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Bad Company

Aftershocks 2.1: A Damn Expensive Danish

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Aftershocks 2.1: A Damn Expensive Danish

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TITLE: Aftershocks: A Story in Shattered Pieces
SUMMARY: It is twenty-three minutes after nine.
CHARACTERS: House, OFC
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.


A Damn Expensive Danish


It is twenty-three minutes after nine. For once in his life, House is early.

Adele turns out to be pretty and young. He wouldn't have thought it, with a name like that.

Her big green eyes widen a little as he drops the old military-issue backpack beside the bakery's cash register. Doubtless she's been expecting him, in the sense that she's been expecting someone with an important delivery. Whatever image she had in her head, he obviously doesn't match it.

He doesn't care. There's an obscene amount of money in that pack, carefully counted and carelessly thrown inside. It ought to hurt like hell to part with so much cash; maybe it does hurt, in fact. It's hard to tell when the rest of him hurts so bad already.

"Doctor House?" Her voice is quiet, her delicate fingers tucking a strand of light brown hair back behind her ear. 

"Yeah."  He leans on the counter, feeling as if he might simply collapse otherwise. He knows he looks less like a doctor than like a junkie convict out on parole—yet she doesn't back away from him.

She nods, and then gives him a steady look that conveys that she needs him to wait there for a moment. Swiftly she walks into the back of the bakery, the frayed old sack clutched in her fragile, pale hand.

When she returns, the money is gone. In its place she carries a little white pastry bag. She gives him that, and he stands in silence, feeling the heat seeping through the paper, warming his fingers. What the hell, he wonders, is this all about?

"I think," she says softly, "you already paid for it." 

Oh, he's paid for it, but he doesn't need it and he doesn't need her pity. He tries to stare her down, to frighten her, but she doesn't move. He'd shove the little gift back in her face, or smash it on the floor with his foot and his cane, if he weren't too tired and too hungry to do either one. Whatever's in the bag, it smells good. He lets his shoulders drop and rests against the counter, taking the weight off his aching right side. 

"What's one more dollar?" he mutters, jamming his hand into his pocket and pulling out a withered bill. "Gimme some coffee, too."
 
 
  • Greetings!

    Just accept the gift, House... speaking of those who no longer have the space for luxuries... I think that solitude is yours. Give it up, get over it, move on and be what you need to be for who you need to be it for. It won't kill you... and the silver lining might just be the thing that helps your friend the most. And as a side note... compassion is not necessarily pity. Cope. ;-> (Yeah, I argue w/fictional characters all the time. It's called being an author. ;->)

    I love the girl's quiet kindness... I suspect this is not the first time she's had to do this. And House's reluctant acceptance of the gift. Besides, falling over is not your friend, esp. in front of others. The paperwork alone....

    -Katrina
  • I'd love to hear a second part to this chapter. Adele seems very intriguing to me.
  • I'm sorry, but the title makes me laugh. It's so incongruous with the subject matter. House would approve. There's nothing left to do but laugh, I guess.

    Some actual feedback? I like that neither House nor Adele were what the other was expecting. And like another commenter already said, it's a nice touch that she seems to have done this before, perhaps many times, but still feels compassion for the victim. I wonder if she's on Georgie's "side" or if she's paying off a debt of her own.
  • You all are amazing writers!! I can see and feel Adele. And this line He knows he looks less like a doctor than like a junkie convict out on parole—yet she doesn't back away from him. House's real addiction is laid bare - Wilson!!
  • Oh, you have to wonder what's happened to Adele for her to be in this place. She seems like another innocent caught in Georgie Reno's web.

    I love the line about House for once not being late, and his own observation about looking more like a junkie convict. Those small details add a zing to this.
  • God, he really must look like crap if the poor girl gave him food. I can practically hear her voice, too, it's a very ethereal interruption to House's harsher thoughts.
  • Oddly, I love moments in the midst of angst where something weirdly unexpected happens -- something incongruous yet wholly natural, humourous even (if it weren't such a serious situation), like the appearance of the warm, yummy danish at such a tense moment. It sort of brings home the absurdity of life -- how everyday things weave themselves even into tragic situations. Neat.
  • Greetings!

    Love the opposition in this line... "There's an obscene amount of money in that pack, carefully counted and carelessly thrown inside."... the combination of "this needs to be over for my friend's sake" and "fuck you, bastard" is so powerful....

    -Katrina
  • "It's hard to tell when the rest of him hurts so bad already." - Is such a sad line and still he tries to rebuff Adele's act of kindness and really why shouldn't he from her as she's still a tie to that goon Reno. House is going to have such a bumpy ride through all this.
  • Poor House :( I wonder how Adele found herself working for these guys... I mean... maybe they have something on her, too :(
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