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Cats' Corners: the little HOUSE in the woods....
Where House is NEVER safe...
The More Things Change... Chapter THIRTY-TWO 
10th-Jun-2007 10:17 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
Chapter Sixteen
Chapter Seventeen
Chapter Eighteen
Chapter Nineteen
Chapter Twenty
Chapter Twenty-One
Chapter Twenty-Two
Chapter Twenty-Three
Chapter Twenty-Four
Chapter Twenty-Five
Chapter Twenty-Six
Chapter Twenty-Seven
Chapter Twenty-Eight
Chapter Twenty-Nine
Chapter Thirty
Chapter Thirty-One



A/N: Very happy to announce that [info]blackmare_9has just been joined in my first-reader torture chamber by [info]misanthropicobs and that i will endeavor not to drive both--or either--crazy! My undying gratitude to both of these wonderful masochists! ;)


Wilson closes his laptop with a sigh, then stands and stretches. Cuddy’s been sitting with House while Wilson worked, and she looks every bit as tired as he feels.

“I’ll take over now,” he tells her. “It’s almost time for our ‘television hour’ anyway. You should go home, get some rest.” What Wilson doesn’t say is that this hour with House is time he guards jealously. The nurses know not to bother them, and for this short amount of time Wilson is able to put aside the puzzle, concentrate on simply being with his friend.

House may be in a chemically-induced coma, or perhaps his unconsciousness is illness-induced. But it doesn’t matter which it is, and it doesn’t matter that, in theory, House should be unaware of what’s going on—Wilson’s discovered that when they watch television ‘together’ in the evening, House’s heart rate and blood pressure drop to a more normal level. And he never appears to need extra pain medication. When
Wilson talks to him, narrates the program, makes awful jokes, House is… at peace. And that’s all that matters.

But Cuddy seems loath to leave. She spends much of her free time with House now, and
Wilson usually appreciates it—it frees him up to continue his search for answers, treatments, House’s chance to live. So although what he really wants is to get House settled for the evening, and enjoy their brief, private reprieve from reality, Wilson asks her to stay.

“Maybe I won’t look quite so crazy talking to myself if there’s another conscious person in the room,” he says with a self-deprecating smile.

Cuddy knows that really, nothing he does for House embarrasses
Wilson at all, and she also knows that he’s offering her a gift by inviting her to spend this time with them. She should say no, leave them to their respite, but she can’t. Cuddy suspects that soon, good moments with House will be little more than a memory, so she finds herself drawn to wanting to be with him and Wilson whenever she can.

“If you don’t mind,” she says, “I really would like to stay, for just a little while.”

“Don’t mind at all,”
Wilson answers, and as he says the words, he finds, to his surprise, that he means them. He realizes that in the last few days, the line between Cuddy, the administrator, and Cuddy, the friend, has become blurred—and somehow, that’s okay. No; it’s more than that. It’s knowing that she cares about him as much as I do, that she’s not afraid to share the responsibility or the… pain. Guess I should’ve known; for all the grief House gives her, he’s always respected her. Something tells me he’s known for a long time how strong she really is, how… special.

Cuddy interrupts
Wilson’s musings. “I’m going to go track us down some coffee; I’ll be back in a few minutes. Anything else I can bring you?”

“No thanks. But hurry back; maybe you can help me figure out just what it is House sees in this show that’s coming on. Or at least help me decipher the plot—if there is one.”

Cuddy smiles at the quizzical expression on
Wilson’s face. “Sounds… intriguing. I’ll make it quick,” she promises.

When Cuddy returns to the cubicle, she gowns up and carries in the tray.
Wilson’s frowning at the television and asking House, “Was that supposed to be funny? Because it’s hard to tell without a laugh track—or words I can understand.”

“What’d I miss?” Cuddy asks.

“I couldn’t tell you. Takes me the first ten minutes of the show just to make out a quarter of what they’re saying!”
Wilson shakes his head and makes a face, then returns to listening intently to the program.

Cuddy laughs and turns her attention to the TV screen. After just a minute, she understands
Wilson’s confusion. The show is a British comedy, and the actors are speaking with thick cockney accents. “Subtitles would be nice,” she comments.

“I’m not certain that’d help,”
Wilson says. “Unless the subtitles came with a British Slang dictionary. Have any idea what doddle means? Or chuffed? I’m pretty certain that khazi means ‘bathroom’, but I’ll be damned if I can figure out why!”

“And House enjoys this show, because?” Cuddy asks.

“Beats me. That’s as big a mystery as yonks. I’m actually relieved when they say things like nappie and lift and git; I can almost—”
Wilson abruptly stops talking, and stares at Cuddy, then through Cuddy. And then… something eerie happens.

Cuddy’s about to ask him if something’s the matter—until she sees his eyes. She’s seen that look on only one other face, and after a moment it’s that face she’s seeing, and she’s watching a process that amazes her now just as much as it did the first time she saw it happen.

’s eyes are faraway, unfocused—or at least not focused on anything around him. Cuddy can almost see his brain working at an equation that’s clear only to him. After observing this phenomenon with House so many times over the years, now Cuddy finds herself mentally going through the steps as they play across
Wilson’s face.

He’s made some sort of… obscure connection, found the piece that might solve the puzzle. Now he’s running through the possible scenarios, looking for the one that fits. Eyes narrowing a little; he’s arguing with himself—playing devil’s advocate. Eyes widening; I know that one—all the pieces fit! There’s the start of a smile; he thinks he may have it. Please—let him have it.

literally shakes himself, pulls himself out of his trancelike state, and walks swiftly to the doorway. Then all at once, he seems to remember Cuddy’s presence. He turns around and comes back to her, begins speaking rapidly.

“I’ve got to go check into something. It’s so simple; can’t believe I missed it before. You take good care of him.” And then he’s gone.

Cuddy realizes immediately that
Wilson’s forgotten something; this is the first time he hasn’t gone to House’s side, explained anything, told him where he was going, when he’d be back. And he hadn’t said goodbye.

Cuddy hurries to the bedside, and when she speaks to House her voice is confident, and there’s an undercurrent of elation in her tone. “He’ll be back, House. And when he does get back, it’ll be the beginning of the end of this nightmare. You know why he didn’t remember to say goodbye? Because it wasn’t necessary. Because… you’re going to live.” 

Chapter Thirty-Three

10th-Jun-2007 03:08 pm (UTC)
He bloody better well live or there'll be trouble.
10th-Jun-2007 03:15 pm (UTC)
He bloody better well live

greetings, and welcome!!! allow me to introduce you to my macro, created because i was risking carpal tunnel syndrome from typing it so often: not killing House! not killing House not killing House!

we're cool now? ;)
10th-Jun-2007 03:16 pm (UTC)
Go Wilson! It always amazes me how-- once you start focusing on something else the answers to a completely different question falls in place. And loved how Cuddy recognizes the process when it hits Wilson. He has been around House so long it's not surprising that he now responses to it just like House would. :)

Also loved this- "When Wilson talks to him, narrates the program, makes awful jokes, House is… at peace. And that’s all that matters." (Makes me think of when my husband is late from work- I don't relax until I hear the door open, and then I can instantly fall asleep.) I wonder if part of the reason House relaxes then is because Wilson sounds relaxed too.

Hope this is the breakthrough Wilson was looking for!
10th-Jun-2007 03:22 pm (UTC)
Hope this is the breakthrough Wilson was looking for!

wilson hopes so, as well! and yeah, i think house senses a lot. i kind've foreshadowed this with house's reaction when he knew wilson had found out about the prednisone; house seems to need that connection between the two of them as much as--or possibly even more than--wilson does.....
10th-Jun-2007 03:18 pm (UTC)
Yay! Go ephiphany!Wilson! Why should House have all the leaps of logic?

Nice work!
10th-Jun-2007 03:24 pm (UTC)
Go ephiphany!Wilson!

i am so smiling at the term epiphany!wilson; thanks for the happy giggle!
10th-Jun-2007 03:29 pm (UTC)
Oh yes, Wilson wins at life.

Histories is one of my favourite House episodes, and I always think that the scene in which Wilson works out some information that's crucial to the case based only on a cancelled appointment shows that Wilson can be just as sharp as House when it comes to things about which he's knowledgeable. In fact, I think he could be as sharp as House full stop, if he had the opportunity and experience.

Anyway, can't wait to see how House reacts to all of this.
10th-Jun-2007 05:20 pm (UTC) - Power's still not 'fixed' but.......
gonna try to reply to some of these while network's still up--the power is being... weird, and this is quite likely a Bad Idea, but here goes....

Wilson can be just as sharp as House when it comes to things about which he's knowledgeable

wilson's definitely under-utilized--but RSL would hate my story; look at all the 'screentime' i'm requiring wilson to put in! ;)
just to let you kids know, in case i don't get back to you right away:

we have NO ELECTRICITY. progress energy has no idea why, nor an estimated restoration time. currently running my house on generator power.

ko just called from car --the outage is ALL OVER TOWN--the church, fast food places, gas stations, EVERYWHERE.

arrrrrrrgh!!!!!!!!!! (and too weird)
10th-Jun-2007 03:49 pm (UTC)
OH, yay! Wilson! :)

One question: I take it this 'verse isn't the same as the one from the Devil trilogy? Because you had Wilson talking to a supposedly-comatose House there, too, and if they were the same 'verse, wouldn't they all remember that?

Maybe I'm just thinking too much. Not the first time!
10th-Jun-2007 04:06 pm (UTC)
Hey Perspi.

Since the author's having technical difficulties with power outages at the moment, I'll answer that. Nope, this is not the same ficverse as the previous trilogy, at all.

This is a whole new wonderful world of House torture. Hee.
10th-Jun-2007 04:51 pm (UTC)
I'm glad all those generators and wires apparently understand priorities. They let you post the chapter (giving all of us our much-needed fix) and see a few comments before blowing.

I'm so glad that House is almost out of the woods. And if Wilson finally "gets" Cuddy, the future could be great. (I'm not talking about sex. Just that as friend, snarking together, they could have a lot of fun. And as a team they would be a formidable opponent to anyone who gets in their way.)
10th-Jun-2007 05:52 pm (UTC) - and we just lost the electricity... yet again. on battery backup now
I'm so glad that House is almost out of the woods.

for reasons known (officially) only to myself, i am now feeling... oh, so... unutterably guilty... i may even cry. ;)
10th-Jun-2007 05:04 pm (UTC)
No electricity ? hmmmm...EERY. Do you think someone wants to prevent you from finally curing House ?
Anyway, excellent chapter again,
Loved that Wilson invites Cuddy to stay with them, that Cuddy accepts with simplicity, loved their comments on the soap, this little time of light conversation is priceless for the 3 of them, and finally Wilson turning into House.
Thank god tomorrow is monday (I recently started to dread tuesdays, no House MD, no House YOU). Well I really hope that electricity is back by then because I'd be soooo upset if I don't get the new chapter.
Thanks again, and thanks to your team
10th-Jun-2007 05:55 pm (UTC)
Do you think someone wants to prevent you from finally curing House?

that's actually a better explanation than i'm getting from progress energy--who just told me to shut down the main breaker (again) and move back to generator power (again), as "the current situation is the worst thing in the world for delicate electronics." Nah! Ya think???
10th-Jun-2007 06:07 pm (UTC)
Whoo hoo! And we have Wilsie's version of House's I-solved-it-face. *bright grin*

And Cuddy taking the time to comfort House because Wilson's off in his happily excited frenzy. Nothing better. *nods* Well, except the end of all this, that is. The nightmare, I mean, not the story.

Oh, right, let the mood swings begin. Can't wait until tomorrow.
10th-Jun-2007 06:13 pm (UTC)
Wilson's had an ephinayeiphany eureka moment...just like House usually does. Neat!
10th-Jun-2007 06:15 pm (UTC)
*bounces up and down excitedly*

My reactions to this chapter: First half: a very sad smile. It was sooo good, the way you described House and Wilson and Cuddy -'s realtionship.
The second half: I think I'll have to get myself a trache-kit, because I stopped breathing again for about 3 minutes. Then I started bouncing and that helped a little. :-)

Please tell me you're doing a sequel to this, once this is done!! PLEASE???
(Deleted comment)
10th-Jun-2007 06:54 pm (UTC)
Yes!! *does the victory dance* Away with the lonely Wilson icon!
Hopefully he does have it!
10th-Jun-2007 07:02 pm (UTC)
The description of the light-bulb moment where Wilson channels House was perfect, and it's very nice to see him letting Cuddy in.
I was actually just reminded of something from about a year ago. I was working in this awful molecular genetics lab with a two-hour commute each way into NYC during what was the hottest summer we've had in years. It was sucking the life out of me. I don't recall how it initially evolved. But, as soon as I'd get home, I'd read the latest chapter of the Devil series while listening to the song Oh Chariot by Gavin Degraw, which really resonates with the House-Wilson you present in your stories to me. And somehow, by the time I was done reading, I'd feel like a human being again. So, thanks a lot for that. If you haven't heard the song, you might want to give it a listen.:)
10th-Jun-2007 07:34 pm (UTC)
How about that, Wilson gets the House moment this time. --Of course, someone has to. I can't wait to see what it is! Simple, eh? People!Simple or House!Simple? I'm thinking the later but either way I'm excited to find out how you'll solve this one.

Poor ol House. I hope he starts talking to you soon and that you get power back to catalogue the event. Oh the enjoyment! Sad that Tuesday approaches.
10th-Jun-2007 07:55 pm (UTC)
Wilson really does mimic House. *chuckles softly* They really are soul mates. If I didn't believe it before, I do now. So what does Wilson have up his sleeve. I know, I know, telling would be cheating and you don't want to cause any heartache. (It's a little late for that, but hey another twist might fix everything all up.) My curiosity is lying in how British tv managed to give him this connection. Is it actually connected to something British. *goes through her mental list of British things* Maybe an article or something? Yes, I know, I know. Telling. I'm trying to be patient I swear! It's just not one of my virtues. ;<)
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