A/N: So this chapter takes just seconds before the last chapter, but in the point of view of Teller. I started this only 4 days after updating chapter 5, so now you can see how long it takes me to write a chapter. Thus, I continue torturing my favorite character, but hopefully not too much.
Disclaimer: Although I would love to, I do not own House, the character or the show. I do own Logan Burkes, Teller Frain, an angry oncology fellow, a bartender modeled after my older brother, a random receptionist, and Nurse Juny though! David Shore can't take them away from me!
"You know the rest, I gather." Teller could feel the anger nearly overwhelm him. He decided to quench it by throwing his victim down to the ground, hard. The guy, who Logan had earlier told him was named House, looked to be unconscious, his eyes closed as he remained where he had fallen into the snow. Only the shallow rise and fall of his chest gave notice to the fact that he was still alive.
Averting his gaze, Teller flipped open the old, bulky cell phone he used only for work and speed dialed number for Logan. The phone rang a few times and just as Teller thought it was about to go to voicemail, he heard Logan's voice.
"Logan," was the only greeting, the one that Teller knew he used when being called from a work phone. Everyone working under Logan had received just like it. It was one of those phones that could withstand being put through the digestive track of an elephant and still come out perfectly functional at the other end. Also, it was undetectable from all sorts of tracking devices.
"It's Teller." He and Logan were on a first name basis. The two had met at a computing conference in Delaware nearly a decade ago. Though Logan was a few years senior to Teller, the two had become quick friends and had started their own company, named Code-Frame, and hadn't looked back since.
"It's near ten, Teller. What the hell is the problem?" Logan had seen that Teller had called him using the work phone, and not his personal one, which meant business.
"Just come to the alley behind Office Eleven. I'll tell you when you get here." Teller was strict and succinct when talking into the phone, letting Logan know that he meant business.
"Normally I would question why."
"I'll tell you when you get here." Teller hung up his phone. He couldn't have a long and lengthy conversation when he didn't know for a fact that House was unconscious. He went over to the man and saw the cane that was located a few yards away, its shiny wood glistening even in the meager light.
Ignoring the cane, Teller leaned down and grasped House's jacket by the collar. The guy was dead weight, so Teller decided to just drag him through the snow until he was nearly at the street corner. He dropped House to the ground and looked around the corner. About 50 feet down the street, he heard a cab honk its horn in the parking lane of the bar and then watched it turn towards himself. Teller stayed where he was, looking casual. When he cab finally passed him, Teller paid no attention. But if he had looked up, he would have seen that the driver looked absolutely miffed.
Teller was getting cold from waiting outside in the chilly February air. He had left his jacket inside the office when he went to go look outside the window. In the heat of the moment, he hadn't felt cold, but now that he was just waiting, he could feel the icy breeze seeping through his thin shirt.
Teller went over to go check on House, to make sure he was still breathing. He wouldn't be in a good situation if Logan came and House was already dead. Something about Logan didn't like the idea of murder. Nonetheless, he needed to hear Logan's input first before he decided to do anything. He pulled out his iphone, his personal cell phone, and played a few games while he waited.
After waiting for another ten minutes or so, Teller looked up from his game and saw a large Chevy Escalade pulling over onto the street of the alley. He quickly moved over to make sure that his body would block Logan's view from the figure slumped behind him. He watched as Logan shut off the engine, opened the door and got out, shutting the door quietly behind him. He walked calmly over to Teller as if nothing was the matter. He was dressed casually in a pair of slacks and a winter jacket.
However, when he started to speak, his tone, though level, was filled with irritation. "What is it, Teller, that you couldn't tell me over the phone and made me get up off my $10,000 couch and come to this sh*tty dump?" Logan said when he was finally standing with Teller face-to-face. He didn't raise his voice, but he was annoyed.
Teller was wondering how to break the news of House. "Well, you know how I had the meeting with Crowley earlier."
"Did you really force me out here to come tell me how the meeting with Crowley went over?"
"Logan, right now, Crowley's the least of our problems. I think he's still up in the office trying to stop his nose from bleeding." Teller smiled a bit at that notion. "My bad."
Teller was considering just handling the situation on his own by now. However, he knee deep in this dilemma and would need his colleague's help if they were going to solve this problem. He paused, trying to think how to explain his current pickle to Logan.
"So, you dealt Crowley a new one. Whatever." Logan was completely oblivious to what he was to hear next.
"Remember that guy that you told me to trip earlier today?" Teller decided to try to break the news simply, but quickly, like pulling off a band-aid. But underneath that band-aid was left a nasty and festering wound.
"Yeah, House, diagnostician extraordinaire." Logan scoffed, attempting to mock Cuddy with the way she had described the man he had quickly come to loath. "What about him?"
That had grasped Logan's utmost attention. Even though they were along in a dark, concealed alley, he lowered his voice. "Where is 'here'?" he asked, tension marking his tone.
Teller moved off the side to reveal the unconscious man collapsed behind him.
"He's unconscious, beat up pretty badly too. I—"
"What happened? Does he know anything?"
"I was about to tell you, Logan. Just listen." Teller didn't back down from Logan. Even though his friend was the boss and image of the company, didn't mean that Teller didn't have equal say in its power.
"I am listening! Go ahead." Logan was fuming at this point but maintained his unconcerned disposition. He kept his gaze of House, noting the dried blood streaming down his forehead and awkward angle of his arm.
"Thanks. Well, I just finishing up with Crowley when I thought I heard something outside of the window. I ignored it the first time, but when I heard it a second time, I went to look. I saw nothing to the left, but when I looked to my right, I saw him tumbling down the staircase. He... uh..."
Teller wondered if he should tell Logan the entire story. His partner had often berated him on his quick temper and inability to focus without becoming angered.
"'He' what, Teller?" Logan was getting impatient at this point and his voice was rising. Teller decided it would be best just to tell him the entire story and deal with the consequences later.
"He was just lying there in the snow and I went down to find out some information. When he wouldn't let up, I kind of had to force it out of him." Teller was working around the point.
"What did you do?" Logan's finely set-up walls of indifference were starting to crumble as his worry and insecurity prevailed. He felt as if his world was falling down around him as Teller told him what had happened. He knew that House said anything, it could be his own personal downfall and the downfall of his company.
"Don't go assuming the worst, Logan. I just shook him up a little. He was already pretty beat up from falling down the staircase, anyway. I just had to... wake him up a little." That was the best explanation that Teller was going to give right now.
"Whatever, I don't really care. What did he say? What does he know?" This was Logan's biggest concern. He couldn't risk any information getting out into the open.
"He told me that all he heard my say was "Isn't going to like this' when I was talking to Crowley. I don't think he heard me say your name. He said he was looking for his dog."
"Teller, the man doesn't own a dog. The son of a bitch can't look after anything but himself. He made up a stupid lie and you believed him! He knows something, Teller. He knows something and it's YOUR GODDAMN FAULT!" Logan was yelling. A dog barked somewhere.
Teller felt his own temper bubbling up again at being reproached, but tried to keep his head level. "Don't go waking up the whole damn neighborhood, Logan."
Logan gritted his teeth, calming himself down. He walked over to House. "Here, give me a hand. Let's put him in the trunk."
"What are you planning to do with him?" asked Teller.
"Well we can't let him go, now can we? You saw to that." Logan said as he leaned down on one side of House to pick him up. "Are you going to help, or what?"
Teller looked from left to right as if to see if anyone was approaching. "Fine, I'm coming." He strode over to Logan, who already had an arm looped around House's armpit and leg. Teller went over to the other side and did the same.
As they attempted to lift House from the ground, the unconscious man groaned quietly. Teller nearly dropped him. "Maybe we should just leave him here," he said.
"Yeah, and wait for someone walking along the street to see him." Logan replied. "I know the perfect place to leave him and nobody will ever know what came of Dr. Gregory House." Logan started moving towards the SUV. "Hurry up."
The two were almost to the SUV when they saw a police motorcycle driving down the street towards them. Deciding it would be too conspicuous to put House in the trunk, Logan motioned his head to Teller to indicate to put House in the back seat of the Escalade.
But before they could open the door, the motorcycle pulled over and a policeman dismounted the motorcycle. Logan could see that the man was of average build and height, but couldn't distinguish any facial features between the dim lighting from the street lamps and the helmet that the policeman was wearing.
"I'm Officer Trent. Is a problem here? Does your friend need some help?" The officer indicated towards House. However, he didn't seem too concerned at this point.
Teller looked away while Logan spoke nonchalantly to the officer. "You see that bar about a block down?" Logan pointed to the place he was talking about. "Well, apparently, our friend here did too." The police chuckled a bit. "We just came to come pick him up and take him home when we saw him stumbling down the street. It was a SIGHT to see. But, what are friends for, anyway?"
"I guess so. You're sure your friend's okay, though?"
"Besides the massive hangover he'll have tomorrow morning, I'm pretty sure he'll be alright." Logan smiled at the officer and removed his hand from House's leg to shake the hand that was offered. .
"Will you please just lift his head up for a minute, boys?" Officer Trent asked.
"No problem," said Logan. He lifted House's head harshly for Officer Trent to see. House groaned at the sudden movement.
"How'd he get that nasty cut on his forehead," he indicated the two-inch long gash over House's left eye.
"No idea, officer. He was like that when I found him. He must have hit his head when he was stumbling out of the bar. He still has his wallet on him, so he wasn't mugged." Logan didn't even blink at any of the questions, but answered them clearly and thoroughly.
"Okay, then. Just make sure he gets home all right. He should have that checked out in the morning. You don't want it to get infected. You have a good night, boys."
"Thank you. And you too, sir." The policeman turned and walked back to his motorcycle. Once he was clear out of sight, Logan let out a sigh of relief.
"Open the backdoor, Teller, so we can get him in there," ordered Logan.
"You want to put him in the trunk? Don't you think it'd be better if—"
"Yeah, and if we see another cop, they'll question why we have a half-dead man in the back of our SUV. Nobody can see him if he's in the hatch. Just do what I say and shut up. If it weren't for you, we wouldn't be in this mess."
"Fine, okay, fine, Logan." The two men heaved House, none to gently, into the back of the SUV.
Once House was laid out onto the hard ground of the trunk, Logan shut the door to the SUV and wiped his hands off on his trousers. "His clothes were soaked," he said.
"Yeah, like I didn't notice," replied Teller. He watched Logan, who was very obviously thinking of something. "What is it, Logan?"
"I know where we're heading. We have to get rid of him. We can't afford any questions right now."
"Logan, we don't even know what he knows." Teller wasn't completely comfortable of the fact of purposely getting rid of House.' Sure, he had seen a lot of carnage in his days, especially due to his military background, but this felt much too personal.
"He knows more than he's telling you. We know he lied once. For all we know, he knows all about CottonWood. We can't take the chance."
"You're sure about that?" Teller was going to have to accept this whether he like it or not.
"I am." Logan smirked. Of course there were other ways. But this way, he'd never have to deal with House ever again. He would be free to do whatever he wanted. The minute that he had met House, he had felt very uneasy. Even before he had met House, and Lisa had talked about his latest antics, he hadn't liked the man. A small part of Logan understood that House intimidated him, though he would never admit it. He had never felt that way with anyone before. He had always been calm and collected and in control of everything and everyone around him.
Another thought passed through Logan's mind. "Strip him," he said to Teller.
"What?" replied Teller, not believing what Logan had just told him to do.
"It's a nice, cold evening, isn't it? The temperature's, what, twenty-five degrees with a wind-chill of fifteen?"
"Logan, that's just cr—"
"Was I asking for your opinion, Teller? And when have you had a problem with being cruel? If anything, it's quicker this way." Logan didn't wait for a reply and got into the driver's side of the car. Looking in his rearview mirror, he watched as Teller removed House's pants, shoes, jacket, and button-up shirt.
"Do you have his wallet and cell-phone?" asked Logan.
"I have his wallet from earlier and his cell-phone's in his pants' pocket. Also, I do know when we're going a bit too far." Teller said, annoyed. He looked over House, clad only in his T-shirt, boxers, and socks. His eyes settled on the deep, ugly, irritated scar on House's right thigh. Teller winced as he thought about the amount of pain that must leave the injured man with. He almost felt sympathetic for the guy.
"The man will be dead within twenty-four hours. What does it matter to you?" Logan scoffed. "Just get in the front seat. We're taking a drive."
"Okay, Logan. Give me a moment." Teller closed the door to the backseat and took his place in the front passenger. Logan didn't wait for him to put his seatbelt on before he started driving.
The car was silent. The only noises to be made were the occasional sounds of the car going over a bump or a slight revving of the engine when Logan hit the accelerator. Every once in awhile, they could hear House moaning in the backseat.
After driving for about twenty-five minutes, Logan was the first one to talk. "So what happened with Crowley?" He was trying to change the subject to something other than the unconscious man that was currently in the back seat.
Teller grumbled to relay his own annoyance regarding the situation of that particular computer tech. "He 'accidentally' released Kanga712, the idiot. Now it's floating rogue data somewhere in cyberspace where anyone could pick it up." Teller felt anger surging up in him once again. "Damn it!" he yelled, punching the dashboard.
"712?" replied Logan, still maintaining his collected manner. "I knew I should have gotten rid of him. If anyone finds that program... I'll kill him. We're not letting anything screw this up." He looked over to Teller, who was massaging his temples.
"But besides the problem with Crowley, how are the plans working out?" asked Logan.
"It was all going as planned. How did you think it would go? I set it up in the first place and I don't mess things up," replied Teller. "CottonWood's buying every idea I've thrown at them so far. That tester program you sent me, however, didn't go over so well in the run-through. It crashed about a third of the way in. If we don't get another code in soon, they'll track the old one. Today's Monday so I would say we've got at least until Friday until we have to input the new code."
"Hmm." Logan responded.
"I don't think your tester had too much wrong with it. It's just a small glitch. Our guys told us it would be an easy fix."
"Whatever," said Logan. He then looked, frowning, in the rearview mirror to glance at the loathed diagnostician.
All of a sudden, Logan took an exit to some town called Flemington, New Jersey. He drove about two miles until he pulled over on some small dirt road concealed by trees, putting the SUV into park.
"What are you doing, Logan?" asked Teller. Logan hadn't said regarding his current plans.
"Do you know how alcohol effects the body?" asked Logan. Teller knew Logan was onto something.
"Of course I do! Well, the obvious things," replied Teller.
"Did you know that it causes the body's temperature to drop?"
"I can't say that I did. But what are you planning on do—"
"And you also said that he hit his head pretty hard, right?"
"You saw the gash on his head."
"I have a bottle Ketel in the backseat. Go get it," demanded Logan. He pulled his cell phone out of his pocket, fully planning to disregard anything Teller said until he complied.
"Vodka? Logan, really?" Teller asked.
"Do you have your M9 on you?" Logan asked Teller. He was referring to the pistol that Teller had brought over after his work overseas.
Teller gave a look of surprise at the sudden change of topic, but after meeting the gaze of Logan, he checked his belt, where he usually held the holster for the gun. When he didn't feel it there, his heart sank, but then remembered. "It's back at the office. I didn't think I'd need it."
Though he had been trained to always keep his weapon on him, Teller didn't like keeping his gun on his belt. He felt it too much of a crutch, something he'd go to even when he didn't need. Too often he'd reach for it in any sort of crises and he would much rather think his way through a situation than have to rely on brute force or threats.
"Well, I'm not going to take any chances in this, Teller." Logan said strictly, but evenly, his hands clenching on the steering wheel. "Either you go pour alcohol down House's throat or we're going over to the State Game Park 56 in Pennsylvania. I have a hunting license over there. It's perfect and nobody will—no—nobody can—ever find out. I just thought you'd rather just leave him in the park then having to shoot him in the head, but it's your call."
Logan wanted to be absolutely sure that he would be rid of House, one way or another. Personally, he would rather not take a bullet to his head, but if that was what had to be done, then he would make sure it happened. Or rather, he would make sure that Teller committed the true crime.
Rolling his eyes, Teller got out of the car and went to back seat. Feeling around in the darkness, he found the bottle of alcohol that Logan had been referring to. Teller shook it and felt that it was about two-thirds of the way full. He called out to Logan. "I'll be back in a minute."
"I await your return," Logan deadpanned.
Teller shut the backseat door and walked around to the cargo area. Opening, it saw House laid out across the back. Teller sighed and hopped in. His back resting against the backseat, he pulled House, who was groaning, up into a sitting position.
Teller turned away to open the bottle of vodka, but when he did, House fell over again so his head was resting on Teller's shoulder. Teller pushed him the other way. With the bottle opened, he leaned House's head back and poured the alcohol. House sputtered a few times, but Teller massaged his throat, forcing the liquid down. After a few moments, though, he stopped, shaking his head. Instead, he leaned his own head back and took a few gulps himself.
Teller just sat there a moment, looking off into the woods, before getting up, closing the door, and went back to the front.
"There," he said. "Let's get moving."
Logan looked at the time and put the car back into drive. "We'll be there in about half an hour." Just then, the car binged and a little light popped up, indicating the low level of gasoline in the tank.
Logan sighed, but realized that they would never get where they needed going on an empty tank.
"I have to take a leak, anyway. We should at least get some snacks that would last us the way back too." Teller didn't just need to use the restroom, though. Even since he had been in the trunk with House, he hadn't felt right.
Logan pulled into the gas station by one of the pumps. "I'll fill it up. You go inside. I'll be there in minute." Teller got out of the car to go inside, while Logan looked over his shoulder, knowing what was beyond the backseat. He smirked. Before, heading outside, however, he leaned over into the backseat and pulled out a hat. He pulled it up and put it on.
Teller didn't need one, but being the face of the company, Logan didn't want his being seen by any security cameras at some gas station. After filling up the tank, he hopped back into car and pulled around to the side of the small building, out of line of sight.
Teller headed to the restroom first, where he went into a stall and emptied the contents of his stomach. He wasn't usually a queasy man, but with his current stress and the bumpy road trip, he wasn't able to hold it in for much longer. Flushing the toilet, he walked over to the sink, washed his hands and rinsed out his mouth.
Teller was looking for a coke in the drinks' aisle when he heard the bell of the door open. He saw Logan coming through, looking quite impatient. Quickly, Teller grabbed his beverage and bag of chips from the stand and joined Logan by the cashier.
"What's with the hat?" Teller asked.
"It's cold," Logan replied. As the two men waited for their items to be scanned, the bell from the door rang again.
"That'll be $72.40, including gas," said the cashier. Logan handed four twenties to the cashier, but he wouldn't take it. The man was too busy looking at something going on behind Logan and Teller's backs.
"What are you looking at," asked Logan, annoyed, as he turned around to see what the cashier had seen. But he didn't see anything but the few aisles of produce and packaged foods.
"Uh, nothing sir. Sorry." The cashier said. He quickly took the money and made change. When he handed it back to Logan, along with the receipt, again his attention was captured by something beyond just the current transaction. Logan didn't bother to look this time, however. He took his receipt and left, Teller following him, the bell from the door ringing in his wake.
"Have a good night!" said the cashier, halfheartedly, still trying to see what he had seen earlier disappear behind the coffee machine.
The two men walked briskly back to the car, Logan keeping his head low and turned away. Once inside the vehicle, Teller opened his coke while Logan put the SUV into gear and got back onto the Interstate. The rest of the car ride was spent in silence, with Teller eating his chips and Logan keeping his eyes of the road.
About half and hour later, after crossing the border from New Jersey into Pennsylvania, the headlights of the car lit up the sign stating, "State Game Park 56." Logan pulled into the connecting road. At this time of year, the game warden hadn't even bothered to put up the gate blocking the road.
Logan pulled to a stop at the side of the road, about two miles in. "Gun's in the backseat, underneath the seat. Go get it. I'm staying in the car."
"You're expecting me to—"
"Yes, Teller, I am."
"But I already—"
"Just shut up, already! I changed my mind and you're pulling the trigger whether you like it or not." Logan pulled his feet up to rest them on the steering wheel, closing his eyes.
Mumbling incoherently to himself, Teller met the chilly air as he stepped out from the car. He headed to backseat first. Just as Logan had said, in a leather case, there was a long hunting rifle, kept in pristine condition. Teller took it out of its case and made sure that it was loaded. He closed the trunk. Making his way over to the cargo door, he sighed and waited a moment before finally pulling it open. It was locked.
"Unlock the doors, Logan!" he called out. The locks unlatched and Teller tried again to pull the door open. He couldn't see anything through the darkness. Blinking his eyes, he tried to adjust them to the darkness. However, once they did, Teller wished they hadn't.
"Logan?" he questioned.
"What is it now, Teller? Just hurry up and get it over with." Logan was trying to sleep in the front seat of the car, as the clock was nearing midnight and they wouldn't be home for another two hours.
"Logan, He's gone."
A/N: I just love my cliffhangers. So what do you guys think about Logan and Teller? Please leave a review with your thoughts, ideas, constructive criticisms, worries, opinions, problems, or just to say hi! I'm open to everyone and everything!