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Cats' Corners: the little HOUSE in the woods....
Where House is NEVER safe...
The More Things Change... Chapter THIRTY-FOUR 
12th-Jun-2007 10:13 am
FindOutWhoFriendsAre
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
Chapter Thirty-One
Chapter Thirty-Two 
Chapter Thirty-Three

 

CHAPTER THIRTY-FOUR:  INTANGIBLE SIGNS

 

It’s been well over two hours since they’ve heard from Wilson.  The toll it’s taking on Cuddy, Foreman, and Chase is evident in the number of partially empty coffee cups scattered throughout House’s cubicle, and in the way none of the three will meet each other’s eyes anymore.  The toll it’s taking on House is even more obvious.  Now that the VRSA’s raged, unchecked, for several hours, his fever’s above 104, the tachycardia is worsening, and they’ve already had to increase the dosage of enalapril controlling his blood pressure.

 

And—despite the heavy sedation—Cuddy’s certain that House is somehow able to sense Wilson’s absence.  Wilson had taught her to watch for the subtle signs of increased leg pain, and she’s seen them twice now, and has had to medicate for them with the PCA.  But it’s more than that; there’s a restlessness in House that can’t be described, or explained, simply by listing his symptoms.  Even after the extra Dilaudid, his posture doesn’t relax, and he seems… generally unsettled.  Cuddy tries to speak to him the way Wilson would, but House’s response just isn’t the same.  His blood pressure is continuing to climb slowly; she tries again.

 

“It’s okay, House; Wilson’ll be back soon.  He’s gone to find something to help you, and when he gets back, he’ll explain everything.  But I’m here; I’m right here, and you’re safe.  And Foreman and Chase are here too; we’re all looking out for you.  I want you to relax, and trust us.  Your B/P’s going up; that’s not good for your kidneys.  So you need to just… have a little faith, okay?”  Cuddy’s attempting to keep her voice calm, soothing, assured, as she’s seen Wilson do.  But nothing changes, and finally she turns away from the bed, the worry stark in her eyes.

 

Chase and Foreman are studying the monitors, and their concern is growing.  “We could try some more diazepam,” Foreman says to Chase.  Cuddy overhears him.

 

“No!  He’s already sedated almost past the point of safety, and it isn’t doing any good.  Don’t you understand what the problem is?  House knows something’s up.  And… he knows Wilson isn’t here.”

 

Foreman makes a quiet scoffing noise; Cuddy ignores it, and turns to Chase.  “How many times have you watched an intubated preemie in NICU, an infant supposedly drugged into oblivion, respond with changes in vital signs as soon as the mother touches him, or speaks to him?  Is there a medical explanation for that?  Is there a medication that can reproduce that effect?”

 

Chase shakes his head and turns to Foreman.  “Dr. Cuddy may be right.  And if she is, it won’t matter what we give him, or how much.  We may just have to wait until Dr. Wilson gets back.”

 

Cuddy nods with satisfaction, but Foreman’s shaking his head.

 

“If Wilson doesn’t return soon, it’s not gonna matter what’s causing the jump in his vitals,” he says.  “I’m willing to give it fifteen more minutes; after that, we need to put aside all these ‘emotional effect’ theories, and start thinking like doctors again.”  Foreman’s tone is dubious, but it isn’t cruel, and Cuddy smiles almost pityingly at him.

 

“You’d be surprised,” she says, “what emotions can do to the body, how they can help or hinder recovery.”  She gazes at House.  “As a matter of fact, I’ve seen all those messy emotions make the only difference between recovery… and death.”

 

“Yeah, and I might buy all that if this were any other patient,” Foreman asserts.  “But this is House.  Emotions don’t mean a damned thing to him; he wouldn’t recognize an actual feeling if he tripped over it!”

 

Cuddy flares.  “And it’s just that attitude that’s put us—and him—where we are now!  Maybe some of it’s his own fault; you’re right, he’s quite… skillful at hiding his feelings.  But lately, we’ve taught him to hide not only his emotions but also his pain.  Negative conditioning.  As a neurologist, I’m sure you’re familiar with that.  Every time he came to one of us and tried to be honest, we gave him the emotional equivalent of an electrical shock.  So eventually… he quit trying.  And no one noticed.  Or if we did, it was only because we were relieved that he’d started… behaving himself.  And we reinforced it by ignoring him every time he slipped up and tried to complain.  Wilson’s correct—we were punishing him because the treatment failed.”

 

Foreman looks thoughtful.  “Maybe you’re right.  I’m not saying I buy everything you’ve said, but I’ll admit to not bothering to hide my impatience with his… antics.”

 

“And all that needs to change as he recovers,” Cuddy says adamantly.  “We all have to let him see that we respect him and his feelings.  That we take his pain seriously.  Oh, I’m not saying that we suddenly go all cuddly and concerned on him—that wouldn’t get us anywhere either!”  Cuddy smiles dryly at the notion.  “What I’m suggesting is that we react to him the same way we’d react to complaints from any patient—just give him the benefit of the doubt, that’s all.”

 

“You don’t think he’d take advantage of that?” Foreman asks her dubiously.

 

Cuddy gazes steadily at him.  “You don’t think it’s going to be a very, very long time before he trusts any of us enough to even think of coming to us—let alone lying to us?”

 

Foreman shrugs.  “I don’t know.  And if Wilson doesn’t get back here soon, with something concrete, the point’ll be moot.”  His eyes are trained on the bank of monitors, and the other two follow his gaze.

 

House’s heart rate is above 140; his blood pressure is 174/94.  And all three are very much aware that medically, they’re out of options.  Even Cuddy falls quiet and grim.

 

As House’s heart rate hits 150, Foreman moves to mute the shrill cardiac alarm that’s broken their desperate silence.  The three look helplessly at one another—and Wilson walks in.

 

He takes one look at their faces, and at the monitors, and marches straight to House’s bedside, motioning impatiently to them with his hand to cut off their barrage of questions as he begins to speak to House.

 

“I’m back, House—you need to settle down.  Stop scaring these people, and behave yourself.”  Wilson puts a hand on House’s arm.  “Yeah, I know that you live to torment Cuddy.”  Wilson glances up and sees Cuddy’s wide eyes, her apprehensive expression, then returns his gaze to House. 

 

“You’re doing a good job of it, too.  But it’s time to stop now.  I’m right here, and you’re safe.  And I’ve got your magic bullet.  I know that these three have questions, and so do you.  I’ll explain everything as soon as you get yourself under control—so pull it together right now, pal.”  Wilson’s words are firm, but his tone is warm and affectionate.

 

“Well… I’ll be damned,” Foreman says in a voice barely above a whisper.  Cuddy and Chase look away from House, to the monitors; Wilson doesn’t bother.

 

House’s heart rate is down to 124, and it’s still decreasing.  His blood pressure’s already fallen to 130/82.  Those are the things these physicians can understand, can quantify—they’re the things that put a quiet smile on Cuddy’s face, as she triumphantly regards the other two.  But it’s the intangibles, those variables they can’t even begin to measure, that change the silence in the room from desperation to… awe.  If they had to put a name to it, they’d be at a loss. 

 

But all of them know that—whatever word they might choose to qualify what they’ve just witnessed—it goes far deeper than any medical intervention ever could.  Apparently, House is aware of that too; his vital signs continue to stabilize. Even the vent sounds like it’s not having to work quite so hard.  Finally, Wilson’s satisfied that House is becalmed.  “Good job,” he tells House quietly.  Then, keeping his hand wrapped securely around House’s wrist, he turns, looks at the faces regarding him expectantly, and smiles.

Chapter Thirty-Five

 

Thoughts 
12th-Jun-2007 02:50 pm (UTC)
Please tell me he's gonna be conscious soon...? I did ask nicely.

Great to see something shuts Foreman up, not that I get some sort of crazy pleasure from that...much.

Still following - still enjoying...

x
12th-Jun-2007 03:09 pm (UTC)
well... being as there are only two more chapters, he might get to utter a word or two soon.... ;)
12th-Jun-2007 03:04 pm (UTC)
Who knew Greg House Greg House Greg House was really Wil-sie Wil-sie Wil-sie!
12th-Jun-2007 03:11 pm (UTC)
Greg House was really Wil-sie

actually, that makes sense--two halves of a whole, and all that rot! ;)
12th-Jun-2007 03:05 pm (UTC)
Aaaarrrgh! I hate where you leave off! But I love your writing and this story. I love that Foreman can see the physical bond between them when Wilson comes back into the room.
12th-Jun-2007 03:12 pm (UTC)
I hate where you leave off!

awww, c'mon! i've got no life--i have to take my fun where i can find it!! ;)
12th-Jun-2007 03:07 pm (UTC)
Yeah Wilson and Cuddy!
12th-Jun-2007 03:14 pm (UTC)
i'm really impressed with cuddy's faith in wilson myself. (i say this because i honestly didn't know this was how she'd end up reacting, when i was writing it--which is what i love about the process of writing!
12th-Jun-2007 03:12 pm (UTC)
House has the disease and Wilson's got the cure. Yay!
12th-Jun-2007 03:19 pm (UTC)
Wilson's got the cure

and wait'll you see (thursday) how he's got the cure! (and i, currently, am suffering from the "what-if-my-idea-which-seemed-so-very-clever-when-i-began-writing-this-turns-out-to-be-really-dumb-and-flops-completely" disease--arrrrrgh)
12th-Jun-2007 03:26 pm (UTC)
I want your coffee!!!!!!!!!
12th-Jun-2007 03:35 pm (UTC)
"And it’s just that attitude that’s put us—and him—where we are now"
"that we respect him and his feelings"
"stop scaring these people, and behave yourself"
"...and smiles"
"If they had to put a name to it, they’d be at a loss"

I'm at a loss for words too. I won't try to be smart here. Just saying I loooved this chapter. And can't wait for House to wake up, know that'll happen very soon now. TEE-HEE !
ps : not afraid neither that this story almost gets to its end because I KNOW THERE WILL BE A SEQUEL. *broad smile*
12th-Jun-2007 03:42 pm (UTC)
I'm at a loss for words too

wanna hear something truly scary? so am i! i'm like, "so i have to wrap this up now, and it's all gotta make sense, AND set up for the sequel, and the conclusion has to be plausible and interesting, and isn't it really time to just stop all this nonsense and pay attention to the fact that my house is now so messy i can't even find the kitchen anymore?" (i believe these are called stalling tactics) ;)
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
12th-Jun-2007 03:48 pm (UTC)
hey, you can't just stop like that!!! well, apparently you can, but...

“Yeah, and I might buy all that if this were any other patient,” Foreman asserts. “But this is House. Emotions don’t mean a damned thing to him; he wouldn’t recognize an actual feeling if he tripped over it!”
Oh Foreman... he just doesn't get it does he?? He'll never turn into House, no matter how afraid he is of the fact. He just doesn't get anything. And he's way to selfcentred to ever get it. (And no, I don't hate him, I'm just annoyed by his behaviour during the end of the season)

And YAY to Wilson and House. Those two are... inseparable. :-)Like twins or something.
12th-Jun-2007 03:59 pm (UTC)
I'm just annoyed by his behaviour during the end of the season)

me too. but i must admit that what they did with his character is pretty much in line with what the did to the others. i'll give the script writers this much; they're consistently... inconsistent! ;)
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12th-Jun-2007 04:06 pm (UTC)
he is more ready to "think outside the box" than Foreman.

i'm wondering if foreman will ever have that ability. yeah, he can take risks, certainly (the stunning conclusion of 'family' comes immediately to mind), but i'm having difficulty coming up with examples of foreman actually generating his own ideas....
12th-Jun-2007 04:24 pm (UTC)
There's nothing better than starting off the morning noon (did I really get up that late?) with seeing Wilson work his magic on House.
12th-Jun-2007 04:32 pm (UTC)
seeing Wilson work his magic on House

yeah--gotta admit, the rest of the story is simply an excuse to create scenes like this; they're my favorites!! :)
12th-Jun-2007 04:27 pm (UTC)
ACKKKK!!!! NO! You can't DO this to my, my BP just went through the third floor of the CPB building! And tomorrow is WEDNESDAY!? Dang it, woman.. you have a mean streak! Your...positively HOUSIAN today!

I hope someone decaffinates your coffee. Refuses you chocolate.

Greeeerrrrr!
12th-Jun-2007 04:37 pm (UTC)
positively HOUSIAN today!

this statement is so much more true than you know! lemme put it this way; bad pain day, therefore Tritter would have an absolute field day with a tox screen on me today! (of course--unlike other people, i'm wise enough to always carry current prescriptions with me at all times....)

decaffinates your coffee. Refuses you chocolate

hey now--you want me to finish chapter 35? actually write chapter 36?? take that back--NOW!! ;)

12th-Jun-2007 06:07 pm (UTC)
And you just had to end it there didn't you! house's heartrate maybe okay but mine certainly isn't! *bites lip and tries to wait patiently for next update*
12th-Jun-2007 06:36 pm (UTC)
well... i could have ended it after wilson's explanation--but then i would've dropped a few points in the Evilness Rankings, and we can't have that, now can we? ;)
12th-Jun-2007 06:58 pm (UTC) - Ch. 34 (Dr. Fantabulous)
Anonymous
That was deep, I loved it! The psychological becomes quantitative and tangible...nice. What did Wilson find out?
12th-Jun-2007 07:03 pm (UTC) - Re: Ch. 34 (Dr. Fantabulous)
What did Wilson find out?

okay--but don't tell the others, all right?

wilson found out that unbekno--------


THIS MESSAGE HAS BEEN INTERRUPTED DUE TO TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES; PLEASE TUNE IN AGAIN TOMORROW, WHEN WE HOPE TO HAVE THE PROBLEM RESOLVED.
12th-Jun-2007 08:37 pm (UTC)
Go Wilson! So I have to wait until Thursday to find out the treatment Wilson is going to give House, correct? That's fine, it'll give me time to do an essay. (joy!!!)I liked the discussion about emotional therapy. With some of the patients I see in the office I work at and in case studies I have to evaluate in class, it is always better to have someone in the room that genuinely cares for the sick person and doesn't blame them for things not their fault. Like I said go Wilson! Now its time to give the "child-like-man" a chance right?
12th-Jun-2007 08:49 pm (UTC)
it is always better to have someone in the room that genuinely cares for the sick person and doesn't blame them for things not their fault

and it's about damned time that wilson realizes what you've already learned, don'tcha think? ;)
12th-Jun-2007 09:17 pm (UTC)
Tuesday, where is thy sting!

Oh, Wednesday has it now.

I hope the next two chapters work out for you quickly and that your home is magically cleaned and the oxy more effective. Cause I am jonesin'. ;)
12th-Jun-2007 10:40 pm (UTC)
I hope the next two chapters work out for you quickly and that your home is magically cleaned and the oxy more effective

well, just finished 35, which was the tough one; 36 should be 'fun,' in comparison. meds are, indeed, working better today. my home... is condemnable, although the christmas tree is lovely and the child and animals appear well cared-for (how'd that happen?) so i s'pose that's two out of three, huh?

Cause I am jonesin'

i swear, if 35 had had time to 'perk', and if 36 were done, i'd go ahead and post 'em! because i've promised myself that i'm not even starting the sequel until i get the house out of 'condemnable', and at least up to 'gas station restroom' stage!! ;)
12th-Jun-2007 11:28 pm (UTC)
YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wow, wonderful!!!!! Utterly, utterly wonderful!!

I'm just so happy for House, Wilson, Cuddy and the ducklings =D.

This was just such a great chapter and the past part just put a massive smile on my face. Wilson did it! Sorry, I'm a bit hyper with joy (and umm... a fair bit of coffee too....)!

Thank you for the quick updates! Yes, you live to torture us, the poor readers, but your updates are really appreciated! I hope to be tormented again on Thursday, which unfortunately will be Friday my time!

Hope all your power has been restored!

Take care =)
12th-Jun-2007 11:36 pm (UTC)
Wilson did it!

and--having just finished writing chapter thirty-five, i can tell you with assurance (and a large, relieved smile of my own) that, come thursday, you are going to be quite proud of our sweet wilson--who will completely redeem himself in the eyes of all who are following this story!! (i think [i most sincerely hope] it'll be worth the wait)

yup--we've got electricity, cable, functional toilets (i've got a well; no electricity=no flushing), and most importantly, INTERNET ACCESS!!! yay!
13th-Jun-2007 05:52 pm (UTC)
Wonderful. One of your best so far, I think. Can't wait to see how this turns out!
13th-Jun-2007 11:37 pm (UTC)
Can't wait to see how this turns out!

all will be revealed tomorrow--and then, there's only one more chapter after that! yay!!! (so why am i sad?)
13th-Jun-2007 06:33 pm (UTC)
SUCK THAT FOREMAN! Yeah, see House *is* human after all! Though I am curious to see what the cure is.
(And mj... you're absolutely sure there isn't even the slightest teeniest tiniest speck of maybe kinda sorta pre-pre-pre-slash? *sighs* I know I know... platonic. Damn, I'm such a fangirl)
Leave it to Wilson to save the big-bad wolf. ;)

-ANimal
13th-Jun-2007 11:35 pm (UTC)
I know I know... platonic

now you're getting the idea!! :)
13th-Jun-2007 07:49 pm (UTC)
I love how there are over 62 comments before I even get WIND that this is up. *nods* Really. *sniffles* Stupid lack of alert. Ab fab, as usual. Now if only you hadn't left us with the absolutely evil cliffhanger you did. *glares reprovingly in Wilsie-like fashion* And, boy, do I wish you were finished writing this one because I REALLY, REALLY want to see your opinion on mine. *holds back urge to wheedle and negotiate*

Le sigh. One idea I want to run by you, though. I was commenting on something from my story with pwcorgigirl and would like to see if you agree with us. In their own weird way, House was the first and only parent figure Chase ever had. What do you think?
13th-Jun-2007 11:31 pm (UTC)
What do you think?

ummm... i think you've forgotten that i'm writing a sequel to this and can't read anything else whilst i'm writing. and i think i'd go with pwcorgirl's opinion over mine on chase, as i neither know nor care enough about the character to have a valid opinion.

sorry about the cliffhanger; all will be revealed on the morrow! ;)
13th-Jun-2007 10:29 pm (UTC)
*curious-anxious-nearly relieved* I adore the way you build House and Wilson's bond. Amazing.
13th-Jun-2007 11:34 pm (UTC)
way you build House and Wilson's bond

fortunately, it pretty much builds itself; i just adore writing it, and i think that shows! ;)
14th-Jun-2007 03:16 am (UTC)
Oh, I love this chapter! Felt all my stress drop when Wilson walked confidently right over to House and told him to settle down. And loved how Wilson just blocked everyone out and creates a bubble of safety and peace around House. Wonderfully done!

Looking forward to hearing what Wilson figured out!
14th-Jun-2007 11:24 am (UTC)
loved how Wilson just blocked everyone out and creates a bubble of safety and peace around House

these scenes are, truly, my favorite scenes to write--also the easiest for me, and the ones many of you kids seem to enjoy most. gee, that works out nicely, doesn't it? :)
14th-Jun-2007 07:47 am (UTC)
What a great cliffhanger! I loved the ending of this section -- it made me say, "Awww!"

:-D
14th-Jun-2007 11:26 am (UTC)
cliffhanger!

not too much longer before the next chapter, in which all will be revealed! gotta take the kid to summer school, then do a final read-through, and up it goes! (and then, only one more chapter; i'm sad about that.)