([identity profile] wrote in [community profile] cuddys_house2009-07-30 10:42 pm

Afternoon, Thursday, 26 April

Cuddy pulled into a parking space as close to the entrance of Mayfield Hospital as she could find. She'd made the drive by herself this time. Wilson had protested, of course--he really did take his white knight delusion seriously--but she'd insisted. She was perfectly fine. Junior was happily incubating away and showed no signs of popping out any time soon. She knew that could change in a heartbeat but she didn't intend to spend the remaining days until the baby's birth staying at home because she might go into labor at any moment. She'd be fine, and as long as Dr. Patil remained ignorant about all her 'traveling,' everyone would be happy.

She hadn't actually planned on being back at the hospital just yet. Between her obligations at work and the fact House had his own obligations as far as therapy sessions went, she hadn't planned on visiting on weekdays. However, House's doctor had called on Monday and asked if she'd be willing to join one of his one on one sessions with her. Well, what could she say to that? Of course she'd do it if his doctor thought it would be helpful. It's not like they were asking her to donate a vital organ or something. All she had to do was talk.

She couldn't help being a little nervous, though, because she didn't know what to expect. She hoped the doctor would be able to give her some guidance on how she should deal with House's issues. She'd really, really like to have some guidance on that because she clearly didn't know what to do. But she didn't have any experience with psychiatrists from the perspective of a patient, or loved one of a patient, so she was a bit in the dark as to what would happen in this session.

She pulled herself out of the car, which wasn't all that easy when she had to extricate herself from the seatbelt and squeeze Junior out from behind the steering wheel. She retrieved a small tote bag from the back seat before heading to the entrance. She'd gathered up the things House had asked for, thinking the sooner he got them, the sooner he might feel a little more at ease. Of course, once she got inside, she had to let them search the bag to make sure she wasn't bringing in anything he wasn't allowed to have. She'd been careful about her choices, though, so it didn't take too long before one of the orderlies was taking her into the ward.

She'd arrived a bit early because she wanted to make sure she'd have a few moments with House before the therapy session. She wanted to be able to give him his things and maybe steal a hug or a kiss. She still felt guilty remembering how despondant he'd looked when she'd left on Saturday. She knew this was the best place for him but boy, it was hard to think about him feeling so lonely and lost.

The orderly got all chivalrous on her and carried the bag down the hall to House's room. He gave a sharp rap on House's door. "Vistor for you, Greg." Then he handed the bag to her and smiled before he walked away. "Have a nice visit, ma'am."

"Thanks." Cuddy turned the doorknob and opened the door just a little. She didn't want to intrude if he wasn't quite ready for a visitor. "House, are you decent?" she asked just as she poked her head in.

[identity profile] 2009-07-31 11:14 am (UTC)(link)
After lunch, House went back to his room to have a nap. His meds had been upped in dosage a couple of days previous, reigniting the side effects he'd had when he first started them, though to a lesser degree. He was sleepy and a little dizzy, and felt a little weak all over his body. Naps during the day were easier to slip into than sleeping at night; he fell straight to sleep within five minutes of lying down and was prodded awake by a nurse what seemed like only five minutes later, though it had turned out he'd been asleep for almost an hour and a half.

"Your therapy session with Megan is in ten minutes," the nurse told him.

House quietly groaned, rolling onto his back. He felt lethargic and his mouth was dry. And then he remembered, as he licked his lips in attempt to bring moisture back into his mouth, that Cuddy was going to be here any minute, to accompany him in the therapy session. Anxiety suddenly gripped his stomach. He didn't know how he managed to be talked into agreeing for Cuddy to attend one of his sessions. Megan, his doctor, had been the one to suggest it. He'd adamantly said no at first. But after she talked him through it, she managed to drag a reluctant agreement out of him, using words like, 'speedier recovery' and 'get out of here sooner' as a means of persuasion.

"Is Cuddy here yet?" he asked the nurse in a sleepy, croaky voice.

"Not yet. But I'll send her to your room when she arrives." The nurse left the room and House rolled over onto his other side with a yawn while he reached for a tissue on the nightstand. His nose was still congested from the prazosin. That particular drug hadn't been increased in dosage but it still had an effect on the blood vessels in his nose, making it run and seem like he had a cold. After blowing and wiping his nose, he crumpled the tissue up in his hand and just lay slack on his side, barely without much energy or drive to get up. He hated this deadened, heavy feeling so much. He hated feeling so lifeless and weighed down like the world was resting right on top of him.

Slowly, he pushed himself to a sitting position, cringing slightly as a small dizzy spell hit him. The spell passed quickly but he made no further move to stand or do anything except sit on the edge of his bed with his shoulders slumped, bleary-eyed, in his sleep-rumpled clothes, hair mussy from sleep and one side of his face with faint pillow lines down it. He cracked a wide yawn just as he heard a sharp knock on the door and despite how sleepy and unkempt he was, he instantly brightened a little when the nurse announced that Cuddy had arrived. Even if he was dreading the therapy session with her, he'd been looking forward to seeing her all week. It was the one bright spot in his week, at least.

"Not really," he replied, his voice still scratchy with sleepiness, as Cuddy opened the door. The moment he saw her face, he was instantly filled with gladness and all the feelings he'd had of missing her since he saw her last came rushing forth and squeezed his chest with an ache. The corners of his lips tugged up into a small smile. "When am I ever decent?"

[identity profile] 2009-07-31 05:46 pm (UTC)(link)
He frowned sleepily at her smile, then stretched his eyes wide open as if that would wake him up as she rested her hands on his shoulders and kissed his forehead. He tilted his chin up for the kiss and screwed an eye shut in protest when she ruffled his hair. "Is that how they greet people these days?" he remarked once she'd had her fun mussing his hair up.

While she picked up the tote bag to go through it, House cracked another wide yawn and rubbed his eyes. He needed coffee or something to give him a jolt awake. In a way, his lethargy was partly due to adapting to the sedate environment of the hospital. He got bored out of his mind very easily but he'd also come to rely on the hospital's routine. His body operated on clock work now, awake by the time he had to get up every morning, hungry by the times his meals were due to be served, and he felt disrupted if his routine was disrupted.

He raised his brows as he was handed the tissues and studied the box. He looked over at the other things Cuddy was pulling out; it was a demonstration of how boring and pathetic his days were that he found getting these things a novelty. He'd only been in here for almost two weeks, yet it felt to him like an eternity, with the same clothes, the same bareness every single day of having nothing he owned with him. He'd never been so glad to see his ipod and Gameboy before now. Even the toothpaste and laundry detergent was a small novelty.

He reached over for one of the medical journals to flip through it when Cuddy produced the coffee. "If he really thinks I'm sharing that with anyone, then he's forgotten who I am," he snorted. He lay the journal on his lap and reached for the coffee, grateful Wilson had sent the coffee along with Cuddy. He pried the lid open to smell it and couldn't help closing his eyes briefly in bliss at the aroma. "I'm definitely not sharing this," he said as he put the lid back on and set it on the nightstand.

He put the medical journal on the nightstand, too, just as Cuddy pulled an envelope out of her purse and produced a sonogram. He looked up at it, then took from Cuddy to have a closer look while she explained. "Huh," he said, staring down at it.

The baby's face was very clear, or as clear as babies faces looked on these things. He could make out the nose and the mouth, and its fingers were very clear. He looked at the date of the sonograph and realised Cuddy was literally one month away from full term. Between this and Cuddy telling him about her check up with Barbara, it only served to remind him how much he didn't feel a part of Cuddy's life while being in here.

He tried to shake that thought off. "I think the kid looks like you," he said, holding the sonograph up for Cuddy to see, though of course it was impossible to see what the kid actually looked like.

[identity profile] 2009-08-01 12:45 am (UTC)(link)
"The horns are concealed, I think," he replied, turning the sonograph back to him. He studied it again while Cuddy took a seat beside him. He wondered what the kid was going to look like, who it was going to take after. It would be hard to really discern even at birth, as newborns didn't have very defined features; they 'grew' into their features as they grew.

He leaned across to the nightstand to prop the sonograph up against the box of tissues, then sat back and looked at Cuddy. "Well, of course," he replied about Junior taking after him. "Lying down is boring. The world's way more interesting when Mom's walking around."

And by 'interesting', he meant that babies were lulled to sleep by movement, so Junior no doubt slept while Cuddy was busy during the day. He looked at her belly, then down at her hand on his leg. He stifled another yawn and raised his hand to rub it over his face, trying to rub away the lingering grogginess from his nap. How was he feeling? Old. He felt old and worn out. He looked old and worn out whenever he caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror. Haggard, deep-lined with wrinkles, burnt out, he felt every bit his 48 years of age.

"I'm peachy," he replied. He ran his hand through his mussed up hair. "Need a drink," he added with a slightly sour expression as he licked his lips again. "These meds make my mouth dry." They did, too. They made his mouth taste brittle and sour, particularly after he'd been asleep. He reached for his cane and pushed himself up. He stopped for a second while waiting for a mild dizzy spell to pass and then picked up the toothpaste Cuddy had brought him. "Gonna freshen up a bit, brush my teeth."

[identity profile] 2009-08-01 02:14 am (UTC)(link)
House went into the bathroom and moved up to the sink after he flipped the light on. He looked at his reflection while reaching for his toothbrush, not liking what he saw. Well, he never really liked what he saw when he looked in the mirror, but there was absolutely nothing appealing about how he looked right now. The fluorescent glow of the overhead light was harsh and only served to accentuate the bags under his eyes, the pasty wanness of his skin and his wrinkles even more.

He squeezed a large blob of toothpaste onto his toothbrush and started to scrub his teeth until a thick foam had formed in his mouth. He brushed up to his gums and scrubbed the toothbrush over his tongue to get rid of the bitter taste in his mouth that his medication left him with. He spat, scrubbed his teeth some more, and then rinsed his toothbrush off and cupped his hands under the running water and slurped it up to swill his mouth out. He splashed cold water over his face, too, and combed his wet fingers through his hair. By the time he turned the tap off, he felt fresher and a bit more alert.

He hit the lights on the way back into his room and stopped when he saw Cuddy had put all his things away. He clicked his tongue quietly, a little annoyed she'd done that, though he couldn't be bothered making much of an issue of it. Any shred of annoyance was instantly wiped away with a clench of anxiousness when Cuddy reminded him of the session.

In truth, he didn't really know what was supposed to happen or going to happen in this session, either. That was part of why he was so anxious about Cuddy sitting in with him. Megan had told him she simply wanted to see how Cuddy was dealing with everything and wanted to discuss aspects of House's condition and treatment with her. But he didn't know where any of it was going to lead.

He gave a one-shouldered shrug. "Something," he replied unhelpfully.

Just as he said that, there was a knock at the door. "Greg," said the same nurse who'd escorted Cuddy to his room. "Dr. Galbally's ready to see you now."

"What if I'm not ready to see her?" he retorted.

The nurse just gave him a look as if to say 'you say that every time'. House sighed and nodded begrudgingly. First, he went over to his nightstand and opened the drawer to pull out a sheet of folded up paper, which he put in his pocket, and then headed for the door without an ounce of enthusiasm. He waited for Cuddy to follow him and the nurse led them both down the long corridor, past the nurses' station and into an brightly lit office a few doors down. The whole trek down, House grew more and more anxious. Reaching the door, he saw Megan seated in her desk chair and she glanced up at him.

"Hello, Greg," she greeted pleasantly. She was a short, stocky woman with large hazel eyes and ginger hair cropped into a bob above her shoulders. She stood up when she saw Cuddy, looking pleased to meet her. "And you must be Lisa," she said, extending a hand to Cuddy with a smile. "Nice to finally meet you. I'm Dr. Megan Galbally. But please, call me Megan."

She gestured to a seat that had been pulled up opposite where House typically sat, so Cuddy would be facing him. "Please, take a seat," she told Cuddy, and she motioned for House to sit, too. She waved at the nurse who'd escorted them to leave and close the door, then took her seat. House sat down, already starting to fidget out of nervousness and sheer lack of wanting to be there. He jiggled his leg anxiously while rubbing his thumb across his eyebrow, not wanting to look at either Cuddy or Megan.

For the moment, Megan concentrated just on Cuddy, to make her feel welcome and put her at ease. She sat facing both House and Cuddy, assuming a relaxed pose with her legs crossed. "So, how long have you got to go?" she asked conversationally, waving at Cuddy's belly. "You must be feeling all crowded out."
Edited 2009-08-01 02:16 (UTC)

[identity profile] 2009-08-01 04:01 am (UTC)(link)
Megan nodded attentively, giving a sympathetic chuckle when Cuddy said she felt like a blimp. She watched the way Cuddy ran her hand over her belly and darted her eyes very quickly to House to observe him. Her eyes were back on Cuddy, though, as she went on to say about her pregnancy being worth it.

"That's good," Megan said warmly. "I know from experience how uncomfortable the final months can be. Having a positive attitude is really about the only thing that gets you through it, otherwise you'd crazy with sleepless nights and all the aches and pains that come with pregnancy."

She laughed lightly. She glanced at House again quickly; his demeanour hadn't changed, which wasn't anything new. He never approached any of his therapy sessions with positivity. If anything, he treated her like she was an enemy more than anything. Megan was an assertive doctor, however, and she'd dealt with plenty of difficult patients. House certainly wasn't the first difficult one she'd had, though he could be incredibly frustrating at times.

She turned another smile back on Cuddy. "Now, I'm not sure what Greg told you about the point in you coming in today," she told her. "I suggested you coming in and Greg agreed to it. But basically, what I'd like to discuss today with you - and with Greg - is Greg's therapy, and I'd like to get to know how you're feeling about everything. I mean, this clearly isn't an easy time for anyone and as Greg's partner, it's important that you be included in the healing process. Especially so close to having a family together."

She gave Cuddy a smile, then turned to House. "But we'll start with you first, Greg," she said. "How are you feeling today?"

House was still refusing to look at either Megan or Cuddy. He gave the same answer he'd given Cuddy: "Peachy," he replied.

Megan waited a moment to see if he'd offer anything and when he didn't, she said, "It must be good seeing Lisa. I know you've been missing her." She waited again and he nodded after a pause. She watched the way he was refusing to look at anyone and the way he was jiggling his leg. "Are you feeling anxious?"

"A bit."

"Are you feeling anxious having Lisa here?"

At last, he glanced at Cuddy, then at Megan. Reluctantly, he nodded.

"Why's that, Greg?"

"Why do you think?"

"I don't know," she replied, unfazed by his snippy tone. "I'm a doctor, not a mind reader."

She waited patiently for him to answer. After a few moments, he shifted in is chair and sighed. "I'm anxious because therapy isn't easy. Definitely isn't easy with my significant other in the room."

Megan nodded. She decided to leave it there with him for the moment, to give him a chance to try and calm his nerves, and she turned to Cuddy. "How have you been coping with everything? It must be a big, unsettling change for you, too, what Greg's going through."

[identity profile] 2009-08-01 12:54 pm (UTC)(link)
Though it seemed like House wasn't listening to what Cuddy was saying, he actually was. He studied the painting up on the office wall that he studied every time he was in this office, his leg still jiggling up and down while he rested his elbow on the chair's armrest and had his chin propped on his knuckles. Not for the first time, as he listened to Cuddy, he got that same weird forgotten feeling, reminded all over again that she and everyone else got on with their lives without him around. He didn't really have the luxury of being busy to distract himself with - almost every minute of every day he was aware of where he was and why.

"Absolutely," Megan agreed, nodding at what Cuddy was saying. "It must be very hard for you, especially considering the circumstances--" she gestured to Cuddy's belly "--but you're right. Greg is safe here and he's getting the help he needs.

"And Greg and I have worked out a plan about his stay here," she continued. "We've talked a bit about what he wants to achieve in here and where to go from here when he's ready to leave. The plan that's in place is that he'll be here until he's settled on his medication, until we've got the nightmares under control and his mood picks up. As well as working here, I have a private practice about fifteen minutes out of Princeton; once I feel Greg's ready to leave, he'll be under my care with ongoing weekly therapy sessions at my practice."

Not wanting to get too sidetracked, Megan turned to House. "And you're happy with that, aren't you, Greg?" She waited for him to acknowledge her and when he nodded, she continued. "I take it you listened to what Lisa had to say. How do you feel about what she said?"

House looked at her and made a shrugging motion with his hands. "What am I supposed to feel? Happy?"

Megan fixed him with a bland smile, silently communicating to him that she wasn't going to tolerate his bullcrap. "This will go in everyone's favour, including yours, if you contribute to this session."

"I am contributing."

"Contribute constructively. If you don't want to contribute constructively, then tell me why you're choosing not to."

Sometimes, House really hated Megan. He drew in a deep breath and looked away as he exhaled. "What am I supposed to feel?" he said again, in a relenting tone this time. He looked back to Megan. "Glad that Cuddy's supportive? Sure. I'm glad she's supportive. But I'm in here. I'm not particularly happy that Cuddy's got to see me in here. I'm not at all happy that I might still be in here when my kid is born. How's that for an introduction to fatherhood? Locked up in a mental asylum while my girlfriend gives birth to our kid and has to keep on 'coping' and pretending she's perfectly okay with me being in here."

He looked away. All of that had come out in a rush, his tone getting more worked up with each word. Megan regarded him silently for a moment and then she turned to Cuddy. "Lisa, what are you hearing Greg say?"

[identity profile] 2009-08-01 10:41 pm (UTC)(link)
When Cuddy turned her attention on House as she spoke, Megan stole the opportunity to observe him as well. Though it was brief, he looked directly back at Cuddy, a non-verbal sign that he was at least listening. She nodded in agreement when Cuddy returned her attention to her. "No, there's definitely no 'good' time for something like this, but it's a good thing that Greg recognised he needs help and decided to take the step to be here."

Then she explained, "The reason I asked you is because it's important that Greg hears it coming from you and not just me. It's very easy, and quite typical, for a patient to feel disconnected from their loved ones while in hospital, doesn't matter how often their loved ones visit. And that's part of the reason why I wanted you to come in today because therapy is about open communication, which is extremely important in the recovery process. And also, therapy is about bridging a gap - or many gaps - in a patient's mental wellbeing and it's important that Greg is reminded that you're with him every step of the way."

House rolled his eyes to himself. It bugged him how Megan could pinpoint certain things about him with accuracy. He didn't like acknowledging that she was right, which landed him in a fair few confrontations with her. She was the no-bullshit kind of therapist who was also annoyingly polite; the combination got on his nerves at times, especially when Megan didn't let him get away with anything.

"Greg, how do you feel about what Lisa just said?" Megan asked.

House looked at Megan, then at Cuddy. He shrugged. "Good, I guess," he replied. "At least someone doesn't think I'm a failure."

"Who else do you think would?"

House could think of a couple of people. But he answered, "What other people think isn't the point."

"Then what is the point?" Megan asked patiently. She waited for an answer and when he didn't say anything, she prompted, "Is that what you think of yourself?"

"No," he replied sarcastically. "I think I'm awesome."

Megan just nodded. Over the past couple of weeks of therapy with him, she'd learned that House was the kind of person whose answers had to be decoded through his deflections. But that meant it took extra effort to drag the honest truth out of him. She thought about asking him why he didn't believe Lisa but it was clear he was being uncooperative. She decided to try a different approach.

"Lisa," she said, turning back to Cuddy. "I've gotten to know Greg over the past couple of weeks but I'm interested to know how you see him. Tell me about Greg. Who is he to you? What do you love about him?"

[identity profile] 2009-08-02 03:34 am (UTC)(link)
House hadn't been expecting the questions Megan asked, either. If she'd been trying to get him to snap to attention, she succeeded. They were the sorts of questions that made him want to squirm but he still couldn't help being very attentive as to what Cuddy had to say.

He glanced between Megan and Cuddy while Cuddy took a moment to form her answer, then snorted quietly when she said he was a pain in her ass. Well, he'd always known that. She could be a gigantic pain in his ass, too. Frustrating and stubborn and way too headstrong sometimes.

Megan nodded, listening but also agreeing with what Cuddy said about House being frustrating. It didn't affect her in the way it probably did Cuddy - it was her job to help get him on the road to recovery but ultimately, that road he took was up to him to walk on. If he didn't want to do the therapy, if he was determined to sabotage it and himself, there was little she could do except try and talk him through it.

She turned her gaze to House to watch his reaction once Cuddy had finished talking. He was looking at Cuddy, a more thoughtful expression on his face than he'd had a few moments ago. She returned her attention to Cuddy. "It's good to hear your thoughts on him. Hearing a partner's view on how they see their partner is always helpful for me as a therapist, as it paints a bit more of a rounded picture of who Greg is besides what he lets me see in therapy."

She would turn her focus back on Greg soon but for now she was interested in what Cuddy had to say, and also had hope that engaging Cuddy in open discussion might coax House into opening up, too. She uncrossed her legs and crossed them again the other way, and settled her hands on her lap. "So, you've told me a bit about who Greg is to you, what you see in him and you mentioned that Greg is his own worst enemy."

She paused to work out how to properly phrase the question. "What would you like to see Greg get out of therapy and being in Mayfield? What are some of the things that concern you about him as his partner?"

[identity profile] 2009-08-02 12:52 pm (UTC)(link)
Boy, Megan wasn't wasting any time, House thought to himself. Maybe he could get away with the entire session without really having any confronting questions directed at him for a change. He doubted that, though. Megan always had an intention in mind when asking questions and he knew it would come back to him sooner or later.

Though the attention was still on Cuddy, the attention was really on him as she answered Megan's question about what she hoped he'd get out of being in the hospital. He was back to fidgeting slightly, darting his eyes only fleetingly at Cuddy while she looked right at him. He got particularly uncomfortable when Cuddy raised the issue of the Vicodin and he didn't know where to look as she went on to say about how his way of dealing with issues hurt her.

"And that's definitely why he's in here. Or part of the reason, anyway," Megan agreed. "So Greg can learn strategies and coping skills which are beneficial to him and to those around him." She nodded and then laughed lightly to ease the mood a little. "You must feel like I'm bombarding you with questions," she added. "I understand this must be pretty full-on for you. But I want to try and address as many issues as we can in a single session. And in fact, if Greg's okay with it, I'll probably ask you to come back in for another session or two because there are a lot of things to cover. I won't even go into them now; I'll leave that to the end of this session, otherwise we'll get sidetracked."

She gave Cuddy a warm smile, then turned to House. "Would you be okay with having another session with Lisa a little down the track?"

House tensed slightly now that the attention had swung back to him. "Let's just get through this one first."

"Of course. We don't even need to discuss that this session if you don't want to. It's something we can talk about another day." She shifted in her chair. "What do you think about Lisa's thoughts on you being in here?"

"I think I've been enlightened," House replied sarcastically. Megan didn't react; she just watched him impassively, waiting for him to respond properly. He let out a relenting sigh and looked down to his lap. He was still jiggling his leg and he was twiddling his thumbs where his hands were resting on his thighs. "Cuddy is right," he conceded. He awkwardly drew in a deep breath and looked over at Megan. "I'm in here because... I thought I was coping."

"What made you realise you weren't?"

"We've been over this."

"I know we have. But I think it's important that you talk to Lisa about these things, too."

"She knows what made me realise I wasn't coping," he retorted.

"Does she?"

He stared at Megan, another stab of intense dislike for her burning in him. He didn't want to relive that Friday night she'd found him on the floor with the empty pill bottle. He didn't want to relive any of the moments in the past several months where he'd lost grip of himself. He sniffed and rubbed his nose. "I didn't want to become an addict again," he admitted reluctantly. "But I was slipping back into old habits."

"When did you realise you were starting to do that?"

[identity profile] 2009-08-02 12:52 pm (UTC)(link)
pt.2... stupid LJ limits

"What, ending up in here isn't a good enough hint?"

"You made the decision to come here," Megan reminded him. "No one else made that decision for you."

He fidgeted his fingers together. He glanced at Cuddy, then looked away. "I knew all along. But I thought it was something I could manage on my own."

"Is that part of the reason why you feel like a failure for ending up in here? Because you thought your way of coping would work?"

"My way of coping never worked," he said, looking back to Megan. "But it helped me manage."

"So, you feel like a failure because you didn't feel you were managing," she surmised.

"If I was managing, I wouldn't be here."

She nodded. Then she gestured to Cuddy. "How does it feel to hear what Lisa had to say about you?"

He replied dryly, "That I'm a huge pain in her ass? I can't think of a bigger compliment."

"Does that remark bother you?"

"Why would it? She's a huge pain in my ass, too."

"She can't be that much of a pain in your ass if you're willing to have her here today," Megan said. "It was your decision to have her attend this session, not mine."

He looked over at Cuddy. He sniffed, his nose starting to run again, and turned his gaze away, Megan's remark unanswered. Megan decided the lull was a good point to bring Cuddy back into the conversation. She looked at her. "Is there anything you'd like to say to Greg at this point?"

[identity profile] 2009-08-02 04:14 pm (UTC)(link)
Megan frowned slightly, listening to Cuddy talk. She was glad, however, when Cuddy turned her conversation towards House instead. That had been part of the point of this session, after all - not just for Megan to gauge the 'other side' of the story, so to speak, but for House to have a chance to have open conversation with Cuddy now that he was in therapy.

House frowned when Cuddy turned to him to talk. "I am letting them help me," he argued. "What, do you think I'm here to have fun? So I can have a vacation?"

"Greg," Megan quickly interjected. She'd learned over the last couple of weeks just how confrontational and argumentative House could get. The quickest way to diffuse him, she'd found, was to intervene before he got a chance to get too worked up. "I don't think what Lisa was implying was meant to be an attack. She was merely expressing a concern."

"But she's not here to see what I do or don't get up to in these sessions," he said, turning to Megan. "How would she know whether I'm letting you quacks help me or not?"

Megan gave a patient sigh. She was getting used to the different barbs House threw at her, not that she hadn't heard all kinds of insults in the past already. "Because she knows you. I doubt she'd make such a statement if there wasn't any truth to it."

House muttered under his breath and turned towards Megan's desk to swipe a tissue from the box to blow his nose. Megan waited until he'd finished doing so before she asked her next question. "I'm interested to know why you got so defensive at what Lisa said to you."

"Of course you are," he said under his breath, wiping his nose again.

"What is it about Lisa expressing concern for you that bothers you?"

"It doesn't bother me."

"You seemed pretty bothered just then," she pointed out.

"Because..." House let out an exasperated sigh. He looked down at the tissue in his hand. A moment later, he looked back up to Cuddy. "Because it bothers me that you doubt me," he said to Cuddy. "If I didn't want help, do you think I would stay here? Yes, I made the decision to come here. I also have made the decision to stay here. I even made the decision for you to be here today. This isn't going to happen overnight. I'm still trying to deal with the fact that I've hit the point that I need to be in here. I feel ashamed that I'm in here. I'm ashamed that I've hurt you. Us. Do you think I enjoy sitting around, discussing my failures and my flaws, and that I'm faced every single day with the fact that I'm here because of those failures and flaws?"

[identity profile] 2009-08-03 12:11 am (UTC)(link)
House watched Cuddy with a hard expression. His heart was thumping a little faster and his throat felt a little tighter, and he was determined to hold back whatever was building inside him. But as Cuddy explained herself and explained what she was thinking, his expression faltered. He swallowed thickly and looked down as she sat back with a shaky sigh. He was silent by the time Cuddy finished talking.

Megan was looking between Cuddy and House the whole time and she observed the change in House's composure. She waited for him to respond. "Greg?" she prompted. "What do you think about what Lisa just said?"

He still stayed silent for a few moments. He was trying to sort through his thoughts but it was hard when the feeling inside him was slowly building in pressure, making his throat feel even tighter and his chest to feel constricted.

"Greg?" Megan prompted again gently.

He looked at her, then at Cuddy. "I'm trying to believe this will work, too," he said. "I know what I'm like. The reason I chose to come here is because I know what I'm like."

Megan waited again for House to continue. When he didn't, she asked, "And what are you like, Greg?"

"Destructive," he snapped at Megan. "Miserable. Stubborn. I push people away. I'll do everything it takes to shut people out."

"Even someone you love?"

"I've done it once before. Pushed someone I loved away until she left me."

Megan nodded. "Are you afraid you'll do the same to Lisa?"

"I already have," he replied sharply, his voice a little louder.

"Why do you think that?"

He gestured to Cuddy with an anguished throw of his hand. "Do you think she'd be telling me she's scared to death of losing me if she didn't already feel like I was pushing her away? She doesn't even believe this is going to work, that me being in here is going to work."

"It sounds like you don't believe that, either," she pointed out. "If you don't have faith that you can pull through this, why should Lisa believe you when you tell her not to doubt you?"

House stared at Megan. He tried to think of an answer but he realised she'd led him right into a dead end. He licked his lips and looked down, then shook his head. "I don't know," he murmured.

Megan leaned forward. She stretched a hand out and laid it on his knee to get him to look at her. When he did, she drew her hand away again. "You may not like hearing this but Lisa is right. The only enemy you have is yourself. I'm not your enemy; I'm on your side. Lisa is on your side, too. Have you thought that maybe the reason she tells you these things isn't because she's doubting you, but because she's on your side?"

She nodded towards Cuddy. "In fact, it sounds to me like Lisa has a lot of faith in you. I'm pretty sure that if she didn't have faith in you, she wouldn't be sitting here, telling you that she's afraid of losing you."

"How is that faith?" House shot back.

"It's faith, Greg, because she hasn't given up on you." She looked over at Cuddy with a prompting look, giving Cuddy the chance to voice anything she might want to say.

[identity profile] 2009-08-03 02:04 am (UTC)(link)
Megan let Cuddy speak, moving her gaze between her and House. When she'd finished talking, Megan waited for House's response, if he had one. Again, she had to prompt him. "How do you feel about what Lisa said? Do you feel what she's saying is at all unreasonable?"

He slowly shook his head.

"Do you believe Lisa when she says she's willing to do whatever she can for you?"

He hesitated, then nodded.

"Tell me about that. Why do you believe her when she says that?"

He turned to Megan. "What, you're saying I'm not telling the truth?" he asked defensively.

She held her hand up. "No. That's not what I'm saying. I'm simply trying to guide the conversation."

House sighed. He lifted a hand and rubbed his chin and his forehead. That tight feeling was still squeezing at his chest. Part of him wanted to simply get up and leave the room. Part of him wanted to get up and approach Cuddy and pull her close to him because he didn't know how to convey how he was feeling or thinking.

"I believe her because--"

"Don't talk to me about this," Megan interrupted. "Tell Lisa. She needs to hear it more than I do."

He looked over at Cuddy. He jiggled his leg and fidgeted his hands together before he sat a little straighter. "I know you're willing to do whatever you can for me. For us. I know this because... you've stuck by me much longer than I deserve. That either means you're very stupid... or it means you love me deeply."

"Why would her sticking by you be stupid, Greg?" Megan asked.

"Because... I've lost count how many times I've hurt her," he admitted to Megan. "Why would someone stick around someone who hurts them all the time?"

Megan glanced at Cuddy, then back to House. "Greg, did you listen to what Lisa said about you earlier? About the things she loves about you?"

"Yeah. Said I was a pain in the ass."

"She said more than that, too," she replied pointedly. "She told me a number of good things about you. She said you're funny, passionate, creative, loving." House wanted to squirm. He clasped his hands together tightly on his lap. "Do you really think she'd say all those things about you if she didn't love you?"

"I know she loves me," he argued.

"Then why did you focus on the one negative thing she said about you? That you're, as she said, a pain in the ass?" She waited for him to respond, then prompted, "Is it because you have a hard time believing there are good things about yourself?"

"Of course I have a hard time believing it," he snapped at her. "I don't even like myself. I hate myself. I hate who I am. I hate..." He looked away with a slightly shaky sigh.

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