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Title: Everyday English
Author: [livejournal.com profile] serotonin_storm
Fandom: House
Rating: G - PG-13
Pairing: House/Wilson, Wilson/Bonnie
Word Count: 2000 words
Summary: Ten unrelated drabbles based on quotes from the workbook Everyday English. Some gen, some slash and pre-slash, throughout a number of years.
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Notes: For [livejournal.com profile] lostwiginity - Happy birthday, old lady! Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] cutthroatpixie for the wonderful beta.
Prompt: Pick a novel (or book), preferably one of more than 100 pages in length, and take the first (full) sentence off of the top of page; 10, 20, 30, 40 & ect, until you have ten (or thereabouts) quotes. Take said ten (or so) quotes and write drabbles based on them. You can use the whole quote, or just a section, even a word – all that matters is that you stay faithful to the first sentence part of the challenge.

10. "What sorts of foreheads are there?"

"House," says Wilson as he meanders into House's office, hands in pockets. "House, I know your secret."

Slapping the People magazine in his hands shut, House reclines in his chair and gives a shocked gasp. "You found out about the baby I had to give up in my years as a sordid young teenager? I wanted to keep her, honest I did, but Jason and I just weren't ready for that kind of responsibility." He bites his lip in mock worry as Wilson looks on, amused. "Do you love me less?"

"Do you mind that I'm cheating on you with your evil twin brother?"

"Of course not, darling. Our love is strong!"

Wilson looks down, a soft, playful smirk slowly inching its way onto his face. "Really, though, House. You wanted me to find out?"

"I have no idea what you're talking about," House says, rather unconvincingly. He flips through the pages of the magazine and studiously avoids Wilson's gaze.

"So a copy of your health care information just happened to find its way onto my desk, then? With your birthday outlined in red pen?"

"We were talking about you becoming my primary," House reminds him. "Age is just another birthday card and a line on my forehead."

"Deep, really. Interesting timing, though," replies Wilson, raising an eyebrow. "Fishing for presents?"

"Cash. Preferably a big chunk of it. And a pony. I've always wanted a pony."

Smiling in full, Wilson winks. "Happy forty-fifth, old man."


--

20. "What do you do if you have no one to wake you up at an early hour?"

See, House has a plan. It's a brilliant, necessary plan, because anyone who expects him to function on four and a half hours of sleep obviously has their head stuck so far up their ass that their spinal cord has snapped. Which is the condition Wilson's going to have to work in from now on if on just one more occasion House is required to awaken to the sound of a blow-dryer and worried primping. Wilson appears to believe he can reverse the effects of aging if he makes an offer of enough time spent ironing and combing to the Gods of Anal-Retentiveness (but really, his efforts are in vain; the danish he pretends not to get every morning on the way to work just has to be sacrilege).

Anyway. He figures that at the very least, Wilson can do battle with time quietly instead of broadcasting it across the entire apartment, so he's hidden the blow-dryer in the trunk of his car, which in turn is hidden in a parking garage a few blocks down. And it was an inspired plan on Saturday, when he'd been running on empty for a week. But come Monday...

"House! What have you done with my blow-dryer! House, I know you took it. House!"

Come Monday, he thinks he may possibly have made a dire error in judgment.


--

30. "Where do housewives do their everyday shopping?"

They've been friends for two years before they ever meet outside the hospital. It's a Saturday night, and Wilson has cooked a romantic (and highly expensive) dinner for Bonnie, who spent the week at her parents'. It was a stupid fight that drove her off, something little, something easily fixed with candles, flowers and veal Parmesan. The meal is perfectly cooked and Bonnie is smiling, everything perfect with the two of them. Until House shows up.

There are so many things Wilson wants to say to House as they stand there in the doorway of the house he shares with his second wife, staring at one another -- "What are you doing here?", "How do you know where I live?", "Haven't you ever heard of calling first?", "Bonnie is waiting for me."

All he says, though, is, "Come in."


--

40. "How does a man look before and after shaving?"

Wilson is sick with the flu for a week in August. Before the divorce, when he and Julie were still beating the dead horse trying to make it work -- and even before that, with Bonnie and Trish, and maybe even his mother -- 'sick' meant 'coddled'. Bowls of soup, cups of tea, a shoulder to lean on when he stumbled his way into the shower. To tell you the truth, remembering kind of makes Wilson depressed right now, and the flu is a good excuse to wallow. He's not as ashamed to admit that he misses being taken care of when he's hacking up a lung, as much as he might normally be.

But when House finally shows up after what seems like endless days of phlegm and fever, looks at Wilson's three-day-old stubble critically and says, "You're not actually on your deathbed. There are still razors around, you know," somehow Wilson feels a little bit better anyway.


--

50. "What must you do when you feel sick?"

They never date. They annoy each other constantly, butt into one another's lives just like they always have, and have sex on the side ("We need a code. Can we call it 'giving a consult'?"). There are no flowers, movies or candlelit dinners. Neither of them would want it that way, and frankly, what they have works in the completely dysfunctional, screwed-up way that it always has. Wilson doesn't need to hold House's hand. He's already held House's dick for him while he pissed when he was too tired and in too much pain to do it himself. He's feeling pretty secure right now.

"Makes me sick," House grumbles, glaring at a couple two tables over in the cafeteria, kissing over a plate of what might pass as meatloaf.

"Yeah," Wilson says with a grin, "I'm feeling a little nauseous myself."


--

60. "What happens sometimes to ill-mannered people?"

"Don't do it," Wilson advises. "It's only been six weeks since a patient last assaulted you. You'll be ahead of schedule. Don't tell me you're going to stop putting things off till an hour before the deadline."

"He needs the MRI," House says stubbornly, rotating his cane between his palms and frowning angrily at the carpet. Wilson points a pen at him as he leaves and tells him, "Don't say I didn't warn you."

He comes trudging back fifteen minutes later with a shiny red spot where a bruise will form, and Wilson smirks. "I'd say 'I told you so'," he says, "but that would be juvenile."

"Actually," mumbles House, "it was the nurse."

Wilson laughs him right out of the office at the visual of the petite nurse working that shift socking House one right in the jaw. House limps back in an hour later, plus one more soon-to-be bruise and an MRI for his patient.

Such are the ways of Princeton Plainsboro Teaching Hospital.


--

70. "What does a watch dog do when a stranger approaches?"

"Can I buy you a drink?" the pretty blond asks. She leans toward him, propped up and her elbows, and he smiles at her charmingly.

"James Wilson," he says, extending his arm and squeezing her delicate hand when she slips it into his. "I'm -- "

"Unavailable," a gruff voice cuts in. "Scram."

The blond shoots Wilson a confused look, but House seems to intimidate her in all his crippled glory, so she gathers up her purse and backs off. Wilson scowls at his friend. "No, no, I couldn't possibly have wanted to sleep with her," he says sarcastically. He takes a deep sip of his beer, irritated, confused and just a bit curious.

"She's not your type," replies House simply, somehow having maneuvered himself onto the bar stool next to Wilson.

"Of course not. I don't like pretty, confident women. Why would I? I have you," he says dryly.

House sighs, rolls his eyes and informs him, "She came with the guy in the baseball cap."

And sure enough, there the blond is when Wilson glances up, hanging off her boyfriend's arm and glaring at House and Wilson when he looks away.

"She came over when he went to the bathroom," House finishes. Then mockingly, "Just watching out for you, best bud."

"Yeah," Wilson says, taking another sip of beer. He gets the feeling that isn't the whole story. "Yeah, sure."

One day he'll figure it out.


--

80. "What must a person do when they can no longer pay their bills?"

It's expensive, living in a hotel. Sometimes he thinks about getting his own apartment, of living on his own for the first time since just after college, but something about that makes his stomach clench unpleasantly. He doesn't know if he can do it. He doesn't know if he wants to try.

One of his credit cards maxes out while he's standing in line at the concession stand at the movies, buying House enough candy to fuel an army of hyper kindergartners (because House is about as cheap a date as he is a friend. He paid for his own ticket because he insisted that meant it wasn't a proper date, but refused to shell out money for his own refreshments). This has never happened to Wilson before, and he's mortified. He briefly considers putting the candy back to spite House for getting him into the situation in the first place, but ultimately he sighs and pulls a twenty from his pocket.

"Running out of money, big shot oncologist?" House asks on the way back to his apartment. Wilson switches gears and ignores him. "You could always move back in with me," he adds. "My cook quit, so the position is open."

"I respectfully decline," Wilson says immediately, then frowns at himself. But for some reason, no -- that doesn't feel right either.

Living in a hotel is expensive. But right now, Wilson doesn't know just what else he can do.


--

90. "How does a reckless driver behave?"

When Wilson was eighteen, he crashed his father's station wagon into a tree. He wasn't drunk, just careless and not paying attention. He broke his leg in two places and definitely broke the car. Dents like that just don't come out.

Realizing he's just maybe gone and fallen in love with House is like realizing he's two feet from slamming into that tree. He's scared as hell and out of control, but it also feels like something unavoidable. Something he's inevitably been coming to.

He always was a reckless driver.


--

100. "What do you say when you go into a hotel?"

"Let's have sex," Wilson says. He pushes his suitcase aside and flops onto the bed.

House frowns at him. "No, you're the responsible one, remember? What you should have said was, 'House, we're not fooling around until you've attended at least two lectures. We're at a convention for a reason.' Here, I'll give you another shot, try again." He stares expectantly.

"Are you actually turning down sex?" Wilson asks, raising an eyebrow. "I seem to recall you saying that's what hotels were good for."

"That was when you lived in one. I had to get some action somewhere."

"Well, so do I," says Wilson teasingly. "There was this nice redhead down in the lobby, maybe I should -- "

"Spread your complex around? I don't think so," House replies. "Don't you have enough people thoroughly dependent on you already? It might just be me, but I think another one could be borderline excessive."

"But you're so dashing when you're jealous."

House just scowls.

"Okay," Wilson says, standing and straightening the wrinkles from his button-down. "Let's go."

House's mouth drops open. "What happened to the sex?" he asks as he follows Wilson to the door.

"House, we're not fooling around until you've attended at least two lectures. We're at a convention for a reason," Wilson quotes with a smirk.

"Cocktease," House growls, but he swats Wilson's ass playfully with his cane, and in retaliation Wilson starts describing the various ways he might tease a cock -- none of which he will actually do, of course. They don't attend two lectures that day, but at least they make an effort (and maybe eventually Wilson does tease a cock, but who really knows).

And that's just the way it goes.

Date: 2008-07-13 09:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cutthroatpixie.livejournal.com
You already know I love these, but just saying it again. ♥ I especially like the last two.

Date: 2008-07-13 01:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cindy-lou-who8.livejournal.com
These are absolutely brilliant. My favorite line is, "Age is just another birthday card and a line on my forehead." That is so going in my favorite quotes on facebook. :)

Date: 2008-07-13 01:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nuclearfootball.livejournal.com
The watchdog and car crash analogies are my favorites, and of course I love anything involving Wilson living in the hotel~~~and of course they're all awesome! :)

Date: 2008-07-13 04:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] arhh.livejournal.com
These are wonderful :) I really liked #50, but they were all great :) Thanks for sharing :)

Date: 2008-07-13 06:22 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I really like those novel prompt drabbles. The second prompt is best, I think it's funny how House thinks he'll have his peace and quiet, but the noise of blow drying is just replaced with the noise of bitching.

Date: 2008-07-13 07:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lostwiginity.livejournal.com
This is exactly what I was hoping for. Thank you so much!

I like your interpretation of question 70 best. And the last one is hilarious - of *course* that's what you say when you go into a hotel.

Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] cutthroatpixie, too.

P.S.: "Old lady", my ass. =P

Date: 2008-07-13 08:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] smiddlecn.livejournal.com
Very creative! I especially like #70 and #90. Oh, and love this:

...he's standing in line at the concession stand at the movies, buying House enough candy to fuel an army of hyper kindergartners...

Date: 2008-07-13 09:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hwshipper.livejournal.com
50 is my fav, but all superbly written and thoroughly IC.

Date: 2008-07-13 11:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] narcoleptic-ll.livejournal.com
"Of course not. I don't like pretty, confident women. Why would I? I have you," he says dryly. Genius.

Thanks a lot for sharing, I loved them all, especially #60 and #70.

Date: 2008-07-14 03:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] phinnia.livejournal.com
*grin* I /love/ the birthday one - it's just so THEM - and the Wilson not shaving one. <3 <3 They're all marvelous.

Date: 2008-07-15 07:09 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Very sweet, specially the last two drabbles.

What kind of a book did you use that has questions in like that?

Date: 2008-07-15 09:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bammel.livejournal.com
I never commented on these. I loved them all, especially 50. ♥

Date: 2008-07-17 01:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alemyrddin.livejournal.com
"But you're so dashing when you're jealous."
heee. Very cute.

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