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
CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN: MOTIVATIONS
Wilson is hard at work on his laptop, following up on research and emails, when Cameron quietly enters the room. He finds that he’s glad to see her; he knows that she’ll understand his decision about the vent, and support it. And he could use some support right now; his dream is still all too vivid in his mind. He smiles at her, indicates for her to sit beside him.
Cameron stops at the bedside, places a gentle hand on House’s arm and watches him for a moment before approaching Wilson and perching on the edge of the cot. “How is he?” she asks.
“A lot more comfortable since we got him on the vent. Temp’s back up; I don’t like that, but I guess it’s to be expected—the effect of the linezolid is beginning to weaken. And the sedation is keeping him out, thank God—hate for him to wake up right now.”
There’s an odd, unreadable expression on Cameron’s face. “Why?”
“Why would you hate for him to wake up?”
Wilson frowns at her. “I’d think that would be pretty clear. He’d be… suffering. And he’d have questions. A lot of questions, that we can’t answer yet. And communication would be difficult with the vent, and that’d just piss him off, which wouldn’t be fun for any of us.” Wilson offers a small smile, but Cameron doesn’t return it.
“And did you think of any of those things, before you chose to disregard his wishes?”
Wilson, shocked at the quiet anger in Cameron’s voice, stares at her before he says slowly, “I thought of all of them. Of course. My decision wasn’t easy, but it was… necessary. He’d have been… dead… in twenty-four hours if we hadn’t intervened.”
“It wasn’t we; it was you. Dr. Wilson, none of us wants to lose House, but Chase and Cuddy were ready to follow his instructions, ready to make it as easy for him as they could. Because they respect him, and they respected his decision.”
“What are you saying, Cameron? You think that I don’t respect him? You think that medically, I made the wrong decision for him? Or is this just another discussion about my impure motives? Because I really don’t have time for that.”
Wilson manages to keep his voice low and even, but there’s no mistaking the irritation in his tone. During the narcotics investigation against House, Cameron had accused Wilson of making the deal with Tritter for personal reasons, to make Wilson’s own disrupted life easier. She’d told him that he was pretending his motives were pure, and it still rankled. Wilson had gone through hell trying to help House, to save his life; he’d never even considered the impact—good or bad—on himself.
Cameron takes a deep breath before responding. “No, I know that you respect House. And I know that medically there are reasons for either decision. But… yeah… I do think that your decision was… selfish.” She looks at Wilson challengingly.
Now it’s Wilson’s turn to breathe deeply. “Cameron, during the investigation, I made that deal because it was in House’s best interests. That’s the only reason I did it. And now, the only reason I want him on the vent is because I happen to feel that living is also in his best interest.”
“Don’t you think that House is capable of deciding for himself what’s best for him? He’s an adult, not some child who can’t reason things out, analyze his options!”
Wilson thinks back on the conversation he’d had with Cuddy the night House had been admitted, about the essential grown-up element, that ‘secret’ that House doesn’t get. Now he smiles humorlessly. “That’s where you’re wrong, Dr. Cameron. It’s also why you could never be… what House needs. When we care about someone, and know them well, after a time we learn things about how they live their lives. And one thing I’ve learned about House is that… he doesn’t know how to put the brakes on. He does everything in the extreme. Most of the time, that works out well for his patients. But in his personal life, not so well. They say we choose our closest friends to supply the things that we sense are… missing in our own make-up. And House knows that he’s missing the ability, even the desire, to control his own behavior.”
“So you think he chose you to be the ‘voice of reason’ in his life?” Cameron’s almost sneering.
Wilson doesn’t even need to consider the question. “Yeah; that’s exactly what I think. I also think it’d be best if we… end this conversation now. I’d hate for you to have to start examining your own motives, in mindlessly going along with what you think House wants.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Cameron bristles.
“Just as I said. But let me point out to you that no matter how proud you believe House would be of you for supporting his decision, you should really keep in mind that he’d have a very difficult time expressing that pride if he were dead.” Wilson’s voice is cold, and the words are terse—but he doesn’t care. He doesn’t have time for this nonsense; neither does House.
Cameron stands and glares down at Wilson. “You know what you’ve done? You’ve turned a brilliant, vital man into nothing more than just another patient, another hopeless case being kept alive by the curse of technology. What you’ve done isn’t compassionate; it isn’t even humane. It’s… it’s… nothing more than torture. You keep that in mind while you watch him die.” Cameron, tears in her eyes, turns and leaves before a stunned and angry Wilson can formulate a response.
Wilson rises slowly and walks to House’s side. He stands there for quite a while, gazing thoughtfully at the unconscious man. After a time, he shakes his head, whispers to himself, “She’s wrong. She doesn’t know him; she’s wrong.” Then he picks up the bottle of artificial tears and places several drops carefully in both of House’s eyes. When he’s cleaned the dried blood away from the cracked mouth and moistened the parched lips, he moves the sheet away to begin passive range of motion on House’s leg.
As he gently works the muscles, Wilson allows the mindless repetition of the exercises to calm him, and the ability to do even this one small concrete thing for House to soothe him. It isn’t until he’s finished the tasks and resettled House comfortably that he trusts his voice. When he speaks, he talks as if House can hear and understand him; he prays that on some level, he might.
“I hope I’m doing the right thing, House. I think I am. But you need to know something. No matter what happens, how this turns out, I believe that you deserve this chance. And I... want to believe... that you trust me to do what’s best. So that’s what I’m doing—I’m doing my best by you. You hold on to that, okay? No matter what happens, or what anyone else says, you just… hold on to that.”