Disclaimer: Not mine. Certain parts are taken from Euphoria.
Author's Note: This lovely little plot bunny is the result of a conversation on the TWoP boards: what if Wilson had been infected during Euphoria? Many, many thanks to GranTorino for coming up with such an awesome scenario.
Chapter One: Infection
"Cop with a sense of humor. Differential diagnosis?"
Walking into the conference room, House waited until Chase had dropped his newspaper before tossing his ducklings each a copy of the patient's file.
"Guy's in the ER bleeding on everybody," he added, as they gave the files a quick once-over.
"Drugs," Foreman piped up, smirking.
"He's a cop," Chase protested.
"Good point," Foreman replied. "How about drugs?"
"Tox screen was clean," House interjected, as Chase heaved a put-upon sigh. "He did, however, get hit by a bullet. Just mentioning."
"He was shot?" Cameron demanded.
"No," House snarked, "somebody threw it at him."
"I'm thinking trauma," Chase spoke up. "He's got bullet fragments lodged in his brain."
"According to Babyshoes," Foreman said, reading from the chart, "the cop was laughing before he got shot."
"Babyshoes?" Cameron asked, skeptically.
"The guy who shot him," Foreman told her.
"Reliable witness," she muttered.
"His name's Babyshoes; how bad can he be?" House said.
He gestured impatiently, and Cameron handed him a pair of x-ray films, which he attached to the light board.
"Fragments are in the wrong part of the brain to cause euphoria," he informed the ducklings. "So let's expand the search, factor in the cough and the cloudy lungs."
"Why are we ignoring the elevated heart rate?" Chase asked.
"Because he's in shock," Cameron said, as though the answer should be obvious.
"What if his heart rate was already elevated before he got shot?" Chase asked, ignoring his colleague's attempt at sarcasm.
"You mean after the footrace?" Foreman asked, skeptically.
"He's giddy," Chase continued, "indicates a blockage of oxygen. Carbon monoxide would elevate the heart rate, causing coughing and impairing his neurological functions."
He turned to House for confirmation, but the other doctor was busy studying the CT films.
"He got carbon monoxide poisoning outdoors?" Cameron asked, her latest attempt at sarcasm coming closer than before.
"Yeah," House finally spoke up, "all 'cause those bastards didn't ratify Kyoto. Or, he got carbon monoxide poisoning indoors, and then moved outdoors before he inhaled enough to make him drop dead."
Turning to Chase, he continued, "Test his arterial blood gases. If his carboxyhemoglobin levels are higher than fifteen percent, stick him in a hyperbaric chamber."
"You," he added, turning to Foreman, "go check the cop car for gas leaks."
"If it was the cop car, his partner would be sick," Foreman pointed out.
"Well, maybe she is," House said. "She just doesn't have as good a sense of humor. Also, check his personal car, his work, his home."
"What about you?" Cameron asked, as they were getting up to leave.
"I'm going to be checking the precinct," House informed her.
Foreman shrugged into his jacket as he walked down the halls, the mystery of the giggling cop still on his mind. He was so lost in thought, he didn't realize he'd run into someone until the other person grunted in pain.
He dragged himself back to reality in time to see Wilson picking himself slowly up off the floor.
"You rushing off to a hot date, or something?" the oncologist asked, wryly.
"Sorry about that," Foreman apologized, helping him to his feet. "New case."
"And you get to break into their home and invade their privacy?" Wilson surmised.
"Something like that, yeah," Foreman answered. "And his cars, and the places he routinely visits in the course of his work."
"Sounds like you've got a full plate," Wilson remarked. "Why don't you let me take the patient's home for you?"
"Wait, you?" Foreman asked, in disbelief.
"Who do you think taught House to pick a lock?" Wilson confided.
At Foreman's absolutely flabbergasted look, he continued, "It comes in handy when you're invading your brother's privacy and don't want him to know about it."
"You know how to pick locks," Foreman repeated, still amazed at this new information about the mild-mannered Dr. Wilson.
"What am I looking for at the patient's home?" Wilson asked, not willing to be deterred from his mission.
"Uh, evidence of carbon monoxide poisoning, mainly," Foreman answered. "Other than that, anything that looks suspicious, such as-"
"I know what House considers useful evidence," Wilson interrupted him. "So, where is this place, anyway?"
Foreman told him, and then narrowed his eyes suspiciously.
"Wait, why are you so gung ho about offering to break into a patient's home?" he asked.
"One, I have no appointments of my own, at the moment," Wilson told him. "And two, Cuddy's on the warpath, and I'd like to be as far away as possible when all hell breaks loose."
Foreman smirked, understanding the feeling, perfectly.
"Blood tests confirmed you have low level carbon monoxide poisoning. We're putting you inside a high pressure chamber that-"
Chase cut off his monologue as he realized he was being ignored. Joe, still giggling wildly, was currently toying with the monitors attached to his chest.
"And you really don't care, do you?" he finished, sighing in exasperation.
"Do you live near a gas line?" Cameron broke in, speaking louder than normal to gain Joe's attention.
"Yeah, me after a huge enchilada," Joe answered, bursting into laughter at his own hilarity.
Chase found himself having to smother a laugh of his own with a hasty cough, and Cameron shot him a dirty look.
"Is there anything toxic that you have in your home?" he asked, recovering quickly. "Any paint solvents, anything unhygienic?"
"Uh, no," Joe answered. "I keep a pretty clean home."
Wilson was sure he'd never seen any place as dirty as the one he was in. It was a pigsty.
'Worse than a pigsty,' he thought, a second later. 'Calling this place a pigsty is an insult to pigs.'
He grimaced as he reached out with a gloved hand to pick up a paper plate that had mold growing on it. Breathing as shallowly as he could, he quickly deposited it into a sample bag, dumping it into the trash bag at his feet.
He moved through the rest of the house that way, collecting samples of anything and everything he came across. Soon, the trash bag was nearly full of sample bags, and he left it behind as he climbed out of the window onto the balcony.
Spying a nearby gas valve, he examined it, but could find no sign of a gas leak. Turning around, he saw a section of the wall that jutted out more than the rest, almost like a gate.
He pulled on it, to have it swing open in his grip, revealing a low-lit room, beyond. Stepping cautiously inside, he found himself looking at rows upon rows of marijuana plants.