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Cats' Corners: the little HOUSE in the woods....
Where House is NEVER safe...
The More Things Change... Chapter TWENTY-THREE 
31st-May-2007 09:13 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

The previous chaptersCollapse )
Chapter Twenty-ThreeCollapse )
Wilson awakens because of a noise he’s not hearing. He’s been dozing lightly, anticipating the arrival of Cuddy and Chase. And—as horrible as the sound of House’s respirations have been—the rapid, rhythmic panting that Wilson’s been aware of, even in his own semi-conscious state, has reassured him that House is breathing.
But now, that awful rhythm is off; the sounds are being punctuated by long seconds of silence. Wilson, instantly awake, sits up and sees Chase and Cuddy in the corner of the room, speaking in low voices—he can’t make out what they’re saying, but Cuddy appears to be crying. Wilson can’t worry about Cuddy now, though; he needs to find out what’s going on with House. He rises and starts to the bedside.
“Dr. Wilson,” Chase calls to him softly, but Wilson ignores him; he’s seen that during the moments of silence, House’s chest isn’t moving. Wilson reaches for the emergency equipment.
“What the hell’s the matter with you two?” Wilson shouts. “He’s having periods of apnea! Why are you just standing there?” He’s just grabbed the ambu bag when Chase’s hand on his arm stops him.
“No,” Chase tells him; Wilson, uncomprehending, stares at him. “No,” Chase repeats. “Leave him alone.”
“What are you talking about?” Wilson tries to yank his arm back, but Chase holds it firmly.
“The Advance Directive; you can’t do that,” Chase says, indicating the ambu clutched in Wilson’s hand. “Come on, Dr. Wilson; you know that.” Chase’s voice is gentle, but his grip on Wilson’s arm remains strong. Then he sees the look on Wilson’s face; it’s equal parts panic and puzzlement. “He didn’t tell you; he said he’d talk to you,” Chase whispers.
Wilson’s mouth goes dry as he remembers House’s strained voice. …told Chase…. And he sees that odd combination of sadness and regret that House had had, just before he’d given in to sleep. “No. He didn’t tell me anything. And he would’ve. Now let go of me. We’ve got a patient in acute respiratory distress. If you’re not going to help him, I will.”
Chase looks helplessly at Cuddy, who moves to stand next to Wilson. “I… didn’t know anything about this either. But apparently when you and I were speaking, just after you arrived in the exam room, House was talking to Chase. He told Chase that he didn’t expect things to get… bad. But he also said that in the event of multiple organ failure he… didn’t want any intervention.”
“That’s not in his chart!” Wilson looks toward House; he’s not apneic right now, but his O2 sats are at 86%. Wilson hands the ambu bag to Chase, who releases his arm. Wilson glares at him defiantly and increases the oxygen flow to 30 liters. 
Chase doesn’t comment about the oxygen. “He asked me not to make it part of his chart. He said he’d tell you himself.”
“He didn’t actually sign the Advance Directive,” Cuddy says. “But now we know what his wishes are; we have to respect them.”
Wilson resolutely pushes House’s whispered words, that last expression on his face, out of his mind. “All we have is Chase’s word on that. House would’ve told you; he’d have told me, if that’s what he really wanted!”
Chase looks as if Wilson has just slapped him. “And you think I’m lying to you?” he asks Wilson quietly.
“You’ve turned on House before, and yesterday you were pretty vocal in your resentment about everything that’s happened this past year; how do I know this isn’t part of some… agenda you have?”
This incredible question hangs in the air, as Chase and Cuddy stare at Wilson, their expressions moving slowly from shock to concern.
Wilson looks from one to the other, and realizes what he’s just asserted. “I’m… sorry, Chase; I don’t know where that came from. But you’ve got to understand—even if House did tell you he wanted no intervention, he changed his mind. He must’ve! There’s no way he’d keep something like that from me.” Yeah, like he told me about the brain cancer fiasco. Like I told him about the antidepressants. Like he let me know right away about the shoulder… and the prednisone. If we’d been any more closed off from each other these last few months, the guy could’ve moved to Maine and I wouldn’t have known about it ‘til I got a change of address card—if I got a change of address card.
“And what would you have said if he had told you?” Cuddy asks.
“I… don’t know,” Wilson admits. “But I do know that right now, he needs to be put on a vent. We can straighten the rest out later, when he’s better, stronger. When he can think for himself.”
Chase’s eyes widen. “Have you heard anything I said? House is going into multi-system organ failure. He knew it might happen, and he discussed it with me when he could think for himself. He told me what he wanted done. And what he didn’t.”
Wilson ignores Chase. House is having another apneic spell, and Wilson holds his own breath until House gasps and resumes breathing. Wilson turns to Cuddy. “Authorize the ventilator. Now.”
“I… can’t do that.” Cuddy’s eyes beg for Wilson’s understanding.
“Why not? You’re his proxy; what’s stopping you?”
He is. I know what his wishes are; I can’t just… ignore that.”
Wilson narrows his eyes, looks hard at Cuddy. ”Your history says you can. You didn’t have a problem ignoring what he wanted after the infarction. What’s changed?”
Cuddy’s anger flares. “Everything’s changed! That decision was made to save his life. Now you’re asking me to prolong his death. And even if he did manage to recover, would I be doing him any favors? Going against his wishes last time cost him Stacy. He pushed her away, and he’s been pushing everyone else away ever since. If I overrode what he wants this time—and if he lived—you think he’d be happy about it? Grateful to me? No; he’d have a long, miserable recovery, all alone, and eventually he’d come back here even more bitter and distrustful than he is now.”
“He wouldn’t be all alone! I’m not Stacy; I won’t let him push me away. Yeah, we’ve had our problems, big problems. But—”
Stop it!” Chase interrupts. “We shouldn’t even be having this discussion.” Chase lowers his voice. “House could go on like this for hours—days. I understand how difficult this is for you to watch, Dr. Wilson. And I think you’d be… well-advised… to think about leaving, at least for a little while. Give yourself a chance to… come to terms with his decision. His death.”
Wilson stares at Chase as if he’s lost his mind. “I’m not leaving this room. I made him a promise; I told him I’d see him through this, and that’s what I’m going to do. Because he will get through this.”
Chase shakes his head sadly. “I’m sorry; I can’t be a party to this. I won’t.” He turns to Cuddy. “I’ll be in the Diagnostics office. Call if you need me.” He looks at Wilson with a mixture of frustration and pity, then quietly leaves the room.

Chapter Twenty-Four
Chapter Twenty-ThreeCollapse )</div> </div>
31st-May-2007 10:51 pm (UTC)
Oh, bloody hell. I honestly didn't see that coming. That's kind of a kick in the teeth for Wilson - I really don't know what he's going to do. Nice cliffhanger.
31st-May-2007 11:38 pm (UTC)
Oh, bloody hell. I honestly didn't see that coming.

excellent! that's what i was trying for!! (gotta keep you coming back for more, ya know ;)...)

31st-May-2007 11:21 pm (UTC)
I think I just figured out what House wanted to tell Wilson. *sighs* Honestly I don't blame him and Wilson won't listen. This is going to get a lot worse isn't it. Is House going to wake up enough to tell Wilson? I think its time to do that. I love angst as much as anyone, but I have a problem with prolonged suffering in an effort to keep someone alive. I don't believe in euthanasia at all, but control of the pain of the disease (hospice is my friend.) God help Wilson when House wakes up. Great job.

Not many people can make me question my belief over seeing a sequel. It is really a compliment to your realistic style of writing.
31st-May-2007 11:42 pm (UTC)
This is going to get a lot worse isn't it.

umm... do i need to issue a blanket reminder to our little gang that this is MAKE-BELIEVE? fiction?? unofficial, non-canon fiction???

actually, i'm really flattered, and touched, that you kids are so involved in this story. and all will be well... eventually. (eg)
31st-May-2007 11:24 pm (UTC)
Wow! Great section!
31st-May-2007 11:48 pm (UTC)

wow! four "wow"s today--you like me! you really like me! (your elderly author is quoting sally field, at the academy awards, winning for 'norma rae'. those of you too young to catch the reference, and those of you who are even younger and are saying 'sally who', should make use of that cute wee 'google' button...)
1st-Jun-2007 01:05 am (UTC)
I think House wasn't in his right mind if he did actually have that conversation with Chase...wait a minute....*has an epiphany*
1st-Jun-2007 10:14 am (UTC)
....*has an epiphany

care to share? (and is house ever in his right mind?) ;)
1st-Jun-2007 02:29 am (UTC)
Oooh..How wonderfully suspenseful. I'm on the edge of my seat for the next chapter!
1st-Jun-2007 10:18 am (UTC)
wonderfully suspenseful

i am so happy right now, 'cuz you guys are all having just the reaction i'd hoped! :)
1st-Jun-2007 02:40 am (UTC)
I stopped breathing for most of this chapter.

He's not going to die, right? I mean, you said there's going to be a sequel, so he can't die--right?!
1st-Jun-2007 10:22 am (UTC)
you said there's going to be a sequel, so he can't die--right?!

well--the sequel could be an exploration of how cuddy and wilson deal with house's death....

it could be--but it isn't! i am NOT KILLING HOUSE!!

please, breathe now! ;)
1st-Jun-2007 03:00 am (UTC)
Ahhhh! Oh man, the conflict! Poor Chase- he's actually doing as his patient requested (and I'm sure it's something he was hoping he wouldn't have to do) and Wilson is doing what he thinks is right since nothing is written down and House didn't say anything to him. (Would I be right in thinking House might have had to convince Chase that it was for the best?) Cuddy is in a hard spot too considering she was involved in what happened to House the last time. This is going to make things really difficult for Wilson- but if it was easy then we wouldn't be here guiltily enjoying every minute of the angst!;)

Thanks for a very thought-provoking chapter!
1st-Jun-2007 10:25 am (UTC)
guiltily enjoying every minute of the angst!;)

and guiltily enjoying writing every minute of the angst! and i believe that, when this is all over, we're going to be very proud of wilson.
1st-Jun-2007 07:14 am (UTC)
You do know that your story is the one constant thing that keeps me visiting this comm at least once a day, right?
1st-Jun-2007 10:41 am (UTC)
and you know that this story is the one constant thing that keeps me from cleaning my house, right? (actually, there is that whole "lazy" factor, but we're not going there...) ;)
1st-Jun-2007 09:43 am (UTC)
what the f****??
talk about angst...

*takes a deep breath*
you promised you wouldn't kill him, so I'll believe you, for now.

this story is fantastic! I've read very very few which have gripped me that much. honestly. I'm in awe.

1st-Jun-2007 10:44 am (UTC)
*takes a deep breath*
you promised you wouldn't kill him, so I'll believe you, for now.

all you kids really need to work on that whole "breathing" thingy... ;)

not killing house not killing house not killing house

now... breathe!

1st-Jun-2007 06:42 pm (UTC)
Good Lord. That had some serious angst.

Please don't let House die! I'll have to exact revenge if you do! Don't think I won't!

Anywayz, I agree Wilson was kind of acting like a jerk in this story, but I would probably do the same thing, even if my friend/loved one told me their wishes to my face. I guess we're all a little desperate to play God sometimes, particularly in the case of a doctor. I would hate to be Wilson right now, knowing he can help his friend, but at the same time he can't. So sad.

Okay, off to read the next chapter now.
3rd-Jun-2007 08:06 pm (UTC)
you, m'dear, are the queen of angst. Jeez. I never would've thought House would give up, stubborn sonuvabitch he is. Ah, so far behind.

5th-Jun-2007 08:00 pm (UTC)
I almost feel sorry for Chase. Almost.

And Wilson--as much as I want to agree with Chase and Cuddy, I'm too nagged by that glimmer Wilson saw not to side with Wilson. Because it's very simple: they just don't know House like he does. As for why House would tell Chase and no one else, I'm eager to find that out. Once again, I love your work so much because I can't see where you're going to take me. I'm always surprised, and I love to be surprised. :)
5th-Jun-2007 08:17 pm (UTC)
As for why House would tell Chase and no one else, I'm eager to find that out.

that particular reveal is planned for the sequel--although, oddly enough, i've already written the scene, because one quiet night here, that's precisely what wilson insisted on discussing... and you know how that goes! ;)
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