sam_storyteller: (Default)
sam_storyteller ([personal profile] sam_storyteller) wrote2005-07-11 01:20 am
Entry tags:

Brotherly Love; PG.

Rating: PG.
Summary: House wants to fix things he can't, for the first time in a long time.
Notes/Warnings: I feel weird about this one, because I'm writing about someone with a very serious mental illness and House makes very light of it. Please know that I have every respect for people with mental illness; I've tried to convey that through Wilson's POV.

Also available at AO3.

Subject: Life on Fast Forward
Posted By: i_blues_joo
Music: Ma Rainey - Leavin This Mornin

A doctor's life is primarily composed of two modes: pause and fast-forward. Life's been in fast-forward for a few days, hence my absence.

The ducklings look tired. I probably look like crap too, but I always look like crap, so that's no big deal. They put a lot of work in on this one. We all did. They're having some food in the other room. I told them I was typing up casenotes. They don't buy it, but they're too beat to argue. Mental note: wear them out more often.

On Wednesday morning, Watson (that's [ profile] oncologeewhiz for those of you out of the loop) asked me to cover for him on Wednesday night. Now I happen to know that Wednesday is not Holmes Covers For Watson night down at good old Insert Name Here Hospital, so I naturally was inquisitive. I ran through the usual options -- hot date, court date, forty-cent-wing night at Hooters.

This clearly called for drastic action.

"So," I said, sitting down next to him in the Oncology lounge. "I've been thinking."

"You're always thinking," he answered.

"Not true, I schedule an hour a day not to think. Coincides with General Hospital."

"That explains so much."

"Thank you. I'm thinking...job interview. Or, perhaps, family reunion. Birthday of some kind? It's not your wedding anniversary," I scoffed, just because I could. He looked away, which meant he really didn't want to talk about it, but he didn't want to talk about his marriage crumbling either (don't tell him I told you, OH GEE) and that resulted in the strategic invasion of my apartment. I like to stay on top of things.

"Thing is, you're tenured and you love it here, and the dating pool is pretty expansive. Unless you're being unusually petty about my stealing your sandwich yesterday, I don't think you'd be interviewing out of the area."

"What makes you think I'm leaving the area?" he asked.

"If you were just going out, you could take your pager and your cell. Asking me to cover...that means you're leaving town."

"I could be going to a play."

"No, because then you'd just say you were going to a play. Where was I? Right. Family reunion. Easy to confirm, but where's the fun in that? And you'd be way more neurotic, anyway."

"I'm not neurotic about my family," he said hurriedly. Oooh, touched a nerve.

"So it is your family, but not a reunion. Mom's birthday? Should I send flowers?"

He didn't reply. That was when I knew we were actually in trouble, because the agreement is that I bait him and he rises to the bait and we both have a good time. So if he's not taking the bait something really has to be wrong.

"It's my brother," he said.

"The one you misplaced?"

"Don't be a jackass, Holmes." He pinched the bridge of his nose. "He turned up in a homeless shelter in New York. He's sick. He was lucid enough to tell them his brother was a doctor in Jersey, and some very kind volunteer called every Dr. Watson in the telephone directory."

"And got you, eventually."

"I'm driving up there tonight to pick him up. Bring him back here, get him cleaned up a little, try and see if some of the new psych meds the reps keep palming off to us work at all. So I need you to cover for me while I'm wrestling my mentally unstable brother into my car, okay?" he asked. He was upset, I guess. I don't get the whole sibling thing, but I haven't got any. My parents were smart that way.

"I'll have the ducklings cover it," I said.

"For once in your miserable life can you just -- "

"I'm coming with you," I told him.

I'm still trying to figure out if that was a mistake or not.

So, that was Wednesday night. They'd put him in the infirmary and cleaned him up by the time we got there, and he was actually shockingly lucid. Kind of disappointing, really. I prefer crazy people. He was pretty quiet on the drive back, but we had a whole college party's worth of sedatives in the bag, just in case.

"I can get him a bed in the ICU until I figure out what he needs," Watson told me. "I mean, clearly he can't stay at your place."

"Considering there's already you, the maid, and your palpably present emotional baggage, no," I agreed.

"My baggage?"

"It practically has its own emo rock band."

"Nice, Holmes."

Watson the Younger echoed the sentiment from the backseat, then started to cough. I made a mental note to get a TB screen on him, because Watson the Elder was in no kind of condition to be thinking rationally about his tinfoil-trousers-wearing brother.

Thursday morning, Watson the Younger had an epileptic seizure, and suddenly he was my problem. Thanks, Watson.

It's not that I didn't want a crack at him. I did. I like puzzles, and this one was a hell of a Gordian knot. He had the usual things a homeless man picks up living in bad conditions -- rashes, cough, headaches from what we could tell, nausea, increased appetite (what the fuck was that all about, we wondered), he was halfway to liver failure, and oh did I mention crazy?

Except...not. He wasn't totally lucid, but he made sense at least half the time, which is often more than Pretty Duckling manages, poor boy.

And we wanted to fix him. We wanted to think it was something environmental, or some kind of condition. If he could be this lucid when he wanted, maybe it wasn't a permanent psychosis after all. Maybe if we got him on some kind of new psych meds, he could go back to being Watson's cool little brother.

With a few good meals in him and daily hygiene, he looked like Watson, even. Also a little like Johnny Depp, as the nurses and Chick Duckling wouldn't stop mentioning. Fucking Depp is responsible for more mens' low self-esteem than the invention of the vibrator.

Chick Duckling must be rubbing off on me (ew, somebody hand me a kleenex). I forgot for a little while that you can't fix everything. You can't even fix most things. I can't fix myself, it's a miracle I have a job fixing other people. Most of whom I don't actually fix, except by trial and error. Shaw was right, dammit. Doctors suck.

So this afternoon we found the brain tumor.

With everything else that's wrong with him, it's the tumor that worries everyone the most. The irony's layered like a thing. With a lot of layers. Don't even bother, I'm tired. One, the cancer doctor's brother has a tumor that nobody found. Two, it's making him act more sane than he otherwise would because it's putting increasing pressure on certain areas of the brain. Three, if we leave it there, where it's keeping him for the most part lucid enough not to set himself on fire by accident, it'll kill him.

This might kill Watson, I don't know. I don't like seeing that much hope in his eyes, because he crushes way too easily. Besides, I didn't think family was like that. Mine isn't. He really seems to like the kid. What's up with that?

You can't fix everything. I hate it when I forget that.

Now I've got to go tell my best friend that he's either going to have to put his brother through painful and dangerous surgery and months of chemo, which he probably won't go to once he gets his crazy back, or get him a hospice room and let him die.

Fuck me.

Subject: All Done In
Posted By: oncologeewhiz
Music: Springsteen - Highway Patrolman
Mood: Pensive

Holmes looked exhausted today.

I was actually really worried about him when he came in, which is kind of funny. He didn't talk much at first, just gave me the MRI results and let me look through them. I'm an oncologist; I know what they meant.

"We can get rid of the skin conditions, the cough, everything else; Pretty Duckling's on it already," he told me. " your department."

"Look at where it's located," I said, kind of fuzzily. It's still weird sometimes. Especially when it's your brother. We didn't even like sharing a bathroom and there I was looking at his brain. "That's -- "

"Yeah. Take it out, your brother's back to where he was inside of a few days," he said. "Leave it alone and he dies."

We were quiet for a while.

"Do you think he's good to make an informed decision?" I asked him. He tapped his cane on the floor.

"Don't want to do it yourself?" he asked. "Can't say I blame you -- "

"Don't, Holmes. Just don't. Not here or now. Tomorrow, okay?"

Then Holmes did something I've rarely seen him do and never without ultimate coercion.

"I'm sorry," he said.

"It's fine, I shouldn't have snapped."

"Not about the smart remark, you deserved that," he retorted. He rubbed his forehead. "I'm sorry he's sick. I'm sorry it's -- what it is, and not some obscure condition I can give you a pill for. I'm sorry I'm useless. I can't fix him. We tried."

I stared at him.

"I didn't ask you to fix him," I said. "Maybe...he doesn't even need "fixing". He's himself, he always was. I just wanted your help making him feel better. We lost the kid brother I remember a long time ago, my parents know that. You gave your diagnosis. That's what you do."

"Don't tell me you didn't hope there was something more than that," he said.

"No, I didn't. All I wanted was to get him healthy. No expectations. God, no wonder you guys all look so tired."

I stood up and opened the door, holding it for him. "Go tell the ducklings to get some sleep. I'm going to talk to him. Then I'll drive you home."

He stopped in the doorway as I was following him out.

"You want me to come down with you? I speak fluent crazyperson," he said. I shoved him towards his office and went off to see my brother. Then we went home.

Holmes is asleep in the other room now; he'd be pissed if he knew I was using his laptop.

I don't know how I'm going to thank him, since "thank you" goes over with him like a punch in the face. He doesn't like it.

Gotta call about the hospice tomorrow.

Sleep now, though.


[identity profile] 2006-04-19 05:42 am (UTC)(link)
I really, really like it, especially the switch from the House-Wilson conversations into House's inner monologue and how Wilson's decision isn't even the most important part of his entry.

We didn't even like sharing a bathroom and there I was looking at his brain.
Great line -- it really makes you think about the weird intimacy doctors have with their patients.

I'm glad you liked mine, though I realized after I posted that I sort of forgot to put any guy-on-guy in it. Maybe next time.

[identity profile] 2006-04-19 05:44 am (UTC)(link)
Oh gods, pleeeeeeeeeease take those two journals and write fic with them pleeeeeeeeeeeeeease. You are an amazing man. Your characterization is so spot-on that it's painful, because House is only once a week and this taste of House just makes me ache for me.

[identity profile] 2006-04-19 05:45 am (UTC)(link)
So much love. I'll just MAKE A LIST:

1. Um, "tinfoil-trousers-wearing brother"? Brilliance!
2. The irony's layered like a thing. With a lot of layers. Don't even bother, I'm tired. xD I love flustered, tired Holmes.
3. Two, it's making him act more sane than he otherwise would because it's putting increasing pressure on certain areas of the brain. Three, if we leave it there, where it's keeping him for the most part lucid enough not to set himself on fire by accident, it'll kill him. <-- I love that this made about as much medical sense as ANY of the episodes. ♥
4. he'd be pissed if he knew I was using his laptop. Yess. Keep up with the secret "sharing", boys. First flat, then home-made lunch -- next = bed and fluids! :D Maybe.

I love your House fic so much.
ext_17391: (Default)

[identity profile] 2006-04-19 05:46 am (UTC)(link)
Oooooooh, yay shiny crack candy for my brain. You've got House and Wilson's friendship (or whatever..) down. Excellent work!
florahart: (vicodin)

[personal profile] florahart 2006-04-19 05:46 am (UTC)(link)
Um. I feel weird about this one, because I'm writing about someone with a very serious mental illness and House makes very light of it. Please know that I have every respect for people with mental illness; I've tried to convey that through Wilson's POV, but I'm not sure it came across.

Sam. For heaven's sake. House makes light of everyone's damage. It's fine. And, actually, while he makes light, one of the things I like about House, in general, is that even while he's doing it (on the show or here), the sense I get is that he doesn't are about being an ass, but does care about fixing everyone, every time--and that his irreverence is not entirely about willingness to be an ass, but about being dismissive of the irrelevant in order to get to the important part: making it better, and maybe not entirely for the purpose of puzzle-solving. I've spent roughly eight seconds considering this, so that's not very thought through, and I have no evidence to cite. Anyway. Even if this wasn't very House, well. It is my belief, and I could be wrong, that there is no subject too scary and hard that there is no place ever for humor, and personally I like this flavor of it more than something blacker.

I am amused that House doesn't use a mood theme. Heh. Permanently on cranky?

Also, I like the way their voices aren't the same, but they also match kind of well, the way they talk to each other, canonically, more than the way they talk to other people. Not the we see Wilson sans House very much, but anyway. I like.

Typo: utlimate

[identity profile] 2006-04-19 05:48 am (UTC)(link)
You know, I don't even watch House. After reading this, though, I might just start. I get the feeling I'll be disappointed if the writing on the show is not nearly as good as this. Ah, well. I can always say, "Gee, that was lousy, think I'll go read some Sam-fic." Not that this is a bad thing, or that I even need the excuse.

[identity profile] 2006-04-19 02:06 pm (UTC)(link)
Hee! See, that's the thing. The show is even better. It's longer, for one.

If you want to read some transcripts of episodes, you can find them here:

[identity profile] 2006-04-19 05:51 am (UTC)(link)
you gave them livejournals. holy CRAP. that was brilliant.

[identity profile] 2006-04-19 02:05 pm (UTC)(link)
ext_12181: (Default)

[identity profile] 2006-04-19 05:57 am (UTC)(link)
*sigh* Sam, you've hooked me on a fandom OF WHICH I HAVE YET TO SEE A SINGLE EPISODE.

Dude, you're good.

[identity profile] 2006-04-19 07:20 am (UTC)(link)
same here! (I have no cable...)
but when I find that community...I'm downloading!


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[identity profile] 2006-04-19 06:10 am (UTC)(link)
*snorts at Wilson's LJ name* And House's isn't ambiguously innuendoed, or anything. I like House trying to fix something, and I like where the medical mystery ended.

[identity profile] 2006-04-19 06:11 am (UTC)(link)
I must admit the Holmes/Watson thing has me a little confused. I gather that House is based on Holmes but why do they refer to each other by their template's names? Otherwise it was a sad but accurate look at Wilson and House and what might happen if crazy brother showed up.

[identity profile] 2006-04-19 01:26 pm (UTC)(link)
it was explained in his first fic in this format; Cuddy told House that he had to disguise everyone's names if they were going to write about them. One could assume Wilson has to follow that as well.

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[identity profile] 2006-04-19 06:12 am (UTC)(link)
I like it. And yes, you SHOULD write fic in i_blues_joo :P

*gets sucked into the House fandom, which she is trying so hard to resist*
ext_18066: Default (Default)

[identity profile] 2006-04-19 06:23 am (UTC)(link)
Mmm, lovely. And sad, and very in character. Thanks for sharing it.

[identity profile] 2006-04-19 06:25 am (UTC)(link)
... did anyone else actually click on the usernames to see if they'd go anywhere, or do I just get way too attached to fictional characters? >.>

[identity profile] 2006-04-19 01:14 pm (UTC)(link)
I didn't click, but I did hover to see if they were links. ^_^

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Houses and Holmes and oh Hell

[identity profile] 2006-04-19 06:45 am (UTC)(link)
Okay, I'm going to start swapping around for the DVDs of this. Because I now care about these people and I haven't even seen the SHOW.
Dammit! Quit retconning my brain! I'm starting to get things from Stealing Harry mixed up with canon, and now this is going to color my TV land, and you are the worst headfuck since Gaiman's _Nicholas Was_. Bastard.

Re: Houses and Holmes and oh Hell

[identity profile] 2006-04-19 01:14 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm starting to get things from Stealing Harry mixed up with canon

I totally do the same thing; I keep thinking that Fourteen Back is canon.

[identity profile] 2006-04-19 06:47 am (UTC)(link)
I really enjoyed this, especially the style contrast between the journals and the kitschy codenames (the Holmes names, the Adjective Ducklings, oncologeewhiz!). I also think I'm developing a Big Dorky Crush on your House-as-LJer concept. Ergo, positive reinforcement here!
ext_20798: (HouseWilson)

[identity profile] 2006-04-19 06:47 am (UTC)(link)
Awwwwww. Poor Wilson and House. Once again, you had them spot-on. House being kind for Wilson-- and he would only do that for Wilson.

Also, I love this format so much. ;)

[identity profile] 2006-04-19 06:53 am (UTC)(link)
Ouch. Skillfully told. Dammit.

[identity profile] 2006-04-19 02:03 pm (UTC)(link)
You know, what's most interesting is that I didn't really realise how painful the story was. It wasn't really about his brother dying, for me -- it was about House saying "I can't fix him" and Wilson saying "I don't want you to fix him. I've accepted it."

Reading it, it IS painful. It's interesting to write something with a HUGE, NOTICEABLE meaning that I didn't give it, but which is still unarguably there.

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[identity profile] 2006-04-19 07:18 am (UTC)(link)
oh! ouch again. It's beautiful, Sam.

Fic: Brotherly Love

[identity profile] 2006-04-19 07:19 am (UTC)(link)
That's great.
I understand the seriousness of mental illness, but I know House, too, and I think the gravity of the situation is conveyed through his point of view. And very well, too, to have me think "woah, shit," and still knowing it's House.
I can House writing little stories like that, but less so Wilson. His point of view was great on the story, but I'm not sure how well it suits with the context.
Excellent story, though, and wonderful brother story.

[identity profile] 2006-04-19 11:23 am (UTC)(link)
Well, tissues time!

Damn, you're good.

(Mind, I think you owe us another House/HP crossover after this one.)

[identity profile] 2006-04-19 11:35 am (UTC)(link)
*tries desperately to avoid sounding like a squeeing fangirl*

Are you sure you are not a writer on "House"? You should be. Everything I love about these characters and this show is portrayed in your writing. Your transition from Wilson to House is flawless. You had mentioned in your Author's Note about feeling uncomfortable about House's attitude toward the mentally unstable; House is House, and he would definitely say those things.

Well done.

A squeeing fangirl :)

[identity profile] 2006-04-19 12:19 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh, God, Sam! SO heartwrenching. So perfect. You already know I love what you do, but I'll say it again here: You're one of the best writers I know. Agggh. This fic is amazing.

[identity profile] 2006-04-19 01:07 pm (UTC)(link)
That was ... really depressing, but also a tiny bit cute. Very good job, anyway. *is all teary-eyed now*

[identity profile] 2006-04-19 01:49 pm (UTC)(link)
I don't squee every often, but here I go squeeing, and I know I would be even if I weren't a bona fide House addict. The lj usernames are fantastic. I vote for i_blues_joo as a Housefic journal. I don't understand how you do it, but even aside from the characters' supreme and epitomizing in-characterness, you manage to make every fic, whether readers are familiar with its fandom or not, immediately compelling. I gues you're just really, really good.

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shehasathree: (omg)

[personal profile] shehasathree 2006-04-19 02:20 pm (UTC)(link)

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