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House MD – 5.11 Joy to the World

Originally Aired: December 9, 2008

Written by: Peter Blake
Directed by: David Straiton

Transcribed by: Jane (poeia)


DISCLAIMER: We don't own "HOUSE." It's owned by FOX and NBC/Universal, and produced by Heel and Toe Films and Bad Hat Harry Productions. This transcript is unofficial, and should UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES be copied or distributed, especially for commercial use.



[Open on two stagehands on a catwalk shaking out artificial snow. The camera pans down to the stage as a chorus of children, dressed in costumes from the Nativity, sings.]

Chorus: Joy to the world, the Lord is come. Let earth receive her king. Let every heart prepare him room. And heaven and nature sing, and heaven and nature sing, and heaven, heaven and nature sing.

[Cut to backstage. The chorus can be heard in the background.]

Sarah: This sucks. This is why we need to make a statement. You know?

Natalie: I don’t think that —

Sarah: What? You afraid we’ll wind up in detention?

Natalie: Well, yeah. That’s… that’s what teachers do.

Sarah: They’re not going to send all of us to detention.

Rachelle: Mr. Henderson is totally lame and this is our best chance to inform him of that fact. [Natalie stares at her.] You don’t think he’s lame?

[The audience applauds and the members of the chorus file off stage, past the girls.]

Natalie: Well, yeah, but…

Sarah: Then what’s the problem?

Natalie: Okay. [She nods as the girls file onstage.]

Announcer: The Robin Kay Academy Vocal Jazz Ensemble.

[The curtain rises. The girls are standing in two rows. A pianist starts playing “The Christmas Song.”]

Ensemble: Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose. Yuletide carols being sung by a choir and folks dressed up like Eskimos. Everybody knows…

Natalie: Mr. Henderson’s a stupid… [She stops when she realizes she’s the only one singing. There’s some laughter from the audience.] Why… why’d you do that? [She looks at the footlights, which seem out of focus.] I don’t feel so… so good. [She projectile vomits and falls to her hands and knees, still retching.]

[Opening credits.]

[Cut to Diagnostics Conference Room. Cuddy is giving the fellows a file.]

Cuddy: 16-year-old female gets pranked and also gets visual hallucinations and vomiting. Turns out to be a failing liver.

House: Why have Foreman’s breasts suddenly started to droop?

Thirteen: Large breasts are a classic symptom of you letting Foreman take vacation days so he can finish his FDA reports before the end of the year.

House: When are you taking vacation? [He raises his eyebrows suggestively.]

Cuddy: Hepatic and neurological involvement —

House: So I understand Foreman’s absence. Your presence, not so much.

Cuddy: I’m bringing in a case. You may have noticed me doing that before.

House: I’ve noticed you a lot recently. It’s almost as if you have a sexual interest in someone here. Like, say… Taub.

Cuddy: Well, Taub might think that I like him if I stayed, which is why I’m gonna do this. [She leaves.]

Taub: Somehow I don’t think that was really about me.

Kutner: [reaching for the file] Uh… Wilson’s Disease.

Thirteen: Ceruloplasmin’s normal.

Taub: You got a Christmas present.

Kutner: [grabs the card] “Greg, made me think of you.”

[House limps over, grabs the present and throws it, still wrapped, in the garbage can.]

House: That’s funny. Usually explodes after I do that.

Thirteen: Alcohol abuse?

Taub: She’s 16. The kind of boozing that destroys your liver that early, parents or teachers would notice. [He pulls the present from the trash and unwraps the book] Wow. Manual of the Operations of Surgery by Joseph Bell.

Kutner: You throwing that away?

House: Twice. [He grabs it and puts it back in the trash] Someone’s screwing with me. Forget it.

Taub: Yeah. Gifting antique medical texts. Oldest gag in the book.

Kutner: Handwriting’s kinda girly. You got an admirer, House?

House: I said, forget the book! [The fellows look at each other] Why’d they pick on her?

Kutner: She’s an overachiever. High grades. She volunteers. She’s a big target.

House: I’m assuming literally. Depending on where this school falls on the Healthers scale…

Thirteen: Do you think the kids slipped her something? Their teachers grilled them.

House: When do teachers never know how to motivate their students?

[Cut to OR observation area. Kutner and Chase are there with several of Natalie’s classmates.]

Kutner: What did you do to Natalie?

Sarah: It’s all my fault. [She’s smiling and texting, not looking at him.] I didn’t stop her from being a total pig.

[Sarah and another girl laugh. Chase reaches over and takes the phone from Sarah’s hands.]

Sarah (continues): What are you —?

Chase: Your friend’s liver is failing. We’re doing what we can but she still might need a transplant. She could die unless you tell us what you gave her.

Anna: Just tell him.

Sarah: Shut up.

[Chase looks between the two girls.]

Anna: We gave her some shrooms.

Sarah: We took some ourselves. We just… wanted to make her loosen up a little.

Kutner: How thoughtful of you. You got any left?

Sarah: They’re in Simon’s locker. [She looks at an ultra-preppy blond boy.]

Kutner: This was your idea?

Simon: No way. I didn’t give her anything.

Kutner: Right, you just knew about it and let them do it.

Simon: Poisonous mushroom and hallucinogenic ones are different.

Chase: Not if they don’t dry properly.

Kutner: Get back to school. You better hope we got to her in time.

[Chase tosses Sarah’s phone back to her. As the other students follow Kutner out, she looks at the surgery going on below them.]

Chase: What?

Sarah: Am I going to get in trouble? Should we apologize or something?

Chase: Yes. You should. Natalie’s on the third floor.

Sarah: Who’s down there?

Chase: [over his shoulder as he leaves] Mr. Raditz.

[Cut to clinical trials area. Foreman is testing the range of motion in Thirteen’s arm.]

Thirteen: Where’s the woman I spoke to last week? The trial patient, um, with the advanced symptoms.

Foreman: She dropped out.

Thirteen: Is she okay?

Foreman: Not health-related. She just wants to drop out.

Thirteen: Why?

Foreman: She didn’t say. And I only break into the houses of very special patients to understand them better. [She smiles]

Thirteen: I do good today, boss?

Foreman: No rigidity. No cog wheeling. So, absolutely, I’d call that good.

Thirteen: Great. Thanks. [She starts to leave.]

Foreman: Your clipboard.

Thirteen: Keep it.

[He looks at the clipboard, which has a gift certificate for a day spa and a post-it which says “Thanks for helping me out. XO”]

[Cut to the high school hall. Taub and Kutner are with a school janitor who is opening Simon’s locker.]

Kutner: This place actually smells of evil.

Taub: Where do you work, again? [The locker is opened. Kutner starts going through it] Why would House throw out a book worth hundreds of dollars?

Kutner: [checking out the contents] To make you ask that question. Can you really put a price tag on screwing with people?

Taub: Can you get us into Natalie Soellner’s locker while we’re here? [Kutner pulls out a baggie and closes the locker. They follow the janitor down the hall] House always has an agenda. Just screwing with us isn’t —

Kutner: Yeah. He’d never do that. Oh, wait. He already did, last year. Remember the Secret Santa gift he got himself?

Taub: He was making us fight over who could get him the best present. [He starts checking the contents of Natalie’s locker while Kutner sniffs the shrooms] This time he’s just making us wonder. No animosity. No ugly competition. I think it’s a real present.

Kutner: If it’s real then House really was freaked. If it affects him, eventually it will affect us…

Taub: Uh-oh. [He pulls a giant bottle of acetaminophen from the locker] Maybe it wasn’t those kids who poisoned Natalie. Maybe it was Natalie herself.

[Cut to Natalie’s room]

Natalie: I didn’t try to kill myself.

Cuddy: Then why’d you have all those painkillers?

Natalie: In case I got a headache.

Cuddy: Well, maybe you took a few too many.

Natalie: Do you have any kids?

Cuddy: No. But high school wasn’t all that different when I was your age. Teenagers can be incredibly mean. I know what you’re going through.

Natalie: [shakes her head] I bet you were cool. You’re pretty.

Cuddy: You’re pretty too.

Natalie: I’m fat. I’m a loser. They all hate me. You know what they did last year? They took these photos of me for the yearbook. But it wasn’t. It was for this website, making fun of me, calling me a pig.

Cuddy: Forget about them. Let’s just make you better.

Natalie: What’s the point?

[Cut to the hallway. Cuddy is talking to Natalie’s parents.]

Cuddy: Acetylcysteine could save her liver, but we have to act fast. If there’s any chance that she took all those pills —

Mr. Soellner: There’s no chance.

Cuddy: Okay. [Cuddy starts to leave.]

Mrs. Soellner: She was the happiest, sweetest little girl and… and a year ago she hits puberty and it’s like this… secretive little stranger moved into her room. I tried to talk to her about what she’s going through… Give her the treatment.

Mr. Soellner: You can’t really think that she tried to —.

Mrs. Soellner: I don’t know what to think.

[Mr. Soellner looks at Cuddy and nods. She leaves.]

[Cut to Wilson’s office. He’s going through a file. Taub and Kutner are there.]

Wilson: If it ‘s a subpoena, he’s gotten that kind of present before.

Taub: It was a book.

Wilson: That narrows it down. Just look for someone who knows how to read or has been to a bookstore.

Taub: Most bookstores don’t carry Joseph Bell “On Surgery.”

[Wilson stops what he’s doing and gives them his full attention.]

Wilson: Did it have a note?

Kutner: Greg, made me think of you.

Wilson: Green wrapping paper.

Taub: How did you know that? [Wilson fidgets. Taub steps closer to the desk] What is it?

Wilson: [nods a few times] It’s nothing.

Taub: [He and Kutner look at each other] Yes, when something’s nothing, the natural response is to guess the color of the paper it’s wrapped in and then descend into stunned silence.

Wilson: [fidgets a bit more] Irene Adler. Christmas 2001. Sarcoid symptoms but she didn’t respond to methotrexate. I’ve never seen him so obsessed. He saved her with a last-minute Wegener’s diagnosis, but the hours he put in… I thought it would kill him. And then… Well, he fell for her. But it was too soon after Stacy and… It sounds silly, but Irene was the one who got away.

Kutner: [quietly] Really?

Wilson: No, you idiots. House is just screwing with you. You think there’s some woman with a mysterious green wrapping paper trademark?

Taub: Then how did you guess…?

Wilson: I could be wrong. It’s possible a secret admirer gave House the same book I gave him last Christmas. [beeper sounds] And the same paper I wrapped it in. And the note I wrote.

Kutner: [checking his beeper] We gotta go.

[They leave, Wilson returns to his paperwork.]

[Cut to Natalie’s room. Natalie is sitting in bed, gasping. Cuddy is checking her out.]

Taub: Heartbeat?

Cuddy: 150. BP 180 over 110. Crackling three-quarters of the way up. [She gets a syringe from the medicine cart in the room.]

Kutner: Guess this means she didn’t try to kill herself.

[As Cuddy gives her an injection, Taub holds an emesis basin for her to gag over.]

[Cut to Diagnostics Conference Room. House is at the white board. Cuddy is standing near him. Thirteen, Taub and Kutner are at the table.]

Cuddy: Well, scratch the hallucinations. That’s from the mushrooms. That leaves liver failure and now pulmonary edema.

House: And you, standing there, beseechingly.

Cuddy: Yes. I was going to stalk you at home but it was a busy week and your office is closer.

Taub: Thirteen and Foreman were busy drug trialing and we needed an answer on the overdose so we called her in. She’s just updating us.

House: [to Cuddy] Convenient.

Cuddy: Update’s done. [She leaves]

Taub: This is a good experience for me, as my parents never got divorced.

House: Theories!

Thirteen: Glue sniffing.

Kutner: Effects on the lungs would have been immediate.

Taub: House. We all know what’s going on here. Cuddy gave you that present.

House: No. Infections?

Thirteen: No fever. No polys in the sputum.

Taub: [standing] I think… [loud, long sigh] I think she loves you.

House: [angrily] I told you to lay off the present. [The fellows smile behind his back.] and the LSD. We got distracted by the painkillers. Toxins are still the most likely.

Taub: Just tell her how you feel. If you won’t, then I will. I’ll walk right down there. Damn it. Love like this needs to fly free.

[Kutner snickers out loud. Thirteen covers her mouth with her hand to hide her smile.]

House: You talked to Wilson.

Taub: He has very girly handwriting, by the way.

House: I knew I should have just wrapped a new present. You said the patient volunteered. Where?

Kutner: [checking file] Uh, Pleasant Valley.

House: Soup kitchen in Trenton. Thirteen, Kutner — go search the home and the school. Taub, you take the anal swabbing of the fragrant and contagious homeless men. [Taub stops smiling as the fellows leave.]

[Cut to the cafeteria. Wilson has a salad and an ice cream sandwich on his tray. He’s waiting for his entree]

House: Why don’t you just hang out in the video store and tell everyone Kevin Spacey’s Keyser Soze? [He grabs the ice cream] By the way, that ending really made no sense at all.

Wilson: You had my present for a year and didn’t even open it?

House: I had no way of knowing there was an expensive book inside.

Wilson: Completely meaningless prank, even for you. [He gets another ice cream sandwich]

House: Stealing your ice cream is a completely meaningless, albeit delicious prank. Observing my team’s reactions to unexplained phenomena could’ve been pretty useful.

Wilson: [paying for their food] Of all the ways to mess with people, why give yourself an imaginary present?

House: Have you checked the prices for firemen strippers recently?

Wilson: Yes. [House pauses while eating the ice cream to stare at Wilson.] The holidays. They’re hard for you. I get it. [They sit at a table] You see the people around you giving and receiving gifts, having sustained, meaningful relationships. And, since you can’t, something deep in your subconscious makes you create the appearance of a gift. It’s sad.

House: You really passed your psych rotation?

Wilson: It’s too bad you can’t just be nice to people. You could get a real present that way.

House: If I wanted gifts, I would just look deep into my patient’s eyes and act like you. “Oh, I’m so sorry you’re dying, Mrs. Moron. Of course I’ll sleep with you. What I lack in skill, I can make up for in…”

Wilson: You just wind up insulting her. Perhaps calling her “Mrs. Moron.”

House: Right, because I’m physically incapable of being polite.

Wilson: Being kind in a sustained, meaningful way? No.

House: Oh, I get it. You’re trying to get me to prove you wrong. Then I’m gonna be nice to all my patients all through the holiday season and then Mr. Potter won’t steal Tiny Tim’s porridge. I’m totally on it.

Wilson: Yeah. That actually is what I’m trying to do. And the pathetic part is, it’s not going to work.

House: [thoughtfully] You’re right. I gotta stop being such a jerk. [Wilson looks at him. He takes Wilson’s second ice cream sandwich.] Oops. Kinda undercut myself there. [He leaves]

[Cut to TV lounge in a residence. Janice, the patient with advanced Huntington’s is watching TV. Thirteen enters.]

Thirteen: Janice? I’m Remy. I’m —

Janice: Yeah! I remember you.

Thirteen: I heard you left the trial.

Janice: Yeah.

Thirteen: If there’s some way I could help…

Janice: Um. It… it was that doctor. He… The one that was running the test.

Thirteen: Dr. Foreman.

Janice: Yeah.

Thirteen: He’s a great neurologist. He’s… a great guy.

Janice: Huh. You like him. [laughs]

Thirteen: Why don’t you?

Janice: I told him that those injections were making me sick in my stomach and he just gave me antacid.

Thirteen: We were warned that nausea’s a side effect and giving you antacids is all he really could do.

Janice: No! He told me… “Get over it.” With or without these drugs, I don’t have a long time. I’m not gonna spend it being his guinea pig.

[Cut to PPTH lobby. House is about to enter the clinic.]

Taub: House. It’s tuberculosis.

House: You got that from an anal swab? Man, you’re good.

Taub: It was a more subtle clue. Homeless guy, uncontrollably hacking up blood. Cough’s lasted two months. He was cachectic.

House: [removing his jacket and swiping a lab coat from a chair back] Unless you can tie him to the patient…

Taub: Yes. Again, if only there was some subtle clue like the fact that he was standing next to her in the soup line for a week.

House: I hate spunk.

Taub: TB can cause lung failure, liver symptoms… Fits.

House: Start her on the standard regimen. [He heads for an exam room]

Taub: Uh, you don’t have clinic duty today.

House: Who says it’s a duty?

[Cut to exam room. A woman is slouched on the table. House enters.]

House: Hi. I’m Greg.

Whitney: Hi. I’m Whitney.

House: Hi, Whitney. How can I help you? [He limps to a stool and sits.]

Whitney: I have a… a terrible headache.

House: Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. I’ll get you fixed up. Is there anything else you need like a bottle of water? Coffee? Mint tea?

Whitney: No, but that’s so nice. Usually the clinic doctors are kinda rushed.

House: If you can’t be nice, why be a doctor. So, where do you feel the pain?

Whitney: In the back of my head here.

House: Uh, huh. It’s Beccaria’s sign. That’ll be gone by your third trimester.

Whitney: Uh, I’m not in school.

House: [deep breath] Neither is your fetus.

Whitney: Oh, God.

House: You didn’t know that you were pregnant?

Whitney: How do you… You know that just from the headache?

House: How do I know? I missed my period. I got fat, threw up. Oh no, wait. That’s how you know.

Whitney: What?

House: I know because of the tight shirt stretched over the swollen boobs, the salt craving you imported into the clinic, [gestures at the almost empty bag of chips next to her] the motion sickness patch that doesn’t do anything for the kind of sickness that you feel in the morning.

Whitney: I’m a virgin. So’s my fiancé.

House: I believe him.

Whitney: Aren’t there other ways I could get pregnant like sitting on a toilet seat?

House: Absolutely. There would need to be a guy sitting between you and the toilet seat. But yes, absolutely. [She looks at him imploringly. He rolls his eyes] I was doing so well.

[House gets up and walks out, leaving Whitney alone and confused.]

[Cut to Natalie’s room. Mrs. Soellner and Cuddy are both masked. Natalie starts to seize.]

Cuddy: Natalie?

Mrs. Soellner: Oh God, Natalie.

Cuddy: She’s having a seizure. Put her on her side. [They roll Natalie over] Nurse!

Mrs. Soellner: Is this from the TB?

Cuddy: Not with the supple neck. I don’t know what this is. Four milligrams lorazepam.

[Cut to Natalie’s parents with her.]

[Cut to Diagnostics DDX]

House: Liver, lungs and now, brain. Which has mysteriously reappeared. [The word “brain” had been crossed out on the white board. He puts a check mark over it.] Speaking of mysteriously reappeared… [He puts a check mark over the crossed out word “Cuddy.”]

Cuddy: Her ALT’s twenty times normal. Transaminases and PTs way up. She’s gonna lose her liver. We gotta get her on a transplant list.

House: You keep showing up. You also keep leaving. It’s possible that you have the hots for me but really, really hate this kid. It’s also remotely possible that I have that reversed.

Cuddy: She’s a nice kid. I wanna make sure she’s okay. Hepatic fibrosis?

Thirteen: Normal complement level. Normal sized liver.

House: Does she remind you of… you? No. You weren’t a loser in high school. You had every Tom, Dick and Herschel wet dreaming about you. But she could be making you think of another helpless, chubby little girl you recently met.

Cuddy: You’re not really making this about the baby I tried to adopt.

House: Been a few weeks. Just enough time to get over hurt feelings…

Cuddy: Natalie’s 16. I think you’re confusing being maternal with being human. [He stares; she looks away first.] If we hadn’t ruled out the mushrooms —

Kutner: Maybe we shouldn’t have. Forget toxic, think allergic. Severe mold allergy could cause liver failure, respiratory arrest and encephalopathy.

Thirteen: She ate the shrooms days ago. There’s no way she’d still be sick.

House: Unless it also gave her a fungal infection. Give her a prick test and antifungals.

[The fellows leave. After looking at House for a moment, Cuddy leaves too.]

[Cut to clinical trials area. Thirteen enters.]

Foreman: Hey. Thank you for the gift. I really appreciate it.

Thirteen: [nods and smiles] I spoke to Janice.

Foreman: Is she okay?

Thirteen: Yeah. Her nausea… She said you told her, like, get over it?

Foreman: And?

Thirteen: Nausea isn’t something you can overcome with sheer will power.

Foreman: Which is why I didn’t prescribe will power. I prescribed antacids. If she can’t handle that, she’d have to leave the trial anyway.

Thirteen: [nodding] Just call her, say you’re sorry. She’ll come back.

Foreman: No.

Thirteen: God, you’re acting like House now.

Foreman: [very angry] No, I’m not acting like House, which is exactly why I don’t need to apologize. I’m not being cruel. I’m not being manipulative.

Thirteen: You said the same thing to me when I told you I was having a hard time.

Foreman: And it worked.

Thirteen: She’s a 40-year-old woman who’s falling apart, physically and emotionally. She’s dying.

Foreman: Look. I know seeing the ghost of your Christmas future is tough, but the only way I can help her is by making sure she follows her regimen, not by becoming her life coach.

Thirteen: You’re not acting like House. You are like him.

[Cut to Clinic. House is at the desk. Whitney sees him.]

Whitney: Dr. House? This is my fiancé, Geoff.

Geoff: She says you told her you can get pregnant from sitting on a toilet seat.

House: [takes a deep breath and adjusts neck] I said those words but with a particular inflection. [He turns back to the desk]

Geoff: I knew it wasn’t true.

Whitney: [grabs House’s arm] Well, isn’t there any other way? Isn’t it possible?

House: There was a reported case of a Civil War soldier who was shot in the testicles and the… musket ball carried the… non-musket ball into the uterus of a woman working in a neighboring field. Nine months later, a miracle child was born. [to Geoff] Also, maybe she cheated on you.

Geoff: [looking at Whitney sadly] You made a promise.

Whitney: We do… we do other stuff in bed. Couldn’t some of his sperm have made it up there somehow?

House: More likely, it came from the guy whose penis made it up there somehow but sure, anything’s possible.

Geoff: I want a paternity test.

House: [sotto voce] Tell him that amnios are dangerous this early on in the pregnancy.

Whitney: Are they?

House: Who cares? He doesn’t know.

Whitney: [taking Geoff’s arm] No, we’ll… we’ll do the paternity test.

[House looks at her quizzically and leaves.]

[Cut to Natalie’s room. Kutner and Taub are inspecting her back.]

Taub: No reaction.

Natalie: That’s bad?

Taub: If you had a mold allergy, it would explain your symptoms.

Kutner: We’ll find out what’s wrong. Don’t worry. And, uh, I know some things are hard to talk about with your parents around, but kids can be really mean. There are people you can talk to, programs…

Natalie: I… I’ll be okay.

Kutner: You’re in good spirits. You feeling better?

Natalie: No. I was just doing my homework. I’m such a dork, I guess that cheers me up.

Kutner: Your parents brought it?

Natalie: No, Simon did.

Kutner: The jock-y kid in your class?

Natalie: Yeah. He just left.

[Kutner and Taub look at each other. Kutner presses the intercom to the nurses’ station that’s over the bed.]

Kutner: Security?

[Cut to lobby. Kutner and Taub, with a security guard behind them, are talking to Simon.]

Simon: I was just bringing her her homework.

Kutner: You helped bully this little girl and completely refuse to accept responsibility. No way you came here out of compassion. That only leaves guilt. What did you do to her?

Simon: Nothing —

Kutner: Stop lying or I’ll take the drugs I found in your locker down to the cops, you slimy little jerk. [Taub takes his arm and they step away.]

Taub: This kid didn’t do anything to you.

Kutner: This isn’t about me.

Taub: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I get it. You were bullied yourself when you were in school. Take it easy.

Kutner: I wasn’t bullied.

Taub: Right. The Indian foster kid whose parents were shot in front of him. You were clearly homecoming king. [Kutner turns back to Simon.]

Kutner: Let’s try this again. Just tell me —

Simon: Honestly, you don’t understand. [exhales] We used to be friends. And I’d be friends with her now if, you know, people wouldn’t make fun of me.

Kutner: There’s nothing you could tell us that’ll help?

Simon: Did she mention she used to drink a lot?

Kutner: No. How do you know that?

Simon: Look, don’t tell anyone, all right? I had my brother’s ID and I kinda supplied people. I used to get her a few bottles of vodka each week!

Kutner: Why’d you stop?

Simon: [shrugs] She got her own ID. Said it was cheaper buying it herself.

Kutner: You can go. [Simon leaves]

Taub: I think we got our diagnosis. Our little girl’s a drunk.

[Cut to Natalie’s room.]

Natalie: I don’t drink. I did it back then, but…

Cuddy: You could die. We can’t get you on the transplant list until we know why your liver is failing. Alcohol abuse would explain that. The seizures could be from withdrawal.

Natalie: I haven’t drunk in six months. I didn’t even drink that much back then.

Cuddy: A couple of vodka bottles a week…

Natalie: I didn’t open half of them. I just bought them because… you know… ’cause Simon was selling them. We used to be friends and that’s like the only way I could get him to even talk to me.

Cuddy: Then why did you stop buying from him? He said you got your own ID.

Natalie: I don’t know.

Cuddy: See, that’s not a good answer. Remember when you asked me if I had any kids? I don’t. I don’t know, maybe it has nothing to do with it, but I was good at school, good at work, lousy at life. I screwed up every relationship I ever had. I thought ‘why would I want to bring a child into this?’ But then I got older and… [long pause] how you feel now will pass. Don’t let it screw up your whole life.

Natalie: It’s already screwed up.

[Cut to clinic. A middle-aged woman is sitting on the table. House is wearing the lab coat again.]

Anna: My asthma. They said they’d fix it but it didn’t make any difference at all.

House: Well, sometimes doctors make mistakes, [looks at the chart] Anna. We need to try twice as hard to fix them. You using your inhaler?

Anna: All the time. Go through one a week.

House: You sure you’re using it right?

Anna: Do I look like an idiot?

House: No. Why don’t you show me how your inhaler works?

[She takes the inhaler out of her purse and sprays once on either side of her neck, under her ears, as if she were applying perfume. House sits, expressionless.]

[Cut to clinic area. Anna is walking out of the exam room.]

Anna: Jerk.

[Cuddy looks at her. House comes out of the exam room.]

Cuddy: Uh, what was that all about?

House: Jamaican chicken recipes.

Cuddy: The parents said no to the benzos but I still think Natalie’s not being honest with me.

House: So she’s willing to die to cover up some boozing.

Cuddy: She’s very depressed. She feels like she deserves what the other kids are dishing out on her. I think she either wants to die or she wants the attention that dying gives her.

House: [throws up his hands] I have no idea why you care so much. Tell Kutner to start her on benzos.

Cuddy: House, the parents just —

House: Uh, uh, uh. Not the alcoholism. Seizures. Totally different. [over his shoulder as he walks away] Don’t need their approval for that.

[Cut to exam room. Whitney and Geoff are waiting as House enters.]

House: You sure you want to know? If it makes it any easier, I’m going to tell you anyway

Whitney: We want to know.

[House blows air, in a puh, puh, puh fashion as he looks at the chart. He continues to look, saying nothing.]

Geoff: What does it say?

House: [holds up his hand] Don’t leave.

[He leaves, looking serious. Whitney and Geoff look at each other.]

[Cut to Clinical Trials area. Foreman is doing paperwork. Dr. Schmidt enters, carrying a heavy cardboard file box.]

Schmidt: You go home last night?

Foreman: I meant to. Started reading this file and just couldn’t put it down. Let me ask you… That patient who dropped out, the one I told you about?

Schmidt: Yeah.

Foreman: You think I should pursue it more?

Schmidt: No. Patients drop out. That’s why we start with hundreds.

Foreman: Well, I just thought, if there’s an easy way to make the people who drop off come back, then why not?

Schmidt: They’re not people.

Foreman: Really? I thought the zombie trials were all completed during phase two.

Schmidt: You can’t see the patients as people. You can’t even see them as patients. They’re numbers.

Foreman: Look. A friend of mine has this disease.

Schmidt: I don’t wanna know. There’s a reason this is double blind. Any personal stake we have skews the studies. Science is not about human relationships. It’s about results. You know that. You work for House. Why do you think I brought you on as my partner?

[Foreman broods about this]

[Cut to hallway outside Natalie’s room. Mrs. Soellner runs out.]

Mrs. Soellner: Dr. Taub!

[Back in the room]

Mr. Soellner: She was talking to me and she just passed out!

Taub: Her heart’s slowing down. [He lowers the bed]

Mr. Soellner: Can you fix it? [loudly] Can you fix it?

Taub: I’m trying. [to nurse] Push one amp atropine.

[Cut to clinic room. Whitney is almost asleep on the exam table. Geoff droops in a chair. They get up as the door opens.]

Geoff: Been waiting here for six hours. Am I the father or not?

House: No. [Geoff takes his hand off Whitney’s shoulder] But, she also didn’t cheat on you.

[Geoff stands there with his mouth in a wide O. House slowly hooks his cane on the scale and limps to the table.]

House (continues): [CGI accompanies his description] Normally, sperm meets egg, DNA meets DNA, goes back to her place. Cells divide. Nine months later, joy is bundled. That’s normally. Abnormally, an egg could have two naturally occurring gene mutations that don’t naturally occur together. Spontaneous calcium spike could prep the egg for fertilization without sperm and a division mistake could let the egg split up without ever needing male DNA at all. Parthenogenesis. A baby without a daddy. In humans it’s only ever been theorized, but it was never proved. Until now. [He holds up two sheets of paper, gesturing with one, then the other] Mommy, baby. Your daughter has only maternal DNA. I personally checked this five times. In seven months you will have… a virgin birth. [Geoff is overcome.] Merry Christmas.

[He leaves.]

[Cut to Diagnostics Conference room. Cuddy is with the fellows as House enters and tosses his backpack toward his office.]

House: Gotta tell you about this clinic patient.

Cuddy: Natalie’s liver’s continuing to fail and now bradycardia. Atropine isn’t keeping the heart rate up. We’re gonna have to put her on a pacemaker.

House: Alcohol withdrawal would cause her heart to race, not crawl.

Kutner: There’s nothing structurally wrong with her heart. EKG, echo, electrolyte panel — all normal.

Cuddy: Multiple endocrine syndrome?

Thirteen: Free T-4’s normal. Hypothalamic brain tumor?

Taub: Didn’t come up on the CT scan.

House: It’s hitting all her organs. Could be the blood. What’s her alk phos?

Thirteen: [checking the chart] 300.

Cuddy: [shaking her head] It can’t be leukemia.

[House takes the chart and leaves. Cuddy follows him.]

[Cut to Wilson’s office. Cuddy and House are there.]

Cuddy: High alk phos could also be from liver failure. She’s a teenager. Means bone growth and destruction could throw it off.

Wilson: Maybe, but it’s higher than you’d expect. Start her on chemo.

House: And do a bone marrow to confirm.

Cuddy: Why are you ordering tests instead of treatment? Her heart and liver are about to give up. Do whatever you need to.

House: Why are you so attached to this girl? [Cuddy opens her mouth but nothing comes out.] It’s your call. [He leaves]

Cuddy: He doesn’t want us to treat her.

Wilson: If it’s leukemia, even if we kill every cancer cell, her heart and liver are too far gone.

Cuddy: A double transplant —

Wilson: With brain involvement? The committee won’t even open the file. There’s no reason to put a dying girl through a painful treatment if you can’t save her. [Cuddy lets this sink in] He’s being kind.

Cuddy: [rising] I’ll arrange a biopsy.

[Cut to the TV lounge at Janice’s home. A black and white Christmas movie is on the TV.]

Foreman: Mrs. Burke? We are conducting another trial in tandem with yours. Same drug, lower dose. The nausea will be less. I did some checking. I can switch you. Here's the forms if you want back in.

[Janice watches him as much as the jerking of her head allows but doesn’t say anything. He puts the forms on the table and leaves.]

[Cut to House’s office. Cuddy enters.]

Cuddy: What if we're wrong? Maybe we shouldn't have overlooked autoimmunes. High sed rate —

House: We went over this. Normal complement level. [He shakes his head slightly]

Cuddy: So it isn't hepatic fibrosis. Could still be microangiopathic vasculitis. [She takes armload of papers from visitors chair, puts them on his desk and sits.] With high-dose steroids, we might be able to reverse the —

House: You run a hospital that treats thousands of patients every day. Some of them die. Every day. If you're gonna get this worked up over every one of them… [He sorts through the pile Cuddy put on his desk while he speaks. He reaches a gift-wrapped box and grabs it and his cane] Yes! BRB

Cuddy: What is it?

House: Thank you from a patient.

Cuddy: For you? [She follows him into the hall]

House: I saved her marriage by showing that her pregnancy was the result of parthenogenesis.

Cuddy: Human parthenogenesis? You proved —

House: Yep. It's unbelievable. But I personally checked it five times.

Cuddy: How did you check it five times? The cycler's broken. You would have had to send it out. It would have taken —

House: Oh, yeah. That does sound impossible, now that I think of it. I guess the better explanation is that the paternity test showed she cheated so I faked the whole parthenogenesis thingy. [He opens Wilson’s door.]

Cuddy: What? Why?

House: I win. [He tosses the gift to Wilson who catches it.]

Cuddy: You faked a scientific miracle just to win a bet with Wilson? [She follows him back to his office.]

House: Mmm, more an argument. I realize it would have been simpler to just fake the paternity test, but hey — Christmas spirit and all that.

Cuddy: I think you're confusing nice and evil again. Letting a woman deceive her husband by inventing a virgin birth just so you can—

House: And it obviously would have been more fitting if the baby had been born on Christmas, not just invented then.

Cuddy: It's not leukemia. Seizures, liver failure — It's eclampsia.

House: Which means we don't have one dead patient. We have two.

[Cut to Natalie’s room. Her parents are with her.]

Cuddy: Um, you have a disease called eclampsia. It causes liver failure, pulmonary edema, and seizures. It's also associated with cardiomyopathy.

Mrs. Soellner: That's a pregnancy disease. You tested her when she came in.

Cuddy: Uh, you can get eclampsia up to a month after giving birth.

Mr. Soellner: That's ridiculous. How could she hide a pregnancy?

Cuddy: Loose clothes. She's heavy to begin with. It was probably premature. If it was three weeks ago, they could have missed it on a physical exam. [to Natalie] The baby's why you quit drinking, isn't it? Why you asked me if I had kids. Why you feel guilty.

Natalie: I'm sorry.

Mr. Soellner: Who did this to you?

Natalie: Simon. He wasn't bad. We were like boyfriend/girlfriend for a while, we just didn't tell anyone. He doesn't even know about…

Mrs. Soellner: What happened to the baby?

Natalie: I was gonna give it away. If they found out at school… I was at the Soup Kitchen and she started coming. There was this empty house down the street, but then she wasn't breathing. I tried so hard, but I couldn't do anything. I'm... so sorry. If I had her in a hospital, maybe she'd be alive.

Mrs. Soellner: Can you cure this?

Cuddy: The damage to the heart and liver are permanent.

Natalie: I'm gonna die?

Cuddy: I'm sorry.

Natalie: I didn't even bury her. I just put my coat over her.

[Everyone is teary. Mrs. Soellner pats Natalie’s head and kisses her.]

[Cut to deserted house. Cuddy enters with a flashlight. It’s snowing outside. She walks from room to room, entering one with lamps. On the table is a full ashtray and a crack pipe.]

Michael: Get out of my house.

Cuddy: I'm a doctor.

Michael: I don't care who you are.

Cuddy: Did you, uh... find the body of a baby?

Michael: I said get out.

[He advances on Cuddy who backs into a wall. A woman calls from the next room.]

Woman: Michael? Who are you? [She enters the room, carrying a baby.]

Cuddy: That's not your baby. You're tiny. There's no way you gave birth three weeks ago.

Woman: She's my sister's.

Cuddy: That baby is sick. She needs clean water. She needs real heat. She was probably born with a partially blocked airway and… might even have brain damage. You can't take care of here in a place like this.

Michael: Shut up.

Woman: I took care of her.

Cuddy: I know. You found her. You saved her life. Now you have to let her go.

[The woman, who is shaking from withdrawal, rocks the baby and looks at Cuddy. Cuddy looks back at her.]

[Cut to Natalie’s room. Her parents are with her. Cuddy, carrying the baby, enters.]

Natalie: Who is that?

Cuddy: It's your daughter. She was alive. People found her and took care of her.

[Natalie sits up with her parents’ help. Cuddy hands her the baby.]

Natalie: [whispering] She's beautiful.

[Musical montage to “Whisper” by A Fine Frenzy. Natalie looks at the baby. Cuddy looks at Natalie. Simon comes to the doorway where Kutner is standing. Kutner talks to him. Simon stares into the room.]

[Cut to PPTH lobby. Kutner comes out of the elevator. He’s wearing his jacket and strides through the annual Christmas party.]

Cameron: Kutner. No transplant?

Kutner: We appealed. Too sick.

Cameron: How much time does she have left?

Kutner: A couple of days at most.

Chase: What about the baby?

Kutner: Seems healthy, but it's too early to tell. She's in the hospital for observation for a few days, but after that — [shrugs]

Taub: Best case, winds up with her teenage father who just got voted captain of the varsity bullying team.

Kutner: He's just a kid.

[He starts to leave. Taub walks after him.]

Taub: You all right?

Kutner: I gotta go.

[Cut to a brownstone. Kutner walks up the steps in the snow. He wipes his feet and rings one of the buzzers. A man opens the door.]

Kutner: Jonathan.

Jonathan: Yeah?

Kutner: It's, uh... it's Lawrence Kutner.

Jonathan: Wh — why are you here?

Kutner: I wanted to apologize. For all of the horrible stuff I did to you in high school. I'm sorry.

[Cut to Neonatal ICU where, for some reason, PPTH puts even those infants who have been exposed to diseases outside the hospital. Cuddy is inside, looking at the baby. House enters wearing his coat. He has the book Wilson gave him unobtrusively in his left hand.]

House: What's gonna happen to her?

Cuddy: I spoke to both sets of grandparents. It's too painful. They're putting her up for adoption.

House: What are you gonna do?

Cuddy: I already spoke to a lawyer. I become a foster parent and then I adopt.

House: Merry Christmas, Cuddy. [He leaves]

[Cut to Clinical Trials area. Thirteen enters.]

Thirteen: Where is everybody?

Foreman: Down at the party.

Thirteen: I heard Janice is back on the trial.

Foreman: My Christmas gift to you.

Thirteen: I was wrong. You're not House.

Foreman: Yeah, well, that's my Christmas gift to myself.

Thirteen: We should go to the party. [She approaches him.]

Foreman: We should.

[They kiss passionately as “The Christmas Song,” the song Natalie’s group was singing in the teaser, plays.]

[The End]

Tags: season 5
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