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Anybody You Know?

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"Who are you?" Eliot growled as he rolled over the back of the pretty blonde who should have been far too small and delicate to support his weight, let alone that weight plus his forward momentum.   

Not only did she take it, but she gave Eliot enough of an upward push that he came at his target from above – his flying punch becoming a pile-driver. The target went down like his strings had been cut. Eliot spared him a second's more attention than he would have otherwise, but the sound of ongoing fighting behind him snatched him back. 

"Hey!" he barked. Only three pairs of hostile eyes snapped in his direction when he could there were still five guys to take out.

The little blonde hitter used the distraction to take out another guy. "I wish all baddies were this easily distracted."

Eliot was never sure if the last two "baddies" were trying to rush him or flee the other hitter. And honestly?  He tried not to think about it too much. 

He snagged one with a clothesline, punching the other as the force of it spun them both around. It wouldn't take the second one down, but Eliot more than trusted the other hitter to take advantage of his disorientation. 

Clothesline sent at punch to Eliot's gut that would leave him sore in the morning but-- "Y’gotta hit a little higher if ya wanna knock the wind outta somebody," Eliot growled before demonstrating the proper punching form.

"These did seem like sub-standard henchmen," the little blonde hitter said conversationally as Eliot let go of the unconscious man. Between them there were at eight big men -- tall, broad and well-muscled -- knocked out cold on ground.  Eliot would have been embarrassed by how many had been taken out by the blonde if he wasn't sure that he couldn't have taken them all himself. There had been too many of them and zero resources in the dusty, empty warehouse to use to his advantage. 

Okay, so his three to her five was a little embarrassing, without ever factoring in that she was pretty, small and blonde. Heck, Eliot was pretty and, for a guy, kinda small. He made a horrible blonde, though. None of which were ever thoughts he thought about himself, no sir.

"Alright, who are you?" he demanded. “Who sent you?”

“Wow, aren’t we growly.”

It went against Eliot’s personal code to hit women, even if he knew she could take nearly anything he could throw at her, but it was tempting.

“Answer the question.”

Rolling her eyes, she turned around, took four steps and kicked a guy stirring from unconsciousness. “Sorry about that,” she said as she returned. “You don’t look very quippy, so I figured let’s not make with the rematch. Fighting and quips just go together, y’know?”

Eliot growled.

She grinned. “I totally owe Sam and Riley a twenty. Each. Dude, you are, like, almost too easy.”

Eliot’s eyes narrowed. “You know the Finns?” He and Samantha had been in Basic at the same time at the same base. They’d hooked up for a while before being shipped out. News that she’d gotten married had been a surprise, but he’d been happy for her. She hadn’t thought so at the time, but he’d already known she was the settling type and Eliot had been pretty sure he’d never stop moving.

“For sure! Riley said you might need some help—“

“I work alone.”

“—and he knew I needed a vacation, so he suggested I see what the what was with you. Y’know, check out your latest Free The People gig. I wasn’t exactly expecting to walk into a fight, but after all that sitting in Coach? A girl likes to stretch.” Which she demonstrated by lacing her fingers together and throwing her arms up into a long, lengthy bridge that pulled her up onto her tiptoes.

If Eliot weren’t so annoyed, he would have been intrigued. “I. Work. Alone.”

The blonde hitter released the stretch, falling back into her small, neat package. “Ya. Like, I totally heard you. No need for the repeatings. Besides, Sam warned me already.”

Eliot felt a vein throb on his forehead. Luckily one of the “substandard henchmen” by his feet twitched. Eliot delivered a swift, precise punch to his temple before he could so much as moan.

When he looked up, the blonde hitter’s eyes were appraising and her little smile was pleased. “This could totally work.” Stepping forward, she offered him her right hand. “Name’s Buffy.”

“Eliot,” he growled back. But he accepted the hand: petite, slender, soft across the back and callused in unexpected places along the palm.

“Know any good places to eat around here, Eliot? Even fighting mediocre bad guys makes me stomach do a growly that could totally put your mean mug to shame.”

“What?”

Buffy smiled. “You’ll get it eventually,” she said as she slipped her arm around his, prompting him to bend it to better accommodate her hand. “Sam did say you were a Southern gentleman at heart.”

“What kind of name is Buffy, anyway?” he asked as they picked their way amongst the “baddies” and made their way across the warehouse, out onto the deserted street.

“And a bit of jerk. Sam mentioned that, too.”

Instead of bothering to respond – Sam was right, after all – he said, “Where did you learn to fight?”

Buffy frowned at him. “Why?”

“It’s a very distinctive style.”

Fin[ite]