I don’t own House or BTVS. No infringement is intended. Sadly, no profit will be made from this either.
For the first time in, well, a very long time, Buffy had overslept. At least it was Friday.
Looking at her alarm clock in disgust, the one that decided to break at some point during the night – or there was the tiny possibility that she had broken when it went off this morning – Buffy went to the bathroom for a speedy shower. Less then ten minutes later she emerged again, hair still wet but otherwise ready to get dressed. Not bothering with breakfast, Buffy quickly grabbed her stuff and headed for the hospital in a dead run.
Thankfully most people in the park she had to cross where either sleepwalking themselves or too occupied with their own things to notice the unnatural speed in which she passed them.
Being back on time, if barely, Buffy stopped running and walked quickly the last 100 yards towards the hospital. She was so engrossed in her own thoughts that she didn't see Grumpy Cane Guy until she all but bumped into him.
"Ops. Sorry." Steadying him, she looked apologetically at him. "Oh, it's you." So much for avoiding him.
Impressed by her reflexes, he nodded his thanks for her preventing him from falling flat on his backside. "Yeah it's me." Remembering that it actually was her who almost run him over, he furrowed his eyebrows. "Though I'd rather not have been run over in the first place."
Letting go of his arms, Buffy pouted. "Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't having been run over include you lying flat on the ground?"
"Hey! First you almost
run me over and now you're calling me names."
"I wouldn't have almost
run you over if you'd paid attention to where you were going." Crossing her arms in front of her chest, she looked at him in an unspoken but obvious challenge.
"You wouldn't have almost
run me over if you'd
paid attention to where you were going." Mimicking her posture, his weight on his good leg, he smirked back at her, never loosing eye contact. Not only hadn't he seen her since Monday, he also hadn't learned anything more about her.
Both were so engrossed in their staring match, that neither of them saw Lisa Cuddy walking towards them. Shaking her head, having heard the last part of their quarrelling, she suggested, "Why don't we agree that you wouldn't have almost been run over if both
of you had been paying attention to where you were going?"
Keeping their eyes locked, they replied in unison, "It was not
Stepping in between them, Cuddy held up both her hands. "Stop it! I don't care what or what didn't happen. But this is a hospital, my
hospital, and I won't have you arguing in front of the patients!"
Keeping an eye on Buffy, House turned part of his attention to the angry Dean of Medicine. "But we aren't even inside yet." Seeing her starting to reply, he quickly added in a whining voice, "And she
started it, Mommy!"
Anger threatening to boil over, Lisa Cuddy raised her voice, eyes sparkling with rage. "Shut up! Both of you!"
Raising his eyebrows in appreciation, House started to grin widely. He couldn't help it, he loved Cuddy in full fury mode - amongst other things, it did wonders to her cleavage. However, he kept his mouth shut.
Buffy, on the other hand, had the decency to at least look reprimanded. "Sorry." Then, looking, really
looking, at the woman in front of them, she suddenly realised who she was talking to. Blushing brightly, apparently they forgot to add a blush-block into the slayer package, Buffy quickly looked back down again.
Intrigued by the sudden mood change in his current challenger, House couldn't help himself but add, "Don't worry, Olive Skin. Cuddles here is mostly barking, less biting."
Looking up, even more appalled by his insolent comment, Buffy stared at him open mouthed.
"House!" Cuddy reprimanded him half-heartedly at the same time. After all, coming from him, this remark wasn't as bad as it could have been.
Taking a closer look at the woman, Olive Skin for lack of her real name, she could see what had him so intrigued. Her looks, blond, short and maybe even a bit pouty stood in complete opposition to the temper she'd witnessed only moments before. This was a woman who wasn't backing down but fought back, no matter what. To House, that obviously meant a challenge.
In contrast to the Dean of Medicine, Buffy wasn't going to let his comment pass by so easily. "One, it's Buffy, not Olive Skin. Two, Dr Cuddy is your boss. Ever heard of things like, I don't know, respect and courtesy?"
Now it was his turn to stare open mouthed. "Buffy? What kind of name is that?" He finally blurted out the first thing coming to his mind, ignoring the rest of her statement completely.
Slapping his arm, not too hard, Buffy went back to pouting. She couldn't help it, but pouting Valley Girl was the best way to ensure her opponent underestimating her. By now, it had become one of many defence mechanisms for her. "It's my
name. I like it."
Pretending to be in deep thought, including the whole finger tapping ones chin display, House finally shook his head. "Nope. It's just not right. I like Olive Skin better."
Shrugging her shoulders, she stared right back at him. "Whatever."
Feeling rather whatever right now, House added thoughtfully, "Although I have to admit, if you'd stop to become a chemically blonde, it would fit even better." Critically eyeing Buffy's hair, he looked at Cuddy. "What do you think, Cuddles?"
Cuddy sighed theatrically but any possible response was cut short as Buffy spoke up again. "Hey! I don't colour my hair." Drawing her brows together, she added annoyed, "It tends to vary a bit but up to the first inch of my hair is always dark and then it becomes blonde." The spell the Watcher's Council had put on her just after her birth made sure of that.
"Really?" Cuddy asked interested while House just looked at Buffy suspiciously.
"Yeah." Sighing, Buffy shrugged her shoulders. "Guess you could call it a birth mark or something like that."
Having enough of the conversation – and being late again, Buffy turned to Dr Cuddy once more. Immediately, her expression softened considerably, making her look almost shy. "I'm sorry for the earlier commotion. Next time I'll just outrun Grumpy Cane Guy."
Then, without turning back, she quickly walked into the hospital. Her enhanced hearing picking up the amused chuckles coming from both Dr House and Dr Cuddy. At least she hadn't completely messed up her first meeting with the Dean of Medicine.
Meanwhile, both Cuddy and House were looking at her retreating back with matching grins on their faces. Not even looking at each other, they started walking towards the hospital entrance in fine-tuned unison.
"Grumpy Cane Guy," Lisa chuckled.
"Buffy," House murmured.
This was going to be fun.
All throughout the day images of this mornings confrontation in front of the hospital kept creeping up on Cuddy at random intervals. More than once could she be seen chuckling, or shaking her head for no apparent reason. But when 'Grumpy Cane Guy' entered her mind in the middle of the hospital board's lunch meeting, she promised herself to do something about it. After work, that is.
So, as soon as her secretary, and more importantly, House, were gone for the day, she accessed the files of Olive Skin. Or would have, if she had known her full name. However, knowing her given name and her occupation, it wasn't all that hard to find out her real name in the end. Or getting access to her file through Human Resources. Sometimes being the Dean of Medicine had it's advantages.
Buffy Summers. Born and raised in California, studied a while at UC Sunnydale, dropping out without a degree before starting her education in Rome a year or so later. Well, the file wasn't exactly forthcoming, was it? There wasn't any real interesting information in the rather thin file, especially of anything before Rome. But what she read – grades and supervisors recommendations – sounded rather promising. She could understand why Buffy would have been offered a place in their program.
About to close the information file on her screen, her eyes suddenly opened up comically wide. Did she just think there was nothing interesting in her file? Apart from the small amount of information in the first place, that is? When, in fact, she'd been living and studying in what is now Lake Sunnydale! Her whole hometown had turned into a sink-hole a few years back!
Chuckling, Cuddy imagined House' reaction to that particular piece of information. She could basically see his eyes lighting up in interest. And mischief.
Chuckling again, she finally did close the file on her computer and went back to finish some of her actual work before leaving for home. Not once did she notice the person on the other side of her glass door.
House had figured that now that Cuddy had actually met Olive Skin she might have been more interested in getting some information on her. Sure, he could have done it himself, but it was so much more fun to have somebody else do all the work. Especially if that someone was none other than Dr Lisa Cuddy.
In fact, he couldn't have planned this morning's incident as perfect as it had turned out to be, even if he had tried very hard. No, sometimes coincidence was a much better planner than anyone else. Not that he'd admit that particular thought to anyone, though.
Now, standing in front of Cuddy's office, her secretary gone home for the day, he realised that once more he seemed to have had the perfect timing. He just knew her too well. Cuddy wouldn't have looked Olive Skin up straight away. No, that'd be against her work ethics. Instead, she'd have ignored her. But curiosity could be a pain sometimes. It probably had built up during the day – in fact, he had seen her chuckle once or twice without apparent reason – and now, when most of the day staff had left the hospital, Cuddy would finally have allowed herself to satisfy her curiosity.
Yes, he loved being able to read her so well.
Turning, he quietly left and headed for his bike. Yes, he wanted to know what Cuddy found out. However, for once he didn't mind to wait a bit longer, letting the anticipation grow.
He had to make sure not to become predictable after all.A/N: Thanks for reviewing!