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Bad Company

Aftershocks 29.2: Defense

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Aftershocks 29.2: Defense

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TITLE: Aftershocks: A Story in Shattered Pieces
SUMMARY: He'll use whatever strategies he can.
CHARACTERS: House
RATING:
R for language and themes (gen fic).
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.


Defense


He sits in his car -- the ratty old one that smells of many things, none of which are vomit -- and hopes that what he's doing is not as rotten as he fears it is. If Cuddy knew, she'd pull off one of her stiletto heels and ram it through his heart. He wouldn't even blame her.

It isn't fair to her. It's dangerous, but it's the best chance he has of keeping the devil at bay. The more company, the more people coming and going from the apartment, the less likely that Martin will choose to drop in. He's a psycho, but he's a smart and careful psycho; hell, he's a genius. House's head throbs as he turns the key in the ignition, listening to the engine grudgingly agree to start.

Smarter than me. He always was one step ahead, always. That gap might have been narrowed in the years since they were kids, but the trouble is that Martin's as expert a criminal as House is a physician. There's the matter of practice, of acquired skills and learned patterns.  Martin has decades of training in his chosen field. He is, above all else, a professional. That's the one thing that might stop him from killing Wilson just to see the look on House's face. It's also the thing that will make him hesitant to get other witnesses involved.

His stomach aches at the thought of Cuddy ever having to meet Martin under any circumstances. Yet House has put her in a position where that's possible; she could come to Martin's attention. It's not what House wants, but even if it happens, she'll probably be safe. Instinctively House knows that Martin won't go after her. He has already found House's weak spot and he'll stay focused on it -- on Wilson -- until he loses interest or is called away on business. 

Martin's never been the sort who hurts girls for kicks, anyway.  Left to his own devices, he prefers to target men. It's not chivalry; it's simply that the male of the species is larger, stronger prey, a bigger trophy. More fun to destroy.

House wishes, with every ounce of hatred in his soul, that he could turn the rifle scope around and put the hunter in the crosshairs. He wishes, for all the good that does him, that he were detached, that he could look at Martin Grey and not see the string of defeats. He could fight back if he couldn't recall the fear, the damage, the long summer afternoons when no one else paid him any mind and Martin was there for him. Always there, always a step ahead. If I had any sense, I'd go get Wilson's gun, he thinks, for about the thousandth time.

For the thousandth time his own mind answers, Yeah. And if you give it to Wilson and he has another bad flashback? He won't be just holding your wrist this time, he'll be pointing a gun at your face.

I'll keep it. Put it in my nightstand drawer.

Where it won't do you any good when Martin breaks in in the middle of the night and kills Wilson before you can get it out.

So Wilson does need it. Post-traumatic bullshit or not.

The little voice in his head snorts.

It would take Martin about two seconds to take it away from him. Disarming an injured man who's only got one good hand? Candy from a fucking baby. And then?

He'd kill Wilson with it.

House lays his forehead against the steering wheel and closes his eyes. His brain is telling him to go, to get home, but still the scenario plays out inexorably in his mind.

Wilson, murdered in his bed. Martin, turning to House, that relentless curiosity in his eyes.

And then he'd kill me.

No.

He'd put the gun in my hand. Wait to see what I'd do.

And what would you do, Greg?

"No," House murmurs softly. "Get out of my head." He straightens suddenly, and smacks hard at the top of the steering wheel. "Get out of my fucking head!" he shouts.

Maybe it's you that needs that psych card, not Wilson.

"Go to hell," he tells himself, and hits the gas pedal hard on his way out of the garage.

  • *shivers* I can't wait to see where this is going.
  • (Anonymous)
    Please stop doing one a day so much. Please please please!!!! I need more of this!!!
    • But you see, this is the choice we must make at this point in our little ficverse:

      1. Post one chapter/day more often than not, because we are writing new chapters every other day

      or

      2. Put up two chapters per day and not write any new ones.

      We have chosen Door Number One because it is making for a much stronger (and much longer) overall story. We hope you'll agree it's for the best. The fact that we're torturing you is a wonderful bonus unfortunate, but unavoidable.
  • ditto on the not waiting.

    jebus, this story gives me the creeps. in a good way?
  • OMG!! This is truly more than I can handle. Martin is back and Wilson is alone. Please, please House hurry.....................
  • Poor House -- he's so used to bouncing ideas of his colleagues and his whiteboard and now he has no one to turn to for help and inspiration. Martin Grey is a frightening disease, eating away at House and Wilson's sanity :-(
  • I'm still waiting for him to start calling in mafia favors.
  • "Get out of my fucking head!" he shouts.

    Aaah! *tugs own hair* That's the problem with knowing your enemy -- you have to think like him, can't shake him.

    One thing House needs to do is swap his bed for Wilson's and sleep in the main room himself while Wilson's tucked away a little more safely in the bedroom behind him, so House is the one Martin would encounter first; Martin would have to get past him to touch Wilson again.
  • (Anonymous)
    I'm another lurker de-lurking to say how much I love this story (and yes, another one who checks constantly for updates). As painful as it is to have to wait between installments, I appreciate that you're only giving us one or two pieces at a time. Because otherwise, I would have devoured the whole thing in one sitting, and I would have probably skipped over a lot of great bits to get to the end and find out what happens. I'm happy to read a piece at a time (even though I want the whole story NOW NOW NOW!!!). It's torture, but it's wonderful!
    • (Anonymous)
      I second all of the above. It is wonderful. I really like the slightly different style of each writer, too; somehow that adds to the story, kind of reflects the emotional turmoil House is in.

      Weirdly I am not afraid Martin is going to kill Wilson while House is absent. He might visit him, satiate his curiosity about Wilson's motives, but his foremost interest is in House. He would torture Wilson while House is there, though, so I _am_ afraid every time House comes back home.

      I am looking forward to every new installment and hope this will get longer and looonger :-) Thanks so much for sharing,
      Jo
      -the one without LJ-
  • (Anonymous)
    This chapter is extremely clever. Pitting House's genius against Martin's. Seeing the mental struggle House is having trying to out-think him. You want so badly to see House win . . . to win against his own past as well as Wilson's future.

    And the gut-wrenching pain of knowing your friend is in mortal danger because of you and that you are powerless to stop it until it is played out . . . amazingly addicting storyline. Check this out every night just waiting for the next installment. What greater compliment can a group of writer's have!!! Bravo and keep it going!

  • House wishes, with every ounce of hatred in his soul, that he could turn the rifle scope around and put the hunter in the crosshairs. I am in love with that sentence. It's a powerful image and encompasses some intense emotion in a very compact way.

    And House's thought process is wonderful. Wonderfully terrifying, but wonderful. :) I look forward to these installments every day.
  • I really, really, really hate this guy. Martin is simply the personification of evil. Always present, lurking. Always coloring the very air around him with the putrid stink of his malevolent nature. Hiding from him will do no good.. he simply waits. He knows time is his ally. I can see him waiting until Wilson is all healed. Better. Stronger. Ready to embrace life again. And then take him out. In front of House. The shock, the impossibility of it would be jarring.

    This guy needs to be dropped into a deep, dark hole and allowed to watch his own carcass rot.

    More, please?
  • can i just punch Martin please? because guh he just pisses me off! *hugs House* oh House your making me sad dear

  • I love House's inner monologue. Something about him arguing with himself (possibly because he has no one else to talk to about it) is so... right. Next step is him getting out the whiteboard and planning ways to keep Martin away from Wilson.

    Can't wait for the Cuddy and Wilson scene. Wilson's spent too much time around the men, he could do with some female company.

    - Kinks
  • oh, this is so painful.
    Come on House, I know you can outsmart him this time!


  • Greetings!

    Packing took all night *sigh*, but I couldn't go to bed until I read my chapter of black_cigarette. I'm afraid I am far too tired at the mo' to give you anything like a coherent comment. There are niggles in the back of my head, but I am going to leave them there for now in favor of sleep. :-D

    -Katrina
  • *screams at the screen*

    WILSON'S HOME ALONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    My poor heart...one part a day suits me fine...I need the rest of the day to recover ~smile~
  • great writter

    I told you before how much I admire your work . This is another proof of how good you are. I missed the reason Greg feels he can't win against Martin. I know Martin hurt Greg's friend to make him do something sexual for him but they were kids,right? and Martin was bigger and older. Was there anything in their relationship I missed?
  • Oh God, House *hugs*

    I wouldn't toy with Cuddy. Martin would be very wise not to fuck with her. I don't think she'd take kindly to anyone screwing with any of her cubs, so to speak.

    Speaking of women Martin wouldn't want to toy with, it's too bad this is pre-Amber. I can kind of see her killing Martin with her bare hands or something, and not even being all that concerned about it. :D
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