I don’t own House or BTVS. No infringement is intended. Sadly, no profit will be made from this either.
A faint smile lingering on her lips in remembrance of today's meeting in Wilson's office, Cuddy took her dinner into the living room to indulge in a lazy night. She might have brought some paperwork home with her, but that was more like an alibi to sooth her guilty conscience. Once in a while she needed the night completely off to recharge her batteries. Today was such a night.
Changing channels until she found a chick flick, Cuddy made herself comfortable on the couch. And tugged into the fries and the oversized burger - meatless and selfmade, thank you very much - in front of her. Bad food was a crucial part of these rare relaxing nights after all.
She was licking the remnants of grease off her fingers when the phone rang. Groaning, she closed her eyes, hoping it wasn't House. Though judging by his generally off timing, she wouldn't have that much luck. Knowing it'd be better to answer and get it over with, she leaned over to grab the phone.
"Cuddy," she snapped into the receiver.
"Oh. I'm not interrupting something, am I?" A voice from her past answered.
Cuddy sat up straight, a mixture of dread and disbelieve clearly visible in her movements. Taking the phone from her ear, she looked at it to make sure she wasn't dreaming.
It couldn't be, could it?
Of course it could. You were trying to reach him for almost two weeks now, remember? A small voice whispered in her head.
Taking a shaky breath, Cuddy answered quietly, "Mr Giles?"
"Yes, Lisa. How are you?" Giles asked pleasantly.
"I … I've tried to reach you," Cuddy replied, suddenly feeling a bit like the 15-year old Potential she had been so many years ago.
Smiling, though Cuddy couldn't see it, Giles replied, "Yes, yes. So I've heard. Is everything alright?"
"Yes. No." Cuddy stammered. Taking another deep breath, she finally settled on "I don't know."
"Right." Of course he had a pretty good idea what Lisa was calling about. "Why don't you tell me how you've been all those year and what's on your mind?"
Nodding, Cuddy did just that. She told him about her career since finishing medical school. And was pleased at his approval and him clearly being proud of her achievements. Then she told him about the children's ward and the weird happenings. How she thought it might actually be something out of her league.
"I see," Giles said thoughtfully once she was finished.
Smiling widely, Cuddy said slyly, "I think I can hear you cleaning your glasses."
At hearing something that suspiciously sounded like a snort in the background, Cuddy frowned. "Who was that?"
"Ah, sorry," Giles said sheepishly. "That was Dawn. She just came in to show me something and then listened in to your description of your problem." After a short pause in which Cuddy realised some sort of quiet conversation was taking place on Mr Giles, no Giles as he'd asked her to call him, side, Giles added, "And now she is going to leave again."
Hearing Giles sigh exasperated, Cuddy asked, "She rolled her eyes, didn't she?"
There was snickering in the background. Then a click. "Yep, she did." The voice of what must be a young woman suddenly came loud and clearly through the phone.
"Dawn," Giles sighed again. Cuddy guessed the earlier click was from the phone being put on loudspeaker.
Clearly ignoring Giles, the young woman continued, "So you're Giles former Potential, huh?"
"What? It's not like it's a secret or anything." Staring at the phone, Cuddy could clearly hear the pout in Dawn's voice. Then Cuddy flinched in alarm, "What do you mean by it's not a secret?"
"Ops," Dawn replied sheepishly. "I guess that came out wrong."
"Yes," Giles agreed exasperated. "What Dawn meant it's known to a handful of selected people and, unfortunately, Dawn is one of them."
"Hey!" Dawn exclaimed clearly not amused.
"Yes, my dear?" Giles replied sweetly.
Cuddy just stared at her phone once more. What the hell was going on here? Finally she just blurted out the first thing coming to her mind, "Are you the Slayer?"
Then she could hear both Dawn and Giles break into laughter. Which, of course, confused her only more.
"Sorry, my dear," Giles was the first to recover. "I'm afraid we'd be doomed if that was the case."
"Hey! I'm not that bad!"
"Willow put a tracking device on you so it made finding you easier," Giles said patiently. To Cuddy it sounded like a long-going yet good-natured argument. One of those you'd associated with happening in a loving family.
Still trying to wrap her mind around everything, Cuddy asked, "Why would this Willow do this?"
"Over-protectiveness." Dawn was quick to point out.
Sighing – and giving Cuddy the impression he was cleaning his glasses again – Giles said, "Dawn here made a hobby of getting kidnapped by the bad guys. Bu-"
"Don't listen to him!" Dawn quickly interrupted.
"But she's thankfully grown out of it," Giles continued fondly. "Mostly."
"Huh." Cuddy's mind was boggling with all the unexpected information it suddenly had to deal with. "That's good. Right?"
"Yes," two voices replied in unison.
"Good," Cuddy managed. Although she didn't really know why. And why had she wanted to call Giles anyway? Right. "So, what about my hospital? Any idea if it could be something more in your line of work?" Then Cuddy remembered she hadn't even asked if he was still working with the supernatural. Then again, the young woman, Dawn, knew about her being a former Potential. Still, Cuddy had to be sure. "I mean, you're still working for the Watcher's Council, right?"
"No. Well, yes. I mean-" Giles started hesitantly.
"Translated that means that the old Council had the decency to get themselves killed but we've rebuilt since," Dawn interrupted once more.
Eyes bulging out, Cuddy asked incredulously, "Decency to get themselves killed?"
"They were nothing but a bunch of uptight righteous assholes. Well, most of them anyway." Dawn explained, clearly agitated by the thought of the old Council.
"Right." After what they did to her she couldn't feel sorry for them either. Then again, that meant the last connection to her daughter was gone too. Blinking back a tear, she asked in a slightly shaky voice, "So, my hospital?" She would mourn the loss of her daughter later.
In London, Giles and Dawn shared a look at the shaky voice coming through the speaker. Both had a very good idea what was going through Lisa Cuddy's head right now.
"Princeton-Plainsboro, right?" Dawn asked gently.
Cuddy nodded. Then realising they wouldn't see her, she said, "Yes."
"We've got an anonymous tip a week ago and it's been taken care off," Giles said just as gently as Dawn had earlier.
Thoughts of her daughter being pushed to the back once again, Cuddy perked up, "Really?"
"Yep," Dawn said enthusiastically. "The Shakelrilach demon is all dead, chopped up and on a one-way trip to hell."
"Uhm, do I want to know?" Cuddy asked cautiously, furrowing her eyebrows while remembering the destructed room on the children's ward. That must have been where the demon had been killed.
"Probably not," Giles replied in that voice that, even after all these years, Cuddy associated with him cleaning his glasses. So she asked a question she had already pondered as a teenager. "Do you actually need your glasses?"
"Huh?" Giles asked confused while Cuddy could hear Dawn snicker in the background.
"Well, as often as you clean them, they must be more often in your hands than on your nose," Cuddy clarified smiling. It was comforting to know some things never changed.
Dawn was now outright laughing at Giles. "I actually wondered that myself," Dawn piped up. Sobering, she added abruptly, "I like you. Call me Dawn."
Cuddy blushed, gasping. "Thanks. I guess you can call me Lisa."
Coughing, Giles said quietly, "I'll give you my phone number so you can contact me if anything else comes up."
"Thanks." Twisting one of the cushions in her lap, Cuddy bit her lip in nervousness. "Do you … do you know anything about… you know?"
Dawn, sensing this was something Giles needed to do alone, quickly said her good-bye and Giles didn't speak until after Cuddy heard a door being closed. "Yes."
The breath catching in her throat, Cuddy asked hoarsely, "Really? I thought, I mean, with the Council gone…"
"We recently found some documents," Giles explained. "They … it's not pretty."
Gasping, tears already pooling in her eyes, Cuddy could only think of one thing. "They killed her?"
Realising his mistake, Giles was quick to reassure her. "No! No. She isn't dead." Well, she died several times, he added in his mind. But he said, "What I mean is reading how far they've gone wasn't pretty."
"She's alive," was all Cuddy could think off right now. That was all that counted. Somewhere, out there, she had a daughter.
"What… what did they do?" Cuddy finally asked. She just had to know.
So Giles told her about the length the Council went to disguise her. Changing her appearance magically, making her parents almost forget she was actually adopted in the first place. Manipulation all and everyone involved in any way think- and unthinkable.
Finally, after having listened to Gile's explanation, Cuddy asked, "Do you know where she is?"
"Yes," Giles finally admitted.
"Does she know… you know?" Cuddy asked both hopefully and terrified at the same time.
"Oh." She simply didn't know what else to say. On one side she was glad her daughter was alive, but on the other she was disappointed Giles hadn't tried to find and tell her. They might not have been in contact for years, but still, Cuddy had trusted him he'd contact her as soon as he'd learned something new.
"I'm sorry," Giles said. "She's been just as shocked to find out she's been adopted as you were about the way everything happened. She just needs time to wrap her mind around it."
"Okay," Cuddy said, disappointment clearly tainting her voice.
"Lisa, give her time." Giles said gently.
"Does she know I didn't want to give her away?" Lisa asked almost inaudible.
"Yes. And how to contact you. She asked me not to tell you, she wanted to do so herself." Giles explained. "Lisa, trust her. She'll contact you once she's ready."
By now tears were openly streaming down her face. "Really?"
Smiling, Giles confirmed, "Really."
"My daughter…" Lisa mumbled.
"Yes," Giles said fondly. "You can be proud of her. She's a good woman."
Buffy, blissfully unaware of the uproar Giles' phone call had caused last night, was quickly walking towards the cafeteria for lunch. She was starving.
Just as she was about to enter, Allison caught up with her.
"Hey, mind if we join you?" she asked Buffy before pointing to the blond doctor next to her. "Buffy, this is Dr Robert Chase. Chase, this is Buffy Summers."
Buffy nodded politely towards who she knew to be Allison's boyfriend. "Sure. As long as you don't mind meeting with my friends."
After getting their food, not without Chase staring unbelievingly at the amount of food on Buffy's tray, Buffy introduced them to Kamil, Julian and Keelan. Luckily everyone got along quite well and lunch turned into a rather relaxing occasion.
"Did you read that police report in today's paper?" Kamil asked before eating the last of his fries.
Seeing several shakes of heads, Chase asked, "The one about violent crimes unexplainable but noticeable having gone down during last week?"
Buffy perked up at that. It couldn't have to do with her, uhm, increased night activities, could it?
"That's the one," Kamil agreed. "Don't you think it's a bit weird?"
"Why?" Julian asked. "Can't say I'm too disturbed by having less crime in the area," he added with raised eyebrows.
"I'm not complaining either," Kamil said. "But I'd still liked to know why, don't you?"
"A fluke?" Keelan suggested while shrugging his shoulders. "Or maybe there was a summer holiday special for tough guys?"
Chuckling, after all, Faith had told her about the D.E. Moon travel agencies profits as most of Clem's friends arranged their travels through them, Buffy piped up innocently. "Well, guess it's my fault. I went a bit wild on the bad guys. Must have scared the smarter ones off."
Closing her eyes, she slowly chewed on the chocolaty richness that was the brownie she got for dessert. Finally opening her eyes again, she found everyone staring back at her. "What?" She asked with a slight pout. "The brownie is really good."
"We can see that," Allison teased her.
"Yep, we can," Keelan agreed grinning. Pointing towards the now empty plates in front of her, he added good-naturedly, "So did you threat the bad guys with eating all their food if they don't leave?"
Buffy nodded. "Something like that."
"Well done," Julian said, patting Buffy's back. "Maybe you should tell the police your tactics?"
"Nope," Buffy replied grinning, "Where'd be the fun in that?"
The remainder of the meal was spent with more laughter and jokes. Smiling, Buffy watched the people around her table, joking about her single-handedly taking out quite a few of the criminals in the Princeton-Plainsboro area. It felt great to tell the truth but not being taken seriously. It meant they didn't see her as the superhero her acquired family did. It made her one of the crowd. Made her normal like everyone else.
Meanwhile James Wilson was sitting in his office, unseeingly staring at his computer monitor.
After learning the small Blonde from the cafeteria had been the one that had finally managed to get House interested enough in herself to be allowed to work on his leg, he'd started digging.
Ever after that first meeting a few weeks ago he had the nagging feeling he knew her, or of her, from somewhere. He just couldn't place it. Then, after hearing her name for the first time, that nagging feeling had come back tenfold. So he had started digging.
And finally he had found his answer.
And he didn't like it one bit. Especially as House seemed to be rather fond of her and Cuddy seemed to go down the same road.
He would have to watch Buffy Summers carefully.
She was dangerous.
She had killed, even if indirectly, before.
He had to protect his friends.
--A/N: Thanks again to everyone who reviewed! Usually something ends up in the story, so keep the comments coming please!
Anyway, like it? Don't know where Dawn came from though, she just kinda sneaked in there…