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Cats' Corners: the little HOUSE in the woods....
Where House is NEVER safe...
The More Things Change... Chapter SEVEN 
12th-May-2007 09:42 am
desktop pic surgery
Summary:  Wilson is given an unexpected opportunity to prove his friendship to House.  This story is my own attempt to make sense of the unsettling disruption of the House-Wilson dynamic in Season 3, so mention is made of many of the S3 plotlines and character development.  House-Wilson-Cuddy angst, hurt/comfort, introspection--my usual gig.  ;)  x-posted
Rating:  PG

Chapter One  

CHAPTER SEVEN:  GAME PLANS

 

In the morning, Wilson awakens before House does; a quick glance into the bedroom ascertains that House is sleeping comfortably and the bandaged hand remains elevated.

 

Wilson starts the coffee, then rummages around for something that might pass as breakfast.  He comes up with half a loaf of stale bread and two eggs.  French toast it is.  He digs out the electric griddle from beneath a couple of dirty pots on the drainboard, washes it, and sets to work.

 

When House enters the kitchen, sniffing the cinnamon-scented air appreciatively, Wilson observes, “Your timing’s uncanny.  Amazing how you can sleep soundly through the cooking part, yet make your entrance coincide so neatly with the eating part.”  He puts a plate and a cup of coffee in front of House.

 

“Not like I’d have been much help,” House says, indicating the injured hand.  “Mmm… this is good.  Home health aide gonna be able to cook?”

 

“That’s what she does, House.  Hence the phrase ‘assistance with activities of daily living.’  She’ll get your meals, clean the apartment, even do the wash.  And she’ll get an occasional set of vitals and make sure you don’t injure yourself further by doing anything stupid.”

 

House is insulted.  “Stupid?  Me?  What could I possibly do?”

 

“For starters, you could, oh… say… try to open a childproof cap?  I know you, and trust me—the possibilities for danger boggle the mind.”

 

“Hmmph.”  House suddenly develops great interest in the remainder of his breakfast.

 

Wilson finishes his coffee.  “Gotta get to work.  Need anything before I leave?”

 

“What’s your rush?  Who’s gonna refill my coffee, get the plates to the sink?”

 

Are you actually asking me to stay?  “I guess I could use a second cup myself.”  Wilson refills both cups and sits down at the table.  “You know,” he says slowly, “I could still put in a call to Altman, and cancel the agency.  If you want.”

 

“Could be fun,” House says thoughtfully. ”If you don’t hover or anything.”

 

Wilson knows he has to play this carefully.  “For crying out loud, House, you hurt your hand; not like it’s your first day home after a heart transplant!”

 

House pretends to consider it.  “Okay then.  Yeah.”

 

Wilson hesitates.  “And maybe… this’ll give us some time to get a couple of things straightened out.  Been wanting to tell you—”

 

House cuts him off.  “You know what, think we’d better leave things alone; be rude to cancel the agency on such short notice.”  He reaches for his cane, stands, and exits the kitchen.

 

“Since when did you ever care about rude?” Wilson asks the empty kitchen as he straightens up.  What’s with him?  Months ago, he claims nothing’s changed—but everything’s changed.  Then last night feels like old times, and now he clams up again.  One step forward, then two back.  At this rate, we’ll never get anything resolved; not even sure he wants to anymore.  Wilson finishes cleaning the kitchen, then grabs his keys and heads through the living room to the door.

 

House flicks his eyes towards Wilson, then back to the TV.  “Catch ya later,” he says.

 

“Yeah.”  Wilson doesn’t even pause on his way out.

 

House leans his head against the back of the couch and sighs.  What do you want from me?  We gonna rehash the scrip pad again?  Rehab?  Or maybe just have another go at how I’m depleting New Jersey’s Vicodin supply?  Can’t we give it a rest?  I know I pushed it!  I know it broke!  I’m sorry, okay?  Just in case you’re interested, this… this… thing… hasn’t been working so hot for me either!

 

House, frustrated, lifts his head and begins to slam his right hand into the couch pillows.  He stops the motion in midair, stares thoughtfully at the hand—and he hears Cuddy’s voice.  You’ll have blown your chance… blown his chance… nothing will have changed….

 

“Shut up, Cuddy,” he says aloud—but there’s a contemplative gleam in his eye, and a slow grin sneaking its way across his face.

 

---

 

Wilson hangs up the phone and looks at his watch.  3:20; agency didn’t even last four hours.  Now what are we gonna do?  He stands and squares his shoulders; he needs to go tell Cuddy, and he’s not looking forward to it.

 

Before he can leave his office, the phone rings again; it’s the lab.  He listens intently and thanks the caller.  “Damn!” he says as he hangs up the phone.  This changes everything; hope Cuddy has some ideas.

 

Cuddy has plenty of ideas.

 

---

 

Wilson can hear House shouting even before he opens the apartment door, and he hasn’t taken more than a couple of steps inside when he’s accosted by the aide.

 

“I’ve taken care of better-behaved four-year-olds!” she tells him.  “More polite, too!”  She puts her hands on her hips and glares at Wilson as if he, himself, is responsible for House’s behavior.

 

“I’m terribly sorry, Sara.  He’s… in a lot of pain, and sometimes it affects his mood.  I’m sure he didn’t mean to--”

 

“Oh, he meant everything he said and did, Dr. Wilson!  I tried, I really did—but for your sake, not for his.  You’re one of the nicest doctors at the hospital; I’ve had a lot of clients tell me you’re an angel.  I tell ‘em they’re right; you are.  I’ll never forget how good you were to my mom.  So I tried, but I’m sorry—it’s just not gonna work out.  And how an angel like you can be friends with a devil like him, I’ll never know.”

 

“Sometimes I don’t know either,” Wilson says, tight-lipped.  He apologizes again, and is seeing her to the door when he realizes that House is still yelling.  “Is there someone in the bedroom with him, or is he just finishing out his temper tantrum?” he asks.  He’s afraid he knows the answer.

 

“It’s the nurse.  The poor nurse,” Sara tells him.  She shakes her head at him and leaves.

 

Wilson’s shouting a last apology after her when he hears what can only be a slamming door.  He puts his head in his hands.  Seconds later, he’s accosted by another angry female voice.  “What am I doing here?” the voice demands.

 

Wilson dredges up his most charming smile and turns around.  “Uh… taking care of the patient?” he ventures.

 

That is not a patient!” she spits.  “That is a nightmare.”

 

Wilson closes his eyes against a looming headache.  Remembering to keep the smile firmly fixed, he says soothingly, “It can’t be that bad, Lissa. You’re one of the best nurses the agency has; you were able to handle Mr. Thornton when no one else could!  And compared to him--”

 

Lissa isn’t buying.  “Compared to him,” she interrupts, gesturing angrily in the direction of House’s room, “Mr. Thornton was a lamb.”

 

Wilson drops the smile.  “Yes.  Well.  Be that as it may, Dr. House is still your patient, and you have a responsibility to him.”

 

Her eyes narrow.  “I was attempting to carry out my responsibility to him when he went ballistic.  First, he refused to allow me to do wound care; said you did it early this morning.  Told me if I was any kind of a nurse, I’d know it had to be done only once every twenty-four hours.  Accused me of trying to cause him extra pain!”

 

“Well, that was just a little misunderstanding.  I did do the wound care; I should’ve notified the agency.  My fault; forgive me?”  This time Wilson goes for the smile he’s overheard some of the nurses refer to as ‘boyishly irresistible.’

 

Lissa’s able to resist it just fine.  “Oh, that isn’t all.  They paged me on the way over here, told me to start a heparin lock, get the vancomycin going.  So I tried to do that.  When I told him the initial cultures were positive for MRSA and we needed to put in the heplock, he said I had all the sensitivity of a rampaging rhinoceros, and that no one was doing anything until he heard it from you.  So now you can tell him, and you can start the heplock, and he’s all yours.  And you’re welcome to him.  Rampaging rhinoceros, indeed!”  She storms out while Wilson is still trying to formulate a way to soothe her ruffled feathers.

 

Wilson takes a couple of minutes to put away the medical supplies he’s brought, and to try to work up a little sympathy for House before he enters the bedroom.

 

Surprisingly, it’s not all that hard to find sympathy for House.  Probably wasn’t the best way for a specialist in infectious disease to learn that he’s looking at systemic MRSA.  And he’s scared, and not about to admit it.  Not to me—certainly not to some battle-axe nurse.

 

By the time Wilson arrives at the bedroom, he’s ready to put the game plan he and Cuddy came up with into action.  He sends a quick prayer skyward, knocks twice, sharply, on the door, and enters the lion’s den.

Chapter Eight

Thoughts 
12th-May-2007 02:26 pm (UTC)
Tee hee, poor nurses. Let the pro show you how it's done.

Even though this story wouldn't exist if House weren't infected with some life-threatening illness, I still find myself fretting over what's going to happen. >.<

And this talk Wilson is referring to -- such emotional tension on House's part. I can't wait for it to happen, if it does.
12th-May-2007 02:31 pm (UTC)
the 'talk' will happen--but perhaps not in the way either of them anticipate. ;)
(Deleted comment)
12th-May-2007 02:33 pm (UTC)
harry potter did, indeed, end. and now it's worse--he just started 'smokey and the bandit.' sally field... at this hour of the morning... isn't that covered by the geneva convention, under 'cruel and unusual punishment'? :(
(Deleted comment)
12th-May-2007 03:32 pm (UTC)
now why, oh why, didn't i think of that?? the ipod's even actually charged (was listening in bed last nite to rsl reading 'prey', and drained the thing--plugged it in about 4am)so i am going to do that! right. now. thanks!!
12th-May-2007 02:38 pm (UTC)
Thank you !
You're really good at dialogues and the way you tell your story makes me feel like I'm actually watching the show. Brilliantly done, I'm impressed (and totally hooked, but you know that already).
Roll on tomorrow !
12th-May-2007 02:42 pm (UTC)
you're quite welcome! i try to write these things as if we're watching them instead of reading them; so glad to know it's working for you! :)
12th-May-2007 03:31 pm (UTC)
Um. I think House owes those nurses a bit of an apology, but I certainly don't think he meant to be so difficult. He's afraid and being more difficult than normal; I think Wilsie knows that. I hope House can try to rid himself of his more dangerous feelings quickly (dissociating works really well) so that he can at least begin to process all this rationally. I think that's what he's been trying to do and the fear keeps getting in the way. It sucks not to be able to think, you know.
12th-May-2007 03:34 pm (UTC)
oh, he so meant to be exactly that difficult, believe me! and he's thinking quite rationally at the moment--but that may not last a whole lot longer.... ;)
12th-May-2007 03:49 pm (UTC)
You missed House's calculations in this scene, Angel.

He ran everyone else off on purpose so that Wilson would have to come back. Because, you know, he couldn't just tell Wilson to stick around. Heh.
13th-May-2007 02:42 am (UTC)
Well, the difficulty communicating how much those around him mean to him and that he likes having them around despite all (seeming) evidence to the contrary, is part of why I love him so much. We have that in common, you see.
12th-May-2007 03:52 pm (UTC)
LOL about poor Lissa and Sara! I'm really enjoying this story!
12th-May-2007 03:59 pm (UTC)
devious!house reminds me of a bright nine year old; once they've got their 'cunning plan' in place--get outta the way, or get mowed down!! ;)
12th-May-2007 04:09 pm (UTC)
LOL - Patient House!! I have a 105 year old neighbor who has a revolving door for health aides, so I thought this chapter was hilarious!!
12th-May-2007 04:22 pm (UTC)
i've got a 100 year old grandmother who does the same thing--up to (and including) changing her will on practically a weekly basis, depending solely on who took her out to dinner last. there would not be enough money in the world for me to take care of her--or, for that matter, of sick!plotting!house !! ;)
12th-May-2007 04:37 pm (UTC)
There might be something wrong with me, but truly difficult patients are some of my favorites, especially at night. Getting them calmed down and settled when everyone else is frustrated with them; seeing them in the morning when the found out the night they thought would never end is over - uniquely rewarding. Of course, I never dealt with anyone half like House. . . especially when he is being intentionally frustrating.

It kills me that I know this story exists out there, and I have to wait for the daily update, wondering where all that MRSA is headed, whether his kidneys are prepared for the vanc. . . I know it is better this way, but after reading the Demons series all together . . .
12th-May-2007 04:42 pm (UTC)
i've no patience with sick adults--can't even stand myself when i'm ill! however, sick kids are a different story; i'd happily hold a fretful infant, or cuddle a child in discomfort, all night long.

house is a... different case. i see him as a brilliant adult who turns into a whiny child when ill (remember the cold he had in season one?). so perhaps i could tolerate him. maybe. :)
12th-May-2007 05:15 pm (UTC)
Not the best way to find out a diagnosis indeed! Those poor nurses!
Can't wait to find out how much better Wilson does, if at all.
12th-May-2007 05:21 pm (UTC)
you know how house works magic when communicating with kids? wilson is capable of working magic when communicating with house--the house whisperer, if you will. :)
12th-May-2007 10:30 pm (UTC)
He's not going to get anywhere with House, is he? Two steps forward, a mile backwards. Interesting. Is it horrible that I follow House's thoughts better than Wilson's? Any how I cannot wait to see what type of plan Wilson and Cuddy came up with. (God knows the last time they did so, they messed things up more. Oh wait, that was Wilson... Sorry I'm a bit bitter about that.) How fast can you post more??? I want to know if Wilson will ever be able to get the agency to do anything for House again. (He is so screwed if he is dying.)
12th-May-2007 10:52 pm (UTC)
if it's horrible, then we're both horrible; this story really is being written largely so i myself can come to terms with wilson's behavior this season. he's always given house a hard time, but previous to this season wilson's underlying affection and concern for house was always evident; in S3, wilson's primary underlying emotion (in my opinion, anyway) has been resentment--except for the last few episodes, when the writers apparently decided to end the cold war without further explanation.

working right now on getting chapter eight ready for posting in early a.m. hope that's fast enough!
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12th-May-2007 11:56 pm (UTC)
*Laughs* If we are both thinking the same way, then it cannot be horrible. I can understand you writing this to come to terms with Wilson's behaviour. I've wanted to kill him for a while now. Currently I am being forced to rewatch Tritter episodes until England finally gets done with the arc. (Three more episodes to go.) You are right, in previous seasons, Wilson has been written as having affection for House; this season that hasn't been the case. I debated a person who said the whole mess was House's fault. (Which yes, it was, in part.) and she stated that Wilson wanted to make House better so something like the shooting would never happen again. Honestly I think this is overly optimistic, but that's just me.

I look forward to reading your story in the early afternoon. (early morning, US time). By the way, trust me you are not alone in your resentment of Wilson. Although currently I'm trying to figure out if he actually knows about House's little secret from One Room or not. I think he doesn't because you know House and the fact that he doesn't seem to understand why House doesn't like authority much. Good luck writing your chapter!!

Sorry for the double post, that was me above. gah I hate nights at times.

I agree with another previous reviewer, I'm being as patient as I can!!
12th-May-2007 11:59 pm (UTC)
This is interesting because, as I've seen it, Wilson's primary emotions this season have been sadness and fear and, well, love.

Because really. What is it when you'll go to jail yourself rather than testify? What is it when you stand by the person whose fault it is that you're poor, you're eating peanut butter, your careers in the crapper, and the cops are breathing down your neck? And the guy who caused it seems not to notice or care, not even a little? House, in all that time, never even bought Wilson a freaking sandwich. And yet Wilson would have gone to prison in House's place, if it had worked out that way. "Better me than him."

What I've seen in Wilson this season is fear, grief and even hopelessness (and all this now borne out by his being on antidepressants to help him cope with it all). The resentment's been on House's part, as far as I have seen. And it's been just about killing Wilson.

I understand perfectly well why Wilson did the things he did, in fact, although he was so often wrong. He needs a full set of clues, yes. He needs a much better understanding than he has; he needs to learn how NOT to pretend to himself that he's any better than House. But he loves House more than he loves his own life, and whatever mistakes he's made, he's made because he was so afraid of what was happening and/or so overwhelmed that he didn't know which way was up anymore.

And here ends my rant in defense of Wilson, whose heart was always in the right place even when his brain was on vacation in Tahiti.
13th-May-2007 12:46 am (UTC)
and a very well thought out rant it was! you know i agree with everything you've said about wilson and his self-sacrificial nature--but i also view the entire thing from house's perspective. for me it always has--and always will--come down to this: house doesn't have a problem with vicodin, house has a problem without vicodin. wilson has (apparently) finally accepted that fact--but it took all season for it to happen, and yes, i saw pain and fear and depression in wilson. but i also saw resentment--it was coming off him in waves.

and really, he's an adult (albeit a clueless one) and he chose to ignore the return of house's pain--and the 'house' of cards collapsed from that decision on. every single thing which happened to wilson from there on in was as a direct result of his making the unilateral decision that house did not need opioid pain control.

yes, house did many, many wrong things. but again--each and every one of them stemmed from poorly controlled (and uncontrolled) pain once wilson decided to play daddy: "when a child misbehaves, whadda you do? you take away something he loves."

you know i blithering adore wilson, and firmly believe he'd freely give up everything, including his own life, for house. but i continue to maintain that accepting house means accepting that he needs narcotic pain relief, and that for most of the season, sweet, clueless wilson was in denial about that incontrovertible fact.
13th-May-2007 03:15 am (UTC)
I wrote a whole, long reply to this (since of course I pretty much agree with everything you said here) but I'll email it. :-)
13th-May-2007 08:17 am (UTC)
Oh dear, poor nurse and aide... It would have been so much simpler if House could have said "I need you to look after me, Wilson", but we all know he can't do that.

I'm enjoying this story a lot, and am looking forward to seeing how the 'game plan' works out.
13th-May-2007 11:44 am (UTC)
house? utter a straightforward statement to wilson?? but then there'd be no challenge in communicating! and for house, everything's about the challenge. and you won't be waiting long--i'm posting chapter eight as soon as i glance it over one more time (and get coffee).
13th-May-2007 08:34 am (UTC)
Poor House. Poor Wilson. Poor home health professionals.

*evilly washes hands together* Excellent.

Yay angst! For once I can say that I'm glad tomorrow isn't Tuesday.
13th-May-2007 11:49 am (UTC)
For once I can say that I'm glad tomorrow isn't Tuesday.

you don't mean that! (gasps in horror) the show's just getting enjoyable again!! but ya know what, i still watch it with one eye closed, waiting for another train wreck to happen--not until second viewing, the next morn, that i can sit back and enjoy.