I don’t own House or BTVS. No infringement is intended. Sadly, no profit will be made from this either.
A couple of weeks later she entered her shared office, deep in thought.
"Miss Summers," an icy voice greeted her. "You are late."
Wincing, Buffy suddenly remembered the meeting she was supposed to have with Dr Marmine. Looking at her watch, she realised she wasn't more than five minutes late. Which was at least something. "Sorry," she offered politely.
"I shall add an appropriate comment to your file," Dr Marmine replied in a condescending voice. "Now, if you would follow me to my office, please."
Putting her bag down, Buffy nodded. It's not like he was giving her a choice.
Once inside, he pointed to a chair in the corner, telling her to bring it over to his desk and have a seat. Rolling her eyes, Buffy lifted the chair up easily and carried it over. Stupid git. Not only wanted Marmine to see her struggle - judging by the weight of the chair anyway - but he also made her think in Spike-speech!
Buffy grumbled quietly to herself. Because, really, all she could do was to make sure she made a clear point of just how effortlessly she actually moved the chair to the appointed space. There, take that!
"Sit," Marmine said, a small note of disappointment in his voice. "As you know, it is time for your progress report."
This was going to be fun, Buffy thought. Suppressing the flippant comment insisting on making an entrance into this world, Buffy just nodded.
"Good," Marmine started unemotionally. "Let's start."
It was torture. Pure and simple torture.
Listening to Marmine droning on and on about this and that. He managed to only fleetingly mention any praise she had received but instead focused on the few times she had been criticised.
In the end Buffy tuned his voice out and instead listened to the steady heart-beat of her unborn baby. She was so pre-occupied by the sound, that she missed the end of Marmine's monologue completely.
"Miss Summers!" Dr Marmine shouted. "Have you been listening at all?"
If it had been House or her mother, she would most certainly have blushed at being caught dreaming. But Marmine? He had yet to show her any kind of respect. Therefore, she just shrugged her shoulders unapologetically. "Must have dozed off. Groundhog Day usually does that to me."
Squinting his eyes, Marmine threw her an incredulous look. "What?"
Buffy rolled her eyes. Mentally, of course. "The movie? Guy lives through Groundhog Day over and over again? Until he fixes his life? Well, his hair is still off but you can't have everything."
"What the hell has this to do with here and now?" Marmine asked, confusion still suppressing his anger at being ignored. Just about.
"You seemed to repeat the same thing over and over again," Buffy replied matter-of-factly. It's not like she could get into more trouble than she was already anyway. "Only without the fixing it part."
Anger finally boiling over, Marmine turned bright red. "That has … that has to be the most disrespectful
thing I've ever heard!"
"It's the truth," Buffy replied, eyeing him calmly. "You're supposed to teach me. Help me improve. Yet all you seem to be doing is throwing stones in my way, waiting for me to stumble over them. And when I do, you gloat openly."
"That … that's ridiculous!" Marmine spluttered.
"I agree," Buffy said coldly. "You behave like a stubborn child whose favourite toy has been broken."
Putting his hands on his desk, Marmine pushed himself up and leaned towards Buffy. "I'll make sure the head of this program hears about this – and acts accordingly!" Sitting back down, he intertwined his hands in front of him. "Oh, wait! That's me!"
Buffy could only roll her eyes at his power play. Not doing him the favour of being intimidated at all, she raised her eyebrow as if to ask 'So what?'.
Grinning evilly, Marmine continued, "You're fired."
Buffy shrugged her shoulders. "Based on what accounts?"
"What? On what accounts?" he asked incredulously, his voice rising higher with each word.
"Yes. You might be the program coordinator, but even you have to answer to others."
Marmine couldn't believe it. There she was, sitting calmly in front of him as if she hadn't just lost her job. Worse, she didn't even take him seriously. Well, two could play this game. "Fine," he said almost pleasantly. "How does badmouthing your superior sound?"
"Nasty," Buffy said in mock-shock. Marmine smiled. Smiling sweetly, Buffy added, "Got any witnesses?"
"What?" He squeaked. Marmine actually squeaked.
Buffy frowned. "You say that a lot, you know." Crossing her arms, she added, "Anyway, I've always been polite. You, however, have behaved quite, well … unpleasant in public."
"Cafeteria, a few weeks back?" Buffy asked innocently.
Marmine huffed. He had to admit that she would at least get the benefit of a doubt if he brought up this particular accusation. Despite it being a valid one. And she knew it. "Fine," he snarled. "What about lying to get out of an assignment." When Buffy just raised an questioning eyebrow, he added, "You being unable to watch a simple DVD due to an alleged break-in into your apartment?"
"Oh, that," Buffy said with a dismissive hand gesture. "I'll just bring in the police report. Oh, in case you're interested, the thieves have been caught last week. Didn't get any of my stuff back, though."
This time, Marmine's mouth might have formed a reply, but no sound came out of his mouth. Shaking himself – and closing his mouth, he stared back at her. She must be bluffing. There was no other way. But there she sat, smiling pleasantly back at him.
"Fine," he growled. "Underachievement. If you'd have been listening earlier you would know there've been several complaints about your performance."
Buffy shrugged her shoulders. "Fair enough."
Marmine smiled maliciously. He finally had her.
However, thoughtfully tapping her chin, Buffy continued innocently, "Hey! Maybe they'll tell me how to improve instead of simply telling me I've done it wrong? That'd be nice, don't you think?"
Marmine actually screamed. Well, he let out a frustrated shout. But Buffy figured it counted as a scream. She just wished – silently, of course – she could have a recording of this conversation as she was rather proud of it herself. She hadn't even touched him – yet she was the clear victor.
And, judging by his crestfallen face, Marmine knew it. Folding her hands in her lap, Buffy figured now was the perfect time for the final blow in his attempt to get her thrown out of the program.
"Is that all?" She asked.
"For now," Marmine growled darkly. "But don't think this is over yet."
"Of course not," Buffy replied offended. "Where would the fun be in that?"
Getting up, she effortlessly carried the heavy chair back to his original place, smiling at Marmine when his expression darkened even more. Her hand at the door knob, she turned around to deliver that final blow.
"By the way," she said politely. "I'm kind of pregnant."
Closing the door behind her, she chuckled when she heard a loud thump.
It sounded distinctively like a head hitting a desk.
Inside his office, Dr Marmine was absently rubbing the spot where his forehead had met his desk. Groaning, he leaned back into his chair, closing his eyes.
There was no way he could get rid of her now. Normally, her calling him names would bring him more than one step closer to aforementioned goal. But she had been right, who wouldn't give her the benefit of a doubt? Yes, her performance wasn't perfect but, he had to admit, it wasn't worse than that of any of the other candidates. And this was a teaching program, so imperfection was to be expected.
Worse, she was pregnant. Human resources – and the Dean of Medicine – were rather reluctant to prematurely end a contract with any pregnant staff. Too much bad publicity involved. Which meant he now needed much more ammunition to get rid of her.
Frowning, he checked his calendar and started counting backwards. Mark died about thirteen weeks ago. So she was either at least thirteen weeks pregnant or had started sleeping around shortly after his death.
A cruel smile started to play along his lips. Judging by her slim figure, she should start to show early in her pregnancy rather than later. As she was still incredibly thin, skinny almost, he dismissed the idea of Mark being the baby's father quite quickly. Which meant she had gotten over Mark quickly. Or, more likely, was sleeping around even before he had died. Yes. That must be it.
And, more importantly, it would reveal her true character – a manipulating bitch – to the world.
was behaving the same way he accused Buffy of behaving, never crossed his mind.
--A/N: Thanks for all those reviews again! Sorry about the shortness, but Muse is on strike. Well, not really. I actually know what happens next, but couldn't help myself and post this one… To be honest, it took me ages to write this. I started typing and then was like 'Huh? Where did that come from?'. Getting over the surprise of what I was typing took some time, but now I'm actually quite pleased with the outcome. Hope you like it too!