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Bad Company

Aftershocks 22.1: Pathetic



Aftershocks 22.1: Pathetic

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TITLE: Aftershocks: A Story in Shattered Pieces
SUMMARY: The pattern of Wilson's days is drastically different.
CHARACTERS: Wilson, House
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.
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 pattern of Wilson's days is drastically different. He used to get up, shower, be pressed and dressed and on his way to work with a coffee and a bagel less than an hour after he awoke. He used to be busy; grand rounds at 9:00, patients in the morning, hospital meetings in the afternoon, departmental business sandwiched in-between, smoothing over House's madness sprinkled throughout the day. As crappy as it was to awaken to that drab green hotel room, the first thought of the day a reminder that he was a bachelor, again, it was a hell of a lot better than waking up to House's living room and a chorus of pain.

His new routine is simpler, his day clocked according to his meals and meds. And he's finally, finally starting to be awake more hours than he sleeps. Which is a mixed blessing, given that being awake also means thinking.

Wilson tears his eyes away from the mute CNN scroller and stares up at the ceiling, letting the music from the stereo wash over him. He's got plenty of time for thinking, now. The distractions House has sprinkled throughout the apartment only serve as a reminder of how long he's going to be here, how far from normal he really is.

Last week, all he could really think about was Point A (OK, I'm in the hospital) and Point B (I'm all better). This week, today, as he contemplates the hieroglyphics from today's round of right-handed writing practice, he can finally see the distance between Points A and B and it's not a straight line; hell, it's not even short.

Thank God House had to go to work today. Wilson doesn't think he can take much more of it. The touching. The watching when he thinks Wilson's not looking. The eating solid foods. When House is more able-bodied than you are, you're in deep shit, buddy.

The guilt.

House doesn't realize it, but he wears his guilt like bad cologne. It radiates off him in waves the minute he enters the apartment and lingers long after he's slammed the door behind him.

The man paid a near-stranger an exorbitant sum for two hours because he can't stand watching Wilson shuffle around like an old man. He sent one of his fellows because he was tired of making smoothies, but he isn't the one drinking the fucking things.

Wilson shoves the tray table away and laboriously pushes himself out of bed. He'll have a goddamned smoothie, and if he doesn't feel like going all the way down the hall to the bathroom, he'll have an empty cup nearby. Let House clean it up.

It takes Wilson almost fifteen minutes to blend up his meal, even though everything is right there. He forgoes the strawberries because they're on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator.

A blue patient folder lies open on the coffee table. Wilson glances at it as he passes on his way back to bed, but he doesn't bother flipping it shut. House called him on a pity consult, trying to make him feel useful. It was the highlight of his week.

How fucking pathetic is that?

House arrives home with a clatter and a shout. He's in high spirits; apparently he won a round with Cuddy and snuck out of the hospital because he's home two hours early. Wilson leans against the bathroom wall and takes a deep breath, trying to muster patience from a well long dry. He opens the door and starts his long shuffle down the hall.

House is leaning against the doorframe to the kitchen when he gets to the living room. As Wilson starts settling himself back into bed, House asks, "So, Jimmy, you do your PT today?"

Wilson pauses, leaning hard on his arm, and wishes he could open his mouth enough to scream. House sounds... Christ, he sounds smug. Like this is some kind of sick payback for all the times Wilson (sometimes literally) dragged his sorry ass out of bed. Like he's happy to see Wilson in worse shape than he is. Like he's forgotten that all this is his fault.

"Wha'd you used to say? Oh yeah, fuck off." He can't help the bitter words that slip free, but they feel so good to finally say that he doesn't try to stop the rest. He glares at House, every uncomfortable shift of House's frame serving only to fuel his anger, to give him a target. "You like this, your payback? Revenge for all those times I helped you? You wandid me to feel your pain? You got your wish, House."

He takes a deep breath, forcing himself to slow down, to enunciate every word, because House deserves to hear it all. Wilson stands up; he barely feels the protest of his creaking bones.

He says precisely what he thinks and it feels so damn good that he doesn't care about that look in House's eyes. It feels so damn good that he's glad when House snaps up his helmet and his jacket and slams the door behind him as he leaves.

He may as well. It's obvious House doesn't want to be here anyway.
  • Jimmy, noooooooo!!!

    But, in all honesty, I can totally understand the need to just lash out because of frustration.
  • Okay I didn''t think I would ever say this about my baby Wilson but I am a little bit annoyed with him. House is trying. I realize it's the pain and the fear and the helplessness talking but it still hurts.
  • Ut, oh, Wilson snapped o.o;
    Long overdue.
  • Greetings!

    Ok... it's going to be another one of THOSE posts - one of the ones where I reach into the story and start telling some truths, since banging heads is physically impossible, more's the pity.

    House is honest. You are not. You are being put in this place to learn a few things and deal w/more than a few things. You can either do that, and have something good come out of all this hell, or duck, and have it all mean absolutely nothing. Now THAT would be truly pathetic.

    (Yeah, I'm in rant mode of late, apparently. The time of year, I think. Sorry about that. Sort of. :-p)(But then again, it seems to provide amusement value at least, so all is not in vain.... :lol)
  • This probably wasn't what you were going for here - hell, maybe it was; who am I to say? - but Wilson's frustration and House's guilt as it's portrayed here really reminds me of what it must have been like between House and Stacy after the infarction, romantic relationship aside. The growing frustration for House and her guilt. It's very interesting to see a sort of role reversal happening, at least on House's end. Lots of food for thought.

    Another great segment. I can't get enough of these.
  • It was bound to happen sooner or later: miscommunication on both sides, and a huge blow-up. Still: OUCH. Wilson's half-right; House does feel horribly guilty, but oh, the assumptions that follow, that House sends others because he's sick of taking care of him, that House pities him (God, doesn't he know? doesn't he know from so many years of dealing with House after the infarction that pity's worse than anything, and House would never do that to someone in pain?), that House has forgotten this is all his fault. And House -- you know he's already given up on Wilson wanting to stay with him, so he's just going to let Wilson have his say and walk out when he can and he won't stop him, for all the wrong reasons. Except he probably won't, because there's got to be a happy ending. Got to be. Gahhh. The both of them thinking the other one doesn't want to be there, and letting that poison their friendship on top of everything else, when really the opposite is true.
  • I was actually glad to see Wilson snap; the poor boy needed it to let out the tension. I just pray that House will see the frustration for what it is.

    It's fascinating that although Wilson undoubtedly wants House to take responsibility, the actual guilt makes Wilson feel uncomfortable. (LOVED how you brought in his wariness about all the touching and watching.) I wonder if Wilson is used to being the saviour, the knight in shining armour, the man of action -- and now he must depend on the mercy of someone else. He doesn't get to be the hero, and he doesn't want to accept House as the hero either.

    (Why am I attempting psychoanalysis at 2 am? Don't mind me!)
    • Your comments are a delight, dear purridot.

      Wilson, oh Wilson. There's so much control involved in being the one who takes care of everyone else. How scary this must be for him.
  • I see why Wilson was so bratty, but I don't know if House has the ability to process the reasons. I really hope he doesn't just get angry when he returns.
    • hope he doesn't just get angry

      Everyone hopes that, but ... this is House we're talking about.

      Thanks for leaving a comment so that we know you're reading. :-) New chapters are now up, btw.
  • He's bored, battered and bitter (haha, I love alliteration). It had to happen sooner or later; Wilson's gone through too much to process House's kindness and guilt or maybe it's just easier to discount it than feel indebted to someone you may also feel indirectly caused it all to happen in the first place. Either way, I'm sure Wilson will be feeling guilty for lashing out.
    • Hello again, Charmy! Nice to see you.

      Yes, this was bound to happen sometime. Poor guys, they're really both out to sea here.
  • Nooooooo! :( Don't hurt House :( You might shatter him - I'm really kind of worried for him.
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