House rang Cuddy’s doorbell at exactly seven o’clock. He heard scuffling inside and tried to peek through the window. She’d drawn the shades. “Can I help you?” She was standing in the doorway watching him.
“Why are the curtains drawn?” House straightened up and followed her inside.
“I wanted them that way.” She answered not really answering at all.
“Hi House.” Harry Dresden popped his head out from behind the sofa and waved.
“Dresden,” House spat unpleasantly.
“I’m here too,” Bob said walking through the wall that led to the kitchen.
“Right.” House braced himself for a rough evening. He cornered Cuddy for a private chat. “You didn’t tell me HE was going to be here.”
“Of course he’s going to be here. He knows a lot more about what’s going on than you do.” Cuddy pushed her way past House.
“Where’s his girlfriend?” House looked around hopefully.
“She’s not my girlfriend.” Harry’s hearing was better than House had intended. He glared up at the conspiring duo. “And she’s back at the hotel sleeping.”
“Then you’re not staying here?” House perked up.
“Would it bother you if I did?” Harry looked from House to Cuddy then back again. There was something going on there, he just knew it.
House finally saw what Harry was doing. He was sitting on the floor, surrounded by strange symbols he’d laid out in salt or baking soda or something. “Oh, this ought to be interesting.” House picked a small throw pillow off the couch and took its place. He propped the pillow on his lap and leaned over it, to get a better look at whatever Harry was up to.
“Does he have to be here?” Bob drolled impatiently.
“Yes Bob.” Cuddy snapped a little harder than she’d meant to. “We need all the bodies we can get.”
Bob looked House up and down. “Couldn’t you find slightly more ABLE bodies?”
“Bob!” Cuddy warned, holding House back with one arm while glaring at Bob. “Let’s all just play nice, okay?”
“Okay by me.” House snotted, knowing he’d won that round.
“Fine.” Bob mumbled, crossing his arms over his chest and turning his back on the scruffy doctor.
“Can you all be quiet now. I’m trying to concentrate.” Harry was sitting on the floor, staring down at some sort of rune he’d drawn. “It’s not right.”
Bob walked over and took a look. “You need to draw a line through it. Honestly Harry, did you ever pay attention in our lessons?”
“Yeah.” Harry sounded like a scolded child. He looked like one two, cross legged on the floor.
“Look,” Cuddy stood up. “You two can handle this, right?” She turned from Bob to Harry.
“Why?” Harry asked suspiciously.
“It’s the full moon Harry.” Cuddy thought about her head nurse and how peculiar she’d been acting lately. “I think I should patrol.”
“What are you going to do with him?” Bob made a face toward House.
“I’m going with her.” He’d seen enough episodes of Buffy to know what she meant, and he was itching to get in on the action.
“No you’re not House.” Cuddy corrected.
“Yes I am.”
Harry rose from the floor and met House’s eyes. He quickly looked away. They say the eyes are the window to the soul. Well, for wizards, that was literal. If a wizard looked you in the eye for more than a second, they would know exactly the type of person you are, and vice versa. Sometimes it was a bonding, enlightening experience, sometimes it was like looking into the soul of the devil. Harry didn’t like to soul gaze unannounced. It seemed rude.
“Lisa, you really shouldn’t go out there alone.” Harry would have loved to go himself. “I can’t go, I have to stay and work on the spell.” He looked at Bob who seemed ready to meet the challenge. “Bob wouldn’t be any use to you out there.”
Bob immediately protested. “I’d be more use than HIM!”
“At least I can pick things up.” House demonstrated by picking up the pillow and throwing it though Bob.
“He is a thoroughly unlikable fellow,” Bob informed them all.
“That may well be,” Harry had a feeling it was the truth, “but he’s all we’ve got.” Harry took a copper bracelet off his wrist. “Here, wear this.”
“It clashes with my outfit.” House did not take the bracelet.
“It might well save your life.” Harry continued to hold it out in front of him.
House silently, but gratefully took the bracelet and slapped it on his wrist. He had a feeling he was getting in way over his head. But he wasn’t about to let Cuddy wonder the monster filled streets of Princeton alone.
“Don’t do anything stupid,” Cuddy warned him as they headed out the door. “In fact, don’t do anything. Just watch my back and follow my orders.”
“You’re even bossier now then you are at work.”
“You’re in a lot more danger now than you are at work.”
“Where are we going?” House hobbled along behind her. He had a sudden fear that he was going to be more of a hindrance than a help.
“Brenda Previn’s house.” Cuddy turned a corner cautiously. She saw a rustle in the bushes, but it turned out to be a raccoon foregoing for food.
“Why?” House was on high alert. Every whistle of the wind through the leaves sent him spinning around ready to attack.
“I think she might be a werewolf.”
“Yeah, well, I’ve got one we should check on too.” House spun around and attacked a Slow Children Playing sign with his cane.
“Smooth.” Cuddy tried to suppress a laugh. She was loathe to admit it, but she was glad he was there. She hadn’t done this in a long time, and couldn’t imagine doing it alone.
The first sign of trouble occurred only blocks from Brenda’s house. Cuddy felt her body tense up. A trio of young people, all dressed in black leather were standing around what looked to be another person, hunched on the ground.
“Hey!” Cuddy called out to the gang. She hoped she was right, that they were vampires and not a gang of teens with guns. When the turned she got her answer.
Three sets of glowing red eyes latched onto her. Three sets of razor sharp teeth were bared in her direction. She could hear House take a deep gulp behind her. “Only attack if they go after you,” she whispered over her shoulder. She felt him nod his agreement.
The trio of vampires slowly turned away from the hunched figure which turned out to be a young woman in a torn waitress outfit. As soon as she was released from their circle she fled. House was about to call something out to her but Cuddy elbowed him in the stomach before he could speak. “Just stay quiet and don’t do anything stupid.”
With those final words, she sprung into action. One vampire was flying toward her. Cuddy spun quickly and let out a kick that sent him propelling back until he crashed onto a nearby car. The other two vampires came at her from the side, too quickly for House to see them or react.
Cuddy felt one crash against her side and felt he air leave her lungs.
House remembered his promise not to do anything, but they had both known he wouldn’t keep it. He grabbed his cane in both hands like a sword and swung with all his upper body strength, which was considerable. He managed to send one of the vampires staggering back, but the other was able to pull the cane out of his hand and neatly cracked it in half. He tossed the cane to the ground and grabbed House in a choke hold.
Cuddy came up behind the vampire and tapped it on the shoulder. When the vampire turned to attack, she landed a solid punch across it’s face. This gave House time to fall to the ground and scramble around.
The vampire swatted Cuddy across the sidewalk with ease. She let out a sharp cry as her body came down hard on the pavement.
House managed to find both pieces of his cane and was pleased to see that they each now sported a nice jagged edge. He gripped each end in each hand and prepared for battle.
Cuddy had managed to get half way up and got a boot in the face for her efforts. House saw blood fly threw the light of the street lamp. He felt anger rushing through his body. Ignoring the pain in his leg, he limped his way toward the vampire in a half run.
“House, no!” Cuddy protested, seeing what was coming.
“If you’re hungry, come get me. Look, I’m gimpy. Easy prey.” House chided the vampires, trying to call them off Cuddy.
Suddenly they were all on top of him. He was now in the position that poor waitress had been in only moments before. The vampires, all three young men, were toying with him. Kicking him viciously in turns.
House curled up in a ball. He’d lost his weapon and all he had left was his wit, but he’d realized quickly that these vampires were not the fun witty ones he’d seen on Buffy. These were violent, silent killers who didn’t want witty repartee. All they wanted was to torture him for a little while before sinking their teeth...
House felt a breeze on his neck. He’d been expecting teeth, but the cool air sent an involuntary chill over his body. He looked up to see one less vampire than there was before. The two remaining were stalking after Cuddy. House sat on the ground and for just a moment thought about calling after them. Then he rubbed one of the many spots where he’d been kicked and decided to actually listen to her for a change and stay quietly in his spot.
He watched as Cuddy led the vampires a few yards away. She ran faster than he could have. They were faster. It didn’t take long for them to come down on her. House thought he heard her scream, but it must have just been a summoning of power, because in seconds the two vampires both went flying through the air. One was immediately impaled on a fence post. The other recovered quickly from his fall and came charging at Cuddy.
Cuddy looked around frantically. Out of the corner of her eye she saw a piece of the cane House had dropped. It was just out of her reach. She looked at the vampire, then glanced back at the cane. She heard House call out her name in the distance, but she remained focused on what she had to do.
The vampire was just about to grab her when Cuddy dropped to the ground and rolled across the ground. She grabbed the cane with one hand and sprung to her feet with more ease than she’d expected. It felt like slow motion as the vampire’s head craned around to find her, then the monster began charging toward her.
Cuddy tightened her grip on the cane she held behind her back. The blood pounded in her ears. She could feel the monsters breath as it closed in on her. Then, with one swift, elegant move, she swung the cane out in front of her and straight through the heart of the vampire.
House watched as, in a puff of smoke, the creature vanished.
“What the hell?” House struggled to his feet with a little unwelcome help from Cuddy.
“Yeah,” was all Cuddy could say in response.
“They don’t talk like on the show.” House was disappointed.
“No, they don’t.” Cuddy wiped off her jeans and straightened her hair. She looked over at House. He was a mess. Deep bruises were beginning to form across his face and, she imagined, much of the rest of his body. “I told you to stay out of it.”
“You tell me a lot of things.” House smiled slyly. He felt invigorated now that the battle was over and he’d survived. “What made you think I would start listening now?”
“I always have hope, House.” She put her arm around his waist and helped him walk to a nearby bench. “You’re in no condition to go on.” Cuddy pulled out her cell phone and began to dial.
“Who are you calling?” House tried to grab it from her, but she pulled away quickly.
“Wilson. He can take you to the hospital and fix you up.” She listened to the long ring.
“I don’t need to be fixed up!” House protested.
“I don’t care if you need it or not.” She heard a voice on the other end. “Wilson?”