I don’t own House or BTVS. No infringement is intended. Sadly, no profit will be made from this either.
"How... I mean... are you?" Cuddy stammered, completely flabbergasted by Buffy's revelation. "No, you can't be. Thank god! You're old
Buffy didn't say anything but let her mother pace up and down in front of the couch, listening to her thoughts. However, she felt quite a pang of fear in her heart when Lisa, as they agreed on Buffy calling her, seemed to be pleased that Buffy 'couldn't be because she was old'
After several more minutes of pacing, Cuddy sighed deeply and plopped back down next to her daughter. Eyes closed, her head resting on the back of the couch, Cuddy took her daughters hand. Turning so that she'd face Buffy, Cuddy stated quietly, "You're the Slayer."
Buffy nodded, as she didn't really trust her voice right now. She only hoped Lisa wasn't going to reject her for her weirdness. Or, considering her profession, turn her into a lab-rat either.
Cuddy watched the emotions play across her daughter’s face. Her eyes were downcast and Cuddy had a pretty good idea of what was going on in her head. Releasing Buffy's hand, she gently grabbed her chin and lifted her head so Buffy would have to face and look at her. Once their eyes met, Cuddy smiled and kissed her forehead.
"I'm so proud of you," Cuddy whispered in her ear.
"Huh?" Okay, that wasn't what Buffy had expected. Judging by the grin on her mother's face, she wasn't only feeling clueless but looking it as well.
Leaning back but once again taking Buffy's hand in hers, Cuddy asked, "I suppose Mr Giles told you about me?"
Now it was Buffy's turn to grin. "Yep. There was heavy involve-age of glasses cleaning and sighing and nose pinching too. Oh! And then there were also the repeated head shakings and mutterings of 'I should have known.'
Actually, it was rather funny to watch."
Cuddy raised an eye-brow at that, but refrained from commenting. Instead, she asked, "You said you met in Sunnydale, right?" Upon her daughter's nod, she continued curiously, "Then he wasn't training you as a Potential?"
As a shadow crossed Buffy's face, she shook her head. "No. I was never identified as a Potential. But one day Merrick, my first watcher, turned up and told me I was the Slayer yadda, yadda, yadda. He was killed shortly after. I burned down the gym, moved to Sunnydale and met Giles as our school librarian." Snorting bitterly, Buffy added, "Guess good 'ol Quentin Travers got a really good kick out of it. Stolen baby of a Potential became the Slayer without them realising. And then giving her the same Watcher as her mother had."
Gripping Buffy's hand tighter, Cuddy asked quietly, "And Mr Giles didn't know?"
"No!" Buffy said, being absolutely sure of that. "He was physically sick when he found the papers hidden in some old file cabinet. In fact, he went to work as curator for the British Museum after leaving you. I was his first job as Watcher again."
Jumping up, Cuddy started pacing again, fuming with anger. "Oh, if I'll ever get hold of Quentin Travers he'll be very, very
sorry he was ever born!"
Buffy was pleased with her mother's reaction. "I'm afraid someone beat you to that. Or me. Or Giles, for that matter," she said, rather unhappy with that fact herself.
Stopping mid-motion, Cuddy stared at her daughter. "Really?"
"Yep. Most of the old council went down in a big bang," Buffy said. Crossing her arms, she pouted. "We didn't even get an invitation to watch."
Raising her eyebrows, Cuddy asked, "What happened?"
Buffy shrugged her shoulders. "Let's just say there was this really, really
big bad trying to kill off the Slayer-line once and for all. The headquarters were just one step on the way."
"But it didn't work," Cuddy replied, pride clearly evident in her voice.
"No, it didn't work," Buffy confirmed quietly, tiredly. "But it was close. Too close. And the prize for victory was a heavy one."
Not knowing what else to do, Cuddy leaned over and pulled her daughter into a hug. Buffy resisted at first but then she couldn't get close enough. It was the embrace she had yearned for after their final battle. The embrace only parents were able to give. The embrace her mom couldn't give to her because she had been dead for a couple of years already.
Cuddy, surprised by the fierceness of Buffy's reaction, simply held on to her daughter. She gently stroked her back, whispering words of comfort into her ear.
Finally Buffy managed to get herself back in control. She hadn't really cried but hadn't been able to let go of her mother either. Leaning back into the couch, she looked up sheepishly. "Sorry. Stupid hormones."
Gently stroking her cheek, Cuddy shook her head. "There's nothing to be sorry about." Taking a deep breath, unsure if she even wanted to know, she asked, "Want to talk about it?"
Biting her lip, Buffy finally shook her head. She might already feel rather comfortable around her mother, but that didn't mean she'd start throwing all the bad stuff that had happened to her at Lisa at once. "Maybe later."
"That's okay. I'm just glad you are here to even give me the chance to get to know you," Cuddy said seriously.
"Me too," Buffy replied smiling.
"You know, I meant it when I said I was proud of you," Cuddy continued, once again holding Buffy's hand in hers. "Just knowing you survived so long makes you an extraordinary person."
Eyes tearing up, Buffy whispered, "Really?"
And, wiping the lone tear from Buffy's face, Cuddy told how she'd often thought about what her life as Slayer would have been like. How, the longer she thought about it, the gladder she had become for not having been called.
How, the older she became, the more she had thanked fate for giving her a normal life. For not having the fate of so many people resting on her shoulders. For not having to make the decisions she couldn't even start to imagine that she now knew her own daughter had to make. For not having to make any sacrifices she wasn't sure she'd be strong enough to make.
And now, after having met Buffy, how she'd be eternally grateful to Buffy's mom for making her such a strong person. To Mr Giles for helping her in any way possible. For not making her stick to the strict rules she knew from her own experience as Potential the Council would expect the Slayer to follow. Because, judging by all the things Buffy had told her already, Mr Giles had become so much more than what a Watcher was supposed to be. He'd become part of Buffy's family.
Entering his apartment, House haphazardly threw his leather jacket in the direction of his coat-rack before he limped into his kitchen. Getting a beer, he continued on to his bedroom, going straight for his improvised white-board. Ripping the top paper off, he scrunched it up and threw it over his back. Taking his pen, he started anew.Connection to Cuddy.
No doubt about that. He might not have found any evidence in her apartment but there was definitely something going on. Most likely Buffy knew Cuddy without Cuddy being aware of it. He'd have to keep a very close eye on them on Monday. Or Tuesday, when Buffy would be back at work.Sarcastic, quick wit, no fear of superiors.
These words made him smile. He'd have been proud to be the one teaching her those vital skills. Knowledge of martial arts. Fighting since teenage years. Convincing Blonde act. Vigilante group with friends (definite leader potential)?
House was pretty sure all these things were part of a bigger picture he had yet to decipher.
He wondered if he could get a police report on her. Didn't they cure some California based politician's kid or something a couple of years back? Cameron would know. Then he could come up with some teary-eyed story and ask for the information. Even better, he'd just have to sit back without actually doing anything to get the info he wanted. Evil (Marmine). Fiancé related to Marmine's girlfriend (brother?).
There wasn’t much doubt about the latter fact. Not in his mind, anyway. When he saw his picture on Buffy's bedside table he suddenly remembered why he looked so familiar. He was, undoubtedly, related to Marmine's chick, a doctor from the hospital across town. He'd seen her often enough, both at a conference and while she'd been meeting up with Marmine in front of the hospital several times. But, judging by all the pictures around the apartment, Buffy's guy was way more fun than her. House knew Marmine's doctor came from an influential family. So maybe Marmine thought bringing the lost son or cousin back to the States would put him in their favour. That actually made sense.
Buffy turning up alone must have had quite an impact on Marmine's original plan and now he was taking his frustrations out on her. But she was good at what she was doing so Marmine couldn't just get rid of her again. Though House approved of Marmine's plan from a scheming point of view, he wasn't going to let him get away with it. First, he'd figure out the exact family relation. Then he was going to have some fun with Marmine.
Maybe he'd even tell Buffy as he was certain she had no idea about any of this. Watching her chewing out Marmine might be fun too. Or, depending on what he could learn on the Cuddy-Buffy mystery, he'd tell Cuddy.
God, he loved good entertainment!Evil (Wilson).
Well, House decided to wait to see what Wilson would come up with next. The robbery clearly threw him off, but he was sure he'd managed to teach Wilson a thing or two over the past years. So he'd come up something else. House would just have to wait and enjoy the show.
Rubbing his hands together in anticipation, House finally put the pen away and went back to his living room. Exchanging his empty beer bottle with a full one on the way, he just grabbed his phone before falling onto his couch. He pressed a speed-dial button and once the connection was made, ordered dinner.
And subconsciously scratched his arm.
Followed by his leg.
Mother and daughter talked until Buffy's tummy rumbled once more.
"Sorry," Buffy said, blushing slightly. "Slayer metabolism and all that."
"Slayer metabolism?" Cuddy asked curiously. Though they had talked about a lot of things, they only touched some basics connected to Buffy's slayer-ness. This, however, included the demon that had dared to attack her hospital and Cuddy could only thank Buffy for handling it. Accepting her daughter's not wanting to go into too much detail of anything else though, Cuddy simply soaked up as much other things as possible.
Buffy nodded. "Trust me, you don't want to know my money-spendage on food!"
"Money-spendage?" Cuddy chuckled. Buffy just shrugged her shoulder. Shaking her head at another example of her daughter's sometimes weird speech patter, Cuddy continued, "At least you don't have to worry about getting fat," Cuddy chuckled.
"Hel-lo! Pregnant, remember?"
Cuddy's smile became even bigger. "How about I make us dinner?"
Buffy glanced at her watch, unsure of her reply. "I don't know. It's pretty late already and I should probably go home."
"But you'll still need to eat," Cuddy all but pleaded. Logically, she knew that she'd see Buffy again. If not tomorrow, then on Tuesday. They worked in the same hospital, after all. But her heart, her heart was afraid that once Buffy left, she'd never see her again.
Seeing the emotions run across her mother's face, Buffy finally nodded.
Smiling thankfully Cuddy was about to get up when she saw Buffy scratching her back by slightly moving up and down the couch's backrest. "Stop scratching!"
"Huh?" Buffy asked confused but continued her subconscious movement. "I'm not scratching."
"Yes you are. Stop or you'll pull your stitches," Cuddy replied, putting a hand on Buffy's shoulder to keep her still.
Realisation dawning, Buffy blushed. And whined, "But it's really
itchy. It's House's fault anyway. The stitches were completely unnecessary!"
"Buffy-" Cuddy sighed.
"They can come out anyway," Buffy interrupted. Crossing her arms, she sulked some more. "I should sue House for inflicting unnecessary harm or something."
"Please," Cuddy snorted. "House is getting sued enough as it is."
"Really?" Buffy asked curiously, forgetting about her itching stitches for the moment.
Her mother nodded and sighed theatrically. "Anyway, why don't I have a look at the stitches. Maybe I can do something about the itching."
"They just need to be removed."
"No, Buffy. That's too soon," Cuddy replied, shaking her head.
"Lisa, I've got Slayer-healing, remember? Trust me, they are ready to be removed," Buffy explained, looking her mother straight in the eyes.
Raising her eyebrows, Cuddy looked sceptically at her daughter. However, she remembered Mr Giles saying something about enhanced healing capabilities. But being a medical doctor also made her question that claim. "Guess there's only one way to find out."
Getting up, she nodded towards her bathroom. "I'll have a look and decide what to do, okay?"
Buffy was about to protest when she realised hearing about something and actually seeing it were two different things. Therefore she took the offered hand and followed her mother. Besides, as long as she got her to remove the stitches, she wouldn't have to do it herself. Because, judging by the position they were in, they would be quite awkward to reach. "What about dinner?"
Chuckling, Cuddy turned to face her daughter. "You'll play nice and I'll feed you afterwards. Deal?"
"Deal," Buffy replied, her grin matching her mother's. "I hope there's some of that ice-cream left."
Laughing out loud, Cuddy shrugged her shoulders. "Maybe."
Groaning, House turned at the sound of his alarm clock. Blindly reaching in its general direction, he finally managed to switch it off. As luck would have it, the bottle of Vicodin had been in the way of his hand and was now discovering the world from House's bedroom floor. Opening his eyes he sighed when he discovered it was still close enough for him to reach it with his outstretched arm. Barely.
Quickly opening it and swallowing two tablets, his leg really hurt this morning, he let himself fall back onto his pillow and sighed in relief. There was no way he was going to move until the pain killers started to do their job.
Unfortunately, as soon as the pain in his leg was subsiding, another problem made itself know.
Opening one eye, he looked at the hand he was holding in front of his face. His second eye snapping open, he muttered the first words of the day.
--A/N: Once again thank you for all those lovely reviews. They really made my day. Again :D. Hope you liked the newest instalment as well. I'm off to visit the parental units and am not sure how much writing time I'll have. I mean, I actually might get to see the summer everyone is talking about! So the next instalment might be a bit later than usual… House will just have to suffer a little bit longer till he get fixed. LOL.