I don’t own House or BTVS. No infringement is intended. Sadly, no profit will be made from this either.
Over the next ten days or so, Buffy took her extra workload in stride.
She didn't mind the work, in contrast, she really loved it. Her patients appeared to like her too, despite Dr Marmine seemingly giving all the challenging ones – personality wise challenging that is – to her. Still, even the worst of them were a walk in the park compared to living even just a single week in Sunnydale on top of the Hellmouth.
Thankfully there were others involved in her supervision, so despite Dr Marmine's best efforts, he couldn't find another reason to punish her. In fact, the only thing he managed to do was bringing the other supervisors onto her side.
The one point really bothering her was the constant increase in weird vibes coming from the hospital. She wasn't sure yet if it was because of her evil supervisor, who, despite looking completely different, reminded her more often than not of Principal Snyder, or if there was something else going on. She really, really
hoped it wasn't the latter one.
Pushing thoughts of Dr Marmine and any evilness in general aside, Buffy decided to enjoy her lunch with two of her co-workers instead. Entering the cafeteria right behind Kamil and Julian, she quickly had to sidestep them in order to avoid running straight into Kamil.
"Hey, what's up?" Buffy asked curiously while scanning the room for any explanation for their behaviour. Okay, maybe for any possible dangers too.
"Nothing, just looking for a free table." Kamil said while shrugging his shoulders.
"And I would believe you if it wasn't for the avoiding to look at me thing." Grinning knowingly, she added, "Of course, it has nothing to do with Grumpy Cane Guy at the end of the food line."
When two sets of comically wide open eyes stared back at her, Buffy chuckled and passed them, getting in line right next to House. Judging by their whispered repeat of her name for Dr House, they've met him or at least heard of his reputation before. Shaking her head almost unnoticeably, Buffy thought it was no wonder that House was, well, House
. Why should he change the way he treated people if they reacted exactly like he wanted them to?
"So, finally decided you're hungry after all?" Buffy quipped after Kamil and Julian reluctantly joined her in the line.
"Hey! We were just trying to choose our lunch!" Julian defended their actions half-heartedly.
"Su-ure." Knowing House would be listening in, she added, "Wouldn't want you to go grumpy
just because you couldn't decide between a sugar cane
and healthy banana for dessert. So what's a guy
to do other than take his time in making the right choice, right?"
Although House was looking and kind of listening to Wilson, he involuntarily had to smirk at her reply. Olive skin sure had an interesting way with words. Judging by the blank looks of her companions, they didn't seem to appreciate it at all. Or get the meaning behind it. What a waste of a perfect quip.
"House!" Wilson promptly said shocked.
Annoyed of having his thoughts interrupted so rudely, he barked, "What?"
"My patient's dying is not funny!"
"Of course it isn't." Looking from the food display to his friend, House opened his mouth in mock-realisation. "Oh! You mean you really
thought I was listening to you? Come on, Wilson. How long have we known each other for?"
Rolling his eyes, Dr James Wilson sighed deeply. Sometimes he wondered if he'd ever learn or just why he had become House's friend. Or more importantly, why he actually stayed
his friend. Then again, life would be certainly much more boring without his misanthropic friend around. So, playing along, he replied, "Not long enough, apparently. Still, this doesn't mean-"
"Order. Or the nice lady might kill you with her death glare," House interrupted his friend in a stage-whisper, pointing to the waiting woman behind the counter. And true to his words, she was glaring daggers. Okay, her aim was off, why else would she look at him and not Wilson in front of him as he was the one holding up the line. Maybe he should make her an appointment with an ophthalmologist. Now, wouldn't that be funny?
Grinning at that thought, he gave his own order. "One Reuben sandwich, hold the pickles." Looking to the dessert selection next to him, he saw Buffy - that name alone still made him chuckle – take the last triple chocolate yoghurt muffin from the display. A fraction of a second before he decided that this is exactly what he was going to have for dessert. Because he could. Not even looking at her, he took the muffin from her tray and put it on his own.
"House!" James Wilson exclaimed shocked. "You can't do that!"
"I just did." Looking towards Buffy, he asked in a surprised voice. "You weren't going to eat it, were you? Just think of all that fat dying to move onto your hips!"
Ignoring the gasps from her friends behind her, she looked House straight in the eye, raising her eyebrows in a silent challenge. Then, without uttering a single word, she turned towards the woman behind the counter. "Two Reuben sandwiches, extra pickles and a large side order of fries please."
Turning back, Buffy grinned at House who answered with a smirk of his own. Chuckling quietly, not only at Buffy's order but also Wilson's face when he looked towards him again, he non-too-gently pushed Wilson towards the cash register.
"Thanks for paying. I must have misplaced my wallet again."
"I can see it just fine in your back pocket," Wilson replied resigned.
"Really? Must be empty then as I can't feel it." Not even waiting for an answer, House put his sandwich onto Wilson's tray and added a bottle of water as well. "I'll go and find us a table." Nodding almost unnoticeable to Buffy, House limped to his and Wilson's usual table. The one that miraculously emptied itself as soon as House entered the cafeteria.
Meanwhile, Buffy's co-workers still hadn't found their voices after the close brush with House and thought Buffy was the same. Buffy, however, was already planning her revenge. Once she had paid, she took her tray to a nearby empty table and bent down to re-lace her perfectly laced sneakers, telling her friends she'd be right behind them.
Then, taking her tray up again, she slowly followed their general direction. Seeing a certain doctor watching her every move, she – just like she had planned – changed direction towards his table. Seeing his eyes twinkling with amusement while also noticing a slight blush creeping up on House's friend, Buffy's expression didn't give away any of her intentions. Or that she had any intentions in the first place.
House, seeing her changing direction, decided that he would have his dessert first for a change. Making sure Buffy knew exactly what he was about to do, he slowly moved his hands towards the, admittedly delicious smelling, muffin just as she closed in on his table.
However, when he was about to grab the aforementioned piece of dessert, he found his hand coming up empty.
This time, the shock on his face wasn't fake. Especially after seeing the muffing magically appearing on a certain physiotherapist's tray.
Ignoring House completely, Buffy smiled sweetly at the clearly shell-shocked Dr Wilson. "Thanks for buying me dessert. I'll make sure to repay the favour next time I see you."
Without further ado Buffy walked over to her co-workers, apparently ignorant of the dead-silence that had descended onto the cafeteria. Sitting down on the last free spot on their table Buffy dug into her food heartily. Picking up the faint chuckle coming from House's table, a slow smile started to spread across her face. And while her friends where still speechless, the noise level in the cafeteria moved towards its normal range again.
In the far corner, Dr Lisa Cuddy could just sit and stare at both House and a certain Buffy Summers. She had expected their meetings to become interesting, but this, this was both far better and far worse than she had hoped for. However, seeing House speechless – even if it was only for a few seconds – was well worth anything that would surely come in the future.
For the next ten minutes Buffy enjoyed her lunch in silence. Kamil and Julian where throwing the occasional admiring glances in her direction, but otherwise kept silent and ate their own lunch. Buffy didn't mind at all.
While they all, including Keelan, the last member of their little group, had become something like casual friends ever since Dr Marmine did treat her so unfairly, she wasn't going to tell them all her secrets at once. Or at all. However, the shared lunch-time was a good start in her book. And, in contrast to the first week, the guys had learned to respect her decisions to stay away from their occasional evening outings. Not because she didn't like them, but because she just wasn't into it.
But, right now, food was the only thought on her mind. Unfortunately, just as Buffy was starting on her second sandwich and the leftover fries, a furious looking Dr Marmine was walking into her field of vision.
"Miss Summers! What the hell do you think you're doing?"
Without bashing an eyelid she looked between her plate and Dr Marmine. "I believe it's commonly known as having lunch."
"I can see that!" He all but spit out.
By now, the noise level in the cafeteria had gone down again, everyone being rather curious at what would happened now.
"Then what's the problem?" Buffy asked before taking another bite of her rather delicious sandwich. Not that she ever had one of them before, but after hearing House's order, she just couldn't resist. She would have to thank him later for that. Much later. If at all.
"You were supposed to see me at one o'clock. Now it's quarter past. If you can't even keep up the simplest of appointments, you clearly chose the wrong profession!"
Carefully, Buffy put down the remainder of her Reuben. Looking Dr Marmine straight in the eyes, not even thinking of backing down from his supposedly intimidating stare from above, she replied rather calmly, "I am afraid I'm not very apt at telepathic conversations yet or I would surely have been there. I know it's a liability, but I'm afraid I still need somebody to tell me about any appointments I have or I'm going to miss even more of them in the future."
Across the room, House was grinning. This lunch was the best he had in years. He wondered briefly if he could find a needle to test his theory that right about now, a dropping needle would cause more than one person to jump in their seats. Buffy seemed to have the unique ability to completely quieten the cafeteria within seconds.
Not believing the woman in front of him, Dr Marmine leaned in even closer, shouting straight into her face. "Or maybe you should clean your allocated desk space so you can actually find the notes put there. And I should know, I put it this particular one there myself only this morning."
"Ah, that explains it then. As you might recall, I have been with patients from 6:00 a.m. straight and never had time to go to my desk." Buffy replied calmly. Yet, in the quiet cafeteria her reply could be heard loud and clear even in the last corner.
House, raising his eyebrows at the implications of Buffy's reply, had heard enough. Besides, he'd also seen Cuddy about to get up, ready to step in and he couldn't have her take away his fun, could he?
"Hey! Dr Marmite!" Waving his cane, House noticed the confused look on Dr Marmine's face with evil satisfaction.
"Mine." Wilson corrected out of the corner of his mouth.
"Yours? Hey, but I found him first! And I'm the cripple here." House whined in a stage-whisper, which, due to the quietness around could be heard in every corner of the cafeteria. Then, just because he could, House repeated his request for attention. "Dr Marmite!"
--A/N: Thanks again for all the great reviews! I'm still kinda floating above ground. Well, I would if gravity wouldn't insist on intervening all the time. So please keep the reviews coming. I don't mind critic either (as long as it's explained properly) as I'm still working on the whole writing a story thing :P.