Spreading the News
New Origins, Same Great Slayer Chapter One: Spreading the News. Brief A/N:
You will see some minor changes to Buffy canon. Sorry. But what can you expect? It is fanfiction, after all. ^.^ AU worlds, here I come! Also, this is being updated so quickly because I’m a review whore. Not really. It’s more that this was started as a natural progression of the Prologue, and so was begun right away. Just like chapter two has already been started. But that shouldn’t come out for at least a week. I’m going to aim for weekly updates. Don’t hold me to that, please. That’s just my goal. Thanks. ~CT
Settling into New Jersey was both harder and easier than she thought it would be. East Coasters were definitely of the weird and hurried variety, but at the same time they were cool and friendly. She spent the first couple of days scouting out the area she was staying in, finding the usual hangouts for the local nightlife, finding her father’s work and home areas and making sure neither were horribly overrun with the demon population. His apartment was closer to demon territory than the hospital he worked at, but the hospital would be prime hunting grounds for the vampires; except they seemed to like hunting at Princeton General, better. She knew she was putting off meeting her father. She was a bit scared to, if she were being honest with herself, which she wasn’t. So she kept finding things to keep herself busy. Like slaying. ‘Wow!’
thought Buffy as she wandered one of the local cemeteries. ‘Demons may take a summer vacation on the Hellmouth, but they sure stay open for business here!’
She was having a grand time exercising her slayer muscles in the Garden State. Wandering close to the hospital where Doctor
Gregory House, M.D. worked, she couldn’t help but notice the increase in bloodsuckers tonight. Blood delivery? Not that she had much of a basis to go on, but still. And hey! It looked like one was intent on harassing that old guy with the cane and his friend. With a sigh, she made her way to the two men, hoping to draw off the vamp and not get noticed. When one more emerged from the shadows, however, she knew it was a hopeless cause. Sometimes she hated being right. Breaking into a sprint, she slammed a fist into the first vamp’s face as it reached for Cane Guy. Cane Guy swung his cane at the other one, but that just pissed it off and it ripped the cane from the man’s hands. Both men were now trying to fend off the one vamp while Buffy flew with fists and feet at the other.
“Is it too much to ask that you not pick on the elderly and infirm?” she asked, punctuating her words with a punch here and there. She plunged her stake into the first one just as the second grabbed Other Guy, prepared to bite. He was rambling something about how it would only hurt for a minute when she tapped him on the shoulder.
“Don’t you guys know by now? It’s not nice to play with your food.” With that, she kicked him away, following to carry the fight away from the innocents. Finished with her prey, she turned to find both men watching her carefully.
“You do know that the human body isn’t made to go ‘poof’, right?” Cane Guy called.
“Uh-huh. You do know that the safest way to stay alive is to leave when the danger lessens, right?” she retorted. Pointing to the cane, she continued, “and I think you dropped something!” With that parting shot, she disappeared into the night.
House and Wilson sat in the Diagnostic Medicine conference room, waiting for the ducklings to arrive. Once Cameron, the last to show, was there, House stood and moved to the white board. He wrote three things:
· Yellow Eyes
· Deformed Face
· Turns to Dust
Turning to face his team, he asked the obvious. “What would make a human body do these things?” Possibilities were tossed out quickly.
“Jaundice would turn the eyes yellow.”
“Birth defect for the deformation? Could cover the eyes, too.”
“It’s impossible. A body does not just turn to dust.”
House turned to his friend. “Wilson? Did we or did we not see two bodies turn to dust last night?”
The oncologist nodded seriously.
“Hallucination?” Chase put forth. “Perhaps you both ate or drank something tainted?”
House wrote that on the board under the symptoms. “Hallucinations could account for it, but the chances of both of us seeing the exact same one? Very unlikely. Next?”
Stretching languidly, Buffy reveled in the freedom that being here gave her. But she knew that she’d have to confront Doctor House sometime, so she figured she may as well get it over with as painlessly as possible. Like a bandaid! One pull and it’s off. A quick shower later and she was on her way to the Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital. Making her way to the reception desk, she waited for someone to acknowledge her.
“May I help you?” a friendly aide asked.
“Yes. I’m looking for a Doctor Gregory House, please,” she replied, butterflies stirring in her belly.
“Of course,” the aide gave her a strange look here. “He’s on the fourth floor. Just take the elevator up, follow the hallway to the right, turn left at the end and his office will be on the right. If you get lost, ask at the Nurse’s Station.”
Buffy took the stairs. She wanted to make it take as long as possible, now that she was here. ‘Dragging my feet like some errant child’
, she thought. Then mentally smacked herself for sounding too much like Giles. All too soon she was coming up on a glass enclosed office with the words Gregory House, M.D.
on them. The butterflies took flight. Then she looked beyond to the conference room and she wished for the butterflies back over the lead that took over her stomach. There, staring straight at her, were the two men from last night. She looked on in horror as Cane Guy limped his way over to her. All her shocked mind could think was that he moved a lot faster than she thought he should.
House was still shooting down suggestions when he looked up and saw her. With a sharp “Wilson!”, he tilted his head towards her. Of course the ducklings looked as well. So everyone was able to see the moment she spotted them and the look of fear and dismay cross her face. He made his way to the door, grabbing her and tugging her inside. In her near-catatonic state, she didn’t even resist him. Once she was in the room, however, she seemed to shake herself out of it.
“I’m sorry. I was looking for…” she trailed off as she saw the white board. Her face morphed from dread to amusement to resignation in the span of moments it took her to read it. Before she could say anything about it, though, Other Guy interrupted.
“I apologize. I’m Doctor James Wilson, this is Doctor Gregory House, and these are Doctors Eric Foreman, Allison Cameron and Robert Chase. And you are?”
She blinked once, her gaze fixed on House. “You’re
Doctor House?” she asked in a horrified whisper. “There really is no God, is there?” she muttered, to snickers from three of the five present.
“Yes yes. I’m Doctor House, and you’re going to explain some things. Like why you were looking for me in the first place, and what happened last night.”
Shaking her head from her daze, the slayer sighed and looked around. She hadn’t registered that there were others in the room with them and mentally berated herself for not being aware of her surroundings. “Oh! Sorry. I’m Buffy Summers. I have some things I need to discuss with you, in private. If now’s not a good time, I can come back later.”
But the good doctor wasn’t going to let her slip away that easily. “Wilson’s office,” he said. He started down the hall towards the oncologist’s office and she followed silently, completely ignoring the rest of his questions. She was not exposition-girl, and if she could get out of it, they’d never find out what really goes on at night. After last night, however… Making sure the door was shut, she took a seat in front of the desk.
He was watching her like she fascinated him. Maybe she did. He was a doctor, after all, who knew what made them tick? As for her, she didn’t want him able to bring up last night at all, so she jumped right into it.
“My mother told me a story the other day-“ she began, only to be cut off.
“Did she tuck you in, too? Maybe teach you how to destroy a human body with one stroke?”
“Hardly!” Buffy tried for a light laugh, but what emerged was closer to a sob than either of them would ever acknowledge. “No, she told me a story about a woman going to Mardi Gras and meeting a guy at a party. He was younger than her. Almost twenty one. They got drunk. Did what drunk kids do. Don’t ask me to repeat that because my mom and some guy? So eww. So she came home, continued dating her boyfriend, who asked her to marry him not long after. Didn’t think about the fling she had on her Spring Break. Did you know they even did
Spring Break back then? I mean, who knew you old people used to be cool? Of course, she said it was called Easter Break, and there wasn’t partying like we do now, but still! It’s the same thing, right? Right. Anyway. So Joyce Eleanor Grace and Henry William Summers got married, got pregnant, had a family. Except she didn’t do it in that order. They were engaged, her and Hank Summers. Then she found out she was pregnant. Then they got married. Then they had me. Thankfully I look more like my mom. She never figured out where I got my eyes, though. Later that same year, 1981, Hank found out he was sterile. Apparently, you can’t just ‘go sterile’. Mom told him about the fling she had down south. They did a paternity test. Turns out that Hank was never a father. But he loved me just the same, and raised me as if I was his. Except I wasn’t enough to keep him around. But that’s another story. Not a bedtime one, either. But Mom still decides to wait until I was nineteen, and through with my first year of college before she decided to enlighten me. Told me the name of the only other guy she ever slept with was a Gregory House. She tracked him down. Seems he’s some big shot doctor. So she asks me –in that way only a mom can, right?—to go and see this Doctor Gregory House. Tell him the truth. Said he deserves to know, whether he and I choose to do anything about it or not. I’m almost directly quoting her there. So here I am, and here you are. Gregory House, M.D.”
Throughout her speech, the man had just been sitting there, staring at her. As soon as she said Mardi Gras, actually. Perhaps he knew the ending of her story before she did?
“That’s it? You’re telling me… what? That I’m lying to you because why? I want something from you? Errrgh! I told her to leave it be. I knew I shouldn’t have come out here. You want a test done? Fine. We can test. I didn’t come here because I want something from you. And besides, I think my mom is telling the truth. Yeah, maybe everybody does
lie. But at some point, the lie has to end. I think my mom decided her lie had run its course and it was time to end it. Don’t you think she was doing the lying for nineteen years instead of just two weeks?”
“I think maybe she told you this so that you would come here and have hope of having a father. I think she’s just trying to cheer you up. I think it’s utter bullshit.”
Buffy stared at the man she was certain donated half of her DNA. “Don’t you think she would have told me this apparent lie when I was sixteen and Hank left, then? Instead of when I’m nineteen and so over it?”
“Fine. We’ll do a test. Follow me.”
So potential father and daughter made their way back to the conference room, House grabbing a swab kit.
“Open.” When her mouth opened, he swabbed the inside of her cheek and capped the swab. “I’ll need a copy of your mother’s, as well,” he told her, ignoring the looks of the other doctors. It was obvious they figured it out.
“Fine. I’ll call her right now,” Buffy said. She pulled out the phone her mother had provided for the trip and dialed home.
“Hi Mom. It’s me. … Yes. I’m here right now. … Yes mother, I know. … I am
being nice! He’s the one who doesn’t play well with others!” A round of snickers met this announcement. Buffy sighed. “No, of course not. Why should he? … Yeah. He stuck a q-tip in my mouth. He wants one from you, too. … Good. Wait, what? What do you mean, you’re going back
to the hospital? Why were you there in the first place? Why didn’t you call me?” she shrieked. The interest in her phone call got even more pointed. “Mom? What’s wrong with your head?” she nearly whispered, and it was obvious she was near to tears. “You have a what? … How bad? … Alright. Here’s what I’ll do. I’ll call the airline and switch my tickets. I can be in L.A. before the night’s over. I’ll get Angel to meet me at the airport and bring me home. I know you don’t like him, but it’s the fastest way. I’ll take care of you, okay Mommy?” she broke on the last sentence, tears streaming down her face as she ended her call. She met House’s eyes briefly.
“You know what? Forget I ever came here. You’re a jerk and my mom’s got cancer.” And with that, she fled the hospital, calling the airline and then Angel as soon as she was out.
Wow. That took a turn I wasn’t expecting. I even tried to head it off when I saw where it was going, but nothing else worked better, and most of it was worse. Looks like Joyce’s brain tumor got moved up and I apparently enjoy torturing Buffy. Don’t worry. House will feature more in the next chapter… I think. I’m still shaky on how I stand with the Houseverse, so if I have more Buffyverse-centric stuff, that’s why. Let me know what you think. End Chapter Word Cound: 2323. ~CT.