ext_117805 ([identity profile] whatstheddx.livejournal.com) wrote in [community profile] cuddys_house2009-07-24 12:45 pm

Saturday, 14th April

"Well, I have to admit," Wilson said, standing by the door of House's bedroom, "going from a romantic weekend away to an indefinite amount of time at a psychiatric hospital is a new one, even for you."

House looked up at him as he placed another folded up shirt into his suitcase, which was lying open on his bed. When he'd arrived home after dropping Cuddy off at her place, Wilson had been waiting for him on the steps of his apartment. Wilson had been able to see that House wasn't kidding around and wasn't being funny - the sullen look on House's face and the way he held himself had said it all. "I take it Cuddy knows about what you're doing," Wilson had asked.

House had simply nodded. When Cuddy had awoken the following morning and breakfast had arrived at their room, House had sat on the edge of the bed and told Cuddy what was happening, that Wilson was going to meet him at his apartment and that Wilson was handling the arrangements to have House officially committed. The drive home was quiet and he'd offered her just a small kiss and told her he'd call her once he was settled. And now he was in his bedroom, slowly packing his things for what could end up being a long stay at Mayfield psychiatric hospital.

Wilson put his hands on his hips. "You sure you want to do this?"

House looked back down to his suitcase with a humourless snort. "I have to do this."

"There are other, less drastic ways of getting help."

"Did I just hear you trying to talk me out of getting help?" House asked incredulously.

Wilson held his hands up. "No. That is not what I just said. I said less drastic. I mean, Cuddy's eight month's pregnant. You're going to be a father. You don't think it's important to be around for her during the last stages?"

House looked back up to him. "I need to do this for me. Being around for Cuddy isn't going to mean anything if I can't actually be there for her. Or for our kid. Besides. You know me. You know what I'm like." He picked up a pair of folded up pants and put it into his suitcase. "I'll cheat, I'll lie, I'll do everything I can to get out of getting help. Drastic is the only option."

Wilson sighed. "I have to say, I never thought the day would come where I'd actually hear you admit any of that."

"Yeah, well." He placed another shirt into his suitcase. "Things change."


*


The long car ride to the hospital was quiet. House tried his hardest to ignore the way Wilson kept glancing at him. He watched the suburbs thin out to give way to trees and fields. He felt unusually calm. Or maybe not calm so much as... resigned. He was so tired, drained from the night before, weary and like his spirit had pretty much broken. If anything, going to Mayfield meant that he wouldn't have to face things around people he knew or in an environment where he'd easily succumb to cravings or distractions that would only damage him and his relationship with Cuddy even further.

At last, when Wilson's car approached the tall and looming building of Mayfield psychiatric hospital, House thought to himself: this is it. No turning back now. He tried to think of this as a good change but... it hardly felt good. Just shameful. Lonely, too. He realised as he got out of the car and studied the building that he was going to be completely alone. That was strangely more terrifying a thought than anything else he knew he was going to face in Mayfield.

He took his suitcase from Wilson and handed over all his personal effects - his phone, his wallet, his apartment keys. "You want me to pass any messages on to Cuddy for you?" Wilson asked.

House shook his head. "Just tell her... Tell her whatever you think she needs to hear."

After exchanging a long look with Wilson, House turned and headed down the drive to the steps of the hospital, where staff members were waiting for him. When he reached the top of the steps, one staff member took his suitcase and another took his arm to guide him into the hospital. He got a final glimpse of Wilson still standing by his car, watching him, just before the hospital doors closed.

He was taken into a room first, his bags searched thoroughly for anything the staff deemed dangerous or unsuitable. He, too, was searched and when the staff was satisfied that he was clean, he was escorted to his room after signing a few papers. It was a bare, pale green room with a large barred window that overlooked the Mayfield lawns. It smelled of disinfectant and something resembling pot pourri, something that was supposed to make the room smell pleasant. After he put his things away in the closet and the drawer, he sat on the edge of the bed and for the very first time in his life he felt more lost than he'd ever felt before.


*


"Hi, Greg." House looked away from the window he was staring out of at the male nurse, who was pulling a chair out from the table. "Mind if I join you?"

"Rhetorical questions are rhetorical. Even if I said no, you'd join me anyway."

He glanced around the hospital common room, which was occupied by a few other patients. Some of them were watching TV, one of them was reading the newspaper in an overstuffed armchair. All of them in the same boat as him in some way or another, yet so completely distant from him that he felt like he was the only person in the entire hospital. He turned back to the window and resumed gazing out of it.

"Settling in okay?"

"Well, it's hardly a vacation," House replied dryly. "Besides, I've only been here for less than a day."

"I know. But we like to check up on everybody, have a talk, see how everyone's going. We're everyone's friend here."

"Great," House muttered under his breath.

The nurse either didn't seem to notice House's disinterest or he was choosing to ignore it. "My name's Andy. I work here on weekdays mostly. Sometimes on weekends if I need to fill in for weekend staff. Did anyone explain to you how our roster works?"

House turned to him, then pointed up to a board on the far wall. "Strangely enough, I can read. That includes rosters."

Andy fixed him with a pleasant smile. It seemed he was used to dealing with all kinds of patients, from the insane to the downright rude. "Good. It's good to see you've acquainted yourself with our programme. But allow me to explain a few things to you." House faced back to the window while Andy continued to talk. "We have two group therapy sessions a day and one one-on-one therapy session a day with your doctor. All patients are expected to be up out of bed by 7.30 at the latest every morning. We have a community meeting in the dining room that goes from 8 until 8.30, then breakfast. You're free to do what you want until the first group therapy session, which always commences at 9.30 and finishes around 10.30, which is when morning tea is served. Then you'll have your one-on-one session for an hour with your doctor, Dr. Megan Galbally. Then lunch, followed by another group session in the afternoon between 2.30 and 3.30, followed by afternoon tea.

"You're free to do what you want in your free time if you're not rostered on cleaning duties. The cleaning roster is up on the board over there--" House glanced quickly in the direction Andy pointed "--and you'll be expected to contribute when your day is on. Cleaning duties include tidying the common room, washing up any dishes in the sink, cleaning up after meals. It's nothing too strenuous, but it's something we put in place to keep people busy and to an element of normalcy going for everyone. Dinner is served at around 6.30, then TV time in the common room until 8.30. Everyone must be in bed by 9. You're not to leave the ward unless accompanied with a staff member. Do you have any questions, Greg?"

It was on the tip of House's tongue to make a remark about boot camp. He was starting to wonder why he'd agreed to this because he hated routine and he hated being constantly watched and told what to do. But he was the one who'd wanted to come here. He shook his head.

"Everything's going to be okay, Greg," Andy said after a short pause, a hand resting on House's shoulder.

House looked down pointedly at it, then up at Andy in a way that made it clear he didn't like being touched. "And how many times a day do you give pep talks to the inpatients? Enough times until they start to believe you?"

"It's not up to us to make you believe anything. We're only here to help you get better." Andy patted his shoulder, then stood up. "Dinner will be served shortly."

Andy patted his shoulder again, then stepped away from the table and left House to be on his own.