ext_117805 ([identity profile] whatstheddx.livejournal.com) wrote in [community profile] cuddys_house2009-08-11 10:13 am

Wednesday 2 May - Friday 4 May

"House," the nurse announced as he walked into the common room. House craned his neck to look over his shoulder from where he was seated on the armchair in front of the TV. The nurse held up an envelope. "Mail for you."

He walked over to House and held it out for him to take. "Don't forget you're on cleaning duties tonight."

"Yeah, yeah," House replied dismissively. He took the envelope. His stomach did a small flip at recognising Cuddy's handwriting scrawled on the front. He looked back up to the nurse. "You can go away now."

The nurse rolled his eyes but walked off. House lay the letter on his lap and returned his attention to the television. He wasn't sure he wanted to open it. God only knew what Cuddy had written to him. She'd said in the therapy session the week before that if she wrote him a letter that detailed everything she wanted to say to him, it would be a novel, which hadn't made him feel the slightest bit positive. He tapped his feet in a fidgeting manner on the floor and drummed his fingers on the armrest, trying to ignore the letter on his lap. But with each passing second, he grew more and more curious until he couldn't stand wondering what it said anymore. He grabbed his cane, shifted off the armchair and headed out of the common briskly to go to his room.

Once he reached it, he shut the door behind him and leaned back against it. He hooked his cane over his forearm and dug his thumb under the envelope flap to tear it open. His heart sped up a little as he pried the letter out and opened it and the very first thing made him frown in surprise. Snugglebunny? She was still going on about that? "I am not a snugglebunny," he muttered under his breath, not that Cuddy would of course hear him.

The unexpectedly light-hearted manner in which Cuddy had started the letter, though, put him a little at ease. He started to read the rest of the letter, slowly limping further into the room until he was by his bed. He sat down, put his cane aside, and re-read the letter again. It was a lot shorter than he'd expected. He'd expected a letter several pages long, double-sided, crammed with all sorts of issues Cuddy had with him. Instead, she'd only truly addressed one major issue, the one that was hardest for either of them to negotiate around. After he read the letter a third time, he sat in silence for a little while.

He wished Cuddy was here with him right now, so he could talk to her about the letter. Well, argue with her about the letter, more accurately. The issue of Judaism never failed to get his hackles up. But being she wasn't here, he had no choice but to churn the letter over and over in his mind. Eventually, he folded the letter and tucked it back into the envelope and reached over to the nightstand to put it away in the drawer. His eyes landed on the ultrasound picture Cuddy had brought in for him and he plucked it up before scooting back onto the bed to lie down on his back. With an arm tucked under his head and his ankles crossed, he held the sonograph above him and stared at it.


*


"Do you want to talk about what Lisa wrote in the letter?" Megan asked.

It was afternoon on a Thursday, one week since Cuddy had been here for the therapy session. After a fair bit of poking and prodding from Megan to get him to talk, he'd finally told her that Cuddy had sent him a letter the day before. It had been on his mind ever since he read it. In fact, Cuddy and the baby had been on his mind a lot since the session the week previous, even more so because it was less than three weeks away now until the baby was due. House felt like he was fast running out of time; the more time passed and the closer time was approaching Cuddy's due date, the less optimistic he was becoming about his chances of getting out of here before the baby was born.

He shrugged. "Not really," he replied.

Megan studied him. "Would you prefer it if I read it? That way, you don't have to explain anything to me if you don't want to."

He shook his head. The letter was private. He never wanted anybody to set eyes on it. But being Megan was pressing him for answers about it, he knew he was going to have to say something. "It was short. A lot shorter than I thought it would be." Megan nodded, encouraging him to keep talking. "She, uh, she didn't say a whole lot. She mainly talked about the whole Judaism issue. You know... her reasons for wanting our kid to be Jewish."

Megan nodded again. "And that's something you feel quite strongly about, isn't it?" It was his turn to nod. "What were the reasons she gave?"

"Culture and heritage. Wanting our kid to be part of something bigger. What growing up in the Jewish community meant to her."

"How do you feel about the reasons she gave?"

He shrugged again. "Being part of something bigger isn't worth getting your foreskin lopped off for. The only reason it's performed is because 'God commanded it'. That isn't a good enough reason to go ahead with a completely unnecessary procedure."

"That's assuming it's a boy," Megan pointed out. "What if it's a girl? No real ritual is done for girls, apart from a naming ceremony."

"Yeah. Which the dad has to partake in. I don't want anything to do with it."

"Then don't. Perhaps the compromise you need to reach is to allow Lisa the opportunity to let your child be involved in the Jewish community, but that's not something you have to be involved in. You're only objecting because that's what you want. But what about what Lisa wants? What about what this child may want?"

"The kid's not going to care," he retorted.

"Not now. But maybe he or she will in years to come. Every child deserves a right to choice. And look, I'm not telling you what to do," she added, noticing House was getting defensive. "I'm simply playing devil's advocate. It sounds to me like this is an issue that's very important to both you and Lisa, but for different reasons. Your reasons are just as valid as Cuddy's reasons. But she's told you her reasons and there's no harm in considering where she's coming from."

House frowned at Megan. He'd wanted Megan to take his side. Well, she hadn't exactly taken Cuddy's side, either, but he'd hoped she'd agree with him that things like circumcision were unnecessary.

"And maybe you can discuss it this weekend," she went on to say. Megan smiled at him. "You've made enough progress that I'd like for you to have weekend leave. Go home for the weekend. If you want to, that is."

His brows shot up in surprise. "Really?"

She nodded. "Really. The only condition is that you have someone with you at all times. Not to keep an eye on you, but to be a support and to contact us if need be, in case something goes wrong. Which I'm pretty sure nothing will. But it's just a standard precaution we like to take because a lot of patients find it hard to adjust to being outside the hospital after being here for so long."

He hadn't expected Megan to tell him this at all. Immediately, his mood lifted a little. "When can I leave?" he asked eagerly.

Megan chuckled. "It's weekend leave, so you're free to leave any time tomorrow and you're free to return at any time on Sunday before eight o'clock at night. And if the weekend goes well and they're are no problems... then we can probably look at discharging you next week."

House's eyes widened. "Seriously?"

"I'm a hundred percent serious. You have a long way to go with therapy but you've been in here for about three weeks now and I'm confident you've reached a level of stability where it would be safe to send you home and for me to continue seeing you as an outpatient. And if that doesn't work out, if you need to come back in here for a while longer, I can readmit you. But that's not something to worry about - that's simply a backup plan just in case." She smiled again. "How do you feel about that?"

House was a bit overwhelmed by the news, not expecting this turn of events at all. "Um. Good. Really good. I'm dying to get out of this hellhole."

Megan snorted lightly. "Well, in that case, we better start putting together a plan for your return home."


*


"You're late," House accused as Wilson entered his room.

Wilson threw his hands out. "It's Friday. Peak hour traffic. Not a lot I can do about that. Besides." He looked at his watch. "I'm only half an hour late."

"That's an extra half hour wasted and an extra half hour I don't want to spend in here."

"Yeah, well I'm here now, so you can quit your bitching." Wilson gestured to the bag on House's bed. "You packed and ready to go?"

House nodded. He got up from where he was sitting on the side of the bed and grabbed his backpack. "Yeah. Let's get me outta here."

House led the way out of the room. He hadn't packed a lot of things for his trip home for the weekend - just a couple of changes of clothes and a few of the items Cuddy had brought in with her. He stopped by the nurses station on the way to collect his medication for the weekend. The nurse handed over a sheet of paper to Wilson with phone numbers listed on it. "This is the direct number to this ward," he told Wilson. "And also an emergency contact number should anything go wrong. Feel free to call us at any time if you have any concerns. You, too, Greg."

House wasn't really listening. He was too intent on getting out of the hospital to go home. He was anxious to see Cuddy, too. He'd phoned her the evening Megan had told him he could leave for the weekend and made arrangements to stay in his apartment with her. The arrangement was Wilson was going to drop him home and Cuddy would turn up whenever she got off work. Megan had instructed him to take it easy and to not do anything too stressful or strenuous; "a quiet weekend", she'd told him. He'd wanted to stay at Cuddy's place but Megan had pointed out that it was best for him to spend the weekend in his own environment, being that was the environment he was going to be returning to for good the following week, should everything go to plan.

"Come on," he said impatiently once the nurse had finished giving Wilson information on contact numbers and ehat to do in the event that House needed to come back to the institution earlier than planned. When they reached the main doors, House stepped out into the warm afternoon and followed Wilson down to his car. During the trip back to Princeton, House spent most of it giving Wilson a running commentary on all the nurses at the hospital and cynical observations about the other patients, all of which Wilson either rolled his eyes at or laughed in amusement, glad that House seemed to be slowly returning to normal. Eventually, Wilson pulled into House's street and parked up several doors down from his apartment.

"I'll come in with you," Wilson said, unbuckling his seatbelt.

"What for? I don't need a babysitter," House argued. But that was the only argument he put up. He climbed out of the car and left Wilson to fetch his bag, while House walked up the steps to open the door. He was greeted with familiarity all around him when he entered his apartment. He'd missed his apartment, his own space. He was pretty sure he'd never felt so glad to be home. The apartment smelled slightly musty, an obvious sign that it hadn't been lived in for a while.

"Do you need me to run down to the store to get you anything?" Wilson asked, trudging in after him with his bags. He dumped them on the floor by the door. "If Cuddy's staying here the weekend, you're probably going to need food. I can't imagine your fridge is remotely safe to go near right now."

"I'll order in takeout," House replied, heading to the kitchen.

"But what about tomorrow morning? Breakfast? Lunch?"

House opened the fridge and immediately realised Wilson was right. "On second thoughts, make it snappy," he called out.

"What do you need?" Wilson called back.

"Everything."

"Alright," he heard Wilson sigh. "I'll be back shortly." With that, House heard the front door close.

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