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Bad Company

Aftershocks 30.1: The Evening News

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Aftershocks 30.1: The Evening News

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House's trucker hat
TITLE: Aftershocks: A Story in Shattered Pieces
SUMMARY: House tells him everything he wants to know.
CHARACTERS: Wilson, 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.


The Evening News


The sky is gently darkening as they roll through town. A soft breeze carries the smells of car exhaust, restaurants, cut grass and cooling concrete. It's familiar, comforting. The food scents would probably make him insane, had Cuddy not shown up last night with a quart each of egg drop, hot-and-sour, and miso soup. It all proved blendable and delicious, each variety a blessed reprieve from his culinary hell.

Cuddy herself had been a feast for the senses: red silk, perfume that hinted of orchids and fresh water, and a lilting cadence as she'd chatted and laughed. He'd forgotten about that, just how pleasant she really could be, until last night. It wasn't that he wanted to do anything about it, but it was nice to have someone around who wasn't all hard edges, leather and sarcasm.

He takes off his Stealth Hat (that's what House calls it) and lets his hair get mussed in the wind. Wilson loves the Corvette, even as a passenger. In the city, though, House drives like a grandmother, because the other drivers are morons who might hurt his precious car. It's frustrating and funny to watch House, the very spirit of recklessness, doing a measly forty miles per hour down the strip.

Wilson leans back, content to relax and listen while House -- who seems more cheerful than he's been for several days now -- rambles on.

"We had a winner today," he says, and Wilson knows that he's talking about the Clinic Prize, which is their own personal version of the Darwin Awards.  "Middle manager. Some bank or other. Tripped on her own pointy heels and crashed right into a wall," he crows, and looks over as if to see whether Wilson's amused.  He is. "The best part is that it happened at a conference, during a blindfolded 'trust building exercise'."

It still hurts to laugh, but Wilson chuckles, and House continues. "The nasal fracture was a shame, because it ruined a perfectly good rhinoplasty. Bled all over her fake boobs. I ... might have said something insensitive."

Wilson raises his eyebrows in silent mockery, No! Not you?

"Something about her life being saved by her front-impact airbags."

Wilson sputters and then, because he's trying not to, he starts laughing in earnest. That causes his abdominals to flutter and spasm. He leans forward, making the hand sign for Stop it before you kill me. At least House has the decency to let him recover before resuming the daily report.

This is way more fun than the news Wilson gets when he goes in for his medical appointments. Cameron has to find him; Cuddy has to find him; everyone wants to say hello. They tell nice, cheery stories of the good things that are happening while he's away. Wilson nods and pretends he cares, which he will eventually, but right now? He does not. It's so much easier just to be around House, who knows him better than that. House brings the dirt.

"Remember Evans, in the lab? So fired. Turns out," House says, "it's against the rules to smoke pot in the morgue. Who knew? And what kind of idiot brings weed to a hospital, anyway?" He smirks at Wilson, who offers a one-shouldered shrug.

"I din't inhale," he says. "Can't say 'bout m'patients, though."

"You never got me any of the good stuff, Doctor Jimmy."

"You never got cancer, y'lying bastard."

"At least I'm not inbred, like our mutant lawyer friend. Ooooohhhh, you haven't heard, have you?" House is glowing with a wicked joy. "He's engaged!" Wilson's eyes widen. If his jaw weren't wired it would fall wide open.

"Kidding. Yer kidding. To his -- uh --"

"To his lovely Christine, formerly Christopher."

"Guuuuuuuuh!"

House enjoys this so much. He makes twisty faces, spewing lewd remarks about the uses of the lawyer's mutant sixth finger, while Wilson tries not to hurt himself laughing. As they coast to a halt at an intersection, House falls silent like a radio that's been switched off. Wilson blinks at him in mild confusion. In the dusky, fading light, it's hard to tell, but he thinks House just went pale.

"You okay?"

"Peachy," says House, and shifts his gaze away from the other cars, onto the road ahead of them. "Let's go."

The light turns green and House abandons all caution. He hits the gas, shifts gears so fast that it makes Wilson's body ache, and speeds wildly for the freeway.
  • This? This is the House and Wilson I loved in season one -- bantering, sharing gossip, being witty and irreverent, enjoying each other's company. Even when one's injured and the other's (justifiably) paranoid. Front-impact airbags and rhinoplasties and weed/cancer jokes FTW.
    • Bironic, thanks. Particular thanks from the one of us who wrote this bit -- but also for your consistent and insightful remarks.

      We don't know where everyone is tonight -- perhaps they're all holding their breath, waiting for Whatever Happens Next. Heh.


      • Least I can do for getting to enjoy pieces of this every weekday. And, er, for not participating in the drafting process.
  • House and Wilson in the corvette talking shit and laughing and then there's the terror that follows their joy wherever it goes. You made me happy and content until House sped off like a bat out of hell. Where are they going?
    • House doesn't even know where they're going. Anywhere that's away from town, out of Martin's sight.

      Out for a ride. They're in the Corvette; do they need a destination?
  • Oh, crap.. HEs there, isn't he? Gads, can't even go out for a drive without bein stalked...

    Have I mentioned that I really really hate Martin?

    Mick
    • You ... may have hinted once or twice that you didn't care much for Martin. We seem to recall that, yes.

      Maybe they were being stalked, or maybe it was just chance. Or House seeing things. Who knows.
      • Who knows? Er...YOU?!
        • Believe it or not, the characters don't always tell us everything.

          In this case though ... House just wanted to get away from Martin, or the guy who looked like Martin. He wasn't thinking of going anywhere in particular, just "not here."


  • "Something about her life being saved by her front-impact airbags."
    Utterly perfect. I'm still cracking up over it.

    It's so much easier just to be around House, who knows him better than that. House brings the dirt. That is so wonderful. This chapter brought out their connection so well, how well they really get each other. All of this banter was just great.

    The end is jarring, but it's appropriate. I'm simultaneously eager for and terrified to read whatever you have in store for us next.
  • The little snippet of Cuddy was wonderful, especially as it was from Wilson's POV.

    House dishing out all the gossip is fantastic. Those two are so good for each other. Too bad House is freaking out. I'm so worried that he's going to let that inner voice of his get the better of him and do something stupid and end up putting Wilson at even more risk.

    Also, front-impact airbags is win.

    -Kinks
  • It's so much easier just to be around House, who knows him better than that. House brings the dirt.

    How much I love their easy friendly banter? This scene is so good and adorable! I hoped to see more of Cuddy, but it's enough to know everything went very well.

    And Martin...he's such a scoundrel! And I wish I knew more appropriate bad words to call him.
  • This fic continues to be so great, it only gets better and better. your characterization of House and Wilson and their relationship is wonderful.

  • FRONT SIDE AIR BAGS!!!

    Oh much love for that

  • I just read all the chapters in one sitting, this is such a wonderful job, I just can't get enough of it.

    I'm dying to know what happened between Martin and House and what Martin is going to do to Wilson.

    Keep up the good work.
    • Wow. That's a lot to read in one sitting; you must have been sitting for a long time!

      So glad you're enjoying the ride. Thanks for letting us know!

      We will warn you now, however, that we are evil and will do horrible things like leave you hanging over a cliff all weekend long. That's the price of admission, we're afraid. Heh.
      • It took me like 18 hours, although I must confess, I slept, went to the bathroom and ate in between, so it was like 9 hours of reading, then pretend I was not thinking about House and Wilson while I took a shower and did some obnoxious work for school, then back to reading. I have a lot of time in my hands 'cause I only sleep like 3 or 4 hours a day since I was like 10 years old.

        It's kind of funny because every once in a while my brain needs to sleep more than usual and I sleep like 12 or even 16 hours straight, then go back to normal (my normal anyway).

        And about the price, well, good things are rarely for free.

        =P
  • Ohh...creepy Martin sighting feeling. I'm right aren't I?

    shivers

    Another brilliant instalment...
  • Greetings!

    Well, for myself, I'm in the wilds of Brooklyn at the mo', having returned from the CT home of my friend who, despite working in computers, has no 'net in his homespace. *sigh* On the other wing, however, it has given me several nummy chapters to read at once. W/no weekend pause! So, it all works. :-D

    Anyhoo, as others have said, gotta love the dirt. And then... to have the moment shattered by the Martin-sighting, or possible Martin-sighting, or... whatever it was that House actually saw. Brilliant! Y'all just have the best pacing skills! :-)

    -Katrina
  • I apologize for being behind with reviewing... it has been a hellish week -- all that was missing was Martin!

    Convertibles = love! Wonderfully evocative is this line in particular: A soft breeze carries the smells of car exhaust, restaurants, cut grass and cooling concrete.

    Poor Wilson must be so confused -- one moment House is relaxed, and the next the rug is pulled out from under them. The way that hope can quickly twist into despair is so spooky and unsettling...!!11!!
    • Hi Purridot! Good to see you.

      No apologies, dear. We're just glad you're reading. Hopefully this coming week will be better for all concerned.

  • I think this is what I love the most about this story. One minute Wilson is talking to his parents and Cuddy's coming to visit and the next chapter they are out riding in a convertible. Then, just when you are enjoying the moment something dark (Martin) comes a long. Love it! :)) I just love the way this story jumps around. You think of everything. You just never know what the next chapter will bring. Always a surprise. Thanks for all the hours of pure reading pleasure. :))
  • Loved this chapter. The tension inherent in their situation makes these moments so rare in this fic, but H/W banter is hands down my favorite part of the show. My favorite lines were
    Wilson raises his eyebrows in silent mockery, No! Not you?
    and
    "You never got cancer, y'lying bastard."

    Wish we might have seen a bit more of Cuddy's visit, though, especially when Wilson was so embarrassed that he'd had no warning, all "Honey, you didn't tell me we were expecting company!" Liked how you mentioned that Wilson found her attractive without wanting to do anything about it. (Not that he was in any position to do so in this case, but this is totally consistent with the show, in which to all intents and purposes they seem more compatible than House and Cuddy in temperament and interests, and are clearly friends, yet have never expressed romantic feelings.)
    • *grins*

      This was such a fun chapter to write. We are following all your comments and thoroughly enjoying them, even if we don't always respond right away.
  • Oh God... I love House and Wilson together but then... Martin's eternally creeping in the background... I'm afraid for our heroes still :(
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