posted by BeforeItWasCool
DISCLAIMER: My brain knows I don’t own House but my दिल disagrees mightily.
Letting Go – A House Fanisode
House sat at the end of the glass conference तालिका, टेबल in the diagnostics department at PPTH. He seemed totally focused on trying to get the टेनिस ball to spin quickly on the तालिका, टेबल top. Each effort lasted longer than the पूर्व effort before the ball would start to skid across the smooth surface. In fact, he was listening to every word and was actually processing it और effectively द्वारा his mundane actions. The ball went for yet another spin as he listened to Taub finish the status update on their patient.
“Margaret’s stroke was definitely ischemic. We gave her t-PA immediately and although she is still unconscious she should recover.” Taub shrugged his shoulders. “Unless we don’t ever solve the underlying problem, that is. Then it won’t really matter.”
“Does the sun shine much in your world, Taub?” House commented. He grabbed the टेनिस ball just before it careened off the edge of the table. “Any idea where the clot came from?”
“None,” Foreman said. “An initial Doppler ultrasound found a very small clot in her right calf. It should be broken up द्वारा now with the t-PA. Chase took her up for a venograph and EKG. Once those are done we’ll have a better idea.”
“We should give her some warfarin,” Masters piped up. “Just to prevent further clots.”
House glanced over at her. “Thanks.”
Masters nodded happily, unaware of the sarcasm that dripped from that one single word House said.
“Ideas?” House asked. He looked at Taub. “You know, just so we didn’t waste time saving her from the stroke she just had.”
“Epstein-Barr,” Masters suggested. She began to explain but Foreman cut her off.
“Except she’s not black.”
“It happens in white women as well,” Masters defended. “She कहा she had the flu the past two weeks. She’s been feeling rundown. Those are classic Epstein-Barr symptoms. So if not Epstein-Barr than some other autoimmune. Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome. Lupus.”
“Polycythemia Vera would be a better explaination,” Foreman interjected.
“But not a nicer one,” Masters said.
House nodded. PV was not a happy diagnosis. He looked at Foreman. “Hold off on the heparin and check her blood for thickening in a few hours.” Masters began to open her mouth to again defend her idea. House turned his attention to her. “And आप can draw some और blood to check your autoimmune theories.” Masters responded with a satisfied smile. “Taub, आप get to babysit the med student. Maybe some of her positive healing attitude will rub off on you.”
Taub hung his head and कहा nothing. He began to gather up the files. Foreman had stood to also leave when Wilson came bursting through the open door. His eyes went immediately to House, who still sat at the far end of the table. Wilson did not look happy.
“House!” he yelled. “You need to stop your diabolical pranking attacks!” In explanation he held up his arms. It was clearly evident of what he was upset about. The sleeves on his medical कोट had been cut off and hemmed about six inches from his wrists; the bright white of the कोट fabric contrasting vividly with the dark blue of his कमीज, शर्ट sleeves.
Wilson expected to hear a round of laughter, but the room was silent. Instead, Foreman, Taub and Masters all held up their arms. Each of the six sleeves he saw had been shortened as well.
“We were short-sheeted, too,” Foreman कहा dully.
House turned to Foreman with a serious expression. “I don’t know which is और surprising: that someone was able to get all of आप with the same prank या that Foreman knows what short-sheeting is.” He held Foreman’s unamusing gaze before turning back to Wilson.
“It’s not me,” House said. “Why does everyone keep accusing me?”
Wilson held up his arms again. “If the sleeve fits…,” his voice trailed off as his eyes conveyed the accusatory message.
“It’s not me!” House again insisted.
“I heard the pens and pencils in the clinic keep disappearing,” Taub said. “This morning every single pen and pencil that had been taken was returned. It covered the entire desk.”
House shook his head. “See that’s proof,” he कहा confidently. “Those kind of stunts are beneath me. That’s the kind of school boy prank Kutner would have pulled but seeing as how ghosts usually keep with the chains and howling I doubt that’s likely.”
The other men in the room each glared at House at the flippant remark he had made about their dead friend. Did House’s breeches of decorum know no bounds?
House shook his head. “Oh, come on, don’t get offended. Kutner would be quite happy I accused him of these tricks; dead या alive.” House then grew quiet. He looked down at the तालिका, टेबल and कहा softly, “Kutner loved those type of things. Stupid things.”
Masters just looked around the table. She had लॉस्ट the meaning of the conversation at the mention of the probable prankster. She looked over at Taub, who met her eyes with a sad stare. He barely shook his head then looked away. She didn’t pursue it. She’d find out from someone else later. She felt the regret and sadness in the room and even she was not the best in perceiving other people’s emotions.
Wilson shook his head. “Then who’s the prankster?” he asked.
“I want to know too!” Cuddy’s voice rang out from the door way. She strode into the office. She was holding a piece of yellow cardstock firmly in her right fist. “It’s not you?!” she said, looking straight down at House.
“NO!” House कहा emphatically. “I admit I am no respecter of persons when it comes to punking, but these are beneath my talents.”
Cuddy held up the sheet so everyone could see it. Across the चोटी, शीर्ष they could easily read, “Human Resources Mandatory Benefits Meeting. 8AM. Lecture Hall B.” A name and phone number and some other text was typed along the bottom. Cuddy lowered the paper and read it.
“Human Resources Mandatory Benefits Meeting. 8AM. Lecture Hall B. Your benefits will be changing. Find out how this affects you. If आप cannot attend, cannot find instructor या have any सवालों please call Earnest Griffin with the HR department for further instructions.” Cuddy looked up at House. He was smiling already anticipating what was coming next. “There is no meeting. There never was one scheduled. Hundreds of employees showed up in Lecture Hall B at 8am this morning. The same time as Dr. Randall’s class on infectious diseases. There was a shouting match. Half of them went straight to Griffin in HR. The other half got out their phones and called him. After an घंटा Griffin left the hospital.”
House chuckled outright at the new information. “Okay, that does sound like a prank I might pull: smart; creative; long-lasting. But I didn’t do it.”
“Find out who did!” Cuddy demanded. “Quickly!”
“Did आप want me to still save my patient’s life या should I give your request चोटी, शीर्ष priority?” House asked, an innocent smiled played across his lips.
Cuddy glared at him then looked at Wilson. “Help him find the prankster,” she कहा to Wilson.
Wilson shook his head. “No way,” he said, waving off the request with his shortened sleeved arms. “I have to make rounds in the peds oncology unit right now.” He looked again at his arms. “Who knows? Maybe this will bring a chuckle to the kids.”
“Shine on, Mr. Sunny Side!” House called out as Wilson walked out of the room.
Cuddy returned her gaze to House. “Send your doctors off to prove या disprove whatever diagnosis आप all just came up with and then go find that practical joker.”
“It might cost you,” House said, his eyes darkening and his smile spreading so that everyone in the room knew the price he was referring too.
“Find him या her,” Cuddy said, ignoring House’s last statement. She looked at House’s team. “If any of आप see anything fishy tell me right away.” She saw the quizzical looks of House’s team members. “If आप don’t it may cost you.” Her last statement did not include the same look House had दिया Cuddy. Cuddy’s look clearly explained that the cost she spoke of would not be fun at all.
Cuddy turned and walked out of the diagnostic department. She watched through the glass as House dismissed his team. She was passed the windows before she could see what House then did. She hoped he would do a little research. That man had connections everywhere in this hospital. At times, he had so much inside information she was sure he had the place wired with cameras. She did not need this extra headache. The pranks had been going for three days now. They were non-stop and although had caused no damage to anyone या hospital property, they were certainly disrupting the order of things. She had had to come in early this morning to make sure the phones operating systems had been switched back to English only to find the entire Clinic डेस्क covered with pens and pencils. However, every paper clip and stapler was missing. She heard her ब्लैकबेरी buzz and pulled it out of her कोट pocket. It was her assistant reminding her of the board meeting in 45 minutes. He also कहा that the rest of the HR department was threatening to go home. She told the assistant to quickly make up and distribute flyers explaining the prank on HR. She hung up even और exasperated.
She had reached the elevator and pushed the button, waiting impatiently for the elevator to arrive. She heard the chime of its arrival and watched as the doors opened. She was surprised to see Dr. Beth Schaeffer standing there. Schaeffer began to step off the elevator when she saw Cuddy. She stopped in mid-stride.
“Beth,” Cuddy said.
“Hello, Lisa,” Schaeffer कहा abruptly. “I need to speak with Dr. House. Could आप direct me to his office, please?”
“He hasn’t come द्वारा to see you?” Cuddy asked, already knowing the answer.
“No,” Schaeffer responded. “I guess he hasn’t found the time to actually visit his patient yet. I don’t know why आप allow this behavior.”
Cuddy bristled at the comment, but held her tongue. “I’m sorry he hasn’t come down, but I assure आप he is well-aware of every detail of your mother’s case. In fact, I was with him and his team a few moments पूर्व and they have a couple new theories to evaluate. He is द्वारा no means ignoring you.”
“I think I will just go talk to him myself,” Schaeffer said. She tried to sidestep passed Cuddy.
Cuddy moved out of the way but said, “He’s not there now. He’s gone down to Radiology to view the test results of your mother’s venograph.” Cuddy stepped into the elevator. “Radiology is in the basement. I can take आप there now if you’d like.” She held onto the elevator door to keep it from closing. Schaeffer stood in the hallway, undecided. “Or आप can wait in his office, but I have no idea when he’ll be back.” Cuddy looked softly at Schaeffer. “Come on. Let me take आप back to your mother’s room. She’ll be back from radiology द्वारा now. या should we go to the cafeteria? Have आप eaten anything today?”
Schaeffer’s hard exterior cracked just a bit at Cuddy’s kindness. Schaeffer shook her head. “I need to talk to Dr. House. I need to know what’s going on,” Schaeffer’s voice cracked a bit. “I need to know what’s going to happen.” She lowered her eyes. Cuddy stepped out of the elevator and gently pulled Schaeffer into the elevator. She allowed Cuddy to do it.
“Beth,” Cuddy कहा as the doors closed. “You have to let House work. His methods are different and often unstable, but he’s the best at what he does, which is why आप brought your mother her.” Schaeffer nodded. “I know it’s hard to be tough all the time; to be the one in charge. आप need to just focus on your mom. We’ll get her well.” Schaeffer looked at Cuddy. If there was anyone who understood it would be Cuddy.
“I could use a sandwich,” Schaeffer finally said.
“Great,” Cuddy said. “I hear they have fresh croissants today. I’ll take आप down.”
Schaeffer nodded her thanks and they rode the rest of the way in silence.
Foreman checked Margaret’s IV line again. Chase had just brought her back from radiology. The venograph had shown a few small clots, but not much else. Still, Foreman was hesitant to give any और warfarin. His blood tests had shown that although her blood seemed a bit thicker than normal it certainly didn’t indicate PK. Masters still had a few tests to run but it seemed that this wasn’t autoimmune either. This lack of direction and continual guesswork was the worst part of the job for Foreman and if the payoff of finally solving the puzzle and helping the patient wasn’t so great he would have gone back to neurology long ago.
He marked in Margaret’s chart her vitals and then stood and stared at his patient. His mind raced through string after string of cause and effect scenarios trying to come up with one that fit best. He didn’t hear Dr. Schaeffer enter the room.
Schaeffer had eaten a quick lunch in the cafeteria after Cuddy had shown her where it was. She felt like she had और strength now, but was still a bit shaken द्वारा all that had happened. She saw Foreman standing there, diagnosing her mother. She knew he was a good doctor. That’s why she had hired him three years पूर्व to run her own diagnostic department. But he was reckless with the rules; with the patients. He put his gut reaction ahead of protocol and unlike Cuddy, Schaeffer didn’t have an “Ask सवालों later” approach to management. In her mind, Schaeffer had done the only thing she could have. She had never doubted her decision.
“Dr. Foreman,” Schaeffer said. “I was wondering when you’d make your way down to my mother’s room.”
Foreman whipped his head toward the sound of Schaeffer’s voice. He was startled to see her. He hadn’t meant to avoid her; at least he didn’t think he had.
“Dr. Schaeffer,” Foreman said. “How are you?” He quickly realized the absurdity of the question. “I mean, hello. I’m sorry about your mother. We’re doing all we can to find out what the problem is.”
Schaeffer made her way over to the bed. She looked at Foreman. “So आप think there is a problem?” she asked. Foreman nodded. “Well, at least I can say I told आप so,” she said, looking down at her mom. There was an awkward silence; the clouds of things unsaid hovered in the room. She looked back at Foreman. “So आप were able to come back to PPTH? I thought that was the last thing आप wanted.”
“It was the only job I could get after….,” Foreman कहा honestly. “Things work differently here.”
“Don’t I know it,” Schaeffer कहा offhandedly. “Even I was hesitant to hire आप initially.”
“I supposed I validated that hesitancy,” Foreman said. He didn’t sound malicious in his intent, just resigned.
“Well,” was all Schaeffer could say.
“Who’s head of the department now?” Foreman asked.
“Dr. Crandall,” she replied.
Foreman nodded. “He’s a good doctor. I’m sure he’s doing great.”
Schaeffer thought a moment and then shrugged. “Yes. And he’s safe.”
Foreman had no idea how to respond. Instead he decided to let Schaeffer know what they were testing for. Schaeffer thought the idea of an autoimmune disease fit better but reminded Foreman that her own team had tested for that.
“There are some that are hard to test for,” was all Foreman said. When he mentioned his theory on PK, Schaeffer visibly blanched. The prognosis was not good and the fact that there were already some small clots in her body increased the worry. Foreman felt odd reassuring her that they were still waiting on results and that a final diagnosis couldn’t be made just yet. Right now, her mother’s condition was stable. Foreman then mentioned that they had definitely ruled out toxins, mold या other environmental causes.
Schaeffer’s face reddened slightly. “Were आप one of the doctors that went to my mother’s home?”
“No,” Foreman said, understanding her question. Schaeffer was obviously embarrassed about her mother’s hoarding tendancies. There was a long silence. He felt awkward to get this personal with his former boss but he would have कहा the अगला statement to any of his other patient’s family members. “Once we address your mother’s physical issues we can then find some therapy for her obsessive compulsive disorders. We can do it on an outpatient even.”
Schaeffer laughed bitterly. “You don’t think I’ve tried therapy? I’ve tried everything. I even moved her to a new smaller घर in a different city and it didn’t help.” She looked back at her mother. “She hasn’t always had OCD. She was an only child. Rather spoiled I think. Throwing out an old toy as it broke. Receiving a brand new one immediately. She married my dad, but they bought a घर near her parents. There wasn’t as much money. Her parents helped us all the time with खाना and gifts. When I was five her parents were killed in a car accident. It was horrific. They bled to death due to a lack of the right type of blood. She has donated blood regularly since then as a tribute. They were gone and suddenly so was her सुरक्षित world. That’s when it started. I remember coming घर from सेकंड grade one दिन and finding a few bags of canned goods from the discount grocery. She was sorting them and labeling them, putting them away in case we needed them.” Schaeffer absentmindedly rubbed her mom’s arm. “It just got worse. Everything was always organized and clean. I never went hungry. Never got sick या neglected. But it became too much for dad and he left. That of course made things worse.”
Foreman looked at Schaeffer with new eyes. “Your mother had a definite experience that we can trace the OCD to. That will make therapy that much और effective.”
“It’s easy for us to say that, but that woman,” she pointed to her mother, still not awake from the effects of her stroke. “will refuse to change. She would rather risk losing her relationship with her own daughter than clean up her house and throw crap out.”
Foreman nodded and left Schaeffer standing अगला to her mother’s bed. He had nothing to say. Especially since there was no point in bringing up the fact that Schaeffer was just as unwilling to change as her mother was. Contrary to लोकप्रिय belief, Foreman hadn’t been that tainted द्वारा House.
Wilson had been able to find another white lab कोट while his was being repaired. At least the prankster had been nice and not cut the sleeve off entirely. One quick stitch around the sleeve had securely shortened it without the need for removing it. If he ever found out whom the culprit was he would be sure to thank him for that.
Wilson folded up the last patient file and began to organize them into a tidy little stack. He shifted them just a bit so that they were evenly placed अगला to the stack of letters.
“Careful,” came a voice from the doorway. “That’s the first step on the path to total OCD.”
Wilson looked up to see House entering his office. Wilson nodded his greeting. “Yes, I’m aware of that. It was good for me when we lived together because there was no way I could keep things tidy.”
House closed the door then sat on the chair across from his best friend. “Just doing my part. Sam took over though.” He looked at Wilson for his reaction. Sam had been gone over a महीना now. House kept testing Wilson, kept taunting him, trying to gauge how long they had till Wilson broke down again at her departure. But as always, Wilson surprised House. He hadn’t even cracked yet. He was sad Sam had left, but not heartbroken. He had tried to talk to her but she was ignoring him. This time, however, Wilson seemed to not be taking it so personally. Yep, House thought, Wilson is never boring. “Oh, but wait, you’re free to make tidy little piles now and arrange your dishwasher just so.”
Wilson didn’t rise to the bait. He just smiled. “I’ll just invite आप and your cute little family over every so often. Between आप and Rachel the house should be in chaos again in no time.”
“Funny,” House said.
“How’s your patient?” Wilson finally asked. “What grand diagnosis is your team working on now?”
“One for autoimmune. One for Polycythemia Vera. And one who will do whatever test in necessary so he can trawl the hallways for other horny मछली in the sea,” House said, lifting his bad leg up onto Wilson’s desk. He rubbed it subconsciously, hoping that maybe this time it would help with the pain. Wilson could see House’s thinking face as he gazed up at the ceiling.
Wilson nodded. “PK would be bad. Plus the same symptoms for PK could mean it’s cancers: leukemia, lymphoma, maybe…”
House cut him off. “Yeah, I’m going down that road too. I’ll let आप know.” He continued to stare off into space.
“So what may I help आप with today?” Wilson asked politely.
House brought his legs down, sat आगे in his chair and earnestly looked at Wilson. “How do I get Cuddy to have sex with me on her office desk?”
Wilson was very accustomed to extremely बिना सोचे समझे statements and सवालों from his oldest friend, but even this one threw him a little. He blinked once. Then he blinked again. “Well, I don’t know the answer to this one off hand, so I’ll have to consult my “Wildly Inappropriate Office Sexual Protocol Manual” and get back to आप on that one.” He shook his head. “Do I want to ask why?”
House shrugged and traced imaginary lines on Wilson’s desktop. “It’s on my सूची of tasks to complete and I think the window of spontaneous sexual encounters in quickly closing.”
Wilson कहा nothing. He waited for House to continue. House never कहा anything so बिना सोचे समझे without having a point behind it.
After a मिनट House did continue, “Cuddy and I met in college.”
Wilson nodded. He knew this and some general details but had never heard the whole story. He felt he was going to get it now.
“I thought I had hunted her down at this big dance but in truth she had been stalking me since the beginning of the semester.” House smiled at the thought that Cuddy even as a college undergrad had always been one of the only people in the world to get one past House. “We danced. We drank. We stumbled back to her apartment just off campus. It didn’t take either one of our IQ’s to figure out what we wanted to happen. We barely made it into her front room before we were going at it. I pushed all the stuff off of her desk, the one she has now in her office, and was taking her to it. She laughed and कहा it was like some Penthouse letter.” House laughed. “That made me all the और interested in her. Just then her roommate and about 15 of her closest फ्रेंड्स charged into the apartment.” House finally made eye contact with Wilson. “I was not polite to her roommate. But Cuddy diffused the situation.”
“So she’s been doing that for a while for you, too,” Wilson said, smiling.
“Why do आप think she’s so good at it? Practice,” House said, returning the smile. He continued with his story. “Cuddy grabbed my hand and just told me to take her to my place. I did. When I woke up the अगला morning Cuddy was already gone, but she left a note that said, “Next time we’ll do the Penthouse letter.” I fully intended to call her and take her up on that offer.” House paused. “I intended to make sure I’d always have that offer. But then I got called into the dean’s office and I left.”
“You never called her?” Wilson asked. He shook his head at House’s continual string of bad luck. It seemed as though the universe had something against House at times.
“No, didn’t seem fair,” House said.
“So that डेस्क has become the Holy Grail. It became the symbol of what आप लॉस्ट with Cuddy all those years पूर्व and when आप gave it to her आप were hoping to take up where आप had to end it,” Wilson surmised.
“It’s a good thing I have आप to explain my feelings to me,” House said.
“You’re welcome. But it shouldn’t even bother आप anymore,” Wilson said. “You two are together now. आप have that relationship आप wanted.”
House shrugged. “I just want the Penthouse Letter.”
Wilson sat back in his chair as a knowing grin crossed his mouth. “No, आप don’t. Well, आप don’t just want the letter. आप want to recreate that moment where आप were willing and able to commit to her for the rest of your life. You’re too gunshy now to make any type of commitment. आप weren’t then. आप want to ask her to marry you!”
House jerked up in his chair. “No way! Your “Intention Interpretation Monitor” is way off on this one.” He closed his eyes and sighed. “I don’t want to do that. Not yet. I just want that….feeling that I could.”
This time is was Wilson who sighed. “My, my Dr. House, आप are quite the romantic.”
“Shut up,” House stood up and started to walk out. “As usual you’ve been no help for practical purposes.”
“Now, wait a minute,” Wilson said. “Just ask her. या tell her what आप just told me.”
“I asked her. She’s too professional now. I guess we’ve both changed.”
Wilson didn’t doubt House had somehow insinuated what he wanted to do, but he was certain House didn’t and wouldn’t tell Cuddy the whole story. “Okay then, get her drunk again.”
House stopped with his hand on the doorknob. “Now that’s some useful advice. Finally.” He nodded at Wilson then opened the door and left.
Wilson looked after him. “Good luck, House.” He कहा quietly as his door closed.
Taub and Masters sat across from each other in the pathology lab. Masters had her face up to a microscope, studying the slide underneath. Taub worked methodically squirting just a few drops of the patient’s blood into trays of vials. Each vial containing the elements that would possibly react with Margaret’s blood and give them the answer. Masters let out a loud sigh of digust.
“It’s not Addison’s,” she said. “Or Bergers, Bichets या Blau.”
“That sounds like a law firm,” Taub said.
“We’re only in the “B”s,” Masters कहा frustratingly.
“I didn’t know we were doing this alphabetically,” Taub कहा as he continued his systematic work.
“It seemed the most logical and organized way to test for all the autoimmune diseases,” Master कहा as she changed the slides.
Taub froze in his routine. “ALL of the autoimmune diseases?” he said. “I don’t think I’ve ever wanted the patient’s condition to change so soon until now.”
Masters looked confused. She had no idea she had just offhandedly informed Taub that they would be working late into the night. Taub shook his head and started dropping blood in vials again.
There was an easy silence. Then Masters slowly pulled back from her microscope. She looked at Taub. “Who is Kutner?”
Taub hesitated a microsecond on releasing the drop of blood before continuing on as though the सवाल had never been asked. He finished the row then looked up at Masters. “He was a member of the team.”
“Did he die?” Masters asked innocently.
“He killed himself,” Taub कहा coldly. Masters was visibly shaken द्वारा Taub’s lack of emotion. He told himself to be kind. “We were hired at the same time. Almost exactly three years ago. He shot himself two years later. 13 and Foreman found the body.”
This time an uneasy silence filled the lab. Masters just sat there and stared at Taub, who eventually looked away. “And no, we didn’t have any warning signs.”
“I wasn’t even going to ask that,” Masters कहा quietly. Taub looked up again at Masters and saw that she meant it. “I’m sorry. It must have been very hard.”
Taub sat for a still moment before nodding. “Yes, he was my friend.”
They held each other’s gaze for a long time. Taub eventually smiled softly. “Let’s get back to work. We’ve got ALL the autoimmune disorders to test for.”
Masters nodded. She began to change out her slide again when her phone beeped. She grabbed it off the counter and looked at it. “Looks like आप got your wish, Dr. Taub, our clients kidneys are failing. She doesn’t have an autoimmune disease.”
They both dropped their equipment and peeled off their gloves then raced up to the patient’s room. It was still going to be a long night.
I’ll get the अगला act पोस्टेड quickly. I’ve got 3 और and only 2 ½ weeks til House returns! Thanks for reading!