Wilson shook his head. "Ok, so it's fried. But it's not silicon, it's living tissue, so it's got to be possible to fix it. You're the neurologist, tell me what we can do to help him back to us!" Foreman sighed: "We've tried just about anything, long before you came back from your bereavement leave. What's left is experimental treatments, nerve growth factors, stem cells... And if you really want to put him through that..." "Anything, as long as it's not painful for him. For God's sake, Foreman, I just want to help him be himself again!" "You want to help him be miserable again?" Foreman pointed through the glass partition, at House who was having a ball playing a game he had just invented with the nurses. He'd poke one of them, then feign innocence when she turned around and giggle his pert little butt off. The nurses seemed to love him for it, everything was fun and merriment in there. "He's happy now, why take that away from him? Maybe that's God's way of finally giving him peace. I'll give you it's a pretty twisted way, but it's obviously working." "GOD'S WAY OF GIVNG HIM PEACE?" Wilson suddenly realised he was shouting. "DO YOU EVEN BELIEVE THAT YOURSELF? LETTING ME DEPRIVE HIM OF HIS MOST PRECIOUS ASSET AND CRIPPLING HIM FOR LIFE IS GOD'S WAY OF GIVING HIM PEACE?"

He took a couple of deep breaths, this shouting couldn't go on. House was giving him a worried look through the partition and he could hear the sound of Cuddy's stilettos coming down the aisle. "Wilson! My office! Now!" He followed her like a dog who'd been caught chewing shoes. "Here, have a coffee!" "Thanks!" He sat down on the naughty chair and tried to get a grip on himself while she made herself comfortable behind her desk again. She gave him a minute or two to calm down, then reached across the desk and took his hand. "Wilson, listen to me now. This. Is. Not. Your. Fault!" "Yes it is! And for what? Amber's gone, he's half gone, I crippled him for nothing!" Suddenly he felt tears well up in his eyes and found himself powerless to swallow them. The dam had broken; he sobbed and sobbed, not caring about anything in the world anymore except his own, infinite grief. Cuddy leant across the desk and pulled him into an awkward hug. "That's good, Wilson, just let it all go. You've been needing this so..." Then she couldn't hold back anymore either. They cried together for what seemed like hours. Finally he managed to catch his breath. "Sorry for the meltdown!" "That's ok, I meant it when I said you needed that. Let's just talk." And they did. He just kept rambling about what had happened to him, what had happened to House, his grief, the guilt that tightened his chest 24/7, the deep resentment he felt about nature not even doing House the favour of taking his pain away along with his intellect, the shock of ordering a meal in a restaurant with him and being asked "And what does HE want?" There was so much to tell, more than he had told Natasha so far or probably ever would, up to and including his hope that House's dissociative memories meant something, could be utilised, anything to help him back to the world where he belonged. Cuddy wasn't so sure. "Maybe he doesn't belong in this world. None of that God-stuff Foreman said, but he's happy now, he was miserable before. Maybe he needed his intellectual and emotional age to merge to finally find a resting place." Wilson nodded slowly, then swallowed hard. "I miss him so much. I miss his sarcasm, the way he could always explain my motivations to me, the pranks we used to play on each other... He's a nicer person now, and he's probably a better friend, but he's not House." Cuddy gave him a warm smile. "Isn't he? Maybe what we have now is House stripped down to the essentials, a kind, sensitive, funny guy without the protective padding." "Well, I liked the protective padding, ok? And I took that from him, I took that huge, amazing intellect." He bit his lips; he could feel the tears well up again. "No you didn't. It was his decision to undergo that procedure and he knew the risks. He could have told you to fuck off. He chose not to." "He was scared of losing me." "He also wanted to solve the puzzle. And he knew you'd come back to him eventually. It's what you both do." Wilson found himself stiff with tension again, his jaws clenched, his hands in tight fists. He shook his head. "I don't know. It's just so, so wrong..." Cuddy stroked him lightly across the head. "Look, you and House go home now, have a pizza, meet your girls, have a good time. It'll be ok." "But..." "Huh?" "He wants to get better, he told me! He knows he isn't ok!" "No he doesn't, he only knows what you told him. It's an abstract fact to him like two and two makes four. As far as he's concerned he's perfectly fine." Suddenly Wilson could feel a weight lifting off his shoulders, he could feel them drop. Maybe it WAS time to let go? His new life with House wasn't too bad, was it? Hell, he'd met the most amazing woman ever thanks to it! He smiled, slowly, as if not quite sure it was the right thing to do. "Ok..."

He went up and told House they were going home. "So am I better now?" "No, you're not, but I am, and one out of two ain't bad, is it?" In the car with him, blissing out in unison to Beggar's Banquet, he heaved a deep, contented sigh. He felt at peace.