Title: Sticks and Stones
Author: Angel Grace
Fandoms: BtVS/House MD
Pairing: Xander Harris/Gregory House
Disclaimer: Sure. I’ve got them stashed away in my closet… together with a bunch of other guys… say, I also have some lovely beachfront property for sale… in the Sahara…
Summary: If stick and stones may break my bones, but words cannot hurt me… then why can they do so much other stuff?
Feedback: Yes, please. May I have some more?
a) If two grown males expressing their feeling to one another bothers you, please return to the previous page and select another wonderful story on this site.
b) No beta and not a native English speaker, so I apologize for any mistakes.
c) In a world born and bred to PC-ness, insulting one another for fun might offend some people. This is NOT my intention. It’s a game we ourselves used to play as kids: you basically chose your style (freestyle, alphabetical or thematic) and took turns. Final rounds were the only times you might actually use something personal, but always with the understanding that anything truly hurtful was to be avoided or treated with the utmost care. Quite frankly, I considered it protection against the real world: by the time some loser tried to have a go at me, all I could think was: “Is that the best you could do? I could do better with only half a brain…” Basically, it gave you perspective and desensitized you, while giving you a better understanding of the boundary between joke and insult. (So sayeth the psychology-challenged)
Now, since this note is getting longer than the actual story, I’ll get on with it.
Sticks and Stones
By Angel Grace
“Argh matey. Ya can use the stick up your arse ta walk the plank”
“What are they doing?” Cameron looked baffled as she asked Wilson.
“Insulting each other.” Wilson replied with a smile.
“And that’s funny why?”
“It’s a competition. These seem to be the final rounds.” James touched her arm and pointed. “Oooh, look at House’s face. I think Greg’s about to put in a zinger.”
“Your daddy liked sheep and your mama went baaaah.”
Silence. Dead silence.
“Tell me you didn’t.” Xander shot the elder man an incredulous look. “House, tell me you didn’t.”
“What? Xander, it’s a valid insult!”
“First of all, I’m from California. My entire family is from California. Not a lot of sheep around. But what’s worse, Greg… that insult is damn well older than you are!”
“Is not not!!”
“Is too too!!”
“Are these two grown men?” Dr. Cuddy shot Eric Foreman an exasperated look.
“The jury is still out on that one.” But secretly, the man approved. With Xander there to deflect the more verbally sadistic tendencies of one doctor House, life had become a lot easier for the ‘houslings’, as the team had recently been dubbed. Not that House wasn’t still an evil bastard, but now he was Xander’s evil bastard, and that did help.
“Is not not not to infinity times three!”
Xander took a deep breath. “House.” His voice was very reasonable. “You’re no spring chicken, but when that insult was invented, they still spoke Latin... in their backyards. Trust me, that one’s not contemporary.”
“Fine.” Gregory House huffed. “Let’s see you do better.”
“Okay…” Xander’s voice trailed. He thought for a minute, then drew a deep breath: “House, you’re a myopic piece of flotsam, with the survival skills of a lemming that gets a hard-on whenever it sees a really tall cliff, not to mention the social graces of a decaying porcupine carcass doused by a skunk.”
“Not bad.” House grudgingly admitted.
“Wait for it.” The young man raised a hand, “I’m not finished yet.” Xander, however, did seem a bit nervous now. “Uhm, where was I… social graces, doused by skunk… House, you’re an cranky, old, painkiller-addicted asshole who snarks because he can and works because he has to, but… I do love you. because and despite.”
Silence reigned. A few indrawn breaths could be heard from the peanut gallery, but inside the office, everything stayed disturbingly quiet.
“Right.” Xander nervously scratched his head. “No reason to go funny over it. Forget I ever said anything. How about I…”
“You win.” House’s voice was quiet.
“Huh? Greg?” Xander blinked. “You mean the game?”
“That too.” His cane made a soft tap as House took a step closer. “That too.”
The last thing seen by the spectators, was House using his cane to shove the door to his office shut as he bent closer to the younger man.
The End... or just the beginning ;-)