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Mar. 5th, 2008 @ 02:59 pm Sleeping Man: Inside 10/?
 Author: Maineac
Characters: House, Wilson, Cuddy, Chase with a dash of Foreman and a pinch of Cameron.
Rating/Pairing: Gen; a mild R for language; H/W strong friendship (slash if you wear slash goggles)
Summary  : The fallout from House's recent misadventure. Follows Sleeping Man: Outside. 
Timeline: Set in the early fall of Season 3.
Earlier parts here:
Part 1 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.
What the Critics Are Saying About SM:I:

“Full of suspense…crackling dialogue…and…elipses.”
                                 —TIME Magazine

“Almost as good as I Am America and So Can You.” 
                                —Stephen Colbert, The Colbert
Report
"...une des meilleures fanfictions [du monde]. Parfaitement bien écrite, haletante, bouleversante, quelquefois drôle, toujours touchante. A lire absolument." Le Figaro, Paris

“MOOOOOAAAAARRRRR!!!!! *Is ded*”  
                                         [info]creativ_writng_major
“Nation, read this fic.” 
          — Stephen Colbert, author of I Am America and So Can You.

***********
When he opened his eyes again, there was a small hub-bub going on outside his open door. 

Cuddy, Chase, and a new person. Tall man who looked faintly familiar and aroused instant feelings of dislike. He pushed his way through the cluster of doctors and nurses, everyone giving way before him. As he came in, Wilson leaned over House, wiping away the last traces of green Jell-o from his face and gown and whispering in his ear, “All right, House. Whatever you do, don’t drool. Jacoby will never let you forget it.”

 

Then he straightened up. “Dr. Jacoby. Good to see you.”

 

Jacoby didn’t bother with so much as a glance at Wilson. He was flipping rapidly through House’s chart, and when he finally looked at House, his eyebrows shot up into his hairline and he suppressed a smirk. “I’d say that was a great look for you, House, except that you really look like shit. And I see you’ve managed to fry your kidneys. Well done. What are we going to do about it, that’s the question. You won’t last the day without dialysis.”

 

The man was an asshole, it was abundantly clear. Or a moron. Or both. House had a sudden memory of where he’d seen the guy before. Wasn’t he JR, the man sitting in front of him during the…thing in the auditorium? Yeah, it was JR. It was nauseating to watch Wilson, Cuddy, and Chase all kowtowing to him.

 

“Are we having a state-the-obvious competition?” he asked JR. But it was too much work for his mouth to manage so what actually came out sounded more like, “Wuh….kup.” Shit. He couldn’t even manage to form a single word anymore.

 

“What did you say, House?” Dr. Wilson asked. He bent over and put his ear next to House’s mouth. House moved his lips again but this time nothing came out. Not a single syllable. Wilson straightened and looked at Jacoby.

 

“I think he said, Even with one lobe of his brain tied behind his back, he’s still a better doctor than you are.”

 

JR  snorted. “What are you, his translator?”

 

“Yes, actually,” said Cuddy crisply. “He’s our resident House Whisperer.” Chase said nothing, just stood there looking gobsmacked. “So,” continued Cuddy, “what’s the verdict?”

 

JR jutted out his handsome square jaw and looked once again at his chart. “All right,” he said, his mouth working hard as if he were trying to swallow something foul tasting. “I can work him into Mrs. Sprague’s spot. You’ve got”—he checked his watch—“forty minutes to get him down there.” He signed a piece of paper, thrust the file into Chase’s hands and stared at House a moment longer. At last he smirked. “You owe me big time, House,” he said with a satisfied look, and strode out of the room.

 

Chase gaped at Dr. Cuddy, who in turn was grinning at Wilson like an idiot.

 

“How on God’s green earth did you manage that?” asked Chase when he was able to speak.

 

“Oh, I did some more research among all the nephrology department patients, called in a few favors, went through lab results until I found one of them who had improved a good deal since last night. A Mrs. Sprague. She is currently just healthy enough to put off her dialysis until tomorrow. The tricky part was getting Jacoby to authorize it.”

 

“Yeah,” said Chase. “But no one could force him to agree to that. Even you. Even a court order would be tough to get.”

 

“Right,” said Cuddy. “But I took the opportunity to remind Dr. Jacoby exactly how many times Dr. House had attacked his reputation. I brought up the little incident House staged at the last Nephrology fund-raiser.”

 

“The  steak-and-kidney pie thing?” interjected Wilson.

 

“The same. Then I mentioned how sweet it would be to be able to remind House for the rest of eternity that he had saved his life. To have him in his debt forever. I laid it on pretty thick. Oh, yes. I think I quoted Emerson. ‘A man in debt is a slave.’ And possibly Benjamin Franklin. ‘The heaviest debt is the debt of gratitude.’ And so on.”

 

“And he went for it,” stated Chase, shaking his head in what looked like admiration. The three of them then exchanged strangely happy smiles.

 

“Well, House,” said Wilson, addressing the patient at last. His breath seemed to leave him in a rush. He paused, and when he spoke again, his voice had an odd, squeezed quality to it. “It looks like you might just catch a break after all.”

 

House didn’t know what they were all so happy about. If he had understood half of what they said, it seemed like an awfully high price to pay for some dialysis. “Couldn’t you just have bought me some black market kidneys?” he asked them. “Is that too much to ask?”

 

Or maybe he didn’t say it out loud.  In any case, none of them paid the slightest attention to him. They were busy calling nurses to get him ready for dialysis. And he was soon too exhausted to really care.

****

The next time he woke up, it was from the shock of pain, felt even through the shit clogging up his central nervous system, as they were transferring him onto a gurney. He looked around the room, at the nurse moving the IV to its temporary pole, at the orderlies who had slid him on the draw sheet, at another nurse placing a pillow under his right leg.

 

Something was wrong. Something was missing. His heart started racing with an undefined panic. He tried to speak, but it just turned into coughing. It was hard to breathe lying flat, even with a nasal cannula.

 

“Crank up the head of that gurney,” ordered the nurse who had placed the pillow under his leg. She spoke sharply.  Then she held a non-rebreather over his mouth until the coughing subsided. “Is that better, Dr. House?” she asked him gently. He shook his head. He was still struggling for breath, and something was still…off. Missing.

 

She must have seen him looking around because something dawned and she put a hand on his. “He’s just gone to take a quick shower. He’ll be back any minute now to take you down to dialysis.”

 

He nodded and lay back against the pillows. His breathing steadied, and he fell asleep again.

*****

 

 


 
About this Entry
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From:phinnia
Date:March 5th, 2008 08:58 pm (UTC)
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That last little bit is really, really sweet, in a House sort of way. And it's good to see that House is still /in/ there. <3
(And I am utterly filled with curious about the steak and kidney pie thing.)
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From:poeia
Date:March 5th, 2008 08:58 pm (UTC)
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Two updates in a row. You spoil us (and I love being spoiled like this.)

Wonderful update. Poor Dr. Jacoby. Helping House just so he can lord it over him for all time. Has he learned nothing in all the time he's known and loathed House? He really expects healthy House to be nice to him as a result? Fool!

And Wilson is right, "Even with one lobe of his brain tied behind his back, he’s still a better doctor than you are." Withholding or giving lifesaving medical care on the basis of favoritism. House may be an ass, but he's an ass who gives his patients every treatment that can possibly help them.
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From:joeybug
Date:March 5th, 2008 09:19 pm (UTC)
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I love this fic, love your writing style and love the way you have portrayed House and managed to keep it believable and with two updates in one day...man, I feel spoilt!

Keep going, I love it!
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From:bahahumbug
Date:March 5th, 2008 09:23 pm (UTC)
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First, LOVED the chapter, and thank you for posting so quickly. Second, Love your reviews from the magazines and Colbert, classic! I'm embarrassed to say that I giggled out loud at my desk when I read them, but they're true, this is a great story!
From:bburkes
Date:March 5th, 2008 10:25 pm (UTC)
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I think Wilson is correct, House is still a better Doctor even if he isn't all there. I seriously doubt House is going to feel he is in Jacoby's debt, after all Jacoby was doing his job and saving lives (even if it was his). House would probably rather get new kidney's from the black market then "owe" somebody. Please continue and hurry with an update!
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From:blackmare
Date:March 5th, 2008 10:25 pm (UTC)
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Oh. I ... I'm having trouble finding words I haven't already overused, so I'll just say I am really, really enjoying this and thank you.

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From:bmax67
Date:March 5th, 2008 10:45 pm (UTC)
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Can I just say that someone needs to make an icon with Wilson that says "House Whisperer"?

Awesome.

I love how House felt like something was amiss without Wilson around. So sweet.


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From:maineac
Date:March 5th, 2008 11:18 pm (UTC)
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"Can I just say that someone needs to make an icon with Wilson that says "House Whisperer"?"

*waits patiently*
since I suck at icons
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From:bmax67
Date:March 6th, 2008 02:19 am (UTC)
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Can I just say how flattered I am that you read and commented on my story at ff.net? I would've sent you a reply but there was no reply URL.

Thanks so much! When someone of your talent leaves a comment, I'm always shocked. So thank you. Seriously.

I'm so new at this, your comments keep me striving to become a better writer.
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From:bernie_laraemie
Date:March 5th, 2008 11:06 pm (UTC)
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I lost it at "House Whisperer"--that was golden! Your continuity is wonderful, and you pull at my heart with every little glimpse of House shinning through. And the update is earlier than you said! I'm stoked, and I can't wait for more :D
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From:niicelaady
Date:March 6th, 2008 12:43 am (UTC)
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This is an amazing fic. I am eager for House to get better and face off with Jacoby in the Snarking Olympics.

Cuddy quoting Emerson and Franklin -- you go, girl!

And the review thing? I may steal that idea for my next fic! Hysterical!
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From:lhoma320
Date:March 6th, 2008 02:25 am (UTC)
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OMG!! Lord have mercy, you sure know how to pack a punch in such a short time. Going crazy here. Again, I don't know where to begin. Loved the whole Wilson, Jacoby, Cuddy, House interaction. House still not being able to speak coherently makes me speechless (*sigh*). The best was the last 5 paragraphs. I couldn't figure out what he was missing until I read "He's just gone to take a quick shower." That turned me completely inside out. A new angst record for me. :)) Your the best! Can't wait to read more.

I'm so addicted to this stuff. I check 4 sites about 4 times a day (datsun88, bmax67, Alex, and this) and you never let me down. :)) I love you! *eyes-tearing*
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From:angelcat2865
Date:March 6th, 2008 02:25 am (UTC)
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Great update!!!!!!!!!1 Thank you!

My favorite line has to be: “I think he said, Even with one lobe of his brain tied behind his back, he’s still a better doctor than you are.”
Yea Wilson, you know he is.
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From:poorfrances
Date:March 6th, 2008 03:05 am (UTC)
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Aw, he misses Wilson! I love that the connection is still there, and he still associates feelings with those people. Shows that he can recover because the memories aren't totally wiped.
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From:chowrie
Date:March 6th, 2008 07:40 am (UTC)
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House is still in there. He might not able to communicate it but his snark is still patently House. I love Wilson taking care of House, from giving House tips before Jacoby talked to him, cleaning off the jell-o to translating, albeit in less acerbic manner, what House would have said if he was able to.
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From:cadeira
Date:March 6th, 2008 11:34 am (UTC)
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..yes. I think I quoted Emerson. ‘A man in debt is a slave.’
Great, you know, I already told you that your Chase is golden, but your Cuddy is delightfully cunning.
And Awwww, he misses Wilson. House Whisperer, how can you even make something like that up? It´s utterly brilliant.
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From:narcoleptic_ll
Date:March 6th, 2008 12:07 pm (UTC)
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I love Wilson, he's such a great friend, even-though he couldn't hear what House had to say, he figured out what could've been and said it.

Thanks for the update, you do spoil us.
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From:alemyrddin
Date:March 6th, 2008 02:57 pm (UTC)
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oh wow! I was so worried they had missed (again!) something critically important from a medical point of view! But no, it was Wilson who was missing. So sweet.

Also, Wilson is definitely the House Whisperer - even when he's in perfect shape. ;)
From:gb_bluemonday
Date:March 6th, 2008 05:48 pm (UTC)

Wondering if you've seen any spoilers for the rest of this season...

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First off, let me say that I'm immensely enjoying the two updates in a row; they're sustaining me more than food right now (that's my review--"Better than food!")

I was also wondering whether you've seen any of the spoilers for this season's finale...I won't say anything specific in case you don't want to know, but let's just say there may be a little creative theft going on here (on the producers' side, of course, not yours)...;)
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From:lhoma320
Date:March 6th, 2008 06:40 pm (UTC)

Re: Wondering if you've seen any spoilers for the rest of this season...

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Oh my gosh, I thought the exact same thing but didn't post for fear of giving anything away. Even my husband, who never reads fanfiction but lives it through my updates said the exact same thing. Very interesting indeed.
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From:maineac
Date:March 6th, 2008 09:58 pm (UTC)

Re: Wondering if you've seen any spoilers for the rest of this season...

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I've been assiduously avoiding spoilers, but someone who commented after the last chapter let the cat out of the bag a bit. I took down her comment, but I'll leave yours up, since they're clearly marked in the subject line.

BTW, I wouldn't call it theft. I'd call it coincidence.
From:gb_bluemonday
Date:March 6th, 2008 10:25 pm (UTC)

Re: Wondering if you've seen any spoilers for the rest of this season...

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Oh, probably...although I've always had a sneaking suspicion that the creators/writers are more aware of the fandom world than they let on...