Chapter 2 – Believers Never Die
Wilson and I headed for his office.
I couldn't help but glance towards the glass walls of House's office and the differential room, the place that I knew so well, although only through a TV screen. Wilson opened his door and walked into his office, holding the door open fo me. I followed in after him, and my heart fluttered when I stepped inside. I shrugged to myself and took House's usual place on the couch, crossing my legs and looking at Wilson.
"Please tell me I at least have you a little convinced. From what I know, you've never told anyone about Danny... maybe your parents or something, but they were never on the show..."
I broke off. Wilson was leaning on his desk, confusion coloring his demeanor as he stared at me. Focus, Anya!
"Listen, all I know is that in my world, you're a TV character. And now I'm talking face to face with you. I'm from the year 2012, which is coincidentally the year the show ends, and now I'm suddenly back in 2004. I'm not scamming you, I'm lost and scared, and if my suspicions are correct, the only people in the world I know are in this hospital. Well, I don't technically know you, but I know a lot about you," I said, grinning sheepishly. "I was a pretty intense fan."
Wilson continued to stare at me. Oh no. He thinks I'm crazy.
"How old are you?" Wilson asked, crossing his arms.
"Almost eighteen," I said quickly. He shook his head, pinching the bridge of his nose.
"The sad thing is, I think a microscopic part of me believes you. I've never told anyone what happened between Danny and I, or how I felt afterwards. I don't understand how you could know that," he said, shaking his head. "But you do realize you're expecting me to believe that you're from a different universe, right? And the fact that apparently I'm a fictional character in a TV show in said universe?"
"I know, it's insane, but I can prove it!" I said. I scratched the back of my head. "Well, I mean, the Danny thing kind of proves it, but I've got more. Just get House in here, okay? I need help. Convincing you guys is the only way to get that help," I explained, my eyes darting to the caduceus pillow on Wilson's couch. I always thought that thing was cool. Wilson looked conflicted before pulling out his pager.
"He's with his team, I'll page him here," he said, looking worried as he tapped on his pager. He pocketed it again. "So what's this supposed parallel universe like?" he asked.
"Pretty much the same as this one, from what I've seen so far. I guess just different people exist. I actually need to check up on that theory..." I said, trailing off. "Wilson, can I please use your computer?" I asked politely, not wanting someone I've always admired to think I was rude. He cocked an eyebrow at me.
"Why did you just call me Wilson?" he asked.
"Um, sorry, it's just what everyone on the show calls you. No one ever calls you James other than your wives, and only your patients call you Dr. Wilson, but if you want me to call you that I will. Sorry," I apologized, cheeks flushing. He waved me off.
"It's alright, it doesn't matter. You can use my computer," he said, proffering his chair to me. I get to sit in Wilson's chair! the fangirl in me squeaked.
I sat down in the leather chair, quickly opening up an Internet browser that was much slower than what I was used to. Well, I am eight years in the past, so I guess that shouldn't really surprise me.
My father's name was on the website for the Harrisburg State Museum, since he was a security guard there. It listed him in the employees section of the page, and the website had existed since the late nineties, which was when my father started working there. His name would be on the page if the same people existed in House's universe that existed in my universe.
I checked the website. No sign of my dad.
I checked for my older brother's Facebook. Nada.
I searched my name as well, my mother's, my grandmother's, and several of my other family members into a search engine. It seemed as though none of the people who existed in my world existed in House's, except for a few. I checked a gossip site, and they still spoke of most of the stars that they had before. Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, etcetera. I focused, trying to figure out what dictated what existed and what didn't in the House universe.
Anything ever mentioned or quoted in House must exist... but I would bet my life that anyone who guest starred on House or any of the usual actors don't exist here. Same goes for anyone involved with the creation or production as well.
Within five minutes, it was clear that in this world, Hugh Laurie, Robert Sean Leonard, Lisa Edelstein, and the rest of the House cast did not exist. A few more clicks found that David Shore and Katie Jacobs were nonexistent as well.
Wait a minute, what about Dead Poets Society? That was referenced in the show, but Robert Sean Leonard was in it.
I typed in the name. The movie existed, but a different person played Neil.
Guest stars... I typed in a few of the more notable ones. Mos Def, LL Cool J, Tyler James Williams, David Morse, Chi McBride... nope, no sign of any of them. Anyone who ever starred on House officially didn't exist in this world, and I suppose no people I had ever met existed here either. My head ached. This is confusing as all hell.
"Who is... 'LL Cool J'?" Wilson asked, leaning over my shoulder to squint at what I was searching. I sighed.
"He was a rapper who guest starred in the season two premiere," I explained. "He doesn't exist, just like anyone who was ever acted on the show," I said, leaning back in his chair. "Shit!" I exclaimed suddenly. Wilson looked at me, startled.
"What?" he asked. I frowned.
"This means that NCIS and The Mentalist don't exist in this world."
"House's patient this week, Rebecca Adler, the girl you're pretending is your cousin but she really isn't, the actress who played her in my world was named Robin Tunney, and she was on one of my favorite shows called The Mentalist, and the girl who plays Nora in season six–" I cut myself off, realizing I was rambling. "Never mind, it really doesn't matter."
"How do you know she's not really my cousin?" Wilson asked.
"Wilson, I'm not trying to con you. I watched this show for eight years. I know almost everything of importance that happens to you, House, Cameron, Foreman, Chase and Cuddy for the next decade, pretty much," I informed him. He once again looked like he wanted to believe me, but the basic laws of the universe prevented him from doing so.
Suddenly, the door burst open, and House walked in.
"Wilson, considering you're the one that pawned the patient off on me, you really shouldn't be interrupting–" he broke off when he saw me, leaning on his cane. He tilted his head, observing me. "Getting them a bit young now, aren't we?" he asked.
I just... stared. Gregory. House. Gregory. Fucking. House. In front of me. Looking at me. The blue eyes I had seen staring out of my TV a hundred thousand times were now looking at me.
He looked like his usual season one self. His hair and beard both brown, no hints of gray. His wrinkles were less defined, and he had the first cane he started with. I had died and gone to fangirl heaven.
I wanted to just sit in awe for a few more years, but I snapped out of it, trying to collect myself.
"House, I'm married, and you're disgusting," Wilson retorted, standing up and taking a step back. His eyes darted to me. "You should explain, since I'm still trying to grasp the fact that you might not be completely psychotic, or a pathological liar."
I smiled, unable to help myself. "Don't worry, convincing House will be much, much easier." Upon trying to create a persuasive argument to use on House, I found a trump card, something that no one in PPTH knew until season eight...
"Trying to convince me of what?" House asked, narrowing his eyes.
"Trying to convince you that I'm not only from the future, but also from a different universe where your life is the subject of a TV show," I said. What can I say, I learned how to be blunt from the best of 'em. House's piercing blue eyes drilled into me.
"Uh-huh. Someone really should tell the people in the psych ward to lock up a bit better."
"Just listen to her, House," Wilson said. "She... knows things."
"Like what?" House asked, rolling his eyes.
"You have a birthmark on your penis," I stated, smirking. "And one on your scalp too, if that matters."
House's eyes widened for a moment before he retorted, "That doesn't prove you're from the future, it proves you've talked to one of around three hundred prostitutes, or my mother."
"Or Stacy," Wilson pointed out.
"I did not talk to Stacy. And yes, I know who Stacy is. Stacy Warner, constitutional lawyer and your ex girlfriend, currently married to high school counselor Mark Warner. You lived together for five years. Your infarction ruined your relationship... or, arguably, the decisions she made regarding your infarction ruined your relationship," I rattled off.
"And yeah, I guess I could have got that from talking to Stacy, Wilson, or Cuddy... but that doesn't explain how I know about the one on your scalp. To my knowledge, you never shaved your head. It also doesn't explain why I know that you think a friend of your family is really your dad, not your father, because he also has that birthmark on his scalp. You figured that out when you were twelve. When you told your father, he didn't talk to you for a whole summer, except for a few notes under your door."
House's jaw was slack now, and I knew I was getting to him. I couldn't give him the chance to speak. I had to press on.
"Your father's name is John, your mother's name is Blythe. You're an only child. You decided you wanted to be a doctor when you were fourteen years old and your friend got an infection after a climbing accident, and he was cured by a Baraku doctor. The other doctors didn't accept him, they didn't think he had anything they wanted... but he was right. And that's all that mattered. Just like that's all that matters to you. Or so you'd like people to believe. I personally think you care about your patients, but that's just my opinion."
House was silent when I finished. I didn't know how many people House had told his reasons for becoming a doctor to, but I knew that he didn't tell Wilson yet. That didn't happen until season three, and Wilson didn't know about the birth mark on his scalp until season five, the one on his more private parts until season eight.
Hopefully I had at least confused House enough for him to start to buy my story. He ran his tongue along the inside of his top lip and limped forward, leaning on the front of Wilson's desk.
"Who the hell are you?" he asked, eyes flashing with equal parts interest and frustration.
"My name's Anya, and I think I was sent here for a reason."
I stood up, leaning forward so I was face to face with my hero, my idol, and undeniably my childhood crush.
"I know everything that's going to happen to you and the people you care about for the next eight years or so, and I think... well, I think I'm here to make sure that your life turns out less shitty." I felt brave, facing House head on like this, when I was resisting the urge to either cower from the unbelievable command and energy the man projected, or to let my inner House fan jump across the desk and bear hug him.
"Yeah, well, showing up before my leg got mutilated might have been a nice idea." He stood up straight, eyes never leaving me. "So what do you want, oh mystical being from an alternate universe?" he asked, sarcasm definitely not lost on me.
"I need help. I need a lot of things. I'm alone here, and technically I don't exist," I said. "Oh, by the way, I feel bad for distracting you from your patient, so just letting you know, Rebecca has Neurocysticercosis. She got a tapeworm from eating poorly cooked pork. You should probably go X-ray her leg."
House narrowed his eyes at me. "X-ray her leg?"
"Tape worm larva loves thigh muscle," I explained. "It'll show on the x-ray. I don't know what part of the episode you guys are at, so I don't know if you've reached the point where she's on the brink of death or not. Has Cuddy already suspended your treatment privileges to get you to do clinic duty?" I asked.
"What? No, and we ran her blood for parasites. Test came up negative."
"They're wrong thirty percent of the time," I pointed out. "You really should get on that leg X-ray, House, before she has a pulmonary edema. And that's just the beginning of your problems," I said, secretly pleased with the fact that I knew something House didn't.
House, however, wasn't impressed.
"Sorry, she's one of God's people... no pork. Tape worm is out," House said. I shook my head.
"Oh, yeah, Wilson was lying about them being related. She's not Jewish," I informed him, shooting Wilson an apologetic glance. Wilson sighed, and House glared at him. "He was just trying to do it to get you to take the case, don't be mad at him."
House just looked at me, like I was one of his puzzles. Like I was a symptom.
"Yeah, well, I'll get right on taking advice on how to do my job from insane fourteen–"
"–year olds who apparently make a habit of stalking me," he finished, ignoring me.
"I'll tell you what, House, if it turns out she doesn't have a tape worm, then I'll go away and you'll never see me again," I said, playing off of House's betting nature. "But if I'm right, you have to help me," I offered diplomatically. He looked at me for a long moment before nodding.
"You're on," he said before limping out the door. It shut quietly behind him. I sank back down into Wilson's leather chair.
"I just met my hero," I mumbled to myself.
"House is your hero?" Wilson asked incredulously. I nodded. "Your standards can't be very high."
"He may be a jackass on the outside, but he's got a heart of gold on the inside," I explained. Wilson just shook his head in awe and plopped down on the couch.
"You certainly know a lot about medicine for a seventeen year old," Wilson commented. I smirked, crossing my legs under me and turning Wilson's chair side to side.
"Well, I technically observed eight years of House's differentials, so you kind of get second hand medical training, whether you like it or not," I told him with a small shrug.
"I think you should start at the beginning," Wilson said slowly. I nodded.
"Probably a good idea," I agreed. I took a deep breath, then began: "In my world, today was August 26th, 2012. I lived in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. I went out to swim like any other day, but when I dove in... everything went weird. I felt like I was flipped over, then weightless, and then suddenly I was lying face down in the university fountain. I went into the college gift shop, found out the day. I recognized it. House MD premiered on November 16th, 2004. I figured that and the closeness to PPTH couldn't be a coincidence. I made my way to the hospital, and when I saw Cuddy inside, I knew that I was in a different universe. In House's universe," I finished. "I was looking for House when I found you, actually."
Wilson sighed, running a hand through his hair. "I really shouldn't believe you..."
"But?" I said, smiling. He looked at me for a long moment.
"...but I do.
I breathed out a sigh of relief. "Good. If you believe me, hopefully it'll help House believe me."
"What are you going to do if he does?" Wilson asked, folding his hands together.
I frowned. "Um... haven't gotten that far yet, Wilson," I said sheepishly. "I need a place to sleep."
"You could–" Wilson began, but I cut him off with a hand.
"I'm going to assume that you were going to offer for me to stay with you, but the fact that your marriage is already on the verge of yet another divorce, introducing a supposed future child into the mix would not be doing you or Julie any favors," I told him. "Listen, I'm still trying to convince myself that this isn't a hallucination or a dream or something. I guess I just haven't thought too far ahead at this point."
Wilson blinked, then nodded quickly. "Right, I forgot, you know everything about me."
"Creepy, isn't it?"