Faith snickered as she looked down at Buffy. "He's right, B."
"I am not
fat." Growling, Buffy looked from House to Faith. Then she looked at her mom. "Tell them, mom."
House stood up and moved aside helpfully so Lisa could have a look at Buffy. Seeing her eyes opening wide upon falling on Buffy's belly, House waggled his eyebrows at her. "Yes mom. Tell them!" he said, mimicking Buffy's tone.
Lisa squinted her eyes at House.
"Mom?" Buffy asked impatiently.
"Uh," Lisa said as she met her daughter's eyes. Blushing slightly, she continued, "Your belly looks perfectly fine. Definitely not too big for your stage of pregnancy."
House leaned closer to Faith and stage-whispered, "I think that's called tact."
Buffy slapped his good leg, she couldn't reach his arm as she was still lying down, and glared at him.
"Serves you right," Lisa said unsympathetically.
Faith just held her hands up and shook her head as House looked for support from her side.
"Coward," House grumbled.
"Naw." Faith smirked at House. "Anyway, police and paramedics are about to take the baddies away. They've started to do their CSI-mojo to the front door and will probably come in here soon-ish. And there's a nervous paramedic kid watching us from the doorway."
House looked in the direction Faith had just indicated and, sure enough, the paramedic he'd relieved of his kit earlier was eyeing him nervously. House raised an eyebrow as he looked back at Faith. "How'd you know? He's behind your back!"
She motioned him closer with her index finger. Once their faces were almost touching, she said, "Because."
"Because? Because what?" House spluttered. "That's not an answer."
"Sure is." Ignoring House's further protests, Faith leaned over the backrest of the couch and put a hand on Buffy's belly. She closed her eyes for a moment and smiled when she heard the baby's heartbeat. Still smiling, she looked at Buffy. "I called the lawyer-guys. They'll handle the police and everything. I also gave the head-honcho over there the contact details for them."
"Thanks," Buffy said as she put her hand over Faith's on her belly. "He's fine."
"I know," Faith replied, squeezing Buffy's hand before getting up again. "What now?"
"Hospital," House said quickly.
"No!" both mother and daughter protested immediately.
House frowned and tilted his head. Then he looked at Faith. "Have you just heard anything?"
"Thought so," House said, sounding rather pleased. Rubbing his hands together in glee, he called out to the paramedic who was still hovering at the entrance. "Hey, you! Found some of your stuff!"
Walking over to Lisa, he held out his hand. "Your car if you reach it without fainting. Otherwise I'll have the paramedics pick you up off the floor and you'll get your very own ambulance."
Scowling, she said, "You're so generous."
Ignoring the sarcasm, House threw his head back and put the back of his hand against his forehead. "I know. It's not easy being so selfless."
Snorting, Cuddy shook her head – carefully – and took the offered hand. Of course, the room started to spin around her as soon as she was standing on her own feet. She bit her bottom lip to keep from fainting and didn't need much prompting to lean against House's chest. "Breathe."
A couple of deep breaths later, and the room stopped moving. Taking another deep breath, she looked up at House. "Thanks."
Nodding curtly, he put his arm around her back and slowly led her to the door, following Faith and Buffy who'd already left.
"Car park is over there," Buffy pointed out.
"I know," Faith said, ignoring the entrance and went straight to the emergency room, ignoring Buffy's further protests.
Buffy's door opened as soon as Faith stopped. "Buffy, are you alright?" Allison asked as she leaned over and released the safety belt.
"House said you were attacked," Allison continued as she helped Buffy out of the car. "Here, sit down."
Eyes opening comically wide, Buffy looked from Allison to the wheelchair and back. She even looked over her shoulder to ask Faith to help her out, she knew her baby was fine after all, but Faith had already moved the car away. Huffing, she turned back to Allison, crossing her arms in front of her. "I'm so not sitting in that thing."
"Yes you are," Allison said sternly. "You might be in shock and-"
"-And House would have put me in an ambulance straight away," Buffy grumbled.
Sighing, Allison had to agree. "Okay. But this is my ER. My ER, my rules. Sit down."
Allison moved her to a bed in as quiet a corner as she could find in the ER and pulled the curtains around it. They were still fighting over the hospital gown when Faith entered the small cubicle. When the argument stopped, Faith settled on the foot of the bed and grinned. "Don't stop on my account. I'm always looking for a good show."
Faith chuckled at the almost identical glares she received from them. However, before she could comment, the curtain moved aside once again. "Dr Cameron?"
"Ah. Dr Morales! Thanks for coming so quickly." Allison smiled at the older woman and extended her hand in greeting. Gesturing to Buffy who was lying on the bed, scowling at everyone around her, Allison said, "Buffy's been in a bit of a squabble earlier and I'd feel much better if you could check her and the baby out."
"I'm fine," Buffy muttered again.
"Want me to stick a post-it note on your forehead?" Faith asked, eyes twinkling mischievously. "No need to repeat it all the time."
Huffing, Buffy kicked out at Faith who simply caught Buffy's foot and put it back down onto the bed, patting it patronisingly.
Tilting her head, Dr Morales looked for any sign of discomfort from Buffy. Though she had to admit that her patient seemed more annoyed than anything. But, having worked with Allison Cameron before, she knew she wouldn't have been called without a reason. "Define 'squabble'."
"It was nothing," Buffy said immediately. "Sorry for wasting your time."
"I wouldn't call fighting off a couple of burglars nothing!" Allison protested immediately.
Dr Morales lifted her eyebrows in surprise. The young woman on the bed didn't exactly look like the type to fight off anything.
Shrugging her shoulders, Buffy said, "I've been doing martial arts for years. And they made it easy."
Dr Morales shook her head in disbelieve – Buffy's reply sounded a bit too casual for her liking. "How far along are you?"
"23 weeks," Buffy grumbled.
"Who's your attending ob-gyn?"
Buffy mumbled something unintelligible, causing both Allison and Dr Morales to look at her in alarm.
"But I've seen the ultrasound pictures!"
Looking up, Buffy shrugged her shoulders again. "House has been keeping track of everything."
"House?" Dr Morales asked in disbelieve. "Dr Gregory House?"
"Yup." Buffy lifted her chin in defiance. "I don't like doctors, he doesn't like patients. It works great for both of us."
"Buffy has been House's physiotherapist for the past three months or so," Allison explained to Dr Morales, her voice laced with more than a bit of admiration as House never had a physiotherapist before. Not for any period worth mentioning, anyway.
"O-okay." Shaking her head again, Dr Morales lifted Buffy's top and, when she didn't resist, placed her hands on her belly. "Any discomfort? Pain? Does anything feel different?"
Buffy shook her head. Rolling her eyes, Faith motioned to the belly, "It kinda got bigger."
"Well, duh! I'm pregnant!" Buffy said with a pout.
Chuckling, Faith added, "Bigger compared to this morning. House said it's because the kid moved forward or something."
Nodding, Dr Morales closed her eyes as she felt around Buffy's belly, prodding and probing her way around. "Did you feel him move?"
Buffy nodded. "He wasn't a happy camper. But he calmed down a bit when I lay down afterwards. He's okay, right?"
Giving Buffy a reassuring smile, Dr Morales nodded. "I can't find anything wrong. He's still moving."
"I know." Breathing a sigh of relief, Buffy started to push herself up. "So I can leave, right?"
"Wrong," Dr Morales said with a chuckle. "We'll do an ultrasound, measure the heart rate – the full works."
"You're not getting any blood!" Buffy said in alarm.
"Yes I am. And you're going to pee in a cup too."
Pouting, Buffy slumped back on the bed. "Meanie." Looking hopefully at Faith, she asked, "Throw her out?"
"Nope. I wanna see the little bugger myself."
"You've seen him two weeks ago," Buffy grumbled.
"Guess there's something wrong with my memory, then," Faith said with a shrug. In contrast to her words though, she squeezed Buffy's foot reassuringly before getting up and moving to the top of the bed, resting her hand on Buffy's shoulder.
Huffing some more, Buffy glared from Allison to Dr Morales and back. "But I'm still not wearing this stupid hospital gown."
"That's fine with me," Dr Morales said immediately, effectively taking the wind out of her sails. "Now don't move while I get the machine."
The ER was relative quiet, so Allison was able to stick around as Dr Morales had a closer look at the baby. She gave Buffy a big grin as soon as the sound of the baby's heartbeat filled the small cubicle. "That sounds good."
Dr Morales nodded while she moved the wand around Buffy's tummy. She frowned slightly but continued on her path. Then she took a closer look at the monitor and frowned some more.
Having watched the baby in awe, Buffy didn't notice the continued frowning at first. But then she saw something from the corner of her eyes and her eyes opened in alarm. "What's with the frowning?"
Faith squeezed her shoulder reassuringly and reached for Buffy's hand. Gripping onto it tightly, Buffy looked anxiously at Dr Morales.
Looking up, Dr Morales smiled sheepishly at Buffy. "Sorry, there's nothing wrong with your baby. I promise."
"You've got gas, then?"
Faith snorted as Dr Morales looked at Buffy in complete bewilderment. "What
"Well, there's got to be a reason for all the frowning. And if the baby is fine …," Buffy said with a shrug of her shoulders.
Shaking her head, Dr Morales said, "I think I can see why Dr House likes you. And, to answer your question, I also think Dr House might have been wrong."
"Wrong? Really? How?"
"Kid doubled up with a twin?" Faith asked curiously, causing Buffy to groan.
Smiling openly, Dr Morales shook her head. "No. But I think you're closer to 25 weeks along. How did House come to the conclusion of when your due date is?"
"Looking at an ultrasound almost three months ago after he told me I had a parasite."
Raising her eyebrows, Dr Morales asked, "What about your last period? Didn't he ask you about that?"
Buffy snorted. "Sure he did. Told him they were irregular and the last one was merely a month ago – and he was way too pleased to inform me that's not too uncommon in early pregnancy."
"That sounds like him," Allison said with a smile. "Especially the parasite comment."
"Alright. Tell him about the dates, okay? And if you want me to have another look at a later point, just give me a call. Now, do you know the gender of your baby?"
Grinning, Faith said, "The kid likes to show House his backside."
"Yeah," Buffy said smugly. "He turns just before House can take a peek."
Laughing out loud, Dr Morales pointed at the screen. "Do you want to know?"
Buffy bit her lip nervously, and then she nodded her head.
"If you faint, I'll pull over and call an ambulance," House said as he watched Cuddy becoming paler again.
She shook her head and, closing her eyes, took several deep breaths.
House gave her another glance. Realising what was going on, he quickly pulled over and released her seatbelt. She barely managed to open her door before she was sick onto the pavement.
Cursing, House opened the glove compartment and got a box of tissue, handing several of the tissues to Cuddy.
Groaning when the heaving finally stopped, Lisa slumped back into her seat, eyes closed. House opened the bottle of water he'd found in the glove compartment and pressed it slightly against her hand. "Water?"
Grabbing the bottle, Lisa nodded gratefully. Once she'd rinsed her mouth House closed the bottle again, buckled her in and continued the drive to the hospital.
Lisa kept her eyes closed until House switched the motor off. "You can't stop here!"
Ignoring her protests, House went around the car and opened the passenger door. "Sure can. I know the boss and we are like this," House said conspiratorially while holding up his crossed fore- and middle finger.
"Come on, it's late and nobody will use this entrance until morning." Jiggling Lisa's keys in front of her, he added, "Apart from us, of course."
As she had to use all her energy to keep herself from being sick or worse, fainting, Lisa sighed but didn't protest any further. Taking the offered hand, she let House drag her through the dark clinic and into an examination room. She almost sighed in relief when House told her to lie down.
"Do you think Buffy's alright?"
Rolling his eyes, House punched a few buttons on his cell phone. "Cameron, how's the spawn?"
Lisa watched him anxiously but relaxed when she saw him grin. Even if it was one of his 'Nice!
'-grins – which never meant anything good for the person at the receiving end of the grin.
"Faith is pinning her down."
Lisa sat up with a start – only to have her head spinning again. "What!"
Rolling his eyes, House pushed her back down. "Relax. Buffy and the spawn are fine. Cameron called Dr Morales from upstairs and she wants more tests – Buffy doesn't."
"She's fine. Do you really think Cameron would sound amused if something were wrong?"
Lisa looked at him in hope. "Really?"
House nodded and, sitting down, rolled himself over to the examination table. He pushed her top back up and removed the bandage from her side. "Definitely stitches. It started bleeding again as you parked your last meal on the pavement."
"Fine," Lisa grumbelt. She closed her eyes to wait for the inevitable.
House, of course, had other plans. He got up to get the ultrasound machine from the corner and had it switched on and cold gel on her stomach before she realised what exactly was going on.
"Shh. I'm trying to figure out the best position for the stitches," he whispered out of the corner of his mouth. "Don't tell the boss, she'll think it's a waste of money."
Lisa tried to sit up to get a closer look at the screen but House pushed her back down. "Ah ah! That's cheating!"
Ignoring her protests, he continued to scan her tummy, stopping now and then to have a closer look at the screen. The same screen that was turned away from Lisa so that she had no idea what the hell was going on. So she lay back, becoming more irritated by the minute. And House giving her a knowing grin didn't help either.
Finally he put the wand away and cleaned the gel off her tummy. He pressed a button on the machine before he waggled his eyebrows at her. "Ten bucks says your blood pressure is back to normal."
"Great," she said drolly. "He does an ultrasound to increase my blood pressure."
"What? It worked, didn't it?" House said innocently. Rolling himself over to the medical supply drawers, he got everything he'd need to stitch her up. Holding up the local anaesthetic, he smirked as she scrunched up her nose and closed her eyes just before House stuck the needle in.
"Wimp," House deadpanned. After putting the empty syringe away, he leaned over to rip off the picture he'd printed earlier from the ultrasound machine. "Here. Play a round of spot-the-blob."
Lisa looked in astonishment from the picture to House and back. Spot-the-blob
? What was he playing on now? Sighing as he suddenly seemed to be very engrossed in putting stitches into her side, she held up the ultrasound picture to have a closer look.
Even though he looked very devoted to the stitching he was currently doing, House watched every single movement Cuddy made from the corner of his eyes.
He knew exactly when realisation started to dawn. He'd just put the second stitch in when her eyes became as big as saucers. Then she started blinking and her mouth opened in shock but no sound came out. She looked from the picture to her tummy and back. Several times.
House couldn't help but roll his eyes at the cliché-ness of her reaction. By the time he'd put the last stitch in and covered the wound by a bandaged, Lisa was still looking at the small picture in shock – though her eyes were now filled with tears as well.
Finally, she put her hands on her tummy and looked up to meet House's eyes.
"I'm pregnant? How
--A/N: Uhm … has anyone seen Author? She's gone! I swear, I haven't eaten her again! … Wait. There's a note:
"I'm (almost) off counting raindrops on the Isle of Skye. No laptop. No internet. No update. Back in two weeks. Maybe."Argh! She's running away! Leaving me all by myself! … Oh, there's something else on the back:
"Note to Muse: I'll keep an eye out for that very hot, male Muse you've been asking for!"Whee! Sorry folks. Author is busy. And I'm totally on her side. Poor thing needs a break. Yup.