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Cats' Corners: the little HOUSE in the woods....
Where House is NEVER safe...
The More Things Change... Chapter THIRTY-FIVE 
14th-Jun-2007 09:43 am
longtripalone

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
Chapter Thirty-Two 
Chapter Thirty-Three
Chapter Thirty-Four


CHAPTER THIRTY-FIVE:  PUZZLES AND SOLUTIONS

 

“First things first,” Wilson tells his anxious audience.  “I’ve brought the medication that’ll cure House; it’s down in the pharmacy right now.  As soon as the pharmacist finishes verification, we’ll get it up here, get it started.  I’ve spoken with the drug company that supplies it in England; they’re providing a list of trials and locations here in the States.  We should have the next dose in plenty of time.  We’re also gonna need to get dalbavancin, but that can wait until tomorrow. ”

 

England?  What?  Wilson, start at the beginning, please!”  Cuddy’s expression is a study in contradiction—both laughter and tears are bubbling to the surface—but mostly she’s just puzzled.

 

Wilson smiles and looks down at House.  “Hate to break this to you, House, but you really are a great teacher—sorry about that.”  Then he turns back to the others.

 

“We’ve all seen House’s… unorthodox methods of solving cases.  Guess more of it rubbed off than I knew.”  He turns to Cuddy.  “Remember what we were doing just before I left?”

 

“Of course.  We were watching that absolutely incomprehensible English comedy.  And discussing British slang.  Then you… pulled a House… and left me wondering what I was supposed to say to House.  So I told him you’d figured it out.  You did, too.  But how?”

 

Wilson sits down in the bedside chair; Cuddy smiles when she notices that he’s still holding onto House’s wrist.  “The day of the incident, when I came down to the clinic, I hadn’t been there long when Leigh showed up, wanting to apologize to House.  And—if you’ll remember—she had some language delays.”

 

Cuddy and Chase nod; the young woman’s speech had been slow, and she’d had difficulty with pronunciation.  They recall that Wilson had helped her out when she’d become frustrated trying to explain the reasons for the outburst that had led to House’s injury.

 

“She seemed to be having trouble with the word television, and at the time I didn’t think anything about it.  But tonight, when Cuddy and I were trying to make sense of the slang, something occurred to me.  Leigh had already said TV, and she hadn’t had any problem with it.  So why not just say it again, instead of trying a four syllable variation?”

 

Cuddy, Foreman, and Chase look questioningly at one another, each of them wondering what they’re missing.

 

Wilson continues, “But she had finished the word; she was trying to go on with her explanation when I filled in the blanks for her.  Remember Leigh’s speech patterns?  At no time did she use baby talk, or substitute nonsense words for what she was trying to say.  Hell, she even made an effort to pronounce spastic correctly.”

 

“You’re right,” Chase remembers.  “And when she couldn’t say angry, she just changed it to mad.”

 

Wilson nods.  “So I was thinking; why try so hard to pronounce television, and then replace it with baby talk, instead of simply going back to TV?  It just didn’t fit with the rest of her pattern of speech.  And then, when Cuddy and I were discussing British slang, it came to me; telly isn’t baby talk.  But it’s also not used in the United States.”

 

Chase is smiling; he’s latched onto Wilson’s train of thought.  “So you figured she’d been to England recently, and contracted VRSA there.  And that’s why House’s infection hadn’t responded to our usual protocols for treatment.”

 

“Exactly.  And it makes sense; she’d come in from a group home, so it didn’t occur to anyone to ask her if she’d been out of the country.  I did think of it a couple days later, even pulled her history from Records on Sunday.  One of the first things that occurred to me when we found out that the bacteria weren’t susceptible to vanc was that maybe Leigh had traveled out of the area, went somewhere they were already having problems with vancomycin resistance.  But the attendant who brought her in here had just started working at the home; he didn’t know that Leigh’s parents had taken her out of Princeton-Vale, much less that she’d been in England.”

 

Wilson pauses in his narrative, and peers at House’s face.  “You in pain?” he asks House, before reaching over and depressing the button on the PCA.

 

The others look at him questioningly; even Cuddy can’t detect any change in House’s demeanor that would indicate discomfort.  “I felt the tendons in his wrist tightening up—his fingers were curling, and his heart rate’s gone up eight or ten beats in the last half a minute or so,” Wilson explains matter-of-factly, as if it should’ve been obvious to all of them.

 

Foreman shakes his head in wonder.  “You really are the House Whisperer,” he says.

 

“Years of practice,” Wilson says dryly.  “Even if I have been… underutilizing that particular skill lately….”  He waits until he feels House’s pulse rate fall again before continuing.

 

“Anyway, I was sure that it’d turn out she’d returned pretty recently from the UK.  The only thing that was still confusing me was why she appeared to be responding so well to the routine oral antibiotics for MRSA.”

 

“But I thought I explained that,” says Chase.  “Sometimes a non-systemic infection will be susceptible to treatments that have no effect once the bacteria go systemic.”

 

“It still didn’t make sense; Cuddy even mentioned that it looked like she’d had the boil a long time.  And when MRSA goes untreated for a while, it’s usually more resistant to treatment.  It’ll respond, but not as quickly as Leigh’s did.  So I went to the group home to speak with her, try to get some confirmation for my theory, and make sure she was recovering well.  And she was very helpful.”

 

“What did she say?  Was she able to confirm what you’d thought?”

 

Wilson nods.  “She not only told me that she’d been to England with her parents, she said they’d been there almost four months.  After she told me that, I figured I’d better go have a word with the parents.  Dad’s still out of the country, but mom and I had… an illuminating discussion.”  He smiles wryly.

 

Foreman catches the tone of Wilson’s voice, and grins knowingly.  “So I take it this wasn’t all… on the up and up.”

 

“You could say that,” Wilson says, while Cuddy groans softly.  “Mom told me that they’d gone on an extended vacation, and they decided to take Leigh with them.  But she wasn’t coping well with the lack of structure, and she’d started to have some difficulties—she’s used to an atmosphere where she can socialize, and their vacation home was isolated.  So they decided to put her in respite care for a month while her father was part of some sort of exchange program in Scotland.  They figured she’d be better off there than having to make the trip back to the States without them.  When her parents returned from Scotland, they discovered the furuncle.  The usual treatments were started, and when the infection didn’t respond, Leigh’s father stepped in.”

 

“Her father?” Cuddy asks.  “What did he have to do with it?”

 

“You’re not gonna believe this,” Wilson smiles.  “He’s a scientist, a pharmaceutical researcher.  So happens his team’s been working on new superbug compounds, so he’s known—and very well connected—in that community.”

 

“House would love this,” Foreman observes.

 

“Oh, it gets better.  They put her on dalbavancin, which is concluding phase III trials here in the States—but it was providing only partial coverage of the infection.  So they combined it with WCK 771—so new it doesn’t even have a name yet.  It’s an arginine salt of nadifloxacin.  It’s currently in Phase II-B trials at University Hospital in South Manchester.”

 

“So Daddy pulled a few strings,” Foreman comments dryly.

 

“He did more than that.  Didn’t even enroll her in the trial for the new stuff.  Just made a few phone calls, got a supply of the compound.  Then he hired a private nurse so she could be treated at home—apparently the family’s got a country place in a rural area, quite a distance from the nearest hospital.”

 

“But it mustn’t have worked!” Cuddy interjects.  “Looked pretty bad when she first came in.  I’m assuming you think this… WCK 771… is going to cure House.  How can it help him, if Leigh’s infection wasn’t helped?”

 

“But it was,” Wilson says.  “Here’s the thing.  Dalbavancin has a half-life of up to 300 hours.  And—especially with a non-systemic infection like hers—dosing once a week, or even just twice a month, normally provides adequate coverage.  As a matter of fact, non-systemic MRSA sometimes responds in as little as two doses.   Combine it with WCK 771, and even this mutant strain of VRSA is completely susceptible to treatment, according to Leigh’s dad.”

 

“So how’d she end up here?”

 

“When they returned to the States a few weeks ago, Leigh went back to Princeton-Vale Convalescent Center.  But they live nearby, take her home for dinner most evenings, and bring her home on weekend passes.  Didn’t… uh… bother to mention to anyone at Princeton-Vale that the nurse they’d hired to care for her while she was home also happened to be administering the WCK 771 and the dalbavancin intravenously.  They knew there’d be… problems with giving her an unapproved medication, especially a med that was brought in from overseas.  So they circumvented that little obstacle, told the group home that they’d hired the nurse for wound care. And Leigh’s on anti-seizure meds, gets frequent blood tests, so I guess no one thought to question the needle sticks.  If anyone even noticed.”

 

“Everybody lies,” Cuddy whispers. 

 

“They might’ve managed to carry it off, too,” Wilson continues, “except that mom flew off to join dad at a symposium in Paris one weekend, and figured that Leigh could miss a few doses without any problems.  She didn’t bother to run that theory by Dad; he just assumed she’d made some sort of arrangements.  And mom’s timing couldn’t have been worse; she hadn’t realized that Leigh would actually be an entire month without dalbavancin if they omitted a dose entirely.  And WCK 771 is effective, but it has to be given daily.”

 

“But that’s exactly why we’re getting into so many difficulties with antibiotic resistance; those missed doses just give the bacteria a chance to rebound even more strongly!” Cuddy explodes.  “And clearly, it’s beginning to have global implications.”

 

“The only implications I’m concerned with right now are the ones that affect House,” Wilson points out grimly.  “We can worry about the rest of the world later—starting with the employees and residents at Leigh’s group home.  We’ll need to get a team out there, first thing in the morning, to get swabs on everyone—see if anyone else is infected or colonized.  The irony of all this is that the FDA’s set to approve dalbavancin this year—and VRSA’s already showing resistance to it, at least overseas.  By the time they’re ready to give WCK 771 a name, who knows if it’ll even be effective.”

 

“You said you’ve already got the first dose for House,” Chase says.  “Do we want to know how you managed that?”

 

Wilson grins at Chase.  “You and Foreman are gonna appreciate this.”  Then he turns to Cuddy.  “You, on the other hand, may want to plug your ears.”

 

Cuddy’s voice is dry.  “Oh, no, Dr. House; please!  By all means, do tell how you managed to get your hands on an experimental drug, currently being manufactured only overseas.  I can hardly wait; and the sooner I find out, the more time I’ve got to come up with a plausible story for the hospital’s legal department.  Just in case… someone… should feel the need to go running to the board with the exciting news that we’re dosing our patients with unauthorized, unapproved substances that we’re acquiring from… private homes.”  Cuddy takes a deep breath and gazes skyward.

 

“Won’t be me!” Chase interjects cheerfully.

 

Wilson gives Cuddy an apologetic smile.  “Dad had just sent over a new shipment—still in the original packaging, still in powder form.  And Mom felt bad about the consequences of Leigh’s little tantrum in the clinic, so she insisted that I take a dose for House.  I checked with our pharmacist; he said if it was still sealed, he could verify the contents with Wockhardt—that’s the company that manufactures it, in India.  So that’s what he’s doing right now.  Then he’ll get it reconstituted; he promised to send it up the second it’s ready for administration.  He… just asked that I… uh… spare him the details about how I acquired it.”

 

Chase looks to Cuddy.  “Didn’t I hear you mention recently that House is coming in under budget with lawsuits this year?  Because you might want to earmark that extra money now….”  He grins teasingly at Wilson.

 

“Is that supposed to be funny, Dr. Chase?” Cuddy asks with mock severity—she’s grinning too.

 

“And here’s the best part of the whole thing,” Wilson says.

 

“There’s more?  Of course there’s more; there’s always more,” Cuddy mumbles, putting her face in her hands.

 

“Yeah—but this is really good news!  As I said, both meds are still in clinical trials, but so far they haven’t had to make any dosage adjustments for patients with renal or hepatic insufficiency.  Of course, we’ll have to monitor House carefully, but looks like these meds won’t add to his current problems, and his kidneys’ll continue to recover!”

 

As Wilson finishes speaking, a nurse enters, ready to hang the new medication.  Cuddy shakes her head and takes the IV bag from the nurse, then dismisses her from the room.  She hands the bag to Wilson.  “You started the process that’s going to save his life,” she tells him solemnly.  “So you deserve to be the one to see it through.”

 

Wilson nods once, gravely.  He studies the bag a moment, looks at the deceptively clear solution contained within; it’s as innocent as water, as complex as House himself.

 

Wilson hangs the bag, attaches the tubing to a port, and turns on the pump.  Three sets of eyes are glued to the drip chamber as the first drops fall.  The fourth set of eyes is on House’s face, and they’re sending a silent message: I kept my promise, House—and it’s all gonna be okay. 
 

 

AUTHOR’S NOTE:  Both of these compounds do exist, both are in clinical trials, and the FDA is expected to approve dalbavancin this year (although I just read a report of an unexpected delay in approval).  And yes—there is already at least one strain of VRSA against which dalbavancin is ineffective, although all MRSA strains remain susceptible.  The superbugs are indeed upon us, they’re mutating every day, and it’s frightening.

Chapter Thirty-Six: THE END! 

Thoughts 
14th-Jun-2007 03:12 pm (UTC)
Wow. I am so impressed that little details in Leigh's conversation in chapter 3 were relevant here. (I know they should be but usually things drift off-course and earlier exposition needs rewriting. And that's not an option when you publish in serial format.)

Waiting anxiously for tomorrow. I want to know what House's first words will be.
14th-Jun-2007 03:18 pm (UTC)
little details in Leigh's conversation in chapter 3 were relevant here

and i'm impressed that you remembered it was chapter three! i'd planned all this out way ahead of time--and for once, i was able to stick to my plan, and things worked the way i'd hoped. (i think)
14th-Jun-2007 03:23 pm (UTC)
Firstly I must say I have been following this story from the beginning and I am addicted I check my mail several times a day to see if I have a community update notice that you have updated.

Now I must ask in this

"It’s currently in Phase II-B trials at University Hospital in South Manchester.”

were you talking about Manchester in the US or the one in the UK as my mum is a nurse working for South Manchester University Hospital Trust. Either way I did choke on my cup of tea when I heard that.
14th-Jun-2007 03:31 pm (UTC)
"It’s currently in Phase II-B trials at University Hospital in South Manchester.”

yup--WCK 771 is, indeed, in Phase II trials at University Hospital in South Manchester in the UK, for real! small world!! :)
14th-Jun-2007 03:35 pm (UTC)
"absolutely incomprehensible English comedy"

Hmmmm, that could be any of them!

Now, should I be worried about this development - being English and all? lol

See - this is why I stay away from hospitals! Bloomin' superbug central! Please don't mention anything about them 'bugs (my grandad's in there for an op at the moment...)

Can't wait for House to regain consciousness - will be interesting to see how impressed he is by all this ;)

x

14th-Jun-2007 03:44 pm (UTC)
Now, should I be worried about this development - being English and all?

i did glean from my research that the problem is worse in the UK; supposedly, 44% of cases worlwide are concentrated there. however, your researchers are quite active in developing solutions to the problem.

best of luck to your grandfather; i hope all turns out well.

Can't wait for House to regain consciousness

working on that as we speak! he's lazy and sleepy and uncooperative at the moment--you know, the usual house! ;)

(Deleted comment)
14th-Jun-2007 04:10 pm (UTC)
having a great morning--the (total major) rewrite of 36 is going surprisingly well; i hope you and blackmare will be pleased this time around! and i have unlimited hot coffee, and good music playing--what else could i possibly want? :)
14th-Jun-2007 04:09 pm (UTC)
Oh you're a clever one. House would just adore it -- maybe not so much as the subject, but the fact that Wilson's observational abilities have merged with his analytical abilities as well as House's general human philosophy and standpoint on trial meds and what almost amounts to B&E...well, every teacher loves seeing a student succeed so remarkably. Never mind the fact that this indicates that though he's erred from the straight and narrow path recently, Wilson has listened and learned over the years, and that he does care enough to become the obsessive basket case over House that House becomes over his patients. Yep. House will be very pleased, though I'm sure he'll show it in his usually quirky way.

Cheers for a dramatic, totally plausible solution to the seemingly insolvable mystery! It's brilliant. As much as the instant gratification demand trained into me by years of American culture is whining and screaming like a two year old for the sequel, you deserve a good long rest for orchestrating this fic and delivering it in such a timely fashion. Are you in the palm tree part of the state? Go sleep under one if you are. ;)
14th-Jun-2007 04:33 pm (UTC)
Cheers for a dramatic, totally plausible solution to the seemingly insolvable mystery! It's brilliant.

i'm framing the above--really. :)

screaming like a two year old for the sequel

first, i think it'd be an excellent idea to finish the last chapter of this one! actually, yesterday afternoon, i was under the (mistaken) impression that i had completed 36. and then... and then... misanthropicobs and blackmare told me, in the nicest possible way, that it... errr... wasn't my best effort. acceptable, but not what they believe me to be capable of. and god knows, i've put my heart and soul into the creation and execution of this story, so copping out on the conclusion would be--well, copping out. and all of you deserve better than that--and so do i. so i'm rewriting the last chapter right now, and i'm (thus far) greatly pleased with the rewrite.

in the palm tree part of the state?

unfortunately, yes (i'm 20 minutes west of daytona beach). and i absolutely detest palm trees; i hate them. and the tourist brochures won't tell you this, but palm trees are the favored home of roaches. large roaches. large, flying roaches--hence their other name, "palmetto bugs." you haven't experienced all that florida has to offer until a palmetto bug flies directly into your face, and gets enmeshed in your hair! and whatever you do, don't try and kill 'em--when crushed, they give off a stink that permeates... everything. for hours. (whatever do you mean, that was more information than you wanted? i'm all about the teaching, you know!)

okay. obviously i'm stalling now--it's back to 36 for me!!


14th-Jun-2007 04:30 pm (UTC)
I get it : Kidsnurse is your indian name, Hercule Poirot is your real name, am I close ?
Excellent job, totally makes sense, many many kudos !
:-)))
14th-Jun-2007 04:39 pm (UTC)
Kidsnurse is your indian name, Hercule Poirot is your real name, am I close ?

funny thing is, i've never enjoyed reading mysteries; i tend (even when i try not to) to figure out the solution very early, and spend the rest of the story sighing, and muttering, "yeah, now tell me something i don't know." i'm (for the same reason) also no fun at a suspense movie.

totally makes sense

yay! and yahoo!! and even happy dance!!! really, really wanted to pull this off both plausibly and entertainingly, and am truly enjoying hearing that i've done so--thanks! :)


14th-Jun-2007 05:11 pm (UTC)
This chapter had me clinging to every last word. Can't wait for the next chapter cause I wann see what House's reaction to this whole thing is.
14th-Jun-2007 06:17 pm (UTC)
Can't wait for the next chapter

and--i'm happy to say--i just put the finishing touches on the final chapter (pending blackmare's and misanthropicobs's comments/suggestions, of course) and i'm proud of it! :)
14th-Jun-2007 05:13 pm (UTC)
COOL!!!! And yes, I'm grinning like an idiot.
14th-Jun-2007 06:19 pm (UTC)
grinning like an idiot

me too, with the relief of having just now (finally!) written a last chapter i'm happy with!
14th-Jun-2007 05:17 pm (UTC)
Anonymous
Hey, I have followed this story since you started posting it and am now finally overcoming my shyness at commenting: It's perfect!
Thanks for such an enjoyable read!
14th-Jun-2007 06:20 pm (UTC)
Thanks for such an enjoyable read

and many thanks for coming out of 'hiding' to comment! we're really a very friendly group--don't think we've scared anyone off yet! ;)
14th-Jun-2007 05:41 pm (UTC)
Ooh, that's very impressive. I like that a lot. Can't wait for House to wake up...
14th-Jun-2007 06:23 pm (UTC)
Can't wait for House to wake up...

i estimate that that'll happen about 9:00am U.S. EST tomorrow!!! (a bit more than eighteen hours from now) :)
14th-Jun-2007 06:33 pm (UTC)
Ahem. You scare people. Then you make them feel a bit better. And you scare them again. Lather, rinse, repeat. You are evil. Or your muse is. I can't decide which.

And I obviously need patience. NOT my strong suit, which you know. When you say there's going to be a sequel, is there going to be a series? *sighs because I think I know the answer*
14th-Jun-2007 06:47 pm (UTC)
is there going to be a series? *sighs because I think I know the answer*

i do... uh... seem to have a wee penchant for doing things in threes, dont i? ;)

and now, unfortunately, due to a rather... shocking... development, i needs must jump over to fanfic.hell and deal with a little problem with the 'pit crew'... sigh.....
14th-Jun-2007 06:42 pm (UTC)
Foreman shakes his head in wonder. “You really are the House Whisperer,” he says.

House Whisperer! I absolutely LOVED that line! :)

A lot of the medical mumbo-jumbo goes over my head, but I'm glad to here that they are true facts that you're using. Makes it interesting, though I do have to look up some of these things on wikipedia or google.
14th-Jun-2007 06:56 pm (UTC)
House Whisperer! I absolutely LOVED that line! :)

and i wish i could take credit for it, but that clever title's been widely used to describle wilson since, i think, about midway through the first season.

they are true facts that you're using

i do try for medical accuracy; i'm sorry if it sometimes gets a bit confusing!
14th-Jun-2007 07:04 pm (UTC)
Absolutely brilliant! I was beginning to wonder how you were going to get a plausible outcome - but I should have had faith. Looking forward to the next installment.
14th-Jun-2007 07:08 pm (UTC)
I should have had faith

fortunately, wilson has enough faith for all of us! ;)
14th-Jun-2007 07:12 pm (UTC)
*insert giant sigh of relief here*
14th-Jun-2007 07:21 pm (UTC)
giant sigh of relief

me too, m'dear--me too! ;)
14th-Jun-2007 07:17 pm (UTC)
Wanted to let you know that I'm still following this wonderful fic and had to comment here.

You put an incredible amount of time and effort into the details of this storyline. Kudos to you for making it a suspenseful and entertaining journey through these last 35 chapters.

Loved how you tied everything together from the original patient and having Wilson make the connection. House would be proud!

I HOPE you do a sequel. Would love to see what happens during House's recovery and also to see how their friendship evolves.
14th-Jun-2007 07:22 pm (UTC)
suspenseful and entertaining journey

*smiling widely* thank you!!!!
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