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Identity Crisis

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Summary: Her figurative 'grandfather', as it were, was the closest chance she had of finding Timothy Drake, now known as Dr. Gregory House, and that had to be her main focus.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
DC Universe > Batman > Buffy-Centered
Television > House, M.D. > Buffy-Centered
AngelfirenzeFR181247,21047932,7863 Apr 1014 Aug 10No

Discord

Identity Crisis
By Angelfirenze

Disclaimer: DC and Dark Horse Comics, respectively; Heel and Toe; Warner Bros.; Whedon, et al. own all. Fall Out Boy. "Disloyal Order of Water Buffaloes.". Decaydance, Island, Fueled by Ramen, 2008. (Fitting, no?)

Summary: "When I wake up," Tim -- House said firmly, using one of his own shurikens to cut through the thick vines binding...more of the people he cared for...to the huge trees all around them... "This'll be over, they'll be safe, and you'll be gone!"

Notes: Written with marag's blessing; I got this idea and had to run with it, but you know the other stuff by now...

Plus, there's an accidental tiny, little nod to The Giver by Lois Lowry in here, which I didn't intend, but probably happened because I'm re-reading it. I also saw Alice in Wonderland, the Tim Burton version, yesterday, and am trying to read the book when not incredibly sleepy. So if any of that influences this, you now know the culprits.

And I have an idea about Slayers and those allowed to remain with families or anything approaching them.

Notes, continued: And, hey, did I mention this is, like, incredibly AU? Especially the part where I have no reason to be bitter about House's treatment by anyone else. And that's all I'll say on the matter. Anyone who's read the comics (or researched Tim on Wiki like I did because I don't have access to the comics) in the last year or so might be pleased...

Timelines: Buffy, (including the following comics) post-Viva Las Buffy, Slayer, Interrupted, and A Stake to the Heart; post-'Becoming, Part II';

General storyverse, post-Acquainted with the Night by marag, which is encompassed in its own wonderful universe where Gregory House was once our dear Timothy Drake...

House, M.D., 'No Reason'.

Part IV: Discord

I'm coming apart at the seams, pitching myself as leads in other people's dreams, now -- buzz, buzz, buzz -- Doc, there's a hole where something was, Doc, there's a hole where something was...

House opened his eyes and immediately wanted to close them again. Robin -- he was sitting there, staring at himself with that same content half-smile he'd always felt like wearing back then. He'd been content back then.

"Go away. I'm not you anymore."

"Why do you keep saying that, Tim?" Robin asked, rolling his eyes. "It's crap and you know it."

Robin whipped out a shuriken -- R-shaped, just like House would always remember -- and cut his IV before taking his hand.

"What the fuck are you doing? That's -- " suddenly House screamed as pain stabbed the back of his neck and the front, his shoulder and abdomen, and his leg all at once. He curled in a ball, facing away from Robin, grinding his teeth at the pain.

Somehow he could tell Robin was rolling his eyes. "We've faced worse and you know it. Or, I should say, you'll face worse if you don't get up and come with me. This is important. I swear, you won't regret it."

House wanted to tell his younger self to go fuck himself, but considering the situation who knew what the hell that might lead to...?

Behind him, Robin sighed before reaching up to House's back and pressing firmly. "You're flying," Robin told him firmly. "You're flying and there's nothing holding or controlling your trajectory except your own power. A grappling hook, a line launcher -- the only thing keeping you in any control and you love it. Remember..."

House couldn't hold in a sob, and then another. Everything Robin was saying was playing out right before his eyes. They were in the Palisades, which was strange, but somehow it didn't matter.

"You have to save them and you know you can. Go do it."

Suddenly, House saw not only Cuddy and Wilson, but Chase, Cameron, and Foreman all tied up against the trees, their feet suspended off the ground, they'd been tied so high. The Joker was hopping around them, taunting them -- Harley was smearing lipstick on her already made-up face before planting one on Wilson that left him dazed. He had a feeling Wilson had just been poisoned. He wanted, needed to do something -- the antidote was suddenly here in his hand, but...

"Did you happen to miss the cane? Or the right anterior quadriceps I'm missing? Or do you just not care?"

Nobody wants to hear you sing about tragedy...

Robin sighed impatiently, "We know, we've had a feeling for a long time -- if either Mom or Dad hadn't been murdered, they'd've ended up like us somehow. We've just had a feeling. But, we know what? It doesn't matter because they didn't suffer when they died, and that matters to us even more than what and who killed them because we would never want anyone to face what we face, feel what we feel...but it could even be too late for that. And whether we like it or not, it's on our head, so we better do something about it because if we don't..."

Before House could ask Robin what the hell he meant, Cuddy screamed and he forgot about anything that had just happened. The Joker was trying to feed her something -- Joker fish, he could see. Before he knew it, he was gliding down, halfway there already.

"Don't you think it's morally repugnant to feed vegans animal products?" he asked as he landed before punching The Joker in the face and tossing the chopped remains of the fish away before any of it, he was gratified to see, made it into Li -- Cuddy's mouth.

His entire body was throbbing with waves of electric knives stabbing him at all the right places but he breathed and breathed and closed his eyes, just for a moment, ignoring it.

It was nothing more than wear and tear. "Come on, ladies first -- damn it, Quinn, for fuck's sake, I didn't mean you -- now stay down or I'll do what I promised that goon long ago and rip your arm out of your socket!"

"You don't -- " Robin must have attacked her from behind because she gave a cry and fell back down without another word.

House -- Tim breathed and then scowled. Now wasn't the time for that. Cuddy, Wilson, the kids -- they were what was important. Not any of his stupid hangups.

"Well, now, I wouldn't go so far as to say nerve, arterial, nephrotic, neurological, and venous damage is some kind of wear and tear or -- hangup," Robin said calmly, but Tim brushed him off. "Though the fact that our liver seems to be just about new is simply astonishing."

"You wanted me down here now shut the fuck up."

"Oooh, isn't this interesting?" A bloody-faced Joker was getting to his feet again and Tim and Robin each groaned before sighing in unison.

They'd had a personal rule -- no allowing the Joker to talk. They could only imagine what kind of ideas the son of a bitch had put in Cuddy, Wilson, and the kids' heads while he'd been unconscious, but that couldn't be helped now.

Without a thought, Tim and Robin both whipped out a Batarang, this time, and whipped them at the Joker, inwardly rejoicing when they caught him in the face, knocking him back. Robin went over and applied pressure to The Joker's carotid arteries -- gee, the things one part of your subconscious picks up...

Robin scowled, "I'm not any part of your subconscious, when will you get that through your head?" -- until The Joker passed out from lack of oxygen. They resisted the very strong urge to kick him in the kidneys.

"When I wake up," Tim -- House said firmly, using one of his own shurikens to cut through the thick vines binding...more of the people he cared for...to the huge trees all around them... "This'll be over, they'll be safe, and you'll be gone!"

Robin sounded angry now, but sadness was apparent in his every word. "I'll never be gone, but you'll never be complete again until you realize that. I guess I'll have to count on her, then."

"Count on who?" Tim -- House asked sharply, and sure enough Tim, now older, his uniform altered and differently colored to reflect this fact was facing him now.

"We don't know everything, Tim," Red Robin said and House froze, his head suddenly feeling it was going to burst. He cried out in pain for the first time in however long and fell to his knees before curling up on the ground, his entire body again suffused with pain.

He moaned and began to cry for the first time since Steph's funeral, this time, though, his entire body was wracked with sobs.

Cuddy, Wilson, and the kids didn't seem to notice, though -- merely concerned with the appearance of this Red Robin, all of them gathering around him and expressing either effusive thanks, irritation and skepticism, or outright glee in the case of Chase.

No one was noticing House curled on the ground, now vomiting with the strength of the pain.

Red Robin ignored them all now, instead turning to walk over and picking up House, who found himself shrinking into a peds gown, his sobs and cries becoming higher in pitch as he clung to Red Robin's cowl and cried shamelessly.

"You hurt," Red Robin said softly and Timmy could only cry harder because moving, breathing hurt so much. Every pound of his heart was like a hammer in his veins.

"I want my mommy -- Mommy, Daddy -- Bruce -- please? Please help me!"

"All you had to do is say so, to ask," Red Robin whispered and he wrapped Timmy in his cape, and Timmy felt himself sinking inside Red Robin somehow and they were the same person again and Tim was big once more.

Wilson looked embarrassed and fell all over himself making apologies, but Cuddy and the rest were standing there astonished before Cuddy became angry.

"How could you hide something like this from me?"

"I didn't know you cared," Tim, again an adult and while still older, dressed in Red Robin's uniform like some strange amalgamation of the two of them.

Like our self! Red Robin snarled in his head but Tim concentrated on Cuddy for the moment.

"How the hell could I tell you something like this? It was weird enough telling Wilson and that could probably be considered a crime of passion. You'd have had me locked up in the psych ward. Admit it!"

...Hey, doctor, I'm certifiable, oh...

"You don't know what I would have done! You've never given anyone the chance to really know you, even Wilson and I -- I went to your foster father's birthday party and didn't even know it!"

Cuddy was devastated and Tim could only stare in shock.

"You're Robin -- you could have been Red Robin, but why tell me? You're sure you love me, but hey -- why should I know something so much a part of you?"

"It's not -- "

"STOP LYING!"

Tim blinked as everyone yelled at him this time.

"You can't just give up a part of your personality, a part of your life!" Wilson snapped and Tim -- House wanted to punch him, but years of discipline prevented it.

"Says the guy who willingly abandoned his brother!"

"Like you didn't abandon yours!"

"You won't even tell us how much it hurts," Chase cut in quietly, which was a surprise. Ti -- House went to interrupt, but Chase plowed over him. "You really think none of us would care? That -- "

And here Chase morphed into Bart, of all people. Foreman became The Ray.

Wilson became Clark, but not completely -- it was like something about Wilson was so fundamentally different from Clark that the transformation couldn't complete itself. Their amalgam was messy and distorted, almost nightmarish, and Tim forced himself to concentrate on Cameron as she became Greta, who was crying silently.

Cuddy became an infuriated Wonder Girl, except that her hair wasn't a wig...they were all Young Justice again and it hurt terribly in a different way.

Chase/Impulse was still talking. "-- none of us would want you back? Would take care of you if you needed it? Would know you do need it? You think us that blind? You want us that blind? Are you really that self-hating?"

But then Tim's voice caught in his throat because Bruce and Dick walked out from behind all of them, Batman and Nightwing in all their glory, and stood before Tim, shielding him from their obfuscating amalgamations.

"He's afraid he's screwed up too badly," Dick said quietly. "He's afraid all he's been for so long is a screw-up. He can't see the good he's done because no one's mentioned it except to give him a pat on the head."

And here Dick glared exclusively at Cuddy, who shrank at the intensity. "He may love you and you may love him but, remember, he's a person, not your lapdog. Don't you ever start thinking that. Stacy already betrayed him, don't follow in her footsteps. Most of you knows that, already. Don't let your ambitions get in the way of his humanity.

"That way lies madness," his big brother quoted.

Cuddy stared wide-eyed at Nightwing lecturing her, but said nothing in defense of herself. Tim supposed she was too shocked.

And here, Bruce glared at Wilson, who looked like he wanted, needed to pass out because Batman was pissed at him and he knew perfectly well why.

"His pain is real -- physical, emotional," Bruce said and Wilson paled still further. "It has a cause and it's your job to find it, not to cut him down for your own comfort. He thinks you're a boy scout, but remember -- you've lied to him and done so many times. You've lied to my son.

"You owe Tim more apologies than any one of us can count, but no one can make you give them to him. He's given up on the very idea, the very hope. And, furthermore, aside from Dr. Chase, none of you realize he doesn't owe you a thing. Not even you, Dr. Foreman."

They were all their usual selves again, everyone having split back apart. Tim glanced over to see Red Robin staring in something approximating grief. Without thinking, he reached over and grabbed Red Robin's hand. He, himself, gasped and then they squeezed one another's hands so hard, they melded together. Tim and Red Robin pressed together, blending once more.

Gregory House was just a name, he knew -- one he wore well, but just an alias.

"He has no reason to tell many of you the truth," they now said together and Tim felt his eyes widening. "You're going to have to earn it, but it might be too late."

Everyone he'd ever cared about was now standing around him, some of them smiling, some of them not, but who gave a damn -- they were here.

"Hi, Dad. Hi, Mom. I -- I was trying so hard, but I gave up and I'm so sorry." He wanted to hug them, but he couldn't move. He realized the Joker and Harley Quinn were gone now, but who the hell cared?

Red Robin was speaking through Tim's mouth now and he was too surprised to stop any of it. "My name is Timothy Drake -- though it would have been 'Wayne' eventually -- and I'll be the first to say it's never too late. I miss you, Bruce. I miss you, Dick. I miss you, Babs. I miss you, Bart. I miss you, Kon. I miss you, Anita. I miss you, Cissie. I miss you, Cassie. I miss you, Greta. I miss you, Cass. I miss everyone in Gotham -- hell, I miss Gotham, even when it was No Man's Land. I miss the best time of my life. You're all my heart and it's hurting so much. Help me get home. I have a feeling that's where I need to be right now.

"The first step is to stop me from bleeding to death, of course. I'll remind you, Cuddy and Wilson, my blood type is AB Negative. Have fun with that. Goodbye."

***

Tim woke up and the kids were hovering over him. They were rushing him down a hallway, saying, "House, it's going to be alright -- it's..." That was Cameron.

"Hello. My name is Timothy Drake."

***

Buffy woke up gasping, staring around her bedroom, knocking Mr. Gordo (she was thinking of renaming him Dr., but that wasn't important right now) to the floor. She snatched him up and concentrated on catching her breath.

It was strange how quickly she'd thought of it as hers now, but whatever.

She scrambled out of bed and out into the hall to find the house empty. Rather than yell, she simply abandoned those manners Butler!Guy had lectured Dad and Uncle Dick about and leapt down from the third floor railing all the way to the ground floor. Landing gracefully in a crouch and very not breaking every bone in her body.

A group of people screamed and Buffy looked up from her crouch on the floor to find an outwardly calm Bruce and Cass, an astonished Barbara, who was wide-eyed in shock, and a guy in an actual costume, all of whom had been standing in the foyer, discussing something really serious, she would guess.

The guy in the costume managed to close his mouth and almost asked something, but thought the better of it in light of what was going on. It was obvious to Buffy that everyone knew what.

Ignoring their shock for a moment, Buffy straightened and immediately asked, "Bruce, what's wrong with Dad? I had another dream -- you guys were all in it. Dad's been -- "

"Shot," Bruce said heavily, sharply, his hands fisted at his sides, and Buffy stopped short, her own eyes widening in horror. "We're coordinating everyone going to see him. I was going to have Cass wake you up in a moment, but obviously that's unnecessary. Buffy, this is -- "

"Bart -- Dad didn't say your last name in my dream, just that he missed all of you so much."

Bart's eyes widened and he looked like he wanted to smile, but couldn't because whatever Tim said, he'd been shot and was...dying...

"Yes, Bartholomew 'Impulse/The Flash' Allen, this is -- "

"Elizabeth Drake," Buf -- Elizabeth corrected and Bruce actually smiled, if only faintly. "Hi, Bart! I guess we're all finally going to Princeton and that Bruce has, like, five planes or something -- "

Bart managed to muffle a snort, but Bruce, himself, was tempted to roll his eyes. "I have two."

Elizabeth muffled a grin of her own, "Oh, two. My apologies. Only two."

"Hi, Lizzie," Bart cut in, grinning widely and wishing that time didn't prevent him from giving her a hug for all she was worth, which was quite a lot, even if she (or Tim) didn't know it. Lizzie grinned back before frowning.

"Okay, wait, nope -- " Buffy waved her hand in a dismissive gesture. "Lizzie Borden messed that up for all of us. Uh-uh. Find a new one."

Bart cackled and gave in, picking her up and swinging her around, relishing her laugh.

"You're both worse than Tim," Barbara admonished, but she looked relieved to have a distraction.

"Thank you!" Elizabeth said lightly. "Okay, now, we've gotta go, because Dad's probably in surgery or something by now and he and someone called Red Robin were arguing in my dream about something that was making him hurt a lot all over. He said they had to stop him from bleeding to death and that his blood type is AB Negative. I don't even know what mine is, to be honest, but there's got to be blood for Dad somewhere, right?"

Bruce was the first to recover from Buffy's own version of Willow-Babble (not that they knew that), but it was another voice that spoke up before he could.

"It's actually more difficult than you think," a new voice said from the nearby chair and Elizabeth turned to see Dick sitting there, pale, but with a small smile on his face. "AB Negative is the rarest in the world."

"Uncle Dick!" Buff -- Elizabeth, God, this name changing stuff was way more difficult than Dad made it look. She trounced over to him and gave him a once-over. He did the same to her. "Stop being a pessimist!"

"Dear God, Tim has spawned," were his first words directly to her.

"Shut up, we have two planes to catch," were hers -- well, not first, but just about -- to him. Though Elizabeth may or may not have stuck her tongue out at him, as well, to compensate.

"Can Bart, Wally, Kon, or Clark or somebody carry me to Princeton instead? I'm tired of being the one carrying everybody. Especially Giles -- he gets knocked out a lot."

Bruce actually muffled a real smile then and silently told everyone they'd explain on the way.

...TBC...
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