I don’t own House or BTVS. No infringement is intended. Sadly, no profit will be made from this either.
The next morning, Cuddy was sitting at home drinking her morning coffee, grinning. She just wished she could actually be there. Watch House's reaction. However, just thinking about it made the giggles bubble up in her chest.
Actually, the laxatives had been Buffy's idea. As revenge to the mayonnaise stunt House had pulled in the cafeteria. To be honest, she would never have thought of it herself. To implement it, that is. Cuddy had only wondered out loud what would happen if they'd switch House's Vicodin with something else. And she'd mainly said it to cheer Buffy up, really.
Buffy had been then suggested the laxatives and
convinced her to go through with it. House really deserved it, after all. So, just before leaving last night, Cuddy had gone into House's office and switched his pills. With a smiling Buffy keeping watch. At least that part of the plan had worked out already.
All she had to do now was to go into work and wait.
A short while later Buffy was standing outside the hospital. Despite having House taken care off by those lovely laxatives, conveniently switched with his office stash of Vicodin. After yesterday, she simply didn't want to cross his path today.
Looking at her watch, she sighed. She really needed to go in. Now. Glaring at her feet, she told them to go. Of course, they didn't listen. Stupid appendages. Worse, by now she probably looked rather stupid just standing on the same spot for ages.
Sighing, she tried again. "Come on, feet. I'm ready. Sort of, anyway. Get going. Now."
"Buffy?" A confused voice asked her from behind. "Are you alright?"
Looking up, Buffy blushed brightly. "Allison, hi," she said sheepishly.
"What's wrong?" Allison asked, putting a reassuring hand on her shoulder.
"Nothing, really," Buffy said, taking a deep breath. "Just some trouble with my feet."
"Huh?" Allison asked puzzled. Looking down, she added, "They look fine to me."
"Yeah, well. They were cold." At Allison's questioning eyebrows, Buffy added, "I was having cold feet, okay?"
Realisation dawning, Allison grinned. "Interesting way to put it. So, what's wrong?"
Buffy sighed. "Nothing, really. Hormones, probably." House, actually. He had come a bit too close for comfort the previous day.
"Maybe you should go and see your doctor?" Allison asked, back to being concerned.
"Buffy?" Allison looked at her in shock. "You've got a doctor, right?"
"Kinda?" Buffy offered. "House did an ultrasound, prescribed me some vitamins and stuff."
Shaking her head, Allison grabbed her elbow. "Come on, I'll take you up to obstetrics."
Letting herself be let into the hospital – ha, cold feet, take that – Buffy shook her head. "There's no need to, really. I've got another few weeks till the next check-up."
Putting on her best smile, Buffy quickly shook her head. "I'm muchos betteros already, see? Oh, look! It's late, I need to be going."
"Muchos betteros?" Allison asked grinning. "You sure have an interesting way of speaking sometimes."
"Oh, that's nothing!" Buffy said, mimicking her friend's grin. "You should have listened to one of our old Scooby-meetings. Mom always left the room once we really started, heading straight for the Tylenol."
"Scooby? As in the comics?"
"Yeah. It's just some close friends. One of them, Xander, nick-named us and it kinda stuck. Anyway, I really need to go. Talk to you later!" Buffy said, leaving Allison to look after her with a weird expression on her face.
"So much for telling her about the barbeque fork accident last night," Allison mumbled to herself. Shrugging her shoulders, she turned and went into the ER.
Buffy, having overheard the barbeque fork accident comment, stopped mid-motion. She couldn't believe it. First the ugly Spandex-demon thingy, now vampires in her hospital! Sighing, she turned around and went after Allison. No matter how much she wanted to, she just couldn't let it pass. "Allison, wait!"
Raising her eyebrows in surprise, Allison turned around. "Buffy? I thought you had to leave?"
"Yeah, well," Buffy said cheerfully. "I just figured there might be enough time to hear the barbeque fork story."
"Huh? How did you know?" Allison asked confused.
Oops. She could hardly say she had just overheard Allison mumbling to herself. She had been a teeny tiny bit too far away for that, after all. But overhearing is good. Yep. "I heard a couple of nurses mentioning it?"
"Outside the hospital?"
"They were chatting about it while passing me?" Buffy finally offered with a weak smile.
Furrowing her brow, Allison let it go. The nurses around did like to chat, after all. Not only in the hospital but on their way to and from work as well. "It was kinda funny, actually. Last night, that poor guy was more or less carried in by his friends, holding his neck. When I took off the bandage they'd applied to the wound to have a look, I found two perfect holes next to each other, both of them bleeding quite heavily."
Buffy looked up in alarm. That didn't sound too good. At all. The friends must have interrupted the vamps, though. Or there wouldn't have been much bleeding. "What did you do? Did he survive?" She asked nervously. Having a fledgling hanging out in the morgue, no matter how unlikely it was as he'd still been alive when the vampires left, wouldn't be of the good.
Looking at her funnily, Allison nodded. "Yes, of course. They managed to do quite a bit of damage with the barbeque fork, but we were eventually able to stop the bleeding."
"Barbeque fork?" Buffy asked confused.
"They were having a barbeque and just fooling around with the fork. Until it ended up in the poor guys neck. I mean, they were so shocked, they applied pressure to the wound, loaded the guy into their car and drove him right here. One of his friends was still holding the bloody fork in his hands."
"Huh? You mean there really was a barbeque fork accident?" Buffy asked surprised. There might have been tons of barbeque fork accidents
in Sunnydale, but she couldn't think of a single one actually involving an actual fork in the first place.
"Yes," Allison said carefully. Why would she doubt her story? "Buffy, are you sure you're alright? You looked rather pale for a while."
Shaking her head to clear it, Buffy nodded absently. "Yeah. Yeah, I'm fine. Sorry."
"What's going on?" A new voice asked at the same time.
Oh crap. That wasn't good, Buffy thought. Putting on a smile she looked up. "Nothing."
"Dr Cuddy!" Allison greeted her friendly. "I was just telling Buffy about a patient last night."
"Barbeque fork accident," Buffy said darkly. Before her mother could reply though, she added, "With an actual barbeque fork."
Allison looked confused between the two women. She could have sworn that the second Buffy had mentioned the barbeque fork, Cuddy had started to pale. Just like Buffy had before. Yet, upon mentioning there was an actual fork involved, her colouring went back to normal.
"Anyway," Buffy said, "I need to go. See you later."
"Lunch?" Allison asked quickly before Buffy was out of hearing range. She needed to learn more.
Turning back, Buffy nodded. "Sure."
"Uh," Cuddy started, thinking of something to ask that would explain her being here. Other than having gotten a glimpse of Buffy and coming to investigate. "Have you seen House?"
Sighing heavily, Buffy picked up her bag and left the shared office. It had been a long day and all she wanted to do now was to go home and relax. With lots of chocolate. Unfortunately, being preoccupied with her plans for the night, she didn't see House step up to her.
However, when he grabbed her arm he quickly found himself pinned against the wall.
Eyes opening comically wide as she realised what had happened, Buffy quickly released him. "Uh … Sorry?"
House, flabbergasted at the speed with which he had found himself against the wall just stared at Buffy.
Trying to smooth out his shirt where she had grabbed him, Buffy avoided looking into his face. "It's your fault, really. Doing the cane-less walk without warning!"
Shaking his head as if to clear it, House kept staring at her. "I left it on the bench over there," he finally said. "Didn't have time to grab it when I saw you."
Finally giving up on his crinkled shirt, it was probably that way when he put it on this morning anyway, Buffy decided to stay in the offensive. "Yeah, well. A warning would have been of the good. Grab Buffy first, warn her later isn't really nice, you know."
"About that, how did you-?" House asked, motioning between himself and the wall.
Buffy shrugged her shoulders. "Adrenalin?" She offered weakly. "Besides, every girl should know a bit of self-defence."
"A bit? I could have sworn my feet were dangling above the ground for a couple of seconds there!" House said astonished, motioning frantically between himself and the innocent looking wall.
Laughing nervously, Buffy touched his forehead. "Nope. Normal temperature. I could've sworn you said I've lifted you off the ground, though." Patting his arm, she added patronising, "Must've been the shock or something."
Watching her with squinted eyes, he finally shook his head. He couldn't put his finger on it, but there definitely was something off with this situation – other than her fast reflexes, that is. Well, she had proven her ability to fight before, which might explain her surprising him. Still.
Remembering why he had wanted to stop her in the first place, he took her arm again and tried to pull her back towards his cane.
"Uh, House?" Buffy asked alarmed.
"I want you to meet somebody," House said in answer to her question. Muttering to himself, he added, "That should be interesting."
Raising her eyebrows at House's last comment, one she was sure wasn't meant for her ears either, Buffy let him pull her towards the elevators. A few minutes later they apparently reached their destination as House stopped in front of a patient's room. Opening the door, he motioned her inside.
Rolling her eyes at him, Buffy nevertheless followed his silent request. Inside was a single bed, occupied by an average looking, middle aged man. Frowning, Buffy turned back to House and ask flippantly, "What's with the what? Need help with the diagnose making?"
"Nope." House shook his head. "Buffy, meet Mr… , well, I might tell you once he remembers," House continued instead of giving her a real explanation.
Buffy greeted the man, giving him a short wave, "Hi." As she turned to House, she saw him studying both her and the patient with open curiosity. Frowning, she looked at the patient again. "Bye," she added almost immediately and stepped towards the door. She wasn't in the mood for one of House's stupid games.
"What's with the what?" The patient repeated her previous question, grinning and waving at both of them.
House raised his eyebrows and smirked when Buffy stopped mid-motion and slowly turned around. His patient had mimicked her almost perfectly.
House wondered briefly if he could make a bit of money out of him. Charge admission or something. As, thanks to the Mirror Syndrome he was suffering from, the patient was able to mimic the behaviour of the, to him anyway, most appealing or most dominant appearing person in the room. In that, he also showed an astonishing ability to read and correctly interpret even the smallest change in the behaviour or the expression of said person. Damn, he must be a hell of a poker player with that ability, House thought.
"House," Buffy growled, rudely interrupting his thoughts. She was so not in the mood for one of his stupid games.
"I'm tired," the patient said almost immediately, suddenly sounding defeated.
Buffy looked baffled. Where did the sudden mood change come from? And what was that with the triumphant grin on House's face? Tiredness forgotten for a moment, suspicion came back full force. This was House, after all.
The patient tilted his head, looking between the two of them. Glaring at House, he asked suspiciously, "Another round of fun-of-Buffy-making?"
This time, Buffy jumped. This was way too creepy for her comfort. Crossing her arms in front of her, she glared at House. The patient mimicked her pose once again. "House," the patient growled before Buffy could say anything. "Yeah. What he said," she added, her tone matching the patient's.
Seeing House's grin only spread across his face, Buffy sighed deeply and looked down. Slowly shaking her head, she closed her eyes for a second before looking straight into his. "Find another playmate. I'm too tired for this."
Turning around, she left the room without another word. House furrowed his eyebrows. This time, Buffy had sounded as defeated as the patient had several minutes back. Looking at him again, he saw a single tear running down the patient's cheek.
Huffing, House left the room.
Back in his office, he took up his thinking ball once more and thought about the meeting in the patient's room.
In fact, he hadn't expected the patient to take on Buffy's personality but wanted to see her react to another person with his own attitude. However, once the guy had started mimicking Buffy, he couldn't find anything wrong with that either. After all, he already knew that there was much more to Buffy than the almost Valley Girl like personality she chose to show to most people.
What had caught him off-guard though was the defeat in Buffy's voice just before she had left. When the patient had said he was tired, he'd figured he might have slipped back to House, as his leg was hurting like a bitch and he was tired himself. But as soon as Buffy uttered the same words, he knew he had been wrong.
That was another thing. Just when he thought he had figured Buffy out, she surprised him again. Just how many layers did this girl have?
Looks like it was time for the really big guns.
Smirking, he picked up his phone and dialled. "Cameron? This is House. What was the name of that slimy politician from a couple of years ago? Kid had gotten himself sick by snooping around and he came to us crying when the idiots in L.A. couldn't figure out what was wrong?"
House threw his ball against the wall while waiting for Cameron's answer.
And, just as he'd imagined, it didn't take her long to figure out who he meant.
Putting the phone down – without thanking her or answering her question as to why he wanted to know it – House threw his ball against the wall again.
After that, it didn't take him long to find the information he needed. Picking up his phone, he dialled another number. Pulling a very sad face – he always found it gave an extra notch to his fake sad-voice - he quickly managed to convince the, probably blond and good-racked-but-dumb secretary of Mr. I'm-such-an-important-Politician to put him through.
Only ten minutes and a sad story later, he had the promise of someone looking into any information they had on one Buffy Summers and sending them to him straight away. Juvenile records or not.
--A/N: I'm going with the episode here, even though the correctness of the 'Mirror Syndrome' described in the House episode 'Mirror, Mirror' is rather controversial. But as this is my story, lets just say it is an established illness – and works the way I tried to describe – rather than it being only a one-case study!
Anyway, thanks for all the reviews again! As usual, they simply make my day! I had a bit of trouble with this chapter, but have hopefully past the most difficult bit now. Especially as there are interesting things still to come and I just want Muse to get to those juicy bits! I mean, just think of what kind of information House could get his hands on! Hehe.