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Bad Company

Aftershocks 16.2: We Interrupt This Program ...

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Aftershocks 16.2: We Interrupt This Program ...

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TITLE: Aftershocks: A Story in Shattered Pieces
SUMMARY: Is one peaceful meal too much to ask?
CHARACTERS: Wilson, 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.


We Interrupt This Program ...



It's dinner time. What that means is that Wilson slowly sucks a yogurt/fruit/protein smoothie through a straw, while House devours a plate of fried chicken that he picked up on the way home. He sinks his fangs into a drumstick, tilts back his head and makes lascivious noises of pleasure.

"This is soooo good, Jimmy.  You sure you don't want some?"

Wilson's lets his middle finger express his thoughts about that. His stomach rumbles, unsatisfied with its rations as it has been every day for the last two weeks. At least he isn't both hungry and dirty anymore. The latest gift from House had proved as useful as it was tacky. Between that and the shower chair he'd been all right.

He'd still had to force himself to stop trying to scrub away that invisible layer of grime. This time he knew what it was, and knew for certain that he didn't want House asking why he'd nearly stripped off his skin. Wilson decides not to think about that, in favor of thinking about just how much he'd like to kill House right now. That chicken smells like the food of the gods. House could be merciful and eat in the kitchen, but no. Why do that when he can inflict such gratifying torment?

Wilson says nothing, and heaves a harsh sigh through his nose.

The center of Wilson's tongue is irritated, rubbed slightly raw by the constant use of straws stuck through that gap where his tooth used to be. He has been finding ways to relieve that problem, wiggling the straw so that its end will rest in different spots. But no matter what he does, he finds it a little painful to attempt to eat and talk. 

He pulls the TV remote out from its hiding place beneath his blankets. Pimp My Ride is on; he turns up the volume. 

House jiggles his left leg, bouncing the heel against the floor. He eyes the remote as if it has just committed some unforgivable crime, but he doesn't move to snatch it away. That's just not right. The sun rises, the sun sets, and House wants the remote control; these are the laws of nature. Briefly Wilson wonders whether gravity will now switch off and he will find himself levitating above the bed, and the bed floating upward from the floor.

He tosses the remote at House, watching to make sure that it doesn't rise like a balloon and bump against the ceiling.

At first it seems that things will return to their current version of normal. The remote falls as it should. House grabs it and—turns the TV volume way down instead of looking for something better to watch. Not right, not right, Wilson thinks. Oh, House, not now. He glares sideways at House and redoubles his efforts at drinking his dinner. If he could do it without removing the carefully placed straw from his mouth, he'd tell House to turn on Comedy Central or the Cartoon Network or anything he didn't have to think about. 

Not that his request would matter. House has set his food (what's left of it) on the coffee table. He's leaned back against the sofa cushions, scowling upward at nothing. That's almost never a good sign. Not now, House.  Whatever it is, just ... not now. 

"Did he remind you of me at all?" House asks. At once Wilson finds that he's no longer hungry. His skin feels cold, and then hot, and then cold again. He wants to shoot back What the hell kind of question is that? but of course there are wires and a straw to contend with. 

House watches him as Wilson numbly removes the straw, trying to think of anything to say that won't make things worse than they already are. It's too late. It's always too late, when House surprises him like this. Wilson's face always gives him away.

"That would be a yes," House says. "Of course he reminded you of me. He reminds everyone of me. Except in the cases where I remind people of him."

"Oh God. House." Wilson breathes in, sighing like a weary pack animal and resting his hand over his eyes. "It was—a physical r'semblance. That's all." He pauses. "Don' tell me yer related?"

"No. But my mom thought we should have been." 

"Don't be shtupid," Wilson snaps, as well as he can snap through his clenched teeth. In the force of his frustration he can't speak as clearly as he'd like. "Yer blamin' y'self fer genetics? The hell'd you think it means? Nothing."

"You don't understand," House says, in a quiet tone that Wilson recognizes. It's the same way House sometimes sounds when he's lost a patient. "I could've been just like him."

"But you aren't," Wilson replies. For one absent moment he thinks about the fact that he still doesn't know his captor's actual name. House won't speak it, as if it were a curse too terrible to hear. It's almost funny; they used to call the rehab lackey Voldemort, He Who Must Not be Named—but he was a Care Bear by comparison.

"But I could've been," repeats House, as if the possibility alone were proof of guilt.

"An' yet you aren't." Wilson guides himself back, away from his emotions and into this more familiar territory. "The potential is more important than the choice?" he asks. If he stays calm he can enunciate pretty well, despite the lisp, the way all the edges of his words are softened. "I own a gun. Doesn' mean I'm a murderer."

"You own a gun?"

"Julie 'as paranoid." Wilson thinks for a moment before continuing, "So're you."

"You don't get it. Would you want to live with it? Knowing that he picked you out? Saw himself in you?"

"You ever think," asks Wilson, slowing down so that he can use the words he wants rather than the ones that will be easiest, "mebbe he's delusional, as well's psycho? 'Cause las' time I checked, you got your kicks savin' lives."

"It pays well," says House.

"So's murder, which you could also do. Yer smart enough. You could get away with it."

"How do you know I don't?"  There it is, that eternal, wicked sense of humor, clawing its way up from the abyss. Wilson decides to toss it a lifeline.

"If you liked killin' people," he says, "you'd've offed me years ago." It's hard for Wilson to smile, but he tries, and House almost smiles back.

Better yet, he picks up the remote and starts changing channels.
 
 
  • Greetings!

    And things, slowly, ever so slowly, begin to return to normal. Except not completely, for things are actually being talked about. A little. In bits and pieces and bite-sized, emotionally-handlable chunks.

    Bless Wilson for his compassion that sets them free....

    One wonders what will happen next. There are still landmines to be dealt with as time goes by.

    -Katrina
  • Yay, another chapter!

    Woo.

    Glad to see things--sort of, slightly--returning to normal.
    • This chapter is deceptive. It appears as if everything is returning to normal but I think this chapter foreshadows what is actually based on the last two sentences of the previous chapter - which I absolutely love!! The pieces of the puzzle are there, jigsaw fragments scattered on a card table. Little pieces of pasteboard, that when fit together in the right way, reveal a complete picture -- Stonehenge, a German castle, the Statue of Liberty. A cow. A horse.

      House uses his meal to taunt Wilson to keep him present and then he draws a parallel between himself, Wilson's friendly tormentor (by choice) and the other tormentor, by whom Wilson was TAKEN - against his will.

      As they continue to talk and bring more of the "stuff" to the surface, it is Wilson who gives House a redemptive out by drawing a distinction between his two tormentors. But Wilson is living with House and House is taking care of him so I think it will be while before Wilson will be able to access those "other" feelings.

      For the first time in his life, House doesn't want to see the whole picture. I took this to mean that House doesn't want to see his role in Wilson's near death physical and emotional trauma.

      This chapter is beautifully written, powerful and very, very deceptive. There's so much more going here than fried chicken and a yogurt shake. It is an adagio with a kettle drum beating in the distance.
      • "For the first time in his life, House doesn't want to see the whole picture. I took this to mean that House doesn't want to see his role in Wilson's near death physical and emotional trauma."

        See, I disagree. I think House is terrified that Martin sexually abused Wilson. Terrified enough that, when presented with the evidence, he's refusing to put the puzzle together and see what the picture is.
    • *smiles*

      Bingo.
    • Hmmm. Well does seems as if black cigarette is saying that you hit the nail on the head. So House doesn't know that Martin did an oral cop assault on Wilson but suspects it? I thought House's little friend was sodomized or did that happen to House too. Also, if Martin gave Wilson a blow job - how does the slingkini fabric brushing Wilson's face become a trigger for the oral cop. I thought Martin pulled Wilson's trousers and briefs down and then molested him. I don't recall anything that said that Wilson was forced to orally copulate one of his tormentors.
      • ... how does the slingkini fabric brushing Wilson's face become a trigger for the oral cop.

        It became a trigger because Wilson was gagged with his own tie during the rape. The silky spandex fabric sparked Wilson's flashback.
        • I'm editing my previous comment because I just rereading Bad Company and all the details that come up as Wilson heals are right there. Even the hip episode where Wilson also kicked. Damn, you folks are good.
      • (Anonymous)
        "I thought House's little friend was sodomized or did that happen to House too."

        My take on that passage was that Martin forced the boy to perform oral sex on him and when he was done told the boy to do the same for House, but House freaked and ran away. ?
  • i know i havent posted about this series yet but i absolutely love it! *yeah i feel like sometimes i need to slap House but it happens* and because its me i am definately seeing this as a slash fic sorry if thats not intended its habit! lol

    :P
    • You are allowed to see this however you like.

      Thanks for letting us know that you're following it! We treasure our readers.
    • Yeah I sort of see it as a slash fic too. But not in a romantic - gotta get in each other's pants sort of way. I see it as the creme de la creme of H/W fics because it deals with the meaning and complexity of intimacy in relationships. I'm a sucker for black and white r-movies of the 40s & 50s. There was mystery and innuendo and subtext and lots of reflection and dialogue. Like the B&Ws of that period this ficverse lends itself to analysis and reflection. I am totally addicted.
  • I love that, even if there's not a romantic relationship between House and Wilson, there's a connection that goes deeper than probably even they know. If Carla Jean had been there during the sling/gag incident, Wilson would have been lost, emotionally and mentally. But, with House, Wilson makes it back to shore.

    I'm glad Wilson is taking two steps forward and not five steps back.
    • My sense is Wilson will continue to have what he referred to as flashbacks for awhile. Technically, it appears that he goes into a disssociative state in reaction to a trigger. We should remember that since he was found, he's only been in the hospital and at House's place. As he gets physically better and has to go outside, we'll probably see him experience regressive episodes in the future.
  • Not now, House. Whatever it is, just ... not now.

    Why do I get the feeling that now will never be a good time for Wilson? That it has nothing to do with wanting to watch TV or suck down his dinner or being tired, but rather with his fervent desire to keep silent about it until it goes away? Which, of course, it won't. Maybe, given enough time, he'll sit down with House one morning and just talk. But maybe that will never happen, and he needs someone to push him; and who better than House?

    It was interesting here how the conversation seems to be leading into House pressing Wilson to reveal what he's been hiding, but instead it takes a left turn into House's own feelings of guilt. I'd call it selfish, but I think it's more than that -- perhaps he's opening up to show Wilson that they can confess things to each other, that Wilson is safe with him, or to start admitting out loud to the person who got hurt that he screwed up so he can get past that and help Wilson, or ...
  • Why did my mind flash to Foreman, who doesn't want to be like House? No matter....that's another story..

    I hurt for Wilson that, in spite of feeling just as dirty and grimy as before, he lays off the scrubbing in an effort to deflect further questioning from House. How broken will he be when House finally guesses at the truth? (assuming House reveals the outcome of his reasoning. House may just figure it out and never share this with Wilson, in an attempt to spare him. Who am I kidding? This is House!) Poor, poor Wilson!

    I would really like to know why House's mom thought he and Martin should have been related. Or was that just House being flippant?

    What could a seventeen year old boy have been involved with, that he brought a twelve year old into, that made said twelve year old flee two years later? And still be haunted by it thirty three years down the road?

    Also, Martin and House last spoke ten years ago. Was that an anomoly, or have they kept in touch?

    I really will find it fascinating to learn more about House/Martin history. (intentional use of the "slash" sign? maybeee). If not in this series, perhaps a spinoff?

    • *is horrified*

      House/Martin slash?!?

      I feel quite confident in telling you that it never, not once, occurred to us. And we do know their history.

      *shudders*

      Brr, what an absolutely chilling thought.
      • Aww. Pinky and The Brain are horrified! (I love them)

        I was not necessarily suggesting H/M slash. When I said I was looking forward to learning about the history that the two share, expediency made me write "House/Martin". That looked funny, with the slash, and made my mind wander.

        I don't know their history like you do, but it still would not be shocking to me to learn that House had a little youthful slash with Martin. Perhaps some non-con (as either reciever or voyeur). *OUCH*

        (and, when reading Bad Company last spring, I had the inkling that it was Grey Eyes doing the molesting)
  • Only a little nit-pick....Wilson's dialogue. It just doesn't sound the same to me...

    It is nice that Wilson is talking more than he has since he was brought in.

    And looking at comments, House/Martin is chilling o.o
    • Interesting. Wilson's voice felt spot on to me - very similar to his push-back voice in Human Error. What specifically felt off to you?
      • I think it was just more the way that he talked...I was used to the 'jaw wired shut' speak, that seemed to change the sounds of a lot of his words. Also...Wilson hadn't talked that much, ether. Lots of short/shortened sentences.

        It sounded just fine if thinking about it pre-Bad Company.

        Does that make any sense?
    • If you try and talk through your clenched teeth (not that we've been doing that, oh no) you'll find that you can enunciate fairly well if you try. The faster you talk, or the more careless or emotional you are, the more your words will blur.

      We figured that Wilson would become more articulate as 1. he got accustomed to the wires and 2. the other damage to his face continued to heal, swelling went away and he became less sore. Whether he wants to make the effort is another thing!

      All that notwithstanding, the individual writer of this bit has taken note and altered some of Wilson's dialogue here. It may have been too sudden a shift for the purposes of the story.



      • Yes I do see what you mean. When Wilson became ill after the Dairy Queen ride, I believe House had the steel wires replaced with rubber bands so I assumed his improved slow speech was a reflection of that change. Also, I recall at some point there was an explanation similar to what black cigarette offers here to explain why Wilson's speech is sometimes clearer than at other times.

        Many, many years ago, I counseled an 18 year old woman whose jaw had been wired shut due to a mandibular fracture sustained during an extremely brutal and vicious rape. I saw her 8 days after the incident. Her speech production was clear in response to neutral questions but almost inarticulate in response to stressful ones, such as those related to activities just prioir to, during, and immediately following the assault.

        Wilson's injuries are more complex. However, most of his communication has been with the person he's closest to and trust the most - House (recall the Shave) in an environment where he seems to feel safe. House has kept Wilson's environment pretty much stress free with the exception of the Dairy Queen incident. Under these circumstances, I would expect Wilson's verbal capacity to improve significantly in House's presence. We'll have to see what happens when Wilson has to interact with other people i.e. Cuddy, the maid, the ducks, his treatment team, and colleagues.
      • I did find it a bit sudden a change from Wilson's former dialogue. I had noticed that Wilson was trying to speak clearer, which was why I debated for a day before even bringing it up lol.

        Sorry for the nitpick, but it was bugging me ^.^ (and I find his lisps adorable, hehe)
  • I liked House teasing and Wilson trying to comfort House here despite all the deferring that you pick up from the both of them. It's a sweet exchange but you also feel something heavy underneath it all; knowing that what's left unsaid will be so painful and difficult to broach.
  • Goddamnit House, don't taunt Wilson with fried chicken. That's just cruel. When I got my wisdom teeth out it seemed like every other commercial was for Popeye's or KFC. I wanted to cry :P Well hopefully soon Wilson will be able to engage in fried chicken with House :D I wish him a speedy recovery :P
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