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Bad Company

Aftershocks 36.2: Counting Flowers on the Wall



Aftershocks 36.2: Counting Flowers on the Wall

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The Bound Man
TITLE: Aftershocks: A Story in Shattered Pieces
SUMMARY: Just one more thing that wasn't in Chase's job description.
CHARACTERS: Chase, Wilson
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.

Counting Flowers on the Wall

Wilson's been playing solitaire for three hours now, blankly staring at his laptop, moving his fingers, flipping the digital cards. His eyes are red and he's slouching as if he's worn out or in pain, but he seems not to want to sleep. Or talk. Or eat, which is ... probably to be expected, under the circumstances.

Not that Chase knows what, exactly, the circumstances are. He knows -- based purely upon physical evidence -- that Wilson punched House, but not why. He knows that House left, with what looked like a travel bag slung over his shoulder.  He doesn't know where House went or how long he'll be gone.

He doesn't know why Wilson won't talk and is instead staring with dead eyes at the computer screen. Solitaire. How appropriate.

"I need drugs."

"What?" It's not that Chase didn't hear him; it's just that it's the first thing Wilson's actually said to him in what feels like years. 

"Hurt m'self." He closes -- almost slams -- the laptop computer. "If 'm gonna sleep, I need oxy. Seven mil'grams."

Chase is going to remember this and he's going to tell House, just in case. Seven milligrams is a lot. Either Wilson really is in that much pain, or this has to do with whatever else is going on, and there's no way Chase is going to ask Wilson about that. The man's already hit House; Chase would prefer not to be next in line.

He brings the cup of ginger ale and lets Wilson measure the dose himself. It's closer to eight than seven, but Chase says nothing. He settles on the sofa, pretending to read that horrible book he brought with him. As soon as he leaves this place, he's going to throw it out; millions of happy readers can, in fact, all be wrong.

"Sorry," breathes Wilson, just before raising the cup to his lips.

"For ... being a jerk tonight, I presume?"

Wilson finishes his drink before he answers, "Yeah."

"Do I even want to know what's going on?"

"Doubt it."

"If you don't eat something, House will make me pay for it in blood."

"Provided I tell him." Wilson just looks tired now, exhausted, like a man who's been driving for eighteen hours and is still too far from home. "Sorry. This's not yer job, shouldn' be yer problem, but I din't know who else to call. Gimme an Ensure; I'll choke that down. Eat somethin' real in the morning."

The look on Wilson's face, and the fact that he's not getting out of bed to do things for himself, answers at least one of Chase's questions. The extra oxycodone was definitely necessary.    

House hadn't needed to tell Chase to sleep on the sofa. There's no way he would take the only other option, and lie down in House's bed. 

"I'll need a couple blankets," he says, and Wilson points to the hallway closet. 

"Pillows're in there too." 

"Thanks." Chase finds what he needs quite easily, and resists a vague temptation to do a little snooping while he's at it. He catches the thought and figures he's been working for House for too long. He's done far too much breaking, entering, and rooting through other people's stuff.

The one pillow he finds is lumpy and threadbare, but it'll do. It smells like the closet, like aged fabric and cedar. Through the open bedroom doorway he can see the big, soft feather pillows House has.  Chase could put a fresh case on one of those, but that would feel entirely too weird.  He remembers changing the linens on his mother's bed, after. The pillows had still held her scent for months and he never could figure out if it was a comfort or a horror. Eventually his father had thrown them away, and young Robert hadn't even known whether to be angry about it.

Carrying the old blankets (very old blankets; he notes that Wilson has all the best ones) to the sofa, Chase thinks about that and hopes that nothing's dying here, now. 

"You get my old bed tonight," says Wilson, the faintest smile forming at one corner of his mouth. "Trade ya. You take th' nice comfy hospital bed, an' the meds an' wires an' ... all the shit. I'll sleep onna sofa."

He's slurring a bit, the drugs and the exhaustion combining to soften all his edges.  

"Sorry," says Chase, "but I know a good deal when I've got one."

There's a faint sound of footsteps in the building's entry hall. Wilson looks at the door, eyes widening, freezing in place like a startled rabbit. The steps fade; it must have been one of the neighbors passing by.  Chase watches Wilson catch himself, pushing back whatever fear this is, making himself breathe again. This is new and it's troubling. Never before has Wilson seemed afraid for House to come home.

Not even wet and naked Carmen Electra. House's words come back to him like a shock wave; he'd been too puzzled to pay much attention at the time. Maybe it's not House that Wilson's afraid of. What the hell happened here?

Chase picks up his book again, wrinkling his nose at it as if it were day-old roadkill. Who needs The da Vinci Code when real life has become so insane? He throws it into the trash can by House's desk.

"Good call," mumbles Wilson. "Hated that book."

Chase doesn't reply, but he does go and re-check the lock and deadbolt, wondering all the while what it is, who it is, that he's trying to keep out.

  • Ooh. Spooky. I like. And I like the details in here, as always, grounding everything and heightening the horror because of it: Wilson's computer-bloodshot eyes (I think we can all identify), the smell of the pillow. The way the oxy blurs Wilson. Your collective Chase continues to be keenly observant and multifaceted; here I liked his mix of self-preservation, caring and protection. Also, the triple dig at The da Vinci Code made me snort.

    FYI, you've got a "rememebers" in there.

    Irrelevant, but my mom's band used to sing the title song, and it's running through my head now. It made me happy. :)
    • Thank you for catching what the spell check missed. We do appreciate it; you know we're quite particular about these things.

      We love that song too.
    • *hums some more*

      you know we're quite particular about these things. Ditto. We look out for each other like that. :)
    • Personal Request of one of The Followers..

      Would it be possible...do you think? Oh members of The Collective, would it be too much to ask, once this epic journey is done, would you mind posting authors by installment? It would be lovely to be able to see who...er...Oh, heck. I'll just SAY it! I wanna know who is most Evil. I mean Talented. Yeah. Thats it. Talented.

      • Re: Personal Request of one of The Followers..

        Nightdog is definitely the most Evil. Yes, with a capital "E." After all, she's the one who got Wilson so terribly hurt to begin with.

        As for me, I'm innocent. Really. What? Oh, shut up.

        We have always planned to reveal Who Wrote What at the end. :-)
  • i just wanna know whos at the door...
  • You guys are amazing--it seems like every time I decide to check for new installments in this series, you've produced one! How do you know?

    This series is love.. I want to know what happens, but I also want it to never end. Can't wait for the next one!
  • (Anonymous)
    Great new chapter! I like that Wilson had House call Chase because Chase 1) would come and 2) wouldn't ask questions.
    "The da Vinci Code". I couldn't bring myself to read it because the title along irritated me: his name wasn't da Vinci, it was Leonardo!
  • Damn this is so deliciously scary. You writers are just plain evil. Who the hell is at the door and where is House? Isn't House on the first floor? Suppose Martin tries to come through a window?

    I especially liked this part - Not even wet and naked Carmen Electra. House's words come back to him like a shock wave; he'd been too puzzled to pay much attention at the time. Maybe it's not House that Wilson's afraid of. What the hell happened here?
    • It was probably just one of the neighbors coming home. It's an apartment building, remember?
    • Hummmm. being House's Neighbor. THAT'S even more scary than this story!

    • This is totally off-topic...but I had a dream last night in which I woke up to find a black Friesian in my kitchen. Apparently, she was making a cup of tea.

      I didn't know that you even liked tea..and next time you come over in the middle of the night, at least clean up after you get done!

      • I had a dream last night in which I was eating french fries at a coffee bar (no, I don't understand either) with DIYSheep (who I've never met) and she was griping that they gave her mayonnaise instead of ketchup.

        It must be going around. Heh.
  • Glad to see Chase starting to come to some new concusions. Love how he observes and doesn't pry....
    ...I really want Chase to be the hero in this :)
  • Greetings!

    Thank'ee's for posting so early today! :-) Wish I'd thought to check.

    So... the tension continues. Wonder where House has wandered to. To put an end to this once and for all? Or merely to attempt to draw Martin's attention elsewhere?

  • I love confused and cautious Chase.
    I think the words 'poor Wilson' are becoming a bit redundant.
    I love that Wislon asked to trade the all his pain and junk for a night on the couch.

    More soon please.
  • Ooh, the Hanged Man. But what does it mean? *puts on conspiracy hat* We've already done the 'suspended time' thing, and Martin's kind of pushing things around too much for it to be standing still, and the only sacrifices I can think of have already occurred (Wilson for House, House's aloof shield to Wilson as he tries to atone for what happened). Chase may be dancing around the idea that there's much more going on than what his boss is telling him, but he's still very far from figuring out the whole picture, so so much for seeing things in a different light and coming to a realization... I can't think of any more meanings, at the moment. I'd think it was random, but nothing about this story has been so far, so I can't quite let it go. I'm probably missing something obvious, though. I usually am. *ponders*
  • Maybe it's not House that Wilson's afraid of

    Glad that Chase is perceptive enough to understand that.
    Also, Chase is my fav duckling in the show too, but I love how you write him. He is caring without being overwhelming, and he is smart and not intrusive.
  • It is always neat to see the situation through the eyes of someone who doesn't know what we know! Loved how Chase just accepted the weirdness of the situation, and how he misinterpreted Wilson's fear. But I also felt bad for him remembering the traumatic time with his mother :-(
  • . . . doesn't bother me at all. Smoking cigarettes and watching Captain Kangaroo . . .

    I'll vote for House plowing down Martin with his car . . .
  • Ok, so today I sat down and I read the WHOLE series so far in one go. My eyes kinda hurt and my brain and my heart. First of all Bad Company (which I read a while ago) was chilling, I'm pretty sure I already commented on that and THIS.
    There was me preparing for a angsty, h/c, put Wilson back togather fic and I got... it's like the House Motion Picture! It's fantastic! The characterisations are spot-on, you capture Foreman's awkward slightly unlikable stance, Chase's good-humouredness, House's insecurities and most of all make Wilson totally believable as someone who has suffered such trauma.
    I was, at several moments today, quite literally on the edge of my seat, biting my nails and shouting at the screen and then in tears. This is a masterpiece and (even if I do sound gushing) I'm in awe. Phew. I think I need to lie down!
  • Chase, protect Wilson!!! *gulps* You have me, literally, on the edge of my seat. And I'm glad someone other than me hated the Da Vinci Code, even if it's just fic!Chase. That book was hours of my life I will never get back, just to get to a twist that had been spoiled 100 times over by the time I read the damn thing, and was awfully Mary-Suish I must say :P

    *protects Chase and Wilson*
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