find Wilson.

He's in a foreign bed. Not his bed.

I need to find Wilson.

And right on cue, Wilson walks in. Wilson looks upset, and apprehensive. They stare at each other for a while. House doesn't really know what to do or say. How are you supposed to apologize for killing your best friend's girlfriend? House is terrified. He doesn't know how Wilson will react. He was afraid to come back to face Wilson. This is the moment of truth.

"I didn't mean for this to happen," he says softly. "I'm so sorry. So sorry."

Wilson's face crumples. House knows it's because Amber's dead. And it's his fault.

He doesn't pull away when Wilson hugs him. It's the least he can do, letting Wilson hug him. He's a bit surprised that Wilson doesn't punch him or walk away.

"I'm sorry," he says again. "I'm so sorry." It feels like he can say sorry for the rest of his life, but it still won't be enough. Nothing he can do can make up for it, ever.

When Wilson walks out into the living room half an hour later, Blythe hugs him. And he cries. It's the first time that he's doing this. He's finally come back.

"Everyday?"

"He can't remember anything that happened after."

"It's… hard."

"For both of you, I know."


He opens his eyes slowly.

I need to find Wilson.

There's a note on the bedside table, next to his Vicodin. He pops a pill, and reads the note.

Don't freak out, it says. You're not in the wrong bed. You moved in with me. And no, it's not because we're gay.

He recognizes that loopy handwriting.

He limps out slowly into the hallway. This is a foreign apartment. The walls are yellow, and it's homely. Definitely not his.

He finds his way to the kitchen, where Wilson is making pancakes. This whole situation is weird. Shouldn't he be in the hospital? Isn't Wilson mad at him?

Wilson is grieving the loss of his girlfriend. House doesn't quite know what to say.

"I'm sorry," he whispers. "I'm sorry, Wilson."

Wilson turns around, and House vaguely wonders why Wilson has gotten a haircut. But the strange thing is, Wilson doesn't seem very upset.

Wilson isn't upset. Not anymore. Because it's been two months since he came back, and since House and Blythe moved in with him.

Wilson settles House down at the dining table, and passes him the macadamia pancakes.

"It's okay," he says. "I forgive you."

It breaks his heart every time he says that. Not because it's hard for him to forgive House. It was hard at the beginning, especially since each apology was a reminder of what had happened.

But now it's easier, because he is reminded every day of what House has lost. It just gets easier as time passes by.

Sometimes, House asks him why he is forgiven. Or House looks so impossibly relieved that Wilson realizes how much he and their friendship means to House. Or sometimes, House tells him about being on the bus with Amber, and how he didn't want to come back because he was afraid Wilson was going to be mad at him, and he's so glad Wilson isn't mad at him.

For half an hour each morning, they relive the day after.


He opens his eyes slowly.

I need to find Wilson.

He's in a different bed. A king-sized bed. Weird. Shouldn't he be in a hospital bed?

The space next to him has the slightest scent of perfume. Someone slept next to him. A hooker?

He runs his hand through his hair sleepily. His hair is thinning. Strange. He couldn't have lost so much hair overnight. Maybe it's from the DBS. Or surgery.

His leg hurts. He turns over to grab Vicodin from the bedside table. There, he finds a picture, and a note.

Cuddy, with a brown-haired girl and a baby boy with blue, blue eyes. And himself. Looking older than he remembers himself to be.

You finally couldn't resist me. That's Rachel, and Evan in the picture with us.
Wilson's waiting for your call. And he's not mad at you.
He'll tell you everything.