House sleeps for almost an hour. Wilson’s more than content to sit silently by the bed, just watching him sleep. For the first fifteen minutes, Wilson had tried to put a name, a description, to the tangle of emotions racing through his body, his heart, his exhausted mind. As soon as he stops trying, it comes to him.
He’s a father, eyes glued to his infant in wonder and fear—wonder at discovering all over again how amazing life can be; fear that if he dares look away from this gift, even for an instant, the breathing will cease.
Wilson chuckles to himself at his own sense of drama—but still, he doesn’t look away. So when House awakens, the first things he focuses on are the concerned brown eyes that are focused so intently on him.
“Just took a refresher course at Flight School, I see.”
Wilson’s momentarily confused, and then he remembers House’s ‘hovering’ metaphor, and he groans. “House, the whole helicopter thing was cute the first time, but—wait; actually, it wasn’t cute. You had a roomful of worried doctors convinced that you were delirious, or hallucinating, or both!”
House rolls his eyes and begins to adjust his position in bed. Wilson winces in anticipatory sympathy when House inadvertently hits his injured right index finger against the siderail, but House doesn’t even flinch.
“Hey—cool!” House says. “Must’ve been out a lot longer than I thought, slept through the whole depressing ‘pain before gain’ thing. How long was I out, anyway?”
Cold fear zings through Wilson’s body. “Why do you ask?” he says slowly, staring at House.
“Because my hand doesn’t hurt anymore—not even that twitchy nerve in the finger,” House says cheerfully. Then he sees Wilson’s face, and his smile fades, and—his eyes still locked with Wilson’s—he swiftly, sharply, deliberately strikes his right hand into the siderail.
“My hand doesn’t hurt,” House says, “because… I can’t feel it.”