The interpretation of experimental and numerical data describing off-equilibrium aging dynamics crucially depends on the connection between spontaneous and induced fluctuations. The hypothesis that linear response fluctuations are statistically subordinated to irreversible outbursts of energy, so-called quakes, leads to predictions for averages and fluctuations spectra of physical observables in reasonable agreement with experimental results [see e.g. Sibani et al., Phys. Rev. B74:224407, 2006]. Using simulational data from a simple but representative Ising model with plaquette interactions, direct statistical evidence supporting the hypothesis is presented and discussed in this work. A strict temporal correlation between quakes and intermittent magnetization fluctuations is demonstrated. The external magnetic field is shown to bias the pre-existent intermittent tails of the magnetic fluctuation distribution, with little or no effect on the Gaussian part of the latter. Its impact on energy fluctuations is shown to be negligible. Linear response is thus controlled by the quakes and inherits their temporal statistics. These findings provide a theoretical basis for analyzing intermittent linear response data from aging system in the same way as thermal energy fluctuations, which are far more difficult to measure.