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Cats' Corners: the little HOUSE in the woods....
Where House is NEVER safe...
The More Things Change... Chapter EIGHT 
13th-May-2007 08:23 am
house wilson hospital
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 Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Six
Chapter Seven

CHAPTER EIGHT:   CHILD’S PLAY

 

As Wilson enters, the ‘lion’ is looking more like a lion cub who’s just been soundly cuffed by mama.  House is lying on the bed, has his arms crossed against his chest, his mouth tightly pursed, and he’s glowering.

 

“Nice expression, House,” Wilson observes dryly.  “You look like an angry three-year-old.  Matches well with recent reports of your behavior.”

 

House turns the scowl on Wilson.  “Don’t screw with me.  I’ve already gotten rid of a nursing assistant and a nurse.  Wouldn’t mind adding a doctor to that list.”

 

Wilson marches over to the bed and produces an EMLA patch and a blue lollipop from his pocket.  He hands the lollipop to a clearly baffled House, removes the backing from the skin-numbing patch, and places it over a large vein in the crook of House’s right elbow.  Then he crosses his own arms and looks down sternly at House.  It’s a little difficult to maintain the stern expression though; the exaggerated confusion on House’s face as he looks from the patch to the candy makes him want to laugh.

 

“Ohh-kaay….” House finally says.  “Wanna tell me what the hell is going on?”

 

All my pediatric patients get the patch and the pop,” Wilson hisses.

 

House gets it now—but instead of looking properly chastised, he grins, then tears at the cellophane on the lollipop with his teeth.  “Cool,” he says mildly.

 

Wilson’s eyes widen.  “You think this is funny?  Cute, maybe?  You blew it, buddy.  Cuddy’s reaction to hearing about your little performance was to hospitalize you—until the floor nurses heard about it and two of them threatened to quit on the spot.  Then she figured she’d pacify the agency by firing you.  I—idiot that I am—made the mistake of pointing out that she can’t do that while you’re out with a work-related injury.  And you know what she said?”

 

Now House’s eyes are wide, and he actually looks a little worried.  He’s clearly mistaken the strain in Wilson’s voice for anger, when actually it’s a result of Wilson’s attempt to suppress his laughter at House’s antics.  Works for me, Wilson thinks.  Let him think I’m mad; game plan’s working out great so far.

 

“She said,” Wilson says, and pauses for effect, “that since she can’t punish you, she’ll punish me instead.  So you’re stuck with me.  And—just in case that wasn’t clear enough—allow me to introduce myself.  My name is James Wilson, and I usually just put an ‘MD’ after it, but our boss has recently added an ‘HHA’.  And an ‘RN’.  Meet your new home health care staff.  All of it.”  He executes a stiff, formal bow and glares at House.

 

House stares back at him.  Okay, Cuddy, House thinks.  I’m playing it your way; so far it’s working.  Let’s see how long it lasts.  “Pleased to meet’cha,” House says primly to Wilson.  Then he puts the lollipop in his mouth and sucks contentedly on it, hoping the candy’s hiding his triumphant smile.

 

Wilson turns away quickly and makes himself very busy preparing the syringes for the heplock; he’s got a triumphant smile of his own to hide.

 

Once he’s got everything ready, Wilson gloves up and returns to the bedside.  Wordlessly, he removes the EMLA patch from House’s arm.  Wordlessly, he inserts the IV catheter into the vein, then attaches the heplock.  Wordlessly, he administers the flush and caps the lock.  As he tapes everything into place, he glances up at House.  “‘Rampaging rhinoceros,’ huh?”

 

House regards him.  “I shouldn’t have called her that,” he says regretfully, seriously.  He waits a beat.  “I meant to call her a hysterical hippopotamus.”

 

They meet each other’s eyes, and as Wilson sees House’s mouth begin to quirk into a mischievous smile, he starts laughing.  Then they’re laughing together, and both men are thinking, this might just work.

 

“So,” Wilson says, “let’s get the vancomycin started.  Run it in over an hour, right?”

 

House nods, but doesn’t say anything.  Wilson hangs the antibiotic and attaches the tubing to the heplock, then sets the pump.  He sits down and asks quietly, “What happens now?”

 

House is happy to switch from patient mode to doctor mode.  “It’s pretty boring.  Assuming we’ve got the right antibiotic, we stay with it until a culture comes back clear.  Should be able to go back to work in a few days.  Won’t be able to perform any invasive procedures until the cultures are clear, but that’s what the Three Musketeers are for.”  Now he grins.  “And I won’t be able to do any paperwork, or clinic duty, until my hand heals.  And I’m thinking that’s gonna take a long, long time!”

 

Wilson grins back, and wishes he didn’t have to ask the next question.  “And if it’s not the right stuff?”

 

“We try again.  But the stats on MRSA for this region say this’ll work.”  House looks away from him; Wilson decides not to press it.

 

He’d been hoping that House would outline his plan for the complications specific to his own case—the borderline kidney and liver function that are a direct result of his Vicodin use.  The meds he’s chosen might be the right ones for this strain of MRSA, but Wilson wants to know what their options will be if the meds themselves begin to cause renal failure or liver shutdown.  Now Wilson decides that if House doesn’t feel the issue’s worth mentioning, it’s only because the problem is unlikely to occur.  And I’m right here with him, watching him around the clock.  Even if he’s stupid enough to try to ignore it, I’ll know.  We’ll catch it early; we’ll deal with it.

 

The vancomycin’s been infusing for twenty minutes when House begins to scratch at his arm, near the IV site.

 

“What’s wrong?” Wilson asks.

 

“Probably nothing.  A little irritation around the site; pretty common with the heavy-duty antibiotics.”

 

But five minutes later the itching has spread, and House is beginning to look decidedly uncomfortable.

 

“An allergic reaction?” Wilson stands and prepares to shut off the pump.

 

“No,” House says.  “A side effect that, apparently, I’m susceptible to.  Don’t stop the infusion; cut the rate in half.  And where’d you hide the code box?”

 

“How’d you know I brought one?” Wilson asks sheepishly as he steps out to retrieve the red metal box from a low bookshelf in the living room.

 

House rolls his eyes and calls after Wilson, “You were born expecting bad things to happen; it’s why you chose Oncology.  You expect the worst, and you prepare for it.”

 

Wilson returns with the box.  “Now what?”  He notes that House is growing increasingly restless; he’s starting to become anxious himself.

 

House picks up right away on his anxiety.  “Now take a breath and calm down.  Not an emergency; just damned uncomfortable.  Pull up 100mg of diphenhydramine; give it IV as fast as you can push it.  That’ll solve the problem.”

 

“That’s it?”  Wilson’s already got the med drawn up.  He inserts the needle into a port in the tubing and empties the syringe quickly.

 

“That’s it,” House confirms.  And less than a minute later, the scratching’s already become less frantic.  But House is engaging in another odd behavior; he’s attempting, repeatedly, to draw Wilson into an argument.

 

Wilson is puzzled, and more than a little concerned.  Then he realizes that what House is really doing is trying to fight off the sedating effect of the antihistamine.  It’s a losing battle, so Wilson just agrees quietly with every ridiculous statement House makes, as the pauses between arguments become longer.

 

House tries one last time; Wilson responds that House is absolutely correct—Cuddy’s the worst administrator this side of Harry S. Truman.  House wants to get angry that Wilson’s refusing to be baited, but it seems so much easier just to close his eyes and concentrate on that familiar soft, kind voice floating somewhere above his head.

 

“It’s okay.  Just go with it, House.  I’m here.”

 

As House finally succumbs to the medication, he thinks he hears Wilson whisper, “I’m staying right here; count on it.” 

 

House has one more thing to say. He could swear he shouts, “Stop hovering!”  But what comes out is, “tha’s good,” and it’s scarcely louder than a sigh.

Chapter Nine

Thoughts 
13th-May-2007 01:08 pm (UTC)
YOUPI ! my daily dose of your fic !
I've been thinking : I'm dreading one of the possible side effects of reading your story is that the actual show will eventually appear a little shallow to me. Should I stop now reading your stuff ? Seems that I have a choice to make...

Thanks
And roll on tomorrow !
13th-May-2007 01:19 pm (UTC)
yup--you should stop reading my stuff. right now. immediately! because, as we all know, it's just so much more clever than those scripts written by those hack writers, that fox is just knocking down my door, begging me to come use my talents to straighten things out for house, md, the lowest rated show in history!

rofl! and thanks so much for the incredible compliment--made my day!
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13th-May-2007 01:24 pm (UTC)
yup--it's cuddy's master plan that's going well--but we won't tell our little boys the truth!

don't worry--i'm making certain that wilson more than 'gets the idea' as to his part in all this. unlike the show's writers, i just can't live with having house and wilson at odds all season, realize it's upsetting the viewers (just a bit) and then just... end it. no explanation, no believable progression of improvement in the relationship, no... nothing! really bugs me. so i'm gonna 'fix' it! ;)
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13th-May-2007 01:36 pm (UTC)
The picture of House with blue tongue and teeth is almost endearing. And that last bit of House trying to hold on by arguing with Wilson -- aww.

Cuddy’s the worst administrator this side of Harry S. Truman.

*snrk*

For some reason, though, this profound lack of intense angst/hurt in these past few chapters is making me worry. Oh when oh when will the next load of shit hit the fan? The suspense is killing me. :D
13th-May-2007 02:02 pm (UTC)
we're in the lull before the storm. relax. enjoy. doesn't last long. ;)
13th-May-2007 01:55 pm (UTC)
Red man syndrome? Ouch. I seem to say that a great deal.

Heh, I really liked this chapter. They're both pretty clueless.
13th-May-2007 02:05 pm (UTC)
yes--thought about rms. but because i'm planning to get intensely medical later, figured i'd keep this one simple, normal, easily taken care of. (can one use 'normal' AND 'sick!house' in the same thought?)
13th-May-2007 02:14 pm (UTC)
The lollipop was a great touch! And House looking surprised by that- lol. Like all the manipulation that's already gone on so far- House getting rid of the home care assistants, Cuddy making sure that House is stuck with Wilson, Wilson knowing when to push and when to wait in regards to the treatment (though not with other issues- which makes sense since they need to redefine their friendship after everything that's happened between them recently.) Also like how House is still contradicting himself- wanting to tell Wilson to back off but saying something else.

And we already have a reaction to the medication- man, I almost feel sorry for what you're about to put the two off them through and at the same time really looking forward to all the angst that's coming!

Thanks for another great chapter!
13th-May-2007 02:23 pm (UTC)
i almost feel sorry for them as well. actually, i have days when my intense sympathy for house (and what i'm doing to him) makes me feel guilty! but... it doesn't seem to stop my evil brain from plotting out the next crisis..... bad brain! bad, bad brain!! ;)
13th-May-2007 03:11 pm (UTC)
So Cuddy is playing Wilson huh? I figured she would. The funny thing is that House knows it and isn't (trying) to show it. Wilson is trying not show how happy he is. Is it wrong to fear that this is going to blow up in someone's face? Just curious, I noticed that vicodin was mentioned, we aren't going to have another blow out b/c of that are we? Those are always painful, no matter how much Wilson cares. I've always wondered why the man has never noticed that House is dependent upon such medications. Hum.... Sorry for going off on a small tangent there. Great chapter. I've had my fix for the day.

PS- I love the little debate that was created yesterday. I absolutely love Wilson and do understand his actions. I just think more like House and can't help thinking that Wilson is sometimes as much of an idiot as House can be. Plus he isn't that different from House in the long run. Great job again today!!
13th-May-2007 05:56 pm (UTC)
no--there will be no blowups over house's need for vicodin in this storyline. and i truly do believe that wilson (in the show) may finally be taking the first steps onto the road that teaches the vital difference between dependence and addiction. so you'll be happy to learn that i've no plans to climb aboard that particular soapbox again! ;)

13th-May-2007 04:53 pm (UTC)
Another great chapter. I love how they all think it's their own plan that's working. House with the lollipop and the end definitely made me smile, especially in light of all the hurt and angst to come. Excellent, as always. :)
13th-May-2007 06:00 pm (UTC)
you know what, if either house or wilson ever decides to do something drastic by actually being honest with the other one, we wouldn't be having nearly as much fun, would we? good thing that everybody... uh... lies! ;)
13th-May-2007 04:55 pm (UTC) - HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!
And I'm allergic to Vancomycin, myself. The hives I get are so much fun. Really. Or is that normal? The nurse said I didn't have a reaction when I was asleep--only when I was awake. They would give me IV Benadryl along with it and I'd go right to sleep. Damn it all. I could never resist.

Anyway, brilliant and adorable chapter. I love them both. *makes happy noise* In other news, I'm now the very happy owner of The Gun Seller by one James Hugh Calum Laurie. CELEBRATE WITH ME!
13th-May-2007 06:04 pm (UTC) - Re: HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!
i just received the gun seller as well. won't be starting it 'til after i've finished writing this story, and have the sequel well underway--i very strongly suspect that mr. laurie's writing would seriously screw with my voices! ;)

and thanks for the mother's day wishes; it's been a lovely day thus far.
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13th-May-2007 07:48 pm (UTC)
you're quite welcome--and thank you for commenting so kindly! i hope it continues to be a treat for you, for many chapters to come! :)
13th-May-2007 07:46 pm (UTC)
I love the end of this chapter; the idea that on some level House does appreciate everything Wilson does for him (especially after he's alienated everyone else when he really does *need* help). And I love that Wilson's expectations re: the usual House answer are thwarted, probably to his surprise. The blue lollipop is also a nice touch; I wondered why blue instead of red when House is so fond of red, and I'm pleased that my expectation re: House complaining about the lolli flavor was also thwarted. That shows the extent of House's surprise at Wilson's actions, and I like that he goes with it instead of grumbling.

These quiet chapters before the serious angst/hc are a nice respite. Excellent pacing! I do admire your pacing. :)

And again, I'm glad tomorrow isn't Tuesday. As much as I love the show, this fic consistently gives me several things the show won't. 'preciate it.
13th-May-2007 08:27 pm (UTC)
sy, your sense of timing with just the right words is (as always!) uncanny. i was just sitting here bemoaning my proclivity to drag things out, to write almost in 'real time'--and then my idol chimes in and calls it "excellent pacing." (now sitting here grinning foolishly, and realizing i like writing in 'real time' anyway!)
13th-May-2007 10:43 pm (UTC)
Hehe loved this one. Wilson the one man home health care staff, just the way House likes it!
14th-May-2007 12:05 am (UTC)
house does have a remarkable way of getting exactly what he wants, doesn't he? what's even better is, it's what wilson and cuddy want as well! so everyone's (temporarily) happy! ;)
14th-May-2007 02:10 am (UTC)
Oh, Yay is me! I go to visit the folks for two days, to come home to have several chapters to read! Yay!

I don't have much else to say that hasn't already been said. I love your House and your Wilson--I love how they manage to get stuck with each other while thinking it's all part of their own master plans. :)

*is excited for the next parts...*
14th-May-2007 01:04 pm (UTC)
and the next part is going up right now!
14th-May-2007 05:59 am (UTC)
Aw. Aw.

House is really hilarious.

The last line just finds those heartstrings and gives yanking a good ol' college try.

Great chapter(s--referring to Seven and Eight).
14th-May-2007 01:07 pm (UTC)
thanks. oh yeah--there are times i simply can't resist those cheap shots to the heartstrings. vulnerable!house is just... gah!