The Male Man
Pairing: Established H/Wf
Rating: NC-17 Adult.
Summary: House had hidden his condition for a many years. But what happens when it becomes known at the worst possible time?
Disclaimer: Not mine...blah, blah, blah - though a fantasy never hurt anyone.
All medical misunderstandings that may arise in this fic' about Aspergers, or autism in general, are mine and mine alone.
"House, I need to speak to you."
House almost didn't turn on his heel and follow Cuddy into her office. Not a very private affair when the blinds were up. But he did as he was told, contemplating other possibilities before even sitting down in her hard visitor's chair.
Cuddy took more than a moment to gauge his mood while looking like she was doing nothing of the kind.
"I'm fine." House growled. He almost considered pulling a very House-ish drugged-up zone-out, so Cuddy would call Wilson to come and figure out what the hell was wrong with him, or what the hell he was up to this time. But he didn't want her scrutinizing him any more than was comfortable, which wasn't much. Ever since he had started sleeping with Wilson, Cuddy's watchful eye and personal attention, so previously sought after and toyed with, now felt more like disapproving scrutiny and nosiness. Under Wilson's special ministrations day and night, Cuddy had morphed from possible romantic interest to back into old friend and boss.
"If fine means frenetic, insecure, neurotic and emotional, I'd agree."
"The dad hit me, not the other way around."
"You provoked him."
"But good eyesight." Cuddy sighed. "Is there anything you want to tell me?" She asked an innocently and kindly as that sort of fakery could be faked.
"No." House said succinctly.
"Nothing personal?"She persisted. "Nothing that's bothering you?"
"Did Wilson say something? Or do something? Like buy the condo you wanted out from under you? It was his signature on the check, I just came with the furniture."
House could tell she badly wanted to open up a discussion with him about something. "You and Lucas have a lover's quarrel? Is he going to start fire-cracking my shoes now?"
Cuddy sat back and started twisting a pen between her fingers. It was Cuddy for I'm in Control Here. "I talked to Lucas about that."
"Great. Did you talk to him about my ruined record collection and antique medical volumes? Or Wilson's family photo's? Or the massive bruise on my back from the bath tub faucets?"
That hit the right spot. Right through the figurative heart. House was surprised by his own anger. Lucas' little break-in's had been amusing up to a point, and House at first had praised his ingenuity in rigging the sprinklers to go off in the middle of the night, but soaking everything they had moved to the condo - the first boxes, the personal items, had been just plain mean.
"What he did was wrong. A state that you're more than a little familiar with."
House stood. "Is this all you wanted to talk to me about? 'Cause I've got a patient to save."
"A patient for your team to save." Cuddy bit her lip. It was none of her business. Staying out of House's personal, private business, that at least she wanted to salvage between them. "You can go."
You know, House, sometimes a banana is just a banana." Taub quipped as they walked to the hospital lab.
House looked at him with perfect reason. "Or it's not just a banana and by that I mean it is, and it triggered a severe reaction to glucose in our patient. And I don't mean he started swinging from the light fixtures - he seized. He's sugar intolerant, therefore diabetic."
"His pancreas is perfectly normal. Or he's malnourished and the sudden rush of sugar to his blood stream caused a serotonin storm which caused the seizure." Taub countered with insufferable Jewish calm. House looked over at Taub, stubbornly still at his side, still talking. "Why are you following me? Go back there and make sure the mom doesn't cheat her son again by making him cheat on his dad and his dad's organic religion with a mango."
Taub pursed his lips and tracked away back toward the patient's room.
House continued walking to the elevator, making his way to Wilson's office. Wilson was with a patient, and tried not to look irritated by House's un-announced entrance. The middle-aged woman in the pink, tidy pant-suit looked up at House wonderingly when he did not excuse himself and disappear again.
House stuck a thumb out at the door. "I need to talk to my colleague."
"House..." Wilson warned him with not a great amount of enthusiasm. He didn't want House to leave just yet. Not until he had a chance to update him on Cameron's mouth.
When the woman didn't budge, House frowned at her. "I'll rephrase that, I'm in the mood for some suck-face with my boyfriend so, since you're not doing anything but sitting there, vamoose for a minute, will ya'?"
Wilson stood, escorted his patient to the door, whispering in her ear something only a few words of which House caught.
Sitting down again, House joined him in the opposite chair. "Did you just tell her I'm a patient?"
"No, I apologized for your rudeness and asked her to be patient."
House had an especially grumpy pinch to his brows. A sight that used to bother Wilson from many directions, one of which it made House's true mood difficult to pin down. He almost always looked grumpy to one level or another; it was a manifestation of deep thought. But since they'd begun their romantic activities, it was an expression Wilson delighted in rubbing off House's face by vigorous, well-placed kisses, and it always worked. "Patient not doing well?"
"Not really. What are we doing for dinner?"
Used to House's abrupt changes of thought - "I thought we'd go out. You look like you could use some relaxation."
"I'm more relaxed at home."
"What did Nolan say?"
"More social recreation. But you and I can't "recreate" in a cafeteria booth. Your bed is much more comfortable."
Wilson smiled a little. Now came the more difficult part of the conversation. "Cameron talked to Cuddy."
"Oh?" House sounded bored, his mind clearly on his patient, or dinner, or bed-time, or a combination of all three.
"She spilled to Cuddy about your Aspergers'."
House looked unimpressed. "So that's what that was."
"What what was?"
"Nothing. Cuddy intercepted me this morning, wanted me to talk about my feelings or something." Cameron's feelings for him, which appeared drastically altered of late, had always been a source of awkwardness. Not for him, but for her. For House it was simple. She cared, he didn't. She loved him, or had once loved him, he didn't love her and never had. "Cameron always was an eavesdropping snitch." House could imagine where he might have ended up had he taken Cameron up on her offer of love and affections. Probably broken-hearted and then divorced just like Chase. "Cuddy can't do anything about it, it's not relevant to my work. My unique and wonderful personality has nothing to do with my ability to do my job."
"But if she told Cuddy, she probably told the rest of the team. And" Wilson hated to say it, "I think Cuddy's concerned." At House's questioning face. "Cuddy came to me earlier. Wanted to talk about it."
House dismissed any concern for Cuddy's concern or Wilson's concern that Cuddy was concerned. "Well, if I freak out, just tell her I was drunk."
"Right." Wilson sat back. "Look, I know it doesn't make any difference to the way you do your job but, now that it's out there, it will make a difference in the way people perceive you doing your job. Plus you've been banned from going near your patient."
"Since when is that something new?" House sighed. Leg. Pills. Detox. Physical therapy. Shrink. He was doing everything he was supposed to do. Altering the way he thought was not something they would add to his rehab menu. Ever. "If Cuddy thinks I'm screwing up, she wouldn't have defended me to the dad."
"Doesn't mean she won't still kick your ass some other way, like more clinic hours."
"When I'm not looking, my Asp' already kicks my ass." House wanted to drop it. Despite the angry dad's fist and Cuddy's subsequent sequestered little tantrum, it had been a better week than last. His patient was still alive, for one thing. "So, dinner?"
"The father could bring charges."
"Or I could save his son. Which do you think he'll go for in the end?"
True. Anyone who brought their child to a physician as famous and reputable (at least medically), as House, was an idiot if he barred his unique skills at this juncture. But House's antics had scared the family off. The playing cards scotched-taped all over House's office walls had popped the dad's last reserve of confidence in his son's physician. House showing up in the son's room despite the dad's wishes had topped that off nicely. House's leverage with the dad had disappeared with a bloody nose. The dad hadn't know any better.
Wilson regarded his antagonistic, brilliant work and home-mate. Somehow, when genius and odd went together, no one worried about it. It was expected - indulged even. But when perceived weirdness had a name, a scientific Name in a medical book, people began to squirm as though they had suddenly discovered worms crawling around in their shorts.
Wilson's worry wasn't quite settled at House's typical reaction of dismissing other's reactions to things that ought to be trivial, but stubbornly often weren't. However, Wilson decided to focus on much more pleasant things for the time being. "My place. And bring an overnight bag."
That did the job of erasing the frown from House's face.
Thirteen arrived to the rest of the team munching on breakfast muffins and take-out coffee. "Courtesy of House, believe it or not." Foreman commented when he saw the question mark that was her face.
"Really?" She said, shedding her spring coat, donning a lab coat and seating herself beside Taub who was happily wiping banana nut crumbs from his mouth. "Aren't you worried they might be laced with hash oil or something?"
Taub paused in his chewing. He stared across the table at Chase, who had declined muffins but was sipping from an extra-large coffee with no cream but loads of sugar. "Do you really think he...?" Taub asked. "I mean, House'll do insane things, lots of insane things actually, but dope up his team?"
Chase looked around the table. He shrugged. "Probably not, but with House you never know."
Thirteen tore small bites from a bran and blue-berry muffin. "Where is House anyway?"
Chase smirked. "Well, I saw him come in this morning with Wilson."
Taub swallowed. "Wilson and House are sleeping together. I heard that rumor the day I started working here. Arriving together means they know everyone knows and they don't care."
"Good for them." Thirteen remarked. As far as she was concerned, if House and Wilson were sharing more than beers, it was no surprise to her. She saw it coming years ago. "Can we talk about the patient?"
Foreman had declined both muffins and coffee. He'd been feeling a little thicker in the middle lately, and was rather depressed that he had just passed the halfway mark between thirty and forty years old. "Miraculously, our patient is stable. And House told us to wait here. No idea why."
Taub sipped his coffee, to wash down the last of his muffin. "Did you hear the latest? House has Aspergers'. Cameron sent me a text me about it."
"She probably sent everybody a text." Foreman nodded. "So?"
"So nothing." Taub said. "I just thought it was interesting."
Thirteen thought back over the three years she had, on and off, worked for House. "Might explain a few things, I guess. Social difficulties, self-isolation, adverse to change, tied to routine, unusual thought processes - sounds like the man I work for."
Foreman decided to cut the conversation about House's personal business short. "Some call it a disorder, or a condition, but all it really is, is a spectrum of personality, and in House's case, it doesn't matter. With or without the Aspergers', it doesn't change anything. House is our boss."
Taub observed. "Aspergers' can be a detriment to organized thinking."
Chase piped in. "House has never been organized. If anything, he's pathologically disorganized. And easily distracted - how many times have we seen him limp out of here with his mind on some unrelated, latest obsession? He still solves his cases."
Thirteen shook her head. "Are you guys going to start looking at him like he's grown a second head? That's how you acted when you found out I had Huntington's - like I was going to collapse into a pile of twitching jelly-limbs at any moment." She stared at her own coffee cup, muttering her last thought. "It really pissed me off."
Breakfast, case, the team, a second cup of coffee would have to wait. Nothing was more important - or better - than Wilson ramming him up against the wall of his office and playing with his fun bits. House groaned softly, but loudly enough it seemed for Wilson to "shh!" him with his right index finger to his lips, while his left hand was kept busy stroking his favorite part of House with a little lube he had purchased and hidden in the bottom drawer of his desk for just such occasions.
When House finally came, rolling his eyes back into his head and banging the wall with the back of his skull, Wilson slowed his firm regular motions with his fist, and finally let go of House's quickly softening penis. Wilson kissed him once on the lips. "Go work."
House left his office with a tiny wicked grin.
Wilson returned to his desk. The previous night's fun-date had been postponed by an especially bad cramping of House's leg. Other than pizza and a bad science fiction movie, the night had been pretty much a write-off. Plus House had been a little depressed over Cameron's little tattle, which was now spread all over the hospital. Everyone now knew about House's Aspergers', and everyone would have their own (almost always incorrect), notions of what that was, and how it could be affecting House's performance of his job. Many now would also (just as incorrectly), assume that it had probably always affected House in some adverse way. More to feed the gossip-mill. People were afraid of what they didn't understand or recognize. The vision of "normal" most people harbored, no matter how politically correct the world had morphed, was a narrow band of secret prejudice. Wilson sighed. Cameron really was an insufferable, malicious gossip.
At least House had left his office happy.
Their conversation about House ended when the subject himself arrived, half an hour late. House entered his office and sat down somewhat lighter of heart. His team all sat up just a little straighter, arousing his suspicions. "Are my ears burning?" They had probably been discussing him. Disregarding it for a moment, he opened the brown paper muffin bag with a frown. "I bring in donuts two days in a row, and you leave not even one for me?" He looked at all of them. "Piggies." House settled for confiscating Foreman's left-over luke-warm coffee and downing it himself. "How's the vegan child?"
Forman ignored House's coffee theft. "No change, other than he isn't being fed anything than water and essential electrolytes. No food from the mom or dad."
House stared at his team each in turn. Thirteen was busy staring into her cup, Forman opened and was pursuing the patient's file. Only Taub and Chase were in turn looking at each other, the table, House, the walls, and everyone appeared to some degree guilty. House took a large drink of Foreman's Coffee-mated coffee, set the cup down, threw back his head and screamed at the top of his voice. A single, short, piercing "AH-H-H!!"
People in the adjacent hallways stopped what they were doing and looked, but then went back to their activities, ignoring the crazy doctor called House. The team all jumped like they'd been zapped with a cattle prod, and then stared at him, frozen to their chairs. No one said a word.
House pointed an accusing finger at them all. "I guess you've heard, huh?" He said, leaning back in the chair. "I knew it, because if you didn't know, you would have stared at me and then asked me why I did that. Now you're staring at me not like I'm House, but like I'm House with Aspergers', because that wasn't a House yell, or even a pre-nut-house therapy House yell, that was a House-who-has-Aspergers' yell, and you have no idea what to do with it."
House cupped his paper cup between his hands. "Just for the record, I don't give a damn who knows I have Aspergers', but I tell you what - you keep working as though I don't have some scary new thing going on in my head, and I'll give you a heads-up the next time I feel the urge to do something Asperger-y, just so you can brace yourselves."
Everyone but Foreman had the decency to look suitably abashed. House rubbed his forehead. "I want a new blood panel for everything, including the kitchen sink, the drains, the garburator and the trash can. Then I want him fed one of his parents typical vegan meals, and then another blood panel, again with the appliances - and don't forget to check the filters. There has to be something about this kid's digestion that we're missing."
House abruptly stood and entered his office, closing the door behind him and drawing the blinds. He was in the mood for some Stevie Vaughn and a few minutes of solitude. Time enough to let his irritation at his team's, at Chase and Taub's, uncomfortable reaction to the knowledge of his new Aspergers'-House status, fade a little.
He was no different than he'd been yesterday, last week, last year or ever. But now that everyone knew, he was in for the usual tip-toe-ing around by those lesser mortals called his "peers".
Peers my ass! House let the soothing strings of Stevie's bluesy guitar drift across his mind. It served to settle it somewhat.
What was Cuddy going to do about this news she and her entire staff now knew and would gossip over? Nothing legally. You can't discipline someone for having a personality that didn't meet whatever norms society currently choose to designate as normal. Give it a year or three, and those designations would shift and change and he'd be an all new House again. He would become not the House with Aspergers' House, but the House with Aspergers' but - hey - some of our brilliant conclusions were wrong after all - our bad! House had heard all of the bullshit for years. People with Aspergers' were "different" from "typical's". Typical had a seriously underweight scale of what was acceptable. To be typical meant average IQ, average response to various social and language tests, average incidence of OCD-like behaviors, average this and average that.
By that criteria, anyone with an IQ 110 and up had Aspergers'. House thanked god-or-whoever that he was far from typical. If being non-typical meant having a really good brain, or really good instinct, or a really kick-ass memory, or all of those and more, then bring on the non-typical status.
House shook his head to dispel the circle of thought. It wasn't that simple of course.
Then House thought about Wilson. Wilson was by no definition he knew, a typical man. He was smart of course, but neurotic to the point of dysfunctional. Wilson was terrified of being disliked, ashamed of intimacy, self-loathing and, ironically, self-centered but knew how to put on a good show of being selfless. And he was in-love with Gregory House. That, more heavily than all of his other quirks, was the reason Wilson could never be labeled typical.
Then again, Wilson didn't have Aspergers'. Wilson liked socializing, made new and loyal friends with a flat minute of small talk, could entice any woman on the planet into bed (or even his screwed up best friend for that matter), and amongst all that, generally liked to feign that he was one of the happiest guys around. Slap-happy guy on anti-depressants who fretted if his tie wasn't knotted just right - that was the love of Gregory House's life.
House counted himself lucky. Wilson of the cooking classes, and soft brown eyes that made House's heart ache whenever he did anything that really hurt him or, worse, hurt himself. Wilson who put up with him for years and probably couldn't explain that phenomena to anyone, let alone himself. Wilson who loved him so much he'd been sexually faithful and for a change made it look easy. And Wilson of the tender affections (though occasionally so sugary sweet House had felt the urge to spread him on a cracker), and even, in just the right amount, gentle on those rare occasions House really needed it, even when he couldn't or wouldn't admit it to literally save his life.
That was the Wilson who loved him. He, the House of no Aspergers' or the House with Aspergers' was still simply House to Wilson. The Aspergers' part meant as much as his skin color might, or the way he played the piano.
To Wilson, he was like playing cards. You only know the difference if you look close enough, but then the suites don't matter when the game is always Old Maid, just the pairs and the card you're left with. The difference is almost no difference at all.
House sat forward, took up his cane and marched with a hop-skip and a hobble down to his forbidden patient's room where dad and mom sat, listening to Chase explain why they were taking yet more blood from their son's already low reserves.
House ignored the father's glare though, Chase noted, he did skirt the chair where the beefy man was seated and circle around until Chase was between him and the red-faced, angry man. "Stop." House told Chase. "We're not doing the panel."
"You're not doing anything to my son." Dad said with just enough warning in his voice to sound threatening but, since Doctor Cuddy's counter-warning to him about the hospital laying charges for assault, it had no teeth.
House leaned over his patient. "The day your parents brought you in here, what had you eaten?"
The kid was awake but just barely. "Soy-germ cereal..." He began.
House shut him down. "I mean what did you really eat?" House was addressing everyone now. "Don't tell me a normal teenage boy doesn't decide to one day rebel against his parent's new-age food choices and stuff himself with a banana split or at least a liter or two of - ."
"-What does this have do with - " The father said angrily. "My son would never - "
"Right, right." House said. "Good natured nature-boy here has been fornicating with fruit." House, in every way ignoring the father's mutterings of "crazy doctor with the cards", addressed only Chase. "Fructose. We're going to test him for fructose reaction."
For a second Chase worried that House might be on something. "We've already done a scratch test - two scratch tests."
Foreman piped in. "And if for some reason you're again wondering about diabetes, a scratch test isn't going to tell you anything."
House turned an exasperated and impatient face to them both. "I'm talking about fructose allergy you idiots."
A small light of possible understanding and agreement appeared in Foreman's eyes. "Hyper-insulin reaction causes low blood sugar, looks like a diabetes-type reaction but no pancreatic dysfunction, normal insulin levels..."
"With, eventually, abnormal kidney and liver with only normal insulin levels while on his parent's leafy grass and tuber, non-fruity, vitamin packed diet, there were no physical clues to clue us in." House corrected. "We didn't see organ damage because he didn't have enough fructose in his system to accumulate the f-1-phosphate."
Chase entered the fold with - "Wouldn't show up in the blood panels because we had him off food. Would not have showed up while he lived at home because he never ate anything with enough fructose levels to cause the expected reactions. Not until he got to the hospital."
"And we started him on a gastric diet of healthy, glucose and fructose-tainted fluids." Foreman added, feeling like a blind man who'd just had his sight restored.
After hearing this, the kid swallowed and said. "I had a bowl of fruit cocktail."
The parents both assured their son with soothing noises and that "everything was all right".
House nodded. "High concentrations of fructose." House turned to the dad. "Your son is fructose intolerant, different than glucose intolerant due to a failing pancreas. This is a condition where the body can't absorb fructose and because of that phosphorus wastes begin collecting in the kidneys, liver and intestines, causing damage which, if left untreated, permanent damage and death. It's a relatively allergy that, ironically enough, was hiding because he was never allowed to eat anything with enough fruit sugar to trigger it. And one that is not routinely checked for. Luckily the fruit cocktail got him sick enough for you to get him in here, then we got him sicker because your son lied about being faithful to your vegan god. And because his mom tried to help by feeding him a banana."
House asked the kid. "Did you like the fruit?"
House nodded. "Good thing. You're off it for the rest of your life." He turned to Foreman. "Start treatment."
House celebrated by putting on his Ipod and eating a Reuben with extra sauerkraut and mustard at his desk. It would have been the perfect ending to a perfectly weird day had Cameron not walked through the door and turned it into plain, old crap.
House looked up at her. "Are you here to just stare at the awful Aspergers' man who wrecked your marriage, or do I have to remove my Ipod because you want to talk to me?"
Cameron just waited with that holier-than-thou look she now wore pretty well every time he saw her.
House took off his ear-phones and sat back, abandoning the sandwich. His appetite had disappeared.
"I used to fantasize about you." She said.
House rolled his eyes. "This again..."
"About making you happy, seeing you smile."
Specifically regarding Cameron naked, House could recall a fantasy or two of his own.
"Were any of those about respecting my personal business?"
"They needed to know. We all had a right to know."
House spread his hands. "Your evil work is done - they know." He glanced around, passed her, through the doors to the usual bustling business of a hospital working day. "What's changed? Your hope to disrepute me didn't pan out. Your marriage is still over, you're still off my team..."
Cameron stared at him. Her pupils tiny, distant dots in the universe. "I can't believe I used to love you."
Love? House remembered puppy-eyes for sure. Sweet, dopey, longing looks from across the room when she thought he wasn't looking back. He remembered her indefinable need to rescue him from his loneliness, isolation, addictions, pain - from himself. He remembered her angry, bitter name-calling when he failed to measure up to whatever picture of him she had super-imposed over the genuine article; her inner vision of what he could be, if only he would allow her to get her sticky fingers on him and "help". He clearly recalled her disbelief, and then her lingering resentment, when he had failed to reciprocate her desires. He even recalled her using Chase, a man she had also claimed to love, to try and make him jealous. She had loved him so much that she'd abandoned him at the first big hurdle by dropping a divorce in his lap.
But love? He didn't remember that at all. Interesting how, in trying to hurt him, he now saw her for the shallow, lost little girl she had been, and still was. Maybe sometimes his Aspergers' had made things more difficult for her, and for the team, though he doubted that himself. If so, he could not recall a single incident that, at the time, anyone had put off to anything but House being difficult. Life and the team had gone on, anyway. No one had quit because they thought House was acting any weirder than usual. Pre-Aspergers' or post-Aspergers' House, when they had not known and when they knew, had made no difference in him. He had not changed at all, or if he had, it had been for the better. That he recognized how he had changed for the better since Mayfield would make Wilson proud. Not that he was going to admit that of course.
And no one had at any time, made Cameron stay.
Occasionally, despite everything unpleasant that had transpired over the years - his leg, addictions, detox, pain, mental illness, even maybe his Aspergers', events never-the-less fell perfectly ordered and into place. Exact, required, effortless. Suddenly, House felt better again, and he wanted to listen to his music and finish his sandwich.
"I can't believe you believe that."
"Heard Cameron paid you a visit, and that you cured your patient." Wilson said on their way home. It was nice to drive home together. So often their work hours varied, they almost always arrived separately.
"Yeah. Apparently, she was trying to save the world from me."
"Well, it didn't work. You're still here. Not that I'm complaining." Wilson hoped House sent her off with stinging ears.
"And the kid'll be fine, poor bastard. Confined to boring food for the rest of his life." House suddenly felt very hungry. "I want pizza tonight. With anchovies and shrimp."
"Didn't you just finish a sandwich?" Wilson liked pizza well enough but he also liked to watch his middle. Lately it had been gathering the habit of folding over his belt if he indulged in too many of House's food choices. "How about we do whole-wheat spaghetti and salad? I'll cook."
"Whole wheat? How's that a bargaining tactic? And you always cook."
"I'll load up on the garlic-butter, all right? Then we can spend the evening burping in each others faces." Gross often appealed to House. Besides, if he indulged House's stomach now, there might be a wicked blow-job in it for him during Letterman.
Wilson laughed. "I'm so glad you're not normal, House, and I mean that in a totally Aspergers'-neutral way. You'd probably be boring if you were normal."
"Right. Like you would know normal or anything in the immediate vicinity. And I mean that in a totally neuro-typical-neutral way - wait, I'm wrong. You're not neuro-typical yet you are boring. You must be pseudo-normal."
"What is normal anyway?"
"You driving slower than most people can walk is normal, at least for you. You driving slower than I can walk is normal. You driving no differently than a Jewish great-great-grandmother on her way to Temple, and she has to slow down because her bra strap snapped and what is she going to do now?? That's your level of driving-pseudo-normal. Hence - boring, not to mention frustrating. Therefore my poor starving stomach has also become Wilson's-level of slow-normal-frustrating."
"Your stomach is slow?"
"No, my stomach is frustrated to Wilson-type-pseudo-normal-levels - step on it."
Wilson reached out and touched the side of House's face with one tender finger. Just for a second. And, for a change, House didn't flinch at the contact. "Nothing about you is normal, House. I mean that."
Long, boring AN: Thanks for bearing with me on what proved to be (for me) a difficult, cautious journey into a spectrum of personality which I find intriguing, but know almost nothing about other than what I've read from the medical field, and those reader's who responded with their own experiences. I'm sure I got some or many things wrong, but I tried.
I only know as much about Aspergers as I have read and researched. I have, however, received many emails from those with Aspergers'. All of these emails have been eye-opening and helpful in improving my limited understanding of it. But, as much as I would have liked to apply all of those suggestions to the process of the plot itself, it was too daunting a task.
To accurately render everyone's personal insights and experiences of living with Aspergers' into something moderately coherent became overwhelming.
Like trying to learn everything there is to know about butterflies one day (practically impossible), and then transcribing it all very correctly in National Geographic the next. There was simply too much information. Each reader's individual experiences of "what it is really like" to have Aspergers' was, I found, quite diverse. I could never have applied all of it to the story and still have it be the same story. Plus I could never have satisfied all those who so generously emailed me snippets of their personal journey of having Aspergers' - I could never have done them justice!
Although I would like to say there was not a single hint in any of the letters that, at least to me, conveyed the fact of the writer's Aspergers'/personality if the writer had not actually told me so; that she or he had Aspergers'.
I also did not want the Aspergers' aspect of the story to be the heavy outline. I wanted House's coping with his job as a man who had Aspergers' to be the main framework; a POTW fic'. I can only hope I accomplished this with at least some modicum of accuracy.
And, as always, I delighted in writing the story and want to again thank AdamtheAnt who suggested it to me.
Once EVEN TRADE is done at the end of this week, I will officially be out of ideas for House fic's. I've had some suggestions, good ones, but most of them I have already at some point integrated into a fic', and I hate repeating myself. What I need is something unusual. An idea that hasn't been done, or done very, very few times. If anyone has an idea (something odd-ball, off the wall, weird), send it along. K? Me, I got nothing!