I don’t own House or BTVS. No infringement is intended. Sadly, no profit will be made from this either.
When Buffy came home after a long day of work the following week – she had only barely avoided another confrontation with Grumpy Cane Guy and constantly had to fight off advances from one of her patients – she found scratch marks on her door lock. Apparently someone had tried to break in.
Must be Tuesday.
Which, of course, it was.
Wanting nothing more than to scream all of her frustration out, Buffy nevertheless focused on any unusual noises coming from inside. When she couldn't hear anything, she carefully opened the door and search the whole apartment for possible intruders.
Coming up with nothing, she took a quick inventory to see if anything was missing. Luckily, all her weapons were in a charmed trunk, with nobody but her and selected friends being able to open it. Or to see the contents, for that matter. In the end, she only found her TV, DVD-player and laptop missing. The latter, luckily, would turn out to be rather useless to the burglars as it had, like her weapons trunk, undergone a special Willow treatment.
She hadn't bothered to do the same with her flat in general, but might consider it now. Dawn usually had interesting ideas in that respect, so she might ask her for a little advice. Later.
Contemplating if she should bother with calling the police or not, she remembered the whole living a normal life thing. Smiling, as the burglars obviously weren't interested in the supernatural part of her life, Buffy decided to go with the normal people flow and call the police. Besides, the stolen goods had been insured, so she might just as well use her insurance. Which meant filing a police report.
She was about to call the appropriate number when her dialling was interrupted by a knock on the door. Looking through the peep-hole, she shrugged her shoulders. Seems like she didn't need to make that phone call after all.
Opening the door, she greeted the police officer on the other side. "Officer."
"Hi. I'm Officer Wayne. Would you mind answering some questions concerning recent burglaries in this building?"
"No. In fact, I was about to call you myself." Pointing to the tiny scratch marks on her door, Buffy continued. "I just returned from work and found those. After a quick check I found my TV, DVD-player and laptop missing."
Sighing, the officer scrabbled something on his notepad. "That's the fourth apartment today. I'll get the forensics team already working on the case to see if they can find some evidence of the culprits."
And so her day ended being entertained by police officers, filling out reports and answering numerous of questions.
But she wouldn't complain. Buffy had wanted a normal life. Now she could add a burglary to that experience. And a good excuse to not watch the DVD she was supposed to look at for her course.
Sighing, Buffy opened the door to the hospitals roof area. Soaking up the warmth of the sun, she stepped towards the banister, looking at her surroundings.
She loved it up here. The silence. The serenity. It was her retreat from a busy work schedule. Closing her eyes, she lifted her head to soak up as much sun as possible. Only to have the opening of the roof access door interrupt the peaceful silence a short while later.
Sighing inwardly, she hoped whoever was there was going to leave her in peace. She really didn't want any company now. Then, hearing the unique sound of Grumpy Cane Guy walking, a sound she had learned to distinguish from her surroundings very quickly, which made evading him easier, she sighed again.
House, having spotted her as soon as he stepped onto the roof, walked slowly over to her. He hadn't expected anyone to be here, but neither seemed she. The roof, due to it only being accessible by stairs, was his last, sacred, hiding place. Neither Cuddy nor Wilson would think of him hiding here, as there was simply too much effort involved in getting here. Or, in the unlikely event of either one knowing about it, they left him in peace, knowing he wouldn't come here just to avoid work.
Stopping next to Buffy, he leaned onto the barrister and studied the park below them.
Neither of them spoke a word for several moments.
"Dr. Marmine is a jerk."
Smiling, still staring into the distance though, Buffy nodded. "I know."
As it had turned out, even though she had a very valid excuse for not watching the instruction DVD given to them last night, Dr Marmine wouldn't accept it and had given her quite a talking down, accusing her of lying through her teeth. In front of everyone who bothered to come somewhat close to the physiotherapy department. The longer she had stayed calm and reasonable, the more he had talked himself into a rage. Still, Buffy never bucked down even one bit.
In the end she had ended up with several days worth of extra hours – and a new level of respect from the other participants in her course. When they first had seen her as a bit arrogant as she wasn't taking part in their extracurricular activities, they now admired her for standing up to their superior. They all knew Dr Marmine was wrong, there was no way she could have watched that DVD. However, none of them figured they would have been able to stand their ground like Buffy did. And maybe she had very valid reasons for not wanting to go out with them, reasons they never had bothered to ask for before.
On the roof, another few minutes passed in complete, yet comfortable, silence.
"I hope you get your kidnapped guitar un-kidnapped."
Now it was House's turn to nod and smile. "Thanks."
This morning, instead of his beloved electric guitar, a real classic at that, he'd found a ransom note in his office. At least he knew where his guitar was while she'd probably wouldn't get her stuff back. Judging by his experience with Princeton's police force anyway.
After several added minutes in silence, Buffy finally moved. Sighing, she looked at House for the first time since he had come to join her on the roof. "Try not to fall off. With my luck, I'd be responsible for the messy clean-up."
"Now, my patient, having been crushed by a whole building and all, she's really
messed up," House said thoughtfully. Catching Buffy's eyes, he added confidently, "I, on the other hand, am not messy."
Looking him up and down, Buffy just shrugged her shoulders. "How'd you know? You haven't done the jumping off of great heights before. Have you?"
Watching her turn and leave, House thought about her last words. It almost sounded like she spoke from experience.
But how could that be? She was alive, no apparent scars. Unless you counted her eyes, he thought disturbed. For that one moment, Buffy had looked both lonely and like the weight of the world was resting on her shoulders.
It seemed like the enigma that was Olive Skin became bigger every time they met.
And he wouldn't be House if wasn't attempting to solve it.
It was time.
Time to find out what Cuddy managed to dig up on Olive Skin.
Later that day House watched Cuddy from his hiding spot just outside her office. Upon seeing her absently rubbing her temples, House decided now was as good a time as any.
Yes, she'd probably be pissed at him disturbing her, probably even aggravating her headache. But chances where pretty good she'd also take it as a sign to go home, or rather use the excuse of going home as an escape route from his annoying demands. Grinning at this thought, he moved towards her door and without further ado entered the office. Announcing himself by making as much noise as possible.
Having been deep in thought, Cuddy literally jumped when her door was so forcefully opened. However, knowing it could only be one person, she didn't look up, keeping at least some of her dignity in place.
"House, I didn't know you've cured your patient," Cuddy commented casually, saving and closing the document she'd been working on.
"I haven't. Yet." Leaning his cane onto her desk, he walked around to look over her shoulders, onto the screen.
"Then what are you doing here? Shouldn't you be diagnosing her, running tests and such?"
"I got lost in this maze you call hospital. And evil Wilson stole my magic map. Can't find neither her nor the labs."
"Su-ure." Drawling the word out, she put the files in front of her into the required order. "You know this hospital better than anyone."
House sighed theatrically, finding the way his breath played with her hair – and the quickly appearing Goosebumps on her skin – rather fascinating. "Woman! I just told
you evil Wilson stole my magic map. But fear not, I'm just stopping on my way to the next diagnostic test."
"I thought you can't find the lab?" Cuddy challenged.
"Don't need to."
"But you said you're on your way to … you're going to break into her apartment." Sighing in resignation, Cuddy shook her head. One day, this man was going to be the death of her.
"Nah. That would be illegal, wouldn't it. I'm just going to interview her personal belongings. As I speak front door, I just have to ask it politely to open for me. That clearly isn't breaking and entering," House explained as if he was talking to a five year old.
Looking at him in utter disbelieve, Cuddy just couldn't think of a reply to that. Shaking her head once more, she tried to push her chair back. Unfortunately, she found herself caught between her desk and his body. When he didn't show any signs of stepping back anytime soon, she turned in her chair as best as she could, looking into his face. "What else do you want."
He moved into her personal space, his face inching closer and closer towards her. Chuckling at the caught-in-the-headlight look entering her eyes, he finally turned her ever so slowly back towards the computer monitor.
Annoyed at the reaction to his close presence, she replied harsher than she intended in the first place, "I told you before, ask Human Resources or the course coordinator."
"Cuddy, Cuddy, Cuddy." Shaking his head in mock surprise, he pushed her chair slightly to the side so he could sit on the edge of the table, resting his leg a bit. "You told me before that you know nothing and that I should ask Human Resources or the course coordinator."
Turning towards him, she looked at House in irritation. "That's exactly what I said now."
"No. You only mentioned the second bit. Not that you know nothing. So, spill."
"Cuddy." Watching her, eyes sparkling with amusement, he nodded towards her screen. "You know I'll get the information anyway. But by giving it to me, you'll make sure I won't piss several people off in the process of doing so."
Unfortunately, she couldn't agree more. Switching off her computer, she turned to him. "Buffy Anne Summers, born in 1981 in Los Angeles. She graduated from Sunnydale High in 1999, started at UC Sunnydale. She left before she was even halfway through her course and over a year later did her Bachelor of Physiotherapy in Rome. She graduated with Honours and applied for this program pretty straight afterwards."
"O-kay. What else. Where's the juicy bit?"
"There is none."
"I'm serious. The CV states only the most important bits. Date and place of birth, year of high school graduation, courses she did at UC Sunnydale. Then it picks up the next year when she enrolled in Rome. That part is actually longer and in more detail than anything before."
"Hm." Scrutinising her closely, House finally moved to the side, allowing her to stand up. Taking his cane, he waited for Cuddy to pick up her things and then followed her out of the hospital and towards her car, deep in thought.
Once she had climbed in, waiting for him to close the door behind her, he grinned down at her. "So, Lake Sunnydale. This is going to be fun."
Cuddy watched in defeat as he started to rub his hands together with glee.
Yes. It was going to be fun.
And probably a nightmare for her. Judging by what she saw last week, she didn't think Buffy Summers would just watch him enjoy himself on her costs. No, she was probably going to retaliate.
Therefore, Cuddy wasn't really sure about the fun bit.
But if anything, apart from messy that is, it was going to be interesting.
And, for whatever strange reason, she was already rooting for a short, blonde physiotherapist she had only met once before.A/N: Wow. Thanks for all those reviews for the last chapter! They made me running around with a stupid grin on my face, but, more importantly, made me want to write/edit more and faster! Which means I still have enough raw-story written to keep up with the 2 chapters a week speed. Hope you don't mind ;). More House/Buffy interaction coming next chapter (actually, that was how I first imagined them meeting). Oh, and I'm afraid this is going to be long story as Muse likes to take the scenic route…