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Cats' Corners: the little HOUSE in the woods....
Where House is NEVER safe...
The More Things Change... Chapter TWENTY-FOUR 
1st-Jun-2007 07:15 am
PoignantWilsonHouse
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: BREATHING ROOM
 
When Foreman enters House’s cubicle, Wilson and Cuddy see him, but pay no attention; they’re deep into a heated discussion. Foreman stands quietly at the door—he knows that no one else has any place in the decisions these two are trying to make.
 
Foreman had been in the Diagnostics office when Chase, clearly disturbed, had come in. Chase had told him about House’s worsening condition, the respiratory distress, Wilson’s demand for a ventilator. And then he’d revealed the details of his confidential conversation with House. So Foreman had taken a few minutes to bring himself up to date on House’s condition. Then he’d examined his own feelings about what was transpiring, and he’d discovered that he understood both sides of the argument. Now, he’s here to provide whatever support he can, whichever way the decision goes. So he waits.
 
“He’s suffering,” Wilson tells Cuddy as they both watch House pull in a torturous breath at the end of eighteen seconds of apnea.
 
“And if we put him on a vent, we’ll be prolonging the suffering. He’s comatose now; in all likelihood he’s unaware of what’s happening to him. And in a few hours, a day maybe, it’ll… be over. But if we intubate, get him on the respirator, he may regain consciousness at some point. And then he’ll know that he’s dying, that medically we’re powerless to help him. He’ll know everything, he’ll feel everything. Is that what you want for him?” Cuddy looks deep into Wilson’s eyes, trying to make him understand.
 
“You know it isn’t,” Wilson answers fervently. “But it doesn’t have to be that way. We’ll keep him heavily sedated, and the vent’ll buy us the time we need to figure out how to treat this. I’ve got a couple leads on clinical trials; I’m waiting on a callback right now on a new compound that’s shown promising results. Time, Cuddy. That’s all I’m asking for—a little more time.”
 
Cuddy sighs. “Sedation isn’t foolproof, and if anyone can fight it off, it’ll be House. I’m sorry; his kidneys are failing, his lungs are failing. The latest lab results indicate that his liver’s next. And what happens when—not if, but when—the infection stops responding to linezolid?”
 
“By then, we’ll have something else; I know it. Come on, Cuddy; we’re wasting time! While we’re standing here debating this, we’re risking hypoxia, stroke, respiratory arrest—and we’re not giving him the chance he needs to fight this.”
 
Cuddy puts a hand on Wilson’s arm and leads him over to sit on the edge of the cot. Both the situation and the discussion have left him drained, and he allows it. Cuddy sits beside him.
 
“Let’s say you’re right,” Cuddy says quietly. “Let’s say that we get him on the vent, stabilize him until we find an effective treatment. Surely you’re aware of what his recovery would be like, the sequelae he’d face in light of his current condition. And that’s assuming that nothing else goes wrong during treatment.”
 
“Of course I’m aware of it. I know how long his recovery will be, the complications he’ll face. But we’ll deal with them. He’s gonna be angry, miserable. He’ll make my life a living hell; I get that. And I’m okay with it. Told you I’m not Stacy; not gonna cut and run on him, no matter what he does, what he says.”
 
“What if he meant what he said to Chase?  What if you’re wrong about him changing his mind, and that’s the way he feels now?”
 
Wilson takes a deep breath, locks his eyes with Cuddy’s. “He’s been depressed, seriously depressed. And we didn’t know just how bad it was until the brain cancer stunt. But you know what that told me? Told me he doesn’t just want to live, he wants a better life than he’s got now. When he found out I’d been dosing him with antidepressants, he didn’t get angry. More importantly, he didn’t quit taking them! Cuddy, he doesn’t want to die; maybe what he wants is another chance at life. And right now, you’re the only one who can give me that chance.”
 
Cuddy stares at WilsonHe doesn’t realize what he just said—he didn’t catch his slip, saying ‘me’ instead of ‘him’. This isn’t just about House for him. House was right; Wilson does see this as his last chance to make things right. House is going to die. But before that happens, Wilson’s got to feel that he’s done everything humanly possible for him. And then maybe Wilson will be able to go on. Maybe House would understand that. Maybe he’d even approve….
 
Cuddy looks over at House, then back to Wilson. “And if we do this, and he dies?”
 
“That’s not going to happen. But… if he doesn’t make it… he’ll die knowing that we cared enough, loved him enough, to fight for him.”
 
Cuddy has to blink away tears, and Wilson can see that she’s beginning to waver. “Look, he’s going to get better,” Wilson says. “It’ll be long; it’ll be hard. But I’ll take a leave of absence from my practice, from the hospital. I’ll make sure he’s never alone, never has a chance to brood. I’ll take care of him, and I’ll monitor his mental state. And he’ll get through it, we’ll get through it. Whatever it takes.” He looks at Cuddy, and the plea in his eyes is as loud as a shout.
 
“You’d give it all up, your own life, everything, just to help him?”
 
“That’s what friends do,” Wilson says simply.
 
Cuddy smiles faintly. “Do me a favor. Next time you’re near a dictionary, look up self preservation. And then, try to learn what it means, okay?” She leans over and gives Wilson a hug.
 
“Is that a yes?” Wilson’s afraid to hope. When Cuddy nods wordlessly, he hugs her back. “Thank you,” he whispers. “You won’t be sorry.”
 
They both stand and return to House’s side. “I’ll do it,” Wilson tells Cuddy quietly, but she can hear the immense strain in his voice.
 
“No,” she responds. “I’ll do it. I can’t order Chase to go against a patient’s expressed wishes.”
 
Wilson almost smiles. “Why not? House makes him do it all the time.”
 
Foreman steps forward, and Wilson and Cuddy both startle; they’d forgotten he was there. “I do this a lot more often than either of you,” he tells them. “And God knows, wouldn’t wanna risk damaging House’s precious vocal cords!”
 
At his last remark, Cuddy and Wilson finally have genuine smiles on their pale, worried faces, which is exactly what Foreman had intended. He nods at them both, then says to Cuddy, “Take this man down to the cafeteria for some coffee, and get a decent meal into him.”
 
Wilson starts to protest; then he sees Foreman’s eyes. The message is clear—you don’t need to see this; don’t argue with me—and it’s wrapped in compassion. So Wilson nods, then looks down at his comatose friend.
 
“Not going far, pal. Be back soon. And… you’re in good hands.” Wilson looks gratefully over at Foreman. “The best.”

Chapter Twenty-Five
Thoughts 
1st-Jun-2007 07:14 pm (UTC)
Wow. I suspected you'd take House as close to death as you possibly could without actually killing him, but the torturous debate between honoring his wishes and fighting to keep him alive, simultaneously mirroring and contrasting the infarction, is unanticipated perfection. I love that you found the Foreman of episodes past. Bet he was hanging out with Wilson's devotion, caring, and compassion for House, which while also notably absent from this season, is thankfully present in spades in this wonderful story. Excellent, as always.
1st-Jun-2007 07:42 pm (UTC)
the torturous debate between honoring his wishes and fighting to keep him alive, simultaneously mirroring and contrasting the infarction, is unanticipated perfection.

unanticipated by me as well! wasn't until i started writing these chapters that i even realized there is, indeed, a parallel between this situation and the infarct. and i really like your theory about where the 'old' foreman is hanging out!!
1st-Jun-2007 07:52 pm (UTC)
"'Right now you're the only one who can give me that chance.'"

How perfect! I am so impressed with this.
1st-Jun-2007 07:55 pm (UTC)
How perfect! I am so impressed with this.

and how perfectly lovely to receive such a nice compliment; thank you! :)
1st-Jun-2007 08:21 pm (UTC)
A. loll they forgot about Foreman!
B. Where'd you get the Bridge of Terribetha (yes i know it's spelled wrong) with RSL reading it from?
1st-Jun-2007 08:28 pm (UTC)
A: they forgot about foreman because they were attempting to make a life and death decision for house
B: i ordered it, on CD, from amazon.com, then transferred it to my iPod via iTunes
1st-Jun-2007 08:46 pm (UTC)
It struck me in this chapter that Wilson is an oncologist. And I think you portray him more like oncologists really are than the show does sometimes - they are more likely to fight for a little more time (statistically more likely to think that a $100,000 treatment for 5 months extended life is worth it than other doctors), to be attentive to end of life issues but also not willing to write people off early. I don't know if you meant it, but he just suddenly seemed like an oncologist even though the show sort of makes it sound from the $10 bet and that his patients are always acutely terminal that they just measure people for coffins.
1st-Jun-2007 09:03 pm (UTC)
I don't know if you meant it, but he just suddenly seemed like an oncologist

i did mean it, and thank you so much for catching, and commenting on, that subtle point! it's quite important to me, when writing, to keep these people as much in character and as "realistic" as possible, so it makes me feel wonderful that these tiny details are important to you, as a reader, as well. :)
1st-Jun-2007 10:11 pm (UTC)
I've always liked Foreman better than any of the other fellows. I don't know why, but I always have. This is really about Wilson isn't it? Great job. Just curious is House ever going to wake up and tell Wilson what he wanted? B/c the fight from that could be awesome. Just curious, and please spoil me, is there any indication that House actually continued to take those anti-depressants? Somehow I can't see him doing that, but all of the recaps I read lacked details any ways. Honestly if I were House though, I'd probably be pissed that someone was going against my wishes, no matter how depressed I was. Okay I swear my rant for the night is done. Keep the chapters rolling.
1st-Jun-2007 10:55 pm (UTC)
Just curious, and please spoil me, is there any indication that House actually continued to take those anti-depressants?

there's no actual, solid evidence either way about the antidepressants. i'm basing my supposition (that he's decided to take them) on house telling honey that he's "on antidepressants" because wilson thinks he's miserable--i don't think he'd have mentioned them to honey if he hadn't been planning to stay on them, at least for a little while. i could very well be incorrect, though.

Just curious is House ever going to wake up and tell Wilson what he wanted?

now that info is Top Secret!! ;) and i very much enjoyed your rant! :)

(Deleted comment)
1st-Jun-2007 10:59 pm (UTC)
Wilson, as well as House, need a concrete issue like this to really clarify the situation between them as well as to make them both, but especially Wilson, understand how far Wilson is willing to go here.

which is why i had to put wilson through the agony of finding out from chase about house's Advance Directive! and, as i said above, wilson is far from finished dealing with the ramifications of the choice he's made for house!
2nd-Jun-2007 12:09 am (UTC)
sorry it has taken me a while to leave feedback! Last few days were hectic and I just did not have enough time.

This was a bitter sweet chapter, you know? Wilson is fighting for House when House cannot do so himself. He *knows* he can get House through it, and is willing to put everything, life, practice etc on hold for someone he loves.

I loved Foreman - his strength and compassion have been sorely missed, but I'm glad to be rediscovering these once more. I'm so happy with the way you have portrayed him. He's such a strong character, which I believe has not been utilised to full potential lately.

To be honest, I had tears in my eyes with this little line:

"....he’ll die knowing that we cared enough, loved him enough, to fight for him.”

I hope House will realise just how loved he is. Wilson has to face and make the hard decisions, but he's doing it out of that deep love for his friend. And yes, even if House did not make it (which I know you promised won't happen!!!), I really do think he would realise how much people are willing to sacrifice.

Personally, I'm willing to sacrifice Cameron. On a bonfire. With me doing a little dance. Would this make House feel better? Certainly works for me =D
2nd-Jun-2007 12:22 am (UTC)
"....he’ll die knowing that we cared enough, loved him enough, to fight for him.”

yeah... breaks my heart to read that (even though i wrote it) because house breaks my heart; i think he has felt unloved this season, even by wilson. but we'll fix that! ;)

Personally, I'm willing to sacrifice Cameron. On a bonfire. With me doing a little dance. Would this make House feel better? Certainly works for me =D

cameron, on a bonfire. now, despite a horrific day, i can go to bed with a smile on my face--thank you! :)




(Deleted comment)
2nd-Jun-2007 04:47 am (UTC) - So Good
A very short note cause I have to go edit in the morning and I'll be doing that all day. Man, I love being a sound designer.

So touched by Wilson's words that he would give up so much to be by House's side. A true friend. So much of your writing just hits me in the right way. Even though I won't read the end until after I come home, it will be something great to look forward to so don't feel bad, I have friends who are writers. You should never rush them when the muse is good.

Foreman: I was surprised but I went and looked at my DVD's of the past two seasons. He does have the necessary stuff when the show isn't having him be a major a-hole. So I trust you know what you are doing.

For House to get better, I would happily do a happy dance while Cameron fried on a pole. Why can't I like her at all? Since the first season, I keep hoping something will happen to get her out of my sight. So cruel, but hey she blows.

Okay, need to listen something good and soothing. Maybe some Bach, I love him with a little bit of the good green tea. Hey I'm addicted to tea. Coffee makes me ill but the smell is so amazing.

Off I go. Is this really a short note? Sorry about that.
2nd-Jun-2007 09:55 am (UTC) - Re: So Good
So touched by Wilson's words that he would give up so much to be by House's side. A true friend. So much of your writing just hits me in the right way. Even though I won't read the end until after I come home, it will be something great to look forward to so don't feel bad, I have friends who are writers. You should never rush them when the muse is good.

something in this story seems to have touched many people, and that makes me feel wonderful. despite what the writers attempted to do with wilson's character in S3, and due in large part to rsl's skill as an actor, i think that we never lost sight of how essential wilson is to house (and vice versa). i guess it's just nice to revisit that wilson for a while, as we have a summer of living through the tritter arc again... sigh.

bach and tea... sounds lovely!
3rd-Jun-2007 08:45 pm (UTC)
God, if only the real Foreman was this good. I mean yeah he'd probably do the same thing in this scenario but... I dunno. He wouldn't be that nice about it, at least I wouldn't think.

-ANimal
3rd-Jun-2007 09:23 pm (UTC)
He wouldn't be that nice about it, at least I wouldn't think.

S3 foreman might not--but then, S3 wilson left drunk, OD'd house choking in his own vomit.... hey, i know--let's just call S3 'the season of the evil twins'!!
5th-Jun-2007 06:29 pm (UTC)
I know I am slow on the uptake, but is House taking an SSRI and now on Linezolid?
5th-Jun-2007 07:06 pm (UTC)
well, he's not currently taking the ssri, and had been off it for two+ days prior to initiation of linezolid therapy. and i didn't think it necessary to bring up the possibility of serotonin syndrome, or that they'd be monitoring him for it (which, in my mind, they are; in my febrile little brain, they're doing a zillion things that you kids don't see in print) as i sometimes fear going too in-depth with the medical stuff anyway--but there's one in every crowd! ;) so here's a tiny, but pertinent, bit of my research; if you're really interested, i'll be happy to email you my links/resources:

A Phase III study of linezolid included 52 patients receiving concomitant linezolid and an SSRI with no reports of serotonin syndrome. Given the limited treatment experience with these agents in combination, physicians were alerted to be aware of the potential for interaction.3

5th-Jun-2007 09:23 pm (UTC)
There's the Foreman I like. As most of the other folks said, I'm glad to see him return. He's always been my favorite duckling (by default).

Now that you've mentioned the sequel, I can just see it coming to life. Think this'll be a two-parter or another three-parter? Either way, I'm thrilled you're writing!
5th-Jun-2007 09:53 pm (UTC)
There's the Foreman I like.

you mean, as opposed to the one we couldn't recognize for most of the season? ;)

Think this'll be a two-parter or another three-parter?

i... wouldn't be surprised if it went three. i've discovered that i really don't do well at all when i'm not writing; it seems that i'm gonna be "stuck" making the world a sadder place for house and wilson for a while.

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