[A/N: I'm going to do something different for me with this story and start publishing it before it is complete. Most of the authors I follow post one chapter at a time as they write. I'm not comfortable going that far because it is not uncommon for me to go back and change a few things for continuity throughout the story, but I think I'm far enough along with this one to give you a little now and I'll add as I go. The reason I'm doing it this way this time, is that this story looks to be a long one. I'm already on the 7th chapter and haven't even gotten to the …..well, you'll find out.
Enjoy – and if you don't mind. Please leave a review. I'd love to hear what you think.]
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Previously in "The Susan Chronicles"
The motorcycle slowed as it made the turn into their drive and came to a stop just behind their cars. House got off the motorcycle and removed his helmet, setting it on the seat. He looked toward the family who was getting up off of the park bench. Susan handed Billy to David and came down the steps of the porch. House took a hesitant few steps toward her and stopped, not fully sure of how he would be received. When Susan reached him she took both his hands in hers and looked up. Two sets of intensely blue eyes looked at each other, both glistening with unfallen tears, "Welcome home," Susan said with a catch in her throat as she fought the emotion. "Welcome home."
Susan led House up the steps and inside while David and Phillip held back waiting for the two siblings to enter the house. David looked down at Phillip who had watched his mom and House walk inside with his mouth slightly agape in shock, "Are you okay son?" David asked. Phillip swallowed and nodded his head slightly. David, who was still carrying Billy, and Phillip followed the others inside and quietly took a seat in the living room while Susan had led House over to the kitchen table to sit down.
House was seated at the end of the table in silence staring off into space while Susan was making him a cup of coffee. When she was finished she took the mug over to him and set it on the table in front of him. He glanced up at Susan, his eyes still glistening and nodded slightly in thanks. She sat down at the side of the table next to him and took his left hand in hers and placed her right hand on his arm in comfort. The two said nothing as they sat there; one providing comfort and the other gathering strength. It was several moments before the unshed tears fell over the rim of his lower eye lids and trailed down his face. Susan stayed silent and continued to hold his hand and offer comfort as grief overtook her brother knowing that he grieved not only the loss of his closest friend, but also the loss of his own life he had given up. He had been able to put aside himself while Wilson was alive, but after he died the realization of what he had given up began to weigh heavily. Susan knew that there were no words she could offer so she sat silently holding his hand until he was finally able to speak, "I'm sorry," he said so softly Susan could barely hear him.
"You have no reason to be sorry," she replied just as quietly.
"I put you through hell," he said lifting his tear filled eyes to meet hers.
"For the right reasons," Susan said. "I forgive you; it's ok."
David sat back on the couch watching his wife as she ministered to her brother. For the longest time neither of them had spoken, yet David knew there was a lot of unspoken communication going on between the two. Finally he saw House speak, but he couldn't hear what he said, nor could he hear Susan's response. Billy sat facing David playing with the buttons on his daddy's shirt. When he tired of that he tried to pull David's watch off of his arm. Not being successful in either of these tasks, he turned his head and saw his mother across the room. He squirmed trying to get out of David's grip to reach his mother, so David set him down on the floor.
Billy had learned to put his legs under him in a crawling position, but he hadn't yet gained the coordination to crawl. Now on the floor, Billy's attention shifted to the tassels on the end of the rug. He shifted from all fours to a sitting position constantly shifting his weight in an effort to keep himself upright and noticed his toes. The rug tassels forgotten, he reached out to grab his toes and pull them towards his mouth which resulted in him losing balance and rolling backward. Not liking this position, he rolled himself back over to his tummy and worked his legs underneath him when he noticed the rug tassels again. He reached out for them with one hand while keeping the other on the floor. He came up short, so he reached out with the other hand and landed on his tummy. He still couldn't reach the rug tassels, so he put his legs underneath him and reached out again. He worked this way until he was finally successful and tried to pull the tassels off the rug and toward his mouth. They wouldn't budge and Billy voiced his frustration.
David had been looking over at Susan and House and looked back down when he heard Billy, "How'd you get over there?" he asked quietly. He got up from his seat and took the two steps over to Billy and picked him up. Once up high Billy noticed his mother again and reached out toward her. David tried to keep him quiet, but Billy made it clear that he wanted his mother. David finally gave in and walked over to Susan and House, "Susan, I'm sorry but he's…"
"It's okay," Susan said and took her son from David and sat him on the table facing her. Billy giggled and reached for his mother's nose. David stepped away and motioned for Phillip to follow him outside.
While Billy was focused on his mother's face, House extended his finger from the hand that Susan had been holding out and lightly brushed against the soft skin on Billy's thigh. Billy, feeling the touch, shifted his attention to the hand that had touched him and reached down to grab the finger and looked up toward House's face. Two sets of baby blue eyes stared at each other and then Billy grinned and reached out for House's nose. House smirked, "He has a thing for noses," House said leaning back out of Billy's reach.
"Last month it was hair," Susan replied. "Grabbing noses is a lot less painful." Billy turned his attention back to his mother and held out his arms toward her. Susan scooted back in her chair and brought Billy to her chest. He laid his head down on her shoulder and stared at House as House stared back.
"He has your eyes," House said.
"David and I both have blue eyes," Susan said. "This entire family is one giant recessive gene."
"There's blue and then there's blue," House said. "He looks like David, but he has your eyes."
"Well hopefully, he's only inherited the color and not the vision," Susan said. Billy's eyes slowly shut as he drifted into slumber. Susan gently rubbed his back and closed her own eyes for a moment.
"Is there a place I could lay down?" House asked quietly.
Susan smiled softly and rose from the table, "Sure." She turned from the kitchen and went around the corner, through the mud room and out the side of the house.
House followed her outside in a bit of confusion as she walked across a pathway to an outbuilding. She opened the door with one hand and held it open until House caught up with her. He'd left his cane on his motorcycle and so was moving a little slower than normal. He followed her inside and discovered that the outbuilding was actually a guest house and was furnished with his furniture. His lifted his eyebrows in surprise, "You brought my stuff?"
Susan turned and looked at him, "You didn't arrange this?" Susan asked.
House shook his head.
"Hmm," Susan sounded in thought. "It came with us out here, but we didn't know we had it until the movers unloaded it from the truck."
"Where's my piano?" House asked.
"In the house," Susan said. "We haven't been keeping the temperature constant in here, and so I thought it would be better for it if it just stayed over there. We can move it over here."
"Just keep it there for now," House said. "I know where it is if I want to play." He walked through the house; it was identical to the main house except smaller and only had one bedroom and bathroom. He walked in his bedroom and found his bed made and ready and his bedroom furniture already arranged to his satisfaction. He went over to his bed and sat down and took off his shoes
Susan smiled at him, "Sleep well Greg," she said and turned to walk out of the room.
"Susan?" Susan turned and looked back at her brother. He looked at her but didn't say any more.
Susan nodded in understanding and went back to the main house to put Billy down in his crib for his nap. She picked up the monitor so she could hear him when he woke up and went outside to find David and Phillip.