Disclaimerish: OK... House, MD doesn't belong to me, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel the series don't belong to me either. More's the pity. The story, however, does.
Chapter illustrations by the inimitable Christytrekkie
Banner Art by Fluffymuskateer
Note: this is a plot bunny on the racetrack of my mind... not sure where I'm going with it. That depends on how hard life [school] gets or if I think I can actually channel Harris and House for an entire story. Either way, probably not going to be too long.
Warnings: Story contains brief but graphic medical trauma, violence and strongish language in later chapters.by Christytrekkie
“Excuse me,” said Xander, knocking on the door of the transparent office.
Four heads turned to look at him. None of them looked old enough to be the person he was seeking, well one of them did, but he looked nothing like Xander expected.
“Can we help you?” asked a man with what he immediately recognized as an Aussie accent.
“I’m… I’m looking for Dr. House,” said Xander.
“Do you have an appointment?” asked the woman.
“I’m not a patient,” said Xander. “It’s a personal matter.”
“I’m House,” said a thin man with eyes that missed nothing. “You are?”
“I didn’t say. Can we talk privately?” asked Xander.
He was a bit annoyed by the obvious efforts these people had made to keep him from seeing House. He wasn’t going to discuss this in front of anyone else. He really looked nothing like Xander expected - he certainly looked nothing like... Could his mother be right?
“We can talk in front of them.”
“You can talk in front of them if you want to. I prefer not to.”
Xander turned to leave.
He could have heard a pin drop.
Xander knew where the man lived. He wasn’t sure it was worth staying, but he could wait if he had to. He’d chosen to come here only because if the meeting went badly, he could make his flight back to London tonight. It definitely seemed to be heading that way. Why was he not
surprised? Considering Jessica’s other
choices in men.
“Wait!” The man clambered to his feet gracelessly and made his way to the door, using a walking stick.
It had worked. His research had told him – well actually, it was Willow’s research – the man never met a mystery he didn’t have
to solve. Xander wondered what he’d make of the lives of the slayers and the mystical ailments that sometimes overtook them.
“We can talk in here,” House said, leading a surprised Xander through an industrial style stairwell door.
“You don’t have an office?” Xander asked.
“This is better,” said House. “What do you want?”
“To the point. I like it,” said Xander.
“It keeps things simple.”
“No, probably not. Why are you here?”
“I’m your son,” said Xander, keeping his expression neutral.
“Bullshit,” said House. “Sorry, whatever you’re looking for, I’m not it.”
“So, you didn’t sleep with Jessica Sloane?”
House stared at him.
“I see you recognize the name,” said Xander.
“She told you I’m your father?” said House.
“The creep who gave me his name finally managed to get himself killed.”
“Let me guess, Harris, right?”
“Got it in one,” said Xander.
“So, what? Looking to lose the name?”
“Don’t really care. Just figured it might be nice to know how I didn’t turn out to be a drunken asshole.”
“Are you a drug addict?”
“No,” said Xander. “You?”
“That’s what they tell me,” House smirked, tapping his bad leg.
“You’re not the only one with gimpy bits,” said Xander, indicating his eye.
“How’d you lose it?”
“Is it that obvious?”
“To me, it is,” said House.
“Gonna tell Willow her mojo doesn’t work on my sperm donor.”
“Damn, kid, you’re making me proud to have donated,” said House, grinning at Xander.
“Glad to know I can do something right for one father,” said Xander, before he realized just what he was revealing.
“Sounds like you had a rough time. Never did get why someone like Jess would put up with a shit like Harris,” said House.
“Makes two of us,” said Xander, sitting on the railing.
“So… how’d she figure out you weren’t his?”
“Turns out he couldn’t father children.”
“Shit,” said House. “Lemmie guess. When he figured it out, he took it out on you?”
“Something like that,” said Xander. “Except, I never knew why… not ‘til quite recently. I must have been about seven when he found out, though. I remember – well that was the first really big fight I remember, anyway. Before that he just broke stuff.”
“When exactly did you find out?”
“About a year ago. Took me this long to get settled and then look for you. If I’d realized how easy you’d be to find, I’d have tried before this. But it’s just as well…”
“What do you mean?”
“This has been quite a year,” said Xander. “My hometown kinda fell off the planet.”
“Sunnydale?” asked House.
“Sunnydale,” Xander confirmed.
“Was it really as weird as they said?”
“Weirder,” said Xander, wondering what his father – wow – he was actually thinking of the man as his father… What would his... House, think of his life.
“What?” asked House.
“You don’t miss much, do you?” said Xander, meeting House’s eyes.
“Neither do you,” said House, not breaking his gaze.
“Probably why I survived Sunnydale.”
“You make it sound like one of the circles of hell!”
Xander grinned at him. “You have no idea!”
House’s beeper began to go off and his cell phone rang.
“Well, perhaps you can tell me tonight. Dinner?”
“I’ll pick you up at eight,” said Xander.
“You know your way around Princeton?”
“Eh. This is America. This is easy,” said Xander.
“Gonna tell me about that too,” said House.
“Sure,” said Xander.
“Later,” said House.
“Hey… How come you’re not askin’ for DNA?”
House stared at him for a moment, wondering the same thing.
“Why would you want to be my son?” he shrugged.
“Sure beats the alternative,” said Xander. “Seriously… Jessica said…”
“Maybe I’m a better judge of character than I used to be,” said House.
“Guess you’ll find out,” said Xander.
“Guess I will,” said House. “See you at eight.”