I don’t own House or BTVS. No infringement is intended. Sadly, no profit will be made from this either.
Eyes blinking open in confusion, Cuddy didn't really know where she was at first. Then she remembered. She must have fallen asleep, exhausted after her crying jag. She wasn't exactly proud of letting herself slip at work, but however emotional drained it had left her, she was finally able to think clear again.
More than anything though, she was surprised by the intensity of her response to the, maybe not so, simple notion of supernatural happenings in her hospital. Then again, she hadn't allowed herself to ponder about those things for such a long time, that the sudden and completely unexpected reminder might just have been too much.
But she would handle it. She always had.
Getting up, her legs wobbly at first after being stuck in an uncomfortable position for some time, Cuddy quickly walked into her little bathroom to clean herself up.
She really, really
hoped that House was going to find evidence of a complication with the children they couldn't have picked up. Or even foul-play by somebody of her staff.
As long as it was man-made.
As long as there wasn't anything mystical or any non-human being involved.
Hell, she'd actually relieve House of some of his clinic hours if he did her that favour!
However, after allowing herself to believe in House's abilities to solve everything, she had to look back at the facts. There were too many unexplained deaths lately. They've done every possible test they could think of. And although they could say what hadn't killed the children, they couldn't say what had either.
Despite all her fears and aversion against the supernatural, she couldn't ignore this possibility.
If she was right and didn't do anything when she could, more children are most certainly going to die. And knowing she might have been able to do something about it, preventing more innocents from going down that road, would surely if slowly kill her.
If she was wrong, fine. She would have opened some old and very painful wounds. But she would survive. Like always. And maybe, just maybe
, it was time to get in contact with that part of her past once more.
No, she had no choice.
It had started off as an ordinary day in spring, she and her friends having enjoyed the first real warm day of the year. But when she had entered her house, she could immediately tell that something was off.
Closing her eyes for a brief moment, her mind immediately bombarded her with images from the past that she had buried for such a long time. Her parents were sitting in the living room and she was unable to identify the expression on their faces. Knowing she didn't do anything to get herself into trouble, Lisa was even more confused. Then she noticed a kind of uptight looking young man sitting opposite her parents. He wasn't really looking at anyone but was nervously cleaning his glasses while explaining how she was something called a Potential. The more he told them, the more dazed she became.
Her eyes became wider and wider with every minute he was going on about all the creatures of ones nightmares. How all of them – and more – were very real. Naturally, she didn't believed him at first. But then she looked at her parents and for the first time in her 14 years she saw real fear in their eyes.
They were her parents. They were supposed to protect her. To fight off any evil that might come her way. But now, somehow, they believed this Rupert Giles as he had introduced himself.
Still, that didn't mean she would too. But, nevertheless, she decided she would listen to him. For now.
Of course, then all the talk about how she needed to be trained in case she would be called started. Martial arts? Well, that sounded kind of cool, so she didn't object – despite still not believing him completely.
The first few months of her training were fun. She learned the basics of several martial arts and really enjoyed it. She even listened to Mr Giles' lectures about this vampire or that demon. But then summer fully kicked in. As did her hormones and her body was rapidly developing into something more resembling a young woman than a girl.
And then she madly, truly, deeply fell in love for the first time.
He was three years older and oh so much wiser and mature than the boys from her class. He took her to the park, to the cinema, to parties of his friends. Which meant her missing first one, then more and more lessons with the still way too uptight Mr Giles. The more Mr Giles pushed her to come to his lessons, the more time she spent with Jamal. This was the First Law of being a teenager after all.
It didn't help that her parents didn't really known what do to with their newfound knowledge of the actual nightlife and the possibility of their daughter becoming some sort of superhero to fight them – only to die a very premature death. So, intended or not, she suddenly found herself with much more freedom then before to do as she pleased.
Her parents barely questioned her coming back late, assuming she spent most of the time with Mr Giles. And she used every single bit of that to her advantage. She was a teenager, remember? Her lack of commitment never changed, even after Mr Giles complained to her parents about her fading discipline concerning the lessons. It seemed to, the by now 15 year old, Lisa that as long as her grades in school weren't suffering – which they weren't – she could basically do as she wanted.
Then her pregnancy test came back positive and her world literally shattered around her. From one second to another she went from a sophisticated young woman who would take on the world back to being just an average girl on the steps to womanhood. Back to the girl that she had been before puberty had kicked in full force. Before Mr Giles had appeared. Only now she was a hell of a lot more scared of her future. And it had nothing to do with an early death after becoming a mystical warrior.
For the first time in several month she actually wished for her mom to tuck her in at night again and kiss all the pain and fear away. Of course, that didn't happen. After a couple of days feeling miserable and sorry for herself, she finally confided in Mr Giles. In contrast to her parents, he actually asked what was wrong and after contemplating telling him, she finally just blurted it out.
After a bit, well, a lot of, stuttering on his side Mr Giles finally walked to her and embraced her in a comforting hug. As awkward as it was, it was all she needed to finally let the tears run free. Once she was cried out, for that time anyway, he convinced her to talk to her parents. And that she did. There were more tears and the distance that had been building in the last few month was too big to just disappear, but at least her parents tried to understand. And to help.
Jamal was just as shocked but didn't run away either, despite their relationship showing the first signs of cooling down already. They were both honest enough to admit that marriage wouldn't be the way to go. Despite everything else, they were simply too young. However, he promised to support any decision she would make. So, after long talks with her parents and also Mr Giles she decided to keep the baby. It would be hard, but they'd find a way to make everything work. She almost believed in it too.
She didn't known it then, but the Watchers' Council wasn't happy with her decision. At all. However, Mr Giles acted as a buffer between her and them, so she never really learned about that until much later. Therefore, at that time, she wasn't suspicious about the invitation for an afternoon tea with someone else from the Watchers' Council when Mr Giles had been conveniently called to London for an important meeting. She wasn't suspicious when afterwards she suddenly thought that giving her baby up for adoption was the best choice. She was only 15 after all. The plan she'd worked out with her parents that would allow her to finish her education while still caring for her baby was suddenly forgotten.
As her parents had always been a bit worried if they made the right choice, it was somewhat easier to accept the decision. Jamal was relieved as well, although he so far he had kept his promise and even came to the doctor's appointments with her. Mr Giles was probably the one most surprised by the turn of events. But as Lisa didn't even mention the meeting with another member of the Watchers' Council, he wasn't suspicious either.
She gave birth to her daughter on her 16th birthday. Glad the whole ordeal was over, she didn't even want to look at the baby. True, she was sad at first, but at the same time she felt strangely detached from everything.
For the next years, everything was fine and she barely thought of her baby. Within a couple of month after giving birth, she wasn't considered to be a Potential anymore and Mr Giles left. She finished school and went back on track to prepare for her dream. To prepare for becoming a doctor.
Then, one ordinary morning during her undergraduate time at the University of Michigan she woke up and suddenly everything was different.
She remembered her baby. The love she had started to feel for her while she was still growing insider her. The plans she had made with the help of her family and Mr Giles. Her will to see everything through, to become a good mom and still study medicine. Somehow she had known it would work out. She also clearly remembered the afternoon tea with an old guy from the Watchers' Council and how after that everything had suddenly become hazy.
In the short time she had been trained by Mr Giles she had learned enough to know that something wasn't right with that scenario. How else could you explain her sudden disinterest in her own baby? The very baby she had already loved very much at the point when she had changed all her plans? So, that ordinary morning in April she did the first thing coming to her mind. She went through her old stuff and, after finding what she was looking for, called Mr Giles.
He was just as shocked as she was and agreed to look into it.
For the next couple of days Lisa was an emotional wreck as more and more memories came back to her and she didn't know how to handle them. Finally, after three agonising days of missed classes, Mr Giles called her back. And confirmed her worst fears. The Watchers' Council had actually messed with her mind and basically stolen her child! At that point, Mr Giles told her about them wanting for her to have an abortion. And all just because there was a good chance for her to become the next Slayer. And they didn't want to risk her being distracted by something as unimportant as a baby.
Unfortunately, the fact that they had messed with her mind was all Mr Giles had been able to find out. But he promised to keep looking and contact her if he'd find anything else.
A few days after that phone call a letter arrived. Unbeknownst to her, Mr Giles had made a few pictures of her baby after it was brought into the nursery at the hospital. After hearing of the true reason for her to suggest an adoption, he had sent them to her. The letter also contained a short note in which he apologised for not having caught onto the Watcher's Council's doing at that time. Apart from his own phone number he had also included one of a psychologist in case Lisa wanted to talk to someone else. That person was aware of the creatures of the night, so Cuddy wouldn't have to hold anything back.
In the end, after a couple more days of misery, she took his advice and called Dr Mary-Ann Karuchi. It turned out she was a former Potential as well and was indeed able to help Cuddy to some degree. In fact, they became good friends over the years and had stayed in, if sporadic, contact.
Her thoughts coming back to the present, Cuddy found herself staring at the well-worn picture of a newborn, dark haired baby dressed in a pink onesie.
Gently stroking over the baby's cheek, an, judging by the signs of wornness, often repeated motion, Lisa Cuddy allowed a soft smile to play around her lips. Wiping away the single tear running down her own cheek, Cuddy put the picture in its sacred place and turned to her computer.
It was time to contact Mr Giles again. After not having called him for years, she wasn't sure his old phone number would still be working. Besides, in an attempt to forget everything, she had conveniently misplaced it. Yes, she still had it somewhere. She wouldn't be Lisa Cuddy if she hadn't. But in times of the internet a web-search might turn out to be much faster then her going through old boxes in her attic.
Inhaling deeply, Cuddy opened a web-search and typed 'Rupert Giles' and 'British Museum'. Moving the mouse over the search button, she closed her eyes. Taking a deep breath, she … didn't push it. Opening her eyes again, she looked at her rebellious index finger. Giving a nervous laugh at the badly shaking digit, she took another deep breath – and, through sheer willpower, pushed the button.
And came up with - nothing
. She couldn't believe it! True, there were a lot of hits, but they were old. No new contact information. As in nothing. Frustrated, Cuddy screamed. Short but effective. Then she tried again, interchanging the additional search criteria with anything she could think of. To no avail.
In the end she settled on emailing the current curator of The British Museum and asked if he had any new contact information. Next on her list was to call Mary-Ann Karuchi, something she hadn't done for almost a year. However, knowing that in her current state of mind this might end in even more tears, she'd have to wait until she was at home.
And the earlier she finished the ever-growing pile of files on her desk, the earlier she could go home and do just that. Willing herself to shove her thoughts and feelings in their clearly labelled and colour coded boxes, she went back to work.
In another part of the hospital Buffy closed her mobile after having talked to Giles about what she had learned earlier. He had promised to look into it, or rather have several research teams look for both the demon family Brenda belonged to and, more importantly, for demons that were known to feast on ill children.
Buffy was pissed. Really, really pissed.
Not only did they have a possible demon activity in this hospital, but this demon fed on children, something she was rather familiar with. When she had been but a little girl, her best friend and cousin Celia had to go to hospital – and never came back. Before she died, though, she told Buffy about the scary looking monster coming into her room at night, telling her how he was going to kill her.
As it had turned out, the monster didn't wait until the following night to haunt her cousin again but came while Buffy was still there. She had seen the terror appearing in Celia's eyes, had heard her pleading for Buffy to help her but Buffy couldn't do anything. She couldn't see
whoever was hurting her cousin! Buffy had desperately called for help as Celia had been screaming in agony but they never came. All Buffy could do was watch in horror as her cousin had lost the fight against the monster. And, when the doctors and nurses finally had come, it had been too late. Celia had been dead.
Buffy had told them about the monster, but they wouldn't believe her. Nobody had. Yet Buffy knew Celia hadn't been lying to her, she had felt
that something was really off. It had made her skin crawl and goose bumps had been running up and down her entire body.
And now, someone else – or maybe even the same, with demons you never knew – was doing it again. Killing ill children and the doctors couldn't do anything about it.
But, just like in Sunnydale, Buffy wasn't about to stand aside helplessly and watch as she had been forced with her cousin.
Once again, Buffy was going to fight back – and win.
The Slayer was coming out to play.
--A/N: A big, huge, honking THANK YOU to everyone who took the time to review. Each one of them is used to feed Muse. To make her strong enough to tackle the next chapter ;).
Tenses. Well. They are evil. Anyway, I'm not sure if I made a mess of them in the big part in italics. Stupid flashbacks and all. If that is the case, please tell me (with a few pointers) and I'll change it.