I don’t own House or BTVS. No infringement is intended. Sadly, no profit will be made from this either.
Monday morning came way too early for Buffy. Groaning, she stumbled out of her bed and straight into the bathroom for her shower. At least she had enough clothes for the rest of her pregnancy.
Smiling slightly, she thought back to the last weekend. The house hunting with Allison had been fun. As it had turned out, Allison had a good eye for the details. Or, rather, those that Buffy hadn't thought about. Even though Buffy hadn't found what she was looking for, together with Allison she had been able to give the agent a much more detailed description of what she wanted and needed. The agent hadn't minded the long checklist, but promised to go over the properties on sale again and contact Buffy as soon as something suitable came up.
After that, Buffy and Allison had gone for lunch – which included window-shopping for men, of course – followed by a rather long shopping spree. As neither of them had anything else to do and Chase was out late, they'd rounded the day off with a good ol' chick flick and lots of popcorn and other unhealthy snacks.
Sunday had been equally successful. In the morning, Buffy had met up with the two Slayers Faith had sent. It was their weekly meeting to check on their progress and plan next weeks activities. Their first meeting the previous week had still been somewhat awkward as the girls were impressed just to be with the most successful Slayer in recent history.
Luckily, Buffy had managed to convince them that even she was only human. With special abilities, of course. Then again, drifting off in the middle of them talking about their pre-Slayer life might have helped a lot. Sondra and Eve had even gone as far as nicknaming her sleepyhead. But Buffy didn't mind. In fact, she had been chuckling alongside them and any earlier tension between them had vanished immediately.
Being more awake again, she had suggested some changes to their schedules to increase their efficiency. These changes would give Sondra and Eve more time to themselves. After that, the two younger Slayers had been ready to do anything for Buffy. Naturally, this included teasing her mercilessly if the situation arose.
Later that Sunday, she had met up with Lisa and they had gone shopping once more. Even better, Buffy had managed to avoid all the shops she and Allison had raided the previous day. Lisa had wondered at first, but when Buffy had sheepishly admitted to the previous day's raiding session, Lisa had just laughed and shaken her head every time they had passed another shop without going inside.
When the real estate agent had phoned in the middle of that afternoon, telling Buffy about a property that had just come in, they had cut their shopping trip short – it wasn't like Buffy hadn't bought enough clothes already. And, despite it being Sunday, they went to see the house. Even though the property wasn't going onto the market for another couple of weeks.
It was love at first sight. Despite the current state of chaos inside as it was still occupied.
The three-bedroom house was in a relative quite neighbourhood. Not lifeless though, as it was filled with kids enjoying the sunny afternoon outside. The house itself was painted in a welcoming yellow-orangy colour and had an unexpected ranch-style layout. Buffy loved it. It had the basement she wanted to convert into a training room for herself and the fenced backyard Allison insisted on being an absolute necessity.
Upon entering, you came into a central area that led to the bedrooms, family bathroom and the dining and living room as well as to the stairs. There were two similar sized bedrooms at the front of the house. At the back was the big and bright master bedroom with an en-suite bathroom. And, much to Buffy's delight, a walk-in closet.
The kitchen at the back of the house overlooked a covered porch big enough to put a medium sized picnic table on it. Albeit small, it still allowed for comfortable cooking. Eating would have to be done in the dining area of the huge dining and living or family room though.
Located at the rear of the house between the master bedroom and the kitchen, the dining/living room was dominated by an, all of the back wall covering, large window. This gave a great free view into the big backyard. Even better, the room was literally protruding into the backyard, giving the room an even bigger feel to it. To the right, it had access to the covered patio in front of the kitchen, and to the left was a similar sized, albeit open, patio.
Upstairs was smaller and already dominated by the roof's slope. There was a small office and another small bathroom. The majority of space, however, was allocated to a big play room. The carpet was soft and deep, just asking to be played on. Toys were lying around in most of the room, although there was a small corner that was clear of them as if there was an invisible barrier or something. Instead, there were books everywhere and a well-worn loveseat in the middle of it. As simple as it was, it looked like a well loved and frequently used reading space.
And, in the middle of all the toys, Buffy found the answer to a question that had been lingering at the back of her mind since they had entered the house.
More than once did she or Lisa had to stop in order to avoid running into a little black-haired boy. After getting more and more worried at just how much trouble one little boy could get into and at his ability to be at several places at the same time, they had finally found their answer. There, oblivious to the strangers in the middle of their favourite room, were identical twin boys having an important battle for some space station or other.
Sharing a grin, mother and daughter had left the boys to their play. Walking around the backyard, they had talked about their first impressions. Which were just as identical as the small boys upstairs.
Lisa liked it just as much as Buffy, and Buffy had promised the agent to get back to her as soon as possible.
The current owners, the Martens, had offered to show her around the neighbourhood after immediately getting along with Buffy and Lisa. If she was interested. And they had invited Buffy and Lisa to stay for their good-bye barbeque that very night. They might not move out for a few weeks, but it had been the best time to get most of their neighbours to come.
With two boys now hanging on either side of her, Buffy hadn't had much of a choice but to accept the impromptu invitation. Not that it had been such a hard decision anyway. The longer they had stayed, the more Buffy had relaxed. The boys, having found two new persons to twist around their little finger, had played a large part in it too. Of course, it hadn't hurt that the neighbours turned out to be just as pleasant as the Martens.
In other words, Buffy was sold. She wanted this house and had told Lisa so on their way back.
When they had finally made it home, or rather when Lisa had dropped her off at her apartment, Buffy had just managed to change into her pajamas and crawl into bed before falling asleep.
Until the stupid alarm had her woken up earlier this morning.
Sighing, her mind came back to the present and she finished the last of her breakfast before walking towards the hospital.
Luckily, there hadn't been any more incidents with Dr Marmine. In fact, he had taken her aside once more but this time had actually explained what had gone wrong and how she could improve in those areas. Both of them had used the appropriate tone and left thinking they had finally achieved what they had wanted all along.
Buffy wanting to become the best physiotherapist she could be – which would only work with the right instructors, of course. She didn't really care about him liking her or not, she just wanted to learn. And to be treated correctly. Still, she was still wary around Dr Marmine, having the niggling feeling they were having nothing but a short cease fire.
Marmine, on the other hand, wanted to make sure she couldn't hold his treatment of her against him. As, grudgingly, he had to agree that some of the points she had made were rather valid. So he would play nice for the moment to ensure the biggest impact of future accusations. He even went as far as talking with her about amending her schedule, taking her pregnancy into account.
With this on her mind, Buffy was in a good mood again by the time she reached the hospital. She had to tell Allison about the house, after all. And ask if she'd fancy a visit one evening.
She'd exchanged numbers with the Martens' in case she wanted to have another look. Which, considering she already called the agent and told her she was going to make an offer, she did.
House was grinning as he strolled into the conference room.
In fact, he hadn't stopped grinning ever since reading the report on Buffy last Friday. If anything, he had made a couple of more enquiries over the weekend. Although he hadn't unearthed much more, what he knew already was enough for lots of fun.
His remaining fellow candidates looked at each other in varying degrees of surprise and foreboding. In their experience, a grinning House never meant anything good. Kutner was just about to make a comment, when the door opened and Wilson walked in.
"Wilson! What can I do for you this wonderful morning?" House asked cheerfully. Pulling a face, a quickly amended, "Well, you know I'd get someone else to do it. Unless it's a hot chick needing to be ogled. Or groped. Better yet, ogled and groped."
"Did you overdose?" Wilson asked unimpressed. "Again?"
House looked shocked. "What? Me? Overdosed? You know I'm basically living off water and dry bread."
Rolling his eyes, Wilson looked towards his office. "Can I talk to you for a second?"
"Sure." House nodded but didn't move. When Wilson kept moving his head towards House's office, he added, "Oh! You mean in private?"
Wilson just rolled his eyes and went to open the office door.
Still rooted to the spot, House put both his hands over his heart. "I don't hide anything from the kids," he said innocently. "Unless we are talking sex. Or drugs. Or-"
"House." Wilson interrupted him annoyed. "I'm not in the mood for playing games."
Pulling a chair out, House sat down. "Shame, really."
Scowling, Wilson forcefully closed the office door again. "Fine. Have it your way."
House raised his eyebrows. Leaning towards his wanna-be fellows, he stage-whispered, "I think someone really
needs to get laid."
Kutner snickered openly while the others tried to be less obvious. Although, Amber, House thought for a moment, seemed to be a bit too interested in her hands.
Ignoring House's comment, Wilson started walking up and down. Finally stopping, he turned towards House, "I don't get how you can work with that … that Summers woman!"
"Boring." Sighing, House leaned back in his chair, putting his feet onto the table. "You keep repeating yourself."
"But you don't even know her all that well!"
"What," House snarled, "And you invite all your patients to dinner before treating them?"
"That's different!" Wilson said with conviction. "They are my patients!"
"Buffy's my physiotherapist," House replied evenly. And she's interesting, doesn't bore me to death and knows what she's doing. And she burned down her high school gym.
"But," Wilson started. Taking a deep breath – to the hell with House's fellows – he spat out, "She's a killer!"
"Burning down a gym doesn’t make her a killer," House replied dismissively.
"Huh?" Confused, Wilson stopped his pacing for a moment. "Burning down a gym?"
"Ops," House said, covering his mouth with one hand. "I didn't say that out loud, did I?"
Suddenly having the attention of everyone in the room on him, House shrugged his shoulders.
"When?" Wilson asked, forgetting for a moment what he was going to say.
Furrowing his eyebrows, House asked, "When what?"
"Well, I think we've established my name a while ago," House said.
"Fine. Be that way!" Throwing his arms in the air in annoyance, Wilson added, "You just said Summers burnt down a gym!"
"I did, didn't I?" House said thoughtfully. "Well, we've all been a bit wild at high school. Right?"
"You burnt down a gym?" Wilson asked sarcastically.
"Nope, but I guess Kutner did."
"Uh." Kutner blushed as he suddenly found himself in the middle of everyone's attention.
A smirk spreading across his face, House asked, "You did?"
Kutner shrugged his shoulders in defiance. "Garden shed. And it was an accident. Honestly."
"See!" House said in a triumphant voice, looking straight at Wilson. "These things happen."
"Did Kutner kill an innocent girl as well?" Wilson snapped, having enough of House's little games.
House raised his eyebrows while the other people in the room gasped more or less loudly. Kutner, being the only one looking in the direction of the door at that moment, started, "Uh, hello-"
Of course, nobody listened to him. Instead, House interrupted him with his reply to Wilson's accusation. "Didn't know you cared," he hissed. "But in case you haven't noticed, I'm very much alive."
"She killed my little cousin," Wilson spat out agitated, his head bright red with anger at his so-called friend's indifference. "Tara was shot because of her!"
A gasp from the doorway had everyone turning in that direction – and making obvious what Kutner had been trying to say for the past few minutes.
There, being as white as a sheet, stood Buffy. She'd been on the way to a tutorial and figured she might just as well arrange the next appointment with House. Unfortunately she had arrived just as Wilson was making his accusations.
Feeling everyone's attention on her, she slowly shook her head in order to shake off the memories of that fateful day. Only sheer determination keeping her voice from shaking, she said, "He's right. Tara wouldn't have died that day if it wasn't for me."
Turning on the spot, she quickly left and walked to the only safe place she could think of.
Neither her nor the shocked people in the diagnostics department's conference room saw the lone figure quickly following her.
Or Dr Marmine, coming out of his hiding place, spotting a big grin threatening to split his face in two.
--A/N: I am back! Muahahahaha. I finally managed to re-catch all the brain cells that had run off screaming at the end of November (the poor things had to think a lot about weird stuff… I think Muse scared them off). Anyway, Muse agreed to spare some time for my two fanfic stories again, so updates will be regular again.