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Cats' Corners: the little HOUSE in the woods....
Where House is NEVER safe...
The More Things Change... Chapter THIRTY 
8th-Jun-2007 08:08 am
Seriously?
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


CHAPTER THIRTY:  LITTLE THINGS

 

When Chase enters House’s cubicle shortly before 2:00pm, he makes a point of smiling warmly at Wilson.  “Would it be all right to examine him?” he asks; his tone is deferential.

 

“Of course.”  Wilson joins Chase at the bedside, and remains silent during Chase’s assessment.

 

Chase removes the stethoscope from his ears.  “There’s still fluid in the lower lobes, but his breath sounds are improving.  And the generalized edema’s decreased.  His nurse told me that his temp’s stayed below 103 today.”  He pulls a lab slip from his pocket and hands it to Wilson.  “White count’s still in the basement, but his BUN and creatinine have both fallen since yesterday.  Even though his urinary output hasn’t changed, that indicates an improvement in renal function.”  Chase appears sincerely happy to be able to share this small piece of positive news with Wilson.

 

Wilson studies the lab results, then looks at Chase.  “Thank you.”

 

“For what?”

 

“I know that… none of this is what you would’ve chosen.  But you’re giving it everything you’ve got anyway.  And you’re doing a damned good job of pretending to understand why I made the decisions I did.  Means a lot.”

 

“But I do understand, Dr. Wilson.  I’ve understood from the beginning.  The situation… is what it is.  And at this point there’s little to be gained, for anyone, by not supporting your choices.”

 

Wilson regards Chase with a new respect.  “I hope House has at least mentioned to you how much you’ve grown as a doctor,” he says.

 

Chase laughs.  “You’re kidding, right?”

 

Wilson smiles wryly.  “Then I’ll tell you.  You’ve grown a lot these past three years; you’ve become a physician I’d be proud to have care for me, or my family.”  Wilson looks at House.  “I am proud to have you caring for my family,” he says quietly.

 

Chase acknowledges the kind words with a brief nod.  He appreciates the praise, especially coming from Wilson—but after working with House for so long, he isn’t quite comfortable with it.  So he changes the subject.  “Leigh Tarrington came in for a follow-up yesterday.”

 

 “The young woman from the group home?  How’s she doing?”

 

“She appears to be recovering uneventfully.”  Chase shrugs.

 

“How can that be?  Shouldn’t she be on different antibiotics, something stronger?”

 

“Apparently she’s doing well on the oral rifampin.”

 

“I think we need to put her on Zyvox.  If the infection mutates—”

 

“Dr. Wilson, she isn’t ill!  There’s no reason to put her on oral linezolid.  You have to remember, her infection isn’t systemic.  She hasn’t been on months of prednisone, years of opioids and NSAIDs.  Her case is completely different; she’s going to be fine.”

 

“But look at House, how sick he is!  And it was Leigh’s blood he was inoculated with.  Aren’t we risking her health by just assuming it’s all under control?”

 

Chase knows that Wilson is simply projecting his worry over House onto Leigh, and that somewhere in his subconscious mind, he’s also railing over the injustice of House having to go through this.  So he answers as gently as he can.  “She… isn’t House.  And there are many cases where localized infection responds differently than systemic does; it’s well documented.  No one understands all the reasons why, but it happens.  Bottom line is, she got lucky; House didn’t.”

 

Wilson contemplates Chase’s understatement as he looks at House, who’s currently undergoing dialysis.  Each session is removing a significant amount of fluid, and House even looks a little better.  But Wilson knows that the improvement will be fleeting, now that he’s back on nephrotoxic medication—unless they can find something, fast, that’ll fight the VRSA without affecting House’s compromised renal function, or throwing him into liver failure.  And so far, he’s hit nothing but dead ends in his research.

 

“I take it Cameron and Foreman haven’t had any luck with the VRSA studies in Canada, have they?” he asks Chase.

 

“I’d have told you.  But Cameron’s trying to figure out if there’s a safe way to boost House’s immune system without adding to his current problems.”

 

“Did they double check?  Have they spoken directly with the people in charge of the trials?”

 

“I’m certain they did.  If House has taught us anything, it’s how to be thorough, not overlook the slightest thing.”

 

“Could you check with them again, please?  Make sure they’ve spoken with the right people?  The trial House needs is out there, somewhere. We can’t afford to take the chance that some misinformation, communicated by the wrong person, could cause us to overlook something that might save House’s life.”

 

“I’ll confirm it with Cameron and Foreman,” Chase says patiently.

 

“And would you mind making sure that they’re tracking down those older abstracts I asked for, at the medical library?  I emailed Cameron a list this morning, and I haven’t heard back from her yet.  There might be something vital there; I’ve got to have those copies.  Can’t afford to leave any stone unturned—I need Cameron to get the abstracts to me just as soon as possible.”

 

Wilson is pacing as he speaks, and Chase can tell that he’s becoming agitated with his own inability to solve this puzzle for House; he’s seen House exhibit the same behaviors many times when a case has been tough, when the answers stay just out of reach.

 

Chase regards Wilson for a moment.  “We don’t want to lose him either, Dr. Wilson.  We’re all working very hard to get this figured out.  You do know that, don’t you?”

 

Wilson stops pacing, sighs and shakes his head.  “Of course I know that.  I’m sorry, Chase.  Seem to be saying that to you a lot lately, don’t I?  It’s just….”

 

Chase says kindly, “It’s all right—really.  We understand how hard this is for you.  And if you really want to know, all your… criticism… makes it a bit easier for me; kind’ve like having House peering over my shoulder.  That’s a good thing, by the way.”  He smiles.

 

“Thanks, Chase; I… appreciate that.  But… you can’t understand everything that’s at stake here.  It’s not just House’s life, or even his health.  He deserves… so much more than he’s gotten lately, especially from me.  I’ve got a lot to make up to him, and I want the chance to do that.  This isn’t the way I would’ve chosen, but we play the cards we’re dealt.  And I intend to win this hand.”

 

“If anyone can, Dr. Wilson, I don’t doubt that it’ll be you.  House is really lucky to have you.”

 

Wilson deflects the compliment; “We’re all lucky to have him, Chase.  That might be… difficult… to remember sometimes, but he really is worth the aggravation he causes.”  Wilson smiles faintly, then goes to the bedside and begins House’s oral care.

 

Chase starts to remind Wilson that the nurses can do it; then he remembers something.  He and Cameron had been tending to a newborn in the NICU, an infant who could be dying.  The young parents hadn’t even had a real chance to bond yet with their child.  So Cameron had called the couple—standing anxiously at the viewing window—in, to ‘help’ change the sheet on the isolette.  She’d had them lift their child.  And that small opportunity to actually touch the infant, to do something for their baby, had brought the parents so much comfort.  So now Chase realizes why these apparently menial tasks are so important to Wilson; Chase says nothing.

 

As Wilson finishes the oral care and begins range of motion exercises, he looks at Chase.  “Mind turning on the TV?  Almost time for the soaps.”

 

Chase hits the remote button, looks quizzically at Wilson.

 

Wilson smiles wryly.  “Just trying to keep a little bit of… uh… normalcy in House’s life.  Yeah, I know he probably can’t hear the TV—or me—but it gives us a break, a way to… push aside what’s happening, for a little while.”

 

Chase feels a rush of compassion for this man who’s willing to risk anything, do everything, to help House live.  He walks to Wilson’s side, places a warm hand on his shoulder, and squeezes.  “You’re doing a great job,” he says sincerely.

 

As Chase leaves the cubicle, he can’t help wondering what effect it’ll have on Wilson when House dies.  Chase hopes that Wilson will be able to find solace in remembering all he’s doing now to provide comfort for House.  Wilson’s being given a gift—a chance to say goodbye to a man who’s been so central to his life.  When it’s over, he’ll have that, and Chase can’t help but envy him.  He thinks of his father’s death, the way he’d found out, all the missed chances.  Chase hadn’t been prepared, and it haunts him still.  Watching House die is difficult; it’s horrible—but at least there’ll be time for goodbyes.

Chapter Thirty-One


Thoughts 
8th-Jun-2007 12:45 pm (UTC)
"...when House dies..."

You know, if I didn't know that House will live, I would honestly be a crying mess now. Hard to articulate everything from this chapter.... Just poignant and sweet and loving. You portray Chase and Wilson so well and I'm sure that you are tired of hearing this, but the characterisation is just amazing! Thank you so much for all your hard work!
8th-Jun-2007 01:13 pm (UTC)
You portray Chase and Wilson so well and I'm sure that you are tired of hearing this, but the characterisation is just amazing!

nope--never, ever, ever get tired of hearing that my characterizations are acceptable--one of my biggest fears as a writer is going OOC, especially with house or wilson. but if that were to happen, i'd want to know that too, so i could fix it. thanks!
8th-Jun-2007 01:30 pm (UTC)
Oh, that last paragraph is so heartbreaking- both the when House dies and Chase hoping it will help Wilson to have the time to say goodbye (and knowing Chase didn't have that chance when his father died.) And I could really hear Chase and Wilson's voices as I was reading this- it really fit the two of them! (Not that I couldn't before, but it was really strong here!)

*hugs*
8th-Jun-2007 01:38 pm (UTC)
Oh, that last paragraph is so heartbreaking- both the when House dies and Chase hoping it will help Wilson

i rewrote that final paragraph a minimum of five times (just ask poor, patient blackmare!) and it means so much to have confirmation that the work and agonizing over the words was worth it. thank you! (and of course--thanks as well for confirming the characterizations are acceptable!)
8th-Jun-2007 03:20 pm (UTC)
You sneaked in a bunch of changes to the beginning of this, while I wasn't looking. And I like those changes oh so much. The entrance into the scene flows a lot better now, with the additions to Chase and Wilson's conversation.

I'll probably have more to say once my coffee kicks in. :-)

8th-Jun-2007 03:35 pm (UTC)
you... insisted on those changes because of wilson's original... abruptness, at the start of this chapter--but you might have been sleep-betaing! ;) as i recall, you were exhausted, and i was panicked, and... well, this is what came of it, and i'm happy you approve!!
8th-Jun-2007 03:40 pm (UTC)
Huh. All I recall saying was that the punctuation of one short sentence made the meaning slightly unclear.

I asked for a rose and you planted a whole rosebush! Love it.
8th-Jun-2007 03:47 pm (UTC)
asked for a rose and you planted a whole rosebush!

greatly enjoying that imagery; thanks! and yeah--but you know quite well that when you give criticism that i know to be valid, my brain goes into hyperdrive, so for each word you ask for, i'll give you twenty instead! ;)
(Deleted comment)
8th-Jun-2007 05:09 pm (UTC)
The slight improvement in renal function is a small step in the right direction, just hope the positive trend continues.

oooops--sorry, no? ;)

older journals containing the original source materials are not available online and are required quite often by the researchers

yup--found this out the hard way while researching this story, so threw it in for a bit of realism!

I also liked that Chase is really showing here how much he's grown

and... i'm liking him better, too! ;)


8th-Jun-2007 05:09 pm (UTC)
***Note to Dr. Chase: gosh chase. i thought you knew that House doesn't die easily....and the only way there'll be time for goodbyes is if House wakes up.~~~Sincerely, KRH

***Note to kidsnurse: Keep it up! Me can't wait for more!~~~KRH
8th-Jun-2007 05:11 pm (UTC)
***note to KRH: attempting (desperately!) to keep it up--heading now into the home stretch..... :)
8th-Jun-2007 06:10 pm (UTC)
I really love your Chase in this section -- practicing his bedside manner on the patient's family and all. This is probably the one way that House could teach his fellows the compassionate demeanor that can be so valuable for a doctor -- suffer a serious illness under their care, and have Wilson there.
:-)
8th-Jun-2007 06:25 pm (UTC)
[House] suffer a serious illness under their care, and have Wilson there

i hadn't previously thought of that; you're right! see, this is what i love, when i learn or realize something, from the fascinating perceptions you kids share so generously with me. thank you!
8th-Jun-2007 06:29 pm (UTC)
"when House dies"

*calms self down*

I really love the way you write Chase, just had to throw that in there. That last paragraph was simply lovely (despite being heartwrenching)
8th-Jun-2007 06:47 pm (UTC)
That last paragraph was simply lovely

and again, you kids make me feel that the half-dozen initial incarnations of that particular paragraph were, indeed, worth all the work! thanks.
8th-Jun-2007 06:33 pm (UTC)
Wow..
"So Cameron had called the couple—standing anxiously at the viewing window—in, to ‘help’ change the sheet on the isolette. She’d had them lift their child. And that small opportunity to actually touch the infant, to do something for their baby, had brought the parents so much comfort. So now Chase realizes why these apparently menial tasks are so important to Wilson; Chase says nothing."

Yep. Been there, done that SO many times! Not only providing care, comfort, information..but letting patients families DO for them, even when they might be "in my way" at times. Making them part of the process to the extent that they are able, and want to be.. it's one of the gifts of caring.
8th-Jun-2007 06:51 pm (UTC)
Making them part of the process to the extent that they are able, and want to be.. it's one of the gifts of caring.

and you know what, in a way, i think that it's even more essential for wilson--because under "normal" circumstances, theirs isn't a touchy-feely friendship, so it means even more now, to both of them (because i believe house is aware of it, on a subconscious level, at least).
8th-Jun-2007 08:41 pm (UTC)
I love Wilson is projecting on Leigh. I love these disease can easily mutate into something else. Poor Wilson. Thank you for keeping Chase a person who is being realistic or at least more cautious then Cuddy and Wilson are being. His ability to understand Wilson's point of view makes everything even better.

*Laughs* It is nice to know that some of House's habits have rubbed off on Wilson. I'm glad Chase finds comfort in that too. So what's Cuddy been doing? Hopefully typing up that restraining order against Cameron. (Are we sure Cameron is even researching? She may just be messing around trying to stop "Wilson's tyranny.")
8th-Jun-2007 10:44 pm (UTC)
Are we sure Cameron is even researching? She may just be messing around trying to stop "Wilson's tyranny."

man--take one little nap, and you kids get active! ;)

not too sure what cameron's been up to. we'll be seeing her pretty soon, though. (yeah... sorry)

8th-Jun-2007 11:27 pm (UTC)
*Looks pitiful, tears rolling down her face* Don't you want her to get infected and die a painful death? All you have to do is type a few lines and then there goes Cameron. RIP. Away from New Jersey. In a sanctified grave. In Haiti. Where a witch doctor makes sure her body and soul stay there and far away from House and Wilson.

*grins again unable to hold the pitiful face* Come one this is the second time that Cameron has confronted Wilson and gotten away with it. I think if she does it again Wilson should get a restraining order on her. Or at least have him mark House as his All Camerons Prohibited From Touching On Penalty of A Long and Drawn Out Death. Whacha think? *smiles innocently and begs for coffee*;<)
8th-Jun-2007 11:35 pm (UTC)
okay, you win *waves white flag* (but only because i'm still laughing too hard to type effectively) **hands coffee to sydnetlover150 whilst simultaneously stabbing cameron to death with house's corkscrew cane** ;)
(Deleted comment)
8th-Jun-2007 11:37 pm (UTC)
Kill Cameron, quickly and messily

just did, with house's corkscrew cane! (see above) ;)
9th-Jun-2007 12:11 am (UTC)
*Grins* I got coffee!!! Now what have i started though. I think the corkscrew cane would be quite painful. I still like the voodoo idea though. Honestly we ship her off to the Caribbean, to an island where they still practice voodoo. There we can have a witch doctor administer the zombie serum and it effectively looks like she's dead. (Thank you Puffer fish) Then she gets buried, witch doctor digs her up, she works as a zombie (hard labour baby!) for twenty years, while House and Wilson live happily ever after some place warm where there is no clinic duty. *takes a sip of her hard earned coffee and grins* Well? Is that painful enough for you?
9th-Jun-2007 12:16 am (UTC)
Then she gets buried, witch doctor digs her up, she works as a zombie (hard labour baby!) for twenty years, while House and Wilson live happily ever after some place warm where there is no clinic duty.

okay, you convinced me--i'm in! (largely because i have no desire to clean up all that camblood (gawd knows where she's been!) ;)
9th-Jun-2007 12:38 am (UTC)
Hehehehe, have a good night!
8th-Jun-2007 09:04 pm (UTC)
"When House dies..." Ouch, that was just plain painful to read. I'm going to have to stick with my faith that you won't kill him (especially in light of the promised sequel). Lovely chapter, especially, Wilson's actions taking care of House, and of course the conversation between him and Chase.
Btw, I wasn't sure if you followed the TWoP boards, and thought you might be interested to know that this fic was the topic of some well-deserved praise today (in addition to the usual daily links to the updates typically posted there). :)
8th-Jun-2007 10:49 pm (UTC)
I'm going to have to stick with my faith that you won't kill him

here goes that macro again: not killing House! ;)

Btw, I wasn't sure if you followed the TWoP boards

last time i went to TWoP, my brain blew up! :) but blackmare did tell me about all the kind words, and i'm much appreciative, believe me!!!

8th-Jun-2007 09:26 pm (UTC) - Review the Third (Dr. Fantabulous)
Anonymous
This story has continued to sum up the idea of the season- the ducklings becoming 'physicians' and the rift between House and Wilson- perfectly. Everybody's sooo in character, fantastic ;)
8th-Jun-2007 10:53 pm (UTC) - Re: Review the Third (Dr. Fantabulous)
Everybody's sooo in character, fantastic

ahhhh--one of my favorite phrases; thank you!! and by the way, dear dr. f., it's so nice to finally be able to reply to you, and to thank you so very much for all your loyalty and support over the past year! so many times, over at the pit, i wanted badly to respond to you, to thank you, and was unable to do so. so--a GREAT BIG THANK YOU for sticking with me, and every one of my stories, so very faithfully!!!
8th-Jun-2007 10:14 pm (UTC)
As Chase leaves the cubicle, he can’t help wondering what effect it’ll have on Wilson when House dies.

o.O When? O.o WHEN? D: NO.

I reject your diagnosis and substitute my own:

IFIFIFIFIFIFIFIFIFIFIFIFIFIFIFIF.

/obnoxiousness

Now that that's out of my system. Oh, Chase, how your bleeding little wombat heart wounds me. Stirring up memories of Chase Sr. brings to mind all the times Chase has looked to House as a father-figure. Though, it does give me hope that you brought baby Maxine into the picture. I mean, she recovered from that one enterovirus infection, right? Right?

Oh dear. This story is going to drive me batty. ;) *love anyway*
8th-Jun-2007 10:44 pm (UTC)
lollolololololol!!!!
8th-Jun-2007 10:58 pm (UTC)
I reject your diagnosis and substitute my own:

FIFIFIFIetc


your diagnosis is... a french poodle? ;)

okay, here's the macro... again----->not killing House! sigh.... feeling better, sweetie? :) (and yup, maxine lived--and SO WILL HOUSE!)
8th-Jun-2007 11:25 pm (UTC)
the "when" in "when House dies" made me sniffle. But a lovely chapter. I /loved/ Chase's understanding of Wilson doing the little things. It's just, oh so wonderful. He needs a hug. From House. :P
8th-Jun-2007 11:43 pm (UTC)
I /loved/ Chase's understanding of Wilson doing the little things.

(just ran outside in front yard and watched space shuttle go up--one of the [very few] advantages of living in east central florida!)

yeah--and i even gave cameron credit for that (rare) compassionate, empathetic thing she did! :)
8th-Jun-2007 11:49 pm (UTC)
I'm one of these annoying people who doesn't take the time to give feedback as often as she should but I've been reading a number of your stories and they're absolutely outstanding - this one no exception! I'm a junior doc in England and usually even more medicine after work is the last thing I want. You, however, not only include a healthy degree of medical realism, you also make it all so extraordinarily human... the emotions you're exploring here are fantastic - if only all patients had loved ones who cared so deeply! Keep it coming! x
9th-Jun-2007 12:03 am (UTC)
I'm a junior doc in England and usually even more medicine after work is the last thing I want. You, however, not only include a healthy degree of medical realism, you also make it all so extraordinarily human...

then i see your endorsement of my stories as very high praise, indeed! and i'm glad the story is able to provide you with a bit of a break!
8th-Jun-2007 11:55 pm (UTC)
I agree with the others. It makes it really hard to believe that House will make it through this when you write chapters like this one. And you've again confirmed why I love Chase. He is made of awesome, damn it, and I will take your calling him the least of the three evils as a compliment on his behalf.

*nods*

Update soon? You know I need the distraction.
9th-Jun-2007 12:05 am (UTC)
He is made of awesome, damn it, and I will take your calling him the least of the three evils as a compliment on his behalf.

you have my permission to take it as such, love! ;)

You know I need the distraction.

i want you to relax. and breathe. and not indulge in frightening worst-case scenarios. you are very much in my thoughts and prayers.


9th-Jun-2007 12:31 am (UTC) - loooooooong day
all right, kiddies--i adore all the KillKookyKamKwickly plans! but... it's been a long one for me, and i'm off to bed in the (probably vain) hope that house and/or wilson will agree to speak to me tonight, regarding the denouement of this wee tale, but by all means--do carry on! ;)
9th-Jun-2007 02:32 am (UTC)
LIVE!!! HOUSE, LIVE!!
9th-Jun-2007 05:39 pm (UTC)
HOUSE, LIVE!!

i am oh, so, NOT killing house!!!! i SWEAR! ;)
9th-Jun-2007 05:31 pm (UTC)
MJ, you *are* going to make House get better right? I mean they both deserve so much more than time for goodbyes, they deserve to be *happy* for a change. And if House dies then Wilson will never live, he'll just give up. He'll just lay down and give up everything. YOU CAN'T LET HOUSE DIE!!!

BTW, totally in love with this story, bloody brilliant job you're doing here.
-ANimal
9th-Jun-2007 05:38 pm (UTC)
YOU CAN'T LET HOUSE DIE!!!

herewegoagain: not. killing. House! ;) (but i sure am having fun bringing him to the brink of death.....)
9th-Jun-2007 06:21 pm (UTC)
heh, sorry. kinda lost it for a moment. (you really are evil)

-ANimal
9th-Jun-2007 07:20 pm (UTC)
Well, our little Chase has finally grown up. I actually like him in this chapter; he's behaving like a human being. He's learned empathy. *applause*