CHARACTERS: House, OMC
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.
SUMMARY: House tries to stop the inevitable.
DISCLAIMER: Don't own 'em. Never will.
NOTES: Takes place during Bad Company.
Main Entry: in·ter·reg·num
Inflected Form(s): plural -nums or in·ter·reg·na /-n&/
Etymology: Latin, from inter- + regnum reign -- more at REIGN
1 : the time during which a throne is vacant between two successive reigns or regimes
2 : a period during which the normal functions of government or control are suspended
3 : a lapse or pause in a continuous series
—from Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary
Interregnum Three: The Second Phone Call
"Call for you on two, Mr. Reno. A Dr. House. Says it's urgent."
Georgie Reno smiles inwardly. Yeah, he'll bet it's urgent. Sic Martin Grey on someone and it was always urgent.
Got this bastard by the short hairs now, he thinks. Teach him a lesson he'll never fucking forget.
"Thank you, Jennifer. I'll take the call."
"Very good, Mr. Reno."
There's a faint click as the connection is transferred, then the sound of a man's panting breath fills Georgie's left ear.
"Call him off, Reno."
"Dr. House," Georgie replies coldly. "I believe you owe me a great deal of money."
"And I'll pay! The race was fixed—you know it was, but I'll pay! Now call him off!"
"No," Georgie says calmly, and waits for the explosion. People always try to argue this point. Sure enough, Dr. House begins to shout.
"No? What do you mean, 'no'? There was no warning! If I'd known this would happen I would have paid! The man Martin has is innocent! He's my friend, but he knows nothing about this!"
Georgie tunes the doctor out for a moment as he looks over the documents he'll be faxing to St. Petersburg. He glances at his watch. Almost midnight—it should be close to 8 tomorrow morning there. More than enough time for his advance staff to put the final touches on the PowerPoint presentation to the clients on Monday. He notices a comma splice and pencils in a correction. Dr. House is still shouting at him; Georgie can hear the ambient noise of traffic in the background.
Pay phone, he thinks, trying to split his attention between the man yelling in his ear and the paperwork in front of him. Doesn't want this number on his cell or his landline. Smart. But not as smart as he thinks. He allows the doctor to rant for another minute, and when he finally speaks, his voice is hard and deliberate.
"Shut up," he says.
The doctor shuts up.
Georgie makes one more notation on the manila folder before him—Call Alexei 10:30 cnfrm dtls—and then devotes his full attention to Dr. Gregory House.
"Now listen to me. I don't interfere with Martin's work; he doesn't interfere with mine."
"Doctor. If you interrupt me again, I will hang up. I will hang up and I will call Martin, and when I talk to Martin, as civilized people talk to one another, I will instruct him to make sure your friend has been kicked in the head enough times that he is a goddamn fucking vegetable when he's released."
Georgie waits for a full beat; one, two, three. "Do we understand each other, Dr. House?"
There's a slow, trembling breath on the other end. Georgie knows this man isn't used to being on the receiving end of this kind of treatment.
"I'll take that as a yes," Georgie replies as he feels the satisfaction spread throughout his chest. Supercilious bastard. Took him down a peg at last.
"It's difficult these days to find contractors as precise and thorough as Martin Grey, Doctor. He is a professional and will finish the job he started. Do we still understand each other?"
Dr. House makes a muffled grunting sound; Georgie can tell he's just aching to say something but won't as long as his friend is in Martin's hands.
Martin's more than capable hands.
"The cash, Doctor."
"Yes," House whispers.
"Deliver it Monday, at oh-nine-thirty, sharp, to the woman behind the counter at the Francis Hopkinson Bakery at 76 Witherspoon Street in Princeton. Her name is Adele. Are you still with me?"
"Yes," the doctor whispers again, and his voice is exhausted, defeated.
"Excellent," Georgie says. He picks up his pencil again. "I'm glad we understand each other now. I'm sure you can appreciate I'd rather not have to do this again—experts like Mr. Grey command a high price, and it really does affect my cash flow."
Georgie is scanning the Russian partnership contract again, his quick businessman's mind already refocusing.
"Oh, and Dr. House? If you contact me again—you'll wish you hadn't."
Georgie Reno lays the phone quietly in its cradle.
"Jenny!" he calls. "Could you bring me another pot of coffee here? I've got to get these papers done."