[I am attempting a fill for the person requesting rare and/or incompatible pairs, although I submit that Demo/anyone besides soldier or medic’s theoretical wife counts for a rare and incompatible pair. Many thanks to this bottle of beer for beta-ing my work, if you see any mistakes, blame Shiner Bock. P.S. there is the intent of adult content, not sure if I will get there or if I want to, or if anyone wants me to].
It wasn’t very often that he could remember showering, he had to assume those moments he woke up wet and half-naked on the shower floor with a stream of cooling water trickling over him had been the conclusions of such activities. But today, he had fended off his demons with enough Scrumpy to become so drunk he reached the other side of intoxication and descended back into stone-cold sobriety. Today, he felt like he could handle a shower.
There was no one else about at this hour, the rest of the team having performed their ablutions earlier and now settling down for the night, so the Demo took advantage of their absence to give in to his Celtic nature. The acoustics of the room lent his voice an even more melodious quality, complementing it with a full range of backing vocals, and he danced a little jig out of sheer delight.
A few minutes later, Demo ended his rousing ballad with a flourish, and the final notes bounced off the tiles and dissipated into the steamy air. To his surprise, he heard quiet applause coming from somewhere behind him, and he poked his head out of the stall, casting about the empty locker room for his unintended audience.
“Bravo, bravo!” Out of the mists, the form of the Spy coalesced before him, seemingly decloaking from invisibility, the ominous effect spoiled by the fact he was wearing only his mask and a too-small towel wrapped about his waist. “That was masterful singing, truly impressive.”
“Och, away with ye, I am not in the mood for your prattling,” the Demo grumbled, shutting the water off and reaching for his own towel. That was his own fault for not keeping his voice down, but more irritating than getting caught in the act by someone whose business was catching others in the act, was the fact he could not tell if the Spy was being sarcastic or not. The Demo busied himself with drying off and retrieving his clothing, ignoring the intruder all the while. When he noticed that the Spy had still not left, had instead leaned against the wall to watch him with a secretive smirk on his face, he finally lost his patience and asked, “And what were you doing lurking here in the first place?”
“It was merely a precautionary measure,” the Spy answered calmly.
“Against the possibility of what?” the Demo retorted as he pulled a t-shirt on.
“Why, the possibility of you passing out in the shower, fracturing your skull against the faucet and then bleeding to death on the floor before anyone noticed your absence on the battlefield.”
The Demo narrowed his one good eye, dredging through his alcohol-damaged memory and coming up with extended periods of blackness interspersed with brief moments of fighting and spectacular explosions. “I don’t remember that ever happening, not once!” It was the truth, more or less.
“Then it didn’t happen three times already,” the Spy told him, rolling his eyes. “The last time it ‘didn’t’ happen, we coincidentally didn’t have hot water for days. Even if the Medic had not already ordered me to, I would have checked up on you anyway. We can not afford both the water bill and having one man down.” His words sounded reproachful, but the corners of his mouth continued to twitch in amusement, to the Demo’s annoyance.
“Well, I survived, and I’ll continue to do so, so you can run back to the doctor and tell him I dinnae need to be looked after like a child anymore!” He thumped his chest, bristling at the insinuation he needed to be babysat. “I’m a grown man, ya ken?”
“Oh, don’t worry, I saw evidence of that for myself,” the Spy murmured wickedly, and he stepped into the adjoining shower stall with a laugh as the Demo raised his fist in a threatening manner. But there was no further teasing from the other man, who had melted back into his typical silent obscurity, and the Demo eventually headed out, giving the evil eye to the general area where the Spy might be lurking. He should have spy-checked him, he thought belatedly, but he decided he would let it go this time, for the Spy had professed good taste in music, and there was no honor in cuffing a mostly naked man of good taste.
The Spy never bothered him again, or if he was still keeping the Demo under observation, he never showed himself after that incident. The Demo would have thought nothing more of it, would have liked to think nothing more of it, except that sometimes he would hear the Spy singing softly to himself as he cooked his prissy French food or deigned to help clean up in the mess hall, muddling through the Gaelic as best as he could but hitting all of the notes perfectly, and something inside the Demo inexplicably warmed at the thought. Not at the thought of being spied upon while singing in the showers, of course, but at the thought of someone like the Spy, so smug and superior, fancying the simple songs of the highlands of his home.
These days, he found himself thinking a lot more, about things that weren’t necessarily explosions or the supernatural. It disturbed him. He didn’t have too many moments of sobriety to spare for things not related to demolitions, and he needed every last one of those moments to function. At a loss of how to handle these new sensations, the Demo resorted to the comfortable oblivion of his Scrumpy. Not the best solution, but he couldn’t think of any other way.
It was in the midst of his most recent alcohol-induced daze when he agreed to help the Engineer with the team’s victory barbecue, to celebrate their winning streak over the opposing side and provide some much needed team bonding. Later that evening, while the Pyro attended to the bonfire, the Engineer brought out his beloved grill, loading it down with steaks and burgers and hot dogs, and for the Spy, a Cornish game hen. The Soldier and Scout were kept busy setting up chairs and tables around the campfire and retrieving supplies from the mess hall. Once the area was laid out to the Soldier’s satisfaction, the Heavy then proudly arranged bread and buns and various vegetables and condiments on the table, and the Demo started passing out ice cold beers and sodas under the watchful eye of the Medic. Curiosity piqued by the noise, the Sniper emerged from his van at last, and after seeing what they were up to, he decided to contribute his latest hunting trip bounty to the barbecue. As usual, the Spy arrived fashionably late, although he could have been there the whole time, and no one seemed to mind him not really contributing anything to the party except style.
The team rarely had time or inclination for these acts of camaraderie, but once they got some good cooking in their bellies and refreshing drinks in their hands, the atmosphere became much more convivial. They swapped jokes and bragged outrageously, arguing good-naturedly over who got the better kill last week. Under the influence of the alcohol, the arguments gradually became less and less good-natured, until finally the Medic was called in to judge whether the Sniper’s trick shot that managed to take down, directly and indirectly, all nine opponents with only one bullet fired outclassed the Soldier’s accomplishment of killing each member of the other team by blasting them into gory bits with parts of their own corpses. The rest of the team began to take sides, no one really bringing up the fact that “class” was hardly the word to describe what the Sniper or Soldier had wrought, yet still the Medic refused to make a decision. Things seemed to be heading towards yet another brawl, and not wanting to have such a nice evening ruined, the Pyro uttered some muffled bleats that were unintelligible but urgent-sounding enough to make everyone pause in confusion.
It turned out the Spy was late for a reason; he had spent his afternoon preparing dessert for the occasion and had disappeared once the argument began to put the finishing garnishes on his creation and roll it out on a borrowed bomb cart that was covered with a white tablecloth. The rest of the team then watched with equal parts astonishment and trepidation as the Pyro gleefully flambeed the little ramekins of creme brulee with his blow torch to transform the vanilla sugar topping into a delicious golden crisp. They waited with equal parts suspicion and anticipation as the Spy ate his own creme brulee, to show that he did not lace it with arsenic or powerful laxatives, although that did not necessarily mean he did not poison the other dishes. Spoons and napkins were passed around, and the team eagerly settled down to indulge in this rare treat, the mood cheerful once more.
At least until the arsenic and laxatives began to take effect.
Before the night wound down, the upbeat music of Scout’s boombox was replaced with the soft strumming of the Engineer’s guitar. The Demo found a tree stump in front of the fire to begin a story, and while the majority of his teammates scoffed at his tales and claimed they weren’t scary at all, probably due to the fact that they couldn’t understand his Scottish slurring half the time, tonight he had an enraptured audience consisting of the Pyro and the Scout and the Spy. He spent several minutes building up the eerie atmosphere, to the Pyro’s delight, added a dash of doomed romance for the Scout’s benefit, and for the Spy, he even worked in elements of a supernatural conspiracy. By the time he revealed the gruesome fate of the characters, the Pyro and Scout were clinging to each other in fascinated horror, with the Spy unfortunately caught in between. Watching the Scout shakingly accuse the others of pissing their pants in fear, and the Spy claiming he knew what was going to happen all along and therefore had no reason to be frightened, and the Pyro apparently begging them all to accompany him to the bathroom, the Demo deemed his story a success.
In the light of the dying fire, the team began to disperse, bringing in leftovers and chairs. The Demo had taken care of the half-finished bottles of beer a while ago, because he was conscientious like that and did not want to burden the Engineer of emptying the bottles for recycling, and he was now dozing off in front of the fire. He drifted in and out of consciousness, too tired to even respond when the Scout tripped over his leg, listening in a sort of dazed peace while the rest of the team eventually made their way back to base.
Fifteen minutes later, after everyone seemed to have forgotten about him, he heard quiet footsteps approach his resting place, and the Spy chuckling softly somewhere above him. Two gloved hands gripped him under the arms, and then he was being dragged along the ground with some difficulty.
“Oof,” the Spy muttered, pausing to get a better hold of the semi-conscious teammate. “You are doing this on purpose, aren’t you?”
The Demo heard someone else approach, caught a whiff of the leather and outdoors living scent that marked the Sniper, and felt another set of hands gripping him by the feet to help the Spy haul him over the threshold.
“My thanks, Sniper.”
“Got to admit, you have weird taste.”
“You would know all about that, jarman.”
There was a rumbling snort of laughter. “Well, at least he’s on the right side this time. Don’t mess it up, Spook.”
“What is there to mess up?” the Spy responded, sounding strangely wistful. “But yes, I will be careful.”
The conversation continued, but too quietly for him to catch, and the Demo couldn’t help himself from yawning, then letting out a belch. Tsking, the Spy reached down to continue dragging him to his room, with the Sniper bidding them both a good night. Before long, the Demo felt himself maneuvered onto his bed accompanied by muttered French curses, his heavy limbs arranged so that if he should vomit in his sleep, he would not choke. Gentle hands tucked a blanket over his shoulders, lips brushed by his ear, so warm and close it almost made him shudder.
“Bonne nuit. Sleep well, Demo.”
The Spy had made it out of the room and was closing the door behind him when he heard the softest of replies uttered from the slumbering man. He froze, discomfited by a flicker of guilt that panged beneath his breastbone, and briefly wondered if he should have at least put less of the laxative in the Demo’s creme brulee. Only briefly, though. He was a Spy, after all.
This is relevant to my interest. I'm practically sinking down onto my knees and screaming out to the sky " THANK GOD. AN UNUSUAL PAIRING!" The feeling of reading a story like this is comparable to receiving a cool hat from some random guy.
Please, keep going!
This story is so awesome it could very well be a hat.
>>3 That was what I was trying to say. It's an awesome hat! And an UNUSUAL one at that!
This is a very interesting pairing besides who usually ends up with Demo. I like this very much, and...Sniper! My crush! Hur!... Off-topic. I am looking forward to see what happens next or maybe why Demoman always drinks himself to death... What are his demons? That is the biggest question and I hope we find out in due time with updates!
I love this. Love, love love. Even as a hardcore Sniper/Spy shipper, I have to concede the brilliance of this. I love the dynamic of the team: they're not all best buddies, but they still look after each other, in a way, and some of them have forged friendships--and oh my goodness, the reference to Spy's previous relationship was fantastic. I can't wait to find out more. Keep it coming; this is lovely.
can i just say how much i love you right now anon
demo/spy is one of my favorites and im so happy that this exists
makes me want to draw them!
yes!! a rare pairing!!! do keep going good sir
YES VERY GOOD
I love this rare pair so much you have no idea
bless you OP--I eagerly await another update!!
I'd love to see this continued! *v* This is so sweet, I love it. And you wrote both of them wonderfully.
My goodness... could it be?
Yes, it is indeed! SpyxDemoman! Something this world definitely needs more of.
And it's even well written.
Dearest OP, I wish I could bestow a thousand hats upon you for writing this, and I definitely hope to see more soon.
This was *wonderful*.
It was sweet, it was funny, Spy and Demo had excellent characterization, and you even added little tidbits of characterization of the other seven mercenaries without them looking out of place (like the part where Scout is secretly fond of romance).
You really should sign with something other than Anonymous, so that we can properly praise you :)
That was MY request! I am over the moon that somebody filled it, and so very well, too. I am grinning so hard right now, you have no idea.
[Wow, are you guys really reading the very same Demo/Spy I’m writing, is there another Demo/Spy on the board that I am not aware of because wow. I’ll have to assume that you all are desperate for some horny Frenchman on Scotsman loving, or are as drunk as I was (still am), or a happy combination of both. Thanks for reading, I hope this next part isn’t as disappointing as closing time at a bar and the lights go on and you take your first good look at the person you gave your phone number to. And sorry about the delay, you know, I had a dream the other night that some faceless person told me I needed to finish this story or I would die the next day, and obviously I don’t work well under pressure and now I guess I am dead and speaking to you from beyond the pale.]
The Demo slept deeply and dreamlessly that night, and when he woke up, he was surprised to find himself not covered in his own sick for once. (Of course, he had no way of knowing that it was the Spy’s poisons which had outcompeted the alcohol for metabolizing by his abused liver, and that his hangover would actually catch up to him several hours later during a crucial point in the RED’s campaign.) He did not remember too much of last night, could not be expected to, but what he did remember made him occasionally break out into a foolish grin as he got ready to meet the day.
Breakfast that morning was a quiet affair; even the Soldier could not tolerate the agony of hearing his own yelling and had to update everyone on his plans for the day in his normal inside voice. The rest of the team ignored him as usual and went about eating breakfast and preparing for their endless war in various states of discomfort. By the time the Demo joined the others in the mess hall, the Scout was dashing off to the restroom, a milk mustache still decorating his upper lip, and the Medic was slumped over a bowl of muesli with the Heavy staring off into space beside him. The Demo glanced around, claimed an empty seat, and promptly tucked into a plate of fried breakfast foods, washing it down with more of the hair of the dog that had so brutally savaged his companions. It was never too early to start imbibing, in his opinion, but even through the mounting alcoholic haze, he kept a wary eye out for the one tardy teammate.
As if summoned, the Spy materialized into solidity, looking around the dining area with a smug look that barely faltered upon catching the Demo’s attention. He touched one finger to his lips, still smiling, and the Demo chuckled to himself as he watched the Spy pick up the Sniper’s momentarily neglected coffee mug, sniff at it and set it down with a disgusted frown, then stealthily poke at the congealing rubber that used to be the Engineer’s eggs. Seeing nothing of interest on the table, the Spy flounced away to the kitchen, presumably to make his own food that wouldn’t be deep-fried or made of granola or made of deep-fried granola.
Five minutes later, the Soldier punctuated the conclusion of his briefing with a fist to the table, startled several men fully awake. Thus dismissed, the team departed for the resupply room. The Demo hung around after the others left, uncertain as to why, until his reason emerged from the kitchen with a half-eaten waffle on his plate and a predatory glare that would strike fear into the hearts of bear-shaped honey bottles everywhere.
Their eyes, all one and a half pairs, inevitably met. Time slowed to a crawl and at the same time sped up, defying basic laws of physics. A veritable maelstrom of chemistry occurred in that one impossible second between the two, chemistry other than the sort that results from a human body digesting breakfast, reactions too complex, too mysterious for even a man of eleven PhDs to comprehend. (Not that he would want to, in this particular situation.)
Then the Scout popped back into the mess hall, as cheerily obnoxious as if he had not spent several minutes puking into the toilet.
“Yo, you guys gonna join us or what?” he called out, waving them over. “Heh, if you’re lucky, I might even leave you a few BLUs when I’m through!”
The Spy rolled his eyes in long-suffering tolerance, and the Demo just laughed. He waved his Scrumpy bottle in a sort of a salute as he headed out after the Scout.
“I’ll be seeing ye on the battlefield, Spy!”
“Over my dead body,” was the bland reply.
It was during the heat of battle when he realized that the Spy actually really meant that.
“Idiot, what do you think you are doing?!” the Spy shouted from where he had tucked himself into a corner.
“What does it look like I’m doing, I’m trying to save your life!”
“Oh, forgive me, because it looked more like you wanted to get us both killed!”
The Demo stared at the headless body of the enemy Pyro lying on the ground between them, the berserker red in his vision draining away, and realized too late that he had inadvertently revealed both of their positions to the eagle-eyed sharp shooter on the other team. Nanoseconds before an oversized bullet connected with his cranium, the Spy shoved him to the ground. The heel of an expensive Italian shoe dug hard into his spine as the Spy stood up and fired off two shots in the general direction of the BLU Sniper. The shots would almost certainly go wild, but they would distract the Sniper long enough for them to find cover.
The two REDs ducked, scuttled and crab-walked to the safety of an abandoned barn in order to catch their breath and reload. They had faced far more terrifying situations before, what with their workdays routinely involving giant spinning buzzsaws and exploding bomb carts, but even knowing that Respawn would be there to pick them up, the Demo could not quite shake off the massive double adrenaline rush coursing through his veins at that moment. He took a gulp of Scrumpy to calm his nerves, then another just to make sure the first got down all right.
To his left, the Spy looked similarly rattled, sucking so hard on his cigarette, he burned half the stick down to ash in one inhale. He blew out a stream of smoke in a half-sigh, the tension in his stance easing ever so slightly.
“You will be the death of me, Demo,” he muttered, sounding irritated, but not enough to leave the shelter of his teammate’s side.
The Demo had the grace to look sheepish, although he couldn’t help a retort of his own. “Aye, but you look to be doing the same for me.”
“Touche.” The Spy ground the spent cigarette butt under his shoe, and opened his cigarette case to select another. “I don’t suppose we can agree to not do this to each other anymore?”
He considered this. “We could agree, but I’m drunk, and you’re a lying sneak-about.”
That made the Spy chuckle. “Again, you wound me. I knew there was a reason why I like you. Well,” he murmured, activating his recharged watch and fading away in a puff of smoke, “I hope you remember this when you sober up, if nothing else.”
There was a light touch against his lips, and startled, the Demo opened his mouth, only to feel a rush of warm air, smoky and spicy, slide against his tongue.
He did the next most natural thing, but the Spy had already slipped out of his arms, a barely visible shimmer at the edge of his vision.
The Demo had no time to wonder what the Spy’s game was, or why he had reacted the way he did, as an explosion from his counterpart shook the rickety walls and sent a wayward red-garbed limb skittering across the dirt in front of him. Looks like he was needed. Taking yet another swig of Scrumpy for luck, he tightened his grip on his bloody claymore, letting the rage build up inside. As soon as there was a break in the spray of bullets, he charged out, roaring “KILL ‘EM ALL!” at the top of his lungs.
The RED team won the first round, only to lose the afternoon match, the final score being a tie. No surprise there; although the Soldier attempted to berate them for the loss, it sounded half-hearted.
“We’ll do better tomorrow,” the Engineer said soothingly, patting him on the shoulder.
“I think everyone could use some rest and a bowl of hot soup,” the Medic was saying. He eyed the Spy suspiciously and added, “Nothing too rich, though.”
“I will take care of the soup, Doktor,” the Heavy rumbled, and the Pyro made a hopeful questioning sound, to which the Heavy, clearly not too thrilled about being in the same room as their most deranged teammate, reluctantly consented. “Of course, you can help, little Pyro.”
Whatever intention the Demo had of confronting the Spy about the events during the first match had succumbed to the far more pressing need of vomiting everything still left in his stomach into the toilet bowl, or at least close enough to it.
“Ye great big bloody coward,” he muttered miserably to the blameless septic tank.
“Who’s a coward?” a low voice asked. It was the Sniper, coming to check on the Demo, or possibly to take a piss, although there wasn’t a Mason jar in the bathroom for his use, so he must have been checking on the Demo. “The Spy? What did he do now?”
The Demo shook his head, a tear welling up in his eye, too depressed to do anything other than sigh.
The Sniper reached down to peel him away from the porcelain fixture. “C’mon, mate, soup’s almost done. You’ll feel better after some grub in your belly.”
“Don’t want soup,” the Demo mumbled wearily. “Want Spy…”
The Sniper stopped in his tracks, eyes narrowed. “You don’t mean that.”
“Trust me, a Spy’s not worth getting mixed up with. They’re trouble, through and through.”
Now the Demo turned to face him, frowning. “And how would you know, eh? How are you an expert on Spies all of a sudden?”
The other man’s expression promptly shut down, and after a barely noticeable pause, he said, very carefully, “Well, it just makes sense. Didn’t you hear about our spy and the other Scout’s mum? Nothing but trouble.”
To his surprise, that set the Demo off into a round of wailing and bawling.
“Spook! Get your ass in here, right now!”
“What is it?” The Spy turned the corner and took one glance at the heap on the floor before the Sniper’s feet. “Mon dieu, Sniper, what did you do to him?”
“What did you do to him, I should say!”
“Pauvre bébé,” the Spy cooed, ignoring the Sniper. “Here, let me get you cleaned up and back to your room. And away from the horrible piss man.”
Glaring daggers, or kukris in this case, the Sniper pointed to his aviator-shaded eyes and then to the Spy. “I’m watching you,” he mouthed.
“I’d like to see you try,” the Spy minced back.
The Demo was already starting to feel better by the time a warm, wet towel dabbed at his filthy chin. He smiled weakly as the Spy’s face swam into focus.
“Can you walk? Good, that’s good, just a little more.”
They had almost made it to the Demo’s room when the Scout ran into them. He bounced back, recovering his balance with youthful immediacy.
“Hey, Spy, I left the tray in his room, if you want any, there’s a pot still warm on the stove.”
“Thank you, Scout,” the Spy said, although his attention was focused on helping the Demo into bed. “Now, if you could leave us alone for a moment.”
“Ga-ay,” the Scout teased, and yelped when the Spy leaned over and pinched his bottom.
Lying back, the Demo watched the Spy fuss with the tray of soup and bread. “M’sorry for all this.”
“Don’t be silly, you are never an inconvenience. Not to me.”
The Demo smiled sadly at that. “But it would be easier for us both,” he said to himself, “if I didn’t like seeing you around so much.”
The Spy did not meet his eyes, and so he reached up, touching his fingers to the lightly stubbled jawbone, and the Spy flicked his eyes at him for a moment before turning away.
“If you didn’t keep disappearing like that,” he wanted to say.
“I need to go now. Just call if you need me, Demo,” the Spy whispered, and he slid away, a ghost once more.
A perverted ghost, anyway, judging by the sounds of the Scout getting his bottom pinched again.
I've had this immensely pleased grin on my face the entire while I was reading this. I'm still grinning. My cheeks are throbbing from the strain of it.
I am still very much enjoying this! Keep on going, and I
ll keep on reading!
I was really kind of worried this would not see an update, but alas... Here it is! Thank you!
"“Trust me, a Spy’s not worth getting mixed up with. They’re trouble, through and through.”
Now the Demo turned to face him, frowning. “And how would you know, eh? How are you an expert on Spies all of a sudden?”
The other man’s expression promptly shut down, and after a barely noticeable pause, he said, very carefully, “Well, it just makes sense. Didn’t you hear about our spy and the other Scout’s mum? Nothing but trouble.”"
Do I sense some Sniper and Other!Spy? .^.^.
This story is so lovely, and if your goal was to write a believable Demo/Spy, you've certainly succeeded!
Oh goodness, this is great!
Holy moly, this is gorgeous. Please continue this, really. I'm so tired of seeing only Sniper/Spy, and we all know the Demoman doesn't get any love (yadda yadda usual fan rant etc.) and this is well-written to boot! I love Demo's character especially. Please keep up the wonderful work.
Just... everything they said. I agree completely. I'd love to see more of this.
[Still trying to psych myself up to write (nearly, possibly) middle-aged men having sex, have some herp-derping in the meantime, and thanks again for indulging me and my weirdness and waiting like a month between updates.]
Demo realized too late what he was experiencing, and put a name to it long after he should have. Because despite the violence of his hangover, he remembered everything that had happened between him and Spy, and he relived those words, those touches, those glances, again and again. For most of the following week, Spy retreated into the background and did not show himself unless it was absolutely necessary, his habit after a disagreement with a teammate, i.e., usually Sniper, and which Soldier never failed to chide him for, but for Demo, he never truly disappeared. Not when he could catch that telltale shimmer in the air whenever he thought he was alone, not when he could close his eye and see that smarmy Cheshire grin fade away against the back of his eyelids. The way that silky, ridiculously accented voice could sing its nonsense cadence into his thoughts when he least expected it, how a whiff of expensive cologne and cigarette smoke always brought a chill down his spine. The memory of a touch gentle against his face as his vomit was wiped away, the lingering taste of a sigh on his tongue days afterward. For Demo, Spy was always somehow there.
On top of that, Demo felt like he was constantly drunk, regardless of the actual amount of Scrumpy he consumed. But instead of blacking out or having trouble coordinating his body parts, his thinking got sharper, his vision clearer, his body seemed to be flying without the help of any sticky bombs. And once he actually became soused on the liqueur, the sensation simply became sharper, the highs boosting him into vaults of the heavens, the lows plummeting him deep into the pits of hell.
It was obvious to him by now; he was being haunted. That explained everything, from the way random things reminded him of his teammate to the weirdness of his mood swings. He had no idea how one could be haunted by a living man not yet turned into a malevolent spirit, but he had witnessed stranger events during his enlistment with RED and accepted this as yet another challenge to overcome. In the end, their Spy, as dangerous and devious as he claimed to be, was nothing like an evil giant floating eyeball, and look, he eventually got over that, the occasional waking up in the middle of the night drenched in cold sweat put aside.
Though if he had to be honest with himself, Demo would almost prefer waking up screaming in terror to what he was waking up with nowadays, which made duking it out with hellish creatures from other realms seem infinitely preferable.
Thankfully, this morning he might have a fighting chance of not having to sneak out to wash his sheets and boxers. With a vehement glare, he willed his morning erection to go back down, and when that didn’t work, he pulled up his t-shirt, carefully holding himself in one hand. He moved his fist up and down steadily, thoughts wandering as he replayed the best nights of his life, none of which he could fully remember, not even that one time he had apparently married a prostitute in Vegas with the BLU Soldier as his best man and vice versa. Just recalling those halcyon days brought a tear to his eye, and he quickly shoved the half-memory aside in favor of something less bitter.
Now the other team Medic’s wife came to mind, he couldn’t think of her name to save his life, but he could definitely remember the hours and hours of wild and kinky sex they had during their not at all secret trysts. He chuckled to himself and sped up his pace bit by bit, enjoying this idleness before the workday began. It was not long before he released, hissing a little too loudly between his lips as he came, cum spattering all over his belly and thighs in the aftermath of one his best orgasms in a good long while. For a few moments, Demo could do nothing else but just lay there catching his breath, too lazy and sated to even move to clean himself.
He was in the middle of taking out a set of fresh clothes from the tiny wardrobe when the realization struck him like a bullet to the brainpan, and he slumped to the floor in horror. No, that can’t be, he thought desperately, as neurons not accustomed to cooperating for any purpose other than assembling demolitions finally finished crafting the conclusion that yes, it can be, and it most certainly will be, if his lower regions had any say in the matter, which they did.
Any further deliberation was interrupted by a pounding of boots coming down the hallway, followed by a frantic rapping at his door.
“Mrrffmm? Mhm mff Fffmph?”
“No, there’s no one here!” The muffled sounds continued and Demo stood up on shaky legs to open the door. “See? False alarm. Must have been the… curtains.”
Not completely reassured, Pyro stuck its head through the doorway, inspecting the room for that most hated enemy whom it had assumed snuck into base and was torturing a fellow RED, then saw that Demo was not wearing any pants and reeled back, covering its mask with gloved hands.
He quickly apologized, not certain if Pyro was male or female but feeling bad either way. Wrapping a towel about his waist, Demo scurried off to the showers, hoping everyone else had finished. Mostly he needed some time alone to think, to decide his next course of action before facing the rest of his teammates for the mess hall briefing. Especially one teammate in particular. He shuddered as he sluiced himself down with ice cold water, thinking that probably the worst thing that could happen right now would be Spy suddenly jumping into the shower with him, claiming that Sniper was after him for stealing his coffee mug when clearly it was Scout all along, then Sniper sniffing him out and tackling him through the shower curtain, then Soldier and Heavy deciding that they needed to break up the fight, ending with Medic healing everyone in the infirmary, everyone except Demo, who would be left sprawled on the shower floor, sporting a black eye as well as a painful erection.
Which was exactly what happened.
They remembered to get him before the battle started this time, and at least no one saw what Pyro had unfortunately seen. So he thought, anyway, until he noticed Spy staring at his crotch as they waited in the resupply locker for the countdown.
The other man glanced away, but not before Demo saw his hastily smothered smile.
“And what the fuck are you looking at?!” Demo growled, as another part of him withered up at this completely botched attempt at flirting.
“Nothing, nothing,” Spy answered, barely suppressing a laugh. “But maybe I was wondering… how it stayed on during battle.”
“How what stays on?” Demo asked uncertainly.
Engineer looked over his shoulder just in time to see Spy sliding his hand up under the lower part of Demo’s body armor, and for all intents and purposes, petting his groin.
“Nope,” he said quietly to himself as he attempted to lean away from the scene.
It was a special sticky sort of tape that was reinforced with fibers running both directions, Spy learned later. Not that he really cared about the answer, but Demo seemed eager to show him what he used, and besides, any information could be useful information to a spy on an impossible mission.
It's times like these that I remember why I love this fandom so fucking much.
<i>“Nope,” he said quietly to himself as he attempted to lean away from the scene.</i>
One of the rare instances wherein the inclusion of an old meme in a story is actually funny. Props!
Oh god, yes! I did not know how much I wanted this pairing until now. And now... I really, really want it.
Oh my god you comedy genius i love you i love you i love you. (Did I mention that I love you, because I may have left part out.)
But moronic gushing aside, this story is only getting better. And better.
[I have no idea why you all are still reading this and I am delighted and confused at the same time, in fact, I am so confused, I updated earlier than intended, that’s how confused I am, except replace “confused” with “drunk enough to think Spy/Demo is a legitimate pairing and that I can write it.” Really, thank you.]
Fortunately, Demo was drunk enough to be able to laugh at Spy’s obvious interest in his lower regions, and he clapped an arm about the other man’s shoulders in a manner that could be construed as casually friendly by a teammate, if said teammate was extremely unobservant or had difficulty seeing.
“I could tell ye, but what lies beneath it, now that’s the legend you should be seeking. Hah!”
Spy seemed a little taken aback by this light-hearted response, but recovered his composure in the next moment. “My, that sounds intriguing. Would you be able to help me discover this… legend?” he murmured, his palm pressing insistent against Demo’s crotch one last time before dropping away. His voice dropped even lower, practically a purr. “I’m up for the adventure, if you are.”
Unfortunately, Demo was sober enough to enjoy that touch, to want more of it, to curse his luck when the Administrator’s voice over the loudspeakers drowned out his choked and rather garbled answer. There really wasn’t enough time to repeat himself after the countdown ended and the battle started, but he tried anyway, hoping he got the message across in the midst of checking their weapons.
And it seemed his luck had not completely run out when he heard Spy’s whisper beside him, right as the doors opened.
“I’ll be there.”
Demo grinned and nodded once, his expression the complete opposite of the horrified look on Sniper’s face.
If Medic thought the spring in Demo’s step seemed unusual, he did not say anything, although he was becoming a little concerned over how Engineer would randomly hit himself in the helmet with his own wrench, as that sort of activity had up to now been the sole domain of Soldier, and how Sniper seemed intent on unloading his entire store of Jarate on their own Spy, even when anyone could see he was not on fire and not the enemy Spy. But as the erratic behavior had no other consequence on their battle-worthiness that he could tell, he shrugged it off and carried on with the more practical matter of healing the fleshbags that were his teammates.
Demo himself was having a blast; several of them, well-timed with wide range and devastating effect. He cackled and took a swig of Scrumpy as parts of BLU’s Scout and Soldier rained down around him. “Take that!” he thought smugly as he raced off to ply his handiwork on yet another hapless opponent. Whatever uncertainty or angst he might have felt about his failed relationships, his unusual appearance, his mother’s disappointment, here they meant nothing. Here on the battlegrounds of the Badlands, he was king, and if anyone should forget, he would be more than happy to remind them with a sticky bomb to the guts.
Flushed with triumph, Demo ran out into the open, launching grenades willy-nilly at the BLU Heavy, only to stop in his tracks to watch in admiration their Spy at work. He thought he had never seen anything so beautiful, Spy decloaking and leaping gracefully from a rooftop, his knife plunging into the now unprotected BLU Medic in a flawlessly fatal backstab. It was like watching a gyrfalcon swooping to catch its prey in mid-air, it was art in motion. He could have wept, he might have, he wasn’t sure. Then Spy turned to look at him, and he was lost.
“What the hell, that’s not how you give a high-five!” Scout shouted in disgust.
Spy was laughing, trying to pull free from Demo’s enthusiastic hug, but not trying too hard, and it took a warning splash of warm, fermented piss nearby to prompt them to separate. “Not yet,” Spy was saying, “I can’t wait,” Demo said in return. He squeezed Spy once more, marveling at how natural it felt to have him his arms, wondering how he could have thought he preferred women all this time, glad to have been finally corrected. Then he let go, and smiled to feel the ghost of a kiss brush against his cheek, with the gagging noises of their Scout fading away in the background.
Later that evening, as Demo was showing him around his entirely unsafe workshop, Spy wondered if perhaps he had completely misread Demo’s response. He had looked forward to the idea of commencing a tryst in an isolated and soundproof location, even taking great pains to freshen up and scrub out the smell of urine from his person at the end of the workday. How encouraged he felt when Demo opened the door and drew him into the workshop with one lanky arm about his waist.
But then Demo started talking about the wonderful world of explosives, making sweeping motions to demonstrate his points, and after ten minutes of listening to an increasingly fictitious history of grenades, Spy concluded that he might have assumed wrongly. It took his best acting skills to not look too bored when Demo sat him down at his bench to show him various maps and chemicals and toolsets, including the roll of tape that prompted this entire escapade.
“Sometimes I don’t even remember taping it to me pants, but it’s always there,” Demo confided as he put his tools back into the drawer. “Don’t you think that’s… eerie?”
He was babbling now, probably more than a little drunk, yet still more or less coherent, and Spy could not resist leaning into his side, just to gauge his interest.
“Well, perhaps we should investigate further,” Spy replied, placing one hand deliberately on Demo’s knee in what turned out to be an unwise move.
Now he got the excitement he longed for, when Demo startled and accidentally knocked a grenade to the ground. But as that only prompted Demo to scream and shove him to the side in order to shield him with his body, Spy could not totally mind a few seconds of pants-wetting fear, if it meant he could be this close to him, their chests pressed close together, arms and legs all tangled, pants possibly getting wet but in a way he had not planned for.
Happily, the grenade did not explode, just gave off one final beep that trailed pathetically into silence.
“…That almost never happens,” Demo said with a nervous laugh, when it became clear they were not going to be blown to smithereens, though whether he was nervous for having narrowly missed becoming an experiment with off-hours Respawn or for having a dud of a grenade in his inventory, one could not tell.
The expression on his face made Spy burst into laughter, until he was unable to keep a snort from coming out, and eventually Demo started chuckling, too.
It simply highlighted the fact that one, they could not make love safely here if they ever got to that point, and two, Demo was extremely nervous. Almost adorably so. Obviously Demo had taken Spy here not to bore him to death with demolitions trivia or attempt to circumvent the disabled friendly fire and get both of them killed in a romantically star-crossed manner, but to give himself a boost of confidence by surrounding himself with things he knew and loved. It just happened to be that the things he knew and loved were explosive and capable of killing even their creator.
With his best seductive smile, Spy pulled Demo close, arms draping over his shoulders. “Oh, merci, my hero,” he whispered. “You are so very brave.”
Demo would have disagreed. He would have called himself lucky instead, and hopefully about to get much luckier.
“Come on,” he said, getting to his feet and giving Spy a hand up. “I owe you a drink for making you go through all that.”
“No thank you, but I like my liver,” Spy was about to say, but changed his mind once Demo pulled out a bottle from his bottom drawer. The glass sparkled in the dirty light of the shop, the black and gold label more similar to those reserved for the finest whiskeys.
“I’ve been saving this for a while.” For a special day, for a special someone. “I thought you could appreciate a taste. Tell me if it’s worth the money I paid for it.”
“I would be honored,” Spy murmured at last.
They took the bottle outside, as the workshop had gotten stuffy and smelled of two very frightened men, and sat down side by side on the doorstep of an adjoining barn. Demo quickly popped the cork out and listened with satisfaction to the hiss of carbonation escaping.
“To RED,” he said solemnly, tipping a small trickle into the ground. He drank from the bottle first, pronounced it excellent, then handed the drink to Spy, who stared at it in horror.
As surreptitiously as he could, Spy tried to wipe the slobber from the rim with his gloved hand. Demo was now watching him with an expectant look, and so he brought the bottle up to his lips, taking a deep breath of the cider’s faint aroma. There was just a hint of fruit, apple, he thought, or well, mostly apples. Yet he felt instantly transported years into the past, to a humble farm in Brittany, an autumn weekend spent with his maman’s family in the orchard playing outside as leaves fell around him in a whispering rush, before the war came and they buried fathers in the fields instead of seeds.
He drank deeply, savoring the crisp sweet taste, but already the memory was fading, and reality began settling in. With a sigh, he blinked rapidly at the heat in his eyes, glad for Demo’s steadying presence at his shoulder, a moment in which neither spoke.
Eventually Demo took the bottle back, taking another swallow, and Spy watched him, his heart aching suddenly, his throat full of words his now clumsy tongue could not form. He just watched, and did not refuse when the bottle was handed back to him.
Between the two, they finished the entire amount of Scrumpy much more quickly than common sense would have dictated. The world began spinning crazily on different axes, so Spy had laid down on the floor, legs dangling over the steps, and Demo soon joined him there.
“Do you really think it’s worth it?” Spy asked, his smile wistful.
Demo knew from the faraway look in those blue eyes that Spy did not mean the pricetag of the Scrumpy, and said, “Aye, I guess I did, once. But maybe, maybe not so much anymore.”
They were facing each other, noses almost touching, but far away enough. Spy lowered his gaze, and Demo edged in closer, and it seemed all the alcohol in Scotland could not make him move those last few millimeters. Then he felt cool leather on his cheekbone, Spy’s finger tracing down his jaw, and he looked, really looked, to see Spy staring right at him. “I’m here now,” he seemed to be saying, and so Demo dove in without looking back.
He missed at first, but Spy met him halfway and managed to brush their lips together lightly. It brought a laugh out of both, this awkward attempt, and they tried again. And again. A third time, for good measure. And while someone might have described kissing Spy like running their tongue over a full ashtray, and someone else might describe kissing Demo like sucking on drying vomit, those someones were not drunk as lords and did not have their tastebuds destroyed by years of chain-smoking.
The empty bottle of Scrumpy rolled to the dirt with a thunk, neglected for the time being.
i get so excited whenever i see this story update
oh god this is so good and spy demo is one of my favorite pairings to boot
my only critique would be the first sentence where "casually friendly" kinda threw me off
but otherwise im excited to see what happens next!
" Demo himself was having a blast; several of them, well-timed with wide range and devastating effect."
" Happily ,the grenade did not explode. . .
“…That almost never happens,” Demo said with a nervous laugh. . ."
fucking laughed out loud
Ah, the humour is excellent.
Wonderful as always. Funny and sweet, well-written, with an extremely original pairing. Top notch.
<i>Obviously Demo had taken Spy here not to bore him to death with demolitions trivia or attempt to circumvent the disabled friendly fire and get both of them killed in a romantically star-crossed manner, but to give himself a boost of confidence by surrounding himself with things he knew and loved.</i>
You really should think of a nickname, it's a shame that such a great story is written by "Anonymous."
I have one criticism. One very moving moment in this story has Spy taste delicious scrumpy that reminds him of his childhood, but then you write that he is unable to perceive taste.
...Plus, and this may be just me, reading about sucking on vomit is a huge turn off when reading about two hot men making out.
So, yeah, sorry, I have to say that I loved this whole story <b>except</b> for this line. This line contraddicted the previous moving moment and put me off the kissing.
<i>And while someone might have described kissing Spy like running their tongue over a full ashtray, and someone else might describe kissing Demo like sucking on drying vomit, those someones were not drunk as lords and did not have their tastebuds destroyed by years of chain-smoking.</i>
...Why do I always forget that this site requires square brackets for italics?
“drunk enough to think Spy/Demo is a legitimate pairing and that I can write it.”
God damn it Anon. It is a legitimate pairing and you know it stop toying with us. And by god you can write it.
(No but seriously this update was beautiful. Keep writing this. It is wonderful.)
Also, I love the reactions of the rest of RED team. I don't know why, but they seem realistic without going into the tired old idea that it's 1968 so if anyone's gay holy shit they're an automatic leper.
Well, technically a human tastes food partly through smell; why your food tastes bland when you have a cold. So one can argue that Spy is only smelling the cider, which was what he was doing, and believing he's tasting a lot more than he really can. But that brings up the second point, if he can only taste through smell, he should still be able to taste something totally gag-worthy, especially if Demo hasn't brushed his teeth in a long time. Unless he can't smell either, like there are no nose holes in his mask, or he's holding his breath, or this is just unreliable narration... I don't pretend to know.
I love this.
And I agree with Millia in that you should totally namefag, as they say, that I might better sing your praise from rooftops.
Please come back OP, this fic is glorious :(
[Sorry for the delay, I’ve been writing another fic here, but I’m back now, for better or worse. And yes, I have reposted previous chapters elsewhere on another site, that’s as close as I want to get to identifying myself right now. Hope y’all… enjoy, yes, that’s the word… enjoy… if anyone is still reading, don't know if you'd be after this chapter, haha…]
Things were about to get even more interesting, but luckily did not, as both men were still armed, and gun holsters and hip packs do not lend themselves to actions such as hugging or French kissing, at least not without taking out a chunk of flesh. With a little fumbling, they managed to get the worst offenders off, various weapons and related accoutrements discarded alongside the Scrumpy bottle, but it soon became clear that neither Demo nor Spy were physically capable of stopping long enough to take off anything else.
“Really,” Spy murmured when he could take a breath. “We should move this elsewhere.”
At that moment, Demo was all for a tumble in the hay, such as it were, too unwilling to break off contact with Spy any longer than necessary even to get to a bedroom. “Why not here?” he asked, half teasing and half serious. “Afraid BLU Spy will come sneaking around?”
As Spy looked genuinely concerned about the possibility of being caught on film again, Demo tried to turn his laugh into a cough. “He’s not going to be bothering you, not after what Medic did to him,” he assured him with another peck to the cheek. “He’d be crazy to!” Although that actually meant nothing as BLU Spy did not make very good life decisions on a regular basis.
“I suppose you’re right…” Spy did not return the kiss, though, and Demo frowned, the faintest of misgivings about this entire affair beginning to emerge in the dark and alcohol-sodden corners of his mind.
“…You’re not ashamed to be seen with me, are you, Spy?” It wouldn’t be the first time, he thought unhappily.
“No, no, it’s not that, nothing like that.”
“Then what?” he persisted, when Spy did not elaborate.
“I… It’s nothing.”
In Demo’s ill-remembered experience, nothing usually meant something. Exhaling loudly, he flopped onto his back. Spy was hardly the type of person to chat away about every little matter, but Demo felt disappointed by this reticence anyway, as it only fed into the buried self-doubt that threatened to resurface any moment now. He had to wonder why Spy expressed any interest in him in the first place, out of all of the potential partners he could have wooed; even as isolated as the mercenaries were working in the Badlands, they could still leave for greener pastures anytime they wanted to on their days off. He had done so himself, for a while, and it was obvious Spy already had, or at least that’s what he claimed, and what several members of BLU team would agree to, apparently. And in the midst of his gloom, Demo nursed a sudden little pang of envy that BLU team (and one of BLU team’s parents) got to see more of their Spy in the buff than he had or probably will, and wondered, without a shred of shame, if he could trade another black label Scrumpy to his counterpart for a photo. Or three.
The somberness of his expression, despite his thoughts having derailed into an appallingly inappropriate track by now, seemed to bring Spy out of his silence.
“It’s nothing about you, all right?” Spy snuggled a little closer, tucking his head against Demo’s shoulder. “If you must know, I had something specific in mind…”
Against his better judgment, Demo asked, “Do ye really?”
“But we can hardly accomplish it out here, what with all the splinters and straw and shrapnel and lack of… comfort.”
He nodded, unable to find anything to disagree with so far. “Go on.”
“So I was thinking, perhaps, well, you know…” Putting on a perfect façade of innocence, Spy let his gloved hand trail down over the other mercenary’s belly, stopping just north of where the smiley face would have been taped to his pants, and Demo decided he did not need to go on after all. Not with words, at any rate.
By some miracle, the two of them did not run into anyone as they lurched back to base, and at least Spy remembered to kick the door closed before he and Demo fell onto the undersized bed, trying their best to strip each other while keeping their lips locked. Considering their inebriated state, they managed to get pretty far along; shoes off, vests and belts tossed to the floor. As often as he could, Demo tried to drink in the glorious sight, tried to touch and smell and taste his fill, to let Spy take over all of his senses, though it was not easy to distance himself enough to do so. Spy seemed uncharacteristically overwhelmed, kisses frantically passionate, clinging to Demo as if he would die if he let go.
He would have blamed it on the drink, how his hands moved of their own accord, slipping under the crisp fabric of the white shirt to get at bare skin underneath. But Spy only sighed, sounding pleased, his eyelids fluttering shut as Demo traced at the ridges of his ribs with his fingertips. Too clumsy with eagerness, he ended up ripping a few buttons off in his attempt to reach more, but heard no catty comment regarding the damage to high fashion. Encouraged, Demo took his time exploring, passing his hands over the narrow waist, up the broad chest, marveling at the contrast of his skin against the surprising paleness of Spy’s own body. He pressed a few open-mouthed kisses here and there, earning soft chuckles from Spy, until finally he stopped and rested his cheek against his sternum, to listen to the medically enhanced heartbeat thrum under his touch, strong and sure.
He could live with this. He could.
A sudden loud snore out of nowhere woke them both up from their drowsing, and the two stared at each other, mortified.
“My apologies,” Spy murmured, his flush nearly visible in the dim shifting light, even though Demo doubted it could have been him. “I… usually hold my liquor better than this.”
Usually Demo would be doing the opposite of holding in his liquor by now, more like spewing it out all over himself, so he just grinned. “Hah, you’re doing a sight better than me ‘n my first time. Don’t ye fret, Spy, it’s all right.”
“Are you sure?” Spy shifted under him, and Demo fought back, just barely, a flare of lust at that enticing little wriggle. “I don’t want to be… boring, not when…” He paused, unable to hold back a yawn.
“Well, I like this, too…” Demo mumbled contentedly into his ear. “Like it a lot.”
Spy made a hum of agreement.
Any further conversation was interrupted by the sounds of snoring, quickly followed by the sounds of different snoring.
Demo made the mistake of waking up to Soldier’s trumpeted reveille, and he groaned as loudly as he dared. Even crueler than his headache was the realization that he was waking up alone, with no warm body at his side to assuage the pain. He gripped the crumpled sheets tightly, breathing in the traces of Spy’s cologne that lingered in the pillowcase, the nearly familiar hint of tobacco and amber musk underneath. Wishing would not work, but he wished anyway, to bring a ghost of a man back to life, to pull him into this waking, living world, to have him, solid and real, in his arms once more.
Then Soldier barged in shouting, no respect given to the duty that doors and locks and hinges served in this place, stopping mid-tirade when he realized Demo was in the bed instead of Spy. He leveled a suspicious glare from underneath his helmet towards the misplaced teammate, the gears almost visibly turning in his head.
“What’s going on here?” Soldier barked.
“I believe Demo was sleeping off a hangover before you so crudely woke him up,” Spy said, materializing at Soldier’s shoulder, fully dressed but looking exhausted.
“Why aren’t you two in your rooms?”
Caught off guard, Demo panicked; he would have been unable to think of any coherent reason why even without Spy watching him dispassionately from the doorway. “Thought this was my room,” he ventured, “must have passed out without noticing it wasn’t.”
“And I guess I didn’t lock up after I left last night,” Spy added, since it was patently impossible for anyone to walk into Spy’s room by accident, as he used nearly as many locks on his door as Soldier and Pyro did, combined.
Though this explanation would not have held water at any other time and would have in fact leaked water everywhere, Soldier seemed like he wanted to be satisfied by it. After admonishing them to get to the mess hall ASAP, he finally turned on his heel to harass the rest of the team, and Spy slid by him into his room.
They stared at each other for a few moments, and Spy opened his mouth, as if he wanted to say something. Then he seemed to decide against it, and left without another word.
Demo did not see Spy afterwards, and barely caught glimpses of him the rest of the week. Any time they did run into each other, Spy simply walked away, refusing to meet his eye or answer any questions. If Demo should chase after him, he would cloak and disappear for good, leaving Demo standing by himself, or worse, the object of a pitying gaze from Engineer or a nearly audible “what did I tell you” from Sniper.
This inexplicable coldness from Spy baffled Demo and depressed him, and suddenly his beloved Scrumpy became his enemy, and what used to give him comfort only reminded him of how much he failed. He could only take one sip before the taste reminded him of that one brief, blissful night, and he was driven to break the bottle against a fence and throw it at a hapless BLU. Without Spy, without even Scrumpy, his life now felt as cold and empty as his childhood and well, a lot of his teen years and for that matter, some of his adulthood.
Why, he would wonder during his too-sober moments, what happened, what did he do wrong? Why would Spy, who had been so determined to get his attention before, now ignore him? He couldn’t think of any reason why, nothing that would make sense with what he knew of the other man’s character. But maybe he did not know Spy as well as he thought he did. Maybe in the end, things did make sense; after all, he spent his whole life being ignored, abandoned, betrayed by the people he loved and trusted. He would be a fool to believe things will change now.
As much as Demo tried to ignore these gloomy thoughts, trying to focus on his demolitions work instead, the longing drove him mad, and he would wake up sobbing in the middle of the night, aching for what had slipped through his fingers. By Friday, his misery had reached fever pitch, and everyone else on the team noticed, even if some of them had no clue why. They had done their best to cheer him up the past few days, but he could barely croak out a thanks to their offers of Red Shed and cigars, and he ended up spending the rest of the evenings in his room to avoid their worried glances. (Not that that prevented Soldier at all.)
The final straw came when Scout popped by his room, asking if he was going anywhere that weekend.
“Everyone’s got off, yanno, so me, I was gonna catch a game with Soldier before heading home. Sniper’s off hunting, Engie said he might go to a tech convention, I dunno where Spy went, probably Boston, too.” He scowled a little then, never sure if perhaps BLU Spy was pulling the same thing on him that their Spy was pulling on BLU Scout.
Demo just stared at him with one bloodshot eye.
“Anyway, you should look into it, Demo, you look like you need a break,” Scout continued, jabbering away. “What d’ya say, wanna hang out with me, Ma makes a great apple pie, you ought to try it!”
A little ways down the hall, Pyro watched as Scout ducked a bottle thrown at him.
“Man, what’s gotten into him?! Just trying to be friendly. Weirdo.”
The kid was right, though, he could use a change of scenery. Tempted as he was to track down Spy and shake some answers out of him, Demo knew that would be a waste of time and effort. But the idea had burrowed itself into his brain before the day was through, and while his raw and pulpy heart could not handle a flight to Boston, he liked the thought of going home for the weekend. To his home, to his own mother. That may be just what he needed.
A little while later, Mrs. Degroot, devoted mother and explosives expert in her own right, welcomed home her wayward son. Demo gave her a hug and guided her back to the sitting room, where he listened with half an ear to her persistent concern that he may not be working enough jobs. But after he pressed a cup of hot tea in her frail hands, she quieted, to the point that Demo asked if something was wrong.
She gave him a grim smile, about to mention his dead father again, before she apparently changed her mind. “I know you work hard, Tavish, but did you ever consider having a goal to work for?”
“Well, what were ye planning to do with all of this money?”
Buy more explosives, so he could work more.
“And is that all?”
Maybe some traveling after he retired, to see the world, hunt down its monsters.
His mother frowned, tapping the end of her walking stick against the floor distractedly. “By yourself, eh?”
He thought Sniper might be interested enough to tag along, and Medic would like the idea of getting more material for his experiments.
“What about this Jane girl of yours? Did ye have any plans for her in your future?”
Demo did not answer her right away, and not just because he had no idea who she was referring to at first. “Mum, Jane and I are friends. Were friends. And we… we don’t have a future together.”
“And that German harpy, what of her?”
“It wouldn’t work out, Mum.” For one thing, she was still married.
She nodded, looking as sympathetic as he’d ever seen her. “Is there no one else for my son? No one at all?”
An image of Spy flashed in his mind, and it took everything he had to not break down and cry in front of his mother. “No, there isn’t anyone else.”
Mrs. Degroot sighed, exasperated. “That’s no way to talk, Tavish. Your father didn’t win me over with a lousy attitude like that.”
“You don’t understand.” He hoped she didn’t understand, anyway.
“He’d be appalled, simply appalled, to hear you’ve given up without a fight!”
Demo thought his father would be appalled for different reasons.
“I didn’t raise a coward and a laze-about!” Blind as she was, she managed to prod him right in the shin with her walking stick. “You best go show your lass what she’s been missing! Better yet, forget those witches, who were too blind to see your worth, and find yourself someone who loves you true, and never let them go. Because a Degroot deserves that much, and you are a Degroot. Don’t you ever forget that.”
This was the least demeaning thing she had ever said to him, and Demo stood up from the armchair, inspired.
“You’re absolutely right, Mum.”
“Of course, I’m right! I’m your mother! Now get out there, and make me some grandchildren!”
“I picked out a perfect orphanage for the bairns right here.” She jabbed at a brochure that had been lying on the coffee table that she surely could not read on her own, but looked bleak enough to Demo’s eye.
Much against his will, his disturbed brain conjured up an image of what might result from an unholy combination of his and Spy’s genes, and nearly throwing up in his mouth, he felt grateful beyond measure that no sick mind had yet invented a machine that would allow two men to have a baby together.
Demo endured a little more of his mother’s peculiar brand of encouragement, finding it a good distraction from his melancholy thoughts, then excused himself for the night. He had a lot of work to be doing, if he wanted a chance at happiness.
whoo~! Go Demo!
Spy, you know what? You're an asshole! Gosh, I feel so damn sorry for Demo :/
I hope everything will turn all right for him. Thank you for the update, can't wait to see what'll happen next.
I'm so happy you didn't abandon this fic, I'm really looking forward to the next chapter!
(Hey yeah I am also really really glad you updated this. Also I'm glad that this is actually getting a plot instead of just being porn. Poor Demo. Spy broke his heart.)
<i>"...and he ended up spending the rest of the evenings in his room to avoid their worried glances. (Not that that prevented Soldier at all.)"</i>
And I saw Soldier busting a hole in Demoman's solid wood door, just so that he could gaze worriedly through said hole. He's such a good friend.
[Good news, everybody, I just discovered my first ever fic for the fandom has been recommended on TVtropes for some unknown reason, I guess because it was good-ish, and so to celebrate, here is a chapter that took me like, seven tries and an entire bottle of wine to write. Thanks for reading, as always I hope it was worth the wait, even though there is no hot sweaty mansex yet, sorry.]
Various departments of public safety around the United States had revoked their driver’s licenses, one by one, until Sniper and Engineer were the only ones on RED team officially allowed to operate a vehicle, and Spy resorted to forging his IDs in the unfortunate event he should ever be required to show one. After needing to be bailed out of the county jail for committing multiple felonies in one night (including, but not limited to, driving under the influence, resisting arrest, destruction of a public landmark, and indecent exposure), it was determined that Demo should not be allowed behind the wheel ever again, not even if he magically regained depth perception, not even if he remembered which side of the road to drive on. So out of the kindness of his heart, Engineer volunteered Sniper to drive Demo back to base, and that was how both mercenaries ended up in Sniper’s camper, neck and neck in a thrilling contest to see who could look more uncomfortable.
Demo tried his best to nap, not having had a restful sleep the night before, but the road was rough and his mind too full of scattering thoughts, and he gave up after a while. Every now and then, he glanced over at Sniper, who did not offer any conversation other than, “Mind if I turn on the radio?” and “All right, I’ll turn it off.”
He knew Sniper wanted to tell him something, though, could see it in the grim line of his mouth, the stiffness in his back. After all that had happened within the past weeks, it didn’t take Demo too long to guess what about.
“Looks like ye got something on yer plate Sniper,” Demo ventured as nonchalantly as he could. “Anything I can help ye out with?”
Sniper’s scowl only deepened. “S’nothing.”
“All right, all right.”
Thirty seconds of increasing awkwardness later, there came a sigh from the driver’s side of the truck. “See here, I don’t have anything against Spy, he’s a teammate, and good at what he does, but I wish you’d reconsider this… this thing you have for him. You can’t be serious about him, you just can’t.”
“Ye think I’m making a mistake?” Demo retorted in a sullen flare of anger. “I’ve already made one, remember? Died a hundred thousand times for it, and I die a little more every day. At least, at least he’s wearing the right colors, at least he’s on the right side! At least he tried to care, even if I saw it too late.” He brought his hands up to his face in a hopeless gesture and exhaled through his fingers, until his chest ached from the effort.
“I couldn’t give Spy up now,” Demo mumbled, “not even if I wanted to, ya ken?”
Briefly, Sniper’s grip on the steering wheel tightened, knuckles white against his tan, his lips moved, as if working through what to say. But nothing came out, only a soft and weary, “Yeah. Think I do…”
Neither of them said anything else for a while. Folding his arms, Demo stared out the window, just watching the bleak desert landscape roll by, but his thoughts kept returning to that flash of hurt, of utter wretchedness on Sniper’s face at his lashing out. A memory drifted to the surface of his mind, made murky by alcohol and semi-consciousness, words that had sounded teasing to his sleepy ears now echoing bitter in his recollection. He had assumed the warning was meant for Spy and his affair with BLU Scout’s mother, or maybe even him in regards to Jane, but that didn’t seem to quite explain everything. Mulling over all this, Demo began to wonder if perhaps what he had lost with his rivalry became something Sniper gained with his own feud…
Nothing about that made any sense, so he knew it had to be true.
“Och, I didn’t mean to yell,” Demo said at last. “I never wanted to make another miserable over me own problems, not like this, but it looks as if that’s all I’ve been doing lately.” He thought of his disappointed mother, his worried teammates, how he had been letting everyone down, himself included, and didn’t even notice. “I’m sorry for that, I am.”
Sniper didn’t answer him at first, though eventually he gave a tight nod. “Suppose I should apologize myself. Should have put a little more faith in you, and Spy, too, instead of… acting unprofessional, and petty. Sorry.”
“I don’t know I wouldn’t do the same thing myself, but with less piss.”
“Yeah, well, see, I had overstock, needed using up.”
Even though he did not know the whole story with Sniper, could not be sure Sniper would tell him anything, Demo made the offer anyway. “If ye ever want someone to talk to, Sniper, about anything, just drop by anytime, I’ll be there. And if I’m not, Scrumpy will be.”
“I… uhh, appreciate it, mate.”
“I mean it, think I’m overstocked, too.”
They shared a chuckle at that, and the mood lightened considerably into a comfortable silence between friends. Before he knew it, the truck rolled to a stop and Sniper was turning off the engine. They were back, in that weather-beaten complex of red-painted barns and silos they called home.
With a smile cracking at the edges of his gruff expression, Sniper said, “You know, I’ve never seen you as happy as when the both of you were mooning over each other, or at least, not in a long time. I think you’re crazy, but… I think he’s just as crazy for you.”
This was so unusual coming from Sniper, Demo had to stop taking out his bags to gape at him.
“A coupla jars of piss won’t keep the bastard away for long. He’ll come lurking around soon enough, so I hope you’re ready when he does.”
Not only that, Sniper was telling him, plain as he could, that he still had a chance to win Spy back. Overwhelmed by emotion, Demo clasped the other man by the hand and gave it a quick squeeze. “Thanks, Sniper. That means a lot to me, coming from you.”
“Didn’t do anything worth thanking,” Sniper grumbled good-naturedly. “Just… don’t tell Spy I said anything nice about him.”
“He wouldn’t believe me if I did tell him,” Demo said, with a laugh. “Thanks again, and the offer’s still there, if ye need it.”
Sniper shook his head. “Nah, don’t worry about me, I’ll be fine. You go and get him, mate, and I’ll cover for you if anyone wants to cause trouble.” Clapping Demo on the shoulder, he added, “Last I heard, he was gonna pick up Soldier and Scout from the bus stop, should be back soon.”
All of Demo’s resolve, fueled by his mother’s words and stoked by Sniper’s reassurance, instantly extinguished itself at this revelation, for Spy always returned in a horrifically black mood after spending any amount of time with Soldier and Scout. “Maybe I should talk to him later…”
“You should talk to him now, while he’s still stunned from the noise, before he thinks of an excuse to run away,” Sniper replied, as dead serious as if he were sharing techniques on how to hunt down a skittish and elusive bush creature.
Demo suspected that would only irritate him further, but he could not communicate anything other than a noncommittal shrug before Engineer and Pyro jogged out from the base to meet them.
“How you boys doing?” Engineer called out.
“As well as could be, Engie. Aren’t we, Demo?”
“Oh aye, that we are…” Hefting the duffel bag over his shoulder, Demo waved at his teammates and started making his way back to their sleeping quarters. “Well, sure is good to be back, but I’ll just be on me way now…”
Engineer gave a quick sideways glance to Sniper, who nodded.
“Hold on, Demo, before you go,” Engineer told him, mechanical hand clasping him by the elbow, firmly, politely. “Soldier’ll be wanting to do role call, so we ought to head that way first.”
Demo sighed. It looked like he had no choice but to follow their lead to the makeshift garage.
Heavy and Medic were already present, the two going through a crate of supplies delivered from Mann Co. Parked just outside the shed that served as the garage was Spy’s Italian convertible, Soldier and Scout retrieving their things from the tiny trunk, Spy rubbing at his eyes with one hand, obviously wondering how he got suckered into driving the two noisiest and most obnoxious teammates home, every single time. At least they made it back in one piece and did not get themselves locked up in the county jail and Demo couldn’t help sag a little in relief.
He waited patiently as the group milled around, going through Soldier’s mandatory role call, and tried to not look too antsy as the other men (and whatever Pyro was) lingered by the doorway into the base, apparently chatting, or more likely, stalling. The weight of the gift he had made for Spy, tucked at the bottom of his bag, pulled at his shoulders as precious minutes slipped by, and out of desperation, he began praying for his teammates to just go away and leave them alone.
But Spy had not looked in his direction once, occupying himself with pulling out a multitude of shopping bags from his car, a realistic looking baguette sticking out of one of them. Deflated by this unpromising turn of events, Demo hung back even after the teammates began to trickle into base, wracked with doubt and indecision.
“He looks busy, I’ll just… check back some other time,” Demo thought, and face burning, he tried to sneak away.
As soon as he turned to head back, he felt a chill wind blow, and the world was suddenly plunged into darkness, as though a shroud had been drawn over the sun. Looking up, Demo watched black thunderclouds gather swiftly overhead, lightning arcing menacingly at their swollen underbellies in crackling spears and starbursts. The howling wind brought along babbling murmurs in devilish tongues, and the base siren started wailing, hollow and eerie. In a strangled voice, he tried to call out to Spy, to tell him to hurry up and get inside, but his voice was whipped out of his throat by a merciless gust.
Spy did not seem to hear him, did not seem to notice anything was wrong, though the wind tugged at his fedora, tipping a shopping bag over as he attempted to cover the convertible in a useless bid to keep the ever-present dust out.
It must be the delirium again, Demo realized in horror, like that one time after the war when Medic had forced him off Scrumpy in what turned out to be a disastrous attempt at an intervention - like that, but a hundred times worse. Back then he could not tell what was real or what was not; now he could tell, and it made no difference.
His limbs felt frozen solid, too heavy to move, but move he must, or be lost in madness forever, and lose Spy to the hellish nightmares that surely awaited them both.
Gathering every ounce of strength, Demo put one foot before the other, struggling as if he were walking under hundreds of feet of ocean. At least he was making progress, slowly but surely, and with each step he took, the weight on his shoulders seemed to lift, the howling winds seemed to subside. By the time he made it to Spy, he could even muster a weak “Hey, Spy.”
Loaded down with shopping bags and boxes, Spy barely flicked his eyes at him before looking stubbornly away, and yet to Demo, the sun began to peek through the evil clouds.
Wordlessly, Demo grinned and offered a helping arm, all brawny and ready to hold as many purchases as needed. Spy rolled his eyes, but finally relented, unloading half of his bags to Demo in silence. Their fingers brushed once or twice in the process; he could have sworn he felt something spark in the air between them, and that Spy felt it, too.
The obscene mumbling voices paused, almost questioning, and Demo took advantage of their silence to say, “I like your hat.”
“Thank you,” Spy murmured, after the slightest hesitation. He tried to duck his head but managed to utterly fail in hiding the blush beginning to creep beyond the borders of his mask. Not that anyone could blame him, it was a big deal to be complimented on one’s hat, after all. “I got it from the same place you get your hats.”
Then as suddenly as it began, the unnatural storm retreated, until it became nothing more than a brisk breeze, smelling of ozone and the promise of desert rain. Pyro, who had been watching from the doorway, snuffled sadly to see the pretty rainbows disappear, but it dutifully motioned Demo and Spy to come inside, before the food got all cold and eaten by Scout.
Wonderful update! I'm glad you decided to continue this.
Holy shit anon. Thought this story was gone, had given up all hope, and then...
Glad you're back. Do continue, please.
This certainly was an interesting update to read. The best pick-up line at the Fortress: "I like your hat"
I am absolutely in love.