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Cats' Corners: the little HOUSE in the woods....
Where House is NEVER safe...
The More Things Change... Chapter TWENTY-FIVE 
2nd-Jun-2007 08:01 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 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
Chapter Twenty-Four

In the cafeteria, Cuddy and Wilson find an isolated table. Once they’re seated, Cuddy says gently, “Earth to Dr. Wilson….” She’s seen the distracted look in his eyes, knows that both his doctor’s mind and his friend’s heart are still up in the ICU with House.
Wilson makes an effort to pull himself back to the here-and-now, and smiles apologetically. “Sorry; not trying to be rude, it’s just….”
“I know what it is. And it’s okay. But… try to let it go for just a little while. You made a very good point when you told Chase that you need to be House’s friend right now, not his physician. But that means that you’ve got to trust the people who are seeing to his medical requirements, so that you can see to his emotional needs. I know that we made that more difficult for you when we overlooked his need for pain management, but believe me—that incident will only improve our vigilance now.”
“I do believe you. And I trust Foreman. I guess I just… I’m still dealing with my own negligence, and I’ve got this crazy idea that if I’m with him all the time I can keep him safe. Stupid, huh?”
Cuddy smiles sympathetically. “Not stupid at all. And if anyone bears constant watching, it’d be House.”
“I just can’t believe I’ve had everything backwards all these months! Never even occurred to me that he’d expect me to be looking out for him; I always figured that he tolerated it—just barely. One good thing, though, is that knowing this, it’ll make his recovery period less stressful, on both him and me. Because now it’s going to be easier to ignore his gripes about the hovering!” Wilson smiles, but Cuddy’s face is serious.
If he recovers,” she says carefully, “you do realize that he may harbor some resentment about what we’ve done—putting him on the vent, disregarding all he said to Chase?”
“It’s not what we’ve done; it’s what I’ve done,” Wilson responds. “He will recover, and I will take the responsibility for that decision. I pretty much forced you into it; I’m just grateful that you’re allowing it. I can’t expect you to… share in the blame.”
“Have you given any thought to what you’ll do, what you’ll say to him, if he regains consciousness while he’s on the vent?”
“The truth; I’ll tell him the truth. I still refuse to believe that he wants to die.”
Cuddy shakes her head. “I… don’t find it impossible that under these circumstances, he might not… want to fight. House is… not happy. He hasn’t been happy for a long time. He lives daily with pain that the rest of us can only begin to imagine. And he… hasn’t had any support for a long time now.” Cuddy pauses to see how this last statement is affecting Wilson, and she isn’t surprised to see him with his head down, pinching the bridge of his nose between his fingers. She lays a hand on his arm. “It’s not all your fault, you know.”
“Yeah, it is,” he says. “But that isn’t even important right now. What matters is getting him through this, starting to rebuild his trust, making sure he knows he isn’t alone. You know, the first time I spoke to him after his team had gotten to the truth about the brain cancer, I told him that he has people who give a damn. Wasn’t ‘til hours afterward that I remembered something a patient once said to me, when she was asking me about House.”
Wilson stops speaking, swallows some coffee. When he looks back at Cuddy, his eyes are moist. “She asked me if House cared about me, and I tossed off some thoughtless answer because I didn’t want to think about it, didn’t want to find out he didn’t. But this patient, Rebecca, she called me on it. Told me ‘it’s not what people say, it’s what they do.’ So there I am, standing in the room of a patient I’d tricked House into consulting on—I’d told him she was my cousin—and I knew. He’d taken her just because I asked him to. That was good enough for him. He showed me through his actions that yeah, he cares. And what have any of us done recently, for him, to demonstrate that we care, we give a damn?”
Cuddy thinks about this for a minute. “Nothing,” she admits. “I’ve tried—gave him plane tickets a couple months ago when he mentioned a vacation. I… it was a lousy way of saying I thought he was doing a good job, he’d earned the time off. And he never used the tickets, and I never bothered to follow it up, find out why. I also never bothered to tell him why I gave him the tickets.”
“That’s the thing. We’ve told him we give a damn—but we haven’t done anything to prove it. House says everybody lies, but symptoms don’t. The only ‘symptoms’ we’ve been displaying to him are anger, distrust, exasperation. We’ve been lying to him, berating him, scolding him, out of one side of our mouths, and telling him we give a damn out of the other. Called all this some awful dance the other day. It’s worse than that. The whole thing’s been more like an exercise in conditional friendship, conditional love. Do it my way, or I won’t like you anymore; I won’t care about you. And even when House did try to do it my way, I never even acknowledged that, never said it was good enough.” 
Wilson looks intently at Cuddy before he continues. “But I’m not gonna wallow in it; we don’t have time for that. I’m going to fix it, that’s all. If he wakes up while he’s on the respirator, I’ll fix it then, make him see that he does have a reason to live. If not, I’ll fix it while he recovers. Not what we say, it’s what we do—I’ll show him. I’ll fix it.”
Cuddy smiles at him, and nods. You deserve the chance. I hope you get it.
“I’ve… uh… got one more favor to ask,” Wilson continues. “I think it’s time we notified his parents, and I….” His voice trails off.
“I already did that.” Cuddy hesitates. “They’re… not coming. I spoke with his father. He said that since House didn’t think it was necessary to tell them about the shooting and the Ketamine coma until it was pretty much over with, that I should have House call them and let them know when this one was… resolved. I tried to explain how dire this situation could be, but….”
“I get the picture,” Wilson responds grimly. “His poor mother; I’ll try to give her a call later, answer her questions. Can’t say I’m surprised at his father’s response, though.”
Cuddy looks at Wilson’s face; his lips are drawn into a tight line, and she’s glad she didn’t tell him John House’s parting shot; “That boy has more lives than a cat, and by my count he’s only used up three of ‘em—he’ll be fine.” Cuddy thinks that if he’d said that to Wilson, more than one House’s life would currently be in danger.
Cuddy returns to House’s room without Wilson. She’s sent him for a shower, clean clothes. He’d been surprised when she’d mentioned it, and a little embarrassed. “You’ve had other things, more important things, on your mind,” she’d reassured him. And he’d dutifully gone off, smiling tiredly and suddenly looking far too young for the weight, the responsibility of all that’s happening.
But Cuddy had another reason for sending Wilson off; she needs to speak with Foreman alone, before Wilson returns. As she’s gowning up prior to entering the cubicle, she’s happy to see that Foreman’s alone in the room with House.
“How’s he doing; how’d it go?” she asks as she enters.
“He’s doing okay now; suctioned quite a bit of fluid out of his lungs, and the intubation was smooth,” Foreman responds. “And the latest labs show an improvement in renal function. So I guess things are as good as they’re gonna get until we have a real plan for the VRSA. How’s Wilson holding up?”
“He’s doing… better than I thought. He’s had a lot of time to think, realized a few things. And I believe that things’ll change for him and House during House’s recovery. If House recovers….” She asks the question with her eyes.
“If there aren’t any drastic changes in his condition and we can find an effective treatment in the next forty-eight, seventy-two hours, he’s got a 60% to 80% chance,” Foreman tells her. “If not… less than 20%. And it won’t be pleasant,” he says bluntly.
“And what are the odds that he’ll wake up while he’s intubated?”
“Can’t guarantee anything, but he probably won’t. He was semi-comatose even before we got him on the vent, and he’s on maximum sedation now. I, uh… didn’t think Wilson would go for restraints, so I’m not taking any chances.”
Cuddy smiles. “That’s good. Makes it easier for both of them.”
Foreman and Cuddy fall silent as they watch House, watch the vent breathe for him, watch the dialyzer do what his kidneys can’t, see the measured drops of IV medication that are controlling his blood pressure, his heart rate, his hydration. And they’re both thinking the same thing; There’s nothing easy about this. Nothing.

Chapter Twenty-Six
2nd-Jun-2007 01:00 pm (UTC)
Great talk between Cuddy and Wilson- and the line The only ‘symptoms’ we’ve been displaying to him are anger, distrust, exasperation. has to be a hard one for Wilson to face up too (cause it's so true.) Lookin forward to seeing House Wilson is going to act on this now that he's admitted it to himself- which is probably the hardest thing to do.
2nd-Jun-2007 01:08 pm (UTC)
Great talk between Cuddy and Wilson- and the line The only ‘symptoms’ we’ve been displaying to him are anger, distrust, exasperation. has to be a hard one for Wilson to face up to

and it's odd; while writing this chapter, i was, of course, forced to remember every emotion they've displayed to poor house in S3, and i got annoyed all over again with both cuddy and wilson because of the way they've treated house. here's hoping both of them make it up to him in S4!
2nd-Jun-2007 01:28 pm (UTC)
"Do it my way, or I won’t like you anymore; I won’t care about you. And even when House did try to do it my way, I never even acknowledged that, never said it was good enough.”
I'm so in touch with your feelings about House and Wilson's friendship ! Everything you write coming from Wilson I would have liked to hear it on the show. I was dying to hear it in the show. But I didn't. And then you came, and all those unspoken essential remorses, humility, regrets, apologies Wilsons expresses make me feel better, I'm no longer frustated, I don't want to yell at the writers anymore. This fic is more than a fic : it's what should have happened. I'm at lost for words, only one comes to my mind right now : BRAVO !
2nd-Jun-2007 01:44 pm (UTC)
Everything you write coming from Wilson I would have liked to hear it on the show.

and that's precisely why i'm writing it--because i needed to hear it on the show as well. and apparently, you and i are far from alone in our feelings about this; i do wish the writers were more aware of the fans' general dissatisfaction. or perhaps they are, but it makes no difference to them. i'm trying to tell myself, though, that they tried to improve things between house and wilson in the last few episodes--though that really is cold comfort, isn't it, because they just... dropped the whole issue. i, like you, needed to see at least a little bit of what they must've had to go through to repair their relationship. and not having seen anything of the sort, i feel cheated!/rant
2nd-Jun-2007 02:06 pm (UTC)
As soon as Foreman sad it was unlikely House was going to wake up, I had this prickling in the back of my mind. Its House. He never does anything normally. If anyone could wake up from a semi-conscious state, it'd be House. I remember reading one of your commentor's responses last night about you really nailing the fact that Wilson is an oncologist. It is true too. He is just thinking about extending life. His friend's life. Why do I have a feeling this is going to end badly.

I remember reading your one story when House was going through break through pain and Wilson and him had a huge fight about switching him to super vic. It seems like you are setting up for one of those fights again, and that it might not end as well as in that first part of that trilogy.

I'm glad you mentioned John *sob/b*****d* House. It was appropriate. God I really hate that man. I think if he was a real person, he would be mobbed by House fans all over. (See I can tell the difference b/w reality and fiction! ;<))
2nd-Jun-2007 02:46 pm (UTC)
and that it might not end as well as in that first part of that trilogy.

allow me to reassure you, my dear! with the isolated exception of Swan Song, my stories tend to end well. this one is not going to be an exception to that rule--relax! ;)
2nd-Jun-2007 03:59 pm (UTC)
*laughs and smile* I'll take your word on it.
(Deleted comment)
2nd-Jun-2007 03:43 pm (UTC)
That for me summarized the whole of S3 except maybe towards the end. Both Wilson & Cuddy spent the entirety of the season telling House by their actions "do what we want or we won't play with you any more"

yup; exactly. and they expected house to respond positively to such treatment--which is what blows my mind.

I also am thinking that the whole recovery period is bound to be rocky for both of them, but especially Wilson as the rebuilding process between the two of them continues.

that's my plan! ;)

2nd-Jun-2007 08:20 pm (UTC) - Actually......
I am starting re-watching it all over again from the first season. House is really dearing to Wilson and Wilson really sometimes can not 'understand' House. I guess maybe because of his specialties is dealing with death in far higher ratio so sometimes he lost his curiosities, which House has a lot. However, though Wilson sometimes is not that fair to House, he still is the only one who really cares about House, stick to him no matter how bad it is, willing to risk his own career to protect House, try things out to help House (although not all that appropriate). So I guess, he deserves a chance here.
This article actually gives him a chance to really do things right, I just love this part. The whole coffee talking about do and say, I like it very much.

PS: In the show, House is so brilliant, but somehow they forgot to give us the feeling that Wilson is just as good. He is the head of the Oncology, not some resident doctor. Making him always wrong in the show just doesn't feel right. Or I have to say, I now am so in love with RSL's Wilson and hope he can get more screen shots......
2nd-Jun-2007 08:52 pm (UTC) - Re: Actually......
However, though Wilson sometimes is not that fair to House, he still is the only one who really cares about House, stick to him no matter how bad it is, willing to risk his own career to protect House, try things out to help House (although not all that appropriate). So I guess, he deserves a chance here.

and that, to me, is the main thing about wilson--his attempts to help house are sometimes inappropriate, sometimes cruel, sometimes just plain wrong-headed--but always done out of love and concern. so we shall to continue to try to forgive him his S3 failures, right? ;)
2nd-Jun-2007 08:24 pm (UTC)
I love how you refered back to Rebecca from the pilot and the converstion she and Wilson had. The line about symptoms not lying was also a wonderful addition.
2nd-Jun-2007 08:55 pm (UTC)
i'm so pleased you liked those things--one of the things i most enjoy, with every 'house' story i write, is the chance to relive a bit of the older canon, and sometimes i worry that it isn't as interesting to others. good to find out that it's appreciated! :)
2nd-Jun-2007 08:34 pm (UTC)
Excellent chapter. Like you, I love Wilson and Cuddy but I can see their deepest flaws are not accepting House is in pain and has a legitamite reason to take the vicodin. I think this is a very good example of almost familiarity breeding 'resentment' because they are too close to House to objectively treat his pain management. They allow their friendship and his behaviour to colour how their medical treatment of him because I couldn't see them being so dismissive of a patient they didn't know.

It's probably why doctors should never act as general practitioners for their own friends as I do think Wilson and Cuddy are part of the reason why House is so bitter. Why should he be Happy Features when his own friends won't believe he's in pain? I love Wilson and Cuddy coming to terms with that revelation even if it hurts to accept the truth.

As for John House, it's just a shame there is a statute of limitations on child abuse. And Cuddy is definitely right in not telling Wilson what he said. Wilson needs to be at House's side, not locked up for murder!

2nd-Jun-2007 09:13 pm (UTC)
I think this is a very good example of almost familiarity breeding 'resentment' because they are too close to House to objectively treat his pain management. They allow their friendship and his behaviour to colour how their medical treatment of him because I couldn't see them being so dismissive of a patient they didn't know.

absolutely. i also like to think that--with wilson at least--there's another factor in play here. wilson is well aware of the probability of long-term opioid/acetaminophen use shortening house's life. so i hope that at least a portion of wilson's stupidity where the pain meds are concerned is a sense of denial that he's set up for himself. he doesn't want house to die, so he convinces himself that house doesn't need the opioids that are simultaneously allowing him to function and killing him. dunno if that makes sense to anyone but me.

Wilson needs to be at House's side, not locked up for murder!

you know what--i honestly feel that if canon!wilson ever learns the specific details of house's childhood, daddy house had better damned well watch out! because i really can see wilson, out of love, trying to interfere in that whole thing without house's knowledge.

2nd-Jun-2007 10:15 pm (UTC) - Aspergers
I do believe he has AS. Ever since Lines in the Sand I have been curious about it. And it does fit. Also explains Wilson's unlimited devotion.I plan to post to TWOP about some of the clues in the series point to it. I think one of Wilson's biggest mistakes with House is trying to teach him to be like others so his life would be easier. In House vs God Wilson told him he could learn the abstract rules others live by so he could protect himself.I think in S4 there is going to be some kind of explosion about House's health. Especially after Top Secret. Wilson WAS NOT getting how bad his agony was. It is TOTALLY amazing to me that a TV series can bring about many incredible stories. This is one of many I have enjoyed, mostly H/W, who are the most unique pair on TV. And there is no understanding of House without Wilson
2nd-Jun-2007 10:59 pm (UTC) - Re: Aspergers
i must agree with you about the asperger's. we've been calling my son baby!house since very shortly after the show began, as he and house share many of the same personality traits and quirks. and guess what? three years after we started calling him baby!house, two months ago my son was diagnosed with---you guessed it--Asperger's Syndrome.

And there is no understanding of House without Wilson

boy--ain't that the truth! (but i'd certainly like to see a bit more of that 'unlimited devotion' from wilson in S4!)
3rd-Jun-2007 12:05 am (UTC) - Re: Aspergers
*clears throat and raises hand* kidsnurse already knows what I think about that debate. I know she shares my opinion, too.

And, let's not forgot, Wilson was totally willing to lie to House about something he felt was much more important. Something inconsequential to him that would deeply affect House and his well-being are hardly off-limits.

What I want to know is why Wilson thinks it's so okay to lie to someone he insists is his best friend about ANYTHING, let alone a possible psychiatric diagnosis. Every time I watch that part of 'Lines in the Sand' I want to kick him. And Wilson likes to forget that just because HE supposedly doesn't think House is an Aspie, doesn't make it the case. Medical doctors are not trained in the entire spectrum. They tend to only recognize classic autism, as it's the most easily recognizable. *is a clearly irritated Aspie who spent five years trying to get a diagnosis*
3rd-Jun-2007 12:12 am (UTC) - Re: Aspergers
ohhhhh boy-- the *clearly irritated aspie* is certainly on a tear this evening!!! are you quite certain you received lorazepam in the e.r.? no one was playing 'switch the coffee cups', were they??? ;)

i repeat: go. to. bed. (excellent plan, really!)
3rd-Jun-2007 12:15 am (UTC) - Re: Aspergers
Yep. Watched the nurse inject it into my IV. I was having myoclonic convulstions. I have no idea how long I was actually asleep, but I did miss most of the day. I still have no idea why I'm even at home.

And I got up because I was hungry, but then I found an update on this one and I had to read it. Don't worry, I'm bed-bound soon.
3rd-Jun-2007 12:22 am (UTC) - Re: Aspergers
with or without restraints? ;)
3rd-Jun-2007 12:40 am (UTC) - Re: Aspergers
No restraints. Just padding on the rails of the bed. And exhaustion. Le sigh.
3rd-Jun-2007 07:28 am (UTC) - Re: Aspergers
I believe Wilson does know that House has AS, but he doesn't want House to believe it because he might just give up trying to do better. And if he was diagnosed could it effect his employment. Would others trust him with life and death decisions if he was considered "disabled". Its possible in Wilson's view that House is better off being considered an SOB instead. Plus the writers don't want to make it too obvious. Its more fun to keep House a mystery. The producer's commentary on "No Reason" mentioned they like to drop subtle clues. Which is one of the great things about the show. The clues do add up and it makes people want to watch again very carefully. He is a medical mystery within a show of medical mysteries.
3rd-Jun-2007 10:22 am (UTC) - Re: Aspergers
And if he was diagnosed could it effect his employment. Would others trust him with life and death decisions if he was considered "disabled".

they just did an extensive study at the kennedy space center. over 70% of the engineers were discovered to have some degree of Aspergers. And yup, they hold lives, and safety, and many millions of government dollars in their hands. A disproportionate percentage of our Aspie population have above-average to genius intelligence. and this article http://www.autism.org/temple/genius.html points out that bill gates has many aspie traits (also found out from same article that 80% of writers suffer from mood disorders--i'll buy that! ;) ).

anyway. my point is that an AS dx would have no effect on House's career, nor even an effect on how he's viewed by others. and yes, of course, i'm advocating for angelfirenze and dakota (my son) and others who are not neurotypical--but it's also the truth!
2nd-Jun-2007 11:51 pm (UTC)
*sigh* I was given Ativan at the emergency room today, so I'm not exactly coherent. Either way, this is still getting to me. The idea that John would be that petty about House (the poor, bullet-filled bastard in the coma, if we recall correctly) is beyond asshattery. It seems to me that John blames House for every bad thing that's ever happened to him, no matter what. I'd love to see Blythe leave without telling him and come visit her son because if he dies (which you almost have me hoping for, just to teach John and, to an extent, Wilson a lesson) it will devastate her. Damn the writers for painting John House to be such a heartless prick, and damn them for not giving Blythe any visible backbone. Seriously, is there anything anyone could say that would voluntarily keep you away from Dakota if he were in House's place? Especially your spiteful, idiot husband who can't seem to figure out what unconditional love means. *scowls*

It seems to me like everything involving Greg is a game of chicken to John. You have me actually hoping he dies, here. I feel bad for everyone involved when Wilson or Cuddy tells him about that talk with his father when he wakes up. If they ever tell him. *goes off to make a passive agressive sandwich of some sort*

And, hey, did John ever think that THAT SHIT is why Greg never calls? Who the hell wants to subject themselves to constantly being told how substandard they are. Asshole.
3rd-Jun-2007 12:06 am (UTC)
okay then; let's take it from the top. ativan? e.r.?? and what are you doing conscious? one mg of that stuff, i'm out for 10 hours.

as to house's father. he is what, and who, he is. let me flip your analogy around a bit. i am house's age, and share many of his same medical problems. i haven't spoken to my father in over ten years; the man's never even acknowledged that his only grandchild (koda) even exists. do i want that man at my bedside, even for a life-threatening illness? hell, no! BUT. do i blame all the problems in my life, well into middle age, on my father and the wrongs he's done me? again, hell no.

i do NOT believe that house gives either of his parents more than an occasional passing thought. and while what his father did to him during his childhood may have influenced his personality and beliefs now, the man no longer has any influence on house day to day. so be angry with the bastard--but don't use his atrocious behavior forty years ago to make him seem important in house's life now. he just... isn't.

go to bed, sweetie. get some sleep. everything'll look better in the morning.
3rd-Jun-2007 03:44 am (UTC)
Oh, no. Now that we have a solid timeline on this thing, the desperation is really coming through in waves.
3rd-Jun-2007 11:18 am (UTC)
things may get... just a bit worse... before they get better--but we're approaching a conclusion. i'm figuring another six to nine chapters.
3rd-Jun-2007 12:51 pm (UTC)
love it!!
3rd-Jun-2007 01:00 pm (UTC)
:) thanks! you kids really are making all the work i'm putting into this worth it, and i'm very grateful--hope everyone knows that!
3rd-Jun-2007 11:22 pm (UTC)
Well House can be as pissed off as he wants. He'll be alive, that's all that anyone cares about. His dad though. How can anyone say that about their child? I mean, God how... selfish. And I mean what about his mom? Huh? What if she wanted to see her son? That man just annoys me to no end.

5th-Jun-2007 09:35 pm (UTC)
Nice encapsulation of the meat of "Words and Deeds" - the kind of meat the writers should have applied to Cuddy and Wilson as much as they tried to apply it to House. This is especially true, I think, because House already applies the actions-over-words formula to everyone around him - not to himself, not always (but more often than many would think, imo) - so he already reads Wilson and Cuddy from the standpoint of actions. Knowing him as well as they do/should, they should realize (and do, if the speeches and asides are any indication) how he evaluates them and act accordingly. And maybe they are; maybe that's what was so wrong with S3. But I like to think that they became temporarily moronic rather than that they intentionally acted poorly.

To put it differently, great chapter! ;)
5th-Jun-2007 09:57 pm (UTC)
they became temporarily moronic rather than that they intentionally acted poorly.

works for me!