?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Bad Company

Aftershocks 1.5: Limbo

black_cigarette

BlackCig1

Aftershocks 1.5: Limbo

Previous Entry Share Next Entry
Mare littlemoon
TITLE: Aftershocks: A Story in Shattered Pieces
SUMMARY: House goes home. Sort of.
CHARACTERS: House
RATING:
R for language and themes.
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.
SPOILERS: No.
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.


Limbo


At some point after Chase walks out—it might be five minutes or it might be an hour—Cuddy arrives in House's office. She looks like a wrung-out dishrag but she's still in charge, on account of the two security thugs who remain at their posts outside his door. House says nothing, protests not once as they escort him downstairs. Twice he stumbles and almost falls along the way. 

He hates the cab, and the cabbie, and the road and the whole damn town. It's raining just a little and he hates that too.

At home, the front steps are dark and wet and it's all he can do to climb them. For a second he thinks he might fall, crack his head on the stone, do himself a favor. His body ignores that thought and carries him numbly inside.

From his bedroom he grabs the electric alarm clock, tugging the plug from its socket with a sharp yank. He needs it in the living room, so that he'll hear it clearly when it buzzes. The best spot he finds for it is atop the piano, on the edge where the cord will just reach the outlet. 

The piano seems like a stranger in this place, a person whose face he vaguely recalls but whose name he has long since forgotten. He allows himself to think of playing, and can't remember how it worked. Perhaps he'll never remember again, but there are more important things on his agenda just now.

Stumping back into the bedroom, he finds his old 'travel' alarm, the one that runs on batteries and that he never uses. He sets the correct time, watching the hands wind backward and wishing to all hell they really would do that. Then he sets the little clock on the coffee table. If one alarm fails to ring, the other will; no chances this time. Not this time. 

Finally convinced that he's done what he can, he falls on the sofa with the bottle of whiskey he'd opened the night before. The stuff he'd been contentedly sipping while Wilson—no. He reminds himself that the whole point of the whiskey is to not think about that. The point is to get as drunk as he can, as fast as he can. The point is to pass out, hopefully until the alarms go off at seven. That shouldn't be so hard; it's almost one o'clock now and he has never been so tired in his life.

His bed would be better than this, but there's no TV in the bedroom, and the TV is necessary. The talk show hosts and Toyota ads help to muffle certain other, far less pleasant voices. He's drugging himself with that and the drinking, and he couldn't care less about either one. What he cares about is sleep, precious sleep. 

He'll take that oblivion however he can get it.
 
 
  • I absolutely love the imagery in this part.

    I can't help wondering whether House will get his oblivion even with the drink, the TV and the Vicodin. He has a very busy mind.
  • YOU HAD BETTER NOT GET SO DRUNK THAT YOU SLEEP THROUGH THOSE ALARMS, HOUSE.
  • Greetings!

    Yeah, Cuddy is both friend and administrator to the last - sending him home, out of harm's/harming way, and in a cab, so that she has neither his death, nor that of any innocents, on her conscience.

    House, guarding himself against the daemons of the night, with alcohol and telly and the surety of wakefulness to put a temporary end to it all.

    Once again, starkly beautiful.... Thank you all for walking this Road, that we may walk with you.

    -Katrina
    • Riding a motorcycle takes a great deal more alertness than driving a car. Even House would have taken a cab, if he were going to go home.

      All Cuddy really did was make sure he went home at all, which he would not have done if left to his own devices.
      • Greetings!

        "Even House would have taken a cab, if he were going to go home."

        True, tho' one might question his judgment and ability to make that decision at this point. In normal circumstances, in a New York Minute. Between there actually being limits to how far House will choose to push things and the physician's reluctance to gratuitously add to the mortality rate, generally I would agree with you. But now... I'm not sure that he has that much of a grasp of reality outside the reality of what has happened, or of consequence, or that he would care sufficiently, even if he did. But I could be wrong, too. Time and Story will tell.

        "All Cuddy really did was make sure he went home at all, which he would not have done if left to his own devices."

        And yes, there is definitely that, although I am also quite sure that she would have been thinking of the hospital as well, since she does that like she breathes. While I am not a lawyer, I suspect that a legal argument could be made for liability if it were known that she had knowingly allowed a member of her staff to drive impaired.

        And I would say she was also attempting to protect a valued resource of the hospital by shipping him home in a more controlled manner, although it occurs to me now that there is the crap shoot between allowing him to stay and all the potential brou-ha-ha that could cause and sending him home where there is the possibility of him thinking entirely too much. Although that is probably not a problem as long as Wilson is alive.

        In any case, things will be as they will be, and I am looking forward to further shards of story! Thank'ee's for letting me Muse on the possibilities...
        -Katrina
  • He sets the correct time, watching the hands wind backward and wishing to all hell they really would do that. That got me. House's emotions are so strong in these segments. Really wonderful.
  • The piano seems like a stranger in this place, a person whose face he vaguely recalls but whose name he has long since forgotten.

    That's a beautiful, and heart-wrenching, way of underscoring exactly how far gone House is at this moment. Guh.
  • Absolutely beautiful and this line Stumping back into the bedroom, he finds his old 'travel' alarm, the one that runs on batteries and that he never uses. He sets the correct time, watching the hands wind backward and wishing to all hell they really would do that. reminded me of the H/W scene in Babies and Bathwater where House says to Wilson "if I could do it again..." and Wilson cuts him off with "you'd do the same thing"

    • This time, though -- this time, if House had it to do over ... I can confidently say he would not have done the same thing. At all.

  • Particularly, this bit was powerful: "For a second he thinks he might fall, crack his head on the stone, do himself a favor. His body ignores that thought and carries him numbly inside.".
  • Limbo is a great title for this piece; House's world so turned over he feels nothing but disconnect.
  • Short piece, and comments on my favorite lines already, but this one also stood out for me: "He hates the cab, and the cabbie, and the road and the whole damn town. It's raining just a little and he hates that too."
  • I want to give House a hug :(
    • Hey there!

      I wanted to tell you how much we have been enjoying your comments--at least a couple of us have been revisiting this fic along with you, and it was a great ride to write it.

      And *hugs you* I for one think the best h/c comes with a healthy dose of hurt, so I can very well understand your urge. *g*
      • Thank you! I'm glad you've been enjoying the comments - I've been enjoying reading! :D

        Oh, I agree... I'm a serious H/C junkie. Which I feel a little guilty about ;)
Powered by LiveJournal.com