Disclaimer: I own nothing. I do not own Buffy-verse. I do not own House, MD or the makers of. I wish. I'm poor, don't sue me.
A/N: So, this is the third story I've started. I will continue on all three, it's just that this one kept swimming around in my noggin. I'm pathetic.
*I'm not perfect, I'm sure some of my grammar and some other things are off. Please forgive. Let me know and I'll try to fix in future chapters.
*I do not know penal law for California, so everything I made up regarding that, is just that--made up.
*Once again, I start F21 from the get go. I don't watch my language, and eventually there will be sex. More humor than violence in this one than the other two. (I already have my pairs picked out for this one, but ideas are always welcome.)
___________________________________________________________________ New York City.
The shrill ring of the telephone woke the entire house. It probably helped that all of the inhabitants were sleeping in the living room. Groggily the phone was finally answered and there were several mutters around the room of ‘stupid broken answering machine’. “H’llo.”
“Dawn? Is that you?” The crisp British accent questioned over a line filled with static.
“Yeah…yeah, oh Giles, hey…” Dawn shook herself awake and wiped a hand over her face, wincing as she wiped a small amount of drool from the side of her mouth. Looking at the couch, she was glad they’d chosen a dark color since you couldn’t see the spit at all. “Why are you calling so early?” She asked once she caught sight of the clock showing it was only seven a.m.. “What time is it where you are? Probably lunchtime huh? Are you getting ready to eat? Or are you just doing tea and scones?” Dawn flopped down on the couch causing the other inhabitant to groan and begin blinking blearily at her. When Faith showed her the one fingered salute, Dawn’s response was to stick out her tongue and then roll her eyes at the dark haired slayer.
“Dawn…” Giles sighed. “Yes, it’s noonish here, we just had tea, so no, I won’t be lunching for awhile. I’m calling because I need to speak with Xander, and then all of you together.” Giles shook his head. Even he knew it was better to just answer the girl’s questions if he wanted to get anything else done in the conversation. “Please could you put Xander on?”
“Sure Giles.” Dawn looked at the three other lumps in the room. She covered the mouthpiece with her hand, “Faith, smack Xander in the back of the head…Giles needs to talk to him…”
Before Faith could move, the Xander shaped lump was rolling away from the couch. He looked up at Dawn with a narrowed eye. “Not nice Dawnie… could’ve just asked if I was awake before siccing the slayer smack down on me,” he muttered.
Dawn gave him a sweet smile and handed the phone in his direction. “Giles wants to speak to you,” she told him in her most innocent voice.
Xander took the phone and stood, stretching as he did so. “Hey G-man.”
“Xander, what the devil are you, Faith, and Dawn all doing in the same room?”
Xander grinned as he heard the frown in the older man’s voice. “You know how it is G, the ladies just can’t help themselves when I’m around…” When both Dawn and Faith made yakking noises in the background he flipped them off. “No, we all fell asleep in the living room last night for a weekly movie night. Buff and Wills are here too.”
Giles was silent for a moment. “I see.” When the group of five had headed off together two months before he’d thought it would be a short term thing, perhaps a week or so of vacation and they’d come back ready to go, but that hadn’t happened. They’d formed a very tight unit, his last Sunnydale five. Giles was finally accepting that they weren’t going to come back. “Xander, I called for several reasons, but…well, the main reason I called was for you.”
“That’s sweet G-man, I miss you too.”
Again, Giles sighed. “Yes, well, while it’s true I miss you all, this is serious…We got a call from a clerk from a courthouse in Los Angeles. It appears they’re investigating all files found going through Sunnydale from the years 1980 through the destruction…”
“Your name came up.”
“What? Do I owe unpaid parking tickets? I don’t remember any little yellow slips…you’d think with the whole sinking into the ground those people would have a little give. Geez, the capitalists!”
“Xander! It’s not about unpaid parking tickets! This is about you as an infant.” Giles hissed.
“Oh-kay.” Now Xander spoke slowly. “Great googly moogly, my Dad did sell me to Armenians…is it legal? I don’t have to go do I?”
“Xander…please…” Giles fought his temper and impatience. This was going to hit the young man from nowhere. “Xander, they called because there are adoption papers that were never completed. It appears your mother was in fact your mother, but your father, Anthony Harris, was not your biological father. They started the adoption proceedings, but then they fell by the wayside for some reason.”
Xander, who’d been leaning in the doorway between the living room and kitchen, turned and slid down the wall as his mind went blank. For a moment in time he couldn’t see, couldn’t hear, and couldn’t feel anything. “What?” he asked hoarsely.
“Anthony Harris was not your father. There is a man listed on the birth certificate, however, he never signed said certificate.”
“Huh…who’d have thought…all those times he told me I wasn’t his kid he wasn’t lyin’.” Xander felt arms go around him and came to himself to see his girls around him and Dawn embracing him. He couldn’t help but lean into her a little. “Okay. Okay. So, Tony wasn’t my Dad. Who is?”
“The name on the certificate reads Gregory House.” Giles informed Xander, feeling overwhelming pride for how strong the lad was being. “We’ve researched and found that he’s quite a well known diagnostician in New Jersey, at a teaching hospital, Princeton-Plainsboro. The clerk of courts in Los Angeles is also contacting him, but I’m not sure he’ll have the ability to find you as easily as we found him.”
“If he even wants to.”
“We can petition for a blood test if you wish?”
“I don’t know…I have to think about that…what else did you need G-man?” Xander hit the button putting the phone on speaker for all to hear.
“Well, it sort of all ties together really. And I am sorry for that. I would contact someone else if…well, let me just explain.” Giles cleared his throat and began speaking in an all business tone. “Recently, at the same hospital as mentioned before there have been a rash of unexplained deaths. Well, unexplained by the police or hospital authorities at least. Fred McGuinley, who’s on the board of directors for the hospital, is also the grandfather of one of our Slayers in training. He was hoping we could plant you in the hospital and see if you could figure out what’s happening.”
“How would we go in?” Buffy asked.
“We would put one of you in as a patient, one would pose as significant other, one as sister, and you and Faith as bodyguards.” Giles explained. “It’s the best we could come up with how we could get the hospital to allow it. Fred already approved that scenario.”
“But none of us is sick,” Dawn blinked at the phone.
“Magic could take care of that,” Willow shrugged. “We could conjure some symptoms, keep ’em guessing so our ’patient’ doesn’t get kicked out, but our patient wouldn’t have to suffer too much.”
“Precisely right Willow.” Giles commended.
“So, you want us to go into this hospital fakin’ sick with the man who’s possibly Xan-man’s real pop as the diag-doodad?” Faith didn’t like the plan. “I don’t know G. If this guy’s so good at his job, won’t he see through us?”
“Better hone up on your acting Faith,” Xander teased. “Hell, if he’s heard from the court, it means he’ll know my name. I assume we’re not gonna use fake names, right?”
“There’s no need for that, not with Fred on the board.” Giles assured them. “I’m sorry. I know this was time off for you all to figure out what you wanted to do with the rest of your lives…but we’re extremely busy…not so busy that we’ve had to call on you, but this would take a toll on us.”
The five were already looking at each other. Buffy spoke, “We’ll do it Giles, we don’t mind helping out in a pinch…plus, hey, this’ll be different, and if this guy is Xan’s real dad, we’ll get to look him over.” Princeton-Plainsboro. (two days later)
Wilson stuck his head into House’s office expecting to hear his friend lambasting his team for something and instead found his friend deep in thought holding his giant tennis ball in both hands. “Where’s your team?”
“Helping nurse's aides.”
“No new cases…had to keep ’em busy. Oh, except for Kutner, he’s doing clinic hours.” House’s expression never changed.
“Shouldn’t you be smiling maniacally, thinking how you’ve pulled one over on them, and how they’re all probably really miserable right now?”
Instead of responding to the comment House put the ball gently on his desk making sure it didn’t roll. “Do you remember that girl I told you about way back before Stacy and I were together…Jessie, her name was Jessie.”
“Sure, it was right before you started med school. You took the summer off to be a beach bum in California didn’t you? Wasn‘t she the one you had the grand ol‘ summer fling with?”
“That would be her.” House placed his fingertips on a folded sheet of paper and slid it to the edge of the desk in Wilson’s direction. “I got that from the Los Angeles Clerk of Courts today.”
Wilson picked up the paper, unfolded, and read silently. Halfway through the reading his mouth gaped open. His eyes darted up to House, and then back down to the paper. “Um, did…can…but…”
“Very eloquent…and you went to several universities.”
“Did she ever give you any idea that she was possibly pregnant?” Wilson finally managed.
“If she had don’t you think I would have done something to find out if the kid was mine?” House asked in that mocking tone he loved so well.
“I’m honestly not sure,” was Wilson’s first response, then he shook his head. “No, that’s not fair, look at how far you went to find out about your own father…so you never knew…you two just ended the relationship and you headed off to school and she married this Anthony Harris.”
“That would be correct.” House leaned back in his chair. “The letter behind the one you’re reading apologized for this not being taken care of in a more timely fashion, they actually used that phrasing, and stated that someone would be contacting this Alexander LaVelle Harris…House, guess his name isn’t Harris, it’s House unless I contest it…since I never signed the birth certificate.”
“Are you going to? I mean, what are you going to do? Are you going to try to look up this kid? See if he’s your son?”
“He’s what…twenty-seven now? Do you think he wants to go outside and play catch?” House sniped.
“Once he gets this letter he’s probably going to want to know who you are. I mean let’s face it, this kid probably doesn’t have the same kind of contacts and ability to find someone that you have. He probably doesn’t have the same kind of money…or personal PI on retainer…this paper says that Anthony and Jessica Harris died in the decimation of Sunnydale California. I remember reading about that town falling into a sinkhole.”
“So, you think I should call Lucas and have him do some digging on this kid?”
“Don’t you?” Wilson was beyond amazed. “I mean, this is possibly your child we’re talking about here House!”
Their conversation was cut short as Cuddy moved into view in front of the glass walls of House’s office, and entered the room. She held a file in her hands and looked at both of them for several moments before finally speaking. “I just got a call from Fred McGuinley, the head of our Board of Directors. He has a case that’s a personal favor to him…”
“That’s fine…” House interrupted and began to wave her off. He wanted to call his PI, Lucas Douglas, as soon as possible to get him started on finding this kid. Finding the kid didn’t mean he was gonna talk to him.
“Good, I’m glad it’s fine. This is a high priority. This patient and his little entourage are going to be at the hospital, in our faces, until the kid is better.” She interrupted right back. “Patient’s name is Xander Harris.” House swung around to look at her and hung the phone up silently. Wilson, turned towards her with, once again, gaping mouth. “Interesting, I was somehow sure you’d tell me you’d never heard of him, but it appears that I would be wrong,” she snapped. “Mr. McGuinley was informed by Mr. Harris’s employer that it is possible that Dr. Gregory House is one Alexander ‘Xander’ Harris’s father. I laughed, thinking, no, someone would have mentioned this to me if it were even a possibility…”
“Me too.” House stated gruffly.
“What?” she looked at him angrily.
Wilson handed her the paperwork from the state of California. “Do you think this kid’s illness is fake? Is it possible he’s just trying to get close to House?”
Lisa sighed, what a nightmare… “No. The Board of Directors wouldn’t condone that. The kid’s been living in New York City for the past two months. Spent some time overseas before then; Africa, Italy, Great Britain. Before that he was in Cleveland, and before that Sunnydale. Harris just found out this week. He hasn’t asked for a blood test, and he hasn’t asked to speak directly with House.” She moved to the chair in the corner of the office and slouched down.
“You wanted to adopt. Here ya go. His parents died a few years ago.” House offered helpfully.
She gave him a withering glance, and Wilson winced. “I don’t care if you want to know if he’s yours or not, that’s not my business, and I’ll try to stay out of it, but you have to treat him. You have to fix him and get him and his people out. And while they’re here, you have to keep them out of trouble.”
“What do you mean entourage?” Wilson asked.
“He’s bringing his sister, girlfriend, and get this, two bodyguards.”