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Bad Company

Aftershocks 24.2: The Little Things

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Aftershocks 24.2: The Little Things

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TITLE: Aftershocks: A Story in Shattered Pieces
SUMMARY: Interludes from Wilson's world
CHARACTERS: Wilson, House
RATING:
R for language and themes (gen fic).
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.


The Little Things



Daytime television is about as appetizing as Ensure, and not nearly as nutritious. Wilson hates it, with one exception.

He watches General Hospital because—because he's pathetic, really. Because that means that there's at least one person with whom he's connected, right then, in a strange and foolish way that probably means nothing. He likes the idea, though. House is sitting somewhere in the clinic, or alongside the Coma Guy, or in whatever new hideout he's found, watching the same scenes and suffering through the same ads for minivans and maxi pads.

Later, over dinner they'll gossip about who got who knocked up and whose long lost evil twin has resurfaced and which actress had a boob job since last season. Well, House will gossip, mostly; talk's not as cheap for Wilson as it used to be.





House brings home Slurpees. The first one was Gatorade flavored and arrived in the standard paper cup. The second was blue raspberry, in an enormous plastic Spiderman mug. Every time he does this, House tries to top himself. By the fifth time he's making crazy concoctions, two or three flavors layered together, like Wilson used to do when he was in grade school.

They're absolutely awful, but Wilson discovers that he likes them. And so far, nothing masks the flavor of liquid oxycodone quite as well as a cherry Slurpee. He'd never have known this if it wasn't for House; but then he'd never have needed liquid oxycodone in the first place, if it wasn't for House.





One of the first things Wilson had discovered, upon waking up with his jaw wired shut, was that he couldn't lick his lips. This simple fact is now the source of constant distress, partly because it feels so wrong to be unable to do such a small thing. It's remarkably claustrophobic to have his tongue trapped that way, and also he's now the poster child for Chapstick. He absolutely mustn't run out.

When he first asked for lip balm, the stuff House brought him was pink and flecked with delicate glitter, which House pretended not to have noticed when he bought it. Since he was helpless to go get anything better, Wilson used it for three days. That's how long it took for House to have mercy and bring something else, less fairy-princess.

The replacement balm is faintly green. It smells like watermelon, and the tube bears the likeness of the Incredible Hulk. It's a vast improvement. With House, you take what you can get.





They already had a good system of silent communication, but their vocabulary of expressions, signs and signals has expanded in a hurry. It's not that Wilson can't talk, it's that he sounds like the lousy speaker system at the Burger King drive-through. It takes so much effort to enunciate when he can't move his jaw.

So Wilson's got a hand sign for water and one for coffee. There's a sign for Gimme the remote and at least a dozen variations that all mean Shut up, House. And of course there's the ubiquitous middle finger.

One afternoon, because he's bored, he looks up obscene gestures on the internet and discovers interesting hand movements from around the world. He's always meant to learn a foreign language; he toys with the idea of figuring out how to flick House off in Japanese.

The Japanese seem to be too polite for such things. He can't find a single reference to a gesture with that meaning. The Europeans are too obvious about it, thrusting their whole arm into the air. He settles on the British solution, and the next time House irritates him, Wilson makes that backhanded "victory" sign. And it works. Sort of. House doesn't shut up and he doesn't go away, but he does smile.
 
 
  • Greetings!

    "Daytime television is about as appetizing as Ensure, and not nearly as nutritious."

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

    "Because that means that there's at least one person with whom he's connected, right then, in a strange and foolish way that probably means nothing. He likes the idea, though."

    OMG - another place y'all so get it! Hockey was that for me when I was in (physical) rehab - I would watch, knowing my husband was at home doing the same. In a weird way, it's like he was watching over me, keeping me company, keeping me safe.

    "minivans and maxi pads" - Love the contrast!!!

    *hehehehe!* I'm sure! Also, not that Wilson does, but knowing ASL helps a bunch in such situations. My sister-in-spirit used to use it with her friends when they all worked at the same restaurant. Does wonders for communication across a crowded, noisy dining room.

    "a dozen variations that all mean Shut up, House."

    *hehehehehe!* I can so picture both the desire and the need!!! :-D

    "He's always meant to learn a foreign language; he toys with the idea of figuring out how to flick House off in Japanese."

    *hehehehehe* Well, there is always that - the one thing you learn in any foreign language you study.... :lol

    "House doesn't shut up and he doesn't go away, but he does smile."

    I'm sure he does, considering what else it symbolizes - the 'you're haven't won yet, @#$%!!!' fire. The fact that Wilson uses it is a happy sign of returning spirit, for all he may or may not actually be aware of the full meaning.

    Wonderful chapter!!! Thank'ee's for sharing!
    -Katrina



  • (Anonymous)

    I read H/W at least once a day and have finished many stories. This is the absolute best. Your writing makes me feel what your characters are feeling. Waiting eagerly for more.
    On another note is there a reason for your screen name? If that's not too personal.
    • Not too personal at all. It comes from a small detail, easily missed if you're not paying attention: Martin smokes black cigarettes.

  • Sorry, wasn't logged in. I'm anonymous from above. I think my screen name is self explanatory and says something about my age too. Loved K/S but your H/W is much better.
  • I like this chapter a lot, covering a lot of ground in a few words in a few sections. Favorite line: "He'd never have known this if it wasn't for House; but then he'd never have needed liquid oxycodone in the first place, if it wasn't for House." I also like the sense of connection Wilson feels to House when he watches GH. Among other things, it's reminiscent of how a lot of us fans feel connected to each other while we watch the show that inspired this story.
  • I like this chapter's icon; it's lovely. But actually, they are all fascinating. I am sure there is a story behind every one.

    Loved the little glimpses into Wilson's daily life, and all the senses engaged: sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell. Maybe Wilson's senses are heightened since his world has become so limited, and every little detail glows with more meaning. :D

    General Hospital, hee! (also, I am blushing, because... never mind.) And it's so lovely that Wilson is seeking out connections with House again. *heart is warmed*
    • The "story" behind most of the icons is: They gave an artist the keys to the black_cigarette place, and, well. What'd they expect? I decorated.

      The others of our crew did find and add many wonderful icons, though, which made me very happy.

      The "Black Russian Cigarettes" poster was one I found on the first day we had this account. It seemed appropriate, so I narfed it. It may have had something to do with Nightdog having said that she thought Martin went to Moscow almost immediately after the incident in Bad Company.

  • (Anonymous)
    Oh this is so wonderful! Just like the rest of the chapters. I love the back handed British Victory sign, House creating his own slurpee, how cherry slurpees hide the liquid oxycodone, and my all time favorite lines are "....he's now the poster child for Chapstick." and "...House brought him was pink and flecked with delicate glitter, which House pretended not to have noticed when he bought it. Since he was helpless to go get anything better, Wilson used it for three days. That's how long it took for House to have mercy and bring something else, less fairy-princess." Love the piece. Great job! Can't get enough. Thanks!
  • The lip balm thing seems such a teeny thing when you're well and mobile and all that, but it's probably been driving Wilson crazy. I guess the Hulk is an improvement on the pink glittery stuff and Wilson should be grateful for that...

    Wonder if Wilson read the reason why the British 'V' sign came into being?
  • "And it works. Sort of. House doesn't shut up and he doesn't go away, but he does smile."

    And when it comes to House, that's just as good, isn't it? Or maybe it trumps the others completely.
  • Little things, perhaps, but I loved every one of these sections.

    Sharing General Hospital is so appropriate. Wilson was probably a prime source of PPTH gossip for their lunchtime conversations in the past, and although he's been effectively cut off from real life, they can still talk about the escapades of imaginary doctors on television. Not that anyone around here would be familiar with that.

    "He'd never have known this if it wasn't for House; but then he'd never have needed liquid oxycodone in the first place, if it wasn't for House." Lovely summation of Wilson's conflicted feelings here.

    I'm shuddering at the idea of not being able to lick one's lips, although the chapstick riff is very funny. How does Wilson keep his teeth and tongue clean with his mouth wired shut? Inquiring minds want to know.

    There are all too many ways to show disrespect for the Japanese, but no deliberate gestures along these lines as far as I am aware (although of course, if there were, House would know!). The last line is great, and I'm happy that they have gotten to a place where Wilson can appreciate his power to make House smile.
    • The moment you think about not being able to lick your lips, you have to do it, don't you?

      *g*

      We did a lot of reading about the things involved with having one's jaw wired shut. Hygiene is a problem, yes. And that's all we're going to say about that; if you wanna know more, the information's out there.

      You are making me smile while I play with a bridge-piece going into the next Distress Call arc.
  • Aww, I love it <3 Slurpees for Wilson! And oh God, the lip balm... I can just imagine Wilson glaring and rolling his eyes at a pink glittery one...
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