black_cigarette (black_cigarette) wrote,

Aftershocks 24.2: The Little Things

TITLE: Aftershocks: A Story in Shattered Pieces
SUMMARY: Interludes from Wilson's world
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 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.

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