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Cats' Corners: the little HOUSE in the woods....
Where House is NEVER safe...
The More Things Change... Chapter SIXTEEN 
23rd-May-2007 09:58 am
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



Chase enters the Diagnostics office and stops short; Foreman and Cameron are here, and they’re looking at him expectantly.


“What are you two doing here?”  He’d come to the office seeking solitude, and now he’s going to have to deal with their attitudes about his oversight.


“You really thought we’d sit at home after you called us about House?” Cameron asks.


“No.  I… uh… actually, I guess I’m glad you’re here.”


“He’s worse?  What’s going on?”  Cameron rises from her chair, evidently ready to head for House’s room.


“His condition’s deteriorating; we’re transferring him to the unit, but he’s okay for now.  There… was a problem, though….”


Neither Foreman nor Cameron speaks; they simply look at Chase, waiting for him to go on.  He sighs and sits down.  “He wasn’t on pain medication for almost nineteen hours.  Started to go into withdrawal, and no one knew.  Dr. Wilson finally realized, and… he’s pretty upset.”  Chase falls silent.


“How’d that happen?” Foreman asks him.


“I’m not sure.  He was acutely ill when he came in last night; the main concern was getting him dialyzed, and I guess Cuddy’s focus was the renal failure.  Didn’t occur to her to order anything to replace the Vicodin.  And when she called me in today, I went over his chart and we discussed the meds, but….”  Chase stops speaking, doesn’t seem inclined to go on.


“You didn’t think about it either,” Foreman concludes.  “And Wilson was more concerned with House, the friend than House, the patient, so it took withdrawal to make anyone take notice.”  Foreman chuckles softly.


Chase is incredulous.  “He’s gonna rip into me for this, make my life miserable!  What are you laughing about?”


“House’ll be pleased; the old bastard’s gonna take it as a compliment.”  As Chase and Cameron stare at him in confusion, Foreman continues, “His twisted psychology worked!  He’s spent all these years harping on his damned leg for a reason; he figured eventually we’d tune ‘im out, get on with our jobs, just see him as number one on the Worst Boss In the World hit parade, instead of some pathetic cripple in need of coddling.  And it worked!  Well… mostly worked,” Foreman says, glancing sidelong at Cameron, who glares back at him.


“So he’s not gonna kill me?” Chase asks hopefully.


“Oh, yeah!” Foreman grins.  “You’re still gonna catch holy hell for it.  But you can take comfort in knowing that deep inside, he’s thanking you for forgetting.  Real deep inside.”  Foreman laughs at the look of dismay that’s replaced the hope on Chase’s face.


“Well, I don’t see anything funny about this.”  Cameron is indignant.  “Whatever else you think of him, House is a human being who was made to suffer unnecessarily.  And Chase should feel awful.  As doctors, we’re charged with the responsibilities of causing no harm, and alleviating pain.  Chase failed at both!”


Now Chase is annoyed.  “Thank you, Dr. Cameron, for that Cliff Notes version of the Hippocratic Oath!  And you’re causing pain right now; didn’t you think I felt bad enough before your little sermon?  Just thought you’d twist the knife in a bit deeper?  Wonder what Hippocrates would think of that!”  Chase and Cameron try to stare each other down across the table.


“Okay, you two, enough.  Chase, c’mon, tell us what’s going on with House.  Why the unit?  Got the labs?”


“Chart’s with Cuddy; she’s overseeing the transfer.  He’s tachypneic and his sats are dropping.  Renal function’s about the same; he’s putting out about 20cc an hour.  BUN and creatinine were through the roof when he was admitted; been a slight decrease since.  Got some immune assays pending; turns out he’s been on prednisone for a couple of months, problem with his shoulder.  But we already know the basics there; white count’s depressed, immune system’s definitely been compromised by the pred.  He’s also tachycardic—but he’s febrile, running 102, 103, so I’m not concerned with that yet.”


Foreman hasn’t heard anything that would warrant ICU, so he repeats the question.  “So why the unit?”


“Mostly for Wilson.  As soon as House’s respiratory rate started climbing, and his oxygen saturation dropped a couple points, Wilson wanted him on a vent.  So I told him we’d put him on O2, and monitor his status in ICU.  Wilson’s taking this hard, and now, with the pain med mix-up….  Let’s just say it’s for Wilson’s peace of mind.”


Both Foreman and Cameron nod their understanding.  “And the MRSA?” Cameron asks.


“Because of the kidney failure, we’ve had to withhold the vancomycin.  He’s covered; it’s still in therapeutic range.  They pulled new blood cultures on him last night when he came in with the fever; no results yet on those.  Bottom line is, we’re in a holding pattern.  Not bad, not good.  He’s pretty sick, but right now there’s not a hell of a lot we can do for him.”


“I know one thing we can do for him,” Cameron says.  “We need to go see him.  He needs to know that all his friends are there for him, supporting him.”


Foreman and Chase roll their eyes at each other, and Foreman whispers, “You wanna get back in Wilson’s good graces?  Keep her outta there!”


Chase shakes his head at Cameron.  “Wilson’s superglued himself to House’s side, so ‘all his friends’ is already there.  And you’d do well to stay out, at least for a while.  Cuddy’s with him too—and I have a feeling Wilson isn’t done yelling about the oversight yet.”


“You’re a coward, then, letting Cuddy take the heat,” Cameron says.  “And it’s not the oversight; it’s your oversight.  You should be right there with Cuddy.”


“Oh, no!” Chase shakes his head vigorously.  “You know how Wilson is about House’s health; he’s appointed himself personal guard dog.  Makes all the big decisions, even controls the meds.  And House lets him get away with it.  And currently, House’s guard dog is feeling guilty for falling asleep on the job, letting his friend suffer.  He’s gotta pin the blame on someone to make himself feel better.  Why should it be me when Dr. Cuddy’s already right there in firing range?”


“Coward,” Cameron mutters again.


“Yeah,” Chase tells her, unperturbed.  “But at least I’m a coward who’ll live to tell about it.  Can’t say the same for Cuddy, once Wilson gets done with—”  He’s interrupted by the sound of his pager, and reaches into his pocket for it.


When he looks up at his colleagues, his eyes are wide.  “It’s House; let’s go!”

Chapter Seventeen


23rd-May-2007 02:34 pm (UTC)
Very nice. Foreman's comment on keeping Cameron out was golden. Great characterization all around here. I especially liked Chase's description of Wilson's perspective. Now that ending's got me worried the holding pattern's over and things are headed downhill. Can't wait for the next bit. :)
23rd-May-2007 02:52 pm (UTC)
yup. holding pattern's over. time for the downhill slalom, minus the skis. ;)
23rd-May-2007 03:12 pm (UTC)
“It’s House; let’s go!”
OMG...I'm now waiting impatiently for the next chapter!
Fantastic work so far (as if you couldn't possibly know that already!)
Keep it up - I love it
23rd-May-2007 03:18 pm (UTC)
thanks! and i'm loving creating it, so it's working out well all around! ;)
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23rd-May-2007 03:23 pm (UTC)
oh, wow--thank you! i don't much care for the team, and was nervous that this chapter would reflect my utter disinterest in the characters. it's not that i dislike them, just really don't care one way or the other. so i truly appreciate your saying that they seem IC. (and i echo your thoughts about cameron)

wilson will, indeed, be continuing his rant--and chase is really in for it! ;)
23rd-May-2007 03:22 pm (UTC)
Gah, Cameron-- no one likes you saying those things! Have you even heard of tact? :) Good chapter.
23rd-May-2007 03:26 pm (UTC)
cam? tact?? what's that expression--oh yeah, i know: not bloody likely! (i can't even pretend to like her...). thanks!
23rd-May-2007 04:07 pm (UTC)
Are you painting Chase as a weasel? Because I think House would approve of his opinion that getting the hell out while he still could was the right thing to do. And I agree that Wilsie would be blaming more of this on himself than anybody else. I think he's just bouncing crap off Cuddles and everybody else but it's really all sticking to him.

*resists urge to hug Wilson because I don't want to get on Possessive!House's bad side*

Then again, I write them all as extremely possessive, so...UPDATE SOON!
23rd-May-2007 04:27 pm (UTC)
no--not painting chase as a weasel; i see him as more of a reptile, a chameleon to be exact. for three years, i've watched him change his colors every time he figures out who the winning team of the hour is, and then he blends right in with that team.

not saying he's a bad person--i don't think he is. and i think we've all done the chameleon thing at least once in our lives. but--just as house sees 'needing to be needed' as wilson's pathology--i see 'needing to be approved of' as chase's pathology.

hell, even after house punched him out in 'finding judas' he was back the next week in 'merry little christmas,' deferring to house and--watch his eyes when he looks at house--begging nonverbally for his approval, his praise. poor chase--seems all his self-esteem comes from the reflection of mirrors that others hold up to him.

anyway. just my theory, take it for what it's worth! ;)
23rd-May-2007 04:41 pm (UTC)
You better have not just coded House! If his heart just failed I'm going to hunt you down and it isn't going to be pretty. Okay now that the death threats are through, I wanted to say great chapter. You kept Chase in character very well. I agree with Foreman, keep Cameron as far away from House as possible. (Would a restraining order work in this case? It could be helpful.) So Cuddy's getting reamed by Wilson. That has to be nice. Well keep up the good writing and write more asap or you know what will happen! ;<>
23rd-May-2007 04:59 pm (UTC)
i feel so loved! ;) i'd like to just briefly point out that it's... a bit difficult... to write whilst one is cowering under one's bed!! ;)

do you think we could possibly get a restraining order for cam that's all-inclusive? :)

cuddy and chase are both in for it from wilson. he's willing to stand up for house, and for (what he perceives as) house's needs, in a way that he'd never do for himself, i think.
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23rd-May-2007 05:06 pm (UTC)
It was nice to see a chapter involving the Ducklings and what they are thinking as all this is happening. I loved the depiction of Chase's guilt. Cameron might be the most empathic of the three but I think there is a vulnerable side to him. It's also interesting to see them assuming Wilson is being over-protective of House by transferring him to the ICU when he's probably right. Doctos sometimes wait too long to do something and the situation becomes an emergency rather than elective so Wilson has the right idea.
23rd-May-2007 05:16 pm (UTC)
i think wilson is overprotective of house--but i think, also, that he has damned good reason to be, both on the show and in the story.

and i think it's just a normal human reaction for those three young physicians--who admire their boss's skills, whatever else they think of him--to be, somewhat, in a state of denial that he might, in fact, be dangerously ill.

i wholeheartedly agree that chase has a vulnerable side; that side may make him even more empathetic than cameron. he really needs house, more so than the other two, no?
23rd-May-2007 05:13 pm (UTC)
Ohhhh, cliffhanger. *wrings hands*

As much as I really dislike the Ducklings (except for Foreman), you've written them really well here. Very few people seem to be able to write them as they are on the show--usually, I suppose, because the stories in which they typically appear often involve a 'ship of some kind between Cameron and/or Chase and/or someone else. (Poor Foreman, he gets nothing.) Kudos for the balanced, canonical Ducklings take, but I'm on the edge of my seat here. Oh, Thursday, hurry up!
23rd-May-2007 05:20 pm (UTC)
lol; i really didn't want to write this chapter, as i wouldn't notice if the team fell off the earth tomorrow, but i couldn't see a way around it--house is in princeton-plainsboro, after all. it was quite a challenge to write these characters; thus i was nervous about this chapter. many thanks for the praise!
23rd-May-2007 05:25 pm (UTC)
Hi ! So happy to find your new chapter today, yesterday was a baaaad day : no House on TV, no new chapter of The More Things Change...on my computer, I felt kind of idle :-)
You might remember that I have no special attraction or interest for the ducklings, but you manage to make this whole scene really interesting. You pictured them totally in character, Chase the Cameleon (I agree with that), Foreman the cynical, and self-righteous Cameron. Hats off for the dialogues ! Of course I've missed House, Wilson and Cuddy but I know that tomorrow...he he. What a cliffhanger BTW, I can't wait, really...THANK YOU, brilliant, as usual.
23rd-May-2007 05:37 pm (UTC)
I have no special attraction or interest for the ducklings

i've a feeling that most of us writing/reading this particular story have little interest in those three, but--now that i've gotten their obligatory cameo outta the way--we can (pretty much) relegate them back to their usual wallpaper status. yay! although we will have a little fun watching chase get yelled at tomorrow!! ;)
23rd-May-2007 06:32 pm (UTC)
I really liked this chapter! Not much for the ducklings but, gotta say, you really got their voices and attitudes perfect here. Poor Chase, you know he's feeling awful right now but you have to love his 'survival instincts'- hope he's taking a deep breath before going back into the firing range.

I have to say- I do enjoy chapters like this. It's always interesting to get those occasional outside glimpses into our favorite characters. Like Chase's "And House lets him get away with it." and Foreman's “And Wilson was more concerned with House, the friend than House, the patient..." Comments like that just reinforce (in my opinion) how strong House and Wilson's friendship actually is.

Looking forward to the next chapter!
23rd-May-2007 07:00 pm (UTC)
i am oh, so happily surprised that you guys are enjoying this chapter, and finding it reasonably in character! and yup--chase has stronger 'survival instincts' than anyone i've ever known.

i didn't realize, until you pointed it out, that even in a house-and-wilson-free chapter, i couldn't keep from analyzing their relationship; interesting observation! thanks!!
23rd-May-2007 07:37 pm (UTC)
Oh, hell. Pagers are never a good sign. At least this will put a damped on Cameron's tirade about morality. And hey, I just realized that everything is set up perfectly for a little Wilson/Chase hurt/comfort moment. ~.^
23rd-May-2007 07:45 pm (UTC)
everything is set up perfectly for a little Wilson/Chase hurt/comfort moment

rofl!!!--because that is so exactly not what you'll be seeing tomorrow! sorry!! ;)
23rd-May-2007 09:21 pm (UTC)
Great chapter - different, but great! I don't mind Foreman... Chase I kinda feel sorry for, but really cannot stand Cameron, you know? She's just plain annoying and thinks she knows whats best for everyone else. Your characterisation is on the mark and she is definitely NOT needed anywhere in the vacinity of either House or Wilson (on the other hand, I'd love to see Wilson do some more of the much needed venting lol).

I'm guessing the time for a silent House has come? =D Can't wait!!!!!!!
23rd-May-2007 09:51 pm (UTC)
if you like, sydneylover150, misanthropicobs, and i will let you be on our "the world needs to be kept safe from cameron" committee!

I'm guessing the time for a silent House has come?

nope--you know house; he never shuts up on cue. we'll still be hearing from him for a bit yet. (told ya this is a long one!) :)
23rd-May-2007 10:41 pm (UTC)
Chase ruled this part. "I'm a coward who'll live to tell about it." At least he's honest! Loved Foreman's comment about Cameron too ;)
24th-May-2007 10:52 am (UTC)
that's our chase--the path of least resistance.... ;)
24th-May-2007 02:58 am (UTC)
OOOHHHH! Cliffhanger!

I particularly liked Foreman's “House’ll be pleased; the old bastard’s gonna take it as a compliment.” House will take their forgetting his infarction as a success of some sort. House doesn't want to be written off as the cripple with the pain management problem. He will rejoice at the fact that Chase and Cuddy forgot about it. But Foreman is also right. This 'happiness' of House will be buried deep deep within him. He will berate everyone that needs to be berated on. That will not be a fun couple of days.
24th-May-2007 11:01 am (UTC)
I particularly liked Foreman's “House’ll be pleased; the old bastard’s gonna take it as a compliment.”

and that was my favorite part as well, because i do think that it's some of the reason house is so... uh... vocal about his disability, up to and including putting on a show with the vicodin. after you watch the same performance daily for several years, even the aberrant becomes nothing more than a part of the 'routine,' and you cease to feel anything (including pity). unless you're cam. but we won't go there. ;)
24th-May-2007 04:25 am (UTC)
Ug...I hate it when the pager goes off! It's never good. My pager went off today, and resulted in a long angsty discussion with a non insured patient about why she could not come to our facility on a "I'll pay it all when you heal me" plan. Complete with dramatic proclimations that I was willing to "just let her go away and die" instead of giving her free medical care. Actually, given my lousy day and the fact that I didn't get an update yesterday...I think I should get two today to make up for things. Whoops...gotta go, pagers goin off again..
24th-May-2007 11:09 am (UTC)
oh, goodness! you're absolutely right--you did deserve two updates yesterday--at minimum! (and you've reminded me why, while i'm not happy about the reasons i retired at 45, i am very happy to be retired!) yeah, pagers--instruments of doom and disruption. ugh.
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