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HOUSE M.D. FIC: Going Quietly

Title: Going Quietly
Fandom: House M.D.
Rating: PG-13
Words: ~2800
Characters: House, Wilson, and Cuddy, with a cameo appearance by the Cottages
Summary: My most pessimistic predictions for the Season Seven finale. If you’re the kind of person who rubbernecks at horrific accident scenes, this fic’s for you.
Warnings: No actual spoilers that I know of, but plenty of speculations. Think of this as bringing an umbrella along to prevent the rain.
Disclaimer: I am neither David Shore nor Margaret Mitchell.
Thanks: To jezziejay , for unexpectedly enthusiastic beta.


She hasn’t been to House’s apartment since this all began, and she strongly suspects that, even without the news she bears, she wouldn’t be welcome now. She takes a deep breath to steel herself before knocking on his door.

There’s a long pause, then a muffled shuffling sound, before House answers the door, eyes bloodshot, face haggard. He appears to be alone, for which Cuddy is unreasonably grateful. It may not actually make this any easier, but Dominika’s congenital good humor is the last thing she wants to deal with right now.

“Didn’t call for a hooker tonight,” House says, deliberately looking down her blouse. She can smell the alcohol emanating from him, along with something else she can’t place. “Is there a discount for ex-boyfriends, or-“

“I’m pregnant.”

She catches a flash of surprise and delight so brief that a moment later, when he visibly connects the words to her obvious distress and the walls slam down behind his eyes, she’s certain she must have imagined it.

“Cheer up,” he says, turning from her and starting to close the door, “maybe you’ll have a miscarriage.”

“It’s not yours.” Cuddy nearly whispers the words, but the intensity with which she delivers the revelation stops House in his tracks as effectively as a shout.

He stands there for a moment with his back to her, head cocked as if listening to something beyond the range of normal human senses. Then: “The night of the wedding.”

“Wilson,” Cuddy confirms, her voice surprisingly steady. Seeing the tension stiffening his shoulders, the hand trembling with suppressed violence where it grips his cane, she blinks away the threat of tears.

At last House turns his head to look directly at her. “I wanted to hurt you,” he states with surprising frankness. “If Wilson was that turned on, I guess it must have worked.”

Like most of the things House says to wound, this insult has the added advantage of being true. Rather than even attempting to counter the accusation, Cuddy only responds with, “I’m keeping the baby.”

Dull blue eyes shift aside, away. “Does he know?”

“Not yet.”

“Really,” he says sharply. “You thought that I had the right to know before the father? Or were you not sure at first who the father was?”

She straightens her shoulders, lifting her chin. “I was sure. I still thought… given our history... I thought that you should hear it from me.”

Moving with astonishing speed for a cripple who’s far from sober, House is suddenly towering over her, his face mere inches from her own. “You thought,” he breathes, the fumes of whiskey filling her nostrils so that she has to fight hard to resist the urge to back away and cough, “that I wouldn’t dare to hit a woman.”

“And was I right?” Cuddy responds, hoping that the bravado in her voice will be enough to belie her watery eyes.

House stares down at her in silence for what seems like an eternity before abruptly turning on his heel and slamming the door in her face.

***

When Wilson gets home later that night, House is waiting for him. Sitting in the dark, of course, so that his victim is almost in his lap before his presence is discovered on the sofa.

Having extricated himself from the embarrassing tangle of limbs and switched on several lights, Wilson is agitated, pacing back and forth and reflexively rubbing the back of his neck. “What the hell? You nearly scared the shit out of me!”

“Interesting,” House intones. “Guilty conscience?”

“No, crazy ex-roommate,” Wilson retorts, but House can see the speculation in his flushed face. Wilson is wondering if he knows, somehow, and if so, what could possibly have persuaded Cuddy to spill their secret. “What are you doing here?”

“Got a question for you.” House eyes him with a meaningful tilt to his head.

Wilson stills, his worst fears clearly confirmed. He sits down in the nearest chair and waits for the axe to fall.

“You gonna make an honest woman of her?”

Wilson laughs nervously, and in that moment House can’t help but hate his friend a little, that stupid grin, the high-pitched giggle. “Am I- what? No, why would you-? I can’t believe she even told you about that.” He leans forward earnestly, spreading his hands as if pushing away any objections. “House, please, it was one time, and it didn’t – it didn’t mean anything, to either of us.”

House doesn’t blink. “You think I don’t know that? You think I don’t know you, panting after every needy woman in your path like she’s a bitch in heat?”

“House,” Wilson says sharply, as if stung. “House, I’m sorry. I am. But you… you’re married for God’s sake. Talk about the pot-”

“Let’s not talk about the pot,” House interrupts. “Let’s talk about the stove. Or, to be more precise, the oven.” When Wilson only looks back at him blankly, he elaborates, “The oven. The one with the bun in it.”

He watches with a certain malicious satisfaction as a look of appalled understanding blanches Wilson’s boyish face.

***

When the silence between them became too awkward to endure any longer, Wilson spoke kindly to Cuddy, slumped next to him on House’s hard mattress. “You’ve had a long day. Let me drive you home.”

They were both quiet in the car, Wilson wondering a bit guiltily whether his absence from the wedding’s aftermath had been noticed, Cuddy probably reliving the humiliation of the week’s events, culminating in this latest outrage, in living Technicolor. He realized that she really hadn’t thought that House would do it. After all these years, he marveled at her continued ability to underestimate the man’s madness. Well, she had attempted a relationship with him, after all. That took a certain brand of obstinate obliviousness.

Cuddy looked so pale and fragile when they arrived at her house that Wilson walked her to the front door. She fumbled with her keys, brushing her hair impatiently out of her face, then reached for his hand as he turned to leave.

He stood there quietly, uncertain. She kept her head down, but her shoulders were shaking under the dim illumination of the porch light, and her fingers gripped his in an unspoken plea.

When she lifted her face, he couldn’t help pressing his lips to the tears that glistened on her cheeks, to take away the bitter sting of salt. From there it was only a short step to a chaste, comforting kiss on the mouth… a kiss that deepened unexpectedly when Cuddy responded by clasping the nape of his neck and pulling him closer with a mournful little moan that bypassed his brain and went straight to his cock.

Flustered, he started to pull away, but Cuddy came with him, flowing against his body and reaching for his jaw with her other hand. He grabbed her wrist as gently as he could and broke the kiss. “Cuddy-“

“God,” she groaned, leaning into him and resting her forehead against his chest. “Not you too. Can’t I just be Lisa for once? If you only knew how lonely-“ Her voice broke.

He stroked her thick, dark hair, feeling her small frame shudder with silent sobs. “We shouldn’t-“ Wilson took an urgent, frustrated breath. “House would-“

“House has been screwing half the hookers in New Jersey and just got married to a stranger in order to spite me,” she said into his shirt, the ragged edge in her voice revealing just how deeply she had been hurt by her ex’s recent antics. “He didn’t just make a mockery of marriage in front of all of those people. He made a mockery of me. Of us. Anything that goes on between you and me now is none of his business.” She looked up at him again, and Wilson felt himself drowning in those wet blue eyes. “Besides, he never has to know.”

As if of its own accord, Wilson’s finger rose to her face, tracing the track of a fresh tear. From there it touched the corner of her mouth, the rapid pulse at her throat, the notch between her clavicles – more prominent now than they had been even a year ago – continued on over the fine links of her chain… and finally caught in the collar of her blouse.

“Please,” she said, closing her eyes in supplication.

At that moment James Wilson was lost. He could no more have kept himself from caressing her than he could have bypassed an injured baby bird as a boy instead of cradling it in his hands. Cuddy must have sensed this even without seeing his face, because she slowly shrugged out of her black blazer, revealing the pearly skin of her shoulders, the sweet softness of her upper arms.

Wilson followed her inside without a second thought.


***

He stops the story there, ever the gentleman. House tries to hide his horrifying surge of jealousy with a habitual sneer.

“What a touching fairytale. And you still haven’t answered my question.”

“What?” Wilson asks, looking baffled.

House raises his cane and lets the rubber tip bounce against the floor once, twice. “Are you going to become the next Mr. Cuddy?”

Wilson frowns. He clearly is barely beginning to come to grips with this situation. “Um. I hadn’t-“ He blows out a breath. “Sure. If she’ll have me. If I can help.”

“Amazing how a few dozen cell divisions can take a man from pity fuck to pity marriage inside of sixty seconds,” House gibes. “This is the first time, right? You don’t have any other rugrats running around that I never knew about?”

“Go to hell,” Wilson says, although he looks more exhausted than angry.

House knows that the minute he walks through that door, they’ll both regret it.

He does it anyway.

***

After that conversation, Wilson doesn’t speak to House for weeks. To be fair, he doesn’t wander down to Diagnostics, and he takes the stairs most days, but House isn’t exactly banging down his office door either. He and Chase meet up a few times at the bowling alley, trying to pretend that nothing has really changed, but after they catch each other listening for the familiar uneven footsteps too many times, they call it off by mutual consent.

Cuddy laughs at him outright when he asks her whether she’d like to get married.

***

She tells herself that it’s supposed to be harder at her age, but it’s too soon for her shoes to stop fitting, for her stomach to swell. She can’t seem to shake the morning sickness, and her vision is beginning to blur.

She’s an M.D. despite House’s doubts as to her competence, and she’s not stupid. She knows that something is seriously wrong.

***

“Cuddy was admitted this morning with preeclampsia.”

Wilson is standing in his office doorway, arms folded over his stained white coat and wrinkled shirt. He looks like he’s aged a decade since House caught a glimpse of him two days ago.

House frowns and takes off his reading glasses, leaning back in his chair. “Pretty early in the pregnancy for that. You suspect something else?”

“No,” Wilson says slowly, raising one hand to pinch the bridge of his nose. “We’re sure.”

House shrugs as nonchalantly as he can. “If you’ve already got a diagnosis, then you don’t need me.”

“We do need you. Her symptoms are severe, and they’re progressing in spite of treatment. The only safe option at this point is to terminate.”

House turns back to his computer screen to conceal his distress. “What do I look like, a gynecologist? On second thought, don’t answer that.”

“Cuddy,” Wilson says, and inhales raggedly. “Cuddy wants to wait it out.”

“She’s an idiot,” House says automatically. When this pronouncement is met with silence, he is forced to look up. “What? You didn’t think that I could convince her.”

Wilson says nothing. House looks at him more closely and sees a mixture of guilt and grim determination stiffening the line of his jaw. “You didn’t think that I could convince her,” he repeats slowly as realization dawns.

Wilson just stares back at him, eyes suspiciously bright, and then turns and walks away.

No. You didn’t think I could convince her. You thought I could save her.

House counts to ten before taking a deep breath and stumping off to see Cuddy.

***

She’s been pregnant –briefly– before, but she’s never experienced anything like this. She knows that it’s critical that she stay still, lying on her left side, while her doctors struggle to get her pressure down. In a way, it’s just as well – she’s so weak from the vomiting that she doesn’t feel capable of anything more.

Suddenly the door swings open, a tall, gaunt figure looming just outside. Speaking of high blood pressure. “House.”

“If we’re talking, as big as a,” he agrees, advancing to her bedside as if that had been an invitation.

“Shut up.” Not her best riposte, but the ever-present headache is currently blinding. “I suppose Wilson told you?”

His gaze flicks from the monitors to her carotid pulse to the collection bag and settle back on her swollen face. “Wilson told me that you were being a moron.” Off her look, he adds, “I may have been paraphrasing.”

“I know I’ve been working too hard, but with bed rest and constant monitoring-“

“If we don’t terminate, you’ll start seizing within twenty-four hours.”

“Don’t you dare try to bully me,” she hisses. “You’re not my doctor. You’re not my boyfriend. This is my baby, and you have no say at all in this situation.” The second the words leave her mouth, she feels contrite. “House. I didn’t mean-“

“What about Wilson, does he have any say in it?” he asks so quietly that she wonders whether she misheard. He turns to the supplies cart and readies a syringe.

“What’s that?” she asks sharply as he deftly disconnects the drip line to her cannula.

“Mild sedative,” House pronounces, plunging the contents home. “Just a little something to take the edge off.”

Far more rapidly than should be possible, she feels her eyes closing despite herself. “Wait… wanted to say ‘m…” The word sorry whirls away in the warm darkness that crashes over Cuddy like a wave and drags her under.

***

House corrals his team without delay and shoves the paperwork into Taub’s hands.

“Wait, when did this become our case?”

“About, oh, five minutes ago. Call off your golf game.”

“Did Dr. Cuddy sign the consent forms?” Foreman asks, frowning. He takes the folder away from Taub and starts thumbing through the files.

“She’d be a fool not to,” House growls, and even though that isn’t really an answer at all, Chase nods curtly and heads off to prep for surgery.

***

At some point, she opens her eyes to the subdued lighting of hospital night. She feels gnawed out, painfully hollow. House is asleep by her bedside, his head pillowed on his folded arms. She blinks, her eyelids sore and sticky, and slowly slides her hand across the sheet to touch his fingers. Encountering an unexpected dampness, she frowns. It’s almost as if he’s been… but surely not.

She loses this thought as sleep once again swallows her whole.

***

House is playing foosball with Wilson in the doctor’s lounge when the call comes. He goes quietly, giving the table a farewell pat on his way.

Cuddy has been waiting for him. Her face is set in hard, unfamiliar lines and literally as white as the sheet she clutches closely to her, covering her thin hospital gown. As if he hasn’t mapped every inch of those breasts with his mouth in the dark as well as the light.

For once he can’t make up his mind what best (or worst) to say, but she takes the decision away from him.

“You’re fired.” He can see that Cuddy’s been crying, but her eyes are dry, her words crisp and cold.

“I saved your life,” he offers automatically, but inside he has already surrendered, and they both know it.

“Tell me that there’s no part of you that’s glad this had to happen.”

He can’t deny it.

“You’re lucky I don’t have your medical license revoked and your sorry ass arrested,” Cuddy cracks out, and winces at the effort this has cost her. “I told Foreman to clean out your desk. It’s his now.” When House still doesn’t respond, she jerks her chin towards the door. “I never want to see you again.”

“Where will I go?” he asks, hating the hopelessness in his voice.

Her laugh, when it comes, is brittle and harshly disbelieving. “Frankly,” she says, “I don’t give a damn.”

Comments

( 37 comments — Leave a comment )
writerdot
May. 4th, 2011 09:25 pm (UTC)
Nice. And so totally in character, it's unbelievable.

I especially like that you had Wilson and Cuddy kiss, but Wilson protested at first, and that you didn't have them kiss and automatically fall into bed without another thought.

And this: Cuddy laughs at him outright when he asks her whether she’d like to get married.

I could totally see Wilson going in there and asking her that, and her laughing at him. Perfect reaction.

The last part with House and Cuddy was both painful and expected. He had to know there would be consequences, but being House, he ignored that. I also like that House was, in his way, helping the both of them. Wilson basically asked him to do it, and House did save Cuddy's life, whether she wanted it or not. That also draws nice parallels to House and the infarction.

Very nicely done. :-) Sorry wrote I book here...it just got me thinking. lol.
flywoman
May. 4th, 2011 11:56 pm (UTC)
Please never apologize for long comments - I love them, especially on a long (for me) fic!

I really enjoy the challenge of taking something that on the surface seems like a crackfic idea and trying to write it enough in-character so that it somehow becomes plausible.

And yes... my beta says that we basically see the worst of each of them here, but I see the best of each of them too, particular House, who is doing what he thinks needs to be done whatever the personal cost, and in spite of his own experience in a parallel situation.

Thanks so much for commenting!
jezziejay
May. 4th, 2011 09:36 pm (UTC)
Yeah. When you first said you were thinking about doing this, I was wondering how you were going to make it work. But you really did. Much as the content was difficult, the way you presented it was fantastic. I always love to read pieces that take me on a bit of a roller-coaster, as this did - there were times when I could have slapped all three around the head, and there were times when I really, really felt for them. All of them. Your crafting of deeply flawed characters as sympathetic, without ever glossing over their faults or actions, is wonderful.

There are so many other lovely touches, from Cuddy laughing at Wilson's proposal to House's final hopelessness. Part of the reason that I hope TPTB don't go there is because I don't think they would do it as well as you've done it here. (Also because it would suck ;))

Love it!
flywoman
May. 4th, 2011 11:59 pm (UTC)
I was wondering how you were going to make it work
LOL me too!

I love these characters in all their flawed glory. I feel like I understand them and can empathize even when they're doing the most terrible things. (Sometimes I wish I didn't.)

And yes, I really hope that TPTB have NO plans to go here. But it was interesting to think about!

Thanks again for the beta! :)
cuddyclothes
May. 4th, 2011 09:46 pm (UTC)
Very good, very IC. I would love it if this was the finale. Maybe House and Wilson are arguing in the paparazzi shots of the shooting because House has planted a firebomb in Cuddy's house.
flywoman
May. 5th, 2011 12:02 am (UTC)
Really, you would love it if a Wuddy pregnancy were in the finale? Do I even know you??

J/K. Very glad that you liked this and thanks very much for commenting!

(And it certainly seems from the spoiler shots and associated rumors that you could be on to something there.)
(no subject) - cuddyclothes - May. 5th, 2011 01:48 am (UTC) - Expand
damigella_314
May. 4th, 2011 09:54 pm (UTC)
Add "rubberneck" to the long list of English words you taught me. Extra points for riposte, too.

Now that what is important has been said, on to the comment. Of course this can't be the season finale, unless this is also the final season (or unless they decide to save money by firing everyone but House, and hiring new and cheaper people).

I feel terribly guilty. You write this beautiful story, full of emotions, and all I can do at the beginning is laugh. Laugh at House when Cuddy tells him the baby's not his. Laugh at Wilson asking Cuddy whether she wants to marry him (LMAO, actually).

Then, of course, I stopped laughing. I did appreciate that it is House, not Wilson, that loves Cuddy and hence it is House, not Wilson, that risks his job and his license to save her life.

I was touched by House and Wilson being on foosball terms despite all that has gone on.

But mostly I was revolted by Cuddy's choice. I can't believe it. Feel free to think my moral compass is broken, but I thought this was both evil and insane. I wanted to go there and slap Cuddy in the face and say "You're a single mother for chrissake! Your duty is towards your daughter you chose to have, not to the clump of cells inside you that got there because you're too stupid to use a condom (or, worse, telling Wilson falsely you're on the pill). A clump that will anyway die once you do. Or, if you survive long enough, he might be so lucky as to live a long, disabled life of pain - in an institution, because not so many people want to adopt severely disabled kids. While your sister gets stuck with your daughter, who has already lost Lucas and House, and now will be convinced that no-one can be trusted to remain with her."

I think her choice is indefensible. I already think she's a not-too-great mother because of her introducing too many boyfriends to Rachel too soon, and an asshole for dumping Lucas days after getting engaged to him and immediately waltzing in House's arms, but this is beyond the pale even for her.

Fantastic fic. I love your style, and you packed so much emotion in so little space. I could go on but it feels a bit silly, like me complimenting Mozart for writing some really good music.

Oh, and here she definitely did not rape Wilson, although she did seduce him. ;-)

[PS In case this comment is too long/too inappropriate/pisses you off, feel free to answer or PM me and educate me. I'll chalk it all to it being midnight anyway.]
flywoman
May. 5th, 2011 12:18 am (UTC)
Laugh at Wilson asking Cuddy whether she wants to marry him (LMAO, actually).
Well. You were supposed to laugh at Wilson asking Cuddy to marry him. I mean, come on.

I was touched by House and Wilson being on foosball terms despite all that has gone on.
They both know what Wilson asked, what House did, and what is about to go down. I just wanted to show that they had managed to find some peace with each other despite, or because of, everything. But they aren't gonna, you know, talk about it.

You're entitled to your reaction to Cuddy's choice, although I don't share it. It was very similar to the one made by the photographer in S3 who had waited so long to have a child. I agree that there is a difference in that Cuddy already has a child. But remember Wilson alluding to her "obstinate obliviousness" earlier? She doesn't believe that she is going to die and leave Rachel behind. And anyway she has already faced a terminal cancer diagnosis and reconciled with her sister, so the prospect of leaving Rachel to her shouldn't seem as horrible as it might have once.

I had originally written in a little conversation about contraception, but then I decided to start (and leave) the sex scene at the door, so it got taken out. I don't think she lied or was particularly careless in any case - she's been infertile for years, for all intents and purposes. And if she did get pregnant, she'd be overjoyed. As she was, before she got ill.

Um... feel free to compare me to Mozart any old time you want, LOL.

And yes, I wanted to make it absolutely clear that here she did not rape Wilson. Tears, though, turn out to be a potent aphrodisiac.
(no subject) - damigella_314 - May. 5th, 2011 06:45 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - flywoman - May. 5th, 2011 11:39 am (UTC) - Expand
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menolly_au
May. 4th, 2011 10:23 pm (UTC)
Well, gosh, that was depressing! Fits in nicely with the depressing show :) I hope you don't mind if I say I hope this isn't how the season ends - though I think the series should end with House leaving the hospital.

So many things to love about this fic, so many little details that ring true to the characters. House's millisecond of delight when she says she's pregnant is heartbreaking. Cuddy going to House to tell him before going to Wilson. Wilson and his little embarrassed giggle when House tells him he knows about their one night stand, and Wilson offering to marry Cuddy ( I can so see him doing that!) and Cuddy turning him down with a laugh, as she would.

And then the ending - with Wilson going to House to ask him silently to do what he can't (or won't?) do, knowing what it could cost House, and HOuse going and doing it because that's who he is. And of course that twisted sequence of event sparks their friendship back again. Just perfect.

Brilliant fic,multi-layered, complex and very in character -loved it!

flywoman
May. 5th, 2011 12:21 am (UTC)
I hope you don't mind if I say I hope this isn't how the season ends
SEE HEADERS, LOL. I really hope this isn't how the season ends, too!

I'm not sure what else to say except that you seem to get exactly what I was trying to do with this, and for that I thank you very much!
(Deleted comment)
flywoman
May. 5th, 2011 12:29 am (UTC)
everyone does what they're pre-programmed to do, so in some way no one's to blame
That's exactly it. They are who they are, and they gotta do what they gotta do. Therein lies the tragedy.

So House finally does what has to be done, no matter what it costs him personally.
Yes. Because that is just the kind of heroic character he is.

I see you incorporated the Gone With the Wind line.
Two lines, actually *grin*. The less famous one is, "Cheer up. Maybe you'll have a miscarriage." Which in the book/film precipitates one when Scarlett lunges at Rhett and tumbles down a flight of stairs.

(Or am I not making sense?)
You're making perfect sense. I though about other ways in which to word this, but in the end I decided that "He can't deny it" implicitly refers to the accusation and is okay as is. But thanks for mentioning it as something that jarred you a bit.
blackmare
May. 5th, 2011 02:43 am (UTC)
*blinks*

Wow. You made me like a story in which Wilson sleeps with Cuddy and she gets pregnant.

I would not have thought that was possible.
flywoman
May. 5th, 2011 03:01 am (UTC)
You know that scene near the end of "All In" when Wilson congratulates himself on winning the poker tournament?

That is me right now :D
srsly_yes
May. 5th, 2011 04:43 am (UTC)
Nicely done. You built a convincing case for Wilson and Cuddy getting together. Did not expect Cuddy repeating Rhett Butler's famous line at the end, but it was perfect.
flywoman
May. 5th, 2011 11:22 am (UTC)
*smile* Thanks very much. In case the headers aren't enough, I'd like to state for the record that I DO NOT WANT Wilson/Cuddy, and this was the first time I could see even a hint of plausibility for the (very temporary) pairing in the show.
(no subject) - srsly_yes - May. 5th, 2011 03:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
justjuly4
May. 5th, 2011 10:36 am (UTC)
Interesting possibility. I liked the lines from Going with the Wind. But I would never believe Wilson would do such a thing to House. Sleeping with Cuddy now would mean betraying his friend. He just couldn't be so cruel and cold-hearted. I see Cuddy and Wilson as co-workers, friends or even distant relatives, and I hope Wilson sees her the same way.

I find it convincing how House acted with both Wilson and Cuddy after knowing the facts. I believe that House would decide to terminate to save her. But in my opinion, she could be a little softer to him at the end. She is a doctor, she is aware that her life was at risk. Okay, fine, she didn't make him arrested - that was a good thing from her side.

I remembered your story about 13 and Wilson after the Lockdown. I liked it more. This new one of course is extremely dramatic for House himself, while the fic I mentioned was less painful for him, but more in-character for both Wilson and House.
flywoman
May. 5th, 2011 11:19 am (UTC)
I see Cuddy and Wilson as co-workers, friends or even distant relatives, and I hope Wilson sees her the same way.
I really think that, most of the time, he does. But he has an established history of throwing caution to the wind where needy women are concerned. The way I see it, if he can sleep with his terminal cancer patient, he can sleep with Cuddy (even after acknowledging how much it would hurt House if he found out about it).

But in my opinion, she could be a little softer to him at the end.
She might be, eventually. But how long did it take for House to forgive the surgery on his leg?

I remembered your story about 13 and Wilson after the Lockdown.
There are a lot of parallels with this one. Although from my perspective, Wilson actually had better - make that more in-character - reasons for the sex in this one.

Thanks very much for reading and commenting!
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(no subject) - flywoman - May. 5th, 2011 10:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
barefootpuddles
May. 5th, 2011 01:45 pm (UTC)

I liked the story very much though perhaps not the ending . And that is not is not a criticism of your writing, just not my view of Cuddy. I feel like she would understand as a doctor that there is no surviving severe early onset preeclampsia with your baby intact and would have very sadly reconciled herself to the abortion. Afterall she does have Rachel and the risk is in leaving her parent-less. I also tend to see Cuddy as a practical woman with an idealistic streak, but always willing to capitulate to practicality in the end. But this again is a character interpretation, not a criticism of your talents which come through strongly in this piece.

I especially liked your insights into Wilson:

At last House turns his head to look directly at her. “I wanted to hurt you,” he states with surprising frankness. “If Wilson was that turned on, I guess it must have worked.”

A great line that says so much. Followed eventually be this lovely piece:

At that moment James Wilson was lost. He could no more have kept himself from caressing her than he could have bypassed an injured baby bird as a boy instead of cradling it in his hands.

I also think you captured House's possible reactions - anger, showing up at Wilson's place, playing Foosball while waiting on Cuddy to call him, were excellent.
flywoman
May. 5th, 2011 09:28 pm (UTC)
But this again is a character interpretation, not a criticism of your talents which come through strongly in this piece.

It would also be okay if it were a criticism of the writing! I do think, actually, that Cuddy could have reconciled herself to the necessity of the abortion eventually (either before or after) if House had been able to wait. She has, however, taken considerable (and in my view, unjustified even if ultimately rewarded), risks before in canon, which makes my own interpretation of her character lean more towards the irrationally optimistic side.

Of course, I consider my strengths to lie in House & Wilson characterization, so I'm glad to hear that you appreciated that :).

Thanks very much for your comments!
stenveny
May. 5th, 2011 04:04 pm (UTC)
I'm very conflicted in a very good way. I really hope the show doesn't end with this scenario because it's depressing as hell, but I also really wish the show could end this way, because it's so well written and plotted, and because it's so true to the characters and to life, and because it so tightly (not neatly) ties up all the loose ends and backstories.

Not easy, but simple. Wonderfully so.
flywoman
May. 5th, 2011 09:55 pm (UTC)
I'm very conflicted in a very good way.
My job here is done.

I'm quite confident that the show won't end with this scenario (although no guarantees that the real finale won't be at least as depressing!), but everything seemed to click into place in a very organic way when I wrote it, which doesn't happen with these longer pieces very often. (To me, I mean. I'm quite in awe of how you manage your multichaps.)

Thanks so much for commenting!
vicpei
May. 5th, 2011 05:55 pm (UTC)
So perfectly done it is chilling. And perfectly believable. God, I hope it does not happen. It would be even more than depressing!
Your writing is brilliant.
flywoman
May. 5th, 2011 09:59 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! I personally was quite amazed that the characters cooperated with this crazy idea. And just for the record, I also hope very much that it does not happen.
petitecuriosity
May. 6th, 2011 04:29 pm (UTC)
I tend to try to be optimistic or neutral when it comes to the future of House (both toward the end of this season in and into a (hopefully) possible next season), but I can also be very pessimistic and I find this fic vindicating in that sense. (If that makes any sense lol)

I love House's reaction; he was completely furious but he didn't lose his biting sarcasm (which gets progressively more hurtful the angrier he gets.) Completely in character. And that is why I LOVE this line:

“I wanted to hurt you,” he states with surprising frankness. “If Wilson was that turned on, I guess it must have worked.”

I like how you have the news of Cuddy's pregnancy not hitting Wilson in the gut as soon as it does House; this really illustrates Wilson's tendency to repress everything.

I like how you've described the mutual hunger between Cuddy and Wilson. Cuddy is both a strong and independent woman who doesn't allow her vulnerabilities to show, who tends not to get too close to any man. I think she felt as though she really put her heart on the line with House, having really been in love with him, only to have in the end felt neglected and hurt. And her need was so great that Wilson couldn't possibly resist:

When she lifted her face, he couldn’t help pressing his lips to the tears that glistened on her cheeks, to take away the bitter sting of salt.

You've really painted a grim image of Wilson's need to be needed and I absolutely love the way you've done it. You've started out the fic with Wilson appearing a bit more lighthearted about the entire situation when speaking to House, revealing later the darkness that lurked underneath. You've shown that he truly is a much darker character than what rests on the surface and you've done so with the true subtlety that I think the show tries to do with Wilson.

He could no more have kept himself from caressing her than he could have bypassed an injured baby bird as a boy instead of cradling it in his hands. I really like this line. It's interesting because it illustrates that Wilson's need for neediness has always been there.

I also agree with everything menolly_au said.

I could see this happening as an ending to the season and I definitely hope it doesn't. Very interesting read.

You are always very true to all of the characters in your writing.

I love the fact that Cuddy laughed when Wilson proposed marriage. It was just so...completely in character. And you've kept her in character throughout this entire story. I like how you've written her flaws better than the way the show has this season because through all of it she still retains a sort of dignity and grace that has always been there.
flywoman
May. 6th, 2011 09:41 pm (UTC)
I love your comments and the way you pick out favorite lines but also discuss the things that stories make you think about.

I'm really glad to hear that I was able to keep everyone in character in this piece - it just wouldn't be palatable otherwise! I love writing angry!House especially. While I would never say or do the things he does, I think that I understand the way his mind works to an alarming degree. I also have a lot of empathy for Cuddy, even when I disagree with what she does, and I think that comes through when I write her.

And as for Wilson... He is, as you say, very repressed. Wilson responds to need and tries very hard to please other people. Unfortunately you can't please all of the people all of the time, and moreover trying to do so often means compromising your principles. House, on the other hand, generally maintains his principles and doesn't try to please anyone. These two very different M.O.s collide in this fic with devastating results.

Thanks so much for reading and commenting!
vitawash24
May. 6th, 2011 10:41 pm (UTC)
Came here after recs on HHOW. Definitely not a story I would have expected to work, but I love it. I also completely agree - I was never really into the possibility of Wilson/Cuddy, but I definitely saw it as plausible in that moment after the wedding, the way every character's buttons were pushed by that scenario. Brava!
flywoman
May. 7th, 2011 02:57 am (UTC)
Happy to have been recced on HHOW :). I wasn't really expecting this to work either, but I've been pleasantly surprised by both the product and the response.

I see Wilson and Cuddy as friends, almost completely devoid of sexual chemistry, and yet in that moment of shared hurt and outrage, I thought a brief encounter might be possible.

Thanks very much for reading and commenting!
chocolate_frapp
Jun. 20th, 2012 04:00 am (UTC)
very nicely done.
flywoman
Jun. 20th, 2012 10:41 am (UTC)
Thanks!
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