ext_117805 ([identity profile] whatstheddx.livejournal.com) wrote in [community profile] cuddys_house2009-07-24 11:09 pm

Earlier in the week: House's first official full day at Mayfield

ooc: I am going to write a few ficlets dealing with House in therapy. This is the first of them.

"Rise and shine, Greg," a voice announced loudly and cheerfully in the room.

House stirred and cracked his eyes open with a squint. Immediately, he was disoriented: a foreign room, a foreign bed, someone completely foreign standing over him. But in the next instant, it all came rushing back. He was in Mayfield. He'd been confined to his room all night, barely managing to get much sleep. In the early hours of the morning, he'd finally drifted off and had dreamless, restless sleep. And now, he felt like he'd hardly slept at all.

"Survive your first night alright?" the cheerful nurse asked. "I'm Tony, by the way."

House closed his eyes again and turned his head towards the wall. "Go away."

Tony chuckled. "Afraid not. It's 7.30. Rules are all patients have to be up by this time."

"Go. Away."

House startled as the bed covers were suddenly ripped off him. "Up you get, or you'll be late for your first community meeting."

House glared at him. "Do I look like I'm interested in attending your stupid community meeting?"

"It's not my community meeting, Greg. It's yours. I'm not the one who's here to get better."

With a great deal of reluctance, House sat up and scrubbed his hands through his hair and over his face. He waited for the nurse to leave him alone so he could huddle straight back under the bed covers again but it soon became apparent that the nurse wasn't going anywhere. He'd taken a seat on the chair by the desk, watching House expectantly. "What, you're gonna sit there and watch me get dressed?"

"No, I'm going to sit here and make sure you don't return to bed. Have a shower, get dressed and then I'll leave you alone so you can attend the community meeting."

House was beginning to feel like he was in prison. "Perfect," he muttered. But then he collected his cane and got to his feet. He fetched a towel from the linen rack out in the hall and went to the bathroom, where he had a hot shower. No more than seven minutes into the shower, however, a loud knocking rudely interrupted him and the nurse who'd been in his room called out for House to be done in four minutes or someone would be sent in to check up on him. Chagrined, House finished off his shower and got dressed as quickly as he could, if only to avoid the humiliation of someone catching him naked. He wasn't the slightest bit pleased to be greeted with the nurse's cheerful smile when he stepped out of the bathroom, dressed in sweatpants, a t-shirt and a hoodie, his pyjamas clutched to his chest.

"If you want to do laundry," the nurse said, "you can help yourself to the washing machines down the hall at any time."

"You mean this place doesn't come with hotel service? I demand a refund."

The nurse chuckled again. "The Mayfield is hardly the Hilton, Greg. I'll see you at the community meeting in twenty minutes."

He watched the nurse head down the hall and House sighed quietly in attempt to keep his temper under control.


"First things first," a female nurse who'd introduced herself as Audrey said. "We have a newcomer to our ward. Everyone, say hello to Gregory House."

House was slouched on one of the chairs by the dining table, fingers pressed to his forehead in attempt to ignore everyone else seated around the table. Nobody ignored him, however - they all turned to him and greeted in jumbled unison, "Hello, Gregory."

House peered at them all through his fingers with disdain. "Please," he replied in a cynical tone. "Call me McMurphy."

A couple of the patients frowned in confusion, but Audrey the nurse rolled her eyes. "Those Cuckoo jokes are old school around here, Greg. Please kindly contribute positively to the community meeting."

He dropped his hand away and fixed the nurse with an incredulous look. But then he relented. "Fine," he replied in a put out tone. He faced the other patients. "I'm Greg. I like to be left alone."

The patients eyed him but quickly turned their attention back to the nurse as she started to lead the meeting. Some of the patients looked about as enthusiastic about being at the meeting as House felt. Others seemed distracted. A couple of them were paying close attention to what Audrey was saying. House went right back to shielding his face away from everyone else and staring towards the window.

"Next thing we need to discuss..." Audrey said. "How's everyone feeling today? Let's take a moment to go around the table and everyone tell us in a few words how you're feeling."

"You can't be serious," House piped up, but he was quickly silenced by the stern look Audrey gave him. Slowly, the patients all shared their names and gave a small description of how they felt that morning. Answers ranged from 'okay' to mumbled responses House couldn't quite hear - not that he was very interested - until it finally came to his turn. He glanced around at all the people at the table uncomfortably, then crossed his arms over his chest and looked away with a creeping feeling of self-consciousness. "I'm Greg and I'm feeling fine."

"'Fine' isn't a feeling word, Greg," the nurse replied. "We only use feeling words when answering questions about how we are."

"A 'feeling word'?" he echoed. "What is this? Jesus camp?"

"No," the nurse said patiently. "We have a feeling words rule to encourage people to talk about their feelings in a safe and and encouraging environment."

"By making people feel like they're back in kindergarten again."

"Greg. Please stop wasting everybody's time and contribute positively to the meeting."

House gave the nurse a sharp look, then turned his head away to stare at the window. "I'm Greg," he said in a displeased tone, "and today I feel harassed and not the slightest bit interested in sharing my feelings with anyone."

Audrey pressed her lips into a thin line but let his answer slide for now. The remaining people around the table gave their input and House half-listened while his mind wandered to thoughts of Cuddy and how much he wished he could hide out in his room away from everyone. "Next on the list of things to talk about today," the nurse said once everyone was done, "is our cleaning roster for the week. Everyone's been doing their chores, which is very good. Greg, you'll be on cleaning roster every Wednesday, Saturday and Monday, with Justine and Thomas here." She pointed to a young woman and a middle aged man. House glanced at them. The woman gave him a friendly but timid wave, which he ignored.


"We have a few newcomers here," the psychologist said. "So, why don't we all start today's session by introducing ourselves. I'll start. I'm Tim."

"Hi, Tim," everyone, except House, replied.

"Let's start with our first newcomer, Greg. Greg, would you mind sharing with us a little about yourself?"

Slouched on the armchair, House looked around the small group of people in first therapy session, then at Tim. "I would mind, actually. But thanks for asking."

"Now, now," Tim said with a pleasant smile. "No need to be shy."

"I'm not shy. I'm just not interested in telling any of you people anything about myself. Just because I'm stuck in the cuckoo's nest with you all, doesn't mean I want to blend in with you."

"Greg," Tim said, leaning forward with both elbows resting on his knees. "I understand being in this situation must be difficult for you. But everyone's an equal here, including you. No one's here to judge you. So, I ask you again: would you mind sharing with the group a little about yourself. Your name, what you do, why you're here."

House worked his jaw and shifted in his seat, throwing furtive glances around the other people watching him. "I'm Gregory House," he began stiffly. "I'm a doctor. I'm here because ten months ago, I was shot by crazy lunatic in my office. Ironic that the guy who got shot is the one who ends up in the looney bin, as opposed to the guy who shot me."

"Is that the only reason you're here, Greg?" the psychologist prompted.

House looked at him. He knew what Tim was referring to and he wasn't going to discuss any of the issues surrounding his drug problems with everyone else listening. "That's the only reason I'm here."


"How have you been settling in, Greg?" the doctor asked, crossing her legs as she settled on her chair.

Again, House was slouched on his seat, knees spread and his cane resting between his thighs. He jiggled his good leg restlessly while he looked around the sterile but bright psychiatrist's office. "About as comfortably as it is to settle into a prison." When he received no reply from the psychiatrist, he glanced at her and saw she was studying him closely. "What, you're not going to give me a lecture about how I have to only refer to staying here in positive terms?"

She smiled. "This is one-on-one therapy, Greg. You can say whatever you want, positive or negative." She looked at his still jiggling leg. "You feeling anxious?"

He hadn't been aware of what his leg was doing but he stopped the moment the doctor drew his attention to it. "No. Just restless."

She nodded. "You sleep well last night?"

"Would you sleep well on your first night locked up in a psych hospital?"

"We're talking about you, not me."

"It was Socratic questioning."

"I'm well aware of what your answer was, Greg. How about you answer my question properly?"

"How about no?"

The doctor sighed. "You know, you can make this as difficult for yourself as you like. But it's only yourself you'll be making it difficult for. I'm here to help you, Greg. We all are. None of us are against you."

"What makes you think I think you're all against me?"

"Your constant defensiveness, for one. Your constant deflective answers. Your unwillingness to participate in anything."

"If you had to sit around the breakfast table with a bunch of neurotics, telling everyone how you feel by using 'feeling words', you wouldn't want to participate, either."

"You seem to have a problem with the way we run things here," the doctor observed calmly. "Unless you just have a problem with being here."

"Of course I have a problem with being here," House snapped. He then looked away because he knew he'd opened himself up to discussion without meaning to.

"Why is that, Greg?" the doctor asked. "If I recall correctly, you're the one who wanted to be here."

"Needing to be here and wanting to be here are two very different things."

"Okay. So, you have a problem with the fact that you need to be here. Let's talk about that."

"Let's not," House retorted.

The doctor ignored him. "Tell me about you needing to be here."

He studied a poster on the wall advertising a brand of drug and tried to pretend he hadn't heard the doctor. When he didn't answer after a good minute or two had passed, the doctor pressed on. "As I understand it, your partner is expecting a child very soon."

He nodded.

"How do you feel about that?"

He turned his gaze back to the doctor with a slight frown, then looked down at his good leg which he'd started jiggling again. "It doesn't matter how I feel. That kid's going to be born, no matter what."

"Yes, it does matter," she replied. "This is your baby. You must therefore have feelings about fatherhood. Or about your partner."

He shrugged uncomfortably.

"And I suspect your partner and your unborn child are part of the reasons why you're here. Am I correct or incorrect?"

He fiddled with his cane and looked up to the doctor. "How much do they pay you to ask stupid questions?"

"That's none of your business," the doctor replied easily. "Stop trying to change the subject."

He opened his mouth to make another comment but thought better of it. He closed his mouth again and then nodded, yes to her answer. He was here partly because of Cuddy and the baby.

"How do you feel about your partner? What's her name?"

"Cuddy." He then added when the doctor gave him a questioning look, "Lisa. She's always been Cuddy to me, though."

"Not 'Lisa'?"

"What did I just say?"

The doctor held her hand up in a placating manner, then dropped it back to her lap. "How do you feel about Lisa?"

"You realise your questions are getting dumber by the minute, don't you?"

The doctor fixed him with a look he wasn't sure how to decipher. It made him want to squirm in his seat. "It was a simple question, Greg," she finally said, then repeated, "How do you feel about your partner?"

"Why do you care about how I feel about my girlfriend?"

"Because if we can get you talking about something that matters to you, then maybe you'll see that talking about your feelings really isn't as troublesome as you seem to think it is."

House worried his bottom lip with his teeth and looked askance to the window, at the cloudy day outside. "She's my girlfriend. I'm with her for a reason. You do the math."

"I've already done the math. I'm more interested in your own equations, however."

"If you've already done the math, then that means we don't need to talk about it."

"No." The doctor folded her hands on her lap. "I don't think you have done the math regarding why you're here. You only think you have. I get that you're not comfortable being the doctor who's the patient. Which means we have a lot of things we need to talk about, for your sake. Not my sake, Greg. Your sake."

He kept staring out of the window, watching a lone black bird fly past. "I've done the math regarding why I'm here," he finally said after a long pause. "And I don't like what the equation might add up to."

The doctor waited patiently for an answer. When she didn't get it, she prompted, "And what might it add up to?"

He looked back to her. "That it doesn't matter how much help I get, I'll never be good enough."

"Good enough for whom?"

"My girlfriend. My kid."

She set her elbow on the chair's armrest and leaned her fingers against her temple. "Is that what they'd think or is that what you think?"

He opened his mouth but found he didn't know how to answer her question. He scratched his head, then ran his fingers through his thinning hair. "We done here yet?"

She sighed. She shook her head and sat forward to reach for his file. "Not until we discuss a plan for your medication."