I don’t own House or BTVS. No infringement is intended. Sadly, no profit will be made from this either.
If anything Buffy liked the house even more now than she had the previous night. It started to feel like home already, even though she hadn't even made an offer yet. She stayed quiet throughout their visit, listening to the easy conversations going on around her. Dawn and Allison got along well enough and seemed to have similar ideas of what Buffy would need in her new home.
The twins were playing their let's-confuse-our-guests game again, causing Buffy to smile whenever one of them would turn up from an unexpected place. She outright laughed when she saw the thoughtful look on her little sister's face. A second later Dawn instructed Allison to grab the boy next to her and then she started to tickle him. As soon as his deep belly laughs echoed through the house, his brother appeared and Dawn grabbed him.
"Got you!" Tickling him the same way Allison was doing with his brother, she gave Buffy a triumphant grin.
"Mommy! Help!" The boys cried out in unison before succumbing to another bout of laughter. Both women eased on their tickling efforts, but neither of them stopped completely.
"Nope," Jill Martens said, winking at Buffy. "I've told you often enough to stop confusing our guests." Leaning over to Buffy, she whispered, "Besides, they've got way too much energy to spent anyway. This is just as good an outlet as having them run around the garden."
"Are you sure?"
Jill nodded. "Don't worry. They love it!" She grinned. "I love it too. Doesn't cost me an ounce of energy but they get tired nevertheless."
When the boys finally had enough, all four of them – the boys, Dawn and Allison – were out of breath. Later, when it was time to leave, Buffy had the feeling she'd known the family for much longer than just the past two days. Enjoying this feeling of belonging, she was able to release more of the tension that had built during her day at work. When they reached her apartment, she was almost ready for a round of twenty questions with Allison. Only in this case Buffy would answer all the questions before Allison actually asked them.
The pizza was ordered and Dawn had finished snooping through the apartment. Buffy was sitting in the window, feet tucked under her body. Allison and Dawn were sitting opposite her, having made themselves just as comfortable.
"Buffy?" Allison looked at her friend; worry clearly showing in her eyes. "What happened today?"
"I guess my past caught up with me."
Allison scowled. "House! One of these days I'm going to … !"
Buffy couldn't help the small smile starting to play along her lips. "Do what? I hope it's something of the creative kind?"
"Uh oh! I could give you some ideas if you're interested?" Dawn visible bounced in her seat in excitement, eyes twinkling with mischief.
Grinning, Buffy nodded. "Yeah, better not get on her bad side or you'll find strange things happening to you."
"Like House finding himself with red hands? … And other colourful body parts?" Allison asked with a raised eyebrow.
Buffy shook her head and smiled as Dawn groaned in disappointment. Then she frowned. Looking at Allison, Buffy asked curiously, "Other body parts?"
Allison blushed but nodded nevertheless.
"How do you know?" Buffy grinned. "I suppose you haven't actually seen it
? Or have
With her eyes wide open, Allison vigorously shook her head, her blush deepening even more. "No! Chase. He … ah … sort of saw it."
Dawn's and Buffy's eyes met – and both broke out laughing. Allison eventually saw the fun in the situation as well, or rather imagined what Chase had described to her, and joined into their laughter.
"See," Buffy said once they had calmed down a bit. "Better stay on Dawnie's good side – or expect weird stuff happening to you."
Dawn shrugged her shoulders. "I had help. Besides, it was his fault. He shouldn't have broken into your apartment in the first place!"
"House broke into your apartment?" Allison was not impressed. "And you just let him be?"
Buffy shook her head. "The colouring came with a nice, strong itch. Besides, I expected something like this so I could prepare myself. If he tries to pull a stunt like this again, he'll have to bear the consequences again."
Allison's reply was cut short by the pizza delivery. While Buffy got out some plates and napkins, Dawn told Allison she should just leave it be. Buffy could handle House and they had more surprises for him if he tried something like this again. He would never go unpunished.
Dawn rolled her eyes as she watched Buffy pick on her last slice of pizza. Turning her attention to Allison, she told her what had happened earlier in the day in House's conference room. However, she immediately filled in the gaps, explaining everything in as much detail as possible.
Nodding to herself, Dawn waited for Allison's reaction once she was finished. Her sister hadn't looked at them the whole time Dawn had told the story. Instead, she had played with her fingers in her lap, dreading the outcome. Now Dawn watched satisfied as Allison stood up and went over to the window seat, sitting down next to Buffy.
Allison hugged her friend, telling her it wasn't her fault, that she should stop feeling guilty about it. Now she also understood why Chase had been worried about Buffy's outburst. Allison wasn't sure how she would have handled it, if she had been at the receiving end of such accusations. She gently lifted Buffy's chin, "So, am I huggable too?"
Buffy gave a small snort and wiped off the tears on her cheek. "Too bony."
Allison slapped Buffy's arm while Dawn stared at her sister in bewilderment. Buffy never cried openly! Dawn closed her mouth when she noticed it was still wide open and gulped. "You really are pregnant!"
"Of course I am! Stupid hormones." Pouting a bit, she removed the remaining tears before gently stroking her tummy. "I already had to buy new clothes."
"Oh my god! I'm really gonna be an aunty!" Jumping up, Dawn rushed over to the window seat and gave Buffy a big hug. Stepping back, she tilted her head, scrutinising her sister from head to toe. "It suits you."
Buffy couldn't help it, her eyes filled with tears again. Dawn's smile grew. Gently removing the few escaped tears with her thumb, she pulled her sister in another, much gentler, hug. "It really does."
Allison had walked over to the mantelpiece to give them a bit more privacy. She looked at the pictures of Buffy's friends with different eyes now. She smiled at the ones showing Dawn and Buffy at different ages. It seemed like they were bickering in almost every one of them. Or had been just before the picture had been taken. She also looked at the pictures she knew now to be of Tara differently, looking for similarity between her and Wilson.
Turning around, she watched the two sisters sitting close to each other, touching as much as possible, while they whispered to each other. Deciding to give them more time, she took their used plates into the kitchen and put them into the dishwasher. She was just contemplating to leave for the night, when Dawn called her back.
"I should go…"
"Naw." Dawn patted the sofa next to her. "I don't think I can handle hormonal Buffy all by myself."
She had barely finished this sentence before a sofa cushion hit her. "Or violent Buffy," Dawn added, grinning at the two women next to her.
Shaking her head at the sisters, Allison sat down and watched them bicker some more. She used the time to think over the events of the day. Even though it had been a busy day in the ER, so much more had happened in her private life. Then she stopped and looked at Buffy and Dawn in confusion. "You know Dr Cuddy."
"I work in her hospital?" Buffy offered, knowing she was going to tell Allison the truth – sort of – anyway. But it didn't mean she couldn't have a bit of fun beforehand.
"What about Dawn?"
"Oh, I know!" Dawn offered cheerfully. "We talked on the phone a while back."
If anything, Allison's confusion increased even more. "Why?"
"You did?" Buffy couldn't remember either.
Dawn nodded. "I sort of walked into Giles' office when she was talking to him a while back."
Grinning, Dawn stood up and got a picture from the mantelpiece. Handing it to Allison, she plopped down again. "Giles. He's more like our father than our real one ever was. I work part-time for his organisation now. Lisa had some contact with him a long time ago. She asked him for help recently and I just happened to be there."
"O-kay." Allison looked at the picture in front of her and smiled. Giles was standing amidst a group of teenagers, looking uncomfortable and proud at the same time. And he was old enough to have known Lisa Cuddy a long time ago. "What kind of work is that?"
Dawn shrugged her shoulders. "Lots of different things. I'm research girl. I'm looking for certain information in old books, translating them, stuff like that. I'm studying several languages right now."
Allison raised her eyebrows. "Languages?"
"Dead ones," Buffy explained. "Very dead and boring ones."
Dawn leaned to Allison, stage whispering, "Important rule of siblinghood – you just managed to find something that you're better at than your sibling? Make sure to increase the gap in ability and then rub it in. Repeatedly."
Allison giggled while Buffy huffed and crossed her arms in front of her chest. Squinting her eyes, Buffy looked at her sister. "I'm way better at beating up your boyfriends."
Now it was Dawn's turn to pout. Looking at Allison, she complained, "One little mistake and now all the good one's are either in a relationship or scared of my sister."
Staring from one sister to the other, Allison squinted her eyes. "You're kidding, right? Beating up boyfriends?"
Buffy dismissed her sister's complaint with an innocent grin. "Only the bad ones."
"Welcome to my life." Dawn sighed theatrically.
Buffy hit Dawn with the cushion again but refrained from making another comment. Allison smiled wistfully. Even though she had an older sibling herself, she and her brother had never been as close as the two in front of her.
"You know," Dawn started before Buffy could hit her again, "Maybe you should tell her about the high school gym too. I mean this one really came from House."
Allison winced. "Do I even want to know?"
Dawn nodded while Buffy shook her head. Ignoring Buffy, Dawn smirked, casually leaning back on the sofa. "Better we tell her than House does."
Buffy squinted her eyes at her sister but didn't say anything. Instead, she got up and vanished into the bathroom. Her passenger, as small as he still may be, had found the pressure point on her bladder.
By the time she came back Dawn was making some snacks while Allison was going through her stack of DVDs. Dawn just told her to get comfortable as it was time for a chick-flick or two. If Allison had thought that the bickering between the two siblings would cease during the movie, then she had been wrong. In fact, it didn't take long before she found herself right in the middle of it as well. If anything, she could get used to it.
And, in between all the bickering and movie watching Allison also heard the story of Buffy burning down her high school gym.
With the movie over, the three of them were sprawled on the sofa, their feet up on the small table in front of them. Next to them were several empty bowls that had once contained popcorn, chocolates and other sweets.
"I don't think I'll ever be able to move again," Allison groaned with her eyes closed.
Dawn turned her head to look at the young doctor. "Don't tell me you've never had way too much sweets at once?"
Allison shook her head sheepishly. Dawn and Buffy chuckled – then Buffy's tummy decided to join the conversation as well and growled. Loudly. "You've got to be kidding
Buffy got up and shrugged her shoulders. "She's a bottomless pit," Dawn said in mock disgust and earned herself another glare.
Coming back with a large sandwich in her hand, Buffy switched off the telly and sat down across from Dawn and Allison. She chewed thoughtfully, wondering how best to start. In the end she went with one of her favourite tactics – blurt it out at the most inappropriate moment.
"Lisa Cuddy is my biological mother."
--A/N: Happy New Year, everyone! Thanks to BuffyCharmed for making some great artwork for this story, check it out in her 'My Story Art' story (chapter 16 :P)!