Outside, Buffy was all Valley-Girl, but inside, inside she was furious.
these three thugs enter her mother's house!
Still, she kept her smile in place. "Who are they?"
Even though they were wearing balaclavas, Buffy had no problem identifying the looks they were giving her mom – and now her too. It seemed like they'd realised that there was more to get then a bit of money, jewellery and some electronics.
"Friends of the family," the one closest to her said. Giving both her and her mother a leering look, he added, "Very
Buffy took a couple more steps into the room, effectively moving right between the three thugs, taking the focus off of her mom. "Strange." She tapped her chin with her finger. "Never seen a picture of you." Her eyes becoming huge, she started the smile. "Oh, oh! I know! You're The Uglies
why your faces are covered!"
The thugs looked at each other, then at Buffy before each of them came one step closer to her. Which also meant they moved one step further away from her mom and that's exactly what she wanted.
"Hurry up!" another voice called out from the front door.
"Shut up!" Thug-with-a-voice said while his eyes never left Buffy. "We'll leave through the back anyway!"
"Why didn't you say so?" The forth guy called out again, closer this time and sounding rather whiny. He stepped into the room – and seemed surprised to find not one but two women in front of him. "Huh?"
"Idiot!" Thug-with-a-voice, or Leader-Thug as Buffy assumed, shouted. "Your mask!"
"Well, well, well," Thug-one said, "Looks like we've gotta silence them now."
"Yeah," Thug-two chimed in. "After a li'l bit of fun. It's not like they could tell anyone."
Buffy could see her mom becoming even paler and figured she'd better act now. Getting one of the knives from the small of her back, she carefully balanced it in her hand, before bringing her hand forward and, in one fluid motion, throwing it at I-wanna-have-some-fun-guy. He screamed as the knife not only embedded itself to the hilt into his shoulder but also threw him backwards a few steps by the sheer force it had been thrown with. He fell onto the floor, hitting his head on the corner of a small sideboard as he went down, effectively rendering himself unconscious.
The moment the knife hit Thug-two, his friend next to him went instinctively for the gun in his waistband. However, having seen the bulge before, Buffy moved quickly and kicked him where it hurt the most. Of course, that's exactly where he'd been hiding his gun and either the kick, or him curling up in pain, somehow caused the gun to go off. Screaming like a girl, he went down as well. Buffy quickly retrieved the gun and kicked it straight into the next room.
That left only Balaclava-less Thug and Leader-Thug. Picking up a book from the table next to her, Buffy threw it at Balaclava-less Thug, hoping to throw him off long enough for her to take out the leader of the gang.
Unfortunately, Leader-Thug had already recovered from the shock of seeing his accomplices being taken out so quickly and gone for his own weapon. Fortunately, it was a knife and not another gun or Buffy might have been in trouble.
"Bitch!" he cried and lunged at her.
Buffy sidestepped him, going as far as tapping her foot after he'd stopped and turned around to face her again. "Now that was rude," she said flippantly. "I mean, look at me! I'm not even dressed for this!"
Roaring with anger, Leader-Thug charged again. This time Buffy didn't sidestep him but blocked his attack and, at the same time, used his momentum to throw him to the ground. He yelped in pain as is arm popped out of its socket.
"Oops," Buffy said in mock-regret. "I'm so forgetful – I guess I shouldn't have held onto your arm." Buffy quickly took the knife from his hand – the very reason why she hadn't let go of his arm even though she was aware that he'd end up with it being dislocated – and kicked it out of his reach.
Fuelled by anger, Leader-Thug ignored the pain in his shoulder and kicked out at Buffy, hitting her mid-tight. Although he didn't do any damage, it was enough to throw Buffy off-balance for a second, giving him time to scramble back onto his feet.
"See, now I'm pissed," Buffy hissed as she kicked out his feet from under him, sending him back to the floor. To prevent him from getting any more funny ideas, she stepped onto his throat and applying enough pressure to make breathing very hard for him. Leader-thug grabbed her foot, trying to pry it off his throat. When this didn't work, he pulled up his legs, ready to kick out at Buffy again – only to find the pressure on his throat increased even more. "Nu huh. You wanna breath, you better stop moving."
Meanwhile, at the other side of the room, Lisa had finally come out of shock when the forth thug started to recover from being hit by the thrown book. Seeing that Buffy was more than busy with the leader, mother instinct kicked in and she attacked him. Out of nowhere, all the lesson Giles had given her over twenty years ago came back and she managed to held her own against him. She barely registered the knife in his hand as she concentrated on neutralising the threat he posed to her daughter. So, just like Giles had taught her, she blocked his attacks, waiting for an opportunity to strike herself.
They danced around for a couple of minutes until Lisa managed to get hold of a weapon of her own. Well, it was a rather pricey vase, but as it was thin and long, Lisa could easily hold it one hand and use it to block further blows. Only a moment later, the thug was nice enough to present her an opening and Lisa moved into his personal space, hitting the vase against the side of his head. Apparently the vase had been made of stronger stuff than the thug's head, as it stayed intact while the thug hit the floor, unconscious.
Breathing hard, Lisa looked up and locked eyes with Buffy. Raising an eyebrow, Buffy tilted her head, "Nice hit."
Laughing out loud edgily, Lisa quickly put the vase down again. But now, with nothing to hold onto, her hands started to shake badly and Buffy quickly continued, "Okay. Got some strong tape? So we can bind them?"
Nodding, grateful for having something else to do that would prevent her from having to think anytime soon, Lisa went to the kitchen to get the requested item.
As soon as she was back, Buffy ordered the Leader-Thug to hold up his arms. A little additional pressure on his throat later, and his hands were securely bound together. Only then did Buffy ask her mom to bind his ankles too. Once he was taken care off, Buffy proceeded to bind his friends. Two were still unconscious and the third one, the guy that had shot himself, was still doubled up in pain, whimpering like a baby. Although he was obviously in pain, Buffy wasn't going to take any chances and bound him too.
Then she looked at her mom. Lisa was white as a sheet and Buffy feared she would faint any moment now. Taking her by the arm, Buffy led her to the couch, telling her to lie down. Of course, the moment Lisa sat down she came in close contact with Buffy's belly. Shaking her daughter's hands off, Lisa struggled to get up again. "No, no. You lie down. The baby!"
"Is fine," Buffy said gently. Well, he was moving and his heart was beating as usual.
Seeing the distress in Lisa's eyes, Buffy nodded. "As long as you sit down too."
Having no strength left to resist, Lisa complied and plopped down on the spot – barely missing the now empty cookie plate still sitting on the couch table. Still worried about her colouring, Buffy unceremoniously pushed Lisa's head between her knees. "Don't move."
"It's not necessary," Lisa said weakly, although she could already feel the dizziness slowly fading.
"Uh huh. Keep it down – or I can't lie down 'cause I need to keep your head in place," Buffy said as she experimentally let go of her mom's head.
"Fine," Lisa grumbled.
Sighing, Buffy squeezed Lisa's shoulder before lying down herself. She's just picked up a noise from outside and wasn't surprised to hear the door open. Or to see Faith rushing in, though she didn't expect to hear the telltale noise of House's cane only seconds later.
Faith scanned the room and nodded appreciatively at Buffy. "Nice job, B."
House came in only seconds later, mimicking Faith's earlier scanning of the room. Sharing a grim look with Faith, he then took a closer look at mother and daughter. "Having a party without me? I'm disappointed."
Snorting, Buffy turned onto her side so she could look at him without having to twist her neck. "And what? Cane-Fu House coming out to play?"
Chuckling, House pointed his cane at Buffy. "Cane-Fu Master
House, if you don't mind."
"Police is on the way, paramedics too," Faith said as she closed her cell phone. Pointing at the writhing and whimpering guy in the corner, she asked, "What's up with him?"
Buffy shrugged her shoulders. "Kicked him in a soft spot."
"Nice," House and Faith said simultaneously.
"Yup." Grinning, Buffy added, "Had a gun in his waistband. Went off as I kicked him. Not sure where or if it hit, but I figure as long as he's whimpering he's not dying."
"Knife in shoulder guy and balaclava-less guy are unconscious but breathing okay. Dislocated shoulder guy seems a bit unhappy, though," Faith added with a shrug. "Want me to throw them next door?"
Buffy shook her head. "Wait for the police."
"Damn. You're no fun," Faith pouted. "Can't I play a little? A teeny tiny little bit? Please
Buffy just raised her eyebrows and Faith left to glare some more at dislocated shoulder guy.
Lisa, feeling a bit better, lifted her head to look at what was going on.
"Ah!" Buffy said almost immediately.
"Still dizzy?" Buffy asked pointedly. "And I know when you're lying."
"Maybe. A little bit," Lisa grumbled darkly but kept her head between her knees.
Grinning at House, she waggled her eyebrows at him. "Of course, if House says it's okay to move…"
Lisa muttered something unintelligible, causing House and Buffy to grin at each other. The next moment, the living room was filled with police officers. Ignoring Buffy's protests, Lisa stood up and flopped into an armchair, barely protesting when House lifted her feet onto the couch table in front of her.
Keeping a close eye on the two women, House went to talk with the police officers. Or, rather, kept them away from Lisa and Buffy. Eventually, they agreed to wait for the two women's statements until after they'd been checked out in the hospital. After all, the situation was quite obvious and with Faith telling them what she had overheard on the phone and what Buffy had told them after they had arrived, there was no doubt on who was the criminal.
While Faith watched the criminals being tended to by paramedics before the police took them away, House snatched a stethoscope, blood pressure monitor and first aid kit from the paramedics and went back to Buffy and Lisa.
Buffy, who was watching her mom in concern, pointed to her side and then at Lisa as soon as her eyes met House's. Frowning, House moved towards Buffy but she waved him away, mouthing she was fine and that there was a bit of blood on Lisa's side. Eyes opening wide in alarm, House quickly went over to Lisa, who was still slumped in the armchair, eyes closed tightly.
Spotting the blood Buffy had spoken about, he unceremoniously moved her left arm away and lifted her top before she even managed to open her eyes. "House," she said weakly.
"Shut up. You're bleeding," he said as he carefully probed the cut. Seeing whatever colour had returned to her face leave again, he quickly ordered, "Stop fainting! It's not too bad. Would benefit from a couple of stitches, though."
"I'm not fainting," Lisa said with a pout, secretly glad about this particular tone of his as it did its usual job of raising her blood pressure. Lisa grabbed his hands, trying to move them away and have a look for herself. House, however, wouldn't have anything of it and growled at her to keep her hands away.
Once he'd put a provisional bandage on the wound, he checked her blood pressure. "Still too low," he mumbled to himself. Then, really looking at Lisa's face for the first time that night, he took his time to study her. "Do you hurt anywhere else?" he asked rather gruffly.
Huffing, Lisa crossed her arms in front of her chest and shook her head. "No. Now leave me alone."
Smirking as even more colour returned to Lisa's face, he nodded. "Don't move."
Before Lisa could protest, Buffy added, "Or I'll have to pin you down."
"Buffy!" Lisa realised in shock that House had wasted all this time with her while her pregnant daughter was lying on the couch!
"I'm fine," Buffy was quick to reassure her mom. "Honestly."
"We'll see," House said as he moved from Lisa over to Buffy. Ignoring her glare, he quickly checked her blood pressure. "That's good."
"Told you so," Buffy muttered, crossing her arms in front her chest in a similar gesture her mom had used only moments ago.
"Any problems? Discomfort? Pain?" House asked. Smirking, he added, "And I know when you're lying."
Stroking her belly, Buffy shook her head. "I'm fine."
"But-" House prompted.
Sighing, Buffy looked at her belly. "He isn't too impressed with being awoken so rudely. He was napping before they broke in and now he seems to be training for his first marathon or something…"
"And?" House asked rather gently.
"It feels …different. I think he moved around," Buffy said with a frown on her face. Only the fact that his heartbeat hadn't changed kept her from worrying too much.
Pushing Buffy's hands away, he lifted her top to bare her belly. Before she could protest, he'd already put his hands on it and carefully probed it for anything out of order.
"It's not like we're having an audience or something," Buffy muttered as she glared at him.
Glaring right back, House deadpanned, "I'll forgo the moaning part, then."
Grumbling, Buffy refrained from commenting and closed her eyes to listen to her baby instead. She sighed as the baby finally calmed down a bit – only to realise it was probably reacting the probing of House's hands.
Smirking at the display of emotions on Buffy's face, House said, "Looks like your spawn figured out where he's supposed to be."
"Huh?" Buffy opened her eyes – and ended up looking right into House's amused eyes.
Nodding towards her belly, he sounded very pleased when he said, "The spawn did indeed move – and you're getting fat at last."
--A/N: Like it, don't like it? Oh, and Muse stole Cane-Fu House from a review :P.