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Bad Company

Aftershocks 6.2: Heartbreak Hotel



Aftershocks 6.2: Heartbreak Hotel

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TITLE: Aftershocks: A Story in Shattered Pieces
SUMMARY: The place is utterly depressing.
CHARACTERS: Chase, House
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.

Heartbreak Hotel

"You told them the truth," Chase says quietly in the otherwise-silent hotel elevator. It smells stale and dank, a miserable little crypt that's never seen sunlight. It's also considerably smaller than the hospital elevators; Chase is forced to stand closer to House than he'd prefer.

House scowls down at him. "Yeah. So?"

"You never tell the truth." For all his grumbling about lies, House uses them like conjunctions.

House shrugs and taps the key card against his cane. The bell dings, the door opens, and House is down the hall before Chase leaves the elevator.

He catches up to House as the lock beeps and he shoulders his way in. They step inside and the door falls shut behind them with a loud, heavy thunk.

The room is neat, but in an odd straightened-up-by-strangers kind of way. The desk is littered with files and obviously hasn't been touched. The decor is bland and unassuming. The place is utterly depressing.

Chase can't keep himself from blurting out, "Dr. Wilson lives here?"

House looks at him like he's a moron. It's not much different from how House looks at him every day. He points around the room with his cane and says, "Well, get to it."

Chase raises his eyebrows and stares back at him. "That's awfully personal," he says. "He's your friend, not mine."

"Why the hell do you think I brought you along?" House growls.

Chase opens the closet and surveys the suits, in spite of his earlier protest. "I figured you wanted me to haul shit, not pack it up, too," he mutters. He pulls out a garment bag, lays it open on the bed, and starts feeding suits into it.

"As usual, your powers of deduction suck," House mutters back. He's sitting at the desk, half-reading the files he's putting into a briefbag with more care than Chase would have thought him capable of.

Chase empties first the closet and then the drawers of the nightstand and dresser. Apparently this is why House called him down to the lobby yesterday, but Chase had been waylaid by their patient crashing. Again. It hadn't helped that he and Foreman and Cameron had been on their own with this one—House hasn't exactly been available the last couple days.

Then again, his complaining about having to pack might have been premature. There's barely anything here—just some clothes, two pairs of shoes, a heavy overcoat. No books, no CDs, nothing truly personal anywhere. There's a kitchenette along one wall, but the refrigerator is empty and the cupboards hold only a few cheap pans. He starts to pull them out when House says, "Leave them. They're not his."

When he reaches the bathroom, the full-size bottles of shampoo and conditioner and shaving lotion are all nearly empty. Dr. Wilson's been living here longer than he'd probably care to admit. Has he been here since he'd stayed with House last year?

Chase doesn't have long to wonder about that, though, because at that moment House yells, "Hey, no pee breaks for you, peon! Let's go!"

He doesn't bother rolling his eyes as he checks the bathroom over one last time. The bed is covered with Wilson's three suitcases; House has the briefbag slung over his shoulder, and he waves his cane at Chase.

"C'mon," he says and heads for the door.

Fortunately one of the bags is a rolling one, or Chase would never have been able to haul them all in one trip. In the elevator, he manages to maneuver the bags between himself and House.

"So," Chase asks casually as they reach Wilson's car, "who's he staying with, once he's out?"

House shoots him an odd look over the roof of the car before he pops the trunk. "With me."

Chase feels his jaw start to drop and quickly shuts it. "And he agreed to this?"

"Not yet."
  • Greetings!

    *heh* Well, ONE way to present a convincing arguement!

    Love the description of how barren Wilson's life has become... and both House's and Chase's reactions to same.... This is definitely being a Learning Experience for all, w/all the hell that that implies.... :lol

  • Greetings!

    And again, you have to love the wonderful dichotomy between House's words and his actions....

    ""As usual, your powers of deduction suck," House mutters back. He's sitting at the desk, half-reading the files he's putting into a briefbag with more care than Chase would have thought him capable of."

  • Oh this is great. I love this scene and Chase is so perfect. Great imagery. And of course the ending signals that the goodness that is House/Wilson is on its way.
    • Greetings!

      Well, one can hope... although I believe it was one of these fine ladies who wrote a story in which it was pointed out that the above only works w/in certain limits of the leaving of the freedom of choice... which I'm not sure House has done here, which is IC for the current level of stress, but not so sure it's the best idea for the preserving of peace and quiet.

      • Yes. Good point. It's going to be interesting to see how Wilson responds with House's total control (partly due to guilt and partly out of love) approach to Wilson's healing process. It's understandable since he almost lost Wilson.

        And given what we learned from Wilson's point of view following the shave, Wilson may decide to play the guilt card.
  • Do you think they will ever get Wilson out of that awful hotel or will they just never show him at home again and makes us wonder? I love that Chase feels like he's intruding until he realizes how utterly barren and impersonal the room is.
  • Yay. Now Wilson will see just how much House is willing to handle the thing that he broke. I just hope House is up to the challenge. Oh please let him be!
  • So many threads being tugged and woven -- first Wilson doesn't have as many visitors as others expect, and now Chase is taken aback by how impersonal his living space is. (Ha -- take that, He who never had sympathy for the guy being targeted during Tritter's reign of terror.)

    Also, yay sort-of-Holmes reference and peon line. :)
  • Hee, the House-Chase banter was wonderful. It feels good to hear House sound like his old self!

    Except... he both is his old self, and isn't. It was intriguing to see this from Chase's POV. House is selfish, commanding, perceptive, and insulting (aka business as usual), and yet, Chase senses something else, something new, deeper -- an attentive compassion.

    The multiple POVs of this story make a delicious case for that wise axiom, Show, don't tell :D
  • Everything fitting in three suitcases...I agree, that place does sound utterly depressing; it's a good thing House is moving Wilson out. I like House bulldozing through with his plan and Chase amusingly flummoxed and grousing.
  • Wow. This chapter effortlessly pulled me from depressed to laughing out loud in just a few dozen sentences. What does it say about Wilson that his supposed home is so barren? No wonder he moves in with the first woman who needs someone to drive her to the grocery store. No wonder he needs House at least as much as House needs him.

    And then that last exchange is totally awesome. Along with Chase, I can't wait to see Wilson's reaction to this, ahem, generous gesture.
  • House refuses to take no for an answer :-)
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