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Cats' Corners: the little HOUSE in the woods....
Where House is NEVER safe...
The More Things Change... Chapter TWENTY-NINE 
7th-Jun-2007 09:24 am
HWb&w
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
Chapter Twenty-Six
Chapter Twenty-Seven
Chapter Twenty-Eight



CHAPTER TWENTY-NINE:  TAKING CHANCES

 

When Wilson returns to House’s cubicle, Chase hasn’t yet arrived.  Cuddy, pale and anxious, is searching Wilson’s face as he walks toward her—so he quickly smiles, nods, tells her, “It’s okay.”

 

Cuddy is torn between hope and disbelief.  “What happened?  What did he say?”

 

Wilson leads her over to the cot; they sit, and he hands her a cup of coffee.  “He said that in the last three years, he’s learned that even House can’t save everyone.  He said he’s learned that sometimes doctors have to make the tough decisions.  And then… then he said that he’d decided that he’d rather err on the side of life.  He’s gonna give us a chance, give House a chance, to beat this thing!  He’s setting up the new meds with the pharmacist now.”

 

“But what—I don’t understand!  How did you change his mind?”

 

Wilson shakes his head; he isn’t sure either.  “I just told him that if I were in his position, I didn’t know what I’d do.  He thanked me for my honesty, told me to get back here, that House needs his family….”

 

Cuddy grabs for Wilson’s hand, and they sit there in silence, drawing strength and comfort from one another, for several minutes.  Then Wilson stands and approaches the bedside.

 

“House, listen up.  Bought us some more time.  We’re not out of the woods yet, though—not by a long shot.  So here’s the plan.  I’m gonna work even harder on finding the answers.  And I won’t let you down.  All I need for you to do is to keep fighting.  I know you’re tired; I know it’d be easy to give up.  But you can’t.  You won’t, because there’s a puzzle still on the table.  And you’ve never, ever given up on a puzzle.  Remember Ester?  Twelve years, House.  And you solved it.  I’m not asking for twelve years; just a few days.  Just keep fighting for a few more days.”

 

Cuddy joins Wilson, leans over the bedrail and says to House, “Wilson may be the only one you listen to—and you don’t even do that on a regular basis.  But this is an order, House.  Remember me?  The boss?  Your boss?  I’m ordering you to stay with us.  I just… won’t accept anything less.  Got me?”

 

When Cuddy straightens up and looks at Wilson, there are tears in her eyes, but she’s smiling.  She says sternly to Wilson, “This is one memo from Administration he’d damned well better not disregard.  The no-lab-coat thing, I can live with.  The no-House thing; not an option.  And don’t think I’m unaware of who sees to it that he does follow the odd order, here and there.  You just make sure he knows this one’s nonnegotiable.”

 

“Hear that, House?” Wilson moves to the other side of the bed.  “You’re amazing; you don’t even have to be conscious to get me in trouble with Cuddy!  You still owe me for that stunt you pulled with the home health care agency—don’t leave me holding the bag on this one, too.”

 

Cuddy cocks her head.  “Think I should tell him that I recently heard that Hell consists of Clinic duty, 24/7?  And that all the patients have some variant of the common cold?”

 

Wilson chuckles softly.  “That should do it.”

 

In the doorway, Chase observes them as he gowns up.  They’re silent now, content to stand on either side of the bed, just watching House continue to breathe, to live.  It doesn’t seem to matter to either of them that a machine controls the breathing, or that other machines are controlling pretty much everything else.  All that seems to matter is that House is still here, that he has a chance.  

 

Chase sees the hope, and the love, in their faces, and the last bit of ambivalence he’d had about disregarding House’s wishes fades away.  If you could see your friends now, House, even you would understand, he thinks.  They aren’t ready, and even if all I did was buy them a little time to get ready, I’m hoping you’re okay with it.

 

Cuddy and Wilson look up as Chase enters the room.  Both pairs of eyes are riveted to the bag of medication he carries.  Chase knows that this is the time to tell them that the bag holds no magic, that the only guarantee it might offer is a lifetime of dialysis for House.  But he also knows that they’re aware of the facts; it’s a chance they’re willing to take.  So he silently hangs the medication, brushes off their whispered thanks, leaves them with their fragile hopes intact for a little while longer.

 

Once Chase has gone, Wilson leaves House’s side to return to his laptop.  He’s all too aware of everything Chase had chosen not to say, and he knows that every hour that passes without a definitive answer means that House is an hour closer to chronic renal failure, to spending the remainder of his life reliant on both the cane and on the machine that’s currently standing in for his kidneys.  It still causes Wilson great pain, fathomless regret, that he’ll never be able to do anything to change the situation with House’s leg—but he’s determined that the dialyzer won’t become a part of the landscape of House’s life too.

 

Cuddy remains at House’s side.  She’s holding his hand, stroking his arm, whispering to him.  Wilson can’t hear what she’s saying—but it isn’t difficult to read the expression on her face.

 

Wilson smiles to himself.  You know what, House?  When this is all over, you might wanna save another patient, score another pair of tickets to a play.  And this time, you take Cuddy.  And… be a gentleman.  That beautiful, crazy lady knows you pretty well—and she cares about you anyway.  Go figure.  So you show her you’re worth caring about.  Remember what I told you?  Start small.  One step at a time.  I’ve got a feeling that all those little steps might take you somewhere you haven’t been in a long, long, time….

 

A quiet ping from the computer interrupts Wilson’s thoughts, and he quickly clicks over to his email box; he’s been expecting important correspondence, information that could turn this whole thing around.  He scans the email rapidly, and then rereads it more carefully, the expression on his face changing from one of hope to one of defeat.  Cuddy glances up at the slam of the laptop’s cover.

 

“What’s the matter?” she asks, walking over to join him.

 

“Nothing.  Everything.  I don’t know… this doesn’t change anything.  Can’t let it get me down.  I’ve been in contact with a team of researchers at UCLA.  They’re working with a compound that shows great activity against VRSA.  No renal toxicity.  It’s excreted primarily by the liver, but even that—it breaks down almost completely in the body, so by the time it gets to the liver, it’s virtually harmless.”

 

“Sounds like exactly what House needs,” Cuddy says.  “So what’s the problem?”

 

“First test group’s begun to show blood dyscrasias.  Irreversible neutropenia.  With the prednisone already tanking House’s immune system… he’s not a candidate.”

 

Both are silent for a moment, and then Wilson takes a deep breath, squares his shoulders.  “That’s okay.  It’s okay.  Just have to work a little harder, that’s all.  There’s something out there, and I’m gonna find it.  Made him a promise; I’m going to keep it.”

 

Wilson opens the laptop again, and within moments is absorbed in a new abstract that’s just arrived.

 

Cuddy returns to House and asks him quietly if he knows just how important he is to Wilsonand to her.

 

And House, of course, has no answer.

Chapter Thirty

Thoughts 
7th-Jun-2007 01:50 pm (UTC)
Oh wow! Thank you!!!

*sigh* this is so hard to read! I knew Cuddy would *have* to talk to House =). This is actually much much better than I pictured, so thank you!

The story just keeps on twisting and turning and I'm loving every minute of it! I just really felt the love, the safety that Wilson and Cuddy are providing for House. There is nothing demeaning about it, just pure care and love. It feels so real!

7th-Jun-2007 01:54 pm (UTC)
The story just keeps on twisting and turning and I'm loving every minute of it! you're welcome! always glad to hear that the story is continuing to entertain you; at this point in the writing, it really is the encouragement that keeps me going. :)
7th-Jun-2007 02:35 pm (UTC)
[Funny you mentioned "All-In", the Esther patient, because it's precisely the episode that was broadcast yesterday night in France. Weird.]

"The no-lab-coat thing, I can live with. The no-House thing; not an option". Loved that line and what it says about Cuddy's love for House.
I feel happy too that Chase had a chance to witness the scene : it makes things easier for him, he deserved that.
Now, I soooo wish House's was awake to help them. He's the puzzle solver, the brilliant diagnostician, the infectious disease specialist, but well, I have no idea how medically it would be possible so, I guess I'll have to wait a little longer.
If you need encouragement at this point of this story, well I'm sure you'll get a huge amount of them. I know we're a lot of fan readers who are completely and heartily wrapped in your story. You do good to us.

PS : I also wanted to thank you for the time you always take to answer each comment you receive. Makes me (us) feel that we're really communicating, that, thanks to you, there is, here, a real exchange between human beings. You offer us your talent, we try to show you our gratitude and enthusiasm, and in return you show us that you care that we care. There's no better place to be to read a fic than here. It's important to me to tell you so and I think it's important to you to know it.
7th-Jun-2007 02:50 pm (UTC)
Makes me (us) feel that we're really communicating, that, thanks to you, there is, here, a real exchange between human beings. You offer us your talent, we try to show you our gratitude and enthusiasm, and in return you show us that you care that we care.

oh, yes! i can't say this often enough; while i'm enjoying writing the story, and i'm so pleased that you all are enjoying it so much, the truly special part of this for me has been the chance to communicate with you, listen to your ideas and opinions--not only about the characters, but about the issues the story revolves around, and how they affect us.

It's important to me to tell you so and I think it's important to you to know it.

you are so correct--it is very important to me. i write for my own pleasure, of course--but i also write for yours, and with every story, after a time, the enjoyment of the readers becomes even more important to me than my own. some say that's a bad thing--but i think that anyone who wants to share a talent, large or small, with the rest of the world, feels the same way, at least to some degree.
(Deleted comment)
7th-Jun-2007 03:19 pm (UTC)
would you please get outta my head!!! you have this... uncanny way... of bringing things up, and touching on issues, that i've just finished writing about for upcoming chapters. it's SPOOKY! i mean, really really odd. if you knew the lines i've just gotten done typing (wilson to chase, chapter 30--look for 'em tomorrow) you'd see exactly why i'm so freaked out. and this isn't the first time you've 'predicted' my story direction correctly. i repeat--spooky!! ;)
(Deleted comment)
7th-Jun-2007 03:46 pm (UTC)
Was this chapter supposed to be optimistic? Pessimistic? I can't really tell. I think I got both. Le sigh. I need you to hold up cue cards. Brilliant chapter, regardless. And, regarding the cue cards, maybe they should have Wilson's and Cuddy's faces on them. House's...while entertaining, his speech and gait are better than his voice for discerning emotion. *nods* I think you understand.
7th-Jun-2007 03:53 pm (UTC)
while entertaining, his speech and gait are better than his voice for discerning emotion.

i agree--to a degree. you didn't mention his eyes, those phenomenally expressive eyes--they almost always tell how he's really feeling, especially when it's wilson with whom he's communicating.

and as long as i've mentioned wilson, let me just point out that his incredible eyyes do a helluvalot of effective communicating as well, especially when the recipient is house! (user icon happens to be the amazing eyes of my own baby!house)
7th-Jun-2007 04:03 pm (UTC) - Com'on, more hope needed
Anonymous
quick comment, it is touching, but Wilson is quite talky, I would have thought he would do it only when they are alone together.
Nevertheless nice work on portraying their love to House. And more hope needed:)
7th-Jun-2007 04:07 pm (UTC) - Re: Com'on, more hope needed
wilson's trust in cuddy is slowly growing--that's why i had him do the inner monologue, directed at house, about cuddy. so you're right--at the start of the story, it would've definitely been out of place, and maybe even out of character, for wilson to speak aloud to house as he has in this chapter. but now... maybe not so much?
7th-Jun-2007 05:41 pm (UTC)
Hopefully that new abstract will be a bit more helpful. And if only everyone could have friends like these. *sighs*. I hope that man realises how lucky he is!
7th-Jun-2007 05:52 pm (UTC)
I hope that man realises how lucky he is!

you know, i've been thinking a lot about that recently. yeah, he's lucky--but there has to be more to it than that. there's got to be... some element in house that engenders so much loyalty, that makes wilson put up with everything house puts him through and then cheerfully come back for more. goes without saying that wilson admires a lot of things about house, but i think it's more than that. also goes without saying that being friends with house does feed wilson's need to be needed. but that's not all it is, either.

so this is the conclusion i've drawn: that same indefinable quality that makes us care so deeply about a character who, himself, seems to care for very little, is the very quality that wilson, too, recognizes and appreciates. yeah, i know that shore & co. have denied repeatedly that house even has a heart. well... i think they're wrong. and i think wilson thinks they're wrong, too. so there! ;)
7th-Jun-2007 07:01 pm (UTC)
Loved it. Seriously. It was especially nice being shown Cuddy and Wilson's feelings through Chase's eyes: "If you could see your friends now, House, even you would understand, he thinks." That was just perfection. I know how Cuddy and Wilson feel, and of course it's moving hearing them express it to House, but there's something powerful about seeing it through an outside observer, someone who's not part of their familial trinity, but still deeply inveseted in the situation. Chase's evolution of feelings in these last few parts has been really great (which is saying a lot considering just how partial I am to House and Wilson). Wonderful stuff, looking forward to the next.
7th-Jun-2007 07:35 pm (UTC)
It was especially nice being shown Cuddy and Wilson's feelings through Chase's eyes: "If you could see your friends now, House, even you would understand, he thinks."

i find myself attempting to justify (to myself) chase's turnabout; i figured the best way to do that would be to have him quietly observe the two people who love house the most--so nice to know it worked! thanks!!
7th-Jun-2007 08:14 pm (UTC)
Aww, look at Chase; our little boy is growing up! In the show, they always make out that Foreman is House junior but I think it is Chase who fills the role (he just doesn't have disability and chronic pain to make him quite so bitter). He has all the foundations of being a doctor as excellent as House with more experience but he also has the bedside manner of someone like Wilson.

And is that very mild hints of romance between House and Cuddy that I detect? If the producers ever do decide to go down the path of giving House romance, I'd prefer it with Cuddy than Cameron (I don't mind the latter but he'd just walk all over her whereas Cuddy meets him on equal grounds).
7th-Jun-2007 08:21 pm (UTC)
And is that very mild hints of romance between House and Cuddy that I detect?

yup, but just oh-so-mild innuendo, to reflect canon of the last few episodes (whatever S3 canon was.....)
7th-Jun-2007 08:47 pm (UTC)
I was thinking about saying there is no one I have seen better at torturing House, but I then realized you can't torture somebody if they are unconscious. If anyone, you're torturing poor Wilson...which I can live with quite well. :) Anywayz, fabulous chapter as always. It's almost like they are always taking one step forward and two steps back when it comes to treating House. However, I know they'll find something, though. They HAVE to! Wilson can do it! (please prove to me the power of positive thinking and let House live).
7th-Jun-2007 09:08 pm (UTC)
They HAVE to! Wilson can do it! (please prove to me the power of positive thinking and let House live).

lol! i so need a macro that says not killing house--i could save so much time! although i am getting pretty fast at typing that phrase, practice making perfect and all that rot!

and yeah--most of the agony is currently wilson's. i guess there are worse things than being drugged an unconscious.....
7th-Jun-2007 10:47 pm (UTC)
oh i'm sure he knows....he is house after all.
7th-Jun-2007 11:10 pm (UTC)
oh i'm sure he knows

knows... what? (confuzzled author here)
7th-Jun-2007 11:42 pm (UTC)
Ah, there is the realistic Chase that I've come to know. I cannot wait for the next chapter, this is getting really good. Just curious, haven't they realized that House doesn't believe in hell? Even if that doesn't get him out of things, then he'd probably have fun tormenting the devil more then the devil gets pleasure out of tormenting him. Its great! Anyhow my 12:40 am rambling aside, I honestly cannot wait to see what the two optimists come up with next. I have to wonder though, what's going on in that mind of House's?
7th-Jun-2007 11:52 pm (UTC)
Just curious, haven't they realized that House doesn't believe in hell?

after three years, i'm still trying to figure out if house is a believer, an agnostic, or an athiest. i tend to think he's an agnostic; virtually every scientifically-minded person i've ever known is. i truly don't think he's an athiest; i think he'd have out-and-out stated that, if it were so. he talks somewhat disparagingly about God--but has never denied His existence.

as to what's going on in house's mind currently, that's an intriguing question--to which i have absolutely no answer at all! feel free to use your imagination! ;)
8th-Jun-2007 02:15 am (UTC)
I almost missed this when I skimmed through the comm today because *gasp* you weren't using the same icon that you have been for, well, forever! ;)

Anyway, random observations aside, this story never gets less heart-rending for me. Sure, Chase agreed to the new medication, but we turn right around to have one more possible route knocked out.
8th-Jun-2007 11:37 am (UTC)
Sure, Chase agreed to the new medication, but we turn right around to have one more possible route knocked out

and it's still... gonna get worse, if you can believe that. (feeling overwhelmingly guilty at my own inventive cruelty)
8th-Jun-2007 04:56 am (UTC)
Mmm, delicious. Just love it, every chapter. It's nice to come home to hope after some three hours of reading T.S. Eliot's poetry, which is not the most hopeful stuff by any stretch. Even if hope is an illusion, it's comforting and therein lies its value.

This is also interesting: I don't typically - or ever, really - read fics in which House is absent for an appreciable amount of time. I'm very impressed, therefore, at the way you've made him almost overly present while simultaneously silent. I don't miss him. I can't. He's on everyone's mind. And yet he's not there. *Very* well done.
8th-Jun-2007 11:40 am (UTC)
him almost overly present while simultaneously silent

*jumps up and down with glee whilst simultaneously attempting not to hit myself with cane* that's exactly the feeling i was trying to convey! and sy says i pulled it off!!! YAY!!!!!!! :)
8th-Jun-2007 08:44 pm (UTC)
the eternal coffee addict. some one should make you an icon that says "Coffe: My Vicodin" or something wittier.

This is so depressing, ugh between you and Betz, you'd think you had it in for poor Jimmy and House. Though I have no doubt Wilson will find that answer just in the nick of time... or maybe not. One can never tell with you ;)

-ANimal