a/n: Here it is, the much anticipated sequel to Take the Ducklings Bowling and When You Least Expect It. This is going to start off with a strange trip story that I was supposed to write as part of a chasefic challenge, but it ended up in this universe instead. Once they get back (chapter 5 or 6 I think), there will be plenty of odd stories about the perils of raising toddlers and other stuff. I'm really making all this up as I go along, but I did that with the original and it worked, so I'm going to try it again.
If you haven't read the other two, you might have a hard time getting this one. Take the Ducklings Bowling is a must, but When You Least Expect It is especially very long. If you want to skip that one, I'll let you know that Chase and Cameron had twins. There was a also a side story where House got Cuddy pregnant and she and Wilson hooked up as a couple, only to end up raising the child together because House wouldn't. I'm not going to spend much time in this sequel on that pairing/scenario at all. They might show up for a play date here and there.
Also, again, a deep apology to those that had an issue with me pulling my preview of this on my LJ site. I honestly almost didn't post this at all, thinking I had gone in a wrong direction. It took a day and much scolding for me to realize that I must run with this as I envisioned. So here it is, good or bad, and I hope you enjoy it.
"This is so exciting!" Pamela exclaimed with a high pitch squeal. She clung onto Foreman's left elbow, shaking it with vigorous excitement while looking at the field of clouds outside the small window.
"Yeah," Foreman deadpanned, not sharing her enthusiasm.
"Come on Eric, this is a trip of a lifetime!"
"That's what you said during our last two plane trips."
Pamela was not at all impressed with Mr. Sourpuss. She had a way to fix that. "Your sorry ass needs to lighten up." She waved at the attendant several rows over, who rolled her eyes and came right over. They hadn't been in the air more than an hour and this woman was already running her ragged.
"Can I get you anything?" The stewardess asked them both, a fake smile plastered on her face.
"Just keep the scotch coming honey," Pamela replied, still clutching a half finished one in her hand. "And he needs one too."
"I'm fine. Water please." Foreman said.
Pamela shot Foreman a look of disparagement. He grumbled under his breath and turned back to the stewardess. "Scotch too." The stewardess didn't object, for she also thought he needed something to help him relax. The wives always knew best, even wives that were commanding a bit too much attention.
"You and I have been on some great vacations. Why are you so grumpy about this one?"
"Maybe because it's not a vacation. You're on a leisure trip. I'm presenting at a conference."
"In two days. You show up for a few hours, do your thing, and the rest of the time we get to relax and have fun. Plus I'm working too. I have to shake hands, smile, and tell everyone how great our new premiere diagnostics program is. You don't think that's work?"
"Come on. Look what your wife did for you. First class all the way to Japan."
Foreman scoffed. "Huh, if you were all that impressive, you would have gotten us a separate flight."
Pamela turned around to see a sleeping House and Wilson. "They're being good."
"For now. You know once House is awake he won't let up on his. 14 hours is a long time to kill."
"Which is why you need to be stinking drunk by then."
The stewardess placed the fresh glass of scotch in front of Foreman. "Keep the scotch coming for the gentlemen behind us too." Pamela instructed with a cheeky smile.
Foreman looked at his watch. This flight was already too long. "What did you bring for entertainment?"
"What, my bright smile and stunning wit isn't enough?" She replied, batting her eyelashes.
Foreman gave her the evil eye and grabbed the magazine in front of him. He instantly put it down in disgust.
"You don't want to know how to improve your love life?" She asked, noticing the picture of the pretty model on the cover. Must be a woman's magazine.
"It's in Japanese."
"You should be trying to learn that, since you're going there and all."
"Oh, so you know Japanese?"
"You know I don't. That's why we have an interpreter."
Foreman huffed, not at all pleased with that plan. "So Chase is your interpreter? He had the equivalent of four years of high school Japanese. Plus he and Cameron aren't coming in from Australia until tomorrow. Seems like you're going to have to wing it until then."
Pamela was appalled by his lack of faith in her. "Robert isn't the only one. Dr. Genius back there knows Japanese too."
"You're going to trust him? We'll end up like Hungarian tourists in a Monty Python sketch. Instead of getting directions to the hotel, he'll have us telling some girl how nice her tits are."
Pamela laughed. "Oh, I'd have to kill him. Anyway, doesn't most of the rest of the world know how to speak English anyway?"
"You better hope the Japanese that do don't have a sick sense of humor."
"Quiet up there, some of us are trying to sleep." House caught the sight a fresh glass of scotch in front of him when his eyelids fluttered. Hello there! He knew better than the let the ice melt. It would ruin the drink. Once the first sip slid down his throat, he sighed with intense pleasure. This was going to be the best vacation ever. He leaned forward and raised his head over the seats in front of him.
"Since you thought of me so well Mrs. Foreman, I'll make sure you end up at the hotel instead of a Geisha house."
"Do Geisha houses even exist anymore?" Pamela asked.
House smiled. "Oh they do, especially in the Gion Kobu neighborhood of Kyoto. The tradition there is considered the strongest."
"But we're going to Tokyo."
House winced, realizing he may have accidently given away part of the plan. "Yes, but I was showing off my knowledge." He leaned back and congratulated himself over the nice recovery.
"Yeah, I so needed that history lesson," a still grumpy Foreman muttered.
A loud snort came out of Wilson, who abruptly jerked awake and saw the fresh scotch in front of him. He knew he better not wait too long to drink it. If he let the ice melt, it would ruin the drink. He leaned toward House, talking low. "We're going to the Geisha house, right?"
He and House clanged glasses. "Hell yes."
Cameron let out another slight huff, the tenth one in the last half hour, and adjusted herself in her seat. She nervously looked out the window, strumming her fingers along the arm rest of the chair. She reached over and smacked Chase on the chest.
Chase flinched and opened his eyes, now officially disturbed. He knew of his wife's anxious mood when they took off, so he put on headphones and reclined his seat for a rest, shutting her out in the process. Until now, it was bliss. "Stop it already. Both of us don't need to be miserable."
"Stop it? Our little girl is sick and I can't check in for the next several hours. How can you relax?"
"She has a low grade fever from a cold. Some ibuprofen will fix her right up. Plus there's nothing you can do about it since we're hovering over the Pacific." Chase closed his eyes again, hoping that would deliver the hint. He questioned the idea of them taking the plane to Japan a day early. It seemed like a good idea at the time, since they had seen all they needed to see in Australia. Maybe if they had waited, he'd have a calmer wife and better peace of mind. "Nah," he told himself, snuggling further into his seat.
"Don't go back to sleep on me," Cameron ordered.
Chase sighed in defeat, moving his airplane seat into the upright position and removing the ears buds from each ear. "What's wrong?"
She could tell from his tone he asked out of obligation rather than concern, but the door was open nonetheless and she was walking through it. "What sort of irresponsible parents are we, leaving our children for two weeks while we gallivant across the globe?"
"Did you really want to spend three days total on a plane with two almost one year olds? Going through customs checks, having to present vaccinations records and all sorts of other documents for a trip that they'd never remember? Besides, after the last year and a half, we've earned a break."
"We abandoned our children."
"We left them with your mother. That's not abandonment."
"And now Emily is sick."
"How many low grade fevers have we had to deal with in the past year? Between the two of them, it's an every other day occurrence. Your mother even told you not to worry."
Cameron scowled and turned away, not feeling at all comforted by empty assurances from her mother.
Chase took her hand. "Allison, look at me."
She turned around, still pouting.
"You can't tell me that our trip to Australia wasn't great. After a year of being nothing but parents, we got to reconnect as a couple. It was just you and me again for a little while. You mean to say you didn't enjoy that?"
Cameron smiled, letting her defenses down slightly. "I did love Australia. I can't believe you never took me there before now. It's such a beautiful place."
"Our trip got postponed because of that whole new job and accidently getting pregnant thing."
"Yeah, damn that real life." She took his hand, appreciating that at least he was trying with her. "How about you? How did it feel coming home after all those years? I honestly couldn't tell."
"It was good."
She wasn't convinced. "Just good?"
He knew he couldn't fool her. "It felt weird. I enjoyed seeing some of the same old places, but that saying is true, you can't go home again. It didn't feel right."
"Well I loved seeing it. Melbourne was nice, but Sydney was incredible. Thanks for finally taking me." She leaned in and gave him a soft, appreciative kiss. "Why do we have to go to Japan though? I'm feeling homesick."
"Conference, remember? The whole reason why we planned this trip in the first place? We have to do a presentation in a few days."
"You mean Foreman. You're just there for eye candy."
"It's a free trip to Japan. You can't turn that down."
"Some free trip. Everyone else got to ride first class."
"By flying coach, we had our tickets paid for to Australia. That's a fair deal."
Cameron shrugged, frustrated over not being able to stretch her legs in her cramped seat. "You know, until we get there, Foreman and Pamela will have to rely on House to get around."
Chase laughed. "I know. I hope they like the Geisha house."
"You actually think House is that cruel?"
She noticed Chase's incredulous stare. "What am I saying? Of course he is."
Foreman jerked awake, feeling the stiffness in his back. That wasn't what was annoying him the most though. It was the loud snoring coming from the passenger next to him. The one that got herself so drunk halfway into the flight she passed out. Yeah, this vacation was going great so far. He nudged Pamela with an elbow. "Sleeping beauty. If I wanted to hear an engine like that I would have asked for a seat by the wing."
Pamela sluggishly cracked her eyes open, turned herself onto her side, and went back to sleep. "Jerk."
"Bitch." Foreman shot back. She ignored him, already back asleep.
For some reason Foreman felt Wilson's appalled eyes burning in the back of his head. He turned around, giving Wilson a nervous smile. "That's just our pet names for each other."
"Thanks why I got divorced three times," Wilson said. "Once the pet names evolved to cunt and dick, we were done."
"That's why he refuses to marry a fourth time, choosing to raise a son out of wedlock instead." House said.
Wilson stuttered, going into his usual tizzy whenever House opened his mouth inappropriately. "I'm raising your son because you're too much of an ass to do it. You even have him calling you Uncle Greg. I've already prepaid for the therapy bills when he finds out the truth."
House smiled. "I see you need more scotch." He raised his glass to the stewardess, who reached in her pocket and dropped two more small bottles in front of them. If enough scotch kept loud mouthed lady quiet, there was hope for these two.
"How's the little brat anyway?" House asked, pouring out the contents of his bottle, fixated over the way the scotch filtered through the ice.
"Fine. If you'd stop by more often, you might notice."
"You and Cuddy shacked up with a kid? It always feels a little awkward when I'm there."
"That's why Lisa was all for this trip. She was hoping you and I would reconnect."
"You sure it wasn't because she's growing tired of you and wanted you out?"
Wilson gave him a sour look in offense, but it quickly turned. "Yeah, that's probably it."
House took another drink and smiled. "No worries tomodachi. I have a grand adventure planned."
Wilson didn't know whether to be excited or scared. Knowing House, it was the latter. He said nothing, instead pouring another drink.
Foreman turned to Wilson. "I say we go the back, grab a couple of parachutes and bail out while we still can."
That was the best idea Wilson had heard all day.
"Allison, wake up." Chase couldn't believe she was still sound asleep. She had slept through all the turbulence they had for the last hour, the long circling around the airport and even passengers getting up and gathering their things. They were one of the last ones left in their section.
"Are we here?"
"It means welcome."
'You're going to be showing off like that the whole trip, aren't you?"
Chase smiled and got up to pull their bags out of the overhead compartment. "You learned some Japanese words. Which ones do you remember?"
"That's a good one. Since that means hello, you'll be using that a bit. What else?"
Cameron bit her lip, trying to think of something else. "Domo arigato?"
"Mr. Roboto. You have no idea what that means, do you?"
"Nope, not a clue."
Chase slung the bags across his shoulders and held out his hand to Cameron. "Come on, we need to fetch our well traveled luggage and navigate our way to the hotel. I guarantee that will be an adventure."
Cameron took his hand and stood up. "I'm calling my mother first."
"It's two am there. Give her a break."
Cameron had her cell phone whipped out and dialing before he finished his comment. She walked right by the ebullient flight attendant without notice, leaving Chase to acknowledge the earnest greeting into her homeland.
"Mom, it's me. Yes I know-" Cameron's jaw dropped in disbelief. "She hung up on me! I'm trying her again."
"Great," Chase said, rolling his eyes while Cameron dialed again. "She'll never babysit for us again."
"House, why have we been in this cab for seventy-five minutes?" Pamela accepted that the Narita International Airport was far out from Central Tokyo, but she didn't think a hotel by an airport would be this far.
"I told him to take the scenic route. You want to get a great view of the city, don't you?"
"I want to get my ass in a bed. We've been traveling for over twenty-four hours now. I stink." Pamela took a whiff of Foreman's shoulder. "He's worse."
"Relax, it won't be much longer."
Consider she was at his mercy, she sat back and took in the surrounding atmosphere. What she was seeing was certainly an experience. She repeated to herself I'm on vacation, I'm on vacation. Oh screw that shit. She started rifling through her purse for her sunglasses.
"Wanna bet they can see all this neon in space?" She asked Foreman, wincing from the bright lights until she found her shades. "How can this country afford the electric bill?"
"By being the largest metropolitan economy in the world."
"Well look who's been reading his wiki pages."
Foreman gave her a tired sigh and joined her in city watching. "I think I'm going to have a seizure," Foreman replied. The flashing lights bothered him the most.
"He must be color blind." Pamela pointed to Wilson, who was looking out the window in wide-eyed wonder, not unlike a kid going to Six Flags for the first time.
Once their eyes adjusted to the lights, the other three fix their attention to House, who was having a fast paced conversation with the cab driver, completely befuddling the others as to what was being said. House winked after sharing something, and the cab driver busted out laughing.
"He probably told him a dirty joke," Wilson said. "I've heard them all."
"Judging by the reaction, I would say it's funnier in Japanese," Pamela replied.
The cab didn't move very far. They sat in traffic, apparently in evening rush hour, although they suspected in this city every minute of the day was rush hour. "We could have walked faster," Foreman said.
"And miss all this?" Pamela said, still watching House and the cab driver carry on like they were old war buddies.
"We are getting charged by the minute here, not by the mile." Foreman pointed out.
"Why are you worried Mr. I'll-just-submit-an-expense-report-to-the-hospital?"
"See that amount on the meter?"
"That's in yen. How bad can it be in dollars?"
Foreman leaned over and whispered it in her ear.
"What?!?" Pamela exclaimed. "I can't expense that!"
Eventually the cab driver turned the corner and drove into an area that was not anywhere near as busy, and the buildings seemed older than many of the bright colored areas they had seen before. The look overall was more traditional, and its charm couldn't be denied.
"Asakusa," House said, smiling at the sights around him. Before he could give a little history lesson of this district, the cab driver stopped in front of a home. House rattled off something long in Japanese to the driver, got out, and the waved Wilson to follow him. "Okiya."
Wilson nodded and got out without question, leaving a stunned Foreman and Pamela in the cab by themselves, both coming to the full realization that this was not the hotel. They watched House outside the cab, who gave the cab driver a "well-done" pat on the shoulder, and then he and Wilson headed into the house. The driver got back into the cab and started driving.
"Yes, we are at the Hilton," Pamela confirmed. She had this strange feeling, that there was something more to what was going on. The neighborhood changed again, going back to the bright lights and modern feel. Then finally, almost two hours after getting in the cab, the driver pulled in front of the Hilton.
"Uh, this ain't our hotel." Pamela said.
"Heelton, in spectacuwar Shinjuku." Apparently his English was better than he initially let on.
"We are staying at the Hilton by the airport."
The driver nodded, not at all bothered by the mix up. "That howa half back that way." He pointed from the direction they came. "I take now."
"Screw that." Pamela got out and went for the trunk.
"What are you doing?" Foreman asked, following her in a tizzy.
"They have beds in there! Warm, comfy, fluffy, pillowy beds! We'll find the right room tomorrow, and by much cheaper means than a cab. There's probably a reason why everyone uses trains in this country!" She yanked her bags out of the trunk, and then stepped right into the cab driver.
"I suppose you need me to pay for this ridiculous fare."
The cab driver smiled. "Docta Haus, he say you wich Amewican, a beeg tippa."
"Of course he told you that. Yes, I'm a big tipper." She flung her credit card at him. "Go ahead, take all I have."
Foreman gingerly backed away from her. "I'll go get us a room."
"Great, you do that," Pamela snarked, arms folded and her foot tapping, waiting for the mind-boggling charge to go through. "I can feed an entire African nation for that price," she muttered to herself. The first thing she would do after getting some sleep is plot her evil revenge. After they found the right hotel that is.