I don’t own House or BTVS. No infringement is intended. Sadly, no profit will be made from this either.
Buffy walked hastily towards the stairs. The unshed tears in her eyes making it almost impossible for her to see where she was going.
It had been too good to be true.
A new place, new people. Nobody knew anything about her past and therefore she wouldn't be judged by it.
Okay, she had told her mother, but that was different. Lisa had once been part of that world. She understood and would never judge her for lighting up her high school gym. Well, she would probably suggest some less destructing manner to reach the same goal. Still, Buffy was sure her mother would understand most of the things she'd done. Things she had to do as there was no choice, really. Or, at least, Lisa would give her the benefit of a doubt and listen to Buffy's reasoning.
But everyone else?
Soon the news of her basically admitting to having caused the death of another human being would make their way around the hospital. And there was nothing even her mother could do about it. She had always wondered if she maybe would have been able to prevent Tara's death. If Tara would still be alive if she had never met them. She knew Xander and Willow thought about it occasionally too.
Worse, the little information about her burning down her high school gym – she really wondered how House had learned about that one – wouldn't exactly help her defence. It didn't matter that she hadn't pulled the trigger. People only saw what they wanted to see. She had been bad before, so why question her causing the death of Dr Wilson's cousin? No, they would believe him. Everyone in the hospital trusted Dr Wilson, he was a good man. Buffy didn't stood the slightest chance.
Allison would probably run away screaming too and take Chase with her. Her fellow physiotherapists would do the same. And Marmine? He'd probably throw a party to have finally gotten rid of her. Bastard.
A single tear escaped her eyes.
She would have to leave. Find another place. Start all over again.
Only where? She didn't want to go back to Italy. Too many memories. England or Scotland? Too close to Watcher's Central, for her liking. Besides, she didn't really want to leave the area, now that she had found her mother and they've started to get along so well. But could she simply stay here as if nothing had ever happened?
Buffy subconsciously shook her head to clear it. The longer she thought about it, the more questions started to pop up and it was getting really crowded up there. Blinking so she could see where exactly she was, Buffy sighed thankfully upon seeing the doors to the stairs straight ahead. A couple more minutes and she'd be on the roof. Watching the city below her always helped to calm her thoughts. Although she doubted it would do anything about her aching heart.
She had just pushed the door open, when she heard Chase calling for her. "Buffy! Wait!"
Great. Leaning her head against the door, she sighed deeply. Even if she ignored him, he would most likely follow her. So she just stayed where she was.
"Buffy, hey," Chase said. "I wondered if you've got a few minutes?"
Closing her eyes for a brief moment, she pushed herself off the door and turned around, shrugging.
"Allison-" Chase started but stopped as soon as Buffy had turned completely. Frowning, he gently lifted her chin so he could see her face properly. "Have you been crying? Are you alright?"
Buffy moved away from his hand on her chin, but nodded. "I'm alright. I guess."
Chase wasn't convinced. Taking her by the arm, he lead her towards a nearby visitors area with some comfy chairs and a couch. Carefully pushing her onto the latter one, he took her hands in his. "The kid making trouble?"
Buffy couldn't help but smile at the concern in his voice. Well, this might very well be the last time he'd look at her without disgust. So she might just as well enjoy it. "Nope," she said, absently stroking her tummy.
This time Buffy grinned as Chase sounded both concerned and very
uncomfortable at the same time. But she didn't say anything. Chase, not knowing what to do, finally leaned in for an awkward hug.
Buffy didn't resist. In fact, she hugged him right back. At this moment, it was just what she needed. A reassuring hug from a friend. Even if he'd probably act differently if he knew the truth. When he got ready to move again, Buffy held onto him only tighter and this time, the tears came. The last few minutes had just been too much of an emotional roller coaster. Especially with her pregnancy adding some more hormones to the mix.
Chase, not knowing what else to do, awkwardly patted her back. At least her shampoo smelled nice.
Once the tears dried off, Buffy entangled herself from Chase and smiled sheepishly at him. "Sorry. Guess my hormones were playing ping-pong after all."
"It's alright," Chase replied, clearly relieved she had herself under control again. "Feeling better?"
"Yeah. You're very huggable."
Chase blushed. Just because she could – and in fear of never being able to do that again – she hugged him again. "Thanks," Buffy said. "I'm really much better."
And she was. For the moment. She would deal with the outcome of Wilson's revelation when she was confronted with it. But for the time being – no matter how short it may be – she was going to enjoy her new friends as much as she could.
"So, what did you want?"
Dawn stopped in shock when she heard that guy's accusations. How could he? Even worse, how could Buffy all but admit to having killed Tara! That was so not true! Right now, Dawn was not a happy camper.
She had woken up the previous morning and, for whatever reason, had felt the need to cross the big puddle and visit Buffy.
Maybe it had something to do with Buffy's confession of being pregnant and only having told Faith and now Dawn. Maybe it had something to do with Buffy's stories about her mother. Who, technically, was her biological mother as well. Or, maybe it had been some sort of premonition; having foreseen the situation she had just walked into.
She didn't know. And, frankly, she didn't care. All she cared for now was Buffy.
She had seen the look her sister was wearing upon fleeing from the room before. Had seen it every time Buffy had to save her from one demon or another. Had seen it every time someone got hurt during their fights. Yes, she had also seen it after they had told her about the stray bullet from Warren killing Tara. She had seen the look – a look of deep guilt – every time they lost a potential in the weeks leading to the final battle of Sunnydale. And, Dawn figured, she had seen it in the times after Buffy's resurrection; the look meaning her feeling guilty of wanting to be dead again.
Yes, Dawn knew that look.
But, unlike many of the other times, this time she, Dawn, could do something to the people causing that look. However, Buffy came first. So, instead of storming into the room like she wanted to, she quickly followed her sister.
Dawn's frown deepened. Buffy seemed to walk on autopilot. She wanted nothing more than to run up to her sister and give her a long, reassuring hug. But an inner voice told her to wait for a little while. Wait to see where she was going. Seeing the sign for the stairs, Dawn got an idea where Buffy was heading. In one of their last phone conversations Buffy had told her about the roof. How it always calmed her to look at the world below.
Nodding to herself, Dawn decided to not show herself until they reached the privacy of the roof.
Then, in best Scooby-style, the plan went down the drain. At least, for once, it wasn't in a bad way.
Watching the young man walking up to and talking to Buffy, Dawn stayed hidden to see where this was going. She followed them to a visitor area and, after seeing Buffy relax into the guy's embrace, decided she was in good hands at the moment.
Which left her to more important things.
Nobody hurt her sister without good reason. Or without paying for it.
The conference room was silent – despite it being occupied by several people.
House's prospective fellows were looking anywhere but at House or Wilson. House, for that matter, seemed to be deep in thought, ignoring them anyway. In contrast to House' unmoving figure, Wilson had started pacing again.
After several minutes had past, Kutner started moving again. He carefully leaned forward, shifting his way so that he could stand up quickly. First moving his head right, he looked at Thirteen, motioning towards the door. At her nod, he turned to the left and repeated the motion towards Amber and the others. As one, all six remaining fellowship candidates stood up.
Without batting an eyelash, House only said one word. "Stop." Yet it was enough to make them sit down again.
While his prospective fellows looked at each other with resignation in their eyes, House slowly moved his head up to look straight at them. "Anything leaves this room unless I say so and you'll be lucky to ever find work again." The room was suddenly filled with several audible gulps. "Anywhere."
Wilson, seemingly unaware of his surroundings, suddenly stopped pacing and looked straight at House. His face set in stone, rather matching the expression of a stubborn child, actually, he said, "See! Summers didn't even deny it!"
"Wilson." House's voice was quiet, yet sounding the most dangerous Kutner and the other fellowship candidates had ever heard.
"What? She even said it herself!"
"Uh." Shrinking slightly into his chair, Kutner lifted his hand as if he was still in school. "She said Tara wouldn't have died if it wasn't for her?"
"He's right," Thirteen continued. "She didn't directly admit on killing anyone."
"Yeah, but she still said it was her fault," Amber argued.
"Guilt." Upon hearing that single word, everyone turned towards the door. There stood a young woman, her long brown hair hanging loosely over her shoulder. And she was furious. Closing the door behind her, she walked up to Wilson – who actually took a step back as she stopped right in front of him. Stabbing him with her index finger, she stared at him angrily. "Who do you think you are? Running around making accusations about things you know nothing about?"
"Hey!" Wilson took another step back. Although, with his anger coming back full force, he stood his ground when Dawn stepped closer again. More, he leaned in closer as well. "I've got every damn right to tell everyone how she killed my cousin! She's a dangerous murderer!"
"Who is a murderer?" A curious voice asked from to once more open doorway.
A voice suspiciously sounding like the one from a certain Dean of Medicine.
--A/N: It's short, I know. But, let's be honest, who wouldn't stop at this point?