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HOUSE M.D. FIC: Regarding House, 3/7

Chapter 3: Still House
“There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.”

 

“Wilson,” I said once we were in the car the next morning, “why did that woman from 3B say that you proposed to me?”

“Nora?” Wilson was obviously struggling to suppress a grin. “I did. Right in the middle of a restaurant and everything.” He didn’t take his eyes off the road as he added, “I was just screwing with you, obviously.”

“Okay… and why was she there?”

“Look. When we first moved in here, Nora met us and got the wrong impression. I thought she was cute, I was trying to get her to go out with me, but for some reason she was convinced that we were… a couple. And you didn’t exactly do your part to convince her otherwise.”

“So you proposed to me? Way to send mixed messages, Wilson.”

Wilson sighed. “You had some scheme to get into her pants by confiding in her and then allowing her to cure you. So I decided to beat you at your own little game. I bought a ring, tracked you down at dinner, and voila. Of course, you had to go and spill the beans to her later.”

“She must have thought we were nuts!”

“I believe ‘mendacious dirtbags’ was the term she used,” Wilson said solemnly. “Seems to have gotten over it, though.”

“So…” I considered for a moment, then plunged ahead. “If we weren’t a couple, then why did we move in together? I mean, my Baker Street address is on my driver’s license from four years ago, so I must have had my own apartment. Was it because you and Sam were splitting up and you needed some company? Why didn’t you just stay with me for a while?”

Wilson gave a short bark of laughter. “Well, it turns out that your apartment isn’t really big enough for the both of us. But it wasn’t that. The truth is, we just… thought that it would be better for you not to live alone for a while.”

I looked at him keenly. “Coincides with the end of a gap in my medical records. Does this have anything to do with the urinalysis you ran yesterday? I know I was on some pretty serious painkillers after the infarction.”

There was a pause. “Yeah,” he said finally. “You were… you’d had a rough year, and your Vicodin use had gotten out of control. You had yourself committed, voluntarily, to a rehab facility near Philly. When you were discharged, I said I’d serve as an unofficial sponsor. But I was renting at the time, and we needed a bigger place, so… I bought this one.”

I was having trouble wrapping my mind around this. “So essentially what you’re saying is, you bought the loft… for me?”

“Well,” Wilson frowned. “I suppose, in a manner of speaking. I mean, you could look at it that way.”

“How else could you look at it?” I asked dryly.

“There was a little matter of revenge against Cuddy.”

“The Dean?” I wasn’t following.

“Yeah, she… had been coming down on you pretty hard, and I heard from my ex-wife that she’d made a bid on the loft, so…”

“Sam’s a realtor?”

“Uh, no. Bonnie is.”

“You have two ex-wives?”

“Three, actually,” Wilson said, and held up his hand. “Please, don’t say anything. I know you can’t remember, but I’ve taken enough crap from you on the subject over the years.”

I kept quiet but felt a sudden surge of hope. Three ex-wives, and apparently he’d bought not only the organ, but the loft itself, for me – whether out of consideration for my comfort or for revenge on my behalf seemed to be beside the point. Who was he trying to kid?

Also, I resolved that if I ever had any reason to believe that I had been the recipient of an organ transplant, the first thing I’d do was to count Wilson’s kidneys.

***

“Where’s Baby Doc?” I demanded of the Three Stooges, tossing my backpack onto the conference table.

Taub shrugged. “Maybe her class is running overtime this morning.”

Perfect. I pulled out the end chair, spun it around, and straddled it. “Differential diagnosis.”

“We have another case already?” Foreman said skeptically.

“Let’s say we do. Male, early fifties, suffered loss of consciousness without apparent head trauma, and currently exhibits severe retrograde amnesia, disorientation, and loss of identity. Procedural and factual memory unaffected, retention of new information unimpaired. Go.”

“Seizure or atypical migraine could cause transient global amnesia,” Chase suggested.

“How transient?”

“Symptoms usually resolve within a day.”

“The hallmark of TGA is short-term memory impairment,” Foreman pointed out.

“Then that’s not it. What else?”

“Had the patient been using alcohol or drugs?” Taub asked.

“A distinct possibility.”

“Blackout. Or chronic alcohol abuse would suggest Korsakoff’s.”

“No,” Chase disagreed. “Those would involve anterograde amnesia as well.”

“I assume that you would have mentioned it if the patient had been treated with ECT,” Foreman said.

“Did I neglect to mention that the patient can’t provide a medical history because he doesn’t actually remember it?”

“Would the aftereffects of ECT be detectable?” Taub asked.

“Autopsy would reveal widespread pinpoint hemorrhages and scattered cell death,” Foreman replied.

“Just for kicks, let’s operate under the assumption that our patient would prefer to survive his diagnosis.”

Foreman shrugged. “ECT has been known to result in a number of other cognitive deficits of varying severity, depending on the duration and intensity of treatment.”

“Could still be drug-induced,” Taub argued. “Certain sedatives, especially in combination with alcohol-”

“How long has this patient been experiencing the amnesia?” Foreman interrupted.

“Oh… since you found me sitting on the floor of my office earlier this week.”

Chase slapped the surface of the conference table, then turned to Foreman and stuck his hand out. “Told you.” Foreman coughed up a fifty just as the med student hurried in.

“Dr. House, you’re early today! What’d I miss?” Masters asked me eagerly, sliding into her usual seat, and not noticing the covert glances exchanged by her three teammates, who apparently agreed with Wilson that she was not to be trusted.

“Hypothetical case,” Taub told her. “Severe, sustained retrograde amnesia without head injury.”

“Game’s over,” I said abruptly. “Thank you for playing.”

***

As soon as he had the opportunity, Foreman practically manhandled me into an empty exam room, leaving Chase and Taub to distract Masters. “You’re making this a lot easier than I expected,” he told me suspiciously, locking the door behind him and gesturing towards a chair.

“Obviously a neurological exam can’t be reliably self-administered,” I replied reasonably, taking a seat as directed. “Why would I consider myself an exception?”

Foreman visibly suppressed a snort before smoothing his face into a more somber expression. “Okay. This is just a routine exam to make sure that your cognitive functions and short-term memory are reasonably intact. I’m going to start by giving you a patient’s name and address for you to commit to memory so I can ask you about it later. Ready? ‘John Black, 42 West Street, Brighton.’”

He had me name the months backwards from December, then count backward from 100 by 6. He pulled out a sheaf of cards with pictures on them and asked me to identify a hammock, feather, key, chair, cactus, and glove. He had me touch my right cheek with my left hand before pointing to the window (simultaneously flourishing the raised middle finger on my right hand was my own idea).

Then Foreman handed me a piece of paper and a pen, asking me to write a sentence about today’s weather. I wrote, “Judging from the line of snotty, damp, red-eyed patients in the clinic this morning, it’s been drizzling off and on, and the pollen count is especially high.” I followed his directions to draw a clock, showing the time as twenty minutes to four, then neatly copied a design of his, two intersecting pentagons. I watched his face closely for signs of dissatisfaction, but Foreman had unreadability down to an art.

“Now I’m going to test a few of your reflexes.” He pulled a penlight out of his pocket and flashed it into my eyes, then had me follow his finger from right to left, up and down. “Tap your thumbs and forefingers together rapidly for me,” he said, demonstrating. I copied him. To my surprise, I saw a shadow of something like sadness fall across his face, although I got the impression that he might be reliving a memory, as opposed to his reaction having anything directly to do with me.

“All right,” he said. “Now I’m supposed to ask you to get up and walk heel to toe in a straight line across the room.”

“Well, why don’t you?” I challenged him.

For the first time, Foreman looked distinctly uncomfortable. “It won’t give me the information that I need. With your leg-“

Abruptly I levered myself to my feet and shoved my cane at Foreman. Gritting my teeth against the searing pain that flared in my thigh every time I put all of my weight on the right leg, I teetered ungracefully but accurately across the room. The wall was only about ten feet away, but by the time I reached it and braced myself against it with one hand, sweat had broken out on my forehead, and my clenched jaw ached. Trembling, I took a few deep breaths and wiped my face on my sleeve before turning back to Foreman. “Well? Do I pass?”

He rose, sauntered over to join me, and handed me my cane without comment, then leaned casually against the exam table. “Just one more thing. Could you think back to the name and address that I gave you at the beginning of the exam and repeat them back to me?”

“Uh,” I said stupidly. My mind was suddenly a blank.

“Was the first name Jane, Joan, John, or Jim?”

Male, the patient had been male. “J… Jim,” I guessed. I could see the faintest flicker of emotion in his eyes.

“Okay. Was the last name Green, Brown, Black, or White?”

“Uh… Brown?” What was wrong with me?

“And the address?”

“42 West Street, Brighton,” I answered with considerably greater confidence.

“Interesting,” Foreman mused. “Well, I think we’re done here.”

My anxiety swelled. I hadn’t recalled correctly. Foreman had decided that I had a short-term memory deficit as well. He was going to tell Cuddy that I was a danger to myself and to our patients. “Hold on,” I blurted. “You had me name a hammock, feather, key, chair, cactus, and glove. When you asked about today’s weather, I wrote, ‘Judging from the line of snotty, damp, red-eyed patients in the clinic this morning, it’s been drizzling off and on, and the pollen count is especially high.’ You had me show the time on the clock as twenty minutes to four.”

Foreman was staring at me, obviously trying not to smirk, one eyebrow creeping up towards what would have been his hairline. “Also, Chase didn’t go home last night – he remembered to change his shirt and pants, but he’s still wearing the same tie, which doesn’t match. Taub is married but separated from his wife and has been living out of a suitcase. And you were once close to someone with a neurodegenerative disease but haven’t dated anyone in years.”

He held up his hands in surrender. “Point taken! You’re still House. I’ll keep an eye on you for any signs of impairment, but for now, there’s no need to say anything to anyone.”

I breathed deeply, feeling my legs grow weak under me, and closed my eyes for a moment. “Good,” I managed, the understatement of the year.

Foreman touched me reassuringly on the arm. “Frankly, I would have been worried if you’d remembered the patient’s name.”

***

That wasn’t the end of it, of course. Taub drew blood, Chase convinced me to pee into a cup, and Foreman fingered my scalp and snuck me into Radiology for a CT, but all tests came up negative. Foreman said that it didn’t prove anything one way or the other; too much time had undoubtedly elapsed since the precipitating event, and any drugs or toxins would have had time to clear my system. At least there didn’t appear to be a brain tumor, and I hadn’t suffered recurring seizures or migraines. Maybe the amnesia was the result of some kind of psychological trauma, but none of my fellows seemed able to venture so much as a guess as to what that could have been.

They were, however, unexpectedly eager to fill me in on some of the more lurid details of my life. It was Foreman who suggested that we meet for a drink after work, away from prying med student eyes. Chase grinned and told us to count him in.

“You sure your girlfriends will be able to handle a night without you?” Foreman deadpanned.

“Always leave them wanting more,” Chase advised him.

***

Chase brought the first pitcher to our table, looking more cheerful than I’d seen him all week. “Just like old times,” he said, handing glasses around, “except that Wilson didn’t have to bribe us.”

“Also, no karaoke,” Foreman grunted, pouring himself a pint.

“I do a mean Sinatra,” Taub murmured.

Chase only rolled his eyes as he passed me a beer.

“I have an idea,” Foreman said with studied casualness. “Let’s play ‘Two Truths and a Lie.’ We’ll give you three statements about your past, and you have to guess which one isn’t true.”

“We could make it even more interesting,” Chase mused. “If you can’t tell the difference, the next round is on you.”

“Deal,” I agreed, feeling fairly confident that I’d be able to tell if any of my fellows were lying, even if I couldn’t judge the veracity of the statements themselves.

“One, you once knocked Chase down for disagreeing with your diagnosis,” Foreman smirked.

“Two,” Taub said, “you kidnapped your favorite soap opera star because you thought he had a brain tumor based on the way he was reading off the teleprompter.”

“Three,” Chase put in suddenly, a wicked gleam in his eye. “You accidentally contracted a patient’s disease and then deliberately infected a member of the team to give her more of an incentive to solve the case.”

“Uh…” Frankly, I was pretty appalled at all of the possible options, although I remembered Wilson alluding to my having punched Chase in the face. “Number two is the lie.”

“Nope,” Chase smirked. “That last one was Foreman. That’s one pitcher you owe us.”

Foreman narrowed his eyes at Chase but continued gamely, “One, you gave yourself a migraine to try to prove your former classmate was faking results from his clinical trials, then treated yourself with LSD.”

“Two,” Taub contributed, “you forged Wilson’s signature on your Vicodin prescriptions and then stole his dead patient’s pain meds.”

Chase exchanged startled glances with Foreman. “What?” Taub said. “Word gets around.”

Shrugging, Chase took a large sip from his glass. “Three, you ordered full body irradiation for a patient who turned out to be suffering from a simple bacterial infection and fried her immune system, resulting in her death.”

Foreman stared at Chase. “What is your problem?”

“No problem. Just making the point that House isn’t the only one here with skeletons in his closet.”

“Nice,” Foreman said.

“Whatever. One, you faked a brain tumor in order to get into an experimental drug study at Harvard,” Chase offered.

“Two, you faked test results so that a patient would be misdiagnosed and killed by his treatment,” Foreman ground out.

Chase pushed his chair away from the table and stood up, green eyes cold. “That man was planning a genocide. I thought that I was doing the right thing.”

Foreman leaned back and folded his arms. “That’s not how Cameron saw it.”

Chase glared at him for a moment, then turned to me. “Game’s over. Excuse me, I need some air.” He stalked off and out of the bar, back rigid with distress.

“What was that all about?” I asked.

“I have no idea,” Taub said sincerely.

Foreman shook his head. “Guess I shouldn’t have said that. I thought he was over her.”

“You’re an idiot,” Taub told him. “He’s done nothing but try to get over her ever since she left.”

“Let’s go back to the part where one of my employees murdered a patient,” I said impatiently. “Did I know about this?”

“Not at first,” Foreman admitted. “Chase was on his own. When I realized what he’d done, I tried to help him cover it up. But then we found a discrepancy in the results that Chase had faked, compared to the patient’s records. We didn’t know what to do.” He raised guilty eyes. “Somehow you figured it out and found a solution. You totally saved our asses.”

“Not for the first time,” Chase said, having reappeared quietly beside my shoulder.

Foreman nodded. “We’ve all made mistakes. You told me once that the only thing to do is go home, have a few drinks, sleep, then come back and do it all again, only better.”

“I must have had a lot of practice.” I tried to say it lightly, but the parade of revelations had left me shaken. These were the memories that I was trying to regain? This was the man I would one day be again?

“Sure,” Chase said serenely. “You’ve never shied away from attempting the impossible. When you fail, you’re bound to fail big. There’s a kind of greatness in that. It’s what I needed to learn from you.”

“You don’t care about following the rules,” Foreman said. “You’ve tried to do the right thing, no matter what the personal cost.”

“You believe that what we do matters,” Taub added.

Chase shot Foreman a meaningful glance, then laid his hand on my shoulder. “You lied to the transplant committee to save a bulimic patient who needed a new heart.”

Foreman half-smiled up at him and turned to me. “You spoke truth to power and almost lost your tenure when the Chairman of the Board asked you to pimp his drug company.”

“You risked your life to treat a patient with suspected smallpox,” Taub told me in a low voice.

I looked at each of them in turn, their eyes alight now with something resembling admiration.

“I don’t know,” I said, bewildered. “I can’t tell which one is the lie.”

“I said the game was over,” Chase reminded me.

“No lie,” said Foreman solemnly.

Chase’s fingers tightened on my shoulder, and the others nodded and raised their glasses.

***

“Am I a good man?”

Wilson and I were sitting at the table together, nursing a couple of beers after another delicious home-cooked meal. Foreman had dropped Chase off at his apartment before bringing me back to the loft, where I was greeted by the savory smell of chicken Florentine, heavy on the garlic. My joke about the power of the stinky rose to ward off unwelcome advances brought a slight smile to Wilson’s lips, but not his eyes. We ate in near-silence; I was preoccupied with the picaresque snippets of my recent history that had been offered by my fellows but unsure as to whether Wilson was, or should be, aware of some of them.

Wilson took a slow sip, choosing his words carefully. “You were… a difficult man. Even when we met, you were… challenging. But the infarction, and the drugs… they changed you. There were some tough times.” I could tell from the shadow that had fallen over his features that this was an enormous understatement on his part, that he was suppressing recollections of distance, hurt, and disappointment with considerable effort. He leaned forward with an earnest expression. “But despite all that… yes. I believe that deep down, you were a good man. A heroic one, even, in your own way. But… convincingly disguised.”

“Somehow I don’t exactly get the impression that I’ve been mild-mannered reporter by day, Man of Steel by night.”

“No… but substitute “arrogant asshole” for the first part and you might just about have it right.” This time the smile did touch his eyes. We nursed our beers in silence for a moment.

A new thought occurred to me. “Have I ever been married?”

Wilson tensed up and took a deep breath before looking me earnestly in the eye. “You lived with a woman for five years. Stacy Adler. Warner, now – she’s married. You’re not in touch anymore.”

The name sounded familiar, although I couldn’t place it immediately. “Well? Tell me about her.”

“Um. She was… striking, in every sense of the word. Smart, gorgeous, passionate, and never pulled any punches. You adored her.”

I adored her. I waited for even the faintest stir of memory, a flash of emotion, a scent, a voice, but there was nothing. I shook my head. “I can’t…” Wilson waited, sympathetic eyes fixed on my face. “What happened?”

Another deep breath. I could tell that Wilson was thinking, weighing how much to unload on me all at once. “You’ve read the notes in your records about the infarction.”

“Yeah.” I suddenly remembered where I’d seen the name before. “She authorized the surgery to remove the necrotic tissue.”

“Yeah. While you were unconscious.”

“I don’t understand,” I said, although I had a terrible feeling that just maybe I did. “I wasn’t able to make my own decisions?”

“You did make your own decision,” Wilson admitted, looking down. “You were adamantly against amputation. You wanted the surgeon to bypass the muscle instead.”

I cocked my head. “That’s incredibly risky,” I said. “I could have recovered full use of the leg, sure, but from what you’ve told me, I had a much higher chance of dying of kidney failure from the rhabdo.”

“That’s what your doctors said. Stacy thought that you were throwing your life away. She went with the middle ground, removing the dead muscle.”

“That was the most reasonable course of action.”

To my surprise, Wilson chuckled painfully. “Reasonable courses of action and the middle ground were never really your style.”

“So she went against my wishes in order to save my life?”

“That was how she saw it. But she was sure you’d never forgive her for it. And she was right.”

“I left her?”

“Not exactly,” Wilson said quietly. His face looked younger somehow, features sharpened and vulnerable in the low light. “You don’t… leave people. But you’re very, very good at getting them to go away.”

“And yet,” I said, trying to keep my tone light, “I don’t seem to have managed to get rid of you.”

“No,” he agreed, noticeably failing to match my nonchalance. “Not for long, anyway.” He pushed his chair back and headed for the kitchen to rummage in the fridge. “Want another beer?”

“Sure,” I said, my mind working furiously. Everything Wilson had told me was just one more tantalizing hint, one brief glimpse into an entire lifetime that could have belonged to a man I’d never met for all the resonance it held for me. Trying to piece the bits together was both exhausting and perplexing. And even if I did, would I ever truly regain the identity I had lost? Or would I spend the rest of my life more or less successfully playing a part?

Wilson came back and handed me an open bottle, cold and sweating. He was looking rather clammy himself. This couldn’t be easy for him, reliving what must have been one of the rougher patches of our relationship. “You okay?”

“Yeah,” he said, and laughed, probably more harshly than he’d intended. “God, I can’t believe that you’re the one who keeps asking me that.”

I shrugged and spread my hands. “Maybe it should bother me more. But it still doesn’t feel real to me somehow.”

“I know,” he said. “I just can’t…” Pause. “I think of that surgery as the defining event of your adult life. You never forgot it for a moment, never let anyone else forget it either. Everything that’s happened since flowed from that, somehow. It’s just so hard to believe that you can’t even remember it anymore.”

“I must have been scared, and angry, and in a lot of pain,” I mused.

Wilson laughed again, half-hysterically. “A lot of… House, you were a holy terror. You were always such an active man. An athlete - fast, strong. You took your body for granted until, without any warning, it betrayed you.” I wondered whether Wilson knew how his face had softened when he recalled my younger self. The thought quickened my pulse. “You weren’t just physically handicapped; you were permanently disfigured, in constant pain, and bitter as hell. You blamed your doctors for not diagnosing your condition earlier, Stacy for choosing the safer course…”

“And you?” I asked as he paused, swallowing. ”What did I blame you for?”

“Nothing,” he said. “And everything. For not being there to defend your wishes when you were under the knife. For being there to take care of you when Stacy left. For dispensing the pills that you needed to manage your pain. For trying to push you beyond your dependence on them. For seeing you at your worst and refusing to put you out of your misery.”

I said slowly, “Taub said something today about me forging your signature on some prescriptions, and stealing drugs from one of your patients.”

“Taub told you that?” he frowned. “Yeah. That was years later, though.”

“If I’d needed the drugs, I could have found some other way to get them,” I surmised.

Wilson hesitated, then nodded.

“I was trying to punish you, wasn’t I?”

He looked away, then back at me, and I felt my throat tighten at the faint echo of anguish in his eyes.

“I’m sorry.” I put a hand out, but he flinched away from my touch.

“How can you be sorry?” he asked, and I knew exactly what he meant. How can anyone be sorry for something that, as far as he is concerned, he never actually did?

***

The following day, after my entire team struck out with candidates for our next case, I went out on the balcony and tossed tiny pieces of gravel at Wilson's office door until he joined me, looking uneasily behind him. "Will this take long? I have a patient."

"Well, I have questions, and I'm out of patients."

Wilson raised his eyes heavenwards at the pun and turned to go, but I continued, "I need to know about my family."

He stiffened and turned back to face me. "What, right now?"

"You tell me. Are they going to wonder that they haven't heard from me in a while?"

"I doubt it," Wilson said, squinting off into the greenery. "But all right. What did you want to know?"

"Well, let's start with the basics. Do I still have parents? Siblings?"

“You’re an only child.” Wilson paused and walked over to brace his hands on the edge of the balcony wall before adding, “Your dad is dead.”

“Oh.” Another part of my past that it might be too late to regain. I limped the two steps to join him and attempted unsuccessfully to catch his eye. “Were we close?”

“I don’t think so,” he replied in the vague tone that I’d come to identify as Wilsonspeak for don’t-ask-don’t-tell. “We went to his funeral together, and you delivered… rather an unusual eulogy.”

“And my mom?”

“She’s in Kentucky. You’re on reasonably good terms, I think, but you don’t talk all that often.”

“But you’ve met my parents?”

“Yeah.”

“I don’t have any photos of them, any letters, nothing. What are… what were they like?”

“Your mom has never been anything but gracious,” Wilson allowed.

“And my dad?”

“Honestly? I think that if you could have erased your father from existence, you might have.”

“We were too different?”

“Yes,” Wilson said. “And too much the same.” At last he turned to face me, the bleakness in his eyes speaking volumes. “From what I understand, he had very high expectations, and he… wasn’t kind to those who failed to meet them.”

“Did he beat me?” I asked in a low voice.

Wilson sighed. “I really couldn’t say. But my impression was that his methods were more… subtle.” He raised his hand to rub the back of his neck. “House, I’m sure you’ve figured out by now that you have, shall we say, a problem with authority. I can’t help but think that it can be traced back to that.”

For some reason I felt a sudden compulsion to defend the man who couldn’t speak up on his own behalf. “But… what if I was a rotten kid? What if I was a hellion who needed it – whatever combination of love and discipline he used to civilize me? What if I would have turned out even worse without him?”

Wilson’s eyes were dark. “Based on what little I’ve heard, I don’t think that’s very likely,” he said soberly. “But if I see any signs that your memory loss has transformed you into a sociopath, I’ll be sure to take the proper precautions.” He gave me a sidelong glance. “You haven’t developed a sudden taste for fava beans and a nice Chianti?”

 

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
just_jane_doe
Jan. 18th, 2011 04:15 am (UTC)
Love the moments with the team - Foreman, esp., because you've got all the voices down pat! Wilson with House is poignant and sad and sweet all at the same time.
flywoman
Jan. 18th, 2011 04:25 am (UTC)
Thank you! I really enjoy recreating the voices from the show. And as for House and Wilson... the best is yet to come!
alternatealto
Jan. 19th, 2011 03:28 am (UTC)
The title for this section is so appropriate! You're doing a wonderful job of showing all the subtle ways in which House is still House. And your Wilson is perfect -- just rolling with the punches and being his supportive Wilsonian self.
flywoman
Jan. 19th, 2011 03:49 am (UTC)
Yep, that's our Wilson... always trying to be helpful *grin*.

And it was great fun to work out how House would be without his memories... some things never change ;).
petitecuriosity
Jan. 21st, 2011 01:12 am (UTC)
I loooooved this chapter, especially this line: “You have two ex-wives?”

Also: Three ex-wives, and apparently he’d bought not only the organ, but the loft itself, for me – whether out of consideration for my comfort or for revenge on my behalf seemed to be beside the point. Who was he trying to kid?

THIS. Just...yes. Just yes. That's all I have to say.

It was really interesting to see House going back through the history of his life

I love how House strings his team along by presenting his symptoms, without revealing himself as a patient, until he reveals that he is indeed the patient when Foreman asks how long the patient has had amnesia. The build up to that was quite nice, and allowed us to see that glimpses of House's personality are indeed still there.

I enjoyed Foreman testing House's memory, especially when he said “Frankly, I would have been worried if you’d remembered the patient’s name.”

I felt bad for House, being shaken when Foreman, Chase, and Taub recalled all crazy truths of his life. House is so inwardly focused much of the time that he doesn't take the time to consider how others likely interpret his behavior.

It was incredibly touching seeing his team recalling all of the kind, albeit reckless things House did and you really illustrated well how much they all admire him.

Wilson describing his view of House...beautifully written is all I can say.

I found two parts of this story incredibly hard to read, but that's merely because of the emotions they evoked. (Yes, I get emotional over House, but I think many people do.) When House apologized to Wilson for all the pain he'd caused him and Wilson asks him how can he possibly be sorry...it was heart wrenching; House is showing remorse but because he can't remember it means nothing...and you beautifully described how hurt Wilson was.

The other difficult part to read was House asking about his family, if he had been close with his father, how he felt the need to defend him...I felt myself wince. (I did like it, it was just hard to read emotionally.)

The premise is fascinating; House, a man with no answers tries to reach out to others, but, who House really is, is a man who rarely has ever reached out to anyone. I tend to shy away from really long fics and amnesia fics but I find myself captivated by yours. :)

Oh forgot to mention, I also loved the part where House mentions that he hasn't seemed to get rid of Wilson; instead of responding, Wilson asks House if he wants another beer. It's such a normal rapport between them to be casual, to not talk about things...but appears almost odd to House without his memory it seems.

This story evokes the same the squirmy kind of feel good anticipation that I feel while watching House. :)
flywoman
Jan. 21st, 2011 03:39 am (UTC)
Wilson describing his view of House...beautifully written is all I can say.

This is my view of House, too - at least of Season 1 House. If it weren't, I think that I would find it much harder to like him.

House is showing remorse but because he can't remember it means nothing...and you beautifully described how hurt Wilson was.

Yes, you can't apologize for something that someone else did. I had planned to deal with issues of identity and memory more explicitly in this fic, but I ended up just letting the story go where it wanted to. But it made me wonder about the guilt we carry around for things we did when we were, in some ways, a different person. The only thing is, we still remember being that person, and House doesn't.

House, a man with no answers tries to reach out to others, but, who House really is, is a man who rarely has ever reached out to anyone.

It was really interesting to think about how much harder it would be to figure out the "real you" if you were the kind of person who didn't share yourself with people or leave records for posterity.

I tend to shy away from really long fics and amnesia fics but I find myself captivated by yours. :)

I have never read an amnesia fic, and by my standards this is a *crazy-ass* long fic, so I really appreciate the vote of confidence!

Thanks so much for commenting!
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