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Butterfly Knife (175)

1 .

And now for something completely different, a.k.a. a story in which there is no gay porn! This will be kinda long, and I'm not sure where I'm going with it, but hopefully it'll be good. Posted here because I'm planning some pretty horrific scenes later.

----------------------------------------

The land outside the window of the train was dusty and red. Quite appropriate, in fact, considering their destination. They were travelling through the American mid-west somewhere, on the way to a desert base that was largely cut off from the outside world. Spy was alone on the train, and contemplating a fate that could very possibly be worse than death.

The Administrator had made it clear that there were no other options; at least, none worth considering for any length of time. It was either work for RED, in their not-so-secret war, or serve several life sentences in a maximum security prison. Spy stared moodily at the dossier lying on the next seat, which detailed the base operations and mission particulars, and lit another cigarette. Truth be told, the only reason she had taken them up on their offer was because prison would be unimaginably boring.

What was she going to, however? They had not been entirely clear, and the intel she had received was partially censored. She was going to fight – her predecessor had retired, apparently – and she would be expected to support the current team in their mission to oust the BLU mercenaries who were encroaching on the RED's territory. Additional weapons and instructions would be provided when she arrived.

She pulled out her balisong knife and began flicking it backwards and forwards. The quiet clicking sound was soothing, even over the rumble of the engine. The dossier seemed to suggest that the RED mercenaries died on a regular basis, but this fact was treated as being largely passé. That was suspicious, and smacked of medical experiments the like of which she had heard about during the Nazi occupation. Being sent into a meat grinder was not part of the deal, and she was prepared to get very messy if it looked like her own death was imminent. Spy hated being used, and she reacted... badly... to being lied to.

The sweet smell of the herbal smoke helped her relax. It reminded her of Paris, and the fun she had had there. Reassuring, in a way. Her skills had kept her alive when rest of her resistance cell died to the Germans' bullets; she would stay alive here, too. There would be a period of adjustment, of course, both for her and her male teammates, but that concern was secondary to the thought of what exactly was expected of her on the battlefield. It had crossed her mind that she might be walking into a trap, and her fate would be that of a fuck-toy for the other mercenaries... Well. The Nazis had tried that too, and none of them were alive to regret it now.

She returned to staring out the window, and began to hum the Ode to Joy under her breath.

2 .

...... Just waitin' for more, hurp durp.

3 .

Just curious, is there respawn here?

4 .

>There is no gay porn. I am sad.
>The main character is female. Oh. Well, straight porn would be perfectly acceptable, too. And so far I'm liking your Spy. You are doing a fine job of showing her personality rather than telling us what she is like, which is all the more impressive given that she doesn't yet have much to interact with here. I look forward to reading more, when you post it.

5 .

I like this Nazi-threshing Spy, and I think I'll enjoy reading about what she does next.

6 .

The train pulled into a deserted, almost ramshackle station nearly an hour later. Spy looked out at the battered wooden buildings, and had to wonder where RED was spending its money if not on maintenance. She also wondered if she would have to find her way into the base proper on her own. Caution would be the best course of action, for now.

She pulled her hood up and slipped her sunglasses back on to guard against the bright desert sun. She had brought very little; a single small suitcase of spare clothes and extra cigarettes. Nothing personally identifiable, as per the Administrator's orders, although Spy had made a habit of discarding any such items years ago. Even the horrible maroon suits had been supplied by the company. The only thing she owned, in fact, was her beloved balisong, and it was identical to thousands of other similar knives.

It was tucked into her sleeve, ready to be produced at a moment's notice. The weight and feel of the warm metal did much for her sense of security.

Spy left the dossier. Its contents were no longer useful, now that she had arrived; whatever preparation it could provide for her was too late now. She mentally ran through the rules it described as she stepped off the train: obey all instructions, respond only to your job title, do not attempt to communicate with BLU. There were others, such as the rules regarding laundry, but those were unimportant.

The sound of voices reached her ears from the other end of the platform. Spy put down her suitcase, and turned her head to listen more closely. Two of them, very clearly male, both American but from different areas. One had a deeper, angrier voice than the nasal whine of the other. She cracked her knuckles reflectively, feeling herself slipping into the instincts of combat. This was a leap into unknown territory, and the first impression would likely determine her place here. She had to make sure it was a place of some power.

The two men that appeared were bickering amongst themselves at first. One was small, skinny, and in his early twenties at the most. He looked a little like the greenhorn GI's she had encountered in the Allied push after V-Day; barely more than children, all bravado and tough talk covering up the fear of their first war. Not a fighter, if she was any judge, and not only because he was wearing running shoes and a loose vest.

The other was taller and broader, and had the rigid military bearing of a sergeant. He was certainly dressed like one, although that bright red uniform was a huge mistake for camouflage in this dusty environment. His helmet slipped down over his eyes, and unlike the kid, he was carrying a shotgun. Probably ex-regular Army, but not high rank. The ones who were used to being obeyed carried themselves with authority, not barely contained rage.

She sized them up, planned three different ways of disabling them if she had to, and one way of killing them outright. It might not come to that, of course, but there was no reason not to take precautions.

The skinny one did a double-take when he saw her, and grinned lewdly. “Oh man, they sent us a chick! Is it Christmas or what?” He strutted up to her, chest puffed out with the force of his attempted machismo.

The older one just sneered at her as he followed. “This had better be some kind of goddamn joke by HQ...”

“Ah shaddup, Solly, you wanna look a gift horse in the mouth?”

Spy rolled her eyes. Well, if that was how they wanted to play it, she might as well get started. Her balisong slid into her hand behind her back, and she flicked it open. No need to kill them yet. A show of force could be enough.

The kid was actually going to try his luck. Her mouth twisted in contempt as he sidled up to her. “Heeeeyy, baby, I bet you're wondering -”

She kneed him in the crotch. He let out a faint squeak and fell over backwards as she brought her knife up to the other man, holding the point of the blade at his neck. “I am not 'baby', or 'chick' or any other silly pet name,” she said quietly. “I am Spy, and I am very, very good at killing people. You should remember that, if we are to be working together.”

The kid couldn't respond, other than by groaning pitifully. The military man was another matter. The usual reaction to having a blade pressed to one's throat was to freeze in fear, but he only looked more irritated. Spy turned her full attention to him. The helmet had tipped back now, revealing cold, hard blue eyes. “Put your butter knife away,” he growled.

She quickly revised her estimation of him. “And if I do not, Monsieur? What will you do?” She leaned closer, and felt pressure on her stomach.

“I'll shoot you and let you bleed to death,” he said, the barrel of the shotgun pressed against her for emphasis. “You could cut my throat, but I'll just respawn, and you'll be dead for good.”

Ah, he was no novice. She hadn't noticed him bringing the gun to bear on her. The tension thickened in the air around them as she contemplated this stalemate. He was certainly not bluffing; he had the look of a killer, of someone who would attack first and be happy that no one could answer questions later, because they would all be dead. Someone, in fact, who had no problem shooting a woman he had never met before, even if it meant he would die too.

Spy smiled, and lowered her knife. He in turn removed the shotgun and let it rest on his shoulder; they both relaxed, slowly and cautiously. “I like you,” she said, all animosity forgotten. “What is your name?”

“You may address me as Soldier, or sir. That little pussy rolling around on the ground is Scout.” He saluted vigorously, then pursed his lips, seemingly thinking. “Hmph. You might be useful after all.”

“I am sure you will find my skills helpful.” She flicked the knife closed and tucked it back into her sleeve, then picked up her suitcase. Soldier pulled Scout to his feet, and got him stumbling back along the platform with only a few grumbled curses. She followed, feeling rather more optimistic.

“Explain this 'respawn' to me, s'il vous plait,” she said as she walked beside him.

“Means you don't die in battle. That's it.”

She frowned, trying to understand how that could possibly work. “How -”

“I don't know. You can ask Engineer if you're so goddamn curious,” he snapped. “We scan you into the system, Frenchie, and from that point on, you do your job even if you're killed in the line of duty. You just wake up in the base and get back into the fight A-S-A-P.”

He turned to shake a finger under her nose threateningly. “I expect to see you giving 110% on the field of honor – you got that, maggot?” he snarled. “I don't know what the hell you did back in the land of baguettes, but around here, we fight like men, and if you want a place on this team, you damn well better do the same!”

He stomped away. Spy gave a lazy salute to his retreating back. “Sir, yes, sir,” she chuckled. Same shit, different war.

7 .

She doesn't fight like a man, she fights like a woman. Be afraid, Solly, be very afraid.

8 .

... you know, I was kinda doubtful, but as my mother always said: you should always trust the doctor.

9 .

I'm liking this more and more. Has your characterization always been this good? Seriously, this is top-notch.

10 .

Mmmm, femme fortress done right. I like.

11 .

It would be a little harsh to call the base run-down, but everything was certainly worn. It was disguised as a sawmill, on the outside; all chain link fences and battered wooden sheds that could possibly fool a blind, deaf cripple with a concussion. Spy was unimpressed, to say the least.

She followed Soldier as he shoved Scout in front of him into the base proper. They walked in through two sets of doors, and the architecture abruptly changed to something more modern and clean as they descended into the guts of what appeared to be a missile silo, if the ticking computers were any indication. Spy looked in through reinforced glass windows as they passed; much of the machinery was covered in dust, even though it seemed functional.

“Who maintains this equipment?” she asked. Soldier snorted, and didn't appear to care enough to answer. Scout, however, had recovered enough to talk, even if he was still hunched over and wincing.

“No one does, it's all automatic or some shit,” he said, then hissed in pain and stumbled again. “Jesus, lady, where did you learn to fight?”

“Paris, in 1940,” she said simply.

He looked confused, but it seemed that Soldier knew the reference. “So you were around when the Nazis rolled in?” he sneered.

Spy felt a flare of anger. She immediately reached for her cigarettes again; they helped to keep her temper under control. Very useful, for a covert agent. She could never find out what went into the particular herbal mix of her preferred brand – there was no nicotine, of that much she was sure – but the smell soothed her nerves and kept her head clear.

“I was present at l'Arc de Triomphe when the Germans marched through,” she said distantly. “I pretended I was a landscape artist who was sketching nearby, but I was secretly taking notes of the number and composition of their forces. I made my first kill a week later.” She lit the cigarette and blew a stream of smoke at him. “You ask if I was there when my country rolled over like a beaten dog and accepted the rule of fascism? Oui, I was. But I fought back, Monsieur. Many of us did.”

He still looked contemptuous, but Soldier turned away and said nothing more. She felt a little pleased at having shut him up at least.

They passed through a pair of double doors with 'Living Quarters' printed above them. Soldier immediately turned to a door with a single round window, and shoved it open. It looked like a canteen style kitchen, and a few more male voices were audible within. Scout followed him in. Spy set her shoulders, touched the hidden blade in her sleeve to make sure she could draw it in a heartbeat, and stepped inside.

They were all sitting around the long table in the middle of the room, and staring at her with a mixture of confusion and surprise. She automatically began to examine each one in turn, doing the mental arithmetic of whether she could kill them all at the same time if they decided to threaten her.

The bald one was a colossus of a man, with fists the size of her head. He was probably strong enough to break her in half, but such size and strength did not come without a price – he was probably slower than her. Probably.

The older man with the white coat sitting next to him had the bearing of nobility, of someone not used to direct combat. A communications specialist, perhaps. She filed him under 'possibly not a threat'.

The black man with the eye patch was visibly drunk. She could smell the booze from where she was standing, in fact, and it was rancid stuff to her more refined palate. Drunk men were easy targets.

The man sitting across the table from him was wearing overalls, and had a smudge of oil on his chin and goggles pushed up onto his forehead. A mechanic of some kind; probably the Engineer that Soldier had referred to. He was shorter than her, and quite stocky.

The tall, lanky one with the yellow sunglasses was dressed like a fisherman. He didn't look particularly dangerous, but he was staring at her with a very... hungry look on his face. She knew that look, and she didn't like it. She decided that he would get her blade in his throat first.

The last one was a short, pudgy figure in a full chemical hazard suit, complete with a rubber gasmask and thick gloves. She couldn't tell offhand if it was a man or a woman, but that tilt of the head suggested that they were more curious than surprised. That one, perhaps, she would not kill without taking off the mask first.

Hm. If they all rushed her at the same time, she could probably kill the first two. Spy wasn't fond of those odds. Still, what a strange collection of mercenaries, rather unlike what she was expecting. She took another drag of her cigarette, and watched to see what they would do.

Soldier clapped a hand on her shoulder. “LISTEN UP, MAGGOTS! This is our new Spy!” he shouted. “She will be taking care of all espionage-related activities! YOU WILL ACCEPT HER AS PART OF THE TEAM AND AID HER IF REQUIRED! THAT IS AN ORDER!” He pointed at them all. “You will now introduce yourselves!”

Silence descended for a moment, as they stared at each other. The mechanic broke it by clearing his throat.

“Uh... howdy, I guess,” he said, looking a little sheepish. “I'm Engineer. I do the buildin' an' most of the technical stuff 'round here.” The chemsuit-clad one made some muffled noises that she couldn't understand, and he added, “That there is Pyro. He says he's pleased to meet ya.”

The hulk stood up, and offered her one meaty hand. He seemed pleasant enough... she shook it gingerly, and his grip was surprisingly gentle. “I am Heavy Weapons guy,” he said. “Everyone calls Heavy, because is easier. Leetle Spy is welcome to team.”

A Russian, it seemed. She didn't like being called little, but it was not said with any kind of derogatory tone. She let it go for now.

The older man only nodded at her. “I am ze Medic. You may come to me if you are hurt, and I vill tend to your vounds.”

Spy stiffened. “You are German,” she said flatly, as if it were an accusation.

“Ja, I am, Fraulein. Is zis a problem?”

Yes, this was a problem. She had never been able to stop hating them. Oh, they could say what they liked now, but as far as Spy was concerned, they were just as complicit because they had said and done nothing when the Nazis had destroyed most of Europe. She wasn't prepared to forgive.

Soldier noticed her reaction. “He ain't a Nazi, as far as we know,” he said reluctantly. “Otherwise he wouldn't be here.”

The Medic spluttered in anger. “For ze last time, I vas stuck in Geneva during ze var!” he shouted, banging the table for emphasis. “I spent all my time treating refugees! I VAS NOT A PART OF ANYZING ZHEY DID!”

Heavy sat down, and patted his arm. “Is okay, Doktor, we are knowing. Have coffee, da?” He shoved a cup at the other man, who took it in a huff.

The tall man tipped his hat at her, and smiled broadly. That look was still irritating her. “Name's Sniper,” he said. “It'll be nice to have a sheila about the place. If ya need anything, my camper's usually parked out back. All private like, if ya know wot I mean.”

And there was that grin again, sizing her up as if she were a piece of meat on offer. She despised it. Many men had looked at her the same way, and every time she felt like gutting them on the spot and laughing as they bled to death. That was not an ideal solution, however, especially as he was technically on her side. There were other ways to handle it.

She sauntered up to him, smiling in a way that she hoped was a little playful. “Oh? And what could you possibly offer me that would require privacy, Monsieur?” she purred. She trailed one hand across his shoulder and stroked the hair on the back of his neck. He looked up at her from where he was sitting, and reached out to touch her hip.

“Weeeell, I'm sure if ya wanna talk about it, I can -”

She gripped his hair painfully and wrenched his head back, her smile turning into a vicious snarl. It was always so pathetically easy. She whipped the cigarette from her mouth and crushed the lit end against his cheek, savouring the sizzle and his sudden shocked scream.

“AAAAAUGGGHH GOD!” He toppled over backwards and hit the floor with a thud, both hands covering his burned cheek. She pressed one heel into his crotch and revealed her knife with a suitably impressive flourish. The brief look of confused fear in his eyes was gratifying on many levels.

“Do you want to know what happened to my last lover?” she said in the same sultry voice. “It is quite an interesting story, but to 'cut it short' as you say, I killed him slowly, and I enjoyed every minute of it.”

She kicked him in the stomach this time, and heard the wheezing huff as the breath was knocked out of him. Spy then turned her attention to the rest of the team – they were staring at her in shock, and the Engineer even looked afraid. She slammed her knife into the table for emphasis, planted both hands on it, and leaned forward.

“Any of you who think to take liberties with my person had better have a deathwish,” she snarled. “I will not hesitate to cut you into little pieces if you dare to threaten me, and you will not be the first who has tried. Do you understand?”

They all nodded to some degree except for the black cyclops, who was now face down on the table and snoring softly. She pulled her knife out of the wood, and pointed it at Medic.

“You. If you call me Fraulein again, I will cut your throat in your sleep.” She had heard that term far too often, and it would become very difficult to restrain herself from killing him if he persisted in using it. Medic didn't respond as she turned away and flicked her knife closed. She desperately needed another cigarette now, but it could wait until she was alone.

Sniper crawled back into his seat, coughing and holding his face. “Yer fucking crazy,” he groaned. Spy rolled her eyes at him behind her sunglasses, as Medic turned his chin and examined the burn.

“Were you expecting a sane woman to be sent into battle to fight alongside eight men?” she said nastily. She poked Soldier in the arm – he had simply been watching up to this point, and he hadn't interfered. Almost as if he were waiting to see how she handled it. “Show me my equipment and my room.”

“I'll do it,” Engineer said hastily. “Gotta get ya scanned into Respawn too, an' I got the Spy gadgets in my workshop. We'll introduce ya to Demo later.”

He picked up her forgotten suitcase, and held the door open for her. Her knife vanished back into her sleeve as she walked out. Some of the tension that she hadn't noticed in her chest began to unwind, slowly. She was over the first hurdle at least; there would hopefully be no more suggestive looks, and she could breathe a little easier around them. The next step – that of getting their respect – would be more difficult, but in the meantime, she would settle for their fear.

12 .

Nothing better than to get over the time until MTM.

I just can pat your ass and encoruage you to keep going, because m english is to poor to give critic to this :L

13 .

No crit because 1) I'm terrible at it 2) I love this way too much to see any flaws, anyhow. Gotta love dat snoipah. No, seriously. I don't know what made me love that interaction as much as I did, but I did.

14 .

>“Were you expecting a sane woman to be sent into battle to fight alongside eight men?”
Awwww hell yeah sister.

15 .

You know, usually I'm not all that into anything with Fem characters involved, but I'm quite liking this. Your characterization is excellent, and I can't wait to see where this goes.

16 .

This is so fucking awesome I can't even tell you. I love it. I love her. I feel a little bad for Medic, who meant no harm. I like Engineer's slight chivalry there at the end, holding the door for her. He's plenty tough, but also patient and friendly. I loved Pyro's quiet curiosity. I love the historical references that make everything so believable.
Bah, this just gets better and better.

17 .

The disguise kit was a waste of time, as far as she was concerned. Engineer could say what he liked about how well it worked, but Spy had a lot of experience with good disguises and there was no way she could fool the BLUs by pretending to be one of them. The illusion might be perfect, but she could not move like a man. She kept it on sufferance, and stored her cigarettes in it.

The cloaking device, now, that was another matter. It turned her into a ghost; gave her a measure of invisibility that would have let her wreck havoc if she had had it during the war. It had some trouble while she moved, but it recharged when she was still. Again, Engineer had tried to explain how it worked, and most of it had gone over her head, but the technical rambling seemed to help him feel more at ease in her presence.

He was a gentleman, more or less, and in her mind, that marked him as an easy target. She had to tell him several times to just call her Spy, instead of 'ma'am', and it took a brief flash of her knife to finally get the message across. Still, he wasn't hostile; just a product of a stilted upbringing that made him handle all women like precious little flowers. It could be worse.

While waiting outside the gate to the battleground, she reflected on how it certainly was worse for a few of the others. Sniper and Scout barely acknowledged her at all, and they still stared at her ass when they thought she wasn't looking. The black man, Demo, had gotten stabbed when he tried to grab her – apparently he thought she was a figment of his drunken imagination, and from the way he openly leered at her, he wasn't entirely convinced she was real at all.

The big Russian was accepting, up to a point, but her threatening his German friend hadn't done her any favors. Medic was ignoring her entirely. Pyro was surprisingly friendly, for all that she couldn't understand a word he said through the mask – he communicated in gestures, tapped her arm to get her attention. She wasn't used to such benign interest.

And then there was Soldier.

She glanced at him, standing beside the gate and getting increasingly fidgety. He had his shotgun, an enormous rocket launcher, and a military entrenching tool for some reason. He'd been very animated during the morning briefing; she'd tuned him out, for the most part, and tried to memorize the battle maps on the wall until he thumped her shoulder and shouted in her ear.

“You'd better be paying some goddamn attention, Frenchie, because we aim to win this round and if you disappoint me I'LL BE SENDING YOU BACK TO HQ IN A BOX! AND IN DISGRACE! BUT MOSTLY IN A BOX!”

That had sparked a huge argument. She was completely new, after all, and knowing her way around would be infinitely more important than listening to him trying to give a pep talk. It degenerated until she was swearing at him in French and he was spitting with rage; Pyro and Heavy separated them before it turned bloody, and not a moment too soon. Spy was tempted to think that he was completely insane, but that would mean she was probably just as crazy for trying to fight him.

He didn't stare at her. He didn't make comments, or ignore her. He treated her like she wasn't a woman at all, in fact. It was simply strange; so outside her experience that Spy didn't quite know how to handle it yet, except to respond in kind when he got aggressive. The others were easy to understand, and largely easy to manipulate, but Soldier seemed to defy any categorization. Whether this would be a problem or not, she couldn't say.

The mysterious Announcer called the start of the battle in sixty seconds. She didn't understand the concept of timed warfare, but again, Engineer had tried to explain. Rather than fight with a large, expensive army, both RED and BLU had come to the agreement that disputes would be settled with a series of wargames – in this case, they had to control a series of points across the battlefield. Whoever won the most rounds, and that number seemed to be arbitrary, would win the overall fight. It was an utterly bizarre way of going about it, but functionally it appeared to be much like an actual war, except in miniature and with the same opponents from day to day.

She didn't question it. There wasn't really any point. The others were here because it paid excessively well, not because they didn't have a choice. She would leave the questioning up to them, and focus on killing.

“MISSION BEGINS IN TEN SECONDS.”

Spy flicked her knife out, and spun it skillfully for a second. It would be easy to get a little depressed about her situation, but really, it wasn't all bad. Free room and board, and a hopefully endless supply of people to stab, would keep her more or less content for a while. She thought for a moment – it had been six months and eighteen days since she had last killed someone, and that was really too long.

She smiled, and began to hum the Toreador song from one of her favorite operas.

18 .

Nothing really to say 'cept how much I love this.

19 .

While I have definitely been enjoying this more than I would have thought, still I feel inclined to specify, "I like where this is going".

And I still feel bad for Medic. lol

20 .

I, uh... would it be possible to maybe sort of get a deliciously rough BLU Spy/RED Spy? Like, a sort of competitive, last one standing thing (in combat or in..."combat"), maybe with a hint of "I'm the one seducing, not being seduced"? Bonus points of Love Foorever if it's right under the noses of a teammate/several teammates, and a cookie if they're still stabbing away the rest of the time ...and maybe during the "truce(s?)" if you want to get frisky with knifeplay.

21 .

NOOOO. I didn't mean to post that in THIS thread you darned phone! NO! Ack! Ignore that please! How do I delete my shaaaame?!

22 .

Well, zis is awkward! Do we get an admin or something?

Great story, by the way. Wouldn't have read it if it wasn't accidentally bumped, lol.

23 .

madame, c´est très très bon.

i really enjoyed reading this, hoping for soon continuation.

24 .

Ask and ye shall receive.

-------------------------------------

Good grief, this was not the kind of warfare she was used to. In her time in Paris, Spy had spent weeks, sometimes months, in planning and executing an ambush or strategy; gathering intel, making note of names, locations, and faces, and laying the groundwork for a brief, frenzied attack. Much of it was ordered even if it was uncertain. This ridiculous fighting – this was nothing short of chaos.

There were explosions, screams and the whine of bullets everywhere, and they hadn't stopped since the gate had opened in the morning. The team ranged across the battlefield, killing and being killed almost at random as they tried to drive the BLU forces away from the points. There were tactics, of a sort, but they changed from second to second as the teams danced around each other.

She had cloaked and moved through the melee like a wraith, looking for some kind of rhyme or reason to the madness. She stayed within earshot of Soldier, for the most part, shadowing him as he rocket-jumped like a lunatic around the battlefield. He certainly fought with conviction if not common sense, and it gave her an opportunity to see how the combat lines shifted and broke with each death. Besides, her instinct to observe from the shadows could not be easily denied. She stayed out of the fight, for now.

The right place at the right time; that was her motto, during the war. That was what it all built up to. Every shred of intel she could get, every plan; it had one aim, and that was to get her into the right place at the right time, where a few careful actions could break the back of the Nazis' twisted machinations. She didn't always succeed, but when she did, the results were deliciously lethal. This battlefield, however, was different, and the requirements of the fight went against everything she knew. It would take time for her to adjust, and to be a useful member of the team.

She watched Soldier and Scout peering around the corner of a building. Something interesting, perhaps? She moved closer, until she was only a few feet behind them, and heard the sound of beeping. That meant machinery, and out here, that meant an Engineer.

Scout bounced nervously on the balls of his feet, his eyes darting every which way. “Fuck it, Solly, how we gonna get that sentry?” he said hoarsely. “We need Heavy 'n' the Doc with an Ubercharge, or we're gonna eat the business end of about a million missiles!”

Soldier sniffed in derision. “They're keeping those BLU bastards busy over by the second point, and we DON'T need 'em, private, so you are going to man up and start thinking like a fighter or I'll shove you down that damn thing's barrels.” He shouldered his rocket launcher, and reloaded it with a decisive click. “Isn't that right, Spy?” he said with a sneer.

Her lips curled in annoyance. Her skills were clearly getting rusty if he had heard her approach. Spy decloaked, causing Scout to stumble backwards in surprise. “Holy motherfucking shit, I thought he was kidding!” he said, staring at her in horror.

She glared at him for a moment, then turned her attention to Soldier. “You have something in mind, Monsieur?”

“Yeah, I do, Frenchie.” He jabbed her in the chest with one finger for emphasis, making her scowl with anger. “You get the hell out there and disable the sentry and the Engineer so we can take this point.”

“Oui, and how do you propose I do that? With harsh language? I know nothing of mechanical gun turrets.”

His eyes were visible for a moment under his helmet, and they gleamed with barely contained rage. “Well, ex-CUSE me, but I was under the impression that every member of this goddamn team was armed and ready for action, including the one responsible for espionage-related counter-measures! Where the hell is your sapper, private?!”

Ah. Engineer had handed a little device to her that he called the sapper this morning, but he had been called away before explaining what it did. Spy pulled it out of her jacket. “You mean this thing? I was not instructed in its use.”

Soldier snarled at her, clearly unimpressed. “I'll say this slowly so you can follow along – the SAPPER goes on the SENTRY, and your KNIFE goes in the goddamn ENGINEER! YOU GOT THAT, MAGGOT?”

“Stupid, ignorant Yankee, if you insist on shouting at me all the time, I will just start IGNORING YOU!” She drew a deep breath, ready to spew a litany of insults at the man who looked like he was ready to punch her in the face, before Scout cut in.

“Would you two fucking stop this shit until we're not in danger of getting turned into swiss cheese?!” he hissed. “We need a plan or something right now!”

She and Soldier both stared murderously at him for a moment, making him shrink away fearfully. Soldier looked back at her, his mouth set in a hard, cold line. The child was right, of course – this probably wasn't the time to argue. “We got a plan,” he growled, glaring at her. “I just told you what it is.”

Spy resisted the urge to stab him in the face with some difficulty. He expected her to charge in and probably get killed uselessly, because this was her first day and her first time using unfamiliar tools, and if it were not a waste of effort, she would dearly like to cut his throat and go back to the base for coffee. He was a vicious, angry, despicable, power mongering bastard who -

No, wait. Soldier expected her to be a Spy. He didn't question whether she could do it, and she was long used to her abilities being put on trial. For all his frankly terrible attitude, he seemed to believe in her so strongly that the fact that she was a woman, and therefore weak, didn't even cross his mind. There was something... weirdly nice about that. It made her want to avoid disappointing him.

She examined the sapper, then quickly peeked out from behind the corner to see the metal monstrosity and its attendant. It seemed like a simple enough device, but that thing was auto-tracking movements and the Engineer on it was vigilant. She would have to disable the sentry and kill the BLU before he could stop her, and she would not have the advantage of surprise.

It occurred to her that this would be much easier if she could disguise properly.

Soldier nudged her impatiently. “What the hell are you waiting for, an invitation? Get out there and do your damn job!”

“Uh, Solly, are you sure it's such a good idea to send a -” Scout started, and Spy immediately unfolded her knife and gestured at him with it.

“Finish that sentence and you will wake up in Respawn without your tongue,” she snapped. Her eyes narrowed as she judged the distance to the sentry and the weight of the sapper. She spun her balisong, reversing the blade smoothly as she thought. “I need a distraction.”

Soldier nodded. “Fine. How long?”

“Five seconds.” She grinned evilly. “Try not to get killed, oui?”

Spy cloaked, and ran out into the open space beyond the building where they were hiding. The sentry was sitting on the point, its tracking laser flickering across the area ominously. At a dead run, her cloak would last for a maximum of fifteen seconds, which would be more than long enough to get around behind the arc of those miniguns – but that was not on her mind right now. She counted off the seconds in her head, and on the count of five, she risked a glance behind her to see what Soldier was doing.

He leaned out, and shot a single rocket at the high crossbeams above the point. The sentry immediately turned to shoot him, and she caught sight of a spurt of blood before he ducked away. The rocket exploded against the thick metal and caused a shower of sparks and fragments to rain down on the point, driving the Engineer back and blinding him for a few precious moments.

Spy hit the sentry with the sapper, and leaped at the BLU with her knife as her cloak faded. He pulled the trigger on his shotgun by reflex, scoring her side with a bright lance of pain before she crashed into him and they tumbled to the ground in a thrashing melange of limbs and weapons. She struggled to get her balisong into his neck, while he tried to force the barrel of the gun to her face; Spy knew she didn't have more than a second before he recovered completely and used his superior strength to shove her off.

This wasn't the first time she had gotten into a fight with a man. The war had taught her well, and given her instincts and experience when it came to battle with a stronger opponent. The key, of course, was to fight dirty and take advantage of the fact that even a fucking Nazi held back a little when facing a woman.

She headbutted him hard, and felt the crack of his nose breaking. He gave a muffled, pained shout, and the sudden shock was enough for her to wrench his arm out of the way and drive her knife into his throat.

Blood spilled over her hands as he gurgled and moaned. It took less than a minute for him to die, his struggles getting weaker and more pathetic as his life gushed out of the wound. When he was still, she sat up and licked a few droplets from the blade.

Ah, yes... her mental clock of the time since her last kill automatically reset itself. Spy had missed that rush of power more than she had realized. There was nothing quite like taking the life of another human being, of watching the spark fade away and knowing that she was the one to extinguish it. It held a curious sense of twisted satisfaction that was entirely unmatched. Not a bad first kill on this battlefield, too, even though she had been grazed by a shotgun blast for her trouble.

She stood up, and watched the sentry fall apart behind her. Her heart was still pounding from the adrenalin, and she didn't feel any pain from the dripping wound in her side. She flicked her balisong back into her sleeve and retrieved the sapper as Soldier and Scout approached.

“WE HAVE CAPTURED THE CONTROL POINT!” The Announcer's voiced boomed around them, and Spy noticed that the platform was now glowing red. Scout grinned at her and sprinted off towards the next area, while Soldier pointed at the hulking mass of the main BLU base.

“We got one more to get, then we all go home for tea and cross-ants,” he sneered, butchering the word in his harsh American accent. His uniform was ragged and soaked with blood around his shoulder, but if he felt it, he wasn't showing it. “You're with me until we join up with Heavy and Medic, Frenchie – now MOVE OUT!”

No thanks or acknowledgement, of course. Somehow it didn't seem to matter all that much; Soldier wasn't the kind to give approval. She jogged after him, feeling rather more upbeat about the battle at hand.

25 .

I love this fic more than is healthy. Keep it up!

26 .

Oh fuck yes an update.

Considering that TF2 involves mass fighting and killing, I think it's a damn shame that so few fanfiction include any battles. Writing action scenes is certainly not easy, but I think the lack of war in TF2 fanfiction might be due not to authors being afraid to write on the topic, but more that people aren't *interested* in it. Why?! After the sex and the character exploration, the fighting is the best part!

Well ANYWAY, I want to tell you that this action scene was exceptionally well done. Not perfect, so don't dismiss my saying that as blind praise for a story I have loved since chapter one. Improvements could be made. I think perhaps you would do well to start fewer sentences with She/Her/He/His/Character Name. (Although don't become paranoid about that sort of thing, like I am; it's really not a big deal.)

On the other hand, the fighting and actions seem great to me, and I love how you manage to slip in vital bits of characterization here and there, seamlessly. You show, rather than simply tell, and that is fantastic!

Something I think could really spice up the story in particular would be a little more description of the environment. Give us the five senses. Is it hot and dry? Breezy? Dusty? What is the architecture like? Is there a danger of getting splinters or being struck by scorpions? Does Spy ever get thirsty or sweaty? Is the space wide open, or full of hiding places for her? And most importantly, since she's new, does she get lost?! (I get lost a lot on unfamilar maps.)

I'm really interested in seeing how she deals with dying for the first time.

Have I mentioned how much I love the extensive thought you've obviously put into certain parts of this story? Maybe it might not mean much to you, but when I read "There were tactics, of a sort, but they changed from second to second", I think to myself: Here is someone who actually plays the game, and that just makes me love this even more. There is also the thought you've put into the characters and the chemistry between them. "Soldier expected her to be a Spy. He didn't question whether she could do it". This is superb, but I can't quite articulate why I think so. It just is.

Gotta agree with TwoRefined; this story makes my week. Please write more for me soon!

27 .

I'm taking note of everything you've said - to be honest, I'm not so good on descriptions. I try, but I'm kinda adverse to excessive descriptions of stuff and it shows.

Such things I have planned... I think you'll enjoy them. (But seriously, I have only the vaguest notion of what I'm doing here. I'm mostly writing without editing and I have some idea of a plot, but this is largely written off the cuff and in a few hours at most. :P)


---------------------------


The last point was deep in the BLU base, or at least what Spy was starting to think of as the BLU base. It was just a building with long empty corridors and reinforced walls that they used for this wargame. Presumably they had some kind of base like theirs behind a similar gate, where the RED mercenaries were certainly not allowed.

Soldier had started an attack on the point with Demo and Scout. Rockets and bombs flew everywhere around the enormous hall, with the final glowing platform in the centre as the prize. At this moment, Scout was dead and his body had vanished into the Respawn system, and her other two teammates were pinned down just outside the doors.

The right place at the right time; that was the key. Cloaking and running out into the thick of the gunfire was not an option. She would be cut down in seconds, even if she were invisible. Another path had suggested itself, however – there were huge pipes running across the ceiling and down the wall, just behind the point and beside the BLU's Respawn room. A few stacks of crates and barrels would do for cover if she could get there, and then it would simply be a matter of waiting for the right moment to strike.

Spy crawled along the pipes, moving as quickly as she dared with her cloak activated. It would only take one idiot BLU to look at the ceiling and be observant enough to see her flickering form; from here, she was an easy target, to say nothing of the possibility of her just losing her grip and falling three storeys onto concrete. The metal was not warm, thankfully, and its rough surface gave her some kind of traction.

A Heavy and Medic appeared as she started to shimmy down the wall. She clenched her teeth, and went even slower to make sure that her cloak behaved. The Russian's minigun tore chunks out of the floor as Soldier fired another rocket and dived for cover. The Medic crouched behind him, watching the door intently. Two other BLUs ran out, so close that she could feel the cold air of Respawn – another Engineer and a Pyro, one of which started to set up a sentry while the second moved forward to reflect the incoming missiles.

Oh, this was not good. She needed a plan. Spy crouched behind the barrels and drew her knife, heart beating faster than the clicking of the spinning minigun. Past the BLU figures and muzzle flashes, she could see just barely see Soldier reloading his launcher.

The Medic suddenly shouted, “READY TO CHARGE!” and the Heavy began to walk forward, laughing maniacally.

The Ubercharge – ten seconds of invincibility, provided by technology so far over her head that it seemed like magic – would kill him in seconds and cost them the battle if she couldn't stop it. All her instincts and her awareness of combat surged at once; the right place, the right time, go go GO!

She vaulted over the barrels, letting her cloak fade and hoping they were too distracted to notice until it was too late. The Engineer turned in surprise, his wrench raised, but there was lightning in her veins now and her knife reached his heart before he could utter a sound. The sentry was incomplete – irrelevant when she had to get to the Medic and stop the Ubercharge, even if it were operating and trying to shoot at her, runrunRUN GODDAMNIT ARE YOU A SPY OR NOT, PRIVATE?!

He'd hit the button by reflex even if she managed to stab him. Need a better plan – the Ubercharge comes from the Medigun, doesn't it? Get the Medigun.

Soldier had seen her. He hefted the launcher to his shoulder and charged, roaring some kind of battle cry. Demo charged behind him with a broadsword of all things, making for the Pyro with an expression of terrible bloodlust, but she only had eyes for the rockets that were now shooting towards the Heavy and the Medic – and her.

“CHARGE ME, DOKTOR!” the huge man shouted. Too late, too late – she sliced through the hose connecting his Medigun to the pack, letting blue vapor gush out all around them. The Medic screamed in rage, swung the gun out to catch her in the gut and toss her away from them. The room spun around her as she tumbled and fell, then the whole world went booming white as the explosion hit them and threw her back like a ragdoll.

She landed painfully on her shoulder, and felt something crack. She rolled, and stopped when the wall knocked the wind out of her. Her ears rang like a bell, and as the sound faded slowly, she heard the Announcer's voice.

“WE HAVE CAPTURED THE FINAL CONTROL POINT!”

Well, that was nice.

A minute passed before she felt capable of moving and taking stock of her injuries. Her arm was probably broken, and her whole left side felt like it had been beaten with an iron bar. Almost as bad as that time when... her head still hurt from the blast, and she couldn't recall the memory. Spy gave up, and had almost decided to lie there on the cold floor indefinitely when someone nudged her.

“Arrrgh, fils de pute!” she swore, curling around her injured body. Her ribs were pure agony. She looked up angrily at Soldier, who appeared entirely unmoved. “What did you do that for, bâtard Américain?!”

“You're not dead,” he said flatly.

“No, I am not!” she snarled, and tried to push herself upright. Her arms were not cooperating. This was just perfect; getting so badly hurt on her first day that she couldn't walk. She fell back to the floor and groaned as her head began to throb.

“We have to get back to the base. Battle's over for the day.” He knelt beside her and tried to pull her up. “Come on.”

Spy grabbed his arm and hissed in pain. Oh, if she were not hurt, she'd punch him so hard that he'd feel it tomorrow. “I cannot walk, you insufferable shit. Go and get the German so he can heal me!”

“What am I, a goddamn errand boy? You're coming with me one way or another, Frenchie, so I suggest you get your feet under you. NOW.”

“Fuck you...” There was no energy behind the insult; her head hurt too much. Spy hoped he would just leave her here for a while. An hour or two to regain her strength, and maybe another hour to find something to patch herself up with, and she could probably stagger back to the RED base under her own power. For now, she just closed her eyes and tried not to think about the grinding sensation whenever she moved her shoulder. Her sense of balance was fading; a sure sign of a concussion.

Soldier grumbled under his breath. “I said you're coming with me, private,” he growled. “That was not a request.” She cried out again when he gripped her roughly around the torso and under the knees, and lifted her up without effort.

Her broken arm hung uselessly at her side, but she managed to get the other around his neck to help hold herself up. The blood from Soldier's wounds started to soak through her jacket as he carried her back through the BLU base and out into the sunlight. This was just embarrassing, really, and if she were in any way capable of it, Spy would have struggled and protested to be put down.

For now, her head fell against his chest and her eyes drifted closed again, too hurt to care anymore. Exhaustion settled into her mind and dulled her senses. Soldier was warm, and that was... good. Yes. He smelled like blood and sweat.

She passed out as they reached the first RED point.

28 .

Well I think your descriptions were fucking good in this chapter. My mental five senses were plenty stimulated. And hooray for more action!

Honestly I'm too tired to give this chapter the praise it deserves, but please know that you still have my eternal love and attention.

29 .

I have no idea why I haven't read this sooner.

PLEASE tell me there will be Fem!Spy/Soldier sex/relationship eventually. I adore her. She's realistically strong personality-wise and I've been thinking to myself lately, kind of random mind you, that Soldier would find it easiest to fall in love with a very stubborn, determined woman. I'd say he respects your Spy and I like that very much. Them both being kill-crazy probably doesn't hurt either. I adore the idea of this pairing.

I hope she gets to return the favor of aiding him when he's severely injured though. I don't know why but I love fics that have Soldier comforting in them. Nothing wishy-washy of course. He'd have so much trouble accepting that and I doubt she'd be predisposed to it either.

30 .

She woke up in the infirmary. This by itself was not a problem, but the fact that Medic was standing over her and shining a light in her eyes was – Spy slapped his hands away and shoved him back roughly.

“Do not touch me, you German dog!” she snapped. Her arm moved freely, with no pain or stiffness. The Medigun had wiped away her injuries without requiring any hands-on work on his part at least. Thank god for small mercies...

He glared at her in annoyance. “Fine. You are healed, now get out and don't bozzer coming back even if you are dying.” With a contemptuous about-face, he stomped off to the other side of the room to tend to Scout.

She hopped off the bed, testing her legs and feeling her ribs gingerly. Yes, she was fully healed, but still dusty, sweaty and hungry from the day's battle. Her hands automatically went to her coat to retrieve her cigarettes.

“Do NOT ZINK of lighting zat in here! I said GET OUT!”

The angry shouts of the doctor followed her down the hall as she was chased out of the infirmary. Her anger and irritation only increased when she realized that her lighter was missing; it might have fallen from her pocket during the fight, but in any case, it was not here now and she was dying for a smoke.

Spy was in a foul mood when she entered the canteen to get some dinner. Engineer was cooking some kind of gumbo, and the possibility of her liking it was probably nil. She would still eat it, of course, but she would be thinking of the restaurants and cafés of home. A few others were there, patiently waiting for the food – Sniper, who carefully avoided her gaze; Demo, who was clearly already tipsy; and Pyro, who gave her a thumbs-up and invited her to sit by him.

She took the seat. Such a strange man – he never showed his face, even when he ate. The most he did was pull his mask up a little to actually put food in his mouth. The only way she could tell he was a man at all was by the stubble on his cheek.

She took out a cigarette and tapped him on the arm. “Have you a light, Monsieur?”

He gave some kind of muffled affirmative, and pulled a miniature blowtorch out of his pocket. Spy stared at it for a moment as he flicked the switch and produced a powerful blue flame, then shrugged and lit her little cylinder.

Ah, better. Spicy herbal heaven. Sometimes she had to wonder how many more people she would have killed out of pure irritation if it were not for her one vice. “Merci beaucoup,” she said, blowing a stream of smoke up to the ceiling.

“Nrrrr prrrblrrm. Hrrrd r grrd drrrr?”

Spy leaned on the table and rested her chin in one hand. “You know, someday I will be able to understand you, but for now, I still have no idea what you are saying.”

“He's askin' if you had a good day,” Engineer said amiably as he set a couple of bowls and spoons down on the table. “I heard you helped take the last point.”

“Yes, well, not before Soldier nearly blew me to pieces along with the BLUs. I am not convinced that he is more of a danger to them than to us.”

“Ah, don't you mind him, he's jus' a lil' enthusiastic when he's fightin'. He won't do it on purpose.” Engineer returned with a pot of... something... and plonked it down on the table. It might have been stew, and it smelled spicy. He grinned at her, and gave her the first serving. “Ladies first.”

“Oh, is that so?” she replied, trying not to show her utter disdain for the term 'lady' as applied to her. “I do apologize – here you go, Sniper.” She shoved the bowl down the table towards him, smiling wickedly.

“You think yer so fucking funny?” he growled, but he still took the bowl and began to eat as Pyro laughed.

Spy grabbed a bowl and spoon. “Oui, I do think I am funny. So sorry if you do not agree.” She ignored whatever he grumbled in response, and tried a bit of the gumbo. It was odd, but certainly palatable, and she was hungry enough to dig in. For a few minutes, there was nothing but the sound of slurping and munching as they all ate their fill. Her cigarette was left on the edge of the table, providing a nice, sweet smell as it burned.

Spy finished first. The war had taught her to eat as quickly as possible, and old habits were hard to break. She left her bowl and spoon in the sink, and nodded to them all as she left. “Thank you for the meal, Engineer – and, gentlemen, I will be taking a shower now. Rest assured you will not survive the experience if you are stupid enough to disturb me.”

This was something of a gamble, but it was a necessary one. She needed to be clean, and there were no private facilities here. The Announcer must have thought that she would simply work something out with the men, or that she would be happy to shower alongside them, but Spy knew better. They would have to learn that there would be no compromise when it came to her personal space, and any invasion of her privacy would be met with deadly force.

A quick trip to the supply closet turned up a nail and a piece of cardboard. She found a pen too, and scratched out a few words – SPY IS SHOWERING ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK. The door to the locker room was only made of wood, after all. A few taps with her knife to knock the nail into it, and she had a very serviceable sign.

The room was empty at the moment. She should have time to shower before the rest of the team finished their dinner, but it was almost an inevitability that one of them would either walk in 'accidentally' or disregard the sign. Keeping her knife close by would be a necessity. It wasn't that she was prudish – far from it, she was entirely comfortable in her own bare skin – but they were still men, and she despised their gaze.

Still, it felt good to get under the shower and wash off the blood and dust of battle. She let the water flow over her head and down her back, tracing old scars and bullet wounds. Too many years of combat written into her skin, but every one was valued. They told the story of her accomplishments and frequently, her escape from certain death.

You are getting old, she thought. Most women your age are surrounded by their children. What have you but your memories of fighting?

Spy leaned against the wall pensively. Strange how her life had been diverted, but she had no regrets, really. Five men had thought to fit her into the mould of a dutiful wife, and three of them had died by her hand because they would not give her what she wanted, and would not let her go. She could have chosen to deny her nature and stay with them, and she had not. Things had certainly turned out more eventful as a result, but sometimes she still wondered what it would have been like to live a normal life.

Her reverie was broken by the sound of the door opening and closing. It had taken them long enough... She reached for her balisong, balanced on top of the towel hanging over the rail. No sunglasses or hood meant her face was exposed too, and they would pay doubly for that. Let them see how well they stared at her when she put out their eyes.

Who was it, that was the question. Spy lurked by the entrance to the showers and flicked her knife open, waiting for some sight or sound of the intruder. If it was Demo, she'd make haggis out of his guts before he died; any others would fall to a knife in the throat, if she could manage it, but the Scot's constant leering was getting on her nerves.

Loud footsteps approached, their padding sound suggesting bare feet rather than boots. She gripped her blade. It would take a split second to judge where to strike, depending on height. Heavy was better than six feet tall, whereas Scout was shorter than her. The steam from the shower was not helping, but hopefully it would hide her a little and prevent them from seeing her face clearly.

A figure appeared, and she lashed out with a snarl. In a blur of motion, an arm came up and blocked the attack – she drew back and struck again, hoping for a lucky mark, but her wrist was caught and twisted backwards painfully. After a brief, frenzied scuffle, Spy found herself pinned against the wall, her blade lost somewhere on the floor.

Soldier glared at her, looking more annoyed than usual.

31 .

I was expecting\hoping for this. Please, DO continue.

32 .

Finally, a battle that doesn't involve 2Fort or CTF! I was beginning to think no one in the chan actually played the game except me.

33 .

Insomnia has struck again. What it has produced may or may not be crap, but I am officially tired of staring at this part.

WHY CAN'T I SLEEP WHYYYYYYY

-----------------------------------------

This was an unexpected development.

He was not trying to hurt her, for all that he appeared quite angry. And naked, yes, don't forget about that, with just a pair of dog tags around his neck. Close enough that she could feel the heat radiating from his chest and pick out every shade of color in his eyes, and that meant he was close enough to trigger some very ingrained combat instincts, as well as a few rather darker and more primal urges. Spy thought she could get out of his grip, considering that she was soaked and therefore very slippery, but Soldier suddenly let her go and walked over to the showers.

She paused, then retrieved her knife from the floor. By instinct, she flicked it closed, the sound of the clicking metal seeming rather loud even over the hiss of the water and her roaring pulse. Part of her wanted to attack, because this was a male inside the space that she had expressly designated as hers, but something held her back. Something suggested that Soldier was... not safe, that was not quite the right word, but... benign, tolerable, perhaps. His presence was not something to be wary of, not like the others.

“You better not be thinking of using that pig-sticker on me, Frenchie,” he sneered. He had taken the shower she had left, and was beginning to wash himself. Spy set the knife back on top of the towel, still slightly unsure of the situation, but again, Soldier seemed to exist in some bizarre grey area that defied her usual categorization.

He didn't look at her like she was meat. That was part of it. He wasn't looking at her at all right now. Some blank spot in his mind erased the fact that she was a female and saw her as a teammate. Was he aware of her? He was certainly not stupid or oblivious. What would happen if she tried to push that mental block?

“I was thinking of exactly that, in fact. Perhaps you could give me a reason not to, Monsieur?” She turned on the shower beside him, and held out her hand. “The soap, s'il vous plait.”

He worked it across his chest for a moment, then slapped into her outstretched palm. “You do NOT get to monopolize the showers, private,” he growled. “You damn well better remember that next time you think about sticking some sign up on the door.”

That seemed to be all he was willing to say. So – he was not invading her privacy; rather, he simply didn't recognize that she needed any to begin with. The enormity of the assumption was breathtaking.

Spy found herself staring at him, like he was a puzzle with no solution. Not as tall as Sniper, not as broad as Heavy, but still muscled. Scarred quite badly around the torso and hips. No tattoos – of course – light brown crew-cut, blue eyes. Somewhat nice to look at, in fact, and like her, entirely comfortable being completely bare. Apparently oblivious to the naked woman standing next to him, which meant he was either a homosexual or wired very differently than other men.

“What are you looking it?” he snapped.

She ran the soap through her hair, trying to appear nonchalant. “You, of course. Do you object to me staring?”

He snorted. “I'd like to know what you find so goddamn interesting.”

She regarded him for a moment, keeping her eyes to his face. His gaze didn't drop below her own. I want to know why you don't look at me, she thought. I want to know why you are different. “I was wondering where you got your scars, actually.”

“It's classified.”

She laughed. “Oh, really? Who do you think I could tell, out here?” Feeling a little bold, she reached out and traced one long white slice that cut across his shoulder blade. “I am simply curious. If you like, I could tell you where I got mine in return.”

He stiffened under her fingers, the muscle tensing under smooth, wet skin. Ah... It seemed he was not made out of stone after all. Spy relished the touch, and the knowledge it brought, even as Soldier roughly knocked her hand away. He fumed for a moment, then turned back to the shower. There was no answer forthcoming for some time, but then he spoke in a gruff, irritated voice.

“A Spy nearly got me the first week I was here. I got him first.”

Well, it was the start of a conversation where he was not angry from the first word, at least. “A testament to your skill,” she said. “Not many can avoid the blade of a skilled assassin when the strike is aimed at the back. You have good reflexes, oui?” She held out her hands and turned, slowly, to show off her body. “As I promised, you may pick any of my scars, and I will tell you its story.”

It was very anti-intuitive to invite a man to look at her naked form. Another gamble, but was this one worth taking? Spy watched him, waiting for a response. His eyes ran over her legs, her hips, her breasts, her arms, taking in the marks of a dozen attempts on her life. It didn't feel bad, for some reason, not like it would if one of the others were doing it. For a while, she wondered if he was going to say anything at all, but Soldier finally pointed at her shoulder. “That doesn't look right.”

Merde. He would have to pick that one, the only one that still hurt, years later. She didn't even have to examine her arm to know what scar he was talking about. Spy turned away, not trusting herself to speak, and leaned against the wall. Old anger and pain rose to the surface with the memory, bitter and hateful, but she had promised that she would tell. Too late to back out now.

She reached up and touched the thin lines; one long, and another two shorter ones lying across it. Familiar, and yet still not quite belonging to her. Not the first she had acquired, but definitely the most significant; of course he would have chosen it. The man seemed to be designed to get under her skin.

The words were still difficult, and her voice was quiet, but she spoke anyway. “Do you know what the Croix de Lorraine is, Monsieur?”

“No.”

“It is... it was... the symbol of the French Resistance. The mark of every fighter who chose to take up arms against the Nazis during the war.” She sighed heavily. “Your flag is the symbol of freedom for America, oui? This is the same. It is important in the same way.”

“So who carved it on your arm?” he asked brusquely.

“I did,” she replied softly. “With the same knife I used to kill a German tank commander, no less.”

Soldier paused in the act of scrubbing his face, and looked at her with narrowed eyes. “Why the hell would you mutilate yourself? Nazis not doing a good enough job?”

Fury surged in her gut and she punched him on the arm, getting a satisfying grunt of pain. “Do NOT mock me, Américain!” she snarled. “I was a maquisard, one of the most successful that the Nazis ever faced, and for that I received NOTHING! After the liberation, I could not find a single tattoo artist in all of France who would place the Croix de Lorraine on a woman – so yes, I took my knife, and I cut the mark of freedom into my own skin, so that the bastards who should have been thanking me could not deny that I – FOUGHT – FOR MY COUNTRY!”

Silence descended after this outburst. She dared him to say another word, to taunt her again. She'd kill him with her bare hands, the difference in strength be damned. Spies were supposed to have better control over their feelings, but when it came to this, she could not help but get viciously angry. It had been years, but she could still recall the disdainful looks of the others in the resistance cell who didn't think a mere woman was worth listening to.

“Did they ever see it?” he asked.

“What?”

“The bastards who should be thanking you. Did they ever see it?”

Spy opened her mouth, then closed it again slowly. The question deflated her temper in a heartbeat. “...No. They died during the war.” And that effectively meant she had admitted to being crazy, trying to validate herself to the dead. She slumped against the tiles dejectedly, feeling rather stupid all of a sudden. “You cannot know what it is like to sacrifice so much, and receive so little in return.”

Soldier turned off the shower, the tap making a strained squeaking noise, and he gave her a hard look. “You don't know anything about me, Frenchie,” he said in a low, dangerous voice. “Don't pretend that you do.”

He walked away and disappeared into the locker room, leaving her feeling more vulnerable than she had felt in years.

34 .

Because you know I am watching you.

ALWAYS.

This effing story, man. I'll shut up now before I relapse into my animu origins.

35 .

Amazing as always Doktor!

36 .

This is the most unusual relationship I've seen between a Soldier and a Spy. Can't wait to see how it develops.

37 .

Yay! Please keep going. I am loving this interaction. The notion that Soldier can be sort of noble in his own way pleases me immensely. This is one of my favorite stories on the board.

38 .

I normally don't post on a_fic. I don't read much here at all. Normally I don't read "a girl joins the team" fic.

I'm reading this. I'm LOVING this. I love your Spy, how much of a warrior she is, still feminine without being the "team girl" (a little unfortunate that half the time spends their time leering at her, but I guess that emphasis how different Soldier is). And I love how Soldier just...doesn't care--the idea that he sees a teammate first and foremost, and anything else is irrelevant (except that she's French because...FRENCH!). I kind of hope to see some manner of reconciliation reached with Medic, but mostly, I just want to keep seeing updates. Seriously, I'm checking this a couple of times a day.

Love.

39 .

Spy stood outside, chain-smoking her way through a full pack of cigarettes. The desert was cold at night, and the air smelled dusty. She could see the BLU base off in the distance, and their few brief flickers of light in the darkness. The RED base behind her was a reassuring bulk against the wind. She lurked beside the main entrance, not bothering with the cloak for the time being. It was a good place and time to think, just leaning against the wall, and the herbal smell kept her focused. She was not really given to much introspection, but events today required some consideration.

Soldier was not like the others. In some ways it was good, like his presence in the shower. It didn't bother her – he didn't bother her, didn't make her want to draw a line in the sand and kill him if he crossed it. In a way, there was no need for one because he didn't seem to know that there could be a boundary there at all. He expected nothing of her except that she do her job well. It was strange, certainly new in her experience, but not unwelcome. It was... nice. Yes. Pleasant in a way that made her want him around.

On the other hand, it meant that she was that much more vulnerable. She had spent years being judged for her gender and naturally looked down on the men who did it; she had quickly learned to use it as a weapon, and use their misconceptions against them. Men shouldn't hit women. Women were delicate and fragile. Women were naive and needed protection. Men had to treat women gently.

Spy sneered as she blew out another stream of smoke. She judged them all, even the rest of the team, for prejudices that they would probably never overcome – and they were always found wanting. Her disdain couldn't be helped. They let themselves be manipulated, like Sniper on the first day, or they let themselves be killed, like the Nazis. Even the ones who she had hoped were different, who had offered her a life together, fell victim to it eventually and poisoned her feelings for them. Five men who had meant something to her once; three of them dead, and now she regretted that she hadn't killed the other two as well because they had let RED find her.

With Soldier, she had no such defence. He had no such weakness that she could use against him. That made him dangerous, because if it came to it, he was physically stronger than her. He wouldn't hold back, or pull his punches.

For some reason, the thought of fighting with him was electrifying. It would be more painful, of course, but she had no fear of that. It was... yes, that was exactly it, because he wouldn't hold back. She would know the full force of his strength, and he would know hers. A fight between equals, of a kind that she had never experienced before. Thrilling, and exhilarating.

The sound of heavy marching steps echoed around the side of the building. Speak of the devil, she thought. He's probably on patrol. Spy stubbed out her cigarette and activated her cloak, then stepped into the shadows.

Soldier appeared. He was back in uniform now, and his shotgun was resting on his shoulder. His helmet hid his eyes, but she didn't need to see them to recognize the permanent, irritated scowl. He marched up to the doors, and did an about-face, standing rigidly and staring out at the BLU base. There he stopped, and she felt a little puzzled as to why until he spoke.

“You always hide in corners, Spy?”

She swore at length this time, and let her cloak drop. “I was not moving, and I know you cannot see me, so how is it that you know I am there?” she asked angrily, glaring at him as she walked forward.

He poked her roughly in the shoulder. “I can smell you every damn time, Frenchie. The BLU Spy smokes regular cigarettes instead of those hippie sticks you're so fond of.” He sniffed pointedly. “I'd know you were coming a mile away.”

“Those 'hippie sticks' are the only things stopping me from murdering you all,” she snapped. Her hand automatically went to her coat pocket for another, but she forced herself to leave them alone. “Why are you out here, anyway?”

“I could ask you the same thing.”

Why lie, she thought. “I wanted to think without being disturbed, about what you said earlier. How I should not pretend to know you.” She folded her arms to stop her hands from moving to her cigarette case. “I am curious as to how an American soldier would know what it's like to be a female Resistance fighter.”

“You really think you're the only one who suffered during the war?” he said angrily. “I was over there too, and I'm not complaining.”

Spy set her lips in a hard line. “I know that. But you had an entire army with you, and I had only myself. You had medals, and recognition, and the love of your people,” she said, bitterness dripping from her tone. “I got nothing, Monsieur. I gave everything I had, because I believed that liberté, égalité, and fraternité meant something more than just words and they were worth fighting for. I should have been awarded the Ordre de la Libération for what I did, and I got nothing.”

Soldier pulled his helmet off, and glared at her with that same expression that he had had in the shower. A hard, dark look, full of hidden threats. “I didn't have an army,” he growled.

That pulled her up short, derailed her train of thought. Had he been a commando? Special Forces? She hadn't even know that they were active during the war – the only covert Allied soldiers she had been aware of were the paratroopers, and they were hardly without resource. “But the invasion -”

“I wasn't in the goddamn invasion, Frenchie. They wouldn't take me. Said I was nuts, or something – and if you even mention this to the team, I will rip your heart out of your chest with my bare hands.”

Spy was shocked, and that in itself was notable. But Soldier was serious, even deathly so, and his eyes promised her a world of pain if she said the wrong thing. Everything she had read in his actions and speech up to this point had suggested he was ex-Army, military-trained at least. He certainly handled the rocket-launcher like a professional.

“You were not with the Allies?” she said weakly.

“No, I wasn't.” He turned to stare at the BLU base again, seemingly annoyed he'd said anything at all. The muscle in his jaw twitched. “Army wouldn't take me. I went to Europe myself and killed every Nazi I could find instead. And I didn't get any goddamn thanks for it.”

She looked at him with newfound respect. Not a GI, not trained, but still a fighter in every sense of the word – but the team spoke of him as if he were a military man. And he'd just confessed to her that he was not, that he had done something incredible, and insane.

“Why did you do it?” she asked. “Why would you travel across the world to fight in someone else's war?”

“It wasn't someone else's war,” he snapped. “America was involved, and I wanted to fight. They wouldn't let me.” Soldier scrubbed his hand through his hair distractedly, trying to find the right thing to say, then gave a harsh snort of laughter. “I did it because I thought freedom meant something more than just a word.”

The admission left her momentarily speechless. Spy stared at him, feeling a sudden surge of guilt for what she had said in the shower. He was more like her than she could have ever guessed. It was a strange, unexpected kinship, coming from the most unlikely source. “Why – what about your dog tags?”

He fished them out from under his shirt, and leaned over to hold them out for examination. They were stamped like the Army tags, but the serial number was missing. The name imprinted on them read 'Jane Doe'. Spy turned them over in her hand, feeling the warmth of the metal through her gloves.

“Why do you wear them, then?” she asked curiously.

“Same reason you got that cross on your arm,” he said. Her eyes flicked up to meet his, only a few inches away. Cold and blue, full of grim determination, but he was searching for something in her gaze. Understanding, maybe.

She let them go, and he tucked them back in. “Is Jane not a woman's name in America?”

“...Yeah, it is. You got a problem with that?”

She smiled to herself. “In France, it is a man's name. Jean... but I may not call you that, non? We cannot know each other's names.” Her hand reached for her cigarettes, and this time she allowed it. The pleasant herbal smell drifted into the night sky above them, and helped her to process what she had learned. “You did not have to tell me all this,” she finally said.

“Yeah, well...” He slapped his helmet back on his head. “You'd better not tell anyone else.”

Soldier turned smartly and marched on, continuing his patrol without even saying goodbye. She reached out and caught his arm as he passed her. “For what it is worth, I wish I had known you during the war. I think... we would have been friends,” she said hesitantly. “I am glad that you have told me these things. I am sorry if I offended you.”

He shook off her hand and said nothing in response, but for once, he didn't seem so overtly hostile.

40 .

This made Soldier's insane "Nazi Killing Spree" seem sane and noble. Then again, it's not like he'd think about it any other way, all things considered... Especially the fact that he b CRAZEH.

Keep up the good work my love Doktor.

41 .

I... I think I love you now.

42 .

My life currently revolves around waiting for this fic to update... I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT IT! You are amazing, Doktor!

43 .

OMG.
You made the Soldier noble and respectable.
And yet crazy at the same time.

I LOVE YOU MORE!

44 .

The battles raged on, and they fell into a routine of sorts. Spy largely couldn't tell who was gaining the upper hand, and for the most part, she didn't care. There were lots of people to kill, lots of sentries to destroy, and her teammates were coming to accept her.

Her other teammates. Soldier was one as well, of course, but he also something else that didn't really make any sense. Not a friend, because she hadn't had a friend in years and largely didn't want one, but more than an acquaintance or a co-worker. She had developed a strange kind of trust in him, despite knowing that such trust was dangerous.

In the evenings, she made a habit of taking a shower straight after dinner, and so did he. Sometimes they talked, sometimes they said nothing. Spy had expected the others to risk her wrath by sneaking in – reasoning that if she let one man see her naked, she would not be so angry about two – but Scout's swift, brutal death, and the subsequent blood splatters left all over the locker room, made her feelings clear. Her acceptance extended to Soldier alone.

On the field of combat, she moved around him, watching for a charge or push to the next point and taking out key opponents while they were distracted. She lived in her cloak, flitting like a ghost from cover to cover and instilling some intense paranoia in the BLUs who were wising up to her tactics. That was the key to this kind of warfare – it was less a fight and more a mind game, where feints and trickery could destabilize the enemy faster than brute force. Spy found herself enjoying it, and found the satisfaction of a hard won point was greater than that of stabbing the other team.

She was incredibly lucky, and avoided death for almost three weeks.

Today's battle was going well. Soldier and Demo had just taken the third point when Heavy and his ever-present Doctor arrived with Engineer. Spy decloaked in the shadows, and nodded to them as they approached. The BLUs were regrouping at the fourth point, and the REDs needed to set up some sentries before the counter-attack came.

“ALRIGHT! Russki, you and the Kraut guard Engie while he's working,” Soldier started. “Where the hell is Scout?”

“Got killed just out of the second point,” Engineer replied as he set a teleporter down. “He's on his way back. You gimme two minutes an' -”

There was a sharp crack, and Engineer's chest spurted with blood. He staggered, and collapsed with a sigh over the humming machine.

“ENEMY SNIPER!” Soldier yelled. They all took cover as the corpse faded from sight, whisked away into Respawn. Another bullet shattered the teleporter, leaving it sparking uselessly. Spy cloaked immediately, but the effect rippled as Soldier gripped her arm.

“Vere is our own Sniper?” Medic hissed. “He should have killed ze BLU as soon as ve took ze point!”

“I don't know, but we're sure as hell not gonna find out if we're stuck here like a bunch of pussies!” Soldier said angrily. He pointed at Heavy and Medic with his free hand. “You two go around to the west side and hit the point as soon as you see it, and you better have a goddamn Ubercharge ready when you get there. Me and Demo will go east, and we'll hold off until we see you going in. Stay in cover and don't get killed or I will PERSONALLY beat the stupid outta you with my shovel, UNDERSTAND?”

Heavy sneered, but nodded. He and Medic retreated, and disappeared with only a few faint traces of red vapor to mark their exit.

“And for me?” Spy asked.

“Get that sniper,” he said, and released her arm. Soldier risked a glance at the BLU outbuildings ahead of them. “Wherever he is, he's got a good view of us down here. Kill him before Engie gets back or we're gonna lose this one, private.”

“As you wish,” she replied, and made her way out into enemy territory.

This was something new. Despite her distaste for Sniper, he was exceptionally good at his job and took a perverse delight in ruining his BLU counterpart's day. Their duels took up enough time that Soldier frequently shouted at him for not contributing enough to the actual battle, which Sniper usually ignored.

She spotted the enemy's location almost immediately, but getting to it was another problem. It was an old observation post, sitting high on the roof of a BLU warehouse. It probably gave him a decent view of the whole battlefield, never mind just the third point, but how had he gotten up there?

Time was not on her side here. Spy checked the walls and found nothing. Maybe there was a ladder somewhere inside the building... ah. There. A rather rickety-looking stairs that creaked ominously under her weight, but it brought her up to the third floor and into a few dusty rooms, lit only by the weak sunlight coming through broken windows.

A ladder in the corner lead up into the post itself. Spy slowly unfolded her knife, and held it loosely as she climbed. A loud gunshot, followed by the click and thunk of a reload, made her freeze for a second. She really hoped that hadn't killed Engineer again.

She peeked up above the edge of the floor, and spotted the BLU Sniper. He was sitting on a crate by the window, which was propped open with a stick. His attention was wholly focused on the scope in front of him, the barrel of the enormous rifle moving slightly as he searched for another target. He seemed to have set up a nice little nest for himself – there was a battered mattress in the corner, and a bag of rations. The smell, however... the room stank of piss, which could only suggest that he didn't leave for any reason.

She pulled herself up slowly, silently. Had to do this fast and get back into the fight, get back to Soldier. Her balisong was held at her side, ready for the strike. From this angle and in his position, she would have to stab up underneath the ribcage – not ideal, but not impossible.

Spy moved to the side, her cloak blending seamlessly into the background. He was still completely absorbed in the battlefield, and the tiny figures running around far below. She saw the barrel slow as he tracked his prey, and his finger tighten on the trigger. Another bullet aimed at her teammates – she stepped forward, raising her knife for the kill.

There was a loud crunch under her foot, and she glanced down for a mere heartbeat. Glass fragments, no bigger than coarse sand and otherwise invisible behind the bag of rations – she looked up into the business end of the sniper rifle, and the shot slammed into her stomach like a punch from an angry god.

She staggered backwards, hitting the wall and sliding down it as pain and blood erupted from her abdomen. Her knife rolled away from suddenly useless fingers. The high powered round had cut straight through her, maybe nicked her spine. She couldn't help the sudden wave of fear that washed over her; this was death, even if she knew, rationally, that Respawn would catch her and bring her back. A stupid mistake. She should have killed him in the delay between firing and reloading. It would not happen again.

“Well, well. So I finally get a visit from the Spy all those other wankers are talkin' about.” The BLU lifted up her chin with the edge of his kukri, leaving a stinging cut. He squatted in front of her with that same expression that the Red Sniper had once; leering, and greedy. She tried to push his arm away, but the strength to do it just wasn't there.

He chuckled at her weak attempt to fight back. “Wonder what RED was thinkin', sendin' a woman out here. They must be gettin' real desperate, like.”

“So you... have killed me,” she gasped. “Congratulations, you... filthy, cowardly... bastard.” Breathing wasn't so easy. Might have torn her diaphragm somewhere.

“That isn't very polite, now is it?” he said, and clubbed her on the head with the hilt of the kukri. She was left seeing stars as the force of it threw her to the floor. A new fear rose in her mind; she was not dead yet, and she was a helpless prisoner.

“I think that you and me should have a little fun, Spy. Seeing as yer here, an' all.” The voice was cruel, and mocking. The kind of tone that made her fingers clench, instinctively itching for her knife, but it was already lost to her. Spy heard the clink of a belt buckle, and any other thought she had was lost to the horror building in her mind.

Oh no. No no no no.

45 .

Sorry for the late update. This was not an easy chapter to write.

I know the Vichysoisse story deals with something similar, so I was a bit wary of whether I should go with what I'd originally planned, but in the end I decided I would.

I hope this works, I guess.

46 .

Y'know, it occurs to me that it would almost be creepier if he just break her legs and kept her in his nest with no means of killing herself, and chatted her up like she was his best friend while he's racking up headshots.

...but this is your story.

47 .

Interesting, but not what I had in mind. He's not that kind of guy, and there's a reason for it.

48 .

Yeah, this is creepy.

49 .

Gah. I hate seeing any of them as potential rapists. But I still like the story and want to see more. It is cliche but I hope Soldier or someone or something saves her... If not, I just really hope she gets some comforting afterwards. 8|

Dotchan's idea amuses the hell out of me. I am a freak.

50 .

>>47
I don't know what to think about you considering something as 'creepy' Marty. You've written some weird stuff yourself hehe

51 .

>>45

Please don't let my story interfere with yours. I am super stoked for the next installment and would feel like a butt if you changed your intentions for your story on account of me.

I BELIEVE IN YOUR AMAZING WRITING PROWESS, DOKTOR!

52 .

The void was empty of everything, even pain. The only point of reference that existed there was a single, tiny sense of awareness; a promise, that this was not oblivion, and the world was only a heartbeat away. She seemed to hang in this purgatory for years, waiting, without the knowledge of who she was or why she was trapped there, for reality to call her back into service again.

The first thing Spy became aware of was the feeling of cold metal underneath her. The air was neutral and still. She opened her eyes, and saw the white tiles of the Respawn room ceiling above her.

She sat up on the table, feeling a little stiff. Her clothes were intact. Her knife was tucked into its usual place in her sleeve. The disguise kit and cigarettes were in her pocket. She was even wearing her glasses, and her hood was up. It was as if she had never been hurt, as if she had not died.

She stood up and walked a few steps. Everything appeared to be working fine. Her body was completely whole, regenerated with her mind intact by the arcane technology. The klaxon sounded off in the distance, signalling the end of the day's battle. That was strange. Respawn was instant, or so she had been told.

The doors locked behind her when she left. It was a little warm out here, due to the desert heat outside. She pushed her hood down, and tucked her sunglasses away; whether her teammates saw her or not seemed unimportant. Spy began to walk down the corridor towards her room, and paused to fish a cigarette out of her kit.

She fumbled with the slim case, and it clattered to the floor.

Her hands were shaking, and that wasn't right. Her hands never shook. But she couldn't keep them still now, no matter how much she tried. Spy stared at her fingers, feeling the horror rising in her head, the memory so powerful that it pulled her back into darkness. A distant, more numb part of her knew that she was going into shock.

“Where the hell have you been, Frenchie?”

Soldier was walking towards her, his helmet swinging from one hand and blood splattered across his arm. He had missed her. If she could explain, he might be able to help her, but she had no words for it yet, in any language she knew. The force of trying to make sense of it, to say something, was worse than any wound. Spy didn't really see him approach. Darkness closed in around her.

“Spy? Goddamnit, you better not be sleeping on your feet or something...”

She clutched at the front of his uniform, feeling the fabric bunch around her fingers, desperately trying to find a lifeline. She couldn't breathe. This wasn't the RED base anymore; she was in the Sniper's nest, broken and suffering, having her humanity stripped away out of cruelty. The stench of urine clogging her nose and mouth. Her torn and bleeding stomach. The hard wood pressed into her face. Her insides being ripped apart. The sensation of having her throat cut. The final fall into death.

The memory was as real as if she was experiencing it for the first time. It replayed over and over, and there was nothing she could do to make it stop. Nothing she could have done except scream, and the reality of that destroyed her. Nothing else existed in the void except her crying, frightened self, and the memory of the rape.

“...I said BREATHE, private, THAT IS AN ORDER!”

Soldier's voice. Harsh and angry, with a cutting edge like her butterfly knife. He was always able to make himself heard. The sound seemed to come from a distance, but it felt more real than the memory that flayed her mind. Warmth, and faith; a flickering point of light that offered something good, something close enough to touch and grab onto. Accept her as part of the team. You're coming with me one way or another. Freedom meant something more than just a word. She could die here, inside her own head, but Soldier wanted her to live. He thought she was more than just meat. Maybe that was enough, if she held it close and found a way out of the abyss.

Spy took a long, ragged breath, and opened her eyes. This was the RED base, and she was safe; it was just a memory, even if it was a terrible one. She forced herself to keep breathing, to ease the burning in her lungs. Every gulp of air filled her senses with the smell of clean sweat, with a faint hint of soap. Soldier held her tightly; warmth all around her, that anchored her here and kept the twisted memory at bay. Her face was buried in his neck, and the skin under her cheek was soft, comforting. This was real, and safe. He's not like the others. He won't try to break you.

His heartbeat was strong and steady. Her pulse had been racing out of control, but while she felt each beat under her fingers, it gradually began to slow down and match his. The violent shaking that she had barely been aware of became less so. He didn't let her go, and he didn't say anything. He just waited, until she had fully come back from whatever was trying to consume her soul.

It took a long time before she felt able to push him away and stand without support. His helmet was lying on the floor next to her disguise kit. She hadn't even heard it fall. Soldier gripped her shoulders firmly, and gave her a very hard stare. She met his eyes without flinching.

“What. Happened.”

The words felt strange, and her voice didn't sound right, but at least she remembered how to talk. Spy felt... somewhat calm, for some reason. Brittle, like a pane of glass, but functional. “The BLU Sniper raped me,” she said, almost puzzled at how easily she spoke of it.

Soldier's eyes narrowed. The pressure on her arms increased for a moment, then he released her. “So what are you gonna do about it, Frenchie?” he asked quietly.

She looked down for a moment, and stayed silent. What would she do? The answer seemed out of her grasp. She had never felt so powerless, not even during the war as she watched her country being overtaken by fascists.

The shape of an idea suggested itself. What would a raped woman do, if she were a former French Resistance fighter? Someone who had once poisoned an entire regiment of Nazis; who had gutted one of their informants; who had killed again and again and enjoyed every minute of it?

She looked up. “I am going to torture him. I am going to ruin him. When I finally kill him, he will wake up screaming.”

Soldier didn't respond. He seemed to be judging her, as if she were a bomb that needed to be handled carefully. She wasn't sure if he was wrong in that estimation; she felt broken, incomplete, as if something vital hadn't come through Respawn with her, and she was in danger of falling into darkness again. But Soldier kept her here, and the solid familiarity of his presence pushed back the demons in her head.

She watched him scoop up his helmet and her disguise kit, and took it when it was offered to her. He gestured back towards the kitchen with his thumb. “You need to eat, and Engie can tell us why you were in Respawn so long. Let's go.”

“I am not hungry.” She said it by instinct, realizing that her hair and eyes were revealed. Spy never showed her entire face to her teammates – Soldier, of course, existed in another category that had no such restrictions – and to walk into their presence without her sunglasses and hood would be uncomfortable. But she didn't want to cover herself up, not while the abyss was so close. She needed light.

“I'm sorry, did that sound like a request?” Soldier growled. “You're no good to us if you pass out from hunger, and I am NOT about to carry you into battle tomorrow, so the next words out of your mouth had better be SIR, YES, SIR!”

It should be easy to disobey. Orders were merely suggestions to her, to be followed if convenient and ignored otherwise, but this was no normal situation. Spy knew that she was going to walk with Soldier and enter the kitchen as she was, and there she was going to eat regardless of whether she was hungry. It was a foregone conclusion, so powerful that she began to move without any more prompting. Her anchor wanted her to do something. She had to obey.

They walked side by side, both staring rigidly ahead. She couldn't shake the feeling that the world was somehow only real while Soldier was close by.

53 .

may i be the first to say this is amazing and i love you! i always check to see if this story has updated every day 3 times aday cuz i dont wanna miss a beat :3 lve the style and the way the words and characters just fit together! :3
so belivable u handled rape and the after shock quite well might i say :D i cant wait for the next chapter :D

54 .

>>53

Stop doing that, please. Weaboo shit like ":3" and other emoticons will get your ass underage b& faster than you can say "Degroot Keep".


>>52
I was really hoping there wouldn't be rape in this story, since it seems like most strong female characters in the TF2 fandom end up raped. Looking forward to watching her take her revenge, though!

55 .

I was hoping for no rape as well but this is still very well written and it pleases me. I will accept it, so long as there is the loveliness of Spy and Soldier together.

56 .

I like how Soldier was all comforting and supportive. He was being tough and all without being an asshole.

57 .

Sorry guys. I had this planned from the start, mostly because I got to thinking about how often female characters in the fandom get raped, and I was thinking about how I'd write it. The bones of what I just posted got written before I finished the second section.

I'll make up for it, I promise.

58 .

Eh, everybody gets raped in /afic/. You handled it a lot more tastefully than I was expecting.

59 .

>>58

Seconded. It's an unpleasant reality, but I thought you did a good job of covering it without making it 'sexy' or graphically lurid.

60 .

I like how you managed to cover the rape without taking it lightly, but also without letting the drama overshadow the rest of the narrative. You also made it a serious interesting plot device instead of a silly immature excuse to get to some "sexual healing", which is very pleasing and do not mock anyones inteligence. Please keep up, your story is making me very happy

61 .

Well, let me explain. I don't hate rape as a plot element and I don't hate it as a sexual fantasy. My problem with rape in fanfiction is that I hate the implication that someone who is violent will naturally become a rapist too. I understand such a thing is possible and plausible, especially within a group of such violent, crazy men. If anything, the TF2 fandom is one of the most likely fandoms for it to happen in. The thing is, I ADORE all of the characters and rape is much more villainous than general violence. So whoever gets the rapist card is being vilified and in a way it feels like slander to me. I know it can be done well. I love this story and Vichyssoise for that reason but that is why I was hoping for no rape.

62 .

From start to finish this is an utterly fantastic read.
I'm not usually one for female characters, but I am one for Spies, which is why I blew caution to the wind and read through all of this.

...and it is brilliant.

Your Spy is such a strong character. You portray her exactly how I'd imagine a female Spy to be, and it's just fantastic! Even the rape was handled so wonderfully.

In a scenario like Team Fortress, where a bunch of guys are kept together in a war like this, introducing a female character is like setting fire to petrol. You've taken that idea and made her fit in so beautifully.

I eagerly await more.

63 .

I read all of this story so far and the first thing I thought was 'GENTLEMEN', followed by 'MENTLEGEN'.

64 .

When Soldier pushed the canteen door open, and she walked in behind him, Spy felt nothing at all. The uncomfortable feeling of having seven pairs of eyes on her face, sans hood and sunglasses, never materialized. That was somehow more worrying than the fact that she was exposed to the rest of the team; she felt almost nothing, as if the part of her that generated emotion had been switched off.

The empty place inside her head still remained. The certainty that something undefinable had been torn out of her in the trip through Respawn became more solid with every passing moment. Something was missing that left her broken, hanging on to sanity and reality by a very thin thread.

That thread walked over to the stove, and picked up two plates of Pyro's inevitably burnt stew. He returned to the table, placed one in front of her usual seat next to the firestarter, and pointed at it. “You. Eat.”

Spy sat down, and did as she was ordered. The food tasted of nothing. There was no hunger in her belly to satisfy. She would still eat it all, watched by Soldier sitting across from her with his own dinner, but it was nothing more than an automatic reaction. Her body needed sustenance, and it took care of itself without any input from her mind.

Demo was the first to break the tension that had descended since she had entered the room. “'Why're ye not wearin' the hood 'n' glasses, Spy?”

She paused, her eyes flicking to his face for a second. He was puzzled, curious. Could she answer? There was no imperative to respond, not like when Soldier spoke to her. She looked at the man himself, silently asking whether he wanted her to say anything. Bizarre, and wrong, but she didn't feel in control of her own actions any longer – as if it were safer for someone else, someone she trusted implicitly, to be in control instead.

His eyes narrowed. “Well? You gonna answer the man, private?”

Ah. She was allowed to speak – no, she was ordered to speak. “I had a bad day. I did not want to wear them for a little while,” she said, and her voice still sounded flat and lifeless.

Demo looked at the rest of the table, then looked back at her. “If ye don' mind me sayin', lass, ye seem a wee bit off.”

“She's acting like a fucking robot, man,” Scout suddenly burst out. “It's seriously creeping me out!” He caught the stares that the others were giving him. “What?! I know you're all thinking it, c'mon!”

Spy ignored him and continued eating. This was what was important. Finish the food, because you need it. Normally, she'd mock or threaten Scout to keep him him line, remind him that she was not to be taken lightly, but that seemed irrelevant now. Normally, she'd do the same to all of them.

“I think you'd best shut up, boy,” Engineer said darkly as he stood up. “Spy, you want a cup of coffee?”

Another direct question. She wasn't thirsty, but any liquid would be good. “Yes. Thank you.”

He placed the mug in front of her, and took away the empty plate. The warmth that seeped through her gloves from it seemed muted. Soldier was still watching her, as if his gaze were the only thing stopping her from attacking them all. Pyro touched her shoulder, and murmured something interrogative.

“He wants to know why you had a bad day,” Engineer translated. “Did something happen?”

Spy looked up at Soldier again. She had to answer, didn't she? It wasn't difficult. Maybe it should have been, but the words came to her as easily as they had when she had told him. “The BLU Sniper raped me,” she said, her eyes never leaving his face.

The room became deathly silent, broken only by the harsh crack of a mug hitting the floor. Spy never saw their reactions. Only Soldier was important. He was still here, and he kept the horror of it away.

“Holy dooley,” their own Sniper said softly. His voice was very much like his counterpart's, with the same inflections and sounds. Should that bother her? Spy wasn't sure. She sipped some of the coffee; again, it tasted of nothing, but it was warm.

Pyro started shouting – a stream of muffled words that she could barely make out. He hugged her frantically, babbling something behind his mask, then knocked over his chair in his rush make for the door. Engineer grabbed him before he got too far, pulling him back while he fought to get free and yelled angrily.

“Are you out of your damn mind?! You can't jus' wander into the BLU base during ceasefire!” The Texan may have been smaller, but he wasn't letting go. He got in front of Pyro and pushed him back. “I know you're mad, but you're gonna get yourself fired if you try anything! You know that!”

Pyro began to rant at him, gesturing wildly at Spy and at the door. Heavy stood up as well, even as Medic put a hand on his arm. “I think Pyro have good idea,” he growled. “I think we should go crush BLU, teach him he not treat wooman like that.”

“All of you, sit the hell down now,” Soldier snapped. When Pyro got louder, in spite of Engineer's attempts to calm him, he got a little annoyed.

“I SAID ALL OF YOU MAGGOTS SIT DOWN THIS GODDAMN MINUTE!” he shouted, at a volume that made Spy's ears ache. They didn't obey, but they did shut up. The room went quiet again.

“What do you think we do then?” Heavy finally asked, folding his arms across his huge chest.

“We're not doing anything,” Soldier said, looking pointedly at Spy. “She's gonna take care of it. Isn't that right, Frenchie?”

Yes. Yes, she would take care of it. Whatever Spy was going to do to the BLU Sniper, it would fix the part of her that had been broken. She would keep hunting him until it did. A faint flicker of gratitude surged in her mind at the sound of Soldier's voice, and faded away quickly. He only wanted to know when, not if, she could do it. And she was still capable of feeling. That was good.

“Oui,” she said quietly. “I can fight my own battles.”

Not one of them challenged her. Spy kept drinking the coffee. Soldier kept watching her, his own food and even the wound on his arm forgotten. Pyro kept arguing with Engineer in the background, albeit in a more normal tone of voice. Heavy sat down, and Medic murmured something into his ear.

As soon as her empty mug hit the table, Soldier took it and left it in the sink. “Me and Spy are going on patrol,” he announced, slamming his helmet back onto his head. “Engie, there might be something wrong with Respawn, so go make sure it's not doing some maintenance crap or whatever. The rest of you are dismissed for the night.”

She immediately got to her feet and followed him. Another order; easy to follow. Pyro stopped her as she approached the door, hugged her again tightly for a second, and said something pleadingly. Such close contact, and it didn't bother her. Her usual instincts were as numb as her feelings.

“He's askin' if you're okay,” Engineer said, looking very worried. “I mean... jeezus, Spy, are you okay? And what in hell happened in Respawn?”

“She's fine,” Soldier snarled. “I said we're going on patrol – now move out, private!” He grabbed her arm and pulled her outside, past Engineer's shocked stare and Pyro's surprised squeak. She didn't resist. Everything was just a little unreal, even her teammates, apart from Soldier. His hand felt blisteringly hot through her jacket, as if she needed further confirmation.

They had to stop by the armory so that he could pick up his shotgun, and Soldier shoved a revolver into her hands after a few minutes of searching. “You need a gun to go on patrol,” he said by way of explanation.

They did nothing but walk around the base, checking rooms for the enemy Spy, making sure the right doors were locked. She felt another small surge, this time of dread, at the thought of having to go outside into the darkness, but Soldier followed his usual route and expected her to do the same. The feeling didn't last. He was here, and he wouldn't let the monsters in her head kill her.

65 .

The beautiful thing is that Solly's doing exactly what any therapist worth his salt would do for a rape victim - getting her to participate in normal, everyday activities.
It just so happens that normal, everyday activities for this bunch involves drills and patrols and guns.

Soldier won't let one of his team mates have an emotional shut down on his watch - get out there and do some push ups, woman! Yet that's what she really needs, someone to make her to keep going when she has no motivation to do so herself.

66 .

Go on...

67 .

I read this all in one sitting so far. This will be remaining open in a tab for the next few months while I wait for more chapters.

SO GOOD. I'm so glad you're handling the rape thing... well, tastefully for lack of a better word. I'm fed up of stuff that reads like some mediocre hentai along the lines of "OH NO, DON'T DO THAT, NOOOOoooh well, at least I tried. YES, KEEP GOING, HARDER".

tl;dr: I love this. More please.

68 .

She was exhausted, but sleep seemed impossible. The room was too dark, even with the lights on. Spy lay in bed, cocooned in the blankets, cold even though the night was overly warm. This was a safe place; her own locked room inside the RED base, the same room that had been her fortress for the last three weeks without incident. Now, she couldn't close her eyes for fear of what she might see.

Soldier wasn't here. He had left her after they had spent the entire evening patrolling the base and looking after their weapons. He had taken it upon himself to instruct her on how to strip and clean the revolver, and that had taken up another hour or so. Then she was told to get some sleep, and be ready for battle at the usual time of oh six hundred tomorrow morning.

Another order. She wanted to obey, wanted to rest and dream of nothing. Her mind would not comply.

Darkness lurked everywhere, crawling out of every crack to clutch at her and pull her back into the abyss. The creak of wood settling elsewhere, the hiss of the wind outside; all the usual night time noises seemed threatening, now. And the light wasn't bright enough to drive it all away.

There were footsteps outside her door as someone passed by. She could feel herself tense up, and feel the fear rising in her gut, as they grew louder and then faded away. The part of her that had been numb was alive and kicking, but all it could do was let her feel afraid. Spy clenched the blankets tightly in her fists, pulling them around her and trying desperately not to tremble.

This wasn't right, she shouldn't be broken like this, like any other weak, spineless woman. The fear infected every corner of her mind, spreading spidery cracks through what was left of her sense of self. Her train of thought fractured and started to crumble away.

A maquisard would not be so easily destroyed, and she – she was one of them. One of the best. Not meat. Not inconsequential. And. And he. He treated you like meat. Meat to be taken. Discarded. Unworthy. But you. You are not meat. Must believe. Always believed. Even when they look at you like. Like meat. Y-you are a Spy. Not just another woman. Still strong. Still g-good. M-must believe, even, even, even when it's breaking you inside and you are so afraid...

Her whole body was shaking again. The light wasn't enough. The shadows were too close, and too dark. She smelled that horrible, acrid, foul odour of piss and sweat and wood, and pure terror flooded through her being. No no no no, it's NOT real, it's NOT, you have to ignore it, it's just your imagination playing tricks – just – just –

The light bulb suddenly popped and went out, leaving only the desk lamp. Darkness seemed to leap across the room and bear down on her, the creaking sounding like derisive laughter. She gave a muffled, terrified cry, her breath getting shorter with every second. Not again, please, not again, don't let it in, don't let it get me, not safe here, not safe, I – I need – I need – get out! RUN!

Blind fear took over, and Spy scrambled madly for the door. She tore it open and left it ajar, sprinting down the corridor in panic. She had nothing but her vest and underwear and the air outside her room felt freezing, but it was well lit at least. That would keep the demons away until... Get to Soldier. He's safe. He'll stop it from hurting you.

She whimpered. No, don't think, don't think, just run, as fast as you can! It's following you, it'll follow you everywhere, you'll never be safe because they all look at you like that and you know they'd all do the same if you didn't threaten them constantly and keep them away from you –

She turned a corner, slammed into another warm body full force, and crashed to the ground. Her arm twisted painfully to the side as she fell, and Medic sprawled under her with a sharp oath. Heavy had been walking beside him, both in dressing gowns and carrying a towel, and now he leaned down and touched her on the shoulder in surprise and concern.

“Spy? What is – why you run? Where is danger?”

Getupgetupgetup – no words, not for him, and certainly not for the German. They were dangerous. They could hurt her, and she couldn't stop them. She took off down the corridor again, leaving Heavy to help his friend, trying to escape from them as much as the darkness. Soldier's room was right there, and Soldier would be inside, and everything would be alright if he was close by.

The door was locked. Had to get to Soldier. She threw her shoulder against it in spite of the pain in her arm, trying to break it down; it was solid wood, and unlikely to budge unless someone of Heavy's size charged it, but she struck it again and again. Terror had completely gripped her mind and blotted out any rational thought.

A indistinct battle cry sounded from inside the room, and the door suddenly sprang open. Soldier stood ready to meet the intruder, his shovel raised to strike as Spy barrelled into him – again, she fell, but this time she threw her arms around his torso and gripped him tightly. They both stumbled and collapsed to the floor, and the shovel hit the ground with a resounding clang.

His jacket and helmet were missing. The thin white vest couldn't contain the heat of his body; it soaked into her skin, and soothed her just as much as the powerful thump of his heartbeat. Spy pressed her face against his chest as he sat up, all pain forgotten. His presence filled her senses and forced the darkness back into a distant corner of her mind. Her racing pulse began to slow down.

There were voices outside, somewhere behind her. They didn't matter.

“...what is wrong with Spy? She run down hallway, bump into Doktor – she is...”

“I'll take care of it,” he said, her ear against his chest making him sound impossibly loud. It rose and fell with every breath, the muscles clenching as he moved. He smelled like sweat, like a man who did a lot of physical exercise and had no time for something as frivolous as cologne. Another buzz of speech, and it seemed even farther away now. It didn't matter at all.

“I'll take care of it, now you and the Kraut get outta here! And shut the damn door!” He sounded angry. Not with her. He was just being himself. It was not in his nature to be gentle, and that was fine. She needed his strength.

He was certainly strong enough to move her around without much effort. Soldier took hold of her shoulders and lifted her up to face him, grabbed her chin and examined her with that same hard look in his eyes. Spy couldn't imagine what he saw.

“You in there, Frenchie?” he asked sharply.

“Yes,” she said softly, not even thinking about whether she should answer. He asked a question. She could sooner stop the sun from rising in the morning than not reply.

“Why'd you come here?”

“I am afraid, Jean,” she whispered. Her trembling arms found their way around his neck, and he didn't stop her as she hugged him close. “I am so afraid. It is killing me.”

“You think I can snap my fingers and make it better?”

“You... I... I do not know.” She had disappointed him. Spy hated herself for being so damn weak. That was all he had ever wanted from her – that she do her job as well as she could, and be a good Spy for the team. A good Spy would not run from the darkness like a child. If she had any courage at all, she would be back in her room and getting some sleep in preparation for the battle tomorrow. “I am sorry,” she said, hating even the pathetic sound of her own voice. “I am sorry.”

He stood up somewhat clumsily, and pulled her up with him. She didn't dare let go, in case he decided that she should return to her room; if he gave that order, she would obey, but she would likely lose her mind to the fear. But he remained silent for a while, again, and just held her close until the shaking began to ease a little.

“You're stronger than this,” he said. “You didn't kill all those damn Nazis just to get done in by some pissant Australian, so you'd better get your head together and get back in the fight – do you hear me, private?

His voice was always harsh, always rough. There was no softness in anything that he did. No allowances. Even when she failed, he'd expect more and demand that she do better. Even when she felt helpless and broken, he believed that she could fight. Of all the pillars she had built inside her mind, every support that held her together, he was the only one that hadn't been knocked away. He called her strong, and the fact that he had said it somehow made it a little more true.

“Sir, yes, sir,” she murmured. This was a safe place. Soldier made it safe. His faith and warmth all around her kept the horror at bay. If he just kept holding her for a while, she could finally fall asleep.

He had other ideas, however. “Are you gonna go back to your room?”

“Non!” She breathed deep, trying to hold down the surge of terror, and release her sudden grip on his vest. “No. I – I cannot. Please, Jean...” She despised the cracked, pleading tone; where was her dignity, her self-respect? “Please help me.”

He didn't reply, possibly because he was thinking. Spy no longer had any idea of what to do other than pray he wouldn't leave. Finally, he pushed her away, and sat her down on his bed.

“Dammit, let me go for a minute,” he said irritably. “I'm not going anywhere.”

She complied, with difficulty. Her hands began to shake as soon as he moved away from her. There was only a lamp on the nightstand lighting the room, and she had to keep telling herself that everything was alright because Soldier was nearby. He sat down beside her and took off his boots, followed by his pants. He wore plain white briefs, and Spy realized that she had never known that before. She had never once seen him get undressed, for all that she knew what he looked like naked.

He finally pulled off his vest, exposing his scarred, muscled back. The dog tags, of course, were always around his neck. He scrubbed a hand through his hair, and looked at her with a mixture of annoyance and... something else. Worry, maybe. Spy stared back, waiting to see what he would do. I trust you. You'll keep me safe.

Soldier let out a huff of exasperation, seemingly having come to some kind of decision, and pulled the blanket down. He scooped her up, his strength making the action easy, tucked her into the bed next to the wall, and then climbed in beside her. He lay flat on his back, the width of his shoulders shoving her over to take the lion's share of the available room. His body was warm, crushed as it was against hers.

“Thank you,” she whispered. He moved a little, trying to get comfortable, then hooked his arm around her and let her lean into his chest. It felt soft, and smooth.

“Just get some sleep.” He switched off the lamp, plunging the room into quiet darkness. She was not afraid of it now. And he had given her an order, and she wanted to obey.

Her eyes drooped shut.

69 .

I love this. It's so sweet and realistic. I'm so glad you've been able to post the next chapters so rapidly too.

70 .

Favorite, favorite, favorite fic. I hope you keep this going for quite a long time! Best update so far, I was waiting for something like this to happen! Solly's such a sweetheart.

71 .

It was a long trek up the mountain. She pulled her red robes tightly around herself to keep the cold at bay, and leaned heavily on her steel staff as she followed the steep, rocky path up to the dragon's lair.

The beast would be sluggish in the early evening, having slept all day. Tonight, it would rise again to ravage the land, unless she could destroy it. Too many had already died, and too many innocent towns had been lost to its capricious nature. They needed a champion, and no others had the power as well as the courage.

In truth, she was not sure if her magic would be enough to slay the dragon once and for all. Was this a suicide mission, doomed to kill her even if she succeeded? The question was no longer important. This had to be done, or the land itself would end in fire and blood.

She reached the top. It levelled out into a plateau, swept clean of debris as if a slice of the mountain had been sheared off. The only notable feature of this windy, desolate place was a spire of rock that jutted out of the ground, and half-covered an ominous, shadowy opening.

The time had come. She planted her feet firmly, and raised her staff over her head. “Come now, thou black and foul demon! No more shalt thy breath scour this world! Come now, and face thy doom!”

Her voice was carried by the wind, and echoed unnaturally across the mountain. The cave seemed to exhale a long, crooning sigh, and some great animal stirred within.

The dragon pulled its giant bulk out of the darkness. It was many times the height of a man, with glassy yellow eyes and pale, sickly blue scales. The tongue that rolled out of its mouth was purple, and as thick as her arm. The ragged skin of its enormous wings fluttered in the breeze, and the huge claws scored the rock as settled before her.

“Well, well, look wot we have here,” it said mockingly. “I was wonderin' when those wankers were gonna send me someone to play with, but they should've sent more than one little sheila.” It yawned pointedly, and stretched itself like a cat.

“Thou hast met thy match now, creature, for I carry the power of the gods!” She held up her staff, and it crackled with contained energy. “I need no army to vanquish you!”

It snorted with laughter. “Yeah, right.”

The first blast of fire nearly took her head off. Only swift combat reflexes flung her to the side and away from the searing heat. The second crashed into her protective ward and nearly destroyed it. She got to her feet and ran, dodging the flames as the dragon chuckled and tossed fireballs into her path. It was playing with her, that much was certain. Her magic would not hold out forever, and all it had to do was wait for her to tire before finishing her off.

Why did they think she could do this? One woman against a fiend from the deepest pit of hell! Her precious staff was small comfort – it had power, but she needed time to cast any spell and standing still would get her killed! She ran on, trying desperately to think, to devise some strategy.

One huge claw slapped the rock, sending a concussive wave that knocked her to the ground again. She rolled over, holding her staff up to meet an imagined blow and catching sight of the dragon's leering, predatory smile. It took a deep breath as she tried to sit up, and a lance of fire erupted from its scaly maw.

She covered her face, expecting the worst. It did not come. The heat washed past her, but there was no flame licking at her robes and eating into her flesh. She opened her eyes to see the Knight standing over her, his great silver shield protecting her from a gruesome demise.

He was never very far away, even if he sometimes left her alone. Her stalwart companion, one who had been by her side through countless battles and who had shared her bed when she needed comfort. There was no other she trusted so well nor loved so dearly.

The dragon snorted in annoyance as the Knight turned and pulled her to her feet. “That supposed to be yer backup? I think I'll barbeque the both of you and use yer bones as toothpicks.” It huffed again, preparing another jet of fire.

The Knight held up the shield again, his red tabard flapping against her side as she crouched behind him. “What the hell are you waiting for, private?!” he shouted. “Kill the sonuvabitch NOW, that is an ORDER!”

He believed in her. There was no reason to fear anymore.

She stood up fully, and lifted her staff up to the sky as the dragon blasted them again. The shield sparkled in the sunset, its protective aura keeping the terrible fire at bay. As it raised its enormous claws to try to swat them off the mountain, the magic surged through the staff and into her. The air was stilled instantly as she drew more and more power, ripples of energy dancing from her fingertips and her eyes. The dragon looked astonished for a brief second as the clouds above them split apart, then the world went white as she called down the wrath of heaven itself.


Spy woke with a start, and sat up suddenly. No... a dream, already fading into a blur of color and sound. There was... a dragon? The shining shield. Great evil. A knight in a red tabard.

The darkness still lurked, somewhere in the corners of her mind. It seemed less threatening, like an animal that had been beaten into submission – but like an animal, it still had its teeth, and if she turned her back on it for a moment, it would leap for her throat. She took a deep breath and rubbed her eyes, feeling tired but somehow restless. The faint light in the window suggested that it was early morning.

Soldier stirred beside her. Spy glanced at him, and again the image of a knight rose in her mind. Her subconscious apparently didn't know the meaning of the word 'subtlety'. She lay down, feeling rather stupid, and tucked her head under his chin.

Ah. She felt something. The numbness that had shut her down was fading. Whether it would let the horror back in remained to be seen.

Soldier's slow, steady breaths didn't change, but the muscles under her cheek bunched up for a moment as he tucked his arm around her again. He was probably somewhat awake at this point. His hand came to rest on her side, pressing in possessively for a long moment. The action made her feel pleasantly warm.

“Wha's wrong now?” he said, his voice slurring a little.

“Just a dream, Jean. I am fine,” she whispered. Spy let her fingers trail across his chest, feeling the heartbeat within. The regular rhythm seemed to travel up her arm and into her own body. The pleasant feeling grew a little, then a little more when he took her hand and leaned his head against hers.

“Go back t'sleep, Frenchie, got a battle 'n the morning,” he murmured into her hair. She hummed in response. This quiet peace didn't seem real, not in comparison to the explosions and gunfire that marked her days and the twisted, crippling memory that could infect her mind at any moment, but it was no less welcome. It was like a small, pocket sanctuary where she could rest and recover her strength. The thought made her feel like she could drift off again.

Soldier yawned, and rubbed her side gently. Spy closed her eyes and let the sensation lull her to sleep.

72 .

OMG! I love you!
love the dream secuence! it plastered a smile on my face from the moment i started reading and then at the end i just went "DAWWWWWW!"
your stories make it hard for me to contain my excitements! keep up the awesome work!

73 .

Oh man, I'm not usually partial to dream sequences like that in stories, but that was just way too adorable not to love (and dat Australian dragon pffff oh god). Keep up the good work!

74 .

Silly RED Spy's subconscious. The Soldier isn't a Knight, he's a shaved bear ogre that kills people.

75 .

I put off on reading this for a while. Boobs are nice and all, but they're not my thing. Stick to what I like.

Now, I happened to glaze over a few comments a bit back, and it mentioned rape. That seemed odd to me, since it seemed rather clichéish, and not up to your usually doktory standards. But, rape is my thing, so I kept that in the back of my mind, and decided I'd have to get around to seeing how you handled it, at some point or another.

So, I started to read it. And it was pretty good. Of course, I thought the rape scene would at first happen between Soldier and Spy when they were in the showers. I was...pleasantly surprised it did not happen.

Then the rape did happen, and while part of me was a bit disappointed it was played for plot, most of me was too engaged to care.

So...yeah. Go you.

I will say this though. I think that Spy should definitely fight her own battles, but that doesn't mean she should not have the rest completely let her do her own thing.

The thing with TF2 is that it's a TEAM game. You can't win it unless you work as a team.

Of course, that's just my interpretation.

Jolly good fic you have.

76 .

Oh boy. I have shivers.
This is new for a fic.

77 .

It's....

Beautiful.

78 .

I think for the rest of my life, a part of me is going to think of dragons whenever someone brings up Sniper. Heh. This was a great update, I love the way you're writing this so much...

ALL OF MY LOVE- IT BELONGS TO YOU.

79 .

Same anon as post 75. Sue me.

I was just wondering if you were considering RED Sniper to have any trickle-down guilt due to what happened? I mean, he's obviously a bit of a lech, but apparently slightly more harmless than his BLU counterpart. Maybe it can mean character development/ platonicship?

But this is your fic, I just wanted to get that out there.

80 .

She was woken up again by Soldier moving to turn off his battered alarm clock. He kept it just under the bed, for some bizarre reason. Spy found herself left uncomfortably cold as he pulled his arm away and leaned over to grab it.

No, she didn't like that at all. When he rolled back again, she pressed into his chest and hugged him tightly, seeking the warmth that had kept her safe all night. For a moment, he didn't move at all, then his arms settled around her again, hands resting on her shoulder and her back.

She certainly didn't want to get up. Leaving the bed meant leaving the room, and that meant battle and death and being far away from Soldier, or at least farther than being almost naked and in bed with him. While he was nearby, and – well, she had to be honest with herself – while he was touching her, the memory faded into the background, overwhelmed by his presence. Any distance meant that it could rise up and eat her alive.

Staying here forever wouldn't be possible even on a more normal day, though. The only question was who was going to be the first to move, and she had a hard time forcing herself to let go.

Soldier made the decision for her a few minutes later. He nudged her to one side and climbed out of bed, stretching his neck and shoulders before going to the dresser and pulling out a clean uniform, underwear and socks. Spy curled into the hollow he had left behind, and watched him strip off. The pillow smelled like him.

“You need to go and get dressed,” he said abruptly, not looking at her, then nodded to the door. “Move it, Frenchie, we got BLUs to kill today.”

His voice was a little less harsh, for all that he didn't want to meet her gaze. Spy idly wondered if he could feel her eyes on him, like she did around other men. The imperative to obey still remained, and she found herself sitting up before the order fully registered in her mind.

The air was cold. That was probably a product of her deranged psyche, rather than any lingering night time chill; this was the middle of the desert, after all. She stood, and thought about the reality of walking down the corridor and back to the place that had so terrified her. It was just her own room, but the fear was not easily forgotten. The numbness couldn't quite dampen it down – and she knew now that that was a defence mechanism, of a sort. Shut down the part of a person that could feel, in order to preserve some semblance of normal function.

Spy walked to the door, and stopped as she reached for the handle. This was hard. Leaving her anchor was hard. Outside there be dragons, she thought, and again the image of the knight returned. The silver shield. She had no idea whether that would be enough to protect her against the darkness. Her hands began to shake again, and she balled them into fists to try to make it stop.

A warm touch on her shoulder made her look around. Soldier was half-dressed now, his chest still bare. He reached up to cradle her cheek, the heat from his fingers leaving tracks on her skin. There was something hidden in his eyes behind his usual hard expression. “I gave you an order, private,” he said, and it sounded just a little too hoarse, too raw.

He believed in her. There was no reason to fear anymore.

The moment passed just as quickly as it had come. Soldier opened the door for her, and gave her a gentle push outside. Spy began to walk, her feet following the familiar path without prompting, and it seemed like every step was infused with bright silver light. The darkness followed, but it kept its distance.

She found herself at the door to the canteen after going to her room and getting dressed. The motions had been automatic, mostly, except for her lack of sunglasses and her hood still pulled down around her shoulders. Her own alarm clock showed that the time was just past half six in the morning.

There was already someone up besides her and Soldier. Medic was bustling around the counter, making toast and coffee. Two cups sat on a tray beside him. He looked up as she entered, and nodded politely.

“Good morning, Spy,” he said, and reached for another cup. “Vould you like some coffee?”

Her usual distaste for him was absent. It seemed that her feelings would come back slowly, and not all at the same time. “Yes. Thank you.”

She sat down in her usual spot, and to her surprise, he placed the cup in front of her and sat across from her, in Soldier's seat. She watched him coldly as he sipped his own drink, apparently unconcerned that he was committing a grievance against her. The orderly part of her brain complained that his place was at the other end of the table, beside Heavy.

He looked at her with an odd, calculating expression, then set his cup down and began to speak. “How do you feel zis morning?”

Her lips curled instinctively. Spy didn't want to talk to him, of all people. “That is no concern of yours.”

Medic sniffed, and did not reply. He seemed fascinated by his coffee. He wasn't wearing his gloves and coat, and his shirt sleeves were rolled up. This was probably the closest he had ever been to her, and from here she could pick out the slight grey streaks at his temples and more than a few wrinkles.

“I vas only nineteen,” he said suddenly, “ze first time I vas raped.”

Any train of thought she had came crashing to a halt. He continued in a very normal voice, calm and collected as if he were discussing the weather. Her cup stopped halfway to her mouth, and she slowly placed it back on the table.

“I had just come to accept my... inclinations tovards men, you see. I vent to a club for zhose who shared my preference, and I had a very nice time, for ze most part. An older man took a liking to me zhat I did not return. Vun night, he trapped me and made it clear I vould not be allowed to leave unless he got vhat he vanted. I never vent zere again.”

“Why are you telling me this?” she asked, feeling the darkness stirring as like called to like.

Medic ignored the question. “Ze second time, I vas fleeing from Germany just before ze var. I had paid two men to get me across ze border to Svitzerland and provide me viz a new passport. Vhen I got to ze crossing point, zey demanded a... furzer payment to complete ze deal.”

This was dangerous; it was too much, too soon. The horror was close, and all she had was a line of silver to hold it back. But there was a sense of unreality about it all, as if she couldn't connect the tall German with what she had experienced. Spy's hands gripped the cup handle until her knuckles went white. He still wasn't finished speaking.

“Ze zhird time vas just before I vas transferred to zis base. Vun of my former teammates discovered my inclinations and assumed I vould be open to casual sex viz anyone who offered. I refused him, of course.” He shrugged dismissively. “His solution vas to get me blind drunk. At least I do not remember ze experience.”

She reached out and grabbed the front of his shirt, a surge of anger overtaking the fear for a moment. “Why. Are. You. Telling. Me. This?” she hissed through clenched teeth.

Medic carefully took her wrist and pulled her hand down, returning it to the coffee cup. “I vant to help you, Spy. You need to know zhat I speak from experience.”

“I did not ask for your help.”

“Nein, but my job is to be concerned for ze vell-being of ze team, and I know a psychotic episode vhen I see it. You may not like me, but zere are some zings you must hear – zings zhat I vish I had been told, vhen it happened to me.”

The numb, hollow feeling clamped down, but it couldn't dispel the odd sense of kinship rising in her mind. Medic looked less like the Nazis she hated, and more like an older, rather world-weary man. Despite her threats and her obvious dislike, he had never once shirked his duty to heal her when she needed it. That, perhaps, should count for something.

Suddenly she came to a very obvious conclusion. “You and Heavy?” she asked.

He nodded. “Ja, me and Heavy.”

It seemed clear, when you thought about it. They were a little too close to be just friends. There were looks and touches that could be dismissed if one hadn't considered the possibility that they were more intimate than two men should be. Such a thing would probably be frowned upon by RED, and he had told her because he wanted to help her.

“Who else knows?” she asked, staring at her coffee cup rather than meet his gaze.

“Sniper. Ze ozzers may suspect, but he has helped to divert attention from us more zan vunce. I know nozzing of his history, but he understands, in some vay, vhat it is like to hide vhat you are.” He sipped his coffee. “Somezing about ze angry conversations he has viz his fazzer, perhaps.”

The darkness still coiled around her, pushing at the silver shield, searching for a weakness to break through. Spy thought of Soldier; his warmth, his smell, his eyes. It receded a little, letting her speak of it without her voice shaking.

“How do you live without it hurting you?” she said.

He looked at her with profound sympathy. “You do not,” he replied sadly. “It vill alvays hurt, and... sometimes ze memory vill come back and try to svallow you up. It fades, zhough. It gets easier. Ve find vays of containing it, so zhat ze pain is bearable vhen ve must remember. And you vill do zis, believe me – ze only alternative is to die, and ve are not dead yet.”

It was somewhat comforting to know that a fix was possible. And he was right about the only alternative. Even if she were inclined to suicide, Respawn made it impossible. The only way out was to slay the dragon, once and for all. “What did you want to tell me?” she asked, as she realized that her coffee had probably gone cold.

“It vas not your fault,” he said softly, and the words brought an old, long-buried ache to his eyes. “You may zink about... zings you could have done, or said, to avoid it. Perhaps you blame yourself, for not doing enough. You should not. Zhese crimes vere done to us by ozzers, and ze guilt falls on zhem alone.” He shook his head and sighed. “I do not know how it is for vomen, but... sometimes it made me believe zat I vas vorz nozzing to anyvun, and it took many years before I could convince myself zat it did not make me any less of a man, or of a person.”

Some of what he said was so familiar that it cut to the bone. The numbness failed, turning her mind into a churned mess of emotion just barely held in check. Boiling rage, and pain that she had shut down rather than face head on. It bubbled to the surface and the memory burst through with it, but there was no darkness this time, no fall into a void that could consume her. Just the experience of it, horrible as it was, running through her mind and viscerally real.

Her hands – her whole body – started to shake again. Speaking was difficult, but it seemed so important, as if saying something would help. “He t-treated me like meat,” she whispered. “I could not run. I had been shot. I did not – I did not scream. And he...” Her voice cracked, her throat so raw that it hurt. “He smelled like wood, and sweat. I am going to kill him. I hope he screams.

Her eyes blurred, and tears dripped down her face and onto her hands. It was like an open wound, one that she needed to feel and that Respawn couldn't take from her. Bleeding and agonizing, but facing it, confronting it, even knowing it was there held the hope of finally finding solace.

Medic appeared beside her and pulled her into a hug. She began to sob quietly into his chest, in desperate need of comfort and not caring who could give it to her. Spies should not cry, maquisards did not cry. They were supposed to be tough, indomitable even in the face of adversity. She cried anyway. There was only so long someone could hold this kind of pain before needing to let it go.

“Shh, shh, liebchen, it vill be alright,” he said, rocking her gently back and forth. “I know it hurts, but it vill be alright.” His voice was thick and sore, and she realized that he was crying too. He took a deep, shaky breath, and stroked her hair. “I vish I could tell you zhat it vill go avay, but I promise you, it vill get better.”

She almost didn't believe him, if her own trauma affected him so, but there was something powerful in the shared suffering. The knowledge of not being alone, perhaps. He knew what it felt like, to be so broken, and he had survived and so would she. The tears seemed to wash out some of the vividness of the memory.

And she could not have cried in front of Soldier. He demanded strength, would keep her together when she needed it, protect her even from herself, but... it took a doctor to show her how to heal.

They stayed as they were for what felt like a long time, but in retrospect, it could only have been a few minutes. Medic was a lot stronger than her, and he regained his composure faster. When Spy finally lifted her head, he gave her a thin smile, handed her his handkerchief, and rubbed her back soothingly while she dried her face.

“Now, put on your sunglasses and pull your hood up. Ze ozzers vill not notice, ja? And I vill make you some breakfast, because ve still have a battle to fight.” She nodded, and did as she was told. He patted her shoulder, and picked up her coffee cup. “If you vant to talk, you may come to my room or to ze infirmary. I vill make time for you, no matter vhat I am doing.”

He left her at the table, and began to bustle again around the counter. Spy stared blankly at her hands, feeling exhausted even though she had just woken up. That was not a bad thing. She was feeling something again, as if the part of her that had been missing was being rebuilt. It would not be the same – no one could go through that and not be changed – but the numbness was gone, and the darkness that had hidden so much had gone. The memory remained, but she did not fear that it would destroy her anymore.

The final piece of it all was the BLU Sniper. To settle this, to move on, she wanted revenge.

81 .

Jesus.

That was so powerful and moving. You are a brilliant writer.

82 .

Hanging onto every word, here. I love the emotion you pour into this without making it overwhelming.

83 .

Yayz! I think the nice thing here is that we see that rape is not just cause "lolwomen"

Also, interesting about the rape angle with medic. A lot of times, you have that whole problem with man on man rape when one is gay. It become all...tent peggy. But this way was subtly more clever. They happened because he was gay, he's not gay because of the rape, and no implications can be misinterpreted otherwise.

And, good to see a support angle as well. We see the fact that even though this is gonna be her revenge of the domination (dear god, shoot me for that horrible joke) she is not alone in this, and it's not just Solly either.

84 .

I don't even know what to say. I love this. I really, really do.

85 .

If you heard a loud crack that was my heart breaking. I'm sorry just- just keep going as I go to search for tissues and duct tape.

86 .

Every random fanfic I open up it happens to be you.

It's always a tough subject to deal with, the rape I mean. But you handled it well. I'm curious to the eventual end of this story just so I can see some justice done to that swine (and maybe some sweet lovins.)

87 .

I've always hated Soldier in fanfics. He never had any depth. Thank you for changing that.

I look forward to reading more.

88 .

oh god! i hope this uploads soon. im dying here!

89 .

Damn it, 88! I cried.

90 .

Damn it 88, I thought it updated!
Anyway, looking forward to the next chapter.

91 .

(I almost bumped this one too. And Monster in the Water.)

92 .

Alrighty, just want to let y'all know what's going on - I've been a bit slow the last week or so because I went to PAX. Just got back, in fact. (It was awesome, by the way.)

The next part is half-written, along with half of some more random porno that Sarcasmosaur asked for on Dumblr. I've also got a few other one-shots that you'll probably like but BK comes first. I'm getting close to the end, finally, then I can move on to the Seduction of the Doktor and finish that. And then I have the batshit nuts TF2/Beverly Hills 90210 crossover thing to write.

Busy busy. :P Anyone else who wants to chuck more requests at me had better take a number and be prepared to wait a loooong time.

93 .

The usual briefing was unnaturally quiet, this morning. None of them, not even Scout, groaned or complained when Soldier stood at the head of the table in the war room, arms folded around his shovel and looking even more grim than usual, to give his pep talk. There was something in the air, like a dark and heavy tension, that suggested what they were all thinking: yesterday, this was just their job. Today, it was personal.

“Men, we have a problem,” he began. “Yesterday, one of the BLUs decided to commit a war crime against one of us. We do NOT tolerate such things on the field of honorable combat. It is our duty to deliver justice, so that this bastard will never forget that NO ONE screws with RED.” He pointed at Spy with his shovel. “Spy will be the judge, jury and executioner of this sorry sack of shit. The rest of us are gonna do what we do best – beat the BLU sons of bitches back into the GODDAMN STONE AGE! NOW, ARE YOU READY TO FIGHT?”

Heavy stood up and hefted his enormous minigun. “We kill little baby men so bad, they hurt for whole month,” he growled.

“Hell yeah!” Scout suddenly cheered, and the rest joined in with varying degrees of enthusiasm. They were cut off by Soldier banging the table with his shovel, and bellowing at the top of his lungs.

“I SAID, ARE YOU MAGGOTS READY TO FIGHT?!”

They looked at each other for a moment, and this time the response came back loud and clear. “SIR, YES, SIR!”

Spy thought she noticed a flicker of pride in his eyes as he pointed at the door. “MOVE OUT!”

Medic caught her arm, and held her back for a moment as the others left. He pressed a syringe into her hands. “A sedative,” he said quietly. “Good for a few hours. He vill remain conscious but immobile.”

She tucked it into her disguise kit, alongside her cigarettes. “You think I will need a few hours to do this?”

“Nein, but I like to be certain zat zere vill be no... complications.” He squeezed her shoulder briefly. “I alvays zhought ze best revenge is living vell, but I never had a chance to try ze ozzer kind. Maybe you vill tell me vhat it is like, vhen you are done.”

“I will. Thank you.”

He smiled at her, and ran to catch up with Heavy. Spy took out her knife and spun it around her fingers, listening to the clicks and thinking carefully about what this could mean – what it could allow her to do to the BLU Sniper.

Outside by the gate, they waited for the Announcer to start the countdown. The mood had turned from dark to ugly; subtle hints in the way that Engineer loaded the shells in his shotgun, or Demo sharpened the edge of his broadsword, were threatening and angry. They were all out for blood.

Sniper cocked his rifle loudly, and checked the sights. “There are nests all over the place,” he said in an offhand way, but the silence emphasized every word. “That BLU drongo isn't as good a shot as me, but he moves around a lot. He likes to shoot a couple of times and run, so I dunno how you got to him the first time. But the best chance of catchin' him again is on the last point.”

“Why?” Spy asked. His accent still irritated her, but at least she could mentally separate him from his counterpart.

“The last point on the BLU side only has one good nest, on the gallery high above their Respawn. If we push 'em back to that, he'll go there first and try to pick off anyone goin' for the capture – if he's alive, that is. But once he's there, he's got nowhere else to go. The only way up to that gallery is by the stairs at the side, and I can put a bullet into anyone who tries to get to him.”

“What about the BLU Spy?” Scout said, as he shoved a new clip into his pistol.

Pyro said something muffled but very definite. “He says he'll take care of him,” Engineer translated.

The countdown started.

94 .

This. THIS. This made my day. First a new Mercy chapter, now Butterfly Knife. I want to say I love you, but that'll be creepy.

I liked the whole idea of the sedative and Red Sniper pointing out where to go. I can only wait for the next chapter.

95 .

I love this. I will wait patiently for what comes next.

96 .

I love this team. They're all coming together to help Spy...its beautiful.

97 .

Hoo-RAH an update! This was totally awesome, as usual, Doktor. It's so great how the whole team is so .. into it. They really stick up for each other. And WOOO go Medic! Methinks that sedative should do some good.
Anyway, excellent. I can't wait for the next part.

98 .

Hoorah for team work! I was hoping that would happen, and Spy still gets her moment. So, win-win.

99 .

i have just finished rereading this whole tale over again for like the 5th time... and I must say that i have never been more engrossed and obsessed over a fan fic in my life. this story has absolutely everything from the first sentence to the last its almost as if you poked a straw in my brain and took the story in my mind FROM MY DREAMS! and put it all into words! the first fan art for TF2 i ever did was a fem spy and a soldier staring each other down and i have stuck with this story from the very beginning and am deeply and truly happy to have gotten the chance and honor of reading this beautiful piece of literature! But in all honesty this one completely takes the cake and just devoured it... in my face... and im sorry i basically just wrote you like and epic but i just had to put this out there because you... i am starting to worship. keep amazing me you epic person you!

100 .

Oooh, do you have that picture around still? I would love to see it, personally. I think this story needs art in general, even though yours might be a little different (given that it was done before Ze Doktor wrote this.)

101 .

yeah i have them around just have not posted them i drew these images the beginning of last of last year when i fist started getting into tf2. but yes fem spy and soldier were kinda my fist non official otp. I'll see if i can upload them somewhere and show them off in a link here i guess but i don't wanna take away from this story with my crap images. and my fem spies don't look like the woman that is portrayed very well here. if ZeDoktor says its cool ill post them.

102 .

Ohhhh there is no faster way to get on my good side than to present art of something I wrote. Please, please post those images.

I don't think I've ever actually described Spy here, so I'm sure whatever you've got will look awesome.

103 .

OK! ill scann and up load them once i am back home in like a day or so. only one of them is colored but at least its something.

104 .

k here are the images :3

i hope these links work

http://s3.amazonaws.com/data.Hipstr.com/Hipstr_lr4p7wgi4o1qkrltlo1_1280.jpg?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAJ6IHWSU3BX3X7X3Q&Expires=1315445220&Signature=Eei%2FP7B
78%2FYdw%2BZ4I AM A FAGGOT HUMP MY RUMPmS3YVDlWY%3D

http://s3.amazonaws.com/data.Hipstr.com/Hipstr_lr4p5agupc1qkrltlo1_1280.jpg?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAJ6IHWSU3BX3X7X3Q&Expires=1315445223&Signature=NuIZn6uWY
aRclV%2BL8vpZ%2BFp3i1U%3D

http://s3.amazonaws.com/data.Hipstr.com/Hipstr_lr4pjfx8061qkrltlo1_1280.jpg?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAJ6IHWSU3BX3X7X3Q&Expires=1315445467&Signature=kSdLGisyM
OPIhf9g03Vp2PqnyFw%3D

if they dont work you can just find them on my Hipstr account. www.mrpen15.Hipstr.com

105 .

i swear it is still Hipstr t.u.m.b.l.r

106 .

I think I like Doktor's Solly better.

107 .

No way, I've seen your stuff before! Me gusta, dear sir. Your offering has made me giggle.

I don't specifically state what Spy looks like - or much of Solly, for that matter - but I have some vague idea in my head of what they both look like.

Soldier - Lintufriiki's art of him. I think it was some of the first fan art I saw, and it solidified the Soldier that lives in my writing space. See this here, and remove the space between deviant and art -

http://lintufriikki.deviant art.com/art/C-mere-sweetheart-183908398

Spy - depends, but mostly I think of her as Chemical Alia's Spy model, like most people I guess. Short hair, hood 'n' glasses. See this here, again remove the space -

http://chemicalalia.deviant art.com/art/Female-Spy-Final-197629372

Also - bleargh. I'm writing the next part in between getting distracted by tasty, tasty porno.

108 .

OOOOOOooooh now that i know >:3 im off to draw actual fan art of your beautiful fic!muwahaha! keep up your awesome writing!

109 .

Oooh, I'd seen some of Lintufriiki's work before but didn't know her name. LOVE her art. Especially her Soldiers. Thanks for the link. *petpets new arts stolen from site*

The Fem!Spy is about what I had imagined except for some reason I didn't imagine her hair as being visible at all. Still awesome.

Yaru's art was awesome too, particularly the colored Spy. The prior Spy's mask made me think of superheros, because of her hair sticking out. I'm still amused at the notion of Soldier just stripping right there.

110 .

>>104
I'm still getting an error with all of those links, even without the word filters. Do you think you could just stick them in a link shortner (is.gd or tinyurl) and relink them?

111 .

Okay, link for Solly is http://bit.ly/oxp8WI

Link for Spy is http://bit.ly/dT3c9M

I feel like I've been neglecting you guys. Anyway here's the next part, and I'm already writing the one after this.

----------------------------------------------


No tactics or strategy could prepare the BLUs for what they faced. The RED team attacked with vicious fury, even ignoring the points as they hunted down and killed their opponents. All of them had been infected with Soldier's usual relentless aggression, and it drove them to fight like demons. One of you hurt one of us. Now all of us are going to make all of you pay, in blood and pain.

Spy wanted to laugh out of joy and exhilaration. It had been less than a day since her very sense of self shut down, but if there was one place where she could truly be whole, it was on the battlefield, with her knife buried in someone's back. Every kill, every death, brought something back that had been taken from her. She was killed more than once, but not as often as she sent the BLUs through Respawn.

That all seemed to be working now, thankfully. Engineer had suggested that the initial delay was due to it being her first time, and that the system had done some extra checks or something. She didn't understand or care, mostly. Here was the fighting, here were her enemies, and here was her blade and her desire to murder everything within reach.

Once or twice, Spy caught the glint of a scope at a window or just above a high ledge. Yes, she thought, watch carefully. Keep hiding. Maybe you'll suspect that I'm coming for you.

Soldier was certainly watching. She moved around him and Demo, as she always did, flanking whoever they attacked head on. He put a rocket into every sniper's nest he spotted, much to the annoyance of their own teammate.

On the fourth point, they fanned out and covered the approaches. Engineer and Scout covered their back with a sentry, while Sniper and Pyro moved left to flush out any BLUs hiding in the outbuildings. Heavy and Medic attacked the point itself with an Ubercharge as Soldier, Demo and Spy advanced from the right, and the last remnants of the opposing team were crushed between them.

The last to die was her opposite number, who uncloaked right behind Soldier. Spy's warning shout died in her throat as he spun around with his shovel at the ready, and clocked the Frenchman so hard that his neck snapped with a loud crunch.

“Cigarettes?” she asked, and he nodded grimly in return.

They moved forward to the last point, in the facsimile of the enemy base. The corridors were thick with the smell of gunpowder and blood as the BLUs were pushed back. Their counter-attacks were met with furious resistance, powered by righteous and cruel anger. The REDs worked together, covering each other where they could, all usual low-grade animosity forgotten in the face of their much-needed vengeance. It swiftly came down to the final hall, and the BLUs settled in for a drawn out stalemate that could last the rest of the day.

Now was the time. Spy crouched by the main door beside Soldier and Sniper, watching the gallery high above the point. Heavy and Medic, ever inseparable, were covering the lower left hand corridors, and Engineer had built up a veritable fortress in the anteroom to the right. With Demo's help – and stickybombs – anything that came through there would be turned into paste.

Sniper nudged her in the back with his rifle, and pointed up and to the side. “See that walkway up there? End of that is the way into the gallery. I'll shoot anything that moves up there from here.”

She nodded. There would be a time limit, of course, but she was nothing if not inventive. They were well covered here, and the BLUs were bottled in for now.

Soldier grabbed her arm as she made to leave. “Be careful,” he said darkly. “We'll give you as long as we can.” Concern for her – that was not like him. Spy would have given anything to see his eyes at that moment, but they were hidden under his helmet. All she could think to do was squeeze his fingers briefly, before she disappeared behind her cloak and ran for the stairs.

She spotted Pyro under them, lurking behind some barrels and spouting flame at anything that moved. She hid, decloaked long enough to give him a thumbs-up, then swiftly moved up to the walkway.

The BLUs were starting to set up some kind of defence below her. They were boxed in, and they knew it. The Engineer was hurriedly building a sentry, watched over by the Heavy and the Medic. The others would respawn soon. Would the Sniper be in the nest? She couldn't quite see from here.

The sound of a high powered rifle echoed nearby. Spy smiled, and drew her knife.

The gallery had a concrete floor, so there was no danger of creaking or crushed glass indicating her presence this time. She crept through the first room, past stacks of crates and dusty boxes. A second shot reverberated through the open, door-less arch into the nest, followed by a quiet curse. Good. He had missed.

She peered around the wall, and spotted the object of her mission. The BLU was standing by the window, scanning the battlefield as usual with a look of intense concentration. The memory suddenly rose again, all the feelings and sensations coursing through her mind, assaulting her with the knowledge of what he had done and why she had been broken. It was met with a new force, one that drove it back and boiled away its strength; seething, rippling hatred that demanded suffering and death.

It would not break her a second time, and she would make sure he never had the chance to repeat it.

Nothing would be left to chance. Spy pulled back for a second and drew her revolver. Soldier had insisted that she keep it and clean it every day. She was far more comfortable with her balisong, but the usefulness of a ranged weapon could not be denied.

Another shot sang out, and she leaned around the wall again and took aim. He reloaded with mechanical speed and efficiency, and immediately lined up on another target. As his finger tightened on the trigger, Spy took her shot first, and the bullet shattered the bones in his hand.

Sniper screamed in pain, the rifle falling to the floor as she calmly dropped her cloak and walked into the gallery, keeping her gun trained on his head. He stared at her in shock as he cradled his ruined and bloody fingers, then settled into a look of disdain and loathing.

“You sadistic bitch,” he spat. “I'll get you for that one.”

Spy regarded him for a minute, mapping out his features and committing them to memory. “Turn around and get on your knees, Monsieur. We can do this the easy way, or the way in which you slowly bleed to death.”

He sneered at her, but still did as he was told. Spy put her knife away for a moment, swapped the gun to her other hand, and retrieved the syringe from her disguise kit. Where would be the best place to inject it, she wondered – but then again, Medic was nothing if not thorough. It likely wouldn't matter as long as she got it into his bloodstream.

“What are you waiting for? Shoot me so I can respawn and get back to killing your stupid teammates,” he snapped.

It occurred to her that he probably thought she had gotten her revenge by destroying his hand. Spy glared down at the man in front of her, and resisted the urge to just put a bullet in his head immediately. No, this was going to take time, and she was going to savor every second of it. She put the barrel of her gun against the base of his neck, and whispered softly into his ear.

“Now, now, Monsieur. Seeing as you are here, why don't we have a little fun?” She stabbed the needle into his arm and quickly pressed down on the plunger, making him shout in surprise and scramble away from her. He pulled out the syringe and gripped his shoulder with his uninjured hand.

“What the HELL was thaaa....” He wavered for a minute, tried to move weakly, then slumped on the floor as boneless as a puppet.

Spy was impressed. No complications indeed. She would have to thank Medic for whatever that was; it couldn't have been legal, if it worked that quickly. Her gun returned to her coat, and she pulled out her knife and began to spin it around her fingers.

“'That' was something to keep you still, although I suspect it will mean you cannot scream.” She sighed regretfully. “Unfortunate, but not a major problem. I will have to take my pleasure in some other way.”

She pulled him out into the center of the floor, and arranged him so that he was lying on his back. He didn't make a sound when she accidentally stepped on his bleeding hand. Spy sat comfortably across his torso, and carefully lifted up one eyelid. The look of pain and horror there was incredibly gratifying.

“I will not ask why you did it, Monsieur. I suppose it does not matter, now.” She began to cut away his shirt methodically, being careful not to hurt him. “I have always known that quite ordinary men can do terrible things when they know that there will be no repercussions. And they justify it to themselves any way they can, so that the guilt does not consume them. Such is the way of the world.” She patted him on the cheek, and threw the tattered remains of his clothes to one side. “I do not think it was personal, of course, but you may still be interested in knowing exactly who, and what, I am.”

The knife went to work on his pants after she reversed her position. Again, she was careful that the blade never cut into his flesh. This was important. She wanted him to be as whole as possible. A melody drifted through her mind, and she began to sing 'O Fortuna' under her breath.

Soon his body was bare, apart from his boots and whatever was left of his pants tucked into them. Spy turned around again, and lay down on top of him. His heartbeat was sluggish and his breath was shallow. That would change soon enough. She traced one finger down his neck, easily finding the pulse. So close, and so fragile.

“My own team has no idea why I am here, you know,” she said softly. “You are all paid mercenaries, yes? They sent me here because I am not like other women.”

He smelled the same. It belonged to her, this time; it became part of her shield instead of her torment. She hoped he could smell her, and that it would imprint on his memory the way he had on hers.

“I am a monster, you see. I have done terrible things, and I do not feel guilty about them. There were men who loved me, and who I loved in return...” She drew the flat of her blade across his cheek. “... and I killed them because they forced me to be normal. To deny my own nature. I would rather die a thousand times than do that.”

She laughed, mostly to herself. “Now that I am here, of course, that is more than likely. And I love it, Monsieur. I love every day that I can get out of bed and kill until I am too tired to lift my weapons. I love the power of taking a life. I do not hold it against you that you killed me – ah, but what you did first? For that, you will suffer.”

She sat up, and leaned over him with one hand keeping his eyelids open. She wanted to know that he was afraid. “You treated me as meat, to be taken and used as you please,” she whispered. “I think it is only fair that I do the same to you, oui? I promise that this will give me just as much pleasure, even if my methods are a little different.”

Spy smiled. The Sniper managed a tiny, almost imperceptible shiver when the butterfly knife began to cut into his lip.

112 .

nnguh
I don't even
inappropriate boners all over the place

113 .

OHGODICLASPEDOVERMYMOUTH

The thought of the pain due to how sensitive the lips are definitely gave me a chill. I actually thought in mind that she was going to peel the skin off his crotch or something, but going for face,ugh.

I'm so glad you updated, I just love how well you portray the emotions within each paragraph and the anticipation.

114 .

yes. JUST YES.
I rarely post, just lurk, but I have to tell you, this is AWESOME and I love it.

That being said, I cannot wait for more.

>>112
Inappropriate? I think not.

115 .

It's been a while since I've been on the edge of my seat while READING. Usually I need some kind of visuals for that sort of tension. But I'm being perfectly honest when I say that I was wide-eyed, jiggling my knee and breathing deeply while reading this, tense with anticipation. I was excited. I'm still a little excited, even though I've finished reading for now. This was good, and I liked it.
Part of me wishes to hear in detail what will happen to Sniper, but I'm assuming that for your purposes, this sort of thing is better left to our imagination, much like with the rape of Spy, and I respect that. It's probably better that way. At any rate, this was a very satisfying chapter, and I look forward to whatever comes next.

116 .

yay actual fan art for you :3 i know its not the best but hey at least its something! was wondering if you would mind if i did a series of mini comic strips based off this?

http://s3.a*mazonaws.com/data.t*umblr.com/t*umblr_lrfi9z3c8V1qkrltlo1_1280.jpg?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAJ6IHWSU3BX3X7X3Q&Expires=1315949397&Signature=LDC4rD
%2BIsBp57glkY8P7W074qKo%3D

just remove all the ( * )if not you can see it on my Hipstr mrpen15.t*umblr.com just remove the * mark

117 .

Ooooh. She's all shooty at sniper.

118 .

I've spent two days reading and re-reading this, and I really, really can't wait for the next update.

119 .

Eyyyy fanart!

Thank you, good sir, you have pleased me immensely! Also, good grief, really? A comic?

Guys, if you want to do anything with my work, you have my permission to go right on ahead as long as you mention my name there somewhere. :P I'm honored you think so highly of it.

FYI I keep all my stories and links to fanart and stuff on my dumblr - zedoktor.dumblr.com. (You know what letter to replace.)

120 .

Apologies for not updating sooner - I've been suffering from insomnia and some heavy duty headaches. This may explain why this part is so short, or something. I don't know. I'm kinda tired.

(Bonus insight into my writing mindset - 'A CardBoard Box' mentioned about the cutting into the lip rather than going for the obvious castration torture angle. I specifically chose not to go that way because, much as I could imply horrible things happening to Sniper's manly parts, some part of the impact of what Spy does is lost on the percentage of readers who don't possess manly bits. Whereas everyone has lips. :P)

Now on to the thing itself.

-----------------------------------------------------------


The battle raged around the base. Several times, the BLUs attempted to break out towards the fourth point, but the RED team blocked them at every turn. Ammunition was getting low, even with Engineer's dispenser cranking out more bullets, but they still waited and held their position. Spy had not yet returned.

Suddenly a small object was tossed out of the upper gallery. It bounced onto the point in front of the BLUs, leaving a wet splatter of blood, and rolled out into the middle of the floor. It was a decapitated head, although the identity of the previous owner was difficult to determine. The eyes were gone, the hair was matted, and the skin was all but flayed to nothing.

A second, smaller object sailed out to join it. It was a pair of cracked aviator sunglasses that left a few shards of yellow glass scattered around the head.

The fighting ended. The only sound left was the faint beeps of the sentries as they scanned the area for targets. Both teams stared at the lump of flesh and the smears of blood surrounding it for an eternity, before it was captured by the Respawn system and faded from view.

The impromptu ceasefire was cut by a long, gut wrenching scream that echoed from somewhere inside the BLU spawn room. It went on and on, the voice barely drawing breath, filled with the terror of a mind that had just walked out of hell itself. It was no longer possible to tell whether it was a man or a woman.

Spy materialized beside Soldier and Sniper, making the Australian jump in surprise. Her sleeves were soaked in blood up to the elbow, and her whole suit was spotted with dark, wet stains. The few patches on her face and sunglasses had been ignored. She carried her knife and gun already, and both had left a faint trail of drips that lead back towards the stairs.

She heard the scream and smiled happily. It sounded like sweet music, full of overtones and cadences as delightful as any of her favorite operas. The world was right again – she had made it right, and it felt like she had conquered an army of Nazis in the process. Now there was only one last thing to do.

Soldier fell into step behind her as she walked out. Heavy and Medic appeared from the left, and Pyro and Demo came from the right. They formed up around her as she stopped fifty feet from the BLUs, just outside the range of the sentry. The tension in the air thickened as she held up her revolver and cocked it.

“Run away,” she said quietly, but in the silence of the hall, every one of them heard it.

“We're not running anywhere, Frenchie,” Soldier said behind her.

Spy glanced back at him, then turned to the BLUs and pointed her gun at the Engineer. “I was talking to them.”

The teams regarded each other for a moment, the REDs angry and threatening, and the BLUs defiant. Then the BLU Heavy revved up his minigun, and total chaos broke out.

Her perception of battle was always instant, reactive rather than rational. There would be time later to analyze exactly what happened to who and when, but in the blur of action from one moment of combat to the next, there was only instinct and training. Spy leaped sideways, avoiding the worst of the minigun shells. Soldier opened up with a rocket to the sentry, which Demo followed up with stickybombs. Pyro expertly deflected a rocket from the enemy Soldier, then roared a battle cry and attacked him with his axe. Medic fired his Ubercharge, and he and Heavy marched forward to shield the others.

They fought together, as a real team. Spy attacked the enemy Pyro, launching herself at him in spite of the torrent of fire from his flamethrower, and while she braced herself for the burning, the last second of the Ubercharge shield locked around her and let her drive her knife into his eye. The enemy Medic was stopped in his tracks by a bullet from Sniper. Soldier and Demo tag-teamed the Engineer, tearing his nest to pieces in seconds. Spy shot the Soldier in the side, giving Pyro an opening to cut him down. Medic bonesawed the other Spy before he could backstab Heavy, shouting something in German. The BLU Heavy went down fighting, but he was outgunned without a healer.

It was over so quickly. They settled on the point, preparing for a final counter-attack, but it never came. Scout arrived with Engineer, after respawning and running back yet again, and helped him move up the sentry. The BLUs did not reappear, however, and a minute later, the Announcer blasted through the speakers.

“WE HAVE CAPTURED THE FINAL CONTROL POINT! VICTORY!”

It was done. They relaxed. The REDs were left to look at each other and celebrate another battle fought and won – wounded, tired, but satisfied. Spy pulled back her hood and tucked her sunglasses into her coat again. She had no more fear of being open with the team – her team. For all their faults and prejudice and leering, they had fought like lions out of loyalty to her.

None of them said anything for a moment. Engineer was the first to talk as he powered down his sentry. “Did ya get him, Spy?” he asked. Of course, he had been covering their backs before the fight. He hadn't seen...

“Da, she get him,” Heavy replied. “She get him good. Spy is fine now?”

She considered that for a moment. Not yet, if she was being honest. But Medic was right. It got easier. “I will be,” she said, and flicked her knife back into her sleeve. “I will feel better after a shower as well.”

They all began the walk back to the RED base, chatting quietly amongst themselves. There was no mention of what she had done, and Spy had no intention of telling them. She still smiled to herself, thinking over it and keeping it fresh in her mind. It was beginning to solidify into the shape of a shield, something that could protect her from the nightmares; flesh, and blood, and bone, carved up to her liking. Who knew a body could take that much damage without failing? She would have preferred him to be kicking, screaming and tied up, but it had still been viscerally satisfying. And the BLUs now knew what it would cost them if they dared to try the same thing that he had.

“What are you smiling about?” Soldier asked her. He was walking a few paces ahead of her, and he paused to let her catch up.

“I was just thinking about what I did to the BLU Sniper,” she said with a shrug.

They walked on, and he was quiet for a few steps. Then Soldier snorted, possibly out of chagrin. “You're a psychopath, you know that, Frenchie?” he said accusingly.

She laughed. “Of course I know that. But you must remember...” She leaned in to whisper in his ear. “I am your psychopath, Jean.”

Spy left him standing there looking rather confused, and returned to the RED base with a remarkably lighter heart than when she had left it.

121 .

Aaand boom goes the dynamite. I'm glad to see this updated today, and actually had forgotten my comment (I had to take a double take)

All I need to be inspired to draw is to read your works it seems, and this update was gratifying as hell.

122 .

fffffff that was wonderful

123 .

Oh this made my night.

I do hope we get some more delicious character development (which you do so well) and of course, the psychological result of BLU Sniper.

124 .

if... if i found you and wooed you off your feet would you marry me and write more delightfully Delicious fics for me?! so that i may swoon for ever more in the presence of your awesomeness!?

damn i hope your headaches and insomnia get better i would hate to see u debilitated. *gives you glass of warm milk and a cookie and cradles you to sleep*

125 .

I think the face!multilation also has an impact far higher then any quick and dirty castration would have. Cutting off a penis is almost comical; destroying someone's face to the point of non-recognition is beyond horrifying. Sends more of a message.

This FemSpy is a monster and you make no attempt to excuse or pardon it. (entire team is also monsters!)

I'd demand more, but I almost think this is a good place to stop.

126 .

Whoa. Whoa. This impressed me SO much. I really, REALLY wonder what the hell she did to that BLU sniper. Well, he's probably more traumatized than she is...... *shudder*

127 .

I've been neglecting you all. I'm sorry. Blame real life, and my current obsession with drawing stuff.

I'm getting tired of staring at this. Just gonna post and get on with the next part.

-----------------------------------------------

Considering the upheaval of the previous twenty four hours, the evening was blessedly quiet. The team settled into a laid back night of their usual routine, leaving her alone out of courtesy if not trepidation. Spy ate and went to the shower immediately, conscious of the fact that she had not had one the day before, and she stank of blood after the events of the battle.

In the hazy, steamy depths of the locker room, she noticed that Soldier was not there. He always took his shower at the same time as her. His presence was normal, in a way that Spy needed in order to feel normal herself, and she missed it sharply. Perhaps he had decided it was better for his health if he avoided her, after her little display of butchery.

No. That was not his way. Soldier was many things, but never a coward and he didn't understand the concept of subtlety. If he had a problem with her, she would know about it. Spy shook herself, and finished washing up. The shower seemed colder than usual.

The faint sound of steps in the locker room drew her attention, and she turned to the shower door. Maybe he was just late. Maybe one of the others had held him up at dinner. Maybe he had gotten into a fight, which was quite likely considering his general attitude. She could stay a while, and pretend she had just started. The routine would be re-established. He would be close by and making her feel... stable. Anchored. The world had been righted, but it wasn't as solid as it had been before. Soldier was real, though. Always real and present when everything else felt just a little bit like fog she could punch through.

The steam was like fog right now, obscuring everything but the shower room itself. Spy took two steps towards the door, and suddenly caught the faint smell of something foul and acrid, one that she recognized instantly and that struck the core of her being with a bolt of fear.

He respawned. He somehow found his way into the RED base, and he followed her here. Coming to get her, to pay her back for what she did, to hurt her again and really drive home the fact that she was a woman and therefore weak. Her stomach churned out of pure, blind, terror. Her revenge hadn't fixed her. She was trapped, naked, and her knife was out with the rest of her clothes.

No no no, you are a maquisard! A SPY! What can he do to you that he hasn't done already?! Fight to your last breath, spit defiance in his face, and when you respawn, hunt him down like an animal and show him that YOU are the monster who will haunt his nightmares! Spy set her jaw, her breath ragged, and crouched by the door. Fear and rage clashed together in her mind. Not defenceless, not yet, and she wouldn't be while she could still move her limbs.

As soon as the vague shape of a figure appeared, she attacked in a psychotic frenzy. Her first punch connected with the head somewhere, and then it devolved into a struggle of kicking, biting, and swearing in French as he tried to restrain her. She didn't let up, not for a minute, the madness lending her strength beyond what her body could provide. Underneath it all, part of her rejoiced at every wild swing that connected, every grunt of pain. To fight was to have power, even if she ultimately lost.

He shouted at her, harsh and commanding even as she didn't want to listen. “OW – it's me, private! GODDAMNIT, IT'S ME, STOP!”

It was his smell that forced the red haze to clear from her vision. Sweat, and a faint hint of soap. Not the BLU Sniper; it was Soldier, naked but for his dog tags, with a bruise rapidly developing on his jaw where she had struck him. The Sniper couldn't get into the RED base any more than she could infiltrate the BLU base. The scent that had triggered her was the stuff they used to clean the drains.

Spy sank to the tiled floor, all energy and fight evaporating from her mind. She held her head, trying to calm her racing pulse and get her breathing under control. The overpowering instinct to attack faded just as quickly; Soldier was here, and that made this small, damp room a place of safety. She just needed a few minutes to let that fact sink in.

He knelt down beside her, resting on his heels, and touched her shoulder. “Do I want to know what the hell just happened, Frenchie?”

“I thought you were him,” she said haltingly, taking a few deep breaths of the coying steam. “Desolé, Jean. I did not mean to hurt you.”

“I thought you were okay now.”

“It does not go away. It gets easier, that is all.” Spy stared at her hands, noting that she had split two of her knuckles. “I will never be the same again. I was foolish to hope that I could get past this in only a day.”

He sat down beside her on the cold floor, regarding her for a minute with that same calculating look, as if he were trying to work out what to do with her. “I'm no good at this crap,” he muttered, mostly to himself as he scrubbed a hand through his hair. He finally held out his arms to her. “'C'mere.”

She complied, and curled up against his chest. He was much warmer than the floor. Soldier's hands came to rest on her side and her shoulder, and again she felt him gently stroking her in a somewhat comforting way. Yes, far nicer and warmer, and that pleasant feeling returned. His chin rested on the top of her head. Spy reached up and touched his dog tags, tracing his name. Jane Doe. He would always be Jean to her.

“Why are you doing this for me?” she asked.

“It worked last night.”

“You could have sent me back to my room last night.” But I am glad you let me stay, Jean. I am so glad. “You did not have to do this.”

“No, I didn't. You got a point, Frenchie?”

She shook her head, or as much as she could in her current position. The moment stretched out, and neither of them spoke. She could stay here all evening, but the same problem presented itself – eventually they would have to get up, get dressed, and Soldier would let her go. She didn't want that.

The thought struck her that he had an incredible level of power over her. He was the only man ever to gain her instant respect; to order her around and expect to be obeyed; to look at her and... to touch her without making her feel wary of what he wanted. She was more defenceless against him than she ever was against the BLU Sniper. But giving him that much let her have this closeness, this intimacy, without being afraid. It was precious, and wonderful.

Her hand drifted across his chest, grazing his nipple as as she traced the smooth and hairless skin over bunched muscle. He was always so much warmer than her, maybe because of the size difference.

He tensed up for a moment, then patted her shoulder. “Alright, c'mon. We can't sit here all night and the base won't patrol itself.” He emphasized the order by pushing her away and standing up. Spy followed very reluctantly, missing his heat and finding the hot water from the shower to be a poor substitute.

He scrubbed with his usual military efficiency. Spy watched him until he turned around and offered her the soap. She took it, despite the face that she didn't really need it, while he washed off.

“Can I stay with you tonight?” she said suddenly.

He looked at her, faintly puzzled and possibly annoyed. “In my room?”

“Yes.”

Soldier stared at the ceiling, then at her, and sighed in exasperation. “...Alright. I lock the door at twenty two hundred hours – if you're in before then, you can stay.”

She nodded. Maybe she hadn't conquered this fully, but at least she could get a decent night's sleep.

128 .

Hoooooooly crap, what a thing to find on a last second site check before bedtime! I was wondering if you'd finished the fic with that last chapter - I'm so glad there's more, this is one of my favourites!

129 .

Okay, I needed to go to bed but this is one of the stories that I HAD to read when I saw it had updated. I'm so glad you're writing more of it! This is also one of my favorites. It always tugs at my emotions, no matter what is happening.

Would it be all right if I emailed you, Doktor? I am presently writing an odd Spy/Soldier fic of my own and I would love your opinion on what I have thus far, if you didn't mind.

130 .

Hm. This Spy Soldier relationship is still something I don't know if it's poised right.

But, I do like the idea of Spy at the very least, crushing on him at the moment.

131 .

I was so excited when I saw that this had updated, and I was greatly rewarded. Can't wait for the next chapter.

132 .

>>129

I don't mind anyone emailing me. :P I'm actually quite boring in real life, though.

133 .

Short, I guess. Hope it works.

----------------------------------

A week passed by. All battles were halted, with no real explanation from the Announcer, but a little poking around by Engineer in the computer systems turned up the fact that BLU was having a 'personnel problem'. Spy could guess at what that meant – how long did it take to find a suitable replacement for a Sniper, she wondered.

Pure conjecture, of course. She might feel a little pride at having broken him so thoroughly, but in reality, she only felt a profound sense of relief that she would never have to see his face again.

The team took advantage of the break, even as some missed the usual bouts of warfare. The tedium was largely broken up by reading, chess, cards – anything to keep hands and minds occupied. Medic also took it upon himself to properly organize the infirmary, with Heavy's help. Spy stopped by to lend a hand as well, and to talk.

Soldier did not take to it very well. The enforced inactivity seemed to make him more antagonistic every day. She couldn't blame him, really; he needed to fight like he needed to breathe. He still patrolled every evening, and spent much of the day cleaning his weapons or doing calisthenics. She patrolled with him, and spent the rest of her time beating Sniper and Demo at poker.

One night in his bed turned into two, then three, and then he finally relented and let her stay indefinitely.

She didn't usually wake before the six am alarm, but tonight her dreams were filled with battles and guns and, for some reason, clouds of dragons that exploded into confetti when something hit them. The early morning light coming from the window suggested it was some time just after dawn. Spy yawned and pulled the sheet around her, dozy and already drifting away again.

Soldier was wrapped around her, one arm under her head and across her torso, and the other tucked tightly around her stomach. They both lay on their sides, her back to his chest, with his nose buried in her hair. Warm and comfortable and safe, but she felt a little stiff. No way to avoid waking him up, and she could only hope he wouldn't be too bothered by it.

Spy twisted and stretched, enjoying the feeling of relief that spread through her limbs. Soldier stirred a little, making an indistinct noise of irritation, and pulled her in close again. A long huff of breath warmed the back of her neck, and she turned towards it sleepily.

Hm. Not completely comfortable. Something jabbed into her hip, hot and hard. When her mind finally registered what it must be, Spy sat up and scrambled away so fast that her shoulder hit the wall painfully.

A number of things rushed through her mind all at once, as Soldier snorted in surprise and woke up with a jolt. Shock, confusion, disappointment. Not him, please – he was supposed to be different! But what if he's not, an insidious part of her asked; what if he's just like all the rest and he's been using you. The sense of betrayal nearly overwhelmed her.

“Goddamnit, Frenchie, what time is it?” he said, then saw the look on her face. “What's wrong now?”

Her gaze flicked downward for a moment, and he took notice of his bulging anatomy. His expression fell, settling into frustrated defeat, and he swung his legs out to sit on the bed. “Fuck,” he muttered, rubbing his eyes distractedly.

She said nothing. This changed too much between them, made her question too much of his actions. She didn't want to. Soldier – Jean – was supposed to be the exception. The one who didn't see her that way. Who just... let her be herself.

“You better get outta here,” he said. He didn't look at her. “You're not allowed stay here anymore, private. You sleep in your own bed from now on.”

She had to know. “I thought you were different,” she said softly.

“I'm not a goddamn saint, alright?” he snarled, turning to her and looking genuinely angry. “I wasn't expecting you to come running to me, and how the hell was I going to say no after what he did to you? I didn't expect -” He stopped, abruptly, and looked away at the opposite wall. “The only desirable woman I've met since puberty and she turns out to be a fucking psycho,” he said under his breath.

“You... like me?”

“Yeah, I like you, Frenchie,” he snapped. “I knew you were something else when you kicked Scout in the nuts and pulled a knife on me. I was never going to do anything about it because, A, you're a teammate, and B, you killed the last guy you were with, so do me a favor and GET THE HELL OUT!”

She grabbed her clothes and ran, and didn't stop until she was back in her own room. Her only thought was to dump everything on the floor and curl up in the cold blankets.

This wasn't supposed to happen. She needed him, and she couldn't afford to be afraid of him. Foolish, so foolish, asking a man to not be a man... Why did you trust him? Why did you believe he wasn't like the others? The way he makes you feel safe, is that a lie too?

Spy shivered, having no answers to any question her mind cared to ask. Her body wanted to be back in his bed, in spite of it all. The prospect of never being there again made her stomach clench. Advice, she needed advice, and help.

She needed to talk to Medic.

134 .

REJECTED.

Oh lawd. I'm surprised and I'm not surprised. Please continue.

135 .

Poor Solly. I'm amazed he could resist having morning wood for that long. I like that it was ruined by sheer physiology and not him suddenly propositioning her.

I hope she'll be able to be with him in the end but it'd make perfect sense if she can't. Even before the horror of rape, Spy was incapable of really experiencing or actually finding an equal relationship with a man. Then her psychosis exacerbated the unfortunate situation, demonizing even the things that weren't actually a display of male chauvinism (though, if the man was chauvinistic enough, it's not impossible damn near everything he did was chauvinistic.) But maybe I'm thinking too hard about it or even getting it wrong. It's a touchy subject, after all.

I'm eager to see what Medic will make of the situation though.

136 .

Medic needs to explain to her that morning wood is caused by a full bladder pushing against the prostate.

As understandable as Spy's state of mind is after her traumatic experience, she can't seriously expect Soldier to be the exception to the rule that human beings piss.

137 .

YES! An UPDATE! And oh shit, what an update.

I knew something was gonna happen to change their current status quo... I didn't think it was gonna be this. Like Dove, I love the fact that it was something totally out of Soldier's control that threw the wrench in. I'm privately amazed that it took so many mornings for that to happen, or it may have just been the way they were curled together this time... Regardless. LOVE it.

And you cannot imagine (or well, maybe you can) just HOW HAPPY that last bit makes me. I love that Spy has gone from equating Medic with NAZIDOGEVILBASTARD to thinking of him when she needs advice and help and someone to talk to. That warms my black little heart. I just adore this story all around, I really do. You write one of the best Medics, I swear, as well as everyone else. Don't stop ever.

138 .

Heyo. I was the anon that was all "eehhhh, not too sure about current romance..."

I am here to say that I...

am ok with this. I certainly like where this is going. Ah, poor Solly. You really think she'd realize that that's not the type of thing dudes have control over. Mostly.

139 .

>>136 I... I did not know that. I probably should have, but I didn't. Filing away to mental archives for further research.

You know, I really did think Spy and Soldier's relationship would be purely platonic, and this is definitely not what I expected. However, I find I actually sort of like this development, along the lines of what Tare and Dove said.

140 .

WHAT THE HELL IS THIS DOING ON THE SECOND PAGE.

BUMP. FOR GREAT JUSTICE.

This story cuts me to the very soul, it does. MORE FOREVER.

141 .

Much thanks to TwoRefined for beta-reading this...

----------------------------------------------------

A whole day of sneaking around under her cloak, avoiding Soldier and the others after the Announcer declared that the battles would resume tomorrow. Spy was starting to go stir crazy, even as the base came alive again and the team bustled around, checking their weapons and ammo, eager to get back into the fight.

Medic had insisted on full checkups for everyone, and the infirmary was constantly occupied. She finally stayed in her room and tried to do anything to take her mind off the current situation. She even tidied up and rearranged everything to burn off the nervous, restless feeling that pervaded her mind.

Stupid, stupid, stupid. All men are like that, aren't they? You're just meat to them; convenient, walking, talking meat for the taking. You should never have trusted him. He would have turned on you sooner or later, just like all the others.

She stretched out on her bed, thinking. You're stronger than this, he said. The words had rung with faith, so unshakable that she believed it too. His hands. His warmth. The way he always looked at her face. He desired her, and he always looked at her face even when she was naked in front of him in the showers, and he let her sleep in his bed, in his arms, and he never once did anything but keep her safe.

HE WOULD HAVE TURNED ON YOU LIKE THE OTHERS, HE'S A MONSTER LIKE ALL THE REST, DON'T FORGET, DON'T FORGET -

A knock at the door. She sat up in fright, hand going to her knife by instinct, but nothing more happened. After a moment, Engie's voice called out to her.

“Spy? You in there? Medic says ya gotta go in for the check-up after dinner.”

“Oui, I am here. Thank you, I will go to see him then,” she said quickly, trying to regain her composure.

“Alright then, see ya later...” His steps faded away down the hall. Spy stared at the door. Everything felt a little more unreal, a little less solid.

She did not go to eat like she usually did. With her cloak hiding her from sight, she crept into the infirmary and waited for Medic to return. That took almost an hour, at which point she felt like she had paced a groove into the floor. Heavy was with him, as always, and once again she had to feel a little annoyed with herself for not spotting their relationship sooner. It was so obvious, the way they unconsciously turned towards each other, the way their hands always accidentally brushed together.

She decloaked, which surprised them both. Medic took it in his stride, however. “Ah, good – Heavy, if you please? I must give Spy her check-up.”

The big Russian smiled at her, even as he looked a little put out. “Did not think Spy would be here so fast. Talk later, da?” He nodded at Medic, and left them alone.

“Just a few zings I must do... ein moment, bitte,” he said as he retrieved a clipboard and pen. He locked the doors and pulled down the blinds before he saw the confused look on her face.

“It is for your sake – I vill give you as much privacy as I can for zis. I vill not have vun of ze ozzers coming in here unexpectedly.” He scanned the clipboard, tapping the list of tests with the pen. “Some of zhese are going to be uncomfortable for boz of us, I imagine...”

She caught the pen. “I need to talk to you,” she said quietly. “I need advice.”

Medic put the board back on his desk. “It is Soldier, ja?”

“How do you know that?”

“I did his check-up earlier. For vunce, he did not insult me or make any reference to my nationality or to ze Nazis.”

Spy smiled a little at that. “Does he usually...?

“Every time, for as long as I have been giving him medical care.” Medic patted the examination table. “Sit up here, and tell me about it.”

She did so. Medic had turned into something of an odd case, in her mental categorization of men. The revelation that he was gay and a rape survivor had abruptly shunted him out of the list of men to wary of and into a grey area that couldn't be easily defined – not unlike the way she thought of Soldier, but definitely not the same. He sat up beside her, and rested his elbows on his knees while he waited for her to talk.

What to say, what to say... her thoughts were too jumbled for this. “Soldier likes me,” she said abruptly, and then mentally berated herself for sounding like a complete fool.

Medic just looked at her over his glasses. “Is that all?”

“It is not – I do not know, it is just – I thought he was different, and he is not. He is like the rest of them. Like the BLU Sniper,” she said bitterly. “I do not know what to do about this.”

Medic stared at his hands for a few moments before replying. “Tell me what happened, zhen, zhat you vould zhink zhis about him.”

“You know he let me sleep in his bed?”

“Ja, so you have said. Vhat did he do?”

She paused, feeling desperately awkward. “I woke up early, and he had... what... men sometimes get in the morning. I woke him up when I jumped away from him. And then we both said some things, and he told me to leave. So I did.”

He smiled faintly. “I zhink I understand. Men cannot control zhat, you know. It is a biological reflex, and nozzing to do vis you being zhere.”

“He told me as well. He said he would never do anything about it because I am his teammate and – because I killed the last man I was with.” She put her face in her hands. “I do not know what to do about knowing this. I wish I had never learned of it.”

Medic touched her shoulder gently. “Tell me, liebchen, vhy do you zhink zis makes Soldier like ze BLU Sniper?”

She looked up at him. “Because it means he is like all the rest of them!” she said, he voice thick with anguish. “I am just a body to them, not a person! Like, like meat that they can take and use and throw away when they are done! The other men I have been with, they were just like that – they said that they cared for me, but in the end I was just a, a thing that they wanted to control. And I have...” She drew a hasty, choked breath. “...I have been in his bed and in his arms, and I cannot think about it now because he might have...”

He put his arm around her, and waited for her to recover a little. It wasn't just the feeling of betrayal, she realized – there was also fear. Not the kind that had so recently tried to consume her; this was poisonous, insidious stuff that made familiar things suddenly threatening. She was afraid of Soldier.

“I wish I was with him, even now,” she said. “He makes me feel better.”

Medic rubbed her arm comfortingly. “It is somevhat ironic, zhat you are telling me zis, you know.”

“Why?”

“I am a man as vell. Do you zhink I am like all of ze rest of zhem?”

She gave a short, humorless bark of a laugh. “You prefer giant, bald Russian men. You might as well be a woman right now.”

He chuckled at that. “From your perspective, ja. But I am still a man, and I do not see you zhat vay. I never have. And I zhink Soldier does not see you like zhat eizzer.”

“But how do you know?”

He shrugged. “I do not, really. Call it a gut feeling. Soldier has never struck me as being zhat shallow, for a start. I did not believe he had an interest in anyzhing ozzer zhan fighting until you arrived.”

“When I arrived?

“Oh ja, I suspected zhen. I have many years of experience, vatching for ze signs of attraction from men who hide zhem. It vas ze vay he did not look at you, you see. He vas being far too careful.”

He'd always wanted her. He'd been hiding it. The sense of betrayal worsened. “That does not really help me,” she said.

Medic sighed. “Desire is not a bad zhing – it is simply a part of us. Vhat is good or bad is how ve act on our desires. To be hurt, as ve have been hurt, makes us afraid of vhat ozzer people desire from us.” He squeezed her shoulder, and let her go. “Soldier desires you, but he has done nozzing but care for you vhen you needed it ze most. I zhink you know, deep down, zhat he vould never hurt you like ze BLU Sniper did. Besides, do you really zhink he only vants your body? A strong, intelligent voman like you?”

“He still told me to go away.”

“Vell, I never said he vas smart or entirely sane. But he is honorable, and he means somezing to you. Remember ze night vhen you knocked me down in ze hallvay? You vere hurting, and you ran straight to him.” He leaned forward onto his knees again, looking rather thoughtful. “Do you desire him?”

Spy honestly had no idea. The feeling of needing Soldier in some undefinable way didn't seem to match up to anything else in her experience. She was not unfamiliar with lust, and the strange urge to be as close to him as possible wasn't the same at all. “I do not know,” she said. “It does not matter really.”

Medic took one of her hands in both of his. “Vhat you vant alvays matters,” he said emphatically. “Never forget zhat, liebchen. Some men might see you as an object, but you cannot zhink of yourself zhat vay. You must believe zhat you have value, because you do. Ve all do, no matter vhat happens to us.”

Easy enough to say. She still had moments of self-doubt, even though she knew he was right. She leaned against him, and put her head on his shoulder. It was still good to have support, and understanding. “I still do not know what do do about him.”

“Just talk to him. I zhink you are judging him too harshly, but I know you vill resolve zis somehow. You fought ze Nazis, after all – vhat is vun American to you?”

Spy laughed quietly. “What indeed,” she said. “Thank you.”

“You are velcome.” He patted her hand. “Ve vill do ze check-up tomorrow evening. Go see your Soldier tonight – zhat is more important.”

She couldn't keep hiding away from him, of course, but confronting him so soon... No. Spy was better than that. She could do this. She would go to his room and talk to him in private.

It only remained to be seen if she would face the knight or the dragon.

142 .

Thank you, for not being a bumper.

143 .

never ever stop you amazing person.

144 .

I cried a little bit when Medic said that we all have value. I've never heard anyone say that before, and I want to believe that it's true.

Spy and Soldier's reconciliation is something I'm really looking forward to.

145 .

sdfhjkhsFUCK i read through it all in one go and it's riiiiight before things get REALLY good that there isn't any more to read yet.

146 .

Jesus Christ, that was fucking magnificent. I read it all in one sitting (And now I'm am itching for the next part).

Medic talking about being raped? Made me God-damn cry. My God.

Love the exploring of the characters, and I love Spy's little trait of liking music. Great descriptiveness, great characterization, just all round awesome.

I cannot wait for more.

147 .

I has a sad now. Y U NO POST MORE

(Y U TALK LIKE UNDERAGEB&?)

148 .

I am glad you 'has a sad now' considering all the people that are going to think there was a post. Only to find this.

149 .

>>148

Perhaps I can console the forlorn due to necrobump with the comfort that from this point forward I will be banning necrobumpers that add nothing to the thread.

150 .

This post has been deleted.

151 .

>>150

What nameless post bumped this thread? Dissapointment.

152 .

I have been neglecting you guys. I'm sorry. Nanowrimo kicked my ass, in case you were wondering. And now, on to more of whatever the hell this is.

I'll be finishing up soon on this. Overall, I think it's some of my better work.

-------------------------------------------

It took her until half past nine to work up the courage to go to Soldier's room. Oh, there was the question of whether he would be there at all, but Spy knew his routine at this point. He always finished his patrol at nine o' clock, and, barring any other business, he went to his room and stayed there for the rest of the night.

The feeling of apprehension grew as she approached the door. She steeled herself, and knocked loudly. Strength. Remember that. You are strong enough to handle this. You've dealt with worse in Paris.

It opened abruptly to reveal Soldier, still in his uniform but without his helmet. He glared at her, annoyance already written plainly on his face. “What do you want, private?”

Time to prove yourself... Spy shoved the door out of her way and walked right in, daring him to stop her as she shut it behind her. “We have to talk,” she said in a tense, clipped voice.

“There's nothing to talk about, alright? Get the hell back to your own room, we got a battle tom-”

“Oh, shut up about the fighting, Jean! It does not matter!” She gestured around emphatically. “This is not a real war, and we are not in Europe and surrounded by Nazis! We cannot even die here, so do not pretend that it is somehow more important than -”

“Than what?” he said darkly. “You?”

She briefly wished for her sunglasses, so she could hide herself from his eyes, but they were in her coat and back in her own room. “Us,” she said.

Soldier pointed at the door, and loomed menacingly over her. “Get. Out.”

“Do you care about me at all?” she snapped. “Or do you simply enjoy the fact that the only woman in this base likes to sleep in your bed?” She poked him in the chest, far more roughly than she originally intended. “Tell me what you really think of me, Américain.”

He snarled at her. “You already know that – I think you're a goddamn psychopath, and EXCUSE ME for not being able to get more specific because I'm not a fucking shrink!”

“Why did you let me stay, then? Why did you say you liked me?”

“Because I DO, Frenchie, and I wasn't going to let one of my team get hurt like that -”

“Would you have done the same if one of the others was raped?!”

“YOU BETTER NOT BE QUESTIONING MY HONOR, BECAUSE I WILL NOT HESITATE TO BEAT YOUR SORRY ASS OUTTA HERE!”

The argument fell apart. They shouted at each other, throwing insults in various languages. She was so angry at this, at him. It wasn't fair, it wasn't right, and why did she always have to lose the good things in her life – he grabbed her arm, pulling her towards the door. Spy reacted by instinct, twisting out of his grip and throwing a punch at his face. It connected with a solid, meaty feeling and staggered him for a moment, and when he looked back at her, his lip was bleeding.

The dark, ugly anger in his eyes sent a surge of adrenalin through her. Soldier bared his teeth, put up his fists, and attacked.

She fought back just as viciously, glorying in the sick satisfaction every time she drew blood. Every time he struck her, she absorbed the pain and didn't really feel it. There was no holding back, no pulled punches, and she could take anything he threw at her and keep going. Any time she thought she might have gained an edge, he recovered as well, fueled by his own incoherent fury. There was no sense or reason to any of this; it was a race to see who would beat the other into unconsciousness first, and neither were willing to give in.

It would hurt later, when the madness wore off, but in the rhythm of combat she barely acknowledged the pain in her ribs or the blood streaming out of her nose. It was immaterial in comparison to the feeling of power when she hit him, and strength when he hit her back. It was wild, and brutal, and glorious in so many ways; everything she imagined it would be, if she had been thinking clearly.

They toppled to the ground, Spy kicking and swearing and snarling. Soldier kept trying to pin her arms; she kept trying to plant her knee in his crotch. Without the use of her fists, she snapped at his face and bit him on the lip. He hissed in pain, and slammed her down roughly, and then what should have been a bite in kind turned into... something else.

The raw, violent feeling didn't change, but the nature of the fight did. His mouth was so hard, like he was trying to punish her for some unknown crime. Her twisted soul wanted it, even liked it. She thrashed under him, tossing him to one side and rolling on top of him, the sudden feeling of his body, hot and straining against hers, making her gut boil. She grabbed his jacket and kissed him.

It tasted like blood, and it was sloppy and painful where their teeth knocked together. But Soldier responded, one fist balled up in the scruff of her jacket and the other digging into her waist, still fighting back with his tongue and lips. He sat up abruptly, nearly tossing her backwards, grabbed her thighs and dragged her into his lap, growling in frustration. Yes, he wanted this, or he was too irrational to care that it was happening. Spy tore at his uniform, left bloody trails on his neck where she bit him, and on his back where her nails ripped into his skin.

Those others she had loved and lost had been here too, once. They had never wanted to be strong enough for her. Women were supposed to be delicate and gentle, not vicious, angry and mad. They wanted her to be weak enough for them to handle instead. So there was no blood, and every damn time she had to hold back in case she hurt them, and letting even a fraction of her true nature show brought censure and sometimes fear. It wasn't a life worth living. It was barely an existence, a cage that she couldn't escape without alienating or killing them.

Soldier groaned when she scratched him, and threw her around as easily as he handled his rocket launcher. He lifted them both off the floor and staggered to his bed, dumping her onto it and crushing her there.

Maybe you're not afraid of him because he's a man. Maybe you're afraid because he's a man who's got the will and the strength to beat you into submission, and that's what you've always wanted.

He struggled out of his jacket and threw it off to one side. It was swiftly followed by her own jacket, and her pants, and more brutal, bloody kisses. His hands gripped her hips, pulling her this way and that mercilessly. She clawed at his vest, tried to grab his short hair, looking for anything at all as long as it was more – but did it really matter whether it was pain or pleasure? She had already lost her mind along with her inhibitions.

The heat in his hands and groin was staggering. He had always been warm, but now he was burning up and setting her on fire. The feel of it made her desperate, left her snarling and spitting like a wildcat, tearing into his arms and biting anything within reach. More, she needed more; he had to prove he was worthy of taking her, to show he was strong enough to lie with her and live. Soldier slammed her down again, bit her neck and collarbone, pinned one of her arms beside her head; nothing but bared teeth and maddened eyes and the sharp, cold metal of his dog tags bouncing on her chest.

She threw her head back and pressed her body into his, but he forced her hips down, undid his belt and ripped his pants open. The sound made the boiling feeling in her stomach surge in anticipation; now now now, she was sick of waiting, sick of having to control herself. He kissed her again, his free hand tangled up in her shirt for a brief moment, then -

A low, guttural, animalistic noise erupted out of her throat as he entered her. There was pain, somewhere on the edge of her mind, but she was elsewhere, in a place of such violent pleasure that her whole body lifted off the bed. Soldier threw his arm around her waist, holding her in place as they rutted together. It couldn't be called 'making love', or even 'having sex', but it was so undeniably intense that she almost forgot to breathe.

That was how she remembered it, later. Fury and depraved instinct and lust, and Soldier's fingers tightly woven through hers. He didn't let up for a second, not even when the side of the bed cracked ominously and threatened to tip them both onto the floor. She tore his back to shreds with her free hand when she climaxed, her eyes screwed shut and his hot breath against her neck. It was almost like dying, in a way – a few minutes of crazed thrashing, then blissful, empty peace.

It was a measure of her, as well as him. It was the only battle worth fighting, where victory and defeat were meaningless. And she was strong enough, tough enough. With a strange kind of clarity, she knew that she hadn't thought of the BLU Sniper once; the experiences were as different as night and day. The rape had not been a battle. It was nothing. It meant nothing. It could be forgotten, as easily as ice melting before the sun.

When the euphoria dissipated, Spy slowly took stock of her surroundings. Every inch of her body ached. Soldier rolled to one side, breathing quite heavily, and slowly managed to untangle their hands. The bones in her fingers complained loudly.

She remained silent. There didn't seem to be much they could say. Spy looked over at him and met his gaze; it was hard to tell what he was thinking, under the blood splatters and the black eye, but he seemed resigned if anything else.

“I still think you're a psychopath,” he said.

“I thought you said you would not do anything about liking me,” she replied.

“I thought you had a problem with it,” he shot back. “You sure as hell acted that way, Frenchie.”

“You could have stopped me, Jean.”

He gave her a rather unimpressed look. “I didn't want to. I told you I'm not a saint.”

She had to give him that much. “What does this make us now, then?” she asked.

“I don't know.” He sat up slowly, and climbed over her to get out of bed. His back was still bleeding in places, streaks of dried blood and bruises everywhere. Spy watched him strip off and use his vest to clean his face. It looked painful. He didn't seem to notice.

He sat down on the bed rather heavily, and poked her in the shoulder. “Move it.”

She followed suit, sitting up and undoing her shirt and bra. Her whole right side felt like it had been pummelled, probably a broken rib or two if nothing else. Another war wound for her to carry around inside. Spy tossed the last of her clothes onto the floor, and hissed through her teeth at the sudden ache when Soldier slipped one arm around her waist and pulled her in close to his chest.

He made it better when his hands drifted up her body. It was surprisingly gentle, as if he were trying to map out the texture of her skin and memorize the curve of her breasts. Spy turned her head, enjoying the feeling of warmth, and she felt his nose in her hair. “You were telling the truth, then, when you called me desireable?”

He didn't respond for a moment. “I saw plenty of women, back home,” he said, in a voice that was uncharacteristically quiet. “About half of them were scared of me, and the other half threw themselves at me. They were all... soft, or something. Like they'd shatter if I touched them. Maybe that was alright for some guys, but not for me.”

“So you went to Europe to kill the Nazis? Suddenly it all makes sense,” she said playfully.

“I resent that implication, private, and I will have you know I got laid every goddamn weekend when I was still in the U.S. of A! There was just something missing, alright? When you pulled the knife on me, I thought...” He trailed off for a moment. She could almost hear the gears turning in his head, trying to find the words that would explain the unexplainable. “Felt like I found it.”

It didn't make sense to her, and it probably didn't make sense to him either. The effort of thinking about it all was too much. But he wanted her, and the thought of it didn't seem so frightening in light of what they had just done. In fact... he still expected nothing of her, except that she do her job well.

“I can leave, if you want,” she said suddenly. “We do not ever have to speak of this again.”

“Yeah. I know,” he said, huffing into her hair. “But you can stay, if you want. And maybe we can talk some more.”

The door was just over there. She could take her clothes and leave, and it would be as if she had never walked in. Soldier wouldn't stop her. The choice was hers alone.

She couldn't stop the profound sense of happiness from reaching her face, and she smiled. Spy pulled the blanket over them both, and pushed him down onto the bed. “I think I will stay a little while, Jean,” she said, tracing one finger across his broken lip. “Just promise you will keep me warm.”

153 .

Thank you, Ze Doktor.

When I first found this chan and started reading, this fic is what made me stay.

154 .

Wow. At first, I assumed it was the typical weirdo bumping it with nothing credited to the story itself. But the curious side of me took over regardless of being 2 a.m. here, and boy was I glad I checked it out.

There was so much intensity and power within your words, and the whole closer we finally see of Soldier and Spy. I can honestly say that you were a big reason why I really got into playing Soldier and that your works were very inspiring. Glad to see you again!

155 .

We missed you Doktor!

156 .

You get a million of underaged happy emoticons for this.

157 .

Holy fuck. This was amazing in every way, Doktor.

I wish I had more to say, but honestly, there isn't anything else. Just HOLY FUCK.

158 .

I really, really liked this chapter. I'm a total sucker for character introspections and powerful emotions.

Your Spy has really grown on me. At first I felt rather "meh" about her, regardless of her actual merits, simply because I don't like genderbending in and of itself. But she has really, really grown on me.

I especially loved this part.

Those others she had loved and lost had been here too, once. They had never wanted to be strong enough for her. Women were supposed to be delicate and gentle, not vicious, angry and mad. They wanted her to be weak enough for them to handle instead. So there was no blood, and every damn time she had to hold back in case she hurt them, and letting even a fraction of her true nature show brought censure and sometimes fear. It wasn't a life worth living. It was barely an existence, a cage that she couldn't escape without alienating or killing them.

Mayor props for writing such an interesting and multi-layered character :)

159 .

The desert at nighttime was always cold. Spy could never work out why, seeing as it was so hot during the day. She also didn't know why she still felt inclined to step outside and lurk in front of the base for a while in the evenings, despite having not touched her cigarettes since the Sniper incident.

They were calling it that now. Not 'that time Spy was raped'. It was as if they were afraid to call it by its real name. She hadn't decided whether this annoyed or amused her. The event had faded, the pain washed out. Medic had been right about some things – there would always be a scar, but it was just one among many. Just another mark on her skin that told the tale of her life.

Soldier called it rape. She talked about it a little that night, about how she was dealing with it, trying to make him understand. He didn't, and told her as much. All that mattered was that she understood, and she could deal.

Spy shifted against the wall and shook out her hands. Their relationship was another thing that needed understanding. It wasn't love, but the feeling of needing each other in some undefinable way was mutual. It had been two weeks since they had had sex, and much of that was spent being together but not actually saying much. There was only a vague sense of belonging, of ownership.

The door opened beside her suddenly, making her jump and activate her cloak by reflex. Soldier stepped outside, and stared at the spot where she had been. “Too slow, private. If I were an enemy, you'd already be dead,” he said nastily.

“Oh, shut up,” she said, decloaking. “Why are you out here? We are not due to start patrolling for another ten minutes.”

“We're going early tonight. We gotta start varying the schedule in case the BLUs figure it out. Besides, I was looking for you.” He stood beside her, staring out at the opposing base with his arms folded.

“Really.” She looked sidelong at him, but his face was partly hidden, as always, by the helmet. “Is there something you wanted to say?”

“Something you wanna know, Frenchie?” he snapped.

“You are the one who came looking for me, Jean. I presume you had a reason?”

A muscle in his jaw tensed for a moment. “No.” But before she could say anything more, he pulled off his helmet and ran a hand through his hair, looking rather frustrated. “I mean, yeah, but I don't have a reason. I just felt like it.”

It could mean anything, or nothing. Or, the more likely explanation, because this was Soldier: it meant exactly what it sounded like, that he just wanted to be close to her. She was still trying to get used to the way he tended to say exactly what he was thinking.

Spy leaned against his shoulder. He shifted in response, returning the pressure. They both stared out into the night for a while, just being together.

A singular thought occurred to her. When she was younger, she had read stories about hunting expeditions in Africa, and what beasts they encountered there. They said a lioness was one of the most dangerous predators; vicious, powerful, easily capable of ripping a man limb from limb. Who could get close to such a fearsome creature without risking a messy death?

The answer, in retrospect, was obvious. Who could walk with a lioness and live? A lion, of course.

Spy glanced at Soldier and chuckled to herself. Maybe some things didn't need to be said. And she had to admit that being here, with him, in this strange earthly Valhalla was actually a pretty good life. Perhaps it didn't need explaining, or understanding. Perhaps this was as close as she would ever come to true happiness, because he was probably the only man who could make her happy.

“You find something funny?” he asked.

On impulse, she threw one arm around his neck and leaned in to kiss him on the cheek. “If I do, it is not you, Jean. I was just thinking.” She held up her revolver in her other hand, and checked the cylinder. “I think it is time we went on patrol, oui?”

He looked at her, and then smiled. In all the time she had known him, Spy had never once known Soldier to smile. It wasn't a particularly friendly expression, but it did make her wish briefly that they were alone and naked in his room instead of out in front of the RED base.

He shrugged off her arm and put his helmet back on, then squared his shoulders. “Right. First the armory, then we'll do half of the inside sweep and half of the outside sweep, and vary the routes every time. MOVE OUT, PRIVATE!”

She gave a lazy salute. “Sir, yes, sir,” she said, and followed him into the fortress, humming 'Nessun Dorma' under her breath.

FIN

-------------------------------------------

That's all, folks. Thanks for reading, and thanks for all the praise and feedback. You guys have no idea how much I value the stuff you say.

I'll be moving on to finishing up the Seduction of the Doktor story now, so keep an eye out for that if you're interested in Heavy/Medic drama. I'll get to it in the new year once I post some other one-shots that I've been meaning to get to for a while. Then there's the highschool alternate universe whatsit that I have tentatively decided to call Teufort High for no particular reason, which I swear I will write. (I have a plot and everything! And it may not be stupid!)

So yeah. Busy busy :P Now's a good time to get your requests in. I may even get to them sometime soon.

160 .

ANOTHER UPDATE?!

Wait.

ANOTHER UPDATE OF BEAUTIFUL PERFECTION?!

And such a lovely ending...

161 .

I still love this so much and I'm so glad you were able to finish it. It was worth the wait. I couldn't ask for anything more, really. But then, I'm a sucker for sweet Soldiers and weird relationships.

Don't know how realistic it would be for them to have sex that soon after the rape. Don't really care. At least there was some time inbetween (weeks? Months? I lost track of how much time passed anyway.)

162 .

>>161

I think it helps that she had sex before. It wasn't like a first experience that completely ruined her or anything. But I know nothing about psychology, so I could be wrong about that.

>>159

I am so happy you finished this. I don't come to tf2chan much anymore, and I was thinking "all of those great stories that will probably never be finished..."

But here you are. And here it is, finished. Give yourself a pat on the bat.

163 .

Wonderful, Doktor. Simply fantastic.

Great ending and I can't wait for you to go on with Seduction of the Doktor. Your stories are always the best!

164 .

>>162

Give yourself a pat on the bat.
162, I don't know whether that was deliberate, typo, or Freudian, but it is SO appropriate here that I'm still grinning. Thank you. (I also agree.)

165 .

Now's a good time to get your requests in. I may even get to them sometime soon.

Err... Weeeeeeeeeeeeell, since you are asking...

Pleasepleaseplease write a sequel to "Watcher" and give it a happy ending! Pretty please ^^

(Now cut that out.)

166 .

Haven't been on the chan in ages, thought I'd take a peek to see what I've been missing and holy mother of fuck my favorite fic just updated.

So many lovely quotes but my favorite was this one.

The answer, in retrospect, was obvious. Who could walk with a lioness and live? A lion, of course.
So much love!

167 .

wonderful!!!

168 .

Omfg. You heartless bastard. PLEASE learn to sage! Its been 4 fuking months too

169 .

This is the second or third time they've done it too. Last time they said "wonderful" as well. They trolling hard?

170 .

I just found this thread and I'm glad I decided to check more than the first page.

I am stunned.

All I can say is...

DOKTOR IS CREDIT TO TEAM!

171 .

I don't know what really ot say your writing is beautiful.I do not normally read fanfic cause well its odd but you do really need to think about being published.I have no read anything so moving in a very long time thank you

172 .

Why did you have to bump this, jenn?

173 .

the happiest necrobump I've ever experienced!!

174 .

So I posted this on Tumblr in response to an ask and forgot to post it here. And now I'm posting it here. It's sort of a follow up or... I dunno. Enjoy!

---------------------------------------

She’d missed the coffee, more than anything else. There was something about real French coffee that simply couldn’t be replicated anywhere else. It was so strange, that this alone spoke to her of home the way nothing else did. The Parisien cafe was pleasant, yes, but it held no hint of familiarity. The last time she was in Paris, it had been a very different place.

Still, the woman who was sometimes a Spy was content. The feeling was unexpected, but there it was. All that time during the war, all the sacrifices she had made as part of the Resistance - it had been worth it. French men and women walked the streets as free people, carefree and lazy in the summer sun. They could because of her.

"What the hell is this crap?" her companion said, holding up the tiny espresso cup and peering into it suspiciously. "It tastes like goddamn motor oil."

She smiled at him behind her own cup. Of course he didn’t like it. He hated the shirt and jeans she forced him to wear instead of his usual uniform. He complained about the food at the hotel. He shouted at the bewildered porter who tried to take his suitcase. He didn’t particularly like the dress she had chosen either, but he knew better than to make an issue of it.

"It is the finest French roast available on this side of the Atlantic, Jean. Please try to appreciate it," she said pleasantly. His natural antagonism could not ruin her mood.

He slumped in the chair and glared at the passers by. She watched him, more than them. She still wasn’t sure why he had agreed to come with her, but his presence still soothed her. He guaranteed that she would not receive any unwanted attention. And she could still catch him glancing at her, every once in a while, as if he needed to reassure himself that she was still with him.

"Why hello, Mademoiselle. I did not expect to see you here."

Well, almost no unwanted attention. She immediately resented the interruption to her afternoon musing. The object of her annoyance was a tall, thin man who looked entirely ordinary in slacks and a shirt. Anyone else might take him for another tourist, but she knew his eyes. She had seen them often enough while the rest of his face was covered with a blue balaclava.

"You never expect to see me," she said snidely. "Go away. We are on holiday."

"Please, my dear, we are not ‘on the clock’, as the Americans say. Why not share some of this fine coffee with me? I am sure you have many stories to tell." He had switched to English for some reason, but his voice was still mocking. Her companion had noticed, and he watched the intruder with narrowed eyes.

"I think not. Go away," she said. Professional courtesy, she told herself. It would be… messy… if she took her knife to him here. It was strapped to the side of her thigh, an ever-present and comforting weight. It would be very easy to carve her initials into his hide, but she would give him a chance to back off at least.

He made to say something more, but Jean cut him off. He rose from his seat, grabbed the man by the collar, and twisted his arm up behind his back. “Beat it,” he snarled, and shoved him away roughly.

The man stumbled, but recovered well. He sniffed in irritation, cast a contemptuous look at her, and stalked off through the crowds. Needless to say, he would probably taunt her about this when they next met on the battlefield.

She glanced at her companion, who had returned to his seat with a furious, threatening look in his eyes. “I could have dealt with that myself,” she said.

He grunted in response. “I don’t like him.”

"Of course not. You hate everyone. But I can solve my own problems, or did you forget that?"

He fell into a mutinous silence. She sipped her coffee, watched the passing crowd, and absorbed the new life of the city that she had suffered so much for.

"You know that’s not true," he said suddenly.

"What is not true?" she asked.

"I don’t hate everyone."

Her eyes had not moved, but now she couldn’t help the way they were drawn to his. There was that sidelong glance, to reassure himself that she was still here, and still with him. There was the anger, towards anything that was not her, in this strange city. But a look could hold more than words, more than feeling, especially between them.

"You have a strange way of being romantic," she murmured.

He looked away. “You finished yet? I’m getting bored.”

She put the cup back on the table. “I believe so. Shall we go? I wish to see the Louvre today. There is a very famous sculpture that you should see, called Diana à la Biche.”

"Fine, let’s go."

They stood, and she left a few notes on the table to cover the bill. He walked ahead of her for a few paces before she caught up. As he glowered at the world, she reached for his hand, and their fingers naturally slid together.

He looked down, and then up at her face. Then he smiled, dark and dangerous and only for her, everything else forgotten.

They walked on together, and for a short time, Paris felt like thunder and rocket fire and muzzle flash all over again; lightning in her veins and her heart.

175 .

Pssst... I really liked this and I'm glad you posted the epilogue here. It was perfect.

176 .

Wow! Probably the only Spy/Soldier I have ever read that made sense.
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