black_cigarette (black_cigarette) wrote,

Aftershocks 19.2: John Hancock

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.


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