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Mar. 13th, 2008 @ 03:20 pm Sleeping Man: Inside 13/?

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.
Chapter One is  here: Part 1  For the next chapter, click twice on "next entry" arrow above.
What the Critics Are Saying About SM:I:
  

"...A story that must be read and re-read, time and again.This reviewer read Sleeping Man straight through from beginning to end, and then went back and re-read the beginning, because he had forgotten it all." --Editor, Journal of the American Society of Amnesiacs


House slept. He slept and slept. He also dreamt, his dream of the doghouse, of warm lights and shelter just out of his reach, of being as always on the outside looking in. But mostly, he just slept.
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Wilson, on the other hand, did not. Even when it became clear that House was out of any immediate danger, he could not sleep. Maybe it was the Dexedrine he’d taken at dusk. Maybe it was the feeling he still couldn’t shake--primitive and irrational, he knew, but still a conviction--that if he closed his eyes, something would happen to House. Sleep was out of the question.

 

He was like a cat on hot bricks. Chase had barely made it back to the Diagnostics office before Wilson paged him and Foreman asking when would be a good time to meet. Foreman sighed and called House’s room. Wilson picked up after half a ring.

 

 “Why don’t you meet us up here?” suggested Foreman

 

“I can’t. I can’t leave.  I need you both to—“

 

“You do know that you don’t have to sit up with him all night now?” said Foreman with deliberation. “The concussion was eleven days ago, and you only have to do that for the first 24 hours. You know that, right?” He could practically feel Wilson vibrating on the other end.

 

“Yes, of course,” he snapped.  “The point is, you need to do a complete neurological work-up on him, find out the extent of this amnesia, devise a treatment plan--.”

 

Foreman shook his head. “Yes, at some point we’ll need to do a work-up. But there’s no evidence of swelling in the brain, no immediate danger from the concussion. And, as I said, there’s no ‘cure’ for amnesia. But there is a cure for complete exhaustion, and that’s sleep. Sleep is the best medicine right now. Everything else can wait until morning. Sleep, Dr. Wilson. It knitteth up the ravelled sleeve of care.”

 

He was being cute, Wilson could tell, deliberately ambiguous about who needed the sleep, but before Wilson could think of some even cuter comeback--"Thank you, Dr. Shakespeare"--the son-of-bitch hung up on him.

 

Everyone else involved in House's care continued to be utterly unhelpful and unresponsive to Dr. Wilson's differing demands until, finally, near dawn, someone must have complained. Cuddy showed up at 6 am, wearing clean clothes and looking like she, for one, had slept, and told him if he didn’t go home and, at the very least, shower, shave, and change his clothes, well then she would call the Haz Mat team and have him escorted off the premises.

 

Wilson hesitated. Cuddy thrust House’s chart under his nose. “His vitals have been stable for the last ten hours,” she pointed out. “He isn’t going anywhere.” When Wilson still hesitated, she sighed. “All right,” she said. “I’ll stay with him. I’ll keep him alive for the next hour until you get back. I promise. Okay? Now go.” And she literally propelled him out the door.

 

When he returned nearly an hour later, she handed him a muffin and a glass of orange juice. “Eat,” she said. “Drink.” He did as he was told and never saw Cuddy replace the cap on the prescription bottle and tuck it into her pocket. He returned to his place beside House’s bed.
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They say smell is the most evocative of all the five senses: it is the smell, more than the taste, of a petite Madeleine that can awaken memories of a certain time and place, memories that were long dead, or perhaps just slumbering.

 

Afterwards, if you asked him, House would swear that it was smell that triggered it all. But he was not at first able to find an adequate way to describe how it happened. He could tell you what it was not. It was not nearly as dramatic as one might have expected. It was not as if a light had been turned on, suddenly illuminating a dark room. It was not as if a floodgate had opened, with a rush of memories overwhelming him.

 

It was closest to the way he puzzled out a diagnosis. When he was working on a case, his subconscious mind, he was sure, figured out the solution long before his conscious mind ever did. But it always took something from the outside world to force the idea to the surface, something to make the bigger picture emerge. Something as simple and evanescent as, for example, a scent.

 

The change, when it happened, was both tiny and…enormous. House, the master of the metaphor, finally found the right one: those Magic Eye visual puzzles that had been so popular a few years ago. You stare at a jumble of meaningless shapes and colors long enough until at some point you blink and, suddenly, who knows how or why, those meaningless shapes assemble themselves into a clear, stunning three-dimensional image. An image that had been there all along but you simply couldn’t see. From the moment he’d first walked back into Princeton Plainsboro Teaching Hospital, House had been assaulted by a disturbing feeling of deja-vu, as if the hospital—and not the doghouse-- were the dream, and by a sense that if he stared hard enough at it, at the people, they would suddenly assemble themselves into something meaningful.

 

When House awoke that morning, his mind clear and his body free of pain for the first time in days and days, it was shortly after the seven o’clock shift change. A nurse in latex gloves had just replaced his nasal cannula, and the room had been freshly mopped. On his bed tray was a Tupperware container of hot, fragrant pancakes. And lastly a head belonging to James Wilson was resting beside him, cradled on his arms as he slept, leaning forward off the chair beside the bed.

 

None of this did House see, however. His eyes were closed and he lay motionless as he slowly surfaced from the boundless depths of sleep, allowing a bath of pleasant sensation to wash over him: The absence of pain—the complete absence of pain. The incredible softness of his mattress. The delicious warmth of the covers forming a protective cocoon around him. The beeping of the bedside monitors, the sound of a distant phone ringing, soft talking in the corridor, the muffled PA paging someone.
 

And the smells. He breathed in deeply through his nose.

 

And so it was that when he’d fallen asleep the night before it had been in an anonymous, alien hospital room. But when he finally opened his eyes in the morning, he was in a warm, sunny glass-walled room that opened, he knew, onto a long, brightly lit corridor. It was a room that smelled of pine-scented hospital disinfectant and Purel hand cleaner, rubber gloves and talcum powder, macademia nut pancakes and…

 

“Jimmy,” he said, prodding the head next to his pillow. Wilson raised his head a few inches and blinked groggily at him. “You are the only man I know… over the age of four who uses…Johnson’s Baby Shampoo.”

 

“Guh” said Wilson, struggling mightily to keep his eyes open. He lost the battle and settled his forehead back into his arms.

 

“Wilson,” said House. “I know where I am.”

 

“Nuh?” Wilson mumbled into the mattress.

 

“Yes,” said House. “I do.” He looked around the room with its familiar equipment, he drew in its familiar scents and sounds. And then he looked at the slumbering Wilson. “Home, Jimmy,” he said softly. “I’m home.”

                        ------------



Sometime later, two orderlies, under instruction from Cuddy, entered House’s room and bodily lifted Wilson out of his chair and deposited him in the empty second bed in the room.  Wilson turned his head and gave House a doped-up smile as one of the orderlies spread a blanket over him and the other removed his shoes.

 

“Night, House,” he mumbled, his eyes closing.

 

“Night, Wilson,” said House.

About this Entry
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From:codysgirlkyla
Date:March 13th, 2008 08:12 pm (UTC)
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Lol...wilson doesn't even fully register that House remembers...lol.
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From:cindy_lou_who8
Date:March 13th, 2008 08:22 pm (UTC)
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YAY! :)
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From:phinnia
Date:March 13th, 2008 08:24 pm (UTC)
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oh /man/. Cuddy must have slipped him some POWERFUL mojo for him to miss that. *laugh* YAY House! And it's SO WILSON to use Johnson's Baby Shampoo.
YAY. I <3 this bit.
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From:hilsongirl
Date:March 13th, 2008 08:42 pm (UTC)
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House remembers! YAY
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From:datsun99
Date:March 13th, 2008 08:43 pm (UTC)
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haha, i love the fact wilson was doped up in the moment of realisation!
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From:zeppomarx
Date:March 13th, 2008 08:45 pm (UTC)
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S'marvelous. And totally love that you got Proust into it.
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From:joe_pike_junior
Date:March 14th, 2008 05:55 am (UTC)
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Heh. I was about to say, I think this is the first time I've seen a Proust reference in a Housefic. Good going.
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From:xantemortemx
Date:March 13th, 2008 09:13 pm (UTC)
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I am nearly in tears of happines after reading this chapter! xD
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From:bukabe16
Date:March 13th, 2008 09:14 pm (UTC)
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wonderful.

please write again soon.

when did wilson have the time to make pancakes??
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From:chaoskir
Date:March 13th, 2008 09:19 pm (UTC)
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Great! I do love that. Now is House concious and Wilson doesn't take any notice about that fact. You are really a great author and I do love that story and the prequel of that story. Thanks a lot for sharing. Oh, and I guess Cuddy did the right thing because House will probably need his Wilson in a good condition.
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From:poeia
Date:March 13th, 2008 10:08 pm (UTC)
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Perfect. I'm running about 5 minutes late leaving work for an appointment but it was worth it. I'll have to reread it when I get home.

I think that is how people remember and think. The more you try to push an answer to your conscious mind the harder it is to get it there. But when you relax, it arrives. You described it perfectly.
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From:bernie_laraemie
Date:March 13th, 2008 11:03 pm (UTC)
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I have been waiting forever for this and it was so worth it. I love this story. I don't know how much longer it's going to be but I will love all those minutes of it to. This story owns me, and I want you to know that I compulsively check this link.

This is awesome. Seriously. I love you. I am so touched; this is the best.
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From:maineac
Date:March 14th, 2008 01:57 am (UTC)
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I never know how to answer comments like yours except to say Thanks for taking the time to let me know you're reading. So...thanks for taking the time to--oh, I already said that. Anyway, glad you're liking it. But you're right. It's going to end pretty soon.
From:bburkes
Date:March 14th, 2008 01:46 am (UTC)
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Yeah! House is home, poor Wilson missed it. Glad you have him rmembering some thing and sure hope you plan on updating again soon!
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From:lostwiginity
Date:March 14th, 2008 07:14 am (UTC)
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And Wilson was his puzzle muse again!
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From:brandy71
Date:March 14th, 2008 07:27 am (UTC)
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Wonderful! I can breathe now.
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From:alemyrddin
Date:March 14th, 2008 10:39 am (UTC)
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AWWWWWWW!
This is so sweet! House remembering everything thanks to Wilson's shampoo (and Wilson using baby Johnson... awww again)
And finally, Wilson getting some rest.
I'm all warm and fuzzy now. :)
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From:cadeira
Date:March 14th, 2008 11:50 am (UTC)
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I didn´t dare to imagine that this could get even better....
And I´m in aww of everyone who has had enough time on his hands to read À la recherche du temps perdu because I haven´t but I know about the Madeleines.
This is just the best. See? Words fail.
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From:maineac
Date:March 14th, 2008 12:17 pm (UTC)
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I think you just invented a new expression, destined to become a classic:

"I'm in aww..."
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From:cadeira
Date:March 14th, 2008 02:12 pm (UTC)
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What typos can be good for... ;)
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From:angelcat2865
Date:March 14th, 2008 01:16 pm (UTC)
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Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!House remembers. Love this story. I am going to miss it when you are done.
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From:chowrie
Date:March 14th, 2008 03:13 pm (UTC)
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Wilson would be pissed off at Cuddy for drugging him. But since House is alright, he might, maybe, just let this one slide. That's if he doesn't remember just how much of all this can be traced back to his own actions. If he does, he will go all protective on House again and never let him out of his sight.
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From:magegirl8
Date:March 17th, 2008 03:08 am (UTC)
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lol. My Dad uses Johnson's baby shampoo. He's 56.
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From:lhoma320
Date:March 17th, 2008 12:47 pm (UTC)
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Oh my God, this was the icing on the cake. Lots of squirming in this chapter. Loved Cuddy dosing Wilson. Loved her ordering two orderlies to put him to bed. *sigh* The comment regarding the Johnson's Baby shampoo and Wilson making House pancakes were too cute. Definitely did a lot of fluttering on this line “Home, Jimmy,” he said softly. “I’m home.” You are the master of House. I'm not worthy. I saw your final chapter comments. I do hope you decide to continue. I don't know if I can go on without this story. :))) Hope you have a wonderful week. You deserve it after all the wonderful hours you've given all of us readers. :))