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Cats' Corners: the little HOUSE in the woods....
Where House is NEVER safe...
The More Things Change... Chapter TWENTY-SIX 
3rd-Jun-2007 12:01 pm
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
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
Chapter Twenty-Five


A/N:  Thanks so much to [info]starhanyou  for sharing with me her perspective on what Wilson has really missed since House's infarct, and for allowing me to incorporate it into the story!
 

CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX:  THE RIGHT THING 

Cuddy was right about the sedation, Wilson thinks ruefully as House awakens and his eyes widen with panic.  His left hand flies to the endotracheal tube and his expression is shooting questions at Wilson.

 

Wilson carefully untangles House’s fingers from the tube as he begins to explain what’s happened.  “You’re intubated, House, on a vent.  Nothing to worry about, just makes it easier for you with the pulmonary edema.”  He reaches to the bedside stand for a dry-erase board, puts it in front of House on the patient table across the bed.

 

plenty to worry about, House scribbles clumsily with his left hand.  labs?

 

“Bloodwork’s pretty much unchanged.  We’re hoping that after today’s dialysis session we’ll begin to see some real improvement in renal function.”  Wilson smiles encouragingly.

 

lying

 

Wilson frowns.  “No.  Linezolid’s controlling the infection.  Vanc concentrations are dropping; BUN and creatinine aren’t getting any worse.”

 

not the whole truth.  House peers intently at Wilson; Wilson’s surprised by how alert he appears.

 

“House, you don’t need to worry about the details, okay?  Let me do that for a while.”

 

MY life!  My health!!! House scrawls forcefully.

 

Wilson heaves a sigh of resignation and sits down.  “All right.  The VRSA’s still responding to linezolid, but susceptibility’s weakening.  We can’t try combining it with an aminoglycoside yet; that’s contraindicated with your renal function.  But we’re working on it.  We’ll find the answer, soon.”  Wilson pauses to see if this’ll satisfy House, or if he’s going to be compelled to spell out the entire grim picture.  The next thing House writes answers his question.

 

why vent?

 

“Thought I explained that.”

 

details

 

Wilson sighs again.  There’s no way around it—he’ll have to simply level with House, let the cards fall where they may.  “Your respiratory distress was increasing; you’d started having periods of apnea.  You were headed for respiratory arrest; we had no choice.”

 

House hesitates for a moment, then writes, not my choice.

 

Wilson nods and meets House’s eyes.  “Yeah.  Chase told Cuddy and me what you’d said to him after the incident.  And he… uh… refused to put you on the vent.  Cuddy backed him up.  I, uh… browbeat Cuddy into it.  Because I know you didn’t mean it; you’d have told me—I would have known.”

 

tried

 

Wilson briefly considers pretending that he hadn’t suspected that House had tried, at least twice, to tell him about the Advance Directive.  No.  I’ve already decided to be honest with him; can’t back away from that now.  “I know, House.  But I didn’t know until Chase told us.  And… since you hadn’t spoken with me about it… I thought you might’ve changed your mind.”  Wilson holds his breath, awaiting House’s response.

 

no; kidneys, lungs going—liver next

 

“Your kidneys will start to recover soon.  And the edema will decrease then; your lungs’ll improve quickly.  We’re monitoring your liver function closely; so far it’s hanging in.”

 

not treating vrsa—die anyway

 

“I’m not gonna let that happen.  I’m doing research, contacting people around the clock; we’ll come up with a treatment.  If the linezolid holds out until your renal function improves, we’ll get you on meropenem.”

 

if it doesn’t?

 

Wilson takes a deep breath.  “If it doesn’t, we’ll have to take our chances with the kidneys, try the antibiotic anyway.  We can deal with any renal damage later.”

 

no—NO!

 

“House, everything’s gonna be fine.  We just need to buy a little time, figure out the best way to treat this.”

 

House impatiently swipes the board clean with his hand, then scrawls, long recovery—no guarantees

 

“I can guarantee one thing; you’ll have all the help you need, every step of the way.”

 

don’t want to need help!  don’t you GET that yet??  House is becoming exasperated, and he glares at Wilson.

 

Wilson doesn’t know what to say.  “It’s not forever, House.  Just a few months, and then things’ll be back to normal.  You’ll get your life back.”

 

The exasperation morphs instantly into anger.  big freaking deal!  my life!  normal?  where you been the last few years??

 

Now Wilson’s angry.  “I’ve been right here, pal—suffering with you, trying to help you, picking up the pieces!  Trying to be your friend!  And let me tell you, you sure as hell don’t make that easy!”

 

you don’t want to be my friend—you need to be my friend.  helps you avoid your own miserable life!

 

Wilson forces himself to take a deep breath.  He looks into House’s eyes, speaks slowly, quietly, intently.  “I’m here because I want to be here.  Yeah, the truth is, your health has had an impact on my life, and on our friendship.  But I don’t regret any of the choices I’ve made since the infarction.  And believe me, House—no matter what you think my pathology is, no one—no one—would’ve been happier than I would’ve been if the Ketamine had worked.”

 

yeah—your little “it’s all gonna be different” pep talk made that clear!

 

Wilson freezes; he actually feels his heart bump in his chest.  He remembers, on the third day of the Ketamine-induced coma House had been in, telling his unconscious friend all the things they were going to do—things they’d once enjoyed together, couldn’t do since the infarct.  Jogging and golf, paintball.  And how they were going to find the two hottest nurses in the hospital, ask them out.  “And we’ll dance all night, House.  And the next morning, we’ll get up at dawn and hit the tennis courts.  Need to make up for lost time, all the things we’ve missed out on.”  But—he and House had been alone in the room; House had been comatose!  No one else could’ve told House about that ridiculous, euphoric pep talk, that foolishly hopeful dream….

 

“You heard me?”

 

yeah.  sorry you missed out on so much—go back to your life now.

 

Oh, God.  “House, our friendship is a big part of my life—the best part.  I don’t miss those things.  What I miss is… doing them with you.  That’s what made ‘em fun—made them… special.  And now?  Think I’d give up laughing at your commentary while we watch Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, just to go chase a piece of round plastic all over a piece of overpriced real estate?  No way!   Told you—no regrets.  None.  Not for a second!  I mean it.”

 

you never asked me if I had regrets—ever occur to you I might prefer to be dead?  Stacy’s gone; my leg’s gone.  Now I’m looking at months of hell, just so I can work my way back to my usual hell—thanks to you.

 

Wilson swallows against the sudden nausea that’s risen in his throat.  “But… I thought…. You told me… you said you didn’t want to die, the night you OD’d.  That… I’d given you the strength to pull through.  And you were willing to risk a lot, inject chemicals into your brain, for a chance to be happy.  House, after you found out I was slipping you antidepressants, you chose to stay on them!  None of those things are the actions of someone who’s ready to give up on life.”

 

House wipes the board clean with one furious sweep of his hand.  He stares into Wilson, and his eyes are cold and resentful. Wilson watches as he fills the board with two bitter words:

 

EVERYBODY LIES

 

Then everything happens so quickly, Wilson’s powerless to stop it.  House flings the board across the room and, never pausing, reaches up and rips the endotracheal tube from his throat.  There’s blood coming from his mouth from the traumatic removal, and the vent alarm is screeching, and Wilson leaps out of his chair, and—

 

“It’s okay, Dr. Wilson; I was just running a safety check on the monitors.  Sorry I woke you.”  The respiratory tech smiles and leaves the room as Wilson, sitting bolt upright on the cot, attempts to catch his own breath.  He waits until his heart rate begins to approach normal again before he stands and makes his way to the bed.

 

Wilson looks down at House; even comatose, even heavily sedated, Wilson sees the tightness around his eyes that Wilson recognizes as uncontrolled pain.  And he’s back on the cooling blanket; temp must’ve spiked again.  Wilson depresses the button on the PCA, and whispers to the empty room, “What have I done?” 

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Thoughts 
3rd-Jun-2007 04:38 pm (UTC)
So was Wilson dreaming there? Cuz that was that was heavy stuff. (You can tell the two of them are soulmates, just because they both don't stop thinking when they dream.) I was waiting for the "what have I done moment." I agree with imaginary House it wasn't his choice. Now Wilson will pay the price.

I love the fact that Wilson's subconscious House brought up everything that Wilson wanted to do with House. He never did seem happy though with House when he was on the ketamine. Makes me wonder if he ever did ask House if he had any regrets. I love the line about that House writes, Everybody lies. Makes me wonder if Wilson realized that House hadn't taken the anti-depressants, he finally realized that words mean nothing in the end, or if he finally realized he was deluding himself. The last part was my favorite, although the conversation between House and Wilson was excellent.

I wonder are you taking bits out of No Reason here? I remember how Wilson kept saying it was all for the best. I loved the part when Wilson got punched. Just because it seemed like something House would do. Plus Wilson seemed heavy on making decisions for House in that dream too. Great job!
3rd-Jun-2007 04:47 pm (UTC)
I love the fact that Wilson's subconscious House brought up everything that Wilson wanted to do with House. He never did seem happy though with House when he was on the ketamine. Makes me wonder if he ever did ask House if he had any regrets.

yet another thing i felt cheated out of by the scriptwriters--because we know they must've had that conversation, and many others, about the whole coma thing, and house's hallucination, and and and... (i'm ranting again, aren't i?)
3rd-Jun-2007 04:42 pm (UTC)
That was cruel having us think House was really awake and not very pleased! The exploration into Wilson's worst fears, expressed through his dream, was a nice insight though. He's starting to have doubts over whether he's fighting for House or himself. The part where he remembered speaking to House during his ketamine coma was very poignant. Of course he cares for House but there must be a part of him that does wonder for what might have been had his friend remained healthy and whole, and the sad thing is House must know that.
3rd-Jun-2007 04:51 pm (UTC)
Of course he cares for House but there must be a part of him that does wonder for what might have been had his friend remained healthy and whole, and the sad thing is House must know that.

yes, the poignancy of that entire unspoken part of their relationship has been evident, i think, since the pilot episode. (and sorry about the cruelty of the chapter--i was going to apologize beforehand, but, being evil, i didn't want to lessen the impact!) ;)
3rd-Jun-2007 04:47 pm (UTC)
This was really damn good. I loved this little glimpse into the workings of Wilson's subconsious. Third paragraph from the end made my heart rate just about double in next to no time. And the "Everybody lies" was a nice touch.
3rd-Jun-2007 04:52 pm (UTC)
Third paragraph from the end made my heart rate just about double in next to no time.

then you experienced the intended side effect! yay!!! ;)
3rd-Jun-2007 05:17 pm (UTC)
Wilson, you did the right thing. If House had told you personally that he wanted to die now, you'd have been wrong. But the situation isn't as simple as that. You didn't get the chance to ear your friend death-will by your own, you couldn't evaluate what was his state of mind when he talked to Chase. And he, House, wasn't in the shape to tell to everybody : hey, now is THE time, let me die NOW ! you made a courageous but rather safe choice here. You bought him some time, no hurry to decide it's time to die.
I'm backing you. Strongly. With no hesitations. You did the right thing. You won't regret it. Neither will House, neither will we.
3rd-Jun-2007 05:23 pm (UTC)
i love your 'letter to wilson'! and it touches me, shows me just how wrapped up you are in this story. thanks for supporting wilson's decision, and thanks for so loyally supporting this story!
3rd-Jun-2007 05:18 pm (UTC) - Gosh, almost got me a heart attact
Anonymous
The 'dream' of Wilson's is so real that I feel really sad and wondering what will happen the next. Thank god this was just a dream but it might be the exact fact Wilson will have to face. I do not know what to think, only that I pray the truth will be less painful and they can keep going, have faith in their relationship.
Nice work, now everyday I open HW LJ several times to check if it has been updated. So please keep on posting at this regular base.
3rd-Jun-2007 05:28 pm (UTC) - Re: Gosh, almost got me a heart attact
oh, we must always have faith in house and wilson, and in their friendship! else how would we all have lived through the horrific season three? ;) (and yes, i do post daily, except tuesday)
3rd-Jun-2007 05:43 pm (UTC)
Oh Holy crap you had me going there for a bit! *wipes sweat off brow* Hopefully that dream doesn't become reality!
3rd-Jun-2007 05:54 pm (UTC)
Oh Holy crap you had me going there for a bit!

which was--precisely--my intention! i couldn't help thinking that all the things that nightmare!house brought up have to be going through wilson's mind, and it was either do it this way, or have a really boring chapter where wilson just sat there and ticked off all of his own private misgivings. i thought doing it this way might be just a little bit more... interesting. ;)
3rd-Jun-2007 05:51 pm (UTC)
"all the things they were going to do—things they’d once enjoyed together, couldn’t do since the infarct"

I wanted Wilson to say in response that he didn't want to spend time doing those things, but those things made House happy and he wanted to spend that time with his friend happy.
3rd-Jun-2007 06:00 pm (UTC)
your comment makes me realize something i've never thought of before.... normally, it's to my advantage as a writer that i'm disabled in much the same way house is, as i often have insights and perspectives that a nondisabled author wouldn't have. but. what you wanted wilson to say is beautiful, and touching, and very loving--and it would never have occurred to me, as that's not, in my experience, how my able-bodied family and friends think. you must be a very empathetic individual; thank you so much for bringing this viewpoint to my attention.
3rd-Jun-2007 06:30 pm (UTC)
Almost ripped my hair. Luckily it was "almost" X_DDDDD

*hugs* Impressive. Wonderful. But I think House's not going to be a lot different ^^U And if even he is not, his guilt is gonna eat him from inside. *sighs*

This killed me: House wipes the board clean with one furious sweep of his hand. He stares into Wilson, and his eyes are cold and resentful. Wilson watches as he fills the board with two bitter words:

EVERYBODY LIES

Love you dear :) You're the best.

3rd-Jun-2007 06:36 pm (UTC)
Love you dear :) You're the best.

and you are, too--all of you--just phenomenal with your kind words and enthusiasm for this story. if it's good, that's due in large part to you guys, and your unflagging belief in my ability to pull this off. thanks!
3rd-Jun-2007 06:31 pm (UTC)
Stunned by this beautiful tale. The look into Wilson's psyche was great, felt so true. It was a nice way to bring to light his emotions and fears, which are hopefully not as founded as he things. Excellent, as always.
3rd-Jun-2007 06:38 pm (UTC)
Stunned by this beautiful tale. The look into Wilson's psyche was great, felt so true.

'stunned' is good--was trying for stunned! ;) and it's great to hear that it felt believable; thanks, as always!
3rd-Jun-2007 06:36 pm (UTC)
*stares at screen* You are...brilliant, damn it. How the hell you keep insisting you're not is beyond me. *stares some more* There are no words.

Will you do me a HUGE favor and go read my new journal entry? I desperately need your input, given that you've been in the medical profession. If need be, I will increase the font size of the entry. I am desperate, really.
3rd-Jun-2007 07:03 pm (UTC)
You are...brilliant, damn it.

coming from you--who i know to actually be brilliant, i will take that as the high praise that you mean it to be. and i most sincerely thank you.

i increased the zoom view on the laptop, and slogged through the pale-grey-on-white. i'm shocked, and saddened. left a comment (from which LJ removed four paragraph breaks--sorry), and will be back to comment further, after i've had some thinking time.
(Deleted comment)
3rd-Jun-2007 07:29 pm (UTC)
I thought this was a great way to lay out what Wilson must be thinking/feeling (even subconsciously).

a very long time ago (thirty years?), i read somewhere that dreams are the cheapest psychiatric care for intelligent human beings--if we take the time to internalize what we learn from them. so wilson is going to be taking that time, in the sequel--and i'm hoping it results in some interesting revelations.
3rd-Jun-2007 07:25 pm (UTC)
Usually when I see the words "woke up" in fiction after a major event, I feel like I'd been put through a cop out, but in this story, I was over-the-top relieved when it happened. First of all, I don't want House to die, but second of all, I felt all too compelled to want to take the vent out myself. I'm a believer that suicide is only somewhat justified when you are dying and there is nothing but pain ahead of you, but dream House's little speech, while prideful and angry, made me feel for his plight. The dude really has nothing to look forward to, an attribute most suicidal people really don't have. He will live the rest of his life in debilitating pain, only to be relieved by a narcotic that will significantly shorten his life. I know he does not want to live like that, but is afraid he will be seen as weak if he outright blows his brains out. I never liked fics where House deliberately overdosed, but I always like the ones where he chooses to die in the context of an illness. Those are more in the Houseian frame of mind in my opinion.

BTW, thank you for not making this a slash story. I don't mind when I read it, but on the show, apparently I miss the "subtext," 'cause I don't see any. That makes it seem very OOC when I read it. These guys are friends, best friends, but their friendship has been greatly fractured. They share a phileo (brotherly) love that they will never acknowledge, but is always apparent. It's because of this that I really hope House lives, because for House to die without that love being repaired would be tragic. I read a comment that said they were soul mates, and I think that is true, just not on a romantic level.

Okay, sorry this comment was a little long, but I had very strong opinions I just had to get out. :)
3rd-Jun-2007 07:40 pm (UTC)
These guys are friends, best friends, but their friendship has been greatly fractured. They share a phileo (brotherly) love that they will never acknowledge, but is always apparent.

i see house and wilson (as i've said before) as two halves of a whole, two damaged and hurting human beings who find comfort, safety, and wholeness in their relationship. they're kindred spirits, bonded for life. i, too, view them as brothers, but i believe that whether we see them as friends, brothers, soulmates, or lovers, it all boils down to one thing-- we all believe that each is vital to the other's existence.
3rd-Jun-2007 07:36 pm (UTC)
Then everything happens so quickly, Wilson’s powerless to stop it. House flings the board across the room and, never pausing, reaches up and rips the endotracheal tube from his throat. There’s blood coming from his mouth from the traumatic removal, and the vent alarm is screeching, and Wilson leaps out of his chair, and—

O.O

So... intense... *faint*
3rd-Jun-2007 07:50 pm (UTC)
*faint*

i was hoping for strong reactions--that one works for me! ;)
3rd-Jun-2007 08:14 pm (UTC)
GAH that nightmare nearly killed me. Poor Wilson >.< ... I really hope things start to get at least a little better soon, or at least that House regains consciousness long enough to make an appearance. Wilson is so alone with his depressing thoughts...
Wonderful chapter, can't wait to read more!!
3rd-Jun-2007 08:34 pm (UTC)
Wilson is so alone with his depressing thoughts...

and he's about to get a visitor, so he's not gonna be alone for long (veg). tune in tomorrow..... ;)
3rd-Jun-2007 08:40 pm (UTC)
okay...now that my mouth is closed...(yes there was an audible snap).....excellent twist with the dream bit. That is creepy.
3rd-Jun-2007 08:55 pm (UTC)
excellent twist with the dream bit.

i do like to throw in a twist once in a while; keeps things interesting... (and no, wilson's visitor isn't house!) ;)
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