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Dec. 7th, 2007 @ 09:16 am Sleeping Man:Outside 28/?
 
Title: "Sleeping Man: Outside"
Author: Maineac
Characters: House, Wilson, Cuddy, with some appearances by the rest of the Scooby Gang; and a few OC.
Rating: Gen; a mild R for language; H/W strong friendship (slash if you wear slash goggles)
Summary: House takes a vacation from... everything.
Timeline: Set in the early fall of last year, around the events of Cane and Able, Informed Consent, Lines in the Sand.
Disclaimer: I'm only doing this for the money Emmy critical acclaim  occasional comment pleasure of a job well done death threats carpal tunnel syndrome to make the voices in my head stop because otherwise I’d have to do the ironing   Okay I’ll do the ironing just make the voices stop! I said I’ll do the ironing yes yes and the vaccuuming too please just make the voices stop!
 
 
******
The auditorium door swung shut and House stared blankly for a long moment. Then he shook his head, trying to clear it. No, no, no. The whole thing was a hallucination concocted by his fevered brain. He needed to get out of here, pronto. Turning, he started making his way back to the elevators. But somebody was messing with him because the elevators were now several miles away and the walls were tilting alarmingly. He stopped, steadied himself, and reconsidered.
 
What the hell, he thought. If it was a hallucination, at least it was an interesting one. And there would be chairs in that room. He turned back, shouldered the door open and dropped heavily into the nearest aisle seat, the aisle seat of the last row which was still largely empty. Propping the crutches beside him, he leaned his head back against the fabric-covered wall. It felt so good to sit down that for a moment he forgot what he was doing here.
 
Dr. Cuddy. He needed to get Dr. Cuddy’s attention, let her know that…what? He could no longer remember, so he closed his eyes. Gregory House. That was his name. A strange name, House. A home is not a House. A House is not a home. Home is where the heart is.
 
His thoughts were interrupted by a high-pitched squeal from the PA, and the person who might be Cuddy began speaking. He closed his eyes again—it was far too strange to stare into his own super-magnified eyes as projected in front of him—and drifted slightly. The lights were burning, too hot and too bright, so he yanked off the parka hood and pulled the brim of his cap over his eyes and wondered how long this thing would go and whether it would be rude to interrupt and ask for some water. More importantly, would there be food afterwards? Didn’t these things usually have food after? He was famished, thoughts of the chicken he’d abandoned on the Boston bus tormenting him. He began fantasizing about hors d’oeuvres and wondering if this House guy was important enough to merit, say, champagne and shrimp cocktails, or if he was only worthy of wine and rubbery cheese cubes.
 
He had to remind himself that he was Dr. House. This came as a slight disappointment, as he was forced to admit that he didn’t think he would be worth more than a can or two of dry roasted peanuts. He drifted off again, coming back to the sound of might-be-Dr. Cuddy’s voice.
 
“We’re here today to honor the memory of one of Princeton Plainsboro’s most esteemed faculty members, Dr. Gregory House,” she began, and it was a fresh surprise that she was speaking of him. He really ought to try to pay attention to what probably-Dr. Cuddy was saying. She had a nice body, for a Dean, and there was something enchanting about the way she gazed out at the crowd, as if daring them to disagree with her.
 
But when oh when would this be over?
 
The two people in front of him began talking over Dr. Cuddy. That was just plain rude, and House shushed them. They went right on talking. “This is absurd,” said one, who looked a little like JR from Dallas. “The guy was an ass and a liability. He should never have been allowed to practice medicine, much less run a department.”
 
“Then why are you here?” asked the other, who looked like…House couldn’t think who he looked like.
 
“I’m a department head,” muttered JR. “Had to come. I can’t imagine why all these other people are here. Why are you here?”
 
“I don’t know,” said Nondescript Man. “I hated his guts. But I have to admit, there was something about him. Like it or not, he had an amazing--”
 
“Would you please shut up,” said House. “I’m trying to enjoy this.” The men exchanged irritated glances but stopped talking.
 
They had dimmed the house lights to run a slide show of photos: brightly colored ones that looked like they were taken for a hospital brochure: House—himself, that is-- in scrubs, leaning on his cane (aha! So he did have a cane!), talking to three younger doctors; House—him-- doing a surgical procedure, only those disturbing blue eyes visible over a mask; him—House--from the back, brooding at a desk in what must have been his office, legs propped on a credenza, a large strange ball balanced on the fingertips of one hand.
 
Might-be-Dr. Cuddy droned on and on. “Many people have said that House was brilliant, unique….patients came from all over the country, all over the world…hundreds of lives…solved cases no one else could…nothing could come between him and diagnosing an illness, and I have the legal bills to prove it.” A small ripple of laughter.
 
Someone else was speaking now. An old black guy. “I’m one of those people responsible for your big legal bills. Yeah, I sued him for assault… He was an obsessive sumbitch, wouldn’t take no for an answer. Thank God. Otherwise I would not be standing here, or still recording music…”
 
New guy: “I didn’t sue him for assault. I assaulted him—kicked the bastard in the balls when he tried to talk me into…Glad he did, because….”
 
Another black guy who talked in long declamatory sentences like a politician. Something about genius and having faith in people and fighting the good fight. He went on way too long and House couldn’t take in a single thing he said.
 
“Risked his career for me…” A woman talking now, thin, well groomed, pretty. “…lied to the transplant board…”
 
Another woman, this time in a lab coat. One of the doctors from the slide show? “Taught me about making tough choices, always put patient first, no matter what your own...” She sat down abruptly—what the hell? Was she crying?--and others in lab coats got up, a black man, a blond man. Was there to be no end to this? House tried to concentrate but his hearing was going in and out and someone had turned on the air conditioning, it was cold now, fucking freezing.
 
Might-be-Cuddy said something at the podium that he missed. This was followed by a long pause. Maybe it was all over. God, let it be over. But if it was all over, people would be standing up and leaving, wouldn’t they? Instead, someone in the front row stood up hastily and hurried onto the stage. Someone in a green paisley tie.

The lights, which had been getting brighter and brighter, were now making a loud buzz in his ears. But House sensed the audience grow completely quiet, so he pulled himself up straight in his seat and tried hard to pay attention. 
***************
[Earlier parts can be accessed by clicking on the green 'previous entry' arrow at top of page. Part 1 is here: http://maineac.livejournal.com/8929.html#cutid1]
About this Entry
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From:angelcat2865
Date:December 7th, 2007 02:46 pm (UTC)
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*faints*

Your evil, you know that! So are they going to kill him when they find out he's there or is House going to pass out first?
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From:angelcat2865
Date:December 8th, 2007 12:17 am (UTC)
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Sorry your should have read you're. *grammer police comes to take me away*
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From:bahahumbug
Date:December 7th, 2007 02:49 pm (UTC)
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Brilliant! Please...Please...Please...update again today..I can't stand it! It's blissful torture waiting for then next update..actually more torture than bliss...but you get my drift. :)
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From:phinnia
Date:December 7th, 2007 02:56 pm (UTC)
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*screams*
AGH WILSON. AND THEY'RE IN THE SAME ROOM. pleeeeeeeease Wilson use your House-Detector-Fu! HE'S RIGHT THERE!
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From:chowrie
Date:December 7th, 2007 03:00 pm (UTC)
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Oh no you didn't! I can't believe you have me at the palm on your hands... AGAIN! I swore the last chapter was the last time I would be sucked into the suspense. I swore! But nooooo.... now, you have me wondering at what Wilson will say and whether House will remember who he was from Wilson. Or will he pass out and get kicked out of the auditorium before they realize who he was? Please, please don't let it be the latter. My poor heart might not be able to take it.

It's just wonderful how you are able to sustain this. BRAVO!
From:(Anonymous)
Date:December 7th, 2007 03:06 pm (UTC)
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You are evil and brilliant! But also very evil...Did I mention evil?
Uhm ... more please? ;-)
From:bburkes
Date:December 7th, 2007 03:19 pm (UTC)
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When is someone going to spot him and help??! Poor Wilson, he'll probably start to say something, see House and start sputtering. Well, the good thing is if he passes out or collaspes at least he is now in the hospital and can get the attention he needs. Please, pretty please update soon (tonight would be okay).
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From:alex51324
Date:December 7th, 2007 03:54 pm (UTC)
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Maybe Wilson will spot him and think he's hallucinating! At least if House passes out in the hospital, he'll get some medical attention. And *eventually* someone will figure out who he is!
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From:blackmare
Date:December 7th, 2007 04:11 pm (UTC)
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Here I was, all ready for TEH BIG REVEAL!!111!! in which SOMEONE finally realizes who House is and that OMG HE'S LIEK SO TOTALY ALIIIVE1!!!

And you, you evil, evil author-person, have withheld that joy once again. Juuuust beyond my reach, as it has been for how many chapters now?!!?

I hate you.

More, please.
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From:maineac
Date:December 7th, 2007 04:19 pm (UTC)
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Where *do* you get those icons?
From:toperfection
Date:December 7th, 2007 04:18 pm (UTC)
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AND NOW IT'S WILSON'S TURN AND OMG I WANT HIM TO SAY NICE PRETTY THINGS ABOUT HOUSE AND THEN CRY DRAMATICALLY "HOUSE, IS THAT YOU?" *POINTS* AND YES IT'S HOUSE AND THEY ALL LIVE happily what passes for happy in House World EVER AFTER.

yes?


please?

COME ON, YOU ARE KILLING ME HERE!
From:chickleta
Date:December 7th, 2007 04:21 pm (UTC)
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AAAHHHH!!! I thought for sure this would be the chapter where someone found out it was him! AHHHHHHHH *has breakdown*

MAN I hope you update today!
From:(Anonymous)
Date:December 7th, 2007 05:00 pm (UTC)

ERRR

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Ok don't normally comment but you have driven me to this -please can we have someone notice the sick unkempt looking guy sitting next to them and at least get his knee and fever seen to hum. I don't need wilson to fly in and save him I just can't take it if he manages to be seriously unwell in a hospital and they throw him out. That will make me cry.
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From:black_cigarette
Date:December 7th, 2007 05:03 pm (UTC)
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*pssst*

You ... have a small issue with font size at the very end of your story. Or is that just my browser being weird?

(Mare here, behind the black_cig mask)


Edited at 2007-12-07 05:04 pm (UTC)
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From:maineac
Date:December 7th, 2007 05:42 pm (UTC)
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Grrr. I hate Rich Text and now LJ won't let me post in html anymore. I thought I had fixed the weird fonts--are they still weird?

And your art is amazing--esp. House and Wilson, of course, but I love your murals too.
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From:cadeira
Date:December 7th, 2007 05:19 pm (UTC)
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suspense..killing me? eh..nooo....I am not hooked at all....
And I can prove it...just post the next epi right now and I won´t flounder to my laptop like a lunatic..promised! [/fingers crossed]
From:(Anonymous)
Date:December 7th, 2007 05:59 pm (UTC)
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Continuity error? I thought there were no recent photos of House?
Still loving the fic.
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From:cadeira
Date:December 7th, 2007 06:08 pm (UTC)
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well I had the impression that this was kind of a stratagem.
Cuddy needed a portrait with which Wilson came up..the other photos were more described as "house in action". But also those pictures are the ones WE have in mind when thinking of him...House brooding, legs propped up and so on.
Also this might be the pictures House has in his head now that he is..well kind of..remebering in fever...
Love this ambiguity!
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From:cousin_giry
Date:December 7th, 2007 06:25 pm (UTC)
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Oh god! Last chapter made me totally sleepless, and this is just about the same calliber. What happens next?