Notes: Now COMPLETE! House and Chase have fled the pris-- er, PPTH, and are now on their way to Harvey's Bar & Grill, to be continued in a separate thread. Please see the notes from this post, folks, to set up the conditions for their return. ;)
Also: some interesting themes have come up toward the mid-point/end of this thread. Warning for mild intensity and vague/slight references to molestation.
Who: House, open[ducklings, Wilson,
When: Let's try and keep it semi-coherent, at least: the Thursday morning he comes back to work, after the encounter with Cuddy and his day off.
Where: Diagnostics conference room, his office
What: Better stock up on your nitroglycerin, kiddies; House is -- almost -- his trouble-making self. Although he's still in increased pain, and wondering what recent events mean for him emotionally. Tread with caution. This could also lead into that DDX thread we've been dying to get started.
Notes: This was FUN... and also pretty accurate, ahaha. But one caveat, my friends: although the Vicodin extraction method here is 100% accurate[and safe, actually], the descriptions of extracting DXM from cough syrup ARE NOT RECOMMENDED, which is why I didn't describe them in detail. I know because he knows, if that doesn't sound too stupid, but a)I've never actually done that, and b)I don't WANT to. It's dangerous and... well... just dumb. But we all remember the Migraine Medication Process™, don't we? ;)
What's your secret weapon? Will it set us free, fully free to use each other?
If Satan had started handing out ice skates in spiffy red and black to match the decor -- the day Greg House showed up at Princeton-Plainsboro at exactly 9:13 A.M. -- House himself was oblivious to that fact.
He should have been gleefully capering around the hospital, knowing that The Boss wasn't looming over his shoulder, knowing that his team wouldn't rat him out if he skipped clinic duty, pocketed a bottle full of Vicodin[or even, really, another vial of hydromorphone; the stash Wilson had found had been the tame stuff], or sent some poor intern off to do his dirty work. He should have been furiously grumpy, the leg having kept him up half the night, tossing and turning and cursing: something wasn't right there, whether it be re-growing nerves or a prelude to another infarction... he hadn't been able to squirm into an MRI just lately, and the worry gnawed at him, even if it was mostly subconscious. He should have been sitting at home, leg propped up, listening to his stereo and just generally... zoning.
But here he was. Surely not thinking about the shattering changes that may or may not be happening. Surely not letting his mind drift to how absolutely, incredibly ridiculous he was, all of this was, and how he hadn't realized how long he'd wondered, even idly and vaguely and without even knowing, what it might have been like to touch. To taste, even.
Not pondering the hole he'd dug for himself, not even trying to ponder what this might mean... or not mean. Not even trying to contemplate what it would mean for him if she came back from her consult to say to him in that coolly dismissive way, We were drunk, House[not 'Greg', of course, it surely wouldn't be, in that sentence], it didn't mean anything. You're a complete bastard... you think I want my life dragged into that?
But either way, like his infarction, the blockage had been removed, one way or another: the poison, intolerably painful obstruction blasted out of the way, for good or shit-tastically bad. Whether it turned out to be a "life-saving" bypass, cleaning out the toxins that had been killing him, or a cut-loose clot that'd simply fly through his veins and stop his heart... well, all that didn't matter just yet. Nor did the fact of what might happen if any of his team got an inkling of... well, exactly what had happened that day in the office.
Neither did the fact that there was one tiny diagnostic detail that he couldn't quite remember...
Wow. Medical analogies go way too far sometimes, don't they?
He'd spent a good deal of the first half-hour he'd been in his office alone trying to improve on his Vicodin-launching device: They give Nobel prizes to idiots, and ignore the true genius. Figures. Twenty-seven single yellow sample boxes of Avelox™, twelve CDs, a handful of marbles, the oversized black-and-red tennis ball, six rulers, six packets of medical-grade lubricant in silver foil[for the counterweight, of course], three rubber bands, five pencils, half a roll of Scotch tape, two phone books, a length of shoelace, four taped-together tongue depressors, a book of matches, an empty soda bottle, and a Ziploc bag later... success!
He snatched the half-full bottle out of mid-air, and basked in his own genius... for exactly four minutes.
Then: bored. Again.
He got up, flipped on the TV to some brainless show[Springer] for background noise, and then sat back down at his desk, tapping his fingers.
He'd heard rumors of a potential new case, something about recurring clotting problems not responsive to heparin or warfarin[although, he thought that bit might be a steaming load of horseshit], or maybe it was acute respiratory failure. Either way, he was restless, sketchy, flexing his mental fingers to turn this focused passion to something. The puzzle. The challenge. The ability to do what he did best: come up with the answers.
But until then... well. What to do?
There was that interesting new theory he'd been kicking around...
Both opiates and dissociatives have strong side effects which can limit their usefulness in pain treatment. When the two are combined, however, a synergistic effect occurs, and patients can lower the dose of both drugs to the point where side effects are minimized. DXM seems to enhance the painkilling ability of opiates without adding to the side effects, and in practice the patient can lower the dose of opiates while maintaining analgesic effect.
Well... not much different from inducing himself a migraine, eh? He'd been researching the dissociatives just lately. For his own obscure reasons.
Not at all anything to do with the increasing, un-ignorable pain in the leg. Nope.
House stood up, limping over to the chair where he'd dumped his knapsack and rummaging through it for a little white plastic bag, bringing it back to his desk where he sat, interestedly contemplating it, for a few minutes. The pleasure of anticipation. Then, out came a couple of plastic tumblers, a two-buck bag of ice, a pair of coffee filters, and a beaker from the lab downstairs. The rest of the contents of the bag he set aside, whistling briskly until he remembered his stereo and turned it on loud enough to annoy the folks in the next few offices over. Good, loud music.
If I told you once, then I told you twice
That I would have paid just about any price
Crush up the Vicodin; add it to water in the beaker, heated up on the coffee pot's baseplate. Shake it around a little. While that's sitting, mess around with a bottle of Robitussin[The kids call it "Robo", he sneered to himself, snorting audibly], some lighter fluid, and pure citric acid. Take the beaker off the heat, let it cool a little bit, then throw some ice into a tumbler and set the beaker into that; cool the liquid down, baby. Shake it up a little, fit a filter over the top of the other tumbler and pour the crap down through. A little high-school chemistry and a spoon while that's draining, and you've got a syringe full of extracted DXM. Not a wise idea at all, but he was doctor, diagnostician and experimenter, and hey -- what's life without a little risk, after all?
Half an hour later, and he rinsed the filter with some cold water, shook the contents of the Vicodin tumbler, and grinned at the sheer lunacy of pharmaceuticals. It was fun, the discovery, the awareness of existing outside the rules... and outside the fear that paralyzed most people from breaking any ground at all. A teaspoon of sugar and half a packet of blue Kool-Aid mix, another brisk shake, and he swallowed down the clear liquid, shaking his head like a dog out of water and making an absolutely horrified face. More hydrocodone, less acetaminophen... but it tasted awful.
I found a river that doesn't run to the sea
I found a river through the dead lands
I found a river that's been beaten by the sun
Returning to his desk, he tapped out the syringe, found a solid chunk of muscle -- in the meat of the shoulder, where most subcutaneous injections usually went -- pulled his lips back from his teeth in that famously scary Wheee, and NOW for something completely different! expression, mopped the skin with a swab, and pushed the extract in. So now, we just sit back and see where the party takes us. House was pretty sure that there might actually be an article somewhere, in this experience: if he could pin down a requisite dosage of off-label cough suppressant use to aid in chronic pain -- and find a way to combine them without the bullshit clinical trials, in a perfected complex substance -- a lot of medical "professionals" would not only be turned on their ear, but... well. The thought gave him great glee as he pondered the format, the research... and the look on one whole hell of a lot of people's faces.
Of course that was entirely the point of what he was doing. Of course.
He was just starting to feel the first creeping tendrils of the Vicodin[Christ, half an hour faster than normal ingestion, he noted half-consciously, in that way he had, almost idly], and had hiked his leg up onto a chair to watch the three-hundred-pound drama mama on Springer start throwing chairs, the sound on mute, rolling the tennis ball between his hands and tapping on his Game Boy with two fingers.
Give me something. Anything. 'Cause right now, I'm good with not thinking too much harder about this.