Wilson was where he thought he'd be, in his office, waiting for him. House entered and sat opposite him, sinking into the soft, comfortable chair. Wilson raised an eyebrow, enquiring what he was being thanked for.
"Foreman was going to send me back to prison, to assert his authority. You talked him out of it. What did you tell him?"
House leaned forward in the chair, tapping his cane on the ground. He was tired, bone tired. It had been a long few days, and a dead kid.
"That he should manage you, not try to control you. That Cuddy's methods worked."
"You lied to him."
Wilson shrugged. "He lied to me about the boxing, I lied to him about clinic hours having magical powers. It should make you happy that we're both affirming your life's philosophy. What did you get?"
"Thirty hours. I told him Cuddy would have given me ten, so to prove he's the boss now he gave me thirty. That's the going price for being right apparently."
"You disobeyed his orders, broke your parole, he had to give you something."
"I did ten months in prison, including a month in solitary, what sort of impact does he think thirty clinic hours, that I'm not going to do, is going to make?"
There was silence and House looked up to see Wilson staring at him. "What?"
"Did you really do a month in solitary?"
"You know me, did you think I'd get through jail without being thrown in the hole? Yeah, when I got the ten months added to my sentence it included a month in solitary. Also because I was right, and saved a life. Seeing a pattern here?"
"Why would you risk ever going back there? To that? How can solving a puzzle be worth it?"
"You're forgetting the whole 'saving a life' thing, isn't that what we're supposed to do? Well, those of us who aren't oncologists that is."
"You didn't know it would lead to saving anyone's life. That kid had been dead for four years. Why did you decide to start looking for answers? How did you even know about it?"
"A guy in my 'anger management' group, turns out he was angry because his son died and he didn't have a reason."
"So you gave him a reason?"
"Yep. Now he doesn't need to be angry any more. Group will have one less person yammering in it, win-win."
Wilson shook his head, "It doesn't work like that House. His kid is still dead. He's still got plenty of reason to be angry."
"He's miserable, and an alcoholic, and his wife has moved on, to husband number two, son number two. She's moved on. But he's stuck."
"Like you're stuck?"
"Oh, I see what you did there, Doctor Wilson! " House waggled his finger, "You think I'm that guy, stuck in a loop, looking for answers."
"Aren't you? Isn't that the one puzzle you can't solve? How to be happy?"
"There are some puzzles that no-one can solve."
"You don't believe that. You're an addict, remember? You need to solve every puzzle. You'll keep trying to find the answer."
"And failing." House said, looking out the window into the darkness outside, as if the answer might be written there, but there was nothing but silence.
"Well, if you ever do find the answer, tell me too." Wilson stood up, pulling on his coat. "Come on, I think you've earned a meal, I'll pick something up and bring it 'round. We'll celebrate you staying out of prison, and solving two cases."
House levered himself to his feet, grabbing his own coat and slinging his bag over his shoulder.
He fell into comfortable step with Wilson as they made their way out of the hospital into the cold winter's night.
"Why did Chase get his eyebrows waxed?"
House reached into his coat and pulled out a DVD.
"Let's just say that there are some things that you have to see to believe."