A bloodied, desperate woman breaks into a car and hot-wires it, screeching away in the dark. She races through the streets, careening wildly back and forth while wincing in pain from the deep wound in her side. She stops at an apartment building and staggers up the stairs, holding her side. She only exhales in relief when she spots the apartment she's looking for. It takes all her energy to knock on the door. Thirteen answers: "Darrien?"
"What the hell happened? We've got to get you to a hospital." Thirteen sizes up her friend's wounds inside the apartment. But Darrien doesn't want to go. "You're a doctor. Just stitch me up," she tells Thirteen. When Thirteen protests, Darrien explains that the police would be waiting for her at the hospital. "They're going to bust me back inside just for being with felons." But if she stays with Thirteen, then Thirteen could get in trouble for the same crime. "God forbid you die - I'm up for manslaughter!" Thirteen says. Darrien shakes her head and goes to leave. "I'll find someone else." "You leave, you'll bleed out!" Thirteen tells her. "You're going to die. Stop!" Darrien makes Thirteen promise she won't take her to the hospital.
"Come on - look at how much fun she's having!" House has a guest of the hooker variety, and he's pointing out pictures of sex acts from a copy of the Kama Sutra. She isn't convinced. "That's because he has two functioning legs capable of supporting her body weight." House claims he does, too. But didn't he tell her most of his leg muscle was cut out? "I was going for the sympathy discount." House explains about the drug he's been taking to regenerate muscle. "You want proof?" he asks. He grabs a giant amp stack, lifts it and walks a few feet . . . then drops it on his glass coffee table. "Sorry, cramp," he says, rubbing his leg. He looks down - in the mess his drug powder spilled all over the carpet and glass. "I'm not going to be needing your services tonight after all," he tells her.
Darrien is screaming in pain on Thirteen's couch, as she digs her fingers deep into Darrien's wound. "Bowel's intact. Inferior vena cava's fine," Thirteen assesses, matter-of-factly. "Liver got nicked, but it feels clotted off." Thirteen check's Darrien's teeth: "I don't see any other signs of internal bleeding." But just because she can't see it doesn't mean it's not there. "I'm going to check your pressure every two minutes," she says, affixing the cuff and inflating the bulb. "If you dip below 90, it means it is there and we have a problem."
"Sorry," Foreman says, walking into the living room. He hadn't expected to see Taub and Ruby on the couch. Ruby gets up, looking upset. "I should get to work." "Wait," Taub says. "We'll talk more in the morning," she tells him as she leaves. Clearly something has happened. "You two breaking up?" Foreman asks. "She's pregnant," Taub says.
"It was a raid. Andre needed to do something to slow the cops down," Darrien explains to Thirteen. Thirteen can't believe it. "He stabbed you as a distraction?" It didn't even work. "Cops called an ambulance. Left me lying there." Thirteen isn't saying much, though. "I know what I told you about him," Darrien says. "But it's not his fault I started using again. It's mine." Thirteen is more concerned with the blood pressure reading. "According to this, you're dead. You have no blood pressure. You barely have a pulse." But she's talking and alert, so her brain must be getting blood. Thirteen switches the cuff to the opposite arm. "The pulse on your right arm is fine. So's your BP." What could it mean?
Chase has fallen asleep reading a book in bed when Thirteen calls. "You busy?" "Yeah, I'm, uh, I'm about to go out," he lies. Perfect! "Can you do me a huge favor? I need you to go to the hospital and check out a portable ultrasound machine for me." She tells him she's got a leak in her bathroom and doesn't want to pay for an emergency plumber visit.
"Dr. Riggin. Figured you'd be wrapping up the trial by now. I just wanted to give you a hearty mazel tov," House tells Riggin in the lab, as Riggin is boxing up his files. "And don't forget the Nobel Prize for developing an incredibly expensive rat poison," Riggin says, dispiritedly. Now House is worried. "What do you mean? What happened?" The rats developed tumors.
"Look at these things." Riggin shows House a gruesome picture of one of the dead lab mice. House looks around the lab: they've all died. "Any indication that the rats were getting sick?" he asks. "Just some cramping. Their legs would stiffen up. They were having trouble moving around. We just thought their bodies were adjusting to the increase in muscle mass, but in a day or so they just started dying."
"One portable ultrasound, extra pepperoni." Chase has done what he was asked, and Thirteen gratefully reaches for the machine from him in the doorway. "Thank you so much," she says, trying to close the door. "I might be late tomorrow." But Chase notices her socks are dry, which casts doubt on the whole plumbing story. She reluctantly lets him in. He's shocked to see a bloody woman writhing in pain on the couch. "She's my friend." Chase still looks confused. "I was in prison," she tells him.
House is performing a CT scan on his leg. When he gets the results, he can see masses in his leg.
"You killed your own brother?" Chase is pacing the room following Thirteen's revelation. "Yes, it was awful and devastating, but it wasn't murder," she says, while she ultrasounds Darrien for bleeding. "He was sick and he wanted to die and I promised I would help." He asks if she's OK. "No, I may have an aortic arch aneurysm. Oh, wait, that's her. Either help me or leave." She's having trouble getting a clear look. Chase comes over to check her out, but Thirteen stops him. "Wait - put on some gloves. She's got hep C." "Wonderful," Chase says.
So were she and Thirteen cell mates? "Just friends," Darrien says. "She saved me," Thirteen says. "There's a culture in prison. If you don't have someone show you how to get the stuff you need, and stay away from the stuff you don't, you're screwed." Suddenly Darrien's fingers on her left arm turn blue. "My arm's starting to go numb," she says. "Arch of the aorta is clear. This can't be an aneurysm," Thirteen says, looking at the monitor." Chase thinks maybe the wound threw a clot. "Check ancillary arteries." He spots a mass on the screen. "Not a clot - maybe a lipoma?" Thirteen guesses. A fat-filled sac probably aggravated by the stab wound. Thirteen grabs a syringe to try and suck some of the mass out. "That's not a lipoma," Chase says, when he sees the dark liquid.
"I don't know why she's even considering having my kid," Taub laments to Foreman over drinks at a strip club. "She barely knows me. All she knows is I'm a short, balding guy. It doesn't even make evolutionary sense." Foreman asks if he'd want her to have the child. "No," Taub says. "You'd make a crappy dad," Foreman tells him. "You're too selfish. That's why you cheated on your wife, why your marriage fell apart . . ." "Dude, I said no!" But Foreman knows better. "The only reason you're sitting in a strip club, ignoring the strip club, is because you actually are considering it."
"Try moving your fingers again." Thirteen is still draining the bloody mass from her friend's arm. Darrien can move her fingers a little now. "Good," Thirteen tells her, though she and Chase still don't know what the mass is, or if it will come back. "Drugs, viruses, toxins from that crack house, God knows where else she's been," Chase says. But if it was drugs she'd have kidney failure or cardiac involvement. And if it was related to her hep C, Darrien's entire body would be swelling. "Leaves us with toxins . . . where exactly were you when you were attacked?" Chase asks Darrien.
But Thirteen cuts him off. "You're not doing a home search in a crack den. That's insane. It's a crime scene. And it's not toxins or viruses or anything else you mentioned, because it's not a coincidence. Her symptoms have to be related to the stabbing. What if her body used up all the clotting factors dealing with the stab wounds?" That would explain the bloody mass, but it also means that she could start growing them anywhere in her body.
Chase wants to take her to the hospital. "Remy, you promised," Darrien reminds Thirteen. If all they would do at the hospital is give her IV clotting fluids, they can do that in her apartment, Thirteen tells Chase. "We could also embalm her right her right here," he says. But she wants to call the drugs in to the pharmacy and have Chase go pick them up. "If I'm right, she'll be fine. Look, I know you don't know her, and you don't care about her. But I do. Please."
House is hard at work scrubbing down his bathroom. He checks himself out in the mirror before downing some Vicodin. He's set up a make-shift operating room, and he ties off his injured leg with a rubber tube before gently lowering himself into the tub. House carefully cleans his upper thigh, then grabs from a row of syringes, plunging it into his leg, then tossing it. Then another, and another, until his leg is numb from the anesthetic. He unsheathes a knife and steels himself before slicing deeply into his flesh.
"Lie down. Elevate your shoulder." Thirteen is helping her friend into bed. She wants to know why Darrien got back on drugs, but Darrien isn't talking. "I came here because you're a doctor, not a shrink."
House has got his leg split and spread open, and he's going to try and pull out the tumors. He's shaking and sweating and in terrible pain, double-checking the copy of his CT scan that he's taped to the wall so he knows where to cut next. But he can barely hold the knife anymore. He screams in pain. He's not going to be able to do this alone.
Wilson's got his phone on vibrate, and it's not loud enough to rouse him from sleep. House calls Taub, still at the strip club, next. "It's my boss," he tells the stripper. "Probably drunk, wants a ride home. He can take a cab," Taub says, putting the phone back in his pocket. And anyway, he's suddenly very concerned about an asymmetrical mole on his stripper's back.
House calls Thirteen next, but the phone is next to the bed where Darrien is resting, and she doesn't answer it.
"No, please don't, please . . ." Darrien is begging for her life from a young man standing in the doorway of Thirteen's bedroom with a gun drawn. "Put the gun down! Put it down on the ground and get away!" she yells at him. Thirteen hears the commotion from the other room and races in. Suddenly Darrien sees the kid has been shot in the head. "D, what is it?" Thirteen asks. There's no one in the room but the two of them. "I'm sorry," Darrien cries. "I'm so sorry."
House is in agony and he knows he needs help. He calls Cuddy, who's asleep in bed while Rachel is watching cartoons. She reluctantly takes the call. "Someone better be dying . . ." she says.
"She hallucinated. I need you to go back out. I just called in more clotting factors." Chase just got back, and Thirteen wants him to leave again. So she's bleeding in her brain now? "We double up the dose, she'll be fine," Thirteen says, but Chase isn't going for it. "We bring her to the hospital. We do a CT scan to locate the bleed, drill a burr hole in her skull, and maybe she'll be fine." Thirteen wants to drill the burr hole in her apartment. "You're not just risking our careers here," Chase says. "You could go back to prison." "I made a promise," she says.
But Chase has had enough. "I'm going to move you. Then I'm going to pick your friend up, carry her down to my car, take her to the hospital, and try to save her life." It's a standoff, and soon they're fighting. Thirteen decks Chase, but he gets up and throws her to the ground. "She's going to the hospital," he says.
Cuddy can't believe her eyes when she sees what's gone on in House's bathroom. He's shaking violently. She shoos Rachel into the living room while she tries to assess the damage House has done to himself. "I tried calling everyone else. You were the last one on the list," he tells her. And why didn't he call 911? "It's not an emergency," he says. The tumors are small and close to the surface. "I thought it'd be like removing a wart."
Cuddy wants him to go to an actual surgeon, but House protests that they would just hack away at his leg. "Or you're just ashamed to admit you've been injecting a drug that hasn't even been through safety trials. It's never even been in the human body!" House says he already got one of the tumors, and she can use the CT scan to find the others and take them out. "Absolutely not!" she says.
"Elevate her head more." Chase is racing through the streets, while trying to keep an eye on Darrien and Thirteen in the back seat. Darrien says it doesn't matter; the cops are going to be waiting for her at the hospital. He has an idea. "I'll go in first. Find a patient on life support, just waiting to die. We use that name on all your tests. No one will ever know you were there."
"What happened to your leg?" Rachel cheerily asks House in the car ride to the hospital. "I was trying to make it better," he tells her. "This isn't about making your leg better. It's about making your life better," Cuddy starts. "Oh, here we go," House says. "Wish I had called 911 . . ." "Why else would you do something this stupid?" she asks. "Well, you know, I've had a lot of set-backs recently," House tells her, pointedly. But she doesn't think it's just the break-up. "You're not unhappy because of me. You're just unhappy. Unhappy people do reckless things."
"Darrien!" Thirteen yells at her friend to keep her conscious. "Talk to me," she tells Darrien. "Anything. When you were screaming in my room, what did you think you saw? You said, 'Put it down on the ground and get away.' " Chase says that sounds like cop talk. "Old habits, I guess," Darrien says. "You were a cop?" Thirteen asks. "Back when I was a good person," Darrien says. She hid it while in prison. So who was she apologizing to in her hallucination? "I killed a kid. He was nineteen. I went in first. Saw him going for his gun. I tried to talk him down, but . . . They told me I was a hero." "So that's when you started using drugs?" Thirteen asks. But she can't answer. She's unconscious.
"There you are. You were in the VIP room so long I thought you were going to pay off that girl's mortgage." Foreman finds Taub outside the club. But he wasn't in the VIP room; he got bounced for touching the stripper with the mole. And he doesn't want to go home until he can see her again and properly check it out. "Are you serious?" Foreman asks. "Bobby the bouncer sees you out here like a stalker, he's going to break open your skull." Foreman thinks maybe that's actually what he wants - to punish himself. "You think you're a screw-up because you got a girl pregnant and you deserve to suffer. You don't. You just need some sleep, and you'll handle this mess. Let's get in the car." "She's probably off work soon," Taub says, and he watches Forman leave.
"You promised your brother you'd euthanize him, and you think you won't feel bad about it as long as you can blame it on the promise. That's why you have this twisted obligation to keep all promises, or your carefully constructed defense mechanism could crumble down," Chase theorizes to Thirteen, while they scan Darrien. "I saved my brother from a lot of pain," she tells him, defiantly. "Reconstructed image is clear. There's no bleed in Darrien's brain." But suddenly she's shivering on the imaging bed. Infection? "It couldn't be from the stabbing," Thirteen says. It couldn't be acting that quickly. "Well, then what's wrong with her?" Chase asks.
"Your heart rate just went over 120. You're clammy. I think you're going into shock. Are you light-headed?" Cuddy is trying to minister to House in the middle of a busy hospital corridor. When she and Rachel leave House to try and find a nurse, House's phone rings. It's Thirteen and Chase, and they need House's help with Darrien.
"Is she on any medication, besides crack?" House asks. Based on the fact that was taking interferon in prison, Thirteen guesses Darrien's had hep C for about ten years. "Can I guess stuff, too? 'Cause that's going to make the diagnosis really easy." House suggests renal cancer, throwing clots, but Thirteen tells him the urinalysis was negative. "Too bad, because that was my one big idea." House looks down at his leg. Blood is seeping through the towel wrapped around it. He's struggling to stay with it. He wants to know more about Darrien's past. "She was a cop," Thirteen says. "Shot a kid in self-defense. Never got over the guilt. Started taking drugs, then got busted." House asks how long ago the shooting was. "I'm not sure, why?" Thirteen asks.Â "You assumed she's had hep C for ten years, but if you find out when she shot the kid, you'll find out when she started taking drugs, and when she actually contracted the hep C." And he thinks that's relevant? "It's more relevant than what you've got now, which is squat," House says.
Taub is still waiting in his car outside the strip club. He's already chickened out of calling Ruby, and now he's about to call his ex-wife, Rachel. Just then the stripper appears. "I really am a doctor! I just wanted -" She reaches in her pocket. "Please, don't call Bobby," Taub says. But she doesn't grab a phone, she grabs a gun. "Just calm down," Taub says. "Shut up! Sick perv," she screams at him. "Get down on your knees! You think I'm kidding? Turn around and get down on your knees!" Taub does as he's told. "Please, don't," he begs. "I said shut up! You think you're the first guy who thought he was special? You think you can do whatever you want. But I'm not going through that again!" She cocks the gun, and Taub shuts his eyes. Seconds pass. Suddenly he hears her car screech away. He falls over in relief.
"Shockingly, a punk kid pulling a gun on a cop did not make national news." Thirteen's been scouring the Internet for stories about Darrien's shooting. Chase sees the red marks on her neck from where he grabbed her during their fight. "Shouldn't have grabbed you so hard," he says. "You had to," she tells him. "You were right. About everything." She found something on the computer.
"Darrien must have had a different last name back then. She must have been married." But the story is from 2008 - can that be possible? "We never actually talked about how long she'd been in," Thirteen says. So House might have been right that she's only had hep C for a few years. But the prison wouldn't have prescribed interferon unless she was diagnosed with chronic hep C.
"So, what makes new hep C look like old hep C?" Chase asks. Maybe a parasite? "The hep C made her susceptible, and the parasite sped up the liver damage," Thirteen guesses. "Entamoeba," Chase says. "If there had been a pericytoma, the sub-wound could have freed them, sent them coursing through her blood stream, wreaking havoc." "A single bag of metronidazole," Thirteen says. "If we're right, she could wake up from her coma in a few hours."
"They're ready for you." House is prepped for surgery, and it's time to go. Cuddy gets up to leave, but House stops her. "I want you in there." He doesn't trust the surgeons not to cut too much of his leg. "I trust you," he tells her.
"Can you hear me?" Thirteen is in Darrien's room when she wakes up. She did have parasites in her liver. "Probably from a dirty needle, or prison, or who knows what," Thirteen says. The stabbing made it worse, but she'll be fine. Darrien smiles and tries to raise her arm - but her wrist is shackled to the bed. There's a cop outside the room. "I'm sorry," Thirteen whispers. "We had to."
"I told you I couldn't go back!" Darrien says, angrily. "I shouldn't have trusted you. I never liked you. I killed time with you because I was locked in a cage. You were a distraction. Someone to talk to so I didn't have to think about everything else." "You're lashing out, I get it," Thirteen says. "But in a month, you'll thank me. Or maybe you won't. I don't know. But I know that I saved your life."
"Is he going to be OK?" Rachel sleepily asks Cuddy in House's room after his surgery. Cuddy tells her that he'll be fine. "I wish House still came over to play," Rachel says.
"Ruby, I've been doing a lot of thinking." Taub finds Ruby at the nurse's station later that night. "Back when I still had my practice, this patient came in - fifty-year-old guy wanted a tummy tuck. But when we did some prelim work we discovered that his stomach was filled with cancer, so instead of telling him he's going to look great at the beach, I got to tell him that he's dying. The weird thing is, I was more upset about the whole thing than he was. He actually had to calm me down. Said he had great kids, raised them right, knew that because of them he was leaving the world a better place. I thought I might die last night. And while it was happening, I kept thinking about that patient and how I wish I was like him. I want to have this baby."
"Darrien had to shoot that kid. It was the right thing, completely justified." Thirteen and Chase are in the doctors' locker room the next day. "But it didn't matter. She destroyed her life trying to forget. I'm afraid that's what's going to happen to me," she tells Chase, crying. Chase tells her she needs to talk to someone. "I've talked to a therapist; it doesn't help." "Maybe you need to talk to someone who isn't a therapist," he says. She turns to him. "Do you really think you have any idea what it's like to live with something like this?" But, of course, he does. "Let's grab a coffee," Chase says.
Later, the team assembles in House's office. Taub yawns. "Late night?" Chase asks. "No," Taub lies. "Just haven't had my coffee yet." Then Thirteen yawns. "Sympathetic yawn," she says. They start to go over potential new cases. Foreman checks his phone. "Hm, missed a call from House last night. He in?"
House wakes up and immediately feels for his leg. It's still there. "You're lucky." It's Wilson, waiting in a chair for House to wake. "What are you doing here?" House asks. "You hoping for someone else?" Wilson asks. "Hot nurse, candy striper, someone who doesn't speak English. Someone who doesn't speak Judgmental," House answers. He tries to stand up to go to the bathroom and nearly falls over. "You're an ass." "What?" House says. "For trying to walk on a freshly mangled leg? Performing surgery in myself? Or thinking I could solve my emotional problems with rat medicine? If you're going to nag, at least have the decency to be specific."
He lets Wilson help him walk. "Listen to me," Wilson starts. "You can't keep going like this. Something has to change." "Can I pee first?" House jokes.
But Wilson is serious. "I know," House tells him, leaning on his friend.