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black_cigarette

Aftershocks 32.1: The Power of Suggestion

TITLE: Aftershocks: A Story in Shattered Pieces
SUMMARY: Dancing to a tune he really hates.
CHARACTERS: House, Wilson, and OFC
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.
SPOILERS: No.
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.




The Power of Suggestion


Bastard, House thinks yet again as his fingers close around the folded paper in his jeans pocket. You goddamn manipulative bastard.

He watches as Tomlinson bends low over Wilson's immobilized left hand, the magnifying goggles on her face making her look like some kind of giant, inquisitive insect. She murmurs a request to Patel, who gives her a shining steel instrument with hooks at the end that wouldn't look out of place in a medieval torture chamber, and goes back to work.

Knew I wouldn't be able to stay away. Playing me like a fucking Stradivarius.

He'd had no intention of actually observing this procedure, of pulling a scrub tunic over his t-shirt, allowing a nurse to tie a sterile mask over his face. All that had changed the moment his goddamn stalker, the one who thinks this's such a fun game, had slipped Tomlinson's OR schedule into his jacket at the grocery store. And of course Wilson hadn't been expecting him to observe either, so he'd had to invent a quick story about seeing a write-up of a similar procedure in a back issue of the Indian Journal of Medical Research.

The operating room has that low-level hum of ambient noise that always accompanies non-emergency surgery; there's none of the controlled intensity of saving someone's life here, just the electronic stream of readouts and the usual muffled observations and small talk from behind cloth masks. This is a procedure that Tomlinson performs probably a dozen times a month -- removing some pins and plates, readjusting others, adding a screw here, cutting away the adhesions and scar tissue already developing around the damaged tendons and muscles. Completely routine. Except ...

Except Wilson is completely helpless. And while House knows Deborah Tomlinson, he's not so familiar with her Ortho surgical team. He allows his gaze to roam over each of them again.

Patel. Horowitz. Wade. Jacobsen. He knows them now; he's checked each of them out, looking for something, anything, that might have led Martin to them. Because this is Martin, and Martin can get to people.

He looks around again; there'd been a last-minute change this morning, a new guy from Princeton General named Gordon Pike. He'd already suited up by the time House had found him -- a tall, lanky guy with broad shoulders, and for just a moment House had thought ...

But he'd had brown eyes.

Wilson makes a low, breathy sound, and House's head snaps around, but it's nothing, nothing, and House swears at himself silently for being so damn paranoid. It's just that Wilson is helpless, half-naked and motionless on the table, his left wrist strapped down, an IV line keeping him in deep twilight sleep while the surgeons go about their work. House had watched as the regional anesthetic and the Versed took effect, as Wilson's eyes went all glassy and his muscles loose and relaxed.

"Almost done, Dr. House," Tomlinson murmurs, and House stares at her. "I don't think we'll need too many more surgeries -- Dr. Wilson is healing very nicely, considering the amount of damage that was done." She cocks her head, blows out a tiny puff of air as she examines her work. "It's quite terrifying, if you think about it, what a boot tread can do to the metacarpals."

Pike glances up. "Hiking boot?"

"Most likely." Tomlinson straightens for a moment, holds a miniscule screw up to the light. "Picked a lot of gritty particulate and dirt out of the patient's hand the night he came in." She shakes her head. "Savage, savage children."

You don't know the half of it.

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