I don’t own House or BTVS. No infringement is intended. Sadly, no profit will be made from this either.
Feeling House's attention on her, Buffy turned hers to his prospective fellows sitting in front of him. She hadn't really met them before – other then watching their backs in the cemetery – while she knew House and what to expect from him. Besides, a little ignore-age wouldn't hurt him.
She had caught the end of the conversation and, judging by the smug look on the dark haired fellow, Buffy knew she'd been the object of said observation. At the moment she seemed pretty relaxed and able to handle House. To some degree anyway.
The black guy in front of the lecture theatre looked a bit uncomfortable while Buffy could almost see the Indian guy and the guy next to him trying to picture their fellow's sex life. Mentally rolling her eyes – men – she marked the three guys off as rather non-special for now. Then again, the Indian guy had a kind of playful, or rather adventurous, air about him. Remembering the cemetery, how he actually seemed to have enjoyed himself a bit too much, she decided to better mark him as having to be watched when it came to House's games.
The old fellow sitting on the side was a different matter. If anything he seemed to be amused by the previous happenings and Buffy could almost see him rolling his eyes. Not only at House, but at the reaction from his much younger colleagues too. Buffy didn't know why, but somehow he remembered her of a more polished, tamer version of House. More polished as in actually having certain, by the general population accepted and expected, people skills. Unlike House.
That only left the blonde woman. One look and Buffy knew she'd go long ways to ensure her place in the fellow program with House. She was definitely one to watch as she was probably most likely to do what House asked – especially when it came to the illegal-ish kind of thing. Something, she'd heard, House was rather fond of. She'd probably been the Cordelia of her high-school. Only that the real Cordelia had changed in time. Buffy wasn't so sure about this one, or that she'd actually be able to handle the things that Cordelia had.
It only took Buffy the short walk down the few steps to the front of the room to indulge in her curiosity and get a feel for House's prospective fellows. But as soon as she reached her destination, she turned her attention back to House. He was the most dangerous – and her reason to be here – after all.
Smirking at the quick, calculating glances Buffy gave each of his prospective fellows, House waited until she joined him at the front. "Ah, Miss Summers. What can my humble self help you with today?"
More than one of his possible fellows raised their eyebrows at the rather pleasant tone House asked that question in. In fact, no-one but Henry Dobson had heard this tone before.
"Nothing, nothing. I'm all yours. Show me where and I'll kis- massage all the pain away!" Buffy replied cheerily, putting on her infamous blonde act. If House wanted to play then that was fine with her. Besides, hearing most of the fellows gasp at her intentional near-slip, she figured it would be fun.
Gasping in mock-shock, House put his hands in front of his mouth. "In front of the k-i-d-s?"
Buffy gave them another once over – she almost had burst out laughing when House had actually spelled kids – and finally just shrugged her shoulders. Why not? She
wasn't the one about to lose her pants. "I don't mind an audience. They might even learn a thing or two." Smiling into the room, making sure to give the two guys with the way too active fantasy a dazzling smile, Buffy continued. "Table looks stable enough. Just drop your pants and I'll start the show."
More gasps echoes throughout the room.
And House was mentally rubbing his hands.
"Taub, Kutner, get your mind out of the gutter. This is a hospital, not a peep-show," House grumbled, shaking his head in fake disappointment. Eyeing his favourite Mormon candidate, he continued unblinking, "Big Love, if you can't handle the peep-show, than you chose the wrong profession."
Oh, he was good, Buffy thought, wondering what he'd come up with next.
"Cut-throat Bitch, stop ogling and get yourself a lover or two like Thirteen did." Ignoring Amber's offended protests, House waggled his eyebrows suggestively at the other female fellow. "Thirteen, care to join in?"
Rolling her eyes, Thirteen, when House didn't seem to continue, motioned towards the last member of their group. "What about him?"
"Henry? Isn't that obvious?" House asked blatantly.
"He's too old?" Kutner suggested eagerly.
"Hey!" Two loud and clearly offended outcries sounded through the room, causing more than one or two surprised looks.
Chuckling, House watched Buffy curiously. "Henry's protest I can understand. Yours? Now that's really interesting. Want to share with the class?"
Shrugging her shoulders, Buffy gave him her most innocent look. "Well," motioning towards Kutner, Buffy said, "his comment was rude. When Henry is obviously experienced enough to have both seen and done almost everything there is to do in a hospital, right?" Besides, she could hardly tell him that in her world, sixty-ish, or whatever his age was, is hardly old.
Her partner in crime, well, outcry, nodded approvingly. "I agree."
"So-o, you gonna lose your pants or not?" Buffy asked, quickly changing the topic back to the original one. She was so not talking about her, not so recent, past tendency of older boyfriends.
Holding both his hands over his heart, House replied in a gravely tone, "I would. Really. But I can't leave the kiddies to their own devices. They might actually go around and try to cure somebody."
"I thought they were going to watch?" Buffy asked innocently. "You said yourself, they might learn something and this is a teaching hospital, right?"
"It is, you know," Kutner was quick to agree, elbowing Taub in excitement.
kind of teaching!" Amber intervened. This meeting turned out to be rather odd – or odder than usual – and for whatever reason she felt threatened by the short woman in front. It was time to mark her territory.
Waggling his finger at Amber, House said, "Actually, it is."
Looking smugly around the room, he registered all the shocked and confused looks on his prospective fellows. There were so predictable. His eyes finally coming to rest on Henry, he raised his eyebrows questioningly. "No shock, indignation, irritation, whatever you want to call it?"
Casually shaking his head, Henry replied, "Miss Summers is a physiotherapist with Dr Marmine's APTA program. I believe you agreed to treatment of some kind by him almost a couple of weeks or so back."
House nodded in approval. "You're good."
"I know." Henry replied smugly. He might not have an actual medical degree, but he's been around for so long, he probably had seen most things. And knew how valuable tapping into a hospitals grapevine could be. Judging by the muffin incident in the cafeteria and now having met Miss Summers in person, he could understand why she went along with House. However, having met Miss Summers now, he also wondered how anyone her age could have that much life experience to do exactly that.
"And as you never seemed to be around or have time when Dr Marmine came looking for you, appointment or not, he decided to chuck his least liked fellow onto you," Buffy explained casually as if she hadn't just openly suggested her supervisor mistreated her on purpose, dropping the blonde act. "In fact, he insisted on the when and where."
"Passed him on the way down," House said nonchalantly. "Even greeted him."
"Now that was nice of you. Must have been just before he paged me," Buffy replied sarcastically. Looking straight at House, she added in her yet unused no-nonsense tone. "So, when – and I mean today or tomorrow – and where?"
"How about, oh, later?" House asked, tapping his chin thoughtfully. He even looked towards the ceiling to underline his thought process.
Buffy just shrugged her shoulders. "Works for me." She'd find him, Brenda told her some interesting facts about him – and possible accomplices – after all.
"Right, now that that's sorted we come to the really interesting questions," House started in his lecture tone. Looking around the room, demanding attention from all his fellows, he continued, "How'd you get that, admittedly professionally covered, shiner and split lip from?"
Shit. She'd forgotten about them in the heat of the moment as they didn't really bother her. And just standing around didn't aggravate her still sore ribs either, so she'd gotten no reminder from that end either. Going with innocence, and blonde once more, she replied in a questioning tone, "Herpes?"
"What, did the Herpes virus crawl out of your lip, strolled up your cheek only to use your eye as punching ball?" House asked sarcastically, walking his fingers along the table Buffy was sitting on.
Cut-throat Bitch, happy to chime in, added, "Besides, that really is a cut. Not Herpes."
"Unless the virus didn't crawl but cut it's way out of your lip." Kutner added helpfully. "What?" He asked at the weird looks he got in answer, "I didn't start the whole virus crawling thing. Just going with the flow."
"It's nothing," Buffy replied, shrugging her shoulders impassively. "Just a little clumsiness."
Henry couldn't help himself but snort at that. That woman all but screamed confidence and, as tacky as it may sound, body control. She might be lots of things, but clumsy surely wasn't one of it. However, as much as she looked like being in a fight, she sure as hell wasn't the victim as some of his co-workers might think.
"Hm," adapting his think-pose again, House said, "Where have I heard that one before?"
Having enough of it and clearly not wanting to explain herself to House and his fellows, Buffy shrugged her shoulders once again, "Whatever. As you're not dropping your jeans I might just as well leave. I'm already behind schedule due to Marmine's little impromptu order." Jumping from the table she'd been sitting on, she gave House a final glance. "I'll catch you later. And that's a promise."
Turning toward the door leading out the front of the small lecture theatre, she casually walked towards it, well aware of the stares trying to penetrate her back.
However, House being House couldn't help himself but have the last word - only to regret it the moment he had said it. Which in itself said a lot.
"Dead boyfriend replaced by a more actively hitting version already?"
--A/N: Just to clarify a question that has come up a few times now. This is NOT going to be Buffy/House. Friendship, most certainly. Anything more, not going to happen. Although Cuddy/House is a possibility. Anything else is up to Muse.
Thanks again for all the reviews! This took a bit longer because Muse decided to throw a tantrum at having to edit this chapter. Thought writing it was enough. Sigh. Those creative types… Fed her lots of chocolate and even sharpened any red pen I could find and finally convinced her to get back to work. Good news though is that the next chapter is more or less written already. Just needs to get edited and I put superglue onto all red pens, so Muse doesn't have a choice but work on it the next couple of days.