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Cats' Corners: the little HOUSE in the woods....
Where House is NEVER safe...
Transfusions, Tampering, Tests... Tenderness and Trust [one-shot] 
22nd-Nov-2007 08:07 pm
Title:  Transfusions, Tampering, Tests... Tenderness and Trust
Rating:  PG
Characters:  House, Wilson
Genre:  Angst, Friendship, Hurt/Comfort
Summary:  After the events of House's extra-rough day, Wilson plays doctor, psychiatrist--and friend.  Short,  quickly written tag for House episode 4.08, You Don't Want To Know.  

  Those of you who read my rant yesterday will recognize this as my attempt to correct a bit of the medicine that the episode overlooked.  Also, an attempt to mitigate my own symptoms of Wilson Withdrawal.  Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! 


Transfusions, Tampering, Tests… Tenderness and Trust


Wilson stands at House's front door and forces himself to take several deep, calming breaths.  He checks the bag of equipment he's carrying.  Then he knocks and, not waiting for an answer, lets himself in.

House is lying on the couch.  He's somehow managed to change into a pair of pajama pants and an old T-shirt, but apparently hasn't been able to do anything else to make himself comfortable--he's got no blankets, no pillows, not even a glass of water on the coffee table.  He's shivering visibly, and he's clearly miserable.  Even so, he's got the strength to favor
Wilson with an annoyed frown.

"What are you doing here?"

Wilson approaches the couch.  "A better question would be what are you doing here, six hours after... lemme see... a transfusion reaction, a narcotics OD, and no less than three invasive biopsies--any one of which requires close monitoring of the patient for several hours."

When House wearily closes his eyes and doesn't even attempt a snappy comeback,
Wilson asks quietly, seriously, "How are you feeling?"

With an effort, House opens his eyes and focuses on
Wilson.  "Like I've been drugged and mugged.  How do you think I'm feeling?"

Hands on hips,
Wilson regards House for a minute.  Then he lowers his head, shaking it slowly.  "You know, I can't even make myself say you deserved this."

"Gee, thanks," House responds dryly.  He shifts uncomfortably, unable to suppress a moan when the site of the kidney biopsy scrapes against the back of the couch. 
Wilson winces in sympathy, settles himself on the edge of the coffee table, and begins to root through the bag he’s carrying.


“I’m just gonna get a set of baseline vitals,” he tells House as he pulls out a blood pressure cuff.  “Assuming everything’s okay, I’ll help you get to bed.”


“I’m okay here; thanks anyway.”


“Couch isn’t big enough for two,” Wilson observes as he unwraps the BP cuff.


House makes a show of looking around the room.  “Could’ve sworn I cancelled tonight’s hooker.  Sad as that is, I therefore have no plans for sharing it.”


“Neither do I,” Wilson says firmly.  “You aren’t going to be alone tonight, and since I’m apparently the only one who hasn’t put a price on your head lately, seems I’m your best choice.  Safest, anyway.  Even your behavior doesn’t justify everything you were put through today.”


“Don’t need a sitter, don’t want one, either.  But I don’t suppose that matters, so why the hell not?” House says half-heartedly.  Wilson wonders at the note of resignation in his voice; he can almost hear House’s unspoken thought; ‘I’ve lost control of everything else; what’s the use?’


“You’re wrong, you know,” House continues.  “Karma’s a bitch.  I deserved everything I got."



Wilson, surprised, studies House’s face, and sees that House believes what he said.  “You know you could have died?  Again.”


“No great loss.  Matter of fact, some might’ve even found cause for celebration in my demise.”  House is obediently holding out his arm for the BP cuff, and  Wilson finds this even more worrisome than the statements he’s made.


“I expected at least a token argument to all the fussing,” Wilson notes quietly, careful to keep his tone neutral.  “You feeling okay?”


“I’m fine,” House says shortly, not meeting  Wilson’s eyes.


Traditional House-speak for ‘let’s change the subject’; he must really feel like crap. 

Wilson gets a blood-pressure reading, and then moves the stethoscope to House’s chest.  “Deep breaths,” he instructs automatically.  Then, after House grants permission with a terse nod, he pulls House’s T-shirt up to check the biopsy sites. 


The mild bruising at the sites doesn’t surprise him—but he is relieved.  His main concern had centered around the fact that, like most patients on opioids for treatment of chronic pain, House supplemented his Vicodin with large amounts of ibuprofen to take advantage of the synergistic effects of the two meds. And among the other stupid decisions House’s potential fellows had made, they’d apparently forgotten that House’s frequent ingestion of those NSAIDs affected his clotting ability. And of course, they’d completely disregarded the post-biopsy protocol for aftercare.  These things infuriate  Wilson—but House seems uncharacteristically accepting of this shoddy treatment.  Maybe he does believe he deserves it….


“House….”  Wilson begins tentatively.  “Those kids endangered you.  And they don’t even seem sorry.  Why are you taking this so calmly?”


House leans his head back, closes his eyes.  “I goaded them into it.  Gotta admit, I’m a little surprised they… went as far as they did.”  He smiles ruefully, waves his hand in the general direction of his liver, his chest.  “but hey,” he continues, “you’ve been bugging me for a liver biopsy for a couple years now; thought you’d be happy!”


“About the results, yes.  About the conditions under which it was performed, and the care you didn’t receive afterwards….”


House attempts to sit up straighter, and begins to cough.  Wilson watches helplessly as he ineffectually tries to splint his side with a trembling hand, finally winds up sighing and lying back again, lines of pain creasing his face.


“Let’s get you to bed.”  Wilson doesn’t hide the concern in his voice.  “I can finish checking you out once you’re comfortable.  Think you can make it?”


House nods dispiritedly, and grasps the hand  Wilson offers for a lift up.  “Need to make a pit stop first.” 


Wilson waits at the bathroom door, unashamedly listening for the sound of a strong, normal urine stream.  When the only sound he hears is a muffled groan, he calls, “You okay in there?”


“Doing great,” House calls back.  “Mommy didn’t send you that celebratory email last week?  Those Cheerios targets floating in the bowl really did the trick; I can aim, and flush now, and everything!”


This glimpse of House’s normal demeanor makes  Wilson smile.  “Yeah, well… about the flushing.”  He hears House snort.


“Nephrologist in here, you know.  Amazingly, I know just what to look for after a kidney biopsy.  So I’ll spare you the sight of my pee.”


“Right now,”  Wilson points out, “I’d be thrilled with the sound of your pee!”


“Shy bladder,” House retorts.  “I don’t perform well under pressure.” 


Wilson grins.  “I know a cure for that.  Involves a nice bowl of warm water.” His grin widens when he hears House laugh sharply, and the sound of a healthy flow of urine follows on the heels of the laughter.


When House opens the door, he reports, “Pale yellow.  Clear.  Boring.”


“Thank God for boring,”  Wilson mutters as he helps House into bed.


House lies quietly as  Wilson finishes his examination.  There’s no running narrative, no criticism, no sarcasm.  Wilson wonders if the narcotic overdose is still affecting him, making him appear subdued.  But—judging by the rapidity of House’s pulse, the frequent wincing, the swallowed groans—everything’s worn off now, and it doesn’t appear that House has taken his usual meds, either.  He’s moving as little as possible, and every movement of his leg is accompanied by a sharp intake of breath.


Wilson removes the thermometer from House’s mouth and frowns at it.  “You’re still febrile.”


“Non-hemolytic transfusion reaction can result in fever of up to sixteen hours duration,” House recites dully.  He’s begun to shiver again, and he’s sweating. 


Wilson leaves the room, and returns with a glass of water and a syringe.  “Drink this,” he says, handing House the glass.


“What is it?”


“It’s water, House!  What’s it look like?”


House rolls his eyes.  “You’ll forgive my suspicion.  Lately, it seems anytime I’m handed a beverage, my state of mind is significantly altered.” 


Wilson has the good grace to look sheepish.  “Just water.  I promise.  We’ve gotta make sure you stay hydrated, and I’d prefer not to go the parenteral route.  Although I can if I have to.”


House’s eyebrow climbs.  “Is that a threat?” 


Wilson sighs.  “No; it’s concern.  I’m… worried about you, okay?”


House takes a long drink from the glass and almost smiles.  “Okay,” he says quietly.  “And that?” he asks, indicating the syringe.


“Meperidine.  Anti-pyretic, analgesic, and a nice, safe high.  What’s not to like?”

Wilson grins, but House looks nervous, and Wilson knows what’s bothering him.  House, it seems, has been severely shaken by today’s events—oddly even more so than by his recent electrocution.


But that was his decision; everything that happened was planned, under his control.  This time, they stripped away his control, made him vulnerable.  He could’ve died, for real.  And whether or not he did was at the mercy of others.


Wilson sits on the bed.  “It’s okay.  I’m right here, and I’m staying.  I’ll be monitoring you all night long.  I won’t let anything happen to you.  We’ve gotta get your fever down; we’ve gotta get your pain under control.”  Wilson sees the doubt, the fear, still in House’s eyes.  “It’s okay,” he repeats firmly, quietly.  And finally House nods.


After he’s administered the injection and turned out the light, he stops to smooth a perfectly straight blanket—an excuse to let his hand linger warmly on a trembling shoulder; his fingers squeeze the tense muscles.  “Get some rest,” he says gently as he walks to the door.




He turns.  “Yeah?”


“In the morning, I want breakfast in bed.  Three-cheese omelet.  And bacon.  Crisp.” 


Wilson smiles into the darkness.  “You’re a pain in the ass, House, but I love you anyway.”  He closes the door quickly, before House can feel obligated to ruin the moment with a snappy comeback.


And then he returns to the living room, ready to stand guard over his friend throughout the long night.  And happy to do it.




23rd-Nov-2007 01:25 am (UTC)
This was great, I love reading your House and Wilson stories.

But that was his decision; everything that happened was planned, under his control. This time, they stripped away his control, made him vulnerable.

Loved this line especially, *hugs House*

(I could get to this post from your journal, but it kept saying it was forbidden when I tried to access it from the link at the LJ community. Could just be me though, LJ seems to have it in for me at times)
23rd-Nov-2007 01:30 am (UTC)
i fixed it--i was, as a matter of fact, unlocking it just after posting to house_wilson, and while i was unlocking iit, your comment came in; you're fast!!! :)

glad you enjoyed it!
23rd-Nov-2007 01:29 am (UTC)
For some reason, I want to cry or something. It was really good. Well done.
23rd-Nov-2007 01:31 am (UTC)
thanks so much! and yes, i'm feeling particularly tender towards poor house right now... and so is wilson.
23rd-Nov-2007 01:31 am (UTC)
I really, really enjoyed this fic. I was fairly sure someone would write fic following that episode, but I was delighted to find the result so delicious. This is lovely stuff.

Thank you. :)

23rd-Nov-2007 01:32 am (UTC)
why thank you! i appreciate your letting me know you liked it so much!!
23rd-Nov-2007 01:36 am (UTC)
Goddess, that part of the show really pissed me off. I swear I was even more angry than I was when Tritter pulled him over. Why? Because at least when Tritter arrested House he was conscious and had some measure of control. His people, OTH, stripped that control from him.

Thanks for this fic. It was exactly the followup needed to bring some closure to that situation.

Good work! :-)
23rd-Nov-2007 01:43 am (UTC)
oh my, yes--some closure was badly needed on that horrific scene of torture! and i'm very happy that, in providing it for myself, i could provide it for you as well!
23rd-Nov-2007 01:47 am (UTC)
Oh, this is lovely (and I'm glad you exorcised the demons planted by the episode). I do think we'd see this side of House only with Wilson, whose understanding of how House thinks is better than anyone's.

He could’ve died, for real. And whether or not he did was at the mercy of others. That's it exactly. He was so vulnerable in that scene, and easily could have died at their less-than-competent hands.

*edited because I really can tell which possessive to use if I think really hard*

Edited at 2007-11-23 01:48 am (UTC)
23rd-Nov-2007 01:53 am (UTC)
laughing at your 'edited because' addendum!!

and yeah, i wrote this because i felt we all needed some compassionate!wilson right now--but none more so than our poor house.... :(
23rd-Nov-2007 02:09 am (UTC)
Wonderful as usual. So well written and you're always able to show us that hurting, vulnerable House that I love so much.
You hit it on the head about House losing control of his situation and being at the mercy of others.

Oh, and I'm so glad you had SOMEONE concerned about House's well being. Sheesh!

Poor guy. I was wondering (as you had written in your story) if House felt he deserved that kind of treatment. We've seen him do it to patients, Informed Consent coming to mind. Maybe it was a bit of Karma.

Edited at 2007-11-23 02:12 am (UTC)
23rd-Nov-2007 07:20 am (UTC)
1've been of the belief, for a while now, that house does, indeed, believe he deserves anything bad that happens to him. it makes me sad.
23rd-Nov-2007 02:10 am (UTC)
*shakes head*

kidsnurse, THANK YOU.

23rd-Nov-2007 03:14 am (UTC)
What Nightdog said.

This? Is what I SO wish we'd have seen on the show.
23rd-Nov-2007 02:15 am (UTC)
Beautiful as usual. I love how you write House and Wilson. Too bad you don't write for the show
23rd-Nov-2007 07:25 am (UTC)
thank you! [and if i wrote for the show, i'd be on strike.... no story!
23rd-Nov-2007 03:11 am (UTC)
Oh, wonderful little sequel to that episode. Having House so quiet really fit, and I like how Wilson slowly works through both the physical, and the mental examination, to figure out exactly what state House is in. Wilson knew House would be in pain, but I really love how he is also determined to figure out what state of mind House is in. Loved how, throughout Wilson's examination and moving of House from the couch to the bed, Wilson waits for permission from House before doing anything (waiting until House holds out his arm for the BP cuff, waiting until House lets him lift the tshirt) letting House retain some control of the situation-- which is a perfect contrast to the This time, they stripped away his control, made him vulnerable. observation. Also liked the change in the next paragraph where Wilson goes from "I" to "we" when he's reassuring House. Great piece-- thanks for writing this!

Hope you and yours had a Happy Thanksgiving!
23rd-Nov-2007 07:29 am (UTC)
until i read what i'd writ, i was unaware of how instinctively gentle wilson was, seeking permission, giving house the assurance he wasn'y alone. but it was right. glad you enjoyed this. and happy thanksgiving to you!
23rd-Nov-2007 03:13 am (UTC) - Happy Thanksgiving
Oh I'm so happy. I came looking and not expecting to find something new on Thanksgiving. I was so happy to read your story and enjoyed it very much. Also, I was totally pissed off at the way House was treated. In particular I hated 13 for the way she did the liver biopsy. How could they have drugged House that way, it was unforgiveable. Did the PTB think that people would think its okay because House can be an asshole? That's no reason to do such a thing. I admit that I adore House, and I don't like anyone treating him badly. I also knew that the chosen was going out the door the minute the red thong showed up. Also why so little Wilson in the show? I'm sorry but the show for me is House and Wilson. They could get rid of a lot of people, although I think I would keep Chase. Anyway, happy hols.
23rd-Nov-2007 07:30 am (UTC) - Re: Happy Thanksgiving
so pleased that i could offer you a thanksgiving treat!
23rd-Nov-2007 03:20 am (UTC) - Dr. Fantabulous
It's like a chapter out of one of your novel-length fics...loved it. So House and Wilson- deep, yet absolutely hilarious :)
23rd-Nov-2007 07:32 am (UTC) - Re: Dr. Fantabulous
i was attempting convey poignancy, along with their usual bite. glad it worked for you!
23rd-Nov-2007 03:29 am (UTC)
Oh, I liked this. Thank you. I would say something more constructive, but I can't seem to think properly. But anyway, lovely story.

23rd-Nov-2007 07:32 am (UTC)
glad you liked!!
23rd-Nov-2007 03:35 am (UTC)
Yeah, the liver biopsy REALLY pissed me off, and the fact that he just got up afterwards.

Also, sorry to nitpick but... House doesn't really take NSAIDs. Vicodin is acetaminophen and an opioid-- not an NSAID. Unless he's been on something else recently that I've totally missed.
23rd-Nov-2007 07:38 am (UTC)
As with any chronic pain patient, i'm certain that House takes NSAIDs, likely ibuprofen, and likely with his morning and night doses--each med increases the efficacy of the other. Just as I'm sure that he takes laxatives when the opioids cause constipation--it's routine, and mundane, and while it's not mentioned, you can bet it happens. It'd be foolish of him not to supplement with NSAIDs.
23rd-Nov-2007 04:13 am (UTC)
awwww. i'm glad jimmy was there to make to take care of him :)

this episode was beyond crazy in the medical sense, i agree... and i now hate 13 'cause she stabbed House in the liver! who does that! even cameron had the decency to kiss THEN stab! LOL

great story! i always love your tales!
23rd-Nov-2007 07:39 am (UTC)
it just seemed right, for wilson to be there for him--house seemed so shaken, so subdued. he needed his friend!
23rd-Nov-2007 05:38 am (UTC)
I love the feel of your fiction, the warmth and the trust you always show between them. It's never overdone or rings false, it always comes across as so very real. Add in your medical experience, and the realism you portray w/o effort and you have the perfect story. Thank you for sharing this.
23rd-Nov-2007 07:40 am (UTC)
you're very welcome! i'm so glad you enjoyed it, and thank you for commenting!
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