Part VIII: Recovery and Redemption
i luv ewansmile
Sunlight slowly beings to stream through the window into the hospital room, illuminating the sleeping form of Lisa Cuddy before shining onto the hospital bed. The golden rays look out of place against the tubes and leads, hospital issued gown, blankets and the still form of Gregory House.
A soft rapt on the door and Cuddy comes out of her light slumber. She stretches while at the same time brushing the wrinkles out of her borrowed purple scrubs and watches as the nurse administers House's third does of Mannitol, a drug helping to relieve the pressure in his skull by helping his body excrete excess fluid out of his body.
Cuddy's drifted in and out of sleep, only sleeping for fifteen minutes at a time since they administered the second round of antibiotics to House. At that time they injected the epinephrine and atropine before his vitals plummeted, now he's holding steady on his own, an improvement.
"Morning Dr. Cuddy," the nurse whispers as she suppresses a giggle. Cuddy smiles brightly as she looks over at Dr. Wilson who is fast asleep in his chair, always perfect hair sticking in up in odd places, and snoring softly. It was an amusing sight to see.
Cuddy glances at House's unconscious form, and her smile quickly fades, sorrow marring her features. She looks at the nurse who is doing her morning assessment of her patient.
Cuddy rises out her chair slowly, her back making a popping sound as she stretches again and she lets out a weary smile, imagining the sight she is, sleep deprived, in desperate need of a shower… in desperate need of her lover to wake up, smile at her, smirk and whisper a good morning to her like he normally would.
The nurse has finished her assessment and empties House's foley. She's washing her hands when Cuddy finally walks over.
Wiping her hands, the nurse quietly whispers her report to Cuddy. Cuddy whispers a, "Thanks," in reply. All is well, but Cuddy already knew that, they're all just waiting for him to wake up.
There's a stagnant pause that's interrupted by a loud snore coming for Wilson, whose head is now smashed against the back of the chair.
The nurse quirks an eyebrow up and grinning asks, "Did you get any sleep at all?" She doesn't give Cuddy a chance to reply before she's proposing, "I'll be in here giving him a bed bath if you'd like to go down and get you some breakfast, or a cup of coffee…"
"Thank you, but I'll do that if you don't mind," Cuddy replies a slight twinkle in her eyes.
"Would you like me to make sure they send up a breakfast tray then?" The nurse replies with an understanding smile of her own.
"No, that's okay too, I think I'll kick Dr. Wilson out for a while, and let him bring me something back, thank you though," Cuddy smiles.
"You're welcome," the nurse says as she walks out, pulling the door to.
Cuddy walks over to the snoring doctor and pauses before she shakes his shoulder.
"Hey, Wilson… Wake up." She laughs as he slowly brings his hands up and drags them across his tired face.
"What time is it?" He asks, before he opens his eyes, instantly shielding them from the rays of the morning sun.
"Almost eight. I'm going to give House a bath; I thought you might like to go freshen up a little bit, grab something to eat."
"Yeah… You want anything?" Wilson asks still groggy as he stands and shrugs into his white lab coat.
"A bagel and a fruit cup would be nice. Oh, and an extra large cup of coffee would be great," she replies.
Wilson pauses making a mental note of her order before focusing in on his friend.
"Any change?" He asks quietly.
"No," Cuddy breathes out.
Wilson gives a quick nod of his head before he shuffles out of the room.
Cuddy's on her way out to when she bumps into a nurse. They both laugh and she gives Cuddy the supplies that she's holding.
"Oh, you didn't have to do that. I was just on my way to the supply closet," Cuddy replied taking the basin, soap, washcloths, and clean linen from the nurse, yet still grateful.
"I've got to do my assessments on my other patients, but call me when you've finished and I'll help you put those clean linens on," and the nurse whisks away to her other patients.
Cuddy closes the door and pulls the curtain around House's bed, giving him privacy, and sets the basin in the sink and begins filling it with warm water.
She pours the liquid soap into the water and swirls it around until bubbles form in the basin, she smirks and speaks to the unconscious man in the hospital bed, "This isn't how I envisioned our first bubble bath together."
Her soft eyes take in the pallor of his face, as she slowly wrings out the wet wash cloth, and gently cradles one side of his face in her hands as she gently cleans his face, starting with his eyes first, then his forehand.
She pauses then runs her finger tips through his hair, making the wet strands stand on end before she carefully washes his checks, careful not to wet the straps keeping the ventilator in place.
She slowly trials the washcloth down his neck, very carefully not to touch the tubes of the ventilator and breathes deeply as her heart clenches, knowing he couldn't breathe on his own.
Breathing out though her nose, she gathers herself and finishes with his face and neck before switching the washcloth out for a warm towel. She gently pats dry his face before she slowly removes his gown.
A soft shiver passes through her as she sees the blood red and purple rashes scattered along House's torso, at least they're slowly fading.
She washes on side at a time, dipping the cloth in the warm water, keeping him covered with a warm towel.
Cuddy wraps his upper body in the sheet and blanket, keeping him warm as she moves down to his legs.
She washes his left leg then moves on to his right. Moving the washcloth over his right thigh she freezes in panic as House's head jerks, turning to the side slightly. She lifts his hand off his injured thigh and continues.
Cuddy finishes the bed bath, the nurse helps her roll House and changed the bed sheets, and has House tucked in warmly, fresh blankets draped around him.
Wilson comes back with breakfast and they eat, he's also changed clothes and looks refreshed.
They eat and Cuddy leaves to take a quick shower in the nurses' lounge and puts on fresh scrubs, medium blue ones.
House stirs later in the day, the intracranial pressure has gone down to a safe level, and House stirs a little bit.
They put soft restraints on him before they decide to sedate him and let him rest until he's able to come of the vent, then they let him wake up naturally.
Everyone clears out of the room as House slowly comes to. Cuddy is at his bedside as his eyes flutter open.
"Hey," she whispers, a weary smile upon her face. His blue eyes lock in on hers and her smile falters as she receives a clear view to a window of his pain, and fear.
She moves quickly, cradling his face in her hands, her face inches from his.
"Shh… Shh… You're okay."
"It's hurts." He pleads, barely getting the words out.
"I know. You've been very sick. But you're getting better. Now sleep."
Less than a week later House has recovered to a point where he could be safely discharged from the hospital and he and Cuddy rest in the comfort of their home.
"Anybody else get sick?" House asks, breaking the quiet moment the two are sharing in the living room.
"No, everyone's fine." Cuddy says, with a small laugh.
"What?" House asks skeptically.
"Nothing." Cuddy skirts around the truth of her humor.
"Come on Lisa, what?"
She smiles before giving in. "You care." She states simply.
House says nothing, not denying the statement but taking the opportunity to swipe Cuddy's yogurt off the coffee table.
He takes a big scoop and exaggerates his enjoyment, "Yum!"
"Ass!" Cuddy accuses as she moves in closer to him on the couch.
He sets the yogurt down as he pulls her closer until she straddles him.
"Now that's more like it!" He grins as his hands glide over her body.
"I'm glad you're feeling better." She says between kisses.
"So am I. So am I."
Author's Note: That's it guys. Sorry it has taken me so long but truth be told I have lost interest in this story and House in general. But I've always hated it when authors left stories hanging. So I took what notes I had left on this story and tacked then onto the chapter I was working on before I went on hiatus and that's how I decided to end it. It's not something I'm happy with but I felt it needed an ending.
Thank you to everyone for reading.