black_cigarette (black_cigarette) wrote,

Aftershocks 24.3: A Walk in the Park

TITLE: Aftershocks: A Story in Shattered Pieces
SUMMARY: "We're going to the park."
CHARACTERS: House, Wilson
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.

A Walk in the Park

Wilson groans loudly as he lands with a thump on the couch next to House. House hadn't thought it possible, but Wilson's various noises have become even more expressive since his jaw was wired shut. He recognizes the feelings behind this particular groan almost instantly: a combination of frustration, generalized irritation, pain, and cabin fever. Not surprising, since Wilson hasn't left the apartment (save for the hospital visits) in...two weeks.

He clicks off the television.

"Come on," he says and elbows Wilson's right bicep gently. He grabs his cane and hauls himself off the couch.

Wilson just looks up at him and huffs softly through his nose. His expression says, "I just sat down."

"I know you just sat down," House replies and holds out his free hand. "But I also know it's a nice day outside, you showered this morning and are thus somewhat presentable, and that you are thoroughly sick of looking at my arguably very interesting living room. We're going to the park."

Wilson frowns.

"'You'll heal better if you're up and moving,'" House says in a high falsetto. "Sound familiar?"

Wilson narrows his eyes and grunts. "S'not the same," he says.

"But it is the same, or close enough to it," House grumbles. "I needed those trips."

"You hated those trips."

"I only complained to keep up my reputation." House holds his hand out again. "You'll thank me later."

"You thank'n me now?"

House rolls his eyes and lets out an eloquent snort of his own.

Wilson's eyes sparkle a little as he reaches for House's hand.

It is a beautiful, sunny day, and the park is populated largely by moms and boisterous kids. House and Wilson settle themselves on a bench at the very edge of the park.

Wilson sighs. This one is tired, but content.

"Two blocks takes it out of you, hmm?" House observes and stretches his right leg out a little.

"Surprise," Wilson murmurs. He stretches his shoulders back against the bench, keeping his gaze down. His face is barely visible under the trucker hat he had insisted upon borrowing—he looks closer to normal than he has in a long time, but he's still obviously nervous about being in public. His lips stretch oddly over the equipment in his mouth and the bruising has faded to a mottled yellow-green. Frankenstein's monster would probably be less conspicuous.

House watches the set of Wilson's shoulders slowly relax as they sit in the sun and most everyone passes by them without a second glance. House starts to unwind, too; he'd never admit it, but the sunshine does a lot to improve his mood. A few more days like this and House might even begin to believe things are on their way back to normal.

The burst of anger, finally, from Wilson and House's long-overdue confession had been like lancing a boil. Tuesday morning was slightly awkward, with their graceless attempts to get out of Wilson's bed while not acknowledging the presence of the other. The awkwardness lasted until House went to fetch breakfast and Wilson asked for a grande mochaccino with sprinkles. House unthinkingly told him to blow it out his ass. They had both stared at each other for a moment, and Wilson blinked, long and slow like an owl. Then they dissolved into laughter—well, House had laughed. Wilson giggled, sounding like that muffled-up kid on South Park.

Since then they've both been cutting back on their meds.

House lets his gaze drift around the park. He starts making up stories about the other park-goers, but something about the way Wilson's sitting stops him from breaking the silence.

She's wondering why she ever agreed to bear his crotch-fruit and wishing she could go back to work. That one's worried because she doesn't look half as perfect as all the other moms. That kid's a samurai fighting for justice and the kiss of a pretty girl. And that guy

That guy, in a silk suit, with a pink Financial Times tucked under his arm, is giving him a jaunty little wave. That guy is looking right at him, House is sure. Even obscured by sunglasses, icy grey eyes are meeting his.

All the panic buttons in his brain light up, every switch is thrown wide open, and adrenaline floods his veins with icewater and heat. It takes all of House's considerable willpower to calmly turn to Wilson and quietly suggest they leave.

Wilson's eyes slide sideways to look at him from under the cap. "We jus' got here," he hisses.

"I'm hot." House puts his best whine into his voice to cover the tremor. "And the goddamn kids, they're screaming." He had thought the hat was ridiculous when Wilson first put it on, but now he's thankful for it. Don't look up, he silently begs. Don't look up, don't argue with me, don't look up.

Wilson sighs and groans with a little exasperated huff at the end, which says, "And you're probably worried the sunshine will make you burst into flames, so we need to return to the Batcave straightaway." But he starts to push himself up off the bench.

By the time Wilson's finished, House is on his feet and standing between Martin and Wilson. House grabs his elbow and turns them to go.

Wilson shrugs House's hand away and growls, "'M fine."

House pushes them into a slightly-too-fast pace. "I know," he snaps under his breath. "But we need to get home."

Wilson keeps up, barely. "House, what the hell?"

"I think I left the iron on."

Wilson snorts, but follows him home without any more questions.
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