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Bad Company

Aftershocks 1.4: Harbinger

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Aftershocks 1.4: Harbinger

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TITLE: Aftershocks: A Story in Shattered Pieces
SUMMARY: How Chase brought the good news.
CHARACTERS: Chase, 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 orginal event in Bad Company; the second number signifies when the fic occurs during that day.


Harbinger

Of course, House thinks, resting his forehead against the top of his cane, of course they'd dump him only a mile away from the hospital. He might as well have left Wilson on my front doorstep; Martin always did have a flair for the fucking dramatic.

He'd hardly recognized Wilson in the ER. Wilson's face was so battered, so torn apart, the rest of his body limp and broken. They'd rushed him into emergency surgery, and House had watched them go. It had been Chase who'd followed the gurney upstairs, and that was wrong, but House hadn't been able to make himself move.

Not until some rail-thin EMT, who'd been in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Now House sits in his office, his leg aching, staring at the floor and gripping his cane. An orderly had brought it by, a few minutes after House had been deposited in his office like an ill-trained dog who'd bitten a dinner guest. The security guards stationed on either side of his door had waved it through, but not before they'd given House a long, warning look. House had ignored them, snatching his cane before the orderly could think better of it.

He's still not completely sure what's just happened. He'd been here, in the hospital, trying to absorb the horrific extent of Wilson's injuries, and then—

He'd been somewhere else. A sunlit meadow, at the height of summer. The buzz of insects loud in his ears. There'd been a boy, only a little younger than himself, crying and sobbing. Begging.

"Please, no, I don' wanna do this! Stop! You're hurting me!"

And back there, in that place and time that will never pass out of his memory no matter how much he tries to forget, House had watched, and done nothing. Until it was his turn.

The bile rises in the back of House's throat, and he feels like throwing up again.

Every ten years, he thinks dully. Every ten years Martin shows back up, and everything goes to hell until he's gone again.

There's a movement beside him.

"Dr. Wilson's out of surgery." Chase's voice is soft. "Birdsong had to do a splenectomy, and there were quite a few other internal lacerations and contusions."

House glances up for a moment and quickly looks back down.

Chase's scrubs are rusty with dried blood; he's come straight from the OR to tell House these things.

These things that should never have happened.

"His hand is stabilized—I think I lost count how many pins and screws Tomlinson put in there. CT scans look clean but there's always the possibility of Second Impact Syndrome. We'll be moving him to the ICU in a few minutes, keep a close eye there."

House ignores him, and after a while Chase sighs in resignation and leaves. House's knuckles shine white as he grips his cane more tightly.

Get up, he thinks. Go home. Gotta go to the bank tomorrow, raid the safe deposit box. It'll just about clean it out, but I can ... I can afford it. House rubs his eyes, drags his right hand wearily along his jaw. Bakery. Adele.

He can't seem to move just now, though. He's numb, as if he's the sole survivor of some great, annihilating natural disaster.

So House continues to sit, and if he whispers the name of that long-lost boy from so many years ago, he whispers it to himself because there's no one there to hear.
 
 
  • He's numb, as if he's the sole survivor of some great, annihilating natural disaster.

    This is just absolutely heartbreaking and yet I'm deeply hooked on this series. Such great, great writing.
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