Disclaimer: I still don't own the characters from either canon, or the mythos, or anything, really.
Author's Note: I'm somewhat blocked, so this was a hard chapter to write. Thanks to everyone who reviewed the last chapter. You guys are the reasons I'm trying so hard to write this one.
Buffy stared out the window, looking down at the world below. Everything looked so small, a mesh of land and water and colors that probably had meaning, despite their blob-like appearance from this height. There were little people down there, little cars driving on little streets. Little vampires sitting in their little lairs.
"No," Buffy said sternly under her breath. She wasn't going to think about vampires. That's what had gotten her into trouble. Before becoming the slayer, she'd had a mother, a father, and a closet full of shoes. Now, she had nothing except the clothes on her back, a window seat on an airplane, and a sister she'd never even met. Talk about unfair trades.
"No what?" Cameron asked softly, her eyes sympathetic.
"No...ummm... polyester." Buffy improvised. "Because, big with the yuck there. Fashion evilness. Not that I think there's evilness, you know, cause that might be kind of..." Buffy gave Cameron her best "sane" look. "...crazy."
"Buffy, your problems, what you've been through, it's nothing to be ashamed of." Cameron's voice was soft and gentle, equal parts passion and compassion. "What those doctors were doing to you was wrong, but it's okay now. You don't need to be afraid of needing help."
"No help needage here," Buffy said quickly. She shrewdly zeroed in on the best way to pull on Cameron's heartstrings. "I was just mad at my parents, you know, for lying to me all those years. They never told me about..." Buffy met Cameron's eyes. "About you, or my real mom, or anything. So I made some weird stuff up, convinced them I believed it... I thought that if they thought I was sick, they'd, you know..."
"Reconciliate to help you heal," Cameron said.
Buffy nodded. "Exactly. Only they didn't. Mom bolted, and Dad shoved me in the hospital, and now he's doing the secretary thing- literally- in Spain, and I tried to tell the doctors I was okay, but they kept giving me all of these..."
Buffy nodded. "I couldn't think. I couldn't even move. And the longer I was in there and the more drugs they gave me, the crazier I started to feel."
The brutal irony of Buffy's story was not lost on her sister. "Buffy, I promise you, nothing like that will happen ever again. You've been through a lot. You've lost a lot. I just think it might be a good idea for you to talk to someone about it."
Buffy decided that was the best offer she was going to get. "Can this someone be attractive and male?"
Cameron laughed, completely taken off guard, and she gave her sister a true smile. "I'll see what I can do."
"What are you doing?" Wilson's voice was laced with suspicion, and he didn't bother to hide it.
"Going through Cameron's locker," House answered, completely unabashed.
"You do realize that that's a horrible violation of her privacy," Wilson said.
House nodded. "Next, I'm planning on installing cameras in her bedroom and stealing the contents of her underwear drawer. It's sick, really."
Wilson remained unaffected by House's sarcasm. "What are you really doing going through her locker?"
"Cameron left," House said. "Without even telling me. Strange, don't you think?"
House closed the locker. His search had yielded absolutely nothing. "And then there's Chase."
"Ahhhhh," Wilson said. "Your staff has suddenly developed lives outside of this hospital, and you can't stand it. You know, House, maybe instead of investigating their lives, you should work on getting one of your own." Wilson paused, considering the futility of his words. "Just a thought."
"Right," House said. "A life. I'll get on that right after I train my legion of domesticated penguins to ice dance."
"Domesticated penguins?" Wilson repeated incredulously.
House didn't bat an eye. "I really think we have a chance at the gold."
"This thing with Cameron really is getting to you, isn't it?" Wilson couldn't think of any other reason for such a heavy dose of ridiculous sarcasm.
"It's a puzzle," House declared. "One that- most unfortunately- won't be solved by a foray into her lingerie drawer."
"House, what are you doing?" Cuddy entered the room and eyed the two doctors suspiciously.
"Talking about your unmentionables," House answered without missing a beat. "Gee is my face red."
"I want you to leave Cameron alone, House. If she wants to tell you about Buffy, she will."
"Ah-ha!" House said. "So there is a Buffy."
Wilson looked from House to Cuddy and then back again. "What's a Buffy?"
Chase couldn't figure out quite where he'd gone wrong, but at this point, one thing was abundantly clear. His sister was here, and she wasn't planning on leaving. Somehow, he doubted that her propensity for temper tantrums had decreased with age, and- quite frankly- she scared the crap out of him.
He braced himself and then knocked on "her" door. There was no answer. He knocked again. Still no answer. He opened the door and poked his head in.
Cordy, sitting in the middle of an obscene amount of clothing, narrowed her eyes at him. "Don't you ever knock?"
Cordelia tossed her hair over her shoulder and went back to ignoring Chase. After all, he'd done the same to her for most of their lives.
"We need to talk about this, Cordy," Chase said.
"No we don't, Bobby. I need to locate the nearest mall, and you need to go back to work so you can suck up to your stumpy little boss."
Stumpy? House? Chase couldn't get over his sister's complete lack of tact. "He's not stumpy." Chase couldn't believe he was defending House's unstumpiness. What sort of cruel twilight zone was this?
"I don't care if he's the Mayor of Not-Stumpyville," Cordelia said. "He's an ass."
Chase couldn't argue with that logic.
"And," Cordelia added, just to get a rise out of her brother, "he really likes looking at mine." And with those words, Cordelia turned back to look at her clothes and refused to acknowledge her brother's presence again. Sooner or later, Robert Chase was going to regret the way he'd treated her. Given his newly developed facial tick, Cordelia was betting with no little satisfaction on sooner.
"One jello for you. One jello for me. Two jello for you. Two jello for me." Xander grinned.
"That's a lot of jello," Willow observed.
"A lot and a half," Xander replied, tweaking her red hair as he finished distributing the jello. "And what do they say about jello?"
"That it's...ummm... jello-y?"
Foreman caught the end of that conversation, and he wasn't exactly sure what to make of it. He was, however, somewhat alarmed at the vast amount of blue jello cups in the room. That had to be some kind of health hazard.
"Hello," he said. "I'm Dr. Foreman, and I'll be working on your case, Miss Rosenberg. We're going to need to run a few standard tests..."
Willow nibbled on her bottom lip, suddenly nervous. "Will there be needles?" she squeaked.
Willow squeaked again- wordlessly this time- and without warning, her hair began to conduct so much static that it stood on end, and every single jello cup in the room exploded- all over Foreman.
For a moment, there was shocked silence. And then Xander turned to Willow, who'd gone very pale. "Correction, Will," he said. "Now that's
House leaned back in his chair and tossed a ball up in the air, catching it an instant later with the same hand. He'd done some digging and discovered exactly who Buffy Summers was. She was Allison Cameron's illegitimate little sister. And she was- according to the files he'd nefariously acquired from Los Angeles- more than a little off her rocker. And Cameron- naive, optimistic, sappy Cameron- had taken it upon herself to single handedly save her sister from the world.
If there was one thing House knew besides medicine, it was his team. He knew how their minds worked. He knew how to push their buttons, and he knew that Cameron had an undying need to fix things- and worse yet- people. This Buffy situation was practically the Allison Cameron version of Christmas.
House was broken away from his thoughts when his one remaining minion returned to the room, completely covered in an unidentifiable blue substance.
"Ho-ho-ho," House said, his mind still on the Christmas metaphor. "I must have been a very good boy this year, because this is just what I've always wanted."
"House," Foreman bit out, but House continued on.
"Those credit card commercials are right. There are some things that money just can't buy."
House paused and arched an eyebrow, allowing Foreman time to speak. Foreman gave him a rundown on Willow's condition- excluding the part about the jello.
"Okay then," House said.
"That's it?" Foreman asked.
House nodded. "Yes. And Foreman?"
Foreman looked back at House.
"Blue really is
TBC...up next, we flash forward a day- Willow's case is still a mystery, Chase and Cameron come back to the hospital, and the Scoobies all meet up for the first time...