I don’t own House or BTVS. No infringement is intended. Sadly, no profit will be made from this either.
Receiving no answer from the perplexed demon, Buffy put on her best pout. "Now that is downright rude. Ignoring me like that and all."
The demon just shook his head to, Buffy guessed, clear his mind. If it possessed something like that in the first place.
"Interesting, uhm, tentacle thingies you've got there," Buffy tried again. "Still, a cosmetic correction might be of the good." Casually walking over to the bed, she pretended to study the tentacles more closely, giving the occasional nod. However, Buffy was taking in the position of them, the best way of severing them from the demons neck and how to keep the boy as safe as possible at the same time.
The demon, confusion still clearly written all over its face, finally found his voice again. "You shouldn't see me, human filth."
"Trust me, I'd love
you to be of the unseeable kind," Buffy snorted, her hands waving in the demon's general direction. "Spandex and all."
Raising to his full height, that happened to be a good two foot taller than Buffy, he – at least Buffy was pretty sure it was the male of the species – released the boy and let his tentacles hover just in front of Buffy.
Grunting, the demon grinned evilly. "Prepare to die."
Rolling her eyes, Buffy rested her hands on her hips and looked at the spandex-clad demon in annoyance. "You know, I'm so sick of promises of the empty variety. You lot always tell me that and what happens? I'm the one left with the messy clean up while you enjoy your deadness."
Chuckling, or rather that's what Buffy figured he was doing, the demon moved ever closer. Well, at least his tentacles did. "And who are you, little, annoying human child?"
"Hey! I. Am. Not. A. Child!" Buffy replied more than annoyed. Grumbling more to herself than anyone else, she added, "Just 'cause I'm a teeny, tiny bit shorter than the average person doesn't mean I'm still a child."
Laughing that nerve-grading laugh again, the demon just shrugged. "Doesn't matter once you're dead, does it?"
Tapping her chin as if in deep thought, Buffy slowly shook her head. "Don't know. I seem to come back from death no matter what."
"Who are you?" The demon asked again. This time, a deep frown was appearing on its forehead.
"Who? Little 'ol me?" Buffy asked innocently, pointing at herself. "Nothing special, you know. Just your standard prosecutor, judge and executioner in one type of person."
At the puzzled look on the demon's face, Buffy rolled her eyes again. It was really only half as much fun if she had to explain almost everything she said! Casually taking the Scythe from her back, she added, "Or, if you're more into name appendages – I mean, you obviously like appendages, tentacles and all – I'm The Slayer. As in the original Chosen One."
Using the shock that seemed her little revelation to have caused in the demon, she sidestepped him, swung the Scythe and severed the demon's two left tentacles right at their base.
Now that was easy.
Turning to face her again, the demon roared in anger. Or pain. Well, probably both. Suddenly, mid-howl, he lunged forward, hurling both of them into the far wall.
It had been too easy, of course.
Quickly entangling herself from the demon, Buffy swung the Scythe again, but this time missed the attached end of the tentacle due to his movement, only cutting off half of it. The demon roared once more, then grinned as the tentacle re-grew itself.
Then the demon lashed out with its remaining two tentacles and Buffy didn't have any more time to think.
Several bruises, cuts and almost – hopefully – broken bones later, Buffy leaned against the wall, slowly letting herself sink down onto the floor. Eyeing the damage to the room – all furniture but the bed were dented in some way or other – Buffy sighed. And wondered what explanation the hospital might come up with for the all but totalled room. Thankfully Willow had come up with a little something that would protect anything within close proximity from fast moving objects. Hence the still intact bed. Plus occupant.
Buffy shook her head at the room again – with cut-off pieces of dead Spandex Demon everywhere – before speaking up quietly. "Fancy another room?"
Eyes open impossible wide, the small boy huddled under the bed finally started to slowly nod his head.
"Good! Good." Looking at the demon goo not only all over the room but also over herself, Buffy's eyes eventually settled on the little boy. "Cause this room clearly needs some redecorating and I'm so wearing the wrong clothes for that."
The boy tilted his head and smiled weakly at Buffy. Despite everything he had just witnessed, he slowly reached his hand into Buffy's direction. Carefully touching her hand, he quickly moved his hand back as soon as it made contact. "You're real," he whispered in awe. He knew it! His big sister had been lying. Superheroes were real and not just dumb stories!
"Yep. I'm real 'ol me." Buffy stretched out her legs in front of her, careful as if not to startle the boy. "Think you can tell me your name?"
Nodding, the boy carefully skirted a little closer. "Billy."
"So, Billy, want me to find a room for you, then come back to get you?"
Eyes opening in pure terror, Billy vigorously shook his head. The monster was still here! In pieces, but still here! What if it could put itself together again?
"Or do you wanna come looking with me?"
Quickly coming out from under the bed Billy all but attached himself to Buffy. Gently stroking his back, Buffy said, "Guess that's a big yes to the second option, huh?"
Seeing Billy nod, Buffy looked him over once again. Somehow through all the chaos his IV-line had managed to survive and was still where it was supposed to be. Other than that, Billy wasn't connected to anything and he didn't seem to be in much pain either. Besides, going by the information Giles had given her, the demon thingy was after kids already well on their way to recovery, not the still critical injured ones.
Telling the boy to stay where he was, she quickly went through the room to collect all his personal belongings, medical record and such things. Somehow all of them had managed to stay goo-free. Mostly. Which, considering there were either put away in drawers and wardrobes or on the protected bed, wasn't all that surprising. Once everything was in the pillow case that served as a make-shift bag, Buffy crouched down in front of Billy again.
"How 'bout a little game?" Buffy asked with twinkling eyes. Receiving an interested look, she added, "Think we can sneak out of here and get into another room without anyone noticing?"
"Uh huh." Grabbing Buffy's hand trustfully, Billy got onto his still shaky legs.
It had been close. Several times. But in the end they made it. There was an empty room on the opposite side of the corridor and after putting Billy to bed, Buffy also arranged his things exactly the way they had been in the other room. Glancing at her watch she realised that less than an hour had passed since she had entered Billy's former room. It felt like at least twelve.
Sighing, she slumped onto the chair next to Billy's new bed. "Feeling better?"
Billy nodded. And yawned widely.
Seeing his eyes drop for the umpteenth time, Buffy smiled. "Sleepy?"
Eyes wide open again, Billy vigorously shook his head. And grabbed Buffy's hand again.
Climbing onto the bed next to him, she hugged him close. "Shh. The baddie's all gone now. He won't be coming back."
"Promise?" Billy whispered, snuggling even closer. She was warm. And soft. And Superwoman. He wasn't going to let her go soon. Or ever.
"Yep." Buffy nodded while drawing soothing circles on his arm. Kissing the top of his head, she added, "Now go back to sleep. I'll stick around for a while, okay?"
Nodding, Billy etched another tenth of an inch closer before finally succumbing to much needed sleep.
Killing her alarm clock, again, Buffy groaned at the morning sun cheerfully shining into her room. She felt like she only went to bed an hour ago.
When it had clearly been three. And a half.
Closing her eyes once more, she blindly made her way into the bathroom for a long and hot shower. And to have another look a the damage the demon did last night.
Black and swollen eye down to a make-up coverable bruise? Check.
Small cut at hairline closed and hair-do coverable? Check.
Badly split lip healed or make-up coverable? Fail.
Badly split lip healed enough for plausible, non-violent explanation? Fai-. Screw that. Check. She'd think of something. Anything.
Bruised rips healed to a non work-impairing level? Right – check. Left – check. If barely.
Open knuckles healed up to a believable I'm a little clumsy level? Check.
Any other damage clothes coverable? Check.
Slayed demon's goo gone from hair and any other body parts in case of it having escaped last nights shower? Err, showers? Check. Check. Check.
Called Giles and Dawn to assure them of her non-deadness? Ops. She'd blame it on a caffeine deficiency.
Any brilliant excuses for not going to work today available? Fail.
Not so brilliant ones? Fail.
At least workable ones? Fail. Fail. Fail.
Still grumbling to herself, Buffy ignored the once again frantically blinking light of her answering machine and speed-dialled her sister instead. She didn't need them chewing her out twice, after all.
When Cuddy entered the hospital on Tuesday morning, she just hoped there wasn't another death waiting for her. It didn't help that Mary-Ann couldn't give her the answers she needed last night either. At least she was one step closer to finding her old Watcher again.
She had barely turned the corner towards her office, when she stopped short. Even her heart took an awful long time until it decided that beating wasn't only still fashionable but also vital for her survival.
There, in front of her office, nervously wringing her hands, stood the paediatrician fellow, Dr Clarence.
Not good. At all.
Cuddy was seriously considering, even if just for a second, to simply turn around and bury herself at home. Then Dr Clarence turned. And for the first time in the last few minutes she felt something like a little bit of hope.
Because, although Dr Clarence looked confused, she didn't look like there had been another tragedy on the children's ward.
Taking a shaky breath, Cuddy stepped forward and, after opening her office door, motioned the paediatrician in. "What happened?"
Shaking her head in disbelieve, Dr Clarence took a seat in front of Cuddy's desk. "Good question." Seeing her boss frown, she quickly added reassuringly. "The children are all fine. Well, considering they're in hospital in the first place."
Nodding, Cuddy had guessed that already after all, she motioned for the young doctor to continue.
"William, or Billy, Thomson. The nurse almost had a heart-attack when she went to check on him early this morning. His room, 203, looked like a battlefield. Almost every single piece of furniture was in pieces or had at least several dents in it. Everything but the bed. Even worse, any sign of Billy ever being in this room had vanished."
"What?!" Jumping up, Cuddy started to pace her office. "How could that happen? What about Billy? Why haven't I been called the second this was discovered?"
"Billy is fine!" Dr Clarence all but shouted to stop Cuddy's tirade. At Cuddy's astonished look, she blushed brightly. "I'm sorry, really sorry. I'm telling this all the wrong way around."
After taking a couple of deep breath, Cuddy sat down again. The boy was fine. Dr Clarence had said so before. Having gathered her thoughts again, she nodded in acceptance of the apology and motion for the other doctor to continue.
"She paged me and we quickly gathered all nurses available and checked every single room. And got lucky in the last. 230, of course. Billy was sleeping peacefully, non the worse for wear, and the room looked like he'd never been anywhere else. Including his name on the outside of the room. When I asked him if anything happened last night, he first looked at me blankly and then shook his head."
"But how?" Cuddy asked astonished. What exactly had happened?
"I honestly don't know. I gave him a thorough check-up. Everything was like we'd expect it to be," Dr Clarence said while shrugging her shoulders. She was just as clueless as the Dean of Medicine.
Nodding, Cuddy asked some more questions before she went with Dr Clarence to see for herself. Only to find that everything was like she had been told earlier.
House was bored.
True, they had a patient and having his prospective fellows digging up a grave had been fun, but they still weren't any closer to diagnosing the woman.
All he had to do at the moment was waiting for some more test results. And think of ways to thoroughly annoy Mormon Guy. Or, as he also liked to call him, Big Love.
Playing with his think ball a bit more, House looked at his watch again. Maybe he should surprise his unsuspecting fellows by being less than half an hour late? Shrugging his shoulder, he figured that this was a tiny bit less boring than sitting in his office. Especially with only his unanswered mail and an unhelpful TV denying him his General Hospital fix for another couple of hours as company. Evil broadcasters!
Smirking, his potential fellows surely weren't expecting him that close to the agreed time. Quietly walking into the room, using the back entrance, he had a quick look around. And found his very first victim. After making everyone jump with his cane being thrown onto the desk, he asked in a disappointed voice, "Thirteen, sleeping on the job?" Enjoying the guilty expression on her face, and, to be honest the smug one on Cut-throat Bitch's too, he continued, "Long night? New lover?"
Thirteen, she really liked that name, shook her head, guiltiness clearly replaced by defiance. "Just decided to spent the waiting time with something useful."
Pulling his patented I'm shocked face, House wondered, "New non-dangling
lover?" Oh yeah, this was way more fun than sitting in his office. Mischief entering his eyes, he shook his head, smirking. "Both
? You nasty, nasty woman, you."
Thirteen just smiled secretly, denying wouldn't help anyway, and shrugged her shoulders.
"Good for you." Nodding in approval, that would cause more shocks than any other reaction after all, House turned to the remaining fellows-
-and was rudely interrupted when the door to the lecture theatre opened, revealing a certain blonde physiotherapist, strolling in casually.
--A/N: Thanks to everyone who reviewed. As you can see, another House/Buffy confrontation is in the air. All I can say, it's going to be a biggie. I hope :P.