The Four Horsemen on 13
Not a sequel to "What dreams may come" but the brotherhood, if you can call it that, that was formed at the end of that story is meeting over a game of poker and they discuss recent events from "You don't want to know".
No need to read WDMC, just know that House chose Chase to be his doctor because his friendship with Wilson was adversely affected by Wilson being his prescribing doctor. Also Henry is working as House's assistant and the foursome (House, Wilson, Chase, Henry) are dubbed as The Four Horsemen by the nurses who believe nothing good can come from the friendship.
"She didn't want to know?" Wilson asked as he took a bottle for beer from Chase.
"Nope," House responded shuffling the cards. "She said it would kill all hope."
"Sounds like she's more than 50 percent convinced that she has it," Chase observed sitting down at the card table as he handed the third bottle to Henry and took a swig from the last one.
"That explains why she wouldn't tell me her name when I asked," Henry mused. "Said she didn't want to get invested. Seems like that is pretty much her mantra."
"How could she not want to know?" Wilson was puzzled. "Especially as there is a 50 percent chance that she doesn't have it."
"Would you want to know?" House asked Wilson curiously.
"Yes, of course I would," Wilson frowned. "Why do you ask?"
"Well, apart from being outraged at me for invading her privacy she also gave me a very Wilsonesque psychobabble speech about how I fear that one day I have all the answers to my puzzles and find out that I'm still as miserable as ever," House explained. "She thought telling me that would give me some great inner revelation, kill all hope I have and make me understand her desire of not knowing."
"Didn't work, did it?" Chase asked dryly.
"Might have, if I didn't think hope is for fools and other feebleminded people," House shrugged.
"Well, I wouldn't knock hope quite that totally," Henry protested. "I mean if you have cancer it is reasonable to hope the treatments work, even when there always is a chance that they won't. Also, even when you have an incurable illness, it is reasonable to hope that they find a cure for it or at least a better treatment – especially if you somehow can participate in the research either as a doctor or taking part in a clinical trial or something."
"But in those cases you are doing something to make the hope reasonable," Chase pointed out. "There are treatments for cancer that can cure you. Medical research is coming up with new treatments and drugs all the time. You know that even if what you do might not help you, in the long run someone with the same condition will benefit. But that is different from trying to make something magically disappear. Trying to tell yourself that if you live your life one way, do certain things exactly right then bad things won't happen to you or someone you love."
House noticed how Chase's voice got strained; this was getting personal. House took over while dealing the cards to everyone: "Telling yourself that if you climb Mount Kilimanjaro you won't have Huntington's; if you learn to fly you won't have Huntington's; if you work for Gregory House you won't have Huntington's. In a grown woman it's not hope, it's idiocy."
"More like fear," Henry said. "I just wonder what she is afraid of?"
"Obviously of having a terminal illness!" Wilson exclaimed.
"Not necessarily," Henry doubted. "You did say her mother died when she was young?"
"Yeah, about twenty years ago," House nodded. "Remy must have been about seven or so. Her mother was only 32."
"Remy?" Wilson checked as he discarded some cards and took new ones.
"13," Chase inserted. "Remy Hadley."
"How did you know?" Henry asked.
"I checked from HR," Chase shrugged. "I needed her name for the bets."
"Surely they don't just give the names out like that?" Wilson protested.
"Oh, come on," House scorned. "You know all he has to do is to flip his hair and lay the accent on a little thicker and he can get anything he wants from the nurses and secretaries."
"But the secretary in HR is a guy," Wilson reminded him.
"Yeah, and gay as Christmas time," House agreed.
"Now that we have established her name," Henry intervened. "Can we get on with her case? And I raise."
"Call," House said. "Why are you interested in what age she was when her mother died?"
"Sometimes, when a child loses the same-sex parent, he – or in this case she, becomes convinced that she cannot possibly outlive that parent," Henry explained. "Especially if the death has been unexpected, sudden or traumatic. You know how children see the world; they believe that things happen because they make them happen. If they have been naughty when the parent gets sick or dies they believe they have caused it. Of course, in time, they do understand that that was not the case, but the feeling can still linger. Or sometimes the child just identifies so strongly with the deceased parent, particularly if people reinforce the feeling by telling her how much like her mother she is, that the idea, the conviction that she will basically re-live her mother's life cannot be dispelled with any reasonable argument. Remy is not afraid that she has Huntington's; she is afraid that she doesn't have it, because that would shatter the whole foundation of her existence."
"You mean she is convinced that she will die of Huntington's before her 33rd birthday?" Wilson wondered.
"That could explain some of her behaviour," House nodded. "She demanded to know that why, since I don't know when I will die, should she be told when her time is. Having the gene for Huntington's does not really tell you when you are going to die; after all, the symptoms usually start between 40 and 50 years of age. But if she identifies with her mother the way Henry said, then she probably thinks she also will not die before she is 32. If she doesn't have Huntington's, then that means that she could be hit by a buss tomorrow quite as easily as any one of the rest of us."
"Surely not," Wilson was sceptical. "That sounds like extremely twisted logic."
"If her emotions are dictating her logic, then it's bound to be twisted," House reminded him. "When she told me that she hasn't been tested she said that it was because she felt that if she tested positive she would be too afraid to do the things she wants to do, like climbing the Mount Kilimanjaro. She lied. Mostly to herself, I'm sure, but right now she is feeling invincible, because she is sure that she cannot die before she is 32. If she doesn't have Huntington's, then she isn't as much like her mother as she thinks, and that means that she does not have a guaranteed lifespan of the said 32 years."
"And in the meanwhile she freaks out every time she drops something, or her hand trembles or she loses control," Chase pondered. "Talk about the devil and the deep blue sea."
"So you think she is basically re-living her mother's life?" Wilson pondered. "But her mother was married, had a child by now; it isn't the same life anyway. So how can she think that her death will mirror her mother's? Most cancer patients, who have had cancer in their family before, tell me that they didn't think they would get it because they lived such different lives from their parent or whoever it was who had it before."
"I think she is living her mother's idealized life," Henry said. "She is doing all the things she thinks her mother would have wanted to do – or was possibly told her mother wanted to do. And at the same time, she tries to make sure no husband or children or even too close friends will be hurt by her early demise."
"And yet, there is a part of her that wants to know," House observed laying his cards on the table and raking the money in to the disgust of the others.
"What makes you say that?" Chase asked.
"She pretty much dared me to test her," House told him.
"In what way?" Henry queried.
"First she tells me that she might have Huntington's but hasn't been tested," House dealt the next hands. "Then she drugs me and biopsies me without my consent – and the first two even without my knowledge."
"Hold on!" Chase was suddenly all ears. "What biopsies?"
"Nothing really," House tried to dismiss. "It's not the point here anyway."
"I'll tell you what biopsies," Wilson volunteered. "House, once again, risked his life! His team believed that the patient was sick because he had received tainted blood during the surgery. House disagreed, naturally. They insisted on testing the blood anyway, so, of course, House demanded that they give him blood from those donors and once he is fine they can discard their theory and embrace his."
"Ok, I'm with you so far," Chase nodded. "Where do the biopsies come in? The blood wasn't tainted, after all. The guy had Lupus."
"They didn't know that yet," Wilson pointed out. "And they had been right in suspecting the blood; the problem just wasn't what they thought it was. Anyway, House had an adverse reaction to the blood transfusion. It does happen, but since both House and the patient had got sick after receiving same blood, the team wanted to be sure. 13 drugged House and they took biopsies of his kidneys, lungs and his liver."
"Just like that?" Chase stared at Wilson. "Where did House bury the bodies?"
"I didn't kill them," House huffed. "It was a bold move from them and they were all in it together. Besides all that doesn't matter. The relevant thing, for the discussion we were having, is that when I woke up, strapped to the chair – no, it wasn't half as much fun as it could have been, so wipe that leer off your face, Chase – Remy was standing there with an unopened bottle of water in her hand. She drank a little from it, then capped it and set it aside. After taking the liver biopsy she left the room and left that bottle behind. Pretty much with a carved invitation attached to it."
"It is possible that she just wasn't thinking," Henry decided to give her a fair chance. "But in court, I think it would be called entrapment. She could not have been much more obvious about leaving her DNA behind for you to take."
"Oh, come on," Wilson frowned at his cards. "She was probably just nervous. I know I would have been had I tried to biopsy House against his will."
"It is possible," Chase agreed. "But it still sounds rather like she wanted him to do the test. The problem is that she then didn't want to know the answer. Why go to all that trouble and then not find out the results?"
"Probably only part of her wants to know and it's having a fight with the other part that doesn't want to know," Henry considered. "The don't want to know part was just on top when the envelope arrived."
"Or it is possible that she doesn't want to know," House reflected. "She just wants me to know. When she got the results she didn't open the letter but stormed into my office where she threw the letter at me. She didn't tear it to small pieces, she didn't feed it to the shredder nor did she burn it or do anything else to destroy it. She pushed it at me, whole and unopened."
"And if you know, how is she going to stop you from telling her?" Wilson wondered.
"Maybe that is a risk she is eager to take," Chase pointed out. "That would take the burden of decision away from her. It's also possible that this is one of those magic things she is doing to keep her hope alive, as she calls it. She probably thinks that if she does have it, you will not hire her, but if she doesn't then you hiring her is a sign of that."
"But it wouldn't really matter to me one way or the other," House said. "It's not likely to affect her health for the next two or three years, and I would know to keep an eye on it anyway. No, her having or not having it isn't important. The only thing that interests me is how all this is affecting her work as a doctor. If I think that she cannot be a doctor from Egypt, I won't hire her."
"Denial didn't stop you from hiring me," Chase reminded him.
"But I did fire you, didn't I?" House frowned at him. "I'm sure I recall something like that happening."
"Yeah, you did, but not because of Egypt," Chase smiled.
"So you really didn't read that letter?" Wilson wanted confirmation of such uncharacteristic behaviour from his friend.
"No," House stated. "If she wants me to know, she has to tell me herself. Now are we playing poker or not?"
Later, when House and Henry had cleaned Wilson and Chase, they all left for their respective homes. Chase was the last one to leave House's flat as he had helped – well, not really helped since House didn't do anything, so after he had cleaned up after the evening. As he got ready to go he turned to House.
"You know, 13 was wrong."
"What do you mean?" House asked. "I mean I know she is wrong in not wanting to know, but it really is her decision. But I don't think you meant that."
"I meant that when she asked you why should she know when she dies when you don't," Chase explained. "Were she to find out that she does have Huntington's, her life waiting for the symptoms to appear would not be much different from you waiting for the Vicodin to get your liver. There would be no timeframe for either of you; just one day."
"Think you can make her agree with you?" House didn't deny Chase's conclusions.
"No," Chase agreed. "Nor am I going to try. But her inability to see that parallel herself could say something about her as a doctor. Or possibly about her personal issues affecting her work."
"She wasn't really working on me," House pointed out.
"She was when she did those unnecessary biopsies," Chase reminded House as he walked out with a short "Good night."
Next day 13 found herself suddenly face to face with Dr Chase. She expected to get by him with a nod and a greeting but it wasn't happening. In stead Dr Chase somehow herded her to a quiet corned and before she had completely recovered from that unexpected move he pinned her with a steely glare.
"Next time you decide to biopsy my patient without my knowledge or consent, make damn sure I don't find out about it," Chase nearly growled at her. "House is not the only one who can fire you."
"I don't know..." 13 wasn't quite sure what was going on here.
"House has been taking Vicodin for his leg for years," Chase went on as if 13 hadn't even spoken. "You had no way of knowing that his liver wasn't one pinch away from giving up. I know you have already killed one patient, what I'd like to know is how many more do you intend to kill?"
"I..." 13 was shocked. Dr Chase had always looked like such an easygoing man – his reputation didn't suggest anything different either. But somehow she felt almost afraid of him. "I don't intend to kill anyone. I ... Look, maybe I didn't think it all through but we were sure we needed that biopsy. Both for the patient and for him."
"Next time, think again," Chase ordered her and then he was gone.
"Yeah, next time I will definitely think again," 13 swore to herself as she tried to recover from the unexpected encounter.