I don’t own House or BTVS. No infringement is intended. Sadly, no profit will be made from this either.
"What do I what
?" Cuddy asked confused as she tried to figure out the rest of Buffy's sentence.
Buffy, shocked by her mouth's betrayal – she hadn't intended to say anything like that – was kind of glad her mother didn't catch the sentence. Avoiding her questioning glare, Buffy slipped past her and went back to the dining area. Thankful for something to do, Buffy emptied the glass of water. Because, really, you can't talk while you drink, right?
Putting the glass down, Buffy turned around again to thank her and then run away as fast as she could.
Unfortunately, Lisa Cuddy's brain decided now was the perfect time to finish deciphering Buffy's earlier babbling.
The first expression on Cuddy's face was bewilderment. Why
would Buffy want to know what she thought about grandchildren?
This was quickly followed by annoyance. She wasn't that
old and surely she didn't look like a grandmother!
Then there was wonderment. How would it feel to hold your own grandchild? Was
she a grandma already?!
Catching Buffy's eyes at that moment, Cuddy suddenly knew.
No, she wasn't a grandma.
But she soon would be.
And her expression changed to joy, shock, confusion, worry and so much more at the same time.
Unable to move or even just think a single thought instead of a million at once, Cuddy just stood there. Motionless. Staring at her lost daughter.
As was Buffy. Well, staring at her biological mother.
In fact, if anyone else had been there, he'd probably have commented on the identical expression the two women were wearing. Which was even more of an accomplishment as there were so many emotions present in their faces.
In the end it was Buffy who broke the eye contact by clearing her throat.
Shaking her head in disbelief, Cuddy looked at the blonde woman in front of her. "You are…?"
"Uh huh," Buffy replied, nodding in confirmation. "I am."
"I'm not that
short," Buffy interrupted, crossing her arms.
Somehow, seeing Buffy pout helped Cuddy to shake off the last of her shock. Or the last bit of shock that would leave anytime soon. Smiling, she shook her head. "I meant blond. You hair was very dark when you were born."
"Oh." Blushing, Buffy suddenly no longer knew what to do with herself. It was funny, really. Here she was, longest ever living Slayer – despite being dead for a little while – never at a loss for a witty remark in the eye of danger, yet she didn't really know what to say to her biological mother. Thankfully, her tummy didn't have this kind of problem.
So it rumbled loudly once more.
"Food!" Cuddy exclaimed excitedly, glad for something else to talk about. Not waiting for a reply, she motioned for Buffy to follow her and led her into the living room.
She grabbed the phone and several take-out menus House had smuggled in on an earlier occasion and finally plopped onto her couch with a deep sigh.
"Sit," Cuddy told Buffy somewhat over-enthusiastically, but Buffy was only too glad to comply. "Chinese? Italian? Mexican? Indian?"
On clue, her tummy rumbled even louder than before, causing Buffy to blush rather brilliantly. "Pizza. Vegetarian. Lots of it."
Cuddy shrugged her shoulders, she could live with that, and was about to reply when Buffy continued sheepishly, "And sweet and sour chicken?"
"Interesting combination," Cuddy replied with a wide grin before ordering both things plus some vegetarian spring rolls. They were a secret weakness of hers and it didn't matter that pizza and spring rolls weren't her usual idea of a healthy meal. Today was anything but normal anyway.
As soon as she put the phone down, the two of them went back to staring at each other, not really knowing what to say. Now and then, Cuddy would start to reach over to Buffy as if to touch her but then she'd stop and rapidly retrieve her hand again.
In the end, Cuddy rolled her eyes at herself and said, "Well, this is-"
"Awkward?" Buffy quickly finished for her. "Big time," she added wholeheartedly.
Biting her lower lip, or rather chewing on it, Cuddy finally asked Buffy nervously, "So… how long have you known about… well, me, I guess?"
Looking down at her lap, Buffy played once again nervously with the hem of her shirt. She just wished Mark could be here with her. Eventually looking up, she replied honestly, "Almost a year."
"Oh," Cuddy replied, unable to hide the disappointment in her voice.
Sighing, Buffy got up from the easy chair and sat down next to Cuddy. She tucked her leg under her so she could sit sideways on the couch and actually face her biological mother. Taking her mother's hand, she tried to explain, "I know it sounds like such a long time. But the news hit us completely unexpectedly. Mom had died only a few years earlier and I was still having some trouble with that. I … I just needed time to digest everything. To figure out if I wanted to meet you. To not feel guilty of even thinking about meeting you…"
Cuddy was about to reply when the doorbell rang. Sighing, she reluctantly let go of her daughter's hand and went to get the food. They didn't talk much while they ate, but Cuddy would quite often touch her daughter as if she wanted to make sure she was really there.
Buffy didn't mind. In fact, she understood quite well what her mother was doing. She'd done so herself after her mom had come home from the hospital after her brain surgery. Making sure she was really there. Was really alright. Of course, it hadn't really helped as her mom had died anyway.
So Buffy ate pizza. And the chicken. And sneaked in a couple of spring rolls when Cuddy was too busy touching her.
When Cuddy brought a tub of Ben and Jerry's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream to finish off their meal, Buffy literally squealed in delight.
In a very slayer-y way, of course.
A few miles away, House whistled as he limped to Buffy's apartment. Making sure no one was looking, he got his special tools out and tried to open her door. It took a while, but when he finally managed to reach his goal, he let out a small cry of triumph.
Stepping into the apartment he felt as if he was walking through a very thin layer of dust. Frowning, he looked back out the door. Checked the door frame for anything unusual. However, as he didn't find anything abnormal – and certainly didn't experience the weird feeling when he stepped out and in again – he shrugged it off as nothing but an illusion.
Closing the door behind him, he stepped out of the small vestibule and stopped to take everything in. To the left was a dining area while to the right was an open plan kitchen. Decorated by a string full of spaghetti. Looks like someone made pasta from scratch. Walking over, he stole a couple of strands and absently chewed them while taking in everything else in the kitchen. Opening the fridge, he scrunched up his nose.
Stepping around the breakfast bar, he found himself in the living room area of the big room. This, if nothing else, would have told him without a doubt that the flat had a female occupant. There were way too many cushions around otherwise. Even for Wilson. Walking to the wall across from the couch, he took in the vast amount of pictures presented there in a seemingly random manner.
So she had friends. And judging by the age, quite a few of them have been together from their early teenage years. Most of the pictures contained groups of people, but there were also some that he thought contained couples. Raising his eyebrows at a particular picture of a redhead and a blonde, he smirked. And not all of them were hetero. Independent of that, Buffy's friends seemed to be quite a mix of different kinds of people.
There was the dark-haired, leather-clad young woman that had his fantasies going down interesting paths. But next to her was a picture of a short guy that screamed geek so loudly to him that it made House shudder. Quickly putting the picture back down, he randomly picked up another one.
This one, however, wasn't a photograph per se but a sketch of a dark-haired man. His eyebrows were drawn together and his whole posture told House he was one of those that had developed brooding into an art form. Even more interesting, he didn't show up on any of the photographs. House had checked twice. As if this wasn't enough, there was another sketch of yet another man. This one was much cockier though. His posture screamed of self-confidence and held a clear challenge to whomever he was facing. Again, he wasn't on any of the photographs either. Yet, he knew they must both be rather important to Buffy.
There was also a younger girl who he assumed might be Buffy's sister rather than one of her friends. Then again, the pictures of a much younger Buffy and another young girl were a dead give-away for that. One of the pictures made him smirk more than anything else, though. Buffy Summers in a cheerleader uniform. Oh, he was going to have so much fun with that little bit of information!
The only two older people he found on the wide array of pictures must be Buffy's parents. Then again, while the woman showed up on early pictures of Buffy, the man did not. Maybe he was mommy's new lover? Still, judging by the group pictures, he cared not only about Buffy but her friends as well.
Taking a closer look, he frowned and started with the earliest picture again. He really wasn't imagining things. On more group pictures than not, at least one of them was injured. Even on the early teenage pictures. In fact, the dark haired teenager with the goofy grinned seemed to have gotten himself a permanent eye patch in his late teens.
put Buffy's earlier split lip into a completely new light.
As it did her defending the patient stupid enough to get herself robbed on hospital grounds.
Somehow Buffy was involved in fighting from an early age. As were her friends. But why
? And how
? That clearly deserved some deeper digging. Rubbing his hands in anticipation House moved further on, to the pictures on the mantelpiece.
One look was enough to tell him that he was now looking at Buffy's fiancé. Scratching his head, he wondered why he looked so familiar. There wasn't anything special about him. He was dark-haired and had pretty standard features. Okay, his nose was slightly crooked as if it had been broken at one point. The most prominent feature though, House thought, were his laughing eyes. They spoke of a joy of life House had never really understood yet were also different from goofy pirate guy's laughing eyes.
Scratching his ear, he picked up yet another picture of him and scrutinised it even closer. This time it was one without Buffy at his side and the feeling of having seen him before grew even stronger. But as glaring at the photo didn’t bring him closer to solving the mystery that was Buffy's fiancé, House finally moved away from the pictures.
There were two more doors to investigate and he didn't know when Buffy would be back, after all.
Scratching his nose, he opened the door closest to him.
Having put the trash from their impromptu meal away, Cuddy walked back to the living room. Stopping at the entrance, she watched Buffy – her daughter – deep in thought sitting on her couch. Pinching herself, just to make sure she really wasn't dreaming, Cuddy walked back in and sat back down next to her.
"So," Buffy said.
"So," Cuddy repeated, "Still hungry?"
Grinning, Buffy shook her head. "Nope. I'm all fed and watered for now."
Shaking her head, she still couldn't believe Buffy had actually managed to finish everything off, Cuddy continued, "Just where did all that food go?"
"It wasn't all that much," Buffy pouted. "Besides, I'm eating for two, remember?"
Nodding, Cuddy's smile grew. There'd soon be a baby to hold and pamper. If she couldn't have another baby herself, at least she'd have her grandchild to play with. Even if she'd never correct anyone who though she was holding her child and not her grandchild.
Eyes suddenly twinkling with mischief, Buffy said thoughtfully, "I wonder what House will say about the whole grandma thing…"
Cuddy, who'd just taken a drink of water, sprayed it all over her couch table. Coughing, she looked at Buffy. "That wasn't funny."
"Uh huh," Buffy nodded innocently.
"I'll never live that down! He'll
never let me live it down," Cuddy continued, her mind showing her all the horror scenarios it could come up with.
Becoming serious again, Buffy shook her head. "Don't worry. As much fun as it may be to watch, I'd rather keep this to ourselves."
"Oh," Cuddy said, disappointment once more evident in her voice.
Shaking her head, Buffy took her hand again. "I want to get to know you without him barging in every other minute."
"Really?" Cuddy asked, her voice full of hope.
"Really," Buffy said without hesitation.
Biting her lip again, Cuddy finally looked Buffy in the eyes. "Would you … would you like to tell me about, you know…?"
Smiling sheepishly at her inability to finish that simply question, Cuddy nodded.
So, after getting more comfortable, Buffy started to tell her mother about her childhood and teenage years.
The door House tried led into the guest bed room. Only that this room obviously doubled as some kind of training area. Yes, there was a bed, but it was standing on it's headpiece, pushed up against the wall and therefore leaving most of the floor space free. The floor was covered in gym mats and several weights were lined up on one wall. The most interesting thing, however, was a long wooden chest on the wall across from the bed. Itching with anticipation, House stepped closer and tried to open it.
Only the lid wouldn't budge. Worse, he couldn't really see any lock he could mess around with in order to open the chest. Yet, he could clearly distinguish between the chest body and the lid. So why didn't it open? He even tried to move it away from the wall – maybe the lock was hidden on that side – but he found himself unable to move it.
Swearing at the uncooperative chest for a final time, House left the room for the last one.
It was even bigger than the guest room and had its own bathroom. Its very female smelling bathroom. Scrunching up his nose, House quickly searched the medical cabinet which, apart from being rather well organised, didn't contain anything unusual. The bedroom itself was, well, not much different from Cuddy's, really. Apart from yet another wooden chest at the food of the big bed. And, just like the other one, no matter how hard he tried he couldn't open it.
Grumbling in frustration, he opened the wardrobe but it only contained clothes. An awful lot of them too. Moving over, he opening the last wardrobe door – and needed a second to recover from his shock. Everywhere he looked were shoes. How could just one person need so many shoes? Some of them, he was sure, were actually identical too! Or only differed slightly in colour!
Visibly shuddering, he quickly closed that particular door again. He'd probably have nightmares for ages now.
While taking another look around, he subconsciously scratched first his elbow followed by his other ear.
House kicked the unhelpful wooden chest and was about to leave when his eyes locked onto the picture of Buffy's fiancé on her bedside table. He tilted his head slightly and a small smile started to play along his lips.
He'd just solved one of the mysteries involving Buffy Summers.
"You burnt down your high school gym?" Cuddy asked shocked. She couldn't believe what she'd just heard!
"It was an accident, really," Buffy pouted. She hadn't really meant to mention this little fact but her mouth had been faster than her brain. "Besides, it was way old and run down. So it just helped them with the demolition costs."
Raising her eyebrows, Cuddy just shook her head. She didn't really want to contradict her daughter the day she'd met her again. Seeing her scratch the stitches House put in only a couple of days ago, Cuddy slapped Buffy's hand away. "Stop that."
"But it's itching!" Buffy whined. In fact, two days was more than enough for the cut to heal enough for the stitches to come out.
"Want me to have a look?" Cuddy asked concerned. The wound was still fresh and she didn't want Buffy to aggravate it by scratching. Especially now that she knew Buffy was her daughter, Cuddy was even more worried about it.
Buffy shook her head. She figured telling her mother she was her long lost daughter was more than enough for one afternoon. She didn't need to add the Slayer stuff on top of that too.
Sighing, Cuddy let it go and asked instead, "What happened next?"
"Well," Buffy drawled out. "I kinda had to change school after that. Mom found a job in Sunnydale so we moved there."
"And lived there until it became a sinkhole?" Cuddy asked curiously. After all, she'd already known Buffy lived in Sunnydale at some point and had made the connection to it being Lake Sunnydale before.
Sadness flickered through Buffy's eyes for a second but she pushed her bad thoughts in the back of her mind again and nodded. "Yes. Mom had died earlier but Dawnie and I left just before Sunnyhe- … Sunnydale went down."
Having noticed the pain in her eyes, Cuddy gently rubbed her shoulder. "What happened?"
Shaking her head, Buffy took a deep breath and went on with telling her about moving to Italy shortly after.
Confused, Cuddy asked, "Italy? Not that it’s not a nice country and all, but why Italy?"
Buffy shrugged her shoulders. "Giles figured it would be the best starting point to re-organise ourselves."
Cuddy nodded. Then her head snapped up with quite some force. "Giles? Rupert
Giles? G-man is
Oy. Buffy had managed to keep his name out until now and referred to him only as G-man. But, apparently, this one had slipped through. So much for avoiding the whole slayer-ness on the first day.
"Oops?" Buffy offered sheepishly.
--A/N: Woah! You guys are great! One little cliffhanger and you can't stop reviewing! LOL. I shall-
What is it now, Muse?
They say I'm *sniff* e-… EVIL! *sniff*
*Sigh.* They don't mean it that way. Honestly.
Uh huh. But they do!
No. Now, remember math in school? How two negatives, and I guess evil counts as negative, make a positive?
See! I've counted. There are …uhm … scratch that. They all meant evil in a good way. I promise. Honestly.
Really. Now why don't you go and think up some horror stories for the evil mice complaining about the million layers of package tape on their entrance?
Good Muse. Here, have some extra chocolate!
Oh boy. Muse can be quite touchy sometimes. But don't worry. I loved every single review! Especially the ones telling me I'm evil! Muhahahahaha!