"I'm telling you, Will. You've got a real winner here. She's just going to love it." In a shopping center jewelry store, a confident young man is buying a beautiful diamond ring. "One tiny rock. So many other things I could have bought for myself. Sam, Stacy, it's been a pleasure being ripped off by you," Will says, smiling. He turns to leave, unfolding a walking cane as he makes his way to the front door. "Such a nice boy," Sam says to Stacy. "Too bad he's a handicap."
Outside, Will pushes the Walk button at a crosswalk, but he's suddenly disoriented and overcome by auditory hallucinations. He staggers into oncoming traffic, barely making it back to the curb in safety.
"Kid's a blind diabetic. He's hyperglycemic, hyperosmolar." House has deduced Will's problem without even looking at the file. In fact, he's not in the office at all. He's spying on Wilson down in the hospital lobby. Though if anyone asks, he's at an "out-of-state medical conference until further notice." But Will's blood test showed a controlled sugar level and no ketones. And Will's tox screen was clean, so it's not drug abuse.
House has bigger concerns, however, as he watches Wilson get into an elevator with an older woman. "My former BFF is SMITBAWS: Stabbing Me In The Back As We Speak," he says. He orders an EEG with harmonics to determine if the sound of rush hour traffic might have induced an epileptic seizure in Will. "Also, if anyone should further happen to ask, I spent the whole of last year in Africa, with Doctors Without Boundaries."
"Where's House?" Wilson asks the team, as he and the woman from the elevator walk into the office. Taub dutifully tells them that House is at a conference. "Nice to meet you," the woman says. "I'm Blythe, his mother."
"Do you want me to pick up the Braille writer and laptop from your apartment?" Melissa, Will's girlfriend, tries to comfort him. But he's sure he won't be in the hospital for long. "I didn't eat lunch yesterday. I probably just fainted." He certainly doesn't think he could have had a seizure, as Chase and Park suggest.
"I'm Dr. Park, by the way," she introduces herself to Will, though looking at Melissa. "I'm 5 foot 2, Asian, and I'm totally cool with it if you want to feel my face," she says. Apparently that's just in the movies. But maybe Will's seizure was so subtle that Melissa might have noticed it even if Will didn't.
"No," she says. "I mean, I haven't seen him in the last five months. We were on a break." Will dismisses the idea that he could have missed something like that. "I have to pay attention to every signal my body sends or receives, or I'll end up taking a dirt nap."
"How is he, James, really?" Blythe and Wilson are in the cafeteria. "He's better than I've seen him in a long time," Wilson says. He spots a hospital admission bracelet on her wrist. "I just had a few moles removed yesterday. I forgot I even had it on."
She hands him a card with her local information on it, should House happen to materialize in the next three days when she's in town. As she pulls it out, Wilson sees a book in her bag: "Dealing With Your Terminal Cancer."
"Not seeing any seizure activity in response to low-frequency sounds." Adams and Taub are reviewing Will's EEG results from the control booth. Taub is impressed with Will for a couple of reasons: he has a hot girlfriend, and he got her to agree to a "break."
How does he know that wasn't Melissa's idea? "Because she's back with him," Taub says. "Women suggest a break when they want to break up. Men do it because they want to have sex with other women before they settle down." Suddenly they see Will struggling to breath; it's not a seizure, though. He's choking on something. They race in and help him, as he's spitting out blood . . . and three teeth.
"Three teeth detached from his jaw bone and lodged in his throat." Taub and the team discuss Will later, again with House via cell phone. Parks surprises them by suggesting maybe Melissa poisoned him. "House usually thinks that's a good guess! And she's got to be pissed off and have low self-esteem. Why else would she give him a free pass to pork other women?" "Because he's handicapped!" House chimes in. "Women feel sorry for you. This cane is tail-bait."
Wherever House is, he's got Dominika with him, and he won't let her go home until he's sure Blythe is gone. House thinks Will has periodontitis. Diabetes could have exacerbated it, progressing to a systemic disease, spreading bacteria to other organs. "Like his brain. Start him on broad-spectrum antibiotics and book him an appointment with a periodontist."
"You think I'm not good enough for your mother." It turns out House and Dominika are hiding out in the children's ward, playing video games. Wilson comes in and wants to talk to House, but first he's got to pay the kids for the pictures they're drawing: all meant to look like they were from the imaginary kids he helped during his imaginary year in Africa.
"Stay here, until the coast is clear," he tells Dominika before leaving with Wilson. "Fine, but you sleep on couch tonight!" she says. She's sleeping with him now? "Just in case an INS guy comes in through the window. Yeah, she didn't buy it, either."
Wilson tells him he needs to talk to his mother. "She's sick, House," he says. "She was wearing a hospital admission bracelet and carrying around a book on dealing with terminal cancer. Sorry."
"The antibiotics will stop the infection from spreading further." Park and Taub set up Will's IV. "And I'll spare you the lecture you'll get from the periodontist tomorrow, but you need to practice better oral hygiene," Taub says.
Melissa says he barely gets undressed before going to bed, so there's no telling how many times he's skipped brushing his teeth since they've been . . . "Sorry," she says. "I don't mean to lecture you, babe."
When she leaves to get something to eat, he asks Park and Taub for a favor. He wants them to go to his home to get his Braille writer and laptop. He can't ask Melissa. "Why not?" Taub asks. "Because, I want you to put this someplace safe," Will says, bringing out the ring box.
"I guess convincing her to take a break was a good thing," Park says. "The break was her idea," Will tells them. "Melissa's the only girl I've ever dated. She wanted me to be sure before we took the next step."
"We're here, we might as well search the place in case we're wrong about periodontitis." Taub is already rifling through Will's things in his apartment. Park helps herself to some ice cream and candy, which she quickly spits out because it's sugar-free.
"Sorry I didn't call first. I just flew back from my conference." House surprises his mom at her hotel. She starts to tell him it's not a great time, but he interrupts her. "I need your medical records, and the name of your primary physician . . ." But his eye is caught by movement in the bedroom. A naked man scurries under the covers.
"Well, you remember Mr. Bell," Blythe says. "Well, if I didn't I will now," House says. She's not dying.
"I may have misled James, by letting him see a book on cancer," Blythe says. "This isn't how I envisioned you finding out. Mr. Bell and I, we're -" "Having sex, got it," House says. "Getting married, also," Bell says. They wanted House to be the first to know. He looks stunned.
Will is seizing in his bed. Chase and Adams race in to sedate him. "I'm putting epilepsy back on the table," Adams says later, in the office. Except that still doesn't explain the tooth loss. Taub says the periodontitis could still be real, but unrelated.
Meanwhile, House is too preoccupied with the "Jurassic schlong" he saw earlier to discount a coincidence as he normally might. Park brings up illegal drugs, but Taub reminds her that Will tested clean. "His apartment wasn't," Park says. Taub is confused, saying, "We didn't find any drugs." "Then why am I completely tripping balls right now?" she asks.
Park looks totally normal. "I'm seriously freaking out here, guys," she says. "Can't you tell?" Her voice and demeanor are calm as ever. House checks her over. "Pupils dilated. Pulse elevated. Hallucinating?" "I think so," Park says, "because he's a rabbit."
She sees Chase as a male doctor rabbit, Adams as sexy female rabbit character. "Oh, I get it, because she's his wife. They flirt a lot. I've seen things," Park whispers to House. Taub is most bizarre: "Taub is either a tooth fairy, or Rainbow Brite." Meanwhile, House is . . . just House.
"She ate ice cream and Gummi bears at the patient's apartment," Taub tells the team. "One of them must have been dosed with it." House wants Taub to find the drugs, and Chase and Adams to find out where he got them from, and then MRI Will's brain for infections, masses, and plaques.
"I've been blind since birth. I thought maybe if I tried LSD, I might, you know . . . colors, a shape. I just wanted to see something." Will explains the drugs to Chase and Adams. He got it from his girlfriend - but not Melissa. "I met someone else."
Turns out the ring isn't for Melissa. "We were on a break. She wanted me to see what else was out there, and I did. I was going to tell her the other night, but I ended up here instead."
Will gives them the cell number of the new girl, who's currently on vacation with her parents. "I don't want her to know I'm in the hospital," he says. "She'll only freak out." "That's very considerate of you," Adams says, sarcastically. "You think this is easy for me? I know I have to tell Melissa." But she's still one of his best friends. "And I don't want to be alone in here."
"She's not dying. She was having sex with my father," House announces when Wilson stops by House's office, while Park is huddled under a blanket, coming down from her high. Wait, isn't his father dead? "Not the dead dad. The biological dad. The one I pointed out to you at Fake Father's funeral."
"Are you sure? Your only evidence is that birthmark you saw when you were twelve," Wilson says. "Well, now I've seen two. Good news is, I won't technically be a bastard much longer. We're going to be one, big crappy family," House tells him.
"That's great news," Wilson says. "Your mother won't be alone anymore, and you can finally get to know the guy."
It doesn't sound like that's going to happen. Wilson thinks that House is avoiding his mother, not telling her about prison or Dominika, because she's the one person who's opinion he cares about, not because he finds her "boring." And he claims not to care about getting to know Bell, but he read his book about three times. "Years ago. And it took me three times because it was so badly written."
"What he's doing now to that girl isn't fair." Adams and Chase watch from the control booth as Will has his MRI. Chase points out that the break was Melissa's idea. "And now she thinks they're back together," Adams says. She spots something on the monitor. "Not good news for him. Or Park."
The team reviews the MRI chart with House. "Where's Park?" Adams asks. "Wilson's babysitting her. Talking about the fact that she could have permanent brain damage might bum her trip out a bit."
Chase says a dark spot might not mean brain damage: "It could be a congenital malformation connected with his blindness or a tumor." House thinks it's a clot: cerebral venous sinus thrombosis. That's good news for Park, but it's awfully large. "It fits," Taub says. "When it was smaller, it caused his initial disorientation and hallucinations and, as it grew larger, the seizures."
But what about the tooth loss? "Behcet's syndrome," House says. "No," Taub starts, "he doesn't have any of the earlier symptoms: color blindness, abnormal visual fields . . ." before realizing that Will wouldn't have noticed any of those. "Confirm with an eye exam. Start treatment with heparin for the clot, interferon and steroids for the Behcet's."
"Give me back my teeth! You're a tooth thief!" Park is throwing books and pillows at Wilson, fully freaking out, when Blythe and Bell come in. "What are you doing to this poor girl?" Blythe asks.
Wilson explains she's tripping on acid, while fending Park off with a chair. "Good lord, man. That's no way to treat a bad trip," Bell says, with a thick Scottish brogue. "Put the chair down. You'll end up hurting the poor, wee thing."
He calmly talks Park down. "I'm Thomas. And this beautiful creature here is Blythe. Is there anything we can do to help you?" "That rabbit stole my teeth!" Park says, pointing at Wilson.
"Of course he did," Thomas says. "But I'll tell you what he's done. He's put them back again. And they're twice as nice as they used to be. You can feel them if you like. See? Now why don't we sit on this nice, comfy couch, have a nice, cool drink and talk all about it. Would you like that?" House walks in. "There's no way that guy's related to you," Wilson says.
"House was right. It's Behcet's syndrome," Chase says to Will after he examines his eyes. "Give it to me straight, doc. Am I ever going to see again?" Will jokes. They've got to wrap a dressing over his eyes to keep the light out. Even if he can't see it, his tissue can. Chase leaves Adams to do the dressing. "You think I'm an ass, don't you?" Will asks Adams. "I can tell by your breathing. Either you're angry, or fat."
She thinks it's unfair what he's doing to Melissa. He cares for her and loves her, but they don't work together, Will explains. He's going to tell her. "But, I just want to do it the right way," he says. Originally, the ring was for Melissa, but he was upset when she told him they were going on a break, without even giving him a say in the matter.
"She still sees me as the same sheltered, blind geek she met in college," Will says. "Most of the time she acts more like my mother than my girlfriend. I asked her to marry me. She tells me I need to date somebody else first. Why didn't she just dump me? At least that I can understand."
He says that his new girlfriend sees him as he is now. "She trusts me to make my own decisions, and to help her with hers. For the first time in my life, I have somebody who needs me. Instead of the other way around."
"She finally fell asleep. I think she'll be fine in a couple of hours." Blythe is putting a blanket over Park in House's office. "How do you know about handling a bad acid trip? Friends in your garden club been experimenting again?" House asks. She was young once, she tells him.
They hear Thomas and Wilson laughing in the other room, looking at old pictures. "I've known Greg almost since he was born, you know," Thomas says. "His father and I were like brothers. I was a Navy chaplain in those days. I left the service in the late '60s. I don't think his dad ever forgave me for protesting the war." Which he also apparently got Blythe involved in.
"You protested the war? When?" House asks his mother. "You were a child. I didn't share my entire schedule with you," she says. "We knew if we told you, you'd tell him, and he'd kill us both. He was a Marine. That was the ultimate betrayal," Thomas says.
"Penultimate," House pointedly corrects him.
Blythe decides that it's time for them to head back to the hotel. Thomas puts out his hand for House to shake, but House doesn't move. "You're right. Much too formal. Come here, lad," Thomas says, going in for a big hug, to a surprised House. "Practically family now," Thomas says. After they leave, Wilson tells House he invited them out to dinner. "Told them it was your idea."
"I know we agreed whatever happened on break would stay on break," Melissa tells Will, as she helps him with a drink. "And I don't expect you to talk about yours. But I just want you to know that there was no one else. I missed you so much I barely even saw my own friends. I'm just so glad it's finally over." But Will doesn't even have a chance to respond, because he's choking and coughing up blood again.
"Is he going to be OK?" Melissa asks Taub later, after Will is stabilized. "I'm going to need to discuss that with my colleagues," he says. Will wants to talk about what happened during the break. "Later, you just lie back and relax," Melissa says. "Stop it, Melissa! Just stop telling me what I need, and listen for once."
The team, including Park, who's still not quite sure what was real and what wasn't during her trip, gathers in the hallway while Will and Melissa talk. Their treatment should have made him better, not worse.
"It could be doing both," Park says. "Our treatment breaks down his clot in his head like it's supposed to, except a piece broke off and traveled to one of his arteries in his lungs. If anything, we need to increase the heparin to prevent further clots from forming." If he starts hemorrhaging, they won't be able to stop it, but if they don't the next clot might cause a heart attack or stroke.
"Park's way, at least he has a shot at living," House says. "CT his lungs to confirm, and up the dose." They see Melissa run out of Will's room, crying. "She's young and hot. She'll bounce back," Taub says.
"Almost 9 o'clock. I think your boy's going to stand us up," Thomas says to Blythe and Wilson at the restaurant. Blythe assures him House will show, but Thomas doubts it. "Practically walked in on us having sex. God, if I saw my mother doing that, I'd claw my own eyes out. Of course, she was nowhere near as attractive as you. Horribly fat, as a matter of fact."
He and Blythe laugh, as House walks in - with Dominika. "Mother, Guy Sleeping With My Mother, this is Dominika. My wife." She sits right down, as Blythe, Thomas, and Wilson are all stunned. "It's so nice to be meeting you," Dominika says to Blythe. "Gregory tells me that you were born in Richmond, Virginia. And your father was a tailor who stole from his clients." House has taken Wilson's advice about openness and honestly to unexpected levels.
"We should have picked up on the degeneration of his eyes sooner. We ignored them because we assumed they weren't even part of the equation." Adams and Chase watch Will's CT scan from the control booth. Chase sees a clot on the monitor. "Hopefully, the anticoagulants keep it from killing him."
"So, she gets the couch on the odd nights, and I get the bed on evens. In exchange for a federal felony, she gets a Green Card, and I get a live-in maid." House is openly and honestly explaining his situation to his mother and Thomas.
"Good for you," Thomas says, to House's dismay. "The immigration policy in this country's a travesty. It forces people to lie just so nice people can stay here." "Thank you . . . dad," Dominika says. House tries again. "You should also know that I was not in Africa the last year."
But he's foiled again. "You were in jail," Blythe says. "I've been reading the Princeton Police blotter ever since you moved here," she tells House, smiling. "And I'm afraid I haven't been truthful with you, either. And I've wanted to tell you this for a very long time." House is sure he knows what's coming. "Thomas and I, we got married, two months after your father passed away."
Thomas says that they didn't want him to think they were disrespecting House's father. "And . . . is there another secret that you want to share with me?" House asks. Nope, that was it. "There's nothing you think might be relevant to my life?" Like what? "I don't know. Just off the top of my head, something like: I DNA-tested my dad, and found that he was not my biological father. You are," House says.Thomas laughs. "That's impossible," he says. "People lie. Birthmarks don't," House says, getting up. He unbuckles his belt and pulls down his pants to reveal the telltale birthmark on his penis.
"Oh my god," Thomas says to Blythe. "You told me he was a preemie. This bloody lunatic is my son! All those years, I could have done things. I could have made a difference in the boy's life. Look at him sitting there - a pill-popping sociopath! If you wanted to screw up his life, you couldn't have done it better."
"He's one of the most well-respected doctors in the world!" Blythe says to Thomas. "He's saved more lives than you can count. Now you apologize to him. Or I swear: you will never see me again, Thomas!" But Thomas has had enough. "I can't deal with this anymore," and he walks out for some fresh air. Well, House got what he was looking for. "So, who's for dessert?"
"Help me!" Will is screaming in pain and his monitors are all beeping. "My eyes! My eyes! Feels like it's on fire!" They pull off the dressing. His eyes are swollen and disfigured.
"It's not Behcet's. It doesn't necrotize tissue like this. I think it's Streptococcus pyogenes," Chase tells Adams and House. But it shouldn't be spreading since they've already treated Will with broad-spectrum antibiotics. "Just means it's drug-resistant," Chase says. "We need to remove what's left of his eyes before the gangrene sets in."
"Something that looks and acts like a bacteria but isn't one. Could be viral," Adams says, as they get to the lab, where Taub and Park are testing. "No, it couldn't," Taub says. "No evidence of viral markers in the necrotized tissue."
House wants to look at the image again of the lung clot. "That's not a piece of a clot from his brain. That's the point of infection. Mucormycosis. He breathed in the spores, and it's been growing and spreading ever since." He's diabetic, so his immune system is already compromised, which could account for the rapid spread of the fungal infection. "He's right," Park says, looking at a sample under a microscope. "The sample from his eyes is crawling with it."
House orders amphotericin B. "We treated him with gentamicin when we thought it was bacterial," Adams says. "Which means the dose of amphotericin B we'll need to cure him will probably leave him deaf." "Sorry - stopped listening after you said, 'The dose we'll need to cure him,'" House tells her."Blind and deaf? I'd rather be dead," Will tells Adams. There's a small chance he won't be completely deaf, but he's refusing treatment anyway. "You don't know how hard things are already for me. I can't handle anymore."Oh, hi. I'm here to apologize. I could have handled the news with more aplomb." Thomas is waiting for House in his office. "I have a son! That's great news." "What else did she tell you to say?" House asks. Thomas smiles: "You're not a lunatic. You're not a mistake."
"I never liked your friend, my father," House tells him. Thomas admits that he could be intense at times. "But unlike you," House says, "I did respect him." Thomas asks if he respects his mother, and House just looks down. "Well, we do have that in common. And we all love her. So we don't have much choice, do we . . . son? See you at dinner."Will, it's me." Melissa has come to see Will. "Let me guess: the doctor who thinks I'm an ass wants you to convince me to live," Will says. It's true, but Will tells her it won't work. "I know," Melissa says. "So I won't. I've made enough decisions for you. This is your life." He wants to know why she came back. "Because I love you, and I want to be with you for as long as I can." "Melissa, I'm so scared," Will says. "Me, too," Melissa tells, him, crying and holding his hand. "I'll always love you." "Even if I was deaf?" Will asks. "Even if anything," she tells him.
"He's still very ill, but if he keeps responding the way he has been, he should be fine." Adams gives Melissa an update the next morning in Will's room. "And his hearing?" Melissa asks. "It's gone," Adams says. "We don't know yet if it'll be permanent."
Melissa takes his hand. "Melissa? Is that you?" She squeezes his hand once for yes. "Can I ask you something?" Will says. "I completely understand if you squeeze no. Will you marry me?" She pulls away, and Will looks concerned. "Yes! Yes, of course yes!" Melissa says loudly. "I heard that! You said yes, right?" Will asks as Melissa leans in to hug him.
"How long are you going to wait until you tell me?" House asks Wilson, later in Wilson's office. "I thought we already had the Santa Claus talk," Wilson says. House claims to have seen Wilson swipe Thomas' fork from dinner, to take his DNA. Wilson tries to look shocked by the allegation. "That's . . . that's . . . very observant of you," he confesses.
"See, you're more me than you pretend," House tells him. "You had to know for sure. So you needed proof." House thinks for a second. "And the fact that you haven't told me, can only mean . . ." "He isn't your father, either," Wilson confirms, handing him the results. "You know what that means?" House asks. "Your mom's a slut?" Wilson asks. "That, and she's not as boring as I thought she was," House says.