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Bad Company

Aftershocks 33.1: Groundless

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Aftershocks 33.1: Groundless

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Silver Jag
TITLE: Aftershocks: A Story in Shattered Pieces
SUMMARY: Nothing happened.
CHARACTERS: House, Wilson, OC
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.

Nothing happened.

House keeps reminding himself of that: nothing happened during Wilson’s surgery, or the evening after. It’s him that Martin wants to fuck with, not Wilson.

He reminds himself of that when Cuddy and Wilson bitch him out in stereo – telephone and live action – for not being at work at ten-thirty the morning after Wilson’s surgery. He reminds himself of that on the drive to work, and as his fellows try to talk to him about something or other (weekend plans or a patient, he can’t tell because he’s not listening), and during a quickly grabbed lunch.

He reminds himself of that as he spends the afternoon doing Clinic hours, because the banality of it all is almost mind-numbing enough to keep him from having to remind himself. He reminds himself of that during the three short phone calls and two emails to Wilson that he’s very carefully decided are acceptable without raising suspicion, and during his real-time over-the-phone narration of General Hospital, during which Wilson snorts and snickers and occasionally throws in a bon mot.

He reminds himself of that as his fellows try again to talk to him about something or other, and as Cuddy stops him in the lobby and gabbles about a topic he’s pretty sure – based solely on the way her eyes are tracking – that he’s been forced to suffer through a million times before.

He reminds himself of that on the drive home, and it works, it really does, all the way up until he pulls onto his street and sees the thing only half a block from his door.

The silver Jaguar.

There are goosebumps under his leather jacket, and he’s extraordinarily glad for his reflexes because that swerve should have dumped his ass on the pavement. As it is, a few yards later he narrowly avoids getting clipped as he’s cutting up onto the sidewalk. The blare of a car horn accompanies him as he hops – literally, fucking leg – off the bike and moves faster than his racing heartbeat to his building's door. Fumbling, fumbling, where the fuck are his keys? He ought to be calmer than this; there’s no way he’ll outwit Martin if he’s not calm, but damn, his keys are slippery, oily bastards.

Finally he slams through the foyer, gets the thorny keys into his condo door, turns them the wrong way, and back again. Shoulder down and then thrust back up, a body-check worthy of his days on the lacrosse field. Speaking of which, he’s got his cane in both hands; he’s not above cross-checking in this case, and nobody would call it unnecessary roughness.

The door gives abruptly, and it’s only his good leg and those excellent reflexes that keep him upright, keep him from tumbling to the floor. A millisecond to steady himself and then his eyes are up, scanning; another millisecond and the scene is flash-frozen into his brain.

There’s a broad-shouldered gray suit, back to him, looming by the hospital bed, and Wilson’s hunched over so that House can’t see his face...

He tries to shout but a strangled, half-volume “No,” is all that leaves his mouth, as his leg buckles, forcing him to drop his cane and grab the couch. Fucking useless, useless, told you I couldn’t keep you safe.

“What?” Wilson looks up. “You care ‘f I make quartr’ly estimated tax payments ’stead of ann’l?”

The guy in the gray suit – who’s just a guy, a guy with sandy blond hair and a mustache never before seen outside of pornos – looks at House as if he’s crazy, and takes the sheaf of papers off Wilson’s lap.

Wilson looks at House as if he didn’t notice his stumbling entry, as if the panic wasn’t overt and palpable and threatening to suffocate them all, and is there any way that could be true? Apparently so, because the next thing Wilson does is make calm introductions. “House, this is Brad Lundstrom, my accountant. Brad, this is my friend Greg House.”

“The un-reimbursed business expense,” Brad murmurs, and House hates him.
  • Oh man, House's paranoia is really going to explode soon. This false alarm, added on to the actual sightings of Martin (those weren't in his head, right?) really worries me, and I can't help thinking that his paranoia will be for good reason one of these days...

    “What?” Wilson looks up. “You care ‘f I make quartr’ly estimated tax payments ’stead of ann’l?”
    I could just picture the look on Wilson's face as he says this, It made me smile.
  • (Anonymous)
    Two chapters today, please?
  • I can't think of anything worse than being in constant fear of the unknown, of being stalked, of never really feeling safe. You've captured all that. And Wilson - having survived such a brutal assault could never handle that kind of tension. He'd break for sure. So House just takes it all in himself, which he's been doing all his life it seems. But even House has to snap at some point . . . the tension is killing me!! Great job. Great writing. Bravo to you all.
  • Nrgh.

    I kind of swore a lot when I got to the end. But only a little. Honest.

    Nrgh.
  • I hate the slow torture of waiting for each episode to be posted. But it's always worth it. I think it's funny that my heartrate automatically goes up every time I see one of these has been posted.

    I'm on the edge of my seat waiting to see where this all ends up. Lovely.
  • Stop torturing us and House and let Wilson understand why House is running around like a chicken with its head cut off. Please,. Pretty, please, with a naked Wilson cover in whip cream on top. :)-
  • Holy smuck! You had me going with House there! Now silver Jaguars will forever be suspect for me. And keys will be labeled as slippery, oily bastards. Why can't the world just cooperate with House. He's paranoia is destructive enough. Why can't the accountant have had a red Ferrari?
  • Jeez, and Wilson didn't think to warn House he was having someone over? Even if he doesn't know or even suspect that Martin's in town, he's got to have picked up on House keeping such close tabs on him.

    In other news: Aaaaaaaaaah, I thought Martin was there too! As someone commented above, this chapter is great for how it highlights how incredibly stressful it must be to live in constant fear and with these intermittent sightings just when he thinks they may be safe -- not to mention that it's all still secret; he can't tell Cuddy or his fellows why he's always on edge, can't tell Wilson why he's more on edge than usual lately. Much as I'm loving the tension, I'm also looking forward to the time when they can finally, finally relax.
  • (Anonymous)
    I think I'd be suspicious of an accountant who drives a Jaguar.
  • Holy crapola!

    Seriously.
  • At this rate, Martin's not going to have to do a thing short of occasionally popping his head up within House's line of sight. House is going to drive himself into an early grave.
  • I almost broke my finger...wasn't aware at how hard I was gripping it.
    Damn, false alarm! How many more until one is true?
  • Christ, I could have died!

    “You care ‘f I make quartr’ly estimated tax payments ’stead of ann’l?”

    ONLY THEN DID I REMEMBER TO EXHALE
  • Thank you thank you dear lovely evil writers!! I have so much much love for you. I had a horrible day and this is just what I needed to set my world upright again. And this just made me laugh so hard and loud:
    He reminds himself of that during the three short phone calls and two emails to Wilson that he’s very carefully decided are acceptable without raising suspicion, and during his real-time over-the-phone narration of General Hospital, during which Wilson snorts and snickers and occasionally throws in a bon mot.
    And I really didn't want to laugh at this but Wilson was so adorably cute and innocent when he asked “You care ‘f I make quartr’ly estimated tax payments ’stead of ann’l?”

    And for the TOTAL WIN!!!! PRICELESS!!
    Brad, this is my friend Greg House.”
    “The un-reimbursed business expense,” Brad murmurs,


    Please can we have two chapters tomorrow and one on Saturday??????
  • i about lost consciousness when House 'stumbled' in and say that guy, but than Wilson said he was doing the taxes thing and i remembered that breathing is a very much needed thing ^_^
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