Wilson sits at the small desk in his cell, composing a letter. If he’d actually intended to send the letter, he could go to the prison library and use the computer.
But this letter, like all the others, isn’t going anywhere. It’s just a… coping mechanism, recommended by Dr. Ambegley. Wilson finds it helpful, finds that he even looks forward to this hour when he can get lost inside his own thoughts.
He hasn’t seen House for several weeks—not since House had shown up the day Wilson had been stabbed. The nurse in the infirmary had told him the next day about House’s call during the night, but since then, Wilson has heard nothing from House.
Wilson knows about that first call—and he also knows that House phones the infirmary every day around , to check on the infection that Wilson’s developed at the site of the shank wound.
Wilson had been putting in a couple of extra hours in the clinic one afternoon when House had called—and Wilson had answered. There’d been a long pause after Wilson had identified himself, and then a male voice, with a bad Indian accent, had asked to speak with Debbie, the nurse on duty.
Wilson had smiled; he recognized that accent. It’s the same one House had used when he’d crashed ‘Von Lieberman’s’ lecture. So he’d put Debbie on the phone, and left the room, still smiling.
Debbie had confessed, later, that House called daily for an update, but had asked them not to tell Wilson. He’d said that he didn’t want Wilson to think that House doubted the quality of the care he was receiving. And he could couch his questions about Wilson’s mood, how he was eating, and sleeping, in all the medical terms he wanted—Debbie wasn’t fooled. And neither was Wilson, who slept better that night than he had in weeks.
Sometimes it bothers Wilson that House is trying so hard to hide his concern. Sometimes, he wishes that House would call him. Or visit. Sometimes… it hurts.
But it’s okay, really, that House stays so distant. It means that House will never learn about Wilson’s suicide attempt last week. Well… he will—but he won’t.
Been a while since you’ve visited; you haven’t missed a whole lot here. Except for Tuesday. I did something selfish, and I think it might surprise you.
You’re always accusing me of wanting to be a martyr, putting you and everyone else before myself. Tuesday night, though, I put myself first—in a big way. I decided I didn’t want to deal with any of this anymore. So I tried to kill myself. Pretty dramatic, huh?
After I’d taken the pills, though, I remembered what I’d known all along. And—since you’ll never see this letter—I’m going to be honest here. I couldn’t go through with it, because I couldn’t leave you. You’re a jerk, House—but you’re my best friend. And I worry about you. So, I figured, if I weren’t around to keep you in line, you’d do something really stupid, and it would be my fault. I couldn’t live with that, even if I were dead. Yeah—stupid joke; I know. So anyway, you saved my life last Tuesday.
That’s pretty much the only thing that’s happened since I saw you last. I’m not going to tell you that I miss you—not even in a letter you’ll never see—because I really don’t miss you. Don’t get annoyed by that; I don’t ever miss you because you’re always here, that’s all. Any time I need to, I just close my eyes. Then, I can hear you insulting me, see you stealing my food, interrupting a patient’s appointment. Guess that last thing won’t ever happen again, but I do look forward to the day when you again call me a moron as you steal the last french fry off my plate.
Wilson puts down the pen and sighs as his faint smile fades away. This is always the bad part about ending these letters; he has to remember all over again that House is out there, alone, without him. And he has to acknowledge that—as different as he and House are, have always been—House is the only one who’s ever understood him. And what he didn’t understand, he just accepted.
As Wilson crumples up yet another letter to House, he wonders if House has any idea what a good friend he’s been to Wilson. And he wishes House didn’t feel so guilty about this whole situation. Maybe, if the guilt weren’t so strong, House would visit more often. And then Wilson wouldn’t worry about him so much.
Wilson lowers his head into his hands and tries to forget, just like last Tuesday, that the reason he’s been given this quiet time to himself is because the other inmates are with the people who care about them. Wilson hates visiting hour.
But he understands why House isn’t here. That day another prisoner had injured Wilson, House had come quickly. He’d seen for himself that Wilson was okay. And then he’d left, just as quickly.
He wasn’t angry; he was scared. For me. Figured if the thing with Tritter hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t have been here to be hurt. In House’s mind, his weird logic—makes all of it his fault.
And if he doesn’t visit, he isn’t reminded of what he thinks he’s done to me, to my life. If he acknowledged it, he’d break. Wouldn’t do a bit of good to tell him he didn’t do anything wrong—it’d just make him angry.
“Damn it, House,” Wilson whispers into the quiet cell. “I’m only here because someone had to pay. And what I said to Tritter was true; better me than you.”
Wilson has an idea, and he picks up his pen. This letter, he’ll send. Maybe it’ll help.
You kids are not gonna believe this! The phenomenal nightdog_barks has written an exquisite vignette of her own, a companion piece to the Hour series. I'm so flattered, and so impressed. AND she has graciously given me permission to link to it, so that you may enjoy it as well, and get a fuller picture of Wilson's current situation. Therefore, without further ado, I present to you The Visitor.