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Mar. 6th, 2008 @ 06:15 pm Sleeping Man: Inside 11/?

 

 

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, 10
What the Critics Are Saying About SM:I:

“Full of suspense…crackling dialogue…and…ellipses.”
                                 —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
"Sleeping Man is teh awesome. It is made of awesome. Maineac wins at awesometude."         —John Updike, writing in The New Yorker

“Yo, Maineac, check it out. What up, dawg? Dude.  That's right. I’m a dope brutha from the ’hood. *gangsta hand sign* and not a puppet of Corporate America.  *fondles bling*  As for your fic? It was a’ ‘ight.  A little pitchy but a’ ‘ight.”                             —Randy 

"Squeeeeeeeeeeeee *claps drunkenly* eeeeee!!!!  —Paula


“If I’m being honest--Paula, get down from the table--if  I'm being honest, it reads like karaoke fic. Wedding party fic. Cruise ship fic. No, let me finish. Lounge fic. Cabaret fic.”—Simon

"Did I mention I Am America and So Can You?"
               —Stephen Colbert, author of I Am America and So Can You

*****

Dialysis can be a double-edged sword. The machine cleans blood of everything that isn't usually found there—bad and good alike, it makes no distinction. In House's case, for example, while it was slowly filtering out the fluids and toxins that were causing  his multiple-organ failure, it was also removing the antibiotics that were keeping the pneumonia under control. And it removed those same toxins that had recently kept  much of his pain at bay.

 

By the time they had gotten House down to the dialysis center and hooked up to the machine, he had hit a 6 on the Glasgow Coma Scale—responsive only to pain. But two hours into the procedure, he began to stir. Wilson watched him gradually, very gradually, return to consciousness. But as signs of awareness returned to his features, so did the signs of pain and fever: the creased brow, the flushed cheeks. Three hours in, and House tried to turn onto his left side, to take pressure off his right leg. Wilson helped him do it, propping him up with pillows, and then sat back in his chair. He’d snagged one of the comfortable recliner-style chairs they carried in the dialysis center, and sitting next to House they looked for all the world as if they were in someone’s living room watching a movie together. Except, of course, for the large dialysis machine on the other side of them.

 

Glancing at House, Wilson  picked up yesterday’s newspaper, folding it in half with a loud rattle.

 

“Listen to this, House,” he began. No response. He kept going. “This is important. The Red Sox beat the Yankees. You heard me. They now lead the championship series two zip. ‘Red Sox ace Josh Beckett iced the second—‘“

 

“Doctor…Wilson.”

 

Whole words. Halting. Almost inaudible. But words. That was a definite improvement from just a few hours ago. He dropped the newspaper.“You recognize me?”

 

House blinked hard a few times, as if trying to get his eyes to focus. “Come closer.”

 

Wilson stood up, took his pen light out and leaned over House to check his pupils.

 

“Too close. Screw the… neuro.” He was still too weak to push the pen away. Instead, he closed his eyes.

 

Wilson put the penlight back in his pocket and leaned back a bit. “You remember where you are? Who I am?”

 

House spoke slowly, deliberately.  James Wilson,” he said, and it was a statement, not a question. Wilson felt a bubble of elation in his chest that lasted a nano-second—the nano-second it took to realize that House was, in fact, reading his name off the hospital ID clipped to his breast pocket.

 

When House finally lifted his eyes from the nametag to Wilson’s face, he seemed to be searching it carefully, looking for clues.  It was almost more than Wilson could bear. “What do I…call you?” House asked.

 

“What do you mean?”

 

“Every time I… open my eyes you are… right there. How long now?”

 

“Twenty-four hours.”

 

“So you’re a friend or…you’re sitting shiva. Or something.” He paused as if to gather his thoughts. “Not Doctor Wilson. …James? Jamie? Jim?”

 

“Just Wilson, actually.”

 

“Wilson…Wilson.”

 

House seemed to be trying it out, testing it in his mouth to see what happened. As if the act of saying the name might create some connection. But when he opened his eyes again, the blue eyes were just as blank. Perplexed, but blank.

 

There were a million questions Wilson longed to pepper House with, but instinct told him to go slow, let House take the lead, set the pace. “Sometimes it’s Jimmy,” he added. “When you’re being sarcastic, or witty.”

 

House sighed and squinted at the ceiling. Wilson could tell he was trying to hide a grimace of pain. “Do I do that a lot?” House asked after a moment.

 

“What? The sarcasm? Or the wit?”

 

“Mmmm. Both.”

 

“All the time.”

 

“I’ll…try to remember that.”

 

The conversation appeared to have exhausted House, because he closed his eyes again. But he opened them again a few minutes later.

 

“You’re sure you’re not…my gay ex-lover?”

 

“What?”

 

“Joke, Jimmy. Remember?”

 

“Yes. Ha ha.”

****

The man had incredible eyebrows, like woolly bear caterpillars, and House had asked the question largely just to see the eyebrows react. He was not disappointed.

 

“Ha ha,” Wilson had said, but his smile looked pained for some reason.

 

Still, he had an interesting smile, the way his upper lip curved down to a point in the middle.

 ***********

 

 

[A/N: Had to split this scene in two. Second half tomorrow.] 

 

 

About this Entry
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From:joeybug
Date:March 7th, 2008 01:02 am (UTC)
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Still loving the way you write them. Poor Wilson...Poor House, I feel so bad for these guys...

I look forward to tomorrow's installment.
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From:phinnia
Date:March 7th, 2008 01:03 am (UTC)
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YAY.
Although the fact that he knew what the neuro exam was is very promising; Wilson probably didn't realize that ...
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From:angelcat2865
Date:March 7th, 2008 01:21 am (UTC)
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Great update! *Poor House* Looking forward to the rest tomorrow.
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From:datsun99
Date:March 7th, 2008 01:34 am (UTC)
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hurrah for all the updates! loving this story - am holding on to the hope that are planning a happy ending because poor House! and poor Wilson!
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From:chowrie
Date:March 7th, 2008 02:05 am (UTC)
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“You’re sure you’re not…my gay ex-lover?”
“What?”

Wilson should have countered with a "Why do you insist that I'm your gay ex-lover. I'm just your gay lover. No ex." That should jolt House back to the present.

Great chapter. Wilson now truly realizes House isn't there. Or atleast his House is buried deep in this House he now is treating.
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From:blackmare
Date:March 7th, 2008 03:33 am (UTC)
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What do you mean, we have to wait for tomorrow for the rest of this!!? No fair!

Oh. Okay, yeah, I'm a hypocrite.

Seriously, this is really touching, the way House is trying to connect with Wilson and is even starting to push his buttons to make him react. These poor guys.

And I keep meaning to tell you that I crack up every time I read your "reviews" at the top of the page. Today it was the Simon Cowell part that had me laughing out loud. Brilliant!
From:bburkes
Date:March 7th, 2008 03:47 am (UTC)
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Poor Wilson, he was so hopefull House recognized him and then realizing he didn't. Poor us, we have to wait another day to get another chapter - I got to finish that time machine!! Enjoying the story and look forward to each chapter - I check several times a day just in case you posted! Please hurry and make it early tomorrow. Hope you have House getting a little bit better soon.
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From:poeia
Date:March 7th, 2008 03:52 am (UTC)
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I'm not sure which is better -- this installment (and the 3rd in 3 days) or John Updike's awesome review (with which I concur wholeheartedly.)

Wilson is being great but he has a very, very long way to go before I grant him absolution. He manipulated House (again) into going on a vacation he didn't want. He took House's phone away from him before he left -- if House had had a flat tire on the highway I guess he was supposed to limp to the nearest town for assistance. Then, when House managed to drag himself back to PPTH, Wilson decided he had been on a bender and said House shouldn't get so much as a baby aspirin.

As Wilson said in his eulogy, House is very forgiving of people who wrong him so I'm sure he will forgive Wilson... long before I do.
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From:lostwiginity
Date:March 7th, 2008 07:04 am (UTC)
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Hooray for mention of caterpillar eyebrows! (I did a fanart ones where they evolve into butterflies.)

Seems that House finds out what he likes about Jimmy all anew. I like that approach.
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From:alemyrddin
Date:March 7th, 2008 09:12 am (UTC)
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oh yes yes yes! Would you keep updating at this pace? Please? *makes Wilson's puppy eyes*

And I love that, even bedridden and obviously not in good shape, House still has his unique snark and sense of humor (and still loves to joke just to see Wilson's reaction. They are really meant to be together friends.)
:)
From:pffff5
Date:March 7th, 2008 09:17 am (UTC)
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"Fantastico cuento. Se debe leer lo inmediatamente, si no, preparase a morir estupido".
El Pais, Madrid, Spain.
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From:romeo46
Date:March 7th, 2008 10:42 am (UTC)
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Love the fic, LOVE LOVE LOVE the reviews at the top. As good if not better than the reasons for continuing SM Outside which were pretty damn funny in and of themselves.

Love the catepillar eyebrows :)

More please
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From:cadeira
Date:March 7th, 2008 12:37 pm (UTC)
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Caterpillar Eyebrow!Love. He can´t remember Wilson but they already have the chemistry we know and love!
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From:lhoma320
Date:March 17th, 2008 12:25 pm (UTC)
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My two favorite lines of this chapter: "Dialysis can be a double-edged sword." and then this “Doctor…Wilson." Whole words. Halting. Almost inaudible." Two simple sentences that physical wipe me out. Gosh, I love the way you write. I read this chapter and couldn't say a word. Just had to sit back and take it all in. Can't be good filtering out the good stuff. Sounds like he's in for another rouund of something. Thank God for Pneumonia. LOL Hope you keep this going. This is better then great! :)
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From:lhoma320
Date:March 17th, 2008 12:30 pm (UTC)
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Oh, almost forgot, ever since I read the description of Wilson's eyebrows "...woolly bear caterpillars". I haven't been able to look at Wilson the same way since. Every single time I see his face, I see two Woolly bear catepillars. You have such a knack with words. :))