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Bad Company

Aftershocks 29.3: A Mother's Love

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Aftershocks 29.3: A Mother's Love

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TITLE: Aftershocks: A Story in Shattered Pieces
SUMMARY: Honor thy father and thy mother ...
CHARACTERS: Wilson and House, with a small side dish of Cuddy.
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.




A Mother's Love


The expression on House's face tells him everything he needs to know.

Wilson drops his head back against the pillow and closes his eyes. Of course she'd call now. Now, when he and House have been circling each other like giant wary dogs for almost a week, prickly and stand-offish. It's like the air is full of static electricity and there's a storm brewing, but House won't talk about it and Wilson's afraid to ask.

He listens for a moment. Maybe if he pretends to be asleep ... but that probably won't work, seeing as how he was wide awake a minute ago, sniping at House for putting Raging Bull in the DVD player. It's a movie Wilson used to like -- he's always been an admirer of Scorsese's artistry, but he'd found it difficult to watch Robert De Niro getting the crap beaten out of him, and it had been a relief when the phone rang.

For about a minute.

House is using his Grown-Up Voice, the ultra-polite one that masks his desire to insult, maim, or otherwise destroy the person on the other end of the phone.

"Yes, he's right here," House says. "I'll put him on right now and you can ask him yourself."

Wilson glares at him, but House is already holding the phone out with nothing but innocence written all over his face. Bastard.

Might as well get this over with, Wilson thinks, and takes the phone.

"Hi, Mom," he says.

His mother twitters in his ear.

"Yes, I know you and Dad had this Rhine cruise plan' for months now. No, I know you had to fly direc'ly back to Flor'da." He does his best to ignore House, who has thrown up his right arm in a Nazi salute and is whistling something that sounds suspiciously like "Springtime for Hitler" under his breath.

"'Bout four weeks," Wilson says. "Wit' House. Greg House. You 'member -- "

" ... and GER-MANNNNYYYYY!"

Wilson desperately wants to put his hand over his eyes, but his left hand is useless and his right hand is occupied in holding the phone to his ear. His jaws are already aching from the effort to enunciate clearly.

"No, Mom. House has the ... um ... TV turned up real'y loud. He's a big fan of mus'cals." He smirks triumphantly at House, who rolls his eyes and looks away.

His mother twitters again. She sounds worried.

"It was a gang of kids, mom. Yeah. Um ... five or six, I don' really 'member. No, I -- what? No, mom, they were a gang. I din't know any -- " Out of the corner of his eye he can see House pretending not to listen.

"Um ... hurt ribs, m'jaw -- yeah. That's why. Smoothies. Mom, look ... how's Dad?"

House leans forward on the sofa and rests his elbows on his knees. It looks to Wilson like he's rubbing at his forehead.

"Really? Soun's like a good project. No, I un'erstan' he can't get away."

He watches as House lunges to his feet and heads into the kitchen. The metallic clatters and bangs that follow tell him House is assaulting the silverware.

"No, Mom, I'm fine. Really. House's ... House's takin' good care a'me."

In the kitchen, something crashes to the floor. It's not loud enough to be House, so Wilson ignores it.

"An' Jon? Oh. So you haven't talked t'him. Okay. No, I know you're busy."

Utter silence from the kitchen, and Wilson tries to twist around and make sure House isn't preparing to stab himself with one of the butcher-block knives or set himself on fire with the toaster oven.

The doorbell rings.

"That should be our guest," House shouts. "Tell Mommy Dearest you gotta go!"

Wilson exhales slowly. "Mom," he says. "Somebody at th'door. Talk to you later, 'kay? 'Kay. Bye, Mom. Love you too. Bye."

"And be sure and check the peephole!"

"'M not a complete id'yot, House," Wilson mutters as he maneuvers slowly off the bed. He's completely exhausted, despite the shortness of the call. House is still yelling, ranting about Wilson's mother, but Wilson tunes him out. He's heard plenty from House on this subject before. He starts to tug at the hem of his t-shirt, pulling it into some semblance of smoothness, then catches himself and stops.

It's just Chase, he thinks. Although House hadn't actually told him who was dropping by, who else could it be?

He's therefore taken by complete surprise when he peeks through the tiny fisheye and sees Cuddy grinning back at him.

"Crap," Wilson mumbles. He quickly tucks the rest of his t-shirt into the waist of his sweatpants and swipes his right hand through his hair.

Damn it, House, why don't you tell me anything?

Unfortunately, he opens the door just as House is finishing up his rant.

" -- all the maternal instincts of a dingo!"

Wilson feels the blood rush to his face, but Cuddy just laughs.

"I picked up a few things on the way over," she says, holding up a large white bag. The delicious scent of spicy chicken broth fills the doorway, and Wilson's mouth immediately begins to water. She leans closer, her tone low and conspiratorial. "C'mon. Let's go tell him Meryl Streep is here."


  • Awwww, another great chapter!

    I can believe you are going to leave us all weekend knowing Cuddy is there! I can`t wait to find out what happens next!

    Keep up the great work!
  • Well, I guess we know how House feels about Wilson's parents now. :) Only House could be that obnoxious and crass, and he's very funny in the process, as is Wilson's noting of what's making what noise in the background.

    And Cuddy, with only three lines, still just rocks. I love that last line -- what fun!
  • (Anonymous)
    I can't wait to see what happens now that Cuddy's there. I was wondering what she would bring Wilson. What a perfect gift! I should have known. I love the way Wilson talks with the wires. Every time I read Wilson's words, my jaws tighten up. :)) Good stuff. "The Producer's" is one of my favorite shows on Broadway. Nice touch. My favorite line is "--all the maternal insticts of a dingo!" So good! Anxiously awaiting the next chapter.
  • Oh this is so good!! So much love. I cannot wait to find out what Cuddy is wearing and what happens. She brought food!!!

    You know it's so interesting to me that House is terrified Martin is going to hurt Wilson AGAIN. Yet House's reaction is to emotionally torment Wilson and what's more amazing Wilson seems to understand it's House's fear of SOMETHING - a something Wilson doesn't want to know about.

    You all totally ROCK!!!!
  • Eeee, Wilson's mother is one cold customer. *So glad* for the appearance of Cuddy and the delicious concoction at the door! I don't know what I'd do if there weren't some relaxing chapters tucked in with the painful ones. Unless you are just softening us up for some terrible blow... *is paranoid*
  • Ha! This was great. I loved how Wilson was paying attention, but not very concerned about, the noises coming from the kitchen. I particularly enjoyed the "assaulting the silverware" line. :)

    But I like how there's still some darker things underneath all of this. Just enough reminders that don't let us forget that they're still dealing with everything that's happened, and what they fear might happen.

    And thank you. I'm going to fall asleep with Springtime for Hitler playing in my head.
  • In the kitchen, something crashes to the floor. It's not loud enough to be House, so Wilson ignores it.

    Yeah, that'd be a whole other kind of *thud*, easily identifiable!

    Brilliant line. Won't be able to stop myself thinking about it all day.

    Wasn't expecting anything much from Wilson's parents, so I wasn't disappointed *shakes my head and tuts*

    A great Sunday morning treat
  • I don't know what is wrong with Wilson's parents, or his mother in particular, that they still haven't come to see their son who almost died, but I think it's an excellent choice of characterization; there had to be something dysfunctional about the way Wilson was brought up for him to have turned out so needy and, as Martin observed, so willing to be led around on a leash of other people's expectations. Sigh. But House's antics during the call were great, from the silly ones to the angry ones, as were Wilson's reactions (the crash wasn't House, so he ignores it). Heh. And then House's invited guest arrives -- so despite the depressing phone call, they're going to have a nice evening.
    • House would be happy to tell you exactly what's wrong with Wilson's parents. He seems to have an extensive and long-standing list of their flaws.

      When we were writing this, we all kept waiting for Wilson's parents -- or his non-missing brother -- to show up, and we were terribly frustrated that they just ... didn't. We kept asking the characters (as writers do, because we're crazy that way) about it and they kept telling us the same thing.

      Turned out the elder Wilsons really were on one of those month-long Rhine cruises, but also? They are, at least in this ficverse, badly messed up. It's not that they don't care, really; it's just that they don't have a clue how to handle this sort of thing and so they avoid it. And the thing is that Wilson's so distant from them that it may make him a little sad but it's not as painful as you'd imagine.
      • Yes, it is an interesting relationship you have set up for them: you can tell Wilson likes his parents well enough and that they care about their children on some level, and yet there is something critical that's missing. Maybe love, maybe the ability to feel or express affection, maybe lingering resentment on the kids' part over the way they were raised or on everyone's part about what happened with the brother-who-went-missing. But yes, you can tell there's an established distance there, which is both sad (because it's there at all) and somewhat numbing (because he's used to it, expects it).
  • Greetings!

    "House is using his Grown-Up Voice, the ultra-polite one that masks his desire to insult, maim, or otherwise destroy the person on the other end of the phone."

    *hehehehehe* Goodness, but this SO reminds me of my b-i-l! :-D

    "The metallic clatters and bangs that follow tell him House is assaulting the silverware."

    Perhaps looking for a suitably dull instrument for Wilsonian parent-maiming? :-D

    "In the kitchen, something crashes to the floor. It's not loud enough to be House, so Wilson ignores it."

    "Utter silence from the kitchen, and Wilson tries to twist around and make sure House isn't preparing to stab himself with one of the butcher-block knives or set himself on fire with the toaster oven."

    Love the progression, and the paternal aspect of it all. ;-D

    And Cuddy being teasing - gotta love it!

    -Katrina







  • Oh poor Wilson :( his mom's a bitch. I LOVE House singing "Springtime for Hitler" in the background... House is my hero. :D
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