I don’t own House or BTVS. No infringement is intended. Sadly, no profit will be made from this either.
"Whiskey?" Buffy handed her mother the glass without waiting for a reply.
Lisa grabbed the glass automatically, lifting it to her mouth – and put it down even faster when the smell made her nauseous. Looking at the two young women in front of her, she squeaked "Hi Mom
Dawn blushed deeply. "It kinda slipped?"
"It could have been much worse," Buffy was quick to point out. "She could have said something like 'Hi technically biological mother of mine'
"Hey!" Dawn protested, giving Buffy a little push. Of course, with her sister being the slayer and all, this didn't work like planned. In fact, Buffy didn't move one single millimetre from the armrest of Dawn's chair. Instead, she looked at her mother, "Little sisters can be so annoying!"
Lisa nodded absently, still being stuck on the 'Hi mom'
-bit of their conversation. She really wanted to drink the whiskey in front of her, but just reaching for the glass made her feel sick. In the end she just shrugged her shoulders and watched her daughter and ... her other daughter – because somehow she knew it to be right – bicker.
"How?" It was barely more than a whisper, but they heard her.
The two young women got up and sat down on either side of their mother, each taking one hand in their own. "It's complicated."
Lisa snorted and leaned back into the sofa, eyes closed and her hands still firmly held by her daughters. "The Watcher's Council?"
"No," Buffy said. "That
would be easy to explain: Quentin Travers gave in into his god-complex and messed up our lives as usual."
"Dawn?" Lisa turned her head to the side and watched the younger woman. She had been rather quiet in the last few minutes and now, finding herself scrutinised by Lisa, barely shrugged her shoulders.
"Buffy's been there. She can explain it better." Dawn yawned. "Besides, it's been a long day. I'm off to bed." Letting go of Lisa's hand, Dawn stood up and walked to the guestroom.
Buffy squeezed her mother's hand, shaking her head when she was about to get up. "Take my room," Buffy called after her sister and she was glad when she accepted the offer without questioning.
"It's a difficult topic for Dawn." Buffy sighed and turned on the sofa so she would face her mother completely. "Technically there was no Dawn until I was 19."
Lisa was getting frustrated with it all. "What's with all that 'technically'
? And don't start with it being complicated again!" Lisa closed her eyes and shook her head. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to-"
"I know." Buffy squeezed her hand. "Right. Dawn started off as this mystical energy-thingy called The Key. All was fine and dandy until Glory turned up. She liked to be seen as a big bad hell-goddess - though I prefer the term completely nuts hell-goddess
myself - trying to use The Key for some major bad. The last survivors of a super-secret order of monks tried to prevent this by transforming The Key into a 14-year old human girl to be protected by a mystical warrior."
"Yep." Buffy laughed humourlessly. "They figured by making her of the slayer's blood, making her family, she would be more inclined to protect her."
"And they were right." It wasn't a question but a statement.
"I died for her."
Lisa was shocked. She almost hadn't heard Buffy's reply. Almost. She wanted to ask how. When. Why. But didn't really know if she was ready for the answers. Besides, her daughter was sitting right in front of her, so it had to be more of a metaphor than anything else. Right?
Somehow she didn't really believe it.
"Anyway," Buffy blinked and gave her mother a weak smile. "The monks changed our memories, added Dawn seamlessly into our life. But not long after Dawn entered our life, I tried to figure out something else and ended up with two sets of memories. The real ones without Dawn and the fake ones from the monks."
"Dawn knows," Lisa said in shock. Buffy nodded. "It must have been so hard to learn you weren't real!"
"Yes. Even though mom told her it didn't matter. I told her it didn't matter. Our friends told her it didn't matter. But being a teenager and learning you aren't what you thought you are? Worse, learning you were chased by a mad hell-goddess? And all on top of raging teenage hormones?" Buffy sighed. "She's much securer of her position in our lives now. But sometimes…"
Lisa nodded in understanding. But there was one thing she didn't get. "How can I be her mom, though?"
Both knew Lisa wasn't talking about maternal feelings but the actual biology behind it. "Dawn was made from me. You're my mom, so we figured that makes you her mom too." Buffy shrugged her shoulders.
Lisa frowned, mulling it over in her head. "Parthenogenesis? Magical
parthenogenesis?" she muttered to herself. Would that be possible in the first place?
However, Buffy heard it clear enough – and was more than confused. "Magical part-what?" she asked out loud.
Lisa looked up, surprised to find her daughter staring at her in astonishment. Then Buffy's last words registered. "Oh! I was just thinking," Lisa replied, smiling sheepishly.
"Care to share?" Buffy asked with a raised eyebrow.
"Right. Parthenogenesis is an asexual form of reproduction. Basically, the female's egg develops without the need of a male. I think there are still a few animals around that actually reproduce that way."
"But where's the fun in that!?"
"I know!" Lisa grinned at her daughter. "The point is, if that's really how they did it, then you
are technically Dawn's mom."
"What!?" Buffy all but squeaked. "You've got to be kidding!"
"Nope." Lisa continued to grin, shaking her head to emphasise her point even further.
Buffy kept staring at her mother as if she hadn't lost just one but all of her marbles. Slowly but surely she furrowed her forehead, muttering, "If those monks weren't dead already they so would be now."
Lisa started to rub her daughter's shoulders. "It's just a theory, you know."
Buffy kept grumbling with her arms crossed in front of her chest.
Still smiling, Lisa stated, "Looks like if got two daughters, then."
"Huh?" Buffy looked up in surprise, her brows still furrowed. Then she smiled sheepishly. "Really?"
"Yep. Family is family, right?" Lisa chuckled. "Besides, mom at 16, grandma at 20? That's just so wrong!"
Lisa sounded so offended by the very idea of it that Buffy couldn't help but giggle. Moving so that she was now resting against her mother's shoulder, Buffy sighed in contentment. "We don't mention it to anyone, right? The possibility of Dawn being made through the par-thingy thing?"
They were just sitting in comfortable silence for several minutes, each of them lost in thought. They only came back to the present when Buffy's tummy started to rumble. Lisa just stared at her. "Again
Buffy shrugged her shoulders. "Pregnant slayer, remember?"
"Right." Lisa didn't sound too convinced. "Why don't you feed my grandchild while I go and talk to my other daughter?"
Buffy felt a warm and fuzzy wave of affection wash through her. Hugging her mother, she whispered, "Thanks. Mom."
Lisa hugged her daughter back just as tightly; rapidly blinking her eyes to prevent the threatening tears from falling. It took several attempts, but they finally were able to let go of each other, eyes almost dry. Giving Buffy a final squeeze, Lisa sent her to the kitchen to get some food before she walked towards the closed bedroom door.
Across town, Wilson had already passed out. He was sprawled across his sofa, his neck held at an impossible angle, and snored loudly. House was still conscious but had dragged himself into the armchair next to the couch. After Wilson had passed out – that man really needed to have a serious chat with his liver - House had gotten up and raided the fridge. What else were friends for?
Now with enough food in his system to have lasted two more dinners for Wilson, he was sober enough to start thinking again.
Instead of answering his questions, each new titbit of information he found complicated matters even more.
He absolutely loved it.
Grinning, he took a sip of the last bottle of beer he'd found in Wilson's fridge. The cap had long been discarded by skilfully being thrown at Wilson.
There was no doubt that Buffy knew how to fight. He had already realised this a while ago and Buffy's sister had confirmed it earlier today. He still wasn't sure just why Buffy had chosen martial arts, but he knew it was rather to help than to start a career in crime. Or maybe just one of those getting a nicely shaped body… He snorted at the latter conclusion, knowing how far this was off the truth.
More interesting than her knowledge of martial arts, however, were the number of people turning up that she was connected to. She had been a friend of Wilson's cousin's daughter – until she had been shot in Buffy's home.
Then there was that idiot's – Marmine's – fiancée being the estranged sister of Buffy's dead fiancé. Wilson had been well on the way to being utterly drunk when he mentioned this little titbit and House just knew it to be right. It shed some new and interesting light onto Marmine's behaviour towards Buffy. As this information was still so new to him though, he had to ponder on what to do with it. He didn't just want to waste a great opportunity for creating mischief because he'd been impatient after all.
Last, and most interesting of all, was Buffy's connection to Cuddy. He might not have been sure of it at the beginning, but now he was. There was much more going on between them than either of them would tell him. He'd thought about it ever since Wilson had passed out earlier in the night. In fact, he had already made a mental list on what he knew; mentally updating the list he had hidden in his wardrobe at home.
They hadn't met until Buffy came to work at the hospital.
Cuddy hadn't recognised Buffy until something had happened and their relationship had changed dramatically over night. Almost going from 'Who are you?
' to 'I've known you all my life'
Buffy, on the other hand, had known who Cuddy was from the beginning. He was sure of it.
Which left only one conclusion. Well, several – but only one of them was scandalous and interesting enough for him to consider it to be true. Cuddy and Buffy were related.
As in cousins – only this just felt really wrong. As in sisters – naughty little parents having played outside of home. Only he knew Cuddy's parents and they were so not the type for it. As in aunt and niece – that didn't work either. And, his favourite, mother and daughter – naughty, naughty little Cuddy.
Quietly chuckling to himself, House finished his beer and got up, walking towards Wilson's bedroom. It didn't look like his friend was going to need it tonight and sleeping in a chair while he could have a king-sized bed all to himself was just wrong. After a quick stop at the bathroom, House popped a final Vicodin for the night and sank onto Wilson's bed with a sigh.
Already half-asleep, he thought about how to best get a DNA sample from Buffy. He already had one from Cuddy stored away – after all, you never knew when you needed a reference sample for a maternity test.
House fell asleep with a big grin on his face.
Cuddy took a deep breath and knocked at Buffy's bedroom door. "Dawn? Can I come in?" When there was no reply, she opened the door quietly and carefully felt her way to the bed. Even though the room was in darkness, the light filtering through the open door was enough for Lisa to see Dawn's form lying on the bed.
There was still no reply. Frowning, Lisa stepped up to the bed and took a closer look. Dawn was lying on her side, facing away from Lisa. She didn't make any sound, but her shoulders were shaking slightly. Seeing the young woman cry was all it took for Lisa's heart to swell with love for her. She sat down next to her, rubbing her shoulders reassuringly. "Hey."
Dawn sniffled, but didn't move. That didn't stop Lisa, though. She just grabbed Dawn's shoulder and gently turned her onto her back. "You know," Lisa said as a small smile played along her lips, "you should at least give me chance before you cry yourself to sleep over being stuck with a crappy mom."
Dawn stopped mid-sniffle, her eyes popping comically wide open as she stared at the woman leaning over her. She couldn't see all that much due to the darkness, but she did see the smile on Lisa's face. The former Key blinked a couple of times while her brain processed what she had just heard. She really, really wanted to return the smile but the evil pessimist in her wanted, needed, to hear the words. "Really? You mean… ?"
Lisa smirked. "Come here, silly daughter of mine." Grabbing Dawn's arms, she pulled her into a hug. Dawn followed that order only too willingly.
Buffy, who was listening into the conversation from just out of sight, smiled and went into the guestroom to get the bed ready. It was late – or early – already and there was no way she'd let her mom drive home after the emotional upheaval she'd just been through.
Inside her bedroom, Dawn and Lisa were still holding onto each other. Dawn eventually pulled back and, after switching on the bedside lamp, said rather sheepishly, "Two for the price of one, huh?"
Lisa hadn't considered it this way – until now. Then again, considering how fate had had her lose her infant daughter so many years ago, it was only fair she had gotten back two. Right?
"Yep. And what beautiful and strong daughter's they are."
"Uh huh." Dawn nodded in agreement. "I'm beautiful and Buffy is strong."
Buffy obviously wasn't feeling the same way. "Hey!" she shouted from next door. Lisa and Dawn looked at each other before they dissolved into giggles. "Stupid slayer-hearing," Dawn complained good-naturedly.
"I can't find anything wrong with it," Buffy commented from the door. She quickly walked to the bed and sat down next to her sister and mother.
Dawn snorted before leaning closer to Lisa. "Try spending some alone-time with your boyfriend in your own room with that," she pointed playfully at her sister, "listening for any inappropriate noise!"
"If you'd chosen your so-called boyfriends more carefully it wouldn't have been necessary," Buffy replied half-sulkily.
"Because your track record is so much better!" Squeezing her sister's hand before she could misunderstand her, she added in a much softer voice, "Though Mark really made up for all the others. I mean, some – like Angel – were great big brother material too, just not right for Buffy for one reason or another." Like becoming evil after a moment of pure happiness.
"You loved him too," Lisa said in surprise.
"Yeah. He was the best," Dawn said sentimentally. Realising how that might have sounded, she quickly added, "Strictly in a lover-and-more-for-Buffy-and-big-brother-for-Dawn kind of way."
Buffy chuckled at the drolly tone of her sister's statement. "And you were his favourite brat."
Lisa leaned back and watched the two sisters, her daughters - for lack of interest in figuring out Dawn's exact blood relationship to them – bantering with a smile on her face. Then she shook her head.
Just what had she gotten herself into?
--A/N: Finally got this in a decent shape. Even better, this one eventful day is finally over… Phew. Thanks for reviewing! A special thanks goes to
frogsareevil for making a comment Muse just had to use and
RevDorothyL for mentioning magical parthenogenesis - Muse stole that one too :).