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Cats' Corners: the little HOUSE in the woods....
Where House is NEVER safe...
The More Things Change... Chapter TWENTY-THREE 
31st-May-2007 09:13 am
FindOutWhoFriendsAre
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
Chapter Nine
Chapter Ten
Chapter Eleven
Chapter Twelve
Chapter Thirteen
Chapter Fourteen
Chapter Fifteen
Chapter Sixteen 
Chapter Seventeen
Chapter Eighteen
Chapter Nineteen
Chapter Twenty
Chapter Twenty-One
Chapter Twenty-Two


 
CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE: LAST WISHES
 
Wilson awakens because of a noise he’s not hearing. He’s been dozing lightly, anticipating the arrival of Cuddy and Chase. And—as horrible as the sound of House’s respirations have been—the rapid, rhythmic panting that Wilson’s been aware of, even in his own semi-conscious state, has reassured him that House is breathing.
 
But now, that awful rhythm is off; the sounds are being punctuated by long seconds of silence. Wilson, instantly awake, sits up and sees Chase and Cuddy in the corner of the room, speaking in low voices—he can’t make out what they’re saying, but Cuddy appears to be crying. Wilson can’t worry about Cuddy now, though; he needs to find out what’s going on with House. He rises and starts to the bedside.
 
“Dr. Wilson,” Chase calls to him softly, but Wilson ignores him; he’s seen that during the moments of silence, House’s chest isn’t moving. Wilson reaches for the emergency equipment.
 
“What the hell’s the matter with you two?” Wilson shouts. “He’s having periods of apnea! Why are you just standing there?” He’s just grabbed the ambu bag when Chase’s hand on his arm stops him.
 
“No,” Chase tells him; Wilson, uncomprehending, stares at him. “No,” Chase repeats. “Leave him alone.”
 
“What are you talking about?” Wilson tries to yank his arm back, but Chase holds it firmly.
 
“The Advance Directive; you can’t do that,” Chase says, indicating the ambu clutched in Wilson’s hand. “Come on, Dr. Wilson; you know that.” Chase’s voice is gentle, but his grip on Wilson’s arm remains strong. Then he sees the look on Wilson’s face; it’s equal parts panic and puzzlement. “He didn’t tell you; he said he’d talk to you,” Chase whispers.
 
Wilson’s mouth goes dry as he remembers House’s strained voice. …told Chase…. And he sees that odd combination of sadness and regret that House had had, just before he’d given in to sleep. “No. He didn’t tell me anything. And he would’ve. Now let go of me. We’ve got a patient in acute respiratory distress. If you’re not going to help him, I will.”
 
Chase looks helplessly at Cuddy, who moves to stand next to Wilson. “I… didn’t know anything about this either. But apparently when you and I were speaking, just after you arrived in the exam room, House was talking to Chase. He told Chase that he didn’t expect things to get… bad. But he also said that in the event of multiple organ failure he… didn’t want any intervention.”
 
“That’s not in his chart!” Wilson looks toward House; he’s not apneic right now, but his O2 sats are at 86%. Wilson hands the ambu bag to Chase, who releases his arm. Wilson glares at him defiantly and increases the oxygen flow to 30 liters. 
 
Chase doesn’t comment about the oxygen. “He asked me not to make it part of his chart. He said he’d tell you himself.”
 
“He didn’t actually sign the Advance Directive,” Cuddy says. “But now we know what his wishes are; we have to respect them.”
 
Wilson resolutely pushes House’s whispered words, that last expression on his face, out of his mind. “All we have is Chase’s word on that. House would’ve told you; he’d have told me, if that’s what he really wanted!”
 
Chase looks as if Wilson has just slapped him. “And you think I’m lying to you?” he asks Wilson quietly.
 
“You’ve turned on House before, and yesterday you were pretty vocal in your resentment about everything that’s happened this past year; how do I know this isn’t part of some… agenda you have?”
 
This incredible question hangs in the air, as Chase and Cuddy stare at Wilson, their expressions moving slowly from shock to concern.
 
Wilson looks from one to the other, and realizes what he’s just asserted. “I’m… sorry, Chase; I don’t know where that came from. But you’ve got to understand—even if House did tell you he wanted no intervention, he changed his mind. He must’ve! There’s no way he’d keep something like that from me.” Yeah, like he told me about the brain cancer fiasco. Like I told him about the antidepressants. Like he let me know right away about the shoulder… and the prednisone. If we’d been any more closed off from each other these last few months, the guy could’ve moved to Maine and I wouldn’t have known about it ‘til I got a change of address card—if I got a change of address card.
 
“And what would you have said if he had told you?” Cuddy asks.
 
“I… don’t know,” Wilson admits. “But I do know that right now, he needs to be put on a vent. We can straighten the rest out later, when he’s better, stronger. When he can think for himself.”
 
Chase’s eyes widen. “Have you heard anything I said? House is going into multi-system organ failure. He knew it might happen, and he discussed it with me when he could think for himself. He told me what he wanted done. And what he didn’t.”
 
Wilson ignores Chase. House is having another apneic spell, and Wilson holds his own breath until House gasps and resumes breathing. Wilson turns to Cuddy. “Authorize the ventilator. Now.”
 
“I… can’t do that.” Cuddy’s eyes beg for Wilson’s understanding.
 
“Why not? You’re his proxy; what’s stopping you?”
 
He is. I know what his wishes are; I can’t just… ignore that.”
 
Wilson narrows his eyes, looks hard at Cuddy. ”Your history says you can. You didn’t have a problem ignoring what he wanted after the infarction. What’s changed?”
 
Cuddy’s anger flares. “Everything’s changed! That decision was made to save his life. Now you’re asking me to prolong his death. And even if he did manage to recover, would I be doing him any favors? Going against his wishes last time cost him Stacy. He pushed her away, and he’s been pushing everyone else away ever since. If I overrode what he wants this time—and if he lived—you think he’d be happy about it? Grateful to me? No; he’d have a long, miserable recovery, all alone, and eventually he’d come back here even more bitter and distrustful than he is now.”
 
“He wouldn’t be all alone! I’m not Stacy; I won’t let him push me away. Yeah, we’ve had our problems, big problems. But—”
 
Stop it!” Chase interrupts. “We shouldn’t even be having this discussion.” Chase lowers his voice. “House could go on like this for hours—days. I understand how difficult this is for you to watch, Dr. Wilson. And I think you’d be… well-advised… to think about leaving, at least for a little while. Give yourself a chance to… come to terms with his decision. His death.”
 
Wilson stares at Chase as if he’s lost his mind. “I’m not leaving this room. I made him a promise; I told him I’d see him through this, and that’s what I’m going to do. Because he will get through this.”
 
Chase shakes his head sadly. “I’m sorry; I can’t be a party to this. I won’t.” He turns to Cuddy. “I’ll be in the Diagnostics office. Call if you need me.” He looks at Wilson with a mixture of frustration and pity, then quietly leaves the room.

Chapter Twenty-Four

 
Thoughts 
31st-May-2007 01:40 pm (UTC) - Wow...
What the!!?

Yep, you were right (again!) about the upping of the angst - of course we know that Wilson will do what he thinks is right...right? Right?!

Oh my God - I really can't wait for the next chapter now!

Keep up the amazing work - and update soon (very, very, very soon!)

I think I need to lay down before I have a heart attack...

x
31st-May-2007 01:46 pm (UTC) - Re: Wow...
Yep, you were right (again!) about the upping of the angst - of course we know that Wilson will do what he thinks is right...right? Right?!

deep breath... and again.... would our wilson allow this to happen? (i mean our wilson, not that person who just looked like wilson on christmas eve....)
31st-May-2007 01:47 pm (UTC)
Hang on... omg!!!! I'm in shock... sorry but this is just wow... and ummm im utterly speechless... omg... I was expecting House to be on the vent etc but this is...wow.... sorry, my hands are still trembling... i'm just still stunned!!!

Well, you made good on your promise and certainly explained what House and Chase talked about! Poor Wilson!! This must have been just such a major shock to him. But I loved that he was still loyal to House. Not leaving the room, not leaving him.

I cannot wait for more! I'm utterly addicted and cannot break the habit! Thank you!!!!!!!
31st-May-2007 01:57 pm (UTC)
this is...wow.... sorry, my hands are still trembling... i'm just still stunned!!! this is bad... two comments, and i'm already feeling guilty! but--as i told 1985laurie, we need to believe in wilson's unshakeable love and loyalty, okay?
31st-May-2007 02:00 pm (UTC)
I'm a believer!

(Stop feeling guilty!)

x
31st-May-2007 02:40 pm (UTC) - Great work, but......
Anonymous
what is now then? I know you will let House get through it, but how soon? I cannot wait for the next chapter(s), please update this really really soon. Pleeeeeeease.

PS, I do not think Chase will have feeling of disgust about this situation.
31st-May-2007 02:45 pm (UTC) - Re: Great work, but......
I do not think Chase will have feeling of disgust about this situation.

what chase is disgusted about here is wilson's desire (as chase sees it) to prolong house's suffering, against house's stated wishes. he isn't upset with wilson. hey--you just helped me! i never was happy with my choice of that word--and answering your comment just enabled me to come up with the right one--thanks!!
31st-May-2007 02:43 pm (UTC)
WOW ! I didn't see that coming, you took my breath away ! I'll try to stay calm, try not to hate Chase, neither Cuddy, then take a deep breath (all about breath) and reboot. I can't wait being tomorrow, I want Wilson to take Cuddy and throw her out of the window, I want him to fire Chase and I want him to save his friend. NOW ! See ? I can't stay calm, do something, please...
31st-May-2007 02:51 pm (UTC)
NOW ! See ? I can't stay calm, do something, please...

awww, chase and cuddy aren't in a good place right now, either! they don't want him to die--but they do respect what House has told chase. they're every bit as confused and grief-stricken as wilson. but relax; wilson can be quite convincing when he has to be! :)
31st-May-2007 02:57 pm (UTC)
Should Wilson have let House say his piece last night? Hmmm. I think House might have changed his mind and was trying to tell Wilson, at least I sort of hope so and I think that was the resignation in his eyes. Even though I do believe in palliative care/not prolonging suffering, House's condition is acutely life-threatening but not inevitably terminal. And Cuddy's wrong, length of time of recovery is a different consideration than lack of meaningful recovery for judging futility of care.
31st-May-2007 03:12 pm (UTC)
And Cuddy's wrong, length of time of recovery is a different consideration than lack of meaningful recovery for judging futility of care.

cuddy's attempting to take both aspects into consideration; at this point, both because of what house told chase and because of what she thinks she knows about house, she's thinking that house wouldn't choose for himself the kind of life that's currently probable, were he to survive. and--even though i know what's going to happen--i feel for her, for all of them, actually.
31st-May-2007 03:09 pm (UTC)
You do know how to torture us poor readers with the angst and suspense! I had wondered why House mentioned Chase in the previous chapter but never expected anything like this. I love the idea of House having a living will and Wilson only realising that now. Poor Wilson; I can see him being so caught up in protecting his friend that he'd accuse Chase of 'murdering' him.

But surely Cuddy and Chase don't expect Wilson to just sit back and accept this (anymore than House would accept Wilson's decision if the situation was reversed). I'm waiting for him to hi-jack a ventilator if that's why he's forced to do!
31st-May-2007 03:14 pm (UTC)
I'm waiting for him to hi-jack a ventilator if that's why he's forced to do!

and he would, wouldn't he? methinks perhaps he's spent a bit too much time observing house's methods of circumventing the rules!! ;)
31st-May-2007 04:06 pm (UTC)
But he's got to get better. He has to. *sniffle*
31st-May-2007 04:37 pm (UTC)
But he's got to get better

but... but... then there'd be no angst, no hurt/comfort, no story! ;)
31st-May-2007 04:08 pm (UTC) - House/Wilson
Wow, I finally got on LJ. So much better. Great chapter, after reading I wanted to jump into the computer and snatch a vent for House, but I'm trusting you when you said House wouldn't die. Still couldn't help shedding a few tears for the pain Wilson is going through and fearful for myself. Trying not to kill Chase, I know he's only doing what House wanted. Can't they see Wilson is the only person who knows what's best for House. Oh, I feel like such a fool to care so much for two characters on a TV show but I can't help it, I just do. My famiy would have a field day with this, well that always do. Your writing is just wonderful. Can't say that enough. Thanks for the really great email too. I wanted to friend you awhile now. Still not up on all the jargon. Oh well, four may days until my surgery. Four more chapters to look forward to, yeah.
31st-May-2007 04:41 pm (UTC) - Re: House/Wilson
Can't they see Wilson is the only person who knows what's best for House.

gee--wouldja mind terribly having a word with angelfirenze? see her comment below, on the same issue. ;)

Oh well, four may days until my surgery. Four more chapters to look forward to, yeah.

my prayers and all good wishes are with you; please, please let me know how everything goes. (and if i had this thing finished, i'd send you the remaining chapters--i really would!)


31st-May-2007 04:18 pm (UTC)
Um. Why are you giving me more reasons to beat Wilson over the head? WHY?! Can...he's going right back to his 'I know House better than he does' stance. I was right there with Cuddy when she reminded him that it was House's choice, NOT HIS. And...um...yeah, House is dying. Could the Houserents at least be called or something?

Which is what Wilson could do while he's NOT in House's room anymore. He could make himself useful instead of being a petulant brat. He's projecting his wishes onto House. Gee, who else do we know who does that, albeit with others (most of the time)?

*refrains from pointing at John House*

Anyway, I appreciate getting to read this new chapter. Especially with LJ being embroiled in Deletegate right this moment. *nods* Honestly, where was this zeal when dumbledoredies ruined the sixth HP book for THOUSANDS (including myself, the...*grits teeth*).
31st-May-2007 04:46 pm (UTC)
And...um...yeah, House is dying. Could the Houserents at least be called or something?

that issue is addressed in an upcoming chapter; relax! thanks to blackmare, i was forced to remember that the man does, indeed have (useless) parents! as to the whole wilson-knows-what's-best-for-house thingy--well, we'll just have to... agree to disagree. (and that is explained in upcoming chapter as well! hee.)

LJ being embroiled in Deletegate

huh what??? (am i going to regret asking?)


31st-May-2007 04:35 pm (UTC)
You made me tear up in this chapter. Thanks (although, I wish I'd read it at home instead of on my work computer three minutes before I have to try to actually do things.)
31st-May-2007 04:49 pm (UTC)
I wish I'd read it at home instead of on my work computer three minutes before

uh-ohhh; sorry? ;) (at least it wasn't tomorrow's chapter, which you might want to plan on reading at home ;).....)
31st-May-2007 04:52 pm (UTC)
Holy crap! *is on pins and needles waiting for the next post*
31st-May-2007 05:17 pm (UTC)
is on pins and needles

i'm going to endeavor to post a couple hours early tomorrow; i'm aiming for about 7:15am e.s.t. this is predicated on both my muse AND my kid cooperating with said endeavor..... ;)
31st-May-2007 05:55 pm (UTC)
*heart-broken*

I normally savour angst as much as the next House/Wilson shipper but the realism of this story is such that I feel like friends I know and love and suffering, not fictional people... :-(

Wonderful work (I think!)
31st-May-2007 06:02 pm (UTC)
i'll have you know i'm just soaking up all this praise like a cat in the sunshine! and you know, sometimes when i'm working on it, it feels too real to me too. nowadays, when i stop at my mother's for coffee in the mornings, the first question she asks is, 'so what condition did you leave poor house in today?' (and she's never even seen the show!)
(Deleted comment)
31st-May-2007 07:10 pm (UTC)
Wilson is really going to have to be on his toes and focused to get House through this in view of Cuddy, Chase and, based on your earlier comments, House's parents.

let me set your mind at ease (and perhaps start angelfirenze on another rant...) re: house's parents. they take up a grand total of twenty seconds of our time, two or three chapters down the road--that's all they're worth. as to wilson, well, i think you're gonna like my plans for wilson! ;)
(Deleted comment)
31st-May-2007 08:03 pm (UTC)
A tomar por culo.... O_o

Etoo... Sorry, that's what's in my mind after reading this. It's something like WTF but in Spanish X D

Are they going to surrender? OMG, can't believe it. And HE is surrendering? The stubborn bastard? No way, not him. We won't let him! òó

Loved Wilson --> Your history says you can. That was a low blow, and loved it because it's the true.

Go Wilson, go! Slash the unfaitful!

...But yet, Cuddy was right too. *shakes with fear for Wilson*
31st-May-2007 08:09 pm (UTC)
Loved Wilson --> Your history says you can. That was a low blow, and loved it because it's the true.

(whispering) that was my favorite line in the chapter--thanks for quoting it!

*shakes with fear for Wilson*

now you know that where house is concerned, boy-wonder-wilson will leap short hospital administrators in a single bound! ;)
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