Title: Finding Bob
Rating: PG-13 (I'm pretty sure)
Prompt: Write a story that doesn't focus on one of the main characters - Prompt for the 3/9/08 Saturday Night Writing Challenge
Pairing: None (Well, not exactly…you'll see)
Summary: When Georgia said she wasn't likely to infect anyone, what did she mean?
Warning: I wrote it. I think by now, that should be warning enough.
Thanks: To jremme. I knew I wanted to write about Georgia, but not exactly what. Check out Team Fun Day for House's excursion and you'll see how I came up with this.
Georgia stepped carefully off the Daniels Street bus, clasping her purse close to her chest. Daniels Street wasn't exactly the friendliest of neighborhoods, and even though it was mid-day and full sunlight, she was still an elderly woman and felt she had every right to be a touch nervous. She looked carefully up and down the street, anxious to make sure she didn't see anything even resembling Mark's car. She shook her head at her own foolishness. Mark would never be in this neighborhood. She walked slowly to a bench at the bus stop and sat down, purse now clutched tightly in her lap. She opened it and withdrew a small slip of paper and squinted at the address she had written down.
1227 Daniels Street
Georgia checked the numbers on the coffee shop and book store behind her and nodded. She placed the slip of paper back in her purse and stood up. Despite her earlier reassurance to herself that Mark would never know where his mother was, she looked around for his car anyway. The coast was clear, and so she struck off to her left. It was a lovely autumn day, and she rather enjoyed her walk. That was, she enjoyed until she checked her watch. The return bus would come by the stop in only an hour and a half. She had no idea how long she would need at her destination, so she stepped up her pace as best she could.
She passed a tattoo studio and 1223 and then stopped. She could see the next storefront. It wasn't all flashing neon as she had expected. Although she supposed now, across the street from an H&R Block that discretion would be important for such an establishment. She took a deep, calming breath and pushed the door open.
Georgia's eyes widened like the proverbial kid in a candy shop. Her gaze flickered from one part of the store to the next. She had no idea there would be so …much! She hardly knew where to begin. She walked slowly towards a display that was set in the corner to her right and was almost there before she noticed the other clientele. She hadn't considered there would be other people in the store. Who would be in such a place in the middle of the day? She blushed and looked at the floor. She was here in the middle of the day. Maybe Dr. Bedroom Eyes had been right, and she really was brain damaged.
She steeled her nerves. She was already here, and the planning for this trip had taken nearly two weeks. As much as Mark whined and complained, he kept fairly close tabs on where she was and what she was doing. A repeat trip would be very unlikely. In any event, anyone who was here was hardly one to pass judgment on her.
Georgia shuffled a bit closer to the display and felt a blush creeping over her face. She placed a steadying hand on her chest. How on earth was she supposed to choose? Some of these, these were positively frightening. And they had the most awful names. Georgia shook her head; she most positively would not be buying anything called 'Thor'.
Instead she walked a little deeper into what she was sure Mark would have called a den of iniquity. She smiled a little as she thought that. Her son was something of a prude. Georgia found herself in front of a rack of …what on earth were these things? She shuddered and moved on quickly. Her husband would never have worn anything like those; the very idea made her feel somewhat guilty for even coming here.
She walked past several rows of DVDs and a display of novelty items that seemed to be designed mostly to embarrass someone else before she found something that might interest her. She looked carefully at several that were at eye level. But in all honestly, she just wasn't sure what she was looking for. She grasped her purse with both hands and looked around. There was no one else in the general area of the store she was in. She gingerly released her death grip on her purse and picked one from the display. She turned it over to read the back of the package.
Just the description made her breath hitch in a little quicker. Georgia replaced the first item she had picked up with a slightly sleeker model and read the back of that second package as well. Emboldened, she checked the packages of several types and became rather engrossed in the task at hand. Suddenly, her wrist watch beeped. Startled, Georgia dropped the package she had been reading on the floor. She clamped her free hand over her left wrist in an effort to muffle the beeping. Mark had given her this watch to help remind her about taking certain of her medications. This morning, she had reprogrammed the alarm to go off with enough warning so she wouldn't miss her bus home.
Her bus! When the beeping stopped, Georgia looked down in a panic at the blinking digital display. Her bus would be arriving in just twenty minutes and she hadn't yet made a decision. She bent over slowly to retrieve the package she had dropped on the floor, ever mindful of her back. She replaced it on the display rack and pursed her lips tightly. She had to make a decision, and quickly, but which one? Finally, she took down a purple colored package with a smallish palm tree logo and walked quickly toward the front of the store.
A young man was clerking at the register, and for a brief moment Georgia considered simply dropping her purchase on the nearest shelf and leaving empty handed. There was another woman at the register being waited on, and Georgia watched as the young man deftly scanned, bagged and accepted payment for the woman's DVDs, all without making any eye contact.
Feeling somewhat better, Georgia stood patiently in line behind the younger woman while the clerk made change. She barely noticed the two middle aged men who formed a line behind her to be served. She stepped up to the register and slid her purchase onto the counter. The young man, with barely a glance at her, picked up the package from the counter and proceeded to open it.
Before Georgia could even open her mouth to protest, the clerk was inserting a set of batteries. Georgia was mortified when the clerk pressed the button and the item began humming in varying octaves of sound as he checked each and every setting. One of the two men in line behind her cleared his throat, and Georgia flushed an even deeper shade of red. The clerk chanced to shoot her a quick glance.
"Sorry, ma'am, but we have to make sure it's in working order before you leave the store. Naturally, we have a no return policy on these things," the clerk mumbled.
"Of course, young man. I … I suppose that only makes sense," Georgia replied. She closed her eyes and waited patiently while she listened to him replace the item in the package and punch a few buttons on the cash register.
"That'll be $17.99, ma'am," the clerk said. Georgia fumbled in her purse to remove her wallet and handed the clerk a $20 bill. She accepted her change and dumped it unceremoniously into her purse, not even bothering to place the bills in her wallet and the coins in her change purse. She was dreadfully afraid she would miss her bus and more than ready to be out of the store.
Embarrassed and in a hurry, Georgia walked head down toward the exit. The jingle of the bell above the door should have been a clue to look out but she was simply too distracted. As a result, she barreled into the store's next customer.
"Hey, cripple here. You want to watch where you're…" the man began, but fell off speaking mid-sentence.
Georgia looked up into the most beautiful blue eyes; eyes that she had been picturing for weeks.
"Oh, Dr. House," she exclaimed. Suddenly, the embarrassment was gone and a Georgia smiled a coquettish little smile. "Fancy running into you here."
"Georgia," House replied. Unless she was very much mistaken, there was a twinkle of mischief in the young doctor's eyes. "Your son drive you here?"
"Oh no," she laughed. "Mark would be completely mortified if he knew I was here. You know, he thinks us little old ladies should just shrivel up and forget about living."
House nodded at her, glancing around the store. He looked back at Georgia and noticed the small black bag in her hand. "Whatcha got there?"
"This? Oh, this ….well, it's…uh. You know, I'm a bit too old to be dating, Dr. House. But even us little old ladies like to have a good time," Georgia winked.
House smirked. "So you picked yourself a BOB." Georgia made a confused face. "Battery Operated Boyfriend," he elaborated.
Georgia blushed appropriately and smiled at up House through lowered eyelids. "Well, while I'm sure that I could plenty of fun chatting with you, Dr. House, I'm about to miss my bus." House nodded. "Besides, Bob and I have a date this evening."
Georgia walked past him out the door and hurried off to meet her bus, leaving a smirking House behind.