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Cats' Corners: the little HOUSE in the woods....
Where House is NEVER safe...
The More Things Change... Chapter TWENTY-TWO 
30th-May-2007 09:14 am
PoignantWilsonHouse
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 TWENTY-TWO: THINGS UNSAID
 
House awakens again just before dawn—and he wants to talk. So does Wilson, because it’s time. He doesn’t know how much longer House will be coherent, or even alert. And there are things House needs to know, things Wilson has to say.
 
Wilson feeds him a few ice chips. House is having a difficult time swallowing, but his eyes tell Wilson he’s grateful for the small comfort. Then Wilson rolls the patient table across the bed, places a pillow on it, and aids House in leaning forward onto the pillow. This new position eases House’s breathing marginally, and House is grateful for that, too.
 
Wilson positions his chair so that he and House can see each other’s faces, and waits for House to look at him. “Gotta talk, House.”
 
House closes his eyes. “Is this gonna be… one of those… sickbed ver… sions of Let’s… Get A Few… Things Straight?...   ‘Cuz I… don’t… like that… game….”
 
“I… yeah, but—” House, you miserable bastard. Always could see right through me—even with your eyes closed. No one else can do that. You’ve gotta stick around… no one else can do that….
 
House tries to smile, and the effort causes his cracked, swollen lips to bleed. Wilson removes the O2 mask and tenderly wipes away the blood, moistens House’s lips with a glycerin swab. House begins speaking even before Wilson gets the mask back in place. “Or is this… the… deathbed version?” He looks steadily at Wilson.
 
No!” Wilson almost shouts. But House’s gaze hasn’t wavered, and finally Wilson meets his eyes, whispers, “Could be….”
 
House’s eyes thank him for his honesty. House wants to laugh, but he knows that’ll start the coughing again, so he settles for the ghost of a smirk. “Ahh, Jimmy… leave it to… you… get in one… last lec… ture. Tryin’ to… insure my… entrance…  pearly gates….”
 
Wilson’s confused. “No… not a lecture. An apology, House. An overdue apology.”
 
“But I… did…. I apol… ogized to… you and… don’t tell… anyone but… I… might’ve… meant it….” House stops to gulp air. His O2 sats are falling, and Wilson sees that his nailbeds are dusky now.
 
“No, House, an apology from me. To you.” House is trying to speak again; Wilson smiles at him, and shakes his head. “Hey, remember the part where I talk, and you pretend to listen? Well, this is the musing out loud part, so—”
 
House smiles again. “So I… don’t… need to… be here,” he whispers.
 
“You do. Yeah, you do.” Wilson grabs for the emesis basin as House begins to cough, wordlessly helps him through the spasm, keeping a warm hand tight against his back as House trembles with the effort of breathing.
 
When House is settled again, Wilson realizes that he needs to say the most important thing now. “That night. The night I… walked out on you. Christmas Eve. House, I walked out—but I never left. I never left.”
 
House closes his eyes, slowly reopens them. “Moron… think I didn’t… know that… was trashed… where… ya think… got strength… to pull it… together….” You were there… always there. You saved my life.
 
Wilson feels as if he’s received a benediction. “I’m glad you knew. I’m glad.” The coughing begins again. Wilson reaches for the suction catheter and clears House’s mouth of the stuff that’s drowning him slowly. But House is still coughing, still attempting to speak, and more of the sticky froth keeps coming.  Finally, Wilson shakes his head and says sternly, “That’s the end of the first round of Let’s Get A Few Things Straight. We’ll do the second round in a while, okay? And I’ll let you start off round two. But you need to sleep now.”
 
“…not… fair… my turn… rip-off… gotta tell you… I… Chase….”
 
Wilson smiles affectionately. “Then you’ll just have to stick around. Don’t wanna deprive yourself of the chance to enlighten us about everything we’re doing wrong, do you? And I wouldn’t want to miss it; no one’s called me an idiot yet this week. So take a nap; get back to me on it, okay? Be right here when you wake up. I’ll even put on my listening ears, how’s that?”
 
Just before House closes his eyes, he gazes into Wilson with an expression so sad, so regretful, that it fills Wilson with an inexplicable feeling of dread. It’s clear that House had intended to say something vitally important to Wilson, and for a moment, Wilson wishes he’d allowed House to speak. No; he’s got to rest now. There’ll be time enough for it later; there will be.
 
Exhausted, Wilson lowers himself into the chair and watches House breathe—try to breathe. Where the hell is Chase? Paged him over an hour ago. I should put in a call to Cuddy too.
 
Wilson looks at House, slumped over the patient table, shoulders heaving. His mouth is open under the mask, and his lips are the same ashen color as his skin. Wilson reaches gently for his hand, presses down on a nailbed, and counts the five seconds it takes for the nail to go from white to the faintest shade of pink. Then he stands up, stretches wearily, and goes to the phone; Cuddy and Chase need to get their asses out of bed. They need to be here. They need to help his friend.
 
He makes the calls and wanders to the cot. They’ll be here soon. Just close my eyes until they get here. Long night; gonna be a long day. Need to be able to think.
 
Wilson lies down, propping his back against the wall. He knew I hadn’t left him, knew he wasn’t alone. Said that gave him the strength to get through it. And now I’ll give him that strength again. And he’ll pull through again.
 
“I’m here for you, House,” he whispers. “Whatever it takes; I’m here. Always was; always will be. Hold on to that. Just… hold on.” And finally, Wilson sleeps too. 

Chapter Twenty-Three


Thoughts 
30th-May-2007 01:35 pm (UTC)
Wow, I'm first! Another great chapter. After the dearth of H/W last night, it feels so good, so right to read this chapter this morning. At least we have your great fanfic to sustain us through the dark ages until September -- and can dream of the way things might be, should be, on the show!
30th-May-2007 04:35 pm (UTC)
After the dearth of H/W last night, it feels so good, so right to read this chapter this morning.

that entire episode was just... yeah. :( anyway, i'm glad the story can bring a bit of angsty sunshine (how's that for an oxymoron?) into your life!
30th-May-2007 01:38 pm (UTC)
Why do you do this to me? I'm trying to get to sleep and just happen to see if an other chapter is up (Translation: i've been refreshing the page for the last hour, hoping against hope for yet another installment...).

Somehow I get the feeling that things are about to snowball here... At least Wilson is getting some sleep, which I'm sure is temporary since you are no doubt going to be putting Wilson and House through a wringer! =D

I just loved that House thought that Wilson wanted an apology. So sweet and touching. Wilson's care for him is just so profound. This is what its like to just care for someone, truly and utterly. Small things, like cleaning him up, moisturising his lips, holding the basic while he chucks up some pretty unpleasant stuff. Just so loving. No ulterior motives. He doesn't want anything from House, other than friendship. *sigh* Now I'm going to go to bed all sniffly and sad!

Anyhow, great chapter!!!

Take care!!!

30th-May-2007 04:39 pm (UTC)
Somehow I get the feeling that things are about to snowball here...

i can confirm your feeling (and my spoilers can actually be trusted!)

I just loved that House thought that Wilson wanted an apology.

it just seemed right to me, somehow, that that's what house would think, because of his lack of faith in himself as a human being--which i think is terribly sad.....
30th-May-2007 01:53 pm (UTC)
Oh, good God, the angst. He'd better not die. Or, at least, not before he tells Wilson the thing. Whatever the thing is. I know what I'm hoping the thing is...
30th-May-2007 04:42 pm (UTC)
He'd better not die. Or, at least, not before he tells Wilson the thing.

"the thing" will be revealed in tomorrow's chapter. and--if i pulled this off right--"the thing" is going to come as... a bit of a shock.
(Deleted comment)
30th-May-2007 04:46 pm (UTC)
I especially liked the genuine affection between these two that was plain in this section

which i tried to convey without going overboard (as i am wont to do...)

I also liked House's mistaken assumption that he is the one who is supposed to apologize, it adds to the evidence that House accepts Wilson's ideas and attitudes as things that are important and that are blind spots for him.

makes sense to me, as i share your view that wilson's beliefs/opinions carry great weight with house!

30th-May-2007 02:14 pm (UTC)
What the hell does House want to tell Wilson??????? What about chase???? Is it only me who doesn't get it?????? I can't stand the suspense any longer!!!!! Please....

But anyway: great chapter again. *waiting patiently for more, while biting my nails*
30th-May-2007 04:47 pm (UTC)
What the hell does House want to tell Wilson??????? What about chase???? Is it only me who doesn't get it??????

stop biting your nails! all will be revealed on the morrow!! ;)
30th-May-2007 02:29 pm (UTC)
Reading your work is the best way to start off the morning.

“Or is this… the… deathbed version?”

I DON'T BELIEVE IN FORESHADOWING. *plugs ears* I can't hear you, la la la.

“That night. The night I… walked out on you. Christmas Eve. House, I walked out—but I never left. I never left.”

Mentionings of Christmas Eve always go straight to the heart. If the writers had included a scene where we saw Wilson sit outside House's door for hours, then I would forgive them for Fetal Position.
30th-May-2007 03:21 pm (UTC)
^^^^^^^^^^^

Ditto. There have been so many H/W moments that have been unexplained and, after a while, you figure they never will be; Christmas Eve scene may be first among them.
30th-May-2007 03:39 pm (UTC)
...Just before House closes his eyes, he gazes into Wilson with an expression so sad, so regretful, that it fills Wilson with an inexplicable feeling of dread. It’s clear that House had intended to say something vitally important to Wilson, and for a moment, Wilson wishes he’d allowed House to speak...

Argh! You were right about upping the angst...I think I felt the slightest of tears roll down my cheek. Wow...

Thank you for sharing this...

x


30th-May-2007 04:55 pm (UTC)
Argh! You were right about upping the angst...I think I felt the slightest of tears roll down my cheek.

fair warning, then--tomorrow's chapter is meant to tug harder on the heartstrings. (veg)
30th-May-2007 06:26 pm (UTC)
Aw. That was so sweet. In a scary, I wish you had elaborated or, rather, let House do so kind of way. You'll continue, yes? *is getting nervous about what's keeping Cuddles and Roo Boy*

And, hey, DID YOU WATCH LAST NIGHT? That madness!
30th-May-2007 06:37 pm (UTC)
In a scary, I wish you had elaborated or, rather, let House do so kind of way.

gets elaborated upon--and thus scarier--in tomorrow's chapter.

DID YOU WATCH LAST NIGHT?

as i'm currently dealing with opioid-induced nasea of the absolute worst sort, i see absolutely no reason (wordplay intended) to add to my own discomfort by unsuccessfully attempting to verbalize what i actually think of last night's... unmitigated fiasco. not going there. not. (limps screaming from room at being forced to mull over whateverthehell last night was supposed to be)
30th-May-2007 07:57 pm (UTC)
he he, after yesterday Finale, I KNOW what House wants to say about Chase.
;-)
No, I'm mixing stories here. I love the show, I loved yesterday episode for many reasons that I won't develop here since it's not the subject and who knows ? maybe someone hasn't seen it yet.
But now, I love your story more ! It's feeding my deep need of Wilson and House getting things straight, talking about that awful OD night, apologizing to each other, found themselves again, sharing their soul. I was craving to hear (read) that Wilson didn't leave House that night.
You see, I was not afraid that the show stops for 3 months (argh...) because of you and your moving, clever, touching story. It's even better than the show (on several aspects actually) because we can have a new chapter EVERY DAY or so. The dark side is that we don't get the chance to see those wonderful actors. But here it's our imagination job. THANK YOU THANK YOU AND THANK YOU.
30th-May-2007 08:19 pm (UTC)
I was craving to hear (read) that Wilson didn't leave House that night.

that line in the story ( “That night. The night I… walked out on you. Christmas Eve. House, I walked out—but I never left. I never left.”) is really the lynchpin around which i'm writing it--because i just can't live with the way the writers left it.

and you're quite welcome!

30th-May-2007 08:37 pm (UTC)
Excellent chapter.
30th-May-2007 08:42 pm (UTC)
glad you liked--we ratchet it up another notch in tomorrow's chapter!
30th-May-2007 08:57 pm (UTC)
must not feed trolls... must not... ugh. couldn't resist, love.

Ah... I can't wait to see last nights epi. But anyway your story.

Great chapter. House really needs to tell Jimmy something important about our little auzzie doesn't he? I bet he's figured out how to cure himself hasn't he? orrrr ugh, something. I did however love love love this chappie. Good luck dear!

-ANimal
30th-May-2007 09:14 pm (UTC)
i know, sweetie--sometimes, it's really tough! continue to behave; i'm proud of you! :)

House really needs to tell Jimmy something important about our little auzzie doesn't he?

all will be revealed on the morrow! (well, not all, of course--but this little question will be answered!!)

30th-May-2007 10:19 pm (UTC)
Sweet man. Very fragile though. Correction, appears to be rather fragile. Somehow I have a feeling the man is only truly fragile when it comes to House's health. He has more then a bit of steel in his soul. I liked the foreshadowing. You really are putting us through the wringer aren't you? Great job. So I heard a lovely piece of news about Cameron. I think we still need that restraining order though.
31st-May-2007 10:12 am (UTC)
Somehow I have a feeling the man is only truly fragile when it comes to House's health.

we are about to find out just how strong he can be, when it comes to house's health.....
30th-May-2007 10:53 pm (UTC)
Oh! How characteristically wonderful. And I normally don't even go for sick!House, but here it's so well-written that I can't help myself.
31st-May-2007 10:13 am (UTC)
And I normally don't even go for sick!House,

then this is high praise indeed, and i thank you!!
31st-May-2007 07:11 am (UTC)
I'm typing this with tears in my eyes :-(

Sorry to be soooo behind in reviewing; I've been reading avidly all along. As usual you integrate medical know-how so seamlessly and confidently; that is one thing which makes your stories such extremely rare gems. Another thing is your delicate portrayal of deep emotions; your characters may suffer acutely, but are never sentimental. The balance of those elements -- the cool-headed medical and the heartfelt psychological -- make your stories so enjoyable and unique, even though this one is tearing my heart out...
31st-May-2007 10:41 am (UTC)
thank you! your comment is the perfect way to start my day, and it's so nice to hear from you again!! i have to admit--i'm amazed, and touched myself, that you kids are so affected by this story. it started out as a simple attempt to make S3 make sense to me; i never imagined that others needed the 'answers' as badly as i did.

as to the tears, and the tearing-the-heart-out business--i know how i like my angst; glad you like yours the same way!! ;)
5th-Jun-2007 06:29 pm (UTC)
Ah, what a perfect way to come back to town (and internet, electricity, plumbing, etc.). Beautiful and haunting and frightening. You really get me with this:

Just before House closes his eyes, he gazes into Wilson with an expression so sad, so regretful, that it fills Wilson with an inexplicable feeling of dread. It’s clear that House had intended to say something vitally important to Wilson, and for a moment, Wilson wishes he’d allowed House to speak.

Mmmph. What a moment. Again and again I'm amazed at how you bring out the complexity of their relationship in these small moments.

5th-Jun-2007 07:27 pm (UTC) - welcome back!!
so glad you're back!!! i'm in that "trying to wrap this up and having an incredible number of doubts in my ability to successfully pull off my planned denouement" stage---helped not at all by angelfirenze's posting today, in the comments for chapter 27, a link to TWoP, wherein there is possible confirmation of my own (rather loud and insistent) season-long argument that all of S3 has been a continuation of house's original hallucination--something which i have been... uh... obsessively puzzling over since last august, and which--if true--makes my do-it-yourself attempt at resolving the many S3 problems and inconsistencies completely unnecessary. yeah.

so... if you could possibly start giving all your wonderful encouragement IV, i might make it through this! did i mention, i'm glad you're back? ;)