black_cigarette (black_cigarette) wrote,

Aftershocks 26.1: Water Flowing Underground

TITLE: Aftershocks: A Story in Shattered Pieces
SUMMARY: And you may ask yourself -- well ... how did I get here?
CHARACTERS: Wilson and House.
RATING: R for language and themes (gen fic).
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.

Water Flowing Underground

The call comes through at 11:20, only minutes after Wilson's started his audio book again. He’s been listening to it all morning but has to take frequent breaks to give his body a rest. Laughter is the best medicine, except when it’s jarring bones that haven’t quite healed.

He loves this book, though; so silly, so peaceful—three men and a dog going down a river. That it was written a hundred years ago and an ocean away does nothing at all to diminish its charm.

His listening has fallen back into the cadence of the British narrator, and it takes him a few minutes to even register the urgency in House’s voice coming out of the answering machine.

“…it. Pick up, Wilson! C’mon, c’mon, I need you to pick up.”

Anxious, angry—he can’t even parse everything that’s in that tone, but it speeds his heart rate up a notch. He pauses the audio book and then stretches quickly for the phone—his cell is right next to him, but House’s land line is on the other side of the bed—wincing when his back and collarbone protest.

“Don’t email me. We have to talk, now,” House barks. “Pick up, goddamn it!”

Wilson fumbles the receiver, and it slides into the sheets. Another twinge or two from his back as he twists, hand groping under the covers until he finds it. He’s breathing fast, from the exertion and discomfort and the stress in House’s voice, which echoes for a brief second, between the answering machine and phone: “Wilson!”

“’M here, damn it, here; keep your fuckin' shorts on!” He doesn’t like to curse usually, but fucking hell, why is House scaring him like this?

“What took you so long? Tending to Little Jimmy? You’d better not have touched my Buxom Babes; you’ve got to get your own subscription.”

Wilson sinks back into the bed and groans. “Puttin' it through the shredder soon as I hang up on you.”

“You wouldn’t,” House replies confidently. “The cover girl looks too much like Ex-Mrs. Wilson the First. She might want to put you through the shredder, but you couldn’t do it to her.”

“Didja have any reason for makin' me answer the phone? Or just trying to give me 'drenaline poisoning?” Wilson hits the handsfree button on the phone, drops it into his lap, and reaches for his water bottle.

“Oh, that.” House’s voice is a bit muffled; Wilson shifts his legs to turn the receiver the right way up. “I need your help. It’s urgent.”

Enjoying the cool water sloshing around his teeth, he lets House hang for a moment.

“Wilson?” House calls nervously, and Wilson swallows, then snorts. Let the bastard squirm for getting him so worked up.

Relenting, as always, he replies, “’M here. What’s so urgent?”

“I hate them. They’re idiots, and I hate them.”

Wilson begs the ceiling to give him forbearance. “S'not a crisis; it’s yer worldview. Been yer worldview for—forever, s'far as I know.”

“But, see, today, their idiocy and uselessness has reached an apex never before seen or even imagined, so I need you to take them off my hands before I kill them and wind up in prison. Who’d make your smoothies then?”


“See? See my point? I’m sending them over now. Keep them for at least four hours, and if you can teach them the difference between pulmonology and cardiology while they’re there, so much the better.”

“Who're you talking about? Med students? Thought you weren't allowed to talk to 'em any more.”

House snorts. “Med students. Good one. Hey!” His voice simultaneously rises in volume and becomes more distant; he’s obviously yelling at someone across the room. “Wilson thinks you’re acting like first-years, and I’m inclined to agree!”

There’s an indistinct rumble, and a sharp “Yeah?” from House and then a loud clunk. Wilson sighs and drinks more water. He doesn’t even bother trying to interpret the other indistinct sounds that periodically drift into his ear over the next few minutes, just looks longingly at the nice little speakers at his bedside and daydreams about floating down the river from his audio book.

He’s trailing a finger through a refreshingly cool current when House comes back on the line. “Foreman and Chase will be there in fifteen.”

“A'right,” Wilson replies, but House has already hung up the phone.

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