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Bad Company

Aftershocks 4.2: Fault Lines

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Aftershocks 4.2: Fault Lines

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TITLE: Aftershocks: A Story in Shattered Pieces
SUMMARY: Wilson tells a story.
CHARACTERS: House, Wilson
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.


Fault Lines



House hears bits and pieces of Wilson's story. Put together, the short statement he'd whispered to the police doesn't add up to much, but it's news and it races through the hospital's gossip pipeline in record time, gaining new details every time House hears it at a nurses' station or in a hallway.

Dr. Wilson was mugged. No, it was attempted murder. A bunch of teenagers jumped him from behind, they were high on something. It wasn't teenagers, it was a group of older guys. He didn't recognize any of them. He knew all of them. They had tattoos and beards. They were clean-shaven, looked like college kids. It was a black gang, Crips or Bloods. Nah, it was Latin Kings, I read an article. They beat him with baseball bats. A tire iron. He was shot five times. There was spinal cord damage, he'll never walk again. Why? Who would do something like this? Take my word for itit was a hate crime. He's gay? Nah, Jewish.





House sits in the hard, uncomfortable visitor's chair, watching Wilson sleep. It's been four days, and he taps his cane in an unsteady rhythm on the hospital room's floor. He looks up to find Wilson's eyes on him.

The swelling is finally starting to go down, but Wilson's face is still terribly bruised and battered, like the rest of him. House can just make out the gleam of tiny stitches above Wilson's right eye; his nose is splinted and taped. The TPN line still effectively tethers him to the bed, but the trach tube is gone at last, replaced by a nasal cannula delivering the extra oxygen he can't get on his own.

The patient chart hangs from the foot of the bedframe. House already knows every word in it, every update. It's clear Wilson is alive only because Martin desired it; still, something could so easily have gone wrong. House has a sudden, bloody vision of just one of those fractured ribs splintering—spearing into one of Wilson's lungs or even his heart. He could be sitting by a slab in the morgue right now, instead of Wilson's bed.

Wilson is still watching him.

"Wilson," he says. "Wilson, I'm—"

House's voice trails away in his throat. His gaze fixes on the floor and stays there.

He can feel Wilson's eyes on him for a long, long time. When Wilson finally speaks, it's in a low, flat tone as if he's telling a joke with no punchline.

"There was a cow," he begins, "an' a horse. But they din't have names."

House listens as Wilson tells him the real story, the true story. How he was taken off the street, how he'd been handcuffed and a bag slipped over his head like he was on his way to an execution. House grits his teeth as Wilson describes how he'd been forced to kneel before his kidnappers, as the man he knew as Grey Eyes had told him the story of a racehorse named Indian Dancer. How Wilson had been so fucking scared. How that had been only the beginning.

The words start to blur together; with Wilson's jaw wired shut he can't impart very much emotion to his voice, and somehow that makes it so much worse.

They hun' me up like they were butchers ten'erizing a side a meat. They took turns beatin' me, an' somebody mention' batt'ry cables an' oh God I was so scared. Scared they were gonna 'lectrocute meburn me. One a them want'd t'feed me, like I was a an'mal in a friggin' cage, but Grey Eyes wouldn't let him. An' when I thought it was over it wasn't an' they broke my han'. They stomp't on't two times an' broke it.

There's a snuffling, gasping sound, and House looks up.

"He said he knew you," Wilson says, and House's gut clenches. "He said I cou'd call him Mycrof'." Wilson snuffles again, and then slow tears are rolling down Wilson's cheeks.

"I piss'd my pants, Housh," he says miserably. "I piss'd my fuckin' pants like a little kid."

House can't trust himself to speak for quite a while, and when he does, his voice is rusty as if he hasn't used it in a long time.

"And—that's all you remember?"

Wilson makes a croaking sound that under other circumstances might have been a laugh.

"Isn' that 'nuff?" he asks.
 
 
  • OMG - you are all writer gods!! This piece is just like watching a movie - but so much better. And the way you're captured Wilson's speech. And this line An' when I thought it was over it wasn't an' they broke my han'. They stomp't on't two times an' broke it. is so perfect. It captures but his physical trauma and emotional regression that most victims display after being "rescued".

    Then there's House's non-reaction reaction to Wilson's story captured so perfectly in this line "And—that's all you remember?". This line reminded me of the scene in SOCG when the father tells what happens just before the fire started.

    I have to mention this. I often read St. Doris' LJ and notice that the characters seem to speak to and interact with her. It is from this position that she seems to tell her stories. I have the same experience when reading this ficverse. Just amazing.

    Oh I love the comments of my fellow posters. Everyone sort of picks up on different things which only adds to my reading/viewing pleasure.
    • Wow, a comparison to St. Doris? *feels faint* We are most flattered, thank you!

      We agree on loving the comments of all you readers. We originally started this as a way to process the events of Bad Company, and sort of wrote these pieces for each other's enjoyment, and it became something bigger than we expected. We are so happy you're along for the ride, and we love, love, love like big loving things seeing what y'all enjoy. So thanks!
  • (Anonymous)
    I am at a loss for words to describe just how good this is! Thanks for writing!
  • Oh, Wilson. At least he can talk about it to House - and House has to listen this time.

    And it's so real that he'd be shattered about pissing his pants. In all the brutality, it's a devastating reminder of complete loss of control.
  • Finally, they're together again. Wilson's painful drugged retelling is heartbreaking because he is so uncharacteristically open here. Telling House, the one person he can only ever confide the truth with, about his fear makes him even more vulnerable. And still you know that there's more suffering, emotional and otherwise yet to come. Loved House wanting to know if there was more, if his fears of Martin's sexual assault from his dreams were manifested, and the readers not knowing if Wilson is purposefully evasive or suffering some brain damaged memory loss. Sad last line.
  • Greetings!

    *sigh* Y'all have planned the pacing this way quite intentionally, haven't you? Just to add to that "Gah! It's the weekend!" suspense. Brilliantly evile, I say....

    What the hell is House looking for? And what exactly happened all those years ago? And do I really want to know the answer to either of those questions? I have suspicions, but no firm answers to any of those questions....

    *shivers* Ok... I will go away now and Muse over the weekend... see what my version of a twisted mind comes up with as thoughts to where y'all are heading with this.

    C'ya Monday! Happy plottings....
    -Katrina
    • Damn. I forgot about Friday being followed by 48 1/2 hours of miserable, painful, cruel, inhuman waiting before Monday's posts.

      Yes indeedy. The Aftershock writers are real die-hard meanies and I love-hate them all!!
      • Greetings!

        Yuppers! That we do.... :-D

        And thank'ee's also for providing a fine puzzle for my Muse to... well, muse over. It's always fun to probe the various possibilities and wonder which will be chosen.

        -Katrina
        • Yup. We're evil, evil, evil. And you wub us. Hee!

          Seriously, y'all -- we may not always get around to replying as much as we'd like (largely because we are still busy writing new parts for this ficverse, and polishing the stuff we've already got) but we do love to hear from you. It's what makes all the evil plotting effort worthwhile. So thank you all.
          • Greetings!

            Yes, we do... though what that says, I'm not sure I'd care to speculate too much on. ;-> :-D

            Ah... got'cha! Well, speaking for myself, I'd say that's an acceptable reason... ;-> :lol More story is GOOD!!! We likes more story... more story NOW??? *innocent look*

            -Katrina
  • The "He said he knew you" line just absolutely killed me. Five words. All this because of the truth behind five words.

    *shakes head in wonder* Y'all are genuises, you know?
    • Right on the genius! When I read that line, I got to wondering how Wilson's gonna react to House when he realizes that knowing House nearly got him killed - on so many levels. How hell is their relationship going to survive such a betrayal.
      • Greetings!

        And the worst thing is that it was wholly unintentional... House, in his ego-centricism, honestly thought they would go after him directly. It never even occurred to him until far, far too late that they might have a different target in mind.

        I agree... how can their friendship survive? An excellent question... and one I look forward to reading the answer to over the coming weeks....

        -Katrina
  • Speechless here. And sort of hyperventilating, but dewabi.
    This is one of the very few fics that made me incredibly pissed off at House. Just... grr. ARGH.
    I'm off to smoke a cigarette (not a black one) and remember that this is all fiction...
  • I can barely stand to think about what Wilson went through, I can't imagine having to sit and listen. Poor House. Is it too much to hope that he'll learn something?

    Woof, again.
  • This moment is one which both of them must have been so looking forward to and so dreading -- finally being able to speak to each other. And it is so very painful. There is such a terrible barrier between them now, much as they must both long for things to be as they were before. But how can these wrongs possibly be made right?

    And Martin is still out there... OMG! *wrings hands piteously and puts all her faith in the writers*
  • Hi! This is my first comment here, but I want you to know that I discovered this 'verse just a couple of days ago and I'm completely hooked. I loved the original fic when it was posted, and I so love to read more about the causes and the consequences of those facts.
    This part... when Wilson told House that he pissed his pants like a kid, it was so heartbreaking. I just wanted to comfort him! I sincerely hope House will do that himself, even in his own way ;)
    Thanks for writing this. I'm going to friend this journal, hope you don't mind!
    :)
    • Hello and welcome! And thank you for the lovely comment! We look forward to hearing more from you as we keep on posting--there's a lot left!
  • "Dr. Wilson was mugged. No, it was attempted murder. A bunch of teenagers jumped him from behind, they were high on something. It wasn't teenagers, it was a group of older guys. He didn't recognize any of them. He knew all of them. They had tattoos and beards. They were clean-shaven, looked like college kids. It was a black gang, Crips or Bloods. Nah, it was Latin Kings, I read an article. They beat him with baseball bats. A tire iron. He was shot five times. There was spinal cord damage, he'll never walk again. Why? Who would do something like this? Take my word for it—it was a hate crime. He's gay? Nah, Jewish. "

    Oh, my god. That entire paragraph is just...chilling and callous and painfully real, and it almost makes me angry.
  • *blinks* I didn't comment on this? Weird. I still love the paragraph of jumbled, ever-more-exaggerated rumors and the difficulty of Wilson telling his story, both Wilson's fear and shame in telling what happened to him and House's anger and guilt in listening, as well as our (readers') sorrow in hearing again what happened to him and watching him break down. He says he wet his pants like a kid, and here he is snuffling and slurring like one, too; the poor, poor guy, reduced to this because of someone else's bad bet, and nothing left to do but wait for him to build himself back up again.
  • Oh God :( Poor Wilson... I know I keep saying that, but still. Now I see the Mycroft reference 'cause, well, Martin thinks of House like a brother and... damn... *wants to go watch the rest of Sherlock now*
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