Self-Applications and Potential
by Krys and Aubrey
My parents don't think I try hard enough. They tell me I need to "apply myself" in school.
It's kind of funny how wrong they are.
I guess I might have been able to stop everything before it started (what else is there to think about when I'm lying awake at night?), but I'd missed my bus home and all my friends were long gone. I was sitting on the curb outside of school, fiddling with my emergencies-only cell phone and wondering what actually constitutes an emergency. And if I did make the call, which parent would leave work to pick me up?
The odds were stacked towards neither, so when I saw Him, I thought I'd found a savior. My English teacher caught my eye as He was walking out to His car, loaded down with homework to be graded that evening. After making some humorous comment or other about my misfortunes, He asked me how long I'd be stranded. When my answer proved to be a little worse than vague, He made an offer to drive me home. Favors are hard to come by these days, so I took Him up on it, despite my inward cringing at the loss of cool points (in a car with a teacher? Lame.).
It was a white Honda: a small, compact car, the kind you don't notice or wonder about, the kind that you never see pulled-over on the side of the road ahead of a police cruiser. In the autumn light the parking lot was beginning to seem gray as early as four-thirty; as I climbed into the passenger seat of His car, I wondered if He preferred the melancholy atmosphere--more conducive to studying, I suppose.
Speaking of schoolwork, it didn't take long for Him to get started on the subject of my miserable grades in His class. "I noticed that you haven't been trying very hard to improve your writing, Robert," He said, after I directed Him left at a traffic light. I only shrugged. "Maybe I'm not good at writing. Maybe it's the best I can do."
"No, no, I have a lot of faith in your--" He paused, paging through his mental thesaurus for a suitable word. "--potential. Yes, you have a lot of potential."
When I think about it, which is often, I sometimes wonder if He might have meant something more by that word. Perhaps he wanted to substitute in something stronger, or darker. Still, I guess "potential" is suggestive enough on its own.
I turned my head as we drove up to and passed the entrance to my neighborhood. "You missed my street."
"No, I saw it." I looked back as the side road disappeared around a bend and reiterated, "But you missed it." He didn't respond. Seemingly unperturbed, he drove a few blocks before turning onto a private road and pulling over in front of one of those fancy gated communities--I recognized it as the neighborhood that many of my peers lived in: the kind with humongous houses hidden behind sprawling lawns, fenced in by meticulously-clipped hedges. We might as well have been in an alley, for all the notice our vehicle would receive from the neighbors. "What are you doing?" I asked, watching Him unlatch His seatbelt, "I don't live here."
"You're becoming redundant," He answered, removing his wire-rimmed glasses and setting them on top of the dashboard, "Now sit still." I obeyed instinctively, trying to sort a meaning from His cyptic speech.
Before I could reach a conclusion, He had leaned across the small gap that separated our two seats to brush my shoulder with one hand as He grabbed my wrist with the other. I recoiled violently, sliding up towards the low ceiling. "What are you--"
"Sit still, Robert. This will be quick." His response was way too vague for me, and I unbuckled my seatbelt with my free hand (His grip on my other wrist was surprisingly strong), grabbing for the door handle. This did me little good--I assume He had the child-safety lock on. Ironic. He crawled over His seat, further onto mine, jerking my hand back towards Him, my elbow, shoulder, and neck following.
"Don't kiss me!" I blurted the first thing to come into my head, freaked out by His proximity. He chuckled, reassuring me with "Oh, I'm not going to kiss you." The way He said it sounded even worse, and I tried to push Him back, but He only grasped my hands and held both of them in one of His own, twisting them aside and out of the way as I struggled. Strangely, the most clear thing to me now is the feeling of His holding my wrists, and how small my hands were in comparison to His own; I must have looked so pathetic as He undid my fly. "What are you--" I repeated the question like a five-year-old. "What are you doing?" He looked up at me, and the eye contact was almost as painful as his grip on my hands. "Can you guess, Robert?"
I could. "Don't!" I ordered (begged), my voice wavering. "Don't, don't, don't--" He paid no attention to me as He pulled my jeans midway down my thighs and I was paralyzed anyway, except for the stupid way I was shaking and the irregular rise and fall of my chest. "You can't-- You shouldn't--"
He repositioned my hands, separating and pressing them against the seat on either side of me. He looked at me again, long enough to smirk and tell me to sit still, this won't take long. Then He was down and I could only see the graying hair on the back of His head.
I looked away, out the window. I wondered how the owners of the houses kept their hedges so neat, and then I closed my eyes and willed it to be over. My heart was racing and He was forcing Himself on me, He was making my body react in ways I couldn't control and I was moaning, making little gasping noises at the back of my throat and I couldn't stop it.
He didn't finish until after He'd made me come, sitting up and spitting my stolen DNA into a tissue. He dropped a couple of the sheets into my lap and waited to restart the car until I'd recovered enough to wipe myself off and zip my pants. My fingers were shaking too hard to fasten the button, so I gave up and left it. I tried to door again, but it was still locked. I don't know what I would've done if it wasn't--my head was spinning so rapidly I doubt I could have thrown myself out successfully.
I tried to say something--I'm not quite sure what, because my voice cracked and He cut me off with a sharp "Shut up."
His cold demeanor didn't last long. As He turned up onto my driveway, His headlights filling the expanse of my family's cream-colored, middle-class garage door, He glanced over at me and smiled. "I have to say, I think your writing has improved quite a bit. I really liked your essay."
I didn't answer, turning to try the door again. This time it opened, and I stumbled out, making a conscious effort to keep from collapsing. As I shut the door He was saying "I think it's definitely an A paper--I told you, Robert, you have potential" and He was driving away. I took shaky steps to the door, not really caring that I'd left my backpack in His car, or that the essay He was so proud of wasn't due for another two days.
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Legal Disclaimer: The authors published here make no claims on the ownership of Dr. Gregory House and the other fictional residents of Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital. Like the television show House (and quite possibly Dr. Wilson's pocket protector), they are the property of NBC/Universal, David Shore and undoubtedly other individuals of whom I am only peripherally aware. The fan fiction authors published here receive no monetary benefit from their work and intend no copyright infringement nor slight to the actual owners. We love the characters and we love the show, otherwise we wouldn't be here.