I don’t own House or BTVS. No infringement is intended. Sadly, no profit will be made from this either. I do, however, own the cups of hot chocolate I drank during writing it.
Heather Forrester sighed and closed her eyes. Wherever she went these days, she saw children of all shapes and sizes. Babies in prams being pushed by smiling mothers. Toddlers wobbling along on the hands of moms and dads. Children talking animatedly and laughing on the playground. Children being comforted by their parents after having fallen off the swings.
It hadn't always been like this, but in the last year or two she had started to notice the children more and more. Apparently, her subconscious mind thought it was time to get married and start her own family. Which was fine with her. She had a successful career and even though she hadn't become a lawyer like her parents and older brother, they had accepted her choice. Especially after she became a rather successful surgeon who the right people looked up to.
She was engaged, even though they hadn't set a date yet. Cliff had also started to warm up to the idea of having children. Life was perfect.
Then her little brother had died in a car accident.
They hadn't been close.
But he had still been her little brother. She had still sent him Birthday and Christmas cards. Despite him stopping to reply a few years ago.
Worse, those friends of his had not even had the decency to contact his family after his death! He might have spent the last decade away from home, but that didn't give them
the right to deny his family the right to arrange his funeral. To bring him back home. In contrast, her family hadn't even been told until the funeral had been over. Even then they hadn't bothered to come by in person or phone them. Or just send them a personalised letter.
No. Not them.
Eventually, someone had phoned her parents' law firm and had told the secretary. The secretary
! Who in their right mind would do that? No wonder her parents and brother had been furious. She herself had been too shocked to be angry. Too empty. And, for the first time since her teenage years, she had cried herself to sleep that night as Cliff had been at a conference and therefore unable to comfort her the way she had wanted and needed.
So she had curled up in bed and cried for all the missed opportunities. They both had had so many dreams when they were little. Jonathan, their older brother, had always known that he wanted to become a lawyer like their parents. But the two younger siblings used to change their future careers almost monthly. But even then, she'd always chosen something her parents would consider appropriate while her brother, barely two years her junior, had already shown signs of becoming the family rebel.
Hence, it hadn't come as a surprise to her when he went travelling as soon as he had finished high-school instead of going straight to college as their parents had expected. In fact, she had enjoyed his phone calls and long letters in which he had described his adventures in detail.
Okay, their parents hadn't been too pleased about it. But they had let him be.
Then his calls had become less frequent. As had his letters. Later, after almost two month without any sign of life from him, he had sent them a rather impersonal letter telling them about is plans to study in Italy.
It had hurt her. Him not telling her in person but in a rather boring letter.
Jonathan had just snorted at their brother's decision. Had said he hadn't expected anything else. Had called him the black sheep of the family for the first time in front of their parents.
And they hadn't protested.
Neither had she. In that moment, she had simply been too disappointed by her little brother's distrust in her to protest.
Later, once she had time to calm down, she had gone to their mother and asked for her brother's address or phone number so she could contact him. She had once more been disappointed as their hadn't been a phone number but she had swallowed her pride and wrote a long and detailed letter to him. Telling him how she had felt without holding back.
She had never received an answer.
So she had tried again after they had received a formal Christmas card from him.
Again, she had received no answer. After that their had only been Birthday and Christmas cards from both sides. Until his had stopped completely. Yet she had never given up on him.
But now it was too late. There would never be a time to talks things out. There would never be the talk she craved so much.
Mark was dead.
Sighing again, Heather opened her eyes. The sky was still blue, the sun was still shining even if her thoughts had become more depressive. When the unmistakeable deep belly laugh of a toddler reached her ears, she turned in the direction it seemed to have come from. And couldn't stop the single tear from escaping. It was too late for many things.
A couple of weeks after hearing about Mark's death, fate had presented her with another low blow.
A fairly routine examination had come back with devastating results.
She was infertile. Or close to, anyway. The chances of her ever becoming pregnant were slimmer than slim. Worse, if against all odds – with or without medical intervention - she actually became pregnant, the chances of carrying the baby to term were even slimmer.
Cliff had taken the news quite well. Then again, he had been behaving kind of odd ever since they had learned about Mark's death. She had started to wonder if he had an affair. But, after several long sleepless nights, she had taken a deep breath and asked him if he had. He had been so genuinely surprised by her suggestion, that she had known immediately that she was wrong. Luckily he hadn't been mad at her but had told her about having some problems at work.
She had asked if she could help in any way but he had just shaken his head and promised to leave his problems at work from now on. Which he had. Heather smiled. He had looked so guilty then. But things were back to normal now.
Looking at her watch, she quickly stood up and started her way back to the hospital. Her lunch-break was almost over. Taking out her mobile, she swiftly dialled his mobile number. There was always time for a quick chat with her fiancé. When the call was immediately directed to his mail-box, she dialled another number.
This time she was having more luck.
"Can I talk to Dr Marmine, please?"
Ever since sending the request for information on one Buffy Summers, House had started to check his emails first thing in the morning. Not really reading all the new emails he had received, mind you, but just making sure he hadn't gotten an answer to his request yet. Which, so far, he hadn't.
Couldn't have anyone else have this piece of information. As, even with Cameron gone, he still didn't answer his own emails. Most of them where rubbish anyway. Still, he had the suspicion Wilson was sneaking into his account occasionally to make sure House didn't miss the important stuff. If there happened to be any.
This morning, however, was different. He had woken up in a good mood for once. Which caused him to end up in his office early. Then, upon opening his email account, a slow smile started to spread across his lips.
He had just received a reply. Well, the email itself had been sent off late the previous night, but he'd been asleep by then. So, technically, he had just received it.
Rubbing his hands in anticipation, he made himself comfortable by putting his feet up on his desk and opened the email.
Halfway through, he sat up quickly, putting his feet back on the ground. Then he read the sentence again.
She had burned down her high school gym?
Whoa! That was brilliant stuff! Grinning, he read through the remaining information. Which turned out to be just as interesting as the first part.
Once finished, he leaned back, folded his hands and rested his head on the top of his index-fingers.
He had lots to think about. And if he was getting paid for it by doing it at the hospital, then it was even better.
On Friday morning Buffy was standing in front of her full-length mirror, staring at her mirror image with a frown. Or rather, at her belly.
She'd just popped the button of the second pair of pants. Either her pants had decided to collectively shrink during their last wash or she was actually starting to get fat. But she was only 15 weeks pregnant!
She was 15weeks pregnant.
That might explain it.
What was she going to wear if all of her clothes decided to stop fitting her at the exact same time?
Complaining to her uncooperative clothes in general, she went to grab her phone.
"I'm too fat for my clothes," Buffy whined as soon as the phone was answered.
The only reply was chuckling.
Grumbling, Buffy added, "That's so not fair! Laughing in the face of a major clothes crisis."
"How about we raid the shopping mall on Saturday?" Lisa replied, the smile still evident in her voice.
"But what about now?" Buffy whined. "You don't want naked Buffy at work, do you?"
Laughing again, Lisa shook her head. Even though Buffy couldn't see it. "I'm sure half the patients and staff won't mind."
"Hey!" Buffy exclaimed, clearly pouting. "You spent way too much time with House."
"We work together," Lisa said with furrowed brows.
"We do," Lisa replied uncomfortably, knowing full well that there was some truth in Buffy's statement. "Now, what's wrong with your clothes?"
Buffy could hear her mother chuckle once more. Looking critically into the full-length mirror again, she added, "They did. Or an evil clothes-shrinking demon sneaked into my apartment."
Lisa snorted. "Evil cloth-shrinking demon? Are there non-evil clothes-shrinking demons?"
"Ha ha. Very funny."
"Thanks," Lisa replied evenly. "Now, have you tried wearing a dress?"
Buffy shook her head. "I don't want to," she added, her voice having a definite whining note to it. "But the buttons on my pants keep popping."
"Leave the button open. Wear a long shirt or blouse over it."
"But-," Buffy whined some more.
Lisa sighed. "Okay, how about I'll come by your place and we'll have a look together?"
"Really?" Buffy asked hopefully.
"Really. I'll even bring some donuts," Lisa said while grabbing her purse and keys. She'd just ask her secretary to move her first appointment back for half an hour or arrange it at a completely different time. As it was Wilson, she was sure he wouldn't mind too much.
Grinning, Lisa locked her front door behind her. "Yes, even jam donuts."
Less than half an hour later, Lisa knocked at her daughter's door. And couldn't help laughing at Buffy opening the door wearing nothing but an oversized jumper. Upon Buffy's glare, she wordlessly handed her the box she was carrying.
"Twelve donuts, including some jam donuts just for you," she said, smiling knowingly.
"Oh!" Buffy considerably perked up and opened the box. With a squeal of delight, she took the first donut in sight and quickly relieved it of its miserable life. Moaning in sheer bliss as she did so.
Grinning, Lisa couldn't help but comment, "No wonder your clothes won't fit!"
Squinting her eyes at her mother, Buffy half turned away before grabbing another donut. "I've got a fast metabolism."
Lisa laughed. "Tell that the evil cloth-shrinking demons."
Buffy huffed. And ate a third donut. This one was covered in chocolate.
Shaking her head, Lisa motioned towards to bedroom. "Shall we have a look?"
Seeing Buffy nod, Lisa led the way – and raised her eyebrows at the chaos in the room. Every surface – including the floor, was covered in clothes.
Buffy shrugged her shoulders. "I couldn't decide."
Shaking her head, Lisa carefully stepped into the room. "No kidding."
And wondered if the 30 minutes she had given herself would be enough to sort through this chaos.
She knew that already, Buffy thought darkly. While improving her mood short-term, having eaten seven donuts for breakfast didn't do anything to help with her uncooperative clothes.
Allison frowned. Usually Buffy didn't care about anything like that. But today she seemed to be rather grumpy. "Hey, are you alright?"
Buffy only huffed and opened the door to the stairs. Raising her eyebrows, Allison followed. She had time for a short break. "Buffy," she prompted once more.
"I'm fat," Buffy stated before plopping onto the steps, hiding her face in her hands.
"Oh my god!" Allison exclaimed excitedly. "You mean you actually started to show?"
Buffy nodded miserably, not bothering to look up.
"It's about time!" Allison continued, her excitement never leaving her voice. Despite Buffy throwing her a very dark look at her enthusiasm. "We so need to go shopping! I've got tomorrow off, how about that?"
Buffy gave Allison a calculating look. She'd already made arrangements to haunt the mall on Sunday with her mother. But going there twice could hardly hurt. Who knows? The 'Monsters that Be' might decide to give her bump a growth spurt overnight! Feeling a bit better, Buffy finally gave her friend a small lopsided grin. "I guess. What about house hunting?"
"Huh?" Confusing written all over her face, Allison sat down next to Buffy.
"I've got an appointment to look at two houses in the morning," Buffy explained. Lisa had wanted to come, but had to do some hospital stuff that day. Hence the shopping trip on Sunday rather than Saturday. "Have lunch afterwards and then raid the mall?"
Allison nodded. Getting up, she held out her hands to Buffy and pulled her up. "Sounds like a plan. Maybe check out some guys too."
Grinning, Buffy waggled her eyebrows. "Chase not enough for you?"
Blushing, Allison shook her head. "I'm talking window shopping only."
Buffy smirked. "Uh huh." Before Allison could reply though, she quickly made her way up the stairs and out of her friend's reach.
Meanwhile, Allison stood still for another couple of seconds before shaking her head and going back to the ER. At least Buffy looked much happier now. Besides, she also knew Chase wouldn't mind the short-notice arrangement as he already had plans to spent the day with his friends.
Male bonding or something like that.
--A/N: Sorry about the little wait – but I've been writing several chapters and just didn't get around to edit them. If anyone of you has an idea where Heather is coming from – I'd really like to know too! Muse must have sneaked her in when I wasn't looking. But I think I'm going to like her. Kinda.
*slowly backs out and gets into running-away position*
Well… some of you probably have noticed that we are closing in on the month of November.
*starts running really, really fast*
Which is the month of NaNoWriMo. 50000 words written in one month. Original fiction. *cough* No time for fanfiction *cough*
*reaches hiding spot*
Anyway, I've three more chapters written (though they still need a bit of editing … btw, the Tara-story will play a prominent role!) and I'll try to write even more (no promises!). However, updates will still be less frequent in the next few weeks… BUT I'll be back! That IS a promise.