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Oh me oh my - House Big Bang Challenge: Half Life
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blue
Date: 2008-03-30 19:08
Subject: House Big Bang Challenge: Half Life
Security: Public
Title: Half Life
Pairing:
House/Wilson; House/OFC
Rating:
R
Length:
29,591
Spoilers:
takes place after season 3, AU to season 4
Author's Notes: Many thanks to my wonderful betas,usomitai and sabinelagrande.
And, wow! This was a challenge! First, because I'm not a fiction writer, and this was a lot of fiction to write. And also because I somehow managed to delete the whole thing when I was at 7,000 words. I thought I'd have to give up for sure. I'm glad I didn't. It may not be great, but it is finished.
Disclaimer: House, M.D. and all its characters belong to David Shore, Bad Hat Harry Productions, and FOX Broadcasting. This is an unofficial fansite and we make no profit.

Summary:
The world changes forever. House and Wilson must cope.

Excerpt:

Wilson is certainly no wolf expert -- this is only the second one he’s actually seen in person and the first was just this morning -- but it looks... normal to him. Certainly, it doesn’t appear to be in any distress. The fur is a mottled brownish, grayish color, darker on the back and fading to a dirty white on the belly and around the muzzle. The wolf’s coat looks slightly scruffy, like it had started shedding and then stopped. Wilson counts the animal’s respirations as the chest rises and falls because he’s not sure what else to do. He’s just started getting closer for a better look at the right leg, which looks a little odd, when the wolf suddenly lifts its head.

Wilson freezes. The wolf yawns hugely, revealing a terrifying collection of yellowing teeth, smacks its lips sleepily, and looks right at him.

Wilson
can only mutter, "Oh, shit," because he can’t deny that the blue eyes staring back at him are House’s.

Also, two wonderful works of art were created for this story!

Cover by thedeadparrot (scroll down a bit)

Illustration by brynnamorgan

Read the story here


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ベル物 (bell)
User: usomitai
Date: 2008-03-30 00:15 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
*waves* Tee hee, I will finally see the final version of this. :)

Congrats again on finishing the challenge, and with such a good story! ♥
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blue
User: oldblue
Date: 2008-03-30 02:06 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thank you! You were a great help.

And I'm looking forward to reading yours, too :)
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Phina
User: delphinapterus
Date: 2008-03-30 06:42 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I just... words fail. This was beautiful and achy all at once. The end had me sniffling. I want to be more coherent about this but I just... wow. I'll have to reread it.
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blue
User: oldblue
Date: 2008-03-30 13:16 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thank you!

Sorry about the 'surprise' sad ending - I thought warning for it would ruin everything. Glad you liked it :)

Now, I'm off to read yours. Again.
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Æ
User: joe_pike_junior
Date: 2008-03-30 08:53 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I snuck in a read of this before the archive went live. Great job. I like the way you made the story seem so trapped, almost -- House in the camp, Wilson unable to do anything about it -- but kept so many plotlines going at the same time. In the end, House didn't solve the puzzle of the disease and that didn't matter.

Cheers, and so very well done.
Armchair Elvis.
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blue
User: oldblue
Date: 2008-03-30 13:17 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Cheater ;)

Glad you enjoyed it. Writing this was certainly challenging and I'm happy things seemed to come together.

Cheers!
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brandy71
User: brandy71
Date: 2008-03-30 11:23 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
OMG. Speechless.
But I'd better say something.

The first half was so tense and frustrating, all those feelings of anger and despair were so brilliantly written that my stomach was clenching in sympathy.
House's escape gave me brief hope that he would be able to come up with a cure, but his acceptance of the inevitable seemed right somehow. I loved the interlude of happiness when they were tucked away in the cabin.

You did a remarkable job keeping our heroes in character and that's what made this so believable.

As for the ending - my daughter asked me why I was crying at my computer...
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blue
User: oldblue
Date: 2008-03-30 13:19 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Sorry to make you cry :(

I thought about trying to work in some kind of happy ending, but it didn't seem right somehow. And actually I think the ending is kind of happy. A bit. If you squint... maybe.

Thanks for the nice comments!
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hwshipper
User: hwshipper
Date: 2008-03-30 16:32 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Oh God that was BEAUTIFUL. I'm not usually a fan of werewolf type AU fics, but this was just wonderful. Really well written, really well plotted out. So sad. I think the ending was as happy for House as it could have been... but I feel for Wilson, left behind.

And I remember when you posted that you'd lost the whole thing and had to start over... amazing that you managed to write this in those circumstances, and so well! *is awed*
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blue
User: oldblue
Date: 2008-03-31 21:51 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thank you!

I figured I'd scare off a fair number of readers with the premise. And I went ahead and wrote it anyway ;) Glad you liked the ending.

Yeah, that whole delete thing really sucked. I lost the majority of my artwork at the same time, which was ultimately a bigger deal than deleting the story. I think the story is actually better now than it was going to be. So, that's good, right?
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oxoniensis: fandom: house in swedish
User: oxoniensis
Date: 2008-03-30 23:12 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:fandom: house in swedish
Wow, that was an amazing ride. I particularly loved the ending - it felt like the only possible and the right resolution.
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blue
User: oldblue
Date: 2008-03-31 21:52 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it. I was worried it wasn't exciting enough - when I'd originally envisioned this, it had a lot more action, I swear :)
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The Midnight Rider
User: sabinelagrande
Date: 2008-03-31 00:17 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I still less than three this story. It's such a gorgeously constructed universe. So much love!
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blue
User: oldblue
Date: 2008-03-31 21:53 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thanks, again, for the beta! Glad you enjoyed reading it.
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menolly_au
User: menolly_au
Date: 2008-03-31 12:36 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Wow! I shouldn't have read that before trying to get to sleep - sobbing here, but in a good way. Although I half wanted the 'happy' ending with a last-minute cure your ending was brilliant, totally in keeping with the overall tone of the story. Thank you for such a great story.
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blue
User: oldblue
Date: 2008-03-31 21:54 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thanks!

The original ending had Wilson actually going through with it, but it just felt wrong to leave him like that. And then I realized I couldn't see Wilson actually doing that, so I fixed it ;)
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blue
User: oldblue
Date: 2008-03-31 21:55 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thank you. That's what I was hoping for - crack, but non-cracky, you know? Glad it worked.
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Mer
User: mer_duff
Date: 2008-03-31 19:52 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
This was one of those stories where I had no idea what to expect from the excerpt (other than something wonderful, which of course it was), but which drew me in immediately and never let go. I can't believe it was nearly 30,000 words - the writing was so smooth and compelling. I found the differences - and similarities - between House the wolf and House the human fascinating. And the ending, while heartbreaking, was the best possible and most believable resolution for House. And certainly a better one for Wilson than what House had requested.

Thank you for persevering with this story!
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blue
User: oldblue
Date: 2008-03-31 21:58 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thanks for the nice comment :)

Yeah, I struggled over choosing that excerpt. The main thing I wanted to do was make sure everyone had some idea that there might be crack involved.

I can't believe it's almost 30,000 words either!
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User: jdr1184
Date: 2008-03-31 23:40 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Holding Hands
Wonderful story. I held of crying until the very end. This story had so many interesting elements. I loved the idea that Wilson and House ran away to Canada to enjoy what time they had. You took the hard route and gave us no last time cure. It's a brave choice and I applaude you for it. It left me a crying mess but it was a beautiful mess.
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blue
User: oldblue
Date: 2008-04-01 02:12 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thank you!

Sorry it made you sad. And I have always wanted to run away to Canada ;)
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Dr. Gregory House
User: pwnsgod
Date: 2008-04-01 00:11 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I cannot even respond I'm so moved and shaken and affected by your writing. The mood is absolutely haunting. Just... brilliant.
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blue
User: oldblue
Date: 2008-04-01 02:14 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thanks! That's quite a compliment. I'm happy it worked for you - I was worried the story wouldn't be accessible to too many readers.
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blue
User: oldblue
Date: 2008-04-01 23:46 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thank you!

I'm glad you stuck with it. I kind of realized I might be turning people off (and, actually, I have to admit I'd probably be one of them), but the idea was stuck in my brain and wouldn't come out :)
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magical24
User: magical24
Date: 2008-04-04 19:58 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
"Half-Life" is one of the best written and most poignant House fics I've had the pleasure to read. Kudos you for not giving up on it and thanks so much for sharing.
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blue
User: oldblue
Date: 2008-04-04 23:25 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Cheers! That means a lot to me :)
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xantemortemx
User: xantemortemx
Date: 2008-04-07 21:24 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Damn you, do you have any ide how embarassing it would be if someone in my family walked in and saw me all weepy!?! ;___; *dries tears*

I really liked it, but it's just too damn sad! And not in a incredible!angst sort of way, but more in a hopless you-know-there-can't-really-be-a-happy-ending way... I feel so sorry for Wilson! And House. But he's not aware of it anymore - Wilson will have to live with the fact that House is, essentially, alive, but that HOUSE isn't really alive. I feel so sorry for people who are left behind.
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blue
User: oldblue
Date: 2008-04-08 11:04 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Sorry about the sad :( It just felt right to have it end like that.

Thanks for commenting.
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bookfan85
User: bookfan85
Date: 2008-04-08 03:43 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It was a great story, but there's one thing that's nagging me that I don't really reading in the fic. What actually caused the whole werewolf transformation thing?

Any thoughts on like a small sequal where House and Wilson meet again? LOL

BTW...you had me weepy too.
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blue
User: oldblue
Date: 2008-04-08 11:07 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thanks!

I wanted the whole werewolf thing to be random - something that House wouldn't be able to diagnose or fix. That's mostly based on The Metamorphoses, in which the gods change people basically on a whim (see rambling discussion above). I wanted it not to make sense, if that makes any sense ;)

I don't think I'll write a sequel - I've spent too much time with this story at this point.
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Amy: House-House--Bittersweet goodbyes
User: evila_elf
Date: 2008-04-08 09:29 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:House-House--Bittersweet goodbyes
Wow.
I was riveted to the computer for 2 hours and could not move while I read this.

I went in blind and ignored the excerpt, so I had no idea what I was in for.

The concept was amazing and so. freaking. frustrating!! I was tearing up when Wilson finally got to visit House, then again when he was in the infirmary with the neck wound.
But then the news that the human time was getting shorter floored me. Glad that House was able to escape and he and Wilson ran away to Canada together (LOL). And I was so scared that Wilson actually would keep his promise to House. It would have made me an even bigger mess than I am right now.

Only 2 things bugging me...The shorter days just seem a all of a sudden--boom, House is only a human for a few hours. Maybe I missed a few signs.
And Cuddy. I was hoping for a final bit to tie in that phone conversation House had with her.

*mems*
Absolutely wonderful!
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blue
User: oldblue
Date: 2008-04-08 11:13 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thanks so much!

It is a silly story, isn't it? As for the days getting shorter: the whole thing takes place over about a year. I'm not sure how clear that was from the changing seasons, etc - I probably could've emphasized it. Originally, the last part, when they're in Canada, was longer. So there was more of a transition. Also, if you're geeky enough, you might have noticed the title refers to radioactive decay, which happens logarithmically (I think). So, the time would be lost at a faster rate. The Cuddy thing - well, I kind of just wanted House to say goodbye to Cuddy, but it felt like something he needed an excuse to do.
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the DreamsEnder: TimeWalker of Atlantis: House & Wilson
User: perspi
Date: 2008-04-09 05:19 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:House & Wilson
This was wonderful--the details about being a wolf, the detention camp, the way Wilson reacted to House, and the END! Everything, excellent. You took a cracked-out premise and made if into a really fantastic, touching story. :)
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blue
User: oldblue
Date: 2008-04-09 16:24 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it :)
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alemyrddin: HouseWilson rule the world
User: alemyrddin
Date: 2008-04-10 09:42 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:HouseWilson rule the world
*sniffles*
This broke me. It was a wonderful fic, but it also left me heartbroken.
But it was the only right ending, given the circumstances.
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blue
User: oldblue
Date: 2008-04-15 21:42 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thank you! I feel bad making everyone sad, but it had to be done ;)
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Zulu: house - truth seeker
User: zulu
Date: 2008-04-15 17:39 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:house - truth seeker
This was so awesome. It was an interesting blend of fic and original writing, because I really felt that the world you created could exist on its own, without the structural support of the House universe. I definitely wasn't prepared for the directions the story took, but I was completely hooked and totally willing to follow you. I thought you did an excellent job of the wolf's POV; that device could easily have been overused, but you kept it sparing and deft. Loved the description of the camp and their lives there: the way they formed packs, the relationship the vet had with House and how different that was from how House knew him, the hint of the children remembering which might've led to a cure... The ending hurt my heart in that perfect way that stays with you, that makes you sad all over again just to think of it: very powerful, and it felt very right for the story you told.
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blue
User: oldblue
Date: 2008-04-15 21:45 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thanks! It wouldn't exist without your modding (prodding).

I was actually pretty worried that this would be inaccessible to most fans of the show, but I've gotten a lot of nice feedback. And I think I've learned a lot about writing, which is probably the most valuable and enjoyable part of the whole experience.
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aisalynn: Greg
User: aisalynn
Date: 2008-04-16 05:37 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Greg
Oh, I just loved this. Not just because it was fantastically written (which it was) with a great pace and a natural feel to it (which had), nor because it showed how really deep the relationship between House and Wilson was (Wilson, after all, practically sacrificed everything for him and House was obviously attached to Wilson even as a wolf. Which was adorable by the way. :)), but because I just love the UNIVERSE you created in this fic.

So many possibilities! So many questions! What caused the change? Why did some people change into wolves and other didn't? Would there ever be a cure? And did all the werewolves go through the permanent change at the same rate, or was it different for everybody?

I like the idea that it happens at different rates for everybody. The little girl for instance, maybe she remembered what happened during the day more than the adults because in some strange way kids are more connected to their human form... maybe she hasn't changed permenently yet and maybe they will find a cure for it in the kids lifetime. (This isn't however, my need to see some kind of happy ending for House and Wilson. I loved the end. I thought it was the best way for it to end, and I'm perfectly fine with him not being cured because they cannot find the wolf, or it won't work once they go through the permanent change or whatever, and let Wilson angst over the fact that the cure came too late.)

Anyway, this comment is getting really long. I loved this story and the universe you created. Its the kind of fic that, like a really good book or movie, makes people think about possibilities and inspire them to write. I can so see there be fanfiction of your fanfiction. :)
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2008-04-21 00:54 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
this is amazing
simply amazing
I'm not one to carve scifi, if that the term for this story, fantasy does not really applies for it does has medical "scientific" relation in some way. But all in all I love it, great talent and smooth way to carry with each word
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daisylily: eating Chinese and laughing: house_eye
User: daisylily
Date: 2008-05-03 19:50 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:house_eye
Dear God, that packed a punch; it's one of the most powerful bits of writing that I've ever read. It was all so very vivid and real, and the way the story progressed was beautifully paced - the way the authorities reacted felt totally realistic, and the way that House and Wilson (and the others) reacted also felt totally right. As the story went on, I suspected that it wasn't going to have a happy ending, and I also suspected I'd end up sniffling, but it packed much more of an emotional punch than that. As I got into section 20 I found tears welling up, and by the end of the story I was really crying - and there are very few pieces of writing that have had me doing that. One of the bits that I really liked was that Wilson let the wolf go free, because nothing of House remained - he'd already gone. I'm so glad you didn't warn for any of the ending - I'm sure it would still have affected me, but it wouldn't have crept up on me as it did. It's still affecting me now, and I suspect it will be doing that for some time. Absolutely amazing.

*mems*
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asnightbird
User: asnightbird
Date: 2008-06-07 17:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
WOW. I just finished reading your story. It's a beautiful story, beautifully written with an incredibly moving ending. This is without a doubt one of the best I've ever read, and I've read hundreds of stories. If you had had Wilson kill House in the end, I think it would have been so OOC for him. IMO, I think you made the wise choice. It made the whole story that much more poignant. Congratulations on a job well done! My hat is off to you.
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