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.
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."