Reviews for Fear of Fire Leaves You Cold
malpractice chapter 9 . 8/10/2014
I've already reviewed this story as a Guest, but I'm doing it again because I can't wait to see how you're going to deal with their future relationship. I'm dying for it, frankly. This story is insanely good, like a scary movie that I can't take my eyes off. There are parts where I'm deeply pissed off (like CHASE being all itchy) and next second I'm on the verge of tears. It's all coherent, though, you don't leave a thought for what it is, but it's explored.
You're one of the best writers in this community, and I absolutely love your work.
Keep up with all of it, for the sake of all fans. This is a masterpiece.
Bethany chapter 9 . 7/20/2014
This story is an incredible example of how characters and relationship dynamics can adapt in different yet appropriate situations that tie early arcs into a single, coherent narrative that remains committed to the source material all throughout. In fact, that's more than what I can say about Shore's near-revisionist approach to Season 8, which I watched more out of fan loyalty than actual investment. By paying lip service to the events of the crash as a means to getting out of the corner he'd painted himself (and the show) into, he managed the opposite by inadvertently turning Cuddy's absence into a pink elephant that loomed over much of the finale season. He forgot (or ignored out of simple convenience) that redemption involves more than paying the price demanded by society. In other words, it's not just about what one does but also about who one is. People make choices in life from the most mundane to the most momentous, and whatever decisions they make and whatever consequences arise from those decisions, both good and bad, rest entirely on the individual(s) responsible. They have to learn to confront those parts of themselves they've pushed away into darkness and be able to struggle with the knowledge and the shame of what they've done, not feign indifference while waiting for things to get sorted out properly.

While sympathetic to the corrosive effects of his suffering over the years, I've never been of the notion that House deserves mothering simply due to chronic pain, childhood abuse, a broken heart, or other such mitigating issues. He did what he did out of pure spite and frustration, violently lashing out at everyone and anyone around him, doling out as much devastation - literal and figurative - as possible, and damn the consequences as if what he'd done to Cuddy and company was an everyday occurrence. For me, there's no genuine redemption without struggle, no reconciliation without remorse, and no healing without pain. In the words of Joss Whedon, "Redemption is something you have to fight for in a very personal, gritty way. Some of my characters lose that, some stray from that, and some regain it." That's how I hope this story continues to operate. Good luck!
La Morenita chapter 9 . 7/17/2014
I honestly don't desire to spark controversy or rehash old debates, but what's up with Wilson dredging up that tiresome accusation about House's so-called "responsibility" for Amber's death? On one hand, it's reasonable to expect for the car crash and its immediate aftermath to raise deep wounds and bring to the surface painful memories for Wilson concerning Amber, arguably the only woman with whom he truly enjoyed a real adult relationship that wasn't just a connection based purely on neediness or dependency. Moving on is not necessarily moving forward, so the path to accepting death is not obvious and is certainly not brief or painless.

On the other hand, having said all that, it's still rather disingenuous of Wilson to accuse House of killing Amber. To reiterate and clarify, Amber, whom House did not call, elected all on her own to pick him up at the bar where he was located even though he had tried to contact Wilson instead; he did not force her to follow him onto the bus after he left the bar; he did not supply her the flu pills she took prior to the crash that ultimately led to multisystem organ failure; and he most certainly wasn't responsible for the bus driver seizing up and losing control. It was simply an unfortunate confluence of events that caused her demise. Moreover, House suffered a severe concussion due to head trauma, and yet, he risked his physical and mental health multiple times to reclaim his memories about the night of the crash for the sake of his "best friend" who was more than willing to sacrifice House's very life for a woman whom he'd only been dating for a few months at best. And when Amber died after all was said and done, he walked away after barely sparing a glance at House who was recovering after having lapsed into a coma. The stern estrangement that followed Wilson's departure was a profound low point for his character at his melancholic worst. In fact, it's impossible to forget Wilson's last words to House as he left him alone in his office after accusing him of being a terrible human being: "We're not friends anymore, House. I'm not sure we ever were."

So, how in the world is their friendship ever going to be mended with Wilson more than aptly demonstrating a firmly established - and highly selective - rancor toward House over the events of Amber's death? It's a challenge to make amends to someone who knows your deepest intimate wounds and yet grates them raw as a coping mechanism as shown in this chapter's confrontation between House and Wilson. Would it even be possible for them to reach out to each other and forge a new normal without Wilson holding the past - often unjustly and inequitably applied - against House whenever their relationship should encounter a rough patch?
Blue Jay McCoy chapter 9 . 7/14/2014
Your interpretation of House's possible path to redemption and reconciliation with Cuddy has left me pondering a lot of what-ifs about how differently Season 8 could've turned out if Lisa Edelstein had decided to stay on as a regular cast member or a recurring guest star. A quick Google search produced an old interview Shore gave some time before the series finale aired in which one of several questions that were posed to him caught my eye:

"Not to dwell on this, but do you think Cuddy should or could forgive House for his actions last season?

Could or should? Could, yes because she’s just as screwed up as he is. Should, maybe forgive but not forget. You’ve got to learn you know? I keep saying this, I don’t believe he was trying to hurt anybody, I believe he was trying to hurt her house."

Sadly, "House" had become an aging product that had about reached its commercial and creative shelf life by the time Lisa E. declined to come back. Looking over several other interviews Shore and the writers gave around that same period, it's clear they never fully grasped as to what they had gotten themselves into, or how far down the rabbit hole they'd fallen, while they preached in sweet oblivion about "breathing fresh air into the show" and "getting back to what made it great initially." As such, regardless of which way Lisa E.'s contract disputes with FOX could've gone, I seriously doubt Season 8 would've turned out being anything other than a meandering patchwork of half-baked subplots and underdeveloped storylines even with the option of her continued presence. God knows how much I and many others regret not being given a finale season as genuine, engaging, and polished as this story. I guess that's what fanfiction and writers like you are for.
mei lin chang chapter 9 . 7/14/2014
What a marvelous update you've given us! I especially enjoyed how you've pushed to the forefront the consequences of House's irresponsibility on Rachel's emotional health, unlike a certain Prince of Darkness who disregarded the issue completely with a throwaway comment about the little girl being "out of danger" at grandma's house when everything went pear-shaped. It's no wonder Rachel's swinging from one behavioral extreme to the other in this post-"Moving On" backdrop. I mean, she lost the security of a father figure along with her childhood home and any accompanying familiarity in the blink of an eye. And let's not forget that young children tend to be very attuned to emotional and verbal cues from the people and environment around them, which they absorb into the fabric of their identity. It's only reasonable for Rachel's irascibility to be a reflection of her mother's own inner volatility. As another commentator brought up in a preceding message, maybe it's time for psychiatric intervention before they each reach a tipping point. And with that, until the next update!
vourakis chapter 9 . 7/14/2014
No disrespect meant, but what exactly is Chase's beef with House? He's treating his former mentor like an organ monkey. Now that he has some skin in the game as the new Head of Diagnostics, it's reasonable to expect that Chase wouldn't want to offend Cuddy by appearing overly deferential to House. He also has opportunity to emerge from under the looming shadow of House and establish himself career-wise. However, he's lording over his ex-boss as if he were supervising some med-school lackey still wet behind the ears. I would expect that kind of behavior from Foreman, who's always had a chip on his shoulder. What's going on here between House and Chase?
Jazzy from Leon chapter 9 . 7/14/2014
It's probably too early in the development of the main storyline to talk about this, but would it be too much to ask if Blythe House will ever make an appearance? I know that House is a grown man who must accept the consequences of behaving badly and take responsibility, not just for his most recent actions and decisions, but for all the others he has made for much of his adult life. However, a part of me wishes that Blythe would eventually visit her son since she has the potential to start healing the oldest and deepest of his wounds and to allow him some measure of peace in knowing that his mother loved him enough to overcome her pride and accept some level of culpability for her passivity in the face of his abuse. Just because Blythe never presumably lifted her hand in anger or committed any acts of cruelty in the same manner as John House doesn't make her a good mother by default. Though John House should be rightly despised for the emotional and physical suffering that he visited upon his son during his upbringing, the pain that Blythe caused was no less acute regardless of her aura of maternal warmth. She had a role in cementing her child's inner world, whether out of genuine ignorance or willful disregard, for children tend to inhabit a vision of themselves as they mature that their parents - often unwittingly - place before them. Unfortunately, growing up in the House household was as far from healthy as one could fathom, perhaps even more so.

It wouldn't be a stretch of the imagination to say that the genesis of House's fiercely ongoing self-loathing and an equally critical self-regard was conceived from his struggles between a father to whom he could never measure up for a myriad of reasons too lengthy to discuss here and a mother who was outwardly loving yet assumed and discarded her parental responsibilities with as much forethought as a perpetual schoolgirl. Blythe never struck me as a shrinking violet who meekly walked in her husband's shadow, considering the sorts of things that she carried on behind his back. How much longer does House have to wait for his mother to wake up from her stupor and actually voice some scale of guilt in trying entirely too hard to enforce normalcy in a household that was anything but normal?
Terri chapter 9 . 7/12/2014
I am so embarrassed to admit that I've only recently discovered you and your works of fanfiction, especially now that the TV program has been off for what feels like forever. This is probably going to sound like a noobie question, and you don't have to provide an answer if you feel that doing so will spoil any future developments you've got planned for this story, but will Cuddy seek out professional help for her daughter...and perhaps for herself, too? It's obvious that Rachel's behavioral problems are becoming increasingly unpredictable and unmanageable, so the intervention of a psychologist or licensed therapist is something that should occur sooner rather than later. But what about for Cuddy? Her intelligence and ferocious determination to get what she wants have driven her professional rise, but the same qualities, combined with her emotional unpredictability, have contributed to a trail of personal disasters and failed relationships behind her. Right now, she's kind of floating in a void by refusing to confront the profoundly drastic changes that have occurred in her life. Something's going to give, and it isn't going to be pleasant.
Jacqueline C chapter 9 . 7/12/2014
Wilson's condemnation of House revealed more about himself than he had probably ever intended. Contrary to whatever distorted perspective Wilson now holds of his former friend, I don't subscribe to his notion of House as a nefarious puppet master that has been pulling his strings - and everyone else's for that matter - for far too many years. While neither condoning nor condemning his actions, House's varied intrigues as portrayed on the show may have turned out reckless and irresponsible at times, but they were usually borne out of professional or personal curiosity or, as was often the case, as a manifestation of private demons. He's never been omnipotent nor omniscient, regardless of his intense intellectual and artistic passions, so for Wilson to claim that House has "ruined" his life and that of those close to him is misguided at best and manipulative at worst. The essence of the matter is that Greg House is only a man - a very complicated one, certainly, who has committed innumerous errors in judgment - but fundamentally a man. He has never been, nor will he ever be, the be-all and end-all of anyone's suffering. Just my two cents, of course.
H.N. James chapter 9 . 7/6/2014
This chapter really served to highlight just how House's respective relationships with Chase, his ex-protege, and Wilson, his former best friend, have badly frayed to the point where it's just a matter of time before they come apart, if they haven't already gone past the threshold of shattering. In fact, virtually every interaction amongst this chapter's main protagonists was engagingly complex and layered - pure remorse tinged with grief and pain, with regret and disillusionment, with cynicism sharp as glass and just as cutting. Even the closer look at the emotional make-up (or rather, shake-up) of the remaining roster of characters elevated this update to a remarkably absorbing experience. Although Season 8 was occasionally impressive in both its technical merits and some highly charged performances, it felt like a bland, flawed retreading of familiar narratives and cumbersome subject matters. Thank you from the very bottom of my heart for helping me regain the zeal I previously held for [H]ouse and its titular protagonist, a fascination which I feared had permanently gone to pot after David Shore's creative oversteps. Take care and keep on doing what you do best, Duckie Nicks!
Mizzle chapter 9 . 7/6/2014
I don't know about everyone else, but I'm actually satisfied with the sort of scrutiny - and antipathy - to which House has been subjected following his conditional return to PPTH. For the record, I am sympathetic to his plight and have never held much interest in witnessing him weather through corporeal and incorporeal monstrosities. However, the situation in which he currently finds himself is truly a well-deserved Hell of his own making. House's stint in prison and the unpleasantries he suffered inside notwithstanding, those events shouldn't arbitrarily grant him personal absolution and forgiveness from those whose careers and private lives he drastically upheaved through sheer recklessness at the tail-end of Season 7. Despite what Shore and the rest of his staff may have deluded themselves into believing in their desire to "return to basics," paying your debt to society through incarceration does not necessarily wipe the slate clean nor does it mean that you're owed the right to pick up your life exactly where you left off. If House has to earn a place at the table, so the speak, without any foot-stomping or stonewalling or throwing up smoke screens, then so be it. It's about time his collective chickens come home to roost.

Apologies for going off on a tangent here, but what really stuck in my craw about Season 8 was how House's misdeeds were essentially winked-and-nodded away within a handful of episodes as everything else seemingly fell back into place for him (i.e., his friendship with Wilson, his association with his former fellows, his medical career and professional standing at PPTH, and even his love life). With the exception of Cuddy's sudden exit and Wilson's cancer diagnosis, the show's swan song felt like more of the same wrapped in hype and marketing. If only Season 8 had played out in the same vein as this story. Still, neither here nor there considering the show's been off the air for a little over 2 years now.
jaybe61 chapter 9 . 7/5/2014
Really great chapter, I feel so sorry for House.
Alexis Bach chapter 9 . 7/5/2014
Your insightfulness into the characters and how you've developed them through succeeding chapters, in their depth and breadth, is truly fascinating. This caliber of dramatic writing and compelling content is the sort that more often than not was sorely lacking during the August years of the show. Mais, c'est la vie, n'est-ce pas? Still, in your talented hands, upward and onward to new, exciting possibilities and a renewed passion!
Theresa Alvarez chapter 9 . 7/5/2014
"'...Who could have guessed what would occur? That makes total sense. All's forgiven. Let's have dinner tonight.' Wilson wasn't rolling his eyes, but he might as well have been."

I nearly laughed out loud when I read that part of Wilson's diatribe against House. It came off as a wonderful rebuke (if that was your intention) to the borderline surrealness of how effortlessly they patched things up and became lifetime friends again on the program. Thank goodness for your unparallelled writing skills vis–a-vis House and Wilson's slow reconciliation in contrast to how the show's scribes mishandled the situation at the end of "Transplant," which went beyond caricature and into the realm of irrelevance for a series I used to adore.
dmarchl21 chapter 9 . 7/4/2014
This was definitely a well written angst filled chapter. It was hard not to feel sorry for House although he was the cause of so much of the problems. Your update really communicated how even Rachel and Cuddy (and Thirteen) were seriously affected by House's misdeeds. I look forward to reading how thing will progress with them.

dmarchl
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