It had been almost two weeks and House hadn't made any further comment on grandchildren, or
children, for that matter.
Lisa closed her eyes. Maybe she had just put more into his comment than there actually had been. At least, that's what she hoped. Then again, she had been busy with other things.
First, she had run into Dr Marmine as he was leaving one of the hospital bathrooms – giggles following him all the way out. Only manly giggles, of course. It hadn't taken long for the hospital grapevine to start running either. Apparently, Dr Marmine had started to pee blue. In a pretty busy bathroom. Naturally, Cuddy had gone looking for House and, just like she had expected, his words had been claiming innocence while his eyes had been screaming 'Yes! It was me!"
The problem was, she had found it rather hilarious herself and thought that Marmine had deserved the little prank. Worse, House had known that too and had left with a knowing grin.
Then one of Wilson's patients had shown an unexpected side effect of his treatment. She wouldn't have worried that much if the young man hadn't started to draw very weird looking men, indicating they had stolen
his voice! Only a few months ago she would have sent a psychiatrist to see the patient. But now, with Buffy and inevitably the supernatural back in her life, she had gone to her daughter first.
Buffy had taken one look at the picture and whistled in appreciation. Then her daughter had told her about The Gentlemen
– and the prank House had initiated. It still made Lisa smile when she remembered her shock at Buffy's revelation of sweet Dawn planting the little titbit about the demons. Lisa had called Dawn, giving her a little lecture about enabling House in his search for mischief. But, instead of being sorry, Dawn had started to ask her about her own relationship with House. Had actually asked her if she found him good-looking. And had even gone as far as asking her if they'd ever had a roll in the hay! In the end, Dawn had been giggling away while Lisa had found herself spluttering – and hanging up the phone.
A couple of hours later she had found an email from Dawn in her inbox. It had contained a picture of an adorable seven-year old Buffy – one she hadn't seen before – and another one of a remorseful looking Dawn. Lisa hadn't known if she should laugh or cry and, when the phone had rung and Dawn had asked if it had worked, Lisa had gone with the laughing. And another little lecture for Dawn.
As if all of this wasn't enough, she was now spending any free second on the last minute preparations of their 5k charity run. The very event House had told Marmine about in the cafeteria two months earlier. Of course, House wasn't going to take part – something she could only be grateful for.
Sighing, Lisa closed the participant file for the run and went to meet up with Buffy.
Buffy was whistling as she made her way to coma guy's room. She was feeling good, her baby had started with a more serious exercise regime - and Buffy enjoyed every moment of it. Even if it meant only a few hours of sleep because her baby's preferred exercise time happened to be at night. But as she still benefited from the slayer's diminished need for sleep, she could cope with it just fine.
Last night she had talked to Dawn and told her about the success of their pranks. Dawn had whooped in joy – even if she had known about one of them already - and asked if she had any pictures to go with it. Naturally, that had led Buffy to warn Dawn of ever doing anything like that in their hospital again. And, Buffy really blamed it on her pregnancy brain, she had conveniently forgotten to mention that Lisa knew about it too and was going to have a little chat with Dawn about encouraging House in his ways. Then again, Dawn was just as good at conveniently forgetting to mention something – she had never mentioned her little chat with their mother earlier in the week.
But now she had a game to play herself. Entering the room, she went straight to House who was watching his soap again and pulled tight, knee-length running shorts out of her bag.
"There you go," she said cheerfully.
House gave the flimsy thing one look before going back to watching his portable TV.
"Come on," Buffy said encouragingly, bouncing on the balls of her feet. "Don't be shy! Give it a try!"
House ignored her, even though he really wanted to know what Buffy was going on about.
Buffy stepped into his line of vision, effectively obscuring his view of the TV. Holding up the very red, very shiny running shorts, she stuck out her bottom lip – and going as far as squeezing a tear out. "Don't you like red?"
"No. Now let me watch my show," House grumbled.
Going back to her bag, Buffy rummaged around before stopping in front of House again. "How about yellow? I also have green, purple and light blue. And grey or black for the boring people."
"Are you on drugs
?" House looked at her bewildered. Abandoning the show for now, knowing he could always watch the TiVo-ed episode at home, House scanned Buffy for any further signs of drug use. Or madness. Or both.
Buffy grinned and shook her head. "Nope. Anyway, you need to make with the deciding so I can get a matching outfit."
The pout returned. "Fine. No matching outfits for us." House sighed in relief – too soon as it turned out. "We'll match you up with Cuddy, then."
House and Buffy turned to the door and watched a spluttering Lisa Cuddy look at Buffy as if she'd suddenly grown another head. She had followed Buffy's instructions to meet her at a hospital room a few minutes earlier but, upon reaching it, had stayed in the doorway and silently laughed at the dialogue between House and her daughter. Despite this had the last comment caught her completely unaware. Hence the spluttering.
Taking a deep breath, she pressed her lips together, squared her shoulders and entered the room completely.
Mischief making itself shown in House's eyes he waggled his eyebrows suggestively. "Come on, Cuddles. We'd be a perfect match!"
Lisa huffed and squinted her eyes at both of them.
Buffy deliberately ignored her mom's stare and clapped her hands in excitement. Well, she was exaggerating a bit but it was just too much fun to watch those two. "Great! Let's make it grey shorts and light-pink tight tops! You'll look great! Both of you!"
Two pairs of eyes stared her. "I'm not running," Lisa and House said in unison.
And here came the pout again. "But … but you said you wanted to!"
"Bum leg," House said smugly, pointing at the aforementioned appendage.
"Organiser," Lisa was quick to add. "Sorry." Besides, she had never mentioned her intention of taking part.
"Fine." Buffy crossed her arms in front of her chest and started to tap her foot. "Let the pregnant woman run all by herself."
"You're not running!" Cuddy said almost immediately. She wasn't going to let anything happen to her daughter. Even though, deep down, she knew that it was quite safe for Buffy to take part as long as she didn't overexert herself. And, giving her being the Slayer, she could probably win easily without causing any problems for her pregnancy. But that all didn't count as, foremost, Buffy was her daughter. Slayer or not.
"Uh huh." Buffy nodded. "I am."
"You're not on the list," Cuddy replied stubbornly. After all, she had just had a look at it before she came here.
"You probably haven't gotten the updated version yet," Buffy said with a shrug of her shoulders.
Meanwhile, House was sitting back with a big grin on his face. Watching those two was priceless – especially now that he knew them to be mother and daughter. Still, he wasn't ready to let them know that he was aware of that little fact. For now he'd simply watch – and add the occasional ambiguous comment for fun.
"You are pregnant," Lisa argued.
"No!" Buffy opened her eyes wide in mock-shock. "That'd explain the growing bump! And I was afraid I had a tumour or something!"
House chuckled quietly, giving Buffy thumbs up behind Cuddy's back. She winked at him in return.
"I'm officially sponsored by the IWC," Buffy said casually, pretending to check her fingernails for flaws.
Lisa's head snapped up a bit too quickly. "How much?"
Buffy just smiled sweetly, knowing her mom would let her take part – even if she was sure to have to endure a few more 'Be careful'
lessons. She had to make sure to thank Dawn for suggesting the IWC as her sponsor. Convincing Giles had been easy after that.
"IWC?" House asked with interest. "What does it stand for?"
"Immense Wad of Cash?" Buffy offered with a grin. "Naw. Boring stuff, really. My sister is working for them on a part-time basis." Rubbing her hands together in glee, she added, "Now that you've decided to chicken out of the race, you will do some sponsoring too!"
"Nope." House said, returning her challenging look.
"So you're taking part after all!"
"Well," Buffy drawled out. "Make with the deciding already! Participant or sponsor?" The tapping foot was back. "I'm waiting, I don't have all day!"
"Neither," House replied with a grin. "I'll indulge in wine, food and woman in my very own palace of pleasures."
Lisa snorted. "You surely mean booze, greasy stuff and prostitutes!"
House shrugged his shoulders and smirked. "Same difference."
Buffy rolled her eyes at the two of them. Dawn had been right, there was definitely some sparkage going on. And while she wasn't delusional enough to expect them to have your standard happily-ever-after relationship, Buffy knew she'd love to watch them drive each other nuts. In a good way, of course. Was there enough sparkage to hold forever? This was something only time would be able to tell.
"Hm," Buffy tapped her chin with her forefinger. "Julian. You'll sponsor Julian from my course. He loves booze and greasy stuff too. Doesn't need prostitutes, though." Buffy's eyes sparkled with naughtiness. "Maybe he can teach you a thing or two?"
Lisa laughed. The look on House's face was too funny and laughing out loud was the only appropriate answer to it.
Buffy nodded smugly. "See," she told House. "Cuddy thinks so too." Turning to her mother, she continued. "And you can sponsor Sparky."
The laughing stopped immediately and was replaced with a confused expression. "Huh?"
"Sparky," Buffy said. "House's new fellow?"
Now it was House who chuckled. Sparky? He had to remember that one.
Rolling her eyes, Buffy elaborated, "Kutner? There are already several betting pools on when he's setting the next patient, or himself, on fire. Or electrocutes someone."
"I'm sure Sparky would love to be sponsored by the Dean of Medicine herself," House said still chuckling. Oh the fun he could have with this! All the rumours that would needed to be started.
Before Lisa could reply to that, an alarm went off in the room. Buffy looked at her watch and scrunched up her nose. "Urgh. Meeting with Marmine. I better head off." Seeing the raised eyebrows directed her, she shrugged her shoulders. "It's a general thing. Teachers and students of the course, catching up on our progress and such."
Quickly gathering her stuff, Buffy shouldered her bag and gave House and her mom a final wave. "Behave!" she said with a suggestive grin.
With Buffy gone, House and Lisa watched each other for a moment before Lisa had the obligatory look at her own watch. "Right. I'm off too."
"Motherly duties, I assume."
Lisa turned around fast enough to make her head spin. Luckily, the dizziness only lasted for a second. "What?!"
House looked at her in pure innocence. "Managing the hospital, of course. It's your kid, isn't it?"
Lisa just huffed and left the room, leaving a smirking House behind. There it was again, a comment about her kid. Unfortunately, with House being House she couldn't be sure who he had referred to – the hospital like he had claimed or Buffy. Groaning, Lisa stopped in the middle of the corridor. Turning around, she quickly walked back and looked into coma guy's room. Sure enough, House was still in the same position she had left him in. Even his annoying grin was still in place.
"Clinic duty in five minutes. Three hours." Without waiting for a reply, she vanished as quickly as she had entered only moments earlier.
House's smirk remained in place. He would comply with her order and do his three hours of clinic duty. He'd even treat patients and go as far as to only insult those who wouldn't recognise an insult if it bit them in the ass.
Just to throw her off, of course.
Buffy met up with Julian, Kamil and Keelan in front of the conference room next to Marmine's office. Pointing at Julian, she said cheerfully, "I've found you a sponsor."
"Really? Who?" Julian asked with interest.
The guys stared at her. "You're kidding, right?"
"Nope." Buffy shook her head, grinning mischievously. "You're a perfect match. You like booze and greasy food. House likes prostitutes too but I've told him you would give him tips on eliminating the need for them."
"Are you trying to kill me?" Julian squeaked, looking at her in shock.
"Hm." Buffy looked like she was pondering his question. "Naw," she finally said. "It'd be too much work to break in another student." She patted his shoulder reassuringly. "You're safe."
"Besides," Kamil pointed out, "House is probably not doing it anyway."
"Oh he will," Buffy said, a dangerous glint entering her eyes. "I'll make sure he does."
The door to the conference room opened, stopping any further reply.
"Coffee?" One of their supervisors asked while pointing to a Thermos on a sideboard. "Feel free to take a cup." Everyone but Buffy accepted the offer gratefully.
"Caffeine-free?" she asked, pointing towards her slightly swollen belly.
Buffy shrugged her shoulder and took a bottle of water from the sideboard. "Don't worry. I'll just have some water."
Their supervisor smiled apologetically before telling them to take a seat as Dr Marmine entered the room. Taking a quick look around the room, he said, "I take it you've all registered for the charity run?"
Everyone nodded. "Sponsored?"
Julian winced but, after receiving a kick from Buffy under the table, he nodded like everyone else. "Good," Marmine said. "Now let's start with the real work."
The charity run was a full success. Not only because it brought attention and money to the Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital but also for the fact of half the physiotherapy department were leaving the bathrooms amidst giggles and chuckles.
It didn't take long for the rumour mill to go crazy. Apparently there was another outbreak of the blue-pee disease. Only this time it wasn't just one person but a group of people. Which was always good for a lot more attention. It took a lot of blushing – and some boasting from the younger guys – until it was clear what everyone had in common.
Unfortunately, it also made another person stand out. Buffy. As she had been there but showed no symptoms whatsoever. However, one of the supervisors remembered her declining the coffee on ground of her pregnancy and, therefore, identified the source of the outbreak.
Naturally, Marmine was told about it right after the run. Already mad at coming in only seconds before a pregnant Buffy Summers, he went straight on to accuse her of tainting his personal coffee supply.
Buffy raised her eyebrows but kept a straight face otherwise. "I had nothing to do with it."
Heather, being here to support her fiancé, took Marmine's hand in hers. "You're pregnant?"
Buffy nodded, barely keeping herself from staring open-mouthed at the woman in front of her. It didn't take long to figure out who she was. The way she looked at Marmine, touched him and leaned into him, spoke of a comfortable intimacy. Then there was the undeniable resemblance to Mark. Buffy was standing in front of Mark's sister.
Heather, unaware of the Buffy's thought processes, turned back to Marmine, "Look, a lot of women try to reduce or avoid caffeine intake during their pregnancy. There's nothing suspicious about her not wanting any coffee."
House watched the scene with interest. He had missed the first part as he had been too far away to understand what they were saying, but Marmine's and Buffy's body language told him everything he needed to know. As he came closer, he saw that Buffy was concentrating more on Marmine's fiancée than the conversation surrounding her. Despite it being about her.
House raised an eyebrow as he realised Marmine's fiancée was actually defending Buffy. Now that was interesting. He was pretty sure she didn't know who Buffy was while, in return, Buffy did know who Marmine's fiancée was. He was tempted, really tempted, to just sit back and watch where this was going. Then again, Buffy was his. Not in a kinky kind of way but more in toy worthy to play with kind of way.
"Ah! That's where I lost it!" House exclaimed next to Heather, slapping his forehead. "I've been looking for my special supply of coffee for weeks now!"
"The coffee came directly from my office!" Marmine exclaimed, not exactly happy at being at the centre of such a prank. Especially not with Heather around to witness it.
House looked at his feet, going as far as shuffling them around in embarrassment – mock-embarrassment, really, while he tried hard to not laugh out loud – and admitted sheepishly. "I might have been a bit tipsy when I misplaced it. Probably got lost on the way to my office and yours wasn't locked. Must have put the coffee down before realising I was in the wrong office." House finally looked up, giving Marmine an impressive remorseful look. "I'm sorry."
Heather stroked her fiancé's arm reassuringly. "See, it's all a simply mistake. It wasn't on purpose." Turning to House, she said slightly admonishingly, "And you shouldn't run around the hospital while being drunk."
"What would you want with the tainted coffee anyway?" Heather asked, confusion written over her face.
House gave her his most charming smile. "Sorry, that's classified." Leaning closer, he stage-whispered, "My fellows might be trying to listen into this conversation."
Heather raised her eyebrows and, taking a step back, scrutinised him from top to bottom. "You're Dr House."
Looking at her in mock-shock, he even went as far as covering his heart by his hands. "It's my hair, isn't it?" He brushed a non-existing strand of hair out of his face. "My hair and distinguished good looks gave me away, right?"
Chuckling, Heater nodded. "Of course. And it was only marginally helped along by your cane and the very idea of having tainted coffee sitting about."
House bowed slightly. "I'll take it as a compliment." Noticing Buffy still staring at Heather, he mentally rolled his eyes. "Now if you'll excuse me, I've got to have a little chat with my physiotherapist." Nodding curtly to Marmine, House took Buffy by the arm and dragged her with him.
They hadn't gone far when House literally run into Chase. "Wombat! Is Cameron about?"
"Why?" Chase asked suspiciously while looking worriedly at Buffy. Then he nodded in confirmation of House's question.
"Good." Motioning towards Buffy, House grumbled. "Had a little run-in with Marmine and his chick. Looks like a super-sized ice cream emergency or something. Gotta go and annoy Cuddy."
Without waiting for a reply, House walked off, leaving Buffy and Chase staring after him. Gently rubbing the base of her back, Chase asked, "You okay?"
Buffy sighed deeply but nodded. "Yeah." Smiling sheepishly, she added, "Ice cream can't hurt, though."
Chuckling, Chase took her to Allison.
--A/N: Bah. I give up. Muse does what she wants anyway. Okay, I admit I like what she came up with but she really could have told me beforehand! Well, at least we move a couple of weeks forward. Anyway, thanks to all your suggestions about House and the supernatural. I've got a fairly good idea how I'm going to handle it now! So thanks again!