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Challenge #7: 'Making Amends Meet'

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  • Challenge #7: 'Making Amends Meet'

    'Making Amends Meet'

    (Set during Buffy Season 3 and House Season One (no, they don't actually
    overlap, but tough sh-luck )

    Disclaimer: None of these people belong to me, I'm just borrowing them, as they interest me as much as someone with Paroxysmal Supraventricular Tachycardia with no previous hsitory of stress-related Arrhythmias would interest House. (Yes, it took me aaaages looking up the longest medical words I could find, and no, I don't know if they strictly speaking make sense. Basically, I just want to say: a lot!)

    Wilson clicked the door gently behind him, and leant on it, sighing deeply. He looked around his Office, the papers stacked on his desk, the endless coffee cups filling the bin to the brim. He grimaced and walked to his desk, pulling the first file off the top of the pile. Wilson sat, beginning to read, but nearly instantly put his head between his hands.

    "Wilson!" came House's imperative call, the door bouncing off the wall as he slammed it open with his cane. "I know you're busy crying over all the lost puppies in the world, but I've got a case I need a consult on. Patient presents with-"
    "House. I'm kinda busy."
    "Doing-" House picked up one of the files neatly stacked on the desk, and read aloud. "Lab reports. Get Chase to do them." And with that, he pushed all the files on to the floor, papers flying everywhere, freeing up room for him to sit on the desk and wave his own file in Wilson's face. Wilson jerked up, replying "House, what the hell?!"
    "Patient presents with pleural effusion, coughing up blood, and enlarged lymph nodes." House continued indifferently, "I need to know whether these look like a tumour spreading." House produced an X-Ray. "Last year, she had a benign tumour removed from her heart in Boston, but knowing those idiots at Dana Farber, I think it was aggressive, and I need to know the chances of it metastasising to the lungs."
    Wilson glanced at the X-Ray. House added "Scar tissue in the lungs. Could be something behind it we can't see."
    "Fine, do a CT."
    "Or you could tell me that although we removed the tumour in time, it has spread to her lungs and we need to do a lung biopsy."
    "Do a biopsy!" said Wilson, flapping his arms, still outraged that House had barged in and messed up the files he was about to work on. Then again, thought Wilson, this is House. He should hardly be that surprised.
    "No can do. Her chemo drugs made her ticker as weak as Cuddy's willpower to resist me, and I can't risk a blood clot."
    "House, if the tumour was removed and it appeared to be benign, the chances of metastasis are close to ? to nothing. The current risks of complication during a biopsy are nil. OK?" Wilson intoned, tired of the interruption.
    "You're the boss, boss." House half-bowed pointedly. He limped out of the Office. Wilson opened his top drawer and removed a packet. He looked at his watch. An hour early. Well, he reasoned, an hour won't do much harm. He took the pill, swallowing without water, and replaced the packet in his drawer.


    Wilson marched into House's office, finding House standing over the coffee machine, pouring probably his fifth or sixth cup of the day, and Cameron sat at the table, Foreman and Chase stood peering over either shoulder, poring over an article in a some sort of journal or medical review.

    "Why didn't you tell me she's had pneumonia?" Wilson cried
    "You didn't ask." House replied.
    "A lymphoma in the heart is-is the rarest of all cancers. It was dangerous to perform a biopsy in the first place with her heart in that sort of condition. But having had pneumonia too - she has no chance of survival, House! You've killed her!"
    "Me?!" cried House in outrage, more because Wilson was avoiding responsibility than due to some form of remorse. "You told me to the do the biopsy! You told me the risks were nil!"
    "Yes, for a patient with no history of pneumonia!"
    "Big difference! If you weren't so focused on moping around, you would have seen it."
    "House, how was I supposed to know?"
    "You're the oncologist. You didn't bother to think of any complications there could have been."
    Wilson just stood there, dumbstruck.
    "You deal with death every day. Why is it any different now?" House continued.
    "Because if I hadn't let you run off with y-your crazy ideas she would have a chance of living! She's only thirteen! Thirteen!"
    "Please, don't blame me because you're too much of a coward to stand up to me!"
    "House, I was distracted, I-"
    "Shut up!" House shouted angrily. "You have no-one to blame but yourself."
    "I can't, I can't do this anymore." Wilson exclaimed. "What with the weakness in her lungs, in her heart, she could be dead in weeks, months, a couple of years at the most."
    "Oh please, like you care! I bet you don't even know her name."

    Wilson stood fixed to the hospital floor, his mouth moving silently, and then turned on his heels, marching out of the office; behind him, the taunts of House firmly ignored, or perhaps drowned out by the raging thunderstorm of guilt resounding deafeningly in his head.


    "I'm sorry" Wilson murmured to himself, looking through the glass of the girl's room at her. The hygiene of the hospital surroundings and her plain gown contrasted greatly with her dyed hair and newly pierced lip. "Cassie." He said, answering House's question. Wilson pulled himself away. Cassie looked up as he left. "He'll come back." She said softly, tilting her head ever so slightly. "He can't save me. No-one can."

    Wilson came to the office he was seeking. He knocked, breathing deeply, a typed letter clutched in his hand, trying to look everywhere but at the sign on the door which proclaimed ?Dr. Lisa Cuddy, Dean of Medicine.'


    Wilson sat alone in the bar. Scotch lay dormant in his tumbler, which he constantly fingered, but never seemed to touch. The music from the speakers drifted towards him. "And we're changing our ways ? taking different roads ?" House limped towards him; Wilson promptly drained his glass. House placed down two new glasses on the table. "Love ? will tear us apart ? again." Came the sorrowful sounds of Ian Curtis. Wilson grimaced as he thought how appropriate the song was for the two of them

    "How did I know you'd be here?" House asked rhetorically. He paused for a moment - could it have been tact? - but then just as promptly questioned, "How many people have you saved?"
    "We have condemned this girl to an early grave!" he painstakingly replied. "It was a risky treatment, I should never-" he faltered.
    "Please, I would have done the procedure without your approval anyway."
    "Precisely. I should have stopped myself from letting you do whatever you want a long time ago. That's why ? that's why I'm resigning."
    "Don't be an idiot!" House said condescendingly.
    "House, just ? leave it."
    "You. Are. An. Idiot." He said plainly. "There's no reason why you should do this. The benefits of the procedure far outweighed-"
    "She's a person, House! Not a number, not a case, a person whose life I have destroyed. I'm resigning. That's all there is to it."
    "No, the only thing you have to do is make sure you don't make the same mistake again."
    "House, if I could reverse-" Wilson stopped himself. He sat, dazed in thought.


    Wilson entered the office, looking around him. He felt oddly at ease, the familiarity of carefully restrained personal affects sitting on the desk, prided certificates hung nonchalantly on the walls, and the sparse orderliness of a meticulously clean office. Still, it wasn't enough to rid him of the pounding reminder in his head of last night's hangover.

    The only person there was a man in a well-pressed suit, his tie drawn impeccably to the top of his collar, his hair carefully brushed to one side. The wrinkles on his face were noticeable but slight, and he looked like a man of wisdom, a man who had seen the world. A man who looked trustworthy ? but one you had to be careful with. A lion sat waiting placidly, waiting for an antelope to pounce upon and devour. Wilson unconsciously fingered the amulet in his trouser pocket.

    "Well, gosh, fella! Don't be standing around all day now. Come take a seat."
    "Thank you." Wilson replied, shaking the man's hand before taking his seat.
    "You have nice clean hands." The man spoke, articulating every syllable concisely. "And I like cleanliness in a man. It shows discipline and it shows self-respect. And darn, isn't that what we need in a place like this?" He giggled throatily. "So, tell me," he questioned, folding his arms on his desk, "Why do you want to work for the Mayor's Office?