It’s snowing and her cheeks are flushed slightly pink. A dove lands on her shoulder and that’s when he realizes it’s not real. He wakes up in a sweat, ragged breathing, and he can’t remember but he can smell her perfume, something tangy and sweet he could never quite name. He clutches her pillow and tries to sleep.
On the other side of town dreams disturb as well despite the medicinal whiskey. There is no serene snow, only broken glass and promises flowing in a river of blood. He doesn’t fall back to sleep.
When they pass each other for the first time the next morning, Wilson wonders if something is different . . . . Maybe House is slightly more unkempt, maybe his limp is a little more pronounced.
House knows Wilson isn’t sleeping by the sheer volume of coffee he retrieves during the day. His collar is gaping at the neck and the failures to reprimand stolen French fries tell a silent tale.
It is mid May. Dying changes everything for way more than two months.
When he begins to see Amber, he wonders if Wilson sees her too. ‘He’s as tired as I am,’ he thinks. But he isn’t of course; no one shares this version of House’s private hell. It’s a single showing and he’s got the only ticket in existence. He wishes he wasn’t alone on this journey, but Wilson’s waging his own private war within the sheets.
When there is no going back and it’s time to go to Mayfield, House wants to tell Wilson everything and nothing at the same time. So he is silent and watches the raindrops travel down the passenger side window to nowhere. He is terrified and alone, but he knows Wilson’s journey ends here. With his watch and wallet and phone, objects of his past and perhaps never to be reclaimed. They are not as important as the one thing he lost but found again or the one thing he is losing.
Wilson stands there for a very long time after the door has shut, waiting to see if it will pass, like in one of his dreams. It doesn’t. He goes home to grieve again. In mid May.
House sat on his couch, flushed and of chapped nose. He was surrounded by used tissues, along with a box half full. He hadn't bothered to toss them into the wastebasket Wilson had thoughtfully moved into the living room for him, it was too much effort. He pulled the afghan tighter around his shoulders and looked pitifully toward the kitchen where Wilson was making some sort of commotion.
He sniffled and his breath hitched, and he sneezed pitifully four times. When he had recovered, he realized Wilson had come into the room and was sitting next to him, holding a cup of tea and a handful of tissues for him. House snatched the tissues from Wilson and carefully blew his sore nose. "Bless you. I made you some tea." House tried to look and sound as miserable as possible as he took the steaming mug from Wilson. "Thadks." House winced as the tea hit his tender throat. Wilson peered at him, concerned, yet suspicious of how much was House being House or House actually being sick.
"I want to look at your throat again, ok?" Wilson located his penlight and waited for House to drain the mug of tea. House reluctantly nodded and opened his mouth. Wilson peered in, noticing that House's throat was red, but not as much as earlier. No spots or anything of concern. House began to make a funny noise, and batted Wilson away weakly as he bent forward in a fit of sneezes, just barely missing sneezing all over Wilson.
"Bless you again." He went to hand House more tissues and found the box empty. He fumbled through his trouser pocket and found his handkerchief, and handed it to House. House moaned his displeasure at feeling miserable. "Wilsob," he croaked out. "I'm sidck." He wiped his nose, and half flopped over, head falling onto Wilson's shoulder.
Wilson took this opportunity to feel House's forehead, and found it much cooler than earlier. "Well your fever broke; you are much cooler now. And your throat looks way better." House sniffled at the news. Wilson righted House off his shoulder and waited. House blinked several times and then sneezed violently twice again. Wilson chuckled and stood up. "Bless you. Let me see if I can find you some more tissues, and maybe some sudafed or something." House looked up at Wilson pitifully. "Vicodin," he croaked. "The leg doesn't lidke the coubch so buch." House wiped at his nose again and sighed.
Wilson smiled. "Yes, I will find your Vicodin too. And I'll get you some more tea." He leaned down and kissed House on the forehead. "You better take just as good care of me if I get this cold from you." Wilson rubbed his throat, which was beginning to feel scratchy. House looked up at Wilson, alarmed. Wilson just shrugged. "At least you won't be miserable alone," he said as he headed back into the kitchen.
House must have dozed off for a few minutes, because when he woke up he found two steaming mugs of tea on the coffee table in front of him, along with two bottles of water, his Vicodin, assorted cold meds and a new box of tissues. Wilson was sitting beside him watching television. He sat up and grabbed his Vicodin and downed a few with a few mouthfuls of tea. He blew his nose again, and looked over at Wilson. He sniffled and Wilson looked over at him. "You ok?" he asked. House nodded. House finished his tea, and settled back on the couch, close to Wilson. Within moments he was fast asleep, snoring slightly, his head on Wilson's shoulder.
Wilson smiled. He should take a picture of this for bribery purposes, he thought. He pulled out his cell phone and took a picture. 'This should help get him to take care of me if I get this cold, he thought. Wilson put his phone back in his pocket and shifted closer to House. If he was getting this cold, he better get some rest too.