I don’t own House or BTVS. No infringement is intended. Sadly, no profit will be made from this either.
--"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!"Chapter 7
Realising there were too many people that could actually verify Buffy Summers' story, Cliff Marmine thought it better to use the out Dr House offered him.
Glaring once more at this student, he turned and without uttering another word walked over to the infamous Dr House. Of course, he knew of his reputation and brilliance. Cliff had tried to get his hands on Dr House for quite some time now. Maybe he finally decided on trying out some physiotherapy after all? Even if there was only the tiniest possibility of this being true, Cliff wasn't going to let a personal vendetta getting into the way of possible fame. Because, surely, he would be able to improve Dr House' condition considerably.
"Dr House, what can I do for you?" Smiling at him, Cliff used his
infamous soothing voice.
While Buffy was devouring the rest of her food, Kamil and Julian couldn't stop staring. They couldn't believe she'd just go on with her lunch like nothing had happened!
Sure, both of them knew there was nothing Dr Marmine could do about Buffy missing an appointment she clearly had no chance to know about, there were too many witnesses for that after all, but right now Dr Marmine was talking to the one and only person that she'd stolen her muffin from! And there were enough witnesses for that
"He's going to fire you," Julian said sadly. "Especially after Dr House tells him about you stealing his food."
"Surely," Kamil joined in just as pessimistically. They might have had a shaky start at best, but now that some kind of friendship had started to grow between them, he didn't want to loose that. He'd really miss her quirky and sometimes dry sense of humour.
Shrugging her shoulders, Buffy put the napkin she had used to clean her fingers with down and reached for the
muffin. "Naw, House won't tell. He had way too much fun. And Marmine would have to find another person he can be all pushy with just so he can feel all strong and important. He's too lazy for that. Don't worry, I'll be fine."
Closing her eyes, she blocked out most noises from her surroundings and simply enjoyed the first bite of the chocolate rich muffin, letting the flavours explode on her tongue. However, she didn't miss a single word from the conversation at House's table.
"Dr Marmite, I-"
"Marmine," Cliff corrected patiently. Almost sounding belittling too.
"No, thanks. I really don't like the stuff. Whoever thought the leftover yeast from brewing beer is edible must have been insane." House replied dismissively, moving his hand in concordance with his words.
Hearing that, Buffy couldn't help but chuckle. Having tried Marmite – as in the very British, very yucky yeasty bread spread – herself, she could only agree with his description. How Giles, and if she believed the grapevine, her own little sister Dawn, could like that stuff was far beyond her.
"No, my name is Dr Marmine, not marmite," Cliff corrected with a slight hitch in his voice. "And Marmite is the food, not marmine."
"Oh, I'm so sorry!"
Wilson, having known House for as long as he did, could only shake his head at the fake apology. Although, seeing Dr Marmine accept it, left him stare open mouthed too. How anyone could be so ignorant as the guy in front of him was beyond Wilson.
Sighing theatrically, House looked at his friend. "Wilson, I already told you – twice – that you don't have tonsillitis! Showing your tonsils to me over and over again won't change that diagnosis."
Aforementioned mouth shut with an audible thud.
Turning back to Dr Marmine, House continued, "You were saying?"
"You called me!" Cliff replied, the hitch in his voice becoming more pronounced now.
"I did?" House asked, playing confused.
Knowing the game, Wilson rolled his eyes before doing the inevitable. Playing along. Funnily enough, starting to dislike Dr Marmine made the exercise rather enjoyable. "You did."
"I did. Right." Tapping his chin, House appeared to be in deep thought. Eyes suddenly lighting up, he continued, "I did! I had this sudden epiphany of trying some physiotherapy on my bum leg."
Eyes brightening, Cliff forgot about the previous teases – if he recognised them in the first place, that is. "That-"
Putting on his, according to Wilson, creepy smile, House interrupted him. "I know, I know. My limp is hardly noticeable."
"Huh?" Now Marmine was confused. Everyone knew about House's limp. In fact, he used every opportunity to make sure every single person in the hospital knew it. So Cliff didn't really get that last comment.
Or heard Buffy's snicker.
"But I thought a bit of physiotherapy might help with it even more. Especially when I get these cramps right where the muscle is missing. I always wondered how a missing muscle can cramp though. Anyway, with these cramps and I'm just too weak and need the occasional Vicodin to cope with the pain," House continued seriously.
Unfortunately, Wilson was taking a sip of his coffee – and spit it all over Dr Marmine at House's last comment. Blushing brightly, he apologised profoundly, "I'm so sorry! I really don't know how that could happened!"
"Wilson, Wilson," shaking his head in disapproval, House handed a napkin to Dr Marmine. "You'll have to excuse him. He has a little problem with holding his drinks."
In contrast to Wilson, Buffy managed to swallow her drink. If barely.
Trying to, unsuccessfully, clean the coffee off his lab coat, Cliff shook his head dismissively. "It's okay. So, Dr House, what kind of goals did you have in mind for your therapy?"
"Gosh. Well. I was thinking about entering the charity four-mile run Dr Cuddy was organising in two month," House replied, looking hopefully at the idiot in front of him.
"Now, Dr House, I'm not sure that will be possible," Dr Marmine replied rather patronising.
Wilson just shook his head. House wasn't even trying all that hard to hide he was mocking him. Still, Dr Marmine didn't even show the slightest notion of knowing what was really going on. Also, looking over at Buffy's table, he was pretty sure he saw her shoulders shaking slightly. Surely, with the background noise at it's normal level again, she couldn't overhear their conversation. Could she?
Making a long face, House looked onto his hands. "Oh."
"I'm sorry. But we can at least try and improve your general comfort? I'm sure the remaining muscle tightens up a lot from the strain it has to take by providing all the extra work. So, even some simple massages to loosen those muscles, if done regularly, should help. As for anything else, I'd have to do an exact assessment to see what we can do."
Hearing this, Wilson had to admit that apart from being an idiotic jerk, Dr Marmine seemed to at least know what he was talking about. Then again, he wouldn't still be at the hospital if he didn't. Dr Cuddy would have sent him on his way a long time ago. Recognising a good opportunity when he saw one, Wilson quickly nipped into the conversation, looking directly at House. "That sounds good. Maybe you should start with the massages, see if they help?"
Furrowing his brow, House threw Wilson a withering glance. However, backing down now would look rather stupid on his part and he knew Wilson knew it as well. "Maybe."
Almost jumping with excitement, Dr Marmine suggested, "Why don't you come by my office and we'll make an appointment for getting a closer look at your leg? Then we can see what else I might be able to do for you?"
"I'm quite busy now. Just come by my office and, if I'm in, we can see about the massage. See how it goes." Preferable not at all, House added in his mind. He hated when he got carried away and someone was there to see and brave enough to use it against him. Apparently he hadn't trained Wilson well enough. Yet.
"If there's no other way," Dr Marmine replied deflated.
"No. I'm sorry." Or not. Then again, he might get a good opportunity to torture whoever Marmine was going to sent along. Looking at his clearly silent pager, he feigned surprise once more. "Gosh! It might go off any minute now. I better go!" Not waiting for an answer, House took his cane and limped towards the exit. As he was passing Buffy's table, he gave her a quick once-over, nodding approvingly at seeing her empty plate.
Buffy, returning his nod, realised that apart from messing with someone else House had actually done so to help her. Even though she doubted he'd ever admit to anything like this.
Dr Marmine was about to follow Dr House to his students' table, finishing off what he came in here to do in the first place, when he was interrupted once more.
"Dr Marmine, can I have a word, please."
Dr Cuddy had been ready to step in the moment Dr Marmine had shouted at Buffy Summers, but House had been faster. Too curious to see what House was up to, especially after witnessing the muffin incident before, Cuddy had remained seated and watched. But now that House was finished, it was time for her have a word as well.
"Dr Cuddy! How are you?" Dr Marmine asked, surprised to be approached in the cafeteria of all places.
"Good. Thank you. Do you mind walking me to my office?"
"Of course not." He was too flustered by her attention to hear the slightly steely undertone in her voice. As they passed Buffy's table, he added, "If you'll excuse me for a moment."
Raising her eyebrows, Cuddy just nodded, waiting to see what he would do.
"Dr Marmine," Buffy acknowledged.
"I expect to see you in my office." Remembering the Dean of Medicine standing next to him, he added hastily, "Once you finished lunch."
"Of course," she replied. Waiting a second, she added innocently, "Who shall I give my next patient to?"
"Oh. They take priority, of course. We'll meet when you're finished then," Dr Marmine agreed quickly, feeling rather generous.
"No problem. I'll see you at 9p.m. then."
Dr Marmine looked at Buffy in shock. "What?"
"I'm afraid I'm busy until that time. We've got a few outpatients coming in who couldn't make any earlier appointments," Buffy explained patiently. On the inside, however, she was gloating. Especially after watching something akin to a storm brewing in Dr Cuddy's face. A storm she wasn't going to be the centre of.
"I'm working from 6a.m. to 8p.m." Buffy said apologising, only barely keeping a straight face. Allowing her eyes to become even bigger, she looked at him through her eyelashes. "Do you prefer before or after?"
Before he could reply, Dr Cuddy stepped in, her voice as icy as it would get. "He'll see you before. 5:45 a.m. should be fine, I believe."
"But-" Dr Marmine protested open-mouthed. He never came into work before 8a.m.!
"Sure." Buffy agreed at the same time, smiling brightly at both Dr Cuddy and Dr Marmine.
"Good. Now Dr Marmine, if you'll follow me, please." Turning briskly, Cuddy all but stormed out of the cafeteria.
Nodding, Marmine all but stumbled after her. This wasn't how he expected things to happen. And, of course, it was all Summers' fault.
Once they left, Buffy turned to her new friends, grinning. "See, told you it was going to be fine."
"Dr Marmine is going to hate you even more now," Julian pointed out.
Shrugging her shoulders, Buffy glanced at her watch. "I don't care. I've already dealt with lots of people that make him look like the picture-perfect son-in-law. He doesn't bother me. Besides, Dr Cuddy didn't seemed too pleased with him, so she'll give me the benefit of a doubt if anything should happened. Anyway, I have another appointment in five minutes, so I'll better be all gone now. Catch ya later!"
Picking up her empty tray, Buffy waved at them before heading to the exit.
Leaving not only Kamil and Julian to wonder what would come out of this.
--A/N: Wow. I can't say how much all your reviews mean to me! If it's just to say how much you like this story or if they are more detailed, pointing out just what you like or even where I might head in the wrong direction or simply picked the wrong word from the dictionary. After all, I can only correct the latter two if I'm told ;). And a special thanks to those of you who've reviewed more than once or even all chapters so far!