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Miss Pauling? (8)

1 .

Does anyone else want to read a story with Miss Pauling? I'd love to read one with her and Sniper ha ha, or Scout.

2 .

*Raises Hand some* I'd read something with Miss Pauling and Sniper. Hell I'd write it but my writing muse is a bit shot right now. If you got something though lets see it!

3 .

GODDAMN you're insistant! But since you went and made a thread for it... fuck. I'll post what I have so far. Tell me if it sucks shit. I might not take to it well at the moment but I know I need the criticism and none of this was beta-read. Anyone who wants to be my beta, let me know. Sorry, no namefagging just yet. I might do so later though. Sorry if the formatting ends up screwy.


A knock on the camper van door jarred the RED Sniper back into the waking world. He wasn't certain why because it wasn't a particularly loud or insistent knock but there was a steady stream of it, set to the tune of Shave and a Haircut. How long had whoever it was been at it?

Cursing loudly, he answered the door, his hat still next to the bed and his hair tousled, but the aviators on in case of glare. He was about to yawn but then he recognized her and stopped halfway, his hand awkwardly held up to his face.

“Miss Pauling... uh?” Sniper said, “Sorry, I wasn't expectin' visitors.”

“Sorry I didn't call ahead,” she said, “May I come inside?”

The Sniper rubbed the back of his neck as he regarded her with a healthy dose of curiosity and suspicion. But he finally nodded and stepped aside to let her in. Of course, this would be an easy way to get back-stabbed by a Spy (any Spy) but if she was the real deal, he couldn't let her roast on his doorstep. He squinted up at the sky and realized it was only an hour or two after noon. He hadn't been napping for very long.

She smiled as she walked past, barely coming up to his lanky shoulder. The camper van wasn't much cooler than the desert outside but by virtue of shade alone it still helped. The curtains were drawn and he knew the place smelled of neglect but she said nothing. She took it all in, from the random piles of goods to the small stack of dishes by the tiny counter space, and took a seat on the fold-out bed in front of her. She had seen the inside of his van before but he still felt a tinge of embarrassment as he watched her idly pat her neatly tied bun and straighten out the hem of her short, sensible, purple dress.

“Jus' a minute while I scrounge up a chair,” Sniper said.

Before he could turn to grab one of the fold-ups from the wall, she shook her head and patted a spot beside her on the mattress. Her smile seemed embarrassed but her voice was calm.

“That's not necessary,” she said, “There's room enough for both of us here.”

Sniper considered this carefully. She had never sat on his bed during the time he was being interviewed, by the Director, a week ago, even though she had been there for much of the filming.

She had to understand the implications of her request. She was either up to something or she was a Spy who was up to something. Nonetheless, he did as she asked, both feet on the floor and keeping his hands clamped to his knees as he slumped forward, their eyes level.

His kukri was near his shoes, from when he'd kicked them off earlier, but the need to reach for it could be the difference between a successful counterattack and a respawn. They were currently enjoying a cease-fire but he'd learned from experience that the respawn had slowly made a gleeful sadist out of almost everyone on his team and the BLUs. He had to watch her carefully and she sensed his tension immediately.

Miss Pauling sighed and dropped her gaze. She sounded... wistful?

“I know this is out of nowhere, my being here,” Miss Pauling said, “But this isn't a business trip, Mr. Mundy. That's why I didn't give advance notice.”

His eyes widened and his eyebrows arched at the use of his name.

Few people did. There was no need for names on the battlefield.

He hadn't appreciated the Director for saying it so much, when his company had been forced on their team. Not because he didn't want anyone else overhearing it. Their names weren't classified. Not classified to other teammates anyway. That would be bull-shit. But the more the Director had used it, the more banal it sounded. Like a word that had been said so much it had lost all meaning.

The way Miss Pauling was using it sounded light and careful. As if it were a treasure that might escape her if she didn't treat it gently enough. He drew in a deep breath and then let it out, tucking the courage it had given him safe within. If this was a Spy, they were a damn good one and he was honored to be targeted by such a meticulous actor.

“Which brings us to the question... Why are you here?” Sniper asked.

He was quickly reminded of the short distance between them when she lifted one of her hands from her lap and gently squeezed his own, still resting on his knee and knuckles taut with a plan for the future. His heart pounded faster, nerves frazzled by the delicacy in her actions. It was all so... normal. And intimate. He was grateful he wasn't wearing his glove currently.

She was quiet for a few minutes as they stared at one another.

“This isn't easy for me to say,” Miss Pauling admitted, “I don't want anyone to think I'm a slut, because I'm not, but random flings are more acceptable these days. Even more acceptable than when I was growing up.”

Sniper felt a little dizzy all of a sudden, realizing where she was going with this. Early morning had seen plenty of bloodshed and loud noises, the usual. Thanks to that damned Spy that kept finding him, it was mingled with the rarer sensations of pain and the awkward tingle of respawn. It was a war zone but no one could deny it was almost routine for them at that point.

This? This was as if the rest of the world had found a way to creep into his van, like the sun through his drawn curtains. Oh, they had plenty of quieter, cease-fire moments scattered through-out their days. Sometimes an entire day or two, where everyone took as much comfort and camaraderie as they could find access to. But it wasn't the same as the world outside the feuding bases and all of them knew that.

He straightened up then, giving her his full attention. His kukri was forgotten as he drank in the way she was pensively biting her lower lip now. He wanted to place his other hand on top of hers but every ounce of courage he had was presently sloughing off him like the sweat on his skin.

This had to be real. He was going to systematically and continuously kill this Spy if it wasn't.

Miss Pauling seemed to have gathered herself together in one brilliant moment of bravery and tentatively let go of his hand. He watched her raise and tilt her own, cupping his cheek, her palm moving lightly over the stubble and her fingertips tentatively exploring first the scar and then his sideburns. He closed his eyes as he leaned into her touch, so faint, as if anything rougher might seriously hurt him.

Or... was she afraid of him? He opened his eyes as the thought sprang to mind, not used to it in the slightest.

They all felt fear in battle. No one really wanted to be sliced, diced, and shot to bits. It still hurt like a bitch and the memory was there even after respawn. Sometimes the pain was too. The medic could heal any injury in a matter of seconds but that didn't stop the nerves from experiencing what had caused the injury in the first place.

This fueled their urge for revenge like nothing else could. He tried to be polite because he felt it was required. And yet, being on the RED team this long had left him as snarling, vicious, and insult-hurling as the next man. It was expected by then. Natural. Nothing to it. And no one really took these insults to heart, even if it still fired up the anger that burned slowly underneath each battle.

But no one was truly afraid of death as long as they were in the fight. Nothing painful was permanent. It took awhile before the reality of actual death set-in whenever they took leave and most vacations involved indiscretions before the men remembered there was no respawn machine out in the real world.

She shifted then and trailed her thumb over his lower lip. And Sniper lost his head, trembling from the thought of mortality.

He knew he'd startled her but once he'd grabbed her hand it was too late, so he kissed the back of it tenderly to reassure her. He looked her up and down, admiring her in full.

She wasn't a model or some Hollywood actress but she had such a pretty, almost child-like face that was lent a stronger sense of maturity thanks to her glasses. Her subtle, well-maintained curves weren't really done justice by what she had on but he liked her girl-next door attitude and attire, further pronounced and accented by her careful demeanor of minor authority. She was so elegantly, distinctly average that it made him ache. And she seemed so cutely out of her element. So apprehensive and deceptively fragile that he wanted to reassure her with all of his heart.

“If you're propositionin' me, Miss Pauling, then consider it accepted,” he said, “On one condition.”

Miss Pauling looked so happy and relieved but nodded slowly as she waited to hear him out.

“A few days from now I go on holiday,” Sniper said, “I'd rather have a naughty then, with the exception that you or me lie back right now so I can get a get a taste for your map o' Tazzie...”

He arched and waggled one brow suggestively, his hand to his chest in a show of earnestness.

Miss Pauling tried to pull her hand back and Sniper let go. She was blushing but the frown on her face made him wince. Shit. Did she have no idea what he was offering her? He couldn't help if he sometimes forgot himself and slipped into Aussie talk instead of American slang. Sometimes he got so excited they sort of blurred before he realized he'd used one thing over another.

“Mr. Mundy... is it all right if I call you Jacob?”

“I prefer Jake.”

He said it out of habit, without even considering if he was all right with her using his given name, after crushing his pride like that.

“Jake,” she said, “I'm... I can't believe how ironic it is, me saying this, but I'm not looking for anything long-term. Not right now anyway.”

“What's bloody ironic?” he asked, “The fact you're changing your mind?”

He knew his tone was sour but he couldn't help it. He felt rejected and it stung worse than he would have imagined, given the circumstances. He hadn't been prepared for that option when SHE had asked HIM in the first place!

She clutched her hands together neatly in her lap again and wouldn't meet his gaze.

“I had a bad break-up a little over a year ago. Not screaming and crying bad,” she said, “I thought he was the one. He thought differently. So we parted ways. I don't think I'm ready to try again. Yet.”

Sniper blinked. He looked over at the door and around his RV. Then he looked back at her. It took awhile before he could think what to say and she finally looked up at him, just as he had an idea.

Those sad brown eyes made him hesitate and she spoke first.

“I know you're not talking about a whole week of bliss...”

“Now wait a minute...” he said.

It felt like he was arguing with his mum. Not so bad as with his dad but that was why it felt worse. That and he had dreamed of it turning into a fuck-a-day marathon. Dreamed but not hoped because he knew better.

“Or a wedding or anything. And I approached you first. But I like you. That's the problem.”

He squinted, trying to figure out how big of a train wreck this was going to be and whether or not he shut cut his losses now. He grumbled, shifted behind her, and without kicking her, accidentally or otherwise, flopped down across the bed. He rolled onto his back, belly exposed. A rare pose around another human being, ever since signing up for this particular mercenary group. He tucked his arms under his head, with the pillow between them, and tilted his face to the side to regard her. Might as well be comfortable for the damn bloody psycho sob story he was about to hear.

She watched him, startled, and then a slow smile spread across her face. She scooted closer to his shoulders, before leaning back on her arms and regarding him with a fondness that began soothing his ruffled pride. He swallowed sharply when she turned the other way and began rubbing his stomach in a languid, haphazard manner, her nails gently scraping against his skin where his plain white undershirt was riding up. He wasn't sure if she was toying with him but it was starting to put him on edge again, in a way he hated to admit was almost pleasant.

“You think I'm harmless...” Miss Pauling said.

Sniper grumbled and glanced to where he knew his kukri was on the floor. He couldn't even see it from his current position.

Suddenly, Miss Pauling shifted and straddled his chest, her knees gently squeezing him under his arm pits. He jerked up until he was balancing on his elbows. In the time it took him to do this, she had pulled a pistol from somewhere and had placed it under his chin. He swallowed reflexively, hating the way his adam's apple bobbed against the warm metal, and was wide eyed as she pressed her lips very gently to his.

“Fuckin' Spook,” he growled.

Her eyes were half-lidded and she nuzzled his cheek before burying her face in his neck. He felt her kisses on his bare throat as she tilted his head back, stealing a soft moan from him before he knew it.

“I'm not a Spy,” she said, “God, I hate this. I can't lie to you right now.”

He lifted his hand, cautiously, and tried to grasp the one holding the gun. She didn't bother trying to push him away. Wait... her finger wasn't on the trigger. He'd been had!

In a burst of energy, he grabbed her shoulders and twisted. Like wrestling with a crocodile except he wasn't trying to hurt her. She might have been startled. Either way she squealed and jerked around a little but wasn't actively trying to stop him. Her hand let go of the gun when his hands closed around both her wrists, pinning them up near her face on the bed.

Now that the tables had turned and he was straddling her instead, he felt cocky. He leaned in close, as she had done, intending to mock her with light kisses along her throat, only to find her gasping and arching into him.

When he leaned back, he saw her eyes widen but her mouth was set in a thin line, as if she were fighting to stay in control of the situation. It almost broke his heart. He didn't know her that well but he'd never hurt her like that. She had to know that too or she never would have come to see him in the first place.

“What the hell, mate? Is there somethin' else eatin' away at you?” he asked, “It'd love to know you aren't crazy 'cause it's always awkward gettin' involved with a crazy person.”

Miss Pauling closed her eyes, mortified.

“I thought it would be sexy,” she admitted, “There. See? I can't even spin the words on that one. I'm no good if I can't lie through my teeth.”

Sniper let go of her hands, using his weight to keep her pinned, and snorted with amusement when he realized she still had her legs around him, though they'd moved from his chest to his waist. He really wanted to unbind her hair and feel it running through his fingers. Instead, he gripped her knees, pushed her calves down gently until she got the idea and tucked them demurely to the side. She seemed no less pleased, however, and a helpless sense of ire filled him for being put in such an awkward position when he wanted nothing more than to eat her out.

“So how long have you been lying to me?” he asked.

She looked him straight in the eye and her mouth was set in a thin line.

“Ever since I met you,” she said, “But not today. I meant it when I said I want you.”

Sniper regarded her with an uncertain smirk.

“I'm flattered. That doesn't change the fact you shoved a gun in face.”

She looked like their were tears in the corner of her eyes and she reached out, hugging him shakily. He was stunned at first. Then, hesitantly, he pulled her closer and rubbed her back in soothing circles.

“Jake, I'm sorry!” she said, “I thought it was obvious. You use guns all the time. I thought you'd see...”

Sniper cocked his head to the side and sighed. If he hadn't been so complacent, let down his guard, he probably would have noticed earlier. Instead he'd panicked and now he felt a little sheepish but still stubbornly justified.

“Didn't mean to give you a scare,” he said, “Normally wouldn't have been worried at all 'cept you being here reminds me there's a proper end for me somewhere and I don't know when or why I'll face it.”

He watched her nod and shivered as she nuzzled into his chest, her fingers tangling in his cotton shirt, which, now that he was paying attention, had a fierce smell to it. It was closest to his skin so it always took the brunt force of his sweat. She either hadn't noticed or hadn't cared. She must have been really determined to have sex with him if she hadn't given up by now. He leaned down to kiss her forehead and wondered.

“This isn't a complaint but we almost never speak to each other. In fact, I think the most time we've spent together was around that twit with the camera. What grabbed your interest?”

She understood the question in his words and tilted her head slightly, looking up as best she could.

“He wasn't always there,” she said.

The Director had refused to join them when RED and BLU were engaged in battle. Miss Pauling had coaxed him to at least mount a camera and leave it there in certain instances. In others she had asked him to instruct her on its usage or how she could set it up on the tripod for him. But she had stuck by Sniper's side during much of the filming. And he had divulged more information due to her presence than he had for the Director's. At least she had been sympathetic and was paying attention to what he'd been saying.

Sniper grinned and decided abruptly to flop back down onto the bed, pulling her with him. She yelped, surprised, but he hadn't hurt her and she stayed by his side when he let her go. A little kiss to the end of his nose proved all had been forgiven, for now.

“So, I charmed your socks off without even trying, eh?” he asked, “Is that why you're here?”

She nestled her cheek into his pillow and closed her eyes, content.

“Your van isn't under surveillance,” she said, “It's more private this way.”

This deflated his ego considerably. He scowled as he sat up.

“And Engie has a truck. Is that bein' watched?” he asked.

She took off her glasses, readjusted the pillow, and gave him a sidelong glance. Her eyes were dark and silky, like her hair. Dark as coffee.

“Mr. Jacob Mundy,” she said, “I chased after you for a couple of days, sometimes with a camera that wasn't mine because the man who was supposed to be holding it was obstinate. All while avoiding stray gun fire, in the middle of a god-forsaken desert. I did that because I was being paid to do it. The only reason I enjoyed any of it was because of you. ”

Sniper was silent, waiting for the other shoe to drop.

“Do you remember what you said on the drive to the base?” she asked.

He had no idea how to answer that. He knew it had to be something important if she was bringing it up now but he couldn't gauge how she felt about it.

“Not really,” Sniper said, “Just what a tosser that Director was.”

She smirked, evidently agreeing with him, and sat up as well. He was sad to see her putting her glasses back on, pushing them up the bridge of her nose with one finger. They were fetching but they could be considered a form of emotional armor too.

“You said that professionals don't have feelings,” she explained.

He blinked and furrowed his brow.

“So you think I'm a cold-hearted freak with commitment issues?”

She smiled and petted the back of his neck. He grumbled all the same but decided to test his own luck by throwing an arm around her waist. She didn't push him away.

“I think you keep your personal and professional life separate. Which is why I feel like trusting you, in spite of how dangerous I know you can be. Besides, you're probably the only killer here who's safer to be right beside than at a distance from.”

She smiled as she said this last sentence but the Sniper frowned. At first playfully and then with more seriousness as he considered the implications of this understanding of how he fought. He sat up straighter, wondering.

“I meant what I said. Whatever I said... But how do I know I can trust you?”

“I only asked for tonight. And I don't have a snuff fetish.”

This idea was both amusing and unsettling. He liked it.

“Why not? Rigor mortis works wonders, or so I hear.”

4 .

(Same anon. For the record, there isn't any guro or snuff in this fic. At least, I never had any in mind but the joke seemed good. 'M starting to consider guro stuff more so we'll see but at least for awhile it's seriously not going to turn up. Unless I get some astonishing inspiration that changes my mind.)

5 .

I really like their characterisations. You have my attention! Please continue!

6 .

I'm liking how you write Ms Pauling. She and Sniper need to have awkward wild sex.

7 .

Your character interactions are... a little odd. For the most part, very believable and pleasant, but then one character will have a burst of energy or confidence, which isn't bad, except it dissipates too quickly. It like "ALRIGHT LET'S DO THIS loljk I'm still shy." Again, not a bad thing by itself but it seems to happen once or twice too often here. This by no means makes the fic bad. I am intrigued and certainly looking forward to more. Just a little food for thought.

8 .

Yeah, sorry about that. D: Usually I go over my own writing several times to try and fix the flow and I did notice that after I posted it. I was going to wait to revise a little more (blasted typos for instance) but then this thread appeared and I was all "NO I MUST BE THE FIRST" like an idiot.

Thank you for the criticism though. I do need to work on that. I did intend for there to be some shyness/awkwardness but I kept repeating myself too much.

Chalking it up to Sniper being a little socially awkward and tense from being attacked most of the time he's awake. Miss Pauling (also a bit shy) is acting this way because she's asking a hired killer to fuck her. She just killed the Director recently but that was what got her to the point where she was willing to say "SHIT, I SHOULD ASK!"

Dunno when I'll have more but this one has bitten me harder overnight so I'll probably be adding to it a little faster now.

9 .

This was really nice to read, hope you continue!
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