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Cats' Corners: the little HOUSE in the woods....
Where House is NEVER safe...
The More Things Change... Chapter THIRTY-ONE 
9th-Jun-2007 07:06 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
Chapter Twenty-Five
Chapter Twenty-Six
Chapter Twenty-Seven
Chapter Twenty-Eight
Chapter Twenty-Nine
Chapter Thirty


IMPORTANT A/N:  I must “halt proceedings”, briefly, at this point, to offer a tremendous thanks to [info]blackmare_9.  Since Chapter 27, she’s been suddenly, involuntarily, and unexpectedly thrust into the role of sole first reader (didn’t do it on purpose—my other first reader apparently grew tired of the story), and she’s cheerfully stepped up to the plate, made time to comment, criticize, praise, and encourage, despite her own hectic life and even her own writing projects.  And there are… just not enough words to convey how very much that sacrifice means to me; friends like her are priceless.  Were it not for her, I would’ve had to halt proceedings for real after chapter 26, for an indeterminate amount of time.  SOOO, a hearty round of applause for  [info]blackmare_9, please!  mjf 

 

CHAPTER THIRTY-ONE:  SIGHT

 

Wilson’s just finished eating dinner with Cuddy when Cameron shows up.  It’s the first time she’s come here since she’d accused Wilson of torturing House, and he isn’t terribly happy to see her; it’s early evening, the unit is quieting down, House seems comfortable.  Wilson had been planning on some uninterrupted time for correspondence and then an hour of TV with House—their current version of a quiet night at home.

 

Cameron approaches the bed; she’s holding a syringe.  Wilson moves to block her access to House, and puts a hand on her arm to stop her; his eyes are cold.

 

“What’s that?” he asks.  His posture makes it clear that Cameron’s overstepped her bounds, and Cameron is insulted.

 

Watching Wilson standing so protectively over House, Cuddy’s reminded suddenly of a fierce soldier on the battlefield, standing guard over a mortally wounded comrade, a soldier suddenly reduced to the tender young boy he really is, fighting against impossible odds for his dying brother.

 

“Dr. Cameron,” Cuddy intervenes, “Dr. Wilson will be questioning everything you do; get used to it.  He’s the closest thing we have to House right now; you’re not to begin any new treatment without checking with him first.” 

 

Cameron nods her grudging understanding, and turns to Wilson.  “I’m sorry; I should have asked you.  It’s Neupogen.  I’ve researched its use in House’s situation, and I think it might help his immune system depression.”

 

Wilson frowns.  “We use it for chemo patients all the time—increases the white count, lets ‘em continue chemotherapy, cuts down on chances of infection.  But I’ve never heard of it being used to counteract the effects of prednisone.”

 

“It’s not been widely studied,” Cameron admits.  “But the risks are minimal, and it could really help.”  She hands Wilson the syringe.

 

Wilson examines the syringe thoughtfully, then nods and looks at Cameron.  “Thank you.  You’re right; won’t hurt him, and it could help.  I’ll let him know what’s going on, and why.  You don’t need to stay; I’ll administer it.”  Wilson turns his back on Cameron, effectively dismissing her.

 

Cameron looks to Cuddy for help; Cuddy says nothing, simply inclines her head towards the door.

 

Once Cameron has left, Wilson approaches the bed.  “House, Cameron thinks we might be able to boost your immune system with Neupogen.  I’m willing to give it a try.  Worst side effect might be bone pain, but you’re getting Dilaudid so that shouldn’t be a problem for you.” 

 

As Wilson speaks, he locates a site on House’s left arm for the subcutaneous injection.  Once he’s swabbed the site, he says, “Okay, quick pinch here, then we’re done.”  He gives the injection swiftly, then presses gently on the area.  He continues speaking quietly to House.  “Only thing I’ve heard patients complain about is soreness at the site, and they tell me a little pressure helps with that, so I’ll just hold on here for a minute.”

 

“You’re very good with him,” Cuddy observes quietly.

 

“Never know how much he’s aware of,” Wilson says sadly.  “Ironic, isn’t it?  I wait ‘til he probably can’t hear me to start treating him like a human being.  Maybe if I’d shown a little compassion months ago, a lot of things could’ve been avoided.  Talk about locking the barn door….”

 

Cuddy joins Wilson at the bedside.  “You told me yourself that it won’t do him any good now to wallow in the mistakes we made in the past.  All we can do is try to make it up to him—and that’s exactly what you’re doing.  Give yourself a little credit, okay?”

 

“Credit, for finally doing the right thing?  Doesn’t work that way.  No bonus points for doing too late what I should’ve been doing all along.  You know when I blew it?  Long time ago.  His first week back at work, when he came to me and told me he was in pain. And I… laughed at him.  Really; I laughed, told him he’d taken so much Vicodin he couldn’t even recognize the normal aches and pains of middle age.”

 

“But that was probably the truth!” Cuddy interjects.

 

“We’ll never know.  And the reason we’ll never know is, I let the window close.  Hell, it didn’t just close, it slammed shut.  Told you back then that we had a small window of time when he might be healthy enough to change.  What I didn’t realize was, House was giving me a window, too.  And I consciously closed it—locked it and threw away the key.  And then… I drew the blinds over it!”

 

“What are you talking about?”

 

“When House showed up in my office.  He didn’t come in there as a friend; he actually presented himself as a patient—a frightened patient.  Didn’t make any jokes; wasn’t at all casual.  Hell—he wouldn’t even look at me!  When I asked him how bad the pain was, know what he said?  Said, ‘Bad enough that I’m telling you.’  If one of my oncology patients had come in, scared that his cancer had returned, and I’d laughed in his face, my practice wouldn’t last very long—I wouldn’t deserve to have a practice.”

 

“But it’s understandable that you wouldn’t know how to react; House had never come to you as a patient before.”

 

“And that only makes my behavior more inexcusable.  There he was, giving me that opportunity to help him medically.  Doing what I’d been after him for years to do, actually talking seriously about his condition.  I laugh, blow off his concerns, wave my prescription pad at him and make sure he sees me put it away.  What I did to him, it was… cruel.”

 

Cuddy realizes that there’s nothing she can say; Wilson’s right—his treatment of House may have been the catalyst for all that followed.

 

“The worst thing about all that,” Wilson continues, “is that he is my friend.  I’m sure he figured that one way or another I’d support him, deal with his fears, his concerns.  If not as a physician, then at least as his best friend.  I lost the patient; almost lost the friend, too.”  Wilson gazes at House.  “Still might.”

 

“Did it ever occur to you,” Cuddy says thoughtfully, “that it was your caring and concern that made you act as you did?  It’s a perfectly normal reaction for us to want the people we love not to be suffering.  Maybe you just… weren’t ready to face it, that despite the treatment, nothing had changed for him.  That’s certainly understandable.”

 

Wilson’s not about to let himself off the hook that easily.  “Maybe he wasn’t ready to face it either—but he didn’t have that choice.  I was blinding myself to the reality of his situation; I was being pretty damned selfish, wasn’t I?  Cuddy, I need to ask you something; I’d like an honest answer.”

 

“I’ll do my best,” she promises.

 

“I… had a nightmare.  Forced me to take a look at a few things.  But I  want to know.  Am I still in denial?  Have I done the wrong thing?  Am I still being selfish?”

 

Cuddy thinks for quite a while before she answers.  “I don’t think so, not based on all that you’ve told me.  Because… if you’d followed your heart months ago, when all this started, I think you’d have just naturally made the right decisions.  Same for me.  But what we did was… we punished House, for the misbehavior of his body.  In the last few days, though, it’s been different.  This crisis has stripped away right and wrong.  What it’s left you with is… an inability to do anything except follow your own instincts.  There’s no denial now, no good versus bad, no personal agendas.  All you’ve got to go on is… what’s true.  And House—well, he values honesty above all else.  So….”

 

Wilson, a newfound peace in his eyes, finishes the thought.  “So as long as I don’t lose sight of the truth, I’m doing the right thing for him.”  Wilson nods; that’s comfort, reassurance enough for right now—it’ll have to be.

Chapter Thirty-Two

Thoughts 
9th-Jun-2007 12:22 pm (UTC)
Poor Wilson- hoping for a quiet evening and then Cameron pops up. Liked Cuddy's line, He’s the closest thing we have to House right now, it really fits Wilson right now. He's not going to give up until all possibilities are exhausted and that he's tried everything he can to help House.

Also think the "we punished House, for the misbehavior of his body" is true- it seemed to me they lost track of the person because they were all set to deal with the "addict". At least they have a chance to make it up to him!

(And yay blackmare!)
9th-Jun-2007 12:36 pm (UTC)
Also think the "we punished House, for the misbehavior of his body" is true-

myself, i think that, in a nutshell, is why everything went downhill for house in S3. my blood pressure still goes through the roof every time i think of wilson telling cuddy, in MLC, "When a child misbehaves, what do you do? You take away something he loves."

well. they took away not only the medication he needed, they then--for good measure--took away any evidence of their love for him, as well. (and someday, i may figure out why wilson, who's generally so perceptive where house is concerned, gave every impression in that episode that he felt house didn't need opioid pain control, he indulges in it because he loves it. yeah, sure--and i love my opioids and anti-spasmodics too; they make my life a real picnic)./end rant
(Deleted comment)
9th-Jun-2007 01:46 pm (UTC)
the others focused on their delusion and thereby punished House by their actions with him and treatment of him

sadly, this is more common with chronically ill people (of all conditions) than you'd think. if something is "supposed" to make a difference, the patient is often held accountable if the treatment fails. house has been the victim of this sort of thinking all damned season. is it any wonder that i feel (and have been accused of being) somewhat "overprotective" of him?
9th-Jun-2007 02:19 pm (UTC)
Ack! Wilson -- don't trust that hypo from Cameron! I wouldn't put it past her to euthanize House.

I'm really starting to lean to the "third season is a coma hallucination" theory. Even at the time, I wondered why they had the Tritter arc following so close upon "the bet." The were too much alike in essence to make sense. I was expecting them to address House's depression problem since that is valid medically: pain causes depression, depression makes the pain worse, more pain deepens the depression, and so on.
9th-Jun-2007 02:29 pm (UTC)
I'm really starting to lean to the "third season is a coma hallucination" theory.

i can't "go there" right now--i just can't. i spent all season advancing that argument and being shot down at every turn, so i finally convinced myself that i was wrong, and began to write this story. if i begin to feel that i was right, i lose my impetus to continue. hence--not going there.

Wilson -- don't trust that hypo from Cameron

which is precisely why he examined it so closely! ;)

9th-Jun-2007 02:58 pm (UTC)
Nothing much to add, I saw season 3 exactly the way you describe it. I was mad at Cuddy and Wilson and I ranted and complained vociferously about the way those two were acting with House. I remember how furious I was when Wilson laughed at him when he admitted to have the pain return and I agree that this moment is the key of House's behaviour ever since. Eager that House knows all about that now.
Thanks again and kudos to Blackamare 9
9th-Jun-2007 03:00 pm (UTC)
Thanks again and kudos to Blackmare 9

you're very welcome--and i loudly echo your kudos to blackmare!!! :)
9th-Jun-2007 03:41 pm (UTC)
I, too, was furious -- and heartbroken -- at what Wilson and Cuddy did to House. Especially Wilson.

Since then I've come to believe that what happened was that Wilson listened to his fears, only saw what he was afraid of, stopped seeing House as he truly was. He was so terrified that he'd lose House, that House would crash and burn (either from being manic if the ketamine worked, or from depression and addiction if it didn't) that he was just...blinded.

It's really, really good to have these scenes in which he admits some understanding of what happened. And really good to have Cuddy tell him what I've been wishing he knew all along, which is that he'll always do right by House if he acts out of love rather than fear.

Oh, and I meant to add, that line about punishing House for his body's misbehavior? That line just makes my chest ache, it's so true. I had never quite thought of it in those terms, but yeah. Absolutely.

As for my current status as first reader & sounding board on this story, I am loving it. 'Cause I get lots of nifty spoilers that no one else gets! Neener neener neener. Hee.
9th-Jun-2007 03:49 pm (UTC)
that line about punishing House for his body's misbehavior? That line just makes my chest ache, it's so true. I had never quite thought of it in those terms,

i've been on the receiving end of such treatment; only wish i'd had the courage to react as strenuously as house did. not that it got him anywhere good--but at least he behaved honestly.

my current status as first reader & sounding board

'sound' away--just sent you another chapter! ;)

9th-Jun-2007 06:16 pm (UTC)
(God after reading all of those comments I feel rather stupid. Here they all are, talking about the season and your story and they have theories and brilliant input and all I have is... "D'oh!")

Cameron, ugh, thinking she could just get away with just walking into that room and shooting House up with something. Who says that's really what was in that syringe? It could be something that'll kill him and all chances for any of them to have a normal life again... Although now that I think about it, Cameron isn't quite devious and smart enough to try and pull that. Not saying she's stupid but she is emotionally screwed. And very irritating.

Strange how Cuddy can ground Wilson and keep him from utterly freaking out and killing everyone. (though I doubt Cam would be missed XD) Guess its the inner mommy coming out.

-ANimal
9th-Jun-2007 07:32 pm (UTC)
Not saying she's stupid but she is emotionally screwed. And very irritating.

and you were just bemoaning your lack of observations? in my opinion, the above is a fantastic observation--with which few, if any, would disagree! :)
9th-Jun-2007 06:32 pm (UTC)
When I asked him how bad the pain was, know what he said? Said, ‘Bad enough that I’m telling you.’

I know I've said this before but I really REALLY like how you bring back old issues that weren't really discussed or outright ignored. House admitted weakness and asked for help and Wilson effectively spat in his face. No wonder Wilson feels so dreadful!

I'll just keep using this icon 'til things get a bit better ;)
9th-Jun-2007 07:47 pm (UTC)
I'll just keep using this icon 'til things get a bit better ;)

and i'll just keep getting sad (and incensed at the script writers) every time i see it! ;)
9th-Jun-2007 07:31 pm (UTC)
Wilson would be up a creek if Cuddy weren't there, eh? She's proven a (more or less, sometimes less) adequate confessor and she's in the right position to bestow absolution. To echo everyone else, cheers for airing out the season's dirty laundry. And I love this:

...suddenly reduced to the tender young boy he really is, fighting against impossible odds for his dying brother

As atrociously as he's behaved this season, I still feel for him.

Finally, I'm very interested in how House will react to this very changed Wilson. I imagine it'll be 'Duh, nice of you to finally clue in, idiot' initially, but I look forward to the deeper reaction too.
9th-Jun-2007 07:50 pm (UTC)
Finally, I'm very interested in how House will react to this very changed Wilson.

so am i (very interested)! house hasn't yet... begun to share with me. that inconvenient little coma, you know--makes reciprocal speech a bit difficult..... ;)

(and i'm a bit... off the rails, at present. bet you couldn't tell!)
9th-Jun-2007 08:00 pm (UTC) - Ch. 31 Review (Dr. Fantabulous)
Anonymous
Loved the last line, very deep...and leave it to Cameron to disturb the peace! Wilson's really getting down to the root of the problem, now, isn't he? I'm glad he told Cuddy, indirectly, about his dream. That was good- and she gave appropriate advice. Can't wait until House wakes up, I wonder what his reaction in reality will be!
9th-Jun-2007 08:09 pm (UTC) - Re: Ch. 31 Review (Dr. Fantabulous)
Can't wait until House wakes up, I wonder what his reaction in reality will be!

we're all wondering (author included!). ;)

9th-Jun-2007 08:26 pm (UTC)
Thank You! I've been waiting for someone to bring up that lovely scene in the first part of season 3. I think that was the point where I first wanted to strangle Wilson. Then followed the many episodes where House acted horrible and Wilson made horrible choices as well. (I have to ask, what in the world was he thinking when he talked to Tritter? In his hotel of all places as well! The man practically gave Tritter a invitation to screw with his life! *Okay I'm through with ranting, I swear!*)

As for if Wilson is acting selfishly or not, I'm still not sure if I agree with Cuddy. Maybe a few more chapters and you'll have me convinced. Maybe not. I'll tough to sell to, especially when he comes to those two and their beliefs about things. Cuddy is a little more sensible though, so I'll give her the benefit of the doubt. Still I think Wilson should have paid a little more attention to his dream. We internalizes pieces of our friends and make them a part of us. It is not just our fears that appear in dreams. Dreams are when we evaluate our choices, look at them through the eyes of others. So the jury is out about that, but it is very much in on how much I liked this chapter. Bravo!! ;<)

Just curious what happened to sending Cameron to the witch doctor? *tries to look innocent.*
9th-Jun-2007 08:55 pm (UTC)
I've been waiting for someone to bring up that lovely scene in the first part of season 3. I think that was the point where I first wanted to strangle Wilson.

you and me both (and writing it out for the story brought up my murderous feelings all over again).

Just curious what happened to sending Cameron to the witch doctor? *tries to look innocent.*

i do believe we've seen the last of her--no guarantees, muses being a bit unpredictable--but as of now, i've no plans to deal with her again, between now and the end. YAY!!

(Deleted comment)
9th-Jun-2007 09:25 pm (UTC)
Another excellent chapter. You're probably sick of hearing this but your story really does explore all the issues relating to Wilson and Cuddy's treatment of House that should have been dealt with in the show. It's not like in 'ER' where Carter was addicted to drugs, using them even after his injury had healed. There is no healing for House. He will always have a giant hole in his leg yet Wilson and Cuddy seem to think he shouldn't be in pain from it. I like to see them acknowledging they were wrong, even if they did have reasons for influencing their behaviour.

But, for all the blame Wilson deserves, it's nice to see him find some peace with his decisions and, in turn, bolstering his determination to be there for House. You show that he does care deeply for House but he's still human, not WonderDoc.
9th-Jun-2007 09:43 pm (UTC)
There is no healing for House. He will always have a giant hole in his leg yet Wilson and Cuddy seem to think he shouldn't be in pain from it.

or worse--wilson acknowledges that "maybe that giant hole in his leg actually hurts", and THEN turns around in the very next episode and laughs at him!

(okay mj--deep breath. you cannot afford to be bitter with wilson right now; you have a story, wherein you have painted wilson as loving and compassionate, to finish. then you may be bitter at wilson. so breathe, calm down, go back to your happy little "wilson actually has a brain AND a heart" ficworld).

9th-Jun-2007 10:03 pm (UTC)
love how wilson's all angry mother grizzly bear on cameron.
9th-Jun-2007 10:07 pm (UTC)
i thought he was quite... civil. under the circumstances. ;)
9th-Jun-2007 10:10 pm (UTC)
Getting tired of this story? *stares* Does...not...compute...

Um...WHAT?!

In other news, I had to go to my mother's graduation this morning, which made me and my sister both miserable for different reasons. The best part were the people with air horns. Really. And the volume of the speakers? Just great. *nods and smiles*...*rubs ears* Lack of sleep beforehand? YAY.

But I had a nap after my mother and I got home and my sister trundled off to Eastern Market for vegetarian food fun. She'll probably bring food for both of us, if she can manage it.

Anyway, back to the story I didn't get to read until now: Cameron would have made me pissy, too. I can't stand it when people expect me to let them do things without explaining their intentions like I'm just supposed to understand. And yay for Wilson figuring out just where his asshattery started. I wanted so badly to kick him after that and it just got worse from there. Le sigh. FINALLY on the road to oneness with Wilson! YAY!
9th-Jun-2007 10:21 pm (UTC)
FINALLY on the road to oneness with Wilson!

YAY!!! and I did it! i'm proud of me!!

(and i am also inordinately proud of you for not blowing one of those airhorns directly into your mother's ear in the vain hope that she might learn to... what is the word?... empathize. yeah, that's it. ;) )
10th-Jun-2007 03:27 am (UTC)
Ever since Cameron came in bearing the syringe of what may (or may not) be Neupogen, I've been on the edge of my seat. I don't think Cameron's that desperate to lose her medical license, but I'm still afraid that she means to give House something to wake him up. >.<

Hrrr.
10th-Jun-2007 03:33 am (UTC)
Ever since Cameron came in bearing the syringe of what may (or may not) be Neupogen

lol; relax! in the hospital setting (and often in the home setting as well) Neupogen comes in pre-filled, well-marked syringes; wilson examined it, saw that it hadn't been tampered with, and thus felt safe administering it to house. had the syringe been unmarked and filled from a vial of god-knows-what, i'd have had him inject it into her, just to test it out! ;)
10th-Jun-2007 07:58 am (UTC)
"we punished House, for the misbehavior of his body"
Have I mentioned lately, just how much I appreciate this story? My greatest issue with the show is how poorly they've dealt with the pain management from the start. From Detox to Skin Deep to well, basically all of season three. It actually doesn't just bother me, it angers me. Especially, since it only furthers falsehoods that are all too commonly held beliefs (ie pain management leading to drug addiction being common when it in fact, occurs in less than two percent of cases). Unfortunately, the show, while being medically inaccurate, does offer a somewhat accurate representation of how poorly people are treated when they are chronically ill, especially if they need opioid analgesics what with the stigma and DEA complications. When patients don't get better, doctors often feel they have failed somehow, and well, they don't like that. It's not right, but it can compromise care.
Sorry, I don't mean to preach to the converted. I wrote my thesis on the media and it's impact on society, and plan to work within it after med. school to try to make it's influence a more positive one, and am currently working through the AMA to improve pain management curricula in medical schools and improve the whole DEA regulation situation. So, this kind of hits on issues that are very near and dear to me. My apologies for rambling on about them. Perhaps, 4am is not the best time for me to read and review this.
The point: thank you for recognizing and correcting the show and Wilson's failings regarding this.
And *applauds* blackmare9.
By the way, should you find yourself in the market for a second reader, I humbly offer my services.
Another great chapter, with more Cameron despisal (I've decided that though it's not a word, we can make a new one just for her) to boot. :)
10th-Jun-2007 12:12 pm (UTC)
My greatest issue with the show is how poorly they've dealt with the pain management from the start.

that's my biggest issue with the show too, as you well know (well--that and RSL's lack of screen time... sigh). and it's the reason i started writing at all; i was compelled to loudy argue the HUGE difference between addiction and dependence--hence the birth of the Devil trilogy.

i'm happy that there are younger folks like you, planning on going out and making a real difference for all of us! i don't consider that you're rambling--i'd call it "educating," myself.

and guess what? just discovered it is a word! (gotta love dictionary.com): WordNet - Cite This Source despisal
noun
a feeling of scornful hatred

thank you so much for the 'second reader' offer! i'm flattered that you're willing to do that for me. i'm unclear where the situation currently stands; my email address is in my profile--i'd appreciate it if you could drop me a quick note about it, when you've got the time! thanks!!
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