A/N: Very happy to announce that blackmare_9has just been joined in my first-reader torture chamber by misanthropicobs and that i will endeavor not to drive both--or either--crazy! My undying gratitude to both of these wonderful masochists! ;)
CHAPTER THIRTY-TWO: CHANNELING HOUSE
“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
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
But Cuddy seems loath to leave. She spends much of her free time with House now, and
“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
“If you don’t mind,” she says, “I really would like to stay, for just a little while.”
“Don’t mind at all,”
“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
When Cuddy returns to the cubicle, she gowns up and carries in the tray.
“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!”
Cuddy laughs and turns her attention to the TV screen. After just a minute, she understands
“I’m not certain that’d help,”
“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—”
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.
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.
“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
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.”