Finn is kicking ass at Call of Duty 3.
No one can beat his sniping skills, not even Puck. Puck is more of a run-out-into-the-middle-of-the-battlefield-with-a-machine-gun kind of player.
But hidden behind a half-broken wall in war torn France, picking off enemy soldiers, Finn rules.
"Yes," he hisses as he takes out the last opposing sniper. He glances across the room toward Kurt to make sure his little outburst didn't disturb his pretty-much step-brother. Kurt had been fast asleep when Finn arrived home from football practice, and he knew how hard Kurt had been working lately since the Cheerios were going to nationals next week, so Finn had tossed a throw blanket over him and let him sleep. Their parents left a note saying they'd gone out on some romantic dinner-and-a-movie date (shudder), so Finn settled on Kurt's couch, turned the TV on mute, popped in one earbud and got into gaming mode.
He was zoning pretty good, only half paying attention to Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now" and mindlessly shooting every bad guy that popped up when he heard a thud upstairs.
He froze, startled. The earbud fell out of his ear as he sat, listening closely to the silence in the house. He could hear Queen playing softly from the cushion next to his thigh, Kurt's deep steady breathing across the room, and the air conditioning coming from the vent over the door to the bathroom. Nothing else. He stared at the wall, heart thudding. Finally looking back at his game, Finn frowned at the GAME OVER screen, annoyed that he'd gotten so worked up over such a small distraction. He restarted the mission.
Still a little weirded out, Finn didn't place the earbud back in his ear.
He was eventually able to forget about the strange noise and focus on the game again, slaughtering the German army and completing the mission. His hand just moved to lift his earbud to his ear again when the ceiling squeaked. Right between the living room and kitchen. Where is always squeaks when people stepped there.
This time he doesn't notice his character dying.
Finn turned off the game, keeping his eyes on the stairs. His mom and Burt had left just before he got home, so they shouldn't be back for another three or four hours at least. So who else would be walking around upstairs?
When he got to the bottom of the stairs, Finn looked back at Kurt's bed. He could just make out the bottom half of his step-brother, covered in the blanket, behind the privacy partition. He hadn't moved. Finn momentarily considered waking up Kurt to check upstairs with him, but realizes how silly that would seem.
He turned back to face the stairs. There were no more noises. He took a deep breath. Calm down, it's nothing, he told himself as he made his way slowly up the stairs. Probably the wind or...the cat... But there was no cat.
At the top of the stairs, Finn shook his head. It's nothing. He opened the door to see a man in a leather jacket turn and put a gun to his forehead.
His mind went blank, head rushing with white noise, and he felt like he was having a heart attack. The man in leather looked startled, gun shaking inches away from Finn's eyes, and he said something that Finn can't quite hear over the white noise and his beating heart and gestured with his gun. Finn couldn't breath.
Suddenly another man was in his line of sight, a mean-looking man with bushy eyebrows. He looked pissed as he grabbed Finn by the shoulder, and Finn felt himself being pushed into the kitchen, felt his hands automatically raise because he can feel the gun burning a hole into his back.
He was shoved into a chair, almost toppling over onto the floor because his arms wouldn't move to catch him, and then another man was suddenly there, all three watching him, talking, and he could pick out some words like "shoot," and "witness," but he didn't really hear until the third man slapped him hard.
His jaw was aching but his senses cleared and, though he kept his eyes on the gun, he heard when the third man, the leader, asked him who he was and what he was doing there, and he answered the best he could, stumbling over his words and glanced around enough to realize that things were missing, the stereo that used to be on the counter next to the fridge is gone, and the drawers and cupboards had been rifled through, and that these three men were robbing his house. The next question pulled his attention back to the leader.
"Is there anyone else in the house?"
And then all Finn could see was Kurt curled up in a ball on his bed in the basement, exhausted from weeks of intensive Cheerios training and unaware of the men with guns rifling through his house above his head.
Finn shook his head no, and his voice came out high and crakling when he said, "N-no, no one else." He thought about how he left the basement door open and how maybe Kurt will hear their voices and wander up to see what was going on and get that gun shoved in his face.
The boss guy was staring at him with narrow eyes and Finn stared back, knowing he was a horrible liar, knowing he was shit at schooling his expressions.
"He came up from the basement?" The leader asked without taking his eyes from Finn. The guy in leather nodded and waved the gun around, "Yeah! Just popped up out of nowhere."
Finn couldn't breathe again. He felt like he was pleading with the leader with his eyes, Please don't go down there, please leave him alone.
"Go check the basement." Mean-looking guy nodded and walked off and Finn panicked.
"No! I'm the only one, there's no one else!" He started to stand without thinking and the gun was suddenly pressed against his forehead and he froze again, practically hyperventilating.
"Gimme the gun and grab the rest of the electronics from the living room," Finn hears the leader distantly say. The guy in leather handed it over and walked off.
The boss guy stayed in the kitchen, eyeing Finn.
Finn didn't know what to do, he couldn't make himself breathe right, he couldn't make the mean-looking guy come back from the hallway.
The leader was talking to him, but Finn felt like his whole body was straining to hear something, anything coming from the basement. Things clattered around in the living room, and the leader guy was talking about how much he could get for the flat screen Burt bought just before Finn and his mom moved in, but no sounds came from the basement.
It felt like hours pass, Finn was sweating and shaking and he still hadn't heard anything. Not one sound. Why couldn't he hear them talking, or Kurt yelling or making a snarky comment and why weren't they coming up the stairs? The silence was unbearable, and Finn realized that the leader had stopped talking.
Finn couldn't help it, he had to ask, "What's going on? W-what's he doing?"
He gave Finn a slow, amused smile. "Who's in the basement?" he asked quietly.
"My brother," Finn finally admitted. He hoped for a moment that his admission would make the leader stop all this, make him call the mean guy back upstairs and they would all leave. Mostly he so badly needed to know what was going on in the basement.