SUMMARY: House goes home. Sort of.
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.
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.
At some point after Chase walks out—it might be five minutes or it might be an hour—Cuddy arrives in House's office. She looks like a wrung-out dishrag but she's still in charge, on account of the two security thugs who remain at their posts outside his door. House says nothing, protests not once as they escort him downstairs. Twice he stumbles and almost falls along the way.
He hates the cab, and the cabbie, and the road and the whole damn town. It's raining just a little and he hates that too.
At home, the front steps are dark and wet and it's all he can do to climb them. For a second he thinks he might fall, crack his head on the stone, do himself a favor. His body ignores that thought and carries him numbly inside.
From his bedroom he grabs the electric alarm clock, tugging the plug from its socket with a sharp yank. He needs it in the living room, so that he'll hear it clearly when it buzzes. The best spot he finds for it is atop the piano, on the edge where the cord will just reach the outlet.
The piano seems like a stranger in this place, a person whose face he vaguely recalls but whose name he has long since forgotten. He allows himself to think of playing, and can't remember how it worked. Perhaps he'll never remember again, but there are more important things on his agenda just now.
Stumping back into the bedroom, he finds his old 'travel' alarm, the one that runs on batteries and that he never uses. He sets the correct time, watching the hands wind backward and wishing to all hell they really would do that. Then he sets the little clock on the coffee table. If one alarm fails to ring, the other will; no chances this time. Not this time.
Finally convinced that he's done what he can, he falls on the sofa with the bottle of whiskey he'd opened the night before. The stuff he'd been contentedly sipping while Wilson—no. He reminds himself that the whole point of the whiskey is to not think about that. The point is to get as drunk as he can, as fast as he can. The point is to pass out, hopefully until the alarms go off at seven. That shouldn't be so hard; it's almost one o'clock now and he has never been so tired in his life.
His bed would be better than this, but there's no TV in the bedroom, and the TV is necessary. The talk show hosts and Toyota ads help to muffle certain other, far less pleasant voices. He's drugging himself with that and the drinking, and he couldn't care less about either one. What he cares about is sleep, precious sleep.
He'll take that oblivion however he can get it.