I don’t own House or BTVS. No infringement is intended. Sadly, no profit will be made from this either.
With his feet up on his desk, House leaned back into his chair and listened to his favourite music. A small smile played on his lips as he enjoyed the non-itchiness of all of his body parts. Unfortunately, he was the only one to appreciate the moment as his office door was thrown open rather forcefully.
The only movement he allowed himself was to place a finger on his lips. "Shh!"
Rolling her eyes, Cuddy switched off his stereo, crossed the remaining distance between them and leaned onto his desk. "Fellows."
"Possible fellows," House corrected her, eyes still closed. Although, judging by the direction of her voice she was leaning over nicely and he should be able to have a good look at her chest. Still, he didn't want to tempt faith by moving and aggravating any of his … rashes. "Helping in the E.R., looking for a patient."
Okay, she couldn't argue with that. Too much. Besides, she was still in too good a mood so she let it pass. And there were other things. "You're behind you're clinic hours again."
Mentally shrugging his shoulders, House continued to grin. "Always am. Always will be. Get used to it."
Sighing, Cuddy let herself fall into a chair opposite House. "What's wrong."
"You haven't moved since I entered. Not even opened an eye. Missing the opportunity for totally inappropriate comments," Cuddy explained, a slight note of worry in her voice.
"Wilson?" House asked impassively.
"Told me about the anti-histamines, yes."
"House, you're even still wearing those gloves," Cuddy challenged. "And
you're not using it to get out of the clinic. So something is definitely up!"
Ops. He should have thought of that. Stupid itching, as it had gotten worse it had interfered with his work-evading scheming! Later on he'd been so pleased that it had stopped that he had totally forgotten about it. This was bad. Really bad. "Nope. Just taking a nap."
"Show me your hands."
House waved at her, smirking.
Cuddy sighed. "Without the gloves."
He actually started to enjoy their little talk. He might not see her, but imagining they way she glared at him was entertaining too. "Nope."
Whatever Cuddy was about to say was interrupted by the sound of her mobile. Ignoring House's complacent smirk, she answered rather abruptly. "Cuddy."
"Something wrong?" Buffy asked concerned. Okay, she had promised herself she wasn't going to phone again but at that time she had forgotten to mention a very important fact. Which she was about to rectify.
"Just House," Cuddy sighed while moving to the office door. She didn't want him to overhear the other half of the conversation but still liked to keep an eye on him. Just to be on the save side.
Noticeable perking up, Buffy replied, "That's why I'm calling."
"Really?" Her eyebrows visiting her hairline for a quick chat about this and that, Cuddy quickly looked towards House. "How come?"
"Oh, you know, the usual," Buffy started nonchalantly. "Breaking and entering while I was visiting you."
"What!?" Cuddy all but screamed, throwing a rather deadly glare towards House. Who, finally having opened his eyes to get the best chance of figuring out who Cuddy was talking to, actually had the grace to look slightly worried at receiving aforementioned glare. Even if it only lasted a second.
"No harm done," Buffy quickly assured her mother. "To me," she added mischievously.
"Remember my friend Willow, the witch?" Buffy asked.
"Yeah," Cuddy replied, confusion still evident in her voice. Which, of course, piqued House's curiosity even more. He was now sitting up properly, eyeing Cuddy rather intensely.
"Well, after the break-in a month or so ago, Dawn decided I needed some more protection. So she and my other friend Xander came up with a whole set of ideas on how to protect the apartment better. Willow worked out the kinks and sent someone to set them up," Buffy explained amused.
"And that's funny, how?"
"I told them about House and his penchant for breaking into patients' apartments. I figured, no matter how careful I am, sooner or later he might get suspicious. So they added an extra layer."
"Okay," Cuddy drawled out slowly. "And that's funny?"
"Yep," Buffy said. "Dunno how it works exactly, but the spells used allow to distinguish between the intentions of the intruder. And act accordingly. So, House-snooping will get you a reaction you won't forget easily."
Throwing House a calculating look, taking in his still glove-covered hands and the fact that he had asked for anti-histamines, Cuddy slowly started to smile. "You know what?"
Chuckling, Buffy replied innocently, "Willow mentioned something like improved poison-ivy. Slower starting but just as easily spread by touching other body parts until you thoroughly wash your hands. Oh, and the rash is replaced by various colours, but is just as itchy as the original one. 'Making poison-ivy rash stop itching'
stuff still works, though not for the colours."
Grinning like the cat the inherited the creamery, Cuddy slowly strolled towards House. Who raised his eyebrows questioningly. Phone still at her ear, Cuddy leaned in close and whispered seductively, "Take off the gloves."
Enjoying the view of her chest, he replied just as teasingly, "Three-some? On the phone? Cuddles! I never knew!"
Buffy barely managed to contain her laughter on the other side of the phone. As well as barely stopping a big Eww!
at his suggestion. House surely knew how to add sexual innuendo to any conversation he had with her mother.
Did that mean?
No. Clearly not.
Lisa would have mentioned something like that. Wouldn't she?
Oh boy. They so needed to have another heart-to-heart talk!
Buffy was so deep in thought that she almost missed Lisa's sultry reply.
"Wishful thinking. Gloves off, now."
Looking her straight in the eyes, House complied. "Yes, mistress."
Cuddy rolled her eyes at his antics until she got a good look at his hands. His very, very red hands. Laughing out loud, her eyes lighting up with glee, Cuddy said, "That gives a completely new meaning to the expression 'being caught red-handed'
Too shocked by her reaction, House wasn't quick enough to catch her before she moved out of his reach and towards the door. Turning around, she grinned at him, "Clinic. Now."
Cuddy was long gone before House finally moved.
Her reaction was completely unexpected. He could have sworn any concern she showed before her phone rang had been replaced by mirth.
The corner of his mouth started to twitch.
There was more to it than it seemed. Another puzzle for him to solve.
Suddenly, today didn't seemed to be that bad after all.
"Buffy, hey! Wait!"
Okay, so much for keeping a low profile. Stopping, Buffy turned around and waited for Allison to catch up with her.
Catching her breath, Allison took her time to give her a once over. "You look good."
"Thanks," Buffy replied while walking towards the cafeteria again. "But I still prefer to drive stick. And I thought you were too?"
"Huh?" Allison asked confused. "What do you- … oh!"
Chuckling at her friend's red face, Buffy apologised, "Sorry, couldn't resist."
Allison smirked. "Spending too much time with House already?"
Buffy shrugged her shoulders nonchalantly. "I'm his physiotherapist. It's inevitable."
"There's that," she replied thoughtfully. "How did you manage that anyway?"
"He tolerates me. And
he hasn't figured me out."
Allison nodded. "That's House for you. Anyway, how's your side? Should you be back at work already?"
"I'm good. Clean bill of health and all," Buffy replied a bit too cheerful. Luckily, it was her turn to order her lunch so she had an excuse to not elaborate on it.
Thoughtfully observing her friend eat, Allison finally asked, "What's up."
Looking up, Buffy shrugged her shoulder, going with the 'I don't know what you mean' routine. Or, even better, the 'stop asking' routine. Allison, of course, didn't do her either favour. "There's something else, isn't there?"
Buffy contemplated not telling her but finally relented. So she told Allison about her baby and even added her struggle of calling her family. Her reasons behind it. Well, some of it, anyway.
By the end of their lunch time, Buffy had to admit that she was already feeling better. That even the little pieces finally started to fall into place. That, once again, she had started to re-built her life. And, that this time, the Scoobies weren't the main focus. If she was honest, the slow process of, figuratively speaking, cutting the cord from the Scoobies had already started while she was living with Mark. Now it simply became more pronounced.
Most importantly, it felt right.
They were always going to play important roles in her life, they were her family after all, but she was also living her own life.
Faith, however, never really belonged to the inner circle. Which made it so much easier to confide in her and built a strong friendship. They knew neither of them was perfect and they finally accepted it. Just as Allison didn't expect her to be perfect. Or to have a solution for every difficult situation.
It was something, Buffy suddenly realised, Dawn had already worked out a while ago.
Buffy smiled. Dawn had always been a smart girl.
Maybe she'd place one call to Europe tonight after all.
Dr Marmine wasn't all that happy. Since Monday he had heard nothing but praise about Summers. How she had prevented a robbery on hospital grounds and even got injured in the process. As she had been back today, only a few days after the incident, he couldn't even reprimand her for slacking off. In fact, she could easily have stayed off work for another few days due to her injuries.
Worse, he just had another talk with that useless Dr Wilson. How difficult could it be to drive a wedge between Summers and Dr House? He already had more than enough information at his disposal than he should need!
He really needed something more before telling his fiancée about Summers. Heather might not have done more than sent the occasional Christmas card to her brother Mark, but then Mark hadn't been too bothered with those things either. According to Heather he had only sent a couple of them in the past 5 years or so. Still, the older Heather became, the more she longed to have children but also to reconcile with her brother.
That's why he had been so keen on bringing Mark back to the US. If it meant to employ Mark's girlfriend, fine. She had seemed to know enough about her profession after all. It would have made Heather happy.
Of course, now that Mark was dead, telling Heather Mark's girlfriend was working for him wasn't going to go down well. Too much reminders of what could have been. Especially so shortly after they found out about her infertility.
No, the best thing he could do was to get rid of Buffy Summers.
It might not be as easy as he had hoped, but he would find a way.
For Heather's benefit.
Making sure nobody was around, House quickly entered the men's restroom.
Sighing when the pressure on his bladder finally decreased, he didn't even hear when someone else entered the room. By the time Mr Unwanted – House couldn't be bothered to check if he knew the person – reached his side, it was too late to stop and tuck himself away again. Besides, there were enough empty urinals around, so why choose the one next to him?
"Dr House," Kutner greeted him cheerfully. "There might be an interesting patient for us."
Great. Did Kutner expect him to jump with joy now? To voice his resentment, House simply grumbled incomprehensible in reply.
Kutner, however, wasn't bothered by it. He accidentally glanced over – just to gauge House's general mood of course – when he caught sight of him. It.
"Whoa!" Kutner announced at the sight in front of him. And made a mess around his urinal in the process. Readjusting his target, he added admirably, "I've never seen anything like that!"
Rolling his eyes, House finished off and walked to the sinks. "Well, not everybody can play in the big league."
Waving the comment off, Kutner joined House. "How did you do that?"
"No milk, no fruits and vegetables, lots of beer," House snarled. "And suddenly it was all grown up."
Ignoring the sarcasm in House's voice, Kutner probed enthusiastically, "No really. How'd you get it rainbow coloured? I bet the chicks love it!"
If it wouldn't itch every time the histamines were wearing off, he'd already have the answer to that. Unfortunately, with the itching only being contained by medications he didn't exactly feel like adding extra friction to it. Or to all the other multi-coloured parts of his body. As he wasn't going to tell Kutner this, House ignored him and instead called over his shoulder as he left the restroom. "Patient's file. My office."
He'd go an visit Wilson for a while.
And thanked that what- or whoever was responsible for his current multi-coloured state had left his head alone.