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Cats' Corners: the little HOUSE in the woods....
Where House is NEVER safe...
The More Things Change... Chapter SEVEN 
12th-May-2007 09:42 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  



In the morning, Wilson awakens before House does; a quick glance into the bedroom ascertains that House is sleeping comfortably and the bandaged hand remains elevated.


Wilson starts the coffee, then rummages around for something that might pass as breakfast.  He comes up with half a loaf of stale bread and two eggs.  French toast it is.  He digs out the electric griddle from beneath a couple of dirty pots on the drainboard, washes it, and sets to work.


When House enters the kitchen, sniffing the cinnamon-scented air appreciatively, Wilson observes, “Your timing’s uncanny.  Amazing how you can sleep soundly through the cooking part, yet make your entrance coincide so neatly with the eating part.”  He puts a plate and a cup of coffee in front of House.


“Not like I’d have been much help,” House says, indicating the injured hand.  “Mmm… this is good.  Home health aide gonna be able to cook?”


“That’s what she does, House.  Hence the phrase ‘assistance with activities of daily living.’  She’ll get your meals, clean the apartment, even do the wash.  And she’ll get an occasional set of vitals and make sure you don’t injure yourself further by doing anything stupid.”


House is insulted.  “Stupid?  Me?  What could I possibly do?”


“For starters, you could, oh… say… try to open a childproof cap?  I know you, and trust me—the possibilities for danger boggle the mind.”


“Hmmph.”  House suddenly develops great interest in the remainder of his breakfast.


Wilson finishes his coffee.  “Gotta get to work.  Need anything before I leave?”


“What’s your rush?  Who’s gonna refill my coffee, get the plates to the sink?”


Are you actually asking me to stay?  “I guess I could use a second cup myself.”  Wilson refills both cups and sits down at the table.  “You know,” he says slowly, “I could still put in a call to Altman, and cancel the agency.  If you want.”


“Could be fun,” House says thoughtfully. ”If you don’t hover or anything.”


Wilson knows he has to play this carefully.  “For crying out loud, House, you hurt your hand; not like it’s your first day home after a heart transplant!”


House pretends to consider it.  “Okay then.  Yeah.”


Wilson hesitates.  “And maybe… this’ll give us some time to get a couple of things straightened out.  Been wanting to tell you—”


House cuts him off.  “You know what, think we’d better leave things alone; be rude to cancel the agency on such short notice.”  He reaches for his cane, stands, and exits the kitchen.


“Since when did you ever care about rude?” Wilson asks the empty kitchen as he straightens up.  What’s with him?  Months ago, he claims nothing’s changed—but everything’s changed.  Then last night feels like old times, and now he clams up again.  One step forward, then two back.  At this rate, we’ll never get anything resolved; not even sure he wants to anymore.  Wilson finishes cleaning the kitchen, then grabs his keys and heads through the living room to the door.


House flicks his eyes towards Wilson, then back to the TV.  “Catch ya later,” he says.


“Yeah.”  Wilson doesn’t even pause on his way out.


House leans his head against the back of the couch and sighs.  What do you want from me?  We gonna rehash the scrip pad again?  Rehab?  Or maybe just have another go at how I’m depleting New Jersey’s Vicodin supply?  Can’t we give it a rest?  I know I pushed it!  I know it broke!  I’m sorry, okay?  Just in case you’re interested, this… this… thing… hasn’t been working so hot for me either!


House, frustrated, lifts his head and begins to slam his right hand into the couch pillows.  He stops the motion in midair, stares thoughtfully at the hand—and he hears Cuddy’s voice.  You’ll have blown your chance… blown his chance… nothing will have changed….


“Shut up, Cuddy,” he says aloud—but there’s a contemplative gleam in his eye, and a slow grin sneaking its way across his face.




Wilson hangs up the phone and looks at his watch.  3:20; agency didn’t even last four hours.  Now what are we gonna do?  He stands and squares his shoulders; he needs to go tell Cuddy, and he’s not looking forward to it.


Before he can leave his office, the phone rings again; it’s the lab.  He listens intently and thanks the caller.  “Damn!” he says as he hangs up the phone.  This changes everything; hope Cuddy has some ideas.


Cuddy has plenty of ideas.




Wilson can hear House shouting even before he opens the apartment door, and he hasn’t taken more than a couple of steps inside when he’s accosted by the aide.


“I’ve taken care of better-behaved four-year-olds!” she tells him.  “More polite, too!”  She puts her hands on her hips and glares at Wilson as if he, himself, is responsible for House’s behavior.


“I’m terribly sorry, Sara.  He’s… in a lot of pain, and sometimes it affects his mood.  I’m sure he didn’t mean to--”


“Oh, he meant everything he said and did, Dr. Wilson!  I tried, I really did—but for your sake, not for his.  You’re one of the nicest doctors at the hospital; I’ve had a lot of clients tell me you’re an angel.  I tell ‘em they’re right; you are.  I’ll never forget how good you were to my mom.  So I tried, but I’m sorry—it’s just not gonna work out.  And how an angel like you can be friends with a devil like him, I’ll never know.”


“Sometimes I don’t know either,” Wilson says, tight-lipped.  He apologizes again, and is seeing her to the door when he realizes that House is still yelling.  “Is there someone in the bedroom with him, or is he just finishing out his temper tantrum?” he asks.  He’s afraid he knows the answer.


“It’s the nurse.  The poor nurse,” Sara tells him.  She shakes her head at him and leaves.


Wilson’s shouting a last apology after her when he hears what can only be a slamming door.  He puts his head in his hands.  Seconds later, he’s accosted by another angry female voice.  “What am I doing here?” the voice demands.


Wilson dredges up his most charming smile and turns around.  “Uh… taking care of the patient?” he ventures.


That is not a patient!” she spits.  “That is a nightmare.”


Wilson closes his eyes against a looming headache.  Remembering to keep the smile firmly fixed, he says soothingly, “It can’t be that bad, Lissa. You’re one of the best nurses the agency has; you were able to handle Mr. Thornton when no one else could!  And compared to him--”


Lissa isn’t buying.  “Compared to him,” she interrupts, gesturing angrily in the direction of House’s room, “Mr. Thornton was a lamb.”


Wilson drops the smile.  “Yes.  Well.  Be that as it may, Dr. House is still your patient, and you have a responsibility to him.”


Her eyes narrow.  “I was attempting to carry out my responsibility to him when he went ballistic.  First, he refused to allow me to do wound care; said you did it early this morning.  Told me if I was any kind of a nurse, I’d know it had to be done only once every twenty-four hours.  Accused me of trying to cause him extra pain!”


“Well, that was just a little misunderstanding.  I did do the wound care; I should’ve notified the agency.  My fault; forgive me?”  This time Wilson goes for the smile he’s overheard some of the nurses refer to as ‘boyishly irresistible.’


Lissa’s able to resist it just fine.  “Oh, that isn’t all.  They paged me on the way over here, told me to start a heparin lock, get the vancomycin going.  So I tried to do that.  When I told him the initial cultures were positive for MRSA and we needed to put in the heplock, he said I had all the sensitivity of a rampaging rhinoceros, and that no one was doing anything until he heard it from you.  So now you can tell him, and you can start the heplock, and he’s all yours.  And you’re welcome to him.  Rampaging rhinoceros, indeed!”  She storms out while Wilson is still trying to formulate a way to soothe her ruffled feathers.


Wilson takes a couple of minutes to put away the medical supplies he’s brought, and to try to work up a little sympathy for House before he enters the bedroom.


Surprisingly, it’s not all that hard to find sympathy for House.  Probably wasn’t the best way for a specialist in infectious disease to learn that he’s looking at systemic MRSA.  And he’s scared, and not about to admit it.  Not to me—certainly not to some battle-axe nurse.


By the time Wilson arrives at the bedroom, he’s ready to put the game plan he and Cuddy came up with into action.  He sends a quick prayer skyward, knocks twice, sharply, on the door, and enters the lion’s den.

Chapter Eight

12th-May-2007 10:52 pm (UTC)
if it's horrible, then we're both horrible; this story really is being written largely so i myself can come to terms with wilson's behavior this season. he's always given house a hard time, but previous to this season wilson's underlying affection and concern for house was always evident; in S3, wilson's primary underlying emotion (in my opinion, anyway) has been resentment--except for the last few episodes, when the writers apparently decided to end the cold war without further explanation.

working right now on getting chapter eight ready for posting in early a.m. hope that's fast enough!
(Deleted comment)
12th-May-2007 11:56 pm (UTC)
*Laughs* If we are both thinking the same way, then it cannot be horrible. I can understand you writing this to come to terms with Wilson's behaviour. I've wanted to kill him for a while now. Currently I am being forced to rewatch Tritter episodes until England finally gets done with the arc. (Three more episodes to go.) You are right, in previous seasons, Wilson has been written as having affection for House; this season that hasn't been the case. I debated a person who said the whole mess was House's fault. (Which yes, it was, in part.) and she stated that Wilson wanted to make House better so something like the shooting would never happen again. Honestly I think this is overly optimistic, but that's just me.

I look forward to reading your story in the early afternoon. (early morning, US time). By the way, trust me you are not alone in your resentment of Wilson. Although currently I'm trying to figure out if he actually knows about House's little secret from One Room or not. I think he doesn't because you know House and the fact that he doesn't seem to understand why House doesn't like authority much. Good luck writing your chapter!!

Sorry for the double post, that was me above. gah I hate nights at times.

I agree with another previous reviewer, I'm being as patient as I can!!
12th-May-2007 11:59 pm (UTC)
This is interesting because, as I've seen it, Wilson's primary emotions this season have been sadness and fear and, well, love.

Because really. What is it when you'll go to jail yourself rather than testify? What is it when you stand by the person whose fault it is that you're poor, you're eating peanut butter, your careers in the crapper, and the cops are breathing down your neck? And the guy who caused it seems not to notice or care, not even a little? House, in all that time, never even bought Wilson a freaking sandwich. And yet Wilson would have gone to prison in House's place, if it had worked out that way. "Better me than him."

What I've seen in Wilson this season is fear, grief and even hopelessness (and all this now borne out by his being on antidepressants to help him cope with it all). The resentment's been on House's part, as far as I have seen. And it's been just about killing Wilson.

I understand perfectly well why Wilson did the things he did, in fact, although he was so often wrong. He needs a full set of clues, yes. He needs a much better understanding than he has; he needs to learn how NOT to pretend to himself that he's any better than House. But he loves House more than he loves his own life, and whatever mistakes he's made, he's made because he was so afraid of what was happening and/or so overwhelmed that he didn't know which way was up anymore.

And here ends my rant in defense of Wilson, whose heart was always in the right place even when his brain was on vacation in Tahiti.
13th-May-2007 12:46 am (UTC)
and a very well thought out rant it was! you know i agree with everything you've said about wilson and his self-sacrificial nature--but i also view the entire thing from house's perspective. for me it always has--and always will--come down to this: house doesn't have a problem with vicodin, house has a problem without vicodin. wilson has (apparently) finally accepted that fact--but it took all season for it to happen, and yes, i saw pain and fear and depression in wilson. but i also saw resentment--it was coming off him in waves.

and really, he's an adult (albeit a clueless one) and he chose to ignore the return of house's pain--and the 'house' of cards collapsed from that decision on. every single thing which happened to wilson from there on in was as a direct result of his making the unilateral decision that house did not need opioid pain control.

yes, house did many, many wrong things. but again--each and every one of them stemmed from poorly controlled (and uncontrolled) pain once wilson decided to play daddy: "when a child misbehaves, whadda you do? you take away something he loves."

you know i blithering adore wilson, and firmly believe he'd freely give up everything, including his own life, for house. but i continue to maintain that accepting house means accepting that he needs narcotic pain relief, and that for most of the season, sweet, clueless wilson was in denial about that incontrovertible fact.
13th-May-2007 03:15 am (UTC)
I wrote a whole, long reply to this (since of course I pretty much agree with everything you said here) but I'll email it. :-)