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Bad Company

Aftershocks 19.2: John Hancock



Aftershocks 19.2: John Hancock

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TITLE: Aftershocks: A Story in Shattered Pieces
SUMMARY: "A" is for apple ...
CHARACTERS: Wilson, 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.
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.

John Hancock

Wilson holds the pen in his right hand with all the concentrated awkwardness of a five-year-old.

That's what the letters look like too—scrawled in rickety black lines across the notepad, a child's first effort at printing his name.

The ballpoint is thick and clumsy in his fingers; a cheap freebie from House's insurance agent, it's got tiny advertisements encased in clear plastic all around the barrel. Its thickness works in Wilson's favor—although his usual preference is for Cross pens, slender as an old-fashioned cigarette holder, this wider girth is easier for him to grasp.

He presses his tongue against his front teeth and tries again.

The crossbar at the top of the "J" is too short, the downstroke a wavering, palsied line. "M"s and "s"s are particularly hard; the "m"s either float off the rule or squish together at the bottom like an indented trident, and the "s"s look like some kind of tiny, malformed "j" in which the top stroke disappears into the lowering curve. The "n"s are fat. The "a"s all look like stunted crabapples turned on their sides. And the "w"s ...

A drop of moisture falls onto the pad and Wilson blows out a soft breath in disgust. He's sweating, just from the effort of trying to write his own goddamn name. And this is just printing. He's light years away from actually using cursive.

He looks back over his attempts. Every one is subtly different, the result of more pressure here, less there, a try for a stronger, more confident stroke.

Every one looks like it came from a different hand. With an angry grunt, he rips the paper from the notepad and crumples it into a ball.

Carpe fucking diem, House, he thinks bitterly. Won't be a better time for forging my name. Get it while the getting's good.

Wilson throws the wadded piece of paper across the room. It bounces off the wall and joins the other crumpled-up victims of his frustration on the floor, a collection that resembles small, jagged golf balls.

His broken collarbone registers its dissatisfaction and Wilson rocks for a moment on the hospital bed, making low keening sounds.

Useless fucking shit. Can't do anything ... good for nothing.

He feels the hot prick of tears behind his eyelids; his breath hitches in his throat and for a long moment all he can feel is the impotent fury of helplessness.

"God damn it," he mutters. He knows that when House gets home he'll simply glance at the paper balls, mute testimony to Wilson's failure, and leave them there without a word. In the morning they'll be gone, both of them pretending they never existed in the first place. And maybe that's for the best.

Wilson sighs and picks up the pen. Slowly, laboriously, he begins to trace out the letters of his name again.

J. a. m. e. s.

  • ; ____ ;

    After the cuteness of the last chapter, you smack us back into reality with this one. With nothing but letting Wilson simply write his name.

  • short and sad. :(
    "the impotent fury of helplessness" - wow. powerful description.
  • Lovely little segment, and a brilliant title! 'concentrated awkwardness' - now the big 'thing' is safely out the way, I have the feeling all these little things are going to rise up and swamp Wilson now. He's got so much anger just waiting to burst out.
    Thanks for posting early-ish with the last few sections - I get cranky having to wait a day and go to bed! (am on the British clock here . . )
  • This one small thing -- trying to write his name -- is a brilliant distillation of the frustration and anger that's surfacing now that he's feeling a little better (and a nice call-back to what caused all of this to happen).

  • Greetings!

    Don't give into the fear. It will happen, you can come back and make a life for yourself. It may, if you walk the road well enough, even have a strong resemblance to the life you had before. And even if you don't, and it doesn't, there will still be something. You are a healer; you are a teacher. Those won't change. To quote, 'Don't let the bastard win!'

    And on a lighter note... I'm glad I'm not the only one that had thoughts of Tritter - in my case, more of the 'he would be driven screaming up the wall' than 'House, go have a field day', but it comes to much the same thing in the end in this case. :lol

  • What pwcorgigirl said. The two most striking moments for me in this segment were the "impotent fury of helplessness" and "Carpe fucking diem, House, he thinks bitterly" (the paragraph before, I'd been thinking the same thing). What a way to come full circle, except not at all.
  • i'm *so* glad i already wrote my "wilson can't sign his name" part.
    if i hadn't, i would have been hard pressed to not copy yours.
    mine sucks in comparison, but this way it isn't plagerized.
    love how it got mushy last chapter, then went straight back to angst, then a bit mushy again at the end of this chapter.
    (trash cans beware, he's got a broken wrist)
  • This piece demonsrates that there is power in simplicity. I loved this especially Wilson about how ouse will respond to his "failures." Beautiful :)
  • I enjoyed every detail of the painstaking letter writing (calligrapher here -- I can appreciate his frustration so well!).

    This chapter filled me with such anger, as I'm sure it does Wilson. Every little thing is a long struggle, compared to the swift, callous, brutal way the thugs broke his hand.

    This long story has gotten under my skin to the point where I am imagining it as Season 4. The new one airing soon feels like a usurper...
  • Ouch. Brilliant. Been there (broke my arm in 3 places once), it's damn infuriating to be unable to write your own name. Poor Wilson.
  • Oh Wilson :( *hugs him* Things will get better! I has love for you <3
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