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Bad Company

Aftershocks 10.1: Homecoming

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Aftershocks 10.1: Homecoming

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waring blender
TITLE: Aftershocks: A Story in Shattered Pieces
SUMMARY: There's no way he's walking out of here and no way he's letting House drive the wheelchair.
CHARACTERS: Wilson, House, OMC
RATING:
R for language and themes.
WARNINGS: Details the aftermath of events in Bad Company, a rough, violent story. Aftermath isn't always pretty; may distress some readers. Adult themes and adult language.
SPOILERS: No.
DISCLAIMER: Don't own 'em. Never will.
NOTES: The pieces of this shattered story are numbered. The first number signifies the number of days that have elapsed since the original event in Bad Company; the second number signifies when the fic occurs during that day.



Homecoming


Wilson is silent throughout the discharge procedure. He only half-listens to Cameron's voice as she explains the instructions in the discharge folder—PT, prescriptions, what he can and can't consume once he's out. Consume, he nearly snorts at that, because he won't actually be eating anything for a long while yet. She doesn't ask him to sign anything; apparently she managed to get House to do the paperwork. Wonders never cease.

House shows up at the door just as Cameron says, "Dr. Wilson, you could stay. You should stay a few more days, at least. You don't have to—"

Wilson clears his throat to interrupt her. House, surprisingly, stays silent, and Cameron remains unaware of his presence.

Wilson says, quietly, "Cam'rn. 'M leav'n." He meets her eyes, briefly, before taking the folder from her and setting it on the bed. "Anks," he says and dismisses her with a gesture of his good hand.

Cameron doesn't budge. "But," she sputters a little, looking nonplussed. "But, why?"

At this, House finally steps into the room. "Because I bribed him," he announces. "And you just can't compete with her cleavage." House's gaze disdainfully sweeps to Cameron's chest and back up to her face.

Cameron gasps angrily. She looks this close to stomping her foot, too, but House just growls, "Your job here is done. Go make yourself busy somewhere that's else."

She snorts a very unladylike snort as she turns to leave the room.

House huffs out a happy sigh once she's gone, and turns back to Wilson. "Finally," he says dramatically. "You ready?"

Wilson's irritation with Cameron turns into a glare for House. He's ready to leave, yes. House was right; the place is a fishbowl, and he's the fish. He's not sure he's ready to go to House's place, but what choice does he have? He's pretty fucking useless now, as it is, and he just doesn't have the energy to arrange for care anywhere else, to undo House's latest executive decision. For the past three days, he's existed in a pattern of visits and silences; eventually he decided he'd far rather deal with House's silences than visits from anyone else. At least House's apartment feels something like safe.

Wilson leans over a little and presses the call button on the bed; there's no way he's walking out of here and no way he's letting House drive the wheelchair.

House fidgets his way around the room, churning out gossip like a pepper mill, apparently hoping his chatter will somehow drown out Wilson's fury. He shuts up when Jerry, wheelchair in his wake, opens the door.

"Time to go, eh, Doc?" Jerry asks as he slides the wheelchair next to the bed.

"Mmmm," Wilson half-grunts in reply. Jerry doesn't move to help; he simply stands ready, waiting to assist if Wilson needs it to get from the bed to the chair. House is still, too, watching as Wilson creakily unfolds himself from his seat on the bed and refolds into the chair. Wilson feels like an old dollar bill that's been used for an origami project.

"Damn, Doc," Jerry says as he settles into the chair. "Lookin' better on your feet every day."

House stays silent for the entire trip to the car, the only indication he's behind them a ghostly shuffle-tap on the tiles. Wilson hears the Volvo's doors unlock before they reach the car. Underneath his anger that House has also appropriated his car he's silently grateful that House didn't bring the Corvette.

He turns out to need Jerry's help to get into the car; with his left arm strapped against his chest he can't seem to fold himself the right way to get in the seat. By the time he's finally settled enough, House is in the driver's seat and watching expectantly. He has the car in gear almost before Jerry closes the door, and Wilson can see he's resisting the urge to try and get the Volvo to peel out of the lot.

Getting out of the car at House's apartment is worse than getting in, and not just because Jerry's solid mass isn't there to lift him out. Getting in was mostly a controlled fall; getting out is a painful climb, especially with just one arm. Wilson manages to get halfway out when he feels himself tip back toward the seat as his strength starts to give, and suddenly he's pulled forward onto his feet. He's surprised at how steady he's standing, given the pain spiking through his torso, when he realizes his good shoulder is snugged against House's chest.

"Good?" House rumbles in his ear.

He ducks his head in a small nod, and House steps slightly away. Together they gimp the ten feet across the sidewalk and up the step-and-a-half into the building, Wilson leaning on House leaning on his cane.

Wilson isn't sure what he'll see when House opens the apartment door, but he decides he doesn't care so long as it's something soft and easy to fall into. He's focused on the floor as they first step into the apartment, and he doesn't look up until he hears House close the door behind them.

The living room looks...like a child decided to mix her 'House' dollhouse with her 'hospital' doll furniture. The armchair and two tables are gone, the sofa cozying up to the piano in order to make room for a big hospital bed near the kitchen door. The TV has been moved from its low stand to perch on a highboy dresser at a perfect viewing angle to the bed. A shiny enameled-steel blender winks from the kitchen island, a lighthouse in the wasteland of House's kitchen. The shower chair that Wilson bought for House after the infarction stands folded against the closet door, and two IV poles stand sentinel next to it. Three red medical bags, filled with who-knows-what, are lined along the hallway wall. Wilson's suitcases lie open on the desk so he can reach his clothes without bending to the floor.

"Goddammit," House mutters from behind him.

Wilson's already moving toward the bed. "Mmmm?" he murmurs, trusting House to understand his question.

"They put the bed in the wrong place," House replies as he follows along behind Wilson. "Supposed to be over there, so you can reach the end table." Out of the corner of his eye, Wilson sees the tip of House's cane indicate the other side of the room, near the piano.

Wilson can't help himself; he lets out an almost-contented, groaning sigh as he sits on the bed. Without comment, House bends and helps him swing his legs up onto the bed. He sighs again as he leans back and lets his muscles release his weight into the mattress.

"M've it later," Wilson mutters.

"Yeah," House answers. He maneuvers around the bed to fall into the couch, and lets out a sigh of his own as he settles his feet on the coffee table. "Give me a pain rating."

"Go to hell," Wilson says softly. He's wanted to say that for years.

House chuckles. "Fair enough. I'll get your meds in a minute."

Wilson feels himself relax and begin to drift into a doze, barely aware of the television flickering to life. He's home, at last.
 
  • Greetings!

    Yes, indeedy... miracles do happen, don't they? *shakes head in amazement at the thought of House voluntarily doing paperwork*

    "Wilson feels like an old dollar bill that's been used for an origami project." Love the desc.!!!

    "Underneath his anger that House has also appropriated his car he's silently grateful that House didn't bring the Corvette." I can well imagine! I couldn't get out of those well when I was considerably younger, thinner, and in better shape.... :lol

    "The living room looks...like a child decided to mix her 'House' dollhouse with her 'hospital' doll furniture. " Love this desc. too!

    ""Give me a pain rating."

    "Go to hell," Wilson says softly. He's wanted to say that for years." Payback... can be loverly... and the best medicine.... ;->

    -Katrina




  • Oooooooooooowee!! This is beautiful - the imagery is palpable. Like the H/W foosball scene on the S3 blooper reel, I can't stop watching/reading over and over again. Just beautiful.

    I especially love the description of the House's living room. And this exchange is priceless:

    "Give me a pain rating."

    "Go to hell," Wilson says softly. He's wanted to say that for years.

    House chuckles. "Fair enough. I'll get your meds in a minute."


    I have a couple of questions. How is Wilson going to take a shower, wash his hair, dress himself? How is he going to fix his food? What about his PT? House only has Jerry two days a week.

    48 1/2 hours until the next piece or pieces. I am in pain.
    • You're not addicted! You can stop anytime! Hee!

      Thank you for reading, and the lovely comments! The answers to your questions will come, in time...we figured that posting the way we're doing it is more like we're living this along with the characters. *grins* But remember! House doesn't have Jerry--he's getting someone else to come in and help with Wilson.
      • Greetings!

        Oh, I don't know... not to be tellin' y'all's Muse her business... but I still think that Jerry will be by at least every now and again to moonlight.

        -Katrina
  • First off, I just have to say that I love when I'm reminded about the Corvette. It's just so ridiculous, and makes me happy.

    That said, this story has been consistently interesting and well-written; you guys are awesome. It always puts me in a good mood to see a new section up on my friends list.
  • I've been following this story since "Bad Company" but I'm finally commenting to tell you how in awe I am of your (plural, for the whole secret writers society) writing. Every chapter has excellent characterization, tension, realism - no wonder readers are having near-heart attacks whenever it seems like Martin and co. might be back for more. The level of emotionalism throughout the story is wonderful: I never feel it's veering into melodrama and OOC, and yet I'm satisfied (and wanting more) by the end of every chapter, particularly the wrenching 4.2 "Fault Lines".

    For this chapter, the description of the accommodations House made in his apartment is golden. The "doll house", the angling of the tv toward the bed, and the shiny new blender for Wilson's mush as a "lighthouse in the wasteland of House's kitchen", perfect!
    • Thank you so much. We know we're treading a delicate line with the emotional nature of this story, so we truly appreciate hearing that it does work and does not go over the top into melodrama.

      *grins*

      That lighthouse thing is a particular favorite of ours, too.

      Thanks again ... and check back in a few hours. We didn't intend to post anything this weekend, but ...
  • Ah, I was wondering how you were going to handle the homecoming! I liked *a lot* Wilson's combination of anger and resignation to his Fate (aka House). It's rather like the pattern of shot silk, as his mood ripples according to the angle of the pain, sometimes grateful, sometimes resentful.

    *pats blender lovingly* I particularly liked the imagery in the paragraph about the supplies -- words such as a "lighthouse" and "sentinel" create such an atmosphere of confident safety. Er, for now, I expect :S

    • *peers at icon* Hmm, is that a Kitchenaid blender? If so House is really going all out *g*
      • Nope. It's a Waring blender. Those aren't cheap either.

        Heh.

        There's a reason House bought that particular brand, but that's neither here nor there.
      • LOL! After a quick Google I might be able to guess at some of the reasons :D

        Or not -- I'm actually hopeless at mysteries.
      • Is House a Warren Zevon fan? That's what came to my mind, anyway.
    • Poor Wilson, he's got so many conflicting emotions going on now.

      And he's really not any better at expressing that stuff than House is.

  • And still -- Wilson wants to tell House off at the same time he seeks companionship, comfort and safety in him. What a terrible confusion of desires.

    Also: he leans back and lets his muscles release his weight into the mattress.

    I love this; usually I'm a big advocate of simplicity, but for some reason this is much more visceral than if you'd just said "he relaxed."
  • House fighting the urge to peel out while Wilson's as fragile as an octogenarian made me smile as did this line:
    "The living room looks...like a child decided to mix her 'House' dollhouse with her 'hospital' doll furniture."
    Wilson's so broken and even though he'll feel less exposed, I'm a little frightened for him but thrilled to read on.
    • That was really such a House thing to want to do, wasn't it? Hee!

      Thank you so much for continuing to comment on these. It's really enjoyable for us.
  • (Anonymous)
    Oh.</> A close friend of mine had a set-up like this while her husband was dying slowly from a neurogenerative disease, and this took me back there for a moment.

    He'd rather deal with House's silences than visits from anyone else. And yet House's chatter can't drown out his fury. Which he will not voice. At all. And not just because his jaw is wired shut.

    Poor Cameron. "Don't you have an elsewhere to be?" was a Cordelia Chase classic.

    Fantastic summary sentence.
  • Awww it's so sweet that House rearranged everything for Wilson (even if he didn't do it himself)... It's so touching <3
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