In a way, life had got easier since the accident, as in House was now a lot easier to live with as a person. He had regained some of his abilities like dressing himself – with gentle encouragement; he was able to hold simple conversations and eat mannerly, and he helped with household chores, too. On the whole, he was now on the intellectual level of a five-year-old and, according to Foreman, likely to remain there – a 6'3" gentle little boy with a cane and a strong tendency for five o'clock shadow. Wilson didn't like to think about it, but in his heart of hearts he knew Foreman was right, he had seen similar symptoms in his brain tumour patients. Anyway, as long as House was happy... He was entirely living in the presence now, he didn't seem to remember ever being different - which was probably a blessing - and he didn't worry about the future. He was happy when he managed to get a nice tune out of the piano, sad when all the pancakes were gone, angry when he was in pain and regretful when told he had hurt someone. His gaze had lost its sharpness and was now filled with childlike curiosity, and often there was a gentle smile on his face. Yes, he was happy, happier than he had ever been it seemed. Shame it had cost him his mind.
Wilson tried to distract himself from that thought, he still felt co-responsible for what had happened, having talked House into the memory stimulation experiment when he had been so desperate to save Amber. He sighed and went to get House up: "Rise and shine, House, I gotta get to work and you gotta get to the day centre!" "I'm tired..." "I know you are, but I'll make you a nice cup of coffee and a peanut butter sandwich, and you'll be all better, ok?" House's voice was now becoming more enthusiastic: "With banana?" He nodded and smiled at House: "With banana! And I'll put on a sprinkle of cinnamon, too. And now go and get dressed, we'll have to go in half an hour." With that he put some clothes on the bed for him, a T-shirt, jeans and sneakers, and a shirt because it seemed like a breezy day outside. "I want an ironed shirt, like you have!" Wilson stopped in his tracks and turned back. "But you never want it ironed." "But it's NICER ironed, you always look nice and I always look creased..." He could see the beginning of tears in his eyes. "It's ok House, I'll iron it. All you need to do is tell me, ok?" He gave him a one-armed hug while picking up the shirt. "Ready in ten minutes?" House looked happy again now. "Ready in ten minutes!"
Only when he came in again ten minutes later, holding the now pristine shirt, House was still sitting on the side of the bed, looking at his sneakers in a puzzled way. "What about your shoes, House?" "I can't get them on, they're hurting me!" Wilson had a closer look: he had tried to put them on the wrong way round. Wilson took a deep breath and reminded himself that whatever he knew House had lost, he didn't know it himself; he was ok. "No, look, the other way!" House looked at the shoes, then his feet, then the shoes again. "The other way... Ok, now I know, the other way!" And full of enthusiasm he stepped into his sneakers and let Wilson help him tie the laces. "Do you want the cane or the wheelchair?" "Cane, I can walk today." He looked like the pain was manageable today alright, Wilson knew the expression on his face when it was bad, the way the gentle light left his eyes, replaced by anger and tears. Over breakfast, House gigglingly told Wilson about the dream he'd had, about being a doctor like he was, and how silly it had been, and unknowingly broke his heart.
They left and Wilson dropped House off at the day centre on the way to work. An idea occurred to him, he'd have to tell Foreman about that dream.