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Bad Company

Aftershocks 28.2: Mangoes



Aftershocks 28.2: Mangoes

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TITLE: Aftershocks: A Story in Shattered Pieces
SUMMARY: Would someone please explain ...?
CHARACTERS: Wilson, House
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.


"Extra protein for your shake, Jimmy?" House snipes as he washes his blood off the half-peeled mango and then runs water over his cut forefinger. Wilson blinks silently at the red spirals that slip down the drain.

"Don't just stand there gawping, be useful. You want your damn smoothie, bring me the kit. That juice stings like a bitch." He's letting the blood drip into the sink, waiting.

The first aid box is in a convenient spot on the table near Wilson's bed. All his antibiotics and pain meds live in that box, so it's pretty crowded. He takes it carefully into the kitchen. House throws it onto the counter, rifles through it angrily and rips open a sterile gauze pad. He tries to tape that in place, but it's his right hand that's cut and he's having trouble unrolling the tape with only his left. He looks like he's ready to throw the tape and the knife and the offending mango against the wall. He snarls at Wilson's offer of help and proceeds to use his teeth to hold the end of the tape. Soon he manages a bandage that's functional, if sloppy, but he stands there leaning on the counter, staring sullenly downward instead of resuming the task at hand.

He has been behaving weirdly ever since he arrived with the mangoes, about an hour ago. The first hint had been the speed with which he'd shot through the door, yelling for Wilson. He had looked as if he thought the building was on fire. This is at least the second time he's seen that expression on House, in the last week or so, and it's getting worrying.

House hadn't been able to disguise the physical release, the tension falling from his shoulders when he spotted Wilson peering at him from the shadows of the hall. The signs of panic haven't returned, but House has been unusually snappy and he's barely been able to sit still. And now this. House has excellent dexterity. If he slices open his finger, it's not a matter of clumsiness. He's either in a lot of physical pain, or something else is very wrong; and it isn't pain. He hasn't taken any pills since he got home.

"Willya jus' tell me what th'problm is?" Wilson's too frustrated to work at enunciation. "An' I don' wanna hear 's'fine. Not. Even you're not's much of a jerk."

"You do know I can't save you," retorts House, bitterly. He's not looking up from the counter top.

Wilson's gaze travels quickly over House's face, and there's more information there than House probably means to give away.

"From?" he asks, although he's pretty sure he already knows.

"Anyone, you moron. Not when it counts; I can't save anyone. That's why I don't try. I never could -- I can't, and I hope you don't expect me to."

"Scarin' me now, House. S'riously." He puts his one good hand on his hip and tries to stare House down, but House still won't look at him. "Th' hell's gon' on? Tell me." He forces those words out very clearly, while fear winds like a cold snake around his ankles.

"Nothing," sighs House, quietly. "I just get -- it's nothing. You know I'm an ass." He rubs his forehead, looks up at Wilson, and the anger seems to have gone. He simply looks exhausted. He pushes himself away from the countertop and beckons with his hand. "Your strap's coming loose. C'mere."

He steps forward and House deftly begins to re-thread the sliding buckles of the sling. It isn't really necessary, but Wilson knows that's not the point. House's hand on his right shoulder, 'steadying' him, that's the point. He can feel a tremor in that hand, but he pretends that he doesn't notice. Instead, he files that information in a sheaf of mental notes he's been keeping, knowing that eventually he's going to make some sense of all this. And he's probably not going to like it -- but he'll deal with that then.
  • I couldn't stop gasping and tearing up as I read this chapter. Can't say anymore right - too hard
  • Dear House and Wilson:

    I have built a pillow fort. If you would like to take a break from this fic and sit in it with me, eating ice cream and drinking hot cocoa, you are welcome to. Afterwards, I'm going to curl into a ball and pretend that monsters can't pass through the magic pillow gate. Consider this an open invitation.


    ps: I will eventually have to send you back to finish the fic; though I want to keep you safe forever, I also need to know what happens.
    • Triedunture, if the boys don't take you up on that offer, can I come over instead?

      Actually ... can I come over even if they do?

      And can I bring Nightdog and Perspi and Deelaundry (and a whole lot more pillows, hot cocoa, and marshmallows? Because we need marshmallows, you know.)

      • Yes, please do! After writing all this dark material, I can only assume you all stare at your ceilings at night, wide-eyed and bloodshot. Or perhaps suck on your thumbs. I sure would!

        *dumps marshmallows in cocoa* Huddle on in. It's a roomy fort.
      • Heh. Our dirty little secret is that we're all actually rather happy and, with the notable exception of one of us who's naturally an insomniac, we sleep quite well at night.

        And being generally happy and congenial types, we do love our hot cocoa and marshmallows and fluffy pillow forts, oh yes we do.

        *imagines picking pillow fight with Wilson*

        *grins like an idiot*
      • And three-month-old baby girls are natural cuddle and smile machines. Helps immensely with the whole evil thing. *g*
    • (Anonymous)
      I have no writing talent, but may I join you in the pillow fort too? I'm going away for a week, you see, and will be imagining all kinds of horrible things in this ficverse until I can get back and read the new postings.
      black cigarette, is this going to be a deathfic? I don't mean Martin, since he clearly isn't human. I mean is House or Wilson going to die? I don't like bugging for spoilers but seriously, that's something that certain readers like myself need to know.
  • I think I'm going to break if the tension builds much more.

    "You do know I can't save you," retorts House, bitterly. That nearly killed me.

    Another amazing, excellent, superb, [infinite praises] segment.
  • Greetings!

    "Anyone, you moron. Not when it counts; I can't save anyone. That's why I don't try. I never could -- I can't, and I hope you don't expect me to."

    Actually, you can, House. It merely involves crossing certain lines, but then again, you've told your ducklings you've already been there and done that. This wouldn't be that different. The 'only' scary thing is that to make it work, you'd have to let the bastard into your homespace. Otherwise, as my dear b-i-l loves to remind folk, it doesn't count as self-defense.

    Or, less loud, but also less justifiable (if caught), invite him in and share a cup. Surely w/all your esoteric knowledge you can divine a potion or two.

    (Goodness, but aren't we all being just the most bloodthirsty bunch tonight? Y'all bring out the interesting sides in your readers, that's for sure! :lol)

  • I'm so conflicted right now.
    I want House to tell Wilson what's going on - he has the right to know, so he can be warier - but at the same time I don't want that, because I'm so worried that Wilson would take it very badly...
    The only thing I'm not conflicted about is that I want to kidnap both of them, putting them in that fluffy pillow fort above, or in a happy sunny island, while I take care of Martin.
    *does killer eyes*

    You can tell that I'm so addicted to this...
    Another couple of great chapters, thank you.
  • eek!


    I don't know anyone that well *waves nonetheless, cheers everyone* but I do have a pillow and I do feel like hiding under it right now . . . but from WHAT? I don't know what's coming! Or I have an idea and don't want to believe it, either way, pillows are nice. Right?
  • In the next installment of Aftershocks: Martin gets hit by a bus and House and Wilson live happily ever after!

  • Does he not realize that just by *being* there he's 'saving' Wilson. I doubt he'd be alive now if it weren't for House's brand of caring.

    Loved the comment about House's ability with a knife. A sideways way to show something's wrong, which really makes you have to think about the words you guys write, as usual.

  • There is something particularly eerie about House's inadvertent assertion You do know I can't save you, and Wilson's silent he's pretty sure he already knows [what from].

    The situation does seem awfully hopeless; but I can't stop hoping that House and/or Wilson will use every ounce of viciousness and manipulation they have in them to fight this monster (in spite of Nietzsche's warning "Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster...")
  • Oh, Wilson. You already know since you've noticed all of the clues - House's entrance, his body language, his failure to take any pills, his nervousness with the knife, his need to remind himself by physical contact that you're still here with him. You just don't want to believe. Not that I blame you...
    • Well, but House being weird, mercurial, fearful, snappish, angry, depressed -- that's House, and who's to say it's not just accumulated stress, finding its way to the surface?

      Wilson's having enough nightmares, and at this point, he just couldn't let himself add to them. I do think you're right, though; he may not know precisely what is wrong, but he certainly knows something is.
  • Nooo... Talk to him, House... Then you can fight him together. And tell Foreman, so he can kick Martin's ass.
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